Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording

Posted by: pv88

Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/12/13 12:45 AM

Here is another recording at the Kawai CA95 using the default "Concert Grand 1" preset and the piece is the jazz standard "In a Sentimental Mood" by Duke Ellington:

https://www.box.com/s/gueyivgg5ybrzmk2qgtq

A nice tune similar in style to "Body and Soul."
Posted by: poggler

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/12/13 12:57 AM

Nicely done!
Posted by: mabraman

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/12/13 02:59 AM

Nice one, pv88. The sound is very clear, glassy, very 'Kawai', perhaps a little too much on the 'Errol Garner' side for my taste.
I'd love to hear some recording of a Kawai moaning like a ...like some classy people gone bad.
Posted by: Clayman

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/12/13 06:14 AM

Well done, sir. I really like the sound of that thing. smile
Posted by: HwyStar

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/12/13 07:53 AM

Nice recording pv88! You play really well.

Is there anyway that you can dial in a tone on the CA95 that sounds "just like" Hank Jones in the recording below? Then we could truly hear the capabilities of the Kawai. Granted he is playing a Yamaha but the recording has pretty good dynamics and would give you a reference tool to use to emulate your Kawai against a good recording of the same tune. Notice the amount of room reverb present in the recording.

Here is the Youtube video. Make sure to play the video at 480p for best quality sound.

Thanks for sharing your recording pv88.
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/12/13 08:12 AM

Nice ! It's a pretty bright sound isn't it ? Is it the standard Grand 1 or did you change any settings (Virtual Technician / EQ) ?
Posted by: xorbe

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/12/13 12:43 PM

Keep 'em coming! :^)
Posted by: pv88

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/12/13 04:02 PM

Thanks everyone, for the compliments on the recording.

@HwyStar,

Thanks for posting the video:

You raise an interesting question as for adding in extra reverb as my recording was played with the default settings, although it is very unlikely that I could get the same amount of effect at the CA95 as compared with the excellent acoustic grand Hank Jones performs on in the video. Very nice playing by Hank, by the way!

@JFP,

As mentioned just above it was recorded using the default "Concert Grand 1" preset. Usually, you will see that I try to label my recordings accordingly with the settings being used, so, if there are no additional settings indicated in the file name then the recording is being played with the default preset.

And yes, it has a very bright tone, very suitable for jazz pieces.
Posted by: Kenny J

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/13/13 09:21 AM

I am looking to get a CA95 at the end of the month. Thanks so much the reviews and sound recordings on the instrument. I am looking to replace my old spinet that I've had since I was a kid. It is exciting to hear such a marvelous sounding piano.

As an aside, are the two pieces of music you recorded sheet music or from a jazz collection. I would like to buy a copy if they are still in print. Your interpretation was beautiful, by the way.

Ken
Posted by: peterws

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/13/13 03:25 PM

I semi apologise for going against the grain here. I would not buy that sound!
Posted by: scorpio

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/13/13 03:48 PM

Originally Posted By: peterws
I semi apologise for going against the grain here. I would not buy that sound!


Since I am learning, and don't have a refined ear, yet. Can you please describe more specifically what you find wrong with the sound?

And I apologize, I don't mean to change the direction of the thread. I really enjoyed the recording.
Posted by: Wess. Chr. K.

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/13/13 06:08 PM

Hi PV88,

could you please, tell us, when you hear your instrument from its own sound system (Kawai CA95) is it pretty the same with this recording?
It is too late, 1.00 o'clock after midnight, and I am listening to your performance using AKG Studio 240 headphones.
In other words, are there possibilities to record it with mics to get complete impression of what you have done.


Thank you in advance.

Posted by: AshwayGap

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/13/13 06:54 PM

Thanks for a very agreeable recording pv88. Of course no recording and computer playback can equal the really excellent sound that comes directly from the CA95 and its soundboard when listening in a room where it is being played. I still think this DP is the best sound available within its price range. 'peterws' go and have a listen to the CA95 in a music store and you might be pleasantly surprised.
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/13/13 07:42 PM

Thank you for sharing, pv88. I like your version.

When it comes to sound preferences, even the whole wide world of DP's doesn't offer the variety of piano sounds that even a modest piano showroom in NE Atlanta has to offer.... grin Truly, I'll have family members split over which they grand or upright they prefer, sometimes fiercely so.

I won't speak for peterws, but for scorpio's benefit, I'll simply say that other highly regarded makes will sound different from each other.

To refine your ear, you have to breakdown a DP's sound note by note before putting it back together in the context of a recorded song. Once you've done that exercise for one sample, they all become easier to dissect.

So how might you choose? Listening to recordings will give you a base reaction, interested or not interested. The next level is playing for reaction, more or less interested. The next step is comparing A/B choices. Here is where we spend all or time talking, rationalizing, considering, but only a little time deciding.

Ignorance is bliss. One can like or dislike something for a reason, but since when does one need a reason? wink
Posted by: HwyStar

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/13/13 07:44 PM

Via computer speakers, pv88's recording of the CA95 is just so-so. When I played the recording through my nice JBL speakers it sounds pretty darn good. I agree AshwayGap that the sound of the CA95 probable does sound better using the sound board and the omni-directional characteristics of the DP would help smooth out the sounds and make it more pleasurable to the ear.

Seeing as I have no way of hearing a CA95 unless I drive for four hours to hear it, I would really like it if pv88 could dial his recordings in to sound just like some quality youtube recordings. This way we are comparing apples to apples via good audio recordings. You know the recording that Kawai did at about 2:44 sounds pretty nice! Kawai Youtube Recording
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/13/13 07:59 PM

Originally Posted By: HwyStar
You know the recording that Kawai did at about 2:44 sounds pretty nice! Kawai Youtube Recording


I expect Kawai America recorded the audio either from the instrument's line-out jacks, or perhaps using the onboard WAV/MP3 recorder. The latter would be my recommended method, however I believe pv88 prefers to use the headphone jacks, for whatever reason.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: Amaruk

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/13/13 08:20 PM

Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL

When it comes to sound preferences, even the whole wide world of DP's doesn't offer the variety of piano sounds that even a modest piano showroom in NE Atlanta has to offer.... grin Truly, I'll have family members split over which they grand or upright they prefer, sometimes fiercely so.

I won't speak for peterws, but for scorpio's benefit, I'll simply say that other highly regarded makes will sound different from each other.


So true! The CA-95 is a fantastic piano with a great action. However, I prefer the sound (recorded and projected), and touch of my LX-15. We all have different preferences, that's all.

By the way Sam, thanks for providing info about my piano when I was looking around.
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/13/13 08:28 PM

Originally Posted By: Amaruk
By the way Sam, thanks for providing info about my piano when I was looking around.
thumb
Posted by: HwyStar

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/13/13 10:11 PM

I was referring more to the virtual technician settings and voice(s) that Kawai used to get that stellar sound. pv88 will get there with the USB stick. "It is" the only way to fly.

Thanks James.
Posted by: peterws

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/14/13 02:15 AM

Hello Scorpio. I find the sound too clinical, perfect, lacking in character. Dammit, I sound like an AP exponent now. But every note sounds the same, like it`s been sampled from a limited range. Which I understand not to be the case. I tried the CA65 out in our local shop, it was no better or worse than any o` the others around today. And we`re not always talking cheap here. . . I might have to consider an AP yet; are the modern ones up to it?

But the poster`s playin was lovely.
Posted by: mabraman

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/14/13 03:18 AM

Originally Posted By: peterws
Hello Scorpio. I find the sound too clinical, perfect, lacking in character.


That's what I meant, and it's a kind of sound that is often heard, here and there, when the Kawais are recorded. They sound bright and clean (Concert Grand 1)and some people (too many for my taste)make it sound even brighter, in a way you miss the little wood that the main sample has, so it's all glass and metal. That makes the sound cold, IMO. In this case Pv88's playing emotionally, in a romantic style, and a warmer tone would help a lot (unless you prefer to do it over the snow).

About the recording chain: usb in wav format is the best, as James is insisting to advise to you. It will sound very well trough the same piano, and in hi-fi. Perhaps not so well being listened from "cloud sites". Here is where the chain fails (average sound cards/amplification/compression/cheap speakers).
Posted by: mabraman

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/14/13 03:29 AM

About sounds and our particullar taste, I've just remembered these words (sorry for the translation):

"Sometimes, a sum of perfect features produces a cloying?/oversweet? result, and a combination of imperfect features produces something which is better than beauty".

M. Benedetti.
Posted by: Marco M

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/14/13 04:18 AM

Personal taste on sound...
For me also the Kawai sound is too bright - if played as solo piano like presented here. The warmer and still richer Roland sound pleases me much more for this kind of show case, and especially for classical music. But if an instrument would have to hold its ground in the context of band playing, this bright sound might just be right! I love my Roland in the living room, but would seriously start decision making from scratch if searching for a stage piano. Like the Kawai users might have to decrease the highs to prevent too much brightness in certain situations, the Roland users will have to boost them in the same situation. So, what´s to prefer? Depends...

As somebody brought it up: how compares the recorded sound to the onboard speaker sound? They are not simply stereo, but a more complex design!
I am so sad, that I just can´t get my cases from my storage room unpacked, to get my high class mics and recording devices installed in our living room to record my DP as it sounds with its onboard speakers. It is different. Wouldn´t say better or worth than with headphones, but really kind of different. Brilliance and clarity decreases. But it comes to life! Starts singing! I would gues that it is the same with the CA-95, isn´t it?
Posted by: HwyStar

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/15/13 10:00 AM

Kawai got back to me in regards to my inquire about the settings on the Youtube Video.

The Grand Piano 1 voice was used and no alterations were used via the virtual technician. Per Kawai: "out of the box settings" were used. They also mentioned the recording used the line outputs into a digital recorder.

After listening to the recording again on 720p I would add a smidgen of reverb and a dab of resonance. Maybe a tweak of EQ to soften the high end.

I suggested they make another recording in 1080p and set the CA95 up to sound as close to a Kawai EX as they can in a "grand hall" setting. This would sure go a long way in helping people to get off the fence, get in their car and drive many miles to their distant Kawai dealership.
Posted by: Wess. Chr. K.

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/15/13 07:05 PM

Originally Posted By: Marco M
Personal taste on sound...
I am so sad, that I just can´t get my cases from my storage room unpacked, to get my high class mics and recording devices installed in our living room to record my DP as it sounds with its onboard speakers. It is different.


Dear Marco,

it makes big difference listening to the sound when is being recorded from direct "out" compared to the one form onboard system by all DPs.
I know how Kawai 95 sounds (from "direct output"), but I would like to listen to this instrument when is being recorded with mics in real room, even not in studio, because most of us play at home.

I can't agree more with you – it is a matter of personal test.
Or – education, experience? Possibly.

However, it seem to me that most of the forum members are interesting on this particular model of Kawai, probably not because it is a afordable-price lever instrument, but because it is build with wooden key action.
What about the sounds? – this question stays may be on second place.
It is not an AP, nonetheless.
If there is a sound – it is welcomed, because for about 200 Euro (incl VAT) one can purchase "Ivory II AmericanGrand" + iLok, or something else.
And there is no need to worry how Roland, Kawai or Yamaha sound from their own direct outputs, because this issue, if any, is already solved.

Most of us do not believe advertising – dizzy technical terminology – it is just a make-up, lot of blah-blah etc.

BUT:
for some reason we need the DP: for rehearsing, teaching, playing for fun or composing and most of the time DP are not equipped with PC or MAC via USB or MIDI to VST host.

That is the reason why I am so curious about Kawai 95, because many colleagues talk about it as a very special tool, as something distinctive.

Otherwise all we know the unpleasant side of Kawai: CS 65, 95, 63, 93, CA 3, 6, 9 without DSP processing sound pretty the same – harsh and with short decay,
Roland – with hi-fi EQ by default and busted low shelf,
Yamaha is hollow or when EQ-ed – glassy.

Non of these DP are Steinway or Bösendorfer, because they are the paragons.
Coincidentally or not these two do not sale DPs, but Steinway offers "silent" system to its upright pianos.
http://www.steinway-muenchen.de/klaviere/stummschaltung

Hence, soon or not we could become witnesses of some very classy DP, I guess!
Posted by: Miguel Rey

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/15/13 08:58 PM

In regards to sound when discussing cabinet DP's I think we should all specify exactly what "sound" are we talking about. The sound from the onboard samples or what we hear from the speakers system. If we're talking about the sound coming from the speakers being harsh or too bright using the onboard samples then is it the speakers or the samples? After all the onboards are samples from a Kawai grand and are not usually most peoples first, second or even third choice when it comes to acoustics so we should expect the somewhat bright kawai sound that Kawai's are known for. Now I would really like to hear how good VST Bosi , Steinway and even Yamaha sample "sounds" coming from the speakers.
Posted by: Marco M

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/17/13 07:30 AM

The reason I pointed to the onboard speakers sound (of the high class DPs like CA series) is, that it is nowadays no more only stereo, like you could receive it from the Line OUT or as you could reproduce it after directing any software piano to a HiFi stereo system, the Line IN of the DP, or to headphones.
Instead, high class cabinet DPs have typically 4 or more speakers, and their sound is distributed to this row of 4 speakers (higher tones projected more to the right, lower tones more to the left), and not simply split to 2 speakers only. Additionally the CA-95 contains a soundboard, which physically distributes the sound in a way, like no simple speaker system could ever do so.
That´s why the high class cabinet DPs sound different than the stage pianos with the identical sound engine (connected to a simple stereo speaker system) do.
It is not only about how it sounds, but how the sound approaches you.
When I compared different DPs, this factor to my ears was really a significant one.

EDIT: Thus, my idea to catch the onboard speaker effect with mics recording a stereo signal would unfortunately not fully render the onboard speaker experience.
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/17/13 01:29 PM

Originally Posted By: HWyStar
After listening to the recording again on 720p I would add a smidgen of reverb and a dab of resonance. Maybe a tweak of EQ to soften the high end.

I suggested they make another recording in 1080p and set the CA95 up to sound as close to a Kawai EX as they can in a "grand hall" setting
Audio Quality in YouTube videos in 720p and 1080p is exactly the same: 152kb/s AAC (just as the same 128kb/s with 360p and 480p).
Posted by: HwyStar

Re: Kawai CA95 - "Concert Grand 1" - recording - 02/17/13 06:39 PM

I didn't know that Temperament. Thanks for that tidbit!