Creating The Best Ios Piano For You!

Perhaps this is old news, but I figured out that I could create new iOS pianos by combining midi tracks and the result was terrific (IMO) Here I recorded RC275 in audio and midi, then routed Korg Model D to the midi. Any combination of any number of pianos becomes possible. Compare the Ravenscroft alone and then with the Model D below, and then the Model D solo. I think you will agree. (Listen in browser, then you can toggle back and forth)



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  • edited December 6

    [BAD INSIDE JOKE] It sounds like notes are played and sometimes "sustain". How is this voodoo happening?

    [BAD INSIDE JOKE EXPLAINED] @LinearLineman went on vacation and grabbed a sustain pedal with the wrong polarity and no switch to flip it so he could only play notes he would hold down with his fingers. Possible but very limiting for a good pianist on the slow dreamy stuff. So, he adjusted and created 2 Synthonies since orchestras don't use sustain pedals as a rule to any great effect.

    I've said it before and I'll probably be forced to say it again...
    you sure can play, dude.

  • Wait. Does this mean we should put Model D Synth's in our Grand Pianos for better tone? Then we'd have to tell pianists how to cable up the audio and MIDI. Bad idea. [ANOTHER INSIDE DIG]

    Now he's not going to give me any piano lessons.

    So far all I've got in instructions was "don't use your muscles".

    I keep laying here waiting for the music in the earth to lift me onto the bench.

    I think these internet lessons aren't going to work out. Text is just too imprecise for something this refined.

    UPDATE: Practice your scales very slowly (until you fall asleep, I think). OK. I'm going to bed after I hit G.

  • haha i was just doing this last night. i tried several combinations, but i had a really great tone going with model 15 with an arpeggiate rythm, and ravenscroft running together in Aum. very fun

  • So this is interesting. What patches or settings you using on the model D?

  • @Chaztrip, I just used the initial patch AmD, I believe. The mix favored the D. I really had some problems with it in the treble, but I didn't adjust the EQ at all. The RC275 was the first preset, Classic, I think.

  • edited December 6

    You may fool yourself by such comparisons:
    there is a significant difference in loudness between those 2 tracks (because one is built from 2 instruments)
    I'm rather confident that when you adjust the perceived loudness (not the peaks) to the same level on both tracks, you'll prefer the single instrument recording - no matter which one. ;)
    Sidenote: both tracks are plain crap compared to your real studio recording of the Yamaha Grand, which you posted some time ago o:)

  • @telefunky. I have no Yamaha grand, but I did post an out of tune Steinway...Lush Life. Maybe that? I respectfully disagree on there being no improvement, but it is not the first time!

  • edited December 6

    sorry for my mem... in fact it was that Lush Life tune. :blush:
    (but I didn't notice the 'out if tune' - the sound was marvellous)
    no problem with disagreement ;)

  • Well, @telefunky we agree that the Steinway sounds better than anything on iOS. And probably we would agree that VSTs are superior to iOS as well. So what do we do about the poor little iOSes? We add them together! Well, I guess that is where we disagree. and, honestly, I think the volume is a tad louder on the solo RC275. Go figure.

  • I was reading it wrong... It's not the Moog "Model D" being referenced.

    @LinearLineman mixed together his
    RC275 with the new
    Korg Module IAP
    Ivory Mobile American D
    using the first "AmD" Preset

    Let's call it the "American D Piano" to avoid confusion.

  • This is the sound of the piano being added to the RC275

    https://soundcloud.com/synthogy/ivory-mobile-american-d-classical-demo-1

  • That sounds great @McDTracy. I'd like to believe we upped the game a bit with this Can you do just the American D and compare. Do you hear a tangible difference or is @Telefunky correct with his volume comment? Also, how does it compare to the lordly brown grand from Crudebyte?

  • @LinearLineman : do you have a version that is just the American Grand?

    I do prefer the sound of your combined version to the Ravenscroft only, It is also true that the apparent loudness of the two is different which can influence things considerably.

  • Using Audio Layer, ESX24, or SFZ format, I’m sure you could create some layered Frankenstein pianos.

  • Loudness difference can be really betraying - it took me a serious effort to find out that the difference between 2 versions of Positive Grid's guitar amp sim is just based on slightly different levels.

    Eventually I recorded a guitar simultanously to 2 iPads (connected to an iCA4+ interface) using the exact same amp settings with an old and a new version of JamUp.
    The 'old one' did sound clearly superior, but after adjusting levels of both recordings the tracks were in fact identical.
    The perceived difference of the raw recordings was stunning, though.

  • edited December 6

    @espiegel123 I just posted the Korg model D solo with the other two above. Have a listen. I still hear more richness in the combo. The solo D sounds tinnier, but so does the RC275. How come together the sound is fuller and less of an edge?
    @Telefunky , I hear what you are saying, but your experiment was with two different versions of the same thing. Here we have two different pianos. Still my own mind cannot accept that two tinnier pianos yield one mellower combo. But that’s what my ears are hearin’.

    @McDtracy @Chaztrip @InfoCheck @eross wish to weigh in? @tja @kuhl your opinions would be of value.

  • edited December 6

    I have never had much luck mixing 2 pianos together and having it still sound like a piano. The combination of harmonic overtones that align and cancel and (the worst case) produce artificial harmonics that sound like a really bad mic.

    The fact that you got 2 pianos to blend means they were both tuned perfectly together. At 3-4 points in the recording I could detect the conflict in the 2 and it sounded unreal.

    The lushness of the tone is a result of more harmonic complexity in the result than either have one alone. These 2 happen to blend reasonably.

    @telefunky is as good at recording engineering as you are at playing the piano. That's his passion... perfect recordings of real sounds. So he could easily see the difference in the volume profile. Just look at the 2 wave forms displayed by SoundCloud and you'll get the idea. Add 2 pianos in a mix and the result will have louder peaks unless you process the mix to reduce the effect. He probably also heard the artificial qualities of adding two natural things into an artificial (if attractive) piano sound.

    I think this is like selecting wine.

    Go with your taste but be aware you might be mixing a Cabernet with some sparkling Chablis. You get a tangy Rose and that's always been a non-wine lover's favorite compromise: Strawberry Hill Rose... cheap and tasty.

    @telefunky loved the actual recording of a real Steinway and I relied "Damn, that piano needed a good tuning." But there's no mistaking that real piano for any of these Apps if you're looking for real. @telefunky buys excellent mic's and pre-amps and hardware sound processing equipment for his experiments and records real guitars to perfect sound engineering skills and evaluate products. But like us he has to do it on a budget as a hobby so he knows about the $5000 mic and grabs one when it surfaces for a few hundred.

    So, everyone approaches these questions with a different set of perceptions and value filters.

    It's all good. The mix of the RC275 and the AmD is great (if prone to artifacts) but the Colossus Concert Grand really sounds like a piano in every way. Keep pushing Crudebytes for your discount and promise to make recordings and sell the product. You need to try it. Colossus is 12GB of samples (compressed I think) and 24 layers with the option to use Hermode tuning.

    Hermode tuning shifts the pitch of the 3rd in any chord to make it blend in the overtone series. It takes a computer to know if that G is the 5th in a C Chord or a 3rd in an Eb Major. I don't think any of the other products offer this feature and it's pretty awesome for the dreamy sustain solos.

    See... we all learned somethings:

    A Moog "Model D" is not a piano and mixed with a piano it would make the whole thing sound like a synth.

    2 pianos can sound better than 1 but not for long stretches. The tone will be pretty rich in harmonics and sometimes electronic.

    And @telefunky only wants to hear real microphones or products that fake that well. If you know where he's coming from you'll understand his comments better. (He's not focused on perfect pitch like you might be but on audio engineering).

  • I’ve gotten good results layering two sampled pianos many times. Some sample sets pair better than others. You do have to watch for phaseiness. But if the difference between the two pianos is right it can yield great results. I have found that it works better for solo piano (such as the audio examples here). In a mix, the difference is less noticeable, and sometimes the thinner single piano is the right choice, as the layered one only sucks up more frequencies, which can contribute to mud build up and masking issues.

  • edited December 6

    @McDtracy, well spoken. However, even in the solos I hear notes that sound unreal, so blending them together doesn’t make it more unreal in my book ( have you read my book? I think you have). Also, I am not sure if I would tire of the combination over time. I will try a longer stretch. I guess I could always be comparing the digital sound to a good acoustic and always come up short, I am rather aiming to get the best iOS simulacrum I can come up with.

    @Lady_App_titude , very helpful, thanks. It’s interesting to me that I was happy enough with the Ravenscroft till I got my Kawai 11se last week. Then I started to think differently and wanted to experiment, either by importing the Kawai pianos or having the idea to layer. I still think the RC is great ( and your point about the instrument in a mix is well taken) and I usually hit it with Cubasis’ UltraMaximizer to richen it up. It is so subjective like drinking a Coke solo or following it with a spoon of raspberry jam, then having another swig of Coke. Suddenly not so sweet. Sweetness is relative but measurable. Shouldn’t these comparisons be measurable as well? Other than loudness, I mean.

  • @Lady_App_titude said:
    I’ve gotten good results layering two sampled pianos many times. Some sample sets pair better than others. You do have to watch for phaseiness. But if the difference between the two pianos is right it can yield great results. I have found that it works better for solo piano (such as the audio examples here). In a mix, the difference is less noticeable, and sometimes the thinner single piano is the right choice, as the layered one only sucks up more frequencies, which can contribute to mud build up and masking issues.

    Excellent input... I was thinking about the idea of coherent and incoherent signals. 2 well tuned pianos without phasing issues (the good tuning) helps keep the composite signal corherent and without noisy artifacts.

    I would be the upper frequencies of the two pianos conflict and make those frequencies tend to cancel or become more random and incoherent. So the high freqeuncy information that indicates a felt hammer hit a metal string is lost when that second piano gets mixed in. and the middle frequencies are louder and the bass is wonderous in details (coherence).

    I love it when the theory and practical experience aligns in these discussions to give us new vocabulary to discuss and review music production.

  • @LinearLineman : I think if you look at sonograms of the separate and combined pianos you will see why you get the result you do. Probably the "tinniness" is due to a bumps or deficits in different frequencies for the different pianos.

    You could probably use a good eq and compression and judicious reverb on the individual pianos to make them sound closer to your ideal without having to worry about phasiness.

  • @espiegel123 said:
    @LinearLineman : I think if you look at sonograms of the separate and combined pianos you will see why you get the result you do. Probably the "tinniness" is due to a bumps or deficits in different frequencies for the different pianos.

    You could probably use a good eq and compression and judicious reverb on the individual pianos to make them sound closer to your ideal without having to worry about phasiness.

    ApeFilter App... so easy to adjust complex EQ's just using your ear to improve tone. FilterStation is also easy to "get" and improve EQ and tone. I imagine FabFilter Pro-Q2 is awesome but $30... breaks my $10 rule. When it's discounted more than $10 I buy.

  • Fabfilter is amazing and offers excellent visualization of the audio signal and we curve. I don't have the others. They may have these features, too. I don't know. $30 for a world-class eq is a bargain.

  • @espiegel123, I do add UltraMaximizer from Cubasis to all my Ravenscroft tracks, I will have to experiment.

  • @LinearLineman said:
    @Telefunky , I hear what you are saying, but your experiment was with two different versions of the same thing. Here we have two different pianos. Still my own mind cannot accept that two tinnier pianos yield one mellower combo. But that’s what my ears are hearin’.

    I did this comparison because I was annoyed by an app's update - in other words: the older version did sound significantly better to my ears (when playing in my usual setup).
    But in the end it was just the difference in loudness that fooled me. Oops.

    2 tinny pianos can (easily) blend into a mellow one, but the exact description of conditions that cause it is almost impossible to predict.
    No user knows how many mics were used and their distance and position. One piano might be tracked with 3 mics plus room, the other one with just a single or pair.
    But if the 'right' sample sets are merged, attacks can get smoothed and phase interaction may suppress certain bands of the spectrum and emphasize others.

    I'm not at all against experimenting and extending the sonic toolchest.
    My subjective doubt is only based on the piano's power as an instrument with a lot of character.
    For me that also applies to electronic instruments like the Minimoog - I'd never ever use it in a polyphonic setup (which the emulations allow). It washes the particular character of that Moog voice away. But that's entirely a matter of personal taste.

  • @LinearLineman said:
    I do add UltraMaximizer

    Is that one "ribbed for her pleasure"?

  • @McDtracy said:
    @telefunky buys excellent mic's and pre-amps and hardware sound processing equipment for his experiments and records real guitars to perfect sound engineering skills and evaluate products. But like us he has to do it on a budget as a hobby so he knows about the $5000 mic and grabs one when it surfaces for a few hundred.

    And @telefunky only wants to hear real microphones or products that fake that well. If you know where he's coming from you'll understand his comments better. (He's not focused on perfect pitch like you might be but on audio engineering).

    Tbh I'm on a pretty tight budget and can't afford $k mics.
    But in fact I try to get the best quality for a given amount - my most expensive mic was an old AKG D224 for 250€, my cheapest was a Telefunken TD26 for 2€ (which happens to match perfectly with my Martin X-series guitar).

    I like acoustic recordings as much as synthesized or or digitally processed sounds.
    That's why I keep 2 different hardware DSP environments around, a Pro Tools TDM rig (Motorola 56k) and a Creamware Scope (Analog Devices Sharc).
    And I definitely dig the great apps in IOS audio, like Apesoft, PPG, Moog etc, but I'm probably a bit more demanding because those decades old systems put the benchmark of digital audio pretty high way before IOS started.

  • @McDtracy would I rib you about it?

  • Part of why it works nicely is because the real pianos that we all have encountered throughout life are never as perfect as the sampled pianos. The slight tuning differences and overtones make it seem more like the real, slightly-imperfect pianos that we all grew up hearing, hammers striking three little strings. . Back in the day, I used to layer the Tascam Gigapiano with a Roland ROMpler piano. It made for a most realistic sound that was decidedly better than either individually. I miss that sound.

  • This is a very interesting topic.
    Coincidentally, I've been experimenting with mixing different pianos last week, being captured by the Ravenscroft @LinearLineman played so well. It sounded quite different to my pianos and I wanted to know what makes the difference.
    I won't go into details but I've found that apart from the playing, tuning and levels as well as EQ can make a big difference.
    Tuning of two mixed pianos can become difficult when their temperament/stretch tuning is different and each note would have to be re-tuned differently in order to make them match sonically over the full scale, introducing other unwanted effects just like on differently tuned real pianos.
    The weird "cancellation" of attack transients is another interesting effect that might have to be cured with envelope and dynamic EQ corrections.
    I have learned two things:
    EQ is even more important than I thought, and:
    It's always good to have 5 or even 10 different pianos in the virtual world ;)

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