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Virtual Instruments Too Quiet

concorde1

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When I play my MIDI keyboard into Virtual Instruments, for example Pianoteq (v7.5.4), set to any piano type (default settings of Volume = 0dB; Dynamics = 40dB), the volume is just not high enough.

My setup:

• MIDI controller: Roland A-88 MKII
• DAC: Topping D90 (set to 44.1 kHz; 512 samples; safe mode enabled; output 32 bits; volume 0dB which is maximum)
• Pianoteq Sample Rate: 44,100 Hz ; Maximum Polyphony: 256. Velocity curve: default. Diapason: 440Hz
• Using Topping D90 as ASIO device

Also note, my MIDI controller is posting high velocities without issue, so the MIDI velocities are not an issue.

My reference for loudness is music through iTunes for example, which is very loud at the same volume setting on my Preamp that Pianoteq is much too quiet.

I'm on Windows 10.

The issue seems to not be anything to do with the MIDI controller, but with the way the virtual instruments work with my Topping D90. I have tried other virtual instruments than Pianoteq and the same issue is apparent.

Any ideas on how to solve this?
 

jensgk

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I have version 6.7.3 of Pianoteq Stage.
Have you turned the volume up? In the middle of the default screen, above the pedals, there is a volume slider.
Are you using effects? There is also a gain/volume setting there.
 
OP
concorde1

concorde1

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The slider in Pianoteq is at 0.0 dB volume. Any higher and it starts to compress/distort horribly. But somehow it's still way too quiet at 0.0 dB.
 

DVDdoug

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Perceived loudness is related to the short-term average and the frequency content, It's poorly correlated with the peaks.

My reference for loudness is music through iTunes for example,
Commercial recordings are highly dynamically compressed. Compression (and limiting) are used to push the average level closer to the peaks giving a louder overall sound. This how you "win" the Loudness War. Plus, most commercial music is more "dense" with multiple instruments playing at the same time.

Most acoustic instruments are highly dynamic which means a lower average volume if the peak is the same. Digital audio is limited to 0dBFS so in the digital domain you can't increase the loudness with simple linear amplification. With analog, it just takes a bigger amplifier so the peaks can go higher...

Real (acoustic) piano is one of the most dynamic instruments and a realistic sounding virtual piano will be similar.

On the other hand, distorted-overdriven electric guitar can be very "loud" with the same peaks.
 

kongwee

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as above, not really much you can do as the instrument itself. When you are done with the piano, just apply limiter and some EQ to level up the loudness. There are some limiter can really push dB up without pop cracks distortion. If only for playing, nothing much can be done, as adding limiter will just cause latency and affect your playing.
 
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