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Re: For those with digitals and acoustics . . .
peterws #3019257 08/30/20 05:26 AM
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Ha, I would love my acoustic to sound and feel as good as my Roland RD700 NX!

I see the "Acoustic - good, digital - always has to be worse" line of logic is still strong.

How many decades is it going to take....?

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Re: For those with digitals and acoustics . . .
slipperykeys #3019729 08/31/20 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by slipperykeys
Ha, I would love my acoustic to sound and feel as good as my Roland RD700 NX!

I see the "Acoustic - good, digital - always has to be worse" line of logic is still strong.

How many decades is it going to take....?
Well, I wonder how many professional pianists think that a good quality digital piano sounds and feels better than a good quality (and well mantained) acoustic piano...

Re: For those with digitals and acoustics . . .
magicpiano #3019745 08/31/20 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by magicpiano
Originally Posted by slipperykeys
Ha, I would love my acoustic to sound and feel as good as my Roland RD700 NX!

I see the "Acoustic - good, digital - always has to be worse" line of logic is still strong.

How many decades is it going to take....?
Well, I wonder how many professional pianists think that a good quality digital piano sounds and feels better than a good quality (and well mantained) acoustic piano...

The answer is probably 0, the real question is though how many professionals would thing a good quality digital piano sounds and feels better then a cheap, badly maintained acoustic. Because that is what most people can afford. Because for the price of a good digital you get almost nowhere with acoustics. (at least not with good quality and well maintained).

When I was a child, we had an old, refurbished piano. The sound was great, but that thing was just aweful to play. It literally was a chore and not fun at all. If I could have switched that to one of the modern digitals I probably wouldn't have stopped playing. (My parents bought an amazing grand later on, but then I was already a teenager and not interested anymore).

Re: For those with digitals and acoustics . . .
peterws #3019746 08/31/20 09:48 AM
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After thinking about this long and hard, I came to the conclusion that digital and acoustic are just different instruments. Some models in each class will be better than others, but each class has a purpose with its own virtues. I initially wanted an instrument that was as close as possible to a traditional acoustic, The Real Thing™, but I'm not willing to give up features like layering different instrument sounds. The closer you get to replicating acoustic, the more features you have to give up (naturally).

That being said, I think a new feature for reproducing an authentic acoustic piano experience would be for the digital piano to start going slightly out of tune after a few weeks. Then you would activate an "auto-tune" feature to tune the piano that would take 2 hours to complete. :-) I can already envision the marketing hype and YouTube reviews. I think we have all heard the phrase "just like a real grand piano!" a little too often.


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Instruments at Home or Office | Pianos: Wurlitzer baby grand, Winter & Co. baby grand, Everett studio | Keyboards: Roland Fantom X7, Yamaha PSR-275 | Organ: Lowrey Prestige
Re: For those with digitals and acoustics . . .
TexasBear #3019764 08/31/20 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by TexasBear
That being said, I think a new feature for reproducing an authentic acoustic piano experience would be for the digital piano to start going slightly out of tune after a few weeks. Then you would activate an "auto-tune" feature to tune the piano that would take 2 hours to complete. :-) I can already envision the marketing hype and YouTube reviews. I think we have all heard the phrase "just like a real grand piano!" a little too often.

My thoughts exactly. With my DGX I could so easily de-tune it anyway. If I could do the same with the 515 I probably would.


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Re: For those with digitals and acoustics . . .
peterws #3019880 08/31/20 03:18 PM
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It's not so simple. On a real piano most notes have 3 strings. With time and playing, these strings don't detune in exactly the same way. So, the sound of each note of the piano will change in a more complex way (different random phasing between the sound of the 3 strings) before you really hear a "detuned" note.

On some DPs you can detune each note separately, but of course you cannot detune just 1 of 3 strings, because a single sample of a note has all of the 3 strings recorded inside it. It would take too much DP memory to store a sample for each string (multiplied for the number of velocity layers...). I think the V-Piano from Roland was/is the only DP capable of doing that, thanks to its sophisticated modeled engine.

Re: For those with digitals and acoustics . . .
magicpiano #3019907 08/31/20 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by magicpiano
It's not so simple. On a real piano most notes have 3 strings. With time and playing, these strings don't detune in exactly the same way. So, the sound of each note of the piano will change in a more complex way (different random phasing between the sound of the 3 strings) before you really hear a "detuned" note.

On some DPs you can detune each note separately, but of course you cannot detune just 1 of 3 strings, because a single sample of a note has all of the 3 strings recorded inside it. It would take too much DP memory to store a sample for each string (multiplied for the number of velocity layers...). I think the V-Piano from Roland was/is the only DP capable of doing that, thanks to its sophisticated modeled engine.

If one string or unison was out o' tune, that'd annoy me. But all of 'em just a tad? like Pianoteq does?
Good enough!
I would NOT want an out o' tune acoustic! I'd wheel it back to the shop from whence it came.


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Re: For those with digitals and acoustics . . .
peterws #3019913 08/31/20 05:03 PM
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Once my digital responds well, I don't care if it actually feels the same as my acoustic. If the response is good, I can transfer my work on the digital to the grand. I wish the bass keys were heavier, but it's not a big deal really.

Re: For those with digitals and acoustics . . .
peterws #3019914 08/31/20 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by peterws
Do you set up the digital to closely resemble the acoustic?
And how did you fare? smile
To actually try to answer the original question...

1. Stereo speaker placement: like an ideal near-field monitor pair where your head and two speakers form a 4’ isosceles triangle with the tweeters at ear level and facing your ears.

2. Stereo width: no more or less than to make the sound appear to come from a real piano immediately in front of you.

3. Volume level: to match a 9’ concert grand on FF when you are playing at MIDI velocity of 120.

4. Dynamic range: to match that same grand at pp when you are playing at MIDI velocity around 10.

5. Keyboard touch control: high enough that I have to really hit hard to get a 127. (Most VSTs sounds really barky at the highest samples, just you would expect from the very loudest possible note). On my MP11 it’s set to the heaviest. I really, really do not want to accidentally hit a 127. That note will pop out and make you wish you had a DP without the loudest samples, which actually is the way most DPs are made.

6. MIDI velocity curve: this depends on the type of music and the sound source. If I want to match my own piano I use trial and error.

7. EQ 80 Hz: do not over-emphasize the lows. Even the best pianos have relatively little power below 60Hz.

8. EQ 100-250 Hz: this is what I think of as the ‘warmth’. Too little and your piano sounds thin, too much and your left hand chords will be muddy and overpower the other voices. Changes of 2dB can be significant.

9. EQ 4-6kHz: this is your brilliance. Salt to taste, often depending on instrumentation and room noise.

10. Reverb: put in just enough but no more. Adding pre-delay before the reverb starts can make your room seem bigger without adding more reverbed sound. (Reverb always muddies up your tone.)

11. Height of keys: match your piano.

12. Position of pedals: match your piano.

13. Seat: match your piano.

Do these first, before you start playing with more advanced techniques.

Re: For those with digitals and acoustics . . .
PianoMan51 #3019933 08/31/20 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoMan51
Originally Posted by peterws
Do you set up the digital to closely resemble the acoustic?
And how did you fare? smile
To actually try to answer the original question...

1. Stereo speaker placement: like an ideal near-field monitor pair where your head and two speakers form a 4’ isosceles triangle with the tweeters at ear level and facing your ears.

2. Stereo width: no more or less than to make the sound appear to come from a real piano immediately in front of you.

3. Volume level: to match a 9’ concert grand on FF when you are playing at MIDI velocity of 120.

4. Dynamic range: to match that same grand at pp when you are playing at MIDI velocity around 10.

5. Keyboard touch control: high enough that I have to really hit hard to get a 127. (Most VSTs sounds really barky at the highest samples, just you would expect from the very loudest possible note). On my MP11 it’s set to the heaviest. I really, really do not want to accidentally hit a 127. That note will pop out and make you wish you had a DP without the loudest samples, which actually is the way most DPs are made.

6. MIDI velocity curve: this depends on the type of music and the sound source. If I want to match my own piano I use trial and error.

7. EQ 80 Hz: do not over-emphasize the lows. Even the best pianos have relatively little power below 60Hz.

8. EQ 100-250 Hz: this is what I think of as the ‘warmth’. Too little and your piano sounds thin, too much and your left hand chords will be muddy and overpower the other voices. Changes of 2dB can be significant.

9. EQ 4-6kHz: this is your brilliance. Salt to taste, often depending on instrumentation and room noise.

10. Reverb: put in just enough but no more. Adding pre-delay before the reverb starts can make your room seem bigger without adding more reverbed sound. (Reverb always muddies up your tone.)

11. Height of keys: match your piano.

12. Position of pedals: match your piano.

13. Seat: match your piano.

Do these first, before you start playing with more advanced techniques.

Thank you for that. But you haven't said how the sound compares . . .I can only imagine it'd be pretty good.


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Re: For those with digitals and acoustics . . .
peterws #3019948 08/31/20 06:34 PM
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Peter,

I think my purpose was to share what I’ve learned by constantly screwing up. Every one of these suggestions was earned by me saying to myself for decades, ‘why isn’t this right?’ Take my list as first steps to overcome setup mistakes.

In the end what we’re talking about are closer and closer approximations to an abstract ideal. Why not take those steps that the current technology already offers us?

But there are different ideals to judge a DP.

1. Does it sound like a real piano in this room? No. But given the cost and rarety of a truly great piano, how many people in the world actually know?

2. Does it sound like a well-recorded piano? In many cases yes. And maybe that’s enough.

3. Does it play like a real Acrosonic Spinet piano? No. Much better.

4. Does it play like a Bosendorfer Imperial? No. Much worse.

Then why the heck have a DP? In my case, for gigs. And for a controller keyboard for all other kinds of sounds.

My Magic 8-Ball tells me that in 100 years 99.99% of ‘pianists’ will play an ersatz piano. And given that the musical importance of the piano at that time may be like a clavichord in our time, that will be okay.

Perhaps we should invent the ‘Acronsonic-Imperial’ scale for playing DPs.

Re: For those with digitals and acoustics . . .
peterws #3019949 08/31/20 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by peterws
If one string or unison was out o' tune, that'd annoy me. But all of 'em just a tad? like Pianoteq does?
Good enough!
I would NOT want an out o' tune acoustic! I'd wheel it back to the shop from whence it came.
We are talking about some micro-variations in the tuning of each string that make the sound "alive" without make it "out of tune". What I mean, in a nutshell, is that over time on an acoustic you'll hear slightly different details in the sound, not a detuned sound right away. Of course, after much time (or much playing), you'll hear a detuned sound. But before the notes will detune there will be some pleasurable changes in the details you hear in the notes.

With Pianoteq you can change the "Unison width" parameter, i.e. the detuning between the 3 strings.

Re: For those with digitals and acoustics . . .
peterws #3020042 09/01/20 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by peterws
If one string or unison was out o' tune, that'd annoy me. But all of 'em just a tad? like Pianoteq does?
Good enough!
I would NOT want an out o' tune acoustic! I'd wheel it back to the shop from whence it came.

The variance is so sublte that you don't notice it as beeing out of tune though, but the piano haveing character.

Re: For those with digitals and acoustics . . .
FloRi89 #3020046 09/01/20 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by FloRi89
Originally Posted by peterws
If one string or unison was out o' tune, that'd annoy me. But all of 'em just a tad? like Pianoteq does?
Good enough!
I would NOT want an out o' tune acoustic! I'd wheel it back to the shop from whence it came.

The variance is so sublte that you don't notice it as beeing out of tune though, but the piano haveing character.

And that maybe the reason I've had trouble adapting to acoustics now I've experienced digitals. I had a stright strung grand once; restrung it, tuned it. It was nigh on impossible getting the unisons bang on.
but I loved that old thing.


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