In writing my previous post, I realize that I've been using the same sampled piano for a quite a few years. I'd like to see what's out there now. So... Opinions wanted I'm using a mac dual quad.
We can't provide links in NSS forums, but we can provide names.
There's pianoteq (MORDATT) (I own it and version 3 is marvelous, a joy to play, even if the sound is not 100% there (I'd argue it's 98% there, but everyone to their own))
both of which are NON sampled pianos, but physical modeled ones.
There's the "new" QL Pianos (in sounds on line), which is a huge beast of 270 GB for 4 pianos. People swear on this product!
There is Galaxy II
There is the stunning (I own it, so I have a right of opinion) Garritan Steinway, in 3 versions, the full having 24-bit samples, as well as 16-bit, the other two less, and the lowest version being downloadble.
Older pianos are Ivory (Synthogy) which is another beast of around 60 GB for 3 pianos (if I recall correctly) and I only liked the Steinway out of the 3.
I hope you'll forgive me (all of you not the original poster only) for not knowing other pianos. I know there are other pianos out, but I just don't know them.
Your dual quad (what RAM, please?) should be able to cope with any new piano out now. But do check the specs to be certain there isn't trouble ahead. QL Pianos (from east west) had their own player, called "PLAY", which cause a lot of troubles to users, but lately it appears that updates have been coming in and that problems have been largely corrected.
I'm just getting a new computer with10GB ram..... Right now, I using a Mach V as my main sampler, with tiger. I found that the Mach V 2 was so slow, that I went back to the Mach V. I have to crank out a ton of music and I need speed. I sequence in digital performer.
Mach V 2 would take 20 seconds to save, which was a joke.
mach what? If you need a sampler, Kontakt is the standard. Digital performer? You might want to consider Logic, but that switch might be bigger switch than updating your sampler..
+1 for pianoteq 3. It's not the ruler of rulington of piano land (yet), but it's just so light and fast to load, sounds darn good, and feels so good to play. You won't regret it. I won't push their rhodes and wurly addition that much though, so you might as well save a couple of bucks if you already have a set you like. If you want speed and quality, pianoteq3 definitely is the choice. Forget the gillion gigabyte libs that take 2 weeks to load up.
What sort of piano sound do you like? That really determines if you'll be okay with pianoteq or not. Pianoteq is generally very soft and mellow, and doesn't have the sort of bite and metal grit you'd get from a Yamaha. It needs to be tweaked to be put in a mix, but sounds great as a solo recording without tweaks. So imagine it's just a raw recording of a piano that's not been pre processed to be put into a full band.
For a piano that you can plop into a full mix and have it just "work", I'd check out Sampletekk TBO. That one just seems to work in many contexts (jazz, blues, pop), although it's not the most consistent or detailed lib I've seen. I like the sound, and I do like playing it, it sits really well with how I play and how I've got my velocity dialed in. It's got great sustain samples.