The DPBSD Project!

Posted by: dewster

The DPBSD Project! - 02/03/10 08:13 PM

The DPBSD Project

I have developed a MIDI file that is something like what they use over at Purgatory Creek for the Digital Piano Shootout only much more laser-like in its diagnostic abilities.*

I've dubbed it THE DIGITAL PIANO BS DETECTOR or the DPBSD for short. It can be found here:

DPBSD Project Files @ MediaFire

Along with the MIDI test file you can find a readme file that explains what it does and how to use it. I also have all the MP3 DPBSD sound clips and pictures of the various analyses located there for your listening / viewing pleasure.

I've honed it as best I can, and it's pretty good at revealing the following behavior in whatever it's played on:**

================
= Test Listing =
================
In the order they appear in the MIDI file:
0. Max recording level
1. Pedal and other sympathetic resonance test
2. Key sympathetic resonance test
3. Silent replay test
4. Quick partial damping test
5. Late pedal partial damping test
6. Half pedaling test
7. Sample looping test
8. Sample stretching test
9. Sample layer switching test
10. Undampered transition test

I would very much appreciate any and all DPBSD MP3 analysis files - which entails playing the MIDI file on your DP (many DPs will play MIDI files directly, otherwise you would use a MIDI sequencer here), digitally recording the response in stereo (many DPs will record WAV or MP3 files directly, otherwise you would use an external digital recorder here), and then uploading the resulting MP3.

Please post or PM me if you are considering uploading an MP3 to the project and I'll help you through the process - also do peruse the readme file first for directions. (It's not terribly difficult to do, but it can be a bit fiddly if you've never done such things in the past - basically it's just turn off the reverb and record the hottest level you can without clipping.)

I and others can then help you interpret the results. Be warned however, we may sit around taking endless pot shots at your expensive shiny new DP!



laugh Index of Relevant DPBSD Posts on Pianoworld

The DPBSD Test
General background
WAV vs MP3 analysis

Acoustica
Pianissimo

Apple
Garageband Piano

Casio
PX-3
PX-110
PX-330, PX-330
PX-350

EastWest Quantum Leap
Bechstein D-280 Concert Grand
Bosendorfer 290 & Steinway D & Yamaha C7
Goliath Pianos: Fazioli F308 & Steinway B & PMI Bosendorfer 290

Fatar
Numa Piano

Galaxy
1929 German Baby Grand (Blüthner 150)
Vienna Grand & Steinway
Vintage D

Garritan
Steinway

Generalmusic
Promega3
pRP-800
RP-X Module

Ivory
Bosendorfer & Italian & Steinway & Yamaha

Kawai
CA63, CA63
CN33
ES6
ES100
MP5, MP5, MP5
MP6
MP10

Korg
Kronos
Microstation
SP-250
SV1

Kurzweil
PC3X - Standard Grand

LIMEX
Vienna Grand Piano

Modartt
Pianoteq v3.6.0, K1 solo recording

Native Instruments
Alicia's Keys
Kontakt 4 Factory Grand Piano

Nord
Nord Piano

Reason
Steinway D Nicewood

Roland
FP-4 (& compared to SN)
FP-7F
HP-307, HP-307, HP-307 vs RD-700GXF
JUNO-Di
JV-1010
RD-700GXF
RD-700NX
RD-700NX
RD-700SX Superior Grand & X Ultimate
RP201
V-Piano, V-Piano
SN: Real vs. SN vs. Kawai UPHI, Yamaha AG vs. SN

Sampletekk
Seven Seas C7

Sound Magic
Imperial Grand 3D

TruePianos
Diamond v1.5.0

Vienna Symphonic Library
Vienna Imperial

Yamaha
AvantGrand N3
CLP-330, CLP-330
CLP-440 (& vs. P-155)
CLP-990
CP1 CF Grand, CP1 CF Grand
CP5 CF Grand, CP5 S6 Grand
CP50 (& vs. CP1/5)
CVP-505, CVP-505
DGX-640
Motif Rack ES Full Grand
Motif Rack XS
Motif XS8 Full Concert Grand
NP-30
NP-V60
NP-V80
P35
P-80 Grand Piano
P-85
P-95
P-105
P-120
P-155, P-155, P-155
S90 XS Natural Grand S6
YDP-223

Misc.
Tomb of the Unknown (Yamaha) Studio
Windows Media Player



help Begging Section

I'd really appreciate anyone contributing DPBSD MP3s of the following:

Three brownie points:
- Viscount Physis piano.

Two brownie points:
- Korg KROME "German D Grand".
- "Galileo" DP that uses "iMotion™ Interpolation Synthesis".
- Casio PX-850.

One brownie point:
- Yamaha NU1.
- Ivory II American Concert D.
- Yamaha AvantGrand N1.
- Roland RD-300NX - default SuperNATURAL piano with all resonance and sound effects enabled.
- Roland FP-4F - default SuperNATURAL piano with all resonance and sound effects enabled.
- Roland RD-700GXF (or RD-700GX with K-RD700GX1 SN expansion) SN10 Grand Piano4.

Any other suggestions?

And if anyone wants to redo any of the older DPBSD MP3 files with the very latest MIDI file that would be cool too. I would definitely update the reviews based on the newer files. I would particularly appreciate a redo on anything currently v1.5 and below.



3hearts The DPBSD Honor Roll (MP3 donors)
12 anotherscott
10 pesk
7 setchman
3 galaksa
3 Glenn NK
3 jve
2 ChrisA
2 CyberGene
2 EssBrace
2 Mike Martin / Casio
2 octurn
2 VivatRudolphus
2 voxpops
1 1John
1 Alexank
1 bajabill
1 bkmz
1 Daniel Richter
1 Derek Andrews
1 Goofball Jones
1 jef_citron
1 jens4711
1 JFP
1 Jumajazu
1 kawaian/mucci
1 kurtie
1 luisdent
1 M.Schreck
1 Martin C. Doege
1 Mawima
1 Melodialworks Music/Lawrence
1 mkhor
1 nan
1 NikkiPiano
1 pkdd
1 Qbert
1 reza
1 R0B
1 sandord
1 sdw91
1 Soren Jorvang
1 tinybox
1 Vincentimes
1 Voltara
1 Volusiano
1 Yuri Pavlov
1 zaba19



sleep Notes:
*This file is meant to be used as something of a spot-check for various instruments and sample sets, perhaps as a go/no-go test before considering a purchase, and is in no way exhaustive. While a more comprehensive file could be easily made, it would produce a larger result file that would require more labor and time to evaluate.

Readers should take these technology reviews for what they are, which is one aspect of the full digital piano. Sound technology is a large aspect, but there are other aspects that should be considered as well, such as whether it sounds similar to a particular physical piano (Steinway, Bosendorfer, Yamaha, etc.), how the keys feel and respond, price, the loudness and frequency response of any built in speakers / amplifiers, intuitiveness of the user interface, electrical interfaces (pedal inputs, audio outputs, USB, etc.), overall weight and physical robustness if it needs to be moved often, inclusion and quality of other voices, expensive cabinetry and other aesthetic issues, etc. Whatever you do, promise me you will never buy any musical instrument sight-unseen or merely on my or anyone else's say-so. Go out and play a bunch of them (bring some good headphones!) and see what suits you and your situation best. But do educate yourself as much as possible beforehand. Forewarned is forearmed.

**:
1. Sympathetic resonance is the sound produced by elements of an acoustic instrument that are indirectly excited. Examples here are unplayed piano strings with the sustain pedal depressed, or a snare drum sitting near a loud stage monitor. The sympathetic resonance of undamped piano strings can be subtle, but can add believability and richness to sampled or modeled pianos. Damper pedal sympathetic resonance is often simulated (or "modeled") with delay effects similar to short reverb, and when poorly implemented can cause strange buzzing or other annoying sounds or resonances. Better multi-layer sample sets use pedal down velocity samples to capture sympathetic resonance, with an equal number of layers captured with the pedal up and the pedal down being the norm. Modeled pianos usually have realistic pedal sympathetic resonance, particularly if the string models themselves are excited to create it. Note that somewhere between D6 and A6 is the highest key on a real piano to have a damper, so notes played above this point should not damp after pedal up or key up, and always resonate in sympathy to any notes played. In addition, "duplex scale" is the sympathetic resonance of the unplayed but harmonically related section of string that is located between the bridge and the hitch pin, or special resonant bars.

2. Except for the very highest notes, the strings of a real acoustic piano have individual dampers associated with each key on the keyboard. Imagine the scenario where one or more keys are either pressed slowly so that the notes aren't played, or are played normally but allowed to decay to silence. As long as the keys are held down the individual dampers associated with them remain lifted from their strings, and these strings are then able to resonate in sympathy with other notes that are played. There are many names for this, many of which I find confusing (a popular one is "string resonance" which is so generic as to be non-descriptive) so I call it "key sympathetic resonance." This effect is even more subtle than pedal sympathetic resonance.

3. When a key is pressed on a real acoustic piano, the hammer is flung at the string with a velocity proportional to how hard the key is pressed. If the key is pressed very lightly, the hammer velocity will be so low that it will not reach the string before falling back to rest, and no sound will be made. If a note is played normally, and if the pedal is held down so that the damper for that note is not allowed to fall, then replaying the key very lightly should not interrupt or disturb the continued ringing or decay of the note. Basically, this test swaps the two different ways one can lift the damper on a string that is playing, and does so in an overlapping manner so that the string should neither damp nor replay. Digital pianos often duplicate this behavior - I call this "silent replay".

4. The more mass a vibrating string has, the more difficult it is to quickly damp. Therefore the bass notes in particular on a real acoustic piano can be damped for a brief period of time but still retain some vibrational energy. This test employs the sustain pedal to apply two brief damps to a playing bass note. I call this behavior "quick partial damping".

5. When a played piano key is sustained via the damper pedal, normally the pedal is depressed before the key is lifted. But often (due to inexactness on the part of the player) the piano key is lifted a split second before the pedal is depressed. For bass notes on a real piano, the string should be partially damped at key-up, but then ring on at a reduced volume once the pedal is depressed, with the volume reduction directly proportional to the damping time (time between key-up and pedal down). This can be thought of as a variation of the quick partial damping test, but with more focus on playability. Digital pianos that don't support this feature may be more difficult to play, as they will likely be more sensitive to sustain pedal press / key lift timing. I call this behavior "late pedal partial damping".

6. Half pedaling refers to the response of an instrument that supports intermediate positions of the sustain pedal. Virtually all digital pianos respond to the sustain pedal being fully up or down, but many, like real acoustic pianos, undamp the strings more the farther the sustain pedal is depressed. Physically playing such an instrument requires a continuous pedal controller plugged into a keyboard that supports a continuous controller for the sustain pedal.

7. Sample looping refers to a form of individual sample compression, where the end of the sound sample is chopped off and replaced with a loop (short sound clip which is played over and over) with a decay envelope applied. Most digital piano sample sets are looped. Since the loop is cyclic in nature, it can't easily reproduce multiple strings slowly interbeating, harmonics with complex decay rates, longitudinal modes, etc. so there are timbre differences between the real decay and the looped decay. Sometimes a difference in pitch or stereo image is perceptible between the sample and the loop. The transition from sample playback to loop playback is usually crossfaded in order to make it less abrupt and obvious. The decay rate is often made faster than normal in an attempt to partially hide the looped sound, but this fast decay can itself sound unnatural. Loops may be highly processed to hide their cyclic nature, but this tends to make them sound unrealistically static and dull. Better looping is accomplished with a relatively long attack sample followed by a loop sufficiently long to support a realistically "phasey" string decay sound. The best looping is only done after the attack sample has significantly decayed in volume. Modeled instruments, because they don't rely on samples per se, should exhibit no looping.

8. Sample stretching is a form of sample memory space compression, where samples for certain notes are replaced with pitch stretched versions of samples from other nearby (usually adjacent) notes. Most digital piano sample sets are stretched. Mild stretching might use one note, say C4, stretched up one half step to play the note C#4, with the next real sample being D4, which is stretched up for D#4, and so on, which reduces sample memory requirements to roughly one-half of full sampling. More severe stretching might stretch a single sample up and down one half step, which would reduce sample memory to roughly one-third the size of full sampling. Stretching is often non-uniform across the keyboard, with the lowest and highest notes stretched more (i.e. fewer samples stretched over more notes). For instruments other than piano, stretching is often used to create higher and/or lower pitches than the actual instrument being sampled can physically produce. The problem with stretching is that there are tones in real acoustic instruments that are fixed (sympathetic strings, soundboard, resonant cavities, etc.) whose pitches are also stretched when the note is stretched, which can sound unnatural, particularly with excessive stretching. Better sample sets are not stretched, and may have terms like "all notes sampled" to indicate this. Note that a stretched sample set may still be multi-layer and/or looped. Modeled instruments, because they don't rely on samples per se, should exhibit no stretching.

9. If the desired Note (e.g. C4) is an index into a one dimensional sample set, then Velocity in a "multi-layered" instrument is a second index into what can be thought of as a two dimensional sample set. Multiple samples of the same note are recorded at different velocities to better capture the natural dynamics of the instrument, and one particular sample from this set is selected for playback based on how hard the note is played (velocity) on the keyboard. If there are three different velocity samples for a particular note, the sample set is called a "three layer" sample. Most digital piano sample sets are multi-layered. The amplitude of the sample being played back is scaled with velocity, which makes playing more dynamic and natural, and helps hide the transitions between layers. Layers are often further blended in various ways that partially or completely removes the layer switch timbre discontinuities. Note that a multi-layer sample set may still be looped and/or stretched. Single layer digital pianos may use variable filtering to approximate the change in timbre with velocity of a real piano, and by very definition should exhibit no layer switching (though the result is usually something of a mixed bag). When layers are employed to replicate distortion effects, such as in some sampled electric pianos, the layer switching may be very abrupt and obvious. Modeled instruments, because they don't rely on samples per se, should exhibit no layer switching.

10. The highest keys on a real piano have no damper mechanism. The decay time for these notes is so short that a damper probably wouldn't affect playing much, and undamped strings are sympathetic resonant elements that can add richness to the sound of other played notes. The transition point between dampered and undampered is somewhere between D6 and A6. So obviously notes played above this point should not damp at key up (and obviously the damper pedal should have no influence over these notes either). Almost all digital pianos mimic this behavior by not damping the note at key-up (but probably very few model the sympathetic resonance element).

Looping, stretching, too few velocity layers (and/or harsh layer switching), and fake-sounding or no pedal sympathetic resonance by very definition reduce the lush sound and rich variability of the originally sampled real piano. Not noticing these things initially is no guarantee that you won't be irritated by them in the future. And even if these crude sample compression techniques and cut corners aren't too obvious during normal playing, they can easily cause listener fatigue in the long term. This is something to consider, particularly if you are considering using a DP for primary practice. If you get tired of the sound because the sample set you've been listening to over and over was butchered down to 5% or less of it's original size, then you may find yourself MIDIing into a PC piano ROMpler, shopping for a new DP, or you (or your child) may even give up piano altogether. Good sound is inspiring; bad sound is discouraging. When you shop for a DP, I suggest you concentrate on those with the technically best sound you can afford, then narrow the choices based on the aesthetics of the sound, key feel, ease of use, etc.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/03/10 08:30 PM

Interesting dewster.

I read the readme file, now if I only understood half of it :-)

If I get a chance I'll play with this with my Yamaha P-80.
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/03/10 08:38 PM

Nicely done Dewster.

I like the sustained "C"'s going up in octaves at the beginning.

This will be interesting.

Snazzy
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/03/10 09:22 PM

Thanks! And glad y'all can see the files OK.

Like I said, a P-155 and PX-x30 would be great to add to this collection (as well as the P-80 Piano World, and the P-85 Snazz)!

But I would quite probably kill for a CP-1 CFIII sample donation... (come on Moose!)

Any suggestions on a better file host, or is mediafire acceptable?

Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/03/10 09:33 PM

Originally Posted By: Piano World


If I get a chance I'll play with this with my Yamaha P-80.



Wow. The head huncho hanging out in our little section of the forum. (Well, his actually . . . !)

Frank - for some reason I thought you were only into acoustic pianos. Interesting that you have a Yamaha P-80!
Posted by: Piano World

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/03/10 09:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
Originally Posted By: Piano World


If I get a chance I'll play with this with my Yamaha P-80.



Wow. The head huncho hanging out in our little section of the forum. (Well, his actually . . . !)

Frank - for some reason I thought you were only into acoustic pianos. Interesting that you have a Yamaha P-80!


And a Hammond XK-3 :-)
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/03/10 09:35 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
The DP BSD Project

I've been busy for the past couple of days. . . .



The dewster has indeed been busy, and using his super powers for good, not evil! Great to see.

This will be a very useful and interesting test file to use with various DP's and sample sets. Bravo!
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/03/10 09:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Piano World

And a Hammond XK-3 :-)



Now my opinion of you has gone up even more!

(Don't tell anyone, but among other things, I'm an organist, although of the pipe organ variety!)
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/03/10 09:41 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Thanks! And glad y'all can see the files OK.


Yes, but, are there limitations requiring the cryptic file names? I for one one, would appreciate more descriptive file names.


Originally Posted By: dewster

But I would quite probably kill for a CP-1 CFIII sample donation... )


Yes, but then the question would become (sung to the Ghostbusters Theme) "who you gonna kill . . .? "
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/03/10 09:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Piano World


[And a Hammond XK-3 :-)



Cool! I have an XK-1 home on approval, and I think it's a keeper.

Snazzy
Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/03/10 10:33 PM

I'm PMSL ....
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/03/10 10:51 PM

Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
The dewster has indeed been busy, and using his super powers for good, not evil!

Ha ha!

Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
Yes, but, are there limitations requiring the cryptic file names? I for one one, would appreciate more descriptive file names.

Knock yourself out with descriptive file names! Just don't write novels...
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/04/10 12:07 AM

I just uploaded am MP3 file. It is a very small sample set, measured in MB not GB. It is a sample set (not a VST) that is stored as a bunch of .WAV files with names like dc#2.wav and Pedal.wav I think I can hear most of what you are talking about. I did this mostly to make sure I understand the process. I used the 1.3 version midi file.

Because this uses a sampler I can go in and look at exactly how this was done, filters, note stretching and so on. I think it should all be in the open But I've not yet looked

It is a sampled Yamaha, model unknown

You are free to change the filename to anything you like.

http://www.mediafire.com/file/1y0ylnjmdow/dp_bsd_yam_studio.mp3
Posted by: setchman

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/04/10 12:46 AM

dewster,

I have the 4 Ivory pianos uploaded to my mediafire account for now, although it sounds to me from your post that you'd like all these files in your mediafile folder. I'm not sure how to upload it to your account without your username and password but I'll upload them again if you'd like them in one place.

I did use version 1.3 of your MIDI file, recording each piano in Reaper with all eq and effects turned off. I chose the first preset listed from each for each piano so they were as follows:

Bosendorfer Imperial 10 --> dp_bsd_ivory_bosey.mp3
German Concert D 10 --> dp_bsd_ivory_steinway.mp3
Italian 10' Concert Grand --> dp_bsd_ivory_italian.mp3
Studio Grand 8 --> dp_bsd_ivory_yamaha.mp3

http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=5da74615b2837725c79b87b207592a1c0742218a332edd73a543906a5faff527
Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/04/10 12:59 AM

Sounds like a good project I'll try and get S90Xs and RD700GX files for you. And the CP1/5 of course if they ever show up .....
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/04/10 11:48 AM

Hello setchman,

Thanks very much for the files! I renamed them to have the dp_bsd version number of v1.3, and uploaded them to the share folder.

I also updated the dp_bsd_readme.txt and removed the short reviews I had in there.

There is a new file in the share directory dp_bsd_reviews.txt that has all my reviews to date.

Your record levels are excellent! These samples in Ivory also sound quite excellent! The decays in particular are firmly in Pianoteq territory.


FILE NAME:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_ivory_bosey.mp3
PLAYED ON:
- Ivory Bosendorfer Imperial 10, recorded w/ Reaper.
PROS:
- Nice long decays, no looping.
- No stretching (all notes sampled).
- Good dynamic range (~40dB, vel=1:127).
- Good layer matching.
- 8 or more layers.
CONS:
- C9 sounds pretty weird.
- No sympathetic resonance (turned off?)
- No response to partial pedaling.
OTHER:
- Volume in MP3 file very good.

FILE NAME:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_ivory_italian.mp3
PLAYED ON:
- Ivory Italian 10' Concert Grand, recorded w/ Reaper.
PROS:
- Nice long decays, no looping.
- No stretching (all notes sampled).
- Good dynamic range (~39dB, vel=1:127).
- Good layer matching.
- Nice pedal up sound.
- 7 or more layers.
CONS:
- No sympathetic resonance (turned off?)
- No response to partial pedaling.
OTHER:
- Volume in MP3 file very good.

FILE NAME:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_ivory_steinway.mp3
PLAYED ON:
- Ivory German Concert D 10, recorded w/ Reaper.
PROS:
- Nice long decays, no looping.
- No stretching (all notes sampled).
- Good dynamic range (~40dB, vel=1:127).
- Good layer matching.
- 6 or more layers.
CONS:
- C8 and C9 have a strange phasey sound.
- No sympathetic resonance (turned off?)
- No response to partial pedaling.
OTHER:
- Volume in MP3 file very good.

FILE NAME:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_ivory_yamaha.mp3
PLAYED ON:
- Ivory Studio Grand 8, recorded w/ Reaper.
PROS:
- Nice long decays, no looping.
- No stretching (all notes sampled).
- Good dynamic range (~39dB, vel=1:127).
- Good layer matching.
- Nice pedal up and note-off sounds.
- 6 or more layers.
CONS:
- No sympathetic resonance (turned off?)
- No response to partial pedaling.
OTHER:
- Volume in MP3 file very good.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/04/10 11:52 AM

Hello ChrisA,

Thanks for the sample! I renamed the file to include the dp_bsd version number and uploaded it to the share directory.

Your recording level was fairly low, but otherwise the MP3 is fine.

FILE NAME:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_yam_studio.mp3
PLAYED ON:
- Unknown small sample set from unknown Yamaha piano.
PROS:
- Looped, but fairly well done.
- OK sympathetic resonance.
- 3 layer.
CONS:
- Rather rapid note decay.
- Poor dynamic range (~30dB, vel=1:127).
- Looping of higher notes fairly obvious.
- Obvious stretching going on of some sort.
- Abrupt layer switching.
- Does not respond to partial pedaling.
OTHER:
- Volume in MP3 file too low! (please try for -1dB peak)
Posted by: setchman

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/04/10 12:11 PM

dewster,

As you were checking out the Ivory files I just finished loading up the Garritan Steinway Professional MP3s. They're in the same folder.

I used the v1.3 file again to make 5 recordings of the 5 different microphone positions (Under Lid, Player, Close, Stage Side, Classic). Despite how some of them sound, I made sure there were no effects being applied. There is a lot of natural reverb in some of those mic positions.

http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=5da74615b2837725c79b87b207592a1c0742218a332edd73a543906a5faff527
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/04/10 05:33 PM

Thanks for the new files setchman!

I uploaded only the close miked MP3 as that was the only one I tested.

The review file is now updated, which seems to kill direct links to it (sorry people, look in the directory for dp_bsd_reviews.txt).

The Gerritan Steinway sounds very nice! I did hear some strange sounds deep into the decay of the notes, however.

I'm getting better at seeing the layers with the spectral views in Adobe Audition - this sample set has 8. And, strangely, it looks like maybe two notes are stretched.

FILE NAME:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_garritan_steinway_pro_close.mp3
PLAYED ON:
- Garritan Steinway Professional.
PROS:
- Nice long decays, no looping.
- No real stretching (except for maybe a couple of notes).
- OK velocity switching.
- 8 layers (from spectral PAN view).
- Good dynamic range (~39dB, vel=1:127).
CONS:
- No sympathetic resonance (turned off?)
- No response to partial pedaling.
- No pedal or note-off sounds.
- Strange breathing sounds (FFT?) in note decays near noise floor.
OTHER:
- Volume in MP3 file very good.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/04/10 05:55 PM

Everyone, if you want the readme, MIDI, or reviews file, please go here:

http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=7ef2fd9c0f59e62824a64199ac7f73e562543888620acf74e91dc00c2f906379

and paw around. Every time I change a file and re-upload it, the old link dies. But it seems the directory link stays the same, so maybe we can live with that for a while. I know it's rather disorganized at the moment - if business picks up I'll deal with it as necessary.

If people are interested in what I'm looking for in terms of detecting layers, stretched notes, looping, etc. I put a few Adobe Audition screen grabs in there too.

For instance, stretching_spectral_phase_p120.jpg shows a spectral phase view of the stretch test (chromatic walk up the keyboard) of the Yamaha P120, where you can clearly see groups of three with identical phase - one sample is used to play all three consecutive notes.

In layers_spectral_phase_ivory_bosey.jpg you can see the spectral phase view of the velocity layer test (middle C from vel=1 thru 127, step=2) of the Ivory Bosendorfer, where you can clearly see 4 distinct groups of identical phase - so there are 4 velocity layers.

Sometimes the velocity layers show up better using the spectral pan view, and in layers_spectral_pan_garritan_steinway_pro_close.jpg you can see 8 distinct groups, hence 8 velocity layers in the Garritan Steinway sample.

Finally, in looping_spectral_pan_p120.jpg you can see the spectral pan view of a note on the Yamaha P120. It starts out rich in harmonics, then about 3 seconds into the decay (@ the cursor) it turns into something that sounds wobbly and lamer, the dreaded LOOP!
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/04/10 05:57 PM

I upped an MP3 for my Yamaha P120 if anyone is interested.

FILE NAME:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_yamaha_p120.mp3
PLAYED ON:
- Yamaha P120, Echo MIA soundcard, recorded with Adobe Audition.
PROS:
- 3 layers (from spectral phase view).
- Sympathetic resonance.
- Responds to partial pedaling.
- Huge dynamic range (~68dB, vel=1:127).
CONS:
- Looped, most loops sound wobbly at first, weak at the end, loop starts 1 to 3 seconds in.
- Weak sympathetic resonance.
- Obvious stretching, every three notes over low & mid, every 6 notes high.
- Layer switching is rather abrupt.
OTHER:
- Layer switch @ vel=88 and 102.
Posted by: Gerry Armstrong

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/04/10 06:01 PM

I have a P155 and I see you mentioned you would like that one on your list.

I'll try and find some time to have a go at the weekend.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/04/10 06:09 PM

Gerry that would be great! I'd really like to see how it compares to our old P120.

Instructions are in the readme file. Basically turn off the reverb, record the stereo signal as hot as you can without clipping, 44.1kHz sampling rate, save as 192kbps CBR MP3. I'm only interested in the main piano sound.
Posted by: Gerry Armstrong

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/04/10 06:13 PM

Cool, doesn't sound too tricky for an old IT geek like me!! thumb
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/04/10 07:11 PM

Oh, and the MIDI tempo should be set to 120.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/04/10 07:17 PM

dewster, I'm glad to see that you are finally putting your obvious technical knowledge to good use. wink

Initially, from the thread title, I thought you were planning to build a new software-based DP running BSD, but obviously 'BS' refers to something quite different!

Perhaps you will consider an open-source digital piano as your next project?

Anyway, I cannot promise anything, but I'll look into playing back your MIDI file on some modern KAWAI DPs (some support recording to USB memory as MP3 directly), if I get a chance.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/04/10 08:36 PM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
Initially, from the thread title, I thought you were planning to build a new software-based DP running BSD, but obviously 'BS' refers to something quite different!

Perhaps someone will make a UNIX bug detector and call it the BSD BSD project..

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
Perhaps you will consider an open-source digital piano as your next project?

No way, DP customers are too picky! I'm actually much more interested in alternative controllers coupled to non-MIDI, modeled sound sources.

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
Anyway, I cannot promise anything, but I'll look into playing back your MIDI file on some modern KAWAI DPs (some support recording to USB memory as MP3 directly), if I get a chance.

Sounds good, and I look forward to it!

Rendering MIDI to MP3/wave on a USB stick would be a super valuable feature in a good (solo recording quality) DP.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/04/10 09:12 PM

If it turns out you need a place to store files, you can upload them to Piano World.

The uploader is not just for graphics.

http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/fileuploader2.html
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/05/10 09:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
Sounds like a good project I'll try and get S90Xs and RD700GX files for you. And the CP1/5 of course if they ever show up .....

That's the "142 megabytes dedicated exclusively to high-quality piano waveforms" S90XS, I presume? I'd love to have a shot at that!

And would the RD700GX sample be from the RD700GX1 SuperNATURAL piano kit plug-in board? The one with seamless this and seamless that (everything is seamless)? I'd be super interested in that!

I guess it goes without saying that I'll squeal like a little girl the second I get my hands on a CFIII sample from the CP1/5/50!
Posted by: TonyB

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/05/10 09:42 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster

Rendering MIDI to MP3/wave on a USB stick would be a super valuable feature in a good (solo recording quality) DP.


Though not really on topic here, I just wanted to mention that the Motif XS can do this. One of the firmware upgrades added this ability. Really, you are "recording" to a sample and then writing that to an attached USB device (flash drive or HD). It is a very quick and easy process.

Tony
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/05/10 12:58 PM

I did some tidying up, made some directories and sub-directories for the MP3 samples. Also created an upload directory for people to use.

Honing my craft while awaiting the CP1 sample.

Added my JV-1010 Session piano this morning:

FILE NAME:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_roland_jv1010_session.mp3
PLAYED ON:
- Roland JV-1010 Session piano, Echo MIA soundcard, recorded with Adobe Audition.
PROS:
- 2 layers (from spectral phase view).
- Large dynamic range (~60dB, vel=1:127).
CONS:
- Looped, actual samples are 3.5 to 0.5 seconds (lo to hi) with 1 to 0.5 seconds of crossfade.
- Looping obnoxiously static, decay tails sound organ-like.
- Stretching fairly obvious, stretch distances: 11,4,4,6,6,5,5,4,4,3,5,4,4,5,5,13.
- Layer switching fairly abrupt, switch @ vel=79.
- No sympathetic resonance.
- No response to partial pedaling.
OTHER:
- Anemic analog output w/ high noise floor.
- Fairly good for its time, now very dated.
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-05
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/05/10 02:57 PM

One interesting thing about the output from this analysis is that it allows you to estimate the size of the physical memory required to hold the sample. Let's do this exercise for the Roland JV-1010 Session piano:

2 velocity layers * 16 actual samples / layer (number of stretch groups) * 2 sec / sample (rough average) * 44,100 samples / sec (sample rate) * 2 bytes / sample (assume 16 bit PCM) = 5,644,800 bytes.

5.7 MB.

Pretty freakin' tiny. You could put 175 of these sample sets on a 1 GB flash stick! Itself pretty tiny these days - the smallest I see for sale is 2 GB for ~$8. And at that rate, storage for the Session piano sample set would cost $4 / 175 = ~2 cents!

It's easy to understand why they played these games in the bad old days when ROM was expensive. Stretching in this case reduces the memory requirements by a factor of 88 / 16 = 5.5. Looping, assuming an average of 30 seconds is needed to fully capture a piano note, in this case reduces the memory requirements by a factor of 30 / 2 = 15. And 5.5 * 15 = 82.5 is a pretty whoppingly large factor to reduce the physical memory. Still, two fully unstretched and unlooped two-layer sample sets could fit on a 1 GB flash stick! A single four-layer sample set could fit on there too and would sound pretty fantastic in comparison.

I know the JV-1010 is really dated, but it's specs aren't that much different from the Yamaha P-120 (also out-of-production, granted, but less dated). These days I can see maybe playing these memory reduction games in a toy, but not in anything serious people pay serious money for.

With any luck we'll be leaving these bad-old-days behind us soon.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/05/10 07:29 PM

I'm redoing this post with PICTURES!

If people are interested in how I'm detecting layers, stretched notes, looping, etc. from the test file here are a few Adobe Audition screen grabs of the resulting MP3s:


The image above shows a spectral phase view of the stretch test (chromatic walk up the keyboard) of the Yamaha P120, where you can clearly see groups of three with identical phase - which means one sample is used to play all three consecutive notes within the group. As you might imagine, you can easily hear most of the transitions between groups.


Here you can see the spectral phase view of the velocity layer test (middle C from vel=1 thru 127, step=2) of the Ivory Bosendorfer, where you can clearly see 4 distinct groups of identical phase - so there are 4 velocity layers (at least for middle C).


Sometimes the velocity layers show up better using the spectral pan view, and in the above image you can see 8 distinct groups, hence 8 velocity layers in the Garritan Steinway sample.


In the above image you can see the spectral pan view of a note on the Yamaha P120. It starts out rich in harmonics, then about 3 seconds into the decay (@ the cursor) it turns into something that sounds wobbly and lamer - the dreaded LOOP! If you really think about it (and squint a lot smile ) you might be able to see the crossfade from sample to loop.


Finally, here is a clearer view of sample, crossfade, and looping on the Roland JV-1010, where looping is particularly egregious. The pure sample plays up to the cursor, the crossfade starts at the cursor and continues until the spectral view becomes largely constant approximately 1 second later - whereupon the crossfade ends and the pure, boring, organ-sounding looping is the only thing you hear, until either the key is lifted, or the loop hits the noise floor, or you go insane.

The sample itself is only 2 measly seconds long! And it's stretched over multiple notes! And I payed good money for this box, mainly for the Session piano patch! Granted, it was a while ago, but still...
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/05/10 08:00 PM

Wow. You sure have been working at this project. As a "visual learner" I certainly find the graphics interesting and useful. I continue to follow this project, and am also particularly interested in the results for certain pianos.

Lawrence
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/05/10 09:14 PM

I think I see a flaw in your system. You are not checking for how the sample sounds.

What if some one were to sample a $200 Craigslist upright that was not even in tune and has broken strings in a noisy environment using a Chinese knock off Shure SM58 mic. But he had tons of free time so he records all 88 notes with 128 velocity layers with each sample going for 5 full minutes and ends up wit a 10TB of samples.

I think your analyssi method would rate such a sample set as "the world's best".

Or for that matter what if I played you MIDI file on my very old FM synth based keyboard? I'm gussing you's score the old synthvery high, it never loops (or always loops depending on how you think about it) the velocity is handled with a continues filter, no steps and there is no note stretching. I think it would pass with 100%

But in both cases if yu tried to play music the over-sampled clunker and the Fm synth would both sound horrible.


I think we are seeing some of this effect already. I agree with your analysis of the Yamaha MP3 I sent in. You are saying (I think) that it is roughly as good as your P120. The sample is one dozen or so "free" pianos that come with Apples "Logic". And if you listen it sounds arguably much better than a P120.

Things like microphone placement and quality may matter more then the number of dynamic samples

So,... maybe you should include a midi file with a "best of" Beethoven exerts.. It would be fun to organize a blind listening test and see if the results match up to technical tests
Posted by: Volusiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/05/10 09:35 PM

First off, I must say I'm pretty impressed with this initiative by Dewster. I was wondering how he was able to tell apart all those things by ear, then the visual graphs blew me away, showing such a real clever, smart lad.

But I think ChrisA brought up a good point. I was wondering myself that the result of any modelled sound should be passing with flying colors according to the test parameters, because this test is sample-sound oriented, and modelled sounds don't have those same limitations, do they?

I understand why you'd want to remove the subjectivity part by coming up with such a technical test like this, but then all it will tell you is how detailed the sound was sampled and how much corners were (or were not) cut to get the final results. But you can't say much about the quality of the contents inside the waveforms, because that's the big subjective part that you want to cut out.
Posted by: setchman

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/05/10 11:07 PM

dewster,

I have a couple of Galaxy II pianos for you're listening pleasure but I still can't upload them directly to the new folder you created. From "my side" of your account I do not see any upload button like I have when I'm logged into my own account. I see the folder there but no way to upload it.

If you want the files they are in my folder where the others are. They are the Galaxy II Steinway and Vienna Grand Download Editions, hence the DE in the file names.

I'm not trying to pile on here, dewster, but with the vast knowledge of music here, classical or otherwise, it wouldn't take much to come up with a few suggestions for simple pieces of music or excerpts (for the sake of brevity) that you could incorporate into your test. (Have you heard this somewhere before? wink )

I think it would be very interesting to find out if the pianos that look so good "on paper" are actually the ones that we prefer listening to.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/05/10 11:58 PM

ChrisA, very good points! And no offense, but let me address them:

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
I think I see a flaw in your system. You are not checking for how the sample sounds.

Well, people can generally go to Purgatory Creek for that. I'm not really that interested whether it sounds like a Steinway or not if the sample is only 2 layers / stretched like crazy / 2 second looped samples / 5 MB - by very definition that can't sound very good. If they put a ton of work into it and play a billion notes at once it might sound amazing for a 5 MB sample, but that's probably the best thing you'll be able say about it. The rest of the time you'll be wincing and wondering why it sounds like crap in a solo recording.

Look at it this way: say someone is telling you that they have the most amazing digital picture of something incredibly detailed, but the picture size is only 50 KB. Without even looking at it you can tell right off that you probably won't be very impressed. If it's a 4 MB file you'll probably stop thinking about technical issues and take a look. Same thing.

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
What if some one were to sample a $200 Craigslist upright that was not even in tune and has broken strings in a noisy environment using a Chinese knock off Shure SM58 mic. But he had tons of free time so he records all 88 notes with 128 velocity layers with each sample going for 5 full minutes and ends up wit a 10TB of samples.

It would sound like an incredibly detailed sample of a POS, something you can't do with a 5MB sample no matter how hard you try. We're talking detail here. Once the ability to reproduce detail hurdle has been passed, then I start caring about tone. Before that, I don't really care, by very definition it's not a serious instrument, it's a toy.

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
I think your analyssi method would rate such a sample set as "the world's best".

Or for that matter what if I played you MIDI file on my very old FM synth based keyboard? I'm gussing you's score the old synthvery high, it never loops (or always loops depending on how you think about it) the velocity is handled with a continues filter, no steps and there is no note stretching. I think it would pass with 100%

But in both cases if yu tried to play music the over-sampled clunker and the Fm synth would both sound horrible.

This is more of a go / no go test for crap compression issues with the sample set, not a BUY IT NOW! test. People should know how much sample they're actually getting IMO as up till now at least it has been a huge determinant in terms of sound quality.

And a single layer in a sampled DP is usually a bad thing, and I would put it in the CON column.

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
I think we are seeing some of this effect already. I agree with your analysis of the Yamaha MP3 I sent in. You are saying (I think) that it is roughly as good as your P120. The sample is one dozen or so "free" pianos that come with Apples "Logic". And if you listen it sounds arguably much better than a P120.

Things like microphone placement and quality may matter more then the number of dynamic samples

So,... maybe you should include a midi file with a "best of" Beethoven exerts.. It would be fun to organize a blind listening test and see if the results match up to technical tests

I went back and looked at your sample again yesterday (I'm slowly figuring this out), let's compare them again:

------------------------------------------------------
- Unknown small sample set from unknown Yamaha piano -
------------------------------------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_yam_studio.mp3
- Unknown setup.
PROS:
- Looped, but fairly well done.
- OK sympathetic resonance.
- 2 layers with some kind of filter? (from spectral phase view).
CONS:
- Rather rapid note decay.
- Poor dynamic range (~30dB, vel=1:127).
- Looping of higher notes fairly obvious.
- See evidence of at least 2 note stretching.
- Abrupt layer switching.
- Does not respond to partial pedaling.
OTHER:
- Volume in MP3 file too low! (please try for -1dB peak)
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-04

----------------
- Yamaha P-120 -
----------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_yamaha_p120.mp3
- Echo MIA soundcard, Sonar 6, Adobe Audition.
PROS:
- 3 layers (from spectral phase view).
- Sympathetic resonance.
- Responds to partial pedaling.
- Huge dynamic range (~68dB, vel=1:127).
CONS:
- Looped, most loops sound wobbly at first, weak at the end.
- Weak sympathetic resonance.
- Obvious stretching.
- Layer switching is rather abrupt.
OTHER:
- Samples are 3.5 to 1 seconds (lo to hi) with 1 to 0.5 seconds of crossfade.
- Stretch distances: 8,3(x25),5 = 31 groups.
- Layer switch @ vel=88 and 102.
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-04


So the free Apple piano is probably a 2 layer (w/ filter?) with rapid note decay, poor dynamic range, and doesn't respond to partial pedaling. This exercise isn't necessarily to pit one DP against another, but more to expose what is going on in each. That said, the P120 definitely has better specs, and sounds better to me (IMO). And in this case I don't believe that's a coincidence.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/06/10 12:19 AM

Originally Posted By: setchman
I have a couple of Galaxy II pianos for you're listening pleasure but I still can't upload them directly to the new folder you created. From "my side" of your account I do not see any upload button like I have when I'm logged into my own account. I see the folder there but no way to upload it.

If you want the files they are in my folder where the others are. They are the Galaxy II Steinway and Vienna Grand Download Editions, hence the DE in the file names.

Thanks setchman! I snagged the files and will analyze them and upload them to the archive tomorrow. I can log out and still upload to my folder, so I'm not sure what's going on. Others are having the same problem, so it's not just you. I guess as long as people can post them somewhere where I can get at them that's the main thing.

Originally Posted By: setchman
I'm not trying to pile on here, dewster, but with the vast knowledge of music here, classical or otherwise, it wouldn't take much to come up with a few suggestions for simple pieces of music or excerpts (for the sake of brevity) that you could incorporate into your test. (Have you heard this somewhere before? wink )

I think it would be very interesting to find out if the pianos that look so good "on paper" are actually the ones that we prefer listening to.

I hear you, and do agree. But you can post samples to Purgatory Creek for sound issues, I guess I'm more interested in what's holding the vast majority of DPs back from being serious instruments at this point than what they sound like. Hopefully soon that will be just the opposite.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/06/10 12:27 AM

Originally Posted By: Volusiano
But I think ChrisA brought up a good point. I was wondering myself that the result of any modelled sound should be passing with flying colors according to the test parameters, because this test is sample-sound oriented, and modelled sounds don't have those same limitations, do they?

I hope I addressed this concern somewhat above - the more layers the merrier in a sampled DP; no layers are the norm for a modeled DP - and both should be judged from that perspective. I did test the TruePianos demo, a supposed sample / model hybrid. It had weird phasey stereo issues in the decay and obvious stretching. Any approach can sound either good or bad, particularly individual notes.

Originally Posted By: Volusiano
I understand why you'd want to remove the subjectivity part by coming up with such a technical test like this, but then all it will tell you is how detailed the sound was sampled and how much corners were (or were not) cut to get the final results. But you can't say much about the quality of the contents inside the waveforms, because that's the big subjective part that you want to cut out.

This isn't an attempt to remove subjectivity of sound in any way. It's more of an exercise in cutting though the hype - a test to see if it is even possible for a given DP to sound good. Up close most of them look and sound fairly ugly.

Most of the PC-based samplers & modelers I've tested so far I would be very happy to have in a DP.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/06/10 12:37 AM

Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
I continue to follow this project, and am also particularly interested in the results for certain pianos.

Those certain pianos wouldn't by any chance have a "CP" in the model name, would they?
Posted by: Volusiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/06/10 12:42 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: Volusiano
But I think ChrisA brought up a good point. I was wondering myself that the result of any modelled sound should be passing with flying colors according to the test parameters, because this test is sample-sound oriented, and modelled sounds don't have those same limitations, do they?

I hope I addressed this concern above - the more layers the merrier in a sampled DP; no layers are the norm for a modeled DP - and both should be judged from that perspective.

Originally Posted By: Volusiano
I understand why you'd want to remove the subjectivity part by coming up with such a technical test like this, but then all it will tell you is how detailed the sound was sampled and how much corners were (or were not) cut to get the final results. But you can't say much about the quality of the contents inside the waveforms, because that's the big subjective part that you want to cut out.

This isn't an attempt to remove subjectivity of sound in any way. It's more of an exercise in cutting though the hype - a test to see if it is even possible for a given DP to sound good. Up close most of them look fairly ugly.


Hey, thanks for the explanation, Dewster. I understand better where you're coming from on all this now.
Posted by: 7even

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/06/10 03:08 AM

Very cool. I should put my YPG-635 to the test.. I wonder how quickly the looping starts on it. Interested in seeing some results for the RD-700GX too laugh
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/06/10 04:18 AM

This could be a brilliant resource. If used in conjunction with Purgatory Creek (for subjective analysis), you could make better informed purchase decisions.

If someone would give me an idiots guide (and I really do mean idiot), I would do something with my V-Piano so you could compare the behaviour of a fully modelled instrument. Presumably this is still layered but limited by the technical operating spec of MIDI, ie, 127 layers?

For info I use a Macbook Pro and do have a USB flash drive device if needed so tell me what to do and I'll have a go with the V.

Thanks Dewster for taking the time to create this level of insight for us all.

Steve
Posted by: Alden

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/06/10 09:33 AM

dewster - I've been following and immensely enjoying the thread. When time permits (i.e. when Larry turns me loose from the next PB issue) I'll record and UL the AG N2 and the massively sampled Vienna Imperial.

Great job!
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/06/10 11:06 AM

Thanks for the encouragement!

OK, I will consider adding a small musical section to the test file.

My problem is I don't exactly know what to put in there, and can't grab random MIDI from the web without possible copyright issues and such.

I'm thinking ideally:
- It shouldn't be longer than maybe 30 seconds (don't want to extend the test too much).
- It should be dynamic (low, mid, and high velocity sections, not necessarily in that order).
- It should cover most of the keyboard note range one way or another.

Anyone have any ideas? I'm willing to listen to any MIDI or MP3 files you might want to direct me to or send my way.
Posted by: setchman

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/06/10 11:08 AM

dewster,

I just uploaded the first piano preset "Full Concert Grand" from the Yamaha Motif XS8. It will be interesting to see, as you get more Yamaha DPs, how Yamaha changes their sampled CFIIIS for the various DPs.

http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=5da74615b2837725c79b87b207592a1c0742218a332edd73a543906a5faff527
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/06/10 11:34 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Thanks for the encouragement!

OK, I will consider adding a small musical section to the test file.

My problem is I don't exactly know what to put in there, and can't grab random MIDI from the web without possible copyright issues and such.

I'm thinking ideally:
- It shouldn't be longer than maybe 30 seconds (don't want to extend the test too much).
- It should be dynamic (low, mid, and high velocity sections, not necessarily in that order).
- It should cover most of the keyboard note range one way or another.

Anyone have any ideas? I'm willing to listen to any MIDI or MP3 files you might want to direct me to or send my way.


You should feel encouraged! A great response to your project!

A generic MIDI file won't work, in terms of assessing quality, especially if your goal is to compare pianos. The velocities will be inconsistent from piano to piano. That's one of the big problems with purgatory. Each instrument (DP or samples) needs to be played, to create its own unique MIDI file - to be used effectively only to play back the DP or sample in question.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/06/10 12:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
The velocities will be inconsistent from piano to piano. That's one of the big problems with purgatory.

I do agree with you Lawrence. Some MIDI velocity shifting / scaling should have been applied to many of the samples over there.

But there probably isn't a lot of harm in adding some short musical snippet to the end of the DPBSD file, particularly if it is kept fairly short.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/06/10 02:04 PM

Originally Posted By: setchman
I have a couple of Galaxy II pianos for you're listening pleasure... the Galaxy II Steinway and Vienna Grand Download Editions, hence the DE in the file names.


Hi setchman,

I reviewed them today and uploaded your MP3 files to the archive. The Steinway in particular is very nice! Not sure what's going on with the partial pedal in both, very odd.

Also, I seem to be running across a fair amount of sound files that I can't do any spectral analysis on at all. It's either a bug in Audition, or extensive phase processing of the sample set (I have suspected the latter even before seeing this issue as it makes sense). Here is a picture:



Makes my job a lot harder. The Vienna Grand was one of these strange phase files, the Steinway was not.


---------------------------------------------
- Galaxy II Vienna Grand (download edition) -
---------------------------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_galaxy2DE_viennagrand.mp3
PROS:
- Nice long decays, no looping.
- Wide dynamic range (~53.5dB, vel=1:127).
- 7 or 8 velocity layers (from waveform view).
- Fairly good layer matching.
- Some kind of sympathetic resonance going on.
CONS:
- Obviously stretched.
- Stretch distances: 2(x17),4,2(x7),3,2(x10),3,2(x5) = 41 groups.
- No key-up or pedal samples.
- C9 sounds pretty weird.
- No response to partial pedaling.
- Bizarre partial pedal event: pedal 50%=>75% note sounds before being played!
OTHER:
- Linear phase (?) prevents spectral inspection.
- Volume in MP3 file very good.
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-06



-----------------------------------------
- Galaxy II Steinway (download edition) -
-----------------------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_galaxy2DE_steinway.mp3
PROS:
- Nice long decays, no looping.
- Wide dynamic range (~46dB, vel=1:127).
- Fairly good velocity layer matching.
- 8 velocity layers.
- Velocity switch @ vel=45, 52, 70, 80, 90, 102, 112.
- Very nice sympathetic resonance.
CONS:
- C2 sample just abruptly ends.
- No key-up or pedal samples.
- Obviously stretched (spectral phase view).
- Stretch distances: 2(x44) = 44 groups.
- No response to partial pedaling.
- Bizarre partial pedal event: pedal 50%=>75% note sounds before being played!
- A bit of strangeness near the noise floor.
OTHER:
- Volume in MP3 file very good.
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-06
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/06/10 03:08 PM

Incoming:

-------------------------------
- Yamaha YDP223 Grand Piano 1 -
-------------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_yamaha_ydp223_gp1.mp3
PROS:
- Long note decay.
- Looping isn't too obnoxious.
- Huge dynamic range (~65dB, vel=1:127).
- I believe this is a very smoothly blended 3 layer sample set (spectral pan display).
- Layer switch (?, switch not audible) @ vel=80, 94.
- Responds to partial pedaling.
CONS:
- Obviously looped.
- Lower looping rather realistically wobbly, higher looping unrealistically static.
- Samples are 3 to 1 seconds (lo to hi) with 1 to 0.5 seconds of crossfade.
- Obviously stretched, group transistions farily audible.
- Stretch distances: 2,3(x28),2 = 30 groups.
- No real variation in timbre at higher velocities.
- No obvious sympathetic resonance, though there are subtle differences w/ pedal down
- No key-up or pedal samples.
OTHER:
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-06
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/06/10 04:29 PM

Originally Posted By: setchman
I just uploaded the first piano preset "Full Concert Grand" from the Yamaha Motif XS8. It will be interesting to see, as you get more Yamaha DPs, how Yamaha changes their sampled CFIIIS for the various DPs.

Just reviewed it and archived the MP3.

Not very impressive, particularly for a newish instrument currently selling for $3.6k. The decay times are fairly short. Otherwise typical sample times, layers, stretching, symp res, etc. for Yamaha (and by that I mean typically mediocre). The P-120 tests better, which is rather shocking.

---------------------------------------
- Yamaha Motif XS8 Full Concert Grand -
---------------------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_Yamaha_MotifXS8_FullConcertGrand.mp3
PROS:
- Looping isn't too obnoxious @ lows & mids.
- Decent dynamic range (~33dB, vel=1:127).
- 3 layer sample set (waveform & spectral phase displays).
- Layer switch @ vel=70, 106.
- Sympathetic resonance, though it's fairly fake sounding - echoy and reverby.
- Key-up samples of some sort, though it sounds like a strange tone.
- Responds to partial pedaling.
CONS:
- Fairly quick note decay with some buzzing near the noise floor (could be a recording issue).
- Obviously looped.
- Samples are 3 to 1 seconds (lo to hi) with 1.5 to 0.5 seconds of crossfade.
- Lower & mid looping rather realistically wobbly, highs unrealistically loopy.
- Obviously stretched, group transitions fairly audible.
- Stretch distances: 2,3(x10),2,3,4,3,3,4,2,4,2,3,1,2,1,2,3(x5),5 = 31 groups.
- Obvious velocity layer switching, some kind of filter switch as well @ v=50.
- No pedal samples.
OTHER:
- Volume in MP3 file very good, though dynamic range seems like it may be limited.
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-06
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/06/10 05:44 PM

If someone out there could run the DPBSD MIDI file thru their Korg SP250 and/or LP350 maybe we could resolve once and for all whether the sample sets are the same or not.
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/06/10 10:08 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster

OK, I will consider adding a small musical section to the test file.

My problem is I don't exactly know what to put in there, and can't grab random MIDI from the web without possible copyright issues and such.

I'm thinking ideally:
- It shouldn't be longer than maybe 30 seconds (don't want to extend the test too much).
- It should be dynamic (low, mid, and high velocity sections, not necessarily in that order).
- It should cover most of the keyboard note range one way or another.

Anyone have any ideas? I'm willing to listen to any MIDI or MP3 files you might want to direct me to or send my way.


If the file is going to include the use of the hold/damper pedal, again, it will not translate from piano to piano. I know that in the (bad) old days, I would record (MIDI) a piece using one sample, and then try and play it back at a later date with a new and improved sample. Yikes. I remember often having to edit velocities like crazy AND changing the timing of ped ON and OFF messages. Not fun.

In my old age, now, I simply record again. Way better than doing a ton of editing. (I even dislike a bit of editing now). Of course, sometimes the original version was an improvisation, and "spot on" and it's difficult to replicate the magic. (Magic. Part of what made the improv so good in the first place).

Lawrence
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/06/10 11:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
If the file is going to include the use of the hold/damper pedal, again, it will not translate from piano to piano. I know that in the (bad) old days, I would record (MIDI) a piece using one sample, and then try and play it back at a later date with a new and improved sample. Yikes. I remember often having to edit velocities like crazy AND changing the timing of ped ON and OFF messages. Not fun.

I've been in the MIDI controller 64 time nudge hell myself, so I know from whence you cometh, Lawrence.

Sonar has pretty good MIDI filters though, so you just select them all, drive them high or low, and pull them back a bit. The continuous damper controllers are the worst IMO.
Posted by: Glenn NK

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/07/10 12:23 AM

Very interesting test (and much work I suspect - my hat's off to Dewster for undertaking this gigantic project - it will be very useful to we DP types).

In regard to Pianoteq and dynamics - Dynamics are adjustable.

If a midi file has a large dynamic range, lowering the setting will reduce the overall dynamic range when the file is rendered to wave. Rendering means Pianoteq converts a previously recorded midi file to a wave file (takes much less time than playing and recording). An advantage of this is that even if the max peak is -30dB in the rendered wave, it can be maxed with no loss in sound quality (the soundcard is not used).

There is also a Limiter which is used to prevent clipping when the output hits the ceiling.

Glenn
Posted by: madshi

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/07/10 04:25 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
I seem to be running across a fair amount of sound files that I can't do any spectral analysis on at all. It's either a bug in Audition, or extensive phase processing of the sample set

Hmmmm... Can you successfully "play" these files in Audition? Maybe the MP3 decoder used by Audition fails? You could try converting the MP3 to WAV externally and then load the WAV file into Audition. You could also try the demo version of iZotope RX. I'm using that myself sometimes for spectrum stuff...

Love the DP BSD project, btw! Can't wait to see Kawai, Roland and Yamaha CP1 results...
Posted by: R0B

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/07/10 10:06 AM

Do you want a Kawai MP-5 sample?

If so, I will try to find time to send one, tomorrow (Aussie time)
If you already have one, ignore this post

Rob
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/07/10 10:51 AM

Originally Posted By: Glenn NK
Rendering means Pianoteq converts a previously recorded midi file to a wave file (takes much less time than playing and recording). An advantage of this is that even if the max peak is -30dB in the rendered wave, it can be maxed with no loss in sound quality (the soundcard is not used).

I use MIDI to wave rendering a lot in Pianoteq, one of it's best features IMO. Another advantage of this feature is you never get glitches or lost notes on older PCs. Being non-real-time, it's free to take as much or as little real CPU time as necessary to get the job done.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/07/10 11:51 AM

Originally Posted By: madshi
Can you successfully "play" these files in Audition?

Yeah, they play fine, and the waveform view works fine as well. For these types of files I have to rely heavily on envelopes and my ear to detect stretch and layer groups.

I've only seen this collapsed phase anomaly in PC samplers so far, not in real DPs. Two of the MP3 files I made myself in Audition, one I received from a poster. Here is the list:

- Galaxy II Vienna Grand (download edition)
- VintAudio C7 Close Miked 6 layer
- Windows Media Player

OK, I just went back and re-recorded the Windows Media Player piano *ugh* through my Echo Mia soundcard (SPDIF I/O) and the collapsed phase anomaly exists in the wave file before conversion to MP3. So it seems almost certainly something that exists in the sample set.

Extensive phase processing may help blending, particularly for subtle things like sympathetic resonance of multiple pedal down notes playing together. It could help with velocity layer blending too but, outside of the Yamaha YDP223 so far, I don't see evidence of anyone doing that.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/07/10 02:10 PM

Originally Posted By: R0B
Do you want a Kawai MP-5 sample?

Bring it on!

It will be interesting to see what different manufacturers do.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/07/10 02:59 PM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
If someone would give me an idiots guide (and I really do mean idiot), I would do something with my V-Piano so you could compare the behaviour of a fully modelled instrument. Presumably this is still layered but limited by the technical operating spec of MIDI, ie, 127 layers?

For info I use a Macbook Pro and do have a USB flash drive device if needed so tell me what to do and I'll have a go with the V.

I'm looking at the V-Piano manual, and it will definitely play an SMF (Standard MIDI File) on a USB flash drive plugged into the front USB connector. The instructions starting on page 64 in the manual are pretty clear on how to do that.

http://www.roland.com/products/en/_support/om.cfm?PRODUCT=V-PIANO

Download the dp_bsd_v1.3.mid file from my share directory at mediafire, copy the file to your USB flash drive, then plug the flash drive into the V-Piano. Navigate to it in the V-Piano, set the tempo to 120, and see if it plays OK. Please turn off the reverb as it makes analysis more difficult.

However, I don't see a way to record to wave or MP3 (you can play these files on the V-Piano, but probably not record them). The manual discusses ways to record and save songs but I assume these are MIDI files (?) - which aren't useful for this case.

So I think you will need to run line-out from the V-Piano to your PC, and record it there. The S/PDIF connector is the best as there is no digital/analog/digital conversion going on, but use the analog line level outputs (outputs A) if you can't easily connect S/PDIF to your PC. If connecting analog, try to get as hot a signal as you can without clipping. For the file you are recording to, specify 44.1kHz sample rate, stereo, and either 16bit PCM (good) or 32 bit float (best). After recording, save as a 192kbps CBR (Constant Bit Rate) MP3 file. If you can't save as MP3, save as a *.wav file and I can probably convert it for you.

Then put the output file somewhere that I can get at it (if necessary, create a mediafire account, it is super easy).
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/07/10 04:08 PM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace

If someone would give me an idiots guide (and I really do mean idiot), I would do something with my V-Piano so you could compare the behaviour of a fully modelled instrument. Presumably this is still layered but limited by the technical operating spec of MIDI, ie, 127 layers?

For info I use a Macbook Pro and do have a USB flash drive device if needed so tell me what to do and I'll have a go with the V.


You should be able to play the MIDI file on the V-piano simply by copying the file onto a USB thmb drive. Try the just to see if it plays. Get that to work first.

OK you've solved half the problem. Next comes recording the sound to the computer. The intrnal sound in the MBP is good enough. You will need a cable. Use a fiber optic S/PIF if you can otherwise you will have to use "Line In".

The Mac uses a special 3.5mm round SPDIF connector. The normal cone is square. You can buy a S/PIDIF cable with the right ends but a square to round adaptor cost under $5 and will let you use a standard and cheap optical cable.

Line in uses the same 3.5mm jack (It is a combo optical/electric jack) Yu need a 3.5mm TRS splitter cable to takes the stereo jack into two mono cables. Then you connect these to the left and right line outs on the Roland. Either draw a diagram of what you need and look for the parts are Sam Ash or Guitar center (both have a good selection of cables) or call Sweetwater and just tell them what equipment you have and what you want to do.

Once you have the cables plugges in recording audio is easy. Inside GarageBand make a real instrument track, asign the input to it, click "record" then start the v-piano playing. Later you can highlight the silence in the track and click "delete. then save the file

I assume you have Garage Band on the Mac.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/07/10 05:05 PM

Ok guys, thanks. I'll see what I can do tomorrow. Steve
Posted by: setchman

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/07/10 05:21 PM

dewster, check you pm.
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/07/10 07:12 PM

I just uploaded a Yamaha P155 recording.

One more technical suggestion for the next version of the MIDI file. I had some trouble setting the recording level. I thought I had it set right and then later far into the track I noticed clipping so I had to re-record. So the suggestion is to add something that near the front, maybe a simple chord progression that could be used for settig the level. It should be the loudest part of the file. You could set the velocity to 127 but you'd have to guess which notes have the loudest sound, I'd guess the bass. or cords with the damper pedal down.

I used Garage Band to make this. Left everything at it's default setting and the only equipment I use was a cable to plug the P155 directly into the line-in in the Mac. GB wants to "normalize" the volume on any MP3 file it exports. But all this really does it set a constant in the MP3 file header.

The file is at BSD_1.3_P155.mp3
Posted by: R0B

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/07/10 08:46 PM

Hi Dewster,

Kawai MP-5 is here:

http://www.box.net/shared/oc1cxg9pmz
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/07/10 09:54 PM

Originally Posted By: ChrisA


One more technical suggestion for the next version of the MIDI file. I had some trouble setting the recording level. I thought I had it set right and then later far into the track I noticed clipping so I had to re-record. So the suggestion is to add something that near the front, maybe a simple chord progression that could be used for settig the level. It should be the loudest part of the file.


Excellent suggestion!
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/07/10 11:31 PM

Yes, that is a good idea to put the highest level up-front in the recording.

ChrisA, I took a quick look at the P155 and I must say that Yamaha is doing a very good job of blending their velocity layers, I can't hear or see them, and timbre variation seems good with velocity. Typical sample lengths (<1 sec to ~3 sec) and stretching for Yamaha, though the looping is a bit better than most of what they've done in the past. Nice levels in the recorded file.

Rob, this is another one of those linear phase files, my first from a non-PC based sampler, which makes analysis more difficult. Also has nice blended timbre variation with velocity. I clearly hear stretching and sample lengths in the neighborhood of what Yamaha tends to do. One strange thing is the G7 note, which has so many harmonics it sounds more like G8!

ChrisA, and Rob, thanks much! I'll get on these in-depth tomorrow morning.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/08/10 10:18 AM

http://www.mediafire.com/file/gmjnzdtmm1z/01 V-Piano DP BS Detector.mp3

Dewster,

Above is location of the file on my shared mediafire account.

I tried using garageband but I am useless with technology. There is no optical digital in on my MacBook Pro because it is the 13" version.

In the end I recorded using the V-Piano's coaxial digital out to my stand-alone hi-fi CD recorder. The only problem with it with a digital input is that you cannot adjust rec level and it is slightly quiet. At least it was in the digital domain throughout. I uploaded it from CD into iTunes as a 192kbps mp3 file. I hope you can work with the file. I'm interested to see how the V-Piano performs in your test.

Cheers,

Steve
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/08/10 11:02 AM

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
I just uploaded a Yamaha P155 recording.

Thanks again for that file ChrisA!

I reviewed it this morning, and, other than the nice seamless blending of the velocity layers (I couldn't see or hear velocity layer transitions), there are no obvious technical improvements over the P-120. The samples themselves are the same old short 3 seconds max, looped & stretched. Sympathetic resonance sounds unimpressively identical to the P-120.

I'm quite frankly rather shocked at this. And I must admit this is starting to seriously damp my hopes for the new CP1/5/50 products.

One strange thing I notice is the note G7 (second-highest G) sounds strangely like G8! I hear this in my VintAudio sample too. Very odd.


----------------
- Yamaha P-155 -
----------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_yamaha_p155.mp3
- Garage Band.
PROS:
- A very smoothly blended 4 layer (reportedly) sample set with no detectable layer switching.
- Huge dynamic range (~62dB, vel=1:127).
- Sympathetic resonance.
- Responds to partial pedaling.
CONS:
- Obviously looped, though not too badly done as these things go.
- Samples are 3 to 1 seconds (lo to hi) with 1.5 to 0.5 seconds of crossfade to loop.
- Somewhat fast decay of notes.
- Obviously stretched.
- Stretch distances: 3,3,4,4,4,2,4,3,3,3,2,3,3,3,2,2,2,2,3,1,3,3,4,2,2,3,5,10 = 28 groups.
- No key-up or pedal samples.
- Sympathetic resonance fairly fake sounding - echoy and reverby.
- C9 sounds a bit flat and short.
- G7 so bright it sounds more like G8.
OTHER:
- Volume in MP3 file good.
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-08
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/08/10 11:05 AM

Originally Posted By: R0B
Kawai MP-5 is here

R0B, the file is in mono for some reason. Any chance you can get me one in stereo?
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/08/10 11:20 AM

Flat-line phase plots = Mono recording

Please ignore every idiotic comment I've made about linear phase. All of the flat-line phase plots were due to mono recording.

I accidentally recorded my VintAudio C7 in mono, and the Windows Media Player piano is a mono sample. The VintAudio sample has been re-recorded in stereo & updated in the archive.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/08/10 12:00 PM

Bright G7 = Headphone resonance?

Please also ignore my earlier complaints about G7 being bright, I think this is due to my headphones.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/08/10 05:51 PM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
I'm interested to see how the V-Piano performs in your test.

Hi Steve,

Thanks for that! I know it was a fair amount of effort on your part.

Nice to hear what the V-Piano sounds like up-close. Strange that there are velocity discontinuities in something modeled, I wasn't expecting that. And the sympathetic resonance is unfortunately very weak sounding. But it beats all sampled DPs I've heard so far, and is on par with PC samplers.

------------------
- Roland V-Piano -
------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_roland_v-piano_01.mp3
- Recorded direct to CD recorder.
PROS:
- Beautiful long note decay.
- No looping (modeled).
- No stretching (modeled).
- Sympathetic resonance.
- Responds to partial pedaling.
- Good dynamic range (~34dB, vel=1:127).
CONS:
- No key-up or pedal samples (could be down in the noise floor of this sample?).
- Something like velocity layer switching (abrupt timbre changes) going on at vel=28,40,66,74,100.
- Sympathetic resonance effect is very subtle, almost undetectable.
OTHER:
- MP3 file recorded a bit low, equivalent to ~14 bit resolution.
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-08
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/08/10 06:23 PM

Thanks Dewster, very interesting. My ears may not be quite as sharp as they used to be but I can time the sustain in the lower registers to 40+ secs after a good slap on a key. The pedal sample is there (if you mean the little whoosh noise when it is depressed and returned...the level of it is adjustable, I have it fairly discrete), but you might not be hearing it due to the quietness of the recording. Likewise, surprisingly most presets in the vintage section of the V-Piano have sympathetic resonance set pretty low, although you can have as much as you like. I had initially recorded the BS detector in Garageband but through analogue input at the perfect volume but then inadvertently deleted it...The Mac nearly went out the window at that point!

Cheers and thanks on behalf of us all for the work you are doing with this project.

Steve
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/08/10 07:07 PM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
I had initially recorded the BS detector in Garageband but through analogue input at the perfect volume but then inadvertently deleted it...The Mac nearly went out the window at that point!

Sorry you had trouble Steve - this stuff is kind of easy once you set it up, but getting it set up in the first place might drive you crazy if you run into any HW/SW issues.

If you or anyone else wants to submit what might be a better sample, I'd certainly take a listen to it and update the review. I'd like to hear what the key and pedal samples sound like, and I am always very interested in what the sympathetic resonance sounds like.
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/08/10 07:54 PM

Interesting points have been raised by the V-Piano test.

1) the DEFAULT Grand Piano 1 (whatever that means!) patch should be used - not a version that has been edited by the user. In the case of V-Piano, I guess Vintage Piano 1 might quality. (However, in terms of the sound quality aspect, V1 Impactance (with the hammers softened) sounds MUCH better.

2) V-Piano's output should be boosted. The default setting is very conservative.

Utility / Output Gain / (I have mine set at +9dB) Experiment to determine what settings work best.

Lawrence
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/08/10 07:56 PM

Dewster -

Anything in your tests to suggest that there is any sampling going on in the V-Piano? (A suggestion that has been made by some).

Lawrence
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/08/10 08:03 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Bright G7 = Headphone resonance?

Please also ignore my earlier complaints about G7 being bright, I think this is due to my headphones.


What headphones are you using?
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/08/10 08:06 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Strange that there are velocity discontinuities in something modeled, I wasn't expecting that.


This apparent velocity discontinuity may not be real - the difference in timbre between successive notes may be due to the modelling of the hammer hitting strings that are already vibrating. It would be interesting to repeat the test with a longer gap between notes, to ensure that the notes are COMPLETELY deadened. If the release duration (i.e the rate at which the dampers damp the strings) can be adjusted, it might be prudent to set it as fast as possible for this particular test.

Greg.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/08/10 08:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
Anything in your tests to suggest that there is any sampling going on in the V-Piano?

Nothing in terms of spectral views - the notes each look fairly random phase-wise. But the obvious velocity discontinuities (I would call this "layer switching" if it were a sampler) are rather strange for what is considered & sold as a 100% modeler. You can easily hear them as timbre variations, and easily see them in the waveform (amplitude / time - oscilloscope) view in Audition.
Posted by: R0B

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/08/10 08:55 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: R0B
Kawai MP-5 is here

R0B, the file is in mono for some reason. Any chance you can get me one in stereo?


Ooooooops blush

1000 apologies.

Here is a stereo file:

http://www.box.net/shared/1r7xiqd8s3
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/08/10 10:56 PM

Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
What headphones are you using?

AKG K271 Studio.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/08/10 11:02 PM

Originally Posted By: sullivang
This apparent velocity discontinuity may not be real - the difference in timbre between successive notes may be due to the modelling of the hammer hitting strings that are already vibrating.

Julias O. Smith III discusses what you are talking about as a realistic effect that should perhaps be eliminated in modeled pianos. Start the string over rather than add/subtract energy and create unexpected results.

I'm certainly not trying to harp on the V-Piano, just trying to figure out what is going on in there. Admittedly, the DPBSD is more geared to revealing the limitations of samplers...

Here's what I'm seeing in Audition:

You can see, particularly in the lower (corresponding to the stereo right channel) waveform (envelope actually, this zoomed out) the strange velocity notes that look kind of squashed, while the others look pretty much like they are uniformly increasing. I'm think I hear timbre group changes there too, but maybe it's the gin talking.

Originally Posted By: sullivang
It would be interesting to repeat the test with a longer gap between notes, to ensure that the notes are COMPLETELY deadened. If the release duration (i.e the rate at which the dampers damp the strings) can be adjusted, it might be prudent to set it as fast as possible for this particular test.

So slow the MIDI tempo down and send me a sample already. ;-)
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/08/10 11:35 PM

Originally Posted By: R0B
Ooooooops blush

1000 apologies.

Here is a stereo file

Ahh, much better! I'll review it tomorrow, thanks!
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/09/10 12:02 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster

So slow the MIDI tempo down and send me a sample already. ;-)


What I'd like to see, ideally, is for the tempo to stay the same, but a distinct gap between each note. Also, I personally can't send you a V-Piano recording, at least not until you send me a V-Piano. smile

Greg.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/09/10 05:21 AM

Subjectively, I don't find anything in the performance of the V-Piano that suggests velocity switching although I don't hear velocity switching on my Yamaha (which has the same main voice as the P155 I believe). It may be due to the low level of the recording I made but also I was surprised to see that the dynamic range was not greater than some other pianos. Subjectively, the difference between the quietest key strike and loudest is immense.

Lawrence, I used V1 Impactance I think. I turned all effects/reverb etc off but did not even look at what the other stuff such as string resonance, damper resonance etc was doing.

I'll do another recording at a higher level using Vintage 1. Yesterday I did a factory reset so I won't touch any other setting other than to turn reverb off.

I think Greg's point is interesting. If you rock a glass of water and set it washing from side to side you can almost stop it if you introduce another movement out of sync with the washing of the water at the right time. Maybe striking the strings whilst they are vibrating could induce a similar phenomenon, creating a similar graphic effect to velocity switching. Can you tell I'm not a physicist?!!

I'll also reduce the tempo to 60bpm and upload that too to see if there is still evidence of what might be velocity switching.

Unless I can increase the digital output I'll have to record from analogue outs.

Cheers All,

Steve
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/09/10 05:51 AM

Steve,
If you play repeated notes on a real piano, with the sustain pedal down, you can hear the effect very easily - each note sounds a bit different. Yes, I think your glass of water analogy is right on. It is my understanding that digital pianos and synths commonly emulate this (very well, IMHO) by simply overlapping "voices", such that as you play each note, the sound of the previous note is allowed to continue to sound. The summation of the voices creates a subtle "phasing" effect which changes every time you play a note. It is plainly obvious to me that this is occuring in two software samplers that I have - I can watch the voice count keep increasing as I play the SAME note repeatedly with the sustain pedal. (even Pianoteq, which is modelled, increases it's voice count a bit, so it may even be doing it the same way) Without the sustain pedal, you would have to play repeated notes very "legato" in order for this to happen, of course.

I am by no means certain that this effect is occurring in your V-Piano recording - it's just a possibility I am raising.

Greg.
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/09/10 06:04 AM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace


Unless I can increase the digital output I'll have to record from analogue outs.



Check the Utility / Output Gain setting. Adjusting that may increase the digital output as well.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/09/10 12:12 PM

I hate looping, but this was pretty well done, better than the P-155 IMO (but any looping not done down near the noise floor is a deal-killer for me). Nice blending of velocity layers, except at the high end.

Techniques and implementation almost identical to what Yamaha does in their DPs, which is very interesting.

I wonder why more DPs don't at least try to simulate sympathetic resonance? Too subtle and they figure few people will miss it? Perhaps, as it is often implemented a delay effect, it interacts poorly with the (generally rather poorly done) reverb?

-------------
- Kawai MP5 -
-------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_kawai_mp5.mp3
PROS:
- Nice long note decay.
- Looping isn't too obnoxious.
- Large dynamic range (~42dB, vel=1:127).
- This is a very smoothly blended multi-velocity layer sample set.
- Responds to partial pedaling.
CONS:
- Looped, but pretty well done.
- Samples are 3 to 1 seconds (lo to hi) with 1 to 0.5 seconds of crossfade.
- Obviously stretched, group transistions farily audible.
- Stretch distances: 5,3(x8),2,4,3(x17),2 = 29 groups.
- Velocity layer switch fairly audible (timbre change) @ vel=104.
- No key-up or pedal samples.
- No obvious sympathetic resonance.
OTHER:
- Volume in MP3 file very good, though there are HF (PC soundcard?) tones near the noise floor.
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-09
Posted by: Voltara

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/09/10 05:48 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
-------------------------------
- Yamaha YDP223 Grand Piano 1 -
-------------------------------
- I believe this is a very smoothly blended 3 layer sample set (spectral pan display).
- Layer switch (?, switch not audible) @ vel=80, 94.


I'm not sure whether Audition provides a way to script this, but I thought it might be useful for the layering test, to normalize the volume of each note. Sort of like "manning the volume knob", but done automatically. That way, there's only one variable (timbre) to consider, rather than two (timbre and volume.)

Here's an example of what I mean:

http://voltara.org/pw/yamaha_ydp223_gp1_velocity_normalized.mp3

I manually trimmed out the layering test in Audacity, exported to WAV, then ran a shell script (Linux user here) that used the "sox" utility to: split the WAV file into 60 pieces, one for each note (tempo 120 = 0.5 seconds each); adjust the volume of each WAV file to 90% peak; then paste all the pieces back together.

Listening to the result, it sounds to me like either a 2-layer sample with a broad crossfade in the middle, or maybe a filtered 1-layer sample.

I would be curious to know whether the spectral phase graph of the post-processed file reveals any more detail than the original.

Andy
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/09/10 05:50 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
What headphones are you using?

AKG K271 Studio.

I figured it out - I had a small amount of feedback through the digital I/O in the Echo MIA mixer. Cans sound fine now.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/09/10 06:30 PM

Originally Posted By: Voltara
I'm not sure whether Audition provides a way to script this, but I thought it might be useful for the layering test, to normalize the volume of each note. Sort of like "manning the volume knob", but done automatically. That way, there's only one variable (timbre) to consider, rather than two (timbre and volume.)

I do it by applying one of several custom envelopes I've developed in Audition to the signal. It amounts to pretty much the same thing, but is actually a bit better for diagnostic purposes because it is a smooth envelope which can reveal small amplitude changes between layers. And you're right, it makes it easier to listen for timbre changes if the volume isn't constantly changing. It also makes the intensity of the spectral views more constant.

Originally Posted By: Voltara
Listening to the result, it sounds to me like either a 2-layer sample with a broad crossfade in the middle, or maybe a filtered 1-layer sample.

Yes, that is what it sounds like to me too. I guess I'm taking Yamaha at their word with the 3-layer thing, as the clues as to where the layers blend are too vague to see or hear. I don't see reference to the layers in the manual, but Sweetwater states "3-layered piano samples with DSS (Dynamic Stereo Sampling)".

Most DPs that have obvious layer switching tend to devote more of the layers to the upper end of the velocity, where the strings and soundboard display more non-linearity I suppose and get much brighter. Thus my comment No real variation in timbre at higher velocities - what you and I are saying boils down to the same thing. I am saying it in the context of other DPs, but but you are describing the effect more directly.

I looked at and listened to your file, but it didn't reveal anything I haven't already seen and heard in Audition. I do appreciate you going to all that effort though. And I'm very glad to see others doing some analysis on these files, and am hoping for more debate and perspectives on what goes on in DPs by studying the sound samples.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/09/10 06:35 PM

http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=23fab7ed7f98c959d9d5c56d04dfa8b09482e6c03f68ebb40ac99885da44e881

Dewster,

I think the above should be a link to my shared MediaFire account.

The folder now contains three files...I deleted the original V-Piano file. I increased the output gain as per Lawrence's instructions to +12db. It is not as loud as I would've liked but I think it is significantly better.

All files recorded direct to CD via coaxial digital out from the V-Piano using Vintage 1, the default grand piano. Reverb (or Ambience as Roland terms it) is off.

1. V-Piano BS Detector at 120 bpm
2. V-Piano BS Detector at 60 bpm
3. Just the velocity section of your midi file played at 20 bpm

Cheers and thanks again,

Steve
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/09/10 08:06 PM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
I increased the output gain as per Lawrence's instructions to +12db. It is not as loud as I would've liked but I think it is significantly better.

Yes, the level is much better, thanks so much for going the extra mile!

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
1. V-Piano BS Detector at 120 bpm
2. V-Piano BS Detector at 60 bpm
3. Just the velocity section of your midi file played at 20 bpm

OK, the velocity variations for the repeated notes in the layer detection test are different in all of the separate files. Which is really interesting.

I think Roland is (pick one):
a) not aware of it
b) trying to model reality
c) ignoring or content with an emergent behavior from their model

I think a combination of b & c is the most likely answer.

Too bad many hate the midrange, the V-Piano is head and shoulders above any DP sampler I've seen/heard. 3 second (max!) samples + loops suck.


------------------
- Roland V-Piano -
------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_roland_v-piano_vintage1.mp3
- S/PDIF to CD recorder.
- Factory settings except gain +12dB & reverb off.
PROS:
- Beautiful long note decay.
- No looping (modeled).
- No stretching (modeled).
- Sympathetic resonance, though very subtle.
- Responds to partial pedaling.
- Good dynamic range (~36dB, vel=1:127).
- Nice "loom of strings" pedal down sample, pedal up sample more of a knock.
CONS:
- Key-up sample not audible.
OTHER:
- Quickly repeated notes have somewhat random velocities (modeled reality?).
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-09
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/09/10 08:19 PM

I've only listened to the 20bpm velocity reocrding, and I cannot hear anything resembling a velocity "layer" switch - it sounds extremely smooth. I listened both to the original recording as-is, as well as a shortened version where I stripped out a lot of the sustain from each note, to make it easier to detect changes in timbre by simply listening to the recording without performing any analysis.

Greg.
Posted by: R0B

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/09/10 09:17 PM

Hi Dewster,

Thanks for taking the time to analyse the Kawai MP-5

Just for your info, I set Damper Resonance, String Resonance and Key Off Effect, all to the midway setting: 5/10. Not sure if I should have set them all on max?

The HF noise you heard/saw, seems to be a result of using USB out, rather than the standard DIN MIDI connectors.

Usually I use MIDI cables into an Edirol UR-80 audio/midi interface, but in this instance, I used the usb out from the DP, straight into a new, fairly well specced PC.

I noticed the noise, too, but when I un-plugged the usb connection, and used the din connectors, the noise disappeared.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/09/10 11:00 PM

Originally Posted By: R0B
Thanks for taking the time to analyse the Kawai MP-5

Just for your info, I set Damper Resonance, String Resonance and Key Off Effect, all to the midway setting: 5/10. Not sure if I should have set them all on max?

The HF noise you heard/saw, seems to be a result of using USB out, rather than the standard DIN MIDI connectors.

Usually I use MIDI cables into an Edirol UR-80 audio/midi interface, but in this instance, I used the usb out from the DP, straight into a new, fairly well specced PC.

I noticed the noise, too, but when I un-plugged the usb connection, and used the din connectors, the noise disappeared.

Normally I guess we are all more interested in the default, just to know what it will sound like "out of the box" as we assume the factory set it that way in the first place for a reason. But I'm very interested in whether these effects exist and how they sound, so if you feel like doing it again with them turned up, I'll definitely listen to it and archive the second sample with that noted.

Funny, our P-120 has a ton of digital bleed into the audio when we use the Yamaha "to-host" connection (glorified RS-232 with proprietary connector) - so much that we can't use the resulting audio in a solo recording. The MIDI connection is much quieter though.

I had an Edirol UA-25, kind of wish I hadn't sold it.
Posted by: R0B

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/10/10 12:41 AM

Hi Dewster,

Here is the link to the updated Kawai MP-5 file (take 2)

This time recorded with standard MIDI cables.

Damper Resonance, String Resonance, and Key Off Effect, all set to the max.

http://www.box.net/shared/29quyz7h2h
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/10/10 12:14 PM

Originally Posted By: R0B
Here is the link to the updated Kawai MP-5 file (take 2)

This time recorded with standard MIDI cables.

Damper Resonance, String Resonance, and Key Off Effect, all set to the max.

Thanks R0B!

The noise floor is MUCH better! Kind of ironic that the very USB connection you are supposed to use to record it introduces so much noise that you can't record it. MIDI connections, when done correctly, are opto-isolated at both receiving ends, which eliminates digital noise and ground loops. Back when real engineers designed interfaces and protocols.

I had to boost the left channel by 6dB to make it roughly the same as the right, not sure what's going on there but with the noise floor so low now it isn't a big deal.

I hear something very faint during the key-up of a loudly vibrating string. It sounds like a damper coming into contact with the string and damping it, rather than a "knock" like sample. It is very pleasant.

I don't hear pedal down or sympathetic resonance though. I'm wondering turning these things up for manual playing is indeed turning them up for MIDI playing? KAWAI James, could you weigh in on this perhaps?

The piano voice is very much on par with what Yamaha does in the P155 and is technically quite good for this price range. What do you think of the other voices, particularly church organ, strings, and harpsichords? And what do you think of the key action?

-------------
- Kawai MP5 -
-------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_kawai_mp5.mp3
- Edirol UR-80 for audio & MIDI interface.
PROS:
- Nice long note decay.
- Looping isn't too obnoxious.
- Large dynamic range (~42dB, vel=1:127).
- This is a very smoothly blended multi-velocity layer sample set (unknown layer count).
- Key-up & pedal up effect w/ vibrating strings subtle yet realistic & pleasant.
- Responds to partial pedaling.
CONS:
- Looped, but pretty well done.
- Samples are 3 to 1 seconds (lo to hi) with 1 to 0.5 seconds of crossfade.
- Obviously stretched, group transistions farily audible.
- Stretch distances: 5,3(x8),2,4,3(x17),2 = 29 groups.
- One velocity layer switch is fairly audible (timbre change) @ vel=104.
- No obvious pedal down samples.
- No obvious sympathetic resonance.
OTHER:
- Volume in MP3 file very good, had to boost L by 6dB to match R.
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-10
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/10/10 01:03 PM

Originally Posted By: sullivang
I've only listened to the 20bpm velocity reocrding, and I cannot hear anything resembling a velocity "layer" switch - it sounds extremely smooth.

It is also much smoother looking than the 120bpm sample.

Originally Posted By: sullivang
I listened both to the original recording as-is, as well as a shortened version where I stripped out a lot of the sustain from each note, to make it easier to detect changes in timbre by simply listening to the recording without performing any analysis.

Perhaps I'm being overly influenced by the amplitude view while listening, but the odd looking notes in the 120bpm sample sound a bit different to me than the other notes, but not like group timbre changes in a layered sampler (hence my updated review).
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/10/10 01:39 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster

Perhaps I'm being overly influenced by the amplitude view while listening, but the odd looking notes in the 120bpm sample sound a bit different to me than the other notes, but not like group timbre changes in a layered sampler (hence my updated review).


It would be interesting to repeat the 120bpm recording, with a short delay inserted in between each note (as I said before), to ensure that the notes have completely died away before the next note is played.

Greg.
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/10/10 02:15 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster

I don't hear pedal down or sympathetic resonance though. I'm wondering turning these things up for manual playing is indeed turning them up for MIDI playing? KAWAI James, could you weigh in on this perhaps?


That one I can answer. When playing MIDI-Files the MP-5 (as many other KAWAI keyboards / DPs) doesn't record any sympathetic resonance / damper resonance effects, theses effects are only active during live play! I have no clue why KAWAI did this, but it's a a fact.

I was anxious about this with my newly purchased CA-63 and tried it on this new model, and am happy to report that at least this issue is now resolved: CA-63 does play all effects also when playing MIDI-Files.

That said, I will send you an MP3-File from my KAWAI CA-63 as soon as I have some time to record it, but this may take some days. Thanks for your great work!
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/10/10 02:42 PM

Originally Posted By: kawaian
That one I can answer. When playing MIDI-Files the MP-5 (as many other KAWAI keyboards / DPs) doesn't record any sympathetic resonance / damper resonance effects, theses effects are only active during live play! I have no clue why KAWAI did this, but it's a a fact.

Get outta town! Wow...

Originally Posted By: kawaian
That said, I will send you an MP3-File from my KAWAI CA-63 as soon as I have some time to record it, but this may take some days.

I'm looking forward to it, thanks!
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/10/10 05:23 PM

Originally Posted By: kawaian
[
When playing MIDI-Files the MP-5 (as many other KAWAI keyboards / DPs) doesn't record any sympathetic resonance / damper resonance effects, theses effects are only active during live play!


What other DP's behave this way? Thanks.
Posted by: R0B

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/10/10 09:18 PM

Thanks again, Dewster, for commenting on the MP-5

Your guess about resonance effects not being transmitted, turned out to be spot on!
Thanks to kawaian for the confirmation :-)

I don't do much midi editing, these days, so didn't realise the usb connection was so inferior to standard midi.
It's good to have had the opportunity to find that out.

As for the left channel level being lower, that was possibly due to the fact that this time, I didn't record the DP direct in to the Edirol, as I had it going first through a mixer, that I use for Skype.

(The pan setting on the mixer, was centred, but maybe the calibration is slightly out)

Re the other voices, I quite like the organs and EP sounds. Not mad on the strings, and not expert enough to evaluate the harpsichords, but I am guessing they are not great.
(I could knock up a quick demo for you, if you like.)

I mainly bought it for the piano sound, as I have better vst instruments for other sounds.

Key action is on the light side, tactile and responsive.
Suits my arthritic fingers well.

Rob
Posted by: Dave Gruber

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/11/10 02:36 AM

I've been playing digital pianos since the 1980's. They've only been getting better and better during that time. The first ones were... well, not that good. I'm coming from the angle of just playing them live, as opposed to the midi file thing you guys have going, though there's nothing wrong with that. I'd just rather actually sit down and play one, rather than analyse it with a midi file. I went to the NAMM show and while there I played both the new Yamaha CP-1 and the Roland V-piano. Both very nice, but the Roland is the one that knocked me out. You guys have got to play one of those, with really nice headphones on. It's pretty unnerving how increadible it sounds and how it feels! These are the high end ones; about $5,000, but compared to a new C7, (not to mention a CFIII, or Bosendorfer, or the like), that's like pocket change. (BTW: I also played the Yamaha CFIII. Mmmm!!) And played a "Robert Weber" that had a VERY nice, sweet high register. But I'm digressing into acoustic realms.
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/11/10 05:32 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster


And would the RD700GX sample be from the RD700GX1 SuperNATURAL piano kit plug-in board? The one with seamless this and seamless that (everything is seamless)? I'd be super interested in that!



In Japanese, but some info can be gleaned . . .


Posted by: Dave Gruber

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/11/10 10:54 AM

From what I can glean from Roland's website, (http://www.rolandus.com/products/productlist.php?ParentId=87) it appears that, yes, the RD piano sounds are sampled. I'm sure they are trying to get them more "seamless" all the time. I would also assume that the RD-700GX plug-in would be "as good" as the RD-700GX digital piano, DEPENDING on the quality/resolution of the playback engine (software in your computer, another Roland keyboard, or module?)

In contrast to the RD-700GX piano, which I have played (it's pretty good), the V-piano is NOT sampled but is synthesized, which means no looping, and it's increadibly clean and responsive. Roland has been working hard on this for years, and the results are stunning. (no, they don't pay me).
Try to find and play a Roland V-piano if you can.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/11/10 11:09 AM

Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
In Japanese, but some info can be gleaned . . .

Wow, thanks Lawrence!

They're actually talking about velocity layers and looping (the dark underbelly of the DP world)!

And it looks like they're using something very similar to the DPBSD file to demonstrate them. I look at the spectral domain to see looping, not the amplitude domain or a dynamic phase display like they are doing in the video.

No mention of stretching though.

Everyone is able to blend velocity these days - it's not that big of a deal and the least of my worries, though blending is nice. Looping is the killer, with stretching second, velocity stepping third (provided there are enough layers and the transitions aren't too abrupt).

Blending is actually a problem, as the velocity layers become blurred and less easy to see, and so things get all subjective again and we have to rely on the manufacturer to tell us how many layers they used in the blend.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/11/10 11:11 AM

Originally Posted By: Dave Gruber
In contrast to the RD-700GX piano, which I have played (it's pretty good), the V-piano is NOT sampled but is synthesized, which means no looping, and it's increadibly clean and responsive. Roland has been working hard on this for years, and the results are stunning. (no, they don't pay me).
Try to find and play a Roland V-piano if you can.

Yes, it's quite amazing. Lawrence has one, and it just recently ran the DPBSD gauntlet. Many hate the midrange though, even with the latest SW load.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/11/10 11:40 AM

Well, hate is a strong word!

The only comments I've seen are from Lawrence and Snazzy. They have both offered their opinion enough times for it to have made an impact on the forum but I haven't seen MANY people say they HATE the midrange...a couple of people have just said the same thing a few times!

I do understand that Lawrence has struggled to get on with it in the context of his particular requirements.

The V-Piano is not the perfect instrument...but then for each of us the perfect instrument doesn't exist...we would all find at least one or two things about any piano we are less keen on.

For my tastes the midrange is a bit less convincing on the V-Piano but the update is an improvement (and any perceived deficiency is an issue of taste rather than it failing to meet an absolute standard). The bass on it is to my ears phenomenal...I personally couldn't improve the bass or high treble and for overall playability (touch, response, subtlety, tonal change according to velocity etc etc), it is second to none.

Despite my above comments and the V-Piano's good showing in Dewster's tests if I had my time again, I wouldn't buy one actually and there are a number of reasons for this. But as a technological Tour-de-Force for Roland I think it is a towering achievement and shows us the future of DPs. In my opinion the future is modelled, not sampled and not hybrids...hybrids maybe for a short while but modelling is where the DP will reach the pinnacle of development in years to come.

Compare the Roland approach with Yamaha who by all accounts (at least by the standards of Dewster's revealing testing), have made almost zero progress between the P120 and P155. Yamaha actually specifically state in their brochures that they use extra-long samples...a second or two appears to be the reality!

Steve
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/11/10 12:32 PM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Well, hate is a strong word!

Yes, hate is probably too strong of a word and/or blanket statement, sorry.

I should have said some picky people seem to be unhappy with them, dumping them, or otherwise staying away from them for various reasons.

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Despite my above comments and the V-Piano's good showing in Dewster's tests if I had my time again, I wouldn't buy one actually and there are a number of reasons for this.

See what I mean?! wink

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
But as a technological Tour-de-Force for Roland I think it is a towering achievement and shows us the future of DPs.

Oh, I quite agree with you. It sounds amazing in the DPBSD MP3, and if I could get that sound for ~$2.5k or less I'd be all over it.

More power to Roland with this incredible technology, we'll all probably end up with something like it sooner or later.

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Compare the Roland approach with Yamaha who by all accounts (at least by the standards of Dewster's revealing testing), have made almost zero progress between the P120 and P155. Yamaha actually specifically state in their brochures that they use extra-long samples...a second or two appears to be the reality!

Extra-long samples! For what year?

To be fair, this is one DP in series, and maybe I shouldn't have expected any significant changes? I don't know, but I did expect a substantial sample length increase. Either that or a substantial price drop. I guess it's 90% marketing at this point...

Also, we haven't analyzed the very latest stuff from Yamaha yet.
Posted by: Dave Gruber

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/11/10 12:35 PM

Steve: I started out (digitally) with the MKB-1000 and an MKS-20, which, together equal your RD-1000, pretty much. I still love the response and dynamics of the Rhodes sounds on that MKS-20 (same as your RD). SO PUNCHY! And of course, the piano sounds are all over recordings, however unrealistic they sound - they've become a "sound" unto themselves, like the early Roland drum machines, which sounded terrible compared to what they were trying to emulate, but also became sought after for their OWN sound.

If you get tired of your V-piano, you can give to me : )

Dave (in So. California, where it's actually been RAINING!)
____________________________________________________________
Roland MKB-1000, 88 key controller, MKS-20, Roland JV-1010 module, Yamaha DX-7 (yep, the oldie), Korg SG Pro X 88 key DP/controller, Yamaha upright. (Longing for Motif XS8 and Korg CX3 organ with Motion sound rotary speaker.)
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/11/10 02:29 PM

Dave,

I totally agree with you...The RD-1000/MKS-20 sound emulates a piano very well in terms of expressive power but doesn't sound like a piano...it is far enough away from the real thing to represent something in its own right. And the two electric pianos are to die for. I actually think they (the RD and MKS) are the last instruments to have their own identity and will rank alongside the Rhodes, Wurlitzer and Yamaha Electric grands one day. I will be buried with my RD-1000, it is my most treasured possession.

I don't consider myself to be a musician, I think I'm a geek on the hunt for the holy grail...the piano sound that tugs at my heart strings...the perfect piano. I've come to the conclusion it aint out there and never will be! As far as the V-Piano goes there seems to be two reactions. Musicians seem to love the V-Piano...they don't analyze it or test it, they just make a connection with it in the way it responds to the player's inputs and in this respect it simply is the best keyboard on the market at the moment. I think a lot of musicians don't go beyond that, they don't over-think it. Piano geeks do seem to find something to criticise and I include myself here. I have listened in such depth and tweaked every last parameter trying to find "it"...It can't do what I want it to and I can't even satisfactorily put into words what that is!

So my torture continues but the V-Piano is something special, no doubt, just probably not for me in the long term.

If I win the next lottery here in Europe (jackpot £113 million), the V-Piano's yours!

Cheers,

Steve
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/11/10 02:56 PM

CP1 through the DPBS Detector is what we want!

I note the correspondence on the Yamaha Stage Piano thread...fingers crossed it might be soon with the CP1.

Steve
Posted by: 7even

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/11/10 04:25 PM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
CP1 through the DPBS Detector is what we want!

I note the correspondence on the Yamaha Stage Piano thread...fingers crossed it might be soon with the CP1.

Steve


And the RD-700GX1 laugh
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/11/10 04:54 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Funny, our P-120 has a ton of digital bleed into the audio when we use the Yamaha "to-host" connection (glorified RS-232 with proprietary connector) - so much that we can't use the resulting audio in a solo recording. The MIDI connection is much quieter though.


dewster, to clarify, are you saying that it's possible to hear interference from the MIDI connectors (or USB, or RS-232 etc.) in the recording?

Could this perhaps be improved by using higher quality/shielded audio cables?

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/11/10 05:21 PM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
dewster, to clarify, are you saying that it's possible to hear interference from the MIDI connectors (or USB, or RS-232 etc.) in the recording?

Could this perhaps be improved by using higher quality/shielded audio cables?

The "to host" connector on the P120 is a direct electrical connection between your PC and the DP. You connect it to a serial port on your PC using a special barrel connector at the DP end and a PC driver from Yamaha. Since it uses RS232 the signal swings below ground, which I believe to be the main problem with digital buzzing and hash ending up in the audio, though I haven't done extensive tests.

One thing that I did try was to use one of those line level stereo isolation transformers they make for car audio ground problems. (I used that on the line-level audio from DP to PC, obviously.) That helped some, but didn't completely get rid of the digital hash.

When you use the to-host connection, as well as line-out to your PC to record, you wind up with multiple ground connections, which can be a problem with ground loops and hum and such. Higher quality cables wouldn't help with that.

MIDI is opto-isolated and so avoids both bad scenarios. The P120 records fine when driven via MIDI - too bad it isn't a recording quality DP!
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/11/10 06:29 PM

Ah, I see.

Thank you for the explanation.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/11/10 08:52 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster

The "to host" connector on the P120 is a direct electrical connection between your PC and the DP. You connect it to a serial port on your PC using a special barrel connector at the DP end and a PC driver from Yamaha. Since it uses RS232 the signal swings below ground, which I believe to be the main problem with digital buzzing and hash ending up in the audio, though I haven't done extensive tests.



I might believe it is a ground loop or "digital hash" on the ground. But it's not the signal in the USB cable. The signal is not RS232 levels. USB uses two twisted pairs and each pair uses differential signalling and very little current. The differential drivers and receivers on each end do something like an optical isolation would do on an older system.

If I'm right then a good size ferrite toroid on each end of the MIDI cable might help a lot. Get one where you can loop the cable through multiple times.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/11/10 09:15 PM

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
I might believe it is a ground loop or "digital hash" on the ground. But it's not the signal in the USB cable. The signal is not RS232 levels. USB uses two twisted pairs and each pair uses differential signalling and very little current. The differential drivers and receivers on each end do something like an optical isolation would do on an older system.

Yamaha labeling it "to host" does sound confusingly USBish. It's a weird interface Yamaha dreamed up at some point I guess. I made a cable myself from an old broken hand-held scanner (for the barrel connector molded to a length of cable) and a 9 pin DSUB connector.

Plugs into my PC serial port. 100% RS232, which employs single-ended electrical signaling, which means there are ground currents, which means noise on the audio ground unfortunately.
Posted by: pesk

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/12/10 05:31 AM

Hi, here is the test file of Casio PX-330. I've added also Purgatory Creek demo. I hope these links will work.

http://www.mediafire.com/file/rnm3wmmn13r/dp_bsd_v1.3_casio_px330.mp3

http://www.mediafire.com/file/dqyz5mnzhtu/Casio PX-330.mp3
Posted by: batak

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/12/10 06:44 AM

Originally Posted By: kawaian

That one I can answer. When playing MIDI-Files the MP-5 (as many other KAWAI keyboards / DPs) doesn't record any sympathetic resonance / damper resonance effects, theses effects are only active during live play! I have no clue why KAWAI did this, but it's a a fact.


Pardon my english but are You absolutely sure about that? 'Cause I did make a new Setup out of Concert Grand with Reverb OFF and Damper Resonance, String Resonance and KeyOff maxed to 10 and recorded MIDI file with it. When I playback the file with the same Setup all these effects can be heard or I might not fully understood what are You talking about on this matter.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/12/10 07:54 AM

R0B, may I ask which firmware version you are using on your MP5?

I'll have to confirm this point with the R&D chaps on Monday, however there have been a handful of updates to the MP5, so it's quite possible that the string/damper resonance over MIDI implementation has been added. This might also explain why batak would appear to be hearing the resonances.

I don't wish to get your hopes up, however please do check http://kawai.de/downloads_en.htm and consider downloading the latest software update (v1.15).

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/12/10 07:58 AM

@batak,

here you can find several issues with the CA-51, CA-71, CA-91, among them also the MIDI Resonance Problem (unfortunately it's in German), and the MP-5 was no exception, I've tested that some time ago at my local dealer. I need to mention however that some of the issues are already fixed by newer firmware releases, so I would recommend to always install the newest firmware.

http://www.razyboard.com/system/morethread-ca91-kawai-122539-4944834-0.html
Posted by: R0B

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/12/10 09:33 AM

Hi James,

Many thanks for pointing me to the firmware update :-)

It has been some time since I updated, and found I was using Ver 1.14.

I have now updated to the latest, Ver 1.15, and will try it out tomorrow.

Thanks again :-)

Kind regards,

Rob
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/12/10 12:34 PM

Originally Posted By: pesk
Hi, here is the test file of Casio PX-330. I've added also Purgatory Creek demo. I hope these links will work.

Thanks very much for those pesk! The levels are very nice. I noticed the E6 note did not play for some reason?

The PX-330 has somewhat shorter samples than Yamaha or KAWAI, and the decays of the lower notes seem faster as well. The looping is not quite as nice either, with a shorter crossfade. It does have the best velocity layer blend I've heard so far, nicely spread out and with no visible or audible timbre steps.

-----------------
- Privia PX-330 -
-----------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_casio_px330.mp3
PROS:
- Note decay is fairly long.
- Large dynamic range (~49dB, vel=1:127).
- This is a VERY smoothly blended multi-velocity layer sample set (Casio reports 4 layer).
- Responds to partial pedaling.
- Something going on with sympathetic resonance, but it's so subtle I can't hear it.
CONS:
- Initial low note decay is rather quick, with a leveling out later in the decay.
- Obviously looped, not quite as well done as Yamaha or Kawai.
- Samples are 2 to 0.8 seconds (lo to hi) with crossfade.
- Obviously stretched, group transistions farily audible.
- Stretch distances: 3,2,3(x16),4,2,3(x5),4,5,5 = 28 groups.
- No obvious pedal up/down or key up samples.
OTHER:
- Note E6 didn't play for some reason.
- Volume in MP3 file very good.
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-12
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/12/10 03:36 PM

Not trying to blow my own horn here, but for me anyway this project has been a real eye-opener. It has revealed the fact that KAWAI, Yamaha, and Casio can all do velocity layer blending well, they all incorporate roughly the same amount of note stretching, and their actual sample lengths are in the same ballpark.

It's also helped me nail down what were previously just vague impressions from demoing the various DPs in noisy stores. So far, my personal perception of DP sound quality appears to be highly correlated to actual sample length, how well looping is implemented, and rate of note decay.

In short, if a DP can't play individual notes fairly convincingly, then it doesn't sound very realistic to me when playing real pieces.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/13/10 05:54 AM

I know everyone is now interested in the new CP-series and SuperNatural pianos, but HERE are two samples from Roland RD-700SX: 'Superior Grand' and 'X Ultimate'. Both are labeled as 88-sampled. Reverb is off, and default settings are used as would be it if you play the piano out of the box. The default setting for damper resonance is barely audible but if you like, I can reupload new recordings with the effect at max level. The piano also has string resonance feature which is off by default and I have left it off as well for the recording. Recording has been made in Sony Sound Forge 8, with Cubase SX as MIDI-player (at tempo 120), the main volume slider on the piano was at 80%, the wavs were then peak normalized to -1dB. The sound card is Creative Audigy. The cables were not quality ones and I have used USB-cable, not MIDI.

Dewster, please tell me when you have downloaded the files from the link above, in order to free hosting space.

I will wait for your analysis but to my ears both pianos have 4-layers, no stretching, obvious looping, obvious layer switching, almost nonexistent sympathetic resonance and they both respond to half-pedaling. The X-Ultimate is very short-decaying sound and I have never used it because the transition from ppp to fff has nasty jumpy quality I hate.
Posted by: pesk

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/13/10 06:53 AM

Thanks for review dewster. I have no idea why E6 was not played but during recording test I've recognized that sometime some note was dropped out. Maybe it's issue of my MIDI setup...
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/13/10 10:35 AM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
I know everyone is now interested in the new CP-series and SuperNatural pianos, but HERE are two samples from Roland RD-700SX: 'Superior Grand' and 'X Ultimate'.

CyberGene, I can't seem to get to that web page (it times out).
Posted by: madshi

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/13/10 01:20 PM

Works for me!
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/13/10 01:32 PM

Works for me now too... got them!
Posted by: voxpops

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/13/10 02:34 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Not trying to blow my own horn here, but for me anyway this project has been a real eye-opener. It has revealed the fact that KAWAI, Yamaha, and Casio can all do velocity layer blending well, they all incorporate roughly the same amount of note stretching, and their actual sample lengths are in the same ballpark.

It's also helped me nail down what were previously just vague impressions from demoing the various DPs in noisy stores. So far, my personal perception of DP sound quality appears to be highly correlated to actual sample length, how well looping is implemented, and rate of note decay.

In short, if a DP can't play individual notes fairly convincingly, then it doesn't sound very realistic to me when playing real pieces.


I think you should blow your own horn, digital or otherwise. This is a remarkably useful exercise, Dewster, and could be used for many years to come as a reference point for serious purchasers.

It may be a little early to try to correlate the objective analysis with the more subjective sound quality issues, but at the very least, as it becomes established, it will hold manufacturers to account over their marketing claims. In time, I think it will become clearer which elements, probably more through their interaction than as individual components, contribute to a "pleasing" experience for both listener and player. The big challenge will come when modeling becomes the rule rather than the exception, as the analysis will probably need to recognize much more subtle variations than velocity stepping or note stretching.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/13/10 03:06 PM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
I know everyone is now interested in the new CP-series and SuperNatural pianos, but HERE are two samples from Roland RD-700SX: 'Superior Grand' and 'X Ultimate'.

CyberGene, I really appreciate the files!

I agree with your evaluation except for the layer count. I believe the first audible layer transition in both is actually just a filter switch.

The decay rate on the X is way too fast, and the velocity transitions are quite abrupt and placed too high IMO. The sample lengths for the X are also rather short.

----------------------------------
- Roland RD-700SX Superior Grand -
----------------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_roland_rd-700sx_superior_grand.mp3
- Cubase SX as MIDI-player, Sony Sound Forge 8, Creative Audigy.
- Factory settings & reverb off.
PROS:
- Very little evidence of stretching except (F#5,G5) - top octave or so is indeterminate.
- OK dynamic range (~31dB, vel=1:127).
- 3 layers (from spectral pan view) with some kind of filter switch @ v=38.
- Layer transitions at v=68,108.
- Responds to partial pedaling.
- Something going on with sympathetic resonance, but it's so subtle I can't hear it.
CONS:
- Note decay rate is rather fast (1/2 Pianoteq or less).
- Looped, mids and highs are not very well done (very "loopy").
- Samples are 3 to 0.3 seconds (lo to hi) with crossfade.
- Rather abrupt layer transitions.
- No pedal up/down or key up samples.
OTHER:
- Noise floor in file is rather high (-66dB) but otherwise fine.
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-13


------------------------------
- Roland RD-700SX X Ultimate -
------------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_roland_rd-700sx_x_ultimate.mp3
- Cubase SX as MIDI-player, Sony Sound Forge 8, Creative Audigy.
- Factory settings & reverb off.
PROS:
- Very little evidence of stretching - top octave or so is indeterminate.
- 3 layers (from spectral pan view) with some kind of filter switch @ v=58.
- Layer transitions at v=98,118.
- OK dynamic range (~31dB, vel=1:127).
- Responds to partial pedaling.
CONS:
- Note decay rate is pretty fast (1/3 Pianoteq or less).
- Looped, most obvious on the very highest notes.
- Samples are 2 to 0.3 seconds (lo to hi) with crossfade.
- Rather abrupt layer transitions.
- No obvious sympathetic resonance.
- No pedal up/down or key up samples.
OTHER:
- Noise floor in file is rather high (-66dB) but otherwise fine.
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-13

Posted by: CyberGene

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/13/10 04:26 PM

Dewster, thanks for the review! By the way, I think once I had time to play with the fixed velocity function for each key in order to analyze how many layers are used and I remember I had concluded there are 2, 3 or 4 layers per key depending on the pitch (basses used more layers that highs), but I may be wrong and also there may be a filter as you say.

Sorry for the noise floor. I didn't have a cable, that's why I myself fabricated one from three different cables and couplings smile

To be honest, I haven't used the internal sounds of RD-700SX ever since I got Ivory Italian Grand.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/13/10 04:45 PM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
I had concluded there are 2, 3 or 4 layers per key depending on the pitch (basses used more layers that highs), but I may be wrong and also there may be a filter as you say.

Very good point. It's entirely possible they use different layers for different ranges, and it's something I don't test for. Not sure I really want to though, the layer test already drives me a little crazy. smile

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
Sorry for the noise floor. I didn't have a cable, that's why I myself fabricated one from three different cables and couplings smile

No problem, and thanks very much for going to the trouble of recording them!

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
To be honest, I haven't used the internal sounds of RD-700SX ever since I got Ivory Italian Grand.

Not trying to harsh on your RD-700SX, but I can't say I blame you. smile
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/13/10 05:16 PM

Lawrence just sent me an DPBSD MP3 of the CP1 he got just today - thanks Lawrence! He gave me the go-ahead to post it for him.

They've done a good job of blending the velocity layers, but I think we anticipated that. The low notes have nice decay, but the mid and high notes decay rather quickly. The sympathetic resonance is rather typical for Yamaha, on par with the P-155 IMO.

The actual sample lengths are what surprised me. They hide it pretty well by doing a good job on the looping, but I was expecting something longer than what I've seen in just about every other mid-level DP so far.

--------------
- Yamaha CP1 -
--------------
FILE & SETUP:
- bsd_v1.3_yamaha_cp1.mp3
- Default patch 1 CF Grand (CF 3Band) Piano + PreAmp + MasterEQ blocks enabled.
- Cubase
PROS:
- Lowest notes have nice long decay.
- Good dynamic range (~38.5dB, vel=1:127).
- I believe this is a very smoothly blended 4 layer sample set with no audible layer switching.
- Visible layer switch @ vel=54,96,120 (spectral pan & phase displays).
- Sympathetic resonance.
- Responds to partial pedaling.
CONS:
- Mids and highs have somewhat short decay.
- Looped, though well done.
- Samples lengths are (C2:C9) 3,2.2,2,1.8,1.7,1.3,1,0.8 seconds.
- Audibly stretched at the low and high ends, no stretching of mids.
- Stretch distances: 3,3,4,4,4,2,4,3,1(x26),2,3,2,1,1,1,3,2,2,3,4,2,3,3,3 = 49 groups.
- No obvious pedal up/down or key up samples.
- Sympathetic resonance is echoy and reverby.
OTHER:
- Volume and noise floor in MP3 file excellent.
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-13
Posted by: Volusiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/13/10 05:36 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Lawrence just sent me an DPBSD MP3 of the CP1 he got just today - thanks Lawrence! He gave me the go-ahead to post it for him.

They've done a good job of blending the velocity layers, but I think we anticipated that. The low notes have nice decay, but the mid and high notes decay rather quickly. The sympathetic resonance is rather typical for Yamaha, on par with the P-155 IMO.

The actual sample lengths are what surprised me. They hide it pretty well by doing a good job on the looping, but I was expecting something longer than what I've seen in just about every other mid-level DP so far.


I'm curious as to how we know whether long decays/sample lengths are by default better than shorter ones? What if that's all there is to it at the mid and high and long decays and sample lengths are not necessary or natural there? This is not specific to the CP1 or Yamaha or any other makes. Just wondering over all because if the pattern is there between mid-level or high-level DPs then maybe it's because that's all there is to it and 99% of what's important to hear is already captured, and it's not worth the diminishing return to try to overkill at the expense of more expensive resources to capture the remaining 1%.
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/13/10 05:37 PM

One thing. The dp_bsd file is based on the default settings for the #1 AP patch. Perhaps tweaking can adjust the sympathetic resonance somewhat. I haven't worked with it enough at this point to know for sure.

The specs, as revealed to an extent by the dp_bsd test only tell part of the story.

For me, the bottom line is how does it sound, and how does it play? Does it inspire me as a musical instrument?

The advantage of DP's is the sound / action / gesture connection. The disadvantage is that there are compromises made to the sound itself.

The advantage of sample sets is that there are not (usually) compromises made - since size doesn't matter. The disadvantage is that the sound / action / gesture connection totally sucks.

So, with samples, you can get a better sound, but only with post recording editing.

I don't want to do the editing because (a) it isn't fun, and (b) you can easily kill the passion in the music. So, at this point I'm opting for the DP option. (Although God knows I've tried to make samples work, and have purchased so many of them, it is rather sickening.)

So, I'm quite happy with the CP1 sound and response, and not actually all that concerned about the specs! (Just as I'm happy with how my Honda Accord V6 rides and drives. I don't actually need to know or care about how the magic is achieved! Perhaps, though, if I was driving a Toyota, my opinion might be different).

Lawrence
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/13/10 05:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Volusiano

I'm curious as to how we know whether long decays/sample lengths are by default better than shorter ones?


Good question. One of the parameters that can be adjusted is DECAY. The default setting is 0, and the range is from -16 to + 16. I wonder if adjusting this would make Dewster happier? (Probably not!)
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/13/10 06:52 PM

Interesting. So the CP1 is according to these tests entirely ordinary and with the acoustic piano sound Yamaha breaks no new ground at all. On a subjective level though it seems to have been very well received. I'm very impressed with the few bits I've heard.

Dewster's test does make you wonder what you are getting for four and a half grand (£) though!

Steve
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/13/10 07:06 PM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Interesting. So the CP1 is according to these tests entirely ordinary and with the acoustic piano sound Yamaha breaks no new ground at all. On a subjective level though it seems to have been very well received. I'm very impressed with the few bits I've heard.


The test is not taking into account aspects of the CP1 AP that are modelled, for example hammer hardness. Also, the approach to dynamics is new (according to Yamaha) and the proof is in the playing. It has a remarkable range and smoothness. Play it, and you'll be left wondering what the fuss is about, in terms of the DP BSD results. Adjusting the hammers on this instrument is amazing, and transforms the pianos! (And that is only one aspect that has been modelled).

The DP BSD is not the be all and end all - especially for an instrument that combines samples and modeling. (And also, let's not forget that the interpretation of the test results is to a certain extent subjective - and being made by one individual).
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/13/10 07:46 PM

Originally Posted By: Volusiano
I'm curious as to how we know whether long decays/sample lengths are by default better than shorter ones? What if that's all there is to it at the mid and high and long decays and sample lengths are not necessary or natural there?

You have a point, long decays on very high notes are often unnatural - particularly if the decay is a poorly done loop! But short decay is almost always used to hide looping, so I have come to look upon it as a negative. I want a DP I can run through a compressor and not wince at the output.

BTW, the first test in the DPBSD is "calibrated" to the note decay times of Pianoteq, just to have a rough (though admittedly very relative) reference point.

Originally Posted By: Volusiano
Just wondering over all because if the pattern is there between mid-level or high-level DPs then maybe it's because that's all there is to it and 99% of what's important to hear is already captured, and it's not worth the diminishing return to try to overkill at the expense of more expensive resources to capture the remaining 1%.

That strikes me as something of an apology, particularly when you have PC samplers and modelers absolutely killing them in the sound department. I think it's more that all of the manufacturers keep doing what they've always done, with slight improvements now and then, and people keep buying them. Nothing inherently wrong with that, and I'm probably expecting too much from the market mechanism.

As Lawrence notes, the timing between the playing and the sound is very important, as is the feel of the keyboard, and I think they've been concentrating on those aspects more than the sound (for my tastes anyway).
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/13/10 08:03 PM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Interesting. So the CP1 is according to these tests entirely ordinary and with the acoustic piano sound Yamaha breaks no new ground at all. On a subjective level though it seems to have been very well received. I'm very impressed with the few bits I've heard.

While the sample length is fairly typical, the looping is very well done (which I think is 70% of it), the velocity blend is smooth (15%), and the stretching is done over only the low and high ends, with the mids completely sampled (15%).

I think they've done all they can with a fairly limited sample memory size (though I would improve the sympathetic resonance and include some key-up and pedal up/down noises).

My (eternal) question is this: why go to all that trouble to shoehorn the sound into such a small space when ROM is so inexpensive? Surely the effort they put into doing this must be expensive (unless it is largely automated, which is possible, but surely not 100%). Can $20 (retail, mind you) of Flash be that big a deal in a $5k instrument? Particularly when it could so profoundly improve it AND reduce engineering NRE? I must be missing some important factor somewhere...
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/13/10 08:09 PM

And, don't get me wrong, the CP1 sound pretty fantastic in the recordings I've heard. I'm not here to crap on it, only to reveal some of the technical underpinnings of its sound.

For me, though, I need either a bigger sample or something modeled that doesn't sound too fake. The beat goes on.
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/13/10 08:21 PM

Quote:
just sent me an DPBSD MP3 of the CP1 he got just today


People are saying the CP1 is much better sounding then the P155. I assume there is "next generation" level of improvement. But according to your analysis abut the only difference is that he CP1 uses less note stretching. I think there must be something more that is different. "Simple" things like how the model piano has mic'd or the size of the recording room or the brand of microphone could make a huge difference. So a question: What kind of test could capture this?

One other thing, You seem to not hear the key off samples. I know the P155 and other DPs tested have key off. (You should hear the key-off sample on the harpsichord voice, it is unmistakeable from across the room even with TV noise going on.) The P155 default setting it low but I can crank up the volume on the key off sample but that is not the way to go. I think, maybe your test is insensitive to key off.
Posted by: kiedysktos.

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/13/10 09:13 PM

Honestly, for me it's the most valuable topic on DP forum so far. Thanks for your work!! Great job.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/13/10 11:16 PM

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
People are saying the CP1 is much better sounding then the P155. I assume there is "next generation" level of improvement. But according to your analysis abut the only difference is that he CP1 uses less note stretching.

The looping is much better, and I think that is the main difference, actually.

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
I think there must be something more that is different. "Simple" things like how the model piano has mic'd or the size of the recording room or the brand of microphone could make a huge difference. So a question: What kind of test could capture this?

I'm more interested in what they're technically doing in DPs that correlates to what I hear. I'll be pickier about the actual sound when I know they're devoting enough memory / computational resources to it. Until then, for me anyway, it's kind of a cruel joke.

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
One other thing, You seem to not hear the key off samples. I know the P155 and other DPs tested have key off. (You should hear the key-off sample on the harpsichord voice, it is unmistakeable from across the room even with TV noise going on.)

The P155 default setting it low but I can crank up the volume on the key off sample but that is not the way to go. I think, maybe your test is insensitive to key off.

The key-off sample on the P-120/140/155 harpsichord is really wonderful - it completely adds to the realism, and my hat is sincerely off to Yamaha for doing that patch so well.

For the piano however, what I'm not hearing in the second phase of the DPBSD sympathetic resonance test is where 11 keys lift simultaneously. Pianoteq clearly makes a key-up sound there, as does a real piano, and several of the better PC samplers. Surely that can't be a fault of my test.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/13/10 11:26 PM

Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
The DP BSD is not the be all and end all - especially for an instrument that combines samples and modeling. (And also, let's not forget that the interpretation of the test results is to a certain extent subjective - and being made by one individual).

Yes and yes!

I've said from the start that is more of a go / no-go test for technical issues mainly associated with samplers, not a test-of-all-tests. That said, you can clearly hear many subjective things in the results if you listen for them.

I'm hoping others will listen to and analyze the MP3 files openly, so there can be more of a consensus that others can trust. I feel a bit naked being the only one who posts reviews here.
Posted by: madshi

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/14/10 03:56 AM

Thanks to Lawrence for providing the CP1 CFIII MP3 - we've all been waiting for that, I guess!

I'm with dewster here, I don't really understand how they can still be using stretching and looping. I mean, they seem to (or at least claim to) have gone the full mile with the Rhodes and DX7 sounds. And they claim they've used the "best available technology" for every sound type. Surely using stretching and looping is not the "best available technology", so I'm disappointed. Ok, so maybe they did the looping really well, and maybe it plays just fine. But I had really hoped the CP1/CP5 would be a revolutionary step up, where they've pulled out all the stops...

-------

Now I may be gready, but @Lawrence, could you also do the S6 and one of the (reportedly fully modeled) Rhodes? I'm aware that the Rhodes is out of topic, but I'd love to see what they really did with the Rhodes and how it affects the BSD results. Thanks much!
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/14/10 04:45 AM

Originally Posted By: madshi
I mean, they seem to (or at least claim to) have gone the full mile with the Rhodes and DX7 sounds.


Yes, because that's the focus of the instrument.

I don't expect Yamaha's latest sound technology to be fully exploited for reproducing acoustic piano sounds until the next series of Clavinova models are launched...because that's the focus of those instruments.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/14/10 05:02 AM

James, this is an interesting point and it was brought up during the discussion about the apparently non-graded action of the CP1 and 5.

I suppose the potential buyer or any interested party can pick up a vibe from what the manufacturer gets out into the public domain. I'm not saying you're wrong but personally I don't get this idea that the acoustic pianos are intended to be secondary to the electro-acoustics and DX-7s. I did with the Nord Electro. I think Clavia were quite explicit, initially calling the AP patches a "bonus".

It's just my impression but I think Yamaha would want us to believe the APs are intrinsic to the purpose of the instrument. I feel the only change of focus is that they have now given EP sounds equal status, which is a first for a Yamaha DP. It would be useful to get an official steer from Yamaha on this. If you are right it would maybe make some sense given the action and the performance in the DPBS test.

Cheers,

Steve
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/14/10 05:11 AM

Steve, you're right, this topic has been discussed at considerable length in the main CP1/CP5/CP50 thread - my apologies, it wasn't my intention to bring it up here.

However, I get the impression that the piano sounds in the CP1, while no doubt excellent, are intended for gigging musicians, not classical pianists.

We did have a couple of Yamaha folks posting here not so long ago, so I expect if they are following this thread (which they surely must be...), they will clarify this point.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: madshi

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/14/10 05:50 AM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
Originally Posted By: madshi
I mean, they seem to (or at least claim to) have gone the full mile with the Rhodes and DX7 sounds.

Yes, because that's the focus of the instrument.

Not sure if I agree with that:

- in the list of patches, APs come first, EPs afterwards
- every CP1/5 material I've seen mentions APs first

Maybe the CP1/5 development team had a different focus, and the marketing department didn't notice, or didn't agree? Of course that's possible. But even then, I still don't really understand the developers. They've reduced the amount of stretching in the CP1/5. Why reducing it? Why not dropping it altogether? Being a (software) developer myself, that doesn't make *ANY* sense to me whatsoever. Obviously they've consciously decided to keep using stretching, but why? Just to save a few pennies (or dollars)? Is that the right approach when talking about an instrument described as:

"The development of the new CP series started with the no-compromise CP1"

Looping and stretching are compromises, based on yesterday's hardware limitations which have long since gone.
Posted by: BazC

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/14/10 06:13 AM

Originally Posted By: madshi
Looping and stretching are compromises, based on yesterday's hardware limitations which have long since gone.


I think there's a tendency on this forum to get overly analytical, how much stretching, looping and how many velocity layers are used are ultimately irrelevant. What really matters is how an instrument sounds and all reports I've heard say the Cp1/5/50 sound fantastic!
Posted by: madshi

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/14/10 07:25 AM

Originally Posted By: BazC
Originally Posted By: madshi
Looping and stretching are compromises, based on yesterday's hardware limitations which have long since gone.

I think there's a tendency on this forum to get overly analytical

You can always "review" something based on technical facts and based on subjective impression. I believe both types of reviews are important and have their place.

Originally Posted By: BazC
how much stretching, looping and how many velocity layers are used are ultimately irrelevant. What really matters is how an instrument sounds and all reports I've heard say the Cp1/5/50 sound fantastic!

"Sound fanstatic" compared to what? Compared to other DPs (all of which are also looping)?

The point is: Even if the CP1/5 "sound fantastic", they would sound even better if neither stretching nor looping was used. Nobody in his right mind could refute that. The only question is: How big would the difference be? Maybe it would be small enough to not matter. But who knows...

Is it not disappointing to you that the "no-compromise" advertized CP1 uses significant technical compromises for AP reproduction which could have been avoided rather easily?
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/14/10 10:40 AM

madshi, keep it up! You are very eloquently saying everything I've been thinking.

PC pianos have run half-way around the world while DPs are putting their shoes on.

Our next DP may be a Roland. They claim the SuperNATURAL piano has no looping, stretching, or velocity stepping, and Roland is pretty up-front about the size of the bulk sample memory. Now if I could only get my hands on a DPBSD sample of it...
Posted by: madshi

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/14/10 12:02 PM

@dewster,

yeah, I'd also love to see SuperNATURAL tested. Also Roland RD700GX (pre SuperNATURAL), Kawai CA93 and Yamaha Avant Grand would be quite interesting... smile

BTW, Roland claims they used V-Piano technology to implement velocity steps and decay-tone-change. I wonder if their SuperNATURAL really uses full sampling, or whether they use their old "short" sampling data with just some more processing on top?

@James, would there be any chance for some Kawai test MP3s from you?
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/14/10 12:07 PM

While I'm wishing for MP3s, does anyone own a Limex Vienna Grand Piano rack unit? If so, I'd be very grateful for samples of:

2 Grand Piano - lineare Verteilung der 7 Layer
3 Grand Piano - Klassik

They sound really nice in the demos over there. Interesting product.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/14/10 12:54 PM

Originally Posted By: madshi
I'd also love to see SuperNATURAL tested. Also Roland RD700GX (pre SuperNATURAL)

Isn't the "Superior Grand" patch the same in the GX and SX? If so, that's already been reviewed. Unfortunately not very superior IMO.

What are they going to call these patches when they finally hit on one that is actually any good?

"Superior Grand - trust us, it really sounds great this time, honest!"
Posted by: madshi

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/14/10 01:17 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: madshi
I'd also love to see SuperNATURAL tested. Also Roland RD700GX (pre SuperNATURAL)

Isn't the "Superior Grand" patch the same in the GX and SX? If so, that's already been reviewed.

From what I've read around the web, the RD700SX and RD300GX share the same AP sound, but the RD700GX's AP is better.

Edit: The main AP patch on the RD700GX seems to be named "Expressive Grand".

BTW, I've just read that SRX cards usually have only 64MB ROM. Which means that the SuperNATURAL SRX extension card probably doesn't have a "fully" sampled piano. Probably they improved velocity and decay purely through added processing...
Posted by: BazC

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/14/10 02:26 PM

Originally Posted By: madshi
Is it not disappointing to you that the "no-compromise" advertized CP1 uses significant technical compromises for AP reproduction which could have been avoided rather easily


Nope! I don't care if they're using the latest and greatest sampling and modelling technology or clockwork and talented hamsters! As long as they play and sound great!

Dr.Popper and others have tried these pianos and said how impressed they were, they also said they heard no stretching or looping. What does it matter if it's there if you can't hear it?

I'm certainly not going condemn them for using old technology until I've had the chance to try them for myself!
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/14/10 02:36 PM

Originally Posted By: BazC

Nope! I don't care if they're using the latest and greatest sampling and modelling technology or clockwork and talented hamsters! As long as they play and sound great!

Dr.Popper and others have tried these pianos and said how impressed they were, they also said they heard no stretching or looping. What does it matter if it's there if you can't hear it?

I'm certainly not going condemn them for using old technology until I've had the chance to try them for myself!


Finally, a voice of reason! GIANT +1
Posted by: daviel

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/14/10 03:17 PM

very well put, sir!
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/14/10 03:38 PM

I have to agree with BazC and the above posters.

I get all kinds of compliments from other piano players on the sound quality of my lowly little P-85.

Got another great compliment today from the bass player at our jam session...he thought the P-85 cost at least $2000...quite shocked when I told him the price.

I have several friends that managed to get a CP-1...not one of them said anything but high praise for the acoustic piano sounds, not to mention the fine EP's as well.

Detailed, perhaps even obsessive (well we all know he is wink ), analysis is fine...but it is only one aspect, and there are many other things that influence us when we purchase an instrument.

I think Dewster should reserve his personal comments about any of these tested pianos, no matter what make or model, until he has actually spent some time playing them.

JMO,

Snazzy
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/14/10 04:43 PM

I thought reserving personal opinions (regardless of their origin) was a part of my ex-communist country's history smile Dewster is perfectly right for himself and he is perfectly free to express his opinions here. It's your right to ignore those opinions or argue them in the context they are presented (in this case the context is a very systematical analysis of digital piano recordings). Suggestions he should reserve his personal opinions seems to be a little bit intolerant towards people who have systematic and demanding nature of scientific type.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/14/10 04:45 PM

And sorry for my obviously stupid English frown
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/14/10 05:04 PM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
Dewster is perfectly right for himself and he is perfectly free to express his opinions here.


Yes, that's true, and I'm perfectly right, for myself, in voicing my opinion that he should reserve personal judgements, on pianos he has not played.

I think you are using an out of context example to pass judgement on my statements...we weren't discussing your ex-communist county's history, were we?

You are the intolerant one...you obviously can't tolerate me making my opinion about Dewster...otherwise we wouldn't be having this conversation now, would we?

Snazzy
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/14/10 05:25 PM

I can see both sides. He (Dewster) may not have played certain pianos but he has exposed some of the engineering behind the products and offers an opinion based on that. Fair enough. Subjectively listening to the instruments (or preferably playing them) gives another kind of insight.

I've found the CP1 to sound very promising on the mp3s in the public domain but I would have to admit to being slightly disappointed following the DPBS test. I mean, it's like lifting the bonnet on a Rolls Royce and finding a Ford engine. And I know you could say that it wouldn't matter as long as the car drove well and I do understand that but from an engineering standpoint it would be, I don't know, incongruous to say the least.

Steve
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/14/10 05:31 PM

Whatever...

I know I'm finished with this thread/topic, until I've played the CP-1/CP-5 for myself.

Snazzy
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/14/10 05:47 PM

Originally Posted By: BazC
Nope! I don't care if they're using the latest and greatest sampling and modelling technology or clockwork and talented hamsters! As long as they play and sound great!

Ok, hamsters, fine, whatever - it's when those hamsters start cranking out audible looping that I care.

Originally Posted By: BazC
Dr.Popper and others have tried these pianos and said how impressed they were, they also said they heard no stretching or looping. What does it matter if it's there if you can't hear it?

Have you even listened to the MP3? I can hear looping pretty clearly on C4.

Originally Posted By: BazC
I'm certainly not going condemn them for using old technology until I've had the chance to try them for myself!

There's positively, absolutely, definitely more to a DP than just sound, but this thread is devoted to technical aspects of sound generation. If anyone wants to make a thread devoted to keyboard feel, keyboard/sound connection, stage performance, etc. then knock yourself out. Just don't get mad at me for not including such things here.

I did say it sounded pretty fantastic. For a DP. But I think this is a bit of "kill the messenger". I didn't design the thing, I'm just trying to report on some technical aspects of the sound as accurately as I can. I also have subjective opinions about how those various things strike me, which is not a crime.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/14/10 06:00 PM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
I've found the CP1 to sound very promising on the mp3s in the public domain but I would have to admit to being slightly disappointed following the DPBS test. I mean, it's like lifting the bonnet on a Rolls Royce and finding a Ford engine.

This was my experience exactly. I really like the sound of the CP1 when playing various pieces on the web, but the DPBSD exposed some rather painful aspects that I personally find problematic. Believe me, for all my ragging on Yamaha, I really wanted to like the CPs. I went out of my way to do the analysis as fairly as I could.

Everyone is free to listen to and analyze the MP3 and post what they think here. This is an open forum, and I hope others will take on some of the analysis, even if only to counter my findings in some way. For instance, looping is often difficult to ascertain on the lowest notes, and stretching is usually difficult to determine at the high end.

If anyone here really likes the latest CPs, by all means buy one, I won't think any less of you - not that that should even matter. We're all adults here, we should all be able to make up our own minds about such things.
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/14/10 08:21 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster


Believe me, for all my ragging on Yamaha, I really wanted to like the CPs. I went out of my way to do the analysis as fairly as I could.


I don't believe that you have. You have designed a test suitable for some aspects of a sampled instrument. However, the CP1 is sampled + modeling. You've ignored or discounted the modeled aspects which contribute to the whole package. You've ignored or discounted the interaction of those two elements. You've possibly influenced some to no longer even consider the CP1 / CP5 / CP50. I don't think that that is fair to a brand new product offering.

Originally Posted By: dewster

If anyone here really likes the latest CPs, by all means buy one, I won't think any less of you - not that that should even matter.


Wow. Glad to have your permission. Now I can go ahead and purchase a CP1. Oh, wait. I already did.

I've got pretty good ears, actually very good ears, and I'm a very successful musician. In other words, I can actually play the instruments I buy, and make money doing it.

I've felt rather insulted by my latest acquisition - CP1 - being panned (to use polite language) without all of the AP features / technology being considered. It's a hybrid, for God's sake. It's unfair to ignore the the modeled aspects, and their interpolation with the sampled.

OK. Now that I've gotten that out of my system. I too am out of this thread.
Posted by: jmmec

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/14/10 10:15 PM

Wowsers....

dewster, you're an amazing fellow. I'll send you an HP-307 sample once it arrives in a few weeks (unless someone else beats me to it). I want the honest truth, insofar as your test is able to reveal. smile
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 01:09 AM

Some people seem to be really pissed off by this technical test... They just ignore the fact which dewster clearly stated, that this test is just an indication, but never a real sound quality test.

Anyway, I'll send dewster the CA-63 MP3 (which is soundwise identical to the CA-93) as soon as possible. The only thing I'm waiting for is the announced firmware update so that the sound sample represents the current improvements.

Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 01:18 AM

I got my CP1 today... I would state that to my ears there is no audible stretching or looping on this board when I'm playing it. I do not care what any software analysis says about this board I think that this is the second best acoustic sound on a DP I've ever heard (the first isn't even released yet) I trust my ears far more then I trust anything else and the CP1 gets a big thumbs up from me. Ivory II sounds synthetic by comparison and the Roland "Supernatural" kit is a totally different tonality to the CP1/5/50 and cannot compare. Mind you I consider the S6 piano patch in the s90Xs to be completely adequate for nearly every piano piece I need to play. The CP1/5/50 is if anything ...overkill in sound quality for a stage piano. Its more then you will ever need.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 01:31 AM

Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
Whatever...

I know I'm finished with this thread/topic, until I've played the CP-1/CP-5 for myself.

Snazzy



The denial or avoidance of disconfirming evidence is a common ego defense mechanism associated with the experience of cognitive dissonance felt as emotions arising from the anxiety otherwise known as decision regret or buyer's remorse. YMMV.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 02:56 AM

In my opinion, dewster's test is similar to that of a performance benchmark for computers.

In such benchmark tests my little netbook scores rather poorly when compared to a top of the range desktop PC. Yet it still allows me to happily browse the PianoWorld forums, watch clips on YouTube, and check my email etc.

Similarly, a P85 may score rather poorly when compared to a multi-gigabyte VST such as Ivory, however I'm sure it's perfectly fine for most individuals - regardless of their playing ability.

Benchmarks are fun for geeks, but they simply do not tell the full story.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 03:03 AM

Good point. And a painful reminder that Pianoteq 3.5 will not run on my notebook...

From what I can tell, no one is making the argument that the DP BSD project is telling " the whole story "; that is simply a straw man of your own fabrication.

If something is " perfectly fine " depends of course on what each individual's expectations are.

I, for one, would have very high expectations on both noticeable sound quality / controllability and on improved supporting technology if I were being asked to spend many thousands of dollars on a CP1 versus a P-85. I am sure that I am not alone.

Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 04:55 AM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James


Benchmarks are fun for geeks, but they simply do not tell the full story.

Cheers,
James
x


Perhaps James, but there may be quite a few geeky individuals new to digital pianos and perhaps looking for an instrument, that might be stupid enough to believe a test that might possibly be inaccurate, and done by only one individual using samples that may or may not be even be from the instrument stated.

Maybe you and I might not choose or decide to pass on an instrument (or a laptop) based on an alleged "benchmark" test, but maybe there are people who might be interested in a Kawai or Roland, who might look elsewhere because of such posted findings or they may even pass on this information to their friends.

It's one thing to say we may or may not like a particular sound or piano based on our own criteria, but to post a test who's raw material may or may not even be from the instrument in question, on a public forum, is, in my opinion, more than a tad risky.

No doubt Dewster thinks he's doing everyone a service, but I'm afraid that sometimes even a well intentioned action can turn around and bite that person in the ass.

My withdrawal (finally) from this thread has more to do with not wanting to encourage and/or support this alleged "benchmark" test, than it has to do with any slight I may feel about a favored instrument or manufacturer...I've always bought what works for my needs, regardless of the name on the panel and certainly not based on an amateur tester's results and/or opinions.

But, as I said in my post's opening paragraph, there may be some who take these tests quite seriously, and if for some reason, this alleged "benchmark" test is found to have serious mistakes, the integrity of this forum may suffer.

Some test results from this thread have already been posted on another forum, so it's already starting to spread.

That's all from me...I've said what I needed to say, and it is my own opinion.

I'm staying out of this from now on.

Snazzy
Posted by: madshi

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 05:31 AM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
In my opinion, dewster's test is similar to that of a performance benchmark for computers.

In such benchmark tests my little netbook scores rather poorly when compared to a top of the range desktop PC. Yet it still allows me to happily browse the PianoWorld forums, watch clips on YouTube, and check my email etc.

Similarly, a P85 may score rather poorly when compared to a multi-gigabyte VST such as Ivory, however I'm sure it's perfectly fine for most individuals - regardless of their playing ability.

Benchmarks are fun for geeks, but they simply do not tell the full story.

I fully agree that benchmarks alone can't be used to judge an instrument. In the same way engine/car measurements alone can't be used to judge a car. CPU speed alone can't be used to judge a PC. And brightness and contrast measurements alone can't be used to judge a beamer.

But still, if I do buy a new car, I sure as hell want to know *before* the purchase, how the engine performs. If I buy a PC, I definitely want to know how fast the CPU is. And if I buy a beamer, I want to know how bright and contrasty it is. DON'T YOU ALL, GUYS?

This thread was only ever meant to reveal some aspects of the underlying technology of current DPs. If some of you guys (not you, James) misunderstood the purpose of this thread to be more than that, then I think that's a simple misinterpretation of this thread's purpose.

@dewster, maybe you could put a disclaimer on the first post of this thread, explaining the purpose (and the limits!) of these tests?

Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
Perhaps James, but there may be quite a few geeky individuals new to digital pianos and perhaps looking for an instrument, that might be stupid enough to believe a test that might possibly be inaccurate, and done by only one individual using samples that may or may not be even be from the instrument stated.

So because some people new to DPs might misinterpret the test results to mean more than they do, we should stop doing technical analysis? Is that what you're saying? That's a weird point of view IMHO... Instead let's be more constructive: Your worries might be (partly) justified, so let's try to make the purpose and limits of this thread more clear. But there's no reason to avoid doing technical analysis, just because some people might misinterpret it!

As for the test being possibly inaccurate and dony by only one person: The MP3s are publically available. If you want to refute the accurateness of the tests, you are *very* welcome to double check!!

As for the samples maybe not being from the right instrument: The CP1 sample comes from Lawrence (dewster said that and Lawrence - who also participated in this thread - didn't refute, so I take that as sufficiently proven). So let me ask: Why would you doubt Lawrence's CP1 sample? And if you do, why did I not see you post doubts when Lawrence posted his personal CP1 preview?

FWIW, personally, I find this thread very informative and I hope it will continue. I planned to buy a CP5, and I may still do so. I will also test play Kawai and Roland DPs to find the best action and sound for my taste. The DP BSD tests will not be the one and only factor that decides my purchase (far from it), but I do find the tests very useful as an additional source of information, which is not available anywhere else.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 06:15 AM

I agree with madshi totally. To even put forward the whiff of possibility that the instruments assessed may not actually be the instruments they are claimed to be casts the most serious doubt over Dewster's integrity and that is a shameful thing to do without evidence. And ridiculous bearing in mind the mp3s are available to anyone In Dewster's shared folder.

And Lawrence has also withdrawn because he doesn't like the message of the thread. We all want our choices to be reinforced by positive opinion from others, this is human nature. But Lawrence, if you are still reading, is what Dewster has done really any different to your constant criticism of the V-Piano's midrange? (not that I think you were being unreasonable in any way by airing your opinion (which I agree with to some extent)). I agree with your point that there may be other considerations with the CP1 with the interaction of the new sample replay system they are using and some of the modelled elements that Dewster's test does not examine. But the test is just one way of assessing certain aspects of a DP. Would you be taking your bat home had the test shown the CP1 in a good light?

I'm looking forward to trying the CP1 and 5 and do expect to be impressed but Dewster has revealed they are using note stretching! I mean, come on...2010 on a flagship instrument and they are using note-stretching...regardless of what else Yamaha's technology offers, this is disappointing in my view. Wouldn't be a deal-breaker for me but leaves a slightly bad taste in the mouth in a four-and-a-half-grand DP.

Steve
Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 06:38 AM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace


but Dewster has revealed they are using note stretching!
Steve


He hasn't revealed anything at all.

The only place you will hear any note stretching or looping when playing a CP1 is in your imagination.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 06:54 AM

Ok well that's what his test results say. Would I be right in thinking Yamaha have given you a CP1 or at least given you very favourable terms? If I remember rightly you were getting a 5 as well and had pre-release access to these instruments. Just how impartial would you claim to be? What is your side of the deal? That you shout from the rooftops on forums about how good these pianos are?
Posted by: BazC

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 07:00 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Just don't get mad at me for not including such things here.........But I think this is a bit of "kill the messenger".


Huh!? I'm not angry and I'm not trying to kill any messengers or anybody else for that matter, just offering an alternative viewpoint! Actually I was really reacting to Madshi's post about stretching in the CP1/5. I'm guessing that if Yamaha are including stretching and looping in their flagship stage piano it's probably for a good reason, not because of ignorance, laziness or greed. You may well believe differently as is your right.

I'm going to wait until I can get my sweaty little paws on one before I cast judgement and since the only people I know of that have actually played the thing have raved about it I'm guessing I'll probably quite like it! wink
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 07:18 AM

Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
Originally Posted By: EssBrace


but Dewster has revealed they are using note stretching!
Steve


He hasn't revealed anything at all.

The only place you will hear any note stretching or looping when playing a CP1 is in your imagination.


This is also an excellent point.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
Humans hear in their brain and if our brain doesn't register the difference, then the question is if the difference is important. After all, a good part of playing the piano well is knowing how to take advantage of human's hearing deficiencies and using techniques to give the illusion of a singing tone.

If the player or audience or recording engineer can't hear it and they all agree that it sounds good, then the underlying technology and sound wave patterns may be moot.

On the other hand, whether or not we are consciously aware of a sound wave that is inferior in its behavior does not mean that our unconscious is not affected by it.

Kids can watch cheap Chinese cartoons with jumpy coarse animation frames and still get into the story; they can listen to super compressed Mp3's and still enjoy the music. As fewer and fewer grow up experiencing high fidelity, fewer will demand it.
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 07:22 AM

I still don't see the point. Pianoteq is completely virtual modeling, but I don't like the sound signature at all. Even Truepianos is (in my ears!) way better just because of the sound signature. Same applies to my CA-63. From a technical point of view I'm sure that Pianoteq will "outperform" CA-63, but still I like the sound signature better. Am I going to condemn dewster because of what he might reveal? Most probably not... wink
Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 07:44 AM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Ok well that's what his test results say. Would I be right in thinking Yamaha have given you a CP1 or at least given you very favourable terms? If I remember rightly you were getting a 5 as well and had pre-release access to these instruments. Just how impartial would you claim to be? What is your side of the deal? That you shout from the rooftops on forums about how good these pianos are?


I'm completely impartial I am by no means tied to Yamaha.
I have Roland boards, I have Yamaha boards, I have Kurzweil and Korg boards too. I do not get a different or better deal from Yamaha then I would get from any other manufacturer. The test prove nothing the only proof is in the playing...... and the CP1 has no stretching or looping when played. It might show it on technical software but that's not a real world situation the fact is you can't hear any and that's all that counts.
Posted by: madshi

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 07:49 AM

Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
The only place you will hear any note stretching or looping when playing a CP1 is in your imagination.

I do believe to hear a small change of tone after every some notes in the lower parts of the chromatic passage in the CP1 MP3. Is it my imagination? I don't think so, but who knows for sure... crazy

Roland says this:

"The decaying sound of an acoustic piano not only decreases in volume, but also gradually changes in color to a softer tone."

You can't reproduce this with looping - unless you post process the data to make the looped samples appear softer over time. I guess that Roland is doing exactly that with their SuperNATURAL implementation (because I don't think that full length samples fit on an SRX card). Does Yamaha do that, too? @dewster, would you see such a post processing in your pan/spectral view?
Posted by: Paul_S

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 08:25 AM

hmmm Being a computer geek myself I am reminded of the time when nVidia was found to be cheating in the popular 3DMark benchmark test. People were upset because they felt mislead by nVidia because it would perform better in benchmarks then the competition. However the counter argument was it was simply a benchmark and not indicative of game performance which is the only thing that matters of course because you are not playing a benchmark.

This benchmark is simply a good way to determine on a strictly technical level how a digital piano performs compared to another digital piano. Just like in video card benchmarks just because you cannot see the difference between 150fps and 180fps does not make the results useless.

So thanks dewster for taking on this task and please don't be dissuaded.
Posted by: Colleen_500

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 08:36 AM

Originally Posted By: madshi




So because some people new to DPs might misinterpret the test results to mean more than they do, we should stop doing technical analysis? Is that what you're saying? That's a weird point of view IMHO... Instead let's be more constructive: Your worries might be (partly) justified, so let's try to make the purpose and limits of this thread more clear. But there's no reason to avoid doing technical analysis, just because some people might misinterpret it!

As for the test being possibly inaccurate and dony by only one person: The MP3s are publically available. If you want to refute the accurateness of the tests, you are *very* welcome to double check!!

As for the samples maybe not being from the right instrument: The CP1 sample comes from Lawrence (dewster said that and Lawrence - who also participated in this thread - didn't refute, so I take that as sufficiently proven). So let me ask: Why would you doubt Lawrence's CP1 sample?


Hi Madshi,

This test is generally at the first part of the opening page, so it will be viewed by many newcomers, including my students.

I know Pete (Snazzy) well enough to trust his integrity, but I believe where he is coming from is that someone could easily upload a sample from a different instrument than stated.

I did not see Pete make any reference to Lawrence's CP-1 sample, nor did he single out any others; he just made a point that the tests could easily be bogus, if an individual wanted it that way.

Dewster is merely the tester; how does he know that every sample MP3 is from what the donor says it is?

I believe that Pete's concerns are more than "(partly) justified", and if we all go blindly into totally trusting the accuracy of the results, we may lose out on a perfectly nice piano.

Sometimes planting the seeds of sonic artifacts that appear in the bogus sample, can make an unskilled listener hear them in the actual piano, sort of the "power of suggestion".

I'm certainly not proposing that the testing be stopped or be totally not trusted, but we should at least recognize the possibility of errors, in the way the test is carried out.

I guess what I am trying to say, is that for this analysis to be entirely accurate, the tester alone should be recording the MP3's of each tested piano, using the same equipment for gathering each sample, and while this doesn't wholly eliminate the possibility the tester could be biased (which I doubt, as Dewster seems to have no allegiance to any company) it would give the results far more consistency.

Since the above is not realistic, the tests as they are will have to suffice; but I will be taking Pete's statements into consideration, and hopefully, you and others will as well.

Best regards,

Colleen
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 08:48 AM

Originally Posted By: Colleen_500

Dewster is merely the tester; how does he know that every sample MP3 is from what the donor says it is?

I believe that Pete's concerns are more than "(partly) justified", and if we all go blindly into totally trusting the accuracy of the results, we may lose out on a perfectly nice piano.
...
I'm certainly not proposing that the testing be stopped or be totally not trusted, but we should at least recognize the possibility of errors, in the way the test is carried out.
...
Since the above is not realistic, the tests as they are will have to suffice; but I will be taking Pete's statements into consideration, and hopefully, you and others will as well.

Best regards,

Colleen


Well, as far as that goes, anyone who takes the advice or observations of anonymous people posting anonymously behind cutesy avatars on a public forum that exists primarily for its entertainment value as being more important than their own shopping, auditioning and due diligence probably deserves to miss out on a good piano.
Posted by: Colleen_500

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 09:00 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney



Well, as far as that goes, anyone who takes the advice or observations of anonymous people posting anonymously behind cutesy avatars on a public forum that exists primarily for its entertainment value as being more important than their own shopping, auditioning and due diligence probably deserves to miss out on a good piano.


Thank you. That was exactly my point, although I do find some of your posts rather informative as well as entertaining.

Regards,

Colleen
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 09:05 AM

There have been lots of great input in this thread.

Ah, I ought to perhaps point out that I too consider myself a digital piano geek - and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that! wink

I believe I mentioned this point a little while ago, however a few months ago I was chatting to a Yamaha DP engineer about sampling, and why even the top-end Clavinovas and stage pianos didn't utilise 88-key sampling. He argued that 88-key sampling (i.e. not stretching samples over multiple keys) wasn't the most efficient way of capturing an acoustic piano, and that devoting more memory to longer samples (and thus reduced looping) results in greater authenticity.

Interesting - he really got me thinking.

Indeed, I wonder what other forum users would prefer?

88-key sampling, with no note stretching but maximum 4 second samples, or
44-key sampling, with 2 note stretching, but maximum 8 second samples.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: madshi

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 09:13 AM

@Colleen_500,

I totally welcome any constructive suggestions, and I think (hope) dewster will, as well.

You're right, there is a chance that someone uploads an incorrect MP3 to make a competitor look bad. But the buzz on the last few pages was about the CP1 BSD "review". And, given the circumstances, IMHO that MP3 is unlikely to be incorrect. Anyway. What can we do? I don't think dewster will have a reasonable chance to create test MP3s for all DPs on the market. Maybe a workaround would be to ask for MP3 uploads for each DP from two different people, where at least one must be a long time forum member? As long as these requirements are not met, the "BSD review" could be classified as "preliminary / not confirmed yet".

Thoughts?

P.S: How difficult would it be to setup a mobile DP BSD test environment? With such a mobile test lab (ideally just a good notebook with some USB devices?) one could go into a DP should and simply run the DP BSD test on all DPs in the shop!
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 09:16 AM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James



He argued that 88-key sampling (i.e. not stretching samples over multiple keys) wasn't the most efficient way of capturing an acoustic piano, and that devoting more memory to longer samples (and thus reduced looping) results in greater authenticity.

Interesting - he really got me thinking.

Indeed, I wonder what other forum users would prefer?

88-key sampling, with no note stretching but maximum 4 second samples, or
44-key sampling, with 2 note stretching, but maximum 8 second samples.

Cheers,
James
x


Your post really does have me thinking, James, and to get this out of the way at the very first, may I ask what type of sampling Kawai uses?

Snazzy
Posted by: madshi

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 09:25 AM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
I believe I mentioned this point a little while ago, however a few months ago I was chatting to a Yamaha DP engineer about sampling, and why even the top-end Clavinovas and stage pianos didn't utilise 88-key sampling. He argued that 88-key sampling (i.e. not stretching samples over multiple keys) wasn't the most efficient way of capturing an acoustic piano, and that devoting more memory to longer samples (and thus reduced looping) results in greater authenticity.

Interesting! What I'd really like to know is what stops him from going 88-key sampling *and* using longer samples on top of that? I mean why does he seem to be concerned about using memory efficiently? Memory prices have fallen so much! They still do, every year...

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
Indeed, I wonder what other forum users would prefer?

88-key sampling, with no note stretching but maximum 4 second samples, or
44-key sampling, with 2 note stretching, but maximum 8 second samples.

I don't want to choose. I want it all. 88-key sampling and full length samples. And I'm willing to pay a premium, if that's necessary.

Anyway, if we *have* to choose, then probably an intelligent method is the way to go. No stretching for mid range, some stretching for bottom/top, just like the CP1 seems to do. But still, I don't like the whole idea of compromising.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 09:28 AM

snazzy, modern KAWAI DPs (all models released since the ES6, with the exception of the EP3) feature 88-key sampling.

As do most, if not all, Roland DPs.

However, I'm afraid I honestly don't know the average length of the samples before looping - I suspect it varies depending on the region of the keyboard being sampled/played back.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 09:31 AM

madshi, yes, in an ideal world, we would have full 88-key sampling and long, long samples.

However, for one reason or another this is not economically viable, hence the need for a compromise between the two.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 09:41 AM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
snazzy, modern KAWAI DPs (all models released since the ES6, with the exception of the EP3) feature 88-key sampling.

x


That's what I figured you would say.

Thanks,

Snazzy
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 09:54 AM

snazzy, I can fully understand why you'd be cynical.

However believe it or not, in raising this question, I'm not terribly concerned by the particular sampling method employed by any specific DP manufacturer. Instead, I'm just trying to stimulate a debate among other forum members examining how limited sample memory resources can be allocated.

Cheers,
James
x

Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 09:56 AM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
snazzy, I can fully understand why you'd be cynical.


I'm glad you understand, James.

Thanks once again.

Snazzy
Posted by: Colleen_500

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 11:08 AM

Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
snazzy, modern KAWAI DPs (all models released since the ES6, with the exception of the EP3) feature 88-key sampling.

x


That's what I figured you would say.

Thanks,

Snazzy


Ha Ha! Hey Snazzy, I thought you were finished with this thread?


Best regards,

Colleen
Posted by: BazC

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 11:28 AM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
Indeed, I wonder what other forum users would prefer?

88-key sampling, with no note stretching but maximum 4 second samples, or
44-key sampling, with 2 note stretching, but maximum 8 second samples.


Well I don't have a massive amount of experience with DPs but I can tell you that I hear stretching and looping on my SP200, the looping really doesn't bother me in fact it reminds me of the beating you'd hear on a not perfectly tuned acoustic.

On the other hand the stretching does annoy me, you get a block of notes all sounding the same then a sudden change in timbre on the next block.

So my gut feeling is that looping is better than stretching but I'm sure it depends on how well it's implemented.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 11:50 AM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
He argued that 88-key sampling (i.e. not stretching samples over multiple keys) wasn't the most efficient way of capturing an acoustic piano, and that devoting more memory to longer samples (and thus reduced looping) results in greater authenticity.

If this was indeed the only option, I'd definitely take the longer sample. Sample stretching is not nearly as destructive to the basic sting tone as looping (provided stretching isn't overly abused).

But these either/or scenarios strike me as missing the whole point of Flash being very inexpensive. Five years ago you could float a better small ROM defense, but these days it should be laughed out of the room.

Lets take this a bit farther. For the price of the glowing CP1 logo you could probably quadruple the sample memory, which would eliminate stretching and perhaps double all of the sample lengths. You can guess which one I would prefer.

Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 12:07 PM

dewster, wasn't there some discussion in a previous thread regarding the suitability for standard 'flash' memory to store samples? I forget the exact argument - perhaps something along the lines of latency or access time/transfer speed required for real time playback.

However, regardless of the type of memory used, I agree that increasing the amount of memory capacity is a rather more sensible use of resources than a sexy light-up logo.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Colleen_500

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 12:09 PM

Originally Posted By: madshi
@Colleen_500,

I totally welcome any constructive suggestions, and I think (hope) dewster will, as well.

But the buzz on the last few pages was about the CP1 BSD "review". And, given the circumstances, IMHO that MP3 is unlikely to be incorrect. Anyway. What can we do? I don't think dewster will have a reasonable chance to create test MP3s for all DPs on the market. Maybe a workaround would be to ask for MP3 uploads for each DP from two different people, where at least one must be a long time forum member? As long as these requirements are not met, the "BSD review" could be classified as "preliminary / not confirmed yet".

Thoughts?

P.S: How difficult would it be to setup a mobile DP BSD test environment? With such a mobile test lab (ideally just a good notebook with some USB devices?) one could go into a DP should and simply run the DP BSD test on all DPs in the shop!


Hi Madshi,

Don't misunderstand me, I think the test is great; it also keeps Dewster busy, for I have a feeling he is more of a spec man than an avid player.

The impression I got from Snazzy was that he felt there were too many opportunities for the test to be rigged or flawed for anyone to really base any actual faith in it; I can see where he is coming from, but I also see the value in some sort of analysis.

Snazzy tends to be very passionate about his beliefs, and whilst I do not share them all, he certainly has both the playing credentials and real world experience to back up what he says.

My thoughts? Unless Dewster can do the tests hands on with each piano, they will always be at best "mostly" reliable; I just feel like several others, that the more "spec-minded" individuals would take away more than they should from the reviews, and not even try a particular instrument that would, if they actually sat down and played it, be chosen over a more highly spec'd and perhaps more expensive instrument.

One thing I do before I buy, is simply go to the local shop and have a conversation with the repair department guy, and find out the frequency of repairs on certain brands and models; the guy I deal with is readily forthcoming with what instruments are problematic, as long as the information remains between us.

I think Dewster would be the ideal person to develop a mobile tester; he's got the know how and the passion for details.

Whether he feels it's worth his time or not is another matter.

Best regards,

Colleen
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 12:24 PM

Ha!

Snazzy's had more comebacks than Frank Sinatra.

Steve
Posted by: Colleen_500

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 12:36 PM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James

However, regardless of the type of memory used, I agree that increasing the amount of memory capacity is a rather more sensible use of resources than a sexy light-up logo.

Cheers,
James
x


You guys are missing the point. Style is equally as important for stage image as having a great sound.

I doubt if the home pianos will carry the cool logo, but you can bet they will have the same internal workings(with the exception of the un-graded keyboard).

In another thread there was a discussion on the look (or lack of look) of the CP-300.

Companies who realize their pianos will be played in front of an audience that may contain budding keyboardists, realize the "look of cool" is important, and an integral part of promotion and ultimately, more sales.

You should be very much aware of that, James, considering your position with Kawai.

Perhaps the very conservative company prefers the Kawai-it look. Ha Ha.

Regardless of the company, the main focus is sales and profit; if they can get away with making something that sounds better than the competition with the least amount investment in R&D and completely new (and expensive) technology, they will make every effort to do so, and thus please the shareholders and remain in business.

Regards,

Colleen
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 01:44 PM

At the risk of stepping on another landmine, I would like to say that I was actually pulling my punches somewhat in the CP1 review, and for the following reasons:

1. Believe it or not, I don't generally like being the bearer of bad news. Lawrence was kind enough to provide the sample, and I didn't want him to think for one second that I was ripping his new DP to shreds just for fun.

2. I have a history of disliking the flurry of hype and fog of confusing technical terms surrounding the CP1 launch, and I didn't want my review to appear as something of a revenge tactic or sour grapes.

3. While the looping is probably the best I've heard, I was quite shocked at the short sample lengths, the stretching of the lower octaves, the relative shortness of the note decays, and the typically poor sympathetic resonance. So I erred on the side of caution in an attempt to offset any bias introduced by my shock.


Would I buy one of the newest CPs? Probably not for our home studio. Everyone here knows I'm rather picky when it comes to sound, and the CFIII sample doesn't meet my minimal requirements. IMHO, YMMV, the opinions of this poster may not reflect the general consensus view, etc. <insert beating a dead horse icon here>

Would I recommend others buy them? Preliminary indications suggest the CP50 will be sufficiently better than the P-155 to warrant steering people who are in the market for a ~$1500 USD DP in that direction. But I guess we'll see, and I look forward to trying them out when they hit the local stores.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 02:06 PM

Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
It's one thing to say we may or may not like a particular sound or piano based on our own criteria, but to post a test who's raw material may or may not even be from the instrument in question, on a public forum, is, in my opinion, more than a tad risky.

Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
But, as I said in my post's opening paragraph, there may be some who take these tests quite seriously, and if for some reason, this alleged "benchmark" test is found to have serious mistakes, the integrity of this forum may suffer.

This is why we can't have nice things.
Posted by: Colleen_500

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 02:21 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster


Would I buy one of the newest CPs? Probably not for our home studio. Everyone here knows I'm rather picky when it comes to sound, and the CFIII sample doesn't meet my minimal requirements. IMHO, YMMV, the opinions of this poster may not reflect the general consensus view, etc. <insert beating a dead horse icon here>



Dewster, dear, you poor man; you are so picky you quite probably won't buy a new piano until Snazzy's best friend Nyiregynazi puts his Blather up for sale, and buys himself an Avant Grand.

Having said that, I'm aware that Lawrence is happily enjoying his new CP-1, unlike many of us who only wish we could afford one.

Personally, I have to say I base my purchase on the actual playing experience, with some knowledge of specs, but not so much that it influences me to distraction.

I really can't imagine you being satisfied with anything being made today, and I am really glad I don't have that problem; no, my final choice may not have mind-blowing specifications and totally perfect replication, but at least I will totally enjoy the digital piano for what it is; a genuinely versatile musical instrument in it's own right.

Perfect? No. Perfect for Colleen? You bet.

By the way, you have my thanks for doing such a bang up job on the testing, even with all it's potential flaws, it is the best we've had here so far.

Best regards,

Colleen
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 03:13 PM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
dewster, wasn't there some discussion in a previous thread regarding the suitability for standard 'flash' memory to store samples? I forget the exact argument - perhaps something along the lines of latency or access time/transfer speed required for real time playback.

Indeed.
Posted by: kiedysktos.

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 03:44 PM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
However, regardless of the type of memory used, I agree that increasing the amount of memory capacity is a rather more sensible use of resources than a sexy light-up logo.

Hahah! Exactly.

I don't know modern Rolands, but older ones had problems with short sample length (and fast decay), so 88 key sampling doesn't help that much.
In fact, my big question is: are "they" try to make us all fools and purposely make the technical development slower that it can be? I think, that in some aspects, yes. It's easier to make great sounding 50 sample piano than 88; many don't hear difference, so producers save their money.

But anyway, recordings of CP-1 sound great smile maybe worth about half it's price, but still impressing.
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 04:16 PM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Ha!

Snazzy's had more comebacks than Frank Sinatra.

Steve


I.......[sings in his best Sinatra impersonation] did it myyyyy waaaaaay. cool

Scoo-be-doo-bee-doo!
Posted by: sdw91

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 04:27 PM

I just uploaded a recording of my trusty old P-80:

http://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0BwW0oJqG...M3&hl=en_GB

Hope I did it right!

I've been thinking about replacing it for a while, but not found anything I like much better yet, which probably says more about my hearing than anything.

Cheers, Steve
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 04:35 PM

Yamaha CP1 CFIII Analysis Pix

Just thought people might like to see this, so we can all hallucinate together.

Open them in a new window to see them full size, or check them out at MediaFire.


The above is a spectral phase view of the note C4. Actual sample ~2 seconds, obvious visual looping after that.


The above is a spectral pan view of the note C5. Actual sample ~1.8 seconds, obvious visual looping after that.


The above is a spectral pan view of the lowest notes. Obvious note stretching, both visually and audibly.


The above is a spectral phase view of the highest notes. Obvious visual note stretching.


The above is a spectral phase view of the layer test. There appears to be a layer switch at the cursor, and another 4 steps in from the right side of the screen (I believe I can hear the highest one).


The above is a spectral pan view of the layer test. There appears to be a layer switch at the cursor.

So three layer switches implies a 4 layer sample. The layer blend is very smooth so the layer count is a bit of an educated guess.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 04:41 PM

Originally Posted By: sdw91
I just uploaded a recording of my trusty old P-80

Steve, the noise floor is really high (-45dB) so it isn't the best in terms of listening, but I can see things like looping and stretching. Should I proceed, or do you want to give it another go?
Posted by: sdw91

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 05:33 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: sdw91
I just uploaded a recording of my trusty old P-80

Steve, the noise floor is really high (-45dB) so it isn't the best in terms of listening, but I can see things like looping and stretching. Should I proceed, or do you want to give it another go?


Ah, I think I've got the line in volume too high on the Mac, as I had to turn the volume on the P-80 quite low to stop any clipping. I'll swap them round, and try again!
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 05:36 PM

Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
The only place you will hear any note stretching or looping when playing a CP1 is in your imagination.

I think I need to officially label the DPBSD test a "song" so people will stop saying this.

In the DPBSD "song" played on the CP1, I can clearly hear looping, stretching, and perhaps a velocity layer switch. With poor sympathetic resonance on top. If it can happen in my "song" it can possibly happen in other, real songs.

1990 called. They want their lame sample compression techniques back.
Posted by: sdw91

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 06:15 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: sdw91
I just uploaded a recording of my trusty old P-80

Steve, the noise floor is really high (-45dB) so it isn't the best in terms of listening, but I can see things like looping and stretching. Should I proceed, or do you want to give it another go?


Ok hopefully this is a bit better:
https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0BwW0oJq...Ez&hl=en_GB
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/15/10 06:33 PM

Originally Posted By: sdw91
Ok hopefully this is a bit better

Much better! Noise floor @ -57dB (lowest theoretical is approx. 16 bits x 6 dB/bit = -96dB). What's your setup, and which patch is this?
Posted by: Richard Stark

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 02:09 AM

Thanks dewster for all your work with the analysis. smile

I do not see the problem with looping though. To me it seems to be imitating the decay of a real piano good enough. Can you make a comparable graph with your Young Chang playing the same note?
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 02:25 AM

Originally Posted By: Richard Stark
Thanks dewster for all your work with the analysis. smile

I do not see the problem with looping though. To me it seems to be imitating the decay of a real piano good enough. Can you make a comparable graph with your Young Chang playing the same note?


Excellent idea. Let's get some acoustic pianos into the comparison.
Posted by: sdw91

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 03:58 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: sdw91
Ok hopefully this is a bit better

Much better! Noise floor @ -57dB (lowest theoretical is approx. 16 bits x 6 dB/bit = -96dB). What's your setup, and which patch is this?


Great, that was with the default "Grand Piano", and now I realise it would also have had (my) default reverb setting of "Hall 2", which I should have turned off.

I'll do another one tonight, with no reverb!

I recorded it via the L/R RCA outputs to the line in on my MacBook, using Audacity, and its built in mp3 export (which uses Lame)
Posted by: kiedysktos.

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 11:00 AM

Dewster, thanks for your explanations, these layers and stretching are surprisingly very clear to notice.

And real grand piano would be great for comparison.
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 11:39 AM

@dewster,

finally I've made it to record my KAWAI CA-63 (sound is also identical to KAWAI CA-93).

You'll find the file here:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/wnyzmd2hyqw/KAWAI_CA_63.mp3

Thanks in advance for you analysis!
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 11:52 AM


Warning! Anyone who believes technical analysis of DP output is meaningless, or believes that I believe the DPBSD is the ultimate test of a DP, or believes the analysis files are fake or doctored in some way, or for whatever reason can't handle the truth, is strongly cautioned to avoid reading this post.

Originally Posted By: Richard Stark
I do not see the problem with looping though. To me it seems to be imitating the decay of a real piano good enough. Can you make a comparable graph with your Young Chang playing the same note?

I don't have a laptop anymore so it's difficult at this point for me to record our piano upstairs. Fortunately, I do have the VintAudio sample of a real C7 handy, so I'll use that for comparison purposes here.

To make the spectral plots clearer, I applied a 10:1 compressor to the notes, then normalized the peak to -1 dB. Any "hash" you see towards the end of the note decay is due to degrading SNR (rise of the noise floor with decreasing signal due to the applied heavy compression). I do wish Audition had some way to make the spectral graphs clearer without doing this, as it would make my job of analysis much easier.


VintAudio spectral phase view of C4 note.


CP1 spectral phase view of C4 note. Cursor at looping point.


VintAudio spectral pan view of C5 note.


CP1 spectral pan view of C5 note. Cursor at looping point.

If you look closely at the time axis in the displays you will notice that they are very close to the same for both the VintAudio and CP1 note samples. So you can easily see that the CP1 decay is noticeably faster, though presumably you can adjust that. It would probably make the looping more audible though. As I've said before, I've come to see fast decay as a way to hide looping, and therefore see it as a negative thing. Unnaturally fast decay also sounds fake to my ears.

Posted by: BazC

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 12:20 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Warning! Anyone who believes technical analysis of DP output is meaningless, or believes that I believe the DPBSD is the ultimate test of a DP, or believes the analysis files are fake or doctored in some way, or for whatever reason can't handle the truth, is strongly cautioned to avoid reading this post.


My we're getting touchy aren't we!? wink For the record I don't think your tests are meaningless I just don't think it's a good way to judge a musical instrument.

Interesting to see the differences between DPs and APs though!

Can you show the same thing for Pianoteq? I'd be fascinated to see how a fully modelled piano looks.
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 12:32 PM

Originally Posted By: sdw91
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: sdw91
Ok hopefully this is a bit better

Much better! Noise floor @ -57dB (lowest theoretical is approx. 16 bits x 6 dB/bit = -96dB). What's your setup, and which patch is this?


Great, that was with the default "Grand Piano", and now I realise it would also have had (my) default reverb setting of "Hall 2", which I should have turned off.

I'll do another one tonight, with no reverb!

I recorded it via the L/R RCA outputs to the line in on my MacBook, using Audacity, and its built in mp3 export (which uses Lame)


You can get slightly better results recording in Garage Band using 24-bit input and export modes. And then the MP3 encoding can use the Fraunhofer encoder which (as much as a like open sourse) is much better than Lame. Lame has to work around to many of Fraunhofer's patents but Apple includes the the Fraunhofer encoder so take advantage of it.
Posted by: Colleen_500

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 12:33 PM

These tests are very interesting, Dewster, but not as compelling as Lawrence's and Dr.Popper's reviews of the CP-1.

So significant that I ordered a CP-1 this morning, as did one of my students.

I think Yamaha has a winner on it's hands with this instrument; I know I trust Lawrence's(Melodialworks) and Dr.Popper's real world, hands on experiences far more than putting any real confidence in a bunch of tests.

These guys are pros in every sense of the word.

All in all, it still comes down to what is important in an instrument, and it's much easier, and far safer, to take the word of respected and talented players, than it is to look at squiggly lines on a screen.

Soul can't be analysed with a computer.

Best regards,

Colleen

PS. My thanks to Lawrence and Dr.Popper, and to you as well, Dewster.
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 12:43 PM

Originally Posted By: BazC
Originally Posted By: dewster
Warning! Anyone who believes technical analysis of DP output is meaningless, or believes that I believe the DPBSD is the ultimate test of a DP, or believes the analysis files are fake or doctored in some way, or for whatever reason can't handle the truth, is strongly cautioned to avoid reading this post.


My we're getting touchy aren't we!? wink For the record I don't think your tests are meaningless I just don't think it's a good way to judge a musical instrument.



It's called "overcompensation"...and you're right, the tests aren't meaningless...a little tedious, maybe, but ultimately the instrument, and the DP is an instrument in it's own right, will have a hit or miss based on how it feels, sounds, and how it responds to player input.

I like Colleen's remark..."Soul can't be analysed with a computer."

That about sums it up for me too.

Snazzy
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 12:51 PM

Colleen,

You've ordered a CP1 because Dr Popper and Lawrence like it? Would I be right to assume you haven't played one yourself? If so I really hope it works out for you...The CP1 does sound very very good from what little is available at the moment but even so, to buy just on the recommendation of others is a big leap of faith.

When do you expect to get it? Let us know what you think when it comes.

Best wishes,

Steve
Posted by: zaba19

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 12:57 PM

I have uploaded a recording of Roland HP-307. The input level wasn't great, I hope normalization didn't screw anything.
http://www.mediafire.com/?2mwkmyhrzny
Posted by: Richard Stark

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 12:58 PM

Thanks dewster! cool

Now I know the difference and understand a little more about your talk about loooping. The real piano seems to have a very complex decay compared to the digital one.

You have to be very clear and basic about the technical parts, because spectral analysis is not the usual occupation for most of us. crazy
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 01:17 PM

The more I read from several people like Colleen_500 here how deficient, inaccurate and even biased and manipulative this test appears to them (especially those who like the CP-1) this all evokes an uneasy feeling in me. There is no need for test bashing at all! We all have now understood your reservations. Let's move on! Colleen_500, it's great to hear that you are now ordering a CP-1 just because of the word of someone else you trust. I would never buy a DP without playing it for an extended period of time. Never.

I think we all have understood that you don't trust this test, so please... let us techie geeks just compare the test results to see what (maybe not completely accurate) technology, sampling length etc. lies behind the different models, and you can discuss the (never heard it but I trust you) great sounding quality of CP-1 and others at another thread. I would of course then join you there, without even mentioning this thread...
Posted by: Colleen_500

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 01:21 PM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Colleen,

You've ordered a CP1 because Dr Popper and Lawrence like it? Would I be right to assume you haven't played one yourself? If so I really hope it works out for you...The CP1 does sound very very good from what little is available at the moment but even so, to buy just on the recommendation of others is a big leap of faith.

When do you expect to get it? Let us know what you think when it comes.

Best wishes,

Steve


Hi Steve,

Yes I have ordered one; actually, the store is bringing in two anyway. I'm not committed to buy, and neither is my student.

I have correspondence with several other users who aren't on this forum, and they confirm what Lawrence and Dr. Popper have been saying as well.

These players are also professionals.

I haven't heard one bad comment; not one.

Remember, "Piano World" is not the end all be all for finding out an instrument's performance or potential.

So, it is not as much as a "leap of faith", but rather, I would consider it as a much more informed, and confident, move.

Have you played one yet?

The instruments are back-ordered; I suspect it's because they are quite popular.

Best regards,

Colleen
Posted by: Colleen_500

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 01:38 PM

Originally Posted By: kawaian

I think we all have understood that you don't trust this test, so please... let us techie geeks just compare the test results to see what (maybe not completely accurate) technology, sampling length etc. lies behind the different models, and you can discuss the (never heard it but I trust you) great sounding quality of CP-1 and others at another thread. I would of course then join you there, without even mentioning this thread...



Pardon me? I'm not stopping you geeks from comparing test results.

If you can question my motives for trusting the word of respected professional people, it shouldn't bother you if I question the integrity of a test that can have errors, bias, or both.

Just skip my posts if you don't like them. Start another thread if you feel like it.

Last time I looked we all have a say in any topic.

Regards,

Colleen
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 01:48 PM

Yes I agree, those that have played the CP1 seem universally impressed. I'd love to try one but would probably have to travel a couple of hours in the car to find one.

Like I said, let us know what you think when you try the one the shop is ordering...maybe put something on the other thread specifically about the new Yamaha stage pianos.

The next big deal is going to be a proper comparison between the CP1 and 5...on the face of it the 5 appears to offer better value.

Cheers,

Steve
Posted by: Colleen_500

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 02:41 PM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace



The next big deal is going to be a proper comparison between the CP1 and 5...on the face of it the 5 appears to offer better value.

Cheers,

Steve


Hi Steve,

I will post my impression as soon as possible.

I'm more interested in the CP-1 for it's acoustic piano, and equally as much, the Rhodes emulations.

I play an old Fender Rhodes at church, and it's action is very uneven and the whole instrument itself needs a lot of work, new hammer tips, and perhaps an overhaul of the action.

I don't need organ sounds, as I have a Hammond A-100, so the wooden ungraded action of the CP-1 will be perfect for my style, plus I can adjust the sounds to my liking.

The Rhodes I'm presently playing is too bell-like in the top octaves, and is using the old style tone-bars, so being able to adjust with the CP-1 will be nice; also the DX Electric piano will be very nice for slow pieces.

I think they will probably bring in CP-5's when available.

If the CP-1 doesn't quite meet my conditions, I'm also going to look at the RD-series with the added Supernatural piano card.

I'll be looking forward to your impressions of the CP-1 as well.

Best regards,

Colleen
Posted by: Peakly

CP1 Los Angeles area - 02/16/10 04:04 PM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Yes I agree, those that have played the CP1 seem universally impressed.


Does anyone know where a CP1 can be played in the Los Angeles area? I keep thinking there's got to be one available to try around here, but I haven't been able to find one yet.

Mychal
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 04:11 PM

Originally Posted By: kawaian
finally I've made it to record my KAWAI CA-63 (sound is also identical to KAWAI CA-93).

Thanks very much for the file kawaian!

This DP has nice things going for it. I couldn't see much in the way of stretching, and couldn't hear it at all as it was only on some of the upper notes.

Layer blending is also very well done.

Looping and sample length are about par for the course, and note decay is a bit fast, though there is some quantization noise in the sample that keeps me from hearing everything going on near the noise floor (most likely introduced during the DPBSD recording process, and probably not something the DP itself is doing).

--------------
- Kawai CA63 -
--------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_kawai_ca63.mp3
PROS:
- Large dynamic range (~51dB, vel=1:127).
- Looping is fairly well done.
- No audible sample stretching.
- Stretch distances: 1(x72),2,4,2,1,1,2,2,1,1 = 81 groups.
- This is a very smoothly blended multi-velocity layer sample set.
- There are three semi-visible velocity switches @ vel=46,78,124 (4 layer?).
- Responds to partial pedaling.
CONS:
- Looped, though not too badly done.
- Samples lengths are (C2:C9) 3,3.3,2,1.6,1.7,1.6,1.3,0.6 seconds.
- Note decay rather short (~1/2 Pianoteq).
- One velocity layer switch is fairly audible (timbre change) @ vel=124.
- No obvious pedal up/down or key up samples.
- No obvious sympathetic resonance.
OTHER:
- MP3 levels very good: peak @ -3dB, noise floor @ -78dB.
- Some "mosquito noise" at noise floor - quantization noise?
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-16

Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 04:18 PM

That's interesting Dewster as I think I remember that Kawai claims to use 88 note sampling on the CA-63 and CA-93. How clear is the stretching from your analysis?

Best wishes,

Steve
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 04:35 PM

I haven't seen such blatant tag teaming among friends and meaningless statements like those shown on this thread since the old PSS threads on the acoustic forum!

Great stuff. Truly entertaining.

" I don't trust data or my own fingers and ears; I blindly copy the behavior of those I see as authorities because it is easier and safer! "

" I ordered one and so did my student." But (later:) "we are not committed to buy as the store was getting two anyway!"

" Soul can't be analyzed by a computer with its squiggly lines. If the facts don't look good, trash the facts! "
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 04:36 PM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
That's interesting Dewster as I think I remember that Kawai claims to use 88 note sampling on the CA-63 and CA-93. How clear is the stretching from your analysis?

I wasn't aware of their claim, but here is the spectral view of what I'm calling the 2,4,2 stretch groups on the CA-63:


The 2 group on the right might or might not be a real one, but the 2 group on the left and 4 group in the middle look pretty definite. I will say in my defense that it gets very difficult to see or hear these things on the upper end of the keyboard. I could be entirely wrong, but that's what it looks like to me. It isn't audible (to me).
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 04:42 PM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace

The next big deal is going to be a proper comparison between the CP1 and 5...on the face of it the 5 appears to offer better value.

Cheers,

Steve


I'd say the CP-5 would be the best deal for stage use if you only want to bring one keyboard....I want strings, organ, brass and clavinet sounds.

Won't see a CP-5 for a bit yet.

Snazzy
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 04:42 PM

Well the spectral view certainly shows something quite definite, I agree. On the other hand, if you can't hear it chances are no one else would!

Cheers,

Steve
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 04:43 PM

End of March did I read? It does appear to be the sweet spot in the range.

Steve
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 04:46 PM

Originally Posted By: theJourney


I don't trust data or my own fingers and ears; I blindly copy the behavior of those I see as authorities because it is easier and safer!



Gee, Joe...you and Colleen think the same. wink

How sweet.

You getting a CP-1 too?

Good luck...they're scarce.

Snazzy
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 04:56 PM

They are a mass-produced consumer product with less than revolutionary technology made by a huge Japanese conglomerate out of perhaps a hundred dollars of plastic and silicon.

The only scarcity that matters is the scarcity of people willing and able to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars for a digital stage piano that is most noteworthy to date for its ho hum trade show demos, team cheers on forums, slick marketing brochures and a massive dim-able product logo on the back. Yee hah!
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 05:01 PM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
End of March did I read? It does appear to be the sweet spot in the range.

Steve


It's the new un-graded wood keyboard that I'm very interested in, otherwise the CP-50 might be pretty good for gigging and/or home play.

The CP-5 and CP-50 also have the same display but the CP-5 has balanced outs like the CP-1.

End of March appears to be right.

Snazzy
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 05:05 PM

dewster, yes the CA93/CA63 utilise 88-key sampling (as do all other KAWAI DPs released since the ES6).

I too would be interested to see your spectral analysis of the top notes from a purely modelled source (V-Piano, Pianoteq). Perhaps note stretching would still be visible (as in your CA63 analysis), despite the fact that this is obviously not the case.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: sdw91

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 05:09 PM

I recorded the P-80 again, this time with reverb off:

https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0BwW0oJq...M2&hl=en_GB
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 05:09 PM

Originally Posted By: theJourney


They are a mass-produced consumer product with less than revolutionary technology made by a huge Japanese conglomerate out of perhaps a hundred dollars of plastic and silicon.

The only scarcity that matters is the scarcity of people willing and able to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars for a digital stage piano that is most noteworthy to date for its ho hum trade show demos, team cheers on forums, slick marketing brochures and a massive dim-able product logo on the back. Yee hah!



Sounds right up your alley. Joe.

You could also get the logo put on your big hat. wink

Snazzy
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 05:16 PM

I love this place. wink

James
x
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 05:19 PM

One big happy dysfunctional family. wink

Snazzy
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 05:21 PM

Originally Posted By: madshi
@dewster, maybe you could put a disclaimer on the first post of this thread, explaining the purpose (and the limits!) of these tests?

Like you, I've been disclaimering my ass off throughout this entire thread. I was seriously considering writing a script or something that would automatically insert IMO at the end of every one of my sentences. But implementing Operation Ignore changed all that.
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 05:24 PM

@dewster, thanks for the analysis of CA-63! Some comments:

the mosquito Noise might be due to the fact that I did an MP3 compression two Times which is not really a good thing to do. I recorded the sample directly on a USB stick using the internal Recording functionality of the DP. Unfortunately wav Recording was not possible, it always led to jumps and crackles in the Recording (another flaw of CA-63). So I imported the MP3 into audacity and normalized the file since it was quite low volume and then recompressed it.

Interesting that there is no obvious resonace... This was activated and clearly audible. Maybe when playing something through external MIDI still deactivates any resonance effects? Okay, another flaw! There are plenty of (rather small) defects that should be resolved in future Firmware releases. The Recording function is very sluggish and regurlaly freezed the DP so that I needed to reset the DP... Need to talk to KAWAI James soon!
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 05:37 PM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
...a massive dim-able product logo on the back.

I was seriously considering the CP1 until I found out the massive dim-able product logo on the back only has three levels of illumination. At that price-point I expect at least four levels. Yamaha blew it right there IMO.
Posted by: bitWrangler

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 05:38 PM

Sorry if this has been addressed earlier (didn't feel like looking through all 9 pages) and I'm a bit late to the party here, but has anyone (dewster) compared a raw wav to the corresponding mp3 to make sure that the encoding itself isn't introducing artifacts that are then being measured. I would think for this to really be useful, everyone would use raw wav's thereby eliminating the quality of the encoding codec if this is to be something truly scientific or analytic.

Like I said, if this has already been addressed just point me to the post(s) and I'll shut up smile
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 05:46 PM

Originally Posted By: kawaian
Unfortunately wav Recording was not possible, it always led to jumps and crackles in the Recording (another flaw of CA-63).


Maybe your memory stick is to slow to keep up.
You might try using a card reader and high speed SD card or even maybe a USB hard drive.

To record a wav file the DP must send about 180,000 bytes per second to the memory stick. That does not sound like much but some of those memory sticks are very low performance devices.
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 05:52 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: theJourney
...a massive dim-able product logo on the back.

I was seriously considering the CP1 until I found out the massive dim-able product logo on the back only has three levels of illumination. At that price-point I expect at least four levels. Yamaha blew it right there IMO.


And you say you aren't biased in these tests...

So much for legitimacy.

Snazzy
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 05:53 PM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
dewster, yes the CA93/CA63 utilise 88-key sampling (as do all other KAWAI DPs released since the ES6).

I too would be interested to see your spectral analysis of the top notes from a purely modelled source (V-Piano, Pianoteq). Perhaps note stretching would still be visible (as in your CA63 analysis), despite the fact that this is obviously not the case.

I don't think a modeled piano would be the best point of comparison. The modeling algorithm may have step points or look-up tables, the result of which could mimic the spectral "finger printing" of sample stretching. Better to use a 100% guaranteed unstretched real piano sample instead.

When I see very little note stretching in a DP, particularly when it is confined to the upper end of the keyboard, my inclination is to believe that the actual piano itself had some less-than-perfect sounding notes, and stretching in that case to remove them is more of a blessing than a curse. This is of course pure conjecture on my part, but it does make a certain amount of sense.

I'd be very interested in any comments from your engineers James.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 05:56 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
I was seriously considering the CP1 until I found out the massive dim-able product logo on the back only has three levels of illumination. At that price-point I expect at least four levels. Yamaha blew it right there IMO.

That was sarcasm, BTW. Guess I should have used a smiley or something. It's getting so you have to explain even feeble attempts at humor to death around here.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 05:59 PM

Dewster: Please consider expanding your test to include repitition rates of the actions. To do this properly I guess you'd need a pretty sophisticated device that could strike the keys with a variable rate. (and probably variable velocity and variable strike depth as well)

One thing I'm interested in is whether any high end pianos WITHOUT triple-sensors can outperform something like a Casio PX-130, which is very low cost, but yet does have a triple-sensor action, for example.

So get onto this ASAP please - chop chop.... ;^)


Greg.
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 05:59 PM

Originally Posted By: bitWrangler
...has anyone (dewster) compared a raw wav to the corresponding mp3 to make sure that the encoding itself isn't introducing artifacts that are then being measured...


Good point.

If this where a purely listening test I'd say it does not matter. But seeing as the test is analytic, it might.

For example does the MP3 encoding process preserve phase information at all frequencies? Is amplitude quantitization uniform across all frequencies? MP3 is designed to preserve only what the human ears would notice and remove the rest.

Perhap MP3 encoding artifacts could explain the apearence of note stretching inthe upper regiters of the new Kawai. The MP3 encoder simply removed whatever made the notes different. Certainly the MP3 encoder effects the noise floor (All compression introduces noise)
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 06:01 PM

Originally Posted By: kawaian
the mosquito Noise might be due to the fact that I did an MP3 compression two Times which is not really a good thing to do.

If you want to post the original MP3 I'll take a listen to that too.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 06:03 PM

Originally Posted By: sullivang
Dewster: Please consider expanding your test to include repitition rates of the actions.

You want the keyboard testing department, that's down the hall.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 06:14 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster

You want the keyboard testing department, that's down the hall.


Thanks - I found the right department: ;^)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muCPjK4nGY4
(warning: off topic. This is the "speaking piano" clip - looks like they definitely have the right kind of hardware to do the reptition test, though!)

Greg.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 06:26 PM

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
Originally Posted By: bitWrangler
...has anyone (dewster) compared a raw wav to the corresponding mp3 to make sure that the encoding itself isn't introducing artifacts that are then being measured...

If this where a purely listening test I'd say it does not matter. But seeing as the test is analytic, it might.

For example does the MP3 encoding process preserve phase information at all frequencies? Is amplitude quantitization uniform across all frequencies? MP3 is designed to preserve only what the human ears would notice and remove the rest.

Yes, I agree, good point. I did actually wonder about this myself. But most DP compression artifacting is so crude it is clearly audible, and this correlates pretty well with what I am seeing in the MP3s. I also think a WAV file would be rather onerous for people to transfer and store, so if MP3s are sufficient, then they have a clear advantage there.

I will analyze a WAV file source and an MP3 generated from it to see if it makes any difference and report back.
Posted by: bitWrangler

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 06:36 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
Originally Posted By: bitWrangler
...has anyone (dewster) compared a raw wav to the corresponding mp3 to make sure that the encoding itself isn't introducing artifacts that are then being measured...

If this where a purely listening test I'd say it does not matter. But seeing as the test is analytic, it might.

For example does the MP3 encoding process preserve phase information at all frequencies? Is amplitude quantitization uniform across all frequencies? MP3 is designed to preserve only what the human ears would notice and remove the rest.

Yes, I agree, good point. I did actually wonder about this myself. But most DP compression artifacting is so crude it is clearly audible, and this correlates pretty well with what I am seeing in the MP3s. I also think a WAV file would be rather onerous for people to transfer and store, so if MP3s are sufficient, then they have a clear advantage there.

I will analyze a WAV file source and an MP3 generated from it to see if it makes any difference and report back.


Chris, one (potential) major issue is that there really is no standard for the actual lossy compression part of the mpeg3 "standard", so in theory seeing the varying "quality" on these graphs could be at least in part related to different codecs being used. From a practical standpoint, this may not be an issue if there is general industry adoption of a few (or one) codec, but I don't know if this is the case. And to answer your question, I believe that the quantization values vary depending on frequency (and even then isn't necessarily constant for a given frequency, you can also look for the presence of other frequencies at a given point and assign bits as necessary).

dewster, I understand that it is far easier and faster to upload mp3's, but if there are artifacts being introduced by the compression, then a significant part of what you are attempting to do may be rendered moot. Better to get this part squared away regardless of any implications to convenience.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 06:51 PM

Originally Posted By: zaba19
I have uploaded a recording of Roland HP-307. The input level wasn't great, I hope normalization didn't screw anything.
http://www.mediafire.com/?2mwkmyhrzny

Wow, another 2010 flagship, thanks loads!

Your file is quite something. It's hard to tell what's going on in there. I think I can hear something like looping, but not quite, and it isn't obvious in the spectral views. This won't be a quick or easy review, I'll have to devote some time to it.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 06:58 PM

kawaian, this thread perhaps isn't the best place to discuss these points. However, since you have raised the matter, please allow me to respond.

Quote:
the mosquito Noise might be due to the fact that I did an MP3 compression two Times which is not really a good thing to do. I recorded the sample directly on a USB stick using the internal Recording functionality of the DP.


I do not believe the CA93/CA63 currently allows MIDI files stored on USB memory to be loaded into memory, played back, and simultaneously resaved as WAV/MP3 audio files. Therefore am I correct in assuming that you used a computer to play back the MIDI file?

Quote:
Unfortunately wav Recording was not possible, it always led to jumps and crackles in the Recording (another flaw of CA-63).


As ChrisA correctly notes, if the CA93/CA63 is able to record to MP3 without any problems, but WAV files result in pops and crackles, it's most likely that the transfer speed of your USB stick is too slow. This point is highlighted in the 'Troubleshooting' table on page pp.82 of the owner's manual:

The file transfer speed of the USB memory device may be too slow to
play the audio file. Please try using a different USB memory device,
ensuring that it conforms to USB2.0 Hi-Speed standards.


Quote:
The Recording function is very sluggish and regurlaly freezed the DP so that I needed to reset the DP...


Again, this is likely due to a slow USB stick.

Quote:
Need to talk to KAWAI James soon!


Indeed, please feel free to send me a message.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 07:03 PM

Originally Posted By: sdw91
I recorded the P-80 again, this time with reverb off

Thanks! I probably get to it tomorrow.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 07:25 PM

Originally Posted By: bitWrangler
dewster, I understand that it is far easier and faster to upload mp3's, but if there are artifacts being introduced by the compression, then a significant part of what you are attempting to do may be rendered moot. Better to get this part squared away regardless of any implications to convenience.

There's a lot more to it than simple convenience. As I said above, what I see in the MP3 files correlates closely to what I can hear, so I've come to trust it to some degree. And many of these things are very clear, both audibly and visually, so there is no way I'm hearing things or hallucinating with those. The Kawai CA-63 stretching issue is near the limits of what I'm comfortable including in a review, and KAWAI James' feedback there could be very helpful in resolving that one way or another.

And as I said above I will do an in-depth comparison to see how a WAV and MP3 from the same source compare, though you may want to do this experiment yourself. Over at the Adobe site you can register for free and then download a free 30 day demo of Audition. Please don't take my word for anything, that's not what this is about at all. If you do get Audition installed, please download some of the MP3s and see how your analysis compares to mine - I'd be glad to have some feedback, even if it is negative.

Anyone here done graduate work in psycho-acoustics or audio compression want to chime in? I don't want this effort to boil down to whether people trust me or my expertise (such as it is) or not.
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 07:30 PM

Quote:
I have uploaded a recording of Roland HP-307...

...It's hard to tell what's going on in there.


A read an interview with one of the Roland engineers. This has before Supernatural had been applied to acoustic pianos but he describe the process as sample based but something different from what Yamaha and other do. They have multiple channels of samples for each note and what we hear is the weighted sum of the channels where the sums are envelopes.

Some channels might contain overtones and others a fundamental. some channels might be note stretched and others not. Some may be seconds long and some only contain note attack. And then they say the sample is really a composite from several acoustic instruments. But then when I read this they were doing drums and brass instruments, not ACs and they said the method differers for each instrument.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 07:32 PM

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
A read an interview with one of the Roland engineers.

Any link to that interview? I'd really like to read it.
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 07:49 PM

Originally Posted By: sullivang
Dewster: Please consider expanding your test to include repitition rates of the actions. To do this properly I guess you'd need a pretty sophisticated device that could strike the keys with a variable rate...


For that you don't need a robot. Even an unskilled beginner pianist can bang on one key fast (using both #2 fingers alternating) while recording to a MIDI file. do that for 15 seconds and vary the rate randomly then look at the file to see the closest notes. If the key is played to fast it simply will not record. So examine the midi file later to find the threshold of recording.

I suspect it will be years, if ever before I can over play my keyboard.

What is the typical fastest repeat rate on a grand piano?
Posted by: Zinfan

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 07:51 PM

I'd be curious to see the BSD file run through a CP-1 Electric Piano not an AP. Aren't the EP's fully modeled in the CP-1 while the AP's are sampled with modeled effects added on? Not sure what might come of such a test or if the BSD file is only relevant to AP's.


edited for speeling.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 09:26 PM

Chris,
Yes, the method you describe would be pretty good, but I would still prefer a mechanical device to do the test, to eliminate the human factor. For example, how would we know for sure that the person who did the test was lifting their fingers up far enough for the keyboard to register it? When I do the two-finger test with my keyboard, it is difficult to get a consistent behaviour. I can sometimes get a short burst of rapidly repeated notes, but then it will stop. This may be my fault, but it could also be the keyboard, to some extent.

By your own admission, you are not good enough to test your own keyboard. ;^) (yes, I realise that if your keyboard is behaving as fast as, or even faster, than a good grand piano, then the fact that you can't reach it's limit is mostly academic)

I don't know what the repitition rate of a grand piano is - good question.

Greg.
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 10:13 PM

Originally Posted By: sullivang
Chris,
Yes, the method you describe would be pretty good, but I would still prefer a mechanical device to do the test, to eliminate the human factor. For example, how would we know for sure that the person who did the test was lifting their fingers up far enough for the keyboard to register it? When I do the two-finger test with my keyboard, it is difficult to get a consistent behaviour. I can sometimes get a short burst of rapidly repeated notes, but then it will stop. This may be my fault, but it could also be the keyboard, to some extent.

By your own admission, you are not good enough to test your own keyboard. ;^) (yes, I realise that if your keyboard is behaving as fast as, or even faster, than a good grand piano, then the fact that you can't reach it's limit is mostly academic)

I don't know what the repitition rate of a grand piano is - good question.

Greg.


My point was that it does not matter how fast you bang on the keys or if you even know how fast you are banging on the keys all you have to do is randomly drift the banging speed to both faster and slower than the DP's threshold. Then examine the MIDI file to find the threshold Find the minimum space between two notes that is statistically repeatable and the reciprocal of the space is the repeat rate. I don't think you have to control the keyboard technique.

You say some time the string of notes stop and some times you get a short burst. You'd expect it to stop if you play to fast. Artificial "impossibly fast" short burst are also a failure mode when over driven. Look for the place where a histogram falls off a cliff. I think a good statistical analysis is cheaper than building a robot.

The way these key sensors work is with a timer. They measure the time between two points and assume this is proportional to velocity.

But I think for 90% of us this is moot.
Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/16/10 11:31 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: dewster
I was seriously considering the CP1 until I found out the massive dim-able product logo on the back only has three levels of illumination. At that price-point I expect at least four levels. Yamaha blew it right there IMO.

That was sarcasm, BTW. Guess I should have used a smiley or something. It's getting so you have to explain even feeble attempts at humor to death around here.


No you don't I thought it was funny ... you are beginning to remind me of Geoffry Rush in Quill's .....
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 12:04 AM

Chris,
I understood what you meant completely. My point is that I am not certain that all of us can reliably strike the keyboard fast enough, and consistently enough, to produce a quality measurement. I am also not confident that the keyboard will cease "repeating" in a reliable fashion. I.e - as the repetition rate is approached, I think the keyboard will start to behave a bit erratically. (I think my keyboard does, but I can't prove it). If we use a precise mechanism to do the repetition, that eliminates the human error. If we had the hardware, we could gradually increase the rate, and we could find the threshold at which the action starts to become erratic, and then keep increasing the rate to see where it stops completely, for example.

For your keyboard, you have admitted that you can't strike it fast enough to reach the keyboard's limit, so you simply cannot measure your keyboard's repetition rate. For you, it is COMPLETELY academic, of course, but others may want to know what your keyboard is capable of - not what YOU are capable of. ;^)

I think it would be a very interesting test. For example, if the RD700GX, which has a high quality action, but without the triple sensors, can repeat faster than a Casio PX-130, which does have three sensors, I'd be very very interested to know that.

Greg.
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 01:52 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: kawaian
the mosquito Noise might be due to the fact that I did an MP3 compression two Times which is not really a good thing to do.

If you want to post the original MP3 I'll take a listen to that too.


@dewster, thanks, here's the original file directly recorded with CA-63:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/rhuwxhnz32i/KAWAI_CA_63_ORG.MP3

But I will redo this anyway, once I have the firmware update, and I'll try to also get the sympathetic resonance included somehow since this is a very important part of the beautiful sound of the new CA models.
Posted by: zaba19

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 03:08 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Your file is quite something. It's hard to tell what's going on in there. I think I can hear something like looping, but not quite, and it isn't obvious in the spectral views. This won't be a quick or easy review, I'll have to devote some time to it.


Your observation seems to be very much like my first impression. On my previous HP-3e I was hearing loops all the time. When I first tried HP-307 at store I was overwhelmed by the difference. One of the things I was trying to figure out was if there's audible looping or not and I couldn't really tell what Im hearing.
The samples or whatnot were really convincing and keyboard years ahead of my former piano so I didn't think long. I refrain from doing any review on the piano because I can't compare it to any other model, not even previous Roland's HP-207.
Im eagerly awaiting your test results smile
Posted by: madshi

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 03:14 AM

Originally Posted By: Colleen_500
These tests are very interesting, Dewster, but not as compelling as Lawrence's and Dr.Popper's reviews of the CP-1.

So significant that I ordered a CP-1 this morning, as did one of my students.

I think Yamaha has a winner on it's hands with this instrument; I know I trust Lawrence's(Melodialworks) and Dr.Popper's real world, hands on experiences far more than putting any real confidence in a bunch of tests.

These guys are pros in every sense of the word.

All in all, it still comes down to what is important in an instrument, and it's much easier, and far safer, to take the word of respected and talented players, than it is to look at squiggly lines on a screen.

IMHO your way to choosing which DP to buy is not very good. When deciding about a new DP purchase, there are 4 possible sources of information:

(1) Marketing material.
(2) Technical analysis (dewster).
(3) Reviews of other players (Dr Popper, Lawrence).
(4) Playing the damn thing yourself, obviously.

In the end (4) should always be the deciding factor. Deciding on (2) alone would be quite stupid. Deciding on (3) alone is IMHO not very clever, either. If you really want to make a clever choice, you should collect all information you can get, weigh them in some way ((4) should have the highest weight by far), and then decide based on that.

What exact purpose do dewster's tests have? Are they intended to make you decide which DP to buy? *Definitely not*. They are intended to cut through the marketing bullshit and give us the information which should have been part of the manufacturer's "technical specification" from the get go.

So what do dewster's tests really say about the CP1? Do they say that it's a bad instrument and nobody should buy it? Nope! They only say that the basic underlying technical implementation of the CP1 is still in some parts similar to most older DPs and not the "no-compromise" approach some of us have been hoping for. But the instrument can still sound and play great! Actually better than most others (since most others share the same limitations). But what dewster's tests clearly show is that the CP1 could have been even better than it actually is. Which also means that there will probably be future DPs which will sound even better (noticeably better) than the CP1. Or to take it directly from the horses mouth:

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
a few months ago I was chatting to a Yamaha DP engineer about sampling, and why even the top-end Clavinovas and stage pianos didn't utilise 88-key sampling. He argued that 88-key sampling (i.e. not stretching samples over multiple keys) wasn't the most efficient way of capturing an acoustic piano, and that devoting more memory to longer samples (and thus reduced looping) results in greater authenticity.

Basically the Yamaha DP engineer said that longer samples result in greater authenticity. But the CP1 does not have longer samples. There you have it.

Again: The CP1 can still be great - compared to most current DPs! But it does use short length samples. So, according to the Yamaha DP engineer, there's still room for greater authenticity.
Posted by: 7even

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 03:41 AM

Originally Posted By: zaba19
Originally Posted By: dewster
Your file is quite something. It's hard to tell what's going on in there. I think I can hear something like looping, but not quite, and it isn't obvious in the spectral views. This won't be a quick or easy review, I'll have to devote some time to it.


Your observation seems to be very much like my first impression. On my previous HP-3e I was hearing loops all the time. When I first tried HP-307 at store I was overwhelmed by the difference. One of the things I was trying to figure out was if there's audible looping or not and I couldn't really tell what Im hearing.
The samples or whatnot were really convincing and keyboard years ahead of my former piano so I didn't think long. I refrain from doing any review on the piano because I can't compare it to any other model, not even previous Roland's HP-207.
Im eagerly awaiting your test results smile


Lucky! I listened to the file, and it sounds amazingly realistic compared to my piano..
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 04:33 AM

One interesting subjective test I would enjoy seeing here on the digital forum as a complement to the very interesting work dewster has been doing for us would be picking a few midi performances, for example from this site: http://www.piano-e-competition.com/ecompetition/midi_2009.asp#T and having them played on the major contenders' standard pre-sets being discussed here on the digital forum and then posted as lossless files for comparison listening by us all :

- Roland SuperNatural Piano
- Kawai Ultra Harmonic Resonance
- Yamaha Spectral Component Modeling
- Yamaha CLP Technology
- Roland VPIANO modeling
- Pianoteq modeling
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 04:40 AM

Originally Posted By: madshi
IMHO your way to choosing which DP to buy is not very good. When deciding about a new DP purchase, there are 4 possible sources of information:

(1) Marketing material.
(2) Technical analysis (dewster).
(3) Reviews of other players (Dr Popper, Lawrence).
(4) Playing the damn thing yourself, obviously.

In the end (4) should always be the deciding factor. Deciding on (2) alone would be quite stupid. Deciding on (3) alone is IMHO not very clever, either. If you really want to make a clever choice, you should collect all information you can get, weigh them in some way ((4) should have the highest weight by far), and then decide based on that.


You could also add a (5) to your list which would be

(5) listening to comparison performances of real music on the instruments.

Admittedly the player experience is very important but for those who would use the digital piano for performance, the actual total sound produced or recorded would also be of prime importance.

Finally, for those of us using a digital as the most authentic (silent) way to prepare to polish and perform pieces on an acoustic piano it is most important that the instrument acts as closely as possible to an ideal acoustic but it is certainly an added benefit if the tone/sound of the piano is also pleasurable to listen to for all those hours.
Posted by: Colleen_500

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 05:00 AM

Originally Posted By: madshi



IMHO your way to choosing which DP to buy is not very good. When deciding about a new DP purchase, there are 4 possible sources of information:

(1) Marketing material.
(2) Technical analysis (dewster).
(3) Reviews of other players (Dr Popper, Lawrence).
(4) Playing the damn thing yourself, obviously.

In the end (4) should always be the deciding factor. Deciding on (2) alone would be quite stupid. Deciding on (3) alone is IMHO not very clever, either. If you really want to make a clever choice, you should collect all information you can get, weigh them in some way ((4) should have the highest weight by far), and then decide based on that.



I believe it would be safe for you to understand, and if you read my posts thoroughly, that I intend to play the damn thing myself before I buy it. I am not committed to buy it if I don't find it suits my purpose.

So, either you aren't very clever, or you seem to think that I am not.

Based on your interpretation of my posts, I'd say the former, is by far, the more likely possibility, and the latter is a mistaken assumption on your part.

Considering the technical analysis is based on dubious quality MP3 recordings, that may or may not be accurate enough, and the possibility of error, either in the material uploaded (we really can't be certain it is from the actual instrument), I'd say, out of the four possible sources of information, #2 is not a source of information in which I would put a lot of credence.

As I said earlier; you can't measure the soul of an instrument with a computer, or, by analysing squiggly lines on a screen that may or may not be displaying accurate data, depending on the quality of the material being investigated. Believe what you want, and so shall I; after all, it is my money.

If given a choice of only two possibilities; #2 and #3, I'd say I'd trust the word of professionals a long way over an amateur doing a technical analysis.

And, in closing this matter between us, let me be clear on another thing; I do not favor Yamaha over another brand. I'm also very interested in instruments by Roland and Nord, and of course, just so you aren't confused again, I intend to play the damned things before I decide to buy. wink

Thank you for your concern.

Best regards,

Colleen
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 05:19 AM

Originally Posted By: Colleen_500
I believe it would be safe for you to understand, and if you read my posts thoroughly, that I intend to play the damn thing myself before I buy it. I am not committed to buy it if I don't find it suits my purpose.

So, either you aren't very clever, or you seem to think that I am not.

Based on your interpretation of my posts, I'd say the former, is by far, the more likely possibility, and the latter is a mistaken assumption on your part.

Considering the technical analysis is based on dubious quality MP3 recordings, that may or may not be accurate enough, and the possibility of error, either in the material uploaded (we really can't be certain it is from the actual instrument), I'd say, out of the four possible sources of information, #2 is not a source of information in which I would put a lot of credence.

As I said earlier; you can't measure the soul of an instrument with a computer, or, by analysing squiggly lines on a screen that may or may not be displaying accurate data, depending on the quality of the material being investigated. Believe what you want, and so shall I; after all, it is my money.

If given a choice of only two possibilities; #2 and #3, I'd say I'd trust the word of professionals a long way over an amateur doing a technical analysis.

And, in closing this matter between us, let me be clear on another thing; I do not favor Yamaha over another brand. I'm also very interested in instruments by Roland and Nord, and of course, just so you aren't confused again, I intend to play the damned things before I decide to buy. wink


Excuse me, there is no room for interpretation of what you said. This is what you said:

Originally Posted By: Colleen_500

These tests are very interesting, Dewster, but not as compelling as Lawrence's and Dr.Popper's reviews of the CP-1.

So significant that I ordered a CP-1 this morning, as did one of my students.

I think Yamaha has a winner on it's hands with this instrument; I know I trust Lawrence's(Melodialworks) and Dr.Popper's real world, hands on experiences far more than putting any real confidence in a bunch of tests.

These guys are pros in every sense of the word.


I think this speaks for itself. If you now state that you've made up your mind and did not order one then okay, that's good, but it's not what you originally stated.

Originally Posted By: Colleen_500

So, either you aren't very clever, or you seem to think that I am not.

Based on your interpretation of my posts, I'd say the former, is by far, the more likely possibility, and the latter is a mistaken assumption on your part.


This is by no way acceptable and just plain offending... You should really think about the style of your discussion. As far as I am concerned, I'll no longer get bothered by your posts since I just put you on my ignore list.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 05:26 AM

Coleen, If you think mass produced consumer products like digital pianos (essentially computers with plastic keys) have "souls" and that their sound produced cannot be measured or viewed by other computers or people, I can see why you might get so excited about the retro reincarnation of the look, sounds and technology of Christmas Past that Yamaha is packaging up with the designed by committee CP series.

I am sure Yamaha marketing will be thrilled with all the low class ad hominem attacks by its blind supporters on public forums. With friends like that...
Posted by: madshi

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 05:47 AM

Originally Posted By: Colleen_500
I believe it would be safe for you to understand, and if you read my posts thoroughly, that I intend to play the damn thing myself before I buy it. I am not committed to buy it if I don't find it suits my purpose.

You wrote "I ordered a CP-1 this morning". That's usually what you do *after* having decided which DP to buy.

Originally Posted By: Colleen_500
So, either you aren't very clever, or you seem to think that I am not.

Based on your interpretation of my posts, I'd say the former, is by far, the more likely possibility

Wow, thanks for the personal insult. I never said that you weren't clever. I just said that deciding on a DP without having played it yourself is not a clever thing to do. That's quite a different thing.

Originally Posted By: Colleen_500
Considering the technical analysis is based on dubious quality MP3 recordings, that may or may not be accurate enough, and the possibility of error, either in the material uploaded (we really can't be certain it is from the actual instrument), I'd say, out of the four possible sources of information, #2 is not a source of information in which I would put a lot of credence.

I find it amazing how many funny reasons some of you can find for ignoring pretty useful technical information. FWIW, I could find an equally high number of funny reasons why reviews of forum members should be mistrusted. But I won't, because there's a difference between funny reasons and reasonable reasons.

Originally Posted By: Colleen_500
by analysing squiggly lines on a screen

Do you think that describing a scientific technique with childish language somehow makes your point stronger?

Originally Posted By: Colleen_500
If given a choice of only two possibilities

Why limiting yourself to only two possibilities, if it's easy enough for anybody to make use of all four? That makes no sense at all.

Originally Posted By: Colleen_500
And, in closing this matter between us, let me be clear on another thing; I do not favor Yamaha over another brand.

And I never hinted or even thought you were.
Posted by: Colleen_500

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 07:14 AM

Originally Posted By: madshi


You wrote "I ordered a CP-1 this morning". That's usually what you do *after* having decided which DP to buy.



I also wrote to Steve, " I will post my impressions as soon as possible."

I also said I was under no obligation to buy.

It's pretty hard to give someone "impressions" of an instrument without playing it.


About the "clever" thing; you can try and justify your words all you want, but you tossed out the insult first. I was merely returning the favor.

Again, please read a person's post carefully, before you decide to insult or attack them.

Have you read this one carefully?

I hope so.

Regards,

Colleen
Posted by: Colleen_500

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 07:56 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney


I can see why you might get so excited about the retro reincarnation of the look, sounds and technology of Christmas Past that Yamaha is packaging up with the designed by committee CP series.

I am sure Yamaha marketing will be thrilled with all the low class ad hominem attacks by its blind supporters on public forums. With friends like that...


Thank you. The anticipation of playing a piano with a retro look, always excites those of us with an imagination and an appreciation of a well designed instrument, regardless if it was allegedly conceived by a committee or what company makes it.

It does remind me of Christmas past and the thrill of opening a nicely wrapped present. What a lovely analogy.

You are far more clever than Madshi. wink

I'm sure all the keyboard manufactures will be thrilled at the appearance of inaccurate data about their instruments on a public forum by an amateur tester.

Regards,

Colleen
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 08:39 AM

Originally Posted By: kawaian
@dewster, thanks, here's the original file directly recorded with CA-63:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/rhuwxhnz32i/KAWAI_CA_63_ORG.MP3

But I will redo this anyway, once I have the firmware update, and I'll try to also get the sympathetic resonance included somehow since this is a very important part of the beautiful sound of the new CA models.

Thanks! That one sounds better near the noise floor. I'll archive it instead of the other and wait on your improved version.
Posted by: jmmec

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 09:44 AM

Originally Posted By: Colleen_500
Pardon me? I'm not stopping you geeks from comparing test results.

...it shouldn't bother you if I question the integrity of a test that can have errors, bias, or both.

Considering the technical analysis is based on dubious quality MP3 recordings, that may or may not be accurate enough, and the possibility of error, either in the material uploaded (we really can't be certain it is from the actual instrument)...

...I'd say I'd trust the word of professionals a long way over an amateur doing a technical analysis.

I'm sure all the keyboard manufactures will be thrilled at the appearance of inaccurate data about their instruments on a public forum by an amateur tester.


"Whatever hysteria exists is inflamed by mystery, suspicion and secrecy. Hard and exact facts will cool it." Elia Kazan
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 09:51 AM

Well said, JMMEC! thumb
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 10:13 AM

Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
Nicely done Dewster.

I like the sustained "C"'s going up in octaves at the beginning.

This will be interesting.

Snazzy



Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
Sounds like a good project I'll try and get S90Xs and RD700GX files for you. And the CP1/5 of course if they ever show up .....


Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
dewster, I'm glad to see that you are finally putting your obvious technical knowledge to good use. wink

Anyway, I cannot promise anything, but I'll look into playing back your MIDI file on some modern KAWAI DPs (some support recording to USB memory as MP3 directly), if I get a chance.

Cheers,
James
x


Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
Wow. You sure have been working at this project. As a "visual learner" I certainly find the graphics interesting and useful. I continue to follow this project, and am also particularly interested in the results for certain pianos.

Lawrence


Originally Posted By: EssBrace
This could be a brilliant resource. If used in conjunction with Purgatory Creek (for subjective analysis), you could make better informed purchase decisions....
Thanks Dewster for taking the time to create this level of insight for us all.

Steve


Originally Posted By: Glenn NK
Very interesting test (and much work I suspect - my hat's off to Dewster for undertaking this gigantic project - it will be very useful to we DP types).

Glenn


So, how many of the early cheerleaders and supporters are still on board?

What has changed from the beginning of the thread to the end?
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 10:22 AM

Originally Posted By: sdw91
I recorded the P-80 again, this time with reverb off:

https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0BwW0oJq...M2&hl=en_GB

Thanks again for the file!

The real sample lengths are a bit short, as are the decay times. And that stretch group of 5 is kind of big. But otherwise it's not too bad.


---------------
- Yamaha P-80 -
---------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_yamaha_p80.mp3
- "Grand Piano" patch.
- RCA outs to MacBook line in, Audacity, MP3 export (Lame).
PROS:
- Large dynamic range (~54dB, vel=1:127).
- 3 velocity layer sample set.
- Responds to partial pedaling.
CONS:
- Note decay rate is pretty fast (~1/2 Pianoteq).
- Obviously looped, some loops have an audibly wider stereo field than the samples.
- Sample lengths are (C2:C9) 1.8,1.6,1.1,1.2,1.2,1,?,? seconds.
- Obviously stretched.
- Stretch distances: 3(x6),2,3,3,5,4,2,2,3,4,2,3,4,2(x5),3(x7),1,1 = 32 groups.
- Obvious layer switching, but not too obnoxious.
- Layer switch @ vel=70,106 (spectral pan & phase displays).
- No key-up or pedal up/down samples.
OTHER:
- Something going on with sympathetic resonance? If so it's very subtle.
- MP3 levels good: peak @ -0.4dB, noise floor @ -58dB.
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-17
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 10:28 AM

Originally Posted By: JMMEC



"Whatever hysteria exists is inflamed by mystery, suspicion and secrecy. Hard and exact facts will cool it." Elia Kazan



Calm down, Jim, No need of getting that hysterical.

It's just a fun test...it ain't serious.

I'm sure good old Elia would have wanted you to have those elusive hard and exact facts, and perhaps a cold cloth for your forehead.

Too many biases, too many potential errors, at best an approximation...at worst, a parlor trick.

Snazzy
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 10:30 AM

theJourney, well I'm still onboard. wink

As I believe I stated earlier in the thread, from a technical standpoint, dewster's test offers a very interesting benchmark.

However, from a purely musical perspective, it obviously doesn't tell the whole story. My concern is that some individuals (first-time buyers for example) may read too much into this analysis, rather than judging the overall instrument.

Just because a DP appears to perform reasonably well in dewster's test, it doesn't mean to say that everyone will find the instrument's sound to be universally agreeable. At the end of the day, if an individual doesn't particularly like how a DP sounds, no amount of information about sampling lengths, layers, stretching, polyphony, or any other technical specification is going to change their mind.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 10:40 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney


So, how many of the early cheerleaders and supporters are still on board?

What has changed from the beginning of the thread to the end?



I'd say what has changed, is trust...or lack of it.

Not in Dewster, although I seem to sense a bias in his posts, but for me it is the calibre of the results, the use of varying quality MP3 instead of WAV recorded by one person with the same equipment, and the possibility of bogus uploads.

That's all.

Snazzy
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 11:26 AM

@snazzyplaer, I agree. But - isn't this always the case, with all testing, with all statements we read in a public forum? Shouldn't this speak for itself? Why picking all the time on this well known fact? Everyone here can just CLAIM that he has played a specific DP with terrific results. Why trust him more? Why can't we just move on knowing that this is just a limited technical test, with only limited significance. The ultimate decision of buying a new DP can of course only be take by playing the DP for some time, doing comparisons etc etc. So - what's the point? I don't get it (call me stupid...).

And: Why did this questionable discussion just start after dewster published his findings on the CP-1? Just a coincidence?

BTW I tried both WAV and MP3 (192kbit) on a recording with no significant difference in visual appearance, let alone audible differences.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 11:28 AM

Still onboard here.

The tests are good. They add to our knowledge (I mean, this is a good thing, right?). No one is saying that you would base a purchase decision based solely on the DPBSD.

I own a V-Piano. Although the test is not really designed to compare sampled pianos with modelled ones I fully note the exceptional performance of the V-Piano in the test. But here's a thing: I don't really like my V-Piano. I'm fairly sure I have the same issues that Lawrence did and that prompted him to change it for a CP1. Although still well within the honeymoon period, he seems at this stage to be much happier subjectively with the CP1 than he was with the V-Piano. And I know from my correspondence with him that there are aspects of the V-Piano he admires a lot, as do I.

All that said, for me, the sample lengths that Yamaha are using and the presence of note stretching just takes the sheen off this supposedly vanguard instrument...Yamaha's top-of-the-range. This is the best they can do at the moment apparently.

I know that playing the thing is the final evidence anyone needs and it appears Yamaha have indeed got a winner on their hands but to know its technical DNA if you like is interesting and in this case a bit disappointing to me, personally. But I'd rather have this knowledge. I don't think there is any conspiracy and I don't think Dewster's integrity should be questioned.

In concluding maybe I could just say that we can all take what we want from the test. Colleen is maybe about to take the plunge on a CP1 and we would all want that to be a positive experience for her. To her and maybe Snazzy and others the test has little significance. To others, it is now a very useful resource, one to be used in conjunction with evidence gathered by other means, especially personal experience.

Cheers all,

Steve
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 11:35 AM

Thanks Steve for your comment. This is in other words exactly what I think of this technical test. I'm also disappointed by the sound signature of a pianoteq demo I recently tested, and was rather happy with my truepianos although technically clearly inferior, but it's all about personal preference and playability.
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 11:44 AM

Originally Posted By: kawaian


And: Why did this questionable discussion just start after dewster published his findings on the CP-1? Just a coincidence?



I really don't know why it started when it did...with me it was brewing before that happened.

To quote Kawai James: "My concern is that some individuals (first-time buyers for example) may read too much into this analysis, rather than judging the overall instrument."

Colleen, and myself too, felt the same way and everyone got defensive.

Coincidence?

Snazzy
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 11:45 AM

Snazzy and Colleen,

It's entirely possible for someone to send me a bogus or doctored file, but since the entire world has access to the archive I think that would be revealed sooner or later. Other than boosting the left channel by 6dB to match the right in the Kawai MP5 file (as noted in my review) I'm certainly not altering them in any way.

So which MP3 files do you think are bogus? I would be very curious to know, as would others. You both have mentioned that manufacturers watch these forums closely, and it would be pretty fantastic to catch one of them in the act of monkeywrenching the DPBSD. Or is that what you two are doing by planting tons of FUD in this thread?
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 11:57 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster


I would be very curious to know, as would others. You both have mentioned that manufacturers watch these forums closely, and it would be pretty fantastic to catch one of them in the act of monkeywrenching the DPBSD. Or is that what you two are doing by planting tons of FUD in this thread?


I would be more concerned about you putting false data on a public forum...not that you would intentionally.

It's not manufacturers doing bogus uploads (although that would be a hoot) that concerns me...I don't think they would ever take that risk...what concerns me is their reaction to false data about their product on a public forum.

I'm not sure what FUD means (perhaps you could explain it to the listening audience), but I can assure you, my remarks have been only to point out the possibility of errors, biases, and bogus uploads.

If it bothers you, just put me on "ignore".

Snazzy
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 12:12 PM

Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
I would be more concerned about you putting false data on a public forum...not that you would intentionally.

It's not manufacturers doing bogus uploads (although that would be a hoot) that concerns me...I don't think they would ever take that risk...what concerns me is their reaction to false data about their product on a public forum.

Exactly what "false data" are you talking about? You really need to stop it with the coy innuendo and veiled threats.

Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
I'm not sure what FUD means (perhaps you could explain it to the listening audience), but I can assure you, my remarks have been only to point out the possibility of errors, biases, and bogus uploads.

For those who can't Google: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.

Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
If it bothers you, just put me on "ignore".

It's kind of hard to ignore libel.
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 12:20 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster



It's kind of hard to ignore libel.



I'm talking about the possibility of bogus uploaded data...that's all. Never said you did it, nor anyone else....just a possibily.

You yourself said it could be possible, as well as several other members.

So we are all "libel", are we...including yourself? wink

Snazzy
Posted by: voxpops

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 12:43 PM

This thread seems to be degenerating - needlessly.

Dewster quite clearly has an agenda - he made that clear in numerous posts bemoaning the manufacturers' slow adoption of new technology. However, by actually coming up with a method for analyzing the way the sounds are generated in various DPs, he's done us all a service. Even when one factors in a margin of error for the way the files are recorded and analyzed, the results are interesting and illuminating.

That said, it was also fascinating for me to listen to some of the uploaded files and compare them (subjectively) with the test results. For example, the V-Piano scores very high on the tests, but when I listened I could quite clearly hear the problem with the mid-range that has irritated a number of owners. It just sounded synthetic and, to me, unappealing. So, being able to listen to the recorded sounds is vital for extracting the most from the work that Dewster's done. But, put the two together and you've got a very powerful tool for making initial comparisons prior to going out and actually playing the instruments.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 01:17 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
This thread seems to be degenerating - needlessly.

Sorry, I'll get back OT, I was just trying to get to the bottom of a major distraction in this thread. Which amazingly seems to boil down to pretty much nothing.

Listening to the files has been a real treat for me too as I get the opportunity to hear a broad range of DPs. And listening combined with analysis lets me very quickly understand what it is in the sound that strikes me as real or fake. The kinds of things that might take years of owning the DP to figure out.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 01:19 PM

Dewster, adding your interpretation of the test to the subjective impression of the sound of the notes, what is your favourite so far?

Steve
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 01:20 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster


And listening combined with analysis lets me very quickly understand what it is in the sound that strikes me as real or fake. The kinds of things that might take years of owning the DP to figure out.


Or an hour sitting down and actually playing the instrument. wink

Snazzy
Posted by: Voltara

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 02:18 PM

Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
Originally Posted By: dewster


And listening combined with analysis lets me very quickly understand what it is in the sound that strikes me as real or fake. The kinds of things that might take years of owning the DP to figure out.


Or an hour sitting down and actually playing the instrument. wink

Snazzy


I bought my DP (the YDP-223 that I uploaded) two years ago, about a month before I took my first lesson. For a number of reasons, I went digital as opposed to acoustic, but wanted an instrument that felt and sounded reasonably "authentic", so that my skills would transfer readily to an acoustic. Based on my limited knowledge, the manufacturer's specifications, some play testing (and a fantastic discount on a floor model with minor cosmetic damage), I went with the YDP-223.

When I got it home and started to play it, something about the sound began to perplex me -- it wasn't until about a year later that I finally figured out why. What I couldn't figure out was where to set the volume control. I could lower the volume and bang the keys harder, or raise the volume and play lightly, and the results were roughly the same.

I learned later on that the key element I was missing out on was convincing velocity layering. Had this thread existed back then, it would have been a great way for a then-newbie like me to listen and learn about this sort of thing. Would it have made me choose a different instrument? Probably not, as the sound was only one of many factors influencing my decision -- highest on the list was touch, but I also took into account price, MIDI connectivity, the number of pedals, form factor, and "wife acceptance factor" ;-)

Even if the DP-BSD wouldn't have changed my decision, I would have known a lot more about what exactly I was paying for, and perhaps I wouldn't have spent so much time fretting over where to put the volume slider. (Now it's "as low as possible when using headphones" to protect my hearing from hours of practice...)

The argument I've seen repeated here, that dewster's analysis will negatively influence a novice buyer, is, in my opinion, unfounded. The intended audience here is not the foolish buyer, because he will shop foolishly regardless. But for those of us who want to make an informed purchase, I'm thankful for resources such as this. It's the "missing spec sheet" that goes deeper than the typical "Voices: X, Polyphony: Y".

Andy
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 02:28 PM

Intelligent points there Andy!

Steve
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 02:36 PM

Yes, very good points Andy...however, it it is always good to see both sides of the picture.

Snazzy
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 03:01 PM

Originally Posted By: zaba19
I have uploaded a recording of Roland HP-307. The input level wasn't great, I hope normalization didn't screw anything.
http://www.mediafire.com/?2mwkmyhrzny


Wow, outside of PC samplers and modelers, this is technically the best DP I've tested.

I just added a line to the DPBSD readme file instructing people to not normalize MP3s as it seems to be introducing mosquito noise. Do you have the original un-normalized file? Also, was the reverb off (I couldn't quite tell)? Also, are there any key-up or pedal up/down samples or sympathetic resonance not captured by the MP3? It seems to respond slightly to partial pedaling, but I need to modify the DPBSD MIDI file to include a 111 pedal level to better capture this across all DPs.

Anything I should know about the setup you used to capture the recording?

Really fantastic, thanks again for that file zaba19!


-----------------
- Roland HP-307 -
-----------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_roland_hp-307.mp3
PROS:
- Beautiful long natural-sounding note decay (decay times on the order of Pianoteq).
- Large dynamic range (~47dB, vel=1:127).
- No audible looping.
- Visually, the notes look similar to conventional length attack samples seamlessly blended with something like long loop samples. Not clear what the process is.
- No visible or audible stretching, notes look random in the wave and phase views.
- No visible or audible velocity switching.
- Very smoothly blended timbre variation with velocity.
- Responds to partial pedaling (the DPBSD MIDI file needs a 111 level pedal).
CONS:
- No obvious sympathetic resonance.
- No obvious pedal up/down or key up samples.
OTHER:
- Probably good enough to realistically record solo.
- Sounds a bit like the reverb isn't turned off?
- MP3 levels excellent: peak @ -3.4dB, noise floor @ -81dB.
- A bit of mosquito noise in MP3 (probably due to normalization).
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-17
Posted by: jmmec

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 03:04 PM

Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
Yes, very good points ...however, it it is always good to see both sides of the picture.


Speaking of having the full picture, I'd like to know if anyone has financial incentives (from, oh, I don't know... Yamaha) to demean and dissuade dewster. It sure seems that way.

dewster is the new Galileo... smile
Posted by: Rodney

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 03:22 PM

I don't contribute to this board very often any more (more of a lurker these days) but after reading this thread I thought now might be a good time to add somethign useful. There is a fair amount of FUD floating on this thread from both camps so I thought I might contribute some technical information. There IS merit to what dewster is trying to show, BUT I think there needs to be some context. He is absolutely correct that all ROMplers (DPs are a type of ROMpler with the exception of the V-Piano) use looping and stretching as a form of data compression and will continue to do so into the forseable future.

This leads to a few of questions which when answered should help people get some perspective:

1) Why in this day & age of advanced computing and inexpensive memory are they (the manufacturers) using compression at all?

First I think that everyone would agree that the customer requirements of DPs (especially stage versions) are especially stringent in the areas of noise, weight, durability and cost. For this reason the inexpensive hardware that we've all become so accustomed with in our home and business computing environments is not what's used in DPs, or pretty much any other industrial application. The ASICS, PGAs, FPGAs and their RAM are generally purpose built (hardened) and tend to be very good at one thing. They run at slower clock speeds but perform their specific functions very quickly since they're not designed for general computing. They typically run cooler than general purpose computing devices which eliminating the need for noisy secondary cooling systems like you'd find in your PC or MAC.They have VERY low power requirements which simplifies power supply designs thereby reducing weight and complexity. They are much less sensitive to electrical interference, power fluctuations, noise and surges (especially during power on and off).The choice to use this type of computing technology as opposed to general purpose computing all comes down to the design considerations necessary to meet the initial customer requirements.

Unfortunately this equipment has some drawbacks, not the least of which is the amount of addressable memory with ranges typically in the kilo to mega bytes (yes I said Kilo to Mega Bytes) and not the Gigabytes we thing of when when buying a home computer. Just like any other computer, the operating system (albeit a very simple one in a DP) must also fit in that addressable memory along with any data (samples in the case of a ROMpler like a DP). Just to make matters worse, this is not the same memory you buy at your local computer store and it is MUCH more expensive given the limited applications.

So if this computing technology is so restrictive when it comes to memory, then why use it,..... simple; it is the best for meeting the basic customer requirements (noise, weight, durability, and cost). If you were to try and build a DP using COTS (commercial of the shelf) "consumer" computer equipment, meeting the first 3 requirements would definately result in a violation of the 4th. My (very educated guess) at building a COTS consumer type computer that is silent, light weight & small enough to fit within a DP case, and meets the mechanical and electronic durability requirements of a stage piano would cost upwards of $8-$10K to the end user, "if it could be done at all"....... Oh and I should point out that a Laptop does NOT meet these requirements.

2) OK, so if the computing equipment limits the amount of addressable memory so they have to use compression; Why not use algorithmic compression to preserve datails (less lossy) instead of stretching and looping (more loss)?

Algorithmic compression is extremely computationally intensive and non-detirministic resulting in the potential of latency and increased complexity. It is possible to add more hardware to solve the problems but it requires 2 layers of storage; dedicated ASICs to handle the memory management and decompression and a much larger data bus/bandwidth all of which increase cost significantly.


3) Why are there so few layers; why not sample all the potential layers, or more accurately, why not sample enough layers so that no one could tell the difference?

Each sample eats up precious storage and quite frankly, more just isn't needed for the typical application. Most people can't hear more than 3 or 4 distinct timbre changes, or more accurately, the timbre changes or so subtle that "most" people (the bulk of the audience for this class of product) just don't care. In a mix it is quite frankly impossible to tell how many layers are used.


4) If they have to use S&L compression why are the intial samples so short and why do the lengths vary from one sample to the next?

For anyone who has done sampling, the answer to this one is obvious. It's all about finding usable loop points. Looping is an extremely difficult process (there are very few tools to help) that requires that the tail of a loop SEEMLESSLY fit into the head in a way that makes it very difficult for the average person to perceive. You need to keep the main sample since this is what gives the note its character but it's length/duration is more detiremined by the start of the loop segment than anything else which is why some intial samples are a few seconds while other are less than a second,.... it's all about finding the best initial loop point. The loop segments length is detirmined by finding a point that ends at exactly the same amplitude as the head of the loop and is moving in the same amplitude direction. Loop tend to be short so its decay is controlled by an amplitude envelope.

5) If looping must be used then why do they have the loops decay more quickly than on a real accoustic piano?

It comes down to realism in the loops and controling polyphony/note stealing. While looping, when done well (and there are a lot of examples of it being done VERY poorly) and kept relatively short isn't obvious to most but the most critical listener, if it continues for too long, it becomes grating on the ears and seems synthetic/unnatural. Also, as long as a note is sustained, it eats up an oscillator (stereo samples eat 2 oscillators). The quicker a note drops to zero amplitude, the quicker those oscillators are freed up to play other samples/notes. Once the DP runs out of oscillators, then notes must be dropped in favour of the new notes played (this is called note stealling). With newer boards having 128 oscillators (128 note polyphony is the marketing terminology but is in fact 64 note polyphony if stereo samples are used which is the norm these days), the loops can be relatively long before note stealing happens, but definately not the length of an accoustic. I would like to point out there there is very little repertoire that would require a voice/note to decay to zero naturally so the only circumstance that this normally happens is if you put a brick on the damper pedal (which is poor technique for most music except new age). In other words, having a shorter decay just doesn't matter most of the time (unless you are performing contrived tests to find it).

There is no value in complaining that DPs don't use different hardware than they do because the hardware choice is the correct one to meet the primary requirements. Yamaha, Roland, Korg, Kurz, Nord, etc are not trying to rip anyone off, but are trying to build the best products to meet the largest segment of their market. A consumer who falls out of the norm of that market can choose to build their own DP using general purpose computing, software samplers and uncompressed sample libraries, their own sound reinforcement (monitors/amps), a controller (MIDI keyboard), and can even build a case to put it all in but it will NOT be suitable for general use.

DISCLAIMER: The following is my opinion!!

I have sevaral computers dedicated to composition, sampling, and sound production and I have just about every piano sample library that's been published (my son composes for film, television and games so we have most of the big orchestral libraries as well in our studio); I also have several DPs, synths, and workstations so I think you can understand that my opinion comes with some experience.

If we are rendering a solo piano performance, then I will ALWAYS use a sample library (for many reasons but the obvious one is the depth of realism attained in the recording). If I'm rendering an ensemble or orchestral piece, then I will opt for either a smaller sample library or one of the better DPs/keyboards/sound modules. If we are rendering a POP (guitar, drums, keyboard) ensenble piece, I will almost always use a keyoard because that is the correct sound. If I'm just playing piano, I rarely use a sample library becasue I have yet to find a library that doesn't produce a feeling of being disconnected from the instrument,.... Keyboards/DPs trounce sample libraries for that feeling of being connected to the instrument and the better instruments are "Good Enough" in their realism to not leave you feeling like you are playing anything other than a Piano. I also have an acoustic grand which is also enjoyed on a regular basis but personally I actually prefer to play (recreationally) the digital instruments for their variety of tone and consistancy of tuning and touch. No one in the family is a concert pianist (although my son makes his living at music production) so having infinate variety of timbre, or resonance, etc is meaningless to me.


There's my 2 cents,.... take it for exactly that worth.

BTW:

dewster, the Vintaudio C7 is one of my favorites but when I've compared it (head to head) with our Clavinova CLP-170 (a very old model based on a sampled CFIIIs I believe) I would still rather play the Clavinova; but I sure like recording with the Vintaudio C7.

Oh and I'm not on the payroll or receive endorsements from any DP or sample vendor (although I have beta tested a few).

Rodney
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 03:35 PM

Originally Posted By: JMMEC
Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
Yes, very good points ...however, it it is always good to see both sides of the picture.


Speaking of having the full picture, I'd like to know if anyone has financial incentives (from, oh, I don't know... Yamaha) to demean and dissuade dewster. It sure seems that way.

dewster is the new Galileo... smile


You mean Yamaha would actually pay someone to demean and dissuade Dewster?

I don't believe a word of it.

Snazzy

By the way, Jim, unlike Dewster, Galileo was a pro.
Posted by: jmmec

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 03:48 PM

Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
I don't believe a word of it.


Okey dokey Sally.
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 03:55 PM

Originally Posted By: JMMEC
Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
I don't believe a word of it.


Okey dokey Sally.


Ok, so it's Sally instead of Jim...no problem.

Thanks Sally.

Snazzy
Posted by: Richard Stark

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 04:10 PM

Thanks Rodney! Excellent! smile

And thanks Dewster for the solid foundation with the numbers and the graphs! smile
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 04:27 PM

Originally Posted By: Rodney


. Keyboards/DPs trounce sample libraries for that feeling of being connected to the instrument and the better instruments are "Good Enough" in their realism to not leave you feeling like you are playing anything other than a Piano. I also have an acoustic grand which is also enjoyed on a regular basis but personally I actually prefer to play (recreationally) the digital instruments for their variety of tone and consistancy of tuning and touch. No one in the family is a concert pianist (although my son makes his living at music production) so having infinate variety of timbre, or resonance, etc is meaningless to me.


Very well said, Rodney...I feel the same way about VST's and acoustic grands, although I play strictly digital pianos now.

Snazzy
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 04:36 PM

Excellent results from the HP-307. I assume a similar result would be obtained from the new Supernatural upgrade kit for the RD-700GX...would make a powerful case for itself against much of the competition...assuming of course that it was pleasing subjectively to enough people.

Thanks Dewster,

Steve
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 04:51 PM

There is a new DPBSD MIDI file now up at the share point:

====================
= Revision History =
====================
v1.4 - 2010-02-17:
- Added C5 (x7) velocity = 127 at start of file as an aid in setting peak recording level.
- Added two pedal=111 notes to the partial pedaling test, moved all pedal events midway between the notes.



I also updated the readme file to include the following new recording instruction:

Recording & MP3 output:
- If you record directly to MP3, please don't normalize the file or do any other processing to it.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 05:03 PM

Rodney, thank you for your excellent post, and helping to restore a degree of order to the proceedings. wink

Great job!

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: madshi

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 05:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Rodney
The ASICS, PGAs, FPGAs and their RAM are generally purpose built (hardened) and tend to be very good at one thing. They run at slower clock speeds but perform their specific functions very quickly since they're not designed for general computing. They typically run cooler than general purpose computing devices which eliminating the need for noisy secondary cooling systems like you'd find in your PC or MAC.They have VERY low power requirements which simplifies power supply designs thereby reducing weight and complexity. They are much less sensitive to electrical interference, power fluctuations, noise and surges (especially during power on and off).The choice to use this type of computing technology as opposed to general purpose computing all comes down to the design considerations necessary to meet the initial customer requirements.

Unfortunately this equipment has some drawbacks, not the least of which is the amount of addressable memory with ranges typically in the kilo to mega bytes (yes I said Kilo to Mega Bytes) and not the Gigabytes we thing of when when buying a home computer. Just like any other computer, the operating system (albeit a very simple one in a DP) must also fit in that addressable memory along with any data (samples in the case of a ROMpler like a DP). Just to make matters worse, this is not the same memory you buy at your local computer store and it is MUCH more expensive given the limited applications.

What would stop DP manufacturers from keep using whatever hardware they're using now, but simply adding a small SSD and streaming the samples from the SSD? SSDs are light, noise free and durable (as long as you mostly read and don't write so much) and so should meet all requirements. Random read speed is about 50MB/s. Shouldn't that be plenty fast enough? And the end user price of an Intel 40GB SSD is just 120 USD.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 05:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Rodney
There is a fair amount of FUD floating on this thread from both camps

Whaa? Sorry, no FUD emanating from my camp. Though one look at the sheer mountains of FUD around here and I can see how someone might make the logical assumption that there's no way just one camp could produce it all. But there you go.
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 05:14 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster


Whaa? Sorry, no FUD emanating from my camp.


Oh, yes there is.

Snazzy
Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 05:20 PM

Originally Posted By: theJourney


What has changed from the beginning of the thread to the end?


Nothing's changed for me I'm still watching the thread keenly with a wry amusement.

Anything that tries to objectify a subjective always makes me PMSL.
Posted by: zaba19

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 05:55 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster

Wow, outside of PC samplers and modelers, this is technically the best DP I've tested.

I knew it would be worth to wait - I wanted to buy a new DP since july last year but decided to wait for new Roland models smile

Im almost sure I turned reverb off but I guess I could do another recording to be sure.

The piano has settings like:
- damper resonance
- duplex scale
- string resonance
- key off resonance
- damper noise
They are all set to the default middle (5/10) and the effects are audible. If you'd like I can change something for testing, but maybe just my input levels are too low? See here original file:
http://www.mediafire.com/?yvnmqzjnznj

Do you know how to adjust it in Adobe Audition (only trial but fully functional I think)? The slider in windows mixer is set to highest level, on my piano the volume was almost maxed. My audio card is Asus Xonar DX, connected from piano's out ports into line in.
Posted by: jmmec

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 06:14 PM

Roland U.S. now has the HP-307 manual online at:

http://media.rolandus.com/manuals/HP-307_OM.pdf

Page 25 talks about "Reverb" and it has a setting from 1-10.

I hope to have my 307 in another 2 weeks. smile So I've already browsed through the manual.

Sally will have something negative to say about this, I am sure.
Posted by: jmmec

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 06:19 PM

Also, dewster mentioned that it didn't sound like reverb was turned off -- I came across this paragraph in the HP-307 manual:

Quote:
The HP307’s piano sound faithfully simulates the depth and resonance of an acoustic piano, and this may give the impression of reverberation even if you’ve defeated the Reverb effect. Also, you may be able to eliminate some reverberation by reducing the value set for “Cabinet Resonance.”


Sally will have something negative to say about this, I am sure.
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 06:21 PM

Originally Posted By: JMMEC


I hope to have my 307 in another 2 weeks. smile So I've already browsed through the manual.

Sally




Congratulations on your choice of the HP-307, Sally...I hear it is a great instrument.

Snazzy





Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 06:23 PM

dewster, perhaps you could also recommend that users perform a factory reset before running the test, in order to ensure that the instrument's default settings are being used.

Assuming you don't make this suggestion in the readme file already, of course.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: zaba19

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 06:31 PM

I wasn't aware that cabinet resonance could have some impact on "reverberation effect". I'll use the new midi file with cabinet resonance set to off and upload it again, but tomorrow after work - it's late here :P
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 06:39 PM

Quote:
What would stop DP manufacturers from keep using whatever hardware they're using now, but simply adding a small SSD and streaming the samples from the SSD? SSDs are light, noise free and durable (as long as you mostly read and don't write so much) and so should meet all requirements. Random read speed is about 50MB/s. Shouldn't that be plenty fast enough? And the end user price of an Intel 40GB SSD is just 120 USD.


The problem is latency. that is the time to read the first byte from a random location. After that delay, then as you say the data follows fast enough. If the sample library were kept on an SSD then it would need to be loaded into RAM when you select a new vioce. There would be a delay while the new voice loaded.

Also I doubt any of the internal buses in a DP are set up for 50MB/S More likely a 1/10th of that.

Actually there are DPs that hold very large sample libraries and hold their library in RAM and you can change the data using a computer. You can buy one today.

Nord Piano
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 06:40 PM

Originally Posted By: zaba19
Im almost sure I turned reverb off but I guess I could do another recording to be sure.

It's probably off, I just heard something faint that sounded rather reverbish.

Originally Posted By: zaba19
The piano has settings like:
- damper resonance
- duplex scale
- string resonance
- key off resonance
- damper noise
They are all set to the default middle (5/10) and the effects are audible. If you'd like I can change something for testing, but maybe just my input levels are too low?

Do you hear them in the MP3 file? I've listened fairly closely and I don't hear them. It could be the high noise floor I suppose.

Originally Posted By: zaba19
Do you know how to adjust it in Adobe Audition (only trial but fully functional I think)? The slider in windows mixer is set to highest level, on my piano the volume was almost maxed. My audio card is Asus Xonar DX, connected from piano's out ports into line in.

Nice soundcard! Do an Options | Properties in Windows mixer and select the recording source, then enable all sliders for it. Mute any inputs you aren't using. It didn't come with some sort of custom mixer software?

In Audition you can right click on the VU meters at the bottom of the Edit screen and click on "Monitor Record Level" or hit F10. This will show you the levels without having to record.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 06:43 PM

Originally Posted By: JMMEC
Roland U.S. now has the HP-307 manual online at:

http://media.rolandus.com/manuals/HP-307_OM.pdf

Thanks for that! I was just about to fill out the Roland account sign-up to get it, you saved me the work.
Posted by: jmmec

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 06:45 PM

Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
Congratulations on your choice of the HP-307, Sally...I hear it is a great instrument.

Snazzy



Yes, perhaps even superior to the Yamaha CP1, or so I've heard.

Sally will have something negative to say about this, I am sure.
Posted by: snazzyplayer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 07:03 PM

Originally Posted By: JMMEC
Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
Congratulations on your choice of the HP-307, Sally...I hear it is a great instrument.

Snazzy



Yes, perhaps even superior to the Yamaha CP1, or so I've heard.

Sally


Probably to your ears, it would be, Sally, and I hope it's everything you expect it to be and more.

Congratulations once again.

Snazzy
Posted by: Volusiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 09:54 PM

Rodney, you should contribute more regularly to this forum again. The sharing of your wealth of knowledge is much appreciated. As somebody with an electrical engineering background, I find your analysis of why inexpensive memories can't be used in DPs spot on!
Posted by: Peakly

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 10:07 PM

Thanks Rodney!

Mychal
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/17/10 11:51 PM

Originally Posted By: kawaian
BTW I tried both WAV and MP3 (192kbit) on a recording with no significant difference in visual appearance, let alone audible differences.

Same here. I re-recorded the VintAudio C7 in 44.1kHz 32 bit float, saved it as a Windows *.wav, then saved it as a 194kbps CBR *.mp3 and then opened them both back up in Audition and looked at the phase views. Very little visual difference. To me anyway this issue is closed. MP3s should be fine for the gross features this analysis examines.


WAV


MP3

Anyone wants to play with it, the files are in the archive.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/18/10 01:34 AM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
Rodney, thank you for your excellent post, and helping to restore a degree of order to the proceedings. wink

Great job!

Cheers,
James
x


+1
Rodney, hope you decide to return to your posting habit again, especially given the meaty subjects and interesting products there are to discuss anno 2010 and despite the often disappointing, middle school maturity level of many of the postings here. Content is always welcome above taunts.
Posted by: R0B

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/18/10 01:40 AM

Hi Dewster.

I have re-recorded the Kawai MP-5 using your new midi, ver 1.4.

As Kawai James suggested, I updated the MP-5 to the latest firmware version (1.15) and performed a factory re-set, before recording, so you have the DP as it would be 'out of the box'.

http://www.box.net/shared/32xaomgbhb

regards,

Rob
Posted by: pesk

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/18/10 04:08 AM

Does anybody here have the Nord Electro 3 or Nord Stage EX?? It would be interesting to have sample from their piano, especialy some of the XLR grand patch. Their Nord Piano 88 is comming soon...

Posted by: madshi

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/18/10 04:28 AM

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
The problem is latency. that is the time to read the first byte from a random location.

Latency for SSDs is about 0.2 milliseconds. I don't think that should be a problem?

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
Also I doubt any of the internal buses in a DP are set up for 50MB/S More likely a 1/10th of that.

If I do the math, we'd need about 5.4MB/s bandwidth for reading 128 mono polyphony per second. Ok, if you want to do smooth velocity layer switching (which probably requires reading two samples and mixing them), then we might need twice that, so 10.8MB/s. That doesn't really sound like so much...
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/18/10 10:36 AM

Originally Posted By: madshi
Latency for SSDs is about 0.2 milliseconds. I don't think that should be a problem?

If a bog-standard electro-mechanical hard drive can adequately support tons of polyphony (and it most definitely can), then an SSD can do it in spades. SSD's run circles around PC hard drive read access times.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/18/10 11:09 AM

Originally Posted By: Rodney
1)the inexpensive hardware that we've all become so accustomed with in our home and business computing environments is not what's used in DPs

Rodney, please don't think I'm trying to personally bash you, quite the opposite, but I feel compelled to respond to your post.

DPs don't use hardened, I-Temp, or Mil Spec electronics, they use inexpensive consumer grade general purpose parts. Synths used to use custom parts because they had to, but ASIC development is incredibly expensive, and these days off the shelf ICs are entirely up to the tasks in your average DP or synth.

Even from the outside, we can all easily see that computational electronics has absolutely exploded. I worked in FPGAs for 10+ years and I could barely keep up reading about all the new features they were introducing, let alone utilize them. The processor side was the same. Due mainly to feature size reduction, speed, heat, and power consumption are non-issues in something simple like a DP. High-end cell phones likely have more powerful processors.

No less earth shattering was the introduction of embedded Linux in our products. Before that we used a couple of operating systems that were written and supported by small in-house groups. Writing and supporting even a small OS is a very complex, expensive, and problematic undertaking. Linux came along and wiped all that out. Suddenly it was much more difficult to debug the hardware due to the imposition of device drivers and protected modes and such, but the stability, extra features, and connectivity more than made up for it. It was quite a revolution.

The music business is actually pretty small. I think it seems bigger than it is because of all the publicity associated with it. And the businesses that support the music business are even smaller, which makes it hard for them to take risks or do anything really innovative. In engineering you get young inexperienced engineers with new knowledge and ideas, and they are up against older engineers with old knowledge, but who have more power due to their seniority and experience. Which is normally OK, but in the rapidly changing tech environment we have now it's sub optimal. Add to that the dissociated, dysfunctional, multi-layered power structure of a modern company and you can easily get long-term product stasis. That's what I think we're up against more than anything else.

In fact, the way most real innovation happens in high tech lately is a small start-up develops something new and becomes acquired by a larger company. This may seem normal by now, but it is really quite odd to me that large companies are almost incapable of doing anything but acquisition. And often the acquisition is done more to acquire patents and reduce competition than to nurture innovation.

In conclusion, hardware / software technology aren't holding DPs back in any significant way at this point.

Originally Posted By: Rodney
dewster, the Vintaudio C7 is one of my favorites but when I've compared it (head to head) with our Clavinova CLP-170 (a very old model based on a sampled CFIIIs I believe) I would still rather play the Clavinova; but I sure like recording with the Vintaudio C7.

I like it too, but I haven't gone through as many sample sets as most people around here so I wasn't sure how it stacked up. Wonder what happened to VintAudio?
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/18/10 11:27 AM

Originally Posted By: R0B
I have re-recorded the Kawai MP-5 using your new midi, ver 1.4.

As Kawai James suggested, I updated the MP-5 to the latest firmware version (1.15) and performed a factory re-set, before recording, so you have the DP as it would be 'out of the box'.

http://www.box.net/shared/32xaomgbhb

Excellent peak and noise floor levels in your MP3! I'll replace the one currently in the archive with this one.

I don't know, I maybe barely hear something like sympathetic resonance (uncertain), but I really can't hear pedal or key-up noises. Rob, can you hear them in the MP3? Do you hear them when you are normally playing the keyboard?

KAWAI James, could you perhaps listen to the file and comment on this issue?
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/18/10 04:47 PM

Well, as another forum member suggested, it's possible that the MP5 does not utilise string/damper resonance etc. when playing MIDI files.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/18/10 05:10 PM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
Well, as another forum member suggested, it's possible that the MP5 does not utilise string/damper resonance etc. when playing MIDI files.

Oh. I thought the firmware update was supposed to fix this? Or was that another Kawai model?
Posted by: zaba19

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/18/10 06:05 PM

The cabinet resonance indeed introduces some reverb but I don't hear it with default middle setting, only once I go up 2 steps. Maybe your ear is just more trained smile Anyway - I did another recording with cabinet resonance turned off and using v1.4 midi file.

As for:
key-up samples - is it key-off resonance? if yes it is audible, very subtle with default setting, only obvious once I turned it off (0) and maxed (10) to know what to look for smile
pedal down - yes, very subtle with default setting
pedal up - can't hear
sympathetic resonance - when I test it myself I definitely hear it on my piano; not as trained to know if it's in mp3

Im sorry for some glitches you can hear on first notes. I tried recording this 3 times and I always had 2 or 3 glitches somewhere in the file. This one was actually least intrusive. If it's unsatisfying I can give it another go.
I didn't touch the file (no equalization), only boosted +5dB input level in Audition while recording.

http://rapidshare.com/files/352580888/dp_bsd_v1.4_Roland_HP-307.mp3
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/18/10 06:34 PM

Originally Posted By: zaba19
key-up samples - is it key-off resonance? if yes it is audible, very subtle with default setting, only obvious once I turned it off (0) and maxed (10) to know what to look for smile
pedal down - yes, very subtle with default setting
pedal up - can't hear
sympathetic resonance - when I test it myself I definitely hear it on my piano; not as trained to know if it's in mp3

Im sorry for some glitches you can hear on first notes. I tried recording this 3 times and I always had 2 or 3 glitches somewhere in the file. This one was actually least intrusive. If it's unsatisfying I can give it another go.
I didn't touch the file (no equalization), only boosted +5dB input level in Audition while recording.

Thanks! The levels in the file are better. And glitches aren't that big of a deal. I archived the file at the share point. Are you recording to a 44.1kHz 32 bit float and then saving as MP3?

I still don't hear key-up or pedal sounds, and I don't hear or see sympathetic resonance:


An amplitude view of the second and third phases of the sympathetic resonance test.

Normally the right hand tail amplitude looks larger and sounds different (spacier) than the one on the left if there is sympathetic resonance. Here they look identical.

If you want to turn all the effects up and give it another go, I'd definitely be interested! Hope this isn't driving you too crazy.

I also notice the extra pedal event in the DPBSD v1.4 file is particularly revealing of the partial pedaling in your HP, which is nice to see. You have to push the pedal most of the way down I suppose before you start hearing the effect?
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/18/10 06:42 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Oh. I thought the firmware update was supposed to fix this? Or was that another Kawai model?


Please re-read my post - I wasn't certain that a firmware update would improve string/damper resonance, just that "it's quite possible". Batak suggested that these additional effects could indeed be heard when playing back the MIDI file, hence my suggestion to update the firmware.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: ocd

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/18/10 09:48 PM

Originally Posted By: Rodney
... Keyboards/DPs trounce sample libraries for that feeling of being connected to the instrument and the better instruments are "Good Enough" in their realism to not leave you feeling like you are playing anything other than a Piano.


That is also my experience. I would rather play my MP8 than Ivory or Pianoteq. The MP8 experience is much more immediate.

ocd
Posted by: zaba19

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/19/10 04:42 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Are you recording to a 44.1kHz 32 bit float and then saving as MP3?

I'll check the settings when I get home, they were probably left default.
Originally Posted By: dewster
Normally the right hand tail amplitude looks larger and sounds different (spacier) than the one on the left if there is sympathetic resonance. Here they look identical.

I'll listen with headphones directly on the piano this particular part of midi file and report back. Maybe I took sympathetic resonance for another effect. Im not really that good in this terminology frown
Originally Posted By: dewster
If you want to turn all the effects up and give it another go, I'd definitely be interested! Hope this isn't driving you too crazy.

No problem at all smile
Originally Posted By: dewster
I also notice the extra pedal event in the DPBSD v1.4 file is particularly revealing of the partial pedaling in your HP, which is nice to see. You have to push the pedal most of the way down I suppose before you start hearing the effect?

I think I have to press the pedal quite low to start hearing it but that's by no means objective observation. My previous piano didn't support half-pedaling and generaly my foot's become accustomed to pressing all the way down or releasing all the way up. During my piano lessons on my teacher's grand I got sometimes told to press less on some parts of music but there was just no means for me to practice half-pedaling. Since I don't have any experience with this I can't tell if what my piano simulates is how pianos should work or if the effect should start earlier.
I guess I could sit with headphones and try to evaluate at which point exactly I start hearing this. I should probably teach my foot to press with less force anyway and listen what effect it can really bring. Oh the joy of new options, gotta try it on Debussy laugh
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/19/10 11:20 AM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
Please re-read my post - I wasn't certain that a firmware update would improve string/damper resonance, just that "it's quite possible". Batak suggested that these additional effects could indeed be heard when playing back the MIDI file, hence my suggestion to update the firmware.

My apologies, James. There have been so many firmware update posts it's hard for me to keep them straight. And I hope you don't think that's a veiled dig at you or Kawai.

James, I'm curious. I know your sig says you are employed by Kawai, but your opinions are your own. Are you here in a professional capacity? That is, does Kawai pay you to read and post here? Or are you doing this entirely on your own time? I ask this not to be confrontational in any way, but because I'd rather not pester you with company-related questions to if you are on your own time (unless I absolutely have).
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/19/10 11:45 AM

This morning I downloaded the Acoustica Pianissimo and ran the DPBSD over it. I believe the only limitation to the demo is that it will time-out after 14 days, which is really nice. The stand-alone mode could use a WAV recorder, but otherwise it is very nicely done and has a built-in MIDI player. I didn't experience any problems with the GUI or with my sound card, it worked right off the bat.

It sounds pretty good given the limited sample size, though the looping of the mids and highs could use some work, as could the sympathetic resonance and partial pedaling. A bit too much stretching for my tastes too.

The loop section of the sample is fairly visible, so I included the lengths of those in the report too.

I like the way Acoustica tells you the sample size and the layer count. This kind of testing wouldn't be so necessary if everyone did that.

MP3 and review are in the archive. I also modified the readme a bit to clarify the general recording procedure.


---------------------------
- Pianissimo 1.0 Build 12 -
---------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.4_acoustica_pianissimo.mp3
- "Solo Grand Piano" default preset, reverb off, master volume 70%.
- Stand-alone mode, Echo MIA SPDIF I/O, Adobe Audition.
PROS:
- Note decay is nice and long, with low note loops long enough to "wobble".
- Large dynamic range (~50dB, vel=1:127).
- Key up and pedal samples.
- 4 velocity layers.
- Velocity layer switch @ vel=54,80,102.
- Fairly good velocity layer matching with possible filtering.
- Some kind of sympathetic resonance? Fairly subtle.
CONS:
- Note decay is looped, so timbre evolution is lacking (needs progressive LP filter).
- C6 to C9 loops are audible, too short and fake sounding.
- Obviously stretched, group transitions fairly audible.
- Stretch distances: 4,3,4,2,2,2,1,2,1,2,2,2,1,2,2,1,2,1(x5),2,2,1,2,2,2,1,2,2,1,2,1(x4),2,1,2,1(x19) = 34 groups.
- Sample lengths are (C2:C9) 5.1,7.0,6.6,4.3,3.0,3.4,2.0,? seconds.
- Loop lengths are (C2:C9) 3.5,3.8,1.5,2.7,0.7,0.25,0.22,? seconds.
- Velocity layers clearly visible, not obviously blended.
- Audible velocity layer switch @ vel=54.
- No response to partial pedaling.
- Pedal down sample is a "knock" rather than a "loom of strings".
OTHER:
- C7 sample has small DC offset.
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-19

Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/19/10 12:05 PM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Excellent results from the HP-307. I assume a similar result would be obtained from the new Supernatural upgrade kit for the RD-700GX...

I've been wondering about that myself.

If anyone owns an RD-700GX with the Supernatural upgrade kit (Dr Popper?), if you upload a DPBSD sample I'll definitely spend some time comparing it to the HP-307 to see if there are any differences. This is a very intriguing sampling and playback process that Roland has. It seems almost explicitly designed to foil the DPBSD test (as their videos - that predate the DPBSD test I should add - show)! Too bad it isn't available in a less expensive DP yet.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/19/10 01:05 PM

dewster, I can recall two recent posts related to firmware updates for KAWAI instruments - once in this thread, where I recommended R0B update his MP5 to the latest v1.15 OS, and once in another thread regarding a crackling noise issue with the new CA63.

Quote:
James, I'm curious. I know your sig says you are employed by Kawai, but your opinions are your own. Are you here in a professional capacity? That is, does Kawai pay you to read and post here? Or are you doing this entirely on your own time? I ask this not to be confrontational in any way, but because I'd rather not pester you with company-related questions to if you are on your own time (unless I absolutely have).


My primary responsibility at KAWAI Japan is to create owner's manual and brochures for instruments sold overseas, although my job also encompasses a range of other tasks. I visit this forum during my working day, but also - as is the case right now - at home, during my free time. Contributing to this forum allows me to provide information about KAWAI instruments (often correcting mis-information), and also provides an excellent opportunity to communicate with fellow digital piano enthusiasts directly.

In one sense, yes I do consider my presence here in a professional capacity - I have learnt a tremendous amount about digital pianos from fellow forum members including yourself, and believe my work for KAWAI has benefited as a result. However, as I also enjoy visiting the forum in my spare time; reading the thoughts of others, and often posting my own messages, you might say I'm also here in a non-professional capacity too. wink

I really don't mind answering questions related to KAWAI, provided they do not call upon me to reveal potentially harmful information regarding proprietary technology or other confidential matters. I try to be as honest as possible with my posts and responses, aiming to answers queries in a clear, objective manner. At the end of the day, I contribute to PianoWorld out of my own free will - nobody at KAWAI forces me, or even recommends that I maintain a presence here. Indeed, this arguably grants me a degree of freedom to express my own opinions, rather than just be a spokesperson for the company.

I know that there are still a few folks here who appear somewhat sceptical as to whether my intentions are truly genuine, and that's to be expected. All I can really do is just keep on doing what I'm doing - I've been a member of this forum for over two and a half years, and have posted almost 900 messages (most of which have been useful, I hope...) - if I really was a shill, I guess I would have been found by now, surely?

Anyway, I hope that answers your questions. wink

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/19/10 01:56 PM

James

Your contributions never seem biased towards Kawai to me. In fact I sometimes think you could go further than you do in publicizing the unique selling points of the Kawai product. You are also very gracious in your praise for the products of the other makers where you feel this is deserved. And you support Norwich FC.

Cheers

Steve
Posted by: voxpops

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/19/10 02:58 PM

What? You don't support Ipswich Town FC, Steve? What price loyalty, these days?

Oh, and +1 with regard to KAWAI James' great contribution.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/19/10 03:56 PM

Thank you James for clarifying the nature of your presence on this board. You have indeed been unfailingly helpful and fair in your advice to others, which is something I think we can all very much appreciate, and you should be highly commended for it.

And let me apologize again for my earlier brash (some, including myself I'm afraid, would say rude) behavior towards you. Please forgive me.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/19/10 04:02 PM

Originally Posted By: zaba19
Originally Posted By: dewster
Are you recording to a 44.1kHz 32 bit float and then saving as MP3?

I'll check the settings when I get home, they were probably left default.

After you open Audition to record, do this:

File | New...

and set the "Sample Rate" to "44100",
the "Channels" to "Stereo",
and the "Resolution" to "32-bit (float)".

Then click "OK".
Posted by: madshi

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/19/10 04:05 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
If anyone owns an RD-700GX with the Supernatural upgrade kit

And if anyone owns an RD-700GX without the Supernatural upgrade kit, an MP3 would be welcome, too, because I think the RD-700GX's AP is different compared to the already tested RD-700SX.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/19/10 04:31 PM

Yes, the GX introduced the "Expressive Grand", which is supposed to be its principle piano voice in addition to the carry-over of the two sample sets from the SX (Superior and another that I can't remember). Having played the GX I don't think from memory that I was blown away by the Expressive Grand...it was ok but nothing special as I recall but certainly worth testing for the DPBSD.

Voxpops...Ipswich Town FC...pah!

Cheers,

Steve
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/19/10 05:38 PM

Thank you for the kinds words chaps. wink

dewster, no problem. We had a bit of a rough patch a few months ago, but that's all in the past - I think you've more than made up for all that by providing lots of great technical insights for all us DP geeks. wink

voxpops, Steve's a "Lew-stuff boi" - torn between Canary Green and Tractor Blue. wink

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/19/10 06:04 PM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Dewster, adding your interpretation of the test to the subjective impression of the sound of the notes, what is your favourite so far?

Others here seem to have a much more definite and refined opinion of what they want & don't want to hear in terms of sound than I do. That's why I tend to limit my subjective comments to the technical results of the test, rather than the tone. For instance, I feel competent enough to say whether string decay sounds realistic or not, but not whether a particular midrange sounds like a Steinway or not. I also try to judge older instruments in the context of their time and their peers, but I'm not the world's best DP historian.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/19/10 06:09 PM

Ha ha! Lew-stuff boi...said like a true carrot-cruncher. Try using a bit of authentic East Anglian gibberish in Hamamatsu! "thas on the huh boy!" Off topic or what?!
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/19/10 06:12 PM

Fair comments Dewster...In terms of subjective impressions if I could arrange a virtual DP showroom I would love the play the Yamaha CP1 (and 5) against an RD-700GX with the Supernatural upgrade against a new Kawai MP with the improved action and Ultra Progressive Harmonic doo-dahs etc.

Steve
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/20/10 02:54 AM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Fair comments Dewster...In terms of subjective impressions if I could arrange a virtual DP showroom I would love the play the Yamaha CP1 (and 5) against an RD-700GX with the Supernatural upgrade against a new Kawai MP with the improved action and Ultra Progressive Harmonic doo-dahs etc.

Steve


Yes, and for those of us who aren't lucky enough to already own one, said showroom would also contain a Roland VPiano in the line up.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/20/10 12:17 PM

Originally Posted By: madshi
And if anyone owns an RD-700GX without the Supernatural upgrade kit, an MP3 would be welcome, too, because I think the RD-700GX's AP is different compared to the already tested RD-700SX.

I welcome any and all DPBSD MP3 files. I kind of prefer newer stuff with possible wider interest, but older stuff is fine too.

It's kind of incredible that everyone has been doing pretty much the same damn thing for the last 10 years, with the introduction of layer blending only very recently. The engineering process apparently always starts with a small fixed ROM size and works backwards from there.

Unfortunately, I haven't reviewed very many that are complex enough to support a "soul", or even be considered alive in any significant way. These days, DPs with 2 second looped and stretched samples, however well done, are dangerously skirting the toy category IMO. Armed with the DPBSD, I can rest easier knowing I won't get stuck paying big bucks for old school crap dressed up in fancy new trappings.
Posted by: kiedysktos.

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/20/10 06:07 PM

This thread looks like clearly technical stuff, though it made me wondering about some aspects of my reaction to modern DP's sound. For example, in some DP's many notes were very unnatural to my ears (specially the lowest).
And this project was able to explain the reason of my psychoacoustic impression on those pianos - stretching... now when I know, what to look for, I can say WHY some pianos sounded so unreal to me. Just listen to some mp3s from this project page in a moment when all notes are played one after another chromatically... you can clearly hear stretching; and it's so clear and obvious, that no matter is it .mp3 or .wav; it makes many notes sound dead. And when I hear Roland HP307, every note sound great, I hear no stretching... no groups of notes, every one lives it's own way. Of course other factors, as looping or resonance has important impact on overall DP impression, but my conclusion is: this technical analysis (even if it has it's mistakes) can be very useful and educational.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/20/10 11:38 PM

Originally Posted By: kiedysktos.
This thread looks like clearly technical stuff, though it made me wondering about some aspects of my reaction to modern DP's sound. For example, in some DP's many notes were very unnatural to my ears (specially the lowest).
And this project was able to explain the reason of my psychoacoustic impression on those pianos - stretching... now when I know, what to look for, I can say WHY some pianos sounded so unreal to me.

Same here. It's actually kind of a relief to know just what it is I'm hearing that sounds good or bad, rather than having vague feelings about audible clues. Listening and seeing combined is an amazing thing, it really cuts through the hype.

Originally Posted By: kiedysktos.
Just listen to some mp3s from this project page in a moment when all notes are played one after another chromatically... you can clearly hear stretching; and it's so clear and obvious, that no matter is it .mp3 or .wav; it makes many notes sound dead.

These are generally gross issues in the sound, easily visible and generally audible in either file format. Most of the fine visual "fingerprint" detail is preserved in the MP3, which makes more sense to me now. The MP3 compression process really can't play too many games with the L & R phase without messing up the stereo field.

Originally Posted By: kiedysktos.
...this technical analysis (even if it has it's mistakes) can be very useful and educational.

Honestly, I am trying very hard to be as accurate as I can, and to treat every sample fairly, regardless of manufacturer. I do not work nor have I worked in the music industry (and probably never will - at this point I'm probably blacklisted from that club laugh ). I'm just some unemployed engineer in NJ with too much time on his hands, but literally anyone can do this and see it for themselves. It's not rocket science in the slightest.

Please check my results. Download the Adobe Audition trial and open one of the DPBSD MP3 files - you may want to start with a particularly egregious offender for training, such as the Roland JV-1010. Look at it using the three different views: Waveform, Spectral Pan, Spectral Phase (I find the Spectral Frequency view to be not very useful for this) while adjusting the horizontal zoom (and sometimes vertical for the Waveform view). Try also playing back the file while looking at it, to better correlate what you are seeing with the sound. That's 99% of all I'm doing.
Posted by: CruelStrings

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/21/10 06:10 AM

Awesome project!

I would be very interested in comparing the DP samples with i.e. Kawai Anytime (ATX or AT II), Yamaha Silent or PianoDisc GT-2 /Magic-Star samples.

Since most of us ponder whether to buy a real piano with silent function, or a digital piano with inferior action but midi capability.

Cheers
Posted by: zaba19

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/21/10 05:44 PM

Sorry it took so long, here is another file from my HP-307: http://rapidshare.com/files/353954751/dp_bsd_v1.4_Roland_HP-307_all.mp3

The settings I changed were:
damper resonance 10
string resonance 10
key-off 10
duplex scale 10
damper noise 10
cabinet resonance off
reverb off

I looked at the wave-form in the section you showed and I dont think anything changed. Maybe what I had in mind was string resonance, not sympathetic resonance. Sorry for confusion.

As for key-off and pedal samples - I don't think I can hear or see them in the recording but maybe it's something wrong with playing from midi file like in Kawaii? Here you have 2 files I recorded directly from piano:

http://rapidshare.com/files/353950656/key-off.mp3 - 3 notes with key-off set to 10 and 3 with key-off set to 0
http://rapidshare.com/files/353959084/resonance.mp3 - your resonance test (only holding notes + with pedal on, just 6 notes because I dont have 3 hands wink + all with pedal on); also notice that the pedal noise is audible
The recording levels haven't changed from the main recording. You will see that the damper noise is quite quiet but still audible...

What I suspect it that perhaps when playing a midi file the settings from piano designer aren't applied? What do you think? Do you notice difference between my previous file and this? There is so much resonance when playing normaly with all settings to 10 that it's very unnatural and I would never set it like this.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/21/10 06:04 PM

Originally Posted By: zaba19
Sorry it took so long, here is another file from my HP-307: http://rapidshare.com/files/353954751/dp_bsd_v1.4_Roland_HP-307_all.mp3
...
As for key-off and pedal samples - I don't think I can hear or see them in the recording but maybe it's something wrong with playing from midi file like in Kawaii?

Thanks! Unfortunately, the file is in mono. But it doesn't seem significantly different than your previous files in terms of all the extra noises and resonances.

Originally Posted By: zaba19
Here you have 2 files I recorded directly from piano:
http://rapidshare.com/files/353950656/key-off.mp3 - 3 notes with key-off set to 10 and 3 with key-off set to 0
http://rapidshare.com/files/353959084/resonance.mp3 - your resonance test (only holding notes + with pedal on, just 6 notes because I dont have 3 hands wink + all with pedal on); also notice that the pedal noise is audible
The recording levels haven't changed from the main recording. You will see that the damper noise is quite quiet but still audible...

I can't hear anything different for the key-off recording, but the second one definitely shows off the resonance and pedal down sample! Though both of those are also in mono for some reason.

Originally Posted By: zaba19
What I suspect it that perhaps when playing a midi file the settings from piano designer aren't applied? What do you think? Do you notice difference between my previous file and this? There is so much resonance when playing normaly with all settings to 10 that it's very unnatural and I would never set it like this.

Yes, I suspect that is the case too. I think I've seen other instruments that treat the MIDI input as a separate thing, and require you to input MIDI control or SYSEX to manipulate the various settings for that input.

Are you enjoying the Roland? Anything you particularly like or don't like about it?
Posted by: zaba19

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/21/10 06:56 PM

Oh ffs why is Audition selecting by default only 1 channel and not both... I forgot to change it but I don't think it will change much if I do it yet again :P

As for key-up - try this with a chord in lower-end of the keyboard:
http://rapidshare.com/files/353985233/key-off_2.mp3

I particularly like the ability to play midi files from USB :P Well as I said earlier my previous piano was 3 generations old and couldnt do it. I learn Beethoven Concerto No. 1 and playing it along with the orchestra and changing tempo to suit me is really awesome and helping a lot.
Other than that - the dynamic range is so nice... Previously I could only really hear and feel fortissimo on my teacher's acoustic, this comes really close now.
Of course I could name many things I like here but it would all be compared to HP3 so don't know if it's of any use... Like keyboard with escapement, the ivory-like material, generaly the action, superior sound (no more looping that was driving me mad), much better implemented left pedal... A leap in technology.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/22/10 09:32 AM

Originally Posted By: zaba19
As for key-up - try this with a chord in lower-end of the keyboard:
http://rapidshare.com/files/353985233/key-off_2.mp3

Oh, very nice. The key up sound is more of a string damp, rather than a knock sound.

Originally Posted By: zaba19
Other than that - the dynamic range is so nice... Previously I could only really hear and feel fortissimo on my teacher's acoustic, this comes really close now.

My wife is always complaining that DPs have a top output that is generally too easy to reach, and there's nowhere to go after that. Whereas with real pianos you just play harder and it will get louder - there's always more room up there.
Posted by: elecmuse3

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/22/10 03:03 PM

Thank you all, for such enthusiasm in your posts. I have the viewpoint of 1: a player in a band, 2: a small background in electronics, and 3: an employee in an acoustic-only piano shop (notwithstanding that some are played mechanically; and some of those without electricity). My 2 cents, similar to several others' comments: the tests and pictures of waveforms are wonderful to have, and a real contribution. This info helps a potential purchaser by giving them info. It is not, nor do I think dewster intended it to be, the only criteria to consider. Above all, PLAY the thing! Listen, get a variety of opinions, wait a day, play it again.

Ultimately, the device exists to be a tool for your use, whether those uses be musical, engineering, egotistic (mine has more layers than yours), or "you got a new car so I get new equipment". Please respect the differences in tool usage.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/22/10 05:00 PM

Originally Posted By: zaba19
Oh ffs why is Audition selecting by default only 1 channel and not both... I forgot to change it but I don't think it will change much if I do it yet again :P

Could you do a short recording of the pedal down resonance again, but this time in stereo?

It seems like the resonance probably sounds good, but I can't really tell in the mono MP3. The mono file sounds like there is some kind of strange beating sound, but I think this is just due to the fact that it is in mono and would like to confirm that.

Have you inquired with Roland as to why the extra pedal and key sounds don't seem to be there when played via MIDI? If they can't be enabled (and we don't know one way or another if they can or can't) then it could be a problem for people who want to record with it.
Posted by: jscomposer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/22/10 05:13 PM

Cool! I have no bones about what this reveals. I kept my Yamaha P80 for all these years because I just didn't feel like the technology really improved. Modeling is definitely the way of the future, IMHO. I prefer Pianoteq though, because V-Piano is insanely expensive, and it fails my test!

Here's Pianoteq v3.5.3 beta. Keep in mind, Pianoteq allows you to alter the dynamic range. The default is 60db, and I left it that way, but it can be much higher. You can also adjust the action noise, like key release and pedal noise, but I left it default.

dp_bsd_v1.3_Pianoteq_v3.5.3beta.mp3

Preset: C3 Solo Recording, everything default except limiter and reverb are turned off.

Looking forward to the results!
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/22/10 05:40 PM

Originally Posted By: jscomposer
I kept my Yamaha P80 for all these years because I just didn't feel like the technology really improved.

Yes, it has been something of a stasis for quite a while. Small improvements here and there, but nothing really new until lately. And PC stuff is still murdering anything in dedicated hardware.

Originally Posted By: jscomposer
Here's Pianoteq v3.5.3 beta. Keep in mind, Pianoteq allows you to alter the dynamic range. The default is 60db, and I left it that way, but it can be much higher. You can also adjust the action noise, like key release and pedal noise, but I left it default.

Thanks! Though I've already reviewed v3.5.2 (demo) - has much changed since then?
Posted by: jscomposer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/22/10 05:59 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Thanks! Though I've already reviewed v3.5.2 (demo) - has much changed since then?


I didn't see it. I checked again and still didn't see it. It's a huge thread, so I just scroll through looking for that courier font. If you can link to that post, that'd be great. Or if it's not much effort, you can run my mp3 through your program. smile Maybe the preset was different? I dunno how much they've tinkered with the model.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/22/10 06:13 PM

Originally Posted By: jscomposer
I didn't see it. I checked again and still didn't see it. It's a huge thread, so I just scroll through looking for that courier font. If you can link to that post, that'd be great.

Sorry, the place is kind a wreck. You'll have to step around the pizza boxes, empty beer bottles, and full ashtrays. Whatever you do, do NOT wake up the crazy couple passed-out on the couch.

The main link to all reviews and samples is here.
Posted by: zaba19

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/22/10 06:16 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Could you do a short recording of the pedal down resonance again, but this time in stereo?

Here you are:

string resonance 10
key-off 10
duplex scale 10
damper noise 10
cabinet resonance off
reverb off

1. Damper resonance 0 - http://rapidshare.com/files/354431693/resonance_0.mp3
2. Damper resonance 5 - http://rapidshare.com/files/354432806/resonance_5.mp3
3. Damper resonance 10 - http://rapidshare.com/files/354433456/resonance_10.mp3
In file - first time without pedal, 2nd with pedal
4. Damper resonance 5 - http://rapidshare.com/files/354433946/resonance_more.mp3
5. Damper resonance 10 - http://rapidshare.com/files/354434112/resonance_more10.mp3
More notes only with pedal.

If you have any specific case of settings/what to play you'd like me to record just tell.

Originally Posted By: dewster
It seems like the resonance probably sounds good, but I can't really tell in the mono MP3. The mono file sounds like there is some kind of strange beating sound, but I think this is just due to the fact that it is in mono and would like to confirm that.

With damper resonance set to 10 there are strange sounds all over when playing live smile

Originally Posted By: dewster
Have you inquired with Roland as to why the extra pedal and key sounds don't seem to be there when played via MIDI? If they can't be enabled (and we don't know one way or another if they can or can't) then it could be a problem for people who want to record with it.

They are there (see my post in "Roland HP-307" thread), you just probably have to use some special data in midi file (when I record something on piano and play back everything seems to be working ok). I don't know specifics of midi format.
First 3 files were recorded to piano's internal memory and then only played back with different settings.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/22/10 06:43 PM

Originally Posted By: zaba19
1. Damper resonance 0 - http://rapidshare.com/files/354431693/resonance_0.mp3
2. Damper resonance 5 - http://rapidshare.com/files/354432806/resonance_5.mp3
3. Damper resonance 10 - http://rapidshare.com/files/354433456/resonance_10.mp3
In file - first time without pedal, 2nd with pedal

Nice, thanks!

Originally Posted By: zaba19
4. Damper resonance 5 - http://rapidshare.com/files/354433946/resonance_more.mp3
5. Damper resonance 10 - http://rapidshare.com/files/354434112/resonance_more10.mp3
More notes only with pedal.

Very nice! I notice the 4th file sounds a lot more reverby for some reason?

Originally Posted By: zaba19
If you have any specific case of settings/what to play you'd like me to record just tell.

First 3 files were recorded to piano's internal memory and then only played back with different settings.

Could you send me the MIDI file that you recorded? Perhaps I could analyze it and make a custom DPBSD just for your DP, if you are willing? You're probably regretting getting involved in this by now!

Thank you very much!
Posted by: jscomposer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/22/10 06:50 PM

Ah, thanks!

I think you'll wanna redo the Pianoteq one anyway. That was a demo version with some disabled notes. Mine's the full Pro version.

BTW, what do you mean in the Pianoteq review that "The hammer knock sound is obnoxiously identical for all notes?" The Pro version allows you to adjust hammer hardness, hammer noise and strike point on a per-note basis (assuming that's what you're talking about). Though I honestly can't be bothered. LOL Even in the basic version, you can adjust all those things, just globally, not for each note.

And what's "stretching?"
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/22/10 07:14 PM

Originally Posted By: jscomposer
I think you'll wanna redo the Pianoteq one anyway. That was a demo version with some disabled notes. Mine's the full Pro version.

OK thanks, I'll give it a listen.

Originally Posted By: jscomposer
BTW, what do you mean in the Pianoteq review that "The hammer knock sound is obnoxiously identical for all notes?" The Pro version allows you to adjust hammer hardness, hammer noise and strike point on a per-note basis (assuming that's what you're talking about). Though I honestly can't be bothered. LOL Even in the basic version, you can adjust all those things, just globally, not for each note.

I did that review early on when I wasn't accustomed to hearing hammers knocking away at me in the upper registers. Now I know it is a fairly realistic thing. I should update that review.

Originally Posted By: jscomposer
And what's "stretching?"

These things are explained fairly extensively, along with the tests, in the readme file at the sharepoint link. Here is the short answer:

2. Sample stretching is a form of sample memory compression, where samples for certain notes are replaced with pitch stretched versions of samples from other nearby or adjacent notes.
Posted by: zaba19

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/23/10 04:01 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Could you send me the MIDI file that you recorded? Perhaps I could analyze it and make a custom DPBSD just for your DP, if you are willing?

I'd love to get this file for you but there seems to be a problem.
When I record something and just play back everything works perfectly. But then I have to save it and that breaks everything. It doesnt matter if I save to internal memory or usb - can't get the missing stuff to sound... I guess only Roland can say what's going on and if they can fix it. Unless you see some magic setting in manual I could try...
Originally Posted By: dewster
You're probably regretting getting involved in this by now!

Not yet wink

Edit:
Actualy I tested more thoroughly the functions in piano designer. Here is what I can freely change when playing back a "song" saved in memory:
Lid - ok
Damper resonance - not ok, seems to be const 0
Hammer noise - ok
Duplex scale - how to test it?
String resonance - ok
Key-off resonance - ok
Damper noise - not ok (if damper resonance is off dampers dont make any noise anyway)
Posted by: jmmec

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/23/10 04:43 PM

Originally Posted By: zaba19
When I record something and just play back everything works perfectly. But then I have to save it and that breaks everything. It doesnt matter if I save to internal memory or usb - can't get the missing stuff to sound...


Just wondering -- page 61 of the manual talks about "Changing the External Memory Setting" (there are two values: mode1 and mode2). Maybe try changing this?
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/23/10 05:10 PM

Originally Posted By: JMMEC
Originally Posted By: zaba19
When I record something and just play back everything works perfectly. But then I have to save it and that breaks everything. It doesnt matter if I save to internal memory or usb - can't get the missing stuff to sound...


Just wondering -- page 61 of the manual talks about "Changing the External Memory Setting" (there are two values: mode1 and mode2). Maybe try changing this?

Worth a try? But if it can't store this to internal memory then maybe the USB mode isn't at fault?

I'm looking at page 59 of the manual, "Storing Your Settings (Memory Backup)" and I wonder if you could try to set the things that don't seem to be sticking, do a memory backup, and see what that does? Page 79 lists the settings that get saved ("Parameters Stored in Memory Backup") and even the problematic ones seem to be there.

I have an email into Roland to see what they have to say about this issue.
Posted by: zaba19

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/23/10 06:06 PM

The mode doesn't matter here, files saved in internal memory are affected too.
As for saving settings in internal memory - also didn't change anything. Besides you should hear the pedal sound and damper resonance with default (5) setting anyway.

Btw the thread has gone slightly off topic I think smile Maybe we should move it to another to not make any more mess here?
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/23/10 06:47 PM

R0B/dewster,

I received a reply from one of the MP programmers regarding String/Damper resonance when playing back MIDI.

He suggests checking that the 'SysCH' setting is set to 'Panel'. For reference, here is the explanation from page pp.48 of the MP5 owner's manual:



I hope this helps.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: R0B

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/23/10 09:24 PM

James.

Thanks for that info, but after a quick test, I found that the opposite, may be true.

I performed a factory re-set a few days ago, and have not altered any settings, and it seems the MP-5 defaults to 'SysChMode=Panel'.

I changed this setting to: 'SysChMode=Normal' and set string and damper resonance to max (10), along with Key off effect, and these effects are now being transmitted, and recorded.

Dewster.
Here is the new file, if it is of any use:

http://www.box.net/shared/kvq12s77jh

Rob
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/23/10 11:15 PM

Originally Posted By: zaba19
Btw the thread has gone slightly off topic I think smile Maybe we should move it to another to not make any more mess here?

I personally don't consider this off topic as technically it's a very unusual DP, and I'm sure others are interested in any issues you're having. Maybe someone from Roland will answer our questions soon.
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/24/10 03:06 AM

Unfortunately there is no ROLAND James in sight... wink
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/24/10 03:12 AM

'Roland Ronald', perhaps? wink

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/24/10 08:40 AM

Or maybe their distributor in Warsaw could contribute? "Roland Poland"
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/24/10 06:58 PM

I got a response from Roland, they said they would get the HP-307 MIDI implementation document from their corporate parent and post it here:

http://backstage.rolandus.com/product_manuals/
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/24/10 08:12 PM

Originally Posted By: R0B
I changed this setting to: 'SysChMode=Normal' and set string and damper resonance to max (10), along with Key off effect, and these effects are now being transmitted, and recorded.

Dewster.
Here is the new file, if it is of any use:

http://www.box.net/shared/kvq12s77jh

Thanks! I pulled it into Audition - excellent levels. Is it supposed to have sympathetic resonance? I don't see or hear it in there.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/25/10 04:44 PM

Today I ran our Yamaha Motif Rack ES through the DPBSD gauntlet. The patch is "Full Grand". I thought I turned off the reverb, but some of it remains. No real matter I guess, it's not like it's a groundbreaking sample set in any way. With that lackluster intro, I leave you to the review. MP3 output is at the sharepoint for those interested. Readme and review files have been updated.

-----------------------------------
- Yamaha Motif Rack ES Full Grand -
-----------------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.4_yamaha_motif_rack_es_full_grand.mp3
- Sonar, Echo MIA MIDI out, TRS out, Echo MIA TRS in, Audition.
PROS:
- Decent dynamic range (~37dB, vel=1:127).
- A fairly smoothly blended 3 layer sample set (spectral pan & phase displays).
- Visible layer switch @ vel=72,104.
CONS:
- Note decay rate is pretty fast (~2/3 to 1/3 Pianoteq, lo to hi).
- Obviously looped. Lower notes sound fake-wobbly, upper notes sound fake-static.
- Sample lengths are (C2:C9): 2.3,2.6,2.4,2.3,1.8,1.5,1.2,? seconds.
- Obviously stretched, low and mid group transitions fairly audible.
- Stretch distances: 2,3(x10),2,3,4,3,3,2,2,2,1,3,2,3,1,2,1,2,3,3,3,3,3,5 = 33 groups.
- Obvious velocity layer switch @ vel=104, timbre fairly static after that.
- No obvious sympathetic resonance.
- No obvious key up/down samples.
- No pedal up/down samples.
- No response to partial pedaling.
OTHER:
- Couldn't get SPDIF output to play nice with my Echo MIA card.
- MP3 levels: peak @ -1dB, noise floor @ -76dB.
- Sounds like a bit of reverb is still on.
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-25
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/25/10 05:29 PM

Roland HP-307 Visual Results

I thought people might be interested in some of the results of our tests on the Roland HP-307. The text review was posted earlier in this thread. This is quite the groundbreaking DP when it comes to technical specs that the DPBSD tests for.

As usual, people are advised to go and play one before deciding on such a major purchase - this test doesn't tell the whole story by any means. This test can however help you weed out problematic issues with sound that might bedevil you after you have owned a particular DP for a while (usually one day after the return period runs out smile ).

That said, the HP-307 doesn't seem to possess any of the usual issues normally associated with DP sample compression, which I find very refreshing. The Roland engineering staff should be commended for such a fine accomplishment.


Spectral phase view of the note C2. It looks vaguely cyclic, but over a much longer period then is usual for DPs loops. And by that I'm not really claiming the decay cycle is a traditional loop.


Spectral pan view of the note C3. Also looks vaguely cyclic, yet somewhat random too.


Spectral pan view of the note C4. Appears vaguely like a an attack sample melded to a somewhat cyclic decay.


Spectral pan view the layer test. Very smooth timbral variation with no visible or audible layer switching.


Spectral frequency view the layer test. High frequency content increases smoothly with velocity.


Spectral pan view the stretch test. The mid notes are shown here. Notes appear random, no visible or audible stretch grouping. Lower and higher notes not shown here also appear to be (and sound) random.

These and more pix for the HP-307, as well as the text review and MP3, are posted at the sharepoint for those who are interested.
Posted by: jmmec

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/25/10 07:58 PM

Thanks very much for your effort and analysis, dewster.
Posted by: pesk

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/26/10 01:29 AM

There is a demo of K-RD700GX1 SuperNatural piano kit:

http://forums.rolandclan.com/pub/attach/203570-My_Pleasure.mp3

Maybe this guy could make the DPBSD file for you Dewster too...

http://forums.rolandclan.com/?action=show_thread&thread=32970&fid=34&page=3
Posted by: zaba19

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/26/10 06:01 AM

Thanks for the detailed review of HP-307 dewster, always glad to hear positive comments on a new purchase smile Especialy if it's a totaly new approach of testing based on somewhat measurable facts. Naturaly you should never buy an instrument with such price tag without trying it first but at least everyone will be encouraged to try it now.
Posted by: bkmz

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/27/10 08:12 PM

Dewster, thank you very much for this project, its extremely interesting!

Here is mp3 from my Yamaha CLP-330 (I think I'm going to replace it with HP-307 smile )

http://www.sendspace.com/file/s2gv6l
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/27/10 10:18 PM

Originally Posted By: bkmz
Here is mp3 from my Yamaha CLP-330 (I think I'm going to replace it with HP-307 smile )

Thanks, I really do appreciate it!

Was the sympathetic or damper resonance set to the default setting, or turned up? If it was turned up, could you perhaps record it again with it set to the default?

Could you also tell me a bit about your hardware / software setup (soundcard, MIDI playback & recording software, etc.)?

Is it OK if I criticize it? smile
Posted by: bkmz

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/28/10 01:05 PM

dewster

Damper resonance was set to max (20), and I don't remember the default value ) Maybe 2 or 10.. Ok, I'll re-record it with 10 tomorrow.

My soundcard is Audiophile 2496, I'm using SAWStudio to record audio. CLP330 can play midi from usb flash drive, so I just connected piano' phone-out (it's little noisy but lineout level is too low) to soundcard's line-in. Ofcourse you can criticize it )
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 02/28/10 01:48 PM

Originally Posted By: bkmz
Damper resonance was set to max (20), and I don't remember the default value ) Maybe 2 or 10.. Ok, I'll re-record it with 10 tomorrow.

My soundcard is Audiophile 2496, I'm using SAWStudio to record audio. CLP330 can play midi from usb flash drive, so I just connected piano' phone-out (it's little noisy but lineout level is too low) to soundcard's line-in. Ofcourse you can criticize it )

OK, thanks! Before you record you might want to do a factory reset, then turn off the reverb. Your MP3 levels were very good, no complaints about that anyway smile.
Posted by: bkmz

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/01/10 04:47 PM

damper resonance = 5
http://www.sendspace.com/file/p8wbwa
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/01/10 07:40 PM

Originally Posted By: bkmz


Thanks very much to to bkmz, we now have a review of the Yamaha CLP-330, which is a Clavinova introduced in 2008. In the "prices paid" thread someone bought one for $2390 USD in Minsk, Belarus.

There are two files at the share point, one with the default sympathetic resonance, and another with it turned up to the max. I think the effect is typical for Yamaha i.e. rather poor - I don't like the default value, and turned up I find it obnoxious.

The sample lengths are fairly short, and the upper note loop lengths are way too short, you can hear the resonance repeating like an echo.

It's also stretched a bit more than I would expect for an instrument this new and of this caliber. I could actually hear the upper stretching, which is rather unusual in my experience.

During the layer tests the notes are very damped sounding. The MIDI file plays one note repeatedly, with one event right after the next, so perhaps the CLP-330 is confused as to what to do with conflicting note on/off commands. Something I should perhaps fix in the next version of the test file.

On the plus side, the layers are smoothly blended.

------------------
- Yamaha CLP-330 -
------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.4_yamaha_clp330_dr5.mp3 (sympathetic damper resonance set to default of 5)
- dp_bsd_v1.4_yamaha_clp330_max_res.mp3 (sympathetic damper resonance set to max)
- USB Flash drive (MIDI file), headphone out, Audiophile 2496, SAWStudio.
PROS:
- Huge dynamic range (~62dB, vel=1:127).
- A smoothly blended multi-layer sample set (Yamaha reports 3 layers).
- Something like layer switches barely visible @ vel=72,90 (spectral phase view).
- Responds to partial pedaling.
- Sympathetic resonance.
CONS:
- Note decay rate is somewhat fast, particularly the higher notes (~3/4 to 1/3 Pianoteq, lo to hi).
- Obviously looped.
- C8 & C9 loops too short, piano resonance sounds like quick repeated echos.
- Sample lengths are (C2:C9): 2.2,1.9,1.9,0.8,1.3,0.8,0.6 seconds.
- Loop lengthes are (C2:C9): 1.0,0.8,0.5,0.3,0.2,0.2,0.15 seconds.
- Obviously stretched, most group transitions fairly audible, even the higher ones.
- Stretch distances: 3,3,4,4,4,2,4,3,3,3,2,3,3,3,2,2,2,2,3,1,3,3,4,2,2,3,5,4,3,3 = 30 groups.
- Sympathetic resonance is unpleasant - echoy, reverby, resonant, fake.
- No obvious pedal up/down or key up samples.
OTHER:
- Notes oddly damped during the velocity layer test.
- MP3 levels: peak @ -1dB, noise floor @ -80dB.
- Date reviewed: 2010-03-01
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/01/10 07:57 PM

dewster, may I suggest that you devise a way to score each test in an objective fashion? For example, ten categories (stretching, looping, layer switching etc.) each assessed from 1 to 10, then a total percentage score.

Just an idea.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: kiedysktos.

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/01/10 08:08 PM

And everything in one place, it's hard to go through all the pages smile
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/01/10 08:22 PM

Thanks to sandord over at http://forums.rolandclan.com we now have a DPBSD sample of the Roland K-RD700GX1 SuperNATURAL Piano Expansion card installed in a RD-700GX!

It tests pretty much the same as the Roland HP-307, which is good news. Again, many of the extra sounds like key up and pedal down aren't present in the DPBSD MP3 file for some reason.

Even though the file name indicates no sympathetic resonance, I do see and hear something like it in the DPBSD file. I assume it is the in-line effect built-in to the RD-700GX, which appears sophisticated as it has many parameters available to adjust.

---------------------------------------------
- Roland RD-700GX with K-RD700GX1 expansion -
---------------------------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.4_Roland_RD-700GX_K-RD700GX1_SuperNATURAL-Grand_Piano_no_sympres.mp3
PROS:
- Beautiful long natural-sounding note decay (decay times on the order of Pianoteq).
- Large dynamic range (~47dB, vel=1:127).
- No audible looping.
- Visually, the notes look similar to conventional length attack samples seamlessly blended with something like long loop samples. Not clear what the process is.
- No visible or audible stretching, notes look random in the wave and phase views.
- No visible or audible velocity switching.
- Very smoothly blended timbre variation with velocity.
- Responds to partial pedaling, centerpoint of this effect is with pedal mostly down.
- Pedal up sounds like realistic string damping rather than a knock.
- Sympathetic resonance (in-line effect?).
CONS:
- Can't detect key up or pedal down sounds in DPBSD MP3 file for some reason.
OTHER:
- Probably good enough to realistically record solo.
- MP3 levels: peak @ -3dB, noise floor @ -81dB.
- Some gated digital bleed-thru at the noise floor that comes and goes (PC?).
- Date reviewed: 2010-03-01.
Posted by: bkmz

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/01/10 08:26 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
In the "prices paid" thread someone bought one for $2390 USD in Minsk, Belarus.


It was me smile
Thanks very much Dewster. A few comments:
I can't say sample set is "smoothly blended" - actually layer switches are VERY audible and very annoying.
The damper resonance is not so unpleasant and fake to me, I like it, but it's a matter of taste.
I'm shocked about how short the samples are.
It would be very interesting to compare 330 with other models - 340/370/380.

And resulting sound is not so bad - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnzlmqJYVao but.. some things are annoying. 3 layers is too small and layer switching is too audible.
As I said, I'm planning to replace it, possibly with HP-307.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/01/10 08:27 PM

Originally Posted By: kiedysktos.
And everything in one place, it's hard to go through all the pages smile

Everything here in terms of MP3s, pictures, and text in Courier font is at MediaFire.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/01/10 08:51 PM

Originally Posted By: bkmz
It was me smile

Oops!

Originally Posted By: bkmz
Thanks very much Dewster. A few comments:
I can't say sample set is "smoothly blended" - actually layer switches are VERY audible and very annoying.

Hmm. Here is the frequency view of the layer test:



It does kind of look like the high frequency content levels off, then increases somewhat quickly. But after I make all the notes the same volume and listen to it it doesn't sound abrupt or anything.

Originally Posted By: bkmz
The damper resonance is not so unpleasant and fake to me, I like it, but it's a matter of taste.

Perhaps it sounds better from the built-in speakers?

Originally Posted By: bkmz
I'm shocked about how short the samples are.

Yes, rather short by DP standards, I was somewhat shocked myself. I kind of expected more with the Clavinova line. My wife played on one many years ago and really liked it.

Originally Posted By: bkmz
It would be very interesting to compare 330 with other models - 340/370/380.

If someone sends me an MP3 and I'll definitely do so.

Originally Posted By: bkmz
As I said, I'm planning to replace it, possibly with HP-307.

Whatever you replace it with, I would be interested to know what you like or dislike about it compared to the CLP330.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/01/10 09:17 PM

Roland HP-307 vs K-RD700GX1 Visual Comparison

Just how similar are the SuperNATURAL pianos in the Roland HP-307 and the K-RD700GX1 Piano Expansion card installed in a RD-700GX? Here are some pix where we can look for similar "fingerprints" in the sound. In all views, the HP-307 is on the top, K-RD700GX1 on the bottom.



Spectral phase view of the note C2.



Spectral pan view of the note C3.



Spectral pan view of the note C4.



Spectral pan view the layer test.



Spectral phase view the stretch test.

They look and sound similar enough to assume that they are most likely the same sample sets. Those who are interested should download the MP3 files and compare them.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/01/10 09:20 PM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
dewster, may I suggest that you devise a way to score each test in an objective fashion? For example, ten categories (stretching, looping, layer switching etc.) each assessed from 1 to 10, then a total percentage score.

I'd love to do that. But I really don't know how to go about assigning 1-10 type numbers to most of those things.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/01/10 09:32 PM

dewster, do you believe the MP3 compression could significantly affect the appearance of these graphs?

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 12:27 AM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
dewster, do you believe the MP3 compression could significantly affect the appearance of these graphs?

No, both kawaian and I looked into that and didn't see anything substantially different between the wave and MP3 spectral views. Here is a link to that post.

It really makes sense that spectral phase and pan aren't affected much by the compression - you can't play with phase very much without disturbing the stereo image.

The files are in the archive if you want to play with them and see for yourself.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 01:25 AM

Okay, I see.

Originally Posted By: dewster
The files are in the archive if you want to play with them and see for yourself.


Thank you, but I shall trust your better judgement.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 05:52 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: bkmz


Thanks very much to to bkmz, we now have a review of the Yamaha CLP-330, which is a Clavinova introduced in 2008. In the "prices paid" thread someone bought one for $2390 USD in Minsk, Belarus.

There are two files at the share point, one with the default sympathetic resonance, and another with it turned up to the max. I think the effect is typical for Yamaha i.e. rather poor - I don't like the default value, and turned up I find it obnoxious.

The sample lengths are fairly short, and the upper note loop lengths are way too short, you can hear the resonance repeating like an echo.

It's also stretched a bit more than I would expect for an instrument this new and of this caliber. I could actually hear the upper stretching, which is rather unusual in my experience.

During the layer tests the notes are very damped sounding. The MIDI file plays one note repeatedly, with one event right after the next, so perhaps the CLP-330 is confused as to what to do with conflicting note on/off commands. Something I should perhaps fix in the next version of the test file.

On the plus side, the layers are smoothly blended.

------------------
- Yamaha CLP-330 -
------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.4_yamaha_clp330_dr5.mp3 (sympathetic damper resonance set to default of 5)
- dp_bsd_v1.4_yamaha_clp330_max_res.mp3 (sympathetic damper resonance set to max)
- USB Flash drive (MIDI file), headphone out, Audiophile 2496, SAWStudio.
PROS:
- Huge dynamic range (~62dB, vel=1:127).
- A smoothly blended multi-layer sample set (Yamaha reports 3 layers).
- Something like layer switches barely visible @ vel=72,90 (spectral phase view).
- Responds to partial pedaling.
- Sympathetic resonance.
CONS:
- Note decay rate is somewhat fast, particularly the higher notes (~3/4 to 1/3 Pianoteq, lo to hi).
- Obviously looped.
- C8 & C9 loops too short, piano resonance sounds like quick repeated echos.
- Sample lengths are (C2:C9): 2.2,1.9,1.9,0.8,1.3,0.8,0.6 seconds.
- Loop lengthes are (C2:C9): 1.0,0.8,0.5,0.3,0.2,0.2,0.15 seconds.
- Obviously stretched, most group transitions fairly audible, even the higher ones.
- Stretch distances: 3,3,4,4,4,2,4,3,3,3,2,3,3,3,2,2,2,2,3,1,3,3,4,2,2,3,5,4,3,3 = 30 groups.
- Sympathetic resonance is unpleasant - echoy, reverby, resonant, fake.
- No obvious pedal up/down or key up samples.
OTHER:
- Notes oddly damped during the velocity layer test.
- MP3 levels: peak @ -1dB, noise floor @ -80dB.
- Date reviewed: 2010-03-01


I'm a little bit puzzled...
I'm sorry to say this, but CLP-330 does not have any kind of damper oder sympathetic resonance: Damper resonance is introduced in CLP-340, whereas string resonance is introduced in CLP-380 which is the top of the line Yamaha CLP DP. Are we talking about the same model? This needs to be fixed so the comparison here keeps to be reliable...

confused
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 06:05 AM

Originally Posted By: kawaian
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: bkmz


Thanks very much to to bkmz, we now have a review of the Yamaha CLP-330, which is a Clavinova introduced in 2008. In the "prices paid" thread someone bought one for $2390 USD in Minsk, Belarus.

There are two files at the share point, one with the default sympathetic resonance, and another with it turned up to the max. I think the effect is typical for Yamaha i.e. rather poor - I don't like the default value, and turned up I find it obnoxious.

The sample lengths are fairly short, and the upper note loop lengths are way too short, you can hear the resonance repeating like an echo.

It's also stretched a bit more than I would expect for an instrument this new and of this caliber. I could actually hear the upper stretching, which is rather unusual in my experience.

During the layer tests the notes are very damped sounding. The MIDI file plays one note repeatedly, with one event right after the next, so perhaps the CLP-330 is confused as to what to do with conflicting note on/off commands. Something I should perhaps fix in the next version of the test file.

On the plus side, the layers are smoothly blended.

------------------
- Yamaha CLP-330 -
------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.4_yamaha_clp330_dr5.mp3 (sympathetic damper resonance set to default of 5)
- dp_bsd_v1.4_yamaha_clp330_max_res.mp3 (sympathetic damper resonance set to max)
- USB Flash drive (MIDI file), headphone out, Audiophile 2496, SAWStudio.
PROS:
- Huge dynamic range (~62dB, vel=1:127).
- A smoothly blended multi-layer sample set (Yamaha reports 3 layers).
- Something like layer switches barely visible @ vel=72,90 (spectral phase view).
- Responds to partial pedaling.
- Sympathetic resonance.
CONS:
- Note decay rate is somewhat fast, particularly the higher notes (~3/4 to 1/3 Pianoteq, lo to hi).
- Obviously looped.
- C8 & C9 loops too short, piano resonance sounds like quick repeated echos.
- Sample lengths are (C2:C9): 2.2,1.9,1.9,0.8,1.3,0.8,0.6 seconds.
- Loop lengthes are (C2:C9): 1.0,0.8,0.5,0.3,0.2,0.2,0.15 seconds.
- Obviously stretched, most group transitions fairly audible, even the higher ones.
- Stretch distances: 3,3,4,4,4,2,4,3,3,3,2,3,3,3,2,2,2,2,3,1,3,3,4,2,2,3,5,4,3,3 = 30 groups.
- Sympathetic resonance is unpleasant - echoy, reverby, resonant, fake.
- No obvious pedal up/down or key up samples.
OTHER:
- Notes oddly damped during the velocity layer test.
- MP3 levels: peak @ -1dB, noise floor @ -80dB.
- Date reviewed: 2010-03-01


I'm a little bit puzzled...
I'm sorry to say this, but CLP-330 does not have any kind of damper oder sympathetic resonance: Damper resonance is introduced in CLP-340, whereas string resonance is introduced in CLP-380 which is the top of the line Yamaha CLP DP. Are we talking about the same model? This needs to be fixed so the comparison here keeps to be reliable...

confused


+1
Posted by: bkmz

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 06:19 AM

it definitely has damper resonance
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 06:32 AM

Originally Posted By: bkmz
it definitely has damper resonance


Then it's not a Yamaha CLP-330. It looks like a CLP-340.
Posted by: bkmz

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 06:59 AM

Kawaian, are you kidding? I made this photo by myself!

Ok, here is Yamaha site (press 'Specifications'):

http://www.yamaha.com/yamahavgn/CDA/Cont...amp;CTID=203500
Effects
Damper Resonance YES
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 07:49 AM

The string resonance is limited to the CLP-380 top of the line model.
If dewster reports that he is hearing it, then the question is what in fact he is hearing/seeing...or what Yamaha is letting people pay extra for on the very high priced CLP-380...
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 07:56 AM

Originally Posted By: bkmz
Kawaian, are you kidding? I made this photo by myself!

Ok, here is Yamaha site (press 'Specifications'):

http://www.yamaha.com/yamahavgn/CDA/Cont...amp;CTID=203500
Effects
Damper Resonance YES


The US website of Yamaha ist extremely misleading in this respect! They should correct this immediately! If you have a closer look you see that it states the following on the CLP-330 site:

"All the subtle capabilities of a grand piano
Key-Off samples provide the delicate sound keys make when they are released. Stereo Sustain samples recreate the resonances of strings and soundboard when the damper pedal is pressed. String Resonance samples provided the rich tones produced when one hammered string causes related strings to ring out in harmony. Using these comprehensive gradations, CLP300 Series models can realistically reproduce the complex sounds of a grand piano.
* Key-Off and Stereo Sustain: CLP380, CLP370, CLP340. String Resonance: CLP380."

This is of course extremely misleading, because it raves about all the features of the piano and then, at the very end, states that it's not included...

Shame on you, Yamaha US!
Posted by: bkmz

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 08:21 AM

People, I'm talking about the DAMPER RESONANCE, not STRING RESONANCE! DAMPER RESONANCE is present on CLP330, STRING RESONANCE is on CLP380 only.
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 08:33 AM

Definitely not. Damper Resonance = Stereo Sustain Samples (on Yamahas Website). See my comment on my last post.
Posted by: bkmz

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 08:47 AM

noooo, SSS is another thing.... kawaian please stop it, i'm the owner of CLP330, i swear it does have damper resonance, you can clearly see the button on the picture above.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 08:56 AM

What does your piano do differently when the damper resonance light is on versus off?
Posted by: bkmz

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 09:11 AM

theJourney
It's not just on/off, it has 20 levels.
It sounds like some kind of resonance ) I don't know how to describe it, I will upload a sample later.
And honestly I don't know what the difference between "Damper Resonance" and "Stereo Sustain Samples", Yamaha descriptions are not very clear about that.
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 09:31 AM

@bkmz, I guess I need to apologize! After reading a little bit more in the CLP-330/340/370 user manual it became clear that Damper resonance is applied to all of these models. Sorry for that misunderstanding!

But, in excuse to my misinterpretation, the Yamaha website is extremely uninformative about their model features. Furthermore I could not find any explanation on what the difference of damper resonance and Stereo sustain samples is...

So be it, nothing wrong with your MP3 contribution and dewsters analysis!
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 09:58 AM

The question also becomes what then is "string resonance" on the CLP-380?

Does anyone have access to a 380 to give dewster a file?
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 10:02 AM

String resonance is the resonance of individual keys pressed down while you play other keys (all with pedal up). This will result in some harmonic or even disharmonic resonance depending on which key is pressed.

My KAWAI CA63 has both damper resonance and and string resonance.

Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 11:36 AM

Sorry for the confusion. Is it me, or does it seem like different manufacturers call these things by different technical sounding names?

One of the main things I love about the sound of an acoustic piano is when the damper pedal down, and all of the strings are allowed to vibrate in sympathy with whatever other notes are being played. I've been calling that sympathetic resonance, but perhaps that's not the standard accepted term for the phenomena? I really like it but it is often done poorly, so I want to know about it, hence the DPBSD test for it.

I realize that there are damperless treble strings always sitting there doing whatever they want all the time, and I'm not sure what the accepted term for that is. And some people get rather excited about being able to silently press and hold some keys while playing others and having just those notes free to resonate - is there a consensus on what to call that? I don't test for these things specifically because I'm more interested in bulk pedal-down sympathetic resonance.

And then there is the sound of the dampers themselves going up and down with the damper pedal. I call these pedal up/down sounds.

If I'm doing something horribly wrong with my terminology, please let me know and I'll change it. I did try to clarify and explain these things in the readme file, perhaps I should change that section?

Here is a waveform (amplitude vs time) view of the sympathetic resonance test of the CLP-330, where the same notes are played twice, on the left the pedal is up, on the right the pedal is down:



Clearly visually and audibly something is definitely going on.

Here is an MP3 of the second and third phases of the sympathetic resonance test for the CLP-330, which corresponds exactly to the image above:

http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/clp330_res_5.mp3

Listen in particular to the last several seconds of the file. All of the rich piano sound devolves into a dull, single note buzz. This is why I tend to harp on Yamaha sympathetic resonance - it is generally a very poorly done delay effect.

This is a Clavinova too, so call me crazy but I kind of expect more from this premiere line.
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 12:26 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
One of the main things I love about the sound of an acoustic piano is when the damper pedal down, and all of the strings are allowed to vibrate in sympathy with whatever other notes are being played. I've been calling that sympathetic resonance, but perhaps that's not the standard accepted term for the phenomena? I really like it but it is often done poorly, so I want to know about it, hence the DPBSD test for it.

I realize that there are damperless treble strings always sitting there doing whatever they want all the time, and I'm not sure what the accepted term for that is.


AFAIK that's damper resonance.

Originally Posted By: dewster
And some people get rather excited about being able to silently press and hold some keys while playing others and having just those notes free to resonate - is there a consensus on what to call that? I don't test for these things specifically because I'm more interested in bulk pedal-down sympathetic resonance.


AFAIK that's string resonance.

Originally Posted By: dewster

And then there is the sound of the dampers themselves going up and down with the damper pedal. I call these pedal up/down sounds.


agreed.

Additionally you also have key off samples (the subtle sound that occurs when you release a key and pedal is up).
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 12:50 PM

I agree with Dewster's terminology. Whether it is pedal down or just one note softly struck to lift the damper on that note I would call it all sympathetic resonance personally. If you think about it it amounts to exactly the same thing....ie, a string or strings with the damper lifted (whether by key strike or pedal press) and thus being free to vibrate in sympathy with played notes.

The DP makers, especially Yamaha, have made it unnecessarily complicated probably in order to increase the perceived added value to different instruments within the same range as per the Clavinova line.

Steve
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 01:06 PM

I would also agree, but pianomakers (not only Yamaha) have different expressions for this since they implement not all of these in all of their DP models.

e.g. Yamaha:

CLP-320 nothing...
CLP-330 damper resonance (as I learned today...)
CLP-340+370 damper resonance, Stereo sustain sample(what's that?), key-off sample
CLP-380 damper resonance, Stereo sustain sample(what's that?), key-off sample, string resonance
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 01:29 PM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
The string resonance is limited to the CLP-380 top of the line model.
If dewster reports that he is hearing it, then the question is what in fact he is hearing/seeing...or what Yamaha is letting people pay extra for on the very high priced CLP-380...


have you ever taken about consumer electronics? As an example, Sony might make a line of five DVD players that all look alike except for the higher end, more expensive models might have some extra buttons to allow access to more features.

Take them apart and you find the circuit boards are identical and the low cost model has a blank place where a switch was not soldered down. I'd not be surprised if Yamaha used the same electronics in several DPs.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 02:31 PM

Originally Posted By: kawaian

CLP-320 nothing...
CLP-330 damper resonance (as I learned today...)
CLP-340+370 damper resonance, Stereo sustain sample(what's that?), key-off sample
CLP-380 damper resonance, Stereo sustain sample(what's that?), key-off sample, string resonance

I think "Stereo sustain sample" is maybe what I call a "pedal-down" sample with a "loom of strings" sound - when the damper pedal is pressed in a real piano it excites all of the strings slightly.

What they call "key-off" I call "key-up" and I think that's clear. Sometimes it's a knock sound, sometimes it's the buzzy sound of a string being damped. Same for the "pedal-up sound".

"Damper resonance" strikes me as insufficiently descriptive and also confusing. Though I can see why they are trying to differentiate what is usually implemented as a global delay effect from something that is more complex - what they term "string resonance".
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 02:36 PM

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
Originally Posted By: theJourney
The string resonance is limited to the CLP-380 top of the line model.
If dewster reports that he is hearing it, then the question is what in fact he is hearing/seeing...or what Yamaha is letting people pay extra for on the very high priced CLP-380...


have you ever taken about consumer electronics? As an example, Sony might make a line of five DVD players that all look alike except for the higher end, more expensive models might have some extra buttons to allow access to more features.

Take them apart and you find the circuit boards are identical and the low cost model has a blank place where a switch was not soldered down. I'd not be surprised if Yamaha used the same electronics in several DPs.


You do realize how dangerous these statements are above, don't you?

Soon, dewster will not be requesting us to send him mp3 files but to open up our cases and photograph our circuit boards!

The third generation of the thread will have us all jockeying with soldering irons...
Posted by: jmmec

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 02:54 PM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
...Soon, dewster will not be requesting us to send him mp3 files but to open up our cases and photograph our circuit boards!

The third generation of the thread will have us all jockeying with soldering irons...



Not to mention that colleen/snazzy (the same person) will then go metaphysical-on-our-a** and will further demean dewster for violating the "soul" of the digital instrument by "opening it up" (sic) to even further scrutiny! They prefer darkness to light, and sit in wonderment at the marketing departments across the globe.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 04:19 PM

Originally Posted By: JMMEC
...violating the "soul" of the digital instrument...

If DPs have souls, does that mean we'll have them in heaven?

If my DP breaks, do I need to give it a proper church service and burial?
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/02/10 08:15 PM

Yamaha CLP-330 Visual Results

Below are some of the results of Yamaha CLP-330. The text review was posted earlier in this thread.

Kind of disappointing for a Clavinova class instrument.


Spectral pan view of the note C4. Cursor at end of sample / start of loop. Sample length is 1.9 seconds, loop length is 0.5 seconds. Loop periods here are not easy to see and require compression to reveal the details. I decided to not do that here so that the sample / loop transition would be clearer.


Spectral pan view of the note C5. Cursor at end of sample / start of loop. Sample length is 0.8 seconds, loop length is 0.8 seconds.


Spectral pan view of the note C7. Cursor at end of sample / start of loop. Sample length is 0.8 seconds, loop length is 0.2 seconds.


Spectral phase view the layer test. Smooth timbral variation with no visible or audible layer switching (to me; however the owner reports bad and audible layer switching).


Spectral pan view the stretch test. The mid notes are shown here. Stretching is present and audible over the entire range, which is unusual.

These and more pix for the CLP-330, as well as the text review and MP3, are posted at the sharepoint for those who are interested.

If anyone can send me a DPBSD MP3 of the CLP-370 or 380 that would be great.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/03/10 12:10 PM

I have a theory about Clavinovas, and wonder if others think the same way.

These are "cabinetry" DPs, so people are most likely buying them to put in living rooms and such because they feel stage pianos or in-between units like the P-155 are too ugly. Nothing wrong with that, as long as people realize they're paying a hefty premium for it.

Anyway, "cabinetry" DPs usually have fairly decent amp/speaker sound systems in them (as DPs go, that is - in actuality they are rather far from ideal) that people like because they want to play without a lot of fuss and bother. Playing through flat headphones, or particularly through external flat active studio monitors, would be unusual. I think also the "cabinetry" DP buyer tends to be coming at a DP purchase from more of an acoustic piano angle, rather than a sampler angle, and therefore tends to be less savvy in terms of the technical limitations of DP sounds.

Manufacturers know this, and they also know the rather lame built-in sound system will mask many otherwise audible issues with the sample playback. So they feel a bit freer to hack away on the sample set, using shorter and fewer attack and loop samples, cutting corners on the sympathetic resonance and reverb algorithms, etc.

Does that sound crazy? It certainly seems to be the case for the CLP-330 anyway.
Posted by: edt

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/03/10 12:24 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster

Does that sound crazy? It certainly seems to be the case for the CLP-330 anyway.


yes it does. Just contact the manufacturer directly, you should get some kind of answer back, and if you're lucky you'll get an answer from one of the techs. My feeling is that the current set of pianos is it is all about hybrid technology, half samples, half modeling. And because hybrid tech is in its infancy, piano makers tend to use fewer samples than they should, because they want to show off their modeling software.
Posted by: jscomposer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/03/10 02:20 PM

Originally Posted By: edt
[quote=dewster] My feeling is that the current set of pianos is it is all about hybrid technology, half samples, half modeling. And because hybrid tech is in its infancy, piano makers tend to use fewer samples than they should, because they want to show off their modeling software.


GEM did the hybrid thing YEARS ago, as in almost 10 years ago. Few people cared though. I don't know why. They went outta business. So now Yammy is jumping on the bandwagon.

Drewster, thanks for redoing Pianoteq. Just wanna point out that key release is present while pedaling. Maybe it's more difficult to hear with all the resonance, but if you increase the key release noise parameter, you'll hear it's there.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/03/10 02:42 PM

Originally Posted By: jscomposer
GEM did the hybrid thing YEARS ago, as in almost 10 years ago. Few people cared though. I don't know why. They went outta business.

I think GEM's claim to fame was that they were way ahead of everyone else in the sympathetic resonance department. In their earlier models they used a single layer sample and filtering or something, which was interesting too. But as much as I wanted to get on the GEM bandwagon, their samples were still sounded like they were looped with short decay, which killed it for me and perhaps others.

I've reached the point where I really can't justify spending any money on weak or fake sound of any sort, particularly when $500 of PC hardware and $300 of software will routinely blow the doors off almost all DPs out there, some of which cost over five times as much.
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/03/10 03:20 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster

Does that sound crazy? It certainly seems to be the case for the CLP-330 anyway.



I think you have the target market for this kind of piano correct. Most buyers will not be experts in the technology but that applies to buyers of TV sets, computers and even car tires.

But I don't thing Yamaha trys to mask the sound with a poor audio section. On the contrary. They use well designed sound systems because this is what matters. People judge the piano sound based on loudness and the amount of bass.

As an example most people will rate the YDP223 sound as better then the YDP160 even if the 160 has better specs simply because the 223 has better amps and speakers.

Looking at the audio sections of Yamaha DPs they seem to be very good designs in that they get quite good sound from very low cost parts. This is how engineers earn their pay. Any idiot can get high quality with a high budget.

A trick used by commissioned stereo salesmen is to turn the more expensive system up louder. Buyers always think "louder is better". You need to be very careful to match volume levels when you A/B test audio systems so as not to get suckered by that effect.

We only see a minority of buyers here, the owes who think to research a DP. Most I'm sure buy based on price and physical appearance. And necessary low price either. People generally are looking for a match to their budget.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/03/10 04:20 PM

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
But I don't thing Yamaha trys to mask the sound with a poor audio section. On the contrary. They use well designed sound systems because this is what matters. People judge the piano sound based on loudness and the amount of bass.

I'm talking more about the treble, I should have been clearer. And I don't think they set out to make a poor audio section, the treble is often rather neglected, particularly when the speakers are not directly facing the listener. But I believe they could easily capitalize on that fact by cutting corners in the sample department until compression artifacting starts becoming audible.

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
Any idiot can get high quality with a high budget.

You must be blessed with a higher quality selection of idiots than those that surround me! smile

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
A trick used by commissioned stereo salesmen is to turn the more expensive system up louder. Buyers always think "louder is better". You need to be very careful to match volume levels when you A/B test audio systems so as not to get suckered by that effect.

Exactly. I've read that even 0.1dB change in loudness can influence how the sound of something is perceived in terms of quality.

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
People generally are looking for a match to their budget.

Very good point.
Posted by: jmmec

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/04/10 09:23 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
I got a response from Roland, they said they would get the HP-307 MIDI implementation document from their corporate parent and post it here:

http://backstage.rolandus.com/product_manuals/



Hmmmm... It doesn't look like the document has been released yet.

I don't know if you saw this (or that it will help while you are waiting for the HP-307 manual), but there is a MIDI doc for the HP-203/205, where they list the various configuration settings for "Damper Resonance": their description seems to match your definition of "sympathetic resonance".

Quote:
0040: Damper Resonance
On an acoustic piano, holding down the damper pedal allows other strings to resonate in sympathy with the notes you play, creating rich and spacious resonances. This effect simulates these damper resonances.


Here is the document:

http://media.rolandus.com/manuals/HP-203_MI.pdf

Perhaps some of the Damper Resonance settings for the HP-203/205 would work on the HP-307?

[It seems strange that this document doesn't apply to the HP-207. Maybe Roland has different MIDI EFX implementations for different DPs, even within the same family]
Posted by: zaba19

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/05/10 03:34 AM

I sent an email to Roland Poland (where I live) asking about the implementation of damper resonance and noise effect. I didn't ask for midi implementation sheet but just why it doesnt work when playing from midi and if it's intentional or can be fixed somehow. If I receive an answer I'll post here.
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/05/10 04:17 AM

Hahaaa! Roland Poland! That's like Kawai Hawaii...

Sorry, couldn't resist!
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/05/10 04:53 AM

...if only KAWAI had an office in Hawaii!

James
x
Posted by: kiedysktos.

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/05/10 05:16 AM

I'm from Poland smile there is also Roland Holland (Netherlands). Hehe!
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/05/10 05:35 AM

...Yamaha Panama...
Posted by: zaba19

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/05/10 07:00 AM

From first answer they seem to be unaware of the problem and ask me if I changed any settings... I asked them to do a specific sequence of operations to try to reproduce it.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/05/10 10:06 AM

Originally Posted By: JMMEC
Hmmmm... It doesn't look like the document has been released yet.

I hope the email I got from them wasn't just a brush-off.

Originally Posted By: JMMEC
Perhaps some of the Damper Resonance settings for the HP-203/205 would work on the HP-307?
...
[It seems strange that this document doesn't apply to the HP-207. Maybe Roland has different MIDI EFX implementations for different DPs, even within the same family]

Thanks for the pointer! Hard to say. I wish I had one here to perform experiments on.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/05/10 10:15 AM

Originally Posted By: zaba19
I sent an email to Roland Poland (where I live) asking about the implementation of damper resonance and noise effect. I didn't ask for midi implementation sheet but just why it doesnt work when playing from midi and if it's intentional or can be fixed somehow. If I receive an answer I'll post here.

Thanks! Maybe if enough people ask they will release the secret SYSEX codes - or a firmware update?

To me this is a rather large issue. Having a DP voice that is possibly good enough to record with, but not having certain features of that voice play back via MIDI kind of defeats the purpose. It would be great to be able to have someone perform on it (with good headphones for accurate, balanced feedback to the player), record the MIDI, do a few minor edits, then play it back and record the audio.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/06/10 05:44 PM

DPBSD v1.5 Released

There is now a new version of the DPBSD MIDI file, please use it for all current and new testing. The readme file has been updated as well to explain the new tests, and it contains some extra info on recording details as well.

Basically there are two new tests: one for limited sympathetic resonance of silently held notes, the other for pedal down silent replay behavior.

Some of the tests have been moved to better group like tests, and to place the potentially loudest test first.

====================
= Revision History =
====================
v1.5 - 2010-03-06:
- Moved pedal down sympathetic resonance test to be first test due to high amplitudes involved.
- Changed pedal down sympathetic resonance test timing & notes - now more dissonant & excludes damperless keys.
- Third phase of pedal down sympathetic resonance test now has keys down for full time to match second phase.
- Third phase of pedal down sympathetic resonance test pedal up event moved a bit later than key-up events.
- Added key down sympathetic resonance test.
- Added pedal down silent replay test.
- Moved partial pedal test to 4th to better group these similar tests.
- Shortened C8 by 1/3, C9 by 1/2 in looping test to better match Pianoteq decay time.
- Reduced key down time from 120 to 100 for all notes in velocity layer test to remove event ambiguity.
- Can use recording level (test 0) to reveal unusual note repeats (e.g. odd damped behavior of Yamaha CLP-330)

v1.4 - 2010-02-17:
- Added C5 (x7) velocity = 127 at start of file as an aid in setting peak recording level.
- Added two pedal=111 notes to the partial pedaling test, moved all pedal events midway between the notes.

v1.3 - 2010-02-03:
- Fixed problem with a loud velocity in the middle of test #3 (was double note).
- Extended sustain (key down) times for second phase of test #4 - now the same as third phase.

v1.2 - 2010-02-03:
- Changed velocity from 63 to 100 for all notes in test #4.
- Created readme file.
- There seems to be a problem with a loud velocity in the middle of test #3?

v1.1 - 2010-02-02:
- Born.
Posted by: Nachtschatten

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/06/10 05:53 PM

I found the link to the sustain test (aka pedal down silent replay test), thanks theJourney (and kudos to jscomposer):

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/703018/1.html
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/06/10 06:16 PM

Originally Posted By: Nachtschatten
I found the link to the sustain test (aka pedal down silent replay test), thanks theJourney (and kudos to jscomposer):

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/703018/1.html

I saw your post over on the other thread as well.

Thanks!
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/06/10 06:19 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster

It would be great to be able to have someone perform on it (with good headphones for accurate, balanced feedback to the player), record the MIDI, do a few minor edits, then play it back and record the audio.


I think most people who would record to MIDI and edit would prefer to play back the MIDI through a software instrument. Not only are these better samples but the technical quality is very good because there is "analog gap" the virtual instrument goes straight to a .wav file.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/06/10 06:59 PM

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
[I think most people who would record to MIDI and edit would prefer to play back the MIDI through a software instrument. Not only are these better samples but the technical quality is very good because there is "analog gap" the virtual instrument goes straight to a .wav file.

I agree, but then you lose the tracking between how someone plays on a particular DP and the playback on something entirely different. I've had to deal with that before and it's a real pain. Even different speakers or headphones while the person is playing can drastically alter the sound of the DP (particularly the bass), and therefore how they play it. Record MIDI => Playback on same device is the way to go.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/08/10 06:44 PM

Yamaha AvantGrand N3 Review

Volusiano was kind enough to run his Yamaha AvantGrand N3 through the DPBSD gauntlet of tests. I received the MP3 file yesterday and spent some time analyzing it last night and this morning.

The samples are the longest I've seen so far in something that is conventionally looped, and the decay time is nice and long. It would really benefit from longer loop samples though. It appears to be fully sampled (no stretching), and the velocity timbre transition is smooth. Pedal down sympathetic resonance sounds better than what Yamaha usually does.

------------------------
- Yamaha AvantGrand N3 -
------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.5_yamaha_avant_grand_n3.mp3
- USB Flash drive (MIDI file), headphone out, Laptop, Adobe Audition.
PROS:
- Passes the pedal down sympathetic resonance test - resonance is fairly nice.
- Pedal down sample is a realistic "loom of strings" sound.
- I believe it passes the key down sympathetic resonance test, but the effect is very subtle.
- Passes the pedal down silent replay test.
- Responds to partial pedaling.
- Highly damped partially pedaled notes have buzzy partially damped sound.
- Key-up of louder notes produces realistic buzzy damping sound.
- Sample lengths are somewhat longer than usual.
- Nice long decays on the order of Pianoteq.
- Sample lengths are (C2:C9): 4.4,4.3,3.9,3.5,3.0,2.1,?,? seconds.
- No visible or audible stretching.
- Velocity appears to be a smoothly blended multi-layer sample set.
- No audible velocity layer switching.
- Something like a velocity layer switch barely visible @ vel=78 (spectral pan view).
- Huge dynamic range (~55dB, vel=1:127).
CONS:
- Obviously looped, both visually and audibly, particularly the lowest notes, though it isn't too badly done.
- Loop lengths are rather short.
- Loop lengths are (C2:C9): 0.7,0.67,0.67,0.67,0.56,0.43,?,? seconds.
OTHER:
- MP3 levels: peak @ -1dB, noise floor @ -70dB.
- Date reviewed: 2010-03-08



Spectral pan view of note C4. Loop begins at cursor.


Spectral pan view of note C4. Single loop is highlighted.


Spectral phase view of note C5. Loop begins at cursor.


Spectral pan view of note C5. Single loop is highlighted.


Spectral phase view of stretching test, the bass notes are shown here. No evidence of stretching anywhere on the keyboard.


Spectral frequency view of the layer test. Velocity layers are smoothly blended with no visual or audible steps.


Spectral phase view of the layer test.

As usual, there are more pix, the MP3, and the test review located at the MediaFire sharepoint.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/08/10 07:23 PM

Interesting stuff!

Thanks dewster and Volusiano.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/08/10 10:51 PM

Thanks! It was quite interesting reviewing such a high-end DP. It was also the maiden voyage of v1.5 of the test.
Posted by: madshi

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/09/10 02:52 AM

Yey - was hoping for the N3 - thanks to Volusiano (and dewster)!

It is interesting that the N3 does better, technically, than the CP1/CP5, in this test. But still, there's room for further improvements...

Now the one sample I'm still waiting for is Roland HP207 or RD700GX.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/09/10 03:25 AM

Originally Posted By: madshi
Yey - was hoping for the N3 - thanks to Volusiano (and dewster)!

It is interesting that the N3 does better, technically, than the CP1/CP5, in this test. But still, there's room for further improvements...

Now the one sample I'm still waiting for is Roland HP207 or RD700GX.


Well, one would expect that the absolute top of the line acoustic replacement costing between 2 to 5 times as much would have more of a what it takes to succeed as a solo piano instrument than the CPx line which is often going to be played in a combo perhaps more often than not with electronic piano sounds or AP sounds that have been distorted with all the adjustment capabilities.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/09/10 05:40 AM

+1
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/09/10 08:34 AM

Originally Posted By: madshi
Yey - was hoping for the N3 - thanks to Volusiano (and dewster)!

It is interesting that the N3 does better, technically, than the CP1/CP5, in this test. But still, there's room for further improvements...

Now the one sample I'm still waiting for is Roland HP207 or RD700GX.

While the attack sample is longer in the N3, the looping in the CP1 is freer of looping artifacts. I just took another look at the CP1 and Yamaha appears to be using a rather static set of tones for the decay, perhaps a highly processed loop of some sort.

If they absolutely must loop, they either need a longer loop or a more processed loop IMO.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/09/10 10:46 AM

N3 sample memory size calculations:

- Sample lengths are (C2:C9): 4.4,4.3,3.9,3.5,3.0,2.1,?,? seconds.
- Loop lengths are (C2:C9): 0.7,0.67,0.67,0.67,0.56,0.43,?,? seconds.

Add sample and loop lengths together, assume the unknown highest sample|loop lengths are 2.1|0.43 seconds. This gives:

(25.4 + 4.56) / 9 = 3.33 seconds avg per sample

The big assumption is how many velocity layers there are. Let's make a reasonable guess and say 6. So:

3.33 sec/note * 6 (layers) * 2 (stereo) * 2 bytes/sample * 44100 samples/sec * 88 notes = ~310MB

Not too shabby as these things go. Buying on the web from Avnet, a 1 Gb part costs $16.50 (qty 1 pricing). 1 Gb = 125 MB; 310/125=~3, and $16.5*3=~$50. I'd be surprised if Yamaha spends more than 20% of this, and $50*0.2=$10.

If the M3 costs $10k (?), that's around 0.1% of the entire retail cost to store the main piano sound sample set. With 200%(?) distribution markup, that's around 0.4%.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/09/10 12:56 PM

I agree. That the Avant Grand "out-performs" the CP1 in terms of its technical spec surprises me. I would imagine though, leaving aside the AG's tactile response features, that subjectively the CP1 sounds better/nicer. I'm probably over-simplifying this but if Yamaha combined the AG's sample lengths and absence of stretching with SCM they would have a compelling product both technically and subjectively (leaving aside issues of personal taste etc).

Maybe we are pretty close to something groundbreaking for a hardware product...the Roland Supernatural stuff and Yamaha's SCM are moving the game along significantly whilst still using samples as a basis for tone generation.

Interesting stuff.

Steve
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/09/10 02:23 PM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Maybe we are pretty close to something groundbreaking for a hardware product...the Roland Supernatural stuff and Yamaha's SCM are moving the game along significantly whilst still using samples as a basis for tone generation.

These techniques are interesting, and SN in particular has nice note decays. I would still highly prefer they stop playing games and just give me a whole real sample. If they want me to pay $50/GB - even though the street price of Flash is more like $1 - I'll do it. Hell, I'll pay $100/GB.
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/09/10 02:53 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
N3 sample memory size calculations:


Dewster. What is the randon access speed for thr flash ram you quoted? Access speed controls latency.

Also did you accouunt for the four channel sound? I could have missed it.

Also if the velocity layers are blended then you need to read out two layers so that you can interpolate. With four channels that means eight 44.1Khz simultaneous 16-bit streams. If the N3 allows layered sounds then more (16?) simultaneous streams all with sub-millisecond latency.

I'm trying to figure out how the ram must be organized. Certainly not as a linear array with 16-bit at a time readout. It must use some complex bank switching. This means many smaller parts and higher cost.

Computer based samples can be stored dynamic RAM which has nano-second level access time to every word but Flash has to cycle to the correct place before you can sequentially read the data. I bet they use a good size stack of banks or maybe they copy the flash into dynamic RAM when you select a voice?

If it were me designing this I'd use a dynamic RAM that was loaded when you select the voice(s) but only because I can't design a complex multibank switch. We don't know how yamaha designed it.

There are other cost drivers. How much engineering time was spent and how many N3s do they sell? In the extream case Oracle sells you software and for $50,000 all you get is an e-mail with a license key. What does an e-mail cost to send? No, you are paying for Oracles 5,000 person engineering staff and a relative small customer base. I won't even tell you what my customer has to spend. We have a user base on just one and he pays for half a building full of people, for years and years...

Don't misinterpret. I'm just trying to understand what is really inside. I doubt it work like an iPod but your cost analysis assumes an iPod-like design
Posted by: MarcoM

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/09/10 03:46 PM

it wouldn't be that difficult to have a DP that during startup would copy the full sample set to DRAM and use it from there...

It is quite surprising to see general-purpose computers leading the way compared to dedicated hardware (in both sampled and modeled pianos, although the vpiano seems to have caught up modeling-wise for now) but then again the market for DPs is tiny compared to the software market, and also composed in significant % by people that want to buy a piano and play it for years as-is
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/09/10 04:21 PM

Originally Posted By: MarcoM
it wouldn't be that difficult to have a DP that during startup would copy the full sample set to DRAM and use it from there...

It is quite surprising to see general-purpose computers leading the way compared to dedicated hardware (in both sampled and modeled pianos, although the vpiano seems to have caught up modeling-wise for now) but then again the market for DPs is tiny compared to the software market, and also composed in significant % by people that want to buy a piano and play it for years as-is


I agree about the delay in voice switching if flash were copied to RAM. I don't notice such delay so I doubt they do it that way.

One good clue is that DPs all have fixed maximum polyphony. This implies that the ROM has 128 parallel readout channels if the polyphony is 128.

So I take back what I wrote above about needing 16 parallel channels, no you need 128 simultaneous streams of 16-bit samples at 44.1Khz. or and aggregate rate of 11.3 MB per second. But then layer interpolation doubles this 256 streams and 22.6 MB/sec. Polyphony serious complicates the design.

The specs look impressive when you work out what it takes to play 128 layer interpolated notes at once with near zero latency

Actually I doubt Flash is used. I bet it is a masked ROM.
Posted by: MarcoM

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/09/10 04:36 PM

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
I agree about the delay in voice switching if flash were copied to RAM. I don't notice such delay so I doubt they do it that way.


are DPs you use instant-on? I thought current DP took a few seconds to come up when first turned on

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
One good clue is that DPs all have fixed maximum polyphony. This implies that the ROM has 128 parallel readout channels if the polyphony is 128.


or it could be that whichever asic they do to do the hardware mixing of the samples can only do 128 voices in parallel, you never know.

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
44.1Khz. or and aggregate rate of 11.3 MB per second. But then layer interpolation doubles this 256 streams and 22.6 MB/sec. Polyphony serious complicates the design.


22.6MB/sec seems extremely paltry by today's standards honestly

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
The specs look impressive when you work out what it takes to play 128 layer interpolated notes at once with near zero latency


I would be surprised if the latency was 'zero', not sure how this could be measured (this being a closed system, where you could also fudge the sensor location to have the 'on' sent before the key reaches its stop to make it seem the sound is output right as the key hits it) but I'd be really surprised if it was less than 5-6ms, if not more
Posted by: bkmz

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/09/10 06:31 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
N3 sample memory size calculations:

3.33 sec/note * 6 (layers) * 2 (stereo) * 2 bytes/sample * 44100 samples/sec * 88 notes = ~310MB



Its not stereo, its 4 channel = 620 mb.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/09/10 11:03 PM

Originally Posted By: bkmz
Its not stereo, its 4 channel = 620 mb.

Yes, thanks, I didn't take that into account.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/09/10 11:05 PM

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
Actually I doubt Flash is used. I bet it is a masked ROM.

Casio uses Spansion flash in their PX-330.
Posted by: Goofball Jones

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 06:46 AM

Okay, what am I missing. I go to the site and I see the midi file and the readme and all the sample MP3 files and folders...but I can't see anywhere to upload my MP3 test file to. Did something change that was mentioned in the middle of the 50 pages in this thread?
Posted by: Volusiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 07:23 AM

Originally Posted By: Goofball Jones
Okay, what am I missing. I go to the site and I see the midi file and the readme and all the sample MP3 files and folders...but I can't see anywhere to upload my MP3 test file to. Did something change that was mentioned in the middle of the 50 pages in this thread?


Goofball Jones, you just upload your mp3 file to the default MyFiles location of the mediafire website (or your folder if you register), then PM Dewster the share link to where you file is, and he'll pull it over to his folder. You just can't upload directly to his folder for some reason.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 07:46 AM

Originally Posted By: Goofball Jones
Okay, what am I missing. I go to the site and I see the midi file and the readme and all the sample MP3 files and folders...but I can't see anywhere to upload my MP3 test file to. Did something change that was mentioned in the middle of the 50 pages in this thread?

Sorry, I should put that in the readme. MediaFire doesn't allow uploads to my sharepoint other than by me. You can make your own MediaFire account though and upload it there, it's pretty easy. There are other free shareable/linkable web storage solutions out there too.

Which DP in particular are you uploading a DPBSD MP3 for?
Posted by: Goofball Jones

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 07:56 AM

No problem. I uploaded it to MediaFire. Here's the link:

Yamaha S90xs Natural Grand S6. This is the S6 piano that's new to the S90xs/S70xs.

http://www.mediafire.com/file/jytnvdmewam/dp_bsd_v1.5_yamaha_s90xs_natural_grand_s6.mp3

Recorded directly from the board unto a USB drive as a WAV file, then converted to MP3 via Audacity. No modifications other than amplifying it up a bit to -1dB. This is the stock 001 piano on the S90xs, factory set-up.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 09:21 AM

Originally Posted By: Goofball Jones
No problem. I uploaded it to MediaFire. Here's the link:

Yamaha S90xs Natural Grand S6. This is the S6 piano that's new to the S90xs/S70xs.

http://www.mediafire.com/file/jytnvdmewam/dp_bsd_v1.5_yamaha_s90xs_natural_grand_s6.mp3

Recorded directly from the board unto a USB drive as a WAV file, then converted to MP3 via Audacity. No modifications other than amplifying it up a bit to -1dB. This is the stock 001 piano on the S90xs, factory set-up.

Got it! The levels look good (-73dB noise floor, -1dB peak) & I see stretching - I'll review it shortly. Thanks!!

From the Yamaha web site for the S70 XS / S90 XS (they actually mention ROM size, unusual) - I wonder if the S6 sample is from the same session as the S6 in the CP1/5?:

Sounds That Satisfy
The best musical instruments start with top-quality sounds, and the S70 XS/S90 XS delivers all that — and more. The S Series features all the Voices, Performances, arps and Virtual Circuit Modeling effects found on the flagship MOTIF XS Music Production Synthesizer. Plus we've added a huge 142 megabytes dedicated exclusively to high-quality piano waveforms, for a total of 456 MB of instrument samples.

Foremost among these new piano sounds are the new samples taken from Yamaha's world-renowned S6 concert grand piano. These fully capture the richly textured sound of that wonderfully expressive instrument, and provide a warm concert grand piano sound unavailable on any other keyboard. For variation, the MOTIF XS piano based on a Yamaha CFIIIS is also available.
Posted by: Goofball Jones

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 09:41 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster


From the Yamaha web site for the S70 XS / S90 XS (they actually mention ROM size, unusual) - I wonder if the S6 sample is from the same session as the S6 in the CP1/5?:


From what I understand, it is from the same sampling sessions as the CP1/CP5. There is a video on Keyboard Magazine's site that shows a demo of the CP1 and it was mentioned there I believe, but I'd have to go back and watch it again.

Also, you said that you see stretching...is that good or bad that you saw that right away?
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 10:14 AM

Originally Posted By: Goofball Jones

Also, you said that you see stretching...is that good or bad that you saw that right away?


Obviously bad since it is a sound artefact.

But it only matters if you can hear it.
Posted by: Goofball Jones

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 10:24 AM

Originally Posted By: kawaian
Originally Posted By: Goofball Jones

Also, you said that you see stretching...is that good or bad that you saw that right away?


Obviously bad since it is a sound artefact.

But it only matters if you can hear it.


Yes, but he seemed kind of excited to see stretching. At least that's how it came across to me. laugh
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 10:29 AM

Maybe because it confirms his valuation of DPs as mostly crappy sounding... wink
Posted by: Goofball Jones

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 10:32 AM

Originally Posted By: kawaian
Maybe because it confirms his valuation of DPs as mostly crappy sounding... wink


Ah...

Why on earth did I contribute to this then! mad

laugh
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 10:37 AM

Originally Posted By: Goofball Jones
I uploaded it to MediaFire. Here's the link:

Goofball, I'm hearing something like reverb in the file - right at the very beginning where the level setting notes play. Do you know if there is any way to turn that off?
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 10:39 AM

Because it's helpful to see how the subjective sound of a piano is build on a technical base, at least for some aspects of the sound. It can help you to focus on parts of the sound to check if you can hear artefacts or some other things that might annoy you after some time. So this is a good resource for people who intend to buy a DP. But nevertheless, it can never replace playing several DPs by yourself. That should be the ultimate decision base for buying a DP.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 10:54 AM

Originally Posted By: Goofball Jones
Yes, but he seemed kind of excited to see stretching. At least that's how it came across to me. laugh

Oh, not too excited - just giving you some info from what I saw in the preliminary inspection. It also fails the silent note replay test. The decays are nice and long.

The reverby thing is making it difficult to assess sympathetic resonance though.
Posted by: Goofball Jones

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 11:01 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster

Goofball, I'm hearing something like reverb in the file - right at the very beginning where the level setting notes play. Do you know if there is any way to turn that off?


Not sure...that's the standard stock patch after a reset to factory settings. It's the piano you get when you first turn on the machine.

Having said that, I'll try to see what I can do, but it would entail editing the patch.
Posted by: setchman

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 11:14 AM

Hey dewster,

Here's Galaxy's newest piano, the "Vintage D":

http://www.mediafire.com/file/z41jjanzjmn/dp_bsd_v1.5_galaxy_vintage_d.mp3

I got it the other day and am enjoying it a lot. To my ears, it's a very nice sounding piano. I used the default patch which already had the Release Samples and "Overtones" (Sympathetic String Resonance) turned on. I did turn on the Damper noises but didn't change any levels. No other settings were changed so this is the "out-of-the-box" sound.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 11:29 AM

Originally Posted By: Goofball Jones
[quote=dewster]Not sure...that's the standard stock patch after a reset to factory settings. It's the piano you get when you first turn on the machine.

Having said that, I'll try to see what I can do, but it would entail editing the patch.

If you can disable just the reverb that would be great.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 12:29 PM

Originally Posted By: setchman

Nice levels and I don't hear any obvious reverb, so that's good. No looping or stretching, though it fails the pedal down silent replay test. I see at least 7 or 8 velocity layers in there, nicely blended over the midrange, but I can hear steps at the low and high ends. I'll get on it today.

Thanks much!!
Posted by: Goofball Jones

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 01:56 PM

Okay, here's the new S90xs Natural Grand S6 again, without (hopefully) any reverb. I'm still learning this board and it was actually quite easy to turn it off. If it was a snake, it would have bit me.

I deleted the other file and uploaded this one:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/hcymzmtnwyg/dp_bsd_v1.5_yamaha_s90xs_natural_grand_s6.mp3
Posted by: Marty Flinn

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 02:20 PM

Dewster,

I want to public ally acknowledge your work on this product and apologize for my skepticism early on. It was my contention that very few folks would be interested in or understand your work. I was wrong. In 36 days you have garnered 510 posts on this ambitious thread and project. Of those I counted nearly 50 individuals who contributed.

Clearly, folks that lurk the digital part of the Forum are not the norm of the typical digital piano shopper. I still contend that the bulk of buyers are little inclined to be interested or to absorb your date and conclusions. However, you have proven up a material number of folks in a concentrated period of time who do. Keep up the good work.

Maybe the next step is to query techs from the manufacturers and present your findings asking them to comment re. the context of their product specification postings. Perhaps there may be something in their methodology that you might be missing. Perhaps they may have gotten ahead of their corporate selves in their claims. My guess is the reality lies somewhere in between.

From my perspective as a salesman representing the product, the company reporting 3X sampling or 4X sampling is not going to cost me a nickel. What might cost us all a bunch is for manufacturer’s presentations of specifications to be proven false and misleading on a large scale. From a practical perspective I would opt for the truth, even if their “technology” takes a quantum leap backward.

Marty
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 03:51 PM

Originally Posted By: Goofball Jones

Ahh, much better, thanks!!
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 04:23 PM

Yamaha S90 XS Natural Grand S6 Review

Goofball Jones was kind enough to post an DPBSD MP3 of the Natural Grand S6 patch from a brand new Yamaha S90 XS - thanks Goofball!

The attack sample length isn't too bad, though the low notes in particular could benefit from a bit longer loops. The velocity layering sounds pretty smooth, but not quite as smooth as other DPs these days are doing. Up to the first and only audible velocity switch at vel=46, I couldn't hear much in the way of timbre change with increase in velocity, but after that the timbre did noticeably brighten with increased velocity.

During the partial pedal test I noticed the looping "echo" sound was more pronounced, perhaps due to an enhancement of the high frequency content, or perhaps due to whatever process they are using to make the partially damped note decay faster.

The noise floor is fairly white (sounds like a hiss) which always makes analysis much easier. Except for the WAV => MP3 conversion, this recording was done 100% with the instrument (MIDI => WAV) - a convention and convenience I hope soon becomes the norm.

I screen grabbed a bunch of pix of the analysis, and the MP3 is in the usual place should anyone want to see / hear the test results.

I've also performed some maintenance on the picture directory - subfolders were added for the various manufacturers, and all the pictures associated with particular instruments now have their own dedicated zip archives.

---------------------------------
- Yamaha S90xs Natural Grand S6 -
---------------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.5_yamaha_s90xs_natural_grand_s6.mp3
- USB Flash drive (MIDI file), USB Flash drive (WAV file), Audacity (normalize to -1dB, MP3)
PROS:
- Passes the pedal down sympathetic resonance test.
- Nice long decays on the order of Pianoteq.
- Realistic key-up "clunk" and string damp "buzz" sound.
- Responds to partial pedaling.
- Appears to be a somewhat blended 3 layer sample set.
- Decent dynamic range (~32dB, vel=1:127).
CONS:
- No obvious pedal up/down samples.
- Partial pedal sympathetic resonance test sounds echoy and loopy (due to HF EQ?).
- Fails the pedal down silent replay test @ pedal up.
- Fails the key down sympathetic resonance test.
- Obviously looped, both visually and audibly.
- Low loops sound fair, mid loops sound loopy, high loops sound slightly static.
- Loop lengths are rather short.
- Sample lengths are (C2:C9): 3.8,3.9,3.3,2.9,2.9,?,?,? seconds.
- Loop lengths are (C2:C9): 0.75,0.68,0.56,0.65,?,?,?,? seconds.
- Obviously stretched, both visually and audibly.
- Stretching is visible over the entire range, audible over the lows and mids.
- Stretch distances: 2(x8),3,2(x3),3,2,2,1,2(x3),1,1,2(x3),1,2(x20) = 45 groups.
- No audible timbre change up to first velocity switch, blended (with filter?) after that.
- Visible velocity layer switch @ vel=46,104.
- Audible velocity layer switch @ vel=46.
OTHER:
- Interestingly, notes played @ vel=1 produce no sound.
- MP3 levels: peak @ -1dB, noise floor @ -73dB.
- Date reviewed: 2010-03-10
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 04:47 PM

Good job dewster.

That Mediafire folder is gradually filling up.

How are your web programming/design skills?
Given the amount of data contained within this thread, I would strongly recommend setting up a dedicated website similar to (or perhaps even partnering with) PurgatoryCreek.

What do you think?

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 05:02 PM

Originally Posted By: Marty Flinn
I want to public ally acknowledge your work on this product and apologize for my skepticism early on. It was my contention that very few folks would be interested in or understand your work. I was wrong. In 36 days you have garnered 510 posts on this ambitious thread and project. Of those I counted nearly 50 individuals who contributed.

Clearly, folks that lurk the digital part of the Forum are not the norm of the typical digital piano shopper. I still contend that the bulk of buyers are little inclined to be interested or to absorb your date and conclusions. However, you have proven up a material number of folks in a concentrated period of time who do. Keep up the good work.

Why thank you very much Marty. I think we just got off on the wrong foot. I want to apologize for my earlier sharp remarks to you, please forgive me.

Originally Posted By: Marty Flinn
Maybe the next step is to query techs from the manufacturers and present your findings asking them to comment re. the context of their product specification postings. Perhaps there may be something in their methodology that you might be missing. Perhaps they may have gotten ahead of their corporate selves in their claims. My guess is the reality lies somewhere in between.

The Yamaha claims cited elsewhere here could be just poor translation, or overzealous marketing, who knows, but it does seem heavily biased in their favor. Everyone tells me the manufacturers watch these threads, so maybe pointing it out as kawaian has done is sufficient.

But in general I think this stuff is considered too secret for manufacturers to discuss openly with outsiders. The ironic part is that, with only a few notable exceptions, everyone's been doing pretty much the same thing since the first Kurzweil K250 rolled off the assembly line - with minor improvements here and there of course.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 06:37 PM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
...Given the amount of data contained within this thread, I would strongly recommend setting up a dedicated website similar to (or perhaps even partnering with) PurgatoryCreek.

Good suggestion. Someone here actually set up a wordpress site for me to test, and it was quite slick & functional. It was hard to turn that offer down, but I'm not sure I want to pay for website hosting and have them collect ad revenue off of my content. At least I think that's how it works. I wasn't quite ready at that point for a full-blown blog either (not sure I am now, actually). I've thought of the Purgatory Creek angle too, but haven't actually contacted them to see what's what.

Do you know where I can keep lots of ~10MB files for free and link directly to them without ads and such popping up? My ISP (Verizon) allocates a rather tiny storage space, which is fine for my personal web page, but is nowhere near enough for the DPBSD project files.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 07:10 PM

dewster, I'm afraid I don't of any ad-free hosting that allows direct linking to files. You could of course rely on one of the many file hosting sites such as MediaFire or even dropbox etc. but I expect you'd rather keep everything in a single, reliable location, right?

How about contacting Frank (owner of PianoWorld) or Alden (author of the DP supplement to Piano Buyer)? Actually, the latter would be ideal - yep, definitely shoot Alden a PM.

Good luck!

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: setchman

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 07:15 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Do you know where I can keep lots of ~10MB files for free and link directly to them without ads and such popping up? My ISP (Verizon) allocates a rather tiny storage space, which is fine for my personal web page, but is nowhere near enough for the DPBSD project files.


http://www.box.net gives you 1GB of storage for free and it doesn't have all those annoying popups. I may be worth checking out. I'm sure there are others but I've linked a bunch of files from there and it's worked out quite well. It also allows you to stream them without downloading.
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/10/10 07:36 PM

Well dewster if you don't find a service I can offer you 2GB free webspace on my dedicated webserver for the project. If interested, just contact me by PM.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/11/10 10:44 AM

Galaxy Vintage D Review

Yesterday setchman kindly provided us with a DPBSD MP3 of the very latest Galaxy piano, the "Vintage D" - a sampled 1920 Steinway D using Kontakt 4 for playback. Thanks setchman!

It is of course fully sampled, with no stretching or looping evident. The velocity layers appear and sound blended through the broad middle velocities, with semi-audible switching at the soft and loud ends, but the switching is by no means objectionable, and the timbre variation with velocity is nicely done.

A few nitpicky things with the damper pedal though. It fails the pedal down silent replay test in two different ways, the vel=1 note causes a distinct muting of the note, and the pedal up event following causes total muting even though the key is still being held down. And I don't hear any sympathetic resonance when a single note is played first and the pedal pressed a bit later. Not surprisingly, DPs that use delay effects for the sympathetic resonance usually get this right, but a sampled instrument would have to somehow crossfade over to the pedal down sample of the note (perhaps they are doing so and I just can't hear it?). Finally, the pedal up/down sounds are triggered around the 50% pedal point, which is rather non-realistic when partially pedaling and the pedal is only moving a bit.

As usual, the text review, the MP3, and some pictures of the analysis are located at the share point for your viewing / listening pleasure.


Spectral frequency view of the layer test - timbre changes smoothly with velocity.


Spectral phase view of the layer test - some layer switching is visible, particularly when zoomed up, and midrange is nicely blended.


Spectral phase view of the silent note repeat test - cursor @ pedal up; major damping before that caused by replaying the note @ MIDI vel=1 with pedal down.


--------------------
- Galaxy Vintage D -
--------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.5_galaxy_vintage_d.mp3
PROS:
- Passes the pedal down sympathetic resonance test.
- Passes the key down sympathetic resonance test.
- Sympathetic resonance sounds realistic.
- Pedal up/down sounds are "thunks".
- Key up sound/effect is a realistic "buzzy" sound.
- Nice long decays on the order of Pianoteq.
- Responds to partial pedaling.
- No visible or audible looping, notes appear and sound 100% sampled.
- No visible or audible stretching.
- Large dynamic range (~55dB, vel=1:127).
- Appears to be a somewhat blended multi velocity layer sample set (I see at least 9 layers).
CONS:
- Fails the pedal down silent replay test @ vel=1 & pedal up.
- Pedal down after playing a note doesn't cause sympathetic resonance.
- Pedal up/down sounds trigger @ 50% pedal, even when partial pedaling.
- Visible velocity layer switch @ vel=7,15,22,36,49,53,57,61.
- Audible velocity layer switch @ vel=7,15,36,53,57.
OTHER:
- C7 key-up during looping test makes a "distant thud" damping sound.
- MP3 levels: peak @ -1dB, noise floor @ -90dB.
- Date reviewed: 2010-03-11
Posted by: Goofball Jones

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/11/10 01:17 PM

Just a quick question, has anything ever passed the "pedal down silent replay test"? It seems that every review I've read has that as the first con. So should it really be in the test at all since it seems nothing does it?

Honestly, I didn't read every review, so I don't know if one does it or not. Just seems a majority of them don't.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/11/10 01:25 PM

Yes a few would pass it but Dewster has only just added this element to the test and it happens to be that the pianos recently tested do not feature behaviour that would pass this test.

Steve
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/11/10 01:48 PM

Originally Posted By: Goofball Jones
Just a quick question, has anything ever passed the "pedal down silent replay test"?

The Yamaha AvantGrand N3 passed. And as Steve indicated, this particular test is new. It's located near the front of the tests, so it tends to get commented on first.

Originally Posted By: Goofball Jones
Honestly, I didn't read every review, so I don't know if one does it or not. Just seems a majority of them don't.

All of the reviews are in a single text file located here.
Posted by: Goofball Jones

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/11/10 01:49 PM

Ah, thanks. Guess I should read more of the older reviews too. laugh
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/11/10 02:14 PM

Dewster: Yes, you are spot on re: the crossfading. I have at least one instrument that employs crossfading for the sustain resonance. (Pianowave's "Kalamkarian Bechstein"). It appears that both the pedal-up and pedal-down samples are always played simultaneously (with the attendent hit on polyphony!), with the cross fading invoked by the sustain pedal.

Unfortunately, the EW Quantum Leap Pianos does NOT employ cross fading, and has the same problem as the Vintage D appears that it may have. (I'm taking your word for it - I realise you are not 100% sure though)

I'm curious to see how well Ivory II does sustain resonance - I'm feeling optimistic.

Greg.
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/11/10 04:09 PM

Interesting! BTW CA63 does support cross fading, i.e. activates damper resonance even if the pedal was pressed after a key was hit.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/11/10 04:38 PM

Oops - it's actually the K-Sounds "Signature" that seems to play the sustain samples at the same time and cross fade - the Pianowave Bechstein actually seems to invoke the sustain samples only when required, saving polyphony! Both are Kontakt based.

Greg.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/11/10 05:33 PM

Originally Posted By: kawaian
Interesting! BTW CA63 does support cross fading, i.e. activates damper resonance even if the pedal was pressed after a key was hit.

Most likely a dispersion delay effect, rather than actual pedal down samples. The pedal probably crossfades between dry output and the output of a short reverb.

I'm not aware of any DP in hardware that has a pedal down sample set (like they do for PC samplers).
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/11/10 05:59 PM

No it's definitely not a reverby effect, I can distinguish the difference. It's a very realistic pedal down effect. It sounds like additional overtones. I don't know if it's a real sample or some virtual piano calculation.

BTW even the CLP-340 has stereo sustain samples...
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/11/10 05:59 PM

Arrgh. It now appears that both the Pianowave and the K-Sounds have both sets of samples playing all the time, with the crossfading. However, for some reason K-Sounds simply uses more voices, all the time. The reason for my confusion is that I always thought Kontakt counted a stereo pair as two voices, but it does not - it counts it as one voice. One thing's for sure - they both smoothly switch on the sustain resonance when the sustain pedal is pressed.

When testing this, watch out for pedal clunk samples temporarily increasing voice count. smile

Greg.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/11/10 09:24 PM

Originally Posted By: kawaian
No it's definitely not a reverby effect, I can distinguish the difference. It's a very realistic pedal down effect. It sounds like additional overtones. I don't know if it's a real sample or some virtual piano calculation.

BTW even the CLP-340 has stereo sustain samples...

I could be wrong, but I believe a "stereo sustain sample" is just a recording of all the strings vibrating after being excited by an impulse, and not by the specific notes being playing. Couple that with a little reverb and it could likely sound somewhat realistic. Genuine note samples with the damper pedal down would double the sample memory requirements, and we all know how crazy that notion is among DP manufacturers.
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/12/10 02:30 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: kawaian
No it's definitely not a reverby effect, I can distinguish the difference. It's a very realistic pedal down effect. It sounds like additional overtones. I don't know if it's a real sample or some virtual piano calculation.

BTW even the CLP-340 has stereo sustain samples...

I could be wrong, but I believe a "stereo sustain sample" is just a recording of all the strings vibrating after being excited by an impulse, and not by the specific notes being playing. Couple that with a little reverb and it could likely sound somewhat realistic. Genuine note samples with the damper pedal down would double the sample memory requirements, and we all know how crazy that notion is among DP manufacturers.


Well I could be wrong, but I guess I have a pretty well trained ear regarding those subtle real acoustic sound effects, as I play acoustic piano quite often. When I have the damper down each individual keypress produces unique resonances. When setting reverb to "off" this can be observed much better. There are also specific overtones ringing depending on which key you've pressed which sounds very realistic to my ears. This can't be accomplished by simply recording all the strings vibrating. Since KAWAI keeps this as a company secret (?) I cannot really tell you how they accomplish this, but it's done very well. There is also a nice smooth transition from non-damped to damped sound when you press the damper pedal after you stroke a key.

Speculation: This might also be quite polyphony intense, which is why they might have this polyphony issues from time to time and 192 notes polyphony is really needed to activate all effects and still have enough sounds available.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/12/10 09:45 AM

Dewster, may I suggest two tests for you to add. It is something like a "re-pedalling" but not exactly smile This is a feature on real pianos, digital pianos but not all of the software pianos:

Test 1
1. Press a key, preferably a bass note (because it has longer key-off)
2. Release the key
3. Immediately after the release press the damper pedal.

Result: Depending on the key, the note velocity and the duration between the key release and damper press, you will be able catch the sound and keep it sounding.

Reason: The lower the note, the longer it takes for the damper to mute the string when you release the key.

(Result with e.g. Steinberg The Grand - even if you are "Speedy Gonzales", there is no chance to catch the note. You must press the sustain BEFORE you release the key if you would like to do a sustain)

This is a very realistic real scenario. If you play on a real piano, it is very possible that you release a key and in a matter of a thousand of a second you press the damper pedal. Both happen virtually at the same time and the result would be the same as if you have pressed the damper pedal before you have released the key. However if serialized via MIDI, these events are sequenced and it depends on the algorithm to interpret them correctly.
-----------
Test 2
1. Press a key, preferably bass, and preferably loudly
2. Press the damper pedal.
3. Release the key.
4. Do a multiple quick "pumping" up and down with the damper pedal.

Result: Each time the damper pedal is pumped up, it begins muting the vibrating string, but since the muting is not instant, on the pump down motion you are letting it sound again, etc.

Reason: same as in Test 1

(Result with e.g. Steinberg The Grand - on the first pedal-up the notes are dropped)

The second test is very common technique in the classical piano repertoire, to simulate a sostenuto pedal if it is not available - you press a bass note, hold it with the damper pedal, then move both your hands in the highs to do some arpeggios but in the meanwhile you pump-up-down from time to time in order not to let too much high notes to create a mess. The highs get muted by the damper almost instantly, so you can clean the high notes by that pumping motions and at the same time the bass note will not get muted if you are quick enough with the pedal and if you are not lifting it too high (half-pedalling is a must).


Most of the sampler libraries are not supporting that feature. In fact only Pianoteq (because it is modelled) and Ivory (because it is professionally implemented) support it. Digital pianos have no problems maybe because they are looped and it is very easy to restart looping.
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/12/10 10:54 AM

No. 2 is implemented on many DPs especially those that support half pedalling. No. 1 would be indeed interesting, Never checked this.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/12/10 11:05 AM

I am sure you have faced the Test 1 many times, but you never knew this existed simply because digital pianos are implementing it correctly. I realized all those effects for the first time when I tried Steinberg The Grand recently and there were many times when sustain seemed to not be working and I thought it was a faulty sustain pedal... After analysis it appeared I was pressing the damper pedal slightly after I have released keys. I've experienced that with Steinberg The Grand and Native Instrument Akoustik Piano only but I suppose it is a bug on other non-looped sample libraries.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/12/10 02:03 PM

Yes, I think the issue with the non-looped software pianos is that they often have release samples. It's difficult to produce the half pedalling whilst at the same time retaining the real release samples. Without the release samples, they could do the half pedalling in the same manner as looped digital pianos do. (just apply an envelope to the full length sample in the same manner)
Ideally, the software piano would provide an option to the user: half pedalling without release samples, or no half pedalling, but with release samples. In fact, I have a third party script that works with Sampletekk's "White Grand" that does provide half pedalling (or at least, the ability to "catch" the notes as described earlier), but forgoes the release samples. smile

Greg.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/12/10 04:18 PM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
Dewster, may I suggest two tests for you to add. It is something like a "re-pedalling" but not exactly smile This is a feature on real pianos, digital pianos but not all of the software pianos...

Interesting. I'll certainly take it under advisement. I would need to experiment on a few DPs to see if similar timing would work across all of the ones that support these effects, and to see how difficult it would be to reproduce and analyze.

For the second test, some DPs that support partial pedaling have the transition between damped and undamped centered more towards pedal down, and that might stymie a single test. Perhaps multiple pedal levels could be used in two or three tests in order to have a better chance of capturing it.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/12/10 04:27 PM

Just curious:

What do people think of the DPBSD MP3 files? Do you download and listen to them? Do they help you? MediaFire keeps track of how many times a particular file is downloaded, and there seems to be a certain amount of activity there.

How about the analysis pictures? Do you find them useful?
Posted by: 7even

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/12/10 05:07 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Just curious:

What do people think of the DPBSD MP3 files? Do you download and listen to them? Do they help you? MediaFire keeps track of how many times a particular file is downloaded, and there seems to be a certain amount of activity there.

How about the analysis pictures? Do you find them useful?


I like the analysis pics and I also listened to a few of the MP3s of the pianos I'm interested in (such as the HP-307, V-piano)... Keep it up grin
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/12/10 05:13 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Just curious:

What do people think of the DPBSD MP3 files? Do you download and listen to them? Do they help you? MediaFire keeps track of how many times a particular file is downloaded, and there seems to be a certain amount of activity there.

How about the analysis pictures? Do you find them useful?


Yeah I like the .mp3 files too, to do a subjective compare.

I also like the pictures, but don't really know what they mean, so some of your recent markups of the pictures has been interesting.
Posted by: jmmec

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/12/10 05:33 PM

I've downloaded a number of items from mediafire, and have especially listened to the samples from different DPs now that I have a decent pair of headphones.

I've found the "readme" file, and the pictures posted here (with all the "squiggly lines" + comments + cursor locations), to be most instructive.

I hope that this will positively impact future DP R&D so that dewster, one day in the year 2020 (if not 2019), will finally upgrade to a new DP. But with coming inflation, and the collapse of the US economy, things look bleak. smile
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/12/10 05:49 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Just curious:

What do people think of the DPBSD MP3 files? Do you download and listen to them? Do they help you? MediaFire keeps track of how many times a particular file is downloaded, and there seems to be a certain amount of activity there.

How about the analysis pictures? Do you find them useful?


I love them! I don't need the pictures, but for a simple reason: I also use audacity to check for several issues on the file, so I see the same pictures "live" on my computer within audacity! So I can better zoom into some of the examples and see what exactly is going on there, especially in the damper resonance part. I now understand exactly how you do analyse those files, and can easily reproduce it or even analyse new files by myself. It's really not rocket science if you know a little bit about theory of sound.

I would suggest to even more expand the midi file to test for even more real acoustic behavior and if the DPs reproduce them correctly. I have some additional tests in mind that I also perform on my own DP and I'm therefore very curious if other pianos do perform as well as CA63 in these tests or maybe even better.

--> String resonance: Press a key silently and see what happens with string resonance, what keys are producing ringing sounds on the silent undampered key etc., so pressing the appropriate keys that should produce harmonics.

--> High notes and string resonance: Check the very high notes which are not dampered at all if they also produce string resonance when depressed. This should not be the case.

--> String resonance and damper resonance: If you press a key "silently" with damper down and then press other keys that should resonate with this silent key and then set damper up, check if the key does still resonate.

It would also be very nice if the test would not only cover those technical things, there is no way I can judge on the sound quality that way. At the beginning of the test there should be a short real playing sample (~1min) which covers a subset of real live situations: Playing pp to ff, with damper up and damper down, some chords, some arpeggios from low to high, some staccato, some legato, that's it pretty much.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/12/10 07:42 PM

Originally Posted By: kawaian
I also use audacity to check for several issues on the file, so I see the same pictures "live" on my computer within audacity! So I can better zoom into some of the examples and see what exactly is going on there, especially in the damper resonance part. I now understand exactly how you do analyse those files, and can easily reproduce it or even analyse new files by myself. It's really not rocket science if you know a little bit about theory of sound.

I agree, it's basically pattern recognition, a bit of sound theory, and some knowledge of how DPs and real pianos work. And it's really not that complicated.

I'm glad someone else is doing the analysis too, and with a different software tool. Keep me honest kawaian!

Originally Posted By: kawaian
--> String resonance: Press a key silently and see what happens with string resonance, what keys are producing ringing sounds on the silent undampered key etc., so pressing the appropriate keys that should produce harmonics.

--> High notes and string resonance: Check the very high notes which are not dampered at all if they also produce string resonance when depressed. This should not be the case.

Those seems like they might be so subtle it would be hard to hear them. I do appreciate the suggestion though.

Originally Posted By: kawaian
--> String resonance and damper resonance: If you press a key "silently" with damper down and then press other keys that should resonate with this silent key and then set damper up, check if the key does still resonate.

Test #2 in DPBSD v1.5 is something like that:
2. C2 & C3 & C4 & C6 & C7 @ vel=1 (& G6 @ vel=15); C5 @ vel=127; keys up (& G6 @ vel=15)

Another test might be to find out where the transition between the dampered and undampered notes is.

Originally Posted By: kawaian
It would also be very nice if the test would not only cover those technical things, there is no way I can judge on the sound quality that way. At the beginning of the test there should be a short real playing sample (~1min) which covers a subset of real live situations: Playing pp to ff, with damper up and damper down, some chords, some arpeggios from low to high, some staccato, some legato, that's it pretty much.

Right, I think everyone (myself included) would really like to hear what it sounds like doing something more musical. I've looked around for something like that but haven't found anything yet. Do you have any suggestions?
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/12/10 07:53 PM

Did I say audacity? I mean Audition, sorry, audacity does not have those analysis capabilities. So we actually use the same software for analysis, but still it's quite obvious and reproducable how this works.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/12/10 07:56 PM

Originally Posted By: kawaian
Did I say audacity? I mean Audition, sorry, audacity does not have those analysis capabilities. So we actually use the same software for analysis, but still it's quite obvious and reproducable how this works.

Oh noes, we're both using the same "unproven" software!! smile
Posted by: Volusiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/12/10 08:08 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Just curious:

What do people think of the DPBSD MP3 files? Do you download and listen to them? Do they help you? MediaFire keeps track of how many times a particular file is downloaded, and there seems to be a certain amount of activity there.

How about the analysis pictures? Do you find them useful?


I find the analysis pictures helpful, and the audio file is only helpful to me if it's available in the context of a few test songs, and not just walking the notes up and down the range.
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/13/10 04:24 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: kawaian
Did I say audacity? I mean Audition, sorry, audacity does not have those analysis capabilities. So we actually use the same software for analysis, but still it's quite obvious and reproducable how this works.

Oh noes, we're both using the same "unproven" software!! smile


Yeah, I know, Adobe is like a little rat-shop... wink
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/13/10 11:32 AM

Originally Posted By: kawaian
Yeah, I know, Adobe is like a little rat-shop... wink

A rag-tag bunch of pikers probably running things out of some garage somewhere. Their 2009 fiscal revenue was only $2.946 billion USD - no one should take them or their software seriously. It's not like anyone has even heard of them, much less use their products.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/13/10 12:02 PM

I would really love to have DPBSD MP3s of:

- Korg SP-250
- Yamaha P-85

Could anyone perhaps furnish them?
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/14/10 02:59 PM

Yamaha CLP-990 Review

Nan kindly provided us with a DPBSD MIDI file of the Yamaha CLP-990. This is a 2002 vintage DP with a five layer velocity sample and no stretching, which makes it a rather advanced and interesting specimen for its time.

In their literature Yamaha even says how much memory they allocate to the piano voice, 80.4MB, something they tend shy away from these days. Doing the math, this works out to about 1 second of attack + loop sample time on average for each note layer. The average attack + loop times I measured are on the order of 1.7 seconds, so perhaps they aren't using 16 bit samples, or are employing additional compression such as delta encoding or similar.

As you might expect, the samples and loops are too short not to hear obvious artifacting, though the decay is fairly long. The velocity layers aren't blended, but the steps aren't too objectionable. It responds to partial pedalling, but the effect is fairly subtle. There are no extra sounds like key up or pedal up/down, though it passes both sympathetic resonance tests, as well as the pedal down silent replay test.


Spectral phase view of note C3, cursor at end of attack sample | beginning of loop sample.


Spectral frequency view of velocity layer test, all four layer switches are visible here.


Spectral phase view of stretch test, all notes appear and sound separately sampled. Mid keys shown here, lows and highs are similar.

More analysis pictures, the MP3 file, and the text review file are available at the share point.

------------------
- Yamaha CLP-990 -
------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.5_yamaha_clp-990.mp3
- Floppy drive (MIDI file), headphone output.
- Recorded by "nan".
PROS:
- Passes the pedal down sympathetic resonance test.
- Passes the key down sympathetic resonance test.
- Passes the pedal down silent replay test.
- Responds to partial pedaling.
- Fairly long decays on the order of 3/4 Pianoteq or longer.
- This is an unblended 5 velocity layer sample set.
- No visible or audible stretching, all notes sampled.
- Large dynamic range (~58dB, vel=1:127).
CONS:
- No obvious pedal up/down samples.
- No obvious key up samples.
- Obviously looped, both visually and audibly.
- Sample & loop lengths are rather short.
- Sample lengths are (C2:C9): 2.2,1.9,1.6,1.6,1.5,0.9,0.8,? seconds.
- Loop lengths are (C2:C9): 0.83,0.6,0.56,0.5,0.49,0.4,0.4,? seconds.
- Visible & audible layer switch @ vel=24,36,44,52
OTHER:
- Something like a small amount of reverb in the test file.
- Notes played @ vel=1 produce no sound.
- MP3 levels: peak @ -12dB, noise floor @ -76dB.
- Date reviewed: 2010-03-14
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/16/10 10:23 AM

Korg SV1 Triple Voice Review

jve has kindly supplied us with (count 'em) three DPBSD MP3s of the new Korg SV1 - thanks jve!

The voices are:
"Grand Piano 1" - a Japanese grand
"Grand Piano 2" - a German grand
"Electric Grand" - a CP80

I fully reviewed all three, and I made a bunch of pix of the Grand Piano 1, but only a few of the other two. Very long attack and loop samples for a DP that sound pretty good - it's really too bad about the excessive stretching and some abrupt and very audible velocity switches.

I've never played a CP80, but jve owns a CP70 and says the SV1 sounds as though it goes into the final decay stage too early, resulting in a too percussive sound. I thought the initial decay of the grand piano patches sounded a bit steep too, with a swelling rebound later. From the spectral views the CP80 voice could likely be a mono sample enhanced with a stereo simulator.

The key and pedal noises are presented here at the default level and sound to me a bit too loud, though the levels of these sounds are adjustable.

As usual, more analysis pix, the MP3s, and all reviews can be found at the share point.

Grand Piano 1

Spectral pan view of the note C4. Cursor at the sample attack | loop boundary. Sample lengths are 3.8 | 3.0 for attack | loop which is better than usual for a DP.


Spectral phase view of the entire looping test compressed 20:1. Attack and loop samples are clearly visible here for the lower notes (redish sections are the noise floor).


Spectral phase view of the stretch test mid notes. Except for the very highest notes the lower and higher sections are similar. Stretching is audible in the lows and mids.


Spectral frequency view of the entire layer test. The audible and abrupt velocity switch at vel=88 is very clear here.

--------------------------
- Korg SV1 Grand Piano 1 -
--------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.5_korg_sv1_grand_piano_1.mp3
- Yamaha N12 digital mixer, Adobe Audition.
- Recorded by "jve".
PROS:
- Pedal down sound is a nicely done "loom of strings".
- Pedal up sound is "stringy clunk".
- Key up "clunk" sound.
- Passes the pedal down sympathetic resonance test.
- Responds to partial pedaling.
- No strange pedal sounds during partial pedaling.
- Nice long decays on the order of Pianoteq.
- Decent dynamic range (~34dB, vel=1:127).
- This is an unblended 4 velocity layer sample set.
CONS:
- Fails the key down sympathetic resonance test.
- Fails the pedal down silent replay test @ pedal up.
- Looped, though very well done with long attack and loop samples.
- Attack sample lengths are (C2:C9): 5.0,3.8,3.8,3.4,3.0,2.5,?,? seconds.
- Loop sample lengths are (C2:C9): 3.8,3.5,3.0,3.0,2.4,1.9,?,? seconds.
- Obviously stretched, low and mid group transistions farily audible.
- Stretch distances: 3,4,4,3,3,2,3(x16),2,1(x19) = 42 groups.
- Visible and audible velocity layer switch @ vel= 44,88,116
- Layer switch @ vel=88 is fairly abrupt.
OTHER:
- Notes played @ vel=1 produce no sound.
- MP3 levels: peak @ -1dB, noise floor @ -75dB.
- From the SV1 manual: "This is a very accurate sampling of a Japanese grand piano, suitable for pop and jazz."
- Date reviewed: 2010-03-15


Grand Piano 2

Spectral frequency view of the entire layer test. All three velocity switches are visible here, including the fairly abrupt sounding switch at vel=116.

--------------------------
- Korg SV1 Grand Piano 2 -
--------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.5_korg_sv1_grand_piano_2.mp3
- Yamaha N12 digital mixer, Adobe Audition.
- Recorded by "jve".
PROS:
- Pedal down sound is a nicely done "loom of strings".
- String damp sound is realistically "buzzy".
- Key up "clunk" sound.
- Passes the pedal down sympathetic resonance test.
- Responds to partial pedaling.
- No strange pedal sounds during partial pedaling.
- Nice long decays on the order of Pianoteq.
- Decent dynamic range (~34dB, vel=1:127).
- This is an unblended 4 velocity layer sample set.
CONS:
- Fails the key down sympathetic resonance test.
- Fails the pedal down silent replay test @ pedal up.
- Looped, though very well done with long attack and loop samples.
- Attack sample lengths are (C2:C9): 6.9(?),3.8,4.3,?,?,?,?,? seconds.
- Loop sample lengths are (C2:C9): 3.6,3.1,2.6,?,?,?,?,? seconds.
- Obviously stretched, low and mid group transistions farily audible.
- Stretch distances: 5,4,3,3,3,3,2,2,3(x13),1(x24) = 45 groups.
- Visible and audible velocity layer switch @ vel=44,88,116
- Layer switch @ vel=116 is fairly abrupt.
OTHER:
- Notes played @ vel=1 produce no sound.
- MP3 levels: peak @ -1dB, noise floor @ -80dB.
- From the SV1 manual: "This is a very accurate sampling of a famous German grand piano, perfect for jazz and classical music.
- Date reviewed: 2010-03-15

Electric Piano

Spectral pan view of the entire layer test. The single velocity switch is obvious here.


Spectral frequency view of the entire layer test. The two layers are nicely blended, and the switch isn't visible here.

---------------------------
- Korg SV1 Electric Grand -
---------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.5_korg_sv1_electric_grand.mp3
- Yamaha N12 digital mixer, Adobe Audition.
- Recorded by "jve".
PROS:
- Pedal down sound is a nicely done "loom of strings".
- Pedal up sound is a "thump".
- Key up "clunk" sound.
- Passes the pedal down sympathetic resonance test.
- Responds to partial pedaling.
- No strange pedal sounds during partial pedaling.
- Decent dynamic range (~28dB, vel=1:127).
- I believe this is a blended 2 velocity layer sample set.
CONS:
- Fails the key down sympathetic resonance test.
- Fails the pedal down silent replay test @ pedal up.
- Rather short decays on the order of ~1/2 Pianoteq.
- Appears to be a mono sample enhanced with stereo simulator?
- Most likely looped, though very well done with long attack and loop samples.
- Obviously stretched, most group transistions farily audible, even highest ones.
- Stretch distances: 8,8,3,3,3,4,4,3,4(x6),2,6,4,5,11 = 19 groups (waveform display).
- Visible and audible velocity layer switch @ vel=54
OTHER:
- Notes played @ vel=1 produce no sound.
- MP3 levels: peak @ -2dB, noise floor @ -76dB.
- From the SV1 manual: "Released in the mid-’70s, this was the very first portable piano really close to the real thing."
- Date reviewed: 2010-03-15
Posted by: hpeterh

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/16/10 01:15 PM

Originally Posted By: kawaian

--> High notes and string resonance: Check the very high notes which are not dampered at all if they also produce string resonance when depressed. This should not be the case.


I beg to differ:
These should *always* resonate, wether the key or pedal is depressed or not.
And the resonance sound should continue when all keys and the pedal are released.

I believe this is a typical component of real piano sound, it adds a lot of realism to the sound, because there wont be total silence, when the last key is released and it would sound more lively.

Peter



Peter
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/16/10 07:38 PM

DPBSD MIDI File v1.6 Released

I just updated the DPBSD MIDI file to version 1.6. An updated readme file reflects the changes as well.

This adds some finesse to the key down sympathetic resonance test by raising the sympathetic keys one by one.

It also adds a brief pedal partial damping test, which our P-120 passes.

====================
= Revision History =
====================
v1.6 - 2010-03-16:
- Added brief pedal partial damping test.
- Added progressive C7, C6, C4, C3, C2 key lift to key down sympathetic resonance test.
- Reversed the order of the pedal down sympathetic resonance test stages (to put loudest first).
- Added a short G6 to signal the end of each test.
- Added C2 @ vel=100 to peak recording level (test 0).


Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/16/10 07:44 PM

dewster, thank you for posting those interesting findings from the SV1 test.

I wonder why the acoustic piano sounds are not blended, while the electric piano apparently is.

Also, would you like to hazard a guess as to why vel=1 produces no sound?

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/16/10 11:20 PM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
I wonder why the acoustic piano sounds are not blended, while the electric piano apparently is.

My theory is a CP80 is a much simpler instrument, sound-wise, than a grand piano (guitar-like electric pickup) so blending two velocity layers with a filter is a lot easier. I believe the sample is mono, which makes the blending even easier. It must require some kind of spectral morphing when one blends the stereo layers of a real piano sample.

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
Also, would you like to hazard a guess as to why vel=1 produces no sound?

Seeing as how note-on vel=0 has been historically co-opted for note-off, if I were building a DP, I'd probably design the keyboard controller to generate note-on vel=1 for playing notes silently. That would differentiate the two scenarios, and allow the sound generator to behave more realistically like an acoustic piano given various scenarios.

It's really too bad MIDI note-off isn't used because the "velocity" could be used as an indication of damping timing / strength, further adding to realism.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/16/10 11:49 PM

dewster, thank you for the explanation.

So to clarify, is it particularly unusual for the SV-1 to not produce any sound at v=1, or is this standard for most/all DPs?

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/17/10 09:23 AM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
So to clarify, is it particularly unusual for the SV-1 to not produce any sound at v=1, or is this standard for most/all DPs?

I can only detect this in DPBSD v1.5 and higher (when the key down sympathetic resonance test was implemented) and since its introduction I've reviewed 5 DPs. Kind of hard to get a good statistical feel for how usual / unusual this is with that small number, but here are the lists so far:

Silent MIDI note-on @ vel=1:
- Korg SV1 (Grand Piano 1 & 2, Electric Grand)
- Yamaha S90 XS Natural Grand S6
- Yamaha CLP-990

Play faint note with MIDI note-on @ vel=1:
- Galaxy Vintage D
- Yamaha AvantGrand N3
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/17/10 11:18 AM

How about pianoteq?

James
x
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/17/10 11:54 AM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
How about pianoteq?

The v3.5.3 demo plays faint notes with vel=1.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/17/10 02:14 PM

RE: Pianoteq, one can clip the velocity response at any desired threshold. To match it to my controller, I flat-line the response at 0 until a velocity of 8. (my Kawai MP9000 produces a minimum velocity of 7, so I want all velocities <= 7 to produce no sound, which incidentally, matches it's own response)

Note also that one can define a completely arbitrary velocity response in Pianoteq - any curve can be drawn.

Greg.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/17/10 02:30 PM

Yes, this is key.
I would expect more digital pianos to provide VPiano style functionality of making these kind of personal adjustments.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/17/10 06:16 PM

Kawai CA63 Re-Review

Due to all the recent interest in the Kawai CA63 I though I would take this opportunity to revisit the DPBSD MP3 kindly provided by kawaian to hone the existing review - in particular to quantify the loop lengths - plus capture some pictures of the analysis.

As I said before, this DP has nice things going for it. I can't see much in the way of stretching, and can't hear it at all as it only appears to exist on a few of the upper notes. Velocity layer blending is very well done, with only one step rather audible.

Attack sample lengths are about average, but the loop samples could benefit from some added length. I can hear C4 and C5 looping, but overall looping is fairly well done for such short loop samples - rather like the Yamaha CP1, which also has standard attack sample lengths and short loop lengths, but manages to sound pretty good (for something looped).

The notes decay a bit fast, though the quantization noise in the sample that keeps me from hearing everything going on near the noise floor.

If anyone can provide a DPBSD MP3 with a better levels, and particularly one that captures the key and pedal noises and sympathetic resonance, I'd be highly appreciative.

More pictures of this analysis, the MP3, and all reviews are at the share point.



Spectral phase view of the entire looping test, where the attack and loop sections of the lower note samples are clearly evident.


Spectral pan view of the note C2. Attack sample is 3.0 seconds, loop sample is 1.3 seconds, cursor located at the transition between attack and loop.


Spectral phase view of the note C4. Attack sample is 1.6 seconds, loop sample is 0.83 seconds, cursor located at the transition between attack and loop.


Spectral frequency view of the entire velocity layer test. The velocity switch three blocks in from the right is clearly visible and audible, but the rest of the range is nicely blended.


Spectral pan view of the mid section of the stretching test. Notes appear to be individually sampled. Low and high sections are similar, with the exception following.


Spectral pan view of the stretching test zoomed up. The group of four notes in the center and the group of two notes adjacent on left appear stretched to me, but it isn't audible. These are the notes A7 thru D8.


--------------
- Kawai CA63 -
--------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_kawai_ca63.mp3
- Recorded by "kawaian".
PROS:
- Large dynamic range (~51dB, vel=1:127).
- No audible sample stretching.
- This is a very smoothly blended multi-velocity layer sample set.
- There are two semi-visible velocity switches @ vel=46,124.
- Responds to partial pedaling.
CONS:
- Looped, though not too badly done, would benefit from longer loop samples.
- Looping somewhat audible, particularly C4 & C5.
- Attack sample lengths are (C2:C9) 3.0,3.0,2.1,1.6,1.4,1.5,0.97,? seconds.
- Loop sample lengths are (C2:C9) 1.4,1.3,0.68,0.83,0.64,0.74,0.63,? seconds.
- Note decay somewhat short (~2/3 Pianoteq).
- One velocity layer switch is fairly audible (timbre change) @ vel=124.
- Stretch distances: 1(x72),2,4,1(x10) = 84 groups.
- No obvious pedal up/down or key up samples.
- No obvious sympathetic resonance.
OTHER:
- MP3 levels fair: peak @ -12dB, noise floor @ -80dB, significant noise @ floor.
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-16; updated 2010-03-17


[EDITS]
2010-12-15:
- Fixed note numbers in picture captions: C3=>C2, C5=>C4 (also fixed numbering in zip file).
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/17/10 07:39 PM

I also updated the review for the Yamaha P-155 and posted a bunch of analysis pix at the share point.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/17/10 10:08 PM

Just btw, on my Kawai MP9000, I notice that on the Rhodes preset at least, the note evolves in discrete steps - the initial portion including the attack, a looped sustain (with an amplitude envelope), and then a final decay. I.e - the looped portion does not persist until the very and. The decay portion begins BEFORE the note is released - I am not referring to the release. I haven't determined whether this method us used for other presets yet.

Greg.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/18/10 05:58 AM

Greg,

I had a MP9000 a few years back. Great keyboard but I found the piano voice a bit lifeless. As I recall Kawai had nothing to do with the EP patches...they bought them from Wizoo or some company with a similar kind of name.

Cheers,

Steve
Posted by: hpeterh

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/18/10 09:22 AM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James

So to clarify, is it particularly unusual for the SV-1 to not produce any sound at v=1, or is this standard for most/all DPs?


Hi James,

I had a 11-year-old Yamaha CVP96 and this did it the same way.
This is however only the case for the piano voices as it should be.

Currently I have a Kawai CP136 and it does something similar for some e-piano or harpsichord voices, but -oddly- does not do it for the piano voices.

I also have the GalaxyII piano library and if the option "silent key" is chosen, it does it the same way.
It also has a free form velocity curve, and if the option "Silent key" is chosen, any threshhold can be adjusted, using a flat curve start.
The same should be the case for Galaxy Vintage D.

Also the piano library "Pianissimo" supresses all velocities below 5.
So far I know, Pianoteq and Truepianos behave similar.

Best,

Peter
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/18/10 03:14 PM

Steve,
RE: the MP9000, I think the acoustic sounds are actually not too bad (it's a very rich tone), although it is no match to the sounds I have on my computer. That's interesting about the electric pianos - I didn't know that. They're pretty good too, but let down by poor velocity mapping to the keyboard, IMHO. The Wurly completely falls to pieces in the bass registers - it seems to me that Kawai's harmonic imaging isn't (or wasn't, back then) good enough to reproduce the very rich timbre of the Wurly in the bass notes. It's pretty good elsewhere though.

Greg.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/19/10 05:04 PM

Yamaha P-155 Re-review

I see a lot of download activity for the P-155 DPBSD MP3, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to briefly re-review it and add a few pix. The text review was updated a few days ago too. Thanks again to ChrisA for the DPBSD MP3!

The attack and loop samples are rather short which makes the looping rather audible, and there is a fair amount of audible stretching going on over the entire range. I think I would have preferred they sacrifice a velocity layer in exchange for longer samples and less stretching. On the plus side the decay times are fairly long, and the velocity layers are nicely blended, with no visual or audible steps.

More pix, reviews, and MP3s at the share point.


Spectral phase view of the the entire looping test. Attack and loop samples of the lower notes clearly visible here.


Spectral pan view of the the note C4. The cursor is located at the transition between the 1.87 second attack sample and the 0.54 loop sample.


Spectral pan view of the the note C5. The cursor is located at the transition between the 1.7 second attack sample and the 0.59 loop sample.


Spectral pan view of the the note C6. The cursor is located at the transition between the 1.6 second attack sample and the 0.42 loop sample.


Spectral pan view of the the upper notes in the stretch test. Stretching is obvious, both visually and audibly, even in the higher registers.


Spectral frequency view of the the entire velocity layer test. All layers are smoothly blended, no steps apparent either visually or audibly.


----------------
- Yamaha P-155 -
----------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_yamaha_p155.mp3
- Line out, line in to Mac, Garage Band.
- Recorded by "ChrisA".
PROS:
- A very smoothly blended 4 layer (reportedly) sample set with no visible or audible layer switching.
- Huge dynamic range (~62dB, vel=1:127).
- Sympathetic resonance.
- Responds to partial pedaling.
CONS:
- Obviously looped, could benefit from longer attack and loop samples.
- Attack sample lengths are: 2.4,1.9,1.87,1.7,1.6,1.2,0.8,? seconds.
- Loop sample lengths are: 0.7,0.78,0.54,0.59,0.42,?,?,? seconds.
- Visibly and audibly stretched over entire range.
- Stretch distances: 3,3,4(x3),2,4,3(x3),2,3(x3),2(x4),3,1,3,3,4,2,2,3,5,10 = 28 groups.
- No key-up or pedal samples or sound effects.
- Sympathetic resonance fairly fake sounding - echoy and reverby, particularly during parital pedaling.
OTHER:
- MP3 levels: peak @ -0.1dB, noise floor @ -69dB.
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-08; updated: 2010-03-17
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/19/10 05:29 PM

FYI, I'll be away from the computer for a week or so, back to reviewing when I get back.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/19/10 06:14 PM

Job interviews in Japan, perhaps? wink

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Volusiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/19/10 08:39 PM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
Job interviews in Japan, perhaps? wink

Cheers,
James
x

Either that or spending some time at a court house??? wink
(Hope you can take a joke, Dewster!)
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/19/10 08:52 PM

Or perhaps he's spending a week putting an embedded PC into his P-120. :P

Greg.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/19/10 10:44 PM

Ha! Nothing nearly as interesting as all that, just tending to some family business.
Posted by: Richard Stark

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/27/10 03:31 PM

Someone at the marketing department has been here...

Posted by: Volusiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/27/10 06:57 PM

I don't remember if Dewster's analyzed any of the Roland models that has the supernatural sound. If yes, whether it's passed with flying colors like it should according to the YouTube infomercial above?
Posted by: sucroid

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/27/10 07:11 PM

It passed with flying colours if I remember correctly.
Posted by: jmmec

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/27/10 07:29 PM

You can download dewster's "dpbsd_reviews.txt" file, but below I've pasted his opinion of the 3 Roland DP's (v-piano, HP-307, and the RD-700GX with SN expansion card):

------------------
- Roland V-Piano -
------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.3_roland_v-piano_vintage1.mp3
- S/PDIF to CD recorder.
- Factory settings except gain +12dB & reverb off.
- Recorded by "EssBrace/Steve".
PROS:
- Beautiful long note decay.
- No looping (modeled).
- No stretching (modeled).
- Sympathetic resonance, though very subtle.
- Responds to partial pedaling.
- Good dynamic range (~36dB, vel=1:127).
- Nice "loom of strings" pedal down sample, pedal up sample more of a knock.
CONS:
- Key-up sample not audible.
OTHER:
- Quickly repeated notes have somewhat random velocities (modeled reality?).
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-09



-----------------
- Roland HP-307 -
-----------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.4_Roland_HP-307.mp3
- roland_hp-307_key-off_mono.mp3
- roland_hp-307_resonance_0.mp3
- roland_hp-307_resonance_5.mp3
- roland_hp-307_resonance_10.mp3
- roland_hp-307_resonance_more.mp3
- roland_hp-307_resonance_more10.mp3
- Asus Xonar DX line-in, Adobe Audition.
- Recorded by "zaba19".
PROS:
- Beautiful long natural-sounding note decay (decay times on the order of Pianoteq).
- Large dynamic range (~47dB, vel=1:127).
- No audible looping.
- Visually, the notes look similar to conventional length attack samples seamlessly blended with something like long loop samples. Not clear what the process is.
- No visible or audible stretching, notes look random in the wave and phase views.
- No visible or audible velocity switching.
- Very smoothly blended timbre variation with velocity.
- Responds to partial pedaling, centerpoint of this effect is with pedal mostly down.
- Key up sounds like realistic string damping rather than a knock.
- Sympathetic resonance, sounds pretty good even when turned up.
- "Loom of strings" pedal down sample.
CONS:
- Can't detect key up, pedal up/down, or sympathetic resonance sounds in DPBSD MP3 file for some reason.
OTHER:
- Probably good enough to realistically record solo.
- MP3 levels: peak @ -13.5dB, noise floor @ -90dB.
- Rather large quantization noise in MP3.
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-17; review updated: 2010-03-01.


---------------------------------------------
- Roland RD-700GX with K-RD700GX1 expansion -
---------------------------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dp_bsd_v1.4_Roland_RD-700GX_K-RD700GX1_SuperNATURAL-Grand_Piano_no_sympres.mp3
- Recorded by "sandord".
PROS:
- Beautiful long natural-sounding note decay (decay times on the order of Pianoteq).
- Large dynamic range (~47dB, vel=1:127).
- No audible looping.
- Visually, the notes look similar to conventional length attack samples seamlessly blended with something like long loop samples. Not clear what the process is.
- No visible or audible stretching, notes look random in the wave and phase views.
- No visible or audible velocity switching.
- Very smoothly blended timbre variation with velocity.
- Responds to partial pedaling, centerpoint of this effect is with pedal mostly down.
- Pedal up sounds like realistic string damping rather than a knock.
- Sympathetic resonance (in-line effect?).
CONS:
- Can't detect key up or pedal down sounds in DPBSD MP3 file for some reason.
OTHER:
- Probably good enough to realistically record solo.
- MP3 levels: peak @ -3dB, noise floor @ -81dB.
- Some gated digital bleed-thru at the noise floor that comes and goes (PC?).
- Date reviewed: 2010-03-01.
Posted by: jcabraham

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/28/10 01:30 PM

Who's the babe?
Posted by: Glenn NK

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/28/10 03:22 PM

Dewster:

Haven't read all the posts to see if you're accepting more mp3s, but this is another version of Pianoteq using the latest piano.

http://www.box.net/shared/slm031ovs5
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/30/10 10:05 AM

Originally Posted By: Glenn NK
Dewster:

Haven't read all the posts to see if you're accepting more mp3s, but this is another version of Pianoteq using the latest piano.

http://www.box.net/shared/slm031ovs5


Thanks! I updated the review and put the MP3 at the share point.

I downloaded the v.3.6.0 demo and played with the velocity curve, but couldn't get rid of the partial damping during the pedal down silent replay test.

-------------------------------------------------
- Pianoteq v3.6.0, K1 solo recording, no reverb -
-------------------------------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dpbsd_v1.6_Pianoteq_3.6.0_K1_SR_X-2I1_Imp3.mp3
- Recorded by "Glenn NK".
PROS:
- Passes the pedal down sympathetic resonance test.
- Passes the key down sympathetic resonance test.
- Passes the pedal down silent replay test (though with some damping).
- Passes the brief pedal partial damping test.
- Passes the partial pedaling test.
- Beautiful long note decay.
- No looping.
- No stretching.
- No layer switching (here a good thing).
- Nice sympathetic resonance.
- Key up sound is a "clunk".
- Pedal up & down sounds nicely done "loom of strings".
- No pedal up/down sounds during partial pedaling test.
- Large dynamic range (54dB, vel=1:127).
CONS:
- No key-up sound if note has decayed to noise floor?
OTHER:
- MP3 levels: peak @ -3dB, noise floor @ -90dB, mosquito noise @ floor, needs dithering.
- Excellent stand-alone mode, MIDI input file and direct *.wav file out features are fantastic!
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-03, updated 2010-03-01 & 2010-03-30.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 03/30/10 10:23 AM

Originally Posted By: Richard Stark
Someone at the marketing department has been here...

Roland has done a couple of videos like this, boldly highlighting the lame compression techniques of the bad old days.

Over at the Roland Clan forums people seem to like the RD-700GX SN expansion. Though with only 64MB to work with on an SRX card, I wonder if there is enough richness and variability to keep them happy long-term. It must take a lot of processing to cram multiple pianos into that small of a space.

And I know they have a fair amount of NRE tied up in it, but and $300 USD for 64MB is just outrageous.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/03/10 10:23 AM

Stretch Groups in Clavinova Specs?

So I was over on the Clavinova site this morning looking up specs for another thread and stumbled upon what Yamaha terms "No. of Sampling Banks" - which for the CLP330 is given the value of 30.

CLP330 Link

I'd previously reviewed the CLP330 and discovered 30 stretch groups, so it seems:

"No. of Sampling Banks" (Yamaha) = "Stretch groups" (DPBSD).

I'm not sure I would have understood their term "No. of Sampling Banks" without the DPBSD data though.
Posted by: NikkiPiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/03/10 10:31 AM

Interesting. CLP-370 spec. gives 50. CLP-380 leaves this blank?
Posted by: bkmz

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/03/10 10:38 AM

Some say this is a mistake.
I emailed Yamaha about CLP370 banks, they haven't even understood what I'm asking about..

Quote:
Dear Mr. Il'ya,

Thank You for the interest in Yamaha Products.

If by sample banks you mean preset songs, then it is 50.

50 preset songs are including in all CLP-300 series.
Posted by: NikkiPiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/03/10 10:53 AM

Originally Posted By: bkmz
Some say this is a mistake.
I emailed Yamaha about CLP370 banks, they haven't even understood what I'm asking about..

Quote:
Dear Mr. Il'ya,

Thank You for the interest in Yamaha Products.

If by sample banks you mean preset songs, then it is 50.

50 preset songs are including in all CLP-300 series.


Ook! Looks like you got passed the monkey.

Check "Sample Banks Across Keyboard":
http://www.musiciansbuy.com/Yamaha-CP300-Digital-Piano-wspeakers-and-Free-CP300KIT.html
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/03/10 11:39 AM

Originally Posted By: NikkiPiano
Interesting. CLP-370 spec. gives 50. CLP-380 leaves this blank?

I think the rows are misaligned on the CLP380 spec page - I see a figure of 50 there.

Funny (in a sad way) how they explain that they sample every key at at least 10 velocities, but then retain only (50/88)*(5/10)=0.2841 of the results of this effort in their top-of-the-line model.
Posted by: bkmz

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/03/10 01:46 PM

Originally Posted By: NikkiPiano


I was saying about CLP300 series, not CP300.
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/03/10 01:49 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster

I think the rows are misaligned on the CLP380 spec page


It's a a table, and they didn't make the left column wide enough. Who uses tables for webpages anymore? (Very old school . . . )
Posted by: NikkiPiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/03/10 01:51 PM

Originally Posted By: bkmz
Originally Posted By: NikkiPiano


I was saying about CLP300 series, not CP300.


I know. I used that page as an example of how the term "sample bank" is used and to make the meaning more unambiguous. "Sample preset songs across the keyboard" simply wouldn't work. :-)
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/07/10 09:55 AM

- SPECIAL BEGGING POST -

We interrupt this thread to bring you two special requests.

1. I would be most grateful for DPBSD MP3 samples of the following instruments:

- Yamaha P-85
- Yamaha NP-30
- Korg SP-250
- Korg LP-350

If you want to help the DPBSD project by contributing these samples but feel technically challenged by the procedure, the readme file at the Share Point has instructions, and you can also PM me and I'll walk you through any problems you might experience.

2. I would also like to hear from everyone regarding which DPs in particular they are personally interested in seeing run the DPBSD gauntlet.

TIA!
Posted by: kiedysktos.

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/07/10 01:21 PM

I'd like see some Clavia's piano testing; new Electro 3/ Stage EX / Nord Piano samples should all be identical.
And maybe some older models, like Nord Stage Classic / Electro 2.

Also, how does Roland Fantom sounds compared to other boards like 700GX?

From Yamaha - MO8.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/07/10 06:00 PM

I have an Electro 2 here, but unfortunately no Line-in connector on my laptop by which to record it.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/09/10 05:32 PM

Galaxy II K4 1929 German Baby Grand (Blüthner 150) Review

Thanks to jazzist for three DPBSD MP3 files of the latest Galaxy II pianos utilizing the Kontakt 4 player.

The first one to be reviewed is the "1929 German Baby Grand" sample set, which is actually a Blüthner 150. This is an unlooped, unstretched (fully sampled) instrument with at least 11 velocity layers that I can detect. The pedal down sympathetic resonance sound nice, but I can't hear any key down sympathetic resonance. It also has a lot of sustain pedal issues, failing most of the tests associated with it, even partial pedaling. The note decays are long and realistic, and the incidental noises like key-up and pedal up/down are well done.

Pictures of the analysis and the MP3 file are at the Share Point.

------------------------------------------------------
- Galaxy II K4 1929 German Baby Grand (Blüthner 150) -
------------------------------------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dpbsd_v1.6_Galaxy_II_K4_1929_German_Baby_Grand_Blüthner_150.mp3
- Recorded by "jazzist".
PROS:
- Passes the pedal down sympathetic resonance test.
- Sympathetic resonance sounds realistic.
- Pedal up/down sounds are nicely done "loom of strings".
- Key up sound/effect is a realistic "linkage/knock" sound.
- Nice long decays on the order of Pianoteq.
- No visible or audible looping, notes appear and sound 100% sampled.
- Only two notes appear to be stretched.
- An unblended but high-count multi-velocity layer sample set (I detect at least 11 layers).
- Visible & audible layer switch @ vel=12,28,42,56,80,88,96,112,120,126.
- Large dynamic range (~40dB, vel=1:127).
CONS:
- Fails the key down sympathetic resonance test.
- Fails the pedal down silent replay test @ vel=1 & pedal up.
- Fails the quick pedal partial damping test @ first pedal up.
- Fails the partial pedaling test.
- Strangely, partially pedaling a decayed note makes it play again.
- Pedal down sound triggers @ 75% pedal, pedal up @ 25% pedal, even when partial pedaling.
OTHER:
- MP3 levels: peak @ -1dB, noise floor @ -90dB.
- Date reviewed: 2010-04-09
Posted by: jazzist

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/10/10 05:40 AM

Hi,

even though the Galaxy II Samples are played in Kontakt 4 it is NOT the Galaxy II K4 Version!!! It is still the "old" Galaxy II. I will upload the II.4 Version as soon as it will be delivered to me.
Even though SSR is on its volume was set at 0, this explains the missing string resonance, new samples are on the way, sorry for that.

Regards
Jazzist
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/10/10 09:45 AM

I'm normally better about running these things by the person who submits the MP3, it's the fault of my laziness that I didn't do it in this situation - sorry everyone and particularly to you jazzist. We'll get this straight.
Posted by: Volusiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/10/10 03:49 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
I'm normally better about running these things by the person who submits the MP3, it's the fault of my laziness that I didn't do it in this situation - sorry everyone and particularly to you jazzist. We'll get this straight.

I can vouch for this when Dewster did my MP3 analysis. He kept me informed every step of the way, and then some.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/14/10 11:38 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster


--------------
- Kawai CA63 -
--------------

.....

OTHER:
- MP3 levels very good: peak @ -3dB, noise floor @ -78dB.
- Some "mosquito noise" at noise floor - quantization noise?



I hope it's not a huge off-topic and I am very close to ordering a Kawai CA63 (after long research journey) and I am wondering how the WAV on USB recording is implemented on that piano? The comment above made by Dewster makes me think it's not actually a direct digital rendering of the ROM-samples (plus reverb, etc.) but is rather an audio recording from the audio-out bus. What do you think? I am not sure if I should post in that topic, so I may create that question in an entirely new topic for Kawai James to answer if he has that information.
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/14/10 02:21 PM

It's an internal audio recording of what you actually play. I don't think this is an digital - analog - digital thing, but I'm not sure. It's just recorded on the USB drive you have inserted into the USB port, for both WAV and MP3 recording. I find the WAV recording of very high quality.
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/14/10 02:32 PM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
Originally Posted By: dewster


--------------
- Kawai CA63 -
--------------

.....

OTHER:
- MP3 levels very good: peak @ -3dB, noise floor @ -78dB.
- Some "mosquito noise" at noise floor - quantization noise?



I hope it's not a huge off-topic and I am very close to ordering a Kawai CA63 (after long research journey) and I am wondering how the WAV on USB recording is implemented on that piano? The comment above made by Dewster makes me think it's not actually a direct digital rendering of the ROM-samples



It very well could be a recording of the ROM samples, if the samples were 12-bits. A noise floor of 72 dB is exactly what you'd get by direct recording of 12 bit samples

If the samples were 16-bits you exact about 96 dB
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/14/10 03:56 PM

Hey ChrisA, don't guess if you don't know. I made the recording, and I boosted the recording I think by more than 12dB because the recording was relatively low, because the recording needs some headroom to be sure that no distortion occurs. It's not 12-bits.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/14/10 03:58 PM

ChrisA, what's the math behind that? (apart from the obvious but strange to me "multiply the bits by 6 to obtain noise floor in dB" grin)
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/14/10 05:45 PM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
ChrisA, what's the math behind that? (apart from the obvious but strange to me "multiply the bits by 6 to obtain noise floor in dB" grin)

The exact number is a bit more involved than that but 6 dB per bit is pretty much what it comes down to.

If you think about it, 6 dB is a doubling of the range, and each bit is a doubling of the range as well.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/14/10 09:25 PM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
...I am wondering how the WAV on USB recording is implemented on that piano? The comment above made by Dewster makes me think it's not actually a direct digital rendering of the ROM-samples (plus reverb, etc.) but is rather an audio recording from the audio-out bus. What do you think?


It's an entirely digital process:

Tone generator (digital) --> MP3/WAV codec (digital) --> USB memory (digital).

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/15/10 03:11 AM

KAWAI James, thanks for the info! The price of CA63 from the Bulgarian distributor is excellent and that piano is so tempting to me! I am about to sell my RD-700SX this evening and if everything goes well, I will order the CA63 pretty soon. The DPBSD project had a great impact on that decision, as well as demo files made by Kawaian in few threads. The only problem is that I missed the opportunity to try the model myself since they sold the demo model a week ago frown And they can only order one for me, but I have already played MP8 II once and I remember I loved the wooden action so I expect no surprises at all.
Posted by: Bluesman

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/16/10 08:52 AM

In the p-155 result test is missing the last 2 stretching groups. Total = 30

The Key-off sample is not a "clunk" sound or percussive. Instead they put a sample that recreates a subtle kind of harmonic sound. And it's quite good!

That key-off noises they put in the DPs software is often quite exaggerated.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/16/10 09:22 AM

Originally Posted By: Paulo Veloso
In the p-155 result test is missing the last 2 stretching groups. Total = 30

You're right, the upper group of 10 is actually 4,3,3 when you zoom up on it.

Originally Posted By: Paulo Veloso
The Key-off sample is not a "clunk" sound or percussive. Instead they put a sample that recreates a subtle kind of harmonic sound. And it's quite good!

There is a fairly nice mute sound at the end of the unpedaled notes in the partial pedaling test. It's not buzzy like felt hitting a vibrating string, but it isn't badly done. I was just noting that there were no explicit knocks or "loom of strings" sounds associated with key-up and pedal up/down.

I've updated the review in the text file. Thanks!
Posted by: Bunneh

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/16/10 09:56 AM

dewster,

I actually just discovered this thread, 'DPBSD' must've triggered some "This can't be interesting" opinion in my mind wink

This is fantastic work. I haven't had a chance to look over all of it yet, but what I've seen is incredible.

Can I help with my Roland HP-203? I have Access to a Mac to record Audio, and I do have a USB stick that I store my songs on, no idea if the piano does it in standard MIDI or proprietary though...
Posted by: Bluesman

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/16/10 10:56 AM

Important note!!

The P155 has the sustain resonance function and the damper resonance function. The damper resonance is the old “echoy” effect referred in the BSD_DP test and is the same that exists in the old P80 / P120. Fortunately the P155 has the sweat option for turning it off! On the other hand there is the "sustain resonance" effect for simulating the "all strings damped" resonating to the soundboard.

The p155 and my old p80 have similar results in this test but there was something in the P-80 that I couldn’t live with: - the absence of the sound of hammer striking in the mid and upper notes! The P155 nails this remarkably! The decay is much better also.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/16/10 11:12 AM

Originally Posted By: Bunneh
Can I help with my Roland HP-203?

Yes absolutely!

Originally Posted By: Bunneh
I have Access to a Mac to record Audio, and I do have a USB stick that I store my songs on, no idea if the piano does it in standard MIDI or proprietary though...

From the HP-203 manual, it looks like it will play SMF or Standard MIDI Files, so that should work from the USB stick. It doesn't look like it will record WAV or MP3 to the stick though, so you will have to hook the line-out to your Mac. Let me know if I can help in any way, there are instructions in the readme file at the Share Point.
Posted by: pesk

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/17/10 02:10 AM

Hello Dewster,

here is the sample of Bechstein 280 from EWQL Piano. It's recorded in Cubase 5 and converted to MP3 in Wavelab 6. EWQL Play engine is last 1.2.5.3 and it's full master patch without dynamics (linear velocity curve). All settings are default only ambience is turned off. Also all level settings are default so it could be maybe too week (wavelab shows level about 50%).

So please let me know if this setup is fine or I should do some changes. When it will be O.K. I will make samples of other EWQL pianos (Bosendorfer 290, Steinway D and Yamaha C7).

http://www.mediafire.com/?qzzzgrjzy2d

cheers, Petr
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/17/10 11:23 AM

Originally Posted By: pesk
So please let me know if this setup is fine or I should do some changes. When it will be O.K. I will make samples of other EWQL pianos (Bosendorfer 290, Steinway D and Yamaha C7).

Thanks! That's the East West Quantum Leap pianos I assume? Quite a bit of sampling from what they say on that page!

The piano output level could be set higher by about 9 dB to get the peaks near clipping and provide for more dynamic range. I think they keep the default level rather low to keep you from clipping when playing power chords and such.

I'm not hearing key up or pedal noises (perhaps you could turn these up to make them audible?) and there seems to be no response to partial pedaling. I'm seeing no stretching, and 8 velocity layers with very abrupt and very audible switching.

I'm hearing some really odd rumbling, which I first thought was trucks rolling by outside our house. I first noticed it in the decay of C3, the second note in the looping test - here is a sample (highly compressed to make it more easily heard). Any idea on what that is? I wonder if it's in the samples themselves (air conditioning noises) or was caused by the MP3 conversion, etc.
Posted by: pesk

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/17/10 12:28 PM

Thanks for commnets, I'll make some changes and send another sample soon. Levels of articulations are adjustable so I will increase release articulation (it could be something like the release sample in Ivory). There is no artiuculation or switch for pedal noise.
There si no stretching in Full patches. In Lite patches there should be stretching over 3 keys. Layer switching is realy horrible and I hope it will be improved in Play 2.0 engine. There is no smooth cross fading but sometimes realy big jumps in timbre.
About the rumbling - it sounds to me like some kind of air condition in background. There are also very audible timbre differences between keys played on the same velocity level but maybe it could be issue of real instrument.
I'm realy looking forward to Ivory II grin
Posted by: pesk

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/17/10 01:59 PM

So here is the new version:

http://www.mediafire.com/?zn1z04nyzzz

Release articulation is now +6 dB (see picture). Output level should be fine too (these few tones in the beginning are great for adjusting).
Posted by: pesk

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/17/10 02:07 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster

Any idea on what that is? I wonder if it's in the samples themselves (air conditioning noises) or was caused by the MP3 conversion, etc.


Now I've used different MP3 codec but I think it's something in their samples. When I compare to Ivory then EWQL has warmer samples with thicker middle. Ivory samples are more neutral to me.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/17/10 06:53 PM

Yes, the layer switching leaves a lot to be desired in the EWQLP.
The specs say "10 to 18" velocity levels, but it just doesn't seem to live up to that. In the Steinway, there's one note with just 6 samples in it's respective sample folder, so I assume that note only has 6 velocity layers. I really do wonder about their specs. If they've supplied all the layers they actually sampled, I guess it will be a big job to fix this properly - they'd have to do some more sampling. If they're not going to fix it, I'm toying with the idea of using the AET morphing in Kontakt 4 to create new samples. :P :P (I don't have Kontakt 4 yet and I have no idea how well this would work. I have seen positive comments about the AET though) This would of course require EW to convert the samples into the Play format, or to give me a utility to do this. I suspect/hope this will be possible in the Pro version in any case.

And yes, I've heard various artifacts - aside from the rumbling, I've heard a faint "crackle". I like to think it's a crackling valve in their exotic valve mic pre-amps. smile

I still think it's a very good product despite it's flaws. When I play it normally, at normal levels, I rarely hear any artifacts. The velocity switching is a real problem though. I also think the bass notes are often too quiet - maybe EQ will help but I think the volume just needs to be increased a bit in the playback engine.

Greg.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/17/10 07:33 PM

(re: fixing the layer switching, in all likelihood I'd probably just do a few notes as an experiment - there's no way I'd waste months fixing entire instruments this way)

Greg.
Posted by: pesk

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/18/10 02:39 AM

Yes Greg, you are right, some fixings and improvements of EWQLP are necessary. But I'm sure they'll do that to stay competitive. I also like their pianos due they warm full sound. On the other hand after while they make me tired so for longer practising I preffer Ivory's Italian Grand.

After lot of experiments, tests and internet searches I found that there is no "one size fits all" product. Software pianos satisfy my sound tastes (which are variable) better so I don't need to replace whole instrument but only download different software. With low latency sound setup it has same instrument response like DPs. But of course for live musicans it's better to have "one box" instrument.

So I realy like this Dewster thread because it's look behind marketing hypes to technical reality. DPs are computer technology so it's great that there is somebody who's got unemotional engineer point of view. One picture from spectral analyzer says more than tons of subjective feelings. But of course no analyze or review will tell you whether you'll like this instrument or not - everybody must test it first (for a while). But it's generaly known... grin

Petr
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/18/10 11:56 AM

Petr, I sent you a PM.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/18/10 03:56 PM

EastWest Quantum Leap Bechstein D-280 Concert Grand Review

Petr (pesk) has kindly submitted a DPBSD MP3 file for the EastWest Quantum Leap Bechstein D-280 Concert Grand Piano for our listening and analyzing pleasure - thanks Petr!

Being a fully sampled instrument, there is no looping or stretching, just nice long decays, particularly for the lower notes, along with beautiful pedal down sympathetic resonance. While it has many velocity layers (I count 9 @ velocity 63, pedal up) layer transitions are unfortunately quite audibly abrupt and pronounced.

There seems to be quite a bit of timbre variation between adjacent notes - listening to the stretch test (chromatic walk up the keys) it almost sounds like the notes are picked from random recording positions, some are bright, some dull, with no particular pattern to it.

There are extraneous noises going on in the recordings, I could hear a rumbling air conditioner kick in, a police siren, and some pops and clicks from things moving around in the recording space. Granted these things are going on near the noise floor, but it is unusual to hear these things in a PC sampler, and if nothing else they tend to raise the noise floor.

I once owned the EW PMI Bosendorfer 290 and had all kinds of trouble recording with it until I finally just gave up. The noise floor was so high it noticeably pumped around during playback, and one sample had a loud extraneous noise in it. The velocity layer switching was so abrupt I had to avoid very low and very high velocities in any MIDI files I fed it. This one doesn't seem much better. EastWest could really use better quality control over their recording, and they need to post process their samples for noise.

The MP3 and more pics are up at the share point.


Spectral frequency view of the layer test - layer transitions are quite visible.

-------------------------------------------------------
- EastWest Quantum Leap Bechstein D-280 Concert Grand -
-------------------------------------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dbpsd_v1.6_ewql_bechstein_d-280.mp3
- Recorded in Cubase 5 and converted to MP3 in Wavelab 6, EWQL Play engine 1.2.5.3
- All settings default except ambiance off, release articulation +6 dB.
- Recorded by "pesk".
PROS:
- Passes the pedal down sympathetic resonance test.
- Realistic "buzzy" string damp sound.
- Beautiful long note decay.
- No looping.
- No stretching.
- 9 velocity layers visible and audible.
- Velocity switch @ vel=10,22,38,56,74,92,104,116
- Nice sympathetic resonance.
- Large dynamic range (47dB, vel=1:127).
CONS:
- Fails the key down sympathetic resonance test.
- Fails the pedal down silent replay test @ pedal up.
- Fails the brief pedal partial damping test.
- Fails the partial pedaling test - 75% & 88% pedaled note resonance ends abruptly!
- High notes decay rather quickly.
- Many samples have low frequency noise (air conditioner?).
- C3 & C6 samples have a "clack" sound.
- C4 sample has a police siren.
- C4 key-up sounds like a faint note playing.
- No pedal up/down sounds.
- Variation in sound (muffled/bright) between adjacent notes is unusually pronounced.
- Velocity layer switches quite visible and unusually audible.
- No key-up sound if damper pedal down?
OTHER:
- MP3 levels: peak @ -0.11dB, noise floor @ -90dB.
- Date reviewed: 2010-04-17.
Posted by: NikkiPiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/19/10 06:35 PM

Basic question. Can Ableton Live record audio from a plug-in software instrument? Not the midi, but the audio from it? If someone could be kind enough to post the instructions then I'll upload the Vienna Imperial. I'm lazy, I don't want to read reams of manual to get to it.... Well, actually it's killing my precious practice time.
Posted by: NikkiPiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/20/10 11:33 AM

Originally Posted By: NikkiPiano
Basic question. Can Ableton Live record audio from a plug-in software instrument?


[RESOLVED]
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/20/10 12:58 PM

Originally Posted By: sullivang
Yes, the layer switching leaves a lot to be desired in the EWQLP.
The specs say "10 to 18" velocity levels, but it just doesn't seem to live up to that. In the Steinway, there's one note with just 6 samples in it's respective sample folder


I've decided I prefer sample sets to self contained virtual instruments. With samples, I can load them into my sampler and see for myself what is done. I can look and see exactly what WAV file a piano key and velocity map to. I can play that WAV file in some other players an listen to it and if I want edit it.

Also, I've found that the samples don't have to be "regular". That is I can have 6 velocity layers for some notes and three for other notes. Note streching can happen on some velocities and not others. So when someone claims that some piano stretches notes, you have to ask "what if you play louder or softer, are they still stretched?" Same for loops, Every note and every velocity can be looped or not. Knowing this I can read the specs better. When it reads "up to 9 velocity samples" I figure that applies only the the notes near middle C. Also they might loop the ppp samples because no one would expect to play ppp and hold it for 15 seconds but at fff they might have the feull 15 second sample. As I look more in detail I find that the engineer who puts a sample set together has to make literally thousands of decisions and each one effects quality. But on the self-contained VSTs you can't see inside and you can't make any changes.

Posted by: NikkiPiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/20/10 01:18 PM

I'm disappointed after seeing the analysis of EWQLP. I was on the verge of purchasing it. Instead, I went for the Vienna Imperial which has up to 100 velocities per key. The velocity transitions appear undetectable, even better than my Clavinova. I don't believe anyone has uploaded the mp3 yet for analysis. Should be interesting.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/20/10 03:55 PM

Chris,
Yes, I'd prefer the QLP to be "open" like that, however, I simply could not resist getting it because it just sounds so damned good. ;^) Also, the "Pro" version of the EW Play engine will allow the instruments to be inspected and edited as you describe. (I just hope that EW themselves do make further improvements to Pianos though)

Greg.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/20/10 07:01 PM

EastWest Quantum Leap Bosendorfer 290 / Steinway D / Yamaha C7 Reviews

Along with the EastWest Quantum Leap Bechstein D-280 (reviewed above), Petr (pesk) also submitted DPBSD MP3 files for the Bosendorfer 290, Steinway D, and Yamaha C7 - thanks loads Petr!

I fully reviewed and captured analysis pictures of the Bosendorfer, but the other two pianos are technically so similar to it and the Bechstein D-280 that I decided to forgo the full treatment and just comment on them a bit here.

The Bosendorfer is fully sampled, though I did find a stretch group of two in the bass region. The Yamaha only has a few stretch groups of two, but surprisingly the Steinway has quite a few of these two note stretches going on.

I didn't see any evidence of looping in any of these three pianos. The decays are fairly long, particularly for the lower notes, and the sympathetic resonance is nice as it is sampled. But the velocity layer transitions for all are unfortunately quite audibly abrupt and pronounced.

Again there seems to be quite a bit of timbre variation between adjacent notes, with bright and dull notes all over the place.

The Steinway in particular has a lot of rumbling air conditioner noise in the left channel, and crackling noise in the right. I'm not sure if that sample set is salvageable at all - quite a shame.

MP3s for all three and pics for the Bosendorfer are up at the share point.

-------------------------------------------------------
- EastWest Quantum Leap Bosendorfer 290 Concert Grand -
-------------------------------------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dbpsd_v1.6_ewql_bosendorfer_290.mp3
- EWQL Play engine 1.2.5.3, recorded in Cubase 5, converted to MP3 in Wavelab 6 w/ LAME encoder.
- All settings default except ambiance off, release articulation +6 dB.
- Recorded by "pesk".
PROS:
- Passes the pedal down sympathetic resonance test.
- Realistic "buzzy" string damp sound.
- Beautiful long note decay.
- No looping.
- No stretching (except for one stretch group of 2).
- 12 velocity layers visible and audible.
- Velocity switch @ vel=12,22,28,36,52,72,78,94,104,110,116
- Nice sympathetic resonance.
- Large dynamic range (44dB, vel=1:127).
CONS:
- Fails the key down sympathetic resonance test.
- Passes/fails the pedal down silent replay test, no damping during test, but note continues past the end!
- Fails the brief pedal partial damping test.
- Fails the partial pedaling test.
- Many samples have low frequency noise (air conditioner?).
- C6 sample has footfall sounds.
- C8 sample has faint voices and scratching sounds.
- High notes decay rather quickly.
- No pedal up/down sounds.
- Variation in sound (muffled/bright) between adjacent notes is unusually pronounced.
- Velocity layer switches quite visible and unusually audible.
- No key-up sound if damper pedal down?
OTHER:
- MP3 levels: peak @ -0.25dB, noise floor @ -90dB.
- Date reviewed: 2010-04-20.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/20/10 07:09 PM

Originally Posted By: NikkiPiano
I'm disappointed after seeing the analysis of EWQLP. I was on the verge of purchasing it. Instead, I went for the Vienna Imperial which has up to 100 velocities per key. The velocity transitions appear undetectable, even better than my Clavinova. I don't believe anyone has uploaded the mp3 yet for analysis. Should be interesting.

If you want to upload a DPBSD MP3 of the Vienna Imperial I'll definitely take a look at it!
Posted by: NikkiPiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/20/10 08:13 PM

I can't see how to upload to your directory. Never mind. http://www.mediafire.com/file/jm02dzvgmdd/dp_bsd_v1.5_VSL_Vienna_Imperial.mp3

Rendered in Ableton Live and compressed in Sony Vegas..

Default "Close" setting used. Reverb off.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/20/10 08:41 PM

I hadn't noticed the stretching in the EWQLP - thanks for the heads up Dewster. I continue to be impressed by this product, despite all your bad news. ;^) ;^) (btw I too think that your testing is very worthwile - thankyou!)

Greg.
Posted by: bkmz

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/20/10 09:02 PM

Originally Posted By: NikkiPiano
I can't see how to upload to your directory. Never mind. http://www.mediafire.com/file/jm02dzvgmdd/dp_bsd_v1.5_VSL_Vienna_Imperial.mp3

Rendered in Ableton Live and compressed in Sony Vegas..

Default "Close" setting used. Reverb off.


Wow... 500GB, 800$, and it has stretches. About 50 groups.. On the other hand, absolutely no velocity-switches.

Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/20/10 10:31 PM

500gb?!
Seriously?

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/20/10 10:55 PM

Originally Posted By: bkmz
Wow... 500GB, 800$, and it has stretches. About 50 groups.. On the other hand, absolutely no velocity-switches

Uh oh, someone's putting me out of a job smile !

Stretching groups of 2 as far as the eye can see, very surprising. No partial pedal support, but I think it passes the pedal down silent replay. And like bkmz says, no velocity switching, unusual for a PC sampler.

NikkiPiano, could I bother you to render it again using the DPBSD v1.6 MIDI file instead? I'm interested to see if it does partial pedal damping and wonder if the string resonance is very sophisticated.

Oh - and thanks much! Very interesting...
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/20/10 11:29 PM

It's 500Gb, but only 50GB on disk - very impressive, given that it would be lossless compression presumably.

Greg.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/20/10 11:59 PM

Greg, I doubt 10:1 compression is currently possible using lossless algorithms. FLAC, ALAC, APE, etc. compress audio files to approximately 50-60% of their original size, however even the most optimised decoder will require some overhead, thus largely preventing realtime playback.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: TADutchman

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/21/10 03:18 AM

The lowest latency (about 2ms) 'near-lossless' CODEC I know of, suitable for realtime use, is this one: http://www.aptx.com/Technology-Portfolio/apt-X-Bluetooth.aspx

An application example of this technology can be found here:
http://www.sennheiser.com/sennheiser/home_en.nsf/root/private_headphones_wireless-headphones_502384

I don't think this currently yields sufficient quality for DP samples.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/21/10 03:35 AM

James,
Yes, I know all that, however the reason I said that I presumed that it would be lossless is simply that I would find it bizarre that VSL would use lossy compression for a very professional product such as this.

I'll ask VSL whether it's lossy or not and report back, if they give me permission to.

Greg.
Posted by: madshi

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/21/10 03:51 AM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
Greg, I doubt 10:1 compression is currently possible using lossless algorithms. FLAC, ALAC, APE, etc. compress audio files to approximately 50-60% of their original size, however even the most optimised decoder will require some overhead, thus largely preventing realtime playback.

What he said. FWIW, current lossless compression algorithms (like FLAC) achieve about 2:1 compression with 24bit audio data and about 3:1 compression with 16bit audio data.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/21/10 04:10 AM

dewster, may I suggest yet another test again? It is a continuation of test 1 (damper resonance) and is sometimes referred to as "damper resonance re-pedalling". Here is the test:

1. Press a key loudly and hold it (for the duration of the whole test)
2. Shortly after that press the damper pedal.

Intermediate result: You should hear the sympathetic resonance engaging although the pedal was pressed after the key.

3. Release the damper pedal

Intermediate result: The sympathetic resonance should stop.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3


I think most digital/sampler pianos fail that test because they have implemented damper pedal resonance only when you play notes after the damper pedal has been pressed and not when notes have been held before the damper. Two notable exceptions are Steinberg The Grand and Pianoteq.
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/21/10 04:21 AM

That's a good suggestion! I already tested this with CA63 and the test was successful, all the steps were like in a real acoustic piano.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/21/10 05:35 AM

Originally Posted By: madshi

What he said. FWIW, current lossless compression algorithms (like FLAC) achieve about 2:1 compression with 24bit audio data and about 3:1 compression with 16bit audio data.


Nevertheless, I'll be genuinely surprised if VSL have employed lossy compression. They do say they have developed the compression technique themselves - it is something new and special I think.

Perhaps they have found a way to exploit the similarity between velocity layers, for example.

Also, remember that for very long duration piano notes, the signal is very simple towards the end - almost sinusoidal.

Greg.
Posted by: NikkiPiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/21/10 06:01 AM

http://www.mediafire.com/file/zzgzmmjbi5j/dp_bsd_v1.6_VSL_Vienna_Imperial.mp3

50 groups, huh? That gives me more respect for my Clavinova. Who would have imagined? grin Walking up the keyboard does not feel so bad. So for a complete sample set we are looking at 1 terabyte of uncompressed data? Wow.

The piano is rigged with all those computer activated solenoids. The whole sampling process can be completely automated. Just go on holiday for a few weeks, come back and voila! Fascinating.

Whatever compression they use gives undetectable latency on my Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz, with all samples preloaded. I feel very connected. I can make it "scream" on those fortes, whereas my CVP feels slightly muted or capped.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/21/10 07:22 AM

It is indeed lossLESS compression - it says so right on the product web page! Doh!
http://vsl.co.at/en/211/442/478/1701/1305.htm

I say again - very impressive.

Greg.
Posted by: NikkiPiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/21/10 07:34 AM

Originally Posted By: sullivang

Perhaps they have found a way to exploit the similarity between velocity layers, for example.
Greg.


Maybe a type of delta compression, in the same way we I-P-B frames in mpeg?
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/21/10 08:01 AM

RE: the latency of the compression codec, that's largely irrelevant for this kind of application. The reason is that the first part of every sample would be pre-decompressed and loaded into RAM, and as it is being streamed, the next portion would be loaded and de-compressed, so that it is already decompressed by the time that portion is required, and so on.

Greg.
Posted by: NikkiPiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/21/10 08:31 AM

The latency, or CPU stress test, I'm talking about is playing a fast piece with sustain. The real-time decompression doesn't appear to incur any penalty and that's with 1200 samples per key. Insane.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/21/10 08:38 AM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
dewster, may I suggest yet another test again? It is a continuation of test 1 (damper resonance) and is sometimes referred to as "damper resonance re-pedalling". Here is the test...

CyberGene that is indeed a good test. But I played around with it this morning on the Pianoteq demo and couldn't convince myself that I would be able to hear it reliably.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/21/10 08:54 AM


NikkiPiano, I hate to be a pest, but could you pump the output level of the piano up by about 9dB? The levels in that MP3 file are rather low - the tails of those nice long decays are ending up in the mosquito noise.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/21/10 09:15 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: CyberGene
dewster, may I suggest yet another test again? It is a continuation of test 1 (damper resonance) and is sometimes referred to as "damper resonance re-pedalling". Here is the test...

CyberGene that is indeed a good test. But I played around with it this morning on the Pianoteq demo and couldn't convince myself that I would be able to hear it reliably.


Well, actually I may be wrong about Pianoteq supporting it, maybe it's because Pianoteq is modeled and I expect each piano feature to be available there but I have in my memory that I have tested it once and it worked. I will try tonight at home. You have to use loud and high note to observe it.

However I am 100% sure about The Grand because that's one of the features it was marketed for and I really love it. It's shame that The Grand has some other deffects which make it not very usable (for example brief redampening)
Posted by: NikkiPiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/21/10 09:34 AM

http://www.mediafire.com/file/dj0mm4df2yo/dp_bsd_v1.6_VSL_Vienna_Imperial-2.mp3

I'm not sure how you increase it by 9dB, but I've increased the level in Ableton from 0 to 6, whatever that means! You may not like it. The second loud section is clipped. I have all the applications open to run it again in case this is not suitable.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/21/10 10:19 AM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
Well, actually I may be wrong about Pianoteq supporting it, maybe it's because Pianoteq is modeled and I expect each piano feature to be available there but I have in my memory that I have tested it once and it worked. I will try tonight at home. You have to use loud and high note to observe it.

I think I can hear it in Pianoteq, but it's so subtle and faint that I'm not sure I could reliably say yes/no in my analysis of other DPs.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/21/10 10:26 AM

Originally Posted By: NikkiPiano
http://www.mediafire.com/file/dj0mm4df2yo/dp_bsd_v1.6_VSL_Vienna_Imperial-2.mp3

I'm not sure how you increase it by 9dB, but I've increased the level in Ableton from 0 to 6, whatever than means! You may not like it. The second loud section is clipped. I have all the applications open to run it again in case this is not suitable.

Yes, I see clipping too. Could you turn it down until there is no clipping?

The levels in your v1.5 file were pretty good, but the first v1.6 they were low by ~9dB.
Posted by: NikkiPiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/21/10 10:29 AM

OK, I'll turn it down until I see no flat lines.
Posted by: NikkiPiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/21/10 11:41 AM

I gradually lowered the volume until the highest peak stopped touching the "ceiling" in Ableton. There must be an automated way of doing this. I'm not sure if the visual representation of the wave is accurate in Ableton Live.

Compressed using Audiograbber with Fraunhofer IIS.

http://www.mediafire.com/file/j1mlhtimqwt/dp_bsd_v1.6_VSL_Vienna_Imperial-3.mp3
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/21/10 12:00 PM

NikkiPiano, there should be a function called "normalization" in audio files that should do the trick. Best is to record in a clipping secure level within Ableton (24bit) and then normalize it to e.g. -1dB and then convert it to 16bit and save it as a regular MP3.
Posted by: NikkiPiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/21/10 12:08 PM

I'll have a look now. I'm doing a quick google to see how this is done in Live.

[edit] It's a button staring me in the face. This is very useful information when I come to record my performances.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/21/10 12:14 PM

Originally Posted By: NikkiPiano
I gradually lowered the volume until the highest peak stopped touching the "ceiling" in Ableton. There must be an automated way of doing this. I'm not sure if the visual representation of the wave is accurate in Ableton Live.

Compressed using Audiograbber with Fraunhofer IIS.

Much better, and the noise floor is much whiter now, thanks!

I sent you a PM.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/22/10 03:02 PM

DPBSD Version 1.7 Released

Mainly just some fine tuning of the key down sympathetic resonance test. Please use this file instead of all previous versions.

====================
= Revision History =
====================
v1.7 - 2010-04-22:
- Changed key down sympathetic resonance test, stimulus is now C2, keys now lift in low to high order.
- Changed all octave numbering to conform to ANSI standard (C4 = middle C = MIDI note 60).
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/22/10 03:57 PM

Review of Vienna Symphonic Library Vienna Imperial

NikkiPiano has kindly submitted a DPBSD MP3 of the VSL Vienna Imperial for our analyzing and listening pleasure - thanks NikkiPiano!

This is a reportedly massively sampled Bösendorfer Imperial. As you might expect, I couldn't detect any obvious looping, just nice long natural sounding string decays.

One very interesting thing is there is no detectable velocity layer switching either - either there are different samples for each velocity (note: the DPBSD MIDI file only samples odd velocities of a single note) or there is some kind of sophisticated layer blending going on. Either way, the velocity implementation is refreshingly free of jarring steps, and has a smooth realistic timbre variation with velocity.

As bkmz discovered first, this instrument is stretched, which is a shock for a such a reportedly massive sample set. I'm at a loss to explain why stretching exists when the sample set was allowed to get really huge in order to accommodate a myriad of other features, many of which I would put farther down the list of priorities than full sampling. At least there are a lot of stretch groups (I count 53) and none of them are larger than 2.

Other than apparently no support for partial pedaling, the Imperial passes all tests associated with pedals and keys. The key down sympathetic resonance only seems to work for the key lower than the stimulus, and is a fairly subtle feature. Because it is sampled, the pedal down sympathetic resonance is very realistic.

Review below, MP3 and more analysis pics at the share point.


Spectral pan view of the stretch test, middle notes shown here. Stretching is similar over the low and high note regions.


Spectral frequency view of the layer test. Very smooth timbre variation with no visible or audible steps.

-----------------------
- VSL Vienna Imperial -
-----------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dpbsd_v1.7_vsl_vienna_imperial.mp3
- This is a sampled Bösendorfer Imperial 290-755.
- Default "close" setting with reverb off.
- Ableton Live, Sony Vegas for MP3 compression.
- Recorded by "NikkiPiano".
PROS:
- Passes the pedal down sympathetic resonance test.
- Beautiful sounding sympathetic resonance.
- Passes the key down sympathetic resonance test, though effect is subtle.
- Realistic "buzzy" string damp sound.
- Pedal up/down sounds a nicely done "loom of strings".
- Passes the pedal down silent replay test but the vel=1 note is audible.
- Passes the brief pedal partial damping test.
- Beautiful long note decay.
- No detectable looping.
- Velocity layer switches not visible or audible, either tons of samples or blended.
- Large dynamic range (45dB, vel=1:127).
CONS:
- Fails the partial pedaling test.
- Visibly and audibly stretched.
- Stretch distances: 1,2,1,2,2,1,2(x3),1,2,2,1,2(x3),1,2,2,1,2(x3),1,2,2,1,2(x3),1,2(x3),1,2,2,1,2,2,1,2(x3),1,2,2,1,2,2,1(x3) = 53 groups.
- C6 sample has a "thump" sound @ ~2sec.
OTHER:
- MP3 levels: peak @ 0dB, noise floor @ -90dB.
- Date reviewed: 2010-04-22.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/22/10 04:41 PM

Review of Kurzweil PC3X - Standard Grand

The reviews just keep coming!

Recently pkdd sent me a DPBSD MP3 of the Kurzweil PC3X, "Standard Grand" patch - thanks pkdd!

This is one of the most stretched DPs I've encountered, a mere 15 stretch groups covering 88 keys - quite visible and audible. The note decay is also very fast.

The looping is rather interesting, they seem to have somehow reduced the beating sounds, which makes a much shorter loop possible. As a result it was difficult for me to ascertain actual loop lengths. Visually, the notes appear rather similar to those of the Yamaha CP1. The attack phase of the notes are rather short.

The three velocity layers (for C4) are very visible and audible as well, with no filtering or blending going on to ease the transition.

I couldn't hear anything in the way of pedal down sympathetic resonance, which is unusual.

Text review below, MP3 and more analysis pics at the share point.



Spectral pan view of the note C3. Note lack of loop detail.


Spectral frequency view of the layer test. First switch at velocity 94 very visible and audible.


Spectral phase view of the stretch test, middle notes shown. Stretch groups are quite large.


--------------------------------
- Kurzweil PC3X Standard Grand -
--------------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dpbsd_v1.6_kurzweil_pc3x_standard_grand.mp3
- MIDI: Muse for Linux out M-Audio Audiophile 2496 PCI card
- Audio: Behringer mixer through Audiophile 2496 PCI card recorded in Audacity for Linux
- Recorded by "pkdd".
PROS:
- Passes the pedal down silent replay test but vel=1 note is audible & some damping @ pedal up.
- Decent dynamic range (~29dB, vel=1:127).
- This appears to be a 3 velocity layer unblended sample set.
CONS:
- I can't hear any pedal down sympathetic resonance.
- The key down sympathetic resonance sounds like reverb.
- Fails the brief pedal partial damping test.
- Fails the partial pedaling test.
- Fairly short decays on the order of ~1/3 to ~1/2 Pianoteq.
- Looped, attack lengths rather short, loop lengths mostly indeterminate.
- Attack sample lengths are (C1:C8): 1.5,2.0,1.8,1.6,1.2,1.4,?,? seconds.
- Loop sample lengths are (C1:C8): 1.0,?,?,?,?,?,?,? seconds.
- Obviously very stretched, low and mid group transistions farily audible.
- Stretch distances: 7,5,3,7,5,7,5(x3),6,6,5,4,7,11 = 15 groups.
- Visible and audible velocity layer switch @ vel=94,116.
- Both layer switches are fairly abrupt.
OTHER:
- MP3 levels: peak @ -0.11dB, noise floor @ -63dB.
- Date reviewed: 2010-04-22
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/22/10 07:14 PM

Cheers dewster!

James
x
Posted by: pkdd

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/22/10 07:30 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
- Decent dynamic range (~29dB, vel=1:127).


Thanks again, dewster! That explains my frustration with trying to play pianissimo. My next piano will be much more dynamic.

The VSL looks pretty awesome. I wonder, can its dynamic range be increased beyond the default 45dB?
Posted by: NikkiPiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/22/10 08:28 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster

- Stretch distances: 1,2,1,2,2,1,2(x3),1,2,2,1,2(x3),1,2,2,1,2(x3),1,2,2,1,2(x3),1,2(x3),1,2,2,1,2,2,1,2(x3),1,2,2,1,2,2,1(x3)


Interesting. The groups appear to coincide largely with the pattern of semi/whole tone intervals.

2(x3) = F,F#,G,G#,A,A#

This means the C major is almost free of repeated samples.
Posted by: jmmec

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/22/10 09:08 PM

Hey dewster,

The last time you reviewed the Roland HP-307 was with v1.4. I don't know if you care to re-review it with your v1.7 DPBSD, but I ran the test as my first exercise in recording audio.

The file is here if you decide it is worthwhile to re-review - hopefully the audio levels are okay:

http://wmsar.info/dewster_dpbsd/

I printed out your latest "readme" file, so now I need to study it. smile

By the way, as discovered in earlier tests, it doesn't seem that some of the effects on the HP-307 are necessarily active when playing a MIDI file, but I haven't messed around with it very much.

You were waiting for the MIDI spec to be published, and I recently pinged Roland and they said it would be released as soon as it is ready. Hopefully there is a way to program some of the effects within MIDI.
Posted by: jmmec

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/23/10 12:04 AM

Originally Posted By: jmmec
By the way, as discovered in earlier tests, it doesn't seem that some of the effects on the HP-307 are necessarily active when playing a MIDI file, but I haven't messed around with it very much.
...

Hopefully there is a way to program some of the effects within MIDI.



For those interested, I played around with the HP-307 and Test #2 "Key down sympathetic resonance test" and finally have a MIDI file with the necessary conditions/data for the test. I've updated the webpage below:

http://wmsar.info/dewster_dpbsd/
Posted by: zaba19

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/23/10 03:11 AM

Wow nice discovery!
Would it be possible for you to write a short guide as to how to change regular midi files to contain data required for all features to kick in?

A month ago or so I wrote to polish dealer regarding the issue but they weren't really helpful. They don't even have their own pianos to test things and had to ask some hungarian branch or something. Either polish branch couldn't pass my message or the other branch could not understand what I asked. The reply was some total crap:

"The piano desinger function only works with Grand Piano 1.

If you are not playback with this sound , you will lost your saved settings like damper resonance.

Because the damper resonance (in Piano Desinger) is a Performance Settings, not stored in the song."

After several emails I saw there's no way for them to take this serious and find out what's the issue (I even wrote a step by step guide how to hear what doesn't work...) so I just gave up.
I think I should have taken it to a brittish or american branch directly.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/23/10 04:38 AM

The piano designer works with Grand Piano 1, 2 and 3. If you use the designer you will find that the piano has defaulted to GP1 but any adjustments you make are applied equally to the other pianos...try it and see what you find. A criticism of the HP-307 is that in my opinion there is insufficient tonal variation between GP 1, 2 and 3. Luckily they have done a great job with it and are likely to please most people most of the time. But, something DIFFERENT might have been nice.

Steve
Posted by: zaba19

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/23/10 05:30 AM

Maybe I wasn't clear enough - the issue was with some piano designer settings (or features) not working at all while playing back a midi file. When you play any normal midi file damper resonance and damper noise isn't part of the generated sound (as if set to 0/10). But when you record something and play before storing as midi file it works as intended. There was a discussion about it some pages ago with conclusion that before midi implementation sheet is published we don't know how to force the piano to playback including damper resonance and noise.

I understand jmmec found a way to control these things directly in midi file so it may be possible now?

BTW dewster do you intend/want to test all previous pianos each time you make a new version of your midi file? Maybe for consistency it would be good but it sure is a lot of work for you?
Posted by: hpeterh

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/23/10 05:50 AM

Originally Posted By: NikkiPiano
Originally Posted By: sullivang

Perhaps they have found a way to exploit the similarity between velocity layers, for example.
Greg.


Maybe a type of delta compression, in the same way we I-P-B frames in mpeg?


Most sample libraries use the amount of data as an advertising argument. And most contain a lot of duplicated redundant data ;-)

I think, that is the most reasonable explanation ;-)

Peter
Posted by: NikkiPiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/23/10 08:01 AM

Originally Posted By: hpeterh

Most sample libraries use the amount of data as an advertising argument. And most contain a lot of duplicated redundant data ;-)

I think, that is the most reasonable explanation ;-)

Peter


"Duplicated" data is a sinch to "compress". "Duplicated redundant" data can even be disregarded. So what you're saying is that, hypothetically, the sample library could contain a petabyte of uncompressed data occupying only 50GB? I think they've been rumbled. smile
Posted by: jmmec

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/23/10 09:10 AM

Regarding my Test #2 analysis for the Roland HP-307:

I'm a newbie to MIDI and there seems to be a mistake in my analysis - I think I should have seen SYSEX events for Test #2 if the Roland HP-307 actually sends proprietary MIDI data for the "string resonance" setting. But the MIDI file didn't capture this; or Cubase doesn't save it if it was sent.

As a test, I turned on the HP-307 this morning and ran the MIDI file I captured last night without making any changes to default settings. The MIDI file played back with damper pedal! I then made the change to "string resonance", and I got the expected results. So something is screwy. (Edit: last night, and this morning, when I set "string resonance", it seems to have configured the piano such that the MIDI file would create the expected result on playback.)

I have to go to work, but I'll try to play around with this more; or else I'll wait for Roland to release the MIDI spec. So ignore the Test #2 MIDI file. smile
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/23/10 09:15 AM

Originally Posted By: NikkiPiano
Originally Posted By: dewster

- Stretch distances: 1,2,1,2,2,1,2(x3),1,2,2,1,2(x3),1,2,2,1,2(x3),1,2,2,1,2(x3),1,2(x3),1,2,2,1,2,2,1,2(x3),1,2,2,1,2,2,1(x3)


Interesting. The groups appear to coincide largely with the pattern of semi/whole tone intervals.

2(x3) = F,F#,G,G#,A,A#

This means the C major is almost free of repeated samples.

Interesting, I didn't see that pattern. They deviate slightly from it in octave 5.

A #B
1, 2,

C #D #E F #G #A #B
1, 2, 2, 1, 2, 2, 2,
1, 2, 2, 1, 2, 2, 2,
1, 2, 2, 1, 2, 2, 2,
1, 2, 2, 1, 2, 2, 2,
1, 2, 2, 2, 1, 2, 2,
1, 2, 2, 1, 2, 2, 2,
1, 2, 2, 1, 2, 2, 1,

B C
1,1
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/23/10 09:31 AM

Originally Posted By: pkdd
Originally Posted By: dewster
- Decent dynamic range (~29dB, vel=1:127).


Thanks again, dewster! That explains my frustration with trying to play pianissimo. My next piano will be much more dynamic.

I think a lack of layer switching at lower velocities is also an issue.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/23/10 09:46 AM

Originally Posted By: zaba19
BTW dewster do you intend/want to test all previous pianos each time you make a new version of your midi file? Maybe for consistency it would be good but it sure is a lot of work for you?

This is something of a work in progress, with changes to the MIDI file as I run across features that can be definitively tested. The main tests for looping, stretching, layer switching, sympathetic resonance, and partial pedaling have been there since the very first version.

Like others here I'm mostly interested in the latest offerings, as they hold the most promise. But I'll redo any important instruments if people feel like redoing MP3s.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/23/10 09:54 AM

I would not have expected there to be any stretching in the VSL in a million years. To me, the following sentence quoted from the product info strongly implies that every key has been sampled:

"1,200 recorded samples per key represent a magnitude of sampling detail that has been unthinkable up to now."

I guess this actually means that for the keys that they did sample, 1200 samples were taken.

Greg.
Posted by: NikkiPiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/23/10 10:07 AM

Originally Posted By: pkdd
I wonder, can its dynamic range be increased beyond the default 45dB?


Regarding VSL VI, the interface has a dynamic range slider. The analysis mp3 file was recorded with the slider at 50%. At 100%, the quietest note possible is much much quieter.

"Dynamic Range controls the difference in loudness
between velocities of the piano and essentially is
similar (though not identical) to a compressor. The
values which yield results comparable to the sound
of the original piano are located at approximately
55–60%, and are therefore set by default. At 100%,
the samples are played back as they were recorded;
at lower values, keystrokes with lower MIDI velocity are played back louder, so that the piano’s dynamic
range is reduced."
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/23/10 10:16 AM

Originally Posted By: sullivang
I would not have expected there to be any stretching in the VSL in a million years.

If they really are using a different sample for each velocity, then if they stretched each layer differently you might not easily notice it (wild speculation based on zero evidence).

But all stretching is bad stretching, I don't want any, and it's pretty weird that the VSL has it.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/23/10 10:23 AM

Originally Posted By: pkdd
I wonder, can its dynamic range be increased beyond the default 45dB?

I think I'll start putting the dynamic range measurement in the OTHER section, rather than the PROS or CONS. I shouldn't be giving the impression that more is better.

I'm not sure what the optimal amount would be as it depends on the instrument, how loudly / softly it is played, and how MIDI velocity maps to that.
Posted by: pkdd

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/23/10 06:45 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: pkdd
I wonder, can its dynamic range be increased beyond the default 45dB?

I think I'll start putting the dynamic range measurement in the OTHER section, rather than the PROS or CONS. I shouldn't be giving the impression that more is better.

I'm not sure what the optimal amount would be as it depends on the instrument, how loudly / softly it is played, and how MIDI velocity maps to that.


I would think as long as you can play evenly with whatever keyboard you use, then more is better. Given good technique, once it becomes too difficult to control, then less is better. It'd be interesting to measure the dynamic range of an acoustic piano for comparison.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/23/10 07:04 PM

For me, I think the dynamic range of the timbre is more important than the dynamic range of the amplitude. With a large change of timbre from pp to ff, I often prefer a rather small amplitude dynamic range, because I like to hear the pp timbres quite loudly - it produces a very warm sound, with the expression being provided largely by the change of timbre. Also, small changes of amplitude are easier on the ears.

Greg.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/23/10 09:41 PM

Originally Posted By: sullivang
For me, I think the dynamic range of the timbre is more important than the dynamic range of the amplitude.

Yes, my thoughts exactly.

It's trivial to change amplitude, and much harder to change timbre, so large dynamic range shouldn't be emphasized as necessarily a good thing.
Posted by: jmmec

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/23/10 10:59 PM

dewster,

For the betterment of humanity, I did more investigation on the lack of 'sympathetic resonance' for the Roland HP-307 in the DPBSD test. I figured out the MIDI events to enable it, and modified v1.7 of the DPBSD MIDI file.

A new MP3 with sympathetic resonance, and the modified MIDI file to enable it, are at the website below in case you are interested in analyzing it:

http://wmsar.info/dewster_dpbsd/

For Test #2 your "readme" states "Listen for a brief weak G5 note at the beginning of the test, possibly accompanied by the very faint sound of C1 & C3 & ...etc...". I can clearly hear the resonance of the G5 & C-notes when playing the test on HP-307, but it is very difficult to hear in the MP3 [at least for me]. You'll notice a big difference when the loud C2 is played. I don't know how other tests may or may not be affected.

If you do decide to analyze the file, then please let me know if other problems still persist; I think they were pedal up/down & key up?

NOTE: I suspect there is more to sympathetic resonance than just the 'string resonance' setting in "Piano Designer", especially since there are several parameters related to resonance alone. All parameters were at their 'default' setting, with "Reverb" disabled.
Posted by: pkdd

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/23/10 11:06 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: sullivang
For me, I think the dynamic range of the timbre is more important than the dynamic range of the amplitude.

Yes, my thoughts exactly.

It's trivial to change amplitude, and much harder to change timbre, so large dynamic range shouldn't be emphasized as necessarily a good thing.


I agree that less amplitude dynamic range is better when playing with headphones for the sake of my hearing, but otherwise I want both timbre and amplitude to have wide dynamic ranges. I don't want to sound like a digitally compressed recording. I want to sound live.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/24/10 09:52 AM

Originally Posted By: jmmec
For Test #2 your "readme" states "Listen for a brief weak G5 note at the beginning of the test, possibly accompanied by the very faint sound of C1 & C3 & ...etc...". I can clearly hear the resonance of the G5 & C-notes when playing the test on HP-307, but it is very difficult to hear in the MP3 [at least for me]. You'll notice a big difference when the loud C2 is played. I don't know how other tests may or may not be affected.

I'm able to hear key down sympathetic resonance in there, though it is fairly subtle.

Originally Posted By: jmmec
If you do decide to analyze the file, then please let me know if other problems still persist; I think they were pedal up/down & key up?

- Pedal and key noises are missing.
- It passes the pedal down silent replay test.
- It passes the quick pedal partial damping test.

The big thing that's missing is pedal down sympathetic resonance - I'm straining and looking but can't detect any.

Also your levels could be better, the peak is -8.65dB, and the noise floor is around -72dB.

Thanks for your efforts to capture this, the SuperNATURAL piano sound is very promising technology.
Posted by: bkmz

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/24/10 01:14 PM

dewster
I was reviewing mp3 of Yamaha CP1, and I think you missed something important. It has 5 layers, not 4, and the last layer switch is quite audible, not only visible.
With 50 stretch groups, it seems that CP1 has sample set very similar to CLP380.

Here is the picture with layers switches marked:

Posted by: NikkiPiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/24/10 01:44 PM

Originally Posted By: bkmz
it seems that CP1 has sample set very similar to CLP380.


But isn't that purely conjecture? I'm interested in the seeing the CLP380 mp3, myself. Anyone got one?
Posted by: bkmz

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/24/10 01:53 PM

Of course, i'm just guessing. I said "similar", not "the same".
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/24/10 03:49 PM

Originally Posted By: bkmz
I was reviewing mp3 of Yamaha CP1, and I think you missed something important. It has 5 layers, not 4, and the last layer switch is quite audible, not only visible.

Hmm. I looked at it again very closely and the second layer switch you have marked is really subtle - kind of a judgment call. But, as you said, you can hear the last switch. I'll update the review text - thanks!
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/24/10 04:03 PM

Funny too how the CP1 has essentially no timbre change from velocity=1 to velocity=54. And the dynamic range is only 38dB. I guess it makes sense to put more transitions on the higher velocity end, where the piano really start going non-linear.

If anyone is interested, here is a highly compressed version of the CP1 layer test with the amplitude variation removed, so all you hear is timbre variation:

http://www.mediafire.com/?mmdwgzjgnww
Posted by: bkmz

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/24/10 04:21 PM

Originally Posted By: http://www.yamaha.com/yamahavgn/Documents/Pianos/CP1_Catalog_Y30C.pdf

The Spectral Component Modeling system starts with a fundamentally different tone generation system than Yamaha has ever used before. .. It also uses a complete different method of playback than normal sampling technology. Rather than multi-velocity layers of samples, SCM uses granular parametric data so every nuance of the player’s touch is translated into expressive tone.


What a bullshit. Shame to Yamaha for lying to its customers.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/24/10 04:32 PM

This is why the DPBSD project has BS in the title.

It's technobabble like that that pretty much forced me into doing the project in the first place - at some point I just couldn't take it any more.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/24/10 05:50 PM

EastWest Quantum Leap Goliath Pianos - Triple Review!

Thanks once again to pesk, we have DPBSD MP3s of (count 'em) three EastWest Quantum Leap Goliath Pianos for our analyzing and listening pleasure: the Fazioli F308 2 gig, the Steinway B, and the PMI Bosendorfer 290 - thanks pesk!

First, the things they have in common: None appear to be looped, which is good. But all fail the key down sympathetic resonance test, the brief pedal partial damping test, and the partial pedaling test. All of them have a strange response to the pedal down silent replay test - there is no audible damping during the test (which is good) but the velocity=1 note continues past the end - which should be impossible as no keys or pedals are being held at that point! There are no key up or pedal up/down sounds in any of the pianos, and the velocity layer switches are all quite visible and audible.

In terms of stretching, the Steinway doesn't appear to be stretched, the Fazioli with 82 groups is lightly stretched, and the Bosendorfer with 51 groups is the most stretched. In terms of velocity layer count, the Bosendorfer has 5, the Fazioli has 4, and the Steinway has 3. Seems like some kind of layer count / note stretch trade-off going on there.

The Bosendorfer and Fazioli both have very short note decay times, with the Fazioli bass notes coming to an abrupt stop fairly early. The Steinway has nice long note decays, and is also the only one that passes the pedal down sympathetic resonance test. The Bosendorfer has many of its samples marred by audible "clacks" and "thumps".

Reviews below, MP3s and more analysis pics at the share point.


Waveform view of the Fazioli. Note very short bass note decay & truncation.


Spectral pan view of the Bosendorfer. This one is the most stretched of the bunch.


Spectral frequency view of the Steinway, where both layer switches are visible.



----------------------------------------------------
- EastWest Quantum Leap Goliath Fazioli F308 2 gig -
----------------------------------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dpbsd_v1.6_ewql_goliath_fazioli_f308_2gig.mp3
- Recorded in Cubase 5, converted to MP3 in Wavelab 6 w/ LAME encoder.
- All settings default except reverb off.
- Recorded by "pesk".
PROS:
- No looping.
- Only a small amount of stretching.
- Stretch distances: 1(x5),2,1(x13),2,1(x10),2,1(x13),2,1(x5),2,1(x6),2,1(x24) = 82 groups.
- 4 velocity layers.
- Velocity switch @ vel=62,96,112.
CONS:
- Fails the pedal down sympathetic resonance test.
- Fails the key down sympathetic resonance test.
- Passes/fails the pedal down silent replay test, no damping during test, but vel=1 note continues past the end!
- Fails the brief pedal partial damping test.
- Fails the partial pedaling test.
- Lowest notes have quite short decay, ~1/2 Pianoteq, truncated.
- Samples have low frequency noise (air conditioner?).
- No key up or pedal up/down sounds.
- Velocity layer switches quite visible and very audible.
OTHER:
- Dynamic range 39dB (vel=1:127).
- MP3 levels: peak @ -1.6dB, noise floor @ -90dB.
- Date reviewed: 2010-04-23.


--------------------------------------------
- EastWest Quantum Leap Goliath Steinway B -
--------------------------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dpbsd_v1.6_ewql_goliath_steinway_b.mp3
- Recorded in Cubase 5, converted to MP3 in Wavelab 6 w/ LAME encoder.
- All settings default except reverb off.
- Recorded by "pesk".
PROS:
- Passes the pedal down sympathetic resonance test.
- No looping.
- Nice long decays on the order of Pianoteq (except for C1 which is a bit short).
- No obvious stretching.
- 3 velocity layers.
- Velocity switch @ vel=76,114.
CONS:
- Fails the key down sympathetic resonance test.
- Passes/fails the pedal down silent replay test, no damping during test, but vel=1 note continues past the end!
- Fails the brief pedal partial damping test.
- Fails the partial pedaling test.
- No key up or pedal up/down sounds.
- Velocity layer switches quite visible and very audible.
OTHER:
- Dynamic range 47dB (vel=1:127).
- MP3 levels: peak @ -0.33dB, noise floor @ -90dB.
- Date reviewed: 2010-04-23.


-----------------------------------------------------
- EastWest Quantum Leap Goliath PMI Bosendorfer 290 -
-----------------------------------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dpbsd_v1.6_ewql_goliath_pmi_bosendorfer_290.mp3
- Recorded in Cubase 5, converted to MP3 in Wavelab 6 w/ LAME encoder.
- All settings default except reverb off.
- Recorded by "pesk".
PROS:
- No looping.
- 5 velocity layers.
- Velocity switch @ vel=34,66,98,114.
CONS:
- Fails the pedal down sympathetic resonance test.
- Fails the key down sympathetic resonance test.
- Passes/fails the pedal down silent replay test, no damping during test, but vel=1 note continues past the end!
- Fails the brief pedal partial damping test.
- Fails the partial pedaling test.
- Low and high notes have quite short decay, ~1/2 Pianoteq.
- No key up or pedal up/down sounds.
- C3 has loud "clack" sound @ ~2sec.
- C5 & C7 have a "thump" sound near the end.
- Obviously stretched.
- Stretch distances: 1,2,1,2,2,1,2(x3),1,2,2,1,2(x3),1,2,2,1,2(x3),1,2,2,1,2(x3),1,2,2,1,2(x3),1,2,2,1,2(x3),1,2,2,1,2,2,3 = 51 groups.
- Velocity layer switches quite visible and very audible, particulary @ vel=34,66,114.
OTHER:
- Dynamic range 23dB (vel=1:127).
- MP3 levels: peak @ -0.25dB, noise floor @ -90dB.
- Date reviewed: 2010-04-23.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/24/10 06:18 PM

Native Instruments Kontakt 4 Factory Grand Piano Review

Thanks yet again to pesk, we have a DPBSD MP3 of the Native Instruments Kontakt 4 Factory Grand Piano - thanks pesk! I believe this is a free offering from NI.

This is a highly stretched, possibly looped, three velocity layer (with filtering) sample set. It's nice that they included key up and pedal up/down sounds, but I found them to be really obnoxious. It seems to have pedal down sympathetic resonance of some sort, and it surprisingly passes the pedal down silent replay test, but it fails the key down sympathetic resonance test, the brief pedal partial damping test, and the partial pedaling test. The velocity=15 G5 note used to signal the end of the DPBSD tests sounds strangely like a second higher note plays slightly later - very odd.

Review below, MP3 and more analysis pics at the share point.



Waveform view of the looping test. Note decays are nice and long.


Spectral phase view of the looping test. If there is looping it is very well done.


Spectral phase view of the stretch test. A mere 16 samples cover all 88 notes of this velocity layer.


Spectral frequency view of layer test, where both layer switches are clearly visible, as is some filtering to help blend them.



----------------------------------------------------
- Native Instruments Kontakt 4 Factory Grand Piano -
----------------------------------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- dpbsd_v1.6_ni_kontakt4_factory_grand.mp3
- Kontakt 4 non-realtime export, converted to MP3 in Wavelab 6 w/ LAME encoder.
- All settings default except reverb off.
- Recorded by "pesk".
PROS:
- Passes the pedal down sympathetic resonance test, though the effect is subtle.
- Pedal up/down sounds like loom-of-strings & key up makes "clunk" sound.
- Passes the pedal down silent replay test.
- Decay times are nice and long.
- 3 velocity layers with some filtering.
- Velocity switch @ vel=42,104
CONS:
- Fails the key down sympathetic resonance test.
- Fails the brief pedal partial damping test.
- Fails the partial pedaling test.
- I believe it is looped, but not audibly, with very long attack and loop samples.
- Visibly and audibly very stretched.
- Stretch distances: 1,6(x5),5,4,6(x8) = 16 groups.
- Velocity layer switches quite visible and very audible.
- Pedal & key up effects are obnoxiously loud.
- G5 sounds like a second higher note plays slightly later.
OTHER:
- Dynamic range 42dB (vel=1:127).
- MP3 levels: peak @ -3.81dB, noise floor @ -90dB.
- Date reviewed: 2010-04-23.
Posted by: jmmec

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/24/10 10:18 PM

Regarding the Roland HP-307:

Originally Posted By: dewster

- Pedal and key noises are missing.


Yep! I hear that now (doh!). This confirms that the MIDI commands I added to DPBSD v1.7a for the "key down sympathetic resonance" test do not enable things like damper noise, etc, during MIDI playback. I plan to investigate this further, and am betting (hoping?) that additional MIDI commands are needed.

Originally Posted By: dewster

The big thing that's missing is pedal down sympathetic resonance - I'm straining and looking but can't detect any.


I'm slowly figuring out what you've been talking about, and this post of yours about the CLP330 really helped:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post1386410

I've done strictly analog recordings this afternoon, and I can't reproduce the decay that you are expecting to see. At the website below I added some pictures and an MP3 in case you want to open it up in Adobe Audition:

http://wmsar.info/dewster_dpbsd/

Since the expected / characteristic decay is not present on the HP-307, then what are we hearing for the "damper down sympathetic resonance" test? Is it "super fake" sympathetic resonance? I'm really confused.

Originally Posted By: dewster
Also your levels could be better, the peak is -8.65dB, and the noise floor is around -72dB.


Thanks for letting me know. I'm new at this, so I'll try to figure out how to improve it. I'm trying not to download Adobe Audition, but I think I might have to. smile
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/24/10 11:40 PM

It makes absolutely no sense to me why many critical sound features are missing when the HP-307 plays a MIDI file - shouldn't all features enabled be the default? Roland is leaving everyone to their own devices, flailing around trying to turn them back on, without so much as even a MIDI spec. It's almost like a major manufacturer isn't standing behind their product or something. People want to buy these things and have them just work, that's why they shell out the big bucks.
Posted by: jmmec

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/25/10 10:33 AM

Yep, I agree, especially being one that shelled out big bucks. It would be nice if Roland simply activated the current 'Piano Designer' settings during MIDI playback; or at least provided a menu option to enable or disable it. I plan to complain to Roland once I better understand the HP-307 MIDI behavior.

I'm still confused about the analog recordings that I took yesterday -- I hear what sounds like 'sympathetic resonance', but it doesn't seem to have the decay you're expecting. Any insight, or thoughts about what is happening?

Posted by: sullivang

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/25/10 06:45 PM

Here's another little test to add to the TODO list: if the instrument provides a different timbre for the soft pedal, test how far this extends into the forte velocities.

I've just noticed that in the EWQLP, which does provide true soft pedal samples, that they have only provided low velocity samples. No matter how hard it is played with the soft pedal, the timbre is VERY mellow - it's not authentic.

Greg.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/26/10 12:15 PM

TruePianos Diamond Re-Review (for v1.5.0)

Thanks to our tireless pesk, we have five DPBSD MP3s of the latest TruePianos offerings - thanks pesk! I reviewed TP Diamond v1.4.1 almost three months ago so this is a good time to revisit them.

Since they are fairly similar, I decided to only analyze the Diamond piano in any depth. All of them appear to be looped, and benefit from fairly long attack samples, but they really could use longer loop samples. The low note decay is nice, but the upper notes decay rather quickly. There is a fair amount of stretching going on, both visibly and audibly. What's interesting is that the velocity layers are smoothly blended, much like the latest hardware-based DP fare, so there is no obvious velocity layer switching going on.

All pass the silent replay and brief pedal damping tests, all fail the key down sympathetic resonance test, and there is no support for partial pedaling. All are supposed to have pedal down sympathetic resonance, but for the life of me I just couldn't hear it (pesk confirms that it was indeed enabled in the options). For some reason only the Sapphire Pedal piano has pedal sounds (clunky loom-of-strings sounds) - all other lack this. And none of them have key up sounds.

Review below, MP3s and more analysis pics at the share point.



Waveform view of the looping test. Decay times for the low notes are nice and long, but the higher notes have rather short decay times.


Spectral phase view of the note C4. Looping is quite clearly seen here.


Spectral phase view of the stretch test, middle notes. 24 samples are pressed into service to cover 88 notes.


Spectral frequency view of layer test. Timber variation is smooth with no velocity switching evident.


Spectral pan view of the pedal down sympathetic resonance test. Pedal down on left, up on right. I couldn't hear any difference.




-----------------------------
- TruePianos Diamond v1.5.0 -
-----------------------------
FILE & SETUP:
- All settings default.
- Recorded in Cubase 5, converted to MP3 in Wavelab 6.
- Recorded by "pesk".
PROS:
- Passes the pedal down silent replay test.
- Passes the brief pedal partial damping test.
- Good lower note decay times, higher notes rather short.
- Nicely blended velocity layers, no switching visible or audible.
CONS:
- Fails the key down sympathetic resonance test.
- Fails the partial pedaling test.
- Visibly and audibly looped.
- Attack sample lengths are (C1:C8): 9.8,6.5,4.8,4.3,4.0,1.8,?,? seconds.
- Loop sample lengths are (C1:C8): 2.4,0.9,1.1,1.2,0.8,0.3,?,? seconds.
- Visibly and audibly very stretched.
- Stretch distances: 8,4(x4),2,5,3,4(x6),3(x3),1,3,5,2,2,1,7 = 24 groups.
- No pedal up/down or key up sounds (Sapphire Pedal has pedal sounds).
OTHER:
- Something like pedal down sympathetic resonance slightly visible, not audible.
- Sample set sizes: Amber (117 MB); Diamond (70 MB); Emerald (84 MB); Sapphire (107 MB).
- Dynamic range 59dB (vel=1:127).
- MP3 levels: peak @ -6.3dB, noise floor @ -90dB.
- Date reviewed: 2010-02-03; updated: 2010-04-26.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/26/10 05:48 PM

I thought 'True Pianos' was modelled, not sampled?
Which package am I thinking of, in addition to Pianoteq, of course?

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/26/10 06:23 PM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
I thought 'True Pianos' was modelled, not sampled?
Which package am I thinking of, in addition to Pianoteq, of course?

Good question! You're undoubtedly thinking of TruePianos, because I myself have heard this over and over in web forums. I did a Google search of "Truepianos modeled" (without quotes) and got 86,800 hits.

But then I go over to http://www.truepianos.com and do a text search for "model" on all of the pages I'm allowed access to and come up with nothing.

I don't know where the whole "TruePianos is modeled" meme came from, but it seems TruePianos themselves aren't pushing it, at least not explicitly any more. From their FAQ:

Quote:
What technology does TruePianos use to produce it's piano sound ?
We combine different technologies at different places, following the 'common sense' rule. Things, that generally work better with sampling - we use samples for, and for the features, where samples make the product less versatile - we use other techniques. We are going to proceed with the same philosophy in the future as well. What-is-what may change inbetween the versions to maintain the best quality and experience of the product.

Unless one has a woefully inadequate PC that won't play anything but lobotomized romplers, I'm not sure why anyone would buy their stuff. The layer blending is nice, and the attack sample lengths are adequate, but with those babies comes a fair amount of dirty bathwater.
Posted by: NikkiPiano

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/26/10 06:38 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster

Unless one has a woefully inadequate PC that won't play anything but lobotomized romplers, I'm not sure why anyone would buy their stuff. The layer blending is nice, and the attack sample lengths are adequate, but with those babies comes a fair amount of dirty bathwater.


Someone is....

From the VSL Vienna Imperial manual:
This software contains copyrighted elements of the following third parties:
(C) 2005–2009 4Front Technologies
(C) 2005–2008 SIA Syncrosoft
(C) 2003–2008 Alberto Demichelis,
(C) 1995–2005 Jean-Loup Gailly and Mark Adler,
(C) 1998–2008 Glenn Randers-Pehrson,
(C) 2000-2007 Josh Coalson
(C) 1996–2008 The FreeType Project,
(C) 1998–2000 Thai Open Source Software Center Ltd and Clark Cooper,
(C) 1998–2000 Clark Cooper,
(C) 2001–2008 Keith Packard,
(C) 2001–2008 Carl Worth,
(C) 2001–2006 Expat maintainers,
(C) 2002 University of Southern California.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/26/10 07:00 PM

Originally Posted By: NikkiPiano
Someone is....

From the VSL Vienna Imperial manual:
This software contains copyrighted elements of the following third parties:
(C) 2005–2009 4Front Technologies

I'm just not seeing in their products what they bring to the table that is exceptional or different.

If they could come up with a very compact efficient solution, with no looping and with all of the other standard features fully functional - kind of a SuperNATURAL piano on the PC - then it could have some real value. As it is, it's a very mediocre offering compared to the other PC sample/player sets.
Posted by: bkmz

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/26/10 07:21 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
TruePianos Diamond Re-Review (for v1.5.0)
What's interesting is that the velocity layers are smoothly blended, much like the latest hardware-based DP fare, so there is no obvious velocity layer switching going on.


Are you sure that there are "velocity layers" in truepianos?
To me this looks like only one single sample with some kind of filter.

Posted by: Kawai James

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/26/10 07:21 PM

I recall downloading the TruePianos trial for Mac OS X a few months ago - the installer was relatively small (around 50-60mb or so), giving me the impression that the package did not use/contain samples.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: bkmz

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/26/10 07:37 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster


I don't know where the whole "TruePianos is modeled" meme came from, but it seems TruePianos themselves aren't pushing it, at least not explicitly any more.


Quote from manual:

http://www.truepianos.com/download/manual.pdf
Quote:
TruePianos does not meticulously try to replicate existing pianos. Instead it uses a combination of the latest sampler, physical modeling and synthesis techniques to produce our interpretation of great playable pianos.
Posted by: bkmz

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/26/10 07:43 PM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
I recall downloading the TruePianos trial for Mac OS X a few months ago - the installer was relatively small (around 50-60mb or so),


That's because of lots of stretching and only one velocity layer.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 12:23 AM

Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
I recall downloading the TruePianos trial for Mac OS X a few months ago - the installer was relatively small (around 50-60mb or so), giving me the impression that the package did not use/contain samples.

Where there is stretching and looping, there is by very definition sampling going on. TruePianos says they use sampling in their FAQ. They also suggest that they use other techniques, whatever they are. I think they are like Yamaha, and are abusing the word "modeling" to make their products seem more exotic than they actually are.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 12:28 AM

Originally Posted By: bkmz
Are you sure that there are "velocity layers" in truepianos?
To me this looks like only one single sample with some kind of filter.

I can only speculate, but a multi-velocity sample of a real piano is almost certainly the input to their process. After some analysis and processing it may just boil down to a filter - who knows? To me it would be more impressive if there was no stretching, and if all the other features (e.g. pedal down sympathetic resonance) worked as they should.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 12:38 AM

Originally Posted By: bkmz
Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
I recall downloading the TruePianos trial for Mac OS X a few months ago - the installer was relatively small (around 50-60mb or so),


That's because of lots of stretching and only one velocity layer.

Exactly. DPs do this too to reduce the sample memory size. But why sample memory remains so sacred is a mystery for the ages.
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 12:44 AM

Quote:
Are you sure that there are "velocity layers" in truepianos?
To me this looks like only one single sample with some kind of filter.


If you were to play an acoustic piano, I bet you'd not see any "layers". I think what they've done is interpolation. Call it "layer morphing".


About Kawai Jame's comment that the installer was so small it may not be sample based. I'd add "maybe not time domain samples" What if they use frequency domain samples at a low 10 per second rate and from that they could generate the high rate stereo sound. In short what they store is exactly the kind of data Dewster is plotting. It is very compact and captures the tone well.
Posted by: bkmz

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 07:03 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: bkmz
Are you sure that there are "velocity layers" in truepianos?
To me this looks like only one single sample with some kind of filter.

I can only speculate, but a multi-velocity sample of a real piano is almost certainly the input to their process.


Almost certainly? Why?
And what do you mean "only speculate"? Can't you see that there are no differences between samples on all velocities in Truepianos?

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
If you were to play an acoustic piano, I bet you'd not see any "layers". I think what they've done is interpolation. Call it "layer morphing".


What are you talking about? Of course I can see (and hear too) the differences between layers - if they are. Look again at CP1 layers:


You see? This is "interpolation".

Now compare with Truepianos:



Interpolation, morphing? Between what? They all are the same!

upd
And, by the way, here is how it should look on "acoustic piano" - VSL Vienna Imperial with ~100 layers.

Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 08:26 AM

Originally Posted By: bkmz
Are you sure that there are "velocity layers" in truepianos?
To me this looks like only one single sample with some kind of filter.

As ChrisA suggests, it could also be morphing between two samples, one high velocity and the other low velocity. If it is just a filter, then some analysis most likely went into designing that filter. But either of these processes would most likely start with a multi-velocity sample set at it's origin.

Originally Posted By: bkmz
And what do you mean "only speculate"? Can't you see that there are no differences between samples on all velocities in Truepianos?
...
Interpolation, morphing? Between what? They all the same!

There is a timber difference with increasing velocity. Here is a highly compressed sample of the TruePianos velocity layer test, where the volume increase between the notes has been removed:

http://www.mediafire.com/?hje4gfn3zzt

And here is a spectral frequency view of that MP3 file:


Clearly there is a timber difference. They obviously don't use a separate sample for each velocity as the VSL Vienna Imperial does. And they are doing it more smoothly than the CP1 does. Beyond that we can only guess at what the actual process is.
Posted by: bkmz

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 08:35 AM

dewster

The only reason why we hear and see timbral differences is filter (EQ), I already said that!

I can't understand why are you ignoring the fact that all the samples are the same, except filtering.

You think all the piano samplers are using multi-sampling? No, Yamaha CLP230 uses only one layer, and P85 too, as far as I know.

Quote:
it could also be morphing between two samples


But that's what I'm talking about - there is no even two different samples.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 08:54 AM

Originally Posted By: bkmz
The only reason why we hear and see timbral differences is filter (EQ), I already said that!

I can't understand why are you ignoring the fact that all the samples are the same, except filtering.

EQ is a very good guess, but it is still a guess.

Originally Posted By: bkmz
But that's what I'm talking about - there is no even two different samples.

The lowest velocity and the highest velocity could be two different phase aligned samples that they crossfade between. That method would have two different samples.
Posted by: TADutchman

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 09:14 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
The lowest velocity and the highest velocity could be two different phase aligned samples that they crossfade between. That method would have two different samples.


Wouldn't that kind of 'harmonic alignment' lead to a direct patent infringement? (except when they have a license of course)
http://www.samplemodeling.com/en/index.php
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 09:15 AM

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
About Kawai Jame's comment that the installer was so small it may not be sample based. I'd add "maybe not time domain samples" What if they use frequency domain samples at a low 10 per second rate and from that they could generate the high rate stereo sound. In short what they store is exactly the kind of data Dewster is plotting. It is very compact and captures the tone well.

Adding all the attack and loop lengths together and dividing by 8 gives an average total sample time of:

9.8 + 6.5 + 4.8 + 4.3 + 4.0 + 1.8 + (1.8) + (1.8) = 34.8
2.4 + 0.9 + 1.1 + 1.2 + 0.8 + 0.3 + (0.3) + (0.3) = 7.3
(34.8 + 7.3) / 8 = 5.26 seconds

5.26 sec * 24 stretch groups * 2 ch (stereo) * 2 bytes/sample * 44100 samples/sec = 22 MB

I just downloaded the demo and the Diamond.data file is 70 MB. Plenty of room in there for even three layers of samples.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 09:28 AM

Originally Posted By: TADutchman
Wouldn't that kind of 'harmonic alignment' lead to a direct patent infringement? (except when they have a license of course)
http://www.samplemodeling.com/en/index.php

From the link:

1) "Time alignment of the phase of a set of musical sounds to be used with samplers" . Patent-pending. Filed by Giorgio Tommasini, as of September 23th 2004.

2) "Determination of modal resonances and body impulse response of a musical instrument by analysis of sounds performed with pitch changes. Application to the synthesis of vibrato & portamento with samplers". Patent-pending. Filed by Giorgio Tommasini and Stefano Lucato, as of December 20th 2004.


Attempts to patent the most obvious and straightforward approach to solving a problem are such a crock.

Both pending since 2004 - I wonder what stage of the patent process would they be at now?
Posted by: bkmz

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 10:07 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
EQ is a very good guess, but it is still a guess.


No, it's not a guess - it's a logical conclusion from the obvious fact of absence of differences between samples. The only difference is in frequency view - so its just a frequency filter there.

Quote:
The lowest velocity and the highest velocity could be two different phase aligned samples that they crossfade between. That method would have two different samples.


The lowest and the highest velocity samples must have different spectral pictures.
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 10:10 AM

I own Truepianos and have used it for more than 2 years for joyful play. I really love the sound signature and the expressivenss of the sound. And no, it's not just 50-60MB, that's only the application itself. After that you have to download the individual pianos, each of them is about 200-300MB. I know, it's still not near any big multi velocity software piano. I don't know how they do it, and I don't like the fact that they treat this as a big secret.

Overall I was really pleased by the sound for more than two years. The only big drawback was that pedal resonance or any other resonance is not detectable at all, even if you enable it within the software - I have the feeling as if they just claimed to have this implemented whereas there is nothing implemented in this respect.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 10:26 AM

Originally Posted By: mucci
And no, it's not just 50-60MB, that's only the application itself. After that you have to download the individual pianos, each of them is about 200-300MB.

I'm pretty sure pesk has the full version. Here are the sizes of the *.gs2 files he reports:

Amber (117 MB)
Diamond (70 MB)
Emerald (84 MB)
Sapphire (107 MB)
SapphirePed (107 MB)

Originally Posted By: mucci
The only big drawback was that pedal resonance or any other resonance is not detectable at all, even if you enable it within the software - I have the feeling as if they just claimed to have this implemented whereas there is nothing implemented in this respect.

I can sort of barely see some difference between the pedal up and pedal down spectral views, but I sure can't hear any difference. It's like the option checkbox isn't connected to anything.
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 10:32 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: mucci
And no, it's not just 50-60MB, that's only the application itself. After that you have to download the individual pianos, each of them is about 200-300MB.

I'm pretty sure pesk has the full version. Here are the sizes of the *.gs2 files he reports:


Sorry, my mistake, you're right.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 11:42 AM

Originally Posted By: bkmz
The lowest and the highest velocity samples must have different spectral pictures.


Spectral pan view of TP Diamond compressed layer test edited down to velocity 19 (left) and 127 (right).

OK, I agree, the layer "stretching" is probably just a filter. But the louder hammer brightness might be an extra sample overlayed on top, with the filter applied to it. I imagine this is what Yamaha calls "Spectral Component Modeling".
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 12:38 PM

THose tow pictures tell us it is NOT a simple high pass or low pas filter being applied. All filters like that have a roll off. I think now that the sound is synthesised, not played from a sample at all. The synthesis may be based on samples or anlyisis of sample. It looks to me like the lower velocity just simply never have the higher order overtones, not filtered just not synthesised.

I think what is stored inside TruePianos is almost exactly the picture we see.

If I'm right this is a lot like the way Roland describes their "Super natural" technology. They record the amplitude of the varoius overtones and how the amplitude changes over time. Then when yo move some parameters (hammer hardness) it makes adjustments to how the overtones play out over time. Finally when you strike the key the sound is synthesised. Seem like TP is doing the same as Roland. Both are sample based but the samles are very, highly processed to the point where there can no longer even be called "recordings", "Measurements" is a better terms I think.
Posted by: bkmz

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 12:54 PM

dewster
On this very close look It seems that samples are not exactly the same - but still, the differences are extremely subtle.

ChrisA
TP is not like Roland SN at all. Roland has obvious visible and audible variations between all velocities, similar to those in Vienna Imperial (I don't have picture of its layers right now, maybe dewster can post it).

TP is just a primitive limited sampler - stretched, looped, one-layered.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 01:06 PM

Originally Posted By: bkmz
TP is just a primitive limited sampler - stretched, looped, one-layered.

I think they may be using a second additive layer for the string brightness / hammer sound. But, yeah, other than that it seems rather primitive.
Posted by: bkmz

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 01:14 PM

dewster

Maybe.
Posted by: hpeterh

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 01:40 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
It makes absolutely no sense to me why many critical sound features are missing when the HP-307 plays a MIDI file - shouldn't all features enabled be the default? Roland is leaving everyone to their own devices, flailing around trying to turn them back on, without so much as even a MIDI spec. It's almost like a major manufacturer isn't standing behind their product or something. People want to buy these things and have them just work, that's why they shell out the big bucks.


There might be reasons for that:

1) Patent license restrictions.
2) Usage of closed source third party software.
3) Maybe the work is done by more than one processor and it is technically impossible to have then both responding to MIDI.

Probably they will not tell the true reason and will not fix this in an update. It might be impossible to fix due to technical or licensing reasons.

Now for me the only conclusion is: Dont spend tons of money for that proprietary stuff, use softwarepianos ;-)

Peter
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 02:08 PM

Originally Posted By: hpeterh
There might be reasons for that:

1) Patent license restrictions.
2) Usage of closed source third party software.
3) Maybe the work is done by more than one processor and it is technically impossible to have then both responding to MIDI.

Probably they will not tell the true reason and will not fix this in an update. It might be impossible to fix due to technical or licensing reasons.

If it's 1 we need to burn down the patent office.
If it's 2 Roland needs to fire their legal department.
If it's 3 Roland needs to fire their engineering department.
Posted by: hpeterh

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 02:14 PM

;-)

I believe also that modelled pianos use a lot of processing power. So they will probably only be usable as solo instruments.

MIDI instruments are normally multitimbral, that means, multiple MIDI channels can use them simultaniously. That is probably not the case for the modelled piano. Probably this is implemented in another way than the other MIDI instruments.

So that might be another reason why there are MIDI problems.

This is also a problem with some software pianos. However, it is not a problem with Kontakt player based pianos.
Sometimes I play MIDI piano files, that have multiple tracks. Simply to solve: load one and the same piano multiply with different MIDI channels. The memory is needed only once, it is shared.
This can be easily done with the PC because it has probably 100 times more processing power and 1000 times more RAM and 100000 times more nonvolatible storage.
Posted by: Voltara

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 02:43 PM

I uploaded a DP-BSD mp3 of a VST called "Supreme Pianos", which claims to be physically modeled, using no samples at all. I heard about it on the KVR forum http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=4065947; the product web site is at http://www.soundemon.com/products/spintro.htm. The mp3 is of the trial version, which inserts a few seconds of silence in its output every minute. All sliders were left at their defaults.

The file is up on mediafire: http://www.mediafire.com/file/1mxnyjro1dv/dpbsd_v1.7_sound_magic_supreme_pianos_red_wings.mp3

Despite the author's claims, this one sounds 100% sampled to me...
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 02:44 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: bkmz
TP is just a primitive limited sampler - stretched, looped, one-layered.

I think they may be using a second additive layer for the string brightness / hammer sound. But, yeah, other than that it seems rather primitive.


I think dewster is right. TP is in no way similar to SN, I even doubt they're using any kind of modeling (I don't regard using multiple components of a sampled sound as "modeling"). BUT: I still like the sound signature of TP better than that of Roland's SN (sorry Roland owners). It's not always about the best technology but about playability and quality of the basic sound, despite many technical (even audible) limitations.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 03:31 PM

Originally Posted By: Voltara
I uploaded a DP-BSD mp3 of a VST called "Supreme Pianos", which claims to be physically modeled, using no samples at all.

Thanks! There are strange sounds at the beginnings of notes, and strange drop-outs during the decays. I'll download the demo and take a crack at doing an MP3.

Originally Posted By: Voltara
Despite the author's claims, this one sounds 100% sampled to me...

Stretch groups of 3 over the whole range, and what looks and sounds like 2 unblended velocity layers.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 03:59 PM

Originally Posted By: hpeterh
...This can be easily done with the PC because it has probably 100 times more processing power and 1000 times more RAM and 100000 times more nonvolatible storage.

And 1/10 the cost.
Posted by: bkmz

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 04:09 PM

Here is spectral phase view of HP307 velocities:

Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 04:24 PM

Originally Posted By: Voltara
I uploaded a DP-BSD mp3 of a VST called "Supreme Pianos", which claims to be physically modeled, using no samples at all.

I downloaded the demo and am able to get the popping noises to go away, but can't fix the short note decay thing. Decaying notes just fall off the face of the earth.

- It passes the pedal down sympathetic resonance test - the sound of this is nice.
- It passes the key down sympathetic resonance test, though the effect is subtle.
- It largely passes the pedal down silent replay test, though the vel=1 note replays.
- It fails the quick pedal partial damping test.
- No support for partial pedaling.
- It doesn't appear to be looped, though there is some evidence of a transition between note attack and note decay.
- Stretched, both visually and audibly.
- Stretch groups: 2,3(x28),2 = 30 groups.
- 2 velocity layers, the upper one blended somehow, harsh step @ vel=66.

This product strikes me as a work in progress. It might not be a strictly sampled instrument, but the end result largely boils down to the same thing. I like the fact that it isn't looped and has nice sympathetic resonance, but they need to lose the stretching, and fix that velocity switch - it just about gave me whiplash.

And, is it my imagination, or are we going backwards lately? When it comes to the subtleties of how pedals and keys work and interact, no one (except Pianoteq) is able to get everything right for some reason, and it seems like it is only getting worse.
Posted by: MarcoM

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 05:00 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
And, is it my imagination, or are we going backwards lately? When it comes to the subtleties of how pedals and keys work and interact, no one (except Pianoteq) is able to get everything right for some reason, and it seems like it is only getting worse.


how large is the market of people wanting to use a VST for a complete simulation of an acoustic compared to the market that just wants a 'good sounding piano in the mix' (which will be compressed/eq'd/...)? I think it is a very small niche, which is well served by mostly only pianoteq at this point, other products likely have other priorities.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 06:30 PM

Originally Posted By: MarcoM
how large is the market of people wanting to use a VST for a complete simulation of an acoustic compared to the market that just wants a 'good sounding piano in the mix' (which will be compressed/eq'd/...)? I think it is a very small niche, which is well served by mostly only pianoteq at this point, other products likely have other priorities.

Good point, though surely it can't be that difficult to do this stuff right. Most offerings seem to be the product of people who either don't understand how pianos work or don't believe in code craftsmanship (or both).
Posted by: MarcoM

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 07:13 PM

heh, given that I work as a software developer during the day, I can definitely let you know that 'code craftsmanship' is all fine & dandy, but in the end you are going to implement what is required by the feature set agreed with marketing and product management and QA.

The old adage that 90% of the program takes 90% of the time, and the other 10% takes 90% of the time comes to mind, you'd be surprised how many "can't be difficult" things take a long time & effort to get right, and if you are aiming at the 'piano in the mix' or 'film score with some piano' crowd the ROI is just not there, it's a much better business decision to spend the development time on a new/different piano rather than getting all the intricacies of the DPBSD test just right.

The pianoteq folks, given that they are operating with modeling, have it paradoxically a bit simpler, given that if your model is 'good enough' you will get a lot of these behaviours 'for free'. I can definitely see how going from a raw 4-layer sample set to something that responds to partial pedaling, harmonics and so on would not be easy at all.
Posted by: Glenn NK

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 09:10 PM

Originally Posted By: MarcoM
Originally Posted By: dewster
And, is it my imagination, or are we going backwards lately? When it comes to the subtleties of how pedals and keys work and interact, no one (except Pianoteq) is able to get everything right for some reason, and it seems like it is only getting worse.


how large is the market of people wanting to use a VST for a complete simulation of an acoustic compared to the market that just wants a 'good sounding piano in the mix' (which will be compressed/eq'd/...)? I think it is a very small niche, which is well served by mostly only pianoteq at this point, other products likely have other priorities.




I would be hoping that the market for a semblance of excellence would be expanding not contracting.

I'm wondering what could the "other priorities" be? It bothers me that mediocracy first comes to mind.

And yet when I listen to postings on another music forum where the piano isn't solo, some of the piano sounds make me cringe. And as you say, "it fits in the mix". Jeez, what would a real live group do with a real live Steinway? Kill it to make it fit in?

Glenn
Posted by: jscomposer

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 09:54 PM

Hey dewster, what's the moral of the story? Could you give us a little recap/summary of this epic thread?
Posted by: MarcoM

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 09:56 PM

Originally Posted By: Glenn NK
And as you say, "it fits in the mix". Jeez, what would a real live group do with a real live Steinway? Kill it to make it fit in?


probably, but given that nowadays' mixing is as far from 'high fidelity' as possible, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war for example, it does make sense that products like Pianoteq are the exception rather than the rule...
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 10:56 PM

Originally Posted By: MarcoM
heh, given that I work as a software developer during the day, I can definitely let you know that 'code craftsmanship' is all fine & dandy, but in the end you are going to implement what is required by the feature set agreed with marketing and product management and QA.

Not trying to pick on you, but I was - and hopefully still am - a coder (verilog). The only way I got as good as I am (however good that is) was by constantly rewriting, polishing, and reexamining my and other's code.

Originally Posted By: MarcoM
The old adage that 90% of the program takes 90% of the time, and the other 10% takes 90% of the time comes to mind, you'd be surprised how many "can't be difficult" things take a long time & effort to get right, and if you are aiming at the 'piano in the mix' or 'film score with some piano' crowd the ROI is just not there, it's a much better business decision to spend the development time on a new/different piano rather than getting all the intricacies of the DPBSD test just right.

I think doing it half-assed in the first place is more time consuming and expensive in the long term, though it gives management something to manage, and thus a reason to exist.

Craftsmanship is the only thing that interests me and keeps me going. Really believing in something is the only reason to do anything.
Posted by: jmmec

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 10:56 PM

Update on the Roland HP-307 and MIDI:

For those that have been watching, the HP-307 does not automatically enable piano effects during MIDI playback (the DPBSD test first revealed this).

So far I've been able to determine that the following settings can be enabled through MIDI:
  • Reverb (ON / OFF)
  • Damper Resonance (off, 1..10)
  • Cabinet Resonance (off, 1..10)
  • String Resonance (off, 1..10)

What this means is that a special DPBSD MIDI file, specific to HP-307, will be needed to enable the effects. But more investigation is needed to see what else is possible.

I've updated this webpage (it's not very pretty right now):

http://wmsar.info/dewster_dpbsd/

Hopefully Roland will release the MIDI spec soon.

Regards
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 11:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Glenn NK
I would be hoping that the market for a semblance of excellence would be expanding not contracting.

...

It bothers me that mediocracy first comes to mind.

Welcome to the modern world. This is why I left the industry.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 11:10 PM

jmmec, do keep us posted on your results - I for one am very interested in anything you come up with to solve this problem.
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 11:14 PM

Originally Posted By: jscomposer
Hey dewster, what's the moral of the story? Could you give us a little recap/summary of this epic thread?

Despite all the fancy marketing, hardware DPs are woefully behind the technology curve - and some PC samplers aren't much better (though some are quite a bit better).
Posted by: MarcoM

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/27/10 11:27 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Not trying to pick on you, but I was - and hopefully still am - a coder (verilog). The only way I got as good as I am (however good that is) was by constantly rewriting, polishing, and reexamining my and other's code.


same thing here, but if the schedule says you have to be ready by day X and you know that doing things well would take until day X + 20 well, corners have to be cut unfortunately: as you well know most software developers would LOVE to always have the time to do it 'right' and complete and perfect the first time, but the moment you mix up the business side of things that starts becoming difficult (more or less difficult depending on how 'enlightened' the company you work for is, of course).

Originally Posted By: MarcoM
I think doing it half-assed in the first place is more time consuming and expensive in the long term, though it gives management something to manage, and thus a reason to exist.


and there you go about the 'enlightened' side of things, some companies realize that effort spent upfront saves a lot of time/expense in the long term, but most companies prefer to 'ship early, ship often (and ship a lot of bugfixes)'. Hardware companies have a lot less of a choice to do this (recalling a chip because of a hw bug is not simple, or cheap) but software companies especially in this day and age have very little penalty to pay, and paradoxically having a certain level of patching/bugfixing will generate income for your customer support department wink

Originally Posted By: MarcoM
Craftsmanship is the only thing that interests me and keeps me going. Really believing in something is the only reason to do anything.


I am lucky that currently I am in a position where I have to make very few compromises in terms of craftmanship (as in, I get the time to do things 'right' 99% of the times) but having been in this field for a while now I do realize this is the exception rather than the rule.
Posted by: zaba19

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/28/10 05:58 AM

Originally Posted By: jmmec
So far I've been able to determine that the following settings can be enabled through MIDI: [/b]

Add to that damper noise, although it might be enabled once damper resonance gets enabled (without it damper noise can be set to 10 and still not provide any sound)

Originally Posted By: jmmec
Hopefully Roland will release the MIDI spec soon.

Tbh it's been so long since someone on this forum asked Roland to provide it that I doubt we will ever see it...
Posted by: mucci

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/28/10 06:10 AM

Originally Posted By: MarcoM

I am lucky that currently I am in a position where I have to make very few compromises in terms of craftmanship (as in, I get the time to do things 'right' 99% of the times) but having been in this field for a while now I do realize this is the exception rather than the rule.


Don't let your boss know, otherwise he'll cut your development time immediately... wink
Posted by: MarcoM

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/28/10 11:56 AM

Originally Posted By: mucci
Don't let your boss know, otherwise he'll cut your development time immediately... wink


hahaha, you are so right smile
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/28/10 01:15 PM

Originally Posted By: zaba19
Originally Posted By: jmmec
So far I've been able to determine that the following settings can be enabled through MIDI: [/b]

Add to that damper noise, although it might be enabled once damper resonance gets enabled (without it damper noise can be set to 10 and still not provide any sound)

Originally Posted By: jmmec
Hopefully Roland will release the MIDI spec soon.

Tbh it's been so long since someone on this forum asked Roland to provide it that I doubt we will ever see it...


Did they ever release the midi spec for the HP207? Not according to JMMEC's site (great stuff BTW).
Posted by: jmmec

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/30/10 12:38 AM

Roland HP-307 Update - MIDI Playback:

Okay everyone, the website is updated with the latest and greatest understanding of the HP-307 MIDI playback behavior. No promises that this is 100% correct, but I promise that I'm not making it all up:

http://wmsar.info/dewster_dpbsd/

The bottom line is that I'm able to enable all the effects that I played with (the main effects).

Sometime this weekend, I plan to run a new DPBSD test.

Regards
Posted by: zaba19

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/30/10 02:34 AM

Really awesome work jmmec smile
As for duplex scale - you can hear it when you strike the low bass notes. There's a clear distinction between on and off. If I recall correctly you can play the demo (I mean the demo songs of piano designer under [Twin Piano]+[Functions], p.19 in the manual) that will demonstrate it for you.
Posted by: jmmec

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 04/30/10 11:09 AM

Ah! I had forgotten about the 'demo' which is very useful.

I just played around with 'duplex scale' and I hear it very clearly now. doh....

I also need to modify my impression of "key off resonance" since it extends across the keyboard, and not just from Middle-C and lower.

Thanks
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 05/01/10 02:57 PM

Listening to so many DPs rendering the DPBSD test gets me to thinking how might be the best way to make a realistic piano-like sound with a combination of samples and modeling. Here's what I would try:

1. Record a real piano with only one string per note allowed to vibrate (either damp the unison strings or remove them).
2. Interpolate in the frequency domain between 4 or more velocity layer attack samples per note (recorded in step 1).
3. For each note make multiple waveguides: one each for the transverse vibration of each unison string, and at least one more for the longitudinal vibrations.
4. To play a note, excite its waveguides with the corresponding recorded & interpolated attack sample.
5. Couple the waveguides together to create sympathetic resonance.

Voila! Small sample set, realistic inter-beating of unison strings, unlooped natural sounding decay, no velocity switching, all the sympathetic resonance you could ever want.
Posted by: Ole Laursen

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 05/01/10 05:13 PM

You forgot the soundboard in your model :), but recording the attack/response and playing it back sounds like commuted waveguide synthesis. There's a similar idea here, if you haven't already seen it:

https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jos/pasp/Piano.html
https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jos/wav/pno-cs.wav
Posted by: dewster

Re: The DP BSD Project! - 05/01/10