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damiane



Joined: 15/11/12
Posts: 7
Loc: Australia
newbie - wants to play a boesendorfer on his Roland RD700-SX - Help please
      #1018798 - 16/11/12 12:14 AM
Hello all. I hope this is the right place for my first post.

Being slower than average I have only just discovered there is a piece of software - Synthogy Ivory II - which contains the sampled sounds of a Boesendorfer Grand (Oscar Peterson's weapon of choice. Piano players will understand my enthusiasm). I have listened to some audio examples and grief it's bloody (technical Australian term) realistic. I have wanted a Boesendorfer since I was 2. Well 20 anyway. So the question is how can I get to play this sound on my stage piano, a Roland RD-700 SX with external stage speakers. I have a powerful PC laptop. I obviously have to link the laptop to the keyboard with a midi interface. That much I know. Will I get immediate playback of the Bosendorfer sound into my stage speakers? Do I need other software? I really need some help with all this. At 64 I'm not as "quick" as I used to be. Of course many would say nothing much has changed. But they are mostly bass players or drummers and we all know about them don't we children?

--------------------
Roland RD-700SX, Yamaha HS80 Powered Monitor Spkrs
Toshiba Laptop Win7 32bit SP1, Intel® Core i5 CPU M430 @ 2.27GHz RAM)4GB(2.99 usable) HD ATA 640GB; SATA 300;5,400 rpm,8mb Cache.


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Gary_W



Joined: 18/10/06
Posts: 458
Re: newbie - wants to play a boesendorfer on his Roland RD700-SX - Help please new [Re: damiane]
      #1018824 - 16/11/12 09:39 AM
Hi Damiane and welcome to the forum. Hope you don't mind a guitarist helping you but you'll get some keyboard wizards by in a bit.

The software will sit on your laptop. You need to get midi into your laptop to drive it, but then you need to get the audio OUT of your laptop to give it to the PA. The built in sound drivers / audio outputs on a standard laptop are not likely to impress you on 2 fronts:-

1. Sound quality will probably not be as you hope and the benefit of the samples won't come through

2. Latency - if you are driving a virtual piano on your laptop via a real piano, there will be a tiny delay between you hitting the key and the sound being generated. If that delay is actually tiny then it's imperceptible to most folks. If the delay gets a bit longer it is not and any chance of performing normally is gone.

Fortunately, you can sort out both of these by buying a decent audio interface to go with the laptop. These come as USB2 devices and Firewire.

I'll leave it up to other folks to comment on 'which one?' but, if it's just a single output and you only want to do live stuff, you can get something fairly reasonably priced due to you not needing high input and output count or any bells and whistles

Of course, if your laptop is suitably wonderful then maybe the above won't be the case - if you post details of it plus how much you want to throw at the problem then others can help


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Pete Kaine
Scan Computers


Joined: 10/07/03
Posts: 3563
Loc: Manchester
Re: newbie - wants to play a boesendorfer on his Roland RD700-SX - Help please new [Re: damiane]
      #1018829 - 16/11/12 09:55 AM
Hi Damiane,

Your indeed right in that you will be able to take a midi out from your keyboard althrough the are a couple of ways to approch this.

First task is to get that midi into the laptop.

Cheapest and most simple way of doing this is a midi to usb cable which are made by various firms (Maudio, Alesis and Emu spring to mind) and should cost around $40 AUD.

This will get your keyboard data/commands out of the keyboard and into the laptop. The next problem is the sound point of view. Midi data is exactly that as in it's just data and not capable of transfering audio. So you'll need some way of taking an audio feed from the laptop and amplifying it.

You mention your speakers for the keyboard are external. Are these hooked up via some sort of crazy connection like a din plug or are these speakers you can hook up via standard 1/4" or Phono jacks?

Is the amp for the speakers in the speakers themselves or stand alone or are they in the keyboard itself?

If the speakers are powered with a fairly normal input then you can unplug them from the keyboard and then hook them up to the audio source that is being taken from the laptop.

Last part of it all is the laptop audio source. To get a nice tight, responsive action whilst playing the keyboard you'll need a ASIO source on the laptop and a output to play through.

ASIO as a quick introduction is a special driver set that makes the laptop ignore all the junk windows does and gives it real time, fast as you like control over the laptop. The internal sound chip in the laptop doesn't do this natively althrough the is some software called ASIO4ALL that can get some sort of result out of the laptop, it might not be as responsive as you may wish it to be... can't say without trying it through.

If that works and the speakers are active (have their own amp) you could in theory take a line out from the laptop into the speakers and use asio4all to get it up and running.

That's the fiddle about doing it on the cheap way.

The easier more expensive way is to pick up a soundcard/interface with midi built in such as the Focusrite Scarlet 2i4 (roughly $230 AUD) which will have dedicated ASIO drivers and frankly be a whole bloody (UK technical term, you don't have sole rights to it) lot easier to suss out.

In that instance its simply install the Scarlett, plug the midi cable from the keyboard in to it and run the audio cables back out to either the speakers (if they are active) or to the amp if not.

Ivory II itself seems to have a standalone mode, so you should be able to install, run and point it at the sound card and everything should work nicely. You might need to tweak the latency settings a tad in the process, but I'm sure the manual will cover that and if not just throw up a question here and I'm sure someone will be able to give a quick pointer.

--------------------
ScanProAudio & 3XS Audio Systems
ScanProAudio Blog


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damiane



Joined: 15/11/12
Posts: 7
Loc: Australia
Re: newbie - wants to play a boesendorfer on his Roland RD700-SX - Help please new [Re: Pete Kaine]
      #1018853 - 16/11/12 11:47 AM
First of all can I thank Gary_W and Pete Kaine for your speedie replies to my plea for help. It is really helping to explain to me how this all goes together.

At your combined suggestions I will set out the various components I have.

As to the audio the speakers are Yamaha HS-80 Powered Monitor Speakers with individual built-in amps putting out 120W. They run from L and R Audio Outputs on the Roland.

I have a Midisport 2x2 from a decade ago which I used to run a Roland SC-88 Sound Canvas to provide my music student children with decent sound out of their Sibelius composition work. I still have the Sound Canvas. I have downloaded the updated drivers for the Midisport but have not installed it as yet. I have MIDI cables by the bucket load.

I had checked the Synthogy site again and I see what Pete was saying that Ivory II runs inside another application called Cantabile which comes with Ivory II.

The laptop is a Toshiba Satellite Pro running Win 7 32-Bit with Service Pack 1.
Processor: Intel® Core i5 CPU M430 @ 2.27 GHz
Installed memory (RAM): 4.00 GB (2.99 usable)
Sound video controllers: Conexant Audio Driver for AMD HDMI Codec
Conexant CX20671 SmartAudio HD
Hard Drive: Toshiba MK6465GSX ATA Device; 640 GB; SATA 300 Interface; 5,400 rpm Spindle speed, 8mb Cache. Not sure I understood all of this.

As I understand it the issue is going to be between the laptop running Ivory II which puts out the sampled sounds and the speakers which will play them, correct? That’s the interface I have to address and am yet to fully understand. I am going to guess that the audio setup built into my laptop is inadequate for the purpose.


As to Pete’s comment regarding funds to throw at it, it has to be hundreds and not thousands. Ivory II costs $350-$400 alone. My other issue will be the latency one which may be improved by the quality of the audio interface (correct?).

Thanks again guys for your help. It has made – for me - a complex matter, much clearer.
I’ll maybe get that Bosendorfer sound yet. If only I could play like Oscar Peterson.

--------------------
Roland RD-700SX, Yamaha HS80 Powered Monitor Spkrs
Toshiba Laptop Win7 32bit SP1, Intel® Core i5 CPU M430 @ 2.27GHz RAM)4GB(2.99 usable) HD ATA 640GB; SATA 300;5,400 rpm,8mb Cache.


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damiane



Joined: 15/11/12
Posts: 7
Loc: Australia
Re: newbie - wants to play a boesendorfer on his Roland RD700-SX - Help please new [Re: damiane]
      #1019100 - 18/11/12 01:18 AM
Have been doing some further research.

Hardware:
I think I will have to see about replacing my internal hardrive with one that has a minimum 7200 rpm to replace the 5500 rpm one.

Second, I have identified a type of audio interface made by Roland, the UA-1G which I think I can run from one of the two USB ports and which provides L and R Audio out to run the sounds to the speakers. Most reports on Amazon speak highly of this piece of kit. It comes with Cakewalk apparently although Ivory II can run stand-alone on Canabile.

But is that going to provide the audio quality? Will that just take a crappy version of the piano samples and put it out through the UA-1G as crappy noise? Still trying to get my head around this bit so any help would be appreciated. Do I need something else which provides higher quality sound card characteristics than the built in audio in the laptop?

--------------------
Roland RD-700SX, Yamaha HS80 Powered Monitor Spkrs
Toshiba Laptop Win7 32bit SP1, Intel® Core i5 CPU M430 @ 2.27GHz RAM)4GB(2.99 usable) HD ATA 640GB; SATA 300;5,400 rpm,8mb Cache.


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5655
Re: newbie - wants to play a boesendorfer on his Roland RD700-SX - Help please new [Re: damiane]
      #1019185 - 18/11/12 06:48 PM
Amazon reviews are a terrible way to choose a piece of specialised audio hardware! Though the UA-1G seems adequate.

You may not even need a new audio interface. First off, download and install ASIO4ALL, a free ASIO driver for audio systems that lack their own. You may get acceptable performance. If the delay is still too long, think about new hardware.

Don't worry over the audiophile qualities of the interface. 99% of the quality you hear will come from using an adequate amplifier and good speakers. Piano is a demanding sound for a speaker to reproduce without overloading on the strong transient attacks.

You don't need a new hard drive.


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Bob Moose



Joined: 17/01/08
Posts: 885
Re: newbie - wants to play a boesendorfer on his Roland RD700-SX - Help please new [Re: damiane]
      #1019190 - 18/11/12 07:13 PM
Hi Damiane,

Just to mention that I use Ivory 2 as well in live (Fazioli though), with a Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 audio interface, and it works perfectly at low latency (at least with my computer).

But Ivory 2 is quite optimized and I can even run it with full features (except only 16 voices of polyphony) on my old laptop.

If you are interested in Bösendorfer, have a look at the Vienna imperial plugin. It's the most accurately sampled software piano (100 velocities per key, lots of articulations, etc). I don't have it because of a really stupid reason: it does not support half damper pedal.

Best
-j


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damiane



Joined: 15/11/12
Posts: 7
Loc: Australia
Re: newbie - wants to play a boesendorfer on his Roland RD700-SX - Help please new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #1019206 - 18/11/12 09:14 PM
Exalted Wombat - love the name by the way. So even though the Synthogy site says minimum requirement 7200 rpm and my laptop runs at 5400 rpm you reckon 7200 is just overkill? What speed HD are you running it on? Trust me I would be more than happy to not buy a new hard drive.

I downloaded the ASIO4ALL software the other day. When I read the manual it said I should have a start button and an interface panel (when started). I got none of those. When I had a close look at the download package it contained a manual, an uninstall program, and two dll files. But, no exe file? I am clearly missing something here.

May I ask what you would recommend as the audio interface hardware if not the UA-1G. What do you use?

Thanks for your advice.

--------------------
Roland RD-700SX, Yamaha HS80 Powered Monitor Spkrs
Toshiba Laptop Win7 32bit SP1, Intel® Core i5 CPU M430 @ 2.27GHz RAM)4GB(2.99 usable) HD ATA 640GB; SATA 300;5,400 rpm,8mb Cache.


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damiane



Joined: 15/11/12
Posts: 7
Loc: Australia
Re: newbie - wants to play a boesendorfer on his Roland RD700-SX - Help please new [Re: Bob Moose]
      #1019213 - 18/11/12 10:37 PM
Thanks Bob Moose for your help.

I didn't even know the Vienna Bosendorfer existed. I have now listened to a number of the audio demos for that instrument. Very beautiful rich sound. And its 'only' $178 Aus plus delivery compared with $349 plus $129 for the upgrade for the Ivory II Grand Pianos.

Choices, choices, choices. Of course the Ivory II has 4 pianos and in addition to the Bosendorfer they also sound pretty damn good. It also claims the new String Resonance feature which to my ear adds further life to the sound. There also appear to be many more controls / variables to "fiddle" with in the Ivory II, although I'd mostly rather spend my time playing than fiddling. Ultimately it has to be the sound doesn't it. I have to remember that I started this exercise to see if I could play a Bosendorfer on my Roland stage piano. Why? Because I fell in love with the deep, mellow, rich sound on the moody jazz pieces I heard Oscar Peterson play years ago on his solo albums on a Bosendorfer Grand! (not that I would pretend for a moment to be even in the same race as OP). But it was a sound that I have never forgotten.

Your reference to the NI Komplete Audio 6 was also very welcome. That looks to be exactly the type of kit I need to comsider alongside the Focusrite Scarlet 2i4 suggested by Pete Kaine.

I gather since you were able to run Ivory II on your "old laptop" that you would agree with Exited Wombat that I shouldn't need to upgrade my hard drive from 5400 rpm to 7200 rpm, for either VI. Vienna also recommends 7200 rpm.

Thanks again to everyone. I am beginning to actually understand this stuff (almost).



--------------------
Roland RD-700SX, Yamaha HS80 Powered Monitor Spkrs
Toshiba Laptop Win7 32bit SP1, Intel® Core i5 CPU M430 @ 2.27GHz RAM)4GB(2.99 usable) HD ATA 640GB; SATA 300;5,400 rpm,8mb Cache.


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Bob Moose



Joined: 17/01/08
Posts: 885
Re: newbie - wants to play a boesendorfer on his Roland RD700-SX - Help please new [Re: damiane]
      #1019224 - 19/11/12 12:16 AM
Quote damiane:

I didn't even know the Vienna Bosendorfer existed. I have now listened to a number of the audio demos for that instrument. Very beautiful rich sound. And its 'only' $178 Aus plus delivery compared with $349 plus $129 for the upgrade for the Ivory II Grand Pianos.



I am really sorry but I'm afraid we are not talking about the same Vienna Bösendorfer. I was thinking about this one:
http://www.vsl.co.at/en/211/442/478/1701/1305.htm
reviewed here
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/oct09/articles/vslviennaimperial.htm < br />€595

And I'm not sure which computer you need for running it.

That said, the Vienna you found could be very good too! All Bösendorfers sound a bit different so you may prefer a particular one.

Quote:

Choices, choices, choices. Of course the Ivory II has 4 pianos and in addition to the Bosendorfer they also sound pretty damn good. It also claims the new String Resonance feature which to my ear adds further life to the sound. There also appear to be many more controls / variables to "fiddle" with in the Ivory II, although I'd mostly rather spend my time playing than fiddling. Ultimately it has to be the sound doesn't it. I have to remember that I started this exercise to see if I could play a Bosendorfer on my Roland stage piano. Why? Because I fell in love with the deep, mellow, rich sound on the moody jazz pieces I heard Oscar Peterson play years ago on his solo albums on a Bosendorfer Grand! (not that I would pretend for a moment to be even in the same race as OP). But it was a sound that I have never forgotten.



Among the sampled pianos I have tested, I think Ivory 2 is the most natural for practical live playing. One great thing is you can really adapt the velocity curve to your keyboard, and it also changes the sound a lot because the pianos have many velocity layers. Be sure to check a few velocity curves when testing a software piano!
The most significant drawback of Ivory is its using the iLok system that is cumbersome in live.

You can try some pianos online, with lots of latency and plenty clicks, but it's truly great for checking:
http://www.try-sound.com/detail.asp/ivory_ii_grand_pianos/en
http://www.try-sound.com/detail.asp/vienna_imperial/en
there are many other pianos to try there, and you may like this one for example:
http://www.try-sound.com/detail.asp/galaxy_ii_vienna_grand/e...

Quote:

Your reference to the NI Komplete Audio 6 was also very welcome. That looks to be exactly the type of kit I need to comsider alongside the Focusrite Scarlet 2i4 suggested by Pete Kaine.



Well it was Pete who suggested the NI at that time

Quote:

I gather since you were able to run Ivory II on your "old laptop" that you would agree with Exited Wombat that I shouldn't need to upgrade my hard drive from 5400 rpm to 7200 rpm, for either VI. Vienna also recommends 7200 rpm.



Not sure. Before getting Ivory 2 I asked their technical support about this, and they told me something like "your computer is a bit too slow, you can try but you may need to upgrade the drive to 7200 rpm". Reducing the number of polyphonic voices to 16 was required when using all the features (release samples, resonances, etc). It's a Core 2 Duo 2GHz with 2GB of RAM.


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damiane



Joined: 15/11/12
Posts: 7
Loc: Australia
Re: newbie - wants to play a boesendorfer on his Roland RD700-SX - Help please new [Re: Bob Moose]
      #1019234 - 19/11/12 04:08 AM
Bob,

yes. it is a little confusing. Same company but they do both the Bosendorfer Imperial for $178 Aus and the Vienna Imperial which is also a Bosendorfer for a mere $732 Aus. Grief. So that one's out of contention. Too expensive for my blood.

Still have to make a decision Thanks for pointing me to those samples. I'll listen with good headphones a few times. Different VIs just like different real instrumentsof the same make/model

Still trying to understand and sort out the audio/midi interface bit.

thanks again.

--------------------
Roland RD-700SX, Yamaha HS80 Powered Monitor Spkrs
Toshiba Laptop Win7 32bit SP1, Intel® Core i5 CPU M430 @ 2.27GHz RAM)4GB(2.99 usable) HD ATA 640GB; SATA 300;5,400 rpm,8mb Cache.


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Pete Kaine
Scan Computers


Joined: 10/07/03
Posts: 3563
Loc: Manchester
Re: newbie - wants to play a boesendorfer on his Roland RD700-SX - Help please new [Re: damiane]
      #1019263 - 19/11/12 11:40 AM
Quote damiane:


As to the audio the speakers are Yamaha HS-80 Powered Monitor Speakers with individual built-in amps putting out 120W. They run from L and R Audio Outputs on the Roland.





Ok, so that makes it easier. You just need to get a line level signal into the back of them from the soundcard/interface.

Quote damiane:


I have a Midisport 2x2





Did you get around to trying those drivers? From what I remember only the Anniversary edition of that interface got win7 support, with the older model being left out in the cold.

Quote damiane:


As I understand it the issue is going to be between the laptop running Ivory II which puts out the sampled sounds and the speakers which will play them, correct? That’s the interface I have to address and am yet to fully understand. I am going to guess that the audio setup built into my laptop is inadequate for the purpose.





Using Asio4All can make it adequate but milage will vary. If you want smooth super responsiveness then a dedicated interface does normally tend to be the way forward but it's always worth a go with the onboard in case you get lucky with it.

Quote damiane:


As to Pete’s comment regarding funds to throw at it, it has to be hundreds and not thousands. Ivory II costs $350-$400 alone. My other issue will be the latency one which may be improved by the quality of the audio interface (correct?).





Yep, tends to be the case.

Quote damiane:

Have been doing some further research.
Hardware:
I think I will have to see about replacing my internal hardrive with one that has a minimum 7200 rpm to replace the 5500 rpm one.





It's one place where it could bottle neck with a high load, but if your running stand alone and just running one instrument set at a time I reckon you'll probably do alright as it is. Maybe one to leave to the end and only make the upgrade should a situation arise where its called for.

Quote damiane:


But is that going to provide the audio quality? Will that just take a crappy version of the piano samples and put it out through the UA-1G as crappy noise? Still trying to get my head around this bit so any help would be appreciated. Do I need something else which provides higher quality sound card characteristics than the built in audio in the laptop?




Signal & data path = The Sound samples are stored on the harddrive and fed to the memory as a temp hold point before the CPU grabs them as required. The CPU processes the data and sends it onto the sound card where it's converted back to an analogue signal and passed to the speakers.

So in a general context it is good to have a fast harddrive, plenty of fast memory and a decent cpu as those could all be potential bottle necks. With the audio interface the drivers help control the latency that you may experience (i.e. how fast it responds to a key press) and the hardware gets the sound out of the box so maintaining a good signal here is important but remember it can only ever be as good as the inital sounds on the harddrive.

Now all of the bottle necks I refer too on modern machines tend to happen once you load up a whole bunch of channels and for playing back a dedicated instrument you should have more than enough poke right now once you add the sound interface part of it all but even if not you should really get the sound coming out first before trying to decide if anything else needs upgrading.

The is however a caveat which I think we should cover now. Some computers are built with parts that simply can not handle complex real time audio operations. On a desktop you can normally tweak away issues but laptops can be a bloody nightmare if they don't wish to behave.

Before we move any further with this I think we should check to make sure the isn't any underlaying issues that are just waiting to surface. Please consult this article here written by Mr Walker that covers DPC testing and please do run the test software for a few minutes to get us a baseline score.

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun08/articles/pcnotes_0608.htm

Quote Bob Moose:


Quote:

Your reference to the NI Komplete Audio 6 was also very welcome. That looks to be exactly the type of kit I need to comsider alongside the Focusrite Scarlet 2i4 suggested by Pete Kaine.



Well it was Pete who suggested the NI at that time





The KA6 is a great interface and the latency is slightly better but the price ticket is chunk higher too. I just suggested the Scarlett as it's the cheapest good interface I could see that would tick all the boxes for you, but I'm also happy to recommend the KA6 as well as a worth step up.

--------------------
ScanProAudio & 3XS Audio Systems
ScanProAudio Blog


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