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Re: Thoughts on Ravenscroft and moving forward
David Lai #2975382 05/05/20 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by David Lai
Ivory's American Concert D sounds brilliant, I've heard it before, but it requires some hardware in licensing

I don't know if it did before, but it doesn't right now. You can just download the Ilok software and use that, very easy process.

Re: Thoughts on Ravenscroft and moving forward
U3piano #2975386 05/05/20 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by U3piano
Originally Posted by David Lai
Ivory's American Concert D sounds brilliant, I've heard it before, but it requires some hardware in licensing

I don't know if it did before, but it doesn't right now. You can just download the Ilok software and use that, very easy process.



David Lai
U3piano is absolutely right: USB iLok dongle is not required anymore.

It requires just iLok licensing software, the same way as you use it with your Ravenscroft.


Roland FP-30
Komplete 12 Ult; UVI - Falcon; Ivory 2 - ACD, Grand Pianos; Vilabs - ALL; Pianoteq - 6 Std; Galaxy - Vintage D, Vienna Grand; Production Voices - All Kontakt libs; Lounge Lizard EP-4; Neo-Soul Keys; AcousticSamples - All; Addictive Keys- All
Zoom UAC-2; Beyers DT-880 PRO; JBL - LSR305
Re: Thoughts on Ravenscroft and moving forward
David Lai #2975613 05/06/20 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by David Lai
I didn't realize that I can use different microphone perspectives. I try to avoid compression, and so that is not what I ment when I talked about sustains. I'm only talking about the long resonant sound of a note. That moment in Prokofiev's third piano sonata when you were asked to play a clustered chord, then every note off except the E4, I find that E hard to follow on Ravenscroft than when I still had access to a Steinway at school and when I played the work there. Similarly, I find the sustains when pedal off to be decaying slightly faster than an acoustic piano, so I find that I can't follow the decaying tones to produce a sense of legato.

You're right, the total sustain length of a real piano is longer. Maybe they fade the sustain because 1) it's long enough for most people 2) to keep the size of the library manageable.

Re: Thoughts on Ravenscroft and moving forward
David Lai #2975653 05/06/20 10:15 AM
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Hi all! Hope you are having a lovely day or evening as you read this.
Allow me to do some batch replying to the two or three posts above, as I think that would make the message more manageable.
First, about Galaxy Vintage D. Yes, it has a great dynamic range, and as a classical musician the default tone sounds very good. I decided to say goodbye to it earlier this year, after hearing the Ravenscroft and really enjoyed the short notes there, the deep bass notes, and equally good tone and more sampled velocity layers (13 VS 19, if I remember correctly).
As for American Concert D, thanks for the note there about iLock. This might be a good thing to consider in the future if I have more money to spare, or maybe even the afore-mentioned Steinway D from VSL.
Regarding Ravenscroft, it's a pity that they choose to cut the sustains shorter than an actual acoustic piano. That's the only gripe I have about this library. But the pedal resonances are very good to listen to and they sound very nice!
So much for now, I'll reply again later in the day if new posts come up. Thanks for offering your suggestions and points, very much appreciated!!!
Best,
David

Re: Thoughts on Ravenscroft and moving forward
David Lai #2975692 05/06/20 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by David Lai
But the pedal resonances are very good to listen to and they sound very nice!

I agree. The pedal resonance is one of the real strengths of this library.

Re: Thoughts on Ravenscroft and moving forward
Alex C #2975739 05/06/20 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Alex C
Originally Posted by David Lai
But the pedal resonances are very good to listen to and they sound very nice!

I agree. The pedal resonance is one of the real strengths of this library.

Amen! Also, I love how dry the short notes are compared with, say, the demos I hear from the Garritan CFX, and certainly I feel it's better than the Vintage D and the Grandeur, two Kontakt pianos I personally own. Ravenscroft marks the first non-Kontakt library I purchased back in late January.

Re: Thoughts on Ravenscroft and moving forward
David Lai #2976459 05/08/20 02:53 AM
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I figured out why the sustain of the Ravenscroft 275 is short. Everything has to do with the pedal resonance. Ravenscroft doesn't have actual samples of notes recorded with pedal resonance. If you play a chord with pedal pressed down, you still hear the piano with pedal up (thus without resonance), but a separate resonance is introduced on top of it. What happens is, the pedal up sustain drops its volume so that the resonance can adequately mask the pedal up notes. If the piano sustain would be loud and long like a real piano, you would still hear its 'dry' sound, competing and fighting with the added resonance. The resonance wouldn't be able to successfully mask the pedal up sustain. It's a concession VI Labs made in order to create a more convincing resonance.

Re: Thoughts on Ravenscroft and moving forward
Alex C #2976477 05/08/20 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Alex C
I figured out why the sustain of the Ravenscroft 275 is short. Everything has to do with the pedal resonance. Ravenscroft doesn't have actual samples of notes recorded with pedal resonance. If you play a chord with pedal pressed down, you still hear the piano with pedal up (thus without resonance), but a separate resonance is introduced on top of it. What happens is, the pedal up sustain drops its volume so that the resonance can adequately mask the pedal up notes. If the piano sustain would be loud and long like a real piano, you would still hear its 'dry' sound, competing and fighting with the added resonance. The resonance wouldn't be able to successfully mask the pedal up sustain. It's a concession VI Labs made in order to create a more convincing resonance.

That is interesting, I wonder if they do the same with the True Keys pianos, like german grand. I love the german grand for Mozart K545 which needs no pedal. But I've been struggling a bit with other pieces to get the sound right.

Last night I was listening repeatedly and closely to the same piece of music used as a demo in both VILabs Ravenscroft 275 and vsl Vienna imperial. They are played quite differently, the Ravenscroft is just over 2 minutes and the Vienna Imperial just under 3, but I think listening closely to these demos is informative.

For the Ravenscroft Chopin Prelude No. 4 Op. 28 is in the soundcloud demo list of tracks Ravenscroft demos

For Vienna Imperial it is in the list of classic demo tracks. Vienna Imperial demo tracks

The long sustain of the Vienna Imperial over the Ravenscroft is clear. The sound of the Vienna Imperial is definitely cleaner than the Ravenscroft, there is something a little harsh in the Ravenscroft I don't hear in the Vienna Imperial. I do find that partly because the sustain is so long on Vienna Imperial the recording gets muddy at times and I hear that in some of the other demos as well.

Last edited by KevinM; 05/08/20 05:00 AM.
Re: Thoughts on Ravenscroft and moving forward
David Lai #2976577 05/08/20 10:53 AM
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Not familiar with True Keys, but I think NI Noire uses the same philosophy as VI Labs.

Re: Thoughts on Ravenscroft and moving forward
David Lai #2976605 05/08/20 11:55 AM
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Thanks for all your replies! I've learned so much over the recent days.
First off, I also discovered this strange issue with Ravenscroft sustains being shorter than other acoustic pianos, and I don't think it's a good thing. This especially came into some problems when I was playing that Prokofiev sonata I mentioned above, and when ever I reach that spot where I needed to sustain an E natural on the right hand, I couldn't do that very convincingly. Otherwise, this is a really good library, with a small foot print and even muted strikes. If it had a good sustain like the Yamaha CFX or the VSL pianos (especially the Steinway), I'd be happy as a king!
Also, I think Ravenscroft does very well with shorter notes and staccato notes, or other notes that needs a short time in duration, but must be effective. To this end, I may keep Ravenscroft and buy another piano library in the far future. Would it be the VSL Steinway, CFX, or the Garritan CFX? I don't know... I'll skip Ivory II pianos because according to what I read on other forums, it doesn't have pedal down samples, and that is not a full representation of a piano. The other members generally have praises for the Garritan CFX or the VSL libraries, so I guess I'll try and answer the question in my mind: "which should I buy?"

Until next time,
David

Re: Thoughts on Ravenscroft and moving forward
David Lai #2976639 05/08/20 01:23 PM
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I think VSL has a return policy if you buy direct from the company. You need to ping them to find out. If you get to try out the full versions that reduces buyer risk a lot.

Downside for us is that VSL require a security key; you can purchase insurance for that to cover breakage etc. VSL really caters to professional producers with massively expensive and large setups, so the insurance program is great for them.

Re: Thoughts on Ravenscroft and moving forward
David Lai #2976712 05/08/20 05:01 PM
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Buy the VSL CFX direct from VSL and you can return it within 14 days. Garritan don't allow refunds nor resale. Garritan is smoother, less attack, more processed, VSL more realistic IMHO.


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Re: Thoughts on Ravenscroft and moving forward
David Lai #2976755 05/08/20 08:32 PM
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Hi guys!
After listening to demos of the VSL CFX and Steinway, I've decided to go for the Steinway. This is the kind of piano I've listened to since middle school, later to college, and now grad school. The bass is rich, the mids and highs are very blending. The CFX, compared with Garritan's, has more attack in my opinion, especially in the register two octaves above middle C. On that regard, I would prefer Garritan.
Also, I'm mainly a player, not a producer. So I don't think I need too many extra microphone positions, or the ability to do surrounds. As long as I can sit down, play a Beethoven sonata, a Liszt etude or a Chopin nocturn, and work on my Bach, ETC, that's heaven for me. And if I can have the sound and tone of a Steinway D, then it would be an extra benefit.
When I think I can handle it all, I'll shoot for this Steinway, as well as Garritan's CFX. As for Ravenscroft, I'll keep it. The bass tone actually makes me think of Steinway. smile Plus I'll be able to have some variety of pianos to choose from, and who doesn't love good options?
Wish me luck! smile

Re: Thoughts on Ravenscroft and moving forward
David Lai #2976822 05/09/20 02:08 AM
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I know that Garritan CFX has pedal up and true pedal down samples. I suppose VSL has it too (since this library is mega huge). The problem with this approach is that you only get resonance if you first press the pedal down and then play the notes. I usually press the pedal after I play the notes/chord.

Based on the demos, VSL sounds very distant and a bit too forceful to me.

Re: Thoughts on Ravenscroft and moving forward
Alex C #2976928 05/09/20 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Alex C
I know that Garritan CFX has pedal up and true pedal down samples. I suppose VSL has it too (since this library is mega huge). The problem with this approach is that you only get resonance if you first press the pedal down and then play the notes. I usually press the pedal after I play the notes/chord.

Based on the demos, VSL sounds very distant and a bit too forceful to me.

From what I hear in an acoustic piano, the resonance when first playing the chord then pressing down the pedal will be less than having the pedal down first, and I think if what you say is right, I wouldn't mind if there's little or even no resonance during this moment. But I really look forward to one day I can have the money to afford it all, haha. Or when they would have specials... smile

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