S90 Piano in Halion Sonic SE - Out of Tune?

The G1 note sounded off … flat. It was hit while a Gm triad two octave up was still sounding from being pedalled.

I put Cubase’s tuner on it - it looks like it had a brief period of being “in tune”, then went flat very quickly.

So it sounds flat, and the tuner says it is flat.

What’s up with that? Any thoughts?

Thanks -

(PS - VariAudio results weren’t reliable, I believe, so I’m not even considering the results it yielded: it thought there were several segments to the single note, with each segment being between 2 and 12 cents off - up and down … I think maybe it was too low a note for VariAudio. Also of note - I split the stereo file of the note into L/R, and did VariAudio on each side, with neither side being “in tune”, though by a different amount).

I’ve gotten back around to looking at this again.

I put a MeldaProduction tuner on the G note that sounded flat out of Halionic Sonic SE to me, and there seemed to be many more “flat” vibrato excursions than “sharp”.

Initially I was going to ignore the VariAudio analysis, because it is out of the usual vocal range, but with the Melda tuner result showing what looked consistent with the VariAudio analysis, I thought I’d show it here:

This is a pic of a G1 note. It was generated as MIDI from my QWERTY keyboard (dropped three octaves), recorded into audio in a brand new project with no other inserts, then analyzed in VariAudio, shown below. The reason I did this is because the note sounded flat when I played it.

As you can see, it IS flat as far as Variaudio is concerned. For orientation, because it’s a little fuzzy on the graphic repro - the blue is the F#, the yellow is the G note. (The “drop out” is the octave below).

A couple of observations:

  1. Though it sounds flat every time, VariAudio only “sees” it as flat once every few times.
  2. When I put a MeldaProduction tuner on it, it has a lot of flat excursions before settling in at 4 cents sharp - which would be consistent with the above.
  3. I used the QWERTY keyboard to ensure that any cc’s from my Motif synth weren’t contributing to the “flatness” I was hearing. Having said that, the VariAudio and Melda Tuner analysed the Motif note as it did the QWERTY keyboard note - flat.

No one else has thought the deep piano notes in the Motif sound flat?

Finally, RevoicePro3 (which is set up to process audio this low), also shows what I hear … a pronounced “flatness” early in the note that settles in towards the true note (the white line is the pitch tracing).

What is going on, I wonder if I need another piano plugin (I don’t want to buy one!) because the low notes are out of tune? I can understand a little vibrato, but this is ear-jarring, especially when played in isolation (as it was when I first noticed it).

Hmmmm. not sure what to say here… to my ears (old and used as they are :wink: ), the S90 seems to be fine here… if you accept that “classic” stretch tuning was obviously used when the piano was being tuned (and comparing G1 with its neighbors :wink: ). How “out of tune” does it actually sound to you? (I mean, if you were organising a live concert, and heard that during soundcheck, would you phone for the piano tuner to get his butt over there pretty darn quick? :stuck_out_tongue: )

That’s the thing, my ears are characteristically remarkably forgiving, which is a nicer way to say that many times I don’t notice significant changes from proper tuning/timing!

But this stuck out like a sore thumb, to me. It was probably a worst case scenario: end of a song, just finished with a Gm chord spread across the G4/6 octaves (i.e., no low notes), then after they fade a bit, this solo deep note for finality and emphasis.

Under those circumstances it sounded so off, to me (which as above is unusual), I actually had to leave it out of the recording! I should also say that up till then the piano sounded great, will all other notes at least an octave higher.

Not really sure where to go from here.

Thanks for your thinking about this!

Aloha guys,

Not to hijack this thread but many years ago I went to see Oscar Peterson perform at a nightclub in Toronto
and in between each set they had a guy tuning the piano! And with a full house yet!

Perhaps he had some type tuner of but from my angle I did not see any electronics at all.

I remember thinking; how can he do this with all the noise going on?
But there he was; doing it. —go figure

that S90 patch sounds pretty ‘in-tune’ to my old-ass ears.


How about uploading a MP3 demonstrating this (or at least, a link to it)?
This is how it sounds here…
SE90_G minor.mp3.zip (339 KB)

It sounds OK to my ears. Just to check, I recorded a few G1 notes of different lengths using the S90 patch and looked at them in vari-audio and MTuner.
Vari-audio showed it as a straight line and MTuner showed it fluctuating between 0 and -6 cents.
Most of the notes around that range also showed the same fluctuation.
When I played down lower on the keyboard, the fluctuation in MTuner was even greater.
It doesn’t sound flat to me though ( but I’m no musical genius, I can tell if my guitar is our of tune, but that’s about it [FACE WITH TEARS OF JOY])
I’m using CP8 on win 8.1 if that makes any difference.

Hey, your song sounds like mine! :wink:

Here is a link to the sound: SoundCloud - Hear the world’s sounds

It is the last note that caught my attention as wavering noticeably flat.

Just to clarify, it caught my attention aurally first (around the time of the OP), and only then did I look at the actual sonics of it with tuners, etc., as per yesterday’s post. Understanding that tuners and displays like in VariAudio and RevoicePro3 aren’t as important as what is actually heard …

Here is the VariAudio to the soundcloud sound in this post:

Can’t tell at this scale, but the entire note is flat, at no point does any segment reach a true G (first segment about 17 cents flat, 2nd one is so flat it is a true F# (…!), next is 22 cents flat … the closest it gets is the last 3 short segments, when it is almost completely faded out, and there it is 4 cents flat).

Method: HSSE S90 to group track recorded into audio track.
: VariAudio above from that audio track.
: That audio track then rendered/exported to 44.1/16 with UV22HR … then the resulting .wav file uploaded to Soundcloud.

I’m at the stage where I’ve listened to it enough times that my brain is starting to play tricks on me. The only objective fact I can be sure of is that it caught my ear as sounding flat when listening to the project, long before I tried to do any quantitative analysis.

Then when I created the VariAudio and RevoicePro3 displays, the variations from “on pitch” seemed to be consistent with what caught my ear in the first place. There is of course possible confirmation bias there …

Finally, like I said in an earlier post, I am always the last one to hear when things are out of tune (guitars, etc.) … so if it caught my attention, that would usually suggest it is significantly out of tune.

But thank you for listening, and for your thoughts!

I see here: [HALLY-5466]Halion Sonic SE Out of Tune - #8 by RecordForHim - Cubase - Steinberg Forums

that someone has noticed the bass guitar being out of tune as well.

Not that that proves anything, but … maybe it’s something similar here in the S90 piano, and I’m not losing my mind!

(Just low frequency notes?)

Just saw this, thanks for posting!

The G note I am looking at (the one that sounds flat to me, and that VariAudio and Melda MTuner show as being flat, and RevoicePro 3 show as being off pitch with similar variations as VariAudio) is the one at around 49 Hz. Like you, I think it sounds fine higher up. I have not bothered to test those higher notes with the tuner or VariAudio/RevoicePro 3.

So, our experiences are similar re: Melda MTuner shows more pitch variations at lower notes. My ears are more cardboard than Golden, so I’m surprised I noticed anything at all with that low G note.

But since I did, and the various tools are all consistent in showing some tuning problems with that note similar to what I am hearing, and someone else has noted similar problems with the bass guitar notes way down there as well … I guess I can reasonably assume it’s not all in my head. :question:

Here is a spectogram of the audio linked to above in Soundcloud:

The node labelled “1” is at about 49 Hz, the fundamental of the note I am playing on the piano. I was surprised to see how little energy there was there, compared to the harmonics, but maybe that’s normal and has nothing to do with the note sounding a little flat to me (and appearing to be flat using VariAudio, RevoicePro 3, and Melda MTuner) … I’m just putting it up here in the hope that someone smarter than me can look at it and see if there is anything that might explain all that.


One thing I don’t understand is why the VariAudio analysis changes on repeated triggering of the S90, even using Cubase’s virtual keyboard (so it’s all ITB). The S90 is sampled, is that right? … so there would be no variation there, right (or …)?

Maybe it’s VariAudio segmenting and note analysis itself that is variable? (OT: if so, that would be just another reason to tune by ear, not visually!).
[Edit]Well, one explanation, obvious now that I think of it, is that VariAudio is meant to be only used in the vocal range, I believe I’ve read before, and this note, around 50 Hz, may be well below that range … so results are not reliable there, perhaps.[/Edit]

One thing visually constant is the note representation in RVP 3, with that biphasic shape before it settles in.
[Edit]Even so, that biphasic shape may be a normal piano “note being struck” sound, and not an indication of something awry. I don’t have the experience to know that or not …[/Edit]

One last thing … I came across a description of a Yamaha piano, U4, I think, that included the phrase, “… With a tendency for typical inharmonicity in the bass …”. So maybe this low G note being off is “as intended”?

Is anyone else hearing that note as flat ( SoundCloud - Hear the world’s sounds )?

Thanks -