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Can’t stop digging my GAS hole
#2918279 11/30/19 05:59 PM
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My problems seem to be multiplying rather than being fixed by GAS.

This week started with not being satisfied with my monitors and not completely happy with the internal main sound of my MP11SE. I am leaving fixing the monitor issue for another day.

I prepared my laptop for running VSTs and installed Synthogy Ivory II American Concert D yesterday. I could only listen to the VST via my headphones plugged into the laptop and it sounds really nice. I then finally worked out how to add it as a virtual instrument in GarageBand but it doesn’t sound quite as nice from within GarageBand. So one new problem.

Today I bought a Yamaha mixer with associated cables MGO6X 6. This means that I can now listen to either my DP or the VST through monitors or my headphones. The output sound from the mixer doesn’t sound quite as good as the inputs. So another new problem. For the VST I can only compare with headphones but I can tell the sound with the headphones plugged directly into the laptop is better. For the sound of the digital piano the sound to the headphones and monitors was better when direct. The sound going through the mixer is muddier. It feels like detail is lost. All fx is turned off on the mixer. A second new problem,

I suspect I am just digging myself a GAS hole and just accept things. Perhaps even my current monitors. Will buying new ones just create another problem.

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Re: Can’t stop digging my GAS hole
KevinM #2918312 11/30/19 07:17 PM
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At some point (I think it was when I got the Grotrian upgrade to Pianoteq), I decided to put my GAS "on ice"(for DP's, at least).

Time is better spent practicing piano, or singing. Or learning to program a Volca Drum.


. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Can’t stop digging my GAS hole
KevinM #2918320 11/30/19 07:33 PM
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Another way to look at this:

If you had an acoustic piano, your options would be _severely_ limited. You could have the hammers voiced, or (at considerable cost) change the strings, or regulate the action. But that's about it.

The difficulty with DP's (at low-to-medium price levels) is that you can spend a moderate amount of money, in the _hope_ that it will improve (or at least, change) the sound you're making.

So we make incremental improvements (we hope they're improvements, they don't all work out). Until we reach either:

. . . "This is good enough for me, now" (which suspends the GAS, at least for a while)

or:

. . . "This <insert name of DP> just doesn't satisfy me; I must replace it."

which feeds the GAS.

Yes, new monitors might make a difference. You might be the only person who hears it, and I'll bet that it won't improve your playing one iota.

I brought a borrowed Yamaha Stagepas PA system home, and plugged my PX-350 into it. That improvement was substantial. I got my ZXA1 after that.

Am I going to replace my ZXA1? I don't think any gain would be worthwhile. Replace Pianoteq? I _like_ Pianoteq!

So figure out what's causing the GAS, and where you are on your personal "cost vs performance" curve. Nobody else can do that for you.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Can’t stop digging my GAS hole
KevinM #2918343 11/30/19 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by KevinM
My problems seem to be multiplying rather than being fixed by GAS.

This week started with not being satisfied with my monitors and not completely happy with the internal main sound of my MP11SE. I am leaving fixing the monitor issue for another day.

I prepared my laptop for running VSTs and installed Synthogy Ivory II American Concert D yesterday. I could only listen to the VST via my headphones plugged into the laptop and it sounds really nice. I then finally worked out how to add it as a virtual instrument in GarageBand but it doesn’t sound quite as nice from within GarageBand. So one new problem.

Today I bought a Yamaha mixer with associated cables MGO6X 6. This means that I can now listen to either my DP or the VST through monitors or my headphones. The output sound from the mixer doesn’t sound quite as good as the inputs. So another new problem. For the VST I can only compare with headphones but I can tell the sound with the headphones plugged directly into the laptop is better. For the sound of the digital piano the sound to the headphones and monitors was better when direct. The sound going through the mixer is muddier. It feels like detail is lost. All fx is turned off on the mixer. A second new problem,

I suspect I am just digging myself a GAS hole and just accept things. Perhaps even my current monitors. Will buying new ones just create another problem.



Yep …. the problem you (and most of us) have is that you have no idea what "good" is until you have exhausted all possibilities.

You think that the next "perfect" sound is just around the corner.

AND …. you depend on the ravings of advertising and forum advice to lead you to the final solution.

You have a good sound already in the MP11SE …. you just don't know it. My opinion, of course. and that is the problem …. it is only my opinion.

Unfortunately, there is no way around your dilemma.

When you have tried enough things (I tried many, many) you will stop trying and spend your money and time learning to play and that will make everything sound better.

Good Luck


Don

Casio PX-S1000, Focal Professional CMS 40 near-field monitors, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs (Seldom Used), Focus Rite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface, Yamaha MG06 Mixer
Re: Can’t stop digging my GAS hole
KevinM #2918359 11/30/19 09:28 PM
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In a pk dick novel there is a phrase that goes something like "a man is the way for a spermatozoon to create another spermatozoon". So it seems that regarding gas we could say that the music is the way for gear makers to make us buy more gear. You can do what i did, forget about vsts and monitors and turn your gas into scores and music theory books. At least you'll be playing more instead of dealing with cables and computers and such

Re: Can’t stop digging my GAS hole
Snail #2918364 11/30/19 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Snail
In a pk dick novel there is a phrase that goes something like "a man is the way for a spermatozoon to create another spermatozoon". So it seems that regarding gas we could say that the music is the way for gear makers to make us buy more gear. You can do what i did, forget about vsts and monitors and turn your gas into scores and music theory books. At least you'll be playing more instead of dealing with cables and computers and such


Very Wise.


Don

Casio PX-S1000, Focal Professional CMS 40 near-field monitors, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs (Seldom Used), Focus Rite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface, Yamaha MG06 Mixer
Re: Can’t stop digging my GAS hole
KevinM #2918383 11/30/19 11:04 PM
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If you want to see your money evaporate, take up a violin-family instrument. Just this morning I had to order a cello A string after I broke one in tuning. It was $35, for one string. A halfway decent set costs $150+. I just got these (Jargar Superiors) in August, and probably by next summer it will be time to spend ~$200 again, hopefully less if the C and G strings hold out. Before that, it was a couple of New Harmony wolf tone eliminators at $15 each (had to order online because local music shops here only carry the traditional suppressors). A few months ago it was a good pernambuco bow and rosin, and a better music stand. My DP hasn't cost me anything else other than the purchase price and sheet music I've bought.

Last edited by rmns2bseen; 11/30/19 11:05 PM.
Re: Can’t stop digging my GAS hole
KevinM #2918386 11/30/19 11:23 PM
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You are going about this backwards. If your monitors are problematic, you cannot evaluate the sound quality of the rest of the stuff properly. If you get satisfactory monitors, I think you will find that the MP11SE is all you need.

Re: Can’t stop digging my GAS hole
KevinM #2918454 12/01/19 05:38 AM
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At least I have sorted out the mixer problem. Took far too long. The mono/stereo button was pressed.

At least I know a lot more what mixers do and how they work now. Silver linings and all that.

Re: Can’t stop digging my GAS hole
rmns2bseen #2918460 12/01/19 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by rmns2bseen
If you want to see your money evaporate, take up a violin-family instrument. Just this morning I had to order a cello A string after I broke one in tuning. It was $35, for one string. A halfway decent set costs $150+. I just got these (Jargar Superiors) in August, and probably by next summer it will be time to spend ~$200 again, hopefully less if the C and G strings hold out. Before that, it was a couple of New Harmony wolf tone eliminators at $15 each (had to order online because local music shops here only carry the traditional suppressors). A few months ago it was a good pernambuco bow and rosin, and a better music stand. My DP hasn't cost me anything else other than the purchase price and sheet music I've bought.


I play classical guitar, and have four of them. Yes, strings cost money, and I wouldn’t want to add up the money I’ve spent on strings in my lifetime. My 90cm contra bass guitar string sets are $60 but I’m happy that Hannabach sells them over the counter so I don’t complain.

Can you get a year out of a set of cello strings? That’s pretty good, I think. I played the violin for ten years but don’t miss the sound of that under my ear. I love the sound of the cell though. I should have tried that instead.

I managed to flip a fine French fiddle double what I paid for it so that was nice. That will never happen with piano. DPs are cheaper in terms of maintenance but I can’t stand listening to a piano over speakers, and can’t stand playing with headphones, so I’ll be paying maintenance costs on an acoustic piano for the rest of my life. So it goes.

Last edited by LarryK; 12/01/19 06:17 AM.
Re: Can’t stop digging my GAS hole
KevinM #2918469 12/01/19 06:40 AM
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This is hard to understand.
Originally Posted by KevinM
... not completely happy with the internal main sound of my MP11SE.
... the VST via headphones plugged into the laptop ... sounds really nice.
... it doesn’t sound quite as nice from within GarageBand.
... the output sound from the mixer doesn’t sound quite as good as the inputs.
... the sound with the headphones plugged directly into the laptop is better.
... the headphones and monitors was better when direct.
... the sound going through the mixer is muddier.
It's puzzling how the same piano sound good from the laptop, not so good from Garage Band, and muddy from the mixer.

Are there adjustments that have been set badly?

Re: Can’t stop digging my GAS hole
KevinM #2918473 12/01/19 07:01 AM
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So next job will be sort out running the VST from within garage band now the mixer problem is sorted.

What this meant though I was able to explore the issue with my monitors. Now I know for sure it isn't the output from the MP11SE the problem is the monitors.

I don't know for sure but I think the problem is around the crossover between where the large speaker dominates the sound and the tweeter in the monitors. The key C5 and a few below sound rough on both the internal MP11SE and the VST. But C5 is definitely the worse. The range of keys where the sound is rough is larger for the MP11SE internal sound, 3 instead of 2. I can just hear the issue with just a single key but with two keys pressed at the same time in that range it is clearer. The sound is just rough.

Last edited by KevinM; 12/01/19 07:02 AM.
Re: Can’t stop digging my GAS hole
KevinM #2918660 12/01/19 04:17 PM
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I have been a fool. I thought I would have groundloop problems if I fed the headphone output from the Mac into the input of my MP11SE which is partly why I got the mixer. At least getting the mixer confirmed beyond doubt that the problem with the monitors is just that.

GarageBand and the Ivory II plug-in really don’t play well together. I got the settings configured and recorded myself with garaband using the Ivory II plug-in and that worked. But of course I didn’t like my playing so I decided to go for a new recording, but GarageBand had changed the plug-in settings without my input. This wasn’t the first time that GarageBand had changed the settings but previously I couldn’t know for sure.

Working with the plug-in in GarageBand is hair pulling out frustration. I decided to try having the output of the headphones from the laptop into the MP11SE and I can record using the MP11SE recorder. This means I can leave GarageBand out of the equation and just use the Ivory II stand-alone player. I can also leave out the mixer. So far no groundloop hum.

What a mess.

Re: Can’t stop digging my GAS hole
KevinM #2918670 12/01/19 04:49 PM
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Here's the cure for GAS ...

[Linked Image]

Re: Can’t stop digging my GAS hole
KevinM #2918671 12/01/19 04:52 PM
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^^

My ex could have done with taking some of those!


Learning to play. Consciously incompetent, which apparently is a good starting point. smirk
Re: Can’t stop digging my GAS hole
KevinM #2918702 12/01/19 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by LarryK
Can you get a year out of a set of cello strings?
That depends, partly on how frequently you play and partly on the string composition. The ones I'm using now have a tungsten-wound C and G so I'm hoping they will last at *least* a year. My last set of budget Prims (unbearably "bright", by the way) only lasted a few months before they went stale. Before I took up the cello I didn't realize how expensive decent strings were. At this rate I'm going to be tempted to use rubber bands. grin

Apologies to the OP, didn't mean to hijack the thread. I'm known to go off on irrelevant tangents.

Re: Can’t stop digging my GAS hole
rmns2bseen #2918783 12/01/19 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by rmns2bseen
Originally Posted by LarryK
Can you get a year out of a set of cello strings?
That depends, partly on how frequently you play and partly on the string composition.

If you played like these guys, forget a year - you'd be lucky to get a single performance out of a set of strings or even a set of bow hair!



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Re: Can’t stop digging my GAS hole
KevinM #2918789 12/01/19 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
If you played like these guys, forget a year - you'd be lucky to get a single performance out of a set of strings or even a set of bow hair!
Oh yeah, bow hair! That's another expense, about $150 every year or so, I think. My bows up til now haven't been worth the expense but the one I have now is. I'm verrrrrry careful with that thing. grin

Re: Can’t stop digging my GAS hole
rmns2bseen #2918798 12/01/19 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by rmns2bseen
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
If you played like these guys, forget a year - you'd be lucky to get a single performance out of a set of strings or even a set of bow hair!
Oh yeah, bow hair! That's another expense, about $150 every year or so, I think. My bows up til now haven't been worth the expense but the one I have now is. I'm verrrrrry careful with that thing. grin


I remember picking up a bow after a re-hair and making the mistake of asking the luthier what he was playing on the violin. He informed me that he did not play the violin, lol. After thinking it over, I came to the conclusion that you didn't have to play the instrument in order to build the instrument.

And, sorry, I'm not a fan of whatever is going on in that video.

The closest I've come to playing the cello is when I tricked the electrician into thinking I was playing the cello in the living room by playing a recording on my stereo of Pablo Casals playing the Bach cello suites.

Last edited by LarryK; 12/01/19 10:23 PM.
Re: Can’t stop digging my GAS hole
LarryK #2918811 12/01/19 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by LarryK
... sorry, I'm not a fan of whatever is going on in that video.

Really? I thought they were outstanding! Extremely talented, to say the least. Granted, they are a bit rough on their instruments!

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