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#691637 - 09/28/07 07:53 PM Acoustic vs Digital
oldie101 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/08/07
Posts: 27
Loc: florida
I have an old acoustic that I play as a hobby. I looked at Kawai digital so I could play with rhythms. What a dissapointment. The sound is not as good as my old acoustic. The salesman made it sound great. Is there a digital that sounds like an acoustic, or is this not possible?


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#691638 - 09/28/07 09:54 PM Re: Acoustic vs Digital
Cyph3r Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/21/07
Posts: 99
Loc: Shropshire, UK
As far as I know, there is no digital out there that truly reproduces an authentic acoustic sound. But some digitals, do the sound better than others =]

#691639 - 09/29/07 03:05 AM Re: Acoustic vs Digital
Music Major Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/04/06
Posts: 301
Loc: Tampa, FL
I have my S90 setup with Ivory VST samples. I feel it does "make" a very good acoustic "sound". But... it, the S90/Ivory, will never "feel" like an acoustic piano. Acoustics give you feedback. I feel the tone back through my fingers after playing a note, chord, etc. that the S90 just does not produce.

The Synthogy Ivory samples are sampled 4,6,8,10, even 12 times! They also produce sustain samples and soft pedal samples. It emulates many room spaces. So, there is a lot going on when a key is struck using this software.

I enjoy the digital very much, but I will never let a day go by without spending as much time as possible with a real piano.

Yamaha S90 --------------- SS-69 Grand
The most important thing in music is what is not in the notes.

#691640 - 09/29/07 08:49 AM Re: Acoustic vs Digital
droah Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/09/05
Posts: 55
Loc: Malaysia
I dont' know if there is an "accoustic piano sound" since different accoustic pianos give rise
to different sound.

I find it is not that a digital piano sounds so different from an accoustic, but because digital pianos do not behave like a real piano

For example , take sympathetic resonance, which is so obvious on the accoustic, but is completely absent from almost all digital pianos (including my CLP 280) and sample pianos (like Ivory). I have a whole lot of sample piano libraries and most of them disappointing - until I found Pianoteq.
Nowadays, this is the only piano sample I use and
it is so realistic - to play and to listen to.

I would suggest you give this a try

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#691641 - 09/29/07 11:21 AM Re: Acoustic vs Digital
DrKoch Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 15
Loc: Denmark
I agree with Droah. I don't think you'll find THE sound that you are looking for. It depends on the piano you are use to... but there a hell of a difference when you try the different DPs...

If money isn't a problem... the new roland rg-7 (and rg-3) is amazing. I tried both the other day, and wauw... The sound has been optimized to the max. Box/cabinet resonance that makes the wood act as if there were strings inside (don't know what it is called in english \:\) )

I'm ordering a RG-3 Roland next week... I was sold... \:D

a couple of others you might want to check out:
Yamaha GT-2
Roland HP-109
both digi-grands
Oberheim Cosmos Stage Piano
GEM Keyboard
Fender Jazz Bass
Line6 Variax 500 Guitar
Ibanez Western Guitar
Roland RG-3 (digi-grand)[/b]
Plz rate my answers in top-right corner ;\)

#691642 - 09/29/07 04:33 PM Re: Acoustic vs Digital
Oxfords Gal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 1553
Loc: Jacksonville, Florida
Hi Oldie,

I agree there's nothing like an acoustic but I took the liberty of linking gaffsters piece which he posted in august piano bar with his s90es


here are some youtubes for the s90es and the cp300





I own the ypg 625 and it sounds pretty good for the price IMO


IMO there will never be anything like an acoustic but I love my digitals for the variety and the voices.
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.>>> Herman Munster

#691643 - 09/29/07 05:05 PM Re: Acoustic vs Digital
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4534
I grew up with classical piano lessons and
acoustic pianos only. Then I quit for
many yrs., and when I restarted
as an adult, the first piano I bought
was a high-quality acoustic upright.
But then I quit again for several yrs.,
disillusioned that the expensive piano
didn't enable me to make significant
improvement. I eventually abandoned
that piano in complete disgust, thinking I
was done with playing for good.

Then I moved into an apt. building
where one of the tenants had an
acoustic upright piano. This seemed to
rekindle my interest in playing
again, but I was soon discouraged by the
neighbors' reaction to his playing--these
piano-haters literally ran him out of
the building. Thus, I was left with
a rekindled interest in playing, in
an environment where an acoustic piano
was not possible. This was around
1989, and at that time digital pianos
were already well-established and
just as good as today's digitals. And
yet I never even once considered a
digital, had never even seen one, in fact.
My classical background simply would
not allow me to even equate a digital
with a piano.

I considered several options. I might move
my upright into the apt., but then
the neighbors would be at my throat.
I bought one of those life-size cardboard charts
with the piano keys printed on them, but
soon found it to be useless. I briefly
tried playing in the air with my
fingers, but found this less
than ideal. I searched for an old silent
keyboard, the kind that was popular with
concert pianists in the 1930's--a portable
acoustic piano-like device
with no strings and no sound--but I
couldn't find one. (People looked at
me in disbelief when I described what
I was looking for--they had never heard
of it and could not fathom its usefulness.)

Then one day I wandered into a piano store,
not really looking for anything in particular,
and I was absolutely stunned by the digital
pianos that were available, prior to
that I had never even seen one. This was way
back in 1989, and the digitals were already
almost as good as acoustic pianos. There
were weighted-key digitals that were
not much different in sound and action
to today's digitals. I immediately
recognized the potential in them;
here was the answer to all my piano
problems. I was so impressed
that I bought one on the
spot, a Korg C-800 console with semi-weighted
keys (weighted keys were a very expensive
feature back then), for $1700.00.

I've owned three digitals since then: that
Korg; a Casio AP-24 console, bought new online
in 2005 for $700.00; and my current
piano, a Korg SP-250 lightweight console,
bought new online in 2006 for $900.00.
They have enabled to make great progress
at the keys. I gone from playing 4-page
pieces to playing big-time concerto movements.
And I owe it all to digital pianos. I
would not have been able to progress like
that on an acoustic piano.

If you're trying to find a digital that
is exactly like an acoustic piano, you're
looking at it all wrong. That is not
what a digital piano is all about. It
is not exactly like an acoustic, but it's
close enough for all practical purposes.
And it offers great advantages over an
acoustic: vol. control, price, freedom
from maintenance and tuning, portability,
instant record and playback, computer
connectivity. The single most important
advantage is vol. control--this is why
the silent piano was so popular with
concert pianists in the 1930's and why
Claudio Arrau used one up until his death.
With headphones or with the vol. turned down
you can play anything any time and not
bother anyone with your playing and
not have to deal with people
maliciously criticizing your playing.

#691644 - 09/30/07 07:09 PM Re: Acoustic vs Digital
DinoCow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/10/07
Posts: 59
Loc: New York City
\:\) Great post, Gyro. I am in the same boat as you are and hope to be as good as you some day.

#691645 - 09/30/07 10:59 PM Re: Acoustic vs Digital
Xill Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/26/07
Posts: 48
Loc: MTL
Well, it depends what kind of acoustic piano your used to playing on. I really cant stand that "honky-tonk" sound you get on upright under 15000 or grand under 25000. That's why I choose (2 days ago!) to get one of the best electric piano available (with all the acoustic simulations like string resonances, half pedal, release samples, etc.), a Yamaha clp-270.

There is some good Kawai and Roland also around the same price, but I preferred to go with Yamaha... But that's beside the point anyway. The thing is that I needed a quality grand piano sound over the fact that its real or not.

Great simulation over real bad sound...

But on those expensive electric piano you also get quite a realistic touch, never have to tune them of repair something, the hammers and strings do not get old. When I have 30k and enough space I'll get a real grand, but for now an electric is the closest I can get.

If you want to compare an electric piano to a real one, try the best electric pianos and then compare them to an acoustic of the same price. ;\)
"The quantity of intelligence carried by the sounds must be the true criterion of the validity of a particular music." Iannis Xenakis

#691646 - 09/30/07 11:05 PM Re: Acoustic vs Digital
skyy38 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/16/07
Posts: 6
Loc: Alaska
I've found in my experience that it's useful to take digital instruments for what they are,rather than try to turn them into something that they're not,but only to a certain extent.
Case in point.
Way back before keyboard workstations came into vogue,I regarded synthesisers as little more than really expensive noise makers.I don't know exactly why I took that stance-maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was WAY more into drums than keyboards.I couldn't relate,perhaps because maybe I was after something called "realism" or whatever.Same went for drum machines-they just didn't float my boat.
Two things seriously turned my head though:The introduction of the Ensoniq "Mirage" synth,with a then-incredible piano sound, in 1986 and,two years later the Alesis HR-16 drum machine.I thought to myself"Wow,here's two companies that are putting out stuff that sounds real".When I put a project studio in a few years later,I kept in mind that the Casio keyboard I picked up from Costco didn't have hammer action keys nor touch-sensitivity,but at least it had a nice piano sound in it.

My reason for Casio?Simple.Most pro workstations back then were still beyond my somewhat modest budget and I needed other studio gear,such as a portastudio and effects plus whatever else might loom in the future.Also,todays hot thing was gonna get replaced by the next hot thing in about 5 minutes-expensive for an upgrade but with Casio,it was only $300 a shot,which I did just once over the course of ten years,when I purchased the CT-670.Meanwhile the years peeled off and the evolution of electronic keyboards began their evolution to where we are today.And today as then,the same rule of thumb applies for me.Synths ain't pianos,they're synths.Even though I played piano for ten years,I could've cared less about "hammer action" synths because it just didn't matter to me,leave alone the fact that "hammer action" on synths is just WAY over pronounced and has heavier action than real pianos!

So,just take the instrument for what it is but the most important thing,first, is how the instrument sounds,especially to you.

#691647 - 09/30/07 11:06 PM Re: Acoustic vs Digital
Xill Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/26/07
Posts: 48
Loc: MTL
Originally posted by droah:

For example , take sympathetic resonance, which is so obvious on the accoustic, but is completely absent from almost all digital pianos (including my CLP 280) and sample pianos (like Ivory). [/b]
Unless your talking about something else or have an older model,
the clp-270 and 280 have sympathetic string resonances even without using the pedal, I tried it yesterday; Press without sounding a cluster and play sfz another in the higher octave without using the pedal, you'll hear the pressed strings resonances.
"The quantity of intelligence carried by the sounds must be the true criterion of the validity of a particular music." Iannis Xenakis

#691648 - 10/02/07 09:48 AM Re: Acoustic vs Digital
cruiser Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 1187
Loc: Cornwall, England
Originally posted by Gyro:
This was around
1989, and at that time digital pianos
were already well-established and
just as good as today's digitals. [/b]
Gyro, whilst much of what you post makes a lot of sense, to say that the digital pianos on offer today have not improved over those available in 1989 is simply and self-evidently not true, by some margin! The keyboard actions alone are in a different league - just take a look at Kawai's AWA GRAND PRO II keyboard as an example.

#691649 - 10/02/07 02:57 PM Re: Acoustic vs Digital
Strat Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 699
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I agree. Saying nothing's changed is proof he hasn't played a digital piano *since* 1989.
Started playing in mid-June 2007. Self-taught... for now. :p


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