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Ivory II, my first impressions
#1515775 09/15/10 11:21 AM
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I received it today, 11 dvd's. It took a long installation time, about 4,5 hour, and there was some problem with my serial code, but synthogy support was very quick with helping me, and it was solved before the installation was finished.

First up I just loaded some sample's in the default program, played a bit around with the steinway 18 layer. It was very very bright, so I changed the velocity slope a bit, lowered some timbre and it sounded much better already. Did the same with the Yamaha and Bosendorfer.

After that I tried some programs. The Steinway Concert 18 Level II was by far my favorite, this piano is amazing. It makes the whole package worth it. The piano sings! So much tone-color possible, what in my experience was never possible with the other software piano's I tried. The half-pedalling works great (be sure to turn it on, it is off be default!) with my CA111. And the sympathetic resonance works great as well!

The bosendorfer sounded (just like Ivory I) a bit plain and thin, not what I expect from a bosendorfer to be honest (my teacher has one, so I play one every 2 weeks, of course its not a 290). Some eq'ing works well, but imo that shouldn't be necessary from good samples. The lower velocity's compared to the higher velocity's don't change the tone color nearly as much as the steinway. Its a usable piano, but imo not something very unique or special, I might prefer the Galaxy II's Vienna as a bosendorfer sound.

The Yamaha sounds great again, very much how I know Yamaha's. A very clean and precise sound, very playable and also sings very well. There is however one big flaw with it. The C4 starts making a weird background buzz noise from a certain velocity (lets say mf till ff). I checked everything (turned the resonance's off etc.) but it seems to be in the sample. I was playing a Bach prelude which contained a lot of C4's and it was really annoying! I do hope they get this fixed asap, because it is a really great piano.

The last issue I had is that you can't get a silent key stroke. If you play the piano at velocity 0, they key should of course not make sound (as the hammer would not reach the string), but it will make a sound on Ivory. This should be an easy fix for them though, I will mail them today.

For the Steinway alone I would definitely recommend this, as it is imo the best virtual piano I have ever heard/played. Be sure to check out some of the Bosendorfer demo's from the site, and see what you think of it yourself, I am not impressed with it when playing it. The Yamaha could be amazing, if only they fix that C4, I really hope they do it quickly, because I am anxious to play it without having that buzzer in my ear.

Any questions?

Cheers,

Victor



Edit: Update

The silent key function does work, you can adjust it in one of the settings page!

The sounds greatly benefit from using all the extra's in Ivory, the bosendorfer really came to life with some subtle use of the eq, the ambience and adjust some other settings to my preference. It is actually very nice now!

The Yamaha still gives me the most trouble, there seems to be something resonating in the piano, which has been recorded in the samples. You can mostly hear it in the C4 and D4, but you can also hear it in the surrounding keys. I hope a fix for this come's soon, because it is a great sounding piano, again with the necessary tweaks. Steinway = 9, Bosendorfer (tweaked!) = 7,5, Yamaha is still unusable for me due to the resonating noise, if they get it fixed, it would be a 9 as well.

Last edited by Victor25; 09/18/10 01:58 AM.

Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)
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Re: Ivory II, my first impressions
Victor25 #1515782 09/15/10 11:26 AM
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thanks for the first impressions! quick questions:

- what about the performance? did you install this on a normal H.D. or an SSD? any issues with samples dropping or anything?

- can you install only certain pianos or is it all-or-nothing in the installer?

- how much does this take up in terms of diskspace per-piano?

- could you run the DPBSD file for dewster? would be interesting to also see his take on things smile

Re: Ivory II, my first impressions
Victor25 #1515783 09/15/10 11:29 AM
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Ow and also,

Steinway - 18 Layer
Bosendorfer - 16 Layer
Bosendorfer 88 - 10 Layer
Yamaha - 16 Layer


Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)
Re: Ivory II, my first impressions
MarcoM #1515786 09/15/10 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by MarcoM
thanks for the first impressions! quick questions:

- what about the performance? did you install this on a normal H.D. or an SSD? any issues with samples dropping or anything?

On my new iMac, which is really fast so I have no idea how the average performance is going to be. It runs with ease on mine

- can you install only certain pianos or is it all-or-nothing in the installer?

Yes you can choose this in the setup

- how much does this take up in terms of diskspace per-piano?

Steinway - 23,4GB
Bosendorfer - 26,6GB
Yamaha - 21,9GB

- could you run the DPBSD file for dewster? would be interesting to also see his take on things smile

No idea what it is, so nope smile


Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)
Re: Ivory II, my first impressions
Victor25 #1515789 09/15/10 11:35 AM
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Amazing review, thanks ever so much. I never liked the Ivory Bösendorfer / Yamaha that much to be honest,
they always sounded kind of "dull" and uninspiring to me. BUT that is different for everyone.
The Concert D always made up for it.

I am very suprised that the 0 Velocity keystroke is not working, because I read on their website that is one of the advertised features and should be rather easy to implement.

Re: Ivory II, my first impressions
Victor25 #1515792 09/15/10 11:40 AM
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Ahh I'm kind of stupid, I just found it. Never mind the silent key it IS implemented!

So now my only real problem is with the Yamaha frown. Its amazing how many Bach prelude's make heavy use of that C4 laugh


Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)
Re: Ivory II, my first impressions
Victor25 #1515793 09/15/10 11:41 AM
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I am going to try to make a recording in Logic.


Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)
Re: Ivory II, my first impressions
Victor25 #1515798 09/15/10 11:54 AM
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Aww, I knew it ha!
Very interested in a recording, if you could also post the midi file for reproduction, that would be amazing. Thanks

Re: Ivory II, my first impressions
Victor25 #1515801 09/15/10 11:57 AM
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regarding the DPBSD look at one of the two stickied post in this forum, basically you'd run a midi file against ivory and upload the mp3 so it can be analyzed, thanks for your replies btw.

Re: Ivory II, my first impressions
Victor25 #1515809 09/15/10 12:11 PM
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First up Steinway demo: http://www.box.net/shared/gzitel6ivj


Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)
Re: Ivory II, my first impressions
Victor25 #1515822 09/15/10 12:25 PM
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Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)
Re: Ivory II, my first impressions
Victor25 #1515830 09/15/10 12:36 PM
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And finally the Yamaha demo: http://www.box.net/shared/7t94h32aa8


Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)
Re: Ivory II, my first impressions
Victor25 #1515848 09/15/10 01:17 PM
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Interesting demos...

The Steinway sounds much bigger than the other two. All three are very bright for my taste and all seem to lack that dark, warm, woody sound. They're all a bit clinical sounding maybe?

Best wishes,

Steve


C. Bechstein Model B | Roland RD-1000 |
Re: Ivory II, my first impressions
Victor25 #1515849 09/15/10 01:22 PM
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I demo'd them really bare boned, so its not the piano sound your going to be used to (with eq's, reverb's etc.). But I wanted to give a true demo of the sample's, not of the final sound (you can get those of the synthogy site). The Steinway does have alot more bass than the other 2, but to be honest, all of them sound alot better if you tweak them and use the effects etc.


Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)
Re: Ivory II, my first impressions
Victor25 #1515855 09/15/10 01:26 PM
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Yes, without sustain, they do sound boring. I would love to have a thread where we share screenshots of our EQs,
settings for cool sounds...

Re: Ivory II, my first impressions
Victor25 #1515859 09/15/10 01:31 PM
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Here is a demo of the Steinway but now with its feature's in use:

http://www.box.net/shared/njjyxe7n1q

edit: ow and it should be noted I recorded them as I play them. So with my headphones (TC Electronic DAC -> SPL Phonitor -> Sennheiser HD650), and with the stereo set @ 80% player's perspective.

Last edited by Victor25; 09/15/10 01:32 PM.

Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)
Re: Ivory II, my first impressions
MarcoM #1515864 09/15/10 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Victor25
Originally Posted by MarcoM
- could you run the DPBSD file for dewster? would be interesting to also see his take on things smile

No idea what it is, so nope smile

Originally Posted by MarcoM
regarding the DPBSD look at one of the two stickied post in this forum, basically you'd run a midi file against ivory and upload the mp3 so it can be analyzed, thanks for your replies btw.

The DPBSD thread is here. The MIDI file and readme file are here.

Basically: factory preset with reverb off, play the MIDI file, record the resulting audio (44.1kHz, float preferably) with the hottest signal you can reasonably get before clipping (~1 to 3dB headroom). Convert to MP3 (44.1kHz, 192kbps, CBR, stereo) and post the file somewhere where I can download it. Or post a WAV file and I can do the MP3 conversion. Please PM me if you decide to do it but are experiencing any problems.

I (and others) would really appreciate it!

Re: Ivory II, my first impressions
Victor25 #1515874 09/15/10 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Victor25
Ahh I'm kind of stupid, I just found it. Never mind the silent key it IS implemented!

So now my only real problem is with the Yamaha frown. Its amazing how many Bach prelude's make heavy use of that C4 laugh


Lots of music is written in the key of C, not just Bach.

I don't know Ivory but in Logic's EXS24 and in Kontakt 4 it would be very easy for an end you like you or I to fix the bad C4 problem. Perhaps if you look, Ivory works the same.

In EXS24 I'd tell the software to use the B4 samples for the C4 key and stretch the pitch up to C4. Actually I'd only do that for the broken samples above the velocity where the problem occurs. EXS24 presents this to the user as a large table or "speadsheet" that maps keys and velocities to WAV filenames. It is simple and intuitive and I think common in most samplers

Even if Ivory did not present an easy user interface for re-mapping samples you could "hack" it by copying pitch stretched B4 sample over top of the broken C4 samples. If you have Logic it is easy to pitch stretch a few WAV files. You can simply drag the pitch up with your mouse, the feature is there for correcting a vocalist who misses a note but works for anything.

Yes I know it's a work around and would take two hours to implement.

Last edited by ChrisA; 09/15/10 01:56 PM.
Re: Ivory II, my first impressions
Victor25 #1515877 09/15/10 01:59 PM
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I didn't say the piece was in the key of C, I just say it used the C4 alot.....
And you could expect me to be aware of the fact that not only Bach used the key of C... maybe I misinterpret your joke or something.

Anywho, the Ivory interface doesn't allow any replacement of samples. I do hope someone can do that hack (it should by Synthogy themselves), because its a waste of a great piano!


Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)
Re: Ivory II, my first impressions
CruelStrings #1515881 09/15/10 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by CruelStrings
Yes, without sustain, they do sound boring. I would love to have a thread where we share screenshots of our EQs,
settings for cool sounds...


I was thinking of a project that could parallel the DPBSD project. We'd have a few, maybe two or three test MIDI files. (fast classical, a slower one and maybe pop or jazz) and then people could use whatever tools they have to create the best sounding MP3 rendition they can make. This would showcase the software used as a real person would use it, with all the tweaks applied for best effect

The MP3 files could be on a web page but with no information about the software or piano used to record them. Then on a second page have the answer sheet. This answer sheet could be like you describe and show all the settings used

Last edited by ChrisA; 09/15/10 02:07 PM.
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