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Here is the Shigeru grand sound I would like to emulate.



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I can hear quite a lot of similarity between this recording and the SK-EX sample equipped Kawai digitals. I'll leave it to others with greater knowledge of the virtual technician settings to chime in.

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Maybe if you learn how to optimize using Bayesian methods, you can find the right tweaks to more or less mutate the preset upright tone to match this particular grand piano model. As there are so many options to tweak the sound, it might be difficult to chance on the right mods without some sort of optimization strategy. However, can you play like that? Much of what brings out the performance is the players control, which is why dp manufacturers often employ really great pianists to demo their top instruments!

Last edited by Doug M.; 09/06/21 06:01 AM.

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No, you cannot truthfully emulate a 150,000 concert grand with a 5K digital upright. IMHO!

And I’m not referring to sound fidelityquality, or saying that the acoustic is inherently better, but the acoustic (Shigeru) is vastly different and a tad bigger, and this physical aspect cannot be condensed into a tiny upright cabinet.

Yes, you’ll hear something that ‘sounds’ like a Shigeru (virtual), but just like ‘virtual reality’, what seems to be in front of you isn’t really there, and that very real and tangible reality you desire can only be experienced through a 9’ slab of wood sitting in front of you. Once again, I’m not saying it’s better, the acoustic, I’m just saying it’s different.

Try this for a change: sit in front of a Shigeru concert grand with your hair perfectly combed and done, and then play some Rachmaninoff for a few minutes. You will quickly notice your hairdo go to heck, and your eyes ready to pop out; that’s how physically powerful a concert grand can be! IMHO!

Kind regards

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Originally Posted by Doug M.
Maybe if you learn how to optimize using Bayesian methods, you can find the right tweaks to more or less mutate the preset upright tone to match this particular grand piano model. As there are so many options to tweak the sound, it might be difficult to chance on the right mods without some sort of optimization strategy. However, can you play like that? Much of what brings out the performance is the players control, which is why dp manufacturers often employ really great pianists to demo their top instruments!

I studied this piece at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, but not on a piano that sounds like this one. The tone of this piano is stunningly beautiful.


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Originally Posted by Tenor1
I studied this piece at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, but not on a piano that sounds like this one. The tone of this piano is stunningly beautiful.

Are you unhappy with the NV5's tone then? What would you change, if you could?

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Originally Posted by Pete14
No, you cannot truthfully emulate a 150,000 concert grand with a 5K digital upright. IMHO!

And I’m not referring to sound fidelityquality, or saying that the acoustic is inherently better, but the acoustic (Shigeru) is vastly different and a tad bigger, and this physical aspect cannot be condensed into a tiny upright cabinet.

Yes, you’ll hear something that ‘sounds’ like a Shigeru (virtual), but just like ‘virtual reality’, what seems to be in front of you isn’t really there, and that very real and tangible reality you desire can only be experienced through a 9’ slab of wood sitting in front of you. Once again, I’m not saying it’s better, the acoustic, I’m just saying it’s different.

Try this for a change: sit in front of a Shigeru concert grand with your hair perfectly combed and done, and then play some Rachmaninoff for a few minutes. You will quickly notice your hairdo go to heck, and your eyes ready to pop out; that’s how physically powerful a concert grand can be! IMHO!

Kind regards

And THAT'S why I keep my hair short, lol, thanks. I wondered if the sound could be manipulated to create that tone quality. It's the difference between sound and tone.


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It's actually a rather difficult thing to do. Doug M.'s idea is right in principle, but performing the optimization would be quite involved.

It starts with the question of what a grand piano sounds like. Well, ordinary microphones will not record that. Binaural microphones will, however, probably come close. So you have to record a lot of playing on the grand, using binaural microphones.

Then, the most difficult part, you have to supply recordings from the digital piano of the same stuff played on the grand (preferably exactly the same stuff, i.e. the very same timings and dynamics, but even with some variation, a bayesian optimization would be feasible). The difficult part here is that you have to supply this with a whole lot of variation across the available sound affecting parameters. This would be A LOT of work. Probably one would wish to do this programmatically, without actually having to sit at the piano and play all that stuff.

Eventually, there would be enough data to base an optimization on, and that should lead to the best possible emulation of the acoustic grand's sound.

All in all, best left to people who are paid to do this sort of work.

On the other hand, tinkering with the parameters on your own should bring you some of the way - at least if you have an understanding of what the different parameters do.


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I had a certain tone quality on all the pianos of my 515 which i took exception to. I would take exception to the tone on that Shigeru too.
I decided therefore not to buy one, what the heck
Seems it's not yet as good as Pianoteq . . .
But maybe one day this Shigeru thingy will catch up . . ..

Last edited by peterws; 09/06/21 06:56 AM.

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When you guys get this figured out please see my post at AutoWorld.com where I ask how I can tweak my Toyota to drive like a Ferrari. smile

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Hi, Tenor1, some comments from a non-expert that does NOT own the NV5.

On my ES8 the SK-EX is supposed to be the default piano voice, named SK Concert Grand. At least it is what I understand from several comments in the past about the ES8 - why did not Kawai just named it SK-EX I fail to understand (assuming the former statement is correct), maybe they are ashamed of the outcome and do not want to taint SK-EX's reputation. smile

It used to be the voice I disliked on ES8. My favorite is still the SK-5 Grand. But I have been using the Concert Grand (maybe -EX) sometimes and I am changing my mind to some extent about it. On ES8 it sounds muffled but that maybe caused by the speakers and default settings.

All that said, the ES8's CG voice does sound somewhat similar, to my untrained ears, to the voice of the piano of your first post.

On ES8 there are several Virtual Tech settings, I suppose there must be even more on NV5, besides better samples of SK-EX. My suggestion to you would be trying, for example, disabling reverb, changing the Topboard (Lid) and then setting reverb for starters and see what happens.

Again on ES8 there is a brilliance setting, its equivalent on NV5 would be the second (or third) setting I would try.

Take notes, save those that you like the most as registrations (or whatever K call it on NV5), if you do not like them, save them on an USB stick just in case and reset to defaults to start it over.

I hope this helps.


PS: What a beautiful piece! I do like some so called pieces but my knowledge (and interest) is limited and I find several of them boring, but NOT this one. smile

Last edited by EVC2017; 09/06/21 07:17 AM.

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
When you guys get this figured out please see my post at AutoWorld.com where I ask how I can tweak my Toyota to drive like a Ferrari. smile

With all those gears to shift I'd prefer a Ferrari to drive like a Toyota.


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Originally Posted by EVC2017
Hi, Tenor1, some comments from a non-expert that does NOT own the NV5.

On my ES8 the SK-EX is supposed to be the default piano voice, named SK Concert Grand. At least it is what I understand from several comments in the past about the ES8 - why did not Kawai just named it SK-EX I fail to understand (assuming the former statement is correct), maybe they are ashamed of the outcome and do not want to taint SK-EX's reputation. smile

It used to be the voice I disliked on ES8. My favorite is still the SK-5 Grand. But I have been using the Concert Grand (maybe -EX) sometimes and I am changing my mind to some extent about it. On ES8 it sounds muffled but that maybe caused by the speakers and default settings.

All that said, the ES8's CG voice does sound somewhat similar, to my untrained ears, to the voice of the piano of your first post.

On ES8 there are several Virtual Tech settings, I suppose there must be even more on NV5, besides better samples of SK-EX. My suggestion to you would be trying, for example, disabling reverb, changing the Topboard (Lid) and then setting reverb for starters and see what happens.

Again on ES8 there is a brilliance setting, its equivalent on NV5 would be the second (or third) setting I would try.

Take notes, save those that you like the most as registrations (or whatever K call it on NV5), if you do not like them, save them on an USB stick just in case and reset to defaults to start it over.

I hope this helps.


PS: What a beautiful piece! I do like some so called pieces but my knowledge (and interest) is limited and I find several of them boring, but NOT this one. smile

Thanks for the encouragement and I'll have to wait for the house to be fixed from the water leak that caused me to get a new piano.


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Originally Posted by Tenor1
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
When you guys get this figured out please see my post at AutoWorld.com where I ask how I can tweak my Toyota to drive like a Ferrari. smile

With all those gears to shift I'd prefer a Ferrari to drive like a Toyota.

This is interesting: on the one hand the Ferrari is perceived as the ultimate and Toyota is simply the little engine that could, but never quite did drive like a Ferrari, right?

But Tenor brings up a good point: what if I don’t want all that complication associated with a Ferrari? What if I don’t need that roaring engine, nor do I need to ‘feel the road’, show off, brag about, nor feel better than those driving puny Corollas?

So, the question is, which is best for you and not which is collectively perceived to be better.

Can I fit a Shigeru into my Van? No! So, you see, the Corolla (P-515) is ‘better’ for me.

Tenor, your observation deserves to be further discussed in the name of practicality, and though your NV5 will never ever be like a Shigeru, perhaps it does not need be, for it is the best, your NV5, it is the best for you in the same way the P-515 is the best for me.

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Originally Posted by Tenor1
Thanks for the encouragement and I'll have to wait for the house to be fixed from the water leak that caused me to get a new piano.

I forgot you have to wait a while (two months?) before you have it on your hands. I guess there is a lot of anticipation and anxiety going on. smile

Maybe when you finally gets it you will find it sounds just fine. Or not. smile

One thing I suggest is, unless something sounds too off, you just play it for a few hours without changing anything, except perhaps trying the several voices (one advantage of digitals acoustics do not have) and maybe they will grow on you.

Last edited by EVC2017; 09/06/21 07:51 AM.

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Originally Posted by Pete14
Originally Posted by Tenor1
With all those gears to shift I'd prefer a Ferrari to drive like a Toyota.

This is interesting: on the one hand the Ferrari is perceived as the ultimate and Toyota is simply the little engine that could, but never quite did drive like a Ferrari, right?

Who can define who is the ultimate, for me it is neither Ferrari nor Toyota.
I wish I had a Ferrari.....the money from its sale would come in very handy to buy a Bechstein grand piano.
In this respect, a Ferrari would really be unbeatable compared to a Toyota....

Last edited by MBiG; 09/06/21 07:58 AM.

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You do make a point, ‘who gets to determine these things’?

Is there a report that conclusively and scientifically categorizes the ‘Ferrari’ as the ultimate driving machine? No!

So yes, these are perceptions, and sometimes these, perceptions, are simply based on ‘if it costs more it must be best’, but that’s not so clear.

I would take a Toyota any day of the week over a Ferrari, and like you, I’d use the remaining cash to buy something else (not a Bechstein but rather a much needed trailer).


Disclaimer: we are still talking ‘bout pianos and the Ferrari/Toyota theme is simply being used as an analogy; therefore, I ask that the ‘off-topic police’ think twice before issuing any fines for ‘going off topic’!

Yes, the ‘Ferrari’ is meant to symbolize a Shigeru, and, for the purposes of this narration, the Toyota represents the NV5. You see, we’re not literally talking about cars, but rather using them metaphorically/symbolically/analogously! IMHO!

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No experience with kawai or the Virtual Twchnician settings, but if you forget the sound of the piano and pay close attention to the voice of the pianist, you will notice the beautiful echo of a large room. The piano recording is capturing all that echo... That natural reverb is very difficult to emmulate using the processed reverb of the digital pianos.

So, my two cents: this particular piano sound will be very difficult to obtain by simply adjusting the NV5 (or any dp) but easier to get in a VST with good room ambience such as garritan cfx or the synchron VSL series.

Last edited by vagfilm; 09/06/21 08:33 AM.
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Originally Posted by Pete14
Is there a report that conclusively and scientifically categorizes the ‘Ferrari’ as the ultimate driving machine? No!

Yeah, that's BMW's slogan! ///

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Ferraris have automatic transmissions these days, don't they? I think the days of manual transmissions is coming to an end.
Originally Posted by Tenor1
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
When you guys get this figured out please see my post at AutoWorld.com where I ask how I can tweak my Toyota to drive like a Ferrari. smile
With all those gears to shift I'd prefer a Ferrari to drive like a Toyota.

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