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#1491991 - 08/09/10 07:47 PM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: Kawai James]
dewster Offline
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Registered: 12/07/09
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Loc: Northern NJ
James, I'm being intentionally obtuse.
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#1492016 - 08/09/10 08:11 PM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: dewster]
Kawai James Online   content
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Registered: 09/06/07
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Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
You mean bloody obtuse, surely? wink

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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#1492021 - 08/09/10 08:13 PM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: Kawai James]
dewster Offline
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Registered: 12/07/09
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Loc: Northern NJ
Haha! Yes, bloody obtuse!
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#1492163 - 08/09/10 10:35 PM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: dewster]
emenelton Offline
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Registered: 08/02/09
Posts: 445
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: TADutchman
Not really an issue with advanced sampling technology: a looped decay can easily be brought back to life by dynamic layering of coherent piano samples, if a DP supports that.

And that DP would be ...?


The ES6 does that.

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#1492199 - 08/09/10 11:16 PM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: emenelton]
dewster Offline
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Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: emenelton
The ES6 does that.

Do you mean layering one piano voice with a different piano voice? Or with the same piano voice? Or am I barking up the wrong tree?
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#1492348 - 08/10/10 04:04 AM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: dewster]
TADutchman Offline
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Originally Posted By: dewster
Do you mean layering one piano voice with a different piano voice? Or with the same piano voice?

You're quite right, dewster: it has to do with successful layering and dynamical timbre matching of two piano voices from the same soundgroup (e.g. Piano 1)! cool

I have discovered and documented that the new Kawai CA93/CA63 can do this very well (not the previous generation CA111/CA91/CA61/..), meaning that tweaking, i.e. enhancing the factory presets, is extremely worthwhile and effective! See for instance my Brilliant Classical Piano R2.2 preset and/or the Pinipon variation here:
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1448603/2.html

So far, I haven't found any Yamaha CLP or Roland HP series that can even do the basics of this ultra dynamic piano sound generation technique (yes, I've checked the user manuals), but be my guest... crazy
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#1492396 - 08/10/10 05:51 AM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: Kawai James]
EssBrace Offline
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Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
James, I have one of these:

http://www.musiciansbuy.com/Roland-KSG8-Stage-Keyboard-Stand.html

But the anally retentive weirdo in me would have a problem with a Nord keyboard sitting atop a Roland stand (yes, all my foods face label side out in the cupboards, CDs all in alphabetical order, air vents in the car all have to line up the same way etc etc) - but it is a good stand. I could spray it to conceal the Roland name...but I like the way it is written up the pedestal so not sure.

The Nord probably looks good on your stand at home...the slightly splayed thin legs remind me a bit of a Rhodes, albeit they are not chrome.

Cheers,

Steve
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#1492466 - 08/10/10 08:27 AM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: EssBrace]
emenelton Offline
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Registered: 08/02/09
Posts: 445
With the ES6, multiples of the octave and 12th resonate while those keys are depressed and the corresponding notes are struck - the instrument has nice evolving sustained sonorities because of it.
That is one of the reasons for the 192 note polyphony.

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#1492472 - 08/10/10 08:43 AM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: emenelton]
TADutchman Offline
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emenelton, from a different perspective you're also right: a rich string resonance implementation (which has been remarkably improved compared to previous generation Kawai models), adds a lot to the complexity of decaying notes. Until now and as far as I know, dewster could not analytically evaluate this for recent Kawai DP's, because of lacking support for string resonance when running midi-files, right?
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#1492518 - 08/10/10 10:06 AM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: TADutchman]
emenelton Offline
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Registered: 08/02/09
Posts: 445
This is my pro ES6 statement

a. The built in speakers - sound like a real piano
b. looping is not noticible.
c. the normal voicing has a very rich baldwin/kawai character
d. the temperment renders complex chords very naturally
e. the action, I think would be considered on the lightweight side
f. Harmonic Imaging causes multiples of the octave and 12th to resonate while those keys are depressed and the corresponding notes are struck - the instrument has nice evolving sonorities because of it
g. no evident velocity switching
h. no evident grouping of 3 adjacent notes having come from the same sample set

I am very happy with it. Most pianos I played, when I sustained chords, always folded into a very static sonority once the looping took over. The ES6 does not.

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#1495656 - 08/14/10 03:21 AM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: emenelton]
JFP Offline
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Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1336
Loc: The Netherlands
Concerning the amount of sample (flash-) ROM that has been discussed here several times, we finally crossed the GB border:

YAMAHA Motf XF - 741MB Rom sounds (don't know if the piano's are any better than before) and...up to 2GB of Flash-ROM

Still nothing in comparison to the industry grade big and fast SSD I have in my laptop, but nevertheless...

I guess if you want to upgrade to the full 2GB you have to sell your house by the way, but we'll see ;-)

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#1495682 - 08/14/10 06:11 AM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: TADutchman]
dewster Offline
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Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: TADutchman
Until now and as far as I know, dewster could not analytically evaluate this for recent Kawai DP's, because of lacking support for string resonance when running midi-files, right?

True. Of the three I've tested - MP5, CA63, CN33 - I haven't been able to detect any obvious sympathetic resonance via MIDI playback. It's one of those hidden gotchas that really should be addressed. Every time I see this problem I can't help but speculate if these things are turned off for a reason - perhaps the processor is too wimpy to handle the extra minor load? For me it is a rather ominous sign.
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#1495755 - 08/14/10 10:13 AM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: dewster]
emenelton Offline
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Registered: 08/02/09
Posts: 445
The ES6 triggers samples at multiples of the octave and compound 5th. to generate it's resonance.

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#1495778 - 08/14/10 11:04 AM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: dewster]
TADutchman Offline
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Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 760
Loc: Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: dewster
Every time I see this problem I can't help but speculate if these things are turned off for a reason

Well, for me as a CA93 owner there is no problem, as this does not influence playing enjoyment. Nevertheless, given there are some technical implementation complexities that cannot be easily reverse engineered now, this could be somewhat frustrating for you.

We'll see what new features the upcoming firmware update(s) will bring. Anyway, in general Kawai response on customer inquiries and requests is excellent! If what I've already discovered so far is an indication, then there's still some headroom in both hardware and software, to be uncovered anytime soon. smile
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#1496359 - 08/15/10 08:55 AM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: TADutchman]
EssBrace Offline
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Registered: 12/01/09
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Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Just picked up the August edition of Sound On Sound magazine...Nord Piano reviewed. Clearly the reviewer liked it, so much so that he bought the review piano.

The review is well worth a read and goes into some depth. But there is a telling paragraph within the review that goes a little bit like this (reviewer refers to the Nord Piano as the NP88):

I won't beat around the bush: I think the Nord Piano is fantastic. In a world of computer-based, multi-gigabyte piano libraries that eat up even the latest multi-core CPUs, the NP88 demonstrates what can be achieved with sample sets that are a mere fraction of that size. Forensic-style investigation of some of the instruments in the Nord Piano Library will indeed reveal subtle changes in tonality between the keygroups and velocity layers the sound designers have employed, but in any normal performance situation this is of vanishing significance and can't be noticed. On the contrary, I was repeatedly struck by just how natural and three-dimensional the sounds are. The way they respond to changes in touch is wonderfully progressive, and decay tails are rich and complex, with virtually no perceptible looping or 'ringing', even after many seconds have elapsed. The sympathetic resonance feature contributes a great deal and compared to the rather shimmery, artificial-sounding implementation you'll find on some Japanese stage pianos, this is in a different league.

Well..."forensic-style investigation"...he's clearly heard of Dewster and his work! And I guess he is telling us that there is stretching and velocity layers that are audible under certain circumstances. The looping issue is more important to me and this article encourages me to at least go out and find one to try.

The article confirms that the Fatar keys are untextured and do not feature escapement simulation but the action is described as "fast and smooth" and "just on the weighty side of average".

Cheers,

Steve
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#1496376 - 08/15/10 09:45 AM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: EssBrace]
Kawai James Online   content
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Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8891
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Thanks for typing that extract Steve, and best of of luck with your search. Looking forward to reading your thoughts about the Nord.

Congrats to dewster too - seems like your protestations are starting to get noticed beyond PianoWorld. wink

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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#1496378 - 08/15/10 09:47 AM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: Kawai James]
EssBrace Offline
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Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Thanks James...the Nord is a persistent itch I've got to scratch now. The cream the doctor gave me didn't work!
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#1496383 - 08/15/10 09:55 AM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: EssBrace]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8891
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Scratch it Steve, scratch it! wink

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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#1496389 - 08/15/10 10:02 AM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: EssBrace]
dewster Offline
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Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4339
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Clearly the reviewer liked it, so much so that he bought the review piano.

Hmm. Is that good form? I mean, should he come right out and say something like that in the review itself? Maybe he got a good deal on it because it's a demo and that influenced his decision. Or maybe he got a good deal on it because he was giving it a good review. It smacks of bias to me, like something you'd read in a Musician's Friend catalog "review".

Quote:
I won't beat around the bush: I think the Nord Piano is fantastic. In a world of computer-based, multi-gigabyte piano libraries that eat up even the latest multi-core CPUs ...

He makes adequately sized sample sets sound like a bad thing.

Quote:
... the NP88 demonstrates what can be achieved with sample sets that are a mere fraction of that size.

He makes the decades-long tyranny of orders-of-magnitude too small sample sets sound like a good thing.

Quote:
Forensic-style investigation of some of the instruments in the Nord Piano Library...

"Forensic" is a really great way to put it. It's a total crime they way they butcher an otherwise excellently sampled piano in order to get it into 10 cents of Flash.

Quote:
... will indeed reveal subtle changes in tonality between the keygroups and velocity layers the sound designers have employed ...

I agree with you Steve, he's saying that can hear stretching and layer switching.

Quote:
... but in any normal performance situation this is of vanishing significance and can't be noticed.

Nothing to see here, move along.

He's saying in a mix or in a live situation it will be much less audible, which is always true with every DP. I believe he's implying that it isn't solo recording quality, which is no surprise given the size of the sample.

Quote:
On the contrary, I was repeatedly struck by just how natural and three-dimensional the sounds are. The way they respond to changes in touch is wonderfully progressive, and decay tails are rich and complex, with virtually no perceptible looping or 'ringing', even after many seconds have elapsed.

I believe he's saying he can sometimes hear looping, but only after many seconds. He certainly paints a pretty picture, though I'm not sure how any looping at all can be seen as a glass half full.

Quote:
The sympathetic resonance feature contributes a great deal and compared to the rather shimmery, artificial-sounding implementation you'll find on some Japanese stage pianos ...

I think that's a jab at Yamaha.

Thanks for that Steve!
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#1496675 - 08/15/10 06:27 PM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: dewster]
JFP Offline
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Registered: 07/19/10
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Although I agree with al lot of Dewster's sceptism about the developments in hardware instruments the last , let's say, 10 years - I'm not convinced that more ROM/RAM automatically results in better quality products. I've seen too many gazillion MB software instruments coming by that sound like complete crap and/or are unusable to play in real life use.

Don't get me wrong , I agree manufacturers of most hardware products are (intentionally ?) way behind the developments in computer-land in many respects. But simply adding more memory is only partial fix; a whole other approach to define what the 'instruments' should and should not be seems more appropriate. If they seriously read the many threads they might get enough ideas in what direction most customers would like to see things going. I think a more serious, reliable and easy to use integration between High-Quality hardware and computer based sound generation is one way , but there may be others... And as long as it is well done, people are still willing to pay for a good product and they wouldn't have to cram out such enormous amounts of underwhelming products and recycled technology.

I would suggest; listen to the more demanding customers, try to really understand their needs, give them what they want for as far as possible and I'm sure they will keep on coming and drop their savings on your doormat and not run to the webshop for the cheapest, crappy , unreliable and unsatisfactory rubbish that has been flooding the market for years now. Just adding more Flash-ROM is not a new approach , but only a small incremental step in a very slow moving part of industry. I want my new HQ, high featured, reliable, super easy to integrate masterkeyboard - where is it ;-)

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#1496728 - 08/15/10 08:02 PM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: JFP]
dewster Offline
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Originally Posted By: JFP
Although I agree with al lot of Dewster's sceptism about the developments in hardware instruments the last , let's say, 10 years - I'm not convinced that more ROM/RAM automatically results in better quality products. I've seen too many gazillion MB software instruments coming by that sound like complete crap and/or are unusable to play in real life use.

I think most DPs are basically crippled by a lack of ROM. While it's true there are plenty of big, lame PC ROMplers out there, it's not specifically the fault of a large sample, but rather in spite of it. The piano must be well regulated, sampled with good equipment by people who really know what they're doing, and then integrated into sample playback software that must be well written. There are literally a thousand ways to die in that chain of requirements.

Unless you're doing some kind of hybrid thing (SuperNATURAL) or pure modeling, where even Pianoteq falls back on some minimal samples, you need a lot more ROM for the sample set than NORD apparently considers big. If a manufacturer is taking a traditional sampled approach there really is no substitute for an adequately large sample set.

The more I think about that NORD review, the more it reminds me as all the glowing buzz surrounding the release of the CP1, the only real difference being a quick nod to "forensic" testing. The guy basically says "trust your ears and not squiggly lines" which I've heard before. Maybe he's right in this case, who knows with subjective reviews?

The NORD Piano certainly sounds nice from the web demos, but the CP1 did too (not that the CP1 is a huge slouch, it just isn't any kind of technological breakthrough, and it was something of a disappointment after all the hype). It's hard to tell much without a DPBSD MP3, though we do have a pretty good idea of the sample size based on the NORD files, and from that I don't think it's sufficiently large to be in the same ballpark as PC ROMplers or Roland SN.


Edited by dewster (08/15/10 11:44 PM)
Edit Reason: edited to make more vague
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#1496749 - 08/15/10 08:31 PM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: dewster]
Dave Ferris Offline
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2005 NY Steinway D, Yamaha CP5, CP4, Nord Piano 2
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#1496828 - 08/15/10 11:41 PM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: Dave Ferris]
dewster Offline
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Registered: 12/07/09
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Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
A disappointment ?! To whom?

I'm not saying it isn't a fine DP (as they go). Let's just say that Yamaha's NAMM hype wrote a check that the CP1 couldn't cash, particularly in the AP department where they seemed to be promising a technological revolution, but all we got was the T-shirt.
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#1496897 - 08/16/10 04:01 AM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: Dave Ferris]
TADutchman Offline
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Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 760
Loc: Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
A disappointment ?! To whom ? Most every Pro player, including this one, who has played the CP-1 has concurred, it's the best sounding/feeling portable DP available today!

Well, to be honest, dewster's interesting analysis is of course still incomplete, being dependent on user input/DP interface. Moreover, DP's are mostly tested in their basic factory setting only.
When it comes to drawing conclusions, I have seen that he is just as biased as you and me or anybody else, i.e. nothing special and nothing personal here. wink

Just for fun, let me draw some biased conclusions this time: shocked grin

1. That hyped Roland DP stuff which is mentioned all the time is only about a tiny 32MB Rom piano sampleset for the attack. That's disgustingly cheap, almost ancient concerning flash memory size.

2. Note decay may sound pretty dynamic in case of (hybrid) modeling, but dynamic layering of piano samples as described above has a similar effect to your ears and more. From a marketing point of view, I'd better call it SupraAural Technology from now on.

3. Nothing can currently mimic the near silent imperfections which are recorded in the original full-length samples, but who cares when actually playing (given that the decay sounds dynamic and eventually morphs into something sinusoidal), as the piano's authentic quality of timbre is 99.xx% dictated by the dynamics of the high amplitude transient and first second(s) anyway. Oh, did I forget to mention acoustic soundboards, cabinets and other small thingies? Sorry about that!
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#1496900 - 08/16/10 04:22 AM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: TADutchman]
Dave Ferris Offline
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#1496904 - 08/16/10 04:48 AM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: Dave Ferris]
mucci Offline
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Registered: 01/29/10
Posts: 1070
Loc: Munich, Germany
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Originally Posted By: TADutchman
[, I have seen that he is just as biased as you and me or anybody else, so nothing special and nothing personal here. wink.


The only thing I use in "analyzing " these work tools, that I'm forced to play instead of the real thing, are my ears, hands, brain and 43 years of playing and listening experience.

So it's basically--which one bugs me the least.


As TADutchman said: You're as biased as dewster, TADutchman, me or anybody else... so what's the problem?
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#1496908 - 08/16/10 05:20 AM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: Dave Ferris]
TADutchman Offline
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Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 760
Loc: Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
Actually, you're right too, Dave. We're also talking about personal preferences here. Just performed a quick-check on possible meanings and definitions:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_Bias
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preference

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#1496956 - 08/16/10 09:03 AM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: TADutchman]
LaRate Offline
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Registered: 01/11/10
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A related question: do we actually know the Flash-/ROM-/Sample-Sizes of many of the Big-Brand DPs? Nord make themselves somewhat vulnerable by actually saying what lurks inside. I would strongly be interested in the actual size of Yamaha's, Kawai's or Roland's samples as means of comparison.

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#1496980 - 08/16/10 09:39 AM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: TADutchman]
dewster Offline
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Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4339
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: TADutchman
Well, to be honest, dewster's interesting analysis is of course still incomplete, being dependent on user input/DP interface. Moreover, DP's are mostly tested in their basic factory setting only.

Good points, and ones I go out of my way to state many times and in various places.

Originally Posted By: TADutchman
When it comes to drawing conclusions, I have seen that he is just as biased as you and me or anybody else, i.e. nothing special and nothing personal here. wink

During the reviews I try to be as unbiased as I can. Before and after I often do have opinions about the more subjective things, such as user interface, keys, etc.

Originally Posted By: TADutchman
1. That hyped Roland DP stuff which is mentioned all the time is only about a tiny 32MB Rom piano sampleset for the attack. That's disgustingly cheap, almost ancient concerning flash memory size.

Yes, I often wonder if there is something lurking in the Roland sound that will ultimately grow tiring or sound synthetic. I'm waiting for people to start criticizing it like they do Pianoteq. But it seems to work very well, and neatly sidesteps many of the issues associated with pure samplers and pure modelers, to the point where I'm fairly sold on the hybrid approach as the best solution to capturing the sound and playability of a acoustic piano.

32MB ROM, with no compression, gives you approximately 2 seconds per note. Even with dividing it up for multiple layers this seems sufficient to me to capture the attack, which is a fairly brief thing. Could the SN sound benefit from a larger sample? I don't really know.

Originally Posted By: TADutchman
2. Note decay may sound pretty dynamic in case of (hybrid) modeling, but dynamic layering of piano samples as described above has a similar effect to your ears and more. From a marketing point of view, I'd better call it SupraAural Technology from now on.

It seems to me that they are doing a pretty good job of blending velocity layers in most recent DPs.

Originally Posted By: TADutchman
3. Nothing can currently mimic the near silent imperfections which are recorded in the original full-length samples, but who cares when actually playing (given that the decay sounds dynamic and eventually morphs into something sinusoidal), as the piano's authentic quality of timbre is 99.xx% dictated by the dynamics of the high amplitude transient and first second(s) anyway. Oh, did I forget to mention acoustic soundboards, cabinets and other small thingies? Sorry about that!

If the resonant structures that implement the note decays have sufficiently deep memory (i.e. digital waveguides) then many of the resonances in the sampled AP will naturally be accounted for (i.e. will be commuted). The trick is to separate out sounds that have different decay rates and frequencies too low for the resonant structures to produce and deal with them separately somehow.
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#1497003 - 08/16/10 10:22 AM Re: NORD PIANO [Re: dewster]
TADutchman Offline
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Posts: 760
Loc: Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
Ok, that's a clear personal opinion. Just one remark necessary:

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: TADutchman
2. Note decay may sound pretty dynamic in case of (hybrid) modeling, but dynamic layering of piano samples as described above has a similar effect to your ears and more. From a marketing point of view, I'd better call it SupraAural Technology from now on.

It seems to me that they are doing a pretty good job of blending velocity layers in most recent DPs.

Sure, but that is completely unrelated to the advantages of dynamic layering of two piano voices by way of user presets, which you have guessed correctly earlier on and I am referring to again in this post (same thread, same page):
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1496980/Re:%20NORD%20PIANO.html#Post1492348
Originally Posted By: TADutchman
[quote=dewster]Do you mean layering one piano voice with a different piano voice? Or with the same piano voice?

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