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#2077701 - 05/05/13 02:54 PM Piano VSTi distortion with certain chords
hamtirobo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/18/13
Posts: 4
Has anyone else noticed distortion (like a static/rattle noise) when playing certain chords with a piano vsti? I've tried multiple libraries (Ivory, Galaxy Vintage D, Imperfect Samples Fazioli, Cinesamples Piano in Blue), and whenever I try to get an intimate up close sound, I often hear distortion when playing a note around C6 with a note below E4. I thought it was my studio monitors (Yamaha HS80M) at first, so I tried it with some other monitors and heard the exact same rattle-type distortion.

The distortion usually only comes from one of the speakers at a time. For example, playing a C6 with an E4 will cause the right speaker to distort, but playing a C6 with an A4 will cause the left speaker to distort. It's like there's some sort of stereo phase issue causing the distortion. Is this a common problem with piano vsti's? Is there any way to fix it? And yes, I have tried turning off all reverb and other effects.

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#2077706 - 05/05/13 03:00 PM Re: Piano VSTi distortion with certain chords [Re: hamtirobo]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2423
Loc: UK
Hear it with headphones?

#2077999 - 05/06/13 12:10 AM Re: Piano VSTi distortion with certain chords [Re: hamtirobo]
hamtirobo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/18/13
Posts: 4
I don't notice any distortion with headphones (Grado SR125i), so the distortion might be caused by the studio monitors I've tried it on. But maybe the headphones just don't reproduce the signal as accurately, so the distortion is not noticeable. Yamaha HS80Ms have a much better frequency response than headphones. I've also tested it on a pair of M-Audio AV40's, and they produce the exact same noise. Since I don't have access to top-of-the-line studio monitors, I can't rule them out as the source of the problem. But if other people have the same issue, then that might point to the piano vsti as the source.

#2078088 - 05/06/13 02:55 AM Re: Piano VSTi distortion with certain chords [Re: hamtirobo]
PtJaa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/12
Posts: 198
Loc: Czech Republic
hamtirobo, you didn't write anything about how acoustically treated is the room where this happens. Have you tried moving the speakers (and whatever else is necessary) to a different room?

If the same effect happens with multiple VSTis and speakers, the acoustic space (the room and various inconspicuous objects in it) seem a very likely culprit. (be aware though that the reflections from the ceiling can also cause some distortion, and rooms in the same flat have often the same height of the ceiling)

Also, when you use the transpose function in the VSTis, what happens?
Kawai CA65 :: Galaxy: Vintage D, Vienna Grand, Giant :: Pianoteq 5 :: Kontakt 5 :: Reaper :: True Keys pianos

#2078880 - 05/07/13 03:38 PM Re: Piano VSTi distortion with certain chords [Re: hamtirobo]
hamtirobo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/18/13
Posts: 4
My room has acoustic foam at the first reflection points. I could use more bass traps, but I've positioned myself about 37% of the room length away from the wall, so the bass response isn't too bad. The speakers are sitting on individual speaker stands with 2 inches of foam to absorb the mechanical vibration. I originally thought the stand was the problem, so I moved the speakers on the floor, but the distortion did not go away. What I noticed, though, was if I positioned myself about a foot above the tweeters, I couldn't hear the distortion (maybe because it was drowned out by the highs, or the distortion noise is very directional). I recorded a sample and played it back on a set of different monitors in a different room, and I could still hear the distortion.

When I use the transpose function, the distortion is produced with the samples still assigned around C6 on the keyboard. It seems as though the distortion is caused by certain samples, not certain frequencies, because when I play the actual C6 frequency (along with a bass note) the distortion isn't there. When I play individual notes, the distortion is not there. Only when I play chords does the distortion become noticeable, so I'm thinking it might be caused by accumulated noise. But if this were the case, why does the distortion tend to be worse for the samples around C6 (when played with bass notes) for almost every piano library I've tried (Galaxy Vintage D with the closed lid setting, Imperfect Samples Fazioli on player perspective mic, and Cinesamples Piano in Blue on close mic)?

Ivory doesn't produce noticeable distortion around a C6, but I do occasionally hear the distortion when playing other chords. The previous three libraries I mentioned do use Kontakt, so does Kontakt possibly have something to do with it? I've checked the output signal and it doesn't go over -7dBFS, so I don't think there's clipping. Also, the distortion usually only occurs when playing the notes at around a medium velocity (low and high velocities don't produce distortion).


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