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VSL Synchron Steinway D is coming...

bvaughn0402

Active Member
Thanks! I'm not really picky ... just want to hear the tone of maybe the Concert vs Concert, or Pop vs Pop. Just regular chordal things would be awesome. Do you have anything like that as MIDI?
 
Anyone with both the D and CFX ... possible to post a clip comparing the two?

I'm interested in the D ... but I really need to quite spending money. :)
There is a similar thread in Piano world forum about it and one of users on page 2 near the end of page (at the moment) compare this two pianos but no demos
 

bvaughn0402

Active Member
Thanks, I read that. It sounded a bit mixed ... "I love the Steinway, but it sounds thinner than the CFX" ...
 

CGR

Pianist, Composer & Arranger
How harmonics blend together in a real space
This is the key difference I think, particularly in dense chords and large runs with the sustain pedal engaged. The stacking & summing of separately sampled notes surely wouldn't have the coherence of those same notes played and recorded as a single performance. I suspect various harmonics would be excited and triggered in the real performance which wouldn't happen (or would happen differently) in the 'sample-stacked' sound.

Slightly off topic, but related to the above, I recall watching a video with a recording engineer/producer, talking about recording vocal harmonies with the Bee Gees, and how they not only preferred to all sing together at the same time into the same large diaphragm microphone, but that is sounded better than recording individual performances and mixing them later. You could argue that they would also feel more comfortable all singing together, and therefore give a better performance, but I also suspect that there is something going on acoustic-wise as well, which results in a more natural blending of the voices when they were recorded singing together.
 

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Mason

Active Member
For the Falla, I used in the factory setting: 01 Decca Tree Multi-Mic Presets/Steinway-Concert_DeccaTree, but reduced a bit the Main fader to what you see. There is a lot to explore in that area, I've only started. For the other ones, it might be VSL who chose the mix, so I'm not sure, but if you really want to know, Paul can fill you in on the VSL forum on the Steinway thread.
Thanks, love it!
 

Dietz

Space Explorer
Slighty OT:

Think about photography. I can go to a beautiful spot in the world, take a picture with a good camera (or even a good phone, these days), and the combination of my camera settings and what I do with the photo afterwards (adjust in PhotoShop, add filters, etc.) can give me an image that looks WAY better than what I saw when I was really there, looking at it with my own eyes. Colors more vibrant. Lighting more directed, and artfully illuminating what we most want to see, depth of field separating background from foreground.

Maybe we should be expecting piano VIs to be a LOT better than the real thing. ;) We've arrived at that point with photography.
Interesting comparison! To take it a bit further: That's what mixing engineers (or generally spoken: the art of of mixing and post-pro) are here for. :)

We wouldn't expect out-of-the-box solutions for that perfectly 'shopped photo either, would we? The vibrant colours, the separation from the background etc. is what happens after individual, context-dependent fine-tuning and tweaking of different parameters. Everything we need to start is a picture of a beautiful spot in the world, or in our case: Good audio recordings. The rest, the "better than life"-part, is up to us, the piece of music we played, and the mixing decisions we take.
 

Lee Blaske

Senior Member
Slighty OT:



Interesting comparison! To take it a bit further: That's what mixing engineers (or generally spoken: the art of of mixing and post-pro) are here for. :)

We wouldn't expect out-of-the-box solutions for that perfectly 'shopped photo either, would we? The vibrant colours, the separation from the background etc. is what happens after individual, context-dependent fine-tuning and tweaking of different parameters. Everything we need to start is a picture of a beautiful spot in the world, or in our case: Good audio recordings. The rest, the "better than life"-part, is up to us, the piece of music we played, and the mixing decisions we take.
Well, I'd say major decisions that can have enormous impact on the end result can be made anywhere along the way. Continuing the photo analogy... Ansel Adams didn't just go out and snap pictures hither and yon and then let the people at the mail-in photo lab turn them into masterpieces. ;)

It does come down to a matter of what is practical, though. If we hope to get anything done, we need let other people handle some of the process. When I need to lay down a piano track, I don't want to start by going to the forest to select the tree from which the Steinway I want to use will be made. ;)
 
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Nathanael Iversen

Active Member
If you really want to go after the photo analogy, then a sample library is the perfect way to get there. My real piano only does a real piano thing. But the ability to mix mic positions lets you have a super detailed but ambient piano - a thing that doesn't exist acoustically.
 

Casiquire

Senior Member
I'd much rather have something that sounds real and then it's in my hands to make it sound even better in mixing/mastering, and that's more VSL's philosophy anyway. Fortunately there are plenty of products out there for both styles of working!
 
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al_net77

al_net77

Active Member
Thanks! I'm not really picky ... just want to hear the tone of maybe the Concert vs Concert, or Pop vs Pop. Just regular chordal things would be awesome. Do you have anything like that as MIDI?
None at the moment, some works but aren't mine and not publishied yet... I could try to record something but in a few days (busy at the moment).
 

Nathanael Iversen

Active Member
I notice they have him playing the samples from a Lachnit keyboard. These are handmade MIDI controllers from Vienna by a former Bosendorfer master technician (which is an extremely prestigious position). This controller can output high-def MIDI (4096 levels) or standard. Does anyone know if the VSL Synchron pianos respond to high-def MIDI? I have a VAX77 that can output it, and is optically triggered like the Lachnit in the video.

[UPDATED]: Paul at VSL confirmed that it responds to standard MIDI only. No High-def. Not at all a deal-breaker, I just wanted to know.
 
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Knomes

Member
It might just be me, and my ears, but there's something about playing dense chords on sampled pianos vs. live on a real piano (and definitely not singling out VSL, here) that makes me hear things as somewhat distorted. It just seems to me that all the individually sampled notes, played together, creates what I perceive to be distortion, that I don't hear on a real instrument when everything is combining on one, single soundboard at that precise time. I don't have a scientific explanation, but I would imagine that in the combining samples notes, we might be getting an extra quantity of resonances that we don't get when it's all simultaneously on one soundboard. It's more noticeable to me with brighter instruments. It would be an interesting to research (set up A/B comparisons of combined notes vs. notes played together on the same piano, with the same mic setup).

I also seem to think that mixing multiple mics makes things worse.
Hi, this is not my field at all but as a physicist I could share with you some reasonings.
In general the instruments are highly complex physical bodies with a lot of complex interactions between their different parts. So, of course, just sampling the different notes and then playing them together does not keep count of these interactions.

One thing that comes to my mind is that our instruments are tuned with the 12 intervals evenly divised. That means that, in general, the frequency of each note is calculated from the semitone lower note by multiplying the frequency for (2)^(1/12). So, the SOL of the piano has not 3 times the frequency of a lower DO.
However, it exists a physical phenomen called synchronization that you can see in this video:

I do not know exactly how it enters in the physics of a piano with many keys pressed but my intuition says that it is connected.
As someone said next, there was a group that preferred to sing together. I think the explanation is the same. By singing together they are more likely singing notes that are harmonically connected.

There are also the resonances that take place, especially when the sustain pedal is down. It's not the same phenomenon even if it is connected to synchronization.
I know that some sample libraries try to take account of resonances, but when there are many notes the resonances can become quite difficult to calculate.

Do not take this as the true explanation, these are just thoughts that I had by reading the posts in this thread.
 
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