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Embertone Releases: Walker 1955 Steinway 'D'

artinro

Active Member
Forgive the possibly obvious question....are the staccato samples triggered automatically when appropriate, or must they be activated by keyswitch?
 

SoNowWhat?

realised I can type here
M

Main reason I questioned it is that I'd like to purchase the *whole* thing and want to make sure I am getting that before I go to Checkout. The terminology is a little ambiguous. The "Lite" version is well defined. But there's not anything truly labeled as the "FULL VERSION". The only *Full" labeling is the "Full Mic Collection". So one could also interpret that the "FULL VERSION" would be owning *ALL* 6 mic positions, which was the way I first read it thinking maybe the "Additional Mic Positions" meant there are even more mic positions available besides the 6. So I just find the terminology a little ambiguous. Again, I would just like to know for a fact what to purchase to get the whole shooting match since there seems to be a savings by doing so. That seems to be what you're labeling as Option [3]. Just want to make sure.
Obviously need Embertone to clarify this for certainty but it seems to me that there is a default mic position (details in op) that comes with the $99 option, and another 5 mic options (details in op) that are available a la carte for $15 each. If you purchase the full mic collection $175 option then my understanding is you are getting everything (default mic + 5 a la carte options). Is that what you’re wondering or have I misunderstood?
@Vita Et Musica might confirm this as it appears their piece above (very elegant) uses the Full version so they may be able to comment. I’m leaning towards getting this so can confirm if I do but am out of studio right now.
 

SoNowWhat?

realised I can type here
So in terms of @dgrace's question:
On their page, it says only "+Full Mic Collection". Means (in terms of your numbering scheme) this:
View attachment 13971
Which also maks sense, since 5 additional mic positions is 75$, what is nearly exactly the proce difference between 2. and 3.
It´s a bit confusing, but only the option 3. shows the early bird discount in the cart, the other ones need to the "Checkout" as it says in the head line...
Yes. That’s how I understood it.
 

tack

Damned Dirty Ape
I mean...shouldn't the output be Staccato when you play Staccato?
It would need to know you intend to play staccato before you play it, so that it can start playing the staccato sample at the moment you trigger the note.

Perhaps mind reading will be available in a future update?
 

axb312

Senior Member
It would need to know you intend to play staccato before you play it, so that it can start playing the staccato sample at the moment you trigger the note.

Perhaps mind reading will be available in a future update?
It would need to be quick enough to interpret Midi data which tells it how long the note was held for and play back the right sample...If there are plans for mind reading though I wouldn't mind...

There's no separate Staccato articulation as far as I can see in the Pearl Concert Grand I have right now. I believe most Piano VI's allow you to change the length of release samples instead.
 

Michel Simons

Active Member
I have been playing around with it for a bit (I bought the Lite version) and it sounds so much better than most pianos I have. Mind you, I am not a piano/keyboard player and I can only play simple stuff that even a brain dead monkey could play. Therefore I don't have a lot of fancy high-end piano libraries, so maybe I don't have the right material to compare it to. On the other hand, for the price of the Lite version, comparing it with high-end stuff might not be the right thing to do in the first place.

By the way, it could be me (see brain dead monkey comment above), but I don't seem to be able to switch between the 12 and 6 velocity layers options.
 

tack

Damned Dirty Ape
It would need to be quick enough to interpret Midi data which tells it how long the note was held for and play back the right sample.
Which would mean waiting at least as long as the average staccato note duration before triggering the sample. That would introduce a latency of about, what, 50ms? That'd definitely be a no-go for live playing of the VI.

There could be an offline mode, I suppose, where it introduces a delay (relying on PDC to correct) to lookahead and trigger the appropriate sample. I'm not sure how useful that would be, seeing as the performance you hear while recording would be different from playback.

On balance I think I'd prefer the keyswitch.
 

axb312

Senior Member
Which would mean waiting at least as long as the average staccato note duration before triggering the sample. That would introduce a latency of about, what, 50ms? That'd definitely be a no-go for live playing of the VI.

There could be an offline mode, I suppose, where it introduces a delay (relying on PDC to correct) to lookahead and trigger the appropriate sample. I'm not sure how useful that would be, seeing as the performance you hear while recording would be different from playback.

On balance I think I'd prefer the keyswitch.
Perhaps yes...chalk it down to ignorance that I've never seen a separate Staccato articulation before and am just wondering why it's done this way here...
 
OP
Embertone

Embertone

Senior Member
Hey! I went through this thread and found all the unanswered questions... here goes:

(1)
For all those asking about crossgrades, we don't yet have an option for that. When the early bird period ends (in about 2 weeks), we will have a system worked out. Thanks!

(2)
This thing sounds very interesting! And here I am always telling myself I have enough piano VI's...

I have a possibly more 'advanced' question. For feature films I would probably want to use this piano in surround. So probably with the C414s or U87s as close mics and thus front signal, and the room mics for the back. How are mics selected in the library? Does each mic have a separate Kontakt patch? If so, is each mic patch programmed the same way that it will trigger the same (but different sounding) samples for each different mic, thus resulting in a perfect 'image'?
GREAT question! This instrument was too huge for us to be able to put all the samples in a single NKI, so we came up with a workaround. When you buy any of the additional mic positions, you get a MULTI that can be loaded into Kontakt. Load any of your microphone positions into kontakt (make sure they are all set to the same MIDI channel). When you turn the MULTI on, changing one mic position/instruments' settings will change ALL the mic position/instruments' settings. That way you can combine microphones if you wish to.

Just make sure that you do not MUTE any of the NKI's, that will cause it to lose communication with the other mics.

(3)
Forgive the possibly obvious question....are the staccato samples triggered automatically when appropriate, or must they be activated by keyswitch?
Ummm...isn't this a little strange? I mean...shouldn't the output be Staccato when you play Staccato? Or am I missing something?
Good question! It's not strange at all IMO, here's how it works (put on your sampling nerd hats, everyone):

If you play very short notes, you here a pretty realistic version of staccato. We sampled a ton of releases based on velocity and LENGTH of note, so basically the piano is "listening" to your playing and waiting to see how long your notes are. It will decide on the proper release once you lift the key, based on how hard the note was played and the length you played it.

That means if you play a very short note and lift, you hear a pretty perfect, realistic release for that note! However, I have always loved REAL staccato sound, with no crossfades and no fanciness. There's something special about the way the piano mechanism interacts with the sound that just inspires me. So we included this deliberate set of staccatos (with 2X RR, 36 velocities) for that very purpose. If you choose this deliberate set, you can switch between articulations via the CC of your choosing.

(4)
Congrats on the release! The tone sounds lovely!!
I have some questions regarding sympathetic resonance: are both key and pedal resonance supported? And for pedal resonance, if a chord is hold and then the damper is depressed (100%), would there be a timbre change (like on a physical piano)? And is there a control of the resonance output?
By key resonance, do you mean, how the piano interacts when you lift the key?
By pedal resonance, do you mean, how the piano reacts when you depress the pedal?

If you hold a chord down and then the damper is depressed, there is no timbre change. We tried crossfading to from sans-pedal --> sus pedal samples upon sustain pedal depress, but that doesn't sound good. We'd consider doing an update eventually that adds internal pedal resonance, but our impression is that it would make very little difference.

One thing I like to do is to shut off the Sans Pedal samples... especially when I want a more cinematic sound. Then I always get more resonance, whether I have the pedal up or down :). I know this is a cheat but it's fun!

(5)
And here I was, doing so well with not coveting any new library!!
Rach Prelude's Eb Major's last chord's sustain begs for more demos of that type. Long sustained chords allowing the soundboard's work to be revealed. Grateful for the pricing, too, and those added mics.
Well done! Let us know when you have more demos (not of the classical type, although if this is your niche I understand).
I think some of the demos that users have posted have address this, BUT we have had multiple requests for some more exposed demos. We're working on it!

(6)
That’s how I understood it (obviously need Embertone to confirm). I read it as essentially three options:
1. Lite
2. Full - includes default mic position and to which other mic options can be added a la carte.
3. Pro Complete - which includes all mic positions.
I use the term Pro Complete to try and differentiate. This isn't used on the website. (Again need Embertone to confirm this).
Yep, you have it right there. We decided not to call it "Pro", so it's simply the "normal" instrument and the "Lite" one.

(7)
Not having half pedaling is a bit of a shame, for solo piano, classical or jazz, I think half pedaling is way more important than repedaling. I mean, having repedaling is great, but should have been second on the list of 'pedaling features'. :)
Are we sure there is no halfpedaling? Haven't seen it on the website, so maybe is not confirmed...
I can confirm, no half pedaling! We sampled: (1) Sans Pedal, (2) Sustain Pedal, (3) Sustain plus una corda, (4) Una Corda Pedal only. We didn't have the time or resources to record additional full articulations for half pedaling, and the library would have been completely out of control (and we wouldn't have released for another year most likely).

Is there a way to simulate half pedaling without recording a sample set for it?

(8)
Would be nice to hear how each mic sounds by itself. Still can't see a section on your website that has demos for each mic. Hopefully this is to be added soon.
We're working on it. Should be today or tomorrow.

Same here. It wouldn't make much sense to end up having the light + full version.
We're thinking about this. What we might do is give LITE users two upgrade options:

Option 1: Get the FULL version but keep your LITE license for discounted price X
Option 2: Get the FULL version and give up your LITE license for slightly less than discounted price X

(9)
M
Main reason I questioned it is that I'd like to purchase the *whole* thing and want to make sure I am getting that before I go to Checkout. The terminology is a little ambiguous. The "Lite" version is well defined. But there's not anything truly labeled as the "FULL VERSION". The only *Full" labeling is the "Full Mic Collection". So one could also interpret that the "FULL VERSION" would be owning *ALL* 6 mic positions, which was the way I first read it thinking maybe the "Additional Mic Positions" meant there are even more mic positions available besides the 6. So I just find the terminology a little ambiguous. Again, I would just like to know for a fact what to purchase to get the whole shooting match since there seems to be a savings by doing so. That seems to be what you're labeling as Option [3]. Just want to make sure.
We decided not to give the "main" library a name other than "Walker 1955 Steinway D". So:

(a) "Walker 1955 Steinway D Lite" is the pared down version with less articulations and velocities
(b) "Walker 1955 Steinway D" is the main version.
(c) "Walker 1955 Steinway D + Full Mic collection" is the main version with all the mics.

Hope that helps!

(10)
Does anybody know if this is true 36 sustain layers? A lot of times developers will lump all the layers; pedal, no pedal, and release into one bucket to claim a higher layer count. So a 36 layer library may end up being only 12 layers for each group.
True 36 velocities, baby! No monkeying around, each articulation is 36 velocities :)

Hope that helps. I'll pop in every now and then to answer questions. Thanks!!
 

kimarnesen

Senior Member
Thank you for all the good answers and for willing to offer some kind of crossgrade price. Usually, when someone has a lite version and really likes it they would be interested in an upgrade. So perhaps an upgrade offer makes more sense than a crossgrade since it’s like
VSL’s standard + extended versions, or Spitfire’s “pro” extensions with additional mics. You don’t end up with two libraries but with additional content.
 
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jon wayne

Active Member
I am loving a small investment in a great sounding Lite version. I would love to upgrade at a later date, but the little guy is pegging my CPU with using sustain pedal often. I am using a quad core I7 3.4 ghz with 24 gb of RAM. For those of you who purchased the Full with multi mic, are you getting major CPU spikes?
 
OP
Embertone

Embertone

Senior Member
I am loving a small investment in a great sounding Lite version. I would love to upgrade at a later date, but the little guy is pegging my CPU with using sustain pedal often. I am using a quad core I7 3.4 ghz with 24 gb of RAM. For those of you who purchased the Full with multi mic, are you getting major CPU spikes?
I've been noticing a few users with this issue. Are you on Windows or Mac? If Windows, are you using ASIO? What are your audio buffer settings? Can you try in Kontakt Standalone to rule out DAW issues?
 
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