Synthogy Ivory works brilliantly on most setups. I've used it on a laptop with a single core Pentium processor, a low end desktop PC (1.8GHZ Pentium and 1gb ram) as well as my current (2.5GHZ Core2Quad & 4GB ram) and it runs equally as brilliant on both. The install is painless and extremely simple and the layout of the VST is great. All the presets are separated into modules that have images representing them. Synthogy Ivory is a very stable VST from my experience. I have had no crashes at all coming from it and it has worked with expansions added into it too. You can download many expansion packs for this plugin. I have used this plugin for most of my music and I would literally be nowhere without it. I have used this plugin in both FL Studio 9 and Ableton Live, and encountered 0 problems with it. The piano presets that come with this plugin are brilliant and are better than any other VST i've used of such a small size. They are all industry standard piano sounds. The only problem is some third party expansions have not worked as well as the original presets, and don't come categorized. There is great customization options available within the plugin that allow you to customize the piano sound that you want to achieve. The sounds can be effect heavy but they are easy to disable from the interface. The only downside to the actual sounds are the lack of modeling opportunities, so people who want to tweak sounds heavily would probably not have much joy from Synthogy Ivory . This is expected though as it is not a synth based plugin, but is a sample based plugin. Knowing what I do after purchasing, I would not hesitate again as it is an integral part of my production.
Synthogy's Ivory is virtual piano software that can be used as a standalone piece of software or as a plug-in in your DAW. It is available in AU, VST, or RTAS formats as a plug-in. I've used it both as standalone software and in Logic, but I don't own this software on my home system. Since I don't own this software myself, I wasn't involved with the installation process and can't really speak about it. The interface of the software offers up a whole lot of control over your sound, with a ton of different preset starting points that model all sorts of different acoustic pianos. For example, there are piano sounds modeled after Yamaha, Steinway, and many other famous piano brands. The amount of control over the different pianos is really outstanding, as you have absolute complete control over what you're end result is. Beyond the control, which would is too in depth to go into detail here, the sounds are some of the best that I've heard when it comes to digital piano modeling. It's definitely the most realistic sounding virtual piano that I've heard, as I really can't think of another that I like more. I'm usually not opposed to using this on recordings of all types, but in general I do like to use a real piano when possible. However, this isn't always something that is possible, so when it's not Ivory would definitely be my first choice for a virtual piano. The price is definitely reasonable, as it isn't too expensive but also isn't dirt cheap. It's definitely worth it if you're going to be using a virtual piano a lot, as in my opinion you're getting the closest thing to a real piano in the digital world. Synthogy's Ivory virtual piano is a must have more anyone putting together a virtual suite of instruments.
I have been using synthogy for approximately 2 months. What I like about it the most is it is by far the best Piano emulation I have ever personally heard. Very realistic and surprisingly warm (for a reproduction that is). Well, what I like about it is the sheer beauty and quality of the sound. Now, if you played a real grand piano and then played this program through the best speakers in the world, I am sure that you would still be able to tell the difference. I doubt they will ever achieve the perfection of wood, strings, felt, steel, and all the rest. But, for throwing in a piano track on your next recording, or playing small and bars and whatever else you deem not worthy of the real thing, this will certainly satisfy. My only problem is not even a fair complaint as it has to do with the cpu/ram/hard drive space consumption of the program. Its not a fair complaint because those are exactly what it takes to make it sound so well. As for other models I have used hardware emulations found on various synths (Korg TR, Korg xjd5, Roland JV1010) and also software synths like the programs included in Reason and Logic 8. The soft synths were actually way better than the hardware synths. This program costs around $320. Thats kind of pricey, but overall, its worth it for the average gigging musician all the way up to the regular touring musician, in my opinion. Well, I also want to mention that it installed ok. It was kind of a process and it took awhile to install all 10 library discs. But, after all that, it has been running fine and works great in Logic/Mainstage. I haven't used the standalone yet because I usually just use Mainstage for all my programs. I use a Macbook with 2.2ghz processor and 4gb of ram. So far it handles the load very well. I have heard of another piano program that is supposed to be revolutionary. I believe it is called Pianoteq, or something like that. I will certainly be checking that out.
There are a lot of piano software synths out there, and really I think that most of them tend to be very disappointing. If you just listen to one note being played, you are just hearing the one sample of one note which has been meticulously sculpted to sound perfect. So playing just one note on a softsynth piano will sound fantastic. But then you try to play a song using one triggered by a MIDI controller, and it just screams fake. I think it has a lot to do with the harmonics of the notes not physically interacting in the air, and the velocity curves not being realistic enough. Now, Ivory isn't perfect, and I feel like piano sampling technology still has a long way to go before it can start competing with miking a nice piano played by a good musician. Barring that, this is still the best piano sampled synth I have heard so far. It is pretty pricey, really this is the best. There are so many velocity layers for the keys that you get a much more nuanced and realistic performance than with any other piano synth out there. The piano sounds themselves are very nicely miked, and a good amount of harmonic content and air. You can edit a lot with how they sound too, such as how close or far the piano is which is extremely useful when you're mixing it into a song. The installer for this synth is like 8 or 9 DVD's, so you better have a day off to get this thing installed and working! I have used a lot of other piano synths and this one definitely gets 1st place. I use it a lot because I don't have a real piano in my studio space at home, unlike the studio where I work. It's a great value when you consider this is the best out there. I would get it again.