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peterws Offline OP
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Jus' wondering; I watched a vid recently, on my main windows 10 desk-top and was struck with the sound through headphones.
It was immersive; you felt you were there, in a way I never did on my humble lappie.
It did my head in so I had to investigate the reason for such a discrepancy, thinking that, applying this observation to my VST piano,, the lappie might well be selling me short.
Turned out that the desktop ran Realtek HD audio, and the lappie ran Realtek audio only, presumably in some lesser stereo form only. Costing but a third of the price, that would make sense.
"Sound Surround", "Immersive", Dolby and goodness knows what else out there all must contribute to the experience.
Some use four speakers positioned strategically, sub woofers etc etc.
But it's the computer output, usually the headphone socket, which proviides the sound in all vst cases.
Now, such an immersive experience with a piano may not sound as good as I might like to imagine.
Anybody like to comment? Before I'm tempted to spend . . . . . .

Last edited by peterws; 11/04/21 04:34 PM.

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I don't know but just maybe the Realtek HD Driver might be installable on your laptop - might be worth checking at least.

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I always use a dedicated USB audio interface on all my computers, whether they have good sound or not. Noise is something particularly problematic from laptop audio. My interfaces are all "4 out" so I mainly play my vst's in surround as a matter of default.
It 's pretty much a given for me, with all my vst's sounding "spectacular" a normal now. I have my DAW setup with my vst's across the front stage, and the rear provides me with the rear hall ambience tweaked with my favourite space or reverb plugin.

I've been playing around with the Logic update which includes built in Dolby Atmos processing, though my own previous surround configs all sound just as good to me!

I've always been one to harp on about utilizing surround with vst's, though most people I mention it to respond with puzzled blank responses smile


The companions I can't live without: Kawai Acoustic Grand, Kawai MP11SE, Kronos2-73, Yamaha Montage8, Korg D1
Other important stuff: Studiologic NC2X, NI Komplete Ultimate 11, Sonuscore Elysion and Orchestra, Pianoteq 7, Experimenta Due.
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I use an outboard DAC (digital to analog converter) that takes digital out of my PC via a USB cable. My DAC has a headphone amplifier in it and I also send the analog out to a mixer, and then to my amp and speakers. In short, the DACs in PCs are not very good. You can buy a cheap DAC, like a Dragonfly, and should get better sound.

My DAC is one I used in my home stereo, a Benchmark DAC 1 USB, that I retired from that system and moved to my piano rig.... I am not sure what to recommend but there are many good, inexpensive outboard DACs out there. I recommend getting one with a built-in headphone amp. I think you will be surprised at how nice a good DAC can sound.

Peace
Bruce in Philly

Last edited by Bruce In Philly; 11/04/21 06:53 PM.

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peterws Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Deltajockey
I always use a dedicated USB audio interface on all my computers, whether they have good sound or not. Noise is something particularly problematic from laptop audio. My interfaces are all "4 out" so I mainly play my vst's in surround as a matter of default.
It 's pretty much a given for me, with all my vst's sounding "spectacular" a normal now. I have my DAW setup with my vst's across the front stage, and the rear provides me with the rear hall ambience tweaked with my favourite space or reverb plugin.

I've been playing around with the Logic update which includes built in Dolby Atmos processing, though my own previous surround configs all sound just as good to me!

I've always been one to harp on about utilizing surround with vst's, though most people I mention it to respond with puzzled blank responses smile

Interesting. Which audio interface do you use? Seems to be the way ahead . .

Last edited by peterws; 11/04/21 07:03 PM.

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Whatever inexpensive DAC chip is in your piano laptop, it probably does a good enough job. Bring your desktop over to your piano. Play your vst on laptop and then on desktop, and use the same headphones or speakers... is there any difference?

If you do try an external DAC please wake up this thread later to let us know how it goes :-)


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Originally Posted by peterws
Interesting. Which audio interface do you use? Seems to be the way ahead . .

I have several. In my studio, I use my Montage8 built in interface, as it has up to 16 channels,

But for my practice/portable rigs, I have a Zoom U24, they are relatively inexpensive. I also have a couple of Presonus 68C, 24C etc. They are very good, but overkill for what you require. There is a whole ecosystem of interfaces out there. Probably the unknown brand cheapy ones I wouldn't touch, but the cheaper branded ones are usually good. It's the noise floor and distortion figures which mainly set them apart. One that powers from USB is handy. The Zoom does this.

The other advantage of an interface is that you can plug it into any computer and have the same audio quality and functionality. Many of them provide standard MIDI din interfaces too, and of course they all have analog audio inputs, numbers vary with brand and cost.


The companions I can't live without: Kawai Acoustic Grand, Kawai MP11SE, Kronos2-73, Yamaha Montage8, Korg D1
Other important stuff: Studiologic NC2X, NI Komplete Ultimate 11, Sonuscore Elysion and Orchestra, Pianoteq 7, Experimenta Due.
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Hello,

Yes, add an audio interface to your lappie!

I second @Deltajockey's recommendations for PreSonus or alternatively that Zoom.

I use the 68c by PreSonus that is absolutely lovely in sound quality and has its own power supply, between all the interfaces I tested this gives a stronger signal-to-trouble ratio (trouble being hum, static etc.).

Cheers and happy improvements,

HZ

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Originally Posted by peterws
But it's the computer output, usually the headphone socket, which proviides the sound in all vst cases.
. . . . .

as others have pointed out, not "all", and i would dare to say not even "most" (actually, not even close to "most")

focusrite interfaces are generally well regarded by vst users on pianoworld, myself included, but there are other reputable brands out there as suggested already

Last edited by jackopiano; 11/05/21 09:06 AM.
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peterws Offline OP
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I greatly appreciate the input here, guys. You are a splendid set of fellows. Now, i'm not tone for stuff condensed into letters like DAC, or DAW; USB I do know now. So I didn't know what an audio interface mighty, or might not be.
I'm slowly getting there, and without a whole load of trouble.
I will try out my desktop (newly fitted with Pianoteq) first. I do not get noise from my system at oresent, except a little hum from one of my twp identical amplifies. It has always hummed but that is much reduced when both amps are in use.
It does not concern me.

Last edited by peterws; 11/05/21 09:11 AM.

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