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It would be great if they make a standalone device with midi input that you connect direct to your digital piano and then you could hook your headphone (or external sound system) direct to it.

Like a pianoteq but without the need of a laptop.

just wondering...

Last edited by fe2008; 04/06/10 03:11 PM.

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I would think you could run pianoteq on a MUSE receptor box, on the other hand I do think that with the prices things are at nowadays a macbook pro would be an even better solution...

Although, really, with the prices you would pay for any of the two above you could put together a standalone windows 7 quadcore with an intel SSD (meaning that it would boot in 10-12 seconds tops) and be even more future proof: it wouldn't surprise me if once the PC/VST offerings improve even more some companies would start to provide turn-key solutions with something like a P155 in a cabinet with a silent PC pre-configured.

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Yes, they are call MIDI sound modules.
Sound Modules


But the computer is more versatile and can play more sophisticated virtual instruments. The computer can be smaller (a 13" Macbook pro is tiny) and the user interface is better.

Last edited by ChrisA; 04/06/10 03:19 PM.
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For a small standalone box that will run VST plug-ins see here:
http://www.smproaudio.com/produkte/v-machines/v-machine.html

However, you need to be aware that for something that is maybe only 25% (vague recollection) the price of a MUSE Receptor, you may also only get one-quarter of the performance. I believe a number of people have reported that the V-machine struggles with piano software. I feel confident that there will be advances in dedicated VST players, but for now the choice is limited.

I have a Use-Audio Plugiator for synth/organ sounds right now. It's a great little device that uses the software from the old Creamware machines. So far they haven't released any piano software for it. However, it's precisely the type of device you mention in your post, fe2008, with midi/USB connectivity, and fully programmable via computer.


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Originally Posted by MarcoM
I would think you could run pianoteq on a MUSE receptor box,..


The Receptor runs Linux inside on industry standard hardware. But the problem is the user interface. How to work all those controls? You have to connect a computer to the Receptor to set it up.

Compare the size and cost of a Receptor with a Mac Book Pro. The MBP is 1/3rd the size, and costs less and it's own screen. And the MBP is milled out of solid block of aluminum so it's strong to take abuse when you close the lid.

Some people dislike computers but look inside the msound moduales and what else is in there?

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Originally Posted by ChrisA
Compare the size and cost of a Receptor with a Mac Book Pro. The MBP is 1/3rd the size, and costs less and it's own screen. And the MBP is milled out of solid block of aluminum so it's strong to take abuse when you close the lid.

Some people dislike computers but look inside the msound moduales and what else is in there?


I think the Mac Book Pro is a great tool, but when it comes to live performances, I still would prefer a dedicated piece of hardware. When I turn my Plugiator on, I don't have to wait more than about four or five seconds before it's ready to play. I don't have to worry about latency. I don't have to deal with potential hard drive failures. I do have dedicated surface controls and presets, and so don't have to delve through menus with a cursor. If I press the wrong button, I can get back to where I need to be in a second or two. I have dedicated midi ports plus 1/4-inch outputs for both line and headphones. And finally, it's less likely to disappear from a gig and turn up on Craigslist a few days later, because no-one knows what it is!

BTW, I paid a little over $400 for it, and that included eight software instruments - and it's built like a tank. If someone would make the equivalent for running Pianoteq etc., I'd buy it like a shot...

Last edited by voxpops; 04/06/10 05:36 PM.

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Is there a module which has the Yamaha CFIIIS concert grand, which is used in the upper-class Yamaha Silent systems? I do really enjoy playing Silent Pianos which have the CFIIIS sampling!
Wish I could it buy it individually

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Originally Posted by voxpops
When I turn my Plugiator on, I don't have to wait more than about four or five seconds before it's ready to play. I don't have to worry about latency. I don't have to deal with potential hard drive failures.


with a high performance SSD drive (intel X25-M or equivalent) you can get a mac/pc to boot in a comparable amount of time, and them being solid state means there is no such thing as a hard drive failure really... SSDs are definitely game changers in a lot of ways in the PC industry, it will be interesting to see how the 'pseudo-embedded' industry will react.

As I was saying before a silent quadcore PC with an SSD would make an excellent 'brain' for any sort of DP application, although of course it might cut quite a bit into the profit margins of DP manufacturers so it's unlikely we'll ever see one of the 'big names' adopt that approach I would think.

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Originally Posted by MarcoM
Originally Posted by voxpops
When I turn my Plugiator on, I don't have to wait more than about four or five seconds before it's ready to play. I don't have to worry about latency. I don't have to deal with potential hard drive failures.


with a high performance SSD drive (intel X25-M or equivalent) you can get a mac/pc to boot in a comparable amount of time, and them being solid state means there is no such thing as a hard drive failure really... SSDs are definitely game changers in a lot of ways in the PC industry, it will be interesting to see how the 'pseudo-embedded' industry will react.

As I was saying before a silent quadcore PC with an SSD would make an excellent 'brain' for any sort of DP application, although of course it might cut quite a bit into the profit margins of DP manufacturers so it's unlikely we'll ever see one of the 'big names' adopt that approach I would think.


I'm sure you're right about this kind of technology filtering down to some DPs. I expect the timing will depend on getting the cost/volume equation right. I gather my GEM piano has some fairly standard (for when it was made) PC parts inside. However, I still wish there was a company out there building a small dedicated host machine capable of running all software instruments, and built for the gigging musician.


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Even with rotating disks, you can get a system to start very rapidly if you use standby or hibernate. Reboots should only be required on rare occasions. Having said this, on my Windows laptop and using my USB audio/midi interface, I seem to have to close down my audio applications before using standby or hibernate. It would be nicer if the apps could be left open.

Greg.

Last edited by sullivang; 04/06/10 07:37 PM.
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Originally Posted by voxpops
. I still wish there was a company out there building a small dedicated host machine capable of running all software instruments, and built for the gigging musician.


Have you seen "Receptor". It's a rack mount box that runs VSTs. But it's not a Windows PC. (Actually it runs Linux inside but the end user never see the OS.) the interface is physical buttons and LCD based, not mouse and window based.

http://www.museresearch.com/receptor2.php

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Yes, ChrisA, I've seen Receptor - and I've seen the price! Apparently, it will not run all VSTs as they have to conform to certain specifications. Also, it's not ideal for small gigs. I had hoped the more compact V-machine would be more capable, but it seems the technology isn't quite there yet.


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I wish Roland would update the Sonic Cell to take the SuperNATURAL Piano SRX expansion kit.

I'd buy that for a dollar (actually I'd pony up ~$1200 for that).

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Yes, that would be nice.

Is there a particular reason why it cannot utilise the SuperNatural add-on? A different form factor, perhaps?

Cheers,
James
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Originally Posted by KAWAI James
Is there a particular reason why it cannot utilise the SuperNatural add-on? A different form factor, perhaps?

I'm only speculating, but it seems likely that the SuperNATURAL piano is a combination of samples on the SRX card and a some computationally intensive algorithms on the host. The algorithms would need to be tailored to the host, and the host would have to have the horsepower to support them.

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The latest version of PianoTeq has been tweaked to run well on a good netbook. That seems, to me, to give you the best of several worlds: you have the portability of a standalone box and at the same time you can attach a large monitor to the netbook if you want to do detailed edits and experiments in PianoTeq. And the netbook is of course far less expensive than a Receptor, and can hold vst effects, a sequencer, scores, lyrics, etc, while letting you connect to the internet to check e-mail and all of the rest. There are a few threads about using PianoTeq on a netbook on the Modartt forum. Just do a search there. (But take note of the dates of the threads--about a year ago, someone was wading through various changes to make using a previous version. That's all been settled with the latest version.) Sorry if this sounds like an ad, but if you want a portable version of PianoTeq...

Last edited by Jake Jackson; 04/07/10 11:16 AM.
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Originally Posted by ChrisA
Originally Posted by voxpops
. I still wish there was a company out there building a small dedicated host machine capable of running all software instruments, and built for the gigging musician.


Have you seen "Receptor". It's a rack mount box that runs VSTs. But it's not a Windows PC. (Actually it runs Linux inside but the end user never see the OS.) the interface is physical buttons and LCD based, not mouse and window based.

http://www.museresearch.com/receptor2.php


I don't understand why is it so expensive.

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Originally Posted by voxpops
Yes, ChrisA, I've seen Receptor - and I've seen the price!..


I would not buy one either. I don't see a problem with using a computer. People think they are un-reliable but that is only because they try and use one computer for Internet browsing, e-mail and music. No, a "music computer" is stripped down to nothing you do not need on stage, even to the point of removing network device drivers and, screen savers images. And then you still have a "plan B".

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Originally Posted by ChrisA
I would not buy one either. I don't see a problem with using a computer. People think they are un-reliable but that is only because they try and use one computer for Internet browsing, e-mail and music. No, a "music computer" is stripped down to nothing you do not need on stage, even to the point of removing network device drivers and, screen savers images. And then you still have a "plan B".

It's more than that. For one thing there is the MIDI timing issue with a PC and non-real-time OS. For another there is a level of complexity that is just too high for many users and situations. I love my PC, but I really want a 1/3 rack dumb box with some great sounds in it and MIDI in & line/optical out. Deep diving via the front panel would be a plus. Synth manufacturers used to make these things all the time, did someone lose the formula or something?

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Originally Posted by Jake Jackson
The latest version of PianoTeq has been tweaked to run well on a good netbook.


Yes but "tweaked" means turning off features. I don't understand the point of using a low powered computer. Is it cost? But what is the total cost of ownership? You have a DP, audio interface, and (not inexpensive) modelling software. At this point you are into low four digit price, at least. Now you can add either a Netbook for $350 requires you to run a stripped version of Pianoteq. Or for $600 you can run the full Pianoteq and at the same time a DAW for recording and editing on a Mac Mini. So for $250 more you get to see music notation of what you play, edit it and master it to CD and you get the full model with it's better sound and polyphony. Compare total cost of (say) $2,500 to $2,750 and it's hard to justify a netbook. The netbook's slow CPU is a bottle neck to the entire system.

The Mini is 5" square, smaller than most netbooks and comes with Blue Tooth for wireless keyboard and mouse. I'd get that and then look for a tiny 10" LCD monitor. I could velcro to the DP's music rest. That is the other problem with netbooks. The music rest is the obvious place for their LCD screen but then the keyboard is in a poor location. You don't really want the keyboard stuck to the display. There is not good place to put a notebook/netbook computer.

I'm encouraged by things like this.
http://www.flylyf.com/midipad-midi-control-app-for-ipad/
The idea is that software still runs on a big computer but you keep the computer far away where you don't see it and use a wireless pad as a controller for the DP and the DAW. I'm sure that very soon no one will want a computer (netbook, tower or rack mount) physically near their DP.


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