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Posted By: David B VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 05:05 AM
I'm very happy with the latest offering from VI Labs, the Modern U. I think it's their best work yet. If I had to choose just one VST piano right now, it would be the Modern U (and I have a lot VST's). I have all of VI labs offerings, VSL's offerings, Garritan, Pianoteq, etc The Modern U is my favorite. Here is a short video review I made highlighting a few of the reasons why I like it.



God Bless,
David
Posted By: newer player Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 05:23 AM
That was a very enjoyable video David. Your playing and technique are improving rapidly. I also like your observations and the surprise ending.

You have a good arsenal of VIs so maybe there are more videos in the pipeline. . .

EDIT - What makes this more enjoyable than say the VI Labs Ravenscroft?
Posted By: David B Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 05:37 AM
Originally Posted by newer player
That was a very enjoyable video David. Your playing and technique are improving rapidly.


Praise God! smile

Quote
EDIT - What makes this more enjoyable than say the VI Labs Ravenscroft?


That's a good question. I would say that the Ravenscroft can be a bit more expressive than the modern U, but I like the overall tone of the Modern U better. The Modern U feels and sounds very natural to me.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 06:17 AM
What a great speaking voice you have, David B!
Posted By: David B Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 06:40 AM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
What a great speaking voice you have, David B!


Thank you.

I've been engaged in public speaking for over 20 years and I don't recall anyone ever complementing my voice. When I first started preaching my voice would get very shrill when I got excited. I had to learn how to keep my voice in the lower register and use my diaphragm more.

Thank God for good wives to help us know when we're being annoying. smile

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Craig Richards Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 06:55 AM
Thanks for the video review David - great work. VI Labs really nail the release samples & immediacy of acoustic pianos - very natural. I agree with the comment by 'Newer Player' above - your playing has progressed rapidly, and I can hear & see you're more relaxed at the keyboard, and your playing is therefore less "deliberate" and more "musical" if that makes sense?
Posted By: Beowulf Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 07:28 AM
Hey David! Really appreciate all your reviews of VSTs so far. How does this compare to the Bösendorfer 130 from VSL? I can't seem to get that power from the Bösie Upright on the higher end of the notes which really annoys me. Maybe I have grown too used to the piercing sounds from the Garritan CFX.
Posted By: David B Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 07:49 AM
Originally Posted by Craig Richards
Thanks for the video review David - great work. VI Labs really nail the release samples & immediacy of acoustic pianos - very natural.


I wish I understood more about the process of converting the raw recordings into something usable. I wonder how much has to do with the studio the piano was recorded in compared to the post record processing work. It seems like VI Labs chose a very appropriate studio to record in. It has a very clean sound.

Quote
I agree with the comment by 'Newer Player' above - your playing has progressed rapidly, and I can hear & see you're more relaxed at the keyboard, and your playing is therefore less "deliberate" and more "musical" if that makes sense?


Thank you.

Originally Posted by Beowulf
... How does this compare to the Bösendorfer 130 from VSL? I can't seem to get that power from the Bösie Upright on the higher end of the notes which really annoys me. Maybe I have grown too used to the piercing sounds from the Garritan CFX.


I agree with you about the Bösendorfer. It has a very mellow tone. I also noticed that the upper register can be so quiet. Have you tried increasing the individual key volumes for those notes? VSL does offer very detailed customization.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: dire tonic Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 08:18 AM
David, felicitations on your rapid progress - may it continue apace - and thanks for your helpful review.

I'm interested in this sample library but have misgivings because of the behaviour of VI labs Ravenscroft where an unintended bounce on any note (arising from a mixture of shortcomings in my technique exacerbated by my removal of the fake letoff 'mechanism' of my VPC1) effectively kills the note. It's a behaviour not readily noticeable in any other sample library I've bought or tried. I'm still not sure if the blame lies with the Ravenscroft or the UVI container.

I wonder if, using the Modern-U, you would be able/prepared to audition a midi file which I would upload - literally just one note but with an overlapping double strike at very low velocity. I'd like to know if this new VI labs library behaves like the Ravenscroft.
Posted By: David B Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 08:31 AM
Originally Posted by dire tonic

I wonder if, using the Modern-U, you would be able/prepared to audition a midi file which I would upload - literally just one note but with an overlapping double strike at very low velocity. I'd like to know if this new VI labs library behaves like the Ravenscroft.


I'm happy to help out anyway I can. Just let me know what you'd like me to do. I'll PM you my email address.

God bless,
David
Posted By: dire tonic Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 08:41 AM
- that's great, thank you.
Posted By: dire tonic Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 09:32 AM
Of course, it was past David's bedtime so there'll be no news until tomorrow.

If there are any other Ravenscroft owners out there who have the patience to try this out, I'd be interested to know if they get the same result. It's possible I've overlooked something in UVI player.

It's a lowish D, played forte, sustained for a couple of seconds but because of a tiny bounce at the keybed, a second D plays a fraction of a second later at very low velocity. On the Ravenscroft, this produces a staccato D with an almost but not quite silent tail (D playing at very low velocity). Every other library gives me D for a full 2 secs with the ghosted note barely apparent.

Posted By: johanibraaten Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 10:12 AM
Thank you David for the review! Very nice playing and the video really gives a fine overview of this VST. Now I'm really thinking of getting this one:) Great work!
Posted By: U3piano Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 10:34 AM
Well nothing beats a good U3 does it! smirk


Still for some reason the sound of this particular vst doesn't really catch my interest. I think it's too modern, too clean, for my taste, i just love piano's with more character like Embertone Walker and vsl Bosendorfer upright. I also like the tone of my own 1985 u3 better than this one.

I owned ravenscroft, so I know Vi labs piano's have great playability, still i'm surprised to see you actually prefer this one over the vsl bosendorfer upright. That must mean it is quite good!
Posted By: Gombessa Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 10:43 AM
All the U3s I play are old, used and likely graymarket imports, it's a bit eye opening to hear how different and clean this sounds!

Really nice review, David! Beautiful playing, and I definitely agree with others that you have a great speaking voice and style.

Looking forward to hearing more.
Posted By: minstrelman Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 03:22 PM
dire tonic,

I tried it. I did not hear any second note.
I am not sure if I did it right. I have not done a lot of this kind of thing.

this is what I did.
I opened Reaper, created a track, inserted your file as a media item.
now, I added FX UVI Workstation, loaded Modern U, and pressed play.
I did not hear a second note.

next I loaded Ravenscroft. same thing.
next Pianoteq. also same thing . no second note.
hope this helps.
Posted By: minstrelman Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 03:47 PM
David,

your video is awesome. thanks for posting it.
how do you like the presets?
Posted By: dire tonic Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 03:56 PM
- thanks for trying that out.

Was the single note staccato or did it last for a couple of seconds?

Do you have an event editor in Reaper? If so, you should be able to see that there are two notes on the same pitch one starts a fraction of a second after the other. The net result should be a single sound of about 2 seconds. Here, with Ravenscroft, I'm just getting a staccato; the second note instead of adding negligibly to the first is cutting it off.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 04:27 PM
Originally Posted by dire tonic
- thanks for trying that out.

Was the single note staccato or did it last for a couple of seconds?

Do you have an event editor in Reaper? If so, you should be able to see that there are two notes on the same pitch one starts a fraction of a second after the other. The net result should be a single sound of about 2 seconds. Here, with Ravenscroft, I'm just getting a staccato; the second note instead of adding negligibly to the first is cutting it off.

Did you report this apparent bug to VI Labs, dire tonic?
Posted By: minstrelman Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 04:35 PM
it lasted for a couple seconds.

I'll load it up again and look for the event editor.
Posted By: dire tonic Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 04:38 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Did you report this apparent bug to VI Labs, dire tonic?

I did. It's a few years ago now. They told me they'd sorted it out and had me refresh the download. I also updated UVI workstation but to no avail. I rather lost interest in the RC after that.

I can't rule out pilot error and I should probably update UVI again.
Posted By: dire tonic Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 04:40 PM
Originally Posted by minstrelman
it lasted for a couple seconds.

I'll load it up again and look for the event editor.

Yes, a couple of secs, that's how it should be. The problem is at my end then (I'm assuming David will get the same result as you).
Posted By: minstrelman Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 04:44 PM
if you pm me your email address, I can email you an mp3 render of it.
(I don't see how to attach it here.)

do you still want me to check out the event editor thing?
Posted By: dire tonic Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 04:50 PM
No, don't worry about the event editor but I'd appreciate hearing the render so I'll pm my email. Thanks again!
Posted By: minstrelman Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 05:23 PM
ok, good. smile
Posted By: CyberGene Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 07:39 PM
David, I will repeat what others already said but your presentation is flawless! Such a nice review. Frankly, it’s better to me than some professional piano reviews I’ve seen on YouTube. You have very calm and reassuring voice, you have presented it meticulously and your playing has indeed progressed a lot. Cheers!
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 10:45 PM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
David, I will repeat what others already said but your presentation is flawless! Such a nice review. Frankly, it’s better to me than some professional piano reviews I’ve seen on YouTube. You have very calm and reassuring voice, you have presented it meticulously and your playing has indeed progressed a lot. Cheers!

Exactly, David, I'm not going to say this is a "calling" as you already have a calling 😀, but you did this review extremely well and better than even most reviews I've seen. I've seen many reviewers, and even professional reviewers with annoying voices, and who make annoying reviews. Your review was perfect in this sense. I do think you should make more reviews and put them on Youtube, perhaps for other VIs. thumb
Posted By: David B Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 11:09 PM
Originally Posted by U3piano
Well nothing beats a good U3 does it! smirk

Still for some reason the sound of this particular vst doesn't really catch my interest...


Originally Posted by Gombessa
All the U3s I play are old, used and likely graymarket imports, it's a bit eye opening to hear how different and clean this sounds!


VI Labs describes the the U3 they sampled as "a brand new Yamaha U3 studio upright piano."

They go on to mention that "the newer model should be noted in that this includes the maker's latest design with a warmer singing tone while still being clear and articulate, plus the hammers are new and everything is to original specification."

Given that description, I can understand why it might sound different than what some are used to.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/08/20 11:25 PM
Originally Posted by minstrelman
David,
your video is awesome. thanks for posting it.
how do you like the presets?


I went through all of VI Labs presets and ultimately found my own combination to work the best for me. However, I will be experimenting more in the future.

Originally Posted by CyberGene
David, I will repeat what others already said but your presentation is flawless! Such a nice review...



Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

Exactly, David, I'm not going to say this is a "calling" as you already have a calling 😀, but you did this review extremely well and better than even most reviews I've seen.... I do think you should make more reviews and put them on Youtube, perhaps for other VIs. thumb


Thanks for the kind affirmation fellas. It's easy for me to talk about/review something that I enjoy or believe in (as is the case with the modern U). Although, I don't think I have the experience and knowledge necessary (nor the piano skill) to do reviews like this in general for other VSTs. I could review guns no problem, bibles no problem, but piano playing is a bit too new for me and I lack confidence.

Thank you again for the kind words.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: pold Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/09/20 01:24 AM
The first time I heard the demo of this vst I was blown away, you are confirming that smile
Posted By: minstrelman Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/09/20 02:02 AM
thank you very much David.

I have been playing around a lot with the presets.

but, now I tried making my own, and did make one that I really like.

also, I want to say again that I super appreciate and have enjoyed
all of your excellent posts and videos about piano libraries.

they have helped me alot. smile
Posted By: David B Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/09/20 02:08 AM
Originally Posted by minstrelman
thank you very much David.

I have been playing around a lot with the presets.

but, now I tried making my own, and did make one that I really like.

also, I want to say again that I super appreciate and have enjoyed
all of your excellent posts and videos about piano libraries.

they have helped me alot. smile


thumb
Posted By: dire tonic Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/13/20 09:10 AM
- my thanks to David and minstrelman for checking out what I thought might be a Ravenscroft bug. Having shown the fault to be uniquely mine I dug around a bit and found that VIlabs had made available an update mid 2018 which sorted things out. Yipee!

My confidence in VIlabs restored, and having got a refund from VSL for their Bosendorfer upright (lively and enjoyable to play but a bit too mushy for my taste) I went for the Modern-U. I'd probably not use it for classical but it's nice and bluesy.
Posted By: U3piano Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/13/20 10:29 AM
I like it that they added presets in this one, I believe Ravenscroft didn't have presets.
Posted By: David B Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/13/20 02:28 PM
Originally Posted by dire tonic
- my thanks to David and minstrelman for checking out what I thought might be a Ravenscroft bug. Having shown the fault to be uniquely mine I dug around a bit and found that VIlabs had made available an update mid 2018 which sorted things out. Yipee!


That's encouraging to hear.

Quote
My confidence in VIlabs restored, and having got a refund from VSL for their Bosendorfer upright (lively and enjoyable to play but a bit too mushy for my taste) I went for the Modern-U. I'd probably not use it for classical but it's nice and bluesy.


It will be interesting to learn of your experience with the Modern U after you've gotten a chance to become familiar with it.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/13/20 02:37 PM
Originally Posted by U3piano
I like it that they added presets in this one, I believe Ravenscroft didn't have presets.


I like the presets also because someone else has put in the time to explore possibilities. Of course, those iterations can be further shaped however one desires. I think they did a good job updating a number of different aspects as well.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: slobajudge Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/13/20 05:39 PM
Originally Posted by dire tonic
- my thanks to David and minstrelman for checking out what I thought might be a Ravenscroft bug. Having shown the fault to be uniquely mine I dug around a bit and found that VIlabs had made available an update mid 2018 which sorted things out. Yipee!

Dire, that update is for Ravenscroft 275 ? Is it included in main download or some separate file ? Thank you.
Posted By: minstrelman Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/14/20 03:59 AM
you're very welcome dire tonic.
glad you got it working good.

and I also will be interested to hear what you think of Modern U after you've played it some more.

U3piano, you're right no Ravenscroft presets.

slobajudge, yes it is for Ravenscroft 275.
but I don't remember if it was included in main download or a separate file.

I just emailed support to ask them for you.
Posted By: slobajudge Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/14/20 10:25 AM
Originally Posted by minstrelman
slobajudge, yes it is for Ravenscroft 275.
but I don't remember if it was included in main download or a separate file.

I just emailed support to ask them for you.

Thank you Minstrelman, much appreciated
Posted By: minstrelman Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/15/20 05:14 AM
you're welcome Slobajudge.

I have not heard back from them yet.
I just emailed them again now.
hoping to hear back.
Posted By: minstrelman Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/17/20 07:04 PM
slobajudge,

I heard back from VI Labs.

this is what they said:

"Ravenscroft's latest version is actually 1.0, there has been no update since the soundbank's release."
Posted By: minstrelman Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/17/20 08:33 PM
slobajudge,

I just emailed VI Labs again.
dire tonic said there was an update.

so, I am asking VI Labs again.
Posted By: slobajudge Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/17/20 09:06 PM
That`s strange indeed, but if Ravenscroft said that, then its probably true. Maybe they will tell us something more about possible update in a second attempt. Thank you anyway for your effort Minstrelman.
Posted By: minstrelman Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/17/20 09:33 PM
you're welcome Slobajudge. smile
Posted By: dire tonic Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/19/20 05:48 PM
I agree, it's a bit puzzling. Here's something to add a little colour to the confusion. After becoming hung-up enough about my dead-note bug to make contact with VIlabs, I got this from Lance at support on 25th Jan 2017, three years after buying the RC:-

"...There were only a couple of small changes as well as moving to the FLAC format, so you probably have the correct version. We made only a small change later to improve performance with triple-sensor controllers such as the VPC1. If you have not downloaded since your purchase in 2014, you may want to go to your account and download the latest library installer. You can delete your existing Ravenscroft275.ufs file especially if it's the 35 GB file. The new FLAC version uses a bit less than 6 GB but the library is exactly the same... "

So it's exactly the same but there are small changes. At that time, the bug persisted and I gave up. Revisiting the problem prior to getting the Modern-U (I needed to be certain this wasn't a generalized VIlabs or UVI bug) I went through the whole shebang from scratch with the download date showing July 13 2018. It's still described as v1.0 so I'm bemused but untroubled since it now works properly for me!

Back to the Modern-U - really enjoying it at the moment. Evenly sampled, highly playable and responsive dynamics. Recommended for those who want an upright in their collection.
Posted By: newer player Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/19/20 06:00 PM
Originally Posted by dire tonic
It's still described as v1.0 so I'm bemused but untroubled since it now works properly for me!

Plenty of software is updated but version numbers remain the same. Just sloppy naming convention.

One might recommend downloading the latest v1.0 of Ravenscroft 275 (maybe keeping the old v1.0 just in case). You might post that alert in a new post for Ravenscroft 275 owners to noodle on.
Posted By: minstrelman Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/20/20 04:32 AM
thank you both for your posts.

glad you like Modern U dire tonic. smile
Posted By: David B Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/20/20 06:41 AM
Originally Posted by dire tonic


Back to the Modern-U - really enjoying it at the moment. Evenly sampled, highly playable and responsive dynamics. Recommended for those who want an upright in their collection.


I've had if for about a month now and I can't stop using it. smile

I cycled through all my VSTs tonight (just for the fun of it) and i couldn't wait to get back to the Modern U.

The only thing I wish is that it had a little more power in the bass. It's not weak, but it doesn't have the 9' grand power either. It's more like a 5 - 7 footer.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: U3piano Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/20/20 08:03 AM
Originally Posted by David B

I've had if for about a month now and I can't stop using it. smile

I cycled through all my VSTs tonight (just for the fun of it) and i couldn't wait to get back to the Modern U.

The only thing I wish is that it had a little more power in the bass. It's not weak, but it doesn't have the 9' grand power either. It's more like a 5 - 7 footer.

God Bless,
David


Stop it! you are making me re-think my initial judgements of this library, which is not good from an economical standpoint. crazy

Maybe a silly question, but can't you just EQ a little more power into the bass end? Or does that result in a boomy or otherwise unnatural bass end?
Posted By: David B Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/20/20 08:14 AM
Originally Posted by U3piano

Maybe a silly question, but can't you just EQ a little more power into the bass end? Or does that result in a boomy or otherwise unnatural bass end?


I've added a few db's of gain to some of the lower frequencies, but you're right, it doesn't have the same effect as a sample from a larger piano.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: CyberGene Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/20/20 08:33 AM
Does it support half-pedaling and re-pedaling well? What stops me from using so many libraries is the missing pedaling behavior... frown
Posted By: Harpuia Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/20/20 08:57 AM
I haven't tried VSTs from VI Labs from looks like the Modern U and Ravenscroft 275 are getting good reviews.

There are some VSTs which sound good but has some flaws (Embertone Walker 1955, Ivory II ACD, Galaxy Vintage D, Pianoteq). However, I didn't see people talking weak points on Ravenscroft, Garritan CFX and VSL pianos. Obviously there must be people don't like the tone but there doesn't seem to be defects from the software implementation. The Modern U must be a good one, I just don't know if the tone is versatile enough to play classical pieces.
Posted By: U3piano Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/20/20 09:08 AM
Originally Posted by Harpuia
However, I didn't see people talking weak points on Ravenscroft, Garritan CFX and VSL pianos. Obviously there must be people don't like the tone but there doesn't seem to be defects from the software implementation.


I think the actual sampled ravenscroft piano has a tone that's quite.. different. I would advise to really listen well to examples before buying, to make sure you like it. While initially really liking it, because of the quality of the vst, (playability, feel of realism etc.) in the end it turned out to not be my cup of tea, that's why I sold it, but if you do like the tone of the piano, yes, it is an awesome vst.
Posted By: David B Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/20/20 09:14 AM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Does it support half-pedaling and re-pedaling well? What stops me from using so many libraries is the missing pedaling behavior... frown


Sure does. It seems like most modern VTS's support those options. At least the ones I have do.

They've also included what they call a sampled "sordino pedal" option on the modern U which includes it's own release samples as well. It adds a beautiful dynamic which is more pronounced than the regular soft pedal. I found that the regular soft pedal on the Modern U is very minimal. Almost imperceptible (kind of like the soft pedal on my N1X). Therefore, I switched it (CC67) with the sordino pedal. The sordino pedal offers a much more noticeable shift in the volume. It's seems a bit more than what a soft pedal on an acoustic would do, but it's not so quiet that it becomes impracticable. It's a nice option to have.

God Bless,
David


Posted By: Harpuia Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/20/20 09:16 AM
I would really like to see more classical demos for Modern U. Looks like all official demos are all modern pieces.
Posted By: Harpuia Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/20/20 09:27 AM
By listening to VI Labs demos and looking at their website, I think they basically did two things right:

1. Really limit the disk space and hardware requirements while keeping the amount of samples big enough

2. Sympathetic resonance is the best one among all sampled VSTs (maybe some sampled VSTs are better but I haven't heard any). They are declaring sample based sympathetic resonance and mapping different resonance based on some algorithms. I don't know about technical details but there are some bad ones (Ivory II ACD) and good ones (modelling).

That's my finding without trying those VSTs by myself though.
Posted By: U3piano Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/20/20 09:28 AM
Originally Posted by Harpuia
I would really like to see more classical demos for Modern U. Looks like all official demos are all modern pieces.


+1 !!!
Posted By: Harpuia Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/20/20 09:32 AM
Originally Posted by U3piano
Originally Posted by Harpuia
However, I didn't see people talking weak points on Ravenscroft, Garritan CFX and VSL pianos. Obviously there must be people don't like the tone but there doesn't seem to be defects from the software implementation.


I think the actual sampled ravenscroft piano has a tone that's quite.. different. I would advise to really listen well to examples before buying, to make sure you like it. While initially really liking it, because of the quality of the vst, (playability, feel of realism etc.) in the end it turned out to not be my cup of tea, that's why I sold it, but if you do like the tone of the piano, yes, it is an awesome vst.


Thanks. There are actually some really good classical playings for Ravenscroft like this channel https://www.youtube.com/user/Darkalus/videos. Yes it sounds differently but also good to me. I don't know how it feels when I play it though.
Posted By: harmaes Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/22/20 12:34 AM
Originally Posted by David B

They've also included what they call a sampled "sordino pedal" option on the modern U which includes it's own release samples as well. It adds a beautiful dynamic which is more pronounced than the regular soft pedal. I found that the regular soft pedal on the Modern U is very minimal. Almost imperceptible (kind of like the soft pedal on my N1X). Therefore, I switched it (CC67) with the sordino pedal. The sordino pedal offers a much more noticeable shift in the volume. It's seems a bit more than what a soft pedal on an acoustic would do, but it's not so quiet that it becomes impracticable. It's a nice option to have


I bought the Modern U and really like the behavior of the Sordino pedal and it introduces something I don’t have with my other libraries. Their EQ also allows for finer control of the highs when using the Sordino.
Compared to Ivory Modern Upright it sounds clearer and more balanced with better resonance. Ivory has soft samples as well and it’s not too bad either. I would buy Modern U now instead of Ivory Uprights.
I agree that the bass isn’t very strong but that’s what I recognize from playing uprights in real life as well. I would like a sub option like in Noire to give it some punch in the low end.
Posted By: harmaes Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/22/20 08:05 AM
How would you create a sub bass to extend the low end of the Modern U like Noire features?
Blend with a sub synth? Anyone tried this?
Posted By: slobajudge Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/22/20 11:39 AM
Originally Posted by harmaes
How would you create a sub bass to extend the low end of the Modern U like Noire features?
Blend with a sub synth? Anyone tried this?

Why would you want to create sub bass for upright piano ? Just use Noire or buy some other big grand piano vst. Maybe you can use some EQ on Modern U.
Posted By: David B Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/27/20 02:13 AM
Here is a nice demonstration of the Modern U. I don't know who this is, but I like his style and he demonstrates some different mic combinations. It's worth viewing if you're interested in the Modern U. The Modern U still remains my favorite piano VST.



God Bless,
David
Posted By: Craig Richards Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 02/27/20 05:44 AM
Originally Posted by David B
Here is a nice demonstration of the Modern U. I don't know who this is, but I like his style and he demonstrates some different mic combinations. It's worth viewing if you're interested in the Modern U. The Modern U still remains my favorite piano VST.



God Bless,
David


Ah yes, Alfonso has been producing some fantastic virtual piano demo videos for years. A fine pianist with a great touch.

PS: I can sense I may be $160 USD worse off (and the AUD exchange rate is woeful at the moment) if I keep hearing more of this sampled piano!
Posted By: navindra Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 03/09/20 03:31 AM
Thanks a ton for the review, David B.

I started looking into the Modern U based on your review, however, when they started mentioning iLok, red flags shot up...

I don't think I want any association with iLok... a quick search confirms that hunch. Is iLok the nightmare it sounds like?
Posted By: David B Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 03/09/20 03:56 AM
Originally Posted by navindra
Is iLok the nightmare it sounds like?


I never heard of iLok until i started using products from ViLabs. I've never had any problems using it and I am unaware of any negative feedback concerning it.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: U3piano Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 03/09/20 09:23 AM
I never had any problems using Ilok with Ravenscroft, it works great actually.

Just install the Ilok software and activate your License. No usb dongle required, and you don't have to do anything ever again, perfect.

If vsl would use Ilok instead of their licencing dongle their library's would be more attractive to me.
Posted By: Alex C Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 03/09/20 08:28 PM
I was playing along with David's video with the Ravenscroft 275 (the player perspective) and felt that the two pianos share striking similarities in the staccato portion of the notes.The biggest difference probably lies in the sustain. The Ravenscroft is more suited for jazz than for classical music.
Posted By: Boboulus Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 04/04/20 11:08 PM
I’m very tempted to buy this one. I got the Garritan CFX lite that I think sounds superb but sometimes get some crackling sounds due to wanting minimum delay and also the really low volume output.

The modern u really has an amazing sound to me from the demos I heard.

Thanks David for a great review!
Posted By: newer player Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 06/07/20 10:23 PM
Simeon Amburgey's wonderful playing and walkthrough.

Posted By: David B Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 06/08/20 12:39 AM
The Modern U is a sampled piano done right. It doesn't have the power of the Bösendorfer Imperial because the Modern U is an upright, but it has the accouterments that the VSL Bösendorfer Imperial does NOT have.

The Modern U has silent key strike, sampled sympathetic resonance, and a Midi touch curve and gain editor. These features along with the large sound (52"/131cm) and superb sampling by VI Labs makes this a very unique piano. These guys know how to do it right.

I'd be happy to sell all my other VSTs and keep two: VI Labs Modern U and the VSL Bösendorfer Imperial.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: MajorNinth Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 09/04/20 10:52 PM
Originally Posted by David B
I'd be happy to sell all my other VSTs and keep two: VI Labs Modern U and the VSL Bösendorfer Imperial.

God Bless,
David

Hi All,

David, I've really been enjoying your reviews. I agree with you. The Modern U has a richness, clarity and playability that I haven't found in the other VSTs I own - Ravenscroft, Grandeur, Keyscape C7, Noire, Garritan, Hammersmith, Giant, etc. The ability to dial in a beautiful, bright, deep and full sound without any harsh (mid/upper-mid) frequencies is wonderful. I've been searching a long time for these characteristics in a VST and VI-Labs nailed it. These settings are working well for me atm for a bright, rich tone:

[img]https://imgur.com/sJovWxw[/img]


[img]https://imgur.com/JLISvZx[/img]

(Not sure if those images are showing in this post - maybe you need to click the links...)

There's just one thing I miss when I'm playing the Modern U: the timbre of the bass strings of a grand piano. I hope VI-Labs will sample another nice grand sometime soon using the same sampling approach and interface features of the Modern U. Then I think I'll be in virtual piano paradise.

The Bösendorfer Imperial is my second favorite as well - really good. Still having trouble achieving the same satisfying tone and feeling of being right up close to the piano that I can get with the Modern U and it doesn't feel quite as smooth to me for playability. But there's still a lot of tweakability I haven't explored yet.

-EJ
Posted By: David B Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 09/05/20 01:02 AM
I still play the Modern U daily. It's either the Modern U or the VSL Bösendorfer Imperial depending on what song I'm playing.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: sullivang Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 09/05/20 03:51 AM
re the Modern U lacking the timbre of a a grand in the bass, maybe a carefully crafted hybrid would be good. I'd kind of enjoy a hybrid Yamaha C7 (or similar) and Bosendorfer - the Bosendorfer would just be used for the bass notes. Could be tricky to get it to sound coherent - i.e - just like a single piano without any abrupt changes.

Greg
Posted By: David B Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 10/08/20 08:06 PM
Here is an example where the Modern U really shines (IMO). This is a song covered in a piano course I'm studying (Duane Shinn Praise and Gospel Course). It's a fun upbeat song, O How I Love Jesus. I've tried this song with various VST's that I own and none of them sound as good with this song as the Modern U does. I think it's because this is a chording song and it really requires precision and clarity otherwise it sounds muddy. Detailed clarity is where the Modern U shines.

The big concert grand VST's that I own (especially the ones with more ambient reverb) seem to muddy things up too much with this song. The Modern U provides great clarity and note separation. Also, the bass is strong enough in the Modern U to carry the heavy rhythm with power. It's very enjoyable to play this song with the Modern U. Have a listen.



God Bless,
David
Posted By: maul Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 10/08/20 08:19 PM
Originally Posted by MajorNinth
Originally Posted by David B
I'd be happy to sell all my other VSTs and keep two: VI Labs Modern U and the VSL Bösendorfer Imperial.

God Bless,
David
There's just one thing I miss when I'm playing the Modern U: the timbre of the bass strings of a grand piano. I hope VI-Labs will sample another nice grand sometime soon using the same sampling approach and interface features of the Modern U. Then I think I'll be in virtual piano paradise.

That's really what I'm wishing for - a new grand sampling with everything they've learned and all the aspects of the Modern U. Maybe just revamp their True Keys line, at least the Steinway. That for around $150 would be epic. The only thing I don't like about the Modern U, is that it can sound a bit... twangy, sometimes? Lowering the tone can help with that, but not entirely. I find that I often prefer the tone of my Baldwin upright, which was certainly cheaper than a Yamaha U3.

*I noticed in your images you don't have half pedaling, key noise, or silent strike on - might want to consider using those.
Posted By: David B Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 10/08/20 08:34 PM
Originally Posted by maul
*I noticed in your images you don't have half pedaling, key noise, or silent strike on - might want to consider using those.

Half pedaling, key noise, and silent strike are on.

[Linked Image]

God Bless,
David
Posted By: maul Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 10/08/20 08:40 PM
Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by maul
*I noticed in your images you don't have half pedaling, key noise, or silent strike on - might want to consider using those.

Half pedaling, key noise, and silent strike are on.

[Linked Image]

God Bless,
David

Ah, I was referring to MajorNinth's images.
Posted By: David B Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 10/08/20 08:54 PM
Originally Posted by maul
Ah, I was referring to MajorNinth's images.

Oh, I see. Sorry about that.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: maul Re: VI Labs Modern U Review - 10/09/20 02:58 AM
Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by maul
Ah, I was referring to MajorNinth's images.

Oh, I see. Sorry about that.

God Bless,
David

No problem! I like your videos -
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