A Digital Piano is the modern iteration of one of the most popular musical instruments in the history of music - the Piano. The Piano, which has traditionally been acoustic or analog, means it uses mechanical movements to create acoustic sounds. The Digital piano is essentially a more affordable alternative to the larger, more expensive Acoustic Pianos, and are modelled after either Grand or Uprig...
A Digital Piano is the modern iteration of one of the most popular musical instruments in the history of music - the Piano. The Piano, which has traditionally been acoustic or analog, means it uses mechanical movements to create acoustic sounds. The Digital piano is essentially a more affordable alternative to the larger, more expensive Acoustic Pianos, and are modelled after either Grand or Upright Pianos. While Grand Pianos and Acoustic Pianos use horizontal and vertical strings (respectively) to create the distinguished ‘Piano’ sound, Digital Pianos use pre-recorded audio samples or synth-created sounds to replicate the sounds of an Acoustic Piano. This digital reproduction is made possible thanks to an inbuilt speaker system in the Digital Piano.
While Digital Pianos are priced lower than their acoustic counterparts, they generally tend to have more features like: variable tuning, output to connect to an amplifier or PA system, headphone out, and additional voices apart from the standard Grand Piano. Moreover, they also feature 88-key semi-weighted or full-weighted keys to recreate the feel of an Acoustic Piano. As an artist, portability and the overall space availability is a major factor to consider. Digital Pianos tend to be significantly lighter than their acoustic equivalents and take up very little room in comparison to a Grand Piano. The Upright variants of these instruments can stay flush against a wall in your home, making it accessible and a decorative unit. The Portable Digital Piano variants are, as the name suggests, easy to transport and store, but will lose slightly in the appearance department. Another bonus of the Digital Piano is its ease of maintenance. It does not require the time-consuming act of tuning the strings or routine maintenance to preserve the large-scale setup. Another often forgotten advantage of a digital instrument is the ability to control sound/volume with a knob in contrast to the graded hammer-action control on acoustic instruments.
What is the difference between Digital Piano and Acoustic Piano?
Digital Pianos are cheaper, smaller in size, easier to maintain, and slightly more portable. Since they are digital, they have added features like variable tuning, output to connect to an amplifier or PA system, headphone out, and additional voices like: Pipe Organ, Electric Piano, Hammond Organ, and Harpsichord(to name a few). Digital Pianos can be shaped after upright, grand or portable pianos/keyboards.
Can I connect Digital Pianos to MIDI or amplifier?
Yes, you can connect most Digital Pianos to an amplifier, PA System or MIDI output without using Instrument Microphones. Conversely, you need to use instrument mics to record and play live when using an Acoustic Piano – both Grand and Upright.
Is it difficult to maintain a Digital Piano?
No, Digital Pianos are easier to manage than their Acoustic alternatives. In short, it is best practice to keep your digital piano away from windows and doors, out of direct sunlight, away from hot/cold air vents, have controlled humidity and moisture levels, and sanitise your hands before using the instrument. Digital Pianos are known to last for over 35 years if imparted with appropriate care.
What is the difference between graded hammer action, weighted keys, semi-weighted keys and synth action keys?
Weighted keys in a Digital Piano are primarily designed to replicate the resistance of Acoustic Pianos, to a limited extent. This is achieved, more commonly, by adding a lead component under the keybed to counter the depression of the key. Semi-weighted keys are a worthwhile consideration for artists who are switching from synth-action to weighted keys (and vice versa). They use springs to achieve mild weightedness. Hammer action keys are a replica of Grand Pianos where the lower end of the keybed requires a heavier press than the treble end of the keyboard. Acoustic Pianos need graded hammer action keys to control volume, but also help increase the level of expression that’s possible with individual amplification control. Synth keys are primarily built for playing comfort and general ease of use. They provide little to no resistance, commonly seen in MIDI Keyboards and Arranger Workstations.
What is the use of pedals in a digital piano?
Similar to a Grand Piano, pedals in a Digital Piano are used for three audio modulation functions: Volume pedal - to raise and lower the volume on command, Una Corda pedal - also known as the ‘soft pedal’ to increase or decrease the intensity of the note, and the Sustain pedal - to play in staccato and legato notes.
What is the price range of a Digital Piano?
A Digital Piano starts from AED 1,700 and can go upto AED 50,000 in the professional ranges.