• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Topic: Presence in softsamplers vrs hard synths. (Bruce?)

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    Presence in softsamplers vrs hard synths. (Bruce?)

    Maybe it\'s just my imagination, but on my Yamaha S80, the piano sounds seem to have more presence than when I use Giga or Kontakt. It\'s strange--the Yamaha S80 has brief samples compared to those in most of the multisamples on my hard disk, and the S80 has only FF samples I have to soften with a filter, but those brief, \"hard strike\" samples seem to have a force behind\\inside them that I miss when using the keyboard as a midi controller to drive softsamples.

    Is it the samples? Is it my setup? Is there a preamp in hardware synths that gives the sound more presence? Or are the DA convertors on my MAudio Delta 2496 not able to convert as well as the Yamaha\'s onboard DA converters? Do I just need a more powerful amp? Or a preamp between the soundcard and the amp? Or is it the samples? Or is it just me?

  2. #2

    Re: Presence in softsamplers vrs hard synths. (Bruce?)

    Jake,
    while I am not Bruce, i hope you don\'t mind me taking a stab at your question.

    Your convertors are way better than those on the S80 for sure.
    But I agree with you on the fact that there is something about piano samples that have few layers and use filters to soften them up.
    Maybe its just that we have gotten so very used to this sound.

    The Yamaha samples are super super bright. Not just the fact that they are FF samples but Yamaha uses a ton of compression and massive eq on them even before they are blown into a sample player.

    Every synth on the market has some sort of eq built into it. Not just the eq that is accessable in a patch but some sort of pre-emphasis kind of eq.
    Emu is beloved for this but all synths have it to some degree. Probably for that showroom demo hype.

    When we compare to giga libraries it becomes apples to oranges.
    I don\'t believe that most giga libs compress or eq the samples much at all.
    So its sort of like comparing a recording of a piano flat to a piano recording with great Eq and some nice compression on it.
    No contest.

    I have a S90 that I love the piano sound on.
    Wait..... I mean I love the way it sits in a mix.
    In all but completely classical tracks the S90 is still my most used piano.
    I am hoping that with the new Yamaha libs that will change but I have not spent the bread yet.

    hope any of this helped answer your question!

  3. #3

    Re: Presence in softsamplers vrs hard synths. (Bruce?)

    I have no tech things to introduce, but from my experience as piano player (a bit) I wouldn\'t play a waltz or piano concerto on a S80 or such. It\'s just not the feel. But on the other side, banging on the real piano, you can\'t produce the punch that is in some pop songs. That\'s my 2 not worthy cents [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Hansi

  4. #4

    Re: Presence in softsamplers vrs hard synths. (Bruce?)

    To get rid of mud, what frequencies should be reduced?

  5. #5

    Re: Presence in softsamplers vrs hard synths. (Bruce?)

    Originally posted by Jake Johnson:
    To get rid of mud, what frequencies should be reduced?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Mud can appear in a wide range of frequencies.

    Try to think in terms of vision, is the sound focused? try using a sweepable parametric eq and just move the frequencies back and forth with about 5-10 db cut until your sound comes into focus.

    Another technique I use is to put a heavy boost on the eq, about 10 -15db and sweep it back and forth until I find the most blurry sound, then I just lower it as much as needed in order to get a clear sound.

    Good luck,
    Rick

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    5,755

    Re: Presence in softsamplers vrs hard synths. (Bruce?)

    I concur with all the posts here. People have become very used to grainy, filtered-fortissimo pianos from the various keyboards--so much so that they don\'t really know how to get a track from a more detailed sample.

    It\'s all a mix issue. EQ and compression are required--you need to get the \"mud\" out and the \"bang\" in, and you do that by scooping out the mud frequencies then clamping down on the rest of the signal to put it in your face.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    5,755

    Re: Presence in softsamplers vrs hard synths. (Bruce?)

    Same thing you have to do with a real mic\'ed piano track, by the way, except when you\'re mic\'ing for a specific tune you can usually get most of the way there by moving the mics around till you hit the sweet spot. With a sample, you don\'t have that luxury, so it\'s more of an engineering task.

  8. #8

    Re: Presence in softsamplers vrs hard synths. (Bruce?)

    So there\'s no set of frequencies that most often cause mud in a piano?

    My problem, to be more specific, is with the midrange, where the notes on my S80 don\'t have the exact definition I need. I\'ve been using piano samples long enough to understand that there are other issues with the piano samples on the S80, which are too brief in the midrange and interpolated\\stretched over too far a range. My trouble is not the sample length or the interpolation, though. The notes just seem a bit too metallic because of the hard strikes. Using a low pass filter gives a sound closer to what I want, but the notes then have a little too much punch\\compression. Reducing their volume just makes them sound like loud samples played softly.
    So my thought, if I can call it that, is that there may be some combination of a low pass filter and eq\'ing that will give me a good midrange, but I haven\'t found it yet. Can anyone offer some suggestions here? I can experiment with every possible setting, but it would be nice to have some guidelines.

    Maybe I should also ask what causes mud: is it a badly eq\'ed initial recording of the piano, or is it a recording that lets in too much of the low hammer noise or high pitched ringing sound of the sympathetic string vibration?

    Thanks for the tip about the exciter, but I don\'t think it\'s what I need. My experience with exciters is that they\'re good for enhancing the soprano range, and the S80, in the Grand sample, already has a great sound above C4. (That\'s why I don\'t want to give up on this keyboard: the default settings were astonishingly bad. Very short decays. Some very evident interpolation. Apparently Yamaha took the view that anyone buying a synth would know about adjusting ADSR envelopes, and changing the default samples out for other samples, so they just threw some basic multisamples together. My understanding is that they rectified this problem in the S90, where the default pianos are stronger. The S80 seems to require much more initial programming. (And if I can get the midrange right, it may well be worth it. The bass and treble, as I say, are great.)

  9. #9

    Re: Presence in softsamplers vrs hard synths. (Bruce?)

    300Hz give or take is the mudrange. Mud in other ranges is a different problem, usually caused by the wrong parts being played on top of each other.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    5,755

    Re: Presence in softsamplers vrs hard synths. (Bruce?)

    Originally posted by Jake Johnson:
    So there\'s no set of frequencies that most often cause mud in a piano?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Well, this is some engineering 101 stuff...but the mistake you\'re making is believing the problem is the piano.

    There\'s no forumula. One piano might sound great in a given mix, another perfectly lousy, and in a different mix, the situation would be exactly reversed.

    The question to ask is: What about this particular mix isn\'t working?

    The best suggestion was given above. To determine what is muddying up a particular track in a particular context, use a parametric EQ. Set up a relatively narrow bandwidth, and BOOST its response. Now move that band back and forth, and when you hear the muddy frequencies really begin to pop out, you\'ve found them. Reduce the amplitude, and you should hear a lot more clarity.

    Sometimes it\'s not even the piano that\'s muddy. In fact, it\'s rare that an individual instrument or track of any kind is muddy in and of itself. It is only in the context of a mix, where things are getting combined, that certain frequency ranges will get too crowded, hence the mud. You can have muddy highs, too!!

    In short, you just need to listen with a completely unsympathetic ear, and decide what frequency bands are getting too crowded. Sometimes it\'s better to clear out room by cutting frequencies from another instrument, and to give the piano room to breathe in that fashion. Usually, however, piano in a pop mix gets really thinned out.

    The suggestion to add an Aural Exciter or a BBE to the signal is not bad. It is wrong to think of these devices as high-frequency enhancers only. They change phase relationships in the signal, and used sparingly don\'t necessarily add highs. Another trick is to use a de-esser combined with a high-end boost, to get a little more overall sheen without shattering glass.

    This is just one of those tasks in mixing that is not easy. It\'s why people work all their lives to become great engineers. One can\'t expect to just sit down and make it happen. It\'s an acquired skillset--good engineers make it look simple, but that is the result of a LOT of mixing.

Go Back to forum

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •