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Topic: Best piano in the soft to medium strike range?

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  1. #1

    Best piano in the soft to medium strike range?

    A narrow question, yes, but the issue of getting good soft layers seems to come up often. Any votes for which sampled piano has the best pp-mp layers?

    (Am I right in understanding that the problem with these layers is roughly as follows: to get the soft layers to sound accurately loud, the mics either have to be placed very close to the strings--and therefore pick up a lot hammer noise (partly because of the proximity effect, and partly just because they're close to the hammers) and transient noise--or the gain has to be raised--therefore increasing line noise? The latter would be particularly a problem with mics placed at a distance from the piano.

    What I don't understand is that I can hear soft layers very clearly while sitting at a piano--so can't mics at a player's position or closer, but not so close as to pick up too much hammer thump, pick up the softest layers as well as my ears, without any need to raise the gain?

    On the other hand, would just softer felts help, maybe intentionally softened so that one could produce a tone with less hammer noise than usual, so the mics could be placed closer to the strings for the softest layers, or would one need to use so much force to create the sound with softened felts that the hammer sound would still be there?)

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Best piano in the soft to medium strike range?

    If you move the mics at all during the sampling session, your notes are not going to image correctly (it's hard enough to keep the imaging true even when you don't move them).

    It's just one of those technical challenges. Your brain tunes out the fact that as a piano note dies away, it is slipping under the noise floor of the room itself. Microphones are not nearly so smart...they just record the noise, which plays back and multliplies for every instance which is playing. Ten notes, ten times the room noise.

    Tough job.

  3. #3

    Re: Best piano in the soft to medium strike range?

    (bump)

    No one has views about the pianos with the best soft layers?

  4. #4

    Re: Best piano in the soft to medium strike range?

    Art Vista Malmsjo grand - soft as a baby's palm, and with a lovely vintage character. I make it sound like a fine old wine... I suppose it is really.

  5. #5

    Re: Best piano in the soft to medium strike range?

    I was looking for that very thing last year, and the one that I found that has an inspiring subtlety in the soft range is Art Vista's Malmsjö.

  6. #6

    Re: Best piano in the soft to medium strike range?

    Yo, NDS, you beat me by a minute!

  7. #7

    Re: Best piano in the soft to medium strike range?

    Forget about it, bro. It only becomes a competition when we're chasing the same gig.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2004
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    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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    Thumbs up Re: Best piano in the soft to medium strike range?

    Black or White grand are super soft. 16velocity layers per note (not counting pedal or release). You can try a demo from sample tekks web site. I love it, it makes me want a weighted controller. Also Black (and now white sister) come with 3 different mic positions.

    Christiaan

  9. #9

    Re: Best piano in the soft to medium strike range?

    I have several piano libraries, but when I want something very soft and dark, I find the PMI Steinway D Grandioso works best, using the 16 layer patch. However, it is a warm, dark tone. If you want soft with a little brightness, then some of the other suggestions may be better.

    Chris

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