Roland V-Piano

Posted: January 18, 2009 in Audio

Roland presented the V-Piano, that uses same principles as Pianoteq : full modeling of piano elements (no samples), leading to better expression (no sample layer switching). As with Pianoteq, completely original sounds can be created. Globally the V-Piano sound seems richer, with a rounder and more convincing attack. It features the new Progressive Hammer Action III Ivory feel Keyboard with Escapement, and includes a sequencer and additional GM2 sound module. The pricing isn’t available for now, but considering the MIDI out, it could be a high end master keyboard.
Besides the 4 great Roland videos (in H.264/AAC), we can watch some demos from the NAMM (here and there). A dedicated site is being developed.
Then, is it the return of historic companies, that master integrating of hardware (keyboard, converters, DSP) and software (PCs processors are general purpose, so they can’t provide the same power – ie the latency is higher and global performance isn’t stable) ?


At KVR and pianoworld forums we learn that the V-Piano would use 4 processors and cost 6000$ (4500 euros). At northernsounds we learn that one of the CPUs is used to provide vector dectection of hammer heads movements.
Finally at pianoteq forums we can listen to a A/B comparison between the V-Piano and Pianoteq (V-Piano seems to sound more realistic), and a note about CPU power :
throwing more cpu does not automatically improve the sound, you need to know what to do with that extra cpu power! Besides, current cpus are way more powerful than any DSP, even for pure DSP tasks. Each core of a 2GHz “Core 2” can achieve 16 GFlops (single precision) at its peak, now if you look at the DSP specs from TI, Analog Devices etc, the most powerful (and very expensive) ones are all in the 1-4 GFlops league. Also, a bare Windows (or MacOS, or Linux) does not steal so much cpu power. No more than a few percents, as long as you don’t have a virus scanner crawling your hard drive, or a browser opened with tons of flash applets running in the background, etc.


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