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Originally Posted by Jonky Ponky
I have updated the file - latest version for sforzando is here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aHjiKCXG-cMjdgEf_KRcNG-Wi6BQxqTI/view
Better still go to my site and look for it in the piano section to be sure you have the most up to date version.
https://sites.google.com/site/soundfonts4u/
There are also versions that are designed to run well on iOS apps.

Jonky, in VI forum there is a new free piano made by one user and it is Steinway model L and it is only 80mb. This is probably the best smallest sample piano I ever heard. Very natural sound for 80mb and very playable. Please, can you also make it better ? I am counting on you smile Link with story and for piano is below
https://vi-control.net/community/threads/free-piano-library-experiment.104634/

Last edited by slobajudge; 01/22/21 06:32 PM.
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Originally Posted by slobajudge
Originally Posted by Jonky Ponky
I have updated the file - latest version for sforzando is here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aHjiKCXG-cMjdgEf_KRcNG-Wi6BQxqTI/view
Better still go to my site and look for it in the piano section to be sure you have the most up to date version.
https://sites.google.com/site/soundfonts4u/
There are also versions that are designed to run well on iOS apps.

Jonky, in VI forum there is a new free piano made by one user and it is Steinway model L and it is only 80mb. This is probably the best smallest sample piano I ever heard. Very natural sound for 80mb and very playable. Please, can you also make it better ? I am counting on you smile Link with story and for piano is below
https://vi-control.net/community/threads/free-piano-library-experiment.104634/

Thanks - I am always on the lookout for a freebie! This is an interesting piano if you happen to have the full Kontakt 6. Sorry - I'm not able to convert or edit this (I have no way of converting Kontakt files) and it's probably not legal for me to do so without the authors consent.
For free pianos that run on the free sforzando player I still think the Mason & Hamlin by Dore Mark of this forum is one of the best.
I also have a pack of 4 pianos in sf2 format that run on sforzando called 4-Essential Pianos-sforzando-v1.6 (895mb) with a bit of variety so maybe one of those might come close to what you are looking for.
Both the Mason & Hamlin and the 4 piano pack just mentioned are available here: https://sites.google.com/site/soundfonts4u/

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I also think that Mason & Hamlin vst is the best free sample piano. This little Steinway L is interesting because it is really small and sounds and plays well. Too bad there is no other format. Anyway, thank you for your work and dedication.

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Originally Posted by Jonky Ponky
Both the Mason & Hamlin and the 4 piano pack just mentioned are available here: https://sites.google.com/site/soundfonts4u/


Thank you for your patience and determination with this! After more experimenting, I am even more convinced that the source of the problem is the lack of velocity calibration in sforzando. If I really bang hard on the keyboard, the M&H sounds good, but otherwise it is very lacking in my setup.

On the other hand, the Chautox Grand Dark that you made sounds and plays very good, at least in my 10-min test (will give it more time). The "regular" and "mellow" are too bright for my taste, but still good. I will try to add them both to pianosound.wikidot.com

Originally Posted by slobajudge
I also think that Mason & Hamlin vst is the best free sample piano. This little Steinway L is interesting because it is really small and sounds and plays well. Too bad there is no other format. Anyway, thank you for your work and dedication.

slobajudge, there is a tiny Steinway on soundfonts4u, have you tried that?

Jonky Ponky, your soundfonts4u project is very cool. Thank you. I gave a try to some of your sounds on my FluidSynth on Android and it's working well there too. Again, need more time, but it's an excellent start. Thanks again!

PS: Regarding the lack of calibration on Sforzando, has anybody tried https://kx.studio/Applications:Carla or any other players from this list https://sfzformat.com/software/players/ ?

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Regarding the velocity curve/calibration in sforzando - I have now included in the latest version "MasonHamlin-A-v5.2" released today, one preset with a light velocity response curve that should address the problem for lighter touch playing.
https://sites.google.com/site/soundfonts4u/

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I gotta say thanks to Jonky Ponky for diligently working on the sf2 instrument. It's shown me some of the shortcomings in my sampling, and hopefully I'll be incorporating the concepts in my instruments in the future.


1928 Mason & Hamlin Model A
Play it as a VI HERE and binaurally HERE
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Thanks to both of you for this project.

Yet, I am still confused. The v5.2 (even the "lite touch" version) does not sound and play any different than the v5.1 to me.

The Chateau Grand still sounds better than the M&H, despite the former having very clear irregularities from one note to the next (probably it needed to be voiced before being sampled).

To me the bass section of the M&H (which is usually a big strength of these acoustic instruments) is very lacking, am I the only one with this opinion? You just need to play them here, without installing anything! And if you have installed them you can compare if the sound you hear is the same that is digitally (no mics) recorded here:
http://pianosound.wikidot.com/soundfonts4u

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Originally Posted by Del Vento
Thanks to both of you for this project.

Yet, I am still confused. The v5.2 (even the "lite touch" version) does not sound and play any different than the v5.1 to me.

The Chateau Grand still sounds better than the M&H, despite the former having very clear irregularities from one note to the next (probably it needed to be voiced before being sampled).

To me the bass section of the M&H (which is usually a big strength of these acoustic instruments) is very lacking, am I the only one with this opinion? You just need to play them here, without installing anything! And if you have installed them you can compare if the sound you hear is the same that is digitally (no mics) recorded here:
http://pianosound.wikidot.com/soundfonts4u
Changes to the M&H have been subtle and include ff samples coming in at 10 velocity points earlier which you will not pick up on by just playing across the keys at one velocity level.
I like the idea of your comparison site and I'm hoping you can get a few more up soon , but I think you need to consider having midi files with lots of variation to provide a good comparison. Midis I know can be problematic too because different pianos respond better at different velocity levels so ideally a couple of midis that take this into account if possible. So yes keep the low to high keys run-through, but if you could add some variation that would be great!
The pianos mentioned above are freebies and were never meant to be in the same league as expensive VST's. I am just thankful that Dore Mark, one of the forum members, was generous enough to share the M&H.

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Originally Posted by Jonky Ponky
Originally Posted by Del Vento
Thanks to both of you for this project.

Yet, I am still confused. The v5.2 (even the "lite touch" version) does not sound and play any different than the v5.1 to me.

The Chateau Grand still sounds better than the M&H, despite the former having very clear irregularities from one note to the next (probably it needed to be voiced before being sampled).

To me the bass section of the M&H (which is usually a big strength of these acoustic instruments) is very lacking, am I the only one with this opinion? You just need to play them here, without installing anything! And if you have installed them you can compare if the sound you hear is the same that is digitally (no mics) recorded here:
http://pianosound.wikidot.com/soundfonts4u
Changes to the M&H have been subtle and include ff samples coming in at 10 velocity points earlier which you will not pick up on by just playing across the keys at one velocity level.
I like the idea of your comparison site and I'm hoping you can get a few more up soon , but I think you need to consider having midi files with lots of variation to provide a good comparison. Midis I know can be problematic too because different pianos respond better at different velocity levels so ideally a couple of midis that take this into account if possible. So yes keep the low to high keys run-through, but if you could add some variation that would be great!
The pianos mentioned above are freebies and were never meant to be in the same league as expensive VST's. I am just thankful that Dore Mark, one of the forum members, was generous enough to share the M&H.

Just to be clear, I base my opinion on actual playing by hand on my NU1, not on this MIDI which I posted on that website. I hear the same "problem" with the MIDI and hence I mentioned in my reply. I totally understand that these are free, and in fact I like them. I just struggle with this M&H (which is my favorite brand of acoustic piano) dubbed as "the best free VST", and then I like the Chateau Grand much more, so I am wondering if I am still doing something wrong (which I was definitely doing at the beginning of this thread, as you might remember) or that's the way it is.

Regarding changing the MIDI file and/or adding additional instruments, I don't have anything else that I can add (besides perhaps Pianoteq from the demo), and I hope others can contribute, but that unfortunately hasn't happened (yet?)

Thanks and have a great weekend

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Regarding the .flac files posted using the M&H... The scales sound like they've been recorded at a relatively low velocity, which is consistent with what you've been saying about needing to pound really hard to get a better sound.

M&H is known for a thick bass-yes. The way I recorded the strings close mic'd with large diaphragm condensers give a large enough bass sound. It's not as huge as Noire or some other larger piano sample libraries, but should be more than acceptable. The clarity in the bass is better in the commercial libraries because the mics are better and the piano is larger. The M&H Model A is only 5 foot 8 inches.

Wish sforzando could have modifiable velocity curves for those with issues. Seems Yamaha owners may like my piano less.


1928 Mason & Hamlin Model A
Play it as a VI HERE and binaurally HERE
Yamaha PF85, Formerly Kawai KG-1D
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Thank you for letting me know and confirming this

Originally Posted by Dore
Regarding the .flac files posted using the M&H... The scales sound like they've been recorded at a relatively low velocity, which is consistent with what you've been saying about needing to pound really hard to get a better sound.

The MIDI files are recorded at velocity = 64 chosen on purpose as the middle point of the available MIDI velocity range. So it should be some intermediate level, not loud but not soft either.
I tried your samples in various setups (with Sforzando, with Kontact free, with Aria and with Fluidsynth which despite the name is a sample player, not a synth) different hardware and different speakers. To me it always sounds "weak" as I described (comforting that you confirm that feel from the flac file).
The only thing I have not changed is the keyboard, since I only have the NU1, however I programmatically made that MIDI file with velocity = 64 which should be an acceptable velocity for middle sound. I also tried the velocity response of the NU1 among its 3 levels (heavy, normal, light), which changes things a little bit but not enough.

If it's not too much work for you, can you record a MIDI of your playing in a situation in which it does not sound weak and look what velocity levels are you exercising? No need to share that file, just let us know what velocity are you achieving on average.

Originally Posted by Dore
M&H is known for a thick bass-yes. The way I recorded the strings close mic'd with large diaphragm condensers give a large enough bass sound. It's not as huge as Noire or some other larger piano sample libraries, but should be more than acceptable.

So to make sure I understand you, are you saying that the bass sound is acceptable when you use it with your own player (is that Kontact full?) or is it acceptable, even if somewhat weak, in my flac file too? How they compare with each other in your setup (computer and speakers)?

Originally Posted by Dore
The clarity in the bass is better in the commercial libraries because the mics are better and the piano is larger. The M&H Model A is only 5 foot 8 inches.

I am not comparing your samples to any commercial libraries, because I refuse to purchase one based on my frustrating limited experience with Kontact and Aria, and their refusal to give demo versions. So I am comparing your sound to:
- my acoustic baby grand (instrument of much less caliper than yours, merely 4'11" made by Apollo)
- Pianoteq demo
- Yamaha NU1
- Chateau Grand

Of these, the Apollo sounds more realistic (unsurprisingly, since it is real) but the Chateau Grand sounds the best (I prefer the dark version), if it weren't for its inconsistencies. Pianoteq and the NU1 are ok. For me, the M&H is too weak to be useful (obviously pumping up the volume does not help) so I must be doing something wrong.

Originally Posted by Dore
Wish sforzando could have modifiable velocity curves for those with issues.

Agreed. The more I explore the sample-based software, the more I like Pianoteq which I initially disliked. Its sounds is just ok (for me), but they really cover all the bases at an affordable price, and give the demo for one to really explore if that one feature one is interested in is worth their money.

Originally Posted by Dore
Seems Yamaha owners may like my piano less.

Despite owning a Yamaha digital, I am not a fan of the brand or its "signature" sound (and definitely prefer a M&H against a Yamaha when live -- of course much would depend on their size and how they are prepped, but assuming fair comparison of similar size and prepping)

Thanks again!

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So I'm testing a new library right now so I pretty much know what velocity range is typical for me. I use an 30 in year old Yamaha pf85, one of the first graded action keyboards. I tend to play in the 40 to 110 range with both hands with fff accents with one finger going between 110 and 127.

So the original version in kontakt and sfz was set up with 3 velocity layers, the lowest being around 0-64, middle at around 65 to 110 and highest velocity at around 110 to 127. The lowest range was performed at p or pp, and since it ranges half of the velocity range, your flac probably is just a amped up recording of notes played at p. The middle range was performed at mf. And the highest range at f. I'm currently recording with small diaphragm mics and it's picking up the high frequencies, especially at ff much more and thus a brighter timbre than my M&H library main mics. You can hear the difference between the large diaphragm mic and small diaphragm just by changing jonky's presets to close (LDC) and distant (SDC).

Bear in mind that I can't speak specifically for jonky's versions, which are the ones that you've been testing. I assume he kept things similar and improved the linearity of the velocity vs loudness vs. tone brightness. Looking at sforzando "scripts" isn't alot of fun. Editing sfz files is alot like using a text editor to edit html. That's why I appreciate jonky's work. Even if he's using software tools to adjust things, it's not as simple as it is in kontakt as a creator.

Incidentally, you could have a try your self and edit the ranges in the sfz file with a text editor. It's not as easy as dragging a box on screen, but if you started with my original version with only 3 layers it probably wouldn't be so bad. Also depends on how much under the hood you want to get.

I also prefer a darker sound, which is why I have a M&H instead of a European piano ( making a far too broad generalization). As in my piano book notes, I prefer the close mics, and add the distant room mic to add more treble to taste. I think others might prefer both mics at equal levels.


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Play it as a VI HERE and binaurally HERE
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Incidentally, I don't think you're alone with this problem. Some one on this forum did comment to me that he also couldn't get the f-ff out of the library. Could it mean he has the same Yamaha as you?


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Play it as a VI HERE and binaurally HERE
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Originally Posted by Dore
Incidentally, I don't think you're alone with this problem. Some one on this forum did comment to me that he also couldn't get the f-ff out of the library. Could it mean he has the same Yamaha as you?

I think it's me you're referring to; I was probably the first adopter of your VST here. And, yes I need to hit the keys with sledge hammers to get decent sound levels out of it. But I use a Roland FP-30.

If I had some more time to look into this, I might be able to contribute (I am willing and most likely able to go deep into SFZ scripting), but that won't be any time soon, I'm afraid. Your M&H certainly deserves to be heard more; the tone of it is wonderful.


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Thanks QuasiUnaFantasia for confirming my suspicion. Since other DP's have this issue, I thought I'd post a primer on how to easily change the velocity layers of the sfz file.

First off, use the the SFZ file that was originally posted on Pianobook. The file title is MasonHamlin-A.sfz . Inside the file you will see that the version number is Version 2 (but I forgot to update in subsequent versions, so please ignore this number). Note that as of today, the original file is still there - but I asked Pianobook to update to a newer version with Jonky's edits a week or two ago. The Pianobook admins are not very responsive, and it may never update TBH. Anyway the new sfz filename is different, and the samples are modified. Bottom line, use "MasonHamlin-A.sfz".

Procedure:

1. Open the sfz file in a text editor
2. Use the text editor find/replace feature to replace the numbers to modify the velocity layer boundaries:

a)Low velocity layer is 0-64: find/replace 64 with something lower - like 50 (or even lower).

b)Middle velocity layer is 65-104: find/replace 65 with the number in 2a) +1

c) find/replace 104 with something lower, like 90.

d) Highest velocity layer is 105+: find/replace 105 with 2c) +1

3. save and try it.

Hopefully you get the idea. You can change the split to your heart's content.

I do want to plug Kontakt here for a second. For all it's frustrations, it has a graphical editor for this, and can even make an EQ to open up the brightness as the velocity increases, thus making the velocity transitions more smooth. I believe that's what Jonky did manually. Respect.

Last edited by Dore; 02/27/21 02:01 PM.

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Thanks for posting this procedure, Dore. Clear, and useful. When I have some spare time for this, I will experiment with these levels.


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For those interested in editing sfz there is a free text editor that works called Notepad++ that you can download from here https://notepad-plus-plus.org/
If you start with Dore's original sfz and work through the velocity values might I suggest you also tweak the Release values from .3 to around .8 to improve the key-off sound.

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Originally Posted by Jonky Ponky
I've managed to get it running in sforzando.
Plogue sforzando should have created a folder on you computer called "PlogueUser".
Mine is in ThisPC/Documents/PlogueUser (if you dont have it then create them).
Once you have unzipped the downloaded file then copy the whole unzipped folder to PlogueUser folder.
Open this folder and locate the file MasonHamlin-A.sfz and just drag that file to the Plogue Sforzando desktop.

It sounds pretty good but I've got to say with a few tweaks it can sound even a lot better. I've converted mine to sf2 and changed some of the release times (including no damper on high notes), normalised the samples and adjusted the looping. Unfortunately I can't share this without the authors consent. sf2 doesn't allow key-off sample sounds so it has some limitations.

If you are looking for free sounds that run well on sforzando - you are welcome to check out my site https://sites.google.com/site/soundfonts4u/

I checked it out. Very cool. Great sounding pianos! I'd love to learn how you create them from the samples.

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Hi Dr. Teeth-

Turns out I just started a forum on that on the Acoustic Pianos forum:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...ing-your-piano-for-free.html#Post3122494

-Dore


1928 Mason & Hamlin Model A
Play it as a VI HERE and binaurally HERE
Yamaha PF85, Formerly Kawai KG-1D
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