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Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: mabraman] #2713092 02/10/18 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by mabraman
If you are a beginner, is you who has to match the VST, and it will take years to do so. Even a medium class digital is gonna be way over your hability. Pick one and study hard. Better if It has weird notes, just like real pianos do.

Being a beginner, I strongly disagree. Don't forget about inspiration and satisfaction. Especially when it not when parents force their children to practice but when we are talking about our own interest.
Professional (or simply skilled enough) pianist can squeeze a good sound from that broken street piano (some amazing records can be found on youtube)
But when I am "playing" my piano I am making enough my own mistakes so it hard enough for me to produce a sound somewhat close to what I would like to hear. So I doubt that additional weird notes from piano will be of any help. I hope after those years of practicing that you mentioned I will develop skills that will allow me to tweak my playing to a piano's faults, but I prefer first to deal with my own.
When I learned to write in elementary school I started with lined sheets of paper - not just horizontal but also with oblique lines. It took me few years to develop my ability to write on a purely white paper, or even colored one or even on a paper with background pictures. I don't think that process was more efficient if I started learning with such paper.


Started 2016-01-29
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Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: Beakybird] #2713102 02/10/18 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Beakybird
Sorry for demoting you.

No probs, I appreciate your feedback. Probably, compared to some of you guys I do rather classify as a beginner. It's all a question of who you compare yourself to... crazy

-------

FWIW, I've just bought CFX Lite (download version from Sweetwater for 60 USD), and first quick impression with untweaked default preset is great - I love how it sounds!! Granted, I didn't have much to compare to: The Kawai CL36 internal sound is faaar away. The MainStage Steinway Piano is actually not bad, but still clearly inferior to CFX Lite. I did also buy the Production Voices Concert Grand Compact for 19 USD, but to my ears CFX Lite clearly wins. Now I just have to make up my mind if I want to upgrade to the full version or not. Decisions, decisions...

Is it possible to configure the CFX Lite standalone player (or also the MainStage plugin) to remember the preset? It seems if I stop the standalone player, the preset gets lost, so I have to re-select it every time which I find quite annoying.

Last edited by madshi; 02/10/18 07:29 AM.
Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi] #2713104 02/10/18 07:33 AM
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What I was trying to say is that any of most VSTs is good enough, you just need decent sound and good pedal samples. Some are more flexible than others but each has its own character, and for your ( our) level, what matters is not wich VST you play on, but to develope the hability to switch between instruments and get decent results.
Every piano suits every style, unless you are a pro.


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Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi] #2713108 02/10/18 07:49 AM
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Why should I be satisfied with "decent" sound if I can get great sound? This is not just about learning/improving my playing skills. It's also about enjoying the music I'm playing. So I want the best possible option, obviously. Of course matter of taste always plays a role, too, but there clearly are some products which have higher quality than others. So what's wrong with asking for feedback which VST other users prefer for classical piano playing?

I'm thankful for having been pointed to Garritan CFX by the users in this thread. I clearly don't like every VST the same (see above, I clearly prefer the CFX over the Concert Grand Compact), so just saying that any decent VST should do doesn't seem to agree with me.

Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: mabraman] #2713113 02/10/18 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by mabraman
What I was trying to say is that any of most VSTs is good enough, you just need decent sound and good pedal samples. Some are more flexible than others but each has its own character, and for your ( our) level, what matters is not wich VST you play on, but to develope the hability to switch between instruments and get decent results.
Every piano suits every style, unless you are a pro.

I understand that and in fact I was also hoping so. Unfortunately this theory wasn't confirmed by my experience. Some VSTs (and I am talking about quite popular ones) sounded TO MY EARS ... at least not good if not to say horrible, which couldn't co-exists with my willing to play (well, to learn to play)

I want to echo madshi : we are here for enjoying the music as much as it is possible. Trying to select best (of course individually) VST perfectly fits this goal. And I believe it does not contradict to the goal of developing skills


Started 2016-01-29
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Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi] #2713116 02/10/18 08:35 AM
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Yes, VSTs range from wondrous to horrible. And my wondrous VST might be your horrible VST.

There have been many threads here asking for recommendations. But after reading them year after year my only conclusions are:

1. You cannot know until you try.

2. You might think try-sound.com is a good way to try. I don't agree, but ... it's free, so give it a whirl.

3. You can spend lots of money on VSTs. For every VST that I've made heavy use of over the past eight years of my VST-life, I own three or four others that range from meh to stinko. (This is called G.A.S. Item 1 above tends to produce G.A.S.)

4. Be aware of your ACOUSTIC piano preference, if possible. If you like the Steinway sound ... if you like the Bosendorfer sound ... if you like the Yamaha sound ... if you like the Kawai sound ... then choose a VST that's been sampled from that brand of acoustic. VSTs do carry the distinct flavor of the acoustic they're meant to mimic.

5. PW members are divided regarding what's good and what's not. My good list will not match your good list. My bad list will not match yours. So take all recommendations with a grain of salt. See item 1, above.

6. Over time the recommendations shift. If you review the threads from years ago you'll find raves over VSTs that no longer get any mention. But I find that what was good years ago is still good today. Don't ignore the "old" VSTs.

7. Don't shun the crowd opinion. But don't follow the crowd opinion, either. The only crowd you need heed is that special crowd of ONE.

Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: mabraman] #2713120 02/10/18 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by mabraman
Every piano suits every style, unless you are a pro.


Debatable. You could even argue the opposite: that it takes a professional to get anything good at all out of a crap piano.


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Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: MacMacMac] #2713126 02/10/18 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Yes, VSTs range from wondrous to horrible. And my wondrous VST might be your horrible VST.

There have been many threads here asking for recommendations. But after reading them year after year my only conclusions are:

1. You cannot know until you try.

2. You might think try-sound.com is a good way to try. I don't agree, but ... it's free, so give it a whirl.

3. You can spend lots of money on VSTs. For every VST that I've made heavy use of over the past eight years of my VST-life, I own three or four others that range from meh to stinko. (This is called G.A.S. Item 1 above tends to produce G.A.S.)

4. Be aware of your ACOUSTIC piano preference, if possible. If you like the Steinway sound ... if you like the Bosendorfer sound ... if you like the Yamaha sound ... if you like the Kawai sound ... then choose a VST that's been sampled from that brand of acoustic. VSTs do carry the distinct flavor of the acoustic they're meant to mimic.

5. PW members are divided regarding what's good and what's not. My good list will not match your good list. My bad list will not match yours. So take all recommendations with a grain of salt. See item 1, above.

6. Over time the recommendations shift. If you review the threads from years ago you'll find raves over VSTs that no longer get any mention. But I find that what was good years ago is still good today. Don't ignore the "old" VSTs.

7. Don't shun the crowd opinion. But don't follow the crowd opinion, either. The only crowd you need heed is that special crowd of ONE.


1. Unfortunately with rare exceptions the only way to try is to buy. The number of such exceptions just has been decreased from tens to very few by your next item...

2. Really? I never tried it myself but was going to schedule a session with Ivory - just following what you call "crowd" (I prefer to call it "Big Numbers Rule"). Could you please elaborate on your 2nd statement?(latency is expected of course, what's else?)

3. Yeah... good portion of my Kawai keyboard budget has been burned this way..

4. That's much more complicated. Because when I am listening to those acoustics I am listening to some pros that seem to be able to get good sound even from raw piece of wood smile So I like them all with rare exceptions. (I can listen to real acoustics only in concert halls you know..., youtube is not counted for this purpose)
Also, let say I like acoustic A much better than acoustic B. Now, let say none of VSTs sampled from A are good enough (to my taste) but there is a VST sampled from B, which is excellent and really sounding quite close to acoustic B. Also that second "B" VST is bug free, what is called "better playable", etc. Shouldn't I go with second "B" VST despite my better liking of "A" acoustic? (In my personal case A is Steinway and B is Yamaha. Actually Yamaha is not even on 2nd place for me but best VST that have so far is CFX. I still dream about a good Steinway so wanted to schedule ACD on try-sound... . And in case of my wife A is Fazioli - as I see so far it is nearly impossible to get a good Fazioli based VST for her ((... )

5. Obviously

6. Sure but still technology and developer's experience are advancing and so outcomes are expected to become better over years

7. Also obvious. I think beginners are asking such questions not in order to blindly follow "crowd" but to minimize risks (see N3) of not only losing money but also of losing time (some adults have very limited time available to experiment with VSTs too much) and, once again, inspiration

Last edited by michaelvi; 02/10/18 11:28 AM.

Started 2016-01-29
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Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi] #2713129 02/10/18 09:31 AM
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I find the Full>Default>Classic (with both close & ambient mics) to be my favourite setting on Garritan CFX by far. This is essentially the default for Garritan CFX Full. I don't really use any of the extra "features" provided in the "Full" upgrade other than the second default mic pair.

The Garritan CFX close mics alone are very responsive but a bit dry for me; they are like PianoTeq in some ways. The ambient mics alone are too wet, distant and detached for my liking. Some other popular VIs minimize room ambience in their samples and are less noisy so that is a different approach.

You opinion will be different based on you personal preferences, playing style, controller, ears, headphones/ earbuds/ monitors, room, etc.

Of course there are several people who dislike Garritan CFX, some that are perfectly content with CFX Lite, and some that upgraded from Lite to Full and were disappointed. A lot of us have a ton of VIs unused on HDDs so I can't advise that an upgrade to CFX Full will fulfill your life. GAS gets expensive and distracting from your practice (see recent epic post by MacMacMac summarizing his library of VIs and personal ratings).

BTW - There are plenty of Garritan CFX tweaks and settings suggestions posts on this site. (e.g. The built-in reverb engine (studio tab) seems superflus as the ambient mics are already too wet. There seems to be a defect in the limit button (above the master slider) so turn that off. CyberGene wrote a nice script to improve pedaling. Getting latency very low can improve playability...)

Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi] #2713154 02/10/18 11:45 AM
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Thanks again for your feedback, everyone.

Of course I don't know if the CFX is the VST I would like best if I tried them all. But I don't really want to spend thousands of dollars on VSTs *just to try them*. Playing the CFX I'm fully satisfied with the sound, so I don't really feel the need to try anything else right now. As a result, I've now ordered the CFX Full Upgrade. Maybe the Upgrade will prove useful to me, or maybe not. But I think in any case Garritan has earned my money by delivering a really great sounding VST, so I don't mind paying the full price.

@newer player, thanks for the settings tips. Wasn't aware of the limit button, will make sure to turn it off. MainStage reports a latency of 5.8ms roundtrip (Zoom TAC-2 Thunderbird audio interface), using 44.1kHz and 64 samples. Does that classify as "low"? I've tried 32 samples, but got audio drop-outs that way. 64 samples seems stable.

Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi] #2713160 02/10/18 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by madshi
@newer player, thanks for the settings tips. Wasn't aware of the limit button, will make sure to turn it off. MainStage reports a latency of 5.8ms roundtrip (Zoom TAC-2 Thunderbird audio interface), using 44.1kHz and 64 samples. Does that classify as "low"? I've tried 32 samples, but got audio drop-outs that way. 64 samples seems stable.


All that matters is how the VI responds & sounds to you.

That good performance out of the box. Those Zoom interfaces have low latency at a low price. Running 64 samples at 44.100 Hz gives "processing latency" of around about 1.5ms which is approaching the lowest latencies people have noted here for piano VIs.

EDIT - I suppose you could try to reduce that 1.5ms figure by boosting the sample rate to 48 or 96 etc and testing different buffer sizes. But you see the diminishing returns here and not sure you would notice any difference.

For latency, what matters is something like the time between pressing the key and sound hitting your ears. In that context, I don't know what that 5.8ms roundtrip latency means. You would need to measure, which is difficult to do at home.

Regardless, if you use loudspeakers, you need to add about 3ms per metre of distance between the speakers and the player (ignore that if you use headphones).

Last edited by newer player; 02/10/18 12:08 PM.
Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi] #2713162 02/10/18 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by madshi
Thanks again for your feedback, everyone.

Of course I don't know if the CFX is the VST I would like best if I tried them all. But I don't really want to spend thousands of dollars on VSTs *just to try them*. Playing the CFX I'm fully satisfied with the sound, so I don't really feel the need to try anything else right now. As a result, I've now ordered the CFX Full Upgrade. Maybe the Upgrade will prove useful to me, or maybe not. But I think in any case Garritan has earned my money by delivering a really great sounding VST, so I don't mind paying the full price.

@newer player, thanks for the settings tips. Wasn't aware of the limit button, will make sure to turn it off. MainStage reports a latency of 5.8ms roundtrip (Zoom TAC-2 Thunderbird audio interface), using 44.1kHz and 64 samples. Does that classify as "low"? I've tried 32 samples, but got audio drop-outs that way. 64 samples seems stable.

You perhaps already know this.. but just in case..

There have been a few posts where people have posted screenshots of CFX settings. I posted some a few days ago:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2709497/
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2709214/

I have seen that Philip Johnston has also posted screenshots (which helped me a lot BTW)..

Here is CyberGene's script : http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...n-cfx-repedaling-timing.html#Post2599557

Osho


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Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi] #2713172 02/10/18 12:33 PM
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Thanks! I'll give all that a try when I have the full version installed... smile

Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi] #2713181 02/10/18 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by madshi
Thanks! I'll give all that a try when I have the full version installed... smile

May I ask you to share with us your experience of upgrading to Full CFX (I know it will take time at least until your usb device will arrive to you)?
There are many different opinions about this upgrade, but I especially interested in your case - where classical genre is targeted smile

(My guess is that it also depends on usage scenario - playing for yourself with headphones, with monitors, or making recordings and publish them - I think this is where mic perspective and positions should vary?)

Last edited by michaelvi; 02/10/18 01:34 PM.

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Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi] #2713208 02/10/18 02:22 PM
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Curious question: what does "GAS" mean?

As for the VSTi: I find it odd that people ask others for advice about what is the "best" in terms of sound. Sound is such a personal thing, there is -0- possibility of giving a proper recommendation.

Best example: my ears like Pianoteq very much. @Mac hates it and lists it as terrible.

Imho, what should be asked is how playable a VST is and whether there are serious problems like the detuned note samples on the Vienna Imperial, because these questions can be answered in a more objective manner and these answers can save people a lot of money and disappointment.

Personally, I am curious about Garritan CFX but I'll hold my horses for now. Too easy to splurge on one VST after another. laugh


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Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi] #2713209 02/10/18 02:25 PM
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Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi] #2713215 02/10/18 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Granyala
I find it odd that people ask others for advice about what is the "best" in terms of sound. Sound is such a personal thing, there is -0- possibility of giving a proper recommendation.

I find it odd that you find it odd. What are the alternatives to asking for recommendations? Do you really expect people to buy 20 VSTis for several thousand dollars, so they can choose the one which best matches their personal taste? Maybe professional users can afford that, but private/hobby users like me certainly can't (or are not willing to).

What I find even more odd is that VST companies seem to expect users to shell out the big money, just based on marketing and some random demo MP3s. Why is Pianoteq pretty much the only company offering a proper evaluation? That only works because so many users seem to be willing to buy "blind" (or rather "deaf"). If users refused to buy VSTs which can't be properly evaluated then VST companies would have no other choice than to offer proper evaluation options.

(Sorry for the little rant.)

Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: michaelvi] #2713225 02/10/18 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by michaelvi
My guess is that it also depends on usage scenario - playing for yourself with headphones, with monitors, or making recordings and publish them - I think this is where mic perspective and positions should vary?


Good question. There are lots of options in Garritan CFX but I always return to the default full.

I think Philip Johnston said his Garritan CFX settings posted here are purely for recording (he listens to the onboard Yamaha N3 sounds for playing). Search his post as my memory might be wrong there.

I have tried the Garritan CFX Full with a few headphones, a few earbuds, a few monitors, a few subwoofers. These days, I find myself playing with Classic>Full>Default most of the time. I use a few minor tweaks that don't change based on transducer type. Sample of just one person so YMMV. With my headphones or cheap computer monitors, all my VIs get repetitive sounding. So sometimes I will change Garritan CFX settings or change VI for variety.

However, last month, I pulled from the storage some older monitors and an inexpensive small amp. With the monitors ~1m from the back-wall and my ears, the sound is fun and unfatiguing. With the monitors closer to the back wall, the ambience just somehow disappears. Haven't felt compelled to tweak anything for a few weeks. Just practicing...

Last edited by newer player; 02/10/18 03:16 PM.
Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi] #2713228 02/10/18 03:19 PM
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I don't know anyone who EXPECTED me to spend thousands on VSTs ...
Originally Posted by madshi
Do you really expect people to buy 20 VSTis for several thousand dollars, so they can choose the one which best matches their personal taste?
... but I did. smile

Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi] #2713239 02/10/18 03:32 PM
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I would have to agree with Mac.

There isn't an expectation to buy 20+, 5+ or spending $$$----- but if you pursue the VI Avenue, it's going to happen. As for a VI just for "classical," just mumbo jumbo; there's isn't one, but some would say Steinway and other anything else but a Yamaha (pop/rock/non-classical). I'd say it doesn't matter---- what do you like? For a real mix-up, you could go with Painoteq (modeled).

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