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Topic: I can't get a very close/direct sound...

hello,
I am trying hard to get a very close/direct sound with pianoteq, but so far it is still a bit 'distant'?! I moved the microphones setting very close/ no reverb,...but it is still sounding (to me) like there are some early reflections or so in.

I kind of do not notice it if I am playing Solo, but especially in a pop mix it does bother me.

Any advise?
Kind regards,
Sebastian

2

Re: I can't get a very close/direct sound...

I think the closest sound is with either Stereo, Mono or Binaural according to your needs and with reverb off. If still too resonant, reduce soundboard impedance.

3

Re: I can't get a very close/direct sound...

Sebastian:

Try two mics, one above and one below the piano.

For a first try, use coordinates as follows:

Mic 1:  x = 0.660 , y = 0.880, z = +0.300, Delay = 0.000

Mic 2:  x = 0.840, y = 0.880, z = 1.440, Delay = 0.003

The amount of delay can be varied to suit.

To me, this configuration gives me the sound I hear when playing an acoustic piano - very close and immediate.

Glenn

__________________________
Procrastination Week has been postponed.  Again.

4

Re: I can't get a very close/direct sound...

I think I know what's the case here. I remember that I had similar feeling about it when tested it first time (now years ago). In my opinion this has been same time PTQ's strenght and also weakness. Most of the presets are kind of acoustic sounds that are similar to listening to piano in real space ("concert hall piano"); you don't get this kind of "spacious" sounds from most of the other digital pianos (including V-piano IMO). But on the other hand it has been difficult to get a REALISTIC sound which is same time very bright and present (kind of "players piano" or "studio piano").

BUT: Fortunately with K1 this is much easier. For me there's no need to EQ it for example. If I like to have very close and present sound I mostly use binaural setting. Then, if needed, experiment with soundboard and resonance parameters to get what you want.

And one more thing to add: I have noticed that latency is something that can effect to feeling of presence. No matter how good the sound, if there's too much latency it can "sound" somehow distant or just bad. So get rid of latency....

Last edited by Ecaroh (06-05-2010 07:26)

5

Re: I can't get a very close/direct sound...

Several things to try--the binaural setting with the virtual head moved around to face the piano, near where it would be if it was attached to the player's shoulders. Turn the reverb off, or shorten the length, at least, for a closer perspective.

Have you tried the K1 Contrast instrument much? That can give you a closer sound, particularly if you have a soft pedal.

Have you gone through the fxp's in the Files section? Try creart's Intimate presets and others with descriptions that mention the harp or lid.

6

Re: I can't get a very close/direct sound...

hi guys,
thanks a lot for all your input! very helpful and I will try it out.

regards,
Sebastian

7

Re: I can't get a very close/direct sound...

Sebastian,

In my opinion, the most effective parameter to increase the perceived proximity of Pianoteq's instruments, is the (all too often overlooked) SoundSpeed parameter (centre of the main GUI, just above the pedals). Drag this slider to the right (i.o.w. increase the speed) and the sound will bridge the distance between its point of origin and the microphones much faster, immediately appearing to be much closer than before. This, in combination with some other careful tweaks (such as adjusting the various mic’s positions), should get you quite near to the sound you're looking for, I believe.
Having said that, there always seems to be some amount of distance around Pianoteq's acoustic pianosounds whatever you do, so even when working all the available parameters, it is not easy to create that extreme 'in your face', microscopically close-up sound which you might be thinking of. But the SoundSpeed-parameter will definitely take you in that direction.

_

Last edited by Piet De Ridder (06-05-2010 13:32)

8

Re: I can't get a very close/direct sound...

Seb,

I also tried to get a clear and close sound, as if I was really in front of the piano.

You can find the fxp in the Files section. It uses some tips above. However, I put a small reverb but you can disable it.

I hope it matches your request. You may also use it as a basis to create your own sound.

Nikos

9

Re: I can't get a very close/direct sound...

Again many thanks! My sound already improved a lot. Thanks Nikos for sharing your fxp, I am sure others will find this setting also very useful.

Best, Seb

10

Re: I can't get a very close/direct sound...

I all, you can find my contribute in files section smile
The preset (etto studio) is a good starting point for me when I have to laydown piano parts and I need a lot of presence. I use a slight different one at home when I play and listen directly from my clavinova.
Cheers

11

Re: I can't get a very close/direct sound...

Sebmo wrote:

hello,
I am trying hard to get a very close/direct sound with pianoteq, but so far it is still a bit 'distant'?! I moved the microphones setting very close/ no reverb,...but it is still sounding (to me) like there are some early reflections or so in.

I kind of do not notice it if I am playing Solo, but especially in a pop mix it does bother me.

Any advise?
Kind regards,
Sebastian


Hello Sebastian,

I notice this is your third post to the forum, so you are relatively new here.  Welcome!

Three months ago, this topic was addressed, and I came up with an idea to use four or even all five pickups, closely positioned, to capture the entire radiation pattern of the soundboard.  Here is an excerpt from that thread:

In particular, one might wish to use four or all five pickups, with the first one or two placed about 1/6th of the distance along the string away from the bass note strings' hitchpins, and place one or two others near where the dampers of the midrange strings would be, and the remaining one or two pickups in a way that captures all of the high notes -- this is to evenly capture the sound of all of the strings.  One can adjust the volume and panning (or lack of panning) of these closely spotted pickup points that captures all of the notes of the piano with equal intensity.

I would also agree with EvilDragon's assessment that Pianoteq's own reverb would be shut off, but with an additional detail that the signal gets fed through a third party electronic reverb unit, either hardware reverb unit or a virtual reverb unit, rather than an emulation of any particular room environment.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Joe  <jcfelice88keys>

12

Re: I can't get a very close/direct sound...

I posted an fxp with a more direct sound.  K1 BII 3 mics SR1.5

Note that the Limiter and Reverb are turned off.  IMO, the limiter should always be turned off if one's computer can handle the throughput.

It utilizes the two mics above and below the soundboard, plus an additional one away from the piano.

In addition, the Sympathetic Resonance has been upped to 1.5, and the Impedance lowered (non-linearly).

Glenn

__________________________
Procrastination Week has been postponed.  Again.
Last edited by Glenn NK (07-05-2010 20:55)

13

Re: I can't get a very close/direct sound...

Glenn NK wrote:

IMO, the limiter should always be turned off if one's computer can handle the throughput.

I'm a bit puzzled by this - did you mean to say "CPU overload protection" instead of "limiter"? If you really did mean "limiter", this has nothing whatsoever to do with throughput - it is a form of dynamic range compression.  If anything, the limiter would add a bit of CPU overhead, due to the extra processing. (but I imagine this would be tiny)

That said, I do prefer to have the limiter off, for a very clean sound. I have to reduce the output level so that I never get any clipping though.

Greg.

Last edited by skip (10-05-2010 01:53)

14

Re: I can't get a very close/direct sound...

skip wrote:

I'm a bit puzzled by this - did you mean to say "CPU overload protection" instead of "limiter"? If you really did mean "limiter", this has nothing whatsoever to do with throughput - it is a form of dynamic range compression.  If anything, the limiter would add a bit of CPU overhead, due to the extra processing. (but I imagine this would be tiny)

That said, I do prefer to have the limiter off, for a very clean sound. I have to reduce the output level so that I never get any clipping though.

Greg.

No, I meant the Limiter - sounds much better with it OFF as you say.  In fact I'm puzzled as to why the default position is ON.

Glenn

__________________________
Procrastination Week has been postponed.  Again.

15

Re: I can't get a very close/direct sound...

Glenn NK wrote:

(..) I meant the Limiter - sounds much better with it OFF as you say.  In fact I'm puzzled as to why the default position is ON.

So am I roll

16

Re: I can't get a very close/direct sound...

I have an idea as to why the limiter might be on by default. Typically, to play live piano, without any clipping at all, requires that the volume be relatively low, compared to the volume that we hear when we listen to typical prerecorded material. The reason being of course that piano has a very large dynamic range.  The limiter allows the level to be nice and loud, without the very harsh clipping that would otherwise occur. So, it might be to make the first impression for newcomers better. 

Other than that, perhaps Modarrt just wanted us to hear a bit of warm distortion by default, because they felt that it sounded better?

I used to have a low quality hi-fi amp with appreciable background hiss, and I was always struggling to get a comfortable level without any clipping. I have a better amp now and it's so much easier.

Greg.

17

Re: I can't get a very close/direct sound...

About getting the close sound--Clicking on the Soft pedal, even if you don't have one, so it stays all of the way down, and then adjusting the Soft pedal slider (the more to the right, the softer the sound) can also help in getting a closer sound. You may want to adjust the Hammer hardnesses, too, maybe making the Forte strikes a little harder so the soft pedal doesn't kill the dynamic range.

18

Re: I can't get a very close/direct sound...

(And be sure to try the M3 piano, which has a closer sound.)

19

Re: I can't get a very close/direct sound...

Sebmo wrote:

hello,
I am trying hard to get a very close/direct sound with pianoteq, but so far it is still a bit 'distant'?! I moved the microphones setting very close/ no reverb,...but it is still sounding (to me) like there are some early reflections or so in.

I kind of do not notice it if I am playing Solo, but especially in a pop mix it does bother me.

Any advise?
Kind regards,
Sebastian

Hi Sebastian!

I've used this two presets in many ways.

http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/uploads.p … ig0233.fxp

http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/uploads.p … t_0701.fxp

The M3 is better for playing in accompany, I think.

Using PTQ in a mix I turn all the Rev. off and use not more than 17 db dynamic Range (which I love more than using a compressor). To get a typical compressed piano-sound I love to use EMI-Plugins for compression (TG Limiter). You also can try the "SPL transient designer" to push the piano-line in front of the scene. The rest does a high-quality EQ.

Greetings,
Heinke

20

Re: I can't get a very close/direct sound...

Glenn NK wrote:

Sebastian:

Try two mics, one above and one below the piano.

For a first try, use coordinates as follows:

Mic 1:  x = 0.660 , y = 0.880, z = +0.300, Delay = 0.000

Mic 2:  x = 0.840, y = 0.880, z = 1.440, Delay = 0.003

The amount of delay can be varied to suit.

To me, this configuration gives me the sound I hear when playing an acoustic piano - very close and immediate.

Glenn


Hi Glenn

I have been looking at your 2 mic setting and whilst doing so discovered a strange thing. I have the two mics placed precisely at your co-ordinates, default K1 Solo Rec, limiter off  and my own velocity curve. Other than that, nothing else adjusted. when I switch reverb on and off when reverb preset 'chamber-player is used, there is almost no change to the sound other than an extremely slight, almost negligable, reverb when reverb enabled. Even with the miniscule reverb when reverb is enabled, the character of the piano sound does not change at all, at least not to my hearing.
Why is this, i.e. that there is almost no difference in the reverb or no reverb with chamber-player preset?

puzzled,

Chris

The secretions of crustaceans are these sea creatures' special features!
A.k.a. I like shells!
Last edited by sigasa (22-05-2010 20:13)

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Re: I can't get a very close/direct sound...

Chris:

Oh, oh - I just tried comparing the sound between reverb on and reverb off, and I don't seem to detect much difference either.

Isn't that strange?  I'm puzzled too.

Perhaps the gurus can offer some explanation.

Glenn

__________________________
Procrastination Week has been postponed.  Again.

22

Re: I can't get a very close/direct sound...

I just did a quick test but found nothing really strange: the chamber-player reverb preset is quite dry so the difference on/off is not very big, for this particular mic position as well as for other mic positions. If you slightly increase the reverb amount (dry/wet slider), the difference gets more evident. Maybe I'm missing something there? Observe that the reverb is more noticeable in the treble notes...

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