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Topic: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

As written in the subject. Have you been able to completely abandon sampled instruments what comes to pianos, EPs, and other instruments that Pianoteq has to offer or are you still using sampled versions? What instruments Pianoteq should improve or develop?

Last edited by Andreas71 (21-04-2017 23:47)

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

Andreas71 wrote:

As written in the subject. Have you been able to completely abandon sampled instruments what comes to pianos, EPs, and other instruments that Pianoteq has to offer or are you still using sampled versions? What instruments Pianoteq should improve or develop?

I think that for solo playing Pianoteq is the best. Overall playability and sound together is a top class. About sound, some of the sampled pianos still have some edge, but this is not a big difference anymore and newer pianos in Pianoteq are more realistic (am I said that ?).  For film scoring it is relative what piano to use, rules here are different and everything comes to game. For the stage, Pianoteq is more reliable then tons of GB and there sound is not a first priority. I really think that Modartt must improve D4, it sounds weak and thin (body) compare to newer pianos but in reality the situation is completely different. Steinway D is the most powerful piano with raw strength then any other piano (if it is properly prepared), sound is a matter of taste. I miss a Steinway D in Pianoteq, playing mostly Bluthner, Steinway B and Grotrian. I want also Steinway D as it should be !

Last edited by slobajudge (22-04-2017 08:36)

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

My answer is EZ: yes I only use Pianoteq now, from version 5, both on stage and in the studio. Otherwise, it must be a real grand !

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

I like playing, tweaking and having fun with PTQ.

But what comes to gigging and recording I mostly use my Nord Piano (3). Nord has very wide library of different pianos from ultra clear Yamaha to mellower grands and uprights. To me it's the best compromise of playability and convincing sound.

I must say I never use PTQ EP:s. They aren't kind of sound which I prefer.

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

Andreas71 wrote:

As written in the subject. Have you been able to completely abandon sampled instruments what comes to pianos, EPs, and other instruments that Pianoteq has to offer or are you still using sampled versions? What instruments Pianoteq should improve or develop?

Not completely. Pianoteq is the only choice when performing but for recording I might want to choose a sampled piano/EP that it is still not modelled in Pianoteq or when I think the overall result during the rendering process favors the sample library. I would say (from version 5) 80% of the time I just stick with Pianoteq because I am unsatisfied with sampled stuff. In fact I do wonder if I should keep those pianos in my SSD considering that I use them rarely and just for reference.
I think Pianoteq should improve D4 and Bluethner (in the overtone department like the Model B and the Grotrian), think about some other pianos (Bosendorfer, Fazioli, another upright less yamaha), as well as some other EPs (Mark V). That's the road to follow...

Last edited by Chopin87 (22-04-2017 13:49)
"And live to be the show and gaze o' the time."  (William Shakespeare)

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

Ecaroh wrote:

I like playing, tweaking and having fun with PTQ.

But what comes to gigging and recording I mostly use my Nord Piano (3). Nord has very wide library of different pianos from ultra clear Yamaha to mellower grands and uprights. To me it's the best compromise of playability and convincing sound.

I must say I never use PTQ EP:s. They aren't kind of sound which I prefer.

Most of them were developed by Sampletekk. Those still sound pretty good. As for sampled grands, I do cherish the Bechstein Digital Grand, Wavesfactory Mercury (Fazioli), ImpactSoundWorks Pearl (Yamaha) and Soundiron Emotional (Kawai). They sound full and are also great for cinematic layering and soundscapes. However, I haven't found a rival for Pianoteq's Blüthner or Grotrian. And then there's the topic of playability, where Pianoteq has no competitor whatsoever.

Pianoteq 5 with Blüthner Model One / Grotrian Concert Royal / Hohner Collection / Vintage Electric Pianos

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

I like Pianoteq for crafting and creating new sounds. In terms of sound and playability, however, I've found Art Vista Virtual Grand Piano and Art Vista Supergrand. Fantastic. It sounds like a grandpiano. Only a touch of more dynamics would not hurt.

Pianoteq 6 Pro with all pianos

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

In terms of playability, nothing in sample library realm really comes close to Pianoteq.

Hard work and guts!

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

I need to contradictthat. I have them almost all, Ivory, QL-Pianos, Native, Galaxy, Hans's room, several sampletekk and many more. I was always disappointed. Art Vista is the only one left. It takes very little memory space for Sampling Piano.  2 Gb.
I hope now on Pianoteq 6. Would be great if one could be on the same level tinker

Last edited by Urs Zimmermann (23-04-2017 21:07)
Pianoteq 6 Pro with all pianos

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

Yes, and those 2 GB are also the reason of some shortcomings, too. You mentioned more dynamics would be welcome, yes? smile Well it's a simple slider in Pianoteq. And no velocity layers, either.

And Pianoteq is still like 1/10 of that in RAM usage, or less... With playability unsurpassed.

Last edited by EvilDragon (23-04-2017 22:54)
Hard work and guts!

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

That's right, from Art Vista I wish me more dynamic. Of Pianoteq but a more realistic sound. If this version 6 can do, I will gladly rethink. Until then I will always use Art Vista when it comes to Grandpiano.

Pianoteq 6 Pro with all pianos

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

Version 5 can do it already. Tried the Grotrian? It's sublime.

Hard work and guts!

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

Urs Zimmermann wrote:

That's right, from Art Vista I wish me more dynamic. Of Pianoteq but a more realistic sound. If this version 6 can do, I will gladly rethink. Until then I will always use Art Vista when it comes to Grandpiano.

Good for you! Indeed, Art Vista virtual grand has a gorgeous sound either from the 1960 Hamburg Steinway&Sons Model B or the spectacular Malmsjö Grand Piano. But for me the limited polyphony and more limited dynamic range are annoying.
In terms of playability, at least for me, Pianoteq is King.
If I had to choose only one product to work with, it would be Pianoteq; hands down! (and I have more than a few sampled virtual pianos).
Cheers!

+1 for EvilDragon: the Grotrian is awesome!

Last edited by mfiadeiro (24-04-2017 10:01)

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

EvilDragon wrote:

Version 5 can do it already. Tried the Grotrian? It's sublime.

I have it all. The Grotrian is probably the best. Still sounds too synthetic in my ears

Pianoteq 6 Pro with all pianos

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

Well, all sampled pianos sound too stale and repetitive to me (they're all playing snapshots, that's all), so there you go. They're all far from real piano behaviour.

Hard work and guts!

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

Sampled pianos - and sampled harpsichords - now sit idle taking space on the SSD. Still play sampled (classical) organs. SteinwayB and Grotrian are the most played Pianoteq instruments, especially Grotrian. Re playability, Pianoteq is clearly superior to sampled pianos but am I the only one who finds the SteinwayB and even more so the Grotrian to be much more playable than the Bluethner, SteinwayD etc? Not only is the sound better, but it feels as if I have a new and better physical action.  Having in fact - but after buying both - recently had work done on the action I can't be sure but playing the Grotrian in particular feels more like playing an acoustic grand.  It's as if I suddenly have longer keys and small changes in touch are much easier to execute. The improvement is most obvious in soft trills.  Not sure what/how Modarrt could have done to achieve this. Upgrading the Bluethner - which has a gorgeous sound - to the Grotrian "action" would be most welcome. It would provide another ultra-playable instrument further down the dark coloured spectrum beyond the Grotrian.

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sandalholme wrote:

Upgrading the Bluethner - which has a gorgeous sound - to the Grotrian "action" would be most welcome. It would provide another ultra-playable instrument further down the dark coloured spectrum beyond the Grotrian.

Absolutely agree, as far as that darker Blüthner sound remains preserved of course.

Pianoteq 5 with Blüthner Model One / Grotrian Concert Royal / Hohner Collection / Vintage Electric Pianos

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

Urs Zimmermann wrote:

I need to contradictthat. I have them almost all, Ivory, QL-Pianos, Native, Galaxy, Hans's room, several sampletekk and many more. I was always disappointed.

So what are your thoughts on the Bechstein Digital Grand, Wavesfactory Mercury Grand, ImpactSoundWorks Pearl Grand and Soundiron Emotional Piano, Urs? Or a character piano like CineSamples' Piano-in-Blue? Or the new version of ProductionVoices Grand? Would like to read your perspective on these.

Pianoteq 5 with Blüthner Model One / Grotrian Concert Royal / Hohner Collection / Vintage Electric Pianos

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

Fleer wrote:
Urs Zimmermann wrote:

I need to contradictthat. I have them almost all, Ivory, QL-Pianos, Native, Galaxy, Hans's room, several sampletekk and many more. I was always disappointed.

So what are your thoughts on the Bechstein Digital Grand, Wavesfactory Mercury Grand, ImpactSoundWorks Pearl Grand and Soundiron Emotional Piano, Urs? Or a character piano like CineSamples' Piano-in-Blue? Or the new version of ProductionVoices Grand? Would like to read your perspective on these.

I have them all (unfortunately) and none of them are really useful for serious solo classical or any dynamic playing, for film scoring  or slow ambient jazz maybe. Too far from realistic behavior and too much noise or velocity problems in any of them. I still think that for samples the best are VSL Vienna imperial (the best dynamic in samples), Ivory II German D, Garritan cfx and Ravenscroft. All others sample pianos are waste. You have been warned. Stick with Pianoteq or this 4 sample pianos if you like samples. Personally my top three are Pianoteq, VSl and Ivory German.

Last edited by slobajudge (24-04-2017 18:58)

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

Fleer wrote:
Urs Zimmermann wrote:

I need to contradictthat. I have them almost all, Ivory, QL-Pianos, Native, Galaxy, Hans's room, several sampletekk and many more. I was always disappointed.

So what are your thoughts on the Bechstein Digital Grand, Wavesfactory Mercury Grand, ImpactSoundWorks Pearl Grand and Soundiron Emotional Piano, Urs? Or a character piano like CineSamples' Piano-in-Blue? Or the new version of ProductionVoices Grand? Would like to read your perspective on these.

I have to go to the hospital tomorrow. I sign up at the end of the week.

Pianoteq 6 Pro with all pianos

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

Like others, I found earlier sampled pianos to have been an awful playing experience. I switched over to PT and never regretted it.

Likewise sampled EPs have never impressed me, but I haven't been persuaded by any modelled EP either.

I bought Scarbee's new EP-88s recently. It has 30 velocity layers and various release samples, etc. While it doesn't quite have the same interactiveness as a modelled piano, it has a phenomenal sound and I enjoy playing it.

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Hands down, 100% Pianoteq for virtual pianos. Out of curiosity, sometimes I will re-load a sample library -- name unimportant -- because I would erase said program from my hard drive to conserve space.  The reason I return to PTQ is for its sheer playability.   When using sampled libraries, years ago, I found I needed to play a performance into a DAW, and then modify note-on velocities here and there.  Why?  Regardless of the number of samples per note, inevitably there would be a "break" between one velocity level and the next higher one.  It was a regular occurrence and task to search all note-on velocity (for example, Note-on velocity = 78, and than reducing all of these levels to 75).

All of that extra work and concern "went out the window" when I discovered Pianoteq.

Cheers,

Joe

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

I still use most of my sampled pianos, of which I have many. And the very reason why I have many, is also the reason why I still use them: for me, timbre has to match content. Indescribably important, I find. Timbre, in my opinion, is always an essential part of the musical message, of what I want express musically. A phrase, or a few chords, played on one piano will often say something differently than that same phrase, or chords, played on another piano. So I spend a lot of time finding the right pianosound for what it is I want to say with it. And there are some things which you can say with one piano that simply can’t be said with another.

All virtual pianos are but an interpretation of the idea ‘piano’. They give us a single angle from which we look at something incredibly complex. It’s like looking at Paris by looking at a photograph of Paris on a postcard. What we conveniently call ‘a piano’, is in actual fact a near-infinite collection of musical identities, each with its own character, strengths, limitations and specific suitabilities, and no virtual piano covers all that ground, not even a tiny fraction of it. Hence my need for as many virtual instruments as I’m prepared to purchase.

The exact same thing applies to all virtual instruments. They’re all but single-angle snapshots of infinitely more complex realities. Nothing more playable, for example, than a SampleModeling woodwind, but again … there’s only so much you can express with it — because its timbre (and the character that timbre suggests) is what it is. So, next to the SampleModeling woodwinds, I also have several sampled alternatives, to speak at those moments when the modeled woodwind’s voice isn’t the one best suited to what the music wants to say.

_

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

Hello Piet,

I agree totally with your explanation.  No further comment required.

Cheers,

Joe

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

Piet De Ridder wrote:

All virtual pianos are but an interpretation of the idea ‘piano’. They give us a single angle from which we look at something incredibly complex. It’s like looking at Paris by looking at a photograph of Paris on a postcard. What we conveniently call ‘a piano’, is in actual fact a near-infinite collection of musical identities, each with its own character, strengths, limitations and specific suitabilities, and no virtual piano covers all that ground, not even a tiny fraction of it. Hence my need for as many virtual instruments as I’m prepared to purchase.

The exact same thing applies to all virtual instruments. They’re all but single-angle snapshots of infinitely more complex realities. Nothing more playable, for example, than a SampleModeling woodwind, but again … there’s only so much you can express with it — because its timbre (and the character that timbre suggests) is what it is. So, next to the SampleModeling woodwinds, I also have several sampled alternatives, to speak at those moments when the modeled woodwind’s voice isn’t the one best suited to what the music wants to say.


Piet,

in the terms you set out, aren't physical instruments then as well "interpretations of the idea 'piano'"?  if you're going to invoke representational schema then surely it applies to whatever iteration we happen to be considering, whether it be physical or virtual... and, as you allude to, we have so many different instrument designs (sampled and modelled), not to mention tweakable parameters in our beloved app, precisely to reflect (and indeed independently produce) that very "near-infinite collection of musical identities".  as you point out in discussing timbre, every instrument, physical and virtual, has its various "defects"/characteristics, but why do you then relegate virtual instruments to some qualified and dubious place (as you seem to with your "They’re all but single-angle snapshots of infinitely more complex realities … there’s only so much you can express with it — because its timbre (and the character that timbre suggests) is what it is.")?  i don't think there is such a thing as the "perfect" instrument (other than philosophic idealities perhaps) but, as you suggest, every instrument (regardless of how the sound is produced) has its own unique quality which informs the music being played upon it... which, incidentally, is precisely the reason why i personally love all the different historic instrument sounds for the different composers and their respective epochs.  'seems like you're arguing the case for period performance here!  big_smile

cheers,
dj

Last edited by DaveyJones (27-04-2017 16:50)
Wahre Kunst bleibt unvergänglich.

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

Fleer wrote:
Urs Zimmermann wrote:

I need to contradictthat. I have them almost all, Ivory, QL-Pianos, Native, Galaxy, Hans's room, several sampletekk and many more. I was always disappointed.

So what are your thoughts on the Bechstein Digital Grand, Wavesfactory Mercury Grand, ImpactSoundWorks Pearl Grand and Soundiron Emotional Piano, Urs? Or a character piano like CineSamples' Piano-in-Blue? Or the new version of ProductionVoices Grand? Would like to read your perspective on these.

Please forgive my Google-English

I am now repaired by the hospital. I now have a lot of time to make a comparison video.

Https://youtu.be/S2IK0RSJcgU

The compared pianos are:
- PQ Grotrian Rec 3
- PQ Blüthner Model One
- PQ D4 Daily Practice
- Piano in Blue
- Pearl
- Emotionalpiano v3 Jazz
- Art Vista Supergrand Pop

When listening to my stereo (I usually play over headphones), Pianoteq cuts with all 3 pianos very well. With my headphones but in my humble ears always sounds something artificial.

Piano in Blue sound OK as well. When playing, however, it is noticeable that the Velocity has a gap. The piano sounds suddenly brighter with a slightly stronger attack, and there is a disturbing latency. Can not be heard on the recordings.

Pearl has, in de Bässen z.T. Something artificial otherwise not bad.
Emotionalpiano sounds a bit muddy for me. If you want it is quite OK.

Art Vista may not have quite the same dynamism as other Grands. I would like the next version. Otherwise, he sounds like a Steinway.

Pianoteq 6 Pro with all pianos

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

To me Pianoteq is my go to piano and I use it every day. I have a few sample based piano libaries I 'm still using (Galaxy X pianos).

Anyway I would like to see better version of Steinway D. And it would be nice to have yamaha C7 from Pianoteq and maybe Bosendorfer 290.

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

What is nice with sampling, is that it's not out of reach for anyone to create one and share it. Doing the same for modeling requires ressources which is generally beyond the common individual possess.

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

Thank you, Urs, for your exquisite comparison. I hope you are fine now (and out of the hospital).

Pianoteq 5 with Blüthner Model One / Grotrian Concert Royal / Hohner Collection / Vintage Electric Pianos

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Fleer wrote:

Thank you, Urs, for your exquisite comparison. I hope you are fine now (and out of the hospital).

Thank you Fleer, hospital is over. I am still very tired, but now have a lot of time to play the piano :-)

Pianoteq 6 Pro with all pianos

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

EvilDragon wrote:

In terms of playability, nothing in sample library realm really comes close to Pianoteq.

Garritan CFX has its merits smile

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Re: Do you still use sampled pianos/EPs

As of the current state of the art of virtual pianos I wouldn't want to be without either sampled pianos or Pianoteq. If I had to pick one or the other it would probably be Pianoteq: playability is uppermost for me and I do like its range of timbres, their clarity and sparkle. But all the Pianoteq modern pianos do have a family resemblance to me, a Pianoteq sound, crystalline, rather clinical.  Sampled pianos give me a range of very different timbres. And timbre in itself can give me unique, very distinct pleasures. Even if the sampled piano is not as superbly, unproblematically playable as Pianoteq. Not every usage for me absolutely requires Pianoteq-level response and cohesiveness. An earlier poster mentioned Art Vista. I recently re-installed the Virtual Grand, that I've had for 10 years or so. And just playing a few idle notes brings delight- the sound is so rich, lustrous, organic, soulful. I'm not sure if or when Pianoteq will be able to achieve such character and render the Art Vista redundant.

Also, it's interesting to have a good sampled piano, to test against Pianoteq as it improves... I've just bought the Garritan CFX (lite) which, in a way shows how close to each other the best sampled and modelled pianos now are- both are homing in on the other's strengths- timbre and playability, respectively.

As for e pianos, I've always been more forgiving of sample- related limitations (eg not quite inaudible velocity switches) than with traditional pianos. Maybe the fx that e pianos typically employ help to smooth sample zone differences and bind the instrument together. And I love the authentic timbres of Rhodes and Wurlitzer, which are samples' strong suit. I recently bought the new Scarbee rhodes- it's gorgeous, for the first time I feel I pretty much have an actual Rhodes in my laptop and under my fingers. And it plays wonderfully. For me the Pianoteq rhodes is considerably less satisfying and much further from the original electro-mechanical instrument. But again, I do enjoy it , it's a very different flavour from any of my sampled Rhodes.
In short, for both pianos and e pianos, I think both samples and modelling may have their place for some years to come.