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I couldn't open the original link but I see it has been updated and so I listened to the pieces. I hope the following comment won't get interpreted as a personal insult. The demo that has been chosen reminds me of many typical demos that piano reviewers post on YouTube - kind of new age, pop style of music which isn't bad by itself but IMO isn't particularly good to demonstrate where digital mostly suffer: soft, lyrical flow with long sustain and rubato feel. It's mostly louder notes with short sustain, mostly arpeggiated chords or melody notes with a chord underneath each single note. It's hard to judge pianos from this type of music. To my ears all of them sound bad... With that in mind:

1. Metallic quality to the sound, dull sustain, the sound is boxy and like coming from a closet
2. Even worse, too clanky
3. I like that it has softer quality, however the attack is slightly dull, the bass notes are a tiny bit out of tune and the tonal quality is still too zingy metallic
4. Still some metallic hint that I don't like and bass-guitar like bass notes
5. Kind of thin but on repeated listens is probably the least irritating among all
6. It's probably a sampled vintage piano. I usually don't like such kind of pianos but for this kind of rather aggressive piano playing it makes it sound a bit more human to compensate for it
7. Similar to 6, but duller and a bit too bassy, as though the bass was artificially increased

I'd be interested in the touch response chosen for creating these files. IMO it's too touch sensitive and makes all of them sound like in-your-face pop pianos where you only care to deliver bright and clear sound rather than intimate and warm velvety sound.


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Originally Posted by CyberGene
I couldn't open the original link but I see it has been updated and so I listened to the pieces. I hope the following comment won't get interpreted as a personal insult. The demo that has been chosen reminds me of many typical demos that piano reviewers post on YouTube - kind of new age, pop style of music which isn't bad by itself but IMO isn't particularly good to demonstrate where digital mostly suffer: soft, lyrical flow with long sustain and rubato feel. It's mostly louder notes with short sustain, mostly arpeggiated chords or melody notes with a chord underneath each single note. It's hard to judge pianos from this type of music. To my ears all of them sound bad... With that in mind:

I'd be interested in the touch response chosen for creating these files. IMO it's too touch sensitive and makes all of them sound like in-your-face pop pianos where you only care to deliver bright and clear sound rather than intimate and warm velvety sound.


Hi CyberGene - not a personal insult at all - just a bit of a disappointment, since I tried to vary the dynamics and sound colouration to give some range of expression. However, I do see what you mean, and I agree, none of them sound quite right.

The touch response is neutral/default throughout. The demo certainly could have done with more p to mp levels and less pedal - I'll bear it in mind.


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49 / Akai EWI

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The actual pianos were:

1 Pianoteq Steinway D
2 Production Voices Production Grand (Yamaha C7)
3 Native Instruments Alicia's Keys (Yamaha C3)
4 Roland SuperNatural (sample/modelled hybrid - the 10 year old sound engine)
5 Garritan CFX lite (classic microphone position)
6 Imperfect Samples Steinway Walnut Grand
7 Native Instruments The Giant (basic Giant)

Last edited by toddy; 08/19/19 10:35 AM.

Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49 / Akai EWI

Reaper / Native Instruments K9 ult / ESQL MOR2 Symph Orchestra & Choirs / Lucato & Parravicini , trumpets & saxes / Garritan CFX lite / Production Voices C7 & Steinway D compact

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Thanks for the comparison, actually it was quite interesting and useful. Putting aside my biased personal preference towards classical music which on second thought might have been too harshly expressed since people play all types of music on pianos, it still confirms my own preference of Garritan CFX:

Quote
5. Kind of thin but on repeated listens is probably the least irritating among all


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All this time I thought my wife hated yogurt, but it turns out she didn’t. She’s just lactose intolerant.
This got me to thinking about Pianoteq: it’s not hate, it’s simply intolerance (quantum intolerance).
Now knowing what the consequences of my wife ingesting yogurt would be (especially at bed, at night, or in the car), I’m thankful for her sacrifices. There, she always loved yogurt, but for me, she never had any; and other than my occasional lapse in judgement, our bedroom always smells of roses.
The things we do for love!

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Originally Posted by Pete14
All this time I thought my wife hated yogurt, but it turns out she didn’t. She’s just lactose intolerant.
This got me to thinking about Pianoteq: it’s not hate, it’s simply intolerance (quantum intolerance).
Now knowing what the consequences of my wife ingesting yogurt would be (especially at bed, at night, or in the car), I’m thankful for her sacrifices. There, she always loved yogurt, but for me, she never had any; and other than my occasional lapse in judgement, our bedroom always smells of roses.
The things we do for love!

You could show her your love by getting her this so she can have her yogurt. What is the pianistic equivalent for Pianoteq? Ear plugs? LOL


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"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
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Well, there were a few surprises in this VST shootout.

1. Pianoteq surprised me, in a positive way. Nevertheless, as has been discussed on numerous occasions, listening experience does NOT always equate playing experience.

The clanginess of Pianoteq still bothers me. Some of the presets in Pianoteq are maybe usable, like the ones in the direction of Honky Tonk/bar room/ruined piano presets, at least for Western/ragtime music.

Which raises another question. Did you use the stock preset, unchanged, for Pianoteq Steinway D, or did you fiddle with the condition slider? The condition slider does bring some realness to Pianoteq, I'm sure peterws will agree with me on that. smile

2. I didn’t recognize the Production Voices Yamaha C7, though I own it. I have to ask though, did you use the Production Grand Compact, or the full Productrion Grand 2?

It makes a big difference, since the full version has eight microphone perspectives, but the Compact only the outside microphones. Maybe it also has less velocity layers, as in the case of Concert Grand Compact, compared to the full Concert Grand, even if you take only the microphones the two versions have in common.

I have the Production Grand 2 Gold, and have used it quite often. You can get really great sounds out of it, by mixing various microphone pairs. That's where it's strength lies, but it may sound a bit sterile to many, out of the box, as we call it.

3. Not much to say about Alicia's Keys, thought it was all right, but I don't care much about that one.

4. Roland SuperNatural was not bad, maybe a bit void of character.

5. Garritan CFX full is very familiar to me, as I also have it, but the Lite version maybe not so, and let's not forget the latter is a quite a small subset of the former, only one microphone pair out of six. CFX full is an amazing piano VST, and one of the most universally liked of all the virtual pianos on the market.

6. I'm not surprised I didn't care much for this one, Imperfect Samples Walnut Grand. Maybe it can be used for certain types of music, but I've heard it has some playability issues.

7. Now this is maybe the biggest surprise, that I felt Native Instruments Giant was the most inferior virtual piano in the shootout. Another example of it when a certain listening experience does not translate to the same playing experience, as was the case with Pianoteq for me.

Only difference being, though I didn't like your recording of the NI Giant, I like playing the NI Giant. It has a unique character, not like any other piano I've heard, which is both it's strength and weakness.

I really love the boomy bass, and I can get great sounds out of it, by playing with EQ, tone, reverb, and the XL settings. Sometimes I mix it with other small piano VSTs, to get better results.

Some have said it's not a good representation of the original piano. I disagree. The Giant captures to a large extent, the character of the huge upright it's sampled after, in my opinion. I'll let you who are reading this, judge for yourselves, if you will, by listening to this recording, or other ones in related videos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hF2r-PVj1gE


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Casio PX-5S. Garritan CFX, Production Grand 2 Gold, Concert Grand LE, AcousticSamples C7, NI Giant, Sampletekk White Grand, Choc. Audio Steinbach, and a few more. Kontakt 5. Reaper.
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Evaluated before seeing the legend:

1 eh
2 nice, not entirely realistic, but kind of pleasing in its deviations
3 nice, maybe a bit more realistic than 2, but not sure I like it as much
4 eh
5 nice, probably my favorite
6 another that's not so realistic, but kind of nice anyway, I"d rank it below #2
7 worst of the bunch

But who knows, maybe I'd say something different tomorrow. ;-)

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Drat, I didn't see this thread until after the results were posted.

In reality, I can never really take part in them, because I don't have anything better than built-in speakers or cheap earbuds connected to my computers/phones, which makes these types of shootouts useless to me. My only pair of good headphones is permanently attached to my DP smile


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I guess I'm SOL on this one. The file won't download.

Sorry, you can't view or download this file at this time.
Too many users have viewed or downloaded this file recently. Please try accessing the file again later. If the file you are trying to access is particularly large or is shared with many people, it may take up to 24 hours to be able to view or download the file. If you still can't access a file after 24 hours, contact your domain administrator.

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I guess I'm SOL on this one. The file won't download.

Sorry, you can't view or download this file at this time.
Too many users have viewed or downloaded this file recently. Please try accessing the file again later. If the file you are trying to access is particularly large or is shared with many people, it may take up to 24 hours to be able to view or download the file. If you still can't access a file after 24 hours, contact your domain administrator.

Odd. I tried his dropbox link above and it worked for me just now.


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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
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OK ... try again. And ... no go!

Hmmm ... maybe let's try Firefox instead of Chrome. And ... it downloads just fine.

Question: Why does GOOGLE Chrome fail to download from GOOGLE drive, whilst non-google browser does just fine? Weird.

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
OK ... try again. And ... no go!

Hmmm ... maybe let's try Firefox instead of Chrome. And ... it downloads just fine.

Question: Why does GOOGLE Chrome fail to download from GOOGLE drive, whilst non-google browser does just fine? Weird.


If I was Google Chrome I wouldn't let you download either smile


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
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I liked #1, #4 and #5. Really disliked #7. I'm one of the few that seems to like Pianoteq. Wonder how Pianoteq's latest offering, C. Bechstein, the Petrof 275, and the E-272 grand piano that require Pianoteq 6 to run.

Thanks Toddy for doing this. I was out yesterday at family reunion and didn't have a chance to give my answers before you posted.


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Thanks for your interesting responses.

In reply to TheodorN

1. Pianoteq surprised me, in a positive way. Nevertheless, as has been discussed on numerous occasions, listening experience does NOT always equate playing experience.

The clanginess of Pianoteq still bothers me. Some of the presets in Pianoteq are maybe usable, like the ones in the direction of Honky Tonk/bar room/ruined piano presets, at least for Western/ragtime music.

Which raises another question. Did you use the stock preset, unchanged, for Pianoteq Steinway D, or did you fiddle with the condition slider? The condition slider does bring some realness to Pianoteq, I'm sure peterws will agree with me on that.

This was the default setting of Pianoteq – with slightly raised reveqrberation to put roughly the same ambience as Garritan CFX samples as available in CFX lite.

2. I didn’t recognize the Production Voices Yamaha C7, though I own it. I have to ask though, did you use the Production Grand Compact, or the full Productrion Grand 2?

It makes a big difference, since the full version has eight microphone perspectives, but the Compact only the outside microphones. Maybe it also has less velocity layers, as in the case of Concert Grand Compact, compared to the full Concert Grand, even if you take only the microphones the two versions have in common.

I have the Production Grand 2 Gold, and have used it quite often. You can get really great sounds out of it, by mixing various microphone pairs. That's where it's strength lies, but it may sound a bit sterile to many, out of the box, as we call it.

It was Production Grand Compact (the version that cost about $25) with a touch of its internal reverb, for the same reason as #1

3. Not much to say about Alicia's Keys, thought it was all right, but I don't care much about that one.

4. Roland SuperNatural was not bad, maybe a bit void of character.

Yes, it is rich and dynamic an versatile but rather characterless.

5. Garritan CFX full is very familiar to me, as I also have it, but the Lite version maybe not so, and let's not forget the latter is a quite a small subset of the former, only one microphone pair out of six. CFX full is an amazing piano VST, and one of the most universally liked of all the virtual pianos on the market.

6. I'm not surprised I didn't care much for this one, Imperfect Samples Walnut Grand. Maybe it can be used for certain types of music, but I've heard it has some playability issues.

What are playability issues? It works well enough – the tambral range is perhaps to broad and various for some uses.

7. Now this is maybe the biggest surprise, that I felt Native Instruments Giant was the most inferior virtual piano in the shootout. Another example of it when a certain listening experience does not t ranslate to the same playing experience, as was the case with Pianoteq for me.

Only difference being, though I didn't like your recording of the NI Giant, I like playing the NI Giant. It has a unique character, not like any other piano I've heard, which is both it's strength and weakness.

I really love the boomy bass, and I can get great sounds out of it, by playing with EQ, tone, reverb, and the XL settings. Sometimes I mix it with other small piano VSTs, to get better results.

This, like the others, was using the default ‘out of the box’ setting, which in my opinion showed it off in a very poor light. It is a bright, powerful piano but only works with certain music – pop and some ambience type stuff - for example. And it always needs a fair amount of tarting up – none of which I did for this.

Finally, it was the same midi sequence used each time. This also mitigates against each sample being shown off in an optimum light – you would play differently according to the characteristics of each one.....but then you wouldn't be comparing like with like.


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49 / Akai EWI

Reaper / Native Instruments K9 ult / ESQL MOR2 Symph Orchestra & Choirs / Lucato & Parravicini , trumpets & saxes / Garritan CFX lite / Production Voices C7 & Steinway D compact

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If macmacmac or anyone else having trouble listening to the samples, please ignore the link at the beginning of the thread. The one that works is this:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/yhn4zbopfpqu8p5/trial.wav?dl=0


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49 / Akai EWI

Reaper / Native Instruments K9 ult / ESQL MOR2 Symph Orchestra & Choirs / Lucato & Parravicini , trumpets & saxes / Garritan CFX lite / Production Voices C7 & Steinway D compact

Focusrite Saffire 24 / W7, i7 4770, 16GB / MXL V67g / Yamaha HS7s / HD598
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