best piano sound out there (besides a real piano)
Old 21st February 2009
  #151
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CJ1973's Avatar
 

Okay. Just purchased EastWest QL and seems like its a very nice sound. Its 300GB of samples and takes about a day to install. NO kidding, on a new Mac Pro. I did an A/B with Ivory Pianos and Ivory has more a cuttier sound and may sit better in pop mixes while the EWQL is definitely geared towards classical composition, in my opinion (also would be fantastic for movies).
Even now, my favorite piano sound in the studio is from my Emu Proformance ($100 or so on Ebay) and it just rocks!!! not exactly a well recorded piano, but works on nearly every thing.
Old 10th April 2009
  #152
Gear interested
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjay View Post
I've recently bought Quantum Leap Piano as well as Garritan's Steinway. The Garritan product is definitely superior to QLP, especially if you want a real classic sounding piano. If you're after more of a Pop/Rock piano then maybe QLP, but it's not for me.

However the quality of Garritan's sampling work is way better than East West who always seem to have shoddy quality-control in their products. It would have taken me hours - literally - to report all of the hissy, clicky, noisy samples to East West. I don't think I've found one bad sample in Garritan's work.

Ivory is very good still. It doesn't have the sympathetic resonance of the other two, but if you're looking for a "head inside the piano lid" sound, as I often am, Ivory's Steinway is extremely good.
I have heard from multiple users of the Garritan library that there have been bad samples. One user reported hearing a car in the background on one of them, and there have been known issues. Garritan may have updated to get these sample issues out, and I heard there was supposed to be an update (maybe there already was), but Garritan is not a flawlessly sampled library...none of these libraries are.
Old 10th April 2009
  #153
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I've skimmed through this thread and seen a lot of love for the Nord stage and the Yamaha's, and they're somewhat acceptable, but i dont think I've seen one person mention the GEM Promega or GEM RPX

The Promega's real hammer action keyboard actually feels like a piano, and their individual string modeling is the only thing I've ever hear that approaches the true nuances of a real grand piano.
Old 10th April 2009
  #154
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cp80?
Old 10th April 2009
  #155
Gear Head
 

Software: Ivory

Keyboard: Nord Stage

Period.

But seriously: I bet that anybody suggesting keyboards like Yamaha S90 and Motif, Roland RD 700SX and Fantom, Kawai, Kurzweil PC2X, Alesis QS8 etc hasn't heard and played the Nord Stage yet - it's in a different league!
Old 10th April 2009
  #156
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I've gotta say I really liked truepianos. Beats Art Vista and Pianoteq to me, and it's uber light on cpu.
Old 11th April 2009
  #157
bof
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rackdude View Post
I've gotta say I really liked truepianos. Beats Art Vista and Pianoteq to me, and it's uber light on cpu.
LMFAO! They didn't even sample real pianos to make TruePianos. The TruePianos Diamond model is a sample of the Live Grand patch from a Clavinova. Hilarious! The 'Live Grand' isn't even Yamaha's best digital piano sound any more.

Try Galaxy II.
Old 11th April 2009
  #158
bof
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davedvdy View Post
I have heard from multiple users of the Garritan library that there have been bad samples. One user reported hearing a car in the background on one of them, and there have been known issues. Garritan may have updated to get these sample issues out, and I heard there was supposed to be an update (maybe there already was), but Garritan is not a flawlessly sampled library...none of these libraries are.
I remember when I bought "The Emperor/Old Lady" bundle and held a long chord to check the decay. About 8 seconds in it sounded like somebody knocked over a music stand in the studio!

I find it astonishing the lack of attention to detail that goes into these libraries. They're so focussed on quantity and features and yet their samples contain extraneous noises, poor trimming, inconsistent level matching or keyboard mapping, tuning problems, the lot. I rarely find a sample library that doesn't end up p**sing me off somehow.

Here's an interesting point. Each QL Piano is 60GB with all the mic positions. Galaxy II Steinway is over 3GB. The grand piano in the Yamaha Motif and Stage Pianos (and TruePianos tutt) that many people seem to like in this thread is less than 20MB - that's right - 20 MEGA bytes. Just goes to show you what a bit of attention to detail can achieve.
Old 11th April 2009
  #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bof View Post
LMFAO! They didn't even sample real pianos to make TruePianos. The TruePianos Diamond model is a sample of the Live Grand patch from a Clavinova. Hilarious! The 'Live Grand' isn't even Yamaha's best digital piano sound any more.

Try Galaxy II.
Do I care if they sampled off a real piano? If it makes music it works. It makes music. It's that simple. Can't say I had as easy of a time with Pianoteq, and Art Vista was hard on my machine and always ran out of voices.
Old 11th April 2009
  #160
bof
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rackdude View Post
Do I care if they sampled off a real piano? If it makes music it works. It makes music. It's that simple. Can't say I had as easy of a time with Pianoteq, and Art Vista was hard on my machine and always ran out of voices.
Sorry. Didn't mean to sound like I was laughing at you, more at the fact that a product that is masquerading as a sampled piano has made it into this list.

I too like the TruePianos Diamond, although I have it in one of it's original incarnations in a Motif. Sometimes it's the only one that works in a particular mix. As far as DSP is concerned well, yes, it's going to be very light as it's a sample of a 20MB sampled piano.

The thing is with sampled pianos is you can never have enough. They're difficult to EQ without them sounding unnatural so if one of them isn't quite working, you're better of choosing a different one than trying to EQ it 'til it's right.
Old 12th April 2009
  #161
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Nowak's Avatar
 

Here's a brief demo of Art Vista Virt Grand.

I love this piano, full of tone.

Stef
Attached Files
File Type: mp3 ArtVisaDemSNowak.mp3 (1.04 MB, 691 views)
Old 15th April 2009
  #162
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Old 15th April 2009
  #163
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Old 10th May 2009
  #164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bof View Post
I remember when I bought "The Emperor/Old Lady" bundle and held a long chord to check the decay. About 8 seconds in it sounded like somebody knocked over a music stand in the studio!

I find it astonishing the lack of attention to detail that goes into these libraries. They're so focussed on quantity and features and yet their samples contain extraneous noises, poor trimming, inconsistent level matching or keyboard mapping, tuning problems, the lot. I rarely find a sample library that doesn't end up p**sing me off somehow.

Here's an interesting point. Each QL Piano is 60GB with all the mic positions. Galaxy II Steinway is over 3GB. The grand piano in the Yamaha Motif and Stage Pianos (and TruePianos tutt) that many people seem to like in this thread is less than 20MB - that's right - 20 MEGA bytes. Just goes to show you what a bit of attention to detail can achieve.
My fave is the Steinway in the Garritan Jazz And Big Band package. It has a clear sound with lots of overtones and sustain that I'm nuts about. I demoed everything I could find and said, "That's it." 25 Meg. The Ivory package was a close second.

You are right about the noise. These sample libraries are a great deal, but there is a lot of room for improvement. They should have something very nice in about five years, and in ten it should be amazing.
Old 10th May 2009
  #165
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I'm pleasantly surprised at how much I'm digging the new Baby Grand included with the Pro Tools 8 package. Has anyone else used this one and can tell us about the comparison to Ivory?

Thanks!
Old 10th May 2009
  #166
Gear Head
 

Do we all hear something different in pianos? We must! Studio wise, I use Black Grand, Rain Piano, Aet Vista, Old Lady, and there may be a couple of more. They all sound different, so they work in different contexts. Live I use an old RD-700 with the newer piano card.
Old 16th May 2009
  #167
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CJ1973's Avatar
 

Have you actually used any other piano softwares before? PT8 is just getting into the real midi game but are way behind.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 88fingerz View Post
I'm pleasantly surprised at how much I'm digging the new Baby Grand included with the Pro Tools 8 package. Has anyone else used this one and can tell us about the comparison to Ivory?

Thanks!
Old 16th May 2009
  #168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phil_space View Post
Software: Ivory

Keyboard: Nord Stage

Period.

But seriously: I bet that anybody suggesting keyboards like Yamaha S90 and Motif, Roland RD 700SX and Fantom, Kawai, Kurzweil PC2X, Alesis QS8 etc hasn't heard and played the Nord Stage yet - it's in a different league!

Really? I agree 100% on Ivory. But I can't agree on the Stage.

I own both the Nord Stage and the S90. I also own an old Yamaha P200. I was part of Nord Artists program a few years back and gigged frequently with the Stage, and Electro, and a Modular G2X in my live rig.

I'm a classically trained pianist but mostly play jazz and pop/rock nowadays. I have to say I find the piano tones on the Nord a little thin. I also find the keyboard weighting very light. It's as if the Nord engineers couldn't decide whether to go for a piano-like weighted board, an unweighted organ board, or an semi-weighted Rhodes-like board. They settled somewhere in between, which is probably why I feel the Rhodes and Wurly emulations are downright phenomenal. But as a pure piano, I think it's really missing something. Similarly, the keyboard is a little too heavy for an organ, and I prefer the Electro for that (even though I can't get the Farfisa and Vox samples).

I always loved the S90 for piano, and when I wasn't gigging with it, I missed it. I still use the P200 as my weighted controller in my studio, but I just love the feel of the keyboard (more than the P250 or P300, for what that's worth).

None of them compare to my 1870s Bosendorfer, when it's working (which it's not). I'm not sure I'd buy a 140-year old piano again tutt).

Just my two cents. I hope they're helpful.

Adam
Old 16th May 2009
  #169
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Stick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 88fingerz View Post
I'm pleasantly surprised at how much I'm digging the new Baby Grand included with the Pro Tools 8 package. Has anyone else used this one and can tell us about the comparison to Ivory?

Thanks!
MiniGrand isn't bad for a freebie, but IMHO Ivory completely smokes it on all levels.
Old 16th May 2009
  #170
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 

I've always said Roland.
Old 17th May 2009
  #171
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The only issue about Ivory i have is sometimes the a note or 2 sound alot more in attack than the rest of the keyboard..not sure why. This happened on my PC and now on my Mac Pro...

I have the following:

EWQL Pianos
Ivory
MKS 20
Emu Proformance
Steinberg Grand
Kurzweil Piano

and the Emu is awesome... lol..seriously

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stick View Post
MiniGrand isn't bad for a freebie, but IMHO Ivory completely smokes it on all levels.
Old 17th May 2009
  #172
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I have Ivory. Akoustic Piano, EW Piano's....the digi mini grand smoked them all. It sits so well in a mix I could not believe me ears.thumbsup
Old 17th May 2009
  #173
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

Title of thread is depressing.

- c
Old 17th May 2009
  #174
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OneUp Ent's Avatar
 

I have the Motif, NI Akoustik, Roland Fantom piano card. I must say the Steinway in Logic 8 is my favorite. Compared very nice to Ivory as I played along with the Ivory Steinway demo. Sits great in the mix too.
Old 15th April 2010
  #175
Gear interested
 

The absolute best out there....

I've used Ivory before and I love it! However, I came across Vienna Symphonic Library's piano plug-in called the Vienna Imperial Grand. This voice contains 100 velocity samples per key (that's about 20x more than normal synthesizers). You really can't tell the difference. If you use a midi keyboard with really great feel (My Fantom G's action is incredible) and own a pair of crystal clear studio monitors then you'll love this even more.

It also allows you to control mic proximity, reverb, damper noise, dynamic range, etc.... The only downside is the cost; it's $875. But hey, it's VSL. All their stuff is top-of-the-line. You'd spend less buying yourself a digital piano.

Here's the link.
Vienna Symphonic Library
Old 16th April 2010
  #176
Gear interested
 

Fazioli by Imperfect Samples

Hmm the VSL sounds promising, but the price tag is just out if this world, did you heard about the Fazioli from Imperfect Samples? It is not out yet but will be soon and I believe worth waiting...There is a teaser here www.bettermusicdistribution - Virtual Intsruments & Sample LibrariesLatest News-. Considering the current pricing structure for the other pianos from Imperfect Samples I doubt it will be around the same price the Vienna is. And which is my point the Fazioli is really a unique piano and that is a key argument for me to decide. There are also already many other good and less expensive Bosendorfers out there...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcarrillojr View Post
I've used Ivory before and I love it! However, I came across Vienna Symphonic Library's piano plug-in called the Vienna Imperial Grand. This voice contains 100 velocity samples per key (that's about 20x more than normal synthesizers). You really can't tell the difference. If you use a midi keyboard with really great feel (My Fantom G's action is incredible) and own a pair of crystal clear studio monitors then you'll love this even more.

It also allows you to control mic proximity, reverb, damper noise, dynamic range, etc.... The only downside is the cost; it's $875. But hey, it's VSL. All their stuff is top-of-the-line. You'd spend less buying yourself a digital piano.

Here's the link.
Vienna Symphonic Library
Old 16th April 2010
  #177
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Mr. Light's Avatar
+1 for Ivory. So many options. The upright samples have an AWESOME, slightly-out-of-tune dive bar sounding piano that rules for the right track!

The trick is finding a keyboard that doesn't suck ass. It's very hard if not impossible to emulate the feeling of real felt hitting strings
Old 16th April 2010
  #178
Gear Head
 

I would say VSTs are the way to go. I tried both the Motif XS 8 and the Fantom X8 and the piano sounds were good, but ive heard VSTs that sound better.

I will add my vote for ivory. EastWest Quantum Leap pianos pack sounds amazing and is cheaper then ivory, and you get more piano. And surprisingly.... I really find all 3 of Logic 9's concert piano software instruments to be quite good.
Old 16th April 2010
  #179
Gear maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
Am I the only one that would rather hear some real mikes on my poorly maintained, never perfectly in tune, 90 year old upright? Maybe it's just me, but the virtual pianos never sound "right" to me once I have them in a mix. They do sound good, just never right. What am I missing?

Brad
Perhaps a romanticism factor? It's quite obvious there's a huge sentiment that is associated with "real" pianos, not bc it's the greatest sounding, but just bc it's "real". I'm still not sure what makes ppl think that those samples aren't real. The good samples that are properly recorded with all overtones of a real piano and all the little nuances captured, ARE INDEED REAL PIANOS
Old 16th April 2010
  #180
Gear Head
 

No comparison...

Ok I will just chip in here... I have been listening to demos of a lot of the soft synth pianos mentioned in this threat. I can tell you... hands down, that ArtVista Virtual Grand Piano II which I recently purchased beats them all. I have used this thing on acoustical music sessions (Norah Jones - style) and everybody (alot of slutz too) has been mistaking it for the real deal. Take a listen to the demo of Virtual Grand Piano II here Virtual Grand Piano (the demo will start playing by itself) and judge for yourself. Now it might not be suitable for all genres but if you are going for realism then this is the deal!

Regards, Jacob
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