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#2045928 - 03/10/13 11:53 AM What is the point of all the sounds?  
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adak Offline
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Some digital pianos come with over 100 sounds. Even my own entry level Casio PX-150 has about a dozen sounds. That is way too much. I know I don't use any of them except the acoustic pianos. Are all the other sounds fillers? I tried them. Sounds like it. Surely they do not take up as much memory as the acoustic piano sound, and if so why? Memory space is premium, why lower the quality of the acoustic piano sound by using the space for other sounds that will barely get used? I would rather have a digital piano with less sounds, quality over quantity. I don't want to have to pay for so many sounds I will not use. That is what turns me off from buying a high end digital piano.


Casio Privia PX-150

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#2045936 - 03/10/13 12:19 PM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: adak]  
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Originally Posted by adak
That is what turns me off from buying a high end digital piano.

A number of the high end digital pianos have very little in the way of non-piano sounds. Check Kawai MP-10, Yamaha CP-1, Roland V-Piano, and the original Nord Piano (you could use its memory for nothing but acoustic piano sounds if that's all you wanted). Nord did add a separate bank of memory for non-piano sounds in the NP2, though, and it did raise the price some. But a lot of people do find these other sounds useful, especially if they are gigging, where typically the keyboard player has to cover more than just piano parts.

As for the PX-150, the extra sounds are so minimal in quantity and quality that I doubt they are taking away any potential for the main piano sound (i.e. the small amount of extra memory probably wouldn't result in a noticeably better piano sound). They do make the unit a bit more marketable, though. Like built-in rhythms. Lots of people don't care about these things, but there is a market that does, and especially in a budget instrument designed for mass sales, the idea is to maximize the its appeal to a large range of potential buyers. Note that it is the most expensive models I mentioned at the top, less designed for mass appeal, that do the fewest different things!

#2045937 - 03/10/13 12:20 PM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: adak]  
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Why? Because some folks buy keyboards based on numbers alone.

Piano X only has 128 note polyphony so 256 note polyphony on piano Y makes Y a better choice.




website | mp3 files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
#2045953 - 03/10/13 01:04 PM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: adak]  
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Originally Posted by adak
... I would rather have a digital piano with less sounds, quality over quantity. ... That is what turns me off from buying a high end digital piano.


People like you and me are why Kawai came out with the VPC. smile


Ron
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The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
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#2045960 - 03/10/13 01:25 PM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: adak]  
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Several reasons:

1. A "General MIDI" soundbank (128 sounds?) makes it possible to play multi-timbral MIDI files.

2. Non-piano sounds are sometimes useful. I was at a chant session, and the keyboard player was using a layering of "piano" and "warm pad". The effect was nice -- like an infinite sustain on an acoustic piano. [Don't try that for Mozart, it doesn't suit.]

3. If you _ever_ want something more interesting than "Ting tick tick tick" to practice to, a "percussion" voice allows using built-in rhythms, or writing your own. And once you have one such voice, you're likely to have 3 or 4 of them.

There's a rather nice "vibraphone" sound on the PX-350, that I'm hoping to use in public. I really enjoy it.

As pointed out above, those "extra" sounds are usually simpler than the multi-sampled pianos, and don't take up much room in memory.

There's enough room for all of us.

. Charles


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
#2045961 - 03/10/13 01:25 PM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: adak]  
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I agree that most of the voices on DPs are redundant, but I will say that I enjoy changing the voice to mimic the instrument(s) a piece was written for, such as Adagio for Strings, or the harpsichord or organ for Bach. Mixing voices can also make a simple piece, or simplified version of a classic, so much more fun to play and play with. I can't imagine that anyone would use all the voices available unless used for movie/stage sound effects, however.

Last edited by PattyP; 03/10/13 01:26 PM.

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#2045963 - 03/10/13 01:28 PM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: adak]  
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Originally Posted by adak
Some digital pianos come with over 100 sounds. Even my own entry level Casio PX-150 has about a dozen sounds. That is way too much. I know I don't use any of them except the acoustic pianos. Memory space is premium, why lower the quality of the acoustic piano sound by using the space for other sounds that will barely get used? I would rather have a digital piano with less sounds, quality over quantity. I don't want to have to pay for so many sounds I will not use. That is what turns me off from buying a high end digital piano.


You probably need to address this question to Casio, why they have so many sounds smile. I believe for high-end manufacturers additional sounds do not add much to cost - most of extra price is coming from better piano samples and more advanced sound engines, more responsive keyboard, better pedaling, better amplifiers and speakers. And probably cabinetry as well smile

Although my Roland HP-507 has many additional sounds, they are more for fun rather than for serious arrangements, as except piano and early piano sounds, hardly too many sounds have touch sensitivity (they play at one volume). So you can make some arrangements using several sounds, but it is mainly just a piano than a synthesizer.

My son enjoys playing around with different sounds though.


Roland HP-507RW | Yamaha U1
#2046009 - 03/10/13 02:49 PM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: adak]  
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Interesting. The sounds are there for those who want `em. They invariably come with automatic accompaniment and rythms et al . . .. I like the extra instruments; you can put together a live band type feel with say, 3 insturumwents and string backing etc which I like to do. But I don`t need the accompanyment features.

I`m lucky to have a decent piano or two on my machine. I`m not sure about quality being compromised; more like business decisions based on perceived demand.

Some DPs have plenty of voices - but a lousy recorder. I see no sense in that at all, but one thing`s certain.

Ya never get QUITE what you want . . .the close you get, the more expensive it becomes!


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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#2046012 - 03/10/13 02:53 PM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: adak]  
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Originally Posted by adak
Some digital pianos come with over 100 sounds. Even my own entry level Casio PX-150 has about a dozen sounds. That is way too much. I know I don't use any of them except the acoustic pianos. Are all the other sounds fillers? I tried them. Sounds like it. Surely they do not take up as much memory as the acoustic piano sound, and if so why? Memory space is premium, why lower the quality of the acoustic piano sound by using the space for other sounds that will barely get used? I would rather have a digital piano with less sounds, quality over quantity. I don't want to have to pay for so many sounds I will not use. That is what turns me off from buying a high end digital piano.


Really? Just two weeks ago you said it was ridiculous that piano samples would take up more than a few hundred MB. I doubt the main piano voices need to use much ROM anyway lol.

If it really bothers you, perhaps it's time to buy an acoustic and a set of tuning forks.

#2046029 - 03/10/13 03:19 PM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: adak]  
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We'll he has a point , if the additional sound are so inferior in quality, that hardly anyone can seriously use or enjoy them, why put them on board. I second the idea of a DP being a digital 'piano' meaning all the rubbish gm sounds can go, apart from a few good alternative sounds for metronome to choose from. The extra memory should be used for the AP. Since many people are complaining about short looped samples, no 88 key sampling, not enough velocity layers, short decays etc, every bit of the ROM could be used to enhance the main piano sound(s). Because that's what you buy it for (?!). For sequencing , accompaniment , styles , zillion preset sound banks there are arranger keyboards, workstations and computers available.

Stage Piano's like he PX5 are an exception , cause they serve multiple purposes. A cabinet style (home) DP shouldn't need all this nonsense sounds, or....they should be really on par with the quality of the main AP sound and really useful.

#2046067 - 03/10/13 04:15 PM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: JFP]  
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I understand the OP's point:
After the AP and Rhodes sounds (Wurlitzer) everything else can be considered a bonus.
On my P95 when I had it I only touched the main 2 acoustics and that was enough.
On my PX130 when not playing the 3 acousitcs I use the Rhodes and sometimes combine Strings with Piano- so I would be using 5 or 6 sounds.
The SP280 has some additions not present on the other two; a nice CP80 as a surprise.

My general preference has been less sounds on a 88 and more sounds on a 61


Roland Juno Gi
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#2046096 - 03/10/13 05:21 PM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: adak]  
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Maybe the Yamaha NU1 is the piano that I need.


Casio Privia PX-150

#2046104 - 03/10/13 05:34 PM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: adak]  
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Originally Posted by adak
Maybe the Yamaha NU1 is the piano that I need.

Based on your posts on this forum and elsewhere on piano world, may I respectfully suggest you spend at least another six months learning to play, then cast around again. At this stage you don't know what piano or DP you want.

#2046197 - 03/10/13 08:40 PM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: adak]  
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Originally Posted by adak
Some digital pianos come with over 100 sounds. Even my own entry level Casio PX-150 has about a dozen sounds. That is way too much. I know I don't use any of them except the acoustic pianos. Are all the other sounds fillers? I tried them. Sounds like it. Surely they do not take up as much memory as the acoustic piano sound, and if so why? Memory space is premium, why lower the quality of the acoustic piano sound by using the space for other sounds that will barely get used? I would rather have a digital piano with less sounds, quality over quantity. I don't want to have to pay for so many sounds I will not use. That is what turns me off from buying a high end digital piano.


shocked


"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally associated with Arturia but my sentiments are my own only.
#2046218 - 03/10/13 09:32 PM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: adak]  
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The extra sounds do consume ROM, but probably not all that much in comparison to the main piano voice(s). They might as well put them in I suppose, some find them useful. I'd certainly pay more if they were all recording quality.

#2046225 - 03/10/13 09:41 PM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: adak]  
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I like the extra instruments; you can put together a live band type feel with say

#2046270 - 03/10/13 10:44 PM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: adak]  
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I suppose manufactures include additional sounds so that someone like me will buy their instruments. When I finish practicing my piano pieces, I love to change up the patches and let the sound dictate the music rather than the music dictate the sound. But then, I am a patch junkie, not a piano purist. Apparently the world includes a few others like me.

#2046275 - 03/10/13 11:03 PM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: SoundThumb]  
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Originally Posted by SoundThumb
I suppose manufactures include additional sounds so that someone like me will buy their instruments. When I finish practicing my piano pieces, I love to change up the patches and let the sound dictate the music rather than the music dictate the sound. But then, I am a patch junkie, not a piano purist. Apparently the world includes a few others like me.


It does!

Last edited by LesCharles73; 03/10/13 11:03 PM.

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#2046315 - 03/11/13 01:29 AM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: spanishbuddha]  
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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
Originally Posted by adak
Maybe the Yamaha NU1 is the piano that I need.

Based on your posts on this forum and elsewhere on piano world, may I respectfully suggest you spend at least another six months learning to play, then cast around again. At this stage you don't know what piano or DP you want.


+1.

When my salesman said:

. . . "The PX-350 keyboard isn't the best one for fast repeated notes",

I answered:

. . . "It's a lot faster than I am, now."

Get some experience and skill. It'll be a while before you "outgrow" the PX-150.

. Charles


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
#2046338 - 03/11/13 03:18 AM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: adak]  
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My casio comes with 650 different voices quite a large number of them are variations on others. Like Koto 1 and koto pad, or Koto 2 pad.

I tend to stick with 1-14

With the prefered setting of 3 grand piano or brite piano which I think is number 8.

Everything else feels and sounds gimicky other than the church organs around 85-105.

Everything above 550 is a gimick, with rap, gunshots, machinery, alarmbells etc.

Interesting there are some Joe Hisaishi compositions that works very well changing the voice in the middle, so far however being a rookie. I can't really use these things to their full potential. I still think wowzers when I finish a 50 bar piece!

#2046340 - 03/11/13 03:27 AM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: justpin]  
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I had a keyboard I used with a band. It was PSR630 I think; every instrument you could imagine with a lot more bedides. I worked with a compere wo thought he was a comedian; nobody laughed at his jokes. So I registered for "Applause" and at the appropriate time, pressesd the button.

I got a "car crash". . . . through a big PA system ha ha

If anybody wants to know if those other sounds on DPs are useful, here`s what I like to do. It`s fun,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6_ffqK4xRU

Last edited by peterws; 03/11/13 03:27 AM.

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#2046400 - 03/11/13 08:30 AM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: SoundThumb]  
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Originally Posted by SoundThumb
I suppose manufactures include additional sounds so that someone like me will buy their instruments. When I finish practicing my piano pieces, I love to change up the patches and let the sound dictate the music rather than the music dictate the sound. But then, I am a patch junkie, not a piano purist. Apparently the world includes a few others like me.


+1


Sandy

#2046417 - 03/11/13 09:33 AM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: adak]  
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additional sounds are just teasers, most of the time useless but they do their job in marketing.

p.s.
I wish same was true for a car dealers - I buy pickup truck and they throw in a small convertible...

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#2046473 - 03/11/13 12:28 PM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: adak]  
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There is no guarantee that a reduction in voices would automatically mean a cheaper price or an increase in quality of piano tones.

I play The Beatles, "Yesterday" as a string quartet. Sounds great, and other people love it too.

There are many advantages to buying a digital piano, just as there are disadvantages.

One of the best features is the versatility, I don't want to lose it, despite the fact I virtually only play Acoustic Grand Piano.

In fact comparing a Roland V piano to a Roland RD 700NX I realised I could not justify the extra expense of the V Piano with the lack of facilities, and settled for the RD 700NX.

#2046485 - 03/11/13 01:04 PM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: adak]  
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Additional sounds are like UFOs: you either believe in them or you think they're useless for mankind (or womankind).

And like MarmiteĀ®, you either love 'em or hate 'em Ā©..... wink

BTW, if the V-Piano had non-piano sounds in it, I'd have thought a bit longer (like an extra hour or two) before committing to buying it, because I'd be thinking along the lines of 'Is Roland totally committed to its concept as an acoustic piano substitute, or are they still hedging their bets? Because if Roland isn't totally committed to it as a pure piano substitute, maybe they haven't fully developed it to their complete satisfaction yet.' I wouldn't settle for anything other than 100% commitment from any DP manufacturer.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
#2046532 - 03/11/13 02:29 PM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: adak]  
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Memory is super cheap these days. And these other sounds use vastly less memory than the piano sound engine. Throwing in these extra sounds is probably cheaper than the toy surprise in cracker jacks.

tom

Last edited by Tom Fine; 03/11/13 02:29 PM.
#2046553 - 03/11/13 03:18 PM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: Tom Fine]  
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Originally Posted by Tom Fine
Memory is super cheap these days. And these other sounds use vastly less memory than the piano sound engine. Throwing in these extra sounds is probably cheaper than the toy surprise in cracker jacks.

tom


What about all those extra buttons, which not only clutter up the console but must surely add additional cost to the manufacture and circuitry, even if the memory itself costs peanuts?

On the V-Piano, there is just one dial to access all 28 piano sounds. If they'd added organ, EP, synth, strings, harpsichord etc, to the dial, one would have to scroll through all the piano sounds (plus your own customized piano sounds, which can number up to 100 if you're so inclined to tinker) to access one of them (or alternatively, scroll through all the junk to access the piano sounds). Or else clutter up the clean surface with an extra button for each additional sound.......which would make a serious pianist think twice about whether this really is a V-Piano or V-Synth. But Roland already has a V-Synth for such purposes.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
#2046613 - 03/11/13 05:25 PM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: bennevis]  
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Originally Posted by bennevis

What about all those extra buttons, which not only clutter up the console but must surely add additional cost to the manufacture and circuitry, even if the memory itself costs peanuts?


you're right, those buttons cost is for sure noticeable for manufacture but if you sell product with main feature not good enough to stand on its own like piano or EP, you need to add something extra to convince reactant buyer.

#2046668 - 03/11/13 07:36 PM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: bennevis]  
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Originally Posted by bennevis
On the V-Piano, there is just one dial to access all 28 piano sounds. If they'd added organ, EP, synth, strings, harpsichord etc, to the dial, one would have to scroll through all the piano sounds (plus your own customized piano sounds, which can number up to 100 if you're so inclined to tinker) to access one of them (or alternatively, scroll through all the junk to access the piano sounds).

Wait until you hear that you have to use that same dial to access all 965 sounds in the Roland RD-700NX! grin

#2046678 - 03/11/13 08:28 PM Re: What is the point of all the sounds? [Re: adak]  
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My guess is that at the factory assembly level, the cost of a switch and a button is pennies. On the other hand, at the retail level, one can charge several dollars for that functionality. So theoretically, a keyboard without the extra patches could be sold for less. However, would a buyer choose a board with piano only that was $10 cheaper than a board next to it that for $10 included a number of additional patches? If I were a manufacturer, I wouldn't have the guts to try it.

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