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Re: The DPBSD Project!
dewster #2392987 03/02/15 05:23 PM
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BusyWait, did you run the full or demo version of Addictive Keys through the DPBSD? It doesn't seem to be looped but it is clearly stretched, which is kind of weird. I'm guessing the full version, as XLN says the demo is limited to 4 octaves.

Typical gushing "review" from SOS chock full of needless popular references and phraseology (Dowager Lady Grantham, in-yer-face, delivers the goods, first port of call, etc.) though he does seem to loathe the Rhodes: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan13/articles/xln-audio-addictive-keys.htm

Re: The DPBSD Project!
dewster #2392995 03/02/15 05:51 PM
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dewster, those are renders using the full version of the Addictive VSTi. I got the virtual instruments really as a reference to understand how good the Roland sound is - sometimes the Roland SuperNatural piano sounded a little uncanny to me, or metallic. It was interesting to hear the comparison to recordings of a real piano.

I'm convinced that the Roland sound changes a little day to day, because some days I'm quite offended by the sounds that some notes make, and other days I can't even hear the metallic overtone that bugged me before :-/

Is there any value in getting you a recording that includes the pedal or string resonance from the RP401R? It's pretty subtle in both cases IMO. If you'd like that I'm happy to try and hack the sysex.

When I bought AK, I saw that they had a bundle offer, so I got the upright piano (which I wanted because the RP401R doesn't seem to have an upright piano sound), and the Mark One. After reading the SOS Mark One review, maybe I should have got their "Electric Grand" instrument instead laugh

Last edited by BusyWait; 03/02/15 06:00 PM.

Regards,
Steven
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Re: The DPBSD Project!
dewster #2393303 03/03/15 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by BusyWait
Is there any value in getting you a recording that includes the pedal or string resonance from the RP401R? It's pretty subtle in both cases IMO. If you'd like that I'm happy to try and hack the sysex.

Thanks for the offer, but I don't want to put you through a major PITA in order to test something that probably hasn't changed from previous SN models.

BusyWait, I sent you a PM.

Last edited by dewster; 03/03/15 04:00 PM.
Re: The DPBSD Project!
dewster #2393968 03/04/15 11:12 PM
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XLN Audio Addictive Keys Studio Grand

Thanks to PW member BusyWait we have DPBSD samples of the Addictive Keys Studio Grand and Upright Pianos!

BusyWait has this to say about them:

Quote
These sound to my untrained ears to be to be well recorded real piano sounds, notwithstanding the limitations revealed in the technical review. It was particularly interesting to me to get the upright piano instrument. The installed footprint is "only" 1.5GB per piano, and the ability to change the listening perspective (microphone position) from the front (players position), to various other close mic'ed or audience positions is very helpful to blend the instrument in to a mix with other instruments.

The stand alone player is easy to use. In Windows it worked well with the ASIO4ALL software for low latency, and felt like a nice instrument to play. (I'm beginner level, and have been for 30 years).

The stand alone player and the VSTi plug-in both allow sounds from the different microphones to be blended and processed in various natural to more creative and distorted ways, either by choosing from presets, or editing individual parameters. The velocity map (key velocity to played sound) can be adjusted, but I could not avoid "velocity=1 plays a sound" feature.

The tuning, key, and temperament (equal, just, pythagorian, ...) of the piano can be selected, and stretch tuning applied via the Help > About menu.

I was connected to the internet to install and register this, but just tested it with no internet connection, and it worked without limitation. A good demo of Addictive Keys is available to try, which is limited to 4 octaves and 3 microphone positions.


Since the Upright tests very similarly to the Grand I decided to only review the Grand. It's kind of strange that they aren't looped but are stretched, usually it's the other way around with DPs. Not sure why they felt they needed to pare down the size of sample sets that are running on a PC, but when in Rome I suppose it's easier to throw out samples outright via stretching rather than lop off the decays and then have to splice loops on. The lowest notes had fairly short decay times, so they seemed to be "saving" there as well.

mp3s:
- http://www.mediafire.com/listen/jf3k11ambcmbc4b/dpbsd_v2.0_xln_ak_grand_front_tubes_no_eq_no_fx.mp3
- http://www.mediafire.com/listen/5jm7lyeqba8v9u6/dpbsd_v2.0_xln_ak_grand_side_rib.mp3
- http://www.mediafire.com/listen/0md3mtqwi9xom1g/dpbsd_v2.0_xln_ak_upright_front_ribbon.mp3
- http://www.mediafire.com/listen/ejuzerql1be0hwt/dpbsd_v2.0_xln_ak_upright_soundboard.mp3

--------------------
- XLN Studio Grand -
--------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dpbsd_v2.0_xln_ak_grand_front_tubes_no_eq_no_fx.mp3
- Setup: Tracktion DAW v5.
- Recorded by "BusyWait".
PROS:
- Passes the pedal sympathetic resonance test.
- Passes the silent replay test.
- Passes the looping test (unlooped).
- This is a blended multi-velocity layered sample set.
CONS:
- Fails the key sympathetic resonance test.
- Fails the quick partial damping test.
- Fails the late pedal partial damping test.
- Fails the half pedaling test.
- Fails the stretching test.
- Obviously stretched, group transitions fairly audible.
- Stretch distances: 2,3,1,3,3,2,3,1,2,3,3,1,2(x4),3,3,1,3,2,3,3,2(x3),3,2,3,2,3,4,2,3,2,2,3 = 37 groups.
- High and low note decay times are fairly short (~1/2 Pianoteq).
OTHER:
- Velocity layer switch visible @ vel=50,62.
- Velocity layer switch audible @ vel=62,104.
- Dynamic range 30dB (vel=1:127).
- Notes played @ vel=1 produce sound.
- Dampered | undampered transition: E6 | F6
- MP3 levels: peak @ -5dB, noise floor @ -105dB.
- Date reviewed: 2015-03-02

Re: The DPBSD Project!
dewster #2394207 03/05/15 12:54 PM
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I'm not trying to make anyone feel bad about purchasing the XLN Audio pianos, but I just re-skimmed the SOS review pointed to above and nowhere in it does he mention stretching. The stretch groups have sufficient timbre differences to pretty much jump out at you when doing chromatic runs and the like, even a casual reviewer who is aware of modern sample mangling practices would likely notice it. Listen for yourself to this walk up the upright piano, particularly the first 1/2 (bass and mid stretching are generally the most audible):

http://www.mediafire.com/listen/9emaanidwioceto/xln_ak_upright_soundboard_stretch.mp3

What is it with professional reviewers? I'm pretty cynical but this kind of thing pegs my meter.

Re: The DPBSD Project!
dewster #2395002 03/07/15 08:48 AM
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I heard the differences at certain places while recording the test file. I put the timbre changes down to the sounds being a recording from a real piano - the string construction (core thickness, materials and windings) and arrangement (1 string, 2 string unisons, 3 string unisons) changes moving up the keyboard.

That's just based on a casual look inside a piano, which I last did 30 years ago. But it looked a little like this: http://sgusedpiano.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/used-yamaha-piano-U3-excellent-condition.jpg

Not the case?



Regards,
Steven
---
(Re)beginner
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Re: The DPBSD Project!
BusyWait #2395048 03/07/15 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by BusyWait
Not the case?

As you say, timbre change from note to note is entirely natural and expected with an acoustic piano due to vagaries of the physical implementation, and could easily be discontinuous to some degree due to 1/2/3 string transitions, hammer jogs, undampered transition etc.

A stretched sample set (not in the tuning sense but in the sample discard sense) has static timbre among the notes of a stretch group (since they all share the same base sample) with timbre change occurring at group to group transitions. The groups are generally 2 or 3 notes wide, much narrower than otherwise physically caused timbre grouping on an acoustic piano. These islands of uncharacteristic uniformity are fairly unnatural sounding IMO.

And I'm against the trashing of otherwise functional samples merely to keep the storage space required to hold them below some absurdly low limit. Sampled pianos aren't generally in need of less variability.

Re: The DPBSD Project!
dewster #2438714 07/05/15 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by dewster
And I'm against the trashing of otherwise functional samples merely to keep the storage space required to hold them below some absurdly low limit. Sampled pianos aren't generally in need of less variability.


I don't know, I suspect some of the uniformization could be due to not wanting the "same" variability becoming noticed on the same notes, if you know what I mean. By tuning down the variability it takes more time to notice that notes sound the same every time you hit them on a digital piano. In fact I think that's the bigger issue here, that sampled pianos don't add some randomness when they could very well do so.

Re: The DPBSD Project!
dewster #2438767 07/05/15 02:04 PM
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The timbre change I've observed in acoustic pianos is a gradual change across the key range (if it's not gradual then voicing is needed).

For me the problem with using the same sample for several notes in DPs is the abrupt timbre change between adjacent notes that use different sample sets.


Ed (Out in the West Texas town of El Paso)
Yamaha P255
Re: The DPBSD Project!
dewster #2443856 07/23/15 03:59 AM
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I am still a bit surprised that there is no, like, keyboard magazine tracking the hard facts about PD actions. You know, facts, like:

- length of keys / proportion (black, white)
- pivot point / proportion (was discussed a while ago here)
- folded / non-folded action (has an impact on size)
- how fast a key comes back up from fully/half pressed
- pressure/weight needed to press a key (full/half) (maybe just all the C's)
- up-pressure of a pressed key
- noise of a key pressed (f vs p and so on maybe)
- ...

Other things could probably be "objectified" as well, like how keys "bottom out" and things like that.

The above is probably cheap to measure, some of which even possible in a showroom (maybe after hours). Other things would be more expensive to measure, like putting the plastic through an aging simulation like pressing it 10000 times, subjecting it to UV, temperature changes etc.

I fully agree with the notion that at the end, features do not count as much as the experience. And the experience is significantly subjective. But I am really surprised by the lack of numbers in this industry.


Kawai CN35. Daughter wanted a piano, so we got one. Now who'll learn faster? ;-)
Re: The DP BSD Project!
dewster #2476999 11/03/15 10:00 PM
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Interesting dewster.Thanks for the new files setchman!

Re: The DP BSD Project!
dewster #2478668 11/09/15 06:12 AM
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Thanks for making this test! It's super useful for hunting for bugs in my software! Not gonna stop until it passes everything. So far it does, but with tons of bugs.

Last edited by PelPix; 11/09/15 06:15 AM.
Re: The DP BSD Project!
dewster #2480298 11/13/15 05:58 PM
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Hi All,

If anyone is interested, here is a recording from playing the DPBSD v2.0 midi file from Kawai MP11 with firmware v1.12:

http://www.mediafire.com/download/s6p7pb646pgwhow/dpbsd_v2.0_kawai_mp11.flac

It was recorded by the piano itself using the "MIDI to wav" feature at maximum piano volume and 0dB playback gain. Still, the volume seems to be kind of low and I am not sure what else to do in order to increase it (without increasing gain to positive levels). If someone knows, please let me know and I will repeat the test.

I have used the default concert grand #1, turned off the reverb and used the factory settings on all the other parameters.

Hopefully someone will find it useful.

Re: The DP BSD Project!
pbasista #2482989 11/21/15 11:09 AM
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I was, obviously, using incorrect settings. During the recording, I had the Panel Mode set to "Normal", which means that any changes to the panel, including reverb and volumes will *not* affect the recording session. So, what happened is that I have changed the volume and turned off the reverb, but just *after* entering the recording mode. And that did not have any effect... Sorry for that.

After switching the Panel Mode to "Play", I was able to change the panel settings during the recording session as well. I have set the volume to maximum and turned off the reverb. Here are the recordings from Kawai MP11's built-in concert grands #1 and #2:

http://www.mediafire.com/download/5luk5n1dhpkccfc/dpbsd_v2.0_kawai_mp11_concert_grand_1.flac
http://www.mediafire.com/download/i25arddttgcoaj6/dpbsd_v2.0_kawai_mp11_concert_grand_2.flac

Re: The DP BSD Project!
dewster #2519886 03/11/16 01:00 PM
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Hi! Is this project still going on? I could provide mp3 of the new pianos from Komplete 10 (Mavericks, The Gentleman and The Grandeur)

Re: The DP BSD Project!
dewster #2519895 03/11/16 01:24 PM
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Well, dewster hasn't been sighted since last July or posted to this thread for over a year, so I guess not.


Kawai CA95 / Steinberg UR22 / Sony MDR-7506 / Pianoteq Stage + Grotrian, Bluethner / Galaxy Vintage D / CFX Lite
In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810
Re: The DP BSD Project!
dewster #2520149 03/12/16 08:51 AM
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We miss Dewster...if you're reading this Dewster, come back! The creator of what must be the most viewed thread in PW history.


C. Bechstein Model B | Roland RD-1000 |
Re: The DP BSD Project!
EssBrace #2520342 03/12/16 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
We miss Dewster...if you're reading this Dewster, come back! The creator of what must be the most viewed thread in PW history.


Agreed!

What has happened (if anyone knows) and why did he take leave?

Re: The DP BSD Project!
dewster #2525699 03/29/16 01:15 PM
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Sorry if this has been answered before, couldn't find anything with search or in the first post:

Is there a way to see a sorted list if pianos from best to worst, in terms of passing this test?

I know that the test doesn't assign a single number saying how "good" a piano is, but I still would like to get a general idea of which models and brands are typically "good" in this regard and if others are typically "bad".

At the moment the only thing I can do is click on each piano and read the report.


Nordiska 120CA (Dongbei) upright from about 2004, Kawai MP11 digital piano, Sennheiser HD 600 headphones.
Re: The DP BSD Project!
dewster #2525710 03/29/16 01:41 PM
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I don't think there isn't any "good" and "bad" classification with respect brands.

If I understand correctly, the aim of this project is to counter-check on the marketing promises of the technical capabilities of their (still mainly sample based) sound engines and the advertised advances technology.

IMHO in this context "good" would be a physically modeled digital piano sound (Physis and "new" Rolands in spring 2016, Pianoteq SW) or a very well crafted sample-based digital piano with huge samples featuring many layers.

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