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In that size of room are the monitors even necessary?


Casio PX-S3000
Nope, no issues with it at all.
Took lessons from 1960 to 1969, stopped at age 16.
Started again in July 2020 at age 67. Lots more fun now!
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Looking at the P-515 and the N1X I wonder if Yamaha is finally starting to get serious about ‘sound’. These two instruments truly need no assistance from VSTs (IMHO), and this is mostly due to VRM and the CFX, so there is no need to record 100 layers per key (a redundancy) and end up requiring massive space for storage; a smart move, IMHO!

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Why spend so much time? Once it's set up and working ... you're just about done.
I made a few tweaks to the instrument settings ... and they have remained unchanged for years.

Things do break occasionally, resulting in software restarts (and swearing). But that doesn't make much of a dent in my piano time.

On the flip side ... lacking these virtual instruments I would likely have given up piano. The sound is so bad and so lacking in control!
The only solution would have been to buy an AG ... which I'm only now able to do all these years later. (And I will.)

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
The only solution would have been to buy an AG ... which I'm only now able to do all these years later. (And I will.)

So you’re confirming that the new AG(X) needs no help from VSTs.

That’s a big admission (coming from Mac). smile

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Originally Posted by Pete14
Looking at the P-515 and the N1X I wonder if Yamaha is finally starting to get serious about ‘sound’. These two instruments truly need no assistance from VSTs (IMHO), and this is mostly due to VRM and the CFX, so there is no need to record 100 layers per key (a redundancy) and end up requiring massive space for storage; a smart move, IMHO!
I agree !

Surely my 2002 CLP150 needed virtual piano. My N1X no anymore.

I just load a virtual piano sometimes to get something different. But usually, I prefer to just wait the booting time of the piano and start playing, that’s it.

Do you no several 100 layers virtual pianos ? I only know one (VSL Vienna Imperial).

Last edited by Frédéric L; 02/27/21 01:19 PM.

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@mmathew, you have caused one of the (definitely) more interesting threads on this forum so far! This touches on the core of all of us.

The moment I am in a position to afford, house and maintain a proper acoustic grand or upright (in tandem with a proper acoustic double bass :-P ), digital goes out the window and I guess I'll never look back. Boy do I crave and anticipate that moment.

For the time being, I am happy with my basic digital setup though, for at least I can play music which otherwise I couldn't. Thanks to @David B, I found and use just one VSTi which to me is the most simple in use yet very playable and authentic, and it sounds absolutely wonderful*). I (almost) never look at it; just switch it on and off and I take care to have the computer stuff behind me, out of my line of sight, focus and consciousness).

@SeaDrive: How wonderful that you parallel film photography to this. It's exactly the same feeling. I did a professional photography course in 2008 through 2011. As required at the time of enrollment, I had bought basically decent digital gear. Until one of the teachers introduced me to 4x5" sheet film and all the benefits of the traditional view camera. It immediately became my method of choice and I abandoned digital (Except for film scanning, image optimization (nothing fancy or artificial!) and large format printing.)

Anyhow. I love this thread and how it appears to existentially touch many of us already.

Cheers and happy learning,

HZ

*) VI Labs Modern U

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Yes, I was taking a stab at VSL! grin

But really, who needs that many samples if not to brag about it?

If I’m not mistaken, Yamaha can ‘render’ up to 1024 velocities (N1X) without having to record 1000 layers per key, so that says something about the need to actually record dozens if not hundreds of samples per key.

Look at Ravenscroft (VI Labs). It’s the little engine that could despite only 12 layers per key.

But I digress, this is not about VSL and their outdated (more is better) approach; this thread is about taking a break from all VSTs.

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I did almost the same thing a while back - switched my VPC1 for an ES8 because I was spending too much time with speakers and virtual instruments - for me it was absolutely the right thing to do. Also - to my ears the ES8 sounds are wonderful and very responsive.

Last edited by Morten Olsson; 02/27/21 01:42 PM.
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Originally Posted by mmathew
- Constant fiddling with settings trying to create the perfect sound
- Not enough technical knowledge to best arrange a basic audio path
- Lack of technical knowledge about how devices work at a basic level
- A significant remaining state of disorganized work/study space, however hard I tried to arrange and organize the equipment & cables
- (Un-ignorable) Technology overload
- Never ending search for the best sample libraries
- Thousands of dollars spent on equipment and software and yet having the unfinished feeling
- Above all: spending more time on everything other than learning
- ...
Returning to basics, well, at least trying to. I did make the first move.
Returning to learning.

But the animal in me lurks and I can feel it. I can't deny that I will stray and will seek more, not knowing that everything I need to learn (and in fact, more) is already there.
.

I think we can all empathise here without feeling guilty about anything.
I did what you di; switched off PTq and everted back to the 515. It did sound nice, very.
For half an hour. I found I needed to hear the imperfect imperfections of an acoustic, at least to the measure I'm able.
But I have the sounds I want. And o've not spent a lot either apart from time; in any case i can only play piano for an hour at the most. Then I gotta do something else.


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

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@Pete14 : My N1X only send standard 1-127 velocities, then I don’t think it is as accurate as lets say a Disklavier. Since it bothers sending fake aftertouches with slow releases, I suppose the N1X send anything it measures through MIDI.

I suppose the N1X to blend samples then it can propose a smooth transition of the sound from velocity 1 to velocity 127 with very few samples. (It was not the case with AWM Ciavinova : CLP1xx, CLP2xx, CLP4xx : no smooth transition)

I don’t think many virtual pianos has such a blending algorithm. I guess this need a preparation of samples to avoid a phase cancelling or other nasty outcomes. Perhaps something more difficult with unlooped samples like virtual pianos propose. Blending is not needed after 16* velocity layers : the timbre doesn’t change from a layer to the next one, then just changing the volume when the velocity changes inside a layer does the job.

* we can argue about the 16 figure. It is not a precise threshold. With 8 layers, we can find some gaps between layers.

Last edited by Frédéric L; 02/27/21 02:09 PM.

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Frederic, I must admit I’m a little confused about the “1024” midi resolution used in the AG instead of the conventional 127, but I keep hearing about this ‘round the internet.



Check out this video where the reviewer talks about this (@ around 2:49):


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Well Mac, that requires wisdom and I am not there (yet)!

I guess I had a problem, or I didn't quite understand and accept what 'working' meant. A typical example of my thoughts and flow...

- At first I had only Garritan CFX. And like you said, I set it up and selected Player defaults, nothing else, and it worked GREAT. I played with it for almost 2 weeks.
- Then I started thinking that it's too bright maybe? Then I started to think about 'touch curves'. The first fiddling was with the curve. Nothing sounded good.
- Then reset the curve back to normal and select some other presets that referred to 'dark', 'mellow' etc. These presets sounded fine so I played using a couple of these presets for some time.
- Then I started to wonder - how do those YouTube videos sound so great and so 'spatial'? Have I set up my monitors right, do I have the right cables? Or since it sounds great on the headphones, I should continue with headphones alone.
- Maybe I should get the VSL Steinway since they sounded so great and 'spatial'.
- I should go with some headphones with the widest range, high impedance, and of course headphone amps.
- A sound card/interface will fix all my problems.
...

Truth: there were/are no problems. I just can't seem to put these settings and customizations to a side and focus on playing.


VSTs I 'tried' -

Garritan CFX
EW Pianos (I have no idea why I bought this, I really don't remember why)
VSL Steinway
VSL Bosendorfer
Synthogy Ivory American D (on the Korg Module/plugKEY)

All of them are good. No fiddling necessary.

In a sense, I'm putting myself in jail - so I learn some good habits!

Anyhoo, I am not selling my VPC1 or my VSTs. Just taking a break is all... I'll be out of jail soon, wiser.


A man must love a thing very much if he practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practice it without any hope of doing it well. Such a man must love the toils of the work more than any other man can love the rewards of it.
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Originally Posted by mmathew
- ... What a depressing post. Thx for reading anyway.

- "Hi, my name is mmathew and I have been one day without VSTing"
- "Hello, mmathew".

smile

FWIW, I like the second gear/arrangement better. smile

Last edited by EVC2017; 02/27/21 03:23 PM.

Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
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Originally Posted by SeaDrive
It's interesting that you felt the need to remove the VPC1 from your "equation", even though its action is probably more acoustic-like than the P515.

As a rank beginner, I'm not unhappy with my P121, but I'm buying a VPC1 to get an action that is more like an acoustic. The fact that it also requires me to buy a VST I see as a bonus, since I think that the pianos I've tried in Pianoteq 7 sound better than the piano sounds of the P121.

Well at this point, it's no longer about touch/action for me, and I sincerely hope this doesn't turn out to be one of those threads related to touch/key action laugh Of course I wouldn't play on a synth action, but I am learning to look at the whole package and not just the touch/actions.

It's really about getting back to learning. I feel like I've lost a lot of time bothering with "tools" but not learning the trade.

The P515 was something I bought late 2019 just when I was starting to get serious about piano and I played it for maybe a month before I decided to explore more options - like, I wonder what other sounds are out there...

I am also not going to sell my VPC1 - just taking a break and trying to be minimalistic but sufficient. The first pure VST setup I had was VPC1, Korg Module and a pair of Grado headphones and from there started my journey into the world of VSTs...


A man must love a thing very much if he practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practice it without any hope of doing it well. Such a man must love the toils of the work more than any other man can love the rewards of it.
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Crazy idea, you could use your VPC1 to control your P515. Kind of the best of two worlds. I told it was crazy. smile

Last edited by EVC2017; 02/27/21 04:11 PM.

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Oooh before I forget... because photography was mentioned.

A film photo that I took in 2016:
[Linked Image]

A digital one sometime in 2017:
[Linked Image]

I believe ibb requires you to go click the photo on their site for full res.


A man must love a thing very much if he practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practice it without any hope of doing it well. Such a man must love the toils of the work more than any other man can love the rewards of it.
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Originally Posted by EVC2017
Crazy idea, you could use your VPC1 to control your P515. Kind of the best of two worlds. I told it was crazy. smile

I actually like it!

Last edited by mmathew; 02/27/21 04:25 PM.

A man must love a thing very much if he practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practice it without any hope of doing it well. Such a man must love the toils of the work more than any other man can love the rewards of it.
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Originally Posted by mmathew
A film photo that I took in 2016:
[Linked Image]

I love it mmathew!! Makes me think of:

Originally Posted by HZPiano
Originally Posted by Ralphiano
...If history shows us anything, it must surely show us that we crave beauty. And the pursuit of music merely reflects that fact. You are in pursuit of that which nature has programmed into all of us. You are being human. Don't beat yourself up over any decisions you have made along the way. This move is just one of many that will take you closer to your goal. No regrets!

Wow...

HZ

Cheers,

HZ

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@Pete14 :

I have measured some peak amplitudes from the digital audio output of my N1X (USB). dB are dBFS from Audacity, then I put the amplitude on a 0-32768 scale (16 bits minus the sign bit). The first note is from the keyboard, the next ones from the computer.

Vel96 (played) : -18.497dB (3896)
Vel96 : -18.501dB (3894)
Vel96 : -18.497dB (3896)

Vel95: -18.501dB (3894)
Vel97: -18.485dB (3901)

Then, the behaviour is not really consistent. Some different values with the same velocity and the same value for two close velocities. It is like the N1X « humanises » the velocity it receives which can fool someone which is very velocity sensitive.

It is the first video where i hear about a 1024 resolution velocity. It surprised me since an extended velocity is not exported through MIDi nor recorded (we can read the internal memory with Yamaha Musicsoft Downloader). I have never hear or read anything from Yamaha about it.

Last edited by Frédéric L; 02/27/21 05:43 PM.

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Stunning pics, mmathew!

I love nature, so that b/w of the leaning tree is captivating, setting off my imagination about what the tree's life is like.

I enjoyed the Manhattan, as well. Though removed from nature somewhat, it brought back some fond memories. In 1973, a pal and I drove from St. Louis to California. As we were crossing the southern Nevada desert at night, the sky ahead was glowing like nothing we had ever seen. It turned out to be Las Vegas from many miles away.

Two decades later, living in Orlando with now 2 children, we decided to go watch our first space shuttle launch at nearby Cape Canaveral. Liftoff was scheduled for around 2am. Even though it was past bedtime for the children, we thought it would be worth it for them. We were only allowed to come within about 11 miles of the launch pad. We, along with hundreds of others, just parked along the side of the road and waited. When the rockets blasted off, they set off massive rumbling in the earth beneath our feet 11 miles away! When the rocket got up about 20 degrees above the horizon, we were flooded with so much light from the rockets that you could read a newspaper out there with no lighting necessary. It was an amazing sight!

Sometimes, artificial light creates some extraordinary images.

NIce photos! Thanks for sharing them.


Ralph

Kawai VPC1
Garritan CFX
Pianist since April, 2015
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