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When I listen to Pianoteq recording from others, they all sound super real as if they were recorded with real piano with high quality recording equipments. When I make my record, they all sound artificial and lifeless. One can easily tell it comes from digital piano. Is it because I am using standard edition? Below is one of my recent recording. Should I upgrade to Pro or its just some settings I need to play with?



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The noise level is very high. It almost seems like you're recording sound coming from the monitors, not from plugin itself. You capture sound and video at the same time? How is everything connected, exactly?


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Originally Posted by AlphaBravoCharlie
The noise level is very high. It almost seems like you're recording sound coming from the monitors, not from plugin itself. You capture sound and video at the same time? How is everything connected, exactly?

Yea, I capture sound and video at the same time. I output the headphone out from my Yamaha mixer to my camera's mic-in.


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Check with headphones direct from mixer. If ok you have may have a wrong setting on your camera, or there is an issue with that device.


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You ask: "Why my Pianoteq recording is so lifeless?"
The answer is in the question, methinks.

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With PTq or any VST, you can alter the state of tuning.
Perfect tuning = lifeless!
You can also widen the unison width and alter the hammer strengths etc.
Nothing will change if you don't.
Tweak the resonances up too. to intolerable levels. Then you'd feel what it is to play an acoustic.
Well, almost.


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Originally Posted by JerryFan2000
When I listen to Pianoteq recording from others, they all sound super real as if they were recorded with real piano with high quality recording equipments. When I make my record, they all sound artificial and lifeless.

Skill makes the difference.


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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
You ask: "Why my Pianoteq recording is so lifeless?"
The answer is in the question, methinks.
Originally Posted by JoeT
Skill makes the difference.
Guy asks a question, there is an obvious technical issue going on (strong hiss audible even on the phone or laptop speakers, so a lot of piano sound is masked with that noise) and what he receives? Making fun of Pianoteq and critique of his playing skills. Very nice of you guys, such a friendly environment wink

Originally Posted by JerryFan2000
Originally Posted by AlphaBravoCharlie
The noise level is very high. It almost seems like you're recording sound coming from the monitors, not from plugin itself. You capture sound and video at the same time? How is everything connected, exactly?

Yea, I capture sound and video at the same time. I output the headphone out from my Yamaha mixer to my camera's mic-in.
I would check the specs of your camera mic input, it's probably making all the hiss. I would personally not rely on camera sound input and rather experiment with connecting camera to PC and then recording it there. For example you can use OBS: choose camera as an video source, stream sound from your DAW (via ReaStream plugin for example) and then have a complete material recorded in OBS. You can also record sound and video separately and later merge it (not too complicated to get synchronization right).

Regarding the sound itself, simple things like adding some external reverb might make it sound better (reverbs built-in Pianoteq are nothing great). Stage/Standard/Pro PTQ versions do sound exactly the same, unless you do some serious tweaking. I think in your case upgrading to Pro would be a waste of money.

Edit: I've checked your other videos and the hiss is there as well, with some clipping from time to time. I'm almost certain it's your's camera input causing it.

Last edited by AlphaBravoCharlie; 08/04/21 03:47 PM.

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well it didn't sound that bad, maybe the volume is too low. Lifeless? That's the nature of any digital piano, which is still a recording of single notes. Pianoteq even if it's not sampled is not better than the other vst. The magic of an acoustic piano is the oomph when you play more notes together and when you use the sustain pedal. No reverb or compressor can replace that magic.

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The big difference is you have a bad signal path compared to a well engineered Pianoteq recording.

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I think you need to boost the resonances a bit, add some reverb, so as to make the digital sound of PTQ less obvious / exposed. Because this VST uses mechanical algorithms to generate the sound, the digital-like feel is hard to avoid. It still can't convince me of it being like an acoustic, only trying to sound like one IMO. Anyway, good luck tweaking!

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Thank you guys for all your input. So looks like there are two problems (bad audio path and lack of Pianoteq tweaking) in my recording as some of you point out. I will try to tweak my audio path and the PTQ setting a bit to see. Thanks.


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The simplest thing I do in pianoteq is turn the condition slider over to the right a bit. That is the one setting I carry over for presets. I actually like mine around where the 1st line is. It really brings some life to the strings resonance that is not heard when on the mint setting.

Before I upload to YouTube I will make an audio mix separate from the video recording and process that with a little external reverb just to cut the dryness.

Then I'll import the video recording and remove the default audio track that comes with it. In a video editing program, I take the video with no audio and sync it with the audio mix I had created. I'll also adjust all my audio levels to normalized standards, so it's not to quiet or too loud
It's work, but not too bad.

For me, that brings more life out of pianoteq especially when I want others to listen.

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Originally Posted by AlphaBravoCharlie
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
You ask: "Why my Pianoteq recording is so lifeless?"
The answer is in the question, methinks.
Originally Posted by JoeT
Skill makes the difference.
Guy asks a question, there is an obvious technical issue going on (strong hiss audible even on the phone or laptop speakers, so a lot of piano sound is masked with that noise) and what he receives? Making fun of Pianoteq and critique of his playing skills. Very nice of you guys, such a friendly environment wink

This thread is not about playing skill, it's about recording skill.

If you want to be good at [recording/videographing/tuning pianos/whatever], you take lessons and practice daily.

If you're try something for the first time and compare it to the pros on YouTube, your results look like those from absolute beginners with obvious technical issues, regardless of what you try. That's to be expected. Why would be different for recording?

The common misconception on this forum is that recording is not a skill that needs to be learned. Turns out, that's not true.


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Originally Posted by JoeT
This thread is not about playing skill, it's about recording skill.

If you want to be good at [recording/videographing/tuning pianos/whatever], you take lessons and practice daily.

If you're try something for the first time and compare it to the pros on YouTube, your results look like those from absolute beginners with obvious technical issues, regardless of what you try. That's to be expected. Why would be different for recording?

The common misconception on this forum is that recording is not a skill that needs to be learned. Turns out, that's not true.
I do not remember reading anything suggesting that recording is not a skill at this forum. OP asked a question, so he realized that there is a problem (first and important step) and you reply with 'Skill makes the difference'. Not very helpful and a bit off-putting, but whatever.

With your last post I must agree. There is a learning curve. Much steeper when recording voice/acoustic instruments, a bit easier with just digital music (which is the case with virtual instruments).


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Originally Posted by JerryFan2000
Thank you guys for all your input. So looks like there are two problems (bad audio path and lack of Pianoteq tweaking) in my recording as some of you point out. I will try to tweak my audio path and the PTQ setting a bit to see. Thanks.

An alternative is to record audio as MIDI, run it through Pianoteq to create the WAV, and use a video editor to combine the WAV with your camera recording and generate a final video.

That's what I do. I use VEGAS Pro to silence the camera recording and overlay the Pianoteq WAV, then output to a final MP4. There's probably free apps that can do this kind of thing too. I used to use Windows Movie Maker to do it years ago.

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PowerDirector has a function made to sync automatically the the video audio stream with an other audio take (a direct audio record from Pianoteq). Then we just have to mute the audio from the video.


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Originally Posted by qpalzm
Originally Posted by JerryFan2000
Thank you guys for all your input. So looks like there are two problems (bad audio path and lack of Pianoteq tweaking) in my recording as some of you point out. I will try to tweak my audio path and the PTQ setting a bit to see. Thanks.

An alternative is to record audio as MIDI, run it through Pianoteq to create the WAV, and use a video editor to combine the WAV with your camera recording and generate a final video.

That's what I do. I use VEGAS Pro to silence the camera recording and overlay the Pianoteq WAV, then output to a final MP4. There's probably free apps that can do this kind of thing too. I used to use Windows Movie Maker to do it years ago.

I did the same. Used free Da Vinci Resolve to mix original video+audio with the Pianoteq WAV.

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Originally Posted by AlphaBravoCharlie
Originally Posted by JoeT
This thread is not about playing skill, it's about recording skill.

If you want to be good at [recording/videographing/tuning pianos/whatever], you take lessons and practice daily.

If you're try something for the first time and compare it to the pros on YouTube, your results look like those from absolute beginners with obvious technical issues, regardless of what you try. That's to be expected. Why would be different for recording?

The common misconception on this forum is that recording is not a skill that needs to be learned. Turns out, that's not true.
I do not remember reading anything suggesting that recording is not a skill at this forum. OP asked a question, so he realized that there is a problem (first and important step) and you reply with 'Skill makes the difference'. Not very helpful and a bit off-putting, but whatever.

With your last post I must agree. There is a learning curve. Much steeper when recording voice/acoustic instruments, a bit easier with just digital music (which is the case with virtual instruments).

There are various learning curves in play at PW, to include forum/writing skills necessary to post an inquiry and subsequently receive - informative replies at a minimum - and at bonus when the stars align also receive replies that respect the mostly implied-but-unwritten codes of ethics in play within a given global community. 🌎


To the OP, have you considered honing your recording chops by experimenting with less involved/complicated variables such as recording the a&v of playing your dp via native speaker sounds .....i know there is an easy counter argument that you’re trying to record w/vst in the first place but .... this should be a collective learning process even if your dp’s native on-board sounds are somewhat lifeless to begin with because ..... the internet - by way of professional-grade utubers - is littered with brands and models of dps with sub-par native sounds that end up sounding (and indirectly “looking”) like cream of the crop models AFTER a recording expert has applied their a/v wiles .... just a friendly suggestion for you to consider 🙂

Last edited by drewr; 08/05/21 10:01 AM.

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Originally Posted by drewr
Originally Posted by AlphaBravoCharlie
Originally Posted by JoeT
This thread is not about playing skill, it's about recording skill.

If you want to be good at [recording/videographing/tuning pianos/whatever], you take lessons and practice daily.

If you're try something for the first time and compare it to the pros on YouTube, your results look like those from absolute beginners with obvious technical issues, regardless of what you try. That's to be expected. Why would be different for recording?

The common misconception on this forum is that recording is not a skill that needs to be learned. Turns out, that's not true.
I do not remember reading anything suggesting that recording is not a skill at this forum. OP asked a question, so he realized that there is a problem (first and important step) and you reply with 'Skill makes the difference'. Not very helpful and a bit off-putting, but whatever.

With your last post I must agree. There is a learning curve. Much steeper when recording voice/acoustic instruments, a bit easier with just digital music (which is the case with virtual instruments).

There are various learning curves in play at PW, to include forum/writing skills necessary to post an inquiry and subsequently receive - informative replies at a minimum - and at bonus when the stars align also receive replies that respect the mostly implied-but-unwritten codes of ethics in play within a given global community. 🌎


To the OP, have you considered honing your recording chops by experimenting with less involved/complicated variables such as recording the a&v of playing your dp via native speaker sounds .....i know there is an easy counter argument that you’re trying to record w/vst in the first place but .... this should be a collective learning process even if your dp’s native on-board sounds are somewhat lifeless to begin with because ..... the internet - by way of professional-grade utubers - is littered with brands and models of dps with sub-par native sounds that end up sounding (and indirectly “looking”) like cream of the crop models AFTER a recording expert has applied their a/v wiles .... just a friendly suggestion for you to consider 🙂

You are right. I actually think the sound already feels lifeless right out of the monitor speaker. I also have the Garritan CFX lite and feels the same way too. I also tried some Pianoteq settings that sounds pretty nice in sample audio but just sounded a bit nicer when applied to my recording. Thats leads me to suspect maybe the extra tuning features in Pro version is the reason. With all the informative feedback from you guys, I think I need to do more experiment with the settings in Pianoteq or probably extra post processing in other audio processing software.


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