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Topic: Garritan Steinway demos are here!

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  1. #1

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  3. #3

    Re: Garritan Steinway demos are here!

    No Takers? OK.... Well.... Can't comment on playability, 'cause I don't own the sample (yet), only on the demos. In fact, I'll comment on only one demo: the Liszt Consolation No.3 in Db Major. I compared the live recording on the Steinway sample with one of my Great Pianists versions: the Bolet account, which has a rep. and also, pretty good Steinway sound. I didn't expect the sample pianist to measure up to Bolet, one of the greatest Liszt interpreters of this and the last century; but for a 128 kps account, the sample was definitely convincing. Credit to the pianist, however, because you really do have to know how to finesse a sampled piano when rendering a piece live. Well done, pianist and sample. I'm ordering.

    JG

  4. #4

    Re: Garritan Steinway demos are here!

    the demos are superb! I like the tone quality, sounds more like a true Steinway then any other piano samples I've heard. However, I need to hear more of the tone when playing ppp, I'm not convinced I like the soft tone yet

  5. #5

    Re: Garritan Steinway demos are here!

    A few quibbles ..... let's reign in the enthusiasm that always greets the release of a sample! We have a good smattering of rep., at different kps at Garritan's site, but nothing really outstanding. Aesthetic impressions are subjective, but this may be the case of a top tier sample needing top tier midi work, whether purely sequenced or mostly played live. The character is there, no doubt; but don't forget that the "real thing" is intermingled with the sample in a number of the mp3s., and those mp3s sound the best to me.

    Personally, I think it's a whole lot more revealing to hear the sample ONLY, and, then, to hear the same midi file played and recorded live from beginning to end. Unfortunately, that's not possible unless the piano is equipped with a midi piano player (now more and more available--heard one today in fact--and Bos and Yammy have been perfecting the technology for awhile).

    All of which raises the vital question: with the piano player midi add on machines coming onto market, it becomes possible to play midi files through the real thing, and then to record the result afterwards, thus getting us incredibly close to untying the Gordian Knot of midi-piano recording: a completely live recording of a midi-perfected piano file!

    JG

  6. #6

    Re: Garritan Steinway demos are here!

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGrant View Post
    A few quibbles ..... let's reign in the enthusiasm that always greets the release of a sample! We have a good smattering of rep., at different kps at Garritan's site, but nothing really outstanding. Aesthetic impressions are subjective, but this may be the case of a top tier sample needing top tier midi work, whether purely sequenced or mostly played live. The character is there, no doubt; but don't forget that the "real thing" is intermingled with the sample in a number of the mp3s., and those mp3s sound the best to me.

    Personally, I think it's a whole lot more revealing to hear the sample ONLY, and, then, to hear the same midi file played and recorded live from beginning to end. Unfortunately, that's not possible unless the piano is equipped with a midi piano player (now more and more available--heard one today in fact--and Bos and Yammy have been perfecting the technology for awhile).

    All of which raises the vital question: with the piano player midi add on machines coming onto market, it becomes possible to play midi files through the real thing, and then to record the result afterwards, thus getting us incredibly close to untying the Gordian Knot of midi-piano recording: a completely live recording of a midi-perfected piano file!

    JG
    You just gave me an idea. Yes, the midi add on is truly the most authentic way to get the most real piano sound, since it plays a real piano! The problem most people have is they do not have a Steinway piano- so here's my idea- offer a service to perform the midi piano files on a real Steinway! They send you their midi piano file, you have it play on a Steinway (of your own obviously), record it, and send it back. Could be a profitable venture! For one, no samples will come as close to the real piano. What do you think?

  7. #7

    Re: Garritan Steinway demos are here!

    Not to diminish the accomplishment here, because the world needs more good piano sample libraries and Garritan is always expanding a composer's palette of available sounds in many directions, but I think that the Bach Prelude in E demo demonstrates more of the skill in crossfading between two performances and the limitations of the library then the strengths of it.

    In the Bach Prelude in E demo I could feel my body and emotions engage and disconnect as the fade went back and forth between the live recording and the sampled one. The warmth, the width, the richness and body of the live recording really outshone the precise but narrow sound of the sampled piano. I found this was more of an issue with the highest and lowest notes, especially at higher velocities/dynamics than in the midrange.

    But these are early demos and it is late at night: I reserve the right to amend my opinion at a later time and congratulate Garritan on adding yet another color to the digital composer's aural palette.

  8. #8

  9. #9

    Re: Garritan Steinway demos are here!

    I'm a completely unbiased young pianist, and i've been waiting to hear the samples every day since the Steinway library was hyped on the Garritan main page. When I read that it was authorized by Steinway themselves, I was curious as to how rigid they would be, and if this would mean it was more faithful in its resonance, timber, etc.

    So, I finally heard the demos for the first time today through my headphones, and i'm not impressed. . .At all; since the product was delayed about 1,500 times, I simply thought it was going to be better than what we got; the perspectives sound dull and empty, the velocity layers sound lifeless and the resonance is really weak, especially when it's meant to emulate a fine grand piano in an acoustically tuned environment.

    In Chopin's Scherzo no.2 (the first demo on the page), the fortissimo layers sound very compressed and weak, and the pianissimo samples sound like they were overdubbed at a later time, from another session; there's no BLENDING, no sustain, no resonance, no expression. There were a few demos on the page of live rendering, and I have to give it to the players and say that they mostly did a good job of playing (given digital instruments), but the library did absolutely nothing to bring their performance TO LIFE, and make me say "I want to use this library."

    I was really hoping for something better, but overall I have to say that this sample library is completely lifeless, and doesn't even compare to the Galaxy II Steinway, Synthogy Ivory, or even the Eastwest Bosendorfer 290 VSTi; at least that one sounded like it was in the proper environment, while the Galaxy II pianos have a well-blended set of samples, a present tone, realistic resonance and LIFE to them that this library simply doesn't offer. Gee, even the Garritan Personal Orchestra Steinway sounds much better and playable than this "dedicated" library (based on songs uploaded to this forum), and that one has sample looping/stretching.

    1 and 1/2 out of 5 stars.

  10. #10

    Re: Garritan Steinway demos are here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Per Lichtman View Post
    Not to diminish the accomplishment here, because the world needs more good piano sample libraries and Garritan is always expanding a composer's palette of available sounds in many directions, but I think that the Bach Prelude in E demo demonstrates more of the skill in crossfading between two performances and the limitations of the library then the strengths of it.

    In the Bach Prelude in E demo I could feel my body and emotions engage and disconnect as the fade went back and forth between the live recording and the sampled one. The warmth, the width, the richness and body of the live recording really outshone the precise but narrow sound of the sampled piano. I found this was more of an issue with the highest and lowest notes, especially at higher velocities/dynamics than in the midrange.

    But these are early demos and it is late at night: I reserve the right to amend my opinion at a later time and congratulate Garritan on adding yet another color to the digital composer's aural palette.
    I completely agree with what is said in the quote above. Nevertheless I am eagerly waiting to get my professional version already ordered in the "Go round" before christmas. I even bought a new external hard drive yesterday to be used with it.

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