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Thread: There's no convincing digital piano out there

  1. #1
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    Default There's no convincing digital piano out there

    I've been researching because I wanted to have a digital piano.
    The first question that surely will come to your mind is "Why digital, why not accoustic"?
    Well, there are some advantages with digital pianos, the first one (I hate) is the possibility of headphones, as where I live I wouldn´t be able to freely practice... neighbours...
    The other main thing is that a decent upright is very very expensive for my budget, and I don't want a potato piano, I really don't want it.
    It seems that I'm too demanding in matter of sound... so I started my research on the affordable digital (stage pianos) and the result was a TREMENDOUS disappontment!! Those "pianos" (if you can call them so) are toys in matter of sound!! You can't make any nuances in those instruments, the color doesn't change at all, the dynamics are ridiculously poor... the only good thing I've found is the hammer action on some models, pretty much like the real thing (because they actually have the real thing inside, mechanically speaking)
    So, I understood the budget would be higher than expected (finally unaffordable)
    The digital piano wasn´t an option either.
    And just for morbid curiosity I started to pay attention and listened to the top notch grand digitals such as this beauty:

    and I found that this stunning digital grand was awful as well as the cheaper ones!!!
    I couldn't understand why someone would pay a fortune for that!
    I continued my research and I found that the basic problem of these instrunments (devices) is the polyphony, even the extremely expensive ones have less tahn 300 notes of polyphony.
    That's what make those pianos uncapable to reproduce the extreme resonances taht occur inside the real piano, which are extremely complex to calculate for a convincing emulation.
    If you listen to that Yamaha N3, you´ll perceive only the clean notes that each key triggers, but nothing else is there, nothing else at all!
    So when I understood the core of the problem I found a solution, the VST pianos. You can add any polyphony you want and the older notes you play will never be killed by new notes.
    I installed Fazioli by Imperfect Samples.
    The result was better, the color now changed properly, and the dynamics were much better... but it still wasn´t completely satisfactory. Something was missing there.
    Even with the symphatetic resonances, I found the mass of the sound was really poor, specially while stressing the instrument with extreme performances.
    I started to learn about the cosntruction of the virtual instruments and i really got amazed about the infinite flexibility of those instruments. You can really do whatever you want in matter of customization.
    First of all, I colored the dynamics of my piano with some enrichment process that were managed by the velocity parameter (the force you play with). That made a very obscure pianissimos and very open and stressed fortissimos.
    And I added four systems of resonators (symphatetic) that are triggered when the damper pedal is down in combination with stressful performances.
    The result is this:

    Now I really can express my emotions in my digital piano
    I hope you like my story, and my piano!

  2. #2
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    Interesting story, though I have to admit some of the technical stuff went a little over my head. I've played one of those Yamaha grands too and, like you, was distinctly underwhelmed by it. The Fazioli does sound great and you play it very well. My personal preference would always be for an acoustic (are you sure you could only get a "potato piano" - good phrase, that - for your budget?) but I have to admit I struck lucky with my upright, a 1925 Bechstein which I bought far too cheaply from a music shop which didn't know its true value. Happy musicmaking.
    Last edited by Animal the Drummer; Nov-14-2017 at 19:26.

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  4. #3
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    Hi! Thanks for your reply
    I'm so glad that you've found a piano that makes you happy!
    Well, I wasn't that lucky, and here the upright (a decent one) is TOO expensive and you´ll have to choose a very very good one in order it to be good enough for concerts and delicate nuances. You know most upright don't...
    Well what I did was to buy this digital piano (for 420$):
    Stage piano.jpg

    Then my father and me built a wooden cabinet and insert it like this:

    Insert.jpg

    Of course there is much more than that, hidden inside, this is only a schematic. It has also a computer inside, a Steinberg sound card, big speakers and all powered by big gel batteries, so you can play anywhere for hours regardless the power source.

    And the result is this upright, the piano you heard in youtube:

    My piano.jpg

    The sound that you heard in my post is the Fazioli Grand by Imperfect Samples. It has also available a Schimmel Braunschweig Upright, a Brasted Upright, a Bosendorfer Imperial by Synthogy, and other pianos like those.
    Now I have several pianos in my piano

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