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#1427416 - 04/30/10 08:57 PM Anyone Tried Native Instruments Alicia's Keys?
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
I just saw a video by pop/R&B singer Alicia Keys on the Native Instruments site discussing her new VI piano software sampled from her own beautiful Yamaha Neo concert grand piano. I heard some of the sound clips and I liked what I heard. I think the package lists for $119. There are also pedal and reverb features available on the software.

Has anyone here bought NI Alicia's Keys and if so, care to review the product?

According to the specs, it takes 7 GBs of HD space and 1 GB RAM, so it should run fine on any Mac/PC laptop.

Thanks for your response/

katt

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#1427424 - 04/30/10 09:09 PM Re: Anyone Tried Native Instruments Alicia's Keys? [Re: nitekatt2008z]
Melodialworks Music Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 1309
Loc: Canada
There is a long (20 page) thread about this at http://www.gearslutz.com/board/new-product-alert/358437-alicia-keys-piano.html

Worth a read, IMHO. I'm interested in this piano, but not until the latency problems (discussed at length in this thread) get resolved.

If you search there on Alicia Keys Piano, you will also find some other threads, including comparisons with other pianos.

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

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#1427435 - 04/30/10 09:23 PM Re: Anyone Tried Native Instruments Alicia's Keys? [Re: Melodialworks Music]
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
Thanks so much for the response Lawrence about Alicia's Keys. I didn't know about potential latency issues with the software and will check out the link you listed.

katt

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#1427452 - 04/30/10 10:01 PM Re: Anyone Tried Native Instruments Alicia's Keys? [Re: nitekatt2008z]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: nitekatt2008z
..
According to the specs, it takes 7 GBs of HD space and 1 GB RAM, so it should run fine on any Mac/PC laptop...


I got to try it out a while back. It runs well on an older medium powered Mac (2.16 Ghz Dual core, 4GB RAM)
It is a sample set that you can load into either NI's free Kontakt player or use their Kantakt 4 player. The computer I used had Kontakt 4. This computer had several other NI format piano sample set loaded into Kontakt at the same time as Alicia's Keys. I noticed no latency at all while playing Kontack as an AU from inside Logic. But I did disable the convolution reverb and was playing the "dry" version. Ans never came close to using any polyphony past about 8.

My opinion is that it's a good sound if you take the time to play around with the settings inside Kontakt. It comes with some presets but I liked it best "dry" some of the effects were adding a ringing kind of artifacts. Out of the box it had more resonance than I liked. I turned the effect way down. It's modeled and sounded to me a bit fake but you can turn it off if you want.

One thing I noticed and Alicia says it on the video. This C3 really does have it's own unique sound. If you want a "generic piano" this sample set is not for you. Mostly this is good but I don't think you'd want this as your only piano sound for classical work. The timbre changes as you go up the scale in a way I'm not used to. Good or bad? Don't know but you get what you asked for, samples of Alicia's Yamaha. The price is reasonable, I think about $90 on-line.

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#1427529 - 05/01/10 12:27 AM Re: Anyone Tried Native Instruments Alicia's Keys? [Re: ChrisA]
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
Chris, my main sound I want in a piano sample/modeling software pak is a warm, "analog" tone for jazz like you hear on early Bill Evans trio albums and Herbie Hancock's acoustic piano tone with Miles Davis. If you have heard those records, you can hear what I'm talking about. A tinny, whiny, bright piano tone that would cut through a mix playing in bars running Lynard Skynard and Rolling Stone covers I don't need.

The other element is that it works well in my MacBook, 2.2 Ghz, 160 GB HD and 4 GB RAM

So in your opinion, would you say Alicia's Keys would fit the jazz piano sound more, especially since I'm on a budget and $90 seems quite reasonable if all the bugs have been eliminated from a newly issued VI.

katt

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#1427616 - 05/01/10 05:15 AM Re: Anyone Tried Native Instruments Alicia's Keys? [Re: nitekatt2008z]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2282
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Don't forget to have a listen to Torley's great demos - go to http://www.youtube.com/torley and search for alicia keys. He doesn't mention the latency issue, but there is something about the staccato behaviour that bothers him.

Greg.
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#1451396 - 06/06/10 02:00 PM Re: Anyone Tried Native Instruments Alicia's Keys? [Re: sullivang]
hpeterh Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 824
Loc: Germany
Hi, I think I have a goodie for all these that deal with velocity:

I found this with kontaktplayer 4.1 but I believe that is the same with 4.05.
(However I recommend to get the brandnew 4.1. It has much better performance)

There are MIDI tools built into the player.
Klick on the symbol that looks like an ancient paper roll. This seems to be the symbol for scripts.

There are several prebuild scripts available.
Among them is a MIDI monitor, a MIDI filter and a freeform MIDI velocity curve.
This curve also shows the MIDI velocity value that is received and therefore it is useful also for Galaxy users.
It is most useful because this also works with the onscreen keyboard.

Set the velocity kurve to "fix" and then you can choose any arbitrary velocity with the adjustment knob.

Now you got an easy tool to check the velocity response and characteristic of each key. Be happy ! ;-)

If you klick the paperroll you see 3 tabs at the left side "Bypass" "Preset" "Edit".
Choose preset->factory->transform->change velocity there. The rest should be self explaining.

Im so happy about this. There is also a midi filter and this should be able to transform the expression pedal into a sustain pedal without needing alien tools....
So, in short I will have continuous pedalling with my CP136.

;-)

Peter


Edited by hpeterh (06/06/10 02:22 PM)
_________________________
1929 Galaxy Blüthner Baby Grand
acer aspire m3300 AMD Phenom II X6


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#1451427 - 06/06/10 03:09 PM Re: Anyone Tried Native Instruments Alicia's Keys? [Re: nitekatt2008z]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: nitekatt2008z
Chris, my main sound I want in a piano sample/modeling software pak is a warm, "analog" tone for jazz like you hear on early Bill Evans trio albums and Herbie Hancock's acoustic piano tone with Miles Davis. If you have heard those records, you can hear what I'm talking about



I think you can make it work. Especially if you use it as a plug in inside Logic. Remember those recordings are recordings and have been through tube based mic preamps, compressors and EQ. You are not hearing the live piano sound. You can get that sound for sure with AK and a string of other plug-ins to do the EQ, compression and other tone shaping. Those engineers in the 60's had a quarter million dlloars of studio gear between that piano and your ears but today you can get the same effect as much of that vintage gear is available as software emulations.

I'm not recommending this product but as an example of 1,000 products like it. It shows what's available.
http://www.abbeyroadplugins.com/product_about_tg_12413_limiter__29988.aspx

And then there are these hybrid things that look very interesting but I've never played with one. Price sure looks good for what you get.
http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Lexicon-MX200-Dual-ReverbEffects-Processor?sku=181014


The best example of the AK sound is listening to her latest album. It was made using the AK plug in. But, again it is a highly produced mix. If you want that 60's classic jazz recording sound you have to work in the whole string. It starts with a piano, then a mic and soon and continuos all the way to a mastering console. And along the way are a few very talented engineers with good ears. That last part is hard to emulate. No, that first part, Bill Evans, playing like him is the harder part.


Edited by ChrisA (06/06/10 03:13 PM)

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#1451430 - 06/06/10 03:19 PM Re: Anyone Tried Native Instruments Alicia's Keys? [Re: ChrisA]
hpeterh Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 824
Loc: Germany
Limiters, compressors, exiters,reverbs and so on are also available in Kontakt Player's output section.....

I dont know if there is much difference, but the skins are not so pretty of course ;-)


Edited by hpeterh (06/06/10 03:24 PM)
_________________________
1929 Galaxy Blüthner Baby Grand
acer aspire m3300 AMD Phenom II X6


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#1451915 - 06/07/10 01:10 PM Re: Anyone Tried Native Instruments Alicia's Keys? [Re: ChrisA]
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
Originally Posted By: nitekatt2008z
Chris, my main sound I want in a piano sample/modeling software pak is a warm, "analog" tone for jazz like you hear on early Bill Evans trio albums and Herbie Hancock's acoustic piano tone with Miles Davis. If you have heard those records, you can hear what I'm talking about



I think you can make it work. Especially if you use it as a plug in inside Logic. Remember those recordings are recordings and have been through tube based mic preamps, compressors and EQ. You are not hearing the live piano sound. You can get that sound for sure with AK and a string of other plug-ins to do the EQ, compression and other tone shaping. Those engineers in the 60's had a quarter million dlloars of studio gear between that piano and your ears but today you can get the same effect as much of that vintage gear is available as software emulations.

I'm not recommending this product but as an example of 1,000 products like it. It shows what's available.
http://www.abbeyroadplugins.com/product_about_tg_12413_limiter__29988.aspx

And then there are these hybrid things that look very interesting but I've never played with one. Price sure looks good for what you get.
http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Lexicon-MX200-Dual-ReverbEffects-Processor?sku=181014


The best example of the AK sound is listening to her latest album. It was made using the AK plug in. But, again it is a highly produced mix. If you want that 60's classic jazz recording sound you have to work in the whole string. It starts with a piano, then a mic and soon and continuos all the way to a mastering console. And along the way are a few very talented engineers with good ears. That last part is hard to emulate. No, that first part, Bill Evans, playing like him is the harder part.


Hey Chris. I was in GC a few weeks ago picking up some cables and the guy in pro audio said he couldn't keep Alicia's Keys in stock because he was selling so many boxes for about $99. He said the feedback he was getting from his customers was very positive and most of the keyboard players that were buying it for recording and using it with their laptops on live gigs.

Also the software doesn't use as much memory, HD or CPU power to run it on a basic laptop. Yes, we are trying to emulate an analog piano sound from the 1960's in 2010 with digital technology.

katt

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#1451925 - 06/07/10 01:23 PM Re: Anyone Tried Native Instruments Alicia's Keys? [Re: nitekatt2008z]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Yes, I think a $99 they've priced it right. For many people they can spend $99 just to try something out.

My comments about needing to run it in conjunction with a few other plug-ins inside a DAW were directed as someone who wanted to re-create a very specific sound that I think you never hear except on recordings. Those Village Vanguard recordings that Evans made were taken live but much magic happens on the way to the vinyl pressing machine.


Edited by ChrisA (06/07/10 01:34 PM)

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#1453526 - 06/09/10 05:18 PM Re: Anyone Tried Native Instruments Alicia's Keys? [Re: ChrisA]
Marthart Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/28/10
Posts: 14
Hi,

if you're looking for a sampled grand that is suitable for Jazz pieces, also consider the Old Black Grand by AcousticsampleS

http://www.acousticsamples.net/index.php...3ac8f10c9a73196

It's expensive though if you don't own the Kontakt sampler.

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#1453530 - 06/09/10 05:27 PM Re: Anyone Tried Native Instruments Alicia's Keys? [Re: Marthart]
mucci Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/29/10
Posts: 1070
Loc: Munich, Germany
Well, finally I decided to go for Pianoteq Play, which is the same price but does work smoothly on my Netbook. I doubt that this is possible with NI AK. I don't use it solo, but as a layer together with my CA63. It presents me a great and very pleasing sound experience that I really appreciate.
_________________________
<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>

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#1529683 - 10/06/10 06:26 PM Re: Anyone Tried Native Instruments Alicia's Keys? [Re: Marthart]
AldoEsplay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/10
Posts: 69
Originally Posted By: Marthart
If you're looking for a sampled grand that is suitable for Jazz pieces, also consider the Old Black Grand by AcousticsampleS

http://www.acousticsamples.net/index.php...3ac8f10c9a73196
+1

If you like that sound, may I also recommend Imperfect Samples Fazioli:
http://www.imperfectsamples.com/website/samples/fazioliconcertgrand/index.php

Aldo

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#1529691 - 10/06/10 06:43 PM Re: Anyone Tried Native Instruments Alicia's Keys? [Re: Marthart]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5283
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: Marthart
Hi,

if you're looking for a sampled grand that is suitable for Jazz pieces, also consider the Old Black Grand by AcousticsampleS

http://www.acousticsamples.net/index.php...3ac8f10c9a73196

It's expensive though if you don't own the Kontakt sampler.


I'm listening to this sample and must say it sounds extremely real. It is certainly not sterile. Very nice!
_________________________
website

mp3\wav files

AvantGrand N3, CP5

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