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Joined: Sep 2020
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Tozen Offline OP
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Hello!

I've been enjoying using the VSL Bosendorfer Imperial for a few months now, but I continually find myself somewhat dissatisfied with its playability because I can't make the notes feel percussive enough. Even without room mics added and primarily using the condenser mic with subtle usage of Ribbon and Tube, the notes feel somewhat wet/sluggish to me and I feel like this is throwing off my technique. I have managed to get the latency close to 0 through my Reaper DAW settings, so I think it's more of an audio issue than an actual responsiveness problem. It's tough because I like the overall sound much more than the stock sounds on my CLP 785, but the CLP 785 is a much smoother playing experience due to the audible "mallet strike" that the notes have in their sample rendering.

I'm wondering if this is a problem that can be solved with EQ... maybe by boosting frequencies in the condenser mic. However, I'm not experienced enough at sound engineering to know how to tackle this. Does anyone have suggestions?

EDIT: Also, if this is just a problem with this particular library and people have had better success with another VSL product, I'd be open to it. I've been eyeing the Bosendorfer Upright lately, but I don't want to spend money and not solve the problem.

Last edited by Tozen; 09/15/21 01:54 PM.
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Interesting. I have the opposite problem - that the BI is too percussive. With speaker placement, velocity curve adjustments, and timber settings, I feel I have found the sweet spot. I have never had much success with EQ adjustments - they always make the sound less realistic for me, but I also know very little sound engineering.

The first thing I would check is that the volume you're getting from your speakers is representative of a large concert grand. You can reduce the volume from there but it is helpful to start with a level that is accurate for the instrument. Stu Harrison's comments here may be helpful (starting around 8:30).

See also HZPiano's post on setting volume.

You could also try a lighter velocity curve to hit louder layers more easily, or setting the timbre shift to +1 or +2.

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Thanks for the response, Ryan! Good thoughts.

I don't think the issue is volume, although your thoughts about the velocity curve could indeed be part of the solution! I'm already worried that my volume is too high for safety. smile I'll try the timbre shift as well.

I think the reason I don't experience this problem so much on the stock CLP 785 sounds is that at all volume levels past about 50%, there is a noticeable emphasis on the "thunk" of the sound. It's probably too pronounced for a realistic recording, but from a playing perspective, it feels great. That's why I am thinking about trying to isolate this part of the sound instead of the entire volume.

Last edited by Tozen; 09/15/21 05:46 PM.

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