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Garritan as company is doing fine, they are part of MakeMusic.


Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something. (falsely attributed to Plato)
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Surprised to hear you say that the American Concert D doesn't feel as playable to you as the Garritan CFX, to me it's one of the few pianos that give me the feeling as if the keys actually respond like a real grand and have actual weight, just by the feedback I get over the sound. The sound itself is not on par though, it's very old in that regard and just doesn't please me anymore in comparison with other libraries. I wonder what Synthogy have been doing in the past few years, they have fallen behind IMHO and they don't give any indication that they are still up for the competition.

I'd say the VSL Synchron pianos (at least the CFX and Steinway, I don't have te Boesendorfer) are a notch better in terms of playability than the Garritan CFX, in particular the dynamic range is much better, which is one of the few things that bother me with the Garritan, it just doesn't feel loud enough, even at the most extreme settings. With that said the VSL pianos require a dongle and are very CPU hungry.

If you want evenness in response and playability, check out the Bechstein Digital. That one is seriously great for a Kontakt piano, but the sound, to me personally, just doesn't hold up to a Steinway or Yamaha, and when in doubt, I'd also say that the Garritan CFX is better. But that is a matter of taste for sure. And it also requires a beast CPU unfortunately.

As far as Garritan is concerned, I heard that the CFX was a commission or something, and that the original programmers aren't with them anymore. And they had a Steinway which is no longer available due to contractual/licensing issues. So we will most likely not see another piano of the same calibre from them. I think the main programmer is around these forums sometimes, great guy. Someone please win the lottery and throw money at him to make a Steinway like the CFX, that would likely end all piano libraries forever :p

Last edited by Grazilerimba; 07/16/20 05:18 AM.
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This Garritan CFX is a Yamaha, right? Which means it sounds like a cold, sterile, Yamaha grand piano, does it not? It's the same rap as with their saxophones - they play great, but the sound achieveable is cold and sterile compared to Selmer and Conn.

So, what VSL has all the goodies of the Yamaha CFX VST that is a Steinway, Fazioli or Bosendorfer, all of which (in the real world) I strongly prefer to Yamaha.

Thanks....


Selmer Mark VI Tenor (‘73) & Alto Sax (‘57), Yamaha YSS-62 Soprano Sax (‘87), Conn Naked Lady Baritone Sax (‘52), Conn New Wonder Tenor & Alto Sax (‘24), Yamaha WX5 Wind Synth (‘13), Kawai MP11 & ES-110, Numa Compact 2x, Casio PX5S, Roland VR-09, Hammond E-112 (‘69).
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I like the Steinway sound. But I've never tried VSL. I always use the Vintage D. It has its faults, but they're most in the minutia. The main body of sound it just excellent.

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Grazilerimba I always thought the playability on the American D is actually quite good, plus it has a nice wide dynamic range. But, to me it isn't as predictable as garritan cfx, it seems to be a bit more jumpy in timbre, I have read about others stating this as well. But, maybe you are right, and my new preference for the garritan cfx has more to do with the recorded sound of the American D itself, which seems kind of dated indeed. I always liked the tone of the actual Steinway, I just love the soft higher registers on it, but always missed a better mic position, or multiple mic positions. This, of course, takes away from the feeling of realism.

Skyscrapersax, the Garritan CFX is indeed a Yamaha CFX, but it's far from cold. People describe it as lush, actually. It can sound a bit sterile, which is what put me off before, but it is definitely not cold. I believe the VSL cfx is a colder sounding cfx library, but I haven't tried anything VSL yet myself.

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Originally Posted by U3piano
Skyscrapersax, the Garritan CFX is indeed a Yamaha CFX, but it's far from cold. People describe it as lush, actually. It can sound a bit sterile, which is what put me off before, but it is definitely not cold. I believe the VSL cfx is a colder sounding cfx library, but I haven't tried anything VSL yet myself.


I'll post my impressions after I check it out.


Selmer Mark VI Tenor (‘73) & Alto Sax (‘57), Yamaha YSS-62 Soprano Sax (‘87), Conn Naked Lady Baritone Sax (‘52), Conn New Wonder Tenor & Alto Sax (‘24), Yamaha WX5 Wind Synth (‘13), Kawai MP11 & ES-110, Numa Compact 2x, Casio PX5S, Roland VR-09, Hammond E-112 (‘69).
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Garritan actually had a Steinway D years ago. But then they basically abandoned it leaving people waiting a long time for a promised update. I like the VSL company and while tweaks are needed - I choose to support VSL.

Last edited by AB99; 07/18/20 02:10 AM.
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It's interesting that Garritan had its own Steinway back then. Here's a video of how it sounded.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jw79ap5VNio

Honestly, the discussion of multiple vs selected number of mics is a very interesting one. I personally contend for the less can be more statement, as I only have two positions on my VSL Steinway standard library -- most of it is the mid 1, and then there's a bit of the condenser. No EQ, no extra reverb, just a channel swop of both mics to give me an audience response. I think the mid 1 was around -2 DB and the condenser at -15 DB or whatever. I forgot the setting I set exactly, but it works at the end of the day and that's enough.
I have the user preset file that is a .vsynpreset file in my "Documents" folder, but the Synchron Pianos player doesn't allow direct loading of such files via the Windows Explorer which is really strange!!! Otherwise, I would have shared my preset with you in a very convenient way.
I also have the Garritan CFX Concert Grand and I love playing it, but I find when using the sustain pedal, there's building up of resonance. I don't hear very much of that on the VSL Steinway. Notice I do have the resonance set on there and there is a change when I press down the pedal, but I control the volume so that it doesn't get too loud and booming.

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Regarding multi mics..... a question... How do you want to sound? As a player hearing as if you were sitting at the piano? Or what someone in the room will hear? Hearing just what a player would hear may still require multi mics to pick up as the ambiance of the studio or hall or room is part of what you hear. Even if the software on your computer doesn't let you select mics or positions, doesn't mean multi-mic setups weren't used to record the samples.

While as an audio nerd I want "purity", I found the multi-mic positioning and other settings very valuable to get a sound I love from my Ravenscroft software.

One thing about not having mic choice for playing, is that you don't know what your are missing.

Peace
Bruce in Philly

Last edited by Bruce In Philly; 07/18/20 11:23 AM.

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Originally Posted by David Lai
I have the user preset file that is a .vsynpreset file in my "Documents" folder, but the Synchron Pianos player doesn't allow direct loading of such files via the Windows Explorer which is really strange!!! Otherwise, I would have shared my preset with you in a very convenient way.

I also asked them to add ability to pass preset as startup parameter or add association with preset files. May be, they will do this in the future.
But user preset sharing is very easy - if you want to use the third party preset, you just place the file to your presets folder: C:\Users\<name>\Documents\VSL\Vienna Synchron Pianos\Presets

Last edited by VladK; 07/18/20 11:46 AM.

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The various mics used in the Synchron Pianos are great for choice. I like that they use such different sounding mics in the close positions.

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Originally Posted by johnstaf
The various mics used in the Synchron Pianos are great for choice. I like that they use such different sounding mics in the close positions.

Yes, good point, John! And I'm sure for those who have choices, that would get you more options. smile

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Here is link to preset used by David Lai:
ClassicalMix.vsynpreset
Please take a note that he inverted both mic channels in Mix/FX settings.

Last edited by VladK; 07/18/20 03:50 PM.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something. (falsely attributed to Plato)
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