Old 03-06-2010, 02:10 AM   #41
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Alicia Keys is a talented performer. Icon though? I have a very hard time describing anyone who's risen to prominence in the last decade as an "icon." First off, their music hasn't had to stand the test of time yet. Second off, it really doesn't take one-in-a-million talent to sell a million records anymore. Record companies realized years ago that instead of searching every nook and cranny for world-class talent, they could grab just about anybody off the street and market them into success. Hell, the entire reason American Idol works is because people with enough talent to perform at the national level are ubiquitous enough that you can keep coming back year after year and still put an entertaining group of people on the stage.

Well put and so true, especially about standing the test of time.
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Old 03-06-2010, 03:15 AM   #42
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Customizable i'm sure, and sounding good i'm sure also, good on resources ya i believe that as well. but imo for simulating the feel of playing a real quality piano, they're not quite there.
And this is where you're actually wrong! The feel of a modelled piano is thousand times better and more responsive than any sampled piano! Why? Because you don't have velocity layers, there are no abrupt changes in timbre (sampled pianos all have this to a varying degree). Modelled pianos respond to utmost accuracy on what you play. Notes interact with each other. There are countless variations on how one note can sound, depending on others that play. Samples just can't have THAT many round-robins to cover all the bases.

This is what makes them distant and disconnected to the player. And every classical pianist will tell you that. Once you try and play a bit with Pianoteq, there's no turning back.

Listen to this example from a fellow Pianoteq user, and tell me that it sounds artificial. It doesn't. He got such amazing response from Pianoteq, which can be really noticed on those rapid key repetitions. Not to mention response to dynamics and overall punch of the recording. This was done with a preset.

http://www.box.net/shared/4e3jv7jcfp
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:12 AM   #43
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Thanks for your response, Quasar.
PS... almost forgot to mention. I have the same problem of CVP not responding to the midi from my keyboard in standalone mode... so it's not a Reaper issue. I check the midi in and there is only one option - my Echo Layla - as it should be. And yet, again, I know the interface is working fine because it's working with everything else I've tried it with.
What OS are you running? I had forgotten all about this, but when I originally installed CVP, I had to use a workaround involving something called the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit, because the installer didn't recognize XP SP3, but had to be "fooled" into thinking that it was in a SP2 environment. But this was just an installation issue for me. Once installed, everything has been fine ever since.

But if you think about it, CVP was at some point offered for free and basically left out on the web for dead by its developers, so it's possible that OS generational realities are leaving it behind... maybe it should no longer be recommended to people looking for virtual pianos. Sorry if I caused any hassle for you. It works OK in my rig, which is offline and thus "frozen in time" concerning Windows Updates etc. Perhaps this doesn't hold true for people who stay web-connected and current.
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:28 AM   #44
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Listen to this example from a fellow Pianoteq user, and tell me that it sounds artificial. It doesn't. He got such amazing response from Pianoteq, which can be really noticed on those rapid key repetitions. Not to mention response to dynamics and overall punch of the recording. This was done with a preset.

http://www.box.net/shared/4e3jv7jcfp
Yeah, this is pretty impressive evidence to be sure. It sounds great. If I wanted to be a hyper-critical audiophile, I might say that the extreme high registers are a bit thinner than on a real piano, but I'm not sure I would even think this if I heard the piece outside of the context of this discussion. Thanks for the post.
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:16 AM   #45
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Listen to this example from a fellow Pianoteq user, and tell me that it sounds artificial. It doesn't. He got such amazing response from Pianoteq, which can be really noticed on those rapid key repetitions. Not to mention response to dynamics and overall punch of the recording. This was done with a preset.

http://www.box.net/shared/4e3jv7jcfp
OK, here's an example of the sampled Bosy from EW (the link automatically skips ahead to the part where the piano is featured): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIveoBxnQZY#t=5m37s

Everyone of course is entitled to their own opinion, and that's fine. I guess I just prefer the sound of the sampled piano.
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:37 AM   #46
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I've been following this thread closely.
I'm curious, is there such a thing as a combination of the two technologies? Not referring to sound fonts. A possible blending maybe?

I see advantages to both.
As a guitar player primarily, I once hated tube amp modeling....but things have changed a lot in the last year or two.

Just curious about the combination of both.
Is there anything like that or is that just a dumb idea all around? lol.

To be honest, after reading this thread, I'm considering doing something different - mic'ing the spinet here.
And you know how those things sound? Not so good. Still, no samples or modeling. Maybe just some extra eq for missing low-end, lol.


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Old 03-06-2010, 10:26 AM   #47
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As far as piano goes, I'm all about PianoTeq modeled piano... I don't even have the most recent version, I've just got 2.3 and I think it's incredible.

It's the best one I've ever heard (far better than any sampler type piano) but I haven't heard them all. I'm curious to others perception of the quality of PianoTeq. Is it as great as I think it is or do I need to hear some better samplers to put it in context?
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Old 03-06-2010, 12:07 PM   #48
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The guy who turned me on to pianoteq is a second-generation piano tuner, btw. I pretty much implicitly trust anything that comes out of his mouth that has anything to do with keyboard instruments.
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Old 03-06-2010, 12:24 PM   #49
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i prefer truepianos to pianoteq for sure - but i must say, I like playing modeled pianos better than ANY sampled piano i've played. And my pianist friend agrees thus far anyway.
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Old 03-06-2010, 01:08 PM   #50
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One more example of a sampled piano. This is my own piano transcription of Mussorgsky's original version (rarely, if ever, heard) of Night On Bare Mountain. I used the NI Akoustik "Concert D".
http://soundcloud.com/john-stoneham/...-transcription

I wouldn't dream of using a modeled piano for this.
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Old 03-06-2010, 01:20 PM   #51
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What OS are you running? I had forgotten all about this, but when I originally installed CVP, I had to use a workaround involving something called the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit, because the installer didn't recognize XP SP3, but had to be "fooled" into thinking that it was in a SP2 environment. But this was just an installation issue for me. Once installed, everything has been fine ever since.
Thanks again for following this up, Quasar. I ended up going and installing CVP in an old boot partition on my computer (XP... the same as the original one I tried it on) and it worked just fine. Odd, I thought; maybe I'm missing something like an MS XP update somewhere along the line (like what you're alluding to above). Anyway, I rebooted to what is now my "main" audio boot and tried it again. Guess what; it worked! Weird. And yes, I had previously tried just doing a re-boot and it hadn't worked.

Oh well.... all's well that ends well. So what do I think of CVP? Well, after all that, I'm a wee bit disappointed in it. As far as piano sounds go, it's reasonably realistic, but it's just not the kind of realistic that I would have a lot of use for in the studio. It's a bit too warm, muted and mellow - ok for solo work, perhaps, but not the kind of sound that I feel would cut through most mixes in the way I like a piano to do.

On the PianoTeq thing, I have tried the demo of this and really liked it. The top end borders on being almost a bit brittle when played hard, but it's wonderfully responsive, and it just begs to be played in a way that no other virtual piano I have experienced does. I just wish I could afford to buy it at the moment.
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:13 PM   #52
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It's a bit too warm, muted and mellow - ok for solo work, perhaps, but not the kind of sound that I feel would cut through most mixes in the way I like a piano to do.
Sorry about the goose chase, then. Glad you got it working at least. Warm, muted and mellow is exactly why I prefer it. This may have to do with— again— playing on so many clangy and out of tune old uprights when I was a kid. I got sort of used to depressing the soft pedal as a matter of course, especially when doing open air, non-mic'd jams with other acoustic instruments...

... because of this thread, I remembered I have some old Vintaudio C7 and Upright piano disks that I purchased during a group buy. They're not loaded on my current DAW, but I may revisit them. I still don't have any strong opinions about sampled vs modeled, because they're all both pricey and resource intensive, and the Yamaha P120 is actually really decent when I'm not using CVP. Ultimately, of course, the music is the important thing. If you have good music and you're playing it competently, no one's going to care what tech you're using.
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:15 PM   #53
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No sampled piano can come close to the feel of Pianoteq 3.


So, major pass for me.
I use to have Liberace swing by my pad and lay down some jams...It was better than Pianoteq 3.
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Old 03-06-2010, 03:18 PM   #54
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One more example of a sampled piano. This is my own piano transcription of Mussorgsky's original version (rarely, if ever, heard) of Night On Bare Mountain. I used the NI Akoustik "Concert D".
http://soundcloud.com/john-stoneham/...-transcription

I wouldn't dream of using a modeled piano for this.
Sorry but this sounds really bad. Not breathing at all. Too mechanic and dull, lifeless. Like it wasn't played by human at all. No sympathetic resonances, no dialogue between the keys. Too dry.

That being said, even if you didn't tell it was Akoustik Piano, I could smell it. It's one of the worse sampled pianos around.

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OK, here's an example of the sampled Bosy from EW (the link automatically skips ahead to the part where the piano is featured): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIveoBxnQZY#t=5m37s

Everyone of course is entitled to their own opinion, and that's fine. I guess I just prefer the sound of the sampled piano.
I actually prefer a real Bösendorfer to any of the sampled gimmicks. Nothing comes close to that experience - not even Pianoteq. Although I can tweak it to sound close

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As far as piano goes, I'm all about PianoTeq modeled piano... I don't even have the most recent version, I've just got 2.3 and I think it's incredible.
Dude you should upgrade - it's free! If you thought 2.3 was incredible, v3 will leave you amazed beyond recognition.
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:10 PM   #55
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Warm, muted and mellow is exactly why I prefer it. This may have to do with— again— playing on so many clangy and out of tune old uprights when I was a kid. I got sort of used to depressing the soft pedal as a matter of course, especially when doing open air, non-mic'd jams with other acoustic instruments...
I can appreciate that; it's all horses for courses. I'm not really a pianist - I just bang out a few chords or notes here and there if needed in a mix - so my needs are a bit different. I do "like" the CVP; it's just not a sound that I would probably end up using that much.
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:18 PM   #56
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Sorry but this sounds really bad. Not breathing at all. Too mechanic and dull, lifeless. Like it wasn't played by human at all. No sympathetic resonances, no dialogue between the keys. Too dry.

That being said, even if you didn't tell it was Akoustik Piano, I could smell it. It's one of the worse sampled pianos around.
Ouch, that bad, huh?

It's funny, though... I gave two recitals at Baylor on a $150,000 Hamburg Steinway. The last real piano I bought for myself was a 182 Schimmel, which has one of the best sounds of any piano I've ever played (and I've played a lot). So anyway, I've had some experience with really good (real) pianos. And I still like the sound of that Akoustik Concert D.
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:44 PM   #57
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I think most smapled pianos do have sympathetic resonance nowadays. including the akoustik pianos. this alicia's keys certainly does.

idk, what you're saying about the layers is definitely true, there are limits to the samples. but to be honest i can't notice those. although, i will agree that transcription posted was not the greatest evidence for sampled pianos. the pianoteq you snippet you submitted though i thought was quite good. i was honestly quite impressed by it. i think though i still prefer the sound of a yamaha piano to it. it's true it sounds like a real piano. but which real piano? you know what i mean? it's not a real piano. it's not the density of the felts on the hammers that are causing a sharp attack, that gets sharper as you strike the keys harder, and that causes a little extra ringing. and as for the quick same note succession strikes, i didn't find those particularly impressive. i did find the piano quite impressive though for when it was struck heftily and actually quite like a yamaha sounds also. i didn't expect it would sound that nice on a modeled piano. idk. i guess i would have to play it to see really what i think. but i don't find sampled pianos make me feel disconnected. they trick me well enough with the way they are sampled.

and, say what you want about alicia keys, but she knows her way around a piano. granted, she's no Oscar Peterson, but she's no slouch either, and this is what she uses to record and write with. if she felt disconnected, i'm sure she wouldn't. she'd probably just cart her piano around and have someone pamper it for her. i know i would if i was her. but she doesn't feel disconnected, and is actually quite taken in by the trickery, so much so, that she wanted to do the same for her piano, because liked her piano's specific character.

that's for sure an impressive modeled piano though, i'd definitely like to try it out.
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:51 PM   #58
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I dind't say anything about Alicia You're right that she's no mr. O. P., but I get cramps when I see her play with flat fingers x_X sheesh!
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:54 PM   #59
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By "transcription" do you mean you sequenced it out by hand? That's what it sounds like to me, completely mechanical and lifeless, like a player piano. Even a well-sampled or well-simulated piano is going to sound like absolute shit if there isn't a human actually pressing physical keys somewhere upstream of it.
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Old 03-06-2010, 05:07 PM   #60
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Sorry but this sounds really bad. Not breathing at all. Too mechanic and dull, lifeless. Like it wasn't played by human at all. No sympathetic resonances, no dialogue between the keys. Too dry.
That's not necessarily the fault of the program though (although I loathe NI Akoustik myself), but there's a general lack of humanization. No sample- or modeling-based virtual piano could make up for the missing changes in timing and velocity.

I for myself have tried various virtual grands, sample-based or modeling (like Pianoteq), with or without Una Corda, sympathetic string resonance, pedal noises etc. etc. etc. (Galaxy II) and I've come to the conclusion that simplicity is what I was looking for. No string noises, just a nicely sampled piano that's got the tone for me; singing, harmonic, mellow yet not dull. Unfortunately it's only got about 6-8 velocities per key, but I can live with that for now: The Reason Refill C7 Piano, although it's available for Kontakt as well by now (fortunately!). Here's a quick sample. (Don't be too harsh on my feeble playing skills though; it's 1 o'clock over here.)
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Old 03-06-2010, 05:58 PM   #61
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One more example of a sampled piano. This is my own piano transcription of Mussorgsky's original version (rarely, if ever, heard) of Night On Bare Mountain. I used the NI Akoustik "Concert D".
http://soundcloud.com/john-stoneham/...-transcription

I wouldn't dream of using a modeled piano for this.
Thanks for putting this up obijohn. I finally got to hear what this NI piano sounds like. Unfortunately I thought it sounded to tight and constricted, like it had no sustain and also sounded very hard to me. Still once again thanks for putting it up at least I know what it sounds like, now and I can cross that one off (no offence).

I was pretty impressed by the sample that EvilDragon put up but it was pretty much what I have experienced with modelled piano's before. It was technically perfect but as another poster put it, I didn't know what I was listening to because it didn't have any individuality to it for me. It ticks all the right boxes technically but just doesn't do it fot me. The other thing is it's hard to tell if it will suit my needs given the material it covered. I might download the demo again and give it another try. From memory the last time I tried it (about a year ago) I had to mess around for ages to get anything near the sound I was loooking for and then didn't get what I wanted, so went for true pianos (which sits on the shelf since I got the Garritan).

I think I'll end up going the route of overdubbing in a commercial studio as I originally said. I know one here that has a very nice Yammy grand which I'm quite fond of. That is of course unless someone comes up with a killer sample in the meantime.

I think the hybrid idea put forward by toyhouse could be a possibility, the accuracy of a modelled piano with the character of sample using some sort of fingerprinitng technology perhaps....one for all the developers out there.

Cheers,
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:03 PM   #62
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By "transcription" do you mean you sequenced it out by hand? That's what it sounds like to me, completely mechanical and lifeless, like a player piano. Even a well-sampled or well-simulated piano is going to sound like absolute shit if there isn't a human actually pressing physical keys somewhere upstream of it.
Actually, no, but close. I took the orchestral score and did a real transcription for piano. This is not a simple matter of "transposing" the orchestral parts. It's much more complex than that, since you only have 10 fingers and it's still supposed to convey the full orchestration. Anyway, I did the piano sheet music in Sibelius. Sibelius can actually play your sheet music for you, but it sounded just terrible in their player, so I exported it as a midi file and loaded it into Reaper. Then I rendered it using NI Akoustik so I could have an example to show others of what the piano transcription is supposed to sound like (since I'm still probably several months away from getting enough of my chops back to play that bugger myself).
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:26 PM   #63
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Actually, no, but close. I took the orchestral score and did a real transcription for piano. This is not a simple matter of "transposing" the orchestral parts. It's much more complex than that, since you only have 10 fingers and it's still supposed to convey the full orchestration. Anyway, I did the piano sheet music in Sibelius. Sibelius can actually play your sheet music for you, but it sounded just terrible in their player, so I exported it as a midi file and loaded it into Reaper. Then I rendered it using NI Akoustik so I could have an example to show others of what the piano transcription is supposed to sound like (since I'm still probably several months away from getting enough of my chops back to play that bugger myself).
well that explains it. also it sounds really bright as compared to how the concert D sounds in akoustik pianos for me. i find the NI pianos sound real good, and play real well, and i like how when you let go of keys you can hear the felts come to rest on the strings, and the pedal noise also. very realistic simulation of a real piano.
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:01 PM   #64
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you know what? I just finished playing around with the pianoteq trial, and although i'll admit it is a very good modeled piano, and also that probably if i played around with it i could get it a little better to my liking. but it still feels fake to me. just the feel of it, idk, i can't put my finger on it, but it just sounds fake to me, at times i find you can tell the attack is kind of an overlapped attack, and idk, it's almost too perfect somehow, too like sterile or something. idk. that recording makes it sound really good and quite impressive, but having played it, i think it's still quite a ways from a sampled piano for my liking. idk, to me i feel much more disconnected than from a sampled piano. i think i might be surprised if i could tell the difference from current sampled pianos i've tried, or one with 36 velocity layers on it. idk, i'm totally fooled by it.

i'm not sure exactly how the convolution effects in this piano are meant to work, but that must be totally awesome for sympathetic resonance and stuff. i'd actually really like to try this piano. and i'm gonna go see if i can download some sort of demo for it, even though i'm gonna feel like a total fruitcake doing it.

EDIT:
No demo (tear) omg i AM a fruitcake!

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Old 03-06-2010, 07:23 PM   #65
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The most important thing is setting up the velocity curves of both your controller and Pianoteq to make it respond accurately to your touch. Then after that you can adjust hammer thickness and other parameters.

This is more critical than for any sampled piano. Keys are as important as the sound itself, and Pianoteq responds to velocities more naturally than sampled pianos - and this is because there's no velocity switching.

There's no convolution in Pianoteq, the reverb is algorithmic.


Also, the most important things AFTER the sound itself, is the Microphone Placement mode, where even a slight reposition of microphone(s) can yield a big difference in sound. You can place up to 5 mics. You can emphasize bass by placing a mic closer to the bass keys, you can put a mic below piano, or above, or inside the lid, you can vary the lid openness... nothing fake about that.

And DEFINITELY NOT DISCONNECTED, I really don't know where you're getting that from.
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:52 PM   #66
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The most important thing is setting up the velocity curves of both your controller and Pianoteq to make it respond accurately to your touch. Then after that you can adjust hammer thickness and other parameters.

This is more critical than for any sampled piano. Keys are as important as the sound itself, and Pianoteq responds to velocities more naturally than sampled pianos - and this is because there's no velocity switching.

There's no convolution in Pianoteq, the reverb is algorithmic.


Also, the most important things AFTER the sound itself, is the Microphone Placement mode, where even a slight reposition of microphone(s) can yield a big difference in sound. You can place up to 5 mics. You can emphasize bass by placing a mic closer to the bass keys, you can put a mic below piano, or above, or inside the lid, you can vary the lid openness... nothing fake about that.

And DEFINITELY NOT DISCONNECTED, I really don't know where you're getting that from.
it feels disconnected to me, because it feels fake. it doesn't act as a real physical object would act. you know what i mean? somehow there's a certain natural expectancy that's subconscious, like, if you bounce a ball, you see how it bounces and then right away, you have certain intuitive expectations as to how it is going to bounce depending on how hard you bounce it. a piano is the same thing. it's all the laws of physics. but a modeled piano is not following the laws of physics. so to me, it's disconnected in that way. i don't feel as "one with it" as i do with a sampled piano. sampled pianos are very real to me. this pianoteq piano wasn't. i mean, it was for a sampled piano, it was impressive, but it was so close and yet so far, you know what i mean? even just a sliver of fake, and if i can tell it's fake, the illusion is broken and it's not a piano i'm playing. so i feel disconnected in that way. i feel like i'm playing something artifical.

sampled pianos i've tried totally trick me. except for the feel and awesome power of being in the same actual room sitting on a stool in front of a real grand, and also my action is not that amazing. but you know what? somehow, i'm not sure what it is, if it is the timing of the samples or what, but somehow my action seems much better or much worse depending on the piano i run through it, and the sampled pianos i've tried make my action seem so awesome, and pianoteq somehow doesn't do that.

the convolution i was referring to was for alicia's keys. i think what they did is run a sine wave into the body of the piano, that way with all the harmonics and stuff of the samples you play, it will trigger the convolution reverb to ring through all the other strings and in the body of the piano, possibly in open semi and closed lids, to get that true natural response and a great sympathetic resonance effect. most other sampled pianos i think just use low pass filters to get the closed lid effects. for all i know, this one does too. and i'm not sure how they are using the convolution reverb, but it doesn't sound like it is just for reverbs of the environment. and actually i have a feeling that all sympathetic resonance for sampled pianos works in a convolution kind of way. i can't think of how else they could achieve the illusion.

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Old 03-06-2010, 08:56 PM   #67
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I love Alicia Keys, and I love Native Instruments.

However, I won't go for this library - I have Eastwest's Pianos and that sounds absolutely glorious to me.

But what do I know - I am not a piano player.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:46 PM   #68
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"sampled pianos i've tried totally trick me. except for the feel and awesome power of being in the same actual room sitting on a stool in front of a real grand, and also my action is not that amazing. but you know what? somehow, i'm not sure what it is, if it is the timing of the samples or what, but somehow my action seems much better or much worse depending on the piano i run through it, and the sampled pianos i've tried make my action seem so awesome, and pianoteq somehow doesn't do that."


You need a plugin that will allow you to draw your own velocity curves.
I think most instruments can benefit from a velocity curve tailored to it.

I use different curves for different pianos.

I use Velocity Curve Changer by Trombettworks.

There are also others.
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:23 PM   #69
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"sampled pianos i've tried totally trick me. except for the feel and awesome power of being in the same actual room sitting on a stool in front of a real grand, and also my action is not that amazing. but you know what? somehow, i'm not sure what it is, if it is the timing of the samples or what, but somehow my action seems much better or much worse depending on the piano i run through it, and the sampled pianos i've tried make my action seem so awesome, and pianoteq somehow doesn't do that."


You need a plugin that will allow you to draw your own velocity curves.
I think most instruments can benefit from a velocity curve tailored to it.

I use different curves for different pianos.

I use Velocity Curve Changer by Trombettworks.

There are also others.
I think definitely you're right that velocity curves do affect this particular character of a piano VST, but i think it's more than that also. somehow even the timber affects the action in a way. how crisp it sounds, where in the sound is the "apex" of the attack for lack of a better word. velocity curves in sampled pianos changed basically which samples are triggered with which velocities, and the volume of those samples, at a given rate of change. which does affect the feel i was referring to, and quite alot, i'll grant you that, but i think it's still even more than that also with regards to pianoteq. when you think about it, the way a piano triggers a sound is quite distinct how hard or soft you play it. how far down you need to push the key for the hammer to hit the strings and the delay you get or don't get when you hit your key. maybe this has something to do with it also. it's like you oculd put longer or shorter hammers on a piano, and you would get different feel and different "velocity curve" but also different delay in your attack. which actually now that i think of it, i'm not sure how they synched all that so well with sampled pianos. idk. i could be wrong though. like i said, i didn't play with pianoteq all that much. but even if i got all that sorted out, the sound itself of pianoteq, although was quite convincing in the audio clip posted earlier, i found wasn't totally convincing when played. it was very good, but still not quite as good as sampled pianos i found.

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Old 03-07-2010, 03:18 AM   #70
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You didn't quite read me well obviously. The MOST important thing with Pianoteq is setting the velocity curves straight. That is not an easy or quick job, it takes time.

Pianoteq definitely responds like a real piano does, and the reason you didn't feel it is because you failed to set up your controller and Pianoteq velocity curves right. I think everything is explained with "my action is not that great". Well then, a lousy piano with lousy keys will always feel fake and disconnected. Get a decent action and you'll see Pianoteq will be entirely different beast.

I don't know where did you get "modelled piano doesn't follow the laws of physics" because that's entirely not true. Modelled piano like Pianoteq IS a physically modelled piano, which means it responds according to laws of physics, modelled by differential equations. You're talking crap there, sorry.

The problem with "sympathetic resonance" on sampled pianos is that it's faked by reverb, whereas real sympathetic resonance is not reverb really - it maybe sounds like it is, but in entirety it's a totally different phenomena. This is why it sounds overdone and fake no matter what method sampled pianos use to emulate it. Also, if they did it like you described (putting a sine wave into convolution) that would not sound good at all. If they inputted an impulse, though, it might do what you intended to say. But still, that's far from the real, natural, breathing sympathetic resonance on real pianos. AND Pianoteq.


The thing with Pianoteq is that it doesn't try to be one particular piano. It's much more, it's something sampled pianos will never be - countless pianos. Just because you can tweak it to sound how YOU want. It isn't trying to be a Steinway or Bösendorer or Yamaha (even though Modartt released YC5 addon which is based on a Yamaha C5, and is actually very crisp sounding), it is what it is - a physical model of a real piano, behaving like a real piano, has parameters of a real piano, is adjustable like a real piano. It's all sampled pianos will never be - endleslly tweakable according to what the player wants.
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Old 03-07-2010, 06:40 AM   #71
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You guys are being silly. The best piano simulation is the Casio VL-Tone.
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Old 03-07-2010, 06:44 AM   #72
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The ad claims it's the piano of a quote 'icon'.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultura...se_of_the_term

I heard of the Alicia's Keys the watch this video from NAMM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBN5zbPceeM and after that I wasn't interested anymore. Dunno why though ...


For the discussion sampled vs. modeled piano synths I might add (if not already said) that you can not 100% accurately model a piano because the way the piano sound is created starts right at the finger hitting the key, so in order to get it 100% right you need to model the finger key interaction as well and that is a hardware thing and I'm not convinced that MIDI can transport all the nuances possible a 100% accurate.

My stance is that physical modeled pianos are "better" though, for their tweak ability (compared to static samples in a sampled one), smaller file size (compared to several GB of samples needed in a sampled one) ... only down side would be the increased processing resource demand, though with new computer technology that is only a minor downside. Of course nothing beats a real piano in regards to sound and playability, though it has _huge_ downsides: no silence function, huge, heavy, only one sound, etc...

Anyway anyone up for a game of guess the piano? Someone willing to prepare different samples of pianos and then the people arguing which type sounds best can guess whether it is a real, sampled or modeled piano ?
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Old 03-07-2010, 06:47 AM   #73
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You guys are being silly. The best piano simulation is the Casio VL-Tone.
That one was ok - but the iphone will be remembered as well. lol.



Jim P.




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Old 03-07-2010, 08:17 AM   #74
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I think the most interesting part of this whole discussion is the polar conviction of both sides. One side believes a modeled piano sounds more realistic and that sampled pianos sound fake, the other believes to exact opposite.

To be honest, neither one sounds exactly like an actual real piano and probably never will. But why do some people think modeled pianos sound more "real", and others think sampled pianos do? This is a serious question. Does it have to do with some kind of physiological response to the sound? And if so, why are the responses so different? I don't think it has anything to do with whether the person has experience playing real pianos or not. It might have to do with the kind of pianos that person is used to hearing (i.e. pop/rock/country as opposed to solo/classical), but I'm not sure on this either.

I think it's a very interesting question. Anyone have any thoughts?
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:24 AM   #75
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I don't think it has anything to do with whether the person has experience playing real pianos or not.
It's largely infulenced by this. Pretty much every classically trained pianist will prefer and appreciate and take advantage of the response and nuances of a well modelled piano such as Pianoteq. At least that was the case with my piano teacher back from music school, I showed it to him and his friends and colleagues, they were all amazed by the sound. When they tried playing it, they were even more amazed.

They all have Pianoteq now.


I think that, apart from above said, the polarity is created by the detereoration of the quality of music production and equipment used in general. It's expensive to record a real grand. It's easier to throw in a set of samples which behave nothing like the real thing. So, it's also partially influenced by what people are used to hear. If they weren't near a real piano, nor they know how one works under the hood, they will not appreciate the depth of modelled instrument.
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:27 AM   #76
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It's largely infulenced by this. Pretty much every classically trained pianist will prefer and appreciate and take advantage of the response and nuances of a well modelled piano such as Pianoteq. At least that was the case with my piano teacher back from music school, I showed it to him and his friends and colleagues, they were all amazed by the sound. When they tried playing it, they were even more amazed.

They all have Pianoteq now.
See, I don't think this is the case. I'm a classically trained pianist myself (winner of the Van Cliburn full scholarship to Baylor), and I prefer sampled pianos. That's why I think it's something else, maybe something intangible in the emotional response to the sound. Hmmm, very interesting.
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:28 AM   #77
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Well that's your case. From my perspective you're an exception.
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:21 AM   #78
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You didn't quite read me well obviously. The MOST important thing with Pianoteq is setting the velocity curves straight. That is not an easy or quick job, it takes time.

Pianoteq definitely responds like a real piano does, and the reason you didn't feel it is because you failed to set up your controller and Pianoteq velocity curves right. I think everything is explained with "my action is not that great". Well then, a lousy piano with lousy keys will always feel fake and disconnected. Get a decent action and you'll see Pianoteq will be entirely different beast.

I don't know where did you get "modelled piano doesn't follow the laws of physics" because that's entirely not true. Modelled piano like Pianoteq IS a physically modelled piano, which means it responds according to laws of physics, modelled by differential equations. You're talking crap there, sorry.

The problem with "sympathetic resonance" on sampled pianos is that it's faked by reverb, whereas real sympathetic resonance is not reverb really - it maybe sounds like it is, but in entirety it's a totally different phenomena. This is why it sounds overdone and fake no matter what method sampled pianos use to emulate it. Also, if they did it like you described (putting a sine wave into convolution) that would not sound good at all. If they inputted an impulse, though, it might do what you intended to say. But still, that's far from the real, natural, breathing sympathetic resonance on real pianos. AND Pianoteq.


The thing with Pianoteq is that it doesn't try to be one particular piano. It's much more, it's something sampled pianos will never be - countless pianos. Just because you can tweak it to sound how YOU want. It isn't trying to be a Steinway or Bösendorer or Yamaha (even though Modartt released YC5 addon which is based on a Yamaha C5, and is actually very crisp sounding), it is what it is - a physical model of a real piano, behaving like a real piano, has parameters of a real piano, is adjustable like a real piano. It's all sampled pianos will never be - endleslly tweakable according to what the player wants.

ok, well i don't want to get into an argument with you. but the pianos do sound fake to me. and it's not just the action. i realize i could have gotten it better by playing with it, but still. it would have felt fake to me. you can talk about disconnected and sounding fake with sampled pianos. but i don't find they do at all. i find they sound quite real, and they feel quite real, and i don't feel disconnected from them at all.

pianoteq, is a physically modelled piano. which is a piano sound that consists of algorithms that are designed to try and fake the sound of a real piano. it's not a real physical object reacting to all the nuances of real world laws of physics. that's what i meant. i realize they tried to fake the laws of physics. but faking and being is different.

the attack is not an attack from a real hammer, that has real physical properties hitting real strings that have real physical properties, creating a real sound that is a product of those things.

it is a body of sound created by waveforms with an attack layered on top of it that is different for every key, and that you can modify. but it does not react exactly as a real physical object would.

a real hammer of a real material hitting real strings, will have a timber curve that is exactly natural, matching exactly the characteristics of those objects, like i said, a deflated basketball will sound a certain way, and the response you would get from bouncing it is exactly as you would expect for a ball of that tone. the skin is a certain thickness, how empty it is. all of those things affect the tone and how it reacts physically.

i can change alot in pianoteq to try and simulate a given setup of a piano, but it won't be quite real. and it will still sound fake to me. the piano does sound fake to me. it sounds very real for a modeled piano but still fake. and no amount of tweaking will change that. you can disagree with me if you want. and that's ok, but if the piano sounds fake to me, i can't use it as my piano, or i'd rather not. to be honest, i'm not sure exactly how they made the stock piano sound that comes with my keyboard, but i even prefer that to pianoteq. but like i said pianoteq is impressive, and it's cool you can customize it.

but sampled pianos have a fair bit of customization available also. but it's true you need to get a whole different sampled piano for a whole different sound, but that's just it. a real piano is the sum of its physical parts which are all working together and which all have physical properties which are all interacting to give a given sound and feel. and the sound and the feel match together. and ya, i could tweak pianoteq to be better at this by trial and error, but it will still sound fake to me. and just a little tiny bit ouf sounding modeled is enough to turn me off completely, because i am totally fooled with sampled pianos. i find they sound totally real, the sympathetic resonance sounds totally real, and i don't find myself lacking in velocity layers, either. honestly, my only complaint about sampled pianos is the resources they consume, apart from that, i can't imagine how a digital piano could be more perfect.

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Old 03-07-2010, 10:05 AM   #79
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Algorithms are not trying to "fake" but to "emulate" the real physics. The meaning is not the same.

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i can change alot in pianoteq to try and simulate a given setup of a piano, but it won't be quite real. and it will still sound fake to me. the piano does sound fake to me. it sounds very real for a modeled piano but still fake. and no amount of tweaking will change that. you can disagree with me if you want. and that's ok, but if the piano sounds fake to me, i can't use it as my piano, or i'd rather not. to be honest, i'm not sure exactly how they made the stock piano sound that comes with my keyboard, but i even prefer that to pianoteq. but like i said pianoteq is impressive, and it's cool you can customize it.
There are so many Freudian slips here I won't even start to debate them all.

Once again, sympathetic resonance on sampled pianos is a joke compared to real one. Modelled pianos totally nail it.

Customization options on sampled pianos are also a joke compared to modelled pianos.

Attack of the note in Pianoteq is made by a model of a real hammer hitting a model of a real string. There's nothing fake about it, mathematics do it all. And yes, mathematics also describe real-world properties of any object and the behavior of that same object. Nothing fake about it.


You know, you could've just said you don't quite like the sound of Pianoteq, and that it has ways to go (I also think it has ways to go, and that in 2-3 years it will completely rule over sampled piano imitations), but please don't bury yourself further by claiming stuff that just isn't true, or trying to sound like you know what you talk about when you appear you don't.


Also you can't claim that "it would still sound fake even if I played around with it", because that might not be true. You might stumble upon a setting that's gonna feel just right. But you can't bother yourself to try it, right?


One last thing to mention. You say "I'm totally fooled by sampled pianos". Well, I don't like "being fooled" by something. But, suit yourself

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Old 03-07-2010, 10:45 AM   #80
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Algorithms are not trying to "fake" but to "emulate" the real physics. The meaning is not the same.



There are so many Freudian slips here I won't even start to debate them all.

Once again, sympathetic resonance on sampled pianos is a joke compared to real one. Modelled pianos totally nail it.

Customization options on sampled pianos are also a joke compared to modelled pianos.

Attack of the note in Pianoteq is made by a model of a real hammer hitting a model of a real string. There's nothing fake about it, mathematics do it all. And yes, mathematics also describe real-world properties of any object and the behavior of that same object. Nothing fake about it.


You know, you could've just said you don't quite like the sound of Pianoteq, and that it has ways to go (I also think it has ways to go, and that in 2-3 years it will completely rule over sampled piano imitations), but please don't bury yourself further by claiming stuff that just isn't true, or trying to sound like you know what you talk about when you appear you don't.


Also you can't claim that "it would still sound fake even if I played around with it", because that might not be true. You might stumble upon a setting that's gonna feel just right. But you can't bother yourself to try it, right?


One last thing to mention. You say "I'm totally fooled by sampled pianos". Well, I don't like "being fooled" by something. But, suit yourself
ok, i don't know what i'm talking about, faked and emulated is completely different. a modeled string and a modeled hammer producing a modeled sound using mathematics (which are used to explain real world events, but are never quite accurate, which is why we still have things like wind tunnels), is just as good as real world physics.

i don't really understand why you say that you admit pianoteq has a ways to go, but then you say i don't know what i'm talking about when all i did was say that, plus why i thought it still wasn't there yet.

i am certain it will still sound fake to me, there won't be some setting i will stumble upon that will make it sound real, i know this because i am me and know what i'm hearing and can hear what sounds fake about and i have played with some of the settings also. it's good. it's well modeled, kudos to the developers, but still not as good as sampled pianos i've tried yet imo.

and yes, i like to be tricked with a digital piano, tricked into thinking i'm playing a real piano. i like to be totally fooled.

i'm not sure why you want me to like pianoteq so much though really. if you like the sound of it, you like the tweakability of it, you like that it uses little resources, then great, those are valid and very good characteristics of a piano VST. but for me, i find that sampled pianos are much better at faking... sorry at emulating, real pianos and ya, i am tricked by them. i get the most real feel of playing an electronic piano than i have ever experienced before. and they also have options to tweak them. yes not as many as pianoteq, to come close to the same kind of variety as pianoteq, you'd need to have many sampled pianos. to me, it is a little like reverb, algorithmic reverb is ok, sounds alright, very customizable, light on ressources, but not quite as realistic to real reverb to me. and ya, you'd need a whole huge library of impulse responses to come close to the versatility of an algorithmic reverb, but i find the sound is better. you don't have to think so. you can find the sound just as good. you can find modeled pianos are better than sampled ones, i'm ok with that.

but i found you said stuff like "you feel disconnected" and stuff like that, as though they were factual statements about the piano. as though it is a fact that modeled pianos, perhaps specifically pianoteq, is/are better than sampled ones. and i'm just saying. it is not factual. i've tried both. i'm quite a good pianist, and i have quite a good ear, and i prefer sampled pianos. particularly as computers get more powerful. and this alicia's keys piano i'd be interested to try. i think i might like it alot.

i was intrigued by the pianoteq piano, i tried it, it's not for me, i could see why some like yourself would prefer it, but i have different taste, i'm sure it will improve over time as well, and may surpass sampled pianos completely. but i think the fact that the sounds come from a real physical object will always be important to me. and i can't tweak real pianos at all, so that doesn't bother me that much either a sampled piano is far superior to a real one in that respect, and over time computers will get very fast, and resources will matter less. but you know different strokes for different folks. variety is the spice of life. you like the sound of pianoteq, the versatility of it, and the lightness on resources, and feel disconnected by the velocity layers, and find that the sympathetic resonance of a sampled piano is using some far inferior technology than the artificial ones you get from a modeled piano and you notice that in the sound. me, i don't notice that. i prefer the sound and feel of a sampled piano, it inspires me better. it tricks me better into feeling like i'm playing a real piano. and ya, i'm ok with that. it's in fact what i'm looking for. you could tell me the technology is far inferior, and you might be right. 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. but that's just me, you don't have to be like me. we don't have to feel the same way about VST pianos.
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