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Posted By: Mickey_ Kawai piano sounds (and their sources) - 09/17/20 01:03 PM
I've got an NV10. The ("acoustic") piano sounds are as following:

SK Concert Grand
EX Concert Grand
SK-5 Grand Piano
Jazz Clean
Jazz Old School
Warm Grand
Warm Grand 2
Standard Grand


Pop Grand
Pop Grand 2
Pop Piano
New Age Grand
Upright Piano
Modern Piano
Boogie Piano
Honky Tonk


Now, of course, I know what SK Concert Grand, EX Concert Grand, and SK-5 Grand Piano stands for. :-) But... what are the sources of the other 13 ("acoustic") piano sounds mentioned?

Are the additional grand sounds "just" digital modifications of recordings of one of the three grand pianos mentioned (as we could do ourselves, Virtual-Technician-style), or did Kawai use recordings of specific other piano models for some, or all, of these sounds?

And what about the uprights?

(I'm just wondering. To be honest, 99 out of 100 times I play in Pianist Mode, without any modifications of the standard SK-EX sound whatsoever. :-))
Posted By: Ajax69 Re: Kawai piano sounds (and their sources) - 09/17/20 01:09 PM
Good question Mickey! I'm also interested. wink
The upright is another original sample set, and the source piano has been given by Kawai, but I don’t have it handy. I believe that all of the others are modified from those four, but I couldn’t tell you how... except that the mellower ones likely come from the SK, and the brighter ones from the EX.
Posted By: Gombessa Re: Kawai piano sounds (and their sources) - 09/17/20 02:00 PM
I think there's at least one other non-SK/EX grand as well for some of the "other" samples (e.g., pop/std) but don't have a source handy (maybe Kawai James had mentioned it the late time this question came up).
There are many ways for the manufacturer to create variations of the main piano sounds:

1) changes to the EQ, the velocity curve, the voicing, the length of the sound decay, the stereo field, the mapping between velocity and volume of sound (i.e.: a Kawai mellow piano patch usually has a higher volume, not just a different sound timbre, when you play in the pp/ppp range, compared to a "not-mellow" piano patch) and other parameters;

2) to emulate a 'brighter' piano: use samples from an upper tone, but played at a lower tone.

3) to emulate a 'mellower' piano: use samples from a lower tone, but played at an upper tone.

Some of these parameters can be changed by the user in the Virtual Technician options, but not all of them. For example, actually, there is no option to map velocity to volume, but just to the sound timbre (the 'Voicing' option). And, there is no option to change what sample you would like to use for a note (I mean: an upper tone sample or a lower one, rather than the original sample for that note). That could be a very nice option for a future Kawai piano engine, because it allows to change the 'character' of the sound timbre much more than the usual voicing options. On my CN37 I have no 'stereo field' option, but I think there is on the MP7/11SE series.


On the NV10, from the above list of piano sounds, I think the base samples are from these:

SK-EX
EX
SK-5
Standard Grand
Upright
Honky-Tonky

I have some doubts about the "New Age Grand", "Modern Piano" and "Boogie Piano".

But when you see something like "POP piano", "STUDIO piano", "MELLOW piano", "WARM piano", "JAZZ piano" or similar names, you can be sure they are just variations of other main piano sounds.
I'm pretty sure the sample source for the Kawai upright piano patch is a K-60 or K-6 acoustic upright.
'Jazz Grand' was my favorite sound on ES-8 (on pair with SK-5). I think it was based on SK-EX sample, but differently EQed.
Posted By: Mickey_ Re: Kawai piano sounds (and their sources) - 09/27/20 08:09 PM
Thanks for all of your replies!

I've just watched PianoManChuck's review of the ES8 (click here), and there, he says that the ES8's (acoustic) piano sounds are all sampled from the following real-life pianos: EX Concert Grand, SK-EX Concert Grand, SK-5 Concert Grand, and a K series Upright piano. According to him, all other samples are "variations of the above".

Maybe Kawai James, or someone else, can confirm (or deny :-)) that this is still the case with the newer models? And maybe there's also some more information on which piano voice was sampled from which acoustic piano's recording?
Posted By: ˆTomLCˆ Re: Kawai piano sounds (and their sources) - 09/27/20 10:09 PM
From what I had been let to believe, the upright piano sample is a K60. Rather an old sample of an excellent piano replaced by the K6 and then the K600. Other than the Pianist renderings, the latest samples are the SK-EX, the EX, and the SK5. The others are just older samples used in prior products like CN25/35.
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