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Author Topic: Help with Piano Sound Problem  (Read 3916 times)

Isaac South

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Help with Piano Sound Problem
« on: January 03, 2018, 08:55:37 pm »

Thank you for your time.  I don't know if there are a lot of keyboard players on this forum, but I'm hoping someone has experienced this problem before and can offer some suggestions:

We recently had a new sound system installed by a AV company in our area.  Martin Audio speakers, QU32 board, etc.  It's wonderful.  Everything sounds perfect....except my keyboard.

I used to play with ONLY an amp on stage.  That was the only place my sound came from.  It was basic, but it sounded really good.  Now, with our new system, I'm obviously excited to be able to go through the system.  I'm finally able to run Mainstage on my macbook and I'm using Keyscape (C7 bright) as my piano sound.  Here's my signal flow:

My piano (Roland RD300GX) to my Interface (Scarlett 6i6).
Roland to the macbook via midi cables
My Roland also goes to a Rolls MX28 mixer that I have on stage. (I use this so that I can control the levels of my Roland and mainstage separately, in case of a computer crash)
I then go from the Rolls to the DI box (Stereo).  It's a Pro D2.
Then I go to the house stereo.  I've got my channels panned hard at FOH.  Note:  we don't have an experienced FOH person.  We are in a small town and just doing the best we can with what we have.

Here's my problem:  At home, when I've got my headphones on and using the same exact sounds, it sounds AMAZING.

But when I get to church, it sounds HORRIBLE.  Very muddy and weak.   There's also a bit of a hiss that I can hear in the stage monitor each time I hit a key on my Piano. 

Additionally, it sometimes feels/sounds like I'm playing an EP, rather than a Grand.  I can't explain it, but it just sounds almost fake.  This is really hard to explain and probably hard to understand.  I apologize. 

Any advice, tips, help would be much appreciated.  I'm doing something wrong.  I've check my signal chain.  All my cables are plugged into the correct spot (left to left, right to right, etc.)  But there's something I'm missing.
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Help with Piano Sound Problem
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2018, 09:14:53 pm »

Any advice, tips, help would be much appreciated.  I'm doing something wrong.  I've check my signal chain.  All my cables are plugged into the correct spot (left to left, right to right, etc.)  But there's something I'm missing.

There are topics that are specific to H.O.W. audio, and there are topics that are not. I think you will get better responses to your more general information posts if you post in one of the more widely read forums like the LAB Lounge.

I am moving this post to the Lounge for that reason.

Mac
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Cailen Waddell

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Re: Help with Piano Sound Problem
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2018, 09:34:20 pm »

When you are at home - where are you plugging in your headphones?  To your main stage machine?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Isaac South

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Re: Help with Piano Sound Problem
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2018, 09:34:31 pm »

There are topics that are specific to H.O.W. audio, and there are topics that are not. I think you will get better responses to your more general information posts if you post in one of the more widely read forums like the LAB Lounge.

I am moving this post to the Lounge for that reason.

Mac

Thank you sir.  I greatly appreciate it.
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Isaac South

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Re: Help with Piano Sound Problem
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2018, 09:35:13 pm »

When you are at home - where are you plugging in your headphones?  To your main stage machine?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

At home, my headphones are connected to the Scarlett 6i6 interface.
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Help with Piano Sound Problem
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 10:13:21 pm »

At home, my headphones are connected to the Scarlett 6i6 interface.

Try plugging your headphones into the Rolls mixer and see what that sounds like.

It could be that the keyboard channels on the QU 32 are just not set up correctly.
Try this, pan both of the mixers keyboad channels back to the center and see what that sounds like, then with both channels still panned to the center mute one of the channels and see what that sounds like. With headphones plugged into mixer what does it sound like in the headphones compaired to the speakers with the channels panned to the center and to the left right.
In the mixers channel routing setup page check and make sure the keyboard channels are not assigned to sub group and to the left right mains at the same time, for that matter no channel should be assigned to the left right mains and a subgroup at the same time if that sub group is assigned to the left right main mix.

Let us know what you find.
If possible post a short audio clip.

Let me add...recorded audio from the board that has the bad keyboard sound.





« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 08:13:03 am by Mike Caldwell »
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Jonathan Woytek

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Re: Help with Piano Sound Problem
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 12:38:51 am »

I'm having a problem understanding your signal routing. I'm going to say what I think you said, then I have a related question if that is the case.

You said your piano is sent to the Scarlett (assuming audio). You also said that the piano is connected via MIDI to the mac (presumably also through the Scarlett). Then the Scarlett audio output and the piano audio output are sent to your Rolls mixer. When you listen on the Scarlett, your sound is what you want. When you plug into the PA from the Rolls, your sound is compromised.

First, as Mike suggested, take a listen in the Rolls via headphones and see what you hear there. If it sounds good there, skip to the bottom to see a couple of questions about the DI and board setup (again, in addition to the good steps Mike provided).

Now, to the question in my mind: How are you sending audio to both the Scarlett and the Rolls from the keyboard? The 300gx only has a single stereo output. Are you using a splitter or some other device? Signal routing might be causing some issues.

And a follow-on question: Do you notice any appreciable change in quality if you have just the keyboard turned up on the mixer, with the Scarlett turned down? How about with just the Scarlett and none if the keyboard (this might be what you're doing anyway)? If you hear bad audio on headphones connected to the Rolls, this would be my next step to see if I can isolate the source.

Next, are all of the 1/4" cables you are using balanced? This is probably not the problem, but you could be getting some signal interference on unbalanced lines.

Last questions are more specifically about the house PA. Have you verified that the pad is disabled/off on the DI? If the pad is enabled, the preamp gain might be cranked up on the qu.
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Jonathan Woytek
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Nathan Riddle

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Re: Help with Piano Sound Problem
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2018, 12:52:36 am »

Thank you for your time.  I don't know if there are a lot of keyboard players on this forum, but I'm hoping someone has experienced this problem before and can offer some suggestions:

We recently had a new sound system installed by a AV company in our area.  Martin Audio speakers, QU32 board, etc.  It's wonderful.  Everything sounds perfect....except my keyboard.

I used to play with ONLY an amp on stage.  That was the only place my sound came from.  It was basic, but it sounded really good.  Now, with our new system, I'm obviously excited to be able to go through the system.  I'm finally able to run Mainstage on my macbook and I'm using Keyscape (C7 bright) as my piano sound.  Here's my signal flow:

My piano (Roland RD300GX) to my Interface (Scarlett 6i6).
Roland to the macbook via midi cables
My Roland also goes to a Rolls MX28 mixer that I have on stage. (I use this so that I can control the levels of my Roland and mainstage separately, in case of a computer crash)
I then go from the Rolls to the DI box (Stereo).  It's a Pro D2.
Then I go to the house stereo.  I've got my channels panned hard at FOH.  Note:  we don't have an experienced FOH person.  We are in a small town and just doing the best we can with what we have.

Here's my problem:  At home, when I've got my headphones on and using the same exact sounds, it sounds AMAZING.

But when I get to church, it sounds HORRIBLE.  Very muddy and weak.   There's also a bit of a hiss that I can hear in the stage monitor each time I hit a key on my Piano. 

Additionally, it sometimes feels/sounds like I'm playing an EP, rather than a Grand.  I can't explain it, but it just sounds almost fake.  This is really hard to explain and probably hard to understand.  I apologize. 

Any advice, tips, help would be much appreciated.  I'm doing something wrong.  I've check my signal chain.  All my cables are plugged into the correct spot (left to left, right to right, etc.)  But there's something I'm missing.

Are you in Niceville? I literally just installed an identical system at a church here.

Sig says Kentucky, but would be a huge coincidence! It might be a long shot as I never saw anyone with a mackbook/interface/roland piano setup during the install.

Do you have headphones to check while at home?
Do you have reference monitors?
What speakers are you using to listen on?

Seems like maybe a polarity reversal?
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Mark Rombouts

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Re: Help with Piano Sound Problem
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2018, 07:54:28 am »

Are you using the direct audio signal from your piano combined with the processed audio from gour macbook ? Then you will have different latency on these streams. And that will resultnin phase issues wich can distroy your sounds.
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Help with Piano Sound Problem
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2018, 08:10:38 am »



Last questions are more specifically about the house PA. Have you verified that the pad is disabled/off on the DI? If the pad is enabled, the preamp gain might be cranked up on the qu.

If indeed the pad is ON on your DI box do not turn it OFF with the keyboard channels turned up and the trim controls turned up, even more important if your playing the keyboard at that same time you switch the pad OFF on the DI.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 08:14:10 am by Mike Caldwell »
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