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Thomann's Cool Online Guides: Digital Pianos

3. Sound

The first and most important consideration when buying any instrument is the sound that it makes. As we have seen, when considering
DigitalAll digital equipment, formats and systems represent audio in numerical code or form. Digital information is a precise way of expressing any of information that can be quantified in some way.
digital
pianos, there’s a strong
Daisy ChainThe patching of the output of one piece of equipment to the input of another, which can be repeated indefinitely in theory. Common practice with guitar effects pedals, and with MIDI equipment where the Thru of one device is connected to the In of the next and so on.
link
between the quality of the sound and the price you pay.

However, the minimum standard is still pretty high. If you’re buying a first instrument for a young beginner, the sound of an inexpensive piano is likely to be perfectly acceptable, especially when taking into account that this year’s budding Liszt may have discovered a completely different all-consuming interest next year…

Range

The quality of the sound can vary in different parts of the keyboard. On cheaper pianos, you may find that the sound is fine in the middle
RegisterA temporary storage location in a computer's CPU for data being processed.
register
, but becomes muddy and distorted in the lower
RegisterA temporary storage location in a computer's CPU for data being processed.
registers
. The higher
RegisterA temporary storage location in a computer's CPU for data being processed.
register
can also deteriorate the further up the keyboard you go.

Both these phenomena are the result of cheaper sampling and sound reproduction technology - the electronic processes involved can change the essential character of the sound, even if the original recording was reasonably good.

Touch-sensitivity

The responsiveness of the
KeyAn additional input on a dynamics processor such as a compressor or noise gate, enabling the dynamics of one signal to control the level of another. This can be used for many functions, including ducking (compressing a music signal when a DJ or announcer speaks), synchronised gating, and (in conjunction with an equaliser) de-essing.
keys
is known as its touch-sensitivity, and is another mark of the quality of the piano. On a real piano, the sound becomes louder and brighter when you
Hit1) A successful recording. 2) A single sampled percussive sound, as opposed to a loop.
hit
the
KeyAn additional input on a dynamics processor such as a compressor or noise gate, enabling the dynamics of one signal to control the level of another. This can be used for many functions, including ducking (compressing a music signal when a DJ or announcer speaks), synchronised gating, and (in conjunction with an equaliser) de-essing.
keys
harder, or softer and mellower when you play gently. The best
DigitalAll digital equipment, formats and systems represent audio in numerical code or form. Digital information is a precise way of expressing any of information that can be quantified in some way.
digital
pianos reproduce these characteristics with great accuracy, but you can also expect an acceptable degree of touch-sensitivity from lower-priced models.

Yamaha CLP-295 Grand Piano

Throughout this guide, the first consideration is always ‘what do you need?’. If you’re serious about playing the piano, then touch-sensitivity will be an important issue - your expressiveness will be shaped by the response from the
KeyAn additional input on a dynamics processor such as a compressor or noise gate, enabling the dynamics of one signal to control the level of another. This can be used for many functions, including ducking (compressing a music signal when a DJ or announcer speaks), synchronised gating, and (in conjunction with an equaliser) de-essing.
keys
and the speakers. But if you or one of your children are just starting out, then you can probably make do with a more basic
DigitalAll digital equipment, formats and systems represent audio in numerical code or form. Digital information is a precise way of expressing any of information that can be quantified in some way.
digital
sound.

Choice

One of the great benefits of a
DigitalAll digital equipment, formats and systems represent audio in numerical code or form. Digital information is a precise way of expressing any of information that can be quantified in some way.
digital
piano is that you usually get a choice of sounds. And not just acoustic pianos - you will often get electric pianos, organ sounds, and even strings. Again, consider your needs. A professional may want a small selection of excellent acoustic and electric piano sounds, while someone playing for fun may want more variety, with less concern for the realistic quality of each sound. Make sure the
DigitalAll digital equipment, formats and systems represent audio in numerical code or form. Digital information is a precise way of expressing any of information that can be quantified in some way.
digital
piano you choose offers the range of sounds that you need.

Effects

Some
DigitalAll digital equipment, formats and systems represent audio in numerical code or form. Digital information is a precise way of expressing any of information that can be quantified in some way.
digital
pianos have built-in
EffectsGeneral term applied to audio processors for dynamics, time, ambience and equalisation whether in the form of 19" rack units, guitar floor pedals, or software plug-ins.
effects
, such as echo, reverberation, and
Chorus1) A delay-based effect that simulates the sound of a group of the same instruments. Regarded as a soft modulation, effect it can create rich textures through phasing and mixing of layers. 2) The part of a song that acts as a recurring theme or refrain.
chorus
. Those with electronic organ sounds may also incorporate the sound of a rotating
LeslieA speaker cabinet containing speakers on rotating arms, producing a combination of tremolo and vibrato effects as a result of the Doppler effect. Originally designed as part of the Hammond organ amplification but also popularized by psychedelic rock guitarists, notably Jimi Hendrix and David Gilmour.
Leslie
speaker. Take care when considering these options - the quality of the basic sound may have been compromised to allow for the inclusion of
EffectsGeneral term applied to audio processors for dynamics, time, ambience and equalisation whether in the form of 19" rack units, guitar floor pedals, or software plug-ins.
effects
you don’t need. If you’re a pro, you will almost certainly have your own dedicated
EffectsGeneral term applied to audio processors for dynamics, time, ambience and equalisation whether in the form of 19" rack units, guitar floor pedals, or software plug-ins.
effects
processor(s), which will generally do a much better job. But built-in
EffectsGeneral term applied to audio processors for dynamics, time, ambience and equalisation whether in the form of 19" rack units, guitar floor pedals, or software plug-ins.
effects
can also enrich the sound and add an attractive dimension of colour and fun - it’s for you to decide.

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