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#3115395 05/09/21 05:59 AM
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After you skim through this, you'd admit it but after you digest it, your head would spiral in amazement about the miracle that's Pianoteq.

At the same time, this phenomenal complexity is why it still sounds objectively "unreal" and different to an acoustic piano's sound. Perhaps this is the principal reason why Yamaha and others besides Roland, are still using the sampled approach.

Quote
...
Got a headache yet? Then get this... Most notes are generated by three strings, and it's all but impossible to tune these to the same pitch. You can get very close, to the point where any beating between them is almost undetectable, but the strings will soon become out of phase with one another, such that one string is moving 'up' while another is moving 'down', and so on. This leads to interference, with the strings swapping energy, reinforcing and at other times cancelling ...

Last edited by meghdad; 05/09/21 06:00 AM.

Pianoteq + Korg C1.

I shall be "thankful" for this decent alternative to an upright piano. Hallelujah.
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Yamaha and Kawai are using the modeling-sampling approach and it is working very well for them.

Yamaha just ‘added’ more modeling to their new Clavinovas, and I believe this will continue gradually until their pianos are fully modeled.

As it stands, the bottleneck is in the processing power/capability and not in the technology itself. For example, modeling the lower end without any approximations (all elements modeled in real-time) requires mammoth computing power, and although modern computers are fairly powerful, they’re not quite there yet in terms of price-to-value ratio (a Mac Pro starts at 6K and even at that ‘high-end’ we run short).


Are we there yet? No, but we’re on track, and unless we get lost or ‘the samplers’ roadblock us, we should get there in no time!


So I say, enjoy the ride to model-world!

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I'm not entirely sure if it solely comes down to the computing power. The physics seem to be too complex to be accurately modeled. Pianoteq is very close, but it's not quite there it seems.

About the Yamaha and Kawai approach, I'm assuming you're talking about the VRM? Because it's more like the final touches. They just model things that can not be faithfully reproduced using sampling and add it to the final result.


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Hello,

@meghdad, Does this also imply that you managed to get your Pianoteq license and are now experimenting to your heart's desire with it?

I solely use VI Labs' Modern U virtual piano library, which is said to be 100% sampled without any added modeling. And is done so in exquisite quality and in stunningly fine detail.

Modeling, to my musical taste and ears, still has to make a couple of quantum leaps should it ever become acceptable as an inspiring musical instrument. This I mean in the context where modeling tries to emulate a true instrument, a piano in our case. For instance analogue or digital synthesizers on the other hand could also be regarded as modeling and can be super interesting and inspiring in their own rights, where they're being themselves.

I'm a sucker for authenticity, so my next instrument will more likely be an acoustic one than a synthesized one. (In my dreams, that would be a Yamaha C7 plus a hand carved double bass with Viennese Spirocores 😍.)

As written a quazillion times before, all of this is completely and utterly a matter of personal interest and preference, and discussing it somewhat resembles the quazil-billions of Mac OS<->Windows, Apple<->Samsung, Ford<->Chevy shootouts.

Cheers and happy modeling,

HZ

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Hello,

No I haven't. I was just curious about the concept. It's intriguing what they have come up with since 2002.

I'm also with you regarding acoustic pianos, and sampled VSTs too. However, an advantage in favor of modeling seems to be the seamless layer switching.

Cheers and happy imitating,

meghdad :-p


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Originally Posted by meghdad
I'm not entirely sure if it solely comes down to the computing power. The physics seem to be too complex to be accurately modeled. Pianoteq is very close, but it's not quite there it seems.

About the Yamaha and Kawai approach, I'm assuming you're talking about the VRM? Because it's more like the final touches. They just model things that can not be faithfully reproduced using sampling and add it to the final result.

And what they sample has some flavouring added. The same to each voice, making it sound rich. Like an over-sweet pudding which you're then force-fed whever you play it.
That's why I use Pianoteq. I'd argue and expect to get nowhere, by suggesting PTq might be nicer to play and more expressive than a basic piano like theKawai k15 or the Yamaha B1.


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Originally Posted by meghdad
However, an advantage in favor of modeling seems to be the seamless layer switching.

Seamless layer switching has been a thing in sampled pianos for a while already.

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The thing is that sample-based systems are literally based on layers, so even if not initially perceived, it’s like eating pork: you know it’s fed with s#it, the pig, yet it’s tasty enough that you forget about that aspect for a while.

Can you smell the crap when eating pork? Most likely not, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there!

With modeled, although theoretically there are ‘127’ steps, in reality it is one continuous stream rather than layer piled upon layer upon layer.......

Now, don’t get me wrong; I enjoy the occasional bacon, but I am very clear about its origins, and I am working hard on quitting it all together!

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Chapaya and Petka are selling meatballs on the street. All people are lined for Chapaya’s. Petka asks him:
“Chapaya, what’s your secret recipe?”
“A bucket of meat and a bucket of sh1t.”
“Ohh! You also put meat!”

——-
Now, sampling is Chapaya’s secret recipe. Modeling is the regular one.


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Does the acoustic piano have exclusive rights to the "tone" produced by a hammer striking strings? I don't think so.

I think folks in general are quick to dismiss modeling. Quite rightly so, I reckon, since when you hit the C4 - C5 on a default Roland sound, you get a glaring metallic tone thrown back. But spend some time with its varied piano designer options, I can actually produce a pleasing tone. As an amateur player, the dynamics seem to work the same way as a CFX DP sample or a high-end VST.

The structured decision making implemented by models with a tiny bit of randomness thrown in sounds like a good way to produce a piano tone. Not replicate a piano tone, just to produce one from scratch.


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@Pete14 : I don’t understand what you mean with your pork analogy. If let’s say 5 layers are good enough with a smart blending algorithm, the fact that there are only 5 layers doesn’t matter.

Since I have a N1X, I am getting too lazy to go and start my VST... I don’t know what is inside the box (N layers, blending, VRM...), but who care ?


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Originally Posted by Frédéric L
Since I have a N1X, I am getting too lazy to go and start my VST... I don’t know what is inside the box (N layers, blending, VRM...), but who care ?

The N1X on its default tone with the volume dial at 2 o'clock or so.... a simple wow.


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I have a feeling that such discussions are going to get popular with forum members. I'm still willing to give second chances to PTQ, but IMO the sound is still not convincing for me yet. It still sounds metallic, sometimes nasally, and at other times too "perfect" that distracts me out of the playing to realize "Oh, this doesn't sound acoustic".
I'm currently traveling between Garritan CFX, the Modern U, and American Concert D. So far, these 3 give me the most joy in playing that I forget I'm sitting in front of a digital machine. But whenever I try PianoTeq, the same feeling comes, especially when I play with their out of the box sounds. I guess I'll still need to wait quite a few years when I can close my eyes and believe the instrument I'm hearing is just like an acoustic piano. Now the sampled libraries can give me this impression already, let's hope someday the modeled programs can catch up.

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Originally Posted by David Lai
I have a feeling that such discussions are going to get popular with forum members. I'm still willing to give second chances to PTQ, but IMO the sound is still not convincing for me yet. It still sounds metallic, sometimes nasally, and at other times too "perfect" that distracts me out of the playing to realize "Oh, this doesn't sound acoustic".
I'm currently traveling between Garritan CFX, the Modern U, and American Concert D. So far, these 3 give me the most joy in playing that I forget I'm sitting in front of a digital machine. But whenever I try PianoTeq, the same feeling comes, especially when I play with their out of the box sounds. I guess I'll still need to wait quite a few years when I can close my eyes and believe the instrument I'm hearing is just like an acoustic piano. Now the sampled libraries can give me this impression already, let's hope someday the modeled programs can catch up.

Hi David,

Have you tried to modify condition on Pianoteq?. I find slightly moving that slider to the right helps to produce a more credible piano sound


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Originally Posted by Frédéric L
@Pete14 : I don’t understand what you mean with your pork analogy.

Me neither, Fred!

When it first hit me, the analogy, I thought: ‘hey, this isn’t so bad’, but then I got lost in the details.

I soon found myself drowning in crap, but being the stubborn man that I am, I continued on this useless mission (piled layers of crap) to make it work, the analogy.


I must be getting old, or maybe I’m dead already?

mmathew says that I’m ‘full of it’, life, but I’m not so sure as of recent! frown

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Originally Posted by EB5AGV
Hi David,

Have you tried to modify condition on Pianoteq?. I find slightly moving that slider to the right helps to produce a more credible piano sound
Hi Jose! No, because the sliders are not screen reader friendly. In fact, the whole interface is not very accessible without some sort of advanced screen navigation browsing method. Unlike Garritan CFX, I can't use the Alt key to bring up a menu bar or press a few key strokes to access a menu of presets. Granted, their sliders are also not accessible, but at least I could get set up and going with playing very quickly. We shall see how PianoTeq will improve in a few years. smile

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Hello, David.

Are you still using the Korg nanokontrol? I suppose you could set one of the sliders to act on the condition parameter. In fact you could map the sliders to different controls. You would probably need someone else's help to setup it but once done, you could work on it by your own.

Of course, you seem to have found setups that work for you so Pteq must not be on top of your priorities right now, but just for the case you have the interest in experimenting with it some day...

Originally Posted by David Lai
I guess I'll still need to wait quite a few years when I can close my eyes and believe the instrument I'm hearing is just like an acoustic piano.

I take it you mean it in the figurative sense. smile On the other hand, I suppose your sight condition makes you more sensitive to VSTs imperfections, or too much perfection in Pteq's case.


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Pianoteq is a "miracle"?
Originally Posted by meghdad
... your head would spiral in amazement about the miracle that's Pianoteq.
If it sounded like a piano, perhaps you could call it "good".

But it doesn't sound like a piano. So I think of it as a "disaster".

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LOL I was awaiting your reaction.


Pianoteq + Korg C1.

I shall be "thankful" for this decent alternative to an upright piano. Hallelujah.
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I miss the "condition" slider from Pianoteq in Garritan CFX. I would like to make it less perfect sometimes.

And, key noise ! It also gives feeling of realness.

I disable pedal noise because I have an OCD about noise/hiss in Garritan CFX, and don't want to add another source of noise.

But this functions in Pianoteq are really nice.


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