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Originally Posted by EssBrace
Originally Posted by peterws
A quick look on YT concerning different top end acoustic grands will reveal very little difference to the listener. I was surprised how similar they sounded. I think PT gives a different tonallity to each of the pianos, it's welcome to me, and the Bluthner is superb.


Well yes, it's superb to you Peter. I quite like it too for certain periods of time although the 'Grotrian' is better to my ears. But the fact they call it Bluthner is completely academic; it's no more like a real Bluthner than any of their other models; it's just a name they call it.

In any event regarding the original question of this thread...I do think Roland has, at times, emulated Steinway. It's my belief that at one point it was a very Steinway-orientated thing (back in the days of pure sampling). Then I think Roland (mistakenly in my view) decided to create a composite of various sampled pianos tones (I've been told four). Now we're into the era (for Roland) of full modelling it's all academic. It's just a mathematical algorithm creating artificial tones in real time according to playing dynamics and those tones approximate to the sound of a grand piano.


Yes I agree, they used to emulate Steinway and although I find the modelled tones perfectly acceptable I would still prefer the tone of my old Roland. However, the dynamic range, etc., more than compensates.


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My new FP 90 is my first Roland, so I can’t compare it to earlier models, but with the exception of the VSL software pianos, I don’t know of any sampled piano that matches the modelled Roland for a realistic response. The keyboard/audio interaction is phenomenal, even if I prefer the tone of other pianos when considered in isolation.

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Thanks for all the responses. I thought it would make great marketing for Roland if they could emulate the characteristic sound of all the major acoustic pianos. It should be possible eventually to do that with a modelled sound engine. It is just a matter of improving their algorithms. One post I did not agree with was the statement that all DP actions feel the same. I tried both Yamaha and Roland pianos for a long time before I made up my mind and found the Yamaha action just did not feel as real and alive to me.

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Originally Posted by George S
Thanks for all the responses. I thought it would make great marketing for Roland if they could emulate the characteristic sound of all the major acoustic pianos. It should be possible eventually to do that with a modelled sound engine. It is just a matter of improving their algorithms. One post I did not agree with was the statement that all DP actions feel the same. I tried both Yamaha and Roland pianos for a long time before I made up my mind and found the Yamaha action just did not feel as real and alive to me.


That would be an immensely complicated task, a bit like getting the weather forecasts right! Speaking as a programmer I think what they have managed so far is very good. But I suspect the complexity of getting beyond is going to be extremely difficult. A tweak here will have 'unknown' consequences elsewhere.

With regard to DP actions, I think it meant of the same models.


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Originally Posted by George S
One post I did not agree with was the statement that all DP actions feel the same. I tried both Yamaha and Roland pianos for a long time before I made up my mind and found the Yamaha action just did not feel as real and alive to me.


While DP actions vary somewhat, and we definitely have our own preferences, I think you could say that DP actions tend to be similar to each other compared with the vast range of touch and response you get between one acoustic piano and another - the range with DPs is smaller and more 'finely tuned'. And to that extent, you could argue that choosing a piano because of its action is more important when buying an acoustic than a digital. Paradoxically, it seems to be the other way around, at least judging from this forum (which is admittedly, far from being a scientific sample).


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I remember the Roland guy here on the forum (forgot his name, maybe Jay?), who isn't a piano guy anymore and moved to working for Nikon, confirmed Roland were specifically creating a piano sound which isn't "targeting" any existing piano but is rather borrowing different aspects from different real pianos. Think piano Frankenstein. But as has already been said, even Pianoteq targeted pianos are (arguably) not having much in common with the real pianos whose respective names they bear, so it doesn't matter at the end of the day. You either like it or not smile


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Originally Posted by CyberGene
I remember the Roland guy here on the forum (forgot his name, maybe Jay?), who isn't a piano guy anymore and moved to working for Nikon, confirmed Roland were specifically creating a piano sound which isn't "targeting" any existing piano but is rather borrowing different aspects from different real pianos. Think piano Frankenstein. But as has already been said, even Pianoteq targeted pianos are (arguably) not having much in common with the real pianos whose respective names they bear, so it doesn't matter at the end of the day. You either like it or not smile


Yep that's what I remember JayRoland saying too. Though I'm on the other side of the fence and think Pianoteq modeling is very good. Still has to get the metallic tone as some here call it taken care of. But I rather play Pianoteq most of the time then sample libraries. So as CyberGene has stated either you like it or not. I try to support Pianoteq because I love the direction that they are heading in the modeling of instruments smile


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Originally Posted by CyberGene
I remember the Roland guy here on the forum (forgot his name, maybe Jay?), who isn't a piano guy anymore and moved to working for Nikon, confirmed Roland were specifically creating a piano sound which isn't "targeting" any existing piano but is rather borrowing different aspects from different real pianos.


Gene remembers well. Very well. that's almost exactly what I said.

Jay


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Hello Jay hope all is going well for you in Nikon Land.


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Well even any existing piano model can vary considerably depending on how it's been voiced and generally set up.

I thought roland had a wider range of presets in their app though of various target 'type' pianos?

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Originally Posted by JayGVan
Originally Posted by CyberGene
I remember the Roland guy here on the forum (forgot his name, maybe Jay?), who isn't a piano guy anymore and moved to working for Nikon, confirmed Roland were specifically creating a piano sound which isn't "targeting" any existing piano but is rather borrowing different aspects from different real pianos.


Gene remembers well. Very well. that's almost exactly what I said.

Jay


Ohh, I remember this avatar and it seems I remember your name correctly smile Wasn't your nickname different though?

As to Roland's approach I believe their approach with having presets like (warm, woody, pop, bright, metallic or whatever they are called, I'm inventing here) make much more sense to the customers. As a customer I prefer different timbres suitable for different genres of music rather than different real piano brands. Take for example the Bosendorfer patch in Yamaha, it seems many people ignore it because it doesn't sound convincing. And if you look at that the other way around, no acoustic piano manufacturer would be happy to know that their brand is associated with particular type of music. Yamaha are often associated with jazz/pop but as a matter of fact on a recent big classical piano competition more competitor chose the Yamaha than Steinway. Anyway, my point being, I would prefer having different characters of whatever piano there is. I don't care if it is Steinway, Yamaha, Bosendorfer, Fazioli... I only care if it sounds good and then I would like to have slight variations of that sound depending on the music I play - bright and powerful, soft and moody, etc.


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I think if they can make self driving cars they can model a piano. It is just going to take longer because there is not as much money in pianos as cars. The techniques they are using to make car software, AI learning, might be difficult because of the huge number of data points needed. I would love to know how they develop their modeling software (speaking as a retired software engineer).

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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Yamaha are often associated with jazz/pop but as a matter of fact on a recent big classical piano competition more competitor chose the Yamaha than Steinway.


Yes, this can happen. However, I believe there are various factors that influence a pianist's instrument selection when entering competitions.

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ps. Good to see you Jay! Where were you a few weeks ago, when I was trying to confirm whether or not the "plug a UM-ONE mk2 into a modern Roland's USB to Device (i.e. USB memory) port in order to connect to standard 5-pin MIDI devices" worked with the FP-30? wink


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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Yamaha are often associated with jazz/pop but as a matter of fact on a recent big classical piano competition more competitor chose the Yamaha than Steinway.


Yes, this can happen. However, I believe there are various factors that influence a pianist's instrument selection when entering competitions.

Kind regards,
James


Yes. How the piano feels and how it sounds in the concert hall. A competitor has to choose the piano that will help them to showcase their talents to the jury. There's certainly no reason to choose a Yamaha/Shigeru/Steinway if it's not the preferred piano. Kate Liu, who came third, played both Yamaha and Steinway -I'm assuming the Chopin Competition is the one mentioned in an earlier post.

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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Kate Liu, who came third, played both Yamaha and Steinway -I'm assuming the Chopin Competition is the one mentioned in an earlier post.

Yep. At the time I started a thread in the piano forum and there was a heated discussion smile


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Originally Posted by George S
I think if they can make self driving cars they can model a piano. It is just going to take longer because there is not as much money in pianos as cars. The techniques they are using to make car software, AI learning, might be difficult because of the huge number of data points needed. I would love to know how they develop their modeling software (speaking as a retired software engineer).


Safe self-driving cars? Might just be possible, eventually on straight US road, but in the UK?! A! learning may be clever but it is not just the software involved.


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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by Kawai James


Yes, this can happen. However, I believe there are various factors that influence a pianist's instrument selection when entering competitions.

Kind regards,
James


Yes. How the piano feels and how it sounds in the concert hall.


I recall in a recent competiton all the players ended up choosing the Falzioli for the final round. Reportedly not because it had the best sound or action, but because Fazioli sent a tech (they were the only manufacturer represented who did) to tune the instrument between pieces.


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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by Kawai James


Yes, this can happen. However, I believe there are various factors that influence a pianist's instrument selection when entering competitions.

Kind regards,
James


Yes. How the piano feels and how it sounds in the concert hall.


I recall in a recent competiton all the players ended up choosing the Falzioli for the final round. Reportedly not because it had the best sound or action, but because Fazioli sent a tech (they were the only manufacturer represented who did) to tune the instrument between pieces.


Which competition was that? In some of the competitions the last round is usually a concert with orchestra and Fazioli are known to have clean, bright and loud sound which would cut better through the orchestra hence impress more the audience and the jury. This is entirely my speculative theory though smile


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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Originally Posted by Gombessa

I recall in a recent competiton all the players ended up choosing the Falzioli for the final round. Reportedly not because it had the best sound or action, but because Fazioli sent a tech (they were the only manufacturer represented who did) to tune the instrument between pieces.


Which competition was that? In some of the competitions the last round is usually a concert with orchestra and Fazioli are known to have clean, bright and loud sound which would cut better through the orchestra hence impress more the audience and the jury. This is entirely my speculative theory though smile


2017 Scottish International Piano Competition. The 1st place winner is a PW member, and this is what he said:

Quote
I did indeed play 3 different pianos in 4 rounds and it was very stressful. Steinway wasn't a particularly good one but Bosendorfer and Fazioli were indeed quite good. It was the first time that i played the new concert grand of Bosendorfer. They kept their original mechanics but added duplex scaling. I can say that they absolutely nailed it. In the final we could chose and i (like everybody) chose Fazioli because they were actually the only company to send technicians to look after their instrument.


I guess you could contrast this with something like the 2014 Rubinstein Competition where five of six competitors chose the Fazioli in the final round even though there were techs for each of the instrument makes present.


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It’s great that we have a PW member of such high piano level! BTW, on the Chopin competition there was only one competitor who chose the Fazioli and she didn’t progress past the first or the second round.


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