Pianoteq

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  • This topic has 17 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by Paul.
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  • #15333
    Paul
    Participant
    @paulb

    Hi Curt

    I’ve uploaded the trial version of Pianoteq after watching your 4 videos which are so incredibly helpful (thank you so much!) and have encountered a few issues which I hope you can help me with.

    1 Volume – I inserted Controller 7 as suggested to control it from the drawbar volume slider rather than the expression pedal but the volume seems incredibly loud unless I set it very low to around 5-10%. How can I set a lower range to cap it? I see there is a “range” setting on the Pianoteq VST MIDI screen which defaults to “off” and “12” but I’m unsure as to suitable settings?

    2 Controller numbers – the default setup shows Controllers for 64/66/67/69 but I’m not sure what physical swtiches these correspond to on the Wersi? I think you said 64 is the left footswitch on the expression pedal. I had a quick look in the various manuals but couldn’t see anything – is there a table somehwere of the number mappings?

    I like to use the 4th footswitch just to the left of the expression pedal with my right foot (as it feels more natural as a pianist than kicking my foot to the left on the expression pedal) but what is the a Controller value for this?

    3 Sound quality – the sound of the Pianoteq instruments is fabulous online but when I played it over my speakers (Wersi TS9000) I was really disappointed as it lacked depth and bite. Strangely, playing notes on the Pianoteq main menu screen (where the keyboard is at the bottom) using a mouse gave a sharper and more resonant sound than playing the keyboard which sounded muffled so I guessed it’s something to do with my Velocity / Output Mixer settings? I did manage to improve it slightly by changing the Velocity to Klavier Dynamic/Logarithmic.

    I even got some distortion when playing more loudly so something’s not quite right as it sounded brilliant on the interent clips I’ve seen.

    Any ideas on Input/Output/Touch etc settings?

    4 MIDI channel setting – On the video, you recommend using the SYS assigned channel. I tried to put 4 of the Pianoteq instruments on one manual so I could switch between them and see the differences before buying but it seems to really confuse things! It often changes the Sound Name that I assigned to it so I think it must be re-assigning things??

    I saw a comment in another thread that only 1 VST shoud be used per manual? Is that the case and, if so, why?

    On a wider note – thanks so much for your time and skill in doing all the videos – I find them superb and I’ve learned so much from them. I’m working my way through them as I explore new topics and they are an invalulable source of help.

    Many thanks!

    Paul

    • This topic was modified 2 months ago by Paul. Reason: Further thoughts
    #15334
    Paul
    Participant
    @paulb

    PS what a great shame Wersi didn’t put a piano pedal on the models other than the OAX600 as it would have been so much better than just using the footswitches or foot pistons.

    #15339
    Rich Albertini
    Participant
    @rich

    Hi Paul.
    I highly suggest getting a copy of the User and Programming manuals from the Wersi site. Also register with Pianoteq (just basic info) and get a copy of the Pianoteq manual to understand the limitations and use of the software. The Midi implementation is located in the OAX Programming Manual. You can only use one piano at a time in Pianoteq unless you apply the morphing or layering in Pianoteq. At this point the best thing for you to do is getting the sound somewhat to your liking. Then further adjust later on. First thing you will need to do is delete the audio lines on the Pianoteq VST to the outputs. Then add in the OAX mixer. Press Load then Factory then press OAX mixer. The OAX Mixer gets inserted between Pianoteq and the output. Run a line from the right side of Pianoteq to the left side of the mixer. Run a line from the mixer right side to the output 1 and then another line from the mixer right side to output 2. Save the overall VST configuration. Tap the Yellow OAX Mixer box and tap Mixer at the top left side of the screen. You then can set the volume and tone qualities with the sliders. Close the Mixer and resave the overall configuration. Turn off the velocity curve for the selector that Pianoteq is on and see if the sound quality improves. How much RAM do you have in the Sonic? The more RAM in the instrument the better the VSTs will perform. 8 Gb should be fine for 1 VST like Pianoteq but when using morphing or heavy chords you may need more. I have 32 Gb in my 800 and no sound distortion unless one of the volume levels is incorrectly set.
    One thing you have to remember Pianoteq is a single Piano not multiple Pianos and not a sound but an instrument. You can use 1 piano at a time unless morphing control is used. Welcome to the World of VSTs and tweaking. The pro version of Pianoteq allows tweaking of every parameter for every single key on the piano.

    Rich

    #15343
    Bill
    Participant
    @abacus

    Hi Paul

    Just to add what Rich has said, you can have more than one instance of a particular VST instrument/effect loaded at the same time (Add 3 Pianoteqs for example) and use one for each manual/pedals, thus 3 different Pianoteq sounds are available, (Note there is a limit to the amount that can be loaded into OAX) however you are trying to run before you can walk so take it slow and steady.

    Bill

    #15344
    Curt
    Keymaster
    @immusiccm

    Hey Paul!

    Thanks to Rich and Bill for already giving you some excellent advice. To be honest, I need to go back and watch the videos to refresh my memory.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by Curt.
    #15347
    BGJay
    Participant
    @bgjay

    Hi Paul,

    >3 Sound quality – the sound of the Pianoteq instruments is fabulous online but
    > when I played it over my speakers (Wersi TS9000) I was really disappointed
    > as it lacked depth and bite.

    Welcome to my world …

    Are you sure that you are not expecting the pianos’s on Wersi (be it VST or internal) to have the same sort of depth and power as your CVP709. This is basically what I said in my first answer a week ago. My experinece is that organs seem to make the individual sounds less dense/forthright so that they are better able to mix with other sounds. In other words – if you had a set of sounds with same weight as your CVP709 (which is designed to sound like a solo piano with extras) they would not mix particularly well and be a tad overpowering. My experience with PianoTeq on my synth/VST setup is that its a very bold sound (equivalent to the CVP709). When I added it to the Wersi – it was much lighter in weight – which I think is deliberate so that it mixes with the other sounds on the organ better. I had a Yamaha EL90 and 900 and individually the sounds were extremely weak – but if you mixed them together, then with the right speakers, they could make some terrificaly powerful big bands.

    I hope this makes sense.

    Barry

    #15354
    BGJay
    Participant
    @bgjay

    Paul,

    I had a thought overnight (always dangerous!). To get some idea of the comparison. Why not record ON THE CVP709 your ideal piano sound (presumably the sort of quality you want to get on the Wersi). Transfer the audio file created from the Yamaha via a USB stick and load it into the Wersi.

    You should now be able to play that audio file on the Wersi to see what it sounds like – i.e. does it it still sound full/rich or has it too turned wishy washy. If its OK – then you have a benchmark to measure any manipulation of the Wersi internal pianos/Pianoteq sounds.

    Just a thought.

    Barry

    #15355
    Curt
    Keymaster
    @immusiccm

    Great idea, Barry. Paul, it does sound like you might be struggling with either the sound of the organ itself or the effects of the room you are listening to and how it affects what you hear. Remind me again – What speakers are you using with the organ?

    I say this as we work through similar issues when mixing a song: a slightly different use case but the same underlying problems. We finally took Bill’s advice and started working with room correction software. We have been running with the headphone edition for the past few days, and we ordered a calibrated microphone, which will be here on Monday.

    I will say just using the headphone-only version has made a difference in what we hear. I’m anxious to go through the room measurement process once the mic arrives to see the overall response of our room.

    #15368
    BGJay
    Participant
    @bgjay

    Hi Curt,

    I would be interested to know how you get on with the room correction software – its certainly a route I am considering on BIll’s recommendation – particular as I used a KRK Ergo hardware room correction device on my synth setup (in a very small room) and it made a huge difference.

    Perhaps you could consider creating a video of how you used it.

    Cheers
    Barry

    #15401
    Paul
    Participant
    @paulb

    Great thanks to everyone for their replies and insight – I’ve made progress (in most areas but not all)!

    I discovered that my Wersi TS900 external speakers weren’t properly connected ! We’d had some work done on the house recently and they’d been moved and the jackplugs looked OK but weren’t making proper contact – one problem solved !

    Rich – thanks for the pointers to the manual MIDI section – I’ve now amended the footswitches for the sustain to the one want and inserted the OAX Mixer as suggested. My Pergammon has the maximum 32Mb of RAM so I think the problem lay elsewhere with the speaker settings.

    Barry – excellent suggestion !! I tried it and found the Yamaha recording still sounded good on the Wersi and that’s how I discovered the loose speaker connections as I played around with the Output Mixer settings and couldn’t understand why the graphic equaliser wasn’t having any effect.

    Outstanding issues
    1 Volume – the VST pianos still sounds incredibly loud, despite putting the OAX sound volume slider to a very low level 5-10%. It alos seems to reset to very loud even if I save the Total Preset and come back to it. Where else can I limit the overall volume of the VST – in the VST Options menu itself or the OAX Mixer (inserted between the VST and the Outputs as Rich suggested above) or somewhere else?

    2 Controller numbers – I see the VST Options menu shows Controllers 66 Sostenuto Pedal /67 Soft Pedal – I couldn’t find these anywhere in the setting options on the Wersi – only Sustain. Do they exist on the Wersi or not?

    3 MIDI channel setting – Curt, on your video, you recommend using the SYS assigned channel. I tried assigning a different channel to each of 3 Pianoteq sounds so I could swap between them and compare (i.e. not using them simultaneously but individually) but OAX seemed to overwrite and duplicate any changes I made from the VST sounds (eg I tried Steinway Classical / Prelude / New Age and edited and saved the VST settings in the OAX sound controller screen. Once I swapped between the 3 sounds, it wodul sometimes overwrite what I’d saved and re-name them eg if I used Prelude and then Classical, it would change the name of the previous one used (i.e. Prelude) to the current one (i.e. Classical). I’m guessing this is connected with Rich/Barry’s comments about only 1 VST per manual (unless you’re using some more advanced VST parameters like morphing as Rich indicates). Sorry if I’m being a bit slow on the uptake here as VSTs are a whole new world and I’m only just getting to grips with the concept/mechanics of how they interact with OAX.

    On a positive note, I think I’m happy to invest in the basic version of Pianoteq now and play around with to get it working to my satisfaction – the sound is really amazing.

    Many thanks for your insight all – I really appreciate it!

    Paul

    #15487
    Curt
    Keymaster
    @immusiccm

    Barry – Regarding your comment on room correction software:

    Sadly the package was delayed and now shows delivery later today (Tuesday). At this point, we have no plans to install directly on the Wersi as it does appear that a driver would be installed. For now, I’m not interested in messing with the overall output(s) of OAX. Having said that, never say never! πŸ™‚

    For now, our primary goal is to run on the Mac and work with the correction software active as we work on final mixes for our #tuesdaytunes music collection that we release to Spotify and other streaming services.

    Is this where I put in a shameless plug for folks to listen to what we have released so far? https://open.spotify.com/playlist/64EdZOR0o8yO23aeVZMc37?si=dfeac9c8da924a82

    #15488
    Curt
    Keymaster
    @immusiccm

    Paul,

    2 Controller numbers – I see the VST Options menu shows Controllers 66 Sostenuto Pedal /67 Soft Pedal – I couldn’t find these anywhere in the setting options on the Wersi – only Sustain. Do they exist on the Wersi or not?

    Check out page 113 of the OAX 2.85 Programming Manual for more information on MIDI controllers and OAX.

    #15492
    Curt
    Keymaster
    @immusiccm

    Paul:

    1 Volume – the VST pianos still sounds incredibly loud, despite putting the OAX sound volume slider to a very low level 5-10%. It also seems to reset to very loud even if I save the Total Preset and come back to it. Where else can I limit the overall volume of the VST – in the VST Options menu itself or the OAX Mixer (inserted between the VST and the Outputs as Rich suggested above) or somewhere else?

    I just created a new VST preset with the OAX mixer inserted in the signal path. Next, I adjusted the volume to what I wanted for the Pianoteq. Make sure you save as a user VST, and it works fine.

    Something else to consider – As you know, on an acoustic piano, there is no “Volume Control”. Expression (or some might call it dynamics) is 100% controlled by the player’s touch. Once you get the mixer set correctly for the VST level, you will be managing the Pianoteq purely by touch on the keyboard.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by Curt.
    #15495
    Curt
    Keymaster
    @immusiccm

    Paul,

    3 MIDI channel setting – Curt, on your video, you recommend using the SYS assigned channel. I tried assigning a different channel to each of 3 Pianoteq sounds so I could swap between them and compare (i.e. not using them simultaneously but individually) but OAX seemed to overwrite and duplicate any changes I made from the VST sounds (eg I tried Steinway Classical / Prelude / New Age and edited and saved the VST settings in the OAX sound controller screen. Once I swapped between the 3 sounds, it wodul sometimes overwrite what I’d saved and re-name them eg if I used Prelude and then Classical, it would change the name of the previous one used (i.e. Prelude) to the current one (i.e. Classical). I’m guessing this is connected with Rich/Barry’s comments about only 1 VST per manual (unless you’re using some more advanced VST parameters like morphing as Rich indicates). Sorry if I’m being a bit slow on the uptake here as VSTs are a whole new world and I’m only just getting to grips with the concept/mechanics of how they interact with OAX.

    OAX will be much happier using sys(), so it can manage the channels. It took me some time to get used to that, as it can be easier to select the channel manually depending on what you want to do. The channel setting config is more of an OAX thing vs. the VST.

    Try this instead. Setup three new user voices. Set them all to MIDI channel sys(). This is the crucial part:

    • Set up a program change command to select one of the pianos you want to test on each user voice.
    • Assign one of the user voices to Upper1.
    • Assign the next user voice to Lower1.
    • Create a zone of Lower 1 to play up to let’s say middle C.
    • Assign the last user voice to Lower2.
    • Create another zone for Lower2 to play from middle C up.
    • That will allow OAX to select three different MIDI channels for you. The Pianoteq should respond to each of those MIDI channels. If this works as I expect, then each channel will have a different piano selected.

      Barry/Rich – Help me remember. What was the status of Pianoteq multi-timbral? I recall we traded e-mail on that in the past, and they were just about ready to introduce that in an upcoming release?

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by Curt.
    #15498
    Paul
    Participant
    @paulb

    Curt – thanks for your replies

    1 Volume
    OK – I’ll try this and feedback

    2 Controller numbers
    Great – No wonder I couldn’t find it in the manual – I searched for Sostenuto and the manual uses Sustenuto ! I see p113 shows Controllers 66 Sostenuto Pedal /67 Soft Pedal but I still can’t find these two in the list of available footswitch settings on the Wersi – only Sustain. From p113, are they only available on MIDI Out settings for use with some external instrument/device?

    3 MIDI channel setting
    Thanks Curt – I’ll try this and feedback

    I enjoyed listeneing to your/Ric’s lastest track – what piano and drum kit is he using in Let’s Build a World Around Us? Is this done on the Wersi or a mix of instruments/kit?

    #15565
    Curt
    Keymaster
    @immusiccm

    Paul,

    Thanks for taking the time to listen. I hope you check out all of the arrangements that we have released, and as your time permits, please like, follow, and subscribe. Stay tuned for more as we generally release a new song every two weeks.

    Some fun facts:

    • Ric and I are roughly 1,000 miles apart from each other.
    • We have not been in the same physical location to record a song in over 10 years.
    • Using the magic of the internet (Dropbox), we share Logic projects back-n-forth and come up with what you hear.
    • With the exception of the Komplete Kontrol S88 controller everything else is virtual as in all software based instruments (VST.)
    • The S88 keyboard does not “create” any sounds, it is only a MIDI controller that we use to play(trigger) sounds in various VST’s that are all running on a Mac.
    • Every track is recorded indepentally as in piano, bass, organ, strings, etc.
    • I only mention that as you are ever so slowly learning the possibilities of VST’s. Said another way – we are currently 100% VST based. Every sound you hear is from a VST.
    • With each arrangement released we also publish what VST’s we use. If you are interested you can follow along over at “Share Your Music.”
    • Up to now, we have not included any Wersi sounds in our recordings, but with the recent OAX 2.85 MIDI updates we are considering including some Wersi sounds in future arrangements.
    • For quick reference on the song that you asked about, here are the VST’s that were used on that arrangement:
    • Piano – Hammersmith Pro from Soniccouture.
      Bass – Kontakt Jazz Upright from Native Instruments.
      Strings – Session Strings from Native Instruments.
      Brushes – Moonkits from Soniccouture.
      Percussion – Cuba from Native Instruments.
      Drums – Studio Drummer from Native Instruments.

      Questions – Please ask!

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by Curt.
    #15571
    Curt
    Keymaster
    @immusiccm

    While we are on the topic of mixing the Pianoteq VST with other Wersi OAX sounds, here is an excellent example of using the Pianoteq (VST) on the lower manual and the VB3 (also a VST (Wersi supplied)) on the upper manual of and OAX instrument:

    https://youtu.be/NOBsgfYXDYI

    #15712
    Paul
    Participant
    @paulb

    Thanks for the background Curt – Fascinating!

    I’m intrigued about the music creation process of recording a track as I’d like to start to do more multi-tracking myself eg what order do you record the tracks eg drums, bass, lead solo, others etc?

    I expermiented a few years ago with the built-in MIDI sequencer on my Yamaha CVP309 and really enjoyed creating a fuller sounding track. So far, I’ve had limited spare time so have always focussed on playing or recording live tracks but as I approach retirement, it’s an area I want to explore further and make lots more music !

    I had a quick look at Native Instruments and Soniccouture – it’s like a “Pick ‘n Mix” sweet shop where you can choose whatever you want – great choice. I’ll certainly do some more research with a view to expanding my Wersi with more VSTs.

    A whole new exciting world of VST’s is opening up to me – although it does seem it’s not without it’s techncial challeneges given it’s software/hardware driven!

    I’ll definitely have a listen to more of your tracks and see what you’ve used.

    Thanks for the YouTube link with Stefaan Vanfleteren using Pianoteq on the Sonic – fabulous! An inspiring example of how to use Pianoteq and a great combination with the organ drawbars.

    I’m aiming to decide which of the Pianoteq instrument packs to buy with the basic version and hope to do this over the weekend and get it setup. I’ll feedback once I’ve played around with it a bit more.

    Thanks to you, Bill and Barry for your advice – very much appreciated!

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