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Topic Options
#2076360 - 05/03/13 12:30 AM Ivory II or Galaxy II
TheBlacknight Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/13
Posts: 52
Loc: Manchester, United Kingdom
I'm about to purchase a new digital piano the next month or so and would like some advice regarding VSTi's. Ive already set my mind on the Kawai CA65 over the newer CS7 as the price difference is £400 for the polished ebony cabinet of the CS7.

Instead, i'm putting the extra £400 towards having a VST setup and some external speakers.

Ive been researching both the Synthogy Ivory II and the Galaxy II and would appreciate it if anyone who is using either of these software Pianos could give a little insight into which is considered a better purchase?

After advice regarding using external speakers, I have set my mind on a pair of KRK RP6 monitors and a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 USB Audio Interface for recording and monitoring. (I already have a set of Sennheiser HD598's at the ready for once all this is in place!)

From what i've read, the new Ivory II probably is far superior as regards their new 18 velocities but not as keen on using their i-lok interface. Also the fact that you really ought to be using a monster PC for their software with a minimum 7200rpm HDD or preferably a large SSD for their massive 75-80GB installation alongside your OS, then 8/16GB RAM.? Can anyone give any sort of feedback on systems they are running flawlessly with Ivory II? Thing is, I really do like the sound of the Yamaha C7 and the Steinway D Concert Grand

Then there's the Galaxy II which includes their Vienna Grand (BOESENDORFER IMPERIAL 290) & the Steinway 270. These seem to be much less CPU intensive and a much smaller install and HDD requirement.

Ive found both of these VST's are similar in price. I can get the Ivory II with the I-lok from Amazon for £219.00 (or £250 with the i-lok device) and the Galaxy II for £210.00.

When im spending £2000.00 for the new Kawai CA65 and a further £450.00 on the Monitors and Audio interface, I want to make sure I'm getting the right software as Im hoping that this setup will last me for a good few 4-5 years.

Not too worried about latency issues as far as i know they Audio Interface should take of this.

Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated. Or perhaps any suggestions or alterations i should be considering.

thanks Jorrell


Edited by TheBlacknight (05/03/13 12:39 AM)
_________________________
DP: Kawai CA65. NI Komplete Audio 6, KRK Rokit RP6. Sennheiser HD 598's. Galaxy/Synthogy & NI VST's
DAW: Intel i7 4770K, Asus Z87 Pro, 32GB 1600Mhz RAM, XFX 2GB 7770 GPU,2 x OCZ Vector 256GB SSD, OCZ 850W GOLD PSU, 2 x 2TB Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM 64MB. Zalman LQ315 Liquid Cooler

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#2076387 - 05/03/13 02:00 AM Re: Ivory II or Galaxy II [Re: TheBlacknight]
Macy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 616
We talk about this a lot here so there are many posts on your question. I think the majority of people would say the choice is Ivory II (GPs or American D) vs Galaxy Vintage D, not the Galaxy GP package.

The Galaxy pianos are MORE CPU hungry than Ivory II, but much less hard drive intensive. Personally I'd go with an SSD for the Ivory II, particularly the American D. But a 7200 rpm hard drive will work if you don't over do the voice count.
_________________________
Macy

CVP-409GP, Vintage D, Ivory II GP's & American Concert D, True Keys American D, Ravenscroft 275, Garritan Authorized Steinway, Alicia's Keys, EWQL Pianos, MainStage, iPad/forScore/PageFlip Cicada, Custom Mac MIDI/Audio Software Design, Macs Everywhere

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#2076547 - 05/03/13 10:15 AM Re: Ivory II or Galaxy II [Re: TheBlacknight]
bfb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/11
Posts: 542
Loc: Atlanta GA USA
if you buy galaxy pianos and stop there- i am almost willing to guarantee you within 12 months you will be buying either the vintage D or the american D or, as in my case.. both. and its not that the GP is a bad program (i own it also)- its bosendorfer and "worn out" baby bluthner are good sounding pianos. its just that the vintage D and the American D are better- particularly if you like the steinway sound. I do not care for the steinway in the GP package.

as i posted in another of the scores of threads on this subject, i prefer the Ivory II pianos and the way they run on my computer setup - and i would go a step further and tell you to save some money and just buy the American D as a standalone. But you will find plenty of folks here who love the Vintage D and don't have any problems running it. its just a matter of personal taste- although Macy's comment above is important (in my opinion) if you are running an older PC. i have more latency with vintage D and its Kontakt player and have to increase the buffer size to 512 samples to prevent cutouts/crackles/dropouts. i run the ivory pianos with their cantabile player at 256 sample buffer size with no issues, and could probably cut that to 128 if i wanted to. but since i don't notice any latency i've left it alone. I also find layering strings with ivory II ( i really like the warm PCM sample at reduced volume and voiced an octave below the piano) to be much better than vintage D although you might not care much with that.

from a sound/timbre perspective, i don't think you can go wrong with either one.


Edited by bfb (05/03/13 10:17 AM)
_________________________

Steinway M; Roland V-Piano; Yamaha P250; Roland FP 5
Ivory II Grands, Italian, American D; Galaxy Vintage D; Alicia's Keys; Garritan Steinway; Galaxy Pianos; The Grand 3

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#2076588 - 05/03/13 11:03 AM Re: Ivory II or Galaxy II [Re: bfb]
TheBlacknight Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/13
Posts: 52
Loc: Manchester, United Kingdom
thanks to Macy & bfb for your valued input. It does seem as though many like the American D over everything else, this has made me think twice about buying the GP Package, Im still not sure whether to settle on the American D or the Vintage D as yet. But as you mention the latency issue with the Vintage D, I may end up building a newer Desktop PC (perhaps an i5 CPU and a 256GB SSD) before I made a firm decision.

As a matter of interest. Has anyone had any experience with this interace over the Scarlett 2i4 : http://www.native-instruments.com/en/pro...w/top-features/

thanks
_________________________
DP: Kawai CA65. NI Komplete Audio 6, KRK Rokit RP6. Sennheiser HD 598's. Galaxy/Synthogy & NI VST's
DAW: Intel i7 4770K, Asus Z87 Pro, 32GB 1600Mhz RAM, XFX 2GB 7770 GPU,2 x OCZ Vector 256GB SSD, OCZ 850W GOLD PSU, 2 x 2TB Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM 64MB. Zalman LQ315 Liquid Cooler

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#2076978 - 05/04/13 02:50 AM Re: Ivory II or Galaxy II [Re: TheBlacknight]
Eggman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/13
Posts: 53
Loc: UK
Hi blacknight
If you will be using VST piano software for the piano sound and using monitors rather than the internal speakers of the kawai, have you considered the Kawai VPC1 instead of the CA 65? It would save you money that you could apply to perhaps better speakers or multiple software piano VSTs?
_________________________
Kawai VPC1 | Imperfect Samples Walnut Steinway Concert Grand | Galaxy Vintage D | Pianoteq |

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#2077002 - 05/04/13 04:41 AM Re: Ivory II or Galaxy II [Re: TheBlacknight]
Temperament Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/10
Posts: 424
Loc: Hun,EU
Here is an old topic IVORY-II launch, Ivory compared also to the Galaxies within.

Seems a little OT, but I suggest to give a try also to Pianoteq, particularly with their new v4.5, if You didn't do it yet.

It's stage edition is the cheapest, "lossless" upgradable later. Has also some outstanding free historical instruments.
It is small, has practically no HD requirements and was running flawlessly on my 7 ys. old dual core DELL laptop with 2-4 ms latency set. PT has not that big sound as sampled instruments (I have the Galaxies among a few other SW instruments, playing the VintageD and Bösendorfer "Vienna Grand" but have no Ivory), but playability, some sort of consistence is superb which compensates. It gives probably a broader experience of current SW to have one top notch sampled instrument and one modelled, than to have 2 sampled instruments.

A long time I rather despised the Pianoteq sound before I gave up resistance last year and got PT v4.0. I was sort of swept away by the new experience of playing it. But the Galaxies rule sound-wise, if I woud make a record would try to record MIDI in Pianoteq and then render it with the Vintage D, or Ivory e.g. (I didn't do it yet, but is one thing I will try next.)
_________________________
Acoustic: own clavichord!, Burger&Jacoby,Biel (nice vintage vertical)
Digital: CA65; Pianoteq; Sampled:Galaxy VintageD+Vienna(Bösendorfer)
Sampletekk Black,PMI, etc...
Harpsi: Beurmann Dutch+Sampletekk, Clavichord:PMI+Wavelore+organs

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#2077653 - 05/05/13 01:03 PM Re: Ivory II or Galaxy II [Re: TheBlacknight]
TheBlacknight Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/13
Posts: 52
Loc: Manchester, United Kingdom
thanks for your advice Eggman/Temperament. I didnt really consider the VPC1 as i do prefer to have a cabinet style DP in the lounge with a sliding key cover etc. Its a shame Kawai don't incorporate some of the VPC's specs including the touch/velocity curve, into their high end DP's for Ivory/Galaxy etc. Maybe perhaps in future they will.. I have been researching plenty of VST's and Im probably gonna settle on buying the Synthogy American D first, then expand with the Galaxy's Pianos and probably the Ivory II bundle with the Bosendorfer etc at a later date.

At least if I buy the American D to begin with and I get the I-lok device , I'll have everything I need for upgrading to more of what they offer at a later date. Will probably purchase a new OCZ slimline 256GB SSD beforehand for the samples and install..

Thanks for your advice guys, much appreciated


Edited by TheBlacknight (05/05/13 01:05 PM)
_________________________
DP: Kawai CA65. NI Komplete Audio 6, KRK Rokit RP6. Sennheiser HD 598's. Galaxy/Synthogy & NI VST's
DAW: Intel i7 4770K, Asus Z87 Pro, 32GB 1600Mhz RAM, XFX 2GB 7770 GPU,2 x OCZ Vector 256GB SSD, OCZ 850W GOLD PSU, 2 x 2TB Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM 64MB. Zalman LQ315 Liquid Cooler

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#2078227 - 05/06/13 10:13 AM Re: Ivory II or Galaxy II [Re: TheBlacknight]
fntms Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/17/13
Posts: 19
I have both Ivory II (Italian and American D) and the Galaxy II Vintage D (and a few other Galaxy pianos) and I much prefer practicing on the Galaxy pianos, because the ppp sound on the Ivory II is to my ears really not good (sounds like a normal sample with very low volume, not like a ppp sample).
I tried to tune it as best as I could (increase dynamics etc) but it still is not as satisfactory as the Galaxy implementation of the ppp sound, which is quite decent out of the box. There is a thread mentioning this issue on this forum.
Maybe the Ivory II overall sound (esp. the American D) is more 'realistic' (although a bit cold, so needing a lot of extra reverb), but I think the ppp issue kills the illusion of playing a real instrument...(I have a Numa Nero controller).

Another issue: I have a modern quad core PC with a fast 7200rpm drive and still get annoying drop outs with Ivory II (no problems with Galaxy).

I also would recommend the Giant by Native Instruments, one of my top 3 sampled pianos.
_________________________
Pianoteq V5, Galaxy Vintage D, Ivory 2 American D and Italian Grand.
Transit USB + Chinese DAC. Numa Nero.

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#2078233 - 05/06/13 10:26 AM Re: Ivory II or Galaxy II [Re: TheBlacknight]
Qbert Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 328
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: TheBlacknight
I didnt really consider the VPC1 as i do prefer to have a cabinet style DP in the lounge with a sliding key cover etc. Its a shame Kawai don't incorporate some of the VPC's specs including the touch/velocity curve, into their high end DP's


Isn't it the CA15?
_________________________
GEM Promega 3 (sold) - Yamaha CLP 170 (sold) - Acuna88 (sold) - Kawai VPC1 + BK7m

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