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Piano tones for the G70 and associated SRX 07 expansion

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  • Karma:
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  • Birthdate: 22 May 2020
Piano tones for the G70 and associated SRX 07 expansion #6740
Hello all,

For the last 12 years I have been the proud owner of the G70 and have had countless hours of enjoyment playing this brilliant keyboard. However I have never been able to obtain the Grand X piano sounds and others as demonstrated by Roland. Similarly the piano tones on the SRX 07 expansion card are nothing like those demonstrated on the Roland site. Similarly the Harmonic Organ has always been very disappointing to me. I have recently gone back to basics with the factory settings without improvement.

Am I missing something obvious here? The Keyboard behaves well in all other aspects. My connections to my speakers are basic and straightforward i.e..R and L main outputs. I have good speakers and headphones are used when needed.

Your help and advice will be very much appreciated.
2 months 2 weeks ago

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Piano tones for the G70 and associated SRX 07 expansion #6741
Would you mind linking to the GrandX demo you are talking about?
2 months 2 weeks ago
BK-9 BK-7m G70. Kurzweil K2500S, Korg Triton. Samick upright piano. iMac 27", HR824 monitors.

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Piano tones for the G70 and associated SRX 07 expansion #6742
2 months 2 weeks ago
Roland E-80 V2.03 + SRX-06 + SR-G01, FC-7, PK-5, SC-8820 and EMU Xboard61.
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Piano tones for the G70 and associated SRX 07 expansion #6743
Thanks for your comments. You tube as shown is one of the demos that i am familiar with. Beautifully played and sounds wonderful. My Grand X without added effects is nothing like it. It just hasn't the sparkle. What am I doing wrong?
2 months 2 weeks ago

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Piano tones for the G70 and associated SRX 07 expansion #6744
Web demos are often doctored, mastered, EQ’d, compressed, and various other types of enhancements. Then there is the possibility of them having being played on an 88 weighted controller, which offers greater dynamic control than plastic key beds. Then there is the skill of the player, which can make a radical difference to a sound, the better demonstrators being able to play to a sounds strengths and avoid its weaknesses.

Then there is the built-in effects and EQ in the G 70 itself, which may be being used to sparkle up the sound a bit.

And lastly there is the slim possibility that the demo was recorded on a FantomX, which had the same sound in it.

One thing you might take a look at is a midi recording of your playing, and see if your finger strength is enough to push the sound towards its maximum limit, which will also be its maximum brightness. If you find you seldom if ever push it above 110 velocity, try the velocity curve low, which will allow you to hit those brighter samples more often.

The bottom line is, if you aren’t first and foremost a pianist, and a good one at that, it is often very hard to sound as good even with the best of piano sample sets. It really is “all in the fingers”!
2 months 2 weeks ago
BK-9 BK-7m G70. Kurzweil K2500S, Korg Triton. Samick upright piano. iMac 27", HR824 monitors.
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Piano tones for the G70 and associated SRX 07 expansion #6745
Many thanks Diki for your excellent comments and advice.

Good to read that all appears to be ok with my G70 and that one cannot expect to upload the identical demo sounds. Your advice has inspired me to check out and improve on my other piano tones.

Great site. Much appreciated.
2 months 2 weeks ago
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Piano tones for the G70 and associated SRX 07 expansion #6749
If you are using the default Mastering Tools preset, I always found that a bit too much bottom end heavy, which can then color the sound of the pianos (and a lot of other sounds too). I found that turning off the EQ and compression, but then substituting some of the better basses on the SRX-07 card (to restore fullness to the styles) gave me a better piano tone and overall sound of the arranger.

Play any REAL concert grand, and you start to realize how less bassy they are compared to most arranger pianos, especially with any EQ on them. The low end of the piano should not be anywhere NEAR as bassy as an electric bass, but often are after all that EQ and compression is slathered on. And if there's anything that will make a piano less sparkly, it is overemphasizing the lows.

If turning off the Mastering Tools isn't to your taste, try cutting some lows with the Part EQ on just the piano, which also might help restore some balance to the sound. The funny thing about the GrandX was, often while I was actually playing it I might feel it a bit dull, but usually on playing back a recording, it turned out to be just right, less tinny than many arranger pianos. There is always a tendency with arrangers to play OUR parts a little louder, a little brighter, to hear ourselves well while playing. But listen objectively to a recording and it's quite easy to hear how we are overcompensating. The real trick with an arranger is to play 'within' the mix, not 'on top' of the mix, and that takes quite a while to really dial in...

The GrandX was always one of the best arranger pianos of all time, one of the best sampled pianos in any keyboard, in fact. I used it on countless sessions in studios that had far more fancy stage pianos, workstations and even real pianos. And it always sat in the mix very well. For those producers familiar with how pianos REALLY sounded, warm, detailed and dynamic, it never failed to impress.

It breaks my heart that it was never fully included in later Roland arrangers (including the E80), but maybe reserving a full 64MB of the ROM just for the one sound didn't seem like a good idea. Their loss and ours, I'm afraid. The combination of that sound and that action was one of the truly great arranger piano experiences, one that no-one has yet surpassed, IMHO.
2 months 2 weeks ago
BK-9 BK-7m G70. Kurzweil K2500S, Korg Triton. Samick upright piano. iMac 27", HR824 monitors.

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Topic Author
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Piano tones for the G70 and associated SRX 07 expansion #6751
Thanks Diki for the above pointers. I have been using the Grand X with the Mastering and Compression off but with keyboard effects. Namely 2 SRV Hall, 82 Sympa Reso and Chorus 2. Stereo Slow strings complement the Grand X as and when needed. I look forward to trying out your recommendations.
Have you considered including your comments as an article for the G70 users?
2 months 2 weeks ago

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Piano tones for the G70 and associated SRX 07 expansion #6753
Not sure why you’d need the chorus effect... unless going for some 80’s sound, LOL

A good tip for strings and pads layered with pianos is to set their velocity curve to LOW (and turn the volume back down to compensate), and set the piano to HIGH, which stops strings and pads from glaring out when you play harder on the piano. Blend the two together so that the piano dominates at higher velocities, but sort of blends in with the strings during lighter passages. Good finger strength is important here, allowing you to make louder passages really emphasize the piano. You might also need to reduce the filter cutoff on pads or strings if these higher velocities drive the sound into being too bright (or EQ off a little top end).

Site traffic is primarily forum based, so it has been a long time since I did an article.

BTW, these piano tips apply to just about any arranger, even any keyboard, really.
2 months 2 weeks ago Last edit: 2 months 2 weeks ago by Diki.
BK-9 BK-7m G70. Kurzweil K2500S, Korg Triton. Samick upright piano. iMac 27", HR824 monitors.
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Topic Author
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  • Birthdate: 22 May 2020
Piano tones for the G70 and associated SRX 07 expansion #6759
Success! My Grand X piano tone sparkles once again. Extremely grateful for the tips and guidance. Now looking forward to many more hours playing this wonderful keyboard. Thank you Diki.
2 months 2 weeks ago

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Piano tones for the G70 and associated SRX 07 expansion #6760

Diki wrote: , and see if your finger strength is enough to push the sound towards its maximum limit, which will also be its maximum brightness. ... It really is “all in the fingers”!


It's probably not what you literally mean but I would not recommend using finger strength to play piano or keyboard.
2 months 2 weeks ago
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Piano tones for the G70 and associated SRX 07 expansion #6762
A lot of arranger players come from non-pianist backgrounds, and are often used to keyboards where very light playing still gets you full volume (organ, accordion, synthesizer etc.) and don’t really develop good dynamic technique. I am not sure how else you would describe it other than finger strength (hand strength? arm strength?) but the end result is that they often play so lightly that the full 127 range of velocity doesn’t get used. And especially with multi-velocity sounds like pianos etc., this means that your four-velocity piano is now a three or even two velocity sound, reducing dynamics...

It really does pay benefits to record yourself with the sequencer (or a DAW) and take a good look at the event list. If you think you are playing strongly for a song’s loudest passage but perhaps aren’t hitting higher than 110 or even lower, it might be time to work on developing a stronger (harder, firmer, faster, whatever term you prefer!) touch so that the sound’s full range can be heard.

You can always set the Part to LOW touch, but I think this is trickier to play quiet passages with. I tend to use MEDIUM for live band work, but always switched to HIGH for studio work or solo accompaniment when the dynamics are most needed.
2 months 2 weeks ago
BK-9 BK-7m G70. Kurzweil K2500S, Korg Triton. Samick upright piano. iMac 27", HR824 monitors.

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Topic Author
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  • Birthdate: 22 May 2020
Piano tones for the G70 and associated SRX 07 expansion #6765
All seems very logical. Yet another dimension to this keyboard.
2 months 1 week ago

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