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VSL Steinway with audio interface
#2983910 05/25/20 09:21 PM
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Hi friends!
This is a follow up to my previous thread about my experiences with the VSL Steinway. To recap: I was using Direct Sound's WASAPI as output, and StudioLogic's SL-88Grand as midi input. And I got an audio that sounds like there are some phasing issues with it. I contacted VSL and they said that things might get better when I get my audio interface.
Well, I'm here to report that my MOTU M2 audio interface is here. I'm still waiting for the cables that would go with my speakers. But at least I can use a recording software and do loopback.
And the sad news is -- with MOTU's ASIO selected, the sound is still the same as what you heard in my previous thread.
Because the sound is the same, I will not upload any audio clips this time. Now, some things still persist:
1. The SL-88Grand has two midi input devices, one labeled "SL Grand" and another "MID-IN 2 SL Grand". I'm not sure if it's this added device that is causing extra midi messages that are sending to the Synchron player, but I don't know how to disable this device either. It could be that, or else, I have nothing else that might be causing this problem.
When the cables arrive, I will connect my speakers up so the audio would go through the interface. But until then, I am calling out for help through this thread.
If any one reading this is willing, please send me a private message here so we can set up a Team Viewer session to work this out. If you are confident at computing, or have played with the SL editor, as well as know the stuff around Synchron Player, then that would be extremely helpful!
Thanks everyone. I don't want to return this great Steinway back, seeing I've invested in it already. Hopefully we can make this work!
Best,
David

Re: VSL Steinway with audio interface
David Lai #2983911 05/25/20 09:22 PM
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Re: VSL Steinway with audio interface
David Lai #2983949 05/26/20 12:22 AM
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I guess it is best to upload some pics of your computer, SL88 and Motu M2 hardware connection, as well as in the software aspects of screenshot for the audio interface settings and Synchron player hardware settings page...
let us to see what the problem is.


CA98~~RME ADI2 DAC
VSL CFX&D274&Bluthner1895, Ivory2 ACD, Galaxy VintageD&StD, Bechstein DG, Embertone 1955Walker
Re: VSL Steinway with audio interface
David Lai #2983951 05/26/20 12:51 AM
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Hi David,

I have neither the VSL nor the StudioLogic but some quick and probably obvious steps.

1. Does your system work fine with the Kontakt pianos?

2. What model Dell do you have? Does wiring look like the following?
a. SL88 DIN midi out to Motu DIN midi in (or SL88 midi out to Dell USB)

b. Then Motu USB to Dell USB

c. Then Motu headphone jack to headphones (or Motu RCA cables to monitors)

3. Can you play VSL via the onscreen keyboard with a mouse or a MIDI file without odd sounds?

Re: VSL Steinway with audio interface
newer player #2983979 05/26/20 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by newer player
Hi David,

I have neither the VSL nor the StudioLogic but some quick and probably obvious steps.

1. Does your system work fine with the Kontakt pianos?

2. What model Dell do you have? Does wiring look like the following?
a. SL88 DIN midi out to Motu DIN midi in (or SL88 midi out to Dell USB)

b. Then Motu USB to Dell USB

c. Then Motu headphone jack to headphones (or Motu RCA cables to monitors)

3. Can you play VSL via the onscreen keyboard with a mouse or a MIDI file without odd sounds?

1. the Kontakt pianos work fine, and so is Ravenscroft 275. The Garritan CFX also has some phasing issues on certain velocities, but not as bad as the VSL;
2. I have a Dell Precision 3540 with a modified spec of 2TB SSD, plus 32GB of ram. The wiring sounds right, except I don't have the cables to the speakers in my hands yet, and the headphone jacks are 6.35mm instead of 3.5mm, for which I don't have the adapters;
3. I'm using the piano standalone, but the VST sounds the same when I ran it through a trial version of Reaper. Unfortunately cantabile is not accessible, so I can't test on my own.

Last edited by David Lai; 05/26/20 03:11 AM.
Re: VSL Steinway with audio interface
David Lai #2983996 05/26/20 04:29 AM
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For 3 I was not clear enough. Have you tried playing VSL notes without the SL88 (e.g. using the onscreen keyboard with a mouse or a MIDI file).

Re: VSL Steinway with audio interface
newer player #2984001 05/26/20 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by newer player
For 3 I was not clear enough. Have you tried playing VSL notes without the SL88 (e.g. using the onscreen keyboard with a mouse or a MIDI file).

There is no midi file capability in standalone version, and also I can’t access the keyboard with my touchpad. I don’t have a mouse. I once tried running the VST plug-in and playing my keyboard through that, but that rendered the same sound.

Re: VSL Steinway with audio interface
David Lai #2984027 05/26/20 06:19 AM
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Do you still have ASIO4ALL installed? If so, try disabling all interfaces in it. I had some issues with it. I uninstalled it after installing my interface's ASIO drivers.


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
Re: VSL Steinway with audio interface
EVC2017 #2984031 05/26/20 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by EVC2017
Do you still have ASIO4ALL installed? If so, try disabling all interfaces in it. I had some issues with it. I uninstalled it after installing my interface's ASIO drivers.

I uninstalled ASIO4All once I got my interface.

Re: VSL Steinway with audio interface
David Lai #2984036 05/26/20 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by David Lai
Originally Posted by newer player
For 3 I was not clear enough. Have you tried playing VSL notes without the SL88 (e.g. using the onscreen keyboard with a mouse or a MIDI file).

There is no midi file capability in standalone version, and also I can’t access the keyboard with my touchpad. I don’t have a mouse. I once tried running the VST plug-in and playing my keyboard through that, but that rendered the same sound.

You should be able to press the keys that you see onscreen in the same was as your use the other controls and buttons in the player. If you press a key it usually sound with max
Velocity (I think).

Re: VSL Steinway with audio interface
Boboulus #2984038 05/26/20 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Boboulus
Originally Posted by David Lai
Originally Posted by newer player
For 3 I was not clear enough. Have you tried playing VSL notes without the SL88 (e.g. using the onscreen keyboard with a mouse or a MIDI file).

There is no midi file capability in standalone version, and also I can’t access the keyboard with my touchpad. I don’t have a mouse. I once tried running the VST plug-in and playing my keyboard through that, but that rendered the same sound.

You should be able to press the keys that you see onscreen in the same was as your use the other controls and buttons in the player. If you press a key it usually sound with max
Velocity (I think).

I can't access this through my screen reader, so I guess I can't do this on my own.

Re: VSL Steinway with audio interface
David Lai #2984044 05/26/20 07:41 AM
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I think this thread is a perfect example of why implementing accessibility in applications is essential. When something goes wrong and because of lack of accessibility in the application David is struggling to resolve the issues for software he has purchased.

Windows and MacOS both have APIs for making implementing the basics of accessibility easy. VSL went for a cross platform solution (windows and mac) means that it has denied itself access to those APIs, but that doesn't divest it from the responsibility of making its tools and applications accessible.

Re: VSL Steinway with audio interface
David Lai #2984051 05/26/20 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by David Lai
Originally Posted by Boboulus
Originally Posted by David Lai
Originally Posted by newer player
For 3 I was not clear enough. Have you tried playing VSL notes without the SL88 (e.g. using the onscreen keyboard with a mouse or a MIDI file).

There is no midi file capability in standalone version, and also I can’t access the keyboard with my touchpad. I don’t have a mouse. I once tried running the VST plug-in and playing my keyboard through that, but that rendered the same sound.

You should be able to press the keys that you see onscreen in the same was as your use the other controls and buttons in the player. If you press a key it usually sound with max
Velocity (I think).

I can't access this through my screen reader, so I guess I can't do this on my own.

I’m sorry I missunderstand what you where using as device. It’s tricky when it won’t work.

Re: VSL Steinway with audio interface
KevinM #2984052 05/26/20 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by KevinM
I think this thread is a perfect example of why implementing accessibility in applications is essential. When something goes wrong and because of lack of accessibility in the application David is struggling to resolve the issues for software he has purchased.

Windows and MacOS both have APIs for making implementing the basics of accessibility easy. VSL went for a cross platform solution (windows and mac) means that it has denied itself access to those APIs, but that doesn't divest it from the responsibility of making its tools and applications accessible.

I think you are absolutely right! The best in terms of accessibility is Garritan CFX Concert Grand and the Aria Player. Note that I didn't update the engine for compatibility worries, but still, I can activate, set midi outputs and inputs, and switch between presets. I can also do my RAM things. Still, things like half pedaling needs others to help me turn on, but that doesn't effect me actually playing the piano.
Kontakt is bad out of the box because I can't use the screen reader to set midi devices and configure basic settings. But they have the NKS standard, which through their keyboards would make things easier. But since I have a StudioLogic, I guess that's out of the question. Not sure about the Mac side as I'm on Windows.
UVI Workstation is the WORST!!! Basically I need help in setting up and configuration every step of the way.
VSL is also not very good. The downloading and installing were all pretty well minus the e-licence software, but for loading presets up I either have to ask someone to move the cursor to the desired element and I set a marker so the screen reader knows where my wanted controls are (note: when the software updates, these markers are useless), or use some advanced features on my screen reader to navigate the screen. This optical character recognition method can't "see" everything, so I'm limited in what I can do by myself.
And unlike all the other sample players, the Synchron Pianos doesn't allow me to save a preset into a file, browse to the desired file on my desktop using Windows Explorer and load it up with the Enter key. All the other sample players have this feature, which makes recalling presets very simple. And as a person who likes to use things standalone, that makes a world of difference.
I have to admit, when I posed questions about accessibility, the tech support person admitted that the Synchron Player is not fully optimized for screen readers, but there are still people who have used it on a sequencer, and he thinks that once I have everything set up, I need not always change stuff, because everything is set up. He is right, but if the set up process is problematic and I'm not getting the sound I want on my own, then that's where things can get a bit frustrating, and where outside help is much needed.
That's basically my experience with standalone sample players out there with Windows.

Re: VSL Steinway with audio interface
David Lai #2984099 05/26/20 10:19 AM
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The new version of Synchron Player adds ability to mark any preset as default - it will be loaded during startup. Does not help with preset setup, of course, but may make your life a little easier afterwards.
I was shocked when began exploring so named 'pro audio' software recently. Its developers still live in 20th century IMO! The user experience, and design are mostly horrible. Some DAW are not bad though, but samplers, effects, and libraries are just terribly outdated.


Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something. (falsely attributed to Plato)
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Re: VSL Steinway with audio interface
David Lai #2984123 05/26/20 11:03 AM
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* So I thought test 3 would help isolate problem from the SL88. I'm not sure how to do that otherwise.

* I don't have the SL88 but do see some deep options in the Windows software. Maybe try resetting this to factory defaults?

* Are you are using the Dell headphone out? Did you try using the Dell laptop speakers? I suppose there is s small possibility the sound will be fixed when you use the Motu audio out (either headphone 6.5mm or RCA).

* VSL pianos are at 24 bit, 44.1kHz. Can you check that the Motu Windows driver is also at 44.1Khz? You can set the MOTU buffer to a high number for testing purposes like 256 for now (ideally that is closer to 64 once you get the sound problem sorted).

* I own a similar Dell XPS. The digital processing should not be the source of the VSL distortion. Particularly if your other pianos and youtube sound fine.

* Several people here (including me) have noted Garrtan CFX has a bit of phasing noticable on some notes; that is difficult to eliminate with close mics. You can bury the issue mixing the ambient mics a bit.

Re: VSL Steinway with audio interface
newer player #2984141 05/26/20 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by newer player
* So I thought test 3 would help isolate problem from the SL88. I'm not sure how to do that otherwise.

* I don't have the SL88 but do see some deep options in the Windows software. Maybe try resetting this to factory defaults?

* Are you are using the Dell headphone out? Did you try using the Dell laptop speakers? I suppose there is s small possibility the sound will be fixed when you use the Motu audio out (either headphone 6.5mm or RCA).

* VSL pianos are at 24 bit, 44.1kHz. Can you check that the Motu Windows driver is also at 44.1Khz? You can set the MOTU buffer to a high number for testing purposes like 256 for now (ideally that is closer to 64 once you get the sound problem sorted).

* I own a similar Dell XPS. The digital processing should not be the source of the VSL distortion. Particularly if your other pianos and youtube sound fine.

* Several people here (including me) have noted Garrtan CFX has a bit of phasing noticable on some notes; that is difficult to eliminate with close mics. You can bury the issue mixing the ambient mics a bit.

I have set the sample rate to 44.1 KHZ, but the phasing problem still persists. Not sure if it might resolve when I can better hear myself, but according to the audio captured via wasapi, it's still like this.

Re: VSL Steinway with audio interface
David Lai #2984151 05/26/20 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by David Lai
have set the sample rate to 44.1 KHZ, but the phasing problem still persists. Not sure if it might resolve when I can better hear myself, but according to the audio captured via wasapi, it's still like this.
If you are not recording (capturing) do you hear the distortion via via the laptop speakers or laptop headphones?

Re: VSL Steinway with audio interface
newer player #2984161 05/26/20 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by newer player
Originally Posted by David Lai
have set the sample rate to 44.1 KHZ, but the phasing problem still persists. Not sure if it might resolve when I can better hear myself, but according to the audio captured via wasapi, it's still like this.
If you are not recording (capturing) do you hear the distortion via via the laptop speakers or laptop headphones?

I haven't tried, but is the laptop speakers outputting the same signal as the 3.5mm headphone jack?

Re: VSL Steinway with audio interface
David Lai #2984179 05/26/20 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by David Lai
I haven't tried, but is the laptop speakers outputting the same signal as the 3.5mm headphone jack?
Maybe

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