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Since the other thread was shut down, and rightly so, may I suggest to fill this one with thoughts by users on Pianoteq 7.4, particularly the quality and personalization of the new Felt presets including reversing the celeste pedal and adjusting felt thickness, the humanization possibilities within unison width, the revoiced NY Steinway D, the new Concert Hall reverb setting and other changes.

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Good Idea Fleer laugh

I only played a little bit with the felt piano and for the more modern type of music I'm into I like it. I know it isn't everyones "cup of tea" wink So for me I can see using it quite a bit in the future.

The Concert Hall reverb does sound nice to me and it is nice to have it in Pianoteq instead of opening up my DAW of choice for just messing around in. Now the Steinway D I don't know yet as I was playing with the Petrof mostly and the Bechstein DG instruments last night. I'm thinking how I can use the layer and morphing with the felt pianos smile

Peace.

P.S. Please let us keep this thread civil and positive please.


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I'm going to do the upgrade and I only have Steinway B. Anybody know if you get to choose what you get when you upgrade? Is the new Steinway D better than the B? This would be for Jazz.


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You can see how expanding the range of textures that you can get from a piano is essential for a lot of new age artists like Nils Frahm. Nice video about the reasons for building the Una Corda piano (fascinating instrument, would love to play one) and the reasons why he often uses felt and other materials between the hammer and the strings. Likewise great to see Modartt expanding the possibilities of the keyboard rather than stuck in a 19th century based time warp.



Re: on board effects. I don't really rate any of them in Pianoteq except for practice. It shouldn't be a surprise, a good convolution reverb plug can cost more than Pianoteq Studio!. Better for modartt to focus on the piano technology and leave the post processing to the taste of the VST owner. My usual work flow is export clean audio from Pianoteq as a WAV. Import into my DAW of choice, and add reverb, eq and mastering there.

Looking forward to trying out the felt presets this weekend.

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Several months ago I upgraded Pianoteq from ‘Stage’ to ’Standard’, and because I’ve long been an Ólafur Arnalds fan, one of my first projects was to try to create a ‘felt’ piano for pieces like his ’Saman’.

It took weeks of trial and error, firstly because I really didn’t know what I was doing with all of the wonderful new tools available in ’Standard’, and then because I lacked specific hardware: I couldn’t take advantage of the ‘Celeste’ pedal option with my single-pedal Kawai ES110.

I managed a recording for a recent Adult Beginners Forum Recital, but the result fell well short of my vision.

Now Pianoteq has released version 7.4, and I am simply delighted. Not only have the hard-working and responsive developers listened to their Forum members’ requests, but they’ve produced TWO felted versions for every one of their pianos. And it doesn’t stop there; each preset can be just the starting point for further tweaking. The possibilities are endless and I'm going to have lots of fun.

Congratulations, Pianoteq! heart


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I have tried to get the sound before, but I wasn’t really convinced. The feel as compared to something like Noir wasn’t there.

The new presets absolutely fix that, no idea what they did but it’s very convincing. I‘d say it’s on par with the felt pianos of other libraries like Komplete and Keyscape.

One thing that gets overlooked so far is the humanization option for unison. It adds a lot of character to the Piano.

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It's not something I'd use too often, but it would probably go good with some songs I play like Minecraft by C418.

Last edited by qpalzm; 07/03/21 09:30 AM.
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Originally Posted by Fleer
... the revoiced NY Steinway D, the new Concert Hall reverb setting and other changes.

Revoiced NY Steinway D??? Hmmm... I wouldn't be bothered downloading the new version just to get felted pianos (which I don't care about), but a new (better?) version of the NY Steinway D might just tip me over the edge...

I'm always nervous about installing a version that has just been released. Has anyone experienced (or heard of) problems with the 7.4 installation?

Anyone have an opinion on the 7.4 vs 7.3 NY Steinway D?


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Wise words posted today by dev extraordinaire ED over at VI Control about Pianoteq vs piano sample libs:
“I think it's just a fundamental difference in the approach. Samples can never sound like a real piano in a real room, because you get "the room" sound embedded into the sample overlaid on top of each other with each voice of polyphony you add (doubly so in case of multiple mic positions and so on). It really is a collection of snapshots, I would liken it to a mosaic made out of pixels, so you get an image that resembles what the original is, but it's not quite it. Pianoteq on the other hand is a 3D model of the original thing. A "real" physical object modelled in a "real" space, with real physical properties and behavior (which there's no way samples will ever be able to emulate, no matter how much hard drive space you throw at things). That's the difference. Both sound "like a piano", but in a very different way.”

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Originally Posted by Fleer
Wise words posted today by dev extraordinaire ED over at VI Control about Pianoteq vs piano sample libs:
“I think it's just a fundamental difference in the approach. Samples can never sound like a real piano in a real room, because you get "the room" sound embedded into the sample overlaid on top of each other with each voice of polyphony you add (doubly so in case of multiple mic positions and so on). It really is a collection of snapshots, I would liken it to a mosaic made out of pixels, so you get an image that resembles what the original is, but it's not quite it. Pianoteq on the other hand is a 3D model of the original thing. A "real" physical object modelled in a "real" space, with real physical properties and behavior (which there's no way samples will ever be able to emulate, no matter how much hard drive space you throw at things). That's the difference. Both sound "like a piano", but in a very different way.”

Pretty interesting POV, thanks for sharing!


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Anoher thing. Humans generally don't like hearing the same sound over and over again. Until the 20th century and recording it was actually impossible. I wonder if that is why many older people cannot stand the sound of a drum machine but can listen to a drummer? Younger generations have grown up with this an are more tolerant of exact repetition in music? (Could be a PhD there for someone ...) The drum machine is giving you exactly the same sound over and over again whereas a great drummer is giving you as near as damnit exactly the same pattern but the sound can never be the same.

My huge problem with all sampling libraries is fatigue. I find them very tiring to play, and I notice that lots of fans of sample libraries / DP seem to get bored and on a never ending carousel of new purchases.

When you sample, a note, every note on the piano is silent, the note that is about to be recorded as an amplitude of zero. That sounds is then perma frozen. But that is not a very useful musical sound. It is the sound that you could only ever hear at the start of a piece. From that point, every string is vibrating to a greater or lesser extent and every new hammer strike strikes the string when the amplitude is almost certainly not zero, it is lredy oscillating and the new hammer strike distorts the attack before the string settles into the sustain. You can model that, with sampling you can't. And now I have heard it, I can't unhear it. I can't play a sampled DP for more than a few minutes without feeling bored. I feel like I am playing an instrument with all the nuance of a doorbell.

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Well said.

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Originally Posted by DazedAndConfused
Humans generally don't like hearing the same sound over and over again.

That's a good point. I like to move Pianoteq up to about 0.2 on the Condition slider to add some variance to the notes.

The acoustics I've played have mostly been uprights that were very rarely perfectly tuned, so it makes things feel a little more "realistic" to me.

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Don't forget to use the new humanization graph under unison width.
As for the felt presets, I do find these are particularly suited to the Yamaha U4 upright.

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Originally Posted by DazedAndConfused
I wonder if that is why many older people cannot stand the sound of a drum machine but can listen to a drummer? Younger generations have grown up with this an are more tolerant of exact repetition in music? (Could be a PhD there for someone ...) The drum machine is giving you exactly the same sound over and over again whereas a great drummer is giving you as near as damnit exactly the same pattern but the sound can never be the same.

As a musician, I hate drum machines because they have no soul. Rap stripped the essence and heart of Black music (the drum) by using them. You are correct, they are of course repetitive. But mainly, they are what they are - robots.


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I don’t think about how a software piano is made. I only listen to it and judge with my ears. Pianoteq sounds much more repetitive than a sample based library for some reason. Maybe they haven’t modeled that randomness or whatever you are talking about but I’ve been getting this “sameness” fatigue out of Pianoteq since the very beginning and it never changed. The timbre gradually improved and is now much better than what it used to be. But once I start playing some music and lines it gets boringly same pretty quickly. Paradoxically, a sample based library doesn’t cause such an effect to me. I’m wondering how much the prejudice against sample-based libraries is based on assuming that sampling must be bad, in contrast to just using your ears.

Last edited by CyberGene; 07/05/21 04:41 PM.

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My point exactly. It’s all in the ears. And a willingness to “humanize”.

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Yesterday I downloaded 7.4.1 Standard demo (I have Stage, not updated since 7.0), went through NY Steinway presets (I liked 'Unison Wide' the most), played with voicings etc. My observations:
- so called 'playability' is still top notch, it responds so well to what I'm doing on the keybed
- the sound improved since I last tried it, especially low and mid registers
- the 'plasticky' Pianoteqish, synthy character is still there, less or more audible depending on the velocity or the instrument chosen (I found NY Steinway the best)
- no sample-based piano library gives such smooth response or recreates releases, resonances and pedal behaviour so well

Conclusion: Pianoteq is more fun to play than to listen, but I'm happy they are improving with each iteration. I really love the concept od modeling, I hope one day they will 'get there'. For now I still prefer sample-based solutions for most playing scenarios.


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I think I was expecting more from this. Downloaded 7.4.1 and have been playing with the Felt presets.

I have complicated feelings about Pianoteq. I like the Bechstein 282, and I do keep coming back to it for certain pieces. But all of the instruments lack a certain... something from reality. The Steinways I find particularly awful. Muddy, distant, echoic nonsense. But in all cases I can "get what they're getting at" - I can see that they're trying to be realistic, and broadly making progress.

But these felt presets? They sound like synths. And bad synths at that. Comparing against Noire for example, it's just not even close. I can't even see what they're getting at. A lot of them don't even seem to sound like the piano they've felted.

I like the fact they're adding them - I'd love to have a better implementation down the line - but at present this ain't it.

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Originally Posted by AlphaBravoCharlie
- the 'plasticky' Pianoteqish, synthy character is still there, less or more audible depending on the velocity or the instrument chosen (I found NY Steinway the best)
Conclusion: Pianoteq is more fun to play than to listen, but I'm happy they are improving with each iteration. I really love the concept od modeling, I hope one day they will 'get there'. For now I still prefer sample-based solutions for most playing scenarios.

About Pianoteqish character try to use new Petrof Mistral, classical recording preset with some external convolution reverb, move condition slider to your taste and use velocity similar to settings for fast keyboards. I am very satisfied with this settings and lows and overall notes sounds more natural.

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