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Topic: Monophonic Piano

  1. #1

    Monophonic Piano

    I have a couple of piano libraries I am using with Kontakt...the Bardstown Bosendorfer and a converted version of Gigapiano. I have been looking forward to doing some live work with VSTi\'s but have been struggling with piano sounds in mono. They sound fine in stereo but worse than blah in mono. I\'ve messed around with EQ, tried adding BBE Sonic Maximizer...better, but not great. Any suggestions on how to make stereo pianos sound convincing in mono? Or is there a piano out there that is better suited to this task?


  2. #2

    Re: Monophonic Piano

    Both our Piano libraries sound pretty darn good in Mono thanks to the way we recorded them, a good trick to know this is listen to our piano demos in mono you can do this with every developer\'s demos this will give you a pretty good idea of who\'s better fro you application in Mono. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]


  3. #3

    Re: Monophonic Piano

    Hmmm, I think I\'ve been playing around on my old micromoog too much. I saw the title and momentarily wondered why on earth someone would want a piano that only plays one note at a time!.

  4. #4

    Re: Monophonic Piano

    Here\'s a library you might want to look at from William Coakley:

    Perfect Piano Series

    His samples have gotten a lot of action in TV and Radio applications. Very focused pianos with good mono compatability.


  5. #5

    Re: Monophonic Piano

    What kind of amplification do you use? So far, I haven\'t found a sample/amplification pair that produced nice, playable sound. A sample that sounds fine at home might be rubbish when playing live. Suddenly you find out that the sound of all those digital stage pianos around with 16mb samples do better than your should-be-fantastic gigabyte samples.

    You know, sample producers haven\'t yet discovered the live performers market. The samples they produce are for recording, not for live-use.

  6. #6

    Re: Monophonic Piano

    [ QUOTE ]

    You know, sample producers haven\'t yet discovered the live performers market. The samples they produce are for recording, not for live-use.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Actually, the White Grand has been used by many in live situations with great results.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: Monophonic Piano

    I use a pair of Mackie SRM-450s on stage, and they are the bomb. I recommend them highly. I can go from my mixer outputs right into the XLRs. If I\'m going into a house PA, they can take their lines from the Thru jacks on the Mackies.

    I had EON-15\'s before. The Mackies smoke them, totally.

  8. #8

    Re: Monophonic Piano

    [ QUOTE ]
    I use a pair of Mackie SRM-450s on stage, and they are the bomb. I recommend them highly. I can go from my mixer outputs right into the XLRs. If I\'m going into a house PA, they can take their lines from the Thru jacks on the Mackies.

    I had EON-15\'s before. The Mackies smoke them, totally.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    The first thing I thought when I read this thread is; Why do you want your piano in mono?

    I played with a band for 7 years, averaging 8 or 9 shows a month, and any place that had a house P.A. rigged me up in stereo. I did suffer for a while by running mono to my monitor, but only until I could get 2 monitors.

  9. #9

    Re: Monophonic Piano

    Many people are very successfully using the Bardstown Bosendorfer in live playing situations through a stereo amp.

    Here is a quote from Pete Leoni regarding the Bardstown Bosendorfer, who is a tech writer for Mix and EQ magazines...

    \"I just got home from my weekend house gig. I loaded the Bardstown Bosendorfer up on the Giga machine I usually use for my left hand bass sound, but tonight we had a bass player. I don\'t usually post this late at night but I\'ve got to tell you guys, I\'ll be damned if I didn\'t want the gig to last another set or two, that is how jazzed I am over the way this thing sounded. I simply didn\'t want to stop playing it. That is saying a lot after 25 years or so of playing piano in a club, It is easy to get bored, but not tonight! This sample floored me, completely amazed the other guys in the group, (one of them being a real rock and roll and country grizzled veteran with many top 20 credits to his name and a hell of a fine picker).
    \"It was sort of a surreal experience. The same licks that I\'ve been playing on the same songs for years took on what I can only describe as a strange sense of \'profoundness\' That has never happened before! The chordal rhythm stuff blended with the other instrument in the band and the rides simply \'jumped\' out of the mix. I\'ve never seen that happen either to this degree, other than playing a live grand. Even the club owner (and you know how they are) made unsolicited and positive comments about the sound of this piano!\"

    Pete Leoni -- engineer, producer, tech writer Mix Magazine

    Kip McGinnis
    Bardstown Audio

  10. #10

    Re: Monophonic Piano

    I assume we are all intelligent, musical people here, so there must be a difference in experience in practice here.

    Let me give my situation:
    I\'m a beginning jazz pianist, just entering the jazz-world in Amsterdam a bit, so I\'m playing at the sessions around and in my own groups. My own groups are a bass-guitar-piano jazz trio, a bass-guitar-(e.)piano-drum jazz quartet, a bigband (15 people) and a funk&soul band (10 people).

    At sessions there is either an accoustic piano being amplified over PA using some general microphone, or a digital piano amplified through a PA. In rehearsel rooms it is either a PA or my own Roland KC300 (indeed, the most popular and most hated keyboard amp). The PA\'s are old or not-that-expensive (jazz isn\'t subsidized nowadays in the Netherlands, so there simply is no money to get better stuff).

    Over those amp-systems, it has been my experience that the big software piano samples don\'t do any better than digital stage piano\'s and usually worse. It looks like stage piano\'s are more designed with practical amplification in mind than the curent software piano\'s. I really, really hoped software piano\'s would simply crush stage piano\'s, but they don\'t; eventhough they sound great when playing at home in my own over hi-fi.

    Then it gets even worse...
    I recently played with my trio at my home, using my hi-fi for my amplification. It didn\'t work.
    A guitar-bass-piano jazz trio is probably the most problematic ensemble for piano; there are no drums, vocals and brass to take away a lot of sound; so you\'ll here the details in the piano sound. At the same time the sound has to be really inspiring, since we are improvising almost every note and the sound we hear is guiding us in that process.
    Since the other instruments in the trio will give a reference to how an instrument being IN the rehearsel room sounds like; any room-accoustics in the piano samples will be strange-sounding; the instruments will not mix and since it is such a small group, this not-mixing problem will be quite apparent.
    Accoustic piano\'s on the other hand always mix with other real instruments. They will work inspiring, even if they are not that good piano\'s. There is a quality to those large all vibrating instruments that simply can\'t be imitiated by one or two speakers. It can\'t.

    The best solution for me so far has been using Scarbee Rhodes. It is a different animal but it\'s always inspiring and does well on lower-quality PA\'s and of course it can be amplified over guitar amps (I\'m looking for a Fender Twin now).
    A rhodes is an electrical instrument so room-accoustics are simply not in the samples! Piano\'s on the other will always have those.

    However, an amplified accoustic piano, amplified over only one speaker can still be great to play on. So, concluding, the mono-stereo thing shouldn\'t matter that much.
    I\'m now trying to get my piano samples to sound like they are amplified real piano\'s instead of trying to get it sound like the real thing. For that, I\'m experimenting with tube (simulators) and spring reverb. Those things might just make the sound more natural and better mixing again. I\'m even experimenting with my laptop build-in microphone mixing with the piano sound, going over the spring reverb, letting the other sounds in the room mix with my own sound, like real piano\'s will take over some of the vibrations in the room. Other tips are welcome. Any real-instrument recording specialists here?
    Still looking for a nice amp.

    I didn\'t want to step on anyones toes, I respect all the sample makers around here, but they should realise that live small groups are really different things than large groups or recorded sound.

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