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Triton Studio/Extreme --- quality of pianos?


MrVegas

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Almost everybody loves Yamaha pianos.

 

I just had knee surgery so it's not possible for me to audition any boards for a few weeks.

 

On a scale of 1 to 10, how are the acoustic pianos on the Triton line? Thin? Sucky? Marginal? Not as bad as people say?

 

Please, enlighten me.

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

Kronos 88, Korg CX-3, Motion Sound KBR-3D

 

 

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I like the Acoustic Pianos on both the Triton Studio and the Extreme. Korg has greatly improved the Pianos compared to the original Triton Classic IMO. Another great thing about the Extreme is the Organs. There are many excellent Organ patches on the Extreme. And the Vacuum Tube really does add some warmth to the sounds.

 

Another Board with excellent Acoustic Grands is the Fantom X series.

 

My advice though is don't buy until you try them first. Or if you have to have one now then make sure you get a 30-45 day return guarantee from the place you purchase it - (online retailer, etc.) Just in case it doesn't work out.

 

PS: If you basically just play Piano then you may want to consider the GEM Pro Mega3. It has an excellent acoustic Grand too. Plus you'll get 320 notes of true Polyphony to go along with it which is the most of any Keyboard on the market as far as I know. But it is one heavy beast at just under 67 lbs., and you might not fare too well with it after knee surgery and all especially if you Gig and have to transport it yourself. ;) On the other hand, the Fantom X7 for example, weighs in at a mere 32 lbs. - over 10 lbs. less than the Motif ES7 and over 5 lbs. less than the Triton Extreme 76 key. If you have to have 88 keys the Triton Extreme 88 is the lightest of the bunch at 62.83 lbs.

 

PS: Until the knee heals it would be wise to "set it and forget it" though. Or have a roadie transport it for you. ;)

Mike
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Mr Vegas, a highly subjective topic and keyboard players are finnicky.

I have the Extreme, Triton Classic, Rd 700 and FAntom XR.

If the Fantom X piano is a '9' , the Extreme

is a '7'.

I have posted this a number of times; it seems easy to solve for better acoustic pianos in the Studio/Extreme since both handle full AKAI samples. Ksounds has nice acoustic piano samples. They have web demos.

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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GregC,

Not to take this off-topic or away from the original question but can you comment more on the Fantom X piano which you gave a '9'? I'm assuming you are saying this is the best piano sound among the boards you have? Do you have any information about this sample, which I understand is new (and probably created because of the debates about the SRX-02)? Keyboard Mag implied the sample was large (saying the increased memory on the board is largely to accomodate the new piano sound) and some folks I trust say this one is fantastic. I have an RD-700 and actually really like the SRX-02, though I acknowledge its limitations (I am mentally composing a review to post) so I am also imagining this sound could come out on a card (perhaps a Concert Piano II). But basically I just wondered whether you (or anyone else, for that matter) could talk more about your opinion of the character, etc. of the Fantom X piano sound.

Chaso

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hey chaso, I can give you a brief answer since I have to dash off to work ( thats how I pay for all this equipment).

The Fantom X sample is from a Steinway. Its 128 meg , 3 or 4 velocity layers, it has a bright sound. It is a big improvement to the thunky, compressed XV acoustic piano. Much better info on the X piano at Rolandus.com

Like you, I have the SRX 02 and I like the warm sound of this SRX piano. It does sound somewhat compressed in the middle section or key range, I think this is due to the 64 meg sample size.

What I enjoy is mixing/layering the SRX 02 piano and X Steinway. It sounds very nice with the Rd 700. In my mind and ears, this is a '10'

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the Korg program structure is still limited to four way mono sample velocity switching or two way stereo. Yes, you could program more velocity levels using combis but that not commonly done for piano and rhodes patches. I had an Extreme on trial for a few weeks and after looking at all the multisamples I don't think you can find three or four level versions of anything. A two level velocity switch stereo piano is going to be a real challenge to make sound smooth. Roland and Yamaha allow four velocity stereo and I think Kurzweil is even more. The strength of the Korgs, IMHO, is combi more for the more complex timbres.

 

Busch.

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For me, the measure of an excellent piano sound is one that I do not tire from. I owned the Kurzweil MicroPiano for many years and while that was the best at the time, I was never 100% happy with it and I tired rather quickly from it on a job. For some reason it always sounded better when someone else played it and I just listened. When I played it, I was always a bit irritated with it. I am also pretty fussy I should add.

 

I bought the Piano Expansion card for the Roland JV2080 and was disappointed with the piano sound there as well. The Kurzweil was better than that.

 

You can assign numbers to a sound, but unless you are 100% happy with it, a 7, 8 or even a 9 ain't gonna cut it.

 

I'm pretty sure I could practice an entire day on the piano sound in the P250 (which I just bought) without tiring from it. (The sample in the GranTouch series is the finest I have every played and I never tire from it.)

 

An excellent piano sound is the most difficult to achieve because of the amount of memory it needs for the 25 to 30 samples (every three notes or so for an 88 keyboard) and then times that by the number of layers, two or three layers - that's a lot of memory and they do have to cut corners to squeeze all of that onto a chip.

 

I am still surprised that Yamaha has not marketed their version of a 'MicroPiano'. I know I didn't answer your question, but I hope I gave you something to think about just the same. I should also add that my use of a sample is usually for a solo job and a less than excellent sample does tend to tire one's ears rather quickly, at least it does for me. If you are not a solo keyboard player and just want a decent sound for once in a while, ignore all that I just wrote.

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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Thats a good point about the MicroPiano, Dave.

I think its a shame that Y/R/K don't invest in

making more EXB's, SRX's , etc.

My gut feel is that burning sounds into ROMS and all the marketing costs makes it cost prohibitive from a manufacturing perspective. In other words, they can't count on enough sales volume to justify the expense. That might be the answer to the Y MicroPiano.

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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I feel that Korg's pianos have improved over the years, but I still feel they have a long way to go in quality. The Triton Extreme's main grand piano is a new Steinway Grand Piano, so it is a nice alternative the the Bosendorfer they have on their Triton's. I mean, compare the Triton to a Motif ES and you will see what I mean by the korg "lacking in quality".

 

So, I would have to rate korgs pianos maybe a 5 out of 10, just becuase the clarity and quality of the Trton's pianos are not great, and they should be much better.

 

Regards,

p120dUdE

My Gear: Yamaha P120 Professional Stage Piano, Yamaha CS1x Synthesizer, Yamaha MSP5 Monitors, Behringer Eurorack UB802 Mixer

Music I Play: Classical, Jazz, Blues, Classic Rock, Rock

 

The Yamaha P120 Pro. Stage Piano is absolutely superb, fantastic, awesome! It rocks!

 

Chris M.

West Brook Music Studio, New England USA

Yamaha P120 Specialist

 

My Synth Group

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I had a feeling that we would hear the objective opinion of the Triton Extreme from

a Yamaha digital piano owner

: D

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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Haven't used the Extreme much, but I have played the Studio quite a bit, as well as the EXB Piano board, which shares the same sample.

 

It's a distinct improvement over the stock Triton piano, but I found that my excitement with it wore off quickly. It hates being summed to mono, for instance. There are a few song applications where it works really well, but it's not a great all-arounder. It's a little heavy in the midrange without the accompanying warmth one would expect.

 

The Fantom X piano is pretty good for a stocker, but I still like the Motif ES piano a bit better. The Fantom X piano is great for playing with a band, meaty midrange and such. As a result, it cuts through better than the SRX piano does, but I still like the SRX better for solo stuff.

 

The killer thing about the Fantom X is the user interface. A whole new level, and it makes my ES seem dated by comparison.

 

I wouldn't buy a Triton for the piano sound (I still have my Triton Rack, but sold my Pro-X a while ago). If I were to buy one again, it would be for the other sounds, and I'd put up with the piano sound.

Current live rig: Roland RD700SX, Hammond XK-3 with Leslie System 21, and Muse Receptor. Also a Nord Stage 76 other times instead. And a Roland FP-7 for jazz gigs.

HOME: Kawai MP8 + a bunch of VI's.

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My comments are general. A sound can be classified as good or not good only in context. A "good" piano sound for Great Balls Of Fire might sound horrible on the Moonlight Sonata, and vice versa.

 

7? 9? In what CONTEXT? Rock? Pop? Rock and roll? Smooth jazz? Easy listening? Live? Recording?

 

I have some HUGE sampled pianos, and I have lots of Korg, Roland, Kurzweil sampled pianos. Sometimes the little tinny ones sound better than the huge samples. It's all in the context.

 

If you audition a board in a store, and the sound is very subtle and detailed, it might get lost on stage with your band in the kind of music that you like to record. There is no such thing as a "good" or "bad" piano sound, only sounds that match your situation well and sounds that miss the mark in your playing context.

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

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Originally posted by Dan South:

My comments are general. A sound can be classified as good or not good only in context. A "good" piano sound for Great Balls Of Fire might sound horrible on the Moonlight Sonata, and vice versa.

 

7? 9? In what CONTEXT? Rock? Pop? Rock and roll? Smooth jazz? Easy listening? Live? Recording?

 

I have some HUGE sampled pianos, and I have lots of Korg, Roland, Kurzweil sampled pianos. Sometimes the little tinny ones sound better than the huge samples. It's all in the context.

 

Dan, out of curiosity, those _huge_ piano samples you have, are you 100% happy with them? Would you, could you, just use the huge samples to replace an acoustic piano for every day use?

 

I ask because I bought (years ago) the Wm. Coakley's Perfect Piano VOl 3 where the largest sample was about 60 megs or so, and I was never really happy with it. I assumed the 'problem' was the combination of my controller with my sampler. I tried changing the velocity settings and I would sometimes just use the Kurzweil MicroPiano in its place and I wasn't 100% happy with that either.

 

Those huge samples you have, are you entirely happy with them?

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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FWIW, here's my opinion:

 

Choice of acoustic pianos is a very subjective thing. What's perfect for me, may turn you off completely. However, with that in mind:

 

My current first choice is the Motif ES, followed by the Fantom-X, and lastly, the Triton Extreme. IMHO the pianos on the Triton Studio are laughable, and shouldn't even be considered. Nor do I think much of the Roland expansion board, unless you want a piano that sounds like a very old, quirky, mellow piano, though of course it is a big improvment on the pianos on the XP series, or anything prior.

 

That being said, I'm going to still purchase the upcoming K-Sounds pianos for the Motif series. (They're also already available for the Triton and Kurzweil as well.) I think that they'll be a much needed improvment to even the Motif ES series.

 

That's my personal opinion. But I really believe that when you're back up and around, you really need to try these for yourself.

 

Best of luck with your recuperation!

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I would classify them as better than past Korg Workstation piano's, but not yet competing with Roland and Yamaha. I have not played with a Fantom X enough to decide if the new piano is better than what I have one the Motif ES. Usually a workstation has one large piano sample set along with a few very small sample sets, and then they use filters to create a variety of patches. The Fantom X comes with a new, large sampled piano, retains the earlier samples from older JVs and XVs, and has the option of adding the 64 meg card. That gives you a bit of variety and two large sample sets to choose from. But, with any of them you can load up a good sampled piano. Sometimes I think it would be nice to set up my ES to automatically load a 500 meg piano when I turn it on, but I dont even know of a better sampled piano for the ES.

 

Robert

This post edited for speling.
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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

Dan, out of curiosity, those _huge_ piano samples you have, are you 100% happy with them? Would you, could you, just use the huge samples to replace an acoustic piano for every day use?

 

I ask because I bought (years ago) the Wm. Coakley's Perfect Piano VOl 3 where the largest sample was about 60 megs or so, and I was never really happy with it. I assumed the 'problem' was the combination of my controller with my sampler. I tried changing the velocity settings and I would sometimes just use the Kurzweil MicroPiano in its place and I wasn't 100% happy with that either.

 

Those huge samples you have, are you entirely happy with them?

Dave, It's an interesting question. I'll say...it depends. I have the Bosendorfer 290, among others. The Bos is amazing. If someone else were playing it, or if I heard a recording, it would be difficult for me to tell it from the real thing in a blindfold test.

 

That said, no sampled piano is an EXACT replica of a real piano, no matter how many layers and gigabytes it comprises. Sampling technology loses something. Sit in a room and play even a cheap piano, and there's something intangible in the sound that cannot be replicated by a set of loudspeakers.

 

I notice more difference when I actually PLAY the sounds myself. The layers become noticeable, although you can tweak your MIDI response curves to smooth them out to some degree. Another odd thing in sampled pianos is note retriggering. If you hold the sustain pedal and play middle C three times, you get three voices playing middle C simultaneously. Acoustic pianos don't work this way. One middle C note REPLACES the previous one.

 

Am I happy? Ecstatic. Is it the same as a real piano? No. Is it amazing and incredibly useful and an absolute steal for the price? You bet! Is it my first choice for every project? No - the sound fits into some arrangements better than others.

 

How's that for hedging?

 

;)

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

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I think the debate about acoustic piano quality

in digital keyboards will continue for another 5 years.

 

I just purchased a 52" U3 Yamaha Upright. Nothing like the real thing.

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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Originally posted by GregC:

I think the debate about acoustic piano quality

in digital keyboards will continue for another 5 years.

 

I just purchased a 52" U3 Yamaha Upright. Nothing like the real thing.

52 inches high? I bought a 48" Yamaha upright and that was the tallest at the time (1970). I read that a 50" version existed in Japan but never heard of a 52" version until now.

 

I was very happy with the sound of my 'full' sized upright, so I can imagine that you must be very happy with yours. Congrats!

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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Originally posted by GregC:

I think the debate about acoustic piano quality

in digital keyboards will continue for another 5 years.

 

I just purchased a 52" U3 Yamaha Upright. Nothing like the real thing.

Greg,

 

I think that the debate will always exist, as long as people have their own opinions. If they're not disagreeing over the quality of the sampled pianos, they'll be disagreeing over the types of pianos sampled. (ie. "How could anyone like a Yamaha? It's way too bright. I'll take my Bosendorfer any day of the week. Steinway? Man, that's so old skool!")

 

You did the right thing by buying the real deal. Best of luck with your purchase.

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Thanks Cne ! You are closer to the truth about the eternal piano debate. The U3 is a little bright and I am going to have it revoiced during a tuning in 2 weeks.

 

Dave, I think my U3 was made in 1969, perhaps 1979

I will double check.

here it is, the 8th piano down:

http://www.grahampiano.com/pianorental.html

 

What I like about 52" is that it has the sound of a grand in an upright size. I am unable to squeeze

a grand into the living room of my tiny townhouse.

 

My neighbors are enjoying my 5:00 am ' scale-a-thon' piano routine : D

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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Originally posted by Dan South:

That said, no sampled piano is an EXACT replica of a real piano, no matter how many layers and gigabytes it comprises. Sampling technology loses something. Sit in a room and play even a cheap piano, and there's something intangible in the sound that cannot be replicated by a set of loudspeakers.

 

...Another odd thing in sampled pianos is note retriggering. If you hold the sustain pedal and play middle C three times, you get three voices playing middle C simultaneously. Acoustic pianos don't work this way. One middle C note REPLACES the previous one.

Interesting comments. I believe a lot of people are at least a little disappointed in sampled pianos because they expect their monitors / headphones to convince them they are sitting in the same room as a real piano. My opinion is that this is typically not the goal of piano samples. Usually, the goal is to convince the listener that they are hearing a recording of a real piano, not the real piano itself. Unless you buy a home keyboard that looks like a baby grand and has sizeable built-in speakers, you wont have nearly enough physical material to recreate the resonance of a real piano.

 

About the note retriggering, I wouldnt say that a new note replaces the previous note on a real piano, just that a new note influences previously held notes - sometimes even adding energy. For example, if you play middle C loudly, hold the note with the pedal, and quickly play middle C again softly, you wont hear a sudden drop in amplitude because you played the second note more softly. You'll hear the hammer strike, but the energy of the note will stay about the same. Also, consider what happens when you forcefully play a low note repeatedly while holding the pedal; you can actually build energy / volume that wouldve been difficult (maybe impossible) to create by just playing the note once. The resulting sound can be very loud and very resonant.

 

Kind regards,

Keven Spargo, Sound Designer

www.ksounds.com

Quality sounds for Yamaha, Korg, Kurzweil and Kontakt formats

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This past weekend, I visited a gear store and played around with the piano sounds on the Fantom X8, Korg Triton Studio and the Yamaha ES. I was not impressed with sound on the Triton at all and, as a result, I completely disregarded it.

 

The new Roland Fantom X piano sound has 4 layers of sampling, which makes you think the sound would be very impressive. Although I was very impressed by the midrange and upper levels of the piano sound (they are wonderful!), the lower register sounded (for lack of a better word) 'artificial.' This was especially noticeable when you strike keys with any significant force. It sounds like Roland did not capture enough of the overtone series/sympathetic string vibration.

 

In my opinion, the Yamaha ES has the best piano sound. I also like the action of the 88 wieghted keyboard (versus the Triton and the Roland). Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that Yamaha has year of experience actually making pianos.

 

I'd be interested in finding out what people think of the Kurzweil K2600. I've never had the opportunity to play on one of these, but the piano sound is amazing on the MP3 demos I've heard.

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whew, I was wondering why it was taking so long to hear that the Triton sounds should be disregarded and the Fantom X piano is flawed, somewhere.

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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Originally posted by ksounds:

 

About the note retriggering, I wouldn't say that a new note replaces the previous note on a real piano, just that a new note influences previously held notes - sometimes even adding energy. For example, if you play middle C loudly, hold the note with the pedal, and quickly play middle C again softly, you won't hear a sudden drop in amplitude because you played the second note more softly. You'll hear the hammer strike, but the energy of the note will stay about the same. Also, consider what happens when you forcefully play a low note repeatedly while holding the pedal; you can actually build energy / volume that would've been difficult (maybe impossible) to create by just playing the note once. The resulting sound can be very loud and very resonant.

 

Kind regards,

On an acoustic piano, the hammer hits the Middle C strings and starts them vibrating. Play the note again (sustain pedal pressed), and the hammer hits the same strings. This interrupts that original note (although not completely) and retriggers the vibrations with some influence from the previous vibrations. The resulting sound can be identical to the original sound or slightly modified depending on the design of the piano and the quality (force, speed) of the respective strikes.

 

On a sampled piano, if you press Middle C with a MIDI velocity of, say, 80, the sampler will play a group of samples. It may be only one sample. It may be a stereo sample, two mono samples, it may include a sample of the acoustic thud of the keys, samples of room reverb, whatever. For that particual sampler patch, a set group of samples plays when you strike Middle C at velocity 80.

 

If you hold those samples with the sustain pedal, then retrigger them, new voices play the same group of samples while the old group continues to play. This creates a doubling effect as though the second note had been played on a second instrument in the same room. But not quite. Sample doubling is not as appealing as acoustic doubling, because the samples are played back in exactly the same way at the same velocity and contoller settings. Unison notes doubled on two or more acoustic instruments have many subtle differences, and these differences blend together in interesting and (usually) appealing ways.

 

Doubling the same digital recording down not produce the same richness (problem number 1). Further, as we've seen, real pianos don't double repeated sustained notes (problem number 2). Finally, acoustic instruments don't have 4 or 6 or 8 velocity variations, they have an INFINITE number of attack variations, and each one colors the sound differently. This final reason suggests to me that piano samples MUST sound mechanical to some degree.

 

If you play a piece with 150 Eb notes on an acoustic piano, each of those 150 notes will sound slightly different. If you play it on a sampler with eight velocity layers, you'll have a maximum of eight different variations. After that, you'll get repeats. And if you're playing the notes at more or less the same velocity, those repeats will have NO VARIATION AT ALL.

 

Future generations of synthesized pianos which incorporate resynthesis technology may be able to emulate this kind of variation with fractal algorithms or other chaos theory technologies, but that's way beyond anything that's available today. Samplers, as we know them today, are limited in this regard. They're still very useful tools, but they're not going to fool the trained ear into thinking that it's listening to a Steinway.

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

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  • 5 months later...

Okay...does anyone here actually OWN an Extreme besides me? Geez...the people that rate the piano based on what it sounds like in the few seconds they spend at the store... those people get what they pay for: An uneducated experience.

 

Besides...Did you check the program bank? Did you notice that the Extreme has the entire Studio Rom?

"You have seen as to do, dude, isn't it?" -Korg PA80 manual
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I have the 76 Extreme and love it. It's incredibly versatile.

 

If people dis it after a minute of playing the piano, I honestly don't care, that is their loss.

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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