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View Full Version : Why RD700SX or SRX-11 sound better than most of big sampled piano ?



Olivier
02-25-2005, 09:11 AM
Hi,

Why RD700SX or SRX-11 sound better than most of big sampled piano ?

Who works for Roland ? Can they produce bank for Gigastudio 3 or Kontakt 2 ?

Kontakt 2 will have the best features for piano. But we need developpers with the same level and quality than the sound designer of Roland.

The recording sessions is the most important. Each sound of Piano should have a goodl level of S/R without click and distorted sound.

One sampled Piano with no noise is the Steinway B produced by Eastwest.
That's why the sound is so warm and nice.

Regards,

Olivier

samwhite
02-25-2005, 09:36 AM
...I ordered one with the SRX-11 card and will give some comments/ demos when IŽll receive it.....

Tomke
02-25-2005, 10:45 AM
Roland makes great great sounds. One of the masterminds is Mr Persing, who jumps in here from time to time. Might be others around as well that I'm not aware of.

Roland have most of their expansion sounds available on sample CD as well (Roland Sx format). Many of those CDs are actually not listed on Roland's u.s. homepage, which is a pity. I have a few of those and I have to agree with you; the sounds are really good and very priceworthy. I keep returning to L.A. Composer strings back and forth. Those strings are huge sounding and actually sound better than many sample libs for twice the price (and size) and they have a large number of articulations as well. They may not be as "real" as real some string libs, but they do sound alot better from a general perspective than many attempts to make real-sounding strings.

I guess the name Roland is mostly turns people's heads towards synthesis and hardware rather than software, but they stand up really good against the software elefants in the jungle.

Alexcremers
02-25-2005, 01:15 PM
I played on a RD-700SX with a SRX-11 card and thought that the build-in piano sounded better than the card, which is funny, since the two should be close related. I really loved the RD-700SX. It's Roland's best "stagie" yet.

------------
Alex Cremers

ed hamilton
02-25-2005, 01:21 PM
What you are likeing is the EQ that is applied to the samples themselves.

Most giga libs have zero processing and thus sound flatter.

Roland and Yamaha have had a couple decades of experience eq ing pianos for the keyboards.
Giga piano lib owners have to go through that learning curve as eq ing pianos is about the most difficult thing to do.

The other thing Roland can do that you can't do with giga libs is eq each individual sample.
It's way easier to eq each sample than to eq an entire piano since every cut or boost to a specific area has repercussions in other ranges.
Its always a set of trade offs when eqing pianos.

mal7
02-25-2005, 06:10 PM
In search of the perfect piano, I have a Yamaha P250 , most of GS3 piano libraries, and last week bought the RD700SX.
The RD700SX is very nice, and I am very happy with it, but for player "connectivity", and the whole playing experience I still prefer the P250 although it is too big and heavy to take on gigs. The GS3 pianos still have their place though. I particularly like Emperor for solo playing. Such a rich, majestic sound which the P250 or RD700SX do not have. Also love the Black Grand for jazz playing within a trio setting. Unfortunately the note volumes are not perfectly even, and the top register seems too loud for the bass and middles. When I get a chance. I will study how to rectify this, which I am sure is possible.

In summary, I think all have their place in making music...and once again it is all very subjective, and one persons opinion differs from anothers...But the "best" solution I can find at this stage is to use my Yamaha P250 at home, midied with GS3 libraries (Emperor and Black Grand), and for gigs use the RD700SX which is very nice.

A final thought...with the money I have spent on the latest audio computer, GS3 and dozens of libraries, my P250, CS6R and PLG150-PF, Roland RD700SX (with 2 SRX expansion boards) all to have the Holy Grail of pianos......I could have bought a real Yamaha C7 and had some $$$'s left over! Sometimes I wonder about myself!

Mal

fozzy
02-25-2005, 06:41 PM
They don't.

But if they are closer to what you like... that's another matter.;)



Hi,

Why RD700SX or SRX-11 sound better than most of big sampled piano ?

Who works for Roland ? Can they produce bank for Gigastudio 3 or Kontakt 2 ?

Kontakt 2 will have the best features for piano. But we need developpers with the same level and quality than the sound designer of Roland.

The recording sessions is the most important. Each sound of Piano should have a goodl level of S/R without click and distorted sound.

One sampled Piano with no noise is the Steinway B produced by Eastwest.
That's why the sound is so warm and nice.

Regards,

Olivier

dcoscina
02-25-2005, 09:37 PM
I played on a RD-700SX with a SRX-11 card and thought that the build-in piano sounded better than the card, which is funny, since the two should be close related. I really loved the RD-700SX. It's Roland's best "stagie" yet.

------------
Alex Cremers

I just got my Roland RD300SX this afternoon and I LOVE IT. The Grand 1 patch is beautiful. And there are some compression settings that allow one to boost various frequencies that make playing through a P.A. much easier. Roland has really done it with this board. Got rid of my M-Audio Keystation Pro 88 for the RD300SX and I feel that I finally have a great action and controller for my softy-synths as well as a wonderful resident piano sound (and a few others) for gigging with once in a blue moon.

Olivier
02-26-2005, 04:26 AM
They don't.

But if they are closer to what you like... that's another matter.;)

They are closer to the real Steinway B (Hamburg - not an fake americain Steinway B) of my music school. And better for the size.

Still prefer my tweaked Eastwest Steinway B (private version) and Roland sounds.

Tired of several bad library.

Regards,

Olivier

Alexcremers
02-26-2005, 05:16 AM
Well, they don't have release samples, Olivier. The release is covered up in the reverb.
And while I agree that they do sound better than a lot of "older" libraries, I certainly don't think they sound more alive than, let's say, 'Old Lady' or 'Black Grand' or the upcoming 'Virtual Steinway' by Art Vista. The Rolands sound great but I'm not altogether sure how they hold up in a real solo context. Compared to 16 dynamic layers, they might sound a little sterile.

------------
Alex Cremers

sporter
02-26-2005, 07:35 AM
I find many of the digital pianos delightful to play, yet less realistic than most modern sample libraries. I think there is a difference in playability and realism. The Roland RD pianos along with Yamaha "P" series to my ears do not match the realism found in top notch sample libraries...yet they are extremely expressive and just plain fun to play. I think sample developers focus more on getting the sound accurate, while digital piano makers tend to make a playable instrument.

I play my Roland and Yammie all the time, yet when I record, I use samples.

Worra
02-26-2005, 09:04 AM
I find many of the digital pianos delightful to play, yet less realistic than most modern sample libraries. I think there is a difference in playability and realism. The Roland RD pianos along with Yamaha "P" series to my ears do not match the realism found in top notch sample libraries...yet they are extremely expressive and just plain fun to play. I think sample developers focus more on getting the sound accurate, while digital piano makers tend to make a playable instrument.

I play my Roland and Yammie all the time, yet when I record, I use samples.

Good points there, Sporter!

Lux
02-26-2005, 09:11 AM
I think sample developers focus more on getting the sound accurate, while digital piano makers tend to make a playable instrument.


Yeah,

I cant speak for pianos, but this applies to most sample libs out there, orchestral ones.
But I got a personal idea about that. I think its more simple for developer to record a lot of samples with big lenght rather than arranging the best way to make the instrumentist play fewer notes, shorter but really playable. Cant understand why.

Luca

dcoscina
02-26-2005, 10:55 AM
Here's an example of the RD300SX in action. Playing john Williams' Blue Fairy Theme from his A.I. score. Piano was played by me in realtime (hence some funky rubato).

Blue Fairy Theme (http://forums.keyfax.com/user-files/173171-The%20Blue%20Fairy.mp3)

Olivier
02-26-2005, 04:01 PM
Well, they don't have release samples, Olivier. The release is covered up in the reverb.
And while I agree that they do sound better than a lot of "older" libraries, I certainly don't think they sound more alive than, let's say, 'Old Lady' or 'Black Grand' or the upcoming 'Virtual Steinway' by Art Vista. The Rolands sound great but I'm not altogether sure how they hold up in a real solo context. Compared to 16 dynamic layers, they might sound a little sterile.

------------
Alex Cremers

the release sound wrong. Because the release in a real Piano change with the harmonics between keys.
Thats why the release layers of sampled piano are wrong.

But....

With Kontakt 2 --> we will be able to program a real release with a lot of harmonics and real sympatic resonance (betwenn keys pedal up). they will sound more alive.

as soon as possible i will post a mp3 demos of that with the samples of a Steinway B.

Regards,

livier

mal7
02-26-2005, 04:49 PM
They are closer to the real Steinway B (Hamburg - not an fake americain Steinway B) of my music school. And better for the size.

Still prefer my tweaked Eastwest Steinway B (private version) and Roland sounds.

Tired of several bad library.

Regards,

Olivier


Olivier, do you details of have your tweaked Steinway B? I'd be interested in having it in my collection (hint) :-)

David Ferris
02-26-2005, 08:03 PM
Olivier,

There was a *long* thread here a few months ago re which sampler was best for piano. Bruce Richardson and Michiel Post both said that GS3 was superior. Bruce said, in part, that GS3 was designed with piano in mind.

Now you say that Kontackt 2 is best for piano. *Why* is it superior?

Olivier
02-27-2005, 05:43 AM
Olivier,

There was a *long* thread here a few months ago re which sampler was best for piano. Bruce Richardson and Michiel Post both said that GS3 was superior. Bruce said, in part, that GS3 was designed with piano in mind.

Now you say that Kontackt 2 is best for piano. *Why* is it superior?

You will understand when Kontakt 2 will be out.


Regards,

Olivier

fozzy
02-27-2005, 05:21 PM
They are closer to the real Steinway B (Hamburg - not an fake americain Steinway B) of my music school. And better for the size.


Sorry Olivier. Like you I love good pianos, but that statement is just flat-out nonsense. There is nothing "fake" about the American Steinways. Perhaps your english fails you here and you mean something else. Better for the size??:confused:

Hamburg and NY Steinways are simply different beasts within the Steinway family. There is no "real" vs. "fake" dichtonomy. Excellent pianists from all backgrounds have their preferences -some prefer the NY and others the Hamburg. Even within Steinways there is a not-so-insignificant degree difference. Perhaps once you've gotten outside your music school and spent sometime, say, in the basement of Steinway Hall you'll "hear" it for yourself.;)

Olivier
02-28-2005, 02:46 AM
Hi,

Hamburg Steinway are superior to NY Steinway.
(Steinway of 1970 to 2005)
Great pianists want only to play on Hamburg Steinway's.

Regards,

Olivier

T Parks
02-28-2005, 06:55 AM
Hi,

Hamburg Steinway are superior to NY Steinway.
(Steinway of 1970 to 2005)
Great pianists want only to play on Hamburg Steinway's.

Regards,

Olivier

Sorry, but that is nonsense. Ashkenazy, Joanna MacGregor....plenty of them have expressed a love for the more recent Steinways (often, it seems, when discussing more contemporary music).

Jake Johnson
11-18-2006, 10:33 PM
I wanted to revive this thread after listening to a good Yamaha P140 a few days ago. I noticed glaring problems when I listened to individual notes: the samples seemed to be very brief and looped early. Letting chords sustain quickly gave me the hum of repeating loops.

But at the same time, the sound of the initial strike was good and it was great to play.

My impressions:
1. Part of what I liked was hearing the sounds surrounding the note. I don't think these were entirely harmonics. Maybe, instead, the brief, pleasant ringing of the strings near those of the note I hit, as though set into motion by the sheer force of the hammer striking near them instead of by sympathetic vibrations. A jangle of sorts, a little like the sound of coins jangling in distant pockets. But I'm not really sure what the source of that sound is. Kurzweil samples tend to have a little of that sound too. (Do developers ever put mutes on adjacent strings to stop this sound, because it causes problems?)

2. Each note contained a very present fundamental. Which means, I think, that the strings were just well tuned. (I don't have a good enough ear to recognize whatever tuning offsets were used on the multistring notes.)

3. The loop was made well before the fundamental died, and for that matter before the harmonics had much time to evolve. (Seems obvious, but I've heard a very few older sample sets that contain a note or two in which the loops were made after the fundamental died, or when there was little fundamental because of tuning issues.)

4. The upper register seemed to have a lot of presence without requiring hard stikes. Relatively higher strikes were used for the softer sounds. (For all of the notes, of course, but more so for the upper register.) At the same time, the upper register seemed fairly liquid--not getting either too thin\tinny or to brassy too fast. (But, yes, it's a Yamaha sound, so the entire timbre is a little more brassy overall.)

Generally, I'd love to know exactly what they've done. Presumably a subtractive process\EQ on different zones\notes, but it would be great to learn their exact settings.

A shame that the samples are so brief that the drone of the loops sets in so fast.

Is ROM memory still all that expensive? Or is ROM now old-tech? If a $200 IPOD can stream video from a tiny hard disk, can't someone create a similar hard disk and compression\streaming for pianos samples?

Come to think of it, that would be interesting device: something the size of an IPOd holding 40 gigs of piano samples that plugs into a notebook computer. And the samples could be changed, just like files can be loaded into an IPOd. Would USB allow a fast enough transfer rate? The playback program would presumably have to be on the computer. Or does this take us into "The dongle is the sampleset" land? (Or could the unit contain the samples and the playback program, an amp, audio jack, and usb midi, and then just be plugged into a midi keyboard?

Regardless, I like the sound, as much as it can be liked, of the Yamaha P-40, and want it as a sample set, but without the loops.

stephenphillips
11-18-2006, 11:23 PM
I posted this on the EastWest Forum a few days back but no-one seems interested:


Hi everybody. Just pulled out my EastWest Utimate Piano Collection CD (running on my AKAI S2000) and was reminded how wonderful these samples are, unfortunately limited to 32-note polyphony on the Akai. I get to play the (Hamburg) Steinway Ds regularly at our orchestra studio, and a friend (my violin student) recently purchased a Bosendorfer 290 (from Montana, air freight to Brisbane Australia) which is currently housed at his daughter's college while his house is being remodelled (no prizes for guessing the reason). I mention this because the overall coherence of these UPC samples (especially in the very middle of the keyboard) is frankly better than virtually everything I have heard (in sampled pianos I mean), and the looping is perfect.

How about a refresh from EW on eg. NI engine or port for K2 to get them working properly, lots of fiddly parameters on the Akai don't make it over in standard import/convert, little pops and clicks show up as well, and the repedalling and pedal up/pedal down expansion possibilities are really exciting, scripting capacity in K2 as well. All I can say is that few libraries give me that 'I am sitting at a piano' feeling like these inspiring samples. There are also the 2.5 second limited, unlooped ff chromatic samples of the four pianos in the collection. The miking is just beautiful throughout all sample sets. It may be that the original sampling session archive is of unlooped full decay recordings. Intriguing. A true classic in the history of piano sampling, in my opinion. The studio credits list Helmi Edinger and Olivier Truan as Producers/Engineers and Olivier for Digital editing, Looping and Programming. Three cheers guys, I think it is still state-of-the-art in many respects.

One little hint: the non-damped upper notes seem just a little suppressed in their natural decay, possibly to make mixing easier. Anyone else feel enthusiastic about this, or up to doing an update of this kind (if it's legal)? I would pay for such a musical product.

Cheers,

Stephen A. Phillips

Jake Johnson
11-19-2006, 11:12 AM
It seems as though EastWest, or someone, would be interested in trying this, especially since they could now experiment with convolution, scripts, etc.On the other hand, I think I recall seeing that what you say--that the library depended on tweaks specific to the original sampler. Maybe they tried to replicate the sounds in Kontakt, and at the time, couldn't, or found it too cumbersome?You might write or call East-West directly. Record a brief piece using the library to show them what is good about it. You might even recreate the library in Kontakt, or whatever you're using, to get it as close to the original sound as possible, and then see if they will work with you to push it further. After all, one of the most tedious and time-consuming parts of creating a library is just the mapping. They may not have wanted to invest the time and resources to doing all of that work just for an older library with a relatively small sample set. If you provided them with a file that pushed it as far as you could, and provided a demo showing them it was almost excellent, it would be in their best interest to create the library, even if it meant just charging $50-$100 for the result. If the sound is excellent, people will buy it. Could you post a brief demo with a legato or slow chord progression to show us what you like about the sound? Maybe record "Amazing Grace" or something else in the public domain and post it on a site?

stephenphillips
11-19-2006, 07:09 PM
Hi Jake,

Thanks for the interest. I'll see if I can cook up a little demo (without too many flying pedal-down arpeggios) showing the musical quality of each of the pianos. I think the issue with the Akai library is a lot of subtle filtering not easy to translate onto other platforms by direct 'conversion'.


Here's a link to an interesting and provocative article by another 'small' library developer of some reputation:


http://www.williamcoakley.com/articles.php?article=bigger.php

Have a nice day,

Stephen

emenelton
11-19-2006, 08:09 PM
I have been playing the new PX-575 Casio Privia for over a month now. It's quite a giant killer in it's own right!

Jake Johnson
11-21-2006, 02:16 AM
I don't mean to imply that I dislike the large libraries, though. The Post Hybrids, for example, sound great in the demos, like the Old Lady and several other pianos.