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VI Labs Ravenscroft 275
Overall Rating
Submitted: April 5th, 2014
by erted24
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Sound Quality
Excellent. The sound quality of Ravenscroft is way over the competition in the digital piano world (ex. Ivory American D, nord stage), and most important, it is better than the majority of (non-digital) grand pianos you could ever afford to pay for. This software piano is for piano players, not just for keyboardists, or pop musicians. When you touch the keys, you are in control, sounds respond accordingly. I now understand what Eric Griggs was talking about when trying ravenscroft at namm 2014: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohhabx9nk4k
Reliability/Durability
I have been testing it for a few days now. It is stable. You should not have any problems if you have enough CPU power and 4 gigs of RAM. It installs in a few minutes, very quick compared with other software piano libraries. In contrast a have spent 5-6 hours installing Ivory American Concert D (7 DVDs).
Price/Value
199 $. I don't think one can buy a better sounding/responding grand piano for under 20000 $. And I am not exaggerating. There are a lot of concert grands out there that cost way more and sound less (not talk about digitals).
General Comments
One does not need to tweek keyboard velocity curves. It feels good with light, medium, heavy settings (whatever you like you don't loose control somewhere between keys and sound). I cannot say the same about Ivory American Concert D, which sounds decent for pop music when you listen. Then you buy the software, sit down and start playing: it does not feel as good (I have spent some hours trying to find the right keyboard touch settings/velocity curve for my controller. I didn't succeed yet.). The ultimate test from my point of view is trying a piano by playing classical music. If classical music sounds good/and feels good to play on a piano, that piano is worth considering for any type of music. It is a cathartic experience for me to play any kind of music on Ravenscroft (of course including classical music). I use VI Labs Ravenscroft 275 piano software with a Muse Receptor Trio, a Roland RD-700SX keyboard, a Roland RPU-3 piano pedal (very important because of what one can do with una corda, half pedaling and such - just look at Vladimir Horowitz's feet, at how he uses pedals and listen! - than try that on Ravensroft, because you can now do the same), and an Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphone. I am the happy owner of a real piano that is a joy to play. Some reviewers at Keyboard magazine / Sound on sound always mention that a software piano could never feel the way a concert grand does. I would question this statement. Because here is VI Labs Ravenscroft. :)
Reviewer's Background
I'm a classical piano student (university). I've also been gigging with rock bands for some years. I am not foreign of the world of pop, rock or jazz music, neither of the way a pop/jazz musician thinks and uses an instrument.
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