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David B Offline OP
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I was inspired by Navindra's Pianoteq thread to try out the Pianoteq U4 and compare it to my VI Labs Modern U in a battle of the uprights. smile I have the Pianoteq U4 demo version that's missing a few notes and only allows me to play it for 20 minutes, but it doesn't hamper the song I'll play.

Full disclosure.

I've owned the Modern U since its release and it's one of my favorite sampled pianos. I've owned Pianoteq for a few years and I've never found any of their modeled pianos to satisfy me. Even hearing really talented people play them (pianos always sound better when talented people play them) I still don't care for the tone they produce. It always seems like there is some sort of metal buzz in the strings. It just sounds unnatural to me. Today was my first time trying the U4 and I didn't find it anymore pleasing than the previous Pianoteq Models that I've tried and own.

That being said, the U4 does have a bit better dynamic range and playability compared to the Modern U, but for me that does not overcome the buzzy metallic tone. On the other hand, the Modern U plays good enough and has a warmer, richer, and more authentic sound (IMO).

Bottom line.

Find something that you enjoy and be thankful you have so many options to choose from. Don't hate, but celebrate when people are passionate about their personal preferences. smile



God Bless,
David

Last edited by David B; 08/20/20 07:03 PM.

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And if you use Match Eq on the tracks to see the "differences" and apply it on the Pianoteq´s equalizer to match the Modern U sound?!

Ps: I also preferred the Modern U and also find Pianoteq metallic sometimes.

Last edited by Otavio; 08/20/20 07:09 PM.
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I think I like Pianoteq because of the dynamic range. I do agree that it still has some metallic sound to it but not as much as in previous versions. Here is hope to improvement in version 7.

My thought on PianoTeq is still the same. I love to play it but if I was recording I would use a sampled VSTi.


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Awesome, David! I'm really glad you made this comparison... I'm even sure I had requested it at some point. laugh

I think you have the ability to make any piano come alive. Even though you don't favor it, I see you achieving a real tender and delicate tone on the U4, just watching your video and how expressively you get to play those keys on the U4.

The Modern U is certainly no slouch and it takes the "honest" approach as CG had put it earlier. It was always a contender for me on the strength of your demos alone, which I watched multiple times, even though I ultimately chose Pianoteq on the strength of the trial.

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I've been pleasantly surprised with the Pianoteq U4. Having overlooked it for years, I recently bought a copy. Playability is superb as it is with all Pianoteq models, but what I like is the ring, overtones and sustains of this U4 model which sound less artificial/metallic than many of the Pianoteq grand models to my ears. Also, you can shape the tone & character of the piano extensively, from subtle to extreme.

Last edited by Craig Richards; 08/20/20 11:48 PM.

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Originally Posted by Craig Richards
I've been pleasantly surprised with the Pianoteq U4. Having overlooked it for years, I recently bought a copy. Playability is superb as it is with all Pianoteq models, but what I like is the ring, overtones and sustains of this U4 model which sound less artificial/metallic than many of the Pianoteq grand models to my ears. Also, you can shape the tone & character of the piano extensively, from subtle to extreme.
Bold Supplied.

Yeah, something I should have made more clear is that I haven't tried to shape the sound of the U4 at all. It's the stock preset. It does have a lot of depth for an "upright." The dynamic range is pretty big and I would probably need more time with it to develop a proper touch. I literally only played it for about 20 minutes today. If I was going to choose a Pianoteq sound to play around with I think it would be the U4.

God Bless,
David


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Originally Posted by David B
...

...

Nice playing!

For me the most obvious difference in tone is that the sampled version has more high frequency content, whereas the modelled one sounds a bit dull. This dullness can be mitigated via the main equalizer in Pianoteq, by raising the high frequency end by a few dB, keeping the low end untouched. My guess is that Pianoteq would sound more like Modern U that way.


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Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
Originally Posted by David B
...

...

whereas the modelled one sounds a bit dull.

Velocity curve and dynamic is the solution.
The U4 needs a more direct velocity curve and a bit less dynamic. I play it at 38db for the dynamic.
By the way, it is one of the more underrated Pianoteq's instrument, but very fun to play

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Thanks a lot for this comparison!. I recently bought both, first the Modern U, which I really love, and then the U4, which so far have not hooked me. But I hope some tweaking will help to raise my appreciation for it.

As a sidenote, the Pianoteq Bluthner, bought same time than the U4, has been a nice addition to my collection


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i am missing the gain response feature in pianoteq.
in modern u:
There are two separate components which affect the MIDI response of a virtual piano: the velocity levels relating to the timbre change from soft to hard, and the gain curve which affects the volume throughout the velocity range.

perhaps i haven‘t found it.
i like both, but didn‘t buy the U4.


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Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
For me the most obvious difference in tone is that the sampled version has more high frequency content, whereas the modelled one sounds a bit dull. This dullness can be mitigated via the main equalizer in Pianoteq, by raising the high frequency end by a few dB, keeping the low end untouched. My guess is that Pianoteq would sound more like Modern U that way.

I was going to comment and say that generally, I have disliked Pianoteq because of the metallic sound. But DavidB's comparison has me questioning! I preferred the ModernU in some areas and, to my surprise, Pianoteq in other parts. However, I think QuasiUnaFantasia has captured exactly what I was hearing.

I preferred Pianoteq in the lower register while preferring ModernU in the upper register.

Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
Nice playing!

Yes - Bravo! Thank you for sharing!


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Thanks David for the Demonstration. The Modern U sounds so good, i have bought it laugh


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Originally Posted by kimby
I was going to comment and say that generally, I have disliked Pianoteq because of the metallic sound. But DavidB's comparison has me questioning! I preferred the ModernU in some areas and, to my surprise, Pianoteq in other parts. However, I think QuasiUnaFantasia has captured exactly what I was hearing.

I preferred Pianoteq in the lower register while preferring ModernU in the upper register.

And then try U4 Tall.

Once you try that, you'll find there are so many other musical options. Like the quaint U4 Bierkeller.

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David B Offline OP
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It's time for the Uprights to step aside when the big boy comes out to play (VSL Bösendorfer Imperial). smile As much as I love playing the Modern U, this song sounds better on the 9.5 footer.

Some songs actually do sound better (IMO) played on the Modern U, but Amazing Grace (in this style) belongs on the Bösendorfer. This beautiful grand just seems to invoke more emotion when playing.



God Bless,
David


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Oh, the bass! The mellow mids! So warm. The VSL BI is always on, attached to my CA79, and has taken over as the voice of my DP. I haven't heard any other sound since I got it a month or 2 ago.


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Originally Posted by kimby
Oh, the bass! The mellow mids! So warm...

That beautifully sums it up. smile

If I could only have one, the VSL Bösendorfer Imperial would be it.

God Bless,
David


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I like this. The bass is definitely very nice. Did you dampen the resonances somewhat? Was it too much?

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Originally Posted by navindra
I like this. The bass is definitely very nice. Did you dampen the resonances somewhat? Was it too much?

Those settings were my first attempt at shaping the sound when I originally received the Bösendorfer Imperial. I was going for a dry sound. I've since opened things up a bit with more natural room reverb. I moved away from the most direct condenser mic to the tube mic positioned more in the middle of the soundboard, which seems to let the piano breathe more.

God Bless,
David


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If you haven't seen, Gamma1734, who is also a PW member, just uploaded a great comparison video among Gentleman, Modern U, VSL Bosendorfer Upright and Pianoteq U4.



I must say Modern U and VSL Bosendorfer Upright beat them all!


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Originally Posted by Harpuia
If you haven't seen, Gamma1734, who is also a PW member, just uploaded a great comparison video among Gentleman, Modern U, VSL Bosendorfer Upright and Pianoteq U4.

Sweet! He is such a good player. Thanks for linking to that.

I've never heard of the Gentleman before, but I like the Modern U and The Gentleman the best. VSL Bösendorfer 3rd and Pianoteq U4 a very distant 4th.

Now I have to go and research the Gentleman. shocked

God Bless,
David


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