View Full Version : Rlugsound Keyboards

Jake Johnson
03-10-2003, 12:32 AM
I recently bought the Plugsound Keyboard collection, a VSTI set, and feel compelled to give a review. I\'m only concerned with the acoustic instruments, here:

In general, these are excellent acoustic piano multisamples. I bought the collection from Guitar Center for $80 US, and am very pleased. They provide a wide range of piano sounds. The Rock Piano 3 is my favorite, but the more I play the others and tweak them, the more I like them.

Some concerns that are intended as constructive criticism:

1. The interface is good, but flawed: you have to
hold down a key to edit the range of samples. In the manual, there is no indication of sample groups, so there is guesswork involved. A still larger problem is that editing a single zone doesn\'t, for me, seem to work: when I click on the Zone button, the edit isn\'t applied. When I then, in frustration, click the Zone button again, the edit is applied to the entire instrument.

2. More information is needed in the manual. Nothing is revealed about the velocity layers or keymapping. Three years ago, before softsynths, this would be expected, but now everyone knows that you have to be able to control all the elements of a sample set. We\'re being asked to step back and pretend we know nothing about sampling when we try to configure the instruments, here, and it\'s a little insulting.

3. The organization of the instruments is very, very bad: the best sounds take too long to find. By default, the plug-in opens with a piano pad, with a dropdown list of other \"Best of\" sounds available. The best multisamples are not on the list. If you look on the additional sheet of paper that comes in the box, you can read the size of the samples and guess which are the best, but if you go by only what appears on the screen, you could spend thirty minutes finding the serious instruments. A very thorough reworking of the \"Best of\" list is needed.

4. PlugSound has tried to do too much here: I would have preferred a set of acoustic pianos with one or two electic sounds. Another second or two for each piano note would have made this very good set of pianos still better.

5. I\'m still trying to learn how to save the settings for any tweaked piano. There has to be a way to do this, but the dialog boxes say I\'m trying to save effects settings, and the manual makes no mention whatsoever fo saving settings.

On the other hand, this is a great set of acoustic pianos. All of the large piano samples are excellent. Another 1 or 2 seconds in the samples (there is no loop drone\\buzz) would have made me love these still more. Given the price, these are excellent.

03-12-2003, 01:37 AM
Then again, it\'s $79, not $699 for Giga plus $200 for the piano...

But thanks for the preliminary review, I have been curious.


Jake Johnson
03-13-2003, 12:34 AM
Well, I should make clear that they\'re no competition for a full Gigastudio piano. They\'re good, but they may just be one or two velocity layers, with filters adjusting the timbre.