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#2391878 - 02/28/15 03:03 AM Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble"
Bellicapelli Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/15
Posts: 24
Loc: Tuscany Italy
Hello, was wondering about what can be done, and how far it is possible to tweak the tone of kawai digital pianos using virtual technician, especially regarding cn25, cn35,cs4 and ca15.

The aspects which interest me the most are cleanness and pureness of sound which, to me, in most digitals are too exaggerated, at least in the basic setting you find them set up when you turn them on at the shop, or in youtube demos: nice but a tad too "clinic".

Most acoustics i love have more of a "muddier" sound ( a part from an occasional slight detune, which is not desirable), as well as a huuuge general resonance, sort of a "rumble" building up while you play, an effect so strong that if the player can't keep it under control, with proper pedaling technique, it grows so loud that it messes up the whole performane: you actually have to work to keep it "clean".

This "roar and rumble" resonance seems to be missing on the digitals i tried: no matter how much you exaggerate pedaling, they stay clean and polished, no sound-mess can be obtained, nor do you have to practice to avoid it.

What possibilities does one have to adjust this by playing with the vt effects of the pianos above, in trying to livening the piano's voice up, to the point where you have to tame it?

I would imagine to work on reverb, string resonance, but don't know all the possibilities offered, and do they effectively alter the voice, adding a bit of the desired "growl", or is this, as i suspect, a post sound emission, organic acoustic effect which simply can't be obtained by sampling just individual keys, as it is done on dp's? Do i need soundboard and ample grand cabinet for this?

Thank you


Edited by Bellicapelli (02/28/15 03:44 AM)
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#2391899 - 02/28/15 04:41 AM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: Bellicapelli]
Beemer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/26/13
Posts: 358
Loc: Scotland
Why do you expect some of those models you mentioned to have audio power anywhere near an acoustic piano?

The sound build up and decay of an acoustic, which is always different each time even if the same notes are played, is there because it is the summation of air pressure waves and mechanical resonances radiating throughout the body of the instrument even after the strings have been dampened.

Ian
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#2391913 - 02/28/15 05:45 AM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: Bellicapelli]
R_B Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 619
Originally Posted By Bellicapelli
Hello, was wondering about what can be done, and how far it is possible to tweak the tone of kawai digital pianos using virtual technician, especially regarding cn25, cn35,cs4 and ca15.

The aspects which interest me the most are cleanness and pureness of sound which, to me, in most digitals are too exaggerated, at least in the basic setting you find them set up when you turn them on at the shop, or in youtube demos: nice but a tad too "clinic".

Most acoustics i love have more of a "muddier" sound ( a part from an occasional slight detune, which is not desirable), as well as a huuuge general resonance, sort of a "rumble" building up while you play, an effect so strong that if the player can't keep it under control, with proper pedaling technique, it grows so loud that it messes up the whole performane: you actually have to work to keep it "clean".

This "roar and rumble" resonance seems to be missing on the digitals i tried: no matter how much you exaggerate pedaling, they stay clean and polished, no sound-mess can be obtained, nor do you have to practice to avoid it.

What possibilities does one have to adjust this by playing with the vt effects of the pianos above, in trying to livening the piano's voice up, to the point where you have to tame it?

I would imagine to work on reverb, string resonance, but don't know all the possibilities offered, and do they effectively alter the voice, adding a bit of the desired "growl", or is this, as i suspect, a post sound emission, organic acoustic effect which simply can't be obtained by sampling just individual keys, as it is done on dp's? Do i need soundboard and ample grand cabinet for this?

Thank you


You are referring to an artifact of physical pianos that needs "technique" to avoid (in excess).
Asking for it to be put back in so that your technique would then need improvement ...seems a little like asking for the smell of manure to be gently wafted into a horseless carriage so that you could deodorize it away.

I have to ask; Why would you WANT that ?


Edited by R_B (02/28/15 05:46 AM)

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#2391928 - 02/28/15 07:27 AM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: R_B]
Bellicapelli Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/15
Posts: 24
Loc: Tuscany Italy
Why should one want it?

Well, i guess short answer is "because acoustics have it, and if a digital has to mimic, they should have it too". wink

Long answer is, this effect is not to be compared to manure's smell, it actually is desirable on an acoustic. This general resonance, the capability to "sing" and generate harmony *beyond* the single string you hit, thru resonance from soundboard and cabinet together, is what eventually makes the best part of the voice and tone difference from a piano to another, even if they have same action, strings, hammers.

As long as you can control it, it adds to the beauty of sound. And here's my problem: being accustomed to digital instruments since years now, i can learn to perform in the most clean and nuanced way on the digital, but as soon as i play it on an acoustic, after a few notes it goes "boom", i somehow lost ability to control of a beautiful thing, because i don't have it available on my digital equipment.

What i don't know, thus my question, is if today, state of the art sampling tecnology is able to somehow record ( or mimic via modeling) this effect. I know i'm asking a whole lot, since we are talking about an effect which arises while you play piano as an organic whole, while sampling is supposwdly done key by key individually.
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#2391929 - 02/28/15 07:34 AM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: Beemer]
Bellicapelli Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/15
Posts: 24
Loc: Tuscany Italy
@beemer

Yes, i know. But if it somehow can be sampled, it could be reproduced. Even my hifi has no spruce soundboard or wooden cabinet, but it can reproduce it nicely.

Problem is how do you record it, if it actually generates and grows *after* the keystroke which is sampled?

And here my ignkrance about modern digital pianos kicks in. Simply don't know state of the art.


Edited by Bellicapelli (02/28/15 07:52 AM)
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#2391934 - 02/28/15 07:42 AM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: Bellicapelli]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4559
Loc: Northern NJ
In general you want to jack up the damper resonance. Increasing the key resonance should help to, but the effect is more subtle (in real life) so it will have less of an impact.

Out of the box, the RD-700NX presets need gobs more damper resonance before things start sounding realistic IMO. On most DPs these kinds of resonance are likely DSP effects rather than sampled. On most samplers I believe damper resonance is largely a sampled affair.

Originally Posted By Bellicapelli
Problem is how do you record it, if it actually generates and grows *after* the keystroke which is sampled?

There can be quite complex interactions going on in a real piano when the damper pedal is down, but most of the growth is simply adding energy to the other strings, which happens at the moment when a note is played. Play more notes and you add to the energy, and if you are adding faster than it is dissipating then you get sonic growth. To a first order.
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#2391935 - 02/28/15 07:51 AM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: Bellicapelli]
peterws Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 4086
Loc: Northern England.
You just defined the difference between an acoustic and a digital. Some would regard it as a shortcoming (there have been noises about reducing resonances in some top end grands) But I would agree the pedal controls this, and it`s part of the package and can be really good. I can see no reason why digital pianos don`t exhibit this feature. It would widen the gap between top and lower end products . . .for a time!

I`ve never really tried the Kawai pianos that supposedly have this feature (you need to use plenty of volume). Perhaps I should.
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#2391947 - 02/28/15 08:25 AM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: dewster]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 943
Originally Posted By dewster
On most DPs these kinds of resonance are likely DSP effects rather than sampled.

Not sure about that. The piano sounds in the Nord Piano Library definitely have sampled damper resonances (to include the damper resonance samples makes the main difference between their different sizes for the same piano sound - "S" versions have none, "M" versions have some, "L" versions have all; "XL" versions also avoid stretching). I would assume that the higher end keyboards of Y, K and R also include sampled resonances but I may be wrong of course.

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#2391955 - 02/28/15 08:47 AM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: maurus]
dewster Offline
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Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4559
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By maurus
Not sure about that. The piano sounds in the Nord Piano Library definitely have sampled damper resonances (to include the damper resonance samples makes the main difference between their different sizes for the same piano sound - "S" versions have none, "M" versions have some, "L" versions have all; "XL" versions also avoid stretching). I would assume that the higher end keyboards of Y, K and R also include sampled resonances but I may be wrong of course.

I think of Nord as more of a PC sampler. With Roland pedal resonance seems to always be an in-line effect. Yamaha tends to leave it out or give you some weak reverby kind of thing so when it is there it's probably an in-line effect. I assume Kawai also does this in-line as it's adjustable in the piano designer. In general DP designers never met a sample they didn't want to pare down to a couple of seconds max, and resonance doesn't fare so well in a loop, so here we are.

I think sympathetic resonance is a huge, huge deal as it is at least 50% of what makes an AP pleasing to my ears. I think this is one of the reasons people fell in love with the sound of General Music (GEM) piano voices way back when, they were bog standard loopers but had pretty good sympathetic resonance.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)
!IMO!

Top
#2391974 - 02/28/15 09:51 AM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: Bellicapelli]
TonyB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/07
Posts: 620
Loc: Twin Cities
Originally Posted By Bellicapelli
Hello, was wondering about what can be done, and how far it is possible to tweak the tone of kawai digital pianos using virtual technician, especially regarding cn25, cn35,cs4 and ca15.

The aspects which interest me the most are cleanness and pureness of sound which, to me, in most digitals are too exaggerated, at least in the basic setting you find them set up when you turn them on at the shop, or in youtube demos: nice but a tad too "clinic".

Most acoustics i love have more of a "muddier" sound ( a part from an occasional slight detune, which is not desirable), as well as a huuuge general resonance, sort of a "rumble" building up while you play, an effect so strong that if the player can't keep it under control, with proper pedaling technique, it grows so loud that it messes up the whole performane: you actually have to work to keep it "clean".

This "roar and rumble" resonance seems to be missing on the digitals i tried: no matter how much you exaggerate pedaling, they stay clean and polished, no sound-mess can be obtained, nor do you have to practice to avoid it.

What possibilities does one have to adjust this by playing with the vt effects of the pianos above, in trying to livening the piano's voice up, to the point where you have to tame it?

I would imagine to work on reverb, string resonance, but don't know all the possibilities offered, and do they effectively alter the voice, adding a bit of the desired "growl", or is this, as i suspect, a post sound emission, organic acoustic effect which simply can't be obtained by sampling just individual keys, as it is done on dp's? Do i need soundboard and ample grand cabinet for this?

Thank you


While others here will be better able to provide some answers for you, I just wanted t comment that you have described here what I had in mind in another post when I said that after playing DPs all the time, I can find it difficult to "control" an acoustic piano. I couldn't really find the words to describe what I meant regarding "control", but you have done so very well here.

Tony
_________________________
Roland V-Grand
Casio PX-5S
My blog: http://ajourneyintomusic.blogspot.com

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#2391998 - 02/28/15 11:24 AM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: Bellicapelli]
R_B Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 619
As I now withdraw my tongue from my cheek...
In all seriousness, adding a bit of cabinet boom (for want of a better term) is trivial.
Known resonant frequencies, known notes, vibrations and harmonics that excite the cavity, etc.
(please ignore double entendre opportunities in the foregoing).
It can be represented as yet another item to respond with sympathetic resonance.

I'm still not convinced that stomping on the floor to excite resonances is "musical", but to each their own.

Barn stink or equine aroma therapy ?




Edited by R_B (02/28/15 11:28 AM)

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#2392040 - 02/28/15 01:23 PM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: Bellicapelli]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12392
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By Bellicapelli
Why should one want it?

Well, i guess short answer is "because acoustics have it, and if a digital has to mimic, they should have it too". wink

Long answer is, this effect is not to be compared to manure's smell, it actually is desirable on an acoustic. This general resonance, the capability to "sing" and generate harmony *beyond* the single string you hit, thru resonance from soundboard and cabinet together, is what eventually makes the best part of the voice and tone difference from a piano to another, even if they have same action, strings, hammers.

As long as you can control it, it adds to the beauty of sound. And here's my problem: being accustomed to digital instruments since years now, i can learn to perform in the most clean and nuanced way on the digital, but as soon as i play it on an acoustic, after a few notes it goes "boom", i somehow lost ability to control of a beautiful thing, because i don't have it available on my digital equipment.

What i don't know, thus my question, is if today, state of the art sampling tecnology is able to somehow record ( or mimic via modeling) this effect. I know i'm asking a whole lot, since we are talking about an effect which arises while you play piano as an organic whole, while sampling is supposwdly done key by key individually.



I know exactly what you mean, but the only way to get better at your technique in handling this is to practice on a good acoustic. This is where digitals fall flat, unfortunately. They've come a long way, but they are not the same as acoustic.

If you are performing on acoustic, you will need to practice on an acoustic. This is why it's best to have both if you can manage it.
_________________________
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Petrof 9'2, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11


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#2392042 - 02/28/15 01:34 PM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: Morodiene]
TonyB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/07
Posts: 620
Loc: Twin Cities
Originally Posted By Morodiene
Originally Posted By Bellicapelli
Why should one want it?

Well, i guess short answer is "because acoustics have it, and if a digital has to mimic, they should have it too". wink

Long answer is, this effect is not to be compared to manure's smell, it actually is desirable on an acoustic. This general resonance, the capability to "sing" and generate harmony *beyond* the single string you hit, thru resonance from soundboard and cabinet together, is what eventually makes the best part of the voice and tone difference from a piano to another, even if they have same action, strings, hammers.

As long as you can control it, it adds to the beauty of sound. And here's my problem: being accustomed to digital instruments since years now, i can learn to perform in the most clean and nuanced way on the digital, but as soon as i play it on an acoustic, after a few notes it goes "boom", i somehow lost ability to control of a beautiful thing, because i don't have it available on my digital equipment.

What i don't know, thus my question, is if today, state of the art sampling tecnology is able to somehow record ( or mimic via modeling) this effect. I know i'm asking a whole lot, since we are talking about an effect which arises while you play piano as an organic whole, while sampling is supposwdly done key by key individually.



I know exactly what you mean, but the only way to get better at your technique in handling this is to practice on a good acoustic. This is where digitals fall flat, unfortunately. They've come a long way, but they are not the same as acoustic.

If you are performing on acoustic, you will need to practice on an acoustic. This is why it's best to have both if you can manage it.


Once again, this is what I was talking about in another thread when I said that DPs "forgive a lot of sins" with regard to pedalling and dynamics. The reason I purchased the Roland V-Grand was that I "sucked" in the same ways on it that I do on an acoustic piano. Living in a condo, an acoustic piano is not practical for me. As I also said in that thread, I am not advocating that everyone get a V-Grand (I have talked a bit about the circumstances under which I got one) and clearly not everyone likes its sound or the PHAIII keybed, but instead that there are alternatives that might be closer to an acoustic such as Pianoteq with Kawai VPCI keyboard or maybe the Physis modelled piano that I have read some about in these forums - or simply having regular access to an acoustic piano. Anyway, I am glad that I am not the only one experiencing these differences between acoustic and DPs.

Thanks,

Tony
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Casio PX-5S
My blog: http://ajourneyintomusic.blogspot.com

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#2392046 - 02/28/15 01:39 PM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: TonyB]
Bellicapelli Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/15
Posts: 24
Loc: Tuscany Italy
Originally Posted By TonyB


While others here will be better able to provide some answers for you, I just wanted t comment that you have described here what I had in mind in another post when I said that after playing DPs all the time, I can find it difficult to "control" an acoustic piano. I couldn't really find the words to describe what I meant regarding "control", but you have done so very well here.

Tony


Well, if you tell me this while playing the one piano with a completely modelled from scratch tone - no sampling limits at all - then i get a bit discouraged.

There's another doubt i have. From some answers and comments i read, i'm suspecting this general and organic resonance is something not every digital pianist is used to / wants to hear / would be ready to pay for.

Might be that digital pianos have been around for so much time now, they're becoming an instrument of their own, and while acoustics are progressively rarer, a good part of the digital pianists are not even making the direct comparison to the acoustics anymore.

If this is true, the mutation would be complete and had generated a whole new instrument.


Edited by Bellicapelli (02/28/15 01:48 PM)
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#2392050 - 02/28/15 01:53 PM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: Bellicapelli]
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 468
Loc: Valencia, Spain
The only thing you can do is turn up both 'String' and 'Damper' resonance, via Virtua Technician/2. Default level is 5 which gives a relatively easy to control sound. Try to set higher values and see what happens. Last, set touch to normal, and boost bass with the EQ. There's not much more to do. Maybe some long and deep reverb. Don't try this wearing cans smile
It's never going to be a piano. If your technique is already good, you'll switch from one to another quite easily. If not...Some things are easier to play on digital, others on acoustic, which has better keys and is more sensitive.
But some kind of dirty sound is emulated on that engine, enough for your ears to notice it and clean it up.


Edited by mabraman (02/28/15 01:54 PM)
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#2392055 - 02/28/15 01:56 PM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: Bellicapelli]
TonyB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/07
Posts: 620
Loc: Twin Cities
Originally Posted By Bellicapelli


Well, if you tell me this while playing the one piano with a completely modelled from scratch tone - no sampling limits at all - then i get a bit discouraged.

There's another doubt i have. From some answers and comments i read, i'm suspecting this general and organic resonance is something not every digital pianist is used to / wants to hear / would be ready to pay for.

Might be that digital pianos have been around for so much time now, they're becoming an instrument of their own, and while acoustics are progressively rarer, a good part of the digital pianists are not even making the direct comparison to the acoustics anymore.

If this is true, the mutation would be complete and had generated a whole new instrument.


Personally, I don't think this changing state of affairs would be a bad thing at all. I do believe that DPs are coming into wider acceptance. If they can be accepted on their own merits, rather than having to be compared to acoustic pianos, I see both good and not so good. The good would be relief from the frustration expressed by many that DPs are still different from acoustic pianos in many aspects considered important. The not so good might be the incentive to continually make DPs provide a better playing experience, since there would be no standard to aim for.

As for modelling vs sampled DPs, there seems to be a range of opinions on this, rather than one is definitely better than the other. There are those here who disagree with my observations about DPs vs acoustic pianos, so I was happy to read that at least two people seem to have similar observations. It is clear to me that we each experience these things differently, and place different levels of importance on the things we do experience. It really comes down to personal preference and budget, as do most buying decisions.

Tony



Edited by TonyB (02/28/15 01:59 PM)
_________________________
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Casio PX-5S
My blog: http://ajourneyintomusic.blogspot.com

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#2392106 - 02/28/15 04:39 PM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: Bellicapelli]
sandalholme Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 804
Loc: Dorset, UK
IMHO no DP, whether through its native sounds or through sampled software pianos or software modelled pianos, provides the complexity of sound of an acoustic, which is indeed difficut to control. However, software pianos get closer than DP native sounds and so far my ES7 with Pianoteq 5 (modelled software) provides an enjoyable sound and playing experience for me, having come from an acoustic background. Sampled pianos do not for me feel as close to the acoustic experience. My belief is that modelled piano software like Pianoteq will get closer and closer to that complexity, as the modelling algorithms will get more sophisicated in calculating and producing in (almost) real time the sorts of resonances when the player strikes a particular succession of notes with particular velocities and with particular uses, or not, of the pedals. Sampled pianos produce wonderful sounds but based on static samples, with I presume a certain amount of software manipulation (modelling?)for greater realism. A hybrid, samples plus modelling, system may win out, but how can there be so many combinations of sampled sounds - with the time taken to retrieve each particular one - to enable a purely sampled piano to sound realistic?

To the OP: assuming you have a computer near enough to your DP and it's not too ancient, try Pianoteq's trial software: works for 20 minutes at a time with a few notes disabled and the functionality to tweak the sound in many ways. You may find you are quite a bit closer to that hard to control "rumble". Not fully by any means, but closer.

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#2392107 - 02/28/15 04:40 PM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: Bellicapelli]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4559
Loc: Northern NJ
I like the sound of piano, not sure I'd change that. But I would like to see more basic ergonomic work done regarding the key actions, rather than the blind copying of existing AP weighting and quirks. Try to find something that most would agree is easier to control and less injurious to play.
_________________________
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THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)
!IMO!

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#2392168 - 02/28/15 08:49 PM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: dewster]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12392
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By dewster
I like the sound of piano, not sure I'd change that. But I would like to see more basic ergonomic work done regarding the key actions, rather than the blind copying of existing AP weighting and quirks. Try to find something that most would agree is easier to control and less injurious to play.


Good luck coming up with any kind of majority or consensus on that! wink

Really, you can't get people to agree on the kind of feel an acoustic piano should have, or even a majority opinion from what I've seen. And for what sound? Strictly piano? Many keyboards compromise on adhering to an acoustic piano model to accommodate organ and synth sounds, so I'd think with all the different feels out there a person is likely to find what they feel is ideal for their playing.

While I get what you're saying, you are probably better off seeking out something that doesn't follow the keyboard model in general if you're looking for more ergonomic. It definitely was not designed with that original intention, only that a person could play it. Which begs the question: is there a better way to play a piano sound than a keyboard, or is the sound of a piano intrinsically tied to the keyboard? Kind of like playing strings on a keyboard is awkward and unrealistic at best when compared with an actual violin, would another mode of playing piano sound be less than ideal?
_________________________
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Petrof 9'2, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11


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#2392182 - 02/28/15 09:30 PM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: dewster]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5839
Originally Posted By dewster
But I would like to see more basic ergonomic work done regarding the key actions, rather than the blind copying of existing AP weighting and quirks. Try to find something that most would agree is easier to control and less injurious to play.

Considering that classical concert pianists practice up to 8 hours a day since they were....in diapers, and most don't suffer any injuries, and continue to perform to a ripe old age (Mieczyslaw Horszowski played his last concert at 99), I think that playing the piano - with good technique - isn't at all injurious to life or limb, nor even to health.

IMO, the only 'quirk' of acoustic piano action that isn't necessary, or useful, is the grading - and it's significant that the best concert grands have less pronounced grading than cheaper smaller grands (especially baby grands), and prestige manufacturers like Fazioli strive to almost eliminate it entirely.

A good grand - especially concert grand - that's well-regulated is one of the most satisfying instruments to play, that's ever been invented by man or beast or alien. You have complete control from pppp to ffff, complete control over weighting of notes within textures, bring out inner lines at will, whisper sotto voce, sing bel canto like a diva, growl like a grizzly, explode like a stick of dynamite, imitate an orchestra or brass band or organ or even guitar........
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2392187 - 02/28/15 09:44 PM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: Bellicapelli]
R_B Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 619
@Morodiene - A "better" way to play piano sounds than a keyboard ?
Probably not, if you want 'all that playing an acoustic piano brings' - - in modern_speak the total piano experience (sic).

Easier, more efficient, less physically demanding ?
Sure, all that was done with player pianos 100+ years ago.
It removed the need for TIMING and CONSISTENCY, imperfections could be FIXED post performance.

They ARE "authentic", after all the piano is being played as a piano, albeit via punched rolls and vacuum hoses.
Again with MIDI ~35 years ago to reproduce performances - and/or note by note entry into score editors.

It doesn't all HAVE TO BE in real time, after all MOST music that most of us hear is recorded, so what if it was recorded (sequenced) at 70% of the speed it is played back at.

I look at those curved computer keyboards once in a while, also the split ones, maybe I'll buy one one day - although a "better" layout than qwerty ...ah, never mind.

I think "mechanical" pianos will have to stick with keys in straight lines for a while, there is little chance of changes in key spacing, though it would be nice to have a choice for hands that are very large/small.
I don't like the C Major scale layout - the grouping of sharps as "special" makes every scale different. History seems to be the only excuse for that and we're stuck with it.
Players of fretted instruments are somewhat freer in this regard, e.g. just move up or down a few frets to change key, SO much simpler/easier than the 2 and 3 sharps layout of a piano.

I wonder what it would be like to have piano keys STAY DOWN for as long as their dampers are off the strings. It seems they would be more "representative" of what is sounding, not that looking at the keys is a GOOD thing.

ramble off:


Edited by R_B (02/28/15 09:46 PM)

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#2392208 - 02/28/15 10:25 PM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: sandalholme]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1707
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By sandalholme
. . .

To the OP: assuming you have a computer near enough to your DP and it's not too ancient, try Pianoteq's trial software: works for 20 minutes at a time with a few notes disabled and the functionality to tweak the sound in many ways. You may find you are quite a bit closer to that hard to control "rumble". Not fully by any means, but closer.


+1.

There's a YouTube video of a Chilly Gonzalez concert, where he starts out by oh-so-gently tickling the bass octave, slowly building up sound intensity like a drummer doing a cymbal roll.

My Casio PX-350 didn't emulate that very well. But Pianoteq Stage (the cheapest version, which I own and like) did a decent job.

I believe that Pianoteq Standard lets you raise the levels of string resonance and damper resonance. It would be worth a try (especially if there's a "free trial" version).

As previous posts suggest, if you want the complexity and "dirt" of an acoustic piano, you should turn up the "string resonance" and (maybe) "damper resonance" with any "Virtual Technician" tools on the DP.

Good luck in finding the perfect sound --

. Charles

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#2392224 - 03/01/15 12:00 AM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: Bellicapelli]
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4683
Loc: San Francisco
Originally Posted By Bellicapelli
As long as you can control it, it adds to the beauty of sound. And here's my problem: being accustomed to digital instruments since years now, i can learn to perform in the most clean and nuanced way on the digital, but as soon as i play it on an acoustic, after a few notes it goes "boom", i somehow lost ability to control of a beautiful thing, because i don't have it available on my digital equipment.

Digitals can be played at artificially low volume levels, compared to acoustics. If you practice at a low volume level, an acoustic may seem to jump out at you. Give yourself a few minutes to get used to the difference.


Edited by FogVilleLad (03/01/15 12:01 AM)

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#2392257 - 03/01/15 02:54 AM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: bennevis]
dire tonic Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1745
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By bennevis
A good grand - especially concert grand - that's well-regulated is one of the most satisfying instruments to play, that's ever been invented by man or beast or alien. You have complete control from pppp to ffff


The Vienna Imperial sample library apparently has 100 sample layers. I doubt you'll be able to persuade its developers or devotees that those layers are indistinguishable. So here, we have a sampled piano which goes from pppp.....pppp to ffff....ffff.

Control that!

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#2392317 - 03/01/15 07:51 AM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: R_B]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4559
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By R_B
I don't like the C Major scale layout - the grouping of sharps as "special" makes every scale different. History seems to be the only excuse for that and we're stuck with it.
Players of fretted instruments are somewhat freer in this regard, e.g. just move up or down a few frets to change key, SO much simpler/easier than the 2 and 3 sharps layout of a piano.

Agree. And to have sheet music centered around C is doubly lame. 90% of learning piano seems to be coping with playing things not in the key of C/Am - fingering, key signatures, etc. The lack of a second dimension to the keyboard is also problematic. And there is no easy chromatic slide on piano, each key must be played individually. The keys go one way but we have mirror image hands, so lots of learning and technique doesn't naturally carry over from one hand to the other.

Guitar is so much easier for the beginner, it's mostly just pattern recognition. Of course that can bite you down the road, but I think I'd rather be bitten there than when I'm trying to get my feet wet.
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#2392321 - 03/01/15 08:05 AM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: dewster]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5839
Is this a thread for 'A bad workman blames his piano'?

Or more accurately '....blames whoever invented an instrument that he can't be bothered learning to play properly'?
_________________________
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#2392345 - 03/01/15 09:24 AM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: dewster]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3874
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By dewster


Guitar is so much easier for the beginner, it's mostly just pattern recognition.


Sure, if you are happy taking the crappy road to guitar learning.... My students don't take this road, however.

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#2392348 - 03/01/15 09:35 AM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: bennevis]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4559
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By bennevis
Is this a thread for 'A bad workman blames his piano'?

Or more accurately '....blames whoever invented an instrument that he can't be bothered learning to play properly'?

I'm not being negative for its own sake, rather I believe it is instructive for players to look at the instruments he/she is offered in a historic, comparative, and realistic light. I want the easiest thing to play (i.e. perform on, not triggering sequences, piano rolls, etc. - and isn't physically fatiguing or injurious over long periods) in as many ways as possible (melodic, percussive, etc.) that gives me insight into the harmonic structures being played. Electronics has enabled the disconnection between controller and sound generator, giving us gobs of new degrees of freedom, so I'm wondering when my guitar/piano killer might come along? There should be an explosion of alternative musical instruments, not just a bunch of plastic keyboards poorly mimicking existing (or retro) fare.

When you play around with a variety of instruments you naturally experience their strengths and weaknesses. I desire as many of these strengths as possible in a single instrument, is that a crime?
_________________________
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THE RD-700NX Thread!
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!IMO!

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#2392357 - 03/01/15 10:19 AM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: dewster]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5839
Originally Posted By dewster

When you play around with a variety of instruments you naturally experience their strengths and weaknesses. I desire as many of these strengths as possible in a single instrument, is that a crime?

If you invented a keyboard-like instrument that enabled all the stuff you wanted - chromatic glissandi with all semitones in alignment and two keyboards running in opposite directions so that one's poor brain won't have to remember which is R or L (and therefore which goes which direction), you'll have an instrument which is good for just one kind of music - chords in one hand, melody in the other, no octaves or chords that encompass more than a fifth, unless your fingers are the size of a one-year-old's.

No music of any complexity, in fact. Imagine trying to play Bach's Goldberg on it, let alone Beethoven's Hammerklavier.

Sure, great for pop music, or people who want to play a piano like a guitar, strumming chords. Useless for classical, which was what the keyboard originated for.

Why not just play a guitar instead?

BTW, playing the guitar is only pure pattern recognition if you can't read music and only play chords - again as in pop music. Classical music written for guitar is written on the same staves as keyboard music, and it's much more tricky to remember which note is which on a guitar, compared to the repeating pattern on a keyboard.

Is this music just reliant on 'pattern recognition'?

http://youtu.be/r2Xdlgii-Rc
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2392381 - 03/01/15 11:22 AM Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble" [Re: bennevis]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4559
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By bennevis
If you invented a keyboard-like instrument that enabled all the stuff you wanted - chromatic glissandi with all semitones in alignment and two keyboards running in opposite directions so that one's poor brain won't have to remember which is R or L (and therefore which goes which direction), you'll have an instrument which is good for just one kind of music - chords in one hand, melody in the other, no octaves or chords that encompass more than a fifth, unless your fingers are the size of a one-year-old's.

Not necessarily. I think we don't have a lot of alternative controllers because developing them requires the designer to think way, way outside the box. And for a long, long time, quite possibly their entire life. The designer must have intimate familiarity with a variety of instruments and with the technologies necessary to implement something new and do it well, and these skills also take time to develop.

Originally Posted By bennevis
Why not just play a guitar instead?

After learning some chords and some finger picking styles I've personally found it difficult to rise to the next level on guitar. Many at this point start experimenting with alternate tunings, but after 35 years or so of incremental improvement I think I get what a guitar is, and have grown bored with the limitations. I think 6 strings are too many, 4 too few, 5 perhaps OK (I've been using the high E string only as a right hand anchor for the past year or so). There is the awkward 4 step from the G string to the B string in order to produce the high and low E, as well as to facilitate some chord forms. And I find it fatiguing to play for any length of time, my left thumb gets tired, and if I don't play enough my fingertips hurt from lack of calluses, which keeps me from playing enough, etc.

Originally Posted By bennevis
Is this music just reliant on 'pattern recognition'?
http://youtu.be/r2Xdlgii-Rc

You could certainly learn it that way. Patterns are much easier to "see" on guitar. You can go an incredibly long way without reading a lick, which of course hampers you when trying to converse and play with other musicians.

I must say I've never been able to really appreciate classical guitar. I love the sound of the instrument, but listening to even quite accomplished players play Bach and the like on it strikes me as quite awkward sounding. They are trying to play both chord and melody, and both suffer due to the lack of available finger and string count.
_________________________
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