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How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? #2683387
10/19/17 06:38 PM
10/19/17 06:38 PM
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My teacher recommends that I buy an acoustic grand piano (of course.. :)) or at least keep the digital piano sound at the 'same level' as a acoustic grand piano.

My question is: how can I judge if the DP sound level is right? What is a typical dB level for say a 7' acoustic grand piano for the middle C for normal velocity (say 64 on the scale of 0-127)? I have a sound meter and I can see the Velocity in Pianoteq - so I can probably adjust the volume of the amps by using this.

Thanks,
Osho


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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2683393
10/19/17 07:18 PM
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Don't worry about it too much, just make your best guess based on your experience playing loud, medium and soft on a real grand. As long as it feels fairly close, you won't be at disadvantage when you play on an acoustic grand. Don't forget that acoustic pianos vary as well - there is no "standard" volume for pianos.

Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2683397
10/19/17 07:50 PM
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Thanks for the response, but I really would like to know this as it will also give me some ideas about how the volume will be if I bought an acoustic grand.

Thanks
Osho


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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2683399
10/19/17 07:58 PM
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Depends on the piano, and where you're measuring, and how hard you think velocity "64" should be. But I'd say probably something around 70 dB should get you close.

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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2683402
10/19/17 08:24 PM
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Normal piano practice is 60 - 70 dB.

Fortissimo is 92 - 95 dB.

http://www.hearnet.com/at_risk/risk_trivia.shtml


"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: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2683404
10/19/17 08:26 PM
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That's great - Thanks!!


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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2683442
10/20/17 02:33 AM
10/20/17 02:33 AM
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I just set my speakers to +/-0 dB and turn my audio interface all the way up (which should also be -0 dB).
So, just do not remove any volume until the sound is put out, that should be relatively close I guess. Well, at least if you do not have a PA. My setup is 2x Adam A5X and Steinberg UR22 mkII USB-Interface.

Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2683450
10/20/17 04:04 AM
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Simple answer: Loud.

The p...ppp range needs to be in your fingers, not in the volume control.


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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2683852
10/21/17 12:30 PM
10/21/17 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Osho
My teacher recommends that I buy an acoustic grand piano (of course.. :)) or at least keep the digital piano sound at the 'same level' as a acoustic grand piano.

My question is: how can I judge if the DP sound level is right? What is a typical dB level for say a 7' acoustic grand piano for the middle C for normal velocity (say 64 on the scale of 0-127)? I have a sound meter and I can see the Velocity in Pianoteq - so I can probably adjust the volume of the amps by using this.

Thanks,
Osho

Osho,

Sorry to disagree with some comments here. It is impossible to duplicate the acoustic volume of a grand piano or even a vertical piano. If you try to the what you are doing is getting your brain to accept the digital piano's perceived volume as equivalent which it is not. Only some of the digital's frequencies will be interpreted as equal but this is false. In addition you would require an amplifier and speaker system of thousands of watts to get near the acoustic volume because of intermodulation distortion. You do not require to match any acoustic piano volume. Just set your digital model to a level that sounds normal for the room you are in and without any distortion.

Ian


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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2683864
10/21/17 01:22 PM
10/21/17 01:22 PM
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On another front, car purists demand that electric cars be retrofitted with sound systems to recreate the noise of a gasoline or diesel motor.


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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Dave Horne] #2683869
10/21/17 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Horne
On another front, car purists demand that electric cars be retrofitted with sound systems to recreate the noise of a gasoline or diesel motor.

Some petrol cars have a sport sound option too!

Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Beemer] #2683874
10/21/17 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Beemer
It is impossible to duplicate the acoustic volume of a grand piano or even a vertical piano...........you would require an amplifier and speaker system of thousands of watts to get near the acoustic volume


How can this be so? You can play a piano, forte, in a fairly small practice room without it being uncomfortable or - I'd have thought - dangerous if not over very long periods. But if you mounted a sound system with 'thousands of watts' in a small practice room, you'd blow your head off, almost literally. You'd certainly damage your hearing pretty quickly wouldn't you?


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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Beemer] #2683875
10/21/17 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Beemer
....you would require an amplifier and speaker system of thousands of watts to get near the acoustic volume....


Thousands of watts?! I really think this is rather an exaggerated statement.


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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2683876
10/21/17 01:52 PM
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Snap smile


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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2683889
10/21/17 02:55 PM
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A typical grand piano at maximum possible loudness radiates approximately 0.3 Watt, yielding a sound power level of about 115dB and a sound pressure level of 104dB at one metre.

To reproduce that sound level at the same spot in the room depends solely on the efficiency of the speakers. It could take anywhere from 8 watts to 250 watts. My speakers are only rated at 83dB, that is an efficiency of 0.126% so 0.3 Watts acoustic power radiated requires 240 Watts amplifier output.

A speaker rated at 105dB would require only 1.5 Watts to achieve the same volume level at the same distance from the speaker.

Let’s use facts people, not guesses.

Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2683890
10/21/17 03:05 PM
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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: prout] #2683891
10/21/17 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by prout

Let’s use facts people, not guesses.


Fine by me, yes........so how many watts' would you need to get 104db at one metre distance from a speaker column giving a fair representation of a grand piano in terms of frequency range, using speakers of typical efficiency for this purpose?


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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: spanishbuddha] #2683892
10/21/17 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
On another front, car purists demand that electric cars be retrofitted with sound systems to recreate the noise of a gasoline or diesel motor.

Some petrol cars have a sport sound option too!


I used to create the sound of an imminent mechanical failure when my dad was driving our ole banger. It was worth a wack across the head . . . .


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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: toddy] #2683901
10/21/17 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by toddy
Originally Posted by prout

Let’s use facts people, not guesses.


Fine by me, yes........so how many watts' would you need to get 104db at one metre distance from a speaker column giving a fair representation of a grand piano in terms of frequency range, using speakers of typical efficiency for this purpose?
Typical modern speaker efficiencies range from .2% to 2%, studio monitors being the least efficient (and most accurate) and home theatre speakers most efficient (and least accurate). This is just a cross-section of what is available. Some high efficiency speakers are very good.

My piano (a M&H BB 7’ grand) produces 104dB at one metre (I just checked it again a moment ago.) I need 240 watts to get the same SPL from my speakers at one metre.

If your speakers are in the 94dB efficiency range (typical of modern home speakers), that is, 1.6%, then 20 Watts ought to do it.

Last edited by prout; 10/21/17 04:01 PM.
Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: prout] #2683904
10/21/17 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by prout
Typical modern speaker efficiencies range from .2% to 2%, studio monitors being the least efficient (and most accurate) and home theatre speakers most efficient (and least accurate). This is just a cross-section of what is available. Some high effeciency speakers are very good.

My piano (a M&H BB 7’ grand) produces 104dB at one metre (I just checked it again a moment ago.) I need 240 watts to get the same SPL from my speakers at one metre.

If your speakers are in the 94dB effeciency range (typical of modern home speakers), that is, 1.6%, then 20 Watts ought to do it.


Thank you for that information. The part about speaker efficiency was particularly interesting.


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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2683906
10/21/17 04:08 PM
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Just remember that a change of 3dB in efficiency is a doubling or halving of power required, and a 10 dB change either requires 1/10 the power, or 10 times the power.

To produce a peak piano sound at 110dB, requires 10,000 times the power as normal practice at 70dB, and 100,000 times the power of playing softly. Your hands really do have to be sensitive to, and able to produce those extremes. Truly soft playing (1,000,000 times less power than peak) requires a very finely regulated acoustic grand and a fine pianist.

Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2683909
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Yes indeed. The decibel scale always looks so 'compressed'. But I suppose this suits the fact that our ears accommodate vast changes in power and are still able to detect detail at tiny levels of sound power.


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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: toddy] #2683912
10/21/17 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by toddy
Yes indeed. The decibel scale always looks so 'compressed'. But I suppose this suits the fact that our ears accommodate vast changes in power and are still able to detect detail at tiny levels of sound power.
Yes, absolutely. What many don’t know is that our ears ‘loud’ and ‘soft’ adapt in the same way ours eyes ‘light’ and ‘dark’ adapt. I don’t know how long it takes to change, but I did a recital in a very small chamber hall, starting off with clavichord, then harpsichord, then grand piano, all French repertiore. The audience actually collectively gasped at the huge volume of the harpsichord (the first piece had a large opening flourish) after having listened to twenty minutes of clavichord music.

Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2683916
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It also takes more power (and a more capable LF speaker) to get a low frequency to a certain volume than to get a high frequency to the same volume level.

Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: anotherscott] #2683921
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
It also takes more power (and a more capable LF speaker) to get a low frequency to a certain volume than to get a high frequency to the same volume level.
Yes.

Our hearing evolved specifically to respond more acutely to a certain range of frequencies. In fact, we hear best in the range of about 1000Hz to 4000Hz with the peak response at a little over 3000Hz. We hear very poorly at frequencies much below 100Hz, so it takes a lot more power (10,000,000 times more power) to hear the same quiet volume 20Hz tone that we hear at 3000Hz.

If your low frequency woofer is large, it takes more power to push the piston against the air and acoustic suspension, if that is the technique used in your woofer. I have a sub-woofer that produces 3000 Watts peak at <1/2% distortion at 15Hz which can be clearly felt, though not really heard. That is coupled with my 500 Watt amps for my main tower speakers and 65 Watts for my centre and surrounds. They all produce a nice, loud, but certainly not ear splitting volume. I never get tired listening to them.

Last edited by prout; 10/21/17 05:11 PM.
Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2683927
10/21/17 05:28 PM
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Your teacher is correct.

1). The next time you have some time with an acoustic piano, place the sound level measurement device on the music stand and play a two-handed C chord as loud as you can. Remember the measured level.

2). Back at the ranch, put it on your digital and set the volume to match when you play the same FFF chord.

That's it. Your technique will love you for it.

Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2683946
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I'm supposing you can put the meter over the headphones and strike the same chords for an accurate measurement?

Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2683949
10/21/17 07:35 PM
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Wow! Twenty seven posts on the subject of how to adjust a volume control.

I'm off now to visit and contribute to how-to-screw-in-a-lightbulb.com smile

Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2683951
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It takes a minimum of three people to replace a light bulb, but only two to adjust the volume control on a DP.

Obviously, some DPs are easier to adjust than others......


"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: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2683966
10/21/17 09:04 PM
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I much prefer acoustic grands. They only require one to ten fingers to adjust the volume. It’s sad that DPs don’t work that way too.

Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2683970
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Pretty funny...

Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: anotherscott] #2684011
10/22/17 02:39 AM
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
It also takes more power (and a more capable LF speaker) to get a low frequency to a certain volume than to get a high frequency to the same volume level.


You only have to listen to or play digital church organs to realise they didn't even come close . . . maybe they do now.


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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: peterws] #2684035
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Originally Posted by peterws
Originally Posted by anotherscott
It also takes more power (and a more capable LF speaker) to get a low frequency to a certain volume than to get a high frequency to the same volume level.


You only have to listen to or play digital church organs to realise they didn't even come close . . . maybe they do now.
Ditgital enhancement of pipe organs is now commonplace. Digital ranks (modelled sounds and a great audio reproduction system) are added to the pipe organ chambers. They can be any type of rank of of pipes, but are often used for ultra low pitches (32’ ranks which go down to C0 or about 16Hz), which would take too much space to install. The neat thing is that the software monitors the pitch of the individual nearby resl pipes and automatically adjusts the pitches of the individual digital pipes to match. This is necessary due to hude changes in temperature and humidity typical in a church.

I have played many of these new mixed organs, and it is hard to tell any difference between the real and the digital sounds.

Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: prout] #2750698
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Originally Posted by prout
My piano (a M&H BB 7’ grand) produces 104dB at one metre (I just checked it again a moment ago.) I need 240 watts to get the same SPL from my speakers at one metre.

If your speakers are in the 94dB efficiency range (typical of modern home speakers), that is, 1.6%, then 20 Watts ought to do it.


Most sound pressure level meters are poor at capturing very brief peaks, even when they are in "peak" mode. So 20 watts into 94 dB speakers might give you the same sound pressure level READING as your grand piano, but imo that 20 watts will utterly fail to deliver the very brief transient peaks that are part of the piano's timbre. Those very brief transient peaks convey "liveliness". A sound system with virtually no headroom may sound "as LOUD as" the real thing yet not begin to sound "as LIVELY as" the real thing. There's more to it than just headroom of course, but imo that's a basic piece of the puzze.

Last edited by Duke LeJeune; 07/10/18 11:57 PM.

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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2750700
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Just be extra careful not to damage your hearing. Err of the side of caution. If you damage your hearing or end up with chronic ringing or humming in your ears driving you crazy, you'll never forgive yourself.

Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Bosendorff] #2750735
07/11/18 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Bosendorff
[Linked Image]


Bearing in mind that the decibel scale is logarithmic, these differences are quite startling.

Here is a reference for how these values compare to other sound volumes:

Noise comparisons


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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Bosendorff] #2750746
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Originally Posted by Bosendorff
[Linked Image]


What's the difference between 'decibel level' and 'decibel sound pressure level'?

I mean, what is the first column 'decibel level' a measure of if not 'sound pressure'?

(I realize that decibels, of themselves, are a ratio scale that can be applied to almost anything, but that's not the case here, where we are discussing acoustics and only acoustics)


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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: toddy] #2750755
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Originally Posted by toddy
Originally Posted by Bosendorff
[Linked Image]


What's the difference between 'decibel level' and 'decibel sound pressure level'?

I mean, what is the first column 'decibel level' a measure of if not 'sound pressure'?

(I realize that decibels, of themselves, are a ratio scale that can be applied to almost anything, but that's not the case here, where we are discussing acoustics and only acoustics)


Musicians guide to decibels


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Duke LeJeune] #2750777
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Quote
Most sound pressure level meters are poor at capturing very brief peaks, even when they are in "peak" mode. So 20 watts into 94 dB speakers might give you the same sound pressure level READING as your grand piano, but imo that 20 watts will utterly fail to deliver the very brief transient peaks that are part of the piano's timbre. Those very brief transient peaks convey "liveliness". A sound system with virtually no headroom may sound "as LOUD as" the real thing yet not begin to sound "as LIVELY as" the real thing. There's more to it than just headroom of course, but imo that's a basic piece of the puzzel.


And this is one reason why the headphone outputs of DPs just don't cut it like a good dedicated headphone amp with lots of reserve capacitance and a beefy power supply. On the amp/speaker side there might be a few extreme high end amps that put out a maximum of 20 watts that have enough reserve for those peaks, but I'd guess a true 60 watts per channel rating audiophile amp would be needed. Even a 200 watt rated consumer amp might not be able to handle transients well.

Last edited by NormB; 07/11/18 12:11 PM.
Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2750779
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This "How to adjust a volume control" thread died last October. Thankfully.

Now it's resurrected? Why?

Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: MacMacMac] #2750795
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Since you asked .... upon reading the OP, it can reasonably be blamed upon "My teacher" for the recommendation they made sometime around last September. Given that timeframe others may prefer to blame the Russians.... be that as it may, I find the subsequent tangents onto - for instance - the nuances of mechanical versus electronic soundwaves / dB levels / requisite measuring devicess / power efficiencies and such, interesting and educational........... after all, how many piano enthusiasts does it take to change a volume control of a DP so it matches a Grand AP? 🎶😎


Last edited by drewr; 07/11/18 01:08 PM.

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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2750811
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The musicians' guide to decibels says:

How Decibels Apply to Music and Sound
In music, decibels are a measurement of Sound Pressure Level (SPL). When we say the speakers at a rock concert are playing at 110dB, what we really mean is that they’re playing at 110dB SPL.

Since the decibel is only a ratio, 110dB is actually a comparison to a different number: 0 SPL.

0 SPL is the standard air pressure level of the atmosphere (20 micropascals). It is generally accepted as the lowest threshold of human hearing, and it is the reference point by which all other sounds are compared against.


Which is really interesting, but it suggests that dB, when used for acoustics is always dB SPL. So why the difference between the labelling of the two columns?

It seems to me that column two is a peak (or instantaneous) level and one is some other unspecified volume unit. But that doesn't account for the difference between 'dB' and SPL dB'.


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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: drewr] #2750816
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Originally Posted by drewr
Since you asked .... upon reading the OP, it can reasonably be blamed upon "My teacher" for the recommendation they made sometime around last September. Given that timeframe others may prefer to blame the Russians.... be that as it may, I find the subsequent tangents onto - for instance - the nuances of mechanical versus electronic soundwaves / dB levels / requisite measuring devicess / power efficiencies and such, interesting and educational........... after all, how many piano enthusiasts does it take to change a volume control of a DP so it matches a Grand AP? 🎶😎

Decibels don't matter, as hearing is logarithmic and perception is entirely relative. My DP never matches a grand at any volume setting, it is much quieter.


Kawai ES100 | Pianoteq 6 | Ivory II American Concert D | Steinberg UR22 | Sennheiser HD595
Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: toddy] #2750818
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Among the variables for consideration, dBs are often referencing a ratio of power levels such as volts like milivolts or watts or miliwatts aka dBm. When it comes to efficiency of speakers / monitors, it requires power (volts/current/power in the amplifier being delivered or driven into the speakers as a load) to set into motion the soundwaves "spl" energy leaving the speakers and ultimately reaching human ears.

I find it oddly interesting the HEAR website indicates " normal conversation" and "normal piano practice" generally produce the same range of sound energy. Granted, either can be anywhere from pleasing to noisy sound but either way I would have guessed the latter produces distinctly louder sound.


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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2750823
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This is an interesting thread. It's something I have been thinking about often. IMHO all digital pianos should have some kind of mark at the volume knob, or a default number or setting if the volume regulation is digital, to signify that this is the 'default-as-it-is-intended-to-sound-like-a-real-piano' setting. This would be harder to do with the headphone jack I suppose. But often when I play with digitals or VSTs and then proceed to play on a real grand, I find that the real instrument sounds very different in terms of its loudness and volume. It would be great if manufacturers/sound engineers would give us this 'default' setting. But then, I am always confused about volume anyway. When a VST offers several knobs about this (like the Acousticsamples VSTs that have like three or four different settings) I have no clue how to get it right. Same goes for the other UVI pianos, I could never get them to feel right in terms of getting the relationship right between velocity, sensitivity and whatever the other settings are called.

Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: MacMacMac] #2750825
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
This "How to adjust a volume control" thread died last October. Thankfully.

Now it's resurrected? Why?


My fault. I came across the thread and posted in it. My apologies if that was a breach of site etiquette.


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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: drewr] #2750827
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Originally Posted by drewr
I find it oddly interesting the HEAR website indicates " normal conversation" and "normal piano practice" generally produce the same range of sound energy. Granted, either can be anywhere from pleasing to noisy sound but either way I would have guessed the latter produces distinctly louder sound.


Depends which country you're in. Some folks are considerably louder in their 'normal' conversation than other smile


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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2750828
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Originally Posted by drewr
I find it oddly interesting the HEAR website indicates " normal conversation" and "normal piano practice" generally produce the same range of sound energy. Granted, either can be anywhere from pleasing to noisy sound but either way I would have guessed the latter produces distinctly louder sound.


Depends which country you're in. Some folks are considerably louder in their 'normal' conversation than others smile


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49 / Akai EWI

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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: drewr] #2750829
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Originally Posted by drewr
I find it oddly interesting the HEAR website indicates " normal conversation" and "normal piano practice" generally produce the same range of sound energy. Granted, either can be anywhere from pleasing to noisy sound but either way I would have guessed the latter produces distinctly louder sound.

Just search YouTube for someone sitting next to his acoustic piano talking then playing while recording both with his camera microphone. The difference is obvious.

Last edited by JoeT; 07/11/18 03:47 PM.

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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2750872
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I tested my 3 pianos under everyday playing conditions - they all clocked-in around 75-85 decibels . I used a sound meter from Amazon and 3x sound metering apps on my iPhone. My pianos: Kawai upright, Hardman-Peck console and FP-30 digital piano.

Initially I tested the sound because I wanted to make sure my headphones weren't too loud (using Pianoteq). My headphones at a comfortable level clocked-in around 65-75 decibels. To me this is almost equivalent in sound to the 75-85 decibels from the acoustic pianos or FP-30 speakers. When I brought the headphone volume up to 75-85 decibels, I found them to be too loud. My headphones: Samson SR850, AKG 240 Studio and Sony MDR-7506.

Notes:
I get some ear-fatigue with headphone sound. I can play/listen to music for about an hour with the headphones at 70-80 decibels, before I start to feel some ear-fatigue. 60-70 decibels, seems to be a good headphone volume for me. At 50-60 decibels listening on headphones is effortless. In quieter environments, I much prefer 50-60 decibels and I let my ears adjust.

(I also switched from the Sony MDR-7506 to the Samson 850s and finally the AKG 240 Studio headphones which helped alleviate a lot of ear-fatigue)


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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Duke LeJeune] #2750876
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[/quote]
My fault. I came across the thread and posted in it. My apologies if that was a breach of site etiquette.
[/quote]

Duke, I sincerely thank you for having resurrected this thread that I otherwise was not aware of. As far as breaching etiquette, whatever it entails I suspect and hope that someone genuinely giving new life to an old thread is as welcome as someone sniping about the resurection.

Peace.


Last edited by drewr; 07/11/18 09:37 PM.

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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2750915
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Originally Posted by drewr
Originally Posted by Duke LeJeune

My fault. I came across the thread and posted in it. My apologies if that was a breach of site etiquette.
Duke, I sincerely thank you for having resurrected this thread...... I suspect and hope that someone genuinely giving new life to an old thread is .... welcome ....

Yes, of course. Sometimes a thread from many years ago turns up agan like the TARDIS. It's good to glimpse the long view.


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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Duke LeJeune] #2750922
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Originally Posted by Duke LeJeune
Originally Posted by prout
My piano (a M&H BB 7’ grand) produces 104dB at one metre (I just checked it again a moment ago.) I need 240 watts to get the same SPL from my speakers at one metre.

If your speakers are in the 94dB efficiency range (typical of modern home speakers), that is, 1.6%, then 20 Watts ought to do it.


Most sound pressure level meters are poor at capturing very brief peaks, even when they are in "peak" mode. So 20 watts into 94 dB speakers might give you the same sound pressure level READING as your grand piano, but imo that 20 watts will utterly fail to deliver the very brief transient peaks that are part of the piano's timbre. Those very brief transient peaks convey "liveliness". A sound system with virtually no headroom may sound "as LOUD as" the real thing yet not begin to sound "as LIVELY as" the real thing. There's more to it than just headroom of course, but imo that's a basic piece of the puzze.
A very good point. People get caught up in amplifier Watts RMS specs and dealers find it easy to suck them in. The more important spec is Headroom.

Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2750992
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*chuckles* You may think that your DP is "loud" at 50% volume but put s/o next to it that plays the flute and you suddenly realize just how much oomph it misses in order to properly compete.

I have my VST wired into 2 large 3-way floorstanding speakers, sitting behind a consumer Amp (130W per channel @ 4 Ohm) and I have to crank it up to - 5 dB (almost full scale) in order to be heard next to my mothers flute.


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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2751001
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Originally Posted by Osho
My teacher recommends that I buy an acoustic grand piano (of course.. :)) or at least keep the digital piano sound at the 'same level' as a acoustic grand piano.

My question is: how can I judge if the DP sound level is right?


My comments will apply mainly to practicing, rather than amplifying DP for an audience, but some of these concepts will carry over.

Imo your ears may well be a better judge of whether the DP sound level is right than a sound pressure level meter. Let me explain why:

1. Speakers are far more directional and so their direct sound is louder relative to their reverberant sound. With an acoustic piano, more of the energy that reaches your ears arrives via reflections (via the "reverberant field). So assuming they are aimed at you, speakers will tend to sound more "in your face" for a given SPL meter reading, and "more in your face" will seem louder.

2. Many speakers have a radiation pattern that changes significantly up and down the spectrum, which results in the reverberant field having a correspondingly different spectral balance than the direct sound. Over time this can result in listening fatigue. The reason is, the ear/brain system is constantly evaluating incoming sounds to determine whether they are "new" sounds or reflections (repetitions of a recent new sound), and it does so by comparing the spectrum of the incoming sound with that of recently-received new sounds. When the spectral discrepancy is large, the ear/brain system has to work harder to make this determination, and the result can literally be a head-ache. It takes longer for listening fatigue to set in a lower SPL's than at higher SPL's because the reflections decay into inaudibility more rapidly at lower SPL's. (This is not the only cause of listening fatigue, as the other items in this list also cause listening fatigue.)

3. There will inevitably be distortion components in the DP's signal chain, whether in the digital-to-analog conversion, in the amplification, or in the speaker system. The ear generally interprets distortion as loudness, and some types far moreso than others. And the ear's perception of most distortions is non-linear; that is, the perceived amount (and annoyance) of most distortions increases as the SPL increases, even if the actual amount of distortion in the signal remains unchanged. So particularly at high SPL's, the perceived loudness through a speaker system will be greater than the same SPL from an unamplified acoustic instrument.

For these reasons (and there are probably others), your ears may well tell you that the correct sound level for digital piano is lower than what a sound pressure level meter would tell you.

For practice, you may be able to mitigate some of these issues by playing around with speaker positioning and aiming.




Last edited by Duke LeJeune; 07/12/18 01:37 PM.

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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2751027
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I’ve found that there’s usually a very narrow volume range to the point it’s a point (no pun intended) that I find comfortable to play. More than that is loud and direct and less than that is artificial. No need to bother with any real piano comparison.


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Re: How loud should the DP be to simulate a grand piano? [Re: Osho] #2751059
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This is a very interesting discussion. Every time I play a real grand (just Yamaha C3, so not a 9 foot concert grand), I am suprised or even overwhelmed by the overall volume. Still, this is different from playing your DP at high volumes, which can be annoying and unpleasant, even with an upgraded sound system like I made for my newly bought Kawai Novus 10:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/galleries/2747355.html.

The thing is that you must learn to play ppp not by turning the volume down, but by playing the piano correctly. This also depends on the action, that's why I'm so satisfied with the Novus 10, which has a real Millennium III Grand action. So, to learn to play ppp, you have to turn up the volume, even if that does not exactly matches the volume of an acoustic grand, and let your fingers do the rest....

Last edited by RalphK; 07/12/18 04:46 PM.
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