ESL's for VST piano reproduction
I have an old baby grand cabinet I'm trying to set up for playing sampled piano VSTs. Others here have said diy ESLs are the way to go.
These are new technology to me, but it seems they could be easily made in any shape. How about making an ESL shaped like the soundboard and mounted where the soundboard used to be?
Should I also have a sub in the cabinet or would the ESL cover the low frequencies? Any amp suggestions?
My goal is for the thing to sound as real as practically possible.
I am thinking over making a full range planar in the shape of a half size baby grand, after seeing a query on this forum. I love piano music. I think it would be better to use a planar design than an electrostatic. You will get better bass with a planar.I am still in the process of thinking about the layout of the magnets etc. The planars would be easier to build. Bye the way what is a VST?
You want to take a baby grand case, without the harp and make it play piano sounds??
Well, it can be made to make sound.
There are a number of things that make this idea - the ESL in the shape of the interior, where the harp went, somewhat problematic and unknown...
The first thing that comes to mind is that the ESL generally is set up as a dipole - open back. You don't have an open back in a piano with a sound board.
Also the sound board is designed to *sound*, and you don't want that in a speaker.
One could still do it and put absorbing material between the sound board and the ESL, but then you can't see the spruce sound board, and it will not be totally effective at lower frequencies.
An ESL that size will have substantial bass.
A planar magnetic unit will be very expensive and heavy, and not full range in one unit.
So, the question of what sort of speaker to use resolves down to how important is cost and shape.
Other than it being kind of a neat "art" installation, and unless you have a very large space/house, it would be better to merely have good ESL speakers in a room, imho. (even if you can solve all the acoustic and mechanical issues...)
PS. bass is neither better nor worse with an ESL vs. planar magnetic, it all depends on the specifics of the implementation.
Didn't we already have a discussion like this a while back ?!!!
Henry~ VST stands for Virtual Studio Technology.
The world of VST's is an amazing and wonderful world.
Very simple to use,I have over 1000 free VST's and many are very awesome sounding.
They range from filters to reverbs, delay units,samples and players, amp and cabinet simulators and crossovers and such all done within the realm of the PC.
There are tools such as tuners, frequency counters,meters and spectrum analyzers as well.
You name it, it's out there,lots of very cool stuff.
Thanks for the replys.
bear, the soundboard has been removed from the case. I would be putting the ESL in it's place, allowing sound to reverberate from both sides just like the original board.
The piano is going in a fairly large studio space. Does this seem at least semi-practical? Would the highly directional nature of large ESLs make for a poor sound when placed horizontal inside the case?
Here they are,
ESL's are quite involved I would suggest that you build a set and learn about there construction and what it takes to drive them before considering mounting them in a piano frame.
A magnetic planar my very well be an easier and safer way to go,But with a large Diaphragm that size, sag will be a facter with the weight of the voice coil if it is to be laying flat.
Not mention the weight and cost of the magnets as Bear pointed out.
Having the diaphragm the shape of the sound board won't gain you anything,IMHO.
Also if you are planning on making the diaphragm one large size there will be issues with the stability due to the sag as well as with the dispersion qualities as with any planar driver.
It is suggested that you use many smaller width panels for which ever method you choose to drive them with.
As Bear mentioned ESL's are dipole devices and my past experience shows that any reflected pressure from something being to close to the diaphragm can hender the detail quite considerably.
Even a very thick (6 to 8 inches) fiberglass insulation can do this if it is within a foot at least to the diaphragm.
I know this because I have done such experiments trying to reduce the backwave of the the panel.
You might want to consider an open bottom for such a project.
Just a few things to think about.
The piano emulation thing sounds like an awesome idea, but as it is I'm not knowledgeable enough to be able to comment on the ESL/planar discussion or how you would rig it. [/stillinschool]
If you want to reproduce a trumpet sound sample you don't set about
fitting a transducer to a trumpet for the ultimate trumpet sound, the
sound sample is clearly unsuitable to drive the planned reproducer.
Same with an electrostatic panel inside a real piano case. Its not
simple at all, and only the ill-informed will suggest that it is. "As
real as is practically possible" is way beyond any understanding and
analysis so far presented, and very likely any further suggestions.
If you come up with a real answer, you would make a fortune.
How you plan to add velocity sensitivity to a physical keyboard
is beyond me, though plain key detection is not complicated.
tetrageist you just google Free VST's.
free vst - Google Search
It takes a while but I downloaded nearly every thing I could find and there is still more I have found as well.
here is a scope,
One of the tuners I have displays the frequency it might be Gtuner I am not sure as I have several of them.
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