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Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2733844
05/03/18 12:55 PM
05/03/18 12:55 PM
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Yeah, that was an awesome job, very well done (and it does demonstrate how well Garritan performs too). I think the listening experience is so different from the playing experience.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50 || Kawai NV-10, MP11
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Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: TheodorN] #2733845
05/03/18 12:59 PM
05/03/18 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by TheodorN
The introductory price is not bad, $222, about the same as the Garritan CFX, which only has three microphone pairs. The VSL CFX Standard has five pairs.

I'm not getting it though, since I'm not sure it'll bring anything new to the table, that I don't already have in my other piano VSTs. I use this line to cure myself of GAS!


That's not quite accurate. The Garritan CFX can be had for around $150, so somewhat cheaper. There are six individually-adjustable microphone pairs across the three perspectives of the Garritan, and in fact some of those are not just pairs but combinations of two pairs or a pair and a mono. In the Standard Library, the VSL CFX has 10 microphones arranged in five presumably individually adjustable groups (that would need confirmation). The Garritan CFX has 17 microphones in six individually adjustable groups. Per microphone, it's about half the cost of the VSL. Total library size is similar across the two suggesting more sampling layers in the VSL.

Last edited by karvala; 05/03/18 12:59 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
Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2733849
05/03/18 01:14 PM
05/03/18 01:14 PM
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Out of interest I just tried some experiments with my Kawai CA 67

I downloaded and played the midi file

1) Through speakers the CA 67 doesn't sound as rich
2) Through headphones I could not tell the difference between my piano and that you tube video playing through my desktop computer speaker system expect for the fact that the desktop computer speaker system has a woofer, and I could feel the bass.
3) I tried using the computer speakers on the piano, but although the piano has a line out, it requires a two quarter inch jacks to get stereo and I didn't have those. Tried to connect the speakers to the phone socket, but it seemed to easy to produce distortion so that wasn't successful

On my (linux) desktop I have two free piano sound fonts loaded into Musescore - a Kawai Upright and a Yamaha Concert Grand - neither had the richness of the Garritan.

Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2733851
05/03/18 01:22 PM
05/03/18 01:22 PM
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England
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Okay, here's that demo with Vintage D playing Dire Tonic's MIDI file, rendered as 16 bit 44.1kHz wav file...

Vintage D plays from Dire Tonic's MIDI file.wav

I've tried to dial the Vintage D settings to match the tone of VSL CFX, although I've left it dry, no extra added reverb.
I think the VSL CFX has more obvious "bite" in the upper note range (like most Yamaha pianos) whereas the Vintage D, which was recorded with Neumann U47 valve mic etc. is a sweeter and softer, less aggressive sound in the same range, ie. F4 to C6 approx, even played fff in that range - compared to the CFX's tone. I think the bass range is comparable, once Vintage D has been given a little bass EQ boost, because out of the box, the factory default is a shade on the thin side.

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Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2733856
05/03/18 01:35 PM
05/03/18 01:35 PM
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The Netherlands
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Thanks to all who took the time to answer my SSD questions !!!
Question about the new VSL piano....it doesn't work as a stand alone...does it ?
You have to also buy vienna ensemble pro standalone...is this true ?

Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: pianistje] #2733857
05/03/18 01:56 PM
05/03/18 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by pianistje
Thanks to all who took the time to answer my SSD questions !!!
Question about the new VSL piano....it doesn't work as a stand alone...does it ?
You have to also buy vienna ensemble pro standalone...is this true ?


No standalone, but piano will be working via vst plugin in any host.

Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: pianistje] #2733865
05/03/18 02:28 PM
05/03/18 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by pianistje
You have to also buy vienna ensemble pro standalone...is this true ?

You do also have to buy Vienna Key USB dongle for €24.

Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2733877
05/03/18 03:02 PM
05/03/18 03:02 PM
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France
Frédéric L Online content
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There is a Player preset, but the website doesn’t tell if it blends Close1 and Close2 perspectives (and needs the full version), or if it will use only the perspectives from the standard version.


Yamaha CLP150, Bechstein Digital Grand, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, EWQL Pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq
Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: Frédéric L] #2733888
05/03/18 03:39 PM
05/03/18 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Frédéric L
There is a Player preset, but the website doesn’t tell if it blends Close1 and Close2 perspectives (and needs the full version), or if it will use only the perspectives from the standard version.

I also want that to know, seems to me that player and close 2 sounds the best and it will be sad that only full version have it. I hope that player perspective is also a part of standard library. I am very close to go for standard library first, so will see.

Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2733900
05/03/18 04:23 PM
05/03/18 04:23 PM
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Thank you for correcting me, karvala, was in a bit of a hurry, and absent-minded when posting my last comment, so I wasn't altogether accurate.

Just to recap, here's what the Garritan CFX manual which comes on paper, says about this. Not many piano samples makers who post printed manuals or brochures, in this digital day and age. I like the packages in which the Garritan CFX arrives to the buyer. Of course, that doesn't say much about the contains of the product, but it contributes to a nice buyer's experience.

MICROPHONE PERSPECTIVE: CLASSIC

CLOSE – NEUMANN M49 (2) AND NEUMANN KM184 (2) MICROPHONES:
MID FIELD/WIDE – DPA 4006 MICROPHONES (2):
MAIN – NEUMANN TLM50 MICROPHONES (2):

MICROPHONE PERSPECTIVE: CONTEMPORARY

CLOSE – AKG C12 & D19 MICROPHONES:
AMBIENCE – SCHOEPS MK 2H MICROPHONES:

MICROPHONE PERSPECTIVE: PLAYER

CLOSE – NEUMANN KM84 MICROPHONES (2):
PLAYER - NEUMANN KU100 DUMMY HEAD:


Since you can only use one perspective, at a time, the truth is, you can't have more than four microphone pairs sounding at the same time, as in the case of the Classic perspective. You can't choose between individual pairs, only between the two close pairs or two ambient pairs, or all four pairs together.

For Contemporary it's two pairs plus a mono microphone, and two pairs in Player. So three pairs wasn't very far from the truth, in average, at least. cool The same grouping into close and ambient, as for the Classic perspective, applies to Contemporary, and Player.

The above limitation can be avoided by opening up two or three instances of the Garritan CFX in a DAW. Then you can have all 17 microphones sounding. I wonder what that would do to my CPU, but maybe it's fine if I would be using the compact version in all the instances. Might be worth a try, never thought of that before.


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.
Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2733902
05/03/18 04:27 PM
05/03/18 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by slobajudge
No standalone, but piano will be working via vst plugin in any host.

$500 for a virtual instrument, and they can't even include a player with it. shocked

Last edited by TheodorN; 05/03/18 04:28 PM.

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.
Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: TheodorN] #2733908
05/03/18 04:42 PM
05/03/18 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by TheodorN
The above limitation can be avoided by opening up two or three instances of the Garritan CFX in a DAW. Then you can have all 17 microphones sounding. I wonder what that would do to my CPU, but maybe it's fine if I would be using the compact version in all the instances. Might be worth a try, never thought of that before.


I've run two instances of Garritan CFX Full on my mid-range laptop quite a few times (without a DAW) and it ran the same as it ran with one instance. I'm pretty sure I tried running three instances when I was mixing and matching mic positions. The memory leak and other minor glitches don't seem cumulative. Naturally, adding more mics adds more noise (there is a recent posting by Karvala on the noise).

After all that expermenting, these days I only use the default (Full), with settings essentially unchanged from the factory. So all the extra mic positions are superfluous.

Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2733919
05/03/18 05:37 PM
05/03/18 05:37 PM
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After reading pretty everything on the VSL website about the new CFX, I'm really surprised of how little information I could find that could help me take an informed decision.
Am I supposed to pay all that money with only such a small sample set, and not even a very good one: they are all very fast pieces, very short, in different perspectives with no indication of which one they are using.
How can I decide whether to buy full or standard if I have no idea how the various microphone perspectives sound like? Close1 ($800 mic) vs Close2 ($ 5000 ribbon mic)? Well, I have no idea.
What are the capabilities of the instrument interface? Very little can be gleaned from the site.

I think a good starting point would be:
1) samples for each microphone position with a classical slow singing piece, a jazz piece and a pop piano piece - at the very least - it's not that difficult - so that I can have an idea how I can put each one to use.
2) have a complete description of the capabilities of the software: can I edit what and how? historical tunings? reverb examples? etc.
3) the possibility to upload a MIDI file and generate renderings while I modify in some way the interface of the full edition online (dream on...) - even for a fee

As it stands now, the VSL CFX site is barely a bit more than a marketing brochure, and I have to conclude they don't want me to take an informed decision.
It's a pity, really - I'm willing to buy, but I don't like to gamble anymore with so many libraries gathering dust on the shelf at home.

Last edited by Erard; 05/03/18 05:42 PM.

Yamaha C3M - Yamaha AvantGrand N1 - VSL CFX - Garritan CFX - Pianoteq Pro - American Concert D - Ravenscroft 275
PC -> Sonarworks Reference 4 -> RME Babyface Pro -> Schiit Yggdrasil -> Schiit Jotunheim -> Sennheiser HD650 & HD800
Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2733934
05/03/18 06:53 PM
05/03/18 06:53 PM
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^ Very well said; I completely agree. It's bad enough that there is no playable demo, but to not even give adequate sound samples, and for some mic perspectives no sound samples at all, while demanding hundreds of Euros and refusing all refunds, is showing contempt for their customers. VST makers need to realise it's not enough for them to think that their product is good, and nor is it enough for them to just tell people it's good and produce a glossy brochure and videos of sales people talking about what marvellous features it has.

From my point of view, if someone is confident in their product, they will allow me to demo it, either with a limited demo or via a refund and disabling a licence code if I buy it but don't like it. If they're not willing to do either, i.e. if they want me to permanently and irreversibly hand over money before I'm allowed to try the product, then they must have something to hide.


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: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2733935
05/03/18 06:53 PM
05/03/18 06:53 PM
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Alright I took the plunge and bought the standard edition, here are my first impressions:

Overall, it is a good instrument, and for the price, the standard edition provides a lot more value than some of the instruments that came out in the past few months in the same price range.

The bass is very powerful and rich, a joy to play. Probably the most powerful bass I have heard in a piano VST. But the upper octaves are weak in comparison to the bass. They sound flat to me, or liveless, don't have enough punch. Compare that to the Garritan CFX: the bass is not as rich as VSL's but still rich enough for my taste, on the other hand the upper octaves have clarity and presence. This might just be the difference in the actual instruments though. I watched one of the Abbey Road videos in which they talked about the purchase of their CFX, and they said that they spent a lot of time choosing the right model, and that the evenness of the sound played a role in their decision, and they praised the upper parts of their instrument explicitly.

Several things bother me though: First of all, there doesn't seem to be a velocity curve. Every single piano VST I bought in the last few years had a velocity curve editor. But here, they seemingly only provide a 'midi sensitivity' setting which is a linear setting, the same as in the Vienna Imperial. That's so 2005, man.

It suffers from the same flaws as the Vienna Imperial: Some notes stick out in a bad way, in several ways.
There are notes that stick out as being too sharp (a3, b flat 3, g sharp 4, g 5, g sharp 5). Some notes feel as if they are too metallic (b flat 1, d 2, g 4). I found one that feels too weak or soft (d 1). And yes, I already found a note that's out of tune (d 5), although not as badly as Vienna Imperial's bad notes. It's weird because at first the note seems ok, but if you start playing the note quietly and increase the volume and velocity, eventually the higher velocities will be slightly out of tune. All of this is not as bad as it was in the Vienna Imperial though, so I consider that good progress. But it's still something I notice while playing and that forces me to adapt.

Some notes have a weird issue where the release samples sound bad. It says on their site they use many different release samples. According to how fast you hit the note, how long you hold it, and how quickly you release it, there will be different samples. So some of those sound worse on specific notes than on other notes (a 3, g 4). I think I was able to trigger the same release sample, at least it sounds similar between the notes, and I can tell that something is wrong with the samples of those two notes. The release is not clean, but rather it dissipates downward so at the end of the sound, there's a tiny little bit of sound that is below the actual note. Weird to describe. Like cutting a cake and the knife pushes some of the cream on the top to the side.

In my opinion, only the player preset is really usable. The rest is either too soft, too harsh, or has really weird ambience. The concert presets seem like they're mostly for scoring or for use in orchestral works. The sound is panned and there is a WHOLE lot of unhealthy reverb. The player perspective though is really nice. Feels close, but still has some reverb, gives a nice feeling of being in a room.

Someone asked about the mic settings. It seems like you can select all mic presets in the standard versions, and they do load, but it will only load the microphones that you have in the standard edition. If a preset requires a microphone that you don't have, it will be greyed out, but it looks like the preset can still be loaded by using only the microphones you have, thus giving you an incomplete but usable preset load, if I'm not wrong.

I can see how people who really know what they are doing might be able to tweak this instrument and make it very playable. Perhaps the note editor can be used to tweak the sharp, weak or metallic notes. Why do the end users have to do this though, why was this not fixed before the release? Why go through all the trouble and have the standard of creating an impeccable piano and then ship it out with such problems?

Overall, I would say that this is still a good instrument, especially for the price of the standard edition. It has soul to it, but it has a whole lot of flaws, too. And that's just what I could find after an hour of casual playing, there's probably more to come. Feels like this could have used some more work. After playing this for an hour, I loaded up Garritan's CFX and instantly appreciated the evenness, but also missed the clean and powerful bass. The ambience feels a lot more natural to me than the Synchron Stage though, but there is also something about VSL's player preset that gives some clarity that I don't feel in Garritan's CFX.

I'm curious what others will have to say. I'm not an engineer and can't judge the technical side of it too much. Overall my opinion is, if you can throw money out of the window for some of the Kontakt instruments that came out in the past few months, there's no reason not to buy this. But if you're happy with Garritan's CFX, I'd say, this is not a must buy. Looking forward to hearing other people's opinions. I'll keep testing it over the weekend and if something interesting pops up I'll keep posting here.

Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2733937
05/03/18 07:15 PM
05/03/18 07:15 PM
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Thanks for review, I think that if player preset work and sounds good like most of us hear from demos and you also said that, then it is worth to buy. As we hear from demos also, close 2 mic position in full library sounds also excellent, but I dont know is it worth to go with almost double the price for one mic position more. Anyway, VSL confirm they work to improve and fix some bugs, its a good idea to tell them your opinion about bugs you discover.

Last edited by slobajudge; 05/03/18 07:18 PM.
Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: dire tonic] #2733939
05/03/18 07:49 PM
05/03/18 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by dire tonic
A new sample library, what could be gassier?

I was curious about this so have sorted out a rough demo of the Garritan CFX playing the above posted clip of its VSL counterpart. Does anyone know what this piece is?



I don't know you guys, but comparing the two clips, from 0:27 onwards, I can hear some more detail and warmth in the VSL, all in all it sounded a bit better. I am happy to be suprised, considering that the Garritan was the one to beat.

Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2733947
05/03/18 08:34 PM
05/03/18 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Grazilerimba
The release is not clean, but rather it dissipates downward so at the end of the sound, there's a tiny little bit of sound that is below the actual note. Weird to describe. Like cutting a cake and the knife pushes some of the cream on the top to the side.


Originally Posted by Grazilerimba
The sound is panned and there is a WHOLE lot of unhealthy reverb.


Such visual descriptions. Well narrated.

Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: Grazilerimba] #2733997
05/04/18 03:54 AM
05/04/18 03:54 AM
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Erard Offline
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Thank you Grazilerimba - great first-contact review!

Originally Posted by Grazilerimba

It suffers from the same flaws as the Vienna Imperial: Some notes stick out in a bad way, in several ways.
There are notes that stick out as being too sharp (a3, b flat 3, g sharp 4, g 5, g sharp 5). Some notes feel as if they are too metallic (b flat 1, d 2, g 4). I found one that feels too weak or soft (d 1). And yes, I already found a note that's out of tune (d 5), although not as badly as Vienna Imperial's bad notes. It's weird because at first the note seems ok, but if you start playing the note quietly and increase the volume and velocity, eventually the higher velocities will be slightly out of tune. All of this is not as bad as it was in the Vienna Imperial though, so I consider that good progress. But it's still something I notice while playing and that forces me to adapt.


I bought the Vienna Imperial some time ago, played it a few times. Very uneven. I was lucky I could sell it.
Sounds like this CFX it's better, but it suffers from the same problems.
I believe you can correct every single note independently (you could on the Vienna Imperial, volume and frequency response), very powerful feature indeed, although it's a lot of work to compensate a note on all velocities with good results.
But - notes out of tune depending on the velocity triggered? It's hard to believe for such an expensive package, as there is no way to correct that.
I pass for now - maybe in the future if it's on sale for a good price.
I start to think the Garritan CFX is kind of a miracle - the only one sampled piano I enjoy playing each and every time...


Yamaha C3M - Yamaha AvantGrand N1 - VSL CFX - Garritan CFX - Pianoteq Pro - American Concert D - Ravenscroft 275
PC -> Sonarworks Reference 4 -> RME Babyface Pro -> Schiit Yggdrasil -> Schiit Jotunheim -> Sennheiser HD650 & HD800
Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: Grazilerimba] #2734007
05/04/18 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Grazilerimba
(snip - nice review!)


Thanks for the terrific review; it's very helpful to know both the good and the bad. Two basic questions:-

1. Are you limited to their presets, or can you choose any combination of available microphones yourself?

2. How is playability compared to the Garritan CFX and other VSTs? Is possible to play very softly, for instance?


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: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: Erard] #2734008
05/04/18 05:44 AM
05/04/18 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Erard

I start to think the Garritan CFX is kind of a miracle - the only one sampled piano I enjoy playing each and every time...


Yeah, the Garritan CFX does seem to do things surprisingly well. It seems that producing a really good piano VST is a lot harder than people think. In the Garritan CFX you have an unusually good acoustic instrument in an unusually good room, sampled in an unusual but highly effective way (i.e. with all the room resonance bundled), and with some really intelligent design decisions (e.g. separate sustain samples that be turned on or off; separate una corda samples that can be selected; different perspectives with multiple pairs of well-chosen close and ambient mics that can be individually adjusted and individually EQd; a very high dynamic range; proper pedal support). It's not flawless (the noise floor is rather high which can bother some people, and the switched stereo in the Player ambient mic is eccentric and ought to be customisable at least), but it's a lot closer to perfection than any other piano VST I've come across yet.


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: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2734010
05/04/18 06:06 AM
05/04/18 06:06 AM
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Erard Offline
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@Karvala - Exactly.
I would add that every note in Garritan CFX has been triggered by a human, and the actual virtual instrument has been created later using intelligently the raw material recorded, if I understand correctly the description on the Garritan website.
As opposed to recording precisely each velocity mechanically and selling it (more or less) as is with seemingly very little post production.
I like the first approach better.


Yamaha C3M - Yamaha AvantGrand N1 - VSL CFX - Garritan CFX - Pianoteq Pro - American Concert D - Ravenscroft 275
PC -> Sonarworks Reference 4 -> RME Babyface Pro -> Schiit Yggdrasil -> Schiit Jotunheim -> Sennheiser HD650 & HD800
Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: Erard] #2734013
05/04/18 06:41 AM
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slobajudge Online content OP
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Originally Posted by Erard

I bought the Vienna Imperial some time ago, played it a few times. Very uneven. I was lucky I could sell it.

Very uneven ? Its not. Maybe you are sensitive too much.

Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2734022
05/04/18 07:46 AM
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Re Garritan CFX, i find it very strange that i seem to "connect" to the piano when playing all the presets in the audience perspective ("default" presets) and not the performer perspective. I even decided to record in real time with the audience mode.

Maybe because the audience is more easy on the ear? Who knows. Baffled.

Last edited by tdwctdwc; 05/04/18 07:49 AM.
Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: Erard] #2734025
05/04/18 08:06 AM
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gmaster Offline
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Originally Posted by slobajudge
Originally Posted by Erard

I bought the Vienna Imperial some time ago, played it a few times. Very uneven. I was lucky I could sell it.

Very uneven ? Its not. Maybe you are sensitive too much.

I agree, It may have tuning problems but it is even. It is more sensitive due to high number of layers. Which makes it enjoyable piano for classical music. Except the fact that it does not have half pedaling and repedalling support, it is very playable for live performances as well.

Originally Posted by Erard
@Karvala - Exactly.
I would add that every note in Garritan CFX has been triggered by a human, and the actual virtual instrument has been created later using intelligently the raw material recorded, if I understand correctly the description on the Garritan website.
As opposed to recording precisely each velocity mechanically and selling it (more or less) as is with seemingly very little post production.
I like the first approach better.

I disagree with this. First option may provide more consistency, however it can also diminish real piano feeling. To my ears, Garritan CFX sounds much sweet, especially on timbre, however also it sounds more digital, pianoteq-like than real compared to VSL. In addition VSL has probably about 60 layers minimum, so I suspect volume differences between different keys can be very large.

We need to wait for more demos from VSL. At the same time, if those who buy VSL and other Garritan owners may share their recordings using same midi file can be helpful.

Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2734030
05/04/18 08:23 AM
05/04/18 08:23 AM
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Erard Offline
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Originally Posted by slobajudge
Originally Posted by Erard

I bought the Vienna Imperial some time ago, played it a few times. Very uneven. I was lucky I could sell it.

Very uneven ? Its not. Maybe you are sensitive too much.

Maybe I am, but it's definitely more uneven than Garritan CFX - or even my Yamaha C3.
YMMV, of course.


Yamaha C3M - Yamaha AvantGrand N1 - VSL CFX - Garritan CFX - Pianoteq Pro - American Concert D - Ravenscroft 275
PC -> Sonarworks Reference 4 -> RME Babyface Pro -> Schiit Yggdrasil -> Schiit Jotunheim -> Sennheiser HD650 & HD800
Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: gmaster] #2734044
05/04/18 09:00 AM
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Erard Offline
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Originally Posted by gmaster
Originally Posted by Erard
@Karvala - Exactly.
I would add that every note in Garritan CFX has been triggered by a human, and the actual virtual instrument has been created later using intelligently the raw material recorded, if I understand correctly the description on the Garritan website.
As opposed to recording precisely each velocity mechanically and selling it (more or less) as is with seemingly very little post production.
I like the first approach better.

I disagree with this. First option may provide more consistency, however it can also diminish real piano feeling.


True. Still, I much prefer the result with the first option, and with Garritan CFX, for whatever reason - I think it strikes a good balance between evenness, realness of tone, response to touch.
VSL CFX does sound slightly more real - at least on the bass - that's why I feel disappointed to hear about notes sticking out.

I know that in spite of everything, I'm going to get a copy at some point and work with note edit - just trying to resist at the moment...


Yamaha C3M - Yamaha AvantGrand N1 - VSL CFX - Garritan CFX - Pianoteq Pro - American Concert D - Ravenscroft 275
PC -> Sonarworks Reference 4 -> RME Babyface Pro -> Schiit Yggdrasil -> Schiit Jotunheim -> Sennheiser HD650 & HD800
Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2734054
05/04/18 09:58 AM
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Hi, I'm happy that my impressions were userful to you, I'm very curious about the opinions of the more technically versed users.

I'd like to agree with Erard, I also found the Vienna Imperial very uneven. I spent too much time on the note editor and still couldn't get a really good result, even though I could improve its playability a whole lot. But I would definitely disagree with it being 'even' in its factory default state. As for the note editor, my problem is that as someone who doesn't know much about frequencies and EQs, I have no idea what to do to compensate for a particular shortcoming of any given note. They should have done that themselves before releasing it.

@karvala
You can choose any combination of mics. I haven't tried saving presets but there is a menu about presets. You might have to load one of the big presets first in order to configure it, but perhaps that is not true. But I was definitely able to add or mute microphones to existing presets, it'll load the samples and then you can use the volume slider. Now for the playability, I don't know enough yet because I haven't found a good velocity config yet. I messed around with it and found a somewhat ok setting, and even with that, it feels very playable and responsive. It really feels like touching an instrument, in the sense that the keys of my digital piano suddenly feel like they have 'weight', and that my hands feel different while playing it. That's something that so far only American Concert D, Garritan CFX and Vienna Imperial have given me, so my first impression is good as far as that is concerned. But the uneven notes and irregularities of the release samples are very distracting to me, which is why I am curious what you and the others will have to say about it, because I might be a bit one the 'very sensitive' side here.

I definitely agree on the playability of the Garritan CFX being great, especially considering it was sampled using a real pianist. How the keys can be so even is indeed a miracle. I think Karvala is right, they did a lot of good decisions and had a great instrument in a great location to work with. That's why I am very interested in more pianos from them, and why I'm so bummed out I can't buy the Authorized Steinway anymore, because I'd want to see how that one feels and sounds like, even though it is almost ten years old now. In this context, does anyone have thoughts on the Bechstein Digital? They used a robot to sample it and it feels very even as well, unfortunately the sound doesn't satisfy me, not the sound of the piano but rather how the recordings of the microphones sound like.

Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: Grazilerimba] #2734071
05/04/18 11:31 AM
05/04/18 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Grazilerimba
In this context, does anyone have thoughts on the Bechstein Digital? They used a robot to sample it and it feels very even as well, unfortunately the sound doesn't satisfy me, not the sound of the piano but rather how the recordings of the microphones sound like.

They let you demo for 30 days and get your money back if you do not like. I tried the demo and found a few issues. The velocity curve was a bit steppy. What I mean is that there a bit of a volume drop, very slight, with each change in velocity layer, but it then catches up and surpasses the previous layer. Note to note timbre varied too much for my taste with some notes sticking out. All in all, I felt like it was fighting me the whole time. The string-eq function is a cpu hog, the most I've seen of any piano vst, and I couldn't run it on an i7 4 GHz system without dropouts. Had to leave it off. The sound did not really gel with me either. In the end I took the refund and moved on. Wish VSL and others had a policy like this!

As far as Garritan CFX, sampling techniques, and what I said before, I think you only need 20 or so well sampled layers and above this just bloats the library, but sounds nice on the marketing brochure. The use of a robot means you may get a better distribution of samples from pp to ff versus a human unless the human is well trained, typically a classically trained pianist is best. Sampling at these levels takes many weeks in the studio, 8 hours a day, constantly banging the keys. Humans get fatigued unless they can trade off or can take it slower. In the end a robot, cannot hear and make the judgments (at least not yet) that a human can. You still need a person with a good, well trained ear to align note to note layers and know when to exclude certain samples.

In all libraries, samples are normalized to the same volume level. The engine scales volume with velocity so you do not have to build this into the samples. The reason Garritan CFX sounds so smooth, in addition to the piano being well set up and evenly sampled, is somewhat because they blended mics for the close position, but mostly because Jeff did an amazingly detailed job in the programming. He put in custom volume and envelope shaping as well as eq adjustments for each group of samples and in some cases individual samples. Note they did screw up on on sample around D4 and had to throw it out. So in reality there are only 87 notes sampled and not 88. The pedaling was also well scripted which is something you need to really understand from a players perspective.

VSL is more focused on serving the score composing audience as they are offering this library along with others available and to be released recorded on their Synchron stage. These are intended to be used together and the mic placements set up to facilitate blending these libraries together; thus you will see a lot of mono, off center, and heavily ambient mics. Offering this as a performance tool for the hobbyest or professional player is a second priority. It will be a happy accident if this does indeed set a new benchmark for playabiltiy.

Last edited by bsntn99; 05/04/18 12:08 PM.
Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: Grazilerimba] #2734077
05/04/18 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Grazilerimba

[regarding Garritan] That's why I am very interested in more pianos from them, and why I'm so bummed out I can't buy the Authorized Steinway anymore, because I'd want to see how that one feels and sounds like, even though it is almost ten years old now.

You might be interested in the Steinway patches in Garritan Personal Orchestra 5. The pianos are one part of a much larger orchestral library, so it's hard to say whether it would be worthwhile to you or not. Still, I could make a good case that the Concert D patch improves upon the Garritan Authorized Steinway (GAS), since it has sustain pedal samples (not present in GAS Full or Basic versions) and release samples (not present in GAS Basic version), and perhaps more importantly it uses the same basic process I'd developed from projects that came after GAS, such as CFX. Off the top of my head, I recall using about 10 velocity layers for the Concert D patch. It should have similar evenness to the CFX, but overall it's not going to be on the level of CFX. There's also a B and a soft-pedal-only patch called Intimate D that I added for GPO5. None of these patches provide velocity curve or partial/re-pedaling.

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