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Piano samples that sound good in mono?


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I have decided to start looking for a new electric piano. Has anyone else noticed that these stereo piano samples on just about every keyboard available sound like hell when played thru a mono system or is it just me?

My local store keeps sending me home with different boards to try out and I have the same results as I to with the ones I own. The pianos are very uninspiring when played back thru a mono system which I do often when playing clubs with a house system. What can sound stellar in stereo just plain sucks in mono. Doesn't anyone make good mono samples that would be compatable with mono monitor systems?

John

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Hi, I went through the same situation as you. The underlying problem is this, the piano samples in most electronic pianos are not so large. The only way to get a great acoustic piano sound is to buy a sampler and load in a large piano sample.

 

I own a Yamaha GranTouch 1 which you wouldn't take on a job - too big to move easily, and that piano has a 30 meg sample. I use a Roland A-80 as my keyboard on jobs and have that hooked up to an Akai 5000 with William Coakley's Perfect Piano Vol 3. The sample I use is either 56 or 63 megs (I don't remember). It sounds excellent. The bottom line is - you got to get a sampler and buy a CD-ROM for the best piano sound.

 

I also have a Kurzweil MicroPiano which I keep as a backup and I also have a Roland 2080 with the Piano card - I was disappointed in that card.

 

If I had to do everything over again, I would have just bought a sampler and a CD-ROM of piano samples - period. It's a pain, it's more expensive, but it's the only way to get a great piano sound.

 

I hope this helps. All the best, Dave Horne

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Dave,

Sorry but I have to disagree. The sample SIZE has nothing to do with this problem. The fact is that depending on how the stereo piano was recorded, its mono-compatibility could suffer. Larger piano samples do give you a better representation of the instrument, but don't help its mono compatibility.

 

Specifically because of this issue, Kurzweil offers both MONO and Stereo versions of the pianos in instruments like the PC2 series and K2600.

 

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Mike Martin

Kurzrep@aol.com

Kurzweil Music Systems

www.kurzweilconnection.com

-Mike Martin

 

Casio

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The opinions I post here are my own and do not represent the company I work for.

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I wouldn't guess that the QS8 has a mono sample. Not saying it doesn't. You would know Dave. But, my QS8 sounds terrible in a mono system. If it has mono samples they are not the better ones. Hmmm.... maybe I should go thru and check out some of the samples that I didn't like in stereo in mono.

I don't think any of the jazz piano card samples are mono though.

 

I did play several Kurzweils this week and I did notice that they sounded pretty good in mono. Better than most.

 

Although my 01/w is older than dirt and the piano sample isn't that great, at least the piano sounds as good in mono as it does stereo. My Triton's piano sample sounds horrible in mono.

 

Mono sounding aside, these newer compact pianos are pretty cool. The Yamaha P80 sounds awesome, the Roland RD150 has really nice keys and better action than the P80 imho. The Yammie is a little too heavy handed for my organgrinder's fingers, but a classical guy would probably love it.

My overall fav of the ones I tried this week is the EX88 Kawai.It just felt and sounded more inspiring than all the others, although the P80 was close. They all sounded like hell when played in mono though and every keytech guy at the stores agreed with me. They all said they carry stereo rigs for stage monitors and if the sound man has a problem with that they tell him to go to hell. I guess that's what I'll have to do too. I haven't told anyone to go to hell lately. Perhaps it will be good therapy. I was in 2 different towns this week at the same time they were having tornados. I didn't see the tornados, but it kinda left me wondering what's up. http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

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Originally posted by b3wiz@hotmail.com:

I wouldn't guess that the QS8 has a mono sample. Not saying it doesn't. You would know Dave. But, my QS8 sounds terrible in a mono system.

 

Well, it doesn't have a True Separate Mono Sample, per se...however, try Preset bank 3, program 000 "64 Grand". It is a program written with only the left side of the sample specifically for mono applications, so there should be no phase cancellation or other anomalies. Perhaps that will help.

 

dB

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:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

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  • 2 years later...

"Specifically because of this issue, Kurzweil offers both MONO and Stereo versions of the pianos in instruments like the PC2 series and K2600."

 

Apparently Yamaha P120 does not have a mono sample, so it sounds crappy when played through a mono system.

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I am very interested in this discussion about mono piano sounds.I have tried my Kurzweil K2500 and a Kurzweil KME61 on gigs and I have a difficult time with them in mono.I find that I have to make them very loud in an attempt to try and hear them clearly. I think they suffer from sort of phase problem.

When I switch back to my old Ensoniq TS10 piano sounds I can at least get some clarity and punch even though the samples lack the detail I hear in the more modern Kurzweil instruments in stereo.

Nord Electro Rack, Yamaha S90 ES, Kurzweil PC2 76, Kurzweil PC3
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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

The only way to get a great acoustic piano sound is to buy a sampler and load in a large piano sample.

it doesnt help. I used to play E4XTU live, with ultimate piano Fazioli/Steinway D (each arround 60Mb) and double platinum rock pno (100Mb). Same problem when going mono.

 

It has nothing to do w Yamaha. I had the same situation when i narrowed some stereo pianos for an orchestral arrangement within a DAW. :freak:

thin , egdy, attack only.

 

Triton has the old mono piano, and the new stereo (from EXB8), and the old one sounds great live, crap in the studio. Stereo piano goes the other way arround.

http://www.babic.com - music for film/theatre, audio-post
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The crux of the biscuit has been found! :D

 

Originally posted by clusterchord:

Triton has the old mono piano, and the new stereo (from EXB8), and the old one sounds great live, crap in the studio. Stereo piano goes the other way around.

IMO live sound should always be considered as a different thing than studio sound. And the manufacturers ought think that way too. But they seem locked into a trap they've created for themselves; by hyping stereo as a desirable end in itself, they've lost the ability to create a live keyboard whose strong points include mono sound imaging. For example, Yamaha could have the Motif studio workstation with stereo samples and the S90 'live' board with mono samples of equal quality. Then again I'm just an end-user - what the heck do I know?

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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The Motif, S90 and Motif ES have mono samples available. However you might have to edit your favorite voices to use the mono waveforms as there are only one or two mono voices in the preset voice banks.

-Mike Martin

 

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The opinions I post here are my own and do not represent the company I work for.

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I find that the Kurzweil K2500/2600 pianos sound pretty good in mono, with the exception of middle C and the fifth above it, which, stereo or mono, has a dull 'thunking' sound to it that really detracts from the richness of the overall sound. The rest of the scales sound nice.

I record in stereo, but most of my work gets broadcast over the radio in mono, because the radio station my show originates from broadcasts in mono. Even so, the pianos sound pretty good if I avoid middle C.

Best Regards,

 

Mark A. Weiss, P.E.

www.ampexperts.com

-

 

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That's a terrible range to have to avoid.

 

Originally posted by Mark Weiss:

Even so, the pianos sound pretty good if I avoid middle C.

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.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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The Yamaha P120 and P90 "stage piano" do not have any mono piano samples, so if you don't plug it into a true stereo system live you get a rather thin, edgy, attack only type sound in mono. It's a dilema

So I am thinking thin mono Bose PAS won't be suitable and that I may have to go with a pair of Bose 802s or a pair of Italian FBT 10" powered cabinets to keep the piano in stereo and avoid the phase cancelation that stereo piano samples get when put through mono.

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Originally posted by petros:

So I am thinking thin mono Bose PAS won't be suitable and that I may have to go with a pair of Bose 802s or a pair of Italian FBT 10" powered cabinets to keep the piano in stereo and avoid the phase cancelation that stereo piano samples get when put through mono.

If you use two of the Bose PAS, how is that not stereo?
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Thanks Guest,

 

If I had more money and a roadie I would get two PAS. But two would be over $4000 and a lot more setup. I wanted to scale down my system from the two powered Mackie SRM 450s I was using and upgrade my sound. Two would be just too much for my needs. I am thinking two 10" powered FBT cabinets or two Bose 802s might be a solution.

To use the 802s I have to carry an amp and the Bose processor. I have a Stewart PA 1000 amp so I would need two 802 speakers ($595 each) and the processor ($345) and a darn rack for the amp and processor.

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I see. Compromise is inevitable. You're going to have to compromise somewhere - on cost, size, sound, convenience. It's a tall order to get something that is smaller, lighter, cheaper, more convenient, and sounds better than anything else! I wonder if the FBT's or Bose are going to meet all these criteria when all is said and done, frankly, I doubt it, but if you're really determined, then it's worth auditioning them all, if for no other reason than the peace of mind of knowing that you tried everything possible.

 

Like you, I went through a period of auditioning a lot of speakers, but I finally settled on the JBL 10's, which I'm quite happy with - they meet most of my criteria. There may be something slightly better out there, but I'm done with searching for now, having had my fill of it.

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Here is my take as a studio buff.......

 

Find your best mono piano sound then kick it up a notch with some reverb. The reverb provides extra body to the sound for a fat, fuller stage sound. I've done this many times in the studio for saving a track on the DA88's. I am very pleased with the finished sound. In fact good enough sounding that it makes you think that their is a single mic pick-up on the piano. I have Alesis and Roland sounds to play from.

 

I agree some piano sounds sound really good in stereo, some sound really bad when played in different positions of the keyboard. I hate some stereo sounding piano sounds that shift from one side to the other when cording. I try to avoid those sounds.

 

Try some reverb on the mono sound, you will be very suprised with the end result. You can fake a lot of people.....I did.

 

Jazzman :cool:

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jazzman,

 

I wish there was mono piano in my Yamaha P120, P90 and P250, then I could use the new wonderful sounding Bose PAS. The P250 has one in it's XG section but it's pretty useless. With the Yamaha P series you have to have a stereo amp or it's bust.

 

petros

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