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#701869 - 09/18/05 09:01 AM Piano sample software
droah Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/09/05
Posts: 55
Loc: Malaysia
Hi,

Lately I have been intriqued by the arguments that
sampled piano software played through a computer
would be far superior than piano sample in a digital piano.This is due to :
(1)sampled piano softwares usually have more
velocity layers (8-16) compared to 3-4 layers
in digital pianos
(2)sampled piano softwares are at least 1 GB in
size compared to 32-64MB in digital pianos.

Hence sampled piano softwares played through a computer would sound more realistic than digital pianos.Right?

I have spend hundred of dollars and maybe more upgrading my computer,(your need a very fast systems with at least 1RAM memory), installed professional sound card, installed highend multimedia speakers, and interfaced my clavinova to the computer so that it acts as a midi controller, and installing these softwares (not cheap).

Everything works fine,except the sound.In spite of all the rave reviews I read about on-line,I am
disappointed with the results. The original clavinova sound is so much better than these gigantic samples of sound. It is not possible to even play them smoothly, some key is sligtly louder. or a few slighly softer than the rest.

I would appreciate comments from anybody who have tried sampled piano softwares. Is my experience unique, or is sampled piano just hype.

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#701870 - 09/18/05 08:08 PM Re: Piano sample software
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
It would help if you could give some of the specifics of your system. What samples are you using? Through what player? What is your soundcard? Speakers?
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PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#701871 - 09/19/05 06:32 AM Re: Piano sample software
droah Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/09/05
Posts: 55
Loc: Malaysia
Hi SteveY
Thanks for your reply. My systems are as follows
(1)Pentium 4 2.66Ghz, OS Win. XP. 80 GB HD, 2RAM
(2)Soundcard: M Audio Delta Audiophile 2496
(3)Multimedia media speakers (Altec Lansing) - subwoofer with 4 satellite speakers.
(4)Softwares- EW Boesendorfer 290, Virtual Grand
Piano.These are standalones, but I downloaded the patches to Kontakt 2, which has more parameters to
play around with. I am only using the very basic that K2 is capable of.(still learning).

I feel that the weak link is in the speaker systems which may not be reproducing the frequencies evenly. I am thinking of upgrading to
powered monitors (looking at KRK V4).Do you think this will help.

I am not a professional musician. I am more a hobbyist, and my piano skill probably in the late intermediate.

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#701872 - 09/22/05 10:21 AM Re: Piano sample software
troglodyte Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/05
Posts: 259
Loc: Uppsala, Sweden
Hi droah, I have exactly the same experience. I invested in the EastWest Bösendorfer but found it much harder to play for precisely the reasons you mention. I am not sure my Clavinova is "better" in an absolute sense - the Bösendorfer does sound less artificial and more alive. But as you say it is harder to make it come out the way I want. The program comes with a lot of filters etc that affect the sound and I have not finished experimenting. Also I don't know if it will get better by practice. I find I am reluctant to practice with it since the start-up time is a bit heavy (starting the computer, starting the program, loading the correct samples, killing a couple of useless RAM-consuming processes to make it all fit, etc). Anyway I don't know if there are other piano samples that are significantly better. I have heard much good about Ivory but it is not available for PC yet.

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#701873 - 09/23/05 06:44 PM Re: Piano sample software
droah Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/09/05
Posts: 55
Loc: Malaysia
Hi troglodyte

I have also heard that Synthogy Ivory is probably the best sampled pianos around and am waiting for its release of the PC version as well. I think after upgrading my speakers and getting the ivory, it will be my last experimentation with sampled pianos.I hope it will sound better. Actually the EW Bosendorfer is not too bad compared to the VGP.
(just my preference).

Buying sampled libraries can turn into an addiction, one hoping that the next one would be better. I don't want to divert my hobby of playing the piano into playing with the piano softwares.

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#701874 - 09/24/05 11:52 AM Re: Piano sample software
troglodyte Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/05
Posts: 259
Loc: Uppsala, Sweden
Btw, I use the clavinova speakers. Just connect the soundcard line out to the clavinova aux in, and disable "local control" in the clavinova (means that its internal samples are disabled, while midi is still sent out).

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#701875 - 09/24/05 02:30 PM Re: Piano sample software
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
Hi Droah,
I tend to agree with you, that there is a lack of connection between the player and the sound when using virtual instruments. I own Ivory and think it sounds wonderful. In the studio, I usually record my acoustic. But sometimes there just isn't time, and a synth will have to do. In those cases, I usually play on my Roland XV88 (with piano expansion board) and reassign the MIDI information over to Ivory after the fact. I find that to be a more musical experience (if my acoustic is not available, that is).
That said, there are many people who don't mind the latency issues. They'll even claim there is no latency (although that isn't quite true). You may find that it's just the sound you're unhappy with. Try Ivory when it comes out. It certainly sounds good - it's hard to argue with that.
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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