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Soft piano (VST, AU)

 
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Rhysyrhys
The Kraken


Joined: 02 Nov 2009
Posts: 2920
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:39 pm    Post subject: Soft piano (VST, AU) Reply with quote

Name says it really, looking for something that can really do some sort of justice to a Steinway. I've got my hands on some really nice reverbs (Oxford Suite and Lexicon) but you can't shine a turd. So far all my pianos are coming out a wee bit crappy and I currently don't have access to a really one to sample up myself. So soft synth or a modest sample library is in order. Probably have about 10 -15 Gb to spare on the old HDD. What do you guys use? If at all?
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lorez
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Joined: 16 Dec 2009
Posts: 8761
Location: Hopelessly Wayward

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Soft piano (VST, AU) Reply with quote

Rhysyrhys wrote:
Name says it really, looking for something that can really do some sort of justice to a Steinway. I've got my hands on some really nice reverbs (Oxford Suite and Lexicon) but you can't shine a turd. So far all my pianos are coming out a wee bit crappy and I currently don't have access to a really one to sample up myself. So soft synth or a modest sample library is in order. Probably have about 10 -15 Gb to spare on the old HDD. What do you guys use? If at all?


Might be worth asking ultrawin as he has a lot of experience with some amazing sample based kontackt type stuff that might be worth exploring.i'd be interested in other people's replies
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Gabriel
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Joined: 11 Apr 2010
Posts: 3141
Location: NYC

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best one I've ever heard is Alicia's keys, its really good but not too cheap.
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ultratwin
The 25.5" subversion


Joined: 25 Apr 2006
Posts: 6731
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a lot to share in this thread and wrote up a bunch an hour or so ago, but my browser suddenly crashed and I sulked.

Will do an re-poast in a few hours.
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ultratwin
The 25.5" subversion


Joined: 25 Apr 2006
Posts: 6731
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alright, I guess I really meant a few days. Wink




I'd first of all recommend saving up for either Native Instrument's Kontakt5 or a big chunk more for Komplete, as it's a great place to start, has more instruments than most people need, and will make acquiring a good number of unique libraries in the future a lot easier. In addition to the usual bunch of EPs and flexible (drawbar-equipped) organs, Komplete comes with four different types of pianos with several variations each, and they're quite useful. More on that later.

Although I don't own Alicia's Keys, tracks I've heard with it have proven it to be a really great package. I've played about a dozen Yamaha C3s and C5s over the years and think Yamaha really does have the best pianos for modern players, being really dynamic, yet warm and tight without the glorious boominess of many Bösendorfers or the extraneously resonant bright end that characterizes Steinways. NI did a really good job deep sampling the C3, and the thing seems to blend quite smoothly with other instruments. It's pretty much on my next purchase list, although I kinda have trouble justifying buy it with what I've already got.

I go between three different types of pianos, depending on what the project arrangement requires, but often I'll tweak things to come up with something more functional. For example, if I want a quaver/eighth-note triad to band away on the upper end of the keyboard on a rock track (a la the Kinks or Blur), by default I'll go to one of NI's classical pianos and bounce it to a separate track, and then run a send to some compression and a slow chorus, to fatten up what would otherwise be too thin and edgy of a line.



In a nutshell, my personal recommendation: Native Instruments' Piano Collection (Included with Komplete). $149 gets you a lot of piano for the money even if you buy just the Collection, with a good range of timbres and tonal control. This demo video should give you a good idea of what to expect on their own.


1. NI New York Concert Grand - I tend to use the New York Concert Grand a lot, because it simply blends well. A tad on the bright side, but the crispness allows it to cut through thick mixes nicely and it serves its purpose really well. In the IFA Bada Promo it sounded really interesting with the addition of the 8Dio Hang Drum, and of course with the brightness it works great doubling string lead lines, which is what I did with the Smart TV ad with all of those charming Ukranian kids, as well as more percussive right-hand lines in this Nexus trailer for IFA 2011.

I've found both the Berlin and Vienna pianos from the NI Piano Collection very nice on their own for classical stuff, rich and bright with nice natural ambiance, but not the best for pop or other modern arrangements, coming out tinny and with excessive clang when pushed in louder mixes.

2. NI Upright Piano - From clunky indie tunes and bar pianos to some of Ben Folds more intimate moments, this thing sounds really good. It didn't take long for me to be convinced that I didn't need a grand piano all the time, and the intuitive tuning presets allow both equal tempered scales as well as a number of stretched and detuned settings to emulate "that piano" sound. Doesn't have a lot of power when competing with other instruments, and the predictably weak decay of an upright's notes can't be especially improved with either the internal reverb or even some of my best DAW reverbs (as good as MOTU Proverb is), but the charm is in the weakness itself. Play along with an album by The Decemberists or The Thrills and it all makes sense.

3. Soundiron Emotional Piano - Romance, tension, spooky stuff, this thing has it. Warm and slightly broken-sounding, there simply isn't a better model for slow sections that need space and depth. It's much too dark and the decay isn't really suited for very fast attacks or hard playing, but if it's kissing and other mushy delights, you win. I've used it all over Samsung stuff, most notably in the 2011 IFA "Fragrance by Samsung" teaser I had so much fun with. This thing is in at least half of the 25 tunes Cindi and I are wrapping up right now for our upcoming double album, it's effortless and very expressive in quiet music.

I also frequently use the incredibly creepy "Old Distant Piano" preset in Omnisphere, but usually just for single lines. Really heavy and full of reverb, it can hold its own well even with sparse usage, but gets boomy even with triads.
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Brandon W
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Joined: 24 Oct 2012
Posts: 8728
Location: happiest town in america

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holy shit that is fantastic info. The last piano i used was a desktop version of nanostudio, which is based off of an eden synth. The dry tracks are decent but i run them through some other things and they liven up. I use tc electronics m40 reverb or focusrite scarlett or toneboosters for basic reverbs. I go to soundtoys for weird and creepy stuff or for time based effects. The echoboy, crystallizer, and decapitator are perfect to get things weird. I love all of them.
That is some great info though. Thanks very much for taking time to post.
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ultratwin
The 25.5" subversion


Joined: 25 Apr 2006
Posts: 6731
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad to be of assistance.

There isn't a single day I'm quite amazed by the technology that we can put on a hard drive and manipulate to our heart's content(most of the time), and as static as a felt-tipped hammer hitting a pair of strings can sound up and down the keyboard, we have to admit the depth of timbre a piano can produce simply based on velocity and release has only recently been tapped (though the developers of Gigasampler tried hard), and some string libraries are just starting to be able to fool the listener with human-like legato interval performances. We truly are in the best of days to create music with computers.
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Brandon W
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Joined: 24 Oct 2012
Posts: 8728
Location: happiest town in america

PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's also in the hands of the musician and the attention to details. If i'm using a synthetic violin then i will spend days trying to make it sound right. I will exhaust every option. I will study each inch of the wave form and amplify or lower the volume on parts and use unconventional methods to emulate a bow hitting the strings or make 25 copies of the waveform and stagger some to create a more natural and realistic reverb. I'm basically at the point where it may be easier to just buy a violin and teach myself. There is no doubt in my mind that i could play one. I'm figuring all the chords and inversions myself anyways so playing it would simply be a situation where i needed a recorder and a tuner and a few hours to get the octaves straight. Knowledge is crucial. In the old days i didn't really know what i was doing but i knew it sounded ok. Now that i use a computer i can see the notes i'm using and then i believe that if i can locate the notes on any instrument then i can study some chords in certain keys as a refresher and then i'm ok. That makes a computer seem like a gift for me.
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cur wrote:
I need it to be smaller or I get shitty messages from mezz telling me my junk's too big.

Chico Malo wrote:
This thread just went down the toilet. Bye

iCEByTes wrote:
Carrot´s and pussy party happy joy joy
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