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Re: Ultrashort piano comparison
CyberGene #3051672 12/01/20 01:54 PM
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2 is Garritan CFX and 3 is Pianoteq. The others are sample pianos that I don’t recognize.


Piano: Yamaha N3X
VST(preference in order): VSL Synchron Pianos, Vienna Imperial, Garritan CFX, VI Labs Modern U, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq
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Re: Ultrashort piano comparison
CyberGene #3051674 12/01/20 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Adding "reverb" to Pianoteq or N1X is rather a DSP/algorithm stuff which is why it doesn't help a lot.

Doesn't this sound good?:


Re: Ultrashort piano comparison
CyberGene #3051675 12/01/20 02:02 PM
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It's funny how N1X CFX non-binaural samples when exported to stereo (which is a multichannel down-mix to stereo) sounds very nasal and I had a thread where I complained about how it sounds like Pianoteq. I guess this is the reason for them to offer the binaural samples for headphones. And the multichannel samples are for the multichannel speaker system where they sound excellent. It's only when you export stereo WAV files to listen to them through stereo speakers (or headphones) where the N1X sucks.

Last edited by CyberGene; 12/01/20 02:04 PM.

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Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Ultrashort piano comparison
CyberGene #3051676 12/01/20 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
IMO (and I want to stress this out: IMO) Pianoteq is so recognizable because of its crapiness. Garritan CFX is recognizable because of its greatness.

whistle whistle grin


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Ultrashort piano comparison
navindra #3051677 12/01/20 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by navindra
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Adding "reverb" to Pianoteq or N1X is rather a DSP/algorithm stuff which is why it doesn't help a lot.

Doesn't this sound good?:

Well, nope (see the comment about Bluthner though). I can still detect the slightly rubbery/nasal quality in the middle region. If the guy recorded the same piece with CFX Full it would have been a good comparison. The Bluethner in this demo is the best though and if I don't listen carefully I can be fooled it's not Pianoteq. The two Steinways B and D are not as bad as the Grotrian, but still not good.

Last edited by CyberGene; 12/01/20 02:10 PM.

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Re: Ultrashort piano comparison
CyberGene #3051683 12/01/20 02:27 PM
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I have no doubt dispute about this ...
Originally Posted by CyberGene
IMO (and I want to stress this out: IMO) Pianoteq is so recognizable because of its crapiness. Garritan CFX is recognizable because of its greatness. Anyone is free to dispute that 😀 And to have a totally different opinion.
... but having never played the N1X (yet) I cannot say anything about it.

Re: Ultrashort piano comparison
CyberGene #3051684 12/01/20 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Well, nope (see the comment about Bluthner though). I can still detect the slightly rubbery/nasal quality in the middle region. If the guy recorded the same piece with CFX Full it would have been a good comparison. The Bluethner in this demo is the best though and if I don't listen carefully I can be fooled it's not Pianoteq. The two Steinways B and D are not as bad as the Grotrian, but still not good.

Personally, I detect nasal qualities in many or most acoustic pianos I've tried. I can often find something to dislike in an acoustic piano, whether it's the transition at the registry break or particular keys sounding weird or nasally to me.

However, the wall of resonance ultimately tends to make me forget about the quibbles.

Regarding reverb and mics, Modartt seems to have cranked it up with the NY's Concert Recording variant.

Re: Ultrashort piano comparison
CyberGene #3051697 12/01/20 03:45 PM
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Interesting game. Here are my initial points after hearing your comparison, note, first listen, didn't read the rest of the thread:
1. Definitely PianoTeq, with its nasal mid range and synthetic high notes;
2. Garritan CFX. You added some more reverb;
3. Not sure what this is, but this must be from a digital piano;
4. the CFX rendered from Yamaha's digital pianos;
5. Probably another digital piano rendering, as it's not like a VST, but which, I'm not sure.
I then read the thread to see what others are saying and found your post that revealed everything, and I didn't recognize the binaural version of the CFX, but the stereo version I recognized for sure. Also, I was surprised that the Bosendorfer (#5) sounds vary different compared to those sampled ones!

Re: Ultrashort piano comparison
CyberGene #3051700 12/01/20 03:55 PM
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Based on this test, I'd have to surmise (in general) that the people who prefer Pianoteq still prefer Pianoteq, and the people who prefer Garritan still prefer Garritan. It seems to be almost as largely entrenched as the US political divide.


Nord Grand, Yamaha YDP-184, Nord Wave 2,
StudioLogic SL88 Grand, Pianoteq 7 Pro, Garritan CFX,
EWPianos QL, Noire/AK/Gentleman/Grandeur/Maverick,
Piano V2, Serum, TE OP-1.
Re: Ultrashort piano comparison
CyberGene #3051707 12/01/20 04:20 PM
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So you dealt with pianoteq once and for all, nice job.

Sorry for thinking your n1x was pianoteq.

(I think i would have recognized number 2 without the distant mics as well, it's got a very recognisable sound if you have played it alot, i usually call it "a bit synthetic".)

Re: Ultrashort piano comparison
CyberGene #3051710 12/01/20 04:26 PM
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It's interesting that people need to feel sorry when other sounds are recognized as Pianoteq now smile

I made the same mistake though


Piano: Yamaha N3X
VST(preference in order): VSL Synchron Pianos, Vienna Imperial, Garritan CFX, VI Labs Modern U, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq
Re: Ultrashort piano comparison
Harpuia #3051714 12/01/20 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Harpuia
It's interesting that people need to feel sorry when other sounds are recognized as Pianoteq now smile

I made the same mistake though

Yes, that is interesting. And many people made that misidentification: I did it too! And I have a NU1, so I should have recognized the similarity of the sound.....

Re: Ultrashort piano comparison
CyberGene #3051722 12/01/20 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Why I decided to to this boring comparison? Because I've read some praises about the NY Steinway in Pianoteq. Downloaded it and immediately realized nothing has changed regarding the three main issues I've always had with Pianoteq and have thoroughly reported during my participation on the Pianoteq beta testing team many years ago:

1. Playing short (almost staccato) alternating notes in the middle octave produces a very distinctive synthetic (nasal) transition between the notes
2. Playing the same in the higher octaves produces an unnatural metallic sound
3. Playing short (pronounced when loud) bass notes produces a very hollow sound, as though the strings are from rubber and not metal

I then played the same with other pianos for comparison. Everybody recognized Pianoteq and that's an eloquent fact for why if you target its apparent weaknesses, everyone will be able to recognize it.

I think the comparison is interesting, not boring.

If you make a MIDI file for this, we can add it to the http://pianosound.wikidot.com/ project, even better if merged with the scale so it's not a separate set of files (MIDI, WAV, FLAC) to deal with. What do you think?

As far as I am concerned, to me PianoTeq sounds like I imagine this Kawai grand piano sounds (disclaimer: I've never heard one live nor recorded). None of the defects you mention are an issue for me. In fact I like the way that lowest bass note sounds on PianoTeq marginally better than it does on Garritan. After all, as a physicist you know that rubber or metal is the same thing to model: just different elasticity laugh Jokes aside, have you tried to play with PianoTeq settings and see if making the instrument 3m long improves that issue? Not trying to convice you that you should like it, I am only trying to understand what you hear. Probably the "rubber-like" effect you mention is just inharmonicity which I am used to since most of the pianos I play(ed) are short and have quite a bit of inharmonicity in the bass (including my former teacher's small Steinway).

For me the worst of the group is the #3 (quite interesting since you like it at least better than #4 and #5).

Last edited by Del Vento; 12/01/20 04:50 PM. Reason: fixing grammar which was confusing
Re: Ultrashort piano comparison
CyberGene #3051749 12/01/20 06:23 PM
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It is funny that you are caught up on the "nasal mid range" of Pianoteq, while apparently missing the completely weird release samples of 3-4-5. I assumed they were all samples, based on your previous comments on Pianoteq, so when listening I thought "man that first clip sounds good, I guess I should look back into sampled pianos." Lucky me, I already own Pianoteq!

Re: Ultrashort piano comparison
fakemaxwell #3051752 12/01/20 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by fakemaxwell
It is funny that you are caught up on the "nasal mid range" of Pianoteq, while apparently missing the completely weird release samples of 3-4-5.

What do you mean by "weird" release samples? The nasal quality of Pianoteq is heard throughout the entirety of the notes, even when you hold them for a minute, whereas a release (even when assuming something is "weird" with it) is heard very briefly at the end of the notes, so statistically one will be overwhelmed with nasalness much more in Pianoteq compared to weirdness of the release samples of the N1X smile

And BTW, this comparison was not meant to praise the N1X, I've already criticized some of its sounds. Well, still better than Pianoteq to my ears.

Last edited by CyberGene; 12/01/20 06:32 PM.

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Re: Ultrashort piano comparison
CyberGene #3051766 12/01/20 06:58 PM
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This is why it is so subjective. I don't think Pianoteq is as bad as CyberGene makes it sound. Now I agree I didn't like the sound until version 5 came out and finally brought it. Do I think it will replace a great sample library? I would be surprised if it does in the short term. I still like the sound of it and think it is a wonderful product. YMMV smile


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
Re: Ultrashort piano comparison
EPW #3051769 12/01/20 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by EPW
I don't think [put anything here] is as bad as you [CyberGene] make[s] it sound.
This is my wife smile

Well, I guess I'm just very picky about anything. (And I know this can be extremely annoying to people.) But I just can't reconcile with anything that's not perfect AND WHEN so many people say it's perfect.

I'm perfectly OK (no pun intended) with people saying something around the lines of "I know it's not perfect but I like it and I find it wonderful", as you did. However there are so many other people who seem to think it's the best thing in the (piano) world and then something in me just can't help but bring justice to the world 😀

Last edited by CyberGene; 12/01/20 07:11 PM.

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Re: Ultrashort piano comparison
CyberGene #3051778 12/01/20 07:56 PM
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I, too, can be picky. But pointing out the poor tonal qualities of Pianoteq is not a question of being picky. It stands out as starkly inferior in CG's roundup.

Re: Ultrashort piano comparison
MacMacMac #3051981 12/02/20 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I, too, can be picky.

Picky too, I can be.

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Only vintage d I play...

Re: Ultrashort piano comparison
CyberGene #3052176 12/02/20 07:14 PM
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They all sounded fine, little difference in general qualities; if you'd used different PT instruments like Bluthner or Petro, even the old freebie Bechstein from NIVIR, there'd ha been more variety.
The Bosie was recognisable at the end. If you'd used "Warm grand" instead, it would have been more pronounced.
But maybe I'm missing the point here: this is another worthy Pianoteq bashing exercise.
Maybe worthy of mocking. grin


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