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Re: Why buy an expensive DP when you have a VST? [Re: Animisha] #2850117
05/19/19 06:48 PM
05/19/19 06:48 PM
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Posts: 2,098
France
Frédéric L Offline
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France
A computer CPU computes samples per block and then send blocks to the audio interface. A one sample buffer size would imply too much overhead because of the complexity of the interrupt handling. The size of the buffer (block) imply a minimum of latency. Because the operating system manage many tasks, the computatation and the sending to the audio interface can’t be done at a deterministic time. Then more or less margin is added, to avoid dropouts... then some more latency.

On a digital piano, the DSP has only one task : compute samples, then no added margin. Its design permits to compute samples one by one, then no buffer (said otherwise, 1 sample buffer), then no latency.

Last edited by Frédéric L; 05/19/19 06:51 PM.

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Re: Why buy an expensive DP when you have a VST? [Re: oivavoi] #2850118
05/19/19 06:48 PM
05/19/19 06:48 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 6,269
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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Originally Posted by oivavoi
Originally Posted by Robert Plays Keys
Latency and not having to drag my computer everywhere along to play.


I've been wondering about that actually. Why is there usually more latency with VST's than the native samples? In principle there shouldn't need to be more lag with VST's, given that DP's also use samples, DSP etc.

ASIO


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: Why buy an expensive DP when you have a VST? [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2850163
05/19/19 09:40 PM
05/19/19 09:40 PM
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Hawai'i Island
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Pianofortissimo
Until now, no one mentioned a BIG BIG difference between an expensive DP and VST. Using a good DP I switch on, sit in front and play, like an acoustic one. Using a VST..... well, I must connect my PC, booting up (and wait), hoping that Windows does not create any problem (and hoping some Windows update did not change any audio or software option......), and so on.
This is a very important point in my opinion.

This is a non-issue for me because I have my dedicated PC ($180 PC dedicated to my piano) always-on and running Pianoteq as I do my piano. Leaving both on all the time costs me about $20/year in electricity or less. The only thing I do when I want to play is sit down, flip the switch on my speakers or put on my headphones. I bet this is quicker for me than you switching on your good DP. I specifically did this because I don't want the bother of setting up or switching on, and setting everything up this way only costs me $180 (the cost of the mini-PC which I dedicate to this purpose). $180 is nominal compared to the piano cost. It is less in fact than the cost of my VST that I run on this mini-PC!

So if it is such a BIG BIG difference for you, $180 solves it as it did for me.


That's exactly what I do. I bought one of those all-in-one computers which sits on one side of the keyboard and all it does is run Pianoteq (or any other VST I may be using). Being north of $0.40/kwhr, our electricity is expensive here, but since I'm net metered with 10kw of PV panels on my roof, it's not so bad.

Re: Why buy an expensive DP when you have a VST? [Re: Animisha] #2850216
05/20/19 02:57 AM
05/20/19 02:57 AM
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Posts: 99
Italy
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It's not an electricity problem.... it depends what you want to do with your piano. As I said earlier, these are all "low-budget" solutions. I'm a pianist, and in my opinion a piano is a piano, not else.

Last edited by Pianofortissimo; 05/20/19 03:04 AM.
Re: Why buy an expensive DP when you have a VST? [Re: Pianofortissimo] #2850218
05/20/19 03:09 AM
05/20/19 03:09 AM
Joined: Jun 2018
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Sweden
Animisha Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Pianofortissimo
It's not an electricity problem.... it depends what you want to do with your piano. As I said earlier, these all "low-budget" solutions. I'm a pianist, and in my opinion a piano is a piano, not else.

Oh yes, Pianofortissimo! I would love to have a house and a good acoustic grand piano. I would also love to have a very good digital piano. But I am not a pianist, and I will never be anything else than an amateur happily practising and playing. For me, it is very much a question if it is worth spending, well, maybe a few thousand usd more on an expensive piano, instead of a low-budget solution like this.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
*
... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: Why buy an expensive DP when you have a VST? [Re: Pianofortissimo] #2850221
05/20/19 03:39 AM
05/20/19 03:39 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,668
Groove On Offline
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It's worth repeating - you have to find the instrument that works for you. The rest will work itself out. I enjoy all the gear talk on PW, but my setup is "good enough" and I don't get enough G.A.S. that I need upgrade. But we all have to find the level that works for us.

The more practical question is - What DPs have you tried? Did you find the level/range you just couldn't go below? Did you find the level that was "good enough"?


We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Re: Why buy an expensive DP when you have a VST? [Re: Pianofortissimo] #2850222
05/20/19 03:40 AM
05/20/19 03:40 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,167
Dublin
johnstaf Offline
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Originally Posted by Pianofortissimo
It's not an electricity problem.... it depends what you want to do with your piano. As I said earlier, these are all "low-budget" solutions. I'm a pianist, and in my opinion a piano is a piano, not else.


I can do things with my digital that I can't with my acoustic, such as really irritating practise, without driving my neighbours mad. Some people simply aren't in a position to get an acoustic at all, especially those living in apartments. A digital isn't just a low budget substitute for an acoustic, although if I did have the budget to buy my own concert hall I'd have at least ten concert grands. grin

Re: Why buy an expensive DP when you have a VST? [Re: Frédéric L] #2850230
05/20/19 04:38 AM
05/20/19 04:38 AM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 165
Norway
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Originally Posted by Frédéric L
A computer CPU computes samples per block and then send blocks to the audio interface. A one sample buffer size would imply too much overhead because of the complexity of the interrupt handling. The size of the buffer (block) imply a minimum of latency. Because the operating system manage many tasks, the computatation and the sending to the audio interface can’t be done at a deterministic time. Then more or less margin is added, to avoid dropouts... then some more latency.

On a digital piano, the DSP has only one task : compute samples, then no added margin. Its design permits to compute samples one by one, then no buffer (said otherwise, 1 sample buffer), then no latency.


That's interesting. Thanks. What's the best appraoch to getting the absolute lowest latency possible? I would assumeit it is to skip the audio interface completely, send usb midi directly to my computer (a mac), and either use the line-out on the mac or a usb dac? I haven't seen data comparing the latency of the built-in dac in the mac mini and external dacs.

Or can it be quicker to use an audio interface which handles it all?

Re: Why buy an expensive DP when you have a VST? [Re: johnstaf] #2850232
05/20/19 04:45 AM
05/20/19 04:45 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 6,269
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content

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Originally Posted by johnstaf
I can do things with my digital that I can't with my acoustic, such as really irritating practise, without driving my neighbours mad. Some people simply aren't in a position to get an acoustic at all, especially those living in apartments.

I practice my piano from 2-4am usually. Today even went a bit later. I'm sure I would have the police living here if I tried this on an acoustic. Anyone suggesting I get an acoustic piano obviously doesn't live next door to me laugh


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: Why buy an expensive DP when you have a VST? [Re: oivavoi] #2850245
05/20/19 05:38 AM
05/20/19 05:38 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 9,228
Raleigh, North Carolina
MacMacMac Offline
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The latency is in the buffering.
The DAC is not relevant. Internal, external ... it doesn't matter.
The latency is in the buffering (in the computer).
Originally Posted by oivavoi
What's the best approach to getting the absolute lowest latency possible? I would assume it it is to skip the audio interface completely, send usb midi directly to my computer (a mac), and either use the line-out on the mac or a usb dac? I haven't seen data comparing the latency of the built-in dac in the mac mini and external dacs.

Or can it be quicker to use an audio interface which handles it all?
ASIO drivers are meant to minimize the latency. But you need a sufficiently fast computer.
And you need to set the buffer size as low as the computer can manage.
I get around 2 msec latency. That's next to nothing.

But all that concerns Windows. If you're using a Mac I cannot answer.
My name may be Mac, but I know next to nothing about the Apple Mac.

I not sure what you mean by "skip the audio interface". If you want audio you must have an audio interface.

Re: Why buy an expensive DP when you have a VST? [Re: MacMacMac] #2850264
05/20/19 06:12 AM
05/20/19 06:12 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,668
Groove On Offline
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
(Latency) ... If you're using a Mac I cannot answer. My name may be Mac, but I know next to nothing about the Apple Mac.

Generally Audio & MIDI on the Mac work well out of the box. The Core Audio** drivers are native to the OS and optimized for the limited hardware. (** Core Audio drivers on the Mac are the equivalent of ASIO on Windows.) If you can get past the interface, Linux also has a very robust set of Audio/MIDI tools native to the OS (Jack & ALSA).


We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Re: Why buy an expensive DP when you have a VST? [Re: MacMacMac] #2850282
05/20/19 07:34 AM
05/20/19 07:34 AM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 165
Norway
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oivavoi Offline
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Norway
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
The latency is in the buffering.
The DAC is not relevant. Internal, external ... it doesn't matter.
The latency is in the buffering (in the computer).
Originally Posted by oivavoi
What's the best approach to getting the absolute lowest latency possible? I would assume it it is to skip the audio interface completely, send usb midi directly to my computer (a mac), and either use the line-out on the mac or a usb dac? I haven't seen data comparing the latency of the built-in dac in the mac mini and external dacs.

Or can it be quicker to use an audio interface which handles it all?
ASIO drivers are meant to minimize the latency. But you need a sufficiently fast computer.
And you need to set the buffer size as low as the computer can manage.
I get around 2 msec latency. That's next to nothing.

But all that concerns Windows. If you're using a Mac I cannot answer.
My name may be Mac, but I know next to nothing about the Apple Mac.

I not sure what you mean by "skip the audio interface". If you want audio you must have an audio interface.


Thanks. What I mean is that I can either connect the DP directly to the computer with usb midi and connect headphones to the computer, or I can connect the DP to an external box thingy which then sends and receives midi/audio from the computer, and connect headphones to that box thingy. Perhaps these things don't matter that much though.

Last edited by oivavoi; 05/20/19 07:35 AM.
Re: Why buy an expensive DP when you have a VST? [Re: Animisha] #2850306
05/20/19 08:54 AM
05/20/19 08:54 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 9,228
Raleigh, North Carolina
MacMacMac Offline
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Raleigh, North Carolina
@oivavoi: This diagram may help. You can connect the piano to the PC using:
- a direct USB connection (blue)
or
- a MIDI-to-USB converter cable (green)
or
- an old-style MIDI cable plugged into a external audio-interface "thingy" (red). The latter will send MIDI to the PC over USB.

The audio interface is also a substitute for the PC's internal audio interface. So if you have this sort of audio interface you can plug headphones into it.
If not you can just plug them into your PC's headphone jack.

The point is that you should be listening to an audio source that's been handled by an ASIO driver. This driver reduces latency by allowing you to use a much smaller buffer.

The PC probably does not have an ASIO driver ... unless you install ASIO4All driver (freeware). If you have that driver, you can plug phones into the PC. Try it. It's free.

The audio interface box comes with just such an ASIO driver from the manufacturer. So plug phones into the audio interface box.

(In my case I feed the audio to an amplifier. It drives my speakers. When using headphones I plug them into the amplifier.)
[Linked Image]

Re: Why buy an expensive DP when you have a VST? [Re: Animisha] #2850397
05/20/19 12:14 PM
05/20/19 12:14 PM
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 20
France, Nantes
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Alan LJ Offline
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Good actions are in expensive DPs.

Remember that a good VST will only be as good as the DP action will allow to transmit to it the nuances, the precision, and more importantly the emotions you want to, AND CAN, pass trough your playing.

Before finding my MP9500 to buy, I used to have a cheap 88 weighted master keyboard. A CME UF8 to be precise. As cheap as it was (150€/167$), the action was definitely the best I tried in that price range but when it went down to playing classical repertoire, even with the best VST, it fell short. Sure it sounded good sample wise, but I was constantly fighting against the keyboard action for consistency in velocities and nuances. Began to work on Chopin Waltz op64 n2 and quickly abandoned due to being impossible to make it sound consistent and even, and simply due to being impossible to interpret it rather than just mechanically playing it.

Two month after that, finally found and bought my MP9500. I tried my luck again with this Chopin's waltz with the exact same VST and it went super smoothly, both in terms of sounds, consistency, and even my fingers were technically able to play way better. It sounded right, the VST could at last unleash its full potential as it should. Because when a DP can play classical pieces convincingly, it can play anything convincingly, simple as that.

I cannot stress more how extremely important and mandatory a good action is when it comes to VST.

So yes, having a good DP, even if it is for the only sake of its action, will make a tremendous difference for VSTs. It's no coincidence that Kawai, for example, did release the VPC-1 wink

Last edited by Alan LJ; 05/20/19 12:20 PM.

Kawai MP9500
Edirol UA-25
VST: NI Noire mainly, Pianoteq 6, Garritan CFX, Production Grand 2, NI The Grandeur
AKG Headphones K240 Studio
Occasionally plays on THULE Audio Hi-Fi amp + Dynaudio Contour speakers.
Re: Why buy an expensive DP when you have a VST? [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2850538
05/20/19 08:34 PM
05/20/19 08:34 PM
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Posts: 174
Canada
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Abdol Offline
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Pianofortissimo
Until now, no one mentioned a BIG BIG difference between an expensive DP and VST. Using a good DP I switch on, sit in front and play, like an acoustic one. Using a VST..... well, I must connect my PC, booting up (and wait), hoping that Windows does not create any problem (and hoping some Windows update did not change any audio or software option......), and so on.
This is a very important point in my opinion.

This is a non-issue for me because I have my dedicated PC ($180 PC dedicated to my piano) always-on and running Pianoteq as I do my piano. Leaving both on all the time costs me about $20/year in electricity or less. The only thing I do when I want to play is sit down, flip the switch on my speakers or put on my headphones. I bet this is quicker for me than you switching on your good DP. I specifically did this because I don't want the bother of setting up or switching on, and setting everything up this way only costs me $180 (the cost of the mini-PC which I dedicate to this purpose). $180 is nominal compared to the piano cost. It is less in fact than the cost of my VST that I run on this mini-PC!

So if it is such a BIG BIG difference for you, $180 solves it as it did for me.


Of course, if anything goes wrong with your $180 setup and you're performing live, you're doomed. You should ask the audiance to wait until you load the samples, restart the OS etc. Looking into a monitor, adjusting parameters, a mouse etc. that's too much work and wires. My time, my comfort and a worry-free mind worth way more than $180.

Not interested in sitting in a cockpit while playing music, especially infront of many people.


Kawai MP7SE, Yamaha MOTF XF6, Yamaha WX5, Yamaha Pacifica 112v
Re: Why buy an expensive DP when you have a VST? [Re: Abdol] #2850540
05/20/19 08:41 PM
05/20/19 08:41 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 6,269
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content

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Originally Posted by Abdol
Of course, if anything goes wrong with your $180 setup and you're performing live, you're doomed. You should ask the audiance to wait until you load the samples, restart the OS etc. Looking into a monitor, adjusting parameters, a mouse etc. that's too much work and wires. My time, my comfort and a worry-free mind worth way more than $180.

Not interested in sitting in a cockpit while playing music, especially infront of many people.

I agree! But I don't play music in public. Just at home. For gigging, I suspect there is no substitute for KISS (keeping it simple and stupid).


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: Why buy an expensive DP when you have a VST? [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2850563
05/20/19 11:32 PM
05/20/19 11:32 PM
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 174
Canada
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Abdol Offline
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Abdol
Of course, if anything goes wrong with your $180 setup and you're performing live, you're doomed. You should ask the audiance to wait until you load the samples, restart the OS etc. Looking into a monitor, adjusting parameters, a mouse etc. that's too much work and wires. My time, my comfort and a worry-free mind worth way more than $180.

Not interested in sitting in a cockpit while playing music, especially infront of many people.

I agree! But I don't play music in public. Just at home. For gigging, I suspect there is no substitute for KISS (keeping it simple and stupid).


True. Although having many parameters to adjust is cool, I don't see it very intuitive when you have so many ideas in head and you just want to play or practice. To be a good pianist you need a good piano voice and good actions. You don't have that many adjustments in an acoustic piano either...


Kawai MP7SE, Yamaha MOTF XF6, Yamaha WX5, Yamaha Pacifica 112v
Re: Why buy an expensive DP when you have a VST? [Re: Animisha] #2851830
05/24/19 02:50 PM
05/24/19 02:50 PM
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Argentina, Buenos Aires
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Argentina, Buenos Aires
Because the action
I love the PHA 50

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