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Re: Best Monitors and Headphones for Pianoteq and VPC1
xhivo #2881573 08/20/19 07:59 AM
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I would kind of describe the Pianoteq sound as though I was listening to a piano recording that I had ripped from a CD with a very lossy codec. Not the greatest sound but very playable. I like it.


Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Preludio: Bach/Rachmaninoff E Major Sonata for Violin
Chopin: G Minor Ballade


Shigeru Kawai SK2
Kawai VPC-1
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Re: Best Monitors and Headphones for Pianoteq and VPC1
xhivo #2881618 08/20/19 11:09 AM
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I reckon they all play well, but the speakers tend to highlight the deficiencies more, imo. Best overall on speakers for me is the Bechstein from the Klemscregg collection. It has lovely antiquities but still sounds great. Best for h/ph is the Bluthner.


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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Re: Best Monitors and Headphones for Pianoteq and VPC1
Mark Polishook #2964560 04/07/20 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark Polishook
MacMacMac!

When I record my piano with the Duet and play back through the Duet the difference between it is really apparent (if I then playback through the Duet or the Audient). That’s NOT to say the Audient ID4 is not a good interface. It’s a GREAT interface but it sells at a price point (as does the Duet) so one would expect some limitations. Interesting that you were going to say something similar ....


So, is it just that some color the sound less, which makes them that much better? Like, is going from piano line out directly to monitor line in the best, cleanest, sound, and then going through a digital interface is always going to be slightly less clean sounding because the electronics color the output? Or is this only referring to the signal over USB to the computer?

Re: Best Monitors and Headphones for Pianoteq and VPC1
JoeThePro #2964585 04/08/20 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeThePro
So, is it just that some color the sound less, which makes them that much better? Like, is going from piano line out directly to monitor line in the best, cleanest, sound, and then going through a digital interface is always going to be slightly less clean sounding because the electronics color the output? Or is this only referring to the signal over USB to the computer?

Most studio equipment is audibly transparent these days. DACs are a solved problem and the amps are in your active speakers, so they can be taken out of the equation.

People hear differences between audio interfaces because they are incapable of precise volume matching when they do the comparison. For a proper comparison, you need to compare blind, a.k.a.: not knowing which device is playing, in order to eliminate perceptual bias, else the one that costs more or has the nicer finish will sound better. Just how our dumb brain works, I'm afraid. Also you need to match the volume to 0.1dB or closer.

It's as simple as that.

When comparing electronics, you typically hear difference between amplification solutions, esp concerning the damping factor (how much the non linear impedance of the speaker affects the output level). It's scientifically impossible to distinguish competently designed DACs, because their specifications are already beyond what human hearing is capable of.


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
VPC 1 -> Pianoteq 7 Std | Garritan CFX / Pearl Alto Flute 201
Re: Best Monitors and Headphones for Pianoteq and VPC1
xhivo #2964611 04/08/20 05:39 AM
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@Granyala: Right you are.
There are three groups of people.
1. Those who know and understand proper A/B testing.
2. Those who don't know, but can come to an understanding.
C. Those with golden ears ... who can hear a difference between the sound coming through a straight wire and that coming through a bent wire.

Re: Best Monitors and Headphones for Pianoteq and VPC1
Granyala #2964641 04/08/20 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by JoeThePro
So, is it just that some color the sound less, which makes them that much better? Like, is going from piano line out directly to monitor line in the best, cleanest, sound, and then going through a digital interface is always going to be slightly less clean sounding because the electronics color the output? Or is this only referring to the signal over USB to the computer?

Most studio equipment is audibly transparent these days. DACs are a solved problem and the amps are in your active speakers, so they can be taken out of the equation.

People hear differences between audio interfaces because they are incapable of precise volume matching when they do the comparison. For a proper comparison, you need to compare blind, a.k.a.: not knowing which device is playing, in order to eliminate perceptual bias, else the one that costs more or has the nicer finish will sound better. Just how our dumb brain works, I'm afraid. Also you need to match the volume to 0.1dB or closer.

It's as simple as that.

When comparing electronics, you typically hear difference between amplification solutions, esp concerning the damping factor (how much the non linear impedance of the speaker affects the output level). It's scientifically impossible to distinguish competently designed DACs, because their specifications are already beyond what human hearing is capable of.


Haha well thanks for clearing that up. I do see reviews on Amazon comparing less expensive audio interfaces like the focusrite scarlett to more expensive models, saying that one sounds better than the other. I just am trying to understand what the limiting factor here is, and where it comes into play. Will I really notice that my piano sound coming through the interface to monitors is really any worse, or does that signal chain not get affected by the electronics?

Re: Best Monitors and Headphones for Pianoteq and VPC1
xhivo #2964647 04/08/20 09:13 AM
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Mainly the more expensive units especially by RME is the drivers that you install. RME writes the drivers and have updated drivers for products they made over 10 years ago. The cheaper ones are outsourced and after a few years no guarantee they will be updated. Also drivers from places like RME are able to sustain the audio load with dozens of inputs and outputs going at the same time at a low buffer setting. Now to just run Pianoteq most likely not needed. So it all depends on your needs.

I'm looking at the new MOTU M2 or M4 interface for my needs.


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
Re: Best Monitors and Headphones for Pianoteq and VPC1
EPW #2964679 04/08/20 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by EPW
Mainly the more expensive units especially by RME is the drivers that you install. RME writes the drivers and have updated drivers for products they made over 10 years ago. The cheaper ones are outsourced and after a few years no guarantee they will be updated. Also drivers from places like RME are able to sustain the audio load with dozens of inputs and outputs going at the same time at a low buffer setting. Now to just run Pianoteq most likely not needed. So it all depends on your needs.

I'm looking at the new MOTU M2 or M4 interface for my needs.


Whoa thanks for the heads up on the Motu M2! I missed that one, and it looks like the best you can get under $200 ($170 now on Amazon). Awesome features and really well reviewed on gearslutz.

Re: Best Monitors and Headphones for Pianoteq and VPC1
JoeThePro #2964879 04/09/20 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeThePro
Originally Posted by EPW
Mainly the more expensive units especially by RME is the drivers that you install. RME writes the drivers and have updated drivers for products they made over 10 years ago. The cheaper ones are outsourced and after a few years no guarantee they will be updated. Also drivers from places like RME are able to sustain the audio load with dozens of inputs and outputs going at the same time at a low buffer setting. Now to just run Pianoteq most likely not needed. So it all depends on your needs.

I'm looking at the new MOTU M2 or M4 interface for my needs.


Whoa thanks for the heads up on the Motu M2! I missed that one, and it looks like the best you can get under $200 ($170 now on Amazon). Awesome features and really well reviewed on gearslutz.

FWIW, I tried Motu M2 for primary Piano VST usage and had to return it. It just didn't sound right - especially for fast trills. I tried several different latency settings - and latency wasn't the issue. But, the playability of Piano VST was not there. Now, this sounds really strange - but their ASIO drivers are probably not optimized for live Piano VST playback.

I am probably in the minority as almost everyone on the net raves about Motu M2. I would be curious to hear how Motu M2 works out for your piano VST need.

Osho


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Kawai Novus NV10 + VST + Genelec 8050B monitors.
Current VST favorites (in the order of preference): Pianoteq 7/VSL Synchron Concert D//Garritan CFX/Embertone Walker D Full

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Re: Best Monitors and Headphones for Pianoteq and VPC1
JoeThePro #2964885 04/09/20 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeThePro
I do see reviews on Amazon comparing less expensive audio interfaces like the focusrite scarlett to more expensive models, saying that one sounds better than the other.

If the reviewers use headphones, quality of built in amplification might be the source of the difference.
There should not be audible differences when using active speakers.

In general I agree with @EPW though: you pay more for features, connection options, driver support, brand name etc.

BTW: keep in mind that audibly transparent gear may sound shrill, harsh or even boring to you, if you are used to colored gear (yes, sadly that still exist). That's an issue for many when they look at transducers. Depending on your ears, flat/neutral may not sound that great to you. Still I'd rather have transparent/neutral gear and shape the signal via EQ to my liking. That way I am in control and not the hardware.


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
VPC 1 -> Pianoteq 7 Std | Garritan CFX / Pearl Alto Flute 201
Re: Best Monitors and Headphones for Pianoteq and VPC1
Osho #2964945 04/09/20 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Osho

FWIW, I tried Motu M2 for primary Piano VST usage and had to return it. It just didn't sound right - especially for fast trills. I tried several different latency settings - and latency wasn't the issue. But, the playability of Piano VST was not there. Now, this sounds really strange - but their ASIO drivers are probably not optimized for live Piano VST playback.

I am probably in the minority as almost everyone on the net raves about Motu M2. I would be curious to hear how Motu M2 works out for your piano VST need.

Osho


I'm not sure what you mean, you say latency wasnt the issue, but that the ASIO drivers may not be optimized for VST playback. What was the issue you heard? Lack of clarity?

Last edited by JoeThePro; 04/09/20 08:06 AM.
Re: Best Monitors and Headphones for Pianoteq and VPC1
xhivo #2964984 04/09/20 09:37 AM
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Well there are 17 pages of Motu M2 observations and short reviews.

It seems Motu released better drivers earlier this year. Also some of the users' early performance measurements were not reliable due to user error.

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/pro...-m2-m4-usb-c-bus-powered-interfaces.html

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/gea...s-means-audio-diffmaker-61.html#post1824

Re: Best Monitors and Headphones for Pianoteq and VPC1
newer player #2964988 04/09/20 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by newer player
early performance measurements were not reliable due to user error.
And challenges to measure due to Motu firmware.

Re: Best Monitors and Headphones for Pianoteq and VPC1
JoeThePro #2965293 04/10/20 02:50 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeThePro
Originally Posted by Osho
FWIW, I tried Motu M2 for primary Piano VST usage and had to return it. It just didn't sound right - especially for fast trills. I tried several different latency settings - and latency wasn't the issue. But, the playability of Piano VST was not there. Now, this sounds really strange - but their ASIO drivers are probably not optimized for live Piano VST playback.

I am probably in the minority as almost everyone on the net raves about Motu M2. I would be curious to hear how Motu M2 works out for your piano VST need.

Osho

I'm not sure what you mean, you say latency wasnt the issue, but that the ASIO drivers may not be optimized for VST playback. What was the issue you heard? Lack of clarity?

One of the main issue was that on fast trills, I felt that the sound was getting cut off.

Osho


Mason & Hamlin BB
Kawai Novus NV10 + VST + Genelec 8050B monitors.
Current VST favorites (in the order of preference): Pianoteq 7/VSL Synchron Concert D//Garritan CFX/Embertone Walker D Full

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Re: Best Monitors and Headphones for Pianoteq and VPC1
Osho #2965346 04/10/20 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Osho
One of the main issue was that on fast trills, I felt that the sound was getting cut off.

Osho

Is it even remotely possible for something like that to be caused by the interface?

Re: Best Monitors and Headphones for Pianoteq and VPC1
JoeThePro #2965443 04/10/20 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeThePro
Originally Posted by Osho
One of the main issue was that on fast trills, I felt that the sound was getting cut off.

Osho

Is it even remotely possible for something like that to be caused by the interface?

I don't know. But, I can tell that I changed the interface to either the builtin RealTek (with ASIO4ALL) - the problem went away. And, I recently bought Lynx E22 - no problem with that also.

Osho


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Kawai Novus NV10 + VST + Genelec 8050B monitors.
Current VST favorites (in the order of preference): Pianoteq 7/VSL Synchron Concert D//Garritan CFX/Embertone Walker D Full

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Re: Best Monitors and Headphones for Pianoteq and VPC1
xhivo #2965582 04/11/20 01:15 AM
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Am I correct in thinking that an interface like the Motu M2, or Scarlett 2i2, with "2 inputs", has 2 mono inputs, not stereo inputs? Meaning, if I want to send my DP L/R line outs through the interface, I've already filled up the 2 inputs? No space left for a mic? Or are these line inputs stereo, and I can use a Y adapter for the DP line out to a single line in on the interface?

Last edited by JoeThePro; 04/11/20 01:16 AM.
Re: Best Monitors and Headphones for Pianoteq and VPC1
JoeThePro #2965855 04/11/20 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeThePro
Am I correct in thinking that an interface like the Motu M2, or Scarlett 2i2, with "2 inputs", has 2 mono inputs, not stereo inputs? Meaning, if I want to send my DP L/R line outs through the interface, I've already filled up the 2 inputs? No space left for a mic? Or are these line inputs stereo, and I can use a Y adapter for the DP line out to a single line in on the interface?

Yes -- the "Line" inputs are _monophonic_, so the L/R "Line Out" cables from the DP each use up one of them.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq
Re: Best Monitors and Headphones for Pianoteq and VPC1
xhivo #2965960 04/12/20 02:43 AM
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Buying speakers is such a pain on a low budget

I am myself in a 15m2 room with a VPC 1 as well

I think a big gripe for me is that the keyboard is next to a wall so setting up speakers with their ports in the backs is more or less a big no no

The iLoud micro monitors seem well reviewed but it feels like that there is a giant push on marketing from them

So I might end up going T5V, JBL 305 or HS5 :S

Re: Best Monitors and Headphones for Pianoteq and VPC1
MyPianoJourney #2965975 04/12/20 04:40 AM
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Originally Posted by MyPianoJourney
Buying speakers is such a pain on a low budget
Haha, what ISN'T a pain in the butt with a low budget in this damned world. laugh
I hate having to buy stuff on a budget.

BTW I use these: https://www.focal.com/en/home-audio/high-fidelity-speakers/aria-900/bookshelf-speakers/aria-906
Snagged them for 230€ a pop back in December and just hooked them up to my AVR.

I feel your pain in regards to placement, fitting the VPC into my 16m² 1 room apartment was a challenge in itself, properly positioning them speakers for the piano is impossible. I positioned them for music listening at my computer, so when I play via speakers (e.g. for a guest), the sound comes from somwhere to my left. <_<

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And yes, before you ask: the couch table doubles as my piano bench. laugh

A WEE BIT OF MORE SPACE WOULD BE APPRECIATED, LIFE .... wallet said: "nope!".


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
VPC 1 -> Pianoteq 7 Std | Garritan CFX / Pearl Alto Flute 201
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