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VST experience, speakers versus headphones
#2985539 05/29/20 06:22 PM
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I have become a VST junkie, with 4 now and likely to be 5 in late June.

How much I enjoy Garritan CFX and VSL Vienna Imperial is pretty much the same when listening with speakers or headphones.

But for the others, Ivory II ACD, VSL Concert D, and TrueKeys German Grand listening with headphones is a better experience than speakers. Marginally so for VSL Concert D and significantly so for the other two.

Perhaps I need to spend more time with the settings to try and improve the experience when listening through speakers. Better speakers might help, but it is interesting that the speakers deal well with two of my VSTs.

Re: VST experience, speakers versus headphones
KevinM #2985572 05/29/20 07:46 PM
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Welcome to the G.A.S. club. I have 47 keyboard VST instruments (around 3 harpsichords, and the rest pianos).

Make your wallet scream!

Re: VST experience, speakers versus headphones
MacMacMac #2985592 05/29/20 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Welcome to the G.A.S. club. I have 47 keyboard VST instruments (around 3 harpsichords, and the rest pianos).

Make your wallet scream!

Wow.

Re: VST experience, speakers versus headphones
KevinM #2985762 05/30/20 10:58 AM
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After having used Pianoteq for a few years, and Garritan CFX for more than half a year, I have discovered the world of hobbyist-made sampled pianos for the Aria player. So far I have installed three.

None of them are really playable for me, because there is no way to set an appropriate velocity curve, so all of them sound virtually silent unless I hit the keys with a sledgehammer. But none of them cost anything!

I think I will download some more. These will clearly also not be useful, but think of all the money I'll save.

This is a much better way to deal with GAS, than buying professional VI's. Or, at least it is much cheaper. smile

On a more serious note, one of the downloaded VI's was a Mason and Hamlin, provided by another member of our forums, Dore. This piano really sounds wonderful, and it makes me wonder why there are no professional M&H VI's out there. There ought to be.


Roland FP-30, Roland E-28
Pianoteq 6.5 (Bechstein DG, Grotrian, Steinway D, K2), Garritan CFX Lite, Production Voices Estate Grand
Re: VST experience, speakers versus headphones
KevinM #2985805 05/30/20 12:09 PM
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Yes, they are much cheaper than purchased instruments.

But they're just not any good. None of these homebrew pianos have survived the Recycle Bin.

Re: VST experience, speakers versus headphones
KevinM #2985846 05/30/20 02:35 PM
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Suprisingly, the punchiest and clearest (although not overall quality wise...) experience is the Ravenscroft iOS app on my small, overly bassy, Sennheiser PX-100 headphones.
But on my pc I´m also torn between speakers and headphones, it seems to vary with a wild combination of my mood, piece and VST... All in all I like headphones better, it´s more immersive for me.

Re: VST experience, speakers versus headphones
KevinM #2985966 05/30/20 11:08 PM
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I really like VSL Concert D-274 on monitor speakers. Especially a combination of close mics. Very playable VST and enjoyable sound.

Osho


Mason & Hamlin BB
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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Re: VST experience, speakers versus headphones
KevinM #2985987 05/31/20 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by KevinM
I have become a VST junkie, with 4 now and likely to be 5 in late June.

How much I enjoy Garritan CFX and VSL Vienna Imperial is pretty much the same when listening with speakers or headphones.

But for the others, Ivory II ACD, VSL Concert D, and TrueKeys German Grand listening with headphones is a better experience than speakers. Marginally so for VSL Concert D and significantly so for the other two.

Perhaps I need to spend more time with the settings to try and improve the experience when listening through speakers. Better speakers might help, but it is interesting that the speakers deal well with two of my VSTs.

I feel the Synchron Pianos sound good via studio monitors while I can't make Vienna Imperial sound any good using my monitor. Would you mind sharing your setting for Vienna Imperial when you are using the monitor?

Re: VST experience, speakers versus headphones
KevinM #2985989 05/31/20 01:13 AM
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My experience is they add about 5-9 ms of lag time, no thanks.


Playing professionally since 1975. Style: Straight-ahead jazz. Gear: Kawai ES110 | Mojo 61 | 1966 Mason & Hamlin piano
Re: VST experience, speakers versus headphones
Harpuia #2986275 05/31/20 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Harpuia
I feel the Synchron Pianos sound good via studio monitors while I can't make Vienna Imperial sound any good using my monitor. Would you mind sharing your setting for Vienna Imperial when you are using the monitor?

Be aware I went for bookcase speakers rather than monitors. I found monitors a bit to clinical since when I am playing and listening without headphones I am often about enjoying listening to myself playing, not analysing for a recording.

Below is my settings page for Vienna Imperial.

[Linked Image]

Re: VST experience, speakers versus headphones
rintincop #2986284 05/31/20 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by rintincop
My experience is they add about 5-9 ms of lag time, no thanks.
It seems you must be talking about headphones with a wireless bluetooth connection to the sound source. Bluetooth audio does add some noticeable latency, not usable for realtime playing.

Headphones that are physically connected (by a cord/wire) to the sound source do not have any problem with latency. If anything, they are lower latency than sound that is routed first through an amplifier, then through speakers, then through the air to your ears. (Purely technical argument, though, because this latency is not anything noticeable.) Wired headphones are literally just direct-connected speakers that are mounted on your ear.

Re: VST experience, speakers versus headphones
KevinM #2986285 05/31/20 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by KevinM
Originally Posted by Harpuia
I feel the Synchron Pianos sound good via studio monitors while I can't make Vienna Imperial sound any good using my monitor. Would you mind sharing your setting for Vienna Imperial when you are using the monitor?

Be aware I went for bookcase speakers rather than monitors. I found monitors a bit to clinical since when I am playing and listening without headphones I am often about enjoying listening to myself playing, not analysing for a recording.

Below is my settings page for Vienna Imperial.

[Linked Image]

Thanks Kevin for sharing the setting!

Re: VST experience, speakers versus headphones
KevinM #2986310 05/31/20 05:56 PM
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Call me weird but I've never played a real acoustical piano while wearing headphones. Maybe that's why I find playing a VST piano through headphones unnatural. I want to hear the slight shift in timbre as I turn or raise my head. I want to feel like there's a connection to acoustics of the room I'm in, and feel the keyboard respond to the sound pressure while I play. I consider headphones a necessary evil if I feel a need to play at night after others have gone to bed, but other than that I never plug them in.


Macy

CVP-409GP, Garritan CFX, Vintage D, Ivory II GP's & American Concert D, Pianoteq, True Keys American D, Ravenscroft 275, Garritan Authorized Steinway, Alicia's Keys, EWQL Pianos, MainStage, iPad Pro/forScore/PageFlip Cicada, Custom Mac MIDI/Audio Software Design, Macs Everywhere
Re: VST experience, speakers versus headphones
Macy #2986320 05/31/20 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Macy
Call me weird but I've never played a real acoustical piano while wearing headphones. Maybe that's why I find playing a VST piano through headphones unnatural.
I feel somewhat similar - with headphones I feel like I am listening for a recording, just because I usually listen for recordings with headphones! Monitors provide more natural feeling for playing to me.


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: VST experience, speakers versus headphones
KevinM #2986325 05/31/20 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by KevinM
Originally Posted by Harpuia
I feel the Synchron Pianos sound good via studio monitors while I can't make Vienna Imperial sound any good using my monitor. Would you mind sharing your setting for Vienna Imperial when you are using the monitor?

Be aware I went for bookcase speakers rather than monitors. I found monitors a bit to clinical since when I am playing and listening without headphones I am often about enjoying listening to myself playing, not analysing for a recording.

Below is my settings page for Vienna Imperial.

[Linked Image]

For Close and Player I prefer Mozart Saal for reverb.
Dynamic range at 100 is also too much for me, but this probably depends on keyboard sensitivity.
And I always set to maximum (384) polyphony (2sus cuts voices at half when enabled, so you play with 64 voices if set to 128), and load all (soft and release) samples.


Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something. (falsely attributed to Plato)
Vlad,
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Re: VST experience, speakers versus headphones
KevinM #2986450 06/01/20 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by KevinM
Be aware I went for bookcase speakers rather than monitors. I found monitors a bit to clinical since when I am playing and listening without headphones I am often about enjoying listening to myself playing, not analysing for a recording

Completely agree.
Still, those flat close-range focused monitors have the advantage of less disturbance to the neighbors though.


Kawai CA48
Re: VST experience, speakers versus headphones
Macy #2986457 06/01/20 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Macy
Call me weird but I've never played a real acoustical piano while wearing headphones. Maybe that's why I find playing a VST piano through headphones unnatural. I want to hear the slight shift in timbre as I turn or raise my head. I want to feel like there's a connection to acoustics of the room I'm in, and feel the keyboard respond to the sound pressure while I play. I consider headphones a necessary evil if I feel a need to play at night after others have gone to bed, but other than that I never plug them in.

I completely agree.

Re: VST experience, speakers versus headphones
KevinM #2986545 06/01/20 09:45 AM
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I quite like lightweight, open-backed, over-ear headphones that have low clamping force. I forget they are on.

Headphones don't take any space and don't suffer from room acoustic issues as much as loudspeakers do. Headphones have some other technical advantages, such as only one driver per ear, no crossovers, minimal cross-talk, etc.

I also like using my mini-monitors (which are really upgraded bookshelf speakers) but the neighbours less so.

Re: VST experience, speakers versus headphones
VladK #2986551 06/01/20 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by VladK
For Close and Player I prefer Mozart Saal for reverb.
Dynamic range at 100 is also too much for me, but this probably depends on keyboard sensitivity.
And I always set to maximum (384) polyphony (2sus cuts voices at half when enabled, so you play with 64 voices if set to 128), and load all (soft and release) samples.

I tried increasing the polyphony and I get rendering issues. I've got it on 160 now and that works fine. Anything higher than that and i can play a single note and hold and the note will be suddenly ended while I keep the key held down. I'm not sure what the problem is.

Re: VST experience, speakers versus headphones
KevinM #2986559 06/01/20 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by KevinM
Anything higher than that and i can play a single note and hold and the note will be suddenly ended while I keep the key held down. I'm not sure what the problem is.

I've had that with Garritan because it ran out of RAM, so some samples were incomplete (or something to that effect).


Roland FP-30, Roland E-28
Pianoteq 6.5 (Bechstein DG, Grotrian, Steinway D, K2), Garritan CFX Lite, Production Voices Estate Grand
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