1

Topic: Harmonics

Hi,

Just a question : When I press silently a note on my piano (a real one), lets say a C4 and I strike (rather hard :-)) a note one octave lower (here a C3). I hear an harmonic rather loud.

When I play that on Pianoteq, the harmonic is very weak (except for the latest ones U4, Gotrian and Model B) ? Is there a way to play with a parameter to have a more realistic first harmonic ? Or do we have to wait for a newer version of older piano models (Grand D4, Bluethner, Kremsseg,  does not succeed this basic test :-( ) ?
(For the record : on NI Alicia's keys, this harmonic test is quite good)

kindest regards,

2

Re: Harmonics

Did you try increasing the sympathetic resonance slider?

Hard work and guts!

3

Re: Harmonics

I second the proposition of playing with sympathetic resonance... for me it improves it, but to me the issue does not appear to be solely a sympathetic resonance thing (hard to describe). I don't know if this is a compagnie decision to consider better harmonics in its newer paid models (extra). Not that there is anything wrong doing it, it can be considered logical to pay for extra.

Last edited by Lucy (31-03-2017 16:58)

4

Re: Harmonics

Lucy wrote:

I don't know if this is a compagnie decision to consider better harmonics in its newer paid models (extra). Not that there is anything wrong doing it, it can be considered logical to pay for extra.

But that's not QUITE the case really.

Pianoteq engine improves with time. Some older models/add-ons aren't using all the latest advancements, that's just how it is. At some point Modartt might update all these models to make use of all those advancements. Let's see what happens in Pianoteq 6.

Last edited by EvilDragon (31-03-2017 18:21)
Hard work and guts!

5

Re: Harmonics

Gotacki wrote:

Hi,

Just a question : When I press silently a note on my piano (a real one), lets say a C4 and I strike (rather hard :-)) a note one octave lower (here a C3). I hear an harmonic rather loud.

When I play that on Pianoteq, the harmonic is very weak (except for the latest ones U4, Gotrian and Model B) ? Is there a way to play with a parameter to have a more realistic first harmonic ? Or do we have to wait for a newer version of older piano models (Grand D4, Bluethner, Kremsseg,  does not succeed this basic test :-( ) ?
(For the record : on NI Alicia's keys, this harmonic test is quite good)

kindest regards,

I've just bought a new Piano ROLAND HP603 with PHA 50 action to use with Pianoteq. (new Piano engine from Vpiano  and new PHA 50 action: HP603/605 - LX7/17 - FP90 - RD2000)
(I find this action very good, accurate, very robust ->more robust than Kawai)

But new Roland Piano engine use a modelled Piano with harmonics and i find the attack more real (work too with pedal transitions up and down)

I find the harmonic engine from internal sound of my new Roland better than Pianoteq. (i've compared with studio monitors)

Pianoteq is still better for editing/settings, but... New Roland engine is incredible.... a step forward. (YAMAHA and KAWAI (2016 models) internal sound sound fake with Harmonics between pedal down/up)

No doubt it will be better in Pianoteq V6.

Modelling is the good way. I like the way Roland and Pianoteq do it. They have to exchange their knowledge...

Last edited by Olivier_Frappier (31-03-2017 21:21)

6

Re: Harmonics

EvilDragon wrote:
Lucy wrote:

I don't know if this is a compagnie decision to consider better harmonics in its newer paid models (extra). Not that there is anything wrong doing it, it can be considered logical to pay for extra.

But that's not QUITE the case really.

Pianoteq engine improves with time. Some older models/add-ons aren't using all the latest advancements, that's just how it is. At some point Modartt might update all these models to make use of all those advancements. Let's see what happens in Pianoteq 6.

I hope harmonic improves in V6, there are several criticisms and propositions in this forum on how to improve Pianoteq. But harmonics alone generally increase the WOW effect efficiently including for those who are ignorent about pianos (that's one of the first thing they will generally pay attention to, since it makes the piano sound WHOLE). On some of the models it is too weak, more weaker than Pianoteq displayed to be capable of, that's why I wondered if it was due to some compagnie decisions.

If there are improvement only in the harmonics in V6, this alone justifies a new release and I will be more than satisfied of the upgrade.

Olivier_Frappier, I think that's an unfair comparaison, ROLAND HP603 engine is attached to a product which is far from being cheap. While in the case of Pianoteq, one can start with the Stage version for about nothing...

7

Re: Harmonics

Lucy wrote:

But harmonics alone generally increase the WOW effect efficiently including for those who are ignorent about pianos

I'm not sure you're using "harmonics" as a word in proper context here. Harmonics are just what sound is built out of. They don't make any sort of "wow effect" inherently. big_smile


Also, Olivier, hehe, "modelled piano with harmonics" sounds equally clueless, sorry to say. Harmonics ARE what happens during sound generation - be it modeling or samples. It's sort of like saying "I'm eating a sandwich with food".

Last edited by EvilDragon (01-04-2017 00:19)
Hard work and guts!

8

Re: Harmonics

Gotacki wrote:

Hi,

Just a question : When I press silently a note on my piano (a real one), lets say a C4 and I strike (rather hard :-)) a note one octave lower (here a C3). I hear an harmonic rather loud.

kindest regards,

Hi EvilDragon, if harmonics is what is described above, then it's exactly what I am refering to. If a WOW effect is rather subjective, then substitute this with any other term less open to constructs and users tastes. smile

Doesn't matter how it is generated, it sound or doesn't sound like..., harmonics make the sound more whole to my ears. All sandwiches are not made equals... some are better foods. :b

Last edited by Lucy (01-04-2017 01:36)

9

Re: Harmonics

This is a harmonic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:220_Hz_sine_wave.ogg


Very "whole" sound, right? smile


What is described in above quote is called sympathetic resonance, it's not just A harmonic. big_smile

Last edited by EvilDragon (01-04-2017 11:30)
Hard work and guts!

10

Re: Harmonics

EvilDragon wrote:

This is a harmonic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:220_Hz_sine_wave.ogg


Very "whole" sound, right? smile


What is described in above quote is called sympathetic resonance, it's not just A harmonic. big_smile

Sorry for my poor english. i speak about sympathetic resonance resonance not only harmonic or partials.
But there are rules between  sympathetic resonance and harmonic/partials... We hear only some partials of strings depend of kind and of number of undampered keys and Pedal up/down transitions...

My Roland HP603 simulate now better sympathetic resonance than Pianoteq, and sampled piano.

ANd i was the first to implement this feature (sympathetic resonance) in sampled Piano library. (i was a developper /scripting for several library sevral years ago)...

Last edited by Olivier_Frappier (01-04-2017 21:35)

11

Re: Harmonics

For sampled pianos it's really really hard to simulate sympathetic resonance, really. I'd even say impossible, because there's really a LOT of different combinations that can happen depending on which keys are pressed...

In which way do you think the Roland emulates sympathetic resonance better than Pianoteq, though? Care to explain? Because to me they're about the same in that regard. Perhaps one has a more pronounced effect than the other, but that's nothing that can't be sorted out in Pianoteq by tweaking the parameters. No?

Hard work and guts!

12

Re: Harmonics

Hi Evildragon,

You are right that what is described above has a lot to do with sympathetic resonance. This is why I agreed with you that playing with sympathetic resonance improves it. But sympathetic resonance is a harmonic phenomenon: ''Sympathetic resonance or sympathetic vibration is a harmonic phenomenon wherein a formerly passive string or vibratory body responds to external vibrations to which it has a harmonic likeness.'' The disagreement here is yet again construct based. I also added that something seems to still be lacking playing with sympathetic resonance. You are being (in my opinion) too much selective with your definition of the harmonics. Reason is that (as you know) the whole design of a piano is made so that the instrument produce nearly (not completely) periodic oscillations; overtones as close as possible to the harmonics of the fundamental. And it doesn't yet stop there,... This can't be reduced to a simple mathematical sin wave describing the whole phenomenon. Those kinds of parameters we don't have all the controls by simply tweaking sympathetic resonance.

But in either case, I think the disagreement stems from the definition of what the word harmonics cover or doesn't cover. This has more to do with the barrier of language, definitions and other similar constructs (arbitrarily set).

I will also add that (something which was not brought here) is that not only harmonics respond in a piano, some might consider this as a bad thing, but it enhances the realism, in my opinion. When someone is referring to a better harmonic in other products, I think they're not only referring to the harmonics but also the part of the response which for the mathematical purist (who would only keep harmonics) isn't a sin function on a piece of paper. That's why while you are right that for sampled pianos it's really really hard to simulate sympathetic resonance... they overcompensate by the simple fact that they (to a varrying degree) contain elements which are hard to model.

Last edited by Lucy (01-04-2017 13:46)

13

Re: Harmonics

Sampled Piano was the past... But i was the first to do/script sympathetic resonance for existing library.

I prefer true modelling

New Roland are modelled, not sampled :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5BQO6UBtP8

i love my HP603 (same audio engine than LX17)

Last edited by Olivier_Frappier (01-04-2017 21:37)

14

Re: Harmonics

Lucy wrote:

But in either case, I think the disagreement stems from the definition of what the word harmonics cover or doesn't cover. This has more to do with the barrier of language, definitions and other similar constructs (arbitrarily set).

there is nothing "arbitrary" about the word; it has a specific meaning: as a noun, Oxford Dictionaries gives us "an overtone accompanying a fundamental tone at a fixed interval, produced by vibration of a string, column of air, etc. in an exact fraction of its length" (music) or (and obviously closely related) "a component frequency of an oscillation or wave" (physics).  so one can go around arbitrarily saying black "covers" red, up covers down, or horses cover cats, but "it ain't necessarily so."  i realize that in this age of "alternate facts" there is a frightening trend toward the dissolution of language, but the words we use do matter and have a precision in their use whose specificity is what makes language either an effective tool of communication or, lacking such diligence, (to borrow from Kant) ein bloßes Herumtappen.   

further, you cite wikipedia's headline definition for sympathetic resonance as indeed a "harmonic phenomenon", but seem not to realize that the wiki is in fact referencing the precise use of the term "harmonic" to reflect the physics of what's going on, and not as some soft moniker.  i like the no-nonsense description Sweetwater gives "a vibration produced in one material by the vibrations of the same frequency, or a harmonic multiple of that frequency [emphasis mine], from a sound wave in contact with the object, by means of the air or an intervening material.  ... [since] sound is produced by the vibrations of a body that are transmitted through material media (air, for example) in waves of varying pressure, [it follows that] when a sound wave of one frequency strikes a surface (a wall, for example) that will vibrate naturally at the same frequency, that vibration is called sympathetic vibration. Any reinforcement (increase) of sound resulting from the sympathetic vibration is called resonance."  (https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/sympa … vibration/)

finally, while it's one thing to be loosey-goosey with the language of words, i truly hope you are not similarly inclined in the sphere of music!  to savage one's own tongue is a shame, but to do so to the works of Bach et alii (issues of ornamentation and improvisation aside) an unforgivable crime!  wink

Wahre Kunst bleibt unvergänglich.

15

Re: Harmonics

er? Did you read the whole of my reply above? I haven't added anything myself, the only two instances where I directly referred to the definition of harmonics was a quote (from Wikipedia as you have noted) and another phrase which was a paraphrasing from another reference book about acoustical pianos (but which is also in a form or another on Wikipedia too). When I wrote ''arbitrary'' I was simply answering this: ''This is a harmonic. What is described in above quote is called sympathetic resonance, it's not just a harmonic.''

Notice the subjectivity (that's what I called arbitrary, ''that's what is an harmonic'', something which doesn't apply to a real piano to begin with), ''it's not just harmonics'' (it is or it isn't just harmonics, call it a phenomenon of harmonics, those are constructs of language they do not substitute to reality) and there is a wave function (with the sound) of a harmonic being posted. Notice my reply: ''you are being (in my opinion) too much selective with your definition of the harmonics. Reason is that (as you know) the whole design of a piano is made so that the instrument produce nearly (not completely) periodic oscillations; overtones as close as possible to the harmonics of the fundamental.''

My point above was that while it's true that what he has posted is a harmonic, in a true acoustical piano nearly periodic oscillations (NOT completely) are produced... (and I haven't even started with the consequences of this on other strings) one can find a piano tuner easily on YouTube explaining this and why it is so. It's not as if I am saying something new here. The mathematical pure harmonic he posted isn't actually what exactly happens on a true acoustical piano.

To this adds the fact that when someone gives an opinion, he is inherently limited to his own knowledge and to get his whole point one has to be able to put himself in that person's shoes. Gotacki opinion for instance certainly didn't refer only to harmonics... in a real piano (like guitars and other instruments), not only harmonics are being created... in this wholeness of the sound (the WOW effect I was referring to) what aspect comes from harmonics, directly or more particularly indirectly relies on constructs and set parameters limited by the abstraction of language. If you are disagreeing here, this too doesn't come from me, my little Geek friend (see I'm innocent here, it's his point of view and he can't express himself, so I guess he's excused too smile ) is referring to the very same author you have quoted, Kant, in several passages you could find in his critic of pure reason (and the paradox of Kant as direct consequence) what I pointed out is explained precisely. smile By restraining ourselves to some rational (digital) slicing of reality with abstract notions we certainly miss the boat. What Gotacki wrote was actually quite simple: ''When I press silently a note on my piano (a real one), lets say a C4 and I strike (rather hard :-)) a note one octave lower (here a C3). I hear an harmonic rather loud. '' How much of what he wrote in essence change if the word harmonic was misused? There is something which is missing in that sound, and the only persons who will wholly understand him are those who also felt something is missing. What harmonics are, or what they aren't is just secondary here.

Remembers me the tree of knowledge (what is right and what is wrong)... what is knowledge is inherently constructed on what is right (call it Good) and what is wrong (Evil)... since those are mostly relying on constructs and social norms and biases (models), they are arbitrary and are therefore sentenced to be replaced (die)... but what remains is this: ''When I press silently a note on my piano (a real one), lets say a C4 and I strike (rather hard :-)) a note one octave lower (here a C3). I hear an WWWOOOWWW rather loud.'' Call that the tree of life, not sentenced to be replaced. :b

Last edited by Lucy (02-04-2017 05:55)

16

Re: Harmonics

Olivier_Frappier wrote:

But i was the first to do/script sympathetic resonance for existing library.

I don't think I've ever tried your script, but I have tried the script by someone-or-other "Mezzo"(?) - was that using a similar technique? It worked very well indeed, anyway.

Greg.

17

Re: Harmonics

This entire thread about harmonics, and whether you hear them or not, and how loud they are (if present) gives me the same false sense of security as looking for bird S*** inside a cuckoo clock!  Obviously, finding some would render a similar "wow" effect that was alluded to in this thread.  The allure of such an effect ... decreases with time.

People, enjoy your piano, whether it is an acoustic piano or Pianoteq or a competitive product.  Please make music with it, and submit recordings to this website if they involve Modartt products.

Cheers,

Joe

18

Re: Harmonics

I truly apologize, I was to remove that last reply, but it was just too late. I agree with you jcfelice88keys that the most important thing is that we enjoy our pianos.

I never said enough how good a product pianoteq is and how my computer is cleaner just because it has replaced all those free soundfonts which were sucking all the ressources and time spent trying to separate garbage with quality.

It is this specific niche just at the center (for both amateurs and professionals) of Pianoteq that makes it really hard to replace. What it can't give me, I add up from elsewhere and enjoy the time spent doing it.

And thanks EvilDragon for all the feedbacks and help you provide in this forum.