Pianoteq workshops

We present here three workshops showing how to come close to a given sound taken from several music styles. Although it is impossible to reproduce exactly the original recording, we show how Pianoteq makes it possible to capture its colour, its atmosphere.

Rather than going into all the details, we concentrate here on the main stages, the most important being the order in which the settings are applied. The changes in global settings need Pianoteq Standard while the note per note changes need Pianoteq PRO.

This workshop was prepared with the D4 from Pianoteq version 4, but of course the same technique can be applied to other pianos. Important: in order to capture the finest nuances, a good audio setup is needed to listen to the following examples.

Workshop showing how to come close to a given sound taken from Jazz music.
Target recordingTarget recording   MIDI file
This is the recording we want to simulate. For copyright reasons, we present here only a short excerpt which is enough for our purpose. Note the beautiful 'singing' quality of the unisons, as well as the nice sustain pedal resonance.
Choosing a presetChoosing a preset   FXP
The first thing to do is to select the preset that will serve as starting point. We choose here the D4 Jazz AB preset.
Microphone setting and reverberationMicrophone setting and reverberation   FXP
We start with microphone position. The original recording is (almost) mono. We don't want a 100% mono sound (we want some 'air' when listening with headphones) but we want it to be close to the original, so we choose to put two microphones just a few centimetres/inches away from each other and close to the piano. We select the Small Hall reverberation.
VelocityVelocity   FXP
Next, let us adjust velocity, dynamics and volume so that the MIDI file we have at our disposal shows a similar soundscape as the target recording. We don't care here for the difference in performance, we are just trying to catch the atmosphere.
EQ and hammer hardnessEQ and hammer hardness   FXP
We now adjust equalizer and hammer hardness. We want a crisper sound, so we increase the hammer hardness.
Sympathetic resonancesSympathetic resonances   FXP
The original recording clearly shows a lot of resonances, so we do not hesitate in increasing the sympathetic resonances by a factor 2. Time to notice the resonances in action during the typical repedalling on the two sustained chords at the beginning.
Tuning and hammer noiseTuning and hammer noise   FXP
We increase the unison width parameter by a factor 2 to obtain the same 'singing' unisons as we can hear in the original recording. We also increase slightly the direct sound duration and reduce the hammer noise.
VoicingVoicing   FXP
We now leave the global settings and work on the final voicing by adjusting a few overtones for a couple of notes, as for example the first note Bb1.