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Kukumar Offline OP
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Hello, I am looking for a digital console piano that has a 'line in' or 'aux in' stereo jack or L/R jacks so I can wire the live sound going from my computer or DAW back through the built in speakers of the digital piano. I noticed that now nearly all basic digital console pianos with newer better key action no longer have a line in. For example the Roland RP-102, Yamaha YDP 164, equivalent Kawai, do not have line in. If you look at older digital pianos that were equivalent before they all had a line in. Am I missing something or why is there no longer a line in? Is there somehow a way to wire live audio through this new USB host that all digital pianos offer now? As far as I know that is not possible as this USB host is only for MIDI data, not regular audio. The bluetooth function all the new digital pianos offer is completely useless for this purpose as there would be a delay playing live. Otherwise some higher end digital pianos offer a 'line in' jack like the Yamaha Clavinova CLP-735, but these are not only more expensive but unfortunately the cabinet is too high for my purposes as I would be setting a laptop down on top of it. Is there anyway to send the live sound from a DAW back through these newer digital pianos that don't have a normal stereo line in jack other than bluetooth audio? Sending MIDI data back through the piano is not what I'm looking for as it would be using the sound samples from the piano, not from the computer. Thanks for any suggestions.

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Crappy low end digital pianos have always been barebone in features. They gain a new one, which is the hype, and they lose another one. Native MIDI ports are gone from the entry level as well.

They are the kind of product category you buy once in your lifetime and then never look at them again, after you know a thing or two.


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If you're generating good quality sound on a computer it would be best to route that sound to some quality speakers.

The speakers inside most pianos are poor. Indeed, many people play the piano with headphones because the speakers are so poor.

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USB audio is a thing. Some recent Yamaha models have it. I think all the Dexibell models have it. Korg LP-380U has it. (Not the old LP-380 however.)

Some recent Rolands apparently have it as an undocumented feature, but it could disappear in a firmware update later, so I'd ignore those. Kawai doesn't have it yet. I'm not sure about the Casio cabinet models.

If you feel adventurous then several Medeli and Dynatone models (also sold by German music stores under different names) may have it. And many of those could have the analog Line IN too.

They might even have cabinets where you can place a laptop on it.

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> Is there somehow a way to wire live audio through this new USB host that all digital pianos offer now? As far as I know that is not possible as this USB host is only for MIDI data, not regular audio.

Yes there are cases where line out has been "replaced" by BT audio in, which is indeed useless for live playback - but is still useful for feeding in some background music or rhythm.

If the DP supports USB audio in (and allows "local control" to be disconnected from the amp), live playback from a computer is possible, and may even be preferable to using line-in due to possible ground-loop issues in such configurations. There may be a little bit of processing delay, but not nearly as much as with BT.

But basing your decision on this feature is likely pointless, because built-in speakers are more commonly responsible for bad sound than built-in sound engines. It is not reasonable to expect that the sound will miraculously improve by circumventing the built-in sound engine with a VST, while using the same built-in speakers. Though we all hate the clutter of external speakers, cables etc.

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Quote
Some recent Rolands apparently have it as an undocumented feature, but it could disappear in a firmware update later, so I'd ignore those.

That is incorrect. Usb audio is documented in the manuals, and in the specifications, and in the case of the Roland fp-60x and fp-90x there is a volume control for the usb Audio in the menu system.

The feature is documented. I can’t imagine why anyone would think it would disappear.

Yamaha keyboards generally have usb audio capability.

I don’t see why using usb audio in would have anymore delay than saying using an external audio interface.

A lot of keyboards have an 1/8” aux input connector.

A true line In would run at a higher voltage and in theory have a better signal to noise ratio and be less prone interference noise.


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Originally Posted by Purdy
That is incorrect. Usb audio is documented in the manuals, and in the specifications, and in the case of the Roland fp-60x and fp-90x there is a volume control for the usb Audio in the menu system.

Excellent.

There was some confusion about it on the FP-30X when it was just launched i.e. it wasn't mentioned in the documentation.

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Originally Posted by Kukumar
Is there somehow a way to wire live audio through this new USB host that all digital pianos offer now? As far as I know that is not possible as this USB host is only for MIDI data, not regular audio. [...]

Is there anyway to send the live sound from a DAW back through these newer digital pianos that don't have a normal stereo line in jack other than bluetooth audio?


as others have implied or said, you can route audio (and MIDI, but yes, audio) back to the piano thru USB on these models:

Roland fp30x, fp60x, 90x

Yamaha p515

These are just the ones I know of. There are probably others. Check manuals online.

Last edited by jackopiano; 09/24/21 04:06 PM.
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The relatively cheap Yamaha P121 and P125's also have two way USB audio.

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Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
Originally Posted by Purdy
That is incorrect. Usb audio is documented in the manuals, and in the specifications, and in the case of the Roland fp-60x and fp-90x there is a volume control for the usb Audio in the menu system.

Excellent.

There was some confusion about it on the FP-30X when it was just launched i.e. it wasn't mentioned in the documentation.

Yes, Roland, is not especially clear on this. There is mention in the fp-30x manual that the volume of incoming Bluetooth and usb audio can be adjusted.

Yamaha is I believe the leader in this. Even my inexpensive Yamaha shs-500, don’t laugh keytar has usb audio in.


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The old CAsio PX-350/PX-360 (and some other models) have a stereo pair of 1/4" Line In jacks.

The newer PX-S3100 and PX-S3000 have a 1/8" stereo "Audio In" jack.


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The 3.5mm stereo AUX IN jack appeared on low-end digital pianos to connect smartphones via their 3.5mm stereo headphones output. Now that this output disappears from smartphones, the reason to put it on digital pianos is gone.

Of course a proper 6.35mm LINE IN (L/MONO + R) would be much more useful for a professional musician.


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Yes, some models of Roland support USB audio and some of these models have specs/features sheets or manuals that actually spell out that USB audio is supported ..... but as far as i have read, RP102 is not among these.

The RP102 features / specs sheets on roland.com clearly indicate the presence of a USB-to-host port but other than indicating this is for using Piano Partner app, it does not mention USB audio. Likewise, the connections blurb in the Owner’s Manual briefly mentions reasons to use the USB-to-host port: for connecting to a DAW which sends back SMF data to the RP102 which in turn plays through it’s sound system, or for exchanging MIDI data. As such, RP102 appears to not meet OP’s stated needs.


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I have USB Audio on my KORG LP-380U. It works really well.
All you have to do is set ASIO4ALL as the output device on the VST instrument and then set LP-380 as the output device on ASIO4ALL..
With ASIO4ALL you can have quite low delay, about 192 buffer size, if you have a fast PC.

Last edited by karoloydi; 09/26/21 01:48 AM.
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@karoloydi: Have you tried lowering the buffer size? Because 192 seems quite high (assuming you're running at 44 or 48 kHz). Can you get acceptable results at 64? Or even at 128?

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
@karoloydi: Have you tried lowering the buffer size? Because 192 seems quite high (assuming you're running at 44 or 48 kHz). Can you get acceptable results at 64? Or even at 128?


For my PC 64 is out of the question with ASIO4ALL.
For most VSTs I can do 128 48khz, but it's not 100% reliable. From time to time I get crackling issues.
For CPU hungry VSTs like Pianoteq or Garritan CFX, I usually set it to 160, but it is still not 100% reliable. If you are playing fast, 192 is more reliable.
For some Kontakt libraries, if they are not too big, like Maveric, I can easilly do 128 48khz reliably without crackling.

I have an i7 4770k with 32GB RAM and SSD drive. Probably with a faster processor you can do better.

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Edit:
I just realised that I was being stupid. I always use 2 instances of the same plugin.
One instance is the standalone version which plays through the LP-380 speakers.
The other instance is the vst version in Cubase, which plays through my monitor speakers.
I get better sound this way.

I just tried pianoteq through LP-380 only, and I can do 64 buffer without any issues.

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Hello, Thanks for all your replies. So if a digital piano has USB audio capability going both ways, most likely you will have to use ASIO4all, is that correct? There would be no other way to route the sound from a DAW back out through the speakers of a digital piano via USB audio?

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I'm using a piano VST via Windows Audio, no ASIO4ALL.

It depends.

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Originally Posted by Kukumar
Hello, Thanks for all your replies. So if a digital piano has USB audio capability going both ways, most likely you will have to use ASIO4all, is that correct? There would be no other way to route the sound from a DAW back out through the speakers of a digital piano via USB audio?
If you have a Mac, there's no special software to install. The ASIO4ALL software is just for Windows, and picking up from cloth's comment, you may or may not need it, though more often than not, people can acheive lower latency by using it.

As an aside, you mentioned wanting a console piano, yet almost every response here that mentioned a model of DP mentioned a slab. But if you download the manual for whatever model you're interested in, it will likely tell you if its USB connection is for MIDI only vs. for MIDI + audio.

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