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View Full Version : Best Piano RTAS Plug-in Instrument?


wurly
01-08-2004, 11:47 AM
What's everyone using? I'm obviously interested in the most realistic sounding but would love a bunch of pre-sets for different sized, tuned, aged pianos instead of just pristine grand pianos.

Thanks in advance!

nikki-k
01-08-2004, 06:04 PM
Hi!
Havent used it yet personally, but planning on purchasing it very soon:
Bosendorfer 290 (http://www.soundsonline.com/sophtml/details.phtml?sku=EW-157)

I use Kontakt, so just about any piano is usable

Bastiaan
01-08-2004, 06:25 PM
Don't forget soundfonts. They can be used i think in kontakt and also with reason....

free piano's:
http://bastiaan.ods.org/dabasstardz-soundfonts/WST25FStein_00Sep22.SF2 (20 MB)

and
http://bastiaan.ods.org/dabasstardz-soundfonts/Splendid_256.sf2 (256 MB)


all my soundfonts here: http://bastiaan.ods.org/dabasstardz-soundfonts with courtasy of DaBasstard

wurly
01-09-2004, 03:56 PM
thanks for the replies - i'm not that familiar with it, but it seems like Bosendorfer 290 is just pristine grands. i'm looking for different kinds of pianos, prepared instruments like the tack piano, aged, dirty etc. any other ideas?

Barhab
01-11-2004, 10:27 AM
Well .. use compressors, amp simulators, filters etc. to get some dirty piano sound out of the Bosendorfer. I guess the Bosendorfer will sound good in any shape! (almost)

wurly
01-12-2004, 02:20 PM
thx - so it sounds like bosendorfer is the de facto standard for virtual piano? i'll check it out.

Cliffy_Boy
01-12-2004, 03:06 PM
A review from 2 months ago -Future Music I think, said it sounds great for classical but not good for rock. Just passing this on.

kmshroom
01-12-2004, 06:46 PM
the Yamaha C7 or whatever is, in general, better suited for rock. PMI makes a (very good) sample library thing of it, and they make it in Kontakt format, and Kontakt is, of course, RTASable.

PMI is the co. behind that bosendorfer that's been mentioned on this thread. they are generally very good at making piano sample libs.

oh, btw, the Bosendorfer virtual instrument in discussion is basically just the Bosendorfer sample CD thing of theirs (that has been available for Giga and Kontakt for some time), just simply packaged along with a stripped down version of Kompakt or Kontakt.

nikki-k
01-12-2004, 07:36 PM
Hi!
Found a new one!!! I am actually buying this one instead of the Bos.
SampleTekk White Grand (http://sampletekk.com/proddetail.php?prod=ST-001)
Blown away by this one. There are only two demos there right now (there wer a few more before).
The first chords of the first demo screamed "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road."

After reading the write-up on it, I understood why it sounded so good- the specs are amazing.
Giga and Kontakt 16 or 24 bit versions availble very soon (week or two), with Halion 16 or 24 coming soon after that. I think they are offering 20% off for the next week.

Im sold- this is going to be THE piano to get for that "grand" sound that will cut through a rock/pop/metal mix (can ya tell I am happy?)

Cliffy_Boy
01-12-2004, 08:15 PM
Hi Nikki

I too am looking for the sampled piano that makes me think I'm playing a real grand. This l;ooks interesting but it doesn't indicate what piano was used for the samples. It also said this:
"Since White Grand uses all four ports, you also need Gigastudio 160" which doesn't give me a warm fuzzy.

6969
01-12-2004, 11:27 PM
Hello Bastiaan

I was able to download the Stein piano and I am using it in Reason now. I think it sounds great.I haven't been able to download any of the soundfonts in that list that starts with the VIB soundfont.The page won't load all the way up for some reason.I can't seem to get a download box.Why is this?I have a dial up modem.Can you help me to get those fonts?Thanks.

DJ

nikki-k
01-12-2004, 11:37 PM
Hi!
It is only for the Giga version; Giga varies in features from one "level" to the next. Kontakt has one "level" only, and therefore does not suffer from this

I have been hangin over at Northern Sounds for a few weeks now, and spending an embarassingly high number of hours researching several sample libraries, Piano being one.

The big thing I have found with the various pianos available is finding the one that will "sit" well in the style of music it will be used for primarily. While the White Grand may not be a first choice for classical music, it is STILL at the top of many people's lists as a must have. For jazz, pop, and rock, I think it hits home perfectly. Up to 32 velocity layers! Simply amazing!

The piano used was a Malsjo, a 9' grand from the 1920's, recorded in Sweden. The flexability and consistency with this is what has me so drawn. That and the close mic'ing was done so well, it allows it to be set in a mix relatively easily (at least it should!)

BTW- Worra, the guy from SampleTekk put another demo up- it is demo 1, the 16-bit ver, without any other instruments, just the same light verb.

For doing classical music, I would be grabbing the PMI 290 Bos, and probably use one of the Steinways from the Orchestral library I get. Oh- getting VOTA as well. I'll have to struggle a bit until NI gets Giga import *fixed* 100%, but it is so sweet, I cannot wait for the NI specific version to come out (projected for late Q2, upgrade path avail). Sing with me Cliffy: "Ahhhhh!!! Laaaa!!!!"

6969
01-13-2004, 02:21 PM
I can't seem to download these fonts and its killin me.Bastiaan? Any ideas,anybody?

DJ

Elvisaintme
01-13-2004, 02:50 PM
Was thinking about just buying a keyboard but wondered if a keyboard controller and a program might be better?

What I need is good piano sounds, a great fender rhodes sound-electric pianos, good organ sounds and some nice ambient sounds to put under some of my accoustic stuff and more mellow stuff. Any suggestions on what to research on this? Fender Rhodes is critical in buying something. Thanks

doylemusic
01-13-2004, 04:05 PM
What I need is good piano sounds, a great fender rhodes sound-electric pianos, good organ sounds and some nice ambient sounds to put under some of my accoustic stuff and more mellow stuff. Any suggestions on what to research on this? Fender Rhodes is critical in buying something. Thanks



Don't know if this helps but, a friend just told me that the piano in Sampletank was really nice. It sounded authentic, as he put it. I have not heard it yet.

For Organ sounds, I really like the assortment on my Triton. However, I don't particularily think the piano sounds are that hot.

I prefer the piano sounds of my Alesis QuadraSynth (Grand Piano, Fender Rhodes). You should check out the Alesis (I believe the entire q-series line has the same sound, but don't quote me). I see some Q-series gear on ebay for $500.

Roland usually makes really good organ sounds.

nikki-k
01-13-2004, 04:34 PM
Was thinking about just buying a keyboard but wondered if a keyboard controller and a program might be better?

What I need is good piano sounds, a great fender rhodes sound-electric pianos, good organ sounds and some nice ambient sounds to put under some of my accoustic stuff and more mellow stuff. Any suggestions on what to research on this? Fender Rhodes is critical in buying something. Thanks



It all comes down to how much you have to spend (doesnt everything these days? )

I will give you an example, me! hehehe...
I have several keyboards/synths. Over the years, the "sound" of a particular keyboard/synth will come and go. However, technology advances, and it now comes down to this: Is realistic a must, or can emulations/samples be a substitute?

For example: I have an 88-note wieghted keyboard that has both sampling capabilities, and built-in/add-on capabilities that were great at the time it was "big." With Kontakt (or any other similarly featured software sampler), I can do most of thAt keyboard's work, and I am no longer tied down by having to lug it around to where I feel like writing/recording. The only thing I need this keyboard for is a physical input control unit (ie, a keyboard with some controllers on it). The internal sounds do not get used much (except for when I just want to sit and pay without firing the whole studio up), and with a 128M sample ram limit, a nice piano (comparatively) is no where near what I can get with Kontakt and a library of my choosing. I am currently tempted to rid myself of all my hardware synths but one or two, and the 88-note weighted (solely for control use).

As far as SampleTank si concerned...I have ST1 and 2. They do not even get loaded with PT (or any app) anymore. I dont care for the library, find the UI to be lacking, as well as the feature set. Yes, stretch is neat. But hardly worth it for me, as I do not have any use for it currently. For dance/rap/hip-hop type stuff, I could see the value of ST2. Maybe for sound design as well. I decided to pick ONE sampler, learn it well, and then use the pee out of it. With all the libraries available for it, and all the libraries being made with SE,LE, etc versions of it and it's little brother (Kompakt), Kontakt is my choice and recommendation to any Win XP user at this time. Second choice would be Halion, but for Cubase/Nuendo users. For standalone, on a seperate computer, I still choose Kontakt first, with Gigastudio160 coming second.

A perfect example of why I have gone this route is the White Grand discussed earlier in this thread: I had a piano I liked, but it wasn't exactly what I was looking for. Discovered WHite Grand, and it comes so close, I am completely ecstatic! With ties to a hardware unit, I would be out of luck, even with a good translation. As the size of these libraries, and the size of single instrument programs get larger, and the computers they run can do it well, I cannot see the reasoning in anchoring oneself to a specific hardware unit, except only for it's control features.

My suggestion: Grab a controller you love, and then find the libraries you think you will want. Then select a soft-sampler that will run those libraries, and has features you find enticing, and will enable you to create the way you want.

nikki-k
01-13-2004, 04:37 PM
Hi Nikki

I too am looking for the sampled piano that makes me think I'm playing a real grand. This l;ooks interesting but it doesn't indicate what piano was used for the samples. It also said this:
"Since White Grand uses all four ports, you also need Gigastudio 160" which doesn't give me a warm fuzzy.



BTW- ordered mine today $175 shipped. Scheduled to start shipping Monday the 19th. Only downer is waiting for it to arrive from Sweden, instead of being able to use overnight or 2-day like my impatient a$$ usually will do hehehe...

Once I get it, I am lighting a candlabra, start playing, and then say, "I wish my brother George were here..." LMAO!!!

Bastiaan
01-13-2004, 04:44 PM
6969,

what is happening why you cant download? Plese be slightly more specific. I tried myself, and from my pc i can download it perfectly...

Elvisaintme
01-13-2004, 05:09 PM
It was like my decision to go computer or a DAW recording system. I knew my DAW system would be obsolete within minutes. But, a computer system also is obsolete because you have to buy upgrade after upgrade and software after software bundle.

Why can't I buy a damn keyboard-synth or keyboard controller with software that meets my needs? I could spend around $1500 if I needed. I just want a unit I can get great piano, rhodes-electric piano/ organs and ambience. It can't be that damn hard. I thought about a Yamaha stage piano which was cool. But, there is little ambience in that thing. I need layers for music because I leave a lot of space in my music. I really only record alt-country sounding stuff with the occasional trippy sounds.

It just can't be that hard.

j old school
01-13-2004, 07:29 PM
I just want a unit I can get great piano, rhodes-electric piano/ organs and ambience.




The best organ I have heard (and use) is the NI B4. The best electric piano I have heard is Lounge Lizard. I haven't found a great acoustic piano in software yet (although the White Grand sounds pretty interesting), but I get warm and realistic sounds from my Oberheim MiniGrand sound module. My controller is an Alesis QS6.1. From what you describe, we do similar music (alt country, folk/classic rock, etc...) so we are probably looking for similar sounds. Check these out.

6969
01-14-2004, 03:49 AM
Bastiaan

Thanks for responding. I click on the Index of dabassardz soundfonts and I actually bring up the page with his soundfonts and then I click on the first one ,or any other one, and the "page cannot be displayed" screen comes up.This happens every time I do it for the past 3 days.I was able to get the Stein soundfont that was the first link on your DUC post and I was also able to start the download of the 256 MB.When I click on your Duc page link to get to the whole list of dabasstardz soundfonts is where I run into the trouble.I appreciate your input.

DJ

6969
01-14-2004, 10:24 PM
Hmmmm.Any ideas?

DJ

Bastiaan
01-14-2004, 11:11 PM
On that page on my server where you see the list of the soundfonts, try this: right-click, and choose "save as". I think that you somehow told your pc it can open soundfonts from within your browser...

6969
01-15-2004, 03:26 PM
Thanx Bastiaan

That worked.Thanks much for your time.I can't wait to hear the rest of the samples.Very cool!

DJ

6969
01-15-2004, 11:31 PM
Well...it is working,but the "server getting lost" screen happens alot. I guess this is the sacrafice of dial up.Any file I successfully downloaded is one file I didn't have so its all good.Take care.Thanx again.

DJ

Rabidium
01-16-2004, 11:24 AM
Try a download manager like Gozilla.
-Olaf

GW
01-16-2004, 04:01 PM
By Nikki

BTW- ordered mine today $175 shipped. Scheduled to start shipping Monday the 19th. Only downer is waiting for it to arrive from Sweden, instead of being able to use overnight or 2-day like my impatient a$$ usually will do hehehe...


Iīve heard that Sweden isnīt that far away... Which version did you order for Kontakt? Kontakt 24 DVD, or...?

nikki-k
01-16-2004, 05:26 PM
Kontakt 24-DVD

Got my Garritan Personal Orchestra today, and just waiting for Voices of the Apocalypse to arive at Sweetwater next week. Got that and NI Pro-53 coming next week, and need to find one more soft synth.

Has anyone tried any of the sample libraries that claim to be :Access Virus " or other synth type? Trying to decide if one or two of those would be cool to add, if I spent time using the samples and playing with them in Kontakt.

Also thinking of making one of my studio computers a dedicated Giga, I heard Giga 2 was getting blow-out prices somewhere, and then upgrade when GS3 comes out. Decisions! Ugh!

DDM
01-16-2004, 06:43 PM
Just to let some of you know that it maybe a good idea to get the fxpansion plugin for $99 so that you can run vst plugins inside protools... I use logic to do my sequencing using virtual instruments. Out my collection " The Grand " is the best piano that I have heard and if there is anything better I would say that it would be the physical grand piano beecause you cannot get any more real than that.... So check it out. Its made by Steinberg.

CDJ
TheTrackBox

GW
01-17-2004, 01:14 AM
:D Got my Garritan Personal Orchestra today...


How does it sound - give us some "good and bad" (brass and strings)? ...and since I havenīt gotten the Kontakt yet, is there an upgrade path from the included Kompakt to Kontakt where you could save a buck or two?

nikki-k
01-17-2004, 02:41 AM
Hi!
There is no upgrade path that I know of. Probably since the Kontakt Player is an included and is "embedded" in a way. You CAN use reg Kontakt (curr ver 1.5) with it, but it is copy protected by an auth code.

Personally, I think it is exce;;ent. Combined with those specific sections one may feel it is lacking in would round it out quite nicely. This is NOT saying I find any section lacking in any way; just please understand: this is not the same as a $3K+ orchestral library!

If I had to choose again, I would choose the same. It really depends on the type of music, and your expectations. Anther big thing to realize is that as technology advances, so do these libraries. It is the customer support, the fact that it will be added to over time, Gary is very dedicated to his works, and the users on the forums for them are incredible. Since I had many demos to preview it's sound, it was the user support, along with customer relations that put this one over the top for me.

Lastly, ease of use. In spades. It is alot like Pro Tools in that sense. Once you know how an orchestra and the various instruments play in real life, it is as complicated as you want it to be. Out of the box, I could play things. But spendng time with it (of course) really allows one to bring out the subtleties, and true sound of this library.

Bottom line: If you cant afford to go for section-specific libraries (thousands of dollars), I highly suggest this one. As you get money, adding to it with the various libraries for specific sections, or even adding the Garritan Orchastral Strings would be an excellent way to go

CarlAtBitHeadz
01-17-2004, 01:05 PM
Check out the BitHeadz "Black and Whites" app. It's got 7' and 9' Steinways as well as Fender Rhodes--

not only is it an rtas plugin, but also a standalone application- It works for Herbie Hancock!

evilhellsatan
02-01-2004, 05:19 PM
Just to let some of you know that it maybe a good idea to get the fxpansion plugin for $99 so that you can run vst plugins inside protools... I use logic to do my sequencing using virtual instruments. Out my collection " The Grand " is the best piano that I have heard and if there is anything better I would say that it would be the physical grand piano beecause you cannot get any more real than that.... So check it out. Its made by Steinberg.

CDJ
TheTrackBox



OK. I'm a newbie here, so this may be an old issue known to everyone, but I'd still like to wave a warning flag. I tried using my Grand together with ProTools thru Fxpansion, and ended up with a fantastic sounding concert piano... completely out of tune(!). Fxpansion is indeed quite good, but I cannot press enough that you TRY the plugs and instruments before you buy. For me, it's back to ye ole SX for grand piano. Sigh.

And while I'm at it: hello everyone! I've been reading a lot of posts here lately, and I'm amazed with this place. I haven't even considered using the Digidesign support yet

AppleFunk
02-01-2004, 05:46 PM
If you have the RTAS-VST wrapper, you could try the mda (http://www.mda-vst.com/) pianos.

They sound great and are absolutely FREE!

mda are rather well known in the VST community and have lots of good quality instruments (try the JX10) and effects plugins! And whats more, they are all FREE!

Hope this is helpful.
Apple

evilhellsatan
02-02-2004, 03:34 PM
I tried using my Grand together with ProTools thru Fxpansion, and ended up with a fantastic sounding concert piano... completely out of tune(!).




I got The Grand working properly with the VST to RTAS wrapper from Fxpansion today

It seems like when you run it as a RTAS plug The Grand will only work with 44,1 KHz sample rate. I was running 48 KHz, hence the out-of-tune effect.

Still, it's an unbelieveable resource hog. It works quite ok with my Cubase SX setup, but together with ProTools it brings my computer to it's knees... oh, well... sounds fantastic, though. I love it. Can play it for hours without recording a single note, just for the fun of it. But I wouldn't recommend professional use of The Grand to anyone with less than 512 Mb RAM and a kick-ass processor in the upper 2 GHz zone. I run it on a P4 2,26 GHz with 512 Mb RAM and that's far from optimal