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The day I stopped playing digital pianos


fjzingo

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Last weekend I sat in with a gospel quire helping a friend on vacation. It was a christmas concert and the repertoire this time was everything from medeival music, irish music, christmas carols to more modern gospel. I usually play with the other guys in the band in completely different settings so I thought it would be easy. Got the arrangements on wednesday, all songs completely new to me=hard work but I survived :).

 

I used my regular nord stage for piano and a motif 6 for strings and flute. In the corner of the church a Malmsjö(swedens best piano manufaturer ever??) piano in excellent shape and in tune. I was, as ususal not so satisfied with the digital piano in an acoustic situation like this-I don't know why on eart I didn't demand to play the real piano.

 

The day after I wen't to the music store to listen to some genelec 8040a's, I'm into buying new monitors. While waiting for some music school to spend their last money of the year I thought I could go through the stores digitals to see if I like any of the pianos.

 

I must say I am really disappointed over all of the attempts to mimic a grand, none are even close to the real thing. It is just so annoying comparing one crappy digital grand with another. Even the V-piano which costs half an arm ,major facelift, half a car, "very,very" many beers, whatever you're measure is of money, sounds crap!!! Or to be more polite don't sound or feel like a real piano in all octaves.

 

I ended up playing one of the real yamaha grands, some student model(1.73m) with ivorite keys..finally a warm sounding piano -I feel connected. How on earth can people throw away the real thing and replace with these crappy digitals...

 

This might be the day I stopped playing digital pianos, probably this is a lie but to say the least I am so tired of not playing the real thing live.

 

/Fred

 

www.myspace.com/freddes

www.cantaloop.se

www.soulbox.se

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Fred:

 

A lot of us who grew up playing pianos feel the same way. A real piano is like a friend, confidante, partner, sometimes like an uncooperative, cantankerous brother, but always a natural extension of everything we try to be as musicians.

 

No digital I've played even comes close. The farther the technology goes, the more convinced I am that nothing will ever replace the piano.

 

Nevertheless, there is huge need for an excellent piano approximation for those many gigs where real piano is impossible. Too $$ to rent, transport, tune, mic (then isolate the mics from those damned drums), etc. That's also why we're so picky with all the digitals. Because we innately understand how far it still is from the real thing.

..
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The Yamaha Avant Grand could put a smile on your face.

 

I am always happy with the sound of my digital piano through my sound system. It sounds like an amplified acoustic grand to my ears.

 

I ended up playing one of the real yamaha grands, some student model(1.73m) with ivorite keys..finally a warm sounding piano -I feel connected. How on earth can people throw away the real thing and replace with these crappy digitals...

 

That's an interesting remark. I've own a Yamaha grand and have played many and the adjective warm doesn't always come to mind. There is just something about a very large soundboard that helps to make an acoustic piano sound like an acoustic piano and that hard is to replicate without using a lot of speakers.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Life is all about being flexible :)

 

If they start making a 40 pound acoustic, I'll be all over it. Until then, it really isn't that big of a deal for me.

Steinway L, Yamaha Motif XS-8, NE3 73, Casio PX-5S, iPad, EV ZLX 12-P ZZ(x2), bunch of PA stuff.
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DPs are sounding better but may never truly mimic an acoustic piano. However, a DP comes in handy due to its portability, reliability (tuning), size and weight. The only requirement is electricity.

 

I've always accepted synths, ROMplers and DPs as instruments in their own right. I try not to play real pianos to avoid disappointing myself and/or throwing my KB away. :laugh:

 

Seriously, since I'm not a pianist, the difference between digital and acoustic doesn't really affect me. But, I certainly understand the sentiment expressed here.

 

Yet, there are many musical situations in which a real piano is either unavailable and/or would be impractical. In that regard, DPs offer the best solution. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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There are a couple of reasons for gigging with a DP

 

1) There will be no AP at the venue

2) The AP at the venue is bad

 

 

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." 

Harry teaches jazz piano online using Facebook Messenger, FaceTime, or Google Meet.

 

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In the corner of the church a Malmsjö(swedens best piano manufaturer ever??) piano in excellent shape and in tune.

 

Having played one in a 12th century church in Nyköping, I would agree.

I even bought the Malmsjö Acoustic Grand for Gigastudio, I liked it so much!

What we record in life, echoes in eternity.

 

MOXF8, Electro 6D, XK1c, Motif XSr, PEKPER, Voyager, Univox MiniKorg.

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You're absolutely right all of you, I must add that I also grow up and studied piano on the real deal. I also have a quite good schimmel piano from the end 50's begining of 60s I think.

 

Anyhow, I've played the most terrible and greatest of pianos, and I think the variation made me give up on playing real pianos out-especially since they were always out of tune. But I realised that I must first give them a chance when I have the opportunity to play them

 

I'll try the avant grand if I come across one :)

 

By warmth i ment the low-mid I'm missing out around middle C in digitals. Perhaps i should have said felt real but thats pretty obvious :)

 

Perhaps someone will hit me in my head when I say I use a KC350 as a monitor for my Nord stage, and off course it sounds better in the PA. Changing monitorspeakers might help a bit, but even using the best of studio monitors I cannot get the feel of the real thing. I mostly use the stage for the Rhodes sound, and that I think sounds good in a KC-350 cpd to the different monitors I've tested.

 

I got to play a Kawai SK6 a full weekend a couple of years back, I wouldn't mind that piano in my living room. Anyone giving away on of these pianos. :)

 

/Fred

 

 

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Perhaps someone will hit me in my head when I say I use a KC350 as a monitor for my Nord stage, and off course it sounds better in the PA. Changing monitorspeakers might help a bit, but even using the best of studio monitors I cannot get the feel of the real thing. I mostly use the stage for the Rhodes sound, and that I think sounds good in a KC-350 cpd to the different monitors I've tested.

Changing monitors might help the piano sound. Thatt 'practice' amp isn't doing a $3k KB any real justice. :)

 

Tnere must be a trend in pairing expensive KBs and cheap speakers. A local Guitar Center ran the Roland V-Piano through a KC350 too. :laugh:

 

Otherwise, it does take a decent montoring system and outboard processing IMO to make samples sound better. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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A local Guitar Center ran the Roland V-Piano through a KC350 too. :laugh:

 

LMAO Hey prof, GC uses the v-piano to show off the KC amp, not the other way around HAHAHA. Those jaggoffs over at GC sell the KC's like gangbusters, and I'd bet they havent sold a single V-piano yet.

-Greg

Motif XS8, MOXF8, Hammond XK1c, Vent

Rhodes Mark II 88 suitcase, Yamaha P255

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There is no comparison of a DP to a real piano...period...

Anyone mention feel? There are gigs that have an accoustic available, but after touching it and hearing a few notes, the DP comes out..that happens more than not..

 

And a V piano thru what?? I havent seen a V yet, Im sure I will get to try one.

 

 

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Yes-yes-yes-yes and YES to all of the above.

 

It's VERY hard to go down to these things after pretty much dedicating my life to the piano the past 30 + years. Add in the fact I kept stepping up from great (Yamaha C7E) to greater (Yamaha S6) to king of the mountain (Steinway D). It's really not at all like playing the same instrument, even when I sit down to my CP300, which to me is the least offensive of everything out there--still (see my new thread).

 

All that said, the real world of a gigging musician comes into play. Unless you're in the probably less than 2% of high tier cats that are lucky enough never to have to hit the "on" switch, these things are a necessary evil.

 

When I sit down to my DP at a gig whether it's the CP300 or P120, I automatically subtract a minimum of 35% from what I really sound like. The more toy like feel of the keyboard I'm struggling to make music on, the more I subtract.

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D

Yamaha AvantGrand N3X, P-515

 

 

 

 

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All that said, the real world of a gigging musician comes into play. Unless you're in the probably less than 2% of high tier cats that are lucky enough never to have to hit the "on" switch, these things are a necessary evil.

 

Truer words were never spoken!

 

I love my Yamaha C7 and I've played some truly fine concert grands over the years. Here's the rub . . . .I didn't have to move them, so it was just ducky. When I'm responsible for supplying the instrument, only the DP's make sense.

 

I don't particularly like DP's when compared to fine acoustic grand pianos, but as Dave so aptly put it, they are a "necessary" evil. Nothing more, nothing less.

Yamaha C7 Grand, My Hammonds: '57 B3, '54 C2, '42 BC, '40 D, '05 XK3 Pro System, Kawai MP9000, Fender Rhodes Mk I 73, Yamaha CP33, Motif ES6, Nord Electro 2, Minimoog Voyager & Model D, Korg MS10
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Yep. I understand the OP's consternation with lack of authentic mids in DP's.

 

The lines and chords we play (our personal ideas) are mostly the same on all these instruments, with adjustments made even from one acoustic piano to another. All pianos are different, and the dynamics on DP's suffer the most in the delivery of those ideas, as well as tone.

 

But in the real world, I'll still use a DP instead of waiting for an acoustic gig. I'm glad for the strides made in DPs, but my rants in other threads show how I feel about how far they have to go.

 

If a low tech guy like me can tweak a DP to reasonable acceptability, some company should be able to do better - even with existing technology.

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Perhaps someone will hit me in my head when I say I use a KC350 as a monitor for my Nord stage, and off course it sounds better in the PA. Changing monitorspeakers might help a bit, but even using the best of studio monitors I cannot get the feel of the real thing. I mostly use the stage for the Rhodes sound, and that I think sounds good in a KC-350 cpd to the different monitors I've tested.

 

 

Must hold back...

 

biting my tongue...

 

:freak::evil:

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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I've seen some of the discussions here about using small PA systems for Piano sounds and usually I get a monitor speaker(mackie, JBL, RCF...in very rare cases EV) and combine that with the KC350. I don't dare to only use the monitor supplied because I haven't heard myself in to many occassions when playing in louder soul, funk bands.....anyhow.

 

Moe, just to emphasize the Rhodes sound and only the rhodes gets a special sound in the KC350 which I like.....the piano sounds like it's in a box ;)

 

 

/Fred

 

 

 

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A local Guitar Center ran the Roland V-Piano through a KC350 too.
Sadly, my local store (Chuck Levin's) also has most of the keyboards hooked up to Roland KC amps. They have a roomful of pro sound equipment in another department so they should know better. They might get better cross-sales if they used new powered speakers like the QSC K8 in the piano room and steered people towards the pro sound.

Yamaha P2 acoustic, Yamaha P120 digital, Nord Electro 3HP, QSC K10.

FOR SALE: Nord Electro 2-61.

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I think that if digital piano makers matched their keyboards with what they feel is proper amplification of their products, we'd have less problems.

 

Hammonds were designed to use a Leslie and that worked out pretty well.

http://www.stevesmusic.com/bmz_cache/d/dad6e12a03e6b9eafc1dc389a4244950.image.223x109.jpg + http://www.guitarampinfo.com/blog/images/orange_amp.jpg = FABULOUS!

 

Good looking match, huh?

 

And they say I have a hard time dressing myself in the mornings. PSHAAAWW.

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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