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Recommend me a soft synth Acoustic Piano for live (sometimes mono) use in MainStage


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  • Recommend me a soft synth Acoustic Piano for live (sometimes mono) use in MainStage

    Ok guys

    So I've been using MainStage2 almost exclusively for gigging of late and it absolutely cleans up in pretty much all areas except acoustic piano. Try as I might, I can't seem to get a decent acoustic piano sound.

    I've used both the Logic Pianos and NI Alicia's Keys, but no amount of tweaking/EQ/Compression/FX gets them sounding anywhere decent - to the point where my old XP30 piano sounds far better in a live environment.

    Sometimes, as much as I hate it, we have to play through a mono PA/monitoring situation as well, which also doesn't help.

    So what would your recommendations be for the ultimate live piano soft synth sound, that won't overload my MBP (2.4Ghz i5 w 4GB RAM) in a MainStage session? Even Alicia's Keys causes CPU spikes if it's layered w anything - fairly CPU intensive.

    I've thought about PianoTeq - as much as I hate the sound of it in the studio, its thin quality may just cut through and sound decent live. Was also considering some sample libraries from synths like the S90ES (which sounds great live) etc for Logic's sampler.

    -----------------Mike PensiniPiano/Keyboard/Producer/Musical Director/Writertwitter.com/mikepensini | facebook.com/mikepensinimusic | youtube.com/groovatious

  • #2
    I like PianoTeq. It's not a CPU hog, and while it's not the absolute fullest sounding piano, it sounds very good overall.

    PianoTeq can sound thin (or "bright," depending on how you see it) when striking the keys at high velocity. Adjusting the velocity curve to suit your controller and playing style helps a lot. I think this is why some people come away thinking that PianoTeq sounds especially tinny or thin. You really have to adjust the velocity to bring out those fuller, more mellow mid-range dynamics with normal playing.
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    • #3
      Why not just get a Motif Rack ES or XS (depending on budget) instead of getting your computer tied up by a single sound.


      • #4
        do u need superb realism ? in rehearsal/gigs, I now use 01w's pianos, cause it cuts thru and sounds warm. chose it over my kurzweil. what sort of music ?


        • #5
          I'll be boring and recommend Pianoteq. I'm not utterly happy with its live sound but I love it over headphones, so I'm guessing that tweaking the eq would help next time out. At any rate, it contains a stack of piano models you can use as a starting point. Then, if you want to fatten things up, you can soften the hammers, increase the fundamental in the overtone series, pull down the impedance and cutoff, adjust the output eq and maybe increase the unison width. All these will tend to fatten your sound.

          I'd say get the tryout version and give it a shot--if you find something you're happy with, then you know it'll work for you.
          All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860)