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Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by CyberGene
I believe it’s only the ability to throw the hammer without pressing the key fully is not well developed.

The ES100's AHA-IV-F has its sensors under the hammer, so that ability is already fully developed. (With all consequences regarding wear and needed maintenance) wink


I think he means that the hammer gets thrown via the escapement mechanism( as it were) ? In most digital actions the hammer is always connected to the keys when moving, so in that sense it is different to a real acoustic action, such as the es100.



Originally Posted by Jt2nd
In an interview George Ko mentioned a chat with the tuner / technician who worked on Glen Gould`s piano . He said there were several adjustments needed. When Gould tried it he asked what had been done. The tuner listed all the changes. Then Gould said "No , put it all back the way it was " . He had some notes that had double bounces on them which can be heard on recordings . Perhaps all we need is a wobbly stool .


I recall that video, good watch, here it is for anyone interested, some discussion about heavy versus light actions too I recall, from a pro perspective

https://youtu.be/AKJa14YqNoM


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Originally Posted by Alexander Borro
Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by CyberGene
I believe it’s only the ability to throw the hammer without pressing the key fully is not well developed.

The ES100's AHA-IV-F has its sensors under the hammer, so that ability is already fully developed. (With all consequences regarding wear and needed maintenance) wink


I think he means that the hammer gets thrown via the escapement mechanism( as it were) ? In most digital actions the hammer is always connected to the keys when moving, so in that sense it is different to a real acoustic action, such as the es100.

In the ES100 the hammer is not always connected to the key and it can be thrown without pressing down the key fully, triggering the two sensors correctly (and coming back hitting the key again). Obviously there is no escapement mechanism needed, because there are no strings needing to vibrate freely.


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Great reading this thread! Thanks Cybergene, a good digital topic is hard to find these days ( for me, anyway) A few things come to mind:

Yep, home organs are synthesizers... additive ( or subtractive) synthesis, easily seen with Hammond drawbars. Playing a real Hammond B3, for example, is an immersive experience ( I had one). Playing a $10 Hammond app (Galileo on iPad) is amazing and pretty close to the sound, but there is the pleasure of the unique environment, like sitting at a beautiful grand. Still, form will follow function.

Nope, IMO the acoustic piano will never fade, just like the acoustic guitar will always be a perfect instrument. We play them and, depending on our ability, the instrument holds no limitations for the player's expressiveness. I am used to a graded action. Would it help my playing if it was compensated. Perhaps, but I don't know what I am missing so who cares?

Re improvements... at a certain point evolution must cast off the old skin for a butterfly to emerge. How come we are all so satisfied with a qwerty keyboard? The head of Roli has plans to take it where no other qwerty keyboard has gone before. Imagine being able to "type" layers of information like velocity layers on a VST. Why not?

As far as the evolution of the musical keyboard, the MPE is here. No moving parts and fluid horizontally and vertically. Still has the old piano layout, but the similarity ends there. Allows for a new type of pianistic expression for new music (hybrid keyboard and fretboard fusion, if you will).

That's all I got. Fun discussion!


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Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Alexander Borro
Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by CyberGene
I believe it’s only the ability to throw the hammer without pressing the key fully is not well developed.

The ES100's AHA-IV-F has its sensors under the hammer, so that ability is already fully developed. (With all consequences regarding wear and needed maintenance) wink


I think he means that the hammer gets thrown via the escapement mechanism( as it were) ? In most digital actions the hammer is always connected to the keys when moving, so in that sense it is different to a real acoustic action, such as the es100.

In the ES100 the hammer is not always connected to the key and it can be thrown without pressing down the key fully, triggering the two sensors correctly (and coming back hitting the key again). Obviously there is no escapement mechanism needed, because there are no strings needing to vibrate freely.


I am not sure I am with you at this point. I'd need a side by side demo of an acoustic action versus that of your es100 to explain better what I mean, and I can't be asked wit that before bedtime, though I may be misunderstanding the action myself.

Nevertheless I am with the Cyberman on his assessment how it affects feel of a digital simulations. To me it is no big deal, just to accept that they are a bit different and just get on with the job of playing. I am not very action picky when it come down to it, not as many here often seem to be.


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Originally Posted by Alexander Borro

I am not sure I am with you at this point.

It doesn't matter. We wait until CyberGene returns and replies.

Then we discuss their interpretation of their own statement in context of my follow-up post regarding the ES100 action. That's more fruitful than trying to figure out if your interpretation is correct, which in the end leads nowhere.

There are only two possibilities: Either CyberGene acknowledges the abilities of the ES100 action or provides more details on where the digital action differs from the acoustic piano action.


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Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Alexander Borro

I am not sure I am with you at this point.

It doesn't matter. We wait until CyberGene returns and replies.

Then we discuss their interpretation of their own statement in context of my follow-up post regarding the ES100 action. That's more fruitful than trying to figure out if your interpretation is correct, which in the end leads nowhere.

There are only two possibilities: Either CyberGene acknowledges the abilities of the ES100 action or provides more details on where the digital action differs from the acoustic piano action.


yup, right on !


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Just like the grand piano evolved from of the Harpischord, I'd like to see the digital piano evolve into it's own unique key-based musical instrument; that definitely shares traits and heritage from the grand and upright acoustic pianos but is not defined by them. In other words I'd like to see digital pianos try to do their own thing and not just merely mimic/imitate acoustic pianos. Digital pianos are in many ways already better, lighter and more functional than acoustic pianos. Not to mention that they can also be much more accessible due to being portable, and affordable at the intermediate and entry-level tiers.

I'd like to see them 'come out from under their parents (acoustic pianos) shadow' and try to become better at making music than their parents ever could. Unfortunately I lack to vision, creativity and intelligence to pursue this myself. But I hope someone out there would be up to the task.



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Originally Posted by halherta
Just like the grand piano evolved from of the Harpischord, I'd like to see the digital piano evolve into it's own unique key-based musical instrument; that definitely shares traits and heritage from the grand and upright acoustic pianos but is not defined by them. In other words I'd like to see digital pianos try to do their own thing and not just merely mimic/imitate acoustic pianos.

Been there done that. You find these "electronic pianos doing their own thing" in the "EP" and "SYNTH" section of your digital piano. It's all there already.

Still the most popular program on a digital piano is the "grand piano".


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I created this thread a year ago. Not sure why it was resurrected and what you’re asking me to clarify but I prefer not to wink


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Originally Posted by CyberGene
I created this thread a year ago. Not sure why it was resurrected and what you’re asking me to clarify but I prefer not to wink

At least you are still alive, so we don't have to argue about "what the master meant by his scribbling". ;-)


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Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by halherta
Just like the grand piano evolved from of the Harpischord, I'd like to see the digital piano evolve into it's own unique key-based musical instrument; that definitely shares traits and heritage from the grand and upright acoustic pianos but is not defined by them. In other words I'd like to see digital pianos try to do their own thing and not just merely mimic/imitate acoustic pianos.

Been there done that. You find these "electronic pianos doing their own thing" in the "EP" and "SYNTH" section of your digital piano. It's all there already.

Still the most popular program on a digital piano is the "grand piano".


Agreed. I really like the CP-80 sound



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Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Alexander Borro

I am not sure I am with you at this point.

It doesn't matter. We wait until CyberGene returns and replies.

Then we discuss their interpretation of their own statement in context of my follow-up post regarding the ES100 action. That's more fruitful than trying to figure out if your interpretation is correct, which in the end leads nowhere.

There are only two possibilities: Either CyberGene acknowledges the abilities of the ES100 action or provides more details on where the digital action differs from the acoustic piano action.


Alexander Borro has understood correctly what I meant. On a real piano the hammer is not attached to the key in any way and the slightest tap on the key (with key not going fully down, maybe just 1/3 of its key travel) will be able to throw the hammer sufficiently in order hit the string and generate sound. I haven't yet encountered a digital piano that can recreate the same effect, although the hammers of some of them are apparently not attached. I don't know what the reason for that is, however I've owned a ES7 with RH2 action and can confirm it's almost impossible to play "leggiero" - tapping keys slightly to produce fast and quiet sounds. I doubt the ES100 differs in that regard, however I haven't owned it. I've tested extensively all of the latest CA-series too and they are also not supporting that, despite having apparently similar hammer independence in relation to the key. I guess the reason might be based on the fact the hammer travel in real pianos is huge compared to hammer travel in digital pianos and since key travel is the same, it necessitates much shorter lever length on the real piano (the distance between the knuckle and the pin) which means lever ratios that facilitate putting enough momentum to the hammer with even a slight tap.

I am not saying ES100 is not the same since I haven't owned it, but I've played it a few times in store and if it would have been any different than any of its more expensive brothers in that regard, I would have noticed it. I highly doubt it an entry level compact digital piano with compact action and hammers beneath the keys (hence short hammer travel) will unexpectedly be more realistic in that regard smile I'd love to be proven wrong.

And just to clarify, no, putting your finger beneath the key lip to limit key travel and demonstrate hammer independence isn't a realistic scenario smile

Last edited by CyberGene; 02/07/19 07:53 AM.

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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Alexander Borro has understood correctly what I meant. On a real piano the hammer is not attached to the key in any way and the slightest tap on the key (with key not going fully down, maybe just 1/3 of its key travel) will be able to throw the hammer sufficiently in order hit the string and generate sound.

Well I have access to a "real piano" and it doesn't sound on slightest taps either. In fact, if I don't manage to reach the escapement point with the key, the hammer doesn't move at all.

Quote
I haven't yet encountered a digital piano that can recreate the same effect, although the hammers of some of them are apparently not attached. I don't know what the reason for that is, however I've owned a ES7 with RH2 action and can confirm it's almost impossible to play "leggiero" - tapping keys slightly to produce fast and quiet sounds.

1/3 key travel on ES100 is very short. Tapping the keys works, but when I manage to throw the hammer enough, the light plastic key goes down with it as well, there is nothing to stop it. You can stop it, though there is no point. Sensors are under the hammer, so sound is always consistent with actual hammer movement. If the hammers fail to hit, there is no sound.


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I believe that "leggiero" technique is really hard to master. On my new NU1X it is possible but I am not that good to consistently execute it properly. I will never forget a concert of Seong-Jin Cho in Sofia. It's the guy who won the latest Chopin competition in 2015. I was very close to the piano, can't remember the piece, maybe it was something by Schubert. The entire hall was completely silent and he executed a very long passage with some pretty fast and at the same time delicate pianissimo sound where his barely pressed the keys, it looked from my view as though he was only rubbing the keys. The sound was very soft and muffled (I believe because dampers were barely released, if at all), absolutely unexpected sound from a piano, at least it was something that I heard for the first time. The utmost control, precision and evenness of his sound was mind blowing. It's one of those moments when you feel you're witnessing a miracle smile The guy is deservedly a winner of that competition, not just because he controls the piano with unrivaled mastery but also because his Chopin interpretations were great.

Last edited by CyberGene; 02/07/19 08:37 AM.

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Originally Posted by CyberGene
I believe that "leggiero" technique is really hard to master. On my new NU1X it is possible but I am not that good to consistently execute it properly.

Well, the NU1X has only key sensors if I remember correctly. The hammers don't affect the sound.

Quote
I will never forget a concert of Seong-Jin Cho in Sofia. It's the guy who won the latest Chopin competition in 2015. [...] executed a very long passage with some pretty fast and at the same time delicate pianissimo sound where his barely pressed the keys

So this kind of advanced competition-grade stuff isn't possible on a run of the mill piano, digital or not. For once, anything which comes with a moderator rail is limited in pianissimo expression due to regulation requirements, otherwise hammers would get stuck on the moderator felt.

People discussing limitations of digital actions sometimes forget about limitations of regular piano actions. It's expected that you can do some stunts, after you put down $100,000+ for a concert grand, but somehow $3,000 digitals are hold to the same standard. In reality digital pianos are a replacement for entry-level upright pianos and they do very well in this department.


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Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by CyberGene
I believe that "leggiero" technique is really hard to master. On my new NU1X it is possible but I am not that good to consistently execute it properly.

Well, the NU1X has only key sensors if I remember correctly. The hammers don't affect the sound.

Yes, but that doesn't matter. The software that interprets key movements is made to predict how the key movement will result in a hammer movements as well (with the notable exception of the loud note issue). I mean, it's not simply measuring terminal velocity of the key when hitting bottom. It's a continuous optical sensing along the entire key travel and it's pretty consistent with how hammers move. As I said, I can tap the keys and observe that they don't go to the bottom at the same time I feel the hammer has been thrown and expectedly I hear sound. So, the software predicts that the partial key press is still generating a hit. To some degree what Nord claims have done with the Virtual Hammer technology is (I presume) the same prediction behavior which allows for the key to be played partially either at the bottom or at the top, e.g. not passing through all the three sensors, in order to predict the actual hammer movement. On the other hand I may be wrong since from the pictures it seems the triple sensors in the Fatar keyboard are actuated by the hammer and not the key, so there's no need for any hammer prediction logic. Well, I'm just trying to make sense of Nord's marketing smile One should never trust marketing, though.

Last edited by CyberGene; 02/07/19 09:40 AM.

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Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Alexander Borro has understood correctly what I meant. On a real piano the hammer is not attached to the key in any way and the slightest tap on the key (with key not going fully down, maybe just 1/3 of its key travel) will be able to throw the hammer sufficiently in order hit the string and generate sound.

Well I have access to a "real piano" and it doesn't sound on slightest taps either. In fact, if I don't manage to reach the escapement point with the key, the hammer doesn't move at all.

I have seen pianists playing effortless and precise leggiero with a very short vertical key movement above the escapement point :-)

Originally Posted by CyberGene
... I guess the reason might be based on the fact the hammer travel in real pianos is huge compared to hammer travel in digital pianos and since key travel is the same, it necessitates much shorter lever length on the real piano (the distance between the knuckle and the pin) which means lever ratios that facilitate putting enough momentum to the hammer with even a slight tap...


Exactly. The leverage ratio on an acoustic is something like 1:5 to 1:6, which means that a small key motion is translated to a large quantity of motion on the hammer. On a digital this ratio is lower (just check the linked document and compare the diagrams with a digital action like the GF-II). Not clear why the ratio has not been improved on a digital though.

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Originally Posted by JoeT
..... In reality digital pianos are a replacement for entry-level upright pianos and they do very well in this department.



Entry level? Searching for a decent (pre-owned) upright or grand I seldomly found one in Germany or Switzerland to cope with the action of my MP 11!

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Originally Posted by arc7urus
Exactly. The leverage ratio on an acoustic is something like 1:5 to 1:6, which means that a small key motion is translated to a large quantity of motion on the hammer. On a digital this ratio is lower (just check the linked document and compare the diagrams with a digital action like the GF-II). Not clear why the ratio has not been improved on a digital though.

Wow, what an interesting read! Immediately bookmarked, thanks!


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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Originally Posted by arc7urus
Exactly. The leverage ratio http://www.pianosinsideout.com/ActionBalancing.pdf on an acoustic is something like 1:5 to 1:6, which means that a small key motion is translated to a large quantity of motion on the hammer. On a digital this ratio is lower (just check the linked document and compare the diagrams with a digital action like the GF-II). Not clear why the ratio has not been improved on a digital though.

Wow, what an interesting read! Immediately bookmarked, thanks!

Croatian author Mario Igrec also wrote a 560 page book called "Pianos Inside Out: A Comprehensive Guide to Piano Tuning, Repairing, and Rebuilding". That looks like an interesting read and there are plenty of good reviews online.

Going to the main page, of pianosinsideout.com, we see Mario Igrec is Chief Piano Technician at Juilliard.

Also he holds classes, which are summarized here:
http://igrecpiano.com/Classes.aspx
http://www.pianosinsideout.com/classes.html

Last link includes some additional technical PDFs, including:
http://www.pianosinsideout.com/Discoveries.pdf
http://www.pianosinsideout.com/WhatMatters.pdf
http://www.pianosinsideout.com/PracticalTouch.pdf
http://www.pianosinsideout.com/HowOurWork.pdf

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