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A bit disappointed in Garritan CFX Lite #2694732
12/06/17 10:59 AM
12/06/17 10:59 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
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Sofia, Bulgaria
CyberGene Online content OP
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In the reharmonization thread I posted a recording I made with CFX Lite. I created the file in GarageBand and used CFX Lite to export the audio. Listening to it closely I realize there's something wrong with the audio, there's something like background noise and there's hissing-like sound to most of the notes. I thought it might be because of GarageBand normalization and turned it off, but it didn't help.

Then I exported the same file with my (old beloved) Vintage D and wow, what a nice, clean and soft tone.

Here's for you to compare:
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star - CFX Lite
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star - Vintage D

I think I've heard that noise in live playing but not sure if it bothered me that much or whether it was that prominent. What do you think? Am I doing anything wrong? Is there a mismatch between GarageBand and the Garritan AU instrument? Anything in the sample rate conversion? I'm baffled.

Last edited by CyberGene; 12/06/17 11:19 AM.

My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
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Re: A bit disappointed in Garritan CFX Lite [Re: CyberGene] #2694739
12/06/17 11:21 AM
12/06/17 11:21 AM
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Could it be the pedal noise? That's what it sounds like to me.


Youtube piano recordings (classical music/video games/anime): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh9N3Xirs86USDQXE1WiwXg
Kawai Novus NV-10 / Yamaha Avantgrand N1 with Garritan CFX VST
Re: A bit disappointed in Garritan CFX Lite [Re: CyberGene] #2694743
12/06/17 11:24 AM
12/06/17 11:24 AM
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I suspected that, so I dialed down the pedal noise knob to zero to exclude that which is how this particular recording is done, so must be something else. Or should I also try with any other knob?


My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: A bit disappointed in Garritan CFX Lite [Re: CyberGene] #2694753
12/06/17 11:42 AM
12/06/17 11:42 AM
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I am comparing with my own recordings of CFX Full, and I don't hear any background hiss, so at least it seems that the problem isn't intrinsic to CFX. Maybe try turning off Sympathetic/Sustain Resonance if you have any of that?


Youtube piano recordings (classical music/video games/anime): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh9N3Xirs86USDQXE1WiwXg
Kawai Novus NV-10 / Yamaha Avantgrand N1 with Garritan CFX VST
Re: A bit disappointed in Garritan CFX Lite [Re: CyberGene] #2694756
12/06/17 11:53 AM
12/06/17 11:53 AM
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Slightly off topic - OK, maybe a little more than slightly smile

But are both recorded at relatively the same levels/settings?

Because if so, I find the CFX to be much better than the D - which is a slight surprise to me.


Looking to purchase: Kawai MP(12), or Kawai VPC(2), or something Yamaha...
Current: Yamaha Synthesizer
Previous: Kawai CP205, Kawai CP207, Yamaha Synthesizers
Re: A bit disappointed in Garritan CFX Lite [Re: CyberGene] #2694760
12/06/17 11:59 AM
12/06/17 11:59 AM
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CyberGene Online content OP
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I haven't changed anything on the host side (GarageBand). And I almost haven't changed anything related to audio on the plugin side. I mean: volume output is left at its default plugin value. Both plugins generate a relatively quiet audio but GarageBand applies normalization to the audio exports. I've experimented to disable the audio normalization and to either increase the master level of the CFX plugin, or normalize in external program such as Audacity but it's always the same.

That's a very weird problem. I've read GarageBand is internally fixed to 44.1kHz and that can't be changed (it's a free program bundled with Macs, so not a lot of settings). Maybe the native sample rate of CFX is 48kHz, so there's a sample rate conversion that's very badly implemented. I don't believe a sample rate conversion would result in so apparently audible artifacts unless it's seriously faulty.


My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: A bit disappointed in Garritan CFX Lite [Re: CyberGene] #2694781
12/06/17 01:39 PM
12/06/17 01:39 PM
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As Biased (because of my love) big fan of Galaxy Vintage D, I must admit: Tone of the Vintage D is still the Best!
Ok. One of the Best! smile

Yesterday added some piano midi tracks to Reaper and made experiments with Galaxy Vintage D and reverbs. Waves - Abbey Road plates, Waves H - Reverb, Liquidsonic - Reverberate 2 (BTW all of them now have full 30-day demo!): Listened and could not stop. How beautiful is it!
You can't get bad results recording Vintage D.


Roland FP-30
Komplete 12 Ult: UVI - Falcon; Vilabs - Ravenscroft; Pianoteq - 6 Std (Bluthner, Steinway D, K2); Galaxy - Vintage D, Vienna Grand; Production Voices - All Kontakt libs; Lounge Lizard EP-4; Neo-Soul Keys; AS - C7 Grand; Addictive Keys- All
Zoom UAC-2; Beyers DT-880 PRO; JBL - LSR305
Re: A bit disappointed in Garritan CFX Lite [Re: CyberGene] #2694815
12/06/17 04:23 PM
12/06/17 04:23 PM
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If the playing is at low velocities, could it be the white noise/hiss heard when playing piano/pianissimo notes in the CFX? I find that noise ever so slightly bothering when playing the moonlight sonata for instance, more so on headphones than on monitors.

I just listened to it on headphones and I'm very inclined to believe that that's the reason. We can just pretend it's an old recording smile Makes it more real. Joking aside, I would've preferred the CFX without this nuisance.

Last edited by mcoll; 12/06/17 04:37 PM.
Re: A bit disappointed in Garritan CFX Lite [Re: CyberGene] #2694825
12/06/17 04:44 PM
12/06/17 04:44 PM
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CyberGene Online content OP
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Yes, looking at some of the note velocities in Garage Band, most of the noisy ones are at around 20-30-40 range... I tend to play very quiet. Indeed, if one can virtually ignore the hiss, the CFX has more presence, it's livelier than the Vintage D. The latter is rather clean and dull but has its warmth that suits some styles and especially Chopin too. It's only the not so good half-pedaling that stops me from using it for live playing. CFX is so much more playable!

Last edited by CyberGene; 12/06/17 04:46 PM.

My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: A bit disappointed in Garritan CFX Lite [Re: CyberGene] #2694866
12/06/17 06:42 PM
12/06/17 06:42 PM
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CyberGene

Listened on Beyers dt-880. These beast are able to show all nuances.
It is not a noise. It is plenty of reverb and sympathetic resonances that most speakers with low definition can't reproduce as separate sounds and mix them in unpleasant way.

Try "Dry" sound and turn off sympathetic resonance.


Roland FP-30
Komplete 12 Ult: UVI - Falcon; Vilabs - Ravenscroft; Pianoteq - 6 Std (Bluthner, Steinway D, K2); Galaxy - Vintage D, Vienna Grand; Production Voices - All Kontakt libs; Lounge Lizard EP-4; Neo-Soul Keys; AS - C7 Grand; Addictive Keys- All
Zoom UAC-2; Beyers DT-880 PRO; JBL - LSR305
Re: A bit disappointed in Garritan CFX Lite [Re: CyberGene] #2694870
12/06/17 06:55 PM
12/06/17 06:55 PM
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CyberGene Online content OP
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Well, as a matter of fact I got out my DT-880 600Ω today exactly because I knew they would show everything as it is and the noise was there which made my create this thread. I still think there is inherent noise in CFX Lite which is exaggerated mostly because I played relatively quiet throughout the piece and the normalization brings that out.

Last edited by CyberGene; 12/06/17 06:55 PM.

My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: A bit disappointed in Garritan CFX Lite [Re: CyberGene] #2694872
12/06/17 06:57 PM
12/06/17 06:57 PM
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Barça
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Nice playing.

I also prefer the Vintage D file.

Quickly eyeballing the SoundCloud level "bar chart":

- the Vintage D might have more dynamic range

- CFX might be a bit "louder" overall

This is in line with what I hear on decent monitors also. You can compare these characteristics with free software on the internet.

- Not sure how manually "normalizing" the VIs via the software "output volumes" impacts sound quality but I think you want to run these with "volumes" pretty high but without any clipping.

- I think you could also manually "normalize" dynamic range with the CFX>Advanced>Dynamic Range dial.

Regardless, I think you should kill any "normalization" in GarageBand.

I agree with "McCool" above. The CFX has a some room and production noise that was not taken out in the mastering process. Generally, I prefer unadultered audio files over mastered ones; but the noise is a bit irritating on Garritan CFX.

The Garritan helpdesk would not tell me if the CFX was recorded in 44.1 or 48khz. They told me it would not matter and to run the VI at best performing rate for my laptop (whatever that means)...

There is a "limit" button on CFX Full that screws up sound somehow but I think you don't have that on CFX lite. If you have that "limit" button, please deselect.

Re: A bit disappointed in Garritan CFX Lite [Re: CyberGene] #2694889
12/06/17 08:30 PM
12/06/17 08:30 PM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
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Lovely playing Evgeny.

I don't have a dog in this fight, as I thought both recordings sounded great.

I'm only using inexpensive earphones, but was not concerned by any hiss/noise.

Kind regards,
James
x


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: A bit disappointed in Garritan CFX Lite [Re: CyberGene] #2694908
12/06/17 09:54 PM
12/06/17 09:54 PM
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Hi, the CFX recording doesn't sound right, something is definitely off. I don't have any noise on my end when I play and record. I have no clue what the issue is, but I am pretty sure that I don't have noise like this.
Did you disable the Equalizer and Reverb within CFX? I found that sometimes using this stuff can introduce weird sounds in other piano VSTs. Might be worth a shot. Although you'll certainly know better than me.
If you wanted to share the midi, perhaps some people here who have the CFX could try to render it on their machines and you can compare the noise levels?

Re: A bit disappointed in Garritan CFX Lite [Re: CyberGene] #2694968
12/07/17 02:15 AM
12/07/17 02:15 AM
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@newer_player - no "McCool" here, just mccoll (as in music collector) smile L.E. good thing I didn't go with mcluv laugh

It's not the resonances, it's white noise audible in low velocity samples (close mic perspectiv, I don't know about the others). Who wants to try this on their own CFX should just play some pianissimo chords and it's easily heard on headphones. As I previously said, this is very evident to me in the first mvt of the Moonlight sonata.

As for a comparison between the two VSTs, while Vintage D sounds beautiful, the repedalling problem and the modest resonances place it beneath the CFX as far as I'm concerned. The CFX is somewhat clearer, and brighter (might not be everyone's cup of tea), but the pedal down samples with rich resonances make a world of difference for the realism and feeling of the overall sound. Plus the half and re-pedalling work well.

Last edited by mcoll; 12/07/17 02:16 AM.
Re: A bit disappointed in Garritan CFX Lite [Re: CyberGene] #2694974
12/07/17 02:56 AM
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If you share the MIDI, I'll gladly render the file for you on my CFX Full.


Youtube piano recordings (classical music/video games/anime): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh9N3Xirs86USDQXE1WiwXg
Kawai Novus NV-10 / Yamaha Avantgrand N1 with Garritan CFX VST
Re: A bit disappointed in Garritan CFX Lite [Re: CyberGene] #2695093
12/07/17 01:11 PM
12/07/17 01:11 PM
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I don't have quality headphones or monitors attached to my computer, but I have to say I really enjoyed both renderings.

I'm more than happy with CFX full, but I've never bothered to seriously compare it to other VSTs post-purchase. I have to say, if I had the Vintage D instead, I don't think I'd have much to complain about.

It's a good time to be into VSTs!


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: A bit disappointed in Garritan CFX Lite [Re: CyberGene] #2695130
12/07/17 04:05 PM
12/07/17 04:05 PM
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First of all, loved the playing and the harmonisation. Mozart would have been proud!

Noise in the CFX Lite samples has been talked about before here (see this thread for example) and I also hear it. It's at quite a low level - I have VSTs with much more prominent noise - but it is definitely there. I think it's the price you pay for samples with high resonance. I was talking to a producer of some other piano VSTis recently, and one of my complaints was that sample denoising and EQ, which are absolutely necessary to make a coherent instrument, is generally overdone and they lose some most of the room resonance and some of the instrument timbre as a result. Garritan are at the other extreme; they keep so much of the room resonance you actively have to turn it done, and you never need any other reverb, but the quid pro quo is that when a sample is played, its background noise comes with it a bit.

I'm not sure if you have sustain pedal samples on (it sounds like you do), which is the default, but if you do, they exacerbate the effect to my ears - you get a much bigger sample on/off effect than you do with the damped samples. You could try turning them off and re-recording and seeing if it improves it. That's about the only thing that is likely to make a difference; turning down room decay might also reduce it but it will lose some of the beauty of the sound as well unfortunately.


Broadwood, Yamaha U1; Kawai CA67; Pianoteq Std (D4, K2, Blüthner, Grotrian), Garritan CFX Full, Galaxy Vintage D, The Grandeur, Ravenscroft 275, Ivory II ACD, TrueKeys Italian, AS C7, Production Grand Compact, AK Studio Grand, AK Upright, Waves Grand Rhapsody; Sennheiser HD-600 and HD-650, O2 amp
Re: A bit disappointed in Garritan CFX Lite [Re: CyberGene] #2695153
12/07/17 05:52 PM
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For me the Production Grand compact (got it in Blackfriday sales for $24) sounds very similar to the CFX Lite and is cheaper.


[Kawai VPC1/ES100 - VSTs: Garritan CFX, VILabs Italian Grand, Ravenscroft 275 | Pianoteq 6 Standard: Steingraeber E-272, Bluethner - Ableton Live 9 Lite, Tascam US2x2, Mackie BIG KNOB, SMSL HP-AMP, Schiit Fulla 2 - Sennheiser HD700 / Sony MDRV6 - Presonus E5+T10, iloud micro monitors]
Re: A bit disappointed in Garritan CFX Lite [Re: rach3master] #2695163
12/07/17 06:34 PM
12/07/17 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by genuse
If you share the MIDI, I'll gladly render the file for you on my CFX Full.


That'd be fun for all of us. And we can work out those delicious chords you use!
But, honestly, imo I dunno what you're complaining about. I heard that hissing sound when listening to digital pianos with resonances turned on/too far up. I have it with my Roland; some of the more expensive stuff exhibit this somewhat false sounding embellishment. Problem is - they're too finely tuned. Real pianos are never like that.


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