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Re: The DPBSD Project! [Re: dewster] #2382457
02/04/15 08:43 PM
02/04/15 08:43 PM
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EssBrace Offline
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Originally Posted by dewster
People might think I hate loopers because I can hear the looping, but it's not that simple.

Lately they've discovered that bland loops are much easier to deal with and are actually running around reducing loop sample time - the upside is you don't hear the cyclic loop, but the downside is you don't hear much of anything as they've wrung out all the interesting stuff, so for me it's a baby with the bathwater situation. If you have to loop (?) keep the loop real-sounding and make it long enough for the period not to jump out at you...


I agree. Nord's samples have longer loops. They capture a period in which there is tangible beating/swelling and then repeat it. So as the player/listener you can experience a couple of cycles before you realise you are in the looping phase. This is vastly preferable to the awful, false droning fade out of Yamahas and Kawais.


Roland RD-1000 | Broadwood Grand Piano
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Re: The DPBSD Project! [Re: dewster] #2382488
02/04/15 10:46 PM
02/04/15 10:46 PM
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D, thanks much for spending the time on this. Recently been listening very carefully to soft pianos (sampled and modeled) and am finding them much more satisfying than the built in DP sounds. Your analysis goes a long way to identifying why this might be.


No real talent for the Piano.
Re: The DPBSD Project! [Re: EssBrace] #2382629
02/05/15 09:06 AM
02/05/15 09:06 AM
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dewster Offline OP
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
Nord's samples have longer loops. They capture a period in which there is tangible beating/swelling and then repeat it. So as the player/listener you can experience a couple of cycles before you realise you are in the looping phase. This is vastly preferable to the awful, false droning fade out of Yamahas and Kawais.

Yes, thanks for pointing that out. I actually had Nord in mind when writing that.

Re: The DPBSD Project! [Re: dewster] #2385168
02/12/15 03:52 AM
02/12/15 03:52 AM
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My first post in these forums. This thread is fairly puzzling and intriguing.

While I thought this was to confirm function, it seems to go way, way, deeper.

Last edited by Mike487; 02/12/15 04:04 AM.
Re: The DPBSD Project! [Re: Mike487] #2385357
02/12/15 06:07 PM
02/12/15 06:07 PM
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dewster Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Mike487
My first post in these forums. This thread is fairly puzzling and intriguing.

While I thought this was to confirm function, it seems to go way, way, deeper.

Welcome Mike487. As the first post in this thread indicates, DPBSD testing is more of a "no-go" thing (i.e. will you be able to stand the sound of the DP under test after hearing it over and over for years).

The looping test allows people to hear, up close and personal, select individual notes decaying to the noise floor. Which can be quite revealing, particularly when your listening is "guided" by the spectral views. There are functional tests as well, but I think the looping and pedal sympathetic resonance tests are the most important when it comes to realistic piano tone, though the stretching test is important too as stretching tosses entire swaths of samples onto the garbage heap, never to be heard again.

Re: The DPBSD Project! [Re: dewster] #2387566
02/17/15 06:06 PM
02/17/15 06:06 PM
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dewster Offline OP
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I remember the first time I encountered stretching. Maybe 20 odd years or so ago when I was in college we bought a Yamaha keyboard for $400 - unweighted 64 keys, built-in speakers - kind of an overgrown toy, but some of the sounds were cleverly done (the bagpipe comes to mind with left hand drones) and I had a blast just plinking around on it. The extended MIDI sound set (XG?) was surprisingly deep, I remember (incompletely) sequencing a couple of Vangelis ditties that sounded pretty close to the original when played back through the Yamaha.

Anyway, a student friend who lived next door bought a Korg for the same amount of money and around the same time. I came over to look at it and noticed several really jarring timbre changes between consecutive piano notes. Investigating this further I quickly found a pattern to them, groups of notes (I think it was 4 or 6) sounded highly similar, with the timbre steps occurring at the transition from one group to the next. It was quite clear to me they were using the same base sample for these groups, and I figured this was probably done to conserve sample ROM space. I went home to our keyboard and noticed the same thing going on, but it was generally more subtle and the stretch groups had fewer notes IIRC.

Re: The DPBSD Project! [Re: dewster] #2389100
02/21/15 01:06 PM
02/21/15 01:06 PM
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Not directly related to the DPBSD but interesting technical background of music synthesis at the intersection of Bell Labs, FM, Hammond, Leslie, Yamaha, etc.:

http://www.academia.edu/2680140/The_sound_of_one_chip_clapping_Yamaha_and_FM_synthesis

The Bob Moog quotes are priceless, but the history of Yamaha WRT chip fabbing is quite fascinating, and an indicator to me anyway of why DPs are currently rather stuck in the mud. I know I've said it too many times, but DSP/GPU processor design/fab/support is something you need huge teams to do well, much less keep up with all the other crack teams in world. It used to be semi-doable given a huge initial investment in time and money, but now it's pretty much beyond the capabilities of any one company as a side job. A company fabing custom processors - or indeed any custom ICs at this point - has to make a really strong economic case for doing so, and with an eye way into the future.

Re: The DPBSD Project! [Re: dewster] #2389124
02/21/15 01:49 PM
02/21/15 01:49 PM
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I think it used to be this way in the past, that you would need big teams and risky investments.

In this respect I think of the HX3 project, where a single person (Carsten Meyer, www.keyboardpartner.de) programmed a world-class physical model of a B3 on a stock FPGA chip (nearly pure digital switching), all in his spare time. I know, I am repeating myself here.
My conjecture is, take two skilled full-time developers, take the more expensive/powerful FPGA chip with integrated DSP processor, and program a physical model of an acoustic piano. That should be state of the art today, see Pianoteq and Physis.

The second example for this is the creator of the Neo Ventilator ...

Re: The DPBSD Project! [Re: dewster] #2389162
02/21/15 03:04 PM
02/21/15 03:04 PM
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I guess I don't think of FPGAs as custom chips (ASICs), though they have largely replaced the need for for them, as well as substantially lowered the risks and up-front costs. The more expensive ones have integrated ARMs and such but no DSPs that I'm aware of - pipelined DSP is generally what you want the FPGA fabric to be doing anyway.

The B3 is an interesting FPGA application. One can easily generate thousands of waveforms at an audio rate given a low end FPGA, but things like filtering (complex coefficients) and MIDI (low data rate) might be more efficiently implemented serially in software. I wonder if he is using a processor construct in there?

For a modeled piano I'd probably pick software, there's just too much going on that is too complex. One or two people probably can't develop a sufficiently realistic piano model in a reasonable amount of time. For a sampled piano I'd be tempted to hook FLASH to an FPGA and have a processor somewhere in the mix running things.

Re: The DPBSD Project! [Re: dewster] #2389861
02/23/15 08:36 AM
02/23/15 08:36 AM
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Re: The DPBSD Project! [Re: dewster] #2390021
02/23/15 04:36 PM
02/23/15 04:36 PM
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Well, yes, the more upscale ones have DSP blocks, but these are more like DSP ALU blocks, not DSP processors per se. One would need a local register set, a fetch and branch mechanism, etc. cobbled from the FPGA fabric in order to have a full blown DSP.

Interesting that the Arria has floating point. I don't keep tabs on the high end devices much as they are super expensive. Doing audio, often fixed point is a better fit as resolution for a given bit count is higher, and truncation noise and the like are constant rather than changing with the data exponents. Though floating point can make the algorithms much easier to describe and implement, with less chance of under / overflow.

Re: The DPBSD Project! [Re: dewster] #2390143
02/23/15 10:25 PM
02/23/15 10:25 PM
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I would think something like the Xilinx zynq 7 series SoC (http://www.xilinx.com/publications/prod_mktg/zynq7000/Zynq-7000-combined-product-table.pdf) or better yet the upcoming zynq ultrascale SoC (http://www.xilinx.com/publications/prod_mktg/zynq-ultrascale-plus-product-selection-guide.pdf) would be ideal for an upper mid-range to high end digital piano. If you can do reasonable volumes you can get zynq 7010's and zynq ultrascales for just a bit over $10 a unit.

If you had a zynq ultrascale for ~$10-$15 you would have
* Some 240 DSP 48 slices for implementing custom algorithms and some 80K logic cells to tie it all together along with over 5 MB of block RAM for all of the srams, fifo's, buffers, etc. This is enough hardware that you could do some pretty complex custom algorithms
* 2 - R5 processors at 600 MHz for servicing all of the key press interrupts and stuff. You would probably want to run an RTOS on these cores and keep them for hard real time events.
* 4 - A-53 cores at at 1300 MHz complete with neon SIMD. This should be able to run your displays, maybe linux, and have lots of cycles left over for memory management and whatever algorithm's you have that are too much of a pain to put directly in hardware
* 1 - Mali 400 which could easily be a fantastic display driver or if you are willing to do some code optimization maybe you could run some additional algorithms out of it. I'm not sure that you could really get things parallel enough to properly use the Mali but it is there.
* Plus you could have a 64-bit memory interface to DRAM if you are willing to spend the money.

I feel like for about $30 (after including RAM and a good sized flash memory) you could have a digital piano that blows away most everything that is out there right now. And I'm sure $30 is a substantial increase to their current silicon BOM cost but man it doesn't feel unreasonable for them to put that kind of money into a product that retails for well over $1000.




Re: The DPBSD Project! [Re: dewster] #2390233
02/24/15 05:37 AM
02/24/15 05:37 AM
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Valencia, Spain
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I see it all clear now, thanks guys.
sick


Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.Kawai K-200
Re: The DPBSD Project! [Re: Trevor H.] #2390276
02/24/15 09:35 AM
02/24/15 09:35 AM
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dewster Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Trevor H.
If you can do reasonable volumes you can get zynq 7010's and zynq ultrascales for just a bit over $10 a unit.

Wow, that's a lot of FPGA at incredible pricing! Electronics will completely run you over even if you're doing your level best to keep up with everything new coming out, the pace is insane.

Originally Posted by Trevor H.
I feel like for about $30 (after including RAM and a good sized flash memory) you could have a digital piano that blows away most everything that is out there right now. And I'm sure $30 is a substantial increase to their current silicon BOM cost but man it doesn't feel unreasonable for them to put that kind of money into a product that retails for well over $1000.

I haven't worked in the DP industry (though for unemployment I sent my resume to most DP and effects manufacturers) so I can only speculate, but I imagine they lack the in-house expertise to utilize FPGAs in that capacity. And even if they do the NRE is probably too onerous, especially given the general public's seeming willingness to continue to buy dumb loopers for way too much scratch.

The intersection of crackerjack HDL'er / DSP guru / UI & controller designer / musical instrument builder / pianist etc. is likely exceeding small to perhaps non-existent. And it's not like corporations go out of their way to attract free thinkers and other unmanagable sorts, they want sheep who can code a bit and need medical insurance.

Re: The DPBSD Project! [Re: dewster] #2390371
02/24/15 01:47 PM
02/24/15 01:47 PM
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I would love to see something like pianoteq optimized into something like a zynq and sold as a piano in a box. I'm sure it makes no business sense because it is targeting a small subset of a small market and pianoteq already runs on fairly modest hardware that people already own. I also can't imagine they have any interest in being a hardware vendor but man something like a pianoteq piano in a box mixed with something like the Kawai VPC1 could be a really cool combination.



Re: The DPBSD Project! [Re: dewster] #2390414
02/24/15 03:23 PM
02/24/15 03:23 PM
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I would love to see Jony Ive to do a mass market DP. I don't need a car :-)


Kawai CN35. Daughter wanted a piano, so we got one. Now who'll learn faster? ;-)
Re: The DPBSD Project! [Re: dewster] #2391581
02/27/15 10:17 AM
02/27/15 10:17 AM
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I've made recordings of the DPBSD v2 with a Roland RP401R, played off a USB stick, and played via USB MIDI control. Also I used Addictive Keys Studio Grand and Upgright VSTi to render the MIDI file in a DAW.

Are any of those interesting? Can you remind me where the upload instructions are? Or, can I just share a dropbox link to the 44.1kHz 24bit .wav files?

Last edited by BusyWait; 02/27/15 11:21 AM.

Regards,
Steven
---
(Re)beginner
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Re: The DPBSD Project! [Re: dewster] #2391600
02/27/15 11:10 AM
02/27/15 11:10 AM
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Dropbox link would be fine Steven. Thanks!

Re: The DPBSD Project! [Re: dewster] #2391632
02/27/15 12:10 PM
02/27/15 12:10 PM
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Files: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/u1zbemwnlk0ssq9/AAAdc-HyAwKxMVr-p5mOrFQha?dl=0

DPBSD v2 Recordings and Renders

Recording:

The Roland DP401R has 3 "SuperNatural" piano sounds amongst the hundreds of different tones it can produce. These recordings were made with Piano Tone 1 "Concert Piano", default settings, and ambience/reverb "OFF".

Recordings via a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Tracktion DAW, Windows 8.1, Sony Tap 11 PC.
(Probably using the Mackie ASIO driver, sorry I didn't make a note!)

dpbsd v2 recorded_rp401r from midi_Take_1.wav :

The dpbsd midi file played by the RP401R from USB stick, with no USB connection between the DP401R and the PC. Audio from the piano rear "Output" socket (3.5 mm TRS stereo jack) in to a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface.

Note: connecting the RP401R USB (to host) MIDI cable at the same time as analogue out or in seems to create a path (ground loop?) for constant low-level digital chattering noise. The USB MIDI was disconnected for this recording.

Renders:

Addictive Keys Studio Grand VSTi virtual instrument allows you to play the different sampled pianos as if recorded with different microphones in different positions. It was loaded in to Tracktion DAW v5, and used to render the dpbsd v2 midi file with various configurations.

Hopefully the file names below are self explanatory:

dpbsd v2 recorded_AK Grand Render Front Tubes No EQ No Fx_Take_1.wav
dpbsd v2 recorded_AK Grand Side Rib Solo_Take_1.wav
dpbsd v2 recorded_AK Upright Front Ribbon_Take_2.wav
dpbsd v2 recorded_AK Upright Soundboard_Take_2.wav


Last edited by BusyWait; 02/27/15 12:26 PM.

Regards,
Steven
---
(Re)beginner
Roland RP401R
Re: The DPBSD Project! [Re: dewster] #2392976
03/02/15 05:08 PM
03/02/15 05:08 PM
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Northern NJ
dewster Offline OP
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Thanks to BusyWait we have a DPBSD MP3 of the Roland DP401R! BusyWait has this to say:

Quote
The Roland DP401R has 3 "SuperNatural" piano sounds amongst the hundreds of different tones it can produce. These recordings were made with Piano Tone 1 "Concert Piano", default settings, and ambience/reverb "OFF".

Recordings via a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Tracktion DAW, Windows 8.1, Sony Tap 11 PC. (Probably using the Mackie ASIO driver, sorry I didn't make a note!)

The dpbsd midi file played by the RP401R from USB stick, with no USB connection between the DP401R and the PC. Audio from the piano rear "Output" socket (3.5 mm TRS stereo jack) in to a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface.

Note: connecting the RP401R USB (to host) MIDI cable at the same time as analogue out or in seems to create a path (ground loop?) for constant low-level digital chattering noise. The USB MIDI was disconnected for this recording.

The spectral signatures are almost identical to the RD-700NX main "Concert" voice so I'm not going to do a formal review. Pedal and key sympathetic resonances are missing, which for some asinine reason is quite typical with Roland SN via MIDI playback without resorting to arcane, poorly documented SYSEX backflips.

mp3 : http://www.mediafire.com/listen/n129m2wj3oc9uwa/dpbsd_v2.0_roland_rp401r.mp3

(BusyWait: please PM me if you want to add/change anything)

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