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How can there be parity . .
#3030147 09/29/20 06:13 AM
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The sound of an acoustic upright emanates from . . .where it can. Shut against a wall usually, it emerges from behind the back of the instrument, through the panels comprising the front and sides, and any gaps that are there to be exploited.
You may open the lid for what it's worth. Very little in my estimation, unlike with a grand which is usually placed fairly openly because amongst other things, it looks so good.

The speakers on your average digital? Not going to compare, are they? But who would have the courage to mount the things inside the cabinet, with no direct or easy access to the outside world? So that it has to fight to be heard? You'd need a fairly large system with a goodly range of tone which would be exploitable.
Kawai addresses this partially with their soundboard tech. And I suspect if results justified it, they would go further but haven't to my knowledge.
Maybe some of you will. . . have already?

One more thought. The engine of the piano is designed for its environment. To effect these changes might require a more representitive sound source which a VST could offer. But even that is designed for standard speaker use. Hmmm . .why do I even write such drivel? smile

Last edited by peterws; 09/29/20 06:15 AM.

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Re: How can there be parity . .
peterws #3030151 09/29/20 06:45 AM
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Most of the power in an upright comes from the back of the piano, since there is so much blocking the sound waves in the front.

There is nothing in a grand blocking the sound from above or below (except the lid). A lot of the sound does come from below, since there is usually a floor close by to reflect the sound.

Sam

Re: How can there be parity . .
peterws #3030155 09/29/20 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by peterws
The sound of an acoustic upright emanates from . . .where it can. Shut against a wall usually, it emerges from behind the back of the instrument, through the panels comprising the front and sides, and any gaps that are there to be exploited.
You may open the lid for what it's worth. Very little in my estimation, unlike with a grand which is usually placed fairly openly because amongst other things, it looks so good.

You don't place upright pianos shut against a wall. You place them at a decent distance. The wall is what the floor is for the grand.

The lid is meant to open. It usually doesn't happen, because people often misunderstand an upright piano as a cupboard. A musical instrument is not a furniture piece to place stuff on.


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Re: How can there be parity . .
peterws #3030162 09/29/20 07:32 AM
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I play my upright with the lid open most of the time. I find it makes a significant difference, more clarity and more resonance. Even putting the lid on the lid prop so it's slightly open makes a significant difference, and is a nice compromise between closed and fully open. I don't really like to play with everything closed, sounds too muffled, but it us an option for moments you want to play less loud.


All panels off sounds best, but for my situation is too loud.

Re: How can there be parity . .
peterws #3030183 09/29/20 09:17 AM
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What really made a big difference for me was removing the upper front panel from the upright piano.
This was a 50" Kawai.

With the panel in place the tone was somewhat harsh. That disappeared when the panel was removed. The tone improved remarkably.

But a half-naked piano looks ugly. I almost went to the trouble of commissioning a replacement panel ... one with large cutouts ... leaving mostly a frame with black cloth covering.
That would allow the sound to come forth as though the panel were removed.

But instead I bought a digital piano, and I donated the upright.

Re: How can there be parity . .
peterws #3030191 09/29/20 09:52 AM
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I have 48” upright and 140W 6-speaker digital sitting side-by-side. The sound of upright piano completely dwarfs 140W digital, even more so with an open lid - it makes my U1 only louder.
I do not know how many speakers a digital needs to catch up - 20 may be smile And big ones - one upright piano is capable of filling a school gym or a cinema with sound.

Last edited by personne; 09/29/20 09:54 AM.

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Re: How can there be parity . .
personne #3030218 09/29/20 10:54 AM
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I don't think it's a question of quantity.
Originally Posted by personne
I have 48” upright and 140W 6-speaker digital sitting side-by-side. The sound of upright piano completely dwarfs 140W digital, even more so with an open lid - it makes my U1 only louder.
I do not know how many speakers a digital needs to catch up - 20 may be smile And big ones - one upright piano is capable of filling a school gym or a cinema with sound.
It may be that replacing some of the speakers with a soundboard (as Kawai has done in some cases) might be the best solution.

But the soundboard needs exposure. Given that most digitals are not much taller than the keyboard, where's the soundboard going to reside? At your knees! Not a good place from which to emanate sound.

A taller digital ... one as tall as a 48" acoustic upright ... could expose the soundboard at ear level. Much better IMO.

But how many digital pianos are that tall? None.

Re: How can there be parity . .
peterws #3030264 09/29/20 01:01 PM
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Seems almost written in concrete that an upright stands against the wall. Some in the shop do, even; others take central position.
The wall itself acts as a transducer and makes a big difference. Imo lol. Uprights were just made for sitting against walls, that's why they're the shape they are.
And many DPs had speakers firing vertically downwards, either side of your knees whic, again, is not a direct sound, or directionally channel(l)ed (bl**dy American spelling's taking over my life) towards the player until one buys and positions external stuff.
So, how to get an acceptable emanating sound . . .should be within reasonable reach of us handy dudes . . .

Last edited by peterws; 09/29/20 01:01 PM.

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Re: How can there be parity . .
peterws #3030271 09/29/20 01:33 PM
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This is a matter of projection vs pure power.
Monitors are not designed to project, they are designed quite opposite way to serve their purpose: they limit projection usually to 5-15' (1.5-3m) - depending on monitor (close, or mid-close) - to minimize any reflections, reverb, and to deliver as clean sound as possible for engineer to evaluate it.
Any acoutsic piano is designed to project. Therefore huge difference in perception.

And a pair of monitors could never deliver same low frequencies and tactile (vibration) feelings - they are just too small and light compared to piano strings, soundboard, and lid.
If you want digital to sound more or less like acoustic - you need either a serious, say, 12" 300W, PA system instead of pair of monitors, or transducers with soundboard. You need piano body, floor, and walls to resonate. Otherwise the feeling is sterile, and this is my huge personal problem.

Last edited by VladK; 09/29/20 01:35 PM.

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Re: How can there be parity . .
peterws #3030286 09/29/20 02:44 PM
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Yamaha N2 seems to have that enveloping sound, in my opinion. It also has a lid that props up, where normally the speakers are playing into the cabinet. 22Wx10 + 80Wx2. So 380W?

A pity that Yamaha hasn't decided to update the N2, because the sound system in my opinion far exceeds the NV10.

Re: How can there be parity . .
MacMacMac #3030296 09/29/20 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
What really made a big difference for me was removing the upper front panel from the upright piano.
This was a 50" Kawai.

With the panel in place the tone was somewhat harsh. That disappeared when the panel was removed. The tone improved remarkably.

But a half-naked piano looks ugly. I almost went to the trouble of commissioning a replacement panel ... one with large cutouts ... leaving mostly a frame with black cloth covering.
That would allow the sound to come forth as though the panel were removed.
I like the tone with the front panel removed, but I find it too loud and it hurts my ears. I find most acoustic pianos a bit too loud though, except when they are in large rooms/halls.

Re: How can there be parity . .
Sam S #3030318 09/29/20 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Sam S
Most of the power in an upright comes from the back of the piano, since there is so much blocking the sound waves in the front.

There is nothing in a grand blocking the sound from above or below (except the lid). A lot of the sound does come from below, since there is usually a floor close by to reflect the sound.

Sam


The wood screwed to the back of the soundboard amplifies/reflects the sound. You have the option to open/remove the front panel in uprights.

Building the shell is not difficult. The finish is the where majority of DIY youtubers suck at it:

https://youtu.be/eK2E7NWoWm8

If you study the property of materials and a bit and learn a bit about mechanical amplification theory, you can design a relatively functional mechanical amplifier. That's how mos of acoustic instruments are designed.

You can study guitar's sound box, violin etc as they all have mechanical amplifiers. There are many online resources about this theory.

Wind instruments also have amplifiers but they're using a different technique.


Kawai MP7SE, Yamaha MOTF XF6, Yamaha WX5, Yamaha Pacifica 112v
Re: How can there be parity . .
peterws #3030483 09/30/20 06:56 AM
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Abdul; interesting that someone on that YT mentioned fitting the DP whilst retaining the strings and harp, utilising them for resonancial purposes, operated by the pedal.
That does sound interesting; you could do that with an upright, too.


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Re: How can there be parity . .
peterws #3030484 09/30/20 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by peterws
Abdul; interesting that someone on that YT mentioned fitting the DP whilst retaining the strings and harp, utilising them for resonancial purposes, operated by the pedal.
That does sound interesting; you could do that with an upright, too.
Sounds like a Yamaha Transacoustic.

Re: How can there be parity . .
spanishbuddha #3030515 09/30/20 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
Originally Posted by peterws
Abdul; interesting that someone on that YT mentioned fitting the DP whilst retaining the strings and harp, utilising them for resonancial purposes, operated by the pedal.
That does sound interesting; you could do that with an upright, too.
Sounds like a Yamaha Transacoustic.

"No need for headphones"? Sounds like you can't use headphones on that whether you want to or not!. . .


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Re: How can there be parity . .
peterws #3030523 09/30/20 11:22 AM
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Recording microphones already pick up the sounds of the piano, the room, etc.

So if the samples already incorporate many of those elements, putting loudspeakers inside a piano may duplicate some of the effects. Might sound great by luck or trial-and-error.

Re: How can there be parity . .
newer player #3030539 09/30/20 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by newer player
Recording microphones already pick up the sounds of the piano, the room, etc.

So if the samples already incorporate many of those elements, putting loudspeakers inside a piano may duplicate some of the effects. Might sound great by luck or trial-and-error.

That's exactly what differentiales pros from amateurs: Pros sample a completely dry piano sound without any reverbation inside a anechoic room. Reverbation is then added later by the digital piano itself or simply by the environment, the digital piano ends up in. Obviously all post-processing is adjustable and depends on how the actual DP model and its amplification is being built (console, slab, stage piano).

Amateurs record piano samples like recording CDs of classical solo pieces with close and distant microphones inside a recital hall. These libraries then make great website demos and MIDI renders, but are completely unplayable without the exact recreation of the intended listening setup. They might sound nice on a home theater and awful on slab monitors. And there is nothing you can do about it, because everything is already stuck in the samples.


Richwood RD-17C-CE | LaMancha Rubi CM-N | Yamaha P-515
Re: How can there be parity . .
JoeT #3030565 09/30/20 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by newer player
Recording microphones already pick up the sounds of the piano, the room, etc.

So if the samples already incorporate many of those elements, putting loudspeakers inside a piano may duplicate some of the effects. Might sound great by luck or trial-and-error.

That's exactly what differentiales pros from amateurs: Pros sample a completely dry piano sound without any reverbation inside a anechoic room. Reverbation is then added later by the digital piano itself or simply by the environment, the digital piano ends up in. Obviously all post-processing is adjustable and depends on how the actual DP model and its amplification is being built (console, slab, stage piano).

Amateurs record piano samples like recording CDs of classical solo pieces with close and distant microphones inside a recital hall. These libraries then make great website demos and MIDI renders, but are completely unplayable without the exact recreation of the intended listening setup. They might sound nice on a home theater and awful on slab monitors. And there is nothing you can do about it, because everything is already stuck in the samples.

I'm not sure you're right. The huge popularity of Garritan CFX and VSL and the fact so many people love them, regardless of how the demos are listened to (headphones or various speakers) speaks otherwise.

As a matter of fact, I think the main disadvantage of my N1X is the sound which is way too dry and apparently they try to add algorithmic reverb on top of it but that's not as effective as recording real reverb. BTW, I believe the binaural versions of CFX in the Yamaha pianos are not recorded in an anechoic chamber but are rather recorded in a studio with its own reverb caught by the microphones and that's what makes them very convincing. Some people (including myself) believe the binaural CFX samples in Yamaha pianos are good not because of any supposed 3D effect, but rather because they are a very realistic sampling that includes nice real room reverberation in contrast to the main samples. I personally record my N1X demos on YouTube always with the binaural samples and replay them through various stereo speaker systems (although Yamaha recommend against this) and I still prefer how it sounds compared to the main stereo samples.

Last edited by CyberGene; 09/30/20 01:01 PM.

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Re: How can there be parity . .
newer player #3030579 09/30/20 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by newer player
Recording microphones already pick up the sounds of the piano, the room, etc.

So if the samples already incorporate many of those elements, putting loudspeakers inside a piano may duplicate some of the effects. Might sound great by luck or trial-and-error.

Only cheap VSTs are recorded this way, and even in a cheap studio, you can get samples with little room elements if it is treated properly.

This is where Kawai samples its pianos:

[Linked Image]

Million dollar anechoic chamber.


Kawai MP7SE, Yamaha MOTF XF6, Yamaha WX5, Yamaha Pacifica 112v
Re: How can there be parity . .
peterws #3030580 09/30/20 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by peterws
Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
Originally Posted by peterws
Abdul; interesting that someone on that YT mentioned fitting the DP whilst retaining the strings and harp, utilising them for resonancial purposes, operated by the pedal.
That does sound interesting; you could do that with an upright, too.
Sounds like a Yamaha Transacoustic.

"No need for headphones"? Sounds like you can't use headphones on that whether you want to or not!. . .

I don't see why you can't? The strings only resonates when the speakers are on. If you use headphones, then the strings will never resonate or if they do, it'll be only the damper noise.


Kawai MP7SE, Yamaha MOTF XF6, Yamaha WX5, Yamaha Pacifica 112v
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