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Re: Pianoteq competitors
Todd Bellows #2134483 08/17/13 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Todd Bellows
If I purchase the VPC1 in anticipation of a substantial improvement in pure modeling software, am I making an error in assuming that this can be achieved on a general purpose hardware system?


"In anticipation of a substantial improvement" SOON is probably a mistake. This stuff never happens fast.



Don

Casio PX-S1000, Focal Professional CMS 40 near-field monitors, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs (Seldom Used), Focus Rite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface, Yamaha MG06 Mixer
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Re: Pianoteq competitors
anotherscott #2134495 08/17/13 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by ando
Yamaha is just changing the way we hear a sample. I would have to call that filtering.

Filtering removes sonic content. What if their algorithm also adds sonic content? (It is possible not just to selectively boost different frequencies, as an equalizer does, but also to generate/add overtones that did not exist in the original sample, as an exciter does... and both of these functions are beyond what would be called filtering.) What if the algorithm changes various aspects of the sound over time, altering things like the slope and rate at which different frequencies decay after the attack (envelope functions)? What if all of these things are calculated in real time, individually for each note, based on the user-entered hammer hardness and location parameters and the velocity of the key being struck, calculated based on algorithms derived from analysis of how the sound of real strings being struck vary in sound based on these same variables? I would call this modeling. It's certainly more than filtering. Not that I know exactly what Yamaha is doing. My point is just that you can start with a fixed sample, and still model a new sound from it that varies substantially from the sample, in ways beyond what could just be called filtering.


Well sure, you can add to the original sample - and I did cater for that in my post above. My point is that if you are getting that good at the modelling game that you can substantially alter the nature of a sampled sound, you are good enough to model the whole damn lot. The sampled sound and resulting decay has very real evidence of the type of hammer used. If you can model that fundamental characteristic out of it, it is not much of a stretch to model from scratch. Personally, I don't think Yamaha's "modelling" is anything flash. It still sounds the same piano, it's tinkering around the edges. Until they commit to the full modelling scheme, I still think it is mostly marketing speak. Ever seen a DP brochure that didn't sound incredibly advanced and cutting edge? I haven't.

Re: Pianoteq competitors
Todd Bellows #2134532 08/17/13 07:44 PM
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Does it really matter whether a piano is modeled? Or sampled?

I really don't care, because all that matters is the performance. I pick what sounds good and feels good. The tech doesn't matter.

Re: Pianoteq competitors
MacMacMac #2134536 08/17/13 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Does it really matter whether a piano is modeled? Or sampled

I really don't care, because all that matters is the performance. I pick what sounds good and feels good. The tech doesn't matter.


It probably doesn't matter, but if we weren't allowed to talk about the technology once in a while we might as well pack up this forum. I think following what the technology is doing keeps the hope alive that one day DPs will be the great instruments they have always promised to be, rather than merely adequate.

Re: Pianoteq competitors
Todd Bellows #2134579 08/17/13 10:13 PM
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Musicians Friend had Addictive Keys for their stupid deal of the day. Regularly $149 usd, "stupid" price is $29. Gotta say I grabbed it right away. It is sampling technology, but do not know if they also use modeling or not. Great deal - a Steinway grand, Yamaha U3 upright and a Rhodes Mark 1.

Re: Pianoteq competitors
Todd Bellows #2234576 02/19/14 11:44 PM
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6 months ago, I'm not at all sure that the question was answered.
Maybe it was and I didn't find the answer I expected.

I'll try a different question;
HOW competitive is Supremepiano with Pianoteq ?
They appear to use similar methods (we could argue that), but how do they compete at the RESULTS level ?

Supremepiano seems to be about $140 per piano, or 4 for $399, but lets leave pricing aside for the moment.

SupremePiano's PianoOne is a free download, I will get it and give it a trial - next week if I have time.

Re: Pianoteq competitors
Todd Bellows #2234611 02/20/14 01:01 AM
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Hi RB,
Like you, I was excited to try out PianoOne when it was released a while back. I mentioned on the other thread 'tuning electronic pianos' that I believe the future is hybrid sampling/modeling. Although PianoOne claims to do just this very thing, it falls short on both fronts IMO.

First, the sampling is not nearly detailed enough in terms of velocity/tone changes (and at only 160 Mb, what can we expect?). All the notes, whether played at soft or loud volume, have a similar character to my ears. The math engine might be outputting the correct interpolation volume between 0-127 midi values, but the tone or piano color does not change nearly enough as one plays up that velocity scale.

Secondly, the acoustic resonance modeling is not up to the standards of Pianoteq. The sounds and frequencies heard 'in between' the notes, like soundboard noise, sympathetic vibration between strings, damper resonance, etc.) does not sound as realistic as Pianoteq does IMO.

So, in other words, this unfortunately is not how to do my hypothetical perfect hybrid. For that to be pulled off, one would have to physically hand the equations of Pianoteq (which are no doubt closely guarded) over to a reputable sampling company like Synthogy, Galaxy, or True Pianos. Or, hand their beloved samples (which are also very proprietary) over to the Pianoteq team and have them somehow integrate the two. I have no idea how THAT would work, but this IMO is what needs to be done to further virtual pianos to the next level.

I tried heavily-handed to merge PianoOne and Pianoteq inside Reaper so that my keyboard triggered both. PianoOne provided a decent pianistic-attack sound and Pianoteq provided the beautiful resonance. I was partially successful, but the two libraries are too disparate to morph into my 'ultimate' piano. It needs to be done professionally at the software level. And the sample library needs to be in the Gigabyte range, not the Megabyte. smile

Re: Pianoteq competitors
erichlof #2234703 02/20/14 06:53 AM
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Thanks erichlof,
I was thinking that if "done right" the sample library size might well be quite small, so I had hope.

I have a minor issue with the hassle of lugging a computer over to the keyboard, plugging cables, starting programs every time I just want to play a little excerpt of something or try out an idea.
I know, I could dedicate another computer to it and one day I might, but the rack gear is already there and always on.
It may not be current state of any art, but probably no worse than most hotel foyer grands set in the worst acoustic space possible.
Every time I touch one of those I feel pretty good about my old rack gear laugh

Re: Pianoteq competitors
anotherscott #2234709 02/20/14 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by Todd Bellows
Is it super hard in terms of cost of instrumentation and engineering talent to model a piano with computational physics?

It is my understanding that Pianoteq is not state of the art in pure modeling, and it would be interesting to know why they have not been able to close the gap.

Everything is super hard until someone figures out how to do it. ;-)

I have not heard that Pianoteq is not state of the art... or to put it differently, I am not aware of anyone who has done it better. Whether that's because we're still waiting for someone especially gifted to take it to the next level, or because the hardware required to implement it would be too expensive for the average consumer to buy, I don't know.


I have picked up several papers that indicate the math to be quite well known and not all THAT complex, but the computational load is claimed to be very high.

That suggests that MOST of the calculation needs to be done when the virtual piano is "built" and the rest done when it is "played". Is that too obvious ? laugh
I usually think of wave tables at about this point, so I'll go off and practice before I get into that.

Last edited by R_B; 02/20/14 07:31 AM.
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