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Posted By: jamiecw Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/15/19 09:34 AM
Hi all,

I am not an RTFM person at all so decided to start a PTQ Tips thread so we can share tips/settings in order to change default settings on the premise to achieve a better sound (would be good if this became a sticky thread but won't hold my breath since PTQ is a bit like marmite). :-)

FYI - these tips are from the many threads that I read on PW and PTQ forums so credit goes to all the people who put these out there & I am using the Standard version (so some settings on Stage are likely not to be available) - ok so without further ado:

SOUND EDITING TIPS:

1) Experiment with the condition slider - 15 to 35 usually yields some interesting sounds so use it unless you want your piano to sound like it just came out of the Pianoteq factory :-)

2) Experiment with velocity but also alongside it, the dynamics and volume sliders. E.g. a moderately fast keyboard velocity will create a soft sound / permit a soft touch but I found that the dynamics slider will need to decrease from the default 40dB to around 30-32dB and the volume up to 2-3dB. Vice versa if you move to a moderately slow keyboard etc. There is no one glove fits all here, depending on piano model etc. some time needs to be spent to see what sounds best to you.

3) Detune notes under Tuning - for those who want an ever so slightly out of tune piano sound yielding a more realistic setting. Chose random (a couple clicks) and then smooth it out so it's not horribly out of tune yet there are some nuances there. Also drop the 440Hz to 438/439 or 442 etc. (for me, 438 for a brighter sounding piano or 442 for a warmer sounding piano makes some interesting changes).

4) Effects (Reverb) - I haven't seen any worth changing the default delay settings and sometimes adding some presence EQ (where there was none) there are some enhancements. However, I found out that turning off the reverb and choosing one from a DAW (yes you need to use PTQ as a plugin inside a DAW) gives you a far better reverb. A bit more work I know..

5) Microphone positioning - believe it or not, there are some interesting outcomes when the mics are moved around. I personally like to hover the mouse between the 2 mics and double click on the pointed section and this highlights both mics so they can be move together in unison. An interesting position is a few feet behind the players ears at that height (creates that slightly distant sound, if you like that). Obviously experimentation is your friend here.

6) String length - I have seen some stating that lowering the string length prevents the highs sounding to high-end like, lowering them to around 2.15 does make an incremental change but anything less than sounds too weird. Have a go and please let me know what you think?

7) Another from PW users here, increase Unison Width (1.05 - 1.15 for me) and Octave (1.05.1.10 again for me) settings.

8) Hammer hardness - some brighter pianos can do with their Forte hammer hardness slightly reduced (to 150) if they are above 160 etc.

9) Action - damping duration, usually defaults to 1.00. Good tip from a user here on PW so many thanks to them for this! Increasing this a little helps with what some perceive with the early cut-off staccato notes...I set it around 1.10-1.25 depending on the piece played...some experimenting is needed.

10) Action - key release & sustain pedal noises. Unless you want to hear the key release noise in your recordings, I can hear them clearly when using headphones... I prefer setting mine to a lower volume (usually around -8 to -10dB) as well as the sustain pedal noise.

That's all for now. I hope there's more so we can all benefit from making PTQ even better than it is out of the box.

Many thanks,

Jamie
Posted By: thickfingers Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/15/19 09:53 AM
Stickiness is required, here. That's a fact as true as Pianoteq's position as the No.1 VST available today.
Posted By: Craig Richards Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/15/19 10:05 AM
Originally Posted by jamiecw
Hi all,

I am not an RTFM person at all so decided to start a PTQ Tips thread so we can share tips/settings in order to change default settings on the premise to achieve a better sound (would be good if this became a sticky thread but won't hold my breath since PTQ is a bit like marmite). :-)

FYI - these tips are from the many threads that I read on PW and PTQ forums so credit goes to all the people who put these out there & I am using the Standard version (so some settings on Stage are likely not to be available) - ok so without further ado:

SOUND EDITING TIPS:

1) Experiment with the condition slider - 15 to 35 usually yields some interesting sounds so use it unless you want your piano to sound like it just came out of the Pianoteq factory :-)

2) Experiment with velocity but also alongside it, the dynamics and volume sliders. E.g. a moderately fast keyboard velocity will create a soft sound / permit a soft touch but I found that the dynamics slider will need to decrease from the default 40dB to around 30-32dB and the volume up to 2-3dB. Vice versa if you move to a moderately slow keyboard etc. There is no one glove fits all here, depending on piano model etc. some time needs to be spent to see what sounds best to you.

3) Detune notes under Tuning - for those who want an ever so slightly out of tune piano sound yielding a more realistic setting. Chose random (a couple clicks) and then smooth it out so it's not horribly out of tune yet there are some nuances there. Also drop the 440Hz to 438/439 or 442 etc. (for me, 438 for a brighter sounding piano or 442 for a warmer sounding piano makes some interesting changes).

4) Effects (Reverb) - I haven't seen any worth changing the default delay settings and sometimes adding some presence EQ (where there was none) there are some enhancements. However, I found out that turning off the reverb and choosing one from a DAW (yes you need to use PTQ as a plugin inside a DAW) gives you a far better reverb. A bit more work I know..

5) Microphone positioning - believe it or not, there are some interesting outcomes when the mics are moved around. I personally like to hover the mouse between the 2 mics and double click on the pointed section and this highlights both mics so they can be move together in unison. An interesting position is a few feet behind the players ears at that height (creates that slightly distant sound, if you like that). Obviously experimentation is your friend here.

6) String length - I have seen some stating that lowering the string length prevents the highs sounding to high-end like, lowering them to around 2.15 does make an incremental change but anything less than sounds too weird. Have a go and please let me know what you think?

7) Another from PW users here, increase Unison Width (1.05 - 1.15 for me) and Octave (1.05.1.10 again for me) settings.

8) Hammer hardness - some brighter pianos can do with their Forte hammer hardness slightly reduced (to 150) if they are above 160 etc.

9) Action - damping duration, usually defaults to 1.00. Good tip from a user here on PW so many thanks to them for this! Increasing this a little helps with what some perceive with the early cut-off staccato notes...I set it around 1.10-1.25 depending on the piece played...some experimenting is needed.

10) Action - key release & sustain pedal noises. Unless you want to hear the key release noise in your recordings, I can hear them clearly when using headphones... I prefer setting mine to a lower volume (usually around -8 to -10dB) as well as the sustain pedal noise.

That's all for now. I hope there's more so we can all benefit from making PTQ even better than it is out of the box.

Many thanks,

Jamie

Great tips Jamie - your list is almost exactly the same tweaks I make to most models. The microphone positions (available in Standard & Pro versions) make a huge difference to both the tone and stereo image of any piano model. Worth experimenting with a stereo pair placed either inside the piano around 30cm above the strings, or a spaced pair in the curve of the body just outside the frame lip at about 1.5m high, panned hard left & hard right, and then placing a mono mic underneath the piano (about 30cm off the floor) setting that to a centred pan, and reducing the volume of that mic to around 50-60% of the main mics. Gives the piano sound a more solid centre image, and avoids an unnaturally wide stereo image.

Also, Valhalla Room is my choice of external reverb for Pianoteq. It just seems to be a great match (particularly the 'Large Room' algorithm) and adding some late modulation to the reverb tail can help make it more 'organic' sounding.

My preferred models are the more recent Ant. Petrof & Steingraeber grands, followed by the recently re-voiced Steinway B.
Posted By: GWILLY Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/15/19 10:21 AM
Amazing Post! Exactly what I had hoped for on this forum. I am a new user so have not a lot to contribute yet. But look forward to exploring this great software and learning from this thread!! Would be great to hear wdco chime in too! Cheers!
Posted By: bSharp(C)yclist Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/15/19 01:17 PM
Thanks, what DAW do you use?
Posted By: dmd Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/15/19 02:17 PM
Originally Posted by Craig Richards
Also, Valhalla Room is my choice of external reverb for Pianoteq.


I have searched high and low for the Valhalla Room everywhere I can think of within Pianoteq v6.41 PRO but I cannot find it.

Could you provide a road map ?

Thanks
Posted By: lolatu Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/15/19 02:21 PM
Useful thanks. It has encouraged me to fiddle with the condition, velocity, diapson and delay etc. I only have the Stage version so I can't change all those suggested, but it's still made a pleasing difference to the D Prelude setting.
Posted By: jamiecw Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/15/19 03:07 PM
Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Thanks, what DAW do you use?


As for me, the free Garage Band that came with the MacBook...
Posted By: jamiecw Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/15/19 03:08 PM
Originally Posted by dmd

I have searched high and low for the Valhalla Room everywhere I can think of within Pianoteq v6.41 PRO but I cannot find it.

Could you provide a road map ?

Thanks



Hi Don - 3rd party plugin:

https://valhalladsp.com/shop/reverb/valhalla-room/
Posted By: scorpio Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/15/19 03:47 PM
Very nice, Jamie. Thank you.

I also use Valhalla (both Room and Vintage) with Pianoteq. I like the "Large Chamber" setting.
Here are a couple tips and tricks from Valhalla that provide presets for "realistic concert halls": https://valhalladsp.com/2011/05/25/valhallaroom-tips-and-tricks-realistic-concert-halls/

But like anything, it takes time (too much sometimes) to get the sound you want.
Posted By: JoeT Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/15/19 03:56 PM
Originally Posted by scorpio
But like anything, it takes time (too much sometimes) to get the sound you want.

...and money. That stuff isn't free.
Posted By: JazzBow Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/15/19 04:02 PM
Excellent post! Thanks Jamie!
Posted By: newer player Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/15/19 04:12 PM
The binaural headphone scheme is pretty good IMO. In particular:

1. try changing the head diameter options
2. try using different headphones/earbuds that you might own.

Go to the PianoTeq output window, select "binaural MODE", hover over the headphone image:

- head diameter - right-click up arrow
- head angle - right-click left-right arrow
- head position x,y,z- right-click headphones
Posted By: dmd Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/15/19 04:31 PM
Originally Posted by jamiecw
Originally Posted by dmd

I have searched high and low for the Valhalla Room everywhere I can think of within Pianoteq v6.41 PRO but I cannot find it.

Could you provide a road map ?

Thanks



Hi Don - 3rd party plugin:

https://valhalladsp.com/shop/reverb/valhalla-room/



OMG !

Is there no end to the need for additional variations and companies to fill them ?
Posted By: jamiecw Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/15/19 04:33 PM
Originally Posted by Craig Richards
...The microphone positions (available in Standard & Pro versions) make a huge difference to both the tone and stereo image of any piano model.

Also, Valhalla Room is my choice of external reverb for Pianoteq. It just seems to be a great match (particularly the 'Large Room' algorithm) and adding some late modulation to the reverb tail can help make it more 'organic' sounding.


Cheers Craig - will try the positions and see what happens....

FYI - further tip for mic placement:

Perhaps stating the obvious here, but do record a piece first and then playback whilst experimenting the positioning of mics as you hear the piece...it's faster and you get to hear the changes on the fly...also if the piece varies greatly in dynamics check each and every part...it's reaching sound engineering territory here but hey unless you are a studio artist with an engineering team...
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/15/19 04:39 PM
Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Thanks, what DAW do you use?

I had started a thread on DAWs a few weeks ago and there were a number of DAW recommendations.
Posted By: scorpio Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/15/19 04:55 PM
As far as Valhalla is concerned, just to be clear, I don't always use it. I use it when I am trying to achieve a specific sound. I don't believe it is necessary.

The reverb in Pianoteq is very good.

But also, Pianoteq allows you to upload free Impulse Response reverb files into Pianoteq. This provides additional options that may also suit your needs.
http://www.samplicity.com/bricasti-m7-impulse-responses/
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/15/19 05:25 PM
Originally Posted by scorpio
As far as Valhalla is concerned, just to be clear, I don't always use it. I use it when I am trying to achieve a specific sound. I don't believe it is necessary.

The reverb in Pianoteq is very good.

But also, Pianoteq allows you to upload free Impulse Response reverb files into Pianoteq. This provides additional options that may also suit your needs.
http://www.samplicity.com/bricasti-m7-impulse-responses/

Does this uploading work for Pianoteq STAGE, or only the STANDARD version?
Posted By: thickfingers Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/15/19 05:45 PM
And what else does Pianoteq allow you to upload? I'd rather like some drum/rhythm tracks to accompany my Steinways.....
Posted By: scorpio Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/15/19 05:49 PM
I just looked it up; uploading external impulse files is not available with STAGE.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/15/19 05:55 PM
Originally Posted by scorpio
I just looked it up; uploading external impulse files is not available with STAGE.

Another reason for me to upgrade to STANDARD. That and the mic placements. On my list of things to do, but comes after upgrading my DP smile
Posted By: Alexander Borro Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/15/19 06:47 PM
- The energy and blooming sliders can help with that artificial droning or lingering of overtones you get , in particular this is strong in something like the K2, the newer models seem to be much better out of the box with that and there is no need. ( adjustment can be made in Standard and above only)

- Spectrum profile, to tame the overtones as well along with the above (standard and above only).

- The wealth of fxp files provided by the community where a lot of the detailed work is done by pro licence users, but can be used in standard, it can be loaded in stage also, but the settings will just be ignored for the most part. You may find something you like more instead of doing the work yourself. Fxps can be found under the community section on the pteq site.

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by scorpio
I just looked it up; uploading external impulse files is not available with STAGE.

Another reason for me to upgrade to STANDARD. That and the mic placements. On my list of things to do, but comes after upgrading my DP smile


- As I do these days, the best tweak, I just leave the settings alone, I think with 6 and the newer models out of box presets have improved enough to make me feel it is more or less it is as good as it can be, and you will find something that suits. Whatever you change, Mics included the fundamental sound signature of the underlying model still dominates the sound (for me anyway, for the most part, and IMO of course).

While some of you will probably object to that last statement. I am just saying that if you are on the fence, or have little money, stage already has a lot of presets with various mics, you just can't change them.

I'd be very careful to consider upgrading to standard or pro in the hope it will do something significant. The notion that pteq can be changed into something else outside of its fundamental sound signature is IMO a pipe dream, the underlying model dictates the sound, not the extra tweaks, but that's my 02.

I have standard and played a lot with it few years ago, it was an interesting experience , playing with fxps etc. etc. but upon reflection that is what I would say now 2 years later. I still use it as a praccy instrument on and off because it responds so well,and I like playing it, no doubt about that, but I just launch the bluthner, and that's it, away I go.
Posted By: MossySF Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/16/19 08:07 AM
Hehe, my hint -- I set the left-most pedal to trigger randomize parameters. And then I just move my foot over -- my natural half-pedalling habit takes over and great chaos ensues.
Posted By: Ira Paul Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/27/19 11:51 PM
Here's a tip. If you are either a student or teacher involved with any kind of music school, you can get 40% off any Pianoteq purchase, over and over again. You have to email them. They'll verify and send you a discount link.

I now have Pianoteq Pro 6.4 with every instrument they currently offer, including the new C. Bechstein. I started off with Pianoteq Stage and the Steinway D and K2... I think.
Posted By: JoeT Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/28/19 12:16 AM
Originally Posted by Ira Paul
Here's a tip. If you are either a student or teacher involved with any kind of music school, you can get 40% off any Pianoteq purchase, over and over again. You have to email them. They'll verify and send you a discount link.

I now have Pianoteq Pro 6.4 with every instrument they currently offer, including the new C. Bechstein. I started off with Pianoteq Stage and the Steinway D and K2... I think.

I know it's addicting, to get "discounts" over and over, but my advice would be to keep the spending habits under control and save the money for the Pro version to put it into real gear (aka hardware).

(I kept silent in this thread to keep this tips collection nice and tidy, but when it turns into another sales advertisement, I have to comment on that.)
Posted By: jamiecw Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/28/19 08:04 AM
Ok we are back after that half time intermission wink - just found another tip that might be of interest to some that either experience a loudness to certain piano sounds. In my case it was the Petrof (Prelude). Actually it might help for other user cases but here is mine:

I felt the Petrof prelude at the higher registers was just a tad too loud and too bright for my ears (especially with headphones I'd grind my teeth in disgust).

Double clicking the volume slider, reveals the note edit where you can edit note by note volume (I believe this is Standard and Pro only, Pro you get some extra options perhaps?). Anyway the default volume setting for some pianos, in this case the Petrof, has a higher setting for the higher registers (A5 onwards)...minimising that makes the sound a little less harsh to my ears...worth experimenting with that if anyone wants to edit volume note by note.
Posted By: Ira Paul Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/28/19 11:22 AM
Quote
I know it's addicting, to get "discounts" over and over, but my advice would be to keep the spending habits under control and save the money for the Pro version to put it into real gear (aka hardware).

(I kept silent in this thread to keep this tips collection nice and tidy, but when it turns into another sales advertisement, I have to comment on that.)


I'm not sure what you mean by "hardware." If you mean a high-end controller, DAWs, a fire-breathing 16 core multiple SSD equipped workstation, audio/midi interface and studio monitors, I have that covered quite nicely. If you mean an acoustic piano, thanks but no thanks.

Moreover, I have no financial interest in Modartt. And, resent your absurd characterization of my post as a sales advertisement. It was a tip about how to lessen the cost is Pianoteq purchases and upgrades in a thread devoted to... Pianoteq.
Posted By: JoeT Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/28/19 12:24 PM
Originally Posted by Ira Paul
I'm not sure what you mean by "hardware." If you mean a high-end controller, DAWs, a fire-breathing 16 core multiple SSD equipped workstation, audio/midi interface and studio monitors, I have that covered quite nicely. If you mean an acoustic piano, thanks but no thanks.

I mean piano music gear. Both acoustic and digital. It's a piano forum after all.

Quote
It was a tip about how to lessen the cost is Pianoteq purchases and upgrades in a thread devoted to... Pianoteq.

Here is what this thread is about:
Quote
I am not an RTFM person at all so decided to start a PTQ Tips thread so we can share tips/settings in order to change default settings on the premise to achieve a better sound (would be good if this became a sticky thread but won't hold my breath since PTQ is a bit like marmite). :-)

And no, purchasing Ptq Pro alone doesn't improve the sound of our favorite piano modelling software, how much you paid doesn't affect it either. wink

So you got Ptq Pro: Now tell us how you made it sound good... That's what the OP and myself like to read in this future sticky (not what special discounts Moddart had five years ago in 2019).
Posted By: Kbeaumont Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/28/19 04:02 PM
Personally I am quite satisfied with the stage version. I know what I like and don't like so I just choose the presets that sound good to me. I tweak the limited settings on it a bit until it sounds like I want and that's it.
I personally don't think I am any better than whoever PT hired to do their presets so I'm good with that. It just just seems to me with the Pro version I could easily get mired in all the options taking time from the most important thing to me, playing. I probably spent most of my time getting the right velocity to match up with my FA-08 and my playing technique or lack there of.
Posted By: Robhatherton Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/28/19 05:15 PM
So, as a newcomer to this site (have last week bought a Roland DP603) would someone tell me what Pianoteq is and how it works? Presumably you are playing it on your digital piano, not on computer keyboard.

I've looked on their website and that also seems to assume people know how it operates!

Rob
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/28/19 05:22 PM
Originally Posted by Robhatherton
So, as a newcomer to this site (have last week bought a Roland DP603) would someone tell me what Pianoteq is and how it works? Presumably you are playing it on your digital piano, not on computer keyboard.

I've looked on their website and that also seems to assume people know how it operates!

Rob

The 30000 foot view is that you run it on a PC which is connected to your piano via either a MIDI cable or a USB cable if your piano does a MIDI-to-USB conversion for you. You press the piano keys, the piano generates a MIDI event which is sent through whichever cable you use to the PC. Pianoteq converts that into a sound which is sent to the PC's audio output. You've either connected that PC audio output to speakers/headphones, or you've fed it back into your piano (via an audio input on piano) to come out of the speakers in the piano. Lots of additional details including driver stuff, but hopefully you get the idea.
Posted By: jamiecw Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/28/19 05:32 PM
Originally Posted by Robhatherton
would someone tell me what Pianoteq is and how it works? Presumably you are playing it on your digital piano, not on computer keyboard.
Rob

Hi Rob - glad you asked.

Pianoteq is a VST (Virtual Studio Technology) piano that, very much like Roland's Supernatural Sound, is modelled as opposed to other VSTs that are sampled e.g. Garitan CFX and Ravenscroft 275.

As it is VST, it requires a PC for it to work. Pianoteq's main advantage, IMO, is that it has a small footprint in terms of disk size requirements perhaps even PC spec (i.e. does not need the latest and greatest CPU).

It's proponents like it because of the above and especially the fact that it's very expressive. On the other hand, detractors don't like the sound in that it sounds too artificial...personally coming from Roland's supernatural modelling sound, I much prefer PTQ and almost hardly ever use the Roland sound anymore.

It does require a bit of setting up but nothing too onerous (especially so if you have a MacBook etc.). Pianoteq offers a free download version where you can trial it out and make your own opinion on it no strings attached...something many other VSTs do not and probably costs a little less too (with the exception of Garitan CFX lite which is very affordable).
Posted By: Kbeaumont Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/28/19 05:39 PM
That's it in a nutshell you control the software on a computer with your digital piano and the software produces the sound. Bypassing the sound engine in your digital piano. In most cases, this sounds better than the digital piano by itself. Depending on personal preferences. There are many other virtual instruments in addition to Pianoteq. Chances are high that your favorite non-classical artists used virtual instruments in the studio, if the recording was made in the last 20 years.
Posted By: EPW Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/28/19 06:00 PM
Originally Posted by Kbeaumont
That's it in a nutshell you control the software on a computer with your digital piano and the software produces the sound. Bypassing the sound engine in your digital piano. In most cases, this sounds better than the digital piano by itself. Depending on personal preferences. There are many other virtual instruments in addition to Pianoteq. Chances are high that your favorite non-classical artists used virtual instruments in the studio, if the recording was made in the last 20 years.


Even live concerts have a digital piano in the shell of an upright or grand piano. Michael W. Smith, contemporary christian artist, did this at his last concert I saw him in.
Posted By: Robhatherton Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/28/19 11:45 PM
So in my case I could connect the piano to my laptop by usb lead then bluetooth the sound back through the piano speakers if I felt the result was worth it? Maybe for the future as I've probably got enough messing about already with the Roland Piano Designer app!


Thanks for enlightening me!
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 02/28/19 11:50 PM
Originally Posted by Robhatherton
So in my case I could connect the piano to my laptop by usb lead then bluetooth the sound back through the piano speakers if I felt the result was worth it? Maybe for the future as I've probably got enough messing about already with the Roland Piano Designer app!


Thanks for enlightening me!

It would probably be best to stick with KISS (keeping it simple and stupid) if you are ok with the sound from the piano. VSTs complexify things and they have a low rate of return if you aren't already having issues.

(Unless you are purposely seek them out for better sounds, different sounds, etc etc. But if you are only musing if you should get one or not, then I would just not. smile )
Posted By: Ira Paul Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 03/02/19 06:57 PM
Originally Posted by EPW
[Even live concerts have a digital piano in the shell of an upright or grand piano. Michael W. Smith, contemporary christian artist, did this at his last concert I saw him in.


Billy Joel plays a Kawai VPC1, running Ivory II American Grand, in a fake piano case on stage. You can easily find a video on YouTube wherein his keyboardist talks about it. Search for "Billy Joel Rig Rundown." I believe it's part 3 of 4... I think.
Posted By: Ira Paul Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 03/02/19 07:05 PM
Originally Posted by JoeT
I mean piano music gear. Both acoustic and digital. It's a piano forum after all.


As I alluded to previously, I have no interest in acoustic pianos. Sure, if I could afford a Fazioli F308, a penthouse on Central Park South to put it in, and a live-in piano technician, it'd be a done deal. As to digital gear, I'm good.

The rest of your reply is of absolutely no consequence to me. Goodbye.
Posted By: jamiecw Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 03/15/19 10:11 AM
Hi all,

TGIF! So, I have now been using PTQ since the summer last year and I think I found a good velocity curve and would like to share it with anyone (if they like it) or willing to try out and give back any feedback (good or bad, specifically bad as things might be improved). It's not new per se, as in I took the initial calibration setting from the PTQ velocity forum and kept chiselling away till it sounded good to my ears.

Here it is:

Velocity = [0, 10, 20, 31, 42, 52, 62, 70, 79, 88, 96, 104, 112, 120; 0, 5, 11, 20, 30, 42, 55, 66, 77, 90, 102, 113, 122, 127]

(it should like like a less curved, slanted S shape)

I am using this on an SL88 Grand (set to medium velocity) & seems to me that I can control quite a good range of the dynamics without having to bust a gut...any takers/volunteers for feedback would be most appreciated.

Thank you.

Jamie

EDIT: TIP: you can copy/paste the above into the velocity window inside PTQ so no need to manually insert.
Posted By: thickfingers Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 03/15/19 12:49 PM
Have you taken the time to sit and directly compare your final curve to the PTQ default (flat) one, A/B? If so, how does your improvement compare?
Posted By: jamiecw Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 03/15/19 02:04 PM
Originally Posted by thickfingers
Have you taken the time to sit and directly compare your final curve to the PTQ default (flat) one, A/B? If so, how does your improvement compare?


Yes - to me and my playing technique, it seems a little more tame on the p & mp range and easier to get to f & ff without having to overthink it...it does not work for all models though...some of the warmer ones like the Bluthner and Grotrian for example...
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 03/15/19 03:20 PM
Originally Posted by jamiecw
Hi all,

TGIF! So, I have now been using PTQ since the summer last year and I think I found a good velocity curve and would like to share it with anyone (if they like it) or willing to try out and give back any feedback (good or bad, specifically bad as things might be improved). It's not new per se, as in I took the initial calibration setting from the PTQ velocity forum and kept chiselling away till it sounded good to my ears.

Here it is:

Velocity = [0, 10, 20, 31, 42, 52, 62, 70, 79, 88, 96, 104, 112, 120; 0, 5, 11, 20, 30, 42, 55, 66, 77, 90, 102, 113, 122, 127]

(it should like like a less curved, slanted S shape)

I am using this on an SL88 Grand (set to medium velocity) & seems to me that I can control quite a good range of the dynamics without having to bust a gut...any takers/volunteers for feedback would be most appreciated.

Thank you.

Jamie

EDIT: TIP: you can copy/paste the above into the velocity window inside PTQ so no need to manually insert.

You never mentioned what DP this is for. Velocity curves will vary by DP. For example, imagine a DP which cannot generate a 127 at all.

BTW, just for reference in this thread, this is the Pianoteq velocity curve for an NV10 created by computerpro3.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 03/15/19 03:22 PM
He mentioned it's for a SL88 Grand, which is a Studiologic (Fatar brand).
Posted By: jamiecw Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 03/15/19 03:24 PM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
He mentioned it's for a SL88 Grand, which is a Studiologic (Fatar brand).


Someone is paying attention...
wink
Posted By: thickfingers Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 03/15/19 06:30 PM
Originally Posted by jamiecw
Hi all...found a good velocity curve and would like to share it with anyone (if they like it)

who also use the SL88 Grand.

You left that bit out, J. Can perhaps forgive Sloth for not noticing, and thinking you may not be aware PTQ curves are DP specific.
Posted By: AlphaBravoCharlie Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 03/15/19 08:27 PM
I'm not sure if someone mentioned it here, but minimizing Pianoteq window significantly improves performance on slow laptop.
Posted By: arc7urus Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 03/15/19 09:13 PM
Originally Posted by AlphaBravoCharlie
I'm not sure if someone mentioned it here, but minimizing Pianoteq window significantly improves performance on slow laptop.

I seriously doubt that minimizing PT would improve its performance as the amount of graphics processing is neglible when compared to the remaining processing. Moreover, this could be tested
Posted By: AlphaBravoCharlie Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 03/15/19 09:29 PM
Originally Posted by arc7urus
Originally Posted by AlphaBravoCharlie
I'm not sure if someone mentioned it here, but minimizing Pianoteq window significantly improves performance on slow laptop.

I seriously doubt that minimizing PT would improve its performance as the amount of graphics processing is neglible when compared to the remaining processing. Moreover, this could be tested


I also didn't believe when I read it, but then I tested it. Max poliphony I can reach without having artifacts when PTQ minimized is so different when maximised.
Posted By: Gombessa Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 03/15/19 10:18 PM
Originally Posted by AlphaBravoCharlie
Originally Posted by arc7urus

I seriously doubt that minimizing PT would improve its performance as the amount of graphics processing is neglible when compared to the remaining processing. Moreover, this could be tested


I also didn't believe when I read it, but then I tested it. Max poliphony I can reach without having artifacts when PTQ minimized is so different when maximised.


I've seen this claim more than once as well. Enough where it's definitely worth trying if you're getting dropouts/clips.
Posted By: siros Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 03/15/19 11:37 PM
Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by AlphaBravoCharlie
Originally Posted by arc7urus

I seriously doubt that minimizing PT would improve its performance as the amount of graphics processing is neglible when compared to the remaining processing. Moreover, this could be tested


I also didn't believe when I read it, but then I tested it. Max poliphony I can reach without having artifacts when PTQ minimized is so different when maximised.


I've seen this claim more than once as well. Enough where it's definitely worth trying if you're getting dropouts/clips.


When I have a lot of stuff running on my MacBook Pro (programming tools, Chrome with a lot of tabs, iTunes), minimizing Pianoteq window or putting another app window on top makes the sound stutter badly.
When I put Pianoteq window back to the frontmost, it works fine.
It seems like when straining for resources, the OS gives the priority to the app whose window is visible.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 03/15/19 11:44 PM
Originally Posted by siros
Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by AlphaBravoCharlie
Originally Posted by arc7urus

I seriously doubt that minimizing PT would improve its performance as the amount of graphics processing is neglible when compared to the remaining processing. Moreover, this could be tested


I also didn't believe when I read it, but then I tested it. Max poliphony I can reach without having artifacts when PTQ minimized is so different when maximised.


I've seen this claim more than once as well. Enough where it's definitely worth trying if you're getting dropouts/clips.


When I have a lot of stuff running on my MacBook Pro (programming tools, Chrome with a lot of tabs, iTunes), minimizing Pianoteq window or putting another app window on top makes the sound stutter badly.
When I put Pianoteq window back to the frontmost, it works fine.
It seems like when straining for resources, the OS gives the priority to the app whose window is visible.

Interesting. This is the opposite of what AlphaBravoCharlie is saying. He says when minimized, it performs better. You are saying, when the window is in front (not minimized) it performs better.
Posted By: arc7urus Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 03/16/19 01:49 AM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Interesting. This is the opposite of what AlphaBravoCharlie is saying. He says when minimized, it performs better. You are saying, when the window is in front (not minimized) it performs better.

Operating systems slightly prioritize foreground applications over the background applications if not configured otherwise. Minimizing a window may increase the performance of a graphically intensive application (for example, an application writing a large amount of text to a command line window will run faster if the window is minimized). So, putting a web browser with a dozen of tabs as the foreground application is not a good idea, especially since some of the the pages are likely to be running extremely inefficient and resource intensive scripts.

Anyway, Pianoteq is not a demanding application. On my system, it averages 5-6% CPU usage, of which ca. 3% are from the ASIO driver. If I use Pianoteq with 256 polyphony to render a high-definition MIDI recording of a demanding piece from the Piano e-competition, it may generate a couple of spikes to 10-15% CPU usage. So, unless the system features an old low-end CPU, any sound dropouts in Pianoteq are mostly a consequence of the system configuration and/or other applications, not of Pianoteq itself.
Posted By: thickfingers Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 03/16/19 09:08 AM
Originally Posted by BB Player
This is supposed to be a Pianoteq Tips thread. One would imagine it will be searched quite a bit in the future.

Oh. Sorry.
Posted By: Frédéric L Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 03/16/19 11:31 AM
Usually, real time music software (DAW), use a special priority scheduling : MCSS (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/desktop/procthread/multimedia-class-scheduler-service), then it has a high priority for 80% of the time. Putting the application on background shouldn’t hurt the CPU allocation.

However, with important samples, I have to keep the application foreground since the memory allocation tries to page out background application first when the free memory is too low.
Posted By: QuasiUnaFantasia Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 04/26/19 07:33 PM
In another thread recently it was suggested I show my Pianoteq velocity curves. These curves are always works in progress, but at present I'm reasonably happy with two of my Bechstein DG curves.

My main issue with all Pianoteq instruments is that the sound is dominated by the strings, and it sounds very metallic. In a real grand the sound is dominated by the soundboard, and it sounds woody. Since Pianoteq sounds are most metallic at the largest MIDI values, I generally design my velocity curves to avoid a good part of the highest MIDI values. This way I really have to hit the keys hard to hear the metallic sound.

Implicitly this procedure reduces the dynamical range, so to compensate I raise the dynamics slider to somewhere around 45db to 50db.

Of course the velocity curves also must depend on the digital piano, or keyboard used. In my case this is the Roland FP30.

The two Bechstein DG curves that I currently prefer are:

Velocity = [0, 17, 36, 54, 76, 101, 127; 0, 17, 38, 67, 91, 107, 116]

and

Velocity = [0, 20, 51, 89, 127; 20, 34, 65, 90, 102]

The latter being the more extreme one, but of the two I prefer the former.

Both can be pasted into the VELOCITY graph (just copy and paste the whole line as shown).
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 04/26/19 07:38 PM
Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
In another thread recently it was suggested I show my Pianoteq velocity curves. These curves are always works in progress, but at present I'm reasonably happy with two of my Bechstein DG curves.

My main issue with all Pianoteq instruments is that the sound is dominated by the strings, and it sounds very metallic. In a real grand the sound is dominated by the soundboard, and it sounds woody. Since Pianoteq sounds are most metallic at the largest MIDI values, I generally design my velocity curves to avoid a good part of the highest MIDI values. This way I really have to hit the keys hard to hear the metallic sound.

Implicitly this procedure reduces the dynamical range, so to compensate I raise the dynamics slider to somewhere around 45db to 50db.

Of course the velocity curves also must depend on the digital piano, or keyboard used. In my case this is the Roland FP30.

The two Bechstein DG curves that I currently prefer are:

Velocity = [0, 17, 36, 54, 76, 101, 127; 0, 17, 38, 67, 91, 107, 116]

and

Velocity = [0, 20, 51, 89, 127; 20, 34, 65, 90, 102]

The latter being the more extreme one, but of the two I prefer the former.

Both can be pasted into the VELOCITY graph (just copy and paste the whole line as shown).

Thank you for this! I will be trying both of these out! smile
Posted By: thickfingers Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 04/26/19 07:56 PM
Well done Quasi, and thanks. I'll try those at my earliest convenience, look forward to it.
Re your earlier comment about the auto velocity calibrate function--mine didn't deliver a useable result, either.

If your trials precede mine, Sloth (probably will)--maybe you can report on here later.
Posted By: thickfingers Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 05/16/19 08:40 PM
Harrumph, here's a tip--for me. Been trying to enter Quasi's curve in PTQ...wouldn't paste. Stiĺl don't know what the second set of numbers is for (after the semi-colon), so couldn't enter it properly with the line dots. Apparently--according to a thread by DavidB on PTQ forum...you have to copy (and paste) the whole line, including the "velocity=" and the square brackets. I was just trying to paste the numbers on the velocity panel. Tut. Will try that tomorrow. blush

EDIT--Quasi said it--
Quote
Both can be pasted into the VELOCITY graph (just copy and paste the whole line as shown).
Posted By: Granyala Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 05/17/19 04:06 AM
Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
My main issue with all Pianoteq instruments is that the sound is dominated by the strings, and it sounds very metallic. In a real grand the sound is dominated by the soundboard, and it sounds woody. Since Pianoteq sounds are most metallic at the largest MIDI values, I generally design my velocity curves to avoid a good part of the highest MIDI values. This way I really have to hit the keys hard to hear the metallic sound.

You should meet the acoustic grand at my school.
That thing sounds harsh and metallic no matter what I do. Even my teacher admitted that it is hard to make it sound soft and warm.

I feel like a construction worker trying to pet a fluffy kitten when I play it. All I can think of is "be more gentle" yet my hands rarely comply.

Compared to that it's a cakewalk to make pianoteq sound soft and that is with the standard linear curve. So I guess it heavily varies even among acoustics.
Posted By: peterws Re: Sharing Pianoteq Tips - 05/17/19 05:55 AM
Originally Posted by Granyala
ou should meet the acoustic grand at my school.
That thing sounds harsh and metallic no matter what I do. Even my teacher admitted that it is hard to make it sound soft and warm.

I feel like a construction worker trying to pet a fluffy kitten when I play it. All I can think of is "be more gentle" yet my hands rarely comply.

Compared to that it's a cakewalk to make pianoteq sound soft and that is with the standard linear curve. So I guess it heavily varies even among acoustics.


Very true, not many appreciate that. And Ptq demonstrates a similar tendency with it's range of pianos. Try the old bechstein.
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