I'm convinced Pianoteq actually does sound better, just as realistic and even fuller than the best sampled pianos, sincerely. Tweak it deeper or thinner, sharp or soft, no limits really.
if you compared striking a key or two at X velocity on your favorite sampled piano, in isolation from your playing per se, that you would find the sampled sound more authentic, less electronic as it were than pianoteq
The Grotrian piano in PTQ still gives me goosebumps. I have retired my Ravenscroft sampled instrument 18 months ago (and others before that).
Hitting two or more notes in a row particularly is bothersome to me in sampled instrument packs. Repetition, particularly quick reps can be glaringly unrealistic.
With sample technology, every time you hit a key, you're kind of copy/pasting the same samples over and over, maybe a bunch of different velocity samples with maybe some extra computation, sympathetic resonance added in.
In Pianoteq, the full model calculates more than just "what if, for this velocity we paste this sample over the top of the last sample as you hit the keys". It kind of keeps a theoretical physical sound-scape running without regard to static base samples.
Also more levels of velocity can be accounted for, making nuanced playing more realistic.
So I am in the camp that says there are no down sides to Pianoteq which will certainly only improve.
when someone here says 'playability' what really does that reflect?
the 'connected' feeling between you as the player and pianoteq that you get.
Yeah, well said rAC.
For me, playability is definitely about greater levels of responsiveness and precision.
On top, it's about having more options rather than settling for less.
I love the sound of my Ravenscroft sampled piano particularly but I haven't used it for 18 months because it can't be as expressive as Pianoteq. I feel the limits of the sampled instrument in everything I play. I have to coddle it through any fast repetitions and those reps sound same-ish. The longer notes are predictable and unalterable. The entire general sound is permanently baked into the samples and so on.
Every time I feel like altering a Pianoteq piano I'm playing, there's nothing I can think of that can't be changed to my liking.
You can make it sound full or make it sound like a shiny metal and glass thing with crystalline strings or as dull as tennis shoe hitting a wall if you want. Where are the limits I asks ya?
I can pick any Pianoteq piano and play for hours, knowing that I don't have to alter my style or repertoire, or avoid certain notes sounding too clunky when repeated in quick succession. It doesn't limit my ability to play like I'm at a real piano. My MP11 helps. But I'd argue that if I didn't have Pianoteq, I wouldn't desire the Kawaii keys.
Sometimes it's great to play or write music to suit the limitations you set for yourself of course but when those limits are permanent, hard and fast, arbitrary, then it's really not so inspiring, especially over the years.
In short, Pianoteq is inspiration. It just picks up and plays more like I'm sitting at a live piano. I am always battling harder with that perception using sampled instruments.
So much detail involved, and I do apologise for being a wordy person..
Here's a quick idea, in Pianoteq's main interface, the "design" section for a modern grand like the latest Grotrian:
Set "energy" to something like 0.07 - and "bloom" to something like 2 seconds, up the "Q factor" to something like 1.26 and "cutoff to maybe 1.25 and then in the "tuning" box, change "direct sound duration" to something around 0.70 - it's not so subtle for some ears but for me it is one easy enhancement worth tweaking back down from. (Hovering the mouse over the controls gives info about what each setting means).
Couple that with a slightly softer velocity curve and Dynamics at say 45. You get amazing range, warmth with hardness at forte.
For me this kind of thing works on the sense of blooming long notes while initial higher overtones dissipate. With the right reverb and virtual mics it has been a nice trick to make Pianoteq sing even more pleasantly for me.
Increase the velocity curve and lower the Dynamics to around 30 and you have more of a typical sampled piano sound.
I simply cannot tweak those kinds of isolated details up or down in my sampled pianos, nor the onboard MP11 sounds, to the same degree to enhance their responsiveness and playability.
It's a whole different universe for me - and I've been into music tech since the late 70s, midi and all those horrible old sounds since the early 90s. I really wouldn't be returning to the forum except for the love of the product and have been seeking the best sounds all along, I have no interests to declare and Modartt has not paid me.
Higher praise maybe than some would give, but it's a no-brainer to my ears after all these years and I love it when others also discover it. It can change everything you knew about your use of the piano.