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Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) [Re: Marcel M] #2729451
04/16/18 04:28 PM
04/16/18 04:28 PM
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Valencia, Spain
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Originally Posted by Marcel M
I cannot understand how people cannot hear any noise on my recordings.
I showed it to some people in my work, and all confirmed that there is some noise (or shrill, whatever it means) in the recordings that definitely should not be there. I am always talking about listening with higher volume on good headphones.

Believe me, get get some 100€ Sennheiser OPEN cans and forget about those things. Set touch to heavy to make it mellower. DON'T set headphones to high volume, it's not natural.
There are some imperfections in PHI engine but It is musical enough if you play carefully. If you bang it and use bad settings, it's gonna sound bad.
You found my recording beautiful sounding, so it's not a problem with Kawai sound. And by the way those settings were chosen to be played via speakers, so It sounds a bit harsh on headphones.


Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.Kawai K-200
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Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) [Re: Marcel M] #2729464
04/16/18 05:18 PM
04/16/18 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcel M
I cannot understand how people cannot hear any noise on my recordings.
I showed it to some people in my work, and all confirmed that there is some noise (or shrill, whatever it means) in the recordings that definitely should not be there. I am always talking about listening with higher volume on good headphones.


Can you please have a listen at these four recordings? https://soundcloud.com/ac-635715790/sets/ca98-samples

I tried to reproduce your example on the CA98 with brilliance at a high level using the HI-XL engine and the new "pianist mode". These were recorded directly to USB in MP3 format. I am curious if you are able to detect any noise or artefacts on these recordings as well. Note that I am aware that your Kawai features the older PHI sound engine.

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) [Re: redfish1901] #2729469
04/16/18 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by redfish1901
I also wondered if what I'm hearing is real, so I made a spectral plot of the two sound files.

speakers: https://imgur.com/a/kICJD
line in: https://imgur.com/a/gjWUn

The speaker recording has much louder high frequency resonance, which is not really present in line-out recording.

So, there is something actually there. It could be the settings, the room acoustics, or maybe even the hardware. It could also be that some people are just more sensitive. I'm certainly in the camp that's sensitive.


The speaker recording was done with a smartphone which means it not only captured the audio from the DP but also all the ambient noise. Moreover, the microphones on such devices are not to produce a decent audio recording. So, it is very likely that the higher frequencies and "noise" you are detecting on the plot are artefacts introduced by the the low quality of that microphone.

Note that the OP is also able to hear noise on the "line out" recording, while the only thing I hear is resonance and what sounds like some clipping when the last chord is played. Anyway, this is an interesting but a completely subjective discussion :-)

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) [Re: arc7urus] #2729513
04/16/18 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by arc_turus

The speaker recording was done with a smartphone which means it not only captured the audio from the DP but also all the ambient noise. Moreover, the microphones on such devices are not to produce a decent audio recording. So, it is very likely that the higher frequencies and "noise" you are detecting on the plot are artefacts introduced by the the low quality of that microphone.


I disagree because 1) Most smart phone microphones are quite good between 150Hz-16KHz, and 2) I heard the very same artifacts in person listening to other Kawai CA models. On multiple occasions I visited the shop, I heard them. Maybe it's the room (which I said was possible), but I doubt it's being introduced by the recording equipment.

Originally Posted by arc_turus

Note that the OP is also able to hear noise on the "line out" recording, while the only thing I hear is resonance and what sounds like some clipping when the last chord is played. Anyway, this is an interesting but a completely subjective discussion :-)


Rightly so.

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Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) [Re: redfish1901] #2729519
04/16/18 10:15 PM
04/16/18 10:15 PM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
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Originally Posted by redfish1901
I also wondered if what I'm hearing is real, so I made a spectral plot of the two sound files.

speakers: https://imgur.com/a/kICJD
line in: https://imgur.com/a/gjWUn


Hmm...I'm not entirely sure this illustrates a great deal, beyond the fact that two differently performed passages recorded at separate times under different conditions result in different spectral analysis images. I believe there are too many variables involved to allow any kind of conclusions to be drawn.

Honestly, I'm inclined to agree with JoBert. There does not appear to be a problem with the instrument, however if the OP dislikes the sound it produces for whatever reason, it's probably best to (try to) return it to the store, or consider alternative sound generation options.

Kind regards,
James
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Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) [Re: redfish1901] #2729541
04/17/18 02:12 AM
04/17/18 02:12 AM
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Originally Posted by redfish1901
Originally Posted by arc_turus

The speaker recording was done with a smartphone which means it not only captured the audio from the DP but also all the ambient noise. Moreover, the microphones on such devices are not to produce a decent audio recording. So, it is very likely that the higher frequencies and "noise" you are detecting on the plot are artefacts introduced by the the low quality of that microphone.


I disagree because 1) Most smart phone microphones are quite good between 150Hz-16KHz, and 2) I heard the very same artifacts in person listening to other Kawai CA models. On multiple occasions I visited the shop, I heard them. Maybe it's the room (which I said was possible), but I doubt it's being introduced by the recording equipment.


Do you hear those artefacts on these recordings made with one CA98? These were recorded directly to usb in mp3 using high brilliance settings as well.
https://soundcloud.com/ac-635715790/sets/ca98-samples

And it is not only about the frequency range that the mic on a smartphone can capture. It is also about how these mics handle sound source directionality, signal/noise and other parameters . I have never heard a decent recording of an acoustic or digital piano made through the microphone of a smartphone. So, you cannot be sure what characteristics of that recording are actually part of the sound source, what is being introduced by the ambient environment and what is the impact of the recording hardware and software.I would say that the line-out recording eliminates some of these variables and therefore is more objective.

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) [Re: Marcel M] #2729548
04/17/18 03:19 AM
04/17/18 03:19 AM
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From my experience with PHI, some "artefacts" may indeed happen and they usually, but not always, come from modelling:

-Resonance model is (of course) imperfect, to keep some compromises. It has its own "signature" (like real pianos have) and some people find it "ringing".
-Touch, when set to heavy or heavy+, makes the sound almost muffled when playing mf.
-Mellow voicings produce noise.(but a real piano, fully closed, does it too)
-Brilliant voicings tend to be piercing and ringing, when the piano is not a mellow one.(idem)
-Dynamic voicings sound fake (but sometimes work well).
-Some (many!) settings, when high or very low values are selected, don't work well toghether and produce "artefacts". This is to be expected as they are deviations from a mean.
-Cues are looped and it sounds weird specially in the bass, mostly if you play with pedal.
-Some dissonances sound really weird and fake, this is the only thing that is,indeed, close to a "buzz", but you simply get used to it. When it buzzes you know you have made a pedalling mistake.

But, all things above being true...sit and play on a not-so-cheap vertical and tell me what you hear!! Lots of strange noises that you end getting used to.

And most important, the brain is an active processor: depending on where you come from, it perceives sound in a way or another, until it just finds the way to "hear" well.


Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.Kawai K-200
Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) [Re: GoldmanT] #2729595
04/17/18 11:38 AM
04/17/18 11:38 AM
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Czech Republic
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Originally Posted by GoldmanT
If you turn up brilliance to max and listen to it loud it's going to be shrill, but then a bright acoustic piano played loudly is going to be shrill..

I don't thing that any shrill like this would be coming from an acoustic piano. Actually it remind me when I play piano at my parents house, they got lots of stuff placed on piano, so it resonate like crazy when I play... Maybe that is the purpose of it, to simulate it:)

Originally Posted by GoldmanT
Did all the people say 'that noise shouldn't be there' or was that your words interpreting what they were saying? Were they qualified to say it 'shouldn't be there' based on their experience of recording and listening to recordings of acoustic pianos?


It does not require high school to hear that there is something in the sound that is disturbing and should not be there. And yes they were qualified (musicians and sort of audiophiles)


Kawai CA48
Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) [Re: arc7urus] #2729598
04/17/18 11:49 AM
04/17/18 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by arc_turus

Do you hear those artefacts on these recordings made with one CA98? These were recorded directly to usb in mp3 using high brilliance settings as well.
https://soundcloud.com/ac-635715790/sets/ca98-samples


Yes, of course, extremely disturbing... Are you saying that it is clear beautiful piano sound?


Kawai CA48
Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) [Re: mabraman] #2729602
04/17/18 11:56 AM
04/17/18 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by mabraman


But, all things above being true...sit and play on a not-so-cheap vertical and tell me what you hear!! Lots of strange noises that you end getting used to.

And most important, the brain is an active processor: depending on where you come from, it perceives sound in a way or another, until it just finds the way to "hear" well.


Well said! And, it's just as easy to find fault with a top line grand. Room, room location, furnishings, lid position, cabinet rattle maybe; indigestion, headache. . . hangover . . .
And you can't send one of those back without a fight!


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Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) [Re: Marcel M] #2729603
04/17/18 12:08 PM
04/17/18 12:08 PM
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Quote
I don't thing that any shrill like this would be coming from an acoustic piano.

On an acoustic you don't force an artificial brilliance setting to the max either. Well you could do it in post processing software and the result would be similar in hideousness. Stuff like brilliance and other settings are precision tools not sledgehammers.

Go close to the max into either direction and your sound WILL become more and more unrealistic.

Originally Posted by Marcel M
It does not require high school to hear that there is something in the sound that is disturbing and should not be there. And yes they were qualified (musicians and sort of audiophiles)


Apart from looping samples and a general harshness I can't hear any obvious distortion or foreign elements in your second recording, the first one I wont comment on because it sounds horrible either way.

Sounds like a piano to me.
Maybe you simply dislike the SK-EX sound signature.
Try a VST so you can rule out any of your other sonic equipment.

Last edited by Granyala; 04/17/18 12:11 PM.

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Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) [Re: Marcel M] #2729627
04/17/18 01:24 PM
04/17/18 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcel M

Originally Posted by arc_turus

Do you hear those artefacts on these recordings made with one CA98? These were recorded directly to usb in mp3 using high brilliance settings as well.
https://soundcloud.com/ac-635715790/sets/ca98-samples


Yes, of course, extremely disturbing... Are you saying that it is clear beautiful piano sound?


Ah! Now we are getting on the same page :-) I believe you prefer a very clean and clear piano sound. However, a clean and clear sound is something that you will never get from any acoustic piano due to resonance, ringing overtones, harmonic beating, mechanical noises and all other acoustic phenomena happening inside and outside the piano.

The CA98 - and to some extent your CA48 - are trying to simulate these effects. If the sound is "beautiful" or not is a subjective matter. But you are definitely not hearing noise. This video from Paul Barton shows some examples of resonance (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHWex94-mHg&feature=youtu.be&t=442). You would hear the same effects on a good quality recording made with an acoustic.

I also believe you would have the exact same complaints with any DP or VST that is trying to simulate these acoustic effects. For example, have a listen at Pianoteq's demos. The first one ("The Places We Knew") is a good example. Do you consider it to be "noisy" as well? https://www.pianoteq.com/listen_by_instrument

So, you should try to understand if you do not like how Kawai is trying to simulate these effects, if you do not like the SK-EX tone or if you simply do not like the "unclean" sound of an acoustic piano along with all of its imperfections...


Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) [Re: Marcel M] #2729642
04/17/18 02:14 PM
04/17/18 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcel M

Originally Posted by arc_turus

Do you hear those artefacts on these recordings made with one CA98? These were recorded directly to usb in mp3 using high brilliance settings as well.
https://soundcloud.com/ac-635715790/sets/ca98-samples


Yes, of course, extremely disturbing... Are you saying that it is clear beautiful piano sound?

Yes. Ignoring the ramped up brilliance, this is a normal, beautiful piano sound. Well, "beautiful" if you like the Kawai sound signature (which I do, someone else may think otherwise). But it certainly is "normal". There's nothing in there (again, except the brilliance) that is not typical and normal for a piano sound. Is it also a "clear" piano sound? To me, yes. But I suspect that you have a different interpretation of "clear" in mind, because you obviously don't characterize it so.

Now, please don't misunderstand the following. It is meant in a constructive and hopefully helpful way. You mentioned that your previous piano has been a YDP 141, and that it had the "super clear" sound that you like. This YDP 141 is an 8 year old model that even when it was new was a model in Yamaha's entry level line with technology that wasn't new even back then. Certainly it had a much simpler sound engine than your CA48 has, with much less resonances and the like. I wonder if maybe playing this instrument has, over time, somewhat skewed your perception of how a piano is supposed to sound? So that you now perceive the rather "plain" and (excuse the honesty) boring sound of that piano as your "clear" ideal piano sound, and find the more realistic sound of the CA48 unnatural.
If you have the opportunity, go to a shop and play a lot of other recent DP models (the more high end the better), not only Kawai, but Roland, Casio and Yamaha too. And download the free trial for Pianoteq and play it. Maybe also play some (preferrably not so cheap) acoustics at a shop. Everything to "reset" your baseline of how a piano is supposed to sound. Then maybe you can learn to accept, or even like, the CA48 too.

Of course you may end up still not liking it. Then you have a problem if you indeed cannot return it. Because one thing seems to be clear: Your piano does not have a defect that Kawai can fix for you. It sounds exactly as designed.

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) [Re: JoBert] #2729696
04/17/18 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by JoBert
I wonder if maybe playing this instrument has, over time, somewhat skewed your perception of how a piano is supposed to sound?


I'm not the original poster, and am going clearly off topic, but this hits home because it happened to me.

Until recently, I hadn't played a real piano in like 20 years. Even though I could still play intermediate-advanced classical music from memory, and learn new pieces, I only had access to a digital, so it was a shocking discovery that I had effectively forgotten how to play the real thing.

As I started shopping for a new digital recently, I got to play real pianos again in the stores, and discovered that my playing has lost sensitivity and expressiveness, and my pedaling has become sloppy. The lesser digitals hid these defects, but the better ones (AvantGrands) were revealing. I'm slowing getting better as I continue to play acoustics while shopping for a new piano, but now instead of looking for a good digital, my minimum bar has become hybrids and maybe stretch my budget for a used grand.

There is an old forum member who advocates modeled pianos and playing at realistic volume levels (I believe bennevis). I strongly agree with this now. Pianoteq goes further than most digitals, but even it has limitations. (Here is a very interesting pteq forum thread related to this: http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/viewtopic.php?id=3427)

I'm not advocating everyone only use acoustic instruments. People have different needs and means, and making and enjoying music is the real goal here. But at the same time, it's possible that people without access to a real acoustic piano (and in tune and good working order) may have a difficult time determining what "good piano sound" is supposed to be like.

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) [Re: Marcel M] #2729701
04/17/18 06:11 PM
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The flip side is that a lot of the acoustic pianos out there in the wild (not brand new ones in shops) just aren't very good, or need constant tuning to keep them sounding good. An upright action always feels spring-loaded to me (it probably is?) so I never have much control over the softer end of the spectrum, there's no resistance there, and a grand piano to play on is a rarity outside of a teacher's piano or staying in some well-to-do hotel or access to a university department - no-one I know even has the space for a grand piano, let alone be able to afford a decent one.

A few weeks ago we were in a café with a nice looking upright piano with a sign saying 'do not play unless authorised' and an advert for the local music shop on top of it. When the 'authorised' guy finally came to play it, I was really underwhelmed - it didn't sing, it was muddy and reminded me of old folks homes. A mid-priced digital sounds good (like 'studio recording of acoustic piano' good, not 'like an acoustic piano is in your room' good) and can be turned down enough not to disturb the neighbours.

One thing I've done recently though is increase the note decay time on my digital so it more closely resembles the longer decay of an acoustic - I know some manufacturers must reduce the decay so their sample looping doesn't become obvious, but also maybe to make players not sound as bad when they jam down the damper pedal.

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) [Re: Marcel M] #2729779
04/18/18 03:27 AM
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Did the OP turn pedal noises off, by the way?


Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
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