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Online Guide Digital Pianos
Amplification

 

As we address this subject, we enter a realm that for a long time was the nightmare of keyboard players. Electronic keyboards of all kinds are high-fidelity instruments, producing sounds rich in subtle tonality, and by the time their electronic signals had been processed by a
ConsoleA device through which audio signals are routed for mixing, monitoring, processing and re-routed for either recording, amplification or both. A console contains a number of channel strips and a selection of auxiliary, monitoring and main outputs.
mixer
, sucked in and regurgitated by an
AmplifierA device for increasing the power of a signal by taking power from a supply and shaping the output to match the input signal.
amplifier
and walloped into the
AIRSome artists and producers believe that AIR - Always In Record - is a valuable technique, because it can capture moments of musical magic that may otherwise go unrecorded. It simply means that the tape or hard drive never stops running during a session.
air
by a speaker, the original sound was sometimes mangled beyond all recognition. Fortunately, modern PA systems are capable of good quality reproduction across the frequency spectrum, although there are still plenty of poor ones around.

The problem above is largely reserved for gigging musicians however. When buying 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 for home use, the
AmplifierA device for increasing the power of a signal by taking power from a supply and shaping the output to match the input signal.
amplifier
and speakers built-in to the instrument will usually be perfectly adequate, and in higher-priced models, they should be excellent.

In all cases, a
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.
key
issue is
Volume1) In audio and music, the loudness or amplitude of a signal. 2) In computing, a fixed amount of storage space, addressed as a single entity ('C:', 'D:' etc). A physical drive may contain more than one volume, but a single volume may also span more than one drive!
volume
- how loud do you need your piano to be? For home use, the built-in system should be fine. In a band, or for a large venue though, you’ll need to consider some form of additional amplification. The rule once again is that you tend to get what you pay for, but choose with care - even at the highest professional levels, you can hear some less than pleasant keyboard sounds, regardless of how good the rest of the band sounds.

Yamaha MODUS H01


Yamaha MODUS H01 - AG

Our Amplification Online Advisor carries more detail, but for now, consider the following
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.
key
points:

  • Choose your speakers with great care. The problem with keyboards is the frequency range they produce - from very high, to very low, with every shade in between. Ideally, you would have a pair of full-range 12” speakers and at least one
    SubwooferA speaker designed to transmit only the lowest part of the audible frequency spectrum, usually up to around 80 or 100Hz. Subwoofers are used to complement full range speakers in many situations including live/club sound, studio control rooms and cinemas, to provide deep bass that is often physically felt as well as heard.
    subwoofer
    - in effect, your own PA system. As this is usually impractical however, check the frequency response of your speakers, and go for as broad a range as possible.

  • If not using powered or ‘active’ loudspeakers, go for a good stereo power
    AmpereUnit of current; the amount of electricity flowing through a conductor. One Ampere is equal to the flow of 6.25x10^18 electrons through a conductor in one second.
    amp
    - at least 200 Watts
    RMSRoot Mean Square: a way of calculating the average power over time to give a meaningful value representing the power of an audio signal. Generally thought to be the most meaningful way of measuring amplifier power output.
    RMS
    - and ensure it is rated higher than the speakers so you have plenty of
    HeadroomA safety margin in the audio path over and above that required by a typical signal, the presence of which helps to avoid the possibility of distortion. Specifically in digital audio, the difference between Permitted Maximum Level (PML) and Digital Full Scale (FS, 0dB).
    headroom
    . The aim is to get the
    Volume1) In audio and music, the loudness or amplitude of a signal. 2) In computing, a fixed amount of storage space, addressed as a single entity ('C:', 'D:' etc). A physical drive may contain more than one volume, but a single volume may also span more than one drive!
    volume
    you need without
    DistortionIn most cases distortion is an undesirable alteration to a signal which occurs when a piece of equipment is driven with a input level that is too high for its operating level. Sometimes, as in the case of guitar distortion, this can be an intentional and desirable effect.
    distortion
    , and a full, rich sound even at low levels.

  • Specialist combo amps are available which are designed to accommodate the particular needs of keyboards. However, if you want to make the most of the stereo
    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
    technology in your piano, you really need a pair of combos, set either side of the stage or room.

  • If you’re using your piano with another keyboard or two, consider investing in your own small
    ConsoleA device through which audio signals are routed for mixing, monitoring, processing and re-routed for either recording, amplification or both. A console contains a number of channel strips and a selection of auxiliary, monitoring and main outputs.
    mixer
    so you can send a single stereo signal to the main PA. In this scenario, a combo can be useful as an on-stage
    Monitor1) Recording studio loudspeaker. 2) Stage loudspeaker, usually wedge-shaped, facing the performers so that they may hear themselves. 3) Computer display screen.
    monitor
    .

Where you are not having to compete with the sound of a band or orchestra, a reasonably powerful hi-fi system can be a good way of amplifying 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, especially when there are no speakers built-in to the piano itself. Of course, most models are equipped with headphone sockets so you can play away quietly, with only the sound 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
to disturb those around you. As always with headphones, make sure you don’t have the sound too loud, and give yourself regular breaks. Prolonged exposure even to low volumes at close range can be as damaging as short excessively loud sounds.

 

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