MainStage

Posted by: Mark VC

MainStage - 01/23/13 10:11 PM

Again, I'm very new to this and learning. Thanks for the helpful answers that folks have already supplied; here's another beginner question:

I'm attempting to use my yamaha p-105b with Mainstage, and I've also tried it with Garageband, (the 'grand piano' in both) and there are two issues:

- Both programs seem to have only two levels of key attack - either you're hitting the keys soft, or you're hitting them hard. If soft, you get this nice mellow piano tone, but if hard you get this far more strident tone like you're using a sledgehammer. I do not have to hit the keys hard at ALL on the p105b to get the sledgehammer, so, in playing, every third note or so has a completely different timbre than the others - meaning it's not that much louder, just sounds completely different. Annoying.

- both programs also seem to run out of gas if I'm playing something that is at all complicated - if there's a lot of notes going on, some of them disappear, and I notice the rendering in Mainstage gets slow and partial, and by 'rendering' I mean the image of the notes being pushed, the pedal on vs off indicator, etc. I think this probably means I'm running out of computer power, but, I'm using a two year old MacBook Pro, and I was sort of hoping it had more juice than that? Note Garageband is really really bad for this, Mainstage less so but still shows the problem.

Very much appreciate your time in answering these questions!

Mark
Posted by: Mark VC

Re: MainStage - 01/23/13 10:23 PM

I should add that the computer is running at 2.53 GHz, and has 4 GB RAM.
Posted by: Mark VC

Re: MainStage - 01/24/13 03:57 PM

+bump+

any help here? Thanks!

Mark
Posted by: Deffie

Re: MainStage - 01/24/13 04:13 PM

The two different sounds just means it's an unblended 2 layer sample that apparently doesn't work well at least with the default touch curve. Unfortunately, whether you can adjust the touch curve in the software I couldn't say, but if you can then you should be able to make the hard sound happen only at much higher velocity.

As far as the computer running out of gas as it were. Notes cutting off typically means you've exceeded the polyphony, which for programs not specifically geared towards piano it doesn't really surprise me. For polyphony, even if you had the latest and greatest you'd still see the same issue since you're hitting the limit on the number of sounds it can play at once (not a hardware limit, but software).

As far as slowing down in general, that's probably a processor issue. The speed doesn't really tell us anything, and it's really program-dependent anyways. For example, in my DAW each track can run on a separate thread so in theory I can fully push my 8-core system. However, if it didn't do this then at most it could only use 1/8 of my processor and just push a single core while the other 7 sit idle. No real way for us to know the specifics of what's causing it, but it's probably a combination of software and hardware slowdown.
Posted by: Macy

Re: MainStage - 01/24/13 05:09 PM

I use Mainstage to run piano VSTs like the Vintage D, Ivory II, etc. Are you trying to run some piano that is included with the Mainstage download? They aren't worth bothering with if that is what you are trying to do.
Posted by: Mark VC

Re: MainStage - 01/24/13 07:24 PM

That's exactly what I'm doing, because I haven't yet purchased one of the big ones. The best VST piano I have, for now, is the one that came with the P105. That works great.

It's sampled from Yamaha's big concert grand, I guess. Does anyone have an opinion as to how it compares to, for example Ivory II? Because to me, it (the Yamaha) sounds, well, fakey. The bass notes boom way out of proportion, the upper midrange sounds tinkly, and when you ask it to sustain a chord for a while, you can hear some kind of internal struggle going on in the chord, which is hard to describe. Will Ivory II be better?
Posted by: Macy

Re: MainStage - 01/24/13 09:57 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark VC
That's exactly what I'm doing, because I haven't yet purchased one of the big ones. The best VST piano I have, for now, is the one that came with the P105. That works great.


I'm lost??? The P105 doesn't come with a VST. Are you talking about the P105 internal piano voice?

Originally Posted By: Mark VC
It's sampled from Yamaha's big concert grand, I guess. Does anyone have an opinion as to how it compares to, for example Ivory II? Because to me, it (the Yamaha) sounds, well, fakey. The bass notes boom way out of proportion, the upper midrange sounds tinkly, and when you ask it to sustain a chord for a while, you can hear some kind of internal struggle going on in the chord, which is hard to describe. Will Ivory II be better?


What? Above you said it was great. Then you say it is flakey. Yes, Ivory II will be much better. But I still have no idea what you are doing with Mainstage. Your original post was about Mainstage.
Posted by: Mark VC

Re: MainStage - 01/24/13 11:39 PM

Sorry, yes, I was referring to the P-105's internal piano as a VST, which I see it is not! (But, it is software that imitates a piano, right?)

And, when I said that the Yamaha internal piano 'works', what I meant was that you can play complicated stuff without half the notes muting. That's way ahead of what I'm getting from the Mainstage piano - all I'm doing is running it from the P-105, and it does not work well, in the above sense, and Garageband is much worse.

And finally though the internal Yamaha internal piano does work in the above sense, it also doesn't sound great, or maybe I just need to lower my expectations. I'm thinking about investing in an actual VST, but it needs to be a whole lot better than the Y.I.P to be worth it.
Posted by: briamonto

Re: MainStage - 01/25/13 12:15 AM

As far as the computer running out of gas as it were.
Posted by: Mark VC

Re: MainStage - 01/25/13 01:15 PM

It has to sound way better, to be worth 350 or whatever it is. I'm hoping my neighborhood Sam Ash has Ivory II running on something so I can give it a try and compare. With PianoTeq you can give it a whirl at home, which I'm going to to do.