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Which Virtual piano?
#2928510 12/31/19 01:06 AM
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I have almost 300$ worth of credits on Musicians friend from my p515 purchase and am thinking of picking up a virtual piano. Can't beat free!

I was looking at this review and of course the plethora of choices don't make choosing very easy.

https://www.pianodreamers.com/best-piano-vst-plugins/

To my ears Garritan, Ravenscroft, pianoteq, and the vienna imperial sound the best. The others either sound tinny or metallic and too artificial. I'm ruling out vienna because of the price.

So between Garritan, Ravenscroft and pianoteq I was wondering if people had thoughts. I'm starting out but will primarily play classical and maybe some jazz down the line.

Re: Which Virtual piano?
Vkk #2928520 12/31/19 02:00 AM
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Garritan Yamaha CFX is ideal for classical piano - very dynamic, playable and flexible in shaping your sound. Check this out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP7eqbAd4YQ

Pianoteq is no.1 for playability & pedalling accuracy IMHO. Some find it's physical modelled sound a little artificial/clinical/digital compared to the best sampled pianos, although the later models like the C.Bechstein & Steingraeber sound fantastic in the right hands:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WPKchQDUJ4

I've owned the VI Labs Ravenscroft 275 and later sold my licence. A very detailed and well programmed sampled piano, plays beuatifully (almost as good as Pianoteq IMO) and Jazz players really like it, but I just couldn't gel with it. I prefer pianos with more character & movement in the tone (the Ravenscroft 275 is a very clean, modern piano tone).

That's my 2 cents worth!


Last edited by Craig Richards; 12/31/19 02:01 AM.

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Re: Which Virtual piano?
Vkk #2928521 12/31/19 02:07 AM
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Also, Embertone's Walker Concert D (1955 New York Steinway D) is a stunning sampled piano with real warmth & character and a bell like treble great for melodic playing. It has 36 velocity layers per key, real Una Corda samples, fantastic release samples (really adds to the realism) based on velocity & note duration, multiple mic choices and runs in the free Kontakt Player, but can be taxing on your computer resources.

Here's a good demo:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGLSCLM7PwQ


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Re: Which Virtual piano?
Vkk #2928524 12/31/19 02:14 AM
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Another Garritan CFX Classical demo (although it looks like an acoustic piano, it's played via a Yamaha Avant Grand Digital Piano):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvlgO76euEc


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Re: Which Virtual piano?
Vkk #2928566 12/31/19 06:50 AM
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I agree with Craig and also to add VSL pianos as well. There are tons of virtual pianos but this short list from Craig plus VSl pianos are overall the best you can find. Embertone Walker is not at a level of others mention pianos for excellent playability (it is good) but this piano is really pure joy for sound.

Re: Which Virtual piano?
Vkk #2928570 12/31/19 07:05 AM
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Craig, thanks for your recommendations. Fully agree -though I miss a word about ACD, Kawai EX Pro and naturally Mercury.

Thanks and all the best for 2020

Re: Which Virtual piano?
Vkk #2928573 12/31/19 07:07 AM
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Soundwise, the Garritan CFX sounds the better to me.
Very nice, powerfull, great playablity and pedaling.
2 things I don't like: the ambiance that is recorded with the samples (I prefer a dry sound and add a good reverb to my taste), and there is noise recorded with the samples. You can hear it every time you play, and the more notes you play, the more noise is present. It is annoying for me.

Ravenscroft:
Very nice sound, clean, very good playability but pedaling not so good than the 2 others.
Some chords can sound imprecise, muffled (?)... not ease to explain, there is some unnatural vibration in the chords.

Pianoteq:
Very good sound but probably less accomplished than the others. Can sound a bit harsh on the highs.
Perfect playability and pedaling, faithful. All is tweakable, even the unacorda effect (amount).
In my opinion the best player's perspective for those who play with headphones.
Still in developpement and will probably continue to improve.
If you like the sound, maybe the best choice for a long term use.

Re: Which Virtual piano?
Vkk #2928574 12/31/19 07:19 AM
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Lots of VIs have been released over the last ten years ... but none sound better than the Vintage D.

The Garritan CFX is also good.
The Kawai EX Pro is also a favorite.
And I like the Grandeur too, despite its flaws.

I'm not fond of any others. Bigger sample sizes don't necessarily translate to better pianos.
And Pianoteq needs to improve its teq. Decent bass, but fake piano sound in the top five octaves.

Re: Which Virtual piano?
Vkk #2928587 12/31/19 08:34 AM
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IMHO the Ivory II American Concert D is another good choice. It's has a warm Steinway sound suited for both classical and jazz music. When the player is amazing, the result is amazing too:


Re: Which Virtual piano?
Vkk #2928591 12/31/19 08:52 AM
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Choosing a vst is hard, so much options, but you really only know after you bought one.

Depending on which piano you like best, a Yamaha cfx or an American Steinway, i'd say Garritan cfx and Ivory II American concert D are safe choices for beautiful and very playable piano's. I have both and prefer the American D, I think I just like the Steinway sound better than the Cfx sound. But both are very good imho.


I don't own it (yet), but from what i have read (and heard) on these forums and others, i believe the Embertone walker could be the best deal price/quality wise. The vsl piano's (which i also don't own) seem to be the best sampled piano's for playability, but expensive.





Re: Which Virtual piano?
Vkk #2928597 12/31/19 09:17 AM
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No one likes the Piano Noire? I am very happy with it! Who else bought it and can compare it to Garritan, Ivory etc?

Re: Which Virtual piano?
Vkk #2928603 12/31/19 09:41 AM
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I have a ton of the VSTS and the only one I turn to the most is Pianoteq. I has such a variety of options that it is great for a change of pace and I can also blend some of it into my MP11se sound for variety.


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Focal Professional CMS 40 near-field monitors, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs (Seldom Used)
Re: Which Virtual piano?
aphexdisklavier #2928604 12/31/19 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by aphexdisklavier
No one likes the Piano Noire? I am very happy with it! Who else bought it and can compare it to Garritan, Ivory etc?

l love Noire piano, it is not that smooth playable as Garritan or Ivory American, but has more personality especially compare to Ivory Pianos which have too boring (digital) sound for me.

Re: Which Virtual piano?
dmd #2928606 12/31/19 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by dmd
I have a ton of the VSTS and the only one I turn to the most is Pianoteq. I has such a variety of options that it is great for a change of pace and I can also blend some of it into my MP11se sound for variety.


Pianoteq will always be in my top three pianos. But after sound of Embertone Walker it is very hard to make valid equal comparison. If I only have possibility to merge sound from Embertone into Pianoteq. Eh...

Re: Which Virtual piano?
aphexdisklavier #2928607 12/31/19 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by aphexdisklavier
No one likes the Piano Noire? I am very happy with it! Who else bought it and can compare it to Garritan, Ivory etc?


I have Noire, Garritan CFX & Ivory Grands, Ivory American Concert D and Ivory Studio Grands (amongst others). All really high quality sampled pianos. From these, I'd recommend Garritan CFX for Classical, mainly due to the fact that the others I listed don't have separate room or hall mic sets, which provides you with the ambience & stereo image that is very hard (maybe impossible) to achieve by adding reverb to a close mic sampled piano.


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Re: Which Virtual piano?
Vkk #2928638 12/31/19 11:45 AM
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I’m a huge fan of the new Bösendorfer Upright which was just released by VSL. It has a wonderful warm woody tone that is mellow and buttery smooth. It was also recorded in a small room which gives it an intimate sound that isn’t drowned in reverb. It has replaced the venerable Garritan CFX as my favorite virtual piano. I think today may be the last day you can get it as the discounted introductory price. This is the most realist VST I’ve played. There is a definite sensation of wood and metal under your fingers when using it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4KaD43HXLk&feature=emb_logo


Yamaha N1X, P-515.
Genelec 8331 monitors.
VI’s: Garritan CFX, VSL Bösendorfer Upright, and VSL Blüthner 1895. Pianoteq.
Re: Which Virtual piano?
Vkk #2928646 12/31/19 12:01 PM
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I have Garritan CFX light and Ivory II American Concert D.

Overall the I prefer ACD over CFX lite, but I think there will be some music that will sound better with CFX lite. ACD is harder to control, and requires more technical skills/control while CFX is easy to play and that results for me at least with a confidence to play with dynamics that I've not done so much of with DP built in sounds and ACD. When I can get ACD to behave I love the richness of sound it provides.

Currently that is the limit of my experience.

Re: Which Virtual piano?
JJHLH #2928694 12/31/19 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by JJHLH
I’m a huge fan of the new Bösendorfer Upright which was just released by VSL. It has a wonderful warm woody tone that is mellow and buttery smooth. It was also recorded in a small room which gives it an intimate sound that isn’t drowned in reverb. It has replaced the venerable Garritan CFX as my favorite virtual piano. I think today may be the last day you can get it as the discounted introductory price. This is the most realist VST I’ve played. There is a definite sensation of wood and metal under your fingers when using it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4KaD43HXLk&feature=emb_logo


This piano is first on my list in 2020. Unfortunately I am not in position to use discount at the moment but no mater i will buy it very soon. I love what I hear from demos and can`t wait to play on it.

Re: Which Virtual piano?
Vkk #2928757 12/31/19 03:41 PM
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Thanks to all of you for responding with suggestions. It’s really helpful. VSL isn’t available on MF and therefore isn’t an option for me right now, though I do like the sound. I really like the garritan, pianoteq, and Ivory samples posted above. And they are all availed on MF. I’ve downloaded the pianoteq trial so will give that a shot as well.

Last edited by Vkk; 12/31/19 03:42 PM.
Re: Which Virtual piano?
slobajudge #2928762 12/31/19 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by slobajudge
Originally Posted by JJHLH
I’m a huge fan of the new Bösendorfer Upright which was just released by VSL. It has a wonderful warm woody tone that is mellow and buttery smooth. It was also recorded in a small room which gives it an intimate sound that isn’t drowned in reverb. It has replaced the venerable Garritan CFX as my favorite virtual piano. I think today may be the last day you can get it as the discounted introductory price. This is the most realist VST I’ve played. There is a definite sensation of wood and metal under your fingers when using it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4KaD43HXLk&feature=emb_logo


This piano is first on my list in 2020. Unfortunately I am not in position to use discount at the moment but no mater i will buy it very soon. I love what I hear from demos and can`t wait to play on it.


Great choice. You are going to love it!


Yamaha N1X, P-515.
Genelec 8331 monitors.
VI’s: Garritan CFX, VSL Bösendorfer Upright, and VSL Blüthner 1895. Pianoteq.
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