Saturday, August 30, 2008

What is a digital piano?

A digital piano is an electronic, keyboard-based instrument similar to a synthesizer but made to function more like a piano than any synthesizer does. A digital piano actually falls in category somewhere between synthesizers, which are made to produce extremely artificial sounds, and electronic pianos, which are made to be portable versions of pianos. A digital piano typically contains many piano-like features, such as full 88 key keyboards (though some are much smaller), a variety of different functioning pedals and weighted keys. But the sounds found on a digital piano vary from that of both an acoustic piano and a synthesizer. While a digital piano always includes a normal grand piano sound of some sort, it may also contain the sounds of other piano types, such as honky-tonk or upright. Additionally, a digital piano will often include sounds complementary to a piano, such as strings, brass and percussion.

What makes a digital piano sometimes more desirable than an acoustic piano (when it comes to popular music, at least) is the sheer number of features that enhance the experience of playing. For instance, one push of a button can transpose the entire keyboard on a digital piano to any key desired and middle C can be placed anywhere on the keyboard. Additionally, the keys on a digital piano can be adjusted to have as much or as little touch sensitivity as the pianist desires. A digital piano can also control a variety of audio functions, including sustain and delay, and be used as more of a synthesizer than a piano. And what's more, a digital piano can be programmed to play more than one sound when kitting a key or the keyboard can be split to put the bottom half at one sound and the top half at another. It's an extremely versatile instrument; a digital piano can be made by its user to sound exactly like a real piano or anything but.
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