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Topic: Piano Treasure - AUTHORIZED STEINWAY

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  1. #1
    Senior Member valhalx's Avatar
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    Piano Treasure - AUTHORIZED STEINWAY

    I have never had an interest in rendering existing MIDIs until now. The recent posts of Rachmaninoff and Fats Waller peaked my interest and I discovered some interesting treasures on the web. I guess being a history enthusiast has a lot to do with it.

    These MIDIs are derived from piano rolls. At the turn of the 20th century "player piano" recording technology had evolved to the point that those instruments could record expressive parameters such as dynamics, precise note duration, pedal, etc. Playback was an exact replica of the performance. In the early 20th century many notable pianists recorded their performances for posterity. As it turns out, these rolls can be easily scanned and converted to MIDI format.


    Here are a few MIDIs I think you might find interesting. All of these were rendered with the Garritan Authorized Steinway using the Underlid perspective.


    George Gershwin playing his Rhapsody in Blue

    Percy Grainger playing two selections from Greig's Peer Gynt Suite Recorded Apr 1922

    Arthur Rubenstein playing Schumann's Papillons, Op 2 Recorded Oct 1922

    Ferruccio Busoni playing Chopin's Prelude, Op 28, No 23 Recorded 1927

    Rachmaninoff playing his arrangement of Moussorgsky's Hopak Recorded 1920

    Eubie Blake playing his Rhapsody in Ragtime and I'm Just Wild About Harry


    These piano roll MIDIs and over 5000 others can be found at http://members.shaw.ca/smythe/archive.htm


    Bill
    Never look at the trombones. It only encourages them. Richard Strauss

    My Website
    Beethoven's Eroica
    Antonio Salieri
    The History of Studebaker

  2. #2
    Senior Member bigears's Avatar
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    Re: Piano Treasure - AUTHORIZED STEINWAY

    Bill, Thanks so much for this information. I am going to have to wait to listen to your renderings as I am on my "slow" computer right now, and can't stream the MP3's. As things have turned out, I am going to have a great deal of time on my hands for awhile (or time on my posterior, more specifically)
    It has been established that the files I used for my renderings of the Waller tunes were mis-attributed to Fats himself, but are rather modern performances " a la" Waller. One thing about using the Garritan Steinway as a standalone midi player: The Aria GUI will display perhaps the name of the composer and song title. When I open the same MIDI file in my sequencer (Sonar) I find that there is much more information as to who may have performed or sequenced the piece, copywrite, dates, etc. which is displayed in extra track titles. No harm in auditioning pieces through the standalone, just a warning if anyone has intention to use available MIDI files.
    I am admittedly a poor pianist, with no formal music education. I have played guitar (primarily, classic guitar) for about 45 years (gulp). Maybe this is what makes the piano so compelling an instrument for me. The harmonic possibilities and chord voicings of polyphonic instruments just enrapture me. The Garritan Steinway and Aria interface just make it so easy to audition existing MIDI pieces without an excessive amount of data tweaking. Thank you for the great link. Regards, John

  3. #3
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    Re: Piano Treasure - AUTHORIZED STEINWAY

    Bill,

    I agree with you. The G.A. Steinway is the 21st Century version of the "player piano." I've got a ton of stuff that was originally released for Yamaha Disklaviers (that I can't share due to copyright,) plus now we are all finding these MIDIs that were based on the original piano rolls.

    It has been a real pleasure to listen to a lot of this material rendered by the G.A. Steinway, since I don't (and I'm sure most of the forum members don't either) have either an old-fashioned mechanical player piano nor a modern electronic player piano. Until now.

    We should all continue to share these websites that host this original MIDI material with each other.

    Thanks for posting!

    Keith Walls

  4. #4

    Re: Piano Treasure - AUTHORIZED STEINWAY

    Bill,

    I just listened to one of these (Papillons) and I'm astounded by the possibilities you present. I didn't realize that piano roll technology had evolved to such a high degree of capability. The ability to convert these rolls with detailed accuracy to MIDI, and subsequently now to an authentic Steinway performance is mind blowing; kind of eerie, when you think about it, but in a very positive way. I was listening to something beyond a representation of Rubenstein's performance -- it is his performance in a very real way.

    I intend to listen to the rest of your collection as time permits. From the sound of the one I listened to, you did a terrific job. Wonderful stuff!

    Danny

  5. #5

    Re: Piano Treasure - AUTHORIZED STEINWAY

    Great stuff, Bill.

    What settings are you using with the "Under the Lid" perspective?

    Also, what reverb room and settings?

    Productions don't seem overly reverbed which is great and the
    piano tone is marvelous.

    Jack
    Jack Cannon--MacBook Pro (2015, 13") GPO4/5, JABB3, Auth. STEINWAY, YAMAHA CFX, Gofriller CELLO, Stradivari VIOLIN, COMB2, WORLD, HARPS, PIPE ORGANS, FINALE 2014.5, Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 9.5, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express, MacBook Pro (2012, 13") 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

  6. #6

    Re: Piano Treasure - AUTHORIZED STEINWAY

    Bill,

    Wow, these really surprised me -- and what a great avenue
    you've exposed for us... these "transcriptions" into MIDI of
    original piano rolls. I had no idea piano rolls had evolved to
    such sophistication in detail.

    Needless to say, the G.Steinway and your able execution of
    these sound superb. Particularly enjoyed the Gershwin!

    My best,



    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com

  7. #7

    Re: Piano Treasure - AUTHORIZED STEINWAY

    Bill

    Did you do anything to these midis or are they as is?

    I guess what I am asking is, did you have to do anything other than set up the Piano and run the midi?

    If so, then this is just incredible.

    I loved them

    Ron

  8. #8
    Senior Member valhalx's Avatar
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    Re: Piano Treasure - AUTHORIZED STEINWAY

    In as much as there seems to be a lot of questions about my methodology, here it is, lol.

    The MIDIs were imported to Overture 4.1 to take advantage of the fact that Overture is able to host SIR 1011. SIR is the convolution reverb used in these recordings. There are other ways to apply SIR to these MIDIs but they all involve recording a dry WAV and doing that elsewhere. This was easier.

    Then I set up ARIA as follows - Mechanical noise 11, velocity curve bent upward one click, sustain resonance 30, sympathetic resonance 30, tone off, Ambience off.

    I then set a file name in "Record to WAV" (in Overture) and hit play.

    What you are hearing is Steinway playing the MIDIs through SIR. That's it.

    A very similar reverb can be achieved with Ambience using the following settings -

    Concert Hall 1
    Velocity Curve bent upward one click
    Mechanical Noise 12
    Decay 55
    Diffusion 0
    Size 45%
    Predelay 93 ms
    Width 100%
    Quality 100%
    Variation 0
    Sustain Resonance 19
    Sympathetic Resonance 11
    Start with top of Wet slider at the mid point of the Dry slider and experiment. Also experiment with the Resonances until they are to your taste. (I'm a wet freak myself, ROFL)

    The advantage of this Ambience reverb is that it will work with the stand alone and you can record the results in Render Offline.

    It's all quite simple, lol. Just the beauty of Steinway & Sons and Garritan.

    Bill
    Never look at the trombones. It only encourages them. Richard Strauss

    My Website
    Beethoven's Eroica
    Antonio Salieri
    The History of Studebaker

  9. #9

    Re: Piano Treasure - AUTHORIZED STEINWAY

    With all due respect to the people who originally played this music on a player piano "recorder" way back when,....

    we must all remember that the player piano did not record any form of velocity. The only "feeling" that is true to the original performance is the timing. Not to burst everyone's bubble.. but if any of the new recordings of these "converted to midi" piano roll performances has any dimension of velocities, it was edited by someone, and not the original pianist.

    How I wish the player piano "recorders" of yester-year would have had the ability to recorded the velocity.

    Dan

  10. #10
    Senior Member valhalx's Avatar
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    Re: Piano Treasure - AUTHORIZED STEINWAY

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN View Post
    With all due respect to the people who originally played this music on a player piano "recorder" way back when,....

    we must all remember that the player piano did not record any form of velocity. The only "feeling" that is true to the original performance is the timing. Not to burst everyone's bubble.. but if any of the new recordings of these "converted to midi" piano roll performances has any dimension of velocities, it was edited by someone, and not the original pianist.

    How I wish the player piano "recorders" of yester-year would have had the ability to recorded the velocity.

    Dan
    Dan,

    From the Pianola Institute, quote:

    The Reproducing Piano
    By late 1904 the firm of Michael Welte & Soehne in Freiburg-im-Breisgau, Germany, had developed a new type of player piano, known at first as the Welte Mignon and this was followed a year or so later by the Dea piano, manufactured by Ludwig Hupfeld in Leipzig. Both these instruments and their competitors have over the years come to be known as reproducing pianos, the other main systems being the Duo-Art and the Ampico.
    Reproducing pianos are so called because they are able to reproduce the rubato, dynamics and pedaling - in short, the complete performance - of the pianists who recorded for them. Nearly all the major pianists of the early twentieth century made rolls for the reproducing piano, and these recordings form an important historical reperatoire of romantic piano music and interpretation, as well as jazz and ragtime. The first era of the player piano came to an effective end in the early 1930s, with sales of instruments all but ceasing during and after the Depression.

    Bill
    Never look at the trombones. It only encourages them. Richard Strauss

    My Website
    Beethoven's Eroica
    Antonio Salieri
    The History of Studebaker

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