Some opinions on these different VST sounds?

Posted by: Allan W.

Some opinions on these different VST sounds? - 10/30/12 08:08 PM

I purchased a few Imperfect Samples libraries and I'm a little bit disappointed in them compared to my Ivory. Can someone give me their opinions on these audio clips? They're the same MIDI data through different VST's. When playing, I'm exaggerating the dynamics a bit to try to hear all the sounds. (Also my playing isn't that great tempo-wise I know smile )

I've concealed the names of the VST for now... I'd like to hear people's opinions unclouded by name.

http://soundcloud.com/allanwang-1/sets/besaid-clip-vst-comparison

edit: Here is the midi file: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6289392/besaid_snippet.mid
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Some opinions on these different VST sounds? - 10/30/12 08:44 PM

To my ears, C is best, then A, then B.
Posted by: bfb

Re: Some opinions on these different VST sounds? - 10/30/12 08:59 PM

i'm pretty sure A is the imperfect samples piano- has the most depth and also has a more metallic sound. It almost reminds me of the silver piano on the Vpiano. It has a lot of character but doesn't necessarily produce the best recording.

I thought C was the most usable recording. B sounds too muddy/ muted- how do you have it set up?

PS: i thought both the music and your playing were very nice... very pleasing to listen to...
Posted by: dmd

Re: Some opinions on these different VST sounds? - 10/30/12 10:51 PM

I found A and B very close.

I believe C was a little thin.

If forced to choose I would choose B over A ... seemed a bit more mellow.
Posted by: origen

Re: Some opinions on these different VST sounds? - 10/30/12 11:48 PM

so weird how ears work, B seemed to have the best sample to my ears but the mix wasnt that great, C was almost identical to B except that it was a little more forward in the mix or just a bit louder, the bass sounded a hint better with C that might be the loudness though, the mids, highs and resonance seemed subpar though, with how similar c and b were i almost wonder if those were the 2 imperfect samples but A was the worst to me as well, by quite a bit. I vote for B. I think if you mixed them a bit better you would like all three.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Some opinions on these different VST sounds? - 10/31/12 12:36 PM

They all sound ok to me in this example. Different, for sure, but none of them sounds bad to me.

B seems to be missing some dynamics, but it probably has to do with the velocity curve you are using and should be fixable. Sounds like low velocities are being triggered but the volume on them is turned up. A is a bit raw and close. I guess I agree with anotherscott and bfb. C works best, though it it just a hair distant. Possibly it is the one you were using when you played this?
Posted by: Allan W.

Re: Some opinions on these different VST sounds? - 10/31/12 03:25 PM

Thanks for the input!

A is Imperfect Samples Steinway
B is Imperfect Samples Fazioli
C is Ivory II American Concert D

I do enjoy the tone of B although it sounds pretty muffled. In my recording I mix 50% from the mic perspectives player (main) and 50% from close-mic. If I only use the player perspective then it's even more muffled sounding. Also, the dynamics are disappointing. The low velocity samples are not lower in volume, but instead are more muffled sounding. I don't think it's a matter of velocity curves, because the instrument receives the low velocities, it's just the samples themselves. Maybe I can do something to lower the volume of it myself but that's a lot of effort...

I like C the best because of the dynamics and clear tone but I agree it sounds a bit "thin" -- even though I'm using the preset called "Close".

I haven't actually played a concert grand piano before so I don't know how the dynamic range should be.. but I'm fairly certain it should be closer to C than B.

I played through B because the Imperfect Samples pedalling has a different feel from the Ivory. If I pedal with Ivory then a lot of notes will be dropped in the Imperfect Sample recordings.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Some opinions on these different VST sounds? - 11/01/12 03:20 AM

Yeah, it's not surprising that Ivory comes out on top (at least in my view). Ivory is a premium product with a lot of time and experience in the market. And American D is it's latest and greatest. Imperfect samples has some impressive stats but I just don't think it has the reputation.

The American D didn't sound thin to me, but it was a bit distant. I wonder if that's the same thing. I have to say I have never described a piano as thin because I have a hard time imagining what thin sounds like.

I'm actually very surprised that Fazioli is the muffled one. Usually Fazioli recordings are clear as a bell...perhaps even to the point of harshness. I wonder what ghetto microphone they were using in the recording session...

Just for our information, which one were you playing when you recorded the MIDI (if any)? That one will have an advantage in a comparative test.

Too bad you didn't have Vintage D in there. I would have liked to have had a blind test to see if I would prefer it over that American D. Still having a hard time believing the people who own it and prefer it to Vin D.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Some opinions on these different VST sounds? - 11/01/12 07:39 AM

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Usually Fazioli recordings are clear as a bell...perhaps even to the point of harshness. I wonder what ghetto microphone they were using in the recording session...


Fazioli's don't exactly grow on trees - it would be quite strange if, having arranged access to one, that they didn't use very high quality microphones......

Greg.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Some opinions on these different VST sounds? - 11/01/12 08:54 AM

Originally Posted By: sullivang
Fazioli's don't exactly grow on trees - it would be quite strange if, having arranged access to one, that they didn't use very high quality microphones......

Greg.

Or the opposite... "Holy $#!+, we unexpectedly have access to a Fazioli! Quick, find whatever mics you can!" ;-)

But really, I doubt having access to good mics is an issue. (I also don't know if Faziolis are necessarily hard to come by where Imperfect is located...?)
Posted by: mrfancypants

Re: Some opinions on these different VST sounds? - 11/01/12 09:15 AM

Interesting comparison.

Does one of you know how Ivory 2 Grand Pianos compares to the American D? Is there a difference in quality of the methods they use or does the price difference arise simply from the number of sampled pianos?

I also would be interested in a comparison between VST sonds and the sounds of digital pianos in the US$ 1200 price range if anyone happens to know.
Posted by: chrisbell

Re: Some opinions on these different VST sounds? - 11/01/12 09:34 AM

C is definitely the best.
Posted by: 36251

Re: Some opinions on these different VST sounds? - 11/01/12 10:22 AM

Originally Posted By: mrfancypants
Interesting comparison.

Does one of you know how Ivory 2 Grand Pianos compares to the American D? Is there a difference in quality of the methods they use or does the price difference arise simply from the number of sampled pianos?

I also would be interested in a comparison between VST sonds and the sounds of digital pianos in the US$ 1200 price range if anyone happens to know.
Most of the better VST pianos are far superior to any DP internal sound.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Some opinions on these different VST sounds? - 11/01/12 05:45 PM

Originally Posted By: anotherscott

Or the opposite... "Holy $#!+, we unexpectedly have access to a Fazioli! Quick, find whatever mics you can!" ;-)


Funny you should say that, because I'm sure I read somewhere that this is precisely what happened when the East West team sampled the Fazioli for Goliath. ;^) It was at some event, and they had to work very quickly to take the samples. (it's not in the same universe as the Imperfect Samples product, though, in terms of sampling depth & mic perspectives etc - the Goliath instrument is just a quick & dirty effort in comparison, I think)

Quote:
But really, I doubt having access to good mics is an issue.


Perhaps the choice of mic has made a difference, but it just seemed very strange to refer to the mics as "ghetto mics", as if they didn't take any care whatsoever.

Greg.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Some opinions on these different VST sounds? - 11/01/12 08:03 PM

Originally Posted By: mrfancypants
Does one of you know how Ivory 2 Grand Pianos compares to the American D? Is there a difference in quality of the methods they use or does the price difference arise simply from the number of sampled pianos?


It's the same basic technology. The main suite is the original and they have since added Italian Grand and now the brand new American Grand. Each time they up the ante just a hair (number of layers, etc.). I would say that Ivory 2 is more expensive because it is several pianos. Individually (if they were sold that way) they would be the same price or cheaper than the American D. I'm not sure whether the improvements in technology between Ivory II and American Grand are significant. My guess is that they are not. At the end of the day, the difference between the pianos in Ivory II and in American D have mostly to do with the original acoustics from which the are sampled.

Originally Posted By: mrfancypants
I also would be interested in a comparison between VST sonds and the sounds of digital pianos in the US$ 1200 price range if anyone happens to know.


The VST's absolutely blow the digital pianos away, even in the ranges far above $1200. High quality VST's still sound convincing under very close scrutiny with high quality headphones. That's not remotely true for even the very highest quality DP's in my experience.
Posted by: Allan W.

Re: Some opinions on these different VST sounds? - 11/02/12 09:56 AM

I've spent way too much money on VST's on my poor student budget... can someone with the Galaxy Vintage D upload it based on the MIDI? I might upload the three Ivory II Grand Piano sounds too.

I recorded using sound B, btw, due to the pedaling differences I mentioned above.

Another disappointing thing about the Imperfect Samples Favioli -- the VST doesn't come with half pedaling or sympathetic resonance.. and this is the $200 "Complete" edition. I've emailed their support line twice but haven't received a response in a week...

I purchased it based on that large thread recently where I thought someone said it was included. The "Walnut Grand" Steinway (sound A) has the sympathetic resonance features though.

Anyway, I wonder if there's a way to fix up the dynamics of sound B, because I like the tone a lot. The nice thing is that the samples are given as raw .WAV files to use with Kontakt, but I don't have any experience with it.
Posted by: Qbert

Re: Some opinions on these different VST sounds? - 11/03/12 11:49 AM

Here it is:

http://snd.sc/YAPkGp
Posted by: 36251

Re: Some opinions on these different VST sounds? - 11/03/12 12:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Qbert
I guess I'm bias, but I think Vintage D is the best sounding. Then take into consideration its price and no need for ilok, what else is there to know?
Posted by: Allan W.

Re: Some opinions on these different VST sounds? - 11/03/12 01:21 PM

Wow, I like it too. I just ordered it...
Posted by: eulerdisk

Re: Some opinions on these different VST sounds? - 02/01/13 06:48 AM

Originally Posted By: Allan W.

Anyway, I wonder if there's a way to fix up the dynamics of sound B, because I like the tone a lot. The nice thing is that the samples are given as raw .WAV files to use with Kontakt, but I don't have any experience with it.


Hi.

I think your problems with dynamics is that IS Fazioli doesn't have Velocity->Volume modulator by default. Without that all velocities have the same volume.
Check section 25.4 "External Sources" of the Kontakt manual to understand what I'am talking about.


Try with this.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/59385943/besaid__fazioli_p2__vel_modulator_100_percent.wav

This is Fazioli P2 perspective with a Velocity->Volume modulator at 100%.
Posted by: EO3

Re: Some opinions on these different VST sounds? - 02/01/13 09:06 AM

I think we can all agree that Vintage D is the king, period. smile