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I'm using a VST and playing through headphones and it sounds like the dynamic range is lacking. The settings in Garritan are linear curve , which is supposedly what the mic recorded. Is there any way to make it sound more natural?

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Which controller are you using?. Remember that it has also a response curve


Yamaha U3H
Kawai VPC1
...plus some other DPs, synths, controllers and VSTs

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I don’t have Garritan, but all of my piano VSTs have a separate control for dynamic range. This is not the velocity curve. Find yours. This is a fundamental part of the setup.

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Garritan says 50% is the real dynamic range of the piano in the manual, but many players, including myself, prefer to turn that knob up to the 70-90% range

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Originally Posted by napilopez
Garritan says 50% is the real dynamic range of the piano in the manual, but many players, including myself, prefer to turn that knob up to the 70-90% range
Right.

Also search the forums here to see typical tweaks of forum users.

Finally, the type of headphone and amplifier can matter. I like large, over-the-ear, open backed headphones that are easy to drive (so don't really require a more powerful amplifier). There are some cheap Sennheiser 5-- series that are decent values (there are a lot of models in that 5-- range, including closed-back; some are overpriced for an extra cable or colour...I have a post here on the different models).

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Originally Posted by napilopez
Garritan says 50% is the real dynamic range of the piano in the manual, but many players, including myself, prefer to turn that knob up to the 70-90% range
Why does it make such a bigger difference? Does it decrease the lowest velocity volume or changes the curve from linear to curved? I'm trying to understand.

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This is Garritan's description of the "dynamic range" knob:
https://usermanuals.garritan.com/CFXConcertGrand/Content/dynamic_range.htm

This would depend on such factors as the sensitivity and frequency response of your headphones, the velocity curve of your digital piano, etc. So this is one of those trial and error settings.

On my Kawai es100, the 80-90% dynamic range just plays and sounds more realistic.

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The dynamic range setting determines the physical loudness from the softest notes (velocity =1) to the loudest notes (velocity = 127).

If you set dynamic range to its lowest setting the volume of all your notes will be the same (maximum) but the timbre will change according to the key velocity.

Then as you set the dynamic range higher and higher the volume of the lowest key velocity will get lower and lower. Thus increasing your dynamic range.



Why not experiment with your VST settings before you try to understand completely.

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How a normal user is supposed to be albe to get this to sound right is beyond me. I wish it was more like a complete solution where everything is designed to work with everything else optimally and not be such a huge mess... I may have saved money moving from AP to DP but expended a lot of time figuring this out!

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Do you say it is compressed in comparison to what? To other VSTs, to recordings, or to acoustics?
To other VSTs you either increase the dynamic range (volume gain between ppp and fff) or change VSTs (Vienna pianos have more dynamic range for example).
To recordings you can normalize the file (simple way with audacity, or DAW plugins). Does not solve but improves...
To acoustics it is hopeless because the dynamic range of the soundboard and of our ears, far surpasses the dynamic range of mics and common speakers. Compression is inevitable.

Last edited by vagfilm; 01/22/22 03:13 PM.
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Originally Posted by Christopher90
How a normal user is supposed to be albe to get this to sound right is beyond me. I wish it was more like a complete solution where everything is designed to work with everything else optimally and not be such a huge mess... I may have saved money moving from AP to DP but expended a lot of time figuring this out!
"Normal" users don't use VSTs ;-)

A "complete" solution is hardly possible, because it would mean that they have to provide you a specific combination of a midi-controller, amp, speakers/headphones and VST configuration (EQ, velocity, dynamic, etc.)...
Isn't there a manual for Garritan CFX, where they exactly explain all the available options?


keep calm and play the piano :-)
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Originally Posted by Christopher90
How a normal user is supposed to be albe to get this to sound right is beyond me. I wish it was more like a complete solution where everything is designed to work with everything else optimally and not be such a huge mess...

There are no rules saying that 1m/s is such MIDI velocity, 5m/s is such an other velocity, etc. Then you can’t expect to plug a VST on your keyboard (digital piano, controller) and expect the result will match the virtual piano designer configuration.

This explains why you may need to tweak the velocity response curve and the dynamic. Then on the Pianoteq forum you can get some adviced velocity response curves for different keyboards and reciprocally the Kawai VPC1 has builtin curves designed for some virtual pianos : Normal, Ivory II, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys.

However, with the default configuration I am very happy with my Yamaha N1X… and very unhappy with the Roland A-500pro controller (this one is closer to the PC and bought to test tones or play with virtual synthesizers, then it is not a big deal).

Last edited by Frédéric L; 01/22/22 06:15 PM.

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