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Topic: Pianos, the Kurzweil V.A.S.T. engine, and Kurzweil effects

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  1. #1

    Pianos, the Kurzweil V.A.S.T. engine, and Kurzweil effects

    After running across some information about Kurzweil's V.A.S.T. settings and their effects, I have to ask this:

    Is it now possible to patch together enough VST's and sample settings to create something approximating or going beyond the abilities of the current Kurzweil engine? (I'm not speaking of the quality or length of samples--obviously our computers can hold more and longer samples).

    Please understand that I have a limited knowledge of Kurzweil instruments myself, but listening to some demos of piano libraries, I hear things going on that I don't hear in the giga libraries. Much of what I hear is not necessarily "better," and in fact sounds artificial, yet nice:

    --the way the verb can be shaped so different frequencies can be emphasized (not just a general damping or damping of high frequencies.)
    --the way reflections can be manipulated to float in space. (Sorry--that's how it sounds. I don't know how it's done. Maybe a separate ADSR for each reflection or frequency, or comb filters with separate ADSR's for each resonant oscillator?)
    --the ability to set the attack so it starts at any point in the sample (so more velocities might be emulated, with the early portions with the most attack transients skipped, without having to create a new copy of the sample)

    Any Kurzweil people out there who can address this? It will a long time before I can afford a new keyboard, let alone their latest, but I'd like to think I can come close with current vst's and a softsampler. (If I could better determine how the Kurzweils get their sounds...)

  2. #2

    Re: Pianos, the Kurzweil V.A.S.T. engine, and Kurzweil effects

    Wow, I've had the k2500xs for years and I didn't know it could do that stuff! Only thing I find Kurzweil good for now are the sliders, cool percussion, and the great reverbs. Definetely overkill for what I'm doing now tho...

  3. #3

    Re: Pianos, the Kurzweil V.A.S.T. engine, and Kurzweil effects

    Have you heard the demos of the pianos at the Ksounds site? Their demo of their "Natural Stein VS" is one example of what I mean. Not a huge piano, and the verb, without question, is NOT what you might hear in a real hall, but I'd like to have it. (Don't know what other effects are on it.) Crank this up to hear the overtones.

    Clearly, there are several ways I could say that this piano is limited. I don't hear a pp layer. The tuning is, let's say, not perfect. Few layers. But still, it has huge gobs of nice resonance and floating verb, though the melody notes come through.

    (Part of the effect comes from having a pretty narrow stereo field, too.)

    I can see where many people might hate this demo. Still, I want to hear these over-the-top effects on the Post Old Lady Steinway...

  4. #4

    Re: Pianos, the Kurzweil V.A.S.T. engine, and Kurzweil effects

    Sounds like you want the keyboard for the piano? If you're looking to buy a keyboard to trigger midi data in your computer, kurzweil would be a giant waste of your $. I was pretty fortunate to buy it at wwandbw.com when they had literally 4 left in stock - so fully loaded it cost me a greatly discounted $3500. The retail price for the same thing would be close to $10k, which is flat out ridiculous.

  5. #5

    Re: Pianos, the Kurzweil V.A.S.T. engine, and Kurzweil effects

    Well, I'd like to have the control over the effects and samples, and the sounds. I'm actually thinking of getting the KSounds piano set, which is tiny compared to giga based pianos, just for the sound of the Steinway. Only two layers, but the individual notes sound good. But then, I want the Post Old Lady, too, and about five other pianos...

    I hear you about the price of the Kurzweil keyboards. Apparently they're able to keep their prices high, but still sell them.

  6. #6

    Re: Pianos, the Kurzweil V.A.S.T. engine, and Kurzweil effects

    (By the way, for Kurzweil owners, there are two forums for Kurzweil instruments at:

    http://community.sonikmatter.com/cg.../ultimatebb.cgi

    It's a Logic forum, but scroll half-way down the page and click on Ye Old Synths to find a forum for general Kurz discussion and another on emergencies\repairs.)

  7. #7

    Re: Pianos, the Kurzweil V.A.S.T. engine, and Kurzweil effects

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Johnson
    and the verb, without question, is NOT what you might hear in a real hall
    It's not intended to be. The goal is to emulate sympathetic string resonance using KDFX. If you need an actual hall reverb, just push a slider forward on your K2500 / K2600. Or if you don't even want the effects that are present in some of the demos, just bypass them or import a default KDFX Studio. (Other demos on the K-Sounds website demonstrate the pianos without any effects.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Johnson
    I can see where many people might hate this demo.
    If listeners are expecting to hear an accurate simulation of a hall reverb instead of sympathetic string resonance, I can see why.

    It's unrealistic to think that everyone will like a given set of demos, but the vast majority of the people I hear from (directly or in forum discussions) think they're beautiful.
    Keven Spargo, Sound Designer
    www.ksounds.com
    Quality sounds for Kontakt, Yamaha, Kurzweil, and Triton

  8. #8

    Re: Pianos, the Kurzweil V.A.S.T. engine, and Kurzweil effects

    Good to see you here.

    I really love the sound of these pianos, too. I was only saying that they didn't sound like the pianos we're used to hearing for Giga.

  9. #9

    Re: Pianos, the Kurzweil V.A.S.T. engine, and Kurzweil effects

    Yep - that's the kind of piano sound I love Blame Elton John. ;^)
    (I'm referring mostly to the brighter "Piano 2" sounds - haven't listened to all
    the other demos yet)

    Greg.

  10. #10

    Re: Pianos, the Kurzweil V.A.S.T. engine, and Kurzweil effects

    I would be remiss if I didn't warn people about buying Kurzweil equipement at this time.

    Just recently, Young Chang (Kurzweil's parent) filed for bankruptcy protection. A merger between Young Chang and Samick (both Korean companies) was rejected by the Korean government.

    I have a PC2 rack which I really like, but I wouldn't buy it today given the current situation.

    On a more positive note, it appears you might be able to buy Kurzweil for a couple million dollars.

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