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Topic: Bardstown vs Garritan Steinway vs Pianoteq

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  1. #1

    Bardstown vs Garritan Steinway vs Pianoteq

    Hi... I'm sure this is a frequently discussed topic, but I'd like opinions based on my perspective :-)

    I am in the market for a Sampled Grand and to my ears the Bardstown Bosendorfer Imperial Grand STILL seems far superior to any of the others...

    The demos of the Garritan Steinway sound exquisite, yet of course that is a Steinway and I think I am in the mindset of wanting a Bosendorfer - principally because I've played the Bardstown and - more importantly - mixed the Bardstown, so I know how it sits in a mix.

    The Pianoteq modelled jobby is incredible because of it's size. It's an awful lot of bang for yer buck!

    So... Has anyone been in a position to try all three and come up with an opinion???

    All the best,


    Jeremy.

  2. #2

    Re: Bardstown vs Garritan Steinway vs Pianoteq

    Hi,

    Among Bosendorfers, the choices would be Bardstown, Galaxy II, Akoustik Piano, Ivory, PMI Bosendorfer 290, PMI Emperor, EW Bosendorfer, Quantum Leap Pianos and others I may not know of.

    I have both the Bardstown Bose and Garritan Steinway.

    Bardstown is brighter and has a wider stereo image. The appropriate perspective for comparison with the Garritan Steinway is the Under Lid perspective. Both Bardstown and Garritan Steinway was recorded in a hall with release trails where you can hear the room.

    Garritan Steinway has sympathetic resonance, proportional pedalling, true una corda samples. The Standard Version (16 bits, with two perspectives) is priced the same as the Bardstown 16 bit.

    Among sampled Steinways that I have (I have a lot but not the Quantum Leap), Garritan Steinway is my go to piano nowadays. It's just so playable and the sound is fabulous!

    Among Bosendorfers, I hear that the best ones nowadays are Galaxy II and Quantum Leap Pianos.

  3. #3

    Re: Bardstown vs Garritan Steinway vs Pianoteq

    I'm looking into the garritan lib also, and so I'm in a similar position. I'm not so much a bosendorfer guy, so I can't give you a bosendorfer perspective, but I can tell you that from what I've heard from pianoteq demos, pianoteq is quite far from a bosendorfer.

    Pianoteq is very mellow and soft, even if you tweak the parameters quite a bit. I've looked through all the user submited demos, a none of them head in the bosendorfer direction. Also, given that any preset you can create is within the bounds of whatever model you're working off of, there definitely is a limit as to what results you can get. (although it's "tweakable" within a range) Also, the results aren't that convincing just yet, so at the moment I don't think it's that much bang for the buck, although I do think that the technology itself is extremely promising. I do have a feeling it's not in best hands since their models keep coming out mellow. Perhaps there is something about the process of making their base models that make them mellow sounding. (and perhaps personal preferences of the original creators)

  4. #4

    Re: Bardstown vs Garritan Steinway vs Pianoteq

    Quote Originally Posted by kensuguro View Post
    I'm looking into the garritan lib also, and so I'm in a similar position. I'm not so much a bosendorfer guy, so I can't give you a bosendorfer perspective, but I can tell you that from what I've heard from pianoteq demos, pianoteq is quite far from a bosendorfer.

    Pianoteq is very mellow and soft, even if you tweak the parameters quite a bit. I've looked through all the user submited demos, a none of them head in the bosendorfer direction. Also, given that any preset you can create is within the bounds of whatever model you're working off of, there definitely is a limit as to what results you can get. (although it's "tweakable" within a range) Also, the results aren't that convincing just yet, so at the moment I don't think it's that much bang for the buck, although I do think that the technology itself is extremely promising. I do have a feeling it's not in best hands since their models keep coming out mellow. Perhaps there is something about the process of making their base models that make them mellow sounding. (and perhaps personal preferences of the original creators)
    Thank you kensuguro. I would like to comment on this post if I may.

    Although the quality of the piano sound is highly a matter of personal preference, one deserves to point out that the sound can be made bright quite easily in the Pianoteq interface by changing the hammer hardness (besides the EQ). An example of a rather bright piano model that we offer our customers is the Bechstein (1896).

    We continue developing new models and are, as always, thankful for any suggestions of improvement that we can get.
    Niclas Fogwall
    Pianoteq sales & support
    www.pianoteq.com

  5. #5

    Re: Bardstown vs Garritan Steinway vs Pianoteq

    thank you for the clarification. I do think that pianoteq technology is very promising, and wish you guys the best in advancing it.

  6. #6

    Re: Bardstown vs Garritan Steinway vs Pianoteq

    Jeremy:

    I have to wade in, here--the comparison you're wanting to make seems strange. Why compare a multisample of a Bos to PianoTeq? As we all know, a Bos has bass keys and strings that other pianos do not have. The result is additional partials for each note, additional frequencies in the sympathetic resonance, and lower vibrations affecting the cabinet, bridge, soundboard, and lid, and thus a different sound. PianoTeq was developed to let users recreate pianos with strings struck by 88 keys. It was never intended as a way to recreate the unique sound of a Bos. You might as well ask why a soprano sax doesnt have the same timbre as an alto sax.

    (And I must say that if you hear PianoTeq as being soft and mellow, you may not have experimented with its parameters much, or are using a sound card that can't register the partials correctly, or have been listening to it at a low volume.)

  7. #7

    Re: Bardstown vs Garritan Steinway vs Pianoteq

    (And I must say that if you hear PianoTeq as being soft and mellow, you may not have experimented with its parameters much, or are using a sound card that can't register the partials correctly, or have been listening to it at a low volume.)
    Well, I have my doubts.. not that I want to sound rude.. I studied dsp programming and know my way around quite a lot of synth programming.. (like building synths) and I've spent 3 separate occasions trying to get pianoteq to sound the way I want it to, and couldn't. (not that dsp knowledge would translate directly to pianoteq, but you get my point) I hope you understand that I really want pianoteq to work for me, but as of now, the sound just isn't quite right. There's nothing holding me back from trying again tho. I really like the software.

  8. #8

    Re: Bardstown vs Garritan Steinway vs Pianoteq

    Quote Originally Posted by kensuguro View Post
    I've spent 3 separate occasions trying to get pianoteq to sound the way I want it to, and couldn't.

    That's because Pianoteq's parameter tweaks affects everything at once (global). So, for instance, if you want to make the higher registers sound a particular way, you get into trouble with the low registers, and vice versa. That's why some people came up with the idea of loading multiple split instances of Pianoteq and tweaking those split instances individually.

  9. #9

    Re: Bardstown vs Garritan Steinway vs Pianoteq

    The piano modeling softwares like True Piano or pianoteq are great fun for live. Quick and easy tweaking and more importantly, low cpu usage... So thats good for live and pre-production.... I would recommend, also easy to handle, a little cpu heavier but therfore great quality is the GalaxyII... Check it... it's good fun and good sounding stuff...


    lioNel
    lioNel

    ___________________________
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    2 GB SDRAM; Logic Pro; Lacie 350 GB HD;

    www.lionelwharton.de
    www.myspace.com/lionelwharton
    www.youtube.com/ludicrouslionel

  10. #10

    Re: Bardstown vs Garritan Steinway vs Pianoteq

    kensuguro:

    Sorry if I sounded combative--it's just that I've read a few critiques of PianoTeq that were clearly posted by people who only spent a few minutes with it. Many of the presets seem to be intended as perfectly tuned instruments with almost ideal interactions between all of the elements that contribute to the sound. In other words, they may need to be edited to sound like a piano that most people have played.

    Can you post an mp3 on the PianoTeq forum and then post a thread specifying what you hear as wrong? (You'll have to register, but it's painless.)

    But, yes, many people use Cantabile lite or another host to create splits. Since PianoTeq takes up so little RAM, you can load up several splits fast.

    Regardless: Every small change made to a parameter will affect every other parameter. It may help to understand that the layout of the interface is chronological--on the left is the tuning prior to the strike, in the middle are the hammers and their effect during the strike, and on the right are the controls for what happens after the strike--the soundboard and body resonance, etc. So any change that you make in the sequence affects every other element that comes after it. The exceptions are the velocity envelope and the EQ, both of which affect the sound prior to any of the other settings.

    Some things to look closely at:

    1. The interaction between the Direct sound duration and the Soundboard impedance. I like to keep both of these near the far left, while detuning the Unisons slightly more than the default settings. These settings give less amplitude to the decay from the soundboard, and more body--the decay is less smooth and less simple. More rattle and ring.

    2. The interaction between the hammer hardness at various forces, the velocity envelope, the velocity settings on your midi keyboard, and the hammer noise. Finding settings for all four of these that combine into the sound you want will take experimentation. (Each element by itself is straightforward, but combining the four elements is a much more complex thing. That sounds bad, but it's good, since you can control all of the possibilities.)

    3. Have you listened to all of the demos of the fxp's on the PianoTeq forum? (These are different from the fxp's on the main PianoTeq site.) You may not find the exact sound that you want there, but one of them will probably be close to the sound that you want. Some of these may use more extreme EQ'ing than you may have tried.

    In any case, do join the PianoTeq forum and talk there about any problems you hear. The developers are of course devoted just to creating a good acoustic piano sound, so discussion of the sound, and what people are hearing and want to hear, is the main focus.

    Do I sometimes get sounds I didn't intend? Yes, yes. But I'm learning how to edit the instrument to correct the problems.

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