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Thread: Tips on mixing a piano VST, not a real piano?

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    Tips on mixing a piano VST, not a real piano?

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    Dear Everyone.

    I'm writing solo piano tracks using a piano VST. It's Edirol Orchestral, it's a nice, clear sound but all the tips on filling up a mix with a solo instrument that I can find are all dependent on mike placement, room type etc. I can't find anything on mixing a piano if all you've got is a VST. And my tracks don't sound warm and full, they sound austere and very lonely, even if the tunes are upbeat.

    Please, has anyone got any tips on mixing a solo piano VST? They'll all be used or tried.

    Yours hopefully

    Chris.

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    Man...that's such a wide open question that can only be answered within the context of the mix and how it sounds.

    So when you say "solo piano"...does that mean there are no other tracks, no vocals...just the piano?
    If that is the case, if it's not already stereo piano VST, I would start by applying a stereo plugin to it...to spread it out so that it does fill out the image left/right.

    If there are other tracks...then it's back to the within the context of the complete mix.

    After that...without hearing what you have, it's not simple to say "do this" to make it sound different.

    Post a sample.

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    Edirol orchestra is on my system and rarely gets used, and certainly not for the piano. It's the kind of 90's piano that we would pretend sounds like a real one. It's not. If you use a proper modern piano vsti they sound so real, we have people choosing between what sounds like real steinways, yamahas, bechsteins and a zillion other special instruments. You will never make the Edirol anything other than an accompaniment piano. It's just not convincing enough. It's synthesised rather than sampled, or just a very poor sample! A proper piano vsti will be hard to make sound poor!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob aylestone View Post
    Edirol orchestra is on my system and rarely gets used, and certainly not for the piano. It's the kind of 90's piano that we would pretend sounds like a real one.
    Well that pretty much answers the question. I was not familiar with the Edirol stuff.


    There's some nice piano sounds from UVI that I've used...I also have a bunch of the Toontrack keys.

    Here you go...for $50 this is a pretty good concert grand piano.

    UVI Grand Piano Model D - Acoustic Piano

    I'm sure there are quite a few other quality keyboard VSTi sound packs out there.

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    Found a tip on another site that works surprisingly well....

    Dear Everyone.

    Thanks for all your lovely answers!

    Found a trick on another site which you prob. all know but I'd never thought of. If I double-up the piano track and have loads of reverb on one of the two tracks, then bring it up so it's sitting JUST underneath the dry track, the two really meld together quite well into one piano sound with posh-piano echo on it!

    It's the sorta thing I'd never have thought of by myself, my brain - such as it is - doesn't seem to work that way.

    I'll buy a better piano when I've got a better bank a/c and can afford a better computer, used to have Sonar DAW at one point but had to ditch that because it's a computer muncher. Make do with a notation program now that can run things without needing a whole computer to run them on. This doubling-up trick works great because as you've got the effects only on one track, if you've got backing going on you can just use the dry signal and the effects don't get in the way of the backing. Wish I'd thought of this one years ago.

    I know I'm kinda usurping my own thread but if anyone knows any other tips'n'tricks similar, or where I can find out about them.... My mind never thinks of anything schneaky!

    Yours respectfully

    Chris.

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    Here you go - this is a file recorded yesterday, and I've played it on the Roland VSTi, then on Kontkt Grandeur, then on Pianoteq 6's jazz piano.

    Piantoteq is my favourite and not that expensive. The Roland Orchestra is kind of good for schools doing A Level Music, but it's just a bit too generic to do any of the sounds much good really. no added anything, effects wise
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Quote Originally Posted by miroslav View Post
    Here you go...for $50 this is a pretty good concert grand piano.

    UVI Grand Piano Model D - Acoustic Piano
    That one sounds good and according to the site, is only $24 until June 24.
    7

    Friends don't let friends mix drunk...
    You can lead a horse to water... but he has to put on his own scuba gear...
    I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous...
    I like the tempo but I don't like the beat. I give it a 6, Dick...

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    Thank you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisulrich View Post
    Dear Everyone.

    Thanks for all your lovely answers!

    Found a trick on another site which you prob. all know but I'd never thought of. If I double-up the piano track and have loads of reverb on one of the two tracks, then bring it up so it's sitting JUST underneath the dry track, the two really meld together quite well into one piano sound with posh-piano echo on it!

    It's the sorta thing I'd never have thought of by myself, my brain - such as it is - doesn't seem to work that way.
    Hi,
    What you're describing is parallel processing.
    Most often people use an auxiliary track (with the effects on it) and take a 'send' from the source audio track to that aux, rather than literally duplicating the the source track and adding effects to the dup, but either works.
    You can try the same trick with compression, delays, reverbs, very subtle distortion...pretty much anything.

    Some plugins have a wet/dry balance to save you the trouble ^.

    The big advantage of using an aux track and a send is that you can use the same aux track and its effects for multiple instruments/sources.
    Not really applicable here but maybe good to know?

    I've no experience with your particular suite but based on rob's comments I'd take a tour through youtube and listen to demos of some of the popular sample-based suites.
    I have XLN Audio Addictive Keys here and really like it.
    You're given a good choice of microphones and placements, without things becoming too complicated.
    As Rob said, it's hard to make it sound bad.
    ---------- Steenaudio Website ----------

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