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#1869050 - 03/27/12 01:24 AM Physis Piano
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2608
Has anyone seen or played one of these?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GCzvwFbWxk

The company that makes it is Viscount, and, therefore I would assume that it also contains the Italian "Fatar" action (which I didn't particularly take a liking to in my previously owned Kurzweil Mark Pro 3i), as it had a somewhat sluggish feeling response in my opinion. Fatar needs to make better (or, improve upon their) actions.

Questions:

The Physis Piano also uses modeling like the V-Piano, although the responsiveness of the Fatar action would have to be taken into account for it to rival the V, or, the Yamaha CP-1. Perhaps the Fatar actions have been improved somewhat, in the newer generation of pianos?

The demo pianist does not inform us (or, give any indication) as to exactly which acoustic piano has been modeled in the Physis Piano, although Roland tells us that they model the Steinway D and Bosendorfer grands in the V-Piano. So, what acoustic do they (i.e., Viscount) emulate?

Also, does anyone have a price tag for it?

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#1869054 - 03/27/12 01:46 AM Re: Physis Piano [Re: pv88]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2176
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Note that there is a recent thread about it on the Pianoteq forum

The display looks bloody expensive very nice.

Greg.

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#1869058 - 03/27/12 02:07 AM Re: Physis Piano [Re: sullivang]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2608
Hi Greg,

Thanks for the reply, and, I didn't want to come across sounding critical about the Physis Piano's action, unless it happens to already have a new improved action in it that would be comparable to Roland, Kawai, or, Yamaha actions.

The piano sounds are very good, however, how does the action fare?
(Haven't found the exact specs on their website.)

Here is another demo:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvIW8NQZDpM

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#1869059 - 03/27/12 02:22 AM Re: Physis Piano [Re: pv88]
CyberGene Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 712
Loc: Sofia, Bulgaria
We discussed in another thread dedicated to some music fair but it deserves its own thread indeed.
_________________________
http://www.myspace.com/evgenykumanov
Current DP: Kawai ES7
Previous DP-s: Kawai MP6, Kawai CA63, Roland RD-700SX, Roland FP-5, Yamaha P90, Korg SP-200, Casio CDP-100

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#1869075 - 03/27/12 03:59 AM Re: Physis Piano [Re: sullivang]
imyself Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/05/12
Posts: 129
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: sullivang
Note that there is a recent thread about it on the Pianoteq forum

The display looks bloody expensive very nice.

Greg.


in view of (very) little information, we can only guess ...
_________________________
Kawai VPC1/Pianoteq 5 Pro/Galaxy Vintage D

"Remember to take the time ... before time takes you"

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#1869086 - 03/27/12 04:44 AM Re: Physis Piano [Re: pv88]
Gigantoad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/12
Posts: 336
I would think that for obvious reasons they will try to beat the V-Piano in terms of price. my guess is they will sell it for 3-4k or so.

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#1869107 - 03/27/12 07:10 AM Re: Physis Piano [Re: pv88]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2392
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Interesting product - and a welcome one. Nice looking thing. On the face of it a nice specification.

But my two concerns are that despite the tweaking he did the piano sound remained exactly the same in character (metallic, no woody warmth at all, like the other modelled pianos) and secondly, it is Italian. And I'm very sorry to say that means it will break. Not if, when. It will break. The first thing to go will be that trick screen - 12 months tops!

I wonder if it's a development of the GEM stuff of a few years back - the DRAKE technology. Which was a sampled base with modelled elements computed in real time I believe. All the research for that was done at Padua.

But any new thing is welcome. The sound is a personal taste thing but the connection and sense of expression is where it ought to excel - and to match or better the V-Piano in this respect it will have to be out of this world.

We await price and more detail about the action (like others I assume the Fatar graded wood action).
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#1869136 - 03/27/12 08:30 AM Re: Physis Piano [Re: EssBrace]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3149
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
(like others I assume the Fatar graded wood action).

Two models, plastic keys (4l lbs) or wood keys (60 lbs)

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#1869190 - 03/27/12 10:59 AM Re: Physis Piano [Re: pv88]
Qbert Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 328
Loc: Italy
Hi,
what I heard is that there is a little of GEM inside! It sounds great but it's also expensive (4.000€) and heavy (27 Kg).

On youtube there are a couple of demos.


Edited by Qbert (03/27/12 11:00 AM)
_________________________
GEM Promega 3 (sold) - Yamaha CLP 170 (sold) - Acuna88 (sold) - Kawai VPC1 + BK7m

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#1869237 - 03/27/12 01:04 PM Re: Physis Piano [Re: pv88]
leemax Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 501
Loc: pacific nw, usa
It sounds quite artificial to me, and I really wouldn't want something that had SO much adjustability. I can see spending a lot of time tweaking and tweaking instead of playing.
_________________________
Lee

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#1869268 - 03/27/12 02:24 PM Re: Physis Piano [Re: pv88]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3776
Loc: North Carolina
That's the difference between a properly designed product, and one designed by an engineer.

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#1869272 - 03/27/12 02:32 PM Re: Physis Piano [Re: pv88]
Aibori Firu Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/12/09
Posts: 2
Loc: Berlin, Germany
Viscount has uploaded a few short audio demos here (bottom of the page):
Physis Piano Audio Demos

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#1869277 - 03/27/12 02:55 PM Re: Physis Piano [Re: pv88]
pianoxcape Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/08
Posts: 71
Loc: Cape Cod
Hi All -- I'm the one who did the presentation at the Frankfurt MusikMesse... I hope I can answer some of your questions:

1. Yes, the action is made by Fatar, but it's an exclusive design for this piano model. It's based on the graded-hammer WOOD key action of the TP-40, with 3 sensors per note instead of 2. I found the ivory-sense key tops very nice, and the response of the keys quite precise. Feedback from most musicians was very favorable.
2. Physical Modeling is a much different technology than sampling so the 'type' of reference piano is not as critical as in sampling. That being said, there are 32 "preset" physical models in the Physis piano that include European, American and Asian concert models. Although not written specifically on the piano (probably due to licensing or trademarks?), the preset models reference Steinway, Bosendorfer, Bechstein, Fazioli, Yamaha, Kawai and others. There are also 32 user locations where you can modify and store your own physical model pianos - and even download all parameters through USB memory stick (or share/download them with friends on the user forum!).
3. You definitely want to reference the sound in person - and preferably through a decent pair of headphones. I noticed during the show that there was so much ambient noise (mostly from nearby exhibitors), that even with a decent set of closed-ear headphones it was difficult to hear the subtle details like sympathetic resonance of the strings, or the irregular decay of a sustained chord, the resonance of the dampers, etc..

It's difficult to hear the modifications I made to the piano characteristics in the Youtube video, but much easier to hear live. The ability to change the physical characteristics of the piano to your taste is the biggest advantage of physical modeling technology. I mention in the video that there are 100 different parameters in the Physis piano - but only 15 of these parameters can be modified by the user (the other 85 are used by the engineers). I believe they're considering a software editor that will allow a professional user to modify all of the parameters.

The piano will be on the market sometime this Fall, and early reports for pricing have it under the V-Piano from Roland.

I hope this helps! Feel free to reply and I'll share whatever information I can.

Kind regards,

- Gary
_________________________
- Gary Girouard
Consultant for Viscount ("Physis" Physical-model piano; http://www.physispiano.com)
Pianist/Composer of "The Naked Piano" series (Free Music Samples http://www.garygirouardmusic.com)
Teacher, Entrepreneur...Parent

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#1869285 - 03/27/12 03:20 PM Re: Physis Piano [Re: pv88]
BrokenChord Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/11
Posts: 288
Loc: Michigan
Sounds terrible to me. When he hit those chords at the middle of the song, I cringed.

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#1869293 - 03/27/12 03:28 PM Re: Physis Piano [Re: pv88]
pianoxcape Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/08
Posts: 71
Loc: Cape Cod
Here are a couple more youtube videos and sound samples if interested:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvIW8NQZDpM&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULbROWmj4PA
_________________________
- Gary Girouard
Consultant for Viscount ("Physis" Physical-model piano; http://www.physispiano.com)
Pianist/Composer of "The Naked Piano" series (Free Music Samples http://www.garygirouardmusic.com)
Teacher, Entrepreneur...Parent

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#1869335 - 03/27/12 04:50 PM Re: Physis Piano [Re: pv88]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5275
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
I'm not a particular fan of any specific technology, for me, it's only how the piano sounds and how the action responds.

I'll reserve my judgment until after I've played one.
_________________________
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mp3\wav files

AvantGrand N3, CP5

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#1869354 - 03/27/12 05:21 PM Re: Physis Piano [Re: pv88]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8847
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Thank you for the additional information Gary!

I'm curious about the internal hardware of the instrument - does this the Physis Piano use PC-based technology? Is it perhaps running a special Linux OS, like the Korg Kronos?

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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#1869355 - 03/27/12 05:24 PM Re: Physis Piano [Re: pianoxcape]
36251 Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 714
Originally Posted By: pianoxcape
Here are a couple more youtube videos and sound samples if interested:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvIW8NQZDpM&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULbROWmj4PA

-1
_________________________
AG N2, CP4, GK MK & MP

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#1869367 - 03/27/12 05:49 PM Re: Physis Piano [Re: pv88]
Clavier_watcher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/18/09
Posts: 29
At the risk of saying the obvious... for things getting that complex, I'd rather have the power and flexibility of cheaper computer software than expensive dedicated hardware. I mean, even if the keys feel good, you'd expect them to be overpriced good.

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#1869369 - 03/27/12 05:51 PM Re: Physis Piano [Re: Kawai James]
pianoxcape Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/08
Posts: 71
Loc: Cape Cod
Hi James - there are 6 internal processors that run in 'parallel' using a linux-based system that runs the proprietary modeling algorithms of Physis. Our engineers tell me that it can calculate 24 Billion computations per second (that's the total potential calculating power of the 6 processors operating in parallel). This is the main reason that physical modeling technology will become more prevalent (IMHO) as we move forward. Processors are getting more powerful (and cheaper) all the time. Yamaha had started down this path about 20 years ago with the VL1 (with assistance from Stanford University) and abandoned it because they thought processor power would never reach the level needed. Whatever your personal thoughts about Physis piano (or the V-Piano from Roland, or Pianoteq Plug-in), you have to admit that this technology is different from sampling
and will play a greater role in the "digital piano" moving forward.
_________________________
- Gary Girouard
Consultant for Viscount ("Physis" Physical-model piano; http://www.physispiano.com)
Pianist/Composer of "The Naked Piano" series (Free Music Samples http://www.garygirouardmusic.com)
Teacher, Entrepreneur...Parent

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#1869375 - 03/27/12 06:01 PM Re: Physis Piano [Re: pv88]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8847
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Thank you for your reply Gary.

Do you know the architecture/vendor of the CPU? For example, is it x86 or Risc based? Intel, AMD, ARM, etc.?

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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#1869379 - 03/27/12 06:12 PM Re: Physis Piano [Re: pv88]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2392
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Thanks for contributing Gary.

One or two questions/comments:

Is the stand seen with the Physis Piano supplied with it? It looks very stable and it appears to be branded Physis Piano.

Have you any experience of the V-Piano? If so, please compare tone/touch and dynamics etc between Physis Piano and V-Piano.

Just how far/much is Viscount going to properly back the Physis Piano? In the UK, the supply chain and product support for most Italian brands has traditionally been very flaky and the last thing anyone wants is to spend lots of money on something they can never get fixed or get queries answered. The key action being Fatar is not good news - not because some of their actions aren't good but rather that Fatar are known for failing to offer good after sales support for their products.

If the price is even close to V-Piano then I think Viscount is wasting its time. The V-Piano comes from a very respected brand with an acknowledged track record. But even so, purely in terms of sales it has been a relative market failure, perhaps mainly due to the high price. Viscount will need to VERY CONSIDERABLY undercut Roland - in the UK I would say (regardless of how good it is) £3000 as an absolute maximum otherwise it is doomed to fail in my opinion - even at that price the going will be tough because Viscount/Physis is almost unknown.

All that said, it sounds ok to me and I'll look forward to trying one out one day.

Cheers,

Steve
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#1869388 - 03/27/12 06:45 PM Re: Physis Piano [Re: Kawai James]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Thank you for your reply Gary.

Do you know the architecture/vendor of the CPU? For example, is it x86 or Risc based? Intel, AMD, ARM, etc.?


From the description this would have to be an 6-core Intel Xeon type CPU. HP and Apple sell computers with this processor. Street prices are around $3,000 for either a PC or Mac with this CPU. So there is no way the piano is going to be cheap.

The lowest price RISC machine that can do 30B instructions/sec on 6 cores cost WAY MORE than $3K, like 10X more and the ARM does not come close to the described performance. So Linux running on a Xeon sounds about right.

So in short this runs on "PC like" hardware but more like the hardware found in a data center than on a typical PC desktop. Or to "Apple peole", it is a mid-range Mac Pro running Linux.

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#1869398 - 03/27/12 07:11 PM Re: Physis Piano [Re: pianoxcape]
36251 Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 714
Originally Posted By: pianoxcape
Hi James - there are 6 internal processors that run in 'parallel' using a linux-based system that runs the proprietary modeling algorithms of Physis. Our engineers tell me that it can calculate 24 Billion computations per second (that's the total potential calculating power of the 6 processors operating in parallel). This is the main reason that physical modeling technology will become more prevalent (IMHO) as we move forward. Processors are getting more powerful (and cheaper) all the time. Yamaha had started down this path about 20 years ago with the VL1 (with assistance from Stanford University) and abandoned it because they thought processor power would never reach the level needed. Whatever your personal thoughts about Physis piano (or the V-Piano from Roland, or Pianoteq Plug-in), you have to admit that this technology is different from sampling
and will play a greater role in the "digital piano" moving forward.
So I guess it must be better cause of its advanced technology. I guess I just don't hear it and it's not just that I'm only hearing web recordings. I think the piano is too organic to be made by robots. Sampling isn't perfect but it at least captures the organic essence of wood, steel and felt. I like the fact that sampling keeps improving with technology but it's still originating from a design that's taken years to perfect.


Edited by 36251 (03/27/12 07:11 PM)
_________________________
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#1869409 - 03/27/12 07:43 PM Re: Physis Piano [Re: 36251]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3498
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: 36251
I like the fact that sampling keeps improving with technology but it's still originating from a design that's taken years to perfect.


That's still an argument for continuing with modelling though. When they finally get it right, it will have significant advantages over sampling. First, the size of the program itself will be much smaller and have an unlimited amount of velocity layers (layers being a sampling term). Second, as super fast processors get more and more common-place modelling will not tax the average processor much at all, so the hardware cost will drop. The only real problem is that modelling is still missing a few pieces of the puzzle - but it will get there eventually.

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#1869442 - 03/27/12 09:07 PM Re: Physis Piano [Re: pv88]
dje31 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/03/10
Posts: 218
As big as they are, with as deep pockets as they have, and their experience and resources as they have in the real McCoy, it's surprising to me that Yamaha isn't light years ahead of everyone else in terms of modeling. Yet they barely seem like they're even in the game. Especially if what Gary said earlier about them breaking ground early, then pulling out due to a lack of hardware horsepower.


Edited by dje31 (03/27/12 09:15 PM)
_________________________
Yamaha CP33 | Roland XP-30

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#1869450 - 03/27/12 09:20 PM Re: Physis Piano [Re: pv88]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8847
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
I'm pretty sure Yamaha are working on physical modelling too.
_________________________
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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#1869456 - 03/27/12 09:49 PM Re: Physis Piano [Re: Kawai James]
dje31 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/03/10
Posts: 218
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
I'm pretty sure Yamaha are working on physical modelling too.


I'm sure they are, and probably don't want to put out something half-arsed. Just surprised they haven't yet.
_________________________
Yamaha CP33 | Roland XP-30

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#1869457 - 03/27/12 09:51 PM Re: Physis Piano [Re: pv88]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3149
Yamaha uses a hybrid sampling+modeling system (SCM = Spectral Component Modeling) in their CP1/CP5/CP50

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#1869461 - 03/27/12 09:55 PM Re: Physis Piano [Re: dje31]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8847
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: dje31
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
I'm pretty sure Yamaha are working on physical modelling too.


I'm sure they are, and probably don't want to put out something half-arsed.


Yeah, I think you're spot-on.
_________________________
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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