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Piano libraries are too fake (opinion)

Sampler and Sampling discussion (techniques, tips and tricks, etc.)

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

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CableChannel
KVRAF
 
1706 posts since 14 Mar, 2013, from Germany

Postby CableChannel; Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:46 am

BBFG# wrote:Finally got Piano in Blue to load properly, Velocity is smooth but seems to have abrupt drops and rises at the extremes of the Piano/Forte. Pianoteq has some nice things about it, but I still haven't found a way to pull down the sustain (as in ADSR sustain) and that makes it annoying in certain styles.


Microphone setup also helps, at least that is my gut feeling. Positioning mics a little farther away mostly keeps the attack but lowers the sustain.
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EvilDragon
KVRAF
 
10200 posts since 6 Jan, 2009, from Croatia

Postby EvilDragon; Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:51 am

Oh, yes. Microphone positioning is where you can really influence on the sound and perspective. This is IMHO the best Pianoteq feature, one that is completely unobtainable with samples.
daExpert
KVRist
 
320 posts since 20 Nov, 2005

Postby daExpert; Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:55 pm

pianoteq in my opinion doesn't sound bad but it sounds a bit synthetic. there isn't the richness that a real piano has or that samples have (to a lesser extent).
HaganeSteel
KVRian
 
583 posts since 25 Jun, 2013

Postby HaganeSteel; Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:00 pm

backsliders wrote:Most piano libraries are focused on getting the most cinematic, flawless grand piano sound one can get. I understand that's a marketing issue, because hey, that's where the money is. Wouldn't want to spend a bunch of money to make a library that nobody with loads of cash would want. Right? People with money want that super cinematic, completely unrealistic, overly detailed, no sympathetic resonance, wider than wide, cathedral reverby piano. I suppose that sounds ideal, but the cleaner it is, the more it sounds like a really expensive Casio keyboard. Less what a piano sounds like, and more like what people think a piano should sound like. To say, if you recorded a song with a bunch of real instruments, and had the piano library, it would stick out like a sore thumb. It sounds really professional and polished, just no one would believe it's real and someone is playing it.

All of the piano libraries I find are far too clean and perfected for my taste. Like, way moreso than if you were actually recording a real live session. Even the rare upright piano libraries are far too clean to sound realistic. Usually sounds more like a muddy console piano than an upright. It kind of has that guitar rig preset problem. It's made to sound good on its own and nothing else. Especially with mono-compatibility. Most of these libraries are constructed to sound really larger than life, so they're almost completely useless and phasey when collapsed to mono or in a full band setting. This is especially bad if you were to use the library to play a gig, where they only take one line out. Most likely, if you listen to any popular full band song with piano (Bohemian Rhapsody, Hey Jude, Coldplay stuff, etc), whether it has piano solo parts or not, the piano will be either in mono, or spread very conservatively.


I haven't read the thread, but I want to jump in here and say you're absolutely right.

This is not a problem with only piano samples. This is a major problem with all samples these days.

This is incredibly frustrating for me too.

Stereo samples reduce the overall usability of the instrument. They kill your freedom to pan things where you want - or even need - them to be, and can just be extremely unwieldy in general.

I hate stereo samples, and I hate how samples these days are just static "photographs" - that have been photoshopped - of their original instruments rather than musical instruments in their own right like how they used to be.
rgemmell
KVRer
 
9 posts since 22 Dec, 2011

Postby rgemmell; Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:33 pm Re: Piano libraries are too fake (opinion)

Pardon me - hope it's ok to pick up a 6 week old thread...

Someone told me today that I should get the Roland Integra 7 hardware module for it's piano versus using any of the piano VSTs.

I've played semi-pro classical piano for a long time and own a Steinway D (physical piano not VST:-). The guy told me Roland's hardware implementation of their piano was the best and that I'd never get the same sense of playability from a VST (stemming from the various issues described earlier in this thread).

Any thoughts?
Funkybot's Evil Twin
KVRAF
 
3776 posts since 15 Aug, 2006

Postby Funkybot's Evil Twin; Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:53 pm Re: Piano libraries are too fake (opinion)

rgemmell wrote:Pardon me - hope it's ok to pick up a 6 week old thread...

Someone told me today that I should get the Roland Integra 7 hardware module for it's piano versus using any of the piano VSTs.

I've played semi-pro classical piano for a long time and own a Steinway D (physical piano not VST:-). The guy told me Roland's hardware implementation of their piano was the best and that I'd never get the same sense of playability from a VST (stemming from the various issues described earlier in this thread).

Any thoughts?


Thoughts:

1. Was this person trying to sell you something?

2. Does this person generally prefer hardware over software?

3. What's their level of experience with good software libraries?

4. Did this person tell you what specifically they prefer about the Integra 7? Does it do anything particularly special?

5. Is this a general consensus-type opinion where classical pianists everywhere are saying "Wow, those Roland Integra 7 pianos sound amazing," or is this just one person's opinion?

6. What hardware controller is the person using? Also, are you prepared to buy one after you drop 2k on this? Do you already have a good piano controller?

7. Speaking of buying, did the person who told you this recently spend 2 grand on an Integra 7? You have to watch out for salesmen, but people who've spent that kind of cash on a product will often psychologically have to justify their purchase, by making the thing seem even better than it really is.

8. Any idea how the Integra 7 produces piano sounds? Is this your usual ROMpler, with a tiny fraction of the memory devoted to useful things like piano? Or is this a multi-GB piano library built into a small rack unit? Somewhere in between perhaps?

9. Has this person ever used a good sample library with a good piano controller? How would an Integra 7 stack up against the Ivory Grand and Upright piano libraries with a good piano controller? The Ivory's would certainly be cheaper. My personal suspicion is that they'd sound and play better too.

10. What kind of music does this person make?

11. What kind of piano sounds does this person like? Any other hardware instruments or virtual piano sounds they like (i.e. do you have similar taste, and is their opinion on sound credible for you)?

12. Finally, who knows...could be good. Ask around. :wink:
Brother Charles
KVRian
 
744 posts since 2 Jan, 2012, from Alberta, Canada

Postby Brother Charles; Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:34 pm Re:

aMUSEd wrote:You just described TruePianos

+100
Just sayin . . .
4Front Technologies’ True Pianos Review – TRUE PIANO Modelling!
Thanks & God Bless,
Bro. Charles
Reviewer's Revival Blogsite | Facebook
rgemmell
KVRer
 
9 posts since 22 Dec, 2011

Postby rgemmell; Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:18 pm Re: Piano libraries are too fake (opinion)

Funkybot's Evil Twin,
Thanks - very funny and a lot of good points. Yes, a sales person so good reason to be cautious.

You bring up a good point: what would you (or anyone) suggest for the best controller that provides something close to a real piano feel and brings out the best in piano VSTs?

I have an old 88 weighted keys controller but a couple of keys are flaky so I'm in the market.

I know I won't get what I'm used to playing (stiff but awesome concert grand action) but that's ok since I'm not doing hardcore classical music on it.
BBFG#
KVRAF
 
3849 posts since 28 Apr, 2013

Postby BBFG#; Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:14 pm Re: Piano libraries are too fake (opinion)

rgemmell wrote:Funkybot's Evil Twin,
Thanks - very funny and a lot of good points. Yes, a sales person so good reason to be cautious.

You bring up a good point: what would you (or anyone) suggest for the best controller that provides something close to a real piano feel and brings out the best in piano VSTs?

I have an old 88 weighted keys controller but a couple of keys are flaky so I'm in the market.

I know I won't get what I'm used to playing (stiff but awesome concert grand action) but that's ok since I'm not doing hardcore classical music on it.


I'm seeing some NAMM stuff being posted that looks like a couple of companies are improving (or maybe just repackaging) their controllers. I'm waiting until after the show to see what pops up.
Sequent
KVRAF
 
2565 posts since 13 Feb, 2001, from What do you care? :)

Postby Sequent; Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:02 pm Re: Piano libraries are too fake (opinion)

If you're specifically interested in the Integra you may also want to take a look at this:

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/FA08/

We should have more info over the next couple days, I'm sure.
Spacey stuff: www.myspace.com/sequent7
Cloudy stuff: www.soundcloud.com/sequent7

Available on iTunes and at Amazon.
BBFG#
KVRAF
 
3849 posts since 28 Apr, 2013

Postby BBFG#; Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:50 pm Re: Piano libraries are too fake (opinion)

FA-08 88... no aftertouch.
kpr
KVRian
 
502 posts since 12 Oct, 2002, from Germany, mainly

Postby kpr; Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:19 am Re:

HaganeSteel wrote:
backsliders wrote:Most piano libraries are focused on getting the most cinematic, flawless grand piano sound one can get. I understand that's a marketing issue, because hey, that's where the money is. Wouldn't want to spend a bunch of money to make a library that nobody with loads of cash would want. Right? People with money want that super cinematic, completely unrealistic, overly detailed, no sympathetic resonance, wider than wide, cathedral reverby piano. I suppose that sounds ideal, but the cleaner it is, the more it sounds like a really expensive Casio keyboard. Less what a piano sounds like, and more like what people think a piano should sound like. To say, if you recorded a song with a bunch of real instruments, and had the piano library, it would stick out like a sore thumb. It sounds really professional and polished, just no one would believe it's real and someone is playing it.

All of the piano libraries I find are far too clean and perfected for my taste. Like, way moreso than if you were actually recording a real live session. Even the rare upright piano libraries are far too clean to sound realistic. Usually sounds more like a muddy console piano than an upright. It kind of has that guitar rig preset problem. It's made to sound good on its own and nothing else. Especially with mono-compatibility. Most of these libraries are constructed to sound really larger than life, so they're almost completely useless and phasey when collapsed to mono or in a full band setting. This is especially bad if you were to use the library to play a gig, where they only take one line out. Most likely, if you listen to any popular full band song with piano (Bohemian Rhapsody, Hey Jude, Coldplay stuff, etc), whether it has piano solo parts or not, the piano will be either in mono, or spread very conservatively.


I haven't read the thread, but I want to jump in here and say you're absolutely right.

This is not a problem with only piano samples. This is a major problem with all samples these days.

This is incredibly frustrating for me too.

Stereo samples reduce the overall usability of the instrument. They kill your freedom to pan things where you want - or even need - them to be, and can just be extremely unwieldy in general.

I hate stereo samples, and I hate how samples these days are just static "photographs" - that have been photoshopped - of their original instruments rather than musical instruments in their own right like how they used to be.





Thanks for telling that.

This is exactly why I've produced The Konzertflügel. My post now is no promotion for this product, it just explains what I did.

I recorded a Grand Piano that is used for stage performance purposes. It sounds a bit rough, is powerful to cut through within an ensemble too, has a strong bass and upper range but a pretty mild mid range that doesn't disturb lead vocals. It is somewhere imperfect too, but it is as it is and I didn't overpolish it when doing the sample editings.

It's recorded stereo, but not the left (bass) right (upper range) stereofield. The 90° angle stereo mics where placed about 3 meters distance to the GPs stage position and captures the room a bit.

All in all it is that what I even personally was looking for since long. It's characterful and not useable as everybody's darling, but fine for specific songs though.

Here's a youtube clip where I played in live with two hands, no multitrack, no MIDI note editing, the pure true instrument.

http://youtu.be/VlExslM-LW4

Thanks for reading.
http://www.backintimerecords.de
-Sound Research & Development-
rgemmell
KVRer
 
9 posts since 22 Dec, 2011

Postby rgemmell; Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:30 am Re: Piano libraries are too fake (opinion)

Kawai VPC1 seems to get the best reviews for a piano controller. Weighs a ton (65 lbs.) which is I guess what you'd expect. No mod wheel - so it's a pure piano keyboard.
Sequent
KVRAF
 
2565 posts since 13 Feb, 2001, from What do you care? :)

Postby Sequent; Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:07 am Re: Piano libraries are too fake (opinion)

Thank you for noticing that and pointing it out. There's always a "gotcha", isn't there?

BBFG# wrote:FA-08 88... no aftertouch.
Spacey stuff: www.myspace.com/sequent7
Cloudy stuff: www.soundcloud.com/sequent7

Available on iTunes and at Amazon.
bigcat1969
KVRian
 
549 posts since 30 Jul, 2013

Postby bigcat1969; Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:22 pm Re: Piano libraries are too fake (opinion)

Playing with pianos as you all do. How many velocity layers do you want? I'm a newbie with crumbie ears but honestly I want one good banger level with the piano shaking, one with a bit of power and then something soft and I'm fairly happy. Then again I think the Black Grand Ambient is the best digital piano I've ever heard and its forever old.
Thanks for all the thoughts on the thread it is an interesting read.
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