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#2035339 - 02/18/13 03:40 PM External Sound for Software Piano
Vid Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 959
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
I did a brief search but didn't really find a clear answer to this question.

I've recently got into the piano software thing to breath some new life into my aged CLP130 starting with Pianoteq and more recently Vintage D. Not surprisingly the only sound output that sounds good is through headphones. I briefly tried using computer speakers and piping the audio to the DP speakers but obviously the results were terrible.

So, what are some decent setups for external sound? Straight up monitor/amplifier? Amplifier unit with speakers? I have a lot of computer experience but have never done anything with sound systems so suggestions are appreciated.

It only has to be sound for personal use. I don't intend to use the setup for gigging or anything like that. My roommate prefers to hear piano sound while practicing instead of just key 'thumps' and its nice to take off the headphones now and again.
Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

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#2035347 - 02/18/13 03:52 PM Re: External Sound for Software Piano [Re: Vid]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1707
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
There are several recent threads on this topic -- google "monitor" or "Rockit" to get some examples.

The critical questions:

. . . What's your budget?

. . . How much do you care about accurate low-bass sound?

. Charles

#2035399 - 02/18/13 05:40 PM Re: External Sound for Software Piano [Re: Vid]
dmd Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 2002
Loc: Pennsylvania
About the only thing I can offer you on this subject is what I use (see below).

I am pretty happy with my sound system now.

It probably could be better with a subwoofer or the next higher level monitors.

I like to mix the sound of my DP with the software sounds and I also like to blend the sound coming from my DP speakers with my monitors. All of this together provides me with a lot of options depending upon what type of music I am playing. Also, the mixer gives me EQing capability, not necessary but I like that option.

If you don't intend to mix things, you would not need the mixer.

There are things that are less expensive and things that are more expensive. You pretty much end up with a result based on that cost. My sound system (monitors, audio interface, mixer)cost is in the area of $1000. Not cheap.

What I have is pretty much my minimum level of equipment to get a sound I enjoy.

You may find things on Craigslist or Ebay to help reduce that cost, but then you need to know what you are doing (I didn't) or that might not work out so well either.

Good Luck

Edited by dmd (02/18/13 05:45 PM)

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

#2035400 - 02/18/13 05:41 PM Re: External Sound for Software Piano [Re: Vid]
Vid Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 959
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
I would say the budget would be around $400 - $500.

I'm not sure about the second question by accurate do you mean distortion vs. clear? I'm primarily a classical player so don't need a thumping bass.

Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

#2035418 - 02/18/13 06:19 PM Re: External Sound for Software Piano [Re: Vid]
Fscotte Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/13
Posts: 44
I found some new old stock Alesis 720 nearfield monitors at a discount pice.

One thing to keep in mind, I have the clp340, is that near fields will sound less muddy than the speakers in your yamaha. So much that many of the VST I've demoed are too clean and clear.

But I suggest not spending too much. Look on ebay for some used nearfields.

#2035467 - 02/18/13 08:00 PM Re: External Sound for Software Piano [Re: Vid]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3993
Loc: North Carolina
I bought used equipment, and I got a lot for a little money.
I posted this picture here some time ago.

The 5-channel receiver/amp was just $32 on ebay.
The DVD player was $27.
The mixer was $47.
The small equalizer was $36.
The large one was $95.
The Presonus audio interface was $71.
The tower speakers on Craigs List was $100.
The bookshelf speakers was $40.
The speaker stands was $25.
Total: $473

I suspect that most people would choose to skip the DVD player and equalizers ... which would cut it to just $315.

Used is good. I got a lot at little expense.

#2035498 - 02/18/13 09:19 PM Re: External Sound for Software Piano [Re: Vid]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014

Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2114
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted By: Vid
I would say the budget would be around $400 - $500.

I'm not sure about the second question by accurate do you mean distortion vs. clear? I'm primarily a classical player so don't need a thumping bass.


Accurate means just that. Correct reproduction of the source. An example of not accurate is thumping bass. When you listen to really good audio. You go back to other and am surprised at how innacurate they are. You don't realize until you hear the really good audio.

Many of the popular monitors at a good price have inaccurate bass. The reason is that people like that. Although I haven't bothered to listen to many in your price range. I imagine they aren't real good.

I have two pairs of monitors for my audio.
One pair of Event Studio Precision 8.
One pair of Prodipe Pro Ribbon 8.

The Event's are really good monitors. Fine reproduction. Not harsh. Very accurate. I'm happy with the bass. I live in an apartment. I can't go using a sub woofer. These do have one achilles heel. They will burn out the amp. These are not sold anymore. The remainder I've seen online. They are asking $1400 a pair for them. A newer version with a different name is cheaper. But a little above what you are wanting to spend. Event 20/20 bass They look much like mine. They have a heat sink on the back. This indicates to me this is an upgrade to eliminate problems with the amp. I would suggest these. Event does an exceptional job on sound. Mine, I will keep. I'm happy with them even though I many have an amp in one of them replaced every so often. That costs me $350. I'm still happy enough with the sound to keep them.

The Prodipes are a budget monitor. The company is known to put out a lot of junk. In the midst of this they will turn out a diamond every so often. Mine cost $350 new for the pair. I haven't had many of the problems others have experienced with theirs. Like hiss from the speaker with nothing on. Or an led not working. Mine were very tight at first. Had had to cook them a bunch. They really aren't bad at all. A little on the hard side. I compare a good source through them and my Event's. I love my Event's. They're just a big step up. Finer, more accurate, nuances right. I love my Event's.

Overall I won't criticise my sound. I'm running the same PreSonus sound box many here do. It isn't that good. There are much better sound boxes. I'm running IvoryII for my piano. I have a pair of AKG K240 headphones. I'd put my Event's on par with the headphones. You can get better. Both of these are good enough...they meet my baseline for good audio.

I wouldn't get anything MKII. That usually indicates the increased drawn out false bass.

I would like to add. The other day I played a couple Mariah Carey songs off youtube through my Event's. Geesh! When they are fed the source. They will hit you hard with the bass. But it's accurate. Not the false drawn out bass on many of the popular inexpensive monitors these days.
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

#2035893 - 02/19/13 02:07 PM Re: External Sound for Software Piano [Re: Vid]
Vid Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 959
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Thanks for the suggestions! I have some research and shopping around to do.
Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D


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