Parents looking for musical instruments for their young children, musicians who cannot afford a large piano due to their neighbors or professional players looking for an alternative to classical instruments with a greater number of sounds, etc. – sooner or later they all end up watching some digital piano. The digital piano is a musical instrument whose main function is to faithfully reproduce various piano sounds, from small vertical ones to large concert string pianos. The digital piano also offers various benefits related to advanced sound processors, sound databases, and possibilities for electronic arrangements and compositions recording.
How to choose a piano of this kind in the best way?
Digital upright pianos mimic the size of common upright planes; digital grand pianos allow the player to play just like in front of an authentic concert grand piano. If you have to choose an instrument for the initial stage, the upright digital piano is one of the ideal options, especially due to the much higher price of the digital grand piano.
Subdivision by keyboard:
One of the main features of the digital piano is the keyboard; this should mimic as much as possible that of a normal piano, with all the various shades and details. Some people don’t like pressing dull keys, while others don’t like shiny ones, because they are too “slippery”. From the point of view of the material, the optimal choice is the version in faux ivory (with minimal absorption properties), to favor a much more comfortable use.
Mechanical and sound properties:
At the base of each digital piano there is the hammer mechanism, which simulates the feeling of striking on real hammers of a real piano. Depending on the price of the digital piano, this mechanism is made according to the so-called linear variant (all hammers have the same heaviness) or with graduated mechanics, i.e. with the hardest bass hammers and those of the other lighter ones – just like in real and own pianos.
Each key acts as a command or trigger for a recorded sound (usually that of a real piano) corresponding to the given tone. This start can, however, be influenced by various models that reproduce the functioning of the mechanics of an acoustic instrument:
Key-off – the real keys of the acoustic pianos do not stop sounding immediately after lifting the hammers; in fact, through the mutes, they emit a characteristic attenuated sound, which simulates the real key-off function
Escapement – This function simulates the situation in which the fret is insufficiently pressed and therefore on a normal plane the string would not vibrate, i.e. no tone would be emitted
Weighted keys – Allows you to graduate the striking force on the key and therefore affect the volume and tone trend. In general, the greater the number of dynamics degrees, the more the digital piano’s weighted key function resembles that of a real piano.
Smooth release – Advanced sonic function that simulates the sound tail of the strings after a slight lift of the hammers. This function is especially appreciated by the most demanding pianists and lovers of classical or jazz music
Stereo sustain – Simulation of the right piano pedal. The mute attenuation function is canceled and therefore the sound has a much longer tail
The quality of the processor determines how much influence the purchased piano has on the sound quality. Each processor contains recorded sounds of a real piano; however, the cheaper instruments do not have a keyboard with recording, but mostly selected tones, while the rest are integrated with pre-recorded tone increase or decrease via computer. . There are, however, digital piano with fully registered keyboard. They are the so-called premium model or more expensive concert models, according to different degrees, for the simulation of perfect key dynamics.
In addition to the basic sound databases of the classic piano, another characteristic of digital pianos is also the quantity of other sounds and voices taken from the classic keyboards, with the possibility of reproducing various effects, up to the most sophisticated simulations of those that were once the first. synthesizers or electric pianos. These digital piano options are made even more prominent thanks to special functions, such as: Dual tone or even layer – possibility to link two sound settings in one keyboard. After pressing a single key, the sound of a piano can be reproduced at the same time and, together with it, that of a violin. Keyboard split – ability to divide the keyboard into two parts and use completely different settings for each of the two. Thus, for example, you can play the melodic part with the sound of the piano and the basses instead with the sound of an organ.
Arrangement of compositions and MIDI interface:
In many cases the sound processor serves as a tool for composing your own songs, which can be not only recorded but also often well analyzed and – for example – supplemented with chord accompaniment. This feature is just like a piano teacher. The control unit allows you to view the notes of a composition and waits for you to press the right key or otherwise counts down to the corresponding rhythm and checks the weight of the tones.
In addition to this function, you will certainly also appreciate the ability to connect the digital piano to a computer or other smart device through a dedicated MIDI or USB interface. In this way your piano becomes a full-fledged studio peripheral and can be connected without the slightest problem to your music software. At the same time, you can easily store compositions played directly on the piano or expand the piano’s memory by inserting new compositions or new sounds – as designed by the manufacturer.
One of the main advantages of the digital piano is that it is fully capable of adjusting the volume of the built-in speakers or listening to the sound through headphones. This is why most digital pianos are equipped with a headphone output with a 6.3 stereo jack and very often also RCA stereo (cinch), or 2 mono 6.3 outputs per jack. Professional digital pianos also include a pair of XLR outputs for direct connection of the instrument to the mixing console or amplification system.