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#1376345 - 02/17/10 09:51 AM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: jmmec]
mucci Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/29/10
Posts: 1070
Loc: Munich, Germany
Well said, JMMEC! thumb
_________________________
<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>

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#1376365 - 02/17/10 10:13 AM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: Dr Popper]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
Nicely done Dewster.

I like the sustained "C"'s going up in octaves at the beginning.

This will be interesting.

Snazzy



Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
Sounds like a good project I'll try and get S90Xs and RD700GX files for you. And the CP1/5 of course if they ever show up .....


Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
dewster, I'm glad to see that you are finally putting your obvious technical knowledge to good use. wink

Anyway, I cannot promise anything, but I'll look into playing back your MIDI file on some modern KAWAI DPs (some support recording to USB memory as MP3 directly), if I get a chance.

Cheers,
James
x


Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
Wow. You sure have been working at this project. As a "visual learner" I certainly find the graphics interesting and useful. I continue to follow this project, and am also particularly interested in the results for certain pianos.

Lawrence


Originally Posted By: EssBrace
This could be a brilliant resource. If used in conjunction with Purgatory Creek (for subjective analysis), you could make better informed purchase decisions....
Thanks Dewster for taking the time to create this level of insight for us all.

Steve


Originally Posted By: Glenn NK
Very interesting test (and much work I suspect - my hat's off to Dewster for undertaking this gigantic project - it will be very useful to we DP types).

Glenn


So, how many of the early cheerleaders and supporters are still on board?

What has changed from the beginning of the thread to the end?

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#1376374 - 02/17/10 10:22 AM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: sdw91]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: sdw91
I recorded the P-80 again, this time with reverb off:

https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0BwW0oJq...M2&hl=en_GB

Thanks again for the file!

The real sample lengths are a bit short, as are the decay times. And that stretch group of 5 is kind of big. But otherwise it's not too bad.


---------------
- Yamaha P-80 -
---------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_yamaha_p80.mp3
- "Grand Piano" patch.
- RCA outs to MacBook line in, Audacity, MP3 export (Lame).
PROS:
- Large dynamic range (~54dB, vel=1:127).
- 3 velocity layer sample set.
- Responds to partial pedaling.
CONS:
- Note decay rate is pretty fast (~1/2 Pianoteq).
- Obviously looped, some loops have an audibly wider stereo field than the samples.
- Sample lengths are (C2:C9) 1.8,1.6,1.1,1.2,1.2,1,?,? seconds.
- Obviously stretched.
- Stretch distances: 3(x6),2,3,3,5,4,2,2,3,4,2,3,4,2(x5),3(x7),1,1 = 32 groups.
- Obvious layer switching, but not too obnoxious.
- Layer switch @ vel=70,106 (spectral pan & phase displays).
- No key-up or pedal up/down samples.
OTHER:
- Something going on with sympathetic resonance? If so it's very subtle.
- MP3 levels good: peak @ -0.4dB, noise floor @ -58dB.
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-17
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1376380 - 02/17/10 10:28 AM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: jmmec]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Originally Posted By: JMMEC



"Whatever hysteria exists is inflamed by mystery, suspicion and secrecy. Hard and exact facts will cool it." Elia Kazan



Calm down, Jim, No need of getting that hysterical.

It's just a fun test...it ain't serious.

I'm sure good old Elia would have wanted you to have those elusive hard and exact facts, and perhaps a cold cloth for your forehead.

Too many biases, too many potential errors, at best an approximation...at worst, a parlor trick.

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1376382 - 02/17/10 10:30 AM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: theJourney]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9367
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
theJourney, well I'm still onboard. wink

As I believe I stated earlier in the thread, from a technical standpoint, dewster's test offers a very interesting benchmark.

However, from a purely musical perspective, it obviously doesn't tell the whole story. My concern is that some individuals (first-time buyers for example) may read too much into this analysis, rather than judging the overall instrument.

Just because a DP appears to perform reasonably well in dewster's test, it doesn't mean to say that everyone will find the instrument's sound to be universally agreeable. At the end of the day, if an individual doesn't particularly like how a DP sounds, no amount of information about sampling lengths, layers, stretching, polyphony, or any other technical specification is going to change their mind.

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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#1376394 - 02/17/10 10:40 AM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: theJourney]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Originally Posted By: theJourney


So, how many of the early cheerleaders and supporters are still on board?

What has changed from the beginning of the thread to the end?



I'd say what has changed, is trust...or lack of it.

Not in Dewster, although I seem to sense a bias in his posts, but for me it is the calibre of the results, the use of varying quality MP3 instead of WAV recorded by one person with the same equipment, and the possibility of bogus uploads.

That's all.

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1376432 - 02/17/10 11:26 AM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: snazzyplayer]
mucci Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/29/10
Posts: 1070
Loc: Munich, Germany
@snazzyplaer, I agree. But - isn't this always the case, with all testing, with all statements we read in a public forum? Shouldn't this speak for itself? Why picking all the time on this well known fact? Everyone here can just CLAIM that he has played a specific DP with terrific results. Why trust him more? Why can't we just move on knowing that this is just a limited technical test, with only limited significance. The ultimate decision of buying a new DP can of course only be take by playing the DP for some time, doing comparisons etc etc. So - what's the point? I don't get it (call me stupid...).

And: Why did this questionable discussion just start after dewster published his findings on the CP-1? Just a coincidence?

BTW I tried both WAV and MP3 (192kbit) on a recording with no significant difference in visual appearance, let alone audible differences.
_________________________
<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>

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#1376434 - 02/17/10 11:28 AM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: theJourney]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2406
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Still onboard here.

The tests are good. They add to our knowledge (I mean, this is a good thing, right?). No one is saying that you would base a purchase decision based solely on the DPBSD.

I own a V-Piano. Although the test is not really designed to compare sampled pianos with modelled ones I fully note the exceptional performance of the V-Piano in the test. But here's a thing: I don't really like my V-Piano. I'm fairly sure I have the same issues that Lawrence did and that prompted him to change it for a CP1. Although still well within the honeymoon period, he seems at this stage to be much happier subjectively with the CP1 than he was with the V-Piano. And I know from my correspondence with him that there are aspects of the V-Piano he admires a lot, as do I.

All that said, for me, the sample lengths that Yamaha are using and the presence of note stretching just takes the sheen off this supposedly vanguard instrument...Yamaha's top-of-the-range. This is the best they can do at the moment apparently.

I know that playing the thing is the final evidence anyone needs and it appears Yamaha have indeed got a winner on their hands but to know its technical DNA if you like is interesting and in this case a bit disappointing to me, personally. But I'd rather have this knowledge. I don't think there is any conspiracy and I don't think Dewster's integrity should be questioned.

In concluding maybe I could just say that we can all take what we want from the test. Colleen is maybe about to take the plunge on a CP1 and we would all want that to be a positive experience for her. To her and maybe Snazzy and others the test has little significance. To others, it is now a very useful resource, one to be used in conjunction with evidence gathered by other means, especially personal experience.

Cheers all,

Steve
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#1376439 - 02/17/10 11:35 AM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: EssBrace]
mucci Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/29/10
Posts: 1070
Loc: Munich, Germany
Thanks Steve for your comment. This is in other words exactly what I think of this technical test. I'm also disappointed by the sound signature of a pianoteq demo I recently tested, and was rather happy with my truepianos although technically clearly inferior, but it's all about personal preference and playability.
_________________________
<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>

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#1376449 - 02/17/10 11:44 AM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: mucci]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Originally Posted By: kawaian


And: Why did this questionable discussion just start after dewster published his findings on the CP-1? Just a coincidence?



I really don't know why it started when it did...with me it was brewing before that happened.

To quote Kawai James: "My concern is that some individuals (first-time buyers for example) may read too much into this analysis, rather than judging the overall instrument."

Colleen, and myself too, felt the same way and everyone got defensive.

Coincidence?

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1376450 - 02/17/10 11:45 AM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: snazzyplayer]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Snazzy and Colleen,

It's entirely possible for someone to send me a bogus or doctored file, but since the entire world has access to the archive I think that would be revealed sooner or later. Other than boosting the left channel by 6dB to match the right in the Kawai MP5 file (as noted in my review) I'm certainly not altering them in any way.

So which MP3 files do you think are bogus? I would be very curious to know, as would others. You both have mentioned that manufacturers watch these forums closely, and it would be pretty fantastic to catch one of them in the act of monkeywrenching the DPBSD. Or is that what you two are doing by planting tons of FUD in this thread?
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1376455 - 02/17/10 11:57 AM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: dewster]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Originally Posted By: dewster


I would be very curious to know, as would others. You both have mentioned that manufacturers watch these forums closely, and it would be pretty fantastic to catch one of them in the act of monkeywrenching the DPBSD. Or is that what you two are doing by planting tons of FUD in this thread?


I would be more concerned about you putting false data on a public forum...not that you would intentionally.

It's not manufacturers doing bogus uploads (although that would be a hoot) that concerns me...I don't think they would ever take that risk...what concerns me is their reaction to false data about their product on a public forum.

I'm not sure what FUD means (perhaps you could explain it to the listening audience), but I can assure you, my remarks have been only to point out the possibility of errors, biases, and bogus uploads.

If it bothers you, just put me on "ignore".

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1376460 - 02/17/10 12:12 PM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: snazzyplayer]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
I would be more concerned about you putting false data on a public forum...not that you would intentionally.

It's not manufacturers doing bogus uploads (although that would be a hoot) that concerns me...I don't think they would ever take that risk...what concerns me is their reaction to false data about their product on a public forum.

Exactly what "false data" are you talking about? You really need to stop it with the coy innuendo and veiled threats.

Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
I'm not sure what FUD means (perhaps you could explain it to the listening audience), but I can assure you, my remarks have been only to point out the possibility of errors, biases, and bogus uploads.

For those who can't Google: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.

Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
If it bothers you, just put me on "ignore".

It's kind of hard to ignore libel.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1376464 - 02/17/10 12:20 PM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: dewster]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Originally Posted By: dewster



It's kind of hard to ignore libel.



I'm talking about the possibility of bogus uploaded data...that's all. Never said you did it, nor anyone else....just a possibily.

You yourself said it could be possible, as well as several other members.

So we are all "libel", are we...including yourself? wink

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1376476 - 02/17/10 12:43 PM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: snazzyplayer]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3083
Loc: Oregon
This thread seems to be degenerating - needlessly.

Dewster quite clearly has an agenda - he made that clear in numerous posts bemoaning the manufacturers' slow adoption of new technology. However, by actually coming up with a method for analyzing the way the sounds are generated in various DPs, he's done us all a service. Even when one factors in a margin of error for the way the files are recorded and analyzed, the results are interesting and illuminating.

That said, it was also fascinating for me to listen to some of the uploaded files and compare them (subjectively) with the test results. For example, the V-Piano scores very high on the tests, but when I listened I could quite clearly hear the problem with the mid-range that has irritated a number of owners. It just sounded synthetic and, to me, unappealing. So, being able to listen to the recorded sounds is vital for extracting the most from the work that Dewster's done. But, put the two together and you've got a very powerful tool for making initial comparisons prior to going out and actually playing the instruments.
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
http://www.amazon.com/author/richardspanswick

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#1376501 - 02/17/10 01:17 PM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: voxpops]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: voxpops
This thread seems to be degenerating - needlessly.

Sorry, I'll get back OT, I was just trying to get to the bottom of a major distraction in this thread. Which amazingly seems to boil down to pretty much nothing.

Listening to the files has been a real treat for me too as I get the opportunity to hear a broad range of DPs. And listening combined with analysis lets me very quickly understand what it is in the sound that strikes me as real or fake. The kinds of things that might take years of owning the DP to figure out.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1376503 - 02/17/10 01:19 PM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: dewster]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2406
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Dewster, adding your interpretation of the test to the subjective impression of the sound of the notes, what is your favourite so far?

Steve
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#1376504 - 02/17/10 01:20 PM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: dewster]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Originally Posted By: dewster


And listening combined with analysis lets me very quickly understand what it is in the sound that strikes me as real or fake. The kinds of things that might take years of owning the DP to figure out.


Or an hour sitting down and actually playing the instrument. wink

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1376536 - 02/17/10 02:18 PM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: snazzyplayer]
Voltara Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/09
Posts: 127
Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
Originally Posted By: dewster


And listening combined with analysis lets me very quickly understand what it is in the sound that strikes me as real or fake. The kinds of things that might take years of owning the DP to figure out.


Or an hour sitting down and actually playing the instrument. wink

Snazzy


I bought my DP (the YDP-223 that I uploaded) two years ago, about a month before I took my first lesson. For a number of reasons, I went digital as opposed to acoustic, but wanted an instrument that felt and sounded reasonably "authentic", so that my skills would transfer readily to an acoustic. Based on my limited knowledge, the manufacturer's specifications, some play testing (and a fantastic discount on a floor model with minor cosmetic damage), I went with the YDP-223.

When I got it home and started to play it, something about the sound began to perplex me -- it wasn't until about a year later that I finally figured out why. What I couldn't figure out was where to set the volume control. I could lower the volume and bang the keys harder, or raise the volume and play lightly, and the results were roughly the same.

I learned later on that the key element I was missing out on was convincing velocity layering. Had this thread existed back then, it would have been a great way for a then-newbie like me to listen and learn about this sort of thing. Would it have made me choose a different instrument? Probably not, as the sound was only one of many factors influencing my decision -- highest on the list was touch, but I also took into account price, MIDI connectivity, the number of pedals, form factor, and "wife acceptance factor" ;-)

Even if the DP-BSD wouldn't have changed my decision, I would have known a lot more about what exactly I was paying for, and perhaps I wouldn't have spent so much time fretting over where to put the volume slider. (Now it's "as low as possible when using headphones" to protect my hearing from hours of practice...)

The argument I've seen repeated here, that dewster's analysis will negatively influence a novice buyer, is, in my opinion, unfounded. The intended audience here is not the foolish buyer, because he will shop foolishly regardless. But for those of us who want to make an informed purchase, I'm thankful for resources such as this. It's the "missing spec sheet" that goes deeper than the typical "Voices: X, Polyphony: Y".

Andy

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#1376539 - 02/17/10 02:28 PM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: Voltara]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2406
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Intelligent points there Andy!

Steve
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#1376543 - 02/17/10 02:36 PM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: EssBrace]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Yes, very good points Andy...however, it it is always good to see both sides of the picture.

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1376565 - 02/17/10 03:01 PM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: zaba19]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: zaba19
I have uploaded a recording of Roland HP-307. The input level wasn't great, I hope normalization didn't screw anything.
http://www.mediafire.com/?2mwkmyhrzny


Wow, outside of PC samplers and modelers, this is technically the best DP I've tested.

I just added a line to the DPBSD readme file instructing people to not normalize MP3s as it seems to be introducing mosquito noise. Do you have the original un-normalized file? Also, was the reverb off (I couldn't quite tell)? Also, are there any key-up or pedal up/down samples or sympathetic resonance not captured by the MP3? It seems to respond slightly to partial pedaling, but I need to modify the DPBSD MIDI file to include a 111 pedal level to better capture this across all DPs.

Anything I should know about the setup you used to capture the recording?

Really fantastic, thanks again for that file zaba19!


-----------------
- Roland HP-307 -
-----------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_roland_hp-307.mp3
PROS:
- Beautiful long natural-sounding note decay (decay times on the order of Pianoteq).
- Large dynamic range (~47dB, vel=1:127).
- No audible looping.
- Visually, the notes look similar to conventional length attack samples seamlessly blended with something like long loop samples. Not clear what the process is.
- No visible or audible stretching, notes look random in the wave and phase views.
- No visible or audible velocity switching.
- Very smoothly blended timbre variation with velocity.
- Responds to partial pedaling (the DPBSD MIDI file needs a 111 level pedal).
CONS:
- No obvious sympathetic resonance.
- No obvious pedal up/down or key up samples.
OTHER:
- Probably good enough to realistically record solo.
- Sounds a bit like the reverb isn't turned off?
- MP3 levels excellent: peak @ -3.4dB, noise floor @ -81dB.
- A bit of mosquito noise in MP3 (probably due to normalization).
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-17
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1376568 - 02/17/10 03:04 PM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: snazzyplayer]
jmmec Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/10
Posts: 86
Loc: New Mexico (yes, USA!)
Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
Yes, very good points ...however, it it is always good to see both sides of the picture.


Speaking of having the full picture, I'd like to know if anyone has financial incentives (from, oh, I don't know... Yamaha) to demean and dissuade dewster. It sure seems that way.

dewster is the new Galileo... smile
_________________________
Roland HP-307
Roland Quad-Capture

https://vimeo.com/58278342

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#1376580 - 02/17/10 03:22 PM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: jmmec]
Rodney Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 735
Loc: Caledon ON, Canada
I don't contribute to this board very often any more (more of a lurker these days) but after reading this thread I thought now might be a good time to add somethign useful. There is a fair amount of FUD floating on this thread from both camps so I thought I might contribute some technical information. There IS merit to what dewster is trying to show, BUT I think there needs to be some context. He is absolutely correct that all ROMplers (DPs are a type of ROMpler with the exception of the V-Piano) use looping and stretching as a form of data compression and will continue to do so into the forseable future.

This leads to a few of questions which when answered should help people get some perspective:

1) Why in this day & age of advanced computing and inexpensive memory are they (the manufacturers) using compression at all?

First I think that everyone would agree that the customer requirements of DPs (especially stage versions) are especially stringent in the areas of noise, weight, durability and cost. For this reason the inexpensive hardware that we've all become so accustomed with in our home and business computing environments is not what's used in DPs, or pretty much any other industrial application. The ASICS, PGAs, FPGAs and their RAM are generally purpose built (hardened) and tend to be very good at one thing. They run at slower clock speeds but perform their specific functions very quickly since they're not designed for general computing. They typically run cooler than general purpose computing devices which eliminating the need for noisy secondary cooling systems like you'd find in your PC or MAC.They have VERY low power requirements which simplifies power supply designs thereby reducing weight and complexity. They are much less sensitive to electrical interference, power fluctuations, noise and surges (especially during power on and off).The choice to use this type of computing technology as opposed to general purpose computing all comes down to the design considerations necessary to meet the initial customer requirements.

Unfortunately this equipment has some drawbacks, not the least of which is the amount of addressable memory with ranges typically in the kilo to mega bytes (yes I said Kilo to Mega Bytes) and not the Gigabytes we thing of when when buying a home computer. Just like any other computer, the operating system (albeit a very simple one in a DP) must also fit in that addressable memory along with any data (samples in the case of a ROMpler like a DP). Just to make matters worse, this is not the same memory you buy at your local computer store and it is MUCH more expensive given the limited applications.

So if this computing technology is so restrictive when it comes to memory, then why use it,..... simple; it is the best for meeting the basic customer requirements (noise, weight, durability, and cost). If you were to try and build a DP using COTS (commercial of the shelf) "consumer" computer equipment, meeting the first 3 requirements would definately result in a violation of the 4th. My (very educated guess) at building a COTS consumer type computer that is silent, light weight & small enough to fit within a DP case, and meets the mechanical and electronic durability requirements of a stage piano would cost upwards of $8-$10K to the end user, "if it could be done at all"....... Oh and I should point out that a Laptop does NOT meet these requirements.

2) OK, so if the computing equipment limits the amount of addressable memory so they have to use compression; Why not use algorithmic compression to preserve datails (less lossy) instead of stretching and looping (more loss)?

Algorithmic compression is extremely computationally intensive and non-detirministic resulting in the potential of latency and increased complexity. It is possible to add more hardware to solve the problems but it requires 2 layers of storage; dedicated ASICs to handle the memory management and decompression and a much larger data bus/bandwidth all of which increase cost significantly.


3) Why are there so few layers; why not sample all the potential layers, or more accurately, why not sample enough layers so that no one could tell the difference?

Each sample eats up precious storage and quite frankly, more just isn't needed for the typical application. Most people can't hear more than 3 or 4 distinct timbre changes, or more accurately, the timbre changes or so subtle that "most" people (the bulk of the audience for this class of product) just don't care. In a mix it is quite frankly impossible to tell how many layers are used.


4) If they have to use S&L compression why are the intial samples so short and why do the lengths vary from one sample to the next?

For anyone who has done sampling, the answer to this one is obvious. It's all about finding usable loop points. Looping is an extremely difficult process (there are very few tools to help) that requires that the tail of a loop SEEMLESSLY fit into the head in a way that makes it very difficult for the average person to perceive. You need to keep the main sample since this is what gives the note its character but it's length/duration is more detiremined by the start of the loop segment than anything else which is why some intial samples are a few seconds while other are less than a second,.... it's all about finding the best initial loop point. The loop segments length is detirmined by finding a point that ends at exactly the same amplitude as the head of the loop and is moving in the same amplitude direction. Loop tend to be short so its decay is controlled by an amplitude envelope.

5) If looping must be used then why do they have the loops decay more quickly than on a real accoustic piano?

It comes down to realism in the loops and controling polyphony/note stealing. While looping, when done well (and there are a lot of examples of it being done VERY poorly) and kept relatively short isn't obvious to most but the most critical listener, if it continues for too long, it becomes grating on the ears and seems synthetic/unnatural. Also, as long as a note is sustained, it eats up an oscillator (stereo samples eat 2 oscillators). The quicker a note drops to zero amplitude, the quicker those oscillators are freed up to play other samples/notes. Once the DP runs out of oscillators, then notes must be dropped in favour of the new notes played (this is called note stealling). With newer boards having 128 oscillators (128 note polyphony is the marketing terminology but is in fact 64 note polyphony if stereo samples are used which is the norm these days), the loops can be relatively long before note stealing happens, but definately not the length of an accoustic. I would like to point out there there is very little repertoire that would require a voice/note to decay to zero naturally so the only circumstance that this normally happens is if you put a brick on the damper pedal (which is poor technique for most music except new age). In other words, having a shorter decay just doesn't matter most of the time (unless you are performing contrived tests to find it).

There is no value in complaining that DPs don't use different hardware than they do because the hardware choice is the correct one to meet the primary requirements. Yamaha, Roland, Korg, Kurz, Nord, etc are not trying to rip anyone off, but are trying to build the best products to meet the largest segment of their market. A consumer who falls out of the norm of that market can choose to build their own DP using general purpose computing, software samplers and uncompressed sample libraries, their own sound reinforcement (monitors/amps), a controller (MIDI keyboard), and can even build a case to put it all in but it will NOT be suitable for general use.

DISCLAIMER: The following is my opinion!!

I have sevaral computers dedicated to composition, sampling, and sound production and I have just about every piano sample library that's been published (my son composes for film, television and games so we have most of the big orchestral libraries as well in our studio); I also have several DPs, synths, and workstations so I think you can understand that my opinion comes with some experience.

If we are rendering a solo piano performance, then I will ALWAYS use a sample library (for many reasons but the obvious one is the depth of realism attained in the recording). If I'm rendering an ensemble or orchestral piece, then I will opt for either a smaller sample library or one of the better DPs/keyboards/sound modules. If we are rendering a POP (guitar, drums, keyboard) ensenble piece, I will almost always use a keyoard because that is the correct sound. If I'm just playing piano, I rarely use a sample library becasue I have yet to find a library that doesn't produce a feeling of being disconnected from the instrument,.... Keyboards/DPs trounce sample libraries for that feeling of being connected to the instrument and the better instruments are "Good Enough" in their realism to not leave you feeling like you are playing anything other than a Piano. I also have an acoustic grand which is also enjoyed on a regular basis but personally I actually prefer to play (recreationally) the digital instruments for their variety of tone and consistancy of tuning and touch. No one in the family is a concert pianist (although my son makes his living at music production) so having infinate variety of timbre, or resonance, etc is meaningless to me.


There's my 2 cents,.... take it for exactly that worth.

BTW:

dewster, the Vintaudio C7 is one of my favorites but when I've compared it (head to head) with our Clavinova CLP-170 (a very old model based on a sampled CFIIIs I believe) I would still rather play the Clavinova; but I sure like recording with the Vintaudio C7.

Oh and I'm not on the payroll or receive endorsements from any DP or sample vendor (although I have beta tested a few).

Rodney

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#1376588 - 02/17/10 03:35 PM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: jmmec]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Originally Posted By: JMMEC
Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
Yes, very good points ...however, it it is always good to see both sides of the picture.


Speaking of having the full picture, I'd like to know if anyone has financial incentives (from, oh, I don't know... Yamaha) to demean and dissuade dewster. It sure seems that way.

dewster is the new Galileo... smile


You mean Yamaha would actually pay someone to demean and dissuade Dewster?

I don't believe a word of it.

Snazzy

By the way, Jim, unlike Dewster, Galileo was a pro.
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1376600 - 02/17/10 03:48 PM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: snazzyplayer]
jmmec Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/10
Posts: 86
Loc: New Mexico (yes, USA!)
Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
I don't believe a word of it.


Okey dokey Sally.


Edited by JMMEC (02/17/10 03:48 PM)
_________________________
Roland HP-307
Roland Quad-Capture

https://vimeo.com/58278342

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#1376603 - 02/17/10 03:55 PM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: jmmec]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Originally Posted By: JMMEC
Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
I don't believe a word of it.


Okey dokey Sally.


Ok, so it's Sally instead of Jim...no problem.

Thanks Sally.

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1376609 - 02/17/10 04:10 PM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: snazzyplayer]
Richard Stark Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 278
Loc: Hälsingland, Sweden
Thanks Rodney! Excellent! smile

And thanks Dewster for the solid foundation with the numbers and the graphs! smile

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#1376623 - 02/17/10 04:27 PM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: Rodney]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Originally Posted By: Rodney


. Keyboards/DPs trounce sample libraries for that feeling of being connected to the instrument and the better instruments are "Good Enough" in their realism to not leave you feeling like you are playing anything other than a Piano. I also have an acoustic grand which is also enjoyed on a regular basis but personally I actually prefer to play (recreationally) the digital instruments for their variety of tone and consistancy of tuning and touch. No one in the family is a concert pianist (although my son makes his living at music production) so having infinate variety of timbre, or resonance, etc is meaningless to me.


Very well said, Rodney...I feel the same way about VST's and acoustic grands, although I play strictly digital pianos now.

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1376630 - 02/17/10 04:36 PM Re: The DP BSD Project! [Re: dewster]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2406
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Excellent results from the HP-307. I assume a similar result would be obtained from the new Supernatural upgrade kit for the RD-700GX...would make a powerful case for itself against much of the competition...assuming of course that it was pleasing subjectively to enough people.

Thanks Dewster,

Steve
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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