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Originally Posted by Bostonmoores
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
You're not alone ...[quote=Macy].

Grandeur is almost as good. It nicely produces the Steinway sound. But it has a honk in the bass.
I think it's fixable by reducing the setting on one of the knobs. But that adversely affects the tone. So I don't use Grandeur anymore.
Hi Mac - I've seen a lot of threads where you point out the honk in the Grandeur, but I just can't find it. Can you tell me what I have to do to hear it? Is it all notes below a certain point, or a small range that you can point out? Also, is it at a certain velocity? I have no EQ applied and my tone setting is slightly on the soft side. I feel the scripting of Galaxy pianos is sort of unmatched for the price you pay. Uli is one of the best and I find Galaxy to be some of the closest to Pianoteq in terms of playability, along with Garritan.

To the OP, you might also want to consider an Upright. The E-instruments Session Keys Upright has some great scripting and is on the low side in terms of pricing.
Also - I might get some flack for calling out Addictive Keys to you, but if you just want a simple great sounding Steinway grand, and a great-sounding Upright, for what they offer at their price point, it's hard to beat. I wouldn't use it for classical tracks, where pedaling techniques come into play, but if I needed something to jam on or sit in a mix that loads quickly, that might be what I'd turn to. Super easy interface to play with. Hope this helps!

Thanks for the feedback!

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For what its worth, Full embertone now runs quite smoothly on my PC which is new, but not remarkably powerful either (an i7 laptop from last year). Number of layers doesn't really matter -- I have it set to 36 -- just not turning on the HQ pedaling option. I'm not sure what changed on my end but I really never get dropouts from it. It's not for everyone, but I do find its character very inspiring to play, while not being *too* much of a character piano.

I think the Lite version at least is worth giving a try. For just $39 it is IMO the best bang-for-your-buck library out there. Going from 12 layers to 36 isn't as big of a difference as you might originally assume (consider most digital pianos until recently only had something like 4 layers).

I'd also like to point out I disagree with MTa88 that garritan is heavy on resources. It simply requires a lot of disk space, but I find it uses less CPU than pretty much all the other VSTs mentioned here. I don't think I've ever heard a crackle or pop from it and it even runs smoothly for me while running a bunch of other applications too. Unlike the walker, which indeed can be very hit or miss with performance, I do generally find people say the Garritan is quite smooth. I just don't like it much because it's too 'clean' sounding. I do like a little imperfection.

If you are interested in the Modern U, I'd consider selling my license. It is without a doubt the most playable sampled piano VST I've encountered out of the box, practically perfect on my Casio PX-560. But I just don't like the sound of the Yamaha upright much, and I miss the stronger bass from the grand libraries.

So of the VI Labs instruments, I end up playing the ravenscroft way more, even though I find its recording quality to be just a bit inferior (the bass notes don't have quite as much bite or dynamic range as Garritan, VSL or Pianoteq). I really love the ravenscroft and I always come back to it.

I find myself playing the Bosendorfer upright a lot more than the Modern U even though I think playability is a bit worse(maybe just controller dependent) and it's more resource intensive. IMO it is a highly underrated library. The advantage of the VSL upright is that you can use per-note editing to make the bass notes louder and easily expand the dynamic range. By gradually increasing the couple lowest octaves by about 4 dB and turning the dynamic range to 116%, I find it sounds a lot more like a small grand while still retaining tons of character.

My most used VST right now is the VSL bluethner. For me it plays perfectly, and increasing the bass similar to the upright makes it sound a good deal more modern. But I realize that's probably too much of a character piano for many (although I think it can work quite well). I can't decide if I prefer the VSL imperial or 280VC more, but I think I'm leaning towards the 280. I just find it's a little harsh in the middle octaves, with a harder attack than I'd like even when the Synchron Player tells me I'm playing pp, so it's not just my stubby fingers =] This can be managed with the velocity curves though.

Any of the mentioned libraries in this thread should be a massive jump over the FP30's built-in sounds.

Last edited by napilopez; 09/30/21 02:01 PM.
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I've not tallied numbers, but this might be true ... for now:
Originally Posted by ronlefebvre
VSL CFX is the head on favorite.
Garritan CFX is the next favorite, but everybody loves the VI Labs Modern U these days.
Pianotek is worth trying cause the demo really gives you a great idea of what is sounds like. You love it or hate. No in between. Not my cup of tea.
Ravenscroft is my favorite, but certainly not for everyone.
But your list is incomplete. There are more choices missing than present in your list.

Also ... come back in a year and the list of popular pianos will be quite different.
Look at the threads from five years ago. The list was quite different then.
Or look at ten years ago. Even more different.
People rave over the latest. But have they tried anything else?

Finally, this is entirely subjective, and it does not at all follow from your tally:
Originally Posted by ronlefebvre
... these are your main choices.
Everything else is either subpar or made for composing with unique sounds and not what you are looking for it would seem.
The postings indicate preferences. But they don't dictate choices and they don't say what is or is not subpar.

OK.

We are not talking 5 years ago or in the future, but today and from what I have tried and seen and heard here and other forums, I stand by list of the top ones in the price range he is looking at, although VSL in probably out of his price range.

Of course the list is subjective. Duh! :-)

I will admit I am being a little harsh, but I did not name names because I did not want to start a war. As you say, everything is subjective.

I will say I own 8 VSTs and have tried with friends, another 3 or 4. So my comments,although subjective are not without merit.

I consider subpar, anything that does not sound true, where play ability is an issue and where pedaling is a chore.

As I write this rebuttal, I realize my final thought were over stated and subjective, but I will stand by the top 3.

My preference is Ravenscroft by a wide margin and is not included in the top 3. So not completely subjective.

Ron

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Ravenscroft 275 is also great piano that does not lag behind the best pianos, overall playability is excellent, sound is very good but it is subjective. For me it is important to have fine settings for half pedal because I want closer to acoustic pedal behaviour and the ability to adjust the sensitivity of the pedal is closer to that goal. Ravenscroft has that settings. VSL pianos also has that settings.

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I have many pianos:
Native instruments Noire, Gentleman demo version
Soniccouture Hammersmith pro free version
Production Voices Estate Grand, Production Grand Compact, Concert Grand Compact, Electric V
Synthogy Ivory II Grand pianos
Embertone Walker 1955
Pianoteq 7 Standard with Steinway D, Steinway B, Blüthner, Bechstein, Steingraeber, YC5, Electic pianos.
VILabs Truekeys (German, American, Italian), Modern U, Ravenscroft 275.
Xperimenta Due
Simple Sam Samples Signature Grand
Sampletekk TVBO, Black Grand Mk2, White Grand II Mk2
Garritan CFX
UVI Keysuite (Acoustic, Digital, Electric)

I like the most pianoteq, because they have many pianos, you can try them free, it is running fast, needs just some mb-s on the harddrive and the sound I like as well. If you wouldn't like to tweak the settings, layer, morph, use fxp-s (where the users saved the settings) the modeled pianoteq basic is enough for you. I bought first on resale on vi-control for 100 USD with 4 instruments instead of 227 EUR (129 EUR for stage with 2 instruments+2*49 EUR), but you could find some good resale deals on pianoteq forum as well. JRRshop has sometimes discounts as well, and on black friday, summer sale you could buy on the website of modartt cheaper.
https://vi-control.net/community/forums/for-sale-music-gear-classifieds-free-service.66/
https://forum.modartt.com/viewforum.php?id=1

Some pianos can be used by software ilok, but the very expensive vsl pianos need a hardware ilok, although they are planning to change to software authentication.

There are some free pianos as well, as Gentleman from Native Instruments in Demo mode, Hammersmith Pro free version.

I am using Audio Technica ATH-Msr7b headphones instead of speakers for piano playing.

I don't like ivory grand pianos, they are really old and the sound is not so good as at other pianos, this was the most expensive piano I bought discounted for 239 USD instead of the original price of 349 USD on the website of Ilio and you couldn't resale the pianos.

You should consider the number of layers as well, if you are playing jazz less dynamic levels (layers) are enough, but for classical music you need more layers. If the piano is modeled like pianoteq the dynamics are smoother, but some pianos like Production Voices Concert Grand 8, Production Voices Estate Grand, Simple Sam Samples have 10, Production Voices Production Grand 12, Xperimenta Due 14 layers.

If you would buy more pianos or biger ones like Embertone Walker, VSL, Garritan CFX you should need a very fast SSD drive like Samsung t7 2GB.

Some vsts need very good computers and if you don't have it the sound will be popping and glitching.

The pianos have different manufactures and sometimes as the real accoustic pianos it depends on jazz or classical, the style of the pieces, or your feelings which is the best for you (Bechstein, Blüthner, Bösendorfer, Erard, Fazioli, Pleyel, Kawai, Malmsjö, Ostling, Petroff, Ravenscroft, Steinway B, Steinway D, Steinway upright, Seiler upright, Yamaha C7, Yamaha C5, Yamaha C3).

Last edited by mandan; 09/30/21 10:38 PM.
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I've found I'm still not very good, no matter how much my vst cost.

I use Noire. Its great. Queens Gambit anyone?

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Originally Posted by napilopez
(consider most digital pianos until recently only had something like 4 layers).

*shudder*

It does seem that for the longest time the bottleneck for digital piano was storage. In 2008 when the Garritan Authorized Steinway was released (>40 GB for the pro version), it was inconceivable that such an advanced library would run on a digital piano because of storage limitation, as no one wanted to go the internal HDD route. It was a few years later (around 2012?) that solid state storage made a splash in the consumer market, and only years later still (around 2017) that SSD price came down significantly that solid state solution became feasible for digital pianos. That said, even today digital pianos still have plenty of room for improvement in terms of # of velocity layers. But the good news is storage is no longer a bottleneck.


The chart below is borrowed from https://blocksandfiles.com/2020/08/24/10x-enterprise-ssd-price-premium-over-nearline-disk-drives/

[Linked Image]


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Originally Posted by napilopez
Going from 12 layers to 36 isn't as big of a difference as you might originally assume (consider most digital pianos until recently only had something like 4 layers).

Most digital pianos in use today (the low-budget tier) have only one sample layer.

With seamless sample morphing the useful number of sample layers tops at 5.


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Back then the instrument was supplied on an HDD.
It seemed absurd that we'd someday just download these many-gigbyte libraries.

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Originally Posted by mandan
but some pianos like Production Voices Concert Grand 8, Production Voices Estate Grand, Simple Sam Samples have 10, Production Voices Production Grand 12, Xperimenta Due 14 layers.

Production Voices Concert Grand has 9 mics and 16-20 velocity layers,

And let me note that velocity layer count is not an absolute criteria of quality. Modern VI can efficiently approximate not sampled velocities from samples taken.


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If you imagine that with 16 layers you space them out equally against velocities 0-127, then when you play with linear velocity curve these layers (and scripting thereof) would provide an even dynamic coverage.

But as soon as you switch to convex velocity curve (which is often used in live play), going from velocities 0 to 64 now no longer corresponds to layers 1-8 but steeper, maybe 1-12, so layers 13-16 have to be stretched out to cover velocities 64-127, i e. reduced sensitivity in louder notes.

Who knows what the actual sampling scheme is, but the example above just illustrates that "results may vary".


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Chants *Modern U! Modern U! Modern U!* lollll


Sry…

I typically don’t like the Yamaha sound but something about the Modern U is so delicate and sweet..


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Hello,

Originally Posted by Mta88
Chants *Modern U! Modern U! Modern U!* lollll


Sry…

I typically don’t like the Yamaha sound but something about the Modern U is so delicate and sweet..

+1 😄

Cheers and happy playing,

HZ

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Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by napilopez
Going from 12 layers to 36 isn't as big of a difference as you might originally assume (consider most digital pianos until recently only had something like 4 layers).

Most digital pianos in use today (the low-budget tier) have only one sample layer.

With seamless sample morphing the useful number of sample layers tops at 5.

What are you trying to prove here? One, two three, or one million. No one is talking about digital pianos here.

Embertone has 36 velocity layers.

It really has 36 layers. Doubt it? Check their website.

I generally avoid calling anyone a troll. I don't like that because of so many reasons.

But you and your posts are getting to the point where I think I should say you're a troll.


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Originally Posted by Abdol
Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by napilopez
Going from 12 layers to 36 isn't as big of a difference as you might originally assume (consider most digital pianos until recently only had something like 4 layers).

Most digital pianos in use today (the low-budget tier) have only one sample layer.

With seamless sample morphing the useful number of sample layers tops at 5.

What are you trying to prove here? One, two three, or one million. No one is talking about digital pianos here.

I marked it bold for you.


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Originally Posted by JoeT
I marked it bold for you.

This thread is about VSTs. How is that relevant to this thread or any of the subjects discussed here remotely?

You aren't showing off your knowledge buddy. All I see is foam and no beer.

(and you are wrong as usual: P-115 had 3 layers. P-125 has 4 layers)

Last edited by Abdol; 10/01/21 01:28 PM.

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And the foam resulted in the ban of a few good pw members... (and I am also partially to blame).

1 layer? Apart from being OT in a VST thread, even the cheapest yamaha psr has at least 2 layers.

Last edited by vagfilm; 10/01/21 01:50 PM.
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Originally Posted by Abdol
(and you are wrong as usual: P-115 had 3 layers. P-125 has 4 layers)

Where can we find such figures ? Nowadays, Yamaha digital pianos are not presented with their layer numbers.


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Originally Posted by Frédéric L
Originally Posted by Abdol
(and you are wrong as usual: P-115 had 3 layers. P-125 has 4 layers)

Where can we find such figures ? Nowadays, Yamaha digital pianos are not presented with their layer numbers.

We can't. The DPBSD thread only proves stretched single layer samples.

Unsurprisingly they are the norm in pianos below $1000 with other manufacturers being no different.

For comparison: The P-515 has a four or five layer CFX Stereo sample, a three layer Bösendorfer Stereo sample and an one layer CFX Binaural sample.

Source: My ears.


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Originally Posted by Frédéric L
Originally Posted by Abdol
(and you are wrong as usual: P-115 had 3 layers. P-125 has 4 layers)

Where can we find such figures ? Nowadays, Yamaha digital pianos are not presented with their layer numbers.

You can easily ask these questions at yamahasynth.com and get the official answer you are looking for.

Yamaha samples (e.g. CFX) are shared among the entire digital instruments.

I have also been an active member of that forum for 6+ years

Originally Posted by JoeT
Source: My ears.

For a second I thought it's your bottom. Was just a misunderstanding.

Last edited by Abdol; 10/01/21 03:53 PM.

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