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The Ultimate Piano Shootout Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 11th October 2014
  #91
Gear Maniac
 
syncussion's Avatar
 

Ok here are the Production Grand LE/Silver renders.
1 is mix of vintage room mic + PZM.
2 is 4 modern microphone perspectives mix (various levels) with some added PZM mic.

That PZM mic is mono and pretty bad quality (placed under the piano) but I just love to mix it in Listening back maybe I shouldn't have done so in the modern mix as it has some noises with some tones which don't fit this modern mix very well if you listen closely but ah well not going to redo it.

I also changed the velocities with a curve to make them overall a bit lower but 0 velocity is still 0 velocity and 127 is still 127.
I don't particularly like the MIDI velocities of this file, doesn't go any lower than higher 30's while 127 is hit several times. Also a bit rough.
Production Grand has a large velocity range and 127 is LOUD, but instead of simply lowering the velocities I applied the curve so you could hear the full dynamic range in the higher velocities (not in the lower as the MIDI doesn't play real quit velocities). Don't think I would've hit the keyboard that hard if I would have played it though..

Now when listening to the comparison of all the piano's posted before I seem to prefer the Garritan CFX. However the CFX has a lot of reverb on it (against the rules).
If I now listen to my versions on the Production Grand and compare them to the CFX ones then I think I can hear that the Production Grand tone is better to me.
Now that's quite a change as I didn't like the Production Grand example posted before at all
And if I put some time in it mixing mic perspectives for this music and added reverb there's a wealth of different sounds to be gotten from the Production Grand. Still my favorite piano so far.
Old 11th October 2014
  #92
Gear Maniac
 
syncussion's Avatar
 

Couldn't resist to do another
Quick microphone perspective mix of both modern and vintage.
Added a tiny bit of plate reverb to cheat :p Like how it gives a bit of a classic sound.
Also made the velocity curve so it doesn't hit 127 anymore but 115 or so as highest velocity, didn't feel like those 127 hits belonged there on this piano.
Attached Files
Old 11th October 2014
  #93
Gear Maniac
 
syncussion's Avatar
 

And one last one
Again mix of modern and vintage mics, no PZM this time so only quality mics. More hammer this time for more percussive sound. And different plate.
Like this one best

Btw, no EQ or compression, I'd love to do a bit of limiting to give higher volume without affecting sound but just turn up the volume to hear the great sound quality.
Attached Files
Old 11th October 2014
  #94
Tui
Gear Guru
 
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syncussion, why are you trying so hard to push Production Grand? What's in it for you?

I posted files recorded with Production Grand earlier. However, the settings with respect to midi were unchanged. I think it is a fair test since it puts all pianos on an even playing field. What you have done is try to skew the test in your favour.
Old 11th October 2014
  #95
Gear Maniac
 
syncussion's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post
syncussion, why are you trying so hard to push Production Grand? What's in it for you?

I posted files recorded with Production Grand earlier. However, the settings with respect to midi were unchanged. I think it is a fair test since it puts all pianos on an even playing field. What you have done is try to skew the test in your favour.
Nothing in it for me. Not affiliated with Production Grand.
Was just checking out the Garritan CFX and what else is out there and doing my yearly piano comparison (I get a bit don't know what's the word when it gets to virtual pianos ) when I came across a video on youtube which had the audio from this thread and linked to it.

I was a bit dissapointed that the Production Grand was put in such a bad light.(and perhaps take it a bit personal as it's my personal go to piano which I'm quit fond of)
Not only did you not change the velocity to match, which is available inside the Production Grand if you want. (and which I think is very valid to use as different sampled pianos have different max velocities etc and one MIDI does not fit all. It is unfair to not do a rough velocity match, not the other way around).
But you also did a not so great mix of mic perspectives in my opinion, and on top of that the render is all messed up (only piano in the test that has this) and you uploaded a file where there is delays between mic perspectives?? Why the hell would you do this? Only way to get such a horrible sound is if you do a live rendering and your computer totally craps out.
That is not a fair comparison. So I thought I'd do it better, and once I get going on something like this I want to get it right My nature. (infact I have to hold back not to put it in Pythagorean just intonation and process it to it's best endresult lol)

The thing also is, if I ended up liking another piano better then I'd have to get it. It had me confused for a bit to hear the Production Grand like that inbetween the CFX and Ravenscroft.
Now no longer confused and won't have to get yet another new piano
Old 11th October 2014
  #96
Gear Maniac
 
syncussion's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post
syncussion, why are you trying so hard to push Production Grand? What's in it for you?

I posted files recorded with Production Grand earlier. However, the settings with respect to midi were unchanged. I think it is a fair test since it puts all pianos on an even playing field. What you have done is try to skew the test in your favour.
Ah I've just come to realize that you are not the one who posted the Production Grand example from the youtube video. For that one see page one of this thread, it was posted by BockJon who posted it for Feck (who made them).
Sorry for the confusion.
You indeed did an ok rendering. I did not see it before (thought they were all in the videos).
Had I seen your version earlier I wouldn't have felt the need to post another version of the Production Grand (but check out the ones posted on page 1 and you can hopefully understand why those weren't any good)
Old 11th October 2014
  #97
Gear Maniac
 
syncussion's Avatar
 

Hmmmm.. and upon more and closer listening.. I think I'm going to have to get the CFX :(
Damn it has a good tone. And everything else as well.
Seems like both the Production Grand and the CFX are the best sampled piano's of them all. Yet the CFX is simply a bigger better piano (timbre) than the C7 of the Production Grand.
Production Grand will still be useful to me, it does something very special with certain mic perspectives and pre-attack turned on and then very soft playing that the CFX won't be able to replicate (no pre-attack). But otherwise it seems like the CFX is the best virtual piano right now, I was afraid of it already hearing very very good things but this direct comparison seals the deal for me. (also quite like the Ravenscroft btw, very nice special tone but not something for me).

Thanks again for this thread!
Old 14th October 2014
  #98
Gear Head
 
BrockJon's Avatar
 

Thanks to everyone who's contributed!

The biggest issue most have taken with this shootout is it doesn't account for what the piano "feels" like to play. Of course, no shoot out can provide that. That said, however, the MIDI file I provided was somewhat played in, but mostly edited. I am not a pianist. Feck and I have been talking about having one of his buddies, who's a great pianist, come up with a ~:30 sample (MIDI file) that hits most of the points - using the full range, dynamics, simple and complex chords, etc. - and does so more quickly. So, this shootout may very well go into Round 2.

Keep your eyes and ears peeled!
Old 14th October 2014
  #99
Lives for gear
 

Looks like a show-down between Production Grand, CFX and Ravenscroft! Each with different tones and qualities, so not entirely interchangeable... hmmm this could become an expensive thread for me to have found haha
Old 26th October 2014
  #100
In spite of the variations in loudness, and other minor differences in the configuration - conversion to MP3, etc, I found these recordings an absolutely rewarding listen, and an excellent way to compare their timbres and the sampling approaches, and probably the most useful aid I have had to assist with a purchasing decision. Brilliant.

Why?

I listened predominantly blind, via an audio player which randomised the sequence, while I worked on some other applications, and I deliberately avoided looking up the file names of each recording I was listening to until it was about to end, to avoid bias.

In summary, with very few exceptions, each piano has something magnificent about them, and were perfectly suitable for the piece of music played. Did they all sound the same - No. But in most cases there was no night or day variation about being better, just different. This is not surprising as in the real world pianos are different, even pianos from the same manufacturer of the same model, from the same factory and period in time, do not sound identical, and there's a whole industry around "preparing" acoustic pianos for specific uses - Rock/Classical. or to the preferences of the pianist.

I daresay each piano had something remarkable for some type of music.

More importantly, almost all pianos passed the believability test. If you were not aware, and heard the audio on a film sound track or TV Commercial advert, could you with conviction assert that the piano recording was not that of a live musician on a real piano? No.

If an exposed solo recordings of a samples piano were so believable, in a recording mixed with other instruments, they should sound even more authentic!

It was only after extensive repeated listening that I could discern that the attack of the modelled pianos lacked a certain something, but it would still pass the believability test.

Unless I'm missing something, I do not recall any recording from Imperfect Samples pianos, it would be nice to hear these.

Hearing the mono XLN Upright recordings were a revelation.

Especially for those listening on headphones as I did, some of the stereo recordings were too wide making them sound less realistic, as in real life, there would be some localisation of the piano in a certain direction to the listener. Guess these recordings could sound ok on speakers which were not angled to the listener at 180 degrees between their ears.

Is there any VST that can help with reducing the stereo image? That would be great.

The only improvement I could think of would be to normalise the audio files, to even out the volume differences between them, that bit more.
Old 26th October 2014
  #101
Tui
Gear Guru
 
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Lots. I like Monomaker.
Old 4th November 2014
  #102
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by gearsuser View Post
Anyone here with Imperfect Samples pianos such as the Braunschweig (or the big Steinway Walnut Concert Grand /complete) and the AcousticSamples OldBlackGrand Pleyel for a 'possibly' more intimate sound?... would be nice.
Great thread!

regards,
Here is the Imperfect Walnut grand:
Attached Files
Old 4th November 2014
  #103
Here for the gear
 

anyone know if halion Sonic 2 have new piano patches and samples? can someone post a sound with the new sounds plz? thanks
Old 5th November 2014
  #104
Gear Addict
 
Wonderbird's Avatar
 

Already did this like 1.5 years ago with midi file from classical artist Jennifer Thomas. Check it out.

Piano Shootout V2 !!UPDATED with time markers and correct labels!! - YouTube
Old 5th November 2014
  #105
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post
Lots. I like Monomaker.
Handy (free) tool, indeed. Still trying to decide which piano to get ... I can only really afford one and won't be sticking to only one genre, so it makes it a very hard choice.
Old 5th November 2014
  #106
Lives for gear
So far nothing feels and sounds as natural to me as my yamaha s70xs. Unfortunately I don't have a midi interface to hook it up.
Old 5th November 2014
  #107
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post
Lots. I like Monomaker.
I like you Tui, but not U2.
Old 12th November 2014
  #108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Standstraight View Post
Already did this like 1.5 years ago with midi file from classical artist Jennifer Thomas. Check it out.

Piano Shootout V2 !!UPDATED with time markers and correct labels!! - YouTube
Fantastic, initial listening gives the impression that your version has better matching of volumes between the various pianos, and one can really decipher the tone comparisons a lot better. The quality seemed definitely much better across the board, being able to listen at similar volumes really helped, despite having to listen on youtube.

Would you be able to share the audio files, so one can download and do some blind test type of listening, especially as high quality 24bit wav files?

Thanks for sharing.
Old 12th November 2014
  #109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Standstraight View Post
Already did this like 1.5 years ago with midi file from classical artist Jennifer Thomas. Check it out.

Piano Shootout V2 !!UPDATED with time markers and correct labels!! - YouTube
May I add, your shoot out makes all the pianos so much more believable, i.e real. I have learnt so much in a few minutes of listening. Thanks ever so much.
Old 27th November 2014
  #110
Lives for gear
 

Do any of you have the Premier Sound Factory Piano?

https://m.soundcloud.com/engineer-ic...-debussy-piano
Old 27th November 2014
  #111
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by arvfur View Post
Here is the Imperfect Walnut grand:
This is the best I've heard.
Old 5th December 2014
  #112
Many of the latest piano software sound very good. When I found that the Steinberg Grand 3 dropped in price to $150 if you download it, I just had to buy it. www.steinberg.net • View topic - The Grand 3 download and price reduction In trying out the different pianos, you get a lot of different choice in sounds including a nice upright to choice from. Sound on Sound review said the pianos are excellent but they are a little bright. I agree with this. The good news is if you use the EQ and back off the top end a little, you can warm them up when you want more of a classical sound.
Old 5th December 2014
  #113
I had the Garritan Steinway and really loved it. The problem though was they stopped supporting it and it won't work in 64 bit. So now I have to buy another piano software. I found many sampled pianos sound great on their own but in a busy mix, you really need to EQ it to fit in the mix.

I also purchased the Steinberg Grand 3; after downloading all 7 files, thankfully it loads one file right after the other so the setup was rather easy. They also came out with an update a while ago that made loading the files faster, and other minor improvements. The Yamaha is perfect for rock songs and the Steinway sounds great once I used the EQ and reduced the 5k area about 4db. It takes off the bright top end and provides a warmer one in its place that you expect to hear. For upright, I would buy the Ivory upright II. The one on the Grand 3 is ok but better than the one in Halion Sonic. I agree for $150 this software is a steal!
Old 20th August 2016
  #114
Gear Nut
 

Galaxy 2 - Vienna Grand and Toontrack EZkeys - Grand Piano

Galaxy 2 - Vienna Grand using preset "Basic Grand" and mic position "Audience"

Galaxy 2 - Vienna Grand using preset "Concert Grand" and mic position "Audience"

Toontrack EZkeys - Grand Piano using preset "On Stage"

Toontrack EZkeys - Grand Piano using preset "Standard"

For me the Vienna Grand by Galaxy 2 is the best of the ones I own. I also own Alicia's Keys and the Miroslav 1 Steinway but samples of these were posted already.
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