I was blown away by the first samples in Toddy's recordings. When I play with PT, it never sounds like that.
(1) If I record something in PT and output it as a .wav file, then play it back on a high end PC, I should get a good sound that's not dependent on the sound card in my laptop where PT is installed right?
(2) I currently listen to the output of my rather old laptop (Acer Aspire 5730) direct via a headphone socket, so I presume that way it's limited by the laptop's soundcard. I've read before that any degraded quality is not likely to be due to the midi to USB lead.
All I want is to get the same quality of sound as shown in Toddy's sample, and indeed in the PT demos on the website for the classical pieces using Steinway D Classical Recording AB/BA.
(1) That's correct. The Pianoteq "rendering" (taking MIDI data, and turning it into digitized audio in a WAV file) doesn't use the laptop's soundcard. The WAV file (or high-resolution MP3 file) doesn't change when it goes from one PC to another. So if it's played through a good (= linear) soundcard, it should sound fine.
(2) Also correct. The MIDI-to-USB lead carries _digital data_ -- not analog data. You may get "latency" (time delay), but it won't distort, or be noisy. If the laptop's soundcard is poor (I don't know how bad yours is), that _can_ distort the analog audio output, that feeds your headphones.
There are a plethora of adjustments and effects in Pianoteq. I don't know if Toddy gave his magic formula for them:
. . . but if you use the same settings as he did,
. . . . your virtual piano should sound the same as his virtual piano,
. . . . . if it's played through a high-quality soundcard.
That's the nice thing about software -- all copies are the same, and it doesn't know who's using it.