2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
Who's Online Now
66 members (Burkey, anotherscott, Anglagard44, Calavera, accordeur, bwv872, Bill McKaig,RPT, andredatele, 19 invisible), 683 guests, and 457 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Digital v. acoustic pianos in the age of Coronavirus
#2963429 04/03/20 06:02 PM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 5,048
G
5000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
5000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 5,048
I had the chance to run an interesting experiment today (sorry for the wall of text):

We have young kids, and everyone is home from school "distance learning" over Zoom. My wife arranged for a dozen classmates to have an informal online recital (which they normally do live every month or two).

Being online, that means all the kids are at home, playing on their own pianos. So being a DP subforum member, I had the idea of trying to guess which kids were playing on digital pianos and which were playing on acoustics, by facing away from the screen when the performer starts, making a guess, and then looking at the screen to see if I was right. Here are the results, arranged in order of performer and whether I could guess it:

1. Yamaha acoustic grand: correct (guessed acoustic)
2. Acoustic grand: correct (guessed acoustic)
3. Acoustic upright: correct (guessed acoustic upright)
4. Roland(?) console digital: correct (guessed digital)
5. N/A (my kid)
6. Acoustic upright: correct (guessed acoustic)
7. K. Kawai acoustic grand: correct (guessed acoustic)
8. Casio(?) console digital: correct (guessed digital)
9. Yamaha stage piano: correct (guessed digital)
10. Acoustic grand: correct (guessed acoustic)
11. No show
12. Acoustic....square grand??? Tiny baby grand?: correct (guessed acoustic)

So, surprisingly (or not), I was 10 for 10. And the audio was honestly HORRIBLE (remember, this was over Zoom, with frequent audio cut-outs, compression, noise-suppression, etc. Also, I assume everyone was on a laptop/tablet without any special mics). I don't have golden ears, and I don't consider myself especially picky/sensitive with respect to sound. So what does this mean?

I think it just shows there's still something(s) very clearly missing from DPs when compared to acoustics in a real playing environment, even when recorded by really crappy equipment. It's got something to do with the resonances, because that's what made it really obvious. Since these were all 4-7 year old kids, there were plenty of pieces with single note progressions, and sometimes those were hard to tell. But the INSTANT a chord was played, I knew whether it was an acoustic or not.

It was just interesting to me how obvious the difference was, and for all of how far we've come with modern sampling, modeling, VST, and resonance engines, there's still a huge gap in realism or rendering of the playing environment that comes out clearly even with low-quality audio.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
(ad)
Sweetwater Gifts That Rock
Re: Digital v. acoustic pianos in the age of Coronavirus
Gombessa #2963438 04/03/20 06:21 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 1,254
O
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
O
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 1,254
Awesome experiment! True blind test. Nice.

So, now a quick question - pretend you don't know that you are playing your NV-10. What would you guess for NV-10's sound?

Osho


Mason & Hamlin BB
Kawai Novus NV10 + VST. Current VST favorites (in the order of preference): VSL Synchron Concert D//Garritan CFX/Pianoteq 6/Embertone Walker D Full

[Linked Image]
Re: Digital v. acoustic pianos in the age of Coronavirus
Gombessa #2963452 04/03/20 07:00 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 85
D
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
D
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 85
I think it could have something to do with the spatial dispersion of the acoustic instruments across the room, and how the room reflections add and mix with the overall audio captured by the streaming microphone. Digital pianos are generally more of a point source, or rather a plane source. This would have to have some effect on the amount of room acoustics adding to the overall sound. Great as a player sitting between the speakers, but losing a certain 3 dimensionality when anywhere else. It's something I've pondered many a time, and have been dabbling in surround output from my sampled pianos to see where that leads.
An analogy is also with studio monitors. The larger the monitor ratio to the room size, the more the room plays a part in the final sound, and the more attention to treatment is required. I often enjoy the opposite, with smaller near field monitors being effected less by the room acoustics, and the digital effects being more convincing. I suspect, all things being equal, if you were to place an acoustic, and a digital with a substantial speaker system and cutting edge sampling technology outdoors, you may have more trouble detecting the difference.


My two cents worth smile


The companions I can't live without.........

Kawai GL30 Acoustic Grand. Kawai MP11SE, Korg Kronos 2-88, Montage8
Re: Digital v. acoustic pianos in the age of Coronavirus
Gombessa #2963459 04/03/20 07:46 PM
Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 450
D
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
D
Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 450
Thank you for sharing your blind test smile
An acoustic piano, especially a larger grand fills the room in the most natural and beautiful way; the sound seems to come at you from every direction. I think it's funny when people talk about the need to use very small near-field monitors with their DP. I've tried using one, then two, then finally three pairs at once to try to recreate the sound of my friend's 9' Steinway.

Re: Digital v. acoustic pianos in the age of Coronavirus
djvu10 #2963461 04/03/20 08:02 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 85
D
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
D
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 85
Originally Posted by djvu10

I think it's funny when people talk about the need to use very small near-field monitors with their DP.


Actually, I'm not using them to create the spatial diversity, I sometimes use small ones in untreated rooms to eliminate the room acoustics from my experience so that the hall reverb I'm using is uncolored by the room, and therefore more true to the authentic space it's recreating.
As far as the surround is concerned, again for me it's not about spatialising the instrument, rather, to put myself in the concert hall as a listener. Usually with the piano up front as a planar source across the stage and the hall ambience from the rear and enveloping me in the hall experience. I've achieved some spectacular effects, with many different instruments, (orchestral included). I think it is an interest from my quadraphonic days in the 70's smile


The companions I can't live without.........

Kawai GL30 Acoustic Grand. Kawai MP11SE, Korg Kronos 2-88, Montage8
Re: Digital v. acoustic pianos in the age of Coronavirus
Osho #2963463 04/03/20 08:20 PM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 5,048
G
5000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
5000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 5,048
Originally Posted by Osho
Awesome experiment! True blind test. Nice.

So, now a quick question - pretend you don't know that you are playing your NV-10. What would you guess for NV-10's sound?

Osho


Ahhh, I did so wish I was on the other side of the Zoom screen for that! Honestly, my experience with the NV-10's speakers is more or less the same as yours. It has a lot of power and volume, but has never "tricked" me into thinking there's an acoustic in the room. Sadly, I would have to think that would come across if I was listening over Zoom...


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10

Moderated by  Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
(ad) SWEETWATER Cyber Sale
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Beginner looking for purchase advice
by savagekeys - 12/05/20 11:21 AM
Fazioli soundboards
by Withindale - 12/05/20 10:08 AM
Practice and resting
by Ubu - 12/05/20 05:25 AM
Strange phenomena....
by piano_primo - 12/05/20 12:55 AM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics203,279
Posts3,030,862
Members99,493
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2020 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4