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Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2734078
05/04/18 12:15 PM
05/04/18 12:15 PM
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Hi Grazilerimba,
Thanks for writing your detailed impressions / review here. Thank you. Interested to know what you think.

I'm surprised VSL haven't thoroughly checked enough beforehand for out-of-tune samples and uneven notes that "stick out" as too loud or too soft. That's pretty bad quality control, in what is otherwise a classy, very expensive product. A shame.
I'm sure if you contact VSL by email and give them details of your findings and explain issues with specific notes, they'd be quicker to respond in getting an update to fix that.

Meanwhile, if it's possible to use their NOTE EDITOR facility to adjust "volume" and "dynamic range" per key individually, you might be able to tame some of those "sticking out" loud notes or quiet notes....?

[Linked Image]

I don't have any more information about this other than what I can see in screenshot above, but it looks like you can. (This is a nice feature. Glad they've included it. A bit like Pianoteq Pro and Bechstein Digital also include these clever 88 note editors a bit like a graphic EQ layout for the settings per key)

Although, I'd imagine things might get tricky if there's unevenness within the key response itself - rather than basic overall "global" volume of one key - but rather some awkward velocity layer steps within that key - eg. if one key plays okay at fff, ff, f, mf, m, mp, but feels too loud when you're trying to play p, pp, or ppp, then it's not simply a case of turning that key's whole volume in the note editor, because even it it succeeds in quietening the p ranges for that key, it would be turning down the f ranges as well - which were maybe okay before - so that key still won't feel right afterwards. It's just moving the problem elsewhere.
You could try increasing the "dynamic range" while compensating with the "volume" to try applying some ballpark "downwards expansion" (like an expander / gate's gain law - the opposite of compression really) to push the quiet levels even quieter without shifting the average volume down too much, but that will probably also exaggerate the top fff levels higher too if you're balancing to the average middle of the note velocity ranges.
With a lot of fiddling and A/B comparison you might be able to find a compromise that you prefer to the factory default, but it's an miserable job to have to do for so many bad keys.

Likewise, if the NOTE EDITOR does allow you to add EQ per note (I don't know if that's true) then softening some bright notes or brightening any dull notes might be possible too - but again, it's probably each key's velocity curve rather than the "global" EQ per key that needs tweaking. In any case, that's still a job VSL should have sorted already.

Does VSL CFX include any kind of advanced sample key map editor in the settings / menus / GUI, like you can find in Kontakt (full version) where user can move the velocity layer thresholds manually and re-voice each note? That's what you need to look for.

I've looked on VSL's website but there's no info about it, and no downloadable PDF manual for CFX. Unless you're already a customer then you have to log in to access your downloads. But I'm not.
So maybe if you actually have the PDF manual for VSL CFX somewhere, you could perhaps upload it please(?) and provide a weblink so everybody here could also take a look and read manual and learn what the software can and cannot do in detail. We'd also be more likely to come up with informed advice how to best adjust advanced settings and fix those bad notes.

Out of interest, when you purchased it from VSL, was there anything at all mentioned in the EULA about refunds? Or your consumer rights to 14 day refund for online purchases?
AFAIK that law does apply even to software, but only if you've bought software and haven't downloaded it yet (which is unlikely!!!) then you can supposedly change your mind about purchase within 14 days and request a refund. But once you've downloaded the software, you are past the point of no return. In any event, VSL's rules for their products and their EULA and your consumer rights ought to have been outlined to you from VSL in whatever agreement they made you click to agree before installing it.

Originally Posted by Grazilerimba
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.

I have the Garritan Authorised Steinway Pro edition. If you'd like me to render a MIDI file for you with Authorised Steinway so you can compare something directly to CFX, I don't mind.
It's certainly not my favourite software Steinway, but is quite good for classical works if you like a more distant-miked, ambient acoustic hall type sound, but it doesn't offer the kind of close, clean, detailed, intimate, lifelike sound I like from a piano. There are 5 mic perspectives (Under the lid / Player / Close / Side Stage / Classic) but they're all similar in being too distant sounding. Even the player perspective sounds almost like a room mic! The under the lid mics are perhaps the most close "up front" sounding, but even they too have rather thin, anemic sound, lacking deep bass energy. It sounds okay when you're playing some appropriate dreamy Debussy or soft, gentle classical stuff in the middle of the keyboard - sounds a lot like most classical recordings sound - lots of distance and space in the sound, off-axis mic colouration, etc. Perfectly fine if you're the audience listener, but if you're the actual pianist, it leaves you wanting more direct sound, I think. You can use another library to mimic that kind of sound by cutting some bass, dulling the treble, reducing dynamic range, adding lots of reverb, turning up the release samples, etc. and mimic the "sound" of the G.A.S. library, but you can't go the other way and adjust G.A.S. to sound clean, dry and snappy like Ravenscroft. It isn't as versatile as an all-rounder for a pianist, but if you need the more distant mic setup character of classical piano recital hall music it's a good match.
The best demo online is probably this YouTube video.

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Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: Grazilerimba] #2734083
05/04/18 12:42 PM
05/04/18 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Grazilerimba

@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.


Thanks, that's very helpful to know. Might be tempted at some point, but right now their marketing strategy is actively putting me off.

Originally Posted by Grazilerimba

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.


I have the Bechstein Digital Grand (their marketing strategy positively enticed me - 30-day money back guarantee AND 50% academic discount). I think it's an interesting instrument; quite different to most others that I have. In some ways it's a complement to the CFX; whereas that is ideal for C19th romantic repertoire, that Bechstein is fairly poor at that. By contrast, for both early and late C18th music (e.g. Bach and Mozart) I find it works quite well. It's very much about the individual note rather than a blended sound; quite a square attack on each tone. I like the range of sound customisation options it offers, including the ability to manipulate four EQ parameters on a note-by-note basis (per-note editing is definitely a positive in the VSL CFX to me), the global warmth control, the sound stage dial (an interesting alternative to the usual room reverb) and the sample-bases aura which works well with more distant sound stage (though I think the algorithmic aura sounds pretty bad). It always sounds like a Bechstein, but you can shape the sound a surprising amount without it becoming hopelessly unrealistic which tends to happen in other instruments.

So there are definitely some positives for me, and in a limited range of repertoire I can make use of it. There are also some major downsides. The resource demands are absurd; I usually run top and side mics only and resource considerations are part of that (I'm not wild about the sound of the room mic either). The unforgiving note attack makes it quite low on playability to me - playing it feels more like a discipline than a pleasure. The dynamic range is surprisingly and disappointingly limited even turned up to max. There is a lack of repedal and partial pedal support in spite of the documentation (this has been confirmed by them; they tell me there is a sort of small partial pedal effect in there, but it's so small I can't really detect it). Finally, it has VERY poor sustain from the mid-range up, which at a stroke would wipe out a lot of potential repertoire. To an extent it might be argued that this is a characteristic of an acoustic Bechstein, but nothing like to this extent. It's almost like someone forgot to include the release samples.

Overall, I'd say it's alright in some ways, and if you're into C18th repertoire you could do a lot worse, but it's limitations are quite severe and above all, to me it's fundamentally not an enjoyable instrument to play.


Last edited by karvala; 05/04/18 12:45 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] #2734105
05/04/18 02:02 PM
05/04/18 02:02 PM
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Italy
Erard Offline
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Another rendering - again with Garritan CFX - three mic perspectives, at different levels, mixed together:

waveFile


Yamaha C3M - Kawai Novus - VSL CFX - Garritan CFX - Pianoteq Pro - American Concert D - Ravenscroft 275
PC -> Sonarworks Reference 4 -> RME Babyface Pro -> Schiit Yggdrasil + Jotunheim -> Sennheiser HD650 & HD800
Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2734127
05/04/18 03:57 PM
05/04/18 03:57 PM
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Wow what a great topic this is....!!.

It was very helpfull to read that the VSL CFX in comparison with the Garritan CFX had a more powerfull bass ,but a less convincing and musical discant.
That is enough for me to dismiss it, because for the music i play and compose the melody registers are the main focus and i like a modest bass far more than a dominant thunderous sounding bass register that i have to cut to make it work for my purposes.
The main reason i dislike the Ravenscroft,...thunderous bass, slightly cold and digital sounding melody and upper octaves.
Sonic Couture Hammersmith has a very thin sounding high end too.

I am in love with my CinePiano , because it has nailed those warm and fat melody notes, so desperately missing in most libraries.
Thanks to all of you for helping me saving good money !
I will spend it on the Joshua Bell violin vst that i'm lurking after for some time now, but quite expensive....




Last edited by pianistje; 05/04/18 03:58 PM.
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Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2734129
05/04/18 04:14 PM
05/04/18 04:14 PM
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Yes, a very helpful topic, a must-read for all considering the VSL CFX. Would be great if members of GearSlutz, KVRAudio, VI-Control and other forums, would share the link to this topic.

Regarding CinePiano, I'd be interested in knowing how it matches up to Piano in Blue. Been eyeing that one for some time now. I'd guess it's an improvement, but given the history behind the piano sampled for Piano in Blue, it's very appealing, despite of any potential playability flaws.


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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] #2734132
05/04/18 04:39 PM
05/04/18 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by TheodorN
Yes, a very helpful topic, a must-read for all considering the VSL CFX. Would be great if members of GearSlutz, KVRAudio, VI-Control and other forums, would share the link to this topic.

VI-Control has discussed the VSL CFX extensively, but no where near as helpfull as this topic for me.
But VI-Control is where the best string library discussions of the www take place....unmatched
Quote

Regarding CinePiano, I'd be interested in knowing how it matches up to Piano in Blue. Been eyeing that one for some time now. I'd guess it's an improvement, but given the history behind the piano sampled for Piano in Blue, it's very appealing, despite of any potential playability flaws.

I don't have Piano in Blue for the many flaws it had playabilty wise....of course based on secondary info..always hard to judge this way as i found out with some of the libraries i bought.
Together with the Garritan CFX the CinePiano has no weak registers, properly tuned and allows for quite drastic sound sculpting without getting lost in to many mic options.
The bass notes in the CinePiano have o so slightly abrupt velocity switching, but for some reason i don't mind adjusting my technique accordingly.
As a professional pianotuner/technician and semi-pro pianist i have encountered many different piano's i lost count.
Funny thing is that some pianists in the secondary bracket (not absolute worldclass), sometimes complain about why pedals work the way they do on a specific grand piano.
To loose, stiff or shallow.....and the same goes for slightly different regulation of course.....
It seems few of them have a hard time correcting their playing style on the fly when the grand piano differs from their idea of an ideal grand piano.
I am more of a person that takes an instrument as it is and make the best of it.....but then again i don't have to pull off some extremely difficult classical repertoir in front of a demanding audience.

However when buying vst's i don't have to deal with what i do not like and for me sound surpasses minor playabilty issues,...easier for me to adjust my playing style than getting used to something i don't really like soundwise.
Furthermore I am to lazy to spend days looking for that sound if the library presets have a meh factor to begin with.

Last edited by pianistje; 05/04/18 04:48 PM.
Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: pianistje] #2734133
05/04/18 04:42 PM
05/04/18 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by pianistje

The main reason i dislike the Ravenscroft,...thunderous bass, slightly cold and digital sounding melody and upper octaves.


sort of off topic I know, but I think it does help when you change the timbre shift down one or two notches and push up the tone to compensate so it doesn't muffle to much, it really does change the character of this VI in a good way IMO, for me anyway.

Depending on speaker and/or headphones you may wish to EQ it a bit also, because the bass will become even more heavy with a negative timbre shift. The ravens can become sweeter, warmer and fuller sounding instrument than the default settings with a bit of tweaking in the manner I described in middle to upper ranges taking that harsher more metallic bite away somewhat.


Selftaught since June 2014.
Books: Barratt classic piano course bk 1,2,3. Humphries Piano handbook, various...
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Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: Alexander Borro] #2734134
05/04/18 04:48 PM
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pianistje Offline
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Originally Posted by Alexander Borro
Originally Posted by pianistje

The main reason i dislike the Ravenscroft,...thunderous bass, slightly cold and digital sounding melody and upper octaves.


sort of off topic I know, but I think it does help when you change the timbre shift down one or two notches and push up the tone to compensate so it doesn't muffle to much, it really does change the character of this VI in a good way IMO, for me anyway.

Depending on speaker and/or headphones you may wish to EQ it a bit also, because the bass will become even more heavy with a negative timbre shift. The ravens can become sweeter, warmer and fuller sounding instrument than the default settings with a bit of tweaking in the manner I described in middle to upper ranges taking that harsher more metallic bite away somewhat.

Ah thanks !!,....i will give it a try and maybe i will change my mind about the Ravenscroft.

Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2734153
05/04/18 05:54 PM
05/04/18 05:54 PM
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I still haven't heard any demo from either Garritan or this new VSL one that sounds as good as the sound they got in the "Yamaha Sessions" demos, e.g: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHn56w1Nwow That's one fine sounding piano!

Greg


Middle-aged Jeremy Clarkson acolyte.
Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2734155
05/04/18 06:09 PM
05/04/18 06:09 PM
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I bought the standard VSL CFX version...
First of all, it is the piano VST with the most authentic and realistic dynamics ... I own Garritan CFX, Imperial Vienna, Production Grand, American Concert D, etc., the piano responds to all the nuances, from pp to ff without bothering!!! and the connection with the keyboard is better than the Garritan CFX, the instrument feels authentic, you forget that it is a VST!!

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ao4ZOLlCXwBRg8YG_5b37A7ZViB1Xg

Midi from e-competition, Presets Player Deca Tree, no EQ, only presets

Last edited by sorrownightingale; 05/04/18 06:13 PM.
Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2734164
05/04/18 06:42 PM
05/04/18 06:42 PM
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I had the opportunity to play it some more today and I have to revise some of the stuff I wrote in my above impression post. Some of the flaws aren't as bad as I had thought they are yesterday, and some have come to bother me more now.

It feels like the instrument opened up a little bit more, and when I switch to Garritan's CFX, I notice a clear difference in style and feel. Garritan's CFX is wonderfully even, but I have now come to perceive it as a little bit flat. VSL's CFX has more depth to the sound, at least in a big part of its keyboard range. I was talking about how the keys feel heavy, as if I am playing a real instrument. This feeling only got stronger today, and it's a lot more fun now than it was yesterday. I could also bring out melodies in between chords and stuff like that. Playability is great, I have yet to find a good velocity configuration though. I find that the Garritan CFX was a lot more intuitive to set up.

The notes that stick out do bother me, but most of them don't stick too much. It's subtle in the sense that you'll probably not notice it when you try to do scales while applying the same pressure in order to find notes that stick out, but once you try to play melodies and chords you'll end up noticing that here and there, there will be notes that will be too loud or too soft. The worst offenders that are really annoying for me are g 5 and a 5; and d 5 being out of tune isn't quite as bad as Vienna Imperial's notorious F6. Latter is unacceptable for me, with former I am at least a bit more willing to accept “this piano is unique and the out of tune note is part of its beautiful character“ (or whatever their exact words were) as a lame excuse like they tried to pull it with the Vienna Imperial. The amount of out-of-tuneness of that d 5 is only a fraction of that, but still enough to give me the thought "something's not right here" when I hear it. What I want to say is that, while these problems are there, they don't bother me as much they bothered me with the Imperial, and I would expect that some of the sharp or soft notes can be improved with the note editor (not sure about the metallic ones).

The reverb setting makes a big difference, more than I expected. Turning it up to -5 adds a lot of space to the sound, and the space it adds is not the (IMO) annoying kind that is present in the concert presets.

The half pedaling has to be enabled first in the options menu. It doesn't seem to work properly for me though. For some reason the sustain is cut off when I try to lift the pedal up slowly, but it feels like catch pedaling works. I didn't test this for more than a minute though, and you can configure half pedal with a value which I haven't done yet, so I am probably doing something wrong here.

When I am saying that the upper octaves sound flat and thin, I am mostly talking about the upper two octaves, perhaps two and a half or three. Everything below that is great, and perhaps this is only an issue if you play Garritan's CFX first, because there the upper octaves are beautiful and have a lot of power and feel just great.

One weird thing to notice is that, with other VSTs, I get tired of playing it loudly for extended periods of time. I have to rest or take a break, but I found that with VSL CFX I could play loudly and violently for about an hour and not feel exhausted. This has got to be worth something, right? lol

The release sample problem seems to be an issue throughout all the keys, even though some keys seem to be affected more than others. It keeps happening to me at random when I play. I suspect that the exact length of a note triggers certain samples, no matter whether you play it loudly or softly, or whether you release the key quickly or slowly. If that's the case, I might try to record a midi and see if a note triggers the problematic sound, and then try to reproduce it across the keyboard by copying and pasting it across a midi file. This is actually beginning to annoy me more than the notes that stick out.

One random thought I had was that this VST really makes Ivory II feel very outdated. Synthogy is going to have to up their game now. Garritan CFX already outclassed them IMO, but this instrument, for that price, will certainly force their hand at some point. If there's going to be Ivory III, they're gonna have to start recording real sustain pedal samples and ditch their model engine. Sustain resonance modeling just doesn't satisfy me anymore.

Overall, on the second day I would say that I like playing this instrument and that I would recommend it to piano VST fans. I'm even considering an upgrade to the full version because some of you are talking about the great mic used in Close2 perspective. But it will probably not become my go to instrument of choice, which will remain Garritan CFX. Ironically, with all the issues I pointed out above, what's bothering me the most now is the flat and thin upper octaves. Once you get used to Garritan's sound, this just doesn't cut it anymore. Which is probably due to the sampled instrument, and not due to a sampling mishap. It's a shame because the bass rocks.

@bstn99: Thank you for your Bechstein impressions. It was a total CPU hog for me too, had to disable parts of the string EQ to make it playable well. I didn't notice any velocity steps, but in all honesty, I didn't spend much time with it yet. The sound quality makes me nervous and makes me want to stop playing it, even though the time I have while playing it feels very good and responsive. I'll check it out again.
It eludes me how a human can even be reliable when sampling. There are so many different nuances to consider, and even for a professional it must be incredibly to hard to play, let's say, “intensity 13 out of 20“ reliably for hours and weeks, as you say. A robot seems to be the only viable option to me, and of course it must then be brought together by humans later. I still have no idea how Garritan got away with using a human and making it so even.
Why did they mess up that one note in the CFX? I didn't know about that. Didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. Interesting though, if you think about it, even “Bugatti Veyron of virtual instruments, the Concorde of sampleware“ Hans Zimmer Piano isn't chromatically sampled at all (what was it, only every second key? Lol) and sold off as a “big daddy of a tool“.

@Jeff Hurchalla, are you a member of the Garritan team? That's so awesome to have you write here, thank you so much for responding! And thank you for the Personal Orchestra recommendation. From what I can see though, that is only 5gb in size in total (including all instruments), while the professional edition of the Authorized Steinway was over 60 gigs? That must be severely limited and have had a lot of stuff removed. I don't mind ten velocity layers if it has a similar kind of playability as the CFX. I'll give it a look anyway, will probably buy it at some point just to support you guys lol. Can you tell me why the Authorized Steinway is not on sale anymore? I read that you worked over half a decade on it, so I assume there might have been some license related problems or something. I can't wait for your future projects! Made my day to have you write here, thank you.

@propianist, please check what I wrote in this post, I have revised some of what I wrote in my earlier impression post. I'd be interested to know if you and others perceive the notes that stick out in the same manner as I do. Or perhaps they won't be a big deal to you. Let me know once you had a chance to play it. As for the note editor, that's what I did in the Imperial as well, but there it only got me so far. A very soft note can be made louder, but you can't change its timbre. That made the Imperial so irritating for me. Those uneven notes are there in the VSL CFX as well, but not quite as bad. I didn't try out the note editor there yet, will do that soon. Yes, I would assume the edits you talk about can be made, but it sounds like something that would give even professional audio engineers a headache (which is why they should do it for me before taking my money for it lol). I don't think it has a sample key editor like the one in Kontakt (which I haven't used myself yet either). I don't know if I can upload the manual, that would technically be copyright infringement and I don't want to get into trouble with them. Also I didn't buy it from their site directly so I don't know about their EULA. But I remember reading somewhere (I think it was on VI Control) that once you have the license on your eLicenser, the sale is final and there is no return. There's a heated debate about VSL's licensing policies going on by the way, especially in regards to how they handle lost or stolen dongles (which is just one more significant reason to prefer Garritan). Thank you for the info on the Authorized Steinway, seems like the age shows more than I had thought. Come to think of it, there are so many Steinways out there, but none of them on the same level as Garritan's CFX. Ivory II is nice and all, but no sustain samples just doesn't cut it for me anymore.

@karvala, thanks for your impressions on the Bechstein. Do you actually like the sound quality? I can't get used to the way the microphones sound, getting a headache after a while. I think it could be a great daily practice piano if it had better pedaling support and wouldn't be such a drain on the resources. Did you install the patch to the latest version, by the way? They supposedly improved the CPU usage.

@pianistje, just so there is no misunderstanding, when I say that the upper part feels thin, I am talking about the top two, perhaps two and a half or three octaves. Everything below that seems fine to me so far. Funny that you bring up the Hammersmith – I actually like its upper parts, but the bass just feels so undefined and way too soft. The notes don't sound defined at all, if you play a lot of stuff down there you just get a confusing mess of a sound. So you like the CinePiano? I shouldn't have bought the Light and Sound Concert Grand and spent my money on that instead. The LASCG feels totally uneven to me. I didn't like the Piano in Blue at all so I didn't know whether it would be worth it to buy its successor, but it sounds like they improved it a lot.

Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: pianistje] #2734165
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Originally Posted by pianistje

I am in love with my CinePiano , because it has nailed those warm and fat melody notes, so desperately missing in most libraries.
Thanks to all of you for helping me saving good money !
I will spend it on the Joshua Bell violin vst that i'm lurking after for some time now, but quite expensive....


Originally Posted by pianistje
Together with the Garritan CFX the CinePiano has no weak registers, properly tuned and allows for quite drastic sound sculpting without getting lost in to many mic options.
The bass notes in the CinePiano have o so slightly abrupt velocity switching, but for some reason i don't mind adjusting my technique accordingly.


If you don't mind, I have to ask: what settings are you using in the CinePiano (e.g. the Classical preset, or the CinePiano preset etc., and what are your preferred dial settings)? And what type of music are you playing? You obviously really like the CinePiano, but your experience is so far removed from mine that I'm genuinely curious to know what you're doing right or I'm doing wrong.

Last edited by karvala; 05/04/18 06:45 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: sorrownightingale] #2734166
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Originally Posted by sorrownightingale
I bought the standard VSL CFX version...
First of all, it is the piano VST with the most authentic and realistic dynamics ... I own Garritan CFX, Imperial Vienna, Production Grand, American Concert D, etc., the piano responds to all the nuances, from pp to ff without bothering!!! and the connection with the keyboard is better than the Garritan CFX, the instrument feels authentic, you forget that it is a VST!!

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ao4ZOLlCXwBRg8YG_5b37A7ZViB1Xg

Midi from e-competition, Presets Player Deca Tree, no EQ, only presets

Thanks for opinion and link, it sounds really beautiful and authentic.

Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: Grazilerimba] #2734170
05/04/18 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Grazilerimba

@karvala, thanks for your impressions on the Bechstein. Do you actually like the sound quality? I can't get used to the way the microphones sound, getting a headache after a while. I think it could be a great daily practice piano if it had better pedaling support and wouldn't be such a drain on the resources. Did you install the patch to the latest version, by the way? They supposedly improved the CPU usage.


Yeah, I have the 1.1 version. CPU usage is okay as long as I limit the number of voices to around 200 or so; more than that and I need to increase the buffer size. Do I like the sound quality? Meh, not particularly. It's okay, but I'm not a big fan of Bechsteins anyway, and this is quite a cold, hard sound (not quite Ravenscroft cold, mind you, but heading in that direction). I generally have to warm it +1, and close the lid somewhat which helps a lot (definitely close it at least 1/3rd if you haven't tried that already, I find that helps quite a lot), and I also have the close top (close) mic louder than the side mic. It's bearable at that point for me. Completely agree about the daily practice piano because of the clean individual notes and discipline it requires to play, but yes, it needs better pedal support. They claim to be working on it, but I'll wait and see.


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] #2734175
05/04/18 07:28 PM
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Slobajudge...

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ao4ZOLlCXwBRg8YHidZEtzcuDiLP4w

Ozaki e-competition midi file Chopin Etude Op25 Nº6- Presets Player Deca Tree no EQ

My apologies for drop out, I rendering file with 128 buffer

Last edited by sorrownightingale; 05/04/18 07:31 PM.
Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: sorrownightingale] #2734225
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slobajudge Offline OP
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Originally Posted by sorrownightingale
Slobajudge...

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ao4ZOLlCXwBRg8YHidZEtzcuDiLP4w

Ozaki e-competition midi file Chopin Etude Op25 Nº6- Presets Player Deca Tree no EQ

My apologies for drop out, I rendering file with 128 buffer

I really love how thats sound and this player preset. Thanks. What do you think about other presets in VSL CFX ? I am thinking to go for full library but I don`t know is it worth it.

Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: karvala] #2734233
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Originally Posted by karvala

If you don't mind, I have to ask: what settings are you using in the CinePiano (e.g. the Classical preset, or the CinePiano preset etc., and what are your preferred dial settings)? And what type of music are you playing? You obviously really like the CinePiano, but your experience is so far removed from mine that I'm genuinely curious to know what you're doing right or I'm doing wrong.

The CinePiano preset with mic full /10 and mic close /5 and of course soundsculpting to fit in the mix.
But i’m not sure it would be helpfull because i like the sound out of the box very much without any big alterations.
I use it for my own music, jazz ,blues and pop.

I think i understand many pianoworld forum members are mostly into classical and want a vst to get them as close as possible as a mock up substitute.
I like a vst that sounds warm , unique and doesn’t fall apart when playing subtle lines.
Therefor i do not fully understand the focus from VSL on solely (fast) classical passages as shown in this topic, because a very important chunck of the potential buyers will use it differently.
And as i found out with the Hammersmith pro.... it sounded awesome in those ‘turbo’ classical passages online, but is the worst buy for me personally till date.

What do you not like from the CinePiano ?

Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: Grazilerimba] #2734235
05/05/18 05:40 AM
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@sorrownightingale wow! thank you for both files, they sound really great...
The variety of the tone and the expression\dynamics is impressive indeed... the first rendering ever for me that sounds like a real grand.
Interesting how these clips sound way better than the demos on the VSL site.

@Grazilerimba - great review and impressions - again

I was planning to sit on the fence with this, now I can't avoid taking the risk - again...
Unfortunately, I don't own a Vienna key, as I sold it with my copy of Vienna Imperial - I will have to wait to receive that in the mail to actually play, right?

Did anybody try the half pedal function? Does it work?
And also, besides volume and dynamic range, can you actually eq each one of the 88 keys the way you could on the Vienna Imperial?

Thank you to everybody - this is a great thread!


Yamaha C3M - Kawai Novus - VSL CFX - Garritan CFX - Pianoteq Pro - American Concert D - Ravenscroft 275
PC -> Sonarworks Reference 4 -> RME Babyface Pro -> Schiit Yggdrasil + Jotunheim -> Sennheiser HD650 & HD800
Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2734236
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Yes the demos posted above are impressive. The depth in timbre of this piano reminds of Keyscape's C7, obviously the difference here will be playability and dynamics in favor of the VSL CFX.

I placed my order for the standard. Unfortunately i don't have a vienna key so i'm waiting for VSL support to email me back and confirm if i can download the files while i wait for the vienna key to be delivered...

Last edited by tdwctdwc; 05/05/18 05:47 AM.
Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2734238
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Slobajudge, tdwctdwc and other members forum..

If you want, give me a midi file and I'll render it with the presets that you want, no problem.All the presets are impressive!!!. I initially just looked for a preset to study my lessons and obviously the player position is the best for this. I use a Yamaha NU1 connected with iRigmidi 2 interface to the Ipad Pro 12´9 and Midiflow app with my custom mapping midi velocity curve. Last year I took several days to calibrate the midi velocity response taking into account the pianoteq calibration process and also the response of the hammers of a real piano is not linear. In conclusion, I do not need to adjust midi velocity curve every time I try a vst, because this is unique to each keyboard!!

The player position in VSL CFX Standard Library is Close 1 position

Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2734240
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Erard in the image published by Propianist of Synchron Pianos interface you can modify each note in volume and dynamic as in the Vienna Imperial!!!.
My renderings are done in Cubase Elements 9 24 bits 44.1khz, nothing else, the presets are pure without any EQ, nor compression, etc, etc.

Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2734268
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https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ao4ZOLlCXwBRg8YIyr8dnWATjGAaqA

Player Decca Tree Original Preset

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ao4ZOLlCXwBRg8YJCWUAFWHM2JWwUA

Player Room-Mix Original Preset

Midi file provided by tdwctdwc with his permission.

Thank you tdwctdwc !!!

No EQ, or any limiter or maximizer

Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: sorrownightingale] #2734284
05/05/18 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by sorrownightingale
https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ao4ZOLlCXwBRg8YIyr8dnWATjGAaqA

Player Decca Tree Original Preset

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ao4ZOLlCXwBRg8YJCWUAFWHM2JWwUA

Player Room-Mix Original Preset

Midi file provided by tdwctdwc with his permission.

Thank you tdwctdwc !!!

No EQ, or any limiter or maximizer




wow, that sounded impressive, I am sold!

Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: sorrownightingale] #2734294
05/05/18 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by sorrownightingale
https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ao4ZOLlCXwBRg8YIyr8dnWATjGAaqA

Player Decca Tree Original Preset

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ao4ZOLlCXwBRg8YJCWUAFWHM2JWwUA

Player Room-Mix Original Preset

Midi file provided by tdwctdwc with his permission.

Thank you tdwctdwc !!!

No EQ, or any limiter or maximizer

You're welcome and Thank you for doing this. Now i can sleep the night knowing i made the right choice ordering the standard version lol.

Regarding the audio files above: You can hear that some lower dynamics articulations are missing in some of the fast runs which is understandable hence the midi file was played with a different library (CFX).

Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: pianistje] #2734297
05/05/18 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by pianistje
Originally Posted by karvala

If you don't mind, I have to ask: what settings are you using in the CinePiano (e.g. the Classical preset, or the CinePiano preset etc., and what are your preferred dial settings)? And what type of music are you playing? You obviously really like the CinePiano, but your experience is so far removed from mine that I'm genuinely curious to know what you're doing right or I'm doing wrong.

The CinePiano preset with mic full /10 and mic close /5 and of course soundsculpting to fit in the mix.
But i’m not sure it would be helpfull because i like the sound out of the box very much without any big alterations.
I use it for my own music, jazz ,blues and pop.

I think i understand many pianoworld forum members are mostly into classical and want a vst to get them as close as possible as a mock up substitute.
I like a vst that sounds warm , unique and doesn’t fall apart when playing subtle lines.
Therefor i do not fully understand the focus from VSL on solely (fast) classical passages as shown in this topic, because a very important chunck of the potential buyers will use it differently.
And as i found out with the Hammersmith pro.... it sounded awesome in those ‘turbo’ classical passages online, but is the worst buy for me personally till date.

What do you not like from the CinePiano ?



Oh gosh, I hardly know where to start. There are a number of minor complaints (well, not so minor, but compared to the main one), such as sustain release swell (increase in amplitude after the pedal is released; this happens in most Kontakt-based pianos, but is particularly noticeable here), clipped non-sustain samples (reminiscent of True Keys pianos) that are cut off before their natural end (noticeable more at some times than others), and some rather questionable tuning on one or two notes. But I could live with all of those. What I cannot live with are the HUGE variations in timbre that come with relatively moderate dynamic changes. I have played around extensively with the velocity curve, dynamic range and Character setting to see if I can eliminate or at least control this, but it seems that I can't, at least not without essentially abandoning dynamics entirely. It's as though the piano veers from pp to ff in timbre (but not actually in amplitude) with nothing in between. It's either so soft it sounds like una corda or it's cutting bright, and the two are on a knife-edge. I end up choosing to play something softly throughout or loud throughout in order to try to avoid sharp transition of timbre in the mid-range. The fact that the Classical present sets the Character dial to intimate, and makes it all very quiet and miffled, makes me suspicious as well, as though the developers knew this problem existed and wanted to avoid it but placing the timbre firmly in the quiet range for that, but of course this isn't a satisfactory solution because you can't play everything as though it's una corda. That's why I was curious as to your settings and the type of music you play on it; it's possible that some music won't be as badly affected by that and maybe there were some settings I was missing. But I think I'm resigned to calling this one a bad mistake; it's the most unplayable and therefore unusable piano for me since the Waves Grand Rhapsody.

Last edited by karvala; 05/05/18 01:20 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] #2734305
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Thank you karvala, that saved me from a bad purchase. Looks like Kontakt just doesn't cut it as a host for a piano library that could satisfy me. The really good libraries all use their own software other than Kontakt.

Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: slobajudge] #2734320
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Pianistje, I have the Hammersmith Pro too and I´m agree with you in it. But seriously, do you not fully understand the focus from VSL on fast classical passages?. Fast classic passages require stressing the software to the limit!!.In any case, if you prefer more lyrical pieces...

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ao4ZOLlCXwBRg8YLB5ZlhTxVa90Yng

Schumann Romances Op28 Nº2&3 -midi file e-competition.Preset Player Decca Tree

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ao4ZOLlCXwBRg8YKVwT7lne1IlN2eA

Maurice Ravel jeux d'eau-midi file e-competition.Preset Player Decca Tree

Re: New incoming Yamaha CFX vst from VSL [Re: Grazilerimba] #2734351
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Originally Posted by Grazilerimba
Thank you karvala, that saved me from a bad purchase. Looks like Kontakt just doesn't cut it as a host for a piano library that could satisfy me. The really good libraries all use their own software other than Kontakt.


Yeah, I had high hopes for Kontakt when I got it, but it does seem to cause a bunch of problems for developers that they never entirely solve. It's curious, in fact, how much the platform seems to influence the end result. You'd imagine that it would all be down to the engineers, the room, the instrument and the programmers, and the particular hosting platform wouldn't really make any difference, but there are some quite strong similarities between instruments that use Kontakt, and there are even stronger similarities between instruments that use UVI Workstation. Similarly for Ivory, but that only hosts their own instruments so that's more understandable. Aria seems to be less uniform.


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] #2734363
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A few more questions to current owners of this if that's okay.

1. Is there any sort of global tone control, i.e. a timbre or character control, global EQ or anything like that? Or is it only per-note?

2. What (other) global controls are there apart from tuning and microphone mixing? I.e. anything about release samples? Choosing to use or not use sustain samples? Room reverb settings? Sympathetic resonance? Sustain resonance? Any info would be good.


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: sorrownightingale] #2734366
05/05/18 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by sorrownightingale
Pianistje, I have the Hammersmith Pro too and I´m agree with you in it. But seriously, do you not fully understand the focus from VSL on fast classical passages?. Fast classic passages require stressing the software to the limit!!.In any case, if you prefer more lyrical pieces...

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ao4ZOLlCXwBRg8YLB5ZlhTxVa90Yng

Schumann Romances Op28 Nº2&3 -midi file e-competition.Preset Player Decca Tree

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ao4ZOLlCXwBRg8YKVwT7lne1IlN2eA

Maurice Ravel jeux d'eau-midi file e-competition.Preset Player Decca Tree

Of course i understand the focus on classical in the VSL CFX, because classical is the pinnacle of piano performances. If a vst can fully satisfy demanding classical pianists it has reached it's goal.
However i personally believe all current actions incl. the ''real'' actions in the Yamaha and Kawai renderings are not comparable with an action with compressed felt hammerheads hitting extremely tightly strung strings..
For me that is still a huge gap between a real piano and advanced digital actions.
To me the Avant Grand and Novus feel like playing a silent system, bar the flaws in regulation present in all silent actions.
Because i have the oppertunity to play on lots of concert grands i see a digital piano as a tool to do things that cannot be done on a real grand, because it will never reach the level of a real concert grand unless they find a way to mimic the bouncing from real strings and catching the hammers accordingly...i can somehow feel the placebo hammers do not hit real strings and i happen to find it ackward when playing the N3 for instance.
Try to fully plug your ears (i know it kinda sounds strange) and feel the difference between the N3 and a real grand piano, because the digital looses some momentum/energy due to the absent strings, but because we hear the sound it produces it is less obvious.

Sorry, so much for this distraction, i use digital piano's and vst's as a new instrument like a Fender Rhodes/Wurlitzer that needs to be played intirely differntly compared to a piano.
In doing so a whole new pallette of licks and tricks have emurged that are exemplary for the Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer.

I was classical trained, but only to the level of Chopin's ''fantasie impromty'' and never outgrow that level from a classical perspective.
I decided to go into another direction and try to see if i could play and compose things that would benefit from being played on a digital piano.
Nothing earth shaking, but i managed to find a way around all the flaws in many vst's combined with an action that is incomparable with the top concert grand actions and still have some unique results.
Therefor i try to find an appealing and specific sound and try to work around the flaws.
My computer is a mess, i had to delete the Garritan and still have to re-install it, so recording some examples is difficult untill i understand what's wrong with my current set up.
I am just starting to get grips with what i am looking for, but some of the recent piano vst's with several mic options and sound sculpting parameters make me a happy man allready, because i find a certain timbre that does not try to mimic a piano concert....besides that my skills are not good enough to even try.....

I do understand that for superb classical pianists, like some of you, the pedal behaviour,velocity switching and whatever comes into play must accurately mimic a real grand.....i am not one of those.

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