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#2019729 - 01/23/13 04:07 PM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: anotherscott]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Yamaha's SCM does add modeling to their samples (CP1, CP5, CP50). I wonder if we'll see anything new at NAMM.

But the CP1/5/50 AP voices test just like garden variety sampling (looping, stretching, etc.). They either aren't using modeling for the AP voices or it doesn't amount to much if anything in the way of audible difference.

I don't know, but it could be that they use elements of what we think of as real modeling for the EP voices, and people incorrectly assume they also do so for the AP voices (wouldn't be the first time their press materials led people astray and in their favor).

Or, if the AP voices really do use some modeling elements, it is perhaps more a way to further reduce sample storage rather than a way to audibly improve the voices. "Modeling" doesn't always mean an improvement in sound.
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#2019813 - 01/23/13 05:51 PM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: dewster]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5272
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Yamaha's SCM does add modeling to their samples (CP1, CP5, CP50). I wonder if we'll see anything new at NAMM.

But the CP1/5/50 AP voices test just like garden variety sampling (looping, stretching, etc.). They either aren't using modeling for the AP voices or it doesn't amount to much if anything in the way of audible difference.

I don't know, but it could be that they use elements of what we think of as real modeling for the EP voices, and people incorrectly assume they also do so for the AP voices (wouldn't be the first time their press materials led people astray and in their favor).


People might have forgotten the excitement generated in this forum by Yamaha's blurb on their Real Grand Expression CLP series, that they were the first to be sampled from the new CFX concert grand (or not.......): this is a quote from the Yamaha brochure, viz,
"The grand piano Voices of a Clavinova were obtained by recording the sounds of a Yamaha concert grand piano that led to the creation of the CFX, the piano selected for a performance by the 2010 winner of the famed International Frederyk Chopin Piano Competition."

Only to discover that the samples were identical to those used in previous CLPs, i.e. sampled from the ancient CF-IIIS.....
Deliberately misleading or not?
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#2019819 - 01/23/13 06:04 PM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: bennevis]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2635
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Only to discover that the samples were identical to those used in previous CLPs, i.e. sampled from the ancient CF-IIIS.....


Extra note:

Just to compare (in a slightly different way) that is the reason I prefer the lowly (and far less expensive) Kawai EP3 over the Kawai CA95, as from the standpoint of projecting the sounds via built-in speakers it's simply the best.

The clarity of the sounds throughout the entire range of the keyboard in the EP3 is quite convincing and authentic to my ears, as I prefer the original "Harmonic Imaging" samples to the newer ones in the CA95.

Newer sounds are not necessarily "better" than the original ones. And, the EP3 has outstanding reverb effects, adding spaciousness and realism.

The EP3 is far too underrated by those who want only the latest stuff as it is still a best seller online, since 2008.

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#2019839 - 01/23/13 06:33 PM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: Nigeth]
Macy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 612
Originally Posted By: Nigeth
Right now fast storage and RAM is so much cheaper than CPU power that it's easier to simply throw gigabyte after gigabyte of samples at the propblem and supplement it with modeling than to implement a realistic model of a certain complexity

The problem with modeling isn't CPU power (today's modeled pianos don't come close to using the CPU power available in today's most powerful computers.) It's constructing realistic models. I've never heard a modeled piano that could fool a listener into thinking it was a Steinway (or Yamaha, or whatever piano you choose to model) even playing a simple scale. That is easy with sampling (which is basically a recording of the piano you chose to emulate). So modeling starts with an inferior base to build upon. It is easier to emulate some complex behaviors (not all) of an acoustic piano by modeling rather than additional samples. Hence, sampled pianos also use modeled signal processing for emulating some acoustic piano behavior. In some instances it's easier to model complex playing effects than to recreate those effects with samples, which theoretically gives modeling an advantage in those areas. But the basic limitation with modeling, and the reason that progress is so slow in those pianos, is developing more realistic, implementable models. If it were simple, it would be well known by now and everyone would do it.
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#2019840 - 01/23/13 06:33 PM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: dewster]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2635
Originally Posted By: dewster
"Modeling" doesn't always mean an improvement in sound.


And, with the V-Piano, it's a step backwards with trying to reincarnate a "Bosendorfer" Imperial concert grand.*

Looks like they failed with the Vintage II presets.

*And, no... it's not a "Bluthner," either.

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#2019861 - 01/23/13 07:16 PM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: Macy]
Nigeth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 108
Originally Posted By: Macy

The problem with modeling isn't CPU power (today's modeled pianos don't come close to using the CPU power available in today's most powerful computers.) It's constructing realistic models.


As someone who has some background in audio processing I disagree with your assessment.

I'll quote the pianoteq 4 system requirements: "PIANOTEQ is CPU intensive software for it computes the sound in real time. However, most modern computers already offer a fully sufficient CPU. We recommend a CPU with dual or multiple cores, such as the Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD X2. By restricting polyphony or the internal sample rate in the Options menu, you can work with less powerful CPU's."

As to my argument about the trade off between storage/memory vs. cpu. pianoteq only requires 256 MB of RAM.

Sounds like pretty CPU intensive stuff to me.

synthogy by comparison requires a less powerful CPU but needs at least 2 Gigabyte of RAM and a whopping 77 Gigabyte of disc space. It also requires at least a 7200 rpm hard disc (SSD recommended).

The reason most models sound 'nothing like a real piano' is because the mikrocontroller and dsp platforms in modern DPs don't even offer a fraction of the system performance of a core2duo or quadcore desktop cpu.

The CPU in the Kronos X, one of the most powerful workstations on the market right now, is an Intel Atom 1.8 Ghz with access to 2 GB of RAM and 64 GB of SSD storage. The atom offers maybe 10% of the performance of a Core i3 or i5.

More than enough for the 10 GB austrian grand sample set. Won't run anything approaching the complexity of pianoteqs modeling though.


Edited by Nigeth (01/23/13 07:16 PM)

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#2019882 - 01/23/13 07:36 PM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: pv88]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5272
Originally Posted By: pv88
Originally Posted By: dewster
"Modeling" doesn't always mean an improvement in sound.


And, with the V-Piano, it's a step backwards with trying to reincarnate a "Bosendorfer" Imperial concert grand.*

Looks like they failed with the Vintage II presets.

*And, no... it's not a "Bluthner," either.


You are right, pv88, as always.

Roland never claimed that V2 was Bösendorfer. Nor Blüthner either. I've read their websites and their brochures, and nowhere did they mention any brand of acoustic piano. (Unlike some other DP manufacturers who mention specific models, seemingly to mislead.)

They leave it to others to make assumptions.
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#2020110 - 01/24/13 05:09 AM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: kapelli]
Hookxs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 247
Loc: Czech Republic
I didn't read the whole thread but it seems to me that some people believe that only modeling can capture the infinite possibilities of sound creation in acoustic piano. No, it can't.
Realistic piano modeling is very similar to photorealistic picture synthesis from scene models, where you need to account for ligth sources and all possible light bounces in the scene. Much much more money and effort is invested in this than piano modeling, because there is much more money to be made (think of Avatar and the like). Still, many simplifications need to be made (I know for sure, it's close to what I do) and rendering of a single frame on high-end CPUs takes several hours. Yes, the result looks good, but is still easily distinguishable from reality. So imagine how many corners need to be cut and simplifications made to "realistically" model piano sound in real-time.
I don't believe we are going to see realistic (as in "indistinguishable from the real thing") modeled piano in the near future, my bet is that sampling will ~always~ be ahead.

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#2020116 - 01/24/13 05:32 AM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: ando]
slipperykeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 379
Loc: Dorset, England
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: slipperykeys

The vast majority of digital pianos are perfectly passable replicas of acoustics.


No. The vast majority of digital pianos are somewhat close to an acoustic piano in terms of sound and action so as to make for a somewhat satisfying pianistic experience. Calling DPs replicas of acoustics is a massive overstatement.


You are entitled to your opinion, just as I am entitled to mine, so....

Yes, a digital piano is a perfectly passable replica of an acoustic piano.(I take it we disagree on this matter)

To be honest most digital pianos are better than acoustics which are often poor quality, old, worn and out of tune.

Many people on this forum seem to be keener on computers than actually playing the piano.

Personally, despite the claims made by some, I actually believe most would probably find it difficult to tell an acoustic from a top of the range digital.

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#2020120 - 01/24/13 05:44 AM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: bennevis]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2405
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: pv88
Originally Posted By: dewster
"Modeling" doesn't always mean an improvement in sound.


And, with the V-Piano, it's a step backwards with trying to reincarnate a "Bosendorfer" Imperial concert grand.*

Looks like they failed with the Vintage II presets.

*And, no... it's not a "Bluthner," either.


You are right, pv88, as always.

Roland never claimed that V2 was Bosendorfer. Nor Bluthner either. I've read their websites and their brochures, and nowhere did they mention any brand of acoustic piano. (Unlike some other DP manufacturers who mention specific models, seemingly to mislead.)

They leave it to others to make assumptions.


Wrong. Roland's leading product demonstrator Scott Tibbs states clearly that Vintage 2 is supposed to be a Bosendorfer. They don't mention specific piano makes in written material, probably for marketing or legal reasons but they certainly state explicitly what makes they have modelled during product demos. Vintage 1 is supposed to be a New York Steinway and Vintage 2 is a Bosendorfer.
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#2020130 - 01/24/13 06:26 AM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: EssBrace]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5272
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: pv88
Originally Posted By: dewster
"Modeling" doesn't always mean an improvement in sound.


And, with the V-Piano, it's a step backwards with trying to reincarnate a "Bosendorfer" Imperial concert grand.*

Looks like they failed with the Vintage II presets.

*And, no... it's not a "Bluthner," either.


You are right, pv88, as always.

Roland never claimed that V2 was Bosendorfer. Nor Bluthner either. I've read their websites and their brochures, and nowhere did they mention any brand of acoustic piano. (Unlike some other DP manufacturers who mention specific models, seemingly to mislead.)

They leave it to others to make assumptions.


Wrong. Roland's leading product demonstrator Scott Tibbs states clearly that Vintage 2 is supposed to be a Bosendorfer. They don't mention specific piano makes in written material, probably for marketing or legal reasons but they certainly state explicitly what makes they have modelled during product demos. Vintage 1 is supposed to be a New York Steinway and Vintage 2 is a Bosendorfer.


You are wrong, wrong, wrong.
Have you got a hot line to Roland, perhaps?
And just who is Scott Tibbs?
Some guy demonstrating on Youtube somewhere in USA? And you think Youtube videos are the be-all and end-all?

I saw a (British) Roland representative demonstrating the V-Piano Grand in London - were you there? At no time did he mention any piano brands. When I chatted to him later, he just said what Roland's brochure, website and manual said - V1 is a standard piano, V2 is a 'tranquil-sounding piano with a European atmosphere', and refused to get drawn into naming brands: in fact, he just said that Roland wanted two distinctively different kinds of piano sounds for the Vintage presets to suit different kinds of music.

You need to learn to distinguish what a few product demonstrators might say - with or without the approval of people in their marketing department in their country - from what is the truth, which lies somewhere in Japan. The official line is what is on their websites and brochures.

I have heard Yamaha reps say all sorts of things which are patently wrong to customers, like that AGs have identical key actions to Yamaha concert grands. But apparently many people believe it.
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#2020135 - 01/24/13 06:32 AM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: bennevis]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2405
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: bennevis
You are wrong, wrong, wrong.
Have you got a hot line to Roland, perhaps?
And just who is Scott Tibbs?
Some guy demonstrating on Youtube somewhere in USA? And you think Youtube videos are the be-all and end-all?


He is a full time employee of Roland and is involved not only in the demonstration of Roland products but their development too. Get your facts straight. And of course your retort slags off Yamaha and the Avant Grand - which is not even being discussed and is irrelevant. How predictable.


Edited by EssBrace (01/24/13 06:34 AM)
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#2020138 - 01/24/13 06:37 AM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: EssBrace]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5272
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Originally Posted By: bennevis
You are wrong, wrong, wrong.
Have you got a hot line to Roland, perhaps?
And just who is Scott Tibbs?
Some guy demonstrating on Youtube somewhere in USA? And you think Youtube videos are the be-all and end-all?


He is a full time employee of Roland and is involved not only in the demonstration of Roland products but their development too. Get your facts straight. And of course your retort slags off Yamaha and the Avant Grand - which is not even being discussed and is irrelevant. How predictable.


Ah....the old Essbrace is back!!!
How predictable - still stalking me, eh? grin wink
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"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2020141 - 01/24/13 06:40 AM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: kapelli]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2405
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
How about responding to the FACTS? Scott Tibbs is a Roland employee and participated in the V-Piano's development...he calls Vintage 2 a Bosendorfer. And your response is?
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#2020158 - 01/24/13 07:19 AM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: EssBrace]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5272
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
How about responding to the FACTS? Scott Tibbs is a Roland employee and participated in the V-Piano's development...he calls Vintage 2 a Bosendorfer. And your response is?


Calm down, dear (as the late Michael Winner would say) grin.
Actually, that could be my new catchphrase every time you come to 'correct' me in your usual grumpy manner in this forum - or maybe we could meet over in Pianists Corner, for a change of venue? grin I frequent there rather more, er, frequently.

I'll tell Scott Tibbs when I see him in the USA. I've got a trip there planned in a few months' time, doing adventurous stuff like swimming with friendly sharks, sky-diving over the desert near Las Vegas, playing baseball with friendly grizzlies in Yellowstone etc (- but you know that anyway wink .....don't you?)
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"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2020162 - 01/24/13 07:26 AM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: kapelli]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2405
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
So you don't actually have any meaningful response then about Scott Tibbs?
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#2020165 - 01/24/13 07:38 AM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: kapelli]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3835
Loc: North Carolina
frown Here we go again. Sonny Liston and Cassius Clay are in the ring again.

So, I'll just go ahead and say it:

HITLER.

Thread closed.

smile

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#2020185 - 01/24/13 08:18 AM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: MacMacMac]
36251 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 751
guys - (I love the passion.) just remember to take your heart meds.
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#2020196 - 01/24/13 08:43 AM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: kapelli]
Nigeth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 108
Could you please relocate your little petty discussion to PMs?

Oh and Mac just because you used smileys doesn't mean your reply wasn't as inappropriate as those of the previous two.

We had a lively, interesting and technical discussion about modeling v. sampling before you three came along and I'd rather it stayed that way.

I'd fancy reporting you all to the mods...


Edited by Nigeth (01/24/13 08:43 AM)

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#2020212 - 01/24/13 09:13 AM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: kapelli]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1744
Loc: Portugal
Nothing wrong with a side show from time to time. It's like the Falstaff scenes in Henry the Fourth part One. Or Rosencrantz & Guildenstern, perhaps.
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Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

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#2020220 - 01/24/13 09:31 AM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: kapelli]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3835
Loc: North Carolina
You call for an end to a petty discussion (as did I). Then you try start a new one with a "report to the mods" threat?? Amusing. (Perhaps that was your intent? Or perhaps you don't know Godwin's Law?)

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#2020256 - 01/24/13 10:47 AM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: kapelli]
Nigeth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 108
Don't try to move the discussion away from the issue by accusing me of 'taking part'. If you were really concerned about it you would have messaged me instead of posting. (Ironically I'm now forced to do the same)

Reminding people about being apropriate is not the same as partaking in the offense so don't try and make it about that.

Also Godwin's law is an observation about what will eventually happen in a lively discussion about a contested topic not something you can invoke on purpose.

So once again, please try to stay on topic and please don't try to derail the thread and please use PMs to direct any additional concerns about that to me.

Thanks

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#2020264 - 01/24/13 10:59 AM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: Nigeth]
36251 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 751
PM is no fun. It's just like FaceBook - having private conversations in public is where we are in today's society. Since this is a public blog and no rules are being broken, I say let the steel cage match continue.

No offense but it appears that this thread is now about bravado and rehashing.

My opinion on sample vs. modeling is that it appears a hybrid will be the best compromise for many years.
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#2020266 - 01/24/13 11:08 AM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: kapelli]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1744
Loc: Portugal
....or the Mrs Gamp episodes in Martin Chuzzlewit. Or even the part where Krook explodes in the middle of Bleak House.


ps - really agree with everything 36251 has just said. And this has, for me, been a very enlightening thread on modelling design & development.


Edited by toddy (01/24/13 11:09 AM)
_________________________
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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#2020275 - 01/24/13 11:26 AM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: kapelli]
slipperykeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 379
Loc: Dorset, England
As a Roland fan myself, I must admit I have also seen the (IIRC, official) Roland video of Scott Tibbs claiming a Bosendorfer as an attempted voice on the V piano.
Thinking about it they are not very likely to use a Yamaha, I suppose.

But even so, there is actually no definitive sound of a piano. Every Bosendorfer will sound different and as they age the differences will magnify.

Therefore, (again, in my opinion), there is not, nor ever will there be a definitive, end of story, ultimate, finished and forever piano tone from any manufacturer of acoustic pianos that will be the sample/model for all time.
Due to the analogue nature of acoustic pianos, even if there were, every subsequant article produced will be slightly different anyway.

For this simple reason an accurate emulation is sufficient to be considered passable, hence, Roland, Yamaha, Kawai, Korg, Nord, Casio... etc, etc, etc, all produce a passable voice for a piano tone.

Not only that, but (theoretically) that tone will never change.

This has an upside and a downside.... one, it will never improve with age, (you could take an arguably legitimate veiw that software upgrades could in fact improve the tone, contrary to my statement) two, they will never detiorate with age (you could take an arguably legitimate view that electronics components do age and deteriorate over time so my statement is not accurate).

Either way, the majority of top range digital pianos have reached a stage where they are acceptable, pretty obvious really, if they hadn't no one would buy them.

I am certainly not saying there will never be an improvment, but how many people really do not buy an electric piano because it sounds so different to an acoustic?

There must be some but my view is that they are the losers, as I believe accuracy of touch is more important than the tone produced anyway.
The greatest advantage of a digital piano is that when you discover something in the tone you don't like, you can switch the voice. You can't do that with an acoustic, although I did once put drawing pins in the hammers to try and make it sound like a harpsichord!

I have owned acoustics from 1971 to the present day, I owned a Roland RD 300s from 1991 to the present and have had a Roland RD 700NX for about 19 months.

The consistancy of the Rolands makes them far more enjoyable than the acoustics and the quality of feel and touch is vastly superior.

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#2020332 - 01/24/13 12:53 PM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: kapelli]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1777
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
I have an RD 700NX too, and it's great for what it is.

But I will NEVER, meaning NEVER, willingly play it in preference to my acoustic. I'm glad to have the RD for when I need silent practice or to play whizbang games with electronics, but when I want the best piano playing experience available (which is almost always what I want), I play the acoustic.


Edited by ClsscLib (01/24/13 12:54 PM)
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#2020345 - 01/24/13 01:13 PM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: slipperykeys]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5272
Originally Posted By: slipperykeys
But even so, there is actually no definitive sound of a piano. Every Bosendorfer will sound different and as they age the differences will magnify.

For this simple reason an accurate emulation is sufficient to be considered passable, hence, Roland, Yamaha, Kawai, Korg, Nord, Casio... etc, etc, etc, all produce a passable voice for a piano tone.

Not only that, but (theoretically) that tone will never change.

This has an upside and a downside.... one, it will never improve with age, (you could take an arguably legitimate veiw that software upgrades could in fact improve the tone, contrary to my statement) two, they will never detiorate with age (you could take an arguably legitimate view that electronics components do age and deteriorate over time so my statement is not accurate).

There must be some but my view is that they are the losers, as I believe accuracy of touch is more important than the tone produced anyway.
The greatest advantage of a digital piano is that when you discover something in the tone you don't like, you can switch the voice. You can't do that with an acoustic, although I did once put drawing pins in the hammers to try and make it sound like a harpsichord!





I often get the impression that many DP users have only ever played one or two acoustic pianos (if at all) and base their idea of 'piano sound' (and 'piano action') around that, or maybe from one or two favorite Youtube videos. Bösendorfers can sound anything from mellow to strident, even within the same model, and the same goes for almost all other brands, except maybe for Blüthner, which I've never encountered a strident-sounding one. The age of the pianos play a part too, as well as how they've been voiced. Yamaha and Kawai tend to be more consistent.
And the acoustics of the room where you play the piano/DP (if not using headphones) play a big part too, which is partly why I always base my assessment of DPs using my own headphones - the other reason being the inadequacy of the amplification and speaker system in many DPs.

A DP that doesn't feel and respond anything like the real thing is, to me, pointless - no matter how good its inherent sound, or how 'authentic' its action. As many people have discovered, it's all too easy to get bored with a new DP after just a short period of time, and I believe this is partly to do with its predictable sound picture. Which is where a modeled DP has the advantage: it can give you an ugly sound or a beautiful sound depending on how you want it, and how you play it. Whether the sound is infinitely variable or not (according to some posters here, apparently it's no more variable than sampled DPs), it feels like it is, and I've never got tired of playing and practising on my V-Piano, because it responds to my touch - good or bad - just like an acoustic.

Last weekend, I made some recordings on a Yamaha CF6 grand for a piano showroom website (and possibly a magazine too). Even though it wasn't a CFX, it sounded very powerful and loud in that showroom, in fact, louder than the CFX I played a few weeks ago (in a much bigger hall). I had to do a few takes before I adjusted to it. It was all to do with its voicing and the acoustics.
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2020554 - 01/24/13 04:35 PM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: Nigeth]
Macy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 612
Originally Posted By: Nigeth
Originally Posted By: Macy

The problem with modeling isn't CPU power (today's modeled pianos don't come close to using the CPU power available in today's most powerful computers.) It's constructing realistic models.


As someone who has some background in audio processing I disagree with your assessment.

I'll quote the pianoteq 4 system requirements: "PIANOTEQ is CPU intensive software for it computes the sound in real time. However, most modern computers already offer a fully sufficient CPU. We recommend a CPU with dual or multiple cores, such as the Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD X2. By restricting polyphony or the internal sample rate in the Options menu, you can work with less powerful CPU's."


You are making my point for me. Pianoteq works fine on a Core 2 Duo, and doesn't come close to exhausting the computing power of standard state-of-the-art 12-core desktop computers, let alone take advantage of custom hardware implementations with DSP processors and FPGAs that could be used in standalone DPs. My experience is with implementing 3-dimensional spatio-temporal video signal processing, software algorithm design, and custom DSP hardware design using FPGAs.

Pianoteq is in no way restricted by the computing power of today's desktop computers, and built-to-purpose standalone DP's in the V-Piano grand price range could have many, many times more DSP horsepower for computing far more complex DE models and algorithms than desktop computers. Computational power is in no way a limitation for producing better modeling performance when today's "best" implementations can run on Core 2 Duo processors. What is needed is more realistic modeling.
_________________________
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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#2020611 - 01/24/13 05:45 PM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: kapelli]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3835
Loc: North Carolina
I think the term compute-intensive, applied to a program, is meant to say that it mostly performs computation, and that I/O is a lesser factor.

It need not mean that the program stretches the capability of any typical computer.

I run Pianoteq (or rather, I used to) on a beater laptop, a dual-core CPU from 2006, 1.7 GHz. Pianoteq ran with no problem at all. Today you'd be hard-pressed to find a computer that lame (except maybe for the low-end netbooks). Pianoteq may be compute-intensive, but that's only in comparison its I/O-paucity. Unlike samplers, it does not spend its time reading digital audio files.

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#2020617 - 01/24/13 05:50 PM Re: Why all pianos are sampled not modeled? [Re: kapelli]
Nigeth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 108
Doing a custom DSP and FPGA Setup would require a much higher volume production run than you'd get for DPs

In sub 20,000k runs even a standard analog devices blackfin DSP is $20 and most silicon manufacturers won't even talk to you (call us when you want a million +) a capable sharc or tigersharc will be above $50 or even $100.

Thats for a single DSP core.

a capable xilinx FPGA core would also cost you roughly $50 to $100

This doesn't include any of the parts that actually make up the PCB of the piano and it probably still wouldn't get you anywhere near the performance of the i5.

Such a custom made board would probably be around $500 for the complete bill of materials or twice that if you want anything close to PC specs.

So you'd have to retail the finished PCB alone for three times that to come up with even a slight profit margin.

Then you'd still have no knobs and buttons, no enclosure, no action, no display and no software.

So you end up with a device that may be close to the performance necessary to run a pianoteq model at about the price of a V-grand

DSP setups are not about max performance it's about comparable performance for less, less heat, less money, less overhead less pcb space.

It can be cheaper if we're talking about decent economies of scale but you'd still only be able to match the core2duo's performance for a higher price but less complexity and less power consumption, smaller form factor. But also less memory bandwidth and less overall memory.

Also diffentials are hard even for floating point DSPs and might even be more taxing than video filtering/analysis and en-/ decoding. DCTs and FFTs are usually builtins, complex differentual equations are less common though so not that readily supported. (I assume your algorithm does encoding and video analysis/processing in the frequency and time/ spacial dimensions)

For me a current quad core as recommended platform falls under 'computationally expensive' especially when the result is so underwhelming. To match the power of your state of the art 12 core would be prohibitively expensive to do with a custom DSP setup. Look at abject failures like the alpha that will sell for a MSRP of $30000 if it ever gets made.

this also assumes that the modelling algorithms are as easily parallelizable as picture/video analysis/processing algos and can use all of the cores.

It's not only about what's available it's also about cost. Nobody will build a DP that could run current state of the art models if the price would be too high, that's because nobody would buy it.

Even devices like the V-Grand are enthusiast instruments for a very small demo.

That doesn't mean it also could be about the quality of the models.

The $1000 question is though, are the models the way they are because of their lack of maturity (possible and probable) or are the models that way because it's the best you can do on current hardware?

Recomending a decent quadcore but only 256 megs of ram smells like the CPU is the bottleneck here ( I'd guess it's an NP hard problem or at least exponential time)

My opinion is that it's both column A and column B.

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