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#2713376 - 02/11/18 06:44 AM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: michaelvi]  
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Originally Posted by michaelvi
May be this is good idea for a start-up that will develop a new protection method that would work in library layer? smile

Kontakt is scriptable, then the developper of the script can develop using the available functions. If NI add protection function (read iLok key...), the developper could prevent the access without iLok key, but a cracker could modify this function to make it lying. This would not be perfect too.

I suppose that NI won’t add such function since there is already a protection embedded, even if it not perfect.

Without a Kontakt protection function, there is no way to develop a protection inside the library layer with Kontakt.


Yamaha CLP150, Bechstein Digital Grand, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, EWQL Pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq
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#2713377 - 02/11/18 06:45 AM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: Granyala]  
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Originally Posted by Granyala
I guess sometimes it's good to be poor. makes you buy less and play more with what you have.

+1 smile

Last edited by michaelvi; 02/11/18 06:46 AM.

Started 2016-01-29
Casio Privia PX-760 => Galaxy Vintage D, Garritan CFX Lite, Ravenscroft 275 => Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 =>ATH-40mx, Sennheiser HD598, JBL LSR305
#2713378 - 02/11/18 06:46 AM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi]  
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You should be rich enough to be able to buy a good instrument and poor enough to not be able to purchase another one soon wink


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Currently: Kawai ES7 -> Garritan CFX Lite
Previously: Kawai MP6, Kawai CA63, Roland RD-700SX, Roland FP-5, Yamaha P90, Korg SP-200, Casio CDP-100
#2713379 - 02/11/18 06:50 AM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: Frédéric L]  
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Originally Posted by Frédéric L
Without a Kontakt protection function, there is no way to develop a protection inside the library layer with Kontakt.

Debatable, but probably not in this forum smile


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#2713385 - 02/11/18 07:53 AM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: michaelvi]  
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Originally Posted by michaelvi
Originally Posted by Granyala
I guess sometimes it's good to be poor. makes you buy less and play more with what you have.

+1 smile


-1

It’s never good to be poor! If you don’t believe me, ask a dirt-poor person if being poor is something that has ever come in handy.
Playing “with what you have” is not an ideal situation; playing a Steinway D, on the other hand, is like being in heaven. Heck, even playing a mundane scale on a D feels like an event, a happening, a momentous (slight exaggeration) occasion. Trust me, a Casio SA-76 will not make you a better player no matter how much you play it. By the way, I live in a van down by the river, so I know a thing or two about poverty.

#2713386 - 02/11/18 08:07 AM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: Pete14]  
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Originally Posted by Pete14
Originally Posted by michaelvi
Originally Posted by Granyala
I guess sometimes it's good to be poor. makes you buy less and play more with what you have.

+1 smile


-1

It’s never good to be poor! If you don’t believe me, ask a dirt-poor person if being poor is something that has ever come in handy.
Playing “with what you have” is not an ideal situation; playing a Steinway D, on the other hand, is like being in heaven. Heck, even playing a mundane scale on a D feels like an event, a happening, a momentous (slight exaggeration) occasion. Trust me, a Casio SA-76 will not make you a better player no matter how much you play it. By the way, I live in a van down by the river, so I know a thing or two about poverty.

Well, I think the main point of Granyala's post was about being GAS-free and to play more. Hard to disagree


Started 2016-01-29
Casio Privia PX-760 => Galaxy Vintage D, Garritan CFX Lite, Ravenscroft 275 => Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 =>ATH-40mx, Sennheiser HD598, JBL LSR305
#2713415 - 02/11/18 11:21 AM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: Pete14]  
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Originally Posted by Pete14
It’s never good to be poor! If you don’t believe me, ask a dirt-poor person if being poor is something that has ever come in handy.
Playing “with what you have” is not an ideal situation; playing a Steinway D, on the other hand, is like being in heaven. Heck, even playing a mundane scale on a D feels like an event, a happening, a momentous (slight exaggeration) occasion. Trust me, a Casio SA-76 will not make you a better player no matter how much you play it. By the way, I live in a van down by the river, so I know a thing or two about poverty.

True. To be honest: I am able to afford a Kawai VPC1 and have a good computer to run VSTi w/o issues.
Measured on a global scale I am a very far cry from being "poor" and I doubt that, being a hobbyist, the VPC1 will hold me back anytime soon..

I'd love to encounter one of those big shot Grand Pianos one day when I have some skills. Would probably be fun.


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
#2713435 - 02/11/18 12:04 PM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi]  
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Granyala, I’m just kidding around. smile
I don’t live in a van down by the river, and I’ve never seen a Steinway D in person.
I get a little bored on Sundays, so I like to come around here to stir things up a little. I get your point.

#2713487 - 02/11/18 03:20 PM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: Cinjero]  
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Originally Posted by madshi
CFX Lite is 25GB on harddisk (uncompressed), but compressed download is only 2.5GB.

That's a whole lot of compression, down to 1/10 of the original size. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but the CFX doesn't use FLAC lossless audio compression, which is probably why it's such a big library. Think we were discussing this some months ago.

By the way, congrats on your Garritan CFX, if there were a one size fits all piano library, CFX could make a good case for claiming to be it.

Cinjero, about the cluster size, that makes sense to me. I learned about clusters in my computer science classes, some years back. Never really understood it, but think it has to do with the data not filling out every cluster, or something like that. Don't correct me if I'm wrong, we don't want this to turn into a computer science forum, LOL!

Productin Grand 2 is a great library, even the Gold version below the full one. If I had gotten it before the CFX, maybe I wouldn't have bought the CFX, but it's nice to have both. The long loading time of PG bothers me, though it loads a bit faster now, probably due to the recent upgrade of Kontakt 5.


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#2713491 - 02/11/18 03:29 PM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: TheodorN]  
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Originally Posted by TheodorN
Originally Posted by madshi
CFX Lite is 25GB on harddisk (uncompressed), but compressed download is only 2.5GB.

That's a whole lot of compression, down to 1/10 of the original size.

Cinjero, about the cluster size, that makes sense to me. I learned about clusters in my computer science classes, some years back. Never really understood it, but think it has to do with the data not filling out every cluster, or something like that.


I'd love to know how they compress audio data lossless to 1/10th of it's size. Oo

Clusters are the smallest logical memory block the operating system can address. Typically it's 4KB in size. So if you have a 1KB file it will still need 4KB. In todays day and age, the effect can be completely disregarded. We're juggling TBs now, a few KBs no longer matter.
As for size differences: most of that comes from one source calculating with one MB = 1024 KB (etc etc) and the other calculating with 1000. Manufacturers like the 1000 because it gives them nice round numbers for marketing. 2TB drive sounds better than 1.81TB, eh?


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
#2713499 - 02/11/18 03:49 PM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: Granyala]  
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Originally Posted by Granyala
I'd love to know how they compress audio data lossless to 1/10th of it's size.

FLAC is very effective.

I am not surprised that piano libraries can be compressed significantly. Most of the audio data is for the long tail of the piano sound after the attack. Let us say, each sample is 20 seconds long. More than 90% of that sound is just decaying string with very low volume. Low volume repetitive data does not require the full 16-bit/44.1kHz resolution and can be compressed fairly efficiently. Also, since compression needs to occur only one time, a very high FLAC compression level can be chosen - that is computationally expensive but reduces the size even more.

Osho

#2713500 - 02/11/18 03:55 PM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi]  
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I suppose the sound of a single note can be compressed lossless easily because at the end, the signal is weak, then there is no such thing to encode.

I don’t know how FLAC function, but a typical encoding could be :

For each sample, guess the most probable value from the previous, code the delta (actual value - guess).

The encoding of FLAC is Golomb-RICE which use few bits for frequent values. Then, instead of coding a delta with 17 bits (-65000 to +65000), the code will be mostly around a few bits. If the guess algorithm is good, -1, 0, and +1 will be quite frequent and could require let’s say 2 or 3 bits. (Between 1/8 and 1/5 of 16bits, the original size). 1/10 of the size seems me low (1.6 bits per sample ! It could be achieved if the 0 value is very very frequent)

Having tried a long C4 note : 5771ko WAV, 824ko FLAC (1/7 of the WAV file).


Yamaha CLP150, Bechstein Digital Grand, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, EWQL Pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq
#2713519 - 02/11/18 04:48 PM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi]  
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As Osho said, they can use lower bit-depth for the decays. Remember this is not a real-time decompression, it’s used only for the one-off installation and can rely on multiple passes (attacks from one set of files, the rest from other), heuristics, high-compression ratios (intensive CPU), etc.

Last edited by CyberGene; 02/11/18 04:49 PM.

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Currently: Kawai ES7 -> Garritan CFX Lite
Previously: Kawai MP6, Kawai CA63, Roland RD-700SX, Roland FP-5, Yamaha P90, Korg SP-200, Casio CDP-100
#2713532 - 02/11/18 05:28 PM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi]  
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FLAC encoding uses subframe which have each their own parameters. One parameter will be adequate for attacks, and will be reduced to the best during the decay. This parameter is directly related with needed bitdepth. Heuristics are already used (called predictions which can even use the 32 previous samples, but I suppose most FLAC encoders don’t go so far).

Perhaps my 1/7 conversion was made quickly (with an online Web converter). I should perhaps try again with a soft I control the parameters. Perhaps also the CFX samples are longer than what I have.


Yamaha CLP150, Bechstein Digital Grand, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, EWQL Pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq
#2713592 - 02/11/18 09:54 PM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: CyberGene]  
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Remember this is not a real-time decompression...


I thought that the decompression was in real-time (i.e. the samples are stored in a compressed state on the disc, and decompressed when played) - are you saying that the compression is only to reduce the download size, and that once installed, all of the sample data is decompressed?

Kind regards,
James
x


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#2713602 - 02/11/18 10:56 PM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: Kawai James]  
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Remember this is not a real-time decompression...


I thought that the decompression was in real-time (i.e. the samples are stored in a compressed state on the disc, and decompressed when played) - are you saying that the compression is only to reduce the download size, and that once installed, all of the sample data is decompressed?

Kind regards,
James
x


That is certainly the case for Garritan's CFX Grand. The files are decompressed as they are installed and remain de-compressed on your hard disk. The installation takes a while.


"Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen."
#2713620 - 02/12/18 02:02 AM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi]  
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^^James, yes. Installation file for CFX Lite is 2GB and the installed application is 20GB.


https://myspace.com/evgenykumanov/music/songs
Currently: Kawai ES7 -> Garritan CFX Lite
Previously: Kawai MP6, Kawai CA63, Roland RD-700SX, Roland FP-5, Yamaha P90, Korg SP-200, Casio CDP-100
#2713627 - 02/12/18 02:41 AM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi]  
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Okay, thanks chaps.

How about for the VI Labs pianos?

Kind regards,
James
x


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Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#2713634 - 02/12/18 03:38 AM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi]  
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I only have CFX Lite and Compact Classic Grand. The CFX Lite explodes from 2.5GB download to 20GB+ installation. The Compact Classic Grand is 2.8GB download and 2.9GB after installation. Compact Classic Grand actually has all the samples as FLAC files.

#2713838 - 02/12/18 08:42 PM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi]  
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VI Labs pianos remain compressed on the hard drive and are decompressed in real time.

Last edited by karvala; 02/12/18 08:42 PM.

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
#2713945 - 02/13/18 09:37 AM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi]  
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OT maybe, but I was listening to various VSTis yesterday evening - not because I'm looking for any particular VSTi - rather for listening to nice piano playing. I perceived the VI Labs pianos as dull, and uninspiring, specifically German Grand, and Italian Grand.

However, I found that NI Grandeur was very good, with a full and deep sound, probably good for classical, and that is on topic. Though classical piano music is more in your fingers, than the piano sound itself, but that goes for all music played on the piano.


My YouTube channel

Casio PX-5S. Garritan CFX. Prod. Voices: Grand 2 Gold, Concert Grand Compact, Est. Grand, Studio Grand LE. NI Giant. Galaxy II Blüthner Baby Grand. AcousticSamples C7. AK Studio Grand. Sampletekk Black. Kontakt 5. Reaper.
#2713963 - 02/13/18 10:49 AM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi]  
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I really like the Grandeur. That and Vintage D are my most-used pianos.

#2713964 - 02/13/18 10:52 AM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi]  
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Yeah, that's pretty much in line with what a lot of people say about the VI Labs pianos, and I've said it before as well. I have mixed views on the instruments you mention. I'm not a fan of Fazioli pianos anyway, and the VI Italian is a bit too bright for me. By contrast, their American and German grands are highly veiled, even muffled. I believe they were brand new instruments that were sampled, which was a mistake in my view, because clearly the hammers have not been cut by the strings, and so you do get a much duller sound. There is something in the VI audio processing pipeline that really seems to flatten the tone of all three instruments as well (even the Italian, in spite of its brightness). By contrast the NI Grandeur has a more recognisable American D tone, and considerable greater immediacy and clarity. Essentially, it sounds nicer.

On the other hand, the VI Labs pianos are the height of professional VST production. There are no major popouts (one or two notes on the American grate a little at times with me, but it's scarcely noticeable), partial pedalling and repedalling works well and is configurable in the interface, they have a variety of mic perspectives (not radically different to each other like the Garritan CFX, but still a welcome addition), they have all the other expected controls, and most importantly, everything works exactly as it should. That means that they are quite playable and stand up quite well to repeated scrutiny. It's just that the tone is rather uninspiring.

The NI pianos are okay, but there are minor issues with them, be it phantom tones appearing, dynamic surge on let off, pop outs, flawed partial pedalling. They're generally not bad (there are way worse cases out there), but not quite up to the production standard of the VI Labs instruments in my view. I like The Grandeur, but I find it gets wearing after a while. For what it's worth, my usage pattern for American Ds has been almost no usage of the Ivory II American D after an initial test (way too many flaws to be tolerable to my ears), almost no usage of the Production Voices Concert Grand after an initial test (realistic tone, but sounds like a recorded piano with way too much ambient noise), reasonable but decreasing use of The Grandeur, reasonable but decreasing use of the Vintage D (interesting tone, but serious lack of sustain makes it unusable for a lot of repertoire, and the pedal support is poor), and reasonable and actually increasing use of the VI Labs American Grand.

Last edited by karvala; 02/13/18 10:54 AM.

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
#2713978 - 02/13/18 12:01 PM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi]  
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Although the three of us seem to agree on, that the VI Labs pianos are lacking, that does not apply to Ravenscroft, only the True Keys trio. I think it (Ravenscroft) is in a league of it's own, among the VI Labs pianos, and even among most other piano VSTs. I really like the tone of it, from what I've heard.


My YouTube channel

Casio PX-5S. Garritan CFX. Prod. Voices: Grand 2 Gold, Concert Grand Compact, Est. Grand, Studio Grand LE. NI Giant. Galaxy II Blüthner Baby Grand. AcousticSamples C7. AK Studio Grand. Sampletekk Black. Kontakt 5. Reaper.
#2713998 - 02/13/18 01:14 PM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi]  
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I listened to a few of their demos and agree, the Ravenscroft sounds awesome. Clarity yet mean growling bass like a beast lurking within.

Together Garritan CFX on my list to snag when on sale. laugh


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#2714083 - 02/13/18 06:03 PM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: TheodorN]  
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Originally Posted by TheodorN
Although the three of us seem to agree on, that the VI Labs pianos are lacking, that does not apply to Ravenscroft, only the True Keys trio. I think it (Ravenscroft) is in a league of it's own, among the VI Labs pianos, and even among most other piano VSTs. I really like the tone of it, from what I've heard.


The Ravenscroft is certainly a step up from the three True Keys pianos, and has notably better dynamic response. It is, in other respects, very much a VI Labs piano to me, though. It has the same reliability, very high playability, but - and this is the part you may not agree with - again issues with it's tone.

I can tell you that it's had the largest downward slide in my usage of any VST; I used it the majority of the time for a short while, but I hardly use it at all now. The one and only reason is that the tone is, in my view, quite cold and with an artificial edge, at least when listened to through headphones. Maybe it's better through studio monitors? Anyway, I find the sound increasingly unpalatable, which essentially prevents me from using it. A pity, because it's very crisp and playable.

Last edited by karvala; 02/13/18 06:04 PM.

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
#2714741 - 02/16/18 04:38 AM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi]  
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France
Hello me I use the VST, I go through a kawai es110 (which does not work) connect to an audio interface and then has a vst connect to a sequencer, I use american ivory 2. I play only the classic.

   you can see the rendering on my channel.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwmGKHvijj0

#2715050 - 02/17/18 09:54 AM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: madshi]  
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 471
mcoll Offline
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mcoll  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 471
Europe
Just to chime in with my preferences: currently I favor Pianoteq (v6, Bluethner and Grotrian, depending on the mood and the piece); previously I played for about half a year with the CFX lite. I like both, I play classical, intermediate level. Better sound on the CFX and it's pretty much the best sampled VST I've used when it comes to playing, but not as good as PT.
Also, I want to point something out that has been disregarded: for an absolute beginner or close to that (not madshi, just speaking in general), I think it's important to play an acoustic or a standalone digital (set at a proper volume) for a significant time, until some skill is built up, habits formed, expectations set. Otherwise, I believe setting up a VST wouldn't result in the most piano-like setup possible. It may even be very far off and create poor habits and future problems. I don't believe starting on a VST is the way to go.

#2715138 - 02/17/18 03:21 PM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: mcoll]  
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 273
michaelvi Offline
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michaelvi  Offline

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Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 273
Israel, Haifa
Originally Posted by mcoll
for an absolute beginner or close to that (not madshi, just speaking in general), I think it's important to play an acoustic or a standalone digital (set at a proper volume) for a significant time, until some skill is built up, habits formed, expectations set. Otherwise, I believe setting up a VST wouldn't result in the most piano-like setup possible. It may even be very far off and create poor habits and future problems. I don't believe starting on a VST is the way to go.

Interesting statement... Could you please elaborate on it? Do you believe it is true regardless what internal DP sound is - including cases when it kills inspiration?

Anyway, I used this weekend (in my country Fri-Sat) to try Ravenscroft 275, which I bought recently and spent in total ~6 hours with it. As a result I added it to my signature because I will definitely use it. I think I agree with people saying that in general it is better for jazz than classical but still it is very good sound and will suit some classical pieces better than even CFX lite (to my taste of course). True Keys American also sounds better than Vintage D for my ears, but I tried it only briefly and still did not decide whether I would use it regularly (it could happen that in the presence of CFX Lite and Ravenscroft it simply will not find its niche)

Last edited by michaelvi; 02/17/18 03:22 PM.

Started 2016-01-29
Casio Privia PX-760 => Galaxy Vintage D, Garritan CFX Lite, Ravenscroft 275 => Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 =>ATH-40mx, Sennheiser HD598, JBL LSR305
#2715171 - 02/17/18 05:50 PM Re: Which VSTi for classical music? [Re: mcoll]  
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 206
Granyala Offline
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Granyala  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 206
Celestis
Originally Posted by mcoll
I think it's important to play an acoustic or a standalone digital (set at a proper volume) for a significant time, until some skill is built up, habits formed, expectations set. Otherwise, I believe setting up a VST wouldn't result in the most piano-like setup possible. It may even be very far off and create poor habits and future problems. I don't believe starting on a VST is the way to go.

You mean because of touch curves which a beginner might set incorrectly?

I think the beginner could do the same with any internal DP sound.


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