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  • FAZIOLI (std lib): dynamic range sounds very compressed

     

    I got my Fazioli standard library today, and I really love the overall sound of it, but I have several doubts about the actual set-up:

    - The library opens with default volume at -2db (the highest default of the collection) but despite that the volume still seems to be lower than my other synchron pianos.

    - not only the volume is low, but the overall dynamic response sounds compressed, with surprisingly little timbral changes from pp to fff

    - in addition the forte/fortissimo seems kind of muffled (like if top dynamic layers were missing or filtered)

    Due to the fact the Synchron Player last update was crashing at start-up in my Mac Studio (macOS Monterey 12.6.1) and Reverb has also a strange behaviour, I'm wondering if there's an issue on the patches of the Fazioli or in the Synchron Piano engine that may be responsible for the unexpected Fazioli performance.

    Looking forward to other Fazioli owners experience, and VSL team feedback...


  • It seems to be the most evenly sampled (from bass to treble) piano in the lineup. I've found no need to tweek individual note volumes or octave ranges. It's very consistent across the board. 

    However, it does seem to be lacking power in the bass compared to the 274, 280,  and Imperial. I don't know if they had to sacrifice that to get the evenness across the range because it does seem to be the most accurate sampling in terms of consistency.

    God Bless

    David 


    F308, D-274, 280VC, Bösendorfer Imperial, Vienna Imperial
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    @David B. said:

    ...However, it does seem to be lacking power in the bass compared to the 274, 280,  and Imperial. I don't know if they had to sacrifice that to get the evenness across the range because it does seem to be the most accurate sampling in terms of consistency....

    Indeed, one of the sources of my doubt is also the difference between the demos sound and what I can get from my system. It seems that if properly set-up the piano can play basses and attacks in a more dynamic and brilliant way. This should not be related to clever mix of the mics or any digital cheating of demo makers, but more to some sort of artefact in the actual release. I still hope it can be fixed...


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    Hi fatis12, 

    Thanks for the reports. 

    Could you please post an example of what you mean, ideally with a sequencer project to check?

    You can also send it to support@vsl.co.at, there's always room for improvement, best with a positive attitude 😉. 

    Best, 
    Paul


    Paul Kopf Product Manager VSL
  • I am experiencing the same issue with the full library. The bass doesn't seem to get any louder at high velocities, and it is easily overpowered by the treble. Best, Mike

  • I have the standard library. And I second this impression. I was immediately a bit disappointed with the sound in comparison with the other libraries I have, Steinway full, Boesendorfer Imperial full and CFX standard with the latter being my favourite for just playing.

    The bass lacks power, the mid sounds somehow very centered lacking width, muffled is the right description.

    And in the updated player the option to save a preset as default is still missing.

    Best,

    Stefan


  • To add: I'm using Windows 10, and I was on Synchron Piano Player version v1.2.116 (updated this morning to 1.2.118 but haven't been able to test it out yet, but I did try reinstalling the Player yesterday, before .118 was released). Tried in both standalone version and hosted in Cantabile.

    A few more details, which lead me to suspect that this might be a bug in some versions of the Synchron Piano Player:

    1) The effect of the 4th pedal seems extreme. I wonder if somehow the effect has been fully or partially applied to some or all notes when the pedal is off, then gets doubled up when the 4th pedal is turned on/depressed.

    2) In addition to the bass, the upper treble also seems a bit restricted in dynamic range.

    3) Really, it's the mids/upper mids that seem to dominate. Possibly D4 in particular is louder than other notes?

    4) On those bass notes in particular, it really does feel like I'm hitting some sort of limiter at around 3/4 of max velocity. Very little if any change in volume or tone at that point. (I checked and velocities are definitely registering correctly in the Synchron Piano Player.)

    I'm just an amateur pianist, so I'm not able to dive into MIDI or apply EQ to any meaningful degree, and I don't want to start editing this piano note by note. But if anyone else on the VSL team can walk me through how to provide more info, I'll do my best to supply it.

    This instrument has some great qualities, and I really want to love it, but right now I can't see myself using it for much of anything composed after 1800 or so.

    Best,
    Mike


  • Hi,

    Please provide us with examples of what you mean, ideally with an mp3 and a sequencer project, sent to support@vsl.co.at, with a link to this thread. 

    Quick idea: Did you try adjusting the "DYNAMIC" controller on the PLAY page?

    Best, 
    Paul


    Paul Kopf Product Manager VSL
  • Hi Paul,

    I'll see what I can do. I don't use a sequencer. Would a MIDI recording be helpful instead (to go along with the mp3)?

    I'll give the dynamic slider a try and report back, but my understanding and past experience is this will increase the dynamic range for ALL notes, so I'd expect the upper-mids to still overpower the low range.

    I really appreciate the responsiveness, but I should warn you -- like a lot of pianists I'm not particularly tech savvy. I'm a bit more persistent than some. but I don't really know how to mix or work with MIDI, and once it starts getting to EQ or per-note volume adjustments, I'm out (unless someone can provide me with a preset).

    Best,
    Mike


  • Hi Mike, 

    MIDI file and mp3 will work, along with an info on which preset you used. 

    You CAN also go in and change the Dynamic behaviour of each single note (or whole selections of notes) on the EDIT page.  

    I assume you have already checked that the Velocity Curve fits your playing style, right (also on the EDIT page)?

    Best, 
    Paul


    Paul Kopf Product Manager VSL
  • Hi Paul,

    Velocity curve left flat, though I did check to see if I was using the full velocity range, and I also tried out different curve settings on the controller side (Kawai NV10) to see if that would help me to get more out of the bass relative to the mid and treble.

    Side note: after trying out various curves, over time I've found myself moving to a flat velocity curve for all the Synchron Pianos. I can't compare the touch curve to a real concert grand myself, but as far as I can tell you guys did a great job on the velocity mapping.

    In fact, one of the things I enjoy about playing the VSL Synchron Pianos is that I can switch pianos and then I have to adjust my playing to the instrument, similarly to how I would with an acoustic instrument. It would be strange if the Fazioli were implemented differently enough from the others that it really NEEDS a velocity curve with my controller.

    Best,
    Mike


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    @Paul said:

    Could you please post an example of what you mean, ideally with a sequencer project to check?

    You can also send it to support@vsl.co.at, there's always room for improvement, best with a positive attitude 😉. 

    Hi Paul,

    I think we (and myself perfectly in line with others) are showing a pretty positive attitude, so to be very honest I didn't appreciate your remark.

    - 1) I continuously buy your products, and publicly praise them when (quite often if not always) they are good.

    - 2) I listed good and bad feedback, not stressing the issue alone

    - 3) I was relying on the usually good reaction of your bug fixing team: e.g. the issues with the Synchron Pianos Player were not my fantasy, and were fixed the day after with 1.2.118

    Now you ask for examples, and it's a pretty fair request, but the problem is so simple and so universal that you may check it yourself and save our time:

    - just make a crescendo from 0 to 127 (e.g. a rolling octave in bass, whatever notes, or to be better several notes in different locations) with any of your pianos (or better with all of them) and compare output spectral changes and decibel of the Fazioli with the other pianos (or even better with real recordings, since you have the original samples to compare).

    I can't believe that a grand concert piano as big as Fazioli is properly depicted into the actual patch, and I assume that your developers can make a slightly better programming of it.

    The product is excellent, I really love it, and I even did some direct sound comparison with the available videos (from VSL but from others as well) of the real piano, and the timbre is so well captured: it really deserve fine tuning, in my very humble opinion.

    (I'm a product manager as you are, and I know I don't have to teach you that is better a customer talking, and talking to you, than a customer disappearing in the silence, and perhaps sharing elsewhere his bad experience...)


  • "I think we (and myself perfectly in line with others) are showing a pretty positive attitude, so to be very honest I didn't appreciate your remark."

    What? lol. What remark?


  • In addition to the bass being notably quieter, I've also noticed a few specific additional keys that are quieter. Possibly this is just at high velocities, but might be at the full velocity range:

    D5, E5, and B5

    Is anyone else having issues with these specific notes?

    I'm attaching the same MIDI and MP3 files I sent to support, comparing the bass to the treble/upper mids and then testing out several notes at the high end of the velocity range.

    I'm agnostic as to whether the dynamic range overall is compressed, but it definitely feels differently-calibrated than the other Synchron Pianos. As Paul points out, though, the dynamic range slider and touch curve can make this respond more like the other Synchrons overall. But the issues with the bass and select other notes are more serious.

    Best,
    Mike

    RecordingU00200678.zip-1696493291365-02yk1.zip

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    @Paul said:

    You CAN also go in and change the Dynamic behaviour of each single note (or whole selections of notes) on the EDIT page.  

    Yes that's a quite optimal and surgical solution (thanks to the powerful editing capacity of the SP player).

    Raising progressively (quite painfully, but quite effectively) from middle C down to the bottom left the volume of each key it's possible to adjust the response closer to a real grand piano ( and the other VSL pianos by the way).

    The instrument that way sounds more expressive and playable, then still I don't get why we have to do it, and something similar was not implemented by default: there is a subtle borderline between personal taste and habits of each user, and the general objective performance, but in this case I think we were into the objective "space for improvement" more than personal opinions field.

    I still hope VSL programmers will make a new patch with a more powerful and responsive dynamic, focusing on the basses (since they have more advanced tools, expertise and real-life references to use in the process).


  • Hi, 

    We're taking your observations seriously and are checking every step in our well-established production process carefully, as we're adding more and more details with every piano.  

    Here's the thing: The Fazioli F308 really is different from other pianos, especially in regards to the high and low frequencies. You're describing pretty much what the Fazioli sounds like in real life. Very evenly distributed energy over the whole range of the keyboard, less dramatic overtones in the high frequencies, a very balanced bass region. 

    Personally, I think it's great that our Player Software lets you adapt so many details about the sound and feeling of EACH piano, so you can really create you own sound and feeling. 

    If you take advantage of all these options, I believe that the Synchron Piano experience will be a very satisfying and dynamic one. 

    Best, 
    Paul


    Paul Kopf Product Manager VSL
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    @MikeR1154 said:

    In addition to the bass being notably quieter, I've also noticed a few specific additional keys that are quieter. Possibly this is just at high velocities, but might be at the full velocity range:

    D5, E5, and B5

    Is anyone else having issues with these specific notes?

    I'm attaching the same MIDI and MP3 files I sent to support, comparing the bass to the treble/upper mids and then testing out several notes at the high end of the velocity range.

    I'm agnostic as to whether the dynamic range overall is compressed, but it definitely feels differently-calibrated than the other Synchron Pianos. As Paul points out, though, the dynamic range slider and touch curve can make this respond more like the other Synchrons overall. But the issues with the bass and select other notes are more serious.

    Best,
    Mike

    I'm adding A5 and C6 to the list of notes that seem quieter (especially at the higher velocities) than other notes in that range. Maybe not quite as bad as the first 3 Iisted above, but still noticeable.

    In general, I'm getting used to the Fazioli. The control is great, the clarity of the bass is great. As long as I'm playing relatively quietly and/or not specifically trying to bring out the bass (or one of the 5 notes listed above) the playability is excellent, I enjoy the sound.

    But I still think there is something wrong with the volume/dynamic range of the lowest 2 octaves or so at the higher velocities. A heavier touch curve does help to balance the bass to a certain degree, but to me that just clarifies that there is an issue at higher velocities. The upper treble might have a similar issue, but I'm less sure about that.

    Comparing to what we see in the earlier video from VSL demonstrating the acoustic piano, at 

    1821

    I appreciate that Paul and team seem to be taking these concerns seriously. I know it's difficult when we are reacting BOTH to the character of the piano and how the piano has been implemented. But at this point I do still think there are some genuine (fixable) issues here.

    When it comes to the character of the piano, I do think there's also probably room for the VSL team to satisfy more of their customers out of the box with a wider variety of presets. (In general, for all of the Synchron pianos, I know I'm one of many who would like a greater choice of presets on the drier side--including some from the audience's perspective. Touch curve presets and--as the Fazioli shows--presets that alter the character and/or responsiveness of the piano--would be welcome as well, beyond the more extreme Effects presets available for Stage B.)

    Best,
    Mike



  • The Synchron Strings 1 - case has shown that it is quite difficult to improve a product that is a Data Monster.

    OF COURSE it is the same with this product. When I saw the Data of 400 Gigs, I decided directly to skip the purchase as all kind of improvement are too time intense for such a product. Less is more… sometimes.


  • One of the pieces I am currently playing is La Cathédrale engloutie by Claude Debussy.
    In the middle part there is a fortissimo section with the lowest C as pedal tone that has
    to be rehit quite hard several times.
     
    Daniel Barenboim uses his right hand for this lowest C, you can watch it from 2:35 onwards in this recording:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8o-YjpsXl8
     
    Here the "limitation" of the Fazioli bass becomes obvious. The gain does not seem to match velocity.
     
    I have raised the loudness of the lowest octaves on the edit page. But I think the
    professionals at VSL would do a better job to improve this issue.
     
    Best
    Stefan

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    @Paul said:

    Here's the thing: The Fazioli F308 really is different from other pianos, especially in regards to the high and low frequencies. You're describing pretty much what the Fazioli sounds like in real life. Very evenly distributed energy over the whole range of the keyboard, less dramatic overtones in the high frequencies, a very balanced bass region. 

    Summarising:

    - there is no issue or unintentional data corruption in the patch, and the actual version is precisely depicting your intention from a technical and musical point of view.

    - for the reason above you are not planning any adjustment or update, since you are convinced this one is the right one.

    I'm very happy to know about the first point ( I trust you have a very professional and streamlined production and quality control process, but we all know how difficult is with complex projects and under pressure to have it perfect in one shot).

    Let me respectfully disagree with the last point: in my very humble opinion the actual release of the instrument basses has nothing to do with the real very special nature and identity of the Fazioli. I had the pleasure of playing some Fazioli and several other gran pianos (not this model, but being it even larger and more powerful, I can't believe it's less responsive of the one I played live), and a crescendo from pp to fff in the lower octaves is simply impossible to replicate with the actual patch, again in my very humble opinion and producer experience, due to the way the samples have been evenly (perhaps too much evenly) balanced and dynamically tuned by the editors and programmers.

    I still hope you sooner or later will rethink about it and help us with a ready to use and professional adjustment at least of the low octaves.

    In the mean time I thank you for the attention, and I renew my congratulations for the excellent recording and the wonderful engine. Synchron Pianos are a joy to play, and a powerful tool: that's a reason more for us customers to be demanding and noticing weakness if any 😉

    Now I stop arguing and fade back to silence. All the best, F.