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Topic: the ideal giga piano sample

  1. #1

    Re: the ideal giga piano sample

    Thanks for taking this one on Michiel. My votes go for:

    1) Choice of close and distant micing. This would satisfy both camps and ensure that the sample would have enough brilliance or natural ambience for its specific application.
    2) As many velocity levels as possible. Someone recently suggested that we could introduce looping to compensate for the additional size. I think this would be perfectly acceptable.
    3) Pedal down and pedal up samples. Pedal down being less important, I believe. (Perhaps the pedal up samples could be looped!)
    4) Reverberating release samples - vital! Kip\'s Bosendorfer excelled in this area. Is it feasable to record the piano in a concert hall?

    5) Above all, a full bodied, consisent, well maintained instrument. One of the biggest strengths with the EW Steinway in my opinion is the regularity across the keyboard. (People may disagree with me here ...) Also, the brighness thing is quite important to me. I really don\'t like having to apply EQ, as I would be limited to the built in NFX EQ for live use.

    All the best ..

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: the ideal giga piano sample


    I would like to caution against recorded \"hall reverb\" as release samples in a piano. If you extrapolate the behavioral design of the instrument, you will see why this becomes unworkable with the current tools.

    What I\'d call \"release reverb\" works very well in two behavioral situations, staccato and pedal up legato. Everything sounds natural. Also, everything sounds natural in pedal-down playing, as long as the pedal is held down.


    The moment you strike a loud chord, pedal-down, then release the pedal--HUGE PROBLEM. Here, you just get a release-ramp, no ambience.

    Release samples which capture only the GENERATED resonance of the piano do not show this defect badly, since there is no extended ambient \"tail.\" We notice it if we concentrate on it, but it gets lost in the larger musical context, and sounds plausibly real enough.

    However, if the release sample includes an ambient tail, our \"release reverb, the difference between the notes which will trigger the tail (stac, ped-up) and those which will not trigger it (ped-down, ped-release) are immediately noticeable, and they take a lot away from the illusion of realism. The difference is far too jarring.

    Perhaps advances in programming will overcome this, but to date they have not.

  3. #3

    Re: the ideal giga piano sample

    Hi Michael,

    Sorry for my poor english.

    1) choose a good Steinway and a 100% tuned Piano

    2) give more harmonics for each samples

    3) test the Piano with great world classical Pianist like Alfred Brendel, Daniel Barenboim...

    They can test your samples and Piano with Kawai Mp9500

    Kawai mp9500 is the best keyboard to play gigapiano format. (real keys)

    i\'ve a KAWAI MP9000 keyboard

    4 ) listen the Steinway B from eastwest, and search to understand why a lot of users like this Piano.

    5 ) continue your good work to find the best sampled Piano. I know how it\'s difficult !

    Best regards,


  4. #4

    Re: the ideal giga piano sample

    Release samples seem essential.
    Pedal down and up samples are to me essential.
    Close and distant micing would be very good.
    I\'m not sure if 16 layers are needed, but I\'ve never played a sample with this many layers, so I don\'t know what I may be missing.

    I must admit that I like the idea of getting well known pianists to act as advisors, but don\'t like what they would charge, or how that cost would be passed onto us. Still, the thought is appealing.
    I would want non-classical people, too.
    Could some of the better-known session players be contacted in LA and Nashville and NY and brought in as advisors? (Would they be willing to listen and suggest changes in exchange for copies of the libraries and future updates?) Just a thought.

    Thanks for all your effort and ability in this field, Michiel.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: the ideal giga piano sample

    I don\'t know how far down the road of \"concert pianists as advisors\" you can go. The techniques and disciplines involved here are more complex than that. A pianist would probably be useful as a person to judge playability. But most pianist\'s concept of the piano sound is the sound they hear from the bench--which is not the sound the audience hears, nor is it the sound required to fit into other types of applications.

    I don\'t know that the concert pianist is a significant target market for piano samples, any more than a club drummer is the target market for drumset samples. So the relevance is somewhat misplaced. If we assume that a satisfying overall playing experience is already being satisfied, then the larger issue is really more about how recordings of the played sample sound in a production context.

    I\'m surprised that people would assume that these products do NOT get reviewed by a variety of players. I have been involved in the development of six different piano libraries, and in each case the developer was looking for any and all feedback...especially the playing experience. I know that many other players were involved in these tests, too, some of which were name-brand players. Matter of fact, in two cases, the results of these initial playability tests resulted in the developer going back into the studio to get more or different material. So, I think this \"vetting\" of the samples in hands-on situations is already happening pretty much across the board, with people who are producing music or playing at very high levels in the industry. The days are really far gone where a person can afford to develop a library in a vaccuum, and hope it works. The stakes are pretty high, and the quality levels are formidable.

  6. #6

    Re: the ideal giga piano sample

    >I don\'t know how far down the road of \"concert pianists as advisors\" you can go. The techniques and disciplines involved here are more complex than that. A pianist would probably be useful as a person to judge playability.

    yes, you\'re right.

    however, read the comments of the users in this forum and accept the others point of view !!!

    \'Concert pianist\' choose a Piano :


    _ playability
    _ and the sound !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    PMI should contact Steinway engineers and choose the best Steinway D around the world.

    In classical record, i hear better Steinway D !!!!

    In Jazz, too.

    I\'ve played with my mp9000 \'the Steinway B\' in Piano Bar !!!!

    Yes, a real Piano with good speakers !!!

    PMI have made the good Choice :

    \'the Steinway D\' model

    For example, Steinberg choose a Kawai grand concert for \'The grand \'

    Nemesys, a Yamaha not 100% tunned for Gigapiano.

    But only Steinway have a specific harmonics and sound. and it\'s difficult to sample a Steinway. More difficult that a Yamaha or a Kawai.



  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Melbourne, Australia

    Re: the ideal giga piano sample


    Just wondering if the piano will be sampled with the sustain pedal depressed 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 the way down rather than just fully on or off?

  8. #8

    the ideal giga piano sample

    Originally posted by sjduck:

    My one major wish is that we as a group of piano obsessives draw up an ideal \'spec\' for what we believe to be the idea giga piano sample. (e.g. x layers, x release samples, close miced, ...)

    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">While working on our next huge piano project (which is coming along very nice), I would like to know what \'specs\' your ideal giga piano looks like.

    Would you want both a distant and a close miced piano?
    Would you want to be able to \'place\' the sample in a room with va ariable size.
    Would you like 16 layers (or more) for ultimate \'smooth\' transitions.
    How about release samples.
    Pedal noises?
    Any input is welcome!

    Michiel Post

  9. #9

    Re: the ideal giga piano sample

    As I\'m mainly using GigaSampler to play the piano using headphones (don\'t disturb the neighbours) I\'d be interested in a good Binaurial recording.
    Recorded at the position of the head of the player, such that using a headphone, it sounds like I\'m playing a real piano.


  10. #10

    Re: the ideal giga piano sample

    I for one would love a good sample set from the player\'s perspective.

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