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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, especially Bach and Mozart, 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, especially Bach and Mozart, 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, especially Bach and Mozart, 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 (25-04-2017 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, especially Bach and Mozart, 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.

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Re: How about another, more historically authentic clavichord?

Some harpsichords have a very high sound level, almost as high as a grand piano played fortissimo ! You'd be amazed - I was last year with one instrument particularly, but I agree it's not the majority of them. But the spectral balance is very different, of course, and more important, the dynamics are much more narrow, hence a sensation of "permanently loud".
About the level on the CD, it's a very difficult matter... Let's say that I put a maximum loudness of, say, -10 or -15 dBFS, what will happen if broadcasted on radio? My CD will go to the trash, pure and simple! They want a constant level, be it a symphonic orchestra or a solo acoustic guitar, or whatever. Besides, if you put a lower level on a CD, you also loose some definition - don't forget that a CD is "only" 16 bit: by lowering the level to - 12 dBFS, you get in fact a 14 bit resolution recording ! Not good...
I have no solution, I just explain a very common problem... the only thing I can tell you is that on those instruments with a low level, I never, never use any compression ! I do on some big orchestra recordings, I confess...
This being said, any decent hifi equipment should perform just fine at very low levels, otherwise, well... maybe it's called lo-fi ! ;-)

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Re: How about another, more historically authentic clavichord?

My perspective on harpsichord vs piano sound is from the player's view: it may be different from the listener's perspective and thus from the recording engineer's position. Having played/owned grands and harpsichords my subjective view of loudness from the player's perspective is that I get far more volume from the piano. Certainly the harpsichord has a penetrating sound: when I was "playing in" David Rubio harpsichords before shipment the sound seemed to go straight through stone walls. Yes, each register has an almost flat dynamic, but for me, the delicacy of the upper 8' should indeed be delicate, as compared with the lower 8' or the 2 8's together. I suspect the subjective experience of relative loudness can differ considerably from what the waveform shows.

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Re: How about another, more historically authentic clavichord?

sounds great!

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Re: How about another, more historically authentic clavichord?

Luc Henrion wrote:

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.

just a cautionary note here that, ... [snip]

update: I finally (nearly two weeks later) heard back from Maarten with both the download link and a most courteous unsolicited refund for my pain, so all is well with the site and the instruments.  smile

Last edited by DaveyJones (11-05-2017 05:03)
Wahre Kunst bleibt unvergänglich.

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Re: How about another, more historically authentic clavichord?

DaveyJones wrote:

other clavichord models would of course be most welcome!
but i still like the Neupert...

http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/uploads.p … BWV926.mp3

Johann Sebastian Bach,
Præludium in d,
Clavier-Büchlein vor Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, Nr. 4,
BWV 926.
1779 Neupert clavichord, a¹ = 415 Hz, Lehman II (2005),
Schellingwoude IR.

(n.b. this is captured at a fairly high volume thanks to the close mic setup i used, so you'll probably want to adjust accordingly to bring it more in line with what your ears tell you a clavichord should sound like volume-wise... wink )

Would you mind uploading your preset? Sounds great!

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Re: How about another, more historically authentic clavichord?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WuVVE2t-Vk

This sounds so beautiful. Having this in Pianoteq would be amazing.

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Re: How about another, more historically authentic clavichord?

This is lovely. I happened to have heard this played on a violin this morning, and noted that it was transcribed by Bach himself as the Sinfonia to Cantata No. 29, "Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir;" apparently there may have once existed an entire organ concerto of which this transcription, with solo organ (unusual in the cantatas) was the first movement.

But I digress. I merely wish to register (again) my wish that there be another clavichord. An unfretted, sixty-one key 18th century one, or one like this, or, better, both. The Neupert isn't terrible, but it's a 20th century instrument that doesn't really sound like an authentic historical clavichord.

musichascolors wrote:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WuVVE2t-Vk

This sounds so beautiful. Having this in Pianoteq would be amazing.

Amateur Standalone PTQ user; interests classical music, especially Bach and Mozart, and historic keyboards

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Re: How about another, more historically authentic clavichord?

Luc Henrion wrote:

While an organ needs just one (looped) sample for each note and each stop.

This is much to simplistic. Organs with that style of sampling or synthesis, sound completely "dead" compared with the real thing. With no disrespect to what appears to be a one-man operation (though the details are quite well hidden on the web site!) listen to the "virtual organ company" demos to hear how weedy and uninteresting that sounds compared with a real pipe organ. Maybe that sort of sound was "good enough" back in the 1960s or 70s, but not any more.

One obvious issue is that the initial transient speech of a pipe may take several seconds (literally) to become stable. Most notes are shorter than that, so as a minimum you need several different "release samples" to capture the ending transient of the notes. If you just fade out a note that is still "growing", the result sounds very wrong.

More subtly, the "transient" resonances of an organ pipe are very different from the spectrum of the steady tone - in fact the fundamental transient frequency can be a long way from the steady pitch of the pipe, and the different resonances are rarely in nice simple ratios like those of a piano string (ignoring the small amount of inharmonicity in the string, to keep the discussion simple). If you don't capture that correctly, you lose the most of the definition of the attack and release of each note, which quickly turns "articulation" into "a muddy sounding mess".

But the most important missing "secret sauce" is that the sound of the organ (like any wind instrument) depends on the stability of the wind supply throughout the duration of the note. No organ has a completely stable wind supply, which is hardly surprising when you consider that starting to play a single note at the bass end of a keyboard may consume more wind on its own than a 10-note chord of higher pitches!

The blowing system is designed with a lot of mechanical devices to try to compensate for this, but because of friction and the impossibility of "predicting the future" they don't work "perfectly". In fact, if there are several of them connected to the same part of the wind supply, they can start interacting with each other to set up small oscillations in the supply, until the organist happens to play a note that stops that happening. If you watch the behaviour of these gizmos with the outer case of the organ removed, the total visual effect is more like watching open-heart surgery in progress than looking at a "simple" mechanical device operating.

Physical modelling of an organ without going to that level of detail isn't going to give very good results - but then neither does recording an organ in any case. You can't fit the huge number of simultaneous independent sounds sources (pipes) being played - literally thousands, for big chords on full organ - into two stereo channels. The sound systems for large-scale electronic instruments have many more independent amplifiers and speakers - sometimes between 50 and 100, not just two!

Luc Henrion wrote:

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.

Having spent several years "playing" with this technology as a hobby (and I think I know enough from my "day job" to do that seriously, and not just try to re-invent the wheel starting from zero) I completely disagree. You need a separate model for each pipe, not just for each stop, if you are going to make any progress capturing the interactions between the sounds from a few hundred or thousand pipes enclosed in a relatively small space.

In physical modelled pianos, it is those interactions that make the difference between the sound you get from Pianoteq, and a sample set which will inevitably sound like "88 different pianos, each playing a single note" - a very different thing.

Actually, this is becoming realistic, CPU-wise - many of the pipe models will be similar except they are working on different data, and they quite well suited to run on the GPU of a high-powered graphics card. Within a few years, the cost of a dedicated computer to run this sort of calculation will probably be less than $1000 - cheaper than the current top-quality organ sample sets today.

But I thing the take-home message from all this is quite clear: not only is physical modelling a pipe organ is more complex than modelling a keyboard instrument, but also very little of what really matters to get good results is common between the two models.

Last edited by Rob Tuley (09-09-2017 23:54)

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Re: How about another, more historically authentic clavichord?

Actually, I would put it more bluntly than Oldionus.

We don't want "another clavichord" in Pianoteq. We want a clavichord.

There is nothing wrong in principle with wanting to reproduce the sound of the Neupert, if that's what people want to use. But the Neupert instrument is no more a "clavichord" than the iron-framed instruments that Pleyel invented and built for Landowska were "harpsichords".

The Neupert and the Pleyel are both basically "modern pianos with a modified action," which historically is putting the cart before the horse!!

Last edited by Rob Tuley (09-09-2017 23:50)

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Re: How about another, more historically authentic clavichord?

Luc Henrion wrote:

The virtual modeled organ already exists, and it doesn't sound bad.
http://www.virtualorgancompany.com/

A commercial company has been marketing something close to physical modelling in its digital organ range (not just small sample libraries) for several years now.

See http://www.pykett.org.uk/physical-model … patent.htm

https://viscountorgans.net/what-is-physis-technology/ - see the third video on the page for some demos of what their physical modelling system can do to the pipe voicing.

Last edited by Rob Tuley (10-09-2017 03:34)