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Topic: Soundfonts and pianos vs hardware

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  1. #1

    Soundfonts and pianos vs hardware

    Hi there

    I've played so many digital pianos recently, why is it that Yamaha can design a great sounding set in the P140 with only 30MB of Sample Ram whereas one doesn't seem to be able to find anything nearly as good unless you go up to 1GB?

    I wanted to build a small system that uses the computer for piano samples, something like soundfonts, but I've been dissapointed with the libraries (admittedly many are free). I tried Fluid which is good but the piano is a bit bright.......
    Does anyone know of a good layered piano soundfont or sample set that's relatively small ( which might fit into a computer running 512MB Ram)?

    I tested a Kawai ES4 piano recently and I like Kawai's 'harmonic imaging' the way the samples fade from one set to the other.....is there something similar for a PC that is just as great sounding/ clever?

    Sorry these questions are a bit generic and general........I would have thought by now someone might have designed a 'P140' soundfont if you know what I mean..........

  2. #2

    Re: Soundfonts and pianos vs hardware

    http://www.geocities.jp/shansoundfont/equinoxpiano.html

    There's a couple of others out there whose names escape me...

  3. #3

    Re: Soundfonts and pianos vs hardware

    This is and old project, but still is a good soundfont:
    http://www.hum.aau.dk/~bovbjerg/piano.html

    The good about this soundfont is that is not a rip from any library/rompler, is an original sampling work, i used to follow time ago, so you can use without any complain about the legality of it.

    be sure to play it in sfz, since it have some "artificial" layers, that some sampler dont read.

    luck!
    Marcelo Colina

  4. #4

    Re: Soundfonts and pianos vs hardware

    Thanks for those links guys. Man, why pay for a sampled grand with such decent alternatives out there. I was looking for a lightweight acoustic piano for my laptop-based live rig...these may be perfect
    "Music is a manifestation of the human spirit similar to a language. If we do not want such things to remain dead treasures, we must do our utmost to make the greatest number of people understand their secrets" -- Zoltan Kodaly

  5. #5
    Senior Member Richard Berg's Avatar
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    Re: Soundfonts and pianos vs hardware

    Having played with the sample libraries from EastWest and now Sampletekk, I don't consider the sounds on my Yamaha P-series very good at all. I'm not saying it's impossible to make something sound good in a small amount of space (Worra's "lite" pianos may fill this role nicely, haven't tried) but the Yamaha 30MB doesn't cut it anymore.

  6. #6

    Re: Soundfonts and pianos vs hardware

    When playing live, I use an inexpensive consumer laptop running Kontakt. The 16 bit version of Sampletekks White Grand Jr works very well on that machine.

    A good free piano is the "Maestro Concert Grand" for Gigasampler (sorry, no link, use google). But this one uses about 1 GB again

  7. #7

    Re: Soundfonts and pianos vs hardware

    Thanks everyone - very interesting. I'll have to play a P140 again to make sure....

    Mahal - what's the spec of your laptop (ram and CPU)? ( I don't want to have to spend loads on a laptop just to play piano samples ). Also what do you use for the soundcard - do you trust USB or firewire when playing live?

  8. #8

    Re: Soundfonts and pianos vs hardware

    It's an Acer Travelmate, two years old. CPU is a 1.4 GHz Centrino, with 768 MB Ram. I bought a firewire soundcard, but then found out that the onboard sound works well enough for playing live. I'm using Asio4All, which allows latencies below 6ms on my hardware.

    Greetings
    Marc

  9. #9

    Re: Soundfonts and pianos vs hardware

    Thanks Mahal for that - that's interesting. I was going to use Asio4all but could never get great latency.......I will re-try. That's not a big spec laptop which is encouraging.

    Thanks everyone for your help...it's given me some food for thought.

  10. #10

    Re: Soundfonts and pianos vs hardware

    asio4all is really hit or miss. It completely sucks on my desktop when I try to use it there..either with the onboard soundmax soundcard or with my MOTU 2408mk3. Neither one of them seemed to utilize the hardware buffer capability of ASIO4all.

    On the other hand, I configured my laptop (with soundmax) using a hardware buffer and the latency is wickedly low as is the CPU usage.

    The soundmax soundcard provides WDM drivers in both cases, so actually, the ASIO4ALL is not really much lower latency than the WDM drivers, which is already pretty good on the laptop. But I just noticed a bit better CPU usage.

    If you don't have WDM drivers for your laptop. I don't think ASIO4ALL will magically give you low latency. I believe ASIO4ALL is simply a wrapper around WDM so that ASIO based apps can use the lower latency WDM driver provided by many onboard soundcards.
    "Music is a manifestation of the human spirit similar to a language. If we do not want such things to remain dead treasures, we must do our utmost to make the greatest number of people understand their secrets" -- Zoltan Kodaly

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