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Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: Kawai James] #1430978
05/06/10 07:43 PM
05/06/10 07:43 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,842
Redondo Beach, California
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ChrisA Offline
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Joined: Dec 2008
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Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted by Kawai James
How about importing both left and right mono tracks into Audacity, zooming in closely, then aligning the two until they are perfectly synced?


The trouble is that it is hard to define "perfectly synced". If you could then this method woud work

For example a "D" is played but the two microphones are not the same distance from that D string so the sound in one mic is delayed relative to the other mic. And yes at 44,100 samples per second a 1/2 inch difference is about 2 samples And you want to preserve the different delays because that is what stereo is all about.

Also, I don't know how good the clock is inside the recording device. Some of them are poor and drift so much that you'd never get sample accurate time alignment because you'd find that one channel is 100 samples longer than the other.

For the purposes of DPBSD I think a mono recording is good enough. Plug into the left line out and just record that.

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Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: Kawai James] #1431019
05/06/10 08:40 PM
05/06/10 08:40 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,675
Northern NJ
dewster Offline OP
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dewster  Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
How about importing both left and right mono tracks into Audacity, zooming in closely, then aligning the two until they are perfectly synced?

You would have to do that separately for every audio event, and it wouldn't work for multiple events sounding together.

Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: ChrisA] #1431023
05/06/10 08:44 PM
05/06/10 08:44 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,675
Northern NJ
dewster Offline OP
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dewster  Offline OP
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Originally Posted by ChrisA
For the purposes of DPBSD I think a mono recording is good enough. Plug into the left line out and just record that.

No, relative phase between the left and right channels really helps to see what's going on. Without that I'm flying blind.

Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: dewster] #1431096
05/06/10 10:22 PM
05/06/10 10:22 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 23
WA, USA
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ukwomble Offline
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Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 23
WA, USA
Yeah, i think it makes sense to wait until I get an extension cable and just plug it into my desktop...


Yamaha CLP-S308
Learning after >20 years break smile
Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: dewster] #1435259
05/12/10 04:09 PM
05/12/10 04:09 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,675
Northern NJ
dewster Offline OP
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Review: Alicia's Keys

Today we'll review the DPBSD MP3 of Alicia's Keys from Native Instruments - all thanks to our indefatigable pesk for going to the trouble of creating it and sharing it with us!

This is a 12 layer, unlooped and unstretched sample set that uses Kontakt 4 for playback. It's been my experience that Kontakt doesn't have the best native support for pianos regarding resonance and pedal / key interaction (I also remember fighting quite a bit with the polyphony and note stealing algorithm several years ago). But they seem to have extended it with Alicia's Keys, and they've almost got it - all they need to do is fix a couple of remaining issues.

The key down sympathetic resonance works really well, probably the best I've heard - all notes being held down indeed resonate with other notes being played. The pedal down sympathetic resonance works well too, and sounds rich and realistic.

It passes the pedal down silent replay test but it fails the brief pedal partial damping (re-pedalling) test. And while it supports partial pedalling, the effect is rather subtle and not too realistic sounding.

The velocity layers are unblended, but timbre changes from layer to layer are pretty good as these things go. Except for the last velocity switch, that is, which is quite harsh and almost sounds like a different piano altogether. Here is the layer test highly compressed to remove amplitude variation if you want to give it a listen, the harsh switch is seven notes in from the end (trust me, you won't miss it):

http://www.mediafire.com/?ijtydnhwnym

There is also quite a bit of timbre variation from one adjacent note to the next, some sound muted, others bright - which kind of reminds me of the EastWest Quantum Leap pianos I recently reviewed. Don't they adjust, regulate, and tweak these pianos before they sample them?

All in all though, a decent sample set running on a decent player.


Review below, MP3 and more analysis pics at the share point.


[Linked Image]
Spectral phase view of the entire loop test (highly compressed) - no looping here.

[Linked Image]
Spectral pan view of the stretch test (mid notes) - no stretching here (highs and lows are similar).

[Linked Image]
Spectral frequency view of the layer test - many layer switches are visible.

[Linked Image]
Spectral phase view of the layer test - note very abrupt layer switch 7 notes in from the right.


----------------------------------------------
- Native Instruments Alicia's Keys preset 01 -
----------------------------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dpbsd_v1.7_ni_alicias_keys.mp3
- Played in Kontakt 4.0.5, converted to MP3 in Wavelab 6 w/ LAME encoder.
- All settings default except reverb off (dry).
- Recorded by "pesk".
PROS:
- Passes the pedal down sympathetic resonance test, the effect is very nice.
- Passes the key down sympathetic resonance test, all silently played notes respond.
- Pedal up/down sounds like loom-of-strings & key up makes "clunk" sound.
- Passes the pedal down silent replay test.
- Passes the partial pedalling test.
- No looping.
- No stretching.
- Decay sounds natural and is realistically long (~Pianoteq).
- 12 velocity layers (pedal up).
- Velocity switch @ vel=30,38,46,54,62,70,78,86,94,102,116.
CONS:
- Fails the brief pedal partial damping test.
- Partial pedaling effect is subtle.
- Variation in sound (muffled/bright) between adjacent notes is fairly pronounced.
- Velocity layers unblended, switches are visible & audible. The switch @ vel=116 is very abrupt.
OTHER:
- Dynamic range 32dB (vel=1:127).
- MP3 levels: peak @ -0.84dB, noise floor @ -90dB.
- Date reviewed: 2010-05-12.

Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: dewster] #1435276
05/12/10 04:44 PM
05/12/10 04:44 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 142
Belarus
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bkmz Offline
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Belarus
Very beautiful and realistic sound

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w04qwgcqB8g


ex-Yamaha CLP 330
Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: bkmz] #1435321
05/12/10 06:07 PM
05/12/10 06:07 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 15,111
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Kawai James  Offline
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Posts: 15,111
Hamamatsu, Japan
Thanks for the review dewster (and pesk)!

As others have noted, Alicia's Key looks to be an excellent package at a great price.

In your opinion, where would you rank this particularly software piano in relation to the other packages?

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: Kawai James] #1435332
05/12/10 06:40 PM
05/12/10 06:40 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,675
Northern NJ
dewster Offline OP
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Northern NJ
Originally Posted by Kawai James
In your opinion, where would you rank this particularly software piano in relation to the other packages?

I went back through the review file and am slightly surprised to say that this ranks up there with the best in terms of features, etc. Pianoteq of course is the only PC piano that gets it right (everything works, nothing is broken) but not everyone likes how it sounds.

It's a shame about that max velocity layer though (at least for middle C, pedal up, which is the only note tested by the DPBSD for layers). If I were using it to render MIDI I'd have to edit or adjust the velocity curve to stay away from it, otherwise I'd be living in fear of it popping up and making a mess of things.

Given that, I wonder if there are other severe issues lurking in the sample set. And I'm not the world's expert on pianos by any means, but Alicia's piano seems to need some work in terms of excessive timbre variation between notes. But perhaps that's part of the charm? I realize that too little variability can be a problem as well.

Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: dewster] #1435384
05/12/10 08:02 PM
05/12/10 08:02 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 15,111
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Joined: Sep 2007
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Hamamatsu, Japan
Perhaps the reason for the timbre variation in the maximum velocity layer is because those notes were recorded by the engineers.

I bet if Alicia had played them they would have sounded absolutely fine.

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: Kawai James] #1435397
05/12/10 08:31 PM
05/12/10 08:31 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,070
Munich, Germany
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mucci Offline
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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,070
Munich, Germany
@James: ha

But now it really looks like I´m going to get this as my next software piano after Truepianos. I hope the latency issue that was discussed somewhere else is now resolved. This of course cannot be detected by this test, but is extremely important for playability.

Last edited by mucci; 05/12/10 08:33 PM.

<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>
Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: mucci] #1435861
05/13/10 03:20 PM
05/13/10 03:20 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 219
Moscow, Russia
Yuri Pavlov Offline
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Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 219
Moscow, Russia
To dewster,
you ask for DP BSD file for korg sp250 - I upload mp3 to
http://yuri-pavl.com/dp_bsd_v1.7_korg_sp_250.mp3
Record produce with E-mu 0404 usb
Sorry, but mono record (not find special cables)

Last edited by Yuri Pavlov; 05/13/10 03:42 PM.

DP: Korg Sp-250,Pianoteq 5.x, TruePianos 1.9x;
Grand piano: Blutner, Muhlbach, Yamaha, iRig Pro;
Upright: Kalujanka;
English (with some problems)
Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: Yuri Pavlov] #1436042
05/13/10 07:29 PM
05/13/10 07:29 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,675
Northern NJ
dewster Offline OP
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dewster  Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2009
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Northern NJ
Thanks Yuri!

I sent you a PM...

Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: dewster] #1436729
05/14/10 08:42 PM
05/14/10 08:42 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,675
Northern NJ
dewster Offline OP
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dewster  Offline OP
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Northern NJ
Alicia's Keys Part 2: The Layering

I was interested in investigating the velocity layer switching issue in Alicia's Keys, so I created a new MIDI test file to sample all of the C notes (C1 thru C8) from velocity 1 to 127, step size 3 (1, 4, 7, ..., 121, 124, 127) and played more rapidly than the layer test in the DPBSD MIDI file (mainly to minimize listener ennui). There are two sequences, the first with the damper pedal down and the second with the pedal up. Some hang time exists at the end of the first sequence in order to allow the pedal down sympathetic resonance to ring on for a bit.

Once again pesk rose to the occasion and promptly rendered it to MP3 via NI Alicia's Keys - muchas gracias pesk!

This is what I hear when I listen to it:

- Pedal up: C4, C5, and C6 have fairly big changes in timbre at the upper end of their velocity range.
- Pedal down: C2, C5 and C6 have a big fairly big change in timbre at the upper end of their velocity range.
- Pedal up or down: C8 doesn't even sound like a note, more of a knock, before the velocity gets to around the half way mark.

The C8 issue is perhaps poor regulation, or more likely issues with the sample mix levels, so the key and hammer noises swamp the sound of the strings.

The pedal down sympathetic resonance is particularly pronounced, perhaps to the point of sounding unnatural, yet at the same time it is quite pleasant and realistic sounding. I for one will not look gift sympathetic resonance in the mouth.


The MIDI file is here:
http://www.mediafire.com/?5brlzawgjd4

The MP3 file is here:
http://www.mediafire.com/?moukrnmzzzy

Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: dewster] #1437284
05/15/10 02:14 PM
05/15/10 02:14 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,675
Northern NJ
dewster Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2009
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Northern NJ
Korg SP-250 Review

Thanks to Yuri Pavlov, we have a DPBSD MP3 of the Korg SP-250 - thanks Yuri! I've been begging for this file for a while so it's nice to finally be able to review it.

My memory is pretty hazy of how this DP sounded a couple of years ago when my wife and I demoed it at a Guitar Center (or was it a Sam Ash?). We ended up recommending it as a Christmas present for one of her piano students, and that student is still practicing on it to this day. I remember really liking the integrated stand and the way the pedal was locked to it, and we both thought the piano voice was acceptable for the price range.

This is a looped sample set, and while the low loops sound pretty good, the mids could benefit from longer loop samples. The decay from the initial attack for the low and mid notes is rather steep, with the volume leveling out after that, and overall decay times are rather fast.

There is a fair amount of stretching going on, with stretch groups of four over most of the range, which is audible over the low and mid notes. The top stretch group of 7 isn't audible to me. 21 stretch groups cover the 88 note range. What's interesting, given the age of the instrument, is that the velocity layers appear to be smoothly blended, much like the latest fare, so there is no obvious velocity layer switching going on over the lower velocity range. A couple of caveats to this: there is a velocity switch @ vel=98 that is audible, and I couldn't hear any real timbre change with increasing velocity after that.

It passes the pedal down sympathetic resonance test, but that's more me looking at spectral views than hearing it. It also passes the brief pedal partial damping test and the partial pedaling test. Not too surprisingly, it fails the key down sympathetic resonance test and the pedal down silent replay test.


Review below, MP3 and more analysis pics at the share point.


[Linked Image]
Waveform view of the looping test with vertical zoom applied. Decay times are rather short.

[Linked Image]
Spectral pan view of the entire looping test, compressed. Looping is quite clearly seen here on C1, C2 & C3.

[Linked Image]
Spectral pan view of the stretch test, low notes. 21 samples cover 88 notes.

[Linked Image]
Spectral frequency view of layer test. Timber variation is smooth with one velocity switch evident.



---------------
- Korg SP-250 -
---------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dpbsd_v1.7_korg_sp-250.mp3
- Sequenced and recorded with Reaper & E-mu 0404, converted to MP3 with Sound Forge 8.
- Recorded by "Yuri Pavlov".
PROS:
- Passes the pedal down sympathetic resonance test, but the effect is very subtle.
- Passes the brief pedal partial damping test.
- Passes the partial pedaling test, the effect is subtle.
- I believe this is a smoothly blended multi-velocity sample set.
CONS:
- Fails the key down sympathetic resonance test.
- Fails the pedal down silent replay test @ pedal up.
- Decay from initial attack is rather fast, with the volume leveling out after that.
- Decay times are rather fast (~3/4 to 1/3 Pianoteq, low to high).
- Obviously looped, lower loop lengths are adequately wobbly, mid loops rather short.
- Attack sample lengths are (C1:C8): 2.8,3.1,3.0,3.1,2.8,?,?,? seconds.
- Loop sample lengths are (C1:C8): 2.2,2.3,1.8,?,1.2,?,?,? seconds.
- Obviously stretched, low and mid group transitions fairly audible.
- Stretch distances: 4,4,5,4,3,5,4,5,4(x11),3,7 = 21 groups.
- Velocity switch @ vel=98 is quite visible & audible, no real timbre change after that.
- No pedal up/down or key up sounds.
OTHER:
- Dynamic range 57dB (vel=1:127).
- MP3 levels: peak @ -2.2dB, noise floor @ -76dB.
- Date reviewed: 2010-05-14.

Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: dewster] #1437674
05/16/10 08:15 AM
05/16/10 08:15 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,675
Northern NJ
dewster Offline OP
4000 Post Club Member
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Northern NJ
In case anyone is interested, pesk also ran the extended layer test over Ivory Italian Grand:

http://www.mediafire.com/?d52tmmnkwxn

What I hear:

- Pedal down: C1 & C2 I can clearly hear the first velocity switch, and C1, C2, C3, & C4 all have a fair amount of variability.
- Pedal up: C1 & C2 I can clearly hear the first velocity switch, and both have a fair amount of variability.

Thanks pesk!

Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: dewster] #1447413
05/31/10 03:32 PM
05/31/10 03:32 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,675
Northern NJ
dewster Offline OP
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dewster  Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2009
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Northern NJ
Link Index Added to DPBSD First Post

Hey everyone!

In order to make this thread more user-friendly, I added an index of clickable links to the first post:

DPBSD First Post

Cheers!

Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: dewster] #1447432
05/31/10 04:09 PM
05/31/10 04:09 PM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,323
Canada
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Melodialworks Music Offline
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Posts: 1,323
Canada
Nice!

Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: Melodialworks Music] #1447450
05/31/10 04:21 PM
05/31/10 04:21 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,946
Banned
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theJourney Offline
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Posts: 3,946
Banned
Excellent!

Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: theJourney] #1447516
05/31/10 05:47 PM
05/31/10 05:47 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 15,111
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Hamamatsu, Japan
Yes, nice job.

I still recommend you set up a dedicated website for this info though.

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: Kawai James] #1447532
05/31/10 06:01 PM
05/31/10 06:01 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,675
Northern NJ
dewster Offline OP
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dewster  Offline OP
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,675
Northern NJ
Originally Posted by Kawai James
I still recommend you set up a dedicated website for this info though.

I'd love to but, like Snoopy, I adhere to a very rigid goofing-off schedule smile.

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