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#3183411 01/08/22 12:34 PM
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I decided to go the controller/VST route (at least for the near future), but have been having a problem finding a good pop piano, especially for playing some of my wife’s favorites. Specifically, I was looking for a good upright VST for a couple uses;

First is Vince Gauraldi trio - I figure I can’t be the only here trying to replicate the Christmas special. wink

Second is Coldplay’s base sound; obviously there’s months of production on top of the piano sound, but there’s a pretty consistent piano across all of them. Yamaha’s pop piano voice provides a pretty good starting point, which makes sense because Chris Martin usually plays a Yamaha digital live, but I don’t want to get a Yamaha just for that. He also plays a Kawai ATX2 upright live, if that helps any.

The VSL Bosendorfer, while beautiful, almost seems too rich and resonant for either use. If there’s a Grand VST that also works for either use, that makes sense too!

My wife and I appreciate any help in the matter. smile

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So you are searching for a good Upright Piano VST?
Modern U (based on Yamaha U3) is very good! IMHO, this is the best Upright Piano VST, you can get.

I also have the (basic version) VSL Bösendorfer Upright, but I prefer the Modern U!
Native Instrument Gentleman is also a very nice Upright Piano, but a completely different beast...


keep calm and play the piano :-)
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Hello,

@JacksonTree, I was just about to advice you the Modern U by VI Labs, just as @Georg Z. did.

Compared to VSL, it is a lot more affordable and an excellent quality virtual piano, fully sampled in every detail from a Yamaha U3.

Cheers and happy discoveries,

HZ

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Pianoteq (with a free demo available) is very tweakable and there's an upright piano available too as an instrument pack.

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For getting that Vince Guaraldi sound -- I believe he usually played on a slightly out of tune NY Steinway D -- I definitely think the Embertone Walker 1955 is your best bet. Though it can sometimes be a bit resource intensive and need some tweaking to get the playability perfect, few begrudge its sound. It's quite different from most of the pristine Steinway libraries out there.

The Lite version(12 velocity layers, one mic) is just 40 bucks and the difference between it and the full version(36 velocity layers, several mics) is honestly pretty miniscule if you don't need all the mic positions. 12 velocity layers is still plenty for most music, and you can always upgrade to the full version later.

The Hammer Mic position, only available in the Full, is probably the best for pop (actually the best overall imo, as it shows the most change in tone color in my experience), but I'd say the Main Mic included in the light is the second best. You can also tweak the velocity settings to only use the upper dynamic layers while controlling *volume* separately, which should help you achieve that more percussive pop sound.

As for an upright, the VI Labs Modern U is regularly acknowledged as one of the best VSTs on the market, upright or not, and IMO it is the very best upright. I can't imagine it not fitting your use assuming you like the basic sound of it, especially given how tweak able it is.

Did you try the VSL Bosendorfer upright or just listened to the demos? The sound is quite tweakable. I prefer the tone of the VSL to the Modern U, but the latter wins in terms of playability and sounding just a little more authentic from the player position. The VSL is very good at that too, the modern U is just the most realistic sounding VST I've tried through speakers.

The Noire is probably a terrible pop piano by default, as its sound is so dark, but it is also one of the most authentically tweakable piano libraries out there and can get pretty pop-y by just turning a few knobs.

The Embertone has a 7-day return, while the VSLs offer 14-day returns. My recommendation would be to try the Embertone lite first, as it seems it might fit all your needs without too much risk of wasting money on a VST you don't like.

Good luck!

Last edited by napilopez; 01/08/22 01:06 PM.
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Here's a Good demo of the Embertone. Full velocity layers, but using the Main Mic, so the Lite should sound quite similar if you want to minimize expense:



Here's Vince playing Autumn Leaves:



Pretty similar in tone imo! Certainly more than most libraries out there.

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Fantastic recommendations, thanks everyone!

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Originally Posted by JacksonTree
The VSL Bosendorfer, while beautiful, almost seems too rich and resonant for either use. If there’s a Grand VST that also works for either use, that makes sense too!

have a listen to YouTube demos of the Garritan cfx. it has a bunch of presets, some explicitly geared towards pop/rock though i can't recall if I've seen those actual presets demoed or not. there's also the lite version (plenty of demos out there too) which may or may not suit your needs and budget.

good luck

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If the goal is an _upright_ sound, I suspect that either Pianoteq or one of the VI's actually sampled from an upright piano, will be best.

I think that one of the characteristics of an upright is shorter strings, which give more-out-of-tune harmonics than the longer strings of a grand. It'll be hard to duplicate that, using processed samples from a grand.

Pianoteq can change its model to increase inharmonicity (if that's a word), and a sample from an upright piano will have just the right amount of inharmonicity, since it's the "real thing".


. Charles
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If you want to take a look at the inharmonicity of a Yamaha U3, both as an acoustic and as a VST, just some days ago I did an experiment and published some interesting results on another thread here:

Real Yamaha U3 vs U3 VSTs Pianometer curves

I will update that thread once I work on my U3H, but found interesting that even the modelled one was so close to the real thing.

Jose


Yamaha U3H
Kawai VPC1
...plus some other DPs, synths, controllers and VSTs

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