Beter sound - solved

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1fspeed
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:42 am

Beter sound - solved

Post by 1fspeed » Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:55 am

Found a somewhat contrived way to improve the sound and dynamics of the Playground session app.

The sound of my Yamaha P-80 is dramatically better than the Playground app. Problem is with my headphones plugged into the keyboard I can't hear the metronome, or accompaniments of the app. With headphone into my computer the piano sounds terrible.

Solution. Two pair of headphones.

Ear buds into the computer so I can hear the app, and over the ear phones plugged directly into my keyboard. With the volume of the piano turned to 0 in the app, I now have the best of both. Piano sounds nice, the app tracks and scores my playing and I can hear the metronome etc.

It's a bit of an ear full, but it works.

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sw1tch73ch
Posts: 535
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:23 pm

Re: Beter sound - solved

Post by sw1tch73ch » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:12 am

My solution is to use a small mixer with the piano and computer plugged into two sets of stereo inputs, adjust the volumes as desired and then output the mixer to a small stereo amplifier. Headphones plugged into the mixer would be an option.
== Just keep playing. Just keep playing. Just keep playing, playing, playing! ==

-- jbs --

Paulopedia
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 1:25 am

Re: Beter sound - solved

Post by Paulopedia » Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:04 am

Image

Three words: Midi Audio Interface... I don't use the sound from either my digital piano or PGS. My piano sound is from a VST acoustic grand piano sample library called Addictive Keys. It runs on the computer. The PGS virtual piano is turn off as is the sound from my keyboard. All of the audio processing and whatnot is done by the audio interface. Another advantage of that is that it eliminates latency when you plug in a non-midi intrument to your computer.

Harryleo
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:32 am

Re: Beter sound - solved

Post by Harryleo » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:44 pm

Yeah agreed, onboard sound has been very good for years and is all most people need. I haven't added a sound card into one of my gaming rigs in more than a decade, (it used to actually affect performance once upon a time).But my advice is simply don't worry about it, odds are very good he'll be happy with onboard sound and if not there are all kinds of add in external or internal devices you can add later. Or he could just go for a USB headset with it's own codec and amp and then it doesn't matter what's in the PC.My only negative comment about onboard sound is that it can lack enough volume if there's a lot of ambient noise around if you connect directly to the line out without some form of amplifier. Personally I hate headphones and use a nice pair of bookshelf speakers and a small amplifier.

G NC
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:13 pm

Re: Beter sound - solved

Post by G NC » Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:19 pm

Paulopedia wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:04 am
Image

Three words: Midi Audio Interface... I don't use the sound from either my digital piano or PGS. My piano sound is from a VST acoustic grand piano sample library called Addictive Keys. It runs on the computer. The PGS virtual piano is turn off as is the sound from my keyboard. All of the audio processing and whatnot is done by the audio interface. Another advantage of that is that it eliminates latency when you plug in a non-midi intrument to your computer.
Paulopedia, I too have Addictive Keys. It's running on a older PC but with Windows 10. The grand piano sound is excellent, but I'm a little confused about how to have both Addictive Keys and PS read the MIDI output from my keyboard at the same time. Is that what a "mixer" does?

Laurensss
Posts: 105
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:20 am

Re: Beter sound - solved

Post by Laurensss » Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:45 pm

G NC wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:19 pm
Paulopedia wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:04 am
Image

Three words: Midi Audio Interface... I don't use the sound from either my digital piano or PGS. My piano sound is from a VST acoustic grand piano sample library called Addictive Keys. It runs on the computer. The PGS virtual piano is turn off as is the sound from my keyboard. All of the audio processing and whatnot is done by the audio interface. Another advantage of that is that it eliminates latency when you plug in a non-midi intrument to your computer.
Paulopedia, I too have Addictive Keys. It's running on a older PC but with Windows 10. The grand piano sound is excellent, but I'm a little confused about how to have both Addictive Keys and PS read the MIDI output from my keyboard at the same time. Is that what a "mixer" does?
Hi G, no you shouldn't need any extra hardware to do that. I Don't know if Windows has any additional loops to jump through but on my Mac here Garageband and PGS both receive the piano MIDI without issue, so GB can render the piano audio and PGS handles all the rest (piano volume in PGS = 0). Caveat: due to the way PGS is programmed, unfortunately the piano demo sounds are silenced as well in this way.
A mixer is handy if you want to, for example, use headphones with both the original sound of your piano and the sounds made by PGS.

It depends on your specific set-up wat is the best option; it may be that your plano has an aux input that you can connect the PC to, then from the piano to headphones or speakers. My piano dos not so I run the piano and Mac audio signals through a simple passive mixer for headphone level signals (Djocolate). Cheap, but works reasonably well if your 'phones are sensitive enough. Low tech solution I've seen here: wear earbuds and headphones at the same time :D

G NC
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:13 pm

Re: Beter sound - solved

Post by G NC » Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:56 pm

Just discovered that my MIDI cable (iConnectivity "Mio") has an optional downloadable MIDI driver that allows the MIDI signal to go to two (or more?) running programs simultaneously. Unlike a Mac, Windows 10 PCs won't do that without such a driver. Typical convoluted Windows solution, but it IS now working! Thanks for your clarification on the Mixer.

Paulopedia
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 1:25 am

Re: Beter sound - solved

Post by Paulopedia » Wed Jan 23, 2019 11:21 am

G NC wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:56 pm
Just discovered that my MIDI cable (iConnectivity "Mio") has an optional downloadable MIDI driver that allows the MIDI signal to go to two (or more?) running programs simultaneously. Unlike a Mac, Windows 10 PCs won't do that without such a driver. Typical convoluted Windows solution, but it IS now working! Thanks for your clarification on the Mixer.
Your "cable" is a MIDI to USB interface... without the audio capabilities of my audio + MIDI interface. If all you're going to do it connect a MIDI controller to a PC then your cable is likely all you will ever need. As for me, I have guitars, microphones, a digital piano, a synth-action keyboard controller, an MPC Pad controller, a television, and a PC workstation hooked into my audio interface... all of which can be played out through my studio monitors and sub-woofer.... That way I can monitor everything through either my headphone monitors or the aforementioned studio monitors (and I can adjust the levels of each independently.)

RymeIntrinseca
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Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:39 pm
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Re: Beter sound - solved

Post by RymeIntrinseca » Wed Jan 27, 2021 7:59 pm

Hello,

I approached my set up a little differently.

Firstly, thanks to the PGS team for providing me with the chance of learning piano. The PGS app has helped enormously with progress.

Each time I make progress I invest a little more in my set up with new equipment and software. The most recent progress meant I felt I could invest in a more advanced or realistic piano voice. I decided to opt for the Garritan CFX Lite VST for the moment. However in years to come, if my progress keeps moving forward, I hope to add a Steinway D VST from some developer to my set up.

Anyway, I was interested how various PGS users configured their set ups to make using a 3rd party VST work with the PGS app. Here is my solution, based on my set up . . .

I use a Yamaha MOXF8 for my "piano". It's OK but the piano voice model in it is a little bland. So I installed Garritan CFX Lite onto my Windows 10 SSD. After doing this I was really blown away how great and authentic the Garritan VST sounded, even without trying to fine tune all the parameters of it!

However, when I came to run PGS and using the Garritan VST, I noted I could not hear the PGS Count in or accompaniments etc. The midi control (via the MOXF8 USB port) operated the PGS app fine as far a key triggering goes.

I finally settled on a method to run the Garritan VST audio and PGS audio simultaneously from my PC installation without the need to invest in an expensive separate USB Audio Interface - though I plan to get one when more progress is made! My PC and my MOXF8 are in two separate rooms. All I do is connect the two together is a 5 metre HDMI lead and a 5 metre USB cable. I control the PC remotely when I'm in the music room corner with a small wireless keyboard. This sends a signal to a dongle sat next to my MOXF8 and then runs on another 5m USB extention cable to my PC in the other room.

So . . .

In PGS I set the Output Device to "Line (Yamaha MOXF8)".

Then in PGS settings, I set the Left Channel to "Output Channel 1", Right to "Output Channel 2". The sample rate is left at 44100. The Latency setting is left at around 4mS but it can come down more if required but it's OK with that setting.

The PGS/VST MIDI control comes from the USB output of the MOXF8 and is set with the usual "lower key then upper key" calibration tool in the PGS app.

All this means is that I use just the USB cable from my MOXF8 to my PC to route the VST/PGS Midi control and audio data back up the same cable into the A/D section in my MOXF8. Then I run the L+R Phono Out connection from the MOXF8 to my external cheap and cheerful £40 (and surprisingly good sound) Blaupunkt TV-like sound bar (used as the speaker for my piano learning area). The 90cm long sound bar fits just perfectly across the bottom length of my MOXF8 and is convenient to attach to the beefy keyboard stand which the MOXF8 is mounted on. I painted a large sheet of MDF board black and then installed it at the back of the stand to block off the underside of the music area which makes it a self contained installation. It looks factory made but it is purely a random outcome when the pieces just happen to come together so neatly.

With the A/D converter in my MOXF8 I can adjust the sound level and various dynamics of the audio. I haven't adjusted anything yet because even on the default settings, the quality of the Garritan VST is so mind blowing, so I 'm happy to carry on for the moment.

I tried to post images to this message, which illustrate my set up approach but for some reason the message window won't allow them . . .

I can highly recommend using a 3rd Party VST running alongside PGS. The authenticity of a piano VST is incredible. I feel a whole new level of immersion in my learning and its really added a new sense of fulfilment when using PGS to make further progress.

Although the VST is a detailed sampled model of an actual Yamaha CFX Grand Piano costing £150,000, my Garritan VST cost me just £80 but I feel like I'm playing the full acoustic £150,000 version - WOW!!

All the best to everyone on their learning journey with PGS.

Mark.

annebroylesaz
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:58 am

Re: Beter sound - solved

Post by annebroylesaz » Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:00 am

I used this system it is amazing the experience was good

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