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Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample #1589175
01/02/11 07:50 PM
01/02/11 07:50 PM
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jazzwee Offline OP
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EDIT - Maybe I should have stated the purpose of the recording so my minimalist recording methods make sense. It is commonly stated that Roland Pianos don't sound good in a Combo mix in Jazz playing. The pianos get washed out although they typically sound better in solo piano. So this thread is to demonstrate if that is true or not for the FP7F (and by association, the RD700NX).


I'm playing Stella by Starlight here. The backing rhythm section track was fed into a mixer from my Iphone (iRealBook App). The FP7F output was mixed in and recorded into a Zoom H4.

http://www.box.net/shared/fm2s9z3luo

The backing track was unrealistically light on the volume but it may help here to hear the piano clearly.

I was using "Grand Piano 2" which seemed a little rounder sounding than Grand Piano 1. From a feel point of view it felt like a SN piano in response.

The reverb was increased a little from the default and the main change for a more aggressive sound was to change the "Piano Touch" to light. I talked about this before. I also opened to "Lid" to the maximum.

Unfortunately, the touch cannot be saved permanently in the main voice. However, it can be saved as a "Registration" (same as "Performance" in Yamahas.)

The MP3 output of the Zoom H4 was passed to Audacity to increase the volume.

The difficulty I had was not moderating my touch a bit at some points as clearly I was hitting so hard on the "light" touch that parts are getting clipped.

I'm no pro BTW so no need to look for perfection in the musical content. Besides my little kid was talking to me at the same time smile

Last edited by jazzwee; 01/05/11 01:17 AM.

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Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1589227
01/02/11 10:03 PM
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Sample #2 - Here I'm playing the head of 'Very Early' solo piano which is more along the dense chord line. This is using Grand Piano 1. Piano Touch is set to "Heavy" so I have more control of the dynamics. Lid is the same as prior setting. This is just a single take so you can hear the mistakes.

http://www.box.net/shared/0qrrakvvrk

These two offers a sampling of the two types of playing done in jazz.

Personally, when tweaked to the type of playing I'm doing, I'm really liking how it sounds.


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Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1589232
01/02/11 10:09 PM
01/02/11 10:09 PM
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Very impressive playing.

Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1589245
01/02/11 10:29 PM
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very nice playing. A bit too much reverb for my taste. But given the setup, this is really good sound.

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Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1589298
01/03/11 12:03 AM
01/03/11 12:03 AM
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Thanks guys. The clarity of the sound is crazy in a way because it makes my playing so exposed. I can hear the dynamics difference in every finger. Not even the reverb can hide it.

I was comparing this to some older recordings using a Yamaha P155 and it's like night and day. I was noticing the clarity of each note here, even with dense chords. The Yammie sounds muddy in comparison.

On the a P155, control of dynamics is very hard. With modeled pianos like this, you feel in control, especially when you increase the touch to "Heavy".




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Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1589304
01/03/11 12:28 AM
01/03/11 12:28 AM
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Stella is perhaps my favorite song. (as an instrumental I love it - However, I once heard it with lyrics and the lyrics are awful!)
Anyway - I think it sounds great. Hard to get a jazz feel for the rhythm section on a "drum machine!"

[quote=jazzwee]I'm playing Stella by Starlight here. The backing rhythm section track was fed into a mixer from my Iphone (iRealBook App). The FP7F output was mixed in and recorded into a Zoom H4.

http://www.box.net/shared/fm2s9z3luo


Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1589310
01/03/11 12:36 AM
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You made me laugh because, honestly, I have never even heard Stella sung smile

But this version seems to be swinging. A Sinatra ballad version wasn't too interesting...



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Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1589954
01/03/11 10:23 PM
01/03/11 10:23 PM
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Strangely, no comments on the FP7F sound. Is it good, bad, indifferent?


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Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1590025
01/03/11 11:39 PM
01/03/11 11:39 PM
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Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1590063
01/04/11 12:49 AM
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Dave, I don't exactly remember the CP5 sound but I remember really liking the S6 sample a lot. So I can understand your preference.

I'm surprised though that you didn't feel the difference in the modeling. Compared to the FP7, I think the FP7F is very far. Perhaps not necessarily tonally but the control is so much more pronounced.

In fact, I didn't realize until I switched to the light setting how much I sometimes loss control in some accents. I never noticed that before.

BTW - in prior comments here, it was said that the FP7F/RD700NX draws tonally from the V Piano. I think this is quite correct. The tone does remind me of the V piano.





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Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1590228
01/04/11 10:12 AM
01/04/11 10:12 AM
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So is this through the keyboard speakers and recorded in the zoom, or does the zoom have a line-in and that's how the sound is being recorded?
I'm guessing the first. The sound is ok. I would mess with the reverb a bit and make the room a tad smaller.
I actually bought a zoom myself yesterday, though it hasn't shipped yet. I wish I had it yesterday as we had a great session. Everyone was burning.
On my search for the zoom, I stopped by guitar center and tried a few keyboards. I didn't see the Fp7f, but I tried the V piano again, and I have to say, the sound was disappointing. The feel was good though.
I also tried the 300gx because I thought of getting one, but the keyboard feel was very disappointing. If I get a digital, it's purely to move it around, so weight is a major concern.

Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: knotty] #1590234
01/04/11 10:22 AM
01/04/11 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by knotty
very nice playing. A bit too much reverb for my taste. But given the setup, this is really good sound.

I agree, great sounding playing and setup, but the reverb sounds pretty fake.

Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1590309
01/04/11 12:06 PM
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The zoom was plugged into the mixer's 1/4 outs. A Zoom H4 has a line in. So the Mike wasn't used (otherwise you'd hear background noise).

As I said, the reason was that I had to mix in the Iphone's Backing track.

I did increase the reverb from default.

Something different from the RD700NX is that you don't get to choose any parameters on the reverb other than the amount of it. The RD700NX has multiple settings for reverb type. But that wasn't too important for my purposes.

BTW - all keyboards to me sound "fake" smile So at least it became a matter of liking or disliking the sound and this sounds so much better than anything I've had before.

(My prior recent keyboards was a Motif XS and P155). If I posted any recordings from those it would sound horrid in comparison.



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Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1590542
01/04/11 04:57 PM
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Some good points. The minute you put a grand piano though speakers or a headphone - it cannot match a grand piano which is 7 or 9 feet long, etc.

So it is all a matter of what sounds great. To think it will be identical is absurd. Recording is alwaysa matter of compromise of reality. And sometimes it can sound better than reality. It is just a different instrument.



Originally Posted by jazzwee
The zoom was plugged into the mixer's 1/4 outs. A Zoom H4 has a line in. So the Mike wasn't used (otherwise you'd hear background noise).

As I said, the reason was that I had to mix in the Iphone's Backing track.

I did increase the reverb from default.

Something different from the RD700NX is that you don't get to choose any parameters on the reverb other than the amount of it. The RD700NX has multiple settings for reverb type. But that wasn't too important for my purposes.

BTW - all keyboards to me sound "fake" smile So at least it became a matter of liking or disliking the sound and this sounds so much better than anything I've had before.

(My prior recent keyboards was a Motif XS and P155). If I posted any recordings from those it would sound horrid in comparison.


Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1590600
01/04/11 06:13 PM
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>> The minute you put a grand piano though speakers or a headphone - it cannot match a grand piano which is 7 or 9 feet long, etc.

Well yes, so the question is: Can we hear whether it was a digital piano being recorded, or an acoustic.

The thing is, it's really easy to record a digital piano.
It's extremely difficult to record an acoustic. There are plenty of places to screw up.

Anyway, in this case, I don't think I would be fooled into thinking it was an acoustic. In some cases, I could be fooled by some Ivory samples, though. The playing will have a lot to do with it also. If you play a lot of big phat chords, it may sound more like an acoustic.

The other thing is reverb. When you record a digital via the wire, there is no reverb, so you need to emulate some.
When you record an acoustic, you may decide to add some reverb, but unless you are using some serious baffles, you'll get natural reverb.


Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1590650
01/04/11 07:35 PM
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Hard to duplicate natural reverb though, Knotty. So at some point, you just accept that it's a digital.

Reverb is a funny thing. Too much of it and you screw up your time. But more of it and your piano sounds less percussive.

Now here's an interesting tidbit of comparison. I mike my Grand piano at home, because when I'm playing with my Band-in-a-Box type of rhythm section, it's hard to hear myself. So I typically will mix in the rhythm section with the miked piano. I've never recorded this but the question is, would you think it was a digital then?

The thing is that it is really hard to record an acoustic piano well. With one mike it loses a lot of the acoustic effect. Plus you have zero reverb on close miking so you actually have to add it to the mix.







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Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1590655
01/04/11 07:45 PM
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>> I've never recorded this but the question is, would you think it was a digital then?
Try and we'll see.

Drums and piano are the most difficult to record.

Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1590675
01/04/11 08:11 PM
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Well that was the reason for a digital. Not to impress myself with the sound of a digital but to be able to play when there's house noise or when I'm making the house noise.

So it will be hard to get a recording with the my grand. But without recording, I can already tell you that it will be disappointing at least with my amateur equipment. Close miking has to be tweaked and if you record a real environment, you'd have to have a separate mike to get some reverb in there. In fact, for a home recording with a single mike, the flat sound may need a little bit of "fake" reverb.

Maybe it goes to show that we're expecting too much out of our DP's.

BTW - this is not the same problem for solo piano since you can record from a distance and it sounds ok. But for a trio type sound, the player may not hear a good balance of the trio mix or the recorder will not.


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Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1590683
01/04/11 08:28 PM
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You do the best with what you got.
Usually, you'd want to place the mics close to the hammers so as to capture their sounds also.

However, with a zoom, it's impossible because the 2 mics are so close to each other, so you just have to do your best. For the price, it beats everything else imho.

You can record band in a box on a separate track, and keep the zoom fairly close to the lid.

But just like me, you'll probably not be satisfied with the result.

Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1590693
01/04/11 08:44 PM
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If I'm including the rhythm section in, I actually can't record with the zoom mikes. So I have an SM58 in the middle of the strings (which is a problem in itself as the upper and lower registers are under-represented). I mix the piano sound into my amp and my Iphone is plugged into that too. Then I balance the two out. So I'm listening to myself via the speakers. That's why I know it doesn't sound perfect.

Sometime ago, I always played mostly solo piano so the Zoom was functional, but ever since I changed what I practice then the whole picture changed.

For this type of trio practice, it's really a lot easier to manage everything with the FP7F.

When using the zoom, I think it is best to mike from a distance. Sounds better. Then you have the next problem of finding the way to mount the zoom on a stand...velcro...


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Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1590697
01/04/11 08:47 PM
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>> Then you have the next problem of finding the way to mount the zoom on a stand...velcro...
I thought it came with a boomstand adapter ?


Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1590708
01/04/11 09:06 PM
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I have the Zoom H4 (not H2) so I recall that somehow the mount wasn't compatible. You're supposed to strap the zoom to the holder which presumably mounts on a standard boom stand, but it didn't work for me. I think I lost that holder/mount now.


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Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1590721
01/04/11 09:17 PM
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I'll try and let you know.

Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1590822
01/05/11 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by jazzwee
Strangely, no comments on the FP7F sound. Is it good, bad, indifferent?


When you play back the recording off the internet. How does the sound compare to a good pair of headphones on the fp7f while you play?

I agree with the reverb comment. I understand your reasoning on it though.
Rather indifferent from my point of listening right now.

Edit: I do have to admit. From all I'm reading about the sound on the fp7f. It has peaked my interest. One can always romanticise the sound of an instrument. But it is extremely difficult to clean it up. Needs to be excellent to begin with.

Last edited by rnaple; 01/05/11 12:40 AM.

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Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1590828
01/05/11 12:49 AM
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Ron, I don't know about you but I can't be listening to headphones while I play.

I suppose there could be loss of quality from the MP3 file but the loss would be directly from the recording process since the Zoom was set to save directly as MP3.

But note that some of the notes in the Trio version got clipped when I moved it over to Audacity because they were too loud. I think those clipped notes are pretty easy to hear.

In general though, the piano tone is what you hear. Though it sounds different through my monitors (more bass).

Unfortunately, as my experience in buying these keyboards have increased over the years, the actual tone from sample recordings may vary quite a bit from what actually comes out when one plays since we all have a different touch.

So nowadays, I'm more critical of the playability/feel/connection factor rather than tone. And unfortunately, I cannot record "feel" so I can just tell you that I feel more in control with this keyboard than any older model keyboard. The only ones with a similar feel are the CP5, CP50, and V piano (with the V piano being the most connected). (and without restating the obvious, the RD700NX).

All these are relative though. I know what an acoustic sounds like so the feel is a better approximation than before. Nothing is perfect however.

I did try an Avant Garde and it did sound good. However, I didn't play long enough with it to get a sense of the "feel" factor.


Last edited by jazzwee; 01/05/11 12:51 AM.

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Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1590829
01/05/11 12:56 AM
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Maybe it's best to offer another comparison. This is me playing on a Yamaha P155. You all comment if it's in the same sound family.

My Foolish Heart
http://www.box.net/shared/u7ipys7h28

I have to tell you though that from the "feel" factor, it was extremely difficult for me to get good dynamics out of the P155. The 4 velocity layers aren't sufficient. I have a lot of control with my dynamic range on my Grand. And my second recording (Very Early) up on top has a some very soft chords at the very end. That would be impossible for me to do before, especially on the P155.

EDIT - I grit my teeth when I hear the muddiness of the dense chords. You will not hear that on the FP7F.


Last edited by jazzwee; 01/05/11 12:58 AM.

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Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1591022
01/05/11 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by jazzwee
Hard to duplicate natural reverb though, Knotty. So at some point, you just accept that it's a digital.

The convolutional stuff is pretty realistic. Heck, Tomita could make the Moog spring unit sound amazingly natural.

Could you do the recording again without reverb? To my ears it really seems to be making the DP sound fake.

Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1591024
01/05/11 11:08 AM
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LOL. You're making me work smile I knew someone was going to ask that eventually. I'll see what I can do.

You know I'm playing jazz here, not a classical piece so it sounds different each time.

So just default reverb right? Not completely dry.


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Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1591035
01/05/11 11:23 AM
01/05/11 11:23 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,675
Northern NJ
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member
dewster  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,675
Northern NJ
Originally Posted by jazzwee
So just default reverb right? Not completely dry.

I'm normally a huge sucker for reverb, but completely dry here would be my preference, particularly when turning it up seems to make the DP sound fake.

Re: Roland FP7F Jazz Sound Sample [Re: jazzwee] #1591046
01/05/11 11:42 AM
01/05/11 11:42 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 7,203
So. California
jazzwee Offline OP
7000 Post Club Member
jazzwee  Offline OP
7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 7,203
So. California
Just to be clear, (I had to revise the OP to state this), my original intent was to see how the FP7F behaves in a Combo mix. The typical comment on Roland was that the piano doesn't stand out, compared to a Yamaha.

Going completely dry would affect this.

That's even why I went for a brighter sound on the 1st recording (by setting the touch to light).

And as it is the rhythm section from the Iphone was of lower than realistic volume in a trio setting.


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