Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

My East West QL pianos experience


SK

Recommended Posts

A couple members asked me to get back to them after I received the QL pianos, so here's the lazy solution... start a thread. I know there was a thread about QL pianos a while back.

 

I'm a little technologically behind the curve than some of you, especially in software pianos, so this was a project. The Gold edition is 9 dual layer DVD's taking about 45 min. EACH to install. Then an iLok key and account authorization. The installation quit on me once, so I was on the phone with East West. After I got it loaded, it unfortunately cancelled my free EW orchestra demo which I liked, but at least I have the pianos now.

 

My iMac is a 2.66 Ghz duo core, and I was concerned if it could handle the program. At first there was an occasional sticking note, but a software update fixed the problem.

 

The bottom line - the computer handles it fine, although loading different pianos takes about 5 or more minutes within a recording program. I couldn't get it to work yet with Digital Performer, so I'm using it for now just with Garageband.

 

The Steinway caught my attention in the demos, and it is the cleanest and clearest sample of the bunch. Very nice and playable.

 

The Yamaha is just like a Yamaha you might find in a hotel lobby that's had some wear. Fine for rock piano but anything more demanding and it's not up to the task.

 

The Bechstein may have the most expressiveness and sounds like a very nice piano - just not a piano I would necessarily want to own.

 

Now to the Bosendorfer. Our member 'dewster' warned me about his unfortunate experience with this sample, but it seems the company has worked out the kinks.

 

At first, I thought the Bosendorfer sample might be a little dull in tone. What I hadn't discovered is I had loaded up the "lite" sample, but the full sample of each piano is also loadable. The Bosendorfer sample is the largest piano sample ever made, a little over 3 DVDs just for that piano. The full sample has a lot going for it... very dynamic and expressive, and a fuller tone than the other instruments.

 

The interface is easy to use, just like the orchestra interface some of us downloaded recently.

 

To keep this short as possible, I'll just say I'm never been a fan of software pianos mainly because of player/instrument connectivity issues. This particular package is very close to the real thing. Each piano actually feels different on my keyboard, as though sitting at a different piano.

 

So I can recommend this - it's not ever going to be as good as a real piano, but it's better than any DP or software piano I've tried. It's inviting to play, and for now, the Bosendorfer is my favorite, with the Steinway a not too distant second. Any questions, I can try to answer them.

 

I did a quick demo in Garageband of the Bosendorfer, and made up a quick demo tune for it - 'smooth jazz'. (The words Bosendorfer and Garageband should never appear in the same sentence.) Once I get the instruments into Digital Performer, it should come to life a little more.

 

http://www.divshare.com/download/10235117-1c3

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 50
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Steve, first of all the song's gorgeous. I hear you loving the sound as you play.

 

I have the VSL Bosendorfer (the original) and I dislike it. It's too edgy. This one has the clarity but with a warmth mine just doesn't come close to.

 

Curious pick that really seems to have worked out! I haven't heard too many (any?) prior endorsements of the QL pianos. Nice going. :thu:

"........! Try to make It..REAL! compared to what? ! ! ! " - BOPBEEPER
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well thanks Sue and Zeph. I just made up a simple tune to demo the sustain in the lower and upper mids. Most demos are a million notes per second.

 

Sue, I saw that earlier Bosendorfer and thought it might be an early raw attempt. This one has a lot of expressiveness - 16 velocity layers or so. I came across the QL pianos thanks to others on the forum who posted about it. Of course, there were several software choices, so weeding it down to the QL took some time.

 

Zeph (sorry, I don't have your real name) my iMac came with 4 GBs. The standard 24" monitor version, just before the new ones came out. I have a fair amount of music on this computer, but it's not full, obviously. And this is the Gold version - I think the complete version with more mic placements would have taxed my computer.

 

I think it will work fine in DP as soon as I get it in there. Aside from slow loading of instruments, it works like a charm so far.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That sounds nice, Steve.

 

I assume this is also available for Windows?

 

I wonder if you could do something a bit geeky for me please? :) I'd love to hear middle C and the Cs 2 octaves below and above played from ppp slowly through to fff.

 

From your very beautifully played demo it seems to have much better dynamics than any other bose software piano I've heard.

 

DigitalFakeBook Free chord/lyric display software for windows.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great playing, Steve - both inspired and inspirational.

 

But five minutes to load up a piano sound? Whoo-hoo - must make early experimentation a frustrating experience, though I guess when you find what you like you can stick with it and go get a coffee while it loads.

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steve great demo. Yes, I suppose a recording of a real piano COULD sound better, assuming it was a great piano, meticulously maintained and perfectly recorded.

 

The five minute load time is way beyond my experience. I'm seeing ~ 30 seconds to load full version of the Bose. This is loading sustain, sustain pedal and release samples in the player mic position. If you switch to one of the other mic positions does it load those up or is it instant? On mind it loads them up.

 

BTW, I have the full version of QL Pianos and am on a MacPro 2.8 Ghz 8-core.

 

Busch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds great, Steve. You should be able to open it it DP. Goto Project - Add track - instrument track and select it. Then load the piano you want. Now in the tracks window change the output of the midi channel you wanna record on to the ql piano. bingo.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds great SK.

 

Were you using the FP4 as a controller?

 

What's the approx. cost for the software piano? Are you now using this for gigging? Are you planning to bring a laptop to gigs?

 

I brought a laptop to gigs for awhile but it got to be more of hassle.

 

Have you ever thought of a V-Machine? Or a rack?

 

http://www.smproaudio.com/produkte/v-machines.html

 

 

 

www.brianho.net

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/brianho

www.youtube.com/brianhojazz

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks to everybody for the kind responses. My new bumper sticker: available for demos. :)

 

Mike, it's for Mac and Windows. I'll make a recording of the C's a little later today. A 'request'! :cool:

 

Linwood, thanks a lot for that info, and for your info on this product.

 

Busch, you have a much hipper system and setup... wish I had that. The load time is faster now, maybe a minute. Not sure why it took so long before. Does the full version sound a lot better? (It has to sound somewhat better.)

 

bhodaway, yep, it's the FP4. The Gold software is regularly $349, plus a $40 ilok key. The full version is $445 plus the key. This was on sale for two days for $195 which is what I paid, but I heard the sale may still be on.

 

Like you, a laptop for gigs is more than I want to deal with, but this program is making me consider it. And no, I hadn't thought about the V-Machine. I got rid of all my rack stuff years ago. But maybe I'll surprise myself and get 'current.'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Dave.

 

Mike, I recorded the C's on the Bosendorfer for you. While I was at it, I added short demos for each of the other pianos, if anyone is interested to hear them. The first piano is the Bose, and I "announce" the others which are kinda tongue in cheek.

 

The Bose is the best and has the most body, but the Bechstein has amazing dynamics, almost too much. Pardon my butchering of a wonderful classic on there - I started playing with it, not sure why. I wanted to play with those dynamics.

 

The Steinway is cool, but the tuning sounds a little suspicious to me. So my final QL demo: http://www.divshare.com/download/10240689-ec2

 

I'll demo keytars next week. :rawk:

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Steve, another nice demo.

 

If I was being picky, the C below middle on the Bosie sounds a bit artificial to me until you being to bring the dynamic up a bit. But definitely a nice piano.

 

I like the Bechstein a lot but then I always did like that company's pianos. The Steinway sounds a little brittle to me but that could be the result of the potential tuning issue you mention.

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes Aidan, the Steinway sounds a little brittle in spots. Also, my Roland keyboard has had some wear, so the action may produce an unintentionally louder note here and there, as I was playing harder on that Steinway tune.

 

My extreme nitpicking: the C two octaves above middle C on the Bose sounds a tad flat to me, the way it was tuned. But the Bose is perfectly in tune with itself, whereas the Steinway sounds a little loose.

 

These obviously aren't professional demos, just the best I could make in Garageband, not something better like Logic or DP. The quality is reduced on the mp3 and divshare seems to compress it further. The samples sound better than they do here.

 

For each of the 4 pianos, there is about 12 sample variations to choose from, and almost unlimited adjustments for sample size, bit rate, buffering - so I may not have selected the very best patches for each individual demo.

 

My conclusions: The Bose is the best sample with the fullest sound. It's totally consistent across the board and plays authentically as a piano. It doesn't seem like a software piano, it sounds and feels that real to me. Eventually, the perfect consistency of it might become boring.

 

The Bechstein is second, and my initial quick impressions have changed. It has extreme dynamics which allows for discovery while you play, the way a real piano does. The overall tone is less consistent, but you can draw more out of the instrument. Effective for certain types of performance, it may surpass the Bose as my favorite, over time.

 

The Steinway is solid and quite good, but not perfect. The lid adjustments can tame the brightness. It is no match for my Steinway B, but it's as good as some old, less maintained Steinway D's I've played.

 

The Yamaha is somewhat thin, but still better than a Yamaha electric grand. Perfect for Jerry Lee Lewis styles, and actually a little better than needed. It sounds like a decent baby grand or upright that you would be content to use on a society gig.

 

The interface has a large library of rooms/halls/stages/caverns to place the pianos in. And it has a very useful sensitivity graph, with separate adjustments for decay, etc., so you can easily tailor these pianos precisely for yourself.

 

And that's it - 'the end'. For a picky listener, I'm happy with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oops, yeah Mark, I don't think I saved the original tracks. I'll see if I did and take off any verb and post it, or I'll just do a short dry demo of the Bose by itself.

 

The Bose is so full, it doesn't need reverb, except for taste. The C notes at the top of the second demo are from the Bose 'dry.' The resonance is from the sustain pedal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

EastWest has a bunch of QL piano demos on their site, of those my favorite are the Steinway ones.

http://www.soundsonline.com/EastWest-Quantum-Leap-Pianos-Virtual-Instrument-pr-EW-171.html

 

I like the sound of SK's QL Steinway, I hear more overtones. The others all sound a little muffled to me.

 Find 600 of my jazz piano arrangements and tutorials for educational purposes at patreon.com/HarryLikas Harry was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book."

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

J+, the Steinway samples on their site impressed me the most too, which is really why I ordered the software. Of course, all those demos are a million fast notes, and the Steinway is brighter and may cut through better.

 

I was surprised after I got it how varied the different pianos were, and now the Steinway has dropped to my 3rd favorite of the four.

 

edit: Yes, the Steinway overtones are more apparent, but the Bose overtones come into play more when you play harder, like a real piano. The muffled chords on the Bose and Bechstein are mostly due to my less than ideal recordings. Playing them live, I have to lower the lid on the Steinway because it sounds too bright and full throttle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stocksam on YouTube has dozens of nice slow QL Piano and Ivory solo piano jazz recordings :

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/stocksam

 Find 600 of my jazz piano arrangements and tutorials for educational purposes at patreon.com/HarryLikas Harry was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book."

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

cnegrad, here's the dry Bose.

http://www.divshare.com/download/10247372-1ac

 

I found the first track - there was very little reverb on the piano, but it got buried in the mix with other instruments with reverb, so I did a new one.

 

This should be the best Bose demo - no playing, just the sound of the piano. No reverb, just resonance of the strings from the sustain pedal. :thu: (only the mp3 compression reduces the tone some.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The VSL Bosendorfer is designed for orchestral use vs. for soloing, and its edginess works well in that context so that it can cut through at low volumes.

 

My impression of QL Pianos is that they are specifically designed for soloing and possible smaller ensemble work. But as they have multiple mic positions, theoretically they should also work well within a larger orchestral score. Can anyone confirm this? I have not had such luck with the smaller version that is in the EWQLSO.

Eugenio Upright, 60th Ann P-Bass, USA Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, D'angelico Bari, Dano Bari

Select Strat/Tele, Am Pro Jazzmaster, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, T64, PM2, EXL1, XK4, Voyager

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah, that's good to know. I think the PMI Bosendorfer and the Steinway that comes with Silver, were put together from older EW libraries, which may explain my mixing challenges. :-)

 

I keep putting off EWQL Pianos during the frequent sales, as I also need another hard drive at the same time and am trying to avoid that in case my next Mac is a MacPro. :-)

 

The demos vary quite a bit, and over time, I think more and more examples have come out of the diversity and flexibility of this library. Its flaws, where they exist, seem to be related to complexity of finding the best setups for usage, due to the mic positions. Garritan's Steinway seemed flawed in ways that would be difficult to surmount or improve with instrument patches. It is heartening that EWQL continues to improve QL Pianos.

Eugenio Upright, 60th Ann P-Bass, USA Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, D'angelico Bari, Dano Bari

Select Strat/Tele, Am Pro Jazzmaster, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, T64, PM2, EXL1, XK4, Voyager

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Steve, for taking the time to record the demos - especially the comprehensive one that runs 4:40. I'm going to listen to that grouping a few more times. Initial impression is that the Bechstein would be the most satisfying to play. I could hear the extreme dynamics you described. 'Discovery', indeed. Sounds like you enjoyed playing this one.

 

The Yamaha seems that it would indeed work well on rock material. I'd be interested in hearing how it sits in a live rock/americana mix.

 

BTW: Great job on the playing end. First time I've had a chance to hear your playing; excellent work. Time to visit the reharm page...

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The sale on the Gold Pianos supposedly was to end last night at midnight Pacific time, but I just checked the website and the price was still the sale price.

 

Ordered, with an iLock key. Looking forward to receive it, based on the reviews given here.

 

Thanks for the posting and demos - they were a deciding factor, I had been debating Garritan, EWQL, and Ivory - for solo work. My PC3X pianos are fine for a lot of things, but I wanted a bit more for solo work.

 

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Jim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...