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Re: True Keys American D - First Impression [Re: Macy] #2194942
12/09/13 11:47 AM
12/09/13 11:47 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,448
Sweden
TheodorN Offline
2000 Post Club Member
TheodorN  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,448
Sweden
So sorry daz100, forgot the link, stupid me. Here it is, though a lot later.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaySfnlRFa4

Bfb, your observations are very good, I'm going to try this the next time I record myself. I use the internal DP's voices when recording, but sometimes feel the sound is a bit flat in the recording, sounds better at the time of playing, through my headphones.


My YouTube channel

Casio PX-5S. Garritan CFX. Prod. Voices: Grand 2 Gold, Concert Grand Compact, Est. Grand, Studio Grand LE. NI Giant. Galaxy II Bl├╝thner Baby Grand. AcousticSamples C7. AK Studio Grand. Sampletekk Black. Kontakt 5. Reaper.
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Re: True Keys American D - First Impression [Re: Macy] #2196778
12/13/13 12:41 AM
12/13/13 12:41 AM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 22
C
CountSmith Offline
Full Member
CountSmith  Offline
Full Member
C

Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 22
I bought the American grand version yesterday so I thought I'd share my first impressions. I am a late beginner/intermediate classical player and I've played on a DP since the start. I rarely play on acoustics but a month ago, I had a chance to play on my uncle's upright Steinway for a long time and needless to say, returning to my DP was definitely underwhelming.

My plan was to replace my current DP with a VPC1 and purchase a VST. Since the VPC1 has no on-board sounds, I first wanted to see if I could get used to always having to connect my laptop to my DP for sounds.

Compared to the on-board sound of my Technics SX-PC25, I am really happy with True Keys. The demos on the website are perfectly accurate to what hear when you play the VST yourself. I can't possibly describe the sound as well as if you just listen to the demos. The most important thing however, is that I no longer feel the need to upgrade my current DP to something better, not for a while at least. I can be much more expressive when I play. Some the best noticeable features I enjoy are the staccato notes and the decay of sustained notes. Compared to the monotonous sound of my current DP, with true keys, simply hitting sustained chords and listening to them go on is such a pleasure because there is such a rich variation in tone with time.

For 100$, I am very satisfied with True Keys. I think that to truly test a VST, you should test it with classical music as this kind of music's complexity compared to simple, slow pop or jazz really tests the playability of the instrument. What I mean is that when I tried Vintage D, I liked the sound of individual notes and chords but I couldn't play anything classical on it. When I tried Pianoteq, it was definitely playable, but I could never get passed the synthetic sound of it (even with ~20 hours of playing with the demo). I also like that I am not constantly tweaking controls to find the "right" sound. Within an hour I found my preferred settings and I am not going to touch them any more, I can just play.

There are some things that can be improved. I think that the sustained resonance volume should have a larger range. It is currently very good, but sustained playing on the upright Steinway I tried is very distinct then its regular damped sound. I also feel that the mid-high notes have a slightly metallic sound to them but it is not really distracting when I play. I however don't have enough experience with acoustic grands to say if it is overly metallic or not.

It is not perfect, but by listening to recordings of Ravel's Jeux D'eau on real Steinway D's and then to the True keys demo, I find True keys to be excellent approximation. I am happiest about not needing new hardware and that is why I wanted to post my impression. I would surely love a better action to acompany the sound of True Keys, but right now, it is good enough. I am sure that the improvement I get spending by 100$ on software cannot be matched by spending 2000+$ on a new keyboard and that is why I will hold off buying hardware for now. I can finally play again without wanting anything better.

Last edited by CountSmith; 12/13/13 01:32 AM.
Re: True Keys American D - First Impression [Re: CountSmith] #2196903
12/13/13 09:22 AM
12/13/13 09:22 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 17,041
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Morodiene  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 17,041
Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted by CountSmith
I bought the American grand version yesterday so I thought I'd share my first impressions. I am a late beginner/intermediate classical player and I've played on a DP since the start. I rarely play on acoustics but a month ago, I had a chance to play on my uncle's upright Steinway for a long time and needless to say, returning to my DP was definitely underwhelming.

My plan was to replace my current DP with a VPC1 and purchase a VST. Since the VPC1 has no on-board sounds, I first wanted to see if I could get used to always having to connect my laptop to my DP for sounds.

Compared to the on-board sound of my Technics SX-PC25, I am really happy with True Keys. The demos on the website are perfectly accurate to what hear when you play the VST yourself. I can't possibly describe the sound as well as if you just listen to the demos. The most important thing however, is that I no longer feel the need to upgrade my current DP to something better, not for a while at least. I can be much more expressive when I play. Some the best noticeable features I enjoy are the staccato notes and the decay of sustained notes. Compared to the monotonous sound of my current DP, with true keys, simply hitting sustained chords and listening to them go on is such a pleasure because there is such a rich variation in tone with time.

For 100$, I am very satisfied with True Keys. I think that to truly test a VST, you should test it with classical music as this kind of music's complexity compared to simple, slow pop or jazz really tests the playability of the instrument. What I mean is that when I tried Vintage D, I liked the sound of individual notes and chords but I couldn't play anything classical on it. When I tried Pianoteq, it was definitely playable, but I could never get passed the synthetic sound of it (even with ~20 hours of playing with the demo). I also like that I am not constantly tweaking controls to find the "right" sound. Within an hour I found my preferred settings and I am not going to touch them any more, I can just play.

There are some things that can be improved. I think that the sustained resonance volume should have a larger range. It is currently very good, but sustained playing on the upright Steinway I tried is very distinct then its regular damped sound. I also feel that the mid-high notes have a slightly metallic sound to them but it is not really distracting when I play. I however don't have enough experience with acoustic grands to say if it is overly metallic or not.

It is not perfect, but by listening to recordings of Ravel's Jeux D'eau on real Steinway D's and then to the True keys demo, I find True keys to be excellent approximation. I am happiest about not needing new hardware and that is why I wanted to post my impression. I would surely love a better action to acompany the sound of True Keys, but right now, it is good enough. I am sure that the improvement I get spending by 100$ on software cannot be matched by spending 2000+$ on a new keyboard and that is why I will hold off buying hardware for now. I can finally play again without wanting anything better.
I'm confused...are you saying the VPC1 isn't a good action, or did you end up just using the Technics as your DP with the American D VST?


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: True Keys American D - First Impression [Re: Macy] #2196915
12/13/13 09:46 AM
12/13/13 09:46 AM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 3,091
uk south
D
dire tonic Offline
3000 Post Club Member
dire tonic  Offline
3000 Post Club Member
D

Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 3,091
uk south
Erin, I think he's saying the sound and playability of the VST is good enough that he no longer feels the need to replace his existing kbd with a better one (a VPC1).

Re: True Keys American D - First Impression [Re: CountSmith] #2196920
12/13/13 10:00 AM
12/13/13 10:00 AM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 3,747
Portugal
T
toddy Offline
3000 Post Club Member
toddy  Offline
3000 Post Club Member
T

Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 3,747
Portugal
Morodiene, seems to me countsmith answers your question in his post here:

Originally Posted by CountSmith

My plan was to replace my current DP with a VPC1 and purchase a VST. Since the VPC1 has no on-board sounds, I first wanted to see if I could get used to always having to connect my laptop to my DP for sounds.

Compared to the on-board sound of my Technics SX-PC25, I am really happy with True Keys. The demos on the website are perfectly accurate to what hear when you play the VST yourself. I can't possibly describe the sound as well as if you just listen to the demos. The most important thing however, is that I no longer feel the need to upgrade my current DP to something better, not for a while at least.

....I would surely love a better action to acompany the sound of True Keys, but right now, it is good enough. I am sure that the improvement I get spending by 100$ on software cannot be matched by spending 2000+$ on a new keyboard and that is why I will hold off buying hardware for now. I can finally play again without wanting anything better.


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49 / Akai EWI

Reaper / Native Instruments K9 ult / ESQL MOR2 Symph Orchestra & Choirs / Lucato & Parravicini , trumpets & saxes / Garritan CFX lite / Production Voices C7 & Steinway D compact

Focusrite Saffire 24 / W7, i7 4770, 16GB / MXL V67g / Yamaha HS7s / HD598
Re: True Keys American D - First Impression [Re: CountSmith] #2196947
12/13/13 11:00 AM
12/13/13 11:00 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 38
Ontario, Canada
S
semo Offline
Full Member
semo  Offline
Full Member
S

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 38
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted by CountSmith
I bought the American grand version yesterday so I thought I'd share my first impressions.


Thanks for sharing. And may I ask what kind of computer and audio/speakers are you using and do you experience any latency comparing to the onboard sound?


CA95, Sennheiser HD598
Re: True Keys American D - First Impression [Re: semo] #2196980
12/13/13 11:56 AM
12/13/13 11:56 AM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 22
C
CountSmith Offline
Full Member
CountSmith  Offline
Full Member
C

Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 22
Originally Posted by Morodiene
I'm confused...are you saying the VPC1 isn't a good action, or did you end up just using the Technics as your DP with the American D VST?

No, I am still using my Technics DP which I've always owned. I can't comment on the VPC1 action as the only music store who sells it in my area had sold all of its stock of kawai DP's when I wanted to try it a few days ago. I guess they must be popular.

Originally Posted by semo
Thanks for sharing. And may I ask what kind of computer and audio/speakers are you using and do you experience any latency comparing to the onboard sound?

I am using a 4 year old Asus laptop with a 1.6 GHz quad core i7, 4 GB RAM and a 5400RPM hard drive and ATH-m50 headphones.Everything runs fine and I haven't had latency problems but I haven't checked the actual latency time. It's not so hardware intensive but loading times are sort of long (1-2 minutes) so I will probably always leave the software loaded on my RAM unless I need extra space.

Re: True Keys American D - First Impression [Re: Macy] #2197493
12/14/13 01:38 PM
12/14/13 01:38 PM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 103
Perth, Western Australia
J
Jayden Offline
Full Member
Jayden  Offline
Full Member
J

Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 103
Perth, Western Australia
Does this software possess any MIDI recording/playback and/or audio recording capabilities?

Or one one have to resort to third party software trickery in order to record the sounds?


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Re: True Keys American D - First Impression [Re: Jayden] #2200931
12/21/13 12:07 PM
12/21/13 12:07 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 194
D
daz100 Offline
Full Member
daz100  Offline
Full Member
D

Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 194
Originally Posted by Jayden
Does this software possess any MIDI recording/playback and/or audio recording capabilities?

Or one one have to resort to third party software trickery in order to record the sounds?


I don't think true keys allows you to record audio or midi ,it's just a stand alone player.
You would have to have a host to sequence recording.


Kawai VPC1,True keys American,Ivory Grand pianos, Pianoteq 6.0 and Ravenscroft
Re: True Keys American D - First Impression [Re: Macy] #2399984
03/19/15 05:18 AM
03/19/15 05:18 AM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 16
Italy
S
Superbaffone Offline
Junior Member
Superbaffone  Offline
Junior Member
S

Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 16
Italy
My demo of VI Labs True Keys "American Grand"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sMlYbhUvxU

Re: True Keys American D - First Impression [Re: Macy] #2801572
01/13/19 03:22 PM
01/13/19 03:22 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 1
S
Sammo Offline
Junior Member
Sammo  Offline
Junior Member
S

Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 1
I find True Keys pianos very responsive, maby most responsive of vst pianos I have tried. I play their Italian grand and Ravenscroft. Especially Italian Grand is so good! With Ivory pianos I have problems, it is hard to go from very soft to very loud smoothly especially in fast playing. Still trying to get it work after many years beause I like the sound.

Here is two pieces, both played with True Keys Italian grand.

Here is my own composition:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS8JPjKbvyM

Here is Minute waltz:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-Rjp8ylEys


Last edited by Sammo; 01/13/19 03:27 PM.
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