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Topic: New keyboard controller makes me want new piano libs

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  1. #1

    New keyboard controller makes me want new piano libs

    Hi All,

    I recently purchased a Yamaha P60 and love the feel of the keys. This things plays like a grand, it's got hammer action. Did I mention I love this thing? However, I just tried it with the PMI Bos 290 and Old Lady and the sound I used to love now sounds too distant and not as responsive as I'd like for live playing. I'm craving a more immediate sound that has the richness of these libs, but less ambience and more responsiveness for classical playing.

    I realize this is throwing the discussion wide open, but I'm looking for suggestions. Thanks.

    Steve Chandler
    http://www.audiostreet.net/stevechandler
    http://www.soundclick.com/stevechandler

  2. #2

    Re: New keyboard controller makes me want new piano libs

    Sorry to hear 'bout that !

    Not sure how you mean "distant" and "ambience" -- a new keyboard effect ambience? Doesn't seem right to me. Volume you mean? Sounds muted?

    From your description below I think this is perhaps with velocity output of the P-Series acting as a controller. There has been discussion (and suggested solutions) on this board and elsewhere about it. I'm sure a search of the forum will get you going. I seem to recall there is a bit of software that can be used to "translate" or "boost" velocity values generated from the Y/P series of keyboards.


    Quote Originally Posted by pantonality
    Hi All,

    I recently purchased a Yamaha P60 and love the feel of the keys. This things plays like a grand, it's got hammer action. Did I mention I love this thing? However, I just tried it with the PMI Bos 290 and Old Lady and the sound I used to love now sounds too distant and not as responsive as I'd like for live playing. I'm craving a more immediate sound that has the richness of these libs, but less ambience and more responsiveness for classical playing.

    I realize this is throwing the discussion wide open, but I'm looking for suggestions. Thanks.

    Steve Chandler
    http://www.audiostreet.net/stevechandler
    http://www.soundclick.com/stevechandler

  3. #3

    Re: New keyboard controller makes me want new piano libs

    Steve,

    maybe you just need to play with the velocity response curves? Although the default is linear, some people have playing styles and use keyboards which need a non-linear mapping.

    If by 'distant' you mean 'muted in volume', then this problem may be fixed by what I said above. Also, it might be possible your controller is not sending the full range 0-127 of volume, but 0-100. Perhaps your kbd has a setting to alter this?

    'not as responsive', might mean you have a latency problem. This will depend upon your soundcard/MIDI drivers.

    Or perhaps you feel the pianos are not dry enough but have too much reverb?

    I don't really think there is a better virtual piano for classical than what you already have.
    Synthogy Ivory sounds interesting, but in several years time, all sampled pianos will simulate string resonance.

    HTH

  4. #4

    Re: New keyboard controller makes me want new piano libs

    Pantonality,

    The enclosed post is from the digital piano forum at piano world. Your P-60 sounds distant because you've experienced the richness of great sample libraries. A correctly configured subwoofer will help you to get more realistic sound from the P-60:

    I want to say a few things about using a sub woofer with a digital piano, and offer my own experience in successfully (I believe) mating one to my Yamaha PF500.

    Usually, the built-in speakers do not adequately reproduce the low bass. Even the top of the line Yamaha Clavinovas have only 16 cm (6.3 inch) "woofers", which can only get within 2 octaves of the lowest piano fundamental tones. One may not consciously discern the pitch of those deep fundamental notes, but their presence in a large acoustic grand contributes to its grandiose sound.
    Those deep tones are there in the piano sound samples, but simply not reproduced by the built-in speakers. A well-chosen and mated powered sub woofer can go a long way to improving the bottom end sound of a digital piano. And, those deep organ and string bass voices sound so much better.

    It is not necessary to have a complete auxiliary sound system for home use, because the built-in speakers do a good job in the mid-bass and treble, they only need some help in the deep bass. Only one sub woofer is needed and its placement isn't critical, since the low frequencies are non-directional and do not contribute to the stereo effect.

    I picked the Acoustic Research PR1212 for my piano. It's linear to well below the lowest piano fundamental (A0 = 27.5 Hz), and has a good musical sound. The smaller (10 inch) PR1010 just barely does the job, but I wanted a little more headroom (or is it footroom?) in the deep bass.

    The big difficulty is determining the bass cutoff frequency of the built-in piano speaker system. If you can get it from the manufacturer, then just dial in the same frequency on the sub's crossover control. Otherwise you'll have to find it by ear. And you can't do this using the piano voice - the multitude of powerful overtones will make it impossible to judge accurately where the fundamental string tones drop out as you go down the keyboard.

    Fortunately, the Yamaha PF500 has a reasonably pure sine tone (producing single frequency tones without overtones), in the Synth Lead group of the XG voices, labeled "Sine Lead". An auditory clue to such a voice is that it sounds really dead, practically muffled, because of the lack of overtones. Using such a tone, unplug the sub from the piano, turn up the piano volume, and start sounding notes down the keyboard starting at about 3 octaves above the bottom. With the PF500, for example, I noticed a drop in volume around G2, about 2 octaves from the bottom. This is a good approximation to the -3dB bass cutoff of the built-in speakers. The frequency of this note is 98 Hz, so I set the sub's crossover control for about 100 Hz (not precisely, it isn't calibrated except at the lowest and highest numbers). To fine-tune this setting, I went thru the same routine in reverse with only the sub sounding. I plugged it in to the fixed pre-amp output, turned down the piano's main volume, then adjusted the crossover so that as I moved up the keyboard with the sine tone, the sub's sound output dropped noticeably at the same G2 key as the main speakers did on the way down.

    Next, I plugged the sub into the variable output (controlled by the piano's volume control), turned up the volume so both sub and main speakers sounded, and adjusted the sub's volume control so that as I played the sine tone thru the crossover point, the volume was uniform on both sides of crossover. We're not looking for home theater or rock band, eardrum-fracturing, deep bass here, but only authentic grand piano sound - don't get enthusiastic with the sub woofer volume.

    The key to success is using a single-frequency (pure sine) voice. It is futile to try to match a sub woofer to another speaker system using a complex musical voice. If your piano doesn't have an overtone-free sine voice, then you can borrow somebody's audio generator and plug it into the piano's pre amp input connector, and use it to mate the sub with the built-in speakers. The final result should be a much more "grand" piano (and organ, etc.) sound.

    --------------------
    Dale the Whale

  5. #5

    Re: New keyboard controller makes me want new piano libs

    First off, thanks to all for the advice. My reference to distance referred to the amount of ambience in the PMI libraries (Bos 290 and Old Lady). This ambience sounds great for recordings of classical music and I love it. But when playing the instrument it sounds like I'm playing a keyboard and the piano is across a large room. I want a piano library that sounds like it's in front of me. In previous discussions some have talked about player perspective and I think that would be perfect.

    WRT, responsiveness. I probably need to tweak the velocity curve of the keyboard, but have no idea how to do that. I have the documentation somewhere and will look to see if that information is in it. Also, the internal sounds of the P60 are obviously looped and sound synthy if held for any length of time. I don't think a subwoofer will help that.

    Finally, there is latency, but I can live with it. It's a bit wierd, I have the sound card (RME DIG 96/8 PST) set to 256 samples (as low as it goes), but I'm going via midi from the P60 to a Logic PC then via midi over LAN to my Giga rig. I may see if I can connect directly to the Giga rig to take out some midi latency.

    Thanks all,

    Steve

  6. #6

    Re: New keyboard controller makes me want new piano libs

    Pantonality,

    Looking for more responsiveness for classical playing and easy settings on velocity curves --> IMHO Steinberg The Grand

    I have The Emperor & Old Lady and like their sound too.

    But, after all these years, The Grand still inspires me more when i'm actually playing.

    Anyway, enjoy testing !

    Mike

  7. #7

    Re: New keyboard controller makes me want new piano libs

    Pantonality,

    Did you try PMI's dry samples?

  8. #8

    Re: New keyboard controller makes me want new piano libs

    Pt, even the closer of the two positions in the Post Bos Grandioso I have is ambient. It sounds great for classical and blends with orchestral samples better than any other one I've tried, but the sound is just all wrong for a close-miked contemporary sound. Eric P. called this the European style, and I'm pretty sure your Post pianos are like the Bos Grandioso.

    You need to look at other libs for a closer-miked sound. Art Vista is coming out with a new one you may like (not "American-style" close-miked but it has a great character), SampleTek has the White Grand and Black Grand (I haven't tried them), and Ivory is frikking great. There are others.

  9. #9

    Re: New keyboard controller makes me want new piano libs

    I think for a dry, in your face piano in a pop or rock mix the White Grand is clear, bright and hard to beat. Just got the White Sister yesterday and I've been digging it A LOT... not tremendously ambient, a little rounder/warmer that the White Grand, nicer for solo playing IMHO. Also I really like the Vintaudio Yamaha C7. Just finished a jazz trio album w/ a vocalist and used the ambient C7 (which again is not ambient like the PMI Bose) for all the piano tracks, sounded great.

  10. #10

    Re: New keyboard controller makes me want new piano libs

    Quote Originally Posted by pantonality
    Hi All,

    I recently purchased a Yamaha P60 and love the feel of the keys. This things plays like a grand, it's got hammer action. Did I mention I love this thing? However, I just tried it with the PMI Bos 290 and Old Lady and the sound I used to love now sounds too distant and not as responsive as I'd like for live playing. I'm craving a more immediate sound that has the richness of these libs, but less ambience and more responsiveness for classical playing.

    I realize this is throwing the discussion wide open, but I'm looking for suggestions. Thanks.

    Steve Chandler
    http://www.audiostreet.net/stevechandler
    http://www.soundclick.com/stevechandler

    Hi Steve,

    My keyboard controller with the hammer action is the Classic Motif 8 by Yamaha.

    As far as libs go, the Bardstownaudio.com Borsendorfer Imperial Grand Piano repsonds beautifully to the hammer action Yamaha Keyboards.

    If you like this piano's sound, get this library from KipMcGinnis.

    Always listen to the other great libraries out there before deciding.


    Alan Russell
    Please Visit My New & Revised Official Website Below

    http://AlanRussell-Music.com

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