hi all..
i think this issue has been done to death here before on ljp, but i'd like some fresh ideas from you guys (&gals) that have used or currentlyl using piano-modules/software programs.. i have a yamaha p90, sounds brilliant through the headphones, but sounds awful (phasey)when hooked up to my yamaha monitor speakers. i have sinces learned that this is due to the samples being in stereo and there is very little i can do about this. my question is; for those of you who have experienced this problem.. what alternatives in the way of modules or software have you used, if any, to get a 'non-phasey/hollow' piano sound when using a p/a or speaker system? i've heard of software programs such as ivory piano, pianoteq,truepianos. as far as piano modules go i know i need to actually go into a store to check them out but it would be nice to know what's out there first.

sorry this was so long....
There are 29 comments, leave a comment.
roland has new module coming any day now called sonic cell that features their best piano samples and best rhodes. i would wait for it.
roland is the only company that samples every single note for piano, the others  sample a note and transpose it (crossfade) is across several neighboring keys.

i always play with a stereo rig:
roland fp4 digital piano with a pair of ev sxa360 powered speakers.
his indiana doesn't swing at all
thanks for the advice jazz+ i'll take a look at the roland module.. as i'm not really after another piano at the moment
i think its always the same with these clasical dudes the have a hell of a command of the keyboard but no sense of jazzfeeling.  
this guy has monster chops but he is so booring to listen too.
i would anytime prefer to listen to bud powell, wynton kelly or horace parlan.(whom i been fortunate to play with)
nihonjin
kurzweil has a fairly old module still on the market and so does gem.
technique is impressive, but this was not very musical at all, in my opinion. oscar plays phrases, even though they're fast. there's no order in the other video of indiana, just fast ideas that were unconnected and played only because they lay under the hand and could be executed fast.

i was astounded by the technique, but i couldn't think of a reason to keep listening to it for more than 3 minutes, honestly. it didn't really communicate to me.

the delivery was great, but the content didn't really say much, (to my ears at least). but jesus, he can really play the piano. damn.
1. get a stereo amp. it sounds like you already have 2 speakers.
2. spend time adjusting the p90 thru your stereo speakers with the internal speakers (if any) off.  
3. i get good results layering a little ivory on top of my yamaha p250.

it took a lot of creative button pushing, but my p250 thru klipsch speakers sounds fairly close to real thing.
actually, after about a minute of listening to him, he reminds me more of tatum than oscar...or a normal stride pianist on steroids.  he has some serious stride roots in any case.

aside from a few licks, most of his runs just sounded like classical cadenzas.  very well played, but mostly just running his scales and arpeggios up and down really fast.  and constant streams of notes, without phrasing
roland may be the only company in the hardware world that samples all keys of the piano, but most software based synths have a much more detailed sampling interval.  all notes, plus sometimes up to 16 different velocity layers, different sustain samples, release samples, convolution reverb, and also algorithms that simulate sympathetic resonance.  fuctionality wise, software samplers are ages ahead of hardware rom playback synths. (because soft samplers use quite a bit of pc power)  of course, samples for hardware synths are sampled by extremely experienced vendors, so they're also very good, but functionality is limited by the resources available on the hardware keyboard unit.  not to discredit what you said jazz, but to supplement it.

for software pianos, it's basically ivory piano vs akoustic from native instruments.  i have akoustic, and like its brighter sound.  many people choose ivory over akoustic because ivory samples all keys, and akoustic is every other key.  for me, i just simply like the sound of akoustic's piano set (boesendorfer, bechstein, steinway, and a beat up upright)  and because of akoustic samples every other key, it's very light. (but still uses a fair amount of resources)

the problem with the softsynths is that you need a fairly powerful laptop with external 7200rpm drive to use it with any sort of stability, meaning no clicks and pops.  and if you're already going to have your p90 that weights a ton, you might not want to add more to your setup.  especially considering the price, and break-ability of the notebook and xp/softsampler.
,don't swing.
btw, i completely agree with jazz about roland's superior grand samples being the best on the hardware market.  has most of the functionality that ivory and akoustic has, but just with less samples.

you have to remember, with sampling, it's not necessarily quality = quantity.  i've heard plenty of 40gb piano libraries sound worse than my p250 which probably has less than 100mb of samples.  alot of it is how the responds, and how it "plays".. which is exactly where the hardware vendors are a step a head since they've been doing it for so long.

many mega sampled soft sampler dvds are produced by big time producers, engineers, etc.  not necessarily instrument making professionals, so sometimes they completely miss the mark, and produce a "awesomely done piano recording", and not an "awesome to play piano".
it don't mean a thing...
while ivory does a very good job of rendering piano midi files, it seems a little "distant" when used as a performance instrument. however, when i layer it with the p250 the result is better than the p250 alone.
ivory's hardware requirements do make it troublesome to set up - i have to use an external firewire 800 drive. i've just received an internal 7200 rpm drive, but haven't installed it yet. if i could run ivory on the laptop alone it would be a little less of a pita to set up.
it felt dead to me, oscar is still king, just had no meaning!
seems that's the main problem with these pc / notebook setups..  the hardware requirements are so steep, compounded with the expenses of the pa system required to bring out the minute nuances of the superfluously fine recordings make it quite inpractical for a live situation.

and if you're recording in a studio, well, portability isn't an issue.
does anyone else hear the bits of "waltz for debbie", and rachmaninoff's "piano concerto #2" in the beginning, or am i going crazy? also, he steals some of oscars peterson's runs in indiana. he seems to be more of a composite of everyone else's ideas thrown into one song.

and in regards to his playing, it's very much classical oriented, which is enjoyable, me liking romanticism very much.
argh, sorry for the double post guys. and also, i meant "rachs piano concerto #3 second movement"
gotta say the op link was awful nice though.  anyone know when that was recorded?
i'm at work...i can't watch the videos until later...but i will say this without seeing anything:

the only person who swung harder than oscar peterson is gene harris.  but oscar is obviously technically superior to gene.  currently, the closest to oscar peterson is benny green.  i think benny was actually handpicked by oscar as an up and comer some time ago.
i dont know, i cant think of anyone who swung harder than oscar in his prime, but to my ears i'd say kenny barron came close. go listen to his version of softly as in a morning sunrise(with stan getz) , i cant imagine oscar playing a more swinging version than that. its the best version i heard of that tune to date.



jv'
interesting jv, i should go back and listen to that.  that's on the "people time" album with the stan getz & kenny barron duo.  what made me get that album was barron's piano on "hush-a-bye" which is just phenomenal beyond belief.

i still challenge anyone to find me one person who swung harder than gene harris.  for a specific example, listen to any song on the "live at loa (summer wind)" album by the ray brown trio.  honestly, if anyone tells me that anybody has ever swung harder than that, i won't believe them.  either that, or we pretty different definitions of swing.
i gotta give my vote to errol garner who swung harder. playing with strong emotion and volume is not the criteria too define how hard he swings. it's his amazing inventivness and entertaining quality that keeps me listening to him more and more.  

thanks to the youtube clips i can really admire why many consider him one of the best jazz musicians of all time. i've been listening to a few of his cd's and am impressed by his advanced harmonies and independent left hand.
here's erroll garner swingin' on a stevie wonder tune.
what you do not know here is that his rendition is a transcription of an oscar peterson recording.  so there is nothing original in even one note he plays.  it is amazing to me that anyone would go through that much work to sound like someone else.  it so totally misses the point of what jazz is all about and what oscar peterson is all about.  you would never catch oscar peterson spending 5 million hours coping an art tatum arrangement like this guy did coping an oscar peterson arrangement.  it is just no jazz and it does not sound like jazz when you do that either.  you end up sounding like a classical pianist trying to play jazz which is what this guy sounds like to me,  albiet a very very good classical pianist doing a very very good job of trying to sound like a jazz pianist.
it is easy to misunderstand the advise given out in this forum about doing transcription work..  yes anyone will recomend doing transciption work to become a better jazz player but that does not mean we are saying go out and perform those transcriptions in public.  you use the transcription work to develop your ear and to learn how the creative process works,  not to gain repetoire to perform.
ok, i finally was able to watch these marian petrescu videos.  yeah, he's an amazing piano player.  but i agree with some of the other sentiments here that it just lacks a certain something that prevents you from wanting to listen to it too much.

jv, i went back to people time and listened to softly again.  it's a fantastic version of that song, like everything else on that album.  still, i would never dream of saying kenny barron swings harder than oscar peterson or gene harris.  i don't know, maybe it's just me.  i mean, how about all the songs on night train?

that errol garner video is great also.

has anyone here even heard live at the loa from the ray brown trio?  honestly, that is in my opinion, the greatest piece of recorded music i have ever come across.  i consider that perfect jazz.
kenny barron's version of softly is brillant but to say it swings more than oscar peterson is absolutely dumb founding.  

jazzvirtuoso, what oscar peterson tracks have you listened to? many?

i have live at the loa with ray brown & gene harris, and harris swings like mad.
andrewjazz, those are my thoughts exactly.  i always get confused when i'm with jazz musicians and they talk about "swing".  it just seems like people have such different definitions of it.  for me, discussions like this usually evolve into what is good jazz and what is bad jazz.  i don't really want to get into that, but needless to say, i prefer the really bluesy, soulful stuff compared to the bebop, flighty, modal stuff.  what does that mean?  that means, to me, that gene harris and oscar peterson are my favorites by far...and even though i respect their skills, i rarely ever listen to bud powell, mccoy tyner, art tatum, kenny barron, monk, etc.

by the way, there's almost no good information about gene harris out there, i just came across this well-written article by paul kreibich, gene harris' last drummer:
https://www.paulkreibich.com/paul/articles/pkgeneharris.html


lets put it like this, i've played piano since i was 12 yrs old i am 40 yrs old now, you do the math. i have listened, transcribed, and anaylized his music for years. it has done wonders for my ears, techinque and playing ability. in fact i listen to his music every day. but there are some songs that other people play better than he does. i could rattle off a few but it wouldn't do any good...

as scott or any other decent musician would tell you it all boils down to personal prefrence, and just for the record i never said that kenny swung harder, i said that he came close on his rendition of softly as in a morning sunrise and i stand by that. oscar is still my favorite though.

his(kenny's) attack and pharsing on that song is fabulous (again my opinion).


jv'
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