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Joined: Aug 2017
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Happy Friday to you all smile

Since I think we need another thread about virtual pianos I want to ask three questions. I'm asking as a player, not a producer.

1. What's the the best VSL-library and why?
-asking because it seems to be the pianos that's most sought after.

2. What's the best Steinway-library and why?
-asking because Steinways just sounds so good:)

3. What's the best upright library and why?
-asking because it's a category of it's own

P.S Let this be about the sampled ones, not the modeled (I have pianoteq and like it a lot)

Last edited by johanibraaten; 04/16/21 07:41 AM.

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein
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Originally Posted by johanibraaten
[b]1. What's the the best VSL-library and why?
There is no best, as they are just different piano's, and I think they are all great. After owning all of them for a while, if I had to pick just one, I think it would be the Steinway, because I think it's the best allrounder, usable for many kinds of music, and to me it has this nice "transparent" sound, more so than the others. But it's just an opinion, really there is no "best".

Quote
[b]2. What's the best Steinway-library and why?
Vsl's Steinway. For sure the best sampled Steinway I ever played, by far. In my opinion, there definitely is a "best" here.

Quote
[b]3. What's the best upright library and why?
For me a toss-up between vsl's upright and vi labs's modern U. I think the modern U wins in the sound department. I like the "in your face" type of sound it provides. Vsl's upright sounds a bit far away to me in comparison, but I still choose it over the modern U because I like the tone of the bösendorfer better. There's something about the upper ranges of the modern U that's not my cup of tea.

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#2. VSL's Steinway, without doubt. I'll say it with confidence. Also look for forum user @Twosnowflakes' posts here which has some wonderful recordings of their playing on a Kawai VPC1.


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Hello,

1.
This question I can only approach from sound demos/YouTube videos and the many interesting reports here on Piano World I have heard/seen/read. So perhaps I'm not in a proper capacity to answer this one, for the lack of actual hands-on experience.

2.
In my search for the one paid-for library I could afford (also: I wanted just *one* library) I almost bought Synthogy Ivory II American D, for there is something about its sound that I could relate to, and many here on Piano World seemed happy with its behavior and playability. It was this video that initially, almost, tipped me over:



So to my ears and taste, this seemed the favorable 'Steinway' library:

- I liked the sound for its relative authenticity;
- It was said to be well playable;
- It was affordable to me;
- As confirmed by helpful Synthogy staff, it would run on my modest PC and thus be resource-friendly;
- Its licensing/protection system was acceptable enough.

3.
However, literally on the brink of ordering American D, this PW thread and video by David B were my pointer towards VI Labs' Modern U:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2944125/1.html



I had just then realized that my priority was to have one single library that would give me a *believable* piano, more importantly than whether it would mimic a grand or an upright. This, because if I could I would have bought an acoustic piano instead of a digital, the latter being a necessary compromise (or 'surrogate') in my case.

So I ordered Modern U instead, and to this day am rather over the moon with it. It feels and sounds authentic, is quite 'in your face' as @U3piano puts it, and ticks all my piano library boxes such as:

- Utterly closely mic-ed;
- No or negligible room and/or ambience component in the samples, unless you do want it;
- Authentic sound;
- Fully and deeply sampled, no modeling (that I know of);
- Very well scripted;
- All the adjustments one would need in the context of emulating an acoustic piano, nothing less and not much more;
- Great, flexible pedal support;
- Affordable;
- PC resource friendly;
- Licensing and protection friendly.

Can't wait to creep behind it once again and just play and play 🙂.

Cheers and happy Piano playing, whichever one floats/rocks your boat,

HZ

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Q: What's the best VSL-library and why?
A: The one you like best.

Q: What's the best Steinway-library and why?
A: The one you like best.

Q: What's the best upright library and why?
A: The one you like best.

There is no single "the best".
Everyone has his own likes and his own judgement of what is best.

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Substituting "best" for favourite...

Originally Posted by johanibraaten
Happy Friday to you all smile

Since I think we need another thread about virtual pianos I want to ask three questions. I'm asking as a player, not a producer.

1. What's the the best VSL-library and why?
-asking because it seems to be the pianos that's most sought after.

My favourite 'all purpose' VSL library (I have all of them in the standard edition, + the full version of the upright) is easily the CFX. As to why...well, I also really like the Garritan library and Noire, so perhaps I just love that model piano! The CFX from VSL can be crystalline or warm, powerful or subdued, and I've just 'bonded' with the feel of it. It's my desert island piano VI, though that doesn't stop me wanting *every* piano VI.

The Bosendorfer 280VC gets second place for me. It's versatile, has the best 'out of the box' feel/response of the VSL instruments (at least, for my playing style and when paired with my aging Fatar controller), and I think the smaller sound stage perhaps makes me feel it's a bit more immediate.

Originally Posted by johanibraaten
2. What's the best Steinway-library and why?
-asking because Steinways just sounds so good:)

Of the ones I own, the VSL is the most 'impressive,' but I don't play it nearly as much as the other VSL libraries. I also maybe don't have the playing technique to get the most out of it. The Simple Sam Signature grand library is hard to beat for the price/performance ratio, and the Cinesamples Piano in Blue is--while not being the most playable of libraries--a thing of beauty for a mellower, more beaten-up Steinway sound.

Originally Posted by johanibraaten
3. What's the best upright library and why?
-asking because it's a category of it's own

The scripting and playability of the VILabs Modern U are phenomenally good, and the sound is excellent...if you like a fairly 'ordinary' sounding upright. The VSL upright takes more work to get sounding as I want it (I usually end up with just the close mic, I think), but is also fantastic in its own way; it was my gateway into the VSL pianos. If I could pick just one upright it would probably be VILabs, but I go back and forth.

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Originally Posted by HZPiano
- Utterly closely mic-ed;
- No or negligible room and/or ambience component in the samples, unless you do want it;
- Authentic sound;
- Fully and deeply sampled, no modeling (that I know of);
- Very well scripted;
- All the adjustments one would need in the context of emulating an acoustic piano, nothing less and not much more;
- Great, flexible pedal support;
- Affordable;
- PC resource friendly;
- Licensing and protection friendly.

You forgot "hardly takes any disk space and does so in a single file!"

Vi labs really does alot of things right. I just wish they would sample more (interesting) piano's! I don't know why they don't, they are great at it.

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Hello,

Originally Posted by U3piano
You forgot "hardly takes any disk space and does so in a single file!"

Oh yes, that is just wonderful as well.

Originally Posted by U3piano
Vi labs really does alot of things right. I just wish they would sample more (interesting) piano's! I don't know why they don't, they are great at it.

I feel that way too, although the Modern U is their first one that really hits the sweet spot, or at least in my mind.

It might be that VI Labs take their time to really get things right--prioritizing quality over quantity. That would be a trait of true crafts(wo)manship and is something I'd love to see so much more in any 'industry' (for lack of a better word).

Cheers,

HZ

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Thank you for your input, I really appreciate it.

As I wrote in the initial post, I have Pianoteq as my daily driver However, my experience with sampled VST:s is very limited so I'm curious about it and what it can offer in terms of overall playing experience (except for an old copy of "the grand" that I never got to sound or feel like a piano).

It seems like VSL, as I thought, is popular. I'm getting interested in the modern U aswell when I read your posts. Of course I'm aware of that you can't say what's "the best" really but I really value your onions (as Pete use to say:))
Originally Posted by HZPiano
In my search for the one paid-for library I could afford (also: I wanted just *one* library) I almost bought Synthogy Ivory II American D
I kind of agree with you, when I listen to demos, the American D sounds great to my ears, but I read somewhere it has limited pedaling capabilities, does anyone know anything about that? I would like to try it out but I don't think synthogy has any demo possibilities though.

Originally Posted by CraiginNZ
The Simple Sam Signature grand library is hard to beat for the price/performance ratio
I've never heard about this one, I have to check it out.


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Hello,

Originally Posted by johanibraaten
I really value your onions

😀 As it turns out we're all making delicious onion soup here on Piano World all day every day.

I got curious about Simple Sam as well, but reading their description didn't interest me that much. They require full Kontakt to run it in, so to me that is a hard brake to full stop anyway.

I am not sure about American D's pedaling, I may have read something similar to what you're saying. I do know that much is written about that here on PW, so a search could tell you more.

Synthogy doesn't do demo versions, as most of the library publishers, VI Labs included, unfortunately don't.

For you are a pianoteq user, here's another interesting video by David B:



Maybe this tells you a little more about sampled versus modeled, and maybe your taste can tell you which side of the coin you prefer.

Cheers and let us know,

HZ

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Originally Posted by HZPiano
Synthogy doesn't do demo versions, as most of the library publishers, VI Labs included, unfortunately don't.
Yea, that's the problem..... It seems that VSL is the only sampling company where you can actually try the products, but if I want to try them all I have to buy the bundle for around 2100 euros first and then take two weeks off work for the trial period smile I believe this is the best place to gather as much information as possible. I have seen Davids demo videos and they are great, very informative and a nice friendly approach (thank you David if you see this).


"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

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