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Is this now real enough? #2364639 12/22/14 05:21 PM
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The question is not whether the sound is real on the video below - it's whether it would fool 99.5% of the population:

YouTube Video of performance

What you're listening to is Garritan CFX sample library running on an iMac, using a Yamaha Avant Grand N3 as the midi controller. (That's the "piano" you can see in the shot). The combination of the the AG's excellent grand piano action and Garritan's astonishing sample library makes for a heck of a recording instrument...albeit a very expensive one.

I sold my Yamaha 6 foot acoustic grand to get this setup. Thoughts? Was I crazy?

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Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2364653 12/22/14 06:09 PM
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Hard to tell ... not much pedal, and so not much resonance. But it sounds quite good.

Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2364657 12/22/14 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Philip_Johnston
The question is not whether the sound is real on the video below - it's whether it would fool 99.5% of the population:

YouTube Video of performance

Count me among the 99.5%. Sure had me fooled! It sounds amazing and your playing is awesome...as one would expect from the guy who launched the Practice Revolution. smile

The question I have for you is how does it feel to play this...like a 9ft grand?


"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP
Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2364658 12/22/14 06:16 PM
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Impressive quality, Philip.

How are you liking the Garritan CFX so far? Up to your expectations?

Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2364659 12/22/14 06:20 PM
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Hello Phillip, it sounds stunning to me. Superb playing. I was going green with envy. Wish I could play like that and afford that combination. Congratulations,

Paul H


Kemble Compact Acoustic Piano, Yamaha CVP 709 Polished White, Kawai MP11se, Pianoteq Standard, Galaxy Vintage D, Garritan CFX.
Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2364660 12/22/14 06:24 PM
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Hi Philip,

really great shot and impressive playing :-)

I think recordings done by a good player with one of the top notch libraries will fool at least the 99.5% of listeners that you stated or even more. In general, the weaknesses (e.g. limited dynamics, limited complexity in the resonance) of the current libraries could be attributed to the player, recording, post-processing or are really hard to spot while listening to a normal piece of music...

Now, when it comes to playing it's totally different to me. While I enjoy playing my virtual piano through headphones using my upright as a controller, it does not come close to the tonal live experience of the real thing. Therefore, I totally understand that you sold the Yamaha grand, but you must have a F308, 290 Imperial or at least some baby grand that you kept, right ;-)?

Thomas

Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2364661 12/22/14 06:31 PM
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Phenomenal.

How does the Garritan CFX sound (fidelity wise) over the on-board speakers?

Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2364662 12/22/14 06:32 PM
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What MacMacMac said (not much pedal, so not much resonance). I would like to have heard more pedal, especially since the CFX virtual piano seems to be lacking in half-pedal capability. Other than that, yes, this will definitely fool the majority of listeners!


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Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2364668 12/22/14 06:47 PM
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Definitely fools me, but I still don't find the CFX sound to be exciting - but I can say the same for many many real piano recordings. I don't know, and don't care, whether this RD800 demo sounds more authentic than the CFX, but it just sounds sexy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPTLR2zr7rk (just listen for a few seconds starting at 1:11).

Greg.

Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2364674 12/22/14 07:00 PM
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Count me amongst the dazzled.

I think it's easier to be fooled by good performances of virtuoso pieces than by moody, romantic examples with longer notes and broader dynamic scope but I'd certainly have been taken in by your recording. But now I'm wondering if that's because I don't know the piece (I'll never have the technique to play it!).

Out of sheer curiosity and to get an idea of how else it might sound I landed randomly on this . Immediately what stands out are the melodies which are voiced so clearly, e.g. at 40 secs there's an Eb minor climb which I hadn't picked out in your recording. So my immediate concern with the CFX is how well its dynamic range responds? Are you having to fight to hide some voices in order to let others sing out?

I wonder how other libraries would fare?

But to answer your specific question - yes I think it might fool 99.5%.

Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2364694 12/22/14 07:54 PM
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Very impressive performance and tonal realism.

Congratulations!


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2364696 12/22/14 08:07 PM
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Many thanks for replies so far. Just answering some of the questions:

*****"The question I have for you is how does it feel to play this...like a 9ft grand?"

The combination of the Garritan CFX samples streaming through headphones, with the grand-piano action and key vibrations of the N3, I genuinely do forget that I'm not playing an acoustic 9 foot grand. There's no way my old Yamaha acoustic grand ever sounded this good.

*****"How does the Garritan CFX sound (fidelity wise) over the on-board speakers?"

Not great. Those speakers really seem to be designed for the Avant Grand's own inbuilt sample library (which is vastly inferior to the Garritan). You can't see them in the shot, but I'm using stage monitor speakers to listen to the CFX samples.

There's no substitute though for headphones - the only reason I don't use them is because they look odd in videos, and visually destroy the illusion of an acoustic piano recording. I may yet end up working with them though for future videos.

*****" I would like to have heard more pedal, especially since the CFX virtual piano seems to be lacking in half-pedal capability. "

Stay tuned - I'm planning on releasing a lot of videos, will include some Chopin Nocturnes or Debussy (Ravel's Ondine?) to showcase what's possible with pedalling. The absence of half-pedalling is a glaring omission in Garritan (seriously! Why would they do that?), but there are workarounds.





Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Thomas B] #2364697 12/22/14 08:14 PM
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Actually no...I've made the leap, and there are no acoustic pianos in my studio any more.

Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2364706 12/22/14 08:36 PM
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@Philip Johnston, thanks for the response.

Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2364780 12/23/14 02:39 AM
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Its obviously a performers dream but still sounds like a digital. Its too clinical, where do you ever have a real piano, even a concert grand, in this state of tune? It just doesn't happen.
Bit more resonance called for, a pedal sound or two, key let off isn't audible. . . all these things add up to the Real Deal. I'm sure you could add them if you thought necessary.
I'd be most interested to see you play that on a lesser keyboard, like, whether it'd be possible. . .
Most excellent playing.


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Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2364793 12/23/14 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Philip_Johnston
There's no way my old Yamaha acoustic grand ever sounded this good.

- that should give the sample bashers something to think about!

Quote
I'm planning on releasing a lot of videos, will include some Chopin Nocturnes or Debussy (Ravel's Ondine?) to showcase what's possible with pedalling.

- also looking forward to hearing some dulcet pp.

Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2364821 12/23/14 07:22 AM
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It souds wonderfull, but it would be great to hear something slow... a Satie's Gymnopedie for example, just to have a taste of the resonnances

Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: peterws] #2364864 12/23/14 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by peterws
Its obviously a performers dream but still sounds like a digital. Its too clinical, where do you ever have a real piano, even a concert grand, in this state of tune? It just doesn't happen.


Of course it does. An acoustic is tuned before a concert performance and similarly it is tuned before it is sampled, as in this case. Find me a top line, decent recording of a known concert pianist playing an out-of-tune piano. THAT just doesn't happen.

I think Philip's recording is fantastic. As is the playing. Yes, I would like to hear something slower and I would observe that if you don't want the AG's sound at all and the N3's onboard speakers don't work with your sample library, why buy an N3!? N1 would have been a more sensible buy.


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Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: EssBrace] #2364878 12/23/14 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
Originally Posted by peterws
Its obviously a performers dream but still sounds like a digital. Its too clinical, where do you ever have a real piano, even a concert grand, in this state of tune? It just doesn't happen.


Of course it does. An acoustic is tuned before a concert performance and similarly it is tuned before it is sampled, as in this case. Find me a top line, decent recording of a known concert pianist playing an out-of-tune piano. THAT just doesn't happen.

I think Philip's recording is fantastic. As is the playing. Yes, I would like to hear something slower and I would observe that if you don't want the AG's sound at all and the N3's onboard speakers don't work with your sample library, why buy an N3!? N1 would have been a more sensible buy.


Here is an example. It's not the best recording but still interesting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waXMhyQtLyM

Last edited by CountSmith; 12/23/14 11:49 AM.
Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2364883 12/23/14 12:10 PM
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That's an impromptu performance; EssBrace is referring to a professional (studio) recording.

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