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Question about Yamaha digital touch sensitivity #2375181
01/18/15 06:21 PM
01/18/15 06:21 PM
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pianolearnerstride Offline OP
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I'm seeing the touch sensitivity on yamaha digitals as: soft, medium, hard and fixed...

Is 'hard' the closest to an actual acoustic piano? Is this what you'd recommend a student practice with?

I'm looking into the Yamaha p255.

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Re: Question about Yamaha digital touch sensitivity [Re: pianolearnerstride] #2375189
01/18/15 06:36 PM
01/18/15 06:36 PM
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Coker Offline
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For what it's worth, the touch on actual pianos can vary considerably. Some are "hard," some are "soft." For example, I showed up at a gig last night after being promised a "beautiful Steinway," only to find a horrible action and bad tone. I dragged my stage piano in from the car, parked it behind the real piano, had a much better time, and probably fooled most of the audience into thinking I was playing their real piano.

Anyway, I'm guessing the "medium" setting on the keyboard simulates some kind of average of real pianos.


Yamaha CP4, Kawai CA93, Kurzweil SP6, EV ZXA1
Re: Question about Yamaha digital touch sensitivity [Re: pianolearnerstride] #2375200
01/18/15 06:58 PM
01/18/15 06:58 PM
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Chicago, Illinois
David Farley Offline
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The P255 has a GH action, which would be fine for daily practice. I've played the GH and GH3 action a lot, but found any acoustic I've played to have a lighter touch. That said, I've only played uprights recently - haven't had a chance at an actual grand in a while.

You can radically change the sound of the piano by adjusting the touch sensitivity, but it won't physically make the key press feel any different.

Re: Question about Yamaha digital touch sensitivity [Re: Coker] #2375203
01/18/15 07:01 PM
01/18/15 07:01 PM
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pianolearnerstride Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Coker
For what it's worth, the touch on actual pianos can vary considerably. Some are "hard," some are "soft." For example, I showed up at a gig last night after being promised a "beautiful Steinway," only to find a horrible action and bad tone. I dragged my stage piano in from the car, parked it behind the real piano, had a much better time, and probably fooled most of the audience into thinking I was playing their real piano.

Anyway, I'm guessing the "medium" setting on the keyboard simulates some kind of average of real pianos.


Thanks.

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Re: Question about Yamaha digital touch sensitivity [Re: David Farley] #2375207
01/18/15 07:06 PM
01/18/15 07:06 PM
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pianolearnerstride Offline OP
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Originally Posted by David Farley
The P255 has a GH action, which would be fine for daily practice. I've played the GH and GH3 action a lot, but found any acoustic I've played to have a lighter touch. That said, I've only played uprights recently - haven't had a chance at an actual grand in a while.

You can radically change the sound of the piano by adjusting the touch sensitivity, but it won't physically make the key press feel any different.


Thanks.

I guess my question is, which touch sensitivity gives dynamics that are closest to a real piano.

Re: Question about Yamaha digital touch sensitivity [Re: pianolearnerstride] #2375223
01/18/15 08:11 PM
01/18/15 08:11 PM
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Posts: 1,667
Chicago, Illinois
David Farley Offline
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David Farley  Offline
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Originally Posted by pianolearnerstride
Originally Posted by David Farley
The P255 has a GH action, which would be fine for daily practice. I've played the GH and GH3 action a lot, but found any acoustic I've played to have a lighter touch. That said, I've only played uprights recently - haven't had a chance at an actual grand in a while.

You can radically change the sound of the piano by adjusting the touch sensitivity, but it won't physically make the key press feel any different.


Thanks.

I guess my question is, which touch sensitivity gives dynamics that are closest to a real piano.


I've tried various settings and have always gone back to the default, as it seems to feel most right.

Re: Question about Yamaha digital touch sensitivity [Re: David Farley] #2375225
01/18/15 08:18 PM
01/18/15 08:18 PM
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pianolearnerstride Offline OP
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Originally Posted by David Farley
Originally Posted by pianolearnerstride
Originally Posted by David Farley
The P255 has a GH action, which would be fine for daily practice. I've played the GH and GH3 action a lot, but found any acoustic I've played to have a lighter touch. That said, I've only played uprights recently - haven't had a chance at an actual grand in a while.

You can radically change the sound of the piano by adjusting the touch sensitivity, but it won't physically make the key press feel any different.


Thanks.

I guess my question is, which touch sensitivity gives dynamics that are closest to a real piano.


I've tried various settings and have always gone back to the default, as it seems to feel most right.


Thanks!

Re: Question about Yamaha digital touch sensitivity [Re: pianolearnerstride] #2375237
01/18/15 09:02 PM
01/18/15 09:02 PM
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Macy Offline
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Originally Posted by pianolearnerstride
I'm seeing the touch sensitivity on yamaha digitals as: soft, medium, hard and fixed...

Is 'hard' the closest to an actual acoustic piano? Is this what you'd recommend a student practice with?


You should understand that none of these settings actually change the piano touchweight. Touchweight is the amount of pressure required to depress a key. The touchweight of acoustic pianos vary from model to model, and can be changed/adjusted for an individual acoustic piano. But the touchweight of most digital pianos is fixed and cannot be adjusted by any officially sanctioned methods. The touchweight of Yamaha digital pianos is actually higher than most acoustic pianos to more closely simulate the inertial characteristics of an acoustic's very different mechanical action.

The touch sensitivity on Yamaha and most digital pianos, simply change the MIDI velocity output vs your input velocity on the keys. Hence they change the relationship between the timbre and the input velocity. If you strike a key with less velocity you get a mellower timbre than if you strike a key with more velocity. Hence the touch sensitivity setting adjusts that relationship. Naturally the higher the MIDI output velocity the louder the sound as well, but increasing or reducing the overall loudness is not the intended function of touch sensitivity. You use the piano's volume control to adjust the loudness.




Macy

CVP-409GP, Garritan CFX, Vintage D, Ivory II GP's & American Concert D, Pianoteq, True Keys American D, Ravenscroft 275, Garritan Authorized Steinway, Alicia's Keys, EWQL Pianos, MainStage, iPad Pro/forScore/PageFlip Cicada, Custom Mac MIDI/Audio Software Design, Macs Everywhere
Re: Question about Yamaha digital touch sensitivity [Re: pianolearnerstride] #2375242
01/18/15 09:18 PM
01/18/15 09:18 PM
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I should add that even more important than the 'touch sensitivity' setting is the volume setting - assuming you want to play it like you'd play a real piano.

The volume should be set to the same level (when heard through its speakers or through your headphones) as that of a real piano. If you set it too low, you're going to end up thumping the keys hard, and mess up your keyboard technique.

Learners often make this mistake, and blame their lack of development of keyboard control on their use of a DP, when in fact it's due to the way they use it......


"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."
Re: Question about Yamaha digital touch sensitivity [Re: Macy] #2375246
01/18/15 09:31 PM
01/18/15 09:31 PM
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pianolearnerstride Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Macy
Originally Posted by pianolearnerstride
I'm seeing the touch sensitivity on yamaha digitals as: soft, medium, hard and fixed...

Is 'hard' the closest to an actual acoustic piano? Is this what you'd recommend a student practice with?


You should understand that none of these settings actually change the piano touchweight. Touchweight is the amount of pressure required to depress a key. The touchweight of acoustic pianos vary from model to model, and can be changed/adjusted for an individual acoustic piano. But the touchweight of most digital pianos is fixed and cannot be adjusted by any officially sanctioned methods. The touchweight of Yamaha digital pianos is actually higher than most acoustic pianos to more closely simulate the inertial characteristics of an acoustic's very different mechanical action.



Thanks. Yes, it isn't the touchweight that is my concern here.

Quote

The touch sensitivity on Yamaha and most digital pianos, simply change the MIDI velocity output vs your input velocity on the keys. Hence they change the relationship between the timbre and the input velocity. If you strike a key with less velocity you get a mellower timbre than if you strike a key with more velocity. Hence the touch sensitivity setting adjusts that relationship. Naturally the higher the MIDI output velocity the louder the sound as well, but increasing or reducing the overall loudness is not the intended function of touch sensitivity. You use the piano's volume control to adjust the loudness.



Thanks. Yes, my concern is that the midi output velocity is set appropriately for the keys... so that the dynamic contrast of sound (not overall volume), matches closely that of an acoustic piano.

Can the midi output velocity actually be set on a per key basis?

Re: Question about Yamaha digital touch sensitivity [Re: pianolearnerstride] #2375290
01/19/15 03:07 AM
01/19/15 03:07 AM
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Macy Offline
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Originally Posted by pianolearnerstride
Originally Posted by Macy

The touch sensitivity on Yamaha and most digital pianos, simply change the MIDI velocity output vs your input velocity on the keys. Hence they change the relationship between the timbre and the input velocity. If you strike a key with less velocity you get a mellower timbre than if you strike a key with more velocity. Hence the touch sensitivity setting adjusts that relationship. Naturally the higher the MIDI output velocity the louder the sound as well, but increasing or reducing the overall loudness is not the intended function of touch sensitivity. You use the piano's volume control to adjust the loudness.



Thanks. Yes, my concern is that the midi output velocity is set appropriately for the keys... so that the dynamic contrast of sound (not overall volume), matches closely that of an acoustic piano.

Can the midi output velocity actually be set on a per key basis?

I've been told the full (not the free Player) version of Kontakt can do that on some Kontakt compatible software pianos (check with the individual piano software manufacturers). I have proprietary software that can individually map every MIDI velocity level for every key to a new velocity for all software pianos. There may be similar commercial software available for PCs, but I'm not aware of anything that universal for the Mac (which is why I had to write my own). The free MidiPipe program for Mac can do some probably-sufficient per-key velocity modifications with scripts, but the last time I used it I don't recall it being able to do a complete every-velocity-per-key remapping (check to make sure if you use a Mac).

Last edited by Macy; 01/19/15 03:16 AM.

Macy

CVP-409GP, Garritan CFX, Vintage D, Ivory II GP's & American Concert D, Pianoteq, True Keys American D, Ravenscroft 275, Garritan Authorized Steinway, Alicia's Keys, EWQL Pianos, MainStage, iPad Pro/forScore/PageFlip Cicada, Custom Mac MIDI/Audio Software Design, Macs Everywhere
Re: Question about Yamaha digital touch sensitivity [Re: pianolearnerstride] #2375297
01/19/15 04:33 AM
01/19/15 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by pianolearnerstride
I'm seeing the touch sensitivity on yamaha digitals as: soft, medium, hard and fixed...

Is 'hard' the closest to an actual acoustic piano? Is this what you'd recommend a student practice with?

I'm looking into the Yamaha p255.


This is VERY important I think, and that must be the first thing to do on our DP, before all the other settings.

For me, the right setting of sensitivity is when you can play notes with a velocity value of 120-127 without the need to brake your keyboard, but assuming that these values correspond to a FFF you should only achieve that when you play very hard.

With Pianoteq, you can see your values in real time when you are playing. It is helpfull to see whether the velocity values are "connected" to what you are playing.


Re: Question about Yamaha digital touch sensitivity [Re: pianolearnerstride] #2375298
01/19/15 04:37 AM
01/19/15 04:37 AM
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Originally Posted by pianolearnerstride

Can the midi output velocity actually be set on a per key basis?

There are three factors here:

a) The way how individual keys generate MIDI velocity as a reaction to a stroke (i.e. inconsistency between reaction of different keys)
Fortunately, this is usually not a problem - the prevailing method of measuring the velocity - computing the time difference between points along the key travel - turns out very consistent and reliable. If you have a problem with a key - e.g. one key sounds too loud - it's better to clean/repair the key rather than per-key modify its MIDI values.

b) How keys react to different strength of a stroke - i.e. the keys are consistent, but for example they don't differentiate enough between f and ff strokes. If you use software pianos, this is what "velocity curves" are for. These velocity curves normally aren't edited on per-key basis, there is only one curve for all the keys.

c) How tone generator generates sound for a given key and velocity. This is the place where a lot of perceived inconsistency can emerge. In some cases it's possible to edit the sound per key (Galaxy Vintage D sw piano in full Kontakt or some Kawai digital pianos with the 'Virtual Technician' feature). Also, sometimes a perceived inconsistency heard through the speakers is caused by the speakers or the room itself and not the piano.

Anyway, if you want to edit midi values, your options are:

1, Some digital pianos can allow some editing (like some Kawai pianos I mentioned in c) ).

2, Most DAWs allow a lot of MIDI editing through filters - for example Reaper, which is not expensive and has long trial period.
You can use DAWs even if you want to use the internal sound of the piano - you send midi from the piano to the computer (DAW) where it's filtered and then it returns to the piano where the sound is generated. Though I don't think that would be a very practical approach.

3, If you use software pianos, you can easily filter MIDI. For starters, all sw pianos allow editing of the velocity curve mentioned in b). If you need per-key editing, you can run any sw piano in a DAW, which allows the use of various MIDI filters, as I mentioned in previous point.


Kawai CA65 :: Galaxy: Vintage D, Vienna Grand, Giant :: Pianoteq 5 :: Kontakt 5 :: Reaper :: True Keys pianos
Re: Question about Yamaha digital touch sensitivity [Re: pianolearnerstride] #2375424
01/19/15 10:57 AM
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Thanks everyone for your replies. Very helpful.


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