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Piano realism in samples


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Listening to Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion today (the show from Duluth), I was struck by how good the piano sounded, particularly in the last few minutes of the show: a Steinway B, I'm told, that had a lot of presence in the middle and top--not a "rock piano" or a classical sound, but really strong and hard describe. (A gospel piano sound, if that makes sense.) Anyone else hear and like that piano sound?

 

And I had to think that none of the sample libraries that I know, and I don't know them all, sound nearly as good. I was listening to a recorded piano, so surely it's possible to get the same sound in a multisample. Will we get there, or are there libraries that can get this sound? (None of the demo's for Ivory or Galaxy come close, although they seem intended for a more classical, jazz sound, so it's unfair to compare them.)

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Originally posted by Jake Johnson:

None of the demo's for Ivory or Galaxy come close

I haven't heard any oif the demos for Ivory - I just bought it based on hearsay, and I'm amazed at how good it is. I feel it is by far the best piano recreation I've heard yet (especially the Steinway). Until I got Ivory, none of the big piano libraries did it for me at all. Ivory is the first one that really blew me away.

 

Also, one of the problem with any sample based instrument is that you're limited by your playback system. A real piano is a whole lot of resonating metal and wood (not to mewntion the sound of the room/hall it's in), so of course you'll probably find that a sample-based instrument sounds more realistic on a sound system that can really move air than it does on a smaller pair of speakers.

 

dB

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I haven't experimented with Ivory, but I have dabbled with GigaPiano, and found that to be quite nice. I'm not certain if I'd use it as the sole instrument on a recording, but mixed in with other tracks it sounded very real and lush.

 

It fooled a couple of piano-playing friends of mine, at least :P

 

Cheers!

Spencer

"I prefer to beat my opponents the old-fashioned way....BRUTALLY!!!!"
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I've got SampleTank 2XL and Sonik Synth 2 and I can now find 99% of the pianos I'd ever want to hear in those two collections IMHO.

 

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I've got quite a few piano sounds from Proteus 1, 2, but the best I have are from Roland's JV-880, 1080 and the "Sessions" card. They sound okay for recording, but I'd still rather have a 9 foot Steinway Concert Grand, but for four reasons I don't, can't afford it, no room, bother the neighbors, can't move it.

 

Some people will say I can't play it either. :eek::D

Living' in the shadow,

of someone else's dream....

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I agree, the playback system makes a big differece. Beyond that, differences in taste are very real. As far as sampled pianos, Some people need very smooth, detailed pianos that have realistic velocity ranges. Others don't really care as long as it kind of sounds like a piano.

 

The fact that it was a Steinway B means something, but I think it would be fair to say that every Steinway B sounds different. When they're sampled, that complicates matters further because the sound quality will vary dramatically depending on the recording and post-production process.

 

I've heard over a dozen Steinway B piano samples from various companies (including our own), and they all sound totally different. If you were to run a blind test, you'd never know some of these piano samples are based on the same make and model pianos.

 

~Peter Schouten

Pyramid Sound Productions

Specialty Soundware for Samplers

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Surely it's NOT possible. A single note might sound pretty good. But as soon as you play the piano, a whole range of sonic & physical interactions occur between resonating strings and damped strings and case and soundboard, and all that occurs even before room acoustics come into play. There's no way a multisample, with its digital limitations and fixed velocity switches etc, can ever approach the character of an acoustic piano.

Originally posted by Jake Johnson:

[QB]I was listening to a recorded piano, so surely it's possible to get the same sound in a multisample.[QB]

The way to that ideal is physical modeling, but without a market pushing for such a thing there's little incentive for manufacturers to go for it - they will milk the sample market til it runs dry. And today's musicians don't seem to care enough to make the push.

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

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