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Topic: Stirring the Bosendorfer piano sample pot !

  1. #1

    Stirring the Bosendorfer piano sample pot !

    I approach this topic with great caution, but even stronger curiosity! it involves the two cutting edge Bos piano saples: The new PMI & the Bardstown. They are both excellent for starters. They are quite different though, in the actual make up of the libraries, the sound, and playability of the libraries. I researched them as thoroughly as I could, purchased one, and am completely satisfied with it (the PMI). I have tremendous respect for the abilities & accomplishmnets of both Michiel & Kip, and bring this topic forth simply for answers, not to take shots or offend anyone.

    I have been awaiting the release of Bardstown\'s Baldwin SD10 sample for quite sometime. I have performed previously on a \"real\" SD10 and loved it beyond words. I frequent their site with hopes of info pertaining to its release (Kip says: around the release of 3.0) When I reached the site the other day, I happenned upon the Bos page & read what seams to be a recent update added to the page. Here is an exact text copy:

    \"Many other current sampled pianos claiming to have eight to sixteen velocity layers have been produced by only sample recording two or three actual velocity layers, and then applying low pass filtering onto those samples in order to produce up to sixteen \"fake\" velocity layers, and also with only every second or third note sample recorded, and with the rest of the notes being pitch shifted from those notes. Sample editing methods used by these developers who \"streamline\" their work include batch auto cropping of samples, and a great deal of batch processing for many different processes. These sampling \"shortcut\" methods are much quicker, easier, and with much less work involved in producing a sampled instrument. The quality of sound of any sampled acoustic instrument, which has been produced with these fast streamlined methods of low pass filtering for producing multiple fake velocities, pitch shifting of notes, auto cropping, and batch processing for various tasks, is unnatural and inferior.\"

    I can only assume that this was directed, at least in part, towards the PMI sample (is there any other 16 layer piano sample?). This is where I\'d like to make issue! The main reason why I chose the PMI was because of the \"near seemless\" velocity transition layers, not to mention its gorgeous, airy sound. Whether or not Michiel used one, four or eight actual sample layers matters nothing to me. It\'s the overall final product... period! Someone (Michiel)finally found a way, be it filtering or cropping or whatever, to bring me a smooth playable sample from ppp to ff. This has not been done with any previous samples, in my opinion, even Kip\'s which I have played. I personally don\'t see it as Michiel taking shortcuts... how can I, when I much prefer his product? Many players are obviously thrilled with Kip\'s piano, & that\'s great. It is excellent. Michiel obviously put great time & effort into his sample, & it offers creative new opportunities previously unavailable, the combinaton wet/dry patches... that\'s a first! The research he did on the piano & sampling of it was evident in the manual, as well as the final product... no shortcuts there. There will always be sacrafices made when sampling a piano, especially when you\'re limited to 2 gigs of data. Kip made sacrafices to preserve the integrity of each individual note, and those sacarafices showed evident in the sample layers. Michiel made sacrafices to accomplish the smooth transitions: sampling only the white keys (I sure as heck couldn\'t tell)
    Both libraries were made from very different approaches. Why Michiel\'s approach is dubbed as \"shortcuts\" & \"inferior\" I honestly do not understand. The PMI is as first class as any other product out there. Isn\'t it all just about the final product? I couldn\'t care less HOW the sample libraries were produced! I\'ll probably be lynched by the Bardtown lovers, but remember, my issue is with the accusations of \"shortcuts\" & the judgement of \"inferior\" coming from a competitor. Unsubstantited & innappropriate, in my opinion.

    I have posted an in depth review of the PMI Bos, look for my post titled \"PMI Bos user review\"

  2. #2

    Re: Stirring the Bosendorfer piano sample pot !

    Canaworms, man canaworms.

    I enjoyed your review, by the way - very detailed and honest (just to let you know that your words are not in vain).

    let the games begin!

  3. #3

    Re: Stirring the Bosendorfer piano sample pot !

    btw Joe are you absolutely sure that Kip was, in fact, referring to Michael? Because I\'ve seen nothing but mutual good grace between them.

    I don\'t think there\'s anything wrong at all with someone saying whatever he wants about his library on his own site. It\'s just marketing and persuasion; they have to do their best to find the angles to sell their stuff after all.

    Both pianos sound great to me, and if my job was safe, I\'d be dropping a little cash on one of them without doubt.

  4. #4

    Re: Stirring the Bosendorfer piano sample pot !

    I just wish I had more time to really answer this.

    I can only say that my contacts with Kip have always been very friendly and we exchange our ideas behind the scene. I regard him a real gentlemen and admire his Bosendorfer library. I heard nothing but good things about both Kip and his products, so no hard feelings there.

    The question of how many Gigabytes and how many true layers used in any library is irrelevant in my opinion. The result is what counts. Size doesn\'t matter, numbers don\'t matter, techno talk doesn\'t....but SOUND does make the difference when you make music. Sound is the magical ingredient for a succesful product.
    When something sounds good I don\'t care how it is achieved.
    I may have more words on Monday.
    Michiel Post

  5. #5

    Re: Stirring the Bosendorfer piano sample pot !

    Originally posted by Z6:
    btw Joe are you absolutely sure that Kip was, in fact, referring to Michael? Because I\'ve seen nothing but mutual good grace between them.

    I don\'t think there\'s anything wrong at all with someone saying whatever he wants about his library on his own site. It\'s just marketing and persuasion; they have to do their best to find the angles to sell their stuff after all.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I\'m not suggesting or in any way trying to create ill-will between the two, let\'s get that straight! If Kip\'s not referring in any way to the PMI, then why does he refer to the other 16 layer piano samples that use filtering? Are there others besides the PMI? I just felt like he was taking a shot at the production of Post\'s Bos, especially with the words \"shortcut\" & \"inferior\". If i were promoting a product, i would tell why I made it the way I made it, without accusing the competition of taking shortcuts or calling them inferior. Maybe I\'m shouldn\'t assume this was in any way directed towards the PMI. if this can proven to me I\'ll apologize & delete the post... FAIR?

  6. #6

    Re: Stirring the Bosendorfer piano sample pot !

    Pianojoe, says it so well. The FINAL PRODUCT is ALL THAT MATTERS! This ought to be a \"golden rule\" in this business. How many out there have had their listeners and fans say: \"I thought you were a REAL musician! I thought your stuff was GREAT! Then I found out that you\'re using sampled instruments and midi. Now I hate your stuff.\"

    So, like I say, anyone who makes music with sampled instruments realizes that it\'s the END RESULT that counts, not how you got there.


  7. #7

    Re: Stirring the Bosendorfer piano sample pot !

    Kind of a strange silence in this topic [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]
    i expected someone to react...

    First read my other post about this topic which I copied below.

    The fact that we made choices to get all the needed samples in one gig file ment we cropped the ending of long samples. This is done in such a way it makes musical sense, this was not done to take a shortcut- on the contrary!

    I get the feeling that IF Kip\'s comments about other libraries were really pointing at our libraries he is clearly mistaking. We could easily start a which-one-is-better game here (what I would rather avoid); it will be clear to most that the PMI Bos has many new features and specs that were never presented before. Let that be enough and let\'s not start calling other peoples libraries UNNATURAL & INFERIOR, please!


    Copy from other topic:

    OK here we go. Just to clear some misunderstandings. Both the PMI GRANDIOSO piano libraries (Bosendorfer 290 Steinway D) have MORE recorded velocity layers than any other piano library on the market today. Period.
    Insinuations that any of the recorded velocity layers are not recorded but batch-processed versions of other (recorded) layers are absurd and indicate that the person(s) making such insinuations have no idea how the PMI libraries are made.
    When you open the PMI Bosendorfer 290 gig in the gigaeditor you get a picture like this:

    You don’t need a PHD in math to count the most obvious there- there are 16 folders of recorded sample layers for all notes and 4 folders for the release of them. Each folder contains different samples. Just open any of the samples with the same note name and compare them in an audio editor and you’ll hear what we’re talking about.
    In the assignment window you can see the 8 layer dry patch. As you can see there are only 5 discrete samples used for these notes. The extra layers were programmed as pseudo-layers where the same sample is used again to create a smoother response. We found out this is vital for the sound and I believe every library in the market today should use this programming technique. It simply uses all of GigaStudios available recources to get the best transition for layer to layer. If a library doesn’t use this technique you can bet your hat the velocity layers crossings are clearly noticeable.
    The 16 layer patches were programmed in the same way; sometimes using 5 sometime 6 discrete samples. The 16 layer patches are even smoother than the 8 layer patches.

    The Steinway D shows a similar picture

  8. #8

    Re: Stirring the Bosendorfer piano sample pot !

    I do not know wich sampled pianos Bardstown are talking about, but since I\'m currently working on two pianos that has 8/8 velocity layers, (The Rain Piano and a Grand Piano), I might let you know a bit about how those are built.

    The Rain piano has already been described in another postin but here we go again:

    The Piano are sampled in thirds, that is C, D#, F# and A. This means that every third note are \"real\" the others are pitchshifted 1/2 note.

    The samples are around 10 seconds long and the looped to emulate a natural decay.

    No filters has been used, the velocity layers are \"true\". I actualle recorded 10 layers, but currently Gigastudio can \"only\" handle 8/8 if you use stereosamples.

    The samples are originally in 24 bits 44.1Khz.

    When cutting, I\'ve used Wavelab, and cut manually, since I don\'t trust automatic choppers.

    The Grand piano is sampled all whole notes, that is all the white keys, the sample here are around 15 seconds. 8/8 true velocity layers are recorded, (actually I here have 12-13 velocity layers recorded).

    Ok, why not sampling all note?
    I don\'t think it\'s neccesary. Ok, this is to stick out your neck a bit, but I\'ll do it, since I think so.
    Can you spot pianosamples in a A/B blindtest that are pitchshifted 1/2 note? Maybe.
    Can you do it when they are put into a musical context? Not likely. Maybe some of you can, but then you have very good ears.
    For most people, that is, our audience, they never can spot 1/2 note pichshifting in a piano that\'s put into a musical context.
    Ok, now you can shoot me... [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    What about full envelope. A piano note can continue for up to 2 minutes.
    I haven\'t yet looped the samples on the Rain Piano. When betatesting we are using 10 seconds samples. Not once in a normal playing situation we have noticed that the samples are \"just\" 10 seconds.
    We actually have samples that covers maybe 10% of the complete envelope on the piano.
    I\'d say that you use 85-90% of the samplelength on full envelope pianos, probably less.
    Ok, now you can shoot me again.....

    What I wanted to do, was to focus on the things that actually matters to the tone (again, in my opinion), and for a piano, that\'s many velocity layers.
    If I would have 8/8 velocity layers, all notes and full envelope, the file would be enormous, and probably over the limit that windows can handle.

    I\'m not trying to diss Michiels stuff. What Michiel\'s is doing is simply to try to make the best sampled pianos in the world, no compromises. That means full envelopes, all notes, the works.

    I have always taken as a rule to not participate in disussions around sample-cd\'s if it\'s not something that I have made myself, and I\'m not really trying to discuss this here either.
    But what I do want to say, are that I think it\'s better to let your products speak for itself instead of trying to write down others. Specially if you say it in a generall way and therefore, indirectly, point your finger at a lot of products.

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