Over the past 3 weeks I completed rendering my piano rags by using the Steinway. I made two CD's (two hours of ragtime music) and I listen to them every day at work. I will say that I am very pleased with the sounds. This may be the first time that I have been really happy with what I've been able to do with using sample libraries and my own music. I hope to continue.
At any rate.... I am very, very pleased with this purchase.
I'm very tempted by the Garritan $99 Steinway offer as I've been making an album of solo piano improvisations. It started on my Steinway, which first had a noisy pedal that I fixed, then got better mics, then did 24 bit 96k recording and found this weird buzz in the midrange and I gave up and continued on my friends Yamaha Clavinova which had the obvious advantage of being able to edit the performances via midi. But then when I went to record off of the optical output (limited to 44.1) the fast passages sounded "unpianistic" (is that a word?) I tried triggering from piano sounds from the bundled sample libraries that I own (Mach 5's Bosendorfer, Kontakt's Steinway) and found the best sound to be triggering my motif xs grand piano. My question is, will I find the Garritan Steinway to be even better, and are there other libraries that are even better? When I say better, I'm not talking about punching through in a pop mix, I'm talking about classical and jazz solo piano sound. Thanks for your opinions.
I have a yamaha CP-300 which is suppose to have their best sampled piano in it. I compared it to the Garritan Steinway, and the Garritan was clearly better FWIW. It was just more real in my opinion. I have heard the xs piano (not in an AB type situation), and I would bet it is no better than the CP-300.
I also play solo piano and also have a Steinway B acoustic piano. I can tell you that I have found the Authorized Steinway to be a very sweet sounding library and that it comes as close to my acoustic Steinway as any library I've ever played. I have the standard edition and am very pleased except for a few issues and the frustration of how long it is taking to correct them. They may be corrected on the basic edition, but it is difficult to know what has been done by reading the different posts. The major problems for the solo pianist in my opinion are:
1- A different character to some of the notes when they are played loud (above vel of say 88) but not of other notes. Therefore, not a balanced scale which is difficult and annoying for the solo pianist. We would have our acoustic piano voiced for this problem. A few notes are thin sounding at this velocity and I've heard it described as a string being hit with a metal hammer.
2-A problem with the release samples and certain sustain pedal combinations which makes an artificial noise in the audio which is produced. Therefore, to make a final CD, there are noises that cannot be avoided (albeit subtle, but definitely there).
3-Sustain resonance and Sympathetic resonance doesn't work in Logic Pro 8 and I believe I read in the forum of it not working in other programs. I have not heard any acknowledgement of this from the developers and therefore don't know if it is being worked on.
If these were fixed, this would be the best Steinway library made (again in my opinion). Would I buy it again right now? Most definitely. I use it exclusively and play it more than my acoustic Steinway (and the acoustic instrument is beautiful). I guess the most difficult part is not knowing where we as library owners stand with updates. Therefore, if you want to burn a mastered CD, how long do you have to wait for the updated product?
You hit the hammer on the nail pointing out the weak points of this wonderful instrument. You asked how long until the updates? I really don't know, I am waiting several months now and still..... waiting. It looks promising though, when Gary is asking for a pianist at the NAMM playing the Steinway all day long.