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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I'm beginning to think that Pete14 has taken on a protégé. smile
Originally Posted by EPW
Thanks Kimby now you made me hungry for a pizza. A homemade pizza. So what time is dinner?
I can bring a nice salad smile

I like the idea of negative latency. Will that fix my mistakes before I make them?


Hey I like that idea. Kimby never responded, so tonight was BBQ pulled pork sandwiches that I had going in the slow cooker all day. I was willing to for-go them tonight for some homemade pizza. I even had the Jet on standby. Oh well, I now know where I stand with the folks down in Texas frown

I just opened a nice bottle of Cognac and I'm going to settle in with my Love Pianoteq for the evening smile At least I can say I'm with a model tonight!


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Why would you spoil some good BBQ with a batch of sour Pianoteq? frown

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Why would you spoil some good BBQ with a batch of sour Pianoteq? frown

No you got that all wrong Pianoteq is a Super-Model that I get to tweak the way I want. LOL

Okay this is getting a little to much even for me. I admit I am one of the folks in the camp that does like Pianoteq and I know 3M is not.


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I find this constant debate absolutely baffling. Primarily as a classical pianist these are my observations - I have no interest or knowledge of how sampled or modelled instruments work, and I don't really care. All I want is an accurate touch and a realistic experience. My yard stick is my Kawai GX-5 and I also regularly play a Yamaha CFX.

Digital Pianos:
I treat digital pianos as instruments in their own right - it's no good always holding them to the 'gold standard' of an acoustic grand piano - they're a separate instrument. Having played most of the current models, getting a mix of a good action & good sound reproduction is very hit and miss. To be quite frank, none of the models currently on the market do anything for me, other than hybrid models (I like both Yamaha and Kawai instruments, with the exception of the NU1) - the sound on these is good, but still not quite as playable as I would like.

Sampled VSTs:
My experience with sampled VSTs includes: Ravenscroft 275, NI Noire, Imperfect Samples Walnut Grand & Bechstein Digital Grand. These can sound amazing (WAY better any samples on current DPs) BUT you have to play them in a totally different way to an acoustic piano. Pedalling is something that is so far out of touch, even with a continuous sustain pedal, that you simply can't get a result similar to an acoustic instrument. They're great for creating a recording (with a few exceptions), but useless as a practice instrument if you need to transfer to an acoustic instrument on a regular basis.

PianoTeq:
I own PianoTeq standard since version 5 (presently updated to the latest 6.x.x version). Without a shadow of a doubt, PianoTeq currently offers me the most realistic experience in conjunction with my DP (overall experience, not necessarily sound...). I'm lucky that I've been able to have my DP next to my GX-5 and spent a considerable number of hours tweaking PianoTeq (Bechstein DG) to respond in a very close manner to my acoustic instrument. In essence, I can use PianoTeq as a practise instrument and transfer to my acoustic piano with minimal adjustment of technique - of course there is still SOME adjustment needed. We all know that PianoTeq is in constant development, and that alone means there are improvements to be made. The sound isn't always quite as authentic as I'd like, but at the moment, this is the best solution for me in a location where I can not have an acoustic instrument. I believe that my DP + PianoTeq offers me a better practice solution than a low / mid range upright instrument at an equivalent cost to my set up.

Conclusion:
Pretty much everything about pianos is so incredibly subjective, this is why many brands and models of acoustic instruments exist. Some people will love a certain touch, feel, sound or experience that someone else - totally legitimately - can not get on with. I'm so incredibly grateful that both sampled software instruments, and PianoTeq exists and they are both amazingly useful tools. I can't understand why people get so defensive about their choices - you don't need to! Do what works for you, and what is practical in your situation. IMO there are very few 'wrong' answers.

Last edited by Seb Clement; 09/20/20 06:21 AM.
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Originally Posted by Seb Clement
I find this constant debate absolutely baffling. Primarily as a classical pianist these are my observations - I have no interest or knowledge of how sampled or modelled instruments work, and I don't really care. All I want is an accurate touch and a realistic experience. My yard stick is my Kawai GX-5 and I also regularly play a Yamaha CFX.
[...]
Conclusion: Pretty much everything about pianos is so incredibly subjective
But your conclusion is as expected: Folded digital piano actions aren't really suitable for classical piano practice. Your practice tool doesn't really sound like a piano. Some prefer to listen to CD quality recordings of expensive concert grands while pressing keys.

And others look for the best overall package, instead of just a practice tool. An upright acoustic piano with a silent option is what most people nowadays choose: It sounds and plays like an upright piano and it offers a silent digital option combined with a real upright piano action. Standalone digital pianos with folded digital actions don't really measure up to this.


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Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Seb Clement
I find this constant debate absolutely baffling. Primarily as a classical pianist these are my observations - I have no interest or knowledge of how sampled or modelled instruments work, and I don't really care. All I want is an accurate touch and a realistic experience. My yard stick is my Kawai GX-5 and I also regularly play a Yamaha CFX.
[...]
Conclusion: Pretty much everything about pianos is so incredibly subjective
But your conclusion is as expected: Folded digital piano actions aren't really suitable for classical piano practice. Your practice tool doesn't really sound like a piano. Some prefer to listen to CD quality recordings of expensive concert grands while pressing keys.

And others look for the best overall package, instead of just a practice tool. An upright acoustic piano with a silent option is what most people nowadays choose: It sounds and plays like an upright piano and it offers a silent digital option combined with a real upright piano action. Standalone digital pianos with folded digital actions don't really measure up to this.

I totally agree but I don't know why you think I have a DP with a plastic, folded action?! The touch that my practice DP offers is so much closer to a grand piano action than an upright can offer.

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A digital FM synthesizer produce a PCM data stream which is sent to DAC. If all operator frequencies are multiple if the fundamental, the data stream is periodic and can easily been replaced by a sample.

However, we can detune operators, or modulate the timbre trough modulator operators. This makes the FM hard to be sampled.


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Originally Posted by Seb Clement
I totally agree but I don't know why you think I have a DP with a plastic, folded action?! The touch that my practice DP offers is so much closer to a grand piano action than an upright can offer.
I didn't assume anything, but I just pointed out, that a Pianoteq-powered practice tool is a total niche solution. It's not suitable for someone who doesn't already own a MSRP $60,695 grand. You have essentially gone full off topic (stating that you don't actually care about this thread's topic) and then explained your very special use case, diverting the discussion on actions.

The reason why people discuss modeling vs. sampling on this thread is that they are looking for something which at least sounds close to a real piano - either for silent practice or as their only piano sound. And most people simply get an acoustic-digital upright as their solution. They don't care, if it's anywhere close to a GX-5 or CFX.


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Originally Posted by Seb Clement
Conclusion:
Pretty much everything about pianos is so incredibly subjective, this is why many brands and models of acoustic instruments exist. Some people will love a certain touch, feel, sound or experience that someone else - totally legitimately - can not get on with. I'm so incredibly grateful that both sampled software instruments, and PianoTeq exists and they are both amazingly useful tools. I can't understand why people get so defensive about their choices - you don't need to! Do what works for you, and what is practical in your situation. IMO there are very few 'wrong' answers.
+1

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Originally Posted by U3piano
[...]
Isn't it about time for something like audio machine learning? Say an AI capable computer listens to a piano, and then creates the modelled piano by itself, to make it sound like the original. That would possibly be the end of sampling. smile

USER> Computer? This is a piano sound: ...............MUSIC.............. Can you give me a mathematical model for it?

COMPUTER> Of course.
Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... TADAAAN! (Win98 TADA sound effect)

COMPUTER> END OF THE COMPUTATION. Save the model to a file?

USER> Yes. Nice. Now let me hear the same piece from before with the model.

COMPUTER> Of course: ..........MUSIC..........

USER> No, no, NO! It's too metallic! I don't feel the Warmness! I don't feel the Soul! I don't feel Love! I don't feel the Sadness! I don't feel the Joy! I don't feel the Anger! This is not the sound I want!!!

COMPUTER> What!? Fu** you, b***h!! YOU... I pity you! Stupid human TRASH!!!

USER> YEAH! THAT'S THE SPIRIT!!! Recalculate the model, now! Fast!!

COMPUTER> Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble...
(some smoke starts coming out of the computer)
Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble... Mumble...
BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!! (the computer exploded).

The user, with some injuries, turns on another computer and loads a VST...

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Originally Posted by JoeT
You have essentially gone full off topic (stating that you don't actually care about this thread's topic) and then explained your very special use case, diverting the discussion on actions.

JoeT, with all due respect, I don't think Seb went off topic and I appreciate reading that point of view. With so many people talking about pizza and BBQ in this thread, I find borderline offensive that you attacked Seb this way.

Obviously you are entitled to your opinion and you can say that you don't care about the comparison of modeling vs sampling vs a mildly (but not outrageously) expensive grand, and that is fine. Just do not assume everyone is like you.

In fact, as a owner of a inexpensive grand and the NU1 (of which I don't like the sound and the sustain, but I do like the action) I am interested in learning about more why Seb thinks PianoTeq is more playable than the sampled instruments, when the latter have better sound. In my experience with the demo of the last version, I've found PianoTeq only marginally better than NU1 alone (but obviously big hassle with cables, computer, etc), so I did not buy it. I have to say that I have no patience for exploring all the settings on my own, or better, that if I start doing that I will end up in the rabbit hole and just "play" with the computer for days instead of playing the instrument,

Seb, can you please elaborate on that?

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Originally Posted by Del Vento
Originally Posted by JoeT
You have essentially gone full off topic (stating that you don't actually care about this thread's topic) and then explained your very special use case, diverting the discussion on actions.

JoeT, with all due respect, I don't think Seb went off topic and I appreciate reading that point of view. With so many people talking about pizza and BBQ in this thread, I find borderline offensive that you attacked Seb this way.

Obviously you are entitled to your opinion and you can say that you don't care about the comparison of modeling vs sampling vs a mildly (but not outrageously) expensive grand, and that is fine. Just do not assume everyone is like you.

In fact, as a owner of a inexpensive grand and the NU1 (of which I don't like the sound and the sustain, but I do like the action) I am interested in learning about more why Seb thinks PianoTeq is more playable than the sampled instruments, when the latter have better sound. In my experience with the demo of the last version, I've found PianoTeq only marginally better than NU1 alone (but obviously big hassle with cables, computer, etc), so I did not buy it. I have to say that I have no patience for exploring all the settings on my own, or better, that if I start doing that I will end up in the rabbit hole and just "play" with the computer for days instead of playing the instrument,

Seb, can you please elaborate on that?
Yes, of course!

Like I say, I have very little knowledge of how things work or why things work (software wise) so my observations are purely from my ears, and how I feel software interacts with the action I'm using with it.

A massive plus point for me with PianoTeq is pedalling - my DP has a continuous sustain pedal, but it seems that most sampled VSTs support on/off pedalling with a third position for half pedalling. On an acoustic piano you can manipulate the sustain pedal to allow, or cut certain resonances, and often these manipulations are minute - an on/off switch doesn't allow for that, even with a third (half) position. This is something that PianoTeq does very well, and allows me to play in a very similar way to an acoustic piano.

I also feel I can play with tone in the same sort of way that I can on an acoustic piano. You can bring in a subtle edge to the tone when required, and play with nuances between the left and right hands while playing that I simply can't recreate with most DPs. I do find that FF/FFF playing, especially in the bass of the piano DOES leave a lot to be desired in PianoTeq, but the tradeoff is still worth it for me.

You're right that it's very easy to end up paying rather too much attention to PianoTeq itself, and lose focus. I have way too many saved presets that I've never really been happy with or ended up finishing.

I found a video from Phil Best on Youtube, that I can really relate to:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4SEgi5pADA

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Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Seb Clement
I totally agree but I don't know why you think I have a DP with a plastic, folded action?! The touch that my practice DP offers is so much closer to a grand piano action than an upright can offer.
I didn't assume anything, but I just pointed out, that a Pianoteq-powered practice tool is a total niche solution. It's not suitable for someone who doesn't already own a MSRP $60,695 grand. You have essentially gone full off topic (stating that you don't actually care about this thread's topic) and then explained your very special use case, diverting the discussion on actions.

The reason why people discuss modeling vs. sampling on this thread is that they are looking for something which at least sounds close to a real piano - either for silent practice or as their only piano sound. And most people simply get an acoustic-digital upright as their solution. They don't care, if it's anywhere close to a GX-5 or CFX.
PianoTeq and VSTs are a totally niche solution - you're absolutely right!

I really don't feel like I've gone off topic. I've stated I don't care HOW a sound is produced if it gives me the effects and playability that I want. At the moment PianoTeq seems to offer me the best solution based on my own experience.

I hope that clears things up a bit - and the point to my post was that there are SO many different solutions because this is such a subjective subject! We all need to realise that we're all right to a degree, because we all like different things.

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Originally Posted by Seb Clement
Originally Posted by Del Vento
In fact, as a owner of a inexpensive grand and the NU1 (of which I don't like the sound and the sustain, but I do like the action) I am interested in learning about more why Seb thinks PianoTeq is more playable than the sampled instruments, when the latter have better sound. In my experience with the demo of the last version, I've found PianoTeq only marginally better than NU1 alone (but obviously big hassle with cables, computer, etc), so I did not buy it. I have to say that I have no patience for exploring all the settings on my own, or better, that if I start doing that I will end up in the rabbit hole and just "play" with the computer for days instead of playing the instrument,

Seb, can you please elaborate on that?
A massive plus point for me with PianoTeq is pedalling - my DP has a continuous sustain pedal, but it seems that most sampled VSTs support on/off pedalling with a third position for half pedalling. On an acoustic piano you can manipulate the sustain pedal to allow, or cut certain resonances, and often these manipulations are minute - an on/off switch doesn't allow for that, even with a third (half) position. This is something that PianoTeq does very well, and allows me to play in a very similar way to an acoustic piano.

I also feel I can play with tone in the same sort of way that I can on an acoustic piano. You can bring in a subtle edge to the tone when required, and play with nuances between the left and right hands while playing that I simply can't recreate with most DPs. I do find that FF/FFF playing, especially in the bass of the piano DOES leave a lot to be desired in PianoTeq, but the tradeoff is still worth it for me.

You're right that it's very easy to end up paying rather too much attention to PianoTeq itself, and lose focus. I have way too many saved presets that I've never really been happy with or ended up finishing.

I found a video from Phil Best on Youtube, that I can really relate to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4SEgi5pADA

Wow. That is so eye opening. I was so fixated on the sound "per se" rather than how it is created than I've lost sight of this obvious (in hindsight) fact. I have to say that I am still working on my own technique for both fingers and (especially!) pedaling, and I am nowhere close to be decent on either, but I am making greater progress than I ever though possible and my teacher is positive that I will be able to get where I want to be. So that may be the reason why I missed it when trying PianoTeq.

In fact, it sounds like PianoTeq could actually help me in that goal! For example, my grand back action is not regulated correctly so I can't do half pedaling on it (yes, I could have it regulated, but it is such a tedious work for the technician and therefore expensive work... consider that it's a craigslist inexpensive grand). On the other hand, the sustain on the NU1 sounds is so short that it really does not matter much what I do with the pedal (which is a shame, since the pedal itself is very good). I will give pianoTeq a second try!!!

Thank you so much for sharing your point of view and the video of that person demonstrating this.

In conclusion, let me ask another related question. Many people on this forum are fond of Garritan CFX and find it "much better" than PianoTeq (given how I misunderstood what I should have been listening to with PianoTeq I am purposefully being generic with "much better" since I may have not properly internalized in what sense, but I was very tempted to write "more expressive"). Have you ever tried it, and if so, do you have any opinion on it, from the point of view we are discussing now?

Thanks again!

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I think (with others here) that the discussion about modelling vs sampling is a little (or a lot) misguided.

Modelling and sampling are two technological approaches to (in our case) to "imitate" an acoustic piano. Both have their pros and cons in terms of resources required and the results achieved.

Sampling requires a lot of memory, and although "simple" sampling is relatively easy and computationally inexpensive, it can become very computationally expensive especially if "modelling" methods are applied on top of the sampling technology to model dynamic behaviours of the instrument, like resonances, half-pedaling, noises of various kinds, etc. And there appears to be an inherent limitation in sampling technology to do those things.

Pure modelling, in contrast, can simulate those dynamic behaviours of the piano, opens ways to "create new things", and doesn't require much memory; but it is computationally expensive, and its computational cost increases with the accuracy of the model. Also, to model physical behaviours requires a proper and comprehensive understanding of these behaviours. So it appears to me that the modelling approach is the only way to surpass the inherent limitations of sampling. But there appears to be two things that prevent modelling to be an unequivocal substitute for sampling: computational resources and theoretical understanding about the details of the physical behaviour of a piano.

Everyone is free to choose between the leading edge of technology (modelling) or the proven approach (sampling), accepting that both have their advantages and make some compromises. "Playability" is a somewhat subjective thing, in the sense that, despite the objective facts, some people will be very bothered by the fact that the instrument doesn't respond to details like sympathetic resonances or continuous pedalling very accurately, and others will be more bothered by the lack of "realism" of the piano tone itself. I, for example, use Garritan CFX and already tried Pianoteq a couple of times, and I realize that both make compromises by virtue of their technical implementation (former is sampled, latter is modelled). Currently I prefer the sampled one, but this doesn't prevent me to appreciate what is achieved in the other option.

To go around saying that one is better than the other is to take a simplistic market- and consumer-oriented stance, where the ones who sell their products are there simply to give consumers what they want. I prefer to appreciate what is achieved in each technology, being at the same time aware of their limitations.


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Quote
Conclusion:
Pretty much everything about pianos is so incredibly subjective, this is why many brands and models of acoustic instruments exist. Some people will love a certain touch, feel, sound or experience that someone else - totally legitimately - can not get on with. I'm so incredibly grateful that both sampled software instruments, and PianoTeq exists and they are both amazingly useful tools. I can't understand why people get so defensive about their choices - you don't need to! Do what works for you, and what is practical in your situation. IMO there are very few 'wrong' answers.

+1. Thanks for your comments Seb. Very insightful.

Last edited by MusicalDudeist; 09/20/20 10:57 AM. Reason: Clarification.

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Thanks for your insight Seb.

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Originally Posted by matschulat
I think (with others here) that the discussion about modelling vs sampling is a little (or a lot) misguided.

Modelling and sampling are two technological approaches to (in our case) to "imitate" an acoustic piano. Both have their pros and cons in terms of resources required and the results achieved.

Sampling requires a lot of memory, and although "simple" sampling is relatively easy and computationally inexpensive, it can become very computationally expensive especially if "modelling" methods are applied on top of the sampling technology to model dynamic behaviours of the instrument, like resonances, half-pedaling, noises of various kinds, etc. And there appears to be an inherent limitation in sampling technology to do those things.

Pure modelling, in contrast, can simulate those dynamic behaviours of the piano, opens ways to "create new things", and doesn't require much memory; but it is computationally expensive, and its computational cost increases with the accuracy of the model. Also, to model physical behaviours requires a proper and comprehensive understanding of these behaviours. So it appears to me that the modelling approach is the only way to surpass the inherent limitations of sampling. But there appears to be two things that prevent modelling to be an unequivocal substitute for sampling: computational resources and theoretical understanding about the details of the physical behaviour of a piano.

Everyone is free to choose between the leading edge of technology (modelling) or the proven approach (sampling), accepting that both have their advantages and make some compromises. "Playability" is a somewhat subjective thing, in the sense that, despite the objective facts, some people will be very bothered by the fact that the instrument doesn't respond to details like sympathetic resonances or continuous pedalling very accurately, and others will be more bothered by the lack of "realism" of the piano tone itself. I, for example, use Garritan CFX and already tried Pianoteq a couple of times, and I realize that both make compromises by virtue of their technical implementation (former is sampled, latter is modelled). Currently I prefer the sampled one, but this doesn't prevent me to appreciate what is achieved in the other option.

To go around saying that one is better than the other is to take a simplistic market- and consumer-oriented stance, where the ones who sell their products are there simply to give consumers what they want. I prefer to appreciate what is achieved in each technology, being at the same time aware of their limitations.
This is exactly what I was getting at, and put much more eloquently than I could have done smile

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Originally Posted by matschulat
I think (with others here) that the discussion about modelling vs sampling is a little (or a lot) misguided.

Everyone is free to choose between the leading edge of technology (modelling) or the proven approach (sampling), accepting that both have their advantages and make some compromises.

To go around saying that one is better than the other is to take a simplistic market- and consumer-oriented stance, where the ones who sell their products are there simply to give consumers what they want.

Matschulat, I totally agreed on the "this is better" part of the discussion, and I am sorry if any of my comments sounded like that (it was not my intention). In fact my experience is that every software or digital piano that I tried sounds horrible, even the worst (in tune) acoustic piano that I have ever tried sounded better, so I am trying to find something to like. Why? Because of the convenience of the digital instrument for certain things. I want to understand if I am doing something wrong, e.g. looking at something that is out of today's possibilities, while overlooking something that can be achieved today and I could be (at least partially) satisfied with. In this regard, I find this discussion extremely useful, e.g. my last exchange with Seb.

Originally Posted by matschulat
"Playability" is a somewhat subjective thing, in the sense that, despite the objective facts, some people will be very bothered by the fact that the instrument doesn't respond to details like sympathetic resonances or continuous pedalling very accurately, and others will be more bothered by the lack of "realism" of the piano tone itself.

I, for example, use Garritan CFX and already tried Pianoteq a couple of times, and I realize that both make compromises by virtue of their technical implementation (former is sampled, latter is modelled). Currently I prefer the sampled one, but this doesn't prevent me to appreciate what is achieved in the other option.

As subjecting as it is, I think it would be useful if you can elaborate on this. I mean, you like Garritan for some specific reasons not like "my favorite color is green, period - there is no other reason". In what regard do you like Garritan better than PianoTeq and in what other regard the other way around? As you very clearly stated, in subjective terms. I think it's fine talking about subjective preference, like some preferring "bright" and other "mellow" in voicing an acoustic instrument, and then further diving deeper by saying "this technician have been able to use a special way to achieve very mellow, but not muffled at all sound". Hope I explained clearly what I am hoping to learn from you.

Thanks

Joined: May 2020
Posts: 221
K
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K
Joined: May 2020
Posts: 221
Originally Posted by EPW
Hey I like that idea. Kimby never responded, .... I even had the Jet on standby. ... I now know where I stand with the folks down in Texas frown

I just opened a nice bottle of Cognac and I'm going to settle in with my Love Pianoteq for the evening smile At least I can say I'm with a model tonight!

Sorry - I was busy cooking pizza!! grin

People (and this person!) in Texas appreciates pizza, BBQ (did we invent that?), salad, Cognac, and even the occasional Pianoteq! Bring the jet on down - every day is a new day! smile

Edit: hm after our piano food threads, this got serious! And provided some serious food for thought wink

Last edited by kimby; 09/20/20 01:03 PM.

Previous owner of a Yahama P-120 - now has new life with a student
New owner of a Kawai CA79 (and love it!)
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