Cons: It’s brown(-ish). Probably the most boring color for a GUI. Black, white, grey – boring too, but they are at least stylish. Brown is just boring. They used the same user interface that they used on their other pianos. It’s the Blue Grand. Make it blue. Make the Ruby grand ruby. The styling of the GUI doesn’t look professional. There is a strong psychological connection between the way a VSTi looks and the way its sound is perceived. This is one of the best sounding piano VSTs on the market today. If it was the best looking too, it would probably be the best selling. The sound of the Blue Grand deserves…, no, requires a better look.
Pros: On the other hand, the GUI is designed to be very practical and easy-to-use. There is pop-up help about every single element of the GUI. Tweaking is a breeze.
Pros: It sounds awesome. It has a great dynamic range and very rich sound. Very responsive. The first time I played it I just couldn’t stand up from my controller keyboard. Very good synth presets usually have this effect on me. I just can’t stop playing. But a piano? Never before. Not ever.
Cons: I want more!
Pros: Where do I start? I am a tweaker and this guy has a lot to offer in terms of tweakability. There are mike positions, harmonics, hammer hardness. I didn’t like the presets. But with a little slider sliding and button clicking this thing got me exactly to sound I needed. There are just so many possibilities here. It’s like having many different pianos that you can combine, merge and tweak.
Cons: No manual. When I asked the developers about one, they said that since the pop-up help was implemented one was no longer needed. The Imperial Grand has a manual though, so I downloaded it just to check it out (since it uses an almost identical GUI). It has basically exactly the same content as the pop-up help. I’d really like to see a real manual though. There are some pretty cryptic places in the Imperial Grand manual (pop-up help) like: “Spatial Type: Different type of spatial.” The options for Spatial Type are A and B. You are not helping me much by telling me they are different from each other. If they were the same they would probably be A and A, right? Tell me what they are. So I’d really like to see a manual that goes into depth explaining exactly this thing works.
Pros: It has pop-up help for every part of the GUI. Plus you can always hear the result.
Cons: I didn’t like them. I don’t think they do this beast justice.
Pros: Still they are good staring points for making the Blue Grand sound the way you like and I do believe that’s what they were intended for.
Cons: I did have to contact support. With better documentation, this would probably not be the case.
Pros: Reply was quick, to the point and helpful.
VALUE FOR MONEY
Cons: Not a no brainer. Probably overpriced for a synthedit creation and the unprofessional looks it has.
Pros: Quite reasonably priced, considering the pricing of the competition and the effort that was put into designing the technology. At 50% it would be a no-brainer.
Cons: Made with synthedit.
Pros: Quite CPU friendly. Hasn’t crashed on me yet.