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Topic Options
#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: 38
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 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2190
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: 38
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 Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8866
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: 38
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: 3480
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: 38
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: 3788
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: 38
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: 3788
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: 38
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 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3454
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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