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Cakewalk Dimension Pro
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lucienz lucienz

« Avoid for pianos »

Published on 05/22/12 at 15:03
Did you have any problems during the installation?
- No issues whatsoever, the 'installation is pretty smooth.
How complicated is the overall configuration?
- Very easy, it's its main strength.
Did you have any incompatibility problems?
- None.
It works only with Cakewalk because it's a standard Vsti.
Is the user's manual clear and comprehensive?
- It's not necessary.

SUITABILITY/PERFORMANCE

What's your computer setup?
- I7 8 cores, 4 Gb ram, Echo Mona soundcard.
Does the software work correctly with your setup?
- Perfectly.
What about the hardware+software configuration stability?
- Very stable.

OVERALL OPINION

It's very easy to use, its main problem are the layers, which are limited to 2!
On their website they state: Mix and layer up to 4 stereo parts per program.
When in truth it means 2 layers for the left channel and two for the right channel.
- So 2.
@Stamkorg: I'm not talking about timbre layers to play several instruments, but velocity layers.
The piano sound might be acceptable, but in order for the playing to be realistic, the sound must follow the force of the attack. When you play piano the sound is lowered-pitched, while forte is higher-pitched., and it must be progressive.
A good virtual piano with 8 velocity layers and even more.



Brief historic review:
Rgc:audio created 2 samplers around 2003:
- The free SFZ, which managed soundfonts in SFZ and SF2 format.
This sampler was free but limited to two layers.
- The paid SFZ+ only handled SF2 but it had a virtually unlimited number of layers. An awesome Sampler

The advantage of SFZ is that it uses the Ogg-vorbis format with adjustable rate --> That allows you to reduce tenfold the disk space needed without any noticeable difference to the ear => Files are decompressed in the Ram when you use them.
It's a pity that SFZ+ only uses SFZ files (they probably didn't have enough time to develop it).

But let's go back to Dimension Pro, which is what interests us here.
Cakewalk bought these samplers (or RGC:audio?).
In theory, Dimension Pro is nothing other than SFZ free, revamped with a new interface, additional controls and excellent file management.

And that's where I don't get Cakewalk, why didn't take the SFZ+ engine but rather the free version for a paid software?
As a consequence, it is limited to 2 layers...So, be warned: the acoustic and electric pianos, and every other sample whose sound is modified by velocity, are simply useless! ...or awful.
It's perfect for organs.
And you still have the management of .SFZ files and the disk space saving it represents, which allows you to have a library with an impressing number of instruments.

For those interested, you can get SFZ+ free... from Cakewalk.
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