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HANS ZIMMER PIANO (spitfire) #2725232
03/29/18 08:27 PM
03/29/18 08:27 PM
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 169
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Cinjero Offline OP
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I haven't seen anyone post anything about this VI, but I've been eyeing it for awhile.. so here's a short review.

The Bad (well depends)
Slow downloading. Although it could depend on where you live; since I'm in the US---- that could be part of the problem. I've read this is a common issue with users, or you can get an HDD version (apparently free).

Price $399 USD, but I did once see it on sale for $329 USD.

The Review
So purchased Sunday, but not approved/authorized until the following day. Apparently (as with other sites) there's someone who as to press the "Okay" button. Now (US) Thurs 3/29 it finished at about 2:00 pm EST, 198gb (400+ uncompressed). It has its own downloader, which is nice, and there were no issues with the unzip/install.

Overall I'd the sound is very impressive; sharp, clear---- maybe if Keyscape and Production Grand had a child, eh. The source is "Han's favorite" but not specified, although I believe it's a Steinway---- it's simply described as a grand, but website has more detail on where/how it was sampled.

There's the "base" piano and then versions you can layer along with various effects and mic samples. The UI and control are rather simple, but there's a lot more to it then how it looks and appears. Tone and sound wise it seems well fitted for classical or maybe specific types/styles of music. Of course, with tuning it could probably work with anything, I just found (with the basic settings) it not sound well with some pieces but sounding perfect with others.

Another observation is the loudness or their lack of. For instance with PG, out of the box, it can make some noise, here I have to adjust the output volume/tweak the curve. That could be because of the more technical wordage (room, spot, etc.) instead of player, audience, etc. But I haven't played that long, just figuring it out...

Overall, I would recommend this piano.


Last edited by Cinjero; 03/29/18 08:28 PM.
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Re: HANS ZIMMER PIANO (spitfire) [Re: Cinjero] #2725239
03/29/18 09:14 PM
03/29/18 09:14 PM
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Interesting, thanks for the review. You're right, there's been very little mention of it here, although I have come across it before. It is indeed a Steinway D, and sounds like one too. I like the demos, but they're often so misleading I barely trust them anymore, so I'm glad to hear this really is a decent sounding instrument. I also like the fact that is has a lot of mic perspectives seemingly: have you had a chance to play around with those yet? Curious to what you can mix and match and how much they can vary the sound. And most importantly of all, how is playability?

Good to know about the slow download, which would be a bit irritating, but I guess it's only once. Aside from that, there are four things that put me off buying this. One is the price; that really is quite steep considering the price of other good piano VSTs. Two is that it uses Kontakt; I don't inherently mind that but every piano Kontakt instrument I've played seems to have the same minor scripting problems which undermine playability and at this point I'm thinking it must be Kontakt that's the problem. Three is that it apparently has no una corda pedal samples, which is pretty shoddy considering the price. I could just about live with or mitigate those three, but apparently (and you can tell me if this is true or not; I'm going by a couple of reviews), it does not support half-pedalling or re-pedalling, which to me is a dealbreaker regardless of anything else. I appreciate most people are not so bothered about that, and that's fair enough, and in that case it could be a great choice. I certainly hope you enjoy it, and let us know what you think after playing it some more.


Broadwood, Yamaha U1; Kawai CA67; Pianoteq Std (D4, K2, Bl├╝thner, 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: HANS ZIMMER PIANO (spitfire) [Re: Cinjero] #2725244
03/29/18 09:37 PM
03/29/18 09:37 PM
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Grazilerimba Offline
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One thing I heard critized about this library is that they didn't sample every note, but only every third or something like that? So most of the notes are just transposed. Also it seems to have a big problem where, if you play a chord or note with the pedal up, and if you then press the pedal down while still holding the keys down, there'll be a rapid decrease in volume. This means that, as you repedal, you can constantly have it that you hear a sudden decrease in volume or resonance. This is not even a decay issue or something, but rather there seems to be a problem with the transition between the pedal up and the pedal down sample during which, for whatever reason, the volume is lowered. Or perhaps the pedal down samples are recorded with lower volume? I also remember reading a thread somewhere in which people reported that they complained to Spitfire about this issue but were told off.
It's a shame really because the sound of this instrument is heavenly. But if you look at the way it is marketed ("This is a big-daddy of a tool, the Bugatti Veyron of virtual instruments, the Concorde of sampleware") it should not have issues like this (also it should have every single note sampled lol).

Last edited by Grazilerimba; 03/29/18 09:38 PM.
Re: HANS ZIMMER PIANO (spitfire) [Re: karvala] #2725247
03/29/18 09:40 PM
03/29/18 09:40 PM
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Posts: 169
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Cinjero Offline OP
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Originally Posted by karvala
Also like the fact that is has a lot of mic perspectives seemingly: have you had a chance to play around with those yet? Curious to what you can mix and match and how much they can vary the sound. And most importantly of all, how is playability?


There are a lot of perspectives. For instance, you load the main patch and then layer individual mics (spot, room, surround, etc.) You can load 1 "style" and then layer mics; almost like building your own piano I suppose.

It's very playable, the library as a whole is large (198gb), but the individual pieces are pretty manageable memory wise.

Originally Posted by karvala
One is the price; that really is quite steep considering the price of other good piano VSTs. Two is that it uses Kontakt; I don't inherently mind that but every piano Kontakt instrument I've played seems to have the same minor scripting problems which undermine playability and at this point I'm thinking it must be Kontakt that's the problem. Three is that it apparently has no una corda pedal samples, which is pretty shoddy considering the price. I could just about live with or mitigate those three, but apparently (and you can tell me if this is true or not; I'm going by a couple of reviews), it does not support half-pedalling or re-pedalling, which to me is a dealbreaker regardless of anything else. I appreciate most people are not so bothered about that, and that's fair enough, and in that case it could be a great choice. I certainly hope you enjoy it, and let us know what you think after playing it some more.


Yes, Kontakt, but you can use the free version. So far there have been no issues, no drops, etc. No pedaling (re, half), no una corda. You have to also understand since this is a Hans piano/project, its main intent is probably production and not style/genre specific. But as I described, it can be tuned to probably any purpose needed.

Yes, the price can be a deterrent, but also as I stated they have sales and I've seen it as low as $329 USD. I think for the price you get great quality either way; 24bit/96.

This is a sample of the mics:
Spot A, Spot B, Spot C, Spot D, Mid A, Mid B, Mid C, Mid D, Tree, Outriggers, Surrounds, Room, Room Alt, Gallery Near, Gallery Far, Bottle

Details of how you could pick and layer:
Hans Zimmer Piano - Full and Bright* (main patch)

(Possible layering)
Hans Zimmer Piano (Alt room)
Hans Zimmer Piano (Bottle)
Hans Zimmer Piano (Far Gallery)
Hans Zimmer Piano (Mid A)
Hans Zimmer Piano (Mid B)
Hans Zimmer Piano (Mid C)
Hans Zimmer Piano (Mid D)
Hans Zimmer Piano (Near Gallery)
Hans Zimmer Piano (Outriggers)
Hans Zimmer Piano (Room)
Hans Zimmer Piano (Spot A)
Hans Zimmer Piano (Spot B)
Hans Zimmer Piano (Spot C)
Hans Zimmer Piano (Spot D)
Hans Zimmer Piano (Surround)
Hans Zimmer Piano (Tree)

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Re: HANS ZIMMER PIANO (spitfire) [Re: Grazilerimba] #2725251
03/29/18 09:50 PM
03/29/18 09:50 PM
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Cinjero Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Grazilerimba
But if you look at the way it is marketed ("This is a big-daddy of a tool, the Bugatti Veyron of virtual instruments, the Concorde of sampleware") it should not have issues like this (also it should have every single note sampled lol).


I've never seen such marketing. Also, it is "versioned" so are the complaints before or after?

As far as peddling; meh, for myself really not a concern. Like I reported to karvala, it's Han's piano---- simply, it may not be for everyone.

I guess I could test how some of that peddling really works.

Re: HANS ZIMMER PIANO (spitfire) [Re: Cinjero] #2725261
03/29/18 11:42 PM
03/29/18 11:42 PM
Joined: Nov 2014
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mcoll Offline
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I was just going to point out that it's intended for production, rather than playing smile
But it's interesting to hear it plays well. Just to keep the talk going, I remember it has 4 layers? Doesn't that feel like it's limited in fortissimo and pianissimo?

Re: HANS ZIMMER PIANO (spitfire) [Re: Cinjero] #2725291
03/30/18 04:40 AM
03/30/18 04:40 AM
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Grazilerimba Offline
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Originally Posted by Cinjero
Originally Posted by Grazilerimba
But if you look at the way it is marketed ("This is a big-daddy of a tool, the Bugatti Veyron of virtual instruments, the Concorde of sampleware") it should not have issues like this (also it should have every single note sampled lol).


I've never seen such marketing. Also, it is "versioned" so are the complaints before or after?


The marketing is on the official site.
https://www.spitfireaudio.com/shop/a-z/hans-zimmer-piano/
Look at the "features" section.

As for the versioning, from what I remember the staff at Spitfire acknowledged the issue but didn't want to fix it, so I don't think the versions matter in this case.

Re: HANS ZIMMER PIANO (spitfire) [Re: Grazilerimba] #2725299
03/30/18 06:27 AM
03/30/18 06:27 AM
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toddy Offline
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Originally Posted by Grazilerimba
Also it seems to have a big problem where, if you play a chord or note with the pedal up, and if you then press the pedal down while still holding the keys down, there'll be a rapid decrease in volume. This means that, as you repedal, you can constantly have it that you hear a sudden decrease in volume or resonance. This is not even a decay issue or something, but rather there seems to be a problem with the transition between the pedal up and the pedal down sample during which, for whatever reason, the volume is lowered. Or perhaps the pedal down samples are recorded with lower volume? I also remember reading a thread somewhere in which people reported that they complained to Spitfire about this issue but were told off.


If this is true, wouldn't this render the piano extremely limited (dare I say 'useless'), especially for Hans Zimmer type production which presumably make great use of pedal techniques? I'd be surprised if this has not been addressed and solved in newer versions or software updates. You wouldn't accept this in a $50 VST nor a budget priced digital piano, so why in a premium priced VST?

And as for being 'told off' by the producers when you mention this problem. Well, I'm speechless.


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49 / Akai EWI

Reaper / Native Instruments K9 ult / ESQL MOR2 Symph Orchestra & Choirs / Lucato & Parravicini , trumpets & saxes / Garritan CFX lite / Production Voices C7 & Steinway D compact

Focusrite Saffire 24 / W7, i7 4770, 16GB / MXL V67g / Yamaha HS7s / HD598
Re: HANS ZIMMER PIANO (spitfire) [Re: Cinjero] #2725368
03/30/18 11:42 AM
03/30/18 11:42 AM
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Cinjero Offline OP
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Peddling results
Half Peddling - True, no effect if the peddle is half or any anything; meaning if the peddle is held down at any rate you get full sustain.

Re-Peddling - True, no effect or function; meaning the sound drops if the peddle is released.

Volume loss if notes held and peddle is released--- True, at variable rates; maybe 25-50%

Other
Using spot mics with Production Grand sound really cool; it adds more richness and volume to the music.

There's a pitch control, kinda cool if you wanted to lower/raise the octave and have your own death piano.

Re: HANS ZIMMER PIANO (spitfire) [Re: Cinjero] #2725372
03/30/18 12:00 PM
03/30/18 12:00 PM
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bsntn99 Offline
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As others have mentioned, this is intended to be a scoring piano, not a solo playable instrument. There are a number of threads on vi-control worth checking out before making a purchase as this is an expensive library. Facts from various sources explaining the size of the libary:

16 mic positions
Whole tone sampled
8 velocity layers
5 round robins

I have a number of Spitfire libraries which are phenomenal. Having said that, they have been leveraging Hans Zimmer's name to charge a premium for these new libraries. Most have not been met with generally positive reviews including the just released Hans Zimmer Strings - see Daniel James youtube review. For myself, I just use Ravenscroft or another piano when I want to include it in a composition and don't really see the need for a high priced piano library like this one. I can always play around with compression, eq, and reverb to get the sound I want.

Re: HANS ZIMMER PIANO (spitfire) [Re: bsntn99] #2725389
03/30/18 01:39 PM
03/30/18 01:39 PM
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toddy Offline
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Originally Posted by bsntn99
I just use Ravenscroft or another piano when I want to include it in a composition and don't really see the need for a high priced piano library like this one. I can always play around with compression, eq, and reverb to get the sound I want.


Yes. What can be the advantage of a piano with a film composer's name attached to it? Anyone who wants to create ambient or special effects can resort to the battalions of DSP devices that you can hardly avoid owning if you've installed a DAW and something like Native Instruments. So this sounds like a bit of a scam.

And in any case, I'm really at a loss to understand why someone using a piano for 'production' wouldn't be bothered about a faulty sustain pedal. If anything, they'd be more reliant on properly functioning professional software, not less.

Last edited by toddy; 03/30/18 03:33 PM.

Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49 / Akai EWI

Reaper / Native Instruments K9 ult / ESQL MOR2 Symph Orchestra & Choirs / Lucato & Parravicini , trumpets & saxes / Garritan CFX lite / Production Voices C7 & Steinway D compact

Focusrite Saffire 24 / W7, i7 4770, 16GB / MXL V67g / Yamaha HS7s / HD598
Re: HANS ZIMMER PIANO (spitfire) [Re: toddy] #2725449
03/30/18 05:37 PM
03/30/18 05:37 PM
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Cinjero Offline OP
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Originally Posted by bsntn99
Yes. What can be the advantage of a piano with a film composer's name attached to it? Anyone who wants to create ambient or special effects can resort to the battalions of DSP devices that you can hardly avoid owning if you've installed a DAW and something like Native Instruments. So this sounds like a bit of a scam.


Scam? So the video where they recording the instrument, set up the mics and, oh yes, showed Mr. Hans playing is all a hoax like the Moon Landing? Okay.

Some people might not be NI fans, so they choose another branch that may incorporate their needs.

But I get confused---- this is the DP forum, not the AP forum; or is it the other way? meh.

Re: HANS ZIMMER PIANO (spitfire) [Re: Cinjero] #2725460
03/30/18 06:44 PM
03/30/18 06:44 PM
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toddy Offline
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Ok, 'scam' was the wrong word to use, sorry. What I meant was,
1. Anyone involved in music production is almost certain to have several effects to achieve the sort of sounds that he and other film composers do, so why would you need a specially branded product? I did not mean at all that Hans Zimmer did not endorse it.
2. The fact that the pedal doesn't work properly isn't good for either piano practice or recording performance. But if the fault has been fixed in a software patch, then of course that's good. If not: v strange.


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49 / Akai EWI

Reaper / Native Instruments K9 ult / ESQL MOR2 Symph Orchestra & Choirs / Lucato & Parravicini , trumpets & saxes / Garritan CFX lite / Production Voices C7 & Steinway D compact

Focusrite Saffire 24 / W7, i7 4770, 16GB / MXL V67g / Yamaha HS7s / HD598
Re: HANS ZIMMER PIANO (spitfire) [Re: Cinjero] #2725535
03/31/18 04:12 AM
03/31/18 04:12 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 6,801
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MacMacMac Offline
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It's strange in one sense, and not strange in another sense.

It's common for a "big name" person to endorse a product.
A gold-medal winning Olympic skier will be hired to endorse skis.
An golf champion will endorse golf clubs and golf balls.
I know nothing about Hans Zimmer. But if he is a "big name" it seems entirely normal for him to attach his name to a product. Not strange at all.

But it is strange to expect me to like a product solely on the basis of the name.
If I buy this Hans Zimmer piano product, does Hans Zimmer come along as part of the sale? NO!
The name on the box shouldn't mean much.

Re: HANS ZIMMER PIANO (spitfire) [Re: MacMacMac] #2725558
03/31/18 07:45 AM
03/31/18 07:45 AM
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toddy Offline
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
It's strange in one sense, and not strange in another sense.
It's common for a "big name" person to endorse a product.
A gold-medal winning Olympic skier will be hired to endorse skis.
An golf champion will endorse golf clubs and golf balls.
I know nothing about Hans Zimmer. But if he is a "big name" it seems entirely normal for him to attach his name to a product. Not strange at all.


But I never said it was strange: celebrity endorsement is a marketing staple and therefore not at all unexpected. The only time I used the word 'strange' was in connection with the fact that the pedal is reported not to work properly, and that the makers, Spitfire, reportedly, 'dont want to fix it' and 'tell people off' for bringing the subject up online.


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49 / Akai EWI

Reaper / Native Instruments K9 ult / ESQL MOR2 Symph Orchestra & Choirs / Lucato & Parravicini , trumpets & saxes / Garritan CFX lite / Production Voices C7 & Steinway D compact

Focusrite Saffire 24 / W7, i7 4770, 16GB / MXL V67g / Yamaha HS7s / HD598
Re: HANS ZIMMER PIANO (spitfire) [Re: Cinjero] #2725601
03/31/18 10:55 AM
03/31/18 10:55 AM
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MacMacMac Offline
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Well, based on what I'm reading I'm not inclined to buy the Zimmer.

But I'm feeling pretty G.A.S.S.Y about the Cinepiano, based on another thread on the board. smile


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