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#2226892 - 02/06/14 11:00 AM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: gvfarns]
Digitalguy Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 444
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Originally Posted By: R_B
There is some commentary somewhere that VIlabs used far fewer layers in their sampled pianos than (I think) Ivory II.
By all means check on this, but I think the statement was to the effect that VILabs used 8 or 10 compared to something like twice as many in Ivory II (~18 ?).


That's correct. Ivory American D has 20 layers while VI's offering have half that or less. Filling in the gaps would be one possible implication, though it's not clear how many layers are really necessary if you are using timbre smoothing methods. The bigger concern with VI labs is the lowest and especially highest velocity layers sampled. If they don't cover enough range (as some people have said) then when you try and play fff you will end up with blood on your keyboard and still lack the timbre you were seeking.

Quote:
Hang up;
I hate Dongles and have avoided anything/everything that requires them since the hey day of the Amiga (& Atari).
It isn't JUST the ~$50 penalty, it is the whole THING about having to PAY money to a third party in order to break into software that I pay for in full (I have also have to pay for the "seal" that the dongle (functionally) breaks for me).
There is a statement on their web site that they can now authorize their product(s) on owners hard drives, which seems to remove the need for a dongle.
I move around a lot between Linux(fave) and Windows(because I HAVE TO) and macs, both virtual and physical machines, so it looks like a dongle would still be needed for me.
Not at all sure that it would "pass through" to a virtual machine, but that is part of the headache.


I'm with you on hating the dongles. VI labs changed the way their ilok protection worked so that you can authorize your hard drive instead of a physical dongle, so if you only use one computer you don't need to get an ilok. Not sure if there's a solution for your scenario. Because they changed their copy protection policy, I almost picked it up, but in the end I was disuaded by mixed reviews of the product. I like my current situation too much to spend more on something that may not be better.


That discussion on velocity layers was was about True Keys. Nobody knows how many Ravenscroft has. The size is almost double (my TK American is 20 GB). They seem to prefer more mike positions and don't want to disclose velocity layers so one may suppose it's less than Ivory II but nobody knows how much less for the latest piano. As for the ilok you can switch between computers but have to deactivate one and then activate the order. It's relatively quick but probably longer than using a dongle... So if you change very frequently (many times every day) you might be better off with a dongle. But at least you can choose...
_________________________
Roland FP-4F, Korg Kross 61, iRig Keys Pro, Focal Spirit Pro, Shure SRH240A, RME Babyface, M-Track Plus, Roland DuoCapture, iPad Air, iLoud, Ivory II ACD, Galaxy Vintage D, Galaxy Steinway, TrueKeys American, VILabs Ravenscroft, Kawai-Ex Pro, The Grand 2, SampleTekk Black, Addictive Keys, Ezkeys

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#2226900 - 02/06/14 11:12 AM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: gvfarns]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1499
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
The bigger concern with VI labs is the lowest and especially highest velocity layers sampled. If they don't cover enough range (as some people have said) then when you try and play fff you will end up with blood on your keyboard and still lack the timbre you were seeking.


That's worrying. Has this been said about the new Ravenscroft sample or was it a general observation about the earlier libraries?

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#2226921 - 02/06/14 11:35 AM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: dire tonic]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3484
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: dire tonic
That's worrying. Has this been said about the new Ravenscroft sample or was it a general observation about the earlier libraries?


Just earlier libraries. Ravenscroft is very new indeed so we will see.

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#2227002 - 02/06/14 02:15 PM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: o0Ampy0o]
Audiofreak Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/08/11
Posts: 9
Loc: Gilbert, AZ
First off, I was at NAMM and spent a considerable amount of time at the Ravenscroft booth. Finding a place to stand around Ravenscroft was a chore because there were so many people waiting in line to play both the 9 foot Acoustic as well as the VI itself. As far as making any judgements as to what it truly sounded like based on a YouTube video, you just can't not do that. That's like deciding that a certain deodorant will smell good on you based solely on a TV commercial. The compression algorithm that YouTube uses for all YouTube videos really suck the life out of the actual audio, so again you can't make any judgements based on that. Ravenscroft laid it all on the line at NAMM by putting their 9 foot acoustic back to back with the controller station they were running the VI on. My observation was that those that played both, were completely blown away by just how realistic the VI was, and since they could literally turn from the acoustic to the VI, there was no mental lag time in which one had to try and remember what one or the other sounded like. Even more telling was, when 2 (or more) folks would sit at both pianos and play duets with one another. Standing in front of the booth listening to that scenario, if you closed your eyes it was like you were listening to two acoustics! The Virtual Instrument IS that good!!! SO there you go, an opinion from someone who was there.

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#2227074 - 02/06/14 04:54 PM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: HisKidd]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3484
Loc: Pennsylvania
That's quite an endorsement. To give you such a positive impression, they must have done a good job getting the sound out of the computer and into the air as well. What speakers/monitors were they using? Did you notice?

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#2227079 - 02/06/14 05:09 PM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: HisKidd]
Chrisl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/14
Posts: 206
Loc: Chicago, IL
I'm about to try out Ivory II Am Grand demo. I too hate those usb iloks . Wonder if Synthogy is considering the license on one computer?
_________________________
Yamaha P105, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II Am Concert D, Sennheiser HD650.

New sound setup: Midi out to macbook, FW 800 to Metric Halo LIO 8 DAC to HD650's. Very Nice.

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#2227197 - 02/06/14 09:42 PM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: Chrisl]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3484
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Chrisl
I'm about to try out Ivory II Am Grand demo. I too hate those usb iloks . Wonder if Synthogy is considering the license on one computer?


I emailed them requesting this. They said "no." Grrr.

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#2227207 - 02/06/14 10:12 PM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: Audiofreak]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3442
Originally Posted By: Audiofreak
Ravenscroft laid it all on the line at NAMM by putting their 9 foot acoustic back to back with the controller station they were running the VI on. My observation was that those that played both, were completely blown away by just how realistic the VI was, and since they could literally turn from the acoustic to the VI, there was no mental lag time in which one had to try and remember what one or the other sounded like.

What kind of playback system was the VI running through?

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#2227212 - 02/06/14 10:32 PM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: gvfarns]
Audiofreak Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/08/11
Posts: 9
Loc: Gilbert, AZ
Yes I did get a good look at the electronics. I own a recording studio so I am a Gearhead from the word go. As I believe as has already been stated, the controller was a Kawai VPC1, However it was not stock. Turns out that Spreeman the creator and Master behind Ravenscroft had doctored the VPC1 to make the action as close as possible to the world class Acoustic he has created. The voice was resident on a MAC laptop, and they were using a MOTU Interface. The monitors were the Focal model 6BE with the matching sub. The way their booth was set up, the controller, rack, and monitors were visible from the side walkway. The monitors were set flat, so no EQ magic was used to massage the actual output. Frankly I was amazed at what I was hearing! I was there when Myron McKinley of Earth, Wind & Fire sat down at the controller and began to play. His eyes got big and then he started going to town. I heard him absolutely rave about the voice, and then he asked about the controller. He knew it had been doctored because he had played the stock VPC1 and he said there was no comparison. He wants that voice big time. Anyway sorry for getting wordy here. I had the privilege of recording a complete CD project on a Ravenscroft in 2012, and having done audio in every conceivable venue, and having mic'ed up more pianos than I can count going all the way back to 1972, the Ravenscroft just can't be beat. The great thing is now I don't have to shell out to rent a competing studio that already has a Ravenscroft, I am getting that Ravenscroft VI, and will retire my other VI Grands!

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#2227295 - 02/07/14 02:44 AM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: Audiofreak]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1499
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: Audiofreak
... and then he asked about the controller. He knew it had been doctored because he had played the stock VPC1 and he said there was no comparison.


Removal of let-off, maybe?

A decent recording of a handful of chords from the Ravenscroft sample, fff through to ppp would go someway to providing a clue about the dynamic and timbral range. I don't need no stinkin' tunes or Youtube jazz/R&B comping - just 20 secs of a broad 2-handed C major would help.

For sure, YT demos are almost worthless as a buying guide.


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#2227326 - 02/07/14 06:54 AM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: HisKidd]
R_B Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 541
Anyone know who Audiofreak is ?
Yes, I am raising suspicion.

2 posts to date, both in this thread, both Raving about this one product.
For someone claiming ~42 years of experience it seems a little ODD that they found absolutely NOTHING to criticize.

Heck, I'm just a hack with a tin ear, but I'm sure I would have found SOMETHING wrong with it laugh

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#2227339 - 02/07/14 07:58 AM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: R_B]
Digitalguy Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 444
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: R_B
Anyone know who Audiofreak is ?
Yes, I am raising suspicion.

2 posts to date, both in this thread, both Raving about this one product.
For someone claiming ~42 years of experience it seems a little ODD that they found absolutely NOTHING to criticize.

Heck, I'm just a hack with a tin ear, but I'm sure I would have found SOMETHING wrong with it laugh


No idea if he is in any way linked to VI Labs, but some of the information he provided is definitely interesting... So it's a very welcome contribution. Hope more people that tried this piano come here and give their feedback. However it's not in a few minutes with a mess around you that you can see all the details of this software. It would be interesting to know if people were allowed to tweak with the settings... (I doubt it was possible...)


Edited by Digitalguy (02/07/14 07:59 AM)
Edit Reason: Edited for spelling
_________________________
Roland FP-4F, Korg Kross 61, iRig Keys Pro, Focal Spirit Pro, Shure SRH240A, RME Babyface, M-Track Plus, Roland DuoCapture, iPad Air, iLoud, Ivory II ACD, Galaxy Vintage D, Galaxy Steinway, TrueKeys American, VILabs Ravenscroft, Kawai-Ex Pro, The Grand 2, SampleTekk Black, Addictive Keys, Ezkeys

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#2227373 - 02/07/14 09:58 AM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: Digitalguy]
Audiofreak Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/08/11
Posts: 9
Loc: Gilbert, AZ
HAHAHA I can assure you that I do NOT work for VI Labs! In fact to this point, I don't even have any of their products although that is of course changing. As I stated, I have a small recording studio where I do just enough work to keep me out of trouble. Yes I am raving about this product, but that is because this is a piano forum. I could just as easily rave about the other products I went nuts over at NAMM like all the new 500 series modules that will make my life easier, or the new Westone ES50 custom in ear monitors I'm getting for mixing, but this is a piano forum not a recording forum.

Currently in my studio, I am using a Kurzweil PC1X as my controller. I have some vintage gear as well, a Prophet VS, a Prophet 2000 sampler (not too many of those around) and a rack full of modules from Roland to Korg and a few in between. I have a good share of Virtual Instruments, but let's face it, from the very beginning of music synthesis the search for the ultimate piano voice has been paramount! I do not have the money or the room for a real 9 foot Ravenscroft, and all I am saying is that yes, I am excited about this new voice from VI Labs. It is without a doubt the very best VI piano I have ever heard, and I can afford it! Now I am just waiting to get my hands on it!

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#2227388 - 02/07/14 10:52 AM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: gvfarns]
Chrisl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/14
Posts: 206
Loc: Chicago, IL
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Originally Posted By: Chrisl
I'm about to try out Ivory II Am Grand demo. I too hate those usb iloks . Wonder if Synthogy is considering the license on one computer?


I emailed them requesting this. They said "no." Grrr.


Bummer, and Thanks for asking! My demo failed, was never able to log onto my sched. session with Try sound
_________________________
Yamaha P105, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II Am Concert D, Sennheiser HD650.

New sound setup: Midi out to macbook, FW 800 to Metric Halo LIO 8 DAC to HD650's. Very Nice.

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#2227391 - 02/07/14 11:01 AM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: Audiofreak]
Chrisl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/14
Posts: 206
Loc: Chicago, IL
Originally Posted By: Audiofreak
HAHAHA I can assure you that I do NOT work for VI Labs! In fact to this point, I don't even have any of their products although that is of course changing. As I stated, I have a small recording studio where I do just enough work to keep me out of trouble. Yes I am raving about this product, but that is because this is a piano forum. I could just as easily rave about the other products I went nuts over at NAMM like all the new 500 series modules that will make my life easier, or the new Westone ES50 custom in ear monitors I'm getting for mixing, but this is a piano forum not a recording forum.

Currently in my studio, I am using a Kurzweil PC1X as my controller. I have some vintage gear as well, a Prophet VS, a Prophet 2000 sampler (not too many of those around) and a rack full of modules from Roland to Korg and a few in between. I have a good share of Virtual Instruments, but let's face it, from the very beginning of music synthesis the search for the ultimate piano voice has been paramount! I do not have the money or the room for a real 9 foot Ravenscroft, and all I am saying is that yes, I am excited about this new voice from VI Labs. It is without a doubt the very best VI piano I have ever heard, and I can afford it! Now I am just waiting to get my hands on it!


Have you had a chance to compare it to Ivory II's software? I'd love to spend $150 vs $250 with iLok. But the low sample size does worry me a bit comp. to Ivory.
_________________________
Yamaha P105, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II Am Concert D, Sennheiser HD650.

New sound setup: Midi out to macbook, FW 800 to Metric Halo LIO 8 DAC to HD650's. Very Nice.

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#2227398 - 02/07/14 11:22 AM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: Chrisl]
HisKidd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/31/11
Posts: 198
Loc: AL/USA
Originally Posted By: Chrisl
Originally Posted By: Audiofreak
HAHAHA I can assure you that I do NOT work for VI Labs! In fact to this point, I don't even have any of their products although that is of course changing. As I stated, I have a small recording studio where I do just enough work to keep me out of trouble. Yes I am raving about this product, but that is because this is a piano forum. I could just as easily rave about the other products I went nuts over at NAMM like all the new 500 series modules that will make my life easier, or the new Westone ES50 custom in ear monitors I'm getting for mixing, but this is a piano forum not a recording forum.

Currently in my studio, I am using a Kurzweil PC1X as my controller. I have some vintage gear as well, a Prophet VS, a Prophet 2000 sampler (not too many of those around) and a rack full of modules from Roland to Korg and a few in between. I have a good share of Virtual Instruments, but let's face it, from the very beginning of music synthesis the search for the ultimate piano voice has been paramount! I do not have the money or the room for a real 9 foot Ravenscroft, and all I am saying is that yes, I am excited about this new voice from VI Labs. It is without a doubt the very best VI piano I have ever heard, and I can afford it! Now I am just waiting to get my hands on it!


Have you had a chance to compare it to Ivory II's software? I'd love to spend $150 vs $250 with iLok. But the low sample size does worry me a bit comp. to Ivory.


High praise indeed for the Ravenscroft. Time to preorder! Thanks for your post, and for sharing your excitement about this new product!
_________________________
Keyboards are the best therapy I know of...
______________________________________________
Kawai MP6 stage piano
DCM CX-17 Monitors
Sennheiser HD 205, DJ series, headset

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#2227427 - 02/07/14 12:18 PM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: HisKidd]
R_B Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 541
Dongles;
A casual search for that particular dongle brings up pages that suggest it can be "cracked" without a lot of effort.
Even their new and improved version II.

I hasten to add that downloading from sites that boast such "tools" and/or using those tools may pose risk.

Not sure what the legal position might be if caught breaking into software that one has bought and paid for.
Hard to believe that cheating the dongle people out of their unlock fee would constitute any sort of a "crime".
===========================================
Audiofreak;
Having worked there briefly, I am a little bit familiar with what might be described as "The Greater Phoenix Area".
I know where Scottsdale and Gilbert are, so in combination with the fact that your first two posts here were raves on a local(to you) product and with ~42 years of experience you found NOTHING to criticize - you can probably understand my suspicion ?

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#2227527 - 02/07/14 03:52 PM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: R_B]
Audiofreak Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/08/11
Posts: 9
Loc: Gilbert, AZ
R_B Yes I understand why you would be suspicious with me living in the greater Phoenix area I.E. Scottsdale to Gilbert. Ravenscroft is based in Scottsdale I know, but I have just spent hours going thru VI Labs website and still could not find any place that said where they were located. While at NAMM I did talk to 2 of the guys from VI Labs and I thought one of them said something about FT Wayne, Indiana. Isn't that where Sweetwater is located? I just checked, and Sweetwater doesn't seem to be carrying any VI Labs products at this time.

Spending the time I have the last couple of hours on VI Labs website I did find some answers to some of the questions others had posed. On their "news" page at http://www.vilabsaudio.com/news they state that the download is 8GB, but fully installed uncompressed it comes to 38 GB!

Also on that same page I watched all the videos and at the tail end of the video by the artist Erick Griggs they run specs by (a little too fast for these old eyes to catch all in one viewing) but I did catch that it said there were over 17,000 samples. I will go back and see if I can get a screen shot so I can post them here. There is the "Specs" page on VI Lab's page, here is the link to that. VI Labs Ravenscroft Specs link

Anyway, hope this help answer some questions.

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#2227567 - 02/07/14 05:24 PM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: HisKidd]
AZ_Astro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 479
Loc: Tempe, Arizona
I spent a very pleasant hour at Ravenscroft in Northern Scottsdale a few months ago and reported it to PianoWorld here:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2101642/Trip_Report_to_Ravenscroft_Pia.html

I, too, am very interested in hearing the virtual piano and will purchase it if it is comparable to Ivory II, which is my go to virtual piano right now (I have over 10 of them, I think). The early reports are certainly favorable and as soon as the product comes out, we should be able to hear a lot more samples and make an informed decision.

I don't remember having any problem finding the factory/studio. I think I may have gotten the address from their website. http://www.ravenscroftpianos.com/

Googled it:
Spreeman Piano Innovations LLC
7898 E Acoma Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
(480) 664-3702



Edited by AZ_Astro (02/07/14 05:34 PM)
_________________________
Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Ivory II, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.


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#2227569 - 02/07/14 05:30 PM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: HisKidd]
AZ_Astro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 479
Loc: Tempe, Arizona
One of the design features that Michael Spreeman mentioned is this:

"Each piano that is produced is custom made to bring about the tonal qualities in the various registers that the customer desires." If my memory serves correctly, he indicated that they can duplicate the voicing sounds of many different high-end pianos, including Steinways. It seems to me that certain choices would have been made for this virtual piano, and that another Ravenscroft might sound significantly different.

On the other hand, you may need to be a virtuoso to hear the differences? I doubt that my ear will be able to tell. But, it will be fun to see what this virtual piano sounds like. In any case, I am very pleased to see this product coming out and I can't wait to try it myself.
_________________________
Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Ivory II, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.


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#2227582 - 02/07/14 05:59 PM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: HisKidd]
AZ_Astro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 479
Loc: Tempe, Arizona
I just spent a few minutes on Youtube searching for Ravenscroft related videos and bumped into this one which I felt was pertinent to this conversation and highly informative.

It's a five minute interview at NAMM with Robert Estrin interviewing Michael Spreeman, the owner of Spreeman Piano Innovations and the builder of Ravenscroft pianos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkpYYMYIE3Q
_________________________
Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Ivory II, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.


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#2227586 - 02/07/14 06:15 PM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: HisKidd]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1860
Loc: Portugal
Very informative video, AZ Astro, thanks! ......one a YEAR???!!!
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#2227600 - 02/07/14 06:39 PM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: Audiofreak]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3442
Originally Posted By: Audiofreak
The monitors were the Focal model 6BE with the matching sub.

Have you considered how much of your impression was based on the sound of the product, versus how much may have been based on the fact that you may never have heard any of your other VI pianos played back on a $5k monitoring system? (Or have you?)

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#2227701 - 02/07/14 10:43 PM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: Audiofreak]
Macy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 619
Originally Posted By: Audiofreak
On their "news" page at http://www.vilabsaudio.com/news they state that the download is 8GB, but fully installed uncompressed it comes to 38 GB!

But this piano includes 4 microphone positions (the other VI Labs pianos have 3 mic positions) plus a "pre-mixed" position. So that is 5 sample sets in 38 GB, i.e. approximately less than 8 GB per position. The Ivory II American, for instance, has ONE microphone position with 49 GB - 20 layers. (VI Labs does not disclose the number of layers they include.) You can't do direct one-to-one comparisons of sample set sizes, because for instance, VI Labs uses samples for sympathetic resonance while Ivory II uses DSP techniques. But it gives a rough idea of the relative size of the sample sets.
_________________________
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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#2227753 - 02/08/14 01:44 AM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: anotherscott]
Audiofreak Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/08/11
Posts: 9
Loc: Gilbert, AZ
I have personally have multiple monitors to select from. Most often I use my trusty Genelec 1029A's and sub as I have been using that setup for years and know just what things should sound like through them. The Focal's they were using sounded great no doubt, but if it were me and I was going to try and "Hype" the sound, I personally would not have gone with Focal's. I was impressed that they didn't jack with the EQ setting's on the Focal's though to artificially sweeten the sound. You can play the "What if" game all day long and it will resolve nothing. I formed my opinion based on what I heard. Until such time as VI Labs chooses to release all the secrets to the voice (and why should they since they skunk anything I have, or have ever heard) all of this debate is just pure conjecture. The opinions of the world class players that sat down and ran the voice thru it's paces and then raved about it being the best thing they had ever heard frankly means more to me than specs that can not always be equally quantified.

As with my fellow studio rats, you can sit all day and talk smack about what gear is best. In reality it all boils down to what sounds best, and who really cares what you used in your signal path to achieve that awesome sound. I have had people come in to record, and one day they sounded fantastic on one mic, and then the next day that very same mic having never moved from the previous day, nor any changes made to the signal path, just didn't cut the mustard.

Audio perception is very subjective. For me and the dollars I have to spend each year making improvements, I must make the choice that I feel is best for me and my set up. This year, the Ravenscroft VI will become my go to Piano VI. By all means, do whatever works best for you.

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#2227811 - 02/08/14 07:48 AM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: HisKidd]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1499
Loc: uk south
I'm thinking I might take the discount plunge on the Ravenscroft. I'm sure they've done their best with the sample and at least it should be different from the Steinway so it'll be something fresh for the ears.

Is it possible that the sound of this piano is better suited to Jazz/pop than classical? That's a guess based on the only two YT videos I've seen (I didn't like what I heard on VIlabs website but that could have been the playing) and a long list of testimonials on a Ravenscroft (the real thing!) website where there there appeared to be more than the usual quota of jazz players singing its praises.

If, as VIlabs posted up here a little while back, the library can be sold on for a licence transfer surcharge then it should mitigate any significant loss once the full retail price kicks in. If it is predominantly a jazz/pop thing there'll still be a healthy market for something that does the job well.

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#2227832 - 02/08/14 09:20 AM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: dire tonic]
AZ_Astro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 479
Loc: Tempe, Arizona
Originally Posted By: dire tonic
I'm thinking I might take the discount plunge on the Ravenscroft. I'm sure they've done their best with the sample and at least it should be different from the Steinway so it'll be something fresh for the ears.


I am tempted also.

Originally Posted By: dire tonic

Is it possible that the sound of this piano is better suited to Jazz/pop than classical?


This is my impression as well based on the sound.
_________________________
Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Ivory II, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.


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#2227833 - 02/08/14 09:21 AM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: Audiofreak]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3442
Originally Posted By: Audiofreak
The Focal's they were using sounded great no doubt, but if it were me and I was going to try and "Hype" the sound, I personally would not have gone with Focal's.

The reason I focused on the playback system was this quote:
Originally Posted By: Audiofreak
Ravenscroft laid it all on the line at NAMM by putting their 9 foot acoustic back to back with the controller station they were running the VI on. My observation was that those that played both, were completely blown away by just how realistic the VI was, and since they could literally turn from the acoustic to the VI, there was no mental lag time in which one had to try and remember what one or the other sounded like. Even more telling was, when 2 (or more) folks would sit at both pianos and play duets with one another. Standing in front of the booth listening to that scenario, if you closed your eyes it was like you were listening to two acoustics!

Even a real acoustic grand, mic'd up and played through speakers, doesn't sound quite the same as it does when you're in the room with it. If you play a high quality piano solo CD at home with the lights off, I don't think you typically could be fooled into thinking there was a real acoustic piano in the room. In my experience, even in professional studios, the piano doesn't sound exactly the same and just as real through the monitors in the control room as it does if you walk into the soundroom that has the piano in it. Basically, I think it's easier to get a VI to sound like a recording of a piano than it is to get it to sound like there's an actual piano in the room (which is why Yamaha uses such an elaborate number and placement of speakers in their Avant Grand). So the idea that people could barely tell the difference between the real grand and the VI would seem to indicate one killer (and well placed) playback system. And if you haven't heard competing VIs on a comparable system, then I'm not sure how fair the comparison is.

Though to get to the second part of that quote, that it was even more telling that the two were indistinguishable when played simultaneously in duets, actually, I think that's probably the easier (i.e. less telling) scenario, because the subtle acoustic cues telling you the real piano is really in the room would "fill in" any such missing cues that might be absent if you were only listening to the piano that wasn't really in the room.

I guess the bottom line is that I would not be surprised if other high quality VIs would fare just as well if you played them next to the piano they were sampled from, through a comparable playback system. I think what may be most interesting here is the adaptation of the VPC1 to closely duplicate the responsiveness of the original. Raw sound is the easier part, I think. Anything should be able to sound very much like what it is recorded from. Getting it to feel as natural to play is probably the trickier part. And that's a combination of things like the velocity mapping (and perhaps other qualities) in the software, the feel of the keyboard, and the correlation between the keyboard and the software.

For recording purposes, I'm sure their software can generally fool listeners into thinking there was a real piano there, as can other VIs, it's just a matter of what sound you prefer. Fooling the player as he's playing it is the trickier proposition!

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#2227876 - 02/08/14 12:05 PM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: HisKidd]
Chrisl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/14
Posts: 206
Loc: Chicago, IL
I asked them last week the main diff. between Ravenscroft and their other software. I also said the Fazioli could be bright based on some utube recordings I've heard of this piano.

Here's their replies:
Chris,

Good question. It’s basically somewhere between the Italian Grand and American Grand. It has a very powerful growl and tone that’s similar to the Fazioli, but it can be more neutral and delicate as well more like the American or even the German. I really love that it can be different things for different people. The man behind Ravenscroft actually worked for Yamaha, Fazioli, and Steinway so he was able to employ many of their design techniques in his own design. Of course, he makes all the Ravenscroft pianos by hand so it’s a very custom and high-end instrument that isn’t as widely known because of its exclusivity. That’s one reason we wanted to do this specific piano. We wanted to bring it to the masses because it’s so fantastic.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s still totally a place for the American, German, and Italian….but the Ravenscroft will feature all this dynamic tone and our latest technical innovations.

If you don’t already own another one of our pianos we’ll also be including a coupon with an order for the Ravenscroft to get either the full collection or another individual piano for a discount so we’ve made it really enticing for people all around.

AND this:
The Fazioli can be bright, but you can control the dynamics and the EQ so that’s pretty easily fixable. If you’re doing tracks for a pop/rock/country record the Fazioli might not make sense. It’s great for actual classical solo pieces.

The Ravenscroft should be able to do everything. The American and German pianos are very popular for album work and soundtrack work.

Chris
_________________________
Yamaha P105, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II Am Concert D, Sennheiser HD650.

New sound setup: Midi out to macbook, FW 800 to Metric Halo LIO 8 DAC to HD650's. Very Nice.

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#2227911 - 02/08/14 02:27 PM Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound [Re: HisKidd]
HisKidd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/31/11
Posts: 198
Loc: AL/USA
Here are a couple of samples from Soundcloud for the Ravenscroft; "Yesterday," and "Nearness of You." Sound pretty exceptional!

https://soundcloud.com/tags/Vi%20Labs

Play On!
_________________________
Keyboards are the best therapy I know of...
______________________________________________
Kawai MP6 stage piano
DCM CX-17 Monitors
Sennheiser HD 205, DJ series, headset

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