Best piano VST

Posted by: pianojohnw

Best piano VST - 04/13/12 03:09 PM

Im currently using ivory 2 italian grand but im not all that impressed, it has nice sound but i just cant play really soft and load plus the bass seems to be lacking the power, I want do some good piano solo recording, what is the best piano vst I could use for sound and especially playability.
Posted by: alekkh

Re: Best piano VST - 04/13/12 03:43 PM

From my experience, if you are serious about playability, then you have to rule out VST and either get a real piano or a good digital piano.

Some will say VST are great. Fine. I'm just telling you the results of my futile quest for good piano VSTs.
Posted by: galaxy4t

Re: Best piano VST - 04/13/12 05:29 PM

Many on this forum like the Vintage Galaxy D VST. I think some of the pianos in Kontakt Complete are pretty good as well. Pianoteq Play is another popular one because it is fairly cheap. IMO the dynamic range is much better in a software VST verses a digital piano with a 3 or 4 layer sample.
Posted by: vegasE

Re: Best piano VST - 04/13/12 05:45 PM

Originally Posted By: alekkh
Some will say VST are great. Fine. I'm just telling you the results of my futile quest for good piano VSTs.


Vintage D is great.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Best piano VST - 04/13/12 06:20 PM

You might start with doing some work to tweak your velocity response curve. That's free. Look at the MIDI your piano is putting out when you play super quietly and when you really pound it. Most pianos don't put out very low or high velocities, so if you map the ones your piano will put out linearly from to 0 and 127, then you will find much greater dynamics. Otherwise you will be playing with only velocities 15-105 or so instead of 0-127 like the VST creators intended.

Vintage D is great, particularly in the quiet stuff. So is Ivory and the main Galaxy, though. In my opinion, it's likely that your problem is that you are playing a Fazioli. I'm sure there's excellent workmanship in Fazioli acoustics, but I think their tone is inferior to Steinways'. At least, I haven't found the same quality in the Fazioli VST's that I've found in Steinway versions.
Posted by: Gigantoad

Re: Best piano VST - 04/13/12 06:52 PM

Originally Posted By: alekkh
From my experience, if you are serious about playability, then you have to rule out VST and either get a real piano or a good digital piano.

Some will say VST are great. Fine. I'm just telling you the results of my futile quest for good piano VSTs.


I really think you should stop with this VST hate nonesense. Just because you couldn't get it to work doesn't mean it's not working. You either had bad hardware with high latency or you didn't try the right VST's. Or maybe you didn't find good settings for the velocity curve. I think the guy who uses his V-Piano to control VST's is prove enough that it can work well. So well apparently that the playability bonus of the V-Piano is no longer a major factor.

Sorry for the rant, but this guy is asking for the best VST and all you have to say is that they all suck.

So to the OP, my favorite is Ivory II Steinway. It's the only one that gives me this wonderful clear, open Steinway sound that made the Steinway acoustics so popular. Close second would be Vintage D, although I do think it lacks a bit of that magic.

Synthogy will release an American Steinway this summer, wonder what that will sound like.
Posted by: pianojohnw

Re: Best piano VST - 04/13/12 08:34 PM

Ok Thanks for the advice how would I get the best settings for velocity in ivory 2, also has anyone ever used east west pianos as have just seen some demos on there site and they sound brilliant, is it any good with playability, I am considering buying it but not sure it is worth it over ivory 2 I can get east west pianos full version for £185
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Best piano VST - 04/13/12 08:35 PM

I have to agree. To say that a "good digital piano" is better than a VST piano library is like saying mud pie tastes better than Boston cream pie. Sorry. Wrong. smile
Posted by: alekkh

Re: Best piano VST - 04/13/12 08:40 PM

Originally Posted By: Gigantoad


I really think you should stop with this VST hate nonesense.


Last time I checked I can post my opinions without censorship by Gigantoad. Stop nonsense rants and personal attacks. Bye.
Posted by: alekkh

Re: Best piano VST - 04/13/12 08:49 PM

Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
I have to agree. To say that a "good digital piano" is better than a VST piano library is like saying mud pie tastes better than Boston cream pie. Sorry. Wrong. smile


Many times I tested VSTs using Yamaha P140 keyboard as a controller and found internal P140 sounds less accurate in a recording but more playable.

That's my _experience based_ opinion. Your opinion is different, but you cannot possibly state I'm wrong. Different is just that - different.
Posted by: Macy

Re: Best piano VST - 04/13/12 10:29 PM

Originally Posted By: alekkh
[quote=MacMacMac]
That's my _experience based_ opinion. Your opinion is different, but you cannot possibly state I'm wrong. Different is just that - different.

You are indeed entitled to post your opinions as much as anyone else. But the fact that you were not able to do what many other people have been able to do might be a reason for you to question your experience, knowledge or ability.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Best piano VST - 04/13/12 10:36 PM

Originally Posted By: pianojohnw
Ok Thanks for the advice how would I get the best settings for velocity in ivory 2, also has anyone ever used east west pianos as have just seen some demos on there site and they sound brilliant, is it any good with playability, I am considering buying it but not sure it is worth it over ivory 2 I can get east west pianos full version for £185


EWQL produces some excellent demo clips, but the consensus is that it is far inferior to Ivory II. For one thing it lacks partial pedal capability. If you poll people who have used multiple VST's and find which they favor, I'm quite confident Ivory will come out on top followed by Galaxy.

Though MelodialWorksMusic has been playing the extreme version of Imperfect samples and says it's even better. It's not nearly as popular so we don't have a lot of opinions on it. However, it is a possible contender for number one. EWQL is probably not.

Oh, I almost forgot. There's another universally liked VST: Garritan Authorized Steinway.
Posted by: alekkh

Re: Best piano VST - 04/13/12 11:48 PM

Originally Posted By: Macy

You are indeed entitled to post your opinions as much as anyone else. But the fact that you were not able to do what many other people have been able to do might be a reason for you to question your experience, knowledge or ability.


If I don't have needed knowledge, why bother that much about my posts and opinions? Just ignore them, let me sink in my ignorance and suffer from my mistakes.


Anyway, I'm sorry to the OP. Those trolls always drive threads to their favorite places. The reason I didn't suggest any VSTs is because you used some interesting keywords in your question, like "playability" and "bass seems to be lacking the power". I gave the best answer I have.
Posted by: Pierre P.

Re: Best piano VST - 04/14/12 03:05 AM

I use Ivory 2, Sampletekk's Blanck ambiant, Galaxy Vintage D and Fazzioli Imperfect samples and the internal sound of my digital piano (Kawai CA93). I switch between them given what mood I'm in, and I don't think there's one really above the others in terms of sound. Ivory with Cantabile works very good with my setup, it seems to me it achieves better latency, of course the internal library is the best in that field. But I must admit I read a lot of praise about internal sound vs VST before I purchased my first library (Ivory 2), and I was deceived in terms of sound, I thought it was different, but didn't necessarily sounded more natural or better, whatever you put behind the "better" word. And I have a pretty good soundcard (emu 0404) and an excellent headphone (sennheiser HD800). I'm just saying that for people who absolutely want to try VST thinking they will enter a new world, for me it was not the case.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Best piano VST - 04/14/12 11:04 AM

I have had a roller coaster ride with VSTs.

Initially I started down that road because I was not a fan of the sound from my Kawai CA63 through the keyboard speakers or through the external speakers I purchased.

You can see the VSTs, etc ... that I have invested within my signature area below.

Initially I thought I had died and gone to heaven after my first purchase of a VST (Vintage D). However, since that time I have gone through several VSTs and have now mellowed a bit to where I find that each of them has a sound that at times I find pleasing and at other times I do not.

What I have discovered is that layering them with the sound of my CA63 gives me many, many options and I find that comforting. I am currently finding that the sound I get blending the sound of the CA63 through the pianos internal speakers along with my external monitors gives me a sound I enjoy. So, I have sort of come full circle and I seldom even use the VSTs now.

It appears that my taste for the perfect sound is in a relative state of flux and there may never be a final solution. So, now I have decided that enough is enough. I have many options for a good sound and that will have to be the end of it.

Now, I can just play the piano.


P.S. More to the question of BEST vst ...

My tastes are as follows ...

Garritan Steinway ... Galaxy Vintage D ... True Pianos ... Pianoteq PRO ... Alicias Keys
Posted by: motifmm6

Re: Best piano VST - 04/14/12 11:04 AM

I just had a chance to play on a Kontakt 5 demo copy. Loaded the Yamaha C7 sample and the Steinway D!

The virtual pianos have very good sound quality. The file size is big, so recording is quite detailed.

However, as with computers, the hardware (CPU speed, sound card, memory, etc) plays a very important role in processing the sound. So some people may encounter a very very very slight latency amongst other issues. Other issues like the need to make adjustments to the sounds, reverb, cutoff, resonance, attack, release, etc. Tweaking the many parameters to make the piano sound nice.

On a regular DP, you play once you turn it on. There is not that many paramters to play with. But usually the sound sample is not as detailed and as dynamic as a virtual piano. Maybe due to the sample file size.

With the advances of virtual piano, maybe more and more DP players are starting to use virtual pianos, with the DPs acting merely as a keyboard controller.
Posted by: Scooby Hoo

Re: Best piano VST - 04/14/12 11:47 AM

Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
I have to agree. To say that a "good digital piano" is better than a VST piano library is like saying mud pie tastes better than Boston cream pie. Sorry. Wrong. smile


Better yet, like saying a 64 megabyte pie tastes much like a 16 gigabyte pie.

This thread is making me hungry.
Posted by: alekkh

Re: Best piano VST - 04/14/12 01:01 PM

Software sample makers figured that too. 99% of consumers indeed are buying number of GB.

I am that 1% that prefers quality over quantity. Quality of the job of making a set of audio samples into a playable instrument. Hence I would buy the 24MB sample set of Yamaha P140 for $1,000. I would not buy VSTs that I tried for 1/3 of that price.

Here I am - going against the crowd wink

Saying that, I think that everyone should follow their gut and be happy.
I think Ivory II is the best VST I have heard. But the OP was already not happy with it. Hence, back to the beginning of this post.
Posted by: alekkh

Re: Best piano VST - 04/14/12 01:18 PM

Originally Posted By: dmd
I have had a roller coaster ride with VSTs.

Initially I started down that road because I was not a fan of the sound from my Kawai CA63 through the keyboard speakers or through the external speakers I purchased.

You can see the VSTs, etc ... that I have invested within my signature area below.

Initially I thought I had died and gone to heaven after my first purchase of a VST (Vintage D). However, since that time I have gone through several VSTs and have now mellowed a bit to where I find that each of them has a sound that at times I find pleasing and at other times I do not.

What I have discovered is that layering them with the sound of my CA63 gives me many, many options and I find that comforting. I am currently finding that the sound I get blending the sound of the CA63 through the pianos internal speakers along with my external monitors gives me a sound I enjoy. So, I have sort of come full circle and I seldom even use the VSTs now.

It appears that my taste for the perfect sound is in a relative state of flux and there may never be a final solution. So, now I have decided that enough is enough. I have many options for a good sound and that will have to be the end of it.

Now, I can just play the piano.


P.S. More to the question of BEST vst ...

My tastes are as follows ...

Garritan Steinway ... Galaxy Vintage D ... True Pianos ... Pianoteq PRO ... Alicias Keys



That's what I was talking about. You see, if you had a VST you liked, would you buy another one? And another one?

I too bought multiple VSTs before settling on hardware DP. Only then did I not bother with searching for a better sound and feel.

FYI, and I did give the VSTs a very decent chance, running all of them through a $600 24/96 DA interface with 2-5ms latency.


Posted by: Gigantoad

Re: Best piano VST - 04/14/12 01:23 PM

Numbers of GB is certainly not the only factor, but it does have some relevance. The more GB the more different samples have been recorded the more different timbres can be achieved and the less looping will be going on.
Posted by: alekkh

Re: Best piano VST - 04/14/12 01:28 PM

Originally Posted By: Gigantoad
Numbers of GB is certainly not the only factor, but it does have some relevance. The more GB the more different samples have been recorded the more different timbres can be achieved and the less looping will be going on.


That's correct, of course, the more GB the higher tends to be the sound fidelity (up to a point). Bottom-mid-priced DPs are no mach to software in this regard.
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Best piano VST - 04/14/12 02:49 PM

And, it seems, the high-priced pianos are no match either. Even the AG's sample size can't compare to the Ivory/Galaxy libraries.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Best piano VST - 04/14/12 02:55 PM

Originally Posted By: alekkh
That's what I was talking about. You see, if you had a VST you liked, would you buy another one? And another one?

I too bought multiple VSTs before settling on hardware DP. Only then did I not bother with searching for a better sound and feel.


Just remember that not everyone can afford (or wants) to buy a $7000 V-Piano in order to get the two piano sounds it comes with. You can buy many, many, many VST's for that amount of money and then you will have a lot more variety and flexibility.

Yes, there is a vocal minority of people that think the V is better than Ivory in various ways. Is it 25x better? Because it costs 25 times as much, and you really just get two piano sounds with it.

For some people a V investment makes sense because of their budget and preferences. Looking over all the threads including discussion of the V piano over the last few years, I conclude that that group of people is not large, which is why a V-piano recommendation in a VST thread is always a subject of controversy.

The number of people who feel that VST's are better than the V piano in every respect that matters is much larger. And as a bonus we can all afford our VST's as well.
Posted by: Macy

Re: Best piano VST - 04/14/12 03:01 PM

Originally Posted By: alekkh
Software sample makers figured that too. 99% of consumers indeed are buying number of GB.

I am that 1% that prefers quality over quantity.

Good to know that you are in the 1% of the smart people here.
Posted by: alekkh

Re: Best piano VST - 04/14/12 03:08 PM

gvfarns - I understand the points about V-Piano, and agree. But, as a matter of fact, I referred to Yamaha P140 in my comments.

I'm trying to keep V-Piano discussions to a minimum lately not to annoy anyone even more wink
Posted by: 36251

Re: Best piano VST - 04/14/12 04:03 PM

I'm considering a VST cause I play a few gigs where there is already a DP that management expects you to play except they're old technology and sound like sh*t. I'd buy a module if there was one available.

I guess that puts me in a different group. I'm happy with my home piano and I like my gigging piano.

? Say I want a Galaxy D or Ivory II do I just buy that particular software and an external sound card? I own a laptop with an i7 and 8gigs of ram. How much money am I spending on this? anyone?
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Best piano VST - 04/14/12 04:12 PM

Originally Posted By: 36251
? Say I want a Galaxy D or Ivory II do I just buy that particular software and an external sound card? I own a laptop with an i7 and 8gigs of ram. How much money am I spending on this? anyone?


Yes. Just be aware that if you get Ivory you also need to get an iLok. I spent $150 or so on Vintage D and like $150 on my external sound card.

I'm not sure I'd gig with a software piano, though. They can be a little finicky some times and you don't want to end up without sounds. I guess you could always switch back to the onboard sounds if there's a problem with your VST...
Posted by: pianojohnw

Re: Best piano VST - 04/14/12 05:29 PM

Originally Posted By: alekkh
Originally Posted By: Macy

You are indeed entitled to post your opinions as much as anyone else. But the fact that you were not able to do what many other people have been able to do might be a reason for you to question your experience, knowledge or ability.


If I don't have needed knowledge, why bother that much about my posts and opinions? Just ignore them, let me sink in my ignorance and suffer from my mistakes.

Anyway, I'm sorry to the OP. Those trolls always drive threads to their favorite places. The reason I didn't suggest any VSTs is because you used some interesting keywords in your question, like "playability" and "bass seems to be lacking the power". I gave the best answer I have.




Hey alekkh I must admit I do prefer my inbuilt digital piano in regards to playability its not got a very nice inbuilt sound to it at all but i prefer the playability of it to ivory 2 and end up playing it more, the digital piano I have is a Kawai cl25, however I need a good piano sound for recording some solo piano pieces and most digital piano wont give me the sound i want to make a good piano recording, plus I unfortunatly dont have the money for a new digital piano with a better inbuilt sound, the problem ive found with ivory 2 is that it really doesnt give good ff, or pp dynamics or plays to high in volume in soft passages and lacks in the powerful bass, which to me makes the playability not very good as I cant get lots of dynamics in my recordings, it has a lovely piano sound in my opinion but lacks in important areas to me. looking at the demos on east west site they seem to have good dynamics and a powerful bass, and good ff dynamics however I dont want to pay out money if this isnt the case.
Posted by: 36251

Re: Best piano VST - 04/14/12 07:07 PM

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Originally Posted By: 36251
? Say I want a Galaxy D or Ivory II do I just buy that particular software and an external sound card? I own a laptop with an i7 and 8gigs of ram. How much money am I spending on this? anyone?


Yes. Just be aware that if you get Ivory you also need to get an iLok. I spent $150 or so on Vintage D and like $150 on my external sound card.

I'm not sure I'd gig with a software piano, though. They can be a little finicky some times and you don't want to end up without sounds. I guess you could always switch back to the onboard sounds if there's a problem with your VST...
I was checking comparison on Youtube and Vintage D screenshot was Kontakt. Does that mean besides Galaxy Vingage D and soundcard I also have to purchase Kontakt - isn't that another $500?
Posted by: dmd

Re: Best piano VST - 04/14/12 07:46 PM

Originally Posted By: 36251
I was checking comparison on Youtube and Vintage D screenshot was Kontakt. Does that mean besides Galaxy Vingage D and soundcard I also have to purchase Kontakt - isn't that another $500?


No. Galaxy Vintage D comes with the "runtime" version of Kontakt. It isn't the fullblown version but it works fine.
Posted by: 36251

Re: Best piano VST - 04/14/12 08:14 PM

Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: 36251
I was checking comparison on Youtube and Vintage D screenshot was Kontakt. Does that mean besides Galaxy Vingage D and soundcard I also have to purchase Kontakt - isn't that another $500?


No. Galaxy Vintage D comes with the "runtime" version of Kontakt. It isn't the fullblown version but it works fine.
I just went down to Guitar Center to ask a few questions. So they're saying you need a DAW to run a VST. You're telling me Galaxy Vintage D plays through Runtime Kontakt, which is a simple version of a DAW?

What do people use for external sound card? If I buy Galaxy pianos with runtime Kontakt, can I then buy a VST electric piano and run it also through the same runtime?
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: Best piano VST - 04/14/12 09:19 PM

Originally Posted By: 36251
I just went down to Guitar Center to ask a few questions. So they're saying you need a DAW to run a VST. You're telling me Galaxy Vintage D plays through Runtime Kontakt, which is a simple version of a DAW?


You don't a DAW you need a host. Stand alone host, no DAW needed. Or plugin host that runs from within a DAW.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Best piano VST - 04/14/12 09:20 PM

USB and firewire are both more than fast enough for both MIDI and audio. In fact, most audio interfaces are USB 1.0. Like, the one we used back in the 1990's. Firewire has been preferred historically in audio/video applications not so much because of throughput but beacause it streams without sputtering. That is, the maximum latency is lower or something. But anyway, with recent versions of USB and Firewire it isn't a big deal as far as I know.

The whole situation with workstation audio is really obnoxious, but here's how it works:

Vintage D is a plugin for Kontakt. Kontakt has a runtime version that just plays live that comes with Vintage D and is free. You can't do simple things like record what you are playing or play a MIDI file, but you can play your piano. I can't actually figure out what the paid version of Kontakt does that the free one will not. It seems silly to me that it costs a lot of money.

Kontakt (including the free version), in turn, can be a plugin for a VST host, which will allow you to record audio or midi and play midi files. That kind of thing. There are some VST hosts that are free, though I have yet to find a good one that will both play and record audio and midi for free. Most are cheap. The best free ones I've seen are minihost and MultiTrackStudio.

There are other more advanced DAW software as well, but I don't use them. Well, I guess I use audacity for modifying wav files and rendering them to mp3.
Posted by: Macy

Re: Best piano VST - 04/14/12 11:22 PM

Originally Posted By: pianojohnw
... i prefer the playability of it to ivory 2 and end up playing it more, the digital piano I have is a Kawai cl25, however I need a good piano sound for recording some solo piano pieces and most digital piano wont give me the sound i want to make a good piano recording, plus I unfortunatly dont have the money for a new digital piano with a better inbuilt sound, the problem ive found with ivory 2 is that it really doesnt give good ff, or pp dynamics or plays to high in volume in soft passages and lacks in the powerful bass, which to me makes the playability not very good as I cant get lots of dynamics in my recordings, it has a lovely piano sound in my opinion but lacks in important areas to me. looking at the demos on east west site they seem to have good dynamics and a powerful bass, and good ff dynamics however I dont want to pay out money if this isnt the case.

Let's try to understand your problem and fix it.

You said Ivory 2 "doesnt give good ff, ..."

Is the problem you perceive that Ivory 2 doesn't play loud enough when you play ff, or that you don't like the timbre of the sound when you play ff? What are the MIDI values that your keyboard typically produces when you are playing ff? Did you adjust the velocity curve of Ivory 2 (or an external program) to produce velocity of values in the 115-127 range when you play ff?

"...or pp dynamics or plays to high in volume in soft passages"."

You are apparently saying Ivory 2 is too loud when you play pp. So what are the typical MIDI values your keyboard produces when you are playing pp? Did you adjust the velocity curve in Ivory 2 (or an external program) to make the MIDI values smaller when you play pp?

If you don't like the rate of transition in the pp or ff range then adjust the Velocity Curve shape. In Ivory II you can adjust the shape and curvature of the velocity curve, so it is more sensitive to small changes in velocity near the pp end of the dynamic range or near the ff end. Have you adjusted that?

After you have adjusted the velocity curves (or are sure they are covering the MIDI range with the shape you want) you can then change the dynamic range control in Ivory II to get just about whatever dynamic range you want between pp and ff. Have you adjusted the dynamic range control (which varies from 0 to 60 dB) after you set the velocity curve correctly? You would typically set it higher for classical music where you want a wider loudness range between pp and ff.

" ... and lacks in the powerful bass,"

Have you adjusted the EQ in Ivory II? There is low shelf control that can be used to make the bass boom or disappear, or do anything in between. You can set the cutoff frequency and gain in the lower shelf region (there is also a parametric EQ band and a high frequency shelf as well).

If these suggestions don't address what you consider playability issues, then tell us what else bothers you related to playability and I'm sure one of us here can help you address other concerns as well.
Posted by: vegasE

Re: Best piano VST - 04/15/12 06:04 AM

Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
Originally Posted By: 36251
I just went down to Guitar Center to ask a few questions. So they're saying you need a DAW to run a VST. You're telling me Galaxy Vintage D plays through Runtime Kontakt, which is a simple version of a DAW?


You don't a DAW you need a host. Stand alone host, no DAW needed. Or plugin host that runs from within a DAW.


I prob have the simplest setup. I use the Kontakt Player that came with Vintage D. Runs on my laptop (i5, 4GB, 7400rpm HHD) with Asio4All driver through headphone output into my Senn 518's.

Velocity curves are matched - Normal (MP8ii) to default/linear (VinD). Only bit of mucking around i did was with the Asio4All driver settings to get the sound happening through the headphones. But that was rather quick. No pops, crackles, drop outs. So it would seem i have been rather lucky.
Posted by: 36251

Re: Best piano VST - 04/15/12 07:31 AM

Originally Posted By: vegasE
Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
Originally Posted By: 36251
I just went down to Guitar Center to ask a few questions. So they're saying you need a DAW to run a VST. You're telling me Galaxy Vintage D plays through Runtime Kontakt, which is a simple version of a DAW?


You don't a DAW you need a host. Stand alone host, no DAW needed. Or plugin host that runs from within a DAW.


I prob have the simplest setup. I use the Kontakt Player that came with Vintage D. Runs on my laptop (i5, 4GB, 7400rpm HHD) with Asio4All driver through headphone output into my Senn 518's.

Velocity curves are matched - Normal (MP8ii) to default/linear (VinD). Only bit of mucking around i did was with the Asio4All driver settings to get the sound happening through the headphones. But that was rather quick. No pops, crackles, drop outs. So it would seem i have been rather lucky.
How do you connect MIDI? I'm getting closer to understanding this but I'm assuming I need a external box for MIDI, line outs to amp, line ins to PC?
Posted by: Gigantoad

Re: Best piano VST - 04/15/12 07:41 AM

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
I can't actually figure out what the paid version of Kontakt does that the free one will not. It seems silly to me that it costs a lot of money.


Kontakt is a full blown sampling software. The guys who made Vintage D used it for this exact purpose. That basically means it has all that functionality that is expected of such a product like sample slicing, time stretching, equalizing and organizing all the samples into one package that can be played on a keyboard and provides adjustable parameters through a neat interface to the end user. The price is certainly justified.

Kontakt Player is just a product to play these saved sample sets so the many people who don't need to sample their own sounds get to use all these "powered by Kontakt" instruments. It is not a DAW and also no VST host. Actually the Kontakt Player is itself a VST that can be played and recorded inside a DAW. Its standalone mode exists merely for convenience.

If you need a free DAW/VST host you could try Reaper.

http://www.reaper.fm

Hmm actually, it doesn't seem to be free anymore. But it's cheap.
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Best piano VST - 04/15/12 08:06 AM

Originally Posted By: 36251
How do you connect MIDI? I'm getting closer to understanding this but I'm assuming I need a external box for MIDI, line outs to amp, line ins to PC?

Have a look here: Piano Wiring
I use the Presonus Audiobox. There are other similar boxes from M-audio and others. They provide the MIDI input you need, and also a sound card that substitutes for the computer's sound card. (It generally performs better than a computer sound card: better sound quality and lower latency.)

Installation is simple:
1. Plug the Audiobox's USB cable into the computer and install the driver from the CD.
2. Run a MIDI cable from the Audiobox to your piano.
3. Run cables from the Audiobox's audio outputs to your sound system.
4. Open your VST or Kontakt software:
. . a. Go to the MIDI settings and select the Presonus/Audiobox as your MIDI input.
. . b. Go to the ASIO settings and select the Presonus/Audiobox ASIO device.
Posted by: 36251

Re: Best piano VST - 04/15/12 08:28 AM

Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Originally Posted By: 36251
How do you connect MIDI? I'm getting closer to understanding this but I'm assuming I need a external box for MIDI, line outs to amp, line ins to PC?

Have a look here: Piano Wiring
I use the Presonus Audiobox. There are other similar boxes from M-audio and others. They provide the MIDI input you need, and also a sound card that substitutes for the computer's sound card. (It generally performs better than a computer sound card: better sound quality and lower latency.)

Installation is simple:
1. Plug the Audiobox's USB cable into the computer and install the driver from the CD.
2. Run a MIDI cable from the Audiobox to your piano.
3. Run cables from the Audiobox's audio outputs to your sound system.
4. Open your VST or Kontakt software:
. . a. Go to the MIDI settings and select the Presonus/Audiobox as your MIDI input.
. . b. Go to the ASIO settings and select the Presonus/Audiobox ASIO device.
Did you research this one as being the best for the money; low latency? I was just checking reviews and most comments were positive.
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Best piano VST - 04/15/12 09:08 AM

I read postings (here and elsewhere) about the Presonus Audiobox and the M-Audio Fast Track. Both seemed good. Both will provide suitably low latency.

I got the Presonus because I found it for $71 used on ebay (vs. $150 new).
The M-Audio was around $100 used on ebay (vs. $200 new).

Either would suit, so I went for the lower price.
Posted by: daviel

Re: Best piano VST - 04/15/12 03:17 PM

I use the Presonus Audiobox and it performs very well.
Posted by: 36251

Re: Best piano VST - 04/15/12 07:21 PM

I just purchased Galaxy Vintage D from Amazon for $139. I have a friend with an analog/digital interface so I'm going to wait to find a good deal.

Is it true I won't be able to use unless I purchase an iLok? What do u'all think of this aspect?
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Best piano VST - 04/15/12 07:39 PM

Ivory requires an Ilok.
Galaxy does not.
Posted by: 36251

Re: Best piano VST - 04/15/12 07:52 PM

Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Ivory requires and Ilok.
Galaxy does not.
more good news. With piracy I understand why the Ilok exists but I can't understand why you'll pay over $300 for Ivory and still have to get an Ilok.

I already asked this question but not sure if I understood the answer. Can I buy a Rhodes VST and play it through Kontakt player that comes with Vintage D?
Posted by: vegasE

Re: Best piano VST - 04/15/12 09:02 PM

Originally Posted By: 36251
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Ivory requires and Ilok.
Galaxy does not.
more good news. With piracy I understand why the Ilok exists but I can't understand why you'll pay over $300 for Ivory and still have to get an Ilok.

I already asked this question but not sure if I understood the answer. Can I buy a Rhodes VST and play it through Kontakt player that comes with Vintage D?

As Macx3 said, an iLok is not required for Galaxy. The ilok is the main reason i didnt bother with Ivory. There's been some discussion regarding the ilok before. Some (like me) hate the idea of the ilok. Others aren't fussed.

Originally Posted By: 36251
How do you connect MIDI? I'm getting closer to understanding this but I'm assuming I need a external box for MIDI, line outs to amp, line ins to PC?


I have connected the MP8ii to my laptop via USB cable. I also bought a midi-to-usb cable for $10 but don't use it.
I get between 6-8ms overall latency with my setup. Anything under 10ms is really not noticable (not to me anyway). I would try the direct connection first if possible. See if that works for you before buying the external box. A member recently found out his latency problems were due to his Presonus box and when he (or she? - can't tell on here) bypassed the external box the lantecy dropped right down. It would all come down to what you want to do with the sound i suppose.

Rhodes VST? Not sure. Others here should be able to answer that for you.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Best piano VST - 04/15/12 09:15 PM

Kontakt classes libraries as affiliated with NI and not. The full version of Kontakt will play anything. The free Kontakt player will only play affiliated VST's. Galaxy is one of these. So are the NI pianos, obviously. Others it's not so clear. I'm not sure which Rhodes piano you are talking about, but most likely if it says it "requires kontakt" rather than "comes with a free player," which turns out to be kontakt, it will not work with the free version.
Posted by: Macy

Re: Best piano VST - 04/15/12 09:26 PM

Originally Posted By: 36251
I already asked this question but not sure if I understood the answer. Can I buy a Rhodes VST and play it through Kontakt player that comes with Vintage D?

I believe this is what you are looking for. Fender-Rhodes Mark 1

http://www.native-instruments.com/#/en/p...1/?content=1138
Posted by: Tack

Re: Best piano VST - 04/16/12 07:19 PM

Originally Posted By: pianojohnw
Im currently using ivory 2 italian grand but im not all that impressed, it has nice sound but i just cant play really soft and load.

I'll just echo my support for Galaxy's Vintage D. I tend to play pieces that focus on the softer dynamics and I find I'm able to be quite expressive with Galaxy's Vintage D, whereas I found it completely impossible with Synthogy's Italian Grand and Bosendorfer, and to a lesser extent even the Yamaha. Galaxy's Vintage D has a pretty wide dynamic range and it suits my playing better.

The engine is not without bugs, I hate to say. It doesn't stop me from using it for casual playing, but if I did more recording I'd probably be less inclined to recommend it. (At least, it would require tweaking the MIDI after recording to avoid the problem.)
Posted by: 36251

Re: Best piano VST - 04/16/12 07:51 PM

I like to hear more about choices for audio interfaces. I can find positive and negative reviews for Presonus Audiobox or M-Audio Fast Track. Then there was a comment in this thread which said I might not even need one of these.

Can anyone put me over the edge. I glad to of found the Vintage D software. I've enjoyed listening to examples on YouTube.

I'm thankful for those who have gone before me and have helped me make my decisions.

I doing this for live playing and hope it all works out.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Best piano VST - 04/16/12 10:18 PM

I can discuss two other audio interfaces:

1. Behringer UCA202. Incredibly cheap. Rock solid drivers (class compliant, so you may not even need drivers). I used one of these for some time and liked it well. I doesn't have balanced input/output, which I wanted because I had a ground loop issue. It also doesn't have an analog volume control. And it doesn't have 24 bit sound. In a pinch, and on a budget, it's a winner.

2. Focusrite 2i2. This is the one I currently use. Excellent hardware. It compares to the presonus and m-audio except that it features USB 2.0 and lacks MIDI-IN. If you are using a USB cable for MIDI, like I am, it can be a good option. The only downside is that I have found the drivers under windows XP to be more than just a little finicky. I actually use ASIO4ALL instead of the native drivers with mine because they were so bad. When it works, though, it's really nicely designed and puts out great sound.

Unfortunately almost all USB audio interfaces (if not all) have some issues with the drivers--just check the reviews. Apparently it's a hard thing to do well or something. Either that or these companies don't hire very good programmers.
Posted by: lgarcia

Re: Best piano VST - 04/16/12 10:50 PM

"Dynamic range" are the correct words, all piano vst's no matter the company who did the process of sampling all came from a certain piano model, manufacturer etc. etc. I had just tried the recent one called blue and it lacks the dynamic range. Alicia's keys has a nice key per key sound because it is a one of a kind model within the Yamaha's but lacks the dynamic range. Same for all the pianos from the Imperfect Samples which are all nice, organic, natural sound but lack the dynamic range. By the end of the year there will be more than five new upgrades from different companies that market the "best sounding piano vst" but please not another Steinway Model D. I've kept the Art Vista for what it is, a model B. And to end my rambling, "And the winner by TKO is Galaxy Vintage D in the Heavy Weight category". If I had the bucks, I would sample a Baldwin, but that is just a cartoon story that I made up and in my imagination reality is far from being true.
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Best piano VST - 04/16/12 10:57 PM

Which drivers have problems? I've had not a problem with the Presonus. Both it's MIDI in and audio out pots work continuously, without fail. (I'm running Windows XP.)

It comes up clean on boot, and also after coming up from sleep mode. Not a single problem.
Posted by: 36251

Re: Best piano VST - 04/17/12 12:11 PM

I have a friend who uses a Native Instruments Traktor Audio 2 compact USB DJ audio interface. He uses all USB and no MIDI and said it works great with low latency. I just curious to hear what people think of this solution?