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putting midi in a upright ( silent piano)


Michiel

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Hi guys,

 

If I google silent piano, mostly yamaha comes up. But it's hard to find info on systems to build in an existing piano.

 

Is yamaha the only serious option. Is there any info to be found on those systems?

 

I want to eventualy hook up a laptop and play scarbee rhodes on my piano :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I'm looking for a solution play piano in the evening, so when the kids go to bed I can still practice.

 

Any other suggestions anyone?

 

We use digital pianos with headphones. They all do this. Most digital pianos are also midi controllers to varying degrees. Or you can just get an 88-key midi controller and a piano module.

 

I don't know of any way to "turn off" the sound on an acoustic piano.

 

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I used to play a Yahama upright and one of its pedals would position a layer of cloth between the hammers and strings. A google search tells me this is called the Lute or pianissimo pedal. It didn't make the piano silent, but it did drastically reduce the volume, and gave it a pizzicato like envelope.

 

Perhaps something like this in conjunction with one of the Midi retrofits (i.e. Midi9) would suit your needs? If you engaged the lute pedal and had a good set of isolating headphones listening to your midi-driven source, you may not even hear the acoustic piano's real sound. Hopefully your sleeping children wouldn't either.

 

I don't think it's possible to totally mute an acoustic piano.

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I believe Rippen (long-defunct Dutch acoustic piano maker) also made such a lute pedal, as well as a system that dropped fabric with metal tags onto the strings to give a sort of "honky-tonk" tone.

 

Why not buy the midi 9 and lay a cloth across the strings, or attach a piece of foam to a 1 x 3 and hook it in place?

 

I think the moog piano bar is another option--again, you'd need to make your own string damper, but that's got to be easy.

 

http://www.moogmusic.com/newsarch.php?cat_id=24

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Thanks guys for the replys,

 

I have a cloth installed in my piano. It's sounds a lot softer and the sound is really nice, sort of between a piano and a wurli. It's a funky sound. However, it is not a very detailed sound and you have to press the keys failry hard to get a descent sound.

 

I do have a s-90 at the top floor, but it seems nice to me to not always work there and see my wife in the evenings. I don't have room for another digatl piano in the living room.

 

But there surely is a way to mute the piano sound. All yamaha silent piano do mute their acousitc sound when the headphones are turned on. (with a rail I think)

 

 

 

 

 

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Right, I'm talking about combining the home-made mute with the midi, not just muting the piano. The sound will have to come from an external box. If you press a foam rubber pad across the strings, you're going to get next to zero sound from that axe (just a thunk). The midi on the Moog unit is optical and will pick up the keystrokes and pedal action, pump that into an external sound box and into your headphones. At least, that's what I'd try if I wanted to do this.

 

it may be that Yamaha has a shift lever that essentially stops the hammers before hitting the strings. I've seen a system like that a long time ago. This would be totally silent--of course, yo still need a midi of some sort and a sound generating box.

 

Since saving space is a goal, another option would be a light DP like a Casio 330 that could sit in a closet and come out for evening practice, at least as a lower cost experiment than buying a midi system.

 

Could be a piano technician in your area will have a solution.

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as far as I know, no mechanical action is going to take kindly to being messed around with as has been suggested, and to me it really seems simpler and cheaper just to buy a MIDI keyboard on which to practice and simply accept the fact that it will not feel like your piano. Your piano probably won't feel like your piano if you start messing around with it.

 

another answer would be to spend $11k for a soundproof booth. But that won't sound right, either.

 

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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I'm going to go with what so many have already said... go with a digital piano and headphones.

 

Heck, my real piano is a Steinway. Does my Yammy CP33 "Feel" just like it? No, but it's what I use on stage, and what I practice on late at night when I don't want to wake the kids.

 

Don't over think and complicate the issue.

 

As an aside, have you tried out one of the Casio weighted action DP's? I think they're great, inexpensive, and I may pick one up for our rehearsal studio so I don't have to keep lugging the stage rig to practice.

 

David

Gig Rig:Roland Fantom-08| Yamaha MODX+ 6 | MacBook Pro 14" M1| Mainstage

 

 

 

 

 

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The old CP-70 / 80 was pretty much a silent piano (without MIDI). It didn't have a sound board. So, I suppose you could remove your piano's sound board and add a Moog piano bar (or other MIDI retrofit). :P Otherwise, a DP seems like the most efficient no brainer solution.

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I used to play a Yahama upright and one of its pedals would position a layer of cloth between the hammers and strings. A google search tells me this is called the Lute or pianissimo pedal. It didn't make the piano silent, but it did drastically reduce the volume, and gave it a pizzicato like envelope.

 

Perhaps something like this in conjunction with one of the Midi retrofits (i.e. Midi9) would suit your needs? If you engaged the lute pedal and had a good set of isolating headphones listening to your midi-driven source, you may not even hear the acoustic piano's real sound. Hopefully your sleeping children wouldn't either.

 

I don't think it's possible to totally mute an acoustic piano.

 

My Essex upright (2yrs old) has this. It also makes the sound pretty dead - it mostly mutes the highs. If you play hard enough it brightens up and can still get fairly loud.

 

I've tried this in the evening (playing softly) when the kids were sleeping and my wife yelled at me.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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I used to practice with my Clavinova in my apartment with my headphones on. But, apparently, the hammer action of the keybed resounds and reverberates trhough the floor. I had to quit playing after 8:00 at night, even with headphones on, because it was driving my downstairs neighbor NUTS.

 

Thank God I rent a house now, with my own little studio in a separate room in the garage.

 

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I used to practice with my Clavinova in my apartment with my headphones on. But, apparently, the hammer action of the keybed resounds and reverberates trhough the floor. I had to quit playing after 8:00 at night, even with headphones on, because it was driving my downstairs neighbor NUTS.

 

Thank God I rent a house now, with my own little studio in a separate room in the garage.

 

I want my next house to have a detached garage with an upper level for the studio. That way I can work/play at night without worrying about it. Drives me nuts because I work during the day, 5pm-8:30pm is dinner/dishes/baths/bed for the kids, then they're asleep so if I do anything it has to be through headphones. Not to mention that as the kids have come along, my studio has gotten displaced twice, to the point where I'm on the 3rd floor now. And the staircase goes right past the 2 kids bedrooms, so I can't even drag anything up there without waking somebody up. Has put a serious damper on my productivity.

 

Sorry to Hijack.... back to the discussion....

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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