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#1323100 - 12/11/09 01:11 AM Church keyboard suggestions anyone?
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4343
Loc: Northern NJ
Yo y'all - any suggestions for a keyboard used in a tiny church setting (with small PA)?

What I'm looking for in particular:
- Good 88 key hammer action.
- Good piano sample - as in "decent for a DP", not "Pianoteq" (the DP holy grail).
- Good pipe organ and chapel organ samples.
- Good strings samples.
- Easy operation for noobs (i.e. voice selection).
- $1k USD or so (a little flexible here).

Not needed (but not necessarily a negative):
- Internal amp / speakers.
- Stand.

Anything else is gravy.

TIA!



Edited by dewster (12/11/09 01:12 AM)
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#1323103 - 12/11/09 01:27 AM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: dewster]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9156
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
I haven't personally heard the church organ samples, however I expect a P155 would be perfectly suitable.

With the Music123.com coupon, this instrument can be purchased with free shipping for under $960.

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1323109 - 12/11/09 01:50 AM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: dewster]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1439
Loc: Australia
As you have a PA, I can highly recommend the Kawai MP-5.
(No speakers, or stand)

A tad over your budget, at $1199 on the music123 website, (not sure if a discount coupon is available.)

An excellent keyboard feel. Very good piano samples, strings, and a fair range of organs, amidst a host of other instrument sounds.

This piano can be as simple, or as complex, as you wish, to operate.

Voice selection is easy, and many parameters are extremely tweakable for the more adventurous.

I hope James would agree, but is too professional to say so smile
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#1323111 - 12/11/09 01:53 AM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: Kawai James]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4343
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
I haven't personally heard the church organ samples, however I expect a P155 would be perfectly suitable.

With the Music123.com coupon, this instrument can be purchased with free shipping for under $960.

Cheers,
James
x


From what I saw and heard last weekend at GC, most Yamaha DPs over the last several years have had pretty much the same sample set. Pretty good piano, excellent harpsichord, just OK church organs, and lame strings.

I couldn't find a P155 to demo, do you know if it is substantially different? The church organ, chapel organ, and string samples are as important as the piano sample.
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#1323114 - 12/11/09 02:00 AM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: R0B]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9156
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
R0B, the MP5 is perhaps a little too complicated for use as a church instrument.

I believe the Music123.com coupon is only applicable for Yamaha instruments, however the MP5 is available from Sweetwater for under $1100.

The KAWAI ES6 and Roland FP7 would certainly be worth considering, however I expect these instrument would exceed dewster's maximum budget.

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1323115 - 12/11/09 02:01 AM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: R0B]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4343
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: R0B
As you have a PA, I can highly recommend the Kawai MP-5.
(No speakers, or stand)

A tad over your budget, at $1199 on the music123 website, (not sure if a discount coupon is available.)

An excellent keyboard feel. Very good piano samples, strings, and a fair range of organs, amidst a host of other instrument sounds.

This piano can be as simple, or as complex, as you wish, to operate.

Voice selection is easy, and many parameters are extremely tweakable for the more adventurous.

I hope James would agree, but is too professional to say so smile


I just tried the discount and it doesn't work :-(.

Though I've looked at that keyboard before - a lot - but could never find one in a store to demo. When you say "organs" do you mean church type pipe organs, or tonewheel B3 type organs? All the church organ voices I've ever found in keyboards or boxes are 2 (in the GM standard) which is very disappointing. I would think there are many church keyboardists out there looking for these sounds, it is strange to find such a dearth of them.

So the strings are good? The user interface certainly looks fantastic!


Edited by dewster (12/11/09 02:01 AM)
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#1323122 - 12/11/09 02:13 AM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: dewster]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1439
Loc: Australia
The MP-5 has 32x drawbar organs (using the four sliders as drawbar controls) and 32x other organs, including Church, Full pipes, Baroque, Principal pipe, Stopped pipe, Pump organ, several reed organs, and theatre.

Should be enough to choose from :-)

Edited to add: The strings, as on most keyboards, are probably not the greatest, but can be improved by some judicious tweaking.

If you check my Youtube link below, there are a couple of MP-5 pieces there, including a multitrack I made. (no organs, unfortunately, but I could possibly make a short demo, if you really want to hear them.
Sound quality is not the best, but the recordings sound much better here at home.



Edited by R0B (12/11/09 02:18 AM)
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#1323137 - 12/11/09 03:23 AM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: R0B]
BazC Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 711
Loc: Cambridgeshire, UK
Take a look at the Korg SP250, it has all you want for around $700
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#1323259 - 12/11/09 10:40 AM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: BazC]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4343
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: BazC
Take a look at the Korg SP250, it has all you want for around $700


Yea, that looks really close. I played a bit on one a year or so ago in a super noisy Sam Ash when the parent of a student needed a recommendation. I remember the harpsichord voice being horribly stretched sounding, but can't remember how the piano sounded. They ended up buying it.


How many layers is the piano sample? Can't seem to find that in the manual anywhere (typical).

[edit] Purgatory Creek says one layer, is that true? The decay sounds rather short, but otherwise not too bad (as DPs go).


Are recordings of the demo songs or other voice samples for it on the web anywhere?

[edit] Found a bunch of sound samples here:

http://www.korg.com/Product.aspx?pd=134


Edited by dewster (12/11/09 10:52 AM)
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#1323281 - 12/11/09 11:35 AM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: dewster]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4343
Loc: Northern NJ
What's up with the samples on Korg's page for the SP250 and LP350? They are identical! The listening page even says "LP-350/SP-250 Demos"!

From the descriptions, it looks like the LP350 has a multi-layer piano sample, and the SP250 does not, so why are the demo sounds merged like that?

Why do manufacturers make it so freakin' difficult to comparison shop, even among their own products?
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#1323283 - 12/11/09 11:39 AM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: R0B]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4343
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: R0B
The MP-5 has 32x drawbar organs (using the four sliders as drawbar controls) and 32x other organs, including Church, Full pipes, Baroque, Principal pipe, Stopped pipe, Pump organ, several reed organs, and theatre.

Should be enough to choose from :-)

Edited to add: The strings, as on most keyboards, are probably not the greatest, but can be improved by some judicious tweaking.

If you check my Youtube link below, there are a couple of MP-5 pieces there, including a multitrack I made. (no organs, unfortunately, but I could possibly make a short demo, if you really want to hear them.
Sound quality is not the best, but the recordings sound much better here at home.


Your recordings are very nice! What do you think of the church organ sounds, are they good enough that you would ever consider using them?


Edited by dewster (12/11/09 11:47 AM)
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#1323299 - 12/11/09 12:05 PM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: dewster]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: dewster
Yo y'all - any suggestions for a keyboard used in a tiny church setting (with small PA)?

What I'm looking for in particular:
- Good 88 key hammer action.
- Good piano sample - as in "decent for a DP", not "Pianoteq" (the DP holy grail).
- Good pipe organ and chapel organ samples.
- Good strings samples.
- Easy operation for noobs (i.e. voice selection).
- $1k USD or so (a little flexible here).

Not needed (but not necessarily a negative):
- Internal amp / speakers.
- Stand.

Anything else is gravy.

TIA!



I just bought a Yamaha P155. I think it meets every one of you requirements. I paid about $960. You can buy the Yamaha LP140 stand that matches perfectly or you can buy the normal "X" frame folding stand in you need to be portable. My budget was also "about $1K" and I thought this was the best for that price.

If you had $2K or more there are other DPs I liked and if you only had $500 the Casio woud likely also work for you.

What will matter the most is the sound system. You will need a very power system to fill a large space with a convincing organ sound. A pair of $200 studio monitors "ain't gonna cut it."

BTW I don't think "Pianoteq" is the "DP holy grail" not close. I'd prefer the sound from one of the higher end Roland DPs The RD700GX is very good and maybe even better suited to your needs but sells for $2,500

Pianoteq is popular not because it is the best sound but because it is good and cheap and easy to add if you already have a MIDI keyboard and a computer. In other words lots of bang per buck. It's problem is that it is a "one trick pony" it just does piano on a computer and you need a lot of other gear in order to use it. And I really do not know if the user interface is setup for performing on stage. How quickly can you select sound presets?


Edited by ChrisA (12/11/09 12:12 PM)

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#1323308 - 12/11/09 12:26 PM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: R0B]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: R0B
As you have a PA, I can highly recommend the Kawai MP-5.
(No speakers, or stand)


I've played aother Kawai DP with the same "Harmonic Imaging sound technology" It is vey listenable, sounds nice but one does not need to be an expert to hear that it is not the same sond as a real grand piano. It is, I think a little to smooth and clean sounding. I'm making the distinction between "sounds nice" and "sounds like a grand piano". Just last night in fact I was playing a Kawai DP with headphones while someone else in the same room was on a 7ft Kawai grand. The difference in the sound was not subtle. To my ears "Harmonic Imaging" sounds more like synthesis than sampling. Sounds good but it is not a 100% convincing GP sample.

I think the Kawai now has better quality sound technology that they call "88 note sampled progressive". This might be better, and more expensive.

The trouble is that with a $1K budget you just can't get the best of the best and will have to compromise. and get a DP that has only the set of features you feel are most important. If you had $3K to spend then shopping would be so much easier.



Edited by ChrisA (12/11/09 01:00 PM)

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#1323310 - 12/11/09 12:29 PM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: ChrisA]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4343
Loc: Northern NJ
My wife says no-go on the Korg SP250, the piano decay is too quick.

And it looks like internal speakers are a must, to use as a local monitor.
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#1323311 - 12/11/09 12:35 PM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: ChrisA]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4343
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
I just bought a Yamaha P155. I think it meets every one of you requirements.


I haven't been able to demo a P155, but I have this strong suspicion that it has pretty much the same church organ and string samples as on our P120, which are fairly lame. I'm sure the piano sound and keyboard action are probably fine though.

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
If you had $2K or more there are other DPs I liked and if you only had $500 the Casio woud likely also work for you.


Low-end Casios use the keyboard to select sounds and other options, probably too confusing for a total noob.

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
What will matter the most is the sound system. You will need a very power system to fill a large space with a convincing organ sound. A pair of $200 studio monitors "ain't gonna cut it."


The PA there is entirely adequate.
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#1323313 - 12/11/09 12:36 PM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: ChrisA]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3200
Loc: Virginia, USA
Is this for a traditional church, or a contemporary praise and worship service?

Because IMO the stage pianos like the Yamaha P series, while they perform well, look too much like a rock concert for a liturgical service.

On the other hand the console pianos like the Yamaha Clavinova series are visually attractive enough to work in a traditional service and also would be okay for the contemporary, though they don't quite have that "roadie" look.

That Clavinova I played last was portable enough for two of us to carry it easily in and out of the side chapel, etc.

I have not done much with organ sounds, as the churches I've played in also had organs. The keyboards I've played did NOT have acceptable organ sounds to my ears. But this may have changed. The piano sounds on the other hand were fine, perfectly acceptable given the room acoustics.

You can do a lot with MIDI and extra sound modules, laptops, etc. However, unless you have one technologically savvy player and nobody else who touches the stuff, this is a risky way to go. If you rotate players in and out, it's not likely to work. You have to keep it simple.
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#1323346 - 12/11/09 01:32 PM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: dewster]
Huygens Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 217
Loc: Sweden
Originally Posted By: dewster
How many layers is the piano sample? Can't seem to find that in the manual anywhere (typical).

[edit] Purgatory Creek says one layer, is that true? The decay sounds rather short, but otherwise not too bad (as DPs go).


1-level sampling, but the SP250/LP350 have very long samples on each note to minimize looping sound on sustain.
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#1323368 - 12/11/09 02:09 PM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: TimR]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4343
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: TimR
Is this for a traditional church, or a contemporary praise and worship service?


It's a Unity Church, with a congregation of maybe 15 to 30.

Originally Posted By: TimR
Because IMO the stage pianos like the Yamaha P series, while they perform well, look too much like a rock concert for a liturgical service.

On the other hand the console pianos like the Yamaha Clavinova series are visually attractive enough to work in a traditional service and also would be okay for the contemporary, though they don't quite have that "roadie" look.


Looks are really secondary, stage piano looks are fine, and cabinetry, while fine, is something I don't want to pay for.

They currently have a Yamaha YPG-525 (or similar, can't remember exactly) which, except for some of the voices, is a total POS. The unweighted action in particular is a hateful abomination in the eyes of the lord (and our two players).

Originally Posted By: TimR
That Clavinova I played last was portable enough for two of us to carry it easily in and out of the side chapel, etc.


Portability issues are way down on the list as well.

Originally Posted By: TimR
I have not done much with organ sounds, as the churches I've played in also had organs. The keyboards I've played did NOT have acceptable organ sounds to my ears. But this may have changed. The piano sounds on the other hand were fine, perfectly acceptable given the room acoustics.

You can do a lot with MIDI and extra sound modules, laptops, etc. However, unless you have one technologically savvy player and nobody else who touches the stuff, this is a risky way to go. If you rotate players in and out, it's not likely to work. You have to keep it simple.


I agree, modules and noobs don't mix. They can barely handle turning on the PA.
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#1323371 - 12/11/09 02:13 PM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: Huygens]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4343
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Huygens
1-level sampling, but the SP250/LP350 have very long samples on each note to minimize looping sound on sustain.


Yea, but this is what I don't get. If the samples are soooo long, why is the decay time so short?

It's so bad that this is pretty much a deal-killer for my wife.
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#1323421 - 12/11/09 03:03 PM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: dewster]
Huygens Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 217
Loc: Sweden
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: Huygens
1-level sampling, but the SP250/LP350 have very long samples on each note to minimize looping sound on sustain.


Yea, but this is what I don't get. If the samples are soooo long, why is the decay time so short?


Do you say that the sustained notes decay faster on the Korg SP250 compared to a Yamaha CLP?

Can you explain _exactly_ what a "so short" time means in seconds or other measure?

If we assume that the CLP-340 decays a sustained C4 notes over a time period of 15 seconds, what would you say the same time is for the Korg.

Just stating "to short" is not good enough for me, so please be specific as I haven't experienced it.
_________________________
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#1323521 - 12/11/09 05:05 PM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: Huygens]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4343
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Huygens
Do you say that the sustained notes decay faster on the Korg SP250 compared to a Yamaha CLP?


Yamaha CLP? Did I say anything about a Yamaha CLP? I'm not even familiar with that keyboard.

Originally Posted By: Huygens
Can you explain _exactly_ what a "so short" time means in seconds or other measure?

[snip]

Just stating "to short" is not good enough for me, so please be specific as I haven't experienced it.


Oh good lord! DO I HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING AROUND HERE?!?!?

OK, but only because I like you :-).

From the Digital Piano Shootout page, I downloaded the following files:

http://www.purgatorycreek.com/mp3/Pianoteq%203SoloRec.mp3
http://www.purgatorycreek.com/mp3/korg%20sp-250%20Grand%20Piano.mp3

I opened both files in Adobe Audition went to the end of the files, approximately 1/2 second after the last note is struck to minimize the influence of the attack phase. Playing the next second of sound and examining the VU meters reveals the following:

Korg: -10dB / second
Pianoteq 3: -4dB / second

I would have used more of the sample, but, like I said, the Korg drops like a rock and it's hard to use much more of the wave than that.

The Pianoteq sample rings on forever in comparison.

My wife's student that owns this keyboard complains about it as well.

So, back to my earlier question: If Korg's extra loooooong manly samples make all the other DPs cry like little girls, why the hell is their decay time so freakin' short? It doesn't make sense. Unless...it's all marketing hype? Nah, that can't be it - marketing people would NEVER lie to us like that...must be my lyin' eyes & ears.
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#1323835 - 12/12/09 03:15 AM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: dewster]
Huygens Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 217
Loc: Sweden

(I've trimmed the quote a bit)

Originally Posted By: dewster
From the Digital Piano Shootout page, I downloaded the following files:

http://www.purgatorycreek.com/mp3/Pianoteq%203SoloRec.mp3
http://www.purgatorycreek.com/mp3/korg%20sp-250%20Grand%20Piano.mp3

I opened both files in Adobe Audition went to the end of the files, approximately 1/2 second after the last note is struck to minimize the influence of the attack phase. Playing the next second of sound and examining the VU meters reveals the following:

Korg: -10dB / second
Pianoteq 3: -4dB / second

So, back to my earlier question: If Korg's extra loooooong manly samples make all the other DPs cry like little girls, why the hell is their decay time so freakin' short? It doesn't make sense.

A drop of 10 dB/second would mean that the Korg SP250 stops producing audible sound after 3 seconds, when playing it softly _and_ with the sustain pedal down.

I doubt this.

Such a big flaw would not go unnoticed. I am very doubtful to the way you use the purgatory files.

---

The reason that I initially made the comparison of a CLP to the Korg SP250 was that:

A. I got the impression that you made some kind of reference earlier to the CLP, but that could be my fault.
B. I've compared the sound on low level, and even if a CLP-340 is richer, the SP250 was not long after in sound experience with its own built-in speakers (well, in a crowded shop).

Trying the SP250 (or LP350) out in real life will probably give you a new opinion about .mp3 files. smile
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#1323848 - 12/12/09 05:08 AM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: Huygens]
BazC Offline
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Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 711
Loc: Cambridgeshire, UK
My SP200 gives approximately 15secs of sound when middle c is struck with medium velocity (not a scientific test just guessing!) I would have thought that was plenty, I doubt that the SP250 is any worse than my old SP200 and the piano sound is definitely nicer on the newer model.

Pianoteq manages about the same time by the way, about 15secs using C3 Solo Recording preset in Pianoteq 3.5.0
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#1323853 - 12/12/09 05:23 AM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: BazC]
Huygens Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 217
Loc: Sweden
Originally Posted By: BazC
My SP200 gives approximately 15secs of sound when middle c is struck with medium velocity (not a scientific test just guessing!) I would have thought that was plenty, I doubt that the SP250 is any worse than my old SP200 and the piano sound is definitely nicer on the newer model.

On my P-85, some keys are without audible looping and on some keys the looping starts after less than 2 seconds. I'm not using the sustain pedal, just keeping one single key down after having depressed it with hard velocity.

If you depress one key at a time on your SP200 and do so over the 8 middle keys, when would you say looping sets in?
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#1323861 - 12/12/09 06:09 AM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: Huygens]
BazC Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 711
Loc: Cambridgeshire, UK
I'm not aware of any looping but then I don't really know what I'm listening for!
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#1323879 - 12/12/09 08:24 AM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: BazC]
Huygens Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 217
Loc: Sweden
Originally Posted By: BazC
I'm not aware of any looping but then I don't really know what I'm listening for!

Looping is done by having the sound of the note repeated while the volume gradually is decreased. If no looping is done, the note should fade away in volume in a natural way.

Looping is usually done with a small part of the recorded note, usually a few tenth of a second down to a few hundreds of a second. This recorded piece of sound is played over and over again while the volume is decreased. If looping is poorly done (most of the time) you will hear the sound fade away with a wobbly sound effect. The sound varies for different notes (and looping applied), it could be something that sounds like wee-oo-wee-oo-wee-oo, s-s-s-s-s, oo-uh-oo-uh-oo or similar.
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P-85 cheap plastic imitation; not because of sound, but weight.

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#1323902 - 12/12/09 09:53 AM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: Huygens]
BazC Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 711
Loc: Cambridgeshire, UK
Ah right, I hadn't realised the loops could be so short, I would say they start around 2.5 secs in the middle octave.
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#1323933 - 12/12/09 11:28 AM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: Huygens]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4343
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Huygens
A drop of 10 dB/second would mean that the Korg SP250 stops producing audible sound after 3 seconds, when playing it softly _and_ with the sustain pedal down.


Both drop more at first due to the attack phase, so that's part of it, though I've tried to control this by chopping off the first 1/2 second of it. There isn't much to work with on the SP250 sample.

Originally Posted By: Huygens
Such a big flaw would not go unnoticed. I am very doubtful to the way you use the purgatory files.


Well, technically, you can't exactly say it went unnoticed when my wife's student noticed it after she got it for Xmas, and I can clearly hear it in the Purgatory Creek samples. Hell, you can SEE it in Audition, the SP250 decay looks very quick and exponential, where the Pianoteq 3 decay looks much longer and more linear (though I realize both are likely a rough exponential fit of one kind or another).

I would agree this is a big flaw, but such is the current sad state of DPs in this price range. The SP250 just happens to be particularly egregious example when it comes to sustain.

Have you even download the files and listened to them?

Originally Posted By: Huygens
B. I've compared the sound on low level, and even if a CLP-340 is richer, the SP250 was not long after in sound experience with its own built-in speakers (well, in a crowded shop).

Trying the SP250 (or LP350) out in real life will probably give you a new opinion about .mp3 files. smile


You wanted numbers, I gave you numbers. In return, all you're giving me is your vague impressions gleaned in a sub-optimal test environment.

And dude, I clearly stated above that I tried out an SP250 years ago in a store (the store was noisy but I had a good pair of sealed headphones with me). And, no, this isn't some MP3 compression artifact we're talking about here.

OK, a further experiment:

I again opened both files in Adobe Audition went to the end of the files, 1/2 second after the start of the last note. Playing the next 2.5 seconds of sound and examining the VU meters reveals the following:

Korg: -23dB => -9.2dB/sec
Pianoteq 3: -15dB => -6dB/sec


Face it, the SP250 decay time is more abrupt. Numbers don't lie.
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THE RD-700NX Thread!
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#1323943 - 12/12/09 11:46 AM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: BazC]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4343
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: BazC
My SP200 gives approximately 15secs of sound when middle c is struck with medium velocity (not a scientific test just guessing!) I would have thought that was plenty, I doubt that the SP250 is any worse than my old SP200 and the piano sound is definitely nicer on the newer model.

Pianoteq manages about the same time by the way, about 15secs using C3 Solo Recording preset in Pianoteq 3.5.0


We're not exactly talking here about how long notes last. End time can be anything, depending on how they decide to make the looping decay. It's more rate of decay (dB/second).

In an attempt to hide the evidence of their looping crimes, DP manufacturers often make this decay rate unnaturally steep. They're betting that you won't notice the note turning from a prince into a frog if it simultaneously dives into the mud.

More abrupt decay also ameliorates limited polyphony. In that scenario, a good note is a dead note.

This kind of thing was fine 30 years ago when ROM cost like a dollar a bit, when synth manufacturers were still feeling their way in the dark, but nowadays it makes zero sense.


Edited by dewster (12/12/09 11:46 AM)
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The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
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#1323945 - 12/12/09 11:49 AM Re: Church keyboard suggestions anyone? [Re: dewster]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: dewster

I again opened both files in Adobe Audition went to the end of the files, 1/2 second after the start of the last note. Playing the next 2.5 seconds of sound and examining the VU meters reveals the following:

Korg: -23dB => -9.2dB/sec
Pianoteq 3: -15dB => -6dB/sec


Face it, the SP250 decay time is more abrupt. Numbers don't lie.


Pianoteq is not a good "standard" to use for comparison because all of it's parameters are adjustable. It could even match the Korg's -9.2dB/sec or if you like 3db/sec I'm sure it could do that too.

Who's to say which is "correct". What is the rate of decay for various acoustic pianos?

My assessment of the Pianoteq's defaults was that the notes sounded "muddy" and un-clear. I think because they over did the sustain and resonance. But the nice thing is that I was able to change it, by toning down a few parameters.

Point is that these numbers you measure have no right or wrong and depend on taste an opinion. I liked the faster decay. If I wanted a long sustain I'd play an organ.

Would be interesting to measure some acoustic pianos, some baby grands and uprights and then the major brands of grands too.


Edited by ChrisA (12/12/09 11:51 AM)

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