Kawai CA95 - New recording

Posted by: pv88

Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/04/13 11:25 PM

Decided to redo my performance of a favorite jazz standard, i.e., "Body and Soul" by Johnny Green, at the Kawai CA95:

[Edited recording - silent space deleted]

https://www.box.com/s/b4xddglelrco5b07khgk

Default "Concert Grand 2" setting.
Posted by: xorbe

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/04/13 11:54 PM

Thanks, I enjoyed listening!
Posted by: Clayman

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/05/13 05:45 AM

Really nice performance! I'm wondering, with that interesting (or should I say controversial?) DP vs AP topic going on, what that performance would sound like played on an AP, just for the sake of comparing the sound.

Thanks for sharing this with us. smile
Posted by: Gigantoad

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/05/13 08:28 AM

Great playing, but I didn't enjoy the sound at all. Surely it sounds much better through the soundboard and isn't really meant to be recorded from line out.
Posted by: Carlos-CR

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/05/13 10:30 AM

Originally Posted By: Gigantoad
Great playing, but I didn't enjoy the sound at all. Surely it sounds much better through the soundboard and isn't really meant to be recorded from line out.


I was about to say the same. smile

Very well played.

PV88, I'd like to ear your personal impression about how different it sounds played through the CA-95.

Carlos
Posted by: daz100

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/05/13 04:50 PM

Sorry I did not like this one bit .It sounded very cheap as if it was a recording taken from a very old Casio.
I was kind of hoping it was going to blow me away being though it is a top of the range kawai and I was planning on driving 60 mile to try it out,I'm very disappointed .
I am only observing the sound I hear ,your playing is fine.
I'm sure the piano sounds excellent from cabinet but for me it needs to record a great sound also for recording quality videos.
Posted by: chickenlump

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/05/13 05:19 PM

I believe the Concert Grand 2 on the CA95 of a grand using the original "harmonic imaging" sampling, where the Concert Grand 1 is the new samples of the Grand EX.

I personally don't like the Concert Grand 2 on my CA95, it sounds fake to me, but the default Concert Grand 1 sounds quite nice.


ps. im just going by what http://www.kawaius.com/main_links/digital/Features/harmonic_imaging2010.html
said regarding concert grand 1 vs 2

On models featuring 88-key sampling, Concert Grand 1 is a well-rounded EX Concert Grand recorded in the standard fashion for classical and jazz music. On many models there is Concert Grand 2, which will be the original Harmonic Imaging Concert Grand sound. It has a very different character from Concert Grand 1.
Posted by: pv88

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/05/13 05:25 PM

To help clarify (for those who didn't like the recorded sound) my recording method is very basic:

1) One stereo audio cable is being used from a headphone jack to the computer's audio in jack. The other headphone jack is for headphones so that I can monitor the playing.

2) The audio sounds are recorded directly into Audacity in which I can export a .wav file that can easily be converted to a .mp3.

3) The .mp3 can be uploaded to box.com to share as a link.

Extra note:

I agree that the CA95 itself (when playing) sounds better and quite impressive through its speakers/soundboard as compared to the recording.
Posted by: StefaanBelgium

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/05/13 05:57 PM

Originally Posted By: chickenlump


I personally don't like the Concert Grand 2 on my CA95, it sounds fake to me, but the default Concert Grand 1 sounds quite nice.

It's my view also. At least when I'm listening with my headphones. The default Concert Grand 1 sounds pure, all the others sound inferior over the headphones. When playing through the onboard speakers however, it's different. Then the inferior quality is not that obvious from the non-default samples.
Posted by: pv88

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/05/13 06:02 PM

I have to disagree as I think that the "Concert Grand 2" preset is better from the perspective that the tones are brighter (especially in the midrange of the keyboard from about middle C and on up) and the initial decay attack imparts better resonance for those notes when attempting to sustain a long line in a classical piece, like the Schubert Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 3, for example. The initial decay of the notes being played are most important.

I therefore could make a direct comparison (at the CA95 for anyone would want to listen from the "live" perspective of the speakers and soundboard) that the "Concert Grand 2" samples are in fact better than "Concert Grand 1" for certain select notes in the midrange of the keyboard when playing the Schubert Impromptu, with the first sustaining note being the B-flat just above middle C. Anyone listening to me playing this would hear a shorter quick initial decay of the B-flat note in the "Concert Grand 1" preset, as the "Concert Grand 2" preset lends more resonance to the same note with far better initial decay attack.

Any listener would hear this (in my studio room while playing) as I could easily demonstrate the differences between "Concert Grand 1" and "Concert Grand 2." The initial decay is more noticeable over the speakers as compared with headphones.

You would think that this should be the other way around, that the newer samples in the "Concert Grand 1" would have the better initial decay and resonance, but this is not true from what I am hearing.

Also, the initial decay (for midrange treble notes) appears to be better in all presets ending with "2" like "Studio Grand 2," "Mellow Grand 2," and, "Jazz Grand 2." On my CA95, anyway.
Posted by: Amaruk

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/05/13 06:44 PM

Originally Posted By: pv88
My recording method is very basic:

1) One stereo audio cable is being used from a headphone jack to the computer's audio in jack. The other headphone jack is for headphones so that I can monitor the playing.

2) The audio sounds are recorded directly into Audacity in which I can export a .wav file that can easily be converted to a .mp3.

3) The .mp3 can be uploaded to box.com to share as a link.


Did you try to use the built-in recorder? I always record directly to a USB stick in my DPs (.wav file). That way you get a strict digital recording of your performance. Fantastic playing by the way!!
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/05/13 06:45 PM

pv88, thank you for sharing your recording - you play very well.

Regarding 'Concert Grand' vs 'Concert Grand 2', I personally prefer the tonal character of 'Concert Grand', especially with a little tweaking using the various parameters available in the 'Virtual Technician' menu.

However, I would strongly recommend that you do not use the headphone jacks for recording - the 'Line Out' connectors would be a wiser choice.

The best (and most efficient) solution, however, would be to purchase a $5 USB memory stick from...well, pretty much any store, and record your performances digitally as MP3 or WAV files using the instrument's 'USB Audio' feature. I believe I have made this recommendation to you once or twice already, noting that it would also eliminate the 10-20 second delays that typically precede your performances.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: StefaanBelgium

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/06/13 03:02 AM

@KawaiJames: do you mind telling us which tweekings you do for the Concert Grand ?
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/06/13 03:27 AM

Stefaan, I haven't spent a great deal of time playing the CA95, however if I owned one, I would probably reduce the reverb depth a little, increase the string/damper resonance, and attenuate the high frequencies using the EQ.

Of course, this is just my personal opinion, and is perhaps a reflection of the kind of piano sounds that I typically prefer (and the style of music I play).

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Hookxs

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/06/13 06:04 AM

My opinion on CA95 internal sounds is as follows:

- I generally don't like the "2" presets, far too metallic for my taste
- Jazz Grand is so similar to Concert Grand that it brings nothing new except maybe some mild EQing (if you (don't) like one, you (don't) like the other)
- Mellow Grands are useless because of their super short decay (I mean it, the shortest you can imagine on a piano). They may have some value in pieces where you fire a new note every 1/10th of a second but in music where you actually have time to breathe, silence sets in before you know it.
- I am undecided about Studio Grand - different from Concert Grand for sure, I like it a little less though. May be good for a change from time to time.
- Upright sounds good for very specific kinds of music (ragtime), not good for "general" playing.
- Other sounds are useless for classical/jazz piano playing

Overall, Concert Grand 1 is the best and the only one worth testing if you consider buying this piano. I do have some mild reservations about it but that is to be expected I guess.

Edited to add: I like the pv88's playing and imho the recording would strongly benefit from using Concert Grand 1 instead of 2.

Edited 2nd time to add: USB recording as an obvious solution aside, it would probably take less time to cut the 19 seconds from the recording than type the infamous "silent signature" of yours:-)
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/06/13 06:20 AM

Originally Posted By: Hookxs

Edited 2nd time to add: USB recording as an obvious solution aside, it would probably take less time to cut the 19 seconds from the recording than type the infamous "silent signature" of yours:-)

+1. I refuse to listen any more to pv88's playing. Now I find he uses Audacity. It really is audacious not to cut those silent beginnings out. One mouse click, swipe, delete, done.
Posted by: Justplay

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/06/13 09:15 AM

I use an Audio Interface from the line outs on my CA95. I then go from there into my computer.... Is this a good way? The interface I have is the Akai EIE Pro Audi/Midi Interface.



Audio Interface
Posted by: Clayman

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/06/13 12:34 PM

Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha

+1. I refuse to listen any more to pv88's playing. Now I find he uses Audacity. It really is audacious not to cut those silent beginnings out. One mouse click, swipe, delete, done.

C'mon now, it's not that big a deal. It's one click & drag for you, too.
Posted by: xorbe

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/06/13 01:05 PM

Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
+1. I refuse to listen any more to pv88's playing. Now I find he uses Audacity. It really is audacious not to cut those silent beginnings out. One mouse click, swipe, delete, done.

That's right, open Audacity, load, swipe, delete, export, done. Then you can listen to it as you want ...
Posted by: pv88

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/06/13 04:07 PM

Originally Posted By: xorbe
Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
+1. I refuse to listen any more to pv88's playing. Now I find he uses Audacity. It really is audacious not to cut those silent beginnings out. One mouse click, swipe, delete, done.

That's right, open Audacity, load, swipe, delete, export, done. Then you can listen to it as you want ...


Just figured out how to do this and here's the edited recording:

https://www.box.com/s/b4xddglelrco5b07khgk

Trimmed off the space at the start and end.

[New link has been added to first post.]
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/06/13 04:35 PM

pv88,

1. Click the mouse at the point just before the playing begins.
2. Keep the mouse button held, then drag the mouse to the left to select the silence.
3. Click the 'Cut' icon (represented by a pair of scissors).

Alternatively:

1. Record directly to a USB flash memory.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: pv88

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/06/13 05:22 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
pv88,

1. Click the mouse at the point just before the playing begins.
2. Keep the mouse button held, then drag the mouse to the left to select the silence.
3. Click the 'Cut' icon (represented by a pair of scissors).

Alternatively:

1. Record directly to a USB flash memory.

Cheers,
James
x


Thanks James,

I just found a way in which to do the editing (which was similar to the method you describe above) however, it worked just the same. Have posted the new and edited recording (above) with the silence removed from both start/end.
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/06/13 05:36 PM

Originally Posted By: pv88
Have posted the new and edited recording (above) with the silence removed from both start/end.

Nice playing as always! Preference for the piano tone is of course subjective and personal. Not sure I like it but I think it suits this piece.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/06/13 06:12 PM

Originally Posted By: pv88
Thanks James,

I just found a way in which to do the editing (which was similar to the method you describe above) however, it worked just the same.


Well, I'm glad you were able to find a method that works for you.

However, I would once again recommend using the CA95's build-in USB audio recording features in future.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: pv88

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/08/13 07:18 PM

Here is a recording at the CA95 that demonstrates the original "Concert Grand 1" preset with extra decay time, string resonance, and, reverb:

https://www.box.com/s/n5sejsycnhkhz2chl86h
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/08/13 07:32 PM

Thanks for posting. I definitely prefer this sound.
You play very well, however I feel a certain degree of rigidity in this performance...I'd like it to 'swing' a little more. Perhaps you could have a couple of drinks to let your hair down a little?

By the way, did you try the USB recorder function yet?

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Miguel Rey

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/08/13 09:07 PM

Very nice smile
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/08/13 10:16 PM

Originally Posted By: pv88
Glad that you like the sound...


You're welcome!

Originally Posted By: pv88
...however, I have no intention of changing the current recording setup with a standard audio cable (and, editing in Audacity) as it costs nothing to do so.


Okay, but please be aware that using the headphone jack for recording is not recommended.
The line out connectors would be preferable, if you wish to stick with the analogue recording method.

Originally Posted By: pv88
Using the built-in recorder involves extra steps in transferring the recording to a USB stick (at extra cost) every time I make a recording.


Recording directly to USB is more efficient than using audio cables, and typically allows higher quality results. Moreover, if you select to record in MP3 format, the file can be uploaded directly to Box.com etc. without needing to copy the file to your computer or additional conversion. Again, a USB stick shouldn't cost more than $5 - if this is genuinely a concern, I would be happy to send you a device.

Originally Posted By: pv88
As for the piece not having any "swing" to it, this is a slow jazz ballad which was not meant to played in that manner. For something with more of a swing feel or rhythm, listen to the other recording of Body and Soul, posted here above.


Yes, I appreciate that the piece is not really supposed to 'swing' in the sense of having a drum and bass accompaniment. I was commenting more on the 'feel' of the playing style.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: pv88

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/08/13 10:25 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: pv88
As for the piece not having any "swing" to it, this is a slow jazz ballad which was not meant to played in that manner. For something with more of a swing feel or rhythm, listen to the other recording of Body and Soul, posted here above.


Yes, I appreciate that the piece is not really supposed to 'swing' in the sense of having a drum and bass accompaniment. I was more commenting on the 'feel' of the playing style.


It is a jazz piano ballad meaning that there is no swing rhythm in this piece, whatsoever. Using a "drum and bass accompaniment" has little to do with (or has any bearing on) the style or feel of a piece being played in true swing rhythm.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/08/13 11:31 PM

Originally Posted By: pv88
It is a jazz piano ballad meaning that there is no swing rhythm in this piece, whatsoever.


Yes, I appreciate that. Again, I was referring to the 'feel'/'feeling' of the music, not the rhythm. It's something that's very difficult to describe with words, nor can it be properly expressed through a notated score.

But please don't take my comments too personally - you're a fine player.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: xorbe

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/08/13 11:48 PM

Originally Posted By: pv88
Here is a recording at the CA95 that demonstrates the original "Concert Grand 1" preset with ...

Nice work again!
Posted by: TrumpetMan

Re: Kawai CA95 - New recording - 02/09/13 03:27 AM

Oooh, this is a tricky one!

I think James means it needs more fluidity or continuity. I have been playing with jazz musicians for 30 years and have never heard anyone refer to anything other than swing rhythms as 'swinging'. I never heard of a ballad or latin recording that musos say is swinging. They might say it has a great groove or is steady. Just different terminology I guess.

Anyway, you have more facility than me on the piano, at least smile

I do agree that you need a cheap usb stick though. You won't be sorry you tried it.