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sample comparison quickie - Garritan CFX vs Ivory ACD
#2461372 09/19/15 06:31 AM
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Following a request for feedback in this thread, I'm posting this new one in case it's missed in the other - it could be useful and so many of us like a little guessing game although I don't think it's too tricky - only two contenders, and they're already named.

As always with these things, it's far from definitive and though I don't think tweaking could possibly have 'reversed' the result, both libraries could have been made to sound measurable different though I think the character is pretty much fixed.

The playing is lumpier than I'd like but this is about the sounds, as far as they are appraisable.

(intro of People of the Far North from Final Fantasy X piano collection)

sample A

sample B

(- ff toward the end so listen at moderate volume)

Re: sample comparison quickie - Garritan CFX vs Ivory ACD
dire tonic #2461395 09/19/15 08:17 AM
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I think they are both lovely. Great sound from both products.

I have a guess as to which is which but will hold off until others have listened to the demos.




Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Garritan CFX, Ivory II, Ivory Am D, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.
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Re: sample comparison quickie - Garritan CFX vs Ivory ACD
dire tonic #2461423 09/19/15 09:47 AM
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Both very nice in different ways in some respects in certain areas and pleasing ... IMHO, but for this type of performance/music, my personal preference/taste A edges it, but of course both are very good. I have result in my head as to which is which. I only own ACD.

I will hold back 'till others have listened or Dire Tonic wants me to mail the result or something I can do so, he can then spill the beans later on smile

Last edited by Alexander Borro; 09/19/15 09:47 AM.

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Re: sample comparison quickie - Garritan CFX vs Ivory ACD
dire tonic #2461426 09/19/15 10:03 AM
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Ok, I have never owned or heard either library but have played both of the pianos in question and, to my ears, A sounds like a Steinway whilst B has the Yamaha 'zing' at the top end...

Last edited by hughconway; 09/19/15 10:04 AM.
Re: sample comparison quickie - Garritan CFX vs Ivory ACD
dire tonic #2461427 09/19/15 10:07 AM
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I have no idea which is which, but I prefer Sample B overall.


Bert
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Re: sample comparison quickie - Garritan CFX vs Ivory ACD
hughconway #2461432 09/19/15 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by hughconway
Ok, I have never owned or heard either library but have played both of the pianos in question and, to my ears, A sounds like a Steinway whilst B has the Yamaha 'zing' at the top end...


grin

Now that you spilled it, I would have said the same result.

and I will now say what I prefer in both.

I prefer the beginning softer section in ivory over CFX, as you say the CFX has more ping for a better a word, would work well in mixes too this piano

I also think the pedal down samples sound fuller with more resonances in the CFX over Ivory. In terms of timbre I prefer the steinway sound (A), over the yamaha, but that is just purely personal taste though.

I expect if Dire Tonic did a little Hiroma Jazz demo I would probably prefer the CFX for that type of music.

If I am right with my guess I should say relatively speaking I am little bit more underwhelmed by the CFX than I thought would be in this case compared to what I heard of it before.

Now make me look like a fool and tell the result is the other way round laugh

Last edited by Alexander Borro; 09/19/15 10:19 AM.

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Kawai CA78, Casio AP450 & software pianos.
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Re: sample comparison quickie - Garritan CFX vs Ivory ACD
dire tonic #2461459 09/19/15 11:33 AM
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I'll add a little more:

Sample A: There is a delicacy and charm to the treble. A complexity to the notes.

Sample B: There is a purity of tone to the treble. Pure, honest, true.

There were some (very little) elements of the bass in both samples that seems to confirm my guess.




Last edited by AZ_Astro; 09/19/15 11:36 AM.

Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Garritan CFX, Ivory II, Ivory Am D, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.
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Re: sample comparison quickie - Garritan CFX vs Ivory ACD
Alexander Borro #2461469 09/19/15 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Alexander Borro

I also think the pedal down samples sound fuller with more resonances in the CFX over Ivory. In terms of timbre I prefer the steinway sound (A), over the yamaha, but that is just purely personal taste though.


It would be interesting to know what venues these were both recorded in. Whilst both are pretty close mic'd, the CFX samples sound like the venue was more reverberant and that is just creeping into the samples, especially on pedal down ones smile

Re: sample comparison quickie - Garritan CFX vs Ivory ACD
hughconway #2461481 09/19/15 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by hughconway
Originally Posted by Alexander Borro

I also think the pedal down samples sound fuller with more resonances in the CFX over Ivory. In terms of timbre I prefer the steinway sound (A), over the yamaha, but that is just purely personal taste though.


It would be interesting to know what venues these were both recorded in. Whilst both are pretty close mic'd, the CFX samples sound like the venue was more reverberant and that is just creeping into the samples, especially on pedal down ones smile


AFAIK the CFX is recorded at Abbey road studios. the ACD, dunno.

I am going out on a limb here. In Ivory I suspect, this part there is more of a modelling/DSP aspect to it as well, by extension I also believe it may be part of the reason that the CFX doesn't have half pedalling and Ivory does.

The half pedal feature was promised in the CFX, but never came, as again I suspect, just a hunch it would need a significant reworking to solve that, perhaps like the Vienna imperial the CFX also uses pedal down samples in a more direct manner, Vienna also doesn't half pedal , at least the version I tried on try sound a couple of times.

Perhaps this is also a factor what I am are hearing/suspecting has something to do with that, that it is not only a product of the environment it was recorded in, but how the pedal down case is treated by each engine in both products is different, but who knows smile

Last edited by Alexander Borro; 09/19/15 12:41 PM.

Selftaught since June 2014.
Books: Barratt classic piano course bk 1,2,3. Humphries Piano handbook, various...
Kawai CA78, Casio AP450 & software pianos.
[Linked Image] 12x ABF recitals.
My struggles: https://soundcloud.com/alexander-borro
Re: sample comparison quickie - Garritan CFX vs Ivory ACD
dire tonic #2461540 09/19/15 04:19 PM
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Wow thanks for this. They both have so much character, I really want them both now!

Sample A drew me in closer, especially on the delicate parts, but Sample B seemed to envelope me in deep resonance, while remaining very close to the piano.

Sample A was less sparkly at the highs and less aggressive at the lows. It was more rounded in the frequencies, more focused on mid frequencies. Not less expressive in any way, but it comes off as less dramatic, and more intimate and relaxed.

Neither seemed as closely mic'd as the source material. The song is very closely mic'd it seems, not only that but it is surprisingly raw sounding. Compression use seems minimal at most. This can be a pro or con, since while the music really engages you it can REALLY surprise you going from loud and soft sections, especially when turned up.

A) Steinway
B) CFX

My guess.

They both sound so excellent, and are just as close to the original sound in there own way. They both fall short in one way but that is more attributed the character that the designers wanted to capture. Both can also be tweaked to dial in sound more.

Thanks you very much for this! It means a lot to me.

(The wallet is not so happy, though)

Last edited by Omalikular; 09/19/15 04:21 PM.

You can never have enough instruments but you can never have enough time.
Re: sample comparison quickie - Garritan CFX vs Ivory ACD
Omalikular #2461544 09/19/15 04:37 PM
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A) Steinway - Ivory II American D
B) CFX - Garritan CFX

That's my guess as well.


Last edited by AZ_Astro; 09/19/15 04:38 PM.

Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Garritan CFX, Ivory II, Ivory Am D, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.
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Re: sample comparison quickie - Garritan CFX vs Ivory ACD
Alexander Borro #2461587 09/19/15 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Alexander Borro

I am going out on a limb here. In Ivory I suspect, this part there is more of a modelling/DSP aspect to it as well, by extension I also believe it may be part of the reason that the CFX doesn't have half pedalling and Ivory does.

The half pedal feature was promised in the CFX, but never came, as again I suspect, just a hunch it would need a significant reworking to solve that, perhaps like the Vienna imperial the CFX also uses pedal down samples in a more direct manner, Vienna also doesn't half pedal , at least the version I tried on try sound a couple of times.

Some things never seem to change. Garritan promised to upgrade their Authorized Steinway with pedalling improvements for years. It was "coming soon" for years. Finally they just discontinued the piano, and gave no discount or special deals on the CFX to the users that had purchased their Authorized Steinway and waited on their broken promises. Starting around May of 2014 they promised an upgrade to the CFX to add partial and repedalling to their "State-of-the-art" CFX. It's been over a year. Will they fix it before they discontinue it for their next piano?



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
Re: sample comparison quickie - Garritan CFX vs Ivory ACD
dire tonic #2461870 09/21/15 04:24 AM
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There's no fooling you guys - full marks all round!

1) Ivory ACD
2) Garritan CFX

Re: sample comparison quickie - Garritan CFX vs Ivory ACD
Macy #2461872 09/21/15 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Macy
Some things never seem to change. Garritan promised to upgrade their Authorized Steinway with pedalling improvements for years. It was "coming soon" for years. Finally they just discontinued the piano, and gave no discount or special deals on the CFX to the users that had purchased their Authorized Steinway and waited on their broken promises. Starting around May of 2014 they promised an upgrade to the CFX to add partial and repedalling to their "State-of-the-art" CFX. It's been over a year. Will they fix it before they discontinue it for their next piano?

I doubt it. I posted here a while ago about a sustain pedal anomaly where the pedal-on state is triggered by any data value > 1 (should be 64) with the result that any sustain pedal capable of outputting continuous values for partial pedalling triggers CFX's full sustain at the slightest pedal depression.
I got an unprompted PM from someone unknown to me who was apparently central to the development team (he claimed it was his error) who debugged it by providing a simple change to a line of code. In passing he told me he'd recently left the CFX project and was working elsewhere! I tried to press him for more info but that's the last I got from him. I'd be surprised if we ever see updates.

In defence of the CFX, as a playing experience I think it transcends its shortcomings; bugs, buzzy notes, rogue harmonics, missing features - all VIs exhibit some or all of these flaws to some extent and their final summed appeal (playability) may be surprisingly uncorrelated with their specs, flaws, features or lack thereof. Each player has to assess his own priorities, of course.

Re: sample comparison quickie - Garritan CFX vs Ivory ACD
dire tonic #2472059 10/20/15 02:50 AM
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I finally relented and purchased the Garritan CFX software piano. Cost was $179 on Amazon.

I have Ivory II (German D), Ivory II American D, Ravenscroft, and Galaxy Vintage D and I am hoping that I will enjoy playing this Yamaha CFX as much as I enjoy playing Ivory II German D, my mainstay software piano. Review to follow - I'll probably start a new thread.





Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Garritan CFX, Ivory II, Ivory Am D, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.
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Re: sample comparison quickie - Garritan CFX vs Ivory ACD
AZ_Astro #2472076 10/20/15 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by AZ_Astro
I finally relented and purchased the Garritan CFX software piano. Cost was $179 on Amazon.

I have Ivory II (German D), Ivory II American D, Ravenscroft, and Galaxy Vintage D and I am hoping that I will enjoy playing this Yamaha CFX as much as I enjoy playing Ivory II German D, my mainstay software piano. Review to follow - I'll probably start a new thread.

That's a good price. I don't know how far you've got with it but afaict it's possible to sell it on before registering it hence it's as good as a trial - but don't quote me.

If it's of any use to you my favourite setting is Full/Player, with the 'Ambient' fader muted. On the 'Piano' tab everything is at zero except for 'release crossfade' at 2 notches (9 o'clock). No reverb and a tiny tad of 'lo' boost on the eq. To me this is like a real piano with a convincing sound stage. If you're doing ambient stuff you'll want to start winding up the other controls on the 'piano' tab, unmute the ambient mike and/or add reverb. I'll look forward to your review.

Hope you like it!

Re: sample comparison quickie - Garritan CFX vs Ivory ACD
dire tonic #2472161 10/20/15 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by dire tonic

That's a good price. I don't know how far you've got with it but afaict it's possible to sell it on before registering it hence it's as good as a trial - but don't quote me.

If it's of any use to you my favourite setting is Full/Player, with the 'Ambient' fader muted. On the 'Piano' tab everything is at zero except for 'release crossfade' at 2 notches (9 o'clock). No reverb and a tiny tad of 'lo' boost on the eq. To me this is like a real piano with a convincing sound stage. If you're doing ambient stuff you'll want to start winding up the other controls on the 'piano' tab, unmute the ambient mike and/or add reverb. I'll look forward to your review.

Hope you like it!


The software is shipping now. So it'll be awhile before I get it. I am really looking forward to it and am pretty confident that I am going to enjoy its sound.

I will try out your settings right away! Thanks for the heads up.


Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Garritan CFX, Ivory II, Ivory Am D, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.
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Re: sample comparison quickie - Garritan CFX vs Ivory ACD
Macy #2472240 10/20/15 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Macy
Originally Posted by Alexander Borro

I am going out on a limb here. In Ivory I suspect, this part there is more of a modelling/DSP aspect to it as well, by extension I also believe it may be part of the reason that the CFX doesn't have half pedalling and Ivory does.

The half pedal feature was promised in the CFX, but never came, as again I suspect, just a hunch it would need a significant reworking to solve that, perhaps like the Vienna imperial the CFX also uses pedal down samples in a more direct manner, Vienna also doesn't half pedal , at least the version I tried on try sound a couple of times.

Some things never seem to change. Garritan promised to upgrade their Authorized Steinway with pedalling improvements for years. It was "coming soon" for years. Finally they just discontinued the piano, and gave no discount or special deals on the CFX to the users that had purchased their Authorized Steinway and waited on their broken promises. Starting around May of 2014 they promised an upgrade to the CFX to add partial and repedalling to their "State-of-the-art" CFX. It's been over a year. Will they fix it before they discontinue it for their next piano?




I believe MakeMusic owns the rights to the Garritan products. The last I heard is that Gary Garritan left MakeMusic. That's all I know.



Re: sample comparison quickie - Garritan CFX vs Ivory ACD
dire tonic #2472289 10/20/15 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by dire tonic
Originally Posted by AZ_Astro
I finally relented and purchased the Garritan CFX software piano. Cost was $179 on Amazon.

I have Ivory II (German D), Ivory II American D, Ravenscroft, and Galaxy Vintage D and I am hoping that I will enjoy playing this Yamaha CFX as much as I enjoy playing Ivory II German D, my mainstay software piano. Review to follow - I'll probably start a new thread.

That's a good price. I don't know how far you've got with it but afaict it's possible to sell it on before registering it hence it's as good as a trial - but don't quote me.

If it's of any use to you my favourite setting is Full/Player, with the 'Ambient' fader muted. On the 'Piano' tab everything is at zero except for 'release crossfade' at 2 notches (9 o'clock). No reverb and a tiny tad of 'lo' boost on the eq. To me this is like a real piano with a convincing sound stage. If you're doing ambient stuff you'll want to start winding up the other controls on the 'piano' tab, unmute the ambient mike and/or add reverb. I'll look forward to your review.

Hope you like it!


I agree, DT. That combination of settings sounds great IMO.


Bert
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Re: sample comparison quickie - Garritan CFX vs Ivory ACD
dire tonic #2472351 10/20/15 06:49 PM
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So hard to compare VST's from just recordings, but this sounds amazing to me, makes me really want to try the CFX. Hope this can finally be the VST that I get comfortable with.. Tried 2 so far, both quite disappointing.

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