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Re: Your Top VSTs
Groove On #2870550 07/19/19 06:16 AM
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Me too. I find Pianoteq most responsive to my needs. I have all 10 of the Pianoteq models and the Galaxy Vintage D. I also enjoy the Yamaha CFX and Bösendorfer native to my Yamaha CVP 709. Of the Pianoteq models, l particularly like the Steinway D, Bechstein and Grotrian Concert Royal.

Paul H


Kemble Compact Acoustic Piano, Yamaha CVP 709 Polished White, Kawai MP11se, Pianoteq Standard, Galaxy Vintage D, Garritan CFX.
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Re: Your Top VSTs
Groove On #2870556 07/19/19 06:34 AM
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1. Pianoteq Steinway D, Steingraeber and Grotrian (in that order)
2. The Grandeur
3. VI Labs Ravenscroft 275

The sampled pianos sound beautifull but I always come back to Pianoteq. IMO the best compromise on the market today.

Last edited by stamkorg; 07/19/19 06:34 AM.
Re: Your Top VSTs
pianogabe #2870561 07/19/19 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by pianogabe
Erard, do you also have C. Bechstein Digital Grand for comparison? I do not see this library mentioned much, and I think it is absolutely fantastic. Needs a powerful computer though. In terms of sampled pianos, I can only compare it to Garritan CFX light, and Embertone Walker, and I prefer it over those.


I don't anymore - I returned it and got a refund after testing it for several days.
I agree it's one of the good ones - but it used too much of my computer resources and I found the tone a little hard - and I liked Garritan CFX better at the time.

In any case, to me, C. Bechstein Digital Grand it's way better than Ravenscroft or Americand D. Of course, there are people who feel exactly the opposite.

And they are free to be wrong, of course. grin


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: Your Top VSTs
Erard #2870592 07/19/19 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Erard

I always hated dongles - but now I have tree different systems I use VSL on - two Windows 10 and one MacOS - and I can go from one to the next without any problems. I can have as many copies as I desire! So I hate dongles a little less lately...


Do you move your dongle between systems or do you have three different ones?

With CFX you can have unlimited copies too, and they can all be activated offline. It's all handled in a .png image key they send you when you register. Just drag the image over the app window and it's unlocked.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Your Top VSTs
Groove On #2870628 07/19/19 11:42 AM
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Which CFX are you talking about? All VSL pianos require a dongle.

Last edited by johnstaf; 07/19/19 11:45 AM.
Re: Your Top VSTs
Gombessa #2870646 07/19/19 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by Erard

I always hated dongles - but now I have tree different systems I use VSL on - two Windows 10 and one MacOS - and I can go from one to the next without any problems. I can have as many copies as I desire! So I hate dongles a little less lately...


Do you move your dongle between systems or do you have three different ones?

With CFX you can have unlimited copies too, and they can all be activated offline. It's all handled in a .png image key they send you when you register. Just drag the image over the app window and it's unlocked.


Same machine, three operating systems, accessed via rebooting: Win 10 as a main computer, Win 10 music optimized (no Internet, few services etc.) now rarely used because of MacOS (Hackintosh) mostly for VSL, Pianoteq and music, since it sounds better to my ears.
I have lots of software and I upgrade hardware quite often - and every time it's a mess with all the software keys, user names and passwords, sites etc. The only software I never have to deal with is VSL as long as the dongle is attached to the computer.

Still, there are many things I don't like about the dongle - with VSL for example if you loose it you have to buy everything again, unless you pay 70€ every two years to VSL as a sort of insurance. Crazy.

I like the Garritan system of using a png image, but I doubt this system would protect more expensive or professional software.


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: Your Top VSTs
johnstaf #2870685 07/19/19 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Which CFX are you talking about? All VSL pianos require a dongle.

The CFX which uses an image as a license key is Garritan CFX. The image is customised with your name.


Yamaha CLP150, Bechstein Digital Grand, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, EWQL Pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq
Re: Your Top VSTs
Groove On #2870686 07/19/19 04:03 PM
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How’s the half-pedaling and re-pedaling in VSL libraries? Is it good enough and comparable to Garritan CFX?


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: Your Top VSTs
Groove On #2870745 07/19/19 07:19 PM
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Re-pedalling is good in all of them. Half-pedalling is only possible with the Synchron CFX and D, and not Vienna Imperial.

Re: Your Top VSTs
Groove On #2870766 07/19/19 08:33 PM
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Do sampled VSTs typically support the sostenuto pedal? If not, do any of the VSTs discussed here support it?

Re: Your Top VSTs
jon123 #2870770 07/19/19 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jon123
Do sampled VSTs typically support the sostenuto pedal? If not, do any of the VSTs discussed here support it?


Yes. There's nothing to it, as there's no difference in the sound between notes held by the fingers and those held by the sostenuto.

Re: Your Top VSTs
Groove On #2870800 07/20/19 01:50 AM
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Thanks for the heads up John smile


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: Your Top VSTs
Groove On #2870805 07/20/19 02:21 AM
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Since I am having a sort of "over-the-top" audio production server custom-built for me, I've been thinking about putting Pianoteq and VSL Synchron CFX and Concert D (Steinway D) on it. Is there any reason to have Garritan CFX full if one already has VSL Synchron CFX?

(BTW, johnstaf, after my chat with you last Sunday, I told my custom builder to crowbar into my custom build a RAID controller with a pair of NVMe M.2 PCI-e 512GB SSDs in a RAID-0 configuration for my non-boot drive D. I'd rather kick VSL Synchron Concert D's ass than vice versa! wink Let me know if there are any other tweaks I should be having him include. This build already has an RME Babyface Pro 24-Channel 192 kHz USB Bus-Powered Audio Interface.)


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across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Your Top VSTs
Tyrone Slothrop #2870810 07/20/19 02:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Since I am having a sort of "over-the-top" audio production server custom-built for me, I've been thinking about putting Pianoteq and VSL Synchron CFX and Concert D (Steinway D) on it. Is there any reason to have Garritan CFX full if one already has VSL Synchron CFX?

I haven't used Garritan CFX at all from the day I bought VSL CFX and then VSL Steinway D. To me, at this time, these two VSL libraries are the best money can buy (although there is still room for improvement)
Keep in mind though that you need to spend some time tweaking and testing them to find the perfect mic combination\velocity curve etc. that really satisfies you (but there is no velocity curve control in the Synchron software, so you will have to use some other way). The result is Pianoteq level playability plus real ambience and the superior tone of a sampled library.
At least this has been my experience.


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: Your Top VSTs
Groove On #2870813 07/20/19 03:19 AM
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What do you mean there’s no velocity curve control? Is this serious? So you can only use your controllers curves or some MIDI automation in the DAW?


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: Your Top VSTs
CyberGene #2870817 07/20/19 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
What do you mean there’s no velocity curve control? Is this serious? So you can only use your controllers curves or some MIDI automation in the DAW?

I know, it's hard to believe, but you cannot control the velocity curve in the Vienna Synchron Piano VST sofware (the VSL software for the CFX and Steinway D samples - 500€ each!).
There is only a Midi Sensitivity control, no UI, that makes the samples more or less velocity sensitive - I have no idea of what that means (goes from -100 to 100), and it is practically useless to me.

I use Cantabile on Windows, with a velocity curve VST (MidiCurve, 32 bit, with jBridge) chained before the Synchron software, and Mainstage on MacOS, which has a somewhat ok velocity curve control.


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: Your Top VSTs
Groove On #2870823 07/20/19 04:07 AM
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With that in mind, I’m amazed at the advanced touch curve functionality in my Studiologic SL73. Using the control software one can create not only a custom touch curve but also velocity offsets per key and even create a balance between the black and white keys shocked That controller itself isn’t anything to talk about in terms of piano action realism but the advanced level of programming capabilities is great. I guess their SL88 Grand might be a great solution for pianists taking in mind it uses their best action with wooden parts and in combination with the fine-grained touch curve configuration.


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: Your Top VSTs
Erard #2870859 07/20/19 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Erard
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Since I am having a sort of "over-the-top" audio production server custom-built for me, I've been thinking about putting Pianoteq and VSL Synchron CFX and Concert D (Steinway D) on it. Is there any reason to have Garritan CFX full if one already has VSL Synchron CFX?

I haven't used Garritan CFX at all from the day I bought VSL CFX and then VSL Steinway D. To me, at this time, these two VSL libraries are the best money can buy (although there is still room for improvement)
Keep in mind though that you need to spend some time tweaking and testing them to find the perfect mic combination\velocity curve etc. that really satisfies you (but there is no velocity curve control in the Synchron software, so you will have to use some other way). The result is Pianoteq level playability plus real ambience and the superior tone of a sampled library.
At least this has been my experience.


Do you have a favorite between the VSL CFX and VSL Steinway D?


Yamaha N1X, P-515.
Genelec 8331 monitors and 7350 sub.
VI’s: Garritan CFX, VSL Bösendorfer Upright, and VSL Blüthner 1895. Pianoteq.
Re: Your Top VSTs
JJHLH #2870872 07/20/19 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by JJHLH
Do you have a favorite between the VSL CFX and VSL Steinway D?


As I said, at the moment I slightly prefer the CFX - but I also like the Yamaha flagship better than the Steinway D on the real instruments.
Unfortunately, I'm not sure this helps if your question is about deciding which one to buy: another person's opinion means very little in this regard.

Having said that, I prefer the CFX samples because they sound more raw and direct and more real to me.
On the other hand, the Steinway D has a better implementation of the note off sound and it's a tiny bit more smooth and regular.

The funny thing is, a few months ago I used to play the Steinway D almost exclusively...


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: Your Top VSTs
Groove On #2870885 07/20/19 10:10 AM
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My experience with VSL Steinway is a bit different. I got it after hearing some impressive demos and reading some good reviews. When I tried it myself, however, I realized it was extremely bright, even brighter than my Garritan CFX, which I didn't expect from a piano sampled from a Steinway. To my ears, it almost sounded like a honky tonk.

Because of this, I felt a complete disconnect between what I was pressing and the sound that was coming out. I tried tweaking some settings suggested by some members here, and that made the sound a little more palatable, but I still felt that odd disconnect. I don't think there is enough tweaking that can be done to fundamentally change the timbre of the instrument. Maybe I am just too used to the sound of the Garritan CFX, although that too I also wish were a bit mellower.

Last edited by rach3master; 07/20/19 10:13 AM.

Youtube piano recordings (classical music/video games/anime): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh9N3Xirs86USDQXE1WiwXg
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