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Re: Just pulled trigger on a Casio PX-850 [Re: Tritium] #2112377
07/03/13 07:00 PM
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Re: Just pulled trigger on a Casio PX-850 [Re: Tritium] #2112391
07/03/13 07:17 PM
07/03/13 07:17 PM
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Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

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Re: Just pulled trigger on a Casio PX-850 [Re: Tritium] #2112397
07/03/13 07:26 PM
07/03/13 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Tritium

Question for my fellow members...

Can some of you recommend a free host site in which I can upload .wav or .mp3 recordings so that they can be accessed by this community. I have seen a few different sites (I think one is called SoundCloud), but I am looking for what you all consider to be the easiest/best site. What is the general consensus?

Thanks in advance.

Don't know about the general consensus, but I would recommend those steps.
  • Record a video of yourself playing.
  • Simultaneously record your performance on the PX-850.
  • Convert your recorded performance (presumably a WAV file) as mp3 in some software in which you can do that.
  • Join your PX-850 mp3 file and the video track of your recorded performance. Can be a bit tricky to synchronize the two, but it can be done. There are probably some free programs to do that. I use ffmpeg for this purpose, but I don't recommend that, as it requires some nerdy skills!
It's a selfish thing, but I like to have the video and audio of a performance.

Last edited by TheodorN; 07/03/13 07:27 PM.

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Re: Just pulled trigger on a Casio PX-850 [Re: Tritium] #2112641
07/04/13 06:26 AM
07/04/13 06:26 AM
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You can always use suitable Creative Commons videos for a visual alternative to yourself playing, or nothing . . .


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Re: Just pulled trigger on a Casio PX-850 [Re: peterws] #2115026
07/09/13 05:20 AM
07/09/13 05:20 AM
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Tritium Offline OP
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Sorry about the delay, folks. It has been crazy with the Fourth of July weekend, and a bunch of other stuff I had going on. Long story short, I finally got around to cleaning out my music room and re-arranging all my guitar gear, in order to fit the new PX-850.

I literally finished assembling it a couple of hours ago (3:00 AM, Eastern Standard Time). So, I have been up all night.

It took me probably about three hours...but I was going slow, and taking pictures of the packaging layout (in case something was broken and I had to re-pack everything).

However, Casio's packaging and shipping protection was excellent, and all parts were present, accounted for, and in perfect condition.

The unit was not difficult to put together, as long as you follow the instructions.

So, I only have had a about a half hour or so to play the unit at very low volume level (I live in a Condo, and it was 3:30 in the morning). After I get some sleep, and have a chance to play for a couple of hours this afternoon, I will post pics and write up a more detailed report.

However, in just the half hour or so, I got some quick impressions to share. I had it on the default settings, and have not had a chance to tweak it to my specific tastes. I was more interested in how the keyboard/action felt.

In a nutshell, it is pretty darn good. No, it doesn't play like my previous Yamaha GA1 baby grand acoustic...but it has a very respectable action for a DP (especially one at this price level). Furthermore, it is a responsive action with good tactile feedback, and I just can tell I will have no problem adapting and getting comfortable with it.

I was also pleasantly surprised that the keys are relatively quiet. The pedal-board may take a bit of getting used to, as the pedals are smaller than on a traditional acoustic. However, they work as advertised. There is some real nice string resonance when using the damper pedal, which I am eager to hear more of when I finally get a chance to play at a more reasonable volume (later this afternoon).

So, to be continued.

Re: Just pulled trigger on a Casio PX-850 [Re: Tritium] #2115196
07/09/13 03:07 PM
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"256-note polyphony versus 128"

Isn't this super important for classical music? If the casio 850 claim is legit then it should be fundamentally more valuable than the Roland RD700nx which is nearly triple the price. So much is made about realism but is'nt playability far more important?


I'm starting the solid wooden keys revolution in digital pianos. Get'em now or be square!
Re: Just pulled trigger on a Casio PX-850 [Re: StarvingLion] #2115204
07/09/13 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by StarvingLion
"256-note polyphony versus 128"

Isn't this super important for classical music? If the casio 850 claim is legit then it should be fundamentally more valuable than the Roland RD700nx which is nearly triple the price. So much is made about realism but is'nt playability far more important?


Can you hold down 256 piano notes at a time? Does anyone do so? No. You only have 10 fingers. Even assuming you mash and hold the pedal and they double count polyphony (for stereo) normal music does not approach 128 note polyphony, so it's not a limiting factor.

32 note polyphony I could imagine being an issue (maybe). I'm not even sure 64 note polyphony is a real issue for actual music. Tests designed to strain polyphony, yes, but not music.

Re: Just pulled trigger on a Casio PX-850 [Re: StarvingLion] #2115206
07/09/13 03:26 PM
07/09/13 03:26 PM
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Tritium Offline OP
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Originally Posted by StarvingLion
"256-note polyphony versus 128"

Isn't this super important for classical music? If the casio 850 claim is legit then it should be fundamentally more valuable than the Roland RD700nx which is nearly triple the price. So much is made about realism but is'nt playability far more important?


Yes, high note polyphony is critically important for Classical music, especially very fast, complex pieces in which their are a heck of a lot of notes played in a given interval/time. Perfect examples of compositions in which high level polyphony would be important would be Chopin's Etudes and Scherzos, works by Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Godowsky, etc. Heck, there are movements in Beethoven Sonatas that are blazingly fast. With that said, 128-note polyphony should be adequate, but I would definitely not go below 128-note polyphony for Classical piano, given the state-of-the-art that is available now.

So...yes, in general, the higher the polyphony the better...and 256-note polyphony is better than 128-note, everything else being equal. However, with that said, the Roland RD700NX is no slouch, and is a very impressive DP. I agree, however, that for the additional cost that Roland is asking for this keyboard, I would expect their sound engine to support 256-note polyphony.

Re: Just pulled trigger on a Casio PX-850 [Re: Tritium] #2115213
07/09/13 03:33 PM
07/09/13 03:33 PM
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Stereo piano samples also use two voices of polyphony for each note that you play.


-Mike Martin
Casio America

Casio Music Forums
Re: Just pulled trigger on a Casio PX-850 [Re: Tritium] #2115216
07/09/13 03:40 PM
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emenelton Offline
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Kawai uses their 256 polyphony for sympathetic resonance generation, among other things.

Re: Just pulled trigger on a Casio PX-850 [Re: Tritium] #2115220
07/09/13 03:50 PM
07/09/13 03:50 PM
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With all this polyphony, ya get to brew up whilst waiting for the piano to boot up . . . .


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Re: Just pulled trigger on a Casio PX-850 [Re: gvfarns] #2115223
07/09/13 03:53 PM
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Tritium Offline OP
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Originally Posted by gvfarns


Can you hold down 256 piano notes at a time? Does anyone do so? No. You only have 10 fingers. Even assuming you mash and hold the pedal and they double count polyphony (for stereo) normal music does not approach 128 note polyphony, so it's not a limiting factor.

32 note polyphony I could imagine being an issue (maybe). I'm not even sure 64 note polyphony is a real issue for actual music. Tests designed to strain polyphony, yes, but not music.


If you are using the damper pedal, you can definitely exceed 64-notes ringing out simultaneously, depending on the composition / piece you are playing. Lower polyphony adversely affects the decay time and sustain of notes.

The issue with polyphony is rarely as simple as "how many notes can you play at once"

Depending on how a particular piano is voiced on a sampler, a single "note" may take 2 or more voices of polyphony, for instance. This is becasue of multiple samples being involved per note played due to crossfading, key release samples, etc.

It's not just whatever notes you have played at the moment, it's also the decay of notes that are holding because of using the sustain or damper pedal, samples used for string resonance, etc.

All things being equal, the higher the polyphony that a Digital Piano's DSP engine can support, the greater the fidelity in emulating the dynamic harmonic structure of an acoustic piano...and the complex resonance and interaction between it's virtual strings, cabinet, etc.

Last edited by Tritium; 07/09/13 03:58 PM.
Re: Just pulled trigger on a Casio PX-850 [Re: peterws] #2115224
07/09/13 03:54 PM
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emenelton Offline
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Originally Posted by peterws
With all this polyphony, ya get to brew up whilst waiting for the piano to boot up . . . .


an argument on over what to use the beer bong for briefly ensued

Re: Just pulled trigger on a Casio PX-850 [Re: Tritium] #2115232
07/09/13 04:17 PM
07/09/13 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Tritium
All things being equal, the higher the polyphony that a Digital Piano's DSP engine can support, the greater the fidelity in emulating the dynamic harmonic structure of an acoustic piano...and the complex resonance and interaction between it's virtual strings, cabinet, etc.


Higher polyphony is not better all else equal unless it is a limiting factor. By no means is it clear that the reason the tone generators we observe on the market is limited is that polyphony has constrained them. Better tone generators may require greater polyphony (depending on how it is counted) in order to play a given set of notes fully but adding polyphony doesn't necessarily make a tone generator better.

The case in question is a pretty good example. The Casio 850 has higher polyphony but the Roland RD700NX greatly outclasses it.

128 is a lot of notes. Divide by two for stereo, 64. Still a lot of notes. Divide again if you think effects suck up polyphony (which if true only means that polyphony is an increasingly meaningless measure). Perhaps 32. Remember that on a DP when a note is pressed and it was already sustaining the previous version of it will be gone. So you'd have to have 32 different notes being sustained at once to get any drop off at all. In actual music, even advanced pieces, if 32 different notes have been played, the pedal has been cleared.

Polyphony *should* mean how many notes are being held. Manufacturers have been cheaing be redefining it as something more fundamental, which may or may not be used up by various effects. But they don't tell you under what circumstances this is true or how many effective notes you can play. As such it's not an informative measure or one that is comparable across manufacturers.

However, we can know that in current pianos polyphony doesn't matter. One way to know this is that you often see people who do not own digitals asking if they should spring for the higher polyphony, but you never find people coming to the forum to complain that their existing piano drops notes out because of lack of polyphony. We complain about virtually every other aspect of digital pianos, including miniscule details that few people can detect, but shortage of notes is not one of them.

Last edited by gvfarns; 07/09/13 04:38 PM.
Re: Just pulled trigger on a Casio PX-850 [Re: gvfarns] #2115244
07/09/13 04:38 PM
07/09/13 04:38 PM
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Tritium Offline OP
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Originally Posted by gvfarns
Originally Posted by Tritium
All things being equal, the higher the polyphony that a Digital Piano's DSP engine can support, the greater the fidelity in emulating the dynamic harmonic structure of an acoustic piano...and the complex resonance and interaction between it's virtual strings, cabinet, etc.


Higher polyphony is not better all else equal unless it is a limiting factor. By no means is it clear that the reason the tone generators we observe on the market is limited is that polyphony has constrained them. Better tone generators may require greater polyphony (depending on how it is counted) in order to play a given set of notes fully but adding polyphony doesn't necessarily make a tone generator better.

The case in question is a pretty good example. The Casio 850 has higher polyphony but the Roland RD700NX greatly outclasses it.

128 is a lot of notes. Divide by two for stereo, 64. Still a lot of notes. Divide again if you think effects suck up polyphony (which if true only means that polyphony is an increasingly meaningless measure). Perhaps 32. Remember that on a DP when a note is pressed and it was already sustaining the previous version of it will be gone. So you'd have to have 32 different notes being sustained at once to get any drop off at all. In actual music, even advanced pieces, if 32 different notes have been played, the pedal has been cleared.

One way to know that polyphony doesn't matter today is that you often see people who do not own digitals asking if they should spring for the higher polyphony, but you never find people coming to the forum to complain that their existing piano drops notes out for this reason. We complain about virtually every other aspect of digital pianos, but not this one.


Hi gvfarns,

I have to cordially disagree. As I detailed in my previous post, polyphony is not simply a matter of "how many notes can be sounded at the same time". The DP manufacturer's use higher polyphony in order to make a closer, higher fidelity emulation of numerous, complex interactions occurring within a true acoustic piano.

And you keep bringing up the Roland RD700NX. Generally, "all things being equal" would also pertain to comparative price/cost levels. In this case, you are comparing a DP that sells new for $1100 (Casio PX-850) to a DP that sells new for $2700. They are in completely different market segments.

Notice that I am not in any way saying that the higher polyphony of the PX-850 makes it a superior DP than the much more expensive RD700NX. What I am saying, is that if you are looking at two DP's with comparable specs and comparable prices...I would choose the one with the higher polyphony. In any event, that is what I meant when I used the terminology "all things being equal".

Last edited by Tritium; 07/09/13 04:43 PM.
Re: Just pulled trigger on a Casio PX-850 [Re: Tritium] #2115248
07/09/13 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Tritium
Notice that I am not in any way saying that the higher polyphony of the PX-850 makes it a superior DP than the much more expensive RD700NX. What I am saying, is that if you are looking at two DP's with comparable specs and comparable prices...I would choose the one with the higher polyphony. That is what is meant by the terminology "all things being equal".


Fair enough, but this restricted sense of all else equal is also not true. Take a PX-850 and add another thousand notes of polyphony without changing anything else. Would it sound or play any differently? No.

The tone generators are designed to work with the processing power of the DSP without leading to a note shortage. In order for increasing available notes to improve tone, you would have to completely redo the tone generator and that violates any definition of all else equal.

The only case in which adding polyphony all else equal would help anything is if the piano is dropping notes, which is why I keep bringing that up.

In the early days of DP's polyphony was limited enough that you could get two pianos that were very similar in how they sounded but one would drop notes out. At that time polyphony actually mattered, which is why manufacturers got in the habit of reporting it. Today you just don't get notes dropping out on you because of lack of polyphony. So if you want to compare pianos of similar price levels and quality, you have to use subjective measures because polyphony won't help you make your decision.

As I mentioned above, they are computed very differently by different manufacturers. It's not at all clear that the RD would drop out notes under the same playing load that the PX wouldn't (assuming you could concoct a scenario in which either would). Since "polyphony" doesn't actually mean how many notes are being played, it's not informative about or even particularly correlated with quality or playability.

The right thing to do with polyphony statistics when piano shopping is ignore them.

Last edited by gvfarns; 07/09/13 04:52 PM.
Re: Just pulled trigger on a Casio PX-850 [Re: gvfarns] #2115259
07/09/13 05:19 PM
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Yes, ignore the polyphony unless someone is actually saying that it's a problem with this or that instrument. It's a number that is frequently misleading, kind of like watts when buying a stereo. Different manafacturers use it in different ways.

The same goes for the difference between two and three sensors on each key, although that number does mean something very concrete. It's just that it doesn't matter in most cases.

Numbers are easy to latch on to, which I suppose is why manafacturers like to talk about them. When you buy a digital camera, it's not about how many megapixels, it's about the quality of the optics. You get the idea.


Roland RD-700NX // Casio PX-5S // Galaxy Vintage D
Re: Just pulled trigger on a Casio PX-850 [Re: Tritium] #2115266
07/09/13 05:35 PM
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Tritium, I have read your subject line and post, here:

Just pulled trigger on a Casio PX-850
Tritium Online content
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This is a follow-up to an earlier thread. I wish to thank everyone for their feedback. It was a tough choice, and I had narrowed down my DP options to the Casio PX-850, the Kawai ES-7, and Kawai MP6.

I made my decision and ordered a Casio PX-850 through Sweetwater...a company I have done a great deal of business with over the years, on guitar equipment (yeah, I play both). Sweetwater has always been super responsive, especially whenever I had a problem with receiving equipment damaged in shipping.

It really came down very close to the PX-850 and the ES-7. However, in order to turn the ES-7 into a full "console", I would have had to spend an additional $500 (furniture stand plus 3-pedal assembly)...bringing the total price differential between the Casio PX-850 and the Kawai ES-7 to $1500.

Finally, for some strange reason, the Kawai ES-7 appears to only be available for direct order, in the States, through Kraft Music. Even Amazon shows their ES7 units to be supplied through Kraft. I have no experience with this Company, unlike Sweetwater.

So, at the end of the day, I just couldn't justify spending an additional $1500 for the ES7. Of course, I am fully aware of the age old adage "you get what you paid for". However, I have been favorably impressed with the very positive reviews that the PX-850 has received, both here and elsewhere on the Web.

Hopefully I will be satisfied with my decision.

The PX-850 will be delivered this Friday...so, I will be sure to post back with a full review and impressions as soon as I have set her up and have had a chance to run her through her paces.

Cheers, all.

__________________________________________

I was a Canadian teenage during the Vietnam war, so I met soldiers in college in San Francisco - 44 years ago.

I find it strange that people are using the word "trigger" I guess as decision or purchase.

This forum is my only connection to the internet and I haven't heard it said in Canada yet. I don't have television so maybe it is said on television.

cheers,

It is funny and not funny - but if a piano player pulls a trigger on his finger they wouldn't be able to play sharps or flats.


Last edited by Michael_99; 07/09/13 05:37 PM.
Re: Just pulled trigger on a Casio PX-850 [Re: torhu] #2115271
07/09/13 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by torhu
Yes, ignore the polyphony unless someone is actually saying that it's a problem with this or that instrument. It's a number that is frequently misleading, kind of like watts when buying a stereo. Different manafacturers use it in different ways.

The same goes for the difference between two and three sensors on each key, although that number does mean something very concrete. It's just that it doesn't matter in most cases.

Numbers are easy to latch on to, which I suppose is why manafacturers like to talk about them. When you buy a digital camera, it's not about how many megapixels, it's about the quality of the optics. You get the idea.


Again, I respectfully disagree. A digital piano/keyboard's polyphony is just as relevant, and potentially important as a given computer's built-in memory (RAM). It is a disservice to prospective DP piano buyers...especially those who already have experience with acoustic pianos, and have an intermediate or higher level of classical piano training, to "ignore" polyphony and "ignore" key action sensor build.

True...a beginner and/or someone with little to no experience in playing acoustic pianos, probably will not be able to distinguish between a DP with 2-sensor contact keys or 3-sensor keys. However, take someone who has experience on acoustic pianos, and has a level of advancement in their technical skills...there is a major difference in response, expression, and feedback.

Re: Just pulled trigger on a Casio PX-850 [Re: Tritium] #2115322
07/09/13 08:04 PM
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My guess is that 99% of the cheap dp buyers who have never played a piano before don't have a copy of Gieseking's 'Piano Technique' (eg. tone quality, tone duration, tone strength) on the music rest. Therefore, if they start with a yamaha NP-11, P-105, or P-155 makes little difference. All of these dp's will screw up a serious beginner just in a more subtle fashion if you use the P-155, or at least that is my belief.

Tritium makes an interesting point. But, whether specs in a document translate into something real as in this particular case with the Casio PX-850 is another matter. Problem is, I doubt whether advanced classical pianists will agree as to whether the Casio offers real benefits to those seeking nuanced playing capabilities.

Last edited by StarvingLion; 07/09/13 08:05 PM.

I'm starting the solid wooden keys revolution in digital pianos. Get'em now or be square!
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