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Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: Digitalguy] #2788810
12/07/18 04:39 PM
12/07/18 04:39 PM
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Posts: 9,221
Raleigh, North Carolina
MacMacMac Offline
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I use a velocity curve to tame the Vintage D. It has wide dynamics, and these amateur hands cannot tame it without help.
Also I adjust the tone control in Vintage D. (I can't remember the name of that control. It's not "tone", but anyway you'll see it in there.)
Originally Posted by Digitalguy
Originally Posted by Gabriel Hikaru
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
If you really need a Steinway, get the Vintage D. It's much cheaper, and it's quite good.
I second this. I just picked that up on Black Friday, and once I put in the right settings, it sounded really nice, much better than the TrueKeys American Grand.
Still, I can't help but think that the VSL Steinway will be the ultimate virtual representation of a Steinway D, so I really want to get it too! 3hearts
What are the right settings for you? I have the vintage D but I have never really liked it. But I have only played it at stock. What did you change?

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Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: Erard] #2788835
12/07/18 05:37 PM
12/07/18 05:37 PM
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The Sierras
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David B Offline
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Originally Posted by Erard
I also ordered the full version!
It's downloading now - will take probably 40-50 minutes...


I hate you. wink

My internet connection is 5 Mbps. The VSL Download manager is telling me about 36 hours.

I could wait until I go to work on Monday (100 Mbps) but it's actually longer to wait until Monday.

God Bless,
David

Last edited by David B; 12/07/18 05:37 PM.

Yamaha AdvantGrand N1X
Mac mini 2018/Focusrite Scarlett 2i4/KRK Rokit 6 G3 Studio Monitors
Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course; Lessons 1-39 Completed
Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: angmyu] #2788861
12/07/18 06:45 PM
12/07/18 06:45 PM
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Italy
Erard Offline
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Sorry ...
It actually took double than that - I forgot there are two pieces to the full version.
Now - it's taking an extremely long time installing it.


Yamaha C3M - Kawai Novus - VSL CFX & Steinway D - Garritan CFX - Pianoteq Pro - American Concert D - Ravenscroft 275
PC -> Sonarworks Reference 4 -> RME Babyface Pro -> Schiit Yggdrasil + Jotunheim -> Sennheiser HD650 & HD800
Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: Digitalguy] #2788874
12/07/18 07:33 PM
12/07/18 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Digitalguy
Originally Posted by Gabriel Hikaru
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
If you really need a Steinway, get the Vintage D. It's much cheaper, and it's quite good.


I second this. I just picked that up on Black Friday, and once I put in the right settings, it sounded really nice, much better than the TrueKeys American Grand.

Still, I can't help but think that the VSL Steinway will be the ultimate virtual representation of a Steinway D, so I really want to get it too! 3hearts


What are the right settings for you? I have the vintage D but I have never really liked it. But I have only played it at stock. What did you change?


The biggest change was modifying the velocity curve. My piano doesn't output a MIDI velocity greater than about 108, so I made the curve max out at that value. I have to do this for every virtual piano I use, or I won't be able access the full dynamic range.

[Linked Image]
I also changed some of the sound settings from the default. Turned on "Spaces" (reverb) and brought the "Send" up a bit.

It's still a work in progress, but I like how it sounds so far. smile

[Linked Image]

Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: angmyu] #2788882
12/07/18 08:08 PM
12/07/18 08:08 PM
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Portland, OR, USA
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Osho Offline
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David B, Erard: congratulations on your purchase! I look forward to your reviews.

Osho


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Kawai Novus NV10 + Embertone Walker D Full/Garritan CFX/Pianoteq 6

[Linked Image]
Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: angmyu] #2788975
12/08/18 08:42 AM
12/08/18 08:42 AM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 3,091
uk south
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Thanks, karvala, for the info and propianist for the scepticism. Though I doubt I'd ever upload a recording without some daz, I'd steer well clear of any library which doesn't provide, as a starting point, a close perspective which as good as bone-dry allowing me to add my own ambience with a decent reverb plugin.

In the case of the Garritan - still my favourite library by a considerable margin - by winding all but release-xfade down to zero and muting the ambient samples (too muddy for my liking) I get something pretty close to unadulterated. If VSL are making that hard to come by it's probably not for me. For now I'll pin my hopes on Garritan putting out a Steinway.

Still interested in any feedback, though.

Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: dire tonic] #2788977
12/08/18 08:52 AM
12/08/18 08:52 AM
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Posts: 352
England
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Originally Posted by dire tonic
For now I'll pin my hopes on Garritan putting out a Steinway.


You know Garritan already did do a 5 mic perspective New York Steinway D a few years ago, and I doubt they'll do another one in Abbey Road.

Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: dire tonic] #2788979
12/08/18 09:06 AM
12/08/18 09:06 AM
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Posts: 277
The Netherlands
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Originally Posted by dire tonic
Thanks, karvala, for the info and propianist for the scepticism. Though I doubt I'd ever upload a recording without some daz, I'd steer well clear of any library which doesn't provide, as a starting point, a close perspective which as good as bone-dry allowing me to add my own ambience with a decent reverb plugin.

What reverb plug in are you using ?
Most piano vst’s like Garritan have onboard convolution reverb....

I think i am going for the seventh heaven / liquid sonic reverb plug in, because it is a sampled and spot on ( still easy to tweak though) representation of the Bricasti M7 hardware reverb.... considered THE current benchmark of reverb based on high end algorithms.
I use the Kontakt 6 and Cubase effects, but it seems that even a Valhalla room can still do wonders.




Last edited by pianistje; 12/08/18 09:07 AM.
Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: propianist] #2788980
12/08/18 09:11 AM
12/08/18 09:11 AM
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Posts: 3,091
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dire tonic Offline
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Originally Posted by propianist
Originally Posted by dire tonic
For now I'll pin my hopes on Garritan putting out a Steinway.


You know Garritan already did do a 5 mic perspective New York Steinway D a few years ago, and I doubt they'll do another one in Abbey Road.




Yes, I heard the earlier Garritan sample a while back and wasn't thrilled tbh. I get that Abbey Road was seen by many as a selling point but I worked in the large studio 1 several times and was never really knocked out with the room sound anyway so it would be fine by me if they found a first-class Steinway in another setting.

Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: pianistje] #2788981
12/08/18 09:25 AM
12/08/18 09:25 AM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 3,091
uk south
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dire tonic Offline
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Originally Posted by pianistje
Originally Posted by dire tonic
Thanks, karvala, for the info and propianist for the scepticism. Though I doubt I'd ever upload a recording without some daz, I'd steer well clear of any library which doesn't provide, as a starting point, a close perspective which as good as bone-dry allowing me to add my own ambience with a decent reverb plugin.

What reverb plug in are you using ?
Most piano vst’s like Garritan have onboard convolution reverb....

I think i am going for the seventh heaven / liquid sonic reverb plug in, because it is a sampled and spot on ( still easy to tweak though) representation of the Bricasti M7 hardware reverb.... considered THE current benchmark of reverb based on high end algorithms.
I use the Kontakt 6 and Cubase effects, but it seems that even a Valhalla room can still do wonders.

I use Verbsuite Classics or, if recording and need to save resources I'll use Garritan's 'small studio' - it's pretty good.

I'm tempted by Seventh Heaven but I don't know if further outlay will make me happier. Perhaps the non-pro version? I'd be interested in any feedback if you buy it.

Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: angmyu] #2788986
12/08/18 09:51 AM
12/08/18 09:51 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,167
Dublin
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Dublin
I've been using the Synchron Steinway all morning and I think it's fantastic. It's quite different from the Yamaha, although I've come to love the Synchron CFX lately. VSL pianos always give me the impression that they have a limitless range of tone. I play my DP quite differently for each one.

Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: karvala] #2788990
12/08/18 10:06 AM
12/08/18 10:06 AM
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Grazilerimba Online content
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Originally Posted by karvala
Originally Posted by Grazilerimba

The big question for this VST for me personally is, are there going to be out of tune notes as well as notes that stand out in an unpleasant way again? They were unacceptable in the Vienna Imperial, and just barely acceptable in their CFX.


Can't answer that yet (I'll get this VST in a couple of weeks' time and will be able to tell you more then, though seriously out of tune notes would show up in the demos as well), but if there's one thing that's absolutely clear from acquiring too many VSTs in recent years, it is that the house style trumps the instrument every time. Or to put it another way, a Steinway from VSL will sound far more like a CFX from VSL, than even a CFX from Garritan. The sound differences from different piano models, which undoubtedly important and audible, are much smaller than the sound differences from different sampling and processing methods.

What that means is that by far the best predictor of what the VSL Steinway D will sound like is the VSL CFX. If you don't get on with the latter, I'd be wary about spending a lot of money on the former. The Synchron stage dominates the sound in both even judging purely from the demos; they're both very sharp, bright, slightly cold, crystal clear, strong. I would expect the Steinway D to sound slightly more rounded, and that would be enormously to its benefit in this style of sampling and you can hear it somewhat in the Lizst demos, but then some of the others (the Chopin and Beethoven especially) are almost brutally hard and bright, so this isn't going to be a mellow, lyrical Steinway D experience I suspect.


That is an excellent thought. And you are right. When listening to the demos I felt reminded of the VSL CFX all the time. It was a weird kind of deja vu. I personally don't like the ambience of the Synchron Hall, the reverb sound is so unpleasant to my ears, even when using the close mics only. While the Garritan CFX is also drenched in reverb, at least it sounds a lot more pleasant and natural to me, like in an actual hall.

So with that said I am really curious about the first reviews because while the Steinway sound is definitely recognizable, it leaves me with the same kind of impression that the VSL CFX left me with. I ended up not playing it too much anymore, even though they significantly improved the instrument with the patches.

As for the Garritan Steinway, it seems to be an older instrument, from the mid to late 2000s. Because it is discontinued it's no longer possible to buy it. The sample sets they used for the Garritan Orchestra bundle are only a small subset of all the samples, so that wouldn't allow to give an impression of its playability. I'd still love to have it. Here's hoping for a brand new Steinway from them at some point. Even though someone here (was it karvala?) said that the Garritan CFX is unique because so many things came together in a good way, like the Abbey Road Studios, their engineers, the capable programmers at Garritan, and the instrument, etc..

Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: angmyu] #2788992
12/08/18 10:14 AM
12/08/18 10:14 AM
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@propianist

Very interesting thoughts. I didn't notice that about the sympathetic resonance in their videos. Pretty clever.

As for the vouchers, from what I understand you cannot buy and use the vouchers in the same order, can you? You can only buy the vouchers if you place an order (of a VSL product) along with it, and the vouchers are for future use.

The big flaw, or rather, weakness, of the VSL pianos is their sheer size and their ambitious scope. I get that hundred velocity layers are a great thing, but along with that comes a lot of work and responsibility to ensure that the notes are all even, that the notes don't go out of tune, and so on. If you compare that to the Garritan CFX with its, what, 20 or so velocity layers, and it has excellent playability? Wouldn't it have been enough to limit themselves to 50 or 60 layers, which would still have been out of this world.

Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: angmyu] #2789008
12/08/18 10:43 AM
12/08/18 10:43 AM
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angmyu Offline OP
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Hmm interesting. VSL piano sounds most like the sound of piano recital I actually heard. And depending on how you change the setting, VSL's piano can sound close enough. I'm not using the default presets of VSL CFX.

Perhaps, depending on which space performer prefer, Abbey Road Studio or Synchron Hall, I think the player's preferred instrument also change.

Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: Grazilerimba] #2789021
12/08/18 11:31 AM
12/08/18 11:31 AM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,323
Canada
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Melodialworks Music Offline
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Originally Posted by Grazilerimba
@propianist

As for the vouchers, from what I understand you cannot buy and use the vouchers in the same order, can you? You can only buy the vouchers if you place an order (of a VSL product) along with it, and the vouchers are for future use.


Really? That's disappointing.

I was planning on getting vouchers to discount Steinway D purchase. Not planning on purchasing anything else from VSL in the future.

Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: Grazilerimba] #2789022
12/08/18 11:32 AM
12/08/18 11:32 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,167
Dublin
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Originally Posted by Grazilerimba


As for the vouchers, from what I understand you cannot buy and use the vouchers in the same order, can you? You can only buy the vouchers if you place an order (of a VSL product) along with it, and the vouchers are for future use.



You can buy the vouchers from the shop as one order, and use them to pay for the piano in another order. That's all I had to do.

Last edited by johnstaf; 12/08/18 11:37 AM.
Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: johnstaf] #2789027
12/08/18 11:54 AM
12/08/18 11:54 AM
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The Sierras
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David B Offline
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The Sierras
Originally Posted by johnstaf

You can buy the vouchers from the shop as one order, and use them to pay for the piano in another order. That's all I had to do.


That's correct. They actually encourage you to do that in their advertisement. Stacking the vouches with the the current discount is around 33% off the regular price.

God Bless,
David


Yamaha AdvantGrand N1X
Mac mini 2018/Focusrite Scarlett 2i4/KRK Rokit 6 G3 Studio Monitors
Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course; Lessons 1-39 Completed
Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: angmyu] #2789070
12/08/18 02:18 PM
12/08/18 02:18 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 204
Italy
Erard Offline
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Italy
I have been playing the VSL Steinway D this afternoon after some quick exploration of its possibilities, setting up a few velocity curves, mixing different mics ecc.
I also played the VSL CFX and my acoustic Yamaha C3 to compare and to setup a fairly realistic instrument.

I play with headphone exclusively (I use the real thing when possible), classical music mostly and I value playability first, followed by tone and, on the software side, I like to have as much control of as many parameters as possible.

I believe, everything considered (playability, tone, software), this is probably the best virtual piano I ever played. It's the first sampled D I really like.
These are my first impressions, mostly of the VSL D compared to the VSL CFX. Please keep in mind that English is not my first language.

Compared to the CFX, it's more lively and expressive - it has more colors - feels more like an instrument apart from the obvious difference in tone. You can "hear" the wood, the felt, the strings, so to speak. The samples don't have the slight coldness and hardness of the CFX - feels more real, present and with a beautiful tone - slightly less controllable and more quirky, but in a nice way.

Like the CFX, it has a huge tone range (maybe just a tad smaller and more realistic) and different velocity curves can work well given the enormous amount of layers one can play with. It needs quite a different velocity curve compared to the CFX.
There are no bad notes sticking out, it's maybe even better than the CFX in this respect (not because it's more uniform, but because the irregularities are more "musical" and wider than just one note ) - both are way better than what you generally find with real acoustic pianos in this respect. A few tuning sessions with Veloscaler and the Synchron player itself and this can be a great piano in terms of uniformity.

Unfortunately, the "carpet of sound" of the sustain pedal is practically absent, same as the CFX. In spite of this, it's a very enjoyable instrument to play, more so than the VSL CFX. Strangely, the release samples are just good as they are at default (I had to tweak them a lot in the software for the CFX). They are just.. normal.

Not sure why, but this piano speaks to me - I got lost in the music many times while playing it. So, probably this first impressions are not very objective - they are just my impressions - take them with a grain salt if you are on the fence trying to decide whether to buy it.


Yamaha C3M - Kawai Novus - VSL CFX & Steinway D - Garritan CFX - Pianoteq Pro - American Concert D - Ravenscroft 275
PC -> Sonarworks Reference 4 -> RME Babyface Pro -> Schiit Yggdrasil + Jotunheim -> Sennheiser HD650 & HD800
Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: Erard] #2789132
12/08/18 05:17 PM
12/08/18 05:17 PM
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Thanks for the review Erard! How would you say it compares to the Garritan CFX?


Youtube piano recordings (classical music/video games/anime): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh9N3Xirs86USDQXE1WiwXg
Kawai Novus NV-10 / Yamaha Avantgrand N1 with Garritan CFX VST
Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: angmyu] #2789156
12/08/18 06:23 PM
12/08/18 06:23 PM
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Aberdeen, UK
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RichieBill Offline
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I have also question to Erard - Is it possible to set warmer and more rounded sound than on official demos (which are too sharp for my taste)?


Roland FP-30 | Synthogy Ivory II - Grand Pianos | Production Voices - Compact Grand, Electric V | Neumann KH120 | Grado SR80i | Mackie Big Knob Passive | Zoom H4n
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