This refers to an acoustic piano fitted with a digital system, very different from the traditional muted instrument which is quite frustrating for the musician and often ineffective for the entourage.
The interest of this type of equipment is to be able to play with headphones or on a hi-if system without disturbing people around you whilst keeping a true acoustic keyboard.
Sometimes this system is unfortunately used by default and indeed the musician, for whom the piano is badly adjusted, badly harmonised and badly tuned, often prefers to fall back on the digital unit alone, but the listening pleasure and the feelings of musicians are not at all the same. In fact, the sound produced digitally is hollow, mediocre and soulless. How difficult it is to trick and move the brain when the sound comes out of a membrane of a loud speaker. This only applies to piano music.
- To compose pieces of music, mainly songs, via a PC equipped with software (e.g. Cubase, FL Studio, Linux multimedia,…) thanks to the MIDI universal standard.
- Connect the piano to other digital instruments, synthesisers etc.
This system necessarily must be installed when the piano is manufactured. It must be guaranteed “factory fitted”.
It is the Yamaha which is the market leader in terms of quality, reliability, performance and period of manufacture (since 1993).
Apart from that brand, Schimmel and Bösendorfer install a Japanese digital system, factory fitted of course !
I must warn you about certain practices:
It is a matter of fact that a good number of music shops and even piano tuners will urge you to install a very expensive digital system and certify that the result will be the same as if the system was factory fitted.
This is completely false !
- At best, it will be an optical system fitted under the keyboard but which will never match Japanese quality as much in dynamics (nuances between pianissimo and fortissimo) as in listening (resembling the sound of a real piano).
- At worse, it will be an electrical switch system which, in addition to the drawbacks of the first system, will also be a source of noise, bad contacts and change to the touch. That will truly represent a hindrance, making it difficult to nuance, above all in the pianissimo, and sometimes extraneous noises will upset the concentration and the intense joy experienced by the musician when he plays. Moreover, part of the adjustment of the mechanism during the life of the piano will develop problems.
But regardless of the two systems, there will always be problems with the mechanism of the piano. Indeed, to no longer listen to a true acoustic piano, a stop bar must be placed level with the mechanism to prevent the hammers striking the strings but there is little room in the mechanism of a piano and its adjustments are very technical. If that had not been realised by the design engineers of the piano at the outset, they would not have been serious people ! As the years go by, you will end up regretting that you spent money on your piano.
Even more deceitful, certain vendors will offer you a new or second hand piano already fitted with this system but not factory fitted. Clearly, the same problems will inevitably arise.