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Re: VSL Synchron Bluethner 1895
Grazilerimba #2875115 08/01/19 09:52 PM
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Thanks karvala for ur sharing!
I think the feelings are just what we need, the sound of history.
That's the charm and diversity the VSTs can provided.
I will try it tmr.


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Re: VSL Synchron Bluethner 1895
newer player #2875157 08/02/19 01:57 AM
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Originally Posted by newer player
Thank you so much for sharing your impressions on these VIs karvala. They are fun to read, educational, and useful for those of us considering new VSTs.


Amen!

I'm downloading it right now. It will take about 13 more hours because of my slow internet.

I'm looking forward to the Karvala Blüthner patch. grin

God Bless,
David


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Re: VSL Synchron Bluethner 1895
Grazilerimba #2875188 08/02/19 05:37 AM
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Thank you for the first impressions and for the hint regarding the bundle price. That is indeed a nice price. I hadn't planned on getting this but for that price I might go for it.

Re: VSL Synchron Bluethner 1895
karvala #2875215 08/02/19 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by karvala

It's an 1895 vintage piano and it sounds like an 1895 vintage piano. It's clearly been properly restored and maintained, but that doesn't mean replaced with modern parts to make it sound new; it still sounds very much like a piano of that era. If that's what you're after, you'll love it. If you're after a modern piano sound, look elsewhere; this is not a cheap(er) alternative to the CFX or Steinway D. Having said that, the sound is fairly even all things considered, and surprisingly clean.

The closest VST I can think of in terms of sound is the NI Maverick, but there are two important differences. The Blüthner is a larger and much more resonant physical instrument than the Bechstein in the Maverick; from my perspective that's a good thing because it makes it suitable for a larger range of repertoire. Second is that it is somewhat higher on playability as well. It's not quite as good as the CFX or Steinway D in that respect, but that's inevitable given the source material. It is certainly the most playable period piano VST I've come across yet, which is great.

Great first impression Karvala.

I'm still undecided about buying it - just a little bit unconvinced about the playability (the samples are half the size per mic compared to the CFX and D).
It has probably half the number of layers of the CFX (or D) but as you seem to hint at it's probably the right technical choice - period instruments have a more limited dynamic and timbre range.

It would be a great addition for classical period music though: the Pathetique in the demos sounds so 'right' on this piano!



Last edited by Erard; 08/02/19 08:13 AM.

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Re: VSL Synchron Bluethner 1895
Erard #2875225 08/02/19 08:55 AM
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This has always puzzle me because I've never been exposed:
Originally Posted by karvala
It's an 1895 vintage piano and it sounds like an 1895 vintage piano.
I've never seen or heard a piano from the late 19th century (or mid 19th ... or early 19th) ... so I don't know what such a piano sounds like. Are there any such pianos around anymore?

Re: VSL Synchron Bluethner 1895
Erard #2875245 08/02/19 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Erard
I'm still undecided about buying it - just a little bit unconvinced about the playability (the samples are half the size per mic compared to the CFX and D).
It has probably half the number of layers of the CFX (or D)

Not sure. A quick read of VSLs info pages indicates number of samples per mic is 25% bigger and installed size in GB per mic is 100% bigger (Concert D vs Blüthner).

Not sure why the installed size in GB per mic is so different. I would guess the Concert D having: 25% more samples (partly due to more keys?), more pedal options, longer samples? Assuming no change in file format (e.g. 44.1/16) or compression scheme.

PER VSL
The Concert D full library has
11 "microphone positions",
219,417 samples,
266.3 GB installed size.

The Blüthner 1895 full library has
"8 microphones",
124,464 samples,
98.6GB installed size.

CALCULATED (Assuming 88 keys for both pianos)
Installed size per mic position 24.2GB vs 12.3GB. About 97% more.

VSL states the Concert D has, "Almost 20,000 samples per microphone position" (I calculate almost 16,000 for Blüthner 1895). About 25% more.

FYI VSL states the Concert D has, "over 4,000 samples per key" (I calculate 291,417/88 = 2493; maybe VSL is counting the stereo mics 2x?)

Re: VSL Synchron Bluethner 1895
Erard #2875263 08/02/19 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Erard

Great first impression Karvala.

I'm still undecided about buying it - just a little bit unconvinced about the playability (the samples are half the size per mic compared to the CFX and D).
It has probably half the number of layers of the CFX (or D) but as you seem to hint at it's probably the right technical choice - period instruments have a more limited dynamic and timbre range.

It would be a great addition for classical period music though: the Pathetique in the demos sounds so 'right' on this piano!

That `Half size` you mention here is more than any other sample piano on the market has, every VSL piano is a sample and velocity monster, and every one of them are very playable.

Last edited by slobajudge; 08/02/19 10:57 AM.
Re: VSL Synchron Bluethner 1895
newer player #2875306 08/02/19 01:10 PM
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newer player, good points - I didn't consider the number of samples.
The smaller installed size, compared to the D, it's probably due to the shorter sustain, as you mention.

See what you did? Now you've taken away my doubts and I HAVE to get a copy... laugh


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Re: VSL Synchron Bluethner 1895
Grazilerimba #2875352 08/02/19 03:11 PM
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The release samples are presumably smaller as well, owing to the shorter reverb time.

Re: VSL Synchron Bluethner 1895
johnstaf #2875402 08/02/19 05:47 PM
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Thanks guys, I really appreciate the comments.

Originally Posted by David B

I'm downloading it right now. It will take about 13 more hours because of my slow internet.

I'm looking forward to the Karvala Blüthner patch. grin

God Bless,
David


Happy to share once I've created some. smile

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I've never seen or heard a piano from the late 19th century (or mid 19th ... or early 19th) ... so I don't know what such a piano sounds like. Are there any such pianos around anymore?


Yes, but not many of good quality and in good condition. Early 20th century Broadwood uprights in shoddy condition are found in practically every village hall in the UK and sound horrendous for the most part. Late 19th century concert grands in top condition are indeed a rarity, though, and often in collections. I used to play the pianos in the Finchcocks collection occasionally; they're mostly earlier than that but they do have some late 19th century instruments there too.

Originally Posted by Erard

Great first impression Karvala.

I'm still undecided about buying it - just a little bit unconvinced about the playability (the samples are half the size per mic compared to the CFX and D).
It has probably half the number of layers of the CFX (or D) but as you seem to hint at it's probably the right technical choice - period instruments have a more limited dynamic and timbre range.

It would be a great addition for classical period music though: the Pathetique in the demos sounds so 'right' on this piano!


Playability is surprisingly good considering the source material and definitely doesn't feel to be limited by the sampling. I find that period instruments with somewhat unpredictable tone and dynamics are inherently more limited in their playability anyway, and that feels like the only limitation here.

Music from the classical period is indeed fun on it (even if not entirely authentic!); it somehow adds to the atmosphere. You might appreciate the additional clarity the lower reverb/resonance brings when playing Bach or Scarlatti as well. It's also fun to play Rachmaninoff or Debussy with the notion that this is the type of instrument they might have been using themselves (also not strictly accurate, since it wouldn't have been over 100 years old when they were playing, but still!). It is a bit of a novelty instrument, but of the various period instruments I have it's the only one that goes beyond that and has potential for everyday use.

Originally Posted by johnstaf
The release samples are presumably smaller as well, owing to the shorter reverb time.


Yeah, I agree this is likely to be the case. The reverb time is significantly shorter.

Last edited by karvala; 08/02/19 05:49 PM.

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 Synchron Bluethner 1895
MacMacMac #2875531 08/03/19 03:14 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
This has always puzzle me because I've never been exposed:
Originally Posted by karvala
It's an 1895 vintage piano and it sounds like an 1895 vintage piano.
I've never seen or heard a piano from the late 19th century (or mid 19th ... or early 19th) ... so I don't know what such a piano sounds like. Are there any such pianos around anymore?

Here are a couple of youtube videos from the Chopin Competition on Period Instruments. These are rare and perfectly restored instruments.

The piano is an Erard, built in 1837 - twelve years before Chopin death in 1849 - so quite representative of the state of the art at the time:
Chopin Sonata in B flat minor

Here the piano is a Pleyel - Chopin's favorite - built in 1842:
Chopin Polonaise in A flat major


Yamaha C3M - Kawai Novus - VSL CFX & Steinway D - Garritan CFX - Pianoteq Pro - American Concert D - Ravenscroft 275
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Re: VSL Synchron Bluethner 1895
Grazilerimba #2875585 08/03/19 06:37 AM
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Thanks for these links Erard. I have to admit I find it hard to enjoy the sound of these recordings. My ears have gotten used to contemporary grand pianos too much. It fells to me as if something is lacking. Very interesting that Chopin wrote on such instruments.

Re: VSL Synchron Bluethner 1895
Grazilerimba #2875587 08/03/19 06:46 AM
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I also bought the Bluethner...
Guys, would it be possible scale tunning on synchron pianos?, Bluethner with Werckmeister or Kirnberger tunning for Bach would be great!!

Re: VSL Synchron Bluethner 1895
Grazilerimba #2875593 08/03/19 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Grazilerimba
Thanks for these links Erard. I have to admit I find it hard to enjoy the sound of these recordings. My ears have gotten used to contemporary grand pianos too much. It fells to me as if something is lacking. Very interesting that Chopin wrote on such instruments.

I’ve been interested in this topic for a long time, since Chopin is my favorite composer but ultimately I never managed to like those period instruments, and so I share the same feeling. To me they sound almost like honky-tonk or ragtime pianos and it’s interesting indeed that Chopin wrote on such instruments.

Last edited by CyberGene; 08/03/19 07:22 AM.

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Re: VSL Synchron Bluethner 1895
sorrownightingale #2875646 08/03/19 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by sorrownightingale
I also bought the Bluethner...
Guys, would it be possible scale tunning on synchron pianos?, Bluethner with Werckmeister or Kirnberger tunning for Bach would be great!!

Yes, it is possible - you have to enter the deviation in cents on each group of notes (all the As, all the A#s etc.) for the historical tuning.
On the main screen, click on Edit, then click on Tuning on the right over the virtual keyboard. Click on a note selector (white/grey area over the keyboard) and now you can modify the value in Note tuning (in cents).

It's quite a cumbersome process, but it is doable. This tuning facility is not meant to be used for historical tunings, but to tune the piano to your liking.
I asked Paul about historical tunings, and he replied that "a more advanced tuning option with different tuning-tables is on our to-do-list".
This was over a year ago.


Last edited by Erard; 08/03/19 10:27 AM.

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Re: VSL Synchron Bluethner 1895
sorrownightingale #2875772 08/03/19 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by sorrownightingale
I also bought the Bluethner...
Guys, would it be possible scale tunning on synchron pianos?, Bluethner with Werckmeister or Kirnberger tunning for Bach would be great!!


You have to tune each note individually. There's no simpler way.

Re: VSL Synchron Bluethner 1895
CyberGene #2875776 08/03/19 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene

I’ve been interested in this topic for a long time, since Chopin is my favorite composer but ultimately I never managed to like those period instruments, and so I share the same feeling. To me they sound almost like honky-tonk or ragtime pianos and it’s interesting indeed that Chopin wrote on such instruments.


It's even more extreme of course for "authentic" Mozart. I prefer a concert grand.

I like the Blüthner, as it's mostly a modern piano.

Re: VSL Synchron Bluethner 1895
Grazilerimba #2877036 08/06/19 07:54 PM
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I'm really enjoying this Bluthner. It has a nice clarity and smoothness to it. It doesn't have the power in the low end like the VSL CFX does, but it feels very authentic. It almost feels more acoustic than the other VSL pianos I have. I think it might have to do with the smaller studio they sampled it in and probably because I play 6ft acoustic grands on occasion. It feels more intimate like this is actually a piano you'd have in your home. Also, the Aliquot system really adds a beautiful resonance to the upper register.

I'm waiting for Karvala to send me his patches because he really brings out the best in my VSL pianos. For now, here is a modified version of the Player/Sur preset. I've added the Ribbon and Condenser mics but kept everything else the same. It diminishes some of the clarity, but adds more body to the piano and sounds more powerful coming through my speakers at home.

Here is a simple little hymn I arranged using some basics from my Duane Shinn course.



God bless,
David


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Re: VSL Synchron Bluethner 1895
Grazilerimba #2877059 08/06/19 09:09 PM
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Nice playing David!


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Re: VSL Synchron Bluethner 1895
Grazilerimba #2877067 08/06/19 09:43 PM
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Well played David - I can hear you are really 'feeling' this instrument. Great tone & depth. This Bluthner could be my first foray into VSL!


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