Sound quality issues with studio monitors

silentforce
silentforce Member Posts: 8 Member

I have been having issues that it seems there is no solution to on the internet. I have a focusrite interface with studio monitors and an old Yamaha dgx 230 connected to my plenty powerful PC through USB midi. The sound quality for every vst piano is terrible. They sound very thin and brash, with headphones there is a slight improvement, though not much, mainly in volume. Other instruments sound fine though they are more analog sounding through headphones. Why does the grandeur and Alicia's keys and the maverick all sound terrible through my studio monitors? I've tried mono and stereo, I've tried eq, adding effects through the plugins, I tried a very cheap set of speakers plugged directed into my pc with an aux and it sounded basically the same with a little less bass and a little quieter than my krks. I've also messed around with different velocity curves and different settings on the keyboard itself. I find it hard to believe that an acoustically untreated room would make the pianos sound completely awful and quiet compared to every other instrument. I have been wanting to upgrade my keyboard but if it's still going to sound bad, I may have to just go for onboard sounds instead. I have played a 15 or 20 year old keyboard probably midrange in price that sounded tons better than these virtual pianos. I feel like it has to be something on my end and not the quality of the instruments but I can't find any point in the chain that would be a problem.

Has anyone else here had this issue? Do your piano libraries sound at least good? there has been very rare occasions where it seemed like the pianos actually sounded good and I really enjoyed them but 95 percent of the time it's unbearable.

Answers

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,751 Expert

    You may increase volume of pianos, if they are too silent... What brand of KRK monitors do you have? I have, beside others, KRK V6S4 and pianos sound, IMHO, OK.

  • Jeremy_NI
    Jeremy_NI Customer Care Posts: 8,850 mod

    Is this happening in Kontakt in standalone? In a DAW? What are your audio settings? Can you share an audio file so we can check what you mean?

  • silentforce
    silentforce Member Posts: 8 Member

    Yeah it's the same in kontakt standalone as in machine 2 software and studio one as well.

    Not sure I can share an audio file at this time, don't have the best Internet. The NI pianos sound great through these speakers when they are played through video demos. But for me they are harsh and quiet, I can use fx plugins to bring them up to volume but it does nothing for the sound quality. The sound through videos with people playing through the presets is very dynamic and authentic, impressive even. They have way better keyboards than me but I'm not sure velocity issues would make that much of a difference. My keys probably have a few velocity layers, I can get relatively soft sounds and also loud if I play hard, with a little in between. I have plugged the Yamaha into a speaker and it also sounded very low and unlike its actual sound, nothing like what it sounds like through headphones. Could the Yamaha be somehow messing with the quality? I wouldn't think it's possible since midi only sends messages.

  • DunedinDragon
    DunedinDragon Member Posts: 271 Pro

    Your speakers are only playing the samples triggered by MIDI so it really can't mess with what it gets unless you have some kind of mixer and tone control before the speaker. My guess is your sound driver may not be correct or optimal.

  • silentforce
    silentforce Member Posts: 8 Member

    Don't think that is it, I've used the same piano libraries with different computers with the same effect. I've also updated the drivers and tried different asio settings, tried through windows audio, also plugged directly in to the speaker. I have since found out that Yamaha doesn't send the full range of velocity levels through midi so that would explain poor dynamics. But I started researching a Juno ds-88 and found that even with that people have had issues with the sound quality being low and muffled and sounding nothing like YouTube videos with even the built in sounds. I'm just baffled as to what's going on for some of us. I appreciate all the replies anyway.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,751 Expert

    What type of KRK monitors do you have?

  • DunedinDragon
    DunedinDragon Member Posts: 271 Pro

    Are you sure you're not receiving both MIDI and audio from your DGX 230 going through your audio interface? Not knowing how you have things wired or configured that's the only thing that comes to mind in your scenario.

    Ideally you would have your DGX going direct to the PC via a single MIDI connection and configured as a MIDI input device only in essence making the DGX into a simple MIDI controller only. Because I'm not familiar with the DGX I don't know how it uses the USB connection and any USB connection can have multiple channels, both MIDI and audio. I'm assuming your connection to the speakers from KONTAKT is an audio connection only.

    For example, I have a CASIO Privia keyboard which is connected to my audio interface via 1//4" audio lines as well as a USB connection to my PC for MIDI work through Kontakt. If I use that keyboard with Kontakt I have to turn down my audio channel on the audio interface so I'm not receiving both audio from the analog line and MIDI output from Kontakt.

  • silentforce
    silentforce Member Posts: 8 Member

    Krk classic 5s. As I said, other people playing online sounds great through them.

    Yeah, it's only plugged in through a USB cable. It was a good suggestion though ty. This old dgx doesn't have audio through midi. I noticed that in the videos where the pianos sound superb are with keyboards like the nord stage. Maybe it is just velocity causing a lot of my issues. With that being said, does anyone have any recommendation for a good velocity sensitive keyboard that is not $2-4000? Does your Casio privia do well as a midi controller with velocities and dynamics?

  • DunedinDragon
    DunedinDragon Member Posts: 271 Pro

    I really don't use my Casio for MIDI typically, but it does fine when I do if I need to have a good piano feel. Typically I use my NI Komplete S49 MK2 MIDI Keyboard for MIDI. It's touch sensitive and works fine with Kontakt and KompleteKontrol.

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