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Topic: Playing Ivory Live

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  1. #1

    Playing Ivory Live

    Hello all,

    I am gearing up to make the switch from playing internal stage piano sounds to playing Ivory in a live setting. I have a beefy laptop already (HP nw9440 workstation, 2x2ghz 2gig ram running XP).

    I've just received my copy of Ivory, and I appear to have no cpu or ram limitations. My HDD seems to be a problem though, it's causing voice dropouts (I see the "slow disk" icon with the dropouts, as described by the manual). I'm using a 5400 rpm external usb 2.0 drive - one of those little Western Digital passports. Basically just a drive I already had onhand, and not a big surprise that it cannot handle it.

    I have two hdd upgrade options with this notebook: Firewire 400 or another usb 2.0 drive (just a beefier, big cache, 7200rpm one). I cannot use eSATA unfortunately, becuase my sound card occupies my only pcmcia slot.

    Can anyone suggest which way to go (usb 2.0 or Firewire 400), or if I'm completely hosed without either eSATA or Firewire 800? Or perhaps does anyone else use Ivory in a real-time setting with either USB 2.0 or Firewire 400?

    Thanks,

    -Eric Hart

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Posts
    55

    Re: Playing Ivory Live

    Hi Eric,

    I am following down a similar path, having just added vsl solo strings to my laptop. I think 5400 is just too slow from what I've read here. Firewire can be a problem if you do not have a Texas Instruments chipset (many others crackle, again from what I've heard here). Few seem to be able to tell what the chipset is in commercial laptops. I was thinking of getting something with both firewire and usb2, thinking that the usb would be a backup for the firewire if it does not work. Go to newegg and you can find a disk to your liking and put it in an enclosure that has both interfaces. Thats what I will do when I have the cash (vsl set me back some). Good luck,

    Paul

  3. #3

    Re: Playing Ivory Live

    http://www.glyphtech.com/site/products/gt062.html


    They are the guys with all of us in mind.

    I use rackmounted DAW's personally, as I often fly to gigs. I liked using a powerful Pentium M780 with w/ external HDD's for quick local gigs, but they are rather fragile, and not exactly mission critical.

    Glyph has 2 decades of experience making stable solutions for live players. I first demo'd their HDD's for my hardware samplers, and mulitrackers back @ NAMM in '94. Their dogs will hunt.

  4. #4

    Re: Playing Ivory Live

    Glyph - thanks so much for the link. I ideally would like to rackmount everything, and in previous searches all I could find were loud server-grade enclosures that were not firewire. That drive looks very good for me.

    Just in case anyone else faces the same question, it turns out that Firewire 400 seems perfectly fine at least for me. I found an old Western Digital external firewire/usb2.0 combo drive (WD1200JB - the one with the lights), and it's working much much better for me. I get the feeling that I'm not far from the edge though, as some more intense midi files cause the stream to starve if I play the file at 2x speed. With my own playing, and even with mashing keys, I haven't seen the slow disk indicator come on again.

    USB 2.0 was garbage for this. I even did a test where I just copied one of the 2gig ivory libraries using explorer (doing cold starts before each one to insure nothing was cached), and firewire 400 completed the job in 40% of the time it took usb 2.0.

    In case anyone else is interested, here's my hardware, which I am very happy with.

    HP nw9400 - 2x2ghz, 2gig ram, running Windows XP
    E-MU 1616M for midi in and spdif out (just wish it could rackmount).
    Benchmark DAC-1 for conversion

    I may someday want to convert to a dedicated rackmount pc for the daw, but I was scared away by noise and case size (seems they are all 24"-ish deep, and mobile rackmount cabinets seem to generally be well short of this depth).

    I'd love to hear what hardware anyone else out there is using for their live vst rigs.

    -Eric Hart

  5. #5

    Wink Re: Playing Ivory Live

    http://www.planetz.com/forums/viewto...=asc&highlight=


    The picture of my live DAW's, there's one on the bottom that couldn't be seen in the pic.

    These are the CK480 servercases from.......http://www.servercase.com/miva/miva?...tegory_Code=4U

    I have converted from a hardware touring rig to a hybrid rig which combines hardware analog synths, and the Scope Fusion Platform DSP cards. These soundcards are super stable and use pigtails w/ AES / EBU ( Lexicon PCM91, and PCM81 ) ADAT's, and SP/DIF, as well as analog balanced I/O's. They are capable of routing any signals into and out of the projects created.

    I use Plogue Bidule as a VST shell where GVI, Muse, GigaViolin, American Zither, as well as K2 based instruments are used. It has an Intel DP965LT w/ a QX6700. It loads an entire evening's worth of content. I don't touch the DAW's or PS2 rackmounted QWERTY until the gig is over. All HDD's have hot swap spares and are fast streamers ( Raptor X's ).

    This rig has been used for 2 years live 24/7 w/o incident.

    BTW, does Ivory have a good sostenuto function?

    These Dogs Will Hunt.

  6. #6

    Re: Playing Ivory Live

    Wow, that is really an impressive setup! Holy cow.

  7. #7

    Re: Playing Ivory Live

    Does Ivories' sostenuto emulation work properly?

    I am in the market for a real emu of that. In Vegas there are more jobs than players, 127 more stages will be completed by summer 2008, and I turn down tons of work already. I can't stand cheeseball bands, but prefer to do Fusion, Psychedelic trubutes, Yes and ELP tributes, or any other music that requires rehearsals. The show up and play jobs are for the lazy.

    I have a small solo piano set up I am building so I can play some swank restaraunts, etc. for good money where they don't have a piano, but they sure have a budget. Classical and Jazz in the day, then ensemble improv at night. And still only actually working 6 hours a day, for the pay of 2. So yes, I will kiss dorriere for bigger pay.

    But I need a sostenuto emulation so I can do classical properly, and even some New Orleans style barrel house.

    What Say You Brotha' Man EricH ?

  8. #8

    Re: Playing Ivory Live

    heh - so sorry, I completely forgot you asked about sostuneto. I was mesmorized by your rig!

    I don't actually know how to get my controller to send the sostuneto controller, so I don't have any personal experience yet with Ivory's implementation of that function. However, I've read pretty much everyone's post on this forum about Ivory when I was deciding what to buy, and I seem to remember people describing it as very basic support (sustaining the right notes, but not really emulating any of it's other characteristics). Please someone correct me if I am wrong about that.

    If you are considering buying Ivory, I do have some other potential gripes/questions about it that I will probably post soon, and I'm not 100% sure yet that I made the right choice. However, I'm reserving judgment and further qualitative posts until I've been able to try Ivory in a more ideal circumstance - for instance I haven't listened to it yet through my DAC-1, and the speakers I'm using now are not professional monitors (Klipsch 2.1 computer speakers). The problem I'm experiencing is basically an undesirable tonal quality in a range of about 16 semitones centered on middle c. Since I hear it on all the Ivory pianos, I'm not convinced yet it's not part of my own audio chain which is yet incomplete. I may still try the crossgrade NI Akoustik, since I can get it so cheaply as a registered Ivory owner.

    -Eric

  9. #9

    Re: Playing Ivory Live

    I will wait and see what Giga 4 brings after the AES show reports.
    JimmyV

  10. #10

    Re: Playing Ivory Live

    What exactly would you like to know about Ivory? Here is a review of Ivory 1.5 that I quickly googled that shows Ivory will respond to sostenuto:

    http://emusician.com/sftinstruments/..._ivory_macwin/

    I have Ivory and my Kawai MP8 has sostenuto capability. I've never assigned the soft pedal to this function and it may require a software update of my Kawai, but it is supported and if you really need me to make a test of it for you, I will.

    For classical work, you may be interested in Ivory's Italian Grand expansion. I believe it weighs in around 13gigs and has had high praise for emulating a Fazioli.

    Best,

    Will




    Quote Originally Posted by scope4live
    Does Ivories' sostenuto emulation work properly?

    I am in the market for a real emu of that. In Vegas there are more jobs than players, 127 more stages will be completed by summer 2008, and I turn down tons of work already. I can't stand cheeseball bands, but prefer to do Fusion, Psychedelic trubutes, Yes and ELP tributes, or any other music that requires rehearsals. The show up and play jobs are for the lazy.

    I have a small solo piano set up I am building so I can play some swank restaraunts, etc. for good money where they don't have a piano, but they sure have a budget. Classical and Jazz in the day, then ensemble improv at night. And still only actually working 6 hours a day, for the pay of 2. So yes, I will kiss dorriere for bigger pay.

    But I need a sostenuto emulation so I can do classical properly, and even some New Orleans style barrel house.

    What Say You Brotha' Man EricH ?

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