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Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? [Re: jameskey] #1361300 01/29/10 11:29 PM
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I wonder how the Roland V-Piano keyboard action compares against the Avant-Grand keyboard action? Are they in the same class or close enough?

By the way, I hear that Roland does offer a nice sound system setup customized for the V-Piano, but I hear that it's pretty expensive, although I don't know how much exactly or what the system entails.

If you already have an acoustic and just want a DP with good action for silent practice, that's what a lot of people do already when they buy a DP. But the big question is whether you're happy with the DP's action being close enough to your acoustic's action or not, so that you can bring what you practice over to the acoustic and not feel like it was all for naught because the feel is all different.

But if you don't already have an acoustic yet, the Avant-Grand would be a good viable alternative to buying both an acoustic for the sound AND a DP for the practice. Or even against an acoustic with the silent option, because you can control the volume on the AG to fit the size of your room and the silent acoustic can't.

After all, you will not always use your headphones only because there will be times when you will want to play it out loud after you're done practicing your piece. Or practice out loud when you're by yourself at home.

Jameskey, as for your comment about it being hard to tell how it sounds in a large room, I put my N3 in the middle of my great room which is a combined kitchen/family room/living room area with a sloping ceiling that's 15 foot high in the middle, and it has no problem filling up that big room. If you want a better reference about how it sounds in a concert hall, check out this thread and specifically the post by Fredericch at the end.

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Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? [Re: dewster] #1361320 01/30/10 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by dewster
If you want to DIY, really decent woofers and tweeters are ~$30 each, crossover components maybe $10 for each driver. Would blow away anything you can buy for ~10x as much.
A bare woofer and tweeter won't sound very good, eh? You might want an enclosure. smile That would cost as much or more than the drivers.

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? [Re: FogVilleLad] #1361332 01/30/10 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by FogVilleLad
You've already received most of the info that you need. Basically you need a "controller" - that's the 'board - a software piano installed on your computer, cables to connect them, and a stand.


What is 'the board' ? The DP itself ?

Quote

I really only know PC's. If you go PC, you'll also need an ASIO driver. ASIO4ALL is free and downloadable.


I do own a iMac, but it's a bit clumsy to carry it around. But the problem most people own a PC, and it looks likely that I'll have to go for a PC. BTW, what is the driver for ? To run the software ? I read Alden Skinner's book, he said something about standalone software and plug-in requiring a driver.

With PC, I'm very worried about compatibility issues because I'm not exactly a geek.

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? [Re: MacMacMac] #1361338 01/30/10 12:56 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Originally Posted by dewster
If you want to DIY, really decent woofers and tweeters are ~$30 each, crossover components maybe $10 for each driver. Would blow away anything you can buy for ~10x as much.
A bare woofer and tweeter won't sound very good, eh? You might want an enclosure. smile That would cost as much or more than the drivers.


Musical instrument speakers are not the same as hifi stereo. For one thing acoustic pianos send sound out in all directions. Notice that every DP from a cheap $100 toy to the N3 mounts the speakers either face up of face down, rarely forward. Also you will see instrument speakers mounted "open baffle" That means with no back on the cabinet. I think the N3 is this way. Most guitarists do the same too.

$30 is way to cheap. Decent 12" pro audio drivers start at about $100.

The major cost is still not the drivers. It's the amps. All of the better systems use one amp per driver and will run with an active line level crossover

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? [Re: MacMacMac] #1361371 01/30/10 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
A bare woofer and tweeter won't sound very good, eh? You might want an enclosure. smile That would cost as much or more than the drivers. [

Good point. When you really DIY, the cabinets are just as expensive as the wood, which can be tens of dollars per cabinet if you do it right (plywood or MDF). Once you decide to use a sub, the sats can be in fairly small cabinets, even in a PA (i.e. high powered) scenario.

Originally Posted by ChrisA
Musical instrument speakers are not the same as hifi stereo. For one thing acoustic pianos send sound out in all directions. Notice that every DP from a cheap $100 toy to the N3 mounts the speakers either face up of face down, rarely forward. Also you will see instrument speakers mounted "open baffle" That means with no back on the cabinet. I think the N3 is this way. Most guitarists do the same too.

$30 is way to cheap. Decent 12" pro audio drivers start at about $100.

The major cost is still not the drivers. It's the amps. All of the better systems use one amp per driver and will run with an active line level crossover

I would submit that it is pretty easy to reproduce the dynamics of a grand piano with stereo type speakers in traditional vented or sealed enclosures. Particularly if the drivers are higher efficiency. I agree that amps can cost some money, but you can reduce the amp count by using traditional passive crossovers.

Consider markup on speakers, it is usually 500% to 1000%. To get a couple of $30 drivers in a 2-way speaker with a decent crossover, you might pay $300 to $600 - per side! That's pretty high-end.

Most people haven't heard a $30 1" dome tweeter, and I'm here to tell you it can be quite magical. Anything above that is diminishing returns, but may be still worth it.

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? [Re: dewster] #1361612 01/30/10 02:05 PM
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Wait a minute ! What hasn't anyone mentioned Kurzweil DPs ? I've been to their website, and Kurzweil DPs are aesthetically pleasing.

They've been bought over by Young Chang, so the cabinets are made by YC. I'm not sure if the piano sample is taken from YC pianos.

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? [Re: Cashley] #1361938 01/31/10 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Cashley

What is the 'board'? The DP itself ?
Yes. (Actually "keyboard," which when used to trigger, for example, a software piano, becomes a "controller.")

Originally Posted by FogVillelad
If you go PC, you'll also need an ASIO driver. ASIO4ALL is free and downloadable.


Originally Posted by Cashley

BTW, what is the driver for ? To run the software ?
Yes. From Widipedia: "In computing, a device driver or software driver is a computer program allowing higher-level computer programs to interact with a hardware device." In general ASIO is considered to be the best driver for music applications.

Standalone vs. Plugin in the context of a software piano: Software pianos typically can be installed in "modes." Standalone and Pluging are modes. Standalone is jargon for "doesn't interact with other applications." Plugins do interact with another application, such as a recording app which would "host" the plugin. You'll sometimes see "VST" or "VST Plugin". Same deal. Requires a host.

When installing Galaxy II, you can install the pianos in both standalone and plugin modes. That's probably true for other software pianos, as well. That info should be on the developers' sites.

Originally Posted by Cashley
With PC, I'm very worried about compatibility issues because I'm not exactly a geek.
Neither am I. Start by buying apps which you know are supposed to be compatible with your computer's operating system. You can get help on the developers' forums. You could also read those forums before buying, to satisfy yourself that any known problems are in fact solvable.

Patience and persistence.



Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? [Re: Cashley] #1362087 01/31/10 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Cashley
Alright. The OP now wants some 'back to the basics' advice.
(3) Has anyone tried Garritan Steinway Software ?


I use it exclusively now. To me it sounds more naturally like a Steinway. Ivory has a VERY good sound to it but it sounds like it has gotten some DSP help... not as natural as the Garritan library. BUT, Ivory II is coming very, very soon so wait and see on that one.

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? [Re: curt88] #1362137 01/31/10 11:44 AM
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I have read Alden Skinner's chapter: 'My other piano is a computer'

Only 2 software brands are mentioned - Garritan and Pianoteq.

Garritan - sample based
Pianoteq - physical modelling
_______ - _____________
_______ - _____________

Could any one help me fill up the list ?

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? [Re: Cashley] #1362199 01/31/10 12:51 PM
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Ivory - sample based
TruePianos - hybrid
EWQL - sample based

There are more...

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? [Re: curt88] #1362222 01/31/10 01:19 PM
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The following are particulars of TruePianos' system requirements:

Windows minimum requirements
- Windows XP or newer
- 2.0 GHz Pentium 4 or Athlon CPU with SSE2 support
- 256 MB of free RAM
- VST host (e.g. SONAR, Cubase, energyXT)
- Soundcard with proper ASIO drivers

What is a VST host ?

Are the ASIO drivers used to run the soundcard or the TruePiano software ?

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? [Re: dewster] #1362252 01/31/10 02:02 PM
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Quote
Dewster:
I think I've discovered the secret to getting the keys to the exclusive 5000 Post Club door in record time:

1. [censored] everyone off (& optionally steal underpants)
2. ???
3. profit


Quote
anoozy:
I like the stealing underpants reference...probably more of a fetish than a ploy. wink


Dewster,

I've got a little time here, and I'd like to address this. I'm not going to get into the retort to your comment. Despite all the grandstanding, the poster knows what he is. Suffice it to say that face to face without the cyber-distance, he would be ill-advised to make that remark.

In terms of the exclusive 5000 member club, I'm quite sure I have not arrived there in record time. I wasn't even aware of my alarming accumulation off posts until some members on the acoustic forum made my approach to 5k a thread topic in a very kind way. The fact is, it's like getting old. It's irrreversible. Also, sometimes you have your doubts. A fair number of people asking advice only want to hear validation of what they already have in mind. If they don't get that, they just ignore whatever is advised, even if the same advice comes from virtually everyone. So for that and other reasons, sometimes you wonder if you're useful at all. The 'upside' is that there are a lot of people here that I can and have learned from and there's plenty of humor on the acoustic forum that is not at the expense of another member or industry product.

Number one of your three charges is "[censored] everyone off", I don't think that's true at all. It really comes down to who 'everyone' is. In your first post on this thread, you made the remark:

Look around, we're all busy ditching last years model for an what probably amounts to a slight improvement in sound.

I don't think you're looking around far enough. When you're active in a certain sub-group here as you are among the group who are very much into the latest instruments, it's easy to lose sight of the many different types of individuals of varied interests who frequent here.

In your second post here you commented:

Most new posts are the same old "I need an utterly fantastic DP with built in speakers, 100W amps, stand, and three pedals, but only have a budget of $5" variety.

I think that's an unfair characterization.

In a later post you remarked:

Ah, here it is, Isaiah 40: 1-11, Mark: 1:1-8:
"Prepare the way for the Lord; clear a straight path for him by sniping at others on obscure DP forums." Truly words to live by.


I have a real problem with that. It isn't the mockery of the Bible, although that probably didn't please all of the real 'everyone' here. My problem is that this forum is not obscure to those of us who take members' questions seriously and try to give the best information we can. If it is to become obscure, it will be because enough roving member sub-groups have the attitude that it's completely okay to take the sledgehammer to products and members for the sake of amusement and to go off-topic with no regard to the OP's questions. I think if you took the time to review this thread, you would find that this viewpoint is not unique to me. In that light I would point to the fact that FogVilleLad (who invariably posts thoughtful detailed on-point answers to members' questions at the risk of appearing dry and humorless) has had to navigate through a lot of crosstalk about your own particular issues to follow up on Cashley's questions. I've had the same problem myself.

So yeah, you pissed me off, and it seems I've pissed you off as well. But that doesn't mean that I pissed Cashley off for trying to help him with his questions, or that I've pissed off the general readership here.

I won't comment on the underpants part of number 1. I'll leave you to your own thoughts on that.

Number two of your three charges was simply "???". I guess if that's #2, you don't have it all figured out, do you?

I'll lay it out for you. I say what I think using acceptable language. That means that I never have to say later that I was just kidding or exaggerating. Here's something I said on this thread:

If everyone here exerted the right to repeatedly take the sledgehammer to piano products that he or she did not like, the forum would be rendered useless. It is each person's responsibility to say what he or she really thinks without resorting to ridicule of other products or other members. It's really no different than selling pianos. The best salespros listen. They then try to match products to the user's stated applications, personal taste, and budget. They are confident enough to mention strengths and weaknesses of different products. Good salespros simply talk about the stengths of their products. Bad salespros present untrue, distorted, and exaggerated information about the competition to pimp their own wares. I think the line that marks off the bad zone was crossed early and often here.

In the spirit of helpful cooperation, I could certainly let this go. Such comments make absolutely no impression on me personally, except to question everything else that member has to say because you never really know when such a member is speaking seriously or just stoking a personal bonfire.

I choose not to let it go. I think it's reprehensible.


Now, maybe that's a dry humorless view of things, but I do take my own participation here seriously and I really don't want this place to become obscure.

Number 3 of your three charges is profit. You have no basis to say that and it's insulting, but for the record, I have never sold pianos or piano related items of any kind. I have no arrangement of any monetary nature with any one in the industry in even the broadest sense. I have made some $ from selling arrangements and compositions, and from performing (not all that much), but that's it, nothing further.

If I may add a personal comment here on your own Hamletesque situation regarding a dp purchase, my advice to you is to consider the alternatives. Whether your dissatisfaction stems from an elite player status or a from a sense that manufacturers aren't giving you everything they could (which I think is true what with marketing gurus holding sway over R&D), you can either suck it up and buy something that will give you the highest degree of musical satisfaction possible under current cicumstances, or you can build the danged thing yourself using all your ingenuity and knowledge along with a plethora of those $10 speakers. That would be a fun project to share with the membership here...updates on construction with pictures and final product with pictures and soundfiles. Who knows? Bose made a lot of money substituting speaker quantity for quality. You might be a genius or you might get lucky. grin

Quote
Cashley:
I have read Alden Skinner's chapter: 'My other piano is a computer'

Only 2 software brands are mentioned - Garritan and Pianoteq.

Garritan - sample based
Pianoteq - physical modelling


Hey Cashley,

You're not forgotten, but you've got to do more homework. It's good you followed up on Skinner. I also gave you a link to a comparison test of more than 20 software pianos among which many are Steinway-based. The player is very objective. The samples are well-recorded. It's kind of fun. Let your ears be the judge.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/671166/1.html

Other members gave you valuable links too. Follow up.





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Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? [Re: Cashley] #1362302 01/31/10 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Cashley
I have read Alden Skinner's chapter: 'My other piano is a computer'

Only 2 software brands are mentioned - Garritan and Pianoteq.

Garritan - sample based
Pianoteq - physical modelling
Alden's chapter presents two different approaches to producing software pianos. Sample-based is the traditional approach, modelling is the new one. curt88 alerted you to a third possibility:
Originally Posted by curt88
TruePianos - hybrid


Originally Posted by Cashley
What is a VST host ? Are the ASIO drivers used to run the soundcard or the TruePiano software ?
Please reread my previous post.

Originally Posted by Cashley
Has anyone tried Garritan Steinway Software ?

[quote=curt88]I use it exclusively now. To me it sounds more naturally like a Steinway.
In a previous post I mentioned the difference between evaluating the Garritan Steinway from the point of view of a music producer and that of a player. curt88's post speaks directly to your question, from a player's point of view.


Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? [Re: FogVilleLad] #1362463 01/31/10 06:14 PM
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Alden's chapter presents two different approaches to producing software pianos. Sample-based is the traditional approach, modelling is the new one.


We seem to have come full circle on this. Before the mid 1980s everyone used modeling based on FM synthesis. Affordable computers were not powerful enough yet to handle sample libraries. Then from that time we mostly used samples because computers could not run a physical model. Now we are going back to models

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? [Re: ChrisA] #1362585 01/31/10 08:56 PM
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Computer power certainly plays an important role in music sounds.

I also wonder if it just took some time for someone to develop all the necessary skills and have the desire to develop a true modeling program for piano sounds? Physical modeling not only requires a detailed knowledge of the physics of the acoustic piano, but also some advanced mathematics in conjunction with programming skills.

I suspect there are very few people with this skill set.

I'm only aware of one system that utilizes pure modeling that isn't a hybrid. But willing to be educated.

Glenn

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? [Re: turandot] #1362638 01/31/10 09:48 PM
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Please don't feed the trolls.

(And if you think that includes me, I wholeheartedly encourage you to ignore me).

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? [Re: dewster] #1362645 01/31/10 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by dewster
Please don't feed the trolls.

(And if you think that includes me, I wholeheartedly encourage you to ignore me).



Dewster,

You are hardly troll material.

With your wit and sense of humor, you are the bane of trolls.

If they were wise, they would find some other forum to slink through; there's nothing for them to feed on here, except their own inflated egos.

Colleen


Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? [Re: ChrisA] #1362660 01/31/10 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisA
Before the mid 1980s everyone used modeling based on FM synthesis.
FM synthesis is not at all like modeling.

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? [Re: Cashley] #1362717 01/31/10 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Cashley
The following are particulars of TruePianos' system requirements:

Windows minimum requirements
- ....
- VST host (e.g. SONAR, Cubase, energyXT)

What is a VST host ?

Are the ASIO drivers used to run the soundcard or the TruePiano software ?


A VST is a kind of "plug-in" and a VST host is software that can run VSTs. VSTs can do a lot of different things, some can play software instrument sounds others can simulate a compressor or equalizer.

Examples of VST hosts are listed above where is says "e.g."

Drivers are system software the fit between the operating system and some specic hardware device. The Microsoft supplied audio device drivers are more suited to playing recorded music the replacement ASIO drivers are better fro music performance

The above only applies to Windows based PCs Macs come setup from the factory with the correct software and samples to play piano sounds if you just plug in a keyboard.


Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? [Re: ChrisA] #1363000 02/01/10 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by ChrisA

A VST is a kind of "plug-in" and a VST host is software that can run VSTs. VSTs can do a lot of different things, some can play software instrument sounds others can simulate a compressor or equalizer.

Examples of VST hosts are listed above where is says "e.g."

Drivers are system software the fit between the operating system and some specic hardware device. The Microsoft supplied audio device drivers are more suited to playing recorded music the replacement ASIO drivers are better fro music performance

The above only applies to Windows based PCs Macs come setup from the factory with the correct software and samples to play piano sounds if you just plug in a keyboard.


Does that mean Garritan, Pianoteq etc. are all VSTs, and that each and every of these VSTs will each require a separate VST host ?

As for ASIO drivers, most Windows based PC have built-in soundcards and drivers. So if we install a ASIO driver into one of these Windows based PC, we will have to disable to built-in driver first ?

And even without getting an external soundcard, just a change of driver alone would expand the performance of the original soundcard ?

Last edited by Cashley; 02/01/10 08:10 AM.
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