Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Sampler and Sampling discussion (techniques, tips and tricks, etc.)
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fmr
KVRAF
8509 posts since 16 Mar, 2003 from Porto - Portugal

Post Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:05 pm

jochicago wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:38 pm
Also, re: pianoteq
I just have to add for the purpose of the discussion: IMO at best the sound is ok. My guess is that they are at least 3 versions away from being able to compete with some of the top libraries. In fact, I bet on a blind test most music end-consumers would prefer the sound of the Air Mini Grand.
Wanna bet? I have some pretty good piano libraries (some of the best) and also Pianoteq. Actually, I posted comparisons in another thread dedicated to piano libraries, together with other fellows. Nothing (and I Mean NOTHING), compares to Pianoteq.

When put to their paces (with extremely demanding piano pieces) no library gives you the dynamic range, resonance and expressivity of Pianoteq. Actually, I heard an example of the Étude Op.10 #12 of Chopin played in Keyscape, and it was a joke.

Air Mini Grand? :lol: Do you "really" know how a grand piano sounds?
Last edited by fmr on Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Fernando (FMR)

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djanthonyw
KVRAF
7035 posts since 20 Jul, 2004

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:11 pm

I really like Session Keys Grand Y.
Last edited by djanthonyw on Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jochicago
KVRist
387 posts since 26 Feb, 2018

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:24 pm

fmr wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:05 pm
Wanna bet? I have some pretty good piano libraries (some of the best) and also Pianoteq. Actually, I posted comparisons in another thread dedicated to piano libraries, together with other fellows. Nothing (and I Mean NOTHING), compares to Pianoteq.

When put to their paces (with extremely demanding piano pieces) no library gives you the dynamic range, resonance and expressivity of Pianoteq. Actually, I heard an example of the Étude Op.10 #12 of Chopin played in Keyscape, and it was a joke.

Air Mini Grand? :lol: Do you "really" know how a grand piano sounds?
lol. No, I don't want to bet. Pianoteq doesn't sound most realistic when compared to samples. I'm glad you like it. Happy times for you.

I don't play Chopin. Couldn't care less. I've been playing piano for 20 years and grand samples are nearly the only sound I play. Just flat out not into classical piano music, get nothing out of it. So the technical playability of Pianoteq for complex piano pieces ranks near 0 in my book.

99.9% of songs using piano libraries right now are not going to need detailed playability for fast-paced complex pieces. What they will need is an enjoyable sound that sits nicely in a mix. $10 Mini Grand wins in that respect.

In a world with Garritan CFX, Ravenscroft 275, etc, sound-wise Pianoteq is not even on my "maybe" list, even on sale.

And to pay homage to your post and your wonderful attitude:
Do you really know anything about making modern music, or just hang around to act entitled?

jochicago
KVRist
387 posts since 26 Feb, 2018

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:30 pm

Also, on a separate note, when it comes to complex pieces I'm also not ready to call Pianoteq the end-all be-all. Many newer libraries have advanced controls for designing the transients. You can make it attack less or more, start the sample tight or a tad delayed, and between that and being able to mix the perspectives to taste, you can very much customize how the piano will react to a particular piece. You can customize sympathetic resonance, formant, etc.

I haven't played with that much, because as I said it hasn't come up as a need for my purposes, but don't be too quick to dismiss advanced sampled libraries for fast intricate pieces.

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fmr
KVRAF
8509 posts since 16 Mar, 2003 from Porto - Portugal

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:55 am

jochicago wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:24 pm
fmr wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:05 pm
Wanna bet? I have some pretty good piano libraries (some of the best) and also Pianoteq. Actually, I posted comparisons in another thread dedicated to piano libraries, together with other fellows. Nothing (and I Mean NOTHING), compares to Pianoteq.

When put to their paces (with extremely demanding piano pieces) no library gives you the dynamic range, resonance and expressivity of Pianoteq. Actually, I heard an example of the Étude Op.10 #12 of Chopin played in Keyscape, and it was a joke.

Air Mini Grand? :lol: Do you "really" know how a grand piano sounds?
lol. No, I don't want to bet. Pianoteq doesn't sound most realistic when compared to samples. I'm glad you like it. Happy times for you.

I don't play Chopin. Couldn't care less. I've been playing piano for 20 years and grand samples are nearly the only sound I play. Just flat out not into classical piano music, get nothing out of it. So the technical playability of Pianoteq for complex piano pieces ranks near 0 in my book.

99.9% of songs using piano libraries right now are not going to need detailed playability for fast-paced complex pieces. What they will need is an enjoyable sound that sits nicely in a mix. $10 Mini Grand wins in that respect.

In a world with Garritan CFX, Ravenscroft 275, etc, sound-wise Pianoteq is not even on my "maybe" list, even on sale.

And to pay homage to your post and your wonderful attitude:
Do you really know anything about making modern music, or just hang around to act entitled?
Yes, I really know about making music (the adjective "modern" means nothing to me). So, right as I thought, your knowledge about the piano is very limited, since you just know "modern" music. So, you're not qualified to judge whether a piano sounds good or not, besides those lame passages that appear in your "modern" music, where even a tin can may be used.

And, FYI, I also have the Garritan CFX... and a real baby grand.

BTW - Chopin was just an example. There are pieces even more demanding than that Étude. Those are the ones I usually use to test any piano. And where many usually fail.
Last edited by fmr on Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:09 am, edited 5 times in total.
Fernando (FMR)

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fmr
KVRAF
8509 posts since 16 Mar, 2003 from Porto - Portugal

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:01 am

jochicago wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:30 pm
Also, on a separate note, when it comes to complex pieces I'm also not ready to call Pianoteq the end-all be-all. Many newer libraries have advanced controls for designing the transients. You can make it attack less or more, start the sample tight or a tad delayed, and between that and being able to mix the perspectives to taste, you can very much customize how the piano will react to a particular piece. You can customize sympathetic resonance, formant, etc.
Forget it. Don't reveal more about your ignorance. If you knew a little about what is and how the sound is produced in a "real" piano (you know... that beast with a large wooden box full of strings), you would knew that no sample library, no matter how good and how extensive it is, can ever reproduce all the complexities of an acoustic piano. All those things you mentioned happen IN REAL TIME during a performance. It's not a matter of adjusting "before" - they are (and need to be) adjusted by the way the pianist plays, and change several times DURING the piece. That's where a physical modeling piano like Pianoteq excels when compared with the "dead" sample libraries.

I am well aware of all the things a good piano library can do and what can be done with them. But I'm also aware of how a real piano reacts, how it sounds, and what we should expect from it. You lack the second.
Fernando (FMR)

jochicago
KVRist
387 posts since 26 Feb, 2018

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:38 pm

fmr wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:55 am
[...] my mommy says I’m awesome, and my music tastes are the best!

Instruments are only made to play the music I like.

You seem to like other types of music, so you are bad and stupid!
Wow. Good luck being you.

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jancivil
KVRAF
17528 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:48 pm

This subforum is actually Samplers, Sampling & Sample Libraries
:idea: :arrow:

The best sounding sampled piano instrument I know of {IMO! ;)} is the Yamaha CFX in the Synchron Stage product by VSL.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kS3Lvt8rPmY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xs-b_mBIpY



disclaimer, I don't play piano for shit. Except once this girl said I sounded like George Winston. :dog: :help:

seangm
KVRist
59 posts since 7 Dec, 2017

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:21 pm

My favorites are the Mercury by Waves Factory (Lite version sounds great and not tons of space) and NI The Gentleman.

jochicago
KVRist
387 posts since 26 Feb, 2018

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:10 pm

The Synchron CFX is an absolute behemoth of a library. It is so versatile with so much room to tailor the sound. However, I took it off the running for my own stuff because this level of detail requires a commitment I'm not willing to make at this point. Price aside, the full library has a 1/4 million samples and requires 240gb of SSD space. (Plus the USB key thing - I've avoided hardware keys so far).

I have the Mercury and it is a ton of fun to work with. I'm still getting familiar with how to mix the perspectives and the detailed settings to tailor my sound. This is another reason that holds me back from going after a beast like the Synchron CFX - I love having more tailoring tools, but at times it is easy to get lost in tweaking settings and fall off the creative side.

For instance, I noticed when I use 88 Ensemble, it just works, I just get on with it, no desire to tweak (nothing to tweak even if I wanted to). So I find myself tracking with 88 Ensemble thinking I'll replace it later, but then the performance sounds like it's meant for a Steinway D not a sub-concert Fazioli, so I swap with Mercury and now the character of the velocities is off enough that's noticeable. After that learning phase, I decided to find my sound first before tracking, but then the session turns into deep tweaking and no creation, then I run out of steam and I haven't tracked anything.

Still looking to find a balance, but from this and depending on your needs, I'd say it is easy to recommend going for a "lite" library that has some of the perspectives baked in AND already sounds great to your ears. Because then you can trust it as-is and use it more naturally. That's what libraries like 88 Ensemble and Mini Grand bring to the table, they have been pre-baked at a nice setting, so it is easy to get on with it and not want to do anything to it. Even a library like Addictive Keys Studio Grand that the sounds is not quite on par with the better libraries, it makes up for it by being small and having so many varied and usable presets. I would easily reach for Addictive Keys if the piano track was not a primary track in a song.

Mercury - Because of the size of the library the loads can get a tad annoying, interrupting wait times even from the SSD drive, but the sound and configuration options make it a great library in my view. If I had any criticism it is probably that the built-in effects are not quite as tasty as the samples themselves, but this is easily solved by using your own FX: compressor, eq, etc (although the reverb usually gets high marks).

Indiehouse
KVRer
18 posts since 14 Feb, 2015

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:17 am

Has anyone used The Hammersmith Pro?

GearNostalgia
KVRist
280 posts since 28 Dec, 2017

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:16 am

Seems like a very nice sounding piano. And they also have a clause to handle license transfers which is a nice and rare thing in the Sample Lib biz. :tu:
jancivil wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:48 pm
This subforum is actually Samplers, Sampling & Sample Libraries
:idea: :arrow:

The best sounding sampled piano instrument I know of {IMO! ;)} is the Yamaha CFX in the Synchron Stage product by VSL.

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jancivil
KVRAF
17528 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:37 am

They charge for it.
NI will transfer most things, I'm doing several in the past couple weeks.

The Synchron CFX _is_ monstrous, albeit probably 40% of the size buying Extended is the height and depth, & surround microphones. That's the paradigm.
It's not their old paradigm (which wouldn't apply to a piano lib so much) which is Extended = more articulations, it's more mics now.

GearNostalgia
KVRist
280 posts since 28 Dec, 2017

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:10 am

jancivil wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:37 am
They charge for it.
NI will transfer most things, I'm doing several in the past couple weeks.
Depends a bit on the cost, but it makes sense for them to take a reasonably fee for the job. What kind of stuff are you transfering btw?

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jancivil
KVRAF
17528 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:19 am

Licenses for sample libraries. And I did Battery 3. No cost. VSL has to look at the dongle additionally, a little extra work I suppose.

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