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Topic: Best Piano Virtual Instrument / Sampler?

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  1. #1

    Best Piano Virtual Instrument / Sampler?

    Hello!

    I have just purchased the Ivory Grand pianos and really dissapointed with them to the point of wanting to return them! Is it just me? I just find them to have no character at all!

    I am primarily writing film music and I have the Steinway that comes with the EWGOLDXP, Malmsjo and the Gigapiano but they all seem to lack in realism somewhere for contemporary recordings.

    Anyone for other suggestions? [IMG]images/smilies/confused.gif[/IMG]

    George

  2. #2

    Re: Best Piano Virtual Instrument / Sampler?

    hi,

    Like you I am also disappointed in Ivory
    You should try Pianoteq.It is the only virtual piano I use now
    and the most realistic of all the virtual pianos I own - and
    I own plenty . One other good thing about Pianoteq is that
    they are very intense on continuous product improvements while
    the others just sit tight after their products are on the market

  3. #3

    Re: Best Piano Virtual Instrument / Sampler?

    Quote Originally Posted by gi0rgi0o
    Hello!

    I have just purchased the Ivory Grand pianos and really dissapointed with them to the point of wanting to return them! Is it just me? I just find them to have no character at all!

    George
    Hi, George!

    It would help if you could elaborate on what "character" you want in a piano.

  4. #4

    Re: Best Piano Virtual Instrument / Sampler?

    Hi there. Thanks for your replies.

    It is really hard to describe. You know sometimes you hear the sound of a new sample and you say "Wow I wouldnt know if this was real or fake/" Thats the realism that I am looking for. I am looking for more of a contemporary piano sound but at the same time not too cluncky!

    G

  5. #5

    Re: Best Piano Virtual Instrument / Sampler?

    Quote Originally Posted by gi0rgi0o
    Hi there. Thanks for your replies.

    It is really hard to describe. You know sometimes you hear the sound of a new sample and you say "Wow I wouldnt know if this was real or fake/" Thats the realism that I am looking for. I am looking for more of a contemporary piano sound but at the same time not too cluncky!

    G
    Has you tryed the free Continuous Velocity piano from Tascam?
    Marcelo Colina

  6. #6

    Re: Best Piano Virtual Instrument / Sampler?

    I heartily agree with droah regarding Pianoteq http://www.pianoteq.com/index.

    I have been very pleased with the sound, velocity response, controls, etc.

    It is somewhat processor intensive, though. I have to be careful about how I record a song...often laying down my pianoteq track early, then freezing it, especially if I'm using quite a few other VI's and plug-ins.
    Brad Pearson
    THG Music
    Spokane WA

    MacBook Pro (2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo), 3 gig RAM, OS 10.6.5, Finale 2011b, GPO4 & CMB2

  7. #7

    Re: Best Piano Virtual Instrument / Sampler?

    This whole question has become pretty sensitive, even "political," you might say! There are basically 2 kinds of realism in my opinion:

    1) this feels and sounds like playing a real piano....

    and something a weeee bit different....

    2) this sounds just like a pro piano recording which sure is a different kettle of fish from (1)

    I think you're talking mostly about "real" in sense (2)? If that's the case, then a lot depends on what kind of recorded piano sound you like. At a couple of my sites you'll hear a typically reverberant "hall" type classical piano sound. I think it's pretty close, even indistinguishable, from actual professional recordings of good 'ol J.S. Bach. But that's just my taste. The piano I use happens to be the Wet BOS 291 sample.

    I'd kinda like to get away from the heavy reverb, but that puts stresses on the "realism" side that are hard to address with that particular sample.

    I've been playing with the Black Grand "Ambient" sample lately, trying to come up with recordings that are IDENTICAL to pro classical Steiny recordings. It's definitely doable, but real hard. A lot depends on the kind of music you're doing, the type of pro sound you like, and most important the midi file you've created to make the recording. Can't stress that enough.

    I'm surprised you don't like the Ivory. Of all the new stuff out there, most of the pianos on it (judging by the mp3s) sound pretty real. But sure... you never really know until you start working with the sample whether it meets your standards.

    With Steins the variability in recordings is HUGE. I've yet to come across a Stein sample that sounds like the best pro recordings of the real thing, but you can still get pretty close.

    Here's some examples:

    http://music.download.com/johngrant/...100295882.html


    JG

  8. #8

    Re: Best Piano Virtual Instrument / Sampler?

    Quote Originally Posted by gi0rgi0o
    Hello!

    I have just purchased the Ivory Grand pianos and really dissapointed with them to the point of wanting to return them! Is it just me? I just find them to have no character at all!

    Anyone for other suggestions? [IMG]images/smilies/confused.gif[/IMG]

    George
    I find that Ivory needs lots of setup/configuration. Personally, I don't like then Bosendorfer much. However, the others can be very nice. Here's what I did to get it to where I liked it...

    1) Adjust the Timbre very carefully to where you have the sound that you like. I find this to be the most important adjustment.
    2) The EQ has to be set carefully. For my setup, I like some gain at around 800Hz. I think it makes it sound more realistic. This is highly subjective and dependent on the acoustics of your setup.
    3) It may be necessary to set the velocity either in the app or on your controller. I'd start with the app. Playing with this will make it more "expressive."
    4) Adjust the other settings to your taste.

    Be prepared to spend several hours adjusting these these to get it to where you like, so you'll need a whole afternoon free. Afterwards, I think you'll be much happier with it.

  9. #9

    Re: Best Piano Virtual Instrument / Sampler?

    You may not find what you are looking for if you hope to immediately sit down and play one of the default pianos in any sample set or vsti and get the exact sound that you want. If you've acquired some synth programming skills and can apply them to the envelopes, you can create a good sound from many, many piano libraries. (But it may not be the exact sound that you want...)

    That said, both Pianoteq and TruePianos have downloadable demos on their sites with either a few notes missing (Pianoteq) or an expiration date (True Pianos). Pianoteq has much more of a learning curve, since it's modeled, and thus doesn't seem to have, at first glance, the conventional envelopes and velocity offsets. Be sure to check out the Pianoteq forum and post questions there, too. Several small sliders on the interface have a big effect on the sound.

    You may find yourself similar to many of us here, who use several different pianos, and continue to experiment with them to coax out new timbres.
    (I don't have Ivory, however, so I can't be any help there.)

  10. #10

    Re: Best Piano Virtual Instrument / Sampler?

    Hello George,
    perharps the new Xsample Steinway piano is the sound you are searching for:

    http://www.xsample.de/html/xsample_music-demos.html

    Demos 17+18

    cheers,
    Hans Josef

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