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Topic: Request/proposal: second upright

I don't know if this has come up yet, but I'd like to make a proposal as to the next kind of instrument integrated into Pianoteq. It should be a second upright piano. In fact the reason I even started using Pianoteq 4 was it introducing the U4, which at the time was almost a unique feature.

While the Blüthner still is my favourite grand piano, the more I moved to playing modern stuff the more I found myself using the U4 and even the Yamaha C5. However, while almost every manufacturer features one or more grand pianos in their instrument line-up, and the Steinway D being so omnipresent it's not even funny anymore, uprights continue to be a rarity. Which is a real shame, actually.

Pianoteq does a wonderful job of giving me choice, especially by featuring smaller grands like the K2, the Steinway B or the Yamaha C5. Since everyone continues to do concert grands, I deem the availability of smaller instruments and also of the classical pianos like in Kremsegg (in other words: the presence of unusual pianos with character) Pianoteq's greatest strength.

I currently augment my instrument line-up with the Galaxy Definite Collection and the Session Keys instruments; not because I'm a pro pianist (haha), but because there are occasions I really like the Bechstein Upright better, or that slightly detuned, 'dirty' Yamaha-ish setup available through the Session Keys Upright instrument. (Okay, and because I'm a nerd with an instrument-hoarding problem, but that's beside the point.)

So, if you are considering adding another piano to Pianoteq, make in an upright? An old Schimmel perhaps. Something that's decidedly _not_ a concert instrument, but something with flaws, something with character, something for Blues and those especially sad Jazz songs.

Pianoteq 6 Standard (Steinway D&B, Grotrian, Blüthner, K2, YC5, U4, Kremsegg 1&2, Electric, Hohner)

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Re: Request/proposal: second upright

Thanks for this post, I absolutely agree!

Something, I always thought, how much of us amateur/hobby piano player mostly/always play on an upright.
However, almost all Piano software, including PTQ, has 99% really big grand pianos.
I always feel some kind of mismatch, when I switch from my real, acoustic 110cm Grotrian upright to Pianoteq at night,
then I also have a Grotrian, but the 277cm grand piano, which ist a totally different kind of playing.

So, instead of a bunch of even more concert grand pianos, at least one nice alternative to the Yamaha U4 would
be very helpful, I think.

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Re: Request/proposal: second upright

Not in any opposed to another upright, but a few thoughts :

but something with flaws, something with character

Have you tried using the "condition" slider (i.e. on another model, like the U4) ?

or that slightly detuned, 'dirty' Yamaha-ish setup available through the Session Keys Upright instrument.

And have you experimented with the many controls in Standard ( and the more extensive ones in Pro ) ?

Obviously that won't necessarily get you a completely new model, but there is a lot of scope for customizing the sound of any instrument.

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Re: Request/proposal: second upright

sjgcit wrote:

Not in any opposed to another upright, but a few thoughts :

Have you tried using the "condition" slider (i.e. on another model, like the U4) ?
[...]

And have you experimented with the many controls in Standard ( and the more extensive ones in Pro ) ?

Obviously that won't necessarily get you a completely new model, but there is a lot of scope for customizing the sound of any instrument.

As I have mentioned, I have been a (all in all rather satisfied) Pianoteq user since version 4.5, it's been over 4 years now. wink So yes, I have indeed. I know about the possibilites to vary the soundboard size, unison width and condition, or to apply effects like chorus. But as you said, this won't make a pseudo-Yamaha into a Grotrian upright, or a Schimmel. Just like the Steinway B sounds different from the D in ways you can't really achieve by taking the D and adjusting its soundboard size, and you can't make the K2 into a Steinway B.

Last edited by kalessin (12-02-2018 22:58)
Pianoteq 6 Standard (Steinway D&B, Grotrian, Blüthner, K2, YC5, U4, Kremsegg 1&2, Electric, Hohner)

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Re: Request/proposal: second upright

ref:  'another' upright - wow, there have been so many ... worldwide.

BUT as popular as the Y.....a has been, it is no mystery that their upright school console is as close as you can find to the omnipresent Baldwin / Hamilton school/studio piano of the late 1940's, 50s, 60s, 70s.  The cabinets are almost identical.  Thousands of piano teachers and schools had Hamilton studio pianos.  A book of Carl Czerny or Charles Hanon sitting on a Baldwin Hamilton studio piano was about as common as peanut butter and jelly.

You want another upright for jazz and blues ...  then look no further.  No aging slider needed.  The Baldwin/Hamilton studio upright is the most copied school piano in the world.

IMHO,

Lanny

P.S. Now the oriental manufacturers copy the Y......a P....#   ;p)

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Re: Request/proposal: second upright

Well, indeed there have been many uprights over the years and on the globe, I'd dare say most of the pianos built in the last century or so have been uprights. But: in terms of virtual instruments they remain a rarity. I now have three including the U4, while there's a whole zoo of grands on my ssd, both sampled and modelled, and I have been actively set a priority on uprights over grand pianos. And yes, the U4 works as a generic stand-in for a lot of stuff, but that's just it: it's... generic. Bland. It works well enough, but there's something lacking. (Which is not a criticism of Pianoteq, I am still in love with the Blüthner One, even after 4 years.)

Last edited by kalessin (13-02-2018 21:00)
Pianoteq 6 Standard (Steinway D&B, Grotrian, Blüthner, K2, YC5, U4, Kremsegg 1&2, Electric, Hohner)

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Re: Request/proposal: second upright

Perhaps a Baldwin Acrosonic model would be interesting. That's considered by many to be the best (and only good) spinet. That might not be what you have in mind for jazz/blues, but they're fascinating little pianos -- very unique tone.

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Re: Request/proposal: second upright

We all have our favorites. I like the U4, and another upright piano could be Hellas ”Helsinki” (probably unknown for most readers). The tremendous, warm sound richness of this big high upright piano, and great bass, make it my favorite acoustic piano (played a newer one from 1980). Production from 1901 in Finland (now it seems to be in China, Pearl River piano group).
I read somewhere that proffessional pianotuners say, those old high Hellas pianos from twenties, thirties, can be as good as well known german pianos.
But, sound quality, good or not, is always based on, or influenced by, personal feelings - subjective. So, we can get dozens of suggestions here, which of course is good for Modartt. And interesting reading for us forum members. And - Modartt team have of course their own standard/criteria, by which they decide about new pianos.
Just wanted to say that in my opinion a new upright should be totally different from what we already have. Having said that, for me, more Grand pianos are also welcome. As a matter of fact,  its always something to be happy about, when we get a new Pianoteq instrument.
Well, thats what I think about it.

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Re: Request/proposal: second upright

A good, small upright can have a very mellow, but never dull sound,
there are numerous examples, Schimmel of course, Grotrian, many many more.
This really could be a very interesting alternative to the big sound of the concert grands.

Just found this one, really seductive sounding IMHO:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDKWTlSyBf8
Of course, there are many, many more.....