Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 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!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
What's Hot!!
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(125ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Fall 2017
Who's Online Now
57 registered members (Agent88, ando, 17 invisible), 1,615 guests, and 1 spider.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#674528 - 07/17/06 02:57 PM What's Polyphony?  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 289
Piano Gal Offline
Full Member
Piano Gal  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 289
West US
What's Polyphony?


"Play from the heart, practice from the head"

"We make a living by what we get,
we make a life by what we give."
-Sir Winston Churchill
(ad) ROLAND

Click Here

#674529 - 07/17/06 11:26 PM Re: What's Polyphony?  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 340
geek in the pink Offline
Full Member
geek in the pink  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 340
New Jersey
There are several different meanings depending on what you wish to describe. Since you're posting in a digital sub-forum I think it's safe to assume you're talking about polyphony as it deals with digital pianos. Polyphony is simply the amount of numerical values (not notes) the piano can produce at the same time. For each given sample (piano, strings, synths/leads, et al) each one of the keys will have a certain numerical value attached to it when you strike it; I say value and not key/note because for some stereo (two-channel) samples, striking one key can use two or more values. Digital pianos with 32-note polyphony can only sound 32 values at the same time and they will begin to cut notes (usually on a first-in first out basis) once that threshold is reached. It's pretty easy to reach the 32-note threshold if you're layering voices--the most popular being piano/strings--and you are doing big runs with the sustain pedal or if you're playing large dense chords in succession, again with the pedal. The pedal is important because when you cycle it, you're essentially refreshing the polyphony; but you should note that as long as you're holding it down, the values of any keys you're holding down or you've struck/released after the pedal will use polyphony until it is released. As I said in another thread, polyphony isn't usually important to beginners, but once you start progressing you'll start to notice it more and more if you're playing an instrument with 32-note polyphony or lower.

#674530 - 07/18/06 09:42 AM Re: What's Polyphony?  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 164
WDMcM Offline
Full Member
WDMcM  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 164
Ohio
Or to put it another way;

Every brand/model of electronic keyboard these days has a maximum number of sounds (proper term is voice) that it can produce simultaneously. Polyphony is the total number of individual voices an instrument can produce at any given time. Once the limit is reached, any held notes will be stopped so newly played keys can produce sound.

As an example, if you select a preset that produces a layered sound of a piano and string ensemble sound and play one key, two voices are being used, one for the piano sound and another for the string sound. So in this case, an instrument offering 64 voices of polyphony would continue to produce sound until 32 keys have been played (either being physically held down or by using the sustain pedal).

Some keyboards feature stereo samples of pianos and other instruments. In these cases, it is important to realize that even though you may have only one sound selected, two voices are still being used because stereo sample consists of two samples, one for the left channel and one for the right channel and remember a single voice can only produce a single sound/sample.

With all this in mind, a 128 note polyphony keyboard playing a stereo sampled piano that is layered with a string sound is going to actually be able to produce no more that 41 notes simultaneously. And many times sound programmers will use more that one voice when creating string sounds so there is a high probability that the 128 voices could actually be divided by 4 giving you a total of 32 keys that can produce sound at the same time.

Dave

#674531 - 07/18/06 09:43 AM Re: What's Polyphony?  
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 419
ipgrunt Offline
Full Member
ipgrunt  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 419
Western US
Simply put, polyphony is the total number of simultaneous voices a synth can play.

As geek describes above, in performance this number is depends on a few factors.

The easiest thing to remember about polyphony is that more is better: 128 is better than 64.


-- ipgrunt
Amateur pianist, Son of a Pro
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#674532 - 07/18/06 12:06 PM Re: What's Polyphony?  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,534
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Gyro  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,534
However, if you're looking to buy a digital
piano for regular playing, like on an acoustic
piano, the polyphony spec is irrelevant.
I bought a Korg digital piano in the late
1980's when home digital pianos were just
starting to become popular, and it had "only"
16 note polyphony, and you could play anything
on it and it sounded better in many ways
(purer sound, clearer tone, etc.) than the best
digital pianos today, even
those with 128 note polyphony. I gave
it to my neighbor, and when I hear her playing it,
I miss it, because it sounds better than
my new digital piano with 64 note polyphony.
Actually, my new digital has 64 and 32 note
polyphony voices, and I use the default 32 note
grand piano voice because it's the
most convenient and it sounds better
than the 64 note grand piano.

#674533 - 07/18/06 01:58 PM Re: What's Polyphony?  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 175
yiss Offline
Full Member
yiss  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 175
jerusalem
Quote
my new digital piano with 64 note polyphony.
What model do you own?


Yiss
#674534 - 07/18/06 02:47 PM Re: What's Polyphony?  
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 132
KBlair Offline
Full Member
KBlair  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 132
Race City, USA
A real world example of polyphony:

Yesterday we took delivery of a Kawai CP175 - a 128 note polyphony instrument.

After playing with it for a while, our pianist started complaining that her notes weren't sustaining long enough and could I adjust the sustain length.

What I found was that she has 4 layers going - Kawai EX Concert Grand, a string section, a flute solo, and something called Whistlers on the left section.

The Concert Grand sound is a stereo sound, as is the string section. With all these going at once, it would cut out the sustaining notes of the piano when she played fast selections.

To fix it, I turned off the Whistlers layer, which allowed everything to sustain properly.

I could also have changed the Concert Grand sound to a non stereo piano sound and that probably whould have fixed it as well.

Had we opted for the new CP177, with 196 note polyphony, she would not have run into this situation.


Kawai CP175
Korg Karma 2.0 (w/EXB-PCM06/07 Orchestral Collection - FOR SALE)
Roland RD700sx
Late 1960's era Wurlitzer acoustic upright
Early 1980's Kohler and Cambell Professional studio upright
#674535 - 07/23/06 06:39 PM Re: What's Polyphony?  
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 3,918
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Palindrome  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 3,918
Chicago, IL USA
"polyphony" is also (along with its opposite, "homophony," and the rather specialized word "polyomino" - a multiple type of domino) the longest word one can type on the qwerty keyboard with the right hand alone, excepting such fanciful unused words as "monokimono" and "polymillion."

I'm waiting to be corrected here, folks.


There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians
#674536 - 07/23/06 07:05 PM Re: What's Polyphony?  
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,089
Copper Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Copper  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,089
Virginia
According to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QWERTY_keyboard

The longest English word that can be typed with the right hand only (using conventional hand placement) is johnny-jump-up (a type of flower), or alternatively polyphony

The only name of a state that can be typed with the right hand is OHIO.


[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
#674537 - 07/24/06 08:20 AM Re: What's Polyphony?  
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 132
KBlair Offline
Full Member
KBlair  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 132
Race City, USA
Gee, I can type Monatana, Pennsylvania, and New York with just my riht hand. In fact, I just did it with one finger on my right hand smile


Kawai CP175
Korg Karma 2.0 (w/EXB-PCM06/07 Orchestral Collection - FOR SALE)
Roland RD700sx
Late 1960's era Wurlitzer acoustic upright
Early 1980's Kohler and Cambell Professional studio upright

Moderated by  Piano World 

Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World)
our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, Digital Piano Dolly, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.


Free Shipping* on Jansen Artist Piano Benches, Cocoweb Piano Lamps, Hidrau Hydraulic Piano Benches
(*free shipping within contiguous U.S. only)
(ad)
Pearl River & Ritmuller
Pearl River Pianos
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq 6 Out now
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


New Topics - Multiple Forums
Finale 25 Black Friday: $149
by jackifus. 11/25/17 03:10 AM
Question about Accidentals and Dynamics
by Batuhan. 11/24/17 05:55 PM
2017 Piano Library Discussion
by Jay017. 11/24/17 05:44 PM
Kawai CA67 owners - is the stereo correct?
by Ben Crosland. 11/24/17 02:51 PM
Tonal and Rhytmic Principles by John Mehegan
by James in NoVa. 11/24/17 01:12 PM
Forum Statistics
Forums44
Topics182,929
Posts2,674,120
Members89,180
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Check It Out!
There's a lot more to Piano World than just the forums.
Click Here to
Explore The Rest of Piano World!!
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
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 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0