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Embertone Walker lite. Is upgrade to full worth it? #2921224 12/09/19 09:37 AM
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Is an upgrade from the lite to the full worth it for someone like me who is not a professional and just uses it only for fun and pleasure?

I think the lite is fantastic. I have some issues though and while they are not enough to detract from it considering the price, some notes do seem a little odd. E4 for instance. Bit plasticy. And there's a tiny disconnect - read tiny delay - that isn't there with - say PV Concert Grand Compact.

The sound of the Walker is just what I have been waiting for and am wondering if things are better in the full version.

Opinions?

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Re: Embertone Walker lite. Is upgrade to full worth it? [Re: Boylan] #2921529 12/10/19 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Boylan
Is an upgrade from the lite to the full worth it for someone like me who is not a professional and just uses it only for fun and pleasure?

I think the lite is fantastic. I have some issues though and while they are not enough to detract from it considering the price, some notes do seem a little odd. E4 for instance. Bit plasticy. And there's a tiny disconnect - read tiny delay - that isn't there with - say PV Concert Grand Compact.

The sound of the Walker is just what I have been waiting for and am wondering if things are better in the full version.

Opinions?


My opinion - well worth the upgrade. Apart from going from 12 to 36 velocity levels (makes a marked difference to expression & dynamic control with a good weighted keyboard), it opens up the option to add extra mic sets. My favourites are the Hammer mics (very detailed & immediate tone & feel which is missing in the default mics that come with the Lite version) and the Room mics. A mix of the 2 is fantastic.


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Re: Embertone Walker lite. Is upgrade to full worth it? [Re: Craig Richards] #2921587 12/10/19 11:31 AM
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Thanks for the reply.

Not sure if my keyboard is up to speed - old SL-880 but it'll do until something better comes along and finances are healthier.

I've listened to a comparison between 12 and 36 main mics on another site - VI - and couldn't really hear much difference in the sound. Maybe it's my sound system. I've heard the close and main mics together in another comparison and that sounded pretty good as did the close mics on their own, so yes, mixing the mics clearly pays dividends. I'm just playing for my own pleasure so I 'm aiming for a mix that most closely approached what it would sound like sitting at a piano. Someone suggested the close and main would achieve that - others the hammer and main.

What is more of a concern is the slight disconnect. That's what's holding me back more than anything. It's very noticeable on trills. Now I would not pretend for a minute that I am any good at trills but they are noticeably cleaner on PV Concert Grand Compact where I feel more connected to the keyboard. It's not a lot mind, but it is there. It may be a setting and I just have to fiddle with it.

Soundwise I prefer the Walker, but the PV feels easier to play.

Wondering if anyone else has a similar experience.

Re: Embertone Walker lite. Is upgrade to full worth it? [Re: Boylan] #2921596 12/10/19 12:16 PM
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There is another, quite long thread in PW about this plugin, with description of contradictory experiences.

Re: Embertone Walker lite. Is upgrade to full worth it? [Re: Andrew_G] #2921614 12/10/19 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew_G
There is another, quite long thread in PW about this plugin, with description of contradictory experiences.


Thanks, yes, I've read that. There's comments about the lag there too along with reports of pops etc. usually explained as wrong default ASIO settings or something is the DAW they are using. I'm using it just in Kontakt. ASIO settings are the same as for PV.

Are people still getting these problems with the updated version or have the gone away? Because if they have gone then it's just me and I need to play around more with my settings.

Re: Embertone Walker lite. Is upgrade to full worth it? [Re: Boylan] #2921623 12/10/19 02:30 PM
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There are a few threads at vi-control you might check out. That forum is more focused on music production vs. PW, which might be more tilted to playing (classical) music.

https://vi-control.net/community/th...55-steinway-d.72492/page-37#post-4440275

Re: Embertone Walker lite. Is upgrade to full worth it? [Re: newer player] #2921627 12/10/19 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by newer player
There are a few threads at vi-control you might check out.


Thanks. I've read that one too. I think I've read everything.. lol.

Re: Embertone Walker lite. Is upgrade to full worth it? [Re: Boylan] #2921879 12/11/19 10:42 AM
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I'm in the same boat as you.

I have also read everything and still wonder if embertone's 1955 is worth buying.


On black friday i made a choice between the Embertone and Synthogy's American D and i chose the American D. At first I thought i made the wrong choice because the American D didn't immediately impress me, but that quickly changed. After some tweaking (EQ, reverb, resonance, velocity curve etc) i think it's amazing, it just needed more tweaking than my other vst's to come alive. My opinion on these piano vst's seems to change from time to time, but right now this one sounds more realistic to me than Garritan Cfx, and it's my current favourite. Very realistic Steinway sound, great playability, huge dynamic range, and i just love it's treble, i think the piano they sampled was truely a great Steinway.

Still, im curious about the Embertone. Nobody needs to convince me about it's fantastic sound, i just worry about it's playability, notes dropping out, sticking out, sounding strange etc.

Re: Embertone Walker lite. Is upgrade to full worth it? [Re: U3piano] #2921915 12/11/19 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by U3piano
I'm in the same boat as you.

Still, im curious about the Embertone. Nobody needs to convince me about it's fantastic sound, i just worry about it's playability, notes dropping out, sticking out, sounding strange etc.


The American D was also under consideration. But I went with the Embertone because the lite was being offered for the silly price of $10 and the demos were very good. I immediately loved the sound and decided to go for the full version but then some minor issues cropped up. More on those in a minute.

I have the PC Concert Grand and it's a completely different sound. The PV is modern sounding- cavernous in the bass but it does lack body. It's a very clean sound. The Embertone is classic and has lots of body and character. It's a much warmer, yet clear, sound. Sounds more like you have a piano in the room than a recording of one. The PV is stringy, much like other libraries. The Embertone is not. It's tone is lovely and intimate. I like them both but prefer the Embertone.

Both have issues. The PV sounds terrific but a little clinical and has a note or two that sound like the hammer is not hitting the string right. It's the compact version so at the price I got it at I'm not complaining. The Embertone has a few slightly out of tune notes and a few that sound a bit dead e.g. E5. Again, for what I paid for it, I'm not complaining. But it's a different matter at full price.

It is a ravishing sound and exactly what I was looking for. Maybe the slightly dead E5 isn't there on the full version, or with different mics. Do people with the full version have the same problem?.

There was one other problem I had that is, to a large extent resolved now. I was having a little lag. This was pretty noticeable switching from PV to Embertone. There was a definite disconnect. PV was much faster. This has been greatly improved following the advice of another poster who I can't find for the moment so can't link to them. They measured the response and found that the sample start setting had a bearing on the latency. At the default setting they measured 10ms. Setting the sample start to 12 o'clock reduced this to ~3ms. There's still some tweaking to do but it responds much better now.

It's a glorious sound. It's those slightly dead notes that are my only concern now.

Re: Embertone Walker lite. Is upgrade to full worth it? [Re: Boylan] #2921929 12/11/19 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Boylan

It's a glorious sound. It's those slightly dead notes that are my only concern now.


Would you say these slightly dead tones ruin the otherwise great experience? Or is it still a joy to play even with these slightly dead tones?

Also someone on this forum wrote it feels like it has just 4 velocity layers, while it has 36. You have the light version, i believe that means 12 velocity layers, but do you notice any rough transitions that again, might ruin the experience?

Any notes dropping out, sustain problems?

Re: Embertone Walker lite. Is upgrade to full worth it? [Re: U3piano] #2921960 12/11/19 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by U3piano


Would you say these slightly dead tones ruin the otherwise great experience? Or is it still a joy to play even with these slightly dead tones?

Also someone on this forum wrote it feels like it has just 4 velocity layers, while it has 36. You have the light version, i believe that means 12 velocity layers, but do you notice any rough transitions that again, might ruin the experience?

Any notes dropping out, sustain problems?


At $10 the slightly, and I mean slightly, dead notes are no bother at all, nor are any of the other issues. At $99 they are. But it's such an intoxicating sound for me that I start reaching for the pay now button immediately I start playing - then I hit E5 and pause again. It's why I'm here asking other people what they think.

I'm not sure my keyboard or my playing is good enough to make a qualified judgement about the velocity issues you mention. It felt limited at first but was much better after I adjusted the response settings according to recommendations. I've only had it a few day and I'm still fiddling with it. At the moment PV has a greater dynamic range. I can get a quieter pianissimo on PV and a louder fortissimo, but then PV has more velocity layers. The starting point is setting both the dynamic and volume scaling to be diagonally going up from left to right. So left triangle at the bottom and right triangle at the top. Then adjust the bottom bars until they disappear. At that setting you should have the full dynamic range available to you. Also turn off tone, dyn and sat in the sweetening section. Use these settings as your starting point and adjust according to your keyboard and playing style.

Haven't noticed any notes dropping out.

Sustain seems fine except the volume seems to drop slightly when engaged. Sustain works much better for me on the Embertone than on the PV. This may be an issue with my keyboard. Or my playing.

I think it's a lovely creamy, velvety sound. I may still go for it even with those issues. But they might not even be there in the full version. Something I'm hoping to find out.

Re: Embertone Walker lite. Is upgrade to full worth it? [Re: Boylan] #2922016 12/11/19 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Boylan
. . . - then I hit E5 and pause again. It's why I'm here asking other people what they think.

I think it's a lovely creamy, velvety sound. I may still go for it even with those issues. But they might not even be there in the full version. Something I'm hoping to find out.


I have the full version with Binaural, Hammer & Room mics (in addition to the default standard side mics as per the Lite version). Happy to render an audio file of that problem E5 note (with Middle C being C4? Sometimes Middle C is named C3 in MIDI spec) for you with the different mics at different velocities so you can assess before buying.

Last edited by Craig Richards; 12/11/19 03:59 PM.

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Re: Embertone Walker lite. Is upgrade to full worth it? [Re: Craig Richards] #2922020 12/11/19 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Craig Richards

I have the full version with Binaural, Hammer & Room mics (in addition to the default standard side mics as per the Lite version). Happy to render an audio file of that problem E5 note (with Middle C being C4? Sometimes Middle C is named C3 in MIDI spec) for you with the different mics at different velocities so you can assess before buying.


Wow - It would be fantastically helpful if you could do that! Doesn't have to be anything special. Just the E5 and maybe a few notes around for comparison. Yes I'm looking at middle C as C4.

Re: Embertone Walker lite. Is upgrade to full worth it? [Re: Boylan] #2922062 12/11/19 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Boylan
Originally Posted by Craig Richards

I have the full version with Binaural, Hammer & Room mics (in addition to the default standard side mics as per the Lite version). Happy to render an audio file of that problem E5 note (with Middle C being C4? Sometimes Middle C is named C3 in MIDI spec) for you with the different mics at different velocities so you can assess before buying.


Wow - It would be fantastically helpful if you could do that! Doesn't have to be anything special. Just the E5 and maybe a few notes around for comparison. Yes I'm looking at middle C as C4.


No problems - I'll put them up on my Soundcloud page with the option to download them as WAV files. Will include the link in this thread.


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Re: Embertone Walker lite. Is upgrade to full worth it? [Re: Boylan] #2922071 12/11/19 07:03 PM
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Re: Embertone Walker lite. Is upgrade to full worth it? [Re: Craig Richards] #2922073 12/11/19 07:18 PM
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Thanks a lot for doing this. I had a quick listen to the main mic and there is a difference. It's a lot cleaner on yours. Mine sounds plasticy in comparison. It doesn't sound that way on PV. It's late here in the UK so I'll have a proper listen tomorrow after playing around with the settings etc.

Once again, many thanks for this.

Re: Embertone Walker lite. Is upgrade to full worth it? [Re: Boylan] #2922328 12/12/19 05:58 PM
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Listened some more today and there's definitely a difference between yours and mine. Yours sounds livelier for one thing. It could be the settings.Twiddling with them gets it closer to yours but there is still something about that E5. It could be that yours is the full and mine is the lite - 12 vs 36 velocity layers etc. Could it be my keyboard?

Once again, thanks for doing these recordings. They were just what I needed. I will study some more.

One question. The main difference between the lite and the full is the full has 36 velocity levels and other mic positions. Do you feel it makes a lot of difference?

Re: Embertone Walker lite. Is upgrade to full worth it? [Re: Boylan] #2922367 12/12/19 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Boylan
Listened some more today and there's definitely a difference between yours and mine. Yours sounds livelier for one thing. It could be the settings.Twiddling with them gets it closer to yours but there is still something about that E5. It could be that yours is the full and mine is the lite - 12 vs 36 velocity layers etc. Could it be my keyboard?

Once again, thanks for doing these recordings. They were just what I needed. I will study some more.

One question. The main difference between the lite and the full is the full has 36 velocity levels and other mic positions. Do you feel it makes a lot of difference?

Glad it helped. The E5 doesn't catch my ear using any of the mic sets in the full version. As mentioned, I used the 36 velocity setting, with Dynamic & Volume Velocity Scaling set to linear (these are not set this way by default) with no reverb added. Also I switched off the 'Sweetening' controls which affect EQ & compression.

I did immediately feel & hear a difference going from Lite to Full. (BTW, the Full version has Una Corda samples which are not in the Lite version). I've played acoustic piano for decades, and for sampled pianos use a high quality 88 key weighted keyboard (Yamaha CP4 Stage) so I notice the differences. I always felt the Lite version was a little limited in expression, but loved the tone & character and could sense the potential of the full version so upgraded when the update (v1.1) was finally released. I mainly use the Hammer & Room mics, but the Binaural mics are fun with headphones, and the default main mics have a good balance of detail & ambience.

I can send you the MIDI file of that test I made if it helps (don't think I can attach it here in the forum though).


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Re: Embertone Walker lite. Is upgrade to full worth it? [Re: Boylan] #2922447 12/13/19 03:35 AM
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There are almost no Embertone Walker 1955 Concert D videos on youtube.

If you do a search there, what you get is the same batch of videos (for a year now) that are either 1. product reviews, or 2. made to sell you the product. That's it!

How about some videos from music lovers who are not trying to sell you something? With such a good sound, I would have thought that there would be AT LEAST A FEW videos on there by now (but no). How about some Mozart, or Beethoven? No. How about ANY well-known music? No. It's sales videos and product reviews ONLY.

Re: Embertone Walker lite. Is upgrade to full worth it? [Re: agent8698] #2922449 12/13/19 03:50 AM
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Originally Posted by agent8698
There are almost no Embertone Walker 1955 Concert D videos on youtube.

If you do a search there, what you get is the same batch of videos (for a year now) that are either 1. product reviews, or 2. made to sell you the product. That's it!

How about some videos from music lovers who are not trying to sell you something? With such a good sound, I would have thought that there would be AT LEAST A FEW videos on there by now (but no). How about some Mozart, or Beethoven? No. How about ANY well-known music? No. It's sales videos and product reviews ONLY.


Good point, i wonder why that is. Usually with great vst's you can find numerous videos of people using them.

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