My experience with Sampled and modeled Pianos vs Korg SP250

Posted by: simonznh

My experience with Sampled and modeled Pianos vs Korg SP250 - 09/07/12 11:10 PM

I have both the Korg SP250 DP and the Galaxy Vintage D sampled piano, as well as Pianoteq 4 Stage modeled piano software. Please be aware I am an older adult beginner piano student.

When practice time comes, I much prefer the Korg to my other options. The sound on the Korg is much richer and the keyboard action is excellent compared to my budget M-Audio 49-Key controller. The exception to this is when I choose to play something using a pipe-organ. Then the Hauptwerk virtual organ is king, over ruling the internal organ sounds of the Korg and other DPs that I have available.

I am writing this because I've read the threads here discussing the new Ivory American D piano VST. I almost pressed the "buy button" on Sweetwater for the Ivory American D, but then I played on my current DP configurations. After playing each of them, the Korg is the most satisfying to me versus my sampled piano and software options. I'm just using the Presets and not doing any customizing. Maybe the sound of the Korg has been designed to be seductive sounding (i.e. stereophonic and ample reverb) rather than what a real grand piano would sound like?

Do the high end sampled software pianos really sound that much better that what is produced from some of the lower to mid DPs available, that a beginning student would appreciate?
Posted by: galaxy4t

Re: My experience with Sampled and modeled Pianos vs Korg SP250 - 09/07/12 11:43 PM

Interesting that you pick the Korg stock paino sound over either Galaxy D or Pianoteq 4. I've never tried Galaxy Vintage D. However, I have tried Painoteq 4 and think it is hands down better than the stock piano sound on my Casio. Way more dynamic range and much more expressive. I have played the Korg SP-250 before and considered buying it at one time, but don't think the piano sound was anything special. Guess it just shows how subjective all of this is.
Posted by: 10fingers

Re: My experience with Sampled and modeled Pianos vs Korg SP250 - 09/08/12 12:24 AM

Originally Posted By: simonznh
The sound on the Korg is much richer and the keyboard action is excellent compared to my budget M-Audio 49-Key controller.
Do the high end sampled software pianos really sound that much better that what is produced from some of the lower to mid DPs available, that a beginning student would appreciate?


I think the key here is that ones perception of the sound is tied closely to ones experience of playing. Is it correct to assume that you are using the M-Audio to trigger the software pianos? If so, it is well understandable that you would enjoy playing the Korg more. I suggest using the Korg as a controller instead, and would be interested to hear your thoughts on that setup. Even then, manufacturers take time to ensure that the sounds of their instrument are well matched to the touch of the instrument, and this sometimes will account for a hardware piano being more pleasing to play than a software piano allied to a controller.

Once you've hooked your Galaxy D up to the Korg it would be useful to make a recording (use the sequencer, so that you can just switch sounds) and then just sit back and listen to the differences between the stock Korg sound and the Galaxy D.

Good luck, and let us know how you get on.

Jonathan
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: My experience with Sampled and modeled Pianos vs Korg SP250 - 09/08/12 03:00 AM

10fingers is right... be sure to actually play the software pianos from the SP250 action for a fair comparison. Also, compare them with headphones... i.e. turn the Korg speakers off. The feel of the vibrations from the speakers could influence your perception of "better" as well.
Posted by: bfb

Re: My experience with Sampled and modeled Pianos vs Korg SP250 - 09/08/12 10:52 AM

if you think the SP250 is in the same ballpark with the Vintage D- then by all means, do not waste any more of your money getting Ivory. At least not for now. You mention you are a beginner, you probably aren't yet playing complex chords where the cross harmony and resonance of the sampled pianos would immediately convince you they were higher quality. And you probably like the better-connected feeling between your fingers and ears of the SP250's internal voice. It seems more responsive to you, and that tends to be the main reason you see so many of us on this blog going back and forth from upgrading the digital piano we play to get better internal sounds to using our digital pianos as a controller for software pianos.

10fingers suggestion to use the SP250 as the controller for Vintage D would be a wise next step for you. The action on the 250 far surpasses the M-audio controller you are using. That will make the experience more realistic. Perhaps you will change your mind when you better connect your fingers with your ears.
Posted by: simonznh

Re: My experience with Sampled and modeled Pianos vs Korg SP250 - 09/08/12 07:20 PM

Thanks for all the replies. Great suggestion to play the pianos using the SP250 as a controller. I hooked up the SP250 to my Macbook Pro and tried Pianoteq and Vintage D and what a difference that made. Playback through this setup is through a decent vintage stereo system, whereas the setup with the M-Audio was through an external computer speaker system.

I like to use the Pre-sets that come with and software and sampled pianos. Playing the Pianoteq controlled by the SP250 was very responsive with tremendous dynamic range. The Galaxy Vintage D was also handled well and the sound has great depth (I like the "Living Room" preset). I'm not crazy about the Kontakt interface, but it gets the job done. Playing these pianos like this makes me realize how nice the action is on the SP250 vs the cheap M-Audio controller.

The SP250 does hold it's own when I'm lazy and just want to throw a switch and play, and not have to mess around with a computer.

It will take me several years for me to out grow these pianos. Just for diversity of piano sounds, I'll probably add an Ivory piano (was thinking the Upright) sometime in the future.
Posted by: Artur Gajewski

Re: My experience with Sampled and modeled Pianos vs Korg SP250 - 09/09/12 06:55 AM

I have Korg SP-170 and when I play it along with a video where an artist plays Steinway grand piano, the sound is identical on both sources. Not bad for a 500€ digital piano.
Posted by: maurus

Re: My experience with Sampled and modeled Pianos vs Korg SP250 - 09/09/12 07:27 AM

... well what can you expect of a video?
Posted by: dewster

Re: My experience with Sampled and modeled Pianos vs Korg SP250 - 09/09/12 08:49 AM

I have a rubber roll-up piano that plays and sounds just like a Bosendorfer Model 290 Imperial.
Posted by: toddy

Re: My experience with Sampled and modeled Pianos vs Korg SP250 - 09/09/12 09:48 AM

Originally Posted By: maurus
... well what can you expect of a video?


What can you expect from a picture? What can you expect from a tape-recording? All or nothing, I would expect.

Home video recording went into NICAM (high-fi encoding for sound tracks) in the 80's, as far as I remember. Since then, you expect everything the recording artist and engineer put into it - no more no less.

Quote:
VCR

As far as NICAM-capable video cassette recorders are concerned, the common practice is to record the NICAM-derived stereo stream on the VHS or Betamax analogue Hi-Fi tracks while the mono compatibility signal is recorded on the linear track. The Hi-Fi tracks are written diagonally beneath the diagonal video tracks using depth multiplexing. The mono audio track (and on some machines, a non-NICAM, non-Hi-Fi stereo track) is recorded on the linear track. This ensures backwards-compatibility with recordings made on Hi-Fi machines with non-Hi-Fi video recorders.
Posted by: Dommie

Re: My experience with Sampled and modeled Pianos vs Korg SP250 - 01/31/13 09:49 AM

simonznh,

I notice you have both the Kawai MP6 and the Korg SP 250. How would you compare the two? I've read good reviews about the MP6 and some good and some not so good about the Korg. I can pick up a used Korg for $400. I've been playing on a 4 octave board for about 3 years and need to step up but if I buy the Korg I'm afraid I'd soon outgrow it and have to shop for another board with more featurs like the MP6. Do you think I'd be happy with the Korg considering it would be my first full-sized hammer action board, or should I just go for something more robust like the MP6?
Posted by: dmd

Re: My experience with Sampled and modeled Pianos vs Korg SP250 - 01/31/13 09:59 AM

simonznh,

I would suggest you stop working so hard to find that the Korg, that you like, is not really as good as these software pianos.

If you like the sound, enjoy it.

Once you start down this road of analyzing every little nuance of these artificial piano sounds you will never rest because they never live up to your "perfect" sound.

They are all different in one way or another. Some you will like, others not.

You now have something you like.

I suggest leaving it at that.
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: My experience with Sampled and modeled Pianos vs Korg SP250 - 01/31/13 10:15 AM

I'm not the OP but maybe I can help you as well.

How much you like a certain Piano or if you enjoy playing it has probably even more to do with personal preference than with quality or price.

Name any brand or piece of hardware and you'll find people on this baord who are fond of it and those who despise it.

I'd probably say that the MP6 was better than the Kord when I tried both but it will probably only take minutes until someone else will make the case as to why the Korg is better in his opinion.

That someone will also probably find pretty good and logical reasons for his/her opinion.

So the only helpful suggestion I can give is to find a dealer who stocks the instruments you consider and try them out for yourself.

Even if one instrument is 'objectively' better than the other you might still dislike it or vice versa so only you can be the judge.

Take the headphones you use, reserve one or two hours and just try different models. A good shop will let you do that. Factory reset the devices if possible to get a sense of what the boards sound like 'out of the box' and play the pieces you know.

You'll probably end up buying an entirely different piece of equipment and will probably also have a lot of reasonable arguments why you did so wink
Posted by: Possum SP280Krome

Re: My experience with Sampled and modeled Pianos vs Korg SP250 - 01/31/13 12:12 PM

I always liked the Korg piano sounds (had a Korg SG Rack module for years) and am likely going to get the SP280 when it is released.
Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: My experience with Sampled and modeled Pianos vs Korg SP250 - 01/31/13 05:50 PM

Originally Posted By: simonznh


Do the high end sampled software pianos really sound that much better that what is produced from some of the lower to mid DPs available, that a beginning student would appreciate?





Yep
Posted by: JcKeys

Re: My experience with Sampled and modeled Pianos vs Korg SP250 - 02/16/13 05:15 PM

.