I usually play acoustic pianos but use digital pianos at home for practice . Today I was rehearsing Beethoven op 13 ( pathétique) at home , and realised I couldn’t get the same effect by a long stretch with sustain resonance with the VST I use .
The test for the sustain is the first 3 chords of the piece for those not familiar with it . You need to achieve a Fp effect on the chord . There are 2 techniques that one can use to achieve it . (1) engage the sustain pedal before playing the chord after using full resonance and then while holding the keys press the pedal up (2) press the chords without pedal then remove the hands from the keyboard and pedal quickly before the chord decay
( 2) is more dangerous on stage as the decay time vary from one piano to an other so unless you are very familiar with it , it could not work at best or sound bad at worst.
Today I have tried to reproduce it with Garritan CFX grand ( my preferred one) , Pianoteq 8 , Ivory 2 American D , Keyscape.
Best results ( sound after release vs sustained sound ) were obtain in ranking order with the VST’s I have :
(1) Pianoteq ( light difference)
(2) Garritan ( very light minimum difference)
(3) Ivory ( you have to believe it)
(4) Keyscape ( no difference or whatsoever , not surprising , they don’t care about pedal)
But even the best result is far from the effect you can obtain on a good acoustic Grand by a long shot.
Is VSL better at it ?
Is there an hidden value in the garritan.sfz file that can be changed to make it work ? ( I know Cybergene is a guru in this area; I edited the sfz file but couldn’t find any line that could solve it)
Apologies for the long post and thanks in advance for help if you have a trick .
This effect is rarely used as a matter of fact but Beethoven uses it a few times in his sonatas , and aficionados are waiting for your first chord !!!