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#2322201 - 08/31/14 11:09 AM Am. Ivory II Sound Quality Differences
Chrisl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/14
Posts: 177
Loc: Chicago, IL
I found this video by a guy named 7notemode on Ivory. I have used the exact settings, using the same headphones. And his dp and Ivory sounds MUCH better than my yamaha and Ivory...is this have something to do with his dp..or something else I can't think of?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWnbja5UXm8

I'm using medium memory and 100 voices too on a macbook pro 08, with USB 1.0.

It's aggravating to hear his setup sound like a real Steinway vs. mine which is just plain anemic compared to this video. Are my expectations too high given my computer and/or p105?
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Yamaha P105, Ravenscroft275, Sennheiser HD650

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#2322205 - 08/31/14 11:23 AM Re: Am. Ivory II Sound Quality Differences [Re: Chrisl]
petes1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 114
I can't answer your question since I don't use software pianos, but god does it sound absolutely wonderful!

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#2322213 - 08/31/14 11:48 AM Re: Am. Ivory II Sound Quality Differences [Re: Chrisl]
NormB Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/02/12
Posts: 42
Loc: Vancouver, BC
Your computer should not affect the sound in a significant way. Your keyboard 'hardness' settings will have a minor effect, but that's it. If hyou hear a big difference it is not very likely to be from these two sources.

I assume your are driving your HD650s with something other than the macbook. Whatever that is might have a minor effect only.

He refers to a full list of his Ivory settings on "his blog". Did you find where these are? While you can make out some of the settings on the small window showing the 'Program' page, there are many others on the Session page etc. These can be very significant.

Of course you don't know what happens to his audio signal between when it gets out of Ivory and when it is fixed as a recording. Could be a lot.

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#2322215 - 08/31/14 11:57 AM Re: Am. Ivory II Sound Quality Differences [Re: Chrisl]
Starboard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/03/14
Posts: 36
It does sound great in that video. The answer very likely lies in the audio processing mentioned in the video description. A small amount of compression can make a tremendous difference (and especially on a naked, no-pedal solo piano), given the general human preference toward perceiving a louder sound as more pleasant. If you aren't doing any post-processing to your audio, or if you aren't running Ivory inside of a DAW and routing it through a compressor and/or limiter effect, your sound will have a different character from that of the video.

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#2322218 - 08/31/14 12:12 PM Re: Am. Ivory II Sound Quality Differences [Re: Chrisl]
Pathbreaker Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/04
Posts: 1075
Loc: Massachusetts
Also for a louder sound consider reducing the dynamic range setting a significant amount. It seems like you would want it high but what happens is you get an easy ppp and unless you use real force you will not get a great amount of volume most of the time. I don't know what you're doing there but definitely don't bother putting that above 50. Unless you are really good with your velocity curves. Make your silent key somewhat high (10-15 or something), and try to cut off your velocity curve so that it doesn't allow ppp because very few acoustic grands will even let you get that soft a sound. Try to constrain the dymanic range to something you could actually produce in real life and you'll find that you get more volume most of the time. The other danger of having a suppressed sound is that you will begin to hit the keys harder to compensate and you might end up hurting yourself. Just in case you haven't tried any of that.

I still have lots to figure out on this so I hope to get some ideas in here too. Another thing to consider is the tuning of either stretch or equal. The manual says stretch tuning is ideal but I think equal is more common. Honestly I don't really know but it makes for a generally louder sound with the equal setting but chord voicing is harder. Also consider the performer vs. audience perspective. Beyond all of that, I've only achieved more volume by adding to the gain in the session. But since I listen with headphones the real challenge is to match my playing volumne to the output. In other words, I want the volume I'm hearing to be the same as what is recorded...if that makes sense.

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#2322384 - 08/31/14 08:18 PM Re: Am. Ivory II Sound Quality Differences [Re: Chrisl]
7notemode Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/07
Posts: 102
Loc: Raleigh/Durham NC
Hey Chrisl, 7notemode here --
I don't know if this will help, but let me share my workflow. I don't think I was totally clear about it in the video's description. I use two different settings: one to play The Iv.Am.Con.D and capture the midi file. I then use another setting to bounce the midi file to wav. Once the performance is in wav format, I use Logic and apply external compression and processing just like I would to an acoustic piano recording. I use no in program EQ or Reverb. One difference between the play setting and the bounce setting is the compression. For the play setting, I compress in program pretty aggressively to get a pretty flat dynamic range, and for the play setting I set the Timbre knob lower than 99 (50 or 60 I think) so that it accentuates the dark to bright timbre change from low to high velocity playing. That way as I listen to myself play, the volume dynamics don't vary very much, but the dark to bright timbre changes a lot. For me I am able to get better real time playing feedback out of it this way.

For bouncing the midi track, I use a very wide dynamic range (55 db for ex) and I treat the bounced wav just like I would a recording of my acoustic piano, applying compression, EQ reverb as needed. No EQ or reverb in this video though. I have never been successful in finding a common setting for playing and bouncing a wav. I really like my play setting and all my comments on the video are responding to that. Later, after I compressed for the final soundtrack, I realized that the compressor I used in that video has a euphonic effect that sweetens the sound in addition to compressing it, so it wasn't the most neutral choice. It didn't change it that much and still represents what I heard, but I will be more minimalist in presenting things in the future. Bottom line, I use two different settings. One to enjoy playing it. One to bounce it with a really large dynamic range so it can take high quality, long latency outboard compressors (as opposed to the in program compressor which has good sound quality but is prioritized for low latency).







Edited by 7notemode (08/31/14 08:24 PM)
_________________________
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#2322626 - Yesterday at 11:53 AM Re: Am. Ivory II Sound Quality Differences [Re: 7notemode]
Pathbreaker Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/04
Posts: 1075
Loc: Massachusetts
7notemode,

Lots of great info in your post, thanks for sharing. I also found lowering the timbre to be necessary. Mine is usually around 70 but like most of my numbers it's pretty arbitrary. Just saw the need for it to be lower in general. I try the timbre shift at 1 too but anything more is too much.

The biggest challenge is playing staccato in the mid range of the keyboard. It can sound very metallic and artificial without some intervention. For this I found the timbre change, EQ and reverb to do a great job. I don't even know which made the most impact but when I was done adjusting I was very happy with it. Prior to that I highly preferred my Roland's native sound for lively attacks in the mid range.

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#2322899 - Today at 12:11 AM Re: Am. Ivory II Sound Quality Differences [Re: 7notemode]
Chrisl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/14
Posts: 177
Loc: Chicago, IL
Originally Posted By: 7notemode
Hey Chrisl, 7notemode here --
I don't know if this will help, but let me share my workflow. I don't think I was totally clear about it in the video's description. I use two different settings: one to play The Iv.Am.Con.D and capture the midi file. I then use another setting to bounce the midi file to wav. Once the performance is in wav format, I use Logic and apply external compression and processing just like I would to an acoustic piano recording. I use no in program EQ or Reverb. One difference between the play setting and the bounce setting is the compression. For the play setting, I compress in program pretty aggressively to get a pretty flat dynamic range, and for the play setting I set the Timbre knob lower than 99 (50 or 60 I think) so that it accentuates the dark to bright timbre change from low to high velocity playing. That way as I listen to myself play, the volume dynamics don't vary very much, but the dark to bright timbre changes a lot. For me I am able to get better real time playing feedback out of it this way.

For bouncing the midi track, I use a very wide dynamic range (55 db for ex) and I treat the bounced wav just like I would a recording of my acoustic piano, applying compression, EQ reverb as needed. No EQ or reverb in this video though. I have never been successful in finding a common setting for playing and bouncing a wav. I really like my play setting and all my comments on the video are responding to that. Later, after I compressed for the final soundtrack, I realized that the compressor I used in that video has a euphonic effect that sweetens the sound in addition to compressing it, so it wasn't the most neutral choice. It didn't change it that much and still represents what I heard, but I will be more minimalist in presenting things in the future. Bottom line, I use two different settings. One to enjoy playing it. One to bounce it with a really large dynamic range so it can take high quality, long latency outboard compressors (as opposed to the in program compressor which has good sound quality but is prioritized for low latency).


7notemode, I am so glad you 'meet' you and you've offered your generous time and opinion. This is a bit above me to be honest. I've only been playing since last Feb., and yes, I've been using the headphone out on my macbook pro. No software other than Ivory. I hadn't realized there was so much more to the music! I do use GarageBand to record every now and then...real basic use...with no idea about using compression. I was trying to keep this simple (dp, computer and headphones), but after hearing your video, I'm inspired to do better.

My other hobby by chance is music, I'm a so called 'audiophile' with a setup in the adjacent room. I use a Metric Halo LIO 8 as my dac, a friend helped me setup the daw as I was being a dunce wink That was a couple yrs ago and I haven't changed the setup at all. Anyway, I could run a 30' midi/usb and using a headphone extension cable, and if I can setup another daw lol, I could run the dp thru my macbook thru the LIO and headphone out. There recording software though really stinks from what I remember. LogicPro is $200 which is not cheap.

I hope I understood what you were saying 7notemode and my reply was not gibberish lol I'm willing to try something new to try to come close getting my dp to sound anywhere close to yours! And it'll be yrs and yrs before I can play that well too, well done btw!

Thanks for the discussion everyone. Seems I have some research to do wink

Edit: I have a 32 bit processor so I'm looking at another $100 or so for a 32 to 64 bit ability of Logic. Yikes, this is adding up!


Edited by Chrisl (Today at 12:23 AM)
Edit Reason: Some research:
_________________________
Yamaha P105, Ravenscroft275, Sennheiser HD650

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#2323197 - Today at 03:33 PM Re: Am. Ivory II Sound Quality Differences [Re: Chrisl]
Chrisl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/14
Posts: 177
Loc: Chicago, IL
I unexpectedly got the day off. So I moved the dp into the room w. the dac to see if I could get it to work. Got it setup as a daw now, 24/192 successfully....surprising even myself ;)

It sounds Much better now! Oh, and I incr. to large memory and 100 voices. The dac is fed via FW800 btw.

Thanks for suggesting moving to an ext. audio output, the LIO sounds very good. Is it still as good as 7notemode's? No, but alot closer.
7nm, you wrote "For the play setting, I compress in program pretty aggressively to get a pretty flat dynamic range". I started GarageBand and I see where you can compress, as well as add reverb and echo. I think this is what you meant?

Thanks for the help guys!
Chris


Edited by Chrisl (Today at 03:53 PM)
_________________________
Yamaha P105, Ravenscroft275, Sennheiser HD650

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#2323280 - 5 minutes 49 seconds ago Re: Am. Ivory II Sound Quality Differences [Re: Chrisl]
CyberGene Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 718
Loc: Sofia, Bulgaria
There's a separate compression knob in the Ivory interface. Not to be confused with compression in Garage Band.
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Previous DP-s: Kawai MP6, Kawai CA63, Roland RD-700SX, Roland FP-5, Yamaha P90, Korg SP-200, Casio CDP-100

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