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#15449 - 04/27/03 02:55 PM Promega3 OS 1.05 comments (long)
MarkEdmonds Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/10/03
Posts: 15
Thought I would post this in case anyone wants to comment. Are there many Promega3 users on this forum?

Anyway, got my OS 1.05 update installed OK - thanks to Peter Brown and Paul Davis for sorting this out for me.

First off, GEM really need to make the installation program compatible with W2K or XP or NT. I had to borrow a W95 PC to do the installation which was unexpected. If GEM can program the Promega3 so well, they should be able to sort this out!

Installation was painless but took two hours as I went for "test and program" to be safe.

Incidentally, the docs tell you how to find out which version of the OS you have installed. Turned out, mine was 1.01 which according to the docs, is two versions *before* the first official release. Odd that got into a production machine. Maybe running 1.01 was the cause of a few dynamics problems I was finding?

Anyway, the first thing that hit me was that the instrument seemed more responsive. If I had to bet, I'd say latency has been improved - nice work if correct - and it was already pretty quick.

Secondly, the peaky dynamics I was suffering from using the Fazioli preset seemed less peaky. Either that or my technique is adapting to the keyboard. Anyway, playing quick cross-hand jumps into the bass doesn't go ballistic anymore! However, at a pinch, I would still favour a small bit of velocity curve dynamic reduction in the bottom one and a half octaves.

Good to see that the unescapable store bug has been fixed. Previously, if you accidentally hit the store button, you couldn't cancel it.

Also, I found one thing which I don't know whether it existed in v1.01 or not. If you remap the modulation wheel for example, you had to use the slider to set the controller number which was fiddly. I was convinced there had to be a step button available, tried a few candidates and found that the Tuning +/- buttons will do this, with auto repeat as well - nice.

Another fixed item: my pro pedal set damper pedal wasn't returning to zero correctly and was flickering at the off position - sending out value 1 at random. Seems now that the damper pedal values are filtered so only even numbers are passed. OK, the resultion is halved but at least I don't have to unplug the pedal each time I play back a MIDI sequence. Good.

As for the new continous damper pedal - it works! A great step forward to a full piano emulation. Sometimes the transition of sound between open and closed sounds a bit confusing but I soon found myself using it to good effect once I had got used to the movement. You can hold the pedal so the dampers are just touching the strings and you can also buzz the bass strings as you release it slowly. Good work GEM.

Unfortunately, I found a bug with the continuous damper algorithms which needs fixing. Paul - I'll e-mail you off list with a simple MIDI file that should recreate it.

Playing the Fazioli is now even more fun than before. It might be in my mind but the top half of the keyboard sounds more lively and with the tightened bass, the balance is now fantastic. Put it this way, after the update, I played the Fazioli solid for three hours because it was just sounding so brilliant and was so much fun. Honestly, the top multi-layer sample libraries sound flat, dull and thin in comparison to this. 10 out of 10 GEM, this is really exceptional.

Acoustic piano is really why I bought the Promega3 so I didn't play around with the other sounds but judging by the file list in the update, the vintage section has some mods in it too. If they are as effective as the piano tweaks, then Rhodes players could be in for a treat.

However, much as I heap praise on the Fazioli, I have to be critical in other areas.

My main gripe is with the Steinway preset. This just doesn't sound as well engineered as the Fazioli. I find the acoustic to be too close, almost as if I am listening with my head on the sound board. Also, the instrument sounds dull. I associate Steinways as having quite a bright sound but this is not bright. The initial attack makes me think the hammers are soft and try as I may, I cannot get melodies to sing. Also, the sustain sounds strange and too uniform. I don't get the feeling there are strings being played in the way you do with the Fazioli. Its like you lay down a sound and it just sits there without any life. Also, try playing a melody in the octave above middle C with a moderate bass accompianament and it gets severely swamped. I would have to summerise the Steinway sound as a flat una corda preset with too much bass. Maybe this is deliberate to contrast the Fazioli? I hope I am not alone in these views.

Also, I wonder what you are meant to do with the Pro2 piano sound? Certainly not solo piano - too bell like, hard and compressed.

There are also a couple of piano features which I don't think are modelled yet: open string resonance.

For example, hold down the sustain pedal and hit a note. You should get resonance across the sound board with the other strings vibrating but I haven't noticed this.

Also, if you hold a chord down and let it die, then keeping the notes held down and stabbing another chord should result in the original notes vibrating again. I can't hear this happening yet. v1.06 maybe?! (Hope there is enough DSP power left to model it).

As a suggestion for an interface modification, I have this:

If you are playing on black notes with your thumb and fifth finger (octaves for example), it is possible to hit the row of preset buttons from Store through to User with your middle finger. I've done this twice now. How about if a small hold down delay is added to these buttons to prevent accidental activation? It doesn't need to be a long delay - half a second perhaps - but just enough so they don't react from a sudden impact during performance.

Think that'll do for now. The step from 1.01 to 1.05 was significant, especially with the proper pedal modelling. Playing the Fazioli is pure joy, worth the admission fee on its own. A big thumbs up here. However, as stated, I am not too happy with the other main piano sounds so I hope they will be improved over time. But niggles aside, the Promega3 gets better from its already high position and I have my fingers crossed GEM do well and sell lots of them (and the Promega2).

Mark

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#15450 - 05/04/03 03:35 AM Re: Promega3 OS 1.05 comments (long)
MarkEdmonds Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/10/03
Posts: 15
I think I might be talking to myself as I seem to be the only PM3 user posting here.

Anyway, in case anyone is interested, having had more time to work with the OS1.05 update, I wanted to add that the string resonance sound (sympathetic resonance, open string resonance, whatever it is called) is definitely there.

It is not in-your-face in the way some pianos can be but actually, quite a successful level of presence without mushing the sound out. It's good!

I wonder how many people outside those who discuss GEM products know about the PM3? I don't know how those mega-bucks digital grands sound as they were too expensive for me but the PM3 seems to sit out there by itself as an affordable, portable, great sounding instrument. GEM need to do a massive big-name marketing blitz and get the word out.

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#15451 - 05/05/03 10:10 AM Re: Promega3 OS 1.05 comments (long)
ReneT Offline
Member

Registered: 01/21/02
Posts: 101
Loc: NL
Thanks for your comment!

I'm sure there are many people just like me interested at your opinion abouth the Pro Mega 3.
I was able to play this board AND I LOVE IT!
In fact I planned a visit for 10 minutes but it ended staying 2 hrs. playing this stage-piano...
The only reason I didn't buy it is beacause of the weird dimensions.

Thanks Mark

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#15452 - 05/07/03 01:12 PM Re: Promega3 OS 1.05 comments (long)
MarkEdmonds Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/10/03
Posts: 15
ReneT - glad people are interested! I wish there were other users around here to share tips, settings and so on. Its such a fantastic instrument it deserves to be played and talked about.

If it has one achilles heel, then I suppose the TP30 action is a little on the light side for my liking. However, I am using it almost exclusively for classical piano where a heavier action would be preferable - for the other sounds, the TP30 is probably a perfect balance. Apart from that, now I am getting better at tuning the sounds, the more I realise what a vast range it has and it just keeps leaving me completely gob-smacked.

Anyways, I ramble...

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#15453 - 05/08/03 07:36 AM Re: Promega3 OS 1.05 comments (long)
George Kaye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/24/99
Posts: 3295
Loc: Reseda, California USA
Mark,
I have sold many Promega3 and now also Promega2 pianos to some of the finest session/studio and Recording artists here is Los Angeles, California. Even Herbie Hancock received his just a few weeks ago. Unlike Yamaha, Korg and Roland with dealers everywhere, I am the only dealers here in LA. When Keyboard Magazine featured Rick Wakeman on the cover of their November issue and did a beautiful review of the Promega3 in the same issue, many calls started coming into me and Generalmusic regarding where the musicians could find and play one. Once played, all even a little bit interested before have bought one. So, even though there might not be a lot of interest on this forum, many great players have made the Promega keyboards their favorite digital pianos.
George Kaye
Kaye's Music Scene
Reseda, california
_________________________
George Kaye
Kaye's Music Scene
Reseda, California
818-881-5566
www.kayesmusicscene.com

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#15454 - 06/05/03 01:59 PM Re: Promega3 OS 1.05 comments (long)
nardoni2002 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/12/02
Posts: 673
Loc: malaga, spain
hi mark,you may find you may get a wider response from the general arranger keyboard site,(same site just different subject)all are very helpful,mike

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#15455 - 06/11/03 09:24 PM Re: Promega3 OS 1.05 comments (long)
George Kaye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/24/99
Posts: 3295
Loc: Reseda, California USA
In speaking to Phil Houston here in the US today, he works for Generalmusic and is the specialists for the Promega Pianos here in the USA, he told me that the other major enhancement with the 1.05 release is in the way you can now work with midi and the Promega3 piano. He said it didn't work properly before when used with a computer to control the piano and now all midi functions work as they should.
George Kaye
kaye's Music Scene
Reseda, California
_________________________
George Kaye
Kaye's Music Scene
Reseda, California
818-881-5566
www.kayesmusicscene.com

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#15456 - 06/14/03 11:21 PM Re: Promega3 OS 1.05 comments (long)
PaulD Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 258
Loc: Eugene, OR
Now available at Generalmusic.US is the new Promega Newsletter, available at: http://www.generalmusic.us/supportpromega.htm

------------------
Paul Davis
Generalmusic
Generalmusic.US
_________________________
Paul Davis
Generalmusic
Generalmusic.US

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#15457 - 06/14/03 11:25 PM Re: Promega3 OS 1.05 comments (long)
PaulD Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 258
Loc: Eugene, OR
Now shipping it the Promega 2, same incredi le sounds in a smaller, with a sleeker case.

------------------
Paul Davis
Generalmusic
Generalmusic.US
_________________________
Paul Davis
Generalmusic
Generalmusic.US

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