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#1212609 - 06/06/09 03:51 AM Roland V-piano - crititques and downside
yellowsheep Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/05/09
Posts: 3
Hello everyone,
I had the occasion to try the V-piano and I'd like to point out several critique arguments hoping the next models or software updates will improve these aspects.
So first of all bear in mind I like the very idea of physical modeling and I think this is a good piano, though Roland has to address many points - IN MY VIEW - to improve it. This is not a "review" on the piano, and I'm not trying to throw crap on this great instrument.
Alright, the model was the first to come to the music shop I usually spend some time every week. The shop clerk, a dear friend, let me spend some time with that piano and evaluate it so he can see whether it's the case to order more samples or not from the Roland dealer.

Here's a list of what I spotted out so far:
- the V-piano is huge and heavy, not very likely to be used in gigs and tours, but in concert halls and studios. Other specifications make it more suited to studios too. The finishing is superb, but the polished surface gets dirty in a second and is hard to get it clean again...
- The price. +5000€ is a lot. Only a studio or a concert hall can buy it. (Pro musician would buy a Korg Oasys for 7000€ but that keyboard has everything you can imagine inside, included string instruments with physical modeling...) But then a concert hall would invest more probably, and a studio would get something which includes also other sounds as electric pianos or GM sounds...
- Yes: there are GM sounds but you can't play them! They are only available when playing a MIDI file by external sequencer! This is crazy, they spent some maybe hundreds MBs which cannot be accessed by the piano!
- not sure whether the interface is really neat. E.g. reaching the start/stop button for sequencer takes several menus to be opened
- The presets are really few, I could expect that from a sampled piano (like the Native Instrume Akoustik which requires lots of GBs for 4 pianos, but than you have precious quality samples)
- No fine tuning has been made: I mean, it is PERFECTLY tuned, but we don't like a real piano to be perfectly in tune, right? They didn't call an expert for this so far. That's bad. You can do the tuning yourself but probably most of us are not quite good in that. In fact we called another friend, a pianos tuner,
and after that the piano sounded times better. Normally a tuner would cost you some extra money.
- Sound editing parameters are really few for a physical modeling algorithm... The software editor is really good looking but has no additional features
- Some sounds are SAMPLED!!! Well, that's ok for the damper pedal noise or so, but... the duplex scale strings are sampled, and the hammer sound too! At least in some part of the keyboard. The version I could try has a very nasty bug: the hammer sound in a section of the higher keyboard was tracking, as it was sampled (surely it is). For tracking I mean this: let's hear the sound of it, e.g. for a C4 note, than playing a C#4 you will hear that the hammer sound is pitched up by a semitone! And this goes on for a few keys. That's bad.

Again, many of these bugs or problems, hopefully will be addressed by future firmware updates. Looks like Roland this time had a very short time to market and couldn't complete all the debugging. No shame however! Usually Japanese companies are very tight to schedule, everyone can slip for once, no problem. Anyways, I would here stress the fact that some sounds are sampled, ok minor things, the piano sounds are physical and really good, but as usual the advertisiment is a bit incorrect...
About the sound: Roland didn't claim it was physical modeling so, I might have used the term in a improper way. I'm not still sure why didn't they use the term.
Anyway: the physical reproduction of the piano is evident and gives its advantages, as in ribattutos and the likes. Very good. I've heard some people telling the sound is too boring or something like that, but since you can change it everyone will find a pleasant sound, and if Roland will bring up new presets this will get better.

I would point out an additional fact: a friend of mine, which played it even longer than me, says the keyboard it's a bit too hard. He has a Steinway and a Fazioli at home and he's piano teacher in an important music academy, so I trust his opinion...

I really think this will open a new season, and the next Vpianos to come will give better results, hopefully with lighter prices.

Other's opinions are welcome!

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#1212682 - 06/06/09 10:06 AM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: yellowsheep]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
Loc: torrance, CA
When I first heard and read about the V, I was sure I would buy one. A couple of months ago I realized that wasn't a good idea for practical $ reasons. When I finally got to try one a week ago, I was comfortable with the notion that I wouldn't be buying one.

I did not have the right situation for extended play that was afforded you, but I don't think I would have picked up all the subtle points that you did even if I played it for three days. I did have my own headphones along though, so I was able to evaluate it against the digitals I'm accustomed to play, and on that basis it came up short of what I was expecting. All the hype had led me to believe I would have a Bosendorfer, a Fazioli, a Steinway or anything else I wanted on demand. No doubt that came from wishful thinking more than anything else.

On the sampling/modeling issue, I don't much care. I don't think my FP7 is a product of pure sampling. I don't think the latest GX is either. I think Roland has been mixing sampling and modeling for a while now even though their sound has been categorized by others as sampled.

On the keyboard touch thing. all the high-end Roland actions are a little rough on hands that are unaccustomed to them. I'm about 60 / 40 digital to acoustic. I think it's just a matter of adaptation and not a real concern.

On the market to be served, I agree with you. Roland has to find a market. The combination of size, weight, price, and what's missing (speakers, ease of changing on the fly,...), indicate this piano has to find its own niche.

Like you, I admire the initiative in this one and in a lot of other Roland products as well. I look forward to the trickle-down effect.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1224610 - 06/29/09 05:03 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: turandot]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Originally Posted By: turandot
All the hype had led me to believe I would have a Bosendorfer, a Fazioli, a Steinway or anything else I wanted on demand. No doubt that came from wishful thinking more than anything else.


Somehow all these physmod pianos always sound like the same instrument on a certain level, no matter how much you change the settings. This seems to be as true for the V-Piano as it is for Pianoteq. There's a certain quality of the sound that remains constant, despite superficial changes like detuning, hammer hardness, or soundboard impedance. It's still recognizable...
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1225594 - 07/01/09 12:45 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: Martin C. Doege]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2938
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
I tried one of those V-Pianos at guitar center today, and I really liked it. To me, it put all the other keyboards in the room to shame.
In my view, anyone with money who's looking for a piano / keyboard just for the sound of the piano should look no further.

Martin, I think what makes it "recognizable" is the quality of amp / speaker you use.
Ultimately, if a CD is well recorded, a good setup and -eyes closed- you would not know if you are home, or in a concert hall. Same for keyboards.

I had a good 20 minutes trying this thing out ...

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#1225628 - 07/01/09 01:57 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: knotty]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Originally Posted By: knotty

Martin, I think what makes it "recognizable" is the quality of amp / speaker you use.
Ultimately, if a CD is well recorded, a good setup and -eyes closed- you would not know if you are home, or in a concert hall. Same for keyboards.


Yes, if you would hear it on its own or in a mix, with a bit of EQ and reverb thrown in, etc., you probably couldn't tell it's the V-Piano.

But when I watched the unboxing/demo video at Keyboard magazine, they fiddled around with the controls, and superficially there were big changes, but a certain quality (or lack of quality) of the sound was always there. A slightly unpleasant kind of artificialness, perhaps. And that's also what I found with Pianoteq: No matter how much you tweak the settings, it always only sounds almost right.

I'll definitely give the V-Piano a try if the local Guitar Center has it. Demos and videos can be totally misleading of course, so maybe it's wonderful if it's right in front of you. And at any rate the V-Piano is unquestionably a big breakthrough in many ways and will sell very well I think.
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1225950 - 07/02/09 12:06 AM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: Martin C. Doege]
Jake Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 568
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Martin,

If you're not finding the sound you want in Pianoteq, please do go to the PianoTeq forum and talk about what you hear and what you want to hear. The developers want feedback and take impressions very seriously. It's not as though you drop a rock into a big corporation's well and never hear the echo. (I'm not part of the company.)

You can post recordings of notes or songs and talk about what's missing or too present. Or post a recording of a sound you like vrs a recording of the PianoTeq sound, and talk about the differences. The more people who contribute, the better.

http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/viewforum.php?id=1

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#1226301 - 07/02/09 06:00 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: Jake Jackson]
fat and flat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 35
Loc: Atlanta,GA
i've played this thing 2 days in a row at different shops- about 45 minutes each session. I know this is their first pass at this. but i think- if you are really into playing- you have experienced nothing like this in a digital keyboard. i went with the intent of really listening for resonance, overtones, blah,blah. but each time - the first mainly though headphones, the second through external speakers- i wound up just playing my brains out. it is an inspiration to play. i have never felt action and responsiveness like that in a digital keyboard. no latency whatsover, complete dynamic response to your touch, lightening fast action, great touch sensation with the fake ivory material. the pianos all sound good. they don't need a lot of tweaking. the silver one is outstanding for rock, pop, gospel. the vintage one and two for anything you want to play- the vintage two has that mellow, jazz feel to it- wonderful for diminished chords. as i mentioned on another blog, the $6K is pretty steep- but to me that is early adopter pricing -as you see in all hi-tech stuff- iPhone, etc. i know this is NOT a mass market toy so who knows how long it takes to get the price down to the more reasonable $3000-4000 range. but it plays outstanding. i'm thinking about dragging my DAW over to GC here and seeing if they will let me record. to me, that will tell me if it does what needs to be done- how will it sound when dithered down to a 16bit CD..... all i know is when i play the sample programs i spend half my time tweaking this and that, but on this thing- i just wanted to play. and it made my playing better.....

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#1226303 - 07/02/09 06:04 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: knotty]
fat and flat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 35
Loc: Atlanta,GA
knotty, see my reply above (below, whereever..) i am with you brother, this thing blew everything esle out the window. i have a yamaha p-250 which i have always appreciated as a terrific board. but it doesn't play ANYTHING like the v....

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#1226342 - 07/02/09 07:40 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: yellowsheep]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1074
Loc: California
I went to a large music store close by to try out a bunch of keyboards, including the Casio PX 320, the Yamaha YPG-635, the 140, 155, 160, Nocturne, the Roland FP-4 and FP-7, the HP 207, and one of the YDPs. Anyway, I decided that I would get the least expensive that felt right and had a few features, I'm going to post my reaction to the keyboards somewhere else. We went to lunch and came back and I played a few keyboards some more. Then I asked to try the Roland V-piano which had just come in.

Well...there was no comparison. The touch was wonderful, altho' they have some kind of papery finish, I suppose to emulate aged ivory keys, they were unlike anything I've played on an acoustic or digital, but I liked it...they just looked a bit artificial.

The sound was gorgeous, nothing else came close. And earlier this week I played a bunch of Yamahas at the Yamaha dealer.

The way the keyboard responded to my changes in touch was like a really good acoustic, actually better than any of the pianos I've played including the Steinway grand in our classroom, altho' I've never played a Steinway concert grand.

I would have played all day if I could. I loved it.

The gradual decay of sound was just like an acoustic. I really don't have a clue how any of this works, but I don't care. I want one. I didn't play around with the different voicings or strings or models...I just played the "Steinway" sound.

I think that the price point is very good for what you get. Admittedly, you're not going to get a stage piano to use for accompaniment. This is just the closest sound to a grand that you can get without having a grand.

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#1226352 - 07/02/09 08:01 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: Nikalette]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1074
Loc: California
I think that this piano won't appeal to those who want a lot of Synth/track/sequ/stage stuff. That's not what this piano's about. It's for the sound/touch purist who wants the experience of a superb quality grand at $5,000 and who wants to be able to voice the imaginary strings in who knows what ways. My dream would be to voice it to make it sound one way for baroque music, another for romantic, another for classical or contemporary. So that would be the classical pianist. On the other hand, it would be great for a jazz pianist as well, and I suppose there are many ways to voice it for other styles, but I THINK, (altho' I don't know for sure since I didn't care about the other stuff with this lovely beast) that it is really intended just to be a piano, and not drums/strings/choirs/etc....How great is that?

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#1226353 - 07/02/09 08:02 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: Jake Jackson]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Hi Jake!

Originally Posted By: Jake Jackson
Martin,

If you're not finding the sound you want in Pianoteq, please do go to the PianoTeq forum and talk about what you hear and what you want to hear. The developers want feedback and take impressions very seriously. It's not as though you drop a rock into a big corporation's well and never hear the echo. (I'm not part of the company.)

You can post recordings of notes or songs and talk about what's missing or too present. Or post a recording of a sound you like vrs a recording of the PianoTeq sound, and talk about the differences. The more people who contribute, the better.

http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/viewforum.php?id=1



Well, I think it's hard to describe. Recently I experimented a bit with Python and sound synthesis: sum a few harmonics, use an envelope, etc., just to explore the basics of synthesis (http://home.arcor.de/mdoege/pysynth/).

Of course my project is just for fun and not meant to be compared to Pianoteq, but I still find similar aural characteristics both in the output of my synthesizer script and Pianoteq: Somewhat bell-like, not bright but muffled (in my case because Python is too slow to sum dozens of harmonics, in Pianoteq's case presumably it's related to how many segments per string are simulated), a little too metallic, piercing, clangy, cold, lacking wood in other words. Plus in Pianoteq's case the hammer noise in the top two octaves or so is very strange (sounds more as if someone is knocking against the wall).

But I don't know if Pianoteq and physical modeling in general can be "fixed" that easily. The developers probably need to do a better job simulating the sonic characteristics of wood -- and I don't just mean the soundboard, but the entire enclosure -- to give it a warmer sound, and the program perhaps needs to simulate more segments per string to make it brighter and more "immediate" in its sound, right now it's more as if the sound is coming from the next room. Moore's Law will probably eventually solve all those problems, or maybe the algorithms need to get better. I don't know if much can be learned from the V-Piano, as it seems to employ a hybrid technique (sampling and modeling).

That is not to say that TruePianos is perfect, but I find it (at least most of the time) to be comparatively pleasant in its synthy-ness, while Pianoteq and to a lesser extent the V-Piano sound somewhat unpleasantly synthy to me. My main criterion is not so much realism, but mainly if I consider the overall sound to be beautiful or not.
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1226355 - 07/02/09 08:09 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: Nikalette]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Originally Posted By: Nikalette
The touch was wonderful, altho' they have some kind of papery finish, I suppose to emulate aged ivory keys, they were unlike anything I've played on an acoustic or digital, but I liked it...they just looked a bit artificial.


Isn't that material also supposed to absorb moisture from the fingers like ebony/ivory does? I read that about one of these high-end DP's featuring that, I just don't know if it was the V-Piano or the AvantGrand...
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1226364 - 07/02/09 08:20 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: Martin C. Doege]
Melodialworks Music Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 1309
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Martin C. Doege
I don't know if much can be learned from the V-Piano, as it seems to employ a hybrid technique (sampling and modeling).


There is no sampling used in the V-Piano. It is modeling only.

Lawrence
_________________________
Melodialworks Music
Yamaha C3X
Yamaha CP300 + Omnisphere
Yamaha NU1 + Production Grand

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#1226376 - 07/02/09 08:47 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: Nikalette]
fat and flat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 35
Loc: Atlanta,GA
Nikalette, i believe when i was tooling around with it they had a pianoforte voice setting that would be very useful for baroque, etc. go to youtube and watch the demo videos. scott tibbs did some demo work at NAMM and his playing is just awesome. the thing is versatile beyond belief. there ARE some real issues- if you wanted it for performance you would have to hire a crew to carry it around. i wonder if it has been fully de-bugged at this stage so you will probably be having to update software periodically. and you will experience the pain of seeing it offered cheaper in a year...maybe. but your reaction seemed to be like mine- i played "inspired" on it. i have a 5-11 Steinway at home, and i thought the roland was much more fun to actually play. no, it will never have the natural sound of it, but i played better on it than i do the steinway. it is not for the workstation crowd that want a board for production, but in my mind those boards have rotten sounding pianos. so you have to make a choice

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#1226420 - 07/02/09 10:26 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: fat and flat]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1074
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: fat and flat
knotty, see my reply above (below, whereever..) i am with you brother, this thing blew everything esle out the window. i have a yamaha p-250 which i have always appreciated as a terrific board. but it doesn't play ANYTHING like the v....


It's like nothing else. I can't wrap my brain around it. But what another poster said about any DP missing something, no matter how good, I don't think so. Because 99% of the acoustics I've played are missing something. I don't have the opportunity to play a top notch American or European grand, maybe they're not missing something.

I love this instrument so much, I've thrown all my other plans out the window. I know if and when I get it, I'll play way more than I would play any other DP, or either of the acoustics I've had.

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#1226423 - 07/02/09 10:34 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: Nikalette]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1074
Loc: California
Oh and vis-a-vis Piano tech and all the computer generated stuff. The V piano is one unit and whatever happens is in response to my fingers touching the keys. That makes it as organic as it is possible for a DP to get. To me, running a software program on a computer then through a keyboard, well, that's a whole bunch of extra steps between my fingers touching the keys and the sound emerging...maybe it didn't matter when you were playing a sampled keyboard, which I guess is just playing a bunch of recordings when you push down a key, but with this V thing, you really are playing an instrument, even though the mechanics are generated in a way I don't understand. To my electronically uneducated brain it just feels like someone has put the real workings of a grand piano inside of the cabinet, every last component....it's just put together in a different way, but the sound comes out in the same way.

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#1226426 - 07/02/09 10:45 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: Martin C. Doege]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1074
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Martin C. Doege
Originally Posted By: Nikalette
The touch was wonderful, altho' they have some kind of papery finish, I suppose to emulate aged ivory keys, they were unlike anything I've played on an acoustic or digital, but I liked it...they just looked a bit artificial.


Isn't that material also supposed to absorb moisture from the fingers like ebony/ivory does? I read that about one of these high-end DP's featuring that, I just don't know if it was the V-Piano or the AvantGrand...


I think so, it just looked so different, kind of a transluscent white wash. Oh, I am SO in love! When I sat down and played the opening bars of a Chopin Waltz and a prelude, I melted. I told the salesman, "It's like buttah." Maybe I'm easy, but I just had a real emotional response to the sound, feel and response of that sexy little thing. I had spent about an hour playing those 2 pieces on a dozen keyboards, and finally I got a response. I know I'm waxing a bit erotic here, but it's kind of like what I imagine would be the difference between sharing a Coke with Ryan Seacrest or champagne with Johnny Depp.

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#1226428 - 07/02/09 10:57 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: fat and flat]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1074
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: fat and flat
Nikalette, i believe when i was tooling around with it they had a pianoforte voice setting that would be very useful for baroque, etc. go to youtube and watch the demo videos. scott tibbs did some demo work at NAMM and his playing is just awesome. the thing is versatile beyond belief. there ARE some real issues- if you wanted it for performance you would have to hire a crew to carry it around. i wonder if it has been fully de-bugged at this stage so you will probably be having to update software periodically. and you will experience the pain of seeing it offered cheaper in a year...maybe. but your reaction seemed to be like mine- i played "inspired" on it. i have a 5-11 Steinway at home, and i thought the roland was much more fun to actually play. no, it will never have the natural sound of it, but i played better on it than i do the steinway. it is not for the workstation crowd that want a board for production, but in my mind those boards have rotten sounding pianos. so you have to make a choice


It only weighs 84 lbs. That's not so bad. I tried to watch the Scott Tibbs thing from NAMM but some idiot was banging away on drums in the background and I go nuts with that sort of stuff. I noticed that on the owner's manual they refer to one of the USB ports as being for patches and upgrades, so no doubt they will come. I'm jealous - you have a Steinway!

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#1226576 - 07/03/09 11:09 AM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: Nikalette]
Jake Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 568
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Martin:

Have you tried the latest demo version of PianoTeq, version 3.2, I think it is. Version 3 is night and day different from the previous versions.

In any case, the comments that you made earlier in this thread would be taken seriously in the PianoTeq forum, and would be taken into consideration in the next update.

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#1226703 - 07/03/09 04:02 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: Melodialworks Music]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
Originally Posted By: Martin C. Doege
I don't know if much can be learned from the V-Piano, as it seems to employ a hybrid technique (sampling and modeling).


There is no sampling used in the V-Piano. It is modeling only.

Lawrence


In the first post of this thread it says:

Quote:
- Some sounds are SAMPLED!!! Well, that's ok for the damper pedal noise or so, but... the duplex scale strings are sampled, and the hammer sound too! At least in some part of the keyboard. The version I could try has a very nasty bug: the hammer sound in a section of the higher keyboard was tracking, as it was sampled (surely it is). For tracking I mean this: let's hear the sound of it, e.g. for a C4 note, than playing a C#4 you will hear that the hammer sound is pitched up by a semitone! And this goes on for a few keys. That's bad.


I think it would make sense to use samples for something like damper noise, which would be very hard to model I think.
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1226705 - 07/03/09 04:07 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: Jake Jackson]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Originally Posted By: Jake Jackson
Martin:

Have you tried the latest demo version of PianoTeq, version 3.2, I think it is. Version 3 is night and day different from the previous versions.

In any case, the comments that you made earlier in this thread would be taken seriously in the PianoTeq forum, and would be taken into consideration in the next update.


I believe I downloaded it two weeks or so ago. It says it's 3.0.4-demo (on OS X). Is there a big difference between v3.0 and v3.2?

Perhaps Pianoteq needs a high-quality setting. Right now it mostly seems to take about 50% on two cores, so there's definitely room for more algorithmic complexity. But then the fan would kick in on the notebook. TruePianos never seems to use more than 30% (and it runs on both cores, I'm not sure if PT does too), so there's no distracting fan noise from the computer...
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1226710 - 07/03/09 04:15 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: Nikalette]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Originally Posted By: Nikalette

It's like nothing else. I can't wrap my brain around it. But what another poster said about any DP missing something, no matter how good, I don't think so. Because 99% of the acoustics I've played are missing something. I don't have the opportunity to play a top notch American or European grand, maybe they're not missing something.


I simply think the physmod pianos are missing some warmth and character in their sound. Of course playability is much better than with samples, but somehow the sound doesn't seem to be inviting enough.

But some of that might be due to evaluating the sound from videos. If you can hear the instrument directly, you will probably get a nicer bass and it will sound much better. I think the problems I have with the sound are all related to what the higher frequencies are doing...

Now you just have to strap a V-Piano to a mule and send it over the Rockies so I play one too. smile
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1226714 - 07/03/09 04:22 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: Martin C. Doege]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1074
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Martin C. Doege
Originally Posted By: Nikalette

It's like nothing else. I can't wrap my brain around it. But what another poster said about any DP missing something, no matter how good, I don't think so. Because 99% of the acoustics I've played are missing something. I don't have the opportunity to play a top notch American or European grand, maybe they're not missing something.


I simply think the physmod pianos are missing some warmth and character in their sound. Of course playability is much better than with samples, but somehow the sound doesn't seem to be inviting enough.

But some of that might be due to evaluating the sound from videos. If you can hear the instrument directly, you will probably get a nicer bass and it will sound much better. I think the problems I have with the sound are all related to what the higher frequencies are doing...

Now you just have to strap a V-Piano to a mule and send it over the Rockies so I play one too. smile


Ah, just as I suspected, you HAVEN'T played one. smile

(I didn't know there were other physmod pianos.)

I think your reaction will depend on how high quality of an acoustic piano you are used to playing.

I played the V piano right after playing all the other DPs. And altho' my 1927 Knabe had some real beauty and soul, it was hard to play. All I can say is that the V was the best piano I've played so far. I will go back down there and play it again to see if I feel the same way on the second date.

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#1226736 - 07/03/09 05:17 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: Nikalette]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Originally Posted By: Nikalette

Ah, just as I suspected, you HAVEN'T played one. smile

(I didn't know there were other physmod pianos.)


No, like I said, I had to base my opinion on the videos at Keyboard magazine.

But if playing it is sooo intoxicating it might be wiser to only listen to someone else playing it, to be able to evaluate the sound more soberly (and from different positions in the room). Otherwise there is a real risk one wakes up the next day with a headache, memory loss, an overdrawn bank account, and a strange device right next to the bed that looks vaguely like a Wurlitzer. smile
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1226755 - 07/03/09 06:08 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: Nikalette]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Originally Posted By: Nikalette

(I didn't know there were other physmod pianos.)


I believe Pianoteq is the only other one that has made it out of academia into a product you can actually play.

But I must say that software pianos work amazingly well. I was also skeptical, because I thought latency would be far too high. But it's actually very playable if you exit all other programs that can use the sound card (Mail.app under OS X seems to be a particular offender; even when you turn off sound effects it still seems to slow down Pianoteq or TruePianos somehow, creating very noticeable lag between pressing a key and getting a sound). And on Windows I believe you need to install something called ASIO drivers. But then the ridiculous, highly intoxicating responsiveness is totally there. smile
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1226765 - 07/03/09 06:22 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: Martin C. Doege]
fat and flat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 35
Loc: Atlanta,GA
Martin and Nikalette- good posts. Nikalette- you mention my steinway. its great except you need to live in the sahara unless you want to have a tuner as a best friend. here in atlanta, the humidity is like a yo-yo, and it greatly affects both the tuning and the action. I am looking for an instrument to record at home, and the steinway won't work for that because i don't want to remodel my house into a humidity free cedar closet and then embark on the holy grail quest for the greatest set of microphones to use. the holy grail quest for the greatest digital piano is enough for one lifetime... and since i want to record, Martin makes a very good point, i should drag some other player over to the guitar center and make them play while i just listen, because - as you mention- PLAYING the v-piano becomes a very emotional thing. which makes critical listening tougher. i have to admit, i find the recordings and videos i've found on the Roland site and NAMM, etc. to be quite pleasing to my ears, and i haven't heard that on pianoteq's site. although i can't back this up scientifically, being a rube, i tend to agree with Nikalette that the v-piano has less latency because of the way the software and hardware is integrated. and i believe it has some microprocessor power that senses your touch and adapts to it.... I am not a classical player, i'm looking for something that sounds like Keith Jarrett's Steinway or Dave Grusin's piano. and this sounded great to my unsophisticated ears....so at some point, after the studios and pros have bought theirs, they will bring this thing down a couple grand to expand the market, and i will definitely have one, unless Yamaha has a better answer real quick...

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#1226767 - 07/03/09 06:41 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: fat and flat]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Originally Posted By: fat and flat
Martin and Nikalette- good posts. Nikalette- you mention my steinway. its great except you need to live in the sahara unless you want to have a tuner as a best friend. here in atlanta, the humidity is like a yo-yo, and it greatly affects both the tuning and the action. I am looking for an instrument to record at home, and the steinway won't work for that because i don't want to remodel my house into a humidity free cedar closet and then embark on the holy grail quest for the greatest set of microphones to use.


And when people record their acoustic pianos at home, it often has a strange hollow sound to it, as if they are playing in a subway tunnel, or perhaps the Batcave (e.g., many of the recordings at http://www.pianosociety.com/). Maybe this is really the reverb from the floor and ceiling interacting, which was suggested to be a major problem in another thread (i.e., so major that a little rug under the piano doesn't fix it). Digitals definitely have an edge there for easy studio-quality recordings.
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1226779 - 07/03/09 07:23 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: Martin C. Doege]
fat and flat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 35
Loc: Atlanta,GA
Martin, yep, when i go to cdbaby.com and listen to solo piano recordings- 90% of them sound like crap. it is really, really hard to get it right for anybody other than the best studios. too bright, too mellow, mikes too close, mikes too far....noooo thanks. if you want to hear a nice recording of solo piano in a studio, go to amazon and listen to Dave Grusin's Now Playing (movie themes) recording. he really nails it. so for me, its keep up with the digital world and hope for the best!

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#1226788 - 07/03/09 07:50 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: fat and flat]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Originally Posted By: fat and flat
although i can't back this up scientifically, being a rube, i tend to agree with Nikalette that the v-piano has less latency because of the way the software and hardware is integrated.


My test for latency is to pick something simple (for some reason I've become obsessed with the 8-note motif from m. 2 of Dvorak's Humoresque #7) and play it faster and faster, as fast as you can. If at maximum speed you still feel your fingers are directly causing the sound and that there is no disconnect or "waiting" for the note to sound, then I would say it's responsive enough, because you are playing faster than the fastest speed you can sustain in an actual piece.

And if the system is set up correctly, Pianoteq and TruePianos pass this test with flying colors. If it is not set up correctly, sooner or later there will be a sense of mental disconnect between what your fingers are doing and what you are hearing that will cause you to stumble, as your brain can no longer decide if it should trust your fingers or your ears.

I have TruePianos running at a theoretical minimum latency of about 2.6 ms (purely based on sample rate and buffer size), and I'm pretty sure the actual latency is not very far behind, which I find quite amazing considering how many steps are involved in sound production...

Originally Posted By: fat and flat
if you want to hear a nice recording of solo piano in a studio, go to amazon and listen to Dave Grusin's Now Playing (movie themes) recording.


Yes, his CD sounds very nice! Unfortunately I can really only evaluate piano sounds with a classical piece I already know reasonably well, like Chopin, played not excessively fast. That's why I dislike most DP product demo videos -- it's always either some improvised pop/jazz/new age noodling, or some Japanese chick playing a fiery classical piece at ridiculous speed. And then the demo quickly moves to e-pianos and cowbells, as if the manufacturers realize their acoustic piano sounds don't quite hold up to close scrutiny. smile

A slow, delicate, emotional, soft piece to me is the ultimate benchmark for the sound of a piano, whether acoustic or digital.
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1226791 - 07/03/09 07:54 PM Re: Roland V-piano - crititques and downside [Re: fat and flat]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1074
Loc: California
Martin & Fat/Flat-these posts really made me think (and laugh).

Playing an accoustic grand piano IS a very emotional and sensual experience..the feeling of the keys on the fingertips is pleasing, the vibrations of the piano, the response to the pedal, the visual of the polished wood, it's just an organic experience where one melds with the piano (or perhaps I need to get out more).

And in classical music, there's the additional element of having a concurrent relationship with the composer, a auditory threesome. When I play Chopin, he is alive and present.

I still don't understand how something as artificial as the V piano can make me feel the same way. I really don't understand or know how to use any of the capabilities of synthesizers and I actually feel quite hostile towards electronic music, as only a controlling person completely out of her element can be.

Anyway, you're quite right that I need to be sober and rational in this matter, since money is involved, although there is more to the whole thing than just the sound. I can't just say it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all! How horrible it would be to go out to dinner with Johnny Depp and wake up with Ryan Seacrest!

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