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Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D

Posted By: Emiliano

Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/23/14 10:52 PM

I finally got my VPC1 last friday and I couldn't be happier; although a stunning instrument, doesn't make me feel nostalgic about the CS7 I had in Belgium.
I'll make a thread with pictures and details about the setting in the next few days in case it'll be useful to other members of the blog.
In the meanwhile, I'm fooling around with the Kontakt 5 settings and have some doubts about the best "sample rate" for the Galaxy Vintage D.
My Macbook Pro (ssd, so it's quite fast) can handle no prob the 64 Samples latency, but I'm not sure if I should keep the Sample Rate to 44100, 48000, 88200 or 96000 ...
Any heads up?

Thanx in advance :-)
Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/23/14 11:29 PM

Emiliano, congrats on your VPC1 (and move from Belgium to England...).

Regarding your query, I doubt there's a major difference in audio quality between the different sample rates (although latency may be affected). Assuming Galaxy Vintage D utilises 48 kHz sample data, I would set Kontakt's output to match.

Having said that, perhaps Kontakt's effects/reverb processing would benefit slightly from the higher sample rate?

Cheers,
James
x
Posted By: Emiliano

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/23/14 11:46 PM

Thank You James, I'm SO excited....I'm here fooling around with "Autumn in New York" as I type :-)
I heard that the "Sample Rate" has to match the sample data of the Galaxy, but how do I know?
44 or 48?
Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 12:07 AM

I'm afraid I don't know, although it may be possible to load the samples into a wave editor to check their properties.

Please note that with modern technology it may be fine to use different sample rates for the source wave data and audio output...

Cheers,
James
x
Posted By: dmd

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 12:56 AM

Well, there is always the "play and listen" test.

If something sounds better then use that, otherwise ... flip a coin.
Posted By: Maxpiano

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 09:03 AM

Hi Emiliano

I run the Galaxy Vintage D at 44.1 Khz on my Motu Ultralite Hybrid and sounds just fine, I tried also at 48Khz but I don't hear any sensible improvement so I prefer the lower rate to lessen the stress on the CPU & disk (though I also have an i5 and a SSD so not really a problem)

PS: Galaxy Vintage D samples are 48Khz 24bit
Posted By: Emiliano

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 10:02 AM

Originally Posted by dmd
Well, there is always the "play and listen" test.

If something sounds better then use that, otherwise ... flip a coin.


thanx dmd, pianistically I'm not seasoned enough to tell the difference, so I guess it's a bit of a toss up btw the two parameters....
Posted By: Emiliano

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 10:08 AM

Originally Posted by Maxpiano
Hi Emiliano

I run the Galaxy Vintage D at 44.1 Khz on my Motu Ultralite Hybrid and sounds just fine, I tried also at 48Khz but I don't hear any sensible improvement so I prefer the lower rate to lessen the stress on the CPU & disk (though I also have an i5 and a SSD so not really a problem)


Max, do you have any idea about the manufacturer's sampling data for the Vintage D? I heard is better to avoid any mismatch btw Kotakt's "sampling rate" and the sound engine's sampling data to avoid the so-called "resampling". Do you have any clue? :-)
Posted By: Maxpiano

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 10:11 AM

Originally Posted by Emiliano
Originally Posted by Maxpiano
Hi Emiliano

I run the Galaxy Vintage D at 44.1 Khz on my Motu Ultralite Hybrid and sounds just fine, I tried also at 48Khz but I don't hear any sensible improvement so I prefer the lower rate to lessen the stress on the CPU & disk (though I also have an i5 and a SSD so not really a problem)


Max, do you have any idea about the manufacturer's sampling data for the Vintage D? I heard is better to avoid any mismatch btw Kotakt's "sampling rate" and the sound engine's sampling data to avoid the so-called "resampling". Do you have any clue? :-)


I was able to find the info, 48Khz 24bit (I may reconsider my settings... grin )
Posted By: Emiliano

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 10:22 AM

Nice catch Max, I sifted through the web the whole eve yesterday without success .... you rock!!
Posted By: Emiliano

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 10:40 AM

by the way, I just discovered this: keeping the latency lever set to "64 samples" and changing the "sample rate" from 44100, 48000 to the highest 96000, I noticed that there's a bottom right indicator that DECREASES its value from 11.5 ms (with 44100), 11.3 ms (with 48000), all the way to 10.7 ms (with 96000).
Is the "ms" value the actual latency? If that's the case it reduces going up with the 'sample rate'....
I need an aspirin :-P
Posted By: toddy

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 11:35 AM

ms is milliseconds, yes.

If you increase the sample rate, the computer is having to work faster, of course. So, all other things remaining the same, the 'latency' value is going decrease because the whole operation is speeded up.

Therefore, it is a 'win/win' situation, except that, if you make the computer work too hard (by decreasing sample buffer size and/or increasing sample speed (and possibly bit breadth) too much, the signal will begin to crack up.
Posted By: Maxpiano

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 11:36 AM

Yes of course it reduces by increasing the sample rate, because the number of samples in the buffer is the same (the one you set with the cursor) but each sample duration decreases when the sample rate changes (duration is 1/samplerate): surprised?
Posted By: Emiliano

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 11:57 AM

oh boy.....should I set it to 96000 to get the lowest latency then? Better to stick with the 48000?
Posted By: toddy

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 12:13 PM

PS - total latency could be significantly greater than 10 - 11.5ms because the reading given there may only be dealing with delays inside that particular sampling program - there are other things causing latency like MIDI and the D/A converters.

But if it sounds ok and you can play comfortably with that latency value, probably best forget about it. Otherwise, you can get into latency heck* - especially with the PC, not particularly because it's worse than Apple Mac, but because you can endlessly tinker around with drivers and switching on and off background routine operations, and many other geeky things.

But for this specific case, just try 96k, 48k and 44k, and see if they sound ok in terms of overall quality, on the one hand, or cracking up problems on the other. If you are experiencing a perfect coherent signal with 64 sample buffer, 24 bit and anything over 44k sample rate, then you are pretty well set up! The 96k level may not improve the sound (since the sample seems to be at 48, but you get a slightly lower latency, as you've said).

* unfortunately, the auto moderator doesn't allow the Queen's English so better say 'inferno'
Posted By: lolatu

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 12:54 PM

That 0.6 ms latency difference is completely un-noticeable, and even if it weren't, it corresponds to the time taken for sound to travel 20 cm, so you could cancel it out by moving your head slightly.

It's also physically impossible for humans to hear above 20 kHz, and the maximum sampling rate required to capture such sounds is double that, 40 kHz. Any sampling or playback rate above that is only useful if you are an animal with ultrasonic hearing (e.g. a bat or porpoise), and an audiophile one at that.

So there's no advantage in setting it above 48 kHz. If it's sampled at 48 kHz then setting playback to 44.1 kHz will not affect the audible quality at all, but will require CPU time.
Posted By: toddy

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 01:05 PM

lolatu, I would certainly agreed with everything you said - it is well known that we can't hear above 20kHz, and in the case of adults (especially musicians) probably not much above 8KHz. So 96KHz appears to be totally unnecessary.

But I find it hard to believe they are only making these high rates for fun, or to impress spec-heads. There must be some utility in it - maybe because we are not only duplicating the sounds (as if listening to a CD), but also processing them. I don't know - just guessing.

lolato said:

So there's no advantage in setting it above 48 kHz. Setting it to 44.1 kHz will not affect the audible quality at all, but will require CPU time.

What exactly do you mean here?

Posted By: lolatu

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 01:36 PM

Originally Posted by toddy
But I find it hard to believe they are only making these high rates for fun, or to impress spec-heads. There must be some utility in it - maybe because we are not only duplicating the sounds (as if listening to a CD), but also processing them. I don't know - just guessing.

Hypothesising here, but if you wanted to change the pitch of a sample down an octave or two, then maybe it would be useful. You'd be taking ultrasonic frequencies and making them audible, so it might sound weird. Perhaps there's a niche for recording bat-calls, or scientific / technical applications for recording ultrasound.

But for simple recording and playback I can't think of a good reason. There were a bunch of artists like Neil Young pressing for 192 kHz / 24-bit recordings to be made standard recently, but I think that was because they didn't understand / believe that it doesn't actually sound better and is a waste of disk space.

Quote
So there's no advantage in setting it above 48 kHz. Setting it to 44.1 kHz will not affect the audible quality at all, but will require CPU time.

What exactly do you mean here?

Any playback frequency above 40 kHz is "perfect" according to the human ear. You don't lose any audible information by downsampling. However your computer will have to do some work to change the frequency of the digital signal, rather than reading it straight from the disk. It may be that this is only a negligible amount of work, but it's unnecessary so why not stick with 48 kHz.
Posted By: toddy

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 01:43 PM

Adjustment from 48 to 44 - yes, that's what I thought you meant. So in fact the higher rate demands less CPU power in this case? There could be issues to do with aliasing - audio strobe type intrusions, perhaps.
Posted By: lolatu

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 01:57 PM

Originally Posted by toddy
Adjustment from 48 to 44 - yes, that's what I thought you meant. So in fact the higher rate demands less CPU power in this case?

Yes. But maybe this would be cancelled out by extra work needed on reverb and EQ effects at the higher frequency. It probably doesn't really matter too much.

Quote
There could be issues to do with aliasing - audio strobe type intrusions, perhaps.

Are "audio strobe intrusions" a thing? My understanding is that the sample rate being double the highest audible frequency is enough to ensure you can reproduce them without inadvertently hitting the peak / trough every time. But I'm no expert.
Posted By: Emiliano

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 02:08 PM

bats, porpoises....wow sounds like David Attenborough :-) Just kidding !
Thanx Lolatu, Thanx Toddy....what you are saying makes sense to me, I guess I'll stick to the 48000 value.
I did try to hear the difference between 44, 48 etc. and...well...they all sound the same to me :-(
I sound dumb, and I probably am...
Posted By: Alexander Borro

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 02:51 PM

I feel the same, don't think it is dumbness, just the limit of ones hearing.

When it comes to recording though I do notice a subtle difference between a high bitrate sample wav file output in my DAW and then a conversion to high quality 320 kB/s mp3, though it very very subtle effect at this stage, it may be even due to the encoder resampling rather than the actual bitrate loss why I am hearing that for all I know, but then going down to half that, say 128 kBs/sec and I begin to tell more and more. Still, the file goes from about 25 Mb to 3.5 Mb 320 Kb/s MP3, and the loss is far less in proportion.

Lets not forget that CD quality is only 16 bit 44 kHz, but CDs do have very high bitrate. To satisfy that in theory would require

44100 HZ * 16 bits / sample * 2 ( for each channel in stereo ) = 1411200 = 1411 kb/s

for uncompressed data.

Many audiophiles spend thousands on headphones, headphones amplifiers, CD players and what not to get the best they can get, not that I own such high end things, but they still listen to CDs most of the time smile

Posted By: toddy

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 05:39 PM

Originally Posted by Alexander Borro
I feel the same, don't think it is dumbness, just the limit of ones hearing.

When it comes to recording though I do notice a subtle difference between a high bitrate sample wav file output in my DAW and then a conversion to high quality 320 kB/s mp3, though it very very subtle effect at this stage, it may be even due to the encoder resampling rather than the actual bitrate loss why I am hearing that for all I know, but then going down to half that, say 128 kBs/sec and I begin to tell more and more. Still, the file goes from about 25 Mb to 3.5 Mb 320 Kb/s MP3, and the loss is far less in proportion.


Yes, even I (with my tinnitus and ex-band member hearing loss) can tell that MP3 at 128kb/s produces some seriously destructive artifacts. But MP3 is an active compression format which involves all kind of monkeying about with the signal. Also there are different conversion methods (floating bit rate VBR; ABR; CBR) which can affect the signal in different ways.
Originally Posted by Alexander Borro

Lets not forget that CD quality is only 16 bit 44 kHz, but CDs do have very high bitrate. To satisfy that in theory would require

44100 HZ * 16 bits / sample * 2 ( for each channel in stereo ) = 1411200 = 1411 kb/s for uncompressed data.

Many audiophiles spend thousands on headphones, headphones amplifiers, CD players and what not to get the best they can get, not that I own such high end things, but they still listen to CDs most of the time smile


But aren't these audiophile blokes mostly (but not always) deluded? There used to be record turntables costing 10000 (without tonearm or cartridge) back in about 1980 - that's about a half the cost of a decent house back then!These machines had special elastic bands on the counterweight and a super heavy stone base.

...not sure if those gentlemen would listen to CDs even now...for many years they wouldn't go near them with a barge pole.

Posted By: Alexander Borro

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 05:50 PM

Originally Posted by toddy

But aren't these audiophile blokes mostly (but not always) deluded?


Yep I would say often they are along the lines you mention. Hope that will not cause a flame war, but this is not a Hi-Fi forum so I can probably escape unhurt laugh
Posted By: dire tonic

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 06:00 PM

Originally Posted by Alexander Borro
Originally Posted by toddy

But aren't these audiophile blokes mostly (but not always) deluded?


Yep I would say often they are along the lines you mention. Hope that will not cause a flame war, but this is not a Hi-Fi forum so I can probably escape unhurt laugh


Does vinyl sound better?
Posted By: Alexander Borro

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 06:19 PM

Originally Posted by dire tonic
Originally Posted by Alexander Borro
Originally Posted by toddy

But aren't these audiophile blokes mostly (but not always) deluded?


Yep I would say often they are along the lines you mention. Hope that will not cause a flame war, but this is not a Hi-Fi forum so I can probably escape unhurt laugh


Does vinyl sound better?


I haven't listened to a vinyl since my Uni days, say around early nineties. I remember a lot of crackles and pops on my vinyls though laugh

I rarely even listed to CD these days for that matter. Seems most of my music I listed to is in some form of format stored on a computer. CD quality still sounds fine to me though when I do listen to CDs.

A lot of what I listen to can vary in recording quality, a great recording or music 128 kB/sec 44 KHz still sounds better to me compared to a recording/music I don't like at whatever infinite bitrate and sampling rate laugh
Posted By: dire tonic

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 06:50 PM

- I was just being mischievous...I say "back to mono!!"...you're probably too young to know that audiophiles of the time complained bitterly about the introduction of stereo. Total madness.

I've still got a pile of CDs but I think they'll end up on a string on some farm scaring the birds off newly sown seed.
Posted By: Alexander Borro

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 08:20 PM

Originally Posted by dire tonic
- I was just being mischievous...I say "back to mono!!"...you're probably too young to know that audiophiles of the time complained bitterly about the introduction of stereo. Total madness.

I've still got a pile of CDs but I think they'll end up on a string on some farm scaring the birds off newly sown seed.


Got the mischief smile CDs make great accessories, great to avoid those table rings so I put tea cups on them, they seem to be all over the place my house except being listening to. Yep, jut about too young to recall the mono to stereo transition in earnest, though I do recall having those old valve amps and mono valve radios in my parents house and the day of medium/long wave radio shows. They did sound lovely and warm though, I would give it that laugh
Posted By: toddy

Re: Kawai VPC1, Kontakt 5 and Galaxy Vintage D - 10/24/14 10:04 PM

Sigh! I don't know really. I'm very attached to my dear collection of LPs - and I used to love the old 78s my mum and dad and grandma had accumulated. They were such beauties - the labels especially - the black and white His Master's Voice dog inside the bright red label was wonderful.

But you can see from the way I'm talking about it that it's all sentiment for what were actually powerful fetiches. The representation became bigger than the contents, almost.

Then there was the sound: no electronic bits and pieces and processes to degrade the quality - just physical audio channels - diaphrams, tubes, horns. And what did it sound like? Dreadful, of course. A scratchy ghostly band-limited version of the real thing.

LPs with diamond stylus, magnetic transducer and hi-fi amp & speakers were a vast improvement, of course, and apart from the scratches, sounded far better than the iphone horror that kids seem happy to put up with these days.

Nowadays there is no representation - no material at all, and all we've got is the music, which as the audiophiles point out is in compromised quality if it's MP3.

It's funny - really excellent audio quality is easily set up now, and cheaper than it ever was. But most people simply can't be arsed. Maybe we need the rabid audiophiles to balance things out.

(quietly relieved this is not a Hi Fi forum. Do such things still exist? .....looks a little concerned....
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