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Looking for a piano sample (set?)

Connecting Hauptwerk to MIDI organs, sequencers, ...
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engrssc

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Looking for a piano sample (set?)

PostMon Nov 04, 2013 3:59 am

I have an external module with several pianos right now which is fairly ok. Looking for something better sound wise however. Piano such as a grand maybe? I have as a Choir (lower) manual a velocity sensitive keyboard. Also a "sustain" toe switch on the left most expression pedal which I would like this piano to be able to use and be played along with a Hauptwerk organ. Looked at Garritan, but no experience with this software.

Any suggestions?

Rgds,
Ed
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toplayer2

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Re: Looking for a piano sample (set?)

PostMon Nov 04, 2013 5:21 am

Hi Ed,

I believe that Garritan is no longer selling the Garritan Authirized Steinway. The best virtual piano to my ears is the VILabs American D. Pierre sent me a couple of recordings he'd produced using this piano. I could not distinguish the sound from a real Steinway D. See this review on SOS:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/aug13/a ... pianos.htm

Joe Hardy
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engrssc

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Re: Looking for a piano sample (set?)

PostMon Nov 04, 2013 10:24 am

Thanks, Joe. The real piano at church is getting too old and expensive to tune/repair anymore. They were looking for an alternative.

Rgds,
Ed
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Marco

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Re: Looking for a piano sample (set?)

PostMon Nov 04, 2013 10:49 am

Have you considered pianoteq? It is very playable, very, very tweakable and the current release in my opinion also sounds quite nice: there is a free demo available why not give it a try and see if you like it? since it's modelled instead of sampled it's quite small as a download.
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CarsonCooman

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Re: Looking for a piano sample (set?)

PostMon Nov 04, 2013 11:36 am

I would second the recommendation of Pianoteq. It is exceptionally versatile (and available in a variety of editions) and does quite a good job, certainly as good as most piano sample libraries that I've heard.

I believe MDA used to have a Hamburg Steinway piano sample set about a decade ago, but presumably it is no longer available.
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pointyflute

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Re: Looking for a piano sample (set?)

PostMon Nov 04, 2013 6:51 pm

I would also reccomend Pianoteq. Apart from a very useable D4, it also has a decent Blüthner. I use the Stage version, which doesn't allow much tweaking, but is eminently affordable and sounds quite convincing. It also has a collection of vintage instruments plus harpsichord.

Definitely worth your consideration!
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sesquialtera

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Re: Looking for a piano sample (set?)

PostTue Nov 05, 2013 1:50 pm

Hello friends

It is a little bit strange to ear you say ( to read you write) that you like "Pianoteq" on this forum.
We have the same love for the good samples of real pipes, we are hardly looking for something that is really approching the real sound of a real organ.
Pianoteq is the same cold thing than Allen, Viscount, Johannus and others ...
It can be nice, but it's not the recording of a real sound.
If you play regularly on a real piano, you can hear a big difference.

I've got EWQL Boesendorfer, and use it quite often.
Imperfect Samples are really intereting too.
Both of them are made from a real musical instrument.
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Marco

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Re: Looking for a piano sample (set?)

PostTue Nov 05, 2013 2:22 pm

If you play regularly on a real piano you will hear a big difference regardless of what sample set you use, whether it's modelled or sampled: if organ pipes affected each other as much as piano strings, and if the organ case had as much effect on the sound as the piano case, and if dynamics had as much impact on the sound as they do on a piano I think we would be not as satisfied by organ samples as we are now.

This said as things now it would be computationally prohibitive to have a "modelled" full organ as modelling the air inside a pipe is a lot more complicated than modelling a string oscillating, not to mention that there are only a few hundred strings inside a piano, while there can be thousands inside an organ.

There is also the fact that most people will not go to a great expense to hear a piano concert played on a specific individual piano in a specific concert hall, they might say they have a preference for a 'Steinway' kind of sound, or a 'Bosendorfer' kind of sound, but in the end depending on the "preparation" done to the hammers, the exact tuning used by the tuner and so on, the same piano could sound quite different on a day-to-day basis.

From my perspective given all the factors that can contribute to the "piano sound" vs the "organ sound" you can get a lot closer to the "real" thing sampling an organ and modelling a piano: as time goes on and computers become more and more powerful this might change, the issue is also that unlike in the past decades there is not as much push for computers to evolve.

Most computers nowadays are "good enough" for what the average user wants to do, so there is definitely not as much of a push towards, say, allowing computers to have 1TB of RAM. Nowadays most computers support up to 32 gigabytes, but the vast majority of people will have no more than 4 or maybe 8, in years past if your computer supported 4 megabytes you tended to have 4 megabytes, because there was a big difference in the user experience with the extra RAM. Now if you have windows taking up say a gig, your browser and word processor taking up 2 or 3, if you add another 16 or 32 it's not going to be that useful.

For pianos, though, I could definitely see having a 1TB sample on a fast SSD, after all with a sub-1ms access time it should be possible to have a completely-streamed-from-disk piano, and with 1TB of samples it could be made a lot more realistic (you could easily have 1000-2000 samples of every note and round-robin to your heart's content).

Anyways this is definitely going off topic, but I still think the OP should give pianoteq a try, given that it's so small to download and a demo is available there is no reason not to do so.
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sesquialtera

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Re: Looking for a piano sample (set?)

PostTue Nov 05, 2013 2:29 pm

If people think that pianoteq is good enought,
they also have to give up Hauptwerk, and use this instead :
http://www.virtualorgancompany.com/index.asp

I only mean that if you are demanding, if you want the best quality for organ samples,
you should ask a high quality for piano samples too.
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engrssc

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Re: Looking for a piano sample (set?)

PostTue Nov 05, 2013 4:46 pm

In the for what it's worth column, I took Joe Hardy's advice and ordered the VILabs TrueKeys American D concert grand piano http://vilabsaudio.com/truekeyspianos sample set. So far, I've never gone wrong trusting Joe's ear. :) Found a dealer who sells it for $120 USD (download version) and the iLok2 dongle for $45. 3 separate pianos (American Grand, Italian Grand, and German Grand) can be bought in a "bundle" for approx $300+ (plus of course the iLok2 unless you already have one). The iLok2 is a USB smart key that holds licenses for participating protected software products. A single iLok can store over 500 separate licenses (2nd Generation). From the demos I've heard, this piano should do the job. To my ears, there is considerable differences between modeling pianoteq and sampling. VILabs TrueKeys.

I did check out pianoteq including their pricing. - Feel the TrueKeys samples are much more realistic. 8)

Rgds,
Ed
Last edited by engrssc on Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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toplayer2

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Re: Looking for a piano sample (set?)

PostTue Nov 05, 2013 5:00 pm

Pierre Fracalanza (an official Steinway Artist) has sent me demo tracks recorded on the Garritan GAS, Ivory II Steinway D, Pianoteq, and VILabs American D. IMO the last one sounds the most like the real thing. Even the cynical sampled piano hating SOS reviewer was surprised by this instrument.

The real thing (organ, piano, you name it) is always better than the virtual copy; but then it's nice not to have to tune it and it's a lot easier to transport the virtual instrument.

Joe Hardy
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engrssc

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Re: Looking for a piano sample (set?)

PostTue Nov 05, 2013 6:41 pm

Playing a piano on an organ keyboard should prove to be interesting. In reverse, I've played an organ on a virtual piano keyboard. It can (sorta) be done. Good friends have a Steinway in their music room (along with a H/W 3 M also).That Steinway is marvelous. Even when their 2 kids practice, the sound is really great. And thinking back, my folks bought me a Stark (really, really heavy) upright to practice on. Even tho, at the time, I thought the old upright sounded pretty good, :o But wow, to be able to practice even scales and simple songs on a Steinway. 8)

Rgds,
Ed
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Erzahler

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Re: Looking for a piano sample (set?)

PostTue Nov 05, 2013 8:15 pm

as you have a keyboard and pedals a sample of something like this would make for an interesting solution;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDl-v_sD2uM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HELxh1-diuA
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Re: Looking for a piano sample (set?)

PostWed Nov 06, 2013 2:59 am

...except, sadly, organ pedals are not touch-responsive. But it is still fun playing any sampled piano from your Hauptwerk manuals/pedals, to get a taste of the Pédalier experience.

My favourite clip of the moment is:

Passacaglia in C minor BWV582 - Roberto Prosseda

which shows touch-responsive pedals beautifully.

deW
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Re: Looking for a piano sample (set?)

PostWed Nov 06, 2013 11:09 am

Someone needs to do this pedal piano thing using Bösendorfer 290 Imperial Grands.
You know, the ones with 97 keys that go all the way down to 32' C.
I would love to play the Pass & Fugue with the 32' coming in at the end.

Actually I would be satisfied with a sample set of the 290, including the 32' octave.
I played one once back in the 1960s in a home in Germany and it was wonderful!
I was just learning the Mussorgsky Pictures, and the Great Gate was so thrilling!
I had been learning it on a Steinway D in a college chapel, which was fine,
but that Bösendorfer just blew me away...
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