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How important is a piano to you?


Synthoid

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I've read many postings on different message boards regarding this issue. Everyone has their preference with pianos, and/or workstations that have the "best" piano sound.

 

Personally, I'm a synthesist, and can live without the piano/rhodes/etc. altogether. I prefer programming a really intense, warm synth pad or soaring portamento lead!

 

Now, I enjoy the sound of the piano and play one once in awhile, but don't own one. Just curious if anyone else shares the same feelings.

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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You asked for it... :D

 

The piano is my life. It's my music, my vibrations, my expression, my immediacy, my frustration amd my love.

 

Play a (real, good) piano for a while. You'll understand! :)

 

And what about the synth... Uh! I hope to be never forced to make a choice between piano and synth. It would survive with either one, I could make music with either one. But I would feel scared and battered. But if *really* forced to make a choice, perhaps I would take the piano. Well, if you include regular tuning with the deal. :D

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Originally posted by marino:

The piano is my life. It's my music, my vibrations, my expression, my immediacy, my frustration amd my love.

 

Play a (real, good) piano for a while. You'll understand! :)

Amen, Brother!

 

Well, if you include regular tuning with the deal. :D
Your relationship with the piano will be complete when you learn to do touch-up tunings yourself. :love:
Casio PX-5S, Korg Kronos 61, Omnisphere 2, Ableton Live, LaunchKey 25, 2M cables
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I regard the Piano as a primary and quintessential instrument. It is the basis for many compositions. It's the first instrument I reach for when I want to work out a new melody. The sound of it resonates in the soul, therefore, the sound is VERY important.

That's why I have not been happy with any sample CD of grand piano, no matter how hyped. We're so close, with the Kurzweil K2600RS, but it has a badly-recorded middle C sample that just ruins the whole experience for me.

A real Steinway is just too big and too expensive though, and I don't enjoy the sound of uprights. So sampled is what I work with, and the search for the sample that plays well and sounds as good, goes on.

Best Regards,

 

Mark A. Weiss, P.E.

www.ampexperts.com

-

 

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I very much miss a real piano :( . I had access to one when i was a kid, but haven't had a decent one since then :cry: . I have various synths and sampled pianos, but, for me, it's like replacing a real woman with a blow-up doll.
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I have both a Yamaha Grand Piano and a Yamaha P90 Digital Piano.

 

The Yamaha Grand Piano is the best value musical instrument I have ever bought. For some reason you never get tired of playing a real acoustic grand piano.

 

I also have a Roland Alpha Juno 2, and Reason, so I am familar with Synths, although, I don't spend much time on them.

 

I find that you waste too much time mucking around with different sounds, and you dont really focus on making music.

 

Acoustic is best for me.

 

Regards

Alby

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While I love my synths to bits, I consider myself a pianist first and foremost. The piano is (and I imagine always will be) my favorite instrument to play or to listen to someone else play.

 

dB

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Originally posted by marino:

The piano is my life. It's my music, my vibrations, my expression, my immediacy, my frustration amd my love.

 

Play a (real, good) piano for a while. You'll understand! :)

 

And what about the synth... Uh! I hope to be never forced to make a choice between piano and synth. It would survive with either one, I could make music with either one. But I would feel scared and battered. But if *really* forced to make a choice, perhaps I would take the piano.

I wondered why people like Dick Hyman("Minotar"), Oscar Peterson, Susanne Ciani, Chick Corea and even Neil Young ("Trans") would delve into electronic music only to end up going back to their acoustic instruments. In the case of the acoustic piano or guitar, I think they find the limitations of those instrument to be more of an interesting challenge than having almost unlimited possibilities with synthesizers. Even though I'm more interested in synths, I can understand the appeal of focusing on getting the best, most expressive performance out of the piano. I think many of these musicians got to a point that synths started to feel like a gimmick to them, and less like a "real" instrument. I know if I sit down at a good grand piano and just play for a while, it feels more gratifying sometimes instead of having to worry about creating the right synth sound.
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My first keyboard was a DX7 and I never owned an acoustic piano. As I grow older I tend to dislike synths more and more ... there's nothing like a good piano. I feel like I have missed on something not having a real piano at home.

 

I have been saving for that Yamaha C7, it is pure bliss, hopefully this year I'll be able to buy it.

Piano before any synth, anytime.

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It's very important to me.

 

The best music investment I ever made was buying our 1927 Steinway M in 1990. Even though it was a great deal, at that time in my life it was a huge stretch. In the past 14 years, I would have bought and sold plenty of gear that wouldn't have lasted 14 years and wouldn't enrich my family's life as much as a fine piano. Since we bought it, my wife returned to studying piano and each of my kids has taken lessons. That's priceless.

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I'm another piano lover for sure.

 

I wish i could explain what it is! As much as i try to use other gear and enjoy it, a piano just feels like home... and i can't seem to get used to even the best imitations when i'm gigging (i'll learn eventually i hope :P )

 

Just an idea for anyone who doesn't get what it is about acoustic instruments... maybe it's because they make you work with their own limitations and express yourself through that, rather than trying to push the limits of sound as many people do with synths... and if you're playing a nice piano, you don't even notice the limitations! Meh sounds like rubbish when i write it down, but i know what i mean :freak:

I'll rock, you roll.
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I've wanted a grand piano for ages. It'll likely never happen as I have no room in the studio and the rest of the house belongs to the wife :) A piano is quite important in what I'm playing AND in my own musical psyche, so I'll probably always have a 'piano' synth around.

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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It's a bit of a tug of war for me. When I began piano lessons in 1965, synthesizers weren't really an option. While I loved playing the piano, I always heard more in my head than I could play. I heard drums, guitar, woodwinds, strings: full arrangements. I would describe what I heard while playing the piano to my friends and family and they would smile and shrug, not really getting it. By high school, I began writing for stage band, and in college, I wrote and conducted my own symphony. Finally, others heard what I had heard all along.

 

On the other hand, while the piano alone couldn't satisfy my ultimate creative desires, there has always been an instant gratification from playing the piano that no other keyboard sound could give me. Also, while I love the option of having a zillion keyboard sounds to choose from, I would rather play a decent upright piano than the greatest grand piano sample. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather record the great sampled piano; but for me, playing a real piano (even an upright) can be akin to a religious experience! :D

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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The piano is King for me. I own a Bluethner model 2 7'8" instrument. I also own a studio full of synths. While I love and use virtually all of my gear, the my piano is the one I enjoy the most. It is also the tool I use to improve as a musician, and it is my primary compositional tool.

Peace

 

 

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The piano has been great to me. I have an excellent life style because of the piano (and the money I invested from playing the piano).

 

I can't think of a better instrument than the piano - it's perfect. You can play solo jobs, jobs with a bass player, jobs with a trio ... and if you're really desperate, you can even add a singer.

 

As a piano player you can always find work - it seems even mediocre and just plain bad players do exceedingly well.

 

The piano is the king or all instruments. The best composers have always been first rate pianists (or organists) ... playing the piano gives us a head start over any other instrument.

 

The downside of the instrument - to remain an excellent player you become, more or less, a slave to the instrument. I find that small price to pay and read many magazines while practicing.

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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I started out with the piano, so I am biased. A lot of the neural coding is around the piano sound. If I had to give up music, that is what I would miss most.

 

However, in the last three years I have been doing a weekly gig as a synthesist, not playing piano sounds at all. Now some of those sounds have worked their way into my sub-consious as well. The urge to play them is so strong. If you'll excuse me, I'm off to my instruments ... :D

 

Jerry

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I can't live without it as an instrument. It's certainly my desert island instrument without question.

 

The piano is my life. It's my music, my vibrations, my expression, my immediacy, my frustration amd my love
I think Carlo summed it up pretty well. The piano just inspires me to create, and I feel a very strong connection to the instrument. I've never played a digital/sampled piano that I can connect with as much as even a mediocre upright piano. (Granted, it gets tiring to practice and play a mediocre piano after a while, but that's not what I'm talking about).

 

However, this is a *fairly* new mindset for me... 2 years ago I might have considered myself mostly a 'synthesist' and not cared much for a piano...

Korg Kronos X73 / ARP Odyssey / Motif ES Rack / Roland D-05 / JP-08 / SE-05 / Jupiter Xm / Novation Mininova / NL2X / Waldorf Pulse II

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I am a "piano is king" guy, too. I started on a piano when I was 5 years old. When I think of making music, that's the first thing that comes to mind. The synths, organs, etc. are real interesting, too, don't get me wrong. I like singing, too. The piano just comes to mind first. That's my starting point. I regret that I don't have a big enough place - or a big enough bank balance - or I'd have a Yamaha grand at home. There's nothing like it. DH, I didn't know anybody else read magazines while practicing - blew my cover.
"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
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Since you cross-posted this question here and in the Harmony Central KSS group, you have a pretty good survey sampling to base a guess on. From what I can see, the "piano is king" people outnumber the synth freaks by something like 10 to 1. I think the number of people in the audience who prefer a piano over a synth is much greater. :D

 

I play piano and synths, but you know what I don't like about synths? The name. I mean really: "synthesizer" sounds like what a chemist does in a lab. It's also derived from the word "synthetic", as if playing a synth was producing something artifical in some way (and some people view it this way too). Don't get me wrong - I'm not about to give up my synths... I just wish they'd have named them "space/time harps" or "electro-musicators" or something else completely original. :rolleyes: Now take the "Mellotron" for example - isn't that a great name for an instrument?

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Yes, I figured it was best to post on more than one forum for a well-rounded sampling. I didn't want to survey the individual manufacturer forum sites (Korg & Yamaha, etc.) or a rather juvenile music forum I've come across lately that would hardly deliver a qualified response.

 

I agree the word "synthesizer" is somewhat sterile--it would benefit from a more imaginative name. And the Mellotron....ah, there's a wonderful instrument indeed.

 

Regarding your response that "people in the audience" prefer a piano over a synth, well, one thing I've noticed is that most people have no idea what a synth is, or what sound it's making....how or why. They hear a harp sound on a CD and think it's a real harp. Even when played live, they don't understand synthesizer technology really. That's OK, but unfortunate in a way. It's a matter of education.

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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Originally posted by daveloving:

DH, I didn't know anybody else read magazines while practicing - blew my cover.

I've also been known to read novels - easy reading detective novels. The main problem is simply keeping the pages in place when reading - they have a tendency to move.

 

Whenever anyone makes an issue about this, I simply point out those individuals who manage to drive a car while drinking coffee and talking on the cell phone. At least with the piano, if anything goes wrong, it's just a minor accident.

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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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

I've also been known to read novels - easy reading detective novels.

Dave, you're amazing. Dare I ask what you do on the john?
Casio PX-5S, Korg Kronos 61, Omnisphere 2, Ableton Live, LaunchKey 25, 2M cables
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Originally posted by MurMan:

Originally posted by Dave Horne:

I've also been known to read novels - easy reading detective novels.

Dave, you're amazing. Dare I ask what you do on the john?
It's hardly amazing, I just don't like to waste time. If I could read and bike at the same time I would. I knew a French horn player who would read magazines when warming up. :cool:

 

I'm reasonably sure what I do on the john is the same that everyone else does. :cool:

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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I have a love / hate relationship with the piano...

 

I used to believe a song wasn't a song unless it could be played on the piano. I don't feel that way now. There are songs and sounds that can't be expressed on a piano.

 

And I still feel that there is a certain snobbery associated with the piano (that isn't present with synths). I'm a far cry from the traditional, classical pianist, and I admittedly feel inferior to those who have a strong piano background.

 

More than anything, a piano just isn't practical for me right now. I was fortunate enough to inherit a decent console piano, but in my small apartment, I can't play it. My neighbors would be on me like hair on a gorilla. I don't intend to sell it, as the sentimental value is worth far more than the market value of the instrument. And someday, when my living situation changes, I might be able to enjoy it.

 

I have never really played a "good" piano. Every one that I have played has either been out of tune, or the action is inconsistent. I would love to try a grand in a studio setting, as my overall impressions would probably change. I would never consider recording a piano in my home studio, as it is just too complicated. A sampled piano will beat it every time (in a home setting).

 

Despite my thoughts on the real instrument, I still value piano sounds in electronic gear. And I still expect Patch #001 of any new instrument to be an acoustic piano simulation. At the same time, I don't think hardware synths can compete with soft samplers anymore. Yes, you have some latency to deal with, but the depth of realism of a multi-gigabyte piano can't be matched by the small memories of Romplers.

 

That being said, I do enjoy the piano patches on the Yamaha S90 and the Roland RD700. Kurzweil has a decent patch with the PC2X, but I have never found a Korg piano that I've liked. In all fairness, I have never played one of their dedicated pianos (e.g. SG1D, etc). I'm referring strictly to their workstations.

 

In truth, I don't think customers want the sound of a living room piano in their synths. If you tried to model a Rompler (or sample library) after the player's experience of playing a piano, I don't think people would like it. I think we've become accustomed to the compressed, "recorded" sound of a piano. And for that reason, samples and Romplers are more practical for the average home studio.

 

Herbie Hancock once made an excellent point in a rare television interview. Graham Nash asked him about his thoughts on synths versus pianos, and he basically told him that it was an unfair comparison. "Synthesizers are still babies", Herbie said. The piano has been developed over hundreds of years, and synths are not even a century old. Who knows what we'll be playing two or three hundred years from now.....

 

Wiggum

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Originally posted by daveloving:

DH, I didn't know anybody else read magazines while practicing - blew my cover.

You know two now. :D

It's not something I would talk about very often, but I, too, read magazines regularly while praticing technique. I, too, have read entire novels that way. And I, too, have the problem to keep the books in place. A tip for Dave: I've used a couple of large hardcover books (closed, of course), one on each side of the open book you're reading. :)

 

A disclaimer: I don't do this when learning something new, or when playing actual music; just while doing some technical routines which I've done for many years. I even found that it helps me to relax. I would not recommend it to anybody, unless he's played for most of his life and really knows what he's doing.

 

That said, Keyboard magazine balances just pefectly on the music stand. And it has music too! :D

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