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#1867511 - 03/23/12 10:41 PM Virtual pianos vs DP
motifmm6 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/12
Posts: 98
Are you using virtual pianos on your DPs? Native, kontakt, galaxy, alicia keys. All the hype about how good the sounds are.

Are virtual pianos better sounding than on-board DP sounds?

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#1867516 - 03/23/12 10:49 PM Re: Virtual pianos vs DP [Re: motifmm6]
fe2008 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/09
Posts: 380
Loc: Brazil
No, I don't find them practical for everyday practice...

Yes.
_________________________
Roland FP7F

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#1867521 - 03/23/12 11:01 PM Re: Virtual pianos vs DP [Re: motifmm6]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3824
Loc: North Carolina
Yes, vastly better. So much better that I never use the on-board sounds anymore.

I mostly use Galaxy Vintage D (a vintage Steinway) and Ivory Italian Grand (Fazioli).

I also have:
Galaxy: Steinway and Vienna Grand (Bosendorfer)
Ivory: German D (Steinway), Vienna Imperial Grand (Bosendorfer), and Studio 7 (Yamaha C7).

The native sounds (it's a Yamaha CLP240) are no match for any of those.

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#1867646 - 03/24/12 08:47 AM Re: Virtual pianos vs DP [Re: motifmm6]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1875
Loc: Pennsylvania
I have several software piano products (see below).

My preferences vary from day to day and sometimes moment to moment.

I have come to look upon them as different as opposed to better than one another.

I do mostly blending now between the native DP sound and one of the software sounds.

Seems to keep my ears happy.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq 5

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#1867740 - 03/24/12 01:25 PM Re: Virtual pianos vs DP [Re: motifmm6]
EO3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/01/11
Posts: 142
There have been at least a couple of discussions about this, so check out forum history, but to sum it up in my opinion I haven't found enough reason to justify switching and glitching on and off from DP/software/and spending resources on that. I'm currently using only DP onboard sound for practice and also for demo recording. I think it does the job well. And of course checking out software is OK, but that won't be make or break thing in your music experience. Good is good.

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#1867751 - 03/24/12 01:56 PM Re: Virtual pianos vs DP [Re: motifmm6]
Macy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 611
There are lots of discussions and threads about virtual piano software here. But to answer your question, I use MainStage to load 4-5 of them simultaneously and switch between them with a single mouse click. I think the best (IMO) virtual pianos (Ivory II, Galaxy Vintage D, Garritan) are considerably better than DPs that are limited to only 3 or 4 layer sampling. I also like sampled pianos better than modeled pianos.
_________________________
Macy

CVP-409GP, Vintage D, Ivory II GP's & American Concert D, True Keys American D, Ravenscroft 275, Garritan Authorized Steinway, Alicia's Keys, EWQL Pianos, MainStage, iPad/forScore/PageFlip Cicada, Custom Mac MIDI/Audio Software Design, Macs Everywhere

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#1867808 - 03/24/12 04:59 PM Re: Virtual pianos vs DP [Re: motifmm6]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3483
Loc: Pennsylvania
I always use a sampled pianos. My onboard sounds grate my nerves. If I had a latest generation piano (a high end one) I might feel a little differently, but as it is, I only use sampled software pianos.

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#1868026 - 03/25/12 02:19 AM Re: Virtual pianos vs DP [Re: motifmm6]
vegasE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/11
Posts: 226
Loc: Sydney, AU
I recently got Vintage D.

I was quite happy with the on board sounds of my DP, but I must say it's hard to go back to the DP sounds now. The overall DP Kawai tone is fine for me and it's certainly playable and responds well. The main thing I hear now is the note stretching which at times makes it sound a little off or strange (I swear it's not my playing whistle).

Sound wise the difference is like night and day. Granted I am comparing VinD to a DP that has a sound that is 2 generations older than Kawai's current sound.

Most of my playing is with VinD now. Only times I am using the DP sounds is if my laptop is in my bag and I can't be bothered getting it out.......but I eventually do anyway.

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#1868084 - 03/25/12 07:54 AM Re: Virtual pianos vs DP [Re: motifmm6]
motifmm6 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/12
Posts: 98
It seems most people feel that virtual piano sounds are better than DP native sounds.

Just that purchasing a virtual piano and hooking up to a computer is sometimes a troublesome thing to do.

Why are DP manufacturers not improving the native sounds to match those of virtual pianos? Is it impossible to do? Because of limiting computing power on a DP?

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#1868139 - 03/25/12 10:08 AM Re: Virtual pianos vs DP [Re: motifmm6]
EO3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/01/11
Posts: 142
I think it all really comes down to individual DP model and software. I mean, if it's budget class entry level piano, You won't go very far with that not just because of the sound but also because of the action. But if you have some stage piano model, be it entry level or higher, I think it can do the job just fine. I mean, if people play concerts with DP inbuilt sounds, why bother with software? I mean, software instruments can strech as far as hundreds of gigabytes of data and even more so, of course inbuilt DP can't exactly compete with that, so I think not improving to match virtual pianos comes down to that , but also because there's really no strong demand for it I think and also, they need to keep demand for their high end pianos that comes closer to software in terms of tech.specs, etc. (perhaps it's a sort of a bubble they have created).


Edited by EO3 (03/25/12 10:11 AM)

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#1868151 - 03/25/12 10:44 AM Re: Virtual pianos vs DP [Re: motifmm6]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1690
Loc: Portugal
Yes. Why, if large scale processing power and memory is so cheap now - and has been (at Giga Hz/ Giga Tera Byte levels) for many years ...why do DPs have such apparently modest levels? Surely electronic hardware of this sort would be relatively cheap to incorporate in DPs compared to other features such as wooden keys, substantial cabinets and mechanisms requiring very expensive R&D.

(Although it does look as if the big manufacturers ring the last ounce of utility out of their keyboard actions (RM, GH, PHA etc) before developing anything significantly different - perhaps because of R&D costs)

In the early days of digital electronics, dedicated hardware was virtually always considered superior to software run on a computer (except for sequencing), not only in terms of speed and reliability but also sound quality.
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#1868180 - 03/25/12 11:38 AM Re: Virtual pianos vs DP [Re: motifmm6]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3483
Loc: Pennsylvania
Digital piano makers don't actually put that much R&D into their pianos, from what I can tell. That is, since the beginning they have, but from one model to the next they do only very little changes. When we look at the internals of pianos, we find the electronics shockingly similar over the course of many years.

Switching to a powerful processor or richer sound bank would mean lots of programming and redesigning of the internals. Basically DP makers make only the smallest changes possible from model to model (with a few exceptions...probably the V piano has a decent processor, for example).

They also don't do a lot of sample sessions. Piano after piano, generation after generation, are re-compressions of the same sample session. I think DP's would get better if Yamaha and Kawai, at least, would start sampling from other top pianos than their own. That's a personal beef.

At the end of the day, DP makers don't make better sounding pianos because they don't feel like the customers demand it. And that kind of makes sense. For most people the weak link of a digital piano is not the tone generator, it's more likely to be the speakers or action. We, here in the forum, tend to be much pickier about the sound.


Edited by gvfarns (03/25/12 11:39 AM)

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#1868241 - 03/25/12 01:11 PM Re: Virtual pianos vs DP [Re: motifmm6]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1690
Loc: Portugal
Just out of interest - sorry if this is old ground - what is the licensing/ patent/ copyright situation with piano sounds? Kawai and Yamaha have the advantage of owning their piano sounds already. But what about Roland and Casio? And how do Steinway work it out with Galaxy and Ivory, for example.
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#1868283 - 03/25/12 02:49 PM Re: Virtual pianos vs DP [Re: motifmm6]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3824
Loc: North Carolina
toddy: Regarding the licensing, I think that question can only be answered by Roland and Casio. I wouldn't know who to ask, and I doubt that they'd offer any answer.

I could venture a guess, though: There may be no licensing at all! I don't think there are copyrights on the sounds produced by a piano. The piano, its design, and it's manufacturing processes may be protected. But anyone is free to play the piano, record the sounds, and sell those sounds. The performance rights belong to the performer, not to the instrument maker.

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#1868300 - 03/25/12 03:16 PM Re: Virtual pianos vs DP [Re: motifmm6]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1690
Loc: Portugal
OK. That makes sense regarding tones and sounds named things like 'Grand Piano 1'. But the software pianos in particular name not only instrument makers but even individual instruments. I wonder what the deal is there (again, just out of interest: this is hardly a life or death issue).
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#1868359 - 03/25/12 06:02 PM Re: Virtual pianos vs DP [Re: motifmm6]
bfb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/11
Posts: 540
Loc: Atlanta GA USA
if i were to hazard a guess as to what things would look like 20 years from now- i would imagine you would have a controller plugged into an iPad device that played massive samples- or - we would have gotten to the end point where a modelled piano does a convincing job and samples become anachronistic. I think the nord people have the right approach- integrate their hardware with software- and allow the user to change what is loaded on the keyboard. I, for one, would rather not have to boot up a computer and have cables running all over the place- i would hope we will get to a point where stuff is quickly downloadable into flash memory, perhaps in a module that slips in and out of the keyboard controller.

I found gvfarns comments very interesting- i'm relatively new at DP's - or at least only seriously in the last 5 years- and it amazes me and disturbs me that not much really has changed. That is not true for software sampling- they have been getting better and better over time. so shame on the hardware guys- they deserve to lose the game- sort of like Dell vs Apple?


Edited by bfb (03/25/12 06:03 PM)
_________________________

Steinway M; Roland V-Piano; Yamaha P250; Roland FP 5
Ivory II Grands, Italian, American D; Galaxy Vintage D; Alicia's Keys; Garritan Steinway; Galaxy Pianos; The Grand 3

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#1868427 - 03/25/12 08:34 PM Re: Virtual pianos vs DP [Re: motifmm6]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3483
Loc: Pennsylvania
Acoustic piano makers have trademarks on their names, but they do not own the sound that comes out of their instruments when you play and/or record it. You own that.

I think MacMacMac is right. I'm pretty sure any product that doesn't use the instrument's name (which is why they name it things like "Old Lady" and "Italian Grand" and "Vintage D" instead of using the proper name of the piano from which it was sampled) need not do anything. Garritan pays a pretty penny to Steinway for use of their name, I suspect.

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