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The Advantages of the Digital Piano
Traditionalists bemoan the advent of digital pianos as a poor substitution for the wooden model of piano. Some claim that they can always tell the difference between the sound of a digital piano and that of a traditional piano, however it is unlikely that even a practiced ear could tell the difference from a recording, unless the recording included a video of the instrument. Nevertheless, there are significant differences in the feel of a digital piano to that of the traditional, and there can also be differences in sound perception when it comes to live music, although these sound differences may only be a part of the expectations of the listener.
The fact is that digital pianos do offer several distinct advantages over genuine pianos. Most people feel that these advantages compensate for the drawbacks, especially those who would not be able to afford the upkeep of wooden pianos. Here are a few of the advantages of the digital piano.
Several pianos, but just one instrument. The main advantage of the digital piano is that it can incorporate the sounds of several different kinds of piano in one small instrument. Grand piano, upright piano, and electric piano sounds can all be recorded via samples in a digital piano’s memory. Thus, a musician can produce the effect of any one of several different types of piano on their digital machine.
Cost. Hand-in-hand with the advantage of different piano tones is the issue of cost. One can imagine how much it would cost to own all the different types of piano that a digital can emulate. All of these sounds are available in just one machine. While it is true that a high end digital will cost a lot of money, the odds are that it will still cost less than just one traditional model, and will certainly cost less than buying four or more different models.
Recording capabilities. Most digital pianos have built in sequencers which allow musicians to record the tracks that they play. The fact that they have their own amplification hardware also means that recording is made easier since there is no need for a mike. The elimination of a mike for projection is also an advantage in performance settings.
Lower Maintenance. Unlike traditional pianos, digitals do not need to be tuned. Nor do they need extra attention paid to their inner workings as often as wooden models. Digitals are far less susceptible to damage than wooden models due to their compact and solid design.
Portability. Perhaps one of the most obvious advantages of the digital piano is its portability. Anyone who has ever helped a friend move knows the dread of relocating a large traditional piano. Digitals are lighter and much more given to safe transport.
The advantages of the digital piano have made them very popular, even in venues (such as churches) where traditional wooden models have always held sway. They are different from synthesizers in that they use samples to reproduce sounds instead of creating them from scratch.