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Synchron Yamaha CFX Powertest
Last post Tue, May 29 2018 by mobileavatar, 18 replies.
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Posted on Sun, May 27 2018 11:37
by fahl5
Joined on Fri, Feb 04 2005, Göttingen, Posts 956

OK since so few dare to really test the new piano here is what I would consider a serious testing.

Yes I like Mendelssohn and the playing and mix of the one piece we have heard was really nice. But when you think on Pianosound from the view of a well educated pianist, you will probably know that singing music or a handful of Chopin evergreen shorties might be beautiful but that remain imho just such a smal part of what you should be ready to give in a musical convincing way with a good piano.

Most of the Producers of Piano-Sample-libraries seem imho lack the expierience of what pianoliterature affords to sound convincingly. If they are good guys they at least try to give a nice color-palette for the piano-dynamics resulting often enough in kind of "emotional" or "Pop" piano libries trying to make you dream with just playing one or two notes in the hope that none of their customers would ever have practiced enough to play notably more.-  Fine but thats such a little part of what a piano should be able to!!!

Very seldom the large and orchestral part of the pianosound seem to me considered and balanced enough. And yes even if I like the Project of VSL and their high quality standards I am and will ever stay uncompromising when it comes to pianosound. I confess am not that easy satisfied, neither with what an average conventional piano is able to nor with what many Samplelibraries currently do when it comes to pianos. Nevertheless there are in some libraries some things not that bad or even inspiring.

But I know what I will do here is not very complimentary but simply honest It shows what I get when I work a bit with the new CFX. (OK I confess I always thought kind of; "Yamaha? If there would'nt be Steinway I would think thats a quite decent Pianoproducer, but sorry we know Steinway and thats the simple Problem of Yamaha")

So here is what I would like that a good piano-samplelibrary should be able to sound inspiringly convincing in each single musical moment:

(And sorry, for me a musical "mockup" is not what is produced digital , but what is nothing mor but a jusst short excerpt of the real music but not the music itself.) So here you get the whole pieces:

VSL-Yamaha CFX Synhron: Franz Liszt: Don Giovanni-Fantasy (with Ossia) (Steffen Fahl), (15'05)

VSL-Yamaha CFX Synchron: Maurice Ravel: Scarbo (Steffen Fahl),  (7'54)

(If you are interested I can also upload the other movements of Gaspar de la nuit, but to keep it handsome I hesitate to do.)

(Btw I used the Full Version)

To summarize my judgement: So please VSL do not let us wait for the Synchron Steinway to long and while working on it keep always everything in mind what a good pianist want to do with a good piano

http://libraries.resampled.de/index.php
four parallel interpretations of ambitious classical scores with up to twelve different Libraries

http://beethoven.resampled.de
currently the first four Symphonies of L.v.Beethoven completly recorded with the finest available orchestra samplelibraries (BBCSO, SSO, STO)

http://klassik-resampled.de
Currently 4330 mp3 with more than a whole Week (=more than 8 Days /=nearly 200 hours) of sample based interpretations of complete Scores from 7 Centuries
Posted on Sun, May 27 2018 14:30
by al_lupo77
Joined on Fri, Jun 09 2017, Posts 51

Which preset did you use? Concert?

I ask because it's panned right and I find a little confusing in compare with center-panned alternatives :)

Could you try a rendering on CFX with Player preset?

Posted on Sun, May 27 2018 14:47
by fahl5
Joined on Fri, Feb 04 2005, Göttingen, Posts 956

Ok should be centered now.

http://libraries.resampled.de/index.php
four parallel interpretations of ambitious classical scores with up to twelve different Libraries

http://beethoven.resampled.de
currently the first four Symphonies of L.v.Beethoven completly recorded with the finest available orchestra samplelibraries (BBCSO, SSO, STO)

http://klassik-resampled.de
Currently 4330 mp3 with more than a whole Week (=more than 8 Days /=nearly 200 hours) of sample based interpretations of complete Scores from 7 Centuries
Posted on Sun, May 27 2018 15:31
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 12987

Hi!

I'm afraid we had to remove the comparison from here. 

We believe that comparisons with other developers should be published in independent forums.

Thanks for your understanding, 

Paul 

Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Sun, May 27 2018 16:00
by fahl5
Joined on Fri, Feb 04 2005, Göttingen, Posts 956

Originally Posted by: Paul Go to Quoted Post

Hi!

I'm afraid we had to remove the comparison from here. 

We believe that comparisons with other developers should be published in independent forums.

Thanks for your understanding, 

Paul 

I just wasn't that sure about. But no reson to be afraid of, imho VSL Piano are on the right way to become better and better...

However if the CFX is not the last Synchron-Piano as it seem to be, I just thought it might have been interesting for the VSL-Sounddesigners too, to hear a repertoire that realy demands nearly everything of a piano up to the limit and that you would scarcly hear that often in your studios (I do not mean the 2 or threee bars talented Pianists are willing to play from Gaspar, for a short instrument check, but the real music which is nothing else than simply the whole piece) nor you presumably will have that often the chance to compare which kinds of problems different products show with exactly that certain challenge.  In short I thought that might help you....

However hold on and give us the Synchron-Steinway which the Capital of classical music deserves

http://libraries.resampled.de/index.php
four parallel interpretations of ambitious classical scores with up to twelve different Libraries

http://beethoven.resampled.de
currently the first four Symphonies of L.v.Beethoven completly recorded with the finest available orchestra samplelibraries (BBCSO, SSO, STO)

http://klassik-resampled.de
Currently 4330 mp3 with more than a whole Week (=more than 8 Days /=nearly 200 hours) of sample based interpretations of complete Scores from 7 Centuries
Posted on Sun, May 27 2018 16:42
by al_lupo77
Joined on Fri, Jun 09 2017, Posts 51

Originally Posted by: fahl5 Go to Quoted Post

Ok should be centered now.

Yes, much better :)

Posted on Sun, May 27 2018 18:08
by MMKA
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Posts 456

Hi Steffen,

When I heard the CFX in the Grand Fantasie de Don Juan, I heard the non-centered version. I asked myself: "Does this instrument sound like this?" So I started to record the first few bars, just to hear what is possible in the sound. In the meanwhile you changed the sound of the piano (was it just centering?). The start of the Fantasy is more convincing now!
Just as a curiosity I place here my first bars for a comparison. You are more subtile in the dynamics.
I place this to compare the overal forte-fortissimo sound of the instrument. I'm not intending to work out the whole Fantasie, for me this was just a try out in the forte-fortissimo region of the instrument. 
I place 2 versions, one just the piano without any tweaking, the other with some compression.

A little question: in the scores on internet that I saw, the piece begins in d minor. Your version is in e minor. Do you have a reason for that? Is there another version as what I saw?

Best

First bars Grande Fantaisie de Don Juan (with compression)

First bars Grande Fantaisie de Don Juan (without compression)

Posted on Sun, May 27 2018 20:05
by fahl5
Joined on Fri, Feb 04 2005, Göttingen, Posts 956

You are realy funny,

if you are riight, than you should also teach Lang Lang to play this piece

since his "d-minor" is compared with your "d-minor" obviously as wrong as mine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azo0g3ESENY (Wow I made exactly the same mistake as Lang Lang does ....holy sh...)

(...or perhaps your "d-minor" is simply "a bit" to low )

Great comment!

http://libraries.resampled.de/index.php
four parallel interpretations of ambitious classical scores with up to twelve different Libraries

http://beethoven.resampled.de
currently the first four Symphonies of L.v.Beethoven completly recorded with the finest available orchestra samplelibraries (BBCSO, SSO, STO)

http://klassik-resampled.de
Currently 4330 mp3 with more than a whole Week (=more than 8 Days /=nearly 200 hours) of sample based interpretations of complete Scores from 7 Centuries
Posted on Sun, May 27 2018 20:09
by MMKA
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Posts 456

What do you mean by "teaching". It is an honest question. I found several scores on the internet and all of them started d-minor... nothing more and nothing less...

Posted on Sun, May 27 2018 20:14
by fahl5
Joined on Fri, Feb 04 2005, Göttingen, Posts 956

And you "honestly" believe me and Lang lang are playing "e-minor" honestly thats realy funny.

Just compare the Lang-Lang Video with your recording. Than you will immideatly understand what you can "teach Lang Lang" since he playes exactly the same "d-minor" as I does.

Obviouslly yours is astonishingly low... and that you didn't noticed that is realy funny

(In general it is pretty helpful, to know a piece and how it sounds if one intends to talk about)

http://libraries.resampled.de/index.php
four parallel interpretations of ambitious classical scores with up to twelve different Libraries

http://beethoven.resampled.de
currently the first four Symphonies of L.v.Beethoven completly recorded with the finest available orchestra samplelibraries (BBCSO, SSO, STO)

http://klassik-resampled.de
Currently 4330 mp3 with more than a whole Week (=more than 8 Days /=nearly 200 hours) of sample based interpretations of complete Scores from 7 Centuries
Posted on Sun, May 27 2018 20:43
by MMKA
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Posts 456

Hi Steffen, I just heared Lang Lang as you said. And "honestly" , he  started with a d-minor chord.
On my computer I hear the d-minor chord. But you can also see it. When you look to his right little finger at 0:05, you see that he touches the 'a', and not a  'b'. and at 0:20 the right little finger is playing a 'g' and not an 'a'. I think there is something wrong with your soundcard (I had that before, 44,1 KHz and 48 Khz sampling confusion make a difference of about a major secund.) 

Best

Posted on Sun, May 27 2018 20:50
by MMKA
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Posts 456

Hi Steffen, and the story continues....
After this I checked my wave files, and surprise, surprise, they sound here as a c-minor chord. So on my computer something went wrong indeed. Because I'm sure, I played the d minor chord... I go to look what this is all about..

Posted on Sun, May 27 2018 21:11
by fahl5
Joined on Fri, Feb 04 2005, Göttingen, Posts 956

No problem I thought it would have had a reason like that

be sure, no one would ever try to transpose that piece in e-minor ever, it is for the few who ever dare to more than enough just to do that music in its original key.

Just try to listen it at least as a whole and not only the very first already irritating radical bars I hope there is enough reason left to enjoy, since it is imho realy an extraordinairy rich piece in nearly every possible sense .....

http://libraries.resampled.de/index.php
four parallel interpretations of ambitious classical scores with up to twelve different Libraries

http://beethoven.resampled.de
currently the first four Symphonies of L.v.Beethoven completly recorded with the finest available orchestra samplelibraries (BBCSO, SSO, STO)

http://klassik-resampled.de
Currently 4330 mp3 with more than a whole Week (=more than 8 Days /=nearly 200 hours) of sample based interpretations of complete Scores from 7 Centuries
Posted on Sun, May 27 2018 21:57
by karvala
Joined on Mon, May 07 2018, UK, Posts 23

I completely agree with the sentiment of the opening post (and great playing!), but I would make a plea that demos should cover a range of styles and capabilities, not just focus on virtuoso music from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

As many professional pianists know, to make a Mozart sonata sound convincing on a modern concert grand is a lot harder than a Liszt Etude.  Both have their place in demos: I want to hear the full dynamic and tonal range in a great romantic work, but I also want to see how the instrument handles something much more exposed.

I also want to see some purely technical demos.  Playing a simple scale is hugely informative for both acoustic pianos and VSTs.  If there are flaws in an instrument, they are much more likely to be apparent within a single demo that is simple and exposed rather than complex and sonorous.

So let's have great romantic works by Chopin and Liszt, let's have some complex early 20th century works by Ravel, but let's also have Bach fugues, Mozart sonatas and simple scales.  Let's also ban all post-processing (no compression/expansion, no EQ), and then we would have a set of demos that could really show the capabilities and limitations of the instrument.

Posted on Sun, May 27 2018 22:03
by MMKA
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Posts 456

Originally Posted by: MMKA Go to Quoted Post

Hi Steffen, and the story continues....
After this I checked my wave files, and surprise, surprise, they sound here as a c-minor chord. So on my computer something went wrong indeed. Because I'm sure, I played the d minor chord... I go to look what this is all about..

 

Well, problem solved. The pieces start now with a 'real' d minor chord. And thanks Steffen for your attention. Because by this I know now how to work around a bug in the DAW! So the confusion worked out somethng good for me.

Posted on Mon, May 28 2018 01:45
by mobileavatar
Joined on Mon, Jul 25 2011, Posts 64

Originally Posted by: fahl5 Go to Quoted Post

OK since so few dare to really test the new piano here is what I would consider a serious testing.

Beautiful playing! Thanks for the sharing.

Did you actually record/play directly with the Synchron CFX? Or it was a playback from a MIDI file that you recorded with another virtual piano, esp. the Liszt's Don Giovanni?

Comparing with the other versions you did, it seems to be the latter case. It will be very informative if you could record/play even just a few bars with the Synchron CFX. I think that will be a fairer comparison.

Just my two cents.

Posted on Mon, May 28 2018 10:02
by fahl5
Joined on Fri, Feb 04 2005, Göttingen, Posts 956

Hi mobileavatar,

thank you for your kind reaction. I'll try to seriously answer your questions:

1) "did you play"?

Honestly meanwhile I studied Piano with pretty good Profs in Austria, I currently "play" on my Piano daily at home but just for my personal fun. My personal Opinion is, that when it comes to produce recordings, we could work that much more reflected, detailed and prezise, with using the technic we have today than with trying to do it the old comparable clumsy and unprezise "craftsman" way which is so much distracted from the essential musical decisions, by tons of for us completly overcome "technical" limitations . So I always start from clean mididata  which I always creat directly from the score to avoid any unnecessary additional data which is not part of the score. Than I do what I have learned while studiying the piano: reflecting and shaping each very moment of the piece.

2)"was it a playback from a MIDI file"

You have listened very attentive Meanwhile as I already described all of my recordings (at least since 2008/2009) are always playbacks of "pure" mididate which I edited to give them my interpretational intention for this certain recording I am still searching for the right Piano-sampleset to do those pieces.

Yes I started to work on those pieces with the Synthogy Studioo Grand when they were out, but in some aspects I felt the piano was not that much intended for the needs of this kind of music. I adapted that recording later on the Bechstein-digital which seemed to me in many aspects one of the outstanding well done recent Pianosamplesets on the market (meanwhile it is a Bechstein: yes it has perhaps a bit more characteristic personality in its tone - I always can recognize a Bechstein even if it was simply a Samplesets - but this brings in a few aspects of the avilable palette of colors reactions which are not as warm as I would expect it from a good Steinway) So indeed I am still looking for the ideal Pianosound for that piece.

But yes I worked much more detailed to adapt my interpretation on the Bechstein, than I did for the Yamaha. Meanwhile when working with the Bechstein I was already surprised how much of the tonal decisions of the Studio Grand were likewise apliable for the Bechstein. For the Yamaha-Version I confess: I was not that eager to individualize my interpretation. Since sorry it is a Yamaha: everything is well done and good balanced  the overall sound is good, but....  I personally feel this it still not the Piano which would realy replace my current Bechstein-Version. This is explicitly just a matter of my personal taste and definitly not a matter of Quality, (which is superb as usual - or even more - when it comes to VSL-Products).

If the Synchron Steinway brings us, what can give a Steinway such an outstanding Pianosound, Than I probably would not hesitate to spend the work to seriously adapt this music in every detail forr a final version. But this is just my personal opinion. It is the Problem I personal do have with Yamaha: good but without the moment which unfailable touches me in a good Steinwaysound. Thats why you currently get only a rough adaption for the Yamaha. If the Steinway inspires me more I'll spent of course more work to get the best out of it. 

http://libraries.resampled.de/index.php
four parallel interpretations of ambitious classical scores with up to twelve different Libraries

http://beethoven.resampled.de
currently the first four Symphonies of L.v.Beethoven completly recorded with the finest available orchestra samplelibraries (BBCSO, SSO, STO)

http://klassik-resampled.de
Currently 4330 mp3 with more than a whole Week (=more than 8 Days /=nearly 200 hours) of sample based interpretations of complete Scores from 7 Centuries
Posted on Tue, May 29 2018 04:22
by mobileavatar
Joined on Mon, Jul 25 2011, Posts 64

Hi fahl5,

Thank you so much for the detailed explanation. I just feel you have more emotional attachements with the other pianos. I think with your skills, you can surely do the same with the Yamaha. IMHO, the current version does not do justice to the Synchron CFX.

In terms of colors/attacks/weight, surely many of us would prefer the Steinway or Bösendorfer instead, but in terms of sampling precision, probably this is the bleeding edge among the three.

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