Why no Eurorack piano module?

Cwejman, Livewire, TipTop Audio, Doepfer etc... Get your euro on!

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Post by Jasonic » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:43 pm

The Yamaha P200 module is sweet. Although its got to be 270hp. Fully weighted keyboard too. :roll: All joking aside, I like the piano sounds in that one though.

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Post by widgetoz » Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:14 am

Not a EuroRack module (but small enough to fit) but has anyone looked at the Vienna from Limex?

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Post by ambits » Fri Apr 27, 2018 5:35 pm

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Post by natureclubcassettes » Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:49 pm

the general midi looks like a hoot, and that 301 piano custom is insane sounding.

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Post by Navs » Sun May 20, 2018 1:58 pm

This might be of interest - my experiments with a G2 and QY10 ...

http://navsmodularlab.blogspot.de/2018/ ... gined.html

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Post by wellurban » Sun May 20, 2018 8:34 pm

I've sometimes been surprised by some unnervingly realistic piano-like sounds coming out of wavetable VCOs through a filter. I could probably never reproduce it if I tried, but that sort of patch, or Rings with the right input source and modulation, can produce some evocative pseudo-acoustic stringed instrument sounds that work very nicely in a modular context.

However, I generally agree with most of the comments suggesting that a dedicated piano module would be unlikely to succeed in Euro, largely because of the difficulties in sequencing it in an idiomatic way with typical Euro sequencers. I've made chords in Euro with several different methods, and sequencing convincing chord progressions has always been the most tedious and unrewarding part. You can stumble across some interesting an unusual harmonic structures that way, but my personal impression is that these sound more interesting when you're constructing the sounds from VCOs etc and can thus blur the distinctions between harmony and timbre, rather than using recognisable pseudo-acoustic sounds. If you want piano played in the way a pianist would, whether that be Rachmaninoff or Thelonius Monk or Tori Amos, then a piano roll sequencer on a large screen or a keyboard and decades of practice are your best bet.

For piano played in a non-pianist's way, I can think of two main approaches that might be interesting in Euro:

- Generally simple sequences of block chords. I can imagine banging out M1 piano chords in an early 90s house style, or a slow sequence of jazzy electric piano chords that you could then distort, filter, chop up and generally manipulate to make glitchy downbeat, drum 'n bass, ambient etc. For this, the sounds needn't be 100% convincing as an acoustic piano, so why not include Rhodes, harpsichords, organs, strings etc? It would also make sense to have a way of specifying chords parametrically (root plus quality & inversions) rather than as individual CV and gate for each note. For these use cases, it looks like General CV has got you covered.

- More avant-garde approaches that invite you to manipulate the timbral and dynamic qualities of the sound. As others have mentioned, physical modelling would seem the obvious approach, though some combination of additive synthesis and resonators could be good. Sympathetic resonance of the strings would be vital (Rings' Sympathetic Strings mode is a good start), and if you really want to experiment, it might be worthwhile having the hammered string model, sympathetic strings model, and body resonance all as separate modules, so that you could mix them up and insert treated audio in between. Each module or submodule should have wide enough parameter ranges to do everything from moderately convincing pianos, prepared pianos and Nils Frahm felt-dampened pianos through to underwater harps, alien toy pianos, Alvien Lucier resonant bowls and e-bow pianos and sounds none of us can imagine yet. There might be various ways to approach polyphony, from Rings/Plonk-style pseudo-polyphonic ringing tails to multiple lanes of CV, gate and velocity, but I suspect the aforementioned parametric method would be less desirable.

I'm definitely intrigued by the General CV module, and I'm sure it would be both fun and capable of much more experimental stuff than one might think at first, but I think the latter approach would interest me more. Neither would strictly be "a piano module", though.

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Post by Sandrine » Tue May 22, 2018 9:53 am

I agree with the chords, I've tried sequencing piano and it's at best immediately annoying. Used step for step with a synth is another story though as it seems to enhance the synth... but for short bursts, not continuously

Having a rhythmic chord sequence on piano though can be pretty cool IMHO


Post by JohnLRice » Tue May 22, 2018 10:12 am

I think a piano module would be awesome . . .except that it would likely cost a lot more and/or not be as good as external desktop and rack pianos. (like is the case with most reverb and delay modules vs pedals and rack units)

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Post by Paranormal Patroler » Tue May 22, 2018 2:00 pm

I completely disagree. Sequenced piano is amazing and leads to amazing experiments if pushed. I'll come back with video examples after the next Powwow show in June. You don't need chords if you're not playing tonal music.

Physical modeling under CV is absolutely stelar. I doubt we'll get something that food in module format though. I agree with John on that, standalone is far better, unfortunately.
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Post by guestt » Tue May 22, 2018 3:03 pm

I made the ER-301 Piano rompler with Joe, Joe did the sampling and at the time I sorted the voltage referencing from the 101/2 and the slicing. The voltage reference tweaking is no longer necessary as there is a 12-TET addressing mode built into the sample player now. The slicing is now super easy with the new slicing functionality as long as you record to a specific grid, which if you are sampling a piano from another synth is also really easy.

It's really good to play, in every way: with the Bump Scanner unit you can route sequential notes of a melody to different sample players for a true polyphonic instrument that can easily handle ten voices - only got so many fingers! Each voice has it's own mixer so you can pan low notes one way, high notes the other, keeping midrange notes in the centre for a sat on the piano stool (or in front of the piano) experience. Chords are no problem either! Finally, you can use it as a super weird modulatable piano thing!

I should get around to creating some more instruments like this, as the only real limitation is the individual sample length, it becomes unwieldy after about 3 seconds per sample. Of course for longer samples you could just reduce the number of notes down from the full 88.

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Post by strangegravity » Tue May 22, 2018 3:30 pm

mskala wrote:There was a time when someone would've been looking for a piano patch. Not a piano module.
What's this patching you speak of?

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Post by Jericho » Tue May 29, 2018 10:00 am

I would like to see a "piano" module in the future. Physical Modeling would be great for more modulation options.
Inspired a bit by this thread I tried to sequence Native Instruments Una Corda with my modular. It kinda works, but I need a computer and expert sleepers modules. :roll:


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Post by synkrotron » Tue May 29, 2018 1:52 pm

pzoot wrote: How about an alternate firmware for Plonk!!!
I think that is a good idea...

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Post by huffnPuff » Tue May 29, 2018 2:32 pm

mskala wrote:There was a time when someone would've been looking for a piano patch. Not a piano module.
Doesn’t Braids have a piano mode?

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Post by Homepage Englisch » Tue May 29, 2018 11:51 pm

JonathanBedrava wrote:And why no harpsicord, for that matter?
Decent-ish harpsichord sound is not difficult to get: narrow pulse wave and an enveloped VCA.

Acoustic piano is much more complex beast to synthesize. I synthesized one fairly convincing (more by luck than my skill) on an 6-operator FM synth. Perhaps it could be done on Akemie's Taiko or something?

As for a module, I woudn't mind a tiny piano, with some pseudo-polyphony so the old notes are still decaying while new ones are being played.

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Post by williamjturkel » Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:58 pm

Paranormal Patroler wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:51 pm
Funny you should mention it. I'm preparing a dedicated piano 6u case, after experimenting with the premise for years. Got a record in mind I've meaning to make; have a few etudes already but I'm not there yet.

I would buy a physical modeling piano module in a heart beat. I make do with CV to Midi (a-192-2, ADDAC 222) and physical modeling sounds which I work on my own. Lots of ground to experiment.
Your videos inspired me to order an SDS Accord Melisma and try to make my own piano case! But to resurrect this necro thread, I have discovered that a lot of people are now running Pianoteq on Raspberry Pi, so I am beginning to explore the idea of a RaspPi Eurorack module with Pianoteq installed, to be controlled directly by the Melisma. How cool would that be?

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Re: Why no Eurorack piano module?

Post by Jumbuktu » Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:07 pm

We have an actual piano (upright, old). Now I am thinking of sticking some mics in it and feeding into the modular.

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Re: Why no Eurorack piano module?

Post by ersatzplanet » Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:11 pm

The problem with a piano module is it would most likely be monophonic if in the CV world. If you are allowing MIDI to be used, a Tesseract Nutella is a perfect candidate with the right set of samples. Makes a great Mellotron too.

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Re: Why no Eurorack piano module?

Post by Lux A Turner » Sat Nov 21, 2020 8:51 pm

There are so many different 'piano' sounds around - from Steinway concert grands to honky tonk pub uprights - what kind of 'piano' sound would the OP want such a module to produce? I already have an old Roland XP-60 with a dozen or more piano sounds on it - why would I need a module?
Jefro wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:25 am
My personal opinion, and I realize that maybe not everyone shares it, is that I don't want anything that sounds like a traditional instrument in my modular. The single exception is sample playback and manipulation.
I share that opinion entirely.

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Re: Why no Eurorack piano module?

Post by bemushroomed » Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:23 pm

At least we have very realistic Bass Guitar, with the many TB-303 clones.


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Re: Why no Eurorack piano module?

Post by aragorn23 » Sun Nov 22, 2020 12:43 am

Disting Ex in multisample mode is my go-to 'piano' module these days.

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Re: Why no Eurorack piano module?

Post by Raindeer » Sun Nov 22, 2020 2:56 am

aragorn23 wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 12:43 am
Disting Ex in multisample mode is my go-to 'piano' module these days.

This is really nice - familiar sounds in an unfamiliar setting. I do the reverse of this sometimes by playing actual piano into Mimeophon and messing with it through filters etc.

To generate the sound of someone playing piano (aside from a full sample of exactly that) would be really tricky with Eurorack and, like others have said, I wouldn’t really want to try. The sampled notes like this sound great though.

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Re: Why no Eurorack piano module?

Post by Hyberus » Sun Nov 22, 2020 4:47 am

The Qu-Bit Surface has pretty good piano and prepared piano simulations.
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Re: Why no Eurorack piano module?

Post by williamjturkel » Sun Nov 22, 2020 5:49 am

I tend to make 6U cases that I can play on my lap through headphones. So attaching an external MIDI piano or laptop to the modular isn't really of interest to me. And it isn't so much about sound (i.e., why would the OP want to make something that sounds like a traditional instrument?) as it is about process. Why make a Eurorack drum machine when you can get an actual drum kit? Composing with CV, especially in a generative style, is fascinating in its own right.

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Re: Why no Eurorack piano module?

Post by maudibe » Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:13 pm

Yea the disting EX looks sweet and I have a couple on order....

Spitfire library I believe. Stereo(?) I'm not into the menu diving, but will just set one up for drums and one for the arp and chords... sacrilege, I know, but there is now way I will be able to read the screen casually.... set and forget for me. Patched as good as can be, of course) as the old git can still see the wires and the holes :)

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