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Author Topic: Compress Keys/Piano?  (Read 1192 times)

David Ennis

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Compress Keys/Piano?
« on: January 22, 2007, 11:11:02 am »

In a full band situation, do you find that you need to compress the keyboard/piano? In an effort to make the most of an ACP88, I'm trying to analyze if the issue is the player's technique or if it's just a common thing like needing to compress the bass.

They are playing piano patches on a Korg Triton LE. Dynamic issues are most common in ballads that have light playing that eventually get to loud choruses. The softs are too soft and the louds are too loud — we almost need another person dedicated to riding the key fader.

Anyone else dealt with this or have input? Thx!
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Mark Langner

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Re: Compress Keys/Piano?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2007, 04:11:47 pm »

I'm sure you'll get a better response than what I can give you...but just for some feedback.  I have (2) ACP88s in the rack myself and save them for other things.  I run one electric piano stereo to two faders and run a syth or another "keys" stereo to another pair of sliders (keyboardist has basically an a/b switch).

At present we do not put any of the piano/keys instruments on a compressor/gate.  We have one keyboardist who is really great and I just mix her and don't have to ride too much...just adjust with the flow of the songs.  But I have other keyboardists who really pound the keys and I have to ride them allot.  Just something I have to deal with.

I've pondered your same question myself...interested as well.

~Mark
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Ira White

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Re: Compress Keys/Piano?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2007, 04:47:45 pm »

I would think the keyboard has touch sensitivity adjustment so they can adjust dynamics down to a lesser extreme from soft to loud playing. This would be more in keeping with a real piano which doesn't have the dynamic extremes of some keyboards. Check the owners manual for such adjustments. This will take the heat off you and make the levels more consistent.  
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Ira White
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Handy Brent

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Re: Compress Keys/Piano?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2007, 03:10:06 pm »

We have one yamaha grand, and many players.  Everyone requires a different EQ and dynamics setting.  I wish that we could MIDI the thing.

From a tone standpoint, unless you have digital multiband compressor somewhere, you are at risk of causing problems.  I don't want the upper octaves to have the same rms as the lower.

Digital keyboards can be terrible.  In many cases, their samples been normalized and therefore the spectrum is pretty linear.  Very unrealistic.  If you have a great, high-end piece, this may not be the case.

I do not compress the keys at all, I simple provide dynamics control via my finger on the fader.  This allows the keyboardist to change patches and I have control over the level.  
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Dan Nelson

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Re: Compress Keys/Piano?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2007, 06:43:02 pm »

"The softs are too soft and the louds are too loud — we almost need another person dedicated to riding the key fader."

This sounds to me like an application that a compressor was designed to fix.  Although...

Like has already been mentioned it may be addressed with player technique, which is probably much more difficult to deal with than a compressor.  Very Happy

Here is another angle. How about the keyboarders monitor set up.  I ask this because most players will adjust to what they hear.  Obviously the player is not perceiving that the softs are to soft and the louds are too loud.  They would compensate if that were true.  I would c heck your monitor levels, and the dynamics that the player is hearing.


Just a few thoughts. I hope this helps. Razz  

dan
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David Ennis

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Re: Compress Keys/Piano?
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2007, 08:50:26 am »

Thanks for the input everyone.

Quote:

How about the keyboarders monitor set up.


We use a HearBack system so they are probably hearing a lot of the keys and playing "over" everyone else. The problem is in the house when the band dynamic is playing loud (let's give this a volume level of 8 ) and in a soft spot when everyone is playing delicately, the keys drop below the main level of volume (the band will be at a level of 3-4 while the keys drop to 1-2 requiring a boost. But when the song gets loud, they have to be cut again.)

For now, I've compressed it. I'll look in the manual to see if I can find something about the key response.

An an FYI, the keyboardist is also the worship leader/lead vocalist so I'm less inclined to push to adjust technique — they've got a lot of plates spinning.

Thx again!
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David Ennis

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Re: Compress Keys/Piano?
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2007, 09:06:05 am »

Hey Mark,

Quote:

"But I have other keyboardists who really pound the keys and I have to ride them allot."


My player tends to pound the keys as well. I guess that makes sense if the player is always at max level and then when they do come down, it's way down.

Bi-polar keyboardists. Razz
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David Ennis

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Re: Compress Keys/Piano?
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2007, 01:01:31 pm »

From page 114 of the Triton LE manual:

Quote:

Selecting different Velocity & Aftertouch Curves
You can change the way in which velocity or after touch will affect the volume or tone. Using this feature, you can (for example) make the volume of the notes more consistent even when they are played with varying velocities (dynamics). Each curve has its own character, so you can select the curve that is appropriate for your own playing dynamics, playing style, and the effect that you wish to obtain.
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Ira White

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Re: Compress Keys/Piano?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2007, 04:55:53 pm »

Hopefully, that manual instruction will provide a solution. At my church, we had to adjust the velocity curves on electronic drums as well. Some come defaulted to the linear curves which are through the roof.
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Ira White
Sanctuary Sound, Inc.

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