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!!
Hurricane Irma & Our Piano Friends!
--------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Virtual Sheet Music
Download Sheet Music Instantly
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Sheet Music...
(125ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2017
(ad)
4th Finger Enigma Resolved!
Schumann's 4th Finger Enigma Resolved!
Who's Online Now
70 registered members (ando, Beemer, Bambers, Amirhsol, bluebillytwo, 18 invisible), 1,751 guests, and 2 spiders.
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
#699057 - 02/17/06 10:01 AM Digital Piano velocity and MIDI questions  
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 7
andymerrett Offline
Junior Member
andymerrett  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 7
London, UK
Hi,

I'm considering purchasing a digital piano at some point soon, and what I'm interested in is what the different methods of measuring and interpreting velocity are, and how that translates to MIDI.

My initial thought is that, for realisms sake, the two systems must be different, with MIDI being an approximation of the true velocity. MIDI only has 127 possible values for velocity (at least on the standard channel, 7 is it, I can't remember). Yet that would be extremely limiting for a good quality digital piano which would need many more velocity values than 127?

So, for live playing etc. does the digital piano use a much wider range of values for velocity, but when outputting via MIDI, just maps those to a much smaller range?

It doesn't make much difference overall, because a lot of my usage will be live performance, but I'm interested to know how it works.

Any ideas?


Andy's home: www.andymerrett.co.uk
Piano and Synth blog: www.pianoandsynth.com
(ad) ROLAND

Click Here

#699058 - 02/21/06 03:55 AM Re: Digital Piano velocity and MIDI questions  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 22
DKPCOLA Offline
Full Member
DKPCOLA  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 22
Hmmm....
Your question covers very broad area of discussions.
Search this forum for more info on velocity.
There is no standard among digitals for measuring velocity. If you hit a key moderately hard, one digital may transmit 90 while another may transmit 110. The resulted sound is the same because the sound engine of each digitals is calibrated to a sound very close to the one produced on real piano with given strike force.
It is the sound engine that make the digital piano sound. Velocity number is just a number. Does not have real meaning. Velocity use number 0~127 because it is based on digital system(hexa decimal numbers)protocol.
But... If you connect 2 different digital models(e.g.digital piano connected with synthesizer), it could be an issue. In that case, you need to calibrate the machine that make the sound appropriately. Or, you will have unusual sounding digital piano sound(too extreme in volume for given key strike force).

#699059 - 02/21/06 05:41 AM Re: Digital Piano velocity and MIDI questions  
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 7
andymerrett Offline
Junior Member
andymerrett  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 7
London, UK
Ahh OK I think I understand you.

I didn't think that internally a (good) digital piano would simply stick to 128 different velocity measurements - there must be thousands. So when it translates it to a MIDI velocity for purpose of output, it just approximates?

I would therefore get a better expressive range (all else being equal) using an 'all-in-one' digital piano than using a weighted master MIDI keyboard and a sound module, because MIDI sacrifices velocity info?


Andy's home: www.andymerrett.co.uk
Piano and Synth blog: www.pianoandsynth.com
#699060 - 02/21/06 10:50 AM Re: Digital Piano velocity and MIDI questions  
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,242
hv Offline
1000 Post Club Member
hv  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,242
Cape Cod
Actually, I don't think the digital piano exists that utilizes all of midi's 128 velocity levels for discrete samples. Which would correspond at a minimum to 128 recordings for the pedal up and another 128 for the pedal down. For each key. The largest sampled piano I've seen is Sampletekk's TBO which I believe does 31 pedal-up, 31 pedal-down, and 31 release samples per note. 16 samples all around is otherwise considered pretty good in hard-disk sample libraries. The best hardware digital pianos, however, typically only do 1 to 4 pedal-up samples and simulate the pedal-down's with reverb. The cheaper hardware units might just do 1 sample per octave and derive the other notes by pitch shifting.

That's not to say that any of the above can't put out 128 different volume levels for each note. They just do it by scaling the volumes of the samples they got to fill in the blanks.

Howard

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#699061 - 02/21/06 12:02 PM Re: Digital Piano velocity and MIDI questions  
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 63
hugo Offline
Full Member
hugo  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 63
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Yamaha has created something called high-definition MIDI for their Disklavier Pro series of pianos to deal with just this issue. The inherent limitation of dealing with only 128 possible values for velocity was the primary reason.

#699062 - 02/21/06 02:12 PM Re: Digital Piano velocity and MIDI questions  
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,242
hv Offline
1000 Post Club Member
hv  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,242
Cape Cod
The high resolution Disclavier technique is licensed to Yamaha by Wayne Stahnke who developed it in 1983. I don't think Yamaha implements the full Stahnke sevo-control system, however, due to its expense and bulk. The full system was originally implemented by Bosendorfer in their 290 SE-series of which I belive only 37 were ever manufactured. In addition, I'm aware of the existence one 1923 Steinway Model D which Stahnke probably did by private commission.

Howard

#699063 - 02/24/06 04:21 AM Re: Digital Piano velocity and MIDI questions  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 22
DKPCOLA Offline
Full Member
DKPCOLA  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 22
Oops....
There is no real 32 velocity level recorded digital piano samples.. so forget it. I understand those software pianos are advertised as 16 velocity levels..etc.. In reality, all they have is 6 velocity pedal up and pedal down plus noises samples. I have some of those giga software pianos. The sound is processed in response to 16 different velocity level and that is what it really is.
Going back to original question...
Digital pianos use audio samples(audio files). These samples are recorded from real piano played at different "velocity". If you listen to real piano sound carefully, changes in tone quality happen in very subtle manner when keys are stiken at different velocity. It depends on different real piano models too. Only 5 or 6 different strike forces(ppp, pp, p, mf, f, ff )makes notable different quality tones. In between, just a matter of loudness. Try this with your real piano if you have one. Digitals are based on this finding. So, 128 velocity value is more than enough to represent real piano. No one can even create 32 different velocity piano sound that is differ in quality yet. So... forget any velocity value above 127.

#699064 - 02/24/06 12:37 PM Re: Digital Piano velocity and MIDI questions  
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 47
Charles P Offline
Full Member
Charles P  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 47
... " Digital pianos use audio samples(audio files). These samples are recorded from real piano played at different "velocity". If you listen to real piano sound carefully, changes in tone quality happen in very subtle manner when keys are stiken at different velocity. It depends on different real piano models too. Only 5 or 6 different strike forces(ppp, pp, p, mf, f, ff )makes notable different quality tones. In between, just a matter of loudness. Try this with your real piano if you have one. Digitals are based on this finding ". ......

This is spot on DKPCOLA. People who are trying to understand their digital pianos should take note of that.

Most digital piano sounds these days are derived from 2, 3 or 4 'layers'.

Here is an example ... "Superior Grand" patch on Roland RD700sx.

Roland have recorded samples of all 88 keys struck at 4 different velocities. (Just for reference they call these strikes 'p', 'mp', 'f' and 'ff').

These samples are then processed by the engineer/tech guys ... they 'assemble' the 4 layers of each note to produce a note that has 4 different tones to it depending on how hard it is struck.

The 4 velocity 'ranges' on the "Superior Grand" patch are as follows ..... 2-40, 41-69, 70-110 and 111-127.

If you play a note with a velocity of say 50, you will hear the sound/tone of the 2nd layer. If you strike a note rather forcefully e.g. a velocity of around 120, you will hear the very bright sound/tone of the 4th layer (range 111-127).

Bear in mind that this is a very simple explanation. (the recorded samples are also in stereo and I have not mentioned samples with the damper pedal depressed among other things).

Also just BTW, when a manufacturer says that their piano sound is for example, a "3 layered" one, they are *not* counting the sustain sample.

Andy .... in reply to your original question .... I'm almost certain that when a note is struck on a digital piano, a velocity value of 1-127 is sent to the pianos internal 'workings' just the same as what is sent to the 'midi out'.

Hope this is helpful and interesting in some way. Regards, Charles :-)

p.s. ... if Dave McMahan from General Music is about he may ... 1. comment on the accuracy of this post and ... 2. comment on the disadvantages of this 'layered' approach to acheiving a piano sound. (GEM use a different system altogether to get their fantastic piano sounds).

#699065 - 02/24/06 02:26 PM Re: Digital Piano velocity and MIDI questions  
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 7
andymerrett Offline
Junior Member
andymerrett  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 7
London, UK
That's great - I hadn't figured that out about an acoustic piano. I just automatically thought that 127 wouldn't be enough, but hadn't taken into account tonal qualitites.

Sigh - it's a long time since I've had access to a decent acoustic or digital piano frown

I'm definitely pining.


Andy's home: www.andymerrett.co.uk
Piano and Synth blog: www.pianoandsynth.com

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
Pearl River Pianos
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq 6 Out now
(ad)
Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restorations and sales
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


New Topics - Multiple Forums
Lonely Petrof Concert grand
by Beemer. 09/23/17 05:56 AM
Playing to a Click Track
by cmajornine. 09/23/17 03:40 AM
Getting a warmer tone on a piano??
by JDRPiano. 09/23/17 01:04 AM
Grand vs. upright
by BruceD. 09/23/17 12:03 AM
Baroque performance change in last 50 years
by RubberFingers. 09/22/17 10:10 PM
Forum Statistics
Forums44
Topics181,989
Posts2,659,555
Members88,879
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