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Virtual Piano Software Recs?

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 1:26 am
by teleluv71
Hi all.
I recently had a submission returned for a moody solo piano piece. The screener complimented the tune itself but took issue with the VI sounding inauthentic. I'm using Synthogy's 'Ivory' plugin which I think sounds pretty good but I guess not so much. ;) Any suggestions for an authentic virtual piano plug? I hate that this factor cost me a forward and need to get it up to speed ASAP.
Thanks in advance.

Re: Virtual Piano Software Recs?

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:49 pm
by stansongman
Ivory 2 is what I use exclusively, and I haven't ever had a negative comment about it. I'm assuming you are playing the piece yourself, because if you are programming it, it could obviously sound midi-ed and inauthentic. There are a lot of different piano sounds to choose from, and I usually gravitate towards the brighter ones (usually Steinway or Yamaha as opposed to Bosendorfer). You can also tweak a lot of the parameters, but I've rarely done that. You might take a look at the performance and see what could be addressed there that makes it more natural. Pocket, velocity, or pedaling are some places I pay close attention to. Personally, I had to change the velocity curve on my keyboard controller so that the piano plugin responded more appropriately to they way I was playing. Also, I do eq the piano sound, and sometimes add extra sizzle with an exciter plugin. Hope that helps!

Re: Virtual Piano Software Recs?

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 6:52 pm
by WeWillWriteUaSong
I really enjoy playing Alicia's Keys for Kontakt. I also use Addictive Keys from time to time when I want more parameter/mic control, but it gets much less use than Alicia.

Re: Virtual Piano Software Recs?

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:28 pm
by teleluv71
THANK YOU, stansongman & WeWillWriteUaSong

stansongman - Yes my suspicion is that I need to tweak the parameters a bit within the Ivory VI. I will admit that I haven't spent much time playing with the plugin as the presets sound great to me. I played the piece myself so I don't think that the problem was that stiff robotic feel that quantizing the midi can produce. The screener only mentioned that the sound quality of the VI was the problem, so....? Thanks so much for the tips!

WeWillWriteUaSong - Hey Marcus! Thanks for the suggestions. I am not familiar with Addictive Keys but will check it out. I do however have Alicia's Keys - great VI although I haven't used it on a track (yet). I planned to rerecord the tune with some tweaks to the Ivory plugin I used but maybe I'll do a second version with Alicia and see how they shake out.
p.s. - LOVED your Sunday morning Rally panel with Matt, Keith and the other guys. My favorite of the weekend.

Thank you both again.

Re: Virtual Piano Software Recs?

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:44 am
by markismusic
I picked this guy up a while ago on sale for about $20 and LOVE it.
(actually on sale now for $14!)

https://www.productionvoices.com/produc ... -piano-le/

It's 100% my go-to Vi piano.
I have the alicia keys and it's awesome as well.
Also, you can YouTube best piano VI or samples and you will get to listen to a bunch side by side.
Good luck!

Re: Virtual Piano Software Recs?

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:01 am
by Len911
Inauthentic perhaps as a "moody solo piano piece", but doubtfully inauthentic as a piano.

Re: Virtual Piano Software Recs?

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:15 am
by Unstar
I was playing with some EQ and reverb settings on a piano VST the other day and, wow, what a difference. It tamed the "brightness" and pushed it along to sounding warm / tender. Maybe that's something to play with.

Re: Virtual Piano Software Recs?

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:31 am
by MBantle
Alicia's Keys +1
For me as a piano player the biggest problem with many virtual pianos is the fact that they simply feel unnatural when you play them on your master keyboard. They either sound too compressed or too brilliant even when you play very gently... the other big problem is the decay time which IMO is usually too short (even though it can be adjusted in some VIs). I am under the impression that many of the heavy weight libraries are more targeted towards solo piano parts and do not necessarily sit well in a mix. Yamaha Clavinovas sound very well if you use them via midi 'out' and I was told their sample libraries are tiny. Really not sure how they do it and why their approach cannot be translated into a well sounding VI - but Yamaha will surely keep that secret....:)
Cheers,
Matt

Re: Virtual Piano Software Recs?

Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:21 pm
by teleluv71
Thank you all for the input!
Good luck out there.

Re: Virtual Piano Software Recs?

Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:10 pm
by MJFrog
The quality of the keybed you use for tracking virtual Piano does matter ...
For many synth's and electric piano's I had good luck using just an old M-Audio keystation 61 because you can adjust velocities and duration after the fact

In a studio where I have spent some time we had set up an old Roland Student Piano I had bought from a local music store that had semi-weghted keys as well as aftertouch ...
we disconnected the internal speakers and set it to local off and just using it as a midi controller for Kontact and Halion in the box ... it had the feel of a grand piano or a good upright
while we were able to get some great sounding pianos going.

you can find many of these gems out there on Ebay and craigslist ... Yamaha's, Rolands or Williams ... maybe someone lost interest or they just need space in the living room!
The best part is the peddles are there (soft/sostenuto/sustain) ...