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Joined: Oct 2006
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Originally Posted by jdg78
Main Knobs
Color: +42%
Tonal shift: +8%
Dynamic: 0
Reverb: Off
Delay: Off

Anatomy
Release Samples: On -0.6 dB
Resonance: -11.2 dB
Overtones: Off
Attack: 0.00 ms

Noises
Pedal: On -36.5 dB
Mechanical: On -23.4 dB
Felt: Off

Tone
Tonal Depth: Off
Low Keys: 20%
Sub: Off

Velocity (manually customize via KSP - Preset - Factory - Transform - Change velocity)
Repedal: On
Halfpedal: On

Effects:
EQ: On
Presence: +6.2dB
Bite: +6.0dB
Bass: -3.3 dB

Transient: Off
Compressor: Off
Stereo Image: Off
Style: Off
Noises: Off
Pianist: Off

Particles Engine: All off

Reverb: Off
Replika Delay: Off

Thanks for sharing your settings. I'll definitely going to try them out, as I also was a bit let down by it at first.

Cheers,

Last edited by sordess; 01/31/22 10:21 PM.

Sordess
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Originally Posted by karoloydi
Originally Posted by HZPiano
Hello,

@jdg78, Thank you for your time and effort in sharing these settings!

Over this weekend, I spent some time redoing Noire from scratch, and I see quite a few -- though not all -- similarities with what you've done. And indeed I have a custom velocity curve in place, which is essential.

I'll try your choices next time I can put some attention towards tweaking Noire.

Cheers and happy playing,

HZ
How do you set a custom velocity curve in Noire? I never noticed that setting

You have to click on the small box labeled "KSP" in the upper right area of the Kontakt player. This will open up a new field below with several menu options. From there, click on "Preset," then "Factory," then "Transform," then "Change Velocity," and you will get a master velocity curve that can be fine tuned to your preference.

This works for any instrument running in Kontakt.

I have no idea why they make it so hard to find, but it really helps with the playability.

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Originally Posted by ronlefebvre
@jdg78, Those settings are really good.

I am sold.

You got anything else to send our way. I am terrible getting VST's to sound good.

I am not ashamed for asking even if I should not.

Grandeur, Garritan, Bechstein Digital, Pianoteq,

Ron

Glad you like it!

I also play the Garritan CFX quite a lot, so if you like the Noire settings, maybe you'll like the Garritan ones as well. I tend to go for a bit drier sound than is typically heard w/ this VST.

Starting w/ the Full Player perspective make the following tweaks:

Close mics at around 5, Ambient around 8, Master Volume Limit Off

Main
Room Release/Decay: knob between 1:00 and 2:00
Room Release/Volume: knob at 10:00
Release Crossfade: knob at 12:00
Pedal Noise: knob at 12:00
Sympathetic Resonance: Off (7:00)
Sustain Resonance: Off (7:00)

Studio
Reverb: Off
Stereo Image: Performer
Amb Pre-delay: Off (7:00)
Saturation: Off (7:00)
Timbre: knob at 1:00
EQ: Off

Advanced
Dynamic Range: 63%
Stretch Tuning: 12:00
Repedaling & partial pedaling: On

Lid Position: Open

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Originally Posted by jdg78
You have to click on the small box labeled "KSP" in the upper right area of the Kontakt player. This will open up a new field below with several menu options. From there, click on "Preset," then "Factory," then "Transform," then "Change Velocity," and you will get a master velocity curve that can be fine tuned to your preference.
Well thank you. I was a not aware of this setting. It is indeed not obvious.

Also, I tried your settings for Noire and It is miles better than my previous attempt. Thank you!


Sordess
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Some settings for Bechstein Digital would be nice. I know it has potential, but I never got to tame it.

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@jdg78,

Thanks again for your time and effort in sharing your settings!

Ron


Ron

BÖSENDORFER 280VC, Garritan Abbey Road Studios CFX, Auddict_Dorian_Marko, Ravenscroft275, Modern U, Noire, Bechstein Digital,The Grandeur, Lounge Lizard EP-4, 300_Grand_Compact, Pianoteq, Synthology_American_D
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Speaking of settings, I've been trying all the VSTs I can lay my hands on looking for one that feels and sounds the most like sitting in front of a real acoustic piano. Note that I'm not looking for the most pleasant piano sound or one that sounds good for an audience or in a recording but just one that gives the best illusion that I'm playing an actual piano that's sitting right in front of me in the actual room where I'm playing it.

In my opinion, not many of the VSTs come close to meeting this goal even with their "player" presets. The sampled VSTs often capture way too much room ambience even with the closest mics, and the rooms they record in are usually nothing like the room where I practice so the ambience completely spoils the illusion. The VSL Synchron Steinway was the worst one I tried in that regard. The C. Bechstein Digital Grand was probably the best since it was recorded in a dry room, but still not quite right and I had other issues like trying to get the dynamics to feel right.

Pianoteq is the one I really wanted to like because it's so lightweight, customizable, runs natively on Apple Silicon, and in theory can reproduce lots of effects like the complex interactions between strings and pedal behavior that a fixed set of samples never could. It's also cool that they can continue to improve the sound over time rather than being stuck with a particular set of samples indefinitely. But it never sounded right to me at all no matter which models or presets I tried. I could make it dry easily enough but it always sounded kind of like I was listening through earplugs or something.

I tried different EQ curves to brighten up the sound and make it more of the "in-your-face" kind of sound that I expected but it didn't really help that much. One thing I had never messed with before was hammer hardness but I was inspired by Josh Wright's "Prepping a Steinway" series on YouTube so I tried it. It turns out that cranking up the hardness gave me pretty much exactly what I was looking for. Maybe it's because my extremely limited experience with acoustic pianos has been with poorly-maintained pianos with excessively hard hammers, but the very forward sound of the hard hammers sounds much more like what I'm expecting to hear.

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Hello,

@kanefsky, I have exactly the same goal and exactly the same experiences as you have.

I was lucky to run into, and find my solution in, VI Labs' Modern U.

My settings (and setup) are here (in several posts throughout the earlier parts of that thread):

https://pianoclack.com/forum/d/84-vi-labs-modern-u-review

Since posting, my settings have hardly changed at all, only the 'Bend' knobs have reverted towards their default zero positions a bit more (just not fully zero), and the 'Tone' knob is now a tad left of zero.

Cheers and enjoy,

HZ

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Originally Posted by kanefsky
One thing I had never messed with before was hammer hardness but I was inspired by Josh Wright's "Prepping a Steinway" series on YouTube so I tried it. It turns out that cranking up the hardness gave me pretty much exactly what I was looking for. Maybe it's because my extremely limited experience with acoustic pianos has been with poorly-maintained pianos with excessively hard hammers, but the very forward sound of the hard hammers sounds much more like what I'm expecting to hear.

This isn't what I would do. Have you seen this?:



Quote
http://philbestmusic.com/ To make a very plausible classical piano recording, I take the NY Steinway D Classical Recording but play it with the stereo width set to default (0), the mics in the player position and the reverb mix set to default (0). To make the recording, I revert back to the original preset and add subtle mastering dynamics using Waves C6 and L1.

I follow a similar technique. I didn't follow Phil's recommendations exactly -- I think I copy/pasted the Output/Effects from a player/prelude preset over to my desired preset and I turned off the reverb effect.

Then the piano I play day to day sounds just like an acoustic that's in front of me. However, when I render the final thing, I restore the original settings so that it is more suited to an audience perspective. I don't understand anything about mastering dynamics, so I don't touch that either.

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Originally Posted by navindra
This isn't what I would do. Have you seen this?

His "player" sound is nothing at all like the sound I'm looking for or the sound he would get in his room if he replaced the digital piano with an acoustic. It has a very veiled, diffuse quality and not the bright, forward sound that you would get with a large acoustic piano in a small practice room.

I guess the difference is that he wants to feel like he's playing in a large hall rather than where he actually is, whereas my puny brain needs it to sound like the piano is in the actual room that I'm in for the illusion to work.

If you've ever seen a movie where they've looped some or all of the dialogue it's very easy to tell if they recorded the sound in a different acoustic environment than what the picture shows (similarly with music videos although there I think we've become a little more tolerant of it). For me at least that can really spoil the illusion just like it does with my piano sound.

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Hi Kanefsky: may I ask if you tried the VSL pianos using the default player presets, or if you used individual mics? I ask this because the VSL factory presets all have excessive room ambiance (and artificial reverb on top of that!) but the close mics alone are very realistic in my opinion. I use a preset with no reverb, and only activate the close mic with just a touch of mid mic.

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Originally Posted by vagfilm
Hi Kanefsky: may I ask if you tried the VSL pianos using the default player presets, or if you used individual mics? I ask this because the VSL factory presets all have excessive room ambiance (and artificial reverb on top of that!) but the close mics alone are very realistic in my opinion. I use a preset with no reverb, and only activate the close mic with just a touch of mid mic.

Yes, with the VSL Steinway I made sure that the artificial reverb was turned off and also turned down all the mics except for the closest pair. But even the closest mics still picked up plenty of the ambience of the Synchron Stage A. I think the CFX was also recorded on Stage A while the Bösendorfers and Blüthner were recorded on the much smaller Stage B so they're probably not nearly as bad (the Steinway is the only one I've purchased and tested myself so far). The Bechstein Digital Grand is recorded in a very dry environment and is quite good but right now my favorite is still Pianoteq with all the reverb/delay turned off and the hammer hardness cranked up.

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@kanefsky: The Galaxy II piano's are quite close mic'ed. You would normally use them with the convolutional reverb built in, but this can be turned off, in which case the sound is very dry.

The small Blüthner of the set feels particularly "real", because it is not in pristine condition (but not beaten up either), and I play that one about 25% of the time (on a par with the Bösendorfer Imperial and the Steinway D).

But no matter how dry a piano sound is, it will never sound like an actual acoustic in the room with you, because a real acoustic generates sound partly via a large soundboard, partly via its whole structure, as this reverberates along with the music, and this cannot be reproduced via a set of loudspeakers.

As for Pianoteq, you may want to engage the "condition" slider, which by default is set to "pristine", but can be taken to interesting levels of imperfect.


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Galaxy II Grand piano collection, Synthogy Ivory II Studio Grands, Production Voices Estate Grand, Garritan CFX Lite, Pianoteq 7.5.2 (Blüthner, Bechstein DG, Grotrian, Steinway D, K2)
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Originally Posted by kanefsky
I think the CFX was also recorded on Stage A while the Bösendorfers and Blüthner were recorded on the much smaller Stage B

Hello,

Just to make sure: The Bösendorfer upright and 280VC are indeed recorded on stage B, the Imperial however is recorded on stage A.

Cheers and a happy search,

HZ

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Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
no matter how dry a piano sound is, it will never sound like an actual acoustic in the room with you, because a real acoustic generates sound partly via a large soundboard, partly via its whole structure, as this reverberates along with the music, and this cannot be reproduced via a set of loudspeakers.

Hello,

Largely true. When I started with Modern U a year ago, this was my gripe too. So I doubled my amplifier (for next to nothing by restoring older yet great Onkyos) and tripled the number of speakers, placing them so as to better resemble the sound production of an upright piano. This certainly helped the illusion and immersion, I love to play this way!

Cheers and happy creativity,

HZ

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Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
But no matter how dry a piano sound is, it will never sound like an actual acoustic in the room with you, because a real acoustic generates sound partly via a large soundboard, partly via its whole structure, as this reverberates along with the music, and this cannot be reproduced via a set of loudspeakers.

If that were the case then the whole concept of recording and playback would be flawed. A piano isn't fundamentally different from a guitar, cello, drum, or whatever. Obviously no recording and playback system is perfect, but there are some pretty good examples of realistic recording and reproduction of all these instruments. That's not really what I'm talking about here. I think it's more about the difference between passively listening to a recording versus listening to sounds you're actively making yourself. If you're just passively listening then you're much less likely to be disturbed by the fact that it doesn't sound like it was recorded in your own room with the instruments two feet in front of you.

Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
As for Pianoteq, you may want to engage the "condition" slider, which by default is set to "pristine", but can be taken to interesting levels of imperfect.

I just tried that and it makes very little difference in making the piano sound like it's right in front of me compared to increasing the hammer hardness. It mostly just makes the piano sound out-of-tune.

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Originally Posted by HZPiano
The Bösendorfer upright and 280VC are indeed recorded on stage B, the Imperial however is recorded on stage A.

Thanks for the clarification. I was only thinking of the upright and 280VC. I had forgotten that there was a sixth piano in the collection.


Originally Posted by HZPiano
Cheers and a happy search

At this point I'm pretty happy with Pianoteq using my approach of increasing the hammer hardness to get a very bright, forward sound. So I wouldn't say I'm searching but out of curiosity I do tend to try new things all the time.

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Originally Posted by kanefsky
Speaking of settings, I've been trying all the VSTs I can lay my hands on looking for one that feels and sounds the most like sitting in front of a real acoustic piano. Note that I'm not looking for the most pleasant piano sound or one that sounds good for an audience or in a recording but just one that gives the best illusion that I'm playing an actual piano that's sitting right in front of me in the actual room where I'm playing it.

In my opinion, not many of the VSTs come close to meeting this goal even with their "player" presets. The sampled VSTs often capture way too much room ambience even with the closest mics, and the rooms they record in are usually nothing like the room where I practice so the ambience completely spoils the illusion. The VSL Synchron Steinway was the worst one I tried in that regard. The C. Bechstein Digital Grand was probably the best since it was recorded in a dry room, but still not quite right and I had other issues like trying to get the dynamics to feel right . . .

I own pretty much every sampled piano out there, and for the impression of sitting in front of an acoustic piano in the virtual world, the 1908 Walnut Steinway D and Fazioli 308 grands from Imperfect Samples come the closest in my opinion. They can be a little uneven to play (more so the Fazioli than the Walnut Grand) and true to their name "imperfect", but the acoustic realism and 3D depth they project is something special. I have the Extreme edition of the Walnut Grand (4 mic sets) and the Complete edition of the Fazioli. They require the full version of Kontakt.


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Craig,
Did the Imperfect Samples developer update those 2 pianos to now include half pedal?
I think I saw that for the Walnut but not sure for the Fazioli.

Thanks

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Originally Posted by kanefsky
Speaking of settings, I've been trying all the VSTs I can lay my hands on looking for one that feels and sounds the most like sitting in front of a real acoustic piano. Note that I'm not looking for the most pleasant piano sound or one that sounds good for an audience or in a recording but just one that gives the best illusion that I'm playing an actual piano that's sitting right in front of me in the actual room where I'm playing it.

In my opinion, not many of the VSTs come close to meeting this goal even with their "player" presets. The sampled VSTs often capture way too much room ambience even with the closest mics, and the rooms they record in are usually nothing like the room where I practice so the ambience completely spoils the illusion. The VSL Synchron Steinway was the worst one I tried in that regard. The C. Bechstein Digital Grand was probably the best since it was recorded in a dry room, but still not quite right and I had other issues like trying to get the dynamics to feel right.

Pianoteq is the one I really wanted to like because it's so lightweight, customizable, runs natively on Apple Silicon, and in theory can reproduce lots of effects like the complex interactions between strings and pedal behavior that a fixed set of samples never could. It's also cool that they can continue to improve the sound over time rather than being stuck with a particular set of samples indefinitely. But it never sounded right to me at all no matter which models or presets I tried. I could make it dry easily enough but it always sounded kind of like I was listening through earplugs or something.

I tried different EQ curves to brighten up the sound and make it more of the "in-your-face" kind of sound that I expected but it didn't really help that much. One thing I had never messed with before was hammer hardness but I was inspired by Josh Wright's "Prepping a Steinway" series on YouTube so I tried it. It turns out that cranking up the hardness gave me pretty much exactly what I was looking for. Maybe it's because my extremely limited experience with acoustic pianos has been with poorly-maintained pianos with excessively hard hammers, but the very forward sound of the hard hammers sounds much more like what I'm expecting to hear.

try this .fxp for Pianoteq Steinway D

https://forum.modartt.com/file/de6q8b3z

Last edited by owfrappier; 02/03/22 04:41 PM.

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