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Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: angmyu] #2793311
12/20/18 02:57 AM
12/20/18 02:57 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 748
Dublin
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johnstaf Offline
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Dublin
I've just spent several hours with a buffer of 128 samples with no problems. Perhaps streaming is a potential issue? I'm using a Samsung T5 SSD via USB on Windows, or Thunderbolt on MacOS. I was using a Samsung EVO 840 SSD in a Startech USB3 enclosure and had problems on both of my computers.

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Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: angmyu] #2793500
12/20/18 04:43 PM
12/20/18 04:43 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1
France
O
otocinclus Offline
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France
SSD Samsung EVO 840 have read know problem, I upgrade with last firmware via samsung magician, seem ok

Last edited by otocinclus; 12/20/18 04:46 PM.

Yamaha YUS5; Ivory II American Concert D; Fazioli Concert Grand Extreme
Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: angmyu] #2796292
12/28/18 05:08 PM
12/28/18 05:08 PM
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 9
Boston, MA
G
Gerhard Offline
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It looks like this thread has been dormant for the holidays, but I'm hoping it's still alive. I have learned a lot here, but maybe not quite enough yet.
Karvala:
I'm addressing you because I think your goals are the same as mine: to make the VSL Steinway D (through headphones, AKG K712) sound like I'm sitting in front of the piano. I have spent the day tuning and listening to my new full version, but I'm still not happy.
I adjusted the Synchron Pianos VST as suggested in this thread earlier by Erard: #2789279 12/09/18 10:14 AM, including the MIDI velocity mapping he suggested via my host, FL Studio 20. Still, the attack, especially in the upper registers, sounds like this Steinway D had very hard hammers, something I have tried to tone down in my acoustic piano. Consequently, the VSL D sounds clangy, and sometimes a little "hollow" in the lower registers. In other VSTs I've tried, ACD, Ravenscroft 275, and the one built into my Kawai MP11SE, I've felt the attack was a bit soft, but just the opposite with the VSL Steinway.
I'm wondering if you have revised any of the settings suggested by Erard, and if so if you would share them. Adjustments not mentioned by Erard are: global reverb, Body, and Timbre shift on the Play screen; and Reverb settings on the Mix screen. I've played with all of these, but they seem to have little effect, so any guidance there would be appreciated.
I imagine that you will say that nothing will sound like sitting in front of the piano (true), but I'd like to get as close as possible.


Adult intermediate; Kawai MP11SE; Yamaha HS8 monitors; Synthogy Ivory II American Concert D; True Keys Ravenscroft 275; Galaxy Vintage D; Garritan CFX; Vienna Symphonic Library Steinway D; Mason & Hamlin B
Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: Gerhard] #2796348
12/28/18 10:30 PM
12/28/18 10:30 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 59
A
angmyu Offline OP
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angmyu  Offline OP
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Joined: May 2018
Posts: 59
Originally Posted by Gerhard
It looks like this thread has been dormant for the holidays, but I'm hoping it's still alive. I have learned a lot here, but maybe not quite enough yet.
Karvala:
I'm addressing you because I think your goals are the same as mine: to make the VSL Steinway D (through headphones, AKG K712) sound like I'm sitting in front of the piano. I have spent the day tuning and listening to my new full version, but I'm still not happy.
I adjusted the Synchron Pianos VST as suggested in this thread earlier by Erard: #2789279 12/09/18 10:14 AM, including the MIDI velocity mapping he suggested via my host, FL Studio 20. Still, the attack, especially in the upper registers, sounds like this Steinway D had very hard hammers, something I have tried to tone down in my acoustic piano. Consequently, the VSL D sounds clangy, and sometimes a little "hollow" in the lower registers. In other VSTs I've tried, ACD, Ravenscroft 275, and the one built into my Kawai MP11SE, I've felt the attack was a bit soft, but just the opposite with the VSL Steinway.
I'm wondering if you have revised any of the settings suggested by Erard, and if so if you would share them. Adjustments not mentioned by Erard are: global reverb, Body, and Timbre shift on the Play screen; and Reverb settings on the Mix screen. I've played with all of these, but they seem to have little effect, so any guidance there would be appreciated.
I imagine that you will say that nothing will sound like sitting in front of the piano (true), but I'd like to get as close as possible.


After hearing you and karvala's opinion, I realized that people's listening perspectives is more different than I thought. I managed to make it sound like I was sitting in front of the piano by controlling several parameters.(MIDI sensitivity, velocity curve, mics setting, body and sympathetic resonance..) But from your point of view, this isn't going to be a success. I'm satisfied with this piano and ready to get the Synchron Imperial.

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Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: angmyu] #2796354
12/28/18 11:13 PM
12/28/18 11:13 PM
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 9
Boston, MA
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Gerhard Offline
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Boston, MA
Angmyu, would you mind sharing your settings? They may be more successful than you think. Thanks.


Adult intermediate; Kawai MP11SE; Yamaha HS8 monitors; Synthogy Ivory II American Concert D; True Keys Ravenscroft 275; Galaxy Vintage D; Garritan CFX; Vienna Symphonic Library Steinway D; Mason & Hamlin B
Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: Gerhard] #2796424
12/29/18 08:13 AM
12/29/18 08:13 AM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 59
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angmyu Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Gerhard
Angmyu, would you mind sharing your settings? They may be more successful than you think. Thanks.


Hi, Gerhard. I thought you wouldn't be satisfied with any setting if you didn't like the sample itself.

I don't know if you can be satisfied, but I've attached the setting that I'm currently using. But because this alone is dry in tone, I usually add the external reverb a little. I compared this to Garritan CFX, and VSL Steinway sounded as close as it to my ear. Their big difference is the warmness of the tone. I don't know what you'll think. The velocity curve(or MIDI Sensitivity) and volume will need to be changed to fit your equipment.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: angmyu] #2796428
12/29/18 08:34 AM
12/29/18 08:34 AM
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 9
Boston, MA
G
Gerhard Offline
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Boston, MA
Very kind, angmyu. I'll check it out and let you know what I hear.

I assume you are saying that the VSL Steinway is warmer than the Garritan CFX. That would be great, since I find the CFX pretty warm for a Yamaha, and I like warm.


Adult intermediate; Kawai MP11SE; Yamaha HS8 monitors; Synthogy Ivory II American Concert D; True Keys Ravenscroft 275; Galaxy Vintage D; Garritan CFX; Vienna Symphonic Library Steinway D; Mason & Hamlin B
Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: angmyu] #2796438
12/29/18 08:56 AM
12/29/18 08:56 AM
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 643
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karvala Online content
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Gerhard, angmyu; thanks for the questions and comments. Also thanks to all the other posters in the thread, especially Erard, propianist and Grazilerimba for some very informative reviews and comments. I've now had a bit more time to play with this, though still not nearly as much I'd like, but I can update my previous comments now, and also answer the request for presets.

SOUND: It sounds like a Steinway, and that's clearly important! The sound is fairly clear; perhaps not quite as clear as the CFX but I'm no longer sure that's the case. Certainly the two VSL Synchron instruments have in general exceptional immediacy and clarity, which is great. The Garritan CFX has similar clarity for individual notes, but in chords I think the VSL instruments are definitely clearer; the CFX tends to blend notes together more. Overall the timbre is less variable than the CFX across the frequency and amplitude range, with loud upper notes in the CFX sounding thinner but more focused, and the lower notes on the CFX sounding thicker and deeper. The Steinway is more in the middle across the range.

The attack is what gives it the distinctive Steinway sound. Each note has a very clear and pronounced onset attack which is very helpful in fast passagework or with repeated notes or even trills. It does lend to the slightly more percussive feel that I talked about before, but that's a characteristic of the acoustic instrument.

The sustain is feels significantly shorter than the CFX; I suspect this is also a characteristic of the acoustic instruments though I've never properly measured them or been able to compare them side by side, so it's hard to know. It's not so poor that it feels like a major problem, as in some other VSTs, but it is noticeable and it could be limiting for some repertoire.

Looking at different areas of the keyboard, the bass is full and rich, but rounder and feels less obviously deep than the CFX, which may or may not be a bad thing depending on your taste. What is a bad thing is that the bass is boomy; very much from the tube mic, but actually also from most of the others mics to some extent as well. It's not terrible, but enough to be noticeable and distracting, and not easy to EQ out without disrupting the sound. The middle of the keyboard seems perfectly fine, and it doesn't suffer from the terrible problems that the CFX had in the octave below middle C. The upper range is strong and again doesn't suffer from the weakness that the CFX had in the upper range; I have felt no need to increase the amplitude of the upper notes in the Steinway.

The microphones are mostly the same as the CFX, with the notable exception of the close mics. Close 2 remains the same ribbon mic, which is well worth having. The other two are a condenser mic and a tube mic and to me that's rather unfortunate. The close mics are crucial to the timbre of the instrument and the both a condenser and a tube mic have a very distinctive palette of their own through which the acoustic sound is filtered. As such, it's almost impossible to get a neutral sound here, and if the condenser and/or tube are not to your taste, then you're in some trouble. The ribbon is good, but too thin on it's own. I find a combination of the condenser and the ribbon is just about okay, and I leave the tube mic off entirely, but that's a matter of taste. I'd say finding your preferred combination of close mics is the first and most important step towards finding your preferred overall preset.

PLAYABILITY: The VSL CFX was the most playable piano VST yet in my experience; it felt the closest to playing the real thing. The VSL Steinway is very similar in this regard, and also highly playable. Its playabilty is slightly down on the CFX in my view largely because it is significantly harder to vary the timbre of the Steinway compared to the CFX; the distinctive Steinway sound tends to dominate vs the more generic and malleable CFX sound. Still, both have a wide dynamic range and are very playable. Compared to the Garritan CFX, these instruments feel much heavier, as though you can feel the weight of the keys. I actually find myself playing things faster on the Garritan because of the illusion that the keys are lighter!

The biggest problem for playability out of the box is the calibration problem. Having played the instrument more since my previous comments, and seen comments here and elsewhere, I have no hesitation in stating that as a fact now. The velocity-amplitude mapping is more or less fine and broadly similar to the CFX. The velocity-timbre mapping, however, is completely wrong, with a heavy skew towards fff. It's as though the instrument were recorded in a very wide dynamics range with a strong skew towards fff, and then compressed to fit into a predetermined amplitude range, but without any recognition of the fact that the perception of how loud an instrument is comes not just from amplitude but also from timbre. The result is that it sounds (a) unpleasant, as though the instrument is being banged a lot of the time even when playing only moderately loudly; and (b) more distant, since you have the perception of a piano being loud from the timbre, but the actual amplitude is not that loud. This can be partly addressed by a velocity curve, but only partly, because the velocity curve will effectively change the sample to one with a better (quieter) timbre, but will also change the amplitude. You can get rid of the fff timbre skew, but only at the price of a reversed amplitude skew instead. I hope that VSL will fix this and release updated samples with proper amplitude and velocity mapping to at least allow a velocity curve to work properly. Meanwhile, the use of an appropriate velocity curve is essential for this instrument to make it playable.

The Regular Steinway preset is designed to feel quite close, as though you are sitting in front of the instrument and playing it for real. As with the CFX (and Garritan CFX, and one or two others), I'm happy to say that this illusion now more or less works for me with this instrument, so I think it is possible after all. That might just be more acclimitisation. The Ambient Steinway preset is designed to increase the ambience somewhat, so it feels more like you're playing in a larger room somewhere and not quite where you're actually sitting. It's not very ambient still, though, and certainly the ambient mics can be pushed up a lot further if you're into that.

PRESETS: As with the CFX, the builtin presets are lousy. In fact, they're possibly even worse on the Steinway. They are various levels of ambient ranging from fairly ambient (Player perspective) to extremely ambient (ambient perspective), and tending to sound a bit thin as well. After playing around for a while, I have developed a couple of presets of my own which I certainly prefer to any of the builtin ones. These are still a work in progress, so I might update them at some point in the future, but not any time soon. The spatial characteristics are what I'm least satisfied with and have paid least attention to, but they're adequate for the time being. I have provided links to the preset files below, in case anyone wants to try them out. Both are based on the Condenser and Ribbon mics together with Mid 2, Surround and High Surround. I've avoided the Decca tree because it sounds too distant and brings an inevitable ambience to the sound. I've reduced the release samples, but because they're much better than those on the CFX, I've not turned them off entirely. I've included some reverb because the piano is in need of a bit of extra shimmer which even the Surround and High Surround mics are not giving to anything like the same extent as the CFX. I've also, for performance reasons, reduced the max voices per mic to 96. This works okay on my system without pops or clicks, whereas 128 does not, but please adjust as necessary for your own hardware. Curiously, even reducing this to 64 does not seem to have any noticeable effect in regular playing in terms of voice stealing or tones cutting out earlier, so whatever algorithm is controlling this seems to work very well. I tested

Regular VSL Steinway: Regular VSL Steinway
Ambient VSL Steinway: Ambient VSL Steinway

One important caveat: both of those presets were designed with particular touch curve in mind. I play on a CA-67 with a 'Normal' (i.e. linear) touch curve on the instrument, and a simple linear touch curve (i.e. 0-0 to 127-127 in a straight line) on almost VSTs, and I find it generally works okay. On this instrument, that simply doesn't work because of the calibration problems, so I've adjusted the touch curve the minimum amount I think I can get away with. I've also provided a link to the touch curve file below, which works with SaviHost or VSTHost, but for anyone hosting VSL Synchron Pianos in something else, the curve I'm using is shown below. Obviously you should adjust as you see fit, and incorporate any normal adjustment you might already use into it as well based on your physical keyboard and playing style; it's just there as a guide.

VSL Steinway touch curve: VSL Steinway touch curve

[Linked Image]

OVERALL: This is a fine instrument, of that there's no doubt. It sounds like a Steinway, it has a good attack on each tone, it has good consistency across the range of the keyboard, and with the right touch curve and mic settings, you can recreate the illusion of playing a piano. It's not without its problems and limitations, and the poor timbre calibration is a major flaw that needs to be addressed in some way. Still, I can see myself using this instrument a good deal. I still think the CFX is slightly better overall, but not without its own flaws, and the two offer good alternatives, so it's great to have both choices.

Last edited by karvala; 12/29/18 09:04 AM.

Broadwood, Yamaha U1; Kawai CA67; Pianoteq Std (D4, K2, Blüthner, Grotrian), Garritan CFX Full, Galaxy Vintage D, The Grandeur, Ravenscroft 275, Ivory II ACD, TrueKeys Italian, AS C7, Production Grand Compact, AK Studio Grand, AK Upright, Waves Grand Rhapsody; Sennheiser HD-600 and HD-650, O2 amp
Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: angmyu] #2796449
12/29/18 09:16 AM
12/29/18 09:16 AM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 59
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angmyu Offline OP
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angmyu  Offline OP
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It's sad but I meant the Garritan CFX is warmer.cry I don't think any settings will change the tone of this piano unless VSL replaces the samples. They recently added a parameter that allowed them to change tone through updates, but I realized that controlling it reduces the original beauty of the sample. Certainly the clear tone of VSL Steinway resembles the sound of the real Synchron Hall, but the problem is that many musicians prefer the warm room tone to the Synchron Hall. Of course I like this place.

Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: karvala] #2796452
12/29/18 09:45 AM
12/29/18 09:45 AM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 59
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angmyu Offline OP
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angmyu  Offline OP
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Originally Posted by karvala
Gerhard, angmyu; thanks for the questions and comments. Also thanks to all the other posters in the thread, especially Erard, propianist and Grazilerimba for some very informative reviews and comments. I've now had a bit more time to play with this, though still not nearly as much I'd like, but I can update my previous comments now, and also answer the request for presets.

SOUND: It sounds like a Steinway, and that's clearly important! The sound is fairly clear; perhaps not quite as clear as the CFX but I'm no longer sure that's the case. Certainly the two VSL Synchron instruments have in general exceptional immediacy and clarity, which is great. The Garritan CFX has similar clarity for individual notes, but in chords I think the VSL instruments are definitely clearer; the CFX tends to blend notes together more. Overall the timbre is less variable than the CFX across the frequency and amplitude range, with loud upper notes in the CFX sounding thinner but more focused, and the lower notes on the CFX sounding thicker and deeper. The Steinway is more in the middle across the range.

The attack is what gives it the distinctive Steinway sound. Each note has a very clear and pronounced onset attack which is very helpful in fast passagework or with repeated notes or even trills. It does lend to the slightly more percussive feel that I talked about before, but that's a characteristic of the acoustic instrument.

The sustain is feels significantly shorter than the CFX; I suspect this is also a characteristic of the acoustic instruments though I've never properly measured them or been able to compare them side by side, so it's hard to know. It's not so poor that it feels like a major problem, as in some other VSTs, but it is noticeable and it could be limiting for some repertoire.

Looking at different areas of the keyboard, the bass is full and rich, but rounder and feels less obviously deep than the CFX, which may or may not be a bad thing depending on your taste. What is a bad thing is that the bass is boomy; very much from the tube mic, but actually also from most of the others mics to some extent as well. It's not terrible, but enough to be noticeable and distracting, and not easy to EQ out without disrupting the sound. The middle of the keyboard seems perfectly fine, and it doesn't suffer from the terrible problems that the CFX had in the octave below middle C. The upper range is strong and again doesn't suffer from the weakness that the CFX had in the upper range; I have felt no need to increase the amplitude of the upper notes in the Steinway.

The microphones are mostly the same as the CFX, with the notable exception of the close mics. Close 2 remains the same ribbon mic, which is well worth having. The other two are a condenser mic and a tube mic and to me that's rather unfortunate. The close mics are crucial to the timbre of the instrument and the both a condenser and a tube mic have a very distinctive palette of their own through which the acoustic sound is filtered. As such, it's almost impossible to get a neutral sound here, and if the condenser and/or tube are not to your taste, then you're in some trouble. The ribbon is good, but too thin on it's own. I find a combination of the condenser and the ribbon is just about okay, and I leave the tube mic off entirely, but that's a matter of taste. I'd say finding your preferred combination of close mics is the first and most important step towards finding your preferred overall preset.

PLAYABILITY: The VSL CFX was the most playable piano VST yet in my experience; it felt the closest to playing the real thing. The VSL Steinway is very similar in this regard, and also highly playable. Its playabilty is slightly down on the CFX in my view largely because it is significantly harder to vary the timbre of the Steinway compared to the CFX; the distinctive Steinway sound tends to dominate vs the more generic and malleable CFX sound. Still, both have a wide dynamic range and are very playable. Compared to the Garritan CFX, these instruments feel much heavier, as though you can feel the weight of the keys. I actually find myself playing things faster on the Garritan because of the illusion that the keys are lighter!

The biggest problem for playability out of the box is the calibration problem. Having played the instrument more since my previous comments, and seen comments here and elsewhere, I have no hesitation in stating that as a fact now. The velocity-amplitude mapping is more or less fine and broadly similar to the CFX. The velocity-timbre mapping, however, is completely wrong, with a heavy skew towards fff. It's as though the instrument were recorded in a very wide dynamics range with a strong skew towards fff, and then compressed to fit into a predetermined amplitude range, but without any recognition of the fact that the perception of how loud an instrument is comes not just from amplitude but also from timbre. The result is that it sounds (a) unpleasant, as though the instrument is being banged a lot of the time even when playing only moderately loudly; and (b) more distant, since you have the perception of a piano being loud from the timbre, but the actual amplitude is not that loud. This can be partly addressed by a velocity curve, but only partly, because the velocity curve will effectively change the sample to one with a better (quieter) timbre, but will also change the amplitude. You can get rid of the fff timbre skew, but only at the price of a reversed amplitude skew instead. I hope that VSL will fix this and release updated samples with proper amplitude and velocity mapping to at least allow a velocity curve to work properly. Meanwhile, the use of an appropriate velocity curve is essential for this instrument to make it playable.

The Regular Steinway preset is designed to feel quite close, as though you are sitting in front of the instrument and playing it for real. As with the CFX (and Garritan CFX, and one or two others), I'm happy to say that this illusion now more or less works for me with this instrument, so I think it is possible after all. That might just be more acclimitisation. The Ambient Steinway preset is designed to increase the ambience somewhat, so it feels more like you're playing in a larger room somewhere and not quite where you're actually sitting. It's not very ambient still, though, and certainly the ambient mics can be pushed up a lot further if you're into that.

PRESETS: As with the CFX, the builtin presets are lousy. In fact, they're possibly even worse on the Steinway. They are various levels of ambient ranging from fairly ambient (Player perspective) to extremely ambient (ambient perspective), and tending to sound a bit thin as well. After playing around for a while, I have developed a couple of presets of my own which I certainly prefer to any of the builtin ones. These are still a work in progress, so I might update them at some point in the future, but not any time soon. The spatial characteristics are what I'm least satisfied with and have paid least attention to, but they're adequate for the time being. I have provided links to the preset files below, in case anyone wants to try them out. Both are based on the Condenser and Ribbon mics together with Mid 2, Surround and High Surround. I've avoided the Decca tree because it sounds too distant and brings an inevitable ambience to the sound. I've reduced the release samples, but because they're much better than those on the CFX, I've not turned them off entirely. I've included some reverb because the piano is in need of a bit of extra shimmer which even the Surround and High Surround mics are not giving to anything like the same extent as the CFX. I've also, for performance reasons, reduced the max voices per mic to 96. This works okay on my system without pops or clicks, whereas 128 does not, but please adjust as necessary for your own hardware. Curiously, even reducing this to 64 does not seem to have any noticeable effect in regular playing in terms of voice stealing or tones cutting out earlier, so whatever algorithm is controlling this seems to work very well. I tested

Regular VSL Steinway: Regular VSL Steinway
Ambient VSL Steinway: Ambient VSL Steinway

One important caveat: both of those presets were designed with particular touch curve in mind. I play on a CA-67 with a 'Normal' (i.e. linear) touch curve on the instrument, and a simple linear touch curve (i.e. 0-0 to 127-127 in a straight line) on almost VSTs, and I find it generally works okay. On this instrument, that simply doesn't work because of the calibration problems, so I've adjusted the touch curve the minimum amount I think I can get away with. I've also provided a link to the touch curve file below, which works with SaviHost or VSTHost, but for anyone hosting VSL Synchron Pianos in something else, the curve I'm using is shown below. Obviously you should adjust as you see fit, and incorporate any normal adjustment you might already use into it as well based on your physical keyboard and playing style; it's just there as a guide.

VSL Steinway touch curve: VSL Steinway touch curve

[Linked Image]

OVERALL: This is a fine instrument, of that there's no doubt. It sounds like a Steinway, it has a good attack on each tone, it has good consistency across the range of the keyboard, and with the right touch curve and mic settings, you can recreate the illusion of playing a piano. It's not without its problems and limitations, and the poor timbre calibration is a major flaw that needs to be addressed in some way. Still, I can see myself using this instrument a good deal. I still think the CFX is slightly better overall, but not without its own flaws, and the two offer good alternatives, so it's great to have both choices.


Wow, this is the most specific and excellent review I've ever seen! I read everything carefully and agree with most of your opinions. Especially I want to vote that VSL should update to add the velocity curve. I will test the presets you provide at once:)

VSL Steinway D has some flaws, but it's certainly the best Steinway instrument I have.

Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: angmyu] #2796496
12/29/18 12:37 PM
12/29/18 12:37 PM
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 9
Boston, MA
G
Gerhard Offline
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Gerhard  Offline
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G

Joined: May 2014
Posts: 9
Boston, MA
angmyu: I like your settings better than the first ones Erard posted. With your settings, the VSL Steinway is really starting to sound good to me. In the end, I even increased the Global MIDI sensitivity slightly to give less compression and a bit more of the sharp attack.
karavala: I agree with angmyu about the excellence of your review. I can't wait to try your settings!


Adult intermediate; Kawai MP11SE; Yamaha HS8 monitors; Synthogy Ivory II American Concert D; True Keys Ravenscroft 275; Galaxy Vintage D; Garritan CFX; Vienna Symphonic Library Steinway D; Mason & Hamlin B
Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: angmyu] #2796504
12/29/18 01:14 PM
12/29/18 01:14 PM
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 9
Boston, MA
G
Gerhard Offline
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Gerhard  Offline
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Posts: 9
Boston, MA
karvala: How do I use your *.vsynpreset files?


Adult intermediate; Kawai MP11SE; Yamaha HS8 monitors; Synthogy Ivory II American Concert D; True Keys Ravenscroft 275; Galaxy Vintage D; Garritan CFX; Vienna Symphonic Library Steinway D; Mason & Hamlin B
Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: Gerhard] #2796534
12/29/18 02:30 PM
12/29/18 02:30 PM
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karvala Online content
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Originally Posted by Gerhard
karvala: How do I use your *.vsynpreset files?


You literally just have to put it into the folder where your VSL preset files are, then restart VSL Synchron Pianos, and it will be available from the User presets (accessed from the folder icon near the top-right of Synchron Pianos).

If you're not sure where your VSL preset files are stored, go to the Settings in Synchron Pianos, select the Database tab and you'll see a file path for the user presets folder at the top. Go to that folder using whatever folder browser you normally use (e.g. Windows Explorer), and inside you'll see a VSL folder. Inside that folder will be a Vienna Synchron Pianos folder and inside that will be a Presets folder. That's the one you want to copy the .vsynpreset file into. If you have other existing User presets, you will find those in there as well.


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: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: angmyu] #2796583
12/29/18 05:20 PM
12/29/18 05:20 PM
Joined: May 2014
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Boston, MA
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Gerhard Offline
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Slick! And I love your presets! I'll definitely play with them for the next few days. (After that, there's the day job frown )
Many thanks for getting us all this far. Now it's up to VSL.


Adult intermediate; Kawai MP11SE; Yamaha HS8 monitors; Synthogy Ivory II American Concert D; True Keys Ravenscroft 275; Galaxy Vintage D; Garritan CFX; Vienna Symphonic Library Steinway D; Mason & Hamlin B
Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: karvala] #2796762
12/30/18 12:35 PM
12/30/18 12:35 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 980
Milano
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newer player Offline
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Originally Posted by karvala
The biggest problem for playability out of the box is the calibration problem. Having played the instrument more since my previous comments, and seen comments here and elsewhere, I have no hesitation in stating that as a fact now. The velocity-amplitude mapping is more or less fine and broadly similar to the CFX. The velocity-timbre mapping, however, is completely wrong, with a heavy skew towards fff.

Awaiting VSL update.

Originally Posted by karvala
This can be partly addressed by a velocity curve, but only partly, because the velocity curve will effectively change the sample to one with a better (quieter) timbre, but will also change the amplitude. You can get rid of the fff timbre skew, but only at the price of a reversed amplitude skew instead. I hope that VSL will fix this and release updated samples with proper amplitude and velocity mapping to at least allow a velocity curve to work properly. Meanwhile, the use of an appropriate velocity curve is essential for this instrument to make it playable.

: (

The robot "sounded" like a good idea for consistency and to reduce sound engineering work. But given the big change in process, it seems like VSL should have spent more time with real piano players in beta testing to finalise. The VSL demo videos-recordings seem to be missing a certain repertoire so I think they understand the VI has some issues.

If Karvala uses the "light" CA67 touchcurve to access all 128 MIDI velocity levels. I suppose he also has to fight against another black box (Kawai's on-board "light" velocity mapping, which seems a bit jagged to me.)

I suppose Karvala could use the "standard" CA67 touchcurve (which I think only outputs MIDI 1-105, roughly) to his advantage here. Just a wholesale chopping off of anything approaching "louder timbres". Of course he would lose 20+ velocity levels and all the problematic VSL fff samples (and probably a lot more hahaha). But perhaps gain a more "normalised" velocity curve out of the Kawai so perhaps less fighting there.

Hopefully Karvala will reach out to VSL (maybe via the official forums) and their development team will take some time to update the VI. Can't be that hard and if VSL is committed to the robot, then they will need to iron out the process sooner or later.

Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: angmyu] #2797503
01/01/19 02:26 PM
01/01/19 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by angmyu


I don't know if you can be satisfied, but I've attached the setting that I'm currently using. But because this alone is dry in tone, I usually add the external reverb a little. I compared this to Garritan CFX, and VSL Steinway sounded as close as it to my ear. Their big difference is the warmness of the tone. I don't know what you'll think. The velocity curve(or MIDI Sensitivity) and volume will need to be changed to fit your equipment.

[Linked Image]


How would one implement midiCurve in Reaper as angmyu has shown?

Last edited by rach3master; 01/01/19 02:27 PM.
Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: newer player] #2797650
01/02/19 12:23 AM
01/02/19 12:23 AM
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Dublin
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johnstaf Offline
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Originally Posted by newer player

I suppose Karvala could use the "standard" CA67 touchcurve (which I think only outputs MIDI 1-105, roughly) to his advantage here. Just a wholesale chopping off of anything approaching "louder timbres". Of course he would lose 20+ velocity levels and all the problematic VSL fff samples (and probably a lot more hahaha). But perhaps gain a more "normalised" velocity curve out of the Kawai so perhaps less fighting there.

Hopefully Karvala will reach out to VSL (maybe via the official forums) and their development team will take some time to update the VI. Can't be that hard and if VSL is committed to the robot, then they will need to iron out the process sooner or later.


If what you say is true about the MIDI value range of the CA67 is true, doesn't it sound like the problem is with the CA67? With a light touch curve the ffff samples are too easy to trigger, but with a heavier curve they are not accessible. I have to struggle to get the higher MIDI values with the default setting on my Roland DP, just like trying to play ffff on a concert grand. I think this is the only VST that responds like a real concert grand.

I hope VSL doesn't take a different approach for the Synchron Imperial.

Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: rach3master] #2797656
01/02/19 01:06 AM
01/02/19 01:06 AM
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angmyu Offline OP
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Originally Posted by rach3master

How would one implement midiCurve in Reaper as angmyu has shown?


I tried to run midiCurve in my Cakewalk but failed, so I had to run it only on vsthost. It may only available in 32-bit DAW. The 64-bit midiCurve is difficult to obtain because the official site for downloading it is closed. Does anyone own or know where to download 64-bit midiCurve?

Or there may be another cause.

Re: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: johnstaf] #2797760
01/02/19 09:25 AM
01/02/19 09:25 AM
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karvala Online content
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Originally Posted by newer player

I suppose Karvala could use the "standard" CA67 touchcurve (which I think only outputs MIDI 1-105, roughly) to his advantage here. Just a wholesale chopping off of anything approaching "louder timbres". Of course he would lose 20+ velocity levels and all the problematic VSL fff samples (and probably a lot more hahaha). But perhaps gain a more "normalised" velocity curve out of the Kawai so perhaps less fighting there.

Hopefully Karvala will reach out to VSL (maybe via the official forums) and their development team will take some time to update the VI. Can't be that hard and if VSL is committed to the robot, then they will need to iron out the process sooner or later.


Originally Posted by johnstaf
If what you say is true about the MIDI value range of the CA67 is true, doesn't it sound like the problem is with the CA67? With a light touch curve the ffff samples are too easy to trigger, but with a heavier curve they are not accessible. I have to struggle to get the higher MIDI values with the default setting on my Roland DP, just like trying to play ffff on a concert grand. I think this is the only VST that responds like a real concert grand.

I hope VSL doesn't take a different approach for the Synchron Imperial.


Just to confirm for both of you: I always use the standard/normal touch curve on the CA-67, which is the closest to an acoustic instrument in my experience. In normal playing, I will typically get midi velocity values in the range 20 to 110, but if I'm specifically trying, I can reliably get values of 1 and 127, so the CA-67 standard touch curve certainly covers the entire midi velocity range. This is on update version 1.08; it may have been different on earlier versions.

I should also reiterate that this is the only VST (even including the VSL CFX) which for me requires an altered touch curve to behave in a realistic manner in respect of the timbre. The mapping is substantially different to the CFX, and all other VSTs. I appreciate it may work well in its default settings for some people with different keyboards or playing styles, but for me and what would seem to be the majority of other experienced users judging from the comments here and over at VSL, there is definitely a calibration problem here.

I have shared my views with VSL, and I believe they broadly accept the view and are working on a solution. I don't have any more details than that. They were quite responsive to some of the early problems with the CFX - including the introduction of the user controls for the release samples which helped a lot with that - and I'm sure they will fix this in due course as well.


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: VSL Steinway D - released [Re: karvala] #2797772
01/02/19 10:31 AM
01/02/19 10:31 AM
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Milano
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Originally Posted by karvala
Just to confirm for both of you: I always use the standard/normal touch curve on the CA-67, which is the closest to an acoustic instrument in my experience. In normal playing, I will typically get midi velocity values in the range 20 to 110, but if I'm specifically trying, I can reliably get values of 1 and 127, so the CA-67 standard touch curve certainly covers the entire midi velocity range. This is on update version 1.08; it may have been different on earlier versions.

Thanks Karvala.

For the benefit of others, some older/entry-level Kawai digital pianos don't seem to have user-updatable firmware, including the es100:

http://www.kawai-global.com/support/updates/

Originally Posted by karvala
I'm sure they will fix this in due course as well.

I'm a bit more pragmatic but time will tell. . .

Last edited by newer player; 01/02/19 10:33 AM.
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