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#2625560 - 03/21/17 12:59 AM Piano Sound Module
Huge Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/20/17
Posts: 11
I'm looking to get piano module for my controller keyboard (fatar SL900). Are there any "modern" piano midi modules still being made? I was going to get an EMU PROformance 1+ Piano ($75) or an M-Audio Accent Piano Module ($200). Has anyone played the M-Audio? I remember the Proformance sounding good to me when I had it, but that was 25 years ago! I'm guessing the M-Audio (though not a great sound) would still be better than 25 year old technology.

The only thing that I don't like about the M-Audio is that it doesn't have midi out.

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#2625562 - 03/21/17 02:12 AM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
Terry Michael Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/08
Posts: 100
Loc: Cali
Here's one of the best recent modules.

https://youtu.be/z8Zw-6v6NZA
_________________________
TH

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#2625574 - 03/21/17 03:08 AM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
Huge Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/20/17
Posts: 11
Love Ivory, but at $1,500...it's just a bit out of my price range. wink Looking to spend a couple hundred max. Was wondering when these were going to be released though.

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#2625582 - 03/21/17 04:43 AM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
clothearednincompo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/20/16
Posts: 197
Loc: Finland
More recently there has been at least
- Some products from Ketron
- Limex Vienna Grand Piano
- General Music RP-X
- Kurzweil ME-1
- Yamaha p-50m
- AKAI SG01p

...and at that point we are already back to the 90s.

But some of the more recent general purpose sound modules (Roland's SoundCanvas etc.) may have decent pianos too.

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#2625593 - 03/21/17 06:00 AM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
EssBrace Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 3034
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
I've previously owned the Yamaha p-50m, The Kurzweil ME1 (and predecessor Micro-Piano), General Music RP-X (and its predecessor), Korg SG-Pro-Rack and Roland P55, MKS-20 and P330.

I'd take RP-X if I could find one out of that list or possibly the Yamaha because it has decent EQ on the front panel which can make a very significant difference to the sound.

I would be interested in knowing how good the Limex Vienna module is. That is far more recent than the others. The Roland Integra is a beast and very expensive. I assume it's good but I've never played one.

However, by the general standards of hardware DPs now I think most of them would be a bit disappointing. In some cases very disappointing!

Come on Clavia....a Nord Rack at £500 (or possibly even £750) would be a very welcome addition to the market place.

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#2625602 - 03/21/17 07:49 AM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
toddy Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 2883
Loc: Portugal
There are few options for what you want. The computer via interface and USB option is more common these days, and the sky is the limit once your system is up and running, glitch free.

But the module obviously has advantages. One of which is that running glitch-free with a computer can take a lot of effort and research/ learning. So the midi module still makes a lot of sense, especially if you are setting up and packing away for gigs or moving around.

The Keytron Klavi Pro Piano-Expander looks and sounds good to me, and it's around €250 from Thomann. The M-audio didn't sound as good to me (on YouTube) and i couldn't find it for sale anyway.

The next price band really seems to be high priced modules for professional stage use or well healed individuals - Roland Integra and Synthogy Ivory VR II. But these cost $thousands - way more than a good computer based system.
_________________________
Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 Ult. / Focusrite Saffire 24
W7, i7 4770, 16GB / Monitors: Yamaha HS7s .

Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity. He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.
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#2625610 - 03/21/17 08:53 AM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 15475
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
What about iPad or Android software options? I've never tried one, personally, but perhaps a bit easier for gigging?

I think for computers, it just takes a bit to get a streamlined setup but once it's up and running, one shouldn't run into glitches unless you change something (or you're using Windows, which likes to change things for you wink ). Still, it should be pretty reliable and I've seen bands using them more and more on stage.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher FT



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#2625611 - 03/21/17 08:58 AM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
clothearednincompo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/20/16
Posts: 197
Loc: Finland
Ah, I forgot the Alesis Nanopiano from the "more recent" ones. It's from late 90s I guess. Lots of presets, decent polyphony but somehow I got the feeling that the acoustic pianos dont' even have any velocity layers. Just the same sound loud or quiet. (I don't have a one anymore.) The Rhodes had at least two layers as it had that "growl" when playing louder.

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#2625654 - 03/21/17 11:24 AM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
emenelton Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/09
Posts: 902
The m-audio is available at B&H. The demo on YouTube sounds pretty good.

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#2625734 - 03/21/17 04:25 PM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
Huge Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/20/17
Posts: 11
Thank you for the suggestions. I have some very nice piano VST Instruments, but that's the thing: Sometimes I just don't want to fire up the Tower Computer, open up my DAW and load up a VSTI. I just want to flip a switch and play! wink

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#2625737 - 03/21/17 04:32 PM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
Jonky Ponky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/30/16
Posts: 24
As Morodiene mentioned, modern tablets and phones are starting to be a real alternative to the more complicated and less reliable PC setups.
If you have a device with around 2gb ram (iPhone 6s or iPad Air2 or Android equivalent) you can actually play some very nice pianos and other instruments for free using sounds from my site.
https://sites.google.com/site/soundfonts4u/
All you need is a cheap app (around $10) that supports Soundfonts like bs-16i from bismark.



Edited by Jonky Ponky (03/21/17 04:42 PM)

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#2625754 - 03/21/17 05:10 PM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
peterws Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 6098
Loc: Northern England.
Originally Posted By Huge
Thank you for the suggestions. I have some very nice piano VST Instruments, but that's the thing: Sometimes I just don't want to fire up the Tower Computer, open up my DAW and load up a VSTI. I just want to flip a switch and play! wink


I don't even do that. Piano's permanently on, as is the laptop. An ole Vista one, it's probably good for nothing except hosting pianoteq. And MyPaint. it's never online and is blissfully trouble free.
_________________________
"I am not a man. I am a free number"

""

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#2625757 - 03/21/17 05:25 PM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
Huge Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/20/17
Posts: 11
OK, once I have the App (bs-16i), two questions:

1. What's the cable hook up between the ipad and the midi keyboard?

2. The sound font samples are downloaded onto my ipad?

3. Is there much latency?

This would be great as I already have an ipad 2.

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#2625812 - 03/21/17 10:29 PM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
Jonky Ponky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/30/16
Posts: 24
You just need the Apple Camera Connection Kit provided your keyboard has USB Midi (the newer USB 3 CCK is best because it allows charging at the same time. (iPhone 7 users will need an audio interface which will be required also if your keyboard has 5 pin din midi only and no USB midi).
Only trouble is I don't think the iPad 2 is up to spec as it only has 512 mb ram and old 30 pin connector. An iPhone 5 would be more adequate.
On my Air 2 or iPhone 6s there is next to zero latency (certainly not noticeable at all).
The SoundFonts are loaded to bs-16i either via Dropbox/iCloud or via iTunes, Apps, Documents.
Here is an example of someone in Japan using one of my Soundfonts on YouTube
https://youtu.be/0DyTDk41UfM
or
https://youtu.be/C_R6jvDXbEM


Edited by Jonky Ponky (03/21/17 10:54 PM)

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#2625814 - 03/21/17 10:33 PM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
Kawai James Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 12875
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Yes, I would say a second hand iPad Air is probably the best bet (assuming you do not wish to buy a brand new device).

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

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#2625819 - 03/21/17 10:59 PM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
Jonky Ponky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/30/16
Posts: 24
Yes James is right but bear in mind that an Air2 has twice the Ram as an Air1 and Ram is important for SoundFonts. I have several around 1gb in size.
https://sites.google.com/site/soundfonts4u/

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#2625833 - 03/22/17 12:45 AM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
Huge Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/20/17
Posts: 11
Is there an adapter I can use to convert midi to USB? My keyboard only has Midi out.

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#2625838 - 03/22/17 02:13 AM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
Jonky Ponky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/30/16
Posts: 24
There are lots to choose from but one example is this:
https://www.steinberg.net/en/products/audio_interfaces/ur_series/models/ur22mkii.html
This one does a lot more than just accepting 5 pin din midi input - it also allows vocal or stereo input recording but for the price (should be available for around US$130) it is quite good and includes a lite version of Cubase (Digital Audio Workstation software) for recording etc.
A smaller and cheaper one that just does the midi is the Korg plugKEY.
https://www.amazon.com/Korg-PLUGKEYBK-Channel-Audio-Plug-In/dp/B01HG292GW
With this last one if your device accepts the lightning adaptor then you don't even need the Apple Camera Connection Kit - saving you approx $35.


Edited by Jonky Ponky (03/22/17 02:46 AM)

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#2625847 - 03/22/17 03:19 AM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
Huge Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/20/17
Posts: 11
Well, looks like it will cost a bit more to use an Ipad to do this. But might be worth investing in the new technology. Thanks so much for the info guys. Really opened my eyes. And here I was using my phone to make calls this whole time! wink

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#2625877 - 03/22/17 09:22 AM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
Tom Fort Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/21/16
Posts: 66
The new iPads announced yesterday are pretty good value for the money. If you're inclined to do any composition/notation I'd recommend paying more for the iPad Pro. I bought a refurbished 9.7" iPad Pro last year.

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#2625883 - 03/22/17 09:41 AM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Tom Fort]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 15475
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By Tom Fort
The new iPads announced yesterday are pretty good value for the money. If you're inclined to do any composition/notation I'd recommend paying more for the iPad Pro. I bought a refurbished 9.7" iPad Pro last year.

Refurb Apple products are a great way to get a good deal and not pay through the nose.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher FT



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#2625921 - 03/22/17 11:36 AM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
Michael H Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/05
Posts: 128
Loc: Long Island, NY
tjhink
Originally Posted By Huge
Well, looks like it will cost a bit more to use an Ipad to do this. But might be worth investing in the new technology. Thanks so much for the info guys. Really opened my eyes. And here I was using my phone to make calls this whole time! wink


You might want to take a look at iGrand for iPad. It runs fine on my iPad 2, it sounds good, there are demos on YouTube, and I believe the full version is about $20. I think they make a version for iPhone also.


Edited by Michael H (03/22/17 02:28 PM)
_________________________
2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michaelhagglund/from/greatindiemusic

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#2625960 - 03/22/17 02:16 PM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
oscar1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/20/17
Posts: 158
Sadly no classic piano module will cut it anymore. The piano sound came a long way since then. As mentioned before alesis nanopiano, roland sound canvas etc, they can be had for $50-$100 but will not pass the sonic test. It is not worth to go there IMHO.
However if you are handy, you can get some of the broken Yamaha P, DGX, YPG that have MIDI. They had solid piano sound but some, like some DGX had problems with displays going off etc. You can get an half broken one for about ~$100 if you hassle, then detach the guts from the keyboard, put it in a box, and you have a pretty good piano module. Obviously it needs to have MIDI IN, you can't use USB with external keyboard. I've done this before - the cheapest way to get a multitimbral module.


Edited by oscar1 (03/22/17 02:17 PM)
_________________________
Casio PX-860, Casio XW-P1, Roland FA08 and coffee.

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#2625971 - 03/22/17 03:17 PM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
Edb123 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/08/15
Posts: 108
Will those soundfonts work on a windows 10 pro tablet ?

It has 4gb ram and an Intel i3 1.5ghz processor

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#2625972 - 03/22/17 03:18 PM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
Huge Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/20/17
Posts: 11
I think you're right about the modules not really standing up these days. The ones that do, cost a lot. iPiano for ipad seems like a great deal. If I buy the iRig Midi 2, I get iPiano Free included with that. Then I only need to buy a cable to plug into my ipad. Mmmmm Mmmmm...I love technology!

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#2625973 - 03/22/17 03:34 PM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
Michael H Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/05
Posts: 128
Loc: Long Island, NY
Originally Posted By Huge
I think you're right about the modules not really standing up these days. The ones that do, cost a lot. iPiano for ipad seems like a great deal. If I buy the iRig Midi 2, I get iPiano Free included with that. Then I only need to buy a cable to plug into my ipad. Mmmmm Mmmmm...I love technology!


iGrand Free (are we talking about the same software?)is not the full version, and I believe you might be able to get that free version even without the iRig Midi 2. But you still need a way to hook up, which could be an Apple camera kit or the iRig. The camera kit is less expensive, but some of the iRig stuff is pretty nice.

I A/B-ed iGrand with my Yamaha P45 and iGrand was definitely better sounding than the p45.

For not a lot of money you'd have several good sounding pianos. Good luck!


Edited by Michael H (03/22/17 03:37 PM)
_________________________
2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michaelhagglund/from/greatindiemusic

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#2625977 - 03/22/17 03:43 PM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
Huge Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/20/17
Posts: 11
Thanks for the info Michael. I have a P45 as well and it's nice to know your opinion. I like that the iRig 2 has midi out and thru!

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#2625979 - 03/22/17 03:44 PM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
Michael H Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/05
Posts: 128
Loc: Long Island, NY
You're welcome Huge!
_________________________
2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michaelhagglund/from/greatindiemusic

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#2625988 - 03/22/17 04:02 PM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Edb123]
MacMacMac Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 5045
Loc: North Carolina
Under Windows 10 I doubt this will be adequate.
Originally Posted By Edb123
Will those soundfonts work on a windows 10 pro tablet? It has 4gb ram and an Intel i3 1.5ghz processor.
But if you run Windows XP on that hardware it should be fine.
_________________________
Prices Paid spreadsheet online

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#2626028 - 03/22/17 06:18 PM Re: Piano Sound Module [Re: Huge]
Jonky Ponky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/30/16
Posts: 24
I've got a Windows 10 laptop with 4 gb ram and it has no problem running SoundFonts. I've tried the free Daw LMMS, a lite version of Cubasis and installed a high quality GMFont using VirtualMIDIsynth without any problems. I just don't like the hassle of the setup however and prefer to use my iPhone 6s. I also get much better performance from my iPad and iPhone in terms of latency than on the Laptop (ASIO drivers installed). Apple have really nailed it with their audio drivers.


Edited by Jonky Ponky (03/22/17 06:21 PM)

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