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#2364639 - Today at 04:21 PM Is this now real enough?
Philip_Johnston Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 06/30/11
Posts: 13
The question is not whether the sound is real on the video below - it's whether it would fool 99.5% of the population:

YouTube Video of performance

What you're listening to is Garritan CFX sample library running on an iMac, using a Yamaha Avant Grand N3 as the midi controller. (That's the "piano" you can see in the shot). The combination of the the AG's excellent grand piano action and Garritan's astonishing sample library makes for a heck of a recording instrument...albeit a very expensive one.

I sold my Yamaha 6 foot acoustic grand to get this setup. Thoughts? Was I crazy?

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#2364653 - Today at 05:09 PM Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3902
Loc: North Carolina
Hard to tell ... not much pedal, and so not much resonance. But it sounds quite good.

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#2364657 - Today at 05:14 PM Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston]
jazzyprof Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2650
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Originally Posted By: Philip_Johnston
The question is not whether the sound is real on the video below - it's whether it would fool 99.5% of the population:

YouTube Video of performance

Count me among the 99.5%. Sure had me fooled! It sounds amazing and your playing is awesome...as one would expect from the guy who launched the Practice Revolution. smile

The question I have for you is how does it feel to play this...like a 9ft grand?
_________________________
"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP

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#2364658 - Today at 05:16 PM Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston]
LFYM Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/25/14
Posts: 13
Impressive quality, Philip.

How are you liking the Garritan CFX so far? Up to your expectations?

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#2364659 - Today at 05:20 PM Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston]
pmh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/14
Posts: 22
Loc: South Coast UK
Hello Phillip, it sounds stunning to me. Superb playing. I was going green with envy. Wish I could play like that and afford that combination. Congratulations,

Paul H

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#2364660 - Today at 05:24 PM Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston]
Thomas B Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/13
Posts: 46
Hi Philip,

really great shot and impressive playing :-)

I think recordings done by a good player with one of the top notch libraries will fool at least the 99.5% of listeners that you stated or even more. In general, the weaknesses (e.g. limited dynamics, limited complexity in the resonance) of the current libraries could be attributed to the player, recording, post-processing or are really hard to spot while listening to a normal piece of music...

Now, when it comes to playing it's totally different to me. While I enjoy playing my virtual piano through headphones using my upright as a controller, it does not come close to the tonal live experience of the real thing. Therefore, I totally understand that you sold the Yamaha grand, but you must have a F308, 290 Imperial or at least some baby grand that you kept, right ;-)?

Thomas

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#2364661 - Today at 05:31 PM Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston]
Pete14 Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/13
Posts: 292
Phenomenal.

How does the Garritan CFX sound (fidelity wise) over the on-board speakers?

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#2364662 - Today at 05:32 PM Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston]
PianoManChuck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/05/12
Posts: 123
Loc: Los Angeles, California
What MacMacMac said (not much pedal, so not much resonance). I would like to have heard more pedal, especially since the CFX virtual piano seems to be lacking in half-pedal capability. Other than that, yes, this will definitely fool the majority of listeners!

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#2364668 - Today at 05:47 PM Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston]
sullivang Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2238
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Definitely fools me, but I still don't find the CFX sound to be exciting - but I can say the same for many many real piano recordings. I don't know, and don't care, whether this RD800 demo sounds more authentic than the CFX, but it just sounds sexy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPTLR2zr7rk (just listen for a few seconds starting at 1:11).

Greg.

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#2364674 - Today at 06:00 PM Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston]
dire tonic Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1523
Loc: uk south
Count me amongst the dazzled.

I think it's easier to be fooled by good performances of virtuoso pieces than by moody, romantic examples with longer notes and broader dynamic scope but I'd certainly have been taken in by your recording. But now I'm wondering if that's because I don't know the piece (I'll never have the technique to play it!).

Out of sheer curiosity and to get an idea of how else it might sound I landed randomly on this . Immediately what stands out are the melodies which are voiced so clearly, e.g. at 40 secs there's an Eb minor climb which I hadn't picked out in your recording. So my immediate concern with the CFX is how well its dynamic range responds? Are you having to fight to hide some voices in order to let others sing out?

I wonder how other libraries would fare?

But to answer your specific question - yes I think it might fool 99.5%.

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#2364694 - 17 minutes 12 seconds ago Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9690
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Very impressive performance and tonal realism.

Congratulations!
_________________________
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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#2364696 - 3 minutes 58 seconds ago Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston]
Philip_Johnston Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 06/30/11
Posts: 13
Many thanks for replies so far. Just answering some of the questions:

*****"The question I have for you is how does it feel to play this...like a 9ft grand?"

The combination of the Garritan CFX samples streaming through headphones, with the grand-piano action and key vibrations of the N3, I genuinely do forget that I'm not playing an acoustic 9 foot grand. There's no way my old Yamaha acoustic grand ever sounded this good.

*****"How does the Garritan CFX sound (fidelity wise) over the on-board speakers?"

Not great. Those speakers really seem to be designed for the Avant Grand's own inbuilt sample library (which is vastly inferior to the Garritan). You can't see them in the shot, but I'm using stage monitor speakers to listen to the CFX samples.

There's no substitute though for headphones - the only reason I don't use them is because they look odd in videos, and visually destroy the illusion of an acoustic piano recording. I may yet end up working with them though for future videos.

*****" I would like to have heard more pedal, especially since the CFX virtual piano seems to be lacking in half-pedal capability. "

Stay tuned - I'm planning on releasing a lot of videos, will include some Chopin Nocturnes or Debussy (Ravel's Ondine?) to showcase what's possible with pedalling. The absence of half-pedalling is a glaring omission in Garritan (seriously! Why would they do that?), but there are workarounds.

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