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Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2416604
05/03/15 12:15 AM
05/03/15 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Philip_Johnston
The question is not whether the sound is real on the video below - it's whether it would fool 99.5% of the population:

What you're listening to is Garritan CFX sample library running on an iMac, using a Yamaha Avant Grand N3 as the midi controller. (That's the "piano" you can see in the shot). The combination of the the AG's excellent grand piano action and Garritan's astonishing sample library makes for a heck of a recording instrument...albeit a very expensive one.



I would agree with the statement that the recording will fool 99.5% of the population.

I have a question about how the recording was made. If you are using the Garrison CFX sampled piano library, you must be using some sort of player. What is the software player that you are using? I imagine it is bundled with the CFX sampled library but I may be wrong as I am not familiar with the Garrison products.

Next. Is the recording capability actually built into the player? And is the recording saved as a .wav file? Is this what we hearing?

If not, what are we actually hearing when we watch the video? You didn't record the output from your studio monitor speakers acoustically with microphones, did you?

I use software sampled pianos as well but the sound coming out from the studio monitor speakers is nowhere near as compelling as the sound I hear in my headphones.

Thanks.



Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Garritan CFX, Ivory II, Ivory Am D, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.
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Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2417038
05/04/15 10:23 AM
05/04/15 10:23 AM
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Question, I cannot find whether the CFX Concert Grand is sold as a boxed version only, but the system requirements say

"USB port required for boxed version installation"

which would hint that there is a downloadable version?

I would rather download 100Gb+ than buying a boxed version.

Thanks.

Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2417057
05/04/15 11:15 AM
05/04/15 11:15 AM
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Pianists are never really happy with the "traditional" recording experience: you THOUGHT you sounded like this, but the end result can be pretty disappointing once the recording process is over.

Then you move the mics, change the mics, tune the piano, tune the room, re-engineer the sound, finally RE-RECORD etc., etc.....

And then the pianist is STILL not happy "That's not the sound I like!" etc etc

Sampled piano technology takes the uncertainty out of the process. You play the piece. You listen to the end result. Either you like it, or you don't. No surprises. Making changes is very easy, at least, compared with the traditional recording process.

Also, some of the "clean" aspects of the sampled recording are, in fact, what pro-recording techs aim for. So it's hard to complain about that.

Great Etude Tableaux playing... they're hard pieces!!! Fabulous.

But that Yamaha sample sounds a little artificial to me. From the video it looks like it plays well: good under the fingers, responsive to touch.

To my ears, Garritan gets the very hard sampling in the middle of the piano c3-c5 pretty accurate. But C6-C7 sounds a little grainy or harsh or metallic to me. Some of the chords (not all, just some), both sustained and staccato, sound very artificial. Others, in isolation, are virtually indistinguishable from a live piano recording. Seems the bigger the chords get (more notes, more sustain), the less real they sound.

My favorite sample in terms of "realism" is the Steinway D by Orchestral Tools, absent the "room" setting (mid and close only). Problem is... and it's a BIG problem... the sustain is unusable, and the sample can't easily be played live. It's really just something you might use with a midi file where you're prepared to fiddle A LOT to affect a reasonable sustain. The sample isn't as clean-sounding as the Garritan Yamaha sample. It doesn't have the high-end clarity. But what you DO get just can't be distinguished from the real thing as far as the end-result is concerned. (To my ears, that is.)



J. S. Bach Well-tempered Clavier, complete preludes and fugues (with significant MIDI analysis):
https://soundcloud.com/johnlgrant/sets


Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2419117
05/11/15 12:30 AM
05/11/15 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Philip_Johnston
...I sold my Yamaha 6 foot acoustic grand to get this setup. Thoughts? Was I crazy?


One thing is for sure. Digital Piano's are getting better all the time.

I'm very interested in what you think. You're an outstanding player. Does the digital come near giving you the intricate nuances and full sound of an acoustic? Does the feedback allow you to work on your playing to perfection? Since you've obviously been playing it a while....is it really good enough? For you?
Appears to me you are most interested in the recording. I've heard plenty of acoustics (recorded) that don't sound as real as you're giving us. Blame it on whatever. It's still true.

I have a setup where the imaging gives me the illusion of the strings out in front of me. Typical digital correct setup with two speakers set up in a triangle arrangement. If you want really good sound. I'd say do this with a good pair of studio monitors and put a sub woofer in or mounted under the case. You'll get all the feel of a realistic piano that way. Also the illusion that the strings are there in the case in front of you.
I prejudge that the speaker arrangement in an AG doesn't provide imaging like I described?

I suspect from your end. It's much like audiophiles. They can come up with some great recordings. I've listened to female vocals where I could practically hear her sweat. Still... live is better. Everyone agrees.


Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
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Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: phunqe] #2419129
05/11/15 02:58 AM
05/11/15 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted by phunqe
Question, I cannot find whether the CFX Concert Grand is sold as a boxed version only, but the system requirements say

"USB port required for boxed version installation"

which would hint that there is a downloadable version?

I would rather download 100Gb+ than buying a boxed version.

Thanks.

The library comes on a 64gb USB stick the contents of which is transferred and de-compressed to your HD - presumably there's a decoding routine on the stick itself or it calls upon one in the system OS. I've no doubt it could easily be available as a DL but perhaps they feel there's another layer of copy-protection doing it this way.

At least there's no dongle!

Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2419168
05/11/15 06:01 AM
05/11/15 06:01 AM
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I am still not convinced that this experiment proves anything beyond the well known fact that recordings made with sampled libraries can *sound* real enough. That's been proven since the first GB-libraries came out which if I am not mistaken has been at least 10 years ago.

Unfortunately it doesn't prove sampled libraries are real enough from player's perspective. The simple fact most of them doesn't support half-pedaling for example is speaking for itself.


My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2419179
05/11/15 07:00 AM
05/11/15 07:00 AM
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Honestly Philip, and I think you already know this, the 6ft Yamaha acoustic is better for the practicing pianist. The setup you have is better for the recordings and videos you make, but it doesn't feel as "alive" as your Yamaha acoustic did, I'd wager. I won't call you crazy, but I suspect you have some misgivings about what you gave up. What was it anyway - a C3?

Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: CyberGene] #2419191
05/11/15 07:19 AM
05/11/15 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
[On VI pianos] The simple fact most of them doesn't support half-pedalling for example is speaking for itself.


Really? I thought computer based software pianos were supposed to be far, far superior to the systems inside DPs. Since even entry level DPs support (continuous) half-pedalling and re-pedalling, this would appear to be an astonishing omission on the part of software developers. Are you sure this applies to 'most' VI pianos, or is it just an anomaly of one or two?


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Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2419220
05/11/15 08:39 AM
05/11/15 08:39 AM
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Sofia, Bulgaria
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I remember having discussed with Philip in one of his other threads about half-pedaling and he admitted that the particular software piano he used in that recording didn't support half-pedaling and re-pedaling.

I have personally used Vintage D and while it supports half-pedaling, it is very poorly implemented. It only detects the current pedal position prior to pressing the keys and applies this particular degree of pedal resonance, but if you depress or release the pedal slightly after that point, the new degree of pedaling isnt't registered, only the full release of the pedal is detected. The same holds true for re-pedaling where the initial re-pedaling is caught, but if you quickly release the pedal and depress it again, no re-pedaling was applied.

I am really amazed that software libraries don't implement this well, on the other hand the reason is obvious enough - they do not loop the sound and it is difficult to implement half pedaling without looping. Digital pianos have advantage that they always loop the sound and it is the decay speed of the looped section that is changed to emulate the half-pedaling I guess. That's my theory of course, they might implement in other way...

Last edited by CyberGene; 05/11/15 08:42 AM.

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Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2419226
05/11/15 08:53 AM
05/11/15 08:53 AM
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Since you're asking about VI pianos, I guess you mean Vienna Imperial? Here's the website:

Vienna Imperial

I can't see anything mentioned about half-pedaling. They state they have recorded 100 velocities per key both for pedal-up and pedal-down but I am not sure that means for intermediate pedal positions. Maybe they have used some DSP processing to emulate half-pedaling but I think they would most certainly have advertised half-pedaling if they supported it. Someone with VI should confirm that.

P.S. Looking at Dewster's DPBSD test for VI it seems half-pedaling is not supported, however re-pedaling is supported.

Last edited by CyberGene; 05/11/15 09:01 AM.

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Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: dire tonic] #2419229
05/11/15 08:59 AM
05/11/15 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by dire tonic
Originally Posted by phunqe
Question, I cannot find whether the CFX Concert Grand is sold as a boxed version only, but the system requirements say

"USB port required for boxed version installation"

which would hint that there is a downloadable version?

I would rather download 100Gb+ than buying a boxed version.

Thanks.

The library comes on a 64gb USB stick the contents of which is transferred and de-compressed to your HD - presumably there's a decoding routine on the stick itself or it calls upon one in the system OS. I've no doubt it could easily be available as a DL but perhaps they feel there's another layer of copy-protection doing it this way.

At least there's no dongle!


Thanks dire tonic smile

Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: CyberGene] #2419233
05/11/15 09:07 AM
05/11/15 09:07 AM
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toddy Offline
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Since you're asking about VI pianos, I guess you mean Vienna Imperial?


Sorry, CyberGene, I didn't mean specific producers. I simply meant Virtual Instrument - of any provenance.


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: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2419236
05/11/15 09:16 AM
05/11/15 09:16 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
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Sofia, Bulgaria
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OK, I have been searching through different DPBSD reviews and sample libraries websites and it seems the only sampled libraries with support for half-pedaling are Galaxy Pianos and Synthogy Ivory pianos.

I have personally tested the Galaxy Vintage D, and as I said, the implementation is very poor. I have in my memories that someone complained about the half-pedaling in the Ivory too but I haven't had the chance to test it myself. I'd guess half-pedaling in Ivory is implemented in the same way as in Galaxy though, i.e. they can only take the pedal position prior to pressing the keys and then won't change the decay even if you change the pedal position.

The reason why I am so obsessed about half-pedaling is the recent preliminary rounds of the International Chopin Piano competition which I watched almost every day for many hours online and I was blown away by the degree to which some pianists were able to vary the pedal degree on some lyrical pieces and you can hear all that magic... And it seems you can't apply that same expression by using a sampled libraries. It won't ruin the music or anything, and I guess it's already real enough to be expressive enough but the sole thought that there's missing expressive capability in the software makes my OCD trigger mightily smile


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Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: CyberGene] #2419249
05/11/15 09:38 AM
05/11/15 09:38 AM
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I'm afraid I'm a total philistine on the sustain - it's either on or off and I love it that way. I'm not a classical player at all other than the recreational pieces I've taken on in ABF so perhaps it's my very limited repertoire that keeps me from needing it.

Are there any watchable performances on Youtube you can recommend where one might see some good partial pedalling in action?

(Incidentally, I think Ravenscroft has partial pedal but I don't know how well it's implemented).

Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2419258
05/11/15 09:50 AM
05/11/15 09:50 AM
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dire tonic, here's one example:

Ning Yuen Li – Chopin Piano Competition 2015 (preliminary round)

Listen the first piece he starts with, the Nokturn H-dur op. 62 nr 1.

However, you should have listened to it many times, played by different players to be able to notice when he applies half-pedal and how he doesn't release it fully before applying it again for another stream of notes... It's so subtle that it's almost unnoticeable but you'll hear it eventually if you're keen on a piece and have listened it enough so that you know each note by heart smile I recommend you listen for example on the consecutive trills in that nocturne.

As I said, half-pedaling isn't the holy grail and the lack of it won't ruin the music, yet I think it's the last pinch of precision you add to a great classical performance to make it absolutely perfect.

Last edited by CyberGene; 05/11/15 09:50 AM.

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Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: CyberGene] #2419260
05/11/15 10:01 AM
05/11/15 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
dire tonic, here's one example:

Ning Yuen Li – Chopin Piano Competition 2015 (preliminary round)

Listen the first piece he starts with, the Nokturn H-dur op. 62 nr 1.

However, you should have listened to it many times, played by different players to be able to notice when he applies half-pedal and how he doesn't release it fully before applying it again for another stream of notes... It's so subtle that it's almost unnoticeable but you'll hear it eventually if you're keen on a piece and have listened it enough so that you know each note by heart smile I recommend you listen for example on the consecutive trills in that nocturne.

As I said, half-pedaling isn't the holy grail and the lack of it won't ruin the music, yet I think it's the last pinch of precision you add to a great classical performance to make it absolutely perfect.


- perfect, as it happens I murdered the 62,2 for the PC forum's Chopin recital last year. 62,1 is probably my favourite Nocturne of them all but I haven't studied it and might not even hear the pedalling you're talking about....I'll listen tonight when I'll have more time...thanks!

Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: bennevis] #2419484
05/11/15 10:54 PM
05/11/15 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by peterws
Originally Posted by CountSmith
Originally Posted by EssBrace
Originally Posted by peterws
Its obviously a performers dream but still sounds like a digital. Its too clinical, where do you ever have a real piano, even a concert grand, in this state of tune? It just doesn't happen.


Of course it does. An acoustic is tuned before a concert performance and similarly it is tuned before it is sampled, as in this case. Find me a top line, decent recording of a known concert pianist playing an out-of-tune piano. THAT just doesn't happen. . .


Here is an example. It's not the best recording but still interesting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waXMhyQtLyM


That`s a bit extreme! I didn`t quite mean that . .but if a concert piano is tuned before every performance, it would indicate that , the longer the music goes on for, the more out of tune it becomes! Now, some of you pitch perfect guys would notice this, but you`re enjoying the resonances too much to care . . .

In many classical piano concerts, the technician comes on during the interval to retune the piano. Especially if Liszt, Prokofiev or Rachmaninov was on the programme in the first half.....

(Actually, I can't remember the last time I didn't see the tech tuning the piano during the interval of a piano recital, at London's South Bank).


In all the concerts I've played, a technician comes out during intermission since playing does take a piano out of tune rather quickly. I also thought the playing and sound was great. If you enjoy playing the setup, that is all that really matters.


Roland V-Piano, Yamaha CLP990, Yamaha S90
Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: Philip_Johnston] #2505011
01/28/16 05:50 PM
01/28/16 05:50 PM
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It does not surprise me that people are fooled when listening to RECORDINS of acoustic versus DP. After all, the sound from acoustic then also has been turned into a digital sound...

Even though piano recordings may sound good on headphones, I don't think it sounds good on speakers. I have heard $100k+ speakers... Maybe there's more problems but the speakers seem to me the main problem DPs at this moment.


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Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: wouter79] #2505032
01/28/16 06:58 PM
01/28/16 06:58 PM
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How could you get this sound on a digital? There sounds to be echo and stuff here, but intrinsically it is an acoustic sound. That, even to me, is obvious. . .and I`ve heard it before on other recordings.

Last edited by peterws; 01/28/16 06:59 PM.

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Re: Is this now real enough? [Re: peterws] #2505045
01/28/16 07:21 PM
01/28/16 07:21 PM
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To peterws: The digital piano is not actually producing the sound.

The sound you're hearing is the Garritan CFX sample library, using a Yamaha Avant Grand N3 as the midi controller. iMac is a late 2013 27 inch, running Logic, so there's no need for a spaceship of a computer to run all this.

What really makes this possible is the superb N3 action - gives me every chance of bringing out the best in the Garritan Library.

Otherwise, there's no EQ or reverb added, just the natural ambience from the Abbey Road recording studios where the samples were recorded.



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