|Taking the Guess Work Out of Choosing Between an Acoustic or Digital Piano
The evolution of the piano has really come a long way in its 500 year
history. The acoustic piano has gone through a number of evolutional changes
throughout the course of its history, but no other change has been so dramatic
as to revolutionize the current state of the piano industry, blending old
technology, the art of piano making with the latest digital piano revolution.
So if you are at the crossroads of deciding the type of piano, acoustic or
digital, you are considering, we will provide you with information about the
important differences between the two.
Many classical pianists would argue the notion that an acoustic piano is far
better than a digital piano. In absolute terms that would be unequivocally yes.
One would say that the classical piano offers the best in terms of keyboard
weighting, meaning the action and responsiveness of the piano keys far outweigh
that of a digital piano. The sound of an acoustic piano cannot be accurately
replicated on a digital piano as well according to the classical musician. But
if you are a new student and taking beginner
piano lessons, then the difference in weighting and responsiveness might not
be readily apparent.
Although many classical pianists believed that the current state of
technology is not up to speed to genuinely reproduce the characteristics of an
acoustic piano; however, the rate of adoption of technology in the piano
industry is rapidly evolving and might soon change all of the arguments against
the digital keyboard.
Now that we have stated the advantages of playing an acoustic piano there are
some disadvantages as well. For instance, an acoustic piano requires regular
tuning particularly if it is moved to an area where weather is significantly
different. Heat and humidity can significantly impair the qualities of an
acoustic piano.. Also, most pianos are heavy and take up a large footprint.
Another disadvantage is that the acoustic offers only one instrument sound,
namely the piano.
Now we are going to look at the digital piano. A digital piano attempts to
replicate the sound and the touch and feel of an acoustic piano. Although some
would say that the technology still does not allow the digital piano to
replicate an acoustic piano, there have been great strides in developing a
digital piano that is closely and authentically replicates that of an acoustic
piano. Take for instance the Roland-V piano, which most accurately replicates
the sound of an acoustic piano. Rather than simply digitally record, i.e. sample
the sounds of an acoustic piano with all its which will inherently capture the
slightest of unwanted noise, The V-piano technology actually eliminates that
problem by actually building the sound from the ground up. The sound is built
algorithmically by identifying the elements of a note and then building them
using an algorithm to create each element. For instance, the striking sound of
the piano hammer is built by algorithmically creating that element, followed by
the sound of each string. Additional elements are assembled to create the final
tonal characteristics of the piano. In the end, the building blocks that
comprise the complete tonal qualities of an authentic acoustic piano have been
engineered and crafted into an exceptional digital piano. Roland is the first to
develop the technology. It is just a question of time when other keyboard
manufacturers such as Yamaha
keyboards follow suit.
Some of the benefits of buying a digital piano include the price tag, which
is generally cheaper to buy than an acoustic piano. Want to practice in the
middle of the night while others are sleeping, just plug in the headphones. One
caveat is the sensitivity of the keys which can be less than that of an acoustic
piano affording less opportunity to accurately interpret piano pieces the way
they should. But then again technology is changing at such a rapid pace that it
might no longer be an issue. A digital piano offers more than just one
instrument, in fact many digital pianos today offer over 400 instruments thereby
providing the piano player with a variety of choices, providing an the pianist
unbounded opportunities for creativity. Most digital pianos have built-in
recording features called MIDI. With MIDI enabled, a pianist can create full
orchestrations using the built in instruments. If the pianist is a composer,
then a digital piano might just be the ticket.
All in all your choice of keyboard would depend on what you want to
accomplish. If you're looking for a keyboard to perform only, and have enough
room in your home, and the piano will not likely move, then perhaps an acoustic
piano is your best choice. If on the other hand, weight, and space are
considerations as well as your objective is to create music, be a one-man-band
then consider the purchase of a digital piano. If price is an issue then
definitely consider a digital piano as these can cost less than half the price
of a good acoustic piano.
About the author: Dan Maynard is the publisher of a piano
keyboard review site. In his
spare time Dan enjoys golfing, reading, playing and composing music.