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Joined: Sep 2021
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pb2k Offline OP
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Hi all, I am new to these forums so will start with am introduction.

I am a Dutch computer engineer having years of experience hammering on keyboards in frustration, and I love classic piano music. Due to last years global crisis, like the most of us, I can spend much more time at home. I have no prior music experience, which I thought is a miss. So I endeavoured on a life long journey and picked up piano lessons. I have bought a Yamaha CLP-635.

I chose this small digital piano because it was just 2 years old, fits my novice budget, pretty polished ebony, , has the grand piano sound banks, fits under a painting and being able to practice in silence will save my family's ears. I figured my hardware needs will change as my skills develop.

The question : When I tested the piano I didn't notice that it has a very loud 'thud'. When the volume is down I do not hear the sound. This thud increases as I increase the volume so I figure it is not a mechanical issue and can perhaps even be reduced by a setting on the piano's control panel. The thudding happens while on speaker and on headphones.
This Yamaha should have a decent graded hammer action.

I recorded the very audible noise and uploaded it to YouTube : Youtube
the thudding starts as I increase the volume, and gets louder as the volume gets louder.

how can I reduce this noise and make my lessons more enjoyable? Thank you !

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pb2k, first off, welcome to the forum.

The "thud" sounds very normal to me. It emulates the mechanical sound of the hammers hitting the strings. I have a Kawai ES-8 and it sounds very similar to yours as far as this "thud" is concerned. It is more noticeable with the upper octaves because of the relative energy of the hammer noises compared with the strings, that are (much) shorter than those in the middle or low zone of the piano.

Out of curiosity, I looked at the user manual of CLP-635 and I couldn't find a setting for hammer noise. My ES-8 doesn't have it either. As in most DPs the sound is produced by samples of acoustic/upright pianos, I suspect there aren't many DPs that will allow one to adjust hammer noise.


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
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pb2k Offline OP
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Hi EVC thank you so much smile today I went to a music store and tested all digital pianos for the thud sounds, and guess what, all had it ! Some less audible and some even louder. I came across some really terrible pianos with bouncing keys and also some high end synthesisers with piano action (stage3).
It's indeed always in the higher octaves, and all piano instruments on the 635 have it. It's strange that Yamaha thought this awful noise brings the audience closer to a piano experience.
It should be a setting that we can turn off. But that is not the case. I've never noticed it in a recorded piano play for sure.

I checked the manual too and ran though all generic settings, the thudding doesn't become less unfortunately.

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You get that on pianoteq too; you can vary the volume, or have it at zero.
It sounds terrible when it's not there. the piano keys on any piano, digital or acoustic, make their own noise too, which usuually ain't quiet . . .


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Originally Posted by pb2k
It's strange that Yamaha thought this awful noise brings the audience closer to a piano experience.

It is not that Yamaha or Kawai or others thought it brings closer to a piano experience, this is how things are. As I mentioned before, most digital use piano samples to produce the sounds. The sampling is done with extra care to capture the dynamics of the piano, and the hammer thud, whether you like or not, is part of it. If you go to a store of acoustic pianos, you will most probably hear the same thuds, maybe lower (relatively) on the bigger ones, but still.

Peterws mentions Pianoteq, which is modeled virtual piano (i.e., it is software that runs on a PC, typically). As it is modeled, i.e., there are no samples but, instead, the sounds are calculated in real time based on models. Pteq does allow you to suppress the hammer noise but then it will not sound like a piano at all.


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
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I was going to mention Roland but I forgot. Roland digital pianos (actually, they only have DPs unlike Yamaha and Kawai) are also modeled. On my RD2000 the hammer noise may be changed.

So, from where I see, you have three options:
1- Give your CLP a chance, get used to the sound (I think you will). Keep in mind it is doing nothing else than mimicing the real behavior of an acoustic piano.
2- Exchange it for a Roland. But try it before commiting, not everybody likes Roland's sounds.
3- Use a virtual piano such as Pianoteq. You may try Pteq, btw, you can dowload the demo version and you may try changing the hammer noise parameter to see how it sounds, comparing it with the default sound.


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
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pb2k Offline OP
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Those are great ideas thank you. I never considered a Roland and decided between Kawai and Yamaha. I do have Garageband running on the Mac (I used to connect it to a MIDI keyboard) , it has crystal clear piano sounds. and I should be able to connect the 635 to it with USB. I figure that by bypassing the Yamaha sounds I can create a decent piano action + thudless play.
Even if that setup sounds better its not a workable solution as it adds a computer to my piano. There are too many computers in my life already smile I can get over the thudding sounds.


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