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Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
arc7urus #2783023 11/21/18 02:57 AM
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Originally Posted by arc7urus
. . .
Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
And it may be impossible to re-purpose the internal DAC and ADC to act as "USB sound cards".

There are no DACs or ADCs involved since there is no need for any kind of digital/analogue conversion. An ADC is used to convert an input analogue audio signal to a digital signal. So, no ADCs are involved. A DAC is used to convert the digital audio to an analogue signal (e.g. to be amplified and directed to to the line-outs, speakers or headphones). With USB Audio the audio data must be sent to the USB controller in digital format, not in analogue format, so no DAC is involved. Actually, if a DAC-ADC-DAC pipeline was used the audio signal would degrade, which is one of the issues that USB Audio tries to avoid. When you are recording audio from the DP to a USB device the DAC is also not involved. This scenario is similar.


.


Yes -- you're right. The beauty of "audio over USB", with a DP, is that the signal never leaves the "digital domain". No DAC or ADC is needed.

So I have begun to wonder:

. . . How much does it cost Yamaha to put "audio over USB" into its relatively-inexpensive synths ?

Thanks (and apologies for misquoting KJ) --


. Charles
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Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
Charles Cohen #2783105 11/21/18 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen

. . . How much does it cost Yamaha to put "audio over USB" into its relatively-inexpensive synths ?

In terms of hardware? If a DP can record digital audio in PCM/WAV to USB and supports MIDI over USB then the extra hardware cost is zero since all the required hardware components are already included in the DP. The cost is related to minor software development. That cost will be diluted because the same firmware can be reused across all models with the same USB controllers instead of having to maintain different versions. This is why it may actually be cheaper to include USB Audio support across the complete DP range instead of artificially limiting the support.

Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
MacMacMac #2783118 11/21/18 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
How can you say this?
If the piano does exactly what it was intended to do ... then it is flawless.
If, instead, it doesn't do what you want it to do, that's a shortcoming. In other words, it's a buy-some-other-piano scenario.
It's not a design flaw.
Originally Posted by arc7urus
Not being able to properly update the software to use a new data format is a design flaw.

Originally Posted by arc7urus
Therefore, if the software for some reason cannot be changed, then there is a flaw in the software or in the architecture of the device.

This discussion is not about my wrong usage of the English language :-) Anyway, it seems you are assuming that a "design flaw" only relates to the functional requirements of the DP, i.e. the "features" that the DP makes available to the user. But if a system fails to meet non-functional requirements then it would also have "flaws" or "shortcomings". What matters is that the system would not be meeting requirements.

My point is that a DP designed for "flexibility" and "upgradeability" can be upgraded to support USB Audio. If a DP includes (1) all the hardware required to support USB 2.0, (2) the (digital audio) data needed to be streamed over USB and (3) the ability to have its system software updated, but still cannot be upgraded, then the DP was not designed for "flexibility" and "upgradeability". Ergo, the DP is failing to meet these non-functional requirements. (It can also be an artificial management/business decision, but that is a different discussion).

Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
jediknight #2783134 11/21/18 10:56 AM
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USB audio is a function. So ... USB audio in a piano lacking that ... is failure to meet a non-functional requirement? Curious.

My phone ten years ago had all the hardware required to operate as an MP3 player. But it did not support that. Would that be a design flaw?

No, I see that as a marketing decision. The phone was not designed to play MP3 files. Other phones were. My phone was not flawed in any way. It met my needs.

Someone might have the additional need to play MP3 files. He would buy a phone so-equipped.

Neither phone had design flaws. Both worked as designed. (Perhaps part of that design was to urge the other guy to spend more for the MP3-capable phone.)

Performance, security, reliability, etc. Those are non-functional requirements.
USB audio is a functional requirement. Some pianos are designed to have it. Others not.

Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
jediknight #2783138 11/21/18 11:10 AM
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I have to agree with Mac here. IMHO, arc7urus has an extremely liberal/loose definition of "design flaw." That's fine, but it's not how the industry works or defines the term (and as the term has legal impact in tort law, I'm forced to disagree with his characterization).


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Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
jediknight #2783326 11/22/18 04:07 AM
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Oh, oh--I can contribute something here...still off topic of course. A DP is "flawless" if it sounds and behaves exactly like what it's purportedly emulating: a (acoustic) piano. If you can tell the difference then it's not flawless-- whatever its designer designed it to deliver to the consumer.
No, just saying.

Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
MacMacMac #2783366 11/22/18 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
USB audio is a function. So ... USB audio in a piano lacking that ... is failure to meet a non-functional requirement? Curious.

My phone ten years ago had all the hardware required to operate as an MP3 player. But it did not support that. Would that be a design flaw?

No, I see that as a marketing decision. The phone was not designed to play MP3 files. Other phones were. My phone was not flawed in any way. It met my needs.

Someone might have the additional need to play MP3 files. He would buy a phone so-equipped.

Neither phone had design flaws. Both worked as designed. (Perhaps part of that design was to urge the other guy to spend more for the MP3-capable phone.)

Performance, security, reliability, etc. Those are non-functional requirements.
USB audio is a functional requirement. Some pianos are designed to have it. Others not.


I will try once more and for the last time :-)
  • 1. USB Audio is a function, therefore it is a functional requirement.
  • 2."Flexibility" (or adaptability or ease of change/modification) is a non-functional requirement.
  • 3. Several DPs include all the hardware and have the internal functionality (e.g. digital audio routing, PCM audio) required to support USB Audio.
  • 4. Several DPs can have their system software upgraded.
  • 5. A DP that meets (3) and (4) and cannot support USB Audio is failing to meet the "flexibility" requirement.
  • 6. Therefore, DPs designed to meet the "flexibility" requirement can take advantage of their design and thus add USB-Audio as a new functionality based on the existing components. Other DPs cannot be upgraded because they are stuck with an inflexible design although they meet (3) and (4).


Your mobile phone example is not good. Your mobile phone surely did not have a hardware MP3 decoder. MP3 decoding can be of course be done via software, but the processing power (and/or battery) of a 10 year old smartphone may not be prepared for that. So, a better example would be of a mobile phone with an MP3 hardware decoder on it but without MP3 playing functionality. Or a mobile phone with all camera hardware, but without photo shooting functionality. This is the situation that you can compare with USB Audio... How would you call those? Flaws, limitations, shortcomings?

Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
jediknight #2783378 11/22/18 09:25 AM
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arc7urus, I like the cut of your jib. You make valid, if pedantic arguments (just like me), but you are preaching to the wrong crowd.

I would argue that DP manufacturers are just like any other capitalist enterprise, they need to sell new products. They do this by designed-in obsolescence. A DP may well have the hardware and software capability for upgrade but it has no value to the manufacturer, unless they extract that value up front in a higher purchase price, or at the backend with an upgrade fee structure. It is all about money.

OT, I have a wonderful, expensive acoustic grand piano that has all the hardware capability of producing fabulous sounding music. Unfortunately, the software (me) is in need of a huge upgrade. laugh Talk about designed-in obsolescence.

Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
prout #2783395 11/22/18 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by prout
arc7urus, I like the cut of your jib. You make valid, if pedantic arguments (just like me), but you are preaching to the wrong crowd.

I would argue that DP manufacturers are just like any other capitalist enterprise, they need to sell new products. They do this by designed-in obsolescence. A DP may well have the hardware and software capability for upgrade but it has no value to the manufacturer, unless they extract that value up front in a higher purchase price, or at the backend with an upgrade fee structure. It is all about money.

OT, I have a wonderful, expensive acoustic grand piano that has all the hardware capability of producing fabulous sounding music. Unfortunately, the software (me) is in need of a huge upgrade. laugh Talk about designed-in obsolescence.


laugh

Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
arc7urus #2783620 11/23/18 04:02 AM
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Originally Posted by arc7urus
... a design flaw ...

arc7urus - I think most of us agree with the points you are making. But it is your use of the word ‘flaw’ that is detracting from your message. Ironically, your use of the word is ... flawed.

In other words ...


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Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
jediknight #2783627 11/23/18 04:30 AM
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p125 is way better or you can try the p115 one

Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
MacMacMac #2783643 11/23/18 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
It's funny that this is all about USB audio ... in a thread covering bottom-of-the-line pianos.
These are just the pianos that you silence ... and connect them to a VST in order to get the piano to sound like a piano.

All the USB audio would do is let you record the native crap sound as digital rather than analog. But crap is crap in either format, eh?


I Use USB Audio in the reverse direction for playback through the P-125's speakers. i.e. Audio data originating from the VST software goes from the PC to the DP.

This way I can play my VSTs directly off the P-125s speakers with a single USB connection between the PC and the DP. It's simple and awesome.

So the USB connection does two things at the same time:
- Sends MIDI data from the DP to the VST software on my PC.
- Sends Audio data from the VST software on my PC to my DP which is then brought out through the DP's speakers. Makes my P-125 sound like a much more expensive instrument.....

I have to turn the local tone generator off for this to work. I can also attach the P-125 to good quality studio monitors or headphones to really improve the sound.



Yamaha P-125, Pianoteq 6, Ravenscroft 275 VST, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4
Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
halherta #2783666 11/23/18 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by halherta
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
It's funny that this is all about USB audio ... in a thread covering bottom-of-the-line pianos.
These are just the pianos that you silence ... and connect them to a VST in order to get the piano to sound like a piano.

All the USB audio would do is let you record the native crap sound as digital rather than analog. But crap is crap in either format, eh?

...
So the USB connection does two things at the same time:
- Sends MIDI data from the DP to the VST software on my PC.
- Sends Audio data from the VST software on my PC to my DP which is then brought out through the DP's speakers. Makes my P-125 sound like a much more expensive instrument.....


All of that, and the dreaded USB ground loops are also circumvented with USB Audio...

And if bottom-line DPs have USB Audio, why isn't it available on all top-line pianos recently released that cost several times more?

Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
jediknight #2783836 11/23/18 05:45 PM
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The USB audio interface is also available on the higher end Yamaha P-515. I think Yamaha will be adding it to all of their digital pianos going forward. And good on them. One more reason for me to stick with the Yamaha brand.



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Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
halherta #2783841 11/23/18 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by halherta
The USB audio interface is also available on the higher end Yamaha P-515. I think Yamaha will be adding it to all of their digital pianos going forward. And good on them. One more reason for me to stick with the Yamaha brand.

Yes, Yamaha has usb audio support on the clp range as well. But Casio, Kawai and Roland have not. Roland has usb ausio support on some synths/workstations but not on the hp/lx range, including the new lx models.

Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
jediknight #2784039 11/24/18 10:42 AM
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For the record, arc7urus was 100% right about the ability to add audio capabilities to an existing “flexible” usb-to-host port (layman) via a software update. smile
Yamaha has done this for the CLP 6XX.
Now, why haven’t they done this for the N3X?
Again, from a layman’s perspective, could it have to do with the multi-channel audio system used on the N3X, or are they just being jerks?

Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
Pete14 #2784078 11/24/18 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete14
For the record, arc7urus was 100% right about the ability to add audio capabilities to an existing “flexible” usb-to-host port (layman) via a software update. smile
Yamaha has done this for the CLP 6XX.
Now, why haven’t they done this for the N3X?
Again, from a layman’s perspective, could it have to do with the multi-channel audio system used on the N3X, or are they just being jerks?


Or, this is functionality that was purposely contemplated and built into the 6xx hardware specifically, and released by software unlock when it was completed.

I'm skeptical with the assumption that any DP from the last 15 years with a USB-B Port natively supports USB audio out with only a software update. What what do I know...


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Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
Gombessa #2784086 11/24/18 12:23 PM
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I do think that going forwards, USB audio should be a critical addition to any DP. Kinda like MIDI over USB. In fact the built-in USB Audio interface has proven so helpful to my setup (play VST sounds through the DP's speakers with a single USB cable attached to a laptop), that I will refuse to buy any DP that doesn't have a built-in USB Audio interface.



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Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
jediknight #2784449 11/25/18 10:37 AM
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Okay, now I’m really intrigued. The NU1X also got the firmware update for receiving/sending audio (sound card) via USB-to-Host, but nothing for the N3X.
Any ideas on why Yamaha would choose to do this? Could it have anything to do with the multi-channel system in the N3X?

Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
jediknight #2784566 11/25/18 02:47 PM
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Quote
There's no such thing as "overkill"
Of course there is. You could spend $1500+ on headphones that would not enhance a sub $500 or any digital piano sound when compared to many less expensive options. It is also overkill placing a disproportionate emphasis on headphones when playing a piano is the objective.

I have the Sony 7506, if you like them there is no need to buy another headphone for your piano and you definitely do not need a headphone amp.

Making a choice for action over sound is wise and practical because this is an option as long as you have the devices to support it:
Originally Posted by anotherscott
You can also take you PX160 and plug it into your computer or an iPhone or an iPad, plug in your headphones, and choose from a whole bunch of other possible piano sounds. In short, you can improve the sound you get from the Casio, whereas you can't do anything to improve the feel of the keys on the Yamaha.


Especially when you do not have a preference for sound at this point:
Originally Posted by jediknight
I don't have a great feel yet for what sounds "good" vs "better" vs "bad"....

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