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I know why I thought the playability of Garritan is worse #2860840
06/20/19 12:15 PM
06/20/19 12:15 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 50
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Harpuia Online content OP
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Harpuia  Online Content OP
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Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 50
I scanned through the “what DP really lacks” thread and saw people saying the number of velocity layers doesn’t matter that much in a sample piano.

Previously I thought 20 layers are the reason why I thought Garritan has worse playability, but it’s not really the case. I think what sample pianos really lack are the following:

1. Pedals (and finger pedals with sympathetic resonance). This is by far the most obvious weakness of sample pianos. Pedals are DEAD in sample pianos and I can’t describe how important it is. After you hit a note, you can only alter the note using pedals.

2. After I compared the same pieces played by Garritan and Pianoteq (recordings from Philip Johnston and Pianoteq website), I found the CFX Garritan uses tends to become bright when the velocity is a bit higher. Garritan sounds very good in big chord sections especially the bass, but the middle range notes sound a little bit too bright for my taste. That’s why I think the melody in the middle range sounds a little choppy and not singing like acoustic pianos.

3. Sympathetic resonance. Garritan is very weak at sympathetic resonance. The artificial string resonance sounds weak and fake. However, this is not a big issue if ambient mic is opened. Because the resonance from the ambient recording studio will overwhelm the string resonance anyway. Garritan is good at the ambient and reverb so it hides a lot of shortage of DPs. I must admit that I rarely found a recorded DP sound is convincing if the reverb is weak. Either sampling or modeling, there are many little details that we are missing to simulate a piano sound. For example, soundboard and body resonance, note release. If there is no reverb in DP sound, it also sounds too clean and not natural.

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Re: I know why I thought the playability of Garritan is worse [Re: Harpuia] #2860850
06/20/19 12:35 PM
06/20/19 12:35 PM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,188
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Gombessa Offline
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Gombessa  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2016
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Resonance modeling has come a long way in just a couple of years, IMO. Roland's SuperNatural Modeled/VPiano/PureAcoustic, Yamaha's new version of VRM, Kawai's SK-EX rendering engine.

I agree the implementation in Garritan CFX is pretty basic in comparison, but IMO the full-bodied tone from the ambient studio recording makes up for it to a large degree (so I agree with you on that as well).


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: I know why I thought the playability of Garritan is worse [Re: Harpuia] #2860860
06/20/19 12:55 PM
06/20/19 12:55 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,663
Sofia, Bulgaria
CyberGene Online content
3000 Post Club Member
CyberGene  Online Content
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,663
Sofia, Bulgaria
I agree that typical sample based VST-s struggle with the resonances and as I said in the other thread, the hybrid approach seems to be the best of both worlds: samples for their sheer beauty + resonance modeling. That's what actually latest Yamaha and Kawai pianos do, however they still use looped samples and would greatly benefit from multi-GB samples. Pianoteq on the other hand is great with the resonances but struggles with the timbre realism. I still think Pianoteq can license their resonance modeling to a sample software library such as Garritan and VSL. Or collaborate together in creating something good.

As to Garritan CFX, the string resonance is indeed fake and it's switched off by default and I've never switched it on. However the damper-down samples contain the real damper resonance of the CFX piano that was sampled and they are simply astonishing. That and the actual reverberation create a great sound. However the problem is that's just a static resonance with each note and all that is just replayed on each note, rather than being computed by a single resonance engine. As to string resonance, I haven't found myself so much impressed with the string resonance as an effect at all, because even on real acoustic pianos it's really subtle. It's when pedal is pressed on real pianos that things become very complicated.

I think all cons and pros taken, for me the latest Yamaha and Kawai pianos are the best balance. But they still need improvement, so not all is perfect. Then follow the huge sampled libraries because for my taste timbre is more important than resonances. And last is Pianoteq and other modeled pianos because to my taste synthetic piano timbre is the the quickest way to get bored. That's just me smile YMMV

Last edited by CyberGene; 06/20/19 12:56 PM.

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Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: I know why I thought the playability of Garritan is worse [Re: Harpuia] #2860864
06/20/19 01:07 PM
06/20/19 01:07 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 50
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Harpuia Online content OP
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Harpuia  Online Content OP
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Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 50
It’s interesting that Roland came up with fully modeled V-piano, and then went to the hybrid approach for their SuperNatural engine. However, their latest model seems to switch to a new fully modeled engine.

Re: I know why I thought the playability of Garritan is worse [Re: Harpuia] #2860867
06/20/19 01:16 PM
06/20/19 01:16 PM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,188
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Gombessa Offline
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Gombessa  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,188
Originally Posted by Harpuia
It’s interesting that Roland came up with fully modeled V-piano, and then went to the hybrid approach for their SuperNatural engine. However, their latest model seems to switch to a new fully modeled engine.


I think the original V-Piano was a very expensive "halo product" and was not cost-effective to produce for their lower-cost pianos. SuperNatural Hybid did the job until they were able to develop and economize SuperNatural Modeled, RD-2000 V-Piano, and now PureAcoustic.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: I know why I thought the playability of Garritan is worse [Re: Gombessa] #2860872
06/20/19 01:30 PM
06/20/19 01:30 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 5,152
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content

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Posts: 5,152
Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by Harpuia
It’s interesting that Roland came up with fully modeled V-piano, and then went to the hybrid approach for their SuperNatural engine. However, their latest model seems to switch to a new fully modeled engine.


I think the original V-Piano was a very expensive "halo product" and was not cost-effective to produce for their lower-cost pianos. SuperNatural Hybid did the job until they were able to develop and economize SuperNatural Modeled, RD-2000 V-Piano, and now PureAcoustic.

Though digital pianos may have developed slowly overall, CPUs have gotten more powerful in these 10 years since the V-Piano was first released, by Moore's Law. My educated guess is that this would affect modeling more than sampling, and might explain the shift back and forth between these two.


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"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
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Re: I know why I thought the playability of Garritan is worse [Re: Harpuia] #2860875
06/20/19 01:32 PM
06/20/19 01:32 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,663
Sofia, Bulgaria
CyberGene Online content
3000 Post Club Member
CyberGene  Online Content
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,663
Sofia, Bulgaria
It's not back and forth per se. The V-Piano was a technology demonstrator, so to speak but never meant to be a mainstream model. However their mainstream digital pianos followed a gradual technology evolution: sampled -> sampled + modeled -> fully modeled -> even fuller modeled laugh

Last edited by CyberGene; 06/20/19 01:33 PM.

My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: I know why I thought the playability of Garritan is worse [Re: Harpuia] #2860880
06/20/19 01:37 PM
06/20/19 01:37 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,775
Dublin
johnstaf Offline
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johnstaf  Offline
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Posts: 1,775
Dublin
I find Roland's path to be more interesting than Pianoteq's. There is a realism about Roland that I think Pianoteq lacks, even though Roland can sound a bit colourless in comparison. Roland's attacks are much better IMHO. That has always been the biggest weakness in Pianoteq.


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