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Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Doug M.
What Pianoteq does well is to make the instrument feel more organic to play.
Yamaha's CFX built into the P-515 is very organic to play. The CFX grand Yamaha used to sample also sounds gorgeous.

Quote
It will not create tonal improvements! If you want a VST that will give you tonal improvements, then the Garritan CFX grand, the VSL libraries etc., are more likely to do that for you.
At the cost of not having proper pedaling, noise and all the other disadvantages of room sampling.

Yes, that point about pedaling has been discussed before hasn't it. Was it specifically the Garritan CFX grand? I also don't recall if the issues were fixed with a later release!?

I'd also like to point out: the benefits in tone that the VST's have compared to portable pianos such as the P515 have trade-offs, not only technical, but in terms of what sort of computing hardware you'll likely need to invest in to make it possible, and so that the playing experience is decent.

One of the issues with Piano tones is that your brain is going to get used to whatever you play. New things always are more exciting to begin with; often, the downsides begin to surface later on and slowly annoy you. This can cause GAS: where people begin to accumulate VST's in an attempt to find the better experience.

I found myself getting more used to a tone but this time, when I switched from Yamaha to Kawai, my perception of the tone improved over time. I found the transition hard, but later found the tone grew on me. Therefore, one should be aware that one's own biases might also be hindering your choice of VST i.e., one that sounds to you to be bad maybe is just significantly different from what you're used to. Again, specific threads on forums tend to be good places to get a flavour of the broader opinion about a VST than one's own initial thoughts.

This is all a shame for VST's however, as many do not allow demos like Pianoteq does.

Last edited by Doug M.; 09/27/21 01:32 PM.

Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7SE; Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000
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Originally Posted by peterws
Originally Posted by cygnusdei
FWIW it seems that there is a huge difference between 'Pianoteq' and Pianoteq with optimized presets. I suspect that Modartt is partly to blame as they would rather err of the side of wide options instead of providing narrow but realistic parameters. There are Youtube vids with titles like "How to make Pianoteq sound like a real piano", implying that the default presets don't do justice and it takes some tweaking to arrive at a realistic sound.

For the record I haven't used Pianoteq, but their own demos confirm my theory. The featured Steinway D audio demo in particular sounds atrocious IMO, while some of the other demos sound quite ok. Exactly the same instrument, just different presets.

Someone on YT, a respected guy, advocated only small changes to PT's parameters to get the best out of it.
Changes are mainly made, imo, to optimise the speakers and headphones used.
I've been fortunate in using the same settings for both.
But then, I'd do that with the DPs voices, wouldn't I?

That was Phil Best who said as much: he made a video showing what he thought the beneficial mods were in order to get the sound to it's best.
Bear in mind that Phil has some pretty nice equipment too, so it might not only be a settings issue that separates people's experiences.

Last edited by Doug M.; 09/27/21 01:35 PM.

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Originally Posted by Doug M.
Originally Posted by peterws
Originally Posted by cygnusdei
FWIW it seems that there is a huge difference between 'Pianoteq' and Pianoteq with optimized presets. I suspect that Modartt is partly to blame as they would rather err of the side of wide options instead of providing narrow but realistic parameters. There are Youtube vids with titles like "How to make Pianoteq sound like a real piano", implying that the default presets don't do justice and it takes some tweaking to arrive at a realistic sound.

For the record I haven't used Pianoteq, but their own demos confirm my theory. The featured Steinway D audio demo in particular sounds atrocious IMO, while some of the other demos sound quite ok. Exactly the same instrument, just different presets.

Someone on YT, a respected guy, advocated only small changes to PT's parameters to get the best out of it.
Changes are mainly made, imo, to optimise the speakers and headphones used.
I've been fortunate in using the same settings for both.
But then, I'd do that with the DPs voices, wouldn't I?

That was Phil Best who said as much: he made a video showing what he thought the beneficial mods were in order to get the sound to it's best.
Bear in mind that Phil has some pretty nice equipment too, so it might not only be a settings issue that separates people's experiences.

also his playing rates a mention. I've heard few or no great players make an instrument sound bad

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I'll tell you about my experience in case it helps:

I'm a PTQ user since the 4th version and have got the PRO version + all instruments ever since then.

Also, as a background I'm a trained classical pianist, I do play jazz most of the time though.

It's been a very long while since I left conservatory and also acoustic pianos with it, I've mostly played on DP after that until I discovered VST world and Pianoteq lately in that time.

I have to admit that I've always had a love-hate feeling towards PTQ while it wasn't the case with sampled VST, although I've never given up on my trials to get it sound the way I wanted.

Well, that exactly is the point if my story, after many years and a lot of thinking, I've eventually come to the conclusion that PTQ sounds good already, not only good but authentic. The problem was, and still is with many people I guess, that with the pass of time you get used to those nice warm samples, nothing wrong with that, they're actually superb and some of them very rich and pleasant to play, however, IMHO they're mostly designed to sound good, not necessarily authentic, some samples certainly give you a closer feeling to playing the real thing but they're still a recording after all. I'll try to explain it, not putting them down cause I'm still a user of many of them and still will be along with Pianoteq, BUT I feel that what happened to me is that I got more and more distanced from actual acoustics, that metalic, woody, loud and penetrating sound in the benefit of sampled pianos, got used to them until I've inadvertently conceived them as the new "standard" to my ears, I completely lost the real reference and started to look for the "best sounding" vst which wasn't in fact anything but the "most pleasant" to hear.

Said that, I think there's something special in those "cinematic" sounding samples, even the ones that claim to be recorded from a "player perspective", and why not to like that? There's nothing wrong and it's already become a universal sound as this is what we mostly hear in the OST of our favorite movies or the nice piano riffs of some legendary music bands, so it's also somehow an alternative "standard" that lives with us and that's what some of the fellas around here are mostly hearing /playing (including DP).

In an exercise of liking Pianoteq and finding the reasons why some respects and renowned players "love" it, I've satrted to pay more attention to the sound of the acoustic pianos I've come across in the last years, tried to keep that sound deep in my mind so that I could come back home every time and compare it to the sampled pianos I have (most of them) and find out that they sounded like everything but authentic.

Started to do the same exercise with Pianoteq, and yes it took some time to realize how much "damage" the DP and VST have been doing to my ears with the pass of the years since I wasn't able to accept that sound as "genuine", time after time and so on until it started to grow on me like heck. It's not better than my sampled VST's, but it certainly brings me closer to that feeling of hearing the actual instrument.

My frustration comes yet when I'm trying to get an immersive experience, forgetting that there's speakers firing out the sound that I'm hearing, and that itself is a turn off I must say. Yet if there's something I've learnt during that long process is that monitor quality, angle and distance matters and a lot. Still not enough to please my fantasy but playability and clarity of the sound compensates for that all.

Sorry for the long text, wasn't my intention to bore the mates around here but the moral of it if any, is that our brain learns to "like" a sound or other based (among other factors) on how much you hear that sound. Someone who's been playing a 200.000$ STW for 40 years cannot like neither sampled nor modelled and would probably call us all a bunch of freaks (with my utter respect). The rest of mortals have to live with our limitations and habit flaws which eventually make us to lean more towards the one sound or the other.

The good news is that nowadays we've become such a large "critical mass" that I'd say all sounds be it true acoustic or VST based, are equally accepted and considered a valid standard instead of a cheap "alternative" or approach to the real thing.

Not sure if it all makes any sense, but my 2 cents..

Warm regards,
David


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Pianoteq 7 Pro (all instruments), Galaxy II, Vintage D, The Giant, Alcia Keys, The Grandeur, The Maverick, The Gentleman, Piano V2 etc
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Very diplomatically put, if I might say so! Icould learn a lot from you. . .


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Hello,

Originally Posted by Doug M.
A good online playlist reviewing many VST's can be watched here:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyNmsnMfhpXtZxo-sC3irPY2hZdfTY-E5

Following this cue, here's another stunningly simple (in all the good meanings of that word) and useful way to get a feel for the sound and technical quality of *many* currently available VSTis. This extensive review is by our fellow forum member @Gamma1734. Be sure to check out other excellent and more in-depth review videos of his as well!

Cheers and happy comparisons,

HZ


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Originally Posted by EVC2017
Originally Posted by _sem_
I think it would, but this is quite subjective.
Pianoteq has a free time-limited fully-functional demo, so just give it a try.

Not really.

Quote
Information:

This is a free version of Pianoteq for evaluation purpose.
The optional instrument packs are included in demo mode.
Please read the FAQ page to check the hardware and software requirements.
List of recent changes
Restrictions in trial versions:

8 notes are disabled (silent): F#1, G#1, A#1, C#5, D#5, F#5, G#5 and A#5.
Must be restarted after 20 minutes.

When I tried it, it was indeed fully-functional for a while.
After that while (???), the listed notes are disabled, and has the nag messages.
But is still useful for evaluation, checking different sounds, and debugging.
IDK if something has changed inbetween.

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Originally Posted by _sem_
When I tried it, it was indeed fully-functional for a while.
After that while (???), the listed notes are disabled, and has the nag messages.

The listed notes are silent right away, so you can only playtest pieces in C major like on a broken piano and after 20 minutes the entire instrument goes mute.


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Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by _sem_
When I tried it, it was indeed fully-functional for a while.
After that while (???), the listed notes are disabled, and has the nag messages.

The listed notes are silent right away, so you can only playtest pieces in C major like on a broken piano and after 20 minutes the entire instrument goes mute.
It is still enough to evaluate the software though.

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Sorry it's been a while since I installed it so I'm not 100% sure, but I recall all notes were working initially, while not the next day. Maybe things have changed, because I know there are ways of abusing such demos.
I think their demo is reasonable compared to VSL and Garritan, it doesn't require a copy-protection dongle, and the HW requirements are moderate (also runs on Raspberry Pi).
The sound quality is debatable though.
And if once can't put up with any restrictive measures of the above, there are totally free piano VSTs.

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Originally Posted by Skropi
It is still enough to evaluate the software though.
True, middle C and five seconds is good enough for that. Don't need 80 notes and 20 minutes for that.


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Originally Posted by _sem_
Sorry it's been a while since I installed it so I'm not 100% sure, but I recall all notes were working initially, while not the next day. Maybe things have changed, because I know there are ways of abusing such demos.

The Pianoteq demo worked the same way since at least 2012, which was the first time when I tried it.


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Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Skropi
It is still enough to evaluate the software though.
True, middle C and five seconds is good enough for that. Don't need 80 notes and 20 minutes for that.
Some black keys don't work, you aren't restricted to middle C man. As for the time limit, it does give about 20 minutes of playtime, before you have to turn that wheel/reset, not 5 seconds.
Personally I like the onboard sound of the p515, so I dont feel the need to get Pianoteq. I would spend that money on synths though..... 😁

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Originally Posted by Skropi
Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Skropi
It is still enough to evaluate the software though.
True, middle C and five seconds is good enough for that. Don't need 80 notes and 20 minutes for that.
Some black keys don't work, you aren't restricted to middle C man. As for the time limit, it does give about 20 minutes of playtime, before you have to turn that wheel/reset, not 5 seconds.
Personally I like the onboard sound of the p515, so I dont feel the need to get Pianoteq. I would spend that money on synths though..... 😁

And if you play Gymnopedie 3, you won't impinge on those disabled notes.
Not a lot o' folk know that . . .


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Originally Posted by peterws
And if you play Gymnopedie 3, you won't impinge on those disabled notes.
Not a lot o' folk know that . . .

(almost) the same with Bach prelude c major (wtc 1-1): only uses an handful of the muted flats. Good for trying the various presets...

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Originally Posted by peterws
And if you play Gymnopedie 3, you won't impinge on those disabled notes.
Not a lot o' folk know that . . .

😄

HZ

PS Just started sniffing Gymnopédie 1 for a bit. Is interesting.

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Originally Posted by Skropi
Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Skropi
It is still enough to evaluate the software though.
True, middle C and five seconds is good enough for that. Don't need 80 notes and 20 minutes for that.
Some black keys don't work, you aren't restricted to middle C man.

But I don't need more than middle C to tell that it doesn't sound like a piano - at least not in the midrange - which ends my evaluation.


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Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Skropi
Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Skropi
It is still enough to evaluate the software though.
True, middle C and five seconds is good enough for that. Don't need 80 notes and 20 minutes for that.
Some black keys don't work, you aren't restricted to middle C man.

But I don't need more than middle C to tell that it doesn't sound like a piano - at least not in the midrange - which ends my evaluation.

Every real piano has one duff note . . . .otherwise it ain't kosher!


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Originally Posted by peterws
Originally Posted by JoeT
But I don't need more than middle C to tell that it doesn't sound like a piano - at least not in the midrange - which ends my evaluation.

Every real piano has one duff note . . . .otherwise it ain't kosher!

People are very afraid of trying out real pianos, because they cannot play well. While in fact everything you need is a single note and and maybe a foot on the pedal.

You can literally go through a showroom full of pianos and just hit middle C to reject one after another until one instrument sticks out for further investigation.


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Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Skropi
Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Skropi
It is still enough to evaluate the software though.
True, middle C and five seconds is good enough for that. Don't need 80 notes and 20 minutes for that.
Some black keys don't work, you aren't restricted to middle C man.

But I don't need more than middle C to tell that it doesn't sound like a piano - at least not in the midrange - which ends my evaluation.
Ah, ok, now I get your point.

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