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#2235969 - 02/22/14 01:04 PM Audio Interface for using Ivory II (Grand Pianos)?
Normangh Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/28/14
Posts: 5
Loc: Ontario
Hello all,

I'm a 25 year acoustic piano veteran but new to the world of virtual instrument software.

Purchased Ivory II (Grand Pianos) yesterday, loaded it to my 2013 Retina Macbook Pro (2.6 Ghz Intel Core i5, 16 GB 1600 Mhz DDR3 memory) and connected to a 88 weighted key controller.

Loving it so far! smile

My primary use of the software will be for daily pleasure playing & for midi/audio recording using Logic X. Achieving impeccable sound quality of the software through a mixed monitor system and/or headphones, is a priority for me.

What are the justifiable advantages of using an audio interface in my current set up? Audio interface recommendations? Open/closed ear headphone recommendations?

Thank you in advanced for your replies,

Norm
_________________________
Music is Life

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#2235974 - 02/22/14 01:27 PM Re: Audio Interface for using Ivory II (Grand Pianos)? [Re: Normangh]
jarosujo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/12
Posts: 237
Loc: Slovakia
Open headphones for me all the way. For example Sennheiser 5xx range. Are you unhappy with your current sound card ? Poor sound or bad latency ?
_________________________
Yamaha NP-V80 (sold)
Yamaha DGX640 (sold)
Kawai CL-36
Pianoteq Standard + Intel NUC DC3217BY + Sennheiser HD598 + Fostex PM0.4n + NI Audio 2

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#2236145 - 02/22/14 08:50 PM Re: Audio Interface for using Ivory II (Grand Pianos)? [Re: Normangh]
AZ_Astro Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 557
Loc: Tempe, Arizona
I have a Komplete Audio 6 audio interface box in my setup. It simplifies a number of things.

1) It's set up for multiple inputs/outputs.
2) I can plug in both headphones and studio monitors to the box. And each has its own volume control knob.
3) I understand that it is like a sound-card of its own, with its own software drivers. Thus you bypass the internal sound card of the computer.

You could also record a signal from the output end of the audio box.

I am no expert but these stuck out for me.

Good luck with your setup.
_________________________
Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Ivory II, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.


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#2236164 - 02/22/14 10:13 PM Re: Audio Interface for using Ivory II (Grand Pianos)? [Re: Normangh]
pwl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/31/13
Posts: 249
Loc: Bay Area CA
Originally Posted By: Normangh
Achieving impeccable sound quality of the software through a mixed monitor system and/or headphones, is a priority for me.

I've added an Audioquest DragonFly* USB DAC stick to my Mac Mini for headphone listening. Much improved sound thru any headphone - including Sennheiser 598's - I've connected. I'm anxious to hook up the DragonFly to my Mac laptop and see what improvements I hear in software piano sound (Pianoteq at the moment, Ravenscroft to come).

*The original DragonFly (which I'm using) is now only $99. A new version has been introduced at $149. Check listenup.com for the newest version or Amazon for the original.

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#2236182 - 02/22/14 11:23 PM Re: Audio Interface for using Ivory II (Grand Pianos)? [Re: Normangh]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2190
Loc: Rocky Mountains
I don't have experience with it myself. Might be worth a look at the Babyface. People on Gearslutz speak highly of it.

I"m happy with my AKG K240 headphones. Not the MkII. They are accurate. Comfortable.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2236239 - 02/23/14 05:46 AM Re: Audio Interface for using Ivory II (Grand Pianos)? [Re: Normangh]
Tom620 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 9
Loc: The Netherlands
True. It is really worth considering the RME Babyface. Extremely low latency, very high quality dac's and rock solid drivers and control panel.

Also, consider testing Pianoteq virtual instrument. This program doesn't work with samples, but with modelling. It takes only 20MB on your ssd and it is easier on your cpu.

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#2236241 - 02/23/14 06:15 AM Re: Audio Interface for using Ivory II (Grand Pianos)? [Re: Tom620]
Digitalguy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 549
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: Tom620


Also, consider testing Pianoteq virtual instrument. This program doesn't work with samples, but with modelling. It takes only 20MB on your ssd and it is easier on your cpu.


Not exact concerning CPU. If you don't use sympathetic resonance in Ivory II (in my opinion the sound is extremely good and definitely more realistic than in pianoteq even without SR) you can run it virtually in any pc. I tested both in my 2 atom tablets (not the recent Baytrail, but the old and slower Clovertrail Atom tablets, like Acer W510), using an audio interface and an external USB 2.0 drive. Well, pianoteq doesn't work (CPU load), the only 2 software that work well (out of the ones you can see in my signature) are Ivory and Vintage D, both with factory settings, which in addition are probably the 2 best sample based piano software today...
_________________________
Roland FP-4F, Korg Kross 61, iRig Keys Pro, Focal Spirit Pro, Shure SRH240A, RME Babyface, M-Track Plus, Roland DuoCapture, iPad Air, iLoud, Ivory II ACD, Galaxy Vintage D, Galaxy Steinway, TrueKeys American, VILabs Ravenscroft, Kawai-Ex Pro, The Grand 2, SampleTekk Black, Addictive Keys, Ezkeys

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#2236254 - 02/23/14 07:57 AM Re: Audio Interface for using Ivory II (Grand Pianos)? [Re: Normangh]
R_B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 726
A little surprising, though perhaps only a very little.
Playing samples takes little more CPU power than retrieving data from storage (HDD or SDD) and sending it out to DACs, i.e. file handling.

Pianoteq is REPUTED to be very low in its resource requirements, both memory and CPU and of course once loaded it doesn't have to access storage.
Despite the claims I suspect that the actual CALCULATIONS performed in real time are quite low, at least it appears to be so on what I have run.

I can only go back as far (& as slow) as a dual core AMD laptop with 4 Gig here and it works well enough on that.

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#2236919 - 02/24/14 04:57 PM Re: Audio Interface for using Ivory II (Grand Pianos)? [Re: Normangh]
bryanstern Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/14
Posts: 21
I am using a Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 AI. The sound card on my Windows laptop made Galaxy Vintage D sound horrible. The driver from Focusrite now handles all sound and now sounds beautiful thru my powered monitors. Another benefit is that I can play music (from Google Play Music All Access) and totally bypass the laptop's crappy speakers instead using my monitors.

Totally worth getting in my case. Not sure how the Mac driver compares, but has to be better than on my Acer laptop.

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