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Hi everybody!

First of all I want to say that I am new to both playing piano, and the midi/software side. I would also like to say that my english isn't that good....but I hope I can find the words to explain what my problem is.

I bought a Yamaha CSP-170 a couple of months ago, and I like it very much! For my untrained ears it sounds pretty good.

I stumbled over some Youtube videos of people playing piano with midi kontrollers and software instruments.....I especially liked NOIRE Piano from Native Instruments.

So I first ordered a Focusrite 2i4, a couple of Presonus E5 monitors, and all the cables I needed and hooked it up. I also have a pair of Audio Technica M50. I have this connected to my Macbook Pro.

Before buying any software I wanted to try out some free stuff.....so I have so far tested out the following;

Garage Band
NI Komplete
Pro Tools First
Addictive Keys
Pianoteq (free demo)

And they all sound pretty bad.....compared to the sound coming from my Yamaha, and especially Youtube videos I have watch, where people review all these different programs.

I have found sounds that sound amazing in some of these programs....but when it comes to piano sound, it's terrible. The best piano sound I have found is the one that comes with Pro Tools, and to my surprise....the worst one is Pianoteq!

Im not sure how to explain the sound.....but it sounds like a piano in a tight room.....with a electric, metallic sound on top......almost like a grand piano sound, and then on top of that is someone playing with a toy keyboard for 50 bucks! I also feel like it sounds a bit false, and that the pitch is slightly going up and down.

There must be something Im missing.....because I don't think it should sound like this. I was expecting and hoping that it might even sound better than the sound from my Yamaha.....but as for right now, I would probably rate the sound from the Yamaha as 8/10, and the sound Im getting from Pianoteq 3/10
I've never heard Garage Band or NI Complete or Pro Tools.
But I can agree that Pianoteq sounds bad and Addictive Keys, too.
I don't use any of those.

But don't let that bad sampling ruin your perception of virtual piano software. There are many excellent ones.

I mostly use Galaxy Vintage D and The Grandeur ... and occasionally the Vienna Grand and The Giant.
These all run inside the Kontakt software. (The Kontakt Player software is free.)
All are better by far than my Yamaha ... and even more better with the new monitors I bought.

I suggest you try one of those ... or any of the many that are discussed here often. Perhaps ...
- Ravenscroft
- American D (if you like the Steinway sound)
- Noire (a brand new one ... see the recent posts here on the board)
- Garritan Steinway (if you like the Steinway sound)
- Garritan CFX (if you like the Yamaha sound)
I thought that Pianoteq was one of the largest and best performing software for piano? And that one is the worst sounding one on my setup.....so I really feel that there must be something wrong with either the software, or the hardware. I would really want to get NOIRE.....but Im pretty sure it will sound awful as well......and not because of the software, but something else that Im missing. But I really don't know.....Im just guessing....
Originally Posted by Gimbal
I thought that Pianoteq was one of the largest and best performing software for piano? And that one is the worst sounding one on my setup.....so I really feel that there must be something wrong with either the software, or the hardware.

On this forum, of those who like VSTs at all, you will find people divided into the "Modelled Piano Fans" group, and the "Sampled Piano Fans" group. The latter usually hates modeled pianos like Pianoteq. Can't speak about those in the former group, which I fall in, as I haven't heard any who likes Pianoteq say specifically that they don't like sampled pianos, and I myself have not yet tried a sampled VST at all. Also, this oversimplifies things as there are people who like some VSTs and don't like other VSTs and it seems to not have anything to do with whether they are modeled or sampled, but just personal preference. You may just fall into the latter group, yourself, and not be a fan of modeled sound.
This post has been reported by thickfingers as militant hate speech and has been censored by the moderators. User CyberGene has been warned.
if you want to compare with a sampled piano without purchasing it, you can go to try-sound.com and try Galaxy Vintage D, Ivory and VSL Vienna Imperial pianos. The latency is huge and then it is difficult to play, but you can hear yourself playing and know if the timbre of the pianos worth its costs.
Originally Posted by CyberGene
This post has been reported by thickfingers as militant hate speech and has been censored by the moderators. User CyberGene has been warned.

laugh laugh You just made my day! Good thing I wasn't drinking anything or else I might have snorted it! thumb
Originally Posted by CyberGene
This post has been reported by thickfingers as militant hate speech and has been censored by the moderators. User CyberGene has been warned.

Please tell me this is (dark) humor.

Carlos
laugh
you could trying do this, run the sound through your Yamaha piano speakers and see how that sounds, instead of studio monitors. I know some people don't like studio monitors but rather internal speakers. Simply get a cable from headphone jack out from scarlet 2i4 into your piano line in and go to system settings and turn local control off on the yamaha piano

But be warned , not internal sounds might offer the best experience because they are calliberated so well. Good Luck and let us know how it goes.
Quote
Please tell me this is (dark) humor

No, it's quite serious. BB Player told me--in the strictest confidence, of course--that he and Frank have just about had enough of entirely groundless, Eastern European originated, rabid anti-Pianoteqism and are currently considering their options.
Hello Gimbal,

Try pianoteq using "bechstein player" preset with decent headphones and binaural mode. If it sounds bad to you then definitely pianoteq is not is not for you. Pianoteq strong point is its playability and if you are just starting with piano maybe you still can't appreciate this feature. Even if I like pianoteq IMO it's not the best sounding VST by a mile

Carlos
Originally Posted by thickfingers
Quote
Please tell me this is (dark) humor

No, it's quite serious. BB Player told me--in the strictest confidence, of course--that he and Frank have just about had enough of entirely groundless, Eastern European originated, rabid anti-Pianoteqism and are currently considering their options.

I had heard rumors that three strikes against the Holy Church of Pianoteq and you are out of the Internet, but didn't want to believe them ;-P

Going back to make three Hanon's with pianoteq to redeem myself.

Carlos
You can also try reconfiguring the position of your piano, your monitors and your room a bit to see if that helps. There are plenty of threads here with ideas.
@Gimbal: Another thing to consider: listen with headphones instead of speakers. There's much variability in the latter.
After trying that, do you notice a difference? Does your judgment change?
This is funny.
Originally Posted by CyberGene
This post has been reported by thickfingers as militant hate speech and has been censored by the moderators. User CyberGene has been warned.
But I'm disappointed for not being called out.
Call me disgruntled.
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
This is funny.
Originally Posted by CyberGene
This post has been reported by thickfingers as militant hate speech and has been censored by the moderators. User CyberGene has been warned.
But I'm disappointed for not being called out.
Call me disgruntled.

Naturally you wouldn't have been. The OP neither mention buying things at MSRP, nor said they would be buying without trying, either of which would have been your cue! wink grin
Well ... it seems you know my style and motivations ...
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by CyberGene
This post has been reported by thickfingers as militant hate speech and has been censored by the moderators. User CyberGene has been warned.
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I'm disappointed for not being called out.
Call me disgruntled.
Naturally you wouldn't have been. The OP neither mention buying things at MSRP, nor said they would be buying without trying, either of which would have been your cue! wink grin
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Well ... it seems you know my style and motivations ...
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by CyberGene
This post has been reported by thickfingers as militant hate speech and has been censored by the moderators. User CyberGene has been warned.
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I'm disappointed for not being called out.
Call me disgruntled.
Naturally you wouldn't have been. The OP neither mention buying things at MSRP, nor said they would be buying without trying, either of which would have been your cue! wink grin


It was a joke (or light-hearted teasing/ribbing), MacMacMac! grin
Yes, I know.
Originally Posted by Gimbal
There must be something Im missing.....because I don't think it should sound like this. I was expecting and hoping that it might even sound better than the sound from my Yamaha.....but as for right now, I would probably rate the sound from the Yamaha as 8/10, and the sound Im getting from Pianoteq 3/10


Welcome to the world of software piano sounds.

Usually accompanied by large quantities of accolades from recent users and/or manufacturers.

Usually followed by disillusioned new users asking for guidance.

Followed by large amounts of "Try this" and/or "Buy this".

Followed by dissatisfaction by user.

Follow by hopeful purchase of next one … etc …

Unfortunately, that is the usual scenario that I and others have experience.

If you like your digital piano sound as 8/10 it might best to go with it.

Good Luck
Trouble is, Pianoteq sounds rather too much like an acoustic. OK, so all the rattles and complexities might not be there; maybe it's more of a half way house, but if you compare your - or any- Yamaha or other DP with an acoustic, you'll realise they have been synthesised by refinement. Rather like white bread. Might taste good, but your system misses the roughage.
But maybe you don't particularly like the sound or feel of an acoustic? Not everybody does. All I know is I can sit down at one and play it with no issues any more.
Doesn't mean to say I want one. . . .
Maybe you just need more time to acclimatise to software stuff.
Well the sampled pianos you tried are not considered a good example to tip your toes into the piano libraries world as there are vastly better options out there. For example, Garageband's acoustic piano sounds horrible to be honest with you.

I would suggest trying something like the Ravenscroft 275 for example. But you can't just stop there, it's only the beginning:

- First you need to make sure the velocity curve is right with your controller. Don't stress it too much, basically just do a curved ramp and play the same note around the C2 range from very soft to very loud and watch what velocity reading you're getting (Ravenscroft allows you to see it). Make sure you're hitting all the spectrum. It doesn't have to be perfect, basically, make sure you can easily reach velocities 1-5 and NOT SO EASILY reach velocity 127. That's how you know you got it right.

- Get a headphones/monitors calibration software that flattens the frequency response to your headphones/monitors, so you don't get "lied" to when listening/playing.
Originally Posted by CyberGene
This post has been reported by thickfingers as militant hate speech and has been censored by the moderators. User CyberGene has been warned.

I knew you couldn't resist that opening Tyrone provided. laugh

@OP: Maybe the VSTi don't sound right because the velocity curve is off.
Either that or it is your hands, being used to a more simple, more forgiving digital.
As a test you could try to feed it some midi files and experiment with the settings.

Also ATH-M50... not the most natural sounding headphone (I own a pair myself) try to use them on both, your CSP and your VSTi, so you can pinpoint if it's a Headphone/speaker issue.
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I've never heard Garage Band or NI Complete or Pro Tools.
But I can agree that Pianoteq sounds bad and Addictive Keys, too.
I don't use any of those.

But don't let that bad sampling ruin your perception of virtual piano software. There are many excellent ones.

I mostly use Galaxy Vintage D and The Grandeur ... and occasionally the Vienna Grand and The Giant.
These all run inside the Kontakt software. (The Kontakt Player software is free.)
All are better by far than my Yamaha ... and even more better with the new monitors I bought.

I suggest you try one of those ... or any of the many that are discussed here often. Perhaps ...
- Ravenscroft
- American D (if you like the Steinway sound)
- Noire (a brand new one ... see the recent posts here on the board)
- Garritan Steinway (if you like the Steinway sound)
- Garritan CFX (if you like the Yamaha sound)


Native Instruments Komplete comes in 4 versions, none of them are free, the select version is included with Native Instruments hardware.

Basically the Komplete series is a cheap way of buying NI products, well cheap compared to buying each one individually.

For example, the select version contains 14 Instruments and effects, Kontakt player, Reaktor player etc and also contains The Gentleman piano.

Whereas Komplete 12 (current version) contains 52 Instruments and effects, the full version of Kontakt, the full version of Reaktor and also has these Pianos. Una Corda, The Grandeur, The Maverick, The Gentleman and The Giant. Plus a ton of other effects, synths etc.
I found for myself that using Pianoteq with speakers requires turning off its reverb effect (manually) on all presets. Otherwise, it will feel like the piano is 10m away played by someone else.
Even on headphone, some presets, e.g. "Recording" presets, have too much reverb for playing purpose.

I don't think people could expect Pianoteq to sound best comparing to other sampling VST. I still think the ancient Galaxy pianos sound better.
Originally Posted by Frédéric L
if you want to compare with a sampled piano without purchasing it, you can go to try-sound.com and try Galaxy Vintage D, Ivory and VSL Vienna Imperial pianos. The latency is huge and then it is difficult to play, but you can hear yourself playing and know if the timbre of the pianos worth its costs.


I went to sound.com, and that just seems to be some kind of search engine?
@Gimbal: it's TRY-SOUND.COM

Originally Posted by siros
I found for myself that using Pianoteq with speakers requires turning off its reverb effect (manually) on all presets. Otherwise, it will feel like the piano is 10m away played by someone else.
@siros: I don't know what you've done to eliminate that problem. Pianoteq always sounded like the sound was coming from in another room. Twiddling knobs never fixed it for me. What twiddles worked for you?

Originally Posted by siros
I still think the ancient Galaxy pianos sound better.
Agreed. Vintage D gets no notice around here anymore, but it's by far the best. Yes, it has pedal shortcomings. But the sound! It's a beauty.
Originally Posted by RobR
Well the sampled pianos you tried are not considered a good example to tip your toes into the piano libraries world as there are vastly better options out there. For example, Garageband's acoustic piano sounds horrible to be honest with you.

I would suggest trying something like the Ravenscroft 275 for example. But you can't just stop there, it's only the beginning:

- First you need to make sure the velocity curve is right with your controller. Don't stress it too much, basically just do a curved ramp and play the same note around the C2 range from very soft to very loud and watch what velocity reading you're getting (Ravenscroft allows you to see it). Make sure you're hitting all the spectrum. It doesn't have to be perfect, basically, make sure you can easily reach velocities 1-5 and NOT SO EASILY reach velocity 127. That's how you know you got it right.

- Get a headphones/monitors calibration software that flattens the frequency response to your headphones/monitors, so you don't get "lied" to when listening/playing.



I found a program, and this was the result. I had a hard time getting some of the lower ones, and the highest one at 127 I made by misstake with my computer keyboard.

[img]http://forumbilder.se/I53GJ/ska-rmavbild-2019-04-17-kl-11-10-01.png?width=150[/img]

I don't know if this is good or bad. But I don't see what this has to do with the bad sound. Sure....it's important to be able to play both soft and loud and everything in between. But the fact that it sounds like Im playing on a cheep toy keyboard, shouldn't have anything to do with this.....right?
So I went to try-sound.com....I downloaded something called DAWconnect.....but I have no idea how to open it.....and it doesn't say anywhere. Just to open a DAWconnect session.....Hmmm oooookej..... :-/
@Gimbal: What program is this? Does it run on Windows?
Originally Posted by Gimbal
I found a program, and this was the result. I had a hard time getting some of the lower ones, and the highest one at 127.
[Linked Image]
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
@Gimbal: What program is this? Does it run on Windows?
Originally Posted by Gimbal
I found a program, and this was the result. I had a hard time getting some of the lower ones, and the highest one at 127.
[Linked Image]



VelocityChecker
DAWconnect needs a VST host, typically a DAW like BandLab Cakewalk (this one is free).

But the SAVIhost free program can also be used (just put it where DAWconnect is installed, rename it as the DAWconnect DLL file, but with EXE... and launch it).
Originally Posted by Gimbal
Before buying any software I wanted to try out some free stuff.....so I have so far tested out the following;
[...]
And they all sound pretty bad.....compared to the sound coming from my Yamaha, [...]

It's because your Yamaha digital piano is miles ahead of computer software. It was the case in the beginning of digital synthesizers, when these have been sold as add-in cards for computers, and it's the case in the current day and age, because specialized hardware always beats software synthesis.

In between there was a small period of time (during the last decade), when computer power exploded much faster than digital synthesizers could improve, which lead to some interesting brute force approaches. But the rise of computer power came to a grinding halt during the beginning of this decade and has gone backwards since Meltdown and Spectre, so synthesis hardware could catch up and the old order has been restored.
Originally Posted by Frédéric L
DAWconnect needs a VST host, typically a DAW like BandLab Cakewalk (this one is free).

But the SAVIhost free program can also be used (just put it where DAWconnect is installed, rename it as the DAWconnect DLL file, but with EXE... and launch it).


Thank you for trying to help me, but I don't understand anything. I tried making it work with Pro Tools.....you should somehow load DAWconnect as an instrument? But I couldn't find it among the instruments/plugins...
Originally Posted by MacMacMac

Originally Posted by siros
I found for myself that using Pianoteq with speakers requires turning off its reverb effect (manually) on all presets. Otherwise, it will feel like the piano is 10m away played by someone else.
@siros: I don't know what you've done to eliminate that problem. Pianoteq always sounded like the sound was coming from in another room. Twiddling knobs never fixed it for me. What twiddles worked for you?


All Pianoteq piano presets have reverb set to favor the wet side, even the plain Prelude preset. I think they tend to go for "nice recorded sound" rather than "piano in front of you sound".

I use Sound Recording output and remove reverb from the effect chain on all presets I play. Just lowering mix or other settings doesn't work for me. Theoretically, it should be like the speakers are the dry sound sources with the actual room providing reverb.
Still it is not the best sound in the world, but at least it gives a sense that the piano is in front of me.
Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Gimbal
Before buying any software I wanted to try out some free stuff.....so I have so far tested out the following;
[...]
And they all sound pretty bad.....compared to the sound coming from my Yamaha, [...]

It's because your Yamaha digital piano is miles ahead of computer software. It was the case in the beginning of digital synthesizers, when these have been sold as add-in cards for computers, and it's the case in the current day and age, because specialized hardware always beats software synthesis.

In between there was a small period of time (during the last decade), when computer power exploded much faster than digital synthesizers could improve, which lead to some interesting brute force approaches. But the rise of computer power came to a grinding halt during the beginning of this decade and has gone backwards since Meltdown and Spectre, so synthesis hardware could catch up and the old order has been restored.

Computers still laugh at the hardware of any digital piano in terms of raw processing power and programs like Garritan CFX trample all over looped samples, quality wise.

The difference in sound quality is far more likely to come from the fact that the unit is custom tailored to the samples used.
The software in the digital is custom tailored to the action and the speakers are custom tailored to the sound Yamaha wishes to achieve (that's also why VSTi through the DPs speakers often sound rather disappointing).

All in all you get one, well functioning, harmonious package and can just sit and play.

Not so with VSTi, here you need to do the configurations yourself and, esp in the touch curve department, there is a lot that can be done wrong.
Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Gimbal
Before buying any software I wanted to try out some free stuff.....so I have so far tested out the following;
[...]
And they all sound pretty bad.....compared to the sound coming from my Yamaha, [...]

It's because your Yamaha digital piano is miles ahead of computer software. It was the case in the beginning of digital synthesizers, when these have been sold as add-in cards for computers, and it's the case in the current day and age, because specialized hardware always beats software synthesis.

In between there was a small period of time (during the last decade), when computer power exploded much faster than digital synthesizers could improve, which lead to some interesting brute force approaches. But the rise of computer power came to a grinding halt during the beginning of this decade and has gone backwards since Meltdown and Spectre, so synthesis hardware could catch up and the old order has been restored.

Computers still laugh at the hardware of any digital piano in terms of raw processing power and programs like Garritan CFX trample all over looped samples, quality wise.

The difference in sound quality is far more likely to come from the fact that the unit is custom tailored to the samples used.
The software in the digital is custom tailored to the action and the speakers are custom tailored to the sound Yamaha wishes to achieve (that's also why VSTi through the DPs speakers often sound rather disappointing).

All in all you get one, well functioning, harmonious package and can just sit and play.

Not so with VSTi, here you need to do the configurations yourself and, esp in the touch curve department, there is a lot that can be done wrong.


Ergo VPC-1 with professional collaboration with certain VST programs regarding those touch curves may be be a solution.
Originally Posted by Jethro
Ergo VPC-1 with professional collaboration with certain VST programs regarding those touch curves may be be a solution.

It certainly was for me, b/c I don't need anything but a simple piano (rest could theoretically be done in a DAW).
I use the VPC-1 with the pianoteq curve that came with it and play .... pianoteq (standalone, no DAW host). laugh

If you can rent it, I'd say go for it. Might save you quite a bit of cash compared to the MP11-SE, which is a grand more here in Germany.

Just keep the little caveat in mind, that a computer with a VST is MANDATORY. No internal voices at all.
Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by Jethro
Ergo VPC-1 with professional collaboration with certain VST programs regarding those touch curves may be be a solution.

It certainly was for me, b/c I don't need anything but a simple piano (rest could theoretically be done in a DAW).
I use the VPC-1 with the pianoteq curve that came with it and play .... pianoteq (standalone, no DAW host). laugh

If you can rent it, I'd say go for it. Might save you quite a bit of cash compared to the MP11-SE, which is a grand more here in Germany.

Just keep the little caveat in mind, that a computer with a VST is MANDATORY. No internal voices at all.

Picking mine up tomorrow. Can't wait to get it all set up.
Have fun, let us know what you think. laugh
Originally Posted by siros
I found for myself that using Pianoteq with speakers requires turning off its reverb effect (manually) on all presets. Otherwise, it will feel like the piano is 10m away played by someone else.
Even on headphone, some presets, e.g. "Recording" presets, have too much reverb for playing purpose.


Yes, I agree.

These last days I use Pianoteq with the reverb off. Instead, I use the Voxengo OldSckoolVerb in my DAW, which is a free plugin that gives me a very descent reverb sound. To me it sounds better than the Pianoteq reverb.
Originally Posted by stamkorg
Originally Posted by siros
I found for myself that using Pianoteq with speakers requires turning off its reverb effect (manually) on all presets. Otherwise, it will feel like the piano is 10m away played by someone else.
Even on headphone, some presets, e.g. "Recording" presets, have too much reverb for playing purpose.


Yes, I agree.

These last days I use Pianoteq with the reverb off. Instead, I use the Voxengo OldSckoolVerb in my DAW, which is a free plugin that gives me a very descent reverb sound. To me it sounds better than the Pianoteq reverb.


For me …. This is a perfect example of why I do not stay with VST sounds for very long when I do try them.

My interest lies in learning to play …. not in learning to find ways to get a "good" sound.

I want to go to the piano … sit down (turn it on) and play.
Pianoteq is definitely not an out-of-the-box great sounding program, but with some time spent setting it up properly and combined with a decent keyboard, I have found it to still be miles better than any crappy or even just semi-crappy acoustic.
Soo....from reading some of the post here.....it should sound like [censored], and everything is just the way it should be. There is nothing wrong with any hardware or software settings.

It's just strange how people can pay hundreds of dollars for something that sounds so bad you can't even play it. And even more strange that it sounds very good when hearing people play it in Youtube videos.

As I said in the beginning, when trying out Pianoteq, it sounds;

Metallic/Electric
Fals, and pitch goes up and down
Closed in, like the sound is coming from inside a tiny box
Like a cheep toy keyboard

(And it's worse on the lower notes, and especially when playing chords)

Maybe this isn't coming through in Youtube videos? But then again, it's very strange how reviewers says it sounds amazing!
Originally Posted by BigIslandGuy
Pianoteq is definitely not an out-of-the-box great sounding program, but with some time spent setting it up properly ….


Well, THIS is what I find ODD.

You would think that the folks at Pianoteq would try to put the BEST SOUND they can possibly come up with as their OUT-OF-THE-BOX sound.

Why would they make it difficult to find ?

When I use Pianoteq (PRO), I grab a preset sound, set the Velocity Curve to moderately fast keyboard, access NOTE EDIT for volume and set the BASS notes progressively to a lower volume and done. Good to go. That is going to have to be it.

I used to tinker with this and that and found that there is absolutely no end to that. I could spend hours with it and it is different but not better.

I also may install a user FXP from Pianoteq just for fun if I am in the mood.

But …. that does not last long …. within the half-hour I am back to the built-in sound of my MP11SE with satisfaction that Pianoteq (or any other VST) is not better …. just different.
Originally Posted by Gimbal
Soo....from reading some of the post here.....it should sound like [censored], and everything is just the way it should be. There is nothing wrong with any hardware or software settings.

It's just strange how people can pay hundreds of dollars for something that sounds so bad you can't even play it. And even more strange that it sounds very good when hearing people play it in Youtube videos.

As I said in the beginning, when trying out Pianoteq, it sounds;

Metallic/Electric
Fals, and pitch goes up and down
Closed in, like the sound is coming from inside a tiny box
Like a cheep toy keyboard

(And it's worse on the lower notes, and especially when playing chords)

Maybe this isn't coming through in Youtube videos? But then again, it's very strange how reviewers says it sounds amazing!

My FP30 out of the box sounded like a toy keyboard. I got Pianoteq to cure that and it did. Pianoteq sounds awesome to me. If I were a reviewer, I would say it too. Sound is personal though. Some people should just go buy acoustical pianos as no digital will be suitable if they don't like either modeled or sampled instruments.
I've tried a thousand ways to tweak PT. The only setting that improved it was this:

[Linked Image]
Wouldn't it be just as effective, but a lot quicker, to just type "it's crap" again? No need to mess with making graphics for the purpose of putdownery, really... cool
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I've tried a thousand ways to tweak PT. The only setting that improved it was this:

[Linked Image]


Bet you never tried the Petrof . . . sounds like a decent acoustic upright. My missus said so, I played it today through speakers. She's right, y'know! Nor did you try the ancient Bechstein. All the qualities of a vintage monstrosity, that's why I love it . . . .
Originally Posted by stamkorg
These last days I use Pianoteq with the reverb off. Instead, I use the Voxengo OldSckoolVerb in my DAW, which is a free plugin that gives me a very descent reverb sound. To me it sounds better than the Pianoteq reverb.

I fed Pianoteq a samplicity reverb file. Sounds pretty neat.

usually I don#t fuss much with the sound. It sounds like a piano either way and the real difference between nice and not so nice is in my hands, so 99.99% of my time at the piano is spent learning the piano because the best tech, the best VST, the best acoustic will sound like crap if the hands aren't up to the task.

It'll be a few decades/lifetimes until a VST like Pianoteq or Garritan CFX will limit my skills. laugh
Yes, Peter. I tried them all.
I tried. And tried. And tried. And tried.
Every version. Every piano. Every tweak, including one suggested here this week.
Really.

It's a small software. Its UI is quite good. Its responsiveness is superb.
But the sound? I've wanted it to be good every since I tried v2.5 almost ten years ago.
No dice.
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I've tried a thousand ways to tweak PT. The only setting that improved it was this:

[Linked Image]


That's 6.3. You should try 6.4 with the new Bechstein. whistle

Joking aside, I doubt any product would get a universal love from all customers/users. There is no need to get stuck with this one.

However, finding a perfect VST piano that also suit personal preference is both cost and time consuming. I learned it the hard way from the Ravenscroft.
Originally Posted by siros
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I've tried a thousand ways to tweak PT. The only setting that improved it was this:

[Linked Image]

That's 6.3. You should try 6.4 with the new Bechstein. whistle

I found the Bechstein to be the best. I was using the the Steingraeber E-272 until the Bechstein came out, and now I use the Bechstein almost exclusively since it sounds better to me than the Steingraeber.
I did try 6.4. That screenshot is old. I should update it. smile
Originally Posted by siros
That's 6.3. You should try 6.4 with the new Bechstein.
I noticed a tonal difference between 6.3 and 6.4 . . . kinda spoilt it for me. I'll try it again, to make sure it's not just my imagination . . .
By "difference" you mean a degradation, then. That's definitely not how improvements are supposed to work. Something's backwards, there....is it Pierre, or Pianoteque?
Originally Posted by thickfingers
By "difference" you mean a degradation, then. That's definitely not how improvements are supposed to work. Something's backwards, there....is it Pierre, or Pianoteque?


A slight sharpening of the tone, which would require adjustment to the vel curve, or the equ. I really don't want to go there at my age . . . .
I did try the Petrof. And the Bechstein.
Originally Posted by peterws
Bet you never tried the Petrof ... Nor did you try the ancient Bechstein.
I tried them all.
Some people like -- or at least accept -- modelled pianos; others don't. Once someone knows his preferences, I think (based on evidence so far, in this forum) that he's unlikely to change them. Especially when we have no agreed-upon, quantitative vocabulary for describing piano sounds.

I can see that MacMacMac is unlikely to like _any_ Pianoteq sound.

Can we stop beating this horse? It's not dead, but it's not going to get up and pull our wagon, for all our prodding.
I don't dislike modeled piano sounds.
I simply like piano sounds that sound like a piano.
That excludes Pianoteq ... because it doesn't.

I don't know of any other modeled piano sounds.
But if such exists and actually sounds like a piano, well ...
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I simply like piano sounds that sound like a piano.
That excludes Pianoteq ... because it doesn't.

Pianoteq sounds like a piano to me. The FP30 doesn't sound like a piano to me. So I do get this is a matter of personal preference.
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I simply like piano sounds that sound like a piano.
That excludes Pianoteq ... because it doesn't.

Pianoteq sounds like a piano to me. The FP30 doesn't sound like a piano to me. So I do get this is a matter of personal preference.

Aye. A thousand times, aye...to the first part. Still don't agree with the word "preference". Perception, of authenticity. Preferences are for strawberries versus raspberries, both real fruit.
Im so confused.....I don't know what to think anymore. I watched some clips on Youtube with titles like "The best free VST" and a couple of people were talking about Spitfire Soft Piano, and that it sounded really good.....so I downloaded it....tried it out, and it is TERRIBLE......it sound really really bad. It's like the sound is trapped inside a tin, and you are listening to it from the outside. If there is nothing wrong with my setup, and it sounds like this to everybody.....how can people recommend it, and say that it sounds good? I don't get it.

Then I came across Eighty Eight Ensemble 2.0 by SONiVOX, and there was a free trial for 15 days ( I think) and that one sounds really good! The best one so far!

So now at least I know it can sound good. But Im still confused over some VST's that people review, and tell you it sounds good......and it even sounds good to me listening to them on Youtube....but when I try them out they or not only bad.....they are awful!

Has anyone tried out Spitfires Soft Piano? Maybe someone has tried out the one from SONiVOX and think that one sounds terrible? ;-)
Originally Posted by Gimbal
So now at least I know it can sound good. But Im still confused over some VST's that people review, and tell you it sounds good......and it even sounds good to me listening to them on Youtube....but when I try them out they or not only bad.....they are awful!

Has anyone tried out Spitfires Soft Piano? Maybe someone has tried out the one from SONiVOX and think that one sounds terrible? ;-)

Why are you asking for opinions, Gimbal, when your own tastes and preferences are so specific? For example, what sounds great to me sounds terrible to you. So why are you asking people for their opinions? Since you already realize from the reviews that your particular tastes/preferences are so specific, I think you should just ignore all feedback from anyone, and just listen to a bunch of VSTs running on your computer and pick what you personally like.

In your case, I fully endorse MacMacMac's generally expressed viewpoint on this forum that no amount of reviews and analysis will substitute for your own personal evaluation.
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Gimbal
So now at least I know it can sound good. But Im still confused over some VST's that people review, and tell you it sounds good......and it even sounds good to me listening to them on Youtube....but when I try them out they or not only bad.....they are awful!

Has anyone tried out Spitfires Soft Piano? Maybe someone has tried out the one from SONiVOX and think that one sounds terrible? ;-)

Why are you asking for opinions, Gimbal, when your own tastes and preferences are so specific? For example, what sounds great to me sounds terrible to you. So why are you asking people for their opinions? Since you already realize from the reviews that your particular tastes/preferences are so specific, I think you should just ignore all feedback from anyone, and just listen to a bunch of VSTs running on your computer and pick what you personally like.

In your case, I fully endorse MacMacMac's generally expressed viewpoint on this forum that no amount of reviews and analysis will substitute for your own personal evaluation.


Because it's not that I just don't like the sound! Of course I know that we all have different taste! But some of these VST's sound AWFUL! And I think they sound great listening to others play them on Youtube. I mean, it's so terrible I couldn't play it for a couple of minutes without my ears hurting......and I don't think there is anyone who can say that Spitfires Soft Piano (for an example) sounds good in my setup! So I still believe there must be something wrong, with the hardware, software, drivers etc. It's not that easy as a difference in taste, it can't be.....
Originally Posted by Gimbal
Because it's not that I just don't like the sound! Of course I know that we all have different taste! But some of these VST's sound AWFUL! ... It's not that easy as a difference in taste, it can't be.....

Yes, it can be! Example: you said Pianoteq sounds bad to you. It sounds great to me running on my PC and playing through my headphones. It also sounds great to many others. Still others think it sounds terrible and so you aren't alone in thinking it sounds bad. Last time we did an informal count on one of my threads, it seemed pretty equally divided between Pianoteq haters and lovers. That some think it sounds great and like a real instrument and others such as you think it sounds bad or terrible and not like a real instrument says this is indeed, a difference of taste.

Those who ignore such clear evidence under the premise that their particular preferences are actually "universal" would be falling prey to a form of "egocentric fallacy" (definition: the mistaken belief that our own personal experience and values generally are held by others. We often use our own beliefs and values to explain the attitudes, motivations, and behaviors of other.)
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Gimbal
Because it's not that I just don't like the sound! Of course I know that we all have different taste! But some of these VST's sound AWFUL! ... It's not that easy as a difference in taste, it can't be.....

Yes, it can be! Example: you said Pianoteq sounds bad to you. It sounds great to me running on my PC and playing through my headphones. It also sounds great to many others. Still others think it sounds terrible and so you aren't alone in thinking it sounds bad. Last time we did an informal count on one of my threads, it seemed pretty equally divided between Pianoteq haters and lovers. That some think it sounds great and like a real instrument and others such as you think it sounds bad or terrible and not like a real instrument says this is indeed, a difference of taste.

Those who ignore such clear evidence under the assumption that their particular preferences are actually "universal" would be falling prey to a form of "egocentric fallacy" (definition: the mistaken belief that our own personal experience and values generally are held by others. We often use our own beliefs and values to explain the attitudes, motivations, and behaviors of other.)


Im just finding it hard to believe. It's one thing to don't like the sound.....don't being fond of it.....to think that it sound like S*IT. I don't think you would be able to sit down in my home and play Pianoteq and enjoy it......but maybe Im wrong. And why do I think Pianoteq sounds good in Youtube videos, and on my setup it sound like a cheep plastic toy keyboard? :-/
Originally Posted by Gimbal
Im just finding it hard to believe. It's one thing to don't like the sound.....don't being fond of it.....to think that it sound like S*IT. I don't think you would be able to sit down in my home and play Pianoteq and enjoy it......but maybe Im wrong. And why do I think Pianoteq sounds good in Youtube videos, and on my setup it sound like a cheep plastic toy keyboard? :-/

Well, there are a number of factors at play here if I were to sit down at your particular keyboard: PC itself (is it fast enough? is its Digital/Analog Converter (DAC) working properly), which virtual instrument you are using (I personally think D and K2 sound cr@ppy), what amplifier you are using, what speakers/headphones you use, how is your room acoustics (if using speakers).

However, if there aren't any issues with any of the above and you are using default settings on Pianoteq, then it is indeed preference because for me and approx. half the people very informally surveyed on this forum late last year, Pianoteq sounds good and like a real piano.

In fact, the big 3 VSTs seem to be Pianoteq, Garritan CFX full, and VSL Steinway D. It seems most everyone likes at least one piano among these three. If you don't like any of these, then you yet again have evidence of the specificity of your personal preferences. Don't fall for the egocentric fallacy.

Slight aside about the individuality of preferences and perception, you might be amused to search on the digital forum for the word "bongo" as you will see some related discussion on this topic of preferences and perception.

BTW, if you check out this thread, you will see other committing the egocentric fallacy. In this case, it is something like: "I hear this. Anyone who says differently is committing a hoax!"
When I moved Pianoteq from my laptop to another PC, the sound quality improved by rather a lot. Conclusion: hardware matters.

Are you hearing Pianoteq, as played by yourself, via the same sound reproduction system that you listen to Youtube videos over? If not, the difference in hardware may play a part.

With Pianoteq, it is important to be aware of the HUGE influence of the velocity curve. If I choose a standard velocity curve, everything will sound really bad. If I choose one of my carefully crafted velocity curves, the sound is absolutely tolerable.

But, on the other hand, in my opinion every single VST sounds pathetic compared to an acoustic grand - even one badly out of tune!
@Gimbal: I'm with you on this. Some VSTs sound positively terrible. And not just the freebie home-made giveaways you find online. Even the pro items can be crap.

So ask yourself: Do I like this sound? Do I care whether someone else does?
You surely must use a VST that YOU like.
You only need to use one that OTHERS like if those others are your audience,. If they're not, it doesn't matter, eh?

As for just how much opinions differ ...

Many here love Pianoteq. Yet I rate it as one of the worst. (Not THE worst ... there are indeed worser ones. Yes, worser.) smile

I like the Vintage D and Grandeur, and I use them the most by far. Others here might (a) point to faults in these, and prefer other VSTs or (b) neglect these because they're "old", and all the buzz is about the newer items.

I somewhat like my pair of Bosendorfer-sampled VSTs. But some people have expressed disdain for the Bosie sound.

I don't like the Yamaha (acoustic) sound as much as the Steinway, so the current crop of CFX-based VSTs are not a draw for me. But others love that sound.

In short, opinions are spread all over the map. (Oooh ... I used a crap cliche there. Please forgive.)
And as has been pointed out above, equipment varies, too.

So don't be surprised at the variety of opinions.
Originally Posted by Gimbal
Im just finding it hard to believe. It's one thing to don't like the sound.....don't being fond of it.....to think that it sound like S*IT. I don't think you would be able to sit down in my home and play Pianoteq and enjoy it......but maybe Im wrong. And why do I think Pianoteq sounds good in Youtube videos, and on my setup it sound like a cheep plastic toy keyboard? :-/
One of the biggest reasons to why I got all this gear to be able to play VST's was because of this video;

NOIRE

I think it sounds AMAZING! Such a beautiful sound!

But Im afraid that if i buy it for €150 and try it out......it will sound terrible (for some reason)

The same Youtuber (Woody) is also playing Pianoteq on his channel, and that also sounds amazing......but through my speakers and headphones it sound awful!

I wish you could hear how it sounds.....
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
In short, opinions are spread all over the map. (Oooh ... I used a crap cliche there. Please forgive.


One way to avoid getting a reputation for using cliches would be to edit them out of your text before publishing it. That way, there would be no need for going down on your knees to beg for forgiveness. But I do understand the urge to publish and be damned - I really do. smile
Originally Posted by Gimbal
But Im afraid that if i buy it for €150 and try it out......it will sound terrible (for some reason)

And so? If you buy it and it does sound terrible to you, then just sell your license second hand to someone else. If you offer a small discount from the N.I. price, you should have no trouble getting rid of it if you end up hating it.

You just are not going to be able to have others predict for you your own reaction to these VSTs.
Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
Are you hearing Pianoteq, as played by yourself, via the same sound reproduction system that you listen to Youtube videos over? If not, the difference in hardware may play a part.


To OP, you should address this question.
For Pianoteq (or any other VSTs, I use Pianoteq for an example, as there are a lot of recordings and opinions about them around), people who dislike it are dissatisfied with both recordings by others and the sound played by themselves.
So it would be really strange that you like the recordings, but can't stand the sound from your setup.

I can't think of what could be wrong though.
Did you calibrate velocity curve for your keyboard?
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Gimbal
But Im afraid that if i buy it for €150 and try it out......it will sound terrible (for some reason)

And so? If you buy it and it does sound terrible to you, then just sell your license second hand to someone else. If you offer a small discount from the N.I. price, you should have no trouble getting rid of it if you end up hating it.

You just are not going to be able to have others predict for you your own reaction to these VSTs.


I know, and thats not what this is all about. It's about that I think that there must be something wrong with my setup. I have no other explanation to why Pianoteq sounds amazing when Im hearing Woody and others play it on Youtube, and that is sounds so much worse when I play it myself.
Originally Posted by Gimbal
It's about that I think that there must be something wrong with my setup. I have no other explanation to why Pianoteq sounds amazing when Im hearing Woody and others play it on Youtube, and that is sounds so much worse when I play it myself.

Try this experiment. Grab the 3 files in this post over here. Listen to the Pianoteq WAV file and see if you think it sounds decent. If so, then download the MIDI file to your setup (play it out of your piano if you can since some piano will play MIDI files from USB flash drives, but if not, just open the file in your Pianoteq trial version) and play it through your computer, amp, headphones/speaker. Except for a few missing notes (from the trial version) and that your system should have a drier sound (since the WAV file uses a 3rd party reverb add-on, East West Spaces II), playing back the MIDI file through your system should reproduce substantially the same sound as in the WAV version. If this isn't true, then it may indeed be that you have some sort of hardware or setup/config issue.

EDIT: BTW, although this is an acoustical Steinway instead of an acoustical Bluthner as in the above files, you can also compare with this recording as a sanity check of "authenticity" of the piano sound.
Originally Posted by Gimbal

But Im afraid that if i buy it for €150 and try it out......it will sound terrible (for some reason)

The same Youtuber (Woody) is also playing Pianoteq on his channel, and that also sounds amazing......but through my speakers and headphones it sound awful!

I wish you could hear how it sounds.....

VST makers could simply upload renderings of the dry unprocessed VST output: Scales, polyphonic music played without pedal etc. So you could play those back through your setup and listen to the exact sound, the VST would output as well. They could even give you a demo VST, which doesn't accept MIDI input and just plays sound demos.

They avoid this - because it usually sounds terrible. Instead you get fancy pictures, long marketing texts and YouTube people praising the expensive software...

Why are you still concerning yourself with this?
Originally Posted by Gimbal
One of the biggest reasons to why I got all this gear to be able to play VST's was because of this video;

NOIRE

I think it sounds AMAZING! Such a beautiful sound!

But Im afraid that if i buy it for €150 and try it out......it will sound terrible (for some reason)

The same Youtuber (Woody) is also playing Pianoteq on his channel, and that also sounds amazing......but through my speakers and headphones it sound awful!

I wish you could hear how it sounds.....

Noire is really excellent piano, I have it and I use it all the time and its really sounds good. Difference between listening others and listening while playing yours really exist, but it shouldn`t be too much. If it is, then give yourself some time to adapt. Try first with headphones and then with speakers. Try with different hardware and space. Change location in your room or apartment. It will make a big difference. With time it will sound good for you and then you can make a more valid conclusions what VST you like and what VST you like less. Good luck.
Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Gimbal

But Im afraid that if i buy it for €150 and try it out......it will sound terrible (for some reason)

The same Youtuber (Woody) is also playing Pianoteq on his channel, and that also sounds amazing......but through my speakers and headphones it sound awful!

I wish you could hear how it sounds.....

VST makers could simply upload renderings of the dry unprocessed VST output: Scales, polyphonic music played without pedal etc. So you could play those back through your setup and listen to the exact sound, the VST would output as well. They could even give you a demo VST, which doesn't accept MIDI input and just plays sound demos.

They avoid this - because it usually sounds terrible. Instead you get fancy pictures, long marketing texts and YouTube people praising the expensive software...

Why are you still concerning yourself with this?


What do you mean why? Of course I want it to sound good. Someone also told me that you could get a much better piano sound from a VST than from any digital piano. But sure....it's not the end of the world......Im just playing around......and I really thought that there was something I was missing.....som settings or with the hardware......that made it sound worse than what I was hearing from Youtube...
Originally Posted by Gimbal
…... Someone also told me that you could get a much better piano sound from a VST than from any digital piano....


The problem you are experiencing is that you are in the phase where you believe the hype …. from manufacturers, from users on YouTube, and on this forum.

In time you will begin to realize that you have to pick and choose which of those you believe …. based on past history.

In general, that means do not believe anything unless you know the source and KNOW you can trust that source.

Otherwise, you are likely to be misguided and disappointed.

Good Luck
Originally Posted by Gimbal
One of the biggest reasons to why I got all this gear to be able to play VST's was because of this video;
NOIRE
I think it sounds AMAZING! Such a beautiful sound!
But Im afraid that if i buy it for €150 and try it out......it will sound terrible (for some reason)

The same Youtuber (Woody) is also playing Pianoteq on his channel, and that also sounds amazing......but through my speakers and headphones it sound awful!
I wish you could hear how it sounds.....

Ok lets get one thing straight here: are you listening to the videos and your playing through the same chain (DAC/AMP/Headphone)?
If not, DO THAT FIRST.

Yes, the VST demos always sound super nice, it is actually hard to get that super nice sound re-created, sounds schizo? It is.

Take the NOIR for example, you don't just hear the piano but listen to a crapton of reverb and effects added to it. Unless you manage to procure the settings, and touch curve the dude used you will NOT get that sound. I have read multiple warnings about that issue on this forum alone and that is one of the reasons why I never bothered to venture beyond pianoteq.

Personally, before trying to discuss taste and other nonsense, you need to address the elephant in the room: why does the VST sound radically different from the videos to you playing. It might be your playing itself that is not sophisticated enough to bring out the beauty it might be different devices, it might be VST settings. More reseach is in order until you manage to get a similar sound to the videos.

The sound is there, if you like the videos you should like the general character of the VST, there is no reason for a dramatic difference of "super awesome to absolute garbage".

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Grab the 3 files in this post over here. Listen to the Pianoteq WAV file and see if you think it sounds decent.


Would help if it was the same piece lol.
As it stands, the midi file is sth completely different and apparently somewhat broken (first 5 minutes are silence).

Tested it, general characteristics are the same but I vastly prefer PTQ to the wav, probably because the wav was done on an older version.

REMEMBER TO VOLUME MATCH!
Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
With Pianoteq, it is important to be aware of the HUGE influence of the velocity curve. If I choose a standard velocity curve, everything will sound really bad. If I choose one of my carefully crafted velocity curves, the sound is absolutely tolerable.

Is that for your FP30? Any chance of, you know, like, posting one or two of them on here? Hmmm? cool
Originally Posted by thickfingers
Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
With Pianoteq, it is important to be aware of the HUGE influence of the velocity curve. If I choose a standard velocity curve, everything will sound really bad. If I choose one of my carefully crafted velocity curves, the sound is absolutely tolerable.

Is that for your FP30? Any chance of, you know, like, posting one or two of them on here? Hmmm? cool


It is for the FP30, and if I could figure out how to post it, I wouldn't mind. But a) these curves are primarily for the Grotrian and the Bechstein, and b) they are suited for my setup (meaning soundcard, amplifier, and loudspeakers or headphones) and may not be at all nice for someone with a different setup. I have found that curves that give excellent results through loudspeakers sound horible through headphones, and vice versa.
Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
Originally Posted by thickfingers
Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
With Pianoteq, it is important to be aware of the HUGE influence of the velocity curve. If I choose a standard velocity curve, everything will sound really bad. If I choose one of my carefully crafted velocity curves, the sound is absolutely tolerable.
Is that for your FP30? Any chance of, you know, like, posting one or two of them on here? Hmmm? cool
It is for the FP30, and if I could figure out how to post it, I wouldn't mind. But a) these curves are primarily for the Grotrian and the Bechstein, and b) they are suited for my setup (meaning soundcard, amplifier, and loudspeakers or headphones) and may not be at all nice for someone with a different setup. I have found that curves that give excellent results through loudspeakers sound horible through headphones, and vice versa.

I'd be interested since I mainly use the Bechstein these days on my FP30. The velocity file is simply two comma-delimited lists separated with a semi-colon. For example, this is one for the Roland FP-3 (taken from the Pianoteq.com website):

Code
Velocity = [0, 1, 9, 17, 25, 33, 41, 49, 57, 65, 73, 81, 89, 97, 105, 113, 121, 127; 0, 0, 5, 12, 21, 32, 44, 53, 59, 64, 69, 76, 86, 97, 108, 117, 124, 127]


You could just post it in your reply to this message.
Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
Originally Posted by thickfingers
Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
With Pianoteq, it is important to be aware of the HUGE influence of the velocity curve. If I choose a standard velocity curve, everything will sound really bad. If I choose one of my carefully crafted velocity curves, the sound is absolutely tolerable.

Is that for your FP30? Any chance of, you know, like, posting one or two of them on here? Hmmm? cool


It is for the FP30, and if I could figure out how to post it, I wouldn't mind. But a) these curves are primarily for the Grotrian and the Bechstein, and b) they are suited for my setup (meaning soundcard, amplifier, and loudspeakers or headphones) and may not be at all nice for someone with a different setup. I have found that curves that give excellent results through loudspeakers sound horible through headphones, and vice versa.

Simple, just upload the pianoteq fxp profile. laugh

You can find them in C:\Users\(USERNAME)\AppData\Roaming\Modartt\Pianoteq\Presets\My Presets
Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
With Pianoteq, it is important to be aware of the HUGE influence of the velocity curve. If I choose a standard velocity curve, everything will sound really bad. If I choose one of my carefully crafted velocity curves, the sound is absolutely tolerable.


So …. by choosing one of your "carefully crafted curves" you were able to raise the level of your sound to "tolerable".
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
With Pianoteq, it is important to be aware of the HUGE influence of the velocity curve. If I choose a standard velocity curve, everything will sound really bad. If I choose one of my carefully crafted velocity curves, the sound is absolutely tolerable.


So …. by choosing one of your "carefully crafted curves" you were able to raise the level of your sound to "tolerable".




Ptq has demo tunes you can play on any piano supplied with your version, both bought and free samples. You'll be playing them through the vel curves you selected yourself, and they still will sound good. The reason for that is obvious; the playing's good. And you hear a recording under certain ambient conditions. It may not feel comfortable to play under those conditions.
Maybe PT needs to add "Digital Piano Ambience" to reflect a typical default setting digital piano . . . . which may detract from it's purpose, but may win it more friends.
"Tolerable", from "intolerable", is in the right direction, which is the point of improvement. If others perceive an improvement with the custom curve, then sehr gut mein Freund. Danke schon!
As others have said, speakers/headphones, audio interface, cpu etc can all make a huge difference.

Haven’t tried the current pianoteq, personally to me, out of the box the previous version had a kind of metallic noise I didn’t get on with, but didn’t tweak it in any way.

If you have a good pc, sound interface, speakers etc it’s down to personal preference. What I like, many will probably hate.

The Korg Kronos is highly thought of. I didn’t like the action (or the incredibly long time it takes from switch on until you can play your first note). But I loved the synth engines etc, a superb instrument.

Inside the Kronos is old 32 bit PC hardware running their own software. In a way it’s not much different from a vst plug-in originally developed by Steinberg for Cubase, a rtas plugin developed by digidesign for protools (up to to version 10) or aax developed by Avid for protools 10 onwards.

My point being, an 88 note Kronos costs you around £2500 +. and all you are getting is pc software and samples (ok it’s put together superbly). Using a daw and VSTs, I would argue you get much more for much less cost than you would buying the Kronos (mind you, if I was gigging, I would still prefer a Kronos).

There’s tons of vsts out there. Many rubbish, many great.

VSTs are really an interface for a daw to use a companies software (some companies only offer vst versions and not stand alone versiond) For instance if you buy Spectronics Omnisphere, you get a stand alone version plus a vst allowing you to use Omnisphere with your Daw, Omnisphere is huge, something like 64GB of samples. Likewise Native Instruments Kontakt, it’s stand alone, or a vst allows you to access it through a Daw. The amount of Instruments etc available for Kontakt is simply huge.

Owning Omnisphere, NI Komplete 12, Arturia v6 collection and numerous other software Instruments, I’m sorry, but if you think all software Instruments, VSTs sound bad (rather than not your taste) I suspect something is wrong with your pc or sound system

If I want to play a vst and don’t want to load my Daw, I use Cantabile Lite, which is free.
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

I'd be interested since I mainly use the Bechstein these days on my FP30. The velocity file is simply two comma-delimited lists separated with a semi-colon. For example, this is one for the Roland FP-3 (taken from the Pianoteq.com website):

Code
Velocity = [0, 1, 9, 17, 25, 33, 41, 49, 57, 65, 73, 81, 89, 97, 105, 113, 121, 127; 0, 0, 5, 12, 21, 32, 44, 53, 59, 64, 69, 76, 86, 97, 108, 117, 124, 127]


You could just post it in your reply to this message.


I will post some velocity curves in a separate thread.


Originally Posted by dmd

So …. by choosing one of your "carefully crafted curves" you were able to raise the level of your sound to "tolerable".


My base line is an acoustic grand. Getting "tolerable" performance from a digital piano is not at all bad from my perspective. In fact, I can tolerate it. smile
Regarding velocity. I think I have a pretty good velocity curve in my digital piano......but I have found that when using VST's it differs a lot. Some VST I have tried almost doesn't have any velocity curve at all, and it's almost unplayable, and in others it's better.

Doesn't my DP send it's velocity curve via MIDI? Why does it differ? and can you change it somehow?

In Pianoteq for an example, I have a hard time hitting below 25.....and when I tried the calibration in Pianoteq it got even worse.
Originally Posted by Gimbal

Doesn't my DP send it's velocity curve via MIDI? Why does it differ? and can you change it somehow?

In Pianoteq for an example, I have a hard time hitting below 25.....and when I tried the calibration in Pianoteq it got even worse.


The DP simply sends MIDI values (from 0 to 127) to the VST. The velocity curve of the VST defines what the VST does with those MIDI values. If the curve is a straight line from 0 to 127, the VST will interpret a MIDI value of x as a sound pressure level of x, but a curved velocity curve might interpret the same MIDI value of x as 2 * x, or 0.6 * x, or anything else for that matter. Using the VST velocity curve, you can change the behaviour out of all recognition.

For my FP30, the Pianoteq semi-automated calibration fails utterly, and therefore I manually construct the curves.
Originally Posted by Gimbal
Regarding velocity. I think I have a pretty good velocity curve in my digital piano......but I have found that when using VST's it differs a lot. Some VST I have tried almost doesn't have any velocity curve at all, and it's almost unplayable, and in others it's better.

Doesn't my DP send it's velocity curve via MIDI? Why does it differ? and can you change it somehow?

In Pianoteq for an example, I have a hard time hitting below 25.....and when I tried the calibration in Pianoteq it got even worse.

Gimbal, did you try the experiment that I posted above? How did it sound coming out of your setup? Like it sounded in the WAV file, or very different?
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Gimbal
Regarding velocity. I think I have a pretty good velocity curve in my digital piano......but I have found that when using VST's it differs a lot. Some VST I have tried almost doesn't have any velocity curve at all, and it's almost unplayable, and in others it's better.

Doesn't my DP send it's velocity curve via MIDI? Why does it differ? and can you change it somehow?

In Pianoteq for an example, I have a hard time hitting below 25.....and when I tried the calibration in Pianoteq it got even worse.

Gimbal, did you try the experiment that I posted above? How did it sound coming out of your setup? Like it sounded in the WAV file, or very different?



I did, and it sounded about the same to me. I also tried playing some more inside Pianoteq, and this time around it didn't sound as terrible as a remembered..
Originally Posted by Gimbal
I did, and it sounded about the same to me. I also tried playing some more inside Pianoteq, and this time around it didn't sound as terrible as a remembered..

Well it wouldn't be expected to sound exactly the same since the WAV file had the reverb from the East West Spaces II reverb add-on that the MIDI file obviously wouldn't have, but this is good. It means there is probably not something wrong with your specific hardware or set up. Perhaps as others have suggested, you just need to tweak your VST settings such as the velocity curve, etc., when you play.

For example, if when you play a particular key, there is too high a midi value that is generated, then the timbre of that note in Pianoteq will become harsh even if you turn the volume down. Pianoteq will think you did a fff when all you did was an mf, and turning down the volume wouldn't make it less harsh, just harsh and softer. So velocity values are very important.
Originally Posted by Gimbal

In Pianoteq for an example, I have a hard time hitting below 25.....and when I tried the calibration in Pianoteq it got even worse.


On default Pianoteq velocity curve (full 1-127), 25 is around pp (in their dynamic range from ppp - fff)
How high the value goes when you play hard?
If the upper limit is relatively low, it is like you are playing a piano with limited dynamic and tonal range.
I would guess that it would sound expressionless and toy-keyboard-like.
Originally Posted by siros
Originally Posted by Gimbal

In Pianoteq for an example, I have a hard time hitting below 25.....and when I tried the calibration in Pianoteq it got even worse.


On default Pianoteq velocity curve (full 1-127), 25 is around pp (in their dynamic range from ppp - fff)
How high the value goes when you play hard?
If the upper limit is relatively low, it is like you are playing a piano with limited dynamic and tonal range.
I would guess that it would sound expressionless and toy-keyboard-like.


I did this test with a stand alone program......don't know how to tell what exakt readings I would get inside Pianoteq...

[Linked Image]
Originally Posted by Gimbal
I did this test with a stand alone program......don't know how to tell what exakt readings I would get inside Pianoteq...

Options -> Midi, there you will see he last midi messages received in the window.

[Linked Image]
Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by Gimbal
I did this test with a stand alone program......don't know how to tell what exakt readings I would get inside Pianoteq...

Options -> Midi, there you will see he last midi messages received in the window.

[Linked Image]

I'm impressed, Granyala - you use 4 pedals?
Originally Posted by Gimbal

I did this test with a stand alone program......don't know how to tell what exakt readings I would get inside Pianoteq...


On Pianoteq, there is a line chart on the bottom left of the UI (over the keys section). When Pianoteq received MIDI note on events (key pressed), green lines will show on the chart. The positions of the lines on X axis are the velocity values.

Or you could go to menu Preferences and select MIDI section. There is a blank area on the top left. When you press keys, the MIDI events will be shown there.
This example shows C2 pressed softly (velocity=1) followed by C3 hit hard (velocity=108)
[Linked Image]
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I'm impressed, Granyala - you use 4 pedals?

Nope but Pianoteq has 4 pedals as a possibility.
Usually I only stomp the sustain pedal far too long like the bloody rookie I am. laugh
Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I'm impressed, Granyala - you use 4 pedals?

Nope but Pianoteq has 4 pedals as a possibility.
Usually I only stomp the sustain pedal far too long like the bloody rookie I am. laugh

Ah! I guess I've never really looked closely at that setup page in Pianoteq before.
So.....I have only read good things about NOIRE piano, and all the videos I have watched on Youtube, the sound has been AMAZING! So I finally bought it, and downloaded it.....and it sounds absolutely terrible! It's so bad I can't even stand it!

There MUST be something wrong with my gear, or something Im doing wrong.

I have sent an email to Native Instruments regarding a withdrawal......but I don't know if that is possible with downloaded software?

If not.....I have just wasted 150€ on nothing..... :-/
Originally Posted by Gimbal
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Gimbal
But Im afraid that if i buy it for €150 and try it out......it will sound terrible (for some reason)
And so? If you buy it and it does sound terrible to you, then just sell your license second hand to someone else. If you offer a small discount from the N.I. price, you should have no trouble getting rid of it if you end up hating it.
I know, and thats not what this is all about. It's about that I think that there must be something wrong with my setup. I have no other explanation to why Pianoteq sounds amazing when Im hearing Woody and others play it on Youtube, and that is sounds so much worse when I play it myself.

Originally Posted by Gimbal
If not.....I have just wasted 150€ on nothing..... :-/

As you already know, just sell your license to someone else at a discount. Native Instruments allows this as part of the licensing agreement as I mentioned above.
Have you tried other virtual instruments?
Originally Posted by Gimbal
I have only read good things about NOIRE piano ... so I finally bought it ... and it sounds absolutely terrible!
There must be something wrong with my gear, or something I'm doing wrong.
I ask because it's difficult to diagnose the problem remotely.

If you have other instruments that sound good, then perhaps the Noire is not the right choice for you.

OTOH, if you've not yet tried any other instruments ...
Perhaps there really is something wrong with your equipment. Can you describe the "nature" of the terrible sound you're hearing?
Or ... can you make a recording and post it?
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I'm impressed, Granyala - you use 4 pedals?

Nope but Pianoteq has 4 pedals as a possibility.
Usually I only stomp the sustain pedal far too long like the bloody rookie I am. laugh

Ah! I guess I've never really looked closely at that setup page in Pianoteq before.

Well, if you have a midi controller, then there are many parameters you can assign to it. Pianoteq supports at least ten types of pedals: Sustain, Soft, Harmonic, Sostenuto, Super Sostenuto, Rattle, Buff Stop, Celeste, Pinch Harmonic, Glissando. The Steingraeber piano also supports the Mozart Rail pedal. Then you have the register/stops on the harpsichords and other historical instruments. The list is quite extensive.
I think That will be a hard sell. But how does that work? I can't find anywhere to download the program and the enter a licens key? You can only download it if you buy it from their site?
Originally Posted by Gimbal
I think That will be a hard sell. But how does that work? I can't find anywhere to download the program and the enter a licens key? You can only download it if you buy it from their site?

You could sell it on eBay for example. You'll have to give the buyer the license key that N.I. issued to you and otherwise following the prescriptions in the N.I.'s license agreement for handling the sale (such as erasing your own copy, etc. etc.). You could physically mail the downloaded file to the buyer, burned on a DVD, if there is nowhere else to download it from.

As to whether or not there are people to buy it, I'm planning to buy a N1X or NV10 hybrid in the next week or two. After that, I myself might be in the market to buy a sampled VST. I was thinking VSL or Garritan CFX, but could spring for Noire for the right price, if you haven't already sold it by then.

BTW, I'm with MacMacMac on your hardware. It seems like Pianoteq might be a bit better than you earlier thought on your hardware based on a recent post from you, but it seems most other VSTs sound bad on your hardware. I'd look at the hardware (including amp & speakers) and the configuration, because your problems could lie there.
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Gimbal
I think That will be a hard sell. But how does that work? I can't find anywhere to download the program and the enter a licens key? You can only download it if you buy it from their site?

You could sell it on eBay for example. You'll have to give the buyer the license key that N.I. issued to you and otherwise following the prescriptions in the N.I.'s license agreement for handling the sale (such as erasing your own copy, etc. etc.). You could physically mail the downloaded file to the buyer, burned on a DVD, if there is nowhere else to download it from.

As to whether or not there are people to buy it, I'm planning to buy a N1X or NV10 hybrid in the next week or two. After that, I myself might be in the market to buy a sampled VST. I was thinking VSL or Garritan CFX, but could spring for Noire for the right price, if you haven't already sold it by then.

BTW, I'm with MacMacMac on your hardware. It seems like Pianoteq might be a bit better than you earlier thought on your hardware based on a recent post from you, but it seems most other VSTs sound bad on your hardware. I'd look at the hardware (including amp & speakers) and the configuration, because your problems could lie there.


I really don't know if this is possible? You don't download any file and then run an install and enter a license key or anything like that. And there is no file to be burnt, and I don't have a burner, and the program is 16gb i think. And even if this would be possible, I would have to sell it to someone here in Sweden, or I would have to ship dvd´s overseas.

In the email I got from NI, it said that there is a 14 day withdrawal period......but I don't know if that is only physical copies or not.....we will see. Oh well......in the end it's just some money gone to waste...
It's very strange that no VST sounds good when played on OP's setup, while he likes all the recordings of them.

Again, what is the range of velocity from MIDI input?
Noire may use the same default curve as other Galaxy pianos, which is linear from 0-127. The velocity from MIDI input could be narrow or favor only one part of the full range.
Originally Posted by siros
It's very strange that no VST sounds good when played on OP's setup, while he likes all the recordings of them.

Again, what is the range of velocity from MIDI input?
Noire may use the same default curve as other Galaxy pianos, which is linear from 0-127. The velocity from MIDI input could be narrow or favor only one part of the full range.

Very plausible that it's a velocity curve issue. That would limit the range of timbre. Although the OP did say that on second listening of the Pianoteq, it didn't sound as bad as he remembered it. So that suggest it might not be that.
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Or ... can you make a recording and post it?
An ANALOG recording would help pinpoint any equipment issues, most likely he does not have the gear for that though. If he records digitally, we will basically hear the VST through our system.

Limiting us to hear for a wonky touch curve or any incorrect settings he might have set.

Anyhow, @ Gimbal: Do us a favor and make a recording of your playing.
Also, did you feed your VST a few midi files to play? How did they sound?

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I'd look at the hardware (including amp & speakers) and the configuration, because your problems could lie there.

While he still didn't answer my question as to whether he plays the videos and the VST through the same system, if he does and the videos sound fine to him, it is not the audio chain that is at fault here.

If the videos sound fine, looking at the amp and speakers would be a waste of time.
Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Or ... can you make a recording and post it?
An ANALOG recording would help pinpoint any equipment issues, most likely he does not have the gear for that though. If he records digitally, we will basically hear the VST through our system.

Limiting us to hear for a wonky touch curve or any incorrect settings he might have set.

Anyhow, @ Gimbal: Do us a favor and make a recording of your playing.
Also, did you feed your VST a few midi files to play? How did they sound?

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I'd look at the hardware (including amp & speakers) and the configuration, because your problems could lie there.

While he still didn't answer my question as to whether he plays the videos and the VST through the same system, if he does and the videos sound fine to him, it is not the audio chain that is at fault here.

If the videos sound fine, looking at the amp and speakers would be a waste of time.

Exactly. The only comment we got so far is that the sound "is not good". No clue what that objectively means...
Ok....so the sound is not terrible anymore, but still not good. I have been using it all day....and comparing it with Eighty Eight and the sound coming directly from my Yamaha CSP170. The Yamaha is a CLEAR winner, EE is on second place, and the worse one is NOIRE.

NOIRE sounds AMAZING in Youtube reviews.....especially the one Woody is doing. And yes, I have been listening to the Youtube videos through the same Studio monitors. I have no idea why there is such a big difference in sound. I feel like the sound is muddy and kind of breaking up.....while when Woody is playing it's so warm, soft and nice.

I wish I had put my money on Eighty Eight instead....it's on sale now for $69.99. If I had gotten the chance to listen to NOIRE on my setup before I bought it......I wouldn't have payed $20 for it.

I now know that you can't sell NOIRE (for some reason) It's only some digital content from NI that you can sell, and NOIRE is not one of them.

Oh well.....It's not the ens of the world....
Originally Posted by Gimbal
I feel like the sound is muddy and kind of breaking up.....while when Woody is playing it's so warm, soft and nice.

Might be the effect settings / touch curve.

I listened to the YT vid you linked and that piano is BURIED by effect layers b/c he is testing what the engine is capable of.
Originally Posted by Gimbal
Originally Posted by JoeT
Why are you still concerning yourself with this?

What do you mean why? Of course I want it to sound good. Someone also told me that you could get a much better piano sound from a VST than from any digital piano.

Oh, there it is again, the bold claim containing an universal quantifier.

Claims with universal quantifiers are usually just wrong. You learned that the hard way. Hope that lesson didn't cost you too much.
Ahem--universal quantifiers are a passed down invention for the manipulation of your kids. We hear them from the mouths of politicians all the time...usually unnoticed. They don't actually mean anything, they just skate across the perception leaving a vague impression of "should, then" or "shouldn't, then". smile
Well I wouldn't say "any" DP because I am sure there are some out there w/o looped samples and let's not forget Rolands SuperNatural modeling engine.

Whether a VST sounds better not only depends on the samples but also on the speaker setup. An el-cheapo monitor setup might very well sound worse (esp. if the placement is crap) than the integrated stuff in DPs, esp if the DP is a higher end one like the CA series with the nice soundboards even if the driving VST is superior in quality.

Also, not all of us are bothered by looping samples.

As far as I am concerned though: looped samples are not much of an issue in fast pieces where isolated notes never get to the looping part put in slower stuff it tends to be noticeable. So yeah: I do prefer VST.
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