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I have a Yamaha YDP-142 and the piano sounds great on it, but it only lets me download MIDI files that I have recorded, and I can't find any piano soundfonts that sound like the piano itself to play back on computer.

The biggest problem in the soundfonts I have found is that they don't effectively hold the sustain on the notes.

Is there any way to get the soundfonts off of the piano? Surely if they sell it as having a Record function it is reasonable to expect to be able to recreate the sound?

  • Can you play back the midi file through the Yamaha? – topo morto May 26 '16 at 12:45
  • I presume that this is what the piano does. There are headphone jacks, so I could record the output, but I like the idea of having the midi file to play with I just want to be able to mimic the piano sound on my PC. – AntG May 26 '16 at 12:48
  • I mean - download.yamaha.com/api/asset/file/…, top of page 6 : "Playing Back Songs on a Computer via the Instrument Sounds". Is that an option for you? – topo morto May 26 '16 at 12:55
  • I'm personally pretty happy with Garritan CFX. – Luke Sawczak Nov 1 '18 at 11:15
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A good piano synthesizer (as in the engine of a digital piano) should do more than just play back samples such as panning the notes according to pitch and adding sympathetic resonance for strings not being directly played. A simple MIDI player with sound fonts is unlikely to get the dynamics working as well as a dedicated piano synthesizer. If possible set the computer to route the midi track to play back through your digital piano as mentioned in Topo Morto's comment. If your computer can't always be connected to your instrument you could try using a piano softsynth such as True Pianos or Pianoteq.

  • I think all the answers here have helped me, but this one linked the two options - buy some high end software, which is a bit beyond my budget as a hobbyist. Or playback via the piano (ref. @topo morto link) and then record via headphones for final playable track, I'll experiment further. – AntG May 27 '16 at 10:45
  • I don't know what the price and performance of all the current virtual pianos is like but I think some of them do give you a free trial period which may be useful to you. – Dave Halsall May 27 '16 at 12:37
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In principle you could make your own soundfont, by recording single notes (preferably using a MIDI file to "play" the piano, so you get consistent note-on velocity etc) and using soundfont editor. But the results are unlikely to sound as good as the piano, because you will lose the interaction between sound of different notes played together. Good quality sampled pianos use huge sample sets - for example this one http://www.garritan.com/products/cfx-concert-grand-virtual-piano/, recorded from an acoustic Yamaha concert grand piano, has about 120Gb of samples (and even the "lite" version is about 20Gb).

Note, making a soundfont this way may not be legal - check what the user licence agreement for your Yamaha says about "reverse engineering."

A different computer simulation method creates a mathematical model of how the piano actually "works", rather than attempting to recording every possible sound it can make. Software like https://www.pianoteq.com/, which uses this "physical modelling" approach, needs much less memory and disk space than a sample library, but uses more CPU power to generate the audio in real time as you play. Any modern computer (including laptops) should be powerful enough to run it.

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"Soundfonts" are pretty old technology! But there's a wide choice of "virtual pianos" that work on any reasonably modern computer. Here's one supplier:

http://synthogy.com/index.php/products/software-products/ivory-2-grand-pianos

  • Thanks, I was surprised by your comment that Soundfonts are old technology as that is all I've come across when googling, what would be considered new technology? – AntG May 27 '16 at 10:42
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I use Addictive Keys as in a DAW as an add on to play back my midi files and I like the sound better than the Yamaha. I got a free copy with 1 piano type enabled when I bought my USB interface. You can change loads of parameters such as the room dynamics to get a load of sounds.

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