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Joined: Aug 2020
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Hi,

What are the best Piano Libraries for you for each Piano model.
For example for me:

Yamaha CFX: Garritan CFX
Ant Petrof 275: Pianoteq
Bechstein D 282: Kontakt C Bechstein Digital Grand
Kawai Grand: Emotional Piano

I am mostly looking opinions for Bosendorfer, Fazioli and Steinway. I have quite a lot of them, but I am not 100% happy with any of them.

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Originally Posted by karoloydi
Hi,

What are the best Piano Libraries for you for each Piano model.
For example for me:

Yamaha CFX: Garritan CFX
Ant Petrof 275: Pianoteq
Bechstein D 282: Kontakt C Bechstein Digital Grand
Kawai Grand: Emotional Piano

I am mostly looking opinions for Bosendorfer, Fazioli and Steinway. I have quite a lot of them, but I am not 100% happy with any of them.

This is a classic discussion, I must say! Regarding Steinway, there's American (New York) and German (Hamburg). And I feel the best New York D is the Ivory II American Concert D, and the best Hamburg D would be the VSL Steinway because of its many layers. But this Hamburg D is a bit tricky, since the VSL D doesn't have una corda samples. If we are talking about a wide coverage of what a piano is expected to do, then I have to give it to the Vintage D from Galaxy Instruments! smile

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Part of the challenge is the subjective nature of "top". Pianists practicing classical music seem to have different tastes than those playing popular music or producing movie scores.

The PianoWorld VI database gives you a good view of the "landscape" so you can sort through different models. Between PianoWorld and VI-Control forums, I think somebody has commented on most of the pianos of the database. But for practicing classical piano, there are strong preferences for just a few VIs here (some are in green in the database).

Some people here have a ton of VIs and put virtually all of them out to pasture. Others left the VI game, only to be pulled back.

Interestingly, there are no Mason & Hamlin VIs and virtually no Baldwin Grand VIs for sale, although someone kindly recorded his home M&H for a free basic VI.

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...no-master-sticky-thread.html#Post2752919

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Some time ago I started google spreadsheet listing various details for piano VI that were/are of interest for me. One of its sheets shows what VIs are available for a specific piano make/model.
Feel free to add your comments there if you wish:
Some Piano VSTi


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Originally Posted by newer player
Part of the challenge is the subjective nature of "top". Pianists practicing classical music seem to have different tastes than those playing popular music or producing movie scores.

The PianoWorld VI database gives you a good view of the "landscape" so you can sort through different models. Between PianoWorld and VI-Control forums, I think somebody has commented on most of the pianos of the database. But for practicing classical piano, there are strong preferences for just a few VIs here (some are in green in the database).

Some people here have a ton of VIs and put virtually all of them out to pasture. Others left the VI game, only to be pulled back.

Interestingly, there are no Mason & Hamlin VIs and virtually no Baldwin Grand VIs for sale, although someone kindly recorded his home M&H for a free basic VI.

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...no-master-sticky-thread.html#Post2752919

You are right, I forgot to mention that. Mostly I am interested for playing classical piano.
That's one of my main problems with a lot of the sample libraries, especially the Kontakt libraries.
A lot of them are more geared towards cinematic music. The sound very nice, but they are not very playable.

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Originally Posted by newer player
Interestingly, there are no Mason & Hamlin VIs and virtually no Baldwin Grand VIs for sale, although someone kindly recorded his home M&H for a free basic VI.

Yes, when a new VST is released, we have most chance to find a Steinway than others, then there are Fazioli, Bösendorfer, CFX, and perhaps a few other.

Interestingly, Pianoteq which has started with a D piano rebranded Steinway Model D has proposed some models hard to find as (other) VST : Petrof, Steingraeber, Grotrian, Blüthner. We have also a sampled Baldwin (1954 Baldwin Parlor Grand). And Galaxy proposes a Blüthner baby grand.

Then perhaps VST producer will start to avoid too much already sampled pianos and propose some other products.

But if you want a studio grand, Ivory propose two of them (Steinway and Bösendorfer... again... but smaller ones).

Last edited by Frédéric L; 09/25/20 11:55 AM.

Yamaha CLP150, Bechstein Digital Grand, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, EWQL Pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq
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VSL's Synchron Pianos and Vienna Imperial are the most convincing for me. I don't think they have any credible competition (again for me).

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VSL's Synchron Bösendorfer Imperial has to take top spot for this model.


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Originally Posted by johnstaf
VSL's Synchron Pianos and Vienna Imperial are the most convincing for me. I don't think they have any credible competition (again for me).

Agree.

I haven't played the vienna imperial or the cfx yet, but the synchron Steinway and Bösendorfer are both exceptionally good. I like Garritan cfx, but I would be very surprised if I don't like vsl's cfx better when I get it.

For a new york steinway i'd say Synthogy American D.

Vi Labs modern U for a U3 smile

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Originally Posted by karoloydi
You are right, I forgot to mention that. Mostly I am interested for playing classical piano.
That's one of my main problems with a lot of the sample libraries, especially the Kontakt libraries.
A lot of them are more geared towards cinematic music. The sound very nice, but they are not very playable.

VST plugins are geared towards MIDI rendering. That's why you can't demo them, only listen to demos of them.

The MIDI you usually record playing some stage piano's onboard sound or in case of classical piano with a MIDIfied grand piano (DisKlavier etc.). Then import it into your DAW, build your plugin rack and start adjusting velocity curves until your MIDI file sounds about right. Then hit render and be done instead of going through the effort of recording an actual grand piano.

Playing sample library plugins live will always give you dissatisfying results. They are not intended to be used that way.


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Originally Posted by JoeT
.. and start adjusting velocity curves until your MIDI file sounds about right. Then hit render and be done instead of going through the effort of recording an actual grand piano.
Or adjust velocity curves BEFORE you start playing and enjoy beautiful, much more realistic piano sound than any internal DP sound available.

Originally Posted by JoeT
Playing sample library plugins live will always give you dissatisfying results. They are not intended to be used that way.
Life will ALWAYS give you dissatisfying result: you will die at some point.

Sarcasm aside, for actual live playing (I mean outside home, for some bigger audience) it's quite hard to make VST sound good. Less advanced DP piano sounds tend to work better.


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Originally Posted by AlphaBravoCharlie
Originally Posted by JoeT
.. and start adjusting velocity curves until your MIDI file sounds about right. Then hit render and be done instead of going through the effort of recording an actual grand piano.
Or adjust velocity curves BEFORE you start playing and enjoy beautiful, much more realistic piano sound than any internal DP sound available.

As beautiful as the recorded source instrument. That's why they make sample libraries. Yet there are lots of shoddy instruments being recorded, because many sample library creators are tone-deaf.

More realistic? A firm No.

Not a problem though. You buy them, because you want to render unrealistic piano for your cinematic soundtracks. If you wanted realism, you would prepare a grand piano for recording yourself and then fight with all the realism such an acoustic instrument offers, including going out of tune, so your second recording session doesn't fit your first.

Quote
Originally Posted by JoeT
Playing sample library plugins live will always give you dissatisfying results. They are not intended to be used that way.
Life will ALWAYS give you dissatisfying result: you will die at some point.

Sarcasm aside, for actual live playing (I mean outside home, for some bigger audience) it's quite hard to make VST sound good. Less advanced DP piano sounds tend to work better.

The live playing mentioned here is about the plugin rendering the sound in real time back to the player, that doesn't require an audience.


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Originally Posted by JoeT
Playing sample library plugins live will always give you dissatisfying results. They are not intended to be used that way.

What did sample libaries ever do to you? 😟


Question, did you ever try a vsl libary? In combination with a good controller, (i use a vpc1,) it's playability heaven, if you ask me. This controller + vst does exactly what I want, extremely controllable. Admittedly, while some others are pretty good, I never experienced this level of control with other libaries before.

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Originally Posted by U3piano
Question, did you ever try a vsl libary?

You cannot "try" a VSL library.


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Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by U3piano
Question, did you ever try a vsl libary?

You cannot "try" a VSL library.

That's true.

Well, you can actually. But you have to buy the library, and if you don't like it you can return it within a month.

I would strongly advise to give the Bösendorfer a shot, and then please report back with your experience! I wouldn't be surprised if your opinion has changed.

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VSL started a demo program summer 2020. Not sure if it is still in effect

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...30-day-full-demos-limited-time-only.html

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Originally Posted by newer player
VSL started a demo program summer 2020. Not sure if it is still in effect

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...30-day-full-demos-limited-time-only.html

Well yeah but you still need that pesky dongle of course.

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Originally Posted by U3piano
Originally Posted by newer player
VSL started a demo program summer 2020. Not sure if it is still in effect

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...30-day-full-demos-limited-time-only.html

Well yeah but you still need that pesky dongle of course.
What is even worse, you also need computer and midi keyboard!


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Originally Posted by JoeT
Playing sample library plugins live will always give you dissatisfying results. They are not intended to be used that way.

This is simply not true.

The commonly discussed sampled pianos (on this forum) are designed to be played.

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Originally Posted by U3piano
Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by U3piano
Question, did you ever try a vsl libary?

You cannot "try" a VSL library.

That's true.

Well, you can actually. But you have to buy the library, and if you don't like it you can return it within a month.

Sorry, 540 € is not what I spend on a mere app, especially with a dongle. For that amount I buy myself tangible stuff, like another guitar. Or more pedals/modules/synths, which work on their own.


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