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#2384876 02/11/15 10:53 AM
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This is really a question for James, but others may want to chime in.

Having played the ES100 for a little while now, and also having the MP7, I am wondering if the main grand piano samples in the ES100 are recorded from a different source piano. I have not yet setup the two DPs next to each other through the same sound system, but they seem to be somewhat different in character. Clearly, the MP is significantly more refined, as expected, but the ES seems to have a slightly more rounded tone. Somehow, I don't think that the differences between HI and HI-XL would account for this tonal difference on their own. So, the question is whether the initial recordings are from the same piano or whether a different source was used. Care to comment, James?


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The spectral views very strongly suggest the ES100 and MP7 share the same base sample set.

The ES100 attack samples are quite a bit shorter than those in the MP7. The processing (mangling) required to implement looping can and will influence perceived tone, so I would tend to lay blame there first. The next suspect would be the likelihood of fewer dynamic layers in the ES100.

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I took YouTube recordings of various digital pianos. The ES100 was one of ythe best and comparable with the very best as advertised by the manufacturers. Now, in the shop this may not be apparent, but any tweaking you can do such as reverb, tuning, resonance selections may even the scores considerably between these two Kawais you mention. . .


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Originally Posted by dewster
The spectral views very strongly suggest the ES100 and MP7 share the same base sample set.

The ES100 attack samples are quite a bit shorter than those in the MP7. The processing (mangling) required to implement looping can and will influence perceived tone, so I would tend to lay blame there first. The next suspect would be the likelihood of fewer dynamic layers in the ES100.

So perhaps there's some filtering going on to compensate for the lack of layers??? I don't know, but whatever they did with the rather lowly specs of the ES100 certainly made it very playable.


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Originally Posted by peterws
I took YouTube recordings of various digital pianos. The ES100 was one of ythe best and comparable with the very best as advertised by the manufacturers. Now, in the shop this may not be apparent, but any tweaking you can do such as reverb, tuning, resonance selections may even the scores considerably between these two Kawais you mention. . .

It punches way above its weight (literally wink ), at least in subjective terms of how it sounds and plays, which goes to show that the numbers don't necessarily tell the whole truth.

It's not perfect: I managed to choke it when testing strings layered with piano plus liberal use of the pedal, but I don't normally play like that so it doesn't really matter to me. But I'm about to do a series of gigs with a singer used to working with someone technically far better than me who happens to use a Nord Stage, and I really do think that there won't be too much of a come-down for him, sonically at least.


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Hello voxpops,

Originally Posted by voxpops
I am wondering if the main grand piano samples in the ES100 are recorded from a different source piano.


No, I'm pretty sure the power-on 'Concert Grand' sound in the ES100 and MP7 uses samples from the same recording session.

As I explained to upbeat regarding the differences between the ES7 and MP7, here:

Originally Posted by myself
Some sounds will be taken from the same recording session, so a mf 'C' played on the MP7 and ES7 will sound more or less the same. However, there will be a greater range of expression towards pppp or ffff on the MP7 due to larger sample memory.


This same principle can be applied to the ES100. While it's 'Harmonic Imaging' samples are technically inferior to those of the longer, more expressive 'Harmonic Imaging XL' samples in the MP7, they are derived from the same 88-key recording sessions, and should therefore retain similar tonal characteristics.

Other factors such as the DSP technology (reverb, effects, Virtual Technician, etc.) may also influence the sound to a greater or lesser extent.

Originally Posted by voxpops
Clearly, the MP is significantly more refined, as expected, but the ES seems to have a slightly more rounded tone. Somehow, I don't think that the differences between HI and HI-XL would account for this tonal difference on their own.


I'm afraid I don't know the reasons for this, however I expect it may be related to whatever processing techniques are employed in order to create velocity transitions from pppp to ffff.

Originally Posted by voxpops
So, the question is whether the initial recordings are from the same piano or whether a different source was used.


I'm almost certain that the 'Concert Grand' sample sets in the ES100 and MP7 are from the same piano and recording session, although the MP samples are obviously longer, more expressive and detailed.

Kind regards,
James
x


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Thanks for the reply and explanation, James. I think the engineers should be congratulated for what they've managed to do with such an inexpensive model.


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I agree.

Even if they did make a real dog's breakfast of the owner's manual...


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Originally Posted by Kawai James
I agree.

Even if they did make a real dog's breakfast of the owner's manual...

Not to worry, Kawai you are not alone laugh The Casio AP-450 manual isn't much better, in fact some instructions didn't even work when it came to recording from what I recall, it took a little bit of trial and error to work it out eventually.


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Originally Posted by Alexander Borro
Kawai you are not alone laugh


Well, my beautiful ES7 manual was used as the template, so I felt somewhat responsible. I still hope to one day rewrite the ES100 manual...


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Yesterday, I setup the ES100 alongside the MP7. Immediately I recognized the similarities (thanks dewster and KJ), but the EQ was markedly different. By increasing the mids (with the emphasis on the lower-mid) in the MP, I was able to get a much more similar tone, and it also gave the MP's default CG more body.

As an aside, it's great to be able to dial in the EQ on a per-patch basis in the MP, as well as to have the default offset available for different speakers or room characteristics. If it was only a global control, I'd be fighting the knobs every time I switched between AP and EP.


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Am I correct in understanding that the ES100 only has one sample set, which is the basis of all its various piano tones?

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Scott, I believe it has two grand piano sets - like the MP. There is the default 88-note sample set, plus the older stretched AP. Both of these are available in different "flavors" within the board.

Last edited by voxpops; 02/13/15 01:32 PM.

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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Am I correct in understanding that the ES100 only has one sample set, which is the basis of all its various piano tones?

It has two. Concert Grand and Concert Grand 2. Each of them has three additional variations.

Interestingly by selecting a variation of the 88 note sampling, the samples are moved on half-tone up or two half-tones down and then transposed back to concert pitch. So suddenly the sticking out A sample now drives B flat or G respectively. And I guess they get stretched at the edges of the keyboard.

Last edited by jtsn; 02/13/15 02:40 PM.

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jtsn, I don't have a sticking out A sample - or evidence of transposition. Which "A" are you referring to?


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Originally Posted by voxpops
jtsn, I don't have a sticking out A sample - or evidence of transposition. Which "A" are you referring to?

The A sample left of middle C in the default Concert Grand preset on the ES100. It's also in the DPBSD MP3 recording:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2192390/#Post2192390

You can hear it at about 5:48. The timbre is different from the surrounding samples, although the effect is more audible at lower velocities than in the DPBSD recording, making it stick out.

In the other ES100 piano presets based on the sample set this specific sample shifts to other keys and gets pitch-adjusted respectively. So my assuptiom is, that the whole 88 note sample set gets shifted in the different variations. smile


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Maybe it got fixed in a firmware update, because mine sounds pretty even. Of course, with an 88-note sample set, each note will have individual characteristics (which, to me, is a good thing!). But why would the other variations be transposed? I see no logical reason for doing that.


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Originally Posted by voxpops
Maybe it got fixed in a firmware update, because mine sounds pretty even. Of course, with an 88-note sample set, each note will have individual characteristics (which, to me, is a good thing!).

I made a recording, it plays five steps of a F major scale (because it has all the notes necessary do demonstrate this) at different velocites between 48 and 96:

24 bit FLAC audio: http://www.filedropper.com/es100samplereview
(VLC plays this)
MIDI file: http://www.filedropper.com/es100samplereview_1
(The MIDI file only works correctly if your ES100 is not in multi-timbral mode.)

The MIDI and the recording switches through the various piano presets of the ES100. First Concert Grand (with A sticking out), then Studio Grand (affected sample moves to B flat), then Mellow Grand (sample moves to G).

Just for comparision it switches to Concert Grand 2 at the end, where you can clearly hear the switch between two stretch groups.

Quote
But why would the other variations be transposed? I see no logical reason for doing that.

It's an easy trick to make them sound more different when playing the same piece. wink

Last edited by jtsn; 02/13/15 05:17 PM.

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