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#2354751 - 11/25/14 06:52 PM Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft?  
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LFYM Offline
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Hello everyone, first post after so many months of lurking around! Pleased to meet you all!

My question is simple. Since these two VST libraries are around the same price right now, which one would you recommend? I'm pretty sure these two are the best VSTs in the market, not counting that 600$ Vienna Imperial. If it's of any help, I'm a classical student, and do not intend to study any Jazz or Pop.

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#2354760 - 11/25/14 07:20 PM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: LFYM]  
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leafhound Offline
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CFX, it's been a long standing favourite of mine.

By the way can I ask you where you are seeing these advertised?


“To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” ~ Chang Tzu
#2354834 - 11/25/14 11:22 PM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: LFYM]  
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Macy Offline
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Originally Posted by LFYM
I'm pretty sure these two are the best VSTs in the market, not counting that 600$ Vienna Imperial. If it's of any help, I'm a classical student, and do not intend to study any Jazz or Pop.


The Garritan has no partial pedaling or repedaling, so it's clearly not state-of-the-art and hence completely unacceptable to me. The Ravenscroft isn't even VI Labs best piano, IMO.

Try the Ivory II American D for classical music. I'd recommend the Galaxy Vintage D if you were playing pop or jazz. I'd say they are considered the two best virtual pianos by a majority of this community.


Macy

CVP-409GP, Garritan CFX, Vintage D, Ivory II GP's & American Concert D, Pianoteq, True Keys American D, Ravenscroft 275, Garritan Authorized Steinway, Alicia's Keys, EWQL Pianos, MainStage, iPad Pro/forScore/PageFlip Cicada, Custom Mac MIDI/Audio Software Design, Macs Everywhere
#2354905 - 11/26/14 04:12 AM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: LFYM]  
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In their own respective sites, actually, leafhound!

Macy, I already have the vintage D and Ivory Grand piano pack from a long time ago. I actually really like the German D. But I'm looking for one step ahead. Is the American Grand comparable to these two? Heard it had a brilliant sound, more suited for jazz and such. And you see, I hardly ever half pedal, but repedalling definitely is going to be missed. And since I already have 2 steinways, I was looking for something different.

Thanks in advance

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#2354912 - 11/26/14 05:05 AM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: LFYM]  
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- just to echo Macy - I doubt the American D will disappoint you for classical, it gets much more mention than the other Synthogy pianos and it would be rare to hear a negative comment about it. Ravenscroft is definitely different, and better for jazz I'd say than classical.

#2354940 - 11/26/14 08:05 AM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: LFYM]  
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I doubt it would, dire tonic!

But as I said I'm looking for something that's not a steinway because I already have 2 of them.

#2354945 - 11/26/14 08:25 AM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: LFYM]  
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- I have both Galaxy vintage D and Ivory II American D. They're both Steinway D. They're markedly different from each other.

I have the Ravenscroft also which I've found a little too harsh for classical.
The Garritan CFX looks interesting but no-one has come across a trusted or disinterested review.

Nothing else in the news really but good luck, let us know what you get and, if possible, let's hear you playing something on it.

#2354968 - 11/26/14 09:44 AM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: LFYM]  
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They definitely sound different but... Oh well, thought I should give a different brand a chance. I'll certainly let you all know what I'll get. The CFX certainly seems like a good choice. It has a very nice sound indeed. Dont know if you can download it from their website though.

#2355084 - 11/26/14 02:53 PM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: LFYM]  
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Originally Posted by LFYM


Macy, I already have the vintage D and Ivory Grand piano pack from a long time ago. I actually really like the German D. But I'm looking for one step ahead. Is the American Grand comparable to these two? Heard it had a brilliant sound, more suited for jazz and such. And you see, I hardly ever half pedal, but repedalling definitely is going to be missed. And since I already have 2 steinways, I was looking for something different.

Thanks in advance


I don't know if you have Ivory I or Ivory II piano pack? Ivory II was a step up and the American D is much better than the Ivory II German D, IMO.

I'm looking for a great Yamaha piano too (the Ivory II Yamaha definitely isn't it), but I've been burned by Garritan's update promises before (which went unfulfilled for years even though they said on-line they finished the promised GAS update but wouldn't release it and opted to discontinue the GAS instead). So I won't buy the CFX until they actually (if ever) fix the pedaling.






Macy

CVP-409GP, Garritan CFX, Vintage D, Ivory II GP's & American Concert D, Pianoteq, True Keys American D, Ravenscroft 275, Garritan Authorized Steinway, Alicia's Keys, EWQL Pianos, MainStage, iPad Pro/forScore/PageFlip Cicada, Custom Mac MIDI/Audio Software Design, Macs Everywhere
#2355123 - 11/26/14 03:46 PM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: LFYM]  
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I own Ivory II piano pack. The Bösendorfer and the C7 definitely aren't the best in their categories for sure, haha. But sometimes it's good to hear a different sound.

I was pretty disappointed when you said Garritan's CFX has no repedalling. I believe it's one of the most basic things a sampled piano must have. A Yamaha would certainly be amazing for me. I love that brighter sound. But thing is, Ravenscroft seems to have a bright-ish sound too, so not sure how I should proceed.

I see from your signature that you have quite a bit of sampled pianos. If you could choose only one of those for a classical album, which one would it be?

#2355187 - 11/26/14 05:49 PM Re: Vienna Imperial [Re: LFYM]  
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grin The American D and Ravenscroft are popular with the jazz community and are built just perfect for that music.



However for classical repertoire I would purchase these in this order.
Vienna Imperial
Fazioli
German D
::


“To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” ~ Chang Tzu
#2355212 - 11/26/14 07:02 PM Re: Vienna Imperial [Re: LFYM]  
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I would rather try Ivory II Italian (Fazioli). It's my second favorite after American D.


Roland FP-4F, Korg Kross 61, iRig Keys Pro, HD598, Focal Spirit Pro, Shure SRH240A, RME Babyface, M-Track Plus, Roland DuoCapture, Eris E5, iPad Pro, MS Surface pro 3, iLoud, Ivory II ACD, Korg Module for iPad, Vienna Imperial, Galaxy Vintage D, TrueKeys American, Ravenscroft, Kawai-Ex Pro
#2355507 - 11/27/14 01:38 PM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: LFYM]  
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Originally Posted by LFYM
I was pretty disappointed when you said Garritan's CFX has no repedalling. I believe it's one of the most basic things a sampled piano must have.

I totally agree. No repedalling, no sale for me. It's much more important than partial pedaling.

BTW, did they ever add partial pedalling and repedalling to the $600 Vienna Imperial? I'm pretty sure it wasn't there initially.

Originally Posted by LFYM

I see from your signature that you have quite a bit of sampled pianos. If you could choose only one of those for a classical album, which one would it be?

The American D.

But I play pop much more, so my favorite is the Vintage D, which is the best sounding Steinway I've heard for pop or jazz, and has more useable/useful realistic timbre range for voicing than any other virtual piano I've heard.


Macy

CVP-409GP, Garritan CFX, Vintage D, Ivory II GP's & American Concert D, Pianoteq, True Keys American D, Ravenscroft 275, Garritan Authorized Steinway, Alicia's Keys, EWQL Pianos, MainStage, iPad Pro/forScore/PageFlip Cicada, Custom Mac MIDI/Audio Software Design, Macs Everywhere
#2355599 - 11/27/14 06:21 PM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: LFYM]  
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Hmmm, I don't know why, but the Fazioli pianos just don't sound good to me. They have a too unique sound, guess I'm not used to them yet. I heard some Ravenscroft demos on VI Labs' site, particularly Chopin's 7th Nocturne. It sounded pretty good.

On the other hand, I'm hearing the American Concert D's demos now. It does sound very good. But is it really that different from Ivory's German D? For me to buy yet another Steinway, it has to be worth it.

I really like the Vintage D too, but there are some keys which, probably because of my sound system or settings, has a lot of reverb, to the point where it hurts my ear depending on how high the volume is. This is the reason I stopped using it. And since it's an old-ish piano, I'm pretty sure there's some new technology on the market.

#2355605 - 11/27/14 06:45 PM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: LFYM]  
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Interesting post. I'm thinking to buy a new library too...

I tried some years ago the first version of Ivory, and I was very impressed with the sound, so I'm sure Ivory II today is better (and because your comments, perhaps American D better than the Ivory II Pack. Sometimes I also played some Galaxy II Pianos (including Vintage D) and I like it, but I'm thinking if Ivory American D perhaps will give me a better choice.

#2355628 - 11/27/14 08:35 PM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: LFYM]  
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Darn it! You guys are giving me GAS! smile

(Or is that just the Thanksgiving feast?)

#2355752 - 11/28/14 09:43 AM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: LFYM]  
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MacMacMac, theb you'll be happy to know VI Labs' pianos are on sale now. Ravenscroft is 50$ cheaper and so are the others. Guess today will be my day!

Last edited by LFYM; 11/28/14 09:44 AM.
#2359260 - 12/07/14 02:06 PM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: Macy]  
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Hi Macy,

So it appears that they included the repedaling option in an update for the ($600) Vienna Imperial samples around 1/01/12 or so. I read it in the forums on their website. There is still no partial pedaling. Here is the link. Hope this helps.

http://www.vsl.co.at/community/post...leasant-surprise--re-pedaling#post215085

#2391149 - 02/26/15 09:36 AM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: LFYM]  
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Kinda curious about the Steinway Authorized Garritan sound library.
Does it have /DID it have the same lack of re-pedaling ?
How good/bad is it despite that ?

Where does it "fit" in the Ravenscroft, CFX, etc arena ?

Last edited by R_B; 02/26/15 09:38 AM.
#2391435 - 02/26/15 09:44 PM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: LFYM]  
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LFYM - I'm adding to this because you mentioned you were a classical pianist.

All the videos below were recorded using the Garritan CFX, and are designed to test the credibility of the instrument as a classical recording option:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1EfMdbwxtM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oEJBeurnqo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbjMO7eIXAw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVxKT_a40zQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ry-1SzBn68

Haven't tried the Ravenscroft yet, but the CFX blows everything else I've tried out of the water, including acoustic recordings I was making with my old Yamaha G3 grand. (I traded that in for an Avant Grand acting as a midi controller for the CFX library, don't miss my G3 in the slightest!)

I'm not affiliated with Garritan at all—I will happily switch to a different sample library if/when a better one comes along—just haven't found one yet smile


#2391437 - 02/26/15 09:53 PM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: Philip_Johnston]  
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Originally Posted by Philip_Johnston

Haven't tried the Ravenscroft yet, but the CFX blows everything else I've tried out of the water


Before making these recordings with the CFX, what other digital pianos and VSTi have you tried? The perennials on this board seem to be Galaxy Vintage D and Ivory II for classical music. VI labs is also quite well regarded.


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49 / Akai EWI

Reaper / Native Instruments K9 ult / ESQL MOR2 Symphonic Orchestra & Choirs / Sample Mod, Trumpet 3 / Garritan CFX lite / Imperfect Samples Steinway / Production Grand C7 compact
Focusrite Saffire 24 / W7, i7 4770, 16GB / MXL V67g / Yamaha HS7s / HD598
#2391444 - 02/26/15 10:16 PM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: LFYM]  
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My upgrade path (over many years) has been PMI Old Lady ->Ivory -> Ivory II -> Garritan CFX.

The Garritan is the first that I've felt comfortable making performance videos with.

As a point of comparison, you can hear audio recordings I've made with the Ivory II here:

http://insidemusicteaching.com/repertoire-browser/

With the exception of "Overture", all recordings there were made using the Ivory II.

Controller-wise, the Avant Grand N3 has also been the first midi controller I've ever used that does everything I ask of it—the action is peerless among digital pianos.

#2391445 - 02/26/15 10:45 PM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: LFYM]  
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Philip, may I ask which controller(s) you were using prior to the AvantGrand?

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
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#2391568 - 02/27/15 08:31 AM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: Philip_Johnston]  
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Originally Posted by Philip_Johnston
LFYM - I'm adding to this because you mentioned you were a classical pianist.

All the videos below were recorded using the Garritan CFX, and are designed to test the credibility of the instrument as a classical recording option:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1EfMdbwxtM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oEJBeurnqo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbjMO7eIXAw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVxKT_a40zQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ry-1SzBn68

Haven't tried the Ravenscroft yet, but the CFX blows everything else I've tried out of the water, including acoustic recordings I was making with my old Yamaha G3 grand. (I traded that in for an Avant Grand acting as a midi controller for the CFX library, don't miss my G3 in the slightest!)

I'm not affiliated with Garritan at all—I will happily switch to a different sample library if/when a better one comes along—just haven't found one yet smile



Thank you Philip for your links!
Garritan should pay you for that laugh My God, what a pianist you are, also your own pieces on the website are very nice. I wanted to make a sample as well, but after seeing yours... laugh
I don't have the Ravenscroft, but i think i found my sound with the CFX! Its playability is the best among all digital pianos and sample libraries i came across. My favorite patch is Goldberg 1981, with slightly changed curve.
I know it's lacking advance pedalling. But sound always comes over anything. I haven't played anything like the Garritan yet.
BTW my 'upgrade path' (on sample libraries side) looks bit like this:
Galaxy II OEM-> Imperfect Fazioli-> Galaxy D-> CFX. I also tried the Ivory II, didn't really like it.

#2391615 - 02/27/15 10:29 AM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: LFYM]  
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Phillip, great recordings! What samples were you using for overture?


Piano technician serving Southern Saskatchewan
#2391689 - 02/27/15 02:12 PM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: yonatan]  
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Originally Posted by yonatan

I don't have the Ravenscroft, but i think i found my sound with the CFX! Its playability is the best among all digital pianos and sample libraries i came across. My favorite patch is Goldberg 1981, with slightly changed curve.
I know it's lacking advance pedalling. But sound always comes over anything. I haven't played anything like the Garritan yet.
BTW my 'upgrade path' (on sample libraries side) looks bit like this:
Galaxy II OEM-> Imperfect Fazioli-> Galaxy D-> CFX. I also tried the Ivory II, didn't really like it.


Do you own the Garritan CFX? Can you elaborate on this comment about playability? I currently use the Ivory II ACD and have some issues with playability (if we mean the same thing).

When I play on my Roland without using the software I get a much more responsive experience. As an example, I can play more relaxed and I can play fast passages easier. I don't know if it's latency or something else but I actually feel like the VST is more difficult to play. When I practice I just use the DP and then have to calibrate my playing to record on the VST (because I do like the sound better). Do you think the Garritan CFX does better with this or has playability more like Pianoteq? (At least from what I've heard)

Here is a recent recording using the Ivory. Keep in mind I don't have Philip's pianism and I'm not very savvy with the software:

https://app.box.com/s/yi7pl64zm979gcsq1li9jc0cntbugq09

As usual my settings are experimental. I haven't settled on anything for the last several months since I got the VST.

Just yesterday I played the same piece on a Baldwin upright acoustic and I have the same pleasant experience with no tension in my playing. If I can't correct this issue with the Ivory it will definitely limit how much I use it.

#2391696 - 02/27/15 02:25 PM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: LFYM]  
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I'm not really into piano VST stuff anymore, and only occasional actual piano playing, but I have yet to see a fair head to head between the CFX and the Ravenscroft. Even the Ultimate Piano Shootout over at Gearslutz isn't a fair comparison.

Ravenscroft apparently plays like a dream, beautiful touch response, so they say. Ravenscroft more up front and in your face, whereas CFX sounds a little distant, even with the "close" setting.

If someone could get the reverb settings (ambience) identical, and then do a head to head, well that would be fair.






#2391758 - 02/27/15 04:44 PM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: LFYM]  
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Hi Pathbreaker,
Yes i own the Garritan CFX.

I really love it not only because of the gorgeous sound of the CFX, and the recording mics the boys at Abbey used, but also because it really translates my piano playing really well.
It's one of the reason why i love my Piano Module GEM RP-X because it just sounds the way i want it, and i have complete control of its dynamics. But the Fazioli in the GEM RP-X sounds very metally, it doesnt work in certain songs.
The CFX on the other hand is a true cameleon, it can sound like a Steinway or Yamaha.

I really wanted to like Pianoteq, since they got alot better. But to my ears it still sounds so fake. Especially in the higher register. It bothers me so much, that i won't even use it in a band mix.

FSCotte,
yes, alot of the patches in CFX has alot of Reverb in it, which is just the sound of Studio One in Abbey. However, some of those patches, like the Goldberg 1981, only use the close mics, and it sounds fairly dry.

I think i will still get the Ravenscroft someday if i have the money. It has a different sound, which fits to Jazz perfectly. And for some recordings, where advance pedalling could be obvious, i could need the Ravenscroft. But for my music, which differs from Classic, to Rock, Pop and Funk, the CFX is just perfect.

#2391967 - 02/28/15 09:21 AM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: LFYM]  
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Philip_Johnston or yonatan: What do you think of the fact that repedaling is not supported?
Do you mis it? Can you hear it?

Does anyone know if Garritan will really update the CFX and fix the repedaling problem? They really should, if they want to become reliable again (they screwed up with the Garritan Steinway).
I would love to play the CFX with my N3 - just like Philip - but right now the lack of repedaling stops me from buying it.

Last edited by jefinho; 02/28/15 09:23 AM.
#2392126 - 02/28/15 06:13 PM Re: Garritan CFX vs VI Ravenscroft? [Re: jefinho]  
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Originally Posted by jefinho
Philip_Johnston or yonatan: What do you think of the fact that repedaling is not supported?
Do you mis it? Can you hear it?

Does anyone know if Garritan will really update the CFX and fix the repedaling problem? They really should, if they want to become reliable again (they screwed up with the Garritan Steinway).
I would love to play the CFX with my N3 - just like Philip - but right now the lack of repedaling stops me from buying it.


I think of it this way: every piano I have every played—acoustic or VI—has its own quirks that require rethinks in how you play to make the most of the instrument. The lack of half pedal and repedalling (Garritan, seriously...why???) means that you will sometimes have to come up with creative ways to pedal; for me, it's perhaps only 5% of the time, depending on repertoire. It's not mattering too much while I'm working my way through the Rachmaninoff etudes and preludes; I think that Debussy would be very challenging though.

Pedalling issues is an example of a good problem to have though, because a rethink means that you can usually find a way around it. If your problem instead is that you just don't like how a library sounds—say you think the mid register is just thin and too crystalline to be believable—then there's not much you can do.

So my questions for assessing the viability of a sound library:

1) What do I like about this library?
2) What do I not like, but could play creatively to mitigate?
3) What do I not like, and am stuck with?

I'm prepared to do the extra practice required to satisfy issues raised by question 2 if the answers to question 1 excite me enough. I love the growl (it's not a plastic impossibly "clean" sound), scalability and authority of the Garritan sound enough to forgive the pedalling quirks.

But yes, they're very welcome to release a patch any time they like to fix those quirks smile (Just don't break what's already there please)

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