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Re: Embertone Walker 1955 Steinway D
Gabriel Hikaru #2897612 10/06/19 01:39 PM
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I reported to Embertone a pedaling bug which for me is a showstopper. Unfortunately this bug also existed with the initial release last year and even with the attention to half pedaling in this release it persists. In short, if you strike a note in the middle of a repedal action (at a particular range where the pedal is on its way back up), even if you keep the note held after the pedal is fully down again, the note will decay abruptly (and incorrectly).

I'm just really confused that people aren't complaining more about this, especially here where continuous pedals are more common and folks are playing much more sophisticated and challenging pieces. With both 1.0 and 1.1 I encountered it within seconds and it's pretty jarring.

I'm not a classically trained pianist so it's quite possible I'm doing something unusual with how I'm pedaling. Yet when I look carefully at the pedal curve and its relation to how I'm striking the note, I don't really see that I'm doing anything wrong. Maybe someone can spot something weird in the video (1:30).

Re: Embertone Walker 1955 Steinway D
Gabriel Hikaru #2897635 10/06/19 02:29 PM
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That was a great video Tack. You've got a great voice, should get into voice acting or podcasting!
I am not sure about the technical details of what you show - however in terms of how it sounds like and seems like to me, it's the same kind of effect when I try to repedal and it doesn't "catch" the note properly. I think Vintage D has a repedal check box, right? Try unchecking that and see how it sounds like, and if it still catches the note. Or was it perhaps unchecked to begin with? If you have other VSTs try those out too. It's been too long ever since I've tried out many different pianos but I remember how I would try to load up different ones and see if they would "catch" notes such as the one you're playing. Some could handle it nicely, others failed.
That doesn't mean however that there is no technical issue on Embertone's end. Perhaps this is something else. To me though, it seems like a repedaling issue.

Re: Embertone Walker 1955 Steinway D
Grazilerimba #2897640 10/06/19 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Grazilerimba
That was a great video Tack. You've got a great voice, should get into voice acting or podcasting!
Hah, thanks. smile

Originally Posted by Grazilerimba
I remember how I would try to load up different ones and see if they would "catch" notes such as the one you're playing. Some could handle it nicely, others failed.
That doesn't mean however that there is no technical issue on Embertone's end. Perhaps this is something else. To me though, it seems like a repedaling issue.

Catch pedaling is indeed a different issue (although that pedaling behavior is also really important for proper feel). With catch-pedaling you hit the sustain pedal after the note is released, to catch and sustain its decay at that point. The issue I pointed out in the videos was a little different: the sustain pedal is fully down before the note is released. In that scenario, the note should sound its natural sustained decay (at least until the next pedal action). That's really just fundamental pedaling logic, IMO. (And the Vintage D behaves properly in that specific case even with both half-pedaling and repedalling unchecked, because that logic isn't really related to either of those things.)

Last edited by Tack; 10/06/19 02:48 PM.
Re: Embertone Walker 1955 Steinway D
Gabriel Hikaru #2899205 10/11/19 10:04 AM
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Hello,

Hoping to support my good opinion of this plugin, I purchased the full version. However...

After playing about 20 min., the FREE Kontakt player v.6 (for Windows) prints "DEMO TIMEOUT" message and stops!

Am I missing something?

Re: Embertone Walker 1955 Steinway D
Gabriel Hikaru #2899217 10/11/19 10:32 AM
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Have you registered the virtual piano serial number in Kontakt (or Native Access) ?


Yamaha CLP150, Bechstein Digital Grand, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, EWQL Pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq
Re: Embertone Walker 1955 Steinway D
Gabriel Hikaru #2899224 10/11/19 10:52 AM
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Yes. I registered it.

Just now I received (from Embertone team) a recommendation to restart the computer. Will do this now and inform you about results...

Last edited by Andrew_G; 10/11/19 10:52 AM.
Re: Embertone Walker 1955 Steinway D
Gabriel Hikaru #2899226 10/11/19 11:01 AM
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Reboot ... the vaccine that cures all ills. smile

Re: Embertone Walker 1955 Steinway D
Gabriel Hikaru #2899244 10/11/19 12:39 PM
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Still no avail; I sent materials to Embertone for the analysis and hope to get some help.

BTW, the Main Mic samples sound very well; the playability is tolerable and almost without crackles in my Dell Vostro with 16 GB RAM and 500 GB SSD.

The main limitation, which I found so far, is impossibility to play very intensive passages with many many notes. For example, if I play and sustain a cluster of 15-20 notes and do some glissandi, which co-sound with the cluster, the crackles may damage everything. But maybe I want too much of a piano plugin. Anyway, Garritan CFX is better playable in such situations.

Re: Embertone Walker 1955 Steinway D
Gabriel Hikaru #2899313 10/11/19 04:39 PM
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The problem resolved --

by uninstalling and removing everything related to NA and Kontakt (including related registry data) and installing Kontakt 6 from scratch. (Well, Kontakt is not a green software!).

I like the sound. The playability is good when playing something relatively simple. Now the problem is to remove sound/keyboard crackling, with tolerable latency, when playing very fast passages with using the pedal(s).

Re: Embertone Walker 1955 Steinway D
Gabriel Hikaru #2900333 10/15/19 08:30 AM
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Now, with my Kawai VPC1 + Intel i5 (16 GB RAM, SSD), I succeed to get much better playability. I set Voices Max = 1000 and Preload Buffer Size = 6.00 KB (minimum possible), Velocities=36, ASIO buffer size = 128 (I use Focusrite Scarlett AI). Very fast and complex textures now sound well. Some rare glitches still occur when I do very fast re-pedaling and/or leave the sustain pedal depressed too long. Re-pedaling and catch pedaling generally work, although the catching time (between hitting the note and pressing the pedal) could be slightly longer or (still better) controllable in the plugin setup time.

@sorrownightingale, @puremusic, I had the same pops and clicks, which you mentioned, before finding the above settings. Sound depth and loudness are easily controllable by Master Vol (Kontakt button) and by COLOR (Walker tab). The sound is rich and beautiful. Samples of Close mic remind me the sound of Fazioli grand by their mild and peculiar percussive sound.

Some neighbor notes really have different volume for some mics (e.g., SOL and LA of 2nd octave), but this difference is comparable to the natural difference, which occurs in human (not mechanical) performance.

For me this instrument is usable, and I plan to apply it for recording. Apart for the mentioned rare glitches, I would say, it is one of the best plugins in the market today.

Last edited by Andrew_G; 10/15/19 08:32 AM.
Re: Embertone Walker 1955 Steinway D
Andrew_G #2900348 10/15/19 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew_G
Now, with my Kawai VPC1 + Intel i5 (16 GB RAM, SSD), I succeed to get much better playability. I set Voices Max = 1000 and Preload Buffer Size = 6.00 KB (minimum possible), Velocities=36, ASIO buffer size = 128 (I use Focusrite Scarlett AI). Very fast and complex textures now sound well. Some rare glitches still occur when I do very fast re-pedaling and/or leave the sustain pedal depressed too long. Re-pedaling and catch pedaling generally work, although the catching time (between hitting the note and pressing the pedal) could be slightly longer or (still better) controllable in the plugin setup time.

@sorrownightingale, @puremusic, I had the same pops and clicks, which you mentioned, before finding the above settings. Sound depth and loudness are easily controllable by Master Vol (Kontakt button) and by COLOR (Walker tab). The sound is rich and beautiful. Samples of Close mic remind me the sound of Fazioli grand by their mild and peculiar percussive sound.

Some neighbor notes really have different volume for some mics (e.g., SOL and LA of 2nd octave), but this difference is comparable to the natural difference, which occurs in human (not mechanical) performance.

For me this instrument is usable, and I plan to apply it for recording. Apart for the mentioned rare glitches, I would say, it is one of the best plugins in the market today.

I use the same controller and the same setup, and no problems, I agree, there are some rare glitches but the sound is so good and realistic that I really don`t care about some small problems. At least this will force me to use the pedal economically, but really not big deal. For recordings and pure lyrical pleasure this sample piano has no competition. I use binaural with headphones and multi main plus close mics for vintage enjoyment.

Re: Embertone Walker 1955 Steinway D
Gabriel Hikaru #2901607 10/18/19 12:19 PM
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Unfortunately, after being optimistic at the start, I tend to give up playing with this plugin. The set of samples is good and rich, but the programming is really bad and not tested enough for a product that is worth to work with. The glitches with pedal and non-responding notes show even with ASIO buffer size=256 and the velocity layers count=6 (minimum possible). With two simultaneous mics and velocity count=36 the plugin is almost unplayable when the sustain pedal is applied intensively.

In contrast:
Ravenscroft 275 has pedal limitations too, but, in case of resource limitations, simply "forgets" some earlier sustained notes rather than kills the in-time keyboard & pedal behavior. Garritan CFX has a comparable number of samples and velocity layers, but behaves almost ideally concerning the real-time keyboard/pedal playability.

I hope that comparison with Ravenscroft, concerning the computational resource limitations, is a constructive critics rather than merely a "this is bad" note.

It is strange for me that this thread, similarly to the analogous VI-control thread (which I found only recently), was mainly concentrated on non-implemented half-pedaling and less on the glitches, which are much more harmful for a piano. I guess that the developers were too much affected by this half-pedaling demand and ignored all other aspects of playability. Probably this product was not tested by serious concert pianists, who understand the importance of the =real-time= responsiveness of the keyboard and sustain pedal.

Well, this critics is personal, and probably is affected by subconscious comparison with Garritan CFX, to which I returned after painstaking attempts to tame this plugin.

Re: Embertone Walker 1955 Steinway D
Andrew_G #2901647 10/18/19 01:13 PM
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Thanks. This saves me a little cash but a lot of time.

Re: Embertone Walker 1955 Steinway D
Gabriel Hikaru #2901670 10/18/19 02:17 PM
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Yep, after reading all of this about the Embertone ... I think I'm out.
I'll take my GAS elsewhere. There are plenty of contenders.

Re: Embertone Walker 1955 Steinway D
Gabriel Hikaru #2901739 10/18/19 04:15 PM
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Oh yeah, the missing notes. Had them too when I played the library after its release. But since I haven't spent much time with it ever since, even after the patch, I didn't encounter that bug. I had always assumed that happened because of my weak CPU. This library requires a powerful CPU to run smoothly. What are the others' opinions on this disappearing note glitch?

I also wanted to ask something else. One of the things that I don't like about this library is the fact that it doesn't include the multiple mics in the same instrument with a mixer. Instead you have to load multiple instruments, one per mic. Setting these up is a hassle - if you want to change a setting across all mics, you have to go from window to window and change the setting one by one. It's super tedious. Is there a way to somehow link libraries so that one setting you do in one window is automatically applied to all others? I assume this is not possible, but I'd be curious to hear if anyone has found a way to do this.

Re: Embertone Walker 1955 Steinway D
Grazilerimba #2901750 10/18/19 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Grazilerimba
I also wanted to ask something else. One of the things that I don't like about this library is the fact that it doesn't include the multiple mics in the same instrument with a mixer. Instead you have to load multiple instruments, one per mic. Setting these up is a hassle - if you want to change a setting across all mics, you have to go from window to window and change the setting one by one. It's super tedious. Is there a way to somehow link libraries so that one setting you do in one window is automatically applied to all others? I assume this is not possible, but I'd be curious to hear if anyone has found a way to do this.

I thought that was discussed this month at the vi-control forums. Can't remember the answers, unfortunately.

Re: Embertone Walker 1955 Steinway D
Gabriel Hikaru #2965464 04/10/20 03:48 PM
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Hello everyone,

I just bought the Embertone. I think the sound is beautiful but as a professional player I miss a certain connection with the sound. I'm very picky about that, so you might not feel the same. If anyone wants to buy my license at a discount, please drop me a line. They can transfer my license to you. Thanks!

Re: Embertone Walker 1955 Steinway D
Goldberg1974 #2966199 04/12/20 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Goldberg1974
I think the sound is beautiful but as a professional player I miss a certain connection with the sound. I'm very picky about that, so you might not feel the same.
I agree. I felt the same. I have kept the VST hoping that a future Kontakt update or VST update will make it better. But, so far no luck.

Osho


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Re: Embertone Walker 1955 Steinway D
Goldberg1974 #2966212 04/12/20 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Goldberg1974
Hello everyone,

I just bought the Embertone. I think the sound is beautiful but as a professional player I miss a certain connection with the sound. I'm very picky about that, so you might not feel the same. If anyone wants to buy my license at a discount, please drop me a line. They can transfer my license to you. Thanks!

Dang, bad timing. I bought it a couple of weeks ago and adore it.

I can't seem to stop playing it, so I have some experience. Have you tried messing with the sample start knob? I find that setting it at least in the middle position gives a more responsive feeling, any lower doesn't feel right to me. I think setting this knob higher makes it respond more like other libaries which usually don't offer this setting, but have a fixed sample start point, which is probably comparable to a higher setting in the walker, to make it feel responsive.

And make sure your buffer/latency in the audio settings of kontakt is as low as possible without getting crackles and such.

But I think I do know what you mean, for example Synthogy's American D somehow feels a bit more predictable under the fingers, playability wise somehow the walker seems better but also worse at the same time, I can't put my finger on it exactly. I think maybe it's because the walker has more sample layers which really adds to the experience, and it has greater dynamic range, but it feels a bit more jumpy here and there as well.

Other than that, everything is better to me with the walker, and like any other (acoustic or digital) piano you can and will get used to the way it plays.

This is probably personal, but I find these mic positions to be the best.

- Room
- Main + Close (with some extra reverb)
- Binaural + Close

My go to mic position is the room position, because it sounds really good as a single mic position and my pc has a hard enough time to handle just one mic position.

Re: Embertone Walker 1955 Steinway D
U3piano #2966329 04/13/20 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by U3piano
my pc has a hard enough time to handle just one mic position.
I am curious how well are you able to do with 2 mics? Does it feel playable with 2 mics?

Thanks,
Osho


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Kawai Novus NV10 + VST. Current VST favorites (in the order of preference): VSL Synchron Concert D//Garritan CFX/Pianoteq 6/Embertone Walker D Full

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