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Topic: How about another, more historically authentic clavichord?

The Neupert clavichord is usable, but it sounds somewhat too "Shiny" (my word). The timbre is simply not that of a real 18th century style clavichord. I know PTQ is more focused on pianos, but it has a wonderful stable of historic instruments, and another clavichord and several more harpsichords would be VERY MUCH welcomed by a significant coterie of users.

And while I'm expounding on my wish list, how about at least one portatif organ?

Thanks!

Amateur Standalone PTQ user; interests classical music and historic keyboards

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Re: How about another, more historically authentic clavichord?

I think a more historical period clavichord, and an early virginal, would be welcome additions. Pianoteq has shown with their H. Ruckers II Harpsichord that they can delve into and reproduce the nuances of early instruments in great detail.

I would imagine that they chose the Neupert clavicord to model because it's a practical "compromise" instrument, especially since the Neupert has a range that is more than an octave wider than that of a historical 18th-century clavichord. The other factor is that the Neupert is "unfretted". I would imagine that taking double or triple fretted designs into account would enormously complicate the process of modeling the instrument.

As to you second suggestion, the Pianoteq program is never going to provide an organ sound. What Pianoteq does is model the sounds of struck or plucked strings (piano, harpsichord, concert harp) or struck metal reeds (Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Hohner electric pianos) or tuned percussion (bells, marimba, xylophone), and it does it all through physical modeling synthesis. A portatif organ would require physical modeling of organ pipes, or digital samples of organ pipes, and that is totally outside the scope of what the Modartt company creates and develops. I suppose Modartt could choose to offer an organ product at some point, but if they did, it would certainly be in a totally separate app from Pianoteq.

Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America
macOS 10.12 Sierra
Apple MacBook Pro (mid-2012), 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 3210M "Ivy Bridge", 16GB RAM
PreSonus AudioBox USB external audio interface

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Re: How about another, more historically authentic clavichord?

Wheat Williams wrote:

I think a more historical period clavichord, and an early virginal, would be welcome additions. Pianoteq has shown with their H. Ruckers II Harpsichord that they can delve into and reproduce the nuances of early instruments in great detail.

I would imagine that they chose the Neupert clavicord to model because it's a practical "compromise" instrument, especially since the Neupert has a range that is more than an octave wider than that of a historical 18th-century clavichord. The other factor is that the Neupert is "unfretted". I would imagine that taking double or triple fretted designs into account would enormously complicate the process of modeling the instrument.

As to you second suggestion, the Pianoteq program is never going to provide an organ sound. What Pianoteq does is model the sounds of struck or plucked strings (piano, harpsichord, concert harp) or struck metal reeds (Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Hohner electric pianos) or tuned percussion (bells, marimba, xylophone), and it does it all through physical modeling synthesis. A portatif organ would require physical modeling of organ pipes, or digital samples of organ pipes, and that is totally outside the scope of what the Modartt company creates and develops. I suppose Modartt could choose to offer an organ product at some point, but if they did, it would certainly be in a totally separate app from Pianoteq.


Thanks. I understand what you've said here, but could you explain why the "physical modeling of organ pipes" is particularly problematic, and why it could not be incorporated into Pianoteq? I don't pretend to know, but you don't make clear why that should be so.

Amateur Standalone PTQ user; interests classical music and historic keyboards

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Re: How about another, more historically authentic clavichord?

oldionus wrote:

could you explain why the "physical modeling of organ pipes" is particularly problematic, and why it could not be incorporated into Pianoteq? I don't pretend to know, but you don't make clear why that should be so.

I don't work for Modartt; I'm just a customer like yourself. To the best of my understanding, Pianoteq is a synthesizer; it is not a sample player like most other virtual instruments and keyboards that you may be familiar with. And what Pianoteq was created to do is to model the sounds of strings vibrating after being struck or plucked. Pianos and harpsichords and clavichords have strings. Pipe organs (and flutes and horns and so forth) don't have strings. As far as I know, Pianoteq has no means of synthesizing the sounds of instruments whose sounds come from a vibrating column of air, such as organ pipes or woodwinds or horns.

Last edited by Wheat Williams (24-04-2017 20:15)
Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America
macOS 10.12 Sierra
Apple MacBook Pro (mid-2012), 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 3210M "Ivy Bridge", 16GB RAM
PreSonus AudioBox USB external audio interface

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Re: How about another, more historically authentic clavichord?

If you say, so, although I cannot see any reason why that should be the case. Why would vibrating air columns be harder to model (I believe that's the word they use) than strings, or vibrating metal, such as the steel drums? I'm not saying you aren't right, it's just not obvious to me why that would be true. Any definitive answer from the moderator?

Wheat Williams wrote:
oldionus wrote:

could you explain why the "physical modeling of organ pipes" is particularly problematic, and why it could not be incorporated into Pianoteq? I don't pretend to know, but you don't make clear why that should be so.

I don't work for Modartt; I'm just a customer like yourself. To the best of my understanding, Pianoteq is a synthesizer; it is not a sample player like most other virtual instruments and keyboards that you may be familiar with. And what Pianoteq was created to do is to model the sounds of strings vibrating after being struck or plucked. Pianos and harpsichords and clavichords have strings. Pipe organs (and flutes and horns and so forth) don't have strings. As far as I know, Pianoteq has no means of synthesizing the sounds of instruments whose sounds come from a vibrating column of air, such as organ pipes or woodwinds or horns.

Amateur Standalone PTQ user; interests classical music and historic keyboards

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Re: How about another, more historically authentic clavichord?

could you explain why the "physical modeling of organ pipes" is particularly problematic, and why it could not be incorporated into Pianoteq?

I don't think ( in technical terms ) that Modartt's experts would find the modeling you describe beyond them, given a piano is a highly complex system to model in the first place.  But what they have is limited resources and I'd feel on safe ground suggesting they can't spare the time ( and that means money ) that you might like to make a model they can't see a return on the investment for.

I'm not saying there aren't people who want what you're suggesting, just that "want" doesn't necessarily translate into "purchase" and Modartt has to be driven by business choices.

The popular demand is for more and more accurately modeled "mainstream" pianos, and I think they're going to concentrate on that (but of course I don't work for them, so you can take that with a pinch of salt, I guess).

Modartt have not, from what I've seen, ever made any advance comment on what models or improvements they are planning, so we'll know what they're up to when they release it.

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Re: How about another, more historically authentic clavichord?

I'm not aware of any company ever offering a physically-modeled pipe organ instrument. All the virtual pipe organs, modern or historical, that I am aware of consist of digital samples and not synthesis. If you want a Baroque positiv organ virtual instrument, there are many on the market, from expensive hardware keyboards from Nord and Roland down to PC-based virtual instruments such as Hauptwerk down to small third-party libraries in the Native Instruments Kontakt format. I doubt that Modartt with its unique Pianoteq technology would be interested in competing in the already-crowded sample library market.

Last edited by Wheat Williams (Yesterday 02:32)
Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America
macOS 10.12 Sierra
Apple MacBook Pro (mid-2012), 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 3210M "Ivy Bridge", 16GB RAM
PreSonus AudioBox USB external audio interface

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Re: How about another, more historically authentic clavichord?

thanks.  I already have the Roland C-30 which has two small organs as on board instruments, and they're quite good (better than the fortepiano). But I still don't really see why the fact that it's an organ not a stringed instrument should really matter, and it's not as if there aren't a lot of sampled piano packages out there as well. The competitive advantage of modeling over sampling is that it runs on modest equipment without using up a lot of storage space, and gives adjustment of parameters that aren't available on sampled systems. I'd be curious what the engineers from Modartt have to say about the subject. If there is a specific difficulty in modeling wind based sound sources, it would be interesting to have an explanation for why that is the case.

Of course my comment was mainly about my interest in seeing a second modeled clavichord-- the comment about small organs was an afterthought. But I still don't understand any particular reason, technically, why it couldn't be part of their lineup of available instruments.

Wheat Williams wrote:

I'm not aware of any company ever offering a physically-modeled pipe organ instrument. All the virtual pipe organs, modern or historical, that I am aware of consist of digital samples and not synthesis. If you want a Baroque positiv organ virtual instrument, there are many on the market, from expensive hardware keyboards from Nord and Roland down to PC-based virtual instruments such as Hauptwerk down to small third-party libraries in the Native Instruments Kontakt format. I doubt that Modartt with its unique Pianoteq technology would be interested in competing in the already-crowded sample library market.

Amateur Standalone PTQ user; interests classical music and historic keyboards

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Re: How about another, more historically authentic clavichord?

Another perspective. We piano nuts compare different makers/models: SteinwayB vs D vs Grotrian etc, but would probably settle for just one very good concert grand instrument if no others were available. There must be many Pianoteq customers who are happy with just 2 instruments provided by Modarrt with the basic package, or who simply can't afford any more. (Even though each additional instrument is relatively cheap) Similarly, for most people, harpsichords. (I would be an exception here in fact)

For organs, there are so many types/sizes/periods.  A true classical organ nut would, say, seize on a good modelled Father Willis but not be remotely interested in a 17th century Italian single manual with 8 stops. Or vice versa. In other words, Modarrt would be embarking on a new modelling project, with all the uncertainties this entails, to produce instruments any one of which has a smaller market - I guess - than the individual piano market.

Having said that, a small single manual baroque organ would complement the harpsichord and clavichord instruments .............

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Re: How about another, more historically authentic clavichord?

The virtual modeled organ already exists, and it doesn't sound bad.
http://www.virtualorgancompany.com/
But sure, it's limited, not to be compared (yet?) with sampled organs.
Clavichord is another story...

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Re: How about another, more historically authentic clavichord?

Thank you Luc for that info on modelled organs. Price for each similar to Pianoteq instruments.  Hopefully they will bring out a version for Mac OSX sometime.

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Re: How about another, more historically authentic clavichord?

To be honest, don't hold your breath for this one: it doesn't seem to be in constant progress since years... contrary to Pianoteq!

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Re: How about another, more historically authentic clavichord?

OK Luc.  Sounds like pictures to exe image sequence s/w.  I've been waiting for a Mac version for years and keep an old Windows laptop built like a tank to run it, with all the required file transfers, remembering how to persuade Windows to work etc etc. The old laptop still is available as a back up for Pianoteq if the Macbook died, so it has a potential use. Looks as though I will continue to use Hauptwerk for some time for my Sweelinck etc.

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Re: How about another, more historically authentic clavichord?

Sure, Hauptwerk has a lot more to offer and I think that, for organs, sampling is still the way to go. Consider the 2 main differences between piano and organ, namely a "static" (after a while) sound for organ instead of a continuously evolving sound for a piano, and of course the "static" level of the organ against the enormous dynamic range of a piano. As you know, sampled pianos need tons of samples to be barely playable. While an organ needs just one (looped) sample for each note and each stop. Night and day. But where there is always only one "model" for a piano note, if you want to model an organ, there should be one model for each stop. Not realistic, CPU wise, when adding samples upon each other is so easy.
Now, there is, of course, a lot more than this in sampling organs: for example, playing low notes on some instruments gives less level for each stop and sometimes can even lead to detuning the instrument! I just experienced this a few weeks ago while recording ancient organs... Here, some modeling could come into play. But just as an "added bonus"!

Again, clavichord is completely another story: think of it as a "mix" of the harpsichord and the piano complexity, with the added problem of a polyphonic aftertouch!
And a very, very low level... At the same place where I was recording organs, there was also a clavichord and while trying to record it, we had to fight against the noise of a bee flying in the room !!! Trust me, it was almost as audible as the instrument !!!

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Re: How about another, more historically authentic clavichord?

On the subject of recording, my pet gripe is that commercial recordings of harpsichords tend to be at too high a level and as for clavichords, to get anywhere near the actual level of a live instrument, amplifier volume has to be turned down so much that, with non-super fi eqpt, the LR balance starts to go and the amp is operating well below its optimum setting. Even with harpsichords, it's disconcerting to follow a full concert grand sound with a harpsichord that sounds at least as large.