Old 03-07-2010, 10:49 AM   #81
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but when i make music my mind is not concerned with what technology is producing the instrument i am playing, i am only concerned with it's sound and its feel. and that's why it is important to me. more important than customization and resources.
This is also true with me. Sound and feel are the most important thing - and exactly here is where tastes start to polarize.


About Pianoteq having ways to go - what I meant was introducing a more complex physical model that would be even more detailed and realistic (I guess we'll see it on v4), less "fake" as you put it (although there was A LOT done under the hood between v2 and v3 to make v3 stand out more and introduce more woodiness in sound, and it was done well), more different models (upright piano, some more harpsichords, Pianet model, chromatic percussions...) room simulator (room dimensions, wall materials, etc.), etc.

There's a very bright future for Pianoteq, feature requests are aplenty, and devs are tireless. Sort of like this Cockos team here

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Old 03-07-2010, 11:58 AM   #82
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This is also true with me. Sound and feel are the most important thing - and exactly here is where tastes start to polarize.


About Pianoteq having ways to go - what I meant was introducing a more complex physical model that would be even more detailed and realistic (I guess we'll see it on v4), less "fake" as you put it (although there was A LOT done under the hood between v2 and v3 to make v3 stand out more and introduce more woodiness in sound, and it was done well), more different models (upright piano, some more harpsichords, Pianet model, chromatic percussions...) room simulator (room dimensions, wall materials, etc.), etc.

There's a very bright future for Pianoteq, feature requests are aplenty, and devs are tireless. Sort of like this Cockos team here
I have no doubt, the programmers are very good who are constructing those algorithms, but the trouble is, knowing what 'real' should sound like. really you'd have to build a piano to see how the parts interact. there are too many variables to calculate how a piano should act.

you know what i mean? inventing a brand new piano is real tough, you'd have to know how to get a realistic sound for something that doesn't exist. so what really is 'realistic' i suppose something you couldn't tell is fake, but this might be very difficult. they might get there though. but i think the best way to get there might be if they tried to model a piano to sound like the real thing. i mean, supposed the had a concert D and a yamaha C7 and a boesendorfer and a C3 and a steingraber and a whole bunch of real pianos, and they modeled their piano to be like all of these, and the parameters you could change could morph you from one piano to the next seamlessly, then they would have created a real masterpiece. then that would be 'realistic'. i suppose, but i like just sticking to how the real great pianos sound too. like, technically, the pianoteq piano doesn't exist, so no matter how you cut it, you're playing a fake piano in your mix. but a sampled piano, yes is a fake piano too, but even somebody very familiar and intimate with the real thing, might not be able to tell the difference, and the experience might be very close to actually play as well. I like that. really, if i could, i'd have a real Yamaha C7 that i could run through headphones, and change the volume for, and tune to equal temperament or stretch tuning at the push of a button, and that i'd never have to maintain or need to worry about atmospheric conditions, and never have to worry about micing properly. and really that's pretty much what a sampled piano VST is. a fake real piano.

it'll be cool to see how pianoteq comes along though. unless they are using some other technique i'm unaware of, achieving their current sound with FM synthesis is quite incredible. i've played around with some of that, and what they've got so far is real impressive. i think one thing they could stand to add might be some sort of "humanize" feature, which adds minute irregularities to the sound they produce for a little extra realism. it seems a little too perfect if you know what i mean. but maybe that's what your piano tuner friend really likes about it too.
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:06 PM   #83
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Actually the main man behind Pianoteq is an experienced piano tuner and has master's degree in applied mathematics So, he KNOWS how pianos work, and he CAN translate that to differential equations!

They are not using FM synthesis at all, where do you get this from?

As far as minute irregularities - that's why you have Pianoteq Pro version, where you can adjust 22 physical parameters for each key separately. So, going beyond the piano and acting like a piano designer and tuner.



Also I didn't mention my piano tuner friend, but my piano teacher from music school.



Also, some models from Pianoteq are based on a real Steinway D and Fazioli, actually. And Yamaha C5 for YC5 addon. It's just the intention of Modartt not to blatantly copy the sound of a particular piano make, but to rather enable the piano player with a starting point, upon which the player then shapes his own, personal, piano sound.

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Old 03-07-2010, 12:10 PM   #84
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some of these arguments are getting ridiculous lol
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:18 PM   #85
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Getting back to the Alicia Keys question - this piano sampling is probably very good as it was the work of Thomas Scarbee and his previous work in sampling bass sounds as well as classic electric piano sounds has been outstanding. I actually was not interested in the Alicia Keys product until I heard it was done by Scarbee and now I am.
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:22 PM   #86
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I've been messing with samples for a long time (owned a Fairlight CMI since 1983), and I think we are now in the Golden Age of samples. Sampled instruments are getting larger and more capable. Gigs and gigs of samples, with special effects and interactions between them starting to be common techniques.

However, I think that this Golden Age will fade, because of the large sample set sizes and some of the other issues discussed in this thread.

Modeled instruments will start to be more common, surely, but I think that the hybrid approach will be the way forward. For example: sampled attacks and hammer noises with modeled sustain, string interactions, and body resonances.

The "middle ground" tends to survive, rather than the extremes.
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:35 PM   #87
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Actually the main man behind Pianoteq is an experienced piano tuner and has master's degree in applied mathematics So, he KNOWS how pianos work, and he CAN translate that to differential equations!

They are not using FM synthesis at all, where do you get this from?

As far as minute irregularities - that's why you have Pianoteq Pro version, where you can adjust 22 physical parameters for each key separately. So, going beyond the piano and acting like a piano designer and tuner.



Also I didn't mention my piano tuner friend, but my piano teacher from music school.



Also, some models from Pianoteq are based on a real Steinway D and Fazioli, actually. And Yamaha C5 for YC5 addon. It's just the intention of Modartt not to blatantly copy the sound of a particular piano make, but to rather enable the piano player with a starting point, upon which the player then shapes his own, personal, piano sound.
how does their modeling work then? it was an assumption of mine, relax, i don't know everything in the universe. i think i was clear that i was uncertain of this in my post so the fact that i was in error shouldn't have come as a surprise to you.

ya the fazioli sounds pretty nice also from the ivory youtube videos i've seen but i've not played it. i'd like to try it though.

ya, the flexibility is definitely a selling point for modeled pianos, but blatant copy to me, is very good, because really, what i want is these actual pianos under my fingers. not necessarily to build my own artificial piano like sounding synthesizer sound. although, it might be really cool if people could build their own presets of modeled pianos and build some super pianos that sound amazing and have their own character, but somehow the fact the piano doesn't exist in real life makes it less cool to me. but you never know, maybe one day they will actually, physically model, real pianos after sounds people have achieved with algorithmically modeled pianos.

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Old 03-07-2010, 12:38 PM   #88
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I've been messing with samples for a long time (owned a Fairlight CMI since 1983), and I think we are now in the Golden Age of samples. Sampled instruments are getting larger and more capable. Gigs and gigs of samples, with special effects and interactions between them starting to be common techniques.

However, I think that this Golden Age will fade, because of the large sample set sizes and some of the other issues discussed in this thread.

Modeled instruments will start to be more common, surely, but I think that the hybrid approach will be the way forward. For example: sampled attacks and hammer noises with modeled sustain, string interactions, and body resonances.

The "middle ground" tends to survive, rather than the extremes.
I'm not totally convinced of this, because human perception is limited, and at least for me, we've already pretty much reached the point where i am completely fooled, so the Gigs and Gigs might not need to grow all that much, but the gigs and gigs of ram will, and the processors will, and the hard drives will, and usb interfaces and the likes will, and internet connections will.

any limitations of the specs of computers will cease to be a problem i think quite quickly. so to me, all the sampled stuff and convolution stuff i think might very well come out ahead, because on of their biggest flaws is how hungry they are on resources, but if resources are abundant...
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:44 PM   #89
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how does their modeling work then?
You'd have to ask them to get a 100% correct answer, but it's definitely not subtractive, or additive, or FM, or granular synthesis. They are using recordings of a real piano to analyze the timbre at various keyranges and velocities, but they have a previously conceived mathematical behavioral physical model (differential equations) and they superimpose the analysis results into that model. It's far more advanced than FM synthesis.
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:54 PM   #90
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surely, but I think that the hybrid approach will be the way forward. For example: sampled attacks and hammer noises with modeled sustain, string interactions, and body resonances.
that seems to be the direction Roland has taken with their 'Supernatural' piano engine in the HP-30x cabinet DPs (and expansion board for the rd-700gx) which seems to be well received over at pianoworld
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Old 03-07-2010, 01:00 PM   #91
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Anyone tried Pianissimo by acoustica http://www.acoustica.com/pianissimo/ ?
Samples and physical modelling , sounds great to my ears, I've been using the maestro grand (900 meg freeware set) and this thing blows it away, inexpensive too
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Old 03-07-2010, 01:25 PM   #92
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[...]which are used to explain real world events, but are never quite accurate, which is why we still have things like wind tunnels[...]
Not accurate? Is that why the first private spacecraft (that actually also completed the first private spaceflight) was designed without any wind tunnel tests but only based on fluid dynamic simulations? (http://www.scaled.com/projects/tierone/faq ) That was in 2002! Seriously in the automobile industry most crash tests (while design) are performed by software such as PAM-Crash or LS-DYNA and only the final crash test is performed for real and also only because it is (in many places) required by law to do a real test. And thus far I'm not aware of any huge discrepancies between simulation and real test (performed in the last 10 years). The NASA also used LS-DYNA to simulate the landing of the Pathfinder Mars robot and it worked. So I really don't know what you are talking about math being fake and not representing reality accurately ... the only problem that I see is computational power, which is limited, so you can not simulate with 100% detail, though you could ... heck you could even simulate thermal movement of the air and its interaction with sound waves, though then you'd have to wait a year for your piano playing to be rendered.

Anyway I also didn't like PianoTeq when I last tried it, but that is some long time ago and I heard they made good improvements on it.
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Old 03-07-2010, 01:38 PM   #93
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how does their modeling work then?
I can't tell you, but he might mention it in some of his videos: https://www.youtube.com/view_play_lis...71B0EE469EDF00

I think it is digital waveguide like explained: https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jos/pasp/Piano.html (at least that's what I think is the way to go), namely http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karplus...ring_synthesis (for the strings) and then convolution for resonance of the body, etc ...
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Old 03-07-2010, 01:39 PM   #94
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Not accurate? Is that why the first private spacecraft (that actually also completed the first private spaceflight) was designed without any wind tunnel tests but only based on fluid dynamic simulations? (http://www.scaled.com/projects/tierone/faq ) That was in 2002! Seriously in the automobile industry most crash tests (while design) are performed by software such as PAM-Crash or LS-DYNA and only the final crash test is performed for real and also only because it is (in many places) required by law to do a real test. And thus far I'm not aware of any huge discrepancies between simulation and real test (performed in the last 10 years). The NASA also used LS-DYNA to simulate the landing of the Pathfinder Mars robot and it worked. So I really don't know what you are talking about math being fake and not representing reality accurately ... the only problem that I see is computational power, which is limited, so you can not simulate with 100% detail, though you could ... heck you could even simulate thermal movement of the air and its interaction with sound waves, though then you'd have to wait a year for your piano playing to be rendered.

Anyway I also didn't like PianoTeq when I last tried it, but that is some long time ago and I heard they made good improvements on it.
well i was talking about in terms of sound of a piano, and i didn't know about the spacecraft thing, i'm not sure how correct you are that they did absolutely no mockups or miniatures or tests in real air and just threw the thing up in space. that would really surprise me.

we could get really nitpicky about math describing reality accurately and bring quantum physics in to the equation and then there'd be a real debate, but my point was really that a real life piano has a zillion charateristics about it, and emulating all of those woudl be incredibly difficult with simulations or math. i mean, true in the newtonian world, all physics are mathematically describable, and honestly i believe in the quantum world it is so as well but we have not yet figured this part out yet. but like you said the rendering would take forever. ya, computers are getting more powerful, they are getting more precise at simulating fluid dynamics and the such, and you could program in "random" discrepancies also. but i don't think we're quite there yet with piano VSTs. but ya, point taken, technically it can all be mathematically described but it's just the logistics of it to getting it to really act naturally seem really huge to me. mathematical things are generally smoothed out, approximations of real world stuff, and as computers get more powerful the smoothed outedness approximates reality more and more.

so idk, i'm not saying that it's impossible to accurately emulate a real piano, and this one is already real good, but it's not quite there yet.

i'd like to check those hybrids out too.

it'd be interesting to see more how the pianoteq guys program their stuff.
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Old 03-07-2010, 01:40 PM   #95
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but my point was really that a real life piano has a zillion charateristics about it, and emulating all of those woudl be incredibly difficult with simulations or math.
and yet static samples can do it better?
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:40 PM   #96
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[...]i'm not sure how correct you are that they did absolutely no mockups or miniatures or tests in real air and just threw the thing up in space.
Well to directly quote from the FAQ I posted a link to:
Quote:
Originally Posted by http://www.scaled.com/projects/tierone/faq
Q: Did you do wind tunnel testing?
A: No. All design refinements and performance predictions have been derived from Computational Fluid Dynamic tools.
And on another remark (regarding their flight simulator):
Quote:
Originally Posted by http://www.scaled.com/projects/tierone/faq
Q: How did you validate the simulator?
A: The simulator is based on CFD analysis and updated by flight test data. Since the space ship is first flown as a glider, it will provide the opportunity to iterate the subsonic aero characteristics before the powered supersonic flights.
So since they also based their simulator on the CFD data I don't think they actually did run any other tests. But to make totally sure you would have to ask them.

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so idk, i'm not saying that it's impossible to accurately emulate a real piano, and this one is already real good, but it's not quite there yet.
If all your saying is that to model a piano in realtime we must use approximations (that is a reduced model instead of a full physical model) then I agree. Also if you say you don't like Pianoteq then I agree as well I don't like it either (though I admit I only tested an earlier version, and my judgment now is based on the demos on their page (which are still the same as back when I played with it)). What I don't like about it is the fact that you hear the "string vibrating" (sorry for the lack of a better term), it sounds to me like a Karplus-Strong string synthesis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Karplus-strong-A2.ogg ) notice that pingy sound on the first play of the sample? That (though much reduced and fainter and not present at all) is what I hear[1] and I couldn't get rid of it when I was playing with it, but other than that it is OK and I might just be paranoid and bet Pianoteq isn't using the Karplus-Strong algorithm at all and all I hear are ghosts ... or not. Anyway I really liked the response and tweak-ability.

[1] no professional piano player
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:42 PM   #97
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i don't like pianoteq -= but i love truepianos, which is another modeled piano. Nothing comes close to it, actually. Ivory, Akoustic Piano, thegrand, whatever.
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:02 PM   #98
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No one is using Imperfect Samples (www.imperfectsamples.com)?
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:06 PM   #99
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and yet static samples can do it better?
i guess that would be a matter of opinion, but so far, with current technology as far as i can tell, as i perceive. yes.
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:09 PM   #100
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Well to directly quote from the FAQ I posted a link to:


And on another remark (regarding their flight simulator):


So since they also based their simulator on the CFD data I don't think they actually did run any other tests. But to make totally sure you would have to ask them.



If all your saying is that to model a piano in realtime we must use approximations (that is a reduced model instead of a full physical model) then I agree. Also if you say you don't like Pianoteq then I agree as well I don't like it either (though I admit I only tested an earlier version, and my judgment now is based on the demos on their page (which are still the same as back when I played with it)). What I don't like about it is the fact that you hear the "string vibrating" (sorry for the lack of a better term), it sounds to me like a Karplus-Strong string synthesis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Karplus-strong-A2.ogg ) notice that pingy sound on the first play of the sample? That (though much reduced and fainter and not present at all) is what I hear[1] and I couldn't get rid of it when I was playing with it, but other than that it is OK and I might just be paranoid and bet Pianoteq isn't using the Karplus-Strong algorithm at all and all I hear are ghosts ... or not. Anyway I really liked the response and tweak-ability.

[1] no professional piano player
not sure if you are referring to 2.3 when you say earlier version, but if you are 3.0 is much better. and not sure what you mean by pingy, but if you mean the attack noise, the sound of the "hammer" hitting the "strings" i thought that was one of the shortcomings of their current version as well.

that's pretty cool about the whole flight simulator and stuff. they've gotten pretty good at building these models. i want to play this flight simulator.

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Old 03-07-2010, 03:10 PM   #101
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Argh, whose subjective opinion is best??
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:12 PM   #102
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I'm not 100% sure, but I think it's not K-S model at work in Pianoteq.



JBM - TruePianos is actually a hybrid, where most of the sound comes from samples, but sympathetic resonances and other stuff is modelled. Personally I find it not flexible enough and I have noticed timbral inconsistencies on some modules at certain velocities, so it's a no-go for me.
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:21 PM   #103
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Argh, whose subjective opinion is best??
well mine obviously. lol.
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:21 PM   #104
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not sure if you are referring to 2.3 when you say earlier version, but if you are 3.0 is much better. and not sure what you mean by pingy, but if you mean the attack noise, the sound of the "hammer" hitting the "strings" i thought that was one of the shortcomings of their current version as well.
Sorry I don't know neither what version, but since the samples on their website are from the latest version and I still hear what I heard back then it doesn't really matter.

It has a sort of Harpsichordish sound to it (sorry for not being able to better explain). http://www.pianoteq.com/pianoteq/aud...selj-C3rec.mp3 at 1:55-2:05 you can pretty clearly hear what I mean, or not, or maybe it is supposed to sound like that ... however I don't like it. But that doesn't mean I think it is bad. It just means that I personally don't like it.
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:21 PM   #105
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I'm not 100% sure, but I think it's not K-S model at work in Pianoteq.



JBM - TruePianos is actually a hybrid, where most of the sound comes from samples, but sympathetic resonances and other stuff is modelled. Personally I find it not flexible enough and I have noticed timbral inconsistencies on some modules at certain velocities, so it's a no-go for me.
what's K-S model?
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:25 PM   #106
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K-S - Karplus-Strong.
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:25 PM   #107
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Sorry I don't know neither what version, but since the samples on their website are from the latest version and I still hear what I heard back then it doesn't really matter.

It has a sort of Harpsichordish sound to it (sorry for not being able to better explain). http://www.pianoteq.com/pianoteq/aud...selj-C3rec.mp3 at 1:55-2:05 you can pretty clearly hear what I mean, or not, or maybe it is supposed to sound like that ... however I don't like it. But that doesn't mean I think it is bad. It just means that I personally don't like it.
ya, i think you mean the attack, the sound of the felts hitting the strings. in pianoteq's defense this is customizable, but i too found this was a shortcoming of the piano. and i agree it does sound quite harpsichordish. this is actually the part of the piano that made me think FM. harpsichord is quite simple sound for FM. but you can set it to be a more muted softer attack if you want, but it still sounded to me somehow a disconnected sound, somehow didn't sound real. idk. maybe it was partially because i had changed the effect myself? i didn't get that with sampled pianos though although all you can change with the ones i've tried is how loud the hammer samples play, not their tone, nor how the trigger relative to velocity.
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:26 PM   #108
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It has a sort of Harpsichordish sound to it (sorry for not being able to better explain). http://www.pianoteq.com/pianoteq/aud...selj-C3rec.mp3 at 1:55-2:05 you can pretty clearly hear what I mean, or not, or maybe it is supposed to sound like that ...
It's supposed to sound like that.

Because I played it


Also in agreement with Modartt my MIDI was used for showcasing the C3 model, whilst I played this with the Erard model, which is more quirky and I liked its sound more.
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:27 PM   #109
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Ok, I threw together a short 1 minute snippet with a "mystery piano" (mainly to test how this piano mixed with sustained instruments). Anyone care to guess whether it's real, sampled, or modeled?
(link no longer available)
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:12 PM   #110
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Ok, i'll bite, and i'll probably end up looking like a fool, but that's ok, i'm used to it by now.

i'm going to have to vote, for a very good modeled piano. i've got to say though that since it wasn't solo, and since the piece wasn't particularly dynamically varied it did make this much harder.

and truly the real test i think would be to do a blind test while actually playing the VSTs not just hearing them.

I'm pretty confident i'd be able to tell the difference, in that situation, although i've not tried all sampled pianos nor all modeled pianos, and i'm sure i'd find some modeled pianos are better than sampled pianos and vice versa, but of the ones i've tried i much prefer sampled ones.

idk, i'm curious to see what others say, and whether or not i'm right. please don't be a hybrid trick question, but ya, my vote is modeled.
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:23 PM   #111
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Sounds kinda distant, miced, I'd say it's sampled but drowned in reverb. It's not modelled. Could be one of TruePianos presets.


@Sound Asleep - there aren't many "very good modelled pianos", actually, there's only one that's fully modelled in software, and that is Pianoteq. The other one (hardware) is Roland V-Piano. Other attempts fall long before they've taken a shot at doing it.
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:24 PM   #112
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Not a real one. I guess a sampled one.
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:27 PM   #113
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It's supposed to sound like that.

Because I played it
Ahh ... well maybe I'm already so brainwashed by todays music that I actually don't like the sound of a real piano ... though last time I played one I really enjoyed it.
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:27 PM   #114
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Sounds kinda distant, miced, I'd say either it's real, or sampled but drowned in reverb. It's not modelled. Could be one of TruePianos presets.


@Sound Asleep - there aren't many "very good modelled pianos", actually, there's only one that's fully modelled in software, and that is Pianoteq. The other one (hardware) is Roland V-Piano.
oh, i didn't realize it was the only one, i think you might be spot on with truepianos too.
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:29 PM   #115
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... though last time I played one I really enjoyed it.
Hey, me too!

I love my upright Gotta call the tuner, though. This one is goin' honky!
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:53 PM   #116
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Ok, i'll bite, and i'll probably end up looking like a fool, but that's ok, i'm used to it by now.

i'm going to have to vote, for a very good modeled piano.
Quote:
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Sounds kinda distant, miced, I'd say it's sampled but drowned in reverb. It's not modelled. Could be one of TruePianos presets.
It's one of the Pianoteq presets (Grand C2 uneven). I intentionally didn't mess with any settings because I wanted to see how it fit in with longer sustained instruments (I prefer sampled pianos for solo pieces, but I have been thinking about using Pianoteq for certain mixes, and it passed this test).

@EvilDragon - I think the "distance" you feel is a result of the mind placing the piano into context with the other instruments, which in this case are very quiet sustained instruments. In other words, for the piano to fit the dynamic of the context, it would have to be more distant than the other instruments, so the mind places it there. I say this because I feel it to, but when the piano part is soloed, it doesn't have that feel. Just a theory, though.
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:59 PM   #117
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Ah, ye olde C2. I forgot even how those sounded, was completely overtaken by v3 that completely blew my mind. Yeah, you can hear here how v3 actually expanded the horizons of Pianoteq sound-wise.
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:42 PM   #118
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i guess that would be a matter of opinion, but so far, with current technology as far as i can tell, as i perceive. yes.
right but it's just a perception, obviously. You have absolutely no "facts" one way or the other, just as anyone else here.
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:52 PM   #119
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Anyone else enjoying this thread as much as I am?
Please, continue the blind tests.
I'm learning as much as I can here. Amazing stuff. Someone should publish the results.

Only wish I could play a fraction as well as you folks.
Continue please!

Cheers.
Jim P.





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Old 03-07-2010, 06:09 PM   #120
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Maybe this threat could be split out into it's own with an appropriate title instead of being buried in this Alisha Keys thread.
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