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Is hitting all 127 midi values a necessity?
#3014273 08/15/20 02:54 PM
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From reading the forum, it seems like all major DP manufactures (Yamaha, Kawai, Roland) caps the midi value at about 110-115. A lot of us use VSTs and map from maybe 100-115 to 127.

However, after experimenting and reading a little bit more, I found this may not be the nature of a well regulated and voiced large grand piano.

From the DPBSD Project, I'm quoting the Yamaha N1 behavior here:

Quote
The maximum velocity on N1 is not 127. At most 116 in lower register and at most 120 at highest. It is due to key bed. And those values are reached only by "karate" kicks. Normally 96-104 (low end) to 108 and a bit more at higher keys.
.

I also experimented with my N3X and monitor the midi value in Pianoteq. I have to punch the key using my whole arm to get a midi value 120. And there is a harshness from the native CFX sound that I've never heard from my normal playing. In normal piano playing technique I wouldn't even reach beyond 100 or 110. I think this is the realistic behavior in a large grand piano. You will never feel the limit of the piano's energy. And something like 127 shouldn't be easily reached. At least it is the case with all VSL concert grands since they tend to get very harsh in the top velocity range.

Last edited by Harpuia; 08/15/20 02:56 PM.
Re: Is hitting all 127 midi values a necessity?
Harpuia #3014289 08/15/20 04:03 PM
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Try to change touch sensitivity.

It is the first parameter one should adjust to be sure he can reach the whole 0-127 MIDI velocity range.

From N3X user guide:
https://clavis.nl/downloads/English_Owners_manual_Yamaha_N_3X.pdf

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Re: Is hitting all 127 midi values a necessity?
Harpuia #3014290 08/15/20 04:15 PM
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Aimee Nolte is a US Jazz singer & pianist and she recently recorded a live studio CD with her band using a Yamaha Disklavier. She likes to sing and play piano simultaneously; the video explains how the Disklavier facilitated the process.

Interestingly, the engineer Tom Zink told Amy that he never used MIDI above about 105 in the studio. He said Amy got as high as about 90 during the session. And that typical playing was 50-60. Of course this is on the Yamaha C7 Disklavier Pro in his studio. So YMMV a lot based on your digital piano, your VI, how "loud" you set your speaker volume . . . but this is interesting data nonetheless. (I posted this earlier)

Re: Is hitting all 127 midi values a necessity?
newer player #3014324 08/15/20 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by newer player
Aimee Nolte is a US Jazz singer & pianist and she recently recorded a live studio CD with her band using a Yamaha Disklavier. She likes to sing and play piano simultaneously; the video explains how the Disklavier facilitated the process.

Interestingly, the engineer Tom Zink told Amy that he never used MIDI above about 105 in the studio. He said Amy got as high as about 90 during the session. And that typical playing was 50-60. Of course this is on the Yamaha C7 Disklavier Pro in his studio. So YMMV a lot based on your digital piano, your VI, how "loud" you set your speaker volume . . . but this is interesting data nonetheless. (I posted this earlier)

Aimee Nolte is great. I'm absolutely not surprised that she's not hitting 127 on any MIDI implementation, that's not exactly her style. It's not like she's playing Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto #1 .

What 127 even means really depends on the specific velocity curve and how it's mapped. I bet a well-mapped 1-20 would be virtually indistinguishable from a full 1-127, let along any high-res MIDI values.

Originally Posted by Max_Forte
Try to change touch sensitivity.

It is the first parameter one should adjust to be sure he can reach the whole 0-127 MIDI velocity range.

+1. On the Kawai, Touch Curve adjusts the velocity curves so that additional values can be hit in the "playable range." On normal, it's about 11-115 max for me. On light and light+, it's definitely possible to hit 127.

For normal piano playing, the MIDI range of your DP really doesn't matter at all, as long as the piano is functioning normally. For VSTs, you may want to customize your velocity curve to match the VST's behavior (if the VST is maps ff to 120 and fff to 126, then you probably want to adjust your DP's MIDI range to be able to hit those values, or adjust the VST's curve to bring those down to what your DP can reliably strike).

For keyboard/MIDI controller functionality, you probably want to ensure you can hit 127 when you need, because other instruments/effects/controls that you want to trigger from the keyboard may rely on reaching those values.


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Re: Is hitting all 127 midi values a necessity?
Harpuia #3014327 08/15/20 06:15 PM
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Quote
However, after experimenting and reading a little bit more, I found this may not be the nature of a well regulated and voiced large grand piano.

The MIDI scale is not defined precisely. We typically have a ppp-fff scale between 1 and 127. That’s it. And it is mostly indicative.

Then surely, we can play fff on a grand piano, but the MIDI specs is not precise enough to infer you should obtain a 127 velocity value. (And how do you define fff ?).

With a grand piano, there are physically no limit (we should attend 256 !), except if we brake something !

With a MIDI sensor, the electronic times a delay between two sensors with a given resolution. When the time is too small (1, 2 or 3 units), the next level can’t be acheived without multiplying the actual velocity (in m/s) by a tremendous amount. Such a value is likely to be match too the maximum (127), or perhaps a little lower if will be more consistant with the imprecise ppp-fff scale. This can explain a limit lower than 127.

Last edited by Frédéric L; 08/15/20 06:17 PM.

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Re: Is hitting all 127 midi values a necessity?
Harpuia #3014331 08/15/20 06:22 PM
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From the video, professionals recording on that Yamaha typically use about 40 (90-50) midi steps. And about 55 (105-50) at the extreme.

Re: Is hitting all 127 midi values a necessity?
Harpuia #3014342 08/15/20 06:40 PM
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Is anyone intimating that acoustic pianos have MIDI velocity values?

Certainly not. So whether a digital goes all the way to 127, or stops short of that at around 110 ... who cares?
Between the volume control and the touch sensitivity ... it's all adjustable.
Even more so if the piano has a velocity curve (though most do not).
Even more more so if you use a virtual instrument.

I think the notion that you can't get to 127 ... is moot.

Re: Is hitting all 127 midi values a necessity?
Harpuia #3014374 08/15/20 08:20 PM
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Disklavier Pros, like she recorded on, have 1024 levels of keyed on and keyed off velocity and 256 levels of incremental pedal.

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical_instruments/pianos/disklavier/

Re: Is hitting all 127 midi values a necessity?
Harpuia #3014405 08/16/20 12:01 AM
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I help run a studio where we have a Hamburg Steinway D with a custom-fitted MIDI record & playback system. We offer a service of recording MIDI files supplied by clients to high resolution audio with a premium signal path. We just finished an entire album of piano parts for a UK producer. We almost always reduce the velocity of the files so that the maximum note velocity value is 112-115. Anything above that sounds so slamming and unnatural, that it is just not would be how the piano would be played in person by the pianist supplying the file.

Last edited by Craig Richards; 08/16/20 12:02 AM.

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Re: Is hitting all 127 midi values a necessity?
Craig Richards #3014410 08/16/20 12:14 AM
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Wow!


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Re: Is hitting all 127 midi values a necessity?
Harpuia #3014413 08/16/20 01:21 AM
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This is what I meant to write above in that poorly constructed sentence:

* Anything above that sounds so slamming and unnatural - it is not how the piano would be played in person by the pianist supplying the file.


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Re: Is hitting all 127 midi values a necessity?
Harpuia #3014435 08/16/20 04:19 AM
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One practical problem with VSTs is that they may actually provide a wider range of volume and timbre than a DP keyboard can control. Especially with keyboards that do not have a touch sensitivity setting, it is often way too easy to accidentally hit a 127 velocity value. And every time this happens you get this strident note that is exactly how a real piano sounds when you what a single key as hard as you can. On a 9 foot grand this takes a lot of shoulder weight. On some DPs not so much.

So after years of trial and error many of us just don’t use those loudest samples when we record. An easy way to do this is to map a received 127 value to a lower value of 110 or so. Of course this depends on the style of music. If you’re playing rock you want to do just the opposite.

Re: Is hitting all 127 midi values a necessity?
MacMacMac #3014447 08/16/20 05:26 AM
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On my Kawai CN37, with default touch curve, hitting something more than ~115 is almost impossible in the central (and lower) octave, but in the higher octave I can reach ~120 or slightly more.


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