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I've seen a lot of demos regarding DPs. However, most of them concentrate a lot on stuff other than the action. And the guys actually talking about the action aren't really people I'd prefer to give their opinion about DP actions. smile

For that reason: can you guys (and girls?) please link/show/tell what you have found regarding opinions about DP actions that come from real masters of the piano playing trade, ie. with decades of concert experience or similar?


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Should include people like Wakeman, Brooker, Booker, Fisher, Lord, Corea, Freeman, Rudess, Emerson, and so on, and so on, ... ... etc etc as having decades of concert experience and an opinion on this.

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If you haven't already go ask your question at:


http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/forums/18/1


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Your question is too simplistic, and the emphasis is misplaced.

The majority of Concert Pianists are NOT equipped to comment on Digital Piano Actions vs Acoustic Piano Actions.


Is the Race Car driver going to tell Mercedes how to build an engine ? Sure the race car driver gets the headlines, the media, the fanfare, but it's the ENGINEERING TEAM in the back that ACTUALLY makes it all happen. The TRUE ARTIST behind the headline, who honed the engine to aerospace tolerances. The Aerodynamics team who did months long wind tunnel testing and modeling. Lots and lots of support.

The Concert Pianist is a SMALL very-SMALL component public figure of the Piano-TEAM. Promoters, piano engineers, stage workers, concert hall architects. etc etc.

THE BULK of the WORK, is done by the hundreds and thousands of Engineers with STEM DEGREES.


A Movie Star gets paid a large check, but It is the camera builders, the lighting designers, the cgi artists, the supercomputing clusters that do the actual lifting.

Who's more qualified to tell you about how a movie camera works, the actor or the engineers @ RED.

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!?!? I don’t understand why you would think that. In no way am I qualified to judge the (of course amazing wink ) software that I architect and write. I know the architecture, design, algorithms and processes that created it, but that doesn’t qualify me to say whether it’s any good for a user. Engineers are generally poor at UX (user experience).

Who’s more qualified to tell you how good a camera is, the (biased) engineer who designed it or the movie/sports/nature cameraman who has used them all professionally?

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Originally Posted by Marc345
For that reason: can you guys (and girls?) please link/show/tell what you have found regarding opinions about DP actions that come from real masters of the piano playing trade, ie. with decades of concert experience or similar?

Hi Marc,

I've not seen too many detailed comments from concert pianists on digital actions (you'll definitely see more discussion among hobbyists here). Of what i have seen amounts to acknowledging that none of them feel like real pianos but they get the job done for practice. I suspect most concert pianists just regard DPs as tools, they get what they can out of them and focus on practicing their acoustics whether possible.


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Originally Posted by TomW123
!?!? I don’t understand why you would think that. In no way am I qualified to judge the (of course amazing wink ) software that I architect and write. I know the architecture, design, algorithms and processes that created it, but that doesn’t qualify me to say whether it’s any good for a user. Engineers are generally poor at UX (user experience).

Who’s more qualified to tell you how good a camera is, the (biased) engineer who designed it or the movie/sports/nature cameraman who has used them all professionally?

There are many conditions and areas where the Engineer may not be the best person.

But we're talking about the Action in a piano, a very well understood physical device that's only had minor refinements for 100 years.

This is not one of your corner cases.

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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by Marc345
For that reason: can you guys (and girls?) please link/show/tell what you have found regarding opinions about DP actions that come from real masters of the piano playing trade, ie. with decades of concert experience or similar?

Hi Marc,

I've not seen too many detailed comments from concert pianists on digital actions (you'll definitely see more discussion among hobbyists here). Of what i have seen amounts to acknowledging that none of them feel like real pianos but they get the job done for practice. I suspect most concert pianists just regard DPs as tools, they get what they can out of them and focus on practicing their acoustics whether possible.


You can also look at it from the Ignorance of audience.

Because they are ignorant of how far piano technology has come, and the possibilities unleashed by AI. They don't have the wherewithal to demand that the Concert Artist IMPROVE.

General pianism is stagnant. What the single human can do on a piano is simply not that amazing. The music industry would have you believe otherwise, because how else will they sell you PRODUCT if it's not emphasized with hyperbolic rhetoric.

Concert pianists are cogs , important cogs, but just cogs, there's the entire rest of the clock.

The military industrial complex of nations is far more important and impactful on the arts, vs actual artists. It is only with the most advanced military technology trickling into civilian space that we now have all our fancy gizmos.

How did we end up with such fine steel, we had to make swords, then gun barrels, cannons, ships, PIANO STRINGS.

We got where we are because of the desire for better Weapons.


The general audience is detached from the realities of the world.

Last edited by jeffcat; 01/16/21 04:35 PM.
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Concert pianists only seem to agree that it must cost over $100,000 to be a great action. And even then they are not all on the same page.


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The handful of "concert pianists" that actually earn a living from it are so technically advanced over even competent amateurs that their views on DP actions are almost irrelevant to the rest of us.

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To be fair, it was you who brought up movie cameras as an analogy, and then bizarrely compared the pianist to the actors. It’s not like the OP asked for the opinions of opera singers on piano actions!

You seem to be mixing up knowledge of how something is constructed with knowing how good it is to use compared to its competitors. You can know that the machining of your product has the best tolerances possible, but not know that your competitor’s less well machined products are 10x better to use.

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Originally Posted by jeffcat
Your question is too simplistic, and the emphasis is misplaced.

The majority of Concert Pianists are NOT equipped to comment on Digital Piano Actions vs Acoustic Piano Actions.

Is the Race Car driver going to tell Mercedes how to build an engine ? Sure the race car driver gets the headlines, the media, the fanfare, but it's the ENGINEERING TEAM in the back that ACTUALLY makes it all happen. The TRUE ARTIST behind the headline, who honed the engine to aerospace tolerances. The Aerodynamics team who did months long wind tunnel testing and modeling. Lots and lots of support.

The Concert Pianist is a SMALL very-SMALL component public figure of the Piano-TEAM. Promoters, piano engineers, stage workers, concert hall architects. etc etc.

THE BULK of the WORK, is done by the hundreds and thousands of Engineers with STEM DEGREES.

A Movie Star gets paid a large check, but It is the camera builders, the lighting designers, the cgi artists, the supercomputing clusters that do the actual lifting.

Who's more qualified to tell you about how a movie camera works, the actor or the engineers @ RED.

So, jeffcat... are you saying that you’ve been classifying Roland‘s PHA-4 action in about every digital piano thread there is as much too heavy and tiring... while, in fact, your mere user experience shouldn’t be taken into consideration at all? smile

On a more serious note: I don‘t understand your point of view. In my opinion, Marc345 is asking a totally legitimate question. After all, to be able to say whether I like a certain key action, and/or how a certain key action compares to another action, I don‘t need to know the details of its/their inner workings (i.e. engineering), instead, in my opinion, it‘s rather a matter of (subjective) „feel“ (and, when it comes to comparing, a matter of experience with a few different actions). I‘m sure that‘s something any concert pianist is qualified for.


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Originally Posted by TomW123
To be fair, it was you who brought up movie cameras as an analogy, and then bizarrely compared the pianist to the actors. It’s not like the OP asked for the opinions of opera singers on piano actions!

You seem to be mixing up knowledge of how something is constructed with knowing how good it is to use compared to its competitors. You can know that the machining of your product has the best tolerances possible, but not know that your competitor’s less well machined products are 10x better to use.

That is a possible corner case, but it is demonstrably NOT the reality of the products that currently exists. The higher tolerance action is better 100% of the time.

The pianists are the cameraman and the actor rolled together. They have their say, but the engineers is 99.9 vs the 0.1 of the emphasis when it comes to the action.

You guys fundamentally misunderstand the process. Many of the engineers dedicate their entire lives to piano MAKING, behind them are engineers that make even more tools and materials.

The PART that you hear and see is the Pianist on Stage. That's the tip of a VERY LARGE base of labor and study. The Piano device itself is a far grander artistic achievement than what a pianist plays on it. The people who know the piano best are NOT concert artists. The concert artist is the guy we hire for the technology demo.

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Originally Posted by NormB
The handful of "concert pianists" that actually earn a living from it are so technically advanced over even competent amateurs that their views on DP actions are almost irrelevant to the rest of us.

Yep. You nailed it! smile


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Friend that is in the trades for a living decided to take up piano a few years ago. He is still pounding away. I mean that literally. He had to get the heaviest action DP as this moment in time he has no delicate touch. I don't mean this in a bad way as he used his arms and hands for heavy equipment work for decades. He had a heck of a time on a lighter touch DP. So my point is you can't go by even professional piano players because "we are all different in the touch we like". For me with health issues now I will be looking for one of the lightest touch Digital Piano I can find. Thought I would of got one already but the pandemic put everything on hold.


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Originally Posted by Mickey_
So, jeffcat... are you saying that you’ve been classifying Roland‘s PHA-4 action in about every digital piano thread there is as much too heavy and tiring... while, in fact, your mere user experience shouldn’t be taken into consideration at all? smile

On a more serious note: I don‘t understand your point of view. In my opinion, Marc345 is asking a totally legitimate question. After all, to be able to say whether I like a certain key action, and/or how a certain key action compares to another action, I don‘t need to know the details of its/their inner workings (i.e. engineering), instead, in my opinion, it‘s rather a matter of (subjective) „feel“ (and, when it comes to comparing, a matter of experience with a few different actions). I‘m sure that‘s something any concert pianist is qualified for.

I qualify that opinion from the engineering perspective, NOT as a pianist.

Again, I agree a concert artist has a say in it.

But when it comes to the machine, we're already well beyond what the human player is capable of. The collective piano technology as an extended mechanical entity of mankind is above that of human piano players..

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This discussion remember me when I have proposed some recording with different polyphony settings of Synthogy Ivory (a quite well known virtual piano) to illustrate the diminishing return of added polyphony on a virtual piano and by extension on a DP.

I have got the following answer with an acoustic piano : http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...note-polyphony-question.html#Post2546692

Obviously, the Synthogy Ivory couldn’t compare, even with its, I quote, « Sustain Resonance DSP for realistic Damper Pedal response ».

Perhaps I should retry with some another virtual piano which has recorded Damper Pedal Samples. (But such samples when played remain when the pedal is released which is not natural ! There are no perfect solution)


About the action, I should add that I prefer the action of my N1X over all other (non hybrid) DP. The preference made me choose the N1X which is far more expensive, but - according to me - worth the extra money.


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Originally Posted by jeffcat
General pianism is stagnant. What the single human can do on a piano is simply not that amazing.

Music is a very human affair. And humans are not mere machines. And to make music is not to play fast and perfect, it is to touch other humans' minds, bodies and hearts with expressive sounds. And music IS simply amazing. We become one with the music when whe listen to it, as put by T. S. Eliot, "...music heard so deeply / that it is not heard at all / but you are the music / while the music lasts."

Originally Posted by jeffcat
Concert pianists are cogs , important cogs, but just cogs, there's the entire rest of the clock.

No, pianists are not cogs. Pianists are musicians; pianists are bearers of powerful and meaningful gestures expressed in sounds. And pianos are made FOR PIANISTS to express themselves with sound.

Originally Posted by jeffcat
The Piano device itself is a far grander artistic achievement than what a pianist plays on it.

I don't think so. What the value in the piano device if there was not Beethoven's Hammerklavier Sonata, or Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit? These kinds of things are what give meaning to human life, not cogs and mechanical devices!

An engineer could not compose the Hammerklavier. Even great engineering achievement can become obsolete, but great artistic achievements remain forever.

Originally Posted by jeffcat
The people who know the piano best are NOT concert artists. The concert artist is the guy we hire for the technology demo.

The pianist is the guy who plays for our pleasure. If your only interest in music is to test and demo your incredible mechanical device, know that this is not the reason why the majority of people listen to pianists or become pianists themselves.

Originally Posted by NormB
The handful of "concert pianists" that actually earn a living from it are so technically advanced over even competent amateurs that their views on DP actions are almost irrelevant to the rest of us.

What is a concert pianist? Is it necessarily a pianist who earns a living exclusively from playing piano? There are a lot of very good and refined pianists who earn their livings by giving classes, for example.

Honestly, I think the reason why "concert pianists" don't like digital pianos has more to do with sound than with action (obviously, I'm considering this only in context of high-end DP actions.)


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@jeffcat I think I see why most people ignore your posts - the occasional valid point is lost in the sea of nonsense. You still haven’t explained why an actor being filmed by a camera is in any way in a position to judge how good that camera is to use, in the way that a pianist can have an opinion on how a particular piano action feels.

There are complex trade offs involved in designing a digital action and the decisions on what trade offs to make should not be made by the engineers, since they aren’t the people who need to be persuaded to actually buy the instrument.

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Your perspective is myopic.

Originally Posted by matschulat
Music is a very human affair. And humans are not mere machines. And to make music is not to play fast and perfect, it is to touch other humans' minds, bodies and hearts with expressive sounds. And music IS simply amazing. We become one with the music when whe listen to it, as put by T. S. Eliot, "...music heard so deeply / that it is not heard at all / but you are the music / while the music lasts."

Humans are a lower animal relative to the incoming AI intelligence which will replace us. They are already superior to humans in most artistic fields.

Music is not amazing, it is merely a signal hijacking of the auditory system to produce a hedonistic response. It is a low grade narcotic and that is all it will ever be.

Originally Posted by matschulat
No, pianists are not cogs. Pianists are musicians; pianists are bearers of powerful and meaningful gestures expressed in sounds. And pianos are made FOR PIANISTS to express themselves with sound.

Pianists are insignificant, and pianos are fundamentally tertiary derivative of weapons of war and space travel. They're a good gesture technology, but ultimately unimportant.


Originally Posted by matschulat
I don't think so. What the value in the piano device if there was not Beethoven's Hammerklavier Sonata, or Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit? These kinds of things are what give meaning to human life, not cogs and mechanical devices!

An engineer could not compose the Hammerklavier. Even great engineering achievement can become obsolete, but great artistic achievements remain forever.

That's just it, pianos are NOT of high value. Satellites, ICBMs , rifles, warships, advanced micro processors. THESE are critical technologies. we could lose all of our pianos tomorrow, and it'd be fairly inconsequential. People can find pleasure in other things, and the world would keep on moving.

If we didn't have those other things on the list, the world would be in chaos. Mutually assured destruction brings peace. Nuclear weapons are what unites the world, NOT music. ICBMs fundamentally made wars unwinnable. This is the single technology between peace and WW3. We can't fight WW3 because everyone would lose. Thanks to ICBMs.

Originally Posted by matschulat
The pianist is the guy who plays for our pleasure. If your only interest in music is to test and demo your incredible mechanical device, know that this is not the reason why the majority of people listen to pianists or become pianists themselves.

No, the Pianist is a marketing tool to sell civilian technology.

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