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Topic: Update on best Pianos?

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  1. #61

    Re: Update on best Pianos?

    I've got the Bosendorfer going - just missing a bunch of samples from the Room mic, so I'm testing with the Player mic at the moment. Again, it's a very nice sound indeed, however the velocity response is still pretty lumpy in my opinion. For this reason my two other "main" sampled pianos (White Grand & the K-Sounds Signature) are just nicer to play - I don't feel the tension that I feel when playing the EWQL instruments. Pianoteq is of course the smoothest, however the W.G & Signature are for all intents and purposes very nearly as smooth IMHO. I also have the Pianowave Bechstein which is also very smooth, but they've "cheated" and used filtering. (very very well done though)

    EDIT: Well, just playing the Pianowave Bechstein again I'm probably being a *bit* generous in the above. Still, for so few velocity layers it does play very well.

    The QL probably captures a wider range of timbres than any of the above sampled pianos I think, so it has a harder job. (the QL has the warmest/deepest sounding soft samples)

    Note that I do hear more layers in the Bosendorfer than the Steinway, in general. I've heard up to 10 so far. One would have to *reasonably* assume that the number of samples in the sample folder for any particular note/dimension would be the number of velocity layers, and I'm simply not able to detect every layer in my testing so far. (there always seems to be more samples than I can hear) It would be good if there were a utility to allow auditioning of the individual samples. I understand there is a "Pro" version on the way and I assume this kind of thing will be possible with it.

    Greg.

  2. #62

    Re: Update on best Pianos?

    (previous reply has been edited)

  3. #63

    Re: Update on best Pianos?

    Quote Originally Posted by michael88s View Post
    John,
    I've got a 1911 Steinway B in need of a good amount of work right now, but one thing it has is that 'singing tone' that Steinways are famous for.

    Truly, I haven't found anything remotely like that in the sampled pianos I have, or have tried. They just don't have the sustain in the upper register. Maybe the Galaxy or EWQL Steinway does, but yesterday I downloaded the Pianoteq demo and I think they're getting really close to what I'm looking for, which surprises me bigtime. Yes, the never-ending journey!
    Late viewing this thread....but Michael, you are so right. I hear a lot of really nice sounding pianos, but most all of them I've heard cannot get the high end right to save their life. There is a bell like quality to some of the best pianos I've heard (in real life) and I can't find that in samples. They seem to go THUD on the high end. What is going on with that??

    That said, Garritan's Steinway and the Galaxy sound pretty darned good to me, though the Galaxy does have some real mud going on in the middle register. Still, what it DOES have that I like is the in your face under the lid thing going on, which is great for intimate jazz or ballads. Too many of these pianos seemed aimed at classical pianists, which is fine, but there is too much ambience on the for other work...

    JMHO
    TH

    Tom
    "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." --Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949

  4. #64

    Re: Update on best Pianos?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Johnson View Post
    Did you try the C3 Worn-out preset? Many people like its sound. Edits for all of the instruments will vary. The M model is generally darker, with more of a "Steinway sound." The best edits for wood vary from note to note, but in general, as I am now learning:

    1. Reduce the Unison detuning. (To start, try reducing it greatly, to 0 or about 0.11, and then move up.)
    2. And\or increase the Direct duration slider setting slightly..........

    But come to the PianoTeq forum. Always an ongoing discussion, and the developers listen to users and are open to suggestions.
    Jake,

    thanks for taking the time to spell this out for me. I will try the Worn-out preset and the tweaks you mention. i also read the pianoteq forum every day. its great and i learn alot on it. as i posted over there after Piet's mp3s on vpiano and Guilluame's answer.... the support structure there is phenomenal.

    regards,
    Bruce

  5. #65

    Re: Update on best Pianos?

    RE: my bad EWQL Bosendorfer disk - credit where credit's due - they shipped me a new disk in a matter of days, and all I had to do was manually copy the small number of missing samples.

    Greg.

  6. #66

    Re: Update on best Pianos?

    Thinking of getting Steinberg's "The Grand", myself. Anyone tried that? Online demo sounds good..

    Tried the Pianoteq, but didn't find it that authentic for my (personal) taste relative to the price and others out there (like Truepianos), but I have a $20 off Pianoteq voucher - if anyone's interested, PM me. Valid til 31st Jan only and no mention about not being transferable.

    Garritan's online demo sounds good... but the pianist is good too

  7. #67

    Re: Update on best Pianos?

    Quote Originally Posted by viviana View Post
    Thinking of getting Steinberg's "The Grand", myself. Anyone tried that? Online demo sounds good..

    Tried the Pianoteq, but didn't find it that authentic for my (personal) taste relative to the price and others out there (like Truepianos),
    I agree too 100 percent on that remark above.

    Currently I have been comparing Garritan Steinway Pro Version, Ivory including the Italian Grand, True Pianos and the demo version of Pianoteq.

    Playing midi files and sitting back listening including using virtuoso-level midi files of classical piano music my opinion is developing though for right now:

    (This is only my opinion and others obviously will differ.)

    1. Garritan Piano Steinway rules and is the most realistic sound of the Steinway in sample form I have listened to yet or compared. Others out there I have not listened to may be close or have parity.

    2. Ivory sounds very nice too including the Italian Grand but not quite on the level of the Garritan Steinway. The Italian Grand has some very nice jazz presets too. I like this.

    3. Garritan Steinway and Ivory blow away Pianoteq for rich tone, bass and treble though Pianoteq is a wonderful idea to move toward an all modeled piano but not there yet. Sounds thin compared to the two mentioned. Especially in bass and as it moves up to midranges. Upper register is much nicer.

    4. True Pianos is a fun piano (hybrid sampled/models for main tone) and sounds fatter also than Pianoteq with stronger bass. True Pianos is a great gig piano with ridiculous latency and sounds kind of 'Hornbyish'. Latency gives the complete illusion like you are playing a piano that approacheds '0'.
    True Pianos does not approach Garritan and Ivory for a true absolute tone but an interesting tone. Upper register on Pianoteq seems a bit more authentic than True Pianos though that does however sound pretty good.
    Using Garritan at a gig I think I would use True Piano as a changeup and a great backup if your sampled library chokes in case you are not using a digital piano but a controller.

    I took a passage with booming bass with FF, upper register treble. Using a section on the 3rd page, I believe, of the Warsaw Concerto. Ivory did not quite, but almost, have the FF Steinway-like cut on the upper register FFs mixed with the left hand, sustained bass runs. Garritan Steinway sounded perfect with clear bell-like, chirpy cut through the booming bass like the real grand. The Garritan, imo, has a penchant to 'sing' more by striking key (like on the top of a chord) and stand out and sing like the real grand.
    Pianoteq was not in the same league.

    To be fair, I do not have a lot of time in tweaking Pianoteq. I have heard You Tube presentations that sounded better. Even in comments in the video I noticed, "hey, my Pianoteq doesn't sound quite that nice, what is your preset" having no response.

    If you are going to laud Pianoteq perhaps it would be nice to link the custom preset instead of "I am not sharing took me a lot of time to tweak it like that" (hypothetical thought). I tried all types of mic positions and tweaks and still cannot get it to even approach Garritan Steinway or Ivory. I actually like True Pianos better that is very inexpensive.

    One remark I read by an artist was: "I like Pianoteq but when I record I record with the sampled libraries." To me, that means it may be on the way but still not there though I am delighted the 20Mb program is being developed for the future. I will let you guys buy it so they are financed for a much better version in the future.

    I also find it odd with Pianoteq, in my opinion, they hold back the tweak feature per string to the already very expensive program to a more expensive program Pianoteq Pro as if it were 'end all and be all'. Then, it might be justified. But it isn't. (imho)

    WH
    Last edited by Wheelhead; 01-16-2010 at 09:33 PM. Reason: Clarification

  8. #68

    Re: Update on best Pianos?

    It's important in Pianoteq to take some time getting the velocity response set correctly to the velocity response of your controller. There's no one setting that works. Since most keyboards have several velocity settings and Pianoteq lets you set any velocity response, only experimentation works.

    If it sounds artificial, there's a good chance that there's not enough of a dip in your velocity curve--you're hearing hard strikes at low velocities.

    And spend some time adjusting the 3 three hammer hardness settings. Makes a big difference in terms of what sound results from what velocity.

  9. #69

    Re: Update on best Pianos?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Johnson View Post
    It's important in Pianoteq to take some time getting the velocity response set correctly to the velocity response of your controller. There's no one setting that works. Since most keyboards have several velocity settings and Pianoteq lets you set any velocity response, only experimentation works.

    If it sounds artificial, there's a good chance that there's not enough of a dip in your velocity curve--you're hearing hard strikes at low velocities.

    And spend some time adjusting the 3 three hammer hardness settings. Makes a big difference in terms of what sound results from what velocity.
    I have been doing a lot of comparing. Pianoteq ain't makin' it man compared to the Garritan Steinway and Ivory so far. (do not have any East/West pianos, I have spent enough for now). I can get a decent sound with Pianoteq and you can get a more authentic sound than True Pianos (mid/high) but True Pianos has kind of a hip, pop sound. Pianoteq sounds like no piano I have ever heard. I wonder how it would compare to Roland V Piano side by side? I have a feeling Roland has it a bit closer. THOUGH, I intend to buy Pianoteq in the next version AND I am still not finished tweaking and my view can change. Seems like no one posts downloadable presents of a tweak anywhere. (???)

    Since the recent update, the Garritan Steinway runs quite happily in my Macbook Pro 2.2Ghz using the hard drive in the laptop that is a Momentus 7200 using the 16 bit. I have not tried the 24bit in the laptop hard drive. Seems faster than my 7200 external. I am using 128 polyphony with the Garritan believe it or not.

    After playing the other pianos I load the Garritan and it is "aahhhhh" "that is nice! and sounds like the Steinway." Smooth, expressive and sings. I get this impression every time THOUGH the Ivory pianos sound very nice too but the Garritan seems to have a singing capability and FF upper registers that dynamically seem to cut expressively through booming bass clean and clear like the real grand.

    Garritan by the way is **one piano*** in different perspectives with a huge library. I would have rather seen Pianoteq focus on the acoustic piano instead of oodles of other types of pianos. Today people want excellence in specificity instead of quantity. Bass in Pianoteq is not quite there, imho. True Pianos bass blows it. Garritan and Ivory bass is on the mark bigtime. Ivory Italian Grand is very nice but Garritan is sweet, sweet, sweet and they keep on working on updates and listen to the performer suggestions for the updates. (I am sure all of them do). Garritan is the best digital I have ever played so far. (certainly not affiliated and would write what I think)

    Perhaps with the Pianoteq Pro being released there will be some 3rd party builds of various pianos to download. That could be the ticket to compare to the state-of-the-art sampled pianos that many sound exactly the way they are supposed to. Even perhaps a side by side 'build' of a real piano by comparing string to string. String of real acoustic to 'string' of Pianoteq. That could be exciting and having the preset available with all the parameters.


    W

  10. #70

    Re: Update on best Pianos?

    For me, Steinway is still the best. I got a golden grand and it sounds really good plus it looks very cool.

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