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Best virtual piano for my needs
#3010795 08/06/20 11:51 AM
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Hi,

I'm daily using a Yamaha P-515 digital piano for playing. As much as I like the sound of it, it sounds a little bright to me, and it is not technically much complex, having only 5 layers. So, I'm interested in getting a virtual piano for my computer, so I can connect the P-515, and use it as a midi-controller.

I've listened to the Garritan Abbey Road Studios CFX Concert Grand, which I like, but it, again, sounds a little bright to me.

What I'm searching for is a virtual piano, with as much realistic sound as possible. It schould be good for playing classical music, something like a Steinway sound.

I don't care how much space it takes on my computer, if only it's good enough sounding.

Has anyone a good recomendations?

Thanks in advance.

Best regards:
Aksel Christoffersen

Re: Best virtual piano for my needs
akse0435 #3010798 08/06/20 12:12 PM
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Galaxy Vintage D has the most realistic piano sound (a sampled Steinway D), it sounds more like a piano than any other VST - I am not the only one who says this, some other users here on PW share my opinion. I own it and make all my recordings with it.

Re: Best virtual piano for my needs
akse0435 #3010805 08/06/20 12:30 PM
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It depends on what you're looking for. You should look at the Vienna Imperial VIs. They have REALLY nice sounding pianos.


Finally bought the P515
Re: Best virtual piano for my needs
akse0435 #3010812 08/06/20 12:48 PM
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IMHO, at the moment the best sampled vitrual piano libs are made by VSL and C.Bechstein (bechstein-digital).


Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something. (falsely attributed to Plato)
Vlad,
Adult beginner
Re: Best virtual piano for my needs
akse0435 #3010831 08/06/20 01:30 PM
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I can't agree on the vintage D anymore. It's tone is nice, but imo it's outclassed by more recent vst's these days. I try to load it up every now and then but to me it's not satisfying anymore. It does have a nice included reverb, which I think beats most competitor's included reverbs.

Garritan cfx is indeed a bit bright, but it is a seriously great vst. Synthogy's American D is quite good also, it's a much warmer sound than the cfx, but has just one mic position. I recommend both. Both have great playability, but I think Garritan cfx has the best, while I prefer the tone of the American D.

Embertone Walker has a pretty amazing sound if that's what your looking for, and personally I think it's amazing, but it's playability is not up to the level of Garritan cfx or Synthogy's American D, but still pretty good. This one has the best una corda samples I ever heard.

Re: Best virtual piano for my needs
akse0435 #3010841 08/06/20 01:54 PM
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It depends on what you are looking for. If you would like to have una corda samples (which I was looking for as well), the Garritan CFX is good. The Ravenscroft 275 is also fine if you would like to tweak it. I had and it sounds pretty good. I now use it for my lessons with my teacher. The Vienna Symphonic Libraries pianos are good, but have no una corda samples. The Ivory American D is good, but the pedal resonance sounds to me a bit off, but out of their all the Ivory offerings, I love the American D the best!
If you don't care about una corda, the Grandeur is very good!
Hope this helps. I've heard some of these in the list and I own the Ravenscroft, the Garritan CFX and the VSL Steinway (Concert D 274).
The Embertone Steinway is good, but to my ears it sounds out of tune in some samples!!! smile

Last edited by David Lai; 08/06/20 01:55 PM.
Re: Best virtual piano for my needs
akse0435 #3010842 08/06/20 01:56 PM
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Noire, the warmest of them all !

Re: Best virtual piano for my needs
Pianist685 #3010845 08/06/20 02:00 PM
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I'll second that. I own dozens of instruments ... and it's easily the best.
Originally Posted by Pianist685
Galaxy Vintage D has the most realistic piano sound (a sampled Steinway D), it sounds more like a piano than any other VST - I am not the only one who says this, some other users here on PW share my opinion. I own it and make all my recordings with it.

Re: Best virtual piano for my needs
akse0435 #3010846 08/06/20 02:06 PM
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Pretty sure the brightness can be dialled down a tad on the P515 using the Smart Pianist app. Not sure though as I don't own one. Other individual per note settings can be changed too.

Re: Best virtual piano for my needs
akse0435 #3010849 08/06/20 02:17 PM
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Realistic sound? Galaxy - Vintage D and Ivory - American Concert D are my choice.


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
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Re: Best virtual piano for my needs
David Lai #3010862 08/06/20 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by David Lai
The Embertone Steinway is good, but to my ears it sounds out of tune in some samples!!! smile

This is true, some of the treble notes are slightly out of tune, but it never bothered me. I don't even hear it anymore, you just reminded me of it. It is such a characterful piano I just see it as part of it's character.

Re: Best virtual piano for my needs
U3piano #3010879 08/06/20 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by U3piano
Originally Posted by David Lai
The Embertone Steinway is good, but to my ears it sounds out of tune in some samples!!! smile

This is true, some of the treble notes are slightly out of tune, but it never bothered me. I don't even hear it anymore, you just reminded me of it. It is such a characterful piano I just see it as part of it's character.

Yes, it is quite a special piano! I think it's good with other instruments in the mix. But what's drawing me back from getting it is the slightly out-of-tune notes, haha. But the una corda samples were very beautifully recorded! What mic perspective do you like?

Re: Best virtual piano for my needs
akse0435 #3010911 08/06/20 05:14 PM
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I can't help but say my current favourite and it has remained that way for a while now is the VSL Vienna Imperial that is now about 10 years old. Unlike the new synchron pianos it has una-corda samples. It is a delight.

Once again it needs a usb key which you have to buy on top of the purchase of the virtual piano. About 25 euros from what I remember. For the virtual pianos themselves don't oder them until you have the usb-key but you then have not quite 14 days to test out the virtual piano.

Re: Best virtual piano for my needs
akse0435 #3010915 08/06/20 05:27 PM
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The Galaxy Vintage D is probably just what you are looking for.

Simple to set up. Simple to modify the sound.

There may be many others that are "better" for this reason or that.

The Vintage D will be just fine.


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), Focus Rite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface, Mackie MIX 5 Compact Mixer.
Re: Best virtual piano for my needs
David Lai #3010955 08/06/20 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by David Lai
What mic perspective do you like?

I have 3 options I really like.

- Room (Just the single mic position)
- Hammer + Room
- Close + Main (with some added reverb)

I don't like the wide position because I just don't like how it sounds, and I don't like the binaural position because I feel it's less playable, the higher registers are too loud, (With headphones) so I have deleted these 2 mic positions, and always play one of those 3 options.

Re: Best virtual piano for my needs
U3piano #3010979 08/06/20 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by U3piano
Originally Posted by David Lai
What mic perspective do you like?

I have 3 options I really like.

- Room (Just the single mic position)
- Hammer + Room
- Close + Main (with some added reverb)

I don't like the wide position because I just don't like how it sounds, and I don't like the binaural position because I feel it's less playable, the higher registers are too loud, (With headphones) so I have deleted these 2 mic positions, and always play one of those 3 options.

Interesting. Thanks for sharing that! Yeah, I love listening to this piano, though as said above, I prefer playing a piano that is more in tune, haha.

Re: Best virtual piano for my needs
akse0435 #3010990 08/06/20 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by akse0435
Hi,

I'm daily using a Yamaha P-515 digital piano for playing. As much as I like the sound of it, it sounds a little bright to me, and it is not technically much complex, having only 5 layers. So, I'm interested in getting a virtual piano for my computer, so I can connect the P-515, and use it as a midi-controller. . . .

. . .

Have you exhausted the capabilities of the built-in "Piano Room" tone control -- the "Bright" setting -- on the P-515?

. . . and the "Sound Boost / EQ" settings?

. . . and the "User Master EQ" settings?

Those are all free.

Have you considered getting a stereo graphic EQ (e.g. DBX 215s or 231s) or a stereo parametric EQ (e.g. two DBX 530's ) ? (There are Behringer equivalents, somewhat less expensive).

If you'd said:

. . . "I don't like the P-515 sounds! They're awful!"

I would understand switching to a VST. (I did that, with my PX-350.)

But solving "a little bright" -- you might be able to do that, without the cost and complexity of a VST (and the computer to run it, and the loudspeakers to hear it).

Sometimes, only a completely new sound will do the job. But you might find something cheaper, and simpler, that will fix your problem.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Best virtual piano for my needs
akse0435 #3011050 08/07/20 05:16 AM
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Thanks for all your suggestions.

First of all, I'm not interested in equalizing the sounds in any way, because I don't like equalizing very much. I'm looking for a virtual piano, that sounds good without having to equalize the sounds. That's also part of the reason why I don't just make the P-515 a Little less bright, but I also don't think it's sounds has much complexity.

Second, what is una corda samples? I've never heard of them before, and a quick search just gave me a product from Native Instruments.

I've now writen a list of all your suggestions for virtual pianos, that I'm gon'a listen to.

The things that matter to me is that it sounds good and realistic, and it's fairly easy to use. As it happens, I'm blind and using a screen reader to operate my computer, so it would of course be good if someone knew that a specific virtual piano is accesible with a screen reader, but that is not a big thing for me.
I don't care how much it cost, or how much Space it takes on my computer, since I don't need to buy it right now, and I can save Money over time to buy it. It will not serve as a replacement for my P-515, but as an alternative.

Thanks in advance.

Best regards:
Aksel Christoffersen

Re: Best virtual piano for my needs
akse0435 #3011056 08/07/20 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by akse0435
Thanks for all your suggestions.

First of all, I'm not interested in equalizing the sounds in any way, because I don't like equalizing very much. I'm looking for a virtual piano, that sounds good without having to equalize the sounds. That's also part of the reason why I don't just make the P-515 a Little less bright, but I also don't think it's sounds has much complexity.

Second, what is una corda samples? I've never heard of them before, and a quick search just gave me a product from Native Instruments.

I've now writen a list of all your suggestions for virtual pianos, that I'm gon'a listen to.

The things that matter to me is that it sounds good and realistic, and it's fairly easy to use. As it happens, I'm blind and using a screen reader to operate my computer, so it would of course be good if someone knew that a specific virtual piano is accesible with a screen reader, but that is not a big thing for me.
I don't care how much it cost, or how much Space it takes on my computer, since I don't need to buy it right now, and I can save Money over time to buy it. It will not serve as a replacement for my P-515, but as an alternative.

Thanks in advance.

Best regards:
Aksel Christoffersen
My recommendation is the VSL Vienna Imperial, which is a Bosendorfer 290 Imperial Grand. It was released about 10 years ago, but still stands up against all the latest and greatest sampled pianos in my well informed opinion. My reasons for suggesting this are:

1. It was sampled with 100 velocity levels per key, so variation & nuance of tone is wonderful. Playability is excellent on a Yamaha weighted keyboard (I own a Yamaha CP4 Stage, which has a similar action to your P-515)
2. It has real Una Corda samples (unlike the latest VSL Synchron Pianos) - additional samples with the Una Corda pedal pressed, which on a grand piano shifts the hammers/action to the right so that only 2 of the 3 strings (on those notes with 3 strings) are struck, resulting in a softer and less complex tone.
3. It has 3 mic perspectives and fantastic Vienna concert hall convolution reverbs built in.
4. You don't need a super computer and SSD to run it, and the included VSL Vienna Imperial player is rock solid. You do need a e-licensor usb key though.
5. It sounds different enough to the built in Yamaha keyboard piano sounds (and a lot richer and more resonant in comparison) to give you a refreshing alternative.

Last edited by Craig Richards; 08/07/20 05:44 AM.

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Re: Best virtual piano for my needs
akse0435 #3011058 08/07/20 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by akse0435
Thanks for all your suggestions.
Second, what is una corda samples? I've never heard of them before, and a quick search just gave me a product from Native Instruments.

una-corda is for those pianos with three pedals where the left most pedal moves the whole keyboard slightly sideways so that the number of strings hit by the hammer is reduced. It produces a softer less aggressive tone.

Originally Posted by akse0435
I've now writen a list of all your suggestions for virtual pianos, that I'm gon'a listen to.

The things that matter to me is that it sounds good and realistic, and it's fairly easy to use. As it happens, I'm blind and using a screen reader to operate my computer, so it would of course be good if someone knew that a specific virtual piano is accesible with a screen reader, but that is not a big thing for me.
I don't care how much it cost, or how much Space it takes on my computer, since I don't need to buy it right now, and I can save Money over time to buy it. It will not serve as a replacement for my P-515, but as an alternative.

Thanks in advance.

Best regards:
Aksel Christoffersen

I don't know if you are using a Mac or a PC, I'm on a Mac and only know what happens there. By the way David Lai another forum member here is also blind. You might be able to compare notes with him.

If you are using a Mac I don't think I can recommend the Vienna Imperial from VSL anymore. The interface for Vienna Imperial uses a cross platform (windows and mac) application framework which does not take advantage of any of the accessibility functionality built into macOS. The same goes for various other virtual pianos, but there is no way to have the Vienna Imperial interface automatically load the configuration you use or an accessible way to load it. I think this will make using it for a blind person even after it has been setup as best as possible really quiet difficult to use.

Last edited by KevinM; 08/07/20 06:01 AM.
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