Piano Settings

General tuning options for VR acoustic pianos (AP)

there’s not a lot that one can do to ‘improve’ the built-in APs. Some tweaks for subtle changes (adapting to amp system/overall band sound):

First of all: if possible use VR in stereo: when using ‘L/Mono’ line out of VR, VR internally summs R+L channels of the piano samples and sends it to ‘L/Mono’.
The sligtly different wave signals “interfere” which creates ugly and ‘artificial’ side-frequencies (also called ‘phase distortions’). You can hear it with some notes sounding quirky.
If you’re forced to use mono PA/speakers you can try this trick to avoid the interferences: connect L/Mono’ lineout to PA. Put a ‘blind’ TS-plug into ‘R’-lineout – this prevents VR from ‘making stereo-sum-to-mono’. Or use only ‘R’-lineout for audio.
Note that accoustic pianos sound differently on R/L channel: bass notes are emphasised on ‘left side’, discant notes on ‘right side’. Recommendations is to use the “L” channel for pinano: it softens the ‘shrillness’ of VR pianos and adds more oump to bass.

Note that VR patch “Mono piano” is basically a R+L sum – with all the phase distortions artefacts (see also below, “Mono-Piano patch”)

More fine tuning:

  • REVERB: add some ‘STAGE’ reverb for a ‘richer’ sound (not too much though). CTRLR EDITOR users can try reverb ‘ROOM2’ + walltype ‘MARBLE’
  • COMPRESSION: a bit of compression “flattens” the decay curve of a note, which gives a softer, fuller sound. Attentions: comp. also adds sound distortions
  • TONE: to max right gives a very clear ‘classical’ Grand sound (‘Steinway-sound’). Use it to find the best setting for your amp-system. 
  • CUTOFF: use the filter to brighten the sound by promoting overtones
  • KEY INITIAL TOUCH (VR menu): reduces the dynamic range for velocity sensitive playing. ‘7′ or lower cuts off the tinkling high velocity piano sample resulting in a ‘softer’ tone in forte. 0-4 also cuts off the low velocity sample.
  • KEY SENSITIVITY (VR730 only): affects your ‘feeling’ for the keybed
  • layering 2 APs (e.g. GrandV  + Rock piano) gives a more powerful ‘band-piano’  to compete against the guitars
  • EQ-ing with an external equalizer: lowering ‘high frequencies’ will soften the harsh tones and decay beats of VR APs, lowering bass frequencies will dampen the exagerated ‘VR piano mechanical ‘knock’ noise’

CTRLR EDITOR ‘V-Piano’ (in live usage):

V-Piano is a EDITOR ‘live tool’ that interacts with the damper foot pedal. It needs the EDITOR to be connected to the VR (tablet, laptop).
It adds (customisable) amounts of brilliance, ‘fake sympathetic resonance’, damper noise effect etc depending on the damper action and has internal processing to make the sound ‘richer’ and more ‘Grand’-like, especially when sustained. 
In the EDITOR releases planned for 2021 V-Piano will receive more features like velocity curves, velocity sensitivity, scale tuning, a couple of ‘presets’ etc.


VR Owners Settings:

‘T.F.S.” (Tim Fleischer Setting) for VR730: Sound=GrandPianoV2, Overdrive=0, Tone=4, Compression=16, MFX=0, Delay=0, Reverb=Stage 32, Initial touch=7, Keyboard touch=super light
Geoff Conwell (possibly originally by Dean Erickson): Sound = Mono piano. Overdrive must be switched to 0. Tone at two o clock; a little bit of reverb

Layering pianos

Many users get a better AP sound by layering two patches.

How to layer to pianos: It’s dead easy if you use CTRLR (see website…!) but from the keyboard simply layer a piano and synth sound using the buttons below the LCD, then on the display select the synth sound, press piano in the badly named Pianos selector block (next to the E Piano button)  and select the patch you want. See also Bugs, Tips & Tricks

Sean A Kelly – layers JD Piano with Classic Piano, produces a bright piano that fits through a band well
James Clare – layers Grand with Rock Piano, all effects off, similar to Sean, slightly less bright. 

VR patch ‘JD Piano’

‘JD Piano’ is derived from Roland JD 800 ‘AC Piano 1’. To bring it closer to the ‘JD 800’ patch:

* MFX: change to hexa-chorus, set amount to 10 a.m. (a side effect of VR hexachorus is that it adds 'depth' to the bass - required for the JD patch)
* TONE: 3 p.m. (15:00) (yeah, we need 'bass' 🙂)
* REVERB: 'Plate' at 9 a.m + WALLTYPE 'brick'
* Cutoff: ca. 10
* Attack: 1 (or leave it at 0 - 1 barely changes things and 2 will be too much - the JD800 patch has sweeter attack but this cannot be rebuilt on VR...)
* Shift octave 1 down (!!!)
* Level of piano to 7 (if higher, VR distorts)

NOTE: original ‘AC Piano 1’ has mulitilayers and much finer sample quality and reverb – while VR ‘JD Piano’ only uses one layer and VR ‘Reverb’ – so it’s just an approximation 🙂

VR patch ‘Mono Piano’

Mono-Piano factory patch has slightly Overdrive: turning OD to zero results in a much cleaner piano sound. Eventually save this setting to a VR registration.