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Steinway-like Digital Pianos ?

Posted By: Cashley

Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/23/10 06:08 AM

From where I live, I have only come across Yamaha, Kawai and Suzuki.

Does anyone know if there is such a digital piano capable of producing Steinway-like of tone ?

BTW, does anyone think that Digital Pianos have a good chance of 'knocking out' upright acoustic pianos ?
Posted By: signa

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/23/10 06:47 AM

Roland v-piano or Yamaha CP1 perhaps?
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/23/10 07:04 AM

Digital pianos have already "knocked out" uprights...only acoustics selling well now, are the grands.

The V-Piano has kind of synthetic sounding mids (although the upgrades have supposedly lessened them), and overall it sounds nothing like my well maintained Steinway...it's very nice, mind you, but very overpriced for what you get which is basically a one trick pony...no alternate sounds easily available on the panel, and once you have your ten or so favorite acoustic sounds, it isn't much better than one of Roland's high end digitals, that offer far more variety (strings, organ, etc.) at a much more attractive price and use the same keyboard action.

Personally, I don't think any current digital hardware pianos have anything that sounds like the Steinway...you might have better luck with a VST.

Snazzy

Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/23/10 07:07 AM

What is a VST ?

What about brands such as Korg, Kurzweil ?
Posted By: MarkL

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/23/10 12:50 PM

Originally Posted by Cashley
What is a VST ?

What about brands such as Korg, Kurzweil ?


VST=virtual studio technology. Basically it means you plug your digital piano into a computer, use a software program running on the computer to generate piano (and other instrument) sounds, and send the audio output of the computer through a good set of speakers (or stereo). I started out with a DP and an assumption that I would want to buy an acoustic. I get so much enjoyment listening to all the different things I can do with VSTs that I no longer have any interest in buying an acoustic. If you're really set on a Steinway, you can buy a software program that sounds like a steinway.

Korg and Kurzweil are good DPs, but they do things you probably don't need given where you're at in the journey. I'd suggest starting with a basic DP by Casio or Yamaha with a decent keyboard, and spend the rest of the money on a software program and a good sound card for your computer.
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/23/10 12:59 PM

Actually I own 2 Clavinovas, at 2 different locations, of course.

I'm looking at expanding my knowledge of DPs.

Quote
Basically it means you plug your digital piano into a computer, use a software program running on the computer to generate piano (and other instrument) sounds, and send the audio output of the computer through a good set of speakers (or stereo).


Is it possible to send the audio output of the computer back to the original speakers in the DP ?
Posted By: Dr Popper

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/23/10 01:11 PM

A Roland RD700GX's Expressive Grand patch is based in a Steinway and does a reasonably good impersonation of one.
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/23/10 01:37 PM

Originally Posted by Dr Popper
A Roland RD700GX's Expressive Grand patch is based in a Steinway and does a reasonably good impersonation of one.


Really? My experience comparing Rolands, including the RD-700GX's Expressive Grand, to my well maintained Steinway, leaves me wondering what the heck Roland has based the sound on...it certainly sounds nothing like my piano.

The sound is more likely a composite of several pianos.

Snazzy
Posted By: ChrisA

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/23/10 03:04 PM

Originally Posted by Cashley
From where I live, I have only come across Yamaha, Kawai and Suzuki.

Does anyone know if there is such a digital piano capable of producing Steinway-like of tone ?

BTW, does anyone think that Digital Pianos have a good chance of 'knocking out' upright acoustic pianos ?


The best that a digital Piano can ever hope for is to sound like a very high quality recording on an acoustic piano. How "real" that recording sounds depends on the quality of the stereo playback equipment. I think digital pianos have already overtaken acoustic pianos in terms of sales. But I think there will always be a market for acoustic pianos.

Can a digital sound "Stenway-like"? I posted this link in another thread. The below is a link to some demo MP3 files that attempt to sound like a Steinway D as heard form a few different distances. You can listen and tell us how close the digital is to the sound of a real steinway.

http://www.sampletekk.com/proddetail.php?prod=STCD-003-MULT24
Posted By: ChrisA

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/23/10 03:11 PM

Originally Posted by Cashley
Actually I own 2 Clavinovas, at 2 different locations, of course.
...
Is it possible to send the audio output of the computer back to the original speakers in the DP ?



In your case "Yes" as I think Clavinovas have a "Line In" jack. You'd connect the audio output from a computer's audio interface to the DP's line in.

You can buy a little box that connects the audio and midi to the DPs and has a USB cable going back to the computer. Price range about $150
Posted By: ChrisA

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/23/10 03:16 PM

Quote
My experience comparing Rolands, including the RD-700GX's Expressive Grand, to my well maintained Steinway, leaves me wondering what the heck Roland has based the sound on


Roland's web site says the sound is a composite of "several classic pianos" and that that have "used the best parts of each."

This is the answer in one of their FAQs to the question "What piano was sampled?" But heck if I can find the link right now.
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/23/10 03:43 PM

Originally Posted by ChrisA



Roland's web site says the sound is a composite of "several classic pianos" and that that have "used the best parts of each."

This is the answer in one of their FAQs to the question "What piano was sampled?" But heck if I can find the link right now.


Thanks Chris...that why I said "The sound is more likely a composite of several pianos" in my post.

I can safely say it doesn't sound much like a Steinway, having the good fortune of having one at hand for a direct comparison.

Snazzy
Posted By: Sprout

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/23/10 04:32 PM

You know, I think that's fine for a digital piano. Why does a digital piano have to sound like a real one? Why can't it be a composite? That's the luxury of being a digital piano... coming up with a sound that is pleasing. It's not a digital Yamaha, it's not a digital Steinway. It's a Roland. That's its sound.

Sprout
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/23/10 04:32 PM

I just came across a software by East West that contains samples of Bechstein, Bosendorfer, Steinway and Yamaha. Is that as good as what Garritan offers ?
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/23/10 04:36 PM

Originally Posted by Sprout
You know, I think that's fine for a digital piano. Why does a digital piano have to sound like a real one? Why can't it be a composite? That's the luxury of being a digital piano... coming up with a sound that is pleasing. It's not a digital Yamaha, it's not a digital Steinway. It's a Roland. That's its sound.

Sprout


+1...well said, Sprout.

Snazzy
Posted By: MoodyBluesKeys

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/23/10 11:43 PM

I did not have opportunity to compare directly, but (based on a number of opinions from people I respect), I purchased the Gold version of the EWQL pianos last night (at $195 instead of $345). I had been considering the Garritan Steinway, but EWQL gives me four good pianos (including a Steinway), runs on my hardware, and I do have the EWQL free package of some sounds from their Orchestral that came out a bit before Christmas - I have been very well pleased with the quality of those sounds.

Ivory will be bringing out a new version in a few months; but I wanted to get this while the price was advantageous.
Posted By: Ludwig van Bilge

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 03:31 AM

Originally Posted by Sprout
Why does a digital piano have to sound like a real one? It's a Roland. That's its sound.

Exactly so, but why do Rolands have to sound like they're drowning in the bathtub?
Posted By: turandot

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 06:21 AM

"From where I live, I have only come across Yamaha, Kawai and Suzuki. Does anyone know if there is such a digital piano capable of producing Steinway-like of tone ?"


Cashley,

The proximity depends on many things. It depends as much on what you hear it through (near-field monitors, hi-fi speakers, premium headphones, junky onboard speakers) as it depends on the tonal output the sound engine produces. Another big factor is your own key attack. To achieve any kind of warmth, Yamahas require a light touch so that the initial percussive sound response to the keystrike does not obliterate tone-building. Rolands IMO are a bit easier to coax toward the warmth and delicacy of a Steinway, but the tone will definitely flatten out to a metallic monotone with too much attack velocity. Remember, closer doesn't mean close.


"Digital pianos have already "knocked out" uprights...only acoustics selling well now, are the grands."

That would be true to a certain extent in the US due to three factors: an obsession with grands, the availability of decent grands for the price of a better vertical, and a general decline in acoustic sales. But 'knocked out' is a bit strong. It makes it sound like this is the desired outcome of the person saying it.

In Europe and Asia vertical pianos are still a healthy part of the acoustic market. In places like Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and large European and Chinese cities with small flats, grand pianos in homes are relatively rare while acoustic verticals are plentiful.

Some say that the advances in digitals are the reason for the decline of acoustic vertical sales in the US. I don't think that's true, just a confluence of different trends, one upward and one downward.


"The best that a digital Piano can ever hope for is to sound like a very high quality recording on an acoustic piano. "

That's absurd. If digital R&D people had that for a mantra, they would get nowhere.


"I can safely say it [Roland Expressive Grand] doesn't sound much like a Steinway, having the good fortune of having one at hand for a direct comparison."

You talk a lot about your good fortune Snazzy. I guess in a way it's good that you appreciate it. Somehow though I remember you saying that your NS3 beat the pants off your Steinway grand (during your period of initial NS3 infatuation) grin

Anyway, for a myriad of obvious reasons, neither Roland Expressive Grand nor Roland Superior Grand are close to a Steinway acoustic grand in their tone and the projection of that tone. However, they are closer than either Kawai or Yamaha's best samples. Both Kawai and Yamaha are inevitably wed to their acoustic namesakes (unless Yamaha chooses to introduce a Bosie sample to a Yam digital). Roland has no allegiance to any acoustic brand, and it shows in their free-wheeling approach to sampling, modeling, and enhancement of core samples.


"Why does a digital piano have to sound like a real one?"

Substitute 'acoustic' for 'real' and I'm with you on that. Both are real pianos.


"why do Rolands have to sound like they're drowning in the bathtub?"

Possibly the way you play. With a name like Bilge, one has to wonder. laugh
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 07:50 AM

Thank you for your edifying post. smile

Is there a website that offers a systematic education on VST ?

It's something new to me, as well as people around me. I really hope to make a business out it.

Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 10:06 AM

Originally Posted by turandot


But 'knocked out' is a bit strong. It makes it sound like this is the desired outcome of the person saying it.



Yes, it is a bit strong, but other than the waste of good wood, wire and felt, I see no positive use for upright pianos.

And actually, Rolands do not sound like they are drowning in a bathtub...t'is more like a swimming pool.

Their lack of allegiance to any brand has been more of a hindrance than a help....now they sound like nothing. wink

And yes, Mr. Dot...the N3 pretty well beats the pants, and any other wearing apparel I dare not mention, off pretty well most grand pianos, if only for the sheer pleasure of never hearing it go out of tune.

Snazzy
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 10:23 AM

What is a N3 ? confused
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 10:29 AM

An N3, is a Yamaha Avant Grand digital piano.

Here t'is:

http://www.avant-grand.com/
Posted By: Dr Popper

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 10:39 AM

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
Originally Posted by Dr Popper
A Roland RD700GX's Expressive Grand patch is based in a Steinway and does a reasonably good impersonation of one.


Really? My experience comparing Rolands, including the RD-700GX's Expressive Grand, to my well maintained Steinway, leaves me wondering what the heck Roland has based the sound on...it certainly sounds nothing like my piano.

The sound is more likely a composite of several pianos.

Snazzy


Shows you how often I play a Steinway (not for years) but I do quite like the Expressive Grand in the RD700GX ... its certainly a more European sounding patch then any Yamaha one.
Posted By: BazC

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 10:55 AM

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
Yes, it is a bit strong, but other than the waste of good wood, wire and felt, I see no positive use for upright pianos.


I'd choose an upright over a grand for a lot of popular music, Blues, Ragtime, Rock 'n Roll lots of older Jazz. Grands just sound too sophisticated for many genres, like an opera singer covering a Rolling Stones song - shudder!
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 11:09 AM

How did Roland which is a Japanese product acquire a non-Japanese name ?

And where are Korg and Kurzweil made ?

Correct me if I'm wrong. It does appear that Japanese are the leaders in DP technology.
Posted By: BazC

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 11:27 AM

Kurzweil was originally American I believe but is now owned by Hyundai (Korean), Korg is Japanese and I presume Roland chose a western name for marketing reasons.

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about it;

"Origin of the Roland name

Roland was founded after Kakehashi cut ties with Ace Electronic Industries (a company he founded in 1960) and Hammond International. As with many Japanese startups of the period, the name Roland was selected for export purposes as Kakehashi was interested in a name that was easy to pronounce for his worldwide target markets. Legend has long circulated that he named his company after the French epic poem La Chanson de Roland. In actuality, the name Roland was found in a telephone directory. Kakehashi opted for it as he was satisfied with the simple two-syllable word and its soft consonants."
Posted By: Melodialworks Music

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 11:32 AM

V-Piano supposedly models a Steinway and a Bosendorfer, but it doesn't sound like either of those instruments. The V-Piano sounds like, well a Roland piano. (My engineer says that the problem with Roland pianos is that they all sound like Roland pianos).

I don't believe an authentic Steinway sound exists on a DP. You would have to use a sample library.
Posted By: Andree

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 11:40 AM

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
Originally Posted by Dr Popper
A Roland RD700GX's Expressive Grand patch is based in a Steinway and does a reasonably good impersonation of one.


Really? My experience comparing Rolands, including the RD-700GX's Expressive Grand, to my well maintained Steinway, leaves me wondering what the heck Roland has based the sound on...it certainly sounds nothing like my piano.

The sound is more likely a composite of several pianos.

Snazzy


The Expressive Grand in the RD700GX is sampled from a Yamaha CFIII, I thought you would like to know that.
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 12:17 PM

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
but other than the waste of good wood, wire and felt, I see no positive use for upright pianos.


You forgot to mention - creating work for piano tuners.
Posted By: Sprout

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 12:45 PM

Originally Posted by turandot

"Why does a digital piano have to sound like a real one?"

Substitute 'acoustic' for 'real' and I'm with you on that. Both are real pianos.



Yeah, that's better.
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 01:03 PM

Originally Posted by Melodialworks Music
V-Piano supposedly models a Steinway and a Bosendorfer, but it doesn't sound like either of those instruments. The V-Piano sounds like, well a Roland piano. (My engineer says that the problem with Roland pianos is that they all sound like Roland pianos).

I don't believe an authentic Steinway sound exists on a DP. You would have to use a sample library.


What is a V-Piano ? A particular Roland model ?
Posted By: Dr Popper

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 01:07 PM

Originally Posted by Andree


The Expressive Grand in the RD700GX is sampled from a Yamaha CFIII, I thought you would like to know that.


I don't know where you got that information from Its a Hamburg Steinway C according to my sources.

Posted By: babama

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 01:11 PM

The demos of the Garritan VST are nice but still not as good as I had expected.
I might get it someday and hook up my digital to my PC.

I'm getting tired of the plastic sound of my Roland HP-201.
If you also get tired of the sound of your digital while practicing, here's a simple tip: transpose the keyboard one or two semitones up or down every now and then. laugh It really helps for the music to stay 'fresh' to your ears.
Posted By: babama

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 01:19 PM

V-Piano vids

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUh21Eje56g
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GxxFiw743Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTfAnfNcLd4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DM1vYVZkpcc

I'd call that a piano synthesizer
Posted By: MarkL

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 01:19 PM

Originally Posted by Cashley

Is there a website that offers a systematic education on VST ?


Wikipedia
Steinberg User's Forum has tutorials
A bit of humor with your midi.
Another one I like.
And a wealth of info from a member of the forum.
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 01:32 PM

Originally Posted by Dr Popper



Shows you how often I play a Steinway (not for years) but I do quite like the Expressive Grand in the RD700GX ... its certainly a more European sounding patch then any Yamaha one.


If by "European sound", you mean thin mids, then, yes, Roland has it nailed firmly to the mast of the good ship Wimpy. wink

"Expressive Grand"...ha...never was there a piano patch so inaccurately named. wink

It's not that I don't like Roland...I just don't think they should be making digital pianos...I like their synthesizers (I have a JX-10) and their earlier digital piano actions were very good (the SK-6 especially), but since then they have been trying to keep up with Yamaha, and still tagging along behind.

I firmly believe their acoustic piano sounds are a composite of several pianos. I do know, from personal experience, they don't sound like a Steinway, or a Yamaha.

Snazzy
Posted By: Melodialworks Music

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 01:37 PM

Originally Posted by Cashley


What is a V-Piano ? A particular Roland model ?


http://www.roland.com/V-Piano/
Posted By: Melodialworks Music

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 01:39 PM

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer


I do know, from personal experience, they don't sound like a Steinway, or a Yamaha.



Or Bosendorfer.
Posted By: Tweedpipe

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 01:54 PM

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
Digital pianos have already "knocked out" uprights...only acoustics selling well now, are the grands.
Snazzy


Snazzy,
Grands may be the only acoustics selling well in your location (I note from your profile that's it's 'earth'), but I can assure you that uprights are selling very well in many places elsewhere!
My local dealer sells more uprights than digital and grands put together. And I believe in Asia that uprights outsell grands, although this trend may be changing.
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 03:26 PM

Originally Posted by Tweedpipe

Snazzy,
Grands may be the only acoustics selling well in your location (I note from your profile that's it's 'earth'), but I can assure you that uprights are selling very well in many places elsewhere!
My local dealer sells more uprights than digital and grands put together. And I believe in Asia that uprights outsell grands, although this trend may be changing.


That may be true, Mr.Tweedy, but for the life of me, I can't imagine why anyone would waste good money on an upright piano.

Their bass strings aren't a whole lot better/longer than my old Yamaha CP-80, and it's many times I have compared a decent digital's low notes with an upright's, and my gast had never been so flabbered at how the former had more clank and bottom, not to mention, even better tonality and presence.

Perhaps it is also to the digital piano's advantage, that it is sampled from a grand piano, and also that there just doesn't seem to be any actual advancements in the design and construction of uprights...they are a waste of good wood, wire and felt in my opinion.

Like their more snooty and sophisticated brethren, the grands, they still require maintenance and/or tuning, which in most cases, requires the not so inexpensive services of a tuner/technician, and the disheartening feeling of not only listening to the wretched instrument go out of tune, but to bear the inconvenience of trying to contact the slowly disappearing species known as piano tunerus expensivo, known better by it's common name, the piano tuner.

That's why it is most heartening to see Piano World express such wonderful open-mindedness and create a forum dedicated to those of us who prefer digital pianos over their dinosaurial acoustic counterparts.

Snazzy
Posted By: dewster

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 05:10 PM

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
That's why it is most heartening to see Piano World express such wonderful open-mindedness and create a forum dedicated to those of us who prefer digital pianos over their dinosaurial acoustic counterparts.

Wha? I come here mainly for the 2 minute DP hate. Big Brother demands it.
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 05:24 PM

Shucks, they can put the 2 minute DP rants on the Pianist's Corner, or more appropriately on the Piano Tuner/Technician forum. wink

Let those of us who appreciate the Digital Piano rant about acoustics...especially uprights.

Snazzy
Posted By: turandot

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 05:29 PM

"I can't imagine why anyone would waste good money on an upright piano."

Well Snazzy, that's your problem. You are what you are. One of the perks of living on planet Earth is that the billions of denizens who don't happen to be you are not required to be hidebound to the ego-eccentric limitations and contradictions of any one individual's personal thinking.

"it is most heartening to see Piano World express such wonderful open-mindedness and create a forum dedicated to those of us who prefer digital pianos over their dinosaurial acoustic counterparts."

Wrong again. Go figure! grin

This particular forum is populated by a fair number of members who find different strengths and weaknesses in both acoustic and digital pianos. Many of these members would only "prefer" based on the application, and certainly not display the juvenile petulance to rule out either in any general sense.

Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 05:37 PM

Originally Posted by turandot


Many of these members would only "prefer" based on the application, and certainly not display the juvenile petulance to rule out either in any general sense.



Thanks Mr.Dot, but I would hardly call your petulance "juvenile"...I think it's rather quaint, and a tad old fashioned.

The last time I was petulant was when I had to listen to my acoustic go out of tune....

Snazzy



Posted By: turandot

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 08:03 PM

Snazzy,

Have it however you like it. I'm done here. My intent was to put in a word for reason and balance. I have seen enough of your posts to know that you will certainly disregard any facts stacked aagainst you, and carry on with yet another knee-jerk.

I really don't worry that thinking reasoning individuals will be swayed by your drastic and somewhat contradictory pronouncements. If someone else is, he gets exactly what he deserves.
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 08:08 PM

Originally Posted by turandot
Snazzy,

Have it however you like it. I'm done here. My intent was to put in a word for reason and balance. I have seen enough of your posts to know that you will certainly disregard any facts stacked aagainst you, and carry on with yet another knee-jerk.



Well said, Mr. Dot...I have read enough of your posts to know that you are as biased as I am...it takes one to know one.

Still, you're probably a nice guy, and I hope you're feeling better soon.

Snazzy

Posted By: Andree

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 08:11 PM

Originally Posted by Dr Popper
Originally Posted by Andree


The Expressive Grand in the RD700GX is sampled from a Yamaha CFIII, I thought you would like to know that.


I don't know where you got that information from Its a Hamburg Steinway C according to my sources.



According to my source it is a Yamaha CFIII sampling, can't you hear the difference to the other pianos sampled by Roland?
Posted By: Mati

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 08:17 PM

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer

That may be true, Mr.Tweedy, but for the life of me, I can't imagine why anyone would waste good money on an upright piano.


Because for anyone who seriously learns to play and not only tinkle the ivories, acoustic piano is objectively better than a digital, even a good one (like AvantGrand or V-Piano).

There are things you cannot do on a digital. And there are places where you cannot put a grand.

Where I live, grand sales are virtually non-existent. You can find these only in schools and concert halls, and in great minority of living areas that are big enough to put such a beast.

I'm glad you see mostly grands where you live - I would love t to as well. If you know the answer, please give me a recipe to put a grand in a room of 3x4m (10x13ft - I did the math for you), along other everyday appliances you need to live comfortably.

My opinion is strong, but so is yours.

M.
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 08:55 PM

Originally Posted by Mati


Because for anyone who seriously learns to play and not only tinkle the ivories, acoustic piano is objectively better than a digital, even a good one (like AvantGrand or V-Piano).

There are things you cannot do on a digital. And there are places where you cannot put a grand.

M.


I played professionally in Nashville and thereabouts for more than 30 years, and I've been around the block with acoustics and digitals.

What can't you do on a digital, Mati?

The Avant Grand is not very big...it fits in a fairly small room, and still sounds great.

My beef with uprights is their deplorable lack of bass presence, and the action is terrible compared to a good grand, or a digital(digital actions are mostly based on a grand's action).

The piano dealers I am familiar with don't stock uprights much anymore, unless it's a trade in...they carry grands and digitals (both home and stage models) and cater to the professionals as well as Mom and Dad. I feel uprights are for those who don't mind the slower action (ivory ticklers, as you say)and the lack of rich bass notes.

Most people I know would prefer a good digital over an upright...I know I would.

Snazzy

Posted By: dewster

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 09:15 PM

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
Most people I know would prefer a good digital over an upright.

If my wife's student's parents are any indication, people seem to prefer <$100 toy keyboards to anything else.

I'm getting tired of trying to pry them from their hands via pure reason, and am contemplating adding some "cold dead" to my persuasion formula.
Posted By: Dr Popper

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 10:30 PM

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer

Their bass strings aren't a whole lot better/longer than my old Yamaha CP-80,

Snazzy

You have a CP-80 ? I've been looking for a decent one for YEARS ....

Posted By: Melodialworks Music

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 10:44 PM

Originally Posted by Dr Popper

You have a CP-80 ? I've been looking for a decent one for YEARS ....


Heh. Heh. Check out the CP1!
Posted By: Michael Darnton

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 10:47 PM

I seriously doubt that you're going to find ANY Yamaha DP modeled on anything but a Yamaha grand, but Casio's DPs supposedly use a Steinway for modeling, and one of my PX130s piano sound mimics relatively closely some of the aspects I've come to associate with the Steinway sound, including the obnoxious buzzy ring you get at the highest volume levels on a Steinway. But, as others have said, it's still a DP.
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 10:49 PM

Originally Posted by Dr Popper
Originally Posted by snazzyplayer

Their bass strings aren't a whole lot better/longer than my old Yamaha CP-80,

Snazzy

You have a CP-80 ? I've been looking for a decent one for YEARS ....



No Doc, I don't have it anymore...I sold it shortly after I retired from touring work. Mine was the CP-80M, with MIDI, although I never used the MIDI at all...had a Solina String Ensemble on top of it, and a B-3 beside it...the basic kit for touring back then.

Still have the B-3 and Leslie, sold the piano and the Solina...wish I didn't, as good examples of both fetch a healthy price today.

I have several vintage synths and keyboards, but those two will always have a special place in my past.

The CP-80M was a real pain to tune, especially the shorter bass strings...even worse than the CP-70B...had one of them critters first, and then traded it for the CP-80M. The action was as close as you'd ever get to an acoustic, and it seldom needed regulation...overall, a very reliable instrument.

Who knows, you might find one floating around on E-Bay or in an estate sale, or a store getting one on trade...if I hear of one, I'll be sure and contact you.

Snazzy


Posted By: Volusiano

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/24/10 11:57 PM

Originally Posted by Tweedpipe
Snazzy,
Grands may be the only acoustics selling well in your location (I note from your profile that's it's 'earth'), but I can assure you that uprights are selling very well in many places elsewhere!
My local dealer sells more uprights than digital and grands put together. And I believe in Asia that uprights outsell grands, although this trend may be changing.


I remember reading somewhere that the main reason uprights outsell grands in Asia is due to space constraint in tight housing quarters where most people live. It's not necessarily because people in Asia prefer uprights even if they have the space.
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/25/10 05:49 AM

Originally Posted by Volusiano
Originally Posted by Tweedpipe
Snazzy,
Grands may be the only acoustics selling well in your location (I note from your profile that's it's 'earth'), but I can assure you that uprights are selling very well in many places elsewhere!
My local dealer sells more uprights than digital and grands put together. And I believe in Asia that uprights outsell grands, although this trend may be changing.


I remember reading somewhere that the main reason uprights outsell grands in Asia is due to space constraint in tight housing quarters where most people live. It's not necessarily because people in Asia prefer uprights even if they have the space.


It's a fact that in Asia cities where most live in apartments, uprights are preferred over grands. However, that says little about DPs. The comparison should be between uprights and DPs.
Posted By: Dr Popper

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/25/10 06:12 AM

Originally Posted by Melodialworks Music
Originally Posted by Dr Popper

You have a CP-80 ? I've been looking for a decent one for YEARS ....


Heh. Heh. Check out the CP1!


Yeah I know Lawrence but its not about the sound its about having one again... sold mine years ago ...cried ever since..
Posted By: Melodialworks Music

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/25/10 08:46 PM

Originally Posted by Dr Popper

... sold mine years ago ...cried ever since..


Time to man up, and move on!

Lawrence
Posted By: bitWrangler

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/25/10 09:20 PM

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
I played professionally in Nashville and thereabouts for more than 30 years, and I've been around the block with acoustics and digitals.


OOC snazzy, what type of music do/did you play?

I think that one aspect that, for some odd reason, seems to get completely lost here isn't the instrument but the type of music the performer plays. Someone who plays primarily higher level classical repertoire (and plays it well) is likely to have a completely different take on the whole DP vs upright vs grand equation than someone who plays primarily jazz improv (not even factoring in the weekend warrior vs the daily gig playing professional). But despite that, we have many on this forum who seem to want to make absolute statements about the appropriateness of each tool seemingly without context.
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/25/10 10:11 PM

Originally Posted by bitWrangler


OOC snazzy, what type of music do/did you play?



I play Classical, Jazz, Blues, Pop, Latin, but I made my living backing country singers...it was a tough job but somebody had to do it. wink

When I relax I play classical and improvise over the standards. I'm formally trained and playing since the age of 4...I'm not a prodigy by any means, but I can and have traded licks with some very fine players I was lucky enough to meet over the 30 years I've been playing professionally.

I've played most kinds of pianos over those years, from Bechstein's and Bosies to Steinway's and Yammies, and other instruments like Rhodes, Wurlies, CP-70's and 80's, Fairlights, Synclaviers, Prophets, Oberheims, DX-7's, Casios, and many different Roland RD Pianos. I'm also a very devoted Hammaond B-3 player, though I can't play it as well as I can play piano.

I know what I like in a piano action, and I do know that over the years I've come to dislike uprights and cheap grands, Roland's dismal attempts at hammer actions, Casio's built to a price keybeds, and Yamaha's high prices.

The piano is a tool for me, whether it's making money, or making myself happy; I have an extreme aversion to acoustics because my ear is good enough to pick out the very moment they start going out of tune, and it's why I've embraced digital pianos so tightly.


Snazzy
Posted By: rda88

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 12:15 AM

This past weekend I had a chance to play with the N3 and the V-Piano, and then compare them to a $60,000 Steinway. My two cents: neither one comes even remotely close.
Posted By: Melodialworks Music

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 12:21 AM

In terms of making a comparison, it's a bit meaningless to comment on the V-Piano without describing what the audio / monitor configuration was.
Posted By: bitWrangler

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 12:33 AM

Originally Posted by rda88
This past weekend I had a chance to play with the N3 and the V-Piano, and then compare them to a $60,000 Steinway. My two cents: neither one comes even remotely close.


Wouldn't be saying much for the Steinway if a DP costing an order of magnitude less compared favorably now would it smile Did you find the VPiano to only be 10% as good, the N3 to be only 33% as good (it's hard to gauge "remotely close")? Then again there are those who have found other acoustics that are far cheaper than said Steinway that _have_ found them superiour. So there you go.
Posted By: ChrisA

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 01:12 AM

Originally Posted by rda88
This past weekend I had a chance to play with the N3 and the V-Piano, and then compare them to a $60,000 Steinway. My two cents: neither one comes even remotely close.


That is about what we'd expect that all three would be very different from the other two. Those three pianos you played seem to me to for thre corners of a triangle. Each is very specialized.

How can you compare an N3 to a v-piano? The big advantage of the N3 is the built-in speakers. Without those speakers the N3 is nothing special. And a V-piano has no speakers at all. So the power and volume you hear has nothing to do with the v-piano itself and everything to do with what you plugged it into

Then if the purpose of the piano is to record music unless you have a LOT of money to hire a studio and an engineer you will get better sound with a digital than any acoustic piano unless you really know about recording and have the gear to do it.

What I think you are saying is like "I compared an apple, a banana and a grapefruit and found they they are not at all alike" To that I'd have to agree.


Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 02:06 AM

Originally Posted by rda88
This past weekend I had a chance to play with the N3 and the V-Piano, and then compare them to a $60,000 Steinway. My two cents: neither one comes even remotely close.


I'd agree with your statement 100%, as I own a very well maintained Steinway and have directly compared them.

My ten cents(to allow for inflation): The N3 and V-Piano are far superior.

Snazzy
Posted By: Mati

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 11:52 AM

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer

I played professionally in Nashville and thereabouts for more than 30 years, and I've been around the block with acoustics and digitals.

What can't you do on a digital, Mati?


Colour and tonal nuances is something you can't reliably control on a DP. Damper pedal behaves totally differently - even on best digitals I've ever played, it's not even remotely close to a decent acoustic (let's leave non-well maintained uprights alone, please - these ARE inferior indeed). Una corda? No comparison.

The V-Piano is the way to go down the road, and I belive with physical modelling the gap will close very quickly. But as technology stands now, still the range of sounds a digital can produce is physically limited, whereas on acoustic it is not. The difference is there, and you simply can't state it's not.

Please, read my previous post again. I never said you can't _play_ well on a digital. With broad range of pianistic skills you can play on almost anything. I said you cannot _learn_ well on a digital. Not without spending additional vast amount on time on a decent acoustic.

Having said all that, I'm not going to argue - you may freely treat my post as end of discussion. I don't feel like forcing my opinion on you - you have yours, I have mine, life goes on.

M.
Posted By: Dr Popper

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 12:00 PM

Acoustic's are fine for their purpose ...but they are not a professional instrument for playing live or in the studio. Who could be bothered micing one up these days? But at home ... alone...for my own enjoyment I play my C7 quite a bit.

Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 02:22 PM

I'm very glad digital pianos have reached the level they have today, and I, for one, will be glad to see acoustics relegated to the concert hall, and perhaps the Doc's music room...I do know they no longer are a part of my kit, and I'm much the happier for it.

The only advantage a grand ever had over a digital was it's appearance and perceived cachet...with the advent of the Avant Grand, that's no longer the case. I've played both, and the the latter wins by a knockout.

Most, if not all, music academies use digital pianos, so the the idea that one can not learn properly is pure malarkey.

There will be many who will continue to feed and nourish acoustics...but I ain't gonna be one of them.

There is a difference today between acoustic and digital...the digital is simply better at a job that the acoustic reigned over for many years, and has now been dethroned.

And life goes on....and so does the music.

Snazzy

Posted By: bitWrangler

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 02:34 PM

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
Most, if not all, music academies use digital pianos, so the the idea that one can not learn properly is pure malarkey.


Not necessarily true, academies are bound by economic forces so the fact that they are using digitals doesn't necessarily speak to what is ideal. There is an expression that anyone who has worked for the govt or govt contractors is very well aware of, "good enough". And the switch to digitals _can_ just as well be attributed to that than anything else.
Posted By: Sprout

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 02:38 PM

Well, but they must be at least "good enough" to learn on. Maybe not better, but "good enough". smile
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 03:02 PM

Originally Posted by bitWrangler
Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
Most, if not all, music academies use digital pianos, so the the idea that one can not learn properly is pure malarkey.


Not necessarily true, academies are bound by economic forces so the fact that they are using digitals doesn't necessarily speak to what is ideal. There is an expression that anyone who has worked for the govt or govt contractors is very well aware of, "good enough". And the switch to digitals _can_ just as well be attributed to that than anything else.


True, economics does rear it's ugly head, but "good enough" is fine, wouldn't you say? If they were not good enough" one would have every right to be concerned.

The cost of maintenance alone, not even regarding the initial higher cost of decent uprights(I hate using those two words together) or cheap grands, would be prohibitive for most music departments...they usually have a hoary old grand set aside for exams, which is hopefully tuned and regulated beforehand.

Uprights and later on, grands, will surely go out of favour just as film, and LP records (vinyl) bit the proverbial dust, with only the most die-hard holding on tenuously to the past.

No doubt grands will still be in concert halls (and Doc's music room), but few will wind up in homes.

Snazzy
Posted By: bitWrangler

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 03:32 PM

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
True, economics does rear it's ugly head, but "good enough" is fine, wouldn't you say? If they were not good enough" one would have every right to be concerned.


I think that you and sprout are missing the connotation of "good enough". Think of it as the antonym to "strive for excellence" and you start to realize why it's not necessarily "fine".
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 03:53 PM

Well, Bit, I think digitals have always been striving for excellence, whereas the acoustic piano rests firmly on it's dubious laurels...that's why the former will prevail.

My Avant Grand digital, sounded like a grand, played like a grand, felt like a grand and looked like a grand.

The V-Piano is not too far behind, with the exception of the look and tactile feel.

I'd say digitals have more than become "good enough"...even a medium priced digital puts an upright piano to shame, something no one ever expected even several years ago, and now the grands are steadily losing ground.

I know I won't miss acoustic pianos, no more than I miss vinyl records, tube radios, party lines, coal stoves, and manual transmissions.

Snazzy

Posted By: theJourney

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 04:50 PM

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer

I'd say digitals have more than become "good enough"...even a medium priced digital puts an upright piano to shame, something no one ever expected even several years ago, and now the grands are steadily losing ground.



Interesting. So, in your opinion a Yamaha Clavinova 340 puts a Yamaha U3 to shame?

Could you break that down for us in what ways you find the acoustic put to shame?
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 05:18 PM

The Germans are so good in many things. Why isn't there a good German brand Digital Piano ?
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 05:20 PM

Originally Posted by theJourney
Originally Posted by snazzyplayer

I'd say digitals have more than become "good enough"...even a medium priced digital puts an upright piano to shame, something no one ever expected even several years ago, and now the grands are steadily losing ground.



Interesting. So, in your opinion a Yamaha Clavinova 340 puts a Yamaha U3 to shame?

Could you break that down for us in what ways you find the acoustic put to shame?


A high-end upright, deserves a high end counterpart in the digital realm.

Pick a Clavinova or Roland (if you must) in the same price range...the V-Piano is priced pretty close.

Do your own comparisons, son, I'm not going to do them for you...judging by your post,, you are, in all probability going to have a different opinion than mine, but suffice to say, just the lack of tuning and maintenance issues puts the digital ahead by a country mile.

Are you considering a U3?

The only advantage an upright has over a grand is that it makes a smaller carbon footprint when it burns. wink

Snazzy

BTW, what's with this "us" bit? Are you suddenly the spokesperson for everyone on the forum?

I'd hate to have to buy you a hat. wink



Posted By: Vid_w

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 05:40 PM

^If you really don't want your Stainway, I'd gladly take it from you, anytime!

I would choose an acoustic over a digital any time, if I had the money. Of course, we're speaking of better acoustics, not the old clunkers you see on ebay and the like for 300€...
I would love to own a Petrof.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM5GuV3Q7I0&feature=related
Listen to this! Beautiful sound!
Posted By: bitWrangler

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 05:44 PM

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
Well, Bit, I think digitals have always been striving for excellence, whereas the acoustic piano rests firmly on it's dubious laurels...that's why the former will prevail.


Don't know if it's intentional or not, but you've totally taken my comment out of context.

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
... just the lack of tuning and maintenance issues puts the digital ahead by a country mile.


Perhaps we've just been lucky with our acoustics, but personally I find this argument way overblown. Twice a year tunings and occasional maintenance (during the tuning visits) just don't add up to that much of an inconvenience to me. I do understand that to others this is not the case (obviously since you feel so strongly about it).

Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 05:51 PM

Originally Posted by bitWrangler
Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
True, economics does rear it's ugly head, but "good enough" is fine, wouldn't you say? If they were not good enough" one would have every right to be concerned.


I think that you and sprout are missing the connotation of "good enough". Think of it as the antonym to "strive for excellence" and you start to realize why it's not necessarily "fine".


I don't think of it as an antonym to "strive for excellence".

Snazzy
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 06:04 PM

Originally Posted by Vid_w
^If you really don't want your Stainway, I'd gladly take it from you, anytime!


I would love to own a Petrof.



I sort of "loaned" my Steinway to my buddy who has it in his recording studio.

It was left to me by a late uncle, who was also a piano player, and my inspiration as a kid.

I've played a few Petrofs...beautiful pianos.

Snazzy
Posted By: ChrisA

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 06:16 PM

I think digital pianos have already reached the point where if the intended audience will hear the music over speakers then digital is actually better. Not just "good enough" but better. The exception is for solo piano works. But for anything that is going into a mix or over PA speakers digital will sound better. One reason is that when you mic a piano it only really works if the room is otherwise quiet. How can you mic an acoustic piano if there is a kick drum or even a ride cymbal four feet from it?

The other use of an acoustic is for public performance of classical works. People expect an acoustic

But those are practical considerations. I owned a sail boat for a long time. It was a very impractical means of transportation. Last weekend I spent quite a bit of time and some money getting to the top of some snow covered mountain peak only to walk back down so in practical terms I accomplished nothing. Point is we don't need justification or economic arguments.
Posted By: kiedysktos.

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 06:18 PM

Hey people!

Short summary: none of the pianos sound like a Steinway, it's obvious.

I have a preposition: let's type a piano that is the closest DP/software to the Steinway. Let's answer OP's question! Which one is most Steinway-like for you?

---

For me Yamahas are too bright; Steinway is more mellow, like some Roland's patch, don't remember name. I type Roland 700GX, eventually V-piano.


Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 06:19 PM

Originally Posted by bitWrangler


Perhaps we've just been lucky with our acoustics, but personally I find this argument way overblown. Twice a year tunings and occasional maintenance (during the tuning visits) just don't add up to that much of an inconvenience to me. I do understand that to others this is not the case (obviously since you feel so strongly about it).



With me it's hearing the piano go out of tune...the tuning costs aren't THAT extreme.

I've always been this way with acoustic pianos, and the sooner I could replace my CP-80 and now, my Steinway, with a digital, the happier I was.

They should just keep one really nice grand for sampling...and burn the rest. wink

Snazzy
Posted By: turandot

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 06:58 PM

Originally Posted by kiedysktos.
Hey people!

Short summary: none of the pianos sound like a Steinway, it's obvious.

I have a preposition: let's type a piano that is the closest DP/software to the Steinway. Let's answer OP's question! Which one is most Steinway-like for you?




Kiedy,

Just a thought, but instead of shouting out in bold type, you could always go back to the beginning of this thread (say the first page, you know, maybe read a bit) where the OP was still an interested party and people were trying to deal with his question. That was all before snoozy pulled the dimmer switch on the light of reason and turned on his personal spotlight. grin
Posted By: ChrisA

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 07:10 PM

Originally Posted by kiedysktos.
Hey people!

Short summary: none of the pianos sound like a Steinway, it's obvious.

I have a preposition: let's type a piano that is the closest DP/software to the Steinway. Let's answer OP's question! Which one is most Steinway-like for you?


It's easy to answer: A good third party sample set sounds like a Steinway (within the limits of current technology). Heck even the cheap Steinway samples I have as part of Apple's "Logic" sound enough like a Steinway that I can identify it as such. Better sample sets mimic it better. These sample need not be expensive. The Sampletekk demos were very good and the price is $49 USD.

So the answer is use a computer. If you hate computers use a Nord digital piano and load in the Steinway samples.




Posted By: 7even

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 09:04 PM

Tone-wise, yes, the aforementioned Rolands (haven't tried the V-Piano though) sound like Steinways.. but I don't think I'd be as quick to compare any DP to actually playing a real Steinway. After trying out a $70k+ 6'10" model, I'd say that given enough money I want both a real Steinway (for pure playing enjoyment) and a DP (for easy recording).

Despite the limitations of the standard DP, I think something like an RD-700GX is more than good enough to at least pretend you're playing a Steinway...
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 09:08 PM

Originally Posted by turandot



Just a thought, but instead of shouting out in bold type, you could always go back to the beginning of this thread (say the first page, you know, maybe read a bit) where the OP was still an interested party and people were trying to deal with his question. That was all before snoozy pulled the dimmer switch on the light of reason and turned on his personal spotlight. grin


Careful with names Mr. Turdandot wink...creative piano playing is not my only forte...(pun intended) grin

Bold type does not mean shouting...it's all caps....bold type is for emphasis Mr. Turdansnot. grin

Now please get back on topic, son, you're hogging the light.

The Famous (and very modest) Snazzy wink

PS...if you want to get personal, please private message me...no one here, including me, wants to watch me getting the better of you. wink

Posted By: theJourney

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 10:49 PM

Must be snow vacation at the middle school
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/26/10 11:03 PM

Originally Posted by theJourney
Must be snow vacation at the middle school


How nice for you...do you ski?

Snazzy
Posted By: Michael Darnton

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 12:33 AM

Ah, it was getting too quiet without Gyro around. Welcome back!
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 12:56 AM

Pardon my ignorance, do the Germans make DPs as well ? And as well as they made acoustic pianos ?
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 01:45 AM


Bosendorfer once planned a digital piano...don't think it was actually produced.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Melodialworks Music

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 02:16 AM

Typical. No provision for a music desk. Apparently the industry thinks that no one who reads music will ever want to do so whist playing their instruments!

Hopefully that's a prototype and the release version will have more style.
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 02:21 AM

I don't think it's going to be marketed.

Snazzy
Posted By: Glenn NK

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 02:55 AM

Originally Posted by Cashley
The Germans are so good in many things. Why isn't there a good German brand Digital Piano ?


Perhaps because they are so good at making acoustic grand pianos.

Bosendorfer (Austrian), Bluthner, Bechstein, Grotian Steinweg, Hamburg Steinway, Steingraeber, Sauter.

Glenn
Posted By: turandot

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 06:44 AM

Originally Posted by Michael Darnton
Ah, it was getting too quiet without Gyro around. Welcome back!


A related thought crossed my mind, but in reality, there's not a whole lot in the way of comparison.

Gyro posts a clear consistent message again and again and again. In fact, it's his consistency and predictability in re-affirming his beliefs that drives some members berserk. But however often he posts the core message, Gyro immediately steps away and allows others to present their views without puerlie heckling.

Gyro would never get caught up in inconsistencies and contradictions because in his case there are none to be caught up in, and because he feels no need to posit autobiographical data to make him seem bigger than he is.

Gyro would never follow references such as...

Quote
overall it sounds nothing like my well maintained Steinway


Quote
My experience comparing Rolands, including the RD-700GX's Expressive Grand, to my well maintained Steinway, leaves me wondering what the heck Roland has based the sound on...it certainly sounds nothing like my piano.


Quote
I own a very well maintained Steinway and have directly compared them.


with the following

Quote
I, for one, will be glad to see acoustics relegated to the concert hall, and perhaps the Doc's music room...I do know they no longer are a part of my kit


and

Quote
the sooner I could replace my CP-80 and now, my Steinway, with a digital, the happier I was.


Where's the "good fortune" in that?

Nor would Gyro post...

Quote
I can safely say it doesn't sound much like a Steinway, having the good fortune of having one at hand for a direct comparison.


and follow up with

Quote
I sort of "loaned" my Steinway to my buddy who has it in his recording studio.


Nor would Gyro make a point that....

Quote
the grands, they still require maintenance and/or tuning, which in most cases, requires the not so inexpensive services of a tuner/technician, and the disheartening feeling of not only listening to the wretched instrument go out of tune, but to bear the inconvenience of trying to contact the slowly disappearing species known as piano tunerus expensivo, known better by it's common name, the piano tuner.


and follow up with...

Quote
the tuning costs aren't THAT extreme.


I can't imagine that Gyro would make a remark like

Quote
Rolands do not sound like they are drowning in a bathtub...t'is more like a swimming pool.


since he shares Snoozy's perception that you can do anything on a digital that you can on an acoustic. And Gyro would certainly not follow up on the swimming pool sound profile remark by posting....

Quote
My Avant Grand digital, sounded like a grand, played like a grand, felt like a grand and looked like a grand.

The V-Piano is not too far behind, with the exception of the look and tactile feel.


because if the only deficiencies were in the look and tactile feel, it wouldn't sound like it was underwater, would it?

It would be extremely unGyrolike for Gyro to pay the early adopter price ticket of an Avant grand, but if in some sort of personal twilight zone he were to do that, he would never comment that......

Quote
I've come to dislike uprights and cheap grands, Roland's dismal attempts at hammer actions, Casio's built to a price keybeds, and Yamaha's high prices.


If Gyro were to post of a professional career backing singers, I'm certain he would mention an example or two, and not leave the membership wondering if the singer in question was some warbly wobbly backcountry diva at an Oddfellow's Hall where he exchanged his services for full bar privileges. Nah, Gyro would make it clear.

Gyro certainly has never mentioned....

Quote
I played professionally in Nashville and thereabouts for more than 30 years, and I've been around the block with acoustics and digitals.


.....while citing a "touring" career in the same thread. If Gyro did that, I would be perplexed....unless he meant playing around one's hometown was "touring" or that he toured far and wide with a different enterprise....perhaps Barnum and Bailey?

The fact is, some people just try so hard. On the Internet everyone's selling something. If not merchandise, services, or opinions, it's themselves.

Posted By: Dr Popper

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 06:54 AM

Who or What TF is Gyro ?
Posted By: LaRate

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 07:50 AM

Originally Posted by Cashley
The Germans are so good in many things. Why isn't there a good German brand Digital Piano ?

Germany is primarily good in mechanical engineering (cars, industrial machinery etc.). Electronics have always been more the strength of Japan and (to a degree) the US.
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 08:37 AM

Originally Posted by turandot

The fact is, some people just try so hard. On the Internet everyone's selling something. If not merchandise, services, or opinions, it's themselves.


Much like yourself, eh, Turandot.

I was under the impression we shared things about ourselves on this forum, in an effort to let others know us better, but your envy has obviously got the better of you, and you try and twist something so normal into something so nasty.

You're probably a nice little fellow in real life, but from the content of your posts, all I can do is feel pity for you, but if there is any way I can help, please ask.

Snazzy

PS...I see my offer for you and I to take this to the private message board has met with your disapproval. Please spare the rest of this forum from this personal agenda you have decided you wanted to have with me, and correspond with me in private....you're just making yourself look bad, and from what I've heard about you, it's not the first time.

Please quit while you're behind.

Posted By: BazC

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 10:37 AM

Originally Posted by Dr Popper
Who or What TF is Gyro ?


Gyro is an enigma, Gyro is a phenomenon, a flibbertigibbet, a will-o-the-wisp....

Gyro is a member here who plays big time concertos on the cheapest nastiest no name DP he can find while keeping a $30,000 acoustic mothballed in a cupboard and thinks everybody else should do the same.

He is (I think) well meaning but gives the most bizarre advice over and over again, he also posts a lot of sense but is widely ridiculed because of his extreme and highly questionable views.
Posted By: Dr Popper

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 11:12 AM

Hmmmm ... never heard of him.
Posted By: Melodialworks Music

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 11:39 AM

Originally Posted by Dr Popper
Hmmmm ... never heard of him.


I just checked the User List. He has 3,861 posts to his credit.
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 12:11 PM

I like Gyro...he's just being himself, and expressing his own beliefs, and I don't think anyone should ridicule him for that.

That says more about the one who ridicules him, than it does about Gyro.

There are plenty of nice ways to answer and/or criticize his posts without resorting to meanness or ridicule.

I haven't seen any posts by him that had anything mean in them, nor has he ever said a bad word about anybody, as far as I know.

Snazzy
Posted By: Martin C. Doege

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 02:34 PM

The problem with Gyro was that his posts were mostly just copy-and-paste jobs with minimal changes or substitutions and that he did not make this fact clear to new forum members. He just dropped one of his standard text blocks into a thread and then disappeared again. IMHO his posts often bordered on spamming the forum...
Posted By: Michael Darnton

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 02:54 PM

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
I haven't seen any posts by him that had anything mean in them, nor has he ever said a bad word about anybody, as far as I know.


That's true. What he mainly deals in is bad information, repeated as often and emphatically as possible, and with the point of a forum being to deliver good information. . .
Posted By: turandot

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 03:20 PM

Originally Posted by Michael Darnton

That's true. What he mainly deals in is bad information, repeated as often and emphatically as possible, and with the point of a forum being to deliver good information. . .


Who are you describing? Is it good information to say over and over again that all acoustics should be burned, used for firewood? Does it make any sense to qualify that by saying that one acoustic should be saved for recording purposes? I mean, what does that imply?

Look, anyone who is any kind of a keyboard musician knows that acoustics and digitals have different strengths and weaknesses, and that the choice depends on the application and on the budget (if it's to be a purchase).

There is no application in which the two are a tossup. They are just too different. In every application one has advantages over the other. Tone manipulation and musical expression within a solo performance invariably favor good acoustics. Any advanced or high intermediate player could certainly verify that. That may not always be the case in the future, but it stands for where we are now.

It was said here that digitals are used in group-lesson settings because they are good enough. They are "good enough" for beginners and low intermediate players, but that's not the point. They also have the advantage that the provider of the group lessons generally has a console which makes it possible to listen in on headphones to what individual students are doing while they all play at the same time. Can you imagine that happening in a room where everyone in the group is playing an acoustic? Of course not, so digitals get a clear win in this application.

The task of the potential piano buyer is to evaluate his main application of use and consider it in the light of his budget. Good information will lead him in that direction. Myopic hatred of acoustics expressed in posts, even if done playfully, is simply bad information.
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 03:59 PM

Originally Posted by turandot



Who are you describing? Is it good information to say over and over again that all acoustics should be burned, used for firewood? Does it make any sense to qualify that by saying that one acoustic should be saved for recording purposes? I mean, what does that imply?



Now see here son...if you weren't such a snot (meant as a compliment), you'd be pickin' out that I was exaggerating those statements...of course I don't want all pianos burned, nor do I expect digitals to be the end all be all of the piano world. I ain't that crazy....yet. crazy

By the way, the bold type ain't shoutin'...it's for emphasis...remember? grin

You can't get Dewster's tongue-in-cheek any better than you can get mine.

Take a deep breath and try not to be so tense, son, you're makin' everyone nervous. help

You're probably a right smart little fella, and we could probably sit down and have a beer or whisky and get just along fine in real life, but you gotta remember, the written word is sometimes a little hard to convey emotions, both going and comin', so try not to read to much craziness and/or seriousness in my posts.

Let's keep things nice and happy and good natured,...we're here to have fun, learn somethin', get away from everything else, and hang with a bunch of people that have mostly the same things in common.


Snazzy
Posted By: Sprout

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 06:13 PM

Something that I have REALLY enjoyed about this board is that it is not nasty as are some other boards. I'd like to keep the good spirit, and the "let's all help each other" approach that I have witnessed since joining this board.

Sprout

Posted By: Michael Darnton

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 06:19 PM

Originally Posted by turandot
Originally Posted by Michael Darnton

That's true. What he mainly deals in is bad information, repeated as often and emphatically as possible, and with the point of a forum being to deliver good information. . .


Who are you describing? Is it good information to say over and over again that all acoustics should be burned, used for firewood?


Huh? Didn't I just say it isn't? What are you attacking me for?
Posted By: Michael Darnton

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 06:21 PM

What I'd really like to see is to get both Snaz and Gy in the ring together and have them duke it out as to whether the P85 or the Williams Symphony is the best deal for your dollar in DPs today, and all one everyone needs to stay happy.
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 06:39 PM

Originally Posted by Michael Darnton
What I'd really like to see is to get both Snaz and Gy in the ring together and have them duke it out as to whether the P85 or the Williams Symphony is the best deal for your dollar in DPs today, and all one every needs to stay happy.


Gyro would win in a minute...he's as tough as he is persistant. help

I've sold my P-85 and I'm going to track down a Williams. wink

Snazzy
Posted By: turandot

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 06:45 PM

Sprout,

Helping each other is a laudable goal. However, if one member claims a personal license to repeatedly exaggerate, distort, and ridicule instruments not to his personal taste, things can get iffy regarding that goal. In fact, whatever helpful useful information the member provides can lose its credibility.

If everyone here exerted the right to repeatedly take the sledgehammer to piano products that he or she did not like, the forum would be rendered useless. It is each person's responsibility to say what he or she really thinks without resorting to ridicule of other products or other members. It's really no different than selling pianos. The best salespros listen. They then try to match products to the user's stated applications, personal taste, and budget. They are confident enough to mention strengths and weaknesses of different products. Good salespros simply talk about the stengths of their products. Bad salespros present untrue, distorted, and exaggerated information about the competition to pimp their own wares. I think the line that marks off the bad zone was crossed early and often here.

A person can say what he likes on a forum. Some people find that simple fact empowering, causing them to say such things as Brand X pianos sound like they are drowning in a swimming pool and that acoustic pianos should all be burned. Later they can always say "I didn't mean it".

In the spirit of helpful cooperation, I could certainly let this go. Such comments make absolutely no impression on me personally, except to question everything else that member has to say because you never really know when such a member is speaking seriously or just stoking a personal bonfire.

I choose not to let it go. I think it's reprehensible.

I don't know why it is, but these all-or-nothing acoustic vs. digital threads seem to pop up here one after another. Someone said on this thread that it was nice of Piano World to have a sub-forum where digital lovers could congregate. That's fine, but these all-or-nothing, no-regard-to-common-sense threads inevitably bring in the taggers and their spray-paint.
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 06:45 PM

Originally Posted by Michael Darnton
Originally Posted by turandot
Originally Posted by Michael Darnton

That's true. What he mainly deals in is bad information, repeated as often and emphatically as possible, and with the point of a forum being to deliver good information. . .


Who are you describing? Is it good information to say over and over again that all acoustics should be burned, used for firewood?


Huh? Didn't I just say it isn't? What are you attacking me for?


Now ladies...calm down, or I'll sic Gyro on ya, and we'll all be playin' Williams. grin

Mmmmmmm...now I think of it, the Williams might be a candidate for firewood...we could have a campfire, and we could all have a sing song...pass the marshmallows. smile

Snazzy
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 06:51 PM

Originally Posted by turandot
I choose not to let it go. I think it's reprehensible.

That's fine, but these all-or-nothing, no-regard-to-common-sense threads inevitably bring in the taggers and their spray-paint.


Wow! You must curb that rampant pessimism...lighten up son, you're gonna hurt yourself, and you are such a nice guy.

Snazzy
Posted By: ChrisA

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 07:17 PM

Originally Posted by turandot
Sprout,

Helping each other is a laudable goal. However, if one member claims a personal license to repeatedly exaggerate, distort, and ridicule instruments not to his personal taste, things can get iffy regarding that goal. In fact, whatever helpful useful information the member provides can lose its credibility.


Arguing like this really is silly. My view is that currently none of the big camomapnies have a poor product. They are all good. But some are much better matches to your needs. The Steinway grand is great but for many people it is worse then usless. Could you imagine one inside a small apartment? Virtual instruments are nice but not for people who don't like or want computers and so on. I actually like and can get excited about products I'd never buy

This forum's purpose should be to match up people with what might suit them and share infomation

The other thing that we really should get over, but we won't is thinking that "equipment matters". It doesn't. A good musician could play well on anything. I get reminded of this all the time.
Posted By: turandot

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 07:58 PM

Originally Posted by ChrisA

My view is that currently none of the big camomapnies have a poor product. They are all good. But some are much better matches to your needs.

This forum's purpose should be to match up people with what might suit them and share infomation


That sounds vaguely familiar. I wonder if anyone else might have posted that earlier in this thread....like four or five times! grin
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 08:09 PM

Originally Posted by ChrisA



Arguing like this really is silly.


Yes, you are right Chris...we should not be arguing, and we should get on with the topic, even though Turandot is unwilling to let it go...he is as pervasive as Gyro, who actually behaves as a gentleman, even though his posts tend to have a certain same consistency and direction. Still, he is entitled to his opinion, as are you and I and every other member on this forum.

If someone wants to post with a little humor, or exaggerations, why is it such a crime to laugh and enjoy our time on this great forum? Just because some people are humorless and ultra-serious, does not mean we all have to post in the same stilted and dry manner that they seem to think is appropriate.

We all have our personal style and there's no need to inhabit a forum where we all have to speak in hushed and pseudo-intellectual tones...we are as individualistic in personality and posting style as we are in our choice of music and instruments.

If someone wants to burn all the Avant Grands, or use the V-Piano for landfill, it is still their opinion, and, if this forum is as open minded as I think it is, it should be allowed to be expressed, and be every bit as important as Gyro's comments and your comments too.

I come here because I'm retired, and have free time to knock about with persons of similar interests, and to help someone find their way through the jungle of digital pianos that has grown up around us.

Let's all try and keep that in focus, and stay clear of judging personalities.

Snazzy
Posted By: Pianisti

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 08:26 PM

Originally Posted by turandot
Sprout,

Helping each other is a laudable goal. However, if one member claims a personal license to repeatedly exaggerate, distort, and ridicule instruments not to his personal taste, things can get iffy regarding that goal. In fact, whatever helpful useful information the member provides can lose its credibility....


But your opinion is just wrong. We have old old old professional(s) here (either that or old farts) who know better what is good for anyone in the world - problably can recommend a piano to a deaf person as well. We are all blessed for this wisdom that we need like the announcements of Steve Jobs.

So your preferences or opinion does not matter - you are just plain wrong. So why not just to stop spamming here and go get a real life?

And I do agree with you, but unfortunately you can always find trolls.

Sorry, but I just had to continue a bit this silly thread. Great stuff.
Posted By: Sprout

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 08:42 PM

I've been here just about a month, but I recognize that some people have certain refrains.

Gyro: 61 unweighted key keyboards are just fine for anybody.

Dewster: The sounds in dps are way behind computer software.

Snazzy: Acoustics are antiquated.

Yes, they might make their points over and over again, if it bothers you, don't read their posts. It doesn't take long for people to realize certain points of view. Sometimes they might get a little over-zealous on their points of view, but even being here a month I can say, "Oh that's just Gyro (or whomever". Any informed person will not base their whole points of view on one person--unless of course they hold an Oprah-like status, which no one does around here, as far as I know.

Sprout
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 08:49 PM

Originally Posted by Sprout
I've been here just about a month, but I recognize that some people have certain refrains..

Snazzy: Acoustics are antiquated.



You mean they aren't? cry

Snazzy
Posted By: bitWrangler

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 09:31 PM

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
If someone wants to post with a little humor, or exaggerations, why is it such a crime to laugh and enjoy our time on this great forum? Just because some people are humorless and ultra-serious, does not mean we all have to post in the same stilted and dry manner that they seem to think is appropriate.


Consider that when one responds in that fashion to a post that is earnest, then any "humor, or exaggeration" will often be lost on the folks who are in most need of a "straight" answer. This is often cited as gyro's biggest sin (that and his formatting), not that his ideas are, um, on the edge of the bell curve, but that newbies who don't know any better and are here because they don't know any better won't know the context behind his posts and blithely follow his advice.
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 09:44 PM

Originally Posted by bitWrangler

This is often cited as gyro's biggest sin (that and his formatting), not that his ideas are, um, on the edge of the bell curve, but that newbies who don't know any better and are here because they don't know any better won't know the context behind his posts and blithely follow his advice.


With people like you and Chris and Martin and Dewster...even the humble Turandot...need I go on?

There's no way anyone will be deluded by Gyro with you people around.

Just don't you guys take your vacations at once, or when you get back, this place will be called "Williams World" or "Gyro's Keyboard Emporium and Firewood Supply". wink

Snazzy
Posted By: Sprout

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 09:44 PM

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
Originally Posted by Sprout
I've been here just about a month, but I recognize that some people have certain refrains..

Snazzy: Acoustics are antiquated.



You mean they aren't? cry

Snazzy


I can neither confirm nor deny... smile

It's just what I have heard you say with some frequency.

That, and the P-85 is well worth the money. smile

Sprout
Posted By: Sprout

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 09:52 PM

Originally Posted by bitWrangler
that newbies who don't know any better and are here because they don't know any better won't know the context behind [Gyro's] posts and blithely follow his advice.


Again, I've only been here a month, and I've not blithely followed his advice. Anyone who watches these for a week or so would figure it out.

A dp should not be an "impulse buy". There's gotta be some research. We can't be faulted for some people's uninformed buying habits. It's a free forum, you should know that when you look at the info here, take it for what it's worth.

The same principle should be taken when one reads the promotional material for the company. When I first started my research, I was reading what Yamaha, Roland, M-Audio put out about their pianos. I learned that that all should be pretty much thrown out. It's just them trying to sell their products. You learn these things after spending just even a little time around.

Sprout
Posted By: turandot

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 10:32 PM

"A dp should not be an "impulse buy". There's gotta be some research. We can't be faulted for some people's uninformed buying habits. It's a free forum, you should know that when you look at the info here, take it for what it's worth"

Sprout,

You are completely correct that a dp (or an acoustic piano for that matter) should not be an impulse buy. That's why so many variations of the 'different strokes for different folks' theme have cropped up in this thread suggesting that the user match his needs, taste, and budget to the market.

That being said, people who come here with questions (and remember...the OP here professed ignorance and asked many questions) these people are wishing to become better informed. They are not wishing to be engulfed in ludicrous exaggerations or self-serving ridicule and they are attempting to not buy on impulse.

If everyone assumes license to take a sledgehammer to instruments they don't like simply because they don't like them, and does it for the sake of personal amusement, there is no way that people who come here asking questions can get useful information. It will be total chaos with the anarchists slapping their knees in delight.

Yeah, the forum is free and people can say what they please. But that does not mean that posting members should not act responsibly and attempt to be helpful to the less-informed.

You say it took you but a week to sort certain things out. I don't think most could do it in that amount of time, and judging from your one-line description of Gyro, I really don't think you have either. But no matter. With more of what is now being explained away as 'humor' in place, it would be that much harder.
Posted By: dewster

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 10:34 PM

Did someone mention my name? Uh-oh, I'm being dragged into this superheated thread.

Must...resist...posting...

Aieee!!

Originally Posted by Sprout
I've been here just about a month, but I recognize that some people have certain refrains.

Dewster: The sounds in dps are way behind computer software.

In my defense, someone has to keep DP expectations realistically low, if only to counter the hype from manufacturers. Referring to 95% of those unholy amalgams of plastic and anemic processors "Digital Pianos" is just plain dishonest. "Keyboards with hammer actions and one or more AP voices" I could live with a little easier.

Oops - I'm doing it again, aren't I?

It's true though, particularly if you are serious about the sound of your rather expensive instrument, as many of us here seem to be. Look around, we're all busy ditching last years model for an what probably amounts to a slight improvement in sound.

Originally Posted by Snazz
If someone wants to post with a little humor, or exaggerations, why is it such a crime to laugh and enjoy our time on this great forum? Just because some people are humorless and ultra-serious, does not mean we all have to post in the same stilted and dry manner that they seem to think is appropriate.

We all have our personal style and there's no need to inhabit a forum where we all have to speak in hushed and pseudo-intellectual tones...we are as individualistic in personality and posting style as we are in our choice of music and instruments.

If someone wants to burn all the Avant Grands, or use the V-Piano for landfill, it is still their opinion, and, if this forum is as open minded as I think it is, it should be allowed to be expressed, and be every bit as important as Gyro's comments and your comments too.

I come here because I'm retired, and have free time to knock about with persons of similar interests, and to help someone find their way through the jungle of digital pianos that has grown up around us.

Let's all try and keep that in focus, and stay clear of judging personalities.

I'm not trying to take sides here or amplify any negative vibrations, but Snazz makes several points there that I agree with wholeheartedly - particularly the "burn all the Avant Grands, or use the V-Piano for landfill" part. smirk

The company here is really great, and any small bit of humor makes it that much more fun (IMO).
Posted By: dewster

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 10:49 PM

In for a dime, in for a dollar...

Originally Posted by turandot
Yeah, the forum is free and people can say what they please. But that does not mean that posting members should not act responsibly and attempt to be helpful to the less-informed.

No disrespect turandot, and I really do mean that, but noobs have some responsibility to look around a bit take in the lay of the land. It seems like they aren't doing that much though, as most new posts are the same old "I need an utterly fantastic DP with built in speakers, 100W amps, stand, and three pedals, but only have a budget of $5" variety.

Blindly taking free advice from anyone and everyone on anonymous on-line fora is no way to go through life. But if people insist on doing that, there isn't really much I can do to stop them.
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 10:58 PM

Originally Posted by dewster


I'm not trying to take sides here or amplify any negative vibrations, but Snazz makes several points there that I agree with wholeheartedly - particularly the "burn all the Avant Grands, or use the V-Piano for landfill" part. smirk

The company here is really great, and any small bit of humor makes it that much more fun (IMO).


I'm not sure of the carbon footprint for a burning AG, Dewster, but it's probably bigger than your PC and VST's....do your part...stop global warming...kerosene or naphtha makes a great accelerant. wink

Yes, the company here is great, and a small bit of humor always takes the misery away from listening to out of tune grands and the servile work of sledgehammering uprights. grin

My mother, bless her heart used to say, "“Snobbery is the pride of those who are not sure of their position”.

Good thing there aren't any (snobs) here. wink

I just wish I was rich instead of handsome. wink

Snazzy
Posted By: daviel

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 11:04 PM

you have a wise mom.
Posted By: bitWrangler

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 11:09 PM

My mom used to say "Quoting your mom is the voice of those who are not sure of their own opinions".

Oh, wait.

Nevermind.

P.S. my mom never really said that.

P.P.S. at least not to me.
Posted By: dewster

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 11:12 PM

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
I'm not sure of the carbon footprint for a burning AG, Dewster, but it's probably bigger than your PC and VST's....do your part...stop global warming...kerosene or naphtha makes a great accelerant. wink

I guess we could just unplug them, but then we might still hear their hammer actions knocking away. No, can't chance it, burning and/or burying them is the only way to go.

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
Yes, the company here is great, and a small bit of humor always takes the misery away from listening to out of tune grands and the servile work of sledgehammering uprights.

Someone has to do god's work here on earth - hoist that sledge a little higher.

Hey, there's a spinet over there trying to escape!
Posted By: Sprout

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 11:25 PM

Yeah, dewster I think your point is well taken, and you might need to say it over and over again. Those who have been around for a month or so have heard it already, but that's fine. smile The noobs need to hear it. I appreciate your message. For my ears, my dp is fine for now. I'm not sure if it's even as good as my somewhat out of tune acoustic spinet, (which I also have), but I can't very well move that to a gig nor mic it. As my ears get more discerning, I might want to get the computer software, but for now, I'm fine.

turandot--part of not buying impulsively would be to not buy after reading two responses to your query. I would say that you throw the question out there, and research other threads. If the OP is only reading this thread (which, by the way, he must have loooong abandoned, since it has become an "in-house" bickering/discussion), then he's not doing is research. I'm just saying that there are enough other voices on this forum to counteract whatever loony opinions MIGHT be here. I'm not saying anyone in particular is loony...

Also, this is a DP forum. So we're a little biased. If you want to read about real (or acoustic, take your pick) pianos, read a different forum. People here are interested in buying a dp or already have one--or both. smile

I know that when I was looking at buying my dp, this forum was one of many voices that I was looking at. But I really liked what I read here, but I had to read a lot of threads before I could sort out the information.

Sprout.
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 11:27 PM

Originally Posted by bitWrangler
My mom used to say "Quoting your mom is the voice of those who are not sure of their own opinions".

Oh, wait.

Nevermind.

P.S. my mom never really said that.

P.P.S. at least not to me.


My stepbrother is a Mountie (RCMP) up in Canada.

They asked him, "What would you do if you had to arrest your mother?"

He replied, "Call for back-up."

Snazzy
Posted By: kiedysktos.

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 11:37 PM

Ehh, what an off-top. You certainly have too much time, and/or no exact answers.
Posted By: Sprout

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 11:46 PM

Originally Posted by Sprout

Gyro: 61 unweighted key keyboards are just fine for anybody.


Originally Posted by turandot
judging from your one-line description of Gyro, I really don't think you have either.


Fair enough, I was perhaps too liberal with my description. How about...

Gyro: Don't overestimate the 88-weighted key dp. Most of what they offer you can be achieved with a 61 unweighted key dp. And they're more portable anyway.

Is this better? Or am I still off? If I'm still off, I'll have to go back and re-read all his posts. That'll be fun! smile

Sprout
Posted By: dewster

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 11:47 PM

Originally Posted by kiedysktos.
Ehh, what an off-top. You certainly have too much time, and/or no exact answers.

Ah, here it is, Isaiah 40: 1-11, Mark: 1:1-8:

"Prepare the way for the Lord; clear a straight path for him by sniping at others on obscure DP forums."

Truly words to live by.
Posted By: Sprout

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/27/10 11:54 PM

Yes, that's the way I remember those passages too!!!! smile

I was wondering if was just me...

Laughing out loud!

Sprout
Posted By: turandot

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 12:25 AM

Quote
Also, this is a DP forum. So we're a little biased. If you want to read about real (or acoustic, take your pick) pianos, read a different forum. People here are interested in buying a dp or already have one--or both. smile


Sprout,

Whenever someone says "we're....", I hear the sound of knees buckling, just as when someone says that he didn't really mean it, I hear the same sound.

More than 90% of my own posts are on the acoustic forum. I'm not part of any 'we' here, nor there. Neither are you unless you purport to be one of some cuckoo's nest anarchist group. However, I do spend more than half my time on digital instruments, so I feel it's permissible to drop a line here occasionally.

From the beginning of this thread I have attempted to offer a rational approach to the question of what piano might fit what user. Yet this is not the first time you have mentioned that you don't like conflict and that perhaps I should leave.

Chris A. mentioned something about dp's being good instruments today. I agree. It's a point I've often made in respect to what's available in digitals and acoustics. I would say that there are virtually no products available that cannot find a happy user. It's really just a question of fit and budget.

I think if you inquired of the mods or of the owner what he hopes this forum will be, the hopes would be a bit higher than a bunch of electronically linked nameless compadres taking potshots at anything and everything just for the transitory amusement of filling long empty hours of the day.

Over the years I've been here there have been many of these either-or 'no shades of grey' digital versus acoustic threads. This has occurred even when the OP's question (as is definitely the case here) had nothing to do with such an either-or proposition. On a couple of occasions the outlandish claims have been made by acoustic purists. I've taken the same antagonistic approach to that as to the other way around.

People who stay true to what they actually believe and have sound reasons to believe it may become boring for other frequent readers. If they address questions with their best advice, that advice will often repeat itself. But that really doesn't matter. It's the inexperienced member asking the question and the lurkers and unregistered guests who matter. Do you really think I have posted repeatedly here to get biased loudmouths to change their views? I'm not that stupid.

Again, if you were to ask the owner, I don't think he thinks of this site as merely entertainment value, a place where a person can drop by any time of any day to read some rip-shorting one-liners. To be perfectly honest, none of the 'humor' on this thread is funny anyway. It's all at someone's or something's expense. The poster who referred to old farts idling away their time was on the mark.

Don't dismiss Cashley so easily. I think he posted here not that long ago. The time lapse may seem longer than that for those who spend their day glued to a monitor waiting for some action. And don't give up hope that I will disappear from 'your' digital forum. When the decibel level of the noise exceeds a certain level, I often do that for a bit on my own with no need of prodding.

Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 12:35 AM

Originally Posted by dewster
Originally Posted by kiedysktos.
Ehh, what an off-top. You certainly have too much time, and/or no exact answers.

Ah, here it is, Isaiah 40: 1-11, Mark: 1:1-8:

"Prepare the way for the Lord; clear a straight path for him by sniping at others on obscure DP forums."

Truly words to live by.


Yes, I'm afraid they are for some. wink

Well said.

It's tough being a snipee with all those old fart snipers around...my helmet please! grin

Snazzy
Posted By: Melodialworks Music

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 12:46 AM

Originally Posted by Sprout
I've been here just about a month, but I recognize that some people have certain refrains.

Gyro: 61 unweighted key keyboards are just fine for anybody.

Dewster: The sounds in dps are way behind computer software.

Snazzy: Acoustics are antiquated.



I'm hurt that I didn't make the list!
Posted By: dewster

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 01:04 AM

Originally Posted by turandot
Chris A. mentioned something about dp's being good instruments today. I agree. It's a point I've often made in respect to what's available in digitals and acoustics. I would say that there are virtually no products available that cannot find a happy user. It's really just a question of fit and budget.

I guess it goes without saying that I'm an unhappy user in search of a product that doesn't seem to exist yet (indeed, the very reason I am here, making everyone else miserable), so I respectfully object to that statement.

But I'm genuinely curious, what DP do you own that you are very happy with?
Posted By: dewster

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 01:10 AM

Originally Posted by Melodialworks Music
I'm hurt that I didn't make the list!

There there Lawrence. You just need to work at adding some mild megalomania to your on-line personality. It'll happen, you'll be on some list some day, I promise.
Posted By: OldFingers

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 01:15 AM

Originally Posted by dewster
I guess it goes without saying that I'm an unhappy user in search of a product that doesn't seem to exist yet (indeed, the very reason I am here, making everyone else miserable), so I respectfully object to that statement.

Me too. My acoustic grand has not satisfied my expectations, nor has my Ivory/MP8ii. For awhile I thought the Avant Grand was the answer, but it doesn't allow for the future development in software pianos. Actually if the Avant Grand had allowed for 4-channel input I think I'd be there.


Posted By: dewster

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 01:16 AM

Originally Posted by turandot
a bunch of electronically linked nameless compadres taking potshots at anything and everything just for the transitory amusement of filling long empty hours of the day.

I don't believe I've ever been so busted in my entire life. smile
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 01:40 AM

Originally Posted by dewster
Originally Posted by turandot
a bunch of electronically linked nameless compadres taking potshots at anything and everything just for the transitory amusement of filling long empty hours of the day.

I don't believe I've ever been so busted in my entire life. smile


Don't feel bad, old friend...we're proud of you...all one of us. thumb

Snazzy
Posted By: MacMacMac

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 01:59 AM

Can someone please rename this thread.
And entitle it "Everything except Steinway-like Digital Pianos ?" smile
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 02:15 AM

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Can someone please rename this thread.
And entitle it "Everything except Steinway-like Digital Pianos ?" smile


Yes Mac, there are some people who are never satisfied unless they are hijacking a thread for their own selfish purposes.

It makes it hard for the rest of us to keep a straight face, doesn't it?

My next door neighbor's piano playing was that bad, that Henry Engelhard Steinway himself came down and rubbed his name off the piano. wink

Snazzy
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 03:03 AM

Originally Posted by Sprout
If the OP is only reading this thread (which, by the way, he must have loooong abandoned, since it has become an "in-house" bickering/discussion), then he's not doing is research.


The OP is still monitoring this thread...and very closely. wink

Just that the OP does not have enough knowledge to participate in in-depth discussions.

BTW, the OP has a question. What is the difference between stage piano and digital piano ?
Posted By: Dr Popper

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 03:18 AM

Originally Posted by turandot



More than 90% of my own posts are on the acoustic forum. I'm not part of any 'we' here, nor there.



Doors to your left .....
Posted By: Dr Popper

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 03:23 AM

Originally Posted by Melodialworks Music
Originally Posted by Sprout
I've been here just about a month, but I recognize that some people have certain refrains.

Gyro: 61 unweighted key keyboards are just fine for anybody.

Dewster: The sounds in dps are way behind computer software.

Snazzy: Acoustics are antiquated.



I'm hurt that I didn't make the list!


Me too .... I'm not sure I've got a agenda except that classical pianists are from another planet ... I do believe that. They go on about their Chopin and how hard it is .... if they hate it so much go buy a sequencer wink
Posted By: Sprout

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 03:41 AM

Hmm...

I think I better go quiet for a while.

I don't think I'm being much of a help. Back to "lurking" smile

Sprout
Posted By: sullivang

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 04:05 AM

Originally Posted by Cashley
Pardon my ignorance, do the Germans make DPs as well ? And as well as they made acoustic pianos ?


Here's an interesting German digital piano (info is in German):
http://www.wersi.com/INFOBLATT_GP1000.pdf

I believe Wersi are more commonly associated with organs though.

Greg.
Posted By: susanmusic

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 04:14 AM

Originally Posted by Cashley


BTW, the OP has a question. What is the difference between stage piano and digital piano ?


"Stage piano" and "console" are the two broad types of digital pianos. Stage pianos are usually portable slab pianos, often without internal speakers. Your Clavinovas are consoles.
Posted By: ChrisA

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 05:45 AM

Originally Posted by dewster

I guess it goes without saying that I'm an unhappy user in search of a product that doesn't seem to exist yet.


I guess I forgot why you don't like the Nord piano. Seems to be what you want. The internal samples are user downloadable and you can choose from a large library plus they also offer editor software so you can change the samples or even make your own.
Posted By: FogVilleLad

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 06:45 AM

Originally Posted by Cashley
What is the difference between stage piano and digital piano ?
I think that you're referring to "stage" vs "home" DP's. Stage pianos look like slabs, home pianos have peddles built into their cabinets. Stage pianos are the gigging musician's tool, home pianos have a higher WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor).


Posted By: sullivang

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 07:42 AM

Originally Posted by ChrisA
I guess I forgot why you don't like the Nord piano. Seems to be what you want. The internal samples are user downloadable and you can choose from a large library plus they also offer editor software so you can change the samples or even make your own.


I know why I don't like it - it only has 0.5GB of memory - not 0.5TB. ;^)

Greg.
Posted By: kiedysktos.

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 01:28 PM

Originally Posted by dewster
Originally Posted by kiedysktos.
Ehh, what an off-top. You certainly have too much time, and/or no exact answers.

Ah, here it is, Isaiah 40: 1-11, Mark: 1:1-8:

"Prepare the way for the Lord; clear a straight path for him by sniping at others on obscure DP forums."

Truly words to live by.


I'm not sniping others. I think off-topic is natural thing on the forums, sometimes it's funny and make the forum more living; or there is another topic that seems to be worth discussion. Though when there are many pages filled with mostly off-topic issues, it's not normal. And also it's not tragedy - I guess OP can live with it smile
But it also means, that finding valuable information in such a thread is hard for others. I like this forum, but when the quality (or: accuracy) of posts goes down, usability goes also, and it becomes rather place for off-top arguing, than giving people advice.

The topic is very interesting. There are very few DP who seem to sound even close to Steinway. And maybe surprisingly one of most criticized DP - Clavia's Nord - is closer to this goal more than others? It is based mostly on sample technology. Even if it has notable weaknesses, Rolands and Yamahas sound so much different. And I'd like to try new Nord Piano, maybe it sounds and feels more natural than previous models.

What about Yamaha? Maybe it's a mistake not aiming at Steinway piano lovers? Or maybe they do?
And now it seems that some of people who like Steinway pianos go for Roland rather than Yamaha; Roland is more mellow, and certainly wins in a few aspects with Nord Stage. Even if for many it's far from ideal.
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 01:45 PM

Thanks for reeling us around and back on topic, kiedysktos.

There's no doubt that many Rolands have a mellower sound, but my Steinway has a robust mid range, where as the Roland seems to be a little thinner (not awful. mind you...but noticeable to my ears) in the mids.

Also, I've played Steinway pianos that had a tremendously bright sound, but of course, they were either voiced that way, or, more likely, the hammers naturally hardened over time.

We all know that no two acoustic pianos sound the same...even ones made on the same assembly line, on the same day. That's also why it's nigh on impossible (or inadvisable) to buy an acoustic without trying it. Digitals of the same make and model, all sound identical.

Perhaps with the new CP-1/CP-5, there will be a way of setting things to mimic a Steinway.

Snazzy


Posted By: Dr Popper

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 02:10 PM

Must be something (else) wrong with me ...I really like the RD-700GX piano voices and thought it was very Steinway -ish. I'm wondering what the new expansion board for the RD is going to sound like.
Posted By: dewster

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 03:19 PM

Originally Posted by sullivang
Originally Posted by ChrisA
I guess I forgot why you don't like the Nord piano. Seems to be what you want. The internal samples are user downloadable and you can choose from a large library plus they also offer editor software so you can change the samples or even make your own.

I know why I don't like it - it only has 0.5GB of memory - not 0.5TB. ;^)

I'm with Greg, just not enough sample memory to take it seriously, though 5GB is closer to my threshold. It's definitely a step in the right direction. I applaud the downloadable voice feature, and hope it becomes more the norm for DP manufacturers.
Posted By: dewster

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 03:24 PM

Originally Posted by kiedysktos.
I'm not sniping others. I think off-topic is natural thing on the forums, sometimes it's funny and make the forum more living; or there is another topic that seems to be worth discussion. Though when there are many pages filled with mostly off-topic issues, it's not normal. And also it's not tragedy - I guess OP can live with it smile
But it also means, that finding valuable information in such a thread is hard for others. I like this forum, but when the quality (or: accuracy) of posts goes down, usability goes also, and it becomes rather place for off-top arguing, than giving people advice.

My heartfelt apologies kiedysktos, I just couldn't help myself.

Good points, particularly regarding SNR, and thanks for getting this thread back on topic.
Posted By: hpeterh

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 03:28 PM

Originally Posted by Cashley
Actually I own 2 Clavinovas, at 2 different locations, of course.

I'm looking at expanding my knowledge of DPs.

Quote
Basically it means you plug your digital piano into a computer, use a software program running on the computer to generate piano (and other instrument) sounds, and send the audio output of the computer through a good set of speakers (or stereo).


Is it possible to send the audio output of the computer back to the original speakers in the DP ?



It is normally not a problem. Simply connect the output of the soundcard to the line-in of the piano.

Sound is just a set of data and algorithms and is not expensive nowadays.

Therefore I think, it is nowadays not a good idea to choose an expensive digital piano because of its onboard sound. Softwarepianos have MUCH better sound.
Choose the piano for best keyboard, best speaker system and best price, or because other features and sounds.
An older (used) model can fulfill this requirements.

Use a computer with good sound card. Nowadays an expensive external drive is not needed. GalaxyII for example fits onto a fast USB stick and runs very well with it.

If you look for Steinway sound look out for the upcoming Galaxy 4, the demos sound very good and no digital comes close with its onboard sound. Even the Clavinovas that cost over 7000,- Euro dont come close to it. The steinway fits easily onto an 16 GB USB Stick.

Advantages: You can upgrade the sound. If you dont like it, you can replace it. And, at least for those libraries that are based on Kontakt Player like Galaxy II, you get a very powerful equalizer and effect section and very good reverb and the sound can be modified up to a high degree.


thats just my opinion....

Peter
Posted By: MacMacMac

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 04:20 PM

Quote
... it is nowadays not a good idea to choose an expensive digital piano because of its onboard sound. Softwarepianos have MUCH better sound.
I wish they'd put all of the "software piano" guts into single console DP and be done with it. A sort of V Piano, but console style. All in one unit, no outboard computers and screens and software and cables and muss and fuss. Just a piano, with the right goodies inside. (Okay, add a network port so you can "flash" in a software update once in blue moon.)
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 04:22 PM

The software route doesn't cut it for gigging either.

Snazzy
Posted By: dewster

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 05:40 PM

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I wish they'd put all of the "software piano" guts into single console DP and be done with it. A sort of V Piano, but console style. All in one unit, no outboard computers and screens and software and cables and muss and fuss. Just a piano, with the right goodies inside. (Okay, add a network port so you can "flash" in a software update once in blue moon.)

But then their revenue stream would dry up. I for one wouldn't want CEOs selling off their multiple homes and jets and whatnot on my conscience.
Posted By: ChrisA

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 06:25 PM

Originally Posted by sullivang
Originally Posted by ChrisA
I guess I forgot why you don't like the Nord piano. Seems to be what you want. The internal samples are user downloadable and you can choose from a large library plus they also offer editor software so you can change the samples or even make your own.


I know why I don't like it - it only has 0.5GB of memory - not 0.5TB. ;^)

Greg.


You'd think 500MB would be enough. After all you could fit and entire audio recording of a concert using 16 bit lossless compression in 500MB. If you could fit the entire concert in there one would think you could fit enough samples to play an entire concert. I think I could even prove that.

I think the problem is that even after playing an entire classical concert you simply never access 80% of the samples. There are 88 keys but I'd bet not half are used in any one composition and and I bet not every velocity sample gets used. All that stuff is there in case you need it.

OK what about this It has 4GB RAM. Not the .5TB you want but it does have a 1TB disk to hold samples not currently being played. It is a rack mount unit, not built into the DP but you are going to need some amps anyways.
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/R2ProMaxKomp/

Posted By: dewster

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 06:40 PM

Originally Posted by ChrisA
OK what about this It has 4GB RAM. Not the .5TB you want but it does have a 1TB disk to hold samples not currently being played. It is a rack mount unit, not built into the DP but you are going to need some amps anyways.
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/R2ProMaxKomp/

That's nice, but it is a bit too obviously a PC in a rackmount box, something I can build for $500 with similar specs (but with no OS or other SW). I do get that it can be operated in a bit more of a stand-alone mode, but it probably has a complex OS (Win or Linux) that can crash, which would then need a minute or so to reboot. All I need in a DP is something that plays back samples, or can support a complex model, with as simple an OS as possible that boots up in 5 to 10 seconds.

I bet to really configure it you have to plug a PC screen, keyboard, and mouse into the back. Why not just go the laptop route? I guess I just don't understand these kinds of products.
Posted By: dewster

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 07:02 PM

Originally Posted by ChrisA
You'd think 500MB would be enough.

Not even close:

88 keys * 16 layers (8 pedal up + 8 pedal down) * 2 (stereo) * 2 minutes / key * 60 seconds / minute * 44,100 samples / second * 2 bytes / sample = 29,804,544,000 bytes

30GB. This is why I have a hard time not laughing when people bring up the 500MB in the Nord.

You could probably shave some off here and there, in fact you could reduce it by a factor of 8 or 10 with lossy compression, but even then you're looking at ~3GB.

Posted By: ChrisA

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/28/10 09:02 PM

Originally Posted by dewster
Originally Posted by ChrisA
OK what about this It has 4GB RAM. Not the .5TB you want but it does have a 1TB disk to hold samples not currently being played. It is a rack mount unit, not built into the DP but you are going to need some amps anyways.
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/R2ProMaxKomp/

That's nice, but it is a bit too obviously a PC in a rackmount box, something I can build for $500 with similar specs (but with no OS or other SW). I do get that it can be operated in a bit more of a stand-alone mode, but it probably has a complex OS (Win or Linux) that can crash, which would then need a minute or so to reboot. All I need in a DP is something that plays back samples, or can support a complex model, with as simple an OS as possible that boots up in 5 to 10 seconds.

I bet to really configure it you have to plug a PC screen, keyboard, and mouse into the back. Why not just go the laptop route? I guess I just don't understand these kinds of products.


I would use a laptop. But I think many musicians don't understand computers and want knobs switches and a small LCD text only screen. I can understand not wanting to use a mouse on stage.

The box does run stand alone as a rack mount unit and would play piano sounds out of the box. But of couses if you wanted to download a new sample set and install that into the box you'd need a computer

The box runs Linux inside.
Millions of cable TV boxes, color laser printers, and even a few digital cameras and some new cell phones run Linux and the user's never know it. When you strip off all the user interface and un-needed device drivers the OS fits in a few kilobytes. Linux is open source so you can edit the system to remove every bit of it you don't need when you do this it becomes more reliable than other system components like the power supply or cooling fan. Every DP has some kind of OS inside.

Again. I don't want one. For half the price I could buy a pretty good notebook computer.
Posted By: turandot

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/29/10 12:58 AM

Originally Posted by dewster
Originally Posted by turandot
Chris A. mentioned something about dp's being good instruments today. I agree. It's a point I've often made in respect to what's available in digitals and acoustics. I would say that there are virtually no products available that cannot find a happy user. It's really just a question of fit and budget.

I guess it goes without saying that I'm an unhappy user in search of a product that doesn't seem to exist yet (indeed, the very reason I am here, making everyone else miserable), so I respectfully object to that statement.

But I'm genuinely curious, what DP do you own that you are very happy with?


Well, I did send you a PM, Dewster, both to answer your question and object to your objection, but I didn’t hear back. Wasn’t sure you’d read it what with all the pressing hustle and bustle in your little forum sub-community here to help Cashley with his questions. Then again, you might have read it and just decided not to acknowledge receipt because you really didn’t want to know anyway. Who knows? Who cares?

But what the heck, I’ll give you an unexpurgated version here. I mean it’s probably time for an evening feeding for Snoozy and the other Dwarfs anyway so here you go. I know you guys need fresh meat to sink your dentures into.

What I said was that there was virtually no digital or acoustic piano on the market today that could not find a happy user. What I did not say was that there was a digital or acoustic piano with which every person could be happy. There is a difference. Some people are never happy with anything.

The range of expectations on the part of piano users is very wide. There are the super picky, the tolerant, and the glad-to-have-anything types.

There have always been the glad-to-have-anything types who realize that it’s all about music and that without some kind of instrument it will be tough to make music, unless of course they have a gifted voice. These folks aren’t going to sit on their hands for ten years saving up for something better because they want to make music now. Give them the Williams that y’all persist in making the butt of ridicule and they’ll gladly take it and, depending on talent, may actually make you toe-tap as you listen.

Then there are the tolerant individuals who probably started out as glad-to-have anything types, but have become appreciative of a certain level of performance. These certain levels can vary widely, but are validated by talent and learned ability. Chances are, locked in a room with an Acrosonic spinach or an entry-level digital, any of these folks will reach an accommodation with the instrument and revert to their glad-to-have-anything days, not that it’s nirvana, just that it’s fun after all.

Among the super-picky are several types. First off are the more techie/less musician types. These are the number crunchers with beads of sweat running down their long faces who just know that they could do it better...that somehow if you mated this computer operating system with this audio interface and maybe used this cheapo dp as a controller with this here new software, then you would be good to go. The question is....good to go where.....probably to the recording and processing studio where at the end of the day, as day turns to night, after cutting out all the snippets of sloppy play and pasting in something better, they have a ‘musical’ product (so to speak).


Also among the super-picky are the spec-mavens. They ruled the roost in your community for a stretch several months back. Undoubtedly they’ll be back with a vengeance when all the new languages adopted by the makers for their latest generation of products can be deciphered and digested.

The spec maven panel verdict on any instrument was based on layers of sampling, touch levels, and what could be gleaned from all those different foreign languages that the makers come up with to disguise and exaggerate illuminate the actual abilities of the instruments they produce.. Pilgrims to your community (under the dictatorship of the spec mavens) were strongly warned to avoid the P85 as an ancient artifact offering ten-year-old technology at one-day-old prices. The prescribed cure involved new mega-levels of sampling and 1 million layers of differentiated touch.


The finally category of the super-picky is the super-nitpicky. These are the blessed individuals who have seen it all, played it all, and dismissed it all.....because it still ain’t good enough for them. How, you ask, can they continue to musically exist in such a state? Well, for one thing, they’re too busy plinking on a different type of keyboard all day long to need a piano anyway.

For the super nit-picky, the corn skin will be shucked away. That would be those damned run-of-the-mill acoustics and underwhelming digitals. Then the silk must be tossed aside, admittedly a messy job, but it must be done. Thus, well-maintained Steinways and spanking new Avants that ostensibly (or ostentatiously as the case may be) might have been owned or not owned must be summarily sentenced and banished from consideration.. Then those troublesome kernels of musical truth, e.g. “It’s the musician and not the instrument, stupid!”, must be scraped away until no gleaming kernel can be found and the barren cob is exposed.

In the old days before cancer research got serious, such a cob might have been fashioned into a pipe. From what I hear, such a cob can now function as an AES. If that’s the case. I guess a few cobs could probably fuel an ego pretty well.

Aunty T

Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/29/10 01:13 AM

Originally Posted by dewster


But then their revenue stream would dry up. I for one wouldn't want CEOs selling off their multiple homes and jets and whatnot on my conscience.


Now that's funny! I bet even old Turdandsnot would have a face cracking cackle at that remark. grin

Then again...maybe not. wink

Snazzy
Posted By: MacMacMac

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/29/10 01:52 AM

Turandot,
Could you take pity on us, poor plebs?
That is, take a break from looking down your snooty nose upon us?
Thanks.
Posted By: susanmusic

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/29/10 02:01 AM

I'm fascinated by Turandot's characterizations of the "glad to have anything," the "tolerant," and the "super picky."

When folks have asked me how I like my Kawai CE200, I've often wanted to start with a disclaimer that I'm just not as picky as many on this board seem to be. (And then go on to say that the CE200 has really exceeded my expectations for a second piano.)

Perhaps there needs to be a separate thead on this subject. I'd love to hear people assign themselves to one of Turandot's categories, or a characterization you prefer.


Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/29/10 02:03 AM

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Turandot,
Could you take pity on us, poor plebs?
That is, take a break from looking down your snooty nose upon us?
Thanks.


+1

Snobbery is the pride of those who are not sure of their position. grin

Snazzy
Posted By: feeble

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/29/10 02:27 AM

Originally Posted by turandot

Among the super-picky are several types. First off are the more techie/less musician types. These are the number crunchers with beads of sweat running down their long faces who just know that they could do it better...that somehow if you mated this computer operating system with this audio interface and maybe used this cheapo dp as a controller with this here new software, then you would be good to go. The question is....good to go where.....probably to the recording and processing studio where at the end of the day, as day turns to night, after cutting out all the snippets of sloppy play and pasting in something better, they have a ‘musical’ product (so to speak).


Ha! That's me, at least the first part. Today I almost convinced myself that if I had a 22" HP touchscreen monitor with an Air Turn sheet music system instead of a sheet music stand, all of my piano playing troubles would be solved. I managed to talk myself out of it, at least for today.

The second part isn't right though, I have vowed to myself that as I learn, I will not edit what I record. I want to be able to play it "right" in front of people too.

Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/29/10 04:55 AM

Originally Posted by feeble


The second part isn't right though, I have vowed to myself that as I learn, I will not edit what I record. I want to be able to play it "right" in front of people too.



I agree wholeheartedly. I never edit my recordings, but re-record the entire piece if I'm not happy with it.

It definitely has the benefit of making me play more accurately when gigging.

Very good point, Feeble.

Snazzy
Posted By: dewster

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/29/10 05:10 AM

Originally Posted by susanmusic
I'd love to hear people assign themselves to one of Turandot's categories, or a characterization you prefer.

For me, I'm only playing the specman game because you have to have adequate hardware before anything half-way believable happens in the sound department. Looking at the hardware specs first allows me to rule out 99% of what is out there very easily, so it is a huge time saver. It's more of a practical approach than anything else. Once we have a large variety of capable DPs, the process of choosing among them will become much more difficult.

If I weren't so spoiled by PC sounds, and if I weren't so aware of current technology (I've been an embedded HW EE for the last 11 years) I would be much more tolerant of today's DPs.

In conclusion, I'm not actually trying to be a crank, although it may seem so to others.
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/29/10 07:28 AM

Alright. The OP now wants some 'back to the basics' advice.

I have left my 2 Clavinovas at home, each in a different country. I'm now in another country, and it looks like I'm going to be here for quite some time. I plan to immerse myself in DPs and software pianos, and hopefully 'spread the culture' to the people around me, including music schools here, which are pretty antiquated.

Back to the Basic:

(1) I need to purchase a DP that can connect well with software piano. I'm going to give Yamaha a miss, because there are many Yamaha shops around. I need something that can be carried around when I go around to 'spread the culture', but when I'm back in my room I want it to sit nicely on a console.

(2) I think I would need a new laptop. I'm running on a 10-inch Samsung, which is too small to be of any use as far as software piano is concerned. What do I have to look out for ? Much has been said about sound card and speakers. But most laptops would have 'built-in' sound card and speakers. Do I need to purchase a separate sound card and speakers ? I'd really like to plug my output back into my DP, which means I need a DP with a good pair of speakers.

(3) Has anyone tried Garritan Steinway Software ?
Posted By: Dr Popper

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/29/10 07:53 AM

Originally Posted by susanmusic
I'd love to hear people assign themselves to one of Turandot's categories, or a characterization you prefer.


No thanks ..the only thing I can think of when I read Turadot's drivel is that somewhere in the world today a village is missing a idiot.
Posted By: Melodialworks Music

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/29/10 11:28 AM

Originally Posted by Dr Popper


No thanks ..the only thing I can think of when I read Turadot's drivel is that somewhere in the world today a village is missing a idiot.


I didn't bother reading it. I wish this board had a block feature, like some others do.
Posted By: hpeterh

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/29/10 02:02 PM

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Quote
... it is nowadays not a good idea to choose an expensive digital piano because of its onboard sound. Softwarepianos have MUCH better sound.
I wish they'd put all of the "software piano" guts into single console DP and be done with it. A sort of V Piano, but console style. All in one unit, no outboard computers and screens and software and cables and muss and fuss. Just a piano, with the right goodies inside. (Okay, add a network port so you can "flash" in a software update once in blue moon.)


Yes. If I had the space and the time then I would get a beautiful old acoustic piano that cannot be tuned anymore but is fine otherwise and I would fill it with speakers,amplifiers, a computer and MIDI hardware with sensors ;-)

Peter
Posted By: turandot

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/29/10 02:32 PM

Originally Posted by Cashley
I'm now in another country, and it looks like I'm going to be here for quite some time. I plan to immerse myself in DPs and software pianos, and hopefully 'spread the culture' to the people around me, including music schools here, which are pretty antiquated.

I need something that can be carried around when I go around to 'spread the culture', but when I'm back in my room I want it to sit nicely on a console.


http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1340415
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/29/10 02:52 PM

The reporter's intention is noble, unlike mine blush

I still need to earn a living. BTW, thanks for the pm.
Posted By: turandot

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/29/10 03:19 PM

Originally Posted by Cashley
The reporter's intention is noble, unlike mine blush

I still need to earn a living. BTW, thanks for the pm.


Don't sell yourself short Cashley. Reporters have to make a living, and musicians seeking grant funding are trying to do the same thing. Making a living is far more noble than the alternatives.

On that soundcard question, chances are that the soundcard a new laptop is equipped won't be sufficient for what you want to do with it. You would most likely be looking at upgrading through an external audio interface or a replacement soundcard, the latter being more portable of course. This is tricky for several reasons. One is the compatibility of the operating system with the card. For example, if your new laptop is running Windows 7, you'd want to be sure that the card has drivers for Windows 7. Since you're thinking about throwing a software piano into the chain, you'd have to check out compatability in that linkage too. Problems can range from latency (delayed sound response) to crash and burn, so IOW you need to be careful.

Another problem is checking out the thing before you buy it. It's just about impossible, so you wind up reading reviews, listening to other folks' preferences, possibly borrowing something from a fellow musician to try out, and then taking a leap of faith.

Some of these interfaces are designed with electric guitar foremost in mind, so if you read reviews, try to find ones from keyboard players. I'll throw one name out for consideration. Then others can tear it down and tell you about something better. grin E-MU's 0404 works well for keyboard sounds and doesn't fry as quickly as most. I think it's street price is around $200, possibly a little less.

On the Garritan Steinway question, one member here who has a library of software pianos is FogVilleLad. I'm not quite sure that library includes Garritan Steinway, but it might. If he doesn't pop up again on this thread, I would advise sending him a PM. His knowledge and experience with setting up the whole chain is far greater than mine, and his whole approach to this stuff is to be helpful.
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/29/10 04:00 PM

Frankly, I don't know where to start, especially after having been warned about issues of compatibility. The advantage I have at the moment is I haven't bought any. So if I can get some pointers on how to build the system from scratch, it'll be ideal. Unfortunately, nobody around me knows about software piano.

I'd like to start with a DP that has a good pair of speakers and touch. From there, I'd have to pick my software first, and then to consider a laptop that will be able to run the software. I hope I've got my sequence correct.
Posted By: ChrisA

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/29/10 04:36 PM


Quote
(1) I need to purchase a DP that can connect well with software piano. I'm going to give Yamaha a miss, because there are many Yamaha shops around. I need something that can be carried around when I go around to 'spread the culture', but when I'm back in my room I want it to sit nicely on a console.


Buy anything with "real MIDI" not a USB port. OK USB is fine if it also has the real ports, they are two round DIN plugs. These will be "universally compatable" then buy a $35 USB/MIDI adaper cable. Get one with LEDS in it so you ca see the data moving.


Quote
(2) I think I would need a new laptop. I'm running on a 10-inch Samsung, which is too small to be of any use as far as software piano is concerned. What do I have to look out for ? Much has been said about sound card and speakers. But most laptops would have 'built-in' sound card and speakers. Do I need to purchase a separate sound card and speakers ? I'd really like to plug my output back into my DP, which means I need a DP with a good pair of speakers.


The ONLY reason not to get the Macbook Pro is because you can't afford one. It will pretty much do what you want out of the box has the software preinstalled for music notation and even has some grand piano samples. Latency issues are worked out for you at the factory.

You need a notebook with decent quality audio output. not with good speakers. You will likely disable the notebook speakers. Make sure the notebook has "line out" and not just "headphone out". You will plug the notebook's line-out to the DP's line-in.

If you buy some other notebook be sure and check the fan noise -- while running the software you will be using. The lastthing you need is a "jet airplane-like" noise on top of the DP while you are playing


Quote
(3) Has anyone tried Garritan Steinway Software ?


Some people like it. You will likely need to try several before you settle on one. I'm recently liking what I hear from sampletekk Prices are very good too. But start out Apple's basic setup. It works. Then make small upgrades one step at a time from that base.
Posted By: Andree

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/29/10 04:48 PM

Actually, Steinway has a quite impersonal sound, very clean but boring.
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/29/10 05:01 PM

Originally Posted by Andree
Actually, Steinway has a quite impersonal sound, very clean but boring.


Depends on the player...when I play, my Steinway (when freshly tuned) sounds both very clean and inspiring. grin

Your mileage may, and most likely, will vary. wink

Snazzy
Posted By: turandot

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/29/10 07:55 PM

Cashley,

Send that PM to FogVilleLad and/or send one to Dave Ferris. There are others of course, but in this particular thread I wouldn't bet on any of them coming forward. FVL and Dave are two that come to mind as members who know how to implement piano software and understand that a Steinway is a formidable piano to sample.

Here's a fun demonstration thread that faces off most of the software pianos except for recent updated versions. It comes from a time when the music mattered a bit more around here and preening and posing were not so much a hindrance. If you don't find Garritan Steinway included in the comparison, just click on propianist's avatar on any of his posts there, scroll down to 'view posts', and click again to survey pro's other post topics. He has written about Garritan Steinway here in different places. He is also very approachable via PM. The thing is, I'm just not sure if he reads here anymore. It you want to swap notes with me, just send me a PM.

Here's the link to propianist's piano software comparison.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/671166/1.html


Hey feeble!

Good place to draw the line.


Susanmusic,

Go for it. Clean it up and use it as your own thread material. I didn't include the "spendy trendy" because that user group is more prevalent among acoustic buffs. Whatever you want to take, it's all yours. I'm going through those doors to the left that one of the dwarfs mentioned because I've got something to work on for a while. If you start a thread, you can list me in the very tolerant group. I enjoy getting whatever I can out of a limited instrument because, unremarkably enough, I'm the same way myself, as are most of us.

As to the recent self-congratulatory post about one's own inspirational play on a freshly-tuned Steinway and the putdown part about how the results would probably be quite different in the hands of someone else, (bold for emphasis)....

all I can say is this.

How low and how off-topic will a 'needy' person stoop to give himself yet another meaningless pat on the back?

Outside of the other Dwarfs, there comes a point where anyone has to begin to wonder about the line of demarcation between fantasy and reality.
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/29/10 08:14 PM

Originally Posted by turandot


How low and how off-topic will a 'needy' person stoop to give himself yet another meaningless pat on the back?



I don't know son, according to what the members tell me, and yourself, you seem to be the expert in that department...and obviously, it's your only dubious claim to fame, other than how you seem to pop up like a clown with a spinning bow-tie and try desperately, to be clever.

Keep tryin' son, I'm rootin' for ya. grin

We are much alike, except you're a tad needier than me, and not as smart, but all in all, I still think you're a wonderful person,


Snazzy

PS...you are a persistent little fella...I admire that in a person.



Posted By: dewster

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/29/10 08:16 PM

Originally Posted by turandot
Outside of the other Dwarfs

I think I've discovered the secret to getting the keys to the exclusive 5000 Post Club door in record time:

1. [censored] everyone off (& optionally steal underpants)
2. ???
3. profit
Posted By: snazzyplayer

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/29/10 08:28 PM

Originally Posted by dewster


[censored] everyone off (& optionally steal underpants)



I like the stealing underpants reference...probably more of a fetish than a ploy. wink

Snazzy


Posted By: FogVilleLad

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/29/10 08:39 PM

Cashley,

You've already received most of the info that you need. Basically you need a "controller" - that's the 'board - a software piano installed on your computer, cables to connect them, and a stand.

I really only know PC's. If you go PC, you'll also need an ASIO driver. ASIO4ALL is free and downloadable.

After that, it's a matter of what level of quality you're seeking and how the ensemble will be used. For better tone quality, you'll want an external soundcard. E-mu's 1616M series will provide outstanding sonic bang for buck. (I use the older, internal 1212M. There are two 1616M's. I don't know the differences.) There's an active forum here.

The E-mu cards also have MIDI and audio connections - and an ASIO driver. Those are all good things.

CAUTION: According to the site, those cards are not yet Windows 7 compatible. The forum gets factory participation.

Quiklock's WS-550 might not go up and down as quickly as others do, but looks like it would hold up well.

If you'll be exposing groups to this technology, the 'board's speakers may or may not be acceptable. I use headphones, and can't help with speakers.

There is controversy re the Garritan Steinway. That piano has been criticized for having too much ambient hiss. Some of the criticism comes from people who do music production. Those folks have keen ears. For playing at home or for demonstration purposes, it's probably fine. I like the voicing which Steinway's tech did on the bass hammers, which unvoiced can be a little fuzzy on New York Steinways. Demos here.

Please try to audition the Best Service Galaxy II piano suite: Hamburg Steinway and Bosendorfer concert grands and a wonderfully tired sounding Bluthner baby grand which propianist described as something that you might come across in a second hand shop. Galaxy II's pianos are highly tweakable. Your prospective audience might like learning that they can change pianos, to get a completely different tone and also that they can tweak those pianos, to alter their tones. (The Bosendorfer is my daily player.)

Demos are here. There should be a playable download available here.








Posted By: TonyB

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/29/10 11:40 PM

This has certainly been an interesting thread. I just wanted to thrown in another possibility for a keyboard that may fit the OP's inquiry. The Yamaha Motif XS can record and play samples if you add the optional memory (which is standard, though older design, DRAM that is not very expensive). You can add up to 1GB. Then, at motifator.com, you can purchase a number of different sample libraries that you can load and play. Among these are a number of very nice pianos including sampled Steinway models. They do sound decent, but not being primarily a piano player, I would not want to make outrageous claims as to their ability to replace a "real" instrument. Also, the Motif XS8 (the 88 key version with weighted hammer action) is not a "graded hammer action" in the sense that all keys exhibit the same amount of resistance, rather than the lower notes offering more resistance as apparently the dedicated digital piano models do. But instead, you get decent sounding pianos and a reasonably complete keyboard workstation.

Not owning a Roland G8 (their flagship 88 key keyboard workstation), I have not checked to see if there are similar sample libraries available for it. If so, then that might be another possibility worth checking out. Some people prefer the G8, and others prefer the Motif XS. I have read and heard good things (and complaints) about both. I own the Motif XS8, but it is good to have choices like these.

TonyB

Posted By: ChrisA

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/30/10 12:15 AM

[quote=FogVilleLad]Cashley,

You've already received most of the info that you need. Basically you need a "controller" - that's the 'board - a software piano installed on your computer, cables to connect them, and a stand.

I really only know PC's. If you go PC, you'll also need an ASIO driver. ASIO4ALL is free and downloadable.

Here is some good advice abut setting up a PC. The author admits to being biased to PCs over Macs but then he does say "If you buy a mac you can skip the next three chapters" Those chapters deal with reducing latency, noise from cooling fans and how to prevent any number of other problems. This is called an e-book but it is not realy a book length, it reads fast andyou can skip the sections on studio recording if you will not be doing that. The best part is those three chapters on selecting and setting up a PC.
PC Setup
Posted By: jameskey

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/30/10 12:31 AM

Snazzy, I hear that you sold your N3. I just went to the Yamaha dealer today to replay the N3. I must admit that it plays really, really well. It was very hard to tell how it sounds in a large showroom (100 ft x 100 ft with 15 ft ceiling) My living room is slightly smaller. Is there a reason that you would or would not advise someone to purchase this piano? I have no interest in recording, composing etc, I just want to play a piano and practice using headphones. One again, thanks everyone for your advice!! Cheers!!
Posted By: ChrisA

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/30/10 12:39 AM

Originally Posted by jameskey
I just want to play a piano and practice using headphones. One again, thanks everyone for your advice!! Cheers!!


Seems a waste to pay a very high premium for a huge set of speakers and amps and a four channel sample set and then only listen in headphones

Posted By: FogVilleLad

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/30/10 01:58 AM

Cashley, Chris A's post, above, is alerting to the fact that recording introduces another level of complication. You can do it, it's just one more aspect to think thru.

If you record peoples playing, you can burn it to CD. Are computers or CD players affordable where you'll be working/teaching?


Posted By: jameskey

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/30/10 02:42 AM

Originally Posted by ChrisA
Originally Posted by jameskey
I just want to play a piano and practice using headphones. One again, thanks everyone for your advice!! Cheers!!


Seems a waste to pay a very high premium for a huge set of speakers and amps and a four channel sample set and then only listen in headphones

I would only practice with the headphones so I don't drive my wife crazy. But you raise a very good point, why can't they make a DP with a really good sound system? You can buy an unreal surround sound for your TV for 1-2K. Why don't they stick the V-Piano in a Grand Piano case with good amps and speakers? Have fun!
Posted By: dewster

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/30/10 03:12 AM

Originally Posted by jameskey
But you raise a very good point, why can't they make a DP with a really good sound system? You can buy an unreal surround sound for your TV for 1-2K. Why don't they stick the V-Piano in a Grand Piano case with good amps and speakers?

If you want to DIY, really decent woofers and tweeters are ~$30 each, crossover components maybe $10 for each driver. Would blow away anything you can buy for ~10x as much. Add a $100 10" powered sub (Dayton) and you're in like Flynn.
Posted By: Volusiano

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/30/10 03:29 AM

I wonder how the Roland V-Piano keyboard action compares against the Avant-Grand keyboard action? Are they in the same class or close enough?

By the way, I hear that Roland does offer a nice sound system setup customized for the V-Piano, but I hear that it's pretty expensive, although I don't know how much exactly or what the system entails.

If you already have an acoustic and just want a DP with good action for silent practice, that's what a lot of people do already when they buy a DP. But the big question is whether you're happy with the DP's action being close enough to your acoustic's action or not, so that you can bring what you practice over to the acoustic and not feel like it was all for naught because the feel is all different.

But if you don't already have an acoustic yet, the Avant-Grand would be a good viable alternative to buying both an acoustic for the sound AND a DP for the practice. Or even against an acoustic with the silent option, because you can control the volume on the AG to fit the size of your room and the silent acoustic can't.

After all, you will not always use your headphones only because there will be times when you will want to play it out loud after you're done practicing your piece. Or practice out loud when you're by yourself at home.

Jameskey, as for your comment about it being hard to tell how it sounds in a large room, I put my N3 in the middle of my great room which is a combined kitchen/family room/living room area with a sloping ceiling that's 15 foot high in the middle, and it has no problem filling up that big room. If you want a better reference about how it sounds in a concert hall, check out this thread and specifically the post by Fredericch at the end.
Posted By: MacMacMac

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/30/10 04:04 AM

Originally Posted by dewster
If you want to DIY, really decent woofers and tweeters are ~$30 each, crossover components maybe $10 for each driver. Would blow away anything you can buy for ~10x as much.
A bare woofer and tweeter won't sound very good, eh? You might want an enclosure. smile That would cost as much or more than the drivers.
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/30/10 04:30 AM

Originally Posted by FogVilleLad
You've already received most of the info that you need. Basically you need a "controller" - that's the 'board - a software piano installed on your computer, cables to connect them, and a stand.


What is 'the board' ? The DP itself ?

Quote

I really only know PC's. If you go PC, you'll also need an ASIO driver. ASIO4ALL is free and downloadable.


I do own a iMac, but it's a bit clumsy to carry it around. But the problem most people own a PC, and it looks likely that I'll have to go for a PC. BTW, what is the driver for ? To run the software ? I read Alden Skinner's book, he said something about standalone software and plug-in requiring a driver.

With PC, I'm very worried about compatibility issues because I'm not exactly a geek.
Posted By: ChrisA

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/30/10 04:56 AM

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Originally Posted by dewster
If you want to DIY, really decent woofers and tweeters are ~$30 each, crossover components maybe $10 for each driver. Would blow away anything you can buy for ~10x as much.
A bare woofer and tweeter won't sound very good, eh? You might want an enclosure. smile That would cost as much or more than the drivers.


Musical instrument speakers are not the same as hifi stereo. For one thing acoustic pianos send sound out in all directions. Notice that every DP from a cheap $100 toy to the N3 mounts the speakers either face up of face down, rarely forward. Also you will see instrument speakers mounted "open baffle" That means with no back on the cabinet. I think the N3 is this way. Most guitarists do the same too.

$30 is way to cheap. Decent 12" pro audio drivers start at about $100.

The major cost is still not the drivers. It's the amps. All of the better systems use one amp per driver and will run with an active line level crossover
Posted By: dewster

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/30/10 06:06 AM

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
A bare woofer and tweeter won't sound very good, eh? You might want an enclosure. smile That would cost as much or more than the drivers. [

Good point. When you really DIY, the cabinets are just as expensive as the wood, which can be tens of dollars per cabinet if you do it right (plywood or MDF). Once you decide to use a sub, the sats can be in fairly small cabinets, even in a PA (i.e. high powered) scenario.

Originally Posted by ChrisA
Musical instrument speakers are not the same as hifi stereo. For one thing acoustic pianos send sound out in all directions. Notice that every DP from a cheap $100 toy to the N3 mounts the speakers either face up of face down, rarely forward. Also you will see instrument speakers mounted "open baffle" That means with no back on the cabinet. I think the N3 is this way. Most guitarists do the same too.

$30 is way to cheap. Decent 12" pro audio drivers start at about $100.

The major cost is still not the drivers. It's the amps. All of the better systems use one amp per driver and will run with an active line level crossover

I would submit that it is pretty easy to reproduce the dynamics of a grand piano with stereo type speakers in traditional vented or sealed enclosures. Particularly if the drivers are higher efficiency. I agree that amps can cost some money, but you can reduce the amp count by using traditional passive crossovers.

Consider markup on speakers, it is usually 500% to 1000%. To get a couple of $30 drivers in a 2-way speaker with a decent crossover, you might pay $300 to $600 - per side! That's pretty high-end.

Most people haven't heard a $30 1" dome tweeter, and I'm here to tell you it can be quite magical. Anything above that is diminishing returns, but may be still worth it.
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/30/10 06:05 PM

Wait a minute ! What hasn't anyone mentioned Kurzweil DPs ? I've been to their website, and Kurzweil DPs are aesthetically pleasing.

They've been bought over by Young Chang, so the cabinets are made by YC. I'm not sure if the piano sample is taken from YC pianos.
Posted By: FogVilleLad

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/31/10 04:12 AM

Originally Posted by Cashley

What is the 'board'? The DP itself ?
Yes. (Actually "keyboard," which when used to trigger, for example, a software piano, becomes a "controller.")

Originally Posted by FogVillelad
If you go PC, you'll also need an ASIO driver. ASIO4ALL is free and downloadable.


Originally Posted by Cashley

BTW, what is the driver for ? To run the software ?
Yes. From Widipedia: "In computing, a device driver or software driver is a computer program allowing higher-level computer programs to interact with a hardware device." In general ASIO is considered to be the best driver for music applications.

Standalone vs. Plugin in the context of a software piano: Software pianos typically can be installed in "modes." Standalone and Pluging are modes. Standalone is jargon for "doesn't interact with other applications." Plugins do interact with another application, such as a recording app which would "host" the plugin. You'll sometimes see "VST" or "VST Plugin". Same deal. Requires a host.

When installing Galaxy II, you can install the pianos in both standalone and plugin modes. That's probably true for other software pianos, as well. That info should be on the developers' sites.

Originally Posted by Cashley
With PC, I'm very worried about compatibility issues because I'm not exactly a geek.
Neither am I. Start by buying apps which you know are supposed to be compatible with your computer's operating system. You can get help on the developers' forums. You could also read those forums before buying, to satisfy yourself that any known problems are in fact solvable.

Patience and persistence.


Posted By: curt88

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/31/10 01:34 PM

Originally Posted by Cashley
Alright. The OP now wants some 'back to the basics' advice.
(3) Has anyone tried Garritan Steinway Software ?


I use it exclusively now. To me it sounds more naturally like a Steinway. Ivory has a VERY good sound to it but it sounds like it has gotten some DSP help... not as natural as the Garritan library. BUT, Ivory II is coming very, very soon so wait and see on that one.
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/31/10 03:44 PM

I have read Alden Skinner's chapter: 'My other piano is a computer'

Only 2 software brands are mentioned - Garritan and Pianoteq.

Garritan - sample based
Pianoteq - physical modelling
_______ - _____________
_______ - _____________

Could any one help me fill up the list ?
Posted By: curt88

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/31/10 04:51 PM

Ivory - sample based
TruePianos - hybrid
EWQL - sample based

There are more...
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/31/10 05:19 PM

The following are particulars of TruePianos' system requirements:

Windows minimum requirements
- Windows XP or newer
- 2.0 GHz Pentium 4 or Athlon CPU with SSE2 support
- 256 MB of free RAM
- VST host (e.g. SONAR, Cubase, energyXT)
- Soundcard with proper ASIO drivers

What is a VST host ?

Are the ASIO drivers used to run the soundcard or the TruePiano software ?
Posted By: turandot

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/31/10 06:02 PM

Quote
Dewster:
I think I've discovered the secret to getting the keys to the exclusive 5000 Post Club door in record time:

1. [censored] everyone off (& optionally steal underpants)
2. ???
3. profit


Quote
anoozy:
I like the stealing underpants reference...probably more of a fetish than a ploy. wink


Dewster,

I've got a little time here, and I'd like to address this. I'm not going to get into the retort to your comment. Despite all the grandstanding, the poster knows what he is. Suffice it to say that face to face without the cyber-distance, he would be ill-advised to make that remark.

In terms of the exclusive 5000 member club, I'm quite sure I have not arrived there in record time. I wasn't even aware of my alarming accumulation off posts until some members on the acoustic forum made my approach to 5k a thread topic in a very kind way. The fact is, it's like getting old. It's irrreversible. Also, sometimes you have your doubts. A fair number of people asking advice only want to hear validation of what they already have in mind. If they don't get that, they just ignore whatever is advised, even if the same advice comes from virtually everyone. So for that and other reasons, sometimes you wonder if you're useful at all. The 'upside' is that there are a lot of people here that I can and have learned from and there's plenty of humor on the acoustic forum that is not at the expense of another member or industry product.

Number one of your three charges is "[censored] everyone off", I don't think that's true at all. It really comes down to who 'everyone' is. In your first post on this thread, you made the remark:

Look around, we're all busy ditching last years model for an what probably amounts to a slight improvement in sound.

I don't think you're looking around far enough. When you're active in a certain sub-group here as you are among the group who are very much into the latest instruments, it's easy to lose sight of the many different types of individuals of varied interests who frequent here.

In your second post here you commented:

Most new posts are the same old "I need an utterly fantastic DP with built in speakers, 100W amps, stand, and three pedals, but only have a budget of $5" variety.

I think that's an unfair characterization.

In a later post you remarked:

Ah, here it is, Isaiah 40: 1-11, Mark: 1:1-8:
"Prepare the way for the Lord; clear a straight path for him by sniping at others on obscure DP forums." Truly words to live by.


I have a real problem with that. It isn't the mockery of the Bible, although that probably didn't please all of the real 'everyone' here. My problem is that this forum is not obscure to those of us who take members' questions seriously and try to give the best information we can. If it is to become obscure, it will be because enough roving member sub-groups have the attitude that it's completely okay to take the sledgehammer to products and members for the sake of amusement and to go off-topic with no regard to the OP's questions. I think if you took the time to review this thread, you would find that this viewpoint is not unique to me. In that light I would point to the fact that FogVilleLad (who invariably posts thoughtful detailed on-point answers to members' questions at the risk of appearing dry and humorless) has had to navigate through a lot of crosstalk about your own particular issues to follow up on Cashley's questions. I've had the same problem myself.

So yeah, you pissed me off, and it seems I've pissed you off as well. But that doesn't mean that I pissed Cashley off for trying to help him with his questions, or that I've pissed off the general readership here.

I won't comment on the underpants part of number 1. I'll leave you to your own thoughts on that.

Number two of your three charges was simply "???". I guess if that's #2, you don't have it all figured out, do you?

I'll lay it out for you. I say what I think using acceptable language. That means that I never have to say later that I was just kidding or exaggerating. Here's something I said on this thread:

If everyone here exerted the right to repeatedly take the sledgehammer to piano products that he or she did not like, the forum would be rendered useless. It is each person's responsibility to say what he or she really thinks without resorting to ridicule of other products or other members. It's really no different than selling pianos. The best salespros listen. They then try to match products to the user's stated applications, personal taste, and budget. They are confident enough to mention strengths and weaknesses of different products. Good salespros simply talk about the stengths of their products. Bad salespros present untrue, distorted, and exaggerated information about the competition to pimp their own wares. I think the line that marks off the bad zone was crossed early and often here.

In the spirit of helpful cooperation, I could certainly let this go. Such comments make absolutely no impression on me personally, except to question everything else that member has to say because you never really know when such a member is speaking seriously or just stoking a personal bonfire.

I choose not to let it go. I think it's reprehensible.


Now, maybe that's a dry humorless view of things, but I do take my own participation here seriously and I really don't want this place to become obscure.

Number 3 of your three charges is profit. You have no basis to say that and it's insulting, but for the record, I have never sold pianos or piano related items of any kind. I have no arrangement of any monetary nature with any one in the industry in even the broadest sense. I have made some $ from selling arrangements and compositions, and from performing (not all that much), but that's it, nothing further.

If I may add a personal comment here on your own Hamletesque situation regarding a dp purchase, my advice to you is to consider the alternatives. Whether your dissatisfaction stems from an elite player status or a from a sense that manufacturers aren't giving you everything they could (which I think is true what with marketing gurus holding sway over R&D), you can either suck it up and buy something that will give you the highest degree of musical satisfaction possible under current cicumstances, or you can build the danged thing yourself using all your ingenuity and knowledge along with a plethora of those $10 speakers. That would be a fun project to share with the membership here...updates on construction with pictures and final product with pictures and soundfiles. Who knows? Bose made a lot of money substituting speaker quantity for quality. You might be a genius or you might get lucky. grin

Quote
Cashley:
I have read Alden Skinner's chapter: 'My other piano is a computer'

Only 2 software brands are mentioned - Garritan and Pianoteq.

Garritan - sample based
Pianoteq - physical modelling


Hey Cashley,

You're not forgotten, but you've got to do more homework. It's good you followed up on Skinner. I also gave you a link to a comparison test of more than 20 software pianos among which many are Steinway-based. The player is very objective. The samples are well-recorded. It's kind of fun. Let your ears be the judge.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/671166/1.html

Other members gave you valuable links too. Follow up.



Posted By: FogVilleLad

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/31/10 07:14 PM

Originally Posted by Cashley
I have read Alden Skinner's chapter: 'My other piano is a computer'

Only 2 software brands are mentioned - Garritan and Pianoteq.

Garritan - sample based
Pianoteq - physical modelling
Alden's chapter presents two different approaches to producing software pianos. Sample-based is the traditional approach, modelling is the new one. curt88 alerted you to a third possibility:
Originally Posted by curt88
TruePianos - hybrid


Originally Posted by Cashley
What is a VST host ? Are the ASIO drivers used to run the soundcard or the TruePiano software ?
Please reread my previous post.

Originally Posted by Cashley
Has anyone tried Garritan Steinway Software ?

[quote=curt88]I use it exclusively now. To me it sounds more naturally like a Steinway.
In a previous post I mentioned the difference between evaluating the Garritan Steinway from the point of view of a music producer and that of a player. curt88's post speaks directly to your question, from a player's point of view.

Posted By: ChrisA

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 01/31/10 10:14 PM

Quote
Alden's chapter presents two different approaches to producing software pianos. Sample-based is the traditional approach, modelling is the new one.


We seem to have come full circle on this. Before the mid 1980s everyone used modeling based on FM synthesis. Affordable computers were not powerful enough yet to handle sample libraries. Then from that time we mostly used samples because computers could not run a physical model. Now we are going back to models
Posted By: Glenn NK

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/01/10 12:56 AM

Computer power certainly plays an important role in music sounds.

I also wonder if it just took some time for someone to develop all the necessary skills and have the desire to develop a true modeling program for piano sounds? Physical modeling not only requires a detailed knowledge of the physics of the acoustic piano, but also some advanced mathematics in conjunction with programming skills.

I suspect there are very few people with this skill set.

I'm only aware of one system that utilizes pure modeling that isn't a hybrid. But willing to be educated.

Glenn
Posted By: dewster

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/01/10 01:48 AM

Please don't feed the trolls.

(And if you think that includes me, I wholeheartedly encourage you to ignore me).
Posted By: Colleen_500

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/01/10 02:01 AM

Originally Posted by dewster
Please don't feed the trolls.

(And if you think that includes me, I wholeheartedly encourage you to ignore me).



Dewster,

You are hardly troll material.

With your wit and sense of humor, you are the bane of trolls.

If they were wise, they would find some other forum to slink through; there's nothing for them to feed on here, except their own inflated egos.

Colleen

Posted By: MacMacMac

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/01/10 02:23 AM

Originally Posted by ChrisA
Before the mid 1980s everyone used modeling based on FM synthesis.
FM synthesis is not at all like modeling.
Posted By: ChrisA

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/01/10 03:24 AM

Originally Posted by Cashley
The following are particulars of TruePianos' system requirements:

Windows minimum requirements
- ....
- VST host (e.g. SONAR, Cubase, energyXT)

What is a VST host ?

Are the ASIO drivers used to run the soundcard or the TruePiano software ?


A VST is a kind of "plug-in" and a VST host is software that can run VSTs. VSTs can do a lot of different things, some can play software instrument sounds others can simulate a compressor or equalizer.

Examples of VST hosts are listed above where is says "e.g."

Drivers are system software the fit between the operating system and some specic hardware device. The Microsoft supplied audio device drivers are more suited to playing recorded music the replacement ASIO drivers are better fro music performance

The above only applies to Windows based PCs Macs come setup from the factory with the correct software and samples to play piano sounds if you just plug in a keyboard.

Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/01/10 12:07 PM

Originally Posted by ChrisA

A VST is a kind of "plug-in" and a VST host is software that can run VSTs. VSTs can do a lot of different things, some can play software instrument sounds others can simulate a compressor or equalizer.

Examples of VST hosts are listed above where is says "e.g."

Drivers are system software the fit between the operating system and some specic hardware device. The Microsoft supplied audio device drivers are more suited to playing recorded music the replacement ASIO drivers are better fro music performance

The above only applies to Windows based PCs Macs come setup from the factory with the correct software and samples to play piano sounds if you just plug in a keyboard.


Does that mean Garritan, Pianoteq etc. are all VSTs, and that each and every of these VSTs will each require a separate VST host ?

As for ASIO drivers, most Windows based PC have built-in soundcards and drivers. So if we install a ASIO driver into one of these Windows based PC, we will have to disable to built-in driver first ?

And even without getting an external soundcard, just a change of driver alone would expand the performance of the original soundcard ?
Posted By: BazC

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/01/10 12:40 PM

Originally Posted by Cashley
Does that mean Garritan, Pianoteq etc. are all VSTs, and that each and every of these VSTs will each require a separate VST host ?


Not necessarily, Pianoteq can run as a plugin or as a standalone (no need for a host app), I think most if not all of the well known software pianos can be run without a host app if you want.

You can also buy samples that are designed to be loaded into another application like Logic. These are little more than recordings so they need another app to be used. They can be much cheaper than software pianos and very good quality. Sampletekk sell some very good piano samples from as little as $40.

Sorry I can't help with your Windows questions, I use a Mac.
Posted By: hv

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/01/10 02:53 PM

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
FM synthesis is not at all like modeling.


The thing they have in common is that they're both derived from analog computers and constructed from building blocks which model linear systems. The first synth was essentially an analog computer hooked up to a sound system. The idea of simulating the behavior of an analog computer with a digital computer took a while to catch on, not because it was so hard to do or took allot of processing power... it just took a while for folks to appreciate the advantages of doing such a thing. I implemented my first continuous systems modeling program on a digital mini-computer in 1969.

Sampling is quite different. Playing back recordings of the notes of actual pianos as opposed to simulating their sound creation process. The biggest limitation of sampling, in my mind, is the ability of folks to make a decent recording of a piano. If you can't make a recording of a piano with a tape recorder that sounds realistic, your samples won't sound any better.

Piano modeling's biggest problem, in my estimation, is getting their model to sound like a particular piano. I noticed Pianoteq, for instance, now employs a parameter it calls "spectrum profile". Sounds like a sampling-related technique involving recording an impulse response and applying it with convolution. Clearly not modeling at all. And requires quite a bit of processing power.

Personally, I think that a modeling system that uses a recording isn't really a modeling system any more. Although most synths seed their process a small generated sine, square, or triangle wave... which is sometimes recorded and stored. And then again, sample playback software does use analog-modeled filtering techniques so its not pure sampling either.

But back to the op's subject. Garritan probably has the strongest claim to the most authentic Steinway DP sound. Seeing as how Steinway supplied and set up the piano they sampled and passed on the quality of their recording of it.

Howard
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/01/10 04:26 PM

Originally Posted by BazC

Sorry I can't help with your Windows questions, I use a Mac.


I use Mac too, but since I'm going to 'spread the gospel' of software pianos to people who are mostly PC users, I wouldn't want to raise the bar for them by persuading them to get a Mac first.

People here are so used to acoustic pianos, and the market is flooded with 'used' upright pianos. Pianos that are between 15-30 years old.
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/01/10 04:56 PM

I would like to venture a little further on speakers.

Assuming that I'm able to run the software piano from my PC and the keyboard controls the output of the sound well enough. Now if I wish to connect the system to external speakers, do I need some external amplifier ? As far as I know, the keyboard has a built-in amplifier. Or does the sound car in my PC play the role of amplifier ?
Posted By: ChrisA

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/01/10 06:26 PM

Originally Posted by Cashley
I would like to venture a little further on speakers.

Assuming that I'm able to run the software piano from my PC and the keyboard controls the output of the sound well enough. Now if I wish to connect the system to external speakers, do I need some external amplifier ? As far as I know, the keyboard has a built-in amplifier. Or does the sound car in my PC play the role of amplifier ?


Many "speakers" that you can buy today are actually "powered speakers" meaning that they have built-in amps and will need will also need to be plugged into AC Mains power to operate. The audio interface connected to you computer will live line level outputs and powered speakers will have line-level inputs.

You can still buy "passive speakers" and separate amps but this kind of setup is getting harder to justify except at the very high end in $10K stereo systems

A few DPs have line level inputs. If yours does then you can use the DPs amps and speakers and yu will not need to buy powered speakers.

What is your goal? Are you trying to sell these systems? You say you want to set it up to run on cheap PCs just to show that it can be done. So I guess the purpose is to show this to others. I ask because speaker set-ups that sound good to more then one person at a time are very tricky to set up. You can get two small monitor speakers place them at ear level and point them in a little and the sound be near perfect in a space about one foot wide. If you want the sound to be very good over a large area then it get very hard. Look at the N3 and other high end DPs. Copy what they do. You will need a set of several monitor speakers and some very unconventional aiming and placements. Easier to buy a good high-end DP and route the sound back the the DP's internal speakers. But those DPs with 6 speakers and 6 amps are pricey. Any way you cut it if the goal is to show off the sound to a larger group the weak link will be the speakers getting this right will be expensive and require some experimenting.
Posted By: FogVilleLad

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/01/10 07:25 PM

Originally Posted by Cashley

Does that mean Garritan, Pianoteq etc. are all VSTs,...
Yes, tho they can also be loaded in standalone mode - or both modes.

Originally Posted by Cashley
...and that each and every of these VSTs will each require a separate VST host?
No. A single app can host multiple VST's.

Originally Posted by Cashley
most Windows based PC have built-in soundcards and drivers. So if we install a ASIO driver into one of these Windows based PC, we will have to disable to built-in driver first?
Well, just select the ASIO driver - via Control Panel, I think.

Originally Posted by Cashley
And even without getting an external soundcard, just a change of driver alone would expand the performance of the original soundcard ?
Yes. (I previously linked to the free, downloadable ASIO4ALL driver.) Also
Originally Posted by Chris A.
Drivers are system software the fit between the operating system and some specic hardware device. The Microsoft supplied audio device drivers are more suited to playing recorded music [as you would, for example, when using Windows Media Player]. The replacement ASIO drivers are better for music performance.


Bottom line: get an ASIO driver. Either download ASIO4ALL or buy an external soundcard which will include an ASIO driver. Drivers are operating system specific, so make sure that the driver - either downloaded or included with the new soundcard - is compatible with your computer's operating system.
Posted By: Glenn NK

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/01/10 07:56 PM

Originally Posted by hv
I noticed Pianoteq, for instance, now employs a parameter it calls "spectrum profile". Sounds like a sampling-related technique involving recording an impulse response and applying it with convolution. Clearly not modeling at all. And requires quite a bit of processing power.

Personally, I think that a modeling system that uses a recording isn't really a modeling system any more. Although most synths seed their process a small generated sine, square, or triangle wave... which is sometimes recorded and stored. And then again, sample playback software does use analog-modeled filtering techniques so its not pure sampling either.

Howard


Pianoteq's Spectrum Profile is a screen that enables one to change the balance of the overtones for each of the 88 notes.

Quoting from the manual: "Here you will find small sliders to adjust the individual intensity of the first eight overtones .... (the first overtone is called the fundamental)."

The long and short of it is that Pianoteq does not utilize any samples or pre-recorded sounds at all. It is pure physical modeling. I believer there is no other piano emulation software that is pure physical modeling.

Glenn
Posted By: FogVilleLad

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/01/10 07:58 PM

hv, good to see you in this thread.
Posted By: ChrisA

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/01/10 08:36 PM


Quote
Does that mean Garritan, Pianoteq etc. are all VSTs, and that each and every of these VSTs will each require a separate VST host ?


No, Most VST hosts are larger general purpose systems that can run multiple VSTs. You might have just one of these but people collect many VSTs. In a recording studio enviroment you might be running a half dozen VSTs simultainiously. HipHop producers might many more than that. Their stuff is all computer based but a solo pianist would run just one.

You will also find that many of the virtual instruments have a "stand alone" mode. Actually this is likely implemented by a very simple "one feature" VST Host that you might not even know you are running.


Quote
As for ASIO drivers, most Windows based PC have built-in soundcards and drivers. So if we install a ASIO driver into one of these Windows based PC, we will have to disable to built-in driver first ?


Yes. I'd think the installation procedure would disable the existing driver. You might want to put it back as one driver is optimized for real-time music performance and the other fro glitch free playback of recorded files even while running an Internet browser.

Quote
And even without getting an external soundcard, just a change of driver alone would expand the performance of the original soundcard ?


I think the expanded performance is limited to reduced latency only. Don't expect a driver to give better sound quality.
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/02/10 05:31 AM

I would really like to express my heartfelt thanks to ALL of you in this thread, especially ChrisA, FogVilleLad, Turandot for some really in-depth information. And not forgetting Snazzy for his active participation in the earlier phase of this thread.

It started off as a very casual question. I was hoping to hit upon a DP that could mimic the sound of Steinway & Sons. And then someone brought up software piano, and that was the first time in my life I came across this term. The rest is history.

I do not yet have a mapped out marketing plan. I guess I can't be marketing software only. It's not just the size of the market, but more importantly most vendors have websites whereby the software can be downloaded directly. So it's difficult to see how they will appoint distributors. Well, lets keep the marketing issues for another time.

Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/02/10 01:36 PM

Oh, BTW, it's likely that I will be getting a ACER or ASUS to run my VST. I hate to experiment with Windows, but for the sake of my future audience I've no choice. They all use ACER or ASUS. cry
Posted By: hv

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/02/10 02:40 PM

Cashley, if you're a tuner or piano tech, you might find the pianoteq spectrum profile useful for approximating the simulation a particular piano sound. Although I'd find it next to impossible myself, with the right tools you might be able rta each string of a real piano then eq the harmonics of each pianoteq generated string and try to achieve a match. The impulse response/convolution technique does exactly the same thing with higher precision automatically in one fell swoop, however. And since IR's are additive, allows one to lets say IR a piece of maple and a piece of spruce woods, then simulate changing the material of the soundboard. Which is otherwise rather difficult to accomplish with pure physical modeling. Interestingly, when they do this with different microphones, they call it mic modeling. Guess if eq'ing is physical modeling, maybe sampling an impulse response is too.

Regarding a sound system, have you looked at a Bose PAS? Amazing device. A line array of 24 two inch speakers plus a sub or two. The tone module adds effects and mic preamps. My EV's and JBL's have been gathering dust since I got mine.

Hi, Fogville. Been doing a sample project that brought me back to my NI and Giga roots lately. And every now and then I still think about sampling my Nordiska. Worra over at Sampletekk would probably get a real kick out of that.

Howard
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/02/10 04:12 PM

Originally Posted by hv
Although I'd find it next to impossible myself, with the right tools you might be able rta each string of a real piano then eq the harmonics of each pianoteq generated string and try to achieve a match. The impulse response/convolution technique does exactly the same thing with higher precision automatically in one fell swoop, however. And since IR's are additive, allows one to lets say IR a piece of maple and a piece of spruce woods, then simulate changing the material of the soundboard. Which is otherwise rather difficult to accomplish with pure physical modeling. Interestingly, when they do this with different microphones, they call it mic modeling. Guess if eq'ing is physical modeling, maybe sampling an impulse response is too.


Hi Howard,

Your post sounds interesting, but I couldn't make out the meanings of the abbreviations and the context of your message.

Quote

Regarding a sound system, have you looked at a Bose PAS? Amazing device. A line array of 24 two inch speakers plus a sub or two. The tone module adds effects and mic preamps. My EV's and JBL's have been gathering dust since I got mine.


Yes, I had Bose speakers in mind when I spoke about speakers. I don't suppose the Bose speakers come with built-in amplifier. Or do they ?
Posted By: hv

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/03/10 02:52 AM

Sorry about the abbreviations. I'll explain in greater depth how to get a dp to sound like a Steinway. If you start with a synth or modeled piano, you'd need to adjust its frequency response to match that of a Steinway. Glenn NK indicated Pianoteq might do this with 88 virtual equalizers, each centered on the harmonics of each string. The tough part being figuring out how to set all those sliders. I suppose a piano tech might measure each string with the real-time analyzer (rta) used for tuning, noting the harmonics levels for each string. Don't know if that would really work... measuring and setting just the harmonic levels might not be enough. There's lots of other frequencies between the harmonics.

A more modern (and accurate) approach is capturing a frequency domain fingerprint by recording an impulse response (ir). The traditional approach being to fire a gunshot, (without the bullet), record it, snip off the direct sound, the impulse response being what's left over. The idea being that the impulse (gunshot) contains an infinite array of frequencies (fournier's law) and the ir shows the response of something to them. The newest approach is to replace the gunshot with a frequency sweep generator and a speaker... takes longer but avoids upsetting folks by exploding firearms into their Steinways.

The harder part is applying the ir. It requires a computationally intense mathematical operation called convolution. But it is practical. Programs like Altiverb use it. And the sonic fingerprint gets applied with very high precision covering all the frequencies swept, not just the harmonics. The limiting factor, as in sampling, is the accuracy of the recording. Mics used. Speaker. Etc.

But I still think the easiest way to get a dp to sound like a Steinway is to sample one. Play it back with a laptop or a muse receptor. Or you can check out a Nord. They used to only have Malsjmo samples but it looks like there's Yamaha and Steinway in there too now.

Here's the Bose I was talking about:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvQ2F-wLLxw
It's the 7-foot black pole thing to the left of the player. She's using it for vocals. Paul Shaffer on Letterman uses it as his keyboard amp. My bud Glynn used mine in this video as his bass amp: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYEhGx7dq3w


Howard


[Linked Image]
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/03/10 04:20 PM

I must confess I really couldn't understand the contents of your post. I guess it's because I don't own any of those software programs at the moment, so it's impossible for me to visualize who goes on in the program.

I guess you're talking about 'recording' or doing a sampling of a Steinway on my own. I hope I got this correct, at least wink If so, it's way beyond me at this point of my learning curve.
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/03/10 04:45 PM

I was looking at the System Requirements for Garritan:

System Requirements

2.8 Ghz CPU Pentium 4 or better for PC, 2.0 Ghz
Core 2 Duo MacIntel or better for Mac.
2 GB RAM Recommended
Professional Edition 24 bit - 67GB free hard drive space (45GB 16 bit)
Basic Version - 3.5GB free hard drive space (download size 300MB).
Hard drive speed of at least 7200 RPM
64bit Windows only
DVD ROM drive required for installation
Monitor with 1,024x768 resolution or better
A sound card compatible with ASIO
MIDI: Many keyboards use USB. A MIDI interface may be required if you are using a MIDI keyboard (88-key full-sized MIDI keyboard with pedals is recommended).
High quality speakers and amplifier, or high quality headphones
Internet connection for online registration and download of Basic version.

Does anyone know what is meant by '64 bit Windows only' ?

Garritan describes its Steinway sample as 'Authorized Steinway'. Does that mean other software capable of producing Steinway samples are 'unauthorized' ?

As for Pianoteq, I don't seem to be able to find its system requirements.
Posted By: ChrisA

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/03/10 05:01 PM

Originally Posted by Cashley

Does anyone know what is meant by '64 bit Windows only' ?


It means it will not run on a 32-bit Windows system.

More info here.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/946765

The Pianoteq site has a FAQ which talks about system requirements. Basically they say you want to have a dual core CPU and 2GB RAM. but you can run with less if you turn off some features.
Posted By: feeble

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/03/10 05:22 PM

Originally Posted by Cashley
I was looking at the System Requirements for Garritan:

As for Pianoteq, I don't seem to be able to find its system requirements.




The systems requirements for Pianoteq are listed in their FAQ

This is a the system I built to run Pianoteq

2GB RAM
2.93GHz Core 2 Duo CPU
32GB SSD
M-AUDIO Audiophile 2496 PCI soundcard
WinXp SP3 32 bit


It is over the required spec for Pianoteq, but if I want I can add a large HDD and use one of the sample based pianos.

Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/03/10 05:47 PM

Originally Posted by ChrisA

It means it will not run on a 32-bit Windows system.

More info here.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/946765


Thank you, ChrisA. Based on the info from Microsoft, a 64-bit Windows can only run on a 64-bit processor. It appears that 32-bit processors and Windows are more common, but both the Pro and Basic versions of Garritan run on 64-bit Windows. Is that the reason why not many have experimented with Garritan.

I read Alden Skinner's chapter on 'My other piano is a computer'. He ran Garritan on a Mac Pro. That is to say Macbook Pro has a 64-bit processor ?
Posted By: feeble

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/03/10 05:58 PM

Originally Posted by Cashley


It appears that 32-bit processors and Windows are more common.


This is true. However, just about all new PCs (Macs included, ChrisA will correct me if I'm wrong) are 64-bit capable and are available with 64-bit Windows.



Posted By: ChrisA

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/03/10 06:30 PM

Quote
However, just about all new PCs (Macs included, ChrisA will correct me if I'm wrong) are 64-bit capable and are available with 64-bit Windows.


Actually not. Most PCs sold today are at the very low end. The sub $400 market segment accounts for most of the unit sales. Some of these are even using Intel's Atom CPU.
These PCs would be a poor choice for music production.

But any PC with an Intel Dual Core or better CPU should be OK. And as said, there are no low-spec'd Macs so even the $599 Mac Mini would work fine.
Posted By: FogVilleLad

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/03/10 07:46 PM

Cashley, a 64bit version of Windows XP does exist.

When Vista was introduced, there were posts on the Northern Sounds forum re problems when using Vista with music applications. I don't know the situation with Windows 7, but if I were considering a software piano which works best/only with a 64bit operating system (OS) and the OS were Windows, I'd be strongly inclined to start a new thread re that.

Also, there are some professional sound producers and a fair number of wannabees who post on Northern Sounds.

(I can't help on this one; still using Win XP Pro 32bit;-))


Posted By: feeble

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/03/10 07:58 PM

We use Win XP 64-bit at work on many of our workstations (typing on it right now). If you decide to go with this OS, make sure drivers are available for all of your hardware. 64 bit didn't start to get well supported until Vista, IME.
Posted By: Glenn NK

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/04/10 06:10 AM

Originally Posted by hv
Glenn NK indicated Pianoteq might do this with 88 virtual equalizers, each centered on the harmonics of each string. The tough part being figuring out how to set all those sliders. I suppose a piano tech might measure each string with the real-time analyzer (rta) used for tuning, noting the harmonics levels for each string. Don't know if that would really work... measuring and setting just the harmonic levels might not be enough. There's lots of other frequencies between the harmonics.


Jake Johnson (on the Pianoteq forum) came up with a Steinway emulation. He spent some considerable time, but it is one of the "pianos" I use in Pianoteq.

Glenn
Posted By: feeble

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/04/10 12:36 PM

Originally Posted by Glenn NK

Jake Johnson (on the Pianoteq forum) came up with a Steinway emulation. He spent some considerable time, but it is one of the "pianos" I use in Pianoteq.

Glenn


Glenn, I wanted to try it out but couldn't figure out which one was the "finished" version. Lots of revisions to choose from.

Thanks!
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/04/10 03:57 PM

Once again, many thanks to ChrisA, FogVilleLad and Feeble for widening my horizon.

I did some window shopping just now, armed with my limited computer knowledge.

There were 3 brands: ASUS, ACER and HP.

I set my perimeters as follows:

CPU - 2.5 GHz or above
Windows - 64 bit
Hard Disk speed - 7200 rpm
RAM - 4 GB

I had Garritan at the back of my mind when setting the perimeters. Then a salesman posed a question to me. According to him, a software designed for 32-bit Windows will not be able to run on 64-bit Windows.

That is to say, if I get a 64-bit Windows and if I manage to get Garritan up and going, I may not be able to run other VSTs that are designed to run on 32-bit Windows.

Another issue is cost. Alden Skinner in his book suggested a HDD speed of 7200 rpm. But most of these are costly. If I could 'downgrade' to 5400 rpm, there would be significant savings.

I had Pianoteq in mind when setting 7200 rpm because according to Alden Skinner's book, Pianoteq is a real-time software and I would need fast processor and hard disk speed.

I'm trying to find a compromise somewhere.


Posted By: ChrisA

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/04/10 04:09 PM

Originally Posted by Cashley

I had Pianoteq in mind when setting 7200 rpm because according to Alden Skinner's book, Pianoteq is a real-time software and I would need fast processor and hard disk speed.

I'm trying to find a compromise somewhere.


What is your budget for the entire system hardware and software?

I don't think Pianoteq needs a fast disk. But we don't have to guess I can measure the rate at which data are moving from the disk as I run different software. Same for RAM and CPU usage. All this can be measured.

Again, what is the most you want to spend on the complete package.
Posted By: hv

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/04/10 04:16 PM

Been running XP64 for more than 5 years now. It's the XP Professional build of Win2003 x64 Server. At first, very few hardware devices had 64-bit drivers available. Tascam and RME were among the 1st for audio. But that's becoming less of an issue as more folks lay their hands on 64-bit Vista and Win7. Most all 32-bit application software seems to run on 64-bit Windows. The few exceptions I've run into are GigaStudio 3, Canon Console 2, and Borland BDE.

Originally Posted by Cashley

Does anyone know what is meant by '64 bit Windows only' ?


That's a quote from the Garritan site. I think he's trying to say his software runs on both 32-bit Macs and PCs, 64-bit Windows, but not under 64-bit MacOS's. You can double check with Gary himself on the Northern Sounds site but I can confirm that I've run his stuff on 32-bit windows laptops without any problems... I use his JABB package allot for brass mockups.

Howard
Posted By: feeble

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/04/10 04:25 PM

Originally Posted by ChrisA


I don't think Pianoteq needs a fast disk.


Agreed. I'm running it on a fairly slow (but silent) 1st gen SSD. As small as the program is (compared to a sample based piano), the entire thing fits in RAM.

Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/04/10 04:29 PM

Thank you, ChrisA.

I wouldn't set a budget for software as they're variables, and as I become more skilled in the application part, I'll increase my collection. But Garritan is a top priority because it's 'authorized' Steinway. I wouldn't want to get into any copyrights disputes with the local Steinway & Sons acoustic piano dealers for promoting or selling their 'timbre'.

As for hardware, just the PC alone I'm targeting somewhere in the range of US$900. I've to consider my prospective audience as well; otherwise I would have gone straight for a Mac Pro.

As for the controller, you may have guessed from my participation in other threads. I'm secretly admiring Korg SP170, as it's sleek looking.

Posted By: setchman

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/04/10 04:30 PM

Cashley,

Don't get too wrapped up in the 32-bit vs 64-bit with regards to th Garritan Steinway. Like hv just said, the piano runs fine on a 32-bit system. I've been using the Pro version for some time now and my computer is anything but cutting-edge technology (AMD Athlon 64 3200+ with 2 GIG RAM). The piano runs great on my system but mostly because I stream the actual piano sample files off of a separate hard drive.

Here's another version of the Garritan Steinway specs taken from the Garritan Wiki:

MAC OS X 10.4; Windows XP/Vista (both 32 and 64 bits)
2.8 Ghz CPU Pentium 4 or better (PC)
2.0 Ghz Core 2 Duo or better (Mac)
2 GB RAM Recommended
DVD ROM drive required for installation
Hard drive speed of at least 7200 RPM
Professional Edition: 45GB of free hard drive space for 16 bit; 67GB for 24 bit
Standard Edition: 16 GB of free hard drive space
Monitor with 1,024x768 resolution or better
A sound card compatible with ASIO (PC) or Core Audio (Mac)
A MIDI interface if you are using a MIDI keyboard (88-key full-sized MIDI keyboard recommended). Some keyboards use USB.
High quality speakers and amplifier, or high quality headphones

Here's the direct link:
http://www.garritan.info/index.php/Authorized_Steinway_Virtual_Concert_Grand_System_Requirements
Posted By: feeble

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/04/10 04:34 PM

Cashley: If you don't mind me asking (I may have missed this somewhere), what are you doing? In some ways it sounds like you are building something for yourself, in others, it sounds like you might be building something to sell to others.

Just curious.

Thanks!
Posted By: ChrisA

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/04/10 05:19 PM

Originally Posted by Cashley
Thank you, ChrisA.

I wouldn't set a budget for software as they're variables, and as I become more skilled in the application part, I'll increase my collection. But Garritan is a top priority because it's 'authorized' Steinway. I wouldn't want to get into any copyrights disputes with the local Steinway & Sons acoustic piano dealers for promoting or selling their 'timbre'.

As for hardware, just the PC alone I'm targeting somewhere in the range of US$900. I've to consider my prospective audience as well; otherwise I would have gone straight for a Mac Pro.

As for the controller, you may have guessed from my participation in other threads. I'm secretly admiring Korg SP170, as it's sleek looking.



Don't worry about that "authorized". It is complete bunk. Could you imagine how it would be if Steinway or Yamaha could prohibit you from using their sound in a recording? There are some things you simply can't copyright, like the alphabet or the shape of a brick. There are dozens of examples of sampled Steinway on the market.

I still don't understand what it is you are doing. For $900 the obvious solution would be a Mac Mini and you'd have $300 left over. But you want to assemble a PC just to prove to your "audience" that a PC can work.

Is this for a lecture or classroom demo a training video?

An interesting market statistic just came out. I'd say "astonishing". If you look at number of computers sold and divide them into two groups (1) under $1K and (2) over $1K. Apple has a 90% market share in the second group. They basically "own" the high end. But at the same time they only sell just under 10% of the computers. What this means here is that your $900 custom built PC will appear as an "Exotic" speciality computer to most PC buyers. Those numbers tell us that the vast bulk of PCs are "way cheap" sub $500 units sold at Walmart or Best Buy.

A $900 custom built music PC will have the same effect as using a Mac. In the eyes of many people both are an exotic and expensive machine that are out of reach to the average person. To make a "statement" (that anyone can do this) you would have to go to Walmart and buy a $395 eMachine.
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/04/10 05:44 PM

Thanks, setchman.

If I may ask, how fast is your hard disk speed ?
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/04/10 05:52 PM

It's kind of both. I want to learn how to fiddle with VSTs; it's something that interests me even without any prospect of income. But at the same time, I hope to spread this culture among piano players. I'm one of those who feel that acoustic uprights are a waste of money, and that DPs deserve more respect than they ever received.
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/04/10 06:00 PM

Thanks, ChrisA.

You are very correct. If I'm going to spend $900 on a PC, it's going to be some PC that is beyond the budget of most PC users.

I do have an iMac, though it's kind of difficult to carry it around. But if I'm going to carry my stuff around for demo purposes, there isn't really much of a difference between a laptop and a desktop. I would still need to carry a keyboard.
Posted By: feeble

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/04/10 06:14 PM

Originally Posted by Cashley
I would still need to carry a keyboard.



Sure would be nice if someone would build a mini-itx PC or Mac-Mini (just for you ChrisA!) into a nice (however you want to define that) keyboard.

Posted By: setchman

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/04/10 06:16 PM

The drives that I have all of my samples installed on are dual 7200RPM SATA drives that I have set up as a RAID drive.

The whole idea behind this setup started when I first purchased Ivory, shortly after it was first released. I was not able to get the performance I wanted by installing it on my primary hard drive so I just followed the advice on Synthogy's website. It applies to any virtual instrument that is disk-intensive, i.e. large, sampled instruments like pianos.

http://synthogy.com/support/tips.html#disk

For my system, having a fast hard drive has really compensated a lot for the fact that I don't have a powerful CPU with a lot of RAM. The trade-off, which really doesn't apply for our discussion here, is that I can't load a bunch of instruments simultaneously and then add a bunch of effects. My computer just can't process too much at once, but for a single instrument or maybe a few tracks with just a few effects loaded, I can run most of the sampled piano out there.

I'm not sure that a RAID setup would be necessary with the improvements in CPU and RAM speed. As long as your samples are loaded on a separate 7200RPM hard drive you should be able to get Garritan Steinway to work well.
Posted By: FogVilleLad

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/04/10 08:00 PM

Originally Posted by Cashley
But Garritan is a top priority because it's 'authorized' Steinway. I wouldn't want to get into any copyrights disputes with the local Steinway & Sons acoustic piano dealers for promoting or selling their 'timbre'.
If you're thinking about constructing your own software piano, that's a difficult job. Sampling is its own skill. For some sound producers, Steinway's engineer, who had long experience with recording piano performances but no experience with sampling, didn't get it right. Too much ambient hiss.

BTW Garritan is currently doing a Steinway B. That piano is being sampled in the exceptionally quiet recording studio at George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch in Marin County. (proaudiovault's company-authorized Bluthner Model One was sampled there.) One of the techs who posts on PW is the tech for that project. Can't think of his name at the moment.

The "authorized" can be finessed. If you want the timbre which is so familiar, you could do what Roland does: construct an amalgam which, tho unique, has a strong Steinway component. But again, this is its own skill and there's a lot of tough competition.


Posted By: hv

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/04/10 09:55 PM

Don't have the Garritan Steinway myself but used East/West's for years. It has a very nice upper end. My fav however is Sampletekk's Black Grand which is a sampled Hamburg Steinway D.

http://www.sampletekk.com/bgresource.php

... but I think you need to download the free Kontakt-4 player from NI to play this library; I don't think they supply it with a built-in player like Garritan does.

Howard
Posted By: sullivang

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/04/10 11:59 PM

The full version of Kontakt is required to play the Black Grand. This issue was discussed recently in the Northern Sounds forum here: http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/showthread.php?t=69693

Greg.

Posted By: ChrisA

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/05/10 12:25 AM

Originally Posted by sullivang
The full version of Kontakt is required to play the Black Grand.


Sampletekk needs to put this notice on their web site. Actually I would never buy a library in any encrypted format.

But they do offer "Black Grand" and all their work in format other than NI's Kontakt. The "Giga" format is well supported (or it will be as Garritan has bought Giga)
and Sampletekk offers samples in EXS24 too so that should cover everyone.
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/05/10 05:15 AM

Thanks, FogVilleLad. Maybe I wasn't very clear when I spoke. No, there is not a chance that I'm going to construct my own software piano. These things are best left to the experts. I would be happy enough if I could fiddle with available software. wink
Posted By: FogVilleLad

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/05/10 05:55 AM

Ok, understood.

Re the fiddling, hv's posts re convolution are tough slugging for technoignoramuses. I've heard that aspect of sampling in action but still can't completely understand what he's saying. Since you seem to be willing to continue to expand your knowledge, I'm going to suggest a way to *experience* that aspect. (This is how I have to do it;-))

One of the developers of proaudiovault's company authorized Bluthner Model One is an expert in this area. One of the distinctive characteristics of this piano is that it is actually intended to be used with convolution. To experience convolution, click on the DEMOS button on proaudiovault's site. In the left pane, click on "Classical." Scroll down to "Here is the BDMO out of the box with no processing" and click on the link. This piano was exceptionally close miq'd in an exceptionally quiet recording studio. The tone will be exceptionally percussive.

Now scroll down to the para immediately below. "The aria but with Custom TI no. 6. (custom section). The BDMO timbre has been adjusted so it sounds like an 1863 Blüthner owned by Kasimoff-Blüthner Piano Co. (Los Angeles). Serge Kasimoff is at the piano." and click the "Play demo" link. What you're hearing is the same raw samples you just listened to, but with timbre and tones transformed by impulses. (That "TI" which I bolded stands for Timbrel Impulse.)

If this whets your appetite, scroll up and click on "Jazz." Under Demos - Jazz, scroll down to the last para, "The song Skylark with a larger dynamic range 65% dynamic range patch,* reverb impulse number 13 at -5db and sustain impulse number 6 with the original Blüthner piano sound (no Ti used) and click 'Plan [sic.] demo.'" This is how the Bluthner Model One might sound when played at home. Again, same samples as the Aria, but modified differently.

The developers include examples of modifications which can transform the Model One's basic timbre and make it sound like other makes of piano. To my ears these impulses are much less successful. Your ears may very well vary.

* Another way to express the "65% dynamic range" is to say that these samples use 35% compression. Compression makes the samples sound more full, but reduces dynamic, i.e., volume, range. Forty-five percent would probably be used in a mix.







Posted By: hv

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/05/10 02:35 PM

I have an old full Kontakt2 that I play Sampletekk libs with. I see they've beat up on the K4 player over on vi too:
http://vi-control.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=14627
Probably best to clarify directly with Sampletekk.

Sorry about going so far out on the IR/convolution thing. Suffice it to say its exciting stuff that seems to combine elements of sampling and physical modeling to emulate just about anything. Be it whole pianos or their materials or parts. Even different microphones, other gear, and physical spaces. I mentioned Altiverb software earlier but my fav on the PC is Pristine Spaces... if you want to get into VST effects and processing, you should check out their web site (Voxengo); they have a large number of free plug-ins there.

Howard
Posted By: FogVilleLad

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/05/10 06:57 PM

Howard, your presentation was fine. The problem is that some of us are not sufficiently technically oriented. So we - I at least - have to back into understanding technical subjects by starting with the finished product. That's not saying anything bad about either perspective, it's just a matter of acknowledging that different people will have different skills.

In a way, this is no different than the conversations which piano techs have with their clients. On the acoustic forum you can sometimes see posts from techs re the necessity of their learning what their clients' words actually mean. For example, one person's "mellow" may be another's "dull." This is just an example of technical and non-techinical people having to learn to communicate with each other.

No biggie, and certainly not a reason to not present material from the point of view of someone who actually understands it;-)
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/08/10 04:42 AM

Thanks, FogVilleLad. It's a tad too technical for me at the moment. I really need to gain mileage on getting my hands on the few VSTs first.

The lapse in reply is because I was up in the air. Just arrived in Bangkok 2 days ago, and the Internet was down.

I managed to do some shopping in Bangkok, and the 13" Macbook caught my eyes. Going at 37K baht, which is about USD1,120. The speed of the processor is about 2.2 GHz, but the speed of HDD is 5400. Maybe ChrisA can advise on this? Must the speed of HDD really be at 7200 as suggested by Alden Skinner ?

As for my current iMac, which remains in Bangkok (and I will have to try means to get it on board a plane), the specs are as follows:

Model Name: iMac
Model Identifier: iMac7,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 4 MB
Memory: 2 GB
Bus Speed: 800 MHz
Boot ROM Version: IM71.007A.B03
SMC Version (system): 1.20f4

Nothing mentioned about the HDD speed though.
Posted By: ChrisA

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/08/10 06:26 AM


Apple's everyday list price here in the US is $999 for the 13" macbook or $1199 for the13" Macbook Pro. Which one can you get for $1120?

The MBP has some extras that might be worth the extra $200
Max RAM goes to 8GB rather than 4GB
Firewire 800 port
Optical audio input and output. rather than just output only
Aluminum "unibody" construction.


The RPM on the disk is a compromise for battery life, heat and acoustic noise. I think the new drives have the bits packed very dense. What determines the data rate is the arial bits density times the tangental velocity of the disk platter. Bit densities have become very high making even a 5400 rpm drive fast. If you get the MBP it has a FW800 port which allows you to connect a very fast desktop class external disk.

For audio recording the data rates are very low. For video editing, get the external FW800 disk.
Posted By: Cashley

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/08/10 07:43 AM

Thanks, ChrisA.

$1,120 is the price of 13" Mac Book, not the Pro model. Pro is going at 50K baht, which is $1,515.

What is the purpose of optical input, if I may ask ?
Posted By: ChrisA

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/08/10 05:05 PM

Originally Posted by Cashley
Thanks, ChrisA.

$1,120 is the price of 13" Mac Book, not the Pro model. Pro is going at 50K baht, which is $1,515.

What is the purpose of optical input, if I may ask ?


Maybe you'd like to record something that has an optical output. I think the Roland v-paino has an optical out. Many CD players and digital tape recorders have optical outputs. As do most flat panel TV sets.

Optical fiber output is more important because people use that to drive a 5.1 surround sound speaker system.

I guess the price of the MB must include some kind of local tax. Apple's list price is $999.

Posted By: Jasonplays4Jesus

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/23/10 07:29 PM

Can you tell me what model of tweeters/subwoofers you use and what type of driver? I just got a Roland FP4. Has great sound, but would like to try to give it some more base.
Posted By: Jasonplays4Jesus

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 02/23/10 08:00 PM

Dewster, Can you tell me what model of tweeters/subwoofers you use and what type of driver? I just got a Roland FP4. Has great sound, but would like to try to give it some more base. Thanks smile
Posted By: JordanCooney

Re: Steinway-like Digital Pianos ? - 10/18/11 12:01 AM

NB: The link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvQ2F-wLLxw appears to be private and does not work.
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