# Topic: Are 4 velocity steps enough?

1. ## Are 4 velocity steps enough?

Are 4 sampled levels of velocity enough for
an expressive piano?(ignoring pedal down
samples) I\'ve been using giga piano( with
some suggested modifications ) but find
that at certain velocities notes tend to
suddenly jump out making it hard to control.
Trying to play a mf melody line feels like
balancing on a knife edge.

One can add filtering, and of course the
volume varies fairly continuously with
velocity, but I wonder if four tonal steps
are too few. Perhaps it is just that the
samples in the giga piano are not very even
in the recording or patch layout, so it is
hard for me to judge. Another thought is
that perhaps my Korg T1 is outputting a
range of velocities that do not map well
the velocity curves used in giga piano.

Further to this, has anyone thought of using
a Disclavier style mechanical piano action
to create velocity accurate recordings?
fewer samples, then generate interpolated
samples using a non-realime fourier
space interpolation.

2. ## Re: Are 4 velocity steps enough?

I totally agree.

I\'m more interested in something like 8-16 layers.

The question is, are you willing to do without the layers of \'pedal down\' strikes, as 16 layers is the maximum which Giga can handle. My guess is that most computers would probably keel ove if you WERE able to load a piano with 16 layers.

I don\'t think four is quite enough, but I think 8 may be, especially with good filtering and velocity scaling - -which is another problem with Giga apparently.

I\'ve always wondered about the mechanical way of playing the piano. I can\'t see a more replicable way of playing the keys.

Precision in strike force must also become a much more important issue when you get more layers.

You could probably set up a sequence in an audio/midi sequencer with a little audio identifier track which IDs each midi note:
eg the audio track says \"C0 pp\", then the midi track fires off C0 at pp velocity and the disklavier (or that Marantz box which sits over the keys on the OUTSIDE of the piano) plays the note onto the DAT. Then thirty seconds later the audio track says \"C#0 pp\" and tyhe midi track fires off... you get what I mean.

You could just about set the DAT recording, go off and have lunch, and come back to check on it an hour later to find up to 120 samples sitting on DAT, all ID\'d!

On the other hand, Murphy could also pay the studio a visit while you\'re having a beer - and no one likes the way his Law works...

3. ## Re: Are 4 velocity steps enough?

I agree too. I\'ve been doing some Thomas Newmanish type piano stuff with Gigapiano and it\'s very hard to get the notes to play softly.
I had a chord that ends on one song I wrote and I needed to change the velocity because it was still to loud even though I played it soft. I changed the velocity of the 3 notes from 45 to 5 and they still ended up at the same volume and loud.

[This message has been edited by Damon (edited 03-09-2001).]

4. ## Re: Are 4 velocity steps enough?

Damon,

Go to Warren Trachtman\'s site and read what he has to say about the velocity response of Gigastudio. It\'s quite unfortunate, but I think that\'s why you were having problems distinguishing betwen note levels at low velocities.

According to Warren\'s apparently extensive analysis, nothing much changes for the first 25 velocity points, and the same goes for the upper end !!

Maybe this is solved with user defineable curves in V.2....
http://www.wstco.com/gigaissues/

6. ## Re: Are 4 velocity steps enough?

A quick tip on how to improve vel layer response:
If you have a keyboard which can be switched to fixed velocity, try this:
Set vel to upper limit of lowest layer.
play note and switch to next vel which will play the next layer. Try to minimize the sonic difference via response, filter and volume as you keep switching between the two layers.
Ultimately there is no sonic difference.
Repeat the same at the next vel switch point.

Or:
Write midi sequence which does this for you.

best,
franZ

7. ## Re: Are 4 velocity steps enough?

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Damon:
I agree too. I\'ve been doing some Thomas Newmanish type piano stuff with Gigapiano and it\'s very hard to get the notes to play softly.
I had a chord that ends on one song I wrote and I needed to change the velocity because it was still to loud even though I played it soft. I changed the velocity of the 3 notes from 45 to 5 and they still ended up at the same volume and loud.

[This message has been edited by Damon (edited 03-09-2001).]
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Have you tried the Malmsjo Acoustic Grand. It has 4 velocity levels, but the general sound of the piano at all levels is warm and round. It isn\'t very useful for hard and bright passages, but PERFECT for Newman type lines.

Well worth the \$99.00.

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