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#2232977 - 02/17/14 07:40 AM Ivory II Concert D settings for Classical sound
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1686
Loc: Pennsylvania
I recently purchased the Ivory II Concert D and am struggling trying to find a sound for classical piano pieces.

Any users out there with suggestions ?

Thanks
_________________________
Don

My current system: Kawai ES7 + Focal CMS40 Powered Monitors, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface, Mackie ProFX8 Mixer, Ravenscroft275, True Keys American Grand, Ivory II American Concert D, Steinway Basic, Galaxy Vintage D, True Pianos, Pianoteq, Alicia's Keys

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#2233237 - 02/17/14 03:10 PM Re: Ivory II Concert D settings for Classical sound [Re: dmd]
AZ_Astro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 357
Loc: Tempe, Arizona
I think I tried every factory default and although my ear probably isn't the best, why don't you try the Graceful American and the Lyrical American Concert D settings and see how you like them? Try not to make too many tweaks of the settings away from the defaults (or save the new settings with a new name).

Let us know your thoughts. Maybe you could also find one that you don't like as well and see if you can discern why. This may help you evaluate and tweak things down the road.
_________________________
Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Ivory II, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.


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#2233241 - 02/17/14 03:18 PM Re: Ivory II Concert D settings for Classical sound [Re: AZ_Astro]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1686
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: AZ_Astro
I think I tried every factory default and although my ear probably isn't the best, why don't you try the Graceful American and the Lyrical American Concert D settings and see how you like them? Try not to make too many tweaks of the settings away from the defaults (or save the new settings with a new name).

Let us know your thoughts. Maybe you could also find one that you don't like as well and see if you can discern why. This may help you evaluate and tweak things down the road.





Thanks for the effort and the reply.

Apparently, you do not use Ivory II Concert D for classical music.

I too, have tried every one of the presets and find none of them to my liking.

I am hoping to find someone that actually is using this software for classical music and has a standard setting they can relate to me with.
_________________________
Don

My current system: Kawai ES7 + Focal CMS40 Powered Monitors, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface, Mackie ProFX8 Mixer, Ravenscroft275, True Keys American Grand, Ivory II American Concert D, Steinway Basic, Galaxy Vintage D, True Pianos, Pianoteq, Alicia's Keys

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#2233247 - 02/17/14 03:21 PM Re: Ivory II Concert D settings for Classical sound [Re: dmd]
AZ_Astro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 357
Loc: Tempe, Arizona
I just checked my American D settings and recordings and found that I have also used the Impressionistic ACD factory settings. But most of the recordings that I have made have been with the Graceful American. I can't tell off hand what tweaks I have done but I know there have been a few.

I would suggest trying the Graceful American.

On the Sessions tab, bump up the gain to 7.5ish.
Change the Velocity Map Preset to a setting that you like

On the Program tab, I usually turn down the key and pedal noises, and then I fiddle a bit with the Dynamic Range a bit.

On the Effects tab, you can try other effect presets to see which one you like. I usually like the studio settings.

Back on Program tab, you might try the Performer/Audience toggle to see which one you like.

Anyway, that should give you a start. And I would love to hear how you feel about the results. Odds are very good that you will find that you prefer things different from me and I know everyone with Ivory II American D would be interesting in getting more feedback.








Edited by AZ_Astro (02/17/14 03:23 PM)
_________________________
Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Ivory II, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.


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#2233249 - 02/17/14 03:25 PM Re: Ivory II Concert D settings for Classical sound [Re: dmd]
AZ_Astro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 357
Loc: Tempe, Arizona
I primarily play the German D instead of the American D. And I do play classical music primarily.

I originally purchased the Ivory II grand pianos (with German D), then purchased American D, then returned to using German D after using American D for several months.

I guess that means I prefer the German D to American D for most classical work. I know that doesn't help you out. Sorry!




Edited by AZ_Astro (02/17/14 03:30 PM)
_________________________
Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Ivory II, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.


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#2233311 - 02/17/14 05:07 PM Re: Ivory II Concert D settings for Classical sound [Re: AZ_Astro]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1686
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: AZ_Astro
I primarily play the German D instead of the American D. And I do play classical music primarily.

I originally purchased the Ivory II grand pianos (with German D), then purchased American D, then returned to using German D after using American D for several months.

I guess that means I prefer the German D to American D for most classical work. I know that doesn't help you out. Sorry!




No, it doesn't help me but it does confirm my sense that there does not seem to be a preset that works right out of the box.

That never makes sense to me. You would think the authors of this product would have at least one sound they feel is their best effort at a classical piano sound. Why do I have to create one ? Logically, I would have to assume that if they can't do it ...neither can I.

Oh .. I know ... the standard reply to that is "Everybody has a different view on what that sound should be". Well, that is not true to the extent that nothing sounds good. Ridiculous.

So, anyway thanks for your help and I will take a look at your previous suggestions.
_________________________
Don

My current system: Kawai ES7 + Focal CMS40 Powered Monitors, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface, Mackie ProFX8 Mixer, Ravenscroft275, True Keys American Grand, Ivory II American Concert D, Steinway Basic, Galaxy Vintage D, True Pianos, Pianoteq, Alicia's Keys

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#2233323 - 02/17/14 05:41 PM Re: Ivory II Concert D settings for Classical sound [Re: dmd]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1686
Loc: Pennsylvania
Ok, I tried the Graceful American and I agree that it has a reasonably good beginning sound. I fussed around with it previously and came to that same conclusion. I was hoping for a bit more of a specific direction but I understand the difficulty of that.

Here is something more specific ...

One thing I notice in most all of these is that the sound seems to be more of "pluck" of the strings in stead of just striking them. I am wondering if you hear the same thing and (if so) what do you do to reduce that, if in fact you wish to reduce it ?
_________________________
Don

My current system: Kawai ES7 + Focal CMS40 Powered Monitors, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface, Mackie ProFX8 Mixer, Ravenscroft275, True Keys American Grand, Ivory II American Concert D, Steinway Basic, Galaxy Vintage D, True Pianos, Pianoteq, Alicia's Keys

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#2233571 - 02/18/14 07:37 AM Re: Ivory II Concert D settings for Classical sound [Re: AZ_Astro]
bfb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/11
Posts: 530
Loc: Atlanta GA USA
Originally Posted By: AZ_Astro

I originally purchased the Ivory II grand pianos (with German D), then purchased American D, then returned to using German D after using American D for several months.


you are not alone doing this. i did the same thing and have never tired of the German's versatility and pleasant timbre.
_________________________

Steinway M; Roland V-Piano; Yamaha P250; Roland FP 5
Ivory II Grands, Italian, American D; Galaxy Vintage D; Alicia's Keys; Garritan Steinway; Galaxy Pianos; The Grand 3

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#2233973 - 02/18/14 10:49 PM Re: Ivory II Concert D settings for Classical sound [Re: dmd]
AZ_Astro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 357
Loc: Tempe, Arizona
Originally Posted By: dmd

Here is something more specific ...

One thing I notice in most all of these is that the sound seems to be more of "pluck" of the strings in stead of just striking them. I am wondering if you hear the same thing and (if so) what do you do to reduce that, if in fact you wish to reduce it ?



No, I don't hear that, in any register.

The bass is strong and clear. To me it's the best part of American D. The mid-register sounds fine but lacks power relative to the bass register. And I feel pretty much the same way about the upper register. Neither the upper or mid ranges have the silvery pure sound of German D.

But I think I prefer the bass in American D. I love its sustain and strength.

By the way, I am listening to American D through headphones to avoid any speaker weirdness. I use stereo monitor speakers but don't like them as well as headphones anyway.
_________________________
Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Ivory II, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.


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#2233974 - 02/18/14 11:01 PM Re: Ivory II Concert D settings for Classical sound [Re: bfb]
AZ_Astro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 357
Loc: Tempe, Arizona
Originally Posted By: bfb
Originally Posted By: AZ_Astro

I originally purchased the Ivory II grand pianos (with German D), then purchased American D, then returned to using German D after using American D for several months.


you are not alone doing this. i did the same thing and have never tired of the German's versatility and pleasant timbre.


I updated my signature to show the various software pianos that I have tried. Looks like we have taken a similar path, and reached a similar conclusion. My preferences for software pianos are in the order that I have listed them.

I have owned Ivory II for about a year and a half and I purchased American D about a year ago, played it exclusively for about three or four months, then tired of it and moved back to German D. Haven't looked back for a long time and I still find playing the German D to be fulfilling.
_________________________
Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Ivory II, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.


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#2234044 - 02/19/14 03:26 AM Re: Ivory II Concert D settings for Classical sound [Re: AZ_Astro]
eulerdisk Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/01/13
Posts: 7
Loc: Italy
@AZ_Astro
Maybe it's OT but, may I ask you if you have any audio amplifier for the headphones ??

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#2234071 - 02/19/14 07:05 AM Re: Ivory II Concert D settings for Classical sound [Re: dmd]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 1802
Loc: Rocky Mountains
I've asked about this before. Am very interested...
On my German D. When I play softly. It's loses hammer noise. Almost "as if" the soft pedal is automatically engaged. Don't hear any strike of the strings. Then, at a certain point of playing harder. I'd say maybe at Mf? It picks up the hammer noise. The initial strike of the strings.

1) Do you find this also?
2) Is an acoustic Steinway D in reality, this way?


I would like to say. I'm playing with the settings on my Ivory always. Always upping the gain, dynamic range. Makes a big difference from any of the standard settings. Much more like what I perceive to be a real piano.
_________________________
Ron
Ingrid, my beloved VPC : "Play it Sam....For old times sake...Play it for me...I'll sing it with you...Play me again, Sam."

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#2234084 - 02/19/14 07:33 AM Re: Ivory II Concert D settings for Classical sound [Re: dmd]
WaterDweller Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/01/13
Posts: 12
It seems all the most popular sampled pianos have the same flaw, with regards to classical music: they're close mic'ed. Some of them even seem to have had the microphones placed almost inside the piano, just under the lid, which is a big no-no when recording classical music. The only one I've used that had a reasonable microphone placement available was the old Garritan Steinway (Garritan Authorized Steinway?). Unfortunately, despite its wonderful sound, it suffered from very conspicuous changes between velocity layers.

There really isn't much you can do to get the really "classical" classical sound with close mic'ed samples. frown

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#2234549 - 02/19/14 10:19 PM Re: Ivory II Concert D settings for Classical sound [Re: eulerdisk]
AZ_Astro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 357
Loc: Tempe, Arizona
Originally Posted By: eulerdisk
@AZ_Astro
Maybe it's OT but, may I ask you if you have any audio amplifier for the headphones ??


Yes, I do. I have an audio interface box [Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6] between my keyboard and computer. And the speakers plug into the box as well. I plug my headphones into the box and there is a separate volume control for the headphones.



Edited by AZ_Astro (02/19/14 10:20 PM)
_________________________
Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Ivory II, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.


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#2234767 - 02/20/14 09:57 AM Re: Ivory II Concert D settings for Classical sound [Re: rnaple]
bfb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/11
Posts: 530
Loc: Atlanta GA USA
Originally Posted By: rnaple
I've asked about this before. Am very interested...
On my German D. When I play softly. It's loses hammer noise. Almost "as if" the soft pedal is automatically engaged. Don't hear any strike of the strings. Then, at a certain point of playing harder. I'd say maybe at Mf? It picks up the hammer noise. The initial strike of the strings.

1) Do you find this also?
2) Is an acoustic Steinway D in reality, this way?


I would like to say. I'm playing with the settings on my Ivory always. Always upping the gain, dynamic range. Makes a big difference from any of the standard settings. Much more like what I perceive to be a real piano.


interesting that you widen the dynamic range. i've actually found i like Ivory II better by compressing dynamic range. sounds cleaner and clearer to me, but my piano tastes run more towards jazz/pop ballads, blues, boogie and rock. I understand that classical requires a wider dynamic range. I also have a setup bias towards recording and i think you've got to compress piano when recording or you wind up with listener volume issues. And that may be why i really enjoy Ivory - i can sense dynamic changes in the timbre without a lot of volume change.

i also wonder if you compressed dynamics a tad and raised the hammer volume levels you'd hear it more consistently across dynamic levels. I do think the German sounds more like a softer hammer piano, so i think you might need to accept that sound at soft dynamics.
_________________________

Steinway M; Roland V-Piano; Yamaha P250; Roland FP 5
Ivory II Grands, Italian, American D; Galaxy Vintage D; Alicia's Keys; Garritan Steinway; Galaxy Pianos; The Grand 3

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#2246604 - 03/14/14 04:02 PM Re: Ivory II Concert D settings for Classical sound [Re: dmd]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
Thread Resurrection!! OK: if this thread is about getting a Classical Sound in piano samples, I too suffer from the absence of plausible piano samples.

Observations:

1. Piano samples HAVE improved over the last ten years.

Nevertheless:

2. MIC placement IS a big issue. Most but not all (famous exception Glenn Gould on Columbia: Gould liked mics over the hammers) solo classical pianos are recorded in a hall or large studio with Schoeps or Neumann pencil mics, side placement, out at least 6 ft from the piano.

No sampled piano has THAT kind of mic placement, because the market is for the opposite sound! IN the piano and OVER the strings and hammers!
3. MIC type. Expensive and super-accurate German pencil mics not generally used for sampled pianos.
4. Room type. Samples are NOT, make that NEVER, recorded in halls. Period. And yet for most classical folks, the room is HALF the sound of the piano itself!

Having said that....

I think the Ivory 2 American Grand CAN be made to sound quite a bit like a modern somewhat reverberant classical sound, at least in a "recorded sound" context. (The criteria are a little different than those you would use for assessing a sampled piano in a "live" context). Recorded classical Steinway D sound from American Grand requires 1) minimal use of the "add on" stuff, like the release samples--they are modeled, not "real", and they SOUND modeled; 2) dynamic range at max (60); 3) key noise (modeled) I use "0.0" 4) release: play with it, I don't like it... it's modeled, not real, but it doesn't destroy the piano sound either; 5) pedal noise, use a little; 7) Sustain res "off"; 8) Soundboard "off"; 9) Stereo Width, "100%"; 10) Lid Position "Full Stick"; 10) Release samples, to taste (I prefer "off"); 11) Soft pedal "on"; 12)EFECTS none except for reverb, and the best of the lot for classical (in my view) is the "venue" setting.

Here's a very poor example of what these settings do:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbjSqG4ti30

I'll be updating with a more "refined" version of this Bach fugue very shortly.

For folks who are into the minutia of piano samples for classical, the True Keys Fazioli ("Italian Grand") is an interesting contribution to samples. I purchased it. Incredibly "life like" sound, but not with mic positioning or mic type that makes doing a classical piano sound easy.

The release samples are "real" not simulated, and that seems to make a difference. I'll update with a bit of Shostakovich at Y-Tube in a day or to. I'll post that here.

I have to give the Ivory "German" a second listen, given what has been said here. The Steinway is "accurate", but lacks upper register clarity. A bit like a good circa 1970 solo piano recording: sounds like the real thing, but not super high fi.

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#2246781 - 03/14/14 10:56 PM Re: Ivory II Concert D settings for Classical sound [Re: dmd]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
American Grand, "live venue" verb in very slow Bach:
https://soundcloud.com/johnlgrant/bach-wtc-book-1-fugue-24

True Keys player perspective, same midi file, using UVI "deluxe Large Hall" verb....
https://soundcloud.com/johnlgrant/b1f24-italian-grand-true-keys

Both believable. True Keys exceptionally clear, but some annoying coloration in the tenor. American Grand: no coloration, but high end seems dull or lacking.

Note, also, that the American has much louder ff than the Italian. This throws the comparison off, a bit; the Italian is much louder than the American until the end of the piece, where the volume of each is relatively comparable.


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#2247068 - 03/15/14 03:50 PM Re: Ivory II Concert D settings for Classical sound [Re: dmd]
hisgrace26 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/29/13
Posts: 13
For classical that may depend on the sample.


Edited by hisgrace26 (03/16/14 10:24 AM)

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