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Summer sale: Beautiful PEARL Concert Grand
#3000925 07/10/20 03:43 AM
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https://impactsoundworks.com/product/pearl-concert-grand/

Today this is my favorite among more than 40 VSTi and hardware piano plugins I have. This is a carefully tuned, sampled, programmed, and well playable Yamaha C7. Its (natural) sustain resonance is beautiful, with distinct sounding of the non-damped upper register strings, as it should be in a natural grand. Its only drawback is some bug in re-pedaling (it is discussed in another thread), but the re-pedaling function can be turned off; just now the company works to eliminate this problem.

In my experience, Pearl is outstanding for both pure piano and piano & orchestra work.

Re: Summer sale: Beautiful PEARL Concert Grand
Andrew_G #3000959 07/10/20 06:22 AM
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That's my kind of sound! I don't think I've listened to this one properly until now. Thanks.
(re-pedalling is important for me though, simply so I can pedal a bit late)

Greg

Last edited by sullivang; 07/10/20 06:25 AM.
Re: Summer sale: Beautiful PEARL Concert Grand
Andrew_G #3000976 07/10/20 07:11 AM
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I think you'd really enjoy Pearl Concert Grand Greg, based on other comments of yours about sampled pianos. The re-pedalling works fine, but when activated, you lose the note release samples for some reason. I've brought this to the developer's attention, but not sure if it will be fixed in the soon to be released v2.2 update. It is a very beautiful & resonant sampled piano with a lot of depth & realism.


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Re: Summer sale: Beautiful PEARL Concert Grand
Andrew_G #3000985 07/10/20 07:23 AM
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Oh I wouldn't mind losing release samples.

Btw, I already have a similar sounding piano - the EWQLP Yamaha C7. (just referring to the main characteristic - a bright, clear, twangy sound). If it wasn't for it's fatal flaw - bass notes that are simply too quiet, I'd be quite happy with it, despite it's other warts.
EDIT: I forgot that it doesn't even TRY to do re-pedalling though. So yeah - might be time to replace it. laugh laugh

Greg

Last edited by sullivang; 07/10/20 07:24 AM.
Re: Summer sale: Beautiful PEARL Concert Grand
Andrew_G #3001003 07/10/20 08:46 AM
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It looks very nice on paper (dynamic range is probably the only limitation), and demo sound nice as well (except they are too distant, but this is true with most demos).
Might be a nice lightweight 'vintage' choice based on sound. I assume that with claimed pp-ff range, it also allows silent key.
But I am afraid of buying without few in-depth reviews by actual players.
Tired of wasting money on 'lovely' libraries (such as Simple Sam) to get disappointed just minutes after installing.


Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something. (falsely attributed to Plato)
Vlad,
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Re: Summer sale: Beautiful PEARL Concert Grand
Andrew_G #3001009 07/10/20 09:19 AM
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To my ears, listening with headphones, the demo tracks often have an excellent closely mic'd sound, but also with added ambience. (but I hear one or two quite dry ones too). Definitely not too distant for me, anyway.

Craig: if you have time, I'd be interested if you could play the beginning of "Take The Long Way Home" (Supertramp), so I can hear the crescendo of the bass notes, and whether it's balanced with the chords of the right hand.

Greg

Re: Summer sale: Beautiful PEARL Concert Grand
sullivang #3001015 07/10/20 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by sullivang
To my ears, listening with headphones, the demo tracks often have an excellent closely mic'd sound, but also with added ambience. (but I hear one or two quite dry ones too). Definitely not too distant for me, anyway.

You make me think that this is 'feature' of my laptop sound card. Probably need to switch to dac / headphone amp to listen for all demo then.


Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something. (falsely attributed to Plato)
Vlad,
Adult beginner
Re: Summer sale: Beautiful PEARL Concert Grand
Andrew_G #3001016 07/10/20 09:49 AM
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Listen to the first track sounded nice.

Opening note in second track, pitch seems very unstable. Am I just hearing things?

https://impactsoundworks.com/product/pearl-concert-grand/


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

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Re: Summer sale: Beautiful PEARL Concert Grand
VladK #3001019 07/10/20 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by VladK
You make me think that this is 'feature' of my laptop sound card. Probably need to switch to dac / headphone amp to listen for all demo then.

I'm no golden ears by any means, but I've been very happy with laptop & smartphone headphone outputs for a very long time, IF the headphones are sensitive enough to allow sufficient volume. I had first listened to these demos with very good headphones, using the internal audio interface of my DP (and it's headphone output), but I am now listening with different headphones, which aren't as good, plugged into my laptop. It still sounds very good - a different tone, but still great.

You may just have different taste to me - I'm just offering a counter opinion. Different headphones can sound very different, too.

Greg

Re: Summer sale: Beautiful PEARL Concert Grand
Andrew_G #3001024 07/10/20 10:09 AM
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Craig: you're off the hook - I've just ordered it. I'm confident that it will play fine.

Greg

Re: Summer sale: Beautiful PEARL Concert Grand
sullivang #3001053 07/10/20 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by sullivang
Craig: you're off the hook - I've just ordered it. I'm confident that it will play fine.

Greg
Please share your findings here!


Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something. (falsely attributed to Plato)
Vlad,
Adult beginner
Re: Summer sale: Beautiful PEARL Concert Grand
Andrew_G #3001064 07/10/20 11:37 AM
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Yep, but I'm mainly a dinker. (winks at Bruce)

Greg

Re: Summer sale: Beautiful PEARL Concert Grand
Andrew_G #3001213 07/10/20 04:28 PM
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Initial impressions from a dinker:
Very good indeed - I'm very happy I got this. I mainly like playing pop music, and this will be superb.
I actually don't think the playability is excellent out of the box, but I'm confident that the per-note adjustments will allow me to remedy the problems, for the most part. I get the impression Craig is a serious pianist, so I'm not sure whether you agree Craig, but some notes just don't respond naturally with velocity, and it's hard to play with the desired expression. (again - I think it will be fixable). Anyway that's my opinion - if serious pianists don't want to fiddle around with the settings, I don't think this is good enough.

I can't get re-pedalling to work reliably yet, even with the release samples disabled. The problem is dangling notes.

This is VERY important - you need to make sure it's easy to get to 127 - easier than normal, if you want to be able to easily get to the fantastic FFF samples. This is only 8 layers, so we have to be able to use all 8 layers easily.

The mellow samples are also excellent - it's a very expressive instrument, going from very mellow, to extremely aggressive.

I have not explored all the settings yet.

Greg

Re: Summer sale: Beautiful PEARL Concert Grand
Andrew_G #3001226 07/10/20 04:53 PM
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They say samples are pp to ff, no ppp or fff samples, so there should be velocity curve stretching involved if you want better dynamic range. Not sure how it is implemented though. Have you checked their velocity curve in Kontakt? Not all Kontakt instruments have it.
Sorry for probably dumb question, what is dangling notes, multiplied echo or what?

Last edited by VladK; 07/10/20 04:55 PM.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something. (falsely attributed to Plato)
Vlad,
Adult beginner
Re: Summer sale: Beautiful PEARL Concert Grand
Andrew_G #3001269 07/10/20 06:42 PM
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Well I'm comfortable referring to it as ppp to fff - that's how it sounds to me.

Re velocity curve, I'm playing the full dynamic range, and overall, it's pretty natural. I feel the need to tweak individual notes though.

Dangling notes - notes that keep sounding, after they should have stopped. (this problem doesn't occur with re-pedalling disabled)

I also hear subtle problems, on occasion, with the way notes sound when they are dampened.

Btw, when I say "serious pianists", that includes anyone who is practising, even beginners, that need an instrument that responds authentically. It's simply not as well behaved as a digital piano, IMHO.
I'm not bothered by this very much.

Greg

Re: Summer sale: Beautiful PEARL Concert Grand
Andrew_G #3001313 07/10/20 09:18 PM
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I will of course contact support about any problem I have.

Just another little observation - whilst it has some quite advanced adjustments per note, it doesn't have a simple per-note volume adjustment, I don't think. That would have been nice.

Greg

Re: Summer sale: Beautiful PEARL Concert Grand
Andrew_G #3001330 07/10/20 10:46 PM
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The EWQLP C7 is definitely getting 404 Not Found-ed on my drive.
And this Pearl is definitely my no 1 piano now. It's the wonderful sound I heard on the radio growing up. laugh And it's still capable of extremely soft and delicate playing.

Greg

Re: Summer sale: Beautiful PEARL Concert Grand
Andrew_G #3001343 07/10/20 11:54 PM
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In this very old review, he talks a lot about the problem I'm finding regarding expression: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5l-BYlkfGI I'd imagine that it's been improved since then, but this is definitely an issue I have, and as I said, I will be doing some editing.
I find that review very frustrating though - he seems to be zooming in with a microscope on the soft layers a lot. Also, I don't always even hear those "MP3-like" defects he mentions, and if they're in mine, then I'll throw my hands up and declare that I'm blissfully ignorant - I haven't heard any at all yet.

Greg

Re: Summer sale: Beautiful PEARL Concert Grand
Andrew_G #3001599 07/11/20 06:20 PM
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I think there is a bug with the velocity curve editor. It works fine when I use the control knob, but I can't for the life of me get the freehand drawing method to change the velocity for all notes - it only affects a single note, and that is the last note selected with the "choose a single note with MIDI" mode. (I don't have that button on, and I do have the "Effect all notes" button on)

I've reported this issue, and the re-pedalling issue, to Impact Soundworks.

Btw, I wondered whether perhaps my triple sensor keyboard's MIDI output might have been confusing it, but I have written a real time translator that converts the contiguous Note-Ons to standard Note-On/Note-Off pairs - this hasn't fixed it. (I used the BOME Midi Translator for this - seriously good piece of software)

Greg

Re: Summer sale: Beautiful PEARL Concert Grand
Andrew_G #3001604 07/11/20 06:50 PM
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This is another one of those "if it wouldn't have this one flaw it'd be a great piano" libraries. It has the same problem as the production voices concert grand. There's a range, here it is somewhere in the center, where the keys are noticeably weaker, or softer, or as if they're more dampened than the other ones. Even when using the note editor, I can perhaps make them louder, but I can't change their timbre. Shame, because the sound is really pleasant.

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