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Topic: New page and screenshots of the big Ivory piano set

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  1. #1

    New page and screenshots of the big Ivory piano set

    Ran across this: http://www.synthogy.com./pages/ivory1.html

    Click on each of the piano images to see the three screenshots. Looks good. Also has a pdf file and other info.

    But this is also very strange: there is no ADSR control. Only release. A huge, incredible limitation. No matter how good the samples are, I need to be able to extend the decay for slow songs, and generally tweak things so they sound better than the presets. How on earth could they not give ADSR control for a piano?

  2. #2

    Re: New page and screenshots of the big Ivory piano set

    A longer post than I intended:

    Well, ADSR control can give you a lot more control over the sound. (You\'ve never extended the decay or attack on a piano sample? For shame.) And ADSR settings are edited by the multisample creators, too--it\'s not as though we\'re given a pure, accurate recording that I want to destroy by altering the real ADSR of the intrument. The editor made choices about the ASDR. (Often so all the notes sounded alike, with the same strike and decay and release times, so there is a sense of consistency, even though a real piano will have slight variatons across the keyboard.)My edits might actually shift the piano back closer to the original sound.

    I would miss the ability to apply effects and filters to single regions\\notes, too. Big, big limitation. Real pianos don\'t offer these things, granted, but they let you create a sound that differs from the original sound. I can\'t really extend the decay and create a rounder, more liquid 1932 Steinway A sound out of a 2004 Steinway D sample, but I can get a little closer.

    Besides, I don\'t really know what I\'ll want the piece to sound like until I experiment with the sound AFTER I\'ve played the piece into Cubase. One of the big stengths of VSTI\'s, to me, is that I can record it one way, and then reduce the sustain or whatever as I listen to it play back. (The sustain level is often a culprit that I do reduce a little after listening--I like it as I play, but it may be a little much when I listen to playback. I shouldn\'t drink while playing, I know.)

    I bring these things up because I think the company will want to sell this multiset to fairly serious piano players who know a little about sampling and the basic editing abilities of basic synths and samplers. People who just want a piano VSTI can get a very good one for $150 less that lets you control regions and ADSR. (The East-West\\Post Bos.) At $300-$350, this new one may only interest people willing to pay more to have all the pianos and know what resonance is and the effect a soundboard\'s wood has. (People who will want to have the basic editing tools available. For the synth layer, maybe, if editing ADSR on a piano layer is a sin.)

    A much smaller concern: Just noticed that the keyboard on the interface doesn\'t look as though it responds to a mouse click--just a JPG, so to hear the effects of an edit, you\'d have to bring up Trollo or boot up the midi keyboard. A small thing, yes, but it\'s nice to be able to experiment with edits and click once to hear the result. (And my keyboard isn\'t right beside my computer, so it would make me use Trollo, the little onscreen piano VSTI that lets you use the computer keyboard to hear sampled sounds.)

    Peace. I hope this piano set sounds great, and I agree with all the filtering and adsr settings.

  3. #3

    Re: New page and screenshots of the big Ivory piano set

    Hi Jake,

    just a note (maybe you\'ve already thought about it by yourself):

    if a given piano has no looped samples, then there\'s absolutely no way to extend decays nor to increase sustain level. You could of course reduce them.

    Other than that I agree that some kind of additional control could come handy in various situations even though, being a professional pianist, I tend to prefer the most possibly naturally sounding pianos (and acoustic instruments)

    Take care,
    Roberto

  4. #4

    Re: New page and screenshots of the big Ivory piano set

    ADSR settings shouldn\'t be confused with the actual time at which events occur in a sample. ADSR controls amplitude, and thus volume, remember, not time (although by changing ADSR settings, you can give the illusion of changing what happens to the length of a sample).

    For example, the Decay setting doesn\'t control the length of the decay. It controls the rate at which the amplitude drops from, on a piano, the loudest part of the sample to the next level, the Sustain level. Thus, if you raise the Decay setting, the initial decay volume falls more slowly to the Sustain level, which you can also raise or lower in amplitude\\volume, so the note will sustain more loudly or softly than the sound the mic picked up when the sample was recorded.

    That\'s why these settings are needed--to let us control how the piano sounds in the same way that the person or people who created the sounds. It\'s not that you may want to change things radically. The problem is that there are a very wide range of tastes and ears: I\'ve heard very knowledgeable people argue that a piano should have no decay whatsoever, since immediately after the hammer strike, the note should start to decay. Many piano sample ROMS leave out the decay or keep it fast, based on this theory.

    But the note doesn\'t decay this fast to the ear--the waves get trapped in the piano, are slowed by the vibrating wood--which is what amplifies the sound-- and take a full wave length to develop their sound, as M. Post has taught us, which takes a few milliseconds and feet, well after the hammer strike. And I\'ve seen settings in pianos that may give a Decay of 2-3 seconds, when people want to get, for legato pieces or an even tempo rock song, a more Steinway-A sound. (Long settings like this make it impossible to play fast runs, which muddy up fast.) Similarly, the Sustain portion is a section that may need to be edited for specific songs. Sometimes you want a huge wall of sustained sound behind some notes, other times, just a light rumble. It\'s really simple--different people like different ADSR settings for different songs, so it\'s better not to lock them in.

    ASDR Makes a big difference in acoustic piano sounds. Losing those settings puts you largely at the mercy of the original designer, someone who is doubtless very talented and knowledgeable, but who may just like a different sound than you do.

  5. #5

    Re: New page and screenshots of the big Ivory piano set

    I think there are some conceptual points to be better taken into consideration!

    We have to keep separate the concept of ADSR volume shape settings (sampler level) and actual ADSR levels in the samples (sample/recording level).

    Originally posted by Jake Johnson:
    ADSR settings shouldn\'t be confused with the actual time at which events occur in a sample. ADSR controls amplitude, and thus volume, remember, not time (although by changing ADSR settings, you can give the illusion of changing what happens to the length of a sample).

    Actually attack, decay and release ARE rate control, i.e. they DO control time at which events occur. Only sustain is a level (relative volume) control (0-100%). Ok now, what events?

    ADSR is only a relative volume attenuation \"shape\" you put on a sample. That said, the way it works in standard samples it can only be between 0% and 100% of the original recording level. You cannot increase, in a piano sample, the relative level of a given fraction of the sample because of the decaying nature of the sample itself (after the initial transients).

    For example, the Decay setting doesn\'t control the length of the decay. It controls the rate at which the amplitude drops from, on a piano, the loudest part of the sample to the next level, the Sustain level. Thus, if you raise the Decay setting, the initial decay volume falls more slowly to the Sustain level, which you can also raise or lower in amplitude\\volume, so the note will sustain more loudly or softly than the sound the mic picked up when the sample was recorded.

    That\'s not exactly true. You can slow down the volume fall to sustain level ONLY IF the initial Sustain setting was less that 100%. You will never be able to make the piano decay appear longer that in the actual recorded sample. But usually developers already leave the samples to their greatest sustain level (100%) so you cannot increase neither the perceived sustain neither the decay rate. Of course you can decrease them.
    Also I suppose by sustain level in the piano sample you mean the part after the initial transients and harmonic development, i.e. the part of the sample where the harmonic modes do not change anymore and where the amplitude decreases slowly (and which was - and sometimes still is - usually looped). But this is actually a very slow decay, not a sustain.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I hope it makes things more clear!

    Take care,
    Roberto

  6. #6

    Re: New page and screenshots of the big Ivory piano set

    I think my post says they are rate controls, not time controls. The control of the rate can be used to control how the sample behaves over time, but yes the length of the sample remains the same.

    No, one can\'t raise a sustain above 100%. Didn\'t mean to imply that one could. In any case, I need to be able to control these things for a piano library.

  7. #7

    Re: New page and screenshots of the big Ivory piano set

    \"You can slow down the volume fall to sustain level ONLY IF the initial Sustain setting was less that 100%. You will never be able to make the piano decay appear longer that in the actual recorded sample.\"

    What I do is reduce the sustain level, and then extend the decay. Works fine: the goal is not to extend the decay of the entire sample, but what what is instead called the Decay in an ADSR envelope. That portion appears chronologically before the Sustain level is reached, so if you extend the Decay part of the ADSR envelope, you extend the time it takes the volume to reach the Sustain level. (Which, yes, must be less than 100%, or there is no Decay.)

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