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Topic: Has anyone got PMI/Sampletekk's Hybrid Pianos to work?

  1. #1

    Has anyone got PMI/Sampletekk's Hybrid Pianos to work?

    Hi everyone,

    I recently bought PMI/Sampletekk's Hybrid Pianos. The concept behind the Hybrid Pianos' design seemed very promising, and the demos sounded fantastic - in fact, to my ears they sound better than any other piano virtual instrument that I have ever heard.

    Unfortunately... it turned out that the Hybrid Pianos is still in an unfinished state, the documentation is outdated and incomplete, and the technical support is not very helpful. In fact, according to the developer: "there is no manual explaining all the different scripts and functions involved, it’s kind of no-man’s land there. The best approach is to start working with a script and experience what the different faders and knobs do to the sound". (I assume that development on the product halted when Sampletekk took over PMI.)

    I have already wasted many long hours groping around in the dark trying to figure out how to use the scripts and all the other undocumented features of Hybrid Pianos, but without much success.

    Has anyone else out there perhaps had better luck with this product?

    (There are several interesting threads about the Hybrid Pianos on this forum, but these threads are several years old.)


  2. #2

    Re: Has anyone got PMI/Sampletekk's Hybrid Pianos to work?

    I have been unable even to install that sample.

    Since I won it in Worra's generous raffle, I didn't want toi appear ungrateful and complain. But "an unfinished state" is a fair description of its condition.

  3. #3

    Re: Has anyone got PMI/Sampletekk's Hybrid Pianos to work?

    I'm working on a little piano model where the strings are treated separately from the piano soundboard. I can generate the sound from the strings through a physical model, but I need impulse responses for the soundboard to convolve them with to get something out that actually resembles a piano sound. Can you tell me whether those impulse responses are available in the PMI Hybrid piano files?

  4. #4

    Re: Has anyone got PMI/Sampletekk's Hybrid Pianos to work?

    And did you ever get the pianos themselves to work?

  5. #5

    Re: Has anyone got PMI/Sampletekk's Hybrid Pianos to work?

    I am pleasantly surprised to see that my old thread is still being read!

    The Hybrid Pianos do include a number of impulse responses, but with almost no documentation on how they should be used. (The guys at Sampletekk and PMI might be able to tell you if their impulse responses will be appropriate for your project.)

    I did get the basic samples to work, but never the various scripts and convolution reverbs that all need to be combined to achieve the final, realistic sound.

  6. #6

    Re: Has anyone got PMI/Sampletekk's Hybrid Pianos to work?

    Hi, as the developer of this product I may shed some light into the Hybrid Pianos project and it's status.
    The whole project started as a discovery what I could achieve in terms of realistic piano sounds while using new methods - new techniques. The whole approach was to build
    - The body-less piano strings, captured as clean as possible,
    - the different piano bodies, capturing the typical brand characteristics,
    - the acoustic environment, rooms, halls etc.
    Re-combining these blocks to create new virtual pianos was my goal.
    As you can hear from the demos on my website, the result was totally cool. I have a set of piano blocks that allow me to create any piano sound i can think of and it all works in Kontakt.
    The demos on my site -even now after 5 years - sound totally realistic and show a very flexible instrument solution.
    The hybrid recombination technology that I used to create sample sets is a complex mathematical series of calculations, based on morphing, convolution and spectral recombination, and is performed off-line by us using an array of computers. The resulting audio samples have higher definition and clarity, better dynamic response and a very distinctive character. Aspects such as piano body structure, typical piano brand sound impression and acoustic space are “rendered” on a sample-by-sample basis for a minimum of 20 dynamic nuances of each note. These 20 dynamic layers (velocity layers) are further processed in real-time with a convolution engine effect to smoothen transients and harmonics. The result is a seemless dynamic response with 127 steps without any noticable gaps or "dead spots".

    As a result of spectral recombination the sample can be looped at positions where the sonic fingerprint falls in repeating patterns. This results in sample sets that can be surprisingly small; below 1.5 GB for a 20 layer 24 bits piano! This allows you to load these sample sets completely in RAM memory and overcome polyphony limitations imposed on your system by direct from disk streaming methods that your sampler would normally use.

    The acoustic space can also be added with a convolver at the end phase (upon playback) if desired. The HYBRID pianos come with a vast number of acoustic spaces and special effects IR's that can be used through the convolution engine of your sampler to re-create the acoustiuc space you want.

    On the other hand, recording, rendering and programming the individual samples was a process that soon turned out to require much more man-power than I could deliver (even with a small team of people and the many PC's in the array) and also the playback of all required samples, impulses and add-on's was -at that time- not possible without a PC-farm with 3 or 4 high capacity slaves.

    So after the initial release of the first sample library version (called "Hybrid Pianos") I abandoned the idea of bringing this to the market as a series of products that would actually sell but rather kept this whole holy grail of piano sampling to myself. I abandoned the library development wagon and successfully started doing sampled piano recording sessions with great artists having a superb tool that no-one else can use. And at the same time I started working with Doug Rogers -founder of EastWest-, who asked me to start the further development of their European business. Since I started with all this, I dropped development of sample libraries and handed over the sales of the PMI libraries to SampleTekk.

    So, yes, the library Hybrid Pianos contains 4 pianos based on my special technology and it worked fine (at that time) on Kontakt 2 and Giga3 platforms. It did require quite some experimenting to find what was what and how to combine what with what and when to do it. But the results were mind-blowing.
    However, with time elapsing, the new Kontakt 3 and 4 upgrades failed to load the K2 patches (giving weird "parsing" errors on the monolith file containers that i used) and most customers feel disappointed with this now the original product no longer loads without problems and now that support is virtually non-existent.

    This morning I loaded up the 4 Hybrids from the DVD on a new 8-core Xeon MacPro and found that they could all be loaded with the patches I supplied on-line in the support section of my site. They even perform pretty well on a single machine (albeit with 24 GB of RAM) and after quite a couple of failed load attempts of out-dated patches that were on the original DVD.

    Customers with problems using the Kontakt edition of Hybrid pianos can contact me through PM and I will make it possible to update their installation of the product. i does require a full new install, so hang in there, we'll have to put it on a DVD before it's finished.
    Best regards,
    Michiel Post

  7. #7

    Re: Has anyone got PMI/Sampletekk's Hybrid Pianos to work?

    Thanks for the thourough explanation Michiel!

    I did visit your site and enjoyed this sample (I'm a classical piano player). I was tempted to give it a try - unfortunately the demo page appears to be down?

    Also do you happen to have an impulse response of the soundboards themselves? From your description, it certainly sounds like you've got really high-quality versions of that?

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