Frequently asked questions

Updated on 02/02/2014


Complete F.A.Q.


«Purchase & Licence»

Should I upgrade to version 4?
We strongly recommend you to do this for several reasons. In version 4, you will experience a vastly improved piano sound in the newly added grand piano D4. You will also be able to make use of convolution reverb that will offer more realistic room ambience. If you use any of the electric or percussive add-on instruments, you will appreciate the added selection of effects and the new mallet bounce setting. Version 4 is an essential and price-worthy upgrade.
I want to upgrade to version 4. Do I need to pay?
Customers who bought and registered the licence after January 1, 2011, get the upgrade for free and they can log in to the user area and download from there. For other customers, there is a small upgrade fee.
How do I upgrade to version 4?
Go to the purchase page and click on the "Upgrade to version 4" box.
I purchased an add-on but did not receive a download link. Why?
The optional add-on instruments are already embedded in Pianoteq and can be unlocked to the full version by entering the specific add-on serial number in the user area. You then need to update your Pianoteq licence (Options - About - Update licence). Details on how to activate manually (offline) can be found here.
How do I order Pianoteq without a credit card?
During purchase, select PayPal as payment alternative. With PayPal you can transfer money from your bank account to your PayPal account and use it for purchases.
Will my licence be entitled to a free future upgrade?
Yes, all our products come with one year of free upgrades of the same product from the date of your first activation. You can read the complete sales conditions here: English | French.
I lost the installation file that I downloaded after purchase. How do I download again?
Download it again from your user account.
I purchased a licence. Why did I not receive an order confirmation?
Check that the email is not stuck in a spam filter. Check your spam/garbage folder if it went there. Sometimes emails can be delayed on the mail server. If you have not received the order confirmation within 6 hours, please contact us.
What happens to my licence in the event that Modartt no longer exists?
In such a case we will provide all licence holders an unlocked copy of the software.
Do you offer competitor crossgrade pricing?
No.

«Activation & User registration»

My licensed copy of Pianoteq is still running in demo mode
Check in Pianoteq Options-About that the copy is licensed in your name. If it is, then everything is OK. If Pianoteq still seems to run in demo mode, it may be because you have loaded one of the optional add-on instruments that is running in demo mode for your evaluation. If you load the D4 or K1 grand piano, it should run in full mode.
May I install Pianoteq on more than one computer?
Yes, you may install it on up to 3 computers of your own. In your user account, you can check the list of activations and deactivate previous hardware if necessary. You are not bound to any specific operating system, thus you may install e.g. a Windows version on the first computer, MacOS on the second and Linux on the third. If you want to install on a Receptor unit, you need to purchase a crossgrade at Plugorama (more information here).
I bought a new computer. How do I deactivate the licence on the old one?
You can deactivate the old computer or hardware configuration in your user account. After logging in, click on the activations button.
I plan to install a new operating system on my computer. Should I deactivate first?
No, unless you are sure that you will not install Pianoteq on that computer again. Once you deactivate a certain computer, you will not be able to activate it again.
In the activation manager there are no hardware names. How do I identify my computers?
To find out which computers in the list of activated hardware that you are using (and which ones that you no longer are using), you can rename the hardware name for your current computers where you are using Pianoteq. Do this in Pianoteq by clicking on Help - About - Update licence. Enter any hardware name you like and it will show up in the list of activations the next time you log in to your user account. Do this for each computer. Then you will be able to easily identify and deactivate those computers you no longer use.
I have no internet connection on the computer. How do I activate my licence?
You can perform the following steps yourself unless you have limited knowledge of computers (in that case, please let an experienced person help you): Choose manual activation. The activation program will give you a URL. Note it down and visit the URL using another computer connected to the internet. You will then obtain an activation key. Copy this and save to a file. Transfer the file in some way to your music computer. Open the file, copy the text and paste it into the activation program as instructed. You can find a detailed description of this procedure here.
I forgot my password to my user account, how do I retrieve it?
You can retrieve a new password here.
How do I change my email or postal address of my user account?
You can edit and send in a change request from your user account.

«Product features»

What distinguishes Pianoteq from other virtual pianos?
Pianoteq uses a unique powerful physical model that creates the piano sound in real time as you play instead of playing back a set of recorded samples. Thus it adapts the sound to how you play instead of the other way around. Moreover, it takes into account the complex physics of a real piano, such as strings and pedals in interaction, strings in movement, soundboard and cabinet resonance, duplex scale resonance, acoustic field and so on. This makes Pianoteq more vivid than any other virtual piano.
More details here.
Is there a trial version of Pianoteq Pro?
The Pianoteq trial version is for evaluation of both Pianoteq Standard and Pianoteq Pro. In particular, volume and detune are editable note per note to demonstrate the possibilities of the Pro version.
How many velocity layers (dynamic range) are there per note?
Pianoteq uses all the 127 velocities that the MIDI specification allows, giving you a maximum playability with a superb dynamic sensitivity. Virtual pianos based on sampling technology are usually restricted to at most 16 samples per note which all need to be processed (cross-fading, filtering, etc). The pianist Hugh Sung explains in video tutorial part 1 his observations on this subject.


How about half-pedalling, quarter-pedalling etc?
Yes, Pianoteq can handle all levels of a truly progressive sustain pedal, producing thus a variable damping. Moreover, pedal noises (pedal up and pedal down) also depend on the pedal velocity, so the softer you press the sustain pedal, the softer the acoustic noise becomes. If using a non-progressive pedal, you might sometimes find these noises too loud. You can correct this by reducing or disabling noise loudness in the action panel.
Does Pianoteq offer a mono output for live performance use?
Yes.
Can Pianoteq play back MIDI files in a convincing way?
Pianoteq's superior dynamics and powerful simulation of resonances usually result in very convincing performances of MIDI files. However, common to all virtual pianos, it depends on what keyboard and piano sound that was used during the MIDI recording. Some MIDI files can sound truly excellent with Pianoteq while others can sound strange if they were recorded under different circumstances. There is a similar situation with the old piano rolls which may have sounded excellent on the original piano but not very good on another. Adjusting the velocity curve might help in such situations.
Does Pianoteq require a dongle or iLok key?
No, Pianoteq requires only a serial number and a software activation key.
Can I edit the equalizer note by note in the Pro version?
The equalizer can be adjusted note by note through the spectrum profile as it lets you adjust each overtone of each note. It shows the overtone number instead of frequency and works therefore in a more detailed resolution.
Does Pianoteq support high resolution (XP) MIDI files?
Yes. Thanks to the physical model that Pianoteq is built on, it has the unique capacity of reproducing all the 1,023 velocities that the XP MIDI format allows.
Does Pianoteq Stage load presets created in Pianoteq Standard or Pianoteq Pro?
Yes. However, Pianoteq Stage will load only the settings that are available in the Pianoteq Stage interface. If you want to enjoy the many creative presets in the FXP corner, you need the Standard or Pro version.

«Getting started: setting up your hardware»

What keyboard can I use with Pianoteq?
You can use any MIDI keyboard such as a digital piano or a synthesizer. To be able to play with detailed expression you need a keyboard with a good velocity sensitivity. Most stage keyboards and digital pianos have that, more or less. There is everything from light stage pianos with optional stand to heavy grand models with real grand piano action built in. Useful advice on what keyboard to use can be found in the Pianoteq user forum and in the Piano World digital piano forum.
How do I connect my keyboard to the computer?
Connect a MIDI cable from the keyboard's MIDI OUT port to the sound card's MIDI IN. Recent keyboards can also be connected to the USB port. Older keyboards may need a MIDI to USB converter. You can find more information on this subject in video tutorial part 3, or in the tutorial page and the hookup diagrams.
Do you recommend any specific pedal set for use with the keyboard?
Digital pianos usually have a sufficient pedal set built in. Stage pianos usually need to be complemented with a pedal accessory kit, such as Yamaha FC-3 or CME GPP-3.


What kind of computer do I need to install Pianoteq on?
You can use a modern laptop or a desktop computer, PC or Mac. See the hardware and software requirements below.
How much RAM (internal memory) is needed for smooth playback?
Just 256 MB (megabytes). Most modern computers are equipeed with 2-4 GB (gigabytes) RAM. In contrast to many other virtual pianos, there is no need to invest in any additional RAM sticks to achieve maximum performance.
Do I need a dedicated disk drive?
No. Since Pianoteq does not store any samples on the computer, there is no need to invest in a dedicated disk drive. Pianoteq occupies just 20 MB whereas other virtual pianos need to frequently access many sample files (usually several gigabytes) from a fast and stable disk drive.
What kind of CPU (processor) do I need?
PIANOTEQ is CPU intensive software for it computes the sound in real time. However, most modern computers already offer a fully sufficient CPU. We recommend a CPU with dual or multiple cores, such as the Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD X2. By restricting polyphony or the internal sample rate in the Options menu, you can work with less powerful CPU's.
In what situation does the CPU load get high?
Many bass notes in combination with the sustain pedal require lots of computations for the CPU. Most modern CPUs can handle this fine.
Do I need any specific soundcard?
If using a PC, you need a soundcard that supports ASIO drivers (most soundcards do). You should be able to use the in-built soundcard on your computer. If you have high demands on the audio quality you should use a soundcard which is more adapted to music production. For suggestions on what soundcard to use, please visit our http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/.
Can I really use Pianoteq with a laptop?
This is one of the great advantages of Pianoteq. You can use any modern laptop successfully without any need to add external disk drives. The low system requirements and the high stability make it optimal also for live performances.
What if my computer has hardware issues with Pianoteq?
Although we will help you out as much as we can, it is your own responsibility to check the recommended hardware/software requirements before purchase. By trying out the trial version you will know if everything works fine for you.

«Getting started: installing software and drivers»

What software do I need to get started?
PIANOTEQ works in Windows XP/Vista/7/8, MacOS X 10.5 or higher and Linux (x86) with Jack and ALSA backends. It is provided both as a 32-bit and a 64-bit version (the latter is suitable for those working with a 64-bit operating system). Besides a standalone version, PIANOTEQ is also provided as a VST (PC/Mac), Audio Units (Mac) and RTAS plugin. The advantage of a plugin is that you can work with it in a software host that offers multitrack mode, external effects and advanced note editing. Examples of hosts (non exhaustive list): Cubase, Sonar, Logic, GarageBand, Cantabile. Tutorials on how to work with general VST instruments in Cubase: part 1, part 2. For further information on how to use these type of hosts, please visit their websites.
Any specific software drivers that I need to have installed?
If you use a PC, you will need to install ASIO drivers. This makes it possible to play back in real time from a keyboard, so that when you press a key on the keyboard, the sound will be heard immediately (with just a few milliseconds delay). Usually, ASIO drivers will be installed automatically during the driver installation of the soundcard. However, some budget soundcards (usually internal ones) do not offer ASIO drivers. It is then possible to use third-party ASIO drivers, such as ASIO4ALL, with various results.
Where do I install the add-on instruments to my full version of Pianoteq?
If you are installing any of the free add-ons, you can drag and drop the PTQ file onto the Pianoteq interface. It will then be installed automatically. The optional add-ons (such as the Electric Pianos, Vibes, Rock Piano) are already installed as they are embedded as demo instruments in the Presets menu. You can unlock each of these add-ons by activating the serial number for the add-on in the user area and updating your licence (Options - About - Update licence).
Does Pianoteq work with Pro Tools?
Yes. We support Pro Tools version 7.3 and higher.
Does Pianoteq work in Windows 95/98/ME/2000 or MacOS X 10.4?
As the software is not tested under those systems we do not support or recommend it.

«Getting started: working with PIANOTEQ»

How do I start up Pianoteq?
Load the standalone player by clicking on the Pianoteq shortcut on your computer desktop. The VST or Audio Units plugin can be loaded by a VST or Audio Units host. If you have not activated yet, you will see an activation window. Enter the serial number there and click on the "Quick activation" button, if your computer is connected to the internet, to activate your licence (read the Purchase and licence section further below if you need assistance).
Which parameter sliders should I adjust to begin with?
There is a wide range of pre-defined presets (1) that you can choose from. If you need to adapt the piano sound you could for example try adjusting the hammer hardness (2) to achieve a different brightness of the hammer strokes. Increasing unison width (3) makes it a bit out of tune (resembling certain acoustic pianos). The new powerful sound recording feature (4) lets you place up to 5 virtual microphones anywhere around the piano to achieve ultimate ambience and tone colour. The dynamics and velocity curve (5) will most likely need to be adjusted to the keyboard used in a MIDI file performance. These adjustments are just examples but might be suitable to begin with. For further details on how to use each parameter, read the documentation in the Help menu or place your mouse cursor on top of each parameter for a short pop-up description.


How do I save my own preset?
You can save your own preset by clicking on the floppy disk icon (menu: File-Save preset, shortcut: Ctrl+S). Name the preset and save. It will then appear in the preset list under the instrument for which the preset was based on.


How do I rename, delete, or assign my own preset I created?
You can delete it, rename it and assign it in the preset manager by clicking on the pen icon (menu: Window-Preset manager, shortcut: Ctrl+L). Right click on the specific preset you created.
Can I hide specific instruments in the preset list?
Yes. Click on the pen icon (menu: Window-Preset manager, shortcut: Ctrl+L) to open the preset manager. You will then see a list of all presets. On the right side, you can select the instruments you want to hide/unhide. You can hide/unhide all factory instruments (provided as default instruments) by selecting another instrument bank on the lower right corner in the preset manager. You can hide/unhide add-on instruments in the Options - Add-ons window.
Can I hide specific presets of an instrument?
Yes. In the preset manager, you can create your own customizeable instrument bank. You can save those presets you want to work with there and choose only to show that bank. You can watch a tutorial on how to work with the preset manager here.
What is the point of using instrument banks?
By using instrument banks, you get a more detailed control of which instruments and presets you want and can quickly change between different sets, adapted to different situations, e.g. one bank for live performances and another bank for studio sessions. In the preset manager, you can easily move saved presets between banks, assign each to a specific MIDI controller, and rename or delete them.
Can I rename or delete a factory preset?
No, the basic factory presets provided as default instruments are protected. You can however save presets to a customized instrument bank and there rename or delete them as you want.
How can I correct the limited/extreme dynamic output of my keyboard?
You can adapt the velocity curve to your MIDI keyboard so that Pianoteq will recognize all velocities from ppp to fff. See the left example below where the curve is adapted to a keyboard having a MIDI velocity output limited to the range [33 105]: the Pianoteq curve remaps this interval to the full MIDI velocity range [0 127]. You can measure MIDI velocity output in Pianoteq by observing the green vertical lines. If you modify the shape of the curve and the dynamics slider, you can obtain different sorts of dynamics. If the keyboard easily jumps to extreme velocity values when playing strongly, there is no ideal correction because Pianoteq cannot see if you are playing forte or fortissimo. However, as it might be better to have a correct forte than a correct fortissimo, we suggest adapting the velocity curve as in the right example.


How do I adjust tuning with Scala files?
Click on the "mu" button in the tuning panel, then choose the files that you want to import by opening the Scale or the Keymap menu.


How do I keep my previous settings (parameters) while changing presets?
Click on the checkmark button to access the advanced parameter freeze settings. There you can set which parameters to keep unchanged when you change presets. You can activate and deactivate the freeze feature by clicking on the checkmark button.
How do I activate remote selection via MIDI?
In the Options-Midi window you have a complete range of MIDI mapping possibilities where you can also create individual settings for each preset.
How can I transpose in Pianoteq?
In Options-Midi there is a notes transposition value. You can set this value to anything between -36 and +36.

«Troubleshooting»

I start up Pianoteq but now it sounds different.
Your settings used from the last session are reloaded upon start up. Check the parameter values or reset to default values by selecting a preset in the menu.
I receive error messages when using/installing Pianoteq.
If you encounter any error messages, or other serious issues, make sure that you are using the latest version. You can check the date of modification on the trial version page. For updates of the full version, visit the download area on our support page.
I have problems downloading Pianoteq. What might be the cause?
Make sure to disable any download managers that you may have installed. You can also try using another browser (e.g. Firefox).
I use the trial version. Why are a few notes silent?
This is a restriction that only applies to the trial version. It is described in the trial version download page.
How come some instruments stop working after 20 minutes?
Besides the included D4 and K1 grand pianos, there are optional add-on instruments in demo mode for evaluation. You need to buy a licence for these add-ons separately if you want to use them without this restriction.
When I play on my keyboard the reaction time (latency) from key press to sound is slow.
In the Pianoteq options devices tab (or in the audio settings of the VST/AU host), select your ASIO drivers as device and set the buffer size to 384 samples or below. See the example below. If you do not have any ASIO drivers, you can try using third-party drivers, such as ASIO4ALL.


I hear crackles and pops in the sound.
Make sure that your operating system is updated and optimized, free from spyware, trojans and CPU intensive anti-virus or utility programs running in the background. If using another CPU intensive VST instrument or effects plugin (such as convolution reverb), we recommend that you use it for playback and editing only if you encounter any issues. For playback and editing, increase ASIO buffer size to maximum. Although the latency will increase, the CPU load will decrease. If these adjustments do not help, your CPU may not be powerful enough (please refer to our hardware requirement specification). If this is the case you should reduce polyphony and/or the internal sample rate in the Options menu. You can also try reducing the number of output channels in the Microphones setting window.
When using the sustain pedal, the acoustic noise is too loud.
This problem can occur if using a non-progressive (non-continuous) pedal. You should in this case adjust the noise loudness in the action panel.
I cannot load in the full version my Audio Units setting saved in the trial version.
Settings that in the trial version are saved in Audio Units format cannot be loaded in the full version. First convert the settings to FXP format: run the trial version (reinstall if necessary), load your saved settings there and save them as FXP files (in the Options menu). You can load these FXP files in the full version. If you encounter any problems, contact us and we will assist you.
I use a modern laptop. Still I hear clicks and have polyphony issues.
Make sure that your computer is not running in energy saving mode. If it is, the CPU is running at a much lower speed which will result in performance issues.
I hear distortion when playing chords.
Sound saturation (0 dB) starts when you play chords with more than approximately 4 notes at maximum velocity (127). Depending on the sound card, you can reach this saturation much earlier (there are cheap DAC which saturate from -18 dB). Reducing the volume in Pianoteq should solve the problem.
The sound becomes muddy when using the sustain pedal.
In PIANOTEQ the harp resonance simulates the behaviour of a real piano. That means that you must release the sustain pedal often when using it, just like pianists on real pianos do. You may have another experience with certain digital pianos and sample libraries as the harp resonance in those is more simplified or non-existent.
Pianoteq is not listed as a plugin in my Audio Units host.
A few Audio Units hosts sometimes do not list Pianoteq correctly as a plugin. Exit your host. Remove this file:
(HOME)/Library/Cache/com.apple.audiounits.cache and launch your host. It will then rescan all your Audio Units instrument plugins. Your installed Pianoteq version will then appear in the plugins list.
The Preset Menu shows all instruments in a massive list
Press "L" (or click the Pen icon) to access the Preset Manager. There, click the Instruments header to sort according to instrument, then close the Preset Manager window.
Pianoteq does not remember my saved MIDI mapping.
In the Pianoteq Options-MIDI tab, select the "Full featured" MIDI mapping. Make any changes you want and save it. Pick the "Set as default" entry. Close Pianoteq. Next time you start Pianoteq, your saved MIDI mapping is loaded.
My 32-bit VST host cannot find the 64-bit plugin of Pianoteq.
If you are using a 32-bit version of a host, it will not be able to recognize 64-bit versions of plugins, even if running a 64-bit operating system. You need to install either a 64-bit version of the host or the 32-bit version of Pianoteq.
I cannot install Pianoteq, it says the file is corrupt.
If the installer is corrupt, it is most likely caused by an incomplete download. Try using another browser and check that the file size corresponds to what you see when hovering your mouse pointer on the installer file in the user area, as seen below. You can also try using a download manager.

«Add-ons»

Can I use the free add-ons with a trial version of Pianoteq?
No, they only load in the full version, available to Pianoteq licence owners.
Will all my add-ons that I purchased work in Pianoteq 4?
Yes.
Will all my add-ons that I purchased for the Stage version work in the Standard or Pro version?
Yes.

«Receptor version»

What is a Receptor?
A Receptor is a sound and effects module that runs standard VST instruments and effects. Receptor is housed in a road-worthy, metal, rack-mount enclosure, thus being physically more rugged than a laptop.
Does Pianoteq 4 work with the Receptor?
Yes, it works on all Receptor units except Receptor 1.
How do I install free add-ons on my Receptor
The free add-ons, which can be downloaded from the user area, must be manually copied to the add-ons folder. The default path is
(RECEPTOR HARDDRIVE):\Users\Musician\Application Data\Modartt\Pianoteq\Addons
Do all commercial add-ons work with the Receptor?
Yes.
How do I install Pianoteq 4 on my Receptor?
If you have Pianoteq pre-installed on your Receptor, or if you have installed the "Direct Install" rpm file supplied by Muse Research, uninstall it first as follows: In the Receptor "SETUP" screen, "INSTALL" section, click on "Uninstall Plugins" and select "Pianoteq 4" (or "Pianoteq 4 STAGE" depending on the version that needs to be replaced). Then copy the latest "Pianoteq 4.dll" (the Windows 32-bit VST DLL that is installed by the Pianoteq installer on Windows) in the "Program Files\VST Plugins\Unsupported Plugins" folder of the Receptor harddrive. Then the "INSTALL" section of the Receptor "SETUP" screen displays "1 install pending" (make sure that the "Include 'Unsupported Plugins' folder" checkbox is ticked). Click install.

«Miscellaneous»

My anti-virus software reports Pianoteq being infected.
Sometimes there may appear false positives regarding viruses or trojans, detected by anti-virus software such as AVG or Avira. If you encounter any issues with this, please contact the anti-virus software support for assistance on how to bypass the detection.
Will there be a version for the iPad?
Currently, we cannot tell when/if we will release a version for the iPad.
Will there be a version for Propellerhead Reason?
Currently, we cannot tell when/if we will release a version for Reason.
I cannot find the answer to my question here.
Please contact us via the support form. You are also welcome to visit our user forum for general discussions about PIANOTEQ with other users.