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#2122619 - 07/25/13 01:45 AM VILab Owners Usage Discussion
Dan Clark Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 175
Loc: Bellevue, WA USA
Good evening. I started this thread with the hope that VILabs owners will share there experiences, issues, and tips and tricks here. While obviously anyone can post here, the thread is aimed at VILabs owners.

----

My iLok came today. There were a couple of idiosyncrasies to overcome with the install and VILabs sounds activation, but overall it went reasonably well.

The UVI and VILabs sounds install went fairly well, with a strange idiosyncrasy when you install to another drive in a non-default location. If anyone is interested, I'll explain further, but it wasn't a big issue, was limited to the installation software, and only took a few minutes to resolve.

Regarding the American Grand sound and UVI software, overall it seems pretty decent. The American Grand (AG) playability seems a bit better than my Galaxy Vintage D (GVD), but the sound seems to be a mixed bag. Sometimes I think the GVD sounds better and sometimes the AG sounds a bit better. Generally, the GVD sounds seems a bit more nuanced, especially when playing a chord. Since I've only had an hour to play with the AG, I suspect that fiddling with the settings will provide a better sound. In any case, if I didn't have the GVD for comparison, I doubt if I would have noticed it. Much experimentation will follow in the next few days.

The only significant issue with the AG that I ran into so far is the sustain pedal. My Casio 850 has a true half-pedal with multiple levels. With the GVD, there is the nice gradual let off (I'm not sure of the correct term) that I'd expect. With the AG, the let off is very bipolar - very much ON then OFF. There seems to be no change between "HALF-PEDAL" enabled and disabled.

Has anyone else noticed this sustain pedal issue? Is this a setting that I'm missing? Potential bug?

Regards,

Dan.

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#2122757 - 07/25/13 11:25 AM Re: VILab Owners Usage Discussion [Re: Dan Clark]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3480
Loc: Pennsylvania
I haven't used True Keys but as I understand it, one of the features it has that you don't find in many other software pianos is configurability of the half pedal region. Looking at the online guide I only see a dial for changing the location of the half pedal range (moving it might make it easier for you to trigger the half pedal sample). the control is called "Half-Pedal Center."

For some reason I thought it actually had configuration of the width of the half pedal range as well, but I don't see it here. Maybe I am confusing it with another product.

Just as a sanity check, you do have half pedal button enabled, right? I often miss things like that.

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#2122801 - 07/25/13 01:13 PM Re: VILab Owners Usage Discussion [Re: gvfarns]
Dan Clark Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 175
Loc: Bellevue, WA USA
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
I haven't used True Keys but as I understand it, one of the features it has that you don't find in many other software pianos is configurability of the half pedal region. Looking at the online guide I only see a dial for changing the location of the half pedal range (moving it might make it easier for you to trigger the half pedal sample). the control is called "Half-Pedal Center."

For some reason I thought it actually had configuration of the width of the half pedal range as well, but I don't see it here. Maybe I am confusing it with another product.

Just as a sanity check, you do have half pedal button enabled, right? I often miss things like that.

gvfarns,

Thanks for the feedback.

The half-pedal button is set to "On" (see screen shot below).

Regarding the "Half-Pedal Center" control, it doesn't exist or at least I can't find it. The UI is a pretty decent and usable, but a bit odd. The "HALF-PEDAL" button is an example. The little circle with a circular arrow is not an incremental value control. It's function is to load half-pedal values so that the on-off button (looks like a standard power button) just to the right is enabled and turned on. The "load" takes a couple seconds. When on-off button is "loaded", the on-off button can turn half-pedal on and off quickly. The on-off button works well but that all it does - on and off, no change in range or anything else.

There are two controls called "HALF-PEDAL MAX CC" and "HALF-PEDAL MAX CC". I tried changing these values, but that doesn't affect the half-pedal action. Unlike the non-existent "Half-Pedal Center" control, the "HALF-PEDAL MAX CC" and "HALF-PEDAL MAX CC" controls DO exist, but are NOT mentioned in the documentation.

In addition, I tried changing release volume and other parameters, but nothing seems to fix the issue.

I'm getting a stronger feeling that this is a bug. This is irritating because great pedal features are promoted as one of True Keys major features.

I'm also getting a feeling that True-Keys is very much a V1.0 software product. (The UVI workstation if V2.1.4, but that just controls the True-Keys software.) Virtually all V1.0 software is notorious for having lots of bugs, features that don't work or partially work as advertised, and UI idiosyncrasies. It's not a reflection of the quality development team. It's just that building new software from nothing is insanely difficult. (I speak from lots of personal experience.) I expect that True-Keys V1.1 will be a marked improvement from the current version.

I'm going to log a bug report with VILabs about these pedal-related issues. I'll report back on the response.

Regards,

Dan.

p.s. It's always possible that a pedal bug does not exist, and it's just a user error or there's a hidden control.


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#2122825 - 07/25/13 02:14 PM Re: VILab Owners Usage Discussion [Re: Dan Clark]
Aeons Holle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 55
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Dan, as it stands True Keys is definitely not V1.0 anymore, as there recently was a significant upgrade which included changes to the half-pedal behaviour and controls, amongst others. That's why your UI looks different than the documentation.

In the previous version you could only define a half-pedal center point, and the range was fixed to 10 points above and below the center point. So the half pedal range was always quite narrow at ~20, no matter where you set the center point, and for some types of pedals (their implementation really differs by brands and models), this did not work well.
In my case, with the Kawai CA95 pedal this resulted in a physical range so small that it was pretty much impossible to hit (like a few millimeters), even with very careful pedal raise I would always overshoot the range before stopping my foot motion, so the halfpedal effect was only in effect for fractions of a second before I reached "full pedal up" territory.

Now with the upgrade, you can actually freely define the zone at which half pedal effect is active.

Please try the following values:
Half-pedal max CC: 126
Half-pedal min CC: 2

This will expand the active half pedal range to the maximum, so that should be a fairly wide physical travel range on your Casio pedal.
If you then get the halfpedal effect, you can control the volume of the halfpedal release trails with the release volume parameter.

Good luck!
_________________________
Kawai CA95
VI Labs True Keys: Pianos
Synthogy Ivory II American Concert D, Italian Grand, Grand Pianos
Galaxy Vintage D, The Giant

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#2122839 - 07/25/13 02:48 PM Re: VILab Owners Usage Discussion [Re: Aeons Holle]
Dan Clark Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 175
Loc: Bellevue, WA USA
Aeons,

Hmmm... Good feedback.

I downloaded mine using the link in my order: http://vilabsaudio.com/index.php?route=account/download. The download file timestamp is 7/22/2013 6:35 PM.

Where/how did you get that version?

Regards,

Dan.

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#2122849 - 07/25/13 03:05 PM Re: VILab Owners Usage Discussion [Re: Dan Clark]
Aeons Holle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 55
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
You did get the newest version already because you have just bought the software; it was updated back in early June, so from then on new customers should only have access to the new version. As I had already purchased the software right on release, when the update became available I did receive a new download link in my account just like yours.

So I assume the documentation shows the old controls still.
Dead giveaways for the new version are the new halfpedal controls and the MAX value for the velocity threshold controls, so you're good to go!

Any more questions, feel free to ask. I've really put the software through its paces in the last months.

Cheers from a fellow dev!
_________________________
Kawai CA95
VI Labs True Keys: Pianos
Synthogy Ivory II American Concert D, Italian Grand, Grand Pianos
Galaxy Vintage D, The Giant

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#2122863 - 07/25/13 03:27 PM Re: VILab Owners Usage Discussion [Re: Dan Clark]
Ojustaboo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/11
Posts: 155
Loc: Deleted
Deleted


Edited by Ojustaboo (07/29/13 07:01 PM)

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#2122877 - 07/25/13 04:17 PM Re: VILab Owners Usage Discussion [Re: Dan Clark]
Dan Clark Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 175
Loc: Bellevue, WA USA
Aeons,

First, I tried your suggestion in your prior post and the half-pedal now works like I would expect it should. Many thanks for that.

I just got an email from the good folks at VILabs support that was a bit confusing. Like you, I have the current release. However, they indicate that there are more, unannounced changes coming the near future. Which caused me to think that you were using that version. My bad. Their comments were about new, incremental changes. Looks positive.

Thanks and regards,

Dan.


Edited by Dan Clark (07/25/13 04:53 PM)

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#2122881 - 07/25/13 04:24 PM Re: VILab Owners Usage Discussion [Re: Ojustaboo]
Dan Clark Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 175
Loc: Bellevue, WA USA
Ojustaboo,

It's obvious that your computer is just too old and slow! OK, maybe not. smile

Good feedback. I've heard of similar issues with Win8. I have Win7 on all of my computers (five here and two at the office) and have no wish to change in the short term. Hopefully, Win8.1 will be better.

I have more questions that will have to wait until this evening.

Regards,

Dan.

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#2123019 - 07/25/13 09:30 PM What does the “Release Volume” knob do? [Re: Dan Clark]
Dan Clark Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 175
Loc: Bellevue, WA USA
I read through the long-winded description in the user manual and still don't understand what functional impact that knob has. Any ideas?

Thanks,

Dan.

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#2123156 - 07/26/13 04:53 AM Re: What does the “Release Volume” knob do? [Re: Dan Clark]
Aeons Holle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 55
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Ojustaboo, I'm sorry to hear about your installation problems and conflicts with Cubase.
Like Dan, I am using Win7 and continue to stay clear of Win8 for the time being. I also have not encountered any problems using the UVI VST in my DAW (Reaper 64bit) so far. I hope you get the issues resolved soon.

Dan, glad to hear my suggestion regarding the half-pedal worked for you.
The release volume knob controls the volume level of the release trails which occur after a key has been released and (on a real grand) the dampers are touching the strings to mute them. The sound of the note isn't completely muted in an instant though, instead there is some faint sound trail which quickly fades away (takes longer on bass strings than treble).
When halfpedaling, dampers are only partly touching the strings, so muting takes even longer.

When you increase release volume via the knob, this sound is louder and thus more prominent.
To specifically try it, just press a key, release it and listen to the occuring muting sound on various release volume levels.
_________________________
Kawai CA95
VI Labs True Keys: Pianos
Synthogy Ivory II American Concert D, Italian Grand, Grand Pianos
Galaxy Vintage D, The Giant

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