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Everyone assumes the ideal should be an acoustic piano, and that a DP is really a last resort instrument. I sold my AP and got a new DP as a compromise between cost convenience and space considerations, but as it turned out, while you don't have to tune a DP, it can be a really painful costly and a long learning process to get the sound that suits you and that will bring out the highest level of expression.I use my own hardware and software, the DP itself doesn't make the sound, only outputs the MIDI data. After getting the hardware and software I can say confidently:

A DP can be an upgrade from an AP!

It's a matter of style and individual ears, but if you're looking for the certain analytical style high in polyphony and newer pieces which were written for well mature grand technology, many common APs won't serve you well. My tuner admitted that to me personally (unwisely) and that his profession is going to almost disappear. That's unlucky but the piano is an instrument which is far easier to synthesize than string/brass/percussion instruments. There's no easy way to set the sound of an AP not to deafen you in the loud sections and to cancel a small room's acoustics, and there are no funky pedal issues, or uneven hammers.

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Although i agree with some aspects i have come to the conclusion that recording a real grand vs top software is showing what the software still lacks. I have the best piano vst’s (25+) and a Kawai MP11SE controller. Super fast computer, RME soundcard , recording at 96KHz and 32 bit floating point. But real recorded piano’s even the most simplistic intro’s on good recording artists sound better, more real, warmer, more organic, more everything. I am in the middle of a process of giving up the agonizing attempts to get there. Simply listened the other day to some Billy Joël records and it remembered me how much better that sounds. I sometimes hate the fact that the difference is still so noticeable and that a digital simply lacks in so many ways. Or maybe hopefully i am doing something wrong and someone has some ultimate advise on the matter.

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Just my subjective, personal opinion (I have an acoustic upright with a silent system that I connect via MIDI-out to my notebook where I am running Galaxy Vintage D):

Originally Posted by Christopher90
[...]A DP can be an upgrade from an AP!
+1 I endorse this with special emphasis on your wording. It can be an upgrade from an acoustic, or, to be precise, from acoustic pianos that are not high end and taken care of by a specialist technician and standing in a concert hall or a professional recording studio. I find my virtual grand so good that I do not want to play, let alone record, the acoustic part of my piano in my living room any more. By the way, my piano is a Sauter, not a budget instrument at all, though 50 years old and needing some overhaul.

Originally Posted by pianistje
[...]I have the best piano vst’s (25+) and a Kawai MP11SE controller. Super fast computer, RME soundcard , recording at 96KHz and 32 bit floating point. But real recorded piano’s even the most simplistic intro’s on good recording artists sound better, more real, warmer, more organic, more everything.
+1 as well ...but when I listen to professional and commercial studio recordings of the great star pianists on Youtube, I can hear a considerable difference to my own recordings, even when I add more reverb with Audacity. VSTs sound "flat" and "cold" in direct comparison.

But all in all, given the fact that I do not have access to a professional studio or a concert hall with a high end instrument, I am extremely happy with my setup at the moment. It sounds fantastic as long as you do not compare it directly with a professional recording of an oustanding acoustic that was selected for recording purposes by Yuja Wang (she did that for the Elbphilharmonie in my hometown; after the first round she said, none of the various Steinways was good enough; after an additional round of test playing , she eventually found the one and only Steinway that was good enough in her eyes).

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There is a simple explanation why best AP in best acoustic environment will sound better than a VSTi, sampled from the same piano in the same environment.

ACOUSTIC CASE:
Separate notes and NUMEROUS NOTE CO-SOUNDIND COMBINATIONS are produced in natural environment, reflecting all acoustic features of that environment.

VST CASE:
Separate notes (however many velocity layers we have) are sampled, but it is impossible to sample ALL POSSIBLE NOTE CO-SOUNDIND COMBINATIONS. Co-sounding can be created only using some math algorithms. Even the most advanced algorithms of this kind cannot take into account all possible acoustic features of the environment.

The only thing, which may provide some hope, is a hybrid piano. However, we seldom can place such a hybrid in the best possible acoustic hall...

Last edited by Andrew_G; Yesterday at 09:50 AM.
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Originally Posted by Pianist685
Yuja Wang said none of the various Steinways was good enough; after an additional round of test playing , she eventually found the one and only Steinway that was good enough in her eyes).

I sympathise entirely since I have that same problem every day . . .sigh


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