Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound

Posted by: HisKidd

Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 01/24/14 01:12 PM

Here is the link for the new virtual piano introduced this week at NAMM:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LNSWORhW-o

Play On!
Posted by: kippesc

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 01/24/14 01:26 PM

Sounds good. Would love to see something on the specs and the price.
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 01/24/14 09:09 PM

I imagine the specs and the price will be similiar to the other pianos offered by VI Labs.
http://vilabsaudio.com/

I personally think they should offer a special introductory price for anyone who pre-orders.
Posted by: Thomas B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 01/28/14 04:14 PM

Anyone noticed the muted notes feature assigned to MIDI CC 70 on the screenshot:



What's behind that?

Will we finally be able to play Dodge the Dodo and the like on a virtual piano wink !?!?

Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/01/14 02:51 AM

The pre-order page is up, and they ARE doing a pre-order discount. I already have their American and Italian Grand, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to pre-order this too as I'm going to buy it eventually anyways.

http://vilabsaudio.com/Ravenscroft-By-VI-Labs

Check out Ruslan Sirota playing it at NAMM. Sounds great!


Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/01/14 03:01 AM

Goodness me, this chap can play!
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/01/14 03:09 AM

Indeed!

And what a great way to grab demos for your product (having some pros at NAMM play it for you).
Posted by: kapelli

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/01/14 05:43 AM

Nice style mix, I want to play like him.
Who can teach me this? laugh

Brief from wiki:
By the age of 16, he was the "wunderkind" keyboardist for the then-popular Israeli jazz fusion band, "Confusion". With Confusion, he toured Israel and made several appearances at the Red Sea Jazz Festival.[3]
At 18, Ruslan auditioned for the Berklee College of Music, where he received full tuition scholarship, and moved to Boston in January 2000. During his studies at Berklee, Ruslan displayed growing interest in R&B, funk and soul music, playing with local artists and eventually becoming the resident keyboardist in a club called "Wally's Jazz Café".[3] Circa 2004, Ruslan joined the Stanley Clarke band[4][5] and moved to Los Angeles, thus marking the beginning of his professional career.[6][7][8]
Since then, Ruslan has been touring, performing and recording with major artists (in addition to Clarke), such as Seal, Josh Groban, Ne-Yo, Chick Corea, Eric Benét, Marcus Miller, Dennis Chambers, Rachelle Ferrell, Diane Warren, Los Angeles Philharmonic and countless others. Ruslan released his self-titled debut album, featuring Clarke, Corea and George Duke as special guests, on October 24, 2011.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/01/14 05:45 AM

Sounds great overall, but the middle registers sound a bit bright & harsh to me. I like bright, but a "silvery" bright - not a harsh bright. But, this problem goes away when I listen on cheapie headpones. What a fantastic demo though.

Just as an aside, it seems to me that real grand pianos have a rather slow release in the very low notes, making that "twang" sound as the dampers come to rest on the strings, and I hate that sound - I like crisp releases. I like the fact that this can be dialled out on emulated pianos. (I haven't noticed the twang in this demo)

Greg.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/01/14 07:51 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Goodness me, this chap can play!


No question.

He might need a little help with his hair, though.
Posted by: Thomas B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/01/14 08:26 AM

Great playing by Ruslan Sirota indeed! The two recordings (Yesterday and "Nearness of You") on VI Labs' website also give a nice impression on the sound with fewer notes per minute smile

However, still no indications regarding the new features "muted notes" and "silent strike"...
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/01/14 08:38 AM

Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Goodness me, this chap can play!


No question.

He might need a little help with his hair, though.

Agreed - he's no Franz Liszt!

Sounds great! Will Kawai be working on a velocity curve for VI Labs?
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/01/14 11:10 AM

As the OP for this thread, I posted because I am interested in purchasing the Ravenscroft software. Before doing that though, I would love to hear from somone in the forums who has actually purchased the product, and can give us an honest evaluation. I realize that this may require some time and patience, and I am willing to wait for that evaluation. I noticed in the demo the VST was paired with the VPC1. I would be interested in hearing from users how it performs when paired with keyboards other than the VPC1. The pre-release promotion was well done, and the screen shots look amazing. I'm waiting for one of you to tell me, "I've played, I like it, here's why; or I've played it and here are the issues I have." Thanks in advance…
H.K.
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/01/14 04:24 PM

Originally Posted By: Thomas B

However, still no indications regarding the new features "muted notes" and "silent strike"...


They're working on it:
"The Ravenscroft also added new features such as Silent Strikes and Muted Notes. We’ll demo these features in an upcoming video."
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/01/14 04:26 PM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
As the OP for this thread, I posted because I am interested in purchasing the Ravenscroft software. Before doing that though, I would love to hear from somone in the forums who has actually purchased the product, and can give us an honest evaluation. I realize that this may require some time and patience, and I am willing to wait for that evaluation. I noticed in the demo the VST was paired with the VPC1. I would be interested in hearing from users how it performs when paired with keyboards other than the VPC1. The pre-release promotion was well done, and the screen shots look amazing. I'm waiting for one of you to tell me, "I've played, I like it, here's why; or I've played it and here are the issues I have." Thanks in advance…
H.K.


The product hasn't been released yet, so you'll have to wait until around February 14th for impressions.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/01/14 04:42 PM


Quote:


The product hasn't been released yet, so you'll have to wait until around February 14th for impressions.


Chicolm, because I have been following the release of Ravenscroft religiously… I wrote this line in my prior post: "I realize this may take some time and patience, and I am willing to wait for that evaluation."

Hearing a demo by VI labs may be different from someone who has "hands on" experience with the new VST. I'll wait patiently to hear the forum evaluations, but do wish to encourage anyone who buys and tries to let us know what you think!

Cheers!
Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/02/14 10:35 AM

Wow, very impressive playing! I'll also be curious to opinions on this software, and how it compares to Pianoteq and Galaxy.
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/02/14 02:36 PM

Originally Posted By: Chrisl
Wow, very impressive playing! I'll also be curious to opinions on this software, and how it compares to Pianoteq and Galaxy.


... and Ivory II.
Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/02/14 11:19 PM

Originally Posted By: AZ_Astro
Originally Posted By: Chrisl
Wow, very impressive playing! I'll also be curious to opinions on this software, and how it compares to Pianoteq and Galaxy.


... and Ivory II.


I'll throw that one in too. This is kind of like buying a piano by shopping on how it sounds to you and an emotional connection.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/03/14 12:19 AM

Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Will Kawai be working on a velocity curve for VI Labs?


I gather that we are in talks with a number of different software piano developers to prepare touch curves for new and existing packages. However, I'm afraid I cannot provide any concrete details at this moment.

I expect we will make any such announcement via the kawaivpc.com website and VPC facebook page (which is a great source for other VPC news by the way wink [/plug]) in due course.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: o0Ampy0o

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/03/14 12:42 AM

Originally Posted By: chicolom
The pre-order page is up, and they ARE doing a pre-order discount. I already have their American and Italian Grand, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to pre-order this too as I'm going to buy it eventually anyways.

http://vilabsaudio.com/Ravenscroft-By-VI-Labs

Check out Ruslan Sirota playing it at NAMM. Sounds great!



Agree this man is a virtuoso. But the piano sounds more like an electric acoustic than acoustic which I expect it is intended to do. I am surprised no one has mentioned it. I don't know enough about piano to pinpoint and describe it exactly but something about the sustain and tone is unnatural to my mind and ears. Maybe it is just what YouTube has done to the audio.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/03/14 10:47 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
I gather that we are in talks with a number of different software piano developers to prepare touch curves for new and existing packages.


Awesome! This is along the lines of what I was hoping would happen. There should be a database of professionally prepared velocity curves from which you can download the ones you need and stuff them into your VPC1.
Posted by: phrygian

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/05/14 05:16 PM

Wondering if anyone is currently using Pianoteq- that's the software I use- upon first listen, it sounds to me that Ravenscroft is better. Would love to know what anyone else who uses Pianoteq thinks as a comparison

thanks
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/05/14 05:32 PM

I have used the demo version of Pianoteq 4.5 and ViLabs' Pianos (I have Truekeys American, and Ravenscroft seems even better), or Synthogy's ones (just bought American Concert D), have a much more realistic sound....
Posted by: Macy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/05/14 05:53 PM

Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
I have used the demo version of Pianoteq 4.5 and ViLabs' Pianos (I have Truekeys American, and Ravenscroft seems even better), or Synthogy's ones (just bought American Concert D), have a much more realistic sound....


I have used the demo version of Pianoteq 4.5 and X (any sampled piano) or Y (any other sampled piano) have a much more realistic sound ....
Posted by: phrygian

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/05/14 05:58 PM

So for recording purposes, you'd go with Ravenscroft over Pianoteq hands down?

thanks
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/05/14 06:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Macy
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
I have used the demo version of Pianoteq 4.5 and ViLabs' Pianos (I have Truekeys American, and Ravenscroft seems even better), or Synthogy's ones (just bought American Concert D), have a much more realistic sound....


I have used the demo version of Pianoteq 4.5 and X (any sampled piano) or Y (any other sampled piano) have a much more realistic sound ....


Sure Macy, Pianoteq is probably less realistic than any decent sampled piano, but I would not use "much" for any of them, I have come across some relatively poor sampled piano as well...
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/05/14 06:15 PM

Originally Posted By: phrygian
So for recording purposes, you'd go with Ravenscroft over Pianoteq hands down?

thanks


I don't know if it's better than Ivory II American Concert D, but over Pianoteq yes, hands down...
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/06/14 08:02 AM

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 ?).

I don't know how much this matters, i.e. if interpolation adequately covers the "gaps", whether or not it is true, if it would be a deal breaker, etc.
It might just be a competitive specsmanship thing (-:

The pre-release discount is $50, when I told them that I don't have their other 3 pianos they said I could get another $50 off in a 4-for deal, i.e. $450 for all 4.

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 somehow "paid" 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.


Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/06/14 10:40 AM

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.
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/06/14 11:00 AM

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...
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/06/14 11:12 AM

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?
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/06/14 11:35 AM

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.
Posted by: Audiofreak

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/06/14 02:15 PM

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.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/06/14 04:54 PM

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?
Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/06/14 05:09 PM

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?
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/06/14 09:42 PM

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.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/06/14 10:12 PM

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?
Posted by: Audiofreak

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/06/14 10:32 PM

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!
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/07/14 02:44 AM

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.

Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/07/14 06:54 AM

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
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/07/14 07:58 AM

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...)
Posted by: Audiofreak

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/07/14 09:58 AM

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!
Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/07/14 10:52 AM

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
Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/07/14 11:01 AM

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.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/07/14 11:22 AM

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!
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/07/14 12:18 PM

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 ?
Posted by: Audiofreak

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/07/14 03:52 PM

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.
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/07/14 05:24 PM

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

Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/07/14 05:30 PM

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.
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/07/14 05:59 PM

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
Posted by: toddy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/07/14 06:15 PM

Very informative video, AZ Astro, thanks! ......one a YEAR???!!!
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/07/14 06:39 PM

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?)
Posted by: Macy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/07/14 10:43 PM

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.
Posted by: Audiofreak

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/08/14 01:44 AM

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.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/08/14 07:48 AM

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.
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/08/14 09:20 AM

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.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/08/14 09:21 AM

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!
Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/08/14 12:05 PM

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
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/08/14 02:27 PM

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!
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/08/14 11:21 PM

I pre-ordered the Ravenscroft a few days ago, and I'm looking forward to it.

I already have the VI Labs American grand (Steinway D) and Italian Grand (Fazioli F308), and I'm pleased with them and find them nicely playable. I also have a handful of other virtual pianos, including the Galaxy Vintage D, but I prefer using the VI labs pianos. The Vintage D has always sounded a bit artificial and unrealistic to me in a few areas. The tone in the middle register sounds a bit sterile and overly uniform/clean to me, making it sound strangely artificial and digital. Something about the attack also sounds a off to me, and the resonance can occasionally sounds a bit synthetic.

I think I prefer the multiple mic perspective route over the single mic perspective with extra velocity layers. I almost bought the Ivory American D a few times, but I could never pull the trigger as the single mic perspective they chose always sounded a bit distant and sterile to me - like your listening to a recording of a piano instead of actually sitting in front of one playing it. The mic perspectives that VI Labs uses do a better job at capturing that sitting-at-the-piano feeling for me, and you pick up more little things like hammer attack and as a result I get more drawn into the playing (and end up playing longer). I can hear more of the piano's character and it plays more smoothly and lyrically from note-to-note for me. On the Ivory and Vintage D, I find some notes can sound good isolated on their own, but can sound a little artificially detached from one another during playing, for whatever reason. Overall I do think the Ivory D sound better than the Vintage D, but I think the Ravenscroft sounds better than both.

I think VI Labs does a good job with release samples. They sound better to me than on the Vintage D. Releases samples are very important as they allow the piano to still sound believable when playing short/staccato notes. This is where most onboard DP sounds fail miserably, and you need to use a lot of pedal in order to hide the "digital". Even some software pianos have trouble getting it to sound right. With the VI Labs' pianos and I find I can get away with playing a bit more "naked" and exposed (without the pedal covering things up) and still have it come out sounding pretty good.

When it comes time to pedal, their pianos support all the latest pedal techniques (half-pedal, re-pedal, una corda, sostenuto). The use of real half-pedal and pedal resonance samples (as opposed to simulated) is an interesting one, although I can't comment too much on them as I don't listen to them isolated off from all the other samples. The bottom line for me though is that I find the pedals to behave pretty realistically in-use, and I don't get distracted or pulled out of playing because the pedals did something abnormal compared to what a real piano would do. Anyone who has used digital pianos for a while knows the feeling when your playing along and suddenly the damper pedal cuts the sound off in a place where it shouldn't have (or sustains when it shouldn't have), and you pause for a moment with a confused look on your face...

As for the sound of the VI labs pianos themselves, I find the American Grand to sound pretty even and inoffensive across the scale and with a bit of that "american" warmth and intimacy. It's probably the most versatile sounding grand out of the "True Keys" package, and it's currently my go-to piano. It might be slightly too mellow at fff and ppp volumes, and some of the lowest bass notes on the American sound a little bit twangy. The Italian grand has a greater dynamic range, and the bass sounds very powerful and clean (as it should on a 10' piano!). It also has a particularly nice sounding una corda, perhaps the best I've heard in a software piano. The piano has a glass-like purity and brilliance to it - perhaps too brilliant as it can sound a little thin, bright, and even a bit strident at times in some of the upper registers. This can be alleviated some by tweaking the controls.

The Ravenscroft sounds like it falls somewhere in between the two, having better bass, dynamics, and clarity than the American grand, but sounding warmer and less brilliant than the Italian grand. This isn't too surprising, given that the actual Ravenscroft pianos strive to combine some of best the traits of American and European grands into a single piano. It's sort of a "best of" sound, which should hopefully make it nice and versatile. On top of that it has a some new technical perks, like more velocity layers, an extra perspective, and a few more controls to the interface. VI labs' overall sampling/recording process sounds (to my ears) like it has improved a little for the Ravenscroft. I think dialing in a bit of the new "room" mic perspective will add some nice depth and dimensionality to the sound. I'm not sure yet how the "silent strike" and "muted note" features are going to work, but we'll find out soon enough.

I expect the Ravenscroft to be my default go-to piano for the near future.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/09/14 10:38 AM

Originally Posted By: Audiofreak
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.
...
I was there when Myron McKinley of Earth, Wind & Fire sat down at the controller and began to play ... He knew it had been doctored because he had played the stock VPC1 and he said there was no comparison.

It sounds like the doctoring was more than just a customized velocity curve. I wonder if they might release the information/instructions on how they doctored the VPC1. While it might be warranty-voiding, it would be really interesting to know, for someone who bought this VI, how someone could hook it up with the controller configured in such a way that they felt it best duplicated the response/feel of the original acoustic.
Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/09/14 11:11 AM

chicolom, Thanks for sharing your experiences with the various software. I too bite the bullet and prepaid yesterday. I really enjoyed the audio samples just posted. And I was curious about their other products. I guess the German grand was just too warm for your tastes?
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/09/14 12:21 PM

I'd love to know how to doctor a DP to make it almost perfectly match a grand. Count me in!
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/09/14 04:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Chrisl
chicolom, Thanks for sharing your experiences with the various software. I too bite the bullet and prepaid yesterday. I really enjoyed the audio samples just posted. And I was curious about their other products. I guess the German grand was just too warm for your tastes?


You're welcome.

And yeah, when looking at True Keys I preferred the demos for the American and Italian and I found something about the German grand to sound a bit too dark or mellow, so I held off on that one.

Originally Posted By: anotherscott
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.


Maybe Kawai should hire Michael Spreeman to help design the VPC2. wink
Posted by: o0Ampy0o

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/09/14 05:16 PM

Originally Posted By: anotherscott
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!

Excellent points and very eloquently stated Anotherscott.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/09/14 10:14 PM

Just to speculate for the FUN of it;
I'm wondering if the VPC-1 had what racing mechanics call a "Blue print job" done on it.
i.e. nothing radical, just dis assembly, careful measuring and matching of parts, perhaps a little "easing" of any slightly stiff parts, careful reassembly, etc.

I had a rubics cube that I took apart DECADES ago so that I could SPEED solve it in one hand.
Removed all molding flash, then 600 grit paper on all the sliding surfaces.
A tiny bit sloppy, but SO FAST !
Posted by: o0Ampy0o

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/10/14 12:50 AM

Michael Spreeman builds extremely fine pianos so the customization could have been well beyond anything a layman could duplicate.

Still, it would be interesting to know exactly what was done.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/10/14 04:52 AM

have never played, and know next to nothing about SW pianos.
I am fascinated by them though. and am thinking about taking the plunge, and getting the VI Labs Ravenscroft.

this is pleasant, not sure if y'all saw this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WEsL4Lpmas
Posted by: peterws

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/10/14 06:15 AM

WHAT have they got in their heads? Love to play like that . . . I reckon whatever they played on would sound good. Music of the city, I call it. Wonderful stuff!
Posted by: toddy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/10/14 06:46 AM

Urban cool, eh? So What!
Posted by: Psychonaut

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/10/14 11:50 AM

Originally Posted By: R_B

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 somehow "paid" 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.


Yup. Personally, I just don't buy from developers who use draconian hardware copy protection. The Native Instruments challenge-response style is as far as I'm willing to go. VI Labs clearly makes some great stuff, and I just want to go on record as saying they will most likely have another customer if they ever decide to reassess their iLok-based CP schemes.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/10/14 01:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Psychonaut
Originally Posted By: R_B

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 somehow "paid" 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.


Yup. Personally, I just don't buy from developers who use draconian hardware copy protection. The Native Instruments challenge-response style is as far as I'm willing to go. VI Labs clearly makes some great stuff, and I just want to go on record as saying they will most likely have another customer if they ever decide to reassess their iLok-based CP schemes.


Please read their web site CAREFULLY on this, they say they can authorize it on your hard drive, which I took to mean the challenge/response thing similar to NI and Modarrt(Pianoteq) .
(maybe it is "Modartt")

As I said earlier, I move around a LOT between PC, Linux and Mac, both physical and virtual, so that may not work for me.
I am not convinced that a dongle would merely "pass through" as a virtual USB device.

In any case I have decided that there are better spending opportunities for $150 (for ME) to improve my end result - lesson, master class, etc.
Heck, even METHOD BOOKS & CDs/DVDs laugh
Posted by: xorbe

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/10/14 02:32 PM

I would like to try this one (or imperfect fazioli). I have uber PCs stacked to the ceiling. What do I need exactly to get going? One copy of this software, and some sort of USB thingy?
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/10/14 03:30 PM

Originally Posted By: xorbe
I would like to try this one (or imperfect fazioli). I have uber PCs stacked to the ceiling. What do I need exactly to get going? One copy of this software, and some sort of USB thingy?


I would not start with this one.

I would start with the FREE Pianoteq software just to get your feet wet.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/10/14 03:35 PM

Originally Posted By: Psychonaut
Yup. Personally, I just don't buy from developers who use draconian hardware copy protection. The Native Instruments challenge-response style is as far as I'm willing to go. VI Labs clearly makes some great stuff, and I just want to go on record as saying they will most likely have another customer if they ever decide to reassess their iLok-based CP schemes.


I agree, though they finally recently relented and allowed authorization to the hard drive instead of a physical ilok, which is a step better. Though if your hard drive goes down apparently you still need to call them to work it out or something.

Synthogy, on the other hand, won't budge on the issue, which is why they are still not on my list of possibilities.
Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/10/14 04:10 PM

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Originally Posted By: Psychonaut
Yup. Personally, I just don't buy from developers who use draconian hardware copy protection. The Native Instruments challenge-response style is as far as I'm willing to go. VI Labs clearly makes some great stuff, and I just want to go on record as saying they will most likely have another customer if they ever decide to reassess their iLok-based CP schemes.


I agree, though they finally recently relented and allowed authorization to the hard drive instead of a physical ilok, which is a step better. Though if your hard drive goes down apparently you still need to call them to work it out or something.

Synthogy, on the other hand, won't budge on the issue, which is why they are still not on my list of possibilities.


Funny, ditto. I sent them an email too letting them know I won't be buying their software with iLok. No reply lol
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/10/14 05:49 PM

Originally Posted By: xorbe
I would like to try this one (or imperfect fazioli). I have uber PCs stacked to the ceiling. What do I need exactly to get going? One copy of this software, and some sort of USB thingy?


there's a video on their website. 19 minutes long.
just watched it. you need to jump through some hoops.
I think you just need to download a TK piano, have an iLok and an iLok account, download iLok license manager, download the UVI Workstation. register....minimal configuring for starters.
its quite a good instructional video. the guy takes his time and explains the steps good.
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/10/14 06:26 PM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman

I think you just need to download a TK piano, have an iLok and an iLok account, download iLok license manager, download the UVI Workstation. register....minimal configuring for starters.
its quite a good instructional video. the guy takes his time and explains the steps good.


You don't need an iLok, so no need to buy one if you don't have it already, you can authorize to your PC with Ilok lincence manager
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/10/14 06:50 PM

Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
Originally Posted By: minstrelman

I think you just need to download a TK piano, have an iLok and an iLok account, download iLok license manager, download the UVI Workstation. register....minimal configuring for starters.
its quite a good instructional video. the guy takes his time and explains the steps good.


You don't need an iLok, so no need to buy one if you don't have it already, you can authorize to your PC with Ilok lincence manager


thank you for the correction.
I do have an iLok for like 1 plug in. I got it a couple years ago.
can you advise me on whether or not to even use it, now when I get Ravenscroft, please?
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/10/14 07:13 PM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
Originally Posted By: minstrelman

I think you just need to download a TK piano, have an iLok and an iLok account, download iLok license manager, download the UVI Workstation. register....minimal configuring for starters.
its quite a good instructional video. the guy takes his time and explains the steps good.


You don't need an iLok, so no need to buy one if you don't have it already, you can authorize to your PC with Ilok lincence manager


thank you for the correction.
I do have an iLok for like 1 plug in. I got it a couple years ago.
can you advise me on whether or not to even use it, now when I get Ravenscroft, please?


My advice is to put the licence in your pc. At any time you can move the licence from the pc to the iLok and back to the pc. Or from one pc to another (but not 2 at the same time) without iLok (just deactivate on one and activate on the other). I personnaly only use my iLok for Synthogy not for True Keys.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/10/14 07:21 PM

thanks alot.
pretty psyched to check out Ravenscroft.
how do you like TK American?
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/10/14 08:03 PM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
thanks alot.
pretty psyched to check out Ravenscroft.
how do you like TK American?


I'd say it's superior to most of my pianos, except maybe Ivory II, I am still comparing them (I only received American D today and have been playing with my friend's other Ivory 2, including the Italian for some time now). I cannot say what I prefer in Ivory II, they both sound great, but it seems somehow more playable. But I'll keep comparing them over the next days (also trying other mic position) and will report my impressions. As for Ravenscroft, I am tempted, but the SSDs of my 2 PCs are almost full (only 15-20 GB left) so I would have to buy a new pc first (I don't install such pianos on 5400 rpm HDDs, you need an SDD to get the best out of pianos like Ivory II or TK....)
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/10/14 08:26 PM

cool. I would love to try them all. I am especially tempted to check out (get) the American D.
I have this model external hard drive:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Seagate-FreeAgen...=item338a123cf1

it is not SDD. but it is 7200 rpm. do you think it will work ok with Ravenscroft?
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/10/14 08:38 PM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
cool. I would love to try them all. I am especially tempted to check out (get) the American D.
I have this model external hard drive:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Seagate-FreeAgen...=item338a123cf1

it is not SDD. but it is 7200 rpm. do you think it will work ok with Ravenscroft?


It would be interesting to test its speed. You can do a disk speed test with this free software and let me know how fast is your disk http://crystalmark.info/software/CrystalDiskMark/index-e.html
Just to give you an idea my HDD is around 70 MB/s while my SSD is almost 500... My external USB Sandisk Extreme 64GB is 260 MB/s and it works fine with pianos...

I'll probably reply tomorrow as I am going to bed, it's 2.35am here in Europe now...
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/10/14 08:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
I don't install such pianos on 5400 rpm HDDs, you need an SDD to get the best out of pianos like Ivory II or TK



Well, I hope you are wrong about that.

I am running with a 7200 rpm HD, Intel I7 3.40 GHz processor, 8 GB of RAM. I installed True Keys American Grand and it seems to be fine.

I have heard that the Ivory II product may need more resources.

Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/10/14 09:05 PM

Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
I don't install such pianos on 5400 rpm HDDs, you need an SDD to get the best out of pianos like Ivory II or TK



Well, I hope you are wrong about that.

I am running with a 7200 rpm HD, Intel I7 3.40 GHz processor, 8 GB of RAM. I installed True Keys American Grand and it seems to be fine.

I have heard that the Ivory II product may need more resources.



With a 7200 rpm HD and these specs you should be fine, my True keys is running on a similar pc except with SSD. I will test in the 5400 rpm HD of my other pc (I7, 16GB of RAM) to see if it works fine. I may do the same with American D just to compare. However I have heard you lose polyphony etc. if you disk is not fast enough (not to mention that True Keys would take ages to load on a 5400 rpm HD I guess...)
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/10/14 09:05 PM

Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
Originally Posted By: minstrelman
cool. I would love to try them all. I am especially tempted to check out (get) the American D.
I have this model external hard drive:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Seagate-FreeAgen...=item338a123cf1

it is not SDD. but it is 7200 rpm. do you think it will work ok with Ravenscroft?


It would be interesting to test its speed. You can do a disk speed test with this free software and let me know how fast is your disk http://crystalmark.info/software/CrystalDiskMark/index-e.html
Just to give you an idea my HDD is around 70 MB/s while my SSD is almost 500... My external USB Sandisk Extreme 64GB is 260 MB/s and it works fine with pianos...

I'll probably reply tomorrow as I am going to bed, it's 2.35am here in Europe now...


roger all of that. thank you. have a good night's sleep. I'm about ready to faint from lack of sleep.
do you mean that I could run True Keys Ravenscroft on a 64GB Sandisk Extreme thumb drive, instead of my external HDD?
would that be better?
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/10/14 09:07 PM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
Originally Posted By: minstrelman
cool. I would love to try them all. I am especially tempted to check out (get) the American D.
I have this model external hard drive:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Seagate-FreeAgen...=item338a123cf1

it is not SDD. but it is 7200 rpm. do you think it will work ok with Ravenscroft?


It would be interesting to test its speed. You can do a disk speed test with this free software and let me know how fast is your disk http://crystalmark.info/software/CrystalDiskMark/index-e.html
Just to give you an idea my HDD is around 70 MB/s while my SSD is almost 500... My external USB Sandisk Extreme 64GB is 260 MB/s and it works fine with pianos...

I'll probably reply tomorrow as I am going to bed, it's 2.35am here in Europe now...


roger all of that. thank you. have a good night's sleep. I'm about ready to faint from lack of sleep.
do you mean that I could run True Keys Ravenscroft on a 64GB Sandisk Extreme thumb drive, instead of my external HDD?
would that be better?


Sure, provided you have UBS 3.0 on your pc (and better if it's recent). My smaller pc has UBS 3.0 but it runs at 135 MB/s while in my most recent pc it runs at full potential, I don't know why....
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/10/14 09:10 PM

hey Don, I am obviously way uneducated on all this.
but I did talk to Ivory a couple weeks ago. the friendly dude did mention about 7200 rpm HD and usb 3.0.
today I talked briefly with VI Labs. the guy said that if I used a 5200 rpm HD, I might have pedalling troubles. I said what if I only need the sustain. he said then probably be all right (this is the best I can recall the conversation).
something about when you turn things off, less processing power needed.
he also compared having 7200 rpm to 5200 rpm, as being like having a 12 lane highway, as compared to a 6 lane highway.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/10/14 09:15 PM

thank you.
my sony vaio laptop has a usb 3.0 jack. but only an i5, with 6GB of ram and 5200 rpm HD.
it gotta be 3 or 4 years old now too.
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 03:23 AM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
thank you.
my sony vaio laptop has a usb 3.0 jack. but only an i5, with 6GB of ram and 5200 rpm HD.
it gotta be 3 or 4 years old now too.


Have you tested the speed of your current external drive with the freeware I linked?
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 08:25 AM

trying to figure out how to make CrystalDisk run a test......thoughts?
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 08:38 AM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
I just tried.
I could not find a way to install the program (Crystaldisk), without it making changes to my computer that are unacceptable (like changing my home page, default search engine.........).
so I didn't do it.
thoughts?


You must have clicked some ad banner or may be taken the sponsored version (open candy). Try this link, it's the portable version
http://sourceforge.jp/projects/crystaldi...se_mirror=jaist

Nothing to istall, just extract the zip and run the exe file (x64 if you have a 64 bit Windows as you probably do).
If you want to make 100% sure it's clean try analyze with https://www.virustotal.com/ (you probably know it, 50 virus scanners together).
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 09:06 AM

figured out install. thank you.
I ran the first option in the file choices (that is to say the next one down from default (random), because that does nothing.........so I ran all 0 x 00 (0 fill)
the boxes at the top of the screen I left at the default settings: 5 and then 1000 MB.

sequential read 32.83MB/s write 22.18 MB/s

random 512k read 22.38 write 21.87

4k read .601 write 1.181

4kQD32 read .659 write 1.180


did I do it right? should I run the other test choice:
(all 0 x FF (1 Fill) ?

what do you think of my external HDD? too slow??
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 09:16 AM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
figured out install. thank you.
I ran the first option in the file choices (that is to say the next one down from default (random), because that does nothing.........so I ran all 0 x 00 (0 fill)
the boxes at the top of the screen I left at the default settings: 5 and then 1000 MB.

sequential read 32.83MB/s write 22.18 MB/s

random 512k read 22.38 write 21.87

4k read .601 write 1.181

4kQD32 read .659 write 1.180


did I do it right? should I run the other test choice:
(all 0 x FF (1 Fill) ?

what do you think of my external HDD? too slow??


Oh yes, it's much slower than a normal 5400 rpm internal HDD, try testing your internal HDD for comparison (always leave the default settings, just change the letter of your drive, choose the one corresponding to your internal drive, e.g. C or D, and click ALL)
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 09:20 AM

ok. thanks a lot. checking it now.
am I doing the right selection by choosing the first one in the drop down menu: all 0 x 00 (0 fill)?

assuming yes.
and I just used the CrystalDisk Standard edition (not the Shizuku). is that alright?

here are the numbers for C drive:

read 89.61 write 88

read 33.17 write 39.4


Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 10:12 AM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
ok. thanks a lot. checking it now.
am I doing the right selection by choosing the first one in the drop down menu: all 0 x 00 (0 fill)?

assuming yes.
and I just used the CrystalDisk Standard edition (not the Shizuku). is that alright?

here are the numbers for C drive:

read 89.61 write 88

read 33.17 write 39.4




Ok, well your HHD is not that bad, and anyway much better than you external drive (the number to look at for piano is the first 89.61). It might be ok, otherwise you could try a sandisk extreme, should be faster than your C drive, but how much depends on your PC, I cannot guarantee, can be 30-50% faster or even 3 times faster... I believe you get best results with Windowa 8, as it has native UBS 3.0.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 10:20 AM

thank you.
my sony vaio, (maybe 4 years old), has an i5, 6 GB of ram, windows 7, and a USB 3.0 jack.

my new HP notebook, has windows 8, 8 GB ram, 4th generation haswell i7, and noooooo USB 3.0 jack.

what to do, what to do?

maybe I'll check the new HP's speed with crystaldisk? does it matter whether I use crystaldisk standard or shizuku, (I used standard before)?
Posted by: Hookxs

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 10:36 AM

Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
(the number to look at for piano is the first 89.61)

Are you positive that sequential read is the crutial parameter? Just asking.
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 10:51 AM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
thank you.
my sony vaio, (maybe 4 years old), has an i5, 6 GB of ram, windows 7, and a USB 3.0 jack.

my new HP notebook, has windows 8, 8 GB ram, 4th generation haswell i7, and noooooo USB 3.0 jack.

what to do, what to do?

maybe I'll check the new HP's speed with crystaldisk? does it matter whether I use crystaldisk standard or shizuku, (I used standard before)?


I use standard, never used the other one....
Check all your disks to find the ebst possible solution with your current hardware. I really cannot explain the diffence with my Sandisk extreme. In my wife's pc, rather low end (I3), but Windows 8 and UBS 3 it is 260 like in my main pc...
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 10:54 AM

Originally Posted By: Hookxs
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
(the number to look at for piano is the first 89.61)

Are you positive that sequential read is the crutial parameter? Just asking.


Depends on the piano, the first parameter is for reading large files, and Truekeys is one large 20 GB file, Ivory is many 2-3 GB files. Now some pianos can have many smaller files but I guess sequential read for large file should be the crucial parameter for most software pianos
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 10:54 AM

awesome. thank you so much for all your awesome help, man.
just pre-ordered Ravenscroft.

I thought I read that Ravenscroft unzips to 38 GB.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 11:05 AM

I think there is a lot more to it than JUST rotational speed.
Read ahead anticipation for sequential reads ?
The whole 'elevator algorithm' for one thing can be be stripped out for SSDs & thumb drives, so DO install any thumb drives on USB or SSD drives AS 'SSDs', not as 'HDDs'.

At a guess de-fragging MIGHT help too.
BTW, there are hybrid drives that have fair sized (8, 16 or 24 Gig) Solid state cache in front of a terabyte of spinning rust.
Replacing a regular hard drive with one of these involves backing up an IMAGE of the old drive and restoring it to the new drive.
That may cause Windoze and other software to believe that it is a bootlegged copy, so things that are licensed to particular hardware profiles may need re authorization.
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 11:19 AM

Originally Posted By: R_B
I think there is a lot more to it than JUST rotational speed.
Read ahead anticipation for sequential reads ?
The whole 'elevator algorithm' for one thing can be be stripped out for SSDs & thumb drives, so DO install any thumb drives on USB or SSD drives AS 'SSDs', not as 'HDDs'.

At a guess de-fragging MIGHT help too.
BTW, there are hybrid drives that have fair sized (8, 16 or 24 Gig) Solid state cache in front of a terabyte of spinning rust.
Replacing a regular hard drive with one of these involves backing up an IMAGE of the old drive and restoring it to the new drive.
That may cause Windoze and other software to believe that it is a bootlegged copy, so things that are licensed to particular hardware profiles may need re authorization.



Not sure I understood everything, maybe my English is not good enough (not my native language), but yes defragging can help with HHD (never defrag an SSD) but Windows Vista, 7 and 8 defrag automatically so no need to manually defrag. As for hybrids, my wife has an hybrid 500 HHD with a 32GB SSD, speed: 90 MB/s, less than an average 7200 rpm HDD...
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 03:12 PM

Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
Originally Posted By: Hookxs
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
(the number to look at for piano is the first 89.61)

Are you positive that sequential read is the crutial parameter? Just asking.


Depends on the piano, the first parameter is for reading large files, and Truekeys is one large 20 GB file, Ivory is many 2-3 GB files. Now some pianos can have many smaller files but I guess sequential read for large file should be the crucial parameter for most software pianos


Even for those products that use a single, large, file, I'm sure they must be organised internally as individual samples of individual notes. This means that the sample player is still doing much the same thing as it would be doing if it were reading from lots of separate sample files. (regardless of whether that single large file happens to be defragged or not).
So, what IS the sample player doing? If you play a single note, and if the sample for that note happens to be stored sequentially on disk, and if nothing else on the system accesses the disk during the playing of that note, the disk access will be sequential. However, as soon as you play more than one note (or use any type of layering - such as an additional microphone perspective), the disk access will no longer be purely sequential - it will jump around from sample to sample as you play.

Both the sequential access related specs AND the access time related specs are relevant. The weighting of each of these specs depends on how much data the sample player reads from an individual sample each time it accesses a sample.

Greg.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 04:31 PM

Originally Posted By: sullivang
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
Originally Posted By: Hookxs
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
(the number to look at for piano is the first 89.61)

Are you positive that sequential read is the crutial parameter? Just asking.


Depends on the piano, the first parameter is for reading large files, and Truekeys is one large 20 GB file, Ivory is many 2-3 GB files. Now some pianos can have many smaller files but I guess sequential read for large file should be the crucial parameter for most software pianos


Even for those products that use a single, large, file, I'm sure they must be organised internally as individual samples of individual notes. This means that the sample player is still doing much the same thing as it would be doing if it were reading from lots of separate sample files. (regardless of whether that single large file happens to be defragged or not).
So, what IS the sample player doing? If you play a single note, and if the sample for that note happens to be stored sequentially on disk, and if nothing else on the system accesses the disk during the playing of that note, the disk access will be sequential. However, as soon as you play more than one note (or use any type of layering - such as an additional microphone perspective), the disk access will no longer be purely sequential - it will jump around from sample to sample as you play.

Both the sequential access related specs AND the access time related specs are relevant. The weighting of each of these specs depends on how much data the sample player reads from an individual sample each time it accesses a sample.

Greg.


Yes, no and maybe.
Small number of large files or large number of small files you can bet the note and its velocity are accessed by indexes (indices ?)

88 files ? I doubt it laugh

It is at least POSSIBLE that there is a MRU algorithm that "remembers" what you last played, the velocities and durations.
It could pre-load a lot of the "beginnings of" the most popular notes, their middle velocities and durations.
Say the middle four octaves and velocities between 30 and 90 (arbitrary, but reasonable) then gets whatever else "on demand", perhaps the other half of quarter notes as required, decay portion of long trailing notes ?
I don't know, but if I had written it I would probably arrange the layout on disc for quick loading of most likely wanted first.

How much of what gets held in RAM disc and when it gets overwritten ? Basically a cache algorithm.
Posted by: xorbe

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 04:42 PM

That's how I wrote my player. The first 250ms are cached in memory, giving the disk time to stream in the remainder. The layout isn't particularly interesting as long as it isn't highly fragmented.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 05:03 PM

R_B: Agreed - the single file may have some benefits, and yes, disk streaming sample players DEFINITLEY pre-load the start of each sample, and yes, they typically do cache the samples as you play as well, as far as I can tell.

I did some testing a while back, and it seems I got about 95 stereo, 48kHz, 24-bit voices, using Kontakt 3.5, hitting it with a large chord, with the cache empty. This is only 27Megabytes/s, which is significantly less than the sequential transfer rate that the disk could sustain. (I think it about 80MB/s max on the outer cylinders). For this somewhat artificial test, defragging DID make a big difference - if I moved many of the samples to the inner cylinders (a long way away, physically, from the outer cylinders = a longer distance for the heads to move), the polyphony dropped to 55 voices. This was using Kontakt's maximum pre-load size of 240k (but that translated into an actual read transfer size of 416kBytes) Kontakt 5 is a bit better than 3.5 though, as far as I can recall. The thread where I bumbled around with all this is: here

EDIT: I just want to stress that I do accept that using a large chord, sustained for a long time, with the file system cache empty, is not all that representative of typical piano playing. It is an absolute worst case test.

Greg.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 06:08 PM

hey gals and guys,

looking for guidance here. I ordered Ravenscroft. should be getting it within a week.
would anyone please comment for me about:
I have a new HP notebook. it does not have a usb 3.0 port.
and the HDD spindle speed is only 5400 rpm.
I am thinking of getting a 64GB Sandisk Extreme usb 3.0 thumb flash drive, to install Ravenscroft on.

the HP has a 1" slot on the left side. can I adapt that to usb 3.0? if yes, would that work good?

other specs on my HP notebook are: 8GB of ram, 4th generation haswell i7.
Posted by: Pete14

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 06:36 PM

I'm not sure about VI; however, Ivory recommends not using a thumb drive. Your HDD is a bit slow, considering that sampled pianos are dependent on streaming data in real-time from the disk. You could upgrade to an internal SSD; these are much cheaper now. 8GB is fine, and the i7 is more than enough.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 06:47 PM

thank you. talked to VI today. he said (with regards to Sandisk extreme USB 3.0 flash thumb drive): go ahead and try it.

mind you, he also said that there are no guarantees, when it comes to all this stuff. I think he said that with Mac, its pretty easy to say if something will work. but with pc's there are too many different set ups and variables.

ok, so now, I have just found a memory card (SD card) to ExpressCard Slot adapter:
http://www.amazon.com/Sandisk-SDAD109A11-Digital-Express-Adapter/dp/B000W3QLLW

what if I plugged that into my HP laptop, and then plugged an Expresscard to USB 3.0 adapter into that:
http://www.amazon.com/ExpressCard-34mm-A...sscard+to+usb+3

and then plugged my Sandisk Extreme 64GB USB 3.o thumb drive into that?

I understand that that would be plugging in 2 adapters, but I think I could do the whole thing for under $100.
I would think that upgrading to an SSD internal drive would cost much more.
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 06:50 PM

Originally Posted By: Pete14
I'm not sure about VI; however, Ivory recommends not using a thumb drive. Your HDD is a bit slow, considering that sampled pianos are dependent on streaming data in real-time from the disk. You could upgrade to an internal SSD; these are much cheaper now. 8GB is fine, and the i7 is more than enough.


Sandisk Extreme is not a normal thumb drive, it's almost as fast as an SSD, much faster than regular USB 3.0 keys, provided that the pc can take advantage of all it's speed
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 06:52 PM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
thank you. talked to VI today. he said (with regards to Sandisk extreme USB 3.0 flash thumb drive): go ahead and try it.

mind you, he also said that there are no guarantees, when it comes to all this stuff. I think he said that with Mac, its pretty easy to say if something will work. but with pc's there are too many different set ups and variables.

ok, so now, I have just found a memory card (SD card) to ExpressCard Slot adapter:
http://www.amazon.com/Sandisk-SDAD109A11-Digital-Express-Adapter/dp/B000W3QLLW

what if I plugged that into my HP laptop, and then plugged an Expresscard to USB 3.0 adapter into that:
http://www.amazon.com/ExpressCard-34mm-A...sscard+to+usb+3

and then plugged my Sandisk Extreme 64GB USB 3.o thumb drive into that?

I understand that that would be plugging in 2 adapters, but I think I could do the whole thing for under $100.
I would think that upgrading to an SSD internal drive would cost much more.


I would try on the other pc with USB 3.0 first, before buying the adatpers...
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 06:57 PM

thank you very much. I totally agree.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 07:17 PM

I'd actually give that SanDisk a go on USB 2.0 - it may at least give usable performance. Keep in mind also that even if you find that you can't use it to it's full potential on USB 2.0 (likely), you always have the option of using a minimal config for live playing, but to then increase polyphony as much as you want, and add more mic perspectives etc etc, for "publishing" your recording, using a DAW, if the DAW has an option for rendering your performance in what is referred to as "offline" mode. So, you'd record your MIDI track in the DAW using a minimal config of the Ravenscroft, and once you were happy with it, go crazy with the settings for the final rendering. It's not as much fun, and is more involved and tedious, but it's an option. I know that Reaper supports offline rendering, and it can be trialled for free, and only costs around $60 to purchase.
EDIT: I don't know whether Ravenscroft itself supports offline rendering, but I'd be extremely surprised and disappointed if it did not.

Greg.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 07:51 PM

thank you so much for your awesome excellent reply. I do not know anything about offline rendering mode.
and I am just beginning to learn stuff about MIDI.
(actually I was really an early adopter, I bought what was probably one of the first Roland MIDI keyboards in maybe the late 80's. wow, the quality of such things has improved!!!! and a casio VZ-1. not a toy. this thing has cards with sounds on them. maybe 16 note polyphony. some nice sounds. but then followed the guitar, singer muse for a few decades. as well as AP. super resurgence in keys now, and for sure DP's and synths now.)
I also just got a Yamaha motif xf8.
put that together with my first SW piano (Ravenswood), coming soon, and this is one busy student of the DP and computer arts. lol
also, I have been using Reaper for years. no MIDI though.
just started recording in the box with an interface (RME Babyface), a year or two ago. before that I recorded with a stand alone Yamaha aw1600 multitrack recorder, as in out of the box recording. and then would transfer the wav files on to the computer to Reaper, to finish off the songs.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 07:58 PM

Welcome! Looks to me like to use MIDI would just be a tiny baby step more than what you've already done.....
"Offline rendering" just means the computer can take as long as it likes to convert your MIDI into an audio file. It's like a cartoonist putting down his pen mid way into a cartoon and going and having lunch and then picking up where he left off. The finished cartoon still displays normally when it's played back. ;^)

Greg.
p.s I find that I have to enable the Reaper setting: Plugins | VST | "Inform plugins of offline rendering state" in order for offline rendering to work properly. (don't know why it's not the default)
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 08:12 PM

Originally Posted By: sullivang
I'd actually give that SanDisk a go on USB 2.0 - it may at least give usable performance.


No, your HDD is better than UBS 2.0 max speed. Just tested Sandisk Extreme on UBS 2.0: 30 MB/s (UBS 2.0 is a bottleneck).
On UBS 3.0 it should definitely be faster than your HDD, but I cannot tell how much, could be 30% or 300% if at full potential, but faster. I don't know what the impact of adapters could be, so try on the pc with UBS 3.0 and let us know...
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 08:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Digitalguy

No, your HDD is better than UBS 2.0 max speed. Just tested Sandisk Extreme on UBS 2.0: 30 MB/s (UBS 2.0 is a bottleneck).
On UBS 3.0 it should definitely be faster than your HDD, but I cannot tell how much, could be 30% or 300% if at full potential, but faster. I don't know what the impact of adapters could be, so try on the pc with UBS 3.0 and let us know...


Yes, fair enough, but even that 30MB/s is a bit better than my 7200rpm internal SATA disk (that I was using at the time) - I achieved about 27MB/s when actually testing with Kontakt and it is better to have the samples on a separate disk to the boot disk too. As I said earlier - we can't just look at the sequential transfer rate of the HDD - it doesn't give the full picture. Minstrelman only has a single, 5400rpm disk at the moment. (I think) The sequential test on a FLASH device does give a much more meaningful result, due to the significantly better access time.

I guess it goes without saying that the offline render can be used with the HDD as well.

I don't know yet how Ravenscroft (via the UVI sampler player) accesses the disk.

Greg.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 09:30 PM

A detail;
It isn't JUST the speed of the individual devices.
Access to an external USB 3.0 thumb drive doesn't have to compete with O/S access to the system disc.
When push comes to shove O/S typically gets higher priority, so access to samples gets pushed back.

Here is an idea;
The installation program could (and probably SHOULD) detect the target disc type.
If it is a SDHC card read its speed, if inadequate raise alarm.
{where "inadequate" is an undefined variable}
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/11/14 09:38 PM

hey you guys, I corrected typos in my last post.

Greg, thank you for the huge encouragement and thoughts about MIDI and such, and all of your comments.

I also must correct another error. the first adapter I linked to, is no good. the Data transmission is reversed from what I need.
i.e, it is for doing the opposite of what I want to do. details, details, lol.

talked to HP support, about not being able to stay logged in to this website. will try Google Chrome, instead of IE.

Digitalguy, thank you again so much, man.

right now, I'm thinking about putting a new pci card with usb 3.0 ports, in my old desktop.
I heard its not hard to do.
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/12/14 06:46 AM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman


Digitalguy, thank you again so much, man.

right now, I'm thinking about putting a new pci card with usb 3.0 ports, in my old desktop.
I heard its not hard to do.


My experience with a similar adapter from UBS 1.0 to USB 2.0 is that it didn't change much... but maybe with UBS 3.0 it's different...

However this morning (in Europe) I moved American D and True Keys to my HHD to test. They both seem to work fine. I din't have any notes dropping etc. but maybe it can be pushed more... The only thing is that you have to leave alone American D for around 30 seconds after it loads otherwise is drops some notes, but after that it's perfectly fine. And True Keys takes longer to load, but not much longer maybe 10-20 seconds more... So HHD should be ok if you can wait a bit.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/12/14 08:36 AM

cool. awesome. thanks alot man.

just CrystalDisked new HP:

seq read 96.94 MB/s

Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/12/14 09:32 AM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
cool. awesome. thanks alot man.

just CrystalDisked new HP:

seq read 96.94 MB/s



that should be enough
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/12/14 09:51 AM

oh really?

oh wow. thanks Digitalguy. here I am thinking I have to buy another computer. I'm scrapping the idea of putting a new pci card in my old desktop.
I read for a while last night about pci and pcie cards, slots, generations.....forget it.......it'd be a mess for someone who knows so little, like me, with an older computer.
am thinking of getting Ivory II American D. I read with great interest your thoughts about it on another thread. I had been thinking about getting it before.

edit: just crystaldisked my desktop. it has 2 drives. both are 7200 rpm. they are SATA.
C drive is 42% full: 194GB/466GB.
seq read: 111.9 MB/s
the F drives 18% full: 168GB/932GB (I could maybe move some or a lot of this to my external HDD if that would be a good thing.)
seq read: 122.2
any thoughts, man?
such as, do you think I should use my desktop for running SW piano programs?
if yes, would you suggest I use the F drive? and should I move some or alot of the data thats on it to my external HDD?
thank you very much for any thoughts?
one more thing: my desktop has a firewire 400 port. I have never used it. checked a little. says its working properly. not sure if it does for sure though.
Chasman




Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/12/14 03:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
Originally Posted By: R_B
I think there is a lot more to it than JUST rotational speed.
Read ahead anticipation for sequential reads ?
The whole 'elevator algorithm' for one thing can be be stripped out for SSDs & thumb drives, so DO install any thumb drives on USB or SSD drives AS 'SSDs', not as 'HDDs'.

At a guess de-fragging MIGHT help too.
BTW, there are hybrid drives that have fair sized (8, 16 or 24 Gig) Solid state cache in front of a terabyte of spinning rust.
Replacing a regular hard drive with one of these involves backing up an IMAGE of the old drive and restoring it to the new drive.
That may cause Windoze and other software to believe that it is a bootlegged copy, so things that are licensed to particular hardware profiles may need re authorization.



Not sure I understood everything, maybe my English is not good enough (not my native language), but yes defragging can help with HHD (never defrag an SSD) but Windows Vista, 7 and 8 defrag automatically so no need to manually defrag. As for hybrids, my wife has an hybrid 500 HHD with a 32GB SSD, speed: 90 MB/s, less than an average 7200 rpm HDD...


I could have used better wording.
regarding sequential reads;
I SERIOUSLY DOUBT that the WHOLE FILE is read.
MUCH more likely that an index is built at the time of installation and when samples are requested the relevant portion of the file is read from cache (ram disc) if it is there, or disc if it is not, it then migrates to cache.
There is probably some populating of cache at start-up.
==================================================
The elevator algorithm is what is used on hard discs to best serve read requests out of sequence.
So called because it behaves like an elevator serving passengers.
The first passenger may get in at the 2nd floor and request the 38th floor.
While passing the 5th floor someone on the 7th floor presses the UP button on the wall.
The elevator will stop for them, i.e. it will interrupt its service of the first passenger to START serving the second one.
When they get in they request to be let out at the 17th.
It will stop at the 17th to let that passenger out

Ahh Hahh, the elevator will have served the second passenger COMPLETELY before finishing service of the first passenger.
{Unless someone has a special security or express key to bypass regular stops}

It won't start coming back down until it finishes serving the highest request - which could be a call to pick up someone wanting to go down.

...and so it is with disc seeks - and there may be express queues that have priority over "regular service".
All that is because of seek times and SSDs basically have no such problem to deal with, so install thumb drives and SDHC cards as SSDs to avoid the code overhead of the elevator algorithm.
==============================================
Linux ? Sorry, I probably shouldn't have introduced that.
VILabs UVI Workstation doesn't run on Linux )-;
================================================
re de-fragging;
I would put the samples file on the list of files to NOT be de-fragged after installation.
Just being cautious, it could mess with any indexes(indices), though it depends how those are built.
If you defrag BEFORE installing that is probably the best you can do.
The deletion of old large files (Piano sample programs that you no longer want) after installation of your latest and greatest sample library COULD lead to an indexing problem.
(IMO, etc.)
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/12/14 04:57 PM

R_B: Kontakt, on Windows, as far as I can tell, simply uses the Windows standard file system cache. If I do a reboot, load Kontakt, load an instrument, play a note and hold it for, say, 5 seconds, there will be disk accesses to load the portion of the sample after the pre-loaded portion. If I then play that note and hold it for 5 seconds again, there will be no disk accesses. (that portion of the sample has been cached). Now, if I manually clear the file system cache, and play the same note again, Kontakt will again read the sample from disk.

I have no idea how the UVI sample player behaves though.

Greg.
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/12/14 05:02 PM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
oh really?

oh wow. thanks Digitalguy. here I am thinking I have to buy another computer. I'm scrapping the idea of putting a new pci card in my old desktop.
I read for a while last night about pci and pcie cards, slots, generations.....forget it.......it'd be a mess for someone who knows so little, like me, with an older computer.
am thinking of getting Ivory II American D. I read with great interest your thoughts about it on another thread. I had been thinking about getting it before.

edit: just crystaldisked my desktop. it has 2 drives. both are 7200 rpm. they are SATA.
C drive is 42% full: 194GB/466GB.
seq read: 111.9 MB/s
the F drives 18% full: 168GB/932GB (I could maybe move some or a lot of this to my external HDD if that would be a good thing.)
seq read: 122.2
any thoughts, man?
such as, do you think I should use my desktop for running SW piano programs?
if yes, would you suggest I use the F drive? and should I move some or alot of the data thats on it to my external HDD?
thank you very much for any thoughts?
Chasman



Hi man, sorry been out all day, this speed is perfect for these pianos, given they seem to work fine on my 60/70 MB/s HDD (now back on SDD though).
As for American D, yes, you can't go wrong. I have been playing the other Ivory II pianos (friend of mine) and tough I do enjoy German D and Fazioli Italian, I like American D a bit more, but all 3 are great, and all 3 are better than True Keys, which is nonetheless one of the best piano around after Ivory II. It's a pity one can't get German D without the other 2 inferior pianos... otherwise I would buy it too. Vintage D is a very good piano indeed and I do enjoy it, but I like pianos that can have "power" and Vintage D sort of lacks this power in my opinion...
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/12/14 05:17 PM

wow. thanks. that is such great news. digging your further comments about the Ivory II SW pianos.
as for me using my desktop, am kind of assuming that it would be best for me to install Ravenscroft on the F drive. (I'm looking forward to checking out Ivory pianos next.)
could you please tell me if it would be necessary or smart or a good thing, for me to move a lot of the 168 GB of data that I have on there now (the vast majority of which is videos of me singing and playing guitar.....all posted on youtube), on to an external HDD?
thus, I would have a mostly empty F drive. (the F drive is a 1 TB drive.)

also, would you please clarify for me? would you recommend Ivory II American D, or German, or both (I understand that German only comes in the more expensive Grand Pianos set).
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/12/14 05:42 PM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
wow. thanks. that is such great news. digging your further comments about the Ivory II SW pianos.
as for me using my desktop, am kind of assuming that it would be best for me to install Ravenscroft on the F drive. (I'm looking forward to checking out Ivory pianos next.)
could you please tell me if it would be necessary or smart or a good thing, for me to move a lot of the 168 GB of data that I have on there now (the vast majority of which is videos of me singing and playing guitar.....all posted on youtube), on to an external HDD?
thus, I would have a mostly empty F drive. (the F drive is a 1 TB drive.)

also, would you please clarify for me? would you recommend Ivory II American D, or German, or both (I understand that German only comes in the more expensive Grand Pianos set).


to be honest I don't think it would make a great difference, it can make a different when the disk is almost full, but you are far from this.... If you really wanna be certain, do it and then speed test your HDD.

Otherwise well I don't know how close is your desktop to your piano and if this make any difference for you compared to a notebook... As far as I am concerned, I plan within a year or so to buy a powerful convertible/tablet with 512 GB SDD that would reside on my PC, next to my ipad. That way no more cables around and very easy to move outside too if needed...

Concerning Ivory II, I prefer American D to German D (the sound is a bit richer and darker in my opinion), but some people may prefer German D as they are close (after all 2 steinway D by the same company...) but American D has more samples and more velocity layers so given it's less expensive, I do recommend it over the German D in the set...
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/12/14 06:06 PM

thanks tons for another excellent super helpful and like right away reply.
yeah, piano is on the other side of the room from the desktop. that does not concern me. I'll just run cables along the wall with the rest of them. lol
thank you for the excellent thoughts regarding moving stuff off of F drive.
as for Ivory II, excellent. I am soooooooo getting American Concert D.
just for your pleasure to know, in case you never heard this before. I went to near Toronto, Canada, to find a Kawai CA65 to try out, before I bought mine.
(the store is Merriam's. super nice people. super recommend buying from them, and definitely also super super recommend doing business with a guy named Greg in St. Catherine's, Ontario, who's business is called the Niagara Conservatory of Music. Greg was big hearted and selfless enough to suggest that I drive up to Merriams (because he thought that they would have a CA65 in stock that I could try out....Greg did not), to give me printed out driving instructions (me, a complete stranger from a foreign country), to Merriams. you meet some cool in the music biz, let me tell you folks.
ok, so at Merriams, they had a chart. it categorized AP's into tiers. maybe 4 tiers, with sub tiers.
ok. so, Steinway German, was in Tier 1. no surprise.......so far.
Steinway, New York (American), was in Tier 2.
I was surprised to see that.
whatever. I really don't get out much. lol
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/12/14 09:20 PM

Greg,
Yup, that makes PERFECT sense.

Another comment on de-fragging;
Yes, it is automatic on Windows 7 & 8, but it is a dumbed down version of its former self and there is now a total lack of control settings.
I disable it.

FAR better to get Auslogic's de-fragger, that will allow you to exclude files and folders that you want left alone, e.g. the files that hold the virtual disc drives for virtual machines and sample libraries.
Those are REALLY best left as they were created.

BTW, if you want to see how BAD CrystalDisc's results can get when the disc is BUSY - - try running it while Auslogic disc de-fragger is running on the SAME disc.
Expect to see ~1/3 the speed laugh
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/12/14 09:57 PM

hey Digitalguy. I am reading reviews. I just saw this. I thought it may be of help to you in tweaking your American Concert D. here is a link, and a copy and paste of a specific part.

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun13/articles/ivory-ii-american-concert-d.htm

"I don't suppose I'll ever be able to afford to buy a real Steinway piano, but if I did, I'd be happy if it sounded like this one. The remarkable thing about American Concert D (ACD for short) is that it achieves clarity and transparency without sounding harsh or over-bright; softly played notes in broken chords and arpeggios maintain a distinct presence, rather than blurring together into an undifferentiated mush. The instrument's positive, well-defined attack enables precision of touch, yet its timbre still has plenty of warmth; this is a virtual piano you can play sensitively and lyrically, and its dynamic and inter-note transitions are silky-smooth. It could be argued that those who require a thunderous, banging piano sound would be better served by a Bösendorfer or Yamaha grand, but believe me, once you turn on its built-in EQ and add 6dB at 3k, this Steinway can bang with the best of them."


and just found this new review, (just posted yesterday) of ACD at Amazon. geez, I wonder if I'll be getting it now.........lol.........only about a million percent chance I'd guess.....:


"The best digital recreation of a Steinway I have ever heard!, February 11, 2014



By

Keyboardtek - See all my reviews


This review is from: Synthogy Ivory II American Concert D for MAC & WINDOWS

I have been a digital piano, organ, keyboard technician for 25 years. A Jazz pianist for 45 years. I have been searching for the ideal digital piano that actually triggers my endorphins like playing a well tuned and voiced American Steinway D. All of the acoustic piano purists seem to want to compare a digital instrument to the real acoustic piano. This is not fair. The tone of a digital instrument comes out of only two speakers and cannot provide the tactile vibrations one feels when playing an acoustic piano. As long as one keeps the review limited to comparing other digital instruments, then the Ivory II American D will blow everything out of the water! The crucial thing is the quality of the keyboard controller being used with Ivory. The new high end Kawai wooden key controller has been designed with Ivory use in mind. The quality of speakers is important. With my AKG K240 studio quality headphones, Ivory sounds magnificent! With my JBL three way home stereo speakers, Ivory, as well as any other piano, sounds like tin. On my cheap computer speakers Ivory sounds very nice. On my car stereo it sound bass dominant. So one must consider the speakers when reviewing a digital piano.

Personally, I feel the Ivory II American D Grand is the best digital recreation of a Steinway I have heard ."
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/13/14 09:04 AM

I have started to play with UVI workstation.

Here's a tip for those new to it;
On Windows 7 it appears to SEIZE Realtek audio - and quite possibly whatever other audio drivers you have running.
I am looking for ways to persuade it to "SHARE" and will post here if/when I find it.
In the mean time, just bear in mind that once you get Ravenscroft and install it in UVI workstation you might find difficulty running anything else "beside" it for A/B comparisons.
Posted by: PtJaa

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/13/14 10:19 AM

R_B, I don't know details of your problem, but exclusive access to the audio device seems to be normal behavior of some ASIO drivers, notably ASIO4ALL. If you want to compare more virtual pianos at once, just run them all inside one DAW.

Or did it SEIZE a different audio device than the one you use with ASIO?

On unrelated note, I believe that there is nothing wrong with defragging sample libraries or virtual drives. I also believe that there is no "elevator algorithm" employed in Windows disk access, the nearest thing is NCQ possibly implemented inside the drive itself. Windows has no information as to where whatever sectors are physically located so such an algorithm would not make sense.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/13/14 11:11 AM

Originally Posted By: PtJaa
R_B, I don't know details of your problem, but exclusive access to the audio device seems to be normal behavior of some ASIO drivers, notably ASIO4ALL. If you want to compare more virtual pianos at once, just run them all inside one DAW.

Or did it SEIZE a different audio device than the one you use with ASIO?

On unrelated note, I believe that there is nothing wrong with defragging sample libraries or virtual drives. I also believe that there is no "elevator algorithm" employed in Windows disk access, the nearest thing is NCQ possibly implemented inside the drive itself. Windows has no information as to where whatever sectors are physically located so such an algorithm would not make sense.


I just tried it against Pianoteq - - like many problems of this type "it went away when examined closely".
Right now I have both of them open and clicking on their piano keyboards DOES result in sound.
Earlier today it was repeatably taking exclusive control of Realtek.
If I can get it to do it again I will try to document the exact circumstances under which it happened.

BTW, they had a good enough demo running at NAMM, so why are people having to wait until tomorrow (approximately) for the RELEASE of this ?
OK, so maybe some fine tuning, but there will be updates anyway.
I understand pent up demand, maybe that is what they are trying to create with this pre-order program.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/13/14 01:11 PM

Originally Posted By: R_B

BTW, they had a good enough demo running at NAMM, so why are people having to wait until tomorrow (approximately) for the RELEASE of this ?


The discount window. It lets mugs like me pre-order at 25% off just in case it turns out to be the piano of my dreams. To be honest, I'm already regretting it. But it's not a king's ransom and I won't take such a risk again if it fails to pay off.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/13/14 02:50 PM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Originally Posted By: R_B

BTW, they had a good enough demo running at NAMM, so why are people having to wait until tomorrow (approximately) for the RELEASE of this ?


The discount window. It lets mugs like me pre-order at 25% off just in case it turns out to be the piano of my dreams. To be honest, I'm already regretting it. But it's not a king's ransom and I won't take such a risk again if it fails to pay off.


Is there a money back guarantee if, for some reason, you don't like it ?
e.g. If you have an old or unusual system that can't keep up and creates burps, farts, missed notes, missed "note offs" (don't Ya just HATE that one ?), etc.

The i-lok (or their alternative) would SEEM to indicate that they can withdraw the authentication if you ask for a refund.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/13/14 03:24 PM

Originally Posted By: R_B
Is there a money back guarantee if, for some reason, you don't like it ?
e.g. If you have an old or unusual system that can't keep up and creates burps, farts, missed notes, missed "note offs" (don't Ya just HATE that one ?), etc.

The i-lok (or their alternative) would SEEM to indicate that they can withdraw the authentication if you ask for a refund.


No, there's no turning back. Farting is your own responsibility. I'd expect them to have eradicated all software glitches now, this being piano#4. Missing note-offs would be a surprise in this day and age.

In an earlier thread, VIlabs said for a nominal charge to cover re-assigning the ilok licence the software could be sold on.
Posted by: daz100

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/13/14 04:12 PM

I asked them to put a demo in the audio demos of a romantic era classical piece before the sale ends .They said they would and to keep an eye on their web site ,It was 2 weeks ago I asked this and I have checked back every day but nothing.Tomorrow is the last day of the sale ,so It looks like won't make the purchase because I believe unless you play jazzed up pieces this piano will not suit anything else.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/13/14 04:21 PM

CrystalDisc performance here;
Just for fun I've done a 64 Gig class 10 SDHC card, about 45 Mb/sec on sequential reads for the 1 Gig file.
Similar results on a USB 3.0 external hard drive, a 1.5 Tbyte Seagate free Agent.

The system disc on this machine is a 1Tbyte Seagate hybrid, 8gig solid state cache.
The standard 1 gig tests give sequential read results in the mid 90s, writes quite a bit faster (probably because it dumps it to cache and doesn't hang around).

Here is something I DIDN'T expect;
Cutting the test file size down to 50Meg produces a sequential read rate of 140.6 Mbytes/sec and a sequential write speed of 104.5 Mbytes/sec.
Based PURELY on my assumptions about how sample players actually access the sample library, I think this is more relevant.
The files may be LARGE, but I betcha the reads from them are (relatively) small, i.e. when a middle C is requested it doesn't read the file all the way through to note number 57, 58, 59, ahh, grab the next one.
Instead it reads an index that is held in memory and goes straight to that portion of the file.
I know, I know,,, it almost certainly doesn't partition the file(s) by note number, just saying that it doesn't scan the WHOLE file looking for small amounts of data, so 1 Gig sequential read rates aren't that significant.

I am about to CAVE - credit card in hand, order form open in another tab...

Tomorrow ?
Dead line at Midnight tonight ?

Agonizing here...
a little sympathy if you would ? laugh
Posted by: xorbe

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/13/14 05:23 PM

Originally Posted By: R_B
Here is something I DIDN'T expect;
Cutting the test file size down to 50Meg produces a sequential read rate of 140.6 Mbytes/sec and a sequential write speed of 104.5 Mbytes/sec.

The data size is too small to trust the results. 50MB is less than 1 second of testing.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/13/14 05:39 PM

Depends what size reads are made when a note/velocity is requested that isn't already in memory, the on demand requests.
Betcha it ain't anywhere NEAR as big as 50 Meg.,
1,000 meg is just WAY too big to be relevant, except maybe for initial loading, but that isn't critical anyway.
So why are we doing CrystalDisc timings at a Gig ?
Probably because it produces the best case sequential read speed and it is the program's default start-up file size.
{though it is little more than idle curiosity in my case (-:}

How many samples ?
How big is the samples file(s) ?
Simple division methinks...
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/13/14 06:07 PM

R_B: Regarding how much data the sample player reads at a time - I have observed that this read tranfer size is 416kB for Kontakt(on Windows), maximum, for stereo samples. This size varies according to Kontakt's "pre-load" size - reducing the pre-load setting will reduce the read transfer size. I.e, even though the pre-load size defines how much of each sample is loaded into memory when the instrument is first loaded, it ALSO has an effect on this read transfer size.

And yes, if Kontakt is playing a chord, it will read (xfer size bytes) from each sample in a round-robin fashion, as you seem to be saying.

Now, I mentioned before that using Kontakt, with a big chord, sustained, I measured about 27MB/s overall throughput from the disk. (at maximum pre-load = 416kB reads) Knowing how Kontakt reads from the disk, it seems to me that a RANDOM i/o pattern generated by the disk bencharker might approximate the throughput of Kontakt. Doing a check with CrystalDiskMark, I indeed get about the same throughput for the 512kB random i/o test. (512kB is pretty close to Kontakt's 416kB) - about 30MB/s. (this is on a new disk - my current disk is 7200rpm 1TB internal SATA - the one I tested on Kontakt was 7200rpm 500GB internal SATA. Same laptop as before though)
EDIT: Note that the 27MB/s result for Kontakt was with all the samples located on the higher performance outer cylinders. When I moved a bunch of samples to the inner cylinders, to force the disk to seek a long distance between the outer and inner cylinders (simulating a heavily fragmented disk) the performance dropped markedly, down to 15MB/s. Also, Kontakt supports lossless sample compression, which increases the effective throughput - I was using normal, uncompressed samples

Greg.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/13/14 10:07 PM

Delayed a week (or so).
Apparently unwilling to ship it out until it is "Perfect".

Huhh ?, nothing that big will ever be perfect, that is why we have update processes.
It was good enough to show off at NAMM...
Posted by: kippesc

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/13/14 10:14 PM

At least they aren't doing the Synthogy thing -- announce at NAMM, ship in November. Or at least I hope they aren't.
Posted by: Macy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 02:17 AM

Originally Posted By: kippesc
At least they aren't doing the Synthogy thing -- announce at NAMM, ship in November. Or at least I hope they aren't.


Yeah, I hate it when a company announces a product and then waits until it works well to ship it and start taking my money ... So much better when they announce and take the money first ...
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 02:26 AM

Originally Posted By: R_B
Delayed a week (or so).
Apparently unwilling to ship it out until it is "Perfect".

Huhh ?, nothing that big will ever be perfect, that is why we have update processes.
It was good enough to show off at NAMM...

Probably trying to eq a bit of sweetness into its jazzy brittleness.

Funny thing is they've already taken my money. I thought the usual way to do this was to take the money immediately prior to providing the merchandise. I wouldn't have minded a holding deposit but this is a bit cheeky.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 02:33 AM

Originally Posted By: daz100
I asked them to put a demo in the audio demos of a romantic era classical piece before the sale ends .They said they would and to keep an eye on their web site ,It was 2 weeks ago I asked this and I have checked back every day but nothing.Tomorrow is the last day of the sale ,so It looks like won't make the purchase because I believe unless you play jazzed up pieces this piano will not suit anything else.

- that's a red flag, for sure! (green if you want to play jazz)
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 04:44 AM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
hey Digitalguy. I am reading reviews. I just saw this. I thought it may be of help to you in tweaking your American Concert D. here is a link, and a copy and paste of a specific part.


Hi man, thank you for the link, it made me realize I was using my American D with factory settings, that is without sympathetic resonance, with low polyphony (now put to 300 voices) and without half pedaling. And still it was better than anything else. And EQ is also interesting, I'll have to experiment more with it. In the same website I found other reviews of my other main pianos and I discovered the side mic position in True Keys, which I had never tried and which is probably the best. I decided to give Ravenscroft a try and pre-ordered too, let's hope they don't delay delivery too much...
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 04:59 AM

Originally Posted By: Digitalguy

... I was using my American D with factory settings, that is without sympathetic resonance, with low polyphony (now put to 300 voices) and without half pedaling. And still it was better than anything else....

I wonder, do shills ever post to this forum?
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 06:20 AM

Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
Originally Posted By: minstrelman
hey Digitalguy. I am reading reviews. I just saw this. I thought it may be of help to you in tweaking your American Concert D. here is a link, and a copy and paste of a specific part.


Hi man, thank you for the link, it made me realize I was using my American D with factory settings, that is without sympathetic resonance, with low polyphony (now put to 300 voices) and without half pedaling. And still it was better than anything else. And EQ is also interesting, I'll have to experiment more with it. In the same website I found other reviews of my other main pianos and I discovered the side mic position in True Keys, which I had never tried and which is probably the best. I decided to give Ravenscroft a try and pre-ordered too, let's hope they don't delay delivery too much...


thank you very much Digitalguy.
I had a great talk on the phone last night with Synthogy about ACD. (the guy's name was Greg.) wow. absolutely outrageous cool helpful. he took his time and explained a lot to me.
I'll be buying ACD within the next few days.
can't wait. I bet I'm gonna love it.
have also been thinking about how I would like to try playing Ravenscroft and ACD with my sony Vaio laptop. it's the one that has a usb 3.0 port. I found this SSD, and I was wondering if you please, had any thoughts about it, as compared to the SanDisk Extreme 64GB usb 3.0 flash drive?
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A3U8AHW/ref=...=I2R4TR4W1TOG7B

also, received an email from VI Labs. they said they hope to have Ravenscroft completely finished within the next week.
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 06:21 AM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy

... I was using my American D with factory settings, that is without sympathetic resonance, with low polyphony (now put to 300 voices) and without half pedaling. And still it was better than anything else....

I wonder, do shills ever post to this forum?


I have nothing to do with Synthogy. I have a lot of other pianos and I have given some comparisons.
For instance here
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2229802/Re:_GAS_Attack_-_All_In_For_So.html#Post2229802

But then I discovered I could improve American D by turning on some features... that's why I wrote this.
And I discovered I could improve my Tue Keys American too.
I'll post my feeling also on Ravenscroft when I'll receive it.
Have a look around at reviews of American Concert D, even by highly respected reviewers. Many say it's the best software piano on the markets. Do they all work for Synthogy?
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 06:59 AM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
[quote=Digitalguy][

thank you very much Digitalguy.
I had a great talk on the phone last night with Synthogy about ACD. (the guy's name was Greg.) wow. absolutely outrageous cool helpful. he took his time and explained a lot to me.
I'll be buying ACD within the next few days.
can't wait. I bet I'm gonna love it.
have also been thinking about how I would like to try playing Ravenscroft and ACD with my sony Vaio laptop. it's the one that has a usb 3.0 port. I found this SSD, and I was wondering if you please, had any thoughts about it, as compared to the SanDisk Extreme 64GB usb 3.0 flash drive?
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A3U8AHW/ref=...=I2R4TR4W1TOG7B

also, received an email from VI Labs. they said they hope to have Ravenscroft completely finished within the next week.


Well, I have read some reviews. It's similar to my Sandisk Extreme cruzer (but 2.5 format of course) . In theory it can be faster, but according to the reviews only on some of the latest MACs, not on PCs. But now that I think about it both Porsche and Sandisk have to be reformatted to NTFS as their original format does not support larger than 4GB files. At least in the case of Sandisk this will slow down write speed a bit (not read speed). Which should not be the a problem if you only use it for software piano, but it's good to know...
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 07:09 AM

Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
I have nothing to do with Synthogy.

I’m sure that’s true and I apologise for putting you on the defensive. But mindful that this is a VIlabs Ravenscroft thread I was surprised that you'd been so persistent on Ivory American particularly since your appraisals appear to be based a hasty evaluations, e.g.:-

Quote:
Vintage D feels good, but lack the power of the other 3, but I didn't tweak with the sound, it could probably get better. Of course, it's a bit subjective, and I'll keep testing, but personally I would rank American D as clear winner..

So without tweaking, accepting subjectivity, you find not just a winner but a clear one.

And this:-
Quote:
…it made me realize I was using my American D with factory settings, that is without sympathetic resonance, with low polyphony..

I’m curious that a pianist would be able to put up with low polyphony for long. What style of piano do you play?

Quote:
Have a look around at reviews of American Concert D, even by highly respected reviewers. Many say it's the best software piano on the markets. Do they all work for Synthogy?

No, I’m sure they don’t but Best Service (Galaxy) seem to rest on their laurels so we get less in the way of publicity and reviews and perhaps, like you, the reviewers haven’t learnt to tweak yet?
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 07:41 AM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
I have nothing to do with Synthogy.

I’m sure that’s true and I apologise for putting you on the defensive. But mindful that this is a VIlabs Ravenscroft thread I was surprised that you had been so persistent on Ivory American particularly since your appraisals appear to be based a hasty evaluations, e.g.:-

Quote:
Vintage D feels good, but lack the power of the other 3, but I didn't tweak with the sound, it could probably get better. Of course, it's a bit subjective, and I'll keep testing, but personally I would rank American D as clear winner..

So without tweaking, accepting subjectivity, you find not just a winner but a clear one.

And this:-
Quote:
…it made me realize I was using my American D with factory settings, that is without sympathetic resonance, with low polyphony..

I’m curious that a pianist would be able to put up with low polyphony for long. What style of piano do you play?

Quote:
Have a look around at reviews of American Concert D, even by highly respected reviewers. Many say it's the best software piano on the markets. Do they all work for Synthogy?

No, I’m sure they don’t but Best Service (Galaxy) seem to rest on their laurels so we get less in the way of publicity and reviews and perhaps, like you, the reviewers haven’t learnt to tweak yet?


Well I had just replied to another poster and it often happens that in threads about one piano people compare them to another one. And my evaluation is not on this thread, I just put a link here. Well, I think I said I received American D recently so these are my first impressions, they could change with time. I have read other forums members changing their opinion after a certain time. Piano is not mathematics and sure it's subjective. Concerning polyphony, well I cannot explain why but I had pushed it quite a bit and I never had any dropout... no idea why...
After tweaking American D improved but the different it's not huge. What's good about this software is that, contrary to some other software I have, it's good out of the box. Some people say for instance you can make pianoteq (only have the demo) sound great but tweaking, I am personally probably too lazy to invest this time in trying all the possible tweaks... or maybe I also don't want to take the risk of making it worse... I rarely touch velocity curve in any software for instance...
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 08:44 AM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
Originally Posted By: minstrelman
hey Digitalguy. I am reading reviews. I just saw this. I thought it may be of help to you in tweaking your American Concert D. here is a link, and a copy and paste of a specific part.


Hi man, thank you for the link, it made me realize I was using my American D with factory settings, that is without sympathetic resonance, with low polyphony (now put to 300 voices) and without half pedaling. And still it was better than anything else. And EQ is also interesting, I'll have to experiment more with it. In the same website I found other reviews of my other main pianos and I discovered the side mic position in True Keys, which I had never tried and which is probably the best. I decided to give Ravenscroft a try and pre-ordered too, let's hope they don't delay delivery too much...


thank you very much Digitalguy.
I had a great talk on the phone last night with Synthogy about ACD. (the guy's name was Greg.) wow. absolutely outrageous cool helpful. he took his time and explained a lot to me.
I'll be buying ACD within the next few days.
can't wait. I bet I'm gonna love it.
have also been thinking about how I would like to try playing Ravenscroft and ACD with my sony Vaio laptop. it's the one that has a usb 3.0 port. I found this SSD, and I was wondering if you please, had any thoughts about it, as compared to the SanDisk Extreme 64GB usb 3.0 flash drive?
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A3U8AHW/ref=...=I2R4TR4W1TOG7B

also, received an email from VI Labs. they said they hope to have Ravenscroft completely finished within the next week.


If the bottleneck is the USB 3.0 port see my post #2231060 above, i.e. expect 45 or so Mbytes/sec on the unrealistic and irrelevant CrystalDisc 1 Gig sequential read test.
A class 10 SDHC card scores about the same, so figure half the speed of an internal hard disc for either of these.

Again, the evidence seems to be that somewhere between a few hundred K and a couple of Meg is what sample players typically read for "on demand" requests, NOT hundreds of Megs or a Gig.

Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 09:01 AM

Hey R_B,
So what you recommend?

1) SanDisk extreme 64GB Y USB 3.0 flash drive
2) lacie 120 GB USB 3.0 SSD
3) buy yet another computer, specced out specifically for this
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 09:31 AM

Thank you very much Digitalguy.
Now wondering how much it would cost to have a computer built that would be dedicated for this purpose only.
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 09:41 AM

Originally Posted By: R_B


If the bottleneck is the USB 3.0 port see my post #2231060 above, i.e. expect 45 or so Mbytes/sec on the unrealistic and irrelevant CrystalDisc 1 Gig sequential read test.
A class 10 SDHC card scores about the same, so figure half the speed of an internal hard disc for either of these.

Again, the evidence seems to be that somewhere between a few hundred K and a couple of Meg is what sample players typically read for "on demand" requests, NOT hundreds of Megs or a Gig.



I agree, and I believe the random read measure (512 KB) is probably more significant. However UBS 3.0 is not a bottleneck in itself (not even for SSD drives apparently), it's how the system "receives" it. Two on my PC (windows 8, actually mine and my wife's one) receive the same UBS 3.0 flash drive at 250/260, the other (windows 7, i7, GB RAM) at 135 (sequential) and similar differences for the other parameters...
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 10:31 AM

Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
What's good about this software is that, contrary to some other software I have, it's good out of the box.

Understood - if all parameters are in a sympathetic match; performer's touch/controller velocity transmit settings/software's velocity receive settings/ default piano tone... - it's going to put the product in the best possible light. And there's always a big risk of a mismatch. So it was for me with Galaxy. I was so disappointed at the outset I put it to one side for several months. Now I find it particularly rewarding. And I still need to work on the velocity curve.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 10:41 AM

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Synthogy-Ivory-II-American-Concert-D-J03548-i3493924.gc

Looking over ACD specs.

Noticed recommended hard drive space is 77 GB (which is more than 64 GB):

Minimum Hardware
2.0 GHz Dual Core PowerPC G5 or 1.8 GHz Intel Core Duo or equivalent CPU
1.5 GB RAM
22 GB free hard drive space
Hard drive speed of at least 7200 RPM
DVD ROM drive for installation
iLok key (not included)
Recommended Hardware
2.5 GHz Dual Core PowerPC G5 or 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU
2 GB RAM
77 GB free hard drive space
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 11:15 AM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Synthogy-Ivory-II-American-Concert-D-J03548-i3493924.gc

Looking over ACD specs.

Noticed recommended hard drive space is 77 GB (which is more than 64 GB):

Minimum Hardware
2.0 GHz Dual Core PowerPC G5 or 1.8 GHz Intel Core Duo or equivalent CPU
1.5 GB RAM
22 GB free hard drive space
Hard drive speed of at least 7200 RPM
DVD ROM drive for installation
iLok key (not included)
Recommended Hardware
2.5 GHz Dual Core PowerPC G5 or 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU
2 GB RAM
77 GB free hard drive space


No, this is for the Grand piano set, space is 45.2 GB
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 11:16 AM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
What's good about this software is that, contrary to some other software I have, it's good out of the box.

Understood - if all parameters are in a sympathetic match; performer's touch/controller velocity transmit settings/software's velocity receive settings/ default piano tone... - it's going to put the product in the best possible light. And there's always a big risk of a mismatch. So it was for me with Galaxy. I was so disappointed at the outset I put it to one side for several months. Now I find it particularly rewarding. And I still need to work on the velocity curve.


Which Galaxy piano?
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 11:33 AM

- vintage D
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 11:35 AM

Thank you very much. GC's got an error on their page.

Just found this at synthogy's site:
Minimum Hardware
1.8 GHz Intel Core Duo CPU
1.5 GB RAM
49 GB (46 GiB) free hard drive space (Ivory II American Concert D)†
Hard drive speed of at least 7200 RPM or SSD, connected via 1394c, SATA, or faster
DVD ROM drive for installation
iLok key (not included)
Recommended Hardware
2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo CPU
2 GB RAM
49 GB (46 GiB) free hard drive space (Ivory II American Concert D)†
Hard drive speed of at least 7200 RPM
DVD ROM drive for installation
Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 11:46 AM

Originally Posted By: R_B
Delayed a week (or so).
Apparently unwilling to ship it out until it is "Perfect".

Huhh ?, nothing that big will ever be perfect, that is why we have update processes.
It was good enough to show off at NAMM...


WHAT??? This is ridiculous!! Why on earth place a delivery date, AND take peoples money without knowing for sure it's ready for release?? Man, this tees me off royally. One of my pet peeves. And very misleading and unprofessional imo!

Plus, they didn't even send me an email. I've been waiting all morning long for the download.
Well, I'm way beginning to think maybe there are more 'red flags' here than not.

Aargh!
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 11:59 AM

Yes, I agree that it seems very unprofessional. I was on the point of jumping in, but now I would be very wary. By all means take pre-orders, but don't post unrealistic delivery dates, and certainly don't cash people's cards without a firm date!
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 12:13 PM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
Hey R_B,
So what you recommend?

1) SanDisk extreme 64GB Y USB 3.0 flash drive
2) lacie 120 GB USB 3.0 SSD
3) buy yet another computer, specced out specifically for this


I don't recommend.
The key word in my statement is the first one "IF".
IF USB 3.0 is the bottleneck then whatever you put on it will be limited to whatever that bottleneck speed is.

A good choice might be a internal SSD.
On laptops it isn't always possible/practical with a single drive bay.
There are ISSUES with getting Windoze reactivated to run on a different system disc.
This Toshiba laptop has a second drive bay, so I could add an SSD as a second internal drive - and I might.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 12:16 PM

Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
Originally Posted By: R_B


If the bottleneck is the USB 3.0 port see my post #2231060 above, i.e. expect 45 or so Mbytes/sec on the unrealistic and irrelevant CrystalDisc 1 Gig sequential read test.
A class 10 SDHC card scores about the same, so figure half the speed of an internal hard disc for either of these.

Again, the evidence seems to be that somewhere between a few hundred K and a couple of Meg is what sample players typically read for "on demand" requests, NOT hundreds of Megs or a Gig.




I agree, and I believe the random read measure (512 KB) is probably more significant. However UBS 3.0 is not a bottleneck in itself (not even for SSD drives apparently), it's how the system "receives" it. Two on my PC (windows 8, actually mine and my wife's one) receive the same UBS 3.0 flash drive at 250/260, the other (windows 7, i7, GB RAM) at 135 (sequential) and similar differences for the other parameters...



DUDE !!!
I just got the joke - the reason you always type "UBS" where the rest of us type "USB".
{Only because I lived in Vaud for a while}
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 12:19 PM

Originally Posted By: R_B

I don't recommend.
The key word in my statement is the first one "IF".
IF USB 3.0 is the bottleneck then whatever you put on it will be limited to whatever that bottleneck speed is.

A good choice might be a internal SSD.
On laptops it isn't always possible/practical with a single drive bay.
There are ISSUES with getting Windoze reactivated to run on a different system disc.
This Toshiba laptop has a second drive bay, so I could add an SSD as a second internal drive - and I might.



On two laptops I removed the optical drive, purchased an optical-drive shaped caddy to hold the SSD and....that was it!

- very easy to do, OS instantly adapts.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 12:44 PM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Originally Posted By: R_B

I don't recommend.
The key word in my statement is the first one "IF".
IF USB 3.0 is the bottleneck then whatever you put on it will be limited to whatever that bottleneck speed is.

A good choice might be a internal SSD.
On laptops it isn't always possible/practical with a single drive bay.
There are ISSUES with getting Windoze reactivated to run on a different system disc.
This Toshiba laptop has a second drive bay, so I could add an SSD as a second internal drive - and I might.



On two laptops I removed the optical drive, purchased an optical-drive shaped caddy to hold the SSD and....that was it!

- very easy to do, OS instantly adapts.


That sounds extremely interesting.
Would you please tell me/us more details?
Or at least provide info on where to find more about how to do this?
Step by step instructions would be super cool.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 12:52 PM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
Originally Posted By: dire tonic

On two laptops I removed the optical drive, purchased an optical-drive shaped caddy to hold the SSD and....that was it!

- very easy to do, OS instantly adapts.


That sounds extremely interesting.
Would you please tell me/us more details?
Or at least provide info on where to find more about how to do this?
Step by step instructions would be super cool.


Turn your laptop over. You should see engraved on the plastic base a screwhole marked ODD. Turn off your laptop, remove the battery, undo that screw and you'll see how easily the drive pops out.

If you want to take that route, I'll point you to a couple of caddys on Amazon. You drop the SSD into the caddy, push the caddy home, replace that screw and you're done. Boot up and you'll see you have a new drive ready to go.

The only tricky part is transfering the bezel, the cosmetic cover of the DVD player, but with some care you should be able to do it. It's not essential - just for looks.
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 01:06 PM

Originally Posted By: R_B
Delayed a week (or so).
Apparently unwilling to ship it out until it is "Perfect".

Huhh ?, nothing that big will ever be perfect, that is why we have update processes.
It was good enough to show off at NAMM...


I suspect the product is ready but the delay is a marketing decision to see what pre-orders look like. Pricing a product can be extremely difficult and they want to maximize their profit and future potential.

My two cents.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 01:06 PM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Originally Posted By: minstrelman
Originally Posted By: dire tonic

On two laptops I removed the optical drive, purchased an optical-drive shaped caddy to hold the SSD and....that was it!

- very easy to do, OS instantly adapts.


That sounds extremely interesting.
Would you please tell me/us more details?
Or at least provide info on where to find more about how to do this?
Step by step instructions would be super cool.


Turn your laptop over. You should see engraved on the plastic base a screwhole marked ODD. Turn off your laptop, remove the battery, undo that screw and you'll see how easily the drive pops out.

If you want to take that route, I'll point you to a couple of caddys on Amazon. You drop the SSD into the caddy, push the caddy home, replace that screw and you're done. Boot up and you'll see you have a new drive ready to go.

The only tricky part is transfering the bezel, the cosmetic cover of the DVD player, but with some care you should be able to do it. It's not essential - just for looks.


Yes please. I definitely want to do this. Thank you very much. (Thank you for telling me about the bezel. I am not in the least bit concerned about that.)
Please do point me to everything I will need........caddy, and perhaps even recommend an ssd. I just watched a newmodeus video on YouTube....of a guy doing this to a sony vaio. Really simple.
Also, would you please tell me if there are other things I need to check before I proceed with this plan?
My sony vaio has a 2nd generation i5 (released in 4th quarter 2011), 6 GB of ram, windows 7, 500 GB hdd.
Check this out:
http://www.newmodeus.com/shop/index.php?main_page=page&id=7&chapter=0
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 01:20 PM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Turn your laptop over. You should see engraved on the plastic base a screwhole marked ODD. Turn off your laptop, remove the battery, undo that screw and you'll see how easily the drive pops out.

If you want to take that route, I'll point you to a couple of caddys on Amazon. You drop the SSD into the caddy, push the caddy home, replace that screw and you're done. Boot up and you'll see you have a new drive ready to go.

The only tricky part is transfering the bezel, the cosmetic cover of the DVD player, but with some care you should be able to do it. It's not essential - just for looks.


Yes please. I definitely want to do this. Thank you very much. (Thank you for telling me about the bezel. I am not in the least bit concerned about that.)
Please do point me to everything I will need........caddy, and perhaps even recommend an ssd. I just watched a newmodeus video on YouTube....of a guy doing this to a sony vaio. Really simple.
Also, would you please tell me if there are other things I need to check before I proceed with this plan?
My sony vaio has a 2nd generation i5 (released in 4th quarter 2011), 6 GB of ram, windows 7, 500 GB hdd.


That should be fine - that's more or less the spec and age of my second laptop which got the SSD upgrade.

It would be better for you to decide for yourself on an SSD based on current reviews. Providing you don't buy a lemon (reviews will help) I don't think it much matters which one you buy, all SSDs are over qualified for this job anyway. Decide on how much capacity you want and go for the best $/Gb.

I bought a Samsung 840 - 250Gb (not the pro) and an Intel 335 series 180Gb - both work perfectly.

I'll fish out the info on the caddies and post back later...
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 01:29 PM

Thank you so much for your awesome kindness.
I remember seeing the Samsung 840 many times when I was reading/searching for a usb 3.0 ssd.
They are very highly rated.
Please do post back when you have time about caddies.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 01:34 PM

This was the best caddy by far - much better quality than one in particular that I had to return.

There are two thickness, this one is about 1/2", unless your laptop is very thin I would guess it's the one you need but check that your drive isn't the thinner 9.5mm.

It's very easy to slot the SSD into the caddy onto the terminal block, there are 4 corner securing screws - no need to overtighten, just to stop it flopping around.

The entire job shouldn't take you more than 10 minutes but post if you're still uncertain.

- yes, the Samsungs are highly regarded, you can't really go wrong unless you buy a dud!!
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 01:38 PM

Wow. Thank you so much mister. I am very grateful to you for your help.
I'm looking at this ssd:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E3W1726?ie=UTF8&tag=twea-20&creativeASIN=B00E3W1726
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 01:42 PM

- just an afterthought. If you prefer to keep your DVD player, most of the SSD manufacturers provide some sort of migration software so that you can clone your existing HDD and replace that instead.

I chose not to do that because I'd ceased using the DVD, didn't anticipate needing it and of course a larger more expensive SSD is required if you're going to clone a 500Gb HDD.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 01:43 PM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
Wow. Thank you so much mister. I am very grateful to you for your help.
I'm looking at this ssd:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E3W1726?ie=UTF8&tag=twea-20&creativeASIN=B00E3W1726


Just the job!
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 02:00 PM

- lol! before I forget..(shocking thread-drift but with VIlabs delays it's all they deserve!)

You'll need to transfer the small bracket at the back (inside) end of the ODD to the same spot on the caddy. Very simple to do - 2 screw-holes are tapped in standard locations. It's the bracket that takes the screw that secures the ODD/caddy to the laptop chassis.

Once you look at it, it'll be obvious....
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 02:03 PM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic
- vintage D


I see. It's my second favorite. Have been playing it for an hour just now. Maybe it can be made better. Would have any suggestion for improving settings?
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 02:22 PM

Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
Originally Posted By: dire tonic
- vintage D


I see. It's my second favorite. Have been playing it for an hour just now. Maybe it can be made better. Would have any suggestion for improving settings?


I'm working on some Chopin at the moment and my settings are suiting the piece really well - it's sweet at lower velocities and cuts through well when played harder. But this can only be a guide, it's a matter of personal taste and YMMV.

starting with 'basic grand' (can't remember the default so I'll list what I've done that *might* be different)

resonance at 10o'clock
tone/colour leaning to hard at around 1:30
dynamic leaning to less - 10:30

- that's about it! You'd have to sort out a velocity curve that suits you.
Lid is fully open (but I think it defaults to that anyway)

Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 02:33 PM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic
- lol! before I forget..(shocking thread-drift but with VIlabs delays it's all they deserve!)

You'll need to transfer the small bracket at the back (inside) end of the ODD to the same spot on the caddy. Very simple to do - 2 screw-holes are tapped in standard locations. It's the bracket that takes the screw that secures the ODD/caddy to the laptop chassis.

Once you look at it, it'll be obvious....


Thank you again for all of your super help, advice, and really, moral support. You're an awesome dude, man.
I'll get along fine without an internal dvd/cd player. I'll get a usb external unit.
Thank you so much for your comment regarding the samsung ssd.
I saw that small bracket, that I'll have to transfer, in an instructional page I found.
Thank you so much for your thoroughness in telling me about it.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 02:53 PM

Originally Posted By: AZ_Astro
Originally Posted By: R_B
Delayed a week (or so).
Apparently unwilling to ship it out until it is "Perfect".

Huhh ?, nothing that big will ever be perfect, that is why we have update processes.
It was good enough to show off at NAMM...


I suspect the product is ready but the delay is a marketing decision to see what pre-orders look like. Pricing a product can be extremely difficult and they want to maximize their profit and future potential.

My two cents.


Errr, As in "Pre Christmas sale extended to Dec 27th" ?

It would be "tricky";
Encourage a rush of a few more people to save $50 - people who were on the edge and probably wouldn't buy at the full price
vs
Put the price up to full on schedule and get the latecomers for FULL price, but not get the marginal ones.

Yeah, I had HOPED that they wouldn't be THAT devious, but we're not dealing with open source coders here; they have a "Director of Business Operations" handling it.
If it IS a mahhhketting ruse I think they will lose BIG TIME if/when an insider leaks an internal memo or e-mail ?

BTW, their 3 pianos WAS on sale in December for $250, a hundred off.
Individual pianos were $99, fifty off.

I have made a promise to Santa and IF VILabs do the right thing with THIS product I *_MIGHT_* ask Santa to reward me in December 2014.
ALL contingent on the Ravenscroft outcome laugh
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 02:56 PM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman

I'll get along fine without an internal dvd/cd player. I'll get a usb external unit.

Or instead you can use one of these with your existing orphaned ODD.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 03:16 PM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Originally Posted By: minstrelman

I'll get along fine without an internal dvd/cd player. I'll get a usb external unit.

Or instead you can use one of these with your existing orphaned ODD.


Beautiful. That's very cool, man. Thank you. Definitely getting one.
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 04:59 PM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic

I'm working on some Chopin at the moment and my settings are suiting the piece really well - it's sweet at lower velocities and cuts through well when played harder. But this can only be a guide, it's a matter of personal taste and YMMV.

starting with 'basic grand' (can't remember the default so I'll list what I've done that *might* be different)

resonance at 10o'clock
tone/colour leaning to hard at around 1:30
dynamic leaning to less - 10:30

- that's about it! You'd have to sort out a velocity curve that suits you.
Lid is fully open (but I think it defaults to that anyway)



Thanks man, actually doesn't fit the kind of music I am preparing to play for tomorrow (songs for a karaoke), as the settings make it brighter, but this gave me an idea of how to experiment with these setting.
Thanks!

PS What's great about Vintage D is that it is very low resource intensive and it's one of the very few pianos I have that (with default settings) manages to run perfectly even on my low-end (atom) Windows tablet. Great software.
Posted by: Enthusiast

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 05:26 PM

I haven't pre-ordered this but I do remember reading on their site that it would be released on or around the 14th. Today was never a definite release.

I'm using True Keys, Vintage D and other VSTs with my main 7200 RPM drive where Windows 7 is. They all seem to work fine, however I'm not playing anything complex since I haven't been playing long.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/14/14 08:16 PM

Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
Originally Posted By: dire tonic
- vintage D


I see. It's my second favorite. Have been playing it for an hour just now. Maybe it can be made better. Would have any suggestion for improving settings?


For the most part Vintage D sounds best out of the box. That's one of its appeals to me. Just don't go too heavy on the reverb or noises. You can alter the tone with the color knob. If need be you can bow the velocity curve a little out or in. Otherwise in my experience it doesn't pay to get too cute with it.

There are other software pianos that require and benefit from tweaking much more.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/15/14 03:59 AM

Digitalguy and Dire Tonic (and whoever else feels like joining in the fun),
I have found out a couple things.
first, my Sony Vaio has a 7200 rpm spindle speed HDD SATA.
(I do not know where I had read that it was 5400 rpm. but its not. it is definitely 7200 rpm.) also, it's a hybrid drive. it has 4GB of SSD. (plus 500 GB of HDD.)

next, (and the main reason for this post), my new HP Envy notebook, has room in it to install an mSATA SSD.
the actual physical installation is a piece of cake.
this is the mSATA I would get:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B5BRIF8/ref=...=I3AKJWEQI0C8JR

to do so, might void the warranty. might want to do it anyway. (can you say: "I'm feeling froggy!!) lol
anyway you guys, would you please possibly give me any thoughts about this?
what I want to know is, if this sounds like a fairly simple and bullet proof thing for me to undertake.
how difficult would it be for me (who knows not much about computer disk management, initialize, format, partition, name), and all that jazz, to do whatever configuring would be necessary to make this work?
if you think it sounds like a good idea, could you please even tell me step by step instructions on how to make this work?
or where to find out how to do it?
thanks,
Chasman
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/15/14 04:35 AM

I took some care with my conversion to make the laptop restorable to its original configuration. Hard to say whether I'll get away with it if I need it serviced under warranty.

Which model HP is it?
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/15/14 05:03 AM

hey man,
thanks alot for your reply. it's a:

HP ENVY 15t-j100 Quad Edition Notebook PC

Windows 8.1 64
• 4th generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4700MQ Processor
• Intel(R) HD Graphics
• 15.6-inch diagonal HD BrightView LED-backlit Display (1366x768)
• 8GB DDR3 System Memory (1 Dimm)
• 1TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
• NO mSSD Hard Drive Acceleration Cache
• No Additional Office Software
• Security Software Trial
• 6-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
• No Internal DVD or CD Drive
• Backlit Keyboard
• HP TrueVision HD Webcam w/ integrated digital mic
• 802.11b/g/n WLAN [1x1]


http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Laptops/HP-ENVY/E2E34AV;pgid=Z05gRJtWmw9SRpYnCtRgdAhl0000guiUzXgG;sid=aqc1xPvqN6gbxKkVUMIvSSPlWggJUHxmIGbpfaCc7St_BXVrHnbDBM75?HP-ENVY-15t-j100-Quad-Edition-Notebook-PC-ENERGY-STAR-&&rwCategory=-&rwCatalog=-

could you possibly please give me step by step instructions on how to do this?
I'm thinking I would be happy to have the mSATA SSD as a secondary storage drive. I do not care about making it the boot drive. what I do care about is being able to use it to play Ravenscroft and ACD on.

(hey Digitalguy, I ordered ACD today.)
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/15/14 05:18 AM

Sorry, minstrelman, I haven't looked into this before and know nothing about MSata. I'd expect there to be some info out there which will help. At a guess, if the laptop is designed to take such an accessory then I'd expect the fitting to be simple. Not sure about how easy it is to configure but if you're not planning to make it a boot drive it should be plain sailing.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/15/14 05:57 AM

oh cool. thanks man.

my understanding is that the physical installation of the card (maybe its called a card),
whatever, the mSATA SSD gizmo, is a piece of cake.
what concerns this old caveman technology level dude (hahahahaha),
is the configuring stuff. I've jumped through many a hoop in my day, with this computer stuff.
I do need step by step instructions for anything of any complexity.
I'm reading and studying........
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/15/14 07:03 AM

You an almost certainly get those details from HP Support.
Chances are they have a LOT more info there that we do here.

Here is ONE known problem, probably a good idea to check your laptop model/serial # against the list;
http://h20566.www2.hp.com/portal/site/hpsc/template.PAGE/public/psi/mostViewedDisplay?javax.portlet.begCacheTok=com.vignette.cachetoken&javax.portlet.endCacheTok=com.vignette.cachetoken&javax.portlet.prp_efb5c0793523e51970c8fa22b053ce01=wsrp-navigationalState%3DdocId%253Demr_na-c03770681-3%257CdocLocale%253Den_US&javax.portlet.tpst=efb5c0793523e51970c8fa22b053ce01&sp4ts.oid=5298038&ac.admitted=1392465829544.876444892.199480143

If that link doesn't work because of how I got to it try googling
"hp laptop msata support"
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/15/14 07:44 AM

Thank you very much.
I thought about calling HP support.
But then I thought that they would just tell me it would void the warranty.
Not so impressed with HP support, so far.
To the extent that, I figured I'd do better asking you guys.
No worries.
I'll get there somehow, some way.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/15/14 07:54 AM

No need to call, you can search their site.

BTW, re mSATA:
It is the slot type that most laptops use for WiFi, so if someone wanted to add an mSATA SSD and could give up wireless communication they could use that slot.
Unacceptable for the general purpose laptop that has to do multiple duty for web, e-mail, etc., but it could work for a DEDICATED music machine.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/15/14 08:03 AM

Thank you very much again.
I have read that physically adding an msata SSD, to my specific model is all good.
I got some type of service thingy from HP website.
What I need is step by step instructions on how to configure it.
Any advice, guys?
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/15/14 09:19 AM

If you merely "thought about calling HP support" but didn't then you don't (yet) have any grounds to be impressed by them, either negatively or positively.

For a step by step how to you would probably have better luck browsing the forums for your particular laptop.

My GUESS is that it will go much like any hardware you add or change, i.e. turn it off, remove the hatch cover, find the slot, slip it in, replace the hatch cover.

It will be detected when you power up and a config program will appear asking if you want to (for example) format the new disc, assign a label, give it a drive letter, etc.
It may ask if you have an installation CD/DVD with device drivers on it.
As I said, my GUESS, but it is a disc and a disc by any other name is still not a rose.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/15/14 10:18 AM

Thank you so much again.
I have talked to HP support.
The support has been uneven.
Part of the problem is Windows 8.1.
If I could turn back the clock, one thing I would definitely do,is get 7.
Sincerely thank you for your help.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/15/14 03:05 PM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
Thank you so much again.
I have talked to HP support.
The support has been uneven.
Part of the problem is Windows 8.1.
If I could turn back the clock, one thing I would definitely do,is get 7.
Sincerely thank you for your help.


From what I have heard there is a Windoze-XP compatibility mode of some sort, you might be able to revert to that.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/15/14 03:29 PM

Originally Posted By: R_B

BTW, re mSATA:
It is the slot type that most laptops use for WiFi, so if someone wanted to add an mSATA SSD and could give up wireless communication they could use that slot.


I didn't know anything about mSATA, so i did some Googling - as far as I can tell, whilst mSATA does use the same physical connector as Mini PCI Express (mpcie) they are electrically different - the mSATA connector has connections which go directly to a SATA controller. However, there are also some mpcie compatible SSDs, and yes, I assume one could do as you suggest with those SSDs.

There is a lot of confusion out there about all this, it seems!

Greg.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/15/14 03:55 PM

thanks R_B.
Greg,
disclaimer: not an expert. hah!!!! now thats an understatement.

I thought I read that there are 2 kinds: one is SATA, the other is pcie.
pcie is faster. but the difference is insignificant to someone like me. only matters on a server. the SATA is a better way for someone like me to go.
mind you, repeating what I read. I know next to nothing about all of this. that said, I ordered one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B5BRIF8/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I am told it will be a snap for me to install it in my new HP notebook, and to configure it. I will install it as a secondary drive, for storage.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/15/14 04:10 PM

Minstrelman: If your laptop has an mSATA slot, then yes, that device looks like it should work, because it is mSATA as well. (but I'm not an expert either). The point I was trying to make is that if your laptop did NOT have an mSATA slot, and you attempted to install that particular SSD into your mpcie slot, then no, I do not think it would work, even though it would actually be able to be plugged in physically. (I think)

Greg.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/15/14 04:20 PM

thank you very much Greg.
I read that my laptop has an mSATA slot, and that this will work with it. thank you for telling me that indeed though.
just ordered an external dvd usb 2.0 gizmo, so that I can load ACD on to my HP laptop.
I think I could have loaded the vast majority of it to another computer that has an optical drive. and then transferred it using an external HDD.
but I would not have been able to load the application file that way.
actually, to be precise, I was told that with a mac, it would be easy to do that. with a pc, it would be a nightmare.
thus, the external dvd purchase.

update:
for those interested in SSD stuff:
I installed a Plextor 256 GB mSATA thingy in my new HP notebook, Plextor support Tim gets highest praise.
I installed it as a secondary storage drive.
CrystalDisked it:
read write
seq 498 400
512k 360 373

this is with nothing installed on it yet. it shows 238 GB free.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/19/14 08:35 AM

All quiet here...
Are folk waiting patiently for their hardware up_grades/dates ?
and of course the sample library ?

Have the questions all been answered in laptop/desktop computer forums ?
Is it all over ?
Did the fat lady sing yet ? (to GREAT disappointment)

What next ? (other than buyer's remorse)
laugh

V2.0 ?
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/19/14 09:25 AM

Originally Posted By: R_B
All quiet here...
Are folk waiting patiently for their hardware up_grades/dates ?
and of course the sample library ?

Have the questions all been answered in laptop/desktop computer forums ?
Is it all over ?
Did the fat lady sing yet ? (to GREAT disappointment)

What next ? (other than buyer's remorse)
laugh

V2.0 ?


I would seem so, "fortunately" for me I am away on a trip the whole week (will be back on Friday morning) and therefore cannot even play piano these days... miss it... but at least I can tell myself I couln't try the Ravenscroft anyway... wink but I do hope they keep their promise and deliver by the end of the week so that I can play when I am back....
Posted by: Pete14

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/19/14 10:00 AM

VI recently posted a "classical music" audio demo on their website.
Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/19/14 10:43 AM

At least you have other software to use Digitalguy! lol But yes, I too am hoping they will release it this week, but I'm not optimistic.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/19/14 11:47 AM

Not by any means blown away by that classical demo. Something more middle-of-the-road classical might have been a better showcase than this piece - far too busy and too much sustain pedal in the early stages to get a clear idea, IMHO.
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/19/14 10:17 PM

VI Labs put up this message on their website:

***

Ravenscroft Update February 14th, 2014

We wanted to give everyone a quick update on where we are with the Ravenscroft virtual instrument. We are currently entering the last stage of development and testing. We're working as hard as we can to get everything finished up and we will continue to keep you updated as we get closer to release.

A few people have already asked about the sale. Yes, we will keep the pre-release sale going until the release goes live. Feel free to contact us if you have any other questions.


***

The current release date is: "the 3rd week of February."
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/20/14 06:10 PM

Originally Posted By: AZ_Astro
VI Labs put up this message on their website:

...The current release date is: "the 3rd week of February."



Let's hope it's out tomorrow then.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/21/14 05:33 AM

Originally Posted By: AZ_Astro
VI Labs put up this message on their website:

".....The current release date is: "the 3rd week of February."

Unless I'm looking at the wrong page they've withdrawn that assurance. Tomorrow (Sat) would push it into week 4.

Anyone taking bets on March?

This apparently uploaded yesterday...





This sounds quite nice (go to 17 minutes!!) but it's jazzy, very bright and sparkly. Does it sound a bit like one of the modelled pianos? I've no experience of them but I wonder, what do users of Pianoteq and Roland modelled sounds make of it?
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/21/14 08:39 AM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Originally Posted By: AZ_Astro
VI Labs put up this message on their website:

".....The current release date is: "the 3rd week of February."

Unless I'm looking at the wrong page they've withdrawn that assurance. Tomorrow (Sat) would push it into week 4.

Anyone taking bets on March?


You're right. Under Products/Ravenscroft piano it now reads:

We are offering a special pre-release sale to all users who order from January 31st, 2014 until we release the Ravenscroft virtual piano in February. Place your order now to get this special pricing and receive the download link and authorization code as soon as they're available.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/21/14 09:08 AM

I was ANGRY that they charged my credit card the day AFTER they announced the delay - I told them so in no uncertain terms, they offered a full refund if I wanted to cancel.
On reflection it was probably just a timing issue with card processing, but I dislike the practice of charging a card before shipping the goods OUT - that did get to me.

I thought about it for 3 more days, figured I don't play through the computer with what I already have and would likely only "play with" a new toy for a week or so {Christmas Morning toy syndrome}.

HARD to do, but I cancelled and they VERY PROMPTLY credited my card.
No hard feelings as far as I could tell, I said I might be back and if I ever dedicate a computer to my electronic keyboard I might...
By that time Ravenscroft 3.x will probably be out, and/or something even MORE Mahh_velous will be all the rage.

Last December they had a sale on their 3 pianos - $100 off, (3 fer $250) and $50 of individual instruments ($99.xx ea).
Perhaps there will be a 4 fer deal in Dec 2014 ?? We shall see (& listen)
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/21/14 09:24 AM

Originally Posted By: R_B
I was ANGRY that they charged my credit card the day AFTER they announced the delay - I told them so in no uncertain terms, they offered a full refund if I wanted to cancel.
On reflection it was probably just a timing issue with card processing, but I dislike the practice of charging a card before shipping the goods OUT - that did get to me.

I thought about it for 3 more days, figured I don't play through the computer with what I already have and would likely only "play with" a new toy for a week or so {Christmas Morning toy syndrome}.

HARD to do, but I cancelled and they VERY PROMPTLY credited my card.
No hard feelings as far as I could tell, I said I might be back and if I ever dedicate a computer to my electronic keyboard I might...
By that time Ravenscroft 3.x will probably be out, and/or something even MORE Mahh_velous will be all the rage.

Last December they had a sale on their 3 pianos - $100 off, 3 (fer $250) and $50 of individual instruments ($99.xx ea).
Perhaps there will be a 4 fer deal in Dec 2014 ?? We shall see (& listen)



Still time to change your mind....and then probably plenty of time to reverse your reversal...

I'm sure I read somewhere that VI were going to give us early adopters a voucher for a discount on the other pianos. Maybe that offer will be extended to anyone who buys the Ravenscroft.

I'm still baffled that I don't see any auspicious recitals on YT of really good classical players using a Ravenscroft. Ok, so it's one of the most expensive pianos in the world. What of a jock-strap spun from pure gold? World-beating price, of course, but is it comfortable?
Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/21/14 11:27 AM

Well I too after reading this am thinking of canceling too. I don't mind pre orderering when I have a firm release date. I DO mind being strung along with missed date after missed date. I'd rather have to pay for that damn iLok/Ivory that I can use now than wait, and wait, and wait. Gotta give this thought...
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/21/14 12:40 PM

Be PATIENT laugh

I would have preferred to have gotten whatever they showed at NAMM "right away", or on V-day, even if it had meant a patch download or a_NOTHER 8 Gig download a week or three later.

They don't seem to want to do it that way, which I would find hard to argue with.
The eternal field test "New bugs for old" Microslop product cycles have become the norm for the S/W industry and I still HATE that.
{not that sample libraries are "software", they're "data"}
How perfect ? vs how soon ?

Charging before shipment ?
I don't and I don't see why they should.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/21/14 01:01 PM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Originally Posted By: R_B
I was ANGRY that they charged my credit card the day AFTER they announced the delay - I told them so in no uncertain terms, they offered a full refund if I wanted to cancel.
On reflection it was probably just a timing issue with card processing, but I dislike the practice of charging a card before shipping the goods OUT - that did get to me.

I thought about it for 3 more days, figured I don't play through the computer with what I already have and would likely only "play with" a new toy for a week or so {Christmas Morning toy syndrome}.

HARD to do, but I cancelled and they VERY PROMPTLY credited my card.
No hard feelings as far as I could tell, I said I might be back and if I ever dedicate a computer to my electronic keyboard I might...
By that time Ravenscroft 3.x will probably be out, and/or something even MORE Mahh_velous will be all the rage.

Last December they had a sale on their 3 pianos - $100 off, 3 (fer $250) and $50 of individual instruments ($99.xx ea).
Perhaps there will be a 4 fer deal in Dec 2014 ?? We shall see (& listen)



Still time to change your mind....and then probably plenty of time to reverse your reversal...

I'm sure I read somewhere that VI were going to give us early adopters a voucher for a discount on the other pianos. Maybe that offer will be extended to anyone who buys the Ravenscroft.

I'm still baffled that I don't see any auspicious recitals on YT of really good classical players using a Ravenscroft. Ok, so it's one of the most expensive pianos in the world. What of a jock-strap spun from pure gold? World-beating price, of course, but is it comfortable?


I "ASSUME" that as a company they aren't big enough to haul pianos around and "Sponsor" top players.
S&S seem to have an exclusive on "concert artists" ???
They have laid the ground thick with their instruments, they are the default in house pianos at many/most concert halls.
This just about locks out all other brands.

OTOH, the (Sir)Paul McCartney at the white house event DID have a Yamaha (on stage right, lid down to muffle it).


Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/22/14 03:15 AM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic
[quote=R_B]
I'm still baffled that I don't see any auspicious recitals on YT of really good classical players using a Ravenscroft. Ok, so it's one of the most expensive pianos in the world.


That's simple. Ravenscroft is a very small piano maker. They only been around 10 years, and they've only made about 10 pianos since then.

So only 10 Ravenscroft pianos in the world Vs. thousands of Steinways and Yamahas (not to mention the endorsement deals that Yamaha and Steinway do).
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/22/14 04:31 AM

Steinway's stranglehold is self-evident but if in 10 years Ravenscroft can't pull off a public performance by an uncommitted virtuoso on the 'worlds most expensive piano' ...something is amiss.

Maybe in 50 years?


Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/22/14 05:11 AM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Steinway's stranglehold is self-evident but if in 10 years Ravenscroft can't pull off a public performance involving a major classical artist or uncommitted virtuoso on the 'worlds most expensive piano' ...something is amiss.

Maybe in 50 years?




It will probably take two more generations for "other than mechanical" pianos to be accepted by "ConZzzert Artistes".
Mayhap great (mechanical) piano builders don't get full recognition until after their death ?
(as a matter of Principle)

Welcome to the 4th week of February.
My only regret is that yesterday passed without the local radio station broadcasting ANY Segovia recordings.
Not while I was listening, I may have missed it/them.
Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/24/14 06:41 PM

Another day and no product. Yawn...
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/24/14 07:27 PM

Found this paragraph on the VI Labs Products page for Ravenscroft:

Engine
When we started developing True Keys, sampling technology was adequate in many ways, but not perfect. Our first goal was to find a technology partner that shared our obsession with quality and detail. After searching we began working with a company based out of France called UVI. They are the company behind many popular sound products such as Mach 5 by MOTU. True Keys, and the Ravenscroft virtual instrument now use this engine and the free player that we provide called 'the UVI Workstation' to create the most comprehensive and detailed sample libraries ever conceived.

Perhaps, I'm just misunderstanding the "free player," but does this mean that the ILock is optional?

Thanks!
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/24/14 07:32 PM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Perhaps, I'm just misunderstanding the "free player," but does this mean that the ILock is optional?

The fact that the player is free does not mean that their product isn't tied to an ilok.
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/24/14 07:59 PM

Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Perhaps, I'm just misunderstanding the "free player," but does this mean that the ILock is optional?

The fact that the player is free does not mean that their product isn't tied to an ilok.


Exactly, you can download True Cowbells for free for instance for use in UVI, but UVI will not load protected libraries without ilok
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/24/14 10:49 PM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Found this paragraph on the VI Labs Products page for Ravenscroft:

<snipped>

Perhaps, I'm just misunderstanding the "free player," but does this mean that the ILock is optional?

Thanks!


They are separate;
a) The player is "free", that is to say you don't pay separately for it, although it is probably not "free" in the open source sense.

b) Copy protection is now alternatively to your hard disc OR to your i-lok device.
If you already have one it may make sense to use it, if you don't you can avoid the ~$50 cost of having to buy one for THIS product.

As I understand it the copy protection mechanism is tied to the sample library, NOT to the (free) player.

I am currently OUT of this deal, but if I find a Linux player that can play this sample library I just MIGHT jump back in.
OTOH, maybe not until I dedicate a computer to my piano keyboard - an all-in-one 23 inch unit mounted on the wall behind the keyboard, displaying sheet music with the page turner thing.
Maybe not laugh

Lets see what it all shakes out to, I may be out on the water in another month or so, after that it is sail, sail, sail,,,

Perhaps a December sale if they have one like last year.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/25/14 12:11 PM

Would someone please explain for me the nature and purpose of the ILock device.
Also, if you purchase a VST that requires an ILock, must you purchase it again if you buy a different VST that requires an ILock?

Being new to the use of VST's, this information would be most helpful!
Thanks!
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/25/14 12:15 PM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Would someone please explain for me the nature and purpose of the ILock device.
Also, if you purchase a VST that requires an ILock, must you purchase it again if you buy a different VST that requires an ILock?

Being new to the use of VST's, this information would be most helpful!
Thanks!



With iLok piracy is virtually impossible. Also, you purchase it only once and can use it for all your licences.
Posted by: Michael Wright

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/25/14 12:17 PM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Would someone please explain for me the nature and purpose of the ILock device.
Also, if you purchase a VST that requires an ILock, must you purchase it again if you buy a different VST that requires an ILock?
Being new to the use of VST's, this information would be most helpful!
Thanks!

Your licenses can reside in it. In the case of VI Labs software, the ilock manger can authorize your hard drive. Multiple licences can be kept in the ilok. I believe this to be the case.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/25/14 12:35 PM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Would someone please explain for me the nature and purpose of the ILock device.
Also, if you purchase a VST that requires an ILock, must you purchase it again if you buy a different VST that requires an ILock?

Being new to the use of VST's, this information would be most helpful!
Thanks!



Nature:
Encryption.
Purpose:
To "unlock" the encrypted product that you have already PAID FOR.
Subsequent Use:
It is a "buy once, use on many products" key device.

It dates back to dongles of the early 80s (Amiga, Atari, etc.)
The whole concept disgusts many of us.
As a consumer SOMEWHERE in the purchase price One PAYS FOR the "locking" of the product.
In order to "Unlock" that product One has to (in essence) pay more money to a separate "key vendor".

There are other (& some believe BETTER) devices, e.g. the challenge/response mechanism that appears to be what vilabs is now offering as the hard disc authorization alternative.

I-Lok CAN be cracked, though finding out how to do so would almost certainly take One to high risk ("black") web sites.

Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/25/14 12:38 PM

Kinda moot unless/until there is a PRODUCT to be copy protected laugh
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/25/14 02:06 PM

R_B; Michael Wright; Digitalguy…

Thanks for your help!
Posted by: Michael Wright

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/25/14 05:56 PM

You are most welcome HisKidd.
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/28/14 05:21 PM

Okay.

It's the last day of February.

I'd like my piano now, which I already payed $150 for over three weeks ago.

K THX BYE wink
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/28/14 05:53 PM

Nahh, you have a corrupt calendar.
Tomorrow is just the first day of the 5th week of February.

You could request a full refund, they know how to do that
fairly quickly.
That is to say I got mine quickly, but I complained EARLY and (uncharacteristically) RUDELY.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/28/14 06:06 PM

Just ordered and paid via PayPal. According to reports on KC, they've been making final tweaks. I think their policy of declaring unattainable delivery dates and of taking money in advance, based on those dates, is bad business. However, at least one beta tester is very enthused, and I'm hoping that this software will be worth the wait - and that it'll run on my Surface Pro. I would just like to have an alternative to Pianoteq, and particularly one suited to jazz.

I don't relish the install/licensing rigmarole.
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 02/28/14 07:02 PM

Don't get me wrong, I'm still looking forward to the piano and I'm excited to play it, I'm just a bit annoyed at all these delays and missed deadlines.


I appreciate that they're doing "final tweaks", but they've been doing these "final" tweaks for the past two weeks - so not really that final. They could have released the version they had on the date they set, and then just added the improved version in their up-to-date download links (the same way all their other pianos work).

I think they were a bit premature with their pre-order sale, selling off licenses and then advertising that it would be released on the 8th, then the 14th, then the third week in February, and now.....??? It's a full month later and still no product for everyone who pre-ordered. Just seems a tad misleading, and not a great way to go about a pre-order sale.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/01/14 02:07 PM

Back about two or three pages ago in mid February we were into disc read rates, SSDs, USB 3.0, etc.
While I suspect that sample libraries and the players have some optimization that minimizes the consequences of latency, I still believe that "less is better".

I recently got a couple of 128 Gig USB sticks, specifically PNY 128 Turbo 3.0 flash drives.
I will be using them for purposes other than sample libraries, but maybe their speed is of interest to some people who can't add an SSD, or don't want the expense.
Since I brought up the EXPENSE topic, these were 49.99 ea on NewEgg "Special" with free shipping.
To the NUMBERS;
CrystalDisc Mark 3.0.3 x64
180.9 56.94
158.2 32.53
7.082 0.312
6.806 0.322
Test Data; Default, 50 MB.
This was from a "fresh start" run of CrystalDisc, i.e. I had not just run a pass on a different disc.

I just did a second run without reloading the program, the differences were trivial.
==============================================
Just to do the TOTALLY MEANINGLESS test that can probably make ANY drive look good/fair, the Gigabyte results are;
192.2 75.99
159.2 4.738
6.591 0.092
6.046 0.110
=================================================

My (obvious) conclusions;
1) These memory sticks are about 2x faster than my system's hard drive.
2) USB 3.0 is NOT a bottleneck.
3) If I add to that the fact that access to them doesn't have to compete with access to the hard drive by the program or O/S they would be the location of choice for sample libraries.

BTW they are about 4x faster than my SDHC cards.

I want to emphasize that these USB sticks are NEW, i.e. they have little or no directories on them that needs to be accessed to locate the files that they read/write.
Well, the directory structures are almost certainly there, but they aren't heavily populated.

========================================================
They could be good candidates for swap space on Linux or Virtual Memory space on Windoze too, but that is a whole 'nother subject laugh

EDIT:
Correction; Windoze doesn't recognize them as potential virtual memory devices, or as suitable for use in the wretched "ready boost" hack either.
:END EDIT
Posted by: Michael Wright

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/01/14 09:22 PM

Check the VI Labs website now.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/01/14 10:16 PM

Looks like there are 4 MORE sale/discount days ?
Kinda ~ODD~
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/02/14 04:33 AM

Yup. It's ready. Shipping on March 4. See the blurb from their website:

http://www.vilabsaudio.com/

Ravenscroft 275 VI is now ready! March 02nd, 2014

Great news! While we apologize for the delay in the release of the Ravenscroft 275 Virtual Instrument, we are happy to announce that it is finished and that all pre-sale orders will be delivered on March 4, 2014. New features and improvements have been added and required thorough testing before it could be released. It is now complete and is a piano virtual instrument we are all very proud of.

All pre-sale orders will be delivered on March 4th, and the pre-sale price will remain in effect until March 5th which will conclude our pre-sale period. We are also adding new audio demos and videos, so keep checking back as the days to come will be very exciting at VI Labs. Thank you to all those who have ordered and for your patience as we have made the Ravenscroft 275 Virtual Instrument one of the best virtual pianos ever!

I went ahead and purchased it and I will do some comparison testing vs Ivory II (both German D and American D sampled pianos) after I've played it awhile.


Posted by: Pathbreaker

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/02/14 03:11 PM

I'm in the market for some kind of virtual piano and listened to the different piano samples on the True Keys website. Listened to the TK German, American and Italian. To my ears, the Italian was significantly more impressive than the German and American. I was very surprised by the bass as I was expecting it to be very "bright." I didn't find it to be a harsh treble sound but instead is was very crisp and convincing. For that particular piano it was the closest to sounding like I was in the room.

I listened to the Un Sospiro on the Ravenscroft and wasn't able to conclude anything based on that sample. The bass was kind of muddy like the German and I didn't like that but it was not a good example to confirm. I hope they post more examples like Brahms or Chopin. I find the bass is almost never convincing enough for Brahms but hoping to be surprised.

Very curious about the Ravenscroft version after hearing the Italian. Anyone using the TK Italian and satisfied with it? (listened to the Hungarian Rhapsody)
Posted by: Lance VI Labs

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/02/14 06:17 PM

Hey everyone, Lance from VI Labs here. I wanted to make a post to update everyone on our progress and the official release date of March 4th. I noticed it already has been posted in here, but I did want to introduce myself and be available for any questions. The missed deadlines are annoying for everyone and probably shouldn't have been specific as there was much work still to do before release. To chicolom, I'm glad you're excited and really believe you'll have a lot to be excited about with this instrument and all the improvements! Yes final tweaks do take a while as the new features and tweaks must be thoroughly tested by our beta testers before we can call them "good" and be able to release a finished version. While many software companies prematurely released unfinished software, we decided to wait until we were happy with it and thoroughly tested as opposed to releasing a possibly unfinished or broken version only to then follow up with updates to fix it. That's not a good approach, but conversely, we should be providing information too because leaving everyone hanging is also not a good approach. The addition of new features and many fixes and improvements since we debuted it at NAMM took much longer than any of us expected. As they say, you can't dictate innovation.

The pre-sale period will continue until the point that pre-sale orders are fully delivered. Once the product is released, the pre-sale period will conclude. We're allowing an extra day to make sure all pre-sales are fulfilled, then the discount will no longer be in effect.

While a beautiful piece, perhaps the "Un Sospiro" isn't the best for showing off detail. If anyone has a specific request along with someone that can perform a demo beautifully, say a Brahms or Chopin, we'd love those suggestions. We have many more audio demos planned and these requests will be helpful. All audio demos posted are directly from the VI--no mastering or any external processing is used. There will also be video demos posted from VI Labs as well as third party users and our testers, so stay tuned for new content to be posted in the days to come as we prepare for our full launch of the Ravenscroft 275 VI. It will be a very easy step-by-step registration and installation process. And remember, for those that don't have a physical iLok key, you can authorize your license now to your computer hard drive thus eliminating the need for an iLok key if you prefer.

Again, our sincere apologies for the delays and lack of informative update posts on our behalf. Feel free to PM me on here or contact us via our website for any other questions. And keep checking for our new content and demos. Thanks!

-Lance Herring


Originally Posted By: chicolom
Don't get me wrong, I'm still looking forward to the piano and I'm excited to play it, I'm just a bit annoyed at all these delays and missed deadlines.


I appreciate that they're doing "final tweaks", but they've been doing these "final" tweaks for the past two weeks - so not really that final. They could have released the version they had on the date they set, and then just added the improved version in their up-to-date download links (the same way all their other pianos work).

I think they were a bit premature with their pre-order sale, selling off licenses and then advertising that it would be released on the 8th, then the 14th, then the third week in February, and now.....??? It's a full month later and still no product for everyone who pre-ordered. Just seems a tad misleading, and not a great way to go about a pre-order sale.
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/02/14 07:28 PM

Hi Lance, I am glad that you finally came to this forum. I don't know if you have read the whole thread or not. However, as I mentioned earlier on here, I have followed you since Academic Grand and Kawai Ex pro, and bought True Keys American. I also pre-ordered Ravenscroft, but the delay had almost made me cancel my pre-order. I hope the result will be worth the money and the waiting. I take the opportunity to give you some feedback. There is a major problem I have with UVI and True Keys, that may be even worse with Ravenscroft. It's too slow to load even on SSD. Now I know it's big, but my Ivory II American D loads almost instantly and it's more than 45 GB... I know that you have lite patches, but I (and probably most people) am not interested in a downsized version of the best. So I would encourage you to find a way to load the full sample faster. Well, if the problem is all with UVI, well you may want to think about this for your future sampled piano... And speaking of it, I'll tell you the same thing I told Synthogy when buying Ivory. I would really love to see Bluethner Model One sampled. I know there is already a sampled version. But it's from a virtually unknown company. If I buy I would like to buy from a company that has already proven they could produce very playable and very well sampled pianos. After all there are many competing sampled Steinway D around...
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/02/14 07:56 PM

Thanks for the update Lance!

Congrats on another beautifully sampled instrument too!

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Michael Wright

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/02/14 08:09 PM

Originally Posted By: Lance VI Labs
Hey everyone, Lance from VI Labs here. I wanted to make a post to update everyone on our progress and the official release date of March 4th. I noticed it already has been posted in here, but I did want to introduce myself and be available for any questions. The missed deadlines are annoying for everyone and probably shouldn't have been specific as there was much work still to do before release. To chicolom, I'm glad you're excited and really believe you'll have a lot to be excited about with this instrument and all the improvements! Yes final tweaks do take a while as the new features and tweaks must be thoroughly tested by our beta testers before we can call them "good" and be able to release a finished version. While many software companies prematurely released unfinished software, we decided to wait until we were happy with it and thoroughly tested as opposed to releasing a possibly unfinished or broken version only to then follow up with updates to fix it. That's not a good approach, but conversely, we should be providing information too because leaving everyone hanging is also not a good approach. The addition of new features and many fixes and improvements since we debuted it at NAMM took much longer than any of us expected. As they say, you can't dictate innovation.

The pre-sale period will continue until the point that pre-sale orders are fully delivered. Once the product is released, the pre-sale period will conclude. We're allowing an extra day to make sure all pre-sales are fulfilled, then the discount will no longer be in effect.

While a beautiful piece, perhaps the "Un Sospiro" isn't the best for showing off detail. If anyone has a specific request along with someone that can perform a demo beautifully, say a Brahms or Chopin, we'd love those suggestions. We have many more audio demos planned and these requests will be helpful. All audio demos posted are directly from the VI--no mastering or any external processing is used. There will also be video demos posted from VI Labs as well as third party users and our testers, so stay tuned for new content to be posted in the days to come as we prepare for our full launch of the Ravenscroft 275 VI. It will be a very easy step-by-step registration and installation process. And remember, for those that don't have a physical iLok key, you can authorize your license now to your computer hard drive thus eliminating the need for an iLok key if you prefer.

Again, our sincere apologies for the delays and lack of informative update posts on our behalf. Feel free to PM me on here or contact us via our website for any other questions. And keep checking for our new content and demos. Thanks!
-Lance Herring

Hi Lance!
Great of you to come on talking about the Ravenscroft VI Thanks very much! Looking forward to it! smile Cheers Mike Wright
p.s. Already Love the American Grand!
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/02/14 08:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
There is a major problem I have with UVI and True Keys, that may be even worse with Ravenscroft. It's too slow to load even on SSD.


Just curious, how long does it take ?

Mine takes 30 seconds.

Is that too long ?
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/02/14 08:44 PM

Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
There is a major problem I have with UVI and True Keys, that may be even worse with Ravenscroft. It's too slow to load even on SSD.


Just curious, how long does it take ?

Mine takes 30 seconds.

Is that too long ?


It takes around 15 seconds on SSD and a little less than 30 seconds on a 7200 rpm HHD (I have it on 2 pcs).
And the new piano is bigger...
Other libraries take long as well, but as I was telling another member in a PM, if American Concert D can load almost instantly there must be a way to make it faster.
Maybe you don't mind, but waiting 30 seconds each time I load a piano is not something I like. Exactly as I wouldn't like to have wait 30 seconds to start playing each time I turn on my Roland digital piano.
Posted by: renato

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/02/14 09:23 PM

I have the same doubt about Italian and ravenscroft.

Also, anyone could tell if Italian or Ravenscroft could play as good as yamaha for pop/rock?
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/02/14 09:30 PM

Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
Maybe you don't mind, but waiting 30 seconds each time I load a piano is not something I like.


Well, you are right about that.

I don't even think about it.
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/02/14 09:46 PM

Originally Posted By: Lance VI Labs
Hey everyone, Lance from VI Labs here. I wanted to make a post to update everyone on our progress and the official release date of March 4th. I noticed it already has been posted in here, but I did want to introduce myself and be available for any questions. The missed deadlines are annoying for everyone and probably shouldn't have been specific as there was much work still to do before release. To chicolom, I'm glad you're excited and really believe you'll have a lot to be excited about with this instrument and all the improvements! Yes final tweaks do take a while as the new features and tweaks must be thoroughly tested by our beta testers before we can call them "good" and be able to release a finished version. While many software companies prematurely released unfinished software, we decided to wait until we were happy with it and thoroughly tested as opposed to releasing a possibly unfinished or broken version only to then follow up with updates to fix it. That's not a good approach, but conversely, we should be providing information too because leaving everyone hanging is also not a good approach. The addition of new features and many fixes and improvements since we debuted it at NAMM took much longer than any of us expected. As they say, you can't dictate innovation.

The pre-sale period will continue until the point that pre-sale orders are fully delivered. Once the product is released, the pre-sale period will conclude. We're allowing an extra day to make sure all pre-sales are fulfilled, then the discount will no longer be in effect.

While a beautiful piece, perhaps the "Un Sospiro" isn't the best for showing off detail. If anyone has a specific request along with someone that can perform a demo beautifully, say a Brahms or Chopin, we'd love those suggestions. We have many more audio demos planned and these requests will be helpful. All audio demos posted are directly from the VI--no mastering or any external processing is used. There will also be video demos posted from VI Labs as well as third party users and our testers, so stay tuned for new content to be posted in the days to come as we prepare for our full launch of the Ravenscroft 275 VI. It will be a very easy step-by-step registration and installation process. And remember, for those that don't have a physical iLok key, you can authorize your license now to your computer hard drive thus eliminating the need for an iLok key if you prefer.

Again, our sincere apologies for the delays and lack of informative update posts on our behalf. Feel free to PM me on here or contact us via our website for any other questions. And keep checking for our new content and demos. Thanks!

-Lance Herring



Thanks for the update Lance.

Yes, all I was asking for was a little more clarity and communication and a bit less ambiguity around the release process. When $150 bucks has already traded hands you can understand why the customer would get a little annoyed when the products get delayed and there seams to be a lack of communication about the progress towards release. I'm glad it's finally done though, and I can't wait to play it.

As for demo ideas, I think that particular piano lends itself well to jazz playing. I enjoyed Ruslan Sirota's performance on it from NAMM, so maybe some more virtuoso jazz performances smile
Posted by: Lance VI Labs

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/02/14 10:24 PM

Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
There is a major problem I have with UVI and True Keys, that may be even worse with Ravenscroft. It's too slow to load even on SSD.


Just curious, how long does it take ?

Mine takes 30 seconds.

Is that too long ?


It takes around 15 seconds on SSD and a little less than 30 seconds on a 7200 rpm HHD (I have it on 2 pcs).
And the new piano is bigger...
Other libraries take long as well, but as I was telling another member in a PM, if American Concert D can load almost instantly there must be a way to make it faster.
Maybe you don't mind, but waiting 30 seconds each time I load a piano is not something I like. Exactly as I wouldn't like to have wait 30 seconds to start playing each time I turn on my Roland digital piano.



I use many diverse systems as well. For example, a 4 year old i7 machine with 7200rpm SATA internal drives, the Ravenscroft 275 VI takes 29 seconds to load fresh. Subsequent loads after it's all cached in RAM load quicker.. roughly 22 seconds. A new Macbook Pro with SSD loads the same file in 12.6 seconds. One thing to mention is our products at VI Labs are considered "sample libraries" and are not a standalone unit like Ivory which uses its own proprietary engine. Our libraries use the UVI engine much in the same way instruments for Kontakt Player use the NI Kontakt engine. I can't speak on how Ivory or others that use proprietary engines manage RAM buffering (the cause for loads times with sampled instruments), but our pianos use thousands of samples all of which must be buffered. For instance, our release samples are numerous...as many as 50 per key, per mic position, and that doesn't include Una Corda or half-pedal which use their own discreet samples. So there can be upwards of 90 or more release samples for each key, and all have to be buffered as the instrument is loaded. Everything is sample-based including all sympathetic and pedal down resonance too.

So comparing load times to other instruments is a difficult comparison because the engines all work differently. And it's certainly "apples to oranges" when comparing the load times of a deeply sampled VI library compared to a hardware digital piano by Roland, Yamaha, etc. Yes those come on much faster, but they work much differently and cost substantially more than most any sampled software instrument. Now, I don't feel it's my place to give any subjective opinion on a forum like this--I'm only here to clear up the release date communication and any technical issues, so please don't think I'm hijacking to turn this into a customer support thread. I will say though, given the quality of any software VI (not specifically what we're discussing here), yes I don't mind longer load times if the quality is there. But with that said, it is a valid concern and we're always working to have the best sound, most capability, deepest most detailed sampling, but not so we end up with a package that becomes cumbersome and impractical to use. It's a fine balance.

And to chicolom, thank you for accepting our apologies on the delay. We really hope you and every user of the Ravenscroft 275 VI will be blown away at the realism and playability. It's such a unique instrument too! I think I have the MIDI track of Ruslan's playing in that video. Would you or anyone be interested in hearing that as an audio demo using the final version? Of course the sound in that video was using the NAMM beta version.

Again, thank you all for your patience and please PM on here or contact us via the website for specific questions.

Lance Herring
VI Labs, LLC
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/03/14 12:02 AM

Originally Posted By: Lance VI Labs

And to chicolom, thank you for accepting our apologies on the delay. We really hope you and every user of the Ravenscroft 275 VI will be blown away at the realism and playability. It's such a unique instrument too! I think I have the MIDI track of Ruslan's playing in that video. Would you or anyone be interested in hearing that as an audio demo using the final version? Of course the sound in that video was using the NAMM beta version.

Lance Herring
VI Labs, LLC


Yes. That would be cool to hear Ruslan's MIDI track "playing" the final version.
Posted by: robipiano

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/03/14 01:50 AM

x Lance VI Labs,
Have you planned to realize it for Muse Receptor?
Thanks
Robi
Posted by: sandalholme

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/03/14 04:53 AM

To answer the 2 questions about TK Italian. I struggled to get decent sound from this - whereas the TK American and German worked well immediately - but perseverance paid off. For quite some time I blended the TK pianos with the native Kawai ES7 sounds, but now I can really enjoy the Italian on its own. I believe I am quite picky with sound, being a hi-fi buff, formerly played the harpsichord as well as playing/owning various grand pianos over the last half century. This pickiness extends to having different settings for playing direct through the ES7 speakers, a separate one for recoding to play through the hi-fi and another "revoicing" for Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven through the ES7 speakers.

You do have to work to match a s/w piano for your particular hardware. Having done so, I am very happy playing the Italian: it has a wonderful sound across the range, not as uniform (bland?) as the American and the implementation of the una corda is better than the American and German, so you really do have a wider dynamic range. It also takes a bit more playing - reminds me of how you have to adapt your approach with grands that are better than your own. The German by the way has its own character, much darker and feels more like an acoustic grand in its imperfections. In other words you have to work out how to bring out the best in it. I don't feel the need to add the Ravenscroft to my armoury, sorry VILabs! The Italian suits me just fine and I spend many hours just playing it with great enjoyment.
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/03/14 05:40 AM

Hi Lance, thanks for taking the time to reply.
Well, from what you say I gather that Ravenscroft and True Keys have similar loading times, which is a good news in itself, given it's bigger. My purpose was not to compare TK o a digital piano, and some of the big libraries I have for kontakt (I have many) do take long to load. But Ivory II (which has a proprietary engine, but comes with Cantabile) manages to compete with my digital piano, I don't know how they have managed at Synthogy but they have done it. I do agree that quality has a price also in terms of loading times, but I think many would also be ready to pay the additional amount of money that developing a proprietary engine entails, if that cuts loading times dramatically (to be honest sometimes when I have to choose between Ivory and TK I choose the first to avoid waiting 30 seconds... but I still play TK often, so it doesn't put me off too much).

I also have a question, since we are here for technical questions as well. In Ravenscroft there are 4 mic positions vs 3 in TK. But the size is almost double. So I guess that additional mic position doesn't explain all. So what are the main drivers behind the increase in size, more velocity layers? Other elements? Even if you do not disclose the exact amount, can you tell us a bit more about what makes Ravenscroft bigger? Thank you
Posted by: Lance VI Labs

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/03/14 07:59 AM

Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
Hi Lance, thanks for taking the time to reply.
Well, from what you say I gather that Ravenscroft and True Keys have similar loading times, which is a good news in itself, given it's bigger. My purpose was not to compare TK o a digital piano, and some of the big libraries I have for kontakt (I have many) do take long to load. But Ivory II (which has a proprietary engine, but comes with Cantabile) manages to compete with my digital piano, I don't know how they have managed at Synthogy but they have done it. I do agree that quality has a price also in terms of loading times, but I think many would also be ready to pay the additional amount of money that developing a proprietary engine entails, if that cuts loading times dramatically (to be honest sometimes when I have to choose between Ivory and TK I choose the first to avoid waiting 30 seconds... but I still play TK often, so it doesn't put me off too much).

I also have a question, since we are here for technical questions as well. In Ravenscroft there are 4 mic positions vs 3 in TK. But the size is almost double. So I guess that additional mic position doesn't explain all. So what are the main drivers behind the increase in size, more velocity layers? Other elements? Even if you do not disclose the exact amount, can you tell us a bit more about what makes Ravenscroft bigger? Thank you


Hey digitalguy, I'm happy to answer those questions. First of all, sorry for the misunderstanding about comparing software to hardware. I'm sure you understand all the differences and as you say, you've many Kontakt instruments that take a while to load. There are always trade-offs to be made, so we're looking for the best balance of performance and sampling depth but without ridiculous load times. Developing a proprietary engine takes tens of thousands of dollars and a long period of R&D and all the subsequent testing, so this is unfortunately out of many company's range. And there are many benefits to using an already-developed mature engine such as NI or UVI compared to starting from scratch. We could have a great realistic VI piano, but if it's crashing all the time and causing other problems, what's that worth?

The size for the Ravenscroft VI is 35GB. We recommend 4GB of system RAM, but it only uses 600MB of RAM for a single mic patch, 800MB for the full patch. Loading additional mics, una corda, etc. uses more RAM but only slightly more than TK. It's technically the same as TK in having 4 mic positions--Ravenscroft has 4 discreet while TK has 3 plus an additional Mix which is the 4th (separate samples). The larger size comes from more velocity layers, more release and half-pedal samples, longer sustains (the Ravenscroft has an unbelievable sustain with multiple blooms/evolutions occurring as it sustains), and more samples for the new features such as Muted Strikes. But the bulk of it is more layers and longer samples due to the sustaining energy of the piano.

I'm currently going through the MIDI of Ruslan playing at NAMM and will get that posted later today. We're posting new demo videos too like we did for TK, so be on the lookout for those as well as more audio demos. We're on track to get this baby out tomorrow the 4th!
Posted by: sandalholme

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/03/14 08:30 AM

Lance, I'm curious about your terminology: Ravenscroft used for, well, Ravenscroft and TK for the other pianos. Are not all 4 pianos TK and if not, what is different about Ravenscroft?

As a supplement, if I may, are there any plans to upgrade the Italian, American and German in any way and if so, would upgrades be chargeable?
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/03/14 08:35 AM

Thanks Lance,
That makes sense, I was not aware that developing a proprietary engine was such a big investment. So, fair enough.
Also good to know Ravenscroft is 35 and not 38 GB (this way I can fit it in my SSD with 36.9 GB left together with TK, though it will fill it up almost completely...).
I don't know if this would at be feasible in the future, but it would be great if one could install mic positions separately. Personally I use the side position almost exclusively and would be great if one could decide to uninstall the positions they don't like or the lite patches if they don't use them, to save space on disk. I see RAM as less of a problem, as doubling the RAM is relatively cheap and easy today, compared to doubling SSD for instance, especially on notebooks (the price difference between a laptop say with 256 SSD and 512 SSD is much bigger than between a laptop with 4 or 8 GB of RAM, all else being equal.
Good to know there are more velocity layers and longer sustain. It will be interesting to compare it with ACD, which has an extremely long sustain and no less than 20 layers. I, and certainly others, will report our feedback on this forum.
Posted by: Pathbreaker

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/03/14 10:32 AM

Originally Posted By: sandalholme
To answer the 2 questions about TK Italian. I struggled to get decent sound from this - whereas the TK American and German worked well immediately - but perseverance paid off. For quite some time I blended the TK pianos with the native Kawai ES7 sounds, but now I can really enjoy the Italian on its own. I believe I am quite picky with sound, being a hi-fi buff, formerly played the harpsichord as well as playing/owning various grand pianos over the last half century. This pickiness extends to having different settings for playing direct through the ES7 speakers, a separate one for recoding to play through the hi-fi and another "revoicing" for Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven through the ES7 speakers.

You do have to work to match a s/w piano for your particular hardware. Having done so, I am very happy playing the Italian: it has a wonderful sound across the range, not as uniform (bland?) as the American and the implementation of the una corda is better than the American and German, so you really do have a wider dynamic range. It also takes a bit more playing - reminds me of how you have to adapt your approach with grands that are better than your own. The German by the way has its own character, much darker and feels more like an acoustic grand in its imperfections. In other words you have to work out how to bring out the best in it. I don't feel the need to add the Ravenscroft to my armoury, sorry VILabs! The Italian suits me just fine and I spend many hours just playing it with great enjoyment.


Thank you, this is really good to hear. I'm actually just trying to upgrade from my Roland RP301 so I think the bar isn't even that high for me (besides just wanting the best that's available at a competitive price).

Quote:
While a beautiful piece, perhaps the "Un Sospiro" isn't the best for showing off detail. If anyone has a specific request along with someone that can perform a demo beautifully, say a Brahms or Chopin, we'd love those suggestions. We have many more audio demos planned and these requests will be helpful.


Thanks for providing all this information. For Brahms I would say that pretty much any piece from Opp. 76, 79, 116-119 would be useful. For Chopin I think there are lots of possibilities and the nocturne used for the TK German sample was a good one (Op. 27 no. 1). Most of the nocturnes would display the type of sounds that I would want to hear.
Posted by: kapelli

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/03/14 01:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Lance VI Labs

While a beautiful piece, perhaps the "Un Sospiro" isn't the best for showing off detail. If anyone has a specific request along with someone that can perform a demo beautifully, say a Brahms or Chopin, we'd love those suggestions. We have many more audio demos planned and these requests will be helpful.


Chopin op 53
Chopin op 20 and 39
Rachnaninov op 23 nr 2
Liszt - Paganini Etude nr 6

While that pieces may seems to you "too obvious", I put them here on purpose. You know - the problem with digitals, is that we can hear very often something from the middle, something from up, little from bass. All of these covers all keybord ranges in all possible manners on combining lows, mids and bass together. All of them have detailed pedaling, where you have long pedals and precise unpedaled note. Staccatos and legatos. These are demanding pieces for digital piano engines, so if you are not scared - go with them. There are lot more of them, but you know, these are also well known so will be fantastic to hear.
Also Danse-Macabre transcribed by Liszt, La Campanella, Scriabin's sonata nr 19, Ravel's La Valse - unfortunately - quite to long just for piano test sound. Also last two fragments from Pictures from Exibition, Scriabin Etude 8/12, Romeo&Juliet by Prokofiev - famous Monteki&Capuleti.

All of these are full blown piano capabilites pieces, and we want here the Ravenscroft at it's best and most demanding piano pieces smile
Posted by: Lance VI Labs

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/03/14 04:54 PM

Hey Digitalguy, it's been brought up in the past to offer separate files for the various mic positions, but that again is more cumbersome that how it might seem especially in regards to iLok management and updates. I do see your point though. Again to use Ivory as a reference, the American D on my Windows system shows it taking about 45GB, and I've no option to install a lighter version. It's an entire sample library, and most any sampled software piano I've used works this way. EWQLP allows installing each piano separately, but I don't remember further separate installations for single mics only. Again though with all that said, it is something we've considered and might have in the future. As flexible as we can make it to satisfy as many situations as possible is always a good goal. Many producers out there still use old PT rigs with TDM plug-ins and limited memory and CPU, so we're sensitive to those situations too and for those who want to use more than one soft synth at a time.

For the Muse Receptor, they approached us at NAMM this year and it is a possibility that our products can be offered with their systems. I'm not aware of their plans, but it is a possibility I suppose.

Sandalholme made a great point that it does take some work to match a software piano to a particular controller/hardware setup in order to get the best playing experience from it. There is a huge variation in controllers and how they respond, and the acoustic piano is probably the hardest to get right because we're all so accustomed to how an acoustic piano should respond that replicating that with the variety of controllers and software is daunting to say the least. It's much easier to use most any controller to trigger any instrument besides acoustic piano! As the Ravenscroft VI makes its way to customers and we get feedback on what works and what doesn't with various controllers, we'll offer our optimization settings for popular controller models and seek feedback from users on what works best for them with their particular setup.

All the suggestions for classical pieces are duly noted! In the meantime, I can easily set up the Nocturne Op. 27 we have for the German as a Ravenscroft demo. And finally, the Ravenscroft is an exclusive instrument officially licensed and approved by the makers of Ravenscroft pianos, unlike True Keys which were solely produced by VI Labs. It's of course similar to True Keys in many ways but with additional features and the official name and voice. Some features might be applicable to True Keys which would be offered as an update in the future, but no definite plans as of yet.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/03/14 07:39 PM

Thanks again for your detailed responses Lance!

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: sandalholme

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 03:25 AM

Thanks for the response Lance. I am happy to pass on my settings/thought process on how the ES7 works with TK Italian to VILabs, if this is helpful, with one or two recordings if this is useful. I did share them some time back on this forum, but they have evolved since then. However, I think I now have 3 settled configurations for the Italian. As I said above, one for use via the ES7 speakers - about to give another short recital for charity at the end of March with the ES7/Italian and people have been amazed at the sound - one for recording/listening through headphones and one softer voiced for Haydn/Mozart/Beethoven, as I find the open textures and absence of pedal (largely) need a different configuration.

PM me Lance if that might be helpful.
Posted by: Baldassi

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 06:57 AM

Hello friends!
First sorry for my english. I bought Ravenscroft 25/02 and saw that the download would be released today for those who have pre orders. I would like to know how do to download?
Thank you very much!
Posted by: Baldassi

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 07:24 AM

staff, unfortunately the last demo that was added to the site (Ruslan Sirota) showed that the timbre worse instead of better . The sound of the piano became more artificial, very more. It seems purposeful to this change ... I am upset ... I want that tone that rang Sirota, what was more natural than the current ...
Posted by: humax

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 09:18 AM

Hey, where is my download link? It's 4th of March already now.
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 10:48 AM

Originally Posted By: Baldassi
staff, unfortunately the last demo that was added to the site (Ruslan Sirota) showed that the timbre worse instead of better . The sound of the piano became more artificial, very more. It seems purposeful to this change ... I am upset ... I want that tone that rang Sirota, what was more natural than the current ...


It sounds like the new demo may be using more distant mic perspectives "The sound is a blend of Player, Side and a bit of Room mics, no reverb added".

Perhaps the previous youtube version was using more close mics. VI Labs correct me if I'm wrong. It would probably be good to use the same mic perspective settings on both versions so you can listen for any changes to the actual piano sound between the beta and final versions, instead of changes from a different mic perspective being used.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 10:52 AM

I'm wondering the same thing.
I was IN, I dropped OUT, I am now "on the fence" waiting to see...
Did ANYONE get it yet ?
How good/bad is it - beyond the usual new toy euphoria & buyer's remorse ?

Bahh, I am probably going to wait until December anyway.
There will be a seasonal sale, some bug fixes may be in by then.

On a purely TECHNICAL note; I find it difficult to understand why it has to "read buffer" (or whatever the term) the whole thirty odd gigabytes JUST to load the program.
On a 4 Gig RAM machine it isn't going to hold much more than a fraction of it anyway.
29 seconds first time and 22 subsequently, so it seems to retain SOME metadata - 12.5 on Mac, so Windoze file system probably gets in the way - a LOT !

My database background is peeking through, but unless the sample library has been redistributed since the last time I don't see a need to read it "all", whatever indexes or other metadata was built at installation time SHOULD still be around and useable.
Even if(WHEN) Windoze RE-frags files.

I have VERY mixed thoughts about this - and a LOT MORE technical doubt following Lance's posts.
It SEEMS as if the wrong player ("engine" ? :D) has been chosen, but there is acknowledgement that it would CO$T a few person months to develop one from scratch - Free being worth every penny, etc.
Posted by: Baldassi

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 12:42 PM


Does VI Labs will not meet the delivery date of Ravenscroft for today? So far I have not received anything ... I'm perplex with this piano...I'm thinking that will be a disappointment...
Posted by: honjr

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 01:05 PM

Still not at all sold on any sampled piano. For example, Ivory American Concert D sounds recorded, has noticeable latency (event at low buffer numbers), noticeable layering, and poor note decay. Far worse are the East West pianos, which are so uneven and unresponsive as to be almost unplayable at any high level. When I play Pianoteq, there's extremely low latency, 127 or so velocity layers (which are not really detectable), and outstanding note decay, not to mention low CPU hit, low RAM usage, and limitless tweakability. Further, every note you play on PT is perfectly and evenly responsive to your touch. Try for example the Steinway Spacious setting with Stereophonic output - this is almost as good as their Bluthner under the same settings - and alter the touch curve to your liking. You can even play decent Mozart (perhaps the ultimate piano test, since his music demands perfection) on PT. I agree PT is not perfect - but it's getting closer and closer. As the race between sampled and modeled goes on, I put my bets on Pianoteq by a large margin. So personally I'm not interested in another sample piano, it's a waste of money if you already have PT, in my opinion.
Posted by: Baldassi

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 01:18 PM

The problem of pianoteq is than the timbre sounds like a synthesizer and not a piano, especially in fff. At this point is far worse than samples.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 01:20 PM

I just want to be able to select modeled or sampled depending on the situation. If the Ravenscroft lives up to the hype (and if we ever see it wink ), that plus PT should be sufficient for my needs.
Posted by: honjr

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 01:38 PM

Have you tried voicing it? I generally do not play at fff, but even so I too can hear some unrealism in PT, but it never gets in the way of the music for me, since it's still much better-sounding than any acoustic piano I've ever owned. Possibly some of the overtones and soundboard feedback etc can be adjusted to remove some of what you may not like, but probably not all of it - there is no perfect acoustic piano either. But it is a matter of taste, and your point is valid. For me "synthesizer" is not a bad word, and PT is definitely the wave of the future and can already be used to create many wonderful "new" instruments that can outstrip the acoustic piano in many musically useful ways. I feel that I do not at this stage really understand all it can do ….
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 01:46 PM

Downloading mine right now.
Posted by: Baldassi

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 01:46 PM

Joy ... I'm already downloading the files ..
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 03:24 PM

I created an account with VI Labs when I purchased the Ravenscroft sampled piano.

When I go to their website and click on Accounts, I see Downloads. I select that and see 4 big files to be downloaded. I started that process a few minutes ago. It will likely take more than an hour for all 4 files to be downloaded, maybe longer.

The 4 files are .RAR files. I think these are standard install files but I'll find out more a little later and advise.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 03:31 PM

Originally Posted By: AZ_Astro
I created an account with VI Labs when I purchased the Ravenscroft sampled piano.

When I go to their website and click on Accounts, I see Downloads. I select that and see 4 big files to be downloaded. I started that process a few minutes ago. It will likely take more than an hour for all 4 files to be downloaded, maybe longer.

The 4 files are .RAR files. I think these are standard install files but I'll find out more a little later and advise.



.RAR are compressed and will OFTEN be multi-part, i.e. you may have to append them to one another and then unpack with WinZip (buy for a price) or 7-Zip (free).
I think there is a WinRAR program, a name something like that that is shareware.

If they have very similar names they probably need to be appended to each other; e.g. name_1.rar name_2.rar name_3.rar sort of thing.
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 03:31 PM

FYI:

The 4 files are labeled:
Ravenscroft275.part01.rar
Ravenscroft275.part02.rar
Ravenscroft275.part03.rar
Ravenscroft275.part04.rar

The first 3 files are all 2 gb. The 4th file is under 1 gb. Total of 7 gb to download so there is significant compression in the files. When unpacked they will be approximately 35 gb.

Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 03:36 PM

Posting collision laugh
In the absence of any other instructions....
I SPECULATE that they need to be strung together before unpacking.
Fairly sure that WinZip should be able to do it for you, I KNOW that 7-Zip could.

EDIT:
WinRAR lives.
I haven't used it in several years, though it is still on this system.
It is POSSIBLE that you will need a key, i.e. compression is often done with encryption, so read your installation instructions CAREFULLY and FULLY !!!
:END EDIT
Posted by: Audiofreak

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 03:43 PM

Lance, Thank you so much for joining the forum and answering so many questions! I do not currently own True Keys, but I spent a significant amount of time at the Ravenscroft Booth at NAMM checking out the VI Labs new Ravenscroft voice. Frankly it blew away all of the existing piano VI's I have. I have roughly 5 piano VI's including different manufactures version of the Steinway D, and up to this point my favorite the Yamaha C7. What I heard at NAMM was so vastly different between the Ravenscroft Voice and anything else, that I was blown away. Truthfully I am no true keyboardist, but utilize them extensively in my Studio. For myself I am grateful for wonderful MIDI editors that allow me to sound like I have clue, (I really don't) but since the clientele that I have utilize piano parts so heavily, I am excited to finally get my hands on the Ravenscroft Voice and put it to use. My question to you is, will VI Labs be releasing any other enhancements down the road to the Ravenscroft Voice? Also I saw at the MOTU booth that they were demo'ing the Ravenscroft Voice on their MACHFIVE 3 engine. Besides the UVI engine and the MOTU Machfive 3, will the Ravenscroft voice be compatible with other engines/platforms? Thanks in advance for your answers, and I am watching and waiting impatiently for the release!
Posted by: renato

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 03:45 PM

Hey guys that already downloaded, we are waiting your thoughts about ravenscroft
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 04:00 PM

Originally Posted By: renato
Hey guys that already downloaded, we are waiting your thoughts about ravenscroft

It's a lengthy download, and then an even longer extraction/installation process, so please be patient!
Posted by: Steve Nathan

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 04:07 PM

Edited
Posted by: bryanstern

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 04:07 PM

If I am not using iLok, can I just skip the iLok step in the instructions?
Posted by: Michael Wright

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 04:18 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
Originally Posted By: renato
Hey guys that already downloaded, we are waiting your thoughts about ravenscroft

It's a lengthy download, and then an even longer extraction/installation process, so please be patient!

No kidding I will get back to ya in about 4 hours. laugh
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 04:23 PM

Originally Posted By: bryanstern
If I am not using iLok, can I just skip the iLok step in the instructions?


You have to use the iLok manager, whether or not you use the USB device. The manager is used for authorization.
Posted by: Mta88

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 04:37 PM

Cant wait to hear the reviews on this product guys.. laugh
Posted by: Mta88

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 04:38 PM

Anyone knows if Kawai released a custom velocity curve for this? or will be releasing one in the future for the VPC1?

I'm just curious.
Posted by: Michael Wright

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 04:40 PM

Originally Posted By: Mta88
Anyone knows if Kawai released a custom velocity curve for this? or will be releasing one in the future for the VPC1?
I'm just curious.
I do not believe they have as of yet.
Posted by: renato

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 04:48 PM

Hi Audiofreak,

What yamaha c7 vst is your prefered?

Thanks
Posted by: Mta88

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 04:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Michael Wright
Originally Posted By: Mta88
Anyone knows if Kawai released a custom velocity curve for this? or will be releasing one in the future for the VPC1?
I'm just curious.
I do not believe they have as of yet.



Would be so awesome if they do tho.
Posted by: Michael Wright

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 05:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Mta88
Originally Posted By: Michael Wright
Originally Posted By: Mta88
Anyone knows if Kawai released a custom velocity curve for this? or will be releasing one in the future for the VPC1?
I'm just curious.
I do not believe they have as of yet.

Would be so awesome if they do tho.
They could well do so at some point, as well as mac software for the editor. I am sure James will be along to comment.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 06:09 PM

Got the thing authorized and installed - after some head scratching. Now I'm trying to deal with an ASIO4ALL incompatibility on my Surface Pro. It's been doing fine with Pianoteq up to now, but with the Ravenscroft it's just warbling distortion at all settings. I switched to the Windows drivers just to hear the sound, and it's quite nice with a clear, crisp attack (just as on the recordings), but unusable with the Windows drivers due to latency. Now I remember why I like hardware pianos! It's going to take me some time to sort this out, I think.
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 06:10 PM

I'll give my first impression after playing for around 30 minutes. I'll be very short as I haven't spend enough time on it (so my opinion can change with time). In addition, I only listened through headphones as it't midnight here. It's undoubtedly a good sampled piano. Playability seems good but this has to be tested further. Comparing it to Ivory II American, I still prefer Ivory, but this maybe due to my taste (maybe I simply prefer Steinways D over Ravescrofts). At the beginning there was something in the pedal resonance that bothered me and I had to lower it, but then I seemed to have got used to it and was not bothered anymore, so I put it back to neutral. I will keep on testing and try to tweak more over the next few days and will give more feedback.
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 06:14 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
Got the thing authorized and installed - after some head scratching. Now I'm trying to deal with an ASIO4ALL incompatibility on my Surface Pro. It's been doing fine with Pianoteq up to now, but with the Ravenscroft it's just warbling distortion at all settings. I switched to the Windows drivers just to hear the sound, and it's quite nice with a clear, crisp attack (just as on the recordings), but unusable with the Windows drivers due to latency. Now I remember why I like hardware pianos! It's going to take me some time to sort this out, I think.


This is one of the downsides of UVI, it's the only engine that often gives me these problems with Asio (be it asio4all or the ones of my 2 interfaces). Try restarting UVI, it generally works after one or 2 attempts. But it's annoying as it happens quite often (at least on a pc...)
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 07:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
Try restarting UVI, it generally works after one or 2 attempts. But it's annoying as it happens quite often (at least on a pc...)

Managed to get it working: 48k @ 256 samples (although ASIO4ALL has a significantly different idea about the number of samples involved). The latency is still more than I'd like, and unless I can get it faster on the Surface, it'll still be Pianoteq live for me. I may have to consign the Ravenscroft to studio use only, and buy one of those blasted dongles for my iMac.

Sounds good, kind of like a solid workhorse piano... sorry, how much did you say the real Ravenscroft costs? wink
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 07:20 PM

Quick update. For some reason, I'm now able to get 64 samples at 96k. No more warbling, thank goodness. Will be able to test it properly, now.
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 07:24 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops

Managed to get it working: 48k @ 256 samples (although ASIO4ALL has a significantly different idea about the number of samples involved). The latency is still more than I'd like, and unless I can get it faster on the Surface, it'll still be Pianoteq live for me. I may have to consign the Ravenscroft to studio use only, and buy one of those blasted dongles for my iMac.


If you want to reduce latency on a surface pro 1 you need an external audio interface. I even tried an atom tablet and it had a very strong latency with asio4all and the internal sound, but is perfect with an audio interface on some pianos, like vintage D or Ivory II... (on others the problem is not really latency but lack of CPU power)
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 07:32 PM

Re latency, I usually set this directly on Asio4all's own control panel when using galaxy D. So I'm doing the same with Ravenscroft in UVI but whether I set Asio4all to min (64 samples) or max (2048) there's no audible change in latency. It sounds just about ok and middling - maybe the 512 default that UVI initially launched in.

Is there a way to set the latency in UVI?

edit: No problem with UVI's latency settings when hosted in Cubase using ASIO4all - I suppose because Cubase is then in charge, but UVI as a standalone doesn't seem comfortable in the company of ASIO4all. Maybe I've overlooked something....bedtime...
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 07:56 PM

Originally Posted By: Michael Wright
Originally Posted By: Mta88
Originally Posted By: Michael Wright
Originally Posted By: Mta88
Anyone knows if Kawai released a custom velocity curve for this? or will be releasing one in the future for the VPC1?
I'm just curious.
I do not believe they have as of yet.

Would be so awesome if they do tho.
They could well do so at some point, as well as mac software for the editor. I am sure James will be along to comment.


A Mac version of the VPC Editor will be available soon, however I'm afraid I cannot comment on additional touch curves that may be in development.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Michael Wright

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 07:58 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: Michael Wright
Originally Posted By: Mta88
Originally Posted By: Michael Wright
Originally Posted By: Mta88
Anyone knows if Kawai released a custom velocity curve for this? or will be releasing one in the future for the VPC1?
I'm just curious.
I do not believe they have as of yet.

Would be so awesome if they do tho.
They could well do so at some point, as well as mac software for the editor. I am sure James will be along to comment.


A Mac version of the VPC Editor will be available soon, however I'm afraid I cannot comment on additional touch curves that may be in development.

Cheers,
James
x

Cool! Thanks James!
Mike
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 08:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
If you want to reduce latency on a surface pro 1 you need an external audio interface. I even tried an atom tablet and it had a very strong latency with asio4all and the internal sound, but is perfect with an audio interface on some pianos, like vintage D or Ivory II... (on others the problem is not really latency but lack of CPU power)

While I had serious problems with latency on one of the new Bay Trail Atoms, I have had none using Pianoteq, VB3 and Arturia Analog Lab with the Surface Pro, using all internal software/hardware. It seems quite capable of delivering the goods via ASIO4ALL. That's why I've been happy using it live with minimal additional add-ons.

The latency/ASIO problems I experienced with UVI a couple of hours ago seemed to be related to the app rather than the hardware. I have no idea why it's now working - or whether it will continue to work. I'm going to try it in Cantabile Lite next, and see what difference that makes - if any.
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 08:11 PM

I have the exact same problems you guys have with UVI workstation - that weird warbly garbled distortion over ASIO playback if you don't get the settings just perfect. Glad to hear I'm not the only one, and that my system isn't messed up. All my other software (Kontakt etc.) works perfectly, and only UVI seems to have issues with ASIO. It usually takes me several minutes of fiddling with ASIO settings and restarting the program multiple times before I can get it to work correctly.

It's VERY annoying, and it should be looked into/fixed.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 08:23 PM

hey gang,
can anyone please tell me why we only extract Ravenscroft275.part01.rar?
I mean we download 4 .rar files.
I don't understand.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 08:25 PM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
hey gang,
can anyone please tell me why we only extract Ravenscroft275.part01.rar?
I mean we download 4 .rar files.
I don't understand.

The first part references all the other parts, and so when you extract part 1 it joins the other parts to it.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 08:34 PM

Edited: because I was getting tired and grumpy when I wrote it!

My main issues have now been resolved - please see my post below.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 08:40 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
Originally Posted By: minstrelman
hey gang,
can anyone please tell me why we only extract Ravenscroft275.part01.rar?
I mean we download 4 .rar files.
I don't understand.

The first part references all the other parts, and so when you extract part 1 it joins the other parts to it.


wow!!
thank you so much mister!!
Posted by: Pathbreaker

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 08:43 PM

Thanks for all the Surface Pro (1) information. I also have that device and curious to see how it performs with this app.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 09:15 PM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
hey gang,
can anyone please tell me why we only extract Ravenscroft275.part01.rar?
I mean we download 4 .rar files.
I don't understand.


It will chain to the other parts, ASSUMING they have all finished downloading,,,
BTW, there don't seem to be any published checksums, so hopefully WinRAR detects corrupt files.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 09:17 PM

Originally Posted By: R_B
Originally Posted By: minstrelman
hey gang,
can anyone please tell me why we only extract Ravenscroft275.part01.rar?
I mean we download 4 .rar files.
I don't understand.


It will chain to the other parts, ASSUMING they have all finished downloading,,,
BTW, there don't seem to be any published checksums, so hopefully WinRAR detects corrupt files.


thank you very much R_B.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 09:23 PM

Originally Posted By: Pathbreaker
Thanks for all the Surface Pro (1) information. I also have that device and curious to see how it performs with this app.

You're welcome. I'll be interested to read how you get on.
Posted by: humax

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 09:32 PM

The first impression of Ravencroft is quite not bad:
- Yes, it's far considerably better than TK in terms of quality of sound(I grade TK less than Alicia's Keys, Addictive Keys, MyPiano. The main drawback of TK is their sound whereas their playability is OK pretty much)
- Thank you very much for making good 4th and 5th octaves.(in many pianos such as TK, Production Grand, it sucks for some reason.)
- Custom tuning is also very important feature.
- As usual a good sound can be revealed just with use of some decent third party reverb.
- The palyability (feeling, touch) is perfect.
- As many others I experience an issue with ASIO interface too (I believe that is rather an issue in UVI than in the library itself)
Overall mark is GOOD. (So I can say Ravencroft has definitely beaten my expectations)

PS. But Matt Matt Stedeford's Ebony Grand is still the best for me anyway.
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 11:30 PM

I have installed everything... but no joy yet.

Since I have an iLok for Ivory II the process of registering the VILabs-Ravenscroft license at iLok, logging in to iLok, and copying/dragging the license to my iLok key went fine. When I run the iLok License Manager, I can see the license on my key.

I already had UVI Workstation and that is working fine with the Kawai EX PRO sampled piano.

And the unpacking process of the Ravenscroft data files went fine as well. So now I have the 35 GB Ravenscroft275.ufs file sitting there waiting.

When I start UVI workstation, browse/navigate and double-click on the .ufs file, however, I am getting an error ("no valid authorization found") even though I have transferred the license to my iLok key.

I'll reboot and test again tomorrow. I don't have time to troubleshoot any more today.

[EDIT: This issue was fixed by loading a newer version of UVI workstation. I had an old version on my machine that was not compatible. ]
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/04/14 11:40 PM

OK, so Lance from VI Labs was kind enough to PM me and offer support for the issues I was having. Thank you, Lance.

Basically, from my own trial and error, I don't believe that ASIO4ALL is suitable for the UVI workstation. I connected to a hardware device (Alesis) and all the ASIO related issues were solved. I had been hoping to run live in the same way I do with Pianoteq - i.e. just the Surface Pro with ASIO4ALL, a USB cable from the controller, and an audio cable; but it seems like the only stable way to do it with UVI is to use an interface with its own drivers. With ASIO4ALL I was getting false readings and very inconsistent performance. I think the message here is to use a USB audio interface that you know is reliable, and go from there.

As to the Ravenscroft itself, I now need to spend some unstressed time with it, so I can evaluate it fairly. But I can say that from the few moments I've had since I changed over to the Alesis interface, it seems to play well.
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 12:02 AM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
OK, so Lance from VI Labs was kind enough to PM me and offer support for the issues I was having. Thank you, Lance.

Basically, from my own trial and error, I don't believe that ASIO4ALL is suitable for the UVI workstation.

With ASIO4ALL I was getting false readings and very inconsistent performance. I think the message here is to use a USB audio interface that you know is reliable, and go from there.


Interesting.

I have a desktop computer with an internal soundcard with dedicated ASIO drivers and UVI still seems to have a lot of problems with it though (while my other programs work fine with it).

So I still say UVI needs some work done on it's ASIO.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 12:21 AM

Originally Posted By: chicolom
I have a desktop computer with an internal soundcard with dedicated ASIO drivers and UVI still seems to have a lot of problems with it though (while my other programs work fine with it).

So I still say UVI needs some work done on it's ASIO.


You may well be right. I wonder how much more solid it would be if Ravenscroft was running in its own dedicated standalone app. I know nothing about these things, but can only go on my experience with other software, such as PT.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 12:03 PM

Installed it this morning.

No problems. Smooth as silk.

I have been playing with it for about an hour.

Initial impression ...

It is my best stand-alone software piano sound.

The most appreciated quality that I have found is that it has a gentleness to it.

I play a lot of that type of music so it appeals to me.

I did turn the TONE button to -4 to take a little of the "edge" off of the key strike.

No other modifications were made, or needed in my opinion.

Having said all of the above ...

It still can sound like someone else is playing the piano somewhere other than where I am sitting. My solution is the same as all my other software piano sounds ... I blend in my ES7 concert grand via my mixer.

In my opinion, all of these software piano sounds suffer from that same issue.

It is difficult to describe that phenomenon.

Here is how I describe it ...

The sound that comes from the software sounds great if you are just listening to it from your couch with your eyes closed. However, if you are pushing keys on a piano keyboard you expect a different sound than the one that you hear when sitting on your couch.

I can bring that sound into the mix by adding my ES7 concert grand to the Ravenscroft275 sound.

The two together ... perfect.

The Ravenscroft275 by itself and me sitting on the couch with my eyes closed ... great.

The Ravenscroft275 by itself with me pushing keys on my ES7 keyboard ... less than authentic.

At this point, however, it is my best software sound.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 12:19 PM

First impressions here – very favourable.

Definitely some odd behaviour going on between the stand-alone UVI and ASIO4all but using a host could be a happy workaround. Cubase, for example, will run UVI at the best latency without a problem – although loading all of Ravenscroft’s sample sets will require a bigger buffer. Without a host, UVI is probably buffering 512 samples using A4all - not bad latency but not great. What's weird is that it doesn't appear to be adjustable, no matter what you do in A4all.

AFAICT the piano is smoothly consistent across the chromatic and dynamic range enabling powerful crescendos and sweet pianissimos, smoother I’d say than vintage D. Nicely playable, as is the D of course. I can’t claim to have fully got to grips with the sound but it has a pleasing tone, lively yet sensitive. Running an A/B between the R and the D, it’s clear they’re very different from each other but I like them both. I find the R’s una corda samples to be far more usable than the D’s which always sounded to me as though not quite belonging to the same piano and presenting somehow on a different sound-stage. R’s are well integrated. There’s something a tad more rounded about the D sound but I’ve a hunch that R’s samples will eq into a similar warmth. If persistent immersion is any guide, I’ve been fiddling with it for the last couple of hours trying to sort out a bit of Chopin without any loss of enthusiasm or sense of a mismatch between style and sound. Whichever records better or flatters me most (excuse my language) might determine which gets the greater use but at the moment I’m pleased to have them both and expect to be playing with the R a lot.

disclaimer: it's highly possible that I am completely cloth-eared. Don't buy on my recommendation!
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 12:24 PM

I'm guessing here dmd, you're using a MAC computer?

Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 12:35 PM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
I'm guessing here dmd, you using a MAC computer?



Sorry, no cigar !

Dell 8300 i7 3.40GHz PC.
8 GB Ram.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 01:04 PM

dmd…

Any guess why your download, setup, and playing went so smoothly, and several others were problematic?

Thanks!
Posted by: Pathbreaker

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 01:06 PM

Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: HisKidd
I'm guessing here dmd, you using a MAC computer?



Sorry, no cigar !

Dell 8300 i7 3.40GHz PC.
8 GB Ram.




Which version of Windows are you running?
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 01:12 PM

Originally Posted By: Pathbreaker
Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: HisKidd
I'm guessing here dmd, you using a MAC computer?



Sorry, no cigar !

Dell 8300 i7 3.40GHz PC.
8 GB Ram.




Which version of Windows are you running?


Windows 7 with Service Pack 1
Posted by: Pathbreaker

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 01:15 PM

Anyone with a Surface will be running Windows 8.1 so I'm curious if there will be any compatibility differences.

I have 8.1 on both my Surface Pro and laptop but I could always roll the laptop back to Windows 7 (not likely to happen but a possibility).
Posted by: paolopiano69

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 01:19 PM

my first impression is good, though perhaps I was expecting something better than the Ameican D model. However, it is a great product
Posted by: Pathbreaker

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 01:28 PM

On another note I'm still not convinced that the bass has any character or liveliness. I prefer a bit more grit or earthy quality to my bass and when listening to both the Un Sospiro and Chopin Nocturne the bass seemed completely lacking. Can anyone confirm? When I listened to the TK Italian sample of the Hungarian Rhapsody it sounded much better in this regard. Is it just the samples that are throwing me off? The Nocturne did have somewhat of an electronic sound to it. It did sound quite lovely at the end, both the quality of the tone and the sustain. At the same time I would bet it would be interesting to hear the same music on the real acoustic version as a point of reference.

I'm warming to it but I wish I had more time for the $150 price point or a trial period (to justify the $200). wink

I have to admit, the samples sound better and better the more I hear them (they are playing in the background as I'm posting). The occasional moments I don't like are somewhat overshadowed by the overall impression. More often than not it sounds really impressive.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 01:33 PM

My impressions so far. This piano responds beautifully. The difference in articulation between staccato and legato is clearly rendered. The key response is even. The gradations between ppp and fff are smooth, along with a realistic/natural change in timbre. I would describe the sound as veering toward the "metallic" rather than the "woody" end of the spectrum - but not overly so. There is a wide degree of control over the sound, although I found that judicious and minimal adjustments are best, so as to prevent a loss in authenticity. The room mics are nice to have, but I found the close mic'd sound to be the most natural for live (non-recorded) playing.

Do I like it? I think so. At the moment I'm adjusting to the sound. It's very different from Steinway, and even Yamaha. Surprisingly, it's not a huge sound - doesn't shout "9-foot grand" when you play it. It has both delicacy and power, but not so much of the supercharged rumble you might expect.

All issues that I have had have been related to the UVI/ASIO implementation. A couple of freezes/crashes have occurred, and I have also completely ruled out ASIO4ALL with it. I have been successful using an Alesis Multimix 8 USB 2.0 interface. The only issue I have encountered with this has been occasional saturation/stuttering, which can probably be remedied with a couple of tweaks, and may be more to do with the specs of the Surface Pro I'm running on. However, when I tried using it with an earlier model of the Multimix that uses USB 1.1, it saw the Alesis mixer, but failed to recognize the PX-5S I was using as a controller, and emitted no sound, even from the software's own virtual keyboard. As a reference, Pianoteq has no problems with ASIO4ALL, nor with either of the Alesis units. As a result, I doubt whether I'll be using it live, unfortunately. As mentioned above in one of the posts, I think the UVI part of this could use a little more ASIO development.

Conclusion? For a sampled VST, it performs remarkably well. I think it needs plenty of horsepower and a compatible ASIO device. Some people obviously have no problem with the implementation, and so it would be useful if VI Labs could publish a compatibility list, showing devices/apps that are known to perform well, and those that have issues.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 01:40 PM

Originally Posted By: Pathbreaker
On another note I'm still not convinced that the bass has any character or liveliness. I prefer a bit more grit or earthy quality to my bass and when listening to both the Un Sospiro and Chopin Nocturne the bass seemed completely lacking. Can anyone confirm?

No, the bass is not huge. This is a little surprising, given the length of the original's bass strings. In one sense, this is a plus, in that the bottom end won't overpower the treble. It is a well defined bass that is not at all muddy.
Posted by: Pathbreaker

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 01:51 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
Originally Posted By: Pathbreaker
On another note I'm still not convinced that the bass has any character or liveliness. I prefer a bit more grit or earthy quality to my bass and when listening to both the Un Sospiro and Chopin Nocturne the bass seemed completely lacking. Can anyone confirm?

No, the bass is not huge. This is a little surprising, given the length of the original's bass strings. In one sense, this is a plus, in that the bottom end won't overpower the treble. It is a well defined bass that is not at all muddy.


That makes a lot of sense and it's really encouraging. "Well defined" is what I'm hoping for. I've also bothered to listen to the rest of the samples. Not sure why I hadn't bothered to do that as there's some wonderful performances there. And I've effectively increased the sample size so that I have a much better idea of the software's capabilities.

At the risk of sounding needy, can someone help me understand the difference between the mechanics of this type of modelled (?) software piano and a normal digital piano such as the Roland RP301. Are both using samples as the source of the sound? Would a software piano such as this be a no-brainer upgrade or are there some serious drawbacks to go with it? (besides the apparent time needed for tweaking)
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 02:01 PM

Joke of the day;
I cancelled my order on Feb 17th., got a FULL refund a day or two later.
I checked my account on their web site, it showed the order, the payment, the cancellation, all seemed FINE and settled.
I have been a bit on the fence about it since and I think I have until the end of today to jump back in at the discount price.

Yesterday they sent me a mail message with the subject; "The Ravenscroft 275 is in your account!"
OK, that must be a mistake, but I read the message anyway.
Sure enough,
"Thank you all for ordering the Ravenscroft 275 and for your patience.
We have some great news for you, the Ravenscroft 275 library is available in your account.
You can find all of the necessary information to install the Ravenscroft 275 on this page: http://www.vilabsaudio.com/index.php?route=information/information&information_id=13"

Just in case, I checked, there are no outstanding downloads there laugh

Some mailing lists you just CAN'T get off of.
Posted by: Macy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 02:10 PM

I'd like to hear comparisons from someone that has been using the Vintage D or the Ivory II American D (or German D) as their primary piano.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 02:16 PM

Originally Posted By: Pathbreaker
Originally Posted By: voxpops
Originally Posted By: Pathbreaker
On another note I'm still not convinced that the bass has any character or liveliness. I prefer a bit more grit or earthy quality to my bass and when listening to both the Un Sospiro and Chopin Nocturne the bass seemed completely lacking. Can anyone confirm?

No, the bass is not huge. This is a little surprising, given the length of the original's bass strings. In one sense, this is a plus, in that the bottom end won't overpower the treble. It is a well defined bass that is not at all muddy.


That makes a lot of sense and it's really encouraging. "Well defined" is what I'm hoping for. I've also bothered to listen to the rest of the samples. Not sure why I hadn't bothered to do that as there's some wonderful performances there. And I've effectively increased the sample size so that I have a much better idea of the software's capabilities.

At the risk of sounding needy, can someone help me understand the difference between the mechanics of this type of modelled (?) software piano and a normal digital piano such as the Roland RP301. Are both using samples as the source of the sound? Would a software piano such as this be a no-brainer upgrade or are there some serious drawbacks to go with it? (besides the apparent time needed for tweaking)


THIS isn't "modeled", it is a "sample library".
In principle it is very similar to current "digital pianos", in implementation the main difference is;

It is run by a program that is loaded into a general purpose "home" scale computer.
That program receives midi messages that signal which samples to "play" at what volume and when to turn them off, which it does.
In contrast a DP is more likely to have a smaller imbedded single purpose computer and plays from a usually smaller RAM.

They both play "recordings" of piano sounds.


"Modeled" players, e.g. V-piano, physis, pianoteq, etc "compute" the waveform that is to be played in "real time", although it is likely that some pre-processing is done.

Not done yet laugh
There are hybrid implementations as well, some think those will "win out" in the mid/long term.

Not clear that there are any sampled pianos that are 100 percent samples only, or that the modeled pianos have NO sampling included, e.g. for "noises" (simulated bumps and thumps of the mechanical bits flying around and hitting each other).
Posted by: Baldassi

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 02:23 PM

Guys, I'm posting here my first demo of Ravenscroft Piano. Not perfect, but it's the best piano sampler available so far, I believe.
The recording was made in a Kawai VPC1, and the piano has no Reverb, no effect. It is more natural than others piano samplers.
Ravenscroft PIano Demo
The Vintage D seemed to be good, but it is totally unnatural, compared to Ravenscroft.
Vintage D Demo
Posted by: Audiofreak

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 02:27 PM

Speaking of that James, I have a question regarding the VPC1 that was in the Ravenscroft booth vs what was in the Kawai booth. The action on the VPC1 that Ravenscroft had was like butter! It was MUCH lighter, faster, and overall extremely responsive when compared with the one in the company booth. Did Kawai do a custom action job for the unit that Ravenscroft/VI Lab's were using to demo the Ravenscroft VI?
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 02:38 PM

I remember reading that it was modified for the ravenscroft sw, for namm.
Maybe by the ravenscroft dude?
Posted by: Baldassi

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 02:42 PM

Comparation: RAvenscroft vs. Vintage D
Ravenscroft vs.
Vintage D
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 02:46 PM

Originally Posted By: AZ_Astro
I have installed everything... but no joy yet.

Since I have an iLok for Ivory II the process of registering the VILabs-Ravenscroft license at iLok, logging in to iLok, and copying/dragging the license to my iLok key went fine. When I run the iLok License Manager, I can see the license on my key.

I already had UVI Workstation and that is working fine with the Kawai EX PRO sampled piano.

And the unpacking process of the Ravenscroft data files went fine as well. So now I have the 35 GB Ravenscroft275.ufs file sitting there waiting.

When I start UVI workstation, browse/navigate and double-click on the .ufs file, however, I am getting an error ("no valid authorization found") even though I have transferred the license to my iLok key.

I'll reboot and test again tomorrow. I don't have time to troubleshoot any more today.



A quick update.

I checked the release dates for UVI Workstation and, sure enough, I had an old version. So deinstalled the old version and downloaded and installed the new UVI Workstation (version 2.20 x64 bit). Worked like a champ!

So I was able to play my first few notes with the Ravenscroft sampled piano and my first impression was very positive. There is a distinctive clarity to the sound, especially in the mid to high range of the keyboard. I guess I am responding to what I am hearing as a very pure sound. I have heard it called "silky" and "silvery" and I can go along with those adjectives.

It does seem admirably suited to jazz. I play primarily classical so I will withhold judgement for now on how suitable the Ravenscroft is for classical. There are still a lot of knobs to twist and tweak!

But - kudos to VI LABS for what appears to be a very fine instrument.

More later.
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 02:55 PM

Responding to some things that Voxpops said:

"The gradations between ppp and fff are smooth, along with a realistic/natural change in timbre. "

This is noticable to me as well. I like the dynamics of this piano.

"I would describe the sound as veering toward the "metallic" rather than the "woody" end of the spectrum - but not overly so. "

Again, I agree.
Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 03:05 PM

Guys, I followed the install instructions without problems, macbook 10.7.5. I hear the dp being played thru phones, but pressing a single key, and hold it down, it produces multiple key strikes rapidly, and the tone of the keys are too high, not at all like a piano.

I've changed nothing from all presets.

Any quick ideas to help me get this going? Btw, I have zero experience with any virtual software.
Thanks
Chris
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 03:11 PM

Chris:

Check a setting in UVI Workstation.

I produced an effect like what you are describing by:

Clicking on the two eight notes (top right) and enabling that screen, then hitting a few notes.

To turn it off, click the highlighted ENABLE button.

Give it a try!?
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 03:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Chrisl
Guys, I followed the install instructions without problems, macbook 10.7.5. I hear the dp being played thru phones, but pressing a single key, and hold it down, it produces multiple key strikes rapidly, and the tone of the keys are too high, not at all like a piano.

I've changed nothing from all presets.

Any quick ideas to help me get this going? Btw, I have zero experience with any virtual software.
Thanks
Chris



Download the Pianoteq demo and see if you can get that to work.

Then you will know more.
Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 03:39 PM

Originally Posted By: AZ_Astro
Chris:

Check a setting in UVI Workstation.

I produced an effect like what you are describing by:

Clicking on the two eight notes (top right) and enabling that screen, then hitting a few notes.

To turn it off, click the highlighted ENABLE button.

Give it a try!?


Fantastic! That did it Az Astro!! Thank You Very Much!
Posted by: kapelli

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 03:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Baldassi
Comparation: RAvenscroft vs. Vintage D
Ravenscroft vs.
Vintage D


Thanks!
For me Ravenscroft hands down wins, however it has very unique sound character
Posted by: Baldassi

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 03:49 PM

More one Demo with Ravenscroft exploring the basses...very good...
Ravenscroft exploring the basses...
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 04:05 PM

Originally Posted By: Baldassi
More one Demo with Ravenscroft exploring the basses...very good...
Ravenscroft exploring the basses...


That sounds really good. Which Ravenscroft mic setup were you using?
Posted by: Baldassi

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 04:17 PM

I'm using close in the max volume, and room mic one trait down of the max volume. More or less this configuration.
Posted by: Audiofreak

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 04:20 PM

Well, I finally have it and have it all installed and working! I was a little concerned having read some of the others experiences, but my experience was great. First off let me explain that I work in a PC environment, and and have a pretty stout machine. 8 core processor, 32 GB Ram, 250GB SSD boot-primary drive, and a 2 TB drive for Tracks from my DAW (SONAR) and anything else. I also have a 50Mbs internet connection which did help drastically with the downloads. I used WINRAR to extract the first RAR file then after installing the UVI engine and the iLok management software (Which is free!), I activated my license within iLok and ran the install. WinRar is smart enough to handle the other files, so I just sat back and let it do its thing.

VI Labs have made some improvements since NAMM for sure. The first change I noticed was in some of the graphics. Probably not of much interest to most, but it did show they had done additional work on it after NAMM.

Initially I had to make some changes to my settings. I had to actually back them down. I ended up with my buffers set to 64 and lowered the sample rate as well. Frankly that seemed a little counter intuitive, but in the end that is what worked for me.

Once I had it dialed in then it was fun time! It was even better than I had remembered it, plus I am sure VI Labs did some tweaking after getting feedback at NAMM.

All in all, I stand by my earlier statements, I still think this is the best thing on the market period. Not everyone is going to agree, that's why we have multiple manufacturers making the same thing, everyone does it just a little different, and we each choose what set of differences we each one individually prefer. Yep, I think VI Labs hit one out of the park with the Ravenscroft!

Oh one more thing, going to the YouTube page and watching the installation video was a help. You can find it here:
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ5ghbukCo_TjzZE4spxDGg
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 04:23 PM

Originally Posted By: Macy
I'd like to hear comparisons from someone that has been using the Vintage D or the Ivory II American D (or German D) as their primary piano.





IMO the Vintage D sounds dated and unnatural compared the modern modern sampled pianos. Vintage D sounds a bit artificial and when I go back to it now it reminds me in some ways of an onbard DP sound. I haven't used it in a long time, and I probably won't really ever use it again.

So I personally feel there's not much comparison.

I can't speak for the Ivory.

Here's a couple more of my thoughts on the Vintage D :
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2220054/3.html
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 04:24 PM

Originally Posted By: Baldassi
I'm using close in the max volume, and room mic one trait down of the max volume. More or less this configuration.


- thanks for that! Nice harmonies, very impressive contrasts!
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 05:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Baldassi
Guys, I'm posting here my first demo of Ravenscroft Piano. Not perfect, but it's the best piano sampler available so far, I believe.
The recording was made in a Kawai VPC1, and the piano has no Reverb, no effect. It is more natural than others piano samplers.
Ravenscroft PIano Demo
The Vintage D seemed to be good, but it is totally unnatural, compared to Ravenscroft.
Vintage D Demo


Thank you for posting this comparison. The Vintage D sounded better than I have generally given it credit for, and the two pianos had distinctive (and very different) voices.
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 05:50 PM

I tried hosting UVI inside a DAW and I can confirm that this works much better than trying to get UVI to work standalone. UVI standalone has got some serious ASIO output problems, but hosting it inside the DAW seems to bypass that and let the DAW handle the ASIO output.

So: If you're having issues with UVI and ASIO...TRY USING IT INSIDE A DAW

Looks like I'll be using UVI inside a DAW from now on, unless UVI gets updated with a fix for its ASIO problems.
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 05:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Baldassi
More one Demo with Ravenscroft exploring the basses...very good...
Ravenscroft exploring the basses...


Well - that is pretty spectacular and the demo shows off the Ravenscroft sampled piano in a very positive light.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 06:15 PM

Originally Posted By: chicolom
I tried hosting UVI inside a DAW and I can confirm that this works much better than trying to get UVI to work standalone. UVI standalone has got some serious ASIO output problems, but hosting it inside the DAW seems to bypass that and let the DAW handle the ASIO output.

So: If you're having issues with UVI and ASIO...TRY USING IT INSIDE A DAW

Looks like I'll be using UVI inside a DAW from now on, unless UVI gets updated with a fix for its ASIO problems.


Well, let's be careful not to mislead others ...

I am not using it inside of a DAW and everything works perfectly. Maybe the issue is not ASIO.
Posted by: kapelli

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 06:23 PM

It's damn close to a real thing!
but, what I am loosing still, is the lack of air in all the sampled pianos.. don't know how to call it properly, but I know that you know what I tam talking about wink
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 06:25 PM

dmd…

I asked earlier why you thought your downloading, setup, and playing went smoothly while several others had problems. Perhaps that post got lost in the shuffle. Care to comment?

Thanks in advance…
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 06:46 PM

Here are two new Ravenscroft YouTube videos…

The first is on "Pedal Resonance…"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQ2i7WKBRC8

The second is on the Ravenscroft "voice…"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpwNdtspoWk
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 07:12 PM

Now I'm a happy camper! smile

I loaded up the 64-bit version of Cantabile Lite, switched back to ASIO4ALL, and I can play this piano with no discernible latency, and it sounds great and responds beautifully. This allows me to go back to using just the Surface Pro with USB and audio cables, and nothing else. So now I will be able to use it live!

I don't understand why when using UVI as a standalone device I have so much in the way of ASIO problems, as well as residual latency, but when I open the VST version of UVI in Cantabile Lite, it all works so much better, and can use ASIO4ALL with no warbling etc. There's definitely a bit of a mismatch between UVI and ASIO (at least on Windows). On a side note, I really like Cantabile. It's a very well organized interface, and does not suffer from DAW overkill, where you are essentially plugging the VST into a recording track.

At last!
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 07:24 PM

hey voxpops,

I just got my first SW piano(Ivory American Concert D). I've not even really checked it out yet. but it uses Cantabile.
now I got Ravenscroft.
reading your post, makes me think maybe it would be a good idea for me to just use Cantabile for both. and leave UVI alone.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 07:28 PM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
hey voxpops,

I just got my first SW piano(Ivory American Concert D). I've not even really checked it out yet. but it uses Cantabile.
now I got Ravenscroft.
reading your post, makes me think maybe it would be a good idea for me to just use Cantabile for both. and leave UVI alone.

It's worth trying it both ways, but I'm getting MUCH better results using UVI within Cantabile, along with ASIO4ALL.

There was something about the response that just wasn't quite right for me in the standalone version, but now it flies - and sings!
Posted by: Macy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 07:36 PM

Originally Posted By: AZ_Astro
Originally Posted By: Baldassi
Guys, I'm posting here my first demo of Ravenscroft Piano. Not perfect, but it's the best piano sampler available so far, I believe.
The recording was made in a Kawai VPC1, and the piano has no Reverb, no effect. It is more natural than others piano samplers.
Ravenscroft PIano Demo
The Vintage D seemed to be good, but it is totally unnatural, compared to Ravenscroft.
Vintage D Demo

Thank you for posting this comparison. The Vintage D sounded better than I have generally given it credit for, and the two pianos had distinctive (and very different) voices.


The Vintage D is recorded at a much lower volume level in that comparison. They have to be at nearly equal volume levels to make a direct A/B comparison. Of course you can try to change the volume levels of the pianos as you listen and not get confused by that, but that isn't as easy as it may seem.

I'm still waiting for someone that uses the Vintage D or Ivory II American D as their primary piano to make some comments about the Ravenscroft Piano. (i.e. if they don't appreciate the quality of those two pianos I don't care what they think of the Ravenscroft - everyone is entitled to their own opinion but comments from people that don't like those pianos won't be of any value to me because we have different subjective tastes in piano sound.)
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 07:49 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
Originally Posted By: minstrelman
hey voxpops,

I just got my first SW piano(Ivory American Concert D). I've not even really checked it out yet. but it uses Cantabile.
now I got Ravenscroft.
reading your post, makes me think maybe it would be a good idea for me to just use Cantabile for both. and leave UVI alone.

It's worth trying it both ways, but I'm getting MUCH better results using UVI within Cantabile, along with ASIO4ALL.

There was something about the response that just wasn't quite right for me in the standalone version, but now it flies - and sings!


awesome. thanks man.
I will use my rme Babyface interface, and it has its own ASIO drivers. so I wonder if that would make a difference.
no idea if there's a difference in sound between UVI and Cantabile.
reminds me of the question regarding DAWs. I think I read that they all sound the same. so, if you don't need a lot of functionality, (like me), there is no need to spend a lot on a DAW, when for example, a Reaper license is extremely cheap.
(as fun as it will be someday, when I finally do get Pro Tools.)
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 07:53 PM

Originally Posted By: Macy

I'm still waiting for someone that uses the Vintage D or Ivory II American D as their primary piano to make some comments about the Ravenscroft Piano. (i.e. if they don't appreciate the quality of those two pianos I don't care what they think of the Ravenscroft - everyone is entitled to their own opinion but comments from people that don't like those pianos won't be of any value to me because we have different subjective tastes in piano sound.)



Macy, Vintage D and Ivory ACD are my 2 favorite pianos. I cannot write much as I am going to bed. But I still prefer Ivory ACD over Ravenscroft. I like the bass and the highs of Ravenscoft, less the mids. I like everything in ACD. Ravenscroft, like Vintage D, does not have the power of Ivory ACD, yet I have not compared RC and VD directly so far, but I would say it's a close race. I don't agree with those who think Vintage D is unnatural, unless they mean through speakers (at least though the speakers of my Roland Vintage D is clearly inferior to Ivory and even to True Keys or to my ipad piano). I will try to compare Vintage D and RC over the next few days.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 08:09 PM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
dmd…

I asked earlier why you thought your downloading, setup, and playing went smoothly while several others had problems. Perhaps that post got lost in the shuffle. Care to comment?

Thanks in advance…



Dell 8300 i7 3.40GHz PC.
8 GB Ram.
Windows 7 - Service Pack 1

And my Audio interface unit (see below) with it's proprietary Driver (ASIO). I do not use ASIO4ALL.


Other than that, I have no clue.

Posted by: Macy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 08:12 PM

Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
Originally Posted By: Macy

I'm still waiting for someone that uses the Vintage D or Ivory II American D as their primary piano to make some comments about the Ravenscroft Piano. (i.e. if they don't appreciate the quality of those two pianos I don't care what they think of the Ravenscroft - everyone is entitled to their own opinion but comments from people that don't like those pianos won't be of any value to me because we have different subjective tastes in piano sound.)



Macy, Vintage D and Ivory ACD are my 2 favorite pianos. I cannot write much as I am going to bed. But I still prefer Ivory ACD over Ravenscroft. I like the bass and the highs of Ravenscoft, less the mids. I like everything in ACD. Ravenscroft, like Vintage D, does not have the power of Ivory ACD, yet I have not compared RC and VD directly so far, but I would say it's a close race. I don't agree with those who think Vintage D is unnatural, unless they mean through speakers (at least though the speakers of my Roland Vintage D is clearly inferior to Ivory and even to True Keys or to my ipad piano). I will try to compare Vintage D and RC over the next few days.

It's the mids that are bothering me most about the Ravenscroft too. They sound harsh, almost synthesized to me on the demos. The lower bass sounds too round and polite to me also. Again this just the demos played through the same speakers that play all my other pianos (that sound fine). I'm really debating whether to spend $150 today on Ravenscroft.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 08:24 PM

Originally Posted By: Macy
It's the mids that are bothering me most about the Ravenscroft too. They sound harsh, almost synthesized to me on the demos. The lower bass sounds too round and polite to me also.

I think that's a fair summation. The mids are a little harsh, and I know why you would think they sound synthesized, although that doesn't come across quite as strongly as in the demos. Also, the bass is surprisingly tame for such a big source piano. But, as stated on one of the videos, it's possible to make treble melody lines ring out over the lower end, and there are plenty of adjustments available. What doesn't come across in the demos is how well it plays for a sampled piano.

I have never played Ivory ACD, although going off the demos, it is a much bigger sounding instrument - quite majestic in a way. Ravenscroft has a very different character.
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 08:28 PM

Originally Posted By: Macy

It's the mids that are bothering me most about the Ravenscroft too. They sound harsh, almost synthesized to me on the demos. The lower bass sounds too round and polite to me also. Again this just the demos played through the same speakers that play all my other pianos (that sound fine). I'm really debating whether to spend $150 today on Ravenscroft.


I confirm, the mids haven't much "soul", they don't "sing" like in ACD for instance. But I do like the lower bass, instead. Different from any other piano I have, but I really enjoy it. But this is more a matter of taste. But it's probably the main reason why I do not regret buying. However we are still speaking of a piano that can compete with the very best. No Native Instrument piano for instance come even close to it. And I prefer it to True Keys American.
Having said this, for me it clearly doesn't beat hands down any other piano, like some say.
Posted by: Macy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 08:34 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
Originally Posted By: Macy
It's the mids that are bothering me most about the Ravenscroft too. They sound harsh, almost synthesized to me on the demos. The lower bass sounds too round and polite to me also.

I think that's a fair summation. The mids are a little harsh, and I know why you would think they sound synthesized, although that doesn't come across quite as strongly as in the demos. Also, the bass is surprisingly tame for such a big source piano. But, as stated on one of the videos, it's possible to make treble melody lines ring out over the lower end, and there are plenty of adjustments available. What doesn't come across in the demos is how well it plays for a sampled piano.

I have never played Ivory ACD, although going off the demos, it is a much bigger sounding instrument - quite majestic in a way. Ravenscroft has a very different character.

Thanks for the comments. I hear just a hint of harshness (sort of synthesized with a lack of lower body) in my True Keys American too (I hear none of that in my other pianos), but not nearly so much as the Ravenscroft demo. Perhaps this has something to do with the mics or just the taste of the audio person that ViLabs uses.

How is the sustain starting an octave above middle C? That is another area I find weak in True Keys American compared to the Ivory ACD or Vintage D, but I can't get a feel for that in the Ravenscroft demos.

Edit: And I agree that the True Keys American is very playable, that's its strength, so I would expect that from Ravenscroft.
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 08:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Macy


I'm still waiting for someone that uses the Vintage D or Ivory II American D as their primary piano to make some comments about the Ravenscroft Piano. (i.e. if they don't appreciate the quality of those two pianos I don't care what they think of the Ravenscroft - everyone is entitled to their own opinion but comments from people that don't like those pianos won't be of any value to me because we have different subjective tastes in piano sound.)


I play Ivory pretty much exclusively, either the German D (mostly) or the American D (less often). BUT I am going to take it very slowly in offering a comparison, in deference to my junior status playing the piano (only two years) and because I need to give the Ravenscroft some time.

I played Ivory II American D for six months constantly before I ultimately concluded that I liked the German D better. (Not in all aspects, but in playing classical music.) And I kind of suspect it's going to take some time for me to digest Ravenscroft carefully as well. Time will tell. In the meantime, I have enjoyed others' comments and really appreciate what people are saying and enjoying about this new product.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/05/14 08:53 PM

Originally Posted By: Macy
How is the sustain starting an octave above middle C? That is another area I find weak in True Keys American compared to the Ivory ACD or Vintage D, but I can't get a feel for that in the Ravenscroft demos.

The initial sustain/decay is fairly rapid (around 2 secs at G5), but there then follows a respectable length of much slower but low-level decay.
Posted by: Audiofreak

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/06/14 05:42 AM

Who are addressing this to?
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/06/14 05:50 AM

UVI's eqs are fairly flexible. I'm adding bass at around 80hz which is helping to fill in what sounds almost like a bass cut on the unmodified samples.

@Macy, I've used vintage 'D' almost exclusively for quite a while and been very happy with it (I don't have the Ivory American) . The Ravenscourt is quite different and really good also but hard for me, so far, to put my finger on quite what the differences are. The bass end is definitely light although in harmonics it sounds quite complex - bass boost warms it up a bit and gives it some support.
I haven't been able to successfully modify anything in the mid range which sounds a bit boxy round middle C - whatever I try, it always sounds better when bypassed! If someone else finds something that works for them perhaps they'll post it up.

The sustains seem broadly on a par with vintage D.

What immediately set me at ease was the velocity curve response - strangely enough it's the curve that I've modified to use with vintage D and it works even better with the Ravenscroft - more naturally - than with the D.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/06/14 12:46 PM

I just tried to count up the number of posters in this thread that actually BOUGHT at the pre-order discount price.
A couple of people appear to have had a great amount of interest, but haven't posted their results (yet).

I make it seven (7) and while this isn't the ONLY forum for the discussion of synthetic pianos it doesn't look likely to me that there are more than a couple of dozen copies out there.
I hope I'm wrong.
Posted by: bryanstern

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/06/14 12:54 PM

I have no time to get into detail (which I will do after work), but just wanted to add my two cents. I have spent several hours using Ravenscroft. After lots of frustration and trial and error, I settled on the close mic position with only a little alteration for Tone. While I am sure I will experiment more, over time, I am more than happy with the experience.

I love the sound. Both rich and and focused. It is so even. I have Vintage D, which I like a lot. But, there are a few notes that I can't stand. It is not even through out. I have a boomy C which drives me batty. Ravenscroft is even, no weird notes, and that in itself is worth a lot.

No perceivable latency on a cheap Windows 8 laptop with 4gb of RAM until I kick up Polyphony to full/max. No problem, I am using the default. Got to go for now. More later.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/06/14 12:55 PM

Originally Posted By: R B
it doesn't look likely to me that there are more than a couple of dozen copies out there.
I hope I'm wrong.


There are a lot of non-posting lurkers on all fora.
Posted by: Pathbreaker

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/06/14 01:53 PM

Quote:
I just tried to count up the number of posters in this thread that actually BOUGHT at the pre-order discount price.
A couple of people appear to have had a great amount of interest, but haven't posted their results (yet).

I make it seven (7) and while this isn't the ONLY forum for the discussion of synthetic pianos it doesn't look likely to me that there are more than a couple of dozen copies out there.
I hope I'm wrong.


I really wanted to get it at that price but I just don't like making hasty purchases. It never works out in the long run if I buy something just because of a deadline. Hopefully later in the year I will be able to justify getting it but there's no rush. I'm kinda new to this stuff so it makes more sense to digest a little longer or try out something for free first.

It would be hard to conclude how many copies were sold based on detailed feedback. Quite honestly there's been a ton of user feedback on here in such a short period of time and the thread is quite active. If I were to speculate, that looks like a good thing to me. I really appreciate the amount of information that has been shared and it was very helpful to me.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/06/14 02:29 PM

I was all set to pull the trigger, and then read a litany of posts about latency and other technical difficulties with VST's in the thread. Then, most of those who did post their evaluations indicated some form of difficulty with downloading, setup, or performance.

The exception to the rule was dmd who reported a smooth download and setup experience.

Being new to the world of VST's, I don't know what to make of the seemingly large amount of difficulty in using them. I'm asking the question, "Are they more trouble than they are worth?"

I listened to the side by side comparison posted yesterday of Vintage D and the Ravenscroft, and frankly… I liked the sound of the Vintage D. Having read the forums the past several years, the Vintage D seems to be a tried and true VST that consistently receives high marks.

All of this to say, I'm undecided about whether to buy the Ravenscroft, the Vintage D, or something other.

Suggestions and comments are appreciated.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/06/14 02:40 PM

There is another thread at a forum called keyboard corner at forums.musicplayer (I think).
You can read more about RC and other vst's there.
Posted by: Thomas B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/06/14 02:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Thomas B
Anyone noticed the muted notes feature assigned to MIDI CC 70 on the screenshot:



What's behind that?

Will we finally be able to play Dodge the Dodo and the like on a virtual piano wink !?!?



Does anyone care to post an example of the muted notes feature? I would be really interested :-)

On their website I find little more than

"Muted Strikes are unique to the Ravenscroft 275 VI and are multi-velocity samples of each key, but with the strings muted for an interesting effect."

Thomas
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/06/14 02:46 PM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
All of this to say, I'm undecided about whether to buy the Ravenscroft, the Vintage D, or something other.

Suggestions and comments are appreciated.


Well, here is my take on all of this ...

Let me say first, that I do very little fooling with the parameters that we can change. I change the Timbre a little, fuss with the velocity curve, maybe a touch somewhere else and then I play. So, my opinion is a very intuitive non-analytical one.

I have many software pianos and in my opinion, Ravenscroft and Ivory II Concert D are at the very top of all of them.

Is there a great deal of difference between Vintage D and either of these ? Well, I was not using Vintage D very much and I will be using one of these two all the time from now on.

Is it worth the money ? That depends upon what $150 means to you. If you have to cut down on lunch for a month to make it, I would say ... No, it isn't. If nothing in your life changes by purchasing it, well ... then it probably is.

In my opinion, it is better than everything I experienced other than Ivory II Concert D and I am not even sure about that yet.



Having said that ...

As I have previously stated, I am still unable to use any of the software pianos as a single sound source. I always blend in my ES7 Concert Grand with it. That seems to help give the sound a sense of coming from the instrument I am playing.

So, for me ... these software pianos are only a part of my sound and they provide me with many, many options. That is the value of them for me.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/06/14 02:52 PM

Really good, info Don

Thanks for your help!

minstrelman…
Thanks, also. I registered on that board, and have begun reading a thread on VST's.

H.K.
Posted by: twl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/06/14 03:24 PM

I too have purchased, downloaded and installed without any problems, I used the latest version of UVI Workstation 2.2, 96Khz/512 sample buffer. I rarely post, but I am a big fan of this forum and learn from its members contributions. I am sure there are many others out there that have purchased Ravenscroft and read this forum but aren't regular posters.

I find that Ravenscroft reminds me a lot of Pianoteq in its responsiveness and smoothness. I actually prefer Pianoteq to all others but I do purchase sample libraries that pique my interest and to enjoy a different sound.

KORG SG-1D with Pianoteq 4.54 Pro, Presonus Audiobox 22VSL, AKG 240 MK II, Intel Q9450 (cobbled together PC). I also have Vintage D and Ivory Pianos II, Ivory Italian Ivory ACD. Generally, I use Cantabile to load multiple VSTs and play midi files.
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/06/14 05:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Thomas B
Originally Posted By: Thomas B
Anyone noticed the muted notes feature assigned to MIDI CC 70 on the screenshot:



What's behind that?

Will we finally be able to play Dodge the Dodo and the like on a virtual piano wink !?!?



Does anyone care to post an example of the muted notes feature? I would be really interested :-)

On their website I find little more than

"Muted Strikes are unique to the Ravenscroft 275 VI and are multi-velocity samples of each key, but with the strings muted for an interesting effect."

Thomas


I'm not able to record a demo at the moment, but the "Muted Notes" is pretty much exactly what you'd expect. You assign it to a midi CC (like modulation wheel) and then it triggers samples with that thumpy stacatto sound when you mute the strings and then hit them - similar to that "Doge the Dodo" video you posted.

Probably not something I'll use very often, but nice to have nonetheless smile
Posted by: PtJaa

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/06/14 06:35 PM

It's nice to know that you guys like this new piano. I'd like to ask 2 questions, because I have True Keys (previous product of VI Labs) and I'm not satisfied with it:

1, Do you know how many dynamic levels of samples there are in the Ravenscroft piano?
TrueKeys pianos IIRC had only 9, and I suspect that's why I was always unsatisfied with its dynamics.

2, Is half-pedal capability improved in Ravenscroft piano, compared to TrueKeys pianos?
I didn't like the behavior of half-pedalling in True Keys: They seemed to only have 1 inbetween-position that was engaged only in a very narrow part of pedal movement, which made it almost unusable for me. Vintage D, on the other hand, reacts in multiple steps (or continuously, I don't know) in a larger part of pedal movement.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/06/14 07:27 PM

in reply to question #1:
this is from VI Labs Lance a few days ago (he does not give a number for how many layers, just says more):

" ...... I'm happy to answer those questions. First of all, sorry for the misunderstanding about comparing software to hardware. I'm sure you understand all the differences and as you say, you've many Kontakt instruments that take a while to load. There are always trade-offs to be made, so we're looking for the best balance of performance and sampling depth but without ridiculous load times. Developing a proprietary engine takes tens of thousands of dollars and a long period of R&D and all the subsequent testing, so this is unfortunately out of many company's range. And there are many benefits to using an already-developed mature engine such as NI or UVI compared to starting from scratch. We could have a great realistic VI piano, but if it's crashing all the time and causing other problems, what's that worth?

The size for the Ravenscroft VI is 35GB. We recommend 4GB of system RAM, but it only uses 600MB of RAM for a single mic patch, 800MB for the full patch. Loading additional mics, una corda, etc. uses more RAM but only slightly more than TK. It's technically the same as TK in having 4 mic positions--Ravenscroft has 4 discreet while TK has 3 plus an additional Mix which is the 4th (separate samples). The larger size comes from more velocity layers, more release and half-pedal samples, longer sustains (the Ravenscroft has an unbelievable sustain with multiple blooms/evolutions occurring as it sustains), and more samples for the new features such as Muted Strikes. But the bulk of it is more layers and longer samples due to the sustaining energy of the piano.

I'm currently going through the MIDI of Ruslan playing at NAMM and will get that posted later today. We're posting new demo videos too like we did for TK, so be on the lookout for those as well as more audio demos. We're on track to get this baby out tomorrow the 4th!"
Posted by: jjmarkow

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/06/14 08:01 PM

I downloaded the Ravenscroft last night, installed it today, and have been playing with it on and off throughout the day.

I am really impressed! I had a very mixed impression from the demos so it seemed like a risk. But one or two of them gave me enough of a sense that it could be tweaked to my liking. It didn't take too much effort to do that. Mostly I made very small adjustments to tone and timbre and was able to take the edge off of the metallic ring that was disturbing me in many of the demos.

At this point I'm loving the sound, though I'm looking forward to tweaking it some more. You can really get lost in that gorgeous bass. The whole bottom half is beautifully sonorous. I also like the very realistic and pervasive resonance you can achieve without resorting to any reverb. I'd still like to get the woody, slightly percussive tapping I look for in the treble. Haven't been able to do that to my satisfaction yet.

As another poster put it, one of the most admirable qualities is the evenness across the entire keyboard. I have TK American D and I find the unevenness there very frustrating in the top half of the piano. Part of the upper range is overly percussive. A couple of the notes have a muted timbre that stands out in some mic combinations. But they have eliminated all those issues in the Ravenscroft as far as I can tell.

I should add that I'm playing on a Yamaha p-80 as a controller, and I imagine that could contribute to some of the effects I'm describing. I'm seeing a VPC1 in my future and I hope that will make a noticeable difference.

Installation was straightforward. I followed the video instructions with no problems.

I also play the Galaxy Vintage D, and I enjoy that piano very much. But I think that the Ravenscroft has moved the bar forward for virtual pianos. Great job, VI Labs. Now how about giving us an update of True Keys that will iron out some of the current issues? :-)
Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/06/14 08:15 PM

My opinion is rather limited as I'm a beginner, and had only listened to Pianotec before buying this. I've also been out of town and only installed it yesterday, on Intel Duo old macbook pro, ssd, and 4g ram. I had no problems at all with the installation. One minor hiccup that AZ Astro helped with earlier. Haven't had time to change presets at all. My impression is one where agree with what Bryanstern said earlier: "I love the sound. Both rich and and focused."
To me, a nice and even/uncolored overall presentation. I like it and was glad I was patient.
Posted by: Enthusiast

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/06/14 08:35 PM

How does the sound compare to the other True Keys pianos? I found I really didn't like the German and favoured the Italian over the others. As I think someone mentioned here there is something similar about all 3 that I wasn't quite so keen on. I would hope that Ravenscroft sounds different enough.

At the moment I much prefer Vintage D over those 3 original True Keys pianos so not sure if I'd want this one.
Posted by: PtJaa

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/06/14 08:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Minstrelman
in reply to question #1:...

Thanks for the information, sounds hopeful.

Originally Posted By: jjmarkow
Now how about giving us an update of True Keys that will iron out some of the current issues? :-)

smile
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/06/14 10:57 PM

RE: the "mix" mic perspective - I guess that idea could be taken further, allowing the user to create their own "mix", and allow the samples to be saved to disk as a custom perspective. Perhaps less important now that SSDs are becoming so cost effective though.

Greg.
Posted by: Thomas B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/07/14 02:51 AM

Originally Posted By: chicolom
Originally Posted By: Thomas B
Originally Posted By: Thomas B


Will we finally be able to play Dodge the Dodo and the like on a virtual piano wink !?!?


Does anyone care to post an example of the muted notes feature? I would be really interested :-)

On their website I find little more than

"Muted Strikes are unique to the Ravenscroft 275 VI and are multi-velocity samples of each key, but with the strings muted for an interesting effect."

Thomas


I'm not able to record a demo at the moment, but the "Muted Notes" is pretty much exactly what you'd expect. You assign it to a midi CC (like modulation wheel) and then it triggers samples with that thumpy stacatto sound when you mute the strings and then hit them - similar to that "Doge the Dodo" video you posted.

Probably not something I'll use very often, but nice to have nonetheless smile


That sounds great. Thanks for the reply! If it's well done, I could imagine ordering it just for this feature. Thomas
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/07/14 03:35 AM

Here are some of my impressions on the Ravenscroft 275:



I like it. A lot. This is definitely my new go-to piano, and it is my favorite sampled piano I've tried so far (I've tried most of them - except for Ivory).

The playability is excellent. VI Labs does a great job in this area IMO. The piano feels very fast, responsive, and easy to control. For me, it's a joy to play on, and it feels like I'm playing on a very expensive piano, which is basically the point right? wink

The scale is very even from top to bottom. No notes stand out to me as "problem notes". The piano has a unique and distinct tone which seems pretty versatile. It's fantastic for jazz. The bass is solid - perhaps not quite as "big" sounding as you'd expect on a 9 footer - but it sounds and plays great. The midrange obviously isn't as warm or lush as a lot of pianos and instead opts for more clarity and a little more bite to it. I like it, but YYMV. If you want a warm mellow sounding piano, you should do some more research. The treble is very clear and pure, but not too bright (a small complaint I have with the "Italian").




I don't know what VI labs changed in their recording/sampling process, but the samples on the Ravenscroft just sound more clean and transparent compared to their previous offerings. Maybe they used better mics or something. Whatever the case, this improves things top to bottom as there's less layers of digital artificiality and it sounds more like you're "there".

Compared to the other True Keys pianos, the "American" is obviously a warmer and mellower piano (although bit too mellow at ppp volumes IMO). I noticed some of the low bass notes on the "American" were a bit twangy, but the Ravenscroft doesn't have that problem. The bass is very even and smooth. There were also just a few notes in the upper mids of the "American" that had a hint of some kind of metallic resonance showing up in samples. I haven't noticed any problems in the Ravenscroft so far.

The "Italian" Fazioli shares some some of the same clarity and purity of the Ravenscroft, but it takes it slightly too far at times sounding a tad thin in some of the upper registers at stock settings. I get the feeling when playing the "Italian" that is has harder hammers or something, as I can hear more "attack" noise coming from it when playing. On some registers of the "Italian" I get the feeling that it's slightly thin sounding and lacking a little body.




The piano seems to have a lot of natural sympathetic resonance and harmonics. I wonder if this is correlated with the titanium elements of its build. I often pause and listen to the resonances, similar to how I pause on a real piano to listen to them - so that's a good sign. If you don't like the harmonics/resonance you can dial them down (literally).

The dynamic range is solid. The piano is surprisingly delicate at the quiet volumes. The samples don't just get softer - you also get a clear shift in the timbre as you decrease the velocity. The ppp notes sound very delicate with good clarity to them, coming out clear and distinct. This is nice, because I'm used to a lot of pianos just turning into an overly warm, muffled, muddy mess when you play at the very quiet volumes. True Keys "American" and "German" do this to an extent, getting a little muffled and blurry at low velocities, but that's not the case with this piano. Instead of getting muffled or muddy it takes on a lovely delicate timbre. Again, it just sounds and feels expensive to me.

I enjoy the una corda pedal on the Ravenscroft - it's effective in use, and it transitions in an out smoothly and naturally. It gives a nice shift in the timbre. I agree with what Dire Tonic said earlier about the una corda on the Galaxy Vintage D sounding a bit detached from the normal samples and sounding like it's coming from a different space in the soundstage, making it a bit akward to use. On True Keys "American" it's hard for me to discern if the una corda pedal is ON or OFF since there's not much shift in the timbre. True Keys "Italian" has a nice una corda on it though, and this Ravenscroft does as well. Definitely worth loading and using the una corda samples if you have a spare pedal to set up as a soft/una corda pedal (and if you don't, set one up already!)




I find the the "close" mic position to easily be the best sounding position. I like using it with the "close" mic mixed with a bit of either the "side" or "room" mics to add just a little bit of ambience. "Close" just by itself sounds great as well though. Using the other mics positions WITHOUT the "close" mic position in-play sometimes sounds a bit too distant and midrangey (and perhaps with too much glare/reflections going on).

The release samples sound very nice, and I'm not too afraid to play staccato on it. IMO, VI Labs has been pushing the bar forward in this particular area (release samples), and I think it's one of the reasons their pianos turn out to be nicely playable.

I played around with "Muted Strikes" (assigned it to the mod wheel). It's pretty much what you'd expect, and gives you that thumpy staccato sound when you mute the strings and then hit them. There are multiple velocity layers here as well, and lifting the dampers has an effect on the resonance. Not something I'll use all that much to be honest, but it's certainly appreciated to have it included in the package.

"Silent Strike" is..."the faint sound heard when a key is pressed so slowly as it doesn’t 'play' but instead causes a small thump of the jack escapement, felt damper lifting from the strings, or a combination of those mechanical sounds." I've played around with it some, but it's very subtle. It's just a very soft mechanical noise from the escapement jack when you silently press the key. I guess it adds to the realism a bit though.

"Timbre Shift" is another new feature which "works by shifting the root pitch of the samples up or down to create a darker or brighter tone.". It affects the sound in a pretty extreme way. If you turn it all the way up it basically turns the piano into a clavinet/harpsichord. If you want the more subtle darkening or brightening, that's the "Tone" knob.




Anyways, those are some of my impressions so far. I'm very happy with the piano overall, and I love playing on it. I think VI Labs did an awesome job with the piano (congrats guys!), and I think they did raise the bar in some areas.
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/07/14 03:43 AM

Originally Posted By: Thomas B


That sounds great. Thanks for the reply! If it's well done, I could imagine ordering it just for this feature. Thomas


Sure.

If you specifically after the "muted note" sound, I seem to recall there being a sample library or two for just those various "extra" sounds you can get out of a piano.

Maybe it was this one?
http://www.soniccouture.com/en/products/28-rare-and-experimental/g24-xtended-piano/
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/07/14 06:20 AM

Originally Posted By: chicolom
Here are some of my impressions on the Ravenscroft 275:

I like it. A lot. This is definitely my new go-to piano, and it is my favorite sampled piano I've tried so far (I've tried most of them - except for Ivory).

Anyways, those are some of my impressions so far. I'm very happy with the piano overall, and I love playing on it. I think VI Labs did an awesome job with the piano (congrats guys!), and I think they did raise the bar in some areas.


Thank you for your detailed review. Now that I have been playing the Ravenscroft Piano for (just!) a day I am in agreement. I am really warming up to the sound of this piano. There is a clarity and distinctiveness to the playing up and down the keyboard. It is very responsive and I have no sense of latency whatsoever. The dynamics are excellent, the best that I have encountered.

I have plopped down $50, $100, $200 for sampled pianos before and have been disappointed. I don't feel that way at all at this point.
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/07/14 06:27 AM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
Now I'm a happy camper! smile

I loaded up the 64-bit version of Cantabile Lite, switched back to ASIO4ALL, and I can play this piano with no discernible latency, and it sounds great and responds beautifully. This allows me to go back to using just the Surface Pro with USB and audio cables, and nothing else. So now I will be able to use it live!

I don't understand why when using UVI as a standalone device I have so much in the way of ASIO problems, as well as residual latency, but when I open the VST version of UVI in Cantabile Lite, it all works so much better, and can use ASIO4ALL with no warbling etc. There's definitely a bit of a mismatch between UVI and ASIO (at least on Windows). On a side note, I really like Cantabile. It's a very well organized interface, and does not suffer from DAW overkill, where you are essentially plugging the VST into a recording track.

At last!


When I am playing Ivory II, I use its built-in player which is a modified version of Cantabile.

I am wondering if I can use the Ivory II Cantabile to load and then play Ravenscroft. The Ivory II Cantabile software looks to me like Cantabile Lite on-screen.

[Edit: This turned out to be easy. You actually load UVI Workstation from Cantabile...]

I guess I'm interested in the steps it took you to "install" Ravenscroft inside Cantabile Lite.

Any guidance would be appreciated. ! Thx.

On a side note, the UVI Workstation seems to be working very well for me.

AZ_Astro
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/07/14 06:38 AM

Originally Posted By: chicolom
Here are some of my impressions on the Ravenscroft 275:...


Thanks for taking the time to write that, chicolom. I feel pretty much the same way (and you've saved me a lot of typing wink ). I'd like to draw attention to what you said about the release samples; I think they're about the best that I've heard on any piano emulation.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/07/14 06:47 AM

Originally Posted By: AZ_Astro
I guess I'm interested in the steps it took you to "install" Ravenscroft inside Cantabile Lite.

It was very simple. In the first rack, I just directed Cantabile to where UVI was located (having also specified the audio/midi settings I wanted within Cantabile). That's about all there is to it.

Originally Posted By: AZ_Astro
On a side note, the UVI Workstation seems to be working very well for me.

Isn't that just the way with computers? It's a black art, for sure.
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/07/14 07:01 AM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
Originally Posted By: AZ_Astro
I guess I'm interested in the steps it took you to "install" Ravenscroft inside Cantabile Lite.

It was very simple. In the first rack, I just directed Cantabile to where UVI was located (having also specified the audio/midi settings I wanted within Cantabile). That's about all there is to it.



Hmmm. I thought that I would point it to a Ravenscroft file, not UVIWorkstation.

When I run UVIWorkstation, the file that is run is:

"C:\Program Files\UVI Workstation x64\UVIWorkstationx64.exe"

Is that what I point to?

I will try a few things out and thanks for your help.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/07/14 12:32 PM

AZ Astro, you need to go to your 64 bit VST folder (often in the Steinberg folder in Program Files) and look for the UVI plug-in there.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/07/14 01:13 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
AZ Astro, you need to go to your 64 bit VST folder (often in the Steinberg folder in Program Files) and look for the UVI plug-in there.


As a point of curiosity, I am wondering why some VSTs are the actual software piano product (as in Ivory and Pianoteq) and some VSTs are the Shell that the software piano product runs inside, as in Ravenscroft (i.e. why is there not a Ravenscroft275.dll).
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/07/14 01:19 PM

Originally Posted By: dmd

As a point of curiosity, I am wondering why some VSTs are the actual software piano product (as in Ivory and Pianoteq) and some VSTs are the Shell that the software piano product runs inside, as in Ravenscroft (i.e. why is there not a Ravenscroft275.dll).

Ravenscroft isn't a vsti and doesn't conform to vst protocol (I've really no idea what that is!!), it exists only as a single file with the .ufs extension. So it has to run inside a 'container' - in this case UVI, which is a vsti. As you say, Ivory and Pianoteq have done the donkeywork which enables them to run as fully fledged vstis.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/07/14 01:20 PM

Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: voxpops
AZ Astro, you need to go to your 64 bit VST folder (often in the Steinberg folder in Program Files) and look for the UVI plug-in there.


As a point of curiosity, I am wondering why some VSTs are the actual software piano product (as in Ivory and Pianoteq) and some VSTs are the Shell that the software piano product runs inside, as in Ravenscroft (i.e. why is there not a Ravenscroft275.dll).




{GUESSING}
It is probably tied up to the "copy protection" nonsense.
This way they only have to unlock it in one place.
Conversely they only have to build and actuate one "lock".

Not sure because I haven't had to work on this stuff in a LONG time.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/07/14 01:27 PM

Hey,
Just for FUN laugh
Who here has "golden ears" ?
Are you as picky about THIS emulated piano as Pierre-Laurent Aimard is about the Steinway D ?
{Pianomania movie}

I'm NOT, but I admit to having TIN ears and not playing advanced stuff anyway.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/07/14 01:43 PM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Originally Posted By: dmd

As a point of curiosity, I am wondering why some VSTs are the actual software piano product (as in Ivory and Pianoteq) and some VSTs are the Shell that the software piano product runs inside, as in Ravenscroft (i.e. why is there not a Ravenscroft275.dll).

Ravenscroft isn't a vst and doesn't conform to vst protocol (I've really no idea what that is!!), it exists only as a single file with the .ufs extension.

UVI is the vst which will run inside DAWs and hosts.


Let me re-word my question ...

I am wondering why the Ravenscroft275 does not have an accompanying VST like some other software piano products, namely Ivory. I am curious as to why they might not provide one since it seems much more convenient to utilize it within a DAW.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/07/14 01:51 PM

Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Originally Posted By: dmd

As a point of curiosity, I am wondering why some VSTs are the actual software piano product (as in Ivory and Pianoteq) and some VSTs are the Shell that the software piano product runs inside, as in Ravenscroft (i.e. why is there not a Ravenscroft275.dll).

Ravenscroft isn't a vst and doesn't conform to vst protocol (I've really no idea what that is!!), it exists only as a single file with the .ufs extension.

UVI is the vst which will run inside DAWs and hosts.


Let me re-word my question ...

I am wondering why the Ravenscroft275 does not have an accompanying VST like some other software piano products, namely Ivory. I am curious as to why they might not provide one since it seems much more convenient to utilize it within a DAW.



I think they've already admitted it's too much work - i.e. too expensive, hence the off-the-peg container UVI.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/07/14 03:54 PM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic

I think they've already admitted it's too much work - i.e. too expensive, hence the off-the-peg container UVI.


Well, that may be possible ... I guess.

I am going to present that question to VILabs directly and see what their response is.
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/07/14 04:28 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
AZ Astro, you need to go to your 64 bit VST folder (often in the Steinberg folder in Program Files) and look for the UVI plug-in there.


Okay, I got it working. Cool! Now I can record Ravenscroft piano inside Cantabile!

Thank you voxpops.
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/07/14 04:31 PM

Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Originally Posted By: dmd

As a point of curiosity, I am wondering why some VSTs are the actual software piano product (as in Ivory and Pianoteq) and some VSTs are the Shell that the software piano product runs inside, as in Ravenscroft (i.e. why is there not a Ravenscroft275.dll).

Ravenscroft isn't a vst and doesn't conform to vst protocol (I've really no idea what that is!!), it exists only as a single file with the .ufs extension.

UVI is the vst which will run inside DAWs and hosts.


Let me re-word my question ...

I am wondering why the Ravenscroft275 does not have an accompanying VST like some other software piano products, namely Ivory. I am curious as to why they might not provide one since it seems much more convenient to utilize it within a DAW.



This was part of my confusion. But I think I've got it now. A little bit anyway!
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/07/14 05:45 PM

hey gang,
was wondering wherefore the origin of the name "Ravenscroft".

herewith:
http://www.ravenscroftpianos.com/Images/PR/Downloads/RavenscroftPianosPressRelease(081001)PassionForPianos.pdf

http://www.statepress.com/2011/08/21/tempe-center-for-the-arts-gets-custom-made-grand-piano/
Posted by: Lance VI Labs

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/07/14 10:02 PM

Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: dire tonic

I think they've already admitted it's too much work - i.e. too expensive, hence the off-the-peg container UVI.


Well, that may be possible ... I guess.

I am going to present that question to VILabs directly and see what their response is.



Hey all, I wanted to jump in here again and explain a bit more about the UVI Workstation and questions about VST plug-ins, etc. Yes the Ravenscroft 275 and our True Keys Pianos are not VST instruments themselves--they are what are referred to as sample libraries and work within an engine, in this case UVI Workstation, which is the "player" and supports all plug-in formats such as VST, AU, AAX, etc. The software used to design the Ravenscroft library is called MachFive which is marketed by MOTU. MachFive is a full feature software sampler and is also available as a standalone application or any plug-in format. Another popular software sampler is Kontakt by Native Instruments, and they have their player known as Kontakt Player that hosts a huge variety of NI instruments as well as third party libraries. Alicia's Keys and the Scarbee line of libraries are popular examples of "Kontakt Powered" instruments that run all in one player, the free Kontakt Player. There's also a huge selection of UVI instruments and third party libraries that are hosted within the free UVI Workstation.

There are of course benefits to developing a proprietary sampling engine for one specific product or line of products from one company such as any specific need can be addressed from the ground up. But as I eluded to in a previous post, this is an expensive and rather risky endeavor for many instrument developers as the cost of R&D is very high, and there's always the risk of compatibility issues, crashes, etc. that can result unless the engine is really up to snuff. Also with proprietary engines, an end user has to install a new (and sometimes unknown) piece of software for each instrument, from each company, and so on. The benefits of using an existing engine that allows third party developer content such as NI Kontakt or MachFive is that you get a solid engine (player) that only needs to be installed once, and it will support a plethora of instruments available. This makes it easier for the end user as they install one player and then can add additional libraries, and it's easier in many ways for the developers as they can use a tried and true engine that many end users may already have. And yes, this also aids in copy protection as each library developer can rely on the company that makes the engine to handle that process instead of having a variety of copy protection methods which some work great and others not so much.

So to recap, you can install UVI Workstation one time to use the Ravenscroft. Then you could add our True Keys collections or any other instrument made for UVI Workstation and only have to download/extract the library without having to install any software again. This applies to Kontakt Player as well and the huge line-up of all their instruments.

I hope this helps!

-Lance @ VI Labs
Posted by: TheodorN

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/07/14 10:24 PM

Thank you Lance, for providing this information. If I may, I'd like to ask you about something else. How does the Ravenscroft compare to other software pianos you've worked on, like the ones from Acoustic Samples, the Kawai Ex Pro, and Academic Grand? I'm assuming the Ravenscroft is superior to the other two, but what makes it superior?

Would appreciate your input on this, as I'm looking for good software pianos, and the Acoustic Samples appealed to me. I'm wondering if I would be sacrificing quality for a lower price, by getting the older Acoustic Samples pianos, rather than the Ravenscroft.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/08/14 07:37 AM

Originally Posted By: Lance VI Labs
Ravenscroft 275 and our True Keys Pianos are not VST instruments


This is what I am wondering about.

Why restrict your products to only the one option for playback ?


It would seem to be in VILabs best interest to allow it to run in a variety of environments.


Why not make it a VST instrument so it will run on a variety of DAWS ?

Is it cost ? Sales Strategy ?
Posted by: Mta88

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/08/14 09:01 AM

@dmd.. hey I was just curious about your speaker setup... are u satisfied with the bass u get from your Focal CMS40 powered monitors? By chance you are running a sub with that as well?

I just purchased a pair of KRK monitors Rokit 6 gen 3 recently. Waiting for my uncle to bring it down for me though.

Not sure if i made a mistake or not going for KRK instead of a better brand but only time will tell i guess.
Alotta folks are satisfied with the KRKs...

You can private message me if you want. Thanks.

Sorry for the tangent guys.. Back to Ravenscroft... This software piano really looks promising. Excited to try it out one day.
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/08/14 10:11 AM

Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: Lance VI Labs
Ravenscroft 275 and our True Keys Pianos are not VST instruments


This is what I am wondering about.

Why restrict your products to only the one option for playback ?


This was my thinking as well but after some thought (and after successfully getting Ravenscroft to run inside Ivory Cantibile), here is my interpretation:

Why restrict? He mentioned cost, compatibility, and technical requirements.

Originally Posted By: dmd

It would seem to be in VILabs best interest to allow it to run in a variety of environments. Why not make it a VST instrument so it will run on a variety of DAWS ?

Is it cost ? Sales Strategy ?



By using UVI Workstation, VI Labs saves money and improves on quality control and compatibility. I am viewing UVI Workstation as the VST Instrument, and UVI Workstation can host many different instruments, including the Ravenscroft.
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/08/14 10:13 AM

Originally Posted By: Mta88
@dmd.. hey I was just curious about your speaker setup... are u satisfied with the bass u get from your Focal CMS40 powered monitors? By chance you are running a sub with that as well?

I just purchased a pair of KRK monitors Rokit 6 gen 3 recently. Waiting for my uncle to bring it down for me though.

Not sure if i made a mistake or not going for KRK instead of a better brand but only time will tell i guess.
Alotta folks are satisfied with the KRKs...

You can private message me if you want. Thanks.

Sorry for the tangent guys.. Back to Ravenscroft... This software piano really looks promising. Excited to try it out one day.



I have Rokit 8s and I mulled over gettings the 6s for a long time. In theory, I think the 6s are fine but I ended up getting the 8s as a bit of overengineering my setup.
Posted by: Mta88

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/08/14 02:12 PM

Originally Posted By: AZ_Astro
Originally Posted By: Mta88
@dmd.. hey I was just curious about your speaker setup... are u satisfied with the bass u get from your Focal CMS40 powered monitors? By chance you are running a sub with that as well?

I just purchased a pair of KRK monitors Rokit 6 gen 3 recently. Waiting for my uncle to bring it down for me though.

Not sure if i made a mistake or not going for KRK instead of a better brand but only time will tell i guess.
Alotta folks are satisfied with the KRKs...

You can private message me if you want. Thanks.

Sorry for the tangent guys.. Back to Ravenscroft... This software piano really looks promising. Excited to try it out one day.



I have Rokit 8s and I mulled over gettings the 6s for a long time. In theory, I think the 6s are fine but I ended up getting the 8s as a bit of overengineering my setup.



I just hope that they are good.. I can't demo anything where i live.. only studio monitors i can find locally were some pioneers that were overpriced..

I saw ravenscroft used a pair of focal solo6... yikes.. thats 2500 bucks!

can they really be that much better?.. the vpc1 is cheaper!
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/08/14 02:43 PM

I think you'll be pretty happy with the Rokit 6s. A good, economical choice.
Posted by: Lance VI Labs

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/08/14 08:59 PM

Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: Lance VI Labs
Ravenscroft 275 and our True Keys Pianos are not VST instruments


This is what I am wondering about.

Why restrict your products to only the one option for playback ?


It would seem to be in VILabs best interest to allow it to run in a variety of environments.


Why not make it a VST instrument so it will run on a variety of DAWS ?

Is it cost ? Sales Strategy ?



There are no restrictions on options for playback as the UVI Workstation is available as a stand-alone player as well as VST and all other plug-in formats for both Windows and Mac. VST, created by Steinberg, is simply one of many formats for virtual instruments/processors and is most often used as a plug-in format in most Windows DAW applications. The VST instrument in this case is UVI Workstation, and the Ravenscroft is a library that works within UVI Workstation using its engine. There are differences between our instruments which are libraries with advanced scripting that work within an existing engine/player vs. dedicated proprietary engines/players. If you purchase Alicia's Keys or Galaxy Vintage D, those are libraries that works within Kontakt Player, and Kontakt Player is available for stand-alone use or any plug-in format for use in a DAW. You can install one free player (Kontakt Player for Kontakt libraries, UVI Workstation for UVI instruments) and then install numerous libraries that all work within that one player. Or if you have the full version of the Kontakt or MachFive samplers, the libraries open in those and offer further editing and customization capabilities...something that can't be done with proprietary VI's. What you get are consistent controls and features, consistent reliability, and the need for only one installation for stand-alone and plug-in options. VST is not the only plug-in format as there are also AU, RTAS and AAX, all of which are supported with UVI Workstation. You can learn more about this at UVI.net

While I've mentioned the significant costs of developing a proprietary custom engine and the pros and cons of such, many instrument developers choose an existing engine for many other reasons such as a feature set that makes what they want to do possible as well as the proven reliability and support that comes from a well-established company such as UVI or NI. Think of the amount of feedback UVI and NI get from the hundreds of VI instruments/libraries that have been made with their samplers and how that's gone into improving the features, quality and stability of those platforms. I'm not saying it's always preferable to use an existing engine vs. creation of a custom engine, but there are many reasons besides costs one could be considered over the other, and it does factor into what we and other VI makers can offer to customers in terms of features, playability, performance and cost of the final product.

I hope this further answers the questions. And UVI Workstation should be running very well as a stand-alone virtual instrument which will run any UVI library including Ravenscroft, so anyone having issues with stand-alone operation should contact us so we can address those issues. 90% of the time when I just want to play, I launch the stand-alone UVI Workstation and it performs beautifully on Windows or Mac equally on a variety of systems. We're happy to answer questions and do take your feedback very seriously as it helps us and all of our customers, so please contact me on here or use our Contact page on the website. Thanks!
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/08/14 09:13 PM

Lance:

Thank you very much for your in-depth response to my curiosity.

I am not knowledgeable about this stuff so I am getting in over my head here but I am starting to get the picture.

I appreciate it.

Thank you
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/08/14 09:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Lance VI Labs

And UVI Workstation should be running very well as a stand-alone virtual instrument which will run any UVI library including Ravenscroft, so anyone having issues with stand-alone operation should contact us so we can address those issues. 90% of the time when I just want to play, I launch the stand-alone UVI Workstation and it performs beautifully on Windows or Mac equally on a variety of systems. We're happy to answer questions and do take your feedback very seriously as it helps us and all of our customers, so please contact me on here or use our Contact page on the website. Thanks!



Hi Lance,

Several people on this forum have had problems with ASIO playback when using UVI workstation stand-alone. ASIO4All in particular is problematic, and it produces warbled distortion and doesn't interact correctly with the ASIO4All interface (buffer size is reported inaccurately, latency is high, etc.)

The workaround we've been using is to host UVI inside a DAW so that DAW handles the ASIO output.

Are you familiar with these ASIO issues when using UVI stand-alone?

Thanks
Posted by: Lance VI Labs

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/09/14 12:21 AM

Originally Posted By: chicolom

Hi Lance,

Several people on this forum have had problems with ASIO playback when using UVI workstation stand-alone. ASIO4All in particular is problematic, and it produces warbled distortion and doesn't interact correctly with the ASIO4All interface (buffer size is reported inaccurately, latency is high, etc.)

The workaround we've been using is to host UVI inside a DAW so that DAW handles the ASIO output.

Are you familiar with these ASIO issues when using UVI stand-alone?

Thanks


Hi Chicolom,

I need to know a lot more information about each particular problem in order to fairly assess the issue such as what OS is used, computer specs, soundcard or sound device used as well as settings in UVI Workstation, ASIO4ALL settings, etc. Otherwise I'm just speculating and throwing out ideas here. I've only used the ASIO4ALL driver a couple times and have never had good luck with it on anything, not just UVI Workstation. I've never had a need for it as I've always used the manufacturer's driver for whatever audio interface I'm using, and all of those have worked flawlessly with the stand-alone version of UVI. We have many beta testers mostly using a variety of audio interfaces (Roland, MOTU, Focusrite, Avid, Apogee, etc), and all perform very well from what we've gathered. I assume the ASIO4ALL driver is used if one is using an internal soundcard or audio device that doesn't include it's own low-latency driver? We do recommend a quality audio interface with low latency drivers to get the most out of the Ravenscroft or any VI for that matter, not just from VI Labs. There is a very noticeable difference in sound quality and latency when using the Avid HD I/O or RedNet or even the Apogee One vs. an internal soundcard, just to give an example.

Anyone having issues as you describe should contact us via our website so we can work with UVI to get any specific issues addressed. As much specific detailed information as can be provided will be very helpful. For anyone that uses Kontakt Player instruments (Alicia's Keys, Galaxy Vintage D, etc.) should let us know if the stand-alone version of Kontakt Player works, but UVI doesn't. And soon we will have more in-depth information on optimization, preferred settings and minimum/good/better/best system requirements. So any issues with detailed information can help us create a better list. And one final point on this..it seems this is only with ASIO drivers? Any Mac users here using Core Audio having any issues?

And you're quite welcome Don, and I can understand the confusion when you're rather new to all this! Anything we can answer for you to help better understand how it all works would be our pleasure.

-Lance @ VI Labs
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/09/14 03:40 AM

Originally Posted By: Lance VI Labs

Hi Chicolom,

I need to know a lot more information about each particular problem in order to fairly assess the issue such as what OS is used, computer specs, soundcard or sound device used as well as settings in UVI Workstation, ASIO4ALL settings, etc. Otherwise I'm just speculating and throwing out ideas here. I've only used the ASIO4ALL driver a couple times and have never had good luck with it on anything, not just UVI Workstation. I've never had a need for it as I've always used the manufacturer's driver for whatever audio interface I'm using, and all of those have worked flawlessly with the stand-alone version of UVI. We have many beta testers mostly using a variety of audio interfaces (Roland, MOTU, Focusrite, Avid, Apogee, etc), and all perform very well from what we've gathered. I assume the ASIO4ALL driver is used if one is using an internal soundcard or audio device that doesn't include it's own low-latency driver? We do recommend a quality audio interface with low latency drivers to get the most out of the Ravenscroft or any VI for that matter, not just from VI Labs. There is a very noticeable difference in sound quality and latency when using the Avid HD I/O or RedNet or even the Apogee One vs. an internal soundcard, just to give an example.

Anyone having issues as you describe should contact us via our website so we can work with UVI to get any specific issues addressed. As much specific detailed information as can be provided will be very helpful. For anyone that uses Kontakt Player instruments (Alicia's Keys, Galaxy Vintage D, etc.) should let us know if the stand-alone version of Kontakt Player works, but UVI doesn't. And soon we will have more in-depth information on optimization, preferred settings and minimum/good/better/best system requirements. So any issues with detailed information can help us create a better list. And one final point on this..it seems this is only with ASIO drivers? Any Mac users here using Core Audio having any issues?


-Lance @ VI Labs



Yes. I've already done some troubleshooting and narrowed my problems down to UVI stand-alone + ASIO4ALL output on Windows.

UVI seems to have trouble initializing the audio device or something. Stand-alone Kontakt works fine with ASIO4ALL, and once you host UVI inside a DAW it ALSO works fine with ASIO4ALL.

I've replicated the problem on both my laptop and desktop (both running windows 8.1) and they both have same issue when running UVI stand-alone + ASIO4ALL output. I've tested four different audio devices hooked up to my dekstop (Motherboard Audio Asus A87-A, Creative Soundblaster Z PCI-E Soundcard, FiiO E10 USB DAC, JDSlabs ODAC) and none work with stand-alone UVI + ASIO4ALL, but they ALL work if UVI is hosted inside a DAW (and they all work with Kontakt).

My desktop PC specs are quite powerful: i7-4770K CPU, 16GB memory, Samsung EVO 250GB SSD. If I put UVI inside a DAW and use ASIO4ALL, I can crank the buffer down to the lowest 64 sample buffer (~2ms latency?) without any problems.



I realize an external audio interface is ideal, but I thought I would point out this issue nonetheless, as people without an external low-latency interface often rely on ASIO4ALL, and there are times when it comes in quite handy if you don't have an external interface with you.



If you want to try and reproduce this issue:

1) Grab a Windows (8) PC.
2) Install ASIO4ALL drivers on it.
3) Open UVI Workstation stand-alone.
4) Go to "File/Audio and Midi Settings/Audio Device" and set the "Audio Output" to "ASIO4ALL".
5) Load a sample library.
6) Try and play the instrument and adjust the latency...

You can experiment with swapping the order of steps 4 and 5 if you like.



Here are a few quotes from others having some problems with UVI stand-alone + ASIO4ALL.


Voxpops:
"I loaded up the 64-bit version of Cantabile Lite, switched back to ASIO4ALL, and I can play this piano with no discernible latency, and it sounds great and responds beautifully. This allows me to go back to using just the Surface Pro with USB and audio cables, and nothing else. So now I will be able to use it live!

I don't understand why when using UVI as a standalone device I have so much in the way of ASIO problems, as well as residual latency, but when I open the VST version of UVI in Cantabile Lite, it all works so much better, and can use ASIO4ALL with no warbling etc. There's definitely a bit of a mismatch between UVI and ASIO (at least on Windows). "




Dire Tonic:

"Re latency, I usually set this directly on Asio4all's own control panel when using galaxy D. So I'm doing the same with Ravenscroft in UVI but whether I set Asio4all to min (64 samples) or max (2048) there's no audible change in latency. It sounds just about ok and middling - maybe the 512 default that UVI initially launched in.

Is there a way to set the latency in UVI?

edit: No problem with UVI's latency settings when hosted in Cubase using ASIO4all - I suppose because Cubase is then in charge, but UVI as a standalone doesn't seem comfortable in the company of ASIO4all. Maybe I've overlooked something....bedtime..."




Digitalguy:

This is one of the downsides of UVI, it's the only engine that often gives me these problems with Asio (be it asio4all or the ones of my 2 interfaces). Try restarting UVI, it generally works after one or 2 attempts. But it's annoying as it happens quite often (at least on a pc...)
Posted by: PtJaa

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/09/14 06:10 AM

Lance, please, let UVI guys add the standard ASIO configuration window to UVI. It's a real shame it's not there.

All other music-production programs that I use (Kontakt, Reaper, Pianoteq...) let me open the ASIO configuration window to set-up my soundcard the way I want. UVI doesn't. My soundcard has more than the minimum configuration parameters (sampling frequency, buffer size) in ASIO and I can't even see how they are configured in UVI. I fail to see any other reason for this strange omission than ignorance...
Posted by: sandalholme

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/09/14 01:17 PM

Lance, no problem for this Mac user - with TK pianos - to use UVI, out through core audio. (I actually normally use usb to DAC and thence via a Behringer hum destroyer to the ES7, but it works directly too) No latency problems whatsoever and I've increased the polyphony to max, used all 3 mic positions etc. Also use TK within Reaper for recording, also no latency issues.
Posted by: paolopiano69

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/09/14 03:41 PM

Also I have to use cantabile for not having latency problems.
AMD A8 6600K
16 GB DDR3
SSDs
Scarlett 6i6
no problem with any software (ivory, Pianoteq, Studio One ... etc) but only with UVI Workstation.
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/09/14 04:36 PM

Originally Posted By: PtJaa
Lance, please, let UVI guys add the standard ASIO configuration window to UVI. It's a real shame it's not there.

All other music-production programs that I use (Kontakt, Reaper, Pianoteq...) let me open the ASIO configuration window to set-up my soundcard the way I want. UVI doesn't. My soundcard has more than the minimum configuration parameters (sample, buffer size) in ASIO and I can't even see how they are configured in UVI. I fail to see any other reason for this strange omission than ignorance...


I think this is part of the problem.

My PCI-E soundcard has it's own ASIO drivers, and all other programs (Reaper, Kontakt, etc.) let me open up the soundcard's own ASIO config window when adjusting latency. UVI doesn't though, and instead tries to do it all through it's own configuration window. If I try and use my PCI-E soundcard with UVI stand-alone and adjust the latency in UVI I often get messages such as "An error occured while initializing Creative Sound Blaster ASIO", or "UVI workstation has stopped working" (UVI crashes). I believe there is some kind of mismatch in communication between UVI and the ASIO device going on.

This is why putting it inside a DAW seems to work. You don't have to go through UVI's ASIO config window and can instead open the soundcard/interface's own native ASIO window to make the adjustments - which seems to work a lot better.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/10/14 08:48 PM

I played Ravenscroft for the first time today.
I played for a short time this morning. I thought it sounded ok. but just ok. not overwhelmed. really barely whelmed.
went through the 5 choices.
stopped. came back a few hours later.
played the first choice only.
played through my monitors. (have not tried it through headphones.)
I played around with Ivory II ACD first.
then Ravenswood.
blown away. way way far away. like nirvana land. I did not play much up top. not a lot way low either.
but I played for well over an hour.
to say I was inspired, does not even hint at what happened.
it was a sublime experience.
I adjusted no settings, until the very end. I turned pedal noise down a ways. it was all the way up, and ridiculously loud.
I had my monitors turned up a bit.
I wailed. I mean I wailed.
it might as well have been a real Concert Grand Raven-Stein-Fazi-Bosen-Bluth..... I think you get the picture.
one problem. plenty of pops.....snap crackle...artifacts......whatever they're called.
I tried changing the buffer.....64......128.....256.......no good.
I put it back to 64....(higher was no better, might have been worse).....emailed support.
not pleased about this. hoping to get this remedied.
I could play whatever I wanted on ACD with its Cantabile. not a single pop. (I have to play ACD more to decide how much I like it. this little tale is regarding the long awaited, finally here RW.)
ok. getting to TLDR length....no thank you.
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/10/14 10:35 PM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
I played Ravenscroft for the first time today.
I played for a short time this morning. I thought it sounded ok. but just ok. not overwhelmed. really barely whelmed.
went through the 5 choices.
stopped. came back a few hours later.
played the first choice only.
played through my monitors. (have not tried it through headphones.)
I played around with Ivory II ACD first.
then Ravenswood.
blown away. way way far away. like nirvana land. I did not play much up top. not a lot way low either.
but I played for well over an hour.
to say I was inspired, does not even hint at what happened.
it was a sublime experience.
I adjusted no settings, until the very end. I turned pedal noise down a ways. it was all the way up, and ridiculously loud.
I had my monitors turned up a bit.
I wailed. I mean I wailed.
it might as well have been a real Concert Grand Raven-Stein-Fazi-Bosen-Bluth..... I think you get the picture.
one problem. plenty of pops.....snap crackle...artifacts......whatever they're called.
I tried changing the buffer.....64......128.....256.......no good.
I put it back to 64....(higher was no better, might have been worse).....emailed support.
not pleased about this. hoping to get this remedied.
I could play whatever I wanted on ACD with its Cantabile. not a single pop. (I have to play ACD more to decide how much I like it. this little tale is regarding the long awaited, finally here RW.)
ok. getting to TLDR length....no thank you.


I would just load the full "Ravenscroft 275" patch (the first choice). The other choices just load a single mic position and exclude all the other mic positions, but the full patch lets you pick and choose.


If you haven't already, try opening up UVI inside of a DAW instead of trying to run it stand-alone. It may fix your ASIO popping issues.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/10/14 10:43 PM

thank you very much chicolom.

my DAW is Reaper. I know how to put effects on tracks. (it's easy.)
would you please tell me if you know if it's any harder to open UVI in Reaper, then it is to put an effect on a track?
or, are there any other settings that you know of, that I will have to make?
I have used Reaper for years and recorded hundreds of songs with it.
but I am new to software piano programs.
2 weeks ago, I got Ivory II American Concert D, and last week I got Ravenscroft.
thanks for any thoughts,
Charlie
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/10/14 10:54 PM

To open UVI inside Reaper:

1) Open Reaper
2) Open "Preferences/Plugins/VST" and make sure Reaper is pointing to where the UVI VST plugin is (Should be Program Files/Steinberg/VSTplugins by default I think).
3) Go to "Track/Insert Virtual Instrument on New Track" the look under "VSTi" for UVIworkstation.

I usually click "No" to just use the stereo 1/2 outs.

UVI should open inside reaper and then just click to load up "Ravenscroft 275" like normal.

Go to "Preferences/Audio/Device" if you want to tweak your ASIO/output settings.

Save the project if you want to be able to open it up again automatically from a single click later. This also saves any changes you make to the Ravenscroft instrument inside UVI (useful if you like to set it up a certain way).
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/10/14 11:17 PM

you sooooo rock dude!!!

thank you so much. am frankly astonished that RW is snap crackling and popping on me in UVI standalone mode.
I have a new HP notebook with a 4th gen i7, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD (all it has on it are RW and ACD, for a total of less that ~ 85 GB), RME Babyface.
I don't get it.
gotta sleep.
thanks so much again man.
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/10/14 11:20 PM

I have been switching back and forth between Ivory German D and Ravenscroft, but mostly I have been using the Ravenscroft.

I spent the last two days learning Schumann's Kinderszenen Op 15 No 1 and it is a sublime little piece.

I really enjoyed using the Ravenscroft. I have both the Close and Player mikes turned on as that seems to add a slightly richer sound to my ears. But - suffice to say I found the playing of Ravenscroft to be absolutely divine.

The sound is not overwhelming by any means, but it is strikingly pure and clean and beautifully in tune. The outlook continues to look very good for my continued use of the Ravenscroft for classical work.

Cracks and pops start to creep in over time and normally the only way that I can kill those is by shutting down the piano, hitting ctrl-alt-delete to start the task manager, and then killing every occurrence of a flash-player plug-in. I also get a few pops/crackles when my monitor flickers (or goes into sleep mode). Not a biggy.

Anyway... a happy report.

Posted by: chicolom

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/11/14 02:25 AM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
you sooooo rock dude!!!

thank you so much. am frankly astonished that RW is snap crackling and popping on me in UVI standalone mode.
I have a new HP notebook with a 4th gen i7, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD (all it has on it are RW and ACD, for a total of less that ~ 85 GB), RME Babyface.
I don't get it.
gotta sleep.
thanks so much again man.


You're welcome.

My computer has the same problem when using UVI in stand-alone mode, so don't worry.

It works great inside a DAW though.
Posted by: Macy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/11/14 03:24 AM

Originally Posted By: AZ_Astro
...
I really enjoyed using the Ravenscroft. I have both the Close and Player mikes turned on as that seems to add a slightly richer sound to my ears. But - suffice to say I found the playing of Ravenscroft to be absolutely divine.

The sound is not overwhelming by any means, but it is strikingly pure and clean and beautifully in tune. The outlook continues to look very good for my continued use of the Ravenscroft for classical work.

Cracks and pops start to creep in over time and normally the only way that I can kill those is by shutting down the piano, hitting ctrl-alt-delete to start the task manager, and then killing every occurrence of a flash-player plug-in. I also get a few pops/crackles when my monitor flickers (or goes into sleep mode). Not a biggy.

Anyway... a happy report.

I wish I could report such satisfaction. I've been working with Ravenscroft for a couple of days and have been very frustrated. Thankfully I haven't had any problems with "cracks and pops" (or latency) on my iMac, but I can't get a piano sound that I like from it.

My "subjective opinion" is that it's lacking in at least three areas. (Yep, just my opinion, others will hear it differently I'm sure.)

(1) Starting at D one octave above middle C I hear a tinny ringing on about a half dozen consecutive notes at high velocity levels. (No, my other pianos do not do this through the same speakers.)

(2) Bass notes lack power in their lowest harmonics. (How can this be accurate sampling of a 9-foot grand?) As a result some notes for about a half octave above and below the C two octaves below middle C almost thump when played. Almost reminds me of a string bass rather than a piano. (Yeah, that's ok on a few jazz pieces, but not for general piano use.)

(3) My biggest complaint is the metallic sound of midrange chords played in the range about a half octave below middle C to an octave above middle C. If the original acoustic Ravenscroft sounds like this I can't imagine anyone paying $250K for one (I'd rather have any number of acoustic grands that cost 20% or considerably less).

I've tried EQ'ing to help correct (2) and (3) for several days and I can get it to sound ok on a few specific pieces but not in general. Of course I've also tried many mixing combinations of the 4 mic positions, but I can't find a solution I like yet. I wish that ViLabs had included a pre-mixed "optimum" mic combination rather than a 4th mic position, like they did on the True Keys American D, which worked quite well, but they don't.

But I haven't given up. Perhaps I'm suffering from ear fatigue at this point. But interestingly I can go immediately back to the Vintage D or Ivory II American D and they both sound great (but very different from each other).
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/11/14 08:05 AM

AZ_Astro;
Do those flash player plug-in instances stop popping up if you just close your browser ?

{Just a suggestion}
Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/11/14 10:30 AM

I have all programs turned off exc. UVI, on a macbook pro, and I'll have say, 2-3 drop outs over 1.5 hrs of practice. Very annoying. I'm emailing the co. today.
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/11/14 12:00 PM

Originally Posted By: R_B
AZ_Astro;
Do those flash player plug-in instances stop popping up if you just close your browser ?

{Just a suggestion}


Surprisingly, no. Not always. I thought they should, too.
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/11/14 12:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Chrisl
I have all programs turned off exc. UVI, on a macbook pro, and I'll have say, 2-3 drop outs over 1.5 hrs of practice. Very annoying. I'm emailing the co. today.


When you say 'drop out' do you mean a program crash? Or a few notes dropping out? Thx.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/11/14 12:45 PM

I have also emailed VI with regard to the problems using UVI as a standalone program in Windows. For those experiencing issues, I seriously recommend installing something like Cantabile Lite (totally free) which seems to run UVI/Ravenscroft very smoothly.

There seems to be an increasing number of users reporting these problems. So often these days, though, software is released before bugs have been ironed out. I don't understand the reason why, in this instance, the standalone version is so buggy, but at least it's good to know there's a workaround.

Other than that, it's a really good, and eminently playable piano, IMO.
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/11/14 01:45 PM

Originally Posted By: chicolom
To open UVI inside Reaper:

1) Open Reaper
2) Open "Preferences/Plugins/VST" and make sure Reaper is pointing to where the UVI VST plugin is (Should be Program Files/Steinberg/VSTplugins by default I think).
3) Go to "Track/Insert Virtual Instrument on New Track" the look under "VSTi" for UVIworkstation.

I usually click "No" to just use the stereo 1/2 outs.

UVI should open inside reaper and then just click to load up "Ravenscroft 275" like normal.

Go to "Preferences/Audio/Device" if you want to tweak your ASIO/output settings.

Save the project if you want to be able to open it up again automatically from a single click later. This also saves any changes you make to the Ravenscroft instrument inside UVI (useful if you like to set it up a certain way).


would someone please help me?
I cannot get Ravenscroft to work in Reaper. it does not see UVI Workstation, nor Ravenscroft.
I have the library files for both Ivory II (which works just fine in Cantabile), and Ravenscroft on my SSD secondary drive.
I could get reaper to see Ivory II, but not Ravenscroft.
UVI Workstation and Cantabile are on my regular boot HDD (along with Reaper and everything else).
would someone please tell me how to get this setup?
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/11/14 01:49 PM

- PC users with crackle-pop problems; make sure your computer is set to its best performance setting in control panels/power options.

For a laptop it should be set to high performance (NOT balanced)
Not so sure about desktops but whatever it is you need minimum compromise on performance.

(probably stating the obvious but you never know...)
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/11/14 03:28 PM

Originally Posted By: minstrelman
Originally Posted By: chicolom
To open UVI inside Reaper:

1) Open Reaper
2) Open "Preferences/Plugins/VST" and make sure Reaper is pointing to the UVI VST plugin (Should be Program Files/Steinberg/VSTplugins by default I think).
3) Go to "Track/Insert Virtual Instrument on New Track" the look under "VSTi" for UVIworkstation.

I usually click "No" to just use the stereo 1/2 outs.

UVI should open inside reaper and then just click to load up "Ravenscroft 275" like normal.

Go to "Preferences/Audio/Device" if you want to tweak your ASIO/output settings.

Save the project if you want to be able to open it up again automatically from a single click later. This also saves any changes you make to the Ravenscroft instrument inside UVI (useful if you like to set it up a certain way).


would someone please help me?
I cannot get Ravenscroft to work in Reaper. it does not see UVI Workstation, nor Ravenscroft.
I have the library files for both Ivory II (which works just fine in Cantabile), and Ravenscroft on my SSD secondary drive.
I could get reaper to see Ivory II, but not Ravenscroft.
UVI Workstation and Cantabile are on my regular boot HDD (along with Reaper and everything else).
would someone please tell me how to get this setup?



***
1) Install UVI Workstation
2) Just check to see if the file UVIWorkstationVSTx64.dll is on your system in the C:\Program Files\Steinberg\VSTPlugins folder.
3) Open Reaper
4) I don't have Reaper but following the instructions from above:

Open "Preferences/Plugins/VST" and point/browse to the UVIWorkstationVSTx64.dll file (should be there if you found it in step 2.)

5) UVI Workstation should open and you proceed to load Ravenscroft as normal.

See if that helps?
Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/11/14 03:37 PM

thank you so much.
I have got UVI Workstation and Ravencroft in Reaper.
I can play the virtual keyboard.
the last piece of the puzzle, (and I am very stuck here), :is that I cannot get my Kawai to connect.
I can/could do it with UVI standalone. and with Ivory II in Cantabile.
would you please tell me how to get this to work?
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/11/14 04:20 PM

Hmmm. I did enter in the path: C:\Program Files\Steinberg\VSTPlugins inside Cantabile. Check to see if there is a place inside Reaper for you to save the path to the VST plugin.

If the keyboard is already working with UVI Workstation in standalone mode, I don't think you need to make ANY changes at all after you load UVI Workstation inside Reaper.

So - try it again without loading Reaper. Check out UVI Workstation with Ravenscroft. Working? Examine the screen to see if it changes at all later.

Then close it.

Then open Reaper and point to/link the UVI Workstation VST .dll file. Load up UVI workstation (it may happen automatically if you set up Reaper to look automatically for the VST.)

Anyway, why don't you give this a try and see where it takes you.




Posted by: minstrelman

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/11/14 05:12 PM

thank you very much again.
I will try again.
VI Labs sent me an excellent step by step instruction from Reaper for VST stuff.
I got sound.
thank you so much again for all your generous help.

Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/11/14 05:36 PM

Originally Posted By: AZ_Astro
Originally Posted By: Chrisl
I have all programs turned off exc. UVI, on a macbook pro, and I'll have say, 2-3 drop outs over 1.5 hrs of practice. Very annoying. I'm emailing the co. today.


When you say 'drop out' do you mean a program crash? Or a few notes dropping out? Thx.


Every now and then, I hit a key and absolutely no sound. Next key press is fine.

Don't expect VPI to address this:

We never experienced it… and unless it is something that can be reproduced, it will be very hard to fix…
Is it always the same note?Is there some kind of a pattern?
One skipping note could also be a Hard Drive issue.
Per Arnaud
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/13/14 10:02 AM

Originally Posted By: AZ_Astro
Originally Posted By: R_B
AZ_Astro;
Do those flash player plug-in instances stop popping up if you just close your browser ?

{Just a suggestion}


Surprisingly, no. Not always. I thought they should, too.


If this is still happening - and IF you are interested in troubleshooting it, or at least ISOLATING it.

You could go to;
Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Services and Applications -> Services -> Adobe Flash Player

Stop it, then set it to "Manual".

This will result in a pop up asking if you want to allow your browser to run it every time - annoying, but perhaps tolerable for an hour or two while you test.
Set it back to Automatic when you are all done, etc.

Apologies in advance if you already know this laugh

I am interested in the outcome.
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/13/14 08:06 PM

Originally Posted By: R_B
Originally Posted By: AZ_Astro
Originally Posted By: R_B
AZ_Astro;
Do those flash player plug-in instances stop popping up if you just close your browser ?

{Just a suggestion}


Surprisingly, no. Not always. I thought they should, too.


If this is still happening - and IF you are interested in troubleshooting it, or at least ISOLATING it.

You could go to;
Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Services and Applications -> Services -> Adobe Flash Player

Stop it, then set it to "Manual".

This will result in a pop up asking if you want to allow your browser to run it every time - annoying, but perhaps tolerable for an hour or two while you test.
Set it back to Automatic when you are all done, etc.

Apologies in advance if you already know this laugh

I am interested in the outcome.



I will look into it. But happily the pops and crackles are infrequent. I attribute most problems to multiple instances of Youtube up and running concurrently (with a copy of Flashplayer each). When I close all browser windows, most of the time the Flashplayer plugins die too but not always, hence the use of task manager to kill those every once in a while.

Periodically something (probably Flashplayer) grabs hold of the audio and won't let go. Sigh. Re-boot fixes that.

Thx for your feedback. I didn't know I could isolate the Adobe Flash Player in Services as you mentioned. Good tip.
Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/14/14 11:41 AM

I turned off off Adobe flash and I'm happy to say l there were no drop outs yesterday. I'll keep you all updated. Thanks R_B for the suggestion.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/14/14 01:44 PM

Hey, that seems like PROGRESS - happy to contribute whatever little I can laugh

It will become a PAIN when you want to use your browser, but if one/some of you owners want to tell VILabs about it MAYBE they can figure out why and fix it.
I can't tell them, since I cancelled my order.

Still thinking about that...
I use Pianoteq a LOT as a midi juke box sound module for background music, but I just about never PLAY it as an instrument, so I doubt that I would use Ravernscroft (or any other sample library) much either.
Posted by: Element

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/16/14 09:53 PM

I just recently bought Ravenscroft UVI.
I thought I'd give you some quick Pros & Cons on the Ravenscroft.
(Just for context I also have Galaxy Vintage D, TK American, Ivory II German, And Pianoteq Pro w/Bluthner.)

Some Ravenscroft quick Pros & Cons:

Pros: Beautifully bright but not brittle tone, clean, superb clarity and (as others have pointed out)
very much like a more organic, and more complex sounding Pianoteq.

Ravenscroft's playability is probably a new standard for sampled pianos AFAIK.
Excellent velocity gradations from ppp to fff, again like Pianoteq.
Soft notes are delicate but clear and well defined-excellent for soft stuff
(Bill Evans, Debussy...)
Melody lines sing out very naturally and evenly above left hand comping.
You can really "dig-in" to the higher velocities without getting over-loud or
overbearing. Just excellent!

Tuning and regulation is pretty much perfect all the way up and down- no "honky tonk" or
poorly regulated notes, well done VI Labs!

Pedal down Resonance is superb, maybe better than Vintage D. But, I had to back the Resonance
knob way down to -6db, or it got overwhelming.


Cons: One annoying con: While I love most everything about the Rav, I don't quite love the release envelope of the main piano sound.
To my ear the key releases are just a hair too short and abrupt. (I'm talking about the main piano sound, not the release samples which are a separate thing.) Now, if this were Ivory or vintage D I would just turn their respective release knobs up a little-done!. however there is no overall release knob
on the Ravenscroft.
It needs one! It is something that should really be adjustable!

To hear this for yourself just turn the Release samples knob to off, turn all reverbs off- then play some short , non-legato phrases with no sustain pedal, and you should hear these short-ish releases.
They should be a little rounder and less abrupt IMO.

OK maybe I'm hearing things, or being too nitpicky in this regard --I'd appreciate it if you guys/gals would
run the little test above to see if I'm an outlier on this matter. Thanks!!


Anyway, the release issue is the only Con I can think of, really!

Some people have had a lot of trouble with UVI but I've had no problems whatsoever running under Cantabile
Performer, into a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 into KRK rockit 5's and Sennheiser headphones, toshiba i7 laptop 8gb ram,
w/Ravenscroft on SSD.


For $150 this was a great buy, at $200 still a very good buy especially if VILabs does
a few updates/fixes/tweaks.
Posted by: Pete14

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/16/14 11:01 PM

I also noticed the short release; It sounds a bit like a harpsichord and a piano blended into one. I sort o' like it; since I already have other virtual pianos (ACD, and Pianoteq) with longer releases.
Posted by: PianoManChuck

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/18/14 10:26 PM

I've played all kinds of digital pianos and have always strived to have the best of them. But this Ravenscroft VI really sounds phenomenal! Here's my first try at playing it with one of my original piano compositions:

http://youtu.be/j8b6dgGMwEY

This virtual instrument takes digital piano to an entirely new level!!!
Posted by: pwl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/18/14 11:09 PM

I like the song, Chuck!
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/19/14 04:38 AM

Originally Posted By: Element
Cons: One annoying con: While I love most everything about the Rav, I don't quite love the release envelope of the main piano sound.
To my ear the key releases are just a hair too short and abrupt. (I'm talking about the main piano sound, not the release samples which are a separate thing.) Now, if this were Ivory or vintage D I would just turn their respective release knobs up a little-done!. however there is no overall release knob
on the Ravenscroft.
It needs one! It is something that should really be adjustable!



- agreed. The sound cuts off almost as crisply as a clavinet.
Posted by: PianoManChuck

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/19/14 08:04 AM

Originally Posted By: pwl
I like the song, Chuck!

Thanks, pwl!!
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/19/14 11:17 AM

Hi Chuck,

Thanks for sharing. I regularly watch your very good videos on Youtube. And it was nice comparing your Forgotten with the Kronos version (I love the Kronos German Steinway) and with the Kross/Privia version (I recently bought the Kross, also after watching some of your videos, among others, great value for money).
Just a question: which settings did you use for this videos (for instance, which mic positions) ?
Posted by: joflah

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/19/14 02:01 PM

Originally Posted By: pwl
I like the song, Chuck!


+1
Posted by: PianoManChuck

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/19/14 09:16 PM

Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
Hi Chuck,

Thanks for sharing. I regularly watch your very good videos on Youtube. And it was nice comparing your Forgotten with the Kronos version (I love the Kronos German Steinway) and with the Kross/Privia version (I recently bought the Kross, also after watching some of your videos, among others, great value for money).
Just a question: which settings did you use for this videos (for instance, which mic positions) ?

Glad to hear my videos helped with your purchase decision of the Kross! Definitely a huge bang for the price, and a lot of fun too smile

As for the Ravenscroft, I used the main (first) file - not any of the individual 4 mic'd files. I wanted this video to show just the stock (default) piano/samples. With only a slight adjustment to the reverb and stereo width, I felt this should give a decent representation of what you can expect with using it with very little in the way of customizing it to your own tastes.
Posted by: Macy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/19/14 09:38 PM

Originally Posted By: PianoManChuck
[quote=Digitalguy
As for the Ravenscroft, I used the main (first) file - not any of the individual 4 mic'd files. I wanted this video to show just the stock (default) piano/samples. With only a slight adjustment to the reverb and stereo width, I felt this should give a decent representation of what you can expect with using it with very little in the way of customizing it to your own tastes.


If I remember correctly the Ravenscroft defaults to the Close Mic perspective only when you load the "main" file. So it that what you used with no additional EQ?
Posted by: Element

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/19/14 09:47 PM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Originally Posted By: Element
Cons: One annoying con: While I love most everything about the Rav, I don't quite love the release envelope of the main piano sound.
To my ear the key releases are just a hair too short and abrupt. (I'm talking about the main piano sound, not the release samples which are a separate thing.) Now, if this were Ivory or vintage D I would just turn their respective release knobs up a little-done!. however there is no overall release knob
on the Ravenscroft.
It needs one! It is something that should really be adjustable!



- agreed. The sound cuts off almost as crisply as a clavinet.

Thanks Dire for your input!
I kind of get around the overly tight release by cranking the
actual release samples up a bit high (+3db). And I find myself playing with a bit more pedal than I might otherwise, to avoid these sharp note cutoffs.
I think I'm going to email VI Labs and get their take on this.

BTW, good to see Chuck here!
Posted by: PianoManChuck

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/19/14 09:53 PM

Originally Posted By: Macy
Originally Posted By: PianoManChuck
[quote=Digitalguy
As for the Ravenscroft, I used the main (first) file - not any of the individual 4 mic'd files. I wanted this video to show just the stock (default) piano/samples. With only a slight adjustment to the reverb and stereo width, I felt this should give a decent representation of what you can expect with using it with very little in the way of customizing it to your own tastes.


If I remember correctly the Ravenscroft defaults to the Close Mic perspective only when you load the "main" file. So it that what you used with no additional EQ?

Yes, that's correct!
Posted by: PianoManChuck

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/20/14 08:06 PM

Until now, my favorite piano was the Nord Stage 2's Fazioli (Italian Grand). But now that I have the Ravenscroft 275 (VI Labs Audio), its blurring the lines of which one sounds better. I think I like the Ravenscroft in the lower register better, its a tie in the upper register. You decide:

http://youtu.be/9VV3EsqA7hU

At NAMM 2014, the real (acoustic) versions of each ($$$ 6-digits) seemed to be split amongst pianists. I always did favor the Fazioli, but this year at NAMM that changed to the Ravenscroft.

The above video was pretty much default settings for each piano... with slight reverb added to each. No EQ and no other tweaks. Close mic position for the Ravenscroft, but Nord never did release what type of mic positions were used for the Fazioli.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/20/14 09:08 PM

IF the Fazioli is a "built in voice" of the Nord then I suspect that it is probably easier/nicer to play. {Ease of stand-alone DP, lack of latency issues, etc.}

Plus, if it is already THERE in the price of the keyboard then One would have to value the Ravenscroft at an ADDITIONAL coupl'a hundred bux.

Not sure that I can hear a ~$200 difference there, but the limitations of You tube could be a a factor.
Posted by: PianoManChuck

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/20/14 09:42 PM

Originally Posted By: R_B
IF the Fazioli is a "built in voice" of the Nord then I suspect that it is probably easier/nicer to play. {Ease of stand-alone DP, lack of latency issues, etc.}

Plus, if it is already THERE in the price of the keyboard then One would have to value the Ravenscroft at an ADDITIONAL coupl'a hundred bux.

Not sure that I can hear a ~$200 difference there, but the limitations of You tube could be a a factor.

Don't forget... the Nord is a very pricey instrument! One could pick up an excellent 88-key controller and the Ravenscroft virtual instrument for a fraction of what the Nord costs. Also, I have zero latency issues using the Nord as a controller to the Ravenscroft virtual instrument. That being the case, if you want professional piano sound, you really can't go wrong with either choice.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/20/14 09:57 PM

Originally Posted By: PianoManChuck
Originally Posted By: R_B
IF the Fazioli is a "built in voice" of the Nord then I suspect that it is probably easier/nicer to play. {Ease of stand-alone DP, lack of latency issues, etc.}

Plus, if it is already THERE in the price of the keyboard then One would have to value the Ravenscroft at an ADDITIONAL coupl'a hundred bux.

Not sure that I can hear a ~$200 difference there, but the limitations of You tube could be a a factor.

Don't forget... the Nord is a very pricey instrument! One could pick up an excellent 88-key controller and the Ravenscroft virtual instrument for a fraction of what the Nord costs. Also, I have zero latency issues using the Nord as a controller to the Ravenscroft virtual instrument. That being the case, if you want professional piano sound, you really can't go wrong with either choice.

+1

My rig: Casio PX-5S, Microsoft Surface Pro, Ravenscroft.
Total cost (non-discounted): $2,200
Actual cost: $1,600

My additional piano VSTs: Pianoteq Stage with add-ons; Mr. Ray 73 Mk II
Add-on cost: $350-$400

Nord Piano 2 cost (non-discounted): $2,999

If you want the equivalent flexibility of the Nord with its wide variety of downloadable pianos, you could well end up paying as much by the time you've purchased four or five VST pianos. The convenience/sound quality offered by the Nord is still very competitive, IMO. A better action would make it a killer instrument.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/20/14 10:38 PM

Everyone's situation is different.
Personally I've about had it with sharing computers between general use and music.
For ME to switch to sample players at this point I would want to dedicate a computer to it - always on, always plugged together, always loaded and ready to play, etc.

I don't know where the numbers go, but to buy ANY other keyboard would mean getting rid of what I have - or some major re-modelling (the ever unlikely creation of a "music room").
I guess a dedicated computer would be the simplest/easiest path, though I am emotionally resistant to putting my old rack gear up on Craig's list, so unless/until I have a MAJOR breakthrough in my playing ability - - it isn't justified anyway.

GAS attacks subside over time, until the next one laugh
Posted by: PianoManChuck

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/21/14 10:49 PM

I've had a chance to compare, side-by-side, the Ravenscroft virtual piano with the excellent Korg Kronos "German Grand" (a Steinway D). An interesting comparison! Check it out for yourself:

http://youtu.be/lCR8yUMoS4I

Feedback from you all will be interesting!!!
Posted by: AZ_Astro

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/22/14 03:22 AM

I just listened to the Korg clip and immediately liked the Korg Kronos sound...

But starting the second (or was it the third) round, the bass started kicking in and I felt that the Ravenscroft seemed to have a fuller, richer sound to it. It really won hands down in the bass section.

Up in the treble, it was a toss-up.

I'll listen again later and see what my second listen perceptions are.

***

After listening to this clip, I went up above and listened to the Nord/Ravenscroft comparison and I found that I preferred the Ravenscroft there as well. I might have trouble picking between the two in the treble section, but in the mid-range the Ravenscroft shined! And in the bass it was full bodied and warm.

I have been playing the Ravenscroft a lot these past few weeks and have gotten used to the sound. It took a while but I am really taken by it now.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/22/14 03:47 AM

-not easy, the Kronos sounds pretty good. The RC is more interesting in the lower and low-middle range of the keyboard - it's richer harmonically. So two handed playing on RC which includes that register helps to carry the upper-middle RC register which, in isolation, still fails to fully satisfy me. Then there were one or two upper-middle snatches when I would have switched preference - giving RC total victory. But I was impressed by the Kronos. I wonder how I'd feel after playing each of them for an hour or so.....
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/22/14 06:20 AM

This comparison is more interesting, as both the German Grand and the Ravescroft are good in the bass (I have always like RC bass, contrary to other people on this forum). Yet in the mids RC is weaker. In general it's hard to compare them. What is a pity is that the music played didn't have much fff, a point where the German Grand shines. I think RC is pretty good too in ff and fff. I would have been interesting to compared them. If I think of the other videos by PianoManChuck maybe Only Time would have been more interesting for this comparison.
Posted by: arX

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/22/14 07:32 AM

Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
This comparison is more interesting, as both the German Grand and the Ravescroft are good in the bass (I have always like RC bass, contrary to other people on this forum). Yet in the mids RC is weaker. In general it's hard to compare them. What is a pity is that the music played didn't have much fff, a point where the German Grand shines. I think RC is pretty good too in ff and fff. I would have been interesting to compared them. If I think of the other videos by PianoManChuck maybe Only Time would have been more interesting for this comparison.

I notice that the Kawai-EX Pro is among your arsenal. How would you rate it against the Ravenscroft (and most other popular libraries)?
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/22/14 08:27 AM

Originally Posted By: arX

I notice that the Kawai-EX Pro is among your arsenal. How would you rate it against the Ravenscroft (and most other popular libraries)?


Very good in the fff (it's strongest point, I'd say it has something majestic), but less velocity layers, so less control of the dynamic range, pp and ppp are not as "easy". Also, the highs scream a bit to much for me (but tolerance to treble is subjective, and it also depends on the headphones / speakers you use). If you play a piece with a lot of ff and fff this piano is great, if you play a romantic song with a lot of pp and ppp and/or transitions from ppp to fff, it underperforms better pianos such as the Ravenscroft, Ivory or Vintage D.
Posted by: toddy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/30/14 06:58 AM

Ineresting comparisons, nicely demonstrated, PianoManChuck. The one which immediately strikes you as most piano-like is the Kronos, followed by the Fazioli on the Nord. The Ravenscroft sounds enclosed and synthetic compared to both of those, on plug-in computer monitors (ie the typical listening equipment for most people).

Very surprising! Of course, I was expecting (and hoping for) the Ravenscroft to be the best.
Posted by: PianoManChuck

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/30/14 01:36 PM

Originally Posted By: toddy
Ineresting comparisons, nicely demonstrated, PianoManChuck. The one which immediately strikes you as most piano-like is the Kronos, followed by the Fazioli on the Nord. The Ravenscroft sounds enclosed and synthetic compared to both of those, on plug-in computer monitors (ie the typical listening equipment for most people).

Very surprising! Of course, I was expecting (and hoping for) the Ravenscroft to be the best.

Unfortunately, plug-in computer monitors will not reproduce the richness of the bass end, which is where the Ravenscroft excels.
Posted by: toddy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 03/30/14 02:50 PM

That is certainly true, but I'm not sure this is the problem because the left hand passages were far more evident - more balanced even - on the Ravesnscroft than they were on the Korg or the Nord. In fact, the bass end was all but lost on the Nord, though these small speakers. However, the sound of the Nord and the Korg Kronos seemed more natural and open than the Ravenscroft.

In fact, listening through good headphones, the differences are similar - the Ravenscroft has a more forceful lower end but the overall sound seems somehow to be shrowded in a layer of very thin cellophane, compared to the Nord and the Korg samples.
Posted by: Lance VI Labs

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/04/14 12:50 AM

Originally Posted By: Element

Cons: One annoying con: While I love most everything about the Rav, I don't quite love the release envelope of the main piano sound.
To my ear the key releases are just a hair too short and abrupt. (I'm talking about the main piano sound, not the release samples which are a separate thing.) Now, if this were Ivory or vintage D I would just turn their respective release knobs up a little-done!. however there is no overall release knob
on the Ravenscroft.
It needs one! It is something that should really be adjustable!

To hear this for yourself just turn the Release samples knob to off, turn all reverbs off- then play some short , non-legato phrases with no sustain pedal, and you should hear these short-ish releases.
They should be a little rounder and less abrupt IMO.

OK maybe I'm hearing things, or being too nitpicky in this regard --I'd appreciate it if you guys/gals would
run the little test above to see if I'm an outlier on this matter. Thanks!!


Anyway, the release issue is the only Con I can think of, really!

Some people have had a lot of trouble with UVI but I've had no problems whatsoever running under Cantabile
Performer, into a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 into KRK rockit 5's and Sennheiser headphones, toshiba i7 laptop 8gb ram,
w/Ravenscroft on SSD.


For $150 this was a great buy, at $200 still a very good buy especially if VILabs does
a few updates/fixes/tweaks.


Hi Element,

I'm happy to say we've updated the Ravenscroft VI to now give control of this fade-out parameter which wasn't available previously. You're not the only one that's made mention of this, so we've now added it as a small update to the existing version. Anyone can now go back into their account and download the four RAR files again to get this new version. Element mentions turning the release samples all the way off. It would be expected to hear a short fade out at that point because the fade out is designed for each sample and release sample to emulate the way a similar articulation sounds on the actual 275 grand. This particular piano has tight accurate dampers by design which allows for clean fast playing without the release being too slow. However, given the nature of virtual pianos and the level of control they offer unavailable with the real instrument, it's an easy task to give control of the fade out parameter for those that want this control.

Please contact us if there are any questions. The new version has a small arrow symbol next to the Release Volume knob that reveals the Release Xfade value. Thank you all for your feedback along the way!

Kind regards,

Lance @ VI Labs
Posted by: Allan W.

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/04/14 01:15 AM

I ordered the True Keys American piano when it first came out and I was disappointed by the dynamics generated, so much that I rarely use it in favor of the Ivory II. I read that someone had manually added some velocity curve in order to reduce the volume depending on the key velocity since the default didn't provide enough of it. I wonder if they updated the True Keys software any since release in order to address this, and if this new one has the same issue.

This is the sort of thing that's only discovered when actually trying out the digital piano. Unfortunately it's so difficult to evaluate these without purchasing it first.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/04/14 07:16 AM

Originally Posted By: Lance VI Labs
Anyone can now go back into their account and download the four RAR files again to get this new version. Element mentions turning the release samples all the way off. It would be expected to hear a short fade out at that point because the fade out is designed for each sample and release sample to emulate the way a similar articulation sounds on the actual 275 grand. This particular piano has tight accurate dampers by design which allows for clean fast playing without the release being too slow. However, given the nature of virtual pianos and the level of control they offer unavailable with the real instrument, it's an easy task to give control of the fade out parameter for those that want this control.
Lance @ VI Labs


Hello, Lance - either I've gone to the wrong download page or my ears are failing me again. I can't see any difference in the controls or hear any difference in sound with the new download. I see the byte count for the 4 x rar files and the single extracted file is the same as for the old download....is something amiss or is it me?

cheers!
Posted by: synchronizer

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/04/14 11:46 AM

Hello, I am am working on a project with a very specific piano sound (airy, reverberant)

I have the VI Labs American Grand and I can't seem to make it sound like the following demo (Galaxy Vintage D Steinway Grand for Kontakt, built-in church reverb)

https://soundcloud.com/synchronizerman/august-ver-4-2-excerpt

I realize that the Vintage D is a good sampled piano in its own right, but I was hoping that the American Grand would produce a similar result.

My first thought is that I should stick with what works, but my second thought is that the Ravenscroft may (with its additional features, more realistic resonances and specifications that are superior to those of even the American Grand) be more suitable.

Does anyone know whether the Ravenscroft can have a darker quality (low end)? I need a very deep bass with a non-metallic higher range. (Perhaps I am too used to my Galaxy Vintage D preset?) I would ask someone to render a midi as part of a test, but I am not sure whether this request is realistic. Thank you in advance. I am looking forward to responses.

~synchronizer
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/04/14 08:14 PM

Hi Lance
I have a question for you.
As you might know UVI introduced a new systems that allow users to have 3 activations per licences for all their products (ex iLok and 2 pcs, all with the same ilok account). I asked them if this could apply to VI Labs and they said you need to ask them if they want to.
So it's technically feasible, and therefore my question is would ViLabs be willing to consider something similar? This would allow people to use the piano on 2 PCs without having to block a USB port or having to deactivate and activate. For instance sometimes I plug my 2 pianos to each PC to have both TK and RC at the same time or twice RC. Of course you can do all this with iLok etc. but it would be so much more convenient to have an additional port free (audio interface, midi, pianos on UBS drives etc.)
What's more it seems to be linked to same ilok account so no additional risks apparently for VI Labs. And even only 2 activations would be better than the current situation.
More information here
http://blog.uvi.net/sounds-instruments/additional-licenses/
Posted by: Element

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/05/14 12:27 PM

Lance @VILabs wrote
I'm happy to say we've updated the Ravenscroft VI to now give control of this fade-out parameter which wasn't available previously. You're not the only one that's made mention of this, so we've now added it as a small update to the existing version. Anyone can now go back into their account and download the four RAR files again to get this new version. Element mentions turning the release samples all the way off. It would be expected to hear a short fade out at that point because the fade out is designed for each sample and release sample to emulate the way a similar articulation sounds on the actual 275 grand. This particular piano has tight accurate dampers by design which allows for clean fast playing without the release being too slow. However, given the nature of virtual pianos and the level of control they offer unavailable with the real instrument, it's an easy task to give control of the fade out parameter for those that want this control.

Please contact us if there are any questions. The new version has a small arrow symbol next to the Release Volume knob that reveals the Release Xfade value. Thank you all for your feedback along the way!

Kind regards,

Lance @ VI Labs

[/i]

Whoa,.. thanks Lance!
Now that is an excellent example of listening to your customers and
coming up with good solutions. Other companies please take note!

Yes, I can now say the releases now play and feel great.
Very Happy now, A+ VILabs!


@DireTonic> I downloaded all 4 rar parts and overwrote my
original ufs. file with the new file. ('Still says v1.0 however)
The release samples knob now does double duty and when you click
on the yellow arrows it changes to "Release X-fade" I set mine to
692ms fwiw. Please let us know how you came out
Posted by: synchronizer

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/05/14 01:20 PM

There are no educational discounts for the Ravenscroft instrument are there?
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/07/14 10:23 AM

Originally Posted By: Element
@DireTonic> I downloaded all 4 rar parts and overwrote my
original ufs. file with the new file. ('Still says v1.0 however)
The release samples knob now does double duty and when you click
on the yellow arrows it changes to "Release X-fade" I set mine to
692ms fwiw. Please let us know how you came out


Yes, I can see that now. The single rotary controller switches between those two parameters. I felt sure that my original download did the same thing but I can't be certain and I've deleted the earlier files now. I don't think I was confused about the unchanged file size of the 'new' download which makes me wonder if perhaps my original download was already tweaked (I think I was well behind in the queue to download).

whatever....lol!
Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/11/14 08:04 PM

Having plaid RC for awhile now, I agree with the posts about the middle C keys (I'm a beginner so excuse my terminology) having somewhat a metallic sound, compared to the bass and treble notes which sound fantastic. I think someone mentioned changing the EQ or something to change this in UVI workstation? I have no idea how to change anything in UVI, the EQ section is confusing to me.

Thanks for any suggestions
Chris
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/12/14 07:22 AM

- partly in an effort to clarify my own understanding of this clunky creature (but let's not forget, absolutely gratis!!) I'll tell you what I *think* I know about it!

(Note one of Macy's earlier posts that there is some unhappy interaction between UVI's 8 band eq and the tone control at the bottom left of TK's panel so best to leave that latter item alone - just stick to UVI's 8 band which is flexible and specific)

Hit the fx button. The first item on my rack is the 8-band eq. Click the bypass so it’s showing black. In bright blue it's in bypass mode - it does nothing.

It's not an easy user interface. Because the controls are in a long horizontal line you have to use the nudge L-R controls to get to a specific band. Even a horizontal scroller would have helped.

UVI uses 'true' and 'false' to represent 'on' and 'off' respectively. So for any band showing 'false' nothing is happening. The first thing one might do is to run along the line and set ALL of them to false so there's no conflict and the signal is in effect bypassing the entire eq stage.

What I would do then is perhaps go to the 'peak 3' switch and set it to 'true' and have a fiddle with its respective controls. Distinct from the extreme high and low adjustments, the more central controls have 3 parameters per band (you probably already know this but for the sake of completeness....!). You're only going to adjust one attribute here so it should be easy to monitor what effect you're having.

The controls to the immediate right of the peak3 true/false switch are:-
Frequency - that which you are about to boost or cut. Just to experiment, try setting it between 500 and 700, that way you'll be in no doubt as to its effect.

gain - the extent of the boost or cut

Q - the width of the band around the centre of the frequency you've selected in that first control. Low Q values (anticlockwise) reflect the broader bandwidth so at minimum Q, the band is so broad that the gain control appears to lift or cut the level of the entire sound. At max Q (fully clockwise) you get the narrowest bandwidth. Sometimes the effect of this might not be immediately apparent, even at high gain/cut. To show the effect of this kind of eq, set gain to max and sweep the frequency control to see what's happening. (make sure you have your overall gain set low so that there's no risk to speakers if the narrow frequency range you're boosting is already strongly present in the original signal).

I don't know if that helps.

I found that the bass end responded reasonably well to a bit of boosting around 100hz, Q in the middle (I think) then raise the gain a bit. But someone said they had to turn their sub unit down to listen so I suppose my monitors are bass-light. I've since ditched the bass boost.

Unfortunately, I don't think there's much you can do in the way of remedying the metallic register of RC with eq, rather, any adjustment needs to be done by the developers on a note by note basis to selectively modify the harmonic content (high Q!) - almost certainly too tall an order for a library with such a vast complement of samples per note.

I'd be happy to stand corrected on this if someone has found a useful setting.
Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/12/14 11:50 AM

Wow, Thank You so much Dire Tonic for taking the time to respond and type that all out! I truly appreciate the detailed instructions, but the last statements saying I can't adjust the eq to deal with the metallic register is a real bummer. I understand it may be an impossible task by VI, but maybe they might think about it? Again, Thanks Dire Tonic. I'll play around with it just to see if I like it better.
Chris
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/12/14 12:07 PM

- you're welcome - hope it's of some use!

chicolom posted a while back that he favoured the 'close' setting and, regarding that metallic sounding range, I think he's right - it's noticeably less harsh. So, if you're setting up a mix, perhaps biasing it in favour of 'close' will help.
Posted by: Macy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/12/14 03:13 PM

If you add a second 8-band (or 3 band) EQ to the fx group then you can leave the original 8-band EQ alone. Make all your EQ adjustments to the 2nd EQ group and that way the Tone control on the main menu page won't affect anything but its intended function in the first 8-band EQ (which only uses 1 of the 8 bands).
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/12/14 03:39 PM

Originally Posted By: Macy
If you add a second 8-band (or 3 band) EQ to the fx group then you can leave the original 8-band EQ alone. Make all your EQ adjustments to the 2nd EQ group and that way the Tone control on the main menu page won't affect anything but its intended function in the first 8-band EQ (which only uses 1 of the 8 bands).


Ah! That's interesting. Which band in the first EQ does the RC tone control effect?
Posted by: Macy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/12/14 05:38 PM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic


Ah! That's interesting. Which band in the first EQ does the RC tone control effect?


If I recall correctly it is Band 4. But the Tone Control also turns off and on the 1st 8-band EQ filter entirely when the Tone Control is used depending on the position of the Tone Control. So that really messes up everything if you try to use the other bands of the 1st 8-band EQ. Hence, my suggestion to add another 8-band (or 3-band) EQ for your own EQ adjustments so it won't be affected at all by the Tone Control.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/12/14 06:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Macy
Originally Posted By: dire tonic


Ah! That's interesting. Which band in the first EQ does the RC tone control effect?


If I recall correctly it is Band 4. But the Tone Control also turns off and on the 1st 8-band EQ filter entirely when the Tone Control is used depending on the position of the Tone Control. So that really messes up everything if you try to use the other bands of the 1st 8-band EQ. Hence, my suggestion to add another 8-band (or 3-band) EQ for your own EQ adjustments so it won't be affected at all by the Tone Control.


ok, I get it now. So basically, don't even think of tampering with UVI's default EQ just in case you want to use RC's own tone control - always set up an additional new one instead.

- thanks for that - you might have saved me from tearing out what little remains of my hair...
Posted by: Element

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/12/14 11:39 PM

I don't use the EQ in UVI, as it is perhaps the most cumbersome/ill-designed layout of
a VST effect I've ever come across!

I use UVI in Cantabile performer as a VST host, and chain an EQ after it -much easier to
see what you are doing.
example: http://www.kvraudio.com/product/reaeq_by_cockos

I do use the internal UVI reverbs (Spacious Church w/ time at 30%) as they are excellent!

On edit: I find the Ravenscroft doesn't need much EQing, it is
very neutral/balanced sonically, and fairly bright. I have just a little EQ dip from 200-500 Hz.
Posted by: synchronizer

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/13/14 11:10 AM

I am considering Ravenscroft, but the fact that the middle keys (evidently) have a metallic sound makes me concerned. Currently I am using the Galaxy Vintage D library for Kontakt, and I am wondering whether it can stand on its own in a composition that I'm writing (or can Ravenscroft be used to recreate and improve the sound?)

https://soundcloud.com/synchronizerman/august-ver-4-2-excerpt

I made use of the Church convolution reverb preset build into Kontakt. It create a very atmospheric, creepy texture. Maybe the Ravenscroft is not too well suited for darker pieces.

I am looking forward to responses. Thank you.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/13/14 02:25 PM

- really hard to say if the RC would be an improvement over Vintage D, or if it would be darker...I'd have said a lot depends on what you play and how you play it. The vintage D is still a very useable, flexible piano, to my mind....

Unless you're very flush, think twice before shelling out!
Posted by: synchronizer

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/13/14 02:53 PM

Yes I am on a budget, so I am reluctant to purchase the Ravenscroft. A couple of months ago, I purchased the VI Labs American Grand because I was writing a piece of music for a project (a student film at my university). I was able to justify the purchase because of the discount I received, but I found that the instrument also had a little bit of metallic mid-tone and it seemed as though ppp and fff were difficult to create. (It worked for the particular composition though, as it was lighter and jazzier). I fear that the Ravenscroft, although better in the sense that it has more samples, velocity layers, and features (resonance, pedals, etc.), may be the same. For this reason, I don't see myself purchasing the Ravenscroft unless I know for certain that it sounds better than my Vintage D sample library in the context of my projects. (People would have to render midi for me and so on, which I understand is a rather unreasonable request, considering that not only the piano would have to be replaced, but also the reverb effect would have to be approximated.) It is a shame that there is no free trial. I would be able to tell very quickly whether the product is for me or not.
Posted by: ADWyatt

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/13/14 06:10 PM

Dire Tonic, I more than agree with your reasoning. I also have the Vintage D ( a superb virtual piano), but was tempted to buy the RC to add to it for a different sound. But I decided against it for two reasons. First, my finances left me to make a decision between that and buying a decent set of headphones. My Sennheiser DP428's aren't the best, with zero bass and noticeable clipping on the top end. To replace them, I bought the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro-80 cans (not the ones for drummers), and they should arrive in about a week. If they don't work out, I can refund them. I couldn't get a tryout refund with VI Labs. Secondly, like some others, I'm also a little concerned with the reported possible metallic sound in the mid-range of the RC, and would need a little more info on that before someday seriously considering the idea of buying it. I've downloaded and played the RC samples, and on my high-end Home Theater system the tonal range is great all across the board, but how it would sound recorded from my system might be another story, aside from the fact that I'm not exactly Horowitz.
Posted by: synchronizer

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/13/14 06:48 PM

It sounds as though the Vintage D is already very good. Since it is working for my current project, I think that I will wait.

On the subject of headphones, I have KRK 8400s, which are decent. I think I might have stretched them out since I wear glasses (I can't invest in studio monitors now) but I hope that they are fine.

Back on the subject of the Ravenscroft: I really do not want the temptation of "new features, new product, MUST BUY" to fool me. Since I already have a piano library, perhaps I should try an instrument product that I do not already have, if I should purchase anything at all.
Anyway, I looking forward to future impressions, and maybe there will be a sale in the long run (or VI Labs will find a way to provide a trial version).
Posted by: Macy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/14/14 02:46 AM

Originally Posted By: synchronizer
Yes I am on a budget, so I am reluctant to purchase the Ravenscroft. A couple of months ago, I purchased the VI Labs American Grand because I was writing a piece of music for a project (a student film at my university). I was able to justify the purchase because of the discount I received, but I found that the instrument also had a little bit of metallic mid-tone and it seemed as though ppp and fff were difficult to create. (It worked for the particular composition though, as it was lighter and jazzier). I fear that the Ravenscroft, although better in the sense that it has more samples, velocity layers, and features (resonance, pedals, etc.), may be the same. For this reason, I don't see myself purchasing the Ravenscroft unless I know for certain that it sounds better than my Vintage D sample library in the context of my projects.


I would say if you found the VI Labs American "had a little bit of metallic mid-tone" and didn't like that, then you won't like the Ravenscroft. IMO, it is MUCH more metallic and harsh in the mid-range when playing mid-range chords. In fact it is by far the most metallic and harsh midrange of any of my pianos (see list in my signature). It is also much brighter than the Vintage D (you mentioned wanting a darker tone). By contrast the Vintage D is smooth and darker unless you turn up the Tone Colour control slightly (it is a sensitive control) in which case it becomes more aggressive (but more woody and not metallic) and brighter at higher velocities, and seems ideal for my pop, rock, and standards playing. The Vintage D has a very wide and harmonically more complex timbre dynamic range than the Ivory II American Concert D, which makes it perfect for my purposes. OTOH, the Ivory II American D would probably be my choice for classical music.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/27/14 12:50 PM

Originally Posted By: Audiofreak
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!


Did anyone ever find out WHAT had been done to the VPC1 to make it feel as close as possible to the physical Ravenscroft ?
& BTW I haven't seen any other mention of that "doctored" VPC1, so what gives ?
Does Micheal Spreeman, or anyone at Ravenscroft, offer this sort of tuning on other VPC1s ?
Posted by: PianoManChuck

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/27/14 06:37 PM

Originally Posted By: R_B
Originally Posted By: Audiofreak
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!


Did anyone ever find out WHAT had been done to the VPC1 to make it feel as close as possible to the physical Ravenscroft ?
& BTW I haven't seen any other mention of that "doctored" VPC1, so what gives ?
Does Micheal Spreeman, or anyone at Ravenscroft, offer this sort of tuning on other VPC1s ?

I'm working on putting together a video that will go into complete detail about that. I'll post the link here when its available (hopefully sometime later this week).
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/28/14 08:35 AM

Originally Posted By: PianoManChuck
Originally Posted By: R_B
Originally Posted By: Audiofreak
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!


Did anyone ever find out WHAT had been done to the VPC1 to make it feel as close as possible to the physical Ravenscroft ?
& BTW I haven't seen any other mention of that "doctored" VPC1, so what gives ?
Does Micheal Spreeman, or anyone at Ravenscroft, offer this sort of tuning on other VPC1s ?

I'm working on putting together a video that will go into complete detail about that. I'll post the link here when its available (hopefully sometime later this week).


Basically I am interested in what was done to (what corresponds to) the "action" and key parts of an acoustic piano. e.g. loosening up pivots, tightening up tolerances, evening out the balance between key weights... whatever_all_else and I am SURE these aren't the right terms (-^
The "mechanism" for want of a better term.
Posted by: Mta88

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/28/14 08:04 PM

I would be very interested in exactly what was done to the ravenscroft VPC as well..

Looking forward to the video smile
Posted by: TheodorN

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/29/14 12:08 PM

This might be of interest to some. A member of the Casio music forums has made comparison recordings for the Ravenscroft piano sample and the Casio PX-5S.

http://www.casiomusicforums.com/index.php?/topic/5797-an-interesting-comparison/

He doesn't say which is which, and I honestly can't tell, though I believe it's the first one.

For a better comparison a recording of the Ravenscroft, made by Digitalguy, with the same MIDI file, Purgatory Creek, can be found by clicking the link below.

https://app.box.com/s/su6xk5yd5wq0ksodaygy

It's the first file in the list, as you can see from the title.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 04/29/14 02:28 PM

Originally Posted By: PianoManChuck
Originally Posted By: R_B
Originally Posted By: Audiofreak
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!


Did anyone ever find out WHAT had been done to the VPC1 to make it feel as close as possible to the physical Ravenscroft ?
& BTW I haven't seen any other mention of that "doctored" VPC1, so what gives ?
Does Micheal Spreeman, or anyone at Ravenscroft, offer this sort of tuning on other VPC1s ?

I'm working on putting together a video that will go into complete detail about that. I'll post the link here when its available (hopefully sometime later this week).


It just occurred to me that a BETTER place for this would be almost any of the various VPC1 threads.

Perhaps the info is already in one of those threads, I will search and post links if I find anything useful.
Posted by: PianoManChuck

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/01/14 04:21 PM

Originally Posted By: TheodorN
This might be of interest to some. A member of the Casio music forums has made comparison recordings for the Ravenscroft piano sample and the Casio PX-5S.

http://www.casiomusicforums.com/index.php?/topic/5797-an-interesting-comparison/

He doesn't say which is which, and I honestly can't tell, though I believe it's the first one.

For a better comparison a recording of the Ravenscroft, made by Digitalguy, with the same MIDI file, Purgatory Creek, can be found by clicking the link below.

https://app.box.com/s/su6xk5yd5wq0ksodaygy

It's the first file in the list, as you can see from the title.

Interesting. I actually did the same comparison (as I did with the Korg Kronos/Ravenscroft and the Nord Stage 2/Ravenscroft) with the PX5S and the Ravenscroft. Its in my usual video mode of presentation with great audio quality. You can check it out at this link:
http://youtu.be/QAwzig1gi7c
Posted by: TheodorN

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/01/14 05:17 PM

Thank you PianoManChuck, also saw your video on the Casio forums, very helpful. It's great that you always switch between the voices after a few seconds, short phrases are fresher in memory than longer ones.
Posted by: PianoManChuck

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/02/14 04:25 PM

For those interested in how the Kawai VPC1 was modified... part of this video demonstrates what's done by Ravenworks Design (the new, digital division of Ravenworks Piano). The video actually discusses Ravenscroft at NAMM 2014, talks about the acoustic model 275 (9' concert grand), talks about Ravenscroft by VI Labs, talks about the action on both the acoustic and digital (VPC1) keys.

Its a bit lengthy, but for those interested solely in the VPC1 modification, skip to 11:30 in the video, then come back and watch the entire video some time at your leisure. Here's the link:

http://youtu.be/BUC0xU7OX54

Enjoy.
Posted by: toddy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/02/14 06:30 PM

That's fascinating - thanks for your video link, PianoManChuck. The work done on the VPC reminds me of what some folk get up to with (cheap) Chinese condenser microphones from companies like MXL etc. They strip out some standard parts and insert high spec ones: capsule, capacitors, maybe transistors. And you end up with a U87 for under 300 dollars - that sort of thing.

There's a lot of it about....they call it modding. But I think I'll stick with the standard stuff. It's good enough for what I want at the moment!
Posted by: Vid

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/02/14 06:39 PM

Very interesting stuff about the VPC1 modifications. I am very curious now to find out what the modified action feels like.

Thanks for sharing!
Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/03/14 11:35 AM

I've been trying for awhile to find a way to play soft keys on my P105 and RC. I just saw this video of TKeys by VI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hd3JRyd9FCA
I'm starting to learn crescendo and decrescendo and it's near impossibl.

There is the option of "velocity threshold" that seems to do just this. But with RC and the UVI, I don't see this option. Anyone know if this can be done?

Also, I asked awhile ago, but can't find the reply. Can someone tell me again how to backup the settings?

Thanks!
Chris
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/03/14 01:42 PM

Originally Posted By: Chrisl
There is the option of "velocity threshold" that seems to do just this. But with RC and the UVI, I don't see this option. Anyone know if this can be done?


If you "open midi panel", using the icon on the right side between the tuning fork and the gear ... you will see a velocity curve. That is a midi signal IN/OUT curve. You can bend that curve so that the beginning of the curve lies flat on the bottom at the beginning. That will cause MIDI IN values to result in ZERO MIDI OUT signals ... which means you will not generate a sound when you press a key at those low velocities. This might do what you wish.
Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/05/14 11:21 AM

Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: Chrisl
There is the option of "velocity threshold" that seems to do just this. But with RC and the UVI, I don't see this option. Anyone know if this can be done?


If you "open midi panel", using the icon on the right side between the tuning fork and the gear ... you will see a velocity curve. That is a midi signal IN/OUT curve. You can bend that curve so that the beginning of the curve lies flat on the bottom at the beginning. That will cause MIDI IN values to result in ZERO MIDI OUT signals ... which means you will not generate a sound when you press a key at those low velocities. This might do what you wish.



Don, I've been out of the state so I can't try this yet. I did play around with this and didn't think it made a difference. I'll go back and play again with the v. curve. Thanks for the help!
Chris
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/05/14 02:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Chrisl
Don, I've been out of the state so I can't try this yet. I did play around with this and didn't think it made a difference. I'll go back and play again with the v. curve. Thanks for the help!
Chris


It absolutely works. Bend it down as far as you can and you will certainly see a difference.
Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/08/14 07:31 AM

I got it to work, Thank You dmd!
Chris
Posted by: Luis Ferreira

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/11/14 07:42 AM

I purchased this library at the pre-release price and I am willing to sell it. If anyone is interested, please send me a PM.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/11/14 10:39 AM

Originally Posted By: Luis Ferreira
I purchased this library at the pre-release price and I am willing to sell it. If anyone is interested, please send me a PM.

- hopefully, the lucky bargain hunter will feed back the agreed price in the DIGITAL PIANO "PRICES PAID" thread....
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/11/14 10:49 AM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Originally Posted By: Luis Ferreira
I purchased this library at the pre-release price and I am willing to sell it. If anyone is interested, please send me a PM.

- hopefully, the lucky bargain hunter will feed back the agreed price in the DIGITAL PIANO "PRICES PAID" thread....


I am not sure that it would be wise to begin filling that useful thread with endless postings about "deals" between users of used equipment. I would vote against that. Especially, since in this case, it isn't what one expects to find in a thread about digital pianos. It is software.



Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/11/14 10:53 AM

Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Originally Posted By: Luis Ferreira
I purchased this library at the pre-release price and I am willing to sell it. If anyone is interested, please send me a PM.

- hopefully, the lucky bargain hunter will feed back the agreed price in the DIGITAL PIANO "PRICES PAID" thread....


I am not sure that it would be wise to begin filling that useful thread with endless postings about "deals" between users of used equipment. I would vote against that. Especially, since in this case, it isn't what one expects to find in a thread about digital pianos. It is software.


- the info and that post would be in the PRICES PAID thread, no need for 'endless' postings.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/11/14 11:02 AM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Originally Posted By: Luis Ferreira
I purchased this library at the pre-release price and I am willing to sell it. If anyone is interested, please send me a PM.

- hopefully, the lucky bargain hunter will feed back the agreed price in the DIGITAL PIANO "PRICES PAID" thread....


I am not sure that it would be wise to begin filling that useful thread with endless postings about "deals" between users of used equipment. I would vote against that. Especially, since in this case, it isn't what one expects to find in a thread about digital pianos. It is software.


- the info and that post would be in the PRICES PAID thread, no need for 'endless' postings.


You mean, just this once, and never do it again ?
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/11/14 11:04 AM

Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Originally Posted By: Luis Ferreira
I purchased this library at the pre-release price and I am willing to sell it. If anyone is interested, please send me a PM.

- hopefully, the lucky bargain hunter will feed back the agreed price in the DIGITAL PIANO "PRICES PAID" thread....


I am not sure that it would be wise to begin filling that useful thread with endless postings about "deals" between users of used equipment. I would vote against that. Especially, since in this case, it isn't what one expects to find in a thread about digital pianos. It is software.


- the info and that post would be in the PRICES PAID thread, no need for 'endless' postings.


You mean, just this once, and never do it again ?


No, that's not what I mean.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/11/14 11:09 AM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic

No, that's not what I mean.


Well, I must be missing something. What do you mean, then ?

I do not understand.

It sounds like you wish to have the price of the Ravenscroft software, as paid by a user to another user, into the Digital Pianos PRICES PAID thread. Isn't that what you mean't ?
Posted by: PianoManChuck

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/11/14 11:10 AM

This thread is about "Ravenscroft by VI Labs... first look and sound".

What does selling or buying a copy have to do with this thread? Now if someone bought a copy, tried it out (first look and sound) and isn't happy with it or wants to sell it, perhaps it might be fitting to explain their reasoning in this thread.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/11/14 11:17 AM

Originally Posted By: PianoManChuck
This thread is about "Ravenscroft by VI Labs... first look and sound".

What does selling or buying a copy have to do with this thread? Now if someone bought a copy, tried it out (first look and sound) and isn't happy with it or wants to sell it, perhaps it might be fitting to explain their reasoning in this thread.


I agree. But this sort of thing happens all the time.

For example, back a ways in this thread ... it veered off into a discussion about modifying the VPC1 in some manner. Certainly related to the Ravenscroft software (slightly) but not really properly placed within this thread, in my opinion. And, of course, everyone has an opinion.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/11/14 11:19 AM

The ‘Prices Paid’ thread is about price discovery for new and used items. In short, it’s knowledge which can help establish a fair price. I’m suggesting that the price paid be listed in the Prices Paid thread.

Shocking, I know.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/11/14 11:32 AM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic
The ‘Prices Paid’ thread is about price discovery for new and used items.


Well, the title says DIGITAL PIANOS Prices Paid. I assume that means for digital pianos only. I do not recall ever seeing anything other than digital pianos in that thread. I might be wrong. Please correct me if so.

Quote:
I’m suggesting that the price paid be listed in the Prices Paid thread.


Well, that is where I suggest that starting a precedent like that may not be a good idea. Perhaps a PM to the seller asking for that information might be more suitable.

Not a biggie, just my opinion.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/11/14 11:47 AM

Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: dire tonic
The ‘Prices Paid’ thread is about price discovery for new and used items.


Well, the title says DIGITAL PIANOS Prices Paid. I assume that means for digital pianos only. I do not recall ever seeing anything other than digital pianos in that thread. I might be wrong. Please correct me if so.

Why does it matter?

Quote:
Quote:
I’m suggesting that the price paid be listed in the Prices Paid thread.


Well, that is where I suggest that starting a precedent like that may not be a good idea. Perhaps a PM to the seller asking for that information might be more suitable.

Who would send the PM? And why to the seller rather than the buyer? And if neither seller nor buyer wish to divulge?

The forum is, hopefully, about the open exchange of information. If a seller or buyer of a pre-used software piano wants to volunteer info about the price paid, I hope s/he will do that... and in the proper place.
Posted by: Luis Ferreira

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/11/14 12:12 PM

You are right. This is not a marketplace and the quality of this forum is due to the open and honest discussion about Digital Pianos and their relatives like sound libraries as discussed in this thread. This said, let me express my disapointment regarding this Library. I cannot get it working with acceptable latency and stability in windows 7/8 as compared to other competitors like Vintage D or Pianoteq. Tried multiple Asio soundcards and versions of windows. I just regret the money I spent on this. However this is my opinion that results from my frustration in trying to get a way of making this product useful for my regular practice.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/11/14 12:22 PM

Originally Posted By: Luis Ferreira
You are right. This is not a marketplace and the quality of this forum is due to the open and honest discussion about Digital Pianos and their relatives like sound libraries as discussed in this thread. This said, let me express my disapointment regarding this Library. I cannot get it working with acceptable latency and stability in windows 7/8 as compared to other competitors like Vintage D or Pianoteq. Tried multiple Asio soundcards and versions of windows. I just regret the money I spent on this. However this is my opinion that results from my frustration in trying to get a way of making this product useful for my regular practice.


Well, this may not be very useful ...

However, I am using Windows 7 with the Ravenscroft product and experienced absolutely no noticeable latency at all. Of course, there are many other variables (computer speed, RAM, audio device, etc ...) that can contribute to a latency problem. I just want to let you know that the problem may not be with the software.

However, your experience is your experience and you have to do what you feel is best for your situation.

Good Luck
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/11/14 12:29 PM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Why does it matter?


Well, it matters (to me, anyway) because when I look in that thread, I wish to see those items that will be helpful to me in the purchase of a digital piano. If we begin to intermingle all sorts of items (software piano products, amplifiers, speakers, mixers, etc ...) into the thread ... while it may be useful to someone in some remote way, I do not believe that is in the interest of most members looking to zero in on a fair price for a digital piano.

Again, my opinion ... everyone has one (an opinion, that is).

Quote:

If a seller or buyer of a pre-used software piano wants to volunteer info about the price paid, I hope s/he will do that... and in the proper place.


Absolutely ... as you say .. in the proper place. I just do not think the Digital Piano PRICES PAID is that proper place.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/11/14 12:34 PM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Who would send the PM?


The person who is interested in finding out what the sale [price was, in this case ... you.

Quote:
And why to the seller rather than the buyer?

Well, because you may not know who the buyer is. You could PM the seller and ask if they would PM you with the sale price after it sells.

Quote:
And if neither seller nor buyer wish to divulge?


Then, you aren't going to find out.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/11/14 12:35 PM

Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Why does it matter?


Well, it matters (to me, anyway)

life's too short.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/11/14 12:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Luis Ferreira
You are right. This is not a marketplace and the quality of this forum is due to the open and honest discussion about Digital Pianos and their relatives like sound libraries as discussed in this thread. This said, let me express my disapointment regarding this Library. I cannot get it working with acceptable latency and stability in windows 7/8 as compared to other competitors like Vintage D or Pianoteq. Tried multiple Asio soundcards and versions of windows. I just regret the money I spent on this. However this is my opinion that results from my frustration in trying to get a way of making this product useful for my regular practice.


I've been using both vintage D and the RC with no problem re latency. Have you updated UVI to the latest version? (2.5.2).

If you're using UVI as a stand-alone, that could cause a problem with some asio drivers. Better to run it within a DAW, e.g. the free Cantabile works very well.

You may already have covered those possibilities.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/11/14 12:45 PM

If it ain't a "HARDWARE" piano, then it is (mostly) a "Software" piano.
"Digital" pianos are (mostly) sample libraries anyway - ergo Ravenscroft is essentially a "digital piano", if only the "voice of", just missing the keys, amp, speakers and cabinet - so what ?

It doesn't REALLY matter, used stuff is used stuff, list it where you think it might become useful info for anyone seeking (functionally) same/similar "stuff".

BTW, I recently went on a definitions search for the distinction/difference between sample libraries and sound fonts - wasted a lot of time on THAT.
Posted by: toddy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/11/14 02:57 PM

Since software pianos are becoming ever more important to the sort of people who frequent this forum, it would be sensible to include them in the Prices Paid thread, except that:

1. I don't think most people are terribly interested because most software is not negotiable. If you're lucky, you'll buy in one of their occasional sales drives, when they slash prices 50% or so. But a 'prices paid' list won't help you with that.

2. Software is relatively cheap, so fewer people are looking for negotiated bargains.

3. If it DID become a common fixture to include the trading of second hand software pianos, VSTi, DAWs and the like, it would be worth having a separate sticky thread just for those - as it might for other hardware: amps, monitor speakers, stands and what not.

Then everyone would be happy.
Posted by: Pete14

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/11/14 03:01 PM

I run RC, ACD, and Pianoteq on a Mac Pro (8 cores @2.8Ghz; 8GB of Ram; Samsung Pro SSD). The Ravenscroft is the most demanding in terms of computing resources. I can run ACD with all -1,000- voices, @64 buffer size. Pianoteq runs perfectly despite high polyphony, and 64 buffer size. The Ravenscroft will only run @128 buffer size; if I go lower, I will start to get pops and cracks. I can only load two mic perspectives (I can get away with three; however, I will get the occasional pop/crack). I've also noticed many bass notes produce a muffled/unbalanced/louder-softer sound. Still, I like the instrument; go figure.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/14/14 07:54 AM

Prices of USED software are VERY negotiable, so I think it would be interesting to post both asking and paid prices.

It is a little ODD that "used" software depreciates so rapidly, although it doesn't "wear out" in the same way that hardware does.
Sure, it tends towards obsolescence, but in many/most cases it is upgradable to the latest and (alleged) greatest version, often at low/no cost.

The bloom appears to have gone off this particular rose anyway, so I would expect a December sale of the intro pre-release price, or $99.xx
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/14/14 08:37 AM

Originally Posted By: R_B
Prices of USED software are VERY negotiable, so I think it would be interesting to post both asking and paid prices.

It is a little ODD that "used" software depreciates so rapidly, although it doesn't "wear out" in the same way that hardware does.
Sure, it tends towards obsolescence, but in many/most cases it is upgradable to the latest and (alleged) greatest version, often at low/no cost.
I'm not aware of any sold prices for 2nd user software. RC has had a mixed reception so maybe that fact alone will exert downward pressure on the resale price.

Quote:

The bloom appears to have gone off this particular rose anyway, so I would expect a December sale of the intro pre-release price, or $99.xx
I'm not so sure if it's broadly lost its favour or we've just gone quiet on it. I've been using it for the last few days and I'm still taken by it, particularly the 'close' setting only - I can't find a use for the other mic options. I've no idea what the real RC sounds like but its sample library is particularly consistent and convincing as a piano - even if not everyone is convinced by its timbre.

Yes, I can see deals coming up again. Maybe this is the advantage of dealing with an outfit like VIlabs who are direct to buyer. Unless I'm mistaken, the Garritan is sold through a network of agents who also want their cut.
Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 05/14/14 10:48 AM

I agree Dire Tonic, I still am very happy overall with RC. It just sounds so 'regal' to me wink I don't feel as if I'm missing out on something better, though eventually I'll prob bite the bullet and swallow my pride and get Ivory AG for a fuller sound when desired.
Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 06/14/14 12:06 PM

I'm trying to figure out how to emulate the resonance of the strings...like when you hit a key on an AP, the sound/resonance lingers. The only aspect I've found that sounds like this is the 'reverb'. Is this the only way to affect the resonance?

Thanks!
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 06/14/14 02:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Chrisl
I'm trying to figure out how to emulate the resonance of the strings...like when you hit a key on an AP, the sound/resonance lingers. The only aspect I've found that sounds like this is the 'reverb'. Is this the only way to affect the resonance?

Thanks!

Hold the pedal down. I'n not sure what is implemented in the P105, damper and/or string resonance, I suspect the former only (resonance with pedal down, but not with keys down);'but on most entry and mid level DP's there is no possibility to extend it.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 06/14/14 08:17 PM

Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
Hold the pedal down. I'n not sure what is implemented in the P105, damper and/or string resonance, I suspect the former only (resonance with pedal down, but not with keys down);'but on most entry and mid level DP's there is no possibility to extend it.


I am confused. I thought Chrisl was trying to figure out something related to the Ravenscroft software piano. What does how what is implemented in the P105 have to do with that ?
Posted by: Chrisl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 06/15/14 12:43 AM

Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
Hold the pedal down. I'n not sure what is implemented in the P105, damper and/or string resonance, I suspect the former only (resonance with pedal down, but not with keys down);'but on most entry and mid level DP's there is no possibility to extend it.


I am confused. I thought Chrisl was trying to figure out something related to the Ravenscroft software piano. What does how what is implemented in the P105 have to do with that ?


Yes dmd, I was hoping to have that option in RW. I have lessons on a Steinway, and love the sustained note on the strings after pushing and letting go of the key, and I have my 105 with RW that I practice on...so I was just hoping to get it to be more like the Steinway.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 06/15/14 05:53 AM

Originally Posted By: Chrisl
Yes dmd, I was hoping to have that option in RW. I have lessons on a Steinway, and love the sustained note on the strings after pushing and letting go of the key, and I have my 105 with RW that I practice on...so I was just hoping to get it to be more like the Steinway.


Well, the little I know about it ... would seem to point in the direction of the SYMPATHETIC RESONANCE. I would fool with that setting some.

Of course, you might get your best advice by calling VILabs for support.
Posted by: rnaple

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 07/26/14 11:20 PM

I appreciate the info., PianoManChuck. About the Ravenscroft VPC. I haven't seen any more info. Look forward to more.
Posted by: PianoManChuck

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 07/27/14 01:02 PM

Originally Posted By: rnaple
I appreciate the info., PianoManChuck. About the Ravenscroft VPC. I haven't seen any more info. Look forward to more.

I haven't seen any more info either, other than their website for acoustic pianos! You might want to contact them.
Posted by: rnaple

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 07/27/14 11:35 PM

Something that might help this thread.
All the discussion of metallic sound.
The first thing I think of with this is acoustics of the room you're listening in. As well as the speakers. Metallic usually indicates what they call: "early reflections". Those are close reflections from the speakers to you. They reflect so quickly. They sound as the original note played. They can create a metallic sound.
I've been working on the acoustics with my VPC. I don't hear any problem with metallic in the recordings from VILabs.
You don't need another 2 cent's worth opinion. I will admit I'm going to buy it.
Posted by: cdl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… Poor Customer Service - 07/28/14 11:11 AM

This is my first post, but first let me say that I recently purchased the Ravenscroft 275 virtual piano. I love it! The sound, miking options, and player friendly approach is tremendous. This is the first piano software that I would consider using to record a solo piano album with. I still use my old Yamaha KX88 keyboard controller (no problem using with Ravenscroft) because of the wonderful action.

Unfortunately I have some negative feedback with regards to VI Labs. Before I purchased the software on July 12, I had a couple of questions regarding my computer's hard drive's speed compatability. When I couldn't find the exact answer, I emailed VI Labs through their website using the "contact" fill-in form. After waiting about a week, and no answer, I cautiously went ahead and downloaded the software. Thankfully there were no problems once everything was downloaded. A couple of days later I had a couple of more questions about EQ and mike settings, and again contacted VI Labs through their website. Again, no response. I tried two more times for a total of four times, and to this day, July 28, 2014, I've had no response. Unless I am doing something wrong, this is totally unacceptable! Has anyone else experienced this? I certainly hope not.

Again, don't hesitate to buy this piano software. The customer support...you will have to judge for yourself.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… Poor Customer Service - 07/28/14 11:46 AM

It could be that the messages you sent did not reach VI Labs, or that the messages VI Labs sent have not reached you. Perhaps check the Spam folder of your email account, just to be sure.

James
x
Posted by: cdl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… Poor Customer Service - 07/28/14 12:17 PM

I checked. No spam items on my end. I just don't want this to happen to others. Here is the page link that I filled in with my questions.

http://www.vilabsaudio.com/index.php?route=information/contact

If anyone can think of another way to contact VI Labs, I would greatly appreciate knowing. In all fairness, maybe VI has a glitch in their mail system? Hopefully a representative scans this forum, and can offer a solution?
Posted by: CountSmith

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… Poor Customer Service - 07/28/14 04:03 PM

I contacted them last february when my HD crashed and I needed a new ilok license. I am pretty sure they replied within 1 day. I used the contact page on their website. There is a user here, Lance VI Labs, here who works for VI, maybe you can try sending him a PM. You
Posted by: cdl

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… Poor Customer Service - 07/28/14 05:01 PM

That's good to know about Lance at VI on this forum.

Thank you!
Posted by: Superbaffone

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… Poor Customer Service - 08/16/14 03:04 PM

only one word for Ravenscroft...

Beautiful!
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… Poor Customer Service - 08/17/14 04:22 AM

Originally Posted By: Superbaffone
only one word for Ravenscroft...

Beautiful!

VILabs did a really good job of sampling - it's consistent, clean, without bumps or clangs but maybe the Ravenscroft itself isn't quite to my taste. Better for jazz, maybe, than anything else?

I wish VILabs would have another go at a Steinway, I'm sure they'd have a winner.
Posted by: Macy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… Poor Customer Service - 08/17/14 01:36 PM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic

I wish VILabs would have another go at a Steinway, I'm sure they'd have a winner.

I'd rather they do a Yamaha CFX. I'm not counting on Garritan to ever finish theirs.

Between the Vintage D, Ivory II American D, and their own True Keys American (which isn't bad) I've got enough Steinways. If you don't like either the Vintage D or Ivory II American D, I wonder what you are looking for? I don't hear many flaws in either. It's more a matter of which original piano I like better.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… Poor Customer Service - 08/17/14 02:03 PM

Originally Posted By: Macy
I'd rather they do a Yamaha CFX. I'm not counting on Garritan to ever finish theirs.

I'd be interested in their CFX also.

Quote:

Between the Vintage D, Ivory II American D, and their own True Keys American (which isn't bad) I've got enough Steinways. If you don't like either the Vintage D or Ivory II American D, I wonder what you are looking for? I don't hear many flaws in either. It's more a matter of which original piano I like better.

I wasn't bowled over by anything I heard of the TK American but I sensed that VIlabs got into their stride with the Ravenscroft, better methods maybe (I'm guessing) so I'm hoping they've sharpened their tools, their know-how.

I've just bought Ivory American so I'm still messing about with it. That and the vintage D are both good - and strikingly different from each other - but they could be better. I don't like Vintage D's una corda, and at the moment I find Ivory a bit on the woolly side. Other than eradicating obvious flaws It's not easy to pin down and specify what I'm looking for but I think I'll know it when I play it and hear it.
Posted by: Superbaffone

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 08/19/14 06:15 AM

vilabs answer my question about layers...


The Ravenscroft has 12 velocity layers on which we apply our advenced filtering to make the velocity splits unnoticeable.

Best regards,

VILabs Supp
ort
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 08/19/14 06:52 AM

Originally Posted By: Superbaffone
vilabs answer my question about layers...


The Ravenscroft has 12 velocity layers on which we apply our advenced filtering to make the velocity splits unnoticeable.

Best regards,

VILabs Supp
ort


We finally got that info... wink
Posted by: fastlanephil

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… Poor Customer Service - 08/24/14 01:43 AM

Originally Posted By: Macy
Originally Posted By: dire tonic

I wish VILabs would have another go at a Steinway, I'm sure they'd have a winner.

I'd rather they do a Yamaha CFX. I'm not counting on Garritan to ever finish theirs.


What does Garritan have to finish with the Garritan Abbey Road Studios CFX Concert Grand Virtual Piano?
Posted by: Macy

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… Poor Customer Service - 08/24/14 03:21 AM

Originally Posted By: fastlanephil
Originally Posted By: Macy
Originally Posted By: dire tonic

I wish VILabs would have another go at a Steinway, I'm sure they'd have a winner.

I'd rather they do a Yamaha CFX. I'm not counting on Garritan to ever finish theirs.


What does Garritan have to finish with the Garritan Abbey Road Studios CFX Concert Grand Virtual Piano?

As noted on their own web page they don't have partial pedaling or (more importantly) re-pedaling.
Posted by: PikaPianist

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… Poor Customer Service - 08/26/14 01:29 AM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic
I wish VILabs would have another go at a Steinway, I'm sure they'd have a winner.


I really wish they have a go at a Bösendorfer or a Stuart & Sons next.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… Poor Customer Service - 09/02/14 04:35 PM

[quote=PikaPianist]I really wish they have a go at a Bösendorfer or a Stuart & Sons next. [/quote]

- now you mention it, a well-sampled Bosendorfer would be very desirable, I've no doubt. I'm not familiar with the Stuart & Sons but as it's probably never been sampled before maybe that too could be a winner on rarity value alone?

How about it, VILabs?
Posted by: PianoRoll

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 09/07/14 06:51 AM

I find it is sampled incredibly good, however, I prefer the "Steinway tone". While technically perfect, this is just not for me. So, I'm selling my copy of the Ravenscroft 275 on ebay right now.

It's available for ~130$/99€ (ebay.com/itm/161412436028).
Posted by: Superbaffone

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 10/06/14 06:41 PM

Today I bought the Ravenscroft , beautiful!!!


https://soundcloud.com/superbaffone/prova-2-ravenscroft
Posted by: ZigZiglar

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 10/09/14 06:45 PM

I am shopping around for a virtual piano library and would love to hear the opinions of those who have owned and tried many of the leading offerings.

I play a lot of jazz improv and lounge, but would also be looking for a piano that I can sit well in a pop or alt rock track. If I need more than one piano, that is fine.

Realism in both sound and playability are my most important selection criteria. Darkness or brightness are issues I can fix with EQ, but of course, something being perfect off the shelf is an advantage!

Cheers

Has anyone here compared this with Production Grand, Garritan CFX Concert Grand or Vienna Imperial? These are three I've had recommended to me so far.
Posted by: Pete14

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 10/10/14 09:51 AM

I prefer Pianoteq overall. Superb playability and sound. You can also make edits on a note per note basis (Pro version). For example, notes that might sound lower/louder can be easily corrected by raising/lowering the volume for those notes. I've also made the lower end deeper by using the spectrum profile (Pro version).

Ivory American Concert D has a very realistic lower end; however, note per note edits are not possible. This is a problem for me; since there are always notes that will be a bit off (volume, timbre, depth, etc.). If you try to edit a note or a group of notes, all the notes are affected; for example, if you alter a parameter specifically for the upper register, you will notice the improvement; however, now the lower end has been affected too, and it sounds crappy. It's a catch 22.

Ravenscroft is crisp and lots of fun for jazz; however, it suffers from the same limitations mentioned above. To be specific, C16 (2 octaves below middle C) is completely muffled and weak; you can barely hear this note in relation to neighboring notes. At least one other forum member has mentioned this. Try to correct that note and you mess up everything else (global edits.)
Posted by: Superbaffone

Re: Ravenscroft by VI Labs… First Look and Sound - 10/23/14 01:00 PM

I love this vst

Body and Soul