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#1994145 - 12/03/12 01:20 PM Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer
glentek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 41
The on board acoustic piano sounds of my Casio PX-110 are pretty bad, even when played through external powered speakers (Yamaha YST-M50). I am now exploring the possibility of using my XP laptop computer with piano sample software. The computer has 2GB memory and 1.66 GHz processor. The computer has Cubase installed. I am soliciting your recommendations for piano sample software that would work adequately for live informal performances using this computer. Even old versions of software products would be fine as long as they sounded decent and latency was tolerable. I am most interested in acoustic grand sounds. Less expensive is good. Thanks.

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#1994148 - 12/03/12 01:40 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3484
Loc: Pennsylvania
The clock speed of the processor is not enough information to get an idea of its performance. For example a 1.66 Ghz atom laptop can play almost no current software piano adequately. On the other hand a recent multicore desktop processor at this speed (assuming there is one) would do fine with many products. Most ordinary laptop processors would be somewhere in between and therefore very marginal.


Edited by gvfarns (12/03/12 01:42 PM)

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#1994165 - 12/03/12 02:03 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
jarosujo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/12
Posts: 237
Loc: Slovakia
Pianoteq 4 has demo version which you can download. There are few keys disabled but other than that it is fully functional.
_________________________
Yamaha NP-V80 (sold)
Yamaha DGX640 (sold)
Kawai CL-36
Pianoteq Standard + Intel NUC DC3217BY + Sennheiser HD598 + Fostex PM0.4n + NI Audio 2

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#1994172 - 12/03/12 02:16 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3902
Loc: North Carolina
glen: It sounds as though you're seeing exactly what I saw in years past: The piano sounds are poor, and the recommendations for piano libraries promise a fix. So that's what I did.

Your 1.66 GHz CPU speed is similar to my wife's netbook. But hers is running Windows 7, and it's VERY SLOOOOOW. Not suitable for piano usage. It's barely adequate for surf and email.

But I run the piano quite successfully on a 1.7 GHz Core Duo laptop running Windows XP. XP is much lighter on resource consumption than Windows 7, and it's adequate to the task.

You have "only" 2 GB RAM. But for me that's quite adequate under XP. I load up four or five pianos at once so that I can instantly switch from one to another (or play two of them together). And 2 GB is still adequate. (I don't think it has the ooomph to do the multi-track synthesis, mixing, and editing that some people like to do. But for "just playing piano" it's fine.)

I'm not able to make any detailed evaluation of your PC. But if it's a normal laptop, it just might be okay for this purpose. If it's a netbook, then (as gvfarns suggests) it's doubtful.

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#1994241 - 12/03/12 05:13 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: gvfarns]
glentek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 41
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
The clock speed of the processor is not enough information to get an idea of its performance. For example a 1.66 Ghz atom laptop can play almost no current software piano adequately. On the other hand a recent multicore desktop processor at this speed (assuming there is one) would do fine with many products. Most ordinary laptop processors would be somewhere in between and therefore very marginal.


The processor in this laptop computer is Intel Core Duo Processor T2300 (2M Cache, 1.66 GHz, 667 MHz FSB)
_________________________
Rhodes Model 3363 Electronic Piano
Yamaha CLP-50
Yamaha PF-1500
Yamaha P-80
Yamaha P-85
Yamaha P-95
Casio PX-700
Casio PX-110
Casio PX-320
Mason & Hamlin AA
Mason & Hamlin BB

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#1994243 - 12/03/12 05:15 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: MacMacMac]
glentek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 41
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
glen: It sounds as though you're seeing exactly what I saw in years past: The piano sounds are poor, and the recommendations for piano libraries promise a fix. So that's what I did.

Your 1.66 GHz CPU speed is similar to my wife's netbook. But hers is running Windows 7, and it's VERY SLOOOOOW. Not suitable for piano usage. It's barely adequate for surf and email.

But I run the piano quite successfully on a 1.7 GHz Core Duo laptop running Windows XP. XP is much lighter on resource consumption than Windows 7, and it's adequate to the task.

You have "only" 2 GB RAM. But for me that's quite adequate under XP. I load up four or five pianos at once so that I can instantly switch from one to another (or play two of them together). And 2 GB is still adequate. (I don't think it has the ooomph to do the multi-track synthesis, mixing, and editing that some people like to do. But for "just playing piano" it's fine.)

I'm not able to make any detailed evaluation of your PC. But if it's a normal laptop, it just might be okay for this purpose. If it's a netbook, then (as gvfarns suggests) it's doubtful.


Which product or products do you recommend for my computer? Thanks.
_________________________
Rhodes Model 3363 Electronic Piano
Yamaha CLP-50
Yamaha PF-1500
Yamaha P-80
Yamaha P-85
Yamaha P-95
Casio PX-700
Casio PX-110
Casio PX-320
Mason & Hamlin AA
Mason & Hamlin BB

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#1994247 - 12/03/12 05:31 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3484
Loc: Pennsylvania
It's kind of marginal but will probably work with a normal VST like Galaxy. Before shelling out for that, try a couple of the free trials like True Pianos, PianoTeq, and Pianissimo. If they all work ok, get Galaxy Vintage D. If not, get a new computer.

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#1994270 - 12/03/12 06:33 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
Stevesie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/23/12
Posts: 45
Also, assuming you don't have an ASIO soundcard, you might like to install Asio4all to reduce latency. http://www.asio4all.com/

This Sampletekk Black Kontakt piano is half price at the moment http://www.sampletekk.com/proddetail.php?prod=STDELIVER-039-KONT . I didn't love it at first, but after adding a bit of eq here and there I quite like it now. The piano it was sampled from has a few imperfections, but I've grown to like these and see them as "character".

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#1994275 - 12/03/12 06:51 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3902
Loc: North Carolina
Yep, I agree with gvfarns. I would only add that you ought not be discouraged by the sound of those pianos (True Pianos, Pianissimo, Pianoteq). Use them to test your equipment capability because they have free demos, but don't judge piano libraries by those alone. There are better ones. I like the Galaxy series much better.

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#1994292 - 12/03/12 07:14 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9706
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Yes, if you're relying on the onboard audio, ASIO4ALL is essential in order to reduce latency (under Windows, at least).

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1999281 - 12/14/12 06:31 AM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: gvfarns]
glentek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 41
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
It's kind of marginal but will probably work with a normal VST like Galaxy. Before shelling out for that, try a couple of the free trials like True Pianos, PianoTeq, and Pianissimo. If they all work ok, get Galaxy Vintage D. If not, get a new computer.
I had some difficulty with Truepianos, but I think it was the USB interface hub I was using. Tascam US-800. It was deeply discounted when I bought it, and now I understand why. Flaky Windows driver I have read in other discussion groups and reviews. Pianoteq and Pianissimo worked well with smallish buffer sizes, with no noticeable latency. I had fun with them. Frustration with Truepianos. I'll give Truepianos another try tomorrow (later today actually).


Edited by glentek (12/14/12 06:32 AM)

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#1999313 - 12/14/12 08:37 AM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
djwayne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/10/10
Posts: 123
Why not upgrade the computer ?? Budget woes ?? You can get a very good Dell computer now days for about $400. That's what I did and it's working out great for me.

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#1999379 - 12/14/12 11:28 AM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
Bane Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/03/12
Posts: 91
Loc: USA
I agree that Pianoteq will run the easiest on your current computer. The Grand 3 (made by the same folks who created Cubase)has an Eco Mode and RAM save functions, in addition to an already smaller installation size of 30-40GB, that is, if you install every piano. Still, the Grand 3 is hardly the elite piano sample library, but is built to run lighter than the larger softwares like Ivory, Galaxy, and EWQL.

If I were you, I'd upgrade your current computer, then choose the library your inner pianist craves rather than being held back by your system's lack of adequate resources.
_________________________
www.soundcloud.com/btrailblazer

Cable-Nelson upright piano, Casio WK-200, Mackie MR5MK2 monitors, Cubase Artist 7, Steinberg's The Grand 3, Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 interface, Asus R500a-RS52 Windows 8, i5-3230M 2.6 gHz, 6GB RAM, 750GB HD (5400RPM)

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#1999483 - 12/14/12 04:14 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: djwayne]
glentek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 41
Originally Posted By: djwayne
Why not upgrade the computer ?? Budget woes ?? You can get a very good Dell computer now days for about $400. That's what I did and it's working out great for me.
Happy for you.
_________________________
Rhodes Model 3363 Electronic Piano
Yamaha CLP-50
Yamaha PF-1500
Yamaha P-80
Yamaha P-85
Yamaha P-95
Casio PX-700
Casio PX-110
Casio PX-320
Mason & Hamlin AA
Mason & Hamlin BB

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#1999495 - 12/14/12 04:37 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: Bane]
glentek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 41
Originally Posted By: Bane
I agree that Pianoteq will run the easiest on your current computer. The Grand 3 (made by the same folks who created Cubase)has an Eco Mode and RAM save functions, in addition to an already smaller installation size of 30-40GB, that is, if you install every piano. Still, the Grand 3 is hardly the elite piano sample library, but is built to run lighter than the larger softwares like Ivory, Galaxy, and EWQL.

If I were you, I'd upgrade your current computer, then choose the library your inner pianist craves rather than being held back by your system's lack of adequate resources.


Thanks for your feedback. My inner pianist craves playing piano more than it craves elite sample libraries. I have a couple M&H pianos (AA and BB) in my living room if I'm feeling choosy. I find that I can get used to almost any piano and make things sound "musical". This particular sample library project that everyone here is helping me with is for a special situation. I bought a digital slab piano and left it with my family in Minnesota. I spend most of my time in California. When I visit them I want to have something that's in tune and has a decent action. I know that using it as a midi controller and running it through sound modules would improve the sound dramatically. I do that with an old Yamaha CLP-50 I have in Montana. I run it through a Kurzweil 1000 px. Old odds and ends that end up sounding pretty good. Good enough that I can play music with expression. That's all I'm really looking for. Pianissimo will serve my needs for my keyboard in Minnesota, but I will check out the elite piano sample libraries for the fun of it. From what I read online, the minimum system requirements for Galaxy Vintage D are quite a bit less than the computer I am using. So anyway, I won't be getting a new computer just so I can play this piano when I visit my family in Minnesota a few times a year.

So actually, if you were me, you might not get a new computer :^)

I appreciate the information everyone has provided in this discussion. Thanks!

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#1999510 - 12/14/12 06:03 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
Michael H Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/05
Posts: 99
Loc: Long Island, NY
If I were you and didn't want to buy a new computer, I'd pick up a $50 or so external USB hard drive (make sure you get a 7200rpm one) and install Vintage D on it (just the library, not the application itself). If that's within your budget, you'd be up around $200 by the time you're done.

I can't say enough good things about the Vintage D, it's the best software piano I've owned by far.
_________________________
2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
http://michaelhagglund.com/

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#1999519 - 12/14/12 06:23 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: Michael H]
EO3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/01/11
Posts: 142
Originally Posted By: Michael H


I can't say enough good things about the Vintage D, it's the best software piano I've owned by far.


Better than Ivory 2 ?

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#1999534 - 12/14/12 06:51 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3902
Loc: North Carolina
Have you given the other Galaxy pianos a try? Yes, Vintage D is wonderful. But it lacks the clarity of the Vienna Grand and the Steinway.

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#1999559 - 12/14/12 08:11 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: EO3]
Michael H Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/05
Posts: 99
Loc: Long Island, NY
Originally Posted By: EO3
Originally Posted By: Michael H


I can't say enough good things about the Vintage D, it's the best software piano I've owned by far.


Better than Ivory 2 ?


I haven't had a chance to try Ivory 2 or the other Galaxy pianos, but Vint D has more personality than Ivory 1, which I have.
_________________________
2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
http://michaelhagglund.com/

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#1999567 - 12/14/12 08:37 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3902
Loc: North Carolina
I agree with that. Ivory 1 sure beats the piano's own sounds. But like the Galaxy pianos much better.

I've never tried Ivory 2. The price is high, and I've been happy with Galaxy. But it's hard to resist the urge to get the American Concert D. (Must ... resist ... fist ... of ... G.A.S.)

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#1999663 - 12/15/12 02:23 AM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: Michael H]
glentek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 41
Originally Posted By: Michael H
If I were you and didn't want to buy a new computer, I'd pick up a $50 or so external USB hard drive (make sure you get a 7200rpm one) and install Vintage D on it (just the library, not the application itself). If that's within your budget, you'd be up around $200 by the time you're done.

I can't say enough good things about the Vintage D, it's the best software piano I've owned by far.


My laptop computer has a 7200rpm disk drive. The Galaxy web site says Vintage D requires 6GB (1GB for Kontact Player, 5GB for library content). Why would I need an external drive?
_________________________
Rhodes Model 3363 Electronic Piano
Yamaha CLP-50
Yamaha PF-1500
Yamaha P-80
Yamaha P-85
Yamaha P-95
Casio PX-700
Casio PX-110
Casio PX-320
Mason & Hamlin AA
Mason & Hamlin BB

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#1999739 - 12/15/12 09:38 AM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
Michael H Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/05
Posts: 99
Loc: Long Island, NY
Originally Posted By: glentek
Originally Posted By: Michael H
If I were you and didn't want to buy a new computer, I'd pick up a $50 or so external USB hard drive (make sure you get a 7200rpm one) and install Vintage D on it (just the library, not the application itself). If that's within your budget, you'd be up around $200 by the time you're done.

I can't say enough good things about the Vintage D, it's the best software piano I've owned by far.


My laptop computer has a 7200rpm disk drive. The Galaxy web site says Vintage D requires 6GB (1GB for Kontact Player, 5GB for library content). Why would I need an external drive?



In the past, it's always been recommended that streaming audio samples be done from a separate hard drive other than the one that has the operating system on it. Nowadays with faster computers you can sometimes get away with not doing that, especially if you have a solid state drive, where access time is very fast.

My old XP machine, which is a C2D at 2ghz with 2gb of memory, runs Ivory 1, which is more demanding than the Vint D, just fine with the library on a separate 7200rpm hard drive. Otherwise, the processor would get overwhelmed.

There was a thread here where someone suggested trying a fast USB thumb drive for sample library playback. I don't know how successful that was..
_________________________
2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
http://michaelhagglund.com/

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#1999740 - 12/15/12 09:40 AM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: Michael H]
Michael H Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/05
Posts: 99
Loc: Long Island, NY
The Kontakt Player, which is the 'brains' would need to go on the operating system hard drive.
_________________________
2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
http://michaelhagglund.com/

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#1999749 - 12/15/12 10:12 AM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3902
Loc: North Carolina
I have an XP laptop that's older and slower than yours. It runs Ivory 1 and Vintage D on the internal drive, no problems at all.

The external drive recommendation applies when creating music from multiple tracks with multiple instruments. I'll call that "music engineering" unless someone has a better term. There is a very high demand for data, so an external drive or an SSD may be needed.

But when just playing the piano, the internal drive works just fine.

If piano libraries won't behave properly on your computer (with a 7200 RPM drive), you likely need a better computer.

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#1999797 - 12/15/12 12:07 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: MacMacMac]
Michael H Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/05
Posts: 99
Loc: Long Island, NY
I've never had great success playing piano samples with low latency and normal damper useage on a single hard drive system, but everyone's mileage is different. OTOH, Pianoteq ran great on my 1.60ghz netbook with Asio4All.

As has been said, using the Pianoteq demo or Pianissimo demo to test your system might be a good indicator of capabilities. I think Pianissimo is a great bang-for-the-buck option, but the Galaxy pianos are in another class altogether.
_________________________
2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
http://michaelhagglund.com/

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#1999941 - 12/15/12 05:28 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: Michael H]
glentek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 41
Originally Posted By: Michael H
I've never had great success playing piano samples with low latency and normal damper useage on a single hard drive system, but everyone's mileage is different. OTOH, Pianoteq ran great on my 1.60ghz netbook with Asio4All.

As has been said, using the Pianoteq demo or Pianissimo demo to test your system might be a good indicator of capabilities. I think Pianissimo is a great bang-for-the-buck option, but the Galaxy pianos are in another class altogether.


I am pretty happy with the Pianissimo demo and ASIO4ALL.

I have not seen a way to do an evaluation of the Galaxy Vintage D other than to buy it. Can anyone point me to a Galaxy Vintage D demo download link?

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#1999947 - 12/15/12 05:36 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3902
Loc: North Carolina
There are You Tube videos, but no demo versions of Vintage D.
Buy it! You'll like it!
Beats Pianissimo by a long mile.

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#1999948 - 12/15/12 05:39 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
Bane Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/03/12
Posts: 91
Loc: USA
Here are the Official Galaxy Youtube Tutorials and the Galaxy Piano Demos.

I know it's not as good as getting an actual demo on your computer, but believe me I've tried to download those things as sets of compressed iso files more than 4GB each and it takes forever. That's probably why most companies don't bother making a downloadable trial.


Edited by Bane (12/15/12 05:40 PM)
_________________________
www.soundcloud.com/btrailblazer

Cable-Nelson upright piano, Casio WK-200, Mackie MR5MK2 monitors, Cubase Artist 7, Steinberg's The Grand 3, Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 interface, Asus R500a-RS52 Windows 8, i5-3230M 2.6 gHz, 6GB RAM, 750GB HD (5400RPM)

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#1999956 - 12/15/12 05:59 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: Bane]
torhu Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/12
Posts: 183
You can try Vintage D and others here.

As for how well it will run on your computer, I don't know. But it meets the minimum requirements for Vintage D.
_________________________
Roland RD-700NX // Galaxy Vintage D

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#2000066 - 12/15/12 11:41 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: MacMacMac]
glentek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 41
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
There are You Tube videos, but no demo versions of Vintage D.
Buy it! You'll like it!
Beats Pianissimo by a long mile.


I believe you. The other thing I am considering is the external powered speakers (Yamaha YST-M50) I will be playing through. Left and right satellite speakers plus sub woofer. Compact, portable and good for practice and small gatherings. Some of the subtleties of the elite sample programs probably would be lost, especially at higher volumes where distortion becomes more pronounced. So Pianissimo might be the right selection because it is not as good as some of the other better (and more expensive) options.

I might be the first forum participant who has posted that they are choosing one product over another because it is worse. Tah-dah! :^)

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