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Topic: Is The Grand vsti as good in the midrange as the Kawai MP9000?

  1. #1

    Is The Grand vsti as good in the midrange as the Kawai MP9000?

    I understand that the Kawai MP9000 is an older, looped sample set. Ne me\'flamez, si vous plais. And I\'m sorry for such very specific questions, but:

    At a music store (with bad listening conditions), I recently played a Kawai MP9000 for the first time, and was surprised. The octave two octaves above middle C was not wonderful--almost sine waves. On the other hand, the octave below middle C and above it were very good, particularly on the Studio Grand patch.

    Is anyone here familiar with both this instrument and The Grand? Presumably, The Grand would be much better, since it has longer samples and more samples\\less interpolation. But my main concern is if it sounds as good, has the same presence and clarity, as the midrange of the MP9000. (I\'m seriously considering buying a MP9000 just because of its ability to sustain chords in this area so well. Sounds great for songwriting.

    Or were my ears deceiving me? I\'ve played enough store keyboards to know how hard it is to judge a sound while other in a noisy store, so it wouldn\'t surprise me if the MP9000 samples sound less pristine in a quiet setting.)

    A second question (or is this the third?): Is The Grand sampled from a hall perspective, so it\'s more suited for classical, or is it sampled from a players perspective\\close mic\'ed, more like the Studio Grand patch on the MP9000?

    And while I\'m asking about Kawai sounds: Is anyone working on a Kawai Giga\\Kontakt sample set that sounds as forceful as the MP9000 samples? The MP9000 may just have one or two layers, but I really wanted to keep playing it for hours when I tried it out today. Much thereness there, even though playing it, I couldn\'t help noticing the unnatural decay. (Is there a name for this--noticing the flaws in something, understanding it\'s dated and been surpassed, but still wanting it? \"Hearing loss,\" maybe?)

  2. #2

    Re: Is The Grand vsti as good in the midrange as the Kawai MP9000?

    I have the Kawai MP9500 (which is the replacement for the MP9000), and I use it as a controller for playing the Grand VSTi. I\'m no piano expert (just started playing again after many years of not touching one), but here\'s my take on both the MP9500 and the VSTi:

    1. The Grand VSTi is buggy. The bugs have been well-documented by several users - if you go to cubase.net and do a search you can find the specifics. What\'s most disconcerting is that Peter Gorges, the co-developer of the instrument, has over the past year made several promises that the bugs would be fixed. They have not, and Gorges no longer posts on cubase.net, so it\'s not clear that Steinberg has any real committment to maintaining the instrument. As far as the sound of the piano is concerned, to my ear it sounds quite good from about C3 south, but very tinny from about C4 north. As near as I can tell, The Grand samples are from close-mic\'ed recordings. However, its control panel has an ambience knob which lets you dial in some room sound (I never use it- it doesn\'t sound particularly good to me).

    2. The MP9500 is a pleasure to play, but the pianos are definitely inferior to The Grand (even with it\'s various defects). The lower register and midrange of the MP9500 pianos seem ok, but the upper register is terribly twangy, and the looping seems quite obvious.

    All in all, I would recommend the MP9500 for its wonderful keyboard action, but not the piano sounds (at least not the acoustic piano sounds). And I wouldn\'t recommend The Grand VSTi at all, since it seems that Steinberg has abandoned it.

  3. #3

    Re: Is The Grand vsti as good in the midrange as the Kawai MP9000?

    Hi, I have The Grand VST as well. I also had problems, pops and clicks, until I got 1gig of ram installed. Despite the disk streaming features of this instrument, it appears to be very hungry in its requirements.

    I am no piano player either but I have to say that I really love its sound. You can switch between a couple of tonal sounds, soft, hard, bright and I think the other is natural. So it is fairly versatile in that regard. If you want a more distant sound, I would probably send it through a verb post (or is it pre? I forget) fader.

    Regards, Scott.

  4. #4

    Re: Is The Grand vsti as good in the midrange as the Kawai MP9000?

    (Looks like several other people answered while I was writing my reply, but here goes anyway.)

    I can\'t speak for the Kawai MP9000, but I own the The Grand and although there are several technically superior sample libraries out there, I love the sound of this instrument, especially the octave below middle C. To my mind this is how a piano is supposed to sound. The Grand sustain pedal also works like on a real piano, i.e. the sound changes even if you press the pedal down after striking the keys. You can also dial in the amount of string resonance and reverb you like. I actually like to turn the reverb almost off, but turn the string resonance way up.

    On the other The Grand has some tuning problems which people have been complaining about for months on the Steinberg VST forum to no avail. Some people also complain of cracking noises, but I suspect this is just a problem if you don\'t have enough memory. If Steinberg releases an update this would be a great piano. In the interim, you can also buy the samples used for The Grand directly from Wizoo and load them into Halion or one of the other formats they support. This way (if Wizoo hasn\'t already fixed the tuning) you could fix the tuning yourself. (Note that the tuning problems seem to be between samples, not within the samples themselves - which could happen on any of the notes with more than one string.)

    Other than this there are several other great pianos out there which have been discussed numerous times on this forum. All these have demos on their web sites which you can listen to and see if its the sound you\'re looking for. Given that our taste in pianos seems very close I suspect the other piano you may like the most is the Vintaudio Yamaha C7, which I also own and am very happy with. If enough of ask nicely maybe we can get Franky or Michael or one of the other piano sampling gods to sample a Kawai.

  5. #5

    Re: Is The Grand vsti as good in the midrange as the Kawai MP9000?

    I wasn\'t aware that the samples for The Grand were available separately. I went to the Wizoo site. The only piano I saw was the \"Platinum24 Grand Piano.\" Is this the on you\'re referring to?

    (Do you have it? Does it have the presence of the MP9000?)

  6. #6

    Re: Is The Grand vsti as good in the midrange as the Kawai MP9000?

    Yes that\'s the one. I don\'t own it, so I can\'t say for sure, but my understanding is that it contains all the samples from The Grand. However, depending on your VSTi you may not get all the performance features, like true sustain, although with Halion you should be able to do this too.

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