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Re: Internal sounds vs VST quality, can I tell? [Re: 8 Octaves] #2717047
02/25/18 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by 8 Octaves
While it still has its artificial overtones, it is coming really close to a real piano the way it behaves.


Hi Doug! I have two questions regarding this:
- how would you discribe this sound of artificial overtones? What makes them so artificial?
- What is it that makes Pianoteq behave much more like a real piano? Is is the touch response? The overtones, decay...

Originally Posted by 8 Octaves
Tip: set the response curve on Pianoteq to yield no sound from 0 to around 12 or 13.[/b] It will help you learn to play more as if you're on a real piano. Trust me on this even if it doesn't make sense to you at first.


one simple question smile :Why is this?

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Re: Internal sounds vs VST quality, can I tell? [Re: Timpskie] #2717055
02/25/18 06:23 AM
02/25/18 06:23 AM
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My experience with velocity curves is different.

In my early days I would turn down the velocity curve so that its output is less than its input. That's because I was heavy handed, unable to play pianissimo. Turning down the curve served as a crutch. I could get softer sounds even with a heavier touch.

This is good ... for maintaining poor technique!
In time I learned not do this. I'd recommend that you not repeat my mistake.

The first image shows the sort of curve I used to set, adapted for heavy-handed poor technique.

The second is a more reasonable one, suited for (and demanding of) better technique.
[Linked Image]

Re: Internal sounds vs VST quality, can I tell? [Re: Timpskie] #2717060
02/25/18 06:59 AM
02/25/18 06:59 AM
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Hello!

I'm also in the Pianoteq camp. I used the CFX lite for a couple of months and loved it, it's definitely the best sampled VST I've tried and plays great, but still not as well as PT. There are some irregularities in response and some sounds I'd rather not hear (the white noise in low velocity samples). Also, I believe there's "jitter" (difference in latency response depending on the keys, system load etc, but that may be better with a better system). However, Pianoteq gives me the feeling that Doug described, of playing a real piano, even if the sound isn't as rich. And I'll probably go back to the CFX from time to time. I simply didn't appreciate it as much for playing recently.

But I'm also in the camp that says, if you love the internal sound engine, don't bother with VSTs just yet. It's an endless endeavor for many, and may negative impact practice and learning in plenty of cases.

Nonetheless, concerning sound, there are some amazing recordings on youtube and I've been meaning to start a thread with this for some time, just not sure it's worth it. There is a channel "Wim Lassche" with a lot of recordings done by him, most of them with Pianoteq 5 and pictures taken by him as well. I find the sound beautiful, I listened to all his uploads. In fact, one of my favorite recordings of June Barcarolle by Tchaikovsky is this one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-3uuBvYa3E
I prefer it to a lot of acoustic recordings, even some done by renowned pianists.

Personally, I find the sound beautiful (even if maybe slightly less inferior to some sampled offerings). And I suggested at one point to Philip Johnston in one of his threads on the forum to try PT, but that never happened. But then again, he doesn't use the VST for playing, just for producing the final sound.

What are your opinions on Wim's recordings?

Re: Internal sounds vs VST quality, can I tell? [Re: Timpskie] #2717064
02/25/18 07:50 AM
02/25/18 07:50 AM
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I can see someone asking in the video comments "Is this really fully generated by the Pianoteq software?" (In Dutch)

It would fool me anyway, but I'm not an acoustic grand fanatic and even if something did sound "a bit weird" it would be easy to say that "it's just the recording" or "it's just that specific grand".

There's no one standard grand despite Kawai's "Standard grand" preset on some of their models.

Re: Internal sounds vs VST quality, can I tell? [Re: Timpskie] #2717072
02/25/18 08:54 AM
02/25/18 08:54 AM
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@Timpskie, Kawai CL36 owner here. My internal sound engine is an older generation compared to your's. I'm not sure how big the difference is.

Due to my CL36 neither having line in nor line out (I think same with your CA17?), I can't play VSTs through my CL36's internal speakers, nor can I play the internal sound through my external speakers. As a result, I can only compare 1) CL36 internal sound with internal speakers vs 2) VSTs with external speakers (Presonic Eris E5). Which is not a very fair comparison. Still, it might be useful for you, since our Kawai setup is somewhat similar.

To my ears, the Garritan CFX Light (sampled VST) with external speakers sounds *dramatically* better than the internal sound with internal speakers. It's like night and day for me. And both of the 2 guests which so far played a few notes on my CL36 also had a very strong opinion in favor of the CFX sound. Of course it's not a very fair comparison, because the internal speakers aren't really good, but that's the way it is. For me the internal sound sounds rather hard, cold and artificial, and there's zero reverb. I haven't bothered checking if the CL36 has the ability to add some reverb.

The Garritan CFX seems to be a rather well liked VST on this forum. I very recently ordered the Light version (Sweetwater 60 USD) based on recommendations from this forum. And I immediately loved the sound. It has quite a bit of reverb, though (in the samples!). If you don't like reverb, the CFX will probably not be for you. Otherwise, I'd suggest spending the 60 USD for the Light version. It's one of the cheapest good VSTs you can buy, and seemingly one of the best. If you like it as much as I do, you might upgrade to the full version (as I did). But if you don't like it, I think 60 USD is not too dramatic a loss. Although I do wish VST companies would offer demo/evaluation versions... ;( I'd love to try other VSTs to check if I like them even better than Garritan CFX, but I'm not feeling the need, being very happy with the sound, so it's the loss of the other VST companies by not offering an evaluation version. I'm definitely not going to spend any more money without being sure I will actually use what I buy.

To get a bit more practical. If I play just the first couple of (rather simple) chords from Debussy's Claire de Lune, using the internal sound it sounds like I can't play very well, because it simply doesn't sound very good to me. Switching to Garritan CFX, suddenly it sounds like I'm a great player, just because the VST "sings" for me.

All that said: VSTs are a hassle, I'm still fighting with my audio interface and with latency issues, so if you're not eager to go the extra mile, and if you're currently happy with the internal sound, then maybe you should better *not* try the CFX Light, because if you do, you may not be able to go back and still be happy. Then you'll have to get external speakers, fight through the VST related hassles, have a PC dedicated for VST playback etc etc...

Last edited by madshi; 02/25/18 08:57 AM.
Re: Internal sounds vs VST quality, can I tell? [Re: madshi] #2717073
02/25/18 09:03 AM
02/25/18 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by madshi
To get a bit more practical. If I play just the first couple of (rather simple) chords from Debussy's Claire de Lune, using the internal sound it sounds like I can't play very well, because it simply doesn't sound very good to me. Switching to Garritan CFX, suddenly it sounds like I'm a great player, just because the VST "sings" for me.


I feel the same way smile


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Re: Internal sounds vs VST quality, can I tell? [Re: Timpskie] #2717074
02/25/18 09:08 AM
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Re: Internal sounds vs VST quality, can I tell? [Re: madshi] #2717154
02/25/18 01:25 PM
02/25/18 01:25 PM
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A number of people here have a posted about a similar situation ...
Originally Posted by madshi
Due to my CL36 neither having line in nor line out (I think same with your CA17?), I can't play VSTs through my CL36's internal speakers, nor can I play the internal sound through my external speakers.

As a result, I can only compare 1) CL36 internal sound with internal speakers vs 2) VSTs with external speakers (Presonic Eris E5). Which is not a very fair comparison.
... some of those people did not even have external speaker, and did not want external speakers.

But you say that your already have those. So, to play internal sound to those speakers simply requires the purchase of the proper cable (fed from the piano's headphone jack).

You also said ...
Quote
VSTs are a hassle, I'm still fighting with my audio interface and with latency issues, so if you're not eager to go the extra mile, and if you're currently happy with the internal sound, then maybe you should better *not* try the CFX Light, because if you do, you may not be able to go back and still be happy. Then you'll have to get external speakers, fight through the VST related hassles, have a PC dedicated for VST playback etc etc.
I went through those hassles, too ... about eight years ago. I struggled with a low-end laptop, which turned out to be barely adequate. I got it working, but it only became satisfactory when I bought an outboard audio interface.

But you already have that, too. And I presume your PC is far newer than the 2005-era low-end Dell that I was using.

So equipped you should be able to make it all work quite well. I wonder whether you'd move back into VSTs if only your latency problems could be solved?

Re: Internal sounds vs VST quality, can I tell? [Re: MacMacMac] #2717171
02/25/18 02:06 PM
02/25/18 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
But you say that your already have those. So, to play internal sound to those speakers simply requires the purchase of the proper cable (fed from the piano's headphone jack).

You're right. I didn't think of that. But anyway, I bought the CL36 together with a (used) MacBook Pro, an audio interface and external monitors in one go, I never even considered for a moment to use the internal sound or speakers of the CL36 (and still don't). So buying such a cable isn't really of much use to me.

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I went through those hassles, too ... about eight years ago. I struggled with a low-end laptop, which turned out to be barely adequate. I got it working, but it only became satisfactory when I bought an outboard audio interface.

But you already have that, too. And I presume your PC is far newer than the 2005-era low-end Dell that I was using.

So equipped you should be able to make it all work quite well. I wonder whether you'd move back into VSTs if only your latency problems could be solved?

What do you mean with "move back into VSTs"? I never stopped using VSTs. I am using Garritan CFX right now. I've just reported that I did run into some trouble. I think my thunderbolt audio interface could be at fault, I'm planning to try an USB one instead. My MacBook is a 2014 Quad-Core, so it should be plenty fast enough. I don't know if the Garritan player actually uses multi-threading, though, so the Quad-Core might be wasted. Sure hope not...

Anyway, all I meant to say to the thread starter was that using VSTs can be a hassle sometimes, and that he needs to make up his mind if it's worth it to him. It *is* worth it to me.

Re: Internal sounds vs VST quality, can I tell? [Re: Timpskie] #2717176
02/25/18 02:12 PM
02/25/18 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by mcoll
. . . But I'm also in the camp that says, if you love the internal sound engine, don't bother with VSTs just yet. It's an endless endeavor for many, and may negative impact practice and learning in plenty of cases.


+1.

It doesn't matter much, what other people hear, and say. If the built-in sounds are OK for you, use them. If and when you say:

. . . "Something is missing, here . . . "

that's the time to get lost in the VST whirlpool.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Internal sounds vs VST quality, can I tell? [Re: Timpskie] #2717198
02/25/18 03:58 PM
02/25/18 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Timpskie

Originally Posted by 8 Octaves
Tip: set the response curve on Pianoteq to yield no sound from 0 to around 12 or 13. It will help you learn to play more as if you're on a real piano. Trust me on this even if it doesn't make sense to you at first.


one simple question smile :Why is this?


Question may be simple, but....

It is actually a tip from my teacher. It is very difficult if not impossible to write about technique in piano. I will not attempt to do so. I will only say my teacher was taught by world famous concert pianists, so she knows what she's doing. I know this forum has skeptics when it comes to doing anything outside of the nerd box. I understand because I am also a computer nerd and used to think in similar ways. I have a nice new grand piano that I could walk across the room and compare with Pianoteq and have done so more times than I could count, so it is experience not just opinion. Also, my teacher's experience is not trivial. Actually, I didn't do it for an entire year after my teacher suggested it because it didn't make sense to me. Let's just say doing so addresses very common bad technique digital players have who didn't start on an acoustic in childhood. It forces you to play the piano differently for the better compared to being able to make a sound all the way down to 5 or even 3 on the Pianoteq touch curve.

Re: Internal sounds vs VST quality, can I tell? [Re: Timpskie] #2717205
02/25/18 04:27 PM
02/25/18 04:27 PM
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As a geek myself (not nerd!) I like to hear logical explanations behind weird advices like that, not just “my teacher learned from great pianists”. First of all this might depend on your particular controller. What’s it? If it’s overly sensitive that might make any sense but not for any other controller. And I still find it odd. A well regulated grand piano is very sensitive and it won’t ignore the slight touches. So without any further explanation I would consider that as a rather ill-advised.

Last edited by CyberGene; 02/25/18 04:34 PM.

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Re: Internal sounds vs VST quality, can I tell? [Re: Timpskie] #2717207
02/25/18 04:48 PM
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On an acoustic piano, if the hammer has not enough energy at the escapement point, it will not touch the string.

I suppose this setting is proposed to emulate this behaviour, but it seems to me exaggerated. I suppose this depend of the digital piano. A AvantGrand N1 would likely not need this since a sensor measure if the hammer would have touch the strings.


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Re: Internal sounds vs VST quality, can I tell? [Re: CyberGene] #2717211
02/25/18 05:06 PM
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argumentum ad verecundiam ... I never thought I'd have reason to write that!

Anyway, a teacher taught by world famous concert pianists might not know the much about the behavior of digital pianos.
And it's likely that her world famous pianists didn't get there by playing on digital pianos.
CyberGene: Your plea (I like to hear logical explanations behind weird advices like that) makes sense.
Originally Posted by CyberGene
As a geek myself (not nerd!) I like to hear logical explanations behind weird advices like that, not just “my teacher learned from great pianists”. First of all this might depend on your particular controller. What’s it? If it’s overly sensitive that might make any sense but not for any other controller. And I still find it odd. A well regulated grand piano is very sensitive and it won’t ignore the slight touches. So without any further explanation I would consider that as a rather ill-advised.

Re: Internal sounds vs VST quality, can I tell? [Re: Timpskie] #2717222
02/25/18 06:37 PM
02/25/18 06:37 PM
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Some of the older vst pianos I have as well as previous electronic piano sounds (in synths/ romplers, for example,) always produced a sound if the key was fully depressed, by default. However, my DP and all the serious, recent VSTs I have (CFX, production grand etc) play very much like an acoustic in this respect.

It sounds like an extreme measure to cut out the first 12 positive integers of velocity response.......though I might try it out of curiosity smile


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Re: Internal sounds vs VST quality, can I tell? [Re: MacMacMac] #2717241
02/25/18 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
argumentum ad verecundiam ... I never thought I'd have reason to write that!

Anyway, a teacher taught by world famous concert pianists might not know the much about the behavior of digital pianos.


Perhaps the teacher may not know that much about digital pianos, but how much do you know about piano compared to the teacher. The question is, do you want to learn to play piano or just digital piano.

Re: Internal sounds vs VST quality, can I tell? [Re: Timpskie] #2717242
02/25/18 09:35 PM
02/25/18 09:35 PM
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The whole point is that a poorly chosen velocity curve may induce bad habits in a beginner.
The earlier advice so adjust the curve to silence notes below the 12 or so velocity serves only to further those bad habits.
And, if the teacher doesn't know much about digital pianos, how can she advise anyone about velocity curve adjustments?

Re: Internal sounds vs VST quality, can I tell? [Re: 8 Octaves] #2717259
02/26/18 01:02 AM
02/26/18 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by 8 Octaves
Originally Posted by Timpskie

Originally Posted by 8 Octaves
Tip: set the response curve on Pianoteq to yield no sound from 0 to around 12 or 13. It will help you learn to play more as if you're on a real piano. Trust me on this even if it doesn't make sense to you at first.


one simple question smile :Why is this?


Question may be simple, but....

It is actually a tip from my teacher. It is very difficult if not impossible to write about technique in piano. I will not attempt to do so. I will only say my teacher was taught by world famous concert pianists, so she knows what she's doing. I know this forum has skeptics when it comes to doing anything outside of the nerd box. I understand because I am also a computer nerd and used to think in similar ways. I have a nice new grand piano that I could walk across the room and compare with Pianoteq and have done so more times than I could count, so it is experience not just opinion. Also, my teacher's experience is not trivial. Actually, I didn't do it for an entire year after my teacher suggested it because it didn't make sense to me. Let's just say doing so addresses very common bad technique digital players have who didn't start on an acoustic in childhood. It forces you to play the piano differently for the better compared to being able to make a sound all the way down to 5 or even 3 on the Pianoteq touch curve.


Way to say absolutely nothing with a lot of words.

I agree with Cyber Gene. Either you are able to present logical arguments to your suggestions in the manner of "the following behavior is in error and needs to be corrected -> [proposed change] accomplishes that by [detailed explanation]" or your advice should not be followed.

If you cannot find the technical words, please ask your teacher to explain it to you, so you can relay her reasoning to us.

I myself am very curious about this but apart from making the instrument require a more heavy handed approach in the pianissimo range, your proposed change doesn't seem to do anything.


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
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Re: Internal sounds vs VST quality, can I tell? [Re: Timpskie] #2717271
02/26/18 03:34 AM
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I see no reason for such a hard approach to suggestion from 8 Octaves, as I see this, explanation is simple, on acoustic piano it is hard (impossible ?) to make such a tiny silent note in pianissimo, but it is possible on DP depends how do you set velocity curve. The problem is to decide what acoustic piano will serve as a pattern, some fine regulated concert grand piano (perfect) or home grand piano or upright where its even harder to play and control ppp notes compare and similar like we do on DP. This is on individual to decide does he/she want to set vc compare to acoustic touch without unique and general rule about it because there is also difference in touch in acoustic world. If you have acoustic piano in the house you can try to mimic vc in DP similar to acoustic you have.

Last edited by slobajudge; 02/26/18 03:56 AM.
Re: Internal sounds vs VST quality, can I tell? [Re: slobajudge] #2717286
02/26/18 05:11 AM
02/26/18 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by slobajudge
The problem is to decide what acoustic piano will serve as a pattern, some fine regulated concert grand piano (perfect) or home grand piano or upright where its even harder to play and control ppp notes compare and similar like we do on DP.

Precisely the point.
It depends on the acoustic you want to emulate and it depends on your own controllers action.

That's why many here doubt such an arbitrary value.


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
VPC 1 -> Pianoteq 6 Std / Pearl Alto Flute 201
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