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  1. Ben
  2. Sherlock Holmes The Voice
  3. MOTIF Series
  4. Thursday, 07 April 2016
Hi,

I'm just curious if anyone has tried out both of these third party pianos, and has an opinion as to which is better. The online samples sound pretty good, just looking for some input.

https://www.esoundz.com/sounds/alan-parsons-imperial-grand-piano-for-motif-xs-xf/5247.html

http://www.yamahamusicsoft.com/en/instrument/Synthesizer/MOTIF+XF/category/Synth+Voice+Libraries/product/1324446/American+Grand/?currency=USD

Thanks!
Ben
Responses (11)
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Ben,
I certainly do not have a preference but just wanted to add, piano sounds are appropriate or inappropriate for what the individual is playing. There is no BEST piano sound. Sound does not work like that. The piano sound must fit the context it is used in. One may be "better" for rock, another "better" for jazz, and yet another "better" for classical... but there is no one "better" piano... I substitute appropriate for better... I've found over my years in synthesis, that sounds are appropriate or inappropriate for the music I'm doing at that time. A sound that doesn't works in one situation might wind up being perfect in another situation.

Perhaps you should mention what type of situation you are looking for...
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MOTIF Series
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hi Phil,

Thanks for the response. I think for this piano, I'm just looking to see which is more ultra "realistic" and clear. This is probably subjective but... I will probably use it more for studio recording where the piano sound would be front and center. It would be an alternative to using a large sample software piano. I'll probably be playing a mixture of jazz, pop, rock and R&B. Both of these pianos sound pretty great online, so I'd probably need to play them both to determine which I like better. The Alan Parsons is cheaper but is a larger file while the Synthogy is smaller and more expensive, so it's kind of a toss-up. Anyway, just looking for some input ....
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MOTIF Series
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I bought AP Grand piano samples a while ago. Perhaps it's my technique that's inappropriate for that sound, but the sound I heard on demo files was a little better and more convncing :D In my humble opinion AP Grand sound is somewhat too dark for my taste.
For the same reason, I'm somewhat curious about Synthogy American Grand but I wouldn't do the same, unwanted, mistake. spending my foney for a product I'm not able to take advantage of.
There's also another reason: owning a XF7 I find quite difficult making expressive a (sampled) piano sound due to not weighted keyboard action. I'm quite angry with FSX type keyboard quality.
On the other hand, being used to CP4 acoustic piano voices and keyboard, I'm going through hard times when I play on FSX.
I did also some attempts and experiments, driving Motif XF AP Grand from CP4 and I got better and encouraging results. Anyway I can't use XF as if it were a piano expander. It deserves a lot more. ;)
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MOTIF Series
  3. # 3
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Cool,

Good to know. I'm curious if you tried playing with the velocity curve in the Utility menu? On my MOXF6 and MOX6 I noticed that when I set the Velocity Curve to soft, it made it easier to play with the lighter keys. Since I didn't have to play with as much weight to generate velocity (and brighter tone), I could play more delicately, which in turn made it a little easier to play accurately on the smaller, lighter keys.

I just got my new XF8 today courtesy of the current Yamaha sale and rebate. I've been wanting a 88 key controller for my home studio and I like the idea of having all my favorite Voices, MIxes, Performances, Master's readily available. The normal velocity curve with the heavier XF8 action feels pretty good when playing piano, etc. so all in all I'm happy with the purchase.


Thanks,
Ben
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MOTIF Series
  3. # 4
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Your're welcome!

About velocity curves... Quite useful on non weighted keyboards, expecially when, like me, you're used just to weighted ones. When I play on non weighted keyboards I think not to play and piano sounds seem lighter and bodiless. It's only a matter of suggestion, but my fingers refuse FSX keyboard :(
I purchased Motif XF7 just for a matter of price and maneuverability. but I hate its keyboard action. If Motif XF7 featured a RH3 keyboard I would be the happiest man on this earth.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MOTIF Series
  3. # 5
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hi Michele, from my perspective I can fully confirm what you've been writing earlier. I also purchased the AP Piano from eSoundz half a year ago for my MOXF when it was on sale. The demos sound very different from what you really get after loading the library into the Yamaha synth. From my personal perspective the filters are set up much too agressive, dampening the sound too much whenever hitting the keys softly, ending up in a very dull sounding performance. Of course I have my personal velocity curve setting I'm used to, but even after experimenting with it I experienced that it will not have much impact on the overall programming of the voices. The included user presets are simply not able to cover the full dynamic range without sounding too muffled at the end when playing softly.

Being an Austrian, I exactly know how a Bösendorfer should sound like :p, and out of the box it's not what can be really achieved with that product which was also disappointing for me. It would be required to start from scratch, assigning the included waveform sources to your own user voices and applying different effects in order to meet the expectations you have from the "real thing" - and that's what I already started to do. However, up to now I couldn't achieve the sound experience I was looking for. As the source material for that product seems to be taken from other versions as well (VST instrument), I guess the demos on the website are simply based on a different setup which has not much to do with the actual product produced for Yamaha's Motif XF/XS/MOXF series. Let's see, maybe I'll take another approach to tweak the content to my taste. It's just a pity that this sound library is the only one which is available for the Motif and dedicated to that great instrument. I can only hope that Yamaha will still release a Bösendorfer library taylored to the Motif series, being based on their own sample sources, but I'm not sure if this will ever happen for "older" synthesizers like we have now.

Btw., I was also considering to purchase the American D Grand for the Motif, but before spending the money I'd also like to know if I could run into the same "trap" as with the AP piano product. After all, the source for the Grand Piano is also just a subset of the material taken from the related VST product. Maybe its demos have also been recorded using the VST instrument instead of using the actual Motif version. Who knows...
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MOTIF Series
  3. # 6
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
HI Martin

All in all the northern part of Italy (Venice) is not so far from Austria ;) and our musical needs are somewhat similar: havin a good and playable piano sound on our workstations. There's a great difference playing a piano sound on a FSX (Motif XF7) or a GHS (MOXF8) or a Balanced Hammer Effect (Motif XF8/S90ES) or a Natural Wood Graded Hammer (NW-GH) keyboard with Synthetic Ivory Keytops (with real-wood white keys) of a CP4. It's not only suggestion. Different keyboards react differently, aside from their dynamic curves. That's why I feel frustrated when I play piano on a non weighted keyboard. Oddly I can say that playing an average quality acoustic sampled piano on a weighted keyboard seems sounding better than an outstanding quality acoustic sampled piano played on a non weighted keyboard.

About Boesendorfer for Motif XF and MOXF series, I'm quite skeptical about its future avaliability. All in all Montage has a 128 AWM Stereo polyphony, while Motif XF and MOXFhave just 128 mono polyphony. This means that we might count on a 64 AWM Stereo polyphony that reduces further, once that all 8 Elements have 4 velocity stacked samples.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MOTIF Series
  3. # 7
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
About Boesendorfer for Motif XF and MOXF series, I'm quite skeptical about its future avaliability. All in all Montage has a 128 AWM Stereo polyphony, while Motif XF and MOXFhave just 128 mono polyphony. This means that we might count on a 64 AWM Stereo polyphony that reduces further, once that all 8 Elements have 4 velocity stacked samples.
In any of the stereo acoustic pianos in Motif-series or MOXF velocity switching is used not stacking, the difference is not just semantics. If you look in your DATA LIST Booklet you can get a better understanding of how polyphony works. The Voice List indicates how the sounding Element is using polyphony.

The Full Concert Grand, the principal piano in both the MOTIF and MOXF uses 2 Notes of polyphony for each key you press, in spite of it being a three way velocity switching, 8 Element sound. In these instruments a Key a Bank is defined as a note range and velocity range. In any Key Bank two samples can exist -this is to accommodate stereo, a left and a right. So when you press a key both a left and right audio channel are used.

If you play a six note chord, 12 is the polyphony count.
Play the same six note chord on Montage, 6 is the polyphony count.

There are only a handful of Voices use 8, to recreate multiple drawbars the Voice "All Bars Perc AF1&2" is such a polyphony hog, and thus would be a poor choice to use in a layered situation. The trade of is it works great if you need to "work" the drawbars while performing, but us a real waste if you just setup a 88800000 setting.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MOTIF Series
  3. # 8
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I'm interested in this comparison as well. Anybody have experiences to share?

The Sonic Reality Alan Parsons Imperial Grand sounds bright on the demo; I found it intriguing someone here experienced it as too dark.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MOTIF Series
  3. # 9
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Re: FSX for piano.
I'm a pianist & a purist. I began with an XF7; not for piano. But, for a synth-action, multi-sampling with synthesis capability, production instrument. Until I got a weighted action board, I enjoyed & then wrestled getting satisfying piano from my XF7. CP4. I stopped doing piano on XF7. That said, as I don't have the two together, and I've gotten used to the great sound of the CP4, I'm gonna try to get piano-ish experiences from my synth-action, multi-sampling w/ synthesis, production instrument. We'll see. As I'm no longer dependent on FSX for my main portable piano, and I know what it is, I think doing piano-ish things with it will be fruitful; especially within the context & blessing of what the instrument is. … One of which is a portable-enough instrument, with faders that can do amazing B3 emulation. Thanks to the 8 elements, 8 faders, amazing FSX (76 of 'em), great sound, great response, and quick-enough start.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MOTIF Series
  3. # 10
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
The Sonic Reality Alan Parsons Imperial Grand sounds bright on the demo; I found it intriguing someone here experienced it as too dark.


In the meantime I also purchased Synthogy's American Grand (AG) from Yamaha MusicSoft Store, and to my ears it sounds more like in their demos. In principle I still uphold my view that the Alan Parsons (AP) Piano programming was not done in an optimal way for the XF/MOXF series, as much more care should have been taken when creating the user voices. The included AP waveforms have much more potential in terms of possible dynamics than what has been pre-programmed and what you get right of the box. Tweaking is necessary in any case to make it sound right.

However, as already posted by another user in a related thread, the AG Piano library also holds some negative surprises. Most of the voices come in two variants, a playable version and a very weird option with "damper off". I still don't know what was the initial idea behind such an approach. I can only think of strategic reasons to present more available voices to the customer in order to make the product look wide-ranging. From a musical point of view all of those "damper off" voices are completely unusable, as most probably you will never find a use case to implement them in a reasonable way. It's like you would play a grand piano with the sustain pedal pressed down permanently. I can also confirm again what has been reported already about the last few voices contained in that library which are also listed in the product PDF (for whatever reason):

26. AG Ringer
This is a very annoying ring-modulated voice effect that you wouldn't expect to be included in such a library at all; it simply doesn't make any sense there!
27. AG Vintage ‘74
This voice seems to be an ordinary Rhodes preset without having any AG piano waveforms, so why is this voice listed as "AG" voice at all?
28. AG Analog Pad
This Pad voice was also created from preset waveforms exclusively even though "AG" is part of the voice name here as well; what's it's special purpose?
29. Ambient Pizza
This is also an original Yamaha preset voice using built-in waveforms only, already seen on the MOX series, so wtf...?

I can only presume that Synthogy intended to prepare some additional voices in order to be combined with pure AG Piano voices, e.g. within any Performances or so. However, Performances did never make it to that commercial library, so the aim of having this non-related user voices available remains in the dark.

In spite of all, with some tweaking (and deleting voices which don't make any sense) the AG Piano library is also acceptable for me, even though it's upscaled from my personal perspective.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MOTIF Series
  3. # 11
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