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January Clearance 2017

Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

After 15 years of great discussions, the Sweetwater Forums are now closed and preserved as a "read-only" resource. For discussions about current gear, check us out on Facebook, YouTube, inSync, and our Knowledge Base.

Acoustic Piano Sound Feedback

music producer

Processionals for Brides & Bridesmaids
This is mostly gentle wedding music, all virtual - not for the fainthearted, as it were! The piano is Ivory's Steinway (German). I used to use their Yamaha C7 for everything, but find myself gravitating more and more to the Steinway for almost every style. If you use a sampled piano, I would be interested to get your first impression of the piano sound compared to what you use for mellower tunes, and if you think your sampled piano is superior - and why.
The first tune is pretty representative, and there is a lot of exposed piano on 4, 8, and 11 as well. Just so you don't freak out, if you listen to 11 you'll hear a friend of mine on violin, not a virtual instrument! (Interestingly, he's a great rock drummer who won the Vic Firth contest a couple years ago).
June 6, 2013 @03:01pm
michaelhoddy

It sounds like Ivory. I could pick that Steinway library out just about anywhere, but that's only because I've been playing it for the past 8 or 9 years. Ivory has a very particular way it resonates, and the octave from C3 to C4 is a dead giveaway that it's Ivory. Ironically, as much as I use the sample set, I don't find it to resemble most of the Steinways I've played. But Ivory is great because it's reliable and sounds good. But it's still a sample library on its best day.
For an experienced pianist, the solo sections clearly sound like samples and not a recorded acoustic piano, due to the lack of interaction between the notes and the lack of damper noise and resonance. In ensemble, it's much harder to tell.
BUT- The average listener would not know the difference, and that's really what matters! You play very nicely, and the tracks sound great.
June 13, 2013 @09:34pm
music producer

Thanks Michael. I may go back when I have some leisure time and bump up the velocities a touch, or perhaps brighten the EQ a bit. I was going through a mellow phase when I did most of these, partly because I was putting together some lullabies around that time and was trying to make them actually useful for putting kids to sleep.
Sometimes the lack of velocity layers is frustrating - too big of a difference in a couple areas for serious solo work. But, you learn to use what you have and are reasonably comfortable with. I still tweak velocity curves, dynamic range, and so forth, trying to get a more realistic feel. This has been especially important lately as I've been recording some classical/legit pieces with solo instruments, and I hate going back to do massive editing - it's a beautiful thing when it feels almost perfect right out of the gate. Conversely, it takes an inordinate amount of time to babysit lots of velocity and timing issues. But I'm not telling you anything you don't already know!
June 14, 2013 @05:40pm