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Synchron Piano sympathetic resonance and silent key
Last post Wed, Apr 14 2021 by cuzzinlouie, 59 replies.
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Posted on Sat, Jan 09 2021 23:31
by moogvoyager
Joined on Sat, Jan 02 2016, Posts 2

For the Boesendorfer Upright, Sympathetic String Sound only affects the Close 2/Ribbon and Close/Condenser mics. Although the hover info says it applies to close mics, it doesn't seem to apply to Close 1/Condenser.

Does this mean that Symphatethic String Sound is only available within the Full library (and for two mics)?

Posted on Sun, Jan 10 2021 19:12
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 12789

Hello moogvoyager, 

That's correct, we apply the Sympathetic String calculation only to the close mics. 

Best, 
Paul

Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Thu, Feb 11 2021 12:14
by Matte
Joined on Sun, May 10 2020, Posts 6

Hello Paul,

I would like to ask you if there are any news about your research to improve the sympathetic resonance feature in Synchron Pianos.

Thanks

Matteo

Originally Posted by: Paul Go to Quoted Post

Hi Matteo, 

I agree, it's not as great as it could be. We'll have to invest some more research time to improve it, and I hope we can get to it soon. But I can't give you an ETA. 

Personally, I wouldn't make this a decisive factor for your decision, those Synchron Pianos are great as they are. Which won't keep us from improving them! Just my opinion 

Best, 
Paul

Posted on Mon, Apr 12 2021 08:31
by cuzzinlouie
Joined on Sat, May 04 2019, Posts 19

3 years since this thread started and all we got were a few vague answers like "we might look into it if time permits"(paraphrased), along with questionable marketing pitches like "buy nevertheless, these are great pianos, believe me"(paraphrased), in spite of the fact that these are by far the most expensive VSTi pianos on the market.

The "Sympathetic" widget on that interface should either be removed, or renamed to something like "Mud Slider" or "This will do something(?) to the sound that you won't like". If it's left as it is it's simply misleading advertising.

Let me recap:

- No Sympathetic resonance

- No silent key

- No velocity curve control (Correction: no yet tested, but seems to've been implemented in March 2021)

- Inconsistent panning on quite a few microphones, on all pianos (I haven't heard the new 280VC)

- Unnaturally short and synthetic sounding note decay which, along with the lack of sympathetic resonance, considerably diminishes the qualities that these pianos otherwise do have.

- How about una corda samples?

How come most $99-$200 pianos on the market have had most if not all these things from day one, and VSL refuses to implement them in VSTis that cost 3-4 times as much, 3 years after inception, one piano after another with the same limitations as the previous one? Seriously, what is this?

Until I see a major shift in the way VSL is doing business, I'm out.

Posted on Mon, Apr 12 2021 10:55
by Ben
Joined on Sat, Mar 06 2021, Los Angeles, Posts 88

Hi cuzzinlouie,

You might want to update your Synchron Piano Player software. Seems like you missed the news regarding the included velocity curve editor :)

Best, Ben

Ben @VSL
Posted on Mon, Apr 12 2021 11:06
by cuzzinlouie
Joined on Sat, May 04 2019, Posts 19

Hi Ben,

Thanks for the heads-up regarding the velocity curve editor. I saw a new version was released in March, but I could not find a changelog anywhere, so I did not bother downloading it.

Indeed I missed this release simply because there was no email notification and after months of hoping for updates that just wouldn't come, I stopped visiting the VSL website.

Anyway, I'll edit my post.

Kind regards

Posted on Mon, Apr 12 2021 14:40
by Ben
Joined on Sat, Mar 06 2021, Los Angeles, Posts 88

You can always find the changelogs here: https://www.vsl.info/manuals/changelogs/synchron-piano-player

Also, you will see the changelog in the update notification popup when you open the standalone version.

Ben @VSL
Posted on Mon, Apr 12 2021 15:41
by David B.
Joined on Tue, May 15 2018, Posts 72

Originally Posted by: cuzzinlouie Go to Quoted Post

...How come most $99-$200 pianos on the market have had most if not all these things from day one, and VSL refuses to implement them in VSTis that cost 3-4 times as much, 3 years after inception, one piano after another with the same limitations as the previous one? Seriously, what is this?

Until I see a major shift in the way VSL is doing business, I'm out.

Do these $99-$200 virtual pianos sound better than VSL's offerings? If so, then why are you complaining? I would imagine you would be grateful to find something you like at a lower price. Do VSL's offerings (with their limitations) sound better than the $99-$200 virtual pianos? if so, then why are you complaining? I would imagine that you would be grateful to have a product that exceeds all others. 

Personally, I'm grateful there are so many options to choose from that can inspire and enhance my playing experience. Nobody is forcing me to buy VSL products. It's the choice I'm making because I like them the best. Hopefully, you'll find satisfaction with whatever product you choose to use. 

God Bless,

David

Posted on Mon, Apr 12 2021 17:17
by cuzzinlouie
Joined on Sat, May 04 2019, Posts 19

Originally Posted by: David B. Go to Quoted Post

Originally Posted by: cuzzinlouie Go to Quoted Post

...How come most $99-$200 pianos on the market have had most if not all these things from day one, and VSL refuses to implement them in VSTis that cost 3-4 times as much, 3 years after inception, one piano after another with the same limitations as the previous one? Seriously, what is this?

Until I see a major shift in the way VSL is doing business, I'm out.

Do these $99-$200 virtual pianos sound better than VSL's offerings? If so, then why are you complaining? I would imagine you would be grateful to find something you like at a lower price. Do VSL's offerings (with their limitations) sound better than the $99-$200 virtual pianos? if so, then why are you complaining? I would imagine that you would be grateful to have a product that exceeds all others. 

Personally, I'm grateful there are so many options to choose from that can inspire and enhance my playing experience. Nobody is forcing me to buy VSL products. It's the choice I'm making because I like them the best. Hopefully, you'll find satisfaction with whatever product you choose to use. 

God Bless,

David

Hm, where do I begin? Should I even begin? Probably not, so I'll just say this:

"Do these $99-$200 virtual pianos sound better than VSL's offerings?"

In my opinion this question is too vague. As I am sure you know, it's not just the sound one gets by pressing a key what makes a great piano, but if this was your question then no. They all sound like good pianos recorded with good microphones, even the $99 ones. They all have their pluses and minuses, that's why we keep buying them in the hope that one day we'll get to the holy grail of VST pianos.

Why do I complain? For the same reason you complain about me complaining. It's a method of expressing disagreement with something that's been said or done.

Posted on Mon, Apr 12 2021 18:20
by David B.
Joined on Tue, May 15 2018, Posts 72

Originally Posted by: cuzzinlouie Go to Quoted Post
Why do I complain? For the same reason you complain about me complaining. It's a method of expressing disagreement with something that's been said or done.

Did I complain about you? Did I express annoyance or dissatisfaction with your comments? No, I didn't. I simply inquired why you were complaining so that I might better understand your feelings on the matter. Your response has not helped me to better understand your perspective. 

There is a difference between criticism and suggestions on improvements. I was interested to see if I could find justification in your criticism of VSL's "business" and "advertisement" practices. So far, I can't. 

God Bless,

David

Posted on Mon, Apr 12 2021 19:25
by cuzzinlouie
Joined on Sat, May 04 2019, Posts 19

True, you did not complain about me, but you did disagree with the things I said to the extent that you felt the need to set me straight. It's bit of a gray area and I hope you agree. Not quite patronizing, but not far from it either, at least this is how a post like yours can be perceived when words are all we have.

If I misinterpreted and you were instead simply genuinely curious, I apologize. But then, I am not sure what could have been unclear about my bullet points? You may of course disagree with them, but instead of asking for more, clarifying details, you suggested I should simply be grateful for having so many options.

David, if you're ok with paying VSL premium prices for incomplete products, that is entirely your call. Nobody is going to stand in your way.

Do you at least agree that if nobody is saying anything, no improvement will ever be made? If after +-3 years since release, bullet-pointing the features that are incomplete, nonexistent or broken are considered an invalid complaint, I'd like to know why.

Posted on Mon, Apr 12 2021 20:34
by David B.
Joined on Tue, May 15 2018, Posts 72

Originally Posted by: cuzzinlouie Go to Quoted Post

Do you at least agree that if nobody is saying anything, no improvement will ever be made? If after +-3 years since release, bullet-pointing the features that are incomplete, nonexistent or broken are considered an invalid complaint, I'd like to know why.

I think it's appropriate to make suggestions. The recent Synchron Piano software update is evidence that VSL listens to suggestions and works to improve their products. What I would like to see is the Synchron Piano software be able to support multi-threading so that it performs better with multiple mics. I'd also like to see a record feature implemented. I would think that VSL would appreciate customer feedback like that. 

However, I'm not inclined to question their ethics if they don't implement my suggestions. VSL is the only virtual piano company I'm aware of that gives a full refund if you're not satisfied with their product after you buy it. In this context, I think that the refund policy negates the accusation regarding "questionable marketing pitches" and "misleading advertising." That's why I'm finding it difficult  to see justification in your criticism of VSL. 

God Bless,

David

Posted on Mon, Apr 12 2021 22:03
by cuzzinlouie
Joined on Sat, May 04 2019, Posts 19

Originally Posted by: David B. Go to Quoted Post
I think that the refund policy negates the accusation regarding "questionable marketing pitches" and "misleading advertising." That's why I'm finding it difficult  to see justification in your criticism of VSL.

To be honest your reaction left me just as baffled as probably my post left you, so let's just agree to disagree.

Given the fact that this thread is 3 years old, and Paul's last reply on the matter is roughly 8 months old, I think it's safe to assume that the "Sympathetic" slider will continue to output everything but sympathetic resonance for the foreseeable future, and that the silent key is also a lost cause, even after the addition of the long awaited velocity curve. If the lower left corner represents 0 velocity and 0 gain, why on earth can't we use it to mimic a silent key? How hard can it be to not trigger any sound if velocity stays below a certain threshold?

Oh well, I've wasted enough time on this forum today. Over and out.

   

Posted on Mon, Apr 12 2021 22:20
by David B.
Joined on Tue, May 15 2018, Posts 72

Originally Posted by: cuzzinlouie Go to Quoted Post
... and that the silent key is also a lost cause, even after the addition of the long awaited velocity curve. If the lower left corner represents 0 velocity and 0 gain, why on earth can't we use it to mimic a silent key? How hard can it be to not trigger any sound if velocity stays below a certain threshold?

While I haven't needed a silent key feature, I have also wondered the same thing. 

Quote:
Oh well, I've wasted enough time on this forum today. Over and out.

Thank you for taking the time to engage more on this topic.

God Bless,

David

   

Posted on Tue, Apr 13 2021 12:52
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 12789

Hi, 

Thanks for posting. We had to make a few decisions for the latest update (Velocity Curve Editor, Smooth Attack, Half Pedal Editor and more) a month ago, and unfortunately we didn't find the time to integrate a useful "silent key" option. It is still on the list. 

Regarding Sympathetic Resonance: There are more advanced algorithms we could apply, at a pretty high cost of CPU power. Maybe there will be a better solution available at some point. 

I'm sorry that we have not fulfilled all wishes in one go, and I understand that you are upset. I will keep on pushing. 

Best, 
Paul

Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Tue, Apr 13 2021 18:54
by cuzzinlouie
Joined on Sat, May 04 2019, Posts 19

Hi Paul,

With all due respect, but this is just more of the same.

Originally Posted by: Paul Go to Quoted Post
...unfortunately we didn't find the time to integrate a useful "silent key" option.

A useful silent key? What would be a less useful one? We're not talking about complex algos here which can yield different results, or task the CPU differently, but about something as simple as: if velocity < pppp return None. The system already knows the velocity, and None, 0, or NULL means in this case literally 0 gain or simply "no sound".

Even without this, we should still be able to mimic it via the velocity curve editor now that we have it, but for some reason it seems that either a) code was written specifically to not allow it or b) the weighting curve is mapped between ppp and fff, instead of 0 to fff. Either way, this stuff would be absolutely trivial for a developer to fix.

Originally Posted by: Paul Go to Quoted Post
Regarding Sympathetic Resonance: There are more advanced algorithms we could apply, at a pretty high cost of CPU power.

Not sure how advanced the algos used in other VSTs are, but they sure sound ok to me, and that without the high CPU hit.

Originally Posted by: Paul Go to Quoted Post
Maybe there will be a better solution available at some point.

Maybe? At some point? Who would make a better solution available?

Sorry Paul, I don't mean to be an a**, but I am a little frustrated. Moreover, I saw you guys released the new 280VC, I got curious and checked the price, and then I remembered this thread and came here to see if anything got done in the last 2-3 years.

As a result all I can say is that ... maybe ... at some point ... someone will find a better way to convince me that paying €445 for a VST piano which has the exact same limitations as the other 5 I foolishly purchased from VSL might be a good idea.

Danke fuers Zuhoehren.

Posted on Wed, Apr 14 2021 01:27
by buz1984
Joined on Tue, Nov 26 2019, Posts 18

An "offline" HQ resonance feature would be a dream come true.  There'd be a new round of complaining about optimisation but if the sound justifies the inconvenience you won't hear a peep out of me.

Posted on Wed, Apr 14 2021 15:52
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 12789

Hi,

Sorry about the frustration. I get the point. 

You're asking, and I am answering, honest and friendly.

Best, 
Paul

Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Wed, Apr 14 2021 21:19
by cuzzinlouie
Joined on Sat, May 04 2019, Posts 19

Hi Paul,

Without knowing or caring about how VSL is internally structured, I do assume your best intentions, while realizing that your hands may be tied regarding certain matters or decisions. A friendly interaction with your customers is always welcome and appreciated, and sometimes it may be all that's needed. 

For such a simple request as the silent key though, just being friendly stops being enough after 3 years. Whatever the reasons are, these are no longer relevant when the implementation of such a feature can be written, compiled, tested, packaged into a new installer and uploaded on the server during literally one lunch break. 3 years and counting for the implementation of such a simple feature would not be understandable even for a product that costs €10 and I hope you agree that this is a little hard to swallow.

Regarding the -- let me put on my soft gloves and merely call it "sub-optimal" -- sympathetic resonance, this is a little different, since this is not a new feature request, but a fix request. There is a widget on that UI which reads "Sympathetic". As long as it's on that interface, it becomes one of the features that customers have paid for, a feature they've learnt to take for granted in the last decade because most, if not all other VST pianos have implemented it substantially better than VSL. After 3 years of waiting, a customer is not interested in hearing about how difficult such a feature implementation is, especially since your products are priced much higher than the ones that have implemented this feature successfully. Not even having an ETA after all this time makes matters worse.

What's even sadder is the fact that there are other issues that bug me even more than these two, in all 5 VSL pianos that I own, and you made it pretty clear to me in previous posts that these won't get addressed either. It's a pity, really. The potential for something amazing was definitely there, these could have been THE vst pianos, period. Instead they are merely good but overpriced pianos with a few issues, and the fact that they are packed to the brim with velocity layers does not change that. That's just my opinion.

I hope that you'll find at least tiny bits of my critique useful and I sincerely wish you and VSL a world of success.

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