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Topic: Which Steinway libraries best capture the sound of the duplex scale?

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  1. #1

    Red face Which Steinway libraries best capture the sound of the duplex scale?

    In the few libraries I own, I seem to not hear the sweet sound of the duplex scale that is so noticable if you play a good Steinway.

    Is this one reason the pp layers often dissappoint--the soft sound of these duplex scale notes is lost entirely at the pp and lower level, even when harder strikes are recorded for the low velocities?

    Is the problem the distance of the mics, which, if set in an x\y pattern near middle C, may be further from the duplex scale strings than a player might be, or at least in worse position to hear them, since their vibrations will bounce back towards the player from the soundboard, while the mics may only pick up their actual striking? Or do other strings between the mic and these strings vibrate and mask or cancel the sound? Anyone tried micing these strings directly and then panning them to the right so they sit in their natural position in the sound field?

    Or am I just not hearng well?

    Do some libraries capture the duplex scale better than others?

  2. #2

    Re: Which Steinway libraries best capture the sound of the duplex scale?

    Pardon my ignorance, but what's the duplex scale?

    -JF

  3. #3

    Re: Which Steinway libraries best capture the sound of the duplex scale?

    Quote Originally Posted by JonFairhurst
    Pardon my ignorance, but what's the duplex scale?

    -JF
    I think it's something to do with monitoring through the sub-bass.

  4. #4

    Re: Which Steinway libraries best capture the sound of the duplex scale?

    Quote Originally Posted by JonFairhurst
    Pardon my ignorance, but what's the duplex scale?
    It's a set of short strings without dampers that may resonate with (the overtones of) any key, making the sound "sweeter" as Jake states.

  5. #5

    Re: Which Steinway libraries best capture the sound of the duplex scale?

    Jake,

    I've not yet seen any developers touting the duplexes as part of their package.

    The closest thing talked about is the scripts for Kontakt 2 that produce accurate sympathetic resonance.

    Guess we'll have to wait for duplexes and case resonance.

    DavidH

  6. #6

    Re: Which Steinway libraries best capture the sound of the duplex scale?

    In my experience, the duplex scale is a very acoustic device. It was invented by Steinway around 100 years ago and was meant to give the upper register a bit more "shine".
    It is, as said, a group of resonancing strings, undamped.
    The duplex scale has since then been implemented on most Grand Pianos.

    Ok, a Grand Piano was designed in a time prior to recording or amplification. It supposed to work as a concert instrument in different settings. It's also supposed to be heard over a full orchestra. Without michrophones.....

    When actually recording a Grand Piano, the duplex scale sometimes can be in the way. I suppose that if you where to record a piano concerto, the duplex would sound great, but if you use michrophones and creep up closer then 7-8 feet, you probably find that the Duplex will sound weird.

    On the Black Grand, we actually had some comments about the duplex scale being to loud. Some betatesters reported that the tone changed in the upper area of the keynoard, sure enough: The Duplex Scale.
    So I guess that you could say that the duplex scale is heard on the Black Grand.

    On the TBO, that was recorded close, the duplex scale was damped out using cloth. If we hadn't done this, the recording would have sounded awful!
    Worra
    SampleTekk

    Arf, arf, arf...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Robert Kooijman's Avatar
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    Re: Which Steinway libraries best capture the sound of the duplex scale?

    Interesting story Worra, thanks for that!

  8. #8

    Talking Re: Which Steinway libraries best capture the sound of the duplex scale?

    Steinway tends to refer to the unmuted string between the tuning peg and the 'nut' as its duplex scale. Steinway claims that this distance between the peg and nut causes a tuned harmonic resonance. I'm not positive but did have a lengthy discussion with the salesmen at my local Steinway dealer on the subject. It seemed to be a difficult subject to pin down and everyones eyes got a little glassy while discussing.

  9. #9

    Re: Which Steinway libraries best capture the sound of the duplex scale?

    Worra:

    So the problem is not just that the duplex scale makes the notes too loud, but instead that the timbre shifts abruptly in the upper register?

    I'm trying to understand why this shift would be so much more noticable in a recorded piano than when sitting at the piano. (One does of course hear a change in the tone when the upper notes vibrate the duplex strings. But it's a lovely shift.) Would an xy micing make this shift more noticable, since one mic is pointed away from the duplex strings, and thus doesn't start to pick up their vibrations until they are really strong, as when the regular upper strings set them off?

  10. #10

    Re: Which Steinway libraries best capture the sound of the duplex scale?

    (The duplex scale that I've seen was an entirely separate set of short strings attached above the usual strings and at the far right of the keyboard: a small harp, in a sense, resting above the other strings. I saw this some time ago, and just assumed that all pianos used a similar set of strings for their duplex scale. Do modern Steinways not have this set of strings, but instead use exposed part of the regular string for the duplex notes?)

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