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Keyscape pianos sound terrible
Old 5th September 2019 | Show parent
  #61
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Originally Posted by kodebode View Post
I was tempted to criticise your comment, because the experience of many others(including mine) is somewhat different from yours, a key example being that so much of what we hear today, is coming from sampled pianos, in one form or another.
this is a very long post and I thank you for taking the time to think it through, but frankly velocity curves are midi 101 and after some 30 years of using midi I would be really bad if I hadn't thought of that. The problem is the harmonic content is not there. The sympathetic vibrations, the way one string sets another ringing, sympathetic resonances, the soundboard and the wood itself ringing, in three dimensions with infinite variations of velocity... The sampling modeling doesn't do anything more than a pale ghost of that. The samples posted in this thread all sound awful compared to even a rudimentary recording of a real piano.
Old 6th September 2019 | Show parent
  #62
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Originally Posted by Philter View Post
this is a very long post and I thank you for taking the time to think it through, but frankly velocity curves are midi 101 and after some 30 years of using midi I would be really bad if I hadn't thought of that. The problem is the harmonic content is not there. The sympathetic vibrations, the way one string sets another ringing, sympathetic resonances, the soundboard and the wood itself ringing, in three dimensions with infinite variations of velocity... The sampling modeling doesn't do anything more than a pale ghost of that. The samples posted in this thread all sound awful compared to even a rudimentary recording of a real piano.
I can't defend Keyscape here — I use and love it for its electric pianos, but agree that its acoustic pianos aren't great. But there are some very good sample-based pianos that I really enjoy playing (some of NI's pianos are excellent), and sampling isn't the only way to simulate a piano. Modeled pianos like Pianoteq (which model the actual physical properties and aren't based on samples) do include all of the details you mentioned.

I have a Roland HP704, which uses their SuperNatural Piano Modeling engine for its grand piano. It's not as deep as Pianoteq, but it does have numerous settings for the physical properties of the emulation — string resonance, cabinet resonance, key off resonance, soundboard behavior, hammer noise, hammer response, duplex scale, damper noise, damper resonance, and more.
Old 6th September 2019 | Show parent
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormchild View Post
I can't defend Keyscape here — I use and love it for its electric pianos, but agree that its acoustic pianos aren't great. But there are some very good sample-based pianos that I really enjoy playing (some of NI's pianos are excellent), and sampling isn't the only way to simulate a piano. Modeled pianos like Pianoteq (which model the actual physical properties and aren't based on samples) do include all of the details you mentioned.

I have a Roland HP704, which uses their SuperNatural Piano Modeling engine for its grand piano. It's not as deep as Pianoteq, but it does have numerous settings for the physical properties of the emulation — string resonance, cabinet resonance, key off resonance, soundboard behavior, hammer noise, hammer response, duplex scale, damper noise, damper resonance, and more.

The point is (and I 100% agree with Philter) regardless of all the technical features you mention and and regardless of how developed those features are said to be, VSTi pianos are not even close to the satisfaction of playing a real piano. Not for me anyways.

Last edited by Toddskins; 6th September 2019 at 11:15 AM..
Old 6th September 2019 | Show parent
  #64
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Originally Posted by Toddskins View Post
The point is (and I 100% agree with Philter) regardless of all the technical features you mention and and regardless of how developed those features are said to be, VSTi pianos are not even close to the satisfaction of playing a real piano. Not for me anyways.
In terms of actually playing the instrument, I agree. The sound coming directly from the strings through the open lid of a grand piano (and all the accompanying resonance) is unbeatable. But as soon as you record that piano performance and play it back through speakers or headphones, that advantage disappears. This is more a matter of not having any way to perfectly record or reproduce the sound than anything else.
Old 6th September 2019 | Show parent
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormchild View Post
I can't defend Keyscape here — I use and love it for its electric pianos, but agree that its acoustic pianos aren't great. But there are some very good sample-based pianos that I really enjoy playing (some of NI's pianos are excellent), and sampling isn't the only way to simulate a piano. Modeled pianos like Pianoteq (which model the actual physical properties and aren't based on samples) do include all of the details you mentioned.

I have a Roland HP704, which uses their SuperNatural Piano Modeling engine for its grand piano. It's not as deep as Pianoteq, but it does have numerous settings for the physical properties of the emulation — string resonance, cabinet resonance, key off resonance, soundboard behavior, hammer noise, hammer response, duplex scale, damper noise, damper resonance, and more.
Yes I have used pianoteq since version 1, and it sounds fake in its own way. To be accurate you should say it *attempts* to model these things.
And yes recording real piano is very difficult and often when the piano is to be mixed in with other things, virtual is completely acceptable. And in many cases a bad real recording will be worse than a virtual piano. But I don't agree that the advantage of the real thing disappears once recorded... It just has to be done well,and it's a challenge worth accepting.
Old 7th September 2019 | Show parent
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kodebode View Post
You have touched on an important point - a sampled piano will not sound exactly like a real acoustic, but like a recording of an acoustic piano through a set of microphones. Absolutely agree with this.
The sampled digital pianos that work best for me are generally those that collapse more gracefully from stereo to mono. Phasing issues that are clearly revealed in mono may also be subtly present in stereo.

Close-mic'd pianos tend to be better in this regard; in Garritan CFX I mute the ambient mics completely and add my own ambiences later.

BX Control v2 is nice for testing and resolving phasing issues. I.e. dialing in some mono-maker on tightens up ACD presets. Also, Gullfoss does some kind of magic that helps focus the overall stereo image.

I haven't tried Keyscape in mono - now I'm wondering how well the pianos hold up?

Sky
Old 7th September 2019 | Show parent
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky View Post
The sampled digital pianos that work best for me are generally those that collapse more gracefully from stereo to mono. Phasing issues that are clearly revealed in mono may also be subtly present in stereo.

Close-mic'd pianos tend to be better in this regard; in Garritan CFX I mute the ambient mics completely and add my own ambiences later.

BX Control v2 is nice for testing and resolving phasing issues. I.e. dialing in some mono-maker on tightens up ACD presets. Also, Gullfoss does some kind of magic that helps focus the overall stereo image.

I haven't tried Keyscape in mono - now I'm wondering how well the pianos hold up?

Sky
An interesting topic - Stereo/Mono piano.

Pianos. From a human standpoint, the number of parameters that interact to change the sound of a real piano (which the player does have an influence over in things like note length, and modifying how short or long notes are sustained with a pedal), are many, and their impact on the end result pretty interesting.

We can safely establish that the goal of reproducing the sound of a real piano in a real room, is somewhat foolhardy, cos in most cases we are using no more than 2 speakers, to simulate a sound that was coming to the ear of those who listened. in the room where the actual piano was played, from an infinite number of points, from many different directions to their ears.., rather than from a limited set of microphones used in a recording.

Especially today, more and more people, especially in pop, rarely hear what a real piano sounds like, cos the audience is listening to a PA, via a microphone, and not to the real thing, and of course all recorded piano is only a representation, where the creators have used creative license to give us a perspective, their perspective of the recorded piano, and over time, some perspectives have evolved as preferred, to become traditional ways of recording and processing a piano sound for live playback over a PA, or any other place where we listen to audio playback.

So the recording is always going to be a compromise, but that is not a bad thing, I see this as a creative opportunity, as there is not one definitive way to record and process a piano...Ultimately what is right then is what sounds right to you and your listeners.

A lot of the established traditions in micing pianos also come from culture, what people over time have come to accept, influenced by what they hear in recordings. We can take creative license and influence culture, to bring something new, and do it a bit differently yet it still sounds like a piano.

Therefore with regard to mono, some things I have tried, by thinking about this from 1st principles.

1. The stereo panning, before checking in mono, has a lot of influence on the monoed piano sound.

2. Also experimenting with delaying one side by a few milliseconds, is also an interesting approach, to simulate a difference in the timing of when sound arrives at one ear in comparison to another ear. While in theory this is exaggerated as the distance between our ears is not that wide, depending on the genre/emotional intent, I've used values between 4 and 10 milliseconds, to good effect.

3. And you can choose which side to delay.

Each of the above, changes the coincidence of any phase cancellations, in the stereo piano sample/recording, and introduces a creative representation of the original recording/sample. and "separates" the left and right audio channels, in the mono mixdown., and extreme separation at about 10 milliseconds simulates a richer "double stringed" version of the original sample.

If the treble microphone is delayed, the bass comes 1st to the ear and it sounds one way, and vice versa, if the bass mic is the one delayed, the ear hears the tinky aspects 1st..

Both great versions of the truth, which hold up well in mono and in stereo. with better clarity. The ear hears more of one side than the other and to me it sounds more coherent, and more lifelike than the stock stereo piano sample. The delay also gives it some roominess like the sound of a piano in a room, even when listened to in mono, this aspect is retained. Cool. It brings the piano more to life, and IMHO, the ear has a much easier job discerning spaciousness as of a real instrument in a real room, via the delayed audio, of one side, which carries over well into mono.

The key is to experiment on ourselves and on our audience. Kinda like being a chef, the customer may just like this new item on the menu, and rather than we trying to be the only judge and second guess what is good, based on our own personal tastes, we try things out...
Old 7th September 2019 | Show parent
  #68
Tui
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky View Post
... in Garritan CFX I mute the ambient mics completely and add my own ambiences later.
So do I. Even though the quality of the recorded ambience is very high and sounds quite natural, I still prefer a decent algorithmic reverb.
Old 7th September 2019 | Show parent
  #69
Sky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kodebode View Post
The key is to experiment on ourselves and on our audience. Kinda like being a chef, the customer may just like this new item on the menu, and rather than we trying to be the only judge and second guess what is good, based on our own personal tastes, we try things out...
Your thoughtful comments just reminded me of mid/side, which seems a better way to treat complex sound sources like grand piano than left/right. The weight of the instrument sits solidly in the middle while sides can be processed for air, width, etc.

Sky
Old 7th September 2019 | Show parent
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toddskins View Post
VSTi pianos are not even close to the satisfaction of playing a real piano. Not for me anyways.
Depends on the piano, depends on the keyboard controller.

Now if you amend your statement to "not even close to the satisfaction of playing a great real piano", then we agree.
Old 7th September 2019 | Show parent
  #71
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Originally Posted by dr_Jezz View Post
Thanks for this but I couldn't open it up after I put it in my user folder (doesn't show) ... maybe I need to update or something.
I am sorry to hear. Keeping Keyscape up to date is certainly a good idea.

Did you move the patch to the correct folder? Have a look at the folder structure in the attached image. You may also have to press the "Refresh Button" at the bottom for the patch to show up.

https://support.spectrasonics.net/ma...anaging-sounds

I cleaned the patch up even more and made it more "neutral". It is labelled LA Custom C7 - GS Special II.prt_key.
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Last edited by Tui; 7th September 2019 at 04:51 PM..
Old 8th September 2019 | Show parent
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky View Post
Your thoughtful comments just reminded me of mid/side, which seems a better way to treat complex sound sources like grand piano than left/right. The weight of the instrument sits solidly in the middle while sides can be processed for air, width, etc.

Sky
Thanks.

I also consider mid/side audio path, as one of the other audio paths, one can use to tweak a piano sample/recording creatively.

Unfortunately many piano libraries do not include a mid/side recording.

However even on stereo sampled pianos, where typically the "cancellation" tends to occur more in the middle of the piano, one could still use mid/side to alter the tone, creatively.

So many possibilities such as :

1. Adjusting the mid/side balance....
2. Modifying EQ in a different way for mid and side.
3. Delaying mid or side.

And combining this with some of the other options, discussed earlier is also possible.

I must admit though, because there are so many ways to alter the sound, what I think tends to happen is, for efficiency, you end up sticking with the methods which require the minimum effort, otherwise it becomes a never ending tweak session.

Here's a mono mix(link below), i.e a stereo recording of a sampled piano, which has been mixed using some of the approaches we've discussed, converted to mono, yet when converted to mono, still retains that realism, and space.....


https://soundcloud.com/olakunleodebo...-it-all-to-you

IMHO, to the average listener, what's key is that the final result retains that intangible signature, and the sonic cues, that say to the ear - That's definitely a piano!, even though a real piano may not sound quite like that.

If I may add, piano sounds are also like clothes, they have changed over time, and are, at each point in time. not the same all over the world, so there isn't one definitive piano sound, with such a variety of current and previous piano sounds all of which are valid, in one context or another, therefore what's key is to arrive at a sound which fits the composition, and as long as the listener can still recognise the intention - aha that is a very nice piano, job done.

I mention this because one of the unfortunate vagaries of music is we end up comparing, we have so much recorded music now that we tend to compare anything we do with what is commercially available. But that is such a difficulty path with pianos, as each original piano is different, and it is pretty hard to guess with complete accuracy,. what processing has been used in a commercial track, or what combination of recording microphones was mixed together.....It can be such a futile effort trying to mimic what we hear.

More recently I got the confidence to break out of this, and focus on creating my own "piano sounds", based on the digital stage pianos and/or computer based sampled pianos, which I own..., and this has been far more rewarding than chasing an ideal that really does not exist. i.e rather than tweak my piano to sound like another, I find a good combination of audio tweaks that emphasizes/highlights the pleasing aspects of the piano sample set.

Probably even more than the mixing/audio processing, is how each piano is played, I consider that each piano is unique. so how it is played should be aimed at bringing out that specific piano's own strengths. The worst thing I have seen is these comparisons of Piano samples based on a playback of a MIDI file - which does not come anywhere near the way in which a good piano player modifies their playing in real time to the sound of the piano in front of them - somewhat difficult to describe in words, this adjustment.
Old 8th September 2019 | Show parent
  #73
Tui
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I enjoyed that, thank you.
Old 11th September 2019
  #74
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Pluginguru has "Kolours" which is a sound bank for Omnisphere/Keyscape which is great
Old 11th September 2019
  #75
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Skippy is a scary, scary man. I have yet to hear anything of his that hasn't impressed me.
Old 29th September 2019 | Show parent
  #76
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Originally Posted by Stormchild View Post
Did a double take when I saw your name. I'm a huge fan! "Where We Belong" is a fantastic album.
Thanks man!!
Old 4th July 2020
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djx611 View Post
Does anyone else agree that the pianos on keyscape are terrible? I was expecting to be blown away like I was with Omnisphere and Trillian, but honestly keyscape has been one of the worst software instruments that i've purchased. I haven't thoroughly tested the keyboards, but the pianos, even their main C7 grand piano sound fake OOTB.

Unless I do heavy EQ'ing, effects, mixing on my end, the pianos are completely unusable. Has anybody else noticed this?
I think you and others that post here re keyscape sounding bad, or any other products, don’t really enjoy playing piano or music in general. I mean all you guys do is find criticism of everything you guys try that I doubt you can enjoy just playing music. I doubt you guys will even enjoy playing on a real piano cause you’ll find something unsatisfying about it and something to criticize about it. If you guys know so much about what sounds right or how it should be sampled then why not create your own samples of piano libraries. I mean you guys talk like your the ultimate experts. Just enjoy playing what your playing and be done when it. Christ if you don’t like it move on to something else jeeeezzz!!! Also what gives you guys here the right to discourage others from purchasing ie keyscape or any other product you guys negatively criticize. It seems like you posters here spend more time finding things wrong about products that you just don’t have time to play. I feel sorry for you people. Because your delusions of what you perceive to be your talent at playing the piano is just that an illusion. Ciao to all you experts!!! And good riddens. I just joined to post this. Now I’ll go back to enjoy playing my digital pianos and my VSTs including keyscape. Keep wasting your time on this forum cause that’s all you guys do anyways and I doubt you have time to play music. Arrivederci fools.
Old 6th July 2020 | Show parent
  #78
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Originally Posted by spade60 View Post
I think you and others that post here re keyscape sounding bad, or any other products, don’t really enjoy playing piano or music in general. I mean all you guys do is find criticism of everything you guys try that I doubt you can enjoy just playing music. I doubt you guys will even enjoy playing on a real piano cause you’ll find something unsatisfying about it and something to criticize about it. If you guys know so much about what sounds right or how it should be sampled then why not create your own samples of piano libraries. I mean you guys talk like your the ultimate experts. Just enjoy playing what your playing and be done when it. Christ if you don’t like it move on to something else jeeeezzz!!! Also what gives you guys here the right to discourage others from purchasing ie keyscape or any other product you guys negatively criticize. It seems like you posters here spend more time finding things wrong about products that you just don’t have time to play. I feel sorry for you people. Because your delusions of what you perceive to be your talent at playing the piano is just that an illusion. Ciao to all you experts!!! And good riddens. I just joined to post this. Now I’ll go back to enjoy playing my digital pianos and my VSTs including keyscape. Keep wasting your time on this forum cause that’s all you guys do anyways and I doubt you have time to play music. Arrivederci fools.
Helluva first post, mate.

This is GearSlutz, where we examine the entrails of gear and software to the nth degree; there are no limits, really, 'cause it's the forum's raison d'être. Your pontification won't change anything.

For the record, Keyscape's pianos sound just-fine to me and personally I don't get the cork-sniffing condescension we see in critiques of piano VI's, but hey, I'm not a piano aficionado so I understand that the nuance such types discuss is beyond my pay grade.
Old 6th July 2020 | Show parent
  #79
Sky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkey Man View Post
Helluva first post, mate.

This is GearSlutz, where we examine the entrails of gear and software to the nth degree; there are no limits, really, 'cause it's the forum's raison d'être. Your pontification won't change anything.

For the record, Keyscape's pianos sound just-fine to me and personally I don't get the cork-sniffing condescension we see in critiques of piano VI's, but hey, I'm not a piano aficionado so I understand that the nuance such types discuss is beyond my pay grade.
As a piano player I tend not to judge products too harshly. I've learned that preferences are very personal. When I had access to a music department filled with Steinway / Baldwin grand pianos in practice rooms, I learned their personalities and had my favorites. In the digital realm, everything can be tweaked. For my 1st-gen S90, I added one simple MIDI note message that transformed both sound and keyboard feel. Then there's the CP70 that sounds unlike a true acoustic piano by necessity (portability). Players accepted its tradeoffs and learned to appreciate its sound on the merits.

Disclaimer: I do not own Keyscape, but have a few other VIs that some may diss occasionally.

Sky
Old 6th July 2020 | Show parent
  #80
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🎧 5 years
I hear ya mate.

I'm still using a late-'80s Yamaha P50-m half-rack module.
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