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Acoustic piano that doesn't get buried in the mix


Rocket Man 2

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I am finding that several acoustic piano patches (that sound great solo) get lost and buried in the mix when I play in a band.

 

So, I end up cutting the lows and tweaking the highs on the piano sound in order to "voice" the piano so that it stands out rather than get lost in the mix when playing live.

 

I have heard mention of this in several threads over the years, but I have been unable to successfully query this topic.

 

So, what acoustic piano sounds/patches (and from which keyboard) do you use that will "cut through the mix" so that you don't sound like mush? What works well for you?

 

 

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The Kurzweil triple-strike piano sounds really good in a FOH band mix, IMHO. It's almost uncanny....

 

Someone started a thread a while back that featured several guys playing different DPs in a band situationand IIRC, a PC-88 (Yes, you heard right!) received a lot of votes. Our own Mr. L and Ian Benamou have posted some nice examples of the PC-3 in a band context, as well.

 

My problems continue to center around getting it to sound good in my monitor. However, for the two-year period of time that I was in a band that used IEMs, it sounded great!

 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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+1 on Triple strike, always works live, and the Rock piano on my SG-ProX its dated but it cuts trough everything, the JD800 piano its also good, not real sounding by today standards but it will be heard on a solo, on the triton, a tweaked patch using the rom sample of the SG rock piano, but it sounds better on the SG.
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I generally don't cut the lows as much as the low mids. Then I may boost high mids and MAYBE the highs some. It depends on the baseline patch I am working with. I also change the EQ some from night to night.

 

But yes I have the same problems on the previous generat Kawai stuff. It sounds good at home though ... which is where it will be staying.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Nord Electro 2 fits nicely in the mix, despite being a piano that's no fun to play.

 

Yamaha S90ES piano is very inyerface, so it doesn't get lost in the mix.

 

TruePianos Atlantis module (software) is also good in the mix. Though it doesn't stand out in a mix as much as the above, it's a lot better piano overall and especially for solo/intro.

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Nord Electro 2 fits nicely in the mix, despite being a piano that's no fun to play.

 

Yamaha S90ES piano is very inyerface, so it doesn't get lost in the mix.

 

TruePianos Atlantis module (software) is also good in the mix. Though it doesn't stand out in a mix as much as the above, it's a lot better piano overall and especially for solo/intro.

 

For rock work I use the Brite program, which cuts through anything. For more mellow stuff I use the Natural program. Both are nice. For a more old school blues song the old blues piano works pretty nicely too. This is on the S90ES.

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A timely question, to be more specific, what specific piano patch on the Nord do people find gets the job done?

 

I ask because my gig on Saturday is on a tiny stage, so I only have room for one KB....and I usually use my XS for piano sounds.

 

Thanks!

Steinway L, Yamaha Motif XS-8, NE3 73, Casio PX-5S, iPad, EV ZLX 12-P ZZ(x2), bunch of PA stuff.
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+1 on Kurz triple-strike.

 

Also, Casio PX3 sounds surprisingly full and "complete" out in the audience. Default Kronos Grand, while somewhat maligned here on the forum, resolves very well in a band setting.

 

Not impressed with Kawai MP4 (don't know how much different more current models are improved), nor with various Roland RD pianos I've used in the past.

 

 

..
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A good room reverb (I use Eventide 2016) goes a long way to making a piano come out of a mix. Use short reverb times not long ones.

 

For live (which is what we are talking about here), I find reverb hinders cutting instead of helping.

Moe

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"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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A timely question, to be more specific, what specific piano patch on the Nord do people find gets the job done?

 

I ask because my gig on Saturday is on a tiny stage, so I only have room for one KB....and I usually use my XS for piano sounds.

 

Thanks!

 

For the Nord Stage88 Classic, I use:

Yamaha Grand (preset #1), straight, fuss with the reverb.

Yamaha Grand (preset #1), tweak the lows down, highs up.

Rock Piano (an AD patch)--it has a lot of compression, good for lead-work.

 

On the XS:

House Piano (it's mono): With the 3 band parametric eq.: lows down, mids up, highs 'way up.

Monaural Grand MW (Voice Pre1 A16) sounds clear.

 

 

 

 

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A good room reverb (I use Eventide 2016) goes a long way to making a piano come out of a mix. Use short reverb times not long ones.

 

For live (which is what we are talking about here), I find reverb hinders cutting instead of helping.

 

While I generally agree, the 2016 room reverb is the exception. Its room reverb algorithm somehow lifts stuff like snare, vocals, and piano out of the mix. A lot of FOH sound guys have 2016s in their rack for that reason.

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Yes, I never cared for the piano sounds on my SP4 by itself. But every recording I have heard with it in the full band mix sounds great.

 

+1 here. Same goes for the stock Wurly and clav patches, don't sound like much alone, but they sure do fit into the mix well. The stock Rhodes, IMHO, sound excellent on their own as well as cutting through the mix.

Turn up the speaker

Hop, flop, squawk

It's a keeper

-Captain Beefheart, Ice Cream for Crow

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I've always found that piano sounds that I pick/modify for a particular pop/rock song sound horrible by themselves compared to the sounds I would pick for solo playing. Much of this has to do with the style of music and the way the piano is processed on the original. When I pick a piano sound for a cover, I don't go for the best sounding piano, I go for the one that sounds most like the original.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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On the Motif XS8

 

"S700 for XS"... no tweaking... cuts beautifully!

 

I have an early XS8. Mogut, where is the above patch. I have never seen it. I wonder if that's on a later version of the XS8.

Perhaps the Motif XF8? I thought I read somewhere that the S700 sample can be loaded into the XF.

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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