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#2424000 - 05/23/15 08:48 PM Convince me?
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2160
Loc: Rocky Mountains
I was thinking of a new software for my piano.
I have IvoryII Grand Piano's.

In the thread on Best Steinway Software Piano. I have to admit. I was impressed with the reference to the Vienna Grand and the Production Grand. Only problem is cost. That and having to learn Kontakt.
I saw others come behind and still say that IvoryII American D is the best. I listen to examples. It's good.
I wonder if it's enough to spend the money?
To me, a substantial upgrade would be the Production Grand. I really like it.
So I'm sitting here on Memorial Day weekend. MF has it's 15% or 10% off sale. I'm having a hard time convincing myself to go for the IvoryII AmericanD. I just about like the IvoryII Uprights as much.
Then I listen to the Production Grand. Figure the others aren't worth it?
Still I don't actually own any of them. I only own the IvoryII Grand Piano's. Sometimes I think I should just use what I have. It ain't no slouch. Save the money. Maybe get the Production Grand later?

So those of you who have AmericanD and Grand's. Can you tell me more? Is it really that much better? I'm just not hearing it in recordings?
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2424094 - Yesterday at 03:00 AM Re: Convince me? [Re: rnaple]
slobajudge Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/14
Posts: 21
Originally Posted By rnaple
I was thinking of a new software for my piano.
I have IvoryII Grand Piano's.

In the thread on Best Steinway Software Piano. I have to admit. I was impressed with the reference to the Vienna Grand and the Production Grand. Only problem is cost. That and having to learn Kontakt.
I saw others come behind and still say that IvoryII American D is the best. I listen to examples. It's good.
I wonder if it's enough to spend the money?
To me, a substantial upgrade would be the Production Grand. I really like it.
So I'm sitting here on Memorial Day weekend. MF has it's 15% or 10% off sale. I'm having a hard time convincing myself to go for the IvoryII AmericanD. I just about like the IvoryII Uprights as much.
Then I listen to the Production Grand. Figure the others aren't worth it?
Still I don't actually own any of them. I only own the IvoryII Grand Piano's. Sometimes I think I should just use what I have. It ain't no slouch. Save the money. Maybe get the Production Grand later?

So those of you who have AmericanD and Grand's. Can you tell me more? Is it really that much better? I'm just not hearing it in recordings?


If you already have Ivory II grands, and problem with the money to spent, then you dont need Ivory II ACD, if money is not a problem, then go for it. Ivory ACD is little different in sound, not much better then German D. Lots of people still prefer German D instead of American D. I like them both, but I am not sure that you will be satisfied for money you spent, because they share lots of similarities in engine. Personally, after Ivory II grands, I will pay for VSL Vienna. Unfortunately, there is no guaranties that you will think the same like me after ordering. If you think that Production voices grand will be satisfied you, then go for it, it is better to learn from personal activities smile



Edited by slobajudge (Yesterday at 03:39 AM)

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#2424114 - Yesterday at 04:31 AM Re: Convince me? [Re: rnaple]
dire tonic Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 2086
Loc: uk south
I would be wary about splashing out. Do you definitely want another Steinway?

These days, I keep four pianos on my desktop from time to time switching between them occasionally, not too often, just to listen to the difference. In the comparison, FWIW (don't take my word for it!) I no longer enjoy Ivory ACD. I know there are many who like it but I'm not alone in thinking it fails to hit the spot so consider carefully.

Have you heard Philip Johnston playing the Garritan CFX in his YT recordings posted in this forum? He was using Ivory ACD before switching to the Garritan which he prefers. There is no partial or repedalling but it's not enough of a shortcoming to put me off. If you're still at the beginning stage, I don't think it would be a problem for you either.

...do you want another Steinway...?

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#2424185 - Yesterday at 08:53 AM Re: Convince me? [Re: rnaple]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2160
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Hummmm....lets see... what do I "Want?"

What I want is a piano that inspires me to play. I get into the little intricate nuances of play. Something that gives me all the feedback of pp to p, or p to mp, etc... very clearly and precisely.

I have a System of learning that focuses, from the ground up, on this. The little sophistications of the nervous system to learn to really play. It has little pieces to play that focus entirely on these little passages. I have always been 'turned on' by this. This System is to build the foundation to be able to play Classical well, someday.

I have the feedback on my learning System. I want it in my piano.

I have to admit. I spend too much time with Ivory thinking about it. I've heard better in both the Production and Vienna Grands. Maybe I should spend more time listening to that CFX? What I listened to, I have to admit, didn't impress me as much as the other two.

I don't want to waste my money on something that is just 'better'. I'm willing to spend money. But want something that is 'much better.'

Yes, I agree that I have spent too much time switching around on pianos. That is a sign to me that it just isn't good enough.

I can't say I necessarily want another Steinway. I like the sound of Steinway. I have to admit. At this point in my learning/experience... I really like the trueness, the candid honesty of the Yamaha samples.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2424190 - Yesterday at 09:21 AM Re: Convince me? [Re: rnaple]
dire tonic Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 2086
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By rnaple
Hummmm....lets see... what do I "Want?"

What I want is a piano that inspires me to play. I get into the little intricate nuances of play. Something that gives me all the feedback of pp to p, or p to mp, etc... very clearly and precisely.

I have a System of learning that focuses, from the ground up, on this. The little sophistications of the nervous system to learn to really play. It has little pieces to play that focus entirely on these little passages. I have always been 'turned on' by this. This System is to build the foundation to be able to play Classical well, someday.

I have the feedback on my learning System. I want it in my piano.

I have to admit. I spend too much time with Ivory thinking about it. I've heard better in both the Production and Vienna Grands. Maybe I should spend more time listening to that CFX? What I listened to, I have to admit, didn't impress me as much as the other two.

I don't want to waste my money on something that is just 'better'. I'm willing to spend money. But want something that is 'much better.'

Yes, I agree that I have spent too much time switching around on pianos. That is a sign to me that it just isn't good enough.

I can't say I necessarily want another Steinway. I like the sound of Steinway. I have to admit. At this point in my learning/experience... I really like the trueness, the candid honesty of the Yamaha samples.


I wasn't blown away by the various demos of the CFX I picked out here and there. Philip Johnston's recordings are excellent but part of that has to be attributed to his performance which makes the purely sonic judgement more difficult. That said, I think there's a clarity and uniformity which I don't hear in many other demos. It comes down, as always, to personal experience with the library. Don't let yourself read too much into demos.

Something "much better"; there will be days when you think you've bought something much better, and other days when the improvements strike you as rather more marginal.

Candid honesty; that's a fair judgement. As in all pianos there are shortcomings and quirks. I heard a modulation in one of the notes yesterday but I don't hear it today. What I get from the CFX more than any other library so far is a more accurate sense of balance behind the keyboard both in sound stage and harmonic balance. Also plenty of energy. Ivory ACD sounds weird, almost distant by comparison. Ravenscroft has a good sound stage and energy but the harmonics are strangely skewed.


Edited by dire tonic (Yesterday at 09:22 AM)

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#2424225 - Yesterday at 11:05 AM Re: Convince me? [Re: rnaple]
Alexander Borro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/18/14
Posts: 273
Loc: UK
It's a pity that ivory does not have mic placement options. Dire that's an interesting point, its why I like having my different headphones too, like the Sennheiser open back with a much bigger sound stage versus my closed back ones, the latter give more of a sense of sound being in you head, rather than surrounded by it, and the former give better presence of space/dimension to the sound. I prefer the senns with ACD for that reason.

Since I used headphones most of the time, and to work around the lack of being able to manipulate sound placement/imaging with the ACD. I recently also started playing around with crossfade plugins, in fact it was just a freebie crossfade VST I downloaded one day, but playing around with that personally I felt that could do wonderful things as well ( in combination with stereo width ).

It's all learning for me, but what I do think bit by bit, more and more, rather than thinking that the next instrument may give something better (in hope). Making the most and learning how how to get the best out of an existing instrument is easy to overlook perhaps, instead, splashing out on the next thing is an easy tempter.

Cubase is mighty powerful too, bit by bit I discover little gems. Of course the tone of ACD is what it is, and while some headphones give a slightly warmer feel versus others, if some don't like it they wont like it. and that's that.

I am just glad I got both pianoteq and a sampled instrument to change between. If I were to splash out a bit myself for my birthday next month, just another thought, I'd personally upgrade my stage to standard for classical practice is how I feel today. Some of those altered fxp files people have done wonders in Pro (listening to those demos on fxp corner), and those files can be used fully in standard. When I did use the standard demo before buying stage I was already beginning to find some interesting tweaks of my own. There again I am in my pianoteq phase again, next week when it rains I get up I may feel different. It is nice to have a bit of change now and again smile

Overall I have no real desire to want yet another piano VST though. For me getting better/practice is far more on my mind, plus learning to get more out of the tech I've already got.

I admit that production grand sounds very very nice, but the full price of kontakt on top ... not at this time for me. I am happy with the toys I got to get on with it. Rather than getting the feeling they become tiring, in fact they grow more and more on me, bit by bit as I use them.
_________________________
started June 2014, self teacher.
Books: Barratt classic piano course book 1,2,3. Humphries Piano handbook, various others
Hardware: Casio Celviano AP 450 & various peripherals:
Software: Ivory American D, Pianoteq, The Giant, Cubase 7 elements.
My struggles: https://soundcloud.com/alexander-borro

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#2424229 - Yesterday at 11:11 AM Re: Convince me? [Re: rnaple]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2160
Loc: Rocky Mountains
You're sure right about Philip Johnston. His playing makes it difficult to objectively criticize the piano.

May I ask...on the CFX... Can you focus in on the initial strike of the note...the hammer strike...to bring it out more...or even less?
That is one thing I really like on the Production Grand. But...I fear it starts getting noisy when playing many notes. That's a lot of money to spend with having a fear. The fullness of the notes I like too...but I know there is more of that to come with larger libraries and computers.
It appears the CFX has a pretty good sample size. It may be worth giving it a try.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2424402 - Yesterday at 06:40 PM Re: Convince me? [Re: rnaple]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2160
Loc: Rocky Mountains
I"m glad I've looked into this more.
Over on gearslutz. One guy claims he can't get CFX to work on his 64 bit system? They have no support anymore. Since Garritan has been sold. Garritan is gone.
Production Grand they keep working on and developing.

Otherwise they are very close in quality.
The CFX can play booming loud better. That's partly because it's a CFX and not a C7.
One thing noted on the Production Grand. It plays p and pp much better. It is because it has what they call pre-attack. CFX doesn't. I agree on the p and pp. It is exquisite. A piano should be able to play pianisimo very well. That's what it is. I gotta admit that I'm still sold on the Production Grand.

Here's a link to the gearslutz discussion. This page a guy does some good recordings on the Production Grand.
Ultimate Shootout
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2424426 - Yesterday at 08:12 PM Re: Convince me? [Re: Alexander Borro]
dmd Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 2121
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By Alexander Borro
I am just glad I got both pianoteq and a sampled instrument to change between. If I were to splash out a bit myself for my birthday next month, just another thought, I'd personally upgrade my stage to standard for classical practice is how I feel today. Some of those altered fxp files people have done wonders in Pro (listening to those demos on fxp corner), and those files can be used fully in standard. When I did use the standard demo before buying stage I was already beginning to find some interesting tweaks of my own. There again I am in my pianoteq phase again, next week when it rains I get up I may feel different. It is nice to have a bit of change now and again smile


I am in about the same place with these VSTs. I switch between various products just for a change.

I am finding, however, that I am utilizing Pianoteq most of the time for these reasons ...

I am finding that the various options for sounds gives me a nice change if I want it.

I like the automatic recording feature. I can get a nice recording periodically without feeling the RED LIGHT tension.

I am playing more Jazz type music and I like the sound options for that.

It just seems to sound and play more like a "real" piano. Of course, that is just my sense of things.

It is simple to get up and running.

If the next version is actually "better", I think it will end any thought of utilizing sampled VSTs in the future, for me.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq 5

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#2424434 - Yesterday at 08:34 PM Re: Convince me? [Re: rnaple]
MacMacMac Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 4091
Loc: North Carolina
dmd: My experience has been quite the opposite. I started with an early version of Pianoteq (v2.2 I think) because it was easy to set up and there was a free demo. But that version was unbearably bad. That was a widespread opinion it seems.

I found v3 much better (but still not good), and v4 a tiny bit better (but still not good).

Pianoteq demonstrates to me that modeling is hopeless (for now at least). The sound of every serious VST piano runs circles around Pianoteq. (There are many VSTs that I consider "not serious" ... some made by amateurs, some by pros who must have been on a tight budget leash. But I discard those, and focus instead on the Ivorys, Galaxys, and that ilk.)

Pianoteq has a bit of what has been described as connectedness. That much is good. Everything else strikes me as inferior. I've given up on it.

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#2424438 - Yesterday at 08:40 PM Re: Convince me? [Re: MacMacMac]
scorpio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 712
Loc: Connecticut, USA
My experience is quite the opposite. I really don't enjoy (on many levels) sampled pianos at all. They are a hassle. Pianoteq is expressive, responsive and very quick and easy to use.
_________________________
Kawai MP11 :: JBL LSR305 :: Focusrite 2i4 :: Pianoteq Standard

“The important thing is to feel your music, really feel it and believe it.” –Ray Charles

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#2424445 - Yesterday at 09:02 PM Re: Convince me? [Re: dmd]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2160
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted By dmd

If the next version is actually "better", I think it will end any thought of utilizing sampled VSTs in the future, for me.



I've always considered Pianoteq, promising. I admit it sounds better. I looked on their site. They are constantly revoicing and rebuilding. Complete rebuild of D4 and YC5 last year. This is one reason it keeps sounding better.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2424502 - 2 minutes 4 seconds ago Re: Convince me? [Re: rnaple]
dire tonic Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 2086
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By rnaple
May I ask...on the CFX... Can you focus in on the initial strike of the note...the hammer strike...to bring it out more...or even less?

No, unless I've missed something, other than by virtue of key velocity response you don't have control over the initial thump of the note - if that's what you mean.

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