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#3086245 02/24/21 12:38 PM
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Hi everyone,

There was already a thread about this from a year ago but I wonder if, with time, people have had a chance to compare the 2. I am playing with VSL's CFX's full library at the moment and it's really great. I usually dislike Yamahas in general, find them too metallic with not enough roundness and wood in the sound but as a VST, it's really great. The problem is it's more than double the price of the Garritan's!!! Is it worth it? There's no way to demo the Garritan and to me that's the only way to tell so that's why I'm asking you!
I've tried all of VSL's grands and to my surprise, the Yamaha is the one I like playing the most, yes, even compared to the latest 280VC, which I find too muddy in the medium register. I suspect using the Diskclavier to record the samples had something to do with the Yamaha feeling so natural and responsive.
Please help! I'm close to the return period and the online demos aren't enough.
So I guess my question is: which one has the most realistic sound and which one is the most "playable" in either a live or a recording setting, which one feels like the real deal?
Thank you
Roger

Last edited by Roger Rabbit; 02/24/21 12:38 PM.
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Originally Posted by Roger Rabbit
Hi everyone,
So I guess my question is: which one has the most realistic sound and which one is the most "playable" in either a live or a recording setting, which one feels like the real deal?
Thank you
Roger

I know you're looking for opinions, but it's really only your opinion that's going to matter. I've had both the VSL CFX and Garritan CFX and would find myself playing the VSL more. The VSL CFX seemed to have a greater dynamic range, less room ambiance if you wanted (spacious reverb is baked into Garritan whether you like it or not), and generally a more customizable sound.

However, take that for what it's worth, which is probably not much because I love the new VSL 280VC. smile

So you and I don't have the same taste. This is the problem you're going to encounter with opinions.

God Bless,
David


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Thank you, David. That does help, indeed. Looking forward to hearing from other people as well.

Cheers,

Roger

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I only have the standard CFX library from VSL, but I also have Garritan full and Noire, so I'm well stocked for CFXs!

All of them are excellent, and when I first got Garritan I thought I'd never need another piano VI (it was my first CFX). I could easily have Garritan as my only piano VI but since I got the VSL version it's *always* the first one I load up. If the cost isn't prohibitive for you, I'd get the VSL. You'll have seen from the thread I started that I'm not sure how much the full version of the VSL adds over the standard in the case of the CFX because there's only one additional close mic, so comparing the price of Garritan full vs. VSL standard brings them a smidge closer, especially if you buy via a reseller (e.g., BestService) and are eligible for the educational discount.

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Are use the Garritan with its close up mic and all the reverb turned off. I blend in the abbey Road ambience mic also in tandem. I don’t agree with the statement that reverb is baked in, it is not. The “Player” close mic is dry near field and warm. The “Classic” mic which it seems almost everybody but me prefers is not my favorite. It sounds like a piano in a large hall 30 feet away, not for me. The playability is really good on the Garritan. I like the clarity of the VSL but it sounds steely to me compared to the warmth of the Garritan. I’m sure I would like it too as I have done a lot of listening to it.

Last edited by RinTin; 02/24/21 03:43 PM.

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Thank you CraiginNZ and RinTin. Very helpful comments. I hate that I can't sample it! It's like buying a car without trying it first!

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Hi.

I'm deciding whether or not to buy the VSL CFX standard. I currently running a trial version ad it's quite nice but before I make up my mind it would be valuable to learn more about the Garritan dito since it seems very popular and also sounds nice from recordings I've heard. As I was looking for some input I found this thread and maybe someone has something new to come up with? There are some quirks that bugs me with the VSL.

1. It doesn't seem tio have any "real" sympathetic resonance, these is some sort of "global" resonance but you can't trigger harmonics from other notes (for example silent keypress). This is the same for all synchron pianos (Maby the new 280VC has it, I don't know.)

2. I find it pretty odd that they didn't move the piano to the centre of the stage before sample it. The room mics are heavily panned and that's pretty annoying. You can adjust it though.

3. There seems to be some imperfections in the regulation of the piano. Some bass notes have some nasty harmonics and C#4 has a pretty harsh tone, it's like that damper is bad.

4. There doesn't seem to be any real PPPP samples. The Steinway for example is better in that regard.

What's your take on this matter?

Last edited by johanibraaten; 09/29/21 03:08 PM.

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Originally Posted by johanibraaten
Hi.

I'm deciding whether or not to buy the VSL CFX standard. I currently running a trial version ad it's quite nice but before I make up my mind it would be valuable to learn more about the Garritan dito since it seems very popular and also sounds nice from recordings I've heard. As I was looking for some input I found this thread and maybe someone has something new to come up with? There are some quirks that bugs me with the VSL.
There seems to be some imperfections in the regulation of the piano. Some bass notes have some nasty harmonics and C#4 has a pretty harsh tone, it's like that damper is bad.

4. There doesn't seem to be any real PPPP samples. The Steinway for example is better in that regard.

What's your take on this matter?

I suppose a lot depends on the kind of music you play. The Merriam Music guy does a comparison of VSL/Garritan and gives the nod slightly to the former.

Among the VSLs I've only tried the Steinway. But their lack of una corda samples is a real killer for the kind of music I like to play.

I also use an elderly 4-core/32GB I7 laptop for my VSTs, and the VSL struggles if I use more than 3 microphones. sweetwater.com has the Garritan for $159, which is a lot cheaper than VSL.



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You may also have seen Gamma 1734's comparison:



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I'd like to like the Garritan CSX ... for its sound.
But the pedaling is severely broken.
The gap between full sustain pedal vs. no sustain is too narrow, and it's way too low on the pedal.
This renders it unusable to me.

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VSL CFX placement on stage was driven by VSL decision to cover all 3 stage spots (left, right, center) with their sampled concert grands to let producers record their piano with any orchestral mix.
I use player, mid, and close mics, and do not care about piano placement on stage.


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I have both, played both, love both but if I need to chose only one it is definitely VSL Yamaha. Garritan is very good out of the box, no dongle but has no adjustable sound or pedals. VSL has almost all that sample piano should have. I am currently rehearsing some classical compositions for acoustic piano and only VSL pianos and Pianoteq give technically the most that a digital piano can provide at the moment.

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My vote is for VSL.

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Originally Posted by slobajudge
I have both, played both, love both but if I need to chose only one it is definitely VSL Yamaha. Garritan is very good out of the box, no dongle but has no adjustable sound or pedals. VSL has almost all that sample piano should have. I am currently rehearsing some classical compositions for acoustic piano and only VSL pianos and Pianoteq give technically the most that a digital piano can provide at the moment.

This is pretty much my take.
If you have any kind of educational affiliation, you can get 40% of VSL stuff until Oct 4th, which makes their CFX expensive but less ludicrously so!

The Garritan really is just a 'pull it up and play' sort of VST - it was the first really good piano VI I bought, and it was magical. It still us, but I prefer the timbre of the VSL version (I think it's a little bitier when you dig in), and despite what was written here, I think its dynamic range is one of its strengths.

There's also NI's Noire, of course, if you're after a CFX. It's a totally different beast but a wonderful one...and it can cover the conventional territory pretty well!

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I'd like to like the Garritan CSX ... for its sound.
But the pedaling is severely broken.
The gap between full sustain pedal vs. no sustain is too narrow, and it's way too low on the pedal.
This renders it unusable to me.

It's a recording of a piano, not a digital piano. It's perfectly usable for what it was made for.


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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I'd like to like the Garritan CSX ... for its sound.
But the pedaling is severely broken.
The gap between full sustain pedal vs. no sustain is too narrow, and it's way too low on the pedal.
This renders it unusable to me.
This is pretty odd. I’ve used it connected to my N1X, Kawai ES7 (and the Cybrid of course) and its half-pedaling is spot on, no pun intended. Everything is at it should be.

Last edited by CyberGene; 09/30/21 02:08 AM.

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Originally Posted by JaneF
I suppose a lot depends on the kind of music you play. The Merriam Music guy does a comparison of VSL/Garritan and gives the nod slightly to the former.

Among the VSLs I've only tried the Steinway. But their lack of una corda samples is a real killer for the kind of music I like to play.

I also use an elderly 4-core/32GB I7 laptop for my VSTs, and the VSL struggles if I use more than 3 microphones. sweetwater.com has the Garritan for $159, which is a lot cheaper than VSL.

Thank you for the videos, both are really helpful. The VSL sounds even better in Gammas video I think, you could almost take it for a Steinway.

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I'd like to like the Garritan CSX ... for its sound.
But the pedaling is severely broken.
The gap between full sustain pedal vs. no sustain is too narrow, and it's way too low on the pedal.
This renders it unusable to me.
Thank you, that's good to know. Pedal behavior is important and it's a shame that Garritan doesn't offer any way to try it out before buying.
Originally Posted by VladK
VSL CFX placement on stage was driven by VSL decision to cover all 3 stage spots (left, right, center) with their sampled concert grands to let producers record their piano with any orchestral mix.
That makes sense and I guess it's not that big of a deal since you can adjust it.

Originally Posted by slobajudge
I have both, played both, love both but if I need to chose only one it is definitely VSL Yamaha. Garritan is very good out of the box, no dongle but has no adjustable sound or pedals. VSL has almost all that sample piano should have. I am currently rehearsing some classical compositions for acoustic piano and only VSL pianos and Pianoteq give technically the most that a digital piano can provide at the moment.
I agree that Pianoteq is pretty great whet it comes to pedaling and organic behavior. It seems like Garritan falls short in that regard.

Originally Posted by CraiginNZ
This is pretty much my take.
If you have any kind of educational affiliation, you can get 40% of VSL stuff until Oct 4th, which makes their CFX expensive but less ludicrously so!
Yes, I'm aware and I'm a teacher😊 That's why I'm trying out the VSL pianos right now so your feedback is indeed valuable.


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Just another thought.....

I want to store the library on my internal SSD on my laptop which has 512GB of capacity. If I decide to go for the full VSL library, is its possible to store the additional samplings on another SSD and keep the "standard" library on my internal SSD for convenience when I don't need the full library?

And do you think it's worth to go for the full library mainly for playing (not so much recording)?

Last edited by johanibraaten; 09/30/21 10:26 AM.

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Originally Posted by johanibraaten
Just another thought.....

I want to store the library on my internal SSD on my laptop which has 512GB of capacity. If I decide to go for the full VSL library, is its possible to store the additional samplings on another SSD and keep the "standard" library on my internal SSD for convenience when I don't need the full library?

And do you think it's worth to go for the full library mainly for playing (not so much recording)?


You can have multiple folders for the audio samples.

And Gamma 1734 has a "do you need the full edition" video.


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hi, thanks for featuring my videos. i like both a lot. the vsl has more detail. the garritan is a bit easier to use out of the box for me.


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