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DP - "too easy" compared to acoustic ?
#2854099 05/31/19 03:54 AM
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Hi,

I had a K300 (ATX2) acoustic for 6 months as a rental. Loved the thing to bits but sadly I am not in a position to purchase it outright at this time.
As a replacement I got a Kawai ES8. The ES8 is lovely - I really enjoy playing it even if I miss the properties of the acoustic.

On thing I've noticed is that I find it I can achieve quite a bit more nuance / control regarding dynamics on the ES8 than I could on the K300.
Is this a known quality of upright acoustics or simply an expressions of my limited experience as a player (been playing for just over a year).
To put it another way - am I cheating and missing out on learning control by playing the "easy" instrument ?

With a bit of luck I will have an acoustic upright in my life again soonish - keeping my fingers crossed on that count.

Cheers

Re: DP - "too easy" compared to acoustic ?
Morten Olsson #2854100 05/31/19 04:02 AM
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I think you’re right. IMO it’s a common misconception that acoustic pianos have huge dynamic range compared to digital pianos. In my own experience it’s the opposite. Acoustic pianos, upright or grand (well I’ve played only a few concert grands compared to smaller grands), have kind of linear dynamics which is kind of limited in terms of finger force related to sound volume. Maybe they indeed have huge dynamic range but it’s better “mapped” to the keyboard. With Kawai digital pianos it’s been artificially exaggerated for ages and I’ve complained about that a lot. The normal touch is too sensitive and produces loud notes too easily. You can switch to hard touch but then you lose the brighter fortissimo timbres because the fortissimo layers are hard linked to higher velocities. They need to introduce dynamic range control instead, as in software pianos.

Anyway, it’s such a relief to switch to Yamaha digital pianos where all that is spot on.

Last edited by CyberGene; 05/31/19 04:04 AM.

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Re: DP - "too easy" compared to acoustic ?
Morten Olsson #2854102 05/31/19 04:35 AM
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Yes I agree,
Especially the pp or ppp nuance is easier to play on a digital than on an acoustic.
That's why the dynamic range must be reduced on digitals.
For example, I play with Pianoteq and I never set the dynamic range higher than 38-39. This value gives me a realistic sensation. I have read some post from users that set the dynamics to 50 or even more... That gives a better control on the software but it's totally artificial.

So, a good keyboard sensitivity combined with a good dynamic range setting should give the better results and playing experience.

Re: DP - "too easy" compared to acoustic ?
Morten Olsson #2854107 05/31/19 04:49 AM
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I agree, especially on uprights. On the C7X which is a grand i often go and play to get my "fix", the dynamic range is much wider, in other words, perfect, but still not as wide as many digitals exaggerate it to be.

That's why i love the Ravenscroft 275 (software) which i think nails 100% the dynamic range on a real grand, better than any library i played, including Garritan CFX and VSL CFX.

Re: DP - "too easy" compared to acoustic ?
Morten Olsson #2854108 05/31/19 04:51 AM
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I have a hard time playing pp on a digital. It's quite difficult to get MIDI values lower than around 30.

Re: DP - "too easy" compared to acoustic ?
MacMacMac #2854117 05/31/19 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I have a hard time playing pp on a digital. It's quite difficult to get MIDI values lower than around 30.

Aren't you running Bome's MIDI Translator? Can't you just change the MIDI velocity curve to even generate a value of 1 when you are playing the lightest that you can on the keys?


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Re: DP - "too easy" compared to acoustic ?
Morten Olsson #2854144 05/31/19 08:25 AM
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It's an interesting question. I personally believe a digital is easier to sound good on than an acoustic, but that might be because i started out on a digital, and have the most experience with that.

I spoke with another customer at a piano dealer, and i told him the same thing. He told me for him it was the other way around, he was used to playing acoustic.

Re: DP - "too easy" compared to acoustic ?
Tyrone Slothrop #2854148 05/31/19 08:36 AM
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Yes, I use Bomes. But there's a much easier way to accomplish this ... by using the freeware Velocity Curve.
I just wish the piano knew that a very light touch ought to translate to a MIDI value lower than 10, rather than 30 or more! Without outboard fixes.
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I have a hard time playing pp on a digital. It's quite difficult to get MIDI values lower than around 30.

Aren't you running Bome's MIDI Translator? Can't you just change the MIDI velocity curve to even generate a value of 1 when you are playing the lightest that you can on the keys?

Re: DP - "too easy" compared to acoustic ?
Morten Olsson #2854162 05/31/19 09:44 AM
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If one was not grown on an acoustic, it may be easier to achieve better dynamics. Nevertheless acoustic grand offer much wider dynamics than digital, but it may be hard to achieve if one is not accustomed to.

For a person who was playing only on digital, good acoustic grand is a beast which can be hard to control and get desired effects.

Re: DP - "too easy" compared to acoustic ?
Morten Olsson #2854171 05/31/19 10:10 AM
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I was grown in a spinet. Granted, I required daily watering and just the right amount of sun.

Re: DP - "too easy" compared to acoustic ?
Morten Olsson #2854174 05/31/19 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Morten Olsson
Hi,

I had a K300 (ATX2) acoustic for 6 months as a rental. Loved the thing to bits but sadly I am not in a position to purchase it outright at this time.
As a replacement I got a Kawai ES8. The ES8 is lovely - I really enjoy playing it even if I miss the properties of the acoustic.

On thing I've noticed is that I find it I can achieve quite a bit more nuance / control regarding dynamics on the ES8 than I could on the K300.
Is this a known quality of upright acoustics or simply an expressions of my limited experience as a player (been playing for just over a year).
To put it another way - am I cheating and missing out on learning control by playing the "easy" instrument ?

With a bit of luck I will have an acoustic upright in my life again soonish - keeping my fingers crossed on that count.

Cheers


Have you tried a VST with your ES8?
e.g., Pianoteq, Garritan CFX grand, Ivory II, etc?

Kind regards,

Doug.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7SE; Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: DP - "too easy" compared to acoustic ?
Doug M. #2854177 05/31/19 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug M.
Originally Posted by Morten Olsson
Hi,

I had a K300 (ATX2) acoustic for 6 months as a rental. Loved the thing to bits but sadly I am not in a position to purchase it outright at this time.
As a replacement I got a Kawai ES8. The ES8 is lovely - I really enjoy playing it even if I miss the properties of the acoustic.

On thing I've noticed is that I find it I can achieve quite a bit more nuance / control regarding dynamics on the ES8 than I could on the K300.
Is this a known quality of upright acoustics or simply an expressions of my limited experience as a player (been playing for just over a year).
To put it another way - am I cheating and missing out on learning control by playing the "easy" instrument ?

With a bit of luck I will have an acoustic upright in my life again soonish - keeping my fingers crossed on that count.

Cheers


Have you tried a VST with your ES8?
e.g., Pianoteq, Garritan CFX grand, Ivory II, etc?

Kind regards,

Doug.

He just returned a brand new VPC1 and replaced it with the ES8 because he was underwhelmed by the inability to produce a satisfying result with Pianoteq and Ravenscroft.


My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: DP - "too easy" compared to acoustic ?
CyberGene #2854184 05/31/19 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Originally Posted by Doug M.
Originally Posted by Morten Olsson
Hi,

I had a K300 (ATX2) acoustic for 6 months as a rental. Loved the thing to bits but sadly I am not in a position to purchase it outright at this time.
As a replacement I got a Kawai ES8. The ES8 is lovely - I really enjoy playing it even if I miss the properties of the acoustic.

On thing I've noticed is that I find it I can achieve quite a bit more nuance / control regarding dynamics on the ES8 than I could on the K300.
Is this a known quality of upright acoustics or simply an expressions of my limited experience as a player (been playing for just over a year).
To put it another way - am I cheating and missing out on learning control by playing the "easy" instrument ?

With a bit of luck I will have an acoustic upright in my life again soonish - keeping my fingers crossed on that count.

Cheers


Have you tried a VST with your ES8?
e.g., Pianoteq, Garritan CFX grand, Ivory II, etc?

Kind regards,

Doug.

He just returned a brand new VPC1 and replaced it with the ES8 because he was underwhelmed by the inability to produce a satisfying result with Pianoteq and Ravenscroft.


Would you advise CFX Grand instead?


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7SE; Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: DP - "too easy" compared to acoustic ?
Morten Olsson #2854192 05/31/19 11:20 AM
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Oh I’m very happy with how the ES8 performs and plays and I will not be spending any more time with VSTs anytime soon.
It’s just that i was surprised how much easier dynamics are on the ES8 compared to the acoustic upright I had. To be a bit more specific playing Very soft left hand chords was much more challenging on the K300.

Seems my fathers acoustic will not be returned to me after all so I shall continue keeping an eye out for good used deals - however much I enjoy the ES8 an acoustic it ain’t smile

Re: DP - "too easy" compared to acoustic ?
stamkorg #2854202 05/31/19 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by stamkorg
Yes I agree,
Especially the pp or ppp nuance is easier to play on a digital than on an acoustic.

Interesting thread . . . i haven’t found this to be true on my Yamaha P515. Has taken a lot of adjustment to get to where i can play softly and still have enough dynamic range.
Played a Steinway model B a couple days ago, and still feel it’s much easier to play softly on an acoustic.


Originally Posted by stamkorg
For example, I play with Pianoteq and I never set the dynamic range higher than 38-39. This value gives me a realistic sensation. I have read some post from users that set the dynamics to 50 or even more... That gives a better control on the software but it's totally artificial.

The unrealistic dynamic range control must be the way Pianoteq gets people addicted to their product. laugh


.... Jeff ▫️ Yamaha P515 ▫️ Roll Tide
Re: DP - "too easy" compared to acoustic ?
stamkorg #2854205 05/31/19 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by stamkorg
For example, I play with Pianoteq and I never set the dynamic range higher than 38-39. This value gives me a realistic sensation. I have read some post from users that set the dynamics to 50 or even more... That gives a better control on the software but it's totally artificial.

This is a strong assertion. Pianoteq is trying to accurately model a piano. What leads you to believe that, for example, 100 on Pianoteq is artificial and not like an ffff note would be on the actual acoustical instrument being modeled? Because if the model is inaccurate above 39, then I think this is a huge flaw in Pianoteq.

I believe the Pianoteq engineers, having access to the specific instrument they are creating the model for, tried to create a model that accurately reflected the particular instrument they are modeling whether at a level of 1, 38, 50, or 100. I'd like to hear why you think the model is less accurate above 39, than it is below.


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"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: DP - "too easy" compared to acoustic ?
Morten Olsson #2854212 05/31/19 11:56 AM
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Tyrone what is 1, 38, 50 and 100 on the real grand they are modeling? Where’s the standard specification? smile


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Re: DP - "too easy" compared to acoustic ?
CyberGene #2854217 05/31/19 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Tyrone what is 1, 38, 50 and 100 on the real grand they are modeling? Where’s the standard specification? smile

I don't know where 38 or 50 is. But I could make an argument that "1" should logically be set to either ppp or pppp on the grand, or about the lowest velocity one can attack the key and have hammer touch a string (barely). I could make a similar argument that 100 should also logically be set to either fff or ffff, or about the highest velocity one can attack the key without breaking the key or breaking the string (1:58 - from a consummate string breaker!).

Don't know about 38 or 50. Haven't thought about those. Linear won't work since all the dynamic levels in between are based on the performance practices of concert musicians past and present. I don't know how to reflect performance practices except to have concert pianists play Pianoteq and give feedback on whether it's right or wrong on its dynamics levels.

On the other hand, I could be off base on those in-between dynamics levels between 1 and 100 as I haven't given it that much thought.

EDIT: OK, I did think of one way one could reverse engineer this. Take a concert recording of a piece with well established "customary" dynamics levels. From this recording, key velocities can be estimated for each of these levels for that particular piano. Then some "approximation" could be done on for the piano being modeled. It wouldn't be very exact since the pianist would certainly adjust their playing for individual pianos, and unless the pianist made the recording on the exact piano being modeled, the best that could be done would be an approximate velocity for each dynamic level on the piano being modeled. (If I thought about this some more, I might have a better idea though.)


[Linked Image]
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: DP - "too easy" compared to acoustic ?
Morten Olsson #2854223 05/31/19 12:14 PM
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If we are talking of dynamic range, I suppose 1 map 1-127 MIDI levels to mp-mf, 30 : to pp-ff, 60 : ppp-fff, 100 : pppp-ffff or something like this.

It is possible that ffff is extrapoled, then not realistic.


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Re: DP - "too easy" compared to acoustic ?
Morten Olsson #2854238 05/31/19 01:04 PM
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127 and 1 should be almost unachievable like they are on grand piano. BTW what is strange is that I can more easily play on acoustic than on digital, I mean ppp wise. So completely other way around some of you say. I was recently playing Novus NV10 and one of the Shigeru Kawais(SK-5 or SK-6) and I definitely could play more quiet on acoustic Kawai.

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