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Hello friends,

 

Any other piano savvy peeps out there? What do you play on now? If you could have any piano - what would it be?

 

Personally, I use electronic equipment. I started on a Lowery dual manual organ when I was a kid - then a Kawai digital piano - from there a Rhodes MK-80, and now a Kurzweil PC-88MX. My next piano - which I'm scheduled to acquire very soon is a Yamaha Motif XS-8 which I will be using on my upcoming album.

 

I still love the real deal. Most of my piano instruction took place on an old Wurlitzer studio upright. My fav acoustic as of now seems to be the Bösendorfer - Tori Amos' piano of choice. The tone is crisp with the perfect amount of brightness. Feels good too for my playing style.

 

Has anyone else got an opinion? Ever played a Steinway? I've heard the Yamaha C series is worth checking out. I cannot stand pianos that sound dull, warm and mushy - and so many of them do.

 

Ryan

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I was fortunate enough to grow up with a 1939 Steinway Studio "M" Grand (little shorter than the Baby "B") in the house. It spoiled the heck out of me and I've stuck with owning unweighted keyboards ever since because the weighted ones (real piano or rhodes or midi or yamalectric) just can't hold a candle to those pre-war Steinways....

 

I must admit to having really moved away from sampling "the real thing" since the Kurzweil days, even though they're better now with more bits, but my ears and tastes have both changed...

 

Gimme Keith Emerson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFpWs9Puxpw anytime, :cheer:

Buffy

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I hope you don't mind if I answer the questions too? :cheer:

 

Cool! What type of keyboard do you have?

 

I use an M-audio Keystation 88. It's far too big and bulky but it worked fine for me while I took lessons last year.

 

I can't wait to try the Native Instruments libraries. I'm also very interested in the stuff offered by Reason/Propellerhead.

 

I had Reason for a while but I sold it. Now I have NI Akoustik Piano and Elektrik Piano (as part of the Komplete 4 package) and they are very, very good. I've played a number of pianos over the years but never owned one myself, so these are excellent substitutes for me since I live in a flat and have limited room.

 

I also have a sampled piano from SampleTekk. They have some excellent and pretty cheap complete piano packages.

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Cool! What type of keyboard do you have? What sample libraries do you use?

As far as computer samples go - I can't wait to try the Native Instruments libraries. I'm also very interested in the stuff offered by Reason/Propellerhead.

 

I use an M-Audio Oxygen 49. It's a nice controller for the price. I have Kontakt 2 which has some great pianos and I also use Wusikstation, SampleTank, and a number of free soundfonts as well. It's crucial to have a large selection of piano sounds. :cheer:

 

The Sampletekk pianos that Tormod mentioned are preety highly acclaimed for their value, but I don't have personal experience working with them...yet.

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Freezy I dig the avatar ;)

 

Anyhoot- I'd just like to say that my favorite piano I've ever played I found in an old abandoned manor-like building (snug harbor, staten island)

It was WAY out of tune, which didn't matter considering I used it mainly as an improvisational percussion instrument which delivered random pitch.

Twas by favorite because of the old acoustics and setting.

Even chillen' on my laptop with reason and pro tools isn't as fun as that ghastly ol' broken burd.

Lady friend of mine owns a steinway and it sounds so clean. not too many high frequencies. it's loud and crisp. mmmmmm.

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I was fortunate enough to grow up with a 1939 Steinway Studio "M" Grand (little shorter than the Baby "B") in the house. It spoiled the heck out of me and I've stuck with owning unweighted keyboards ever since because the weighted ones (real piano or rhodes or midi or yamalectric) just can't hold a candle to those pre-war Steinways....

 

I must admit to having really moved away from sampling "the real thing" since the Kurzweil days, even though they're better now with more bits, but my ears and tastes have both changed...

 

Lucky you! I played a Steinway baby for the first time the other day! I was impressed with the feel and the clean crisp sound. The black keys were more stubby than other pianos. Is this typical of all Steinways? Not that it mattered, it just looked funny to me. So where is this piano you spoke of now?

 

As far as technology goes the newest digital stuff out there is breathtaking as far as sonic quality and accuracy goes. I guarantee with eyes closed you would not know the difference. Kurzweil was known for synthesizing a great piano patch, which is/was great for many applications, but it's the sampled stuff that really seems to kick. Many new keyboards out there today incorporate both synthesis and sampling - like the Korg Trition/Oasys and Yamaha Motif. I choose Yamaha because it feels better. My poor Kurzweil is on it's last legs - with a key weight mechanism that lasts for only 2-3 years before it fails.

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I had Reason for a while but I sold it. Now I have NI Akoustik Piano and Elektrik Piano (as part of the Komplete 4 package) and they are very, very good. I've played a number of pianos over the years but never owned one myself, so these are excellent substitutes for me since I live in a flat and have limited room.

 

 

I can't wait to try the NI stuff! I've heard such great things. For me, the sound has to be matched with a great weighted controller keyboard - the multiple dimensions of the sample programing need to match up in a perfect union with the controller. I'm very excited to see how the NI samples perform triggered by a Motif.

 

It appears that NI invested some serious time and energy in sampling their Komplete 4 package. The stuff sounds SO real - I can't believe it. Like I said though - we'll see how it feels paired with a piano controller. There are so many nuances involved. Velocity, attack, decay and damper all have to be spot on in the NI programing. Fingers are crossed.

 

Do you use a Mac or a PC? Do NI samples require a lot of memory? I've heard they do. How much memory do you use?

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Lucky you! I played a Steinway baby for the first time the other day! I was impressed with the feel and the clean crisp sound. The black keys were more stubby than other pianos. Is this typical of all Steinways? Not that it mattered, it just looked funny to me. So where is this piano you spoke of now?
Something weird happened to the Steinway's after the war. A pre-war Steinway is like a Pre-CBS Tele or Strat: the ones that came after were just fundamentally different. The action went all clunky, and I've never felt another one like it (except for a similarly pre-war Steinway concert grand... :lol: ). Neither my Mom nor I had a place for it anymore and it went to a collector who knew what it was, could afford to have it professionally restored, and paid a small fortune for it. Sigh.
As far as technology goes the newest digital stuff out there is breathtaking as far as sonic quality and accuracy goes. I guarantee with eyes closed you would not know the difference.
Yes, I know. That's actually why I've moved away from it: too *much* "I want a '78 Bossendorfer". Yawn. I went back to my roots which was fiddling with Arp 2600s and Mini's and later Oberheim Matrix Mod analog. Much more fun to play with....
Kurzweil was known for synthesizing a great piano patch, which is/was great for many applications, but it's the sampled stuff that really seems to kick.
Um, I know terminology shifts around, but I beg to differ. I had a Kurzweil 250, and I can guarantee you it was the initial wave of sampling technology. Big war at the time with the Yamaha DX7 fanboys who thought that FM modulation was so much better than subtractive synthesis and that sampling positively could not be useful....quite a religious war...

 

My 250 burned up in a fire though. Sniff.

 

To keep this all in perspective, remember the line from the fine print of the Stray Cats first album (UK): "Only the cheapest instruments were employed in the recording of this album." Les Paul can make a $5 guitar sound like a Les Paul....

 

You've got to keep things flying http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSm5IQFaTZA, :phones:

Buffy

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Um, I know terminology shifts around, but I beg to differ. I had a Kurzweil 250, and I can guarantee you it was the initial wave of sampling technology. Big war at the time with the Yamaha DX7 fanboys who thought that FM modulation was so much better than subtractive synthesis and that sampling positively could not be useful....quite a religious war...

 

 

You appear to know what your talking about. I could be wrong. I assumed that the Kurzweil PC-88 was a synthesizer. I didn't know it used sampling. I was only referring to the PC-88. I looked up that 250. Wow, too bad you lost it. That appears to be a serious collectors item. I'm off to Ebay to check it out - that and a pre-war Steinway. :shrug:

 

Thanks for sharing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

i really dig the Rhodes Mk. II electric pianos. such a spacy, airy sound. very psychedelic. also at times, it can be tweaked to get a very orange sound, rather than a blue or purple.

 

check this out. its a video of Chick Corea playing a Rhodes Mk. 1. this is a cool example of a great pianist utilizing the orange sound that the Rhodes can produce. plus the speed at which this guy plays absolutely blows me away every time i watch...

 

YouTube - Miles Davis - Bitches Brew - 1969 (3 of 6) http://youtube.com/watch?v=jt46-YTX3zk

 

this video is about nine minutes long and the part that im talking about starts a minute or so into the video. it really gets crazy near the middle though.:)

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i really dig the Rhodes Mk. II electric pianos. such a spacy, airy sound. very psychedelic. also at times, it can be tweaked to get a very orange sound, rather than a blue or purple.

 

Wow, look how young he is.

 

I've never heard the color terms you used before.

 

I would love to play a real Rhodes, I haven't yet. The keys are heavy and seemed somewhat clumsy if my memory serves me correct? (I played on one once - but it wasn't plugged in). I'm all for a heavier feel, as I tend to play really hard if I'm playing rock or funk and end up breaking key weight mechanisms.

 

Does the MK II have overdrive? I thought I remember a certain classic Rhodes keyboard having a knob for overdrive.

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I can't wait to try the NI stuff! I've heard such great things.

 

Here's a song I did in February that makes use of a piano from NI's Kontakt2: The Lingering Haunt

 

I think the piano sound is phenomenal (play it through some nice monitors to really appreciate it), so convincing with lots of dynamics. This patch was called "Ambient Piano" I think. There are several pianos that come with Kontakt2 that are more crisp and 'standard' sounding. The Yamaha Grand is mighty tasty! :)

 

Just ignore the singing in the track. :D

 

Btw, the flute is from Kontakt2 as well.

For me, the sound has to be matched with a great weighted controller keyboard - the multiple dimensions of the sample programing need to match up in a perfect union with the controller. I'm very excited to see how the NI samples perform triggered by a Motif.

 

I used an old casio keyboard with midi to do the song above, no weighted keys and no aftertouch. Of course, I'm hardly a key player, so I'm sure it is much more important to you.

 

Motif...<drool>

It appears that NI invested some serious time and energy in sampling their Komplete 4 package. The stuff sounds SO real - I can't believe it. Like I said though - we'll see how it feels paired with a piano controller. There are so many nuances involved. Velocity, attack, decay and damper all have to be spot on in the NI programing. Fingers are crossed.

 

Again, for the simple midi keyboard I used in the song above, I did not have to make any adjustments to velocity, attack, decay, sustain, or release. The programming in the NI stuff is what makes it so good, and consequently quite the pain to program your own banks or convert from other formats.

Do you use a Mac or a PC? Do NI samples require a lot of memory? I've heard they do. How much memory do you use?

 

I use a PC, a P4 2.4Ghz -1GB Ram -7200RPM HD (2) -WinXP Home. I'm able to play all the stuff that came with Konakt2 without issues. For multiple tracks though I usually have to freeze or render some tracks. So I'd say it is pretty decent on mem usage. It has all kinds of ways to save on ram too like a note selection tool that only loads into memory the notes that are in the track, which saves quite a bit of mem if you manage to not wander all over the keyboard. ;)

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