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How do you prefer your DP samples to sound?
#2818867 02/22/19 01:39 PM
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Totally dry, pure and crisp? With no external influences and artifacts at all? And rely on built-in reverb engines and the external environment to "shape" the sound?

Or more "real-world," with ambient mic positions that capture the piano as recorded in the environment it sits in?

Using a VST that emphasizes the space of the recording studio with prominent ambient mics, I've found over the last year that I really prefer the latter to the former. It seems more enveloping and realistic to me, and I haven't had to use the VST's reverb settings at all, they just don't measure up to the real thing. But I get that modeled pianos don't work that way, and some people prefer their sampling more pure.

I'm curious to know, where do you stand?


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
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Re: How do you prefer your DP samples to sound?
Gombessa #2818870 02/22/19 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Totally dry, pure and crisp? With no external influences and artifacts at all? And rely on built-in reverb engines and the external environment to "shape" the sound?

Or more "real-world," with ambient mic positions that capture the piano as recorded in the environment it sits in?

Using a VST that emphasizes the space of the recording studio with prominent ambient mics, I've found over the last year that I really prefer the latter to the former. It seems more enveloping and realistic to me, and I haven't had to use the VST's reverb settings at all, they just don't measure up to the real thing. But I get that modeled pianos don't work that way, and some people prefer their sampling more pure.

I'm curious to know, where do you stand?


I think the complexity of real-life reverberation is greater than most realize. It's a world unto itself that some creatures use to see without light. A single reverb setting is helpful, but not the same.

Re: How do you prefer your DP samples to sound?
Gombessa #2818878 02/22/19 02:14 PM
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Agree that if you want reverb and ambience, real is better.

But I'm really interested in well recorded samples with less ambience as well.

As you can see in my signature, I play a lot of Bach and Beethoven. Usually with the Beethoven I prefer the default, full mix of ambience and close mics on the Garritan CFX; with the Bach, typically a less reverberant setting.

The Garritan CFX has absolutely amazing ambience, one of it's biggest strengths. And from the samples I've heard, it's the best sounding piano VSTi in general. But while others seem to like sometimes (or always) using the close mics exlcusively, I've had trouble getting it to sound great in my room. The included EQ helps but I can't quite get it right. Maybe I should look into a more comprehensive EQ plugin. The fidelity of the close mics seem very good.

Seems like the extra digital doodads, including stock software reverbs, muddy up the transients and overall fidelity. Might as well use PianoTeq at that point. Maybe a pricey standalone reverb plugin can be great? Btw, not saying that PTeq is poor -- it's actually an amazing technology -- but that its strength IMO is not fidelity of sound.


Beethoven, Bach -> Kawai CA-97 -> Garritan CFX Full -> Neumann Klein and Hummel 310s
Re: How do you prefer your DP samples to sound?
Gombessa #2818881 02/22/19 02:20 PM
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I've heard people praise valhalla room reverb, so I demo'd it. have to say it sounds totally fake to my ears. Maybe it's me and my lack of knowledge how to set it up but at least the presets they delivered were not good.

That being said: for experts, dry + effects is probably better, because it is easier for them to get the sound they want when they do not have to fight against recorded reverbs.

Even the Lite version of Garritan has plenty of reverb in the actual samples (convolution reverb set to off) and it sounds really nice. I find myself preferring it over pianoteq sonically but pianoteq simply has the better software.

I'm somewhat caught between a string and a hammer I guess. ._.


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
VPC 1 -> Pianoteq 7 Std | Garritan CFX / Pearl Alto Flute 201
Re: How do you prefer your DP samples to sound?
Granyala #2818954 02/22/19 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by R111

I think the complexity of real-life reverberation is greater than most realize. It's a world unto itself that some creatures use to see without light. A single reverb setting is helpful, but not the same.


+1

Originally Posted by similar
But while others seem to like sometimes (or always) using the close mics exlcusively, I've had trouble getting it to sound great in my room. The included EQ helps but I can't quite get it right. Maybe I should look into a more comprehensive EQ plugin. The fidelity of the close mics seem very good.


I use Garritan CFX as well, for its unsurpassed ambiance. But I normally use it with headphones and not monitors/speakers, so I don't know how it performs in that setting.

Originally Posted by Granyala

Even the Lite version of Garritan has plenty of reverb in the actual samples (convolution reverb set to off) and it sounds really nice. I find myself preferring it over pianoteq sonically but pianoteq simply has the better software.

I'm somewhat caught between a string and a hammer I guess. ._.


I wasn't so taken with the close-mics-only perspective of CFX Lite, which is why I opted for Full from the start. But I do agree, as good as CFX sounds, the software is a bit antiquated, and Pianoteq has the clear advantage in interface. I've often wished CFX had:

1. automated MIDI recording for the entire session
2. Display of real-time velocity
3. Velocity curve tool

...and more...


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: How do you prefer your DP samples to sound?
Gombessa #2818975 02/22/19 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
I use Garritan CFX as well, for its unsurpassed ambiance. But I normally use it with headphones and not monitors/speakers, so I don't know how it performs in that setting.


If you've got better than "PC" speakers and decent space, you've got to try em. Just last night I was in a kind of stupor playing little ditties for over an hour. Totally mesmerized, still, after over a year of setting up. I can't get that with headphones. Well, I haven't tried a headphone over half a grand so maybe that's my issue.

Originally Posted by Gombessa

I wasn't so taken with the close-mics-only perspective of CFX Lite, which is why I opted for Full from the start. But I do agree, as good as CFX sounds, the software is a bit antiquated, and Pianoteq has the clear advantage in interface. I've often wished CFX had:

1. automated MIDI recording for the entire session
2. Display of real-time velocity
3. Velocity curve tool

...and more...


Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I'd assume the latter two are things you can obtain as free or cheap plugins as part of DAW software. Couple-click midi recording is built into a decent DAW. I use Reaper ($70) for similarly basic tasks, very easy and great for keeping a collection of VSTs at your fingertips.

Last edited by similar; 02/22/19 06:37 PM.

Beethoven, Bach -> Kawai CA-97 -> Garritan CFX Full -> Neumann Klein and Hummel 310s
Re: How do you prefer your DP samples to sound?
similar #2818990 02/22/19 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by similar


Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I'd assume the latter two are things you can obtain as free or cheap plugins as part of DAW software. Couple-click midi recording is built into a decent DAW. I use Reaper ($70) for similarly basic tasks, very easy and great for keeping a collection of VSTs at your fingertips.


Actually, #1 as well. Everything I mention is available as a 3p MIDI app., but there's a benefit to not having to rely on 3p tools to perform everyday/intuitive tasks. Of note, PT's auto-recording of every playing session makes it much easier to save performances and deal with playing issues, than manually starting/stopping/naming/confirming recording individual sessions would do.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: How do you prefer your DP samples to sound?
Gombessa #2818994 02/22/19 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by similar


Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I'd assume the latter two are things you can obtain as free or cheap plugins as part of DAW software. Couple-click midi recording is built into a decent DAW. I use Reaper ($70) for similarly basic tasks, very easy and great for keeping a collection of VSTs at your fingertips.


Actually, #1 as well. Everything I mention is available as a 3p MIDI app., but there's a benefit to not having to rely on 3p tools to perform everyday/intuitive tasks.

Oh, in that case I think you can have everything activate in 2 clicks. Reaper allows you to save project templates, which you can boot to upon opening Reaper with whatever loaded into memory, as well as particular settings on all VSTs. The second click is pressing record.

Don't know anything about 3p though, maybe still cumbersome. Agreed, would be nice to have a better VST interface grin


Beethoven, Bach -> Kawai CA-97 -> Garritan CFX Full -> Neumann Klein and Hummel 310s
Re: How do you prefer your DP samples to sound?
Gombessa #2818997 02/22/19 07:07 PM
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So, I use Garritan from the built-in Aria player interface provided upon install, not from within a dedicated DAW. I haven't yet had the chance or reason to switch platforms, but I've often wished for a simple MIDI recording facility. Maybe I should expand my horizons smile


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: How do you prefer your DP samples to sound?
Gombessa #2819056 02/22/19 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Totally dry, pure and crisp? With no external influences and artifacts at all? And rely on built-in reverb engines and the external environment to "shape" the sound?

Or more "real-world," with ambient mic positions that capture the piano as recorded in the environment it sits in?

If I was just listening to the piano music for enjoyment, I prefer the real-world reverb with ambient mic positions (e.g. Garritan CFX).

However, for serious piano practice/study - I much much prefer the more dry sound - with just a little bit of reverb, for couple of reasons:
  • I find that I hear the timing 'mistakes' in my playing better without reverb. For example, if I am practicing advanced Hanon exercises (no. 21 and after) at the full tempo (108), if left and right hands are not completely synchronized - I can hear it much easily with relatively dry VST sound. Or, if I am playing Bach and want to check that all eight notes are 'detached' but sixteenth notes are connected - I find that is much easier to do with a drier sound.
  • I can play for a long time without feeling 'listener fatigue". With a VST with as much reverb as Garritan CFX, it induces a lot more fatigue after couple of hours of active practicing where I am listening to the sound attentively.

Because of this - for practice, I mostly use Embertone Walker now-a-days with Close+Wide (but not Room mics) - even though I find Garritan CFX more playable. If I am recording to share with others, I will probably switch to Garritan CFX.

Osho

Last edited by Osho; 02/22/19 10:37 PM.

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Re: How do you prefer your DP samples to sound?
Gombessa #2819084 02/23/19 02:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
I wasn't so taken with the close-mics-only perspective of CFX Lite, which is why I opted for Full from the start. But I do agree, as good as CFX sounds, the software is a bit antiquated, and Pianoteq has the clear advantage in interface. I've often wished CFX had:

1. automated MIDI recording for the entire session
2. Display of real-time velocity
3. Velocity curve tool

...and more...

Hah, so I am not the only one that misses these things. Good to know.
Esp as a beginner it is rather frustrating if you had a (still super rare) good run through a piece, only to realize that you did not have pianoteq running and the program didn't record. >.<

Real time display of velocity is always helpful to me, because I get hard data to verify what my ears tell me (I rarely trust them).
Thought about finding plugins for Cantabile but so far I rather just start pianoteq.... me lazy. laugh

Originally Posted by Gombessa
I wasn't so taken with the close-mics-only perspective of CFX Lite, which is why I opted for Full from the start.

I'd love to listen to the full version, just shied away from dumping 200€ for "just another piano". The Lite version I use for testing right now is a loan from a friend.

Last edited by Granyala; 02/23/19 02:45 AM.

The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
VPC 1 -> Pianoteq 7 Std | Garritan CFX / Pearl Alto Flute 201
Re: How do you prefer your DP samples to sound?
Granyala #2819098 02/23/19 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Thought about finding plugins for Cantabile but so far I rather just start pianoteq.... me lazy. laugh


I use Cantabile Solo (excellent VST host by the way...) and it has Auto Record function that starts and stops with your playing. No need for dedicated plugin.
You can choose to record just MIDI, or the sound input or output or all of them together.
There is also a dedicated options page where you can build the format of the filename, how long a pause will stop the recording and several other settings.

Last edited by Erard; 02/23/19 04:20 AM.

Yamaha C3M - Kawai Novus - VSL CFX & Steinway D - Garritan CFX - Pianoteq Pro - American Concert D - Ravenscroft 275
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Re: How do you prefer your DP samples to sound?
Gombessa #2819108 02/23/19 04:47 AM
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Good to know, Erard, thank you.

Just found out, that the easiest way to get a graphical midi velocity representation is to start pianoteq and Garritan within Cantabile and just mute Pianoteqs output path.

PTQ still does display all the stuff while Garritan does all the talking. laugh


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
VPC 1 -> Pianoteq 7 Std | Garritan CFX / Pearl Alto Flute 201

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