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I have just upgraded my old Pianoteq 6 Stage piano to Pianoteq 7 Stage. I am interested in finding out how to get the best sounds from it. So, I am inviting participation by anyone who has PTQ 7 Stage.

I think we can figure out ways to optimize its sound. All the YouTube videos, and even discussions here in the Digital Pianos Forum focus on the Pro, or at least Standard, versions. So, the tools at those user's disposal are of no help to us Stage users. So, let's share our Stage specific efforts and experiments, and learn from each other.

I have been critical of Pianoteq sound, and, still am. But, I am still a fan of Modartt's efforts to reach desirable piano sound through modeling. I hope Pianoteq becomes an amazing success, along with any other entrants into this field. We will all be the better for it.

I just upgraded today, and spent a couple hours playing and tinkering. I have come up with a much improved sound already and have my current settings to share.

[Linked Image]

Although that "Mix" slider in the AMP window appears to be all the way to the left (which represents "0" I think), it is a slight distance from the end.

It took me a while to figure out how the “Effects” window works. When you open it, you get an interface with three effects windows. If you click on the name of the effect at the top of each of those windows, a list of all available effects appears, including items such as Flanger, Chorus, Tremelo, and others. The only ones from that list that I thought might be useful for piano were EQ3, COMP (compressor), and AMP (which, I think represents a tube amp).

The things I did not like about the initial sound was boxiness (lack of clarity/sound like piano was in another room), shrill overtones across the compass and excessively in the upper octaves. In PTQ 6 and in other VSTs, sometimes the correction of one of these deficiencies comes at the expense of another.

From my efforts today, it seems like the COMPressor can be helpful in reducing those shrill sounds. And, the AMP appears to be a tube amplifier, which are known for their “warm” sound. Its effects can be applied across three frequency bands of the piano's range. So far, I have found it helpful at the positions shown in the pic above.

In one afternoon, I made substantial improvement. I'll be back at it tomorrow. Any comments, feedback, shared experiences are welcomed.

Last edited by Ralphiano; 03/09/21 03:23 AM.

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You'll probably manage a better sound than I could,and in a shorter time. Even in Stage there's plenty to change and unfortunately most of us do, to excess. But it gets you into waht you can't do, and what you can.
The biggest improvement for me was . . .upgrading to Standard; I did wonder if my little 'puter would handle it since the previous laptop was unhappy with Stage 5.3.
But it has. Never drops a note.
Don't suppose it would with the Gymnopedies, would it? smile

But Standard was a game changer for me for one main reason . . .individual note volume editing.


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I forgot to mention that the settings in my first post include the default velocity curve on both the VPC1 and in Pianoteq. And the setting in the middle of the screen (I don't have it turned on right now) is Stereophonic.

Originally Posted by peterws
The biggest improvement for me was . . .upgrading to Standard; I did wonder if my little 'puter would handle it since the previous laptop was unhappy with Stage 5.3.
But it has. Never drops a note.
Don't suppose it would with the Gymnopedies, would it? smile

I decided against upgrading to Standard as I did not have $150 worth of faith that I could make it sound good enough to work its way into my VST lineup. The upgrade from 6 to 7 was only $39, so I thought it worth a try, and an inexpensive way to satisfy my curiosity about the purported improvements.

One of the risks was that I am still using the computer that I ran PTQ 6 on. It was near the low end of the acceptable processor performance range for PTQ6. But, that acceptable range has shifted upwards to satisfy the increased demands of PTQ7 and left my processor behind. On the strength of so many anecdotal reports of PTQ running on old, slower processors, I took a gamble and won. So far, the only possible deficiency is a minor click on the first note played after the computer has sat idle for a bit. The processor usage indicator shows low stress on my i5, even with my polyphony raised to 256 and a short session of arm-across-the-keys limits testing.


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It was late and I was tired when I posted this thread. When I said:

Originally Posted by Ralphiano
[Linked Image]

Although that "Mix" slider in the AMP window appears to be all the way to the left (which represents "0" I think), it is a slight distance from the end.

I meant to say "....in the REVERB window...." I think the criticism of PTQ's reverb options are valid. However, a little reverb seems needed, so I added a very minimal amount.


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There are reasons PTq might not work on even mid range computers; there have been those with such difficulties I never had, and it wasn't anything to do with my knowledge of these matters which is tiny.
I'd had one bout of trouble years ago on upgrading to 5.3 and noticed things improved after that; I never had to worry about polyph or sample sizes or whatever. My old Acer took it all, and the latest netbooks with Windows 10 do the same if not better. I guess it is the way it's set up.
If anybody wants my settings, just shout . . .


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Hopefully there will be plenty of ideas shared in this thread.

I have Stage and although there are times when I find the Bechstein model tolerable, that's probably the best compliment I can pay it. I want to like it and am not by nature a tinkerer or tweaker. I just want it to work and sound good from the get go. I'm happy to do a little bit of experimentation but already I have some pointers to work from thanks to Ralph.

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When I opened PTQ7 today, yesterday's settings still seemed muffled and distant. However, the high pitch overtones were somewhat tamed, though also distant.

I reduced the effect of both of yesterday's heros, the COMP and AMP. Those changes are reflected in today's screenshots. I also changed Output Mode from "Stereophonic" to "Sound Recording" and recovered a little of the clarity and brightness that had been masked by the muffling/distant sensation. I'm now getting a tasteful amount of the "ping" percussive feature of the hammer strike, though not so overwhelming.

I'm still using the default velocity curve on both VPC1 and PTQ7. And, the equalizer that appears among the four rectangular buttons on the right of the screen, just above "Effects", is flat. In fact, instead of messing with it by dragging the dots around to get it flat, I just turned it off by clicking on the little green indicator light.

Here are today's settings. I like today's sound better than yesterday's sound.


[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]



I have a question. Why are there two EQ functions? There is the one I just described among the four buttons to the right of the screen. And, just below it, among the "Effects", there is also an optional EQ called "EQ3". Does the latter only apply EQ to the sounds being produced/processed by the "Effects" feature. And the former being an EQ for the entire PTQ7 sound output?

The quest continues. smile

Last edited by Ralphiano; 03/09/21 05:14 PM.

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Peter, I'd love to see your settings, even though some of them may not help us Stage users. I always enjoy your playing and sounds in the ABF recitals. i could learn a thing or two from you!


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Also, I have another question. Does the "fx Gain" slider in the bottom right corner of the "Effects" window serve as a sort of Master Gain control for the sum of all the "Effects"? Or, is it a gain control for the "Reverb" only? Or, something else?


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Here's my settings. I only change what I know. That's about 5% of what's there . . .The one image will produce the three there but they'll maybe need magnifying.

[img]http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...teq-settings.html#lg=3091049&slide=0[/img]

Last edited by peterws; 03/09/21 06:45 PM.

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I have decided to conclude this effort. I feel like I have exhausted all available resources within Pianoteq 7 Stage in my search for a nice, inspiring piano tone, and there is nothing more I can do with this set of tools.

The short conclusion is that PIanoteq 7 Stage still does not present a realistic piano sound. Since this is one of what I consider to be the two indispensable elements of a successful VST, I have to say that as of now, Pianonteq 7 Stage is unacceptable. For the money it costs, there are better alternatives.

There are some good things to report about Pianoteq 7 Stage. First, is the fairly universal opinion that it is very playable. It is very, very responsive to your input. The tone and sound attributes seem very, very consistent across the keys. The piano never surprises you with any unexpected, abberrant sounds. I think this strength was fundamental in allowing me to maintain such heightened interest and concentration over the 48 hours since my upgrade. I have spent nearly 20 of those hours at the piano, exclusively with Pianoteq 7 Stage, and I would not have made it that far if the playibility was anything less than great.

Second, this version of Pianoteq shows promise for the future of its sound. The piano tone in the current Stage offering is superior to that of its predecessor, Pianoteq 6. Two aspects of the tone seem noticeably improved to me. First, the oft noted, high pitched, metallic experience, which does not seem to be part of the natural experience of hearing a piano string in vibration, seems to be reduced somewhat from its levels in Pianoteq 6. This is a good thing, just not good enough.

Second, over the last 24 hours, as I got the tone dialed in to what I thought was its best, I began to recognize that, especially in the lower mids/upper lows, the fundamental tones were beautiful, and very pleasing to hear. From around A 110 up to about middle C, I think the fundamental tones are gorgeous. I do not remember Pianoteq 6 being this nice. Unfortunately, the other artifacts in the overall sound experience mask this positive element and make it easy to overlook.

So, my overall experience is one of frustration, along with some optimism. Pianoteq 7 Stage, like its predecessors, is very playable. And, there is some nice tone buried within it. However that tone is inaccessible, putting the user to the unattractive choice of either tolerating the distracting, metallic, extra-piano artifacts, or, combatting those with equally artificial efforts to muffle them, muffling the piano in the process. Both approaches leave the user with enough distraction to interfere with playing and enjoyment.

I sincerely hope Pianoteq busts out of its chains and exceeds the stars. I love the idea of modelling, and am impressed with Modartt's efforts so far. I hope they succeed beyond all dreams. When Pianoteq 8 comes around, don't be surprised if you see me in line again, with dollars in hand. As of right now, though, I will not likely be playing my Pianoteq 7 Stage.

Last edited by Ralphiano; 03/10/21 05:40 PM.

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I have to say that as of now, Pianonteq 7 Stage is unacceptable.

At least for you...

Have you checked the FXP Corner on modartt.com? There are several presets other users made. Maybe you find some Inspiration.

Last edited by Tyr; 03/10/21 06:09 PM.

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IMHO for Pianoteq you need to step up to at least the Standard edition. Wait for a sale and grab it then. I went from Standard edition to the Pro edition at the last sale laugh

Everyone's ears are different, so if you don't like Pianoteq so be it. But as Tyr said above "for you"

Maybe when a new piano model comes out and Pianoteq goes to 7.3 give it another demo. I admit until version 5 came out I was one of the ones who didn't like it.


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Originally Posted by Ralphiano
The short conclusion is that PIanoteq 7 Stage still does not present a realistic piano sound.

This is my view too.

I can play it for a little while (half an hour maybe) if I haven't used it for a few weeks and I can enjoy it. But then a fatigue with the sound and a frustration with the samey-ness of all the 'models' kicks in.

PianoTeq is either missing something that is present in the sound of a real piano, or PianoTeq is doing something that a real piano doesn't do, or it's a combination of both. Either way I've got a problem with it.

As far as playability is concerned you are right; it is good. It's not unique in playing well. Lots of DP onboard sounds play well. I also have Garritan CFX Lite. Tonally it is way better than PianoTeq - although I'm not very keen on it, and rarely use it, at least it sounds real - and its playability for me is just as good as PianoTeq.

But ultimately for me I just don't want the hassle and clutter of VSTs. Just give me a decent onboard piano tone!

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Ralphiano, I found tinkering with Pianoteq Stage’s velocity curve made very significant differences to the sound in each preset - I was never happy with the default curve in 5, 6 or 7.

A couple of months ago I took advantage of a Modartt special offer and upgraded from Stage 6 to Standard 7. The deal included an extra free instrument, so the exercise was relatively inexpensive. I agree with peterws - with the range of tools it offers, Standard is a game changer. Maybe it's worth a try?


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