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Topic Options
#1994145 - 12/03/12 01:20 PM Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer
glentek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 40
The on board acoustic piano sounds of my Casio PX-110 are pretty bad, even when played through external powered speakers (Yamaha YST-M50). I am now exploring the possibility of using my XP laptop computer with piano sample software. The computer has 2GB memory and 1.66 GHz processor. The computer has Cubase installed. I am soliciting your recommendations for piano sample software that would work adequately for live informal performances using this computer. Even old versions of software products would be fine as long as they sounded decent and latency was tolerable. I am most interested in acoustic grand sounds. Less expensive is good. Thanks.

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#1994148 - 12/03/12 01:40 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3484
Loc: Pennsylvania
The clock speed of the processor is not enough information to get an idea of its performance. For example a 1.66 Ghz atom laptop can play almost no current software piano adequately. On the other hand a recent multicore desktop processor at this speed (assuming there is one) would do fine with many products. Most ordinary laptop processors would be somewhere in between and therefore very marginal.


Edited by gvfarns (12/03/12 01:42 PM)

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#1994165 - 12/03/12 02:03 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
jarosujo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/12
Posts: 237
Loc: Slovakia
Pianoteq 4 has demo version which you can download. There are few keys disabled but other than that it is fully functional.
_________________________
Yamaha NP-V80 (sold)
Yamaha DGX640 (sold)
Kawai CL-36
Pianoteq Standard + Intel NUC DC3217BY + Sennheiser HD598 + Fostex PM0.4n + NI Audio 2

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#1994172 - 12/03/12 02:16 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3866
Loc: North Carolina
glen: It sounds as though you're seeing exactly what I saw in years past: The piano sounds are poor, and the recommendations for piano libraries promise a fix. So that's what I did.

Your 1.66 GHz CPU speed is similar to my wife's netbook. But hers is running Windows 7, and it's VERY SLOOOOOW. Not suitable for piano usage. It's barely adequate for surf and email.

But I run the piano quite successfully on a 1.7 GHz Core Duo laptop running Windows XP. XP is much lighter on resource consumption than Windows 7, and it's adequate to the task.

You have "only" 2 GB RAM. But for me that's quite adequate under XP. I load up four or five pianos at once so that I can instantly switch from one to another (or play two of them together). And 2 GB is still adequate. (I don't think it has the ooomph to do the multi-track synthesis, mixing, and editing that some people like to do. But for "just playing piano" it's fine.)

I'm not able to make any detailed evaluation of your PC. But if it's a normal laptop, it just might be okay for this purpose. If it's a netbook, then (as gvfarns suggests) it's doubtful.

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#1994241 - 12/03/12 05:13 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: gvfarns]
glentek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 40
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
The clock speed of the processor is not enough information to get an idea of its performance. For example a 1.66 Ghz atom laptop can play almost no current software piano adequately. On the other hand a recent multicore desktop processor at this speed (assuming there is one) would do fine with many products. Most ordinary laptop processors would be somewhere in between and therefore very marginal.


The processor in this laptop computer is Intel Core Duo Processor T2300 (2M Cache, 1.66 GHz, 667 MHz FSB)
_________________________
Rhodes Model 3363 Electronic Piano
Yamaha CLP-50
Yamaha P-80
Casio PX-700
Casio PX-110
Mason & Hamlin AA
Mason & Hamlin BB

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#1994243 - 12/03/12 05:15 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: MacMacMac]
glentek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 40
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
glen: It sounds as though you're seeing exactly what I saw in years past: The piano sounds are poor, and the recommendations for piano libraries promise a fix. So that's what I did.

Your 1.66 GHz CPU speed is similar to my wife's netbook. But hers is running Windows 7, and it's VERY SLOOOOOW. Not suitable for piano usage. It's barely adequate for surf and email.

But I run the piano quite successfully on a 1.7 GHz Core Duo laptop running Windows XP. XP is much lighter on resource consumption than Windows 7, and it's adequate to the task.

You have "only" 2 GB RAM. But for me that's quite adequate under XP. I load up four or five pianos at once so that I can instantly switch from one to another (or play two of them together). And 2 GB is still adequate. (I don't think it has the ooomph to do the multi-track synthesis, mixing, and editing that some people like to do. But for "just playing piano" it's fine.)

I'm not able to make any detailed evaluation of your PC. But if it's a normal laptop, it just might be okay for this purpose. If it's a netbook, then (as gvfarns suggests) it's doubtful.


Which product or products do you recommend for my computer? Thanks.
_________________________
Rhodes Model 3363 Electronic Piano
Yamaha CLP-50
Yamaha P-80
Casio PX-700
Casio PX-110
Mason & Hamlin AA
Mason & Hamlin BB

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#1994247 - 12/03/12 05:31 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3484
Loc: Pennsylvania
It's kind of marginal but will probably work with a normal VST like Galaxy. Before shelling out for that, try a couple of the free trials like True Pianos, PianoTeq, and Pianissimo. If they all work ok, get Galaxy Vintage D. If not, get a new computer.

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#1994270 - 12/03/12 06:33 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
Stevesie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/23/12
Posts: 45
Also, assuming you don't have an ASIO soundcard, you might like to install Asio4all to reduce latency. http://www.asio4all.com/

This Sampletekk Black Kontakt piano is half price at the moment http://www.sampletekk.com/proddetail.php?prod=STDELIVER-039-KONT . I didn't love it at first, but after adding a bit of eq here and there I quite like it now. The piano it was sampled from has a few imperfections, but I've grown to like these and see them as "character".

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#1994275 - 12/03/12 06:51 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3866
Loc: North Carolina
Yep, I agree with gvfarns. I would only add that you ought not be discouraged by the sound of those pianos (True Pianos, Pianissimo, Pianoteq). Use them to test your equipment capability because they have free demos, but don't judge piano libraries by those alone. There are better ones. I like the Galaxy series much better.

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#1994292 - 12/03/12 07:14 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9551
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Yes, if you're relying on the onboard audio, ASIO4ALL is essential in order to reduce latency (under Windows, at least).

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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#1999281 - 12/14/12 06:31 AM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: gvfarns]
glentek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 40
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
It's kind of marginal but will probably work with a normal VST like Galaxy. Before shelling out for that, try a couple of the free trials like True Pianos, PianoTeq, and Pianissimo. If they all work ok, get Galaxy Vintage D. If not, get a new computer.
I had some difficulty with Truepianos, but I think it was the USB interface hub I was using. Tascam US-800. It was deeply discounted when I bought it, and now I understand why. Flaky Windows driver I have read in other discussion groups and reviews. Pianoteq and Pianissimo worked well with smallish buffer sizes, with no noticeable latency. I had fun with them. Frustration with Truepianos. I'll give Truepianos another try tomorrow (later today actually).


Edited by glentek (12/14/12 06:32 AM)

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#1999313 - 12/14/12 08:37 AM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
djwayne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/10/10
Posts: 123
Why not upgrade the computer ?? Budget woes ?? You can get a very good Dell computer now days for about $400. That's what I did and it's working out great for me.

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#1999379 - 12/14/12 11:28 AM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
Bane Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/03/12
Posts: 91
Loc: USA
I agree that Pianoteq will run the easiest on your current computer. The Grand 3 (made by the same folks who created Cubase)has an Eco Mode and RAM save functions, in addition to an already smaller installation size of 30-40GB, that is, if you install every piano. Still, the Grand 3 is hardly the elite piano sample library, but is built to run lighter than the larger softwares like Ivory, Galaxy, and EWQL.

If I were you, I'd upgrade your current computer, then choose the library your inner pianist craves rather than being held back by your system's lack of adequate resources.
_________________________
www.soundcloud.com/btrailblazer

Cable-Nelson upright piano, Casio WK-200, Mackie MR5MK2 monitors, Cubase Artist 7, Steinberg's The Grand 3, Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 interface, Asus R500a-RS52 Windows 8, i5-3230M 2.6 gHz, 6GB RAM, 750GB HD (5400RPM)

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#1999483 - 12/14/12 04:14 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: djwayne]
glentek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 40
Originally Posted By: djwayne
Why not upgrade the computer ?? Budget woes ?? You can get a very good Dell computer now days for about $400. That's what I did and it's working out great for me.
Happy for you.
_________________________
Rhodes Model 3363 Electronic Piano
Yamaha CLP-50
Yamaha P-80
Casio PX-700
Casio PX-110
Mason & Hamlin AA
Mason & Hamlin BB

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#1999495 - 12/14/12 04:37 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: Bane]
glentek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 40
Originally Posted By: Bane
I agree that Pianoteq will run the easiest on your current computer. The Grand 3 (made by the same folks who created Cubase)has an Eco Mode and RAM save functions, in addition to an already smaller installation size of 30-40GB, that is, if you install every piano. Still, the Grand 3 is hardly the elite piano sample library, but is built to run lighter than the larger softwares like Ivory, Galaxy, and EWQL.

If I were you, I'd upgrade your current computer, then choose the library your inner pianist craves rather than being held back by your system's lack of adequate resources.


Thanks for your feedback. My inner pianist craves playing piano more than it craves elite sample libraries. I have a couple M&H pianos (AA and BB) in my living room if I'm feeling choosy. I find that I can get used to almost any piano and make things sound "musical". This particular sample library project that everyone here is helping me with is for a special situation. I bought a digital slab piano and left it with my family in Minnesota. I spend most of my time in California. When I visit them I want to have something that's in tune and has a decent action. I know that using it as a midi controller and running it through sound modules would improve the sound dramatically. I do that with an old Yamaha CLP-50 I have in Montana. I run it through a Kurzweil 1000 px. Old odds and ends that end up sounding pretty good. Good enough that I can play music with expression. That's all I'm really looking for. Pianissimo will serve my needs for my keyboard in Minnesota, but I will check out the elite piano sample libraries for the fun of it. From what I read online, the minimum system requirements for Galaxy Vintage D are quite a bit less than the computer I am using. So anyway, I won't be getting a new computer just so I can play this piano when I visit my family in Minnesota a few times a year.

So actually, if you were me, you might not get a new computer :^)

I appreciate the information everyone has provided in this discussion. Thanks!

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#1999510 - 12/14/12 06:03 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
Michael H Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/05
Posts: 98
Loc: Long Island, NY
If I were you and didn't want to buy a new computer, I'd pick up a $50 or so external USB hard drive (make sure you get a 7200rpm one) and install Vintage D on it (just the library, not the application itself). If that's within your budget, you'd be up around $200 by the time you're done.

I can't say enough good things about the Vintage D, it's the best software piano I've owned by far.
_________________________
2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
http://michaelhagglund.com/

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#1999519 - 12/14/12 06:23 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: Michael H]
EO3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/01/11
Posts: 142
Originally Posted By: Michael H


I can't say enough good things about the Vintage D, it's the best software piano I've owned by far.


Better than Ivory 2 ?

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#1999534 - 12/14/12 06:51 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3866
Loc: North Carolina
Have you given the other Galaxy pianos a try? Yes, Vintage D is wonderful. But it lacks the clarity of the Vienna Grand and the Steinway.

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#1999559 - 12/14/12 08:11 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: EO3]
Michael H Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/05
Posts: 98
Loc: Long Island, NY
Originally Posted By: EO3
Originally Posted By: Michael H


I can't say enough good things about the Vintage D, it's the best software piano I've owned by far.


Better than Ivory 2 ?


I haven't had a chance to try Ivory 2 or the other Galaxy pianos, but Vint D has more personality than Ivory 1, which I have.
_________________________
2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
http://michaelhagglund.com/

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#1999567 - 12/14/12 08:37 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3866
Loc: North Carolina
I agree with that. Ivory 1 sure beats the piano's own sounds. But like the Galaxy pianos much better.

I've never tried Ivory 2. The price is high, and I've been happy with Galaxy. But it's hard to resist the urge to get the American Concert D. (Must ... resist ... fist ... of ... G.A.S.)

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#1999663 - 12/15/12 02:23 AM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: Michael H]
glentek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 40
Originally Posted By: Michael H
If I were you and didn't want to buy a new computer, I'd pick up a $50 or so external USB hard drive (make sure you get a 7200rpm one) and install Vintage D on it (just the library, not the application itself). If that's within your budget, you'd be up around $200 by the time you're done.

I can't say enough good things about the Vintage D, it's the best software piano I've owned by far.


My laptop computer has a 7200rpm disk drive. The Galaxy web site says Vintage D requires 6GB (1GB for Kontact Player, 5GB for library content). Why would I need an external drive?
_________________________
Rhodes Model 3363 Electronic Piano
Yamaha CLP-50
Yamaha P-80
Casio PX-700
Casio PX-110
Mason & Hamlin AA
Mason & Hamlin BB

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#1999739 - 12/15/12 09:38 AM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
Michael H Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/05
Posts: 98
Loc: Long Island, NY
Originally Posted By: glentek
Originally Posted By: Michael H
If I were you and didn't want to buy a new computer, I'd pick up a $50 or so external USB hard drive (make sure you get a 7200rpm one) and install Vintage D on it (just the library, not the application itself). If that's within your budget, you'd be up around $200 by the time you're done.

I can't say enough good things about the Vintage D, it's the best software piano I've owned by far.


My laptop computer has a 7200rpm disk drive. The Galaxy web site says Vintage D requires 6GB (1GB for Kontact Player, 5GB for library content). Why would I need an external drive?



In the past, it's always been recommended that streaming audio samples be done from a separate hard drive other than the one that has the operating system on it. Nowadays with faster computers you can sometimes get away with not doing that, especially if you have a solid state drive, where access time is very fast.

My old XP machine, which is a C2D at 2ghz with 2gb of memory, runs Ivory 1, which is more demanding than the Vint D, just fine with the library on a separate 7200rpm hard drive. Otherwise, the processor would get overwhelmed.

There was a thread here where someone suggested trying a fast USB thumb drive for sample library playback. I don't know how successful that was..
_________________________
2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
http://michaelhagglund.com/

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#1999740 - 12/15/12 09:40 AM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: Michael H]
Michael H Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/05
Posts: 98
Loc: Long Island, NY
The Kontakt Player, which is the 'brains' would need to go on the operating system hard drive.
_________________________
2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
http://michaelhagglund.com/

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#1999749 - 12/15/12 10:12 AM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3866
Loc: North Carolina
I have an XP laptop that's older and slower than yours. It runs Ivory 1 and Vintage D on the internal drive, no problems at all.

The external drive recommendation applies when creating music from multiple tracks with multiple instruments. I'll call that "music engineering" unless someone has a better term. There is a very high demand for data, so an external drive or an SSD may be needed.

But when just playing the piano, the internal drive works just fine.

If piano libraries won't behave properly on your computer (with a 7200 RPM drive), you likely need a better computer.

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#1999797 - 12/15/12 12:07 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: MacMacMac]
Michael H Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/05
Posts: 98
Loc: Long Island, NY
I've never had great success playing piano samples with low latency and normal damper useage on a single hard drive system, but everyone's mileage is different. OTOH, Pianoteq ran great on my 1.60ghz netbook with Asio4All.

As has been said, using the Pianoteq demo or Pianissimo demo to test your system might be a good indicator of capabilities. I think Pianissimo is a great bang-for-the-buck option, but the Galaxy pianos are in another class altogether.
_________________________
2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
http://michaelhagglund.com/

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#1999941 - 12/15/12 05:28 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: Michael H]
glentek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 40
Originally Posted By: Michael H
I've never had great success playing piano samples with low latency and normal damper useage on a single hard drive system, but everyone's mileage is different. OTOH, Pianoteq ran great on my 1.60ghz netbook with Asio4All.

As has been said, using the Pianoteq demo or Pianissimo demo to test your system might be a good indicator of capabilities. I think Pianissimo is a great bang-for-the-buck option, but the Galaxy pianos are in another class altogether.


I am pretty happy with the Pianissimo demo and ASIO4ALL.

I have not seen a way to do an evaluation of the Galaxy Vintage D other than to buy it. Can anyone point me to a Galaxy Vintage D demo download link?

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#1999947 - 12/15/12 05:36 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3866
Loc: North Carolina
There are You Tube videos, but no demo versions of Vintage D.
Buy it! You'll like it!
Beats Pianissimo by a long mile.

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#1999948 - 12/15/12 05:39 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
Bane Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/03/12
Posts: 91
Loc: USA
Here are the Official Galaxy Youtube Tutorials and the Galaxy Piano Demos.

I know it's not as good as getting an actual demo on your computer, but believe me I've tried to download those things as sets of compressed iso files more than 4GB each and it takes forever. That's probably why most companies don't bother making a downloadable trial.


Edited by Bane (12/15/12 05:40 PM)
_________________________
www.soundcloud.com/btrailblazer

Cable-Nelson upright piano, Casio WK-200, Mackie MR5MK2 monitors, Cubase Artist 7, Steinberg's The Grand 3, Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 interface, Asus R500a-RS52 Windows 8, i5-3230M 2.6 gHz, 6GB RAM, 750GB HD (5400RPM)

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#1999956 - 12/15/12 05:59 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: Bane]
torhu Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/12
Posts: 183
You can try Vintage D and others here.

As for how well it will run on your computer, I don't know. But it meets the minimum requirements for Vintage D.
_________________________
Roland RD-700NX // Galaxy Vintage D

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#2000066 - 12/15/12 11:41 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: MacMacMac]
glentek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 40
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
There are You Tube videos, but no demo versions of Vintage D.
Buy it! You'll like it!
Beats Pianissimo by a long mile.


I believe you. The other thing I am considering is the external powered speakers (Yamaha YST-M50) I will be playing through. Left and right satellite speakers plus sub woofer. Compact, portable and good for practice and small gatherings. Some of the subtleties of the elite sample programs probably would be lost, especially at higher volumes where distortion becomes more pronounced. So Pianissimo might be the right selection because it is not as good as some of the other better (and more expensive) options.

I might be the first forum participant who has posted that they are choosing one product over another because it is worse. Tah-dah! :^)

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#2000686 - 12/17/12 01:01 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
Michael H Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/05
Posts: 98
Loc: Long Island, NY
Originally Posted By: glentek
I might be the first forum participant who has posted that they are choosing one product over another because it is worse. Tah-dah! :^)


Well, since you said earlier that you just want to be able to play with expression, and since you enjoyed the old Kurzweil K1000 (I had one myself), Pianissimo would probably do you just fine since it's far more realistic.
_________________________
2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
http://michaelhagglund.com/

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#2000879 - 12/17/12 09:00 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: Michael H]
glentek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 40
Originally Posted By: Michael H
Originally Posted By: glentek
I might be the first forum participant who has posted that they are choosing one product over another because it is worse. Tah-dah! :^)


Well, since you said earlier that you just want to be able to play with expression, and since you enjoyed the old Kurzweil K1000 (I had one myself), Pianissimo would probably do you just fine since it's far more realistic.


I just picked up a box o' Pianissimo for $30 (plus $5 shipping).
_________________________
Rhodes Model 3363 Electronic Piano
Yamaha CLP-50
Yamaha P-80
Casio PX-700
Casio PX-110
Mason & Hamlin AA
Mason & Hamlin BB

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#2000920 - 12/17/12 11:06 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
Michael H Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/05
Posts: 98
Loc: Long Island, NY
Excellent buy! Congrats!
_________________________
2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
http://michaelhagglund.com/

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#2000925 - 12/17/12 11:16 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
sullivang Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2223
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Congrats - I like the tone of Pianissimo a lot too!

Greg.

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#2000982 - 12/18/12 01:43 AM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
glentek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 40
Just a note about my comparison of Truepianos, Pianoteq, and Pianissmo. My Tascam US-800 USB interface has some issues. Especially for Windows computers. Web research shows that I am not alone in this regard. These things were being unloaded for around $70. It has worked OK with my condenser mikes, but I discovered that the MIDI interface was pretty flaky depending on the software application being used. So using this USB interface, Truepianos produced the BSOD regularly, and that made it difficult and frustrating to evaluate Truepianos. Pianoteq allowed only 20 minutes of evaluation and then the software had to be reinstalled. Like 20 minutes is enough time to do an evaluation??? C'mon! Plus, PIANOTEQ DISABLED SOME OF THE KEYS IN THE DEMO VERSION!!! What idiots!!! How is that supposed to make their product look good??? Whatever. Eachtime I had to reinstall the software after the 20 minute expiration, I had to disconnect USB cable, unplug DC power from USB interface, unplug MIDI connection to USB interface, reconnect DC power to USB interface, reconnect USB cable, and reconnect MIDI to USB interface. This was the sequence of steps that seemed to work with the Tascam US-800. The evaluation of Pianoteq was so cumbersome I moved on to Pianissimo. The demo version of Pianissimo behaved the best, and that's what I evaluated for a couple days, and made my choice of the 3. Pianissimo.

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#2000991 - 12/18/12 02:48 AM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9551
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
The Pianoteq trial does indeed time-out after 20 minutes.

However you simply close the program and reload - it's not necessary to reinstall the software every time.

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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#2001125 - 12/18/12 11:45 AM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: Kawai James]
glentek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 40
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
The Pianoteq trial does indeed time-out after 20 minutes.

However you simply close the program and reload - it's not necessary to reinstall the software every time.

James
x


You're right. It was late when I was working on it, and now I recall what happened. When I first ran the program a message was displayed saying after 20 minutes I would have to "reload the program", and after 20 minutes elapsed, another message was displayed saying I needed to "reload Pianoteq" to continue the evaluation. At the time I interpreted those messages as a need to reinstall. So I did reinstall once, and after another 20 minutes, instead of giving up, I decided to just close the program and run it again, which worked (for another 20 minutes...). From a product evaluation perspective this sucks. For one thing, 20 minutes is not enough time. When each 20 minute cycle ended, and I was in the middle of playing something and the virtual piano went silent, my first thought was that something was wrong. Eventually I would remember that I only had 20 minutes to work with. What a lousy way to market piano sample software. From a performance and evaluation perspective, it kept dying every 20 minutes.

But what's worse is they deliberately disabled some of the notes in the demo version. So I'm playing music and stumbling along in the evaluation because notes AREN'T THERE to be played or heard.

Unbelievably bad marketing of the Pianoteq product, and the fact that they market it that way does not give me any confidence in the product itself.

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#2001132 - 12/18/12 11:57 AM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3484
Loc: Pennsylvania
Audio interface drivers make me crazy. I feel for you.

I'm glad you have had some fun times demoing these VST's. Of the three, Pianissimo is the most like a modern sampled VST, so that's a good direction to go. That doesn't necessarily mean that's the product to buy, though. It mostly just lets you know that you do, indeed, like a good sampled VST and it works ok with your computer. That being the case, I'd suggest buying a nice VST like Vintage D.

Personally I actually think PT's demo capability is fine. They disable a few keys and limit you to 20 minutes, but that doesn't seem problematic to me. Mainly one wants to get a feel for the tone and make sure it works well on one's computer. Essentially all demos time out after 20 minutes (Kontakt, for example, won't play an unregistered library after this amount of time). PianoTeq's crippled demo is actually infinitely better than other VSTs' demos, because they are completely non-existent.

I have some issues with PianoTeq's sound, but I think as a company they are the best at marketing their product that there is in the software piano world, and their interface is the best as well--actually well designed to be used by pianists.


Edited by gvfarns (12/18/12 12:02 PM)

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#2001137 - 12/18/12 12:08 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
Michael H Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/05
Posts: 98
Loc: Long Island, NY
In defense of Pianoteq, I used it for over 3 years, in fact if you look at my signature below, the album I recorded used Pianoteq. I purchased the software after evaluating it for over two months. No one gives you that long of an evaluation period. And the only inconvenience is having to restart it every 20 minutes, plus having about 6 notes that don't play. Other than that it's fully functional, and you can test it for as long as you like. I thought that was a very fair tradeoff.

Having said that, I lost interest in Pianoteq because it just doesn't sound REAL to me. Pisnissimo OTOH does sound real, although way less flexible. And it's way less expensive.
_________________________
2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
http://michaelhagglund.com/

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#2001153 - 12/18/12 12:39 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: gvfarns]
glentek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 40
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Personally I actually think PT's demo capability is fine. They disable a few keys and limit you to 20 minutes, but that doesn't seem problematic to me.


Respectfully, I could not disagree more, but if it works for you, I am happy for you.

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Mainly one wants to get a feel for the tone and make sure it works well on one's computer.


For some musicians, getting a feel for the tone means playing music that they are familiar with, from start to finish, without the program dying, and without notes dropping out. Dealing with scheduled "failures" and missing notes interferes with the evaluation of the tone. If I go to evaluate a piano at a piano showroom, the piano should not just stop producing sound, and no notes should be disabled. Same with virtual piano software evaluations.

A few words about determining whether a product works on a computer system. "working well" on a computer means the sound does not just die completely. An evaluation of a product should not just die after 20 minutes, leaving the evaluator to figure out what went wrong. The evaluator might just dismiss the product after the first Pianoteq-induced "failure". Also, and more importantly, "working well" on a computer means that notes do not just drop off the radar screen. A new evaluator of Pianoteq has no way to know whether the missing notes he heard while playing a piece were the result of limitations in the computer, or the idiotic decision of Pianoteq to disable some (unspecified) notes. The evaluator of the product should not have to sort through these types of things.

So, from this evaluator, Pianoteq blew it.

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#2001160 - 12/18/12 12:50 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3866
Loc: North Carolina
If twenty minutes is not enough time, just restart the program, as you've already discovered. The inconvenience of a restart is not relevant. You will either like the product or not. That all the demo is meant for.
Originally Posted By: glentek
20 minutes is not enough time. When each 20 minute cycle ended, and I was in the middle of playing something and the virtual piano went silent, my first thought was that something was wrong. Eventually I would remember that I only had 20 minutes to work with. What a lousy way to market piano sample software. From a performance and evaluation perspective, it kept dying every 20 minutes.
Anyway, what is the alternative? An unlimited demo? That's not a demo at all. That's a giveaway.

As for the disabled notes ...
Originally Posted By: glentek
But what's worse is they deliberately disabled some of the notes in the demo version. So I'm playing music and stumbling along in the evaluation because notes AREN'T THERE to be played or heard.
Once again, what is the alternative? If the demo included all notes, what would be the incentive to buy the product! smile Anyone could simply use the demo!

So it's clear that the demo must have some kind of severe limitation, such as disabled notes. Otherwise a clever person could simply defeat the timeout and be done with it.

To defeat the timeout, I can think of two ways (and there likely are more). Here's one ...

This clever person could arrange for a second copy of Pianoteq to run, starting at a different time from the first. The first copy would listen to one "pseudo-MIDI device" such as MIDI Yoke. The second would listen on a second MIDI Yoke port.

He'd write a special hack program that reads data from the "real" MIDI port, and forward it ONLY to the first MIDI Yoke port. Only the first Pianoteq program would play. The other copy (listening on the second MIDI Yoke port) would remain silent.

Then when the first-run copy of Pianoteq approached its twenty-minute timeout, the hack program would cease sending data to the first port, and send instead to the second port. The second copy of Pianoteq would play, and the first would go silent. Then the hack would kill off the first copy and start another one, again listening on port 1. That one would remain silent. Only the second copy would play.

This could repeat forever, shuttling back and forth between two copies of the demo. No purchase necessary.

To me, this is way too much trouble. (Fun to think about, but not worth the effort. The darn program only costs $100.)

But what seems too much to me might seem a modest programming exercise for an enterprising youth. He might offer the hack for free, and this would put Pianoteq out of business. (OK, not really likely. It's more likely that Modart would simply stop offering the demo version ... or they'd do just what they do now: offer a timed-out demo with some disabled notes!)

But don't fret. The demo versions from other piano makers allow you to play precisely ZERO notes. No demo at all.

I think that a limited demo is better than no demo.

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#2010584 - 01/07/13 01:03 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: MacMacMac]
glentek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 40
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
If twenty minutes is not enough time, just restart the program, as you've already discovered. The inconvenience of a restart is not relevant. You will either like the product or not. That all the demo is meant for.


The inconvenience is relevant when evaluating a product.

Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
So it's clear that the demo must have some kind of severe limitation, such as disabled notes.


No, it is not clear. It is stupid. Especially when evaluating whether a product works on their computer. That evaluation includes determining whether notes are dropped.

Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
To defeat the timeout, I can think of two ways (and there likely are more). Here's one ...


No. Software companies have been able to effectively limit amount of time that a prospective consumer can evaluate their product. There are no other 20 minute timeout product evaluations that I can recall in 30 years of professional and personal software evaluation experience.


Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
But don't fret. The demo versions from other piano makers allow you to play precisely ZERO notes. No demo at all.


And then there are piano sample software makers who let you try their products for a week or so. Like Pianissimo. Which I purchased. EOD. End Of Discussion (I hope).

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#2010606 - 01/07/13 01:39 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3866
Loc: North Carolina
Sore today, aren't we? I guess it's that time of the month, eh? smile

And too bad. You bought Pianoissimo, which you found to be demo-friendly. Unfortunately, it's piano-unfriendly. I'd place it quite far down the list of piano libraries. It gets very little mention here.

Meanwhile you've completely missed the demo-less Galaxy libraries, all excellent, topped by their Vintage D product.

And you've missed out on try-piano.com where you can book an online demo session of a number of VST instrument libraries.

And you've pooh-pooh'ed the demo limitations of Pianoteq ... which, after years of not-so-good versions, is finally available as a Bluthner model. It's quite good. Twenty minutes with their older versions was enough to convince me not to buy them. And twenty minutes with their new Bluthner (even with 9 dead notes) was enough to convince me otherwise.

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#2281367 - 05/26/14 05:15 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
glentek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 40
So, almost a year and a half later, I am still happily using my $30 copy of Pianissimo on my old XP laptop. It works for my needs. Like I said, if I need to be picky, I can play either the Mason & Hamlin AA or the Mason & Hamlin BB in my living room.
_________________________
Rhodes Model 3363 Electronic Piano
Yamaha CLP-50
Yamaha P-80
Casio PX-700
Casio PX-110
Mason & Hamlin AA
Mason & Hamlin BB

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#2281383 - 05/26/14 06:03 PM Re: Piano Sample Software For Mediocre Computer [Re: glentek]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3802
Loc: Northern England.
"But what's worse is they deliberately disabled some of the notes in the demo version. So I'm playing music and stumbling along in the evaluation because notes AREN'T THERE to be played or heard.

Unbelievably bad marketing of the Pianoteq product, and the fact that they market it that way does not give me any confidence in the product itself."

For what it`s worth, you can play at least one Gymnopedie without needing to hit the disabled notes . . . .
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes � but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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