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Help with Roland FP30 sound #2788613 12/07/18 05:49 AM
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Daniel_m Offline OP
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Hello,

I started playing piano on several acoustics for one year and then bought a Roland FP30 five months ago. I am not playing acoustics now. I bought the FP30 without testing because all the good comments and because the alternatives were not locally available. I knew that the sound were not going to be as good as the acoustic but I never expected such a big difference. I am disappointed.

Then bought also a Grado sr60e headphones. Disapponted again. The sound is even more synthetic than through FP30 speakers.

I have tried Pianoteq 6 to figure out weather the problems comes from the speaker/headphones or the FP30 sound engine itself. The result (using the Grado sr60) might be somewhat better but not huge improvement.

In conclusion: I think buying new headphones is worth a try. What do you think on Sennheiser HD599? Do you think I would need a headphone amp because of the FP30 low output power?

In the future I will ugrade to another piano with better speakers (I do not like external speakers because of the space).

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Re: Help with Roland FP30 sound [Re: Daniel_m] #2788637 12/07/18 08:24 AM
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pathguy Offline
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I'm not a big fan of the external speakers on the FP-30, but I typically played through headphones.

As for which ones, I have a 20+ year old pair of AKG K240's that seemed to work quite well (I still use them now on my Yamaha NU1x). Now that the Roland is in my apartment for work, I am using a pair of Koss Porta Pro's. For me, both sound good.

I can't comment on the Sennheiser's, but I know the brand has a decent reputation. I didn't find I was wanting for a headphone amp, either.

I wonder what the difference would be if I bought a newer pair to replace my AKG's, but I'm happy with them.

Re: Help with Roland FP30 sound [Re: Daniel_m] #2788649 12/07/18 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel_m
I have tried Pianoteq 6 to figure out weather the problems comes from the speaker/headphones or the FP30 sound engine itself. The result (using the Grado sr60) might be somewhat better but not huge improvement.

Which sound pack are you using with Pianoteq? I like only Steingraeber E-272, Steinway B, or Blüthner Model 1 myself. If you are using Pianoteq with Grado sr60s, then there are only 3 things in the audio chain - your computer running Pianoteq, an amplifier, if any, and the Grados. That your FP-30 generates MIDI for the computer does not really objectively enter into the audio tool chain, although you might adjust some parameters such as weight, etc. and see if that subjectively affects how you think of the sound. Since the Grados are 32 ohms, it's low impedance and no headphone amp is even needed. In this set up, it's hard to blame your FP-30 on sound. The only things that can be blamed are the computer and its audio converter (DAC), the Pianoteq software, the instrument you chose in Pianoteq, the amp, if any, or your headphones. You can also blame your own perception of the sound, as preference and perception change from individual to individual.

I am very particular about sound. Some might refer to that as being an "audiophile," although I just think of myself as being particular. I have an FP-30 right now driving Pianoteq through a long audio chain involving an inexpensive mini-PC running Pianoteq and my favorite Steingraeber E-272 soundpack, driving a Soundblaster X7 Limited Edition DAC, driving a Little Dot MKVIII SE headphone amp driving Sennheiser HD800 headphones. No problems.

Before you spend money buying different headphones, I would suggest you might download the free trial of Sonarworks Reference 4 to use with your Grades and see if it fixes it for you. (For piano use, be sure to set it for zero latency (no phase correction). Assume that for Pianoteq, you also installed the ASIO4ALL driver to reduce latency.) My HD800 broke and is currently off for repair, so I am using a cheap $50 pair of Roland-brand headphones, but with Sonarworks Reference 4, and these Roland headphones sound almost as good as my HD800. It's really amazing.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Help with Roland FP30 sound [Re: Daniel_m] #2788734 12/07/18 12:00 PM
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thickfingers Offline
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Bit early to say the Pianoteq hasn't solved your problem, unless you've been through it thoroughly, I'd say. Lot to check out. I'm on that road myself (waiting on some speakers arriving)...see the Georgian Contraption thread for description of my travails.

Re: Help with Roland FP30 sound [Re: Daniel_m] #2788735 12/07/18 12:02 PM
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Doug M. Offline
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Originally Posted by Daniel_m
Hello,

I started playing piano on several acoustics for one year and then bought a Roland FP30 five months ago. I am not playing acoustics now. I bought the FP30 without testing because all the good comments and because the alternatives were not locally available. I knew that the sound were not going to be as good as the acoustic but I never expected such a big difference. I am disappointed.

Then bought also a Grado sr60e headphones. Disapponted again. The sound is even more synthetic than through FP30 speakers.

I have tried Pianoteq 6 to figure out weather the problems comes from the speaker/headphones or the FP30 sound engine itself. The result (using the Grado sr60) might be somewhat better but not huge improvement.

In conclusion: I think buying new headphones is worth a try. What do you think on Sennheiser HD599? Do you think I would need a headphone amp because of the FP30 low output power?

In the future I will ugrade to another piano with better speakers (I do not like external speakers because of the space).




I considered getting Sennheiser HD600's for my MP7 a while back and came across impedance. The headphone amp built into the digital piano has to be powerful enough to power the headphones, or the sound will be bad. Worth checking into if you intend to upgrade your headphones. Best if you drop an email to Roland in your country and ask if the amp is powerful enough for headphones with 'x' ohms of impedance e.g., 300 ohms for the HD600.

You can always buy a headphone amp. If you consider doing this, it's a good idea to check out the various price brackets --- low priced ones not that great.

Kind regards,

Doug.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Help with Roland FP30 sound [Re: Doug M.] #2788740 12/07/18 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug M.
Best if you drop an email to Roland in your country and ask if the amp is powerful enough for headphones with 'x' ohms of impedance e.g., 300 ohms for the HD600.

I have Sennheiser HD800 headphones (waiting to get them back from shop). They are 300 ohms. The internal amplifier in my FP-30 will only drive them to a relatively low volume. I tried. I do have a headphone amp though, which is what I use.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Help with Roland FP30 sound [Re: Daniel_m] #2789140 12/08/18 04:41 PM
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Daniel_m Offline OP
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Thanks all for your advices.

I was playing with the default Steinway D piano. I tested the other suggested and seems to sound less synthetic but I am not happy with the sound yet. It might be that I just do not like headphones, because "in head" sound is too different from the real instrument. If that was the case maybe a pair of good speaker would fix it. Actually I still prefer the FP30 sound from the tiny speakers than anything else from headphones. I tried Sonarworks but the as soon as I start Pianoteq the active output channel in the settings goes away and nothing is available, so it does not work. I am using ASIO drivers. I would like to make sonarworks work before purchasing other headphones or speakers. Anyone had the same problem?

Re: Help with Roland FP30 sound [Re: Daniel_m] #2789144 12/08/18 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel_m
I tried Sonarworks but the as soon as I start Pianoteq the active output channel in the settings goes away and nothing is available, so it does not work. I am using ASIO drivers. I would like to make sonarworks work before purchasing other headphones or speakers. Anyone had the same problem?

I have a different set up since I have an external audio interface (Soundblaster X7 Limited Edition) but when I have time, I will try to set it up as you have yours and see if it happens with me. In the meantime, have you tried to write to tech support for Pianoteq and Sonarworks? Both should answer you by Monday as I've done this myself for both. In particular, Sonarworks addressed my tech questions even though I was only a trial user.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Help with Roland FP30 sound [Re: Daniel_m] #2789282 12/09/18 05:47 AM
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Daniel_m Offline OP
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I have sent them a message.

I think I have spotted where my problems come from. When I play single notes it sound really good, especially in Pianoteq, but when I play a triad in the middle of the keyboard, like A minor with no inversions and hold it for some seconds I can notice this typical synth sound that I think it is called flange or phase. I spent some years playing with synths and maybe my ear got sensitized to this sound.


I have not tried all Pianoteq packs. I can hear this especially in the default Steinway D

I would like to try a sample based piano sound. Is there any recommended I can try for free?

Re: Help with Roland FP30 sound [Re: Daniel_m] #2789303 12/09/18 07:55 AM
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thickfingers Offline
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Just a thought, may be dumb but I'm brave--this "held triad in mid/board", have you ever done that on a piano? Maybe your "test" would sound the same on it, but you never would notice because that kind of sound doesn't normally occur in "music".
My test will be what you've already obtained--realistic individual notes. I expect realistic piano music to naturally follow. My (possibly dumb) 2c.

Re: Help with Roland FP30 sound [Re: Daniel_m] #2789479 12/09/18 04:31 PM
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Daniel_m Offline OP
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Yes, I had the same thought, but I do not have an acoustic to try. Anyway, whatever it is, all I know is that playing acoustic pianos was very enjoyable and playing digitals (including Pianoteq) is just ok. Maybe the most unrealistic thing was my expectations on DP technology. I think they are fabulous for recordings and I admit I can be fooled on them but playing live is a different game. Some Pianoteq pianos sound nicer the FP30 but they are both miles away of the experience of playing an acoustic. I have to say the psicology might be playing a role here; I prefer the the touch of the wood and the looking of the acoustic to the plastic and leds of DP. It is an holistic experience ( touch, vibrations, sound, simplicity...)

One thing that keeps me away of headphones and external speakers is the lost of vibration (haptic feedback) through the keys. I have some of this with the built in speaker of the FP30. While not as nice as with the acoustic, it makes me feel more connected to the instrument.

I will continue experimenting with Pianoteq to see if the better sound is worth the lost the haptic feedback. The other option would be to go for something similar to FP30 but better, like Kawai ES8 (or ES9) or Yamaha P-515. I will try them in shops if I find them.

Re: Help with Roland FP30 sound [Re: Daniel_m] #2816327 02/16/19 07:07 PM
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If you tweak the keyboard, adjust the brilliance? Make it more "real" in terms of sound and not synthetic?

Re: Help with Roland FP30 sound [Re: Daniel_m] #2816343 02/16/19 07:51 PM
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FWIW I'll have an FP60 very soon - same engine as the FP30. I have the SR80e headphones, which are very similar to the SR60. I'm expecting it to sound very good, because I've listened to demos with these headphones. (famous last words)

Greg.

Re: Help with Roland FP30 sound [Re: Daniel_m] #2816422 02/17/19 01:04 AM
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In this demo, though, it just sounds "pretty good". (still using the SR80e): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62_LCDLQsU4

Ah well. Thank goodness for computers.

Greg.

Re: Help with Roland FP30 sound [Re: Daniel_m] #2816430 02/17/19 03:01 AM
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sullivang Offline
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Btw, I think it's more accurate to say that the FP30 and FP60 have similar sound engines. (e.g the polyphony is higher in the 60, and I think the EPs are better too)

This FP60 demo sounds very good on the SR80s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5AIu501FTk
A very expressive, powerful and smooth sound.

Daniel: does that demo sound good to you on your SR60s? Can your FP30 sound like that?

Greg.

Re: Help with Roland FP30 sound [Re: Daniel_m] #2816436 02/17/19 04:16 AM
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Is Daniel even still here...he may have been a PW one hit wonder.

Re: Help with Roland FP30 sound [Re: Daniel_m] #2816441 02/17/19 04:30 AM
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Oops - yep - looks like a thread bump.

Greg.

Re: Help with Roland FP30 sound [Re: sullivang] #2816478 02/17/19 09:02 AM
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I blame SophieX...known troublemaker. Should be put in the stocks and pelted with rotten tomatoes.

Re: Help with Roland FP30 sound [Re: sullivang] #2817698 02/19/19 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by me
Btw, I think it's more accurate to say that the FP30 and FP60 have similar sound engines. (e.g the polyphony is higher in the 60, and I think the EPs are better too)


Wrongo, moose-breath - the EPs are heavily looped. Oh well - thank goodness for computers.

Greg.

Last edited by sullivang; 02/19/19 10:57 PM.
Re: Help with Roland FP30 sound [Re: Daniel_m] #2817710 02/19/19 11:49 PM
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Another thing you have to be sure is to get rid of the latency in Pianoteq or you will feel like playing through molasses. But to dial up VST sound through speakers that agrees with you takes a lot of time.
Pianoteq through my system with Roland quadcapture to KRK has too much mids and sound really harsh. On the same speakers my Kurtz has ther opposite - full round mellow voice


Casio PX-860, Roland Fantom G, Kurzweil PC1X, Korg Micro X

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