Has anyone else noticed a serious velocity problem in QL Play libraries? I remember when I first got my QL Pianos and was excited to try it out. When I did, I liked the tone and the ambience, but I was shocked at relative lack of expressiveness and dynamic response when I tried playing very softly. I could hear the change in timbre as the lower velocity layers kicked in, but they just sounded so loud and only a bit lower than the bright high velocity layers. It was not very playable.
Luckily, there is a workaround to this problem by adjusting the instrument's sensitivity settings to a non-linear setting. And it turns out that starting in instrument version 1.0.4, QL Piano now has DYN instruments folders that puts the velocity sensitivity curve at pretty much where I would put it, and greatly improves the expressiveness and dynamic response. But all QL Play libraries need this DYN version, and they don't all have it, despite my repeated attempts at asking East West customer support to do this.
To prove my point about this serious velocity problem in QL Play, just try the following kind of experiments. Play a MIDI file with a loud and soft passage on any sampled pianos you own (like Post Pianos in Giga or Kontakt format, Sampletekk, Ivory, NI Akoustik Piano, Galaxy II, Garritan Steinway, etc.) at linear velocity settings for both the sampled instrument and your keyboard and compare the exact same MIDI file on QL Piano with linear velocity settings. Also, do the same kind of experiment on an instrument like the Oboe in Colossus or PMI Bosendorfer using Kontakt and then the same equivalent Oboe or PMI Bosendorfer instrument in QL Play Goliath. I think you will find in every case that the velocity response with all the other various different sample engines (like GigaStudio, Kontakt, Synthogy, Plogue/Aria, HALion, SampleTank, etc.) works fine with your keyboard's default linear velocity settings and the sound engine's linear velocity settings, with the sole exception of the QL Play libraries.
So again, I call on East West to address this issue or at the very least offer the workaround of DYN instrument folders for all their QL Play libraries not just QL Pianos.
I've seen similar complaints over on the soundonlin[e](*) forums, and there is a very long thread devoted to this very topic.
However, believe it or not, I prefer the default (non-DYN) presets in Pianos. I like using the timbral change for expression, without much volume change. Pianos does have a lot of timbral change with velocity, and I like hearing the soft layers at a loud level. Maybe the default is a tad too low in dynamic range, but I definitely prefer it to the DYN, which is too high for me. One of Pianos strengths is the fact that they have sampled at very low velocities, and perhaps the sound designers wanted to make a feature of this by setting the dynamic range to be quite low - just a thought.
(*) I cannot include the word soundsonlin[e] in my post - the word is stripped out completely. Why is that happening? This is the reason I have included the brackets!
Interesting reply, sullivang. But the starting point for a sampled piano should be realistic representation, and a real acoustic piano has an abundance of dynamic response. Then, there can be various other options starting from there based on preferences like yours or to showcase the lowest velocity layers. I am at least glad they later added the DYN option for QL Pianos (starting in instruments version 1.0.4) which should have been the default option. Just compare to any other major sampled piano. Also, is your preference true for all the other QL Play instruments? Have you tried the QL Goliath Oboe, for example, compared to the Kontakt Colossus Oboe? I find the lack of expression and dynamic response in the QL Play version compared to the exact same instrument in the Kontakt version disturbing. So I just wish that East West would at least add the DYN version to all their other QL Play libraries as they did for QL Pianos.
By the way, at that the East West web site you mentioned, they took down my post on this issue. Not very transparent or fair!
I just installed EWQLSO Symphonic Orchestra Play (well the Strings part anyway...still installing the rest ) and I am happy and relieved to say that the EWQLSO instruments already have velocity sensitivity curves that match the QL Piano DYN instruments. (I am also reminded of the elegant streamlined QL Play interface that really goes well with the whole EWQLSO concept.)
So that leaves at least QL Goliath, QL Gypsy, QL Fab Four, and I am not sure what other QL Play libraries that also need instrument folders with the same QL Piano DYN sensitivity settings.
Some of these libraries do not have a sensitivity curve, but they do have a sensitivity numerical setting. I am not sure what numerical value corresponds to the QL Piano DYN sensitivity curve, but I am thinking something in the neighborhood of -33, but this would have to be confirmed. (By the way, the sensitivity section mentioning a range of 0 to 100 in the Play manual I have is incorrect and needs to be updated. Instruments default to a sensitivity setting of 0 and accept negative values.)
In any case, I am more of a happy camper now, except for some of the remaining QL Play libraries that need DYN instrument versions to be added. But EWQLSO already having the same DYN settings is great since it has so many instruments.