I got tired of the sampled pianos that I've been using the past few months. I rummaged through my pile of DVD's and found a copy of the PMI/Sampletekk Emperor and decided to reinstall it. I was astounded to find out that it's been the sound I was looking for all this time - a raw and unprocessed piano sound with almost no ambience.
Problem is, I wanted to carry it around in my laptop, which of course only has one hard disk and at 5,400 rpm at that. So I converted the 48 khz 24 bit samples to 44.1 khz and 16 bits. Then I opened the map editor in Kontakt and took out 3/4 of the samples and stretched the rest. I ended up with only a little more than 500 MB of samples including releases. I thought that with only 500 MB of samples, why use DFD? So I turned Kontakt to sampling mode to load all of the samples in RAM. So now it plays just fine with my laptop.
So is there a significant difference between the mammoth Emperor and the stripped down 500 MB version in terms of sound, realism, etc?
I recorded something using the stripped Emperor. Would anybody guess that this is the stripped down version? Your comments are welcome.
It's a difficult question to answer: I've used the full GS3 version for years, but haven't really tried the Kontakt version and answering your question assumes that the person really knows the sound of Emperor.
I will say that I like the example and it sounds like an effective compromise for your situation and seems like it would be great for improvising/sketching out ideas: don't have any qualms about using it, but feel free to render with the full version when you get home. Sampled pianos have never sounded just like the real thing as of yet, so it makes sense to add any extra realism you can get to the final recordings.
Thanks for taking the time to listen. It was because of your posts that I decided to dig up my copy of the Emperor once again.
I use the "portable" version that I made when gigging or playing in church. I found out that it is very close to the full version in those situations because the sound gets drowned out in the natural ambience of, say, the church. It's nearly impossible to distinguish one from the other. In fact, I think the stripped down version sounds better when all the undesirable samples with squeaks, airplane drones, bird songs, have been culled.
I really appreciate the raw and unprocessed sound of this library. After having gotten used to libraries where dynamic compression, noise reduction, ambience, etc have been applied, it's nice to rediscover this sample set. You're right when you said it's got the "sparkle" that the others don't have.