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New to Synchron Pianos, many questions
Last post Tue, Jul 05 2022 by Olivier W., 4 replies.
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Posted on Tue, May 03 2022 23:18
by julien breval
Joined on Thu, Feb 05 2009, Posts 7

Hello

I bought VSL Steinway D-274 and this is the first VSL software I use. I did some tests and I like it with these quick and dirty settings:
condenser level = 0dB, mid level = -3dB (this is really to bring some harmonics that are missing in the condenser tracks), room mix level = -9dB, all other microphones = off, pedal noise = -24dB, body = 33%, sympathetic = -3dB, modified velocity curve, 12 voices/key, no reverb, no EQ, everything else = default

This is very basic tuning, for example I saw you can tweak things note-by-note (which I appreciate a lot), etc. That said when it comes to close microphones I think I would prefer the ribbon and tube microphones to the condenser microphone, probably because of microphone positions during the recordings, but I don't have the extension pack.


1. The most important thing I have to figure out is how to avoid any glitch when playing at low latency (64 smp buffer, possibly 32 if it works).
I plan to use this software in live concerts on a new computer (screenless compact desktop like Mac Mini or equivalent Windows machine), but at the moment the only valuable computer I have is a 2019 13" Macbook with Core i7 2.8GHz CPU, 16GB of RAM, and internal 256GB SSD. This computer is only used for music production, nothing else. The interface is a RME HDSPe Raydat installed in a Thunderbolt external rack.
My external drive (2019 Samsung T5) is full so I installed D-274 on the internal SSD. According to Synchron Pianos this internal SSD is 300-330MB/s (not sure it is enough for this software).

When using one stereo microphone, there is no glitch. When playing normally, the CPU load (from Synchron pianos) is 10-30% and even when playing lots of clusters and glissandi with the pedal depressed it never reaches 100%.

When using 3 stereo microphones, there are always glitches when playing a glissando with the pedal depressed. There are also often many glitches when playing normally, but it happens periodically, meaning that the computer is doing something else at that moment. But the CPU load is always high, with lots peaks often reaching 100%.

I have no idea if the processor, the SSD, or both are too slow.
Is it recommended to install the VSL sample banks on a separate drive (not the system drive)?

I saw the hack that consists in running 3 VSL Synchron Pianos on 3 tracks so that it forces multithreading. I tried with Reaper but it did not improve things. Reaper can detect the number of cores automatically or you can set it manually, so I set it to 4.
I also tried with Pro Tools but basically it could not load the samples; even when trying to set the location manually in Synchron Piano AAX, it does not even see the folder. Also, in the Mix view, the names of the tracks do not appear, making it impossible to use unless you have a screenshot of the VST version.
I also plan to use it in Max or similar environments because it is handy for live applications. I have not tried it yet.

Note: last time I used a software piano was about 2010-2012, when I was running Synthogy Italian Grand or Galaxy Vintage D on Core i7 desktop and laptop (Windows 7) at 64 samples without any glitch.
I have not tried other software pianos like Garritan CFX recently; also, I did not install the former software pianos I have on the Macbook (not enough disk space, etc) so I cannot compare.

Is this Macbook too slow?

What *compact* (max 2-3kg) desktop computer would you recommend for live concerts? Unless it has a PCIe slot (should not happen on small desktops), I will use a RME Babyface interface. Can be Windows, MacOS, M1 or not, etc (possibly fanless or very silent)

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2. How do you set up silent key? (except programming it in Max or equivalent)

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3. I don't understand how you decide where to store user presets. As a dummy example, if I want to store all user presets in /users/someone/documents/VSL-D274_presets/, what path should I enter in the dialog box?

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4. Is there a way to smooth the velocity curve after entering the breakpoints?

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5. Is there a manual (pdf or other) that explains all Synchron Piano functionalities? For example what are "RX Dyn.Shape" and "Max Voices / Key"?

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6. What master keyboard would you recommend for live use? It must have these features:
- 88 keys with graded weight
- fast and accurate action
- lightweight for carrying it to concerts
- transmits note-off velocity.
The only one I found is the Kawai ES-110 Mk2 (still not tried it), are there others to consider?

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7. Just curious:
a) The D-274 condenser close microphone is referred to either a pair of Schoeps MK4 or Sennheiser MKH8040. Which one was it actually?
b) On the 5th D note (counting from low to high on a 88-key piano), there is a strange metallic resonance especially noticeable when playing forte. Where does it comes from? I ask because the Synthogy Italian Grand software had exactly the same (maybe on another note) and don't remember hearing it when playing an acoustic piano.


Thanks for your help
Best regards

Posted on Wed, Jun 01 2022 18:29
by Lohengramm
Joined on Sun, May 29 2022, Australia, Posts 1

I have the same problem too

Old Computer i7-4771 3.5Ghz, 256mb SSD

Yamaha N1X as Midi Controller

Generally no glitches when only using 2 mics sound samples

However, when trying Decca setting, glitches will come up when playing multiple notes passages, especially, with sustain Pedal, there are more glitches and CPU overload.

Simply wondering, adding a RME SoundCard will help the glitches issue? ( Have a soundcard left idled in garage )

My main concern is hoping can play smoothly without any glitches at current setting.  Or I have to really get a new computer or adding few more strips of DDR ram and stuff to fix the issue?

Much appreciated if someone or Official Support chips in.   

Posted on Sun, Jul 03 2022 07:11
by cybergolio
Joined on Wed, Sep 03 2008, Besancon FRANCE, Posts 8

I have an Old Macbook 2015 & for me one mic it's the max :-D

One thing that function is to lower the " Max voices / Mic " (in the edit page) from 128 to 64 for example or less.

 If you don't have a graphic card but just a GPU ( except, I hope on the M1 who replace the graphic card...), close the display of synchron help too

Posted on Tue, Jul 05 2022 13:18
by Olivier W.
Joined on Sun, Jul 25 2021, France, Posts 6

Originally Posted by: julien breval Go to Quoted Post

Hello

I bought VSL Steinway D-274 and this is the first VSL software I use. I did some tests and I like it with these quick and dirty settings:
condenser level = 0dB, mid level = -3dB (this is really to bring some harmonics that are missing in the condenser tracks), room mix level = -9dB, all other microphones = off, pedal noise = -24dB, body = 33%, sympathetic = -3dB, modified velocity curve, 12 voices/key, no reverb, no EQ, everything else = default
...

Hi,

to save CPU, disable Sympathetic resonance and not set to -3dB -> this fx doesn't work, the developpement is nos finished. set it to minimum to disable it. (like defaut presets)

Regards,

Olivier W.

Olivier W.
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