Congratulations on your new lesson production and your performance sounds FANTASTIC! The rich sound of the piano used with your performance is very nice. I’ve been shopping for new piano performances recently. I’m curious about that piano voice source and name.
The virtual piano we use for PianoGroove lessons is called the Ravenscroft 275:
I was in a music store in Seattle a few years back and the chap working there was telling me about a custom piano built in Arizona that can be downloaded as a virtual instrument. The piano has an interesting story which you can read on the website above.
It was quite expensive for a virtual instrument but with the amount of lessons we create on PianoGroove it was a worthwhile investment. The depth and clarity of the sound is the best out there in my opinion.
I just noticed they have a ‘summer sale’ on at the moment so it’s a good time to buy if you’re interested.
I’ll just add my two cents on Hayden’s comments about the Ravenscroft 275. It does have an interesting story–and the actual piano from which it is sampled has an interesting price tag. According to a blurb from the company:
Currently, only four to six pianos are produced yearly, with pricing beginning at $230,000 for a model 220, and up to $550,000 for a model 275 with “all the extras,” including titanium string terminations, exotic veneers, intarsia, artwork, and inlays of precious stones.
The virtual version captures its incredible sound. If you’re looking to add to your virtual keyboard library, I’d say this would be a great choice. (I have it on my Mac, and there are iPhone and iPad versions versions as well.) Listen to Ruslan Sirota taking it through its paces. This guy is one hell of a player. (If you let the video play, you get some others on the instrument.)
Thanks for sharing this info @scott1 and an amazing performance by Ruslan Sirota!
I picked up the Ravenscroft for $139 on the last day of the sale, so thanks for the heads up, good timing, saved $60.
This is my first virtual piano attempt, have just used on board performances to date. I finally got Ravenscroft downloaded- installed- but have no touch control on the keyboard. I held this reply hoping I had better success to report but wanted to let you know I appreciated your help. I have not found any information on this problem yet and submitted a ticket.
I was thinking about moving into Apple products before I went down this path on PC, but they sold a windows version so I went with that. Always heard Apple is the way to go for music related projects.
I can suggest two things to check.
First, you need to make sure that your keyboard can communicate with your computer. I can’t help you with Windows and I don’t know what keyboard you’re using. But I know that at first I had trouble connecting my Roland with my Mac. I thought it was as simple as plug and play. Turned out there were a number of fiddly steps involving both the keyboard and the computer that took me some time to figure out. Check your manual and look for YouTube instructional videos. There should be some out there. (I found several useful reference sites.)
Second. Did you download the UVI Workstation? On the site, at the bottom of the Ravenscroft 275 page it notes:
Ravenscroft 275 comes with its own sample player, the UVI Workstation 3 (requires v3.0.0 or later). We provide it for free with every library that you buy, you don’t need to buy an expensive sampler to use our products. It works on Mac (10.7 or later) and PC (windows 7 or later), in standalone or as a plugin (VST / AU / AAX) and in 64 bits only and is compatible with all modern daws.
Before I connected my Roland, I used a small MIDI keyboard plugged into the computer via USB and it worked with UVI Workstation. The sounds were incredible, the keyboard not so much.
At any rate, I hope this helps.
(And, yes, I would recommend Apple for working with music if you have the resources.)
I was able to get everything running today, but there is a delay in the sound from the action. I read on Vilabs site that sound card issues are common with PC ( typical pc ). I’m still communicating with tech support but I’m looking into Mac products, if you have any suggestions they would be greatly appreciated; will be my first apple product.
I was a dedicated Windows user until about 5 years ago. I started back when there was only the DOS operating system on PCs and jumped on board the Windows bandwagon from its first iteration. Switching to a Mac takes a bit of rethinking, but the basic stuff is not that difficult. Coming from Windows, one VERY IMPORTANT thing to take into account is that, unlike Windows machines, with a Mac what you buy is what you get–as in you cannot (or not easily) add RAM or memory or upgrade graphics cards. Think about what you might like to do in the future before you settle on a particular configuration.
I figure your interests are at least, in part, the same as mine with regards to music. If you plan to record your playing and fool around with programs like Logic Pro X, Ableton, Pro Tools, whatever, here’s a link that will explain what you need to think about in terms of your intended use and what you might need with regards to CPUs and RAM, etc. It’s actually quite informative. At any rate, enjoy. (And thanks @Hayden for splitting this thread. I was going to suggest it when I logged on. )
As a follow up, here’s a great review of the Ravenscroft 275 for those who might be interested. It gives an overview of how you can control the sound and some comments about other virtual pianos. Enjoy. (Best seen at full video.)
Thanks Scott looks like a great app! I see they have an iOS version as well for the iPad and iPhone as well. Do u listen via headphones or an amplifier?
I have an amp, but because I live in a condo, I always use headphones.
I am using the IOS version of the app and incorporate it into Garageband which I must say the sound is wicked!
The only issue I have is that when I save the file in Garageband using the Ravensoft plugin, and then sharing the file into a WAV or MP3, the file isn’t recognised on my windows laptop using any of the media software to play it. I’ve tried iTunes, VLC. MS Media Player, groove…
It must be some issue when Ravenscroft adds to the file which isn’t recognised by software outside of garageband…strange…
I don’t think it is a problem with Ravenscroft. I know nothing of Garageband and am slowly learning Logic Pro X. But in Logic, you have to specifically tell the program which assets to save with your file. Assets are whatever additional files are used in the project–audio, MIDI, or, I assume, VSTs. Check you manual or the web to see how you can save the Ravenscorft information with your file. It should work then.
Update on the Ravenscroft 275, it’s all good.
The Ravenscroft is the first piano performance I have had on a CPU, major upgrade for me. I love it! So much fun to play. It’s cool having the same piano as the lessons.
My complication setting it up turned out to be 2 fold, user impatience (me) for a new project and my PC’s hard drive being a little too slow for the large sample size of the Ravenscroft. The cure was an external SSD drive ($75). The UVIworkstation had to remain on the internal hard drive but the soundbank could be stored on the external SSD drive. Works like a charm, easy set up, all features of the software available with no issues.
Tech support was excellent, replying early mornings M-F to my question/inquiry from previous day. Tech support replied with patience, with informed help and from the same person who remembered our communications; bonus.
Now I need to figure out recording of the midi onto my CPU then saving it as a wav. Just software for a PC, hope it’s not to tough and any help with pointing in a good direction would be greatly appreciated.
Apologize for a delayed response but wanted to use it awhile before the update.
Thanks for helping me move forward with this.
Good to see your working through some of the challenges. My challenge remains in using the iPad with Garageband and using Ravenscroft 275 as a VST. Even though I can save or share as a WAV file, when I open on the PC or iPad, the file runs but with no sound.
Saving the file as a WAV file not using Ravenscroft is not an issue and can share and play fine.
I’m yet to find a solution and have searched the internet but at this stage, still an issue. I’m not sure of PC apps that your looking for but if I happen to come across one I’ll let you know.
+1 on the Ravenscroft 275!
I’ve been following the thread, bought the VSTi about a week ago, and it’s fantastic. I have a Kawai mp10 and mp7se (two different homes); originally got the VSTi because none of the default piano sounds in the mp10 (which is >10 years old) were that good. What surprised me is a direct comparison between the Ravenscroft 275 and the mp7se. The default piano sounds in the mp7se are excellent, but the VSTi has more complexity and depth. Amazing and great fun to play.
It is, indeed, a remarkable VST. If I’d known about it some time ago, I probably would have stuck with my old Casio PX-5S and just used virtual instruments. The Casio had a pretty decent action/feel. (But I have no regrets on getting the Roland-RD2000–it’s a very fine keyboard.)
Play around with the various mic settings and their combinations. For example, if you play 100% Side settings (and nothing else), the piano sounds sort of like Bill Evans’s piano on the “Time Remembered” YouTube link Hayden recently shared. All’s a matter of taste, but it’s fun to play around with the various mic placements and their sounds.
Here’s how Ravenscroft describes the various settings:
CLOSE: A mix of mics inside the piano placed over the strings and hammers that capture a punchy detailed tone with a big stereo image. Great for pop/modern playing and hold up well in any mix.
PLAYER: A stereo pair of mics that capture the sound heard sitting at the keys and pick up more of the hammer attack. More distant than Close mics, they’re great for classical and player’s perspective while also mixing well with other mics.
SIDE: A mid-side vintage U87 setup right outside the rim that capture a balance of warmth and detail with a more focused image. Great for jazz and classical and blend well with other mics to add more room or detail. Side mics are also fully mono-capable due to the nature of mid-side.
ROOM: A mix of mics away from the piano that capture the complete instrument along with the room characteristics. Great for classical and for the unique perspective of the room sound and work great blended with any other mics.
A quick follow up. You said “[w]hat surprised me is a direct comparison between the Ravenscroft 275 and the [Kawai]mp7se.” It got me thinking about something I read a while back.
The link between Kawai and Ravenscroft is a product worked out between the company and the head of Ravenscroft to create a modified version of the Kawai VPC1 to make its action as close to that of the Ravenscroft 275 as possible. It’s called Ravenworks. They have two versions. a Studio Model I ($5,499.00) and a Studio Model II ($5,799.00). The only difference is in the finish of the keyboard. They’re only controllers; there are no onboard sounds.
Here’s a link to someone playing it. If you’re interested, there’s a link to the company site with more information.There’s a big difference between $275,000 and $5,499. If I had more space. I’d probably buy one.
Thanks, Scott, for both the suggestions on the mic settings (still playing around with that) and the link to Ravenscroft digital.
I’ve only had the mp7se for a couple months, and I thought about getting a VPC1, but it’s about the same price. So far, I haven’t done much of anything with the mp7se electronics other than listen to the default sounds and use it as a controller, but I really like the action, especially in comparison to the older but more expensive mp10.
Ravenscroft definitely seems like the Porsche (or Bentley) of the piano world; paying a $3500 premium for them to adjust the key settings and paint the case blue seems, well, a little like paying more than 200K for a real piano!
Secondary benefit for me of following this thread was going down a Ruslan Sirota rabbit hole (terrific player, great teaching approach to improv, slightly weird youtube persona). I’m a little surprised he hasn’t had a more prolific career as a teacher/solo artist.