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NI Akoustik Piano


Tom Fiala

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A timely post! As it happens, Keyboard is reviewing it for the December issue, and I'm doing the review. I will have a copy of Ivory alongside it for comparison, and am going to be borrowing the ears of some serious piano purists I know.

Stephen Fortner

Principal, Fortner Media

Senior Editor, Music Player Network

Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Digital Piano Consultant, Piano Buyer Magazine

 

Industry affiliations: Antares, Arturia, Giles Communications, MS Media, Polyverse

 

 

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Stephen, for me the most important test is how it sounds in a combo setting. I've played various keyboards and samples which sounded great or pretty good in a solo setting but just didn't make it in a group setting.

 

Has anyone else here also experienced that?

 

At any rate, that would be my two cents for the testing of the product (and/or comparisons).

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, I'm certainly going to take it live, using my laptop. I'm going to try to put the samples on an external firewire HD, because I don't think the 4200rpm dog in the laptop will do so well.

 

I've experienced what you're talking about with nearly every kind of emulation: pianos, B3's, synths, you name it. Sometimes, something that makes me go "wow" in the music store or at home makes me go "where did the sound go?" when I take it out with the band. Other times, something that was totally unimpressive on its own proved to be THE perfect sound in a live or recorded mix.

Stephen Fortner

Principal, Fortner Media

Senior Editor, Music Player Network

Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Digital Piano Consultant, Piano Buyer Magazine

 

Industry affiliations: Antares, Arturia, Giles Communications, MS Media, Polyverse

 

 

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Just to show it takes all kinds - I've found plenty of pianos that sound good in a mix, but I have yet to find one that moves me as a solo instrument. And there are few things as beautiful as a well played piano solo. I really think the ultimate coming of age of software instruments will be when a quality solo performance sounds as good on a piece of software as on a Steinway. Kinda like when the chess computer finally beat Spassky...

 

Of course, I'd want to know how it'll do in a combo setting too.

 

Daf

I played in an 8 piece horn band. We would often get bored. So...three words:

"Tower of Polka." - Calumet

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Originally posted by DafDuc:

Just to show it takes all kinds - I've found plenty of pianos that sound good in a mix, but I have yet to find one that moves me as a solo instrument.

*Exactly* my thoughts! :)

Kinda like when the chess computer finally beat Spassky...

We must be telepatic... I made this same example to someone yesterday! :freak::D

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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

I've played various keyboards and samples which sounded great or pretty good in a solo setting but just didn't make it in a group setting.

 

Has anyone else here also experienced that?

Yes, and also vice-versa. For example, the free Splendid Grand 136MB soundfont works fine in the mix for certain pieces, but not so good for solo work.

 

A well-rounded piano sound is not a trivial thing!

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I'll make sure to pay attention to that, too. Akoustik has 10 layers, and N.I. talks about a "layer morphing" algorithm on their web site - suppsoed to provide smoother cross-switching, so my expectations for pianissimo are high...

Stephen Fortner

Principal, Fortner Media

Senior Editor, Music Player Network

Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Digital Piano Consultant, Piano Buyer Magazine

 

Industry affiliations: Antares, Arturia, Giles Communications, MS Media, Polyverse

 

 

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Stephen Fortner,

 

I know this may be a hard question, but when you do the review, can you ask the piano experts how the pianos compare to the Yamaha C7, which, to my ears, is the ideal piano for the R&B/Pop style. I listened to the MP3 samples, and the Boesendorfer 290 Imperial seamed to be the closest to the characteristics of the C7, with it's bold, yet crisp sound, but I want a professional opinion. Unfortunately for me, I cannot afford a C7, and this may be a cheap solution for me.

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Me too; but would Keyboard be willing to actually pick a winner, and potentially upset an advertiser or two?

Not to pick on anyone - but how many threads with this sentiment do we need?
I'm just saying', everyone that confuses correlation with causation eventually ends up dead.
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Jdub2k1 wrote
can you ask the piano experts how the pianos compare to the Yamaha C7, which, to my ears, is the ideal piano for the R&B/Pop style. I listened to the MP3 samples, and the Boesendorfer 290 Imperial seamed to be the closest to the characteristics of the C7
Doing the final edit of the review right this moment (before Ken gets to edit it some more!), and just checked this thread for questions. Without giving too much away, I'd say the Bosie in Akoustik is still mellower than a real C7 or the one in Ivory. I found the Bechstein to fill the slot you're talking about quite nicely.

Stephen Fortner

Principal, Fortner Media

Senior Editor, Music Player Network

Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Digital Piano Consultant, Piano Buyer Magazine

 

Industry affiliations: Antares, Arturia, Giles Communications, MS Media, Polyverse

 

 

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As I mentioned in another thread, in Ivory, I found the Bosendorfer to be the best of three pianos, much to my surprise. To my knowledge, Bosendorfers are usually known to be on the dark side of the spectrum, so perhaps Akoustik's Bose is more true to form.
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