September 20, 2021 at 15:52 #15214
What do people think are the best sound enevlope/dynamics settings for general playing?
Do you tend to use one overall setting for a Total Preset which has many different sounds or do you customise it for each voice? Can the dynamic setting be set for a manual or does it have to be set for each sound?
Piano – I assume that Klavier Dynamic is the most appropriate choice to allow more dynamic control as I’m also a pianist with a Yamaha Clavinova so am used to great dynamic control/key weighting and would like to more closely replicate the sound dynamics at least (if not the physcial key action)?
I find the Curve Type settings a bit confusing and tend to stick to Linear but I’d be interested to see what other people use across the different sound types (eg for acoustic or electronic sounds etc).September 21, 2021 at 20:23 #15222Rich AlbertiniParticipant@rich
I use the Klavier Dynamics for piano. As of the latest OAX revision the piano sounds are not up to par to my taste. I use a Piano VST (Pianoteq) with a Steinway B model loaded in the Wersi OAX and love it. Pianoteq has a calibration feature to calibrate the keyboards to match up with the VST software. Curt has 4 videos on You tube showing Pianoteq loading and using with OAX. Pianoteq is what the name says, a piano. It is best to use on one keyboard only with the volume slider adjusting the loudness, no expression control. There are midi features in Pianoteq for expression control but use only one volume slider or expression control only. Both confuses the VST.
For the CD-DB fixed drawbar sounds, the rotor effect (Vibrato) can go from fast to slow by using the modulation wheel, set the curve type to “Exponential Descending” for the modulation wheel control of that sound selector.
Wersi OAX has a lot of custom features that can be set to your liking.
I prefer the curve for the volume sliders to be linear.
Listen to the you tube video by Stefaan Vanfleteren “After Midnight Session”. He is using Pianoteq for his piano sounds with OAX 600.September 22, 2021 at 10:05 #15225
Here are my observation on ‘pianos’ and ‘curves’. I really do not claim to be an expert – so no guarantees:-
I too am a pianist (very bad in my case) in that I have a piano weighted synth and I love the way that you can “lean” into a fully weighted keyboard to get the expression. So I have come to the conclusion that there is no point in even trying to get, or expect, the Wersi lighter action KB to behave the same as a piano. Just in the same way that a saxophone sound on any organ sounds like an approximation to a real saxophone – then its likely you may never be able to get the Wersi piano to sound exactly like a real piano as it comes (i.e. its an approximation). BTW: Like Rich – I too am personally quite disappointed with the Wersi built in piano sounds – as no matter what I try to do they sound dead – and I have come to the conclusion that its probably because I am using internal speakers and they are too limited and that I really need some external speakers (but which ones?) . I have heard some good piano sounds on the Wersi – but they seem to be based on loaded VST instruments such as PianoTeq (see link below).
Your comment about changing the dynamics is interesting as I have been experimenting with creating my own samples. I started off with a basic Hammond B3 jazzy one and the result has been very successful. But then I discovered the KB dynamics of the Wersi was set to the default (can’t remember which – but it was not organ) and decided to switch it to organ dynamics. It may have been my imagination – but suddenly the sample seemed to lose its “bite”. What I mean is that percussive sound was enhanced when you hit the KB a bit harder in the normal setting – whereas on organ dynamics it seemed to merge into the sound. I’m still experimenting.
Anyway – I personally actually think the choice of keyboard touch curve is really important in tuning the sound. I like to think of the curve as a means of manipulating the incoming keyboard midi data. The more the selected curve is weighted to the top half of the display (e.g. logarithmic as an example) – the more the overall sound will become louder with more volume/timbre/bite at middle keyboard velocities. Similarly the more the selected curve is biased towards the lower part of the display (e.g. exponential) then the more mellow the middle KB velocities will become. As an example: try selecting a “Natural Guitar 1” and then set the curve to linear, logarithmic and exponential in turn – and then hit the keyboard with varying amounts of velocity. You will discover that the logarithmic curve enhances the “bite” in the guitar sound making it much more prominent – whereas the exponential one will make it sound more mellow. But note the expression pedal also affects timbre/brightness as well as volume – so needs to be well down for this experiment.
Just a thought and specifically for pianos: be aware that the expression pedal curve works in the same way (i.e. the sound will be louder with increased timbre/bite the more the expression pedal is pressed down). So maybe a piano sound could have its expression curve set so that the piano sound responds/sounds purely by touch and not change in volume/timbre whenever you press the expression pedal down (i.e. try turning the expression curve off to see if it does what you want)
Some real world examples of the use of the curves: say you have a saxophone and its going to be played in a very mellow slinky way. The last thing you want is to have the mellow sound be spoilt by loud blasts of high frequency sound if you accidentality hit the KB too hard. In this case I have found that if you manually round off the top part of the response curve (by pulling the top part down – i.e. don’t forget you can manipulate the curve by dragging bits of it around with your finger!) – so that it does not go to the top of the screen – then the offending high frequencies cannot happen (i.e. it will remain mellow). A second example of the use of the curve may be to mix two sounds together (say piano and strings). Set the piano with a normal curve and set the strings with an exponential curve and when you play the KB – you will find that the strings only appears when you hit the KB harder. One very extreme example of this might be to set the strings with a negative curve and the piano with a positive curve and then when you play softly the strings will sound (with little piano) and when you play harder the piano will play and the strings will disappear.
A good place to get some sound ideas is Jaap Van der Plas ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ_QO0l4rV9zfPacRKCIAJw/videos ). He seems to get some really interesting and realistic sound combinations – but also helpfully gives a running text commentary on the video on how he achieved that sound. Interestingly he seems to use a weighted lower keyboard and VST instruments such as PianoTeq – which may be the key. But – if anyone has a formula on how to get the internal Wersi piano sounds to sound good then I would be very interested to know.
Anyway – I hope this is of some use and is not telling you things you already know.
Rich: thanks for your suggestion about Helios sounds above – very useful.
BarrySeptember 22, 2021 at 15:38 #15227
Thanks for these great suggestions guys !
I’ve had a look at the Pianoteq website and listened the Stefaan Vanfleteren clip and it’s fabulous! I wasn’t aware of it and I’m certainly tempted to buy it and try it out as it does sound very realistic. I’m not that familiar with using VST’s so I’ll have alook at Curt’s videos as I’m really keen to expand the sounds I have.
CD-DB fixed drawbar sounds – really interesting comment about altering the rotor effect with the modulation wheel – I thought I coudldn;t achive the fast/slow effect on the fixed preset sounds and I never thought of using the sound envelope / modulation wheel – I’ll give it a try !
Yes- I agree about the difference in keyboard weightings compared to a piano – but I do like to try and use the touch sensitivty on the Wersi to achieve more expression in the sound. The PianoTeq VST sounds really exciting to try out.
Interesting what you say about expermienting – I did try a few sounds envelopes but some didn;t seem to make much difference or be appropriate lookinga tthe shape of the curve but I’ll definitely try your suggestion out with the Natural Guitar to understand them better.
Your comment about the expression pedal affecting timbre/brightness is also interesting. I’d assumed it woudl just make the soudn louder but keep the same qualities but apparently not ! You’ve given some good ideas to experiment with.
I wasn’t aware of Jaap Van der Plas so I’ll take a look.
Really helpful feedback Rich & Barry – very much appreciated and I’m excited to explore further.September 23, 2021 at 10:46 #15239
Pianoteq is an interesting instrument. Its a mathematical model rather than a samapled instrument (so very small and efficient) so doesn’t have ‘steps’ in the sound unlike sampled instruments. The guy who created it is a professor of mathematics at a French univerity, and is also a trained piano tuner/restorer. So he really is the right person to know about these things. If you want to see an example of how good it can sound (non-organ) – then look out for videos by Phil Best. He is a profesional musician who is a very good educator. Here is a sample link which is actually interesting in its own way as well as show casing PianoTeq:-
BarrySeptember 23, 2021 at 11:55 #15246immusicKeymaster@admin
Great video! First time I’ve seen it. Thanks for posting!September 23, 2021 at 13:04 #15250
Absolutley fascinating stuff! As a mathematician when I was at university, I can appreciate the use of modelling to replicate a sound type but each acoustic instrument obviously has it’s own particular dynamics which will even vary from note to note – that said, the quality,warmth and realism of the Pianoteq sound is stunning.
I’ll definitely explore it further with a view to adding it to my OAX (as it’s my birthday next month so it feels warranted !!).
I’m amazed at the breadth of knowledge there is on the forum so thanks to you, Curt, Rich and Bill for your replies on this and other topics – you’re really helping me to get the best from my Wersi and expand my musical horizons – exciting stuff !September 24, 2021 at 07:37 #15257
I’m glad you found the video interesting. When Pianoteq name their presets Steinberg this, Grotrian that, Bluthner the other etc – then the sound has actually been authorised by those companies and Modartt have their permisssion to use their names.
I note you have a Clavinova. Before I bought the Wersi (as I wanted to go back to organ) – I had a Yamaha CVP709 and you should note that Pianoteq worked very well with it. As always with VST’s – it is always about making sure the touch response curve matches the piano correctly. But note: Once you start down the VST route its a bottomless pit of fun.
BarrySeptember 24, 2021 at 12:04 #15268
That’s a great vote of confidence from those companies in Modartt’s product then.
What a coincidence – I also have a CVP 709 !!
Not sure what you mean about why you need to make sure the touch response curve matches the piano correctly and how to do this/where to find it?
So, can you load a VST to the CVP? If so, I’ll need to research how.
As you say, it seems like a whole new world awaits me in VST’s !!September 25, 2021 at 07:30 #15276
I think I got carried away. Yes you can use PT with the CVP709 – but you obviously have to run it on an external computer such as a laptop with audio output and midi input as the CVP does not support VST directly. So you use the CVP keyboard to transfer midi information into the computer, and then send the resulting audio output from the computer into the audio inputs of the CVP. I used an HP Windows laptop and a small Focusrite Scarlett audio/midi interface.. The resulting sound is every bit the same quality the Yamaha internal sounds. The reason the control curve must match the software is that every KB has a different response to how you hit it. Some keyboards are termed soft and some are termed hard – with a range in between. Just in the same way that the CVP already has different response settings user set for how you play (I think 5: very soft, soft, normal, hard, very hard) – Pianoteq has the same requirement. This is not a big deal as PianoTeq actually has a tool built into to help you calibrate your keyboard to the software. I seem to remember my CVP709’s being slightly exponential with a strange maximum midi velocity of 120. In the case of the piano – the curve is used to ensure accuracy of sound. On the Wersi I feel its more artistic and related to the effect you want to achieve.September 27, 2021 at 13:26 #15291
Thanks for this Barry – a helpful explanation
I think I’ll try the Pianoteq software on the Wersi first and get to grips with that.
You mention using an audio/midi interface and this is another area I need to explore as
to what I need for using recording software such as Logic Pro – both are areas I’m not familiar with but I got some good pointers from previous queries I raised on the WersiClub USA forum. As I will also need a MAC for Logic Pro, it will be a big purchase to get all the kit so I need to spend some more time working out exactly what I need/want (not always the same!).September 27, 2021 at 13:49 #15292BillParticipant@abacus
Normally you could get the same performance for half the price by using a PC instead of a MAC, but with their latest M1 (Arm based CPU) computers they have re-written the rule book. (Go for 16GB ram and 512 SSD (If you can afford it go for 1TB SSD) for best results with music software. (Also look at adding a USB-C or Thunderbolt Hub as the inputs are limited in number)
As you appear not to be familiar with the use of DAWs (Logic is a DAW) use the free Garage Band software to get you started before getting a fully-fledged DAW. (There are many other beside Logic)
NOTE: Due to the different architecture of the M1 CPU not all software is as yet fully compatible with it, (Even using the Rosetta 2 software provided by Apple) so check to make sure any software you are going to use will work with it.
A good value audio interface to get going are those made by Focusrite, so may be worth having a look at.
Consider going for a M1 MAC Mini rather than an all in one so you can get the best monitor/keyboard/mouse to suit you. (The Apple Magic Mouse is diabolical)
BillSeptember 27, 2021 at 14:56 #15294
Yes – I saw the very positive reviews of Apple’s new chip so I was a little more persuaded to invest in a Mac just to get Logic Pro as that’s the package that most professionals have recommended to me even though I’d like to stick with using Windows compatible software to make use of my laptops.
I have ipads and whilst I can get Garage Band on them, I didn’t think I could connect them to the necessary kit (interfaces etc) as you can with a laptop so I could experiment?
Yes – I’ll have another look at Focusrite – just not sure exactly what I need to link to the Sonic and a latpop and what spec to go for as there seem to be a wide selection?
I already have 2 large monitors for my Windows laptops so was hoping to be able to use the Mac’s screen next to the Sonic and then relocate the Mac to my desk (in a seperate room) to use the large monitors for any further manipluation after I’d recorded a track but I’m not sure if that’s feasible as it seems many people have all of the kit in one room?September 28, 2021 at 09:49 #15295
Just my personal view (especially as this service is based in the US 😉 – but if you already have windows PC’s (and the Wersi of course is obviously Windows) – I personally would stick with a Windows lap top. The huge Apple cost markup in the UK makes the argument of buying a Mac (in my humble opinion) unjustified unles you have loads of money or are a real Apple fan.
Pesonally I would go for Cubase – as its equally as good as Logic Pro – just different. And, frankly, if its good enough for Hans Zimmer then its good enough for me! The other thing to remember is that Cubase is made by Steinberg (German); Steinberg actually invented and still develop the VST format; and Steinberg is owned by Yamaha – so has a very good pedigree. But – If you lived in the US – the argument may well be different.
For fun: Search YouTube for “Rick Beato Apple Rant”. Take everything with a pinch of salt but its an interesting viewpoint.
BarrySeptember 28, 2021 at 15:22 #15306
Yes – I’m torn in view of the extra costs of investing in a Mac platform (which I don’t have) and the marginal cost of getting a Windows PC software package. Interesting what you say about Cubase/Steinberg so I’ll do some more research before I commit.
Wow! Rick Beato does have a real downer on Apple! I’ll still keep my iphone and ipads though…..
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