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Topic: PianoTeq and realistic piano emulations

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  1. #1

    PianoTeq and realistic piano emulations

    I'm posting this in the spirit of exploring all of the possible ways of acheiving a good piano sound. (It's not meant as a way of saying that anyone has found the ideal solution.)

    There's been an ongoing discussion here of the relative realism of the various pianos, with Pianoteq often coming up. Over the past two weeks, in the Files section of the Pianoteq forum, several people have posted their own fxps (presets) of various piano emulations, often with mp3's of brief passages recorded using the presets. (I confess--one of the presets is mine...)

    People who downloaded the demo and heard sine tones may be pleasantly surprised by what's being done with Pianoteq these days.

    Here's the link to the forum: http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/viewforum.php?id=1

    You'll have to register, but once you do, you can access the Files area: across the top of the main Forum screen, there is a list of links. Just click on Files to open the page containing the mp3's and presets. (This set of fxp presets is different from those posted off the main page of the Modartt site. Those are older files.) Try the Foster Grand, the Ambient 4-way split (if you have or if you download the free Cantabile lite), the Bechstein Sweet, the Baldwin grand, and the Steinway B. These may not always sound entirely the same as the instruments we are trying to model, but they do create a good acoustic piano sound. (For the Baldwin grand, you may have to reduce the volume of the Sustain pedal sound on the Options menu, unless you have a continuous pedal.)

  2. #2

    Re: PianoTeq and realistic piano emulations

    Hi Jake

    I downloaded the original demo, and found it very interesting and playable, but something not quite right.

    I downloaded the 2.2 demo yesterday, Wow, what a difference.

    I can't stop playing it, and I will be buying anytime now.

    regards

  3. #3

    Re: PianoTeq and realistic piano emulations

    I hope you'll listen to the mp3's on the Forum\Files page, too. They'll give you an idea of what you can do as you learn more about the program. Very, very different sounds from what I've often heard posted on other sites. (It has a steeper learning curve than it might seem to require at first glance, and my impression is that some people either gave up on it before wading deeply enough into it or assumed that it would only create a "nearly piano" sound, and assumed it couldn't do much more.)

    Sorry to sound like such a cheerleader for PianoTeq. I use sample libraries and vsti's, too.

  4. #4

    Re: PianoTeq and realistic piano emulations

    ya, it's definitely heading in the right direction. I'm not sold on it yet tho. I mean, I'm sold on the technology, but not sold on the results just yet. And I really, really hope they pull it off some time in the near future.

  5. #5

    Re: PianoTeq and realistic piano emulations

    kensuguro:

    What is it about the sound that you don't like?

  6. #6

    Re: PianoTeq and realistic piano emulations

    happy new year!

    well, what I don't like about the overall sound are these (I have to try very hard):
    1. Attack. The initial sound doesn't sound like the strings a struck by a stiff object. It sounds like a soft "felt-ish" sort of impulse, no matter how much attack sound you mix in. And I mean, the actual hammer is a felt contact point, but can sound a bit more harder than what pianoteq has.

    2. The sustain tone sounds like the whole piano is one piece of string, or something in one piece. Sorry for the vague description, but I can't put my finger on this one. It almost sounds like the sound was coming from one string. Kind of like a cp80-ish sound.

  7. #7

    Re: PianoTeq and realistic piano emulations

    I'll say this again: I am currently using NI Akoustic piano. Though I am not very fond of NI products, one of the magazines (it was either Electronic Musician or Keyboard) did a comparison of all the major piano virtual instruments about a year or so ago. Their experts' blind tests all favored Akoustic piano.

    I am sure that newer products have been released since I purchased Akoustic Piano. And I know that other members who have responded to my previous posts have said that they don't like Akoustic piano for one reason or another. But it is the best of those that I have actually tried (as opposed to just listening to demos made by someone else) -- the original giga piano, the pianos included in Kompakt, Kontackt 1, Kontakt 2, GPO and JABB -- I tried all these and they seemed lacking in some respect. Once I got Akoustic Piano, I stopped feeling like I had to replace the piano every time I listened to one of my pieces.

    It could be that any product that concentrates on just the piano sounds better than those packaged with big libraries. It could be that there are many more parameters that I can tweak with Akoustic Piano, compared to the adjustments possible in the other NI applications. But I know Akoustic Piano worked for me. Most of the time I find myself using the one of the Bosendorfer patches (sometimes with ovetones, usually tweaked to punch up or cut down the bass and the lid opened all the way.) But the other pianos are nice, too, and I can see myself using them in other compositions. They are different enough that there is suffient variety. And, unlike all the other libraries I own, I never thought any of them sounded so bad right off the bat that I decided not to ever use them.

    I think your choice of piano will ultimately be a very personal one -- based as much on your personal taste and experience as the character of the music you create with it. The best advice I can give is to try to get a demo version, rather than relying on the mp3 or wav compositions posted by the publisher or other users. You never know what they did to the files or how much work it took to get that sound. For me, although I like having the ability to finely tailor a sound to my needs, I also expect such adjustments to be easy to make -- and that the default settings be pretty close to what I need to start with. Akoustic Piano did it it for me. With you it may be a different product. But you'll be happiest if you can try it before you buy it. (PianoTeq and Ivory may work better in practice than their demo songs indicate. And this could acount for people who actually own them advocating them so strongly. But I suspect it ultimately comes down to personal preferences and the type of music you intend to make with it more than anything else.)

  8. #8

    Re: PianoTeq and realistic piano emulations

    Quote Originally Posted by ejr
    I'll say this again: I am currently using NI Akoustic piano. Though I am not very fond of NI products, one of the magazines (it was either Electronic Musician or Keyboard) did a comparison of all the major piano virtual instruments about a year or so ago. Their experts' blind tests all favored Akoustic piano.
    I have a friend that is also an "expert" (in this case meaning well respected, has played with some pretty world renown musicians) too and owns both NI Akoustic Piano and Ivory as well. We spoke of this just yesterday and he thinks Ivory is far superior to NI's Akoustic Piano. Not saying either piano is the end all be best piano for anyone and everyone's tastes but I don't hold too much weight in magazine reviews (been burned by believing them and making purchases that I regretted in the past) and want to offer up this differing opinion.

    By the way ejr, do you also own Ivory as well as Akoustic (not trying to be confrontational, just curious if you've had these two particular pianos under your fingers)?

    As far as the PianoTeq, I tried the demo a month or two ago and just am not hearing something that is even a useable piano for me. I am frankly quite surprised to see the good/great responses about it's sound. I could not use that piano on a recording.

  9. #9

    Re: PianoTeq and realistic piano emulations

    I do not have Ivory. I listed all the samples I tried in my post (above). My point is that the choice is going to be a very personal one. In my case, where I could not get demos of the various pianos that were available, I relied on the choice of a panel of reviewers and I got something that was better than what I was using prior to that -- and it is good enough that I don't feel a compelling need to replace it.

  10. #10

    Re: PianoTeq and realistic piano emulations

    Quote Originally Posted by ejr
    My point is that the choice is going to be a very personal one.
    I agree with you 100%.

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