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Topic: Noise in the Steinway around 7k

  1. #1

    Noise in the Steinway around 7k

    Hi Everyone -

    I just recorded a solo piano piece with the Steinway using the Under the lid settings and I get a very loud fssssss sound around 7k in the middle range of the piano. Anyone else hearing this in their samples?


  2. #2

    Re: Noise in the Steinway around 7k

    Hi kc,
    I haven't run into many problems with under the lid. It's by nature a relatively low noise position since the mics are situated close to the soundboard.
    I wonder if maybe it's an older version problem? Prior to v1.03 the sustain resonance could produce an effect that sounded somewhat like what you describe. If you don't have v1.04 I'd suggest for you to download it - it might fix the problem for you.

  3. #3

    Re: Noise in the Steinway around 7k

    I just bought the Garritan Steinway Professional version and installed the 1.04* update (using Windows 7 64bit). I hear the sound too and it's really bugging me! I'm trying to compose a softer piece and the "fsss" sound is very noticeable at lower velocities (and mainly in the lower range from B0 to E2).

    I'm using the Under the Lid perspective (24bit) but I've noticed the sound in all perspectives (including Classic perspective at 16 bit).

    Specifically, E2 at 1 to 33 velocity is the main offender. Other notes don't even have the hiss, but when you turn the volume up it's a very obvious sound on notes like E2.

    It doesn't seem to be the sustain resonance as it only sounds initially when the note is played, then disappears as the note rings out on E2. B0 is different as the hiss sounds throughout the sustain (the same type of hiss). It seems like all the D#s have the hiss.

    Could it simply be noisy samples?

    I love the sound of the Garritan Steinway but to complete this recording the hiss is too distracting so I may have to look at getting an alternative program

  4. #4

    Re: Noise in the Steinway around 7k

    Quote Originally Posted by zactheo View Post
    I just bought the Garritan Steinway Professional version and installed the 1.05 update.
    Uh, 1.05 update? What's he talking about? Is 1.05 available?

  5. #5

    Re: Noise in the Steinway around 7k

    Sorry I meant 1.04!
    Also, I'm using Garritan Steinway through Cubase as a VST instrument - whether that effects things somehow? I presume it shouldn't...

  6. #6

    Re: Noise in the Steinway around 7k

    I'll look into B0 to E2 at the low velocities for the next update, with particular attention to E2 as you mention. There's certainly noise in the samples - it's always there to some degree with recorded sound even with noise reduction. We've gotten a lot better with noise reduction in the last few years, but even with the Steinway released a few years back the noise is lower than raw recordings. The mic perspectives out in the audience will be susceptible to noise, since there's less signal (relative to noise) at that distance, but the Under the Lid perspective won't be particularly susceptible to noise since the mics are only a foot or two at the most from the soundboard.
    That said, I still believe you are hearing the noise in the samples. If you play only very softly and turn the volume way up with headphones (which I don't suggest, if only to save your ears in case you accidentally play a loud note), noise will be really loud and noticeable. I think we could maybe get away with it a little more these days, but we had in mind for people to play using close to normal volume levels for a piano - if it would physically hurt your ears to play a double or triple forte, then the volume level is higher than we intended. I think it's completely valid for you to want to play and record softly (using no loud notes at all) and turn the volume up, but it's not something this version of the Steinway will be particularly well suited to do. The Under the Lid will be the best option for such a case though. For what it's worth, I expect you'd find the noise level challenging in a real recording too.
    But all that said, there's ways to improve things a bit when we use samples - one old trick is to use higher dynamic samples and low pass filter them while reducing volume, to emulate softer dynamics. I tend not to do a lot of that because it sacrifices authenticity, though it's one easy way to reduce noise (and historically also the number of samples required). So anyway there's multiple tools in the toolbox that can help a little.
    I'll still see if I can improve things somewhat for those samples B0 to E2 you mentioned and I'll change them where it makes sense.

  7. #7

    Re: Noise in the Steinway around 7k

    Hi Jeff, thanks for the reply!

    I understand the amount of work you've put into this program and what you have achieved with the sound. I really appreciate that you strive to maintain as real a sound as possible and what this involves.

    As it is a select number of notes that have the more obvious 7k hiss, I believe if you can improve the noise on these more obvious samples it'll make a great difference. The samples don't sound bad of course, but it does become distracting when listening to a piece where those particular lower velocity samples frequent regularly throughout the piece - it sounds a bit like there is something in the background blowing compressed air.

    Perhaps beacuse it isn't a constant background sound this is why it is more distracting - if it were constant room noise/hiss it would be different. E2 in "under the lid perspective" is the best example I've come across where it is like a short burst of air in the background - after the first second the noise disappears as the note rings out (almost like a noise gate on the 7k hiss is activated with a slow attack?).

    Anyway, thankyou again for the feedback, I really appreciate the effort. Good luck with the work,

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