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#1680709 - 05/19/11 08:12 AM Diffrence between a synth and a digital piano?
DBC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/09/11
Posts: 62
Loc: Romania
Can you please tell me the diffrence between a synthetyser and a digital piano?


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#1680718 - 05/19/11 08:28 AM Re: Diffrence between a synth and a digital piano? [Re: DBC]
WingNL Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/17/11
Posts: 212
Loc: Dordrecht, Netherlands
world of difference...

synthesizer is a really different instrument. The only resemblance that it has ... black and white keys... even the touch is different.

DX7 synth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WCPLZyk3XA (there's also difference between analog, digital, wavetable, modelling etc...)
piano is much simpler.. usually made out of samples of a piano itself. Where the idea of a synthesizer is..is literally in the word: "synthesize sounds" so not trying to resemble something it's not (well, in a few cases at most perhaps).. a digital piano is trying to be a piano.

hopefully that does the first explaining? smile
Kawai K1 MK2, Roland V-Piano, Focusrite LE interface, 2 custom (cheap)Telecasters, and a lot of softsynths!

#1680753 - 05/19/11 09:40 AM Re: Diffrence between a synth and a digital piano? [Re: DBC]
mucci Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/29/10
Posts: 1070
Loc: Munich, Germany
A synthesizer (often abbreviated "synth") is an electronic instrument capable of producing sounds by generating electrical signals of different frequencies. [...] Synthesizers can usually produce a wide range of sounds, which may either imitate other instruments ("imitative synthesis") or generate new timbres.

Digital Piano:
A digital piano is a modern electronic musical instrument, different from the Electronic keyboard, designed to serve primarily as an alternative to a traditional piano, both in the way it feels to play and in the sound produced

My first synthesizer was a Casio CZ101 back in 1985, and it had nothing to do with the sound of the acoustic piano I played at that time. It was a lot of fun!

Edited by mucci (05/19/11 09:47 AM)
<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>

#1680768 - 05/19/11 10:18 AM Re: Diffrence between a synth and a digital piano? [Re: DBC]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3928
It's actually hard to come up with a perfect distinction between the two, as not every instrument falls into a neat category. But for a starting point...

Synthesizers encompass a very broad range of instruments (some don't even use keyboards, though most do). Most of them do not have good piano sounds, if they have piano sounds at all. However, a subset of synthesizers that are built on the idea of playing back samples (often called "romplers" or "workstations" -- a distinction to leave for another time) generally do have piano sounds, and some of these instruments even have piano-style weighted keys. At least these days, these models usually have decent piano sounds (among hundreds of other sounds).

Digital pianos are built on the same principles as "rompler" style synthesizers, but generally have fewer non-piano sounds in them, and provide little (or nothing) in the way of sound editing capabilities. It is often common for them to include speakers. Their primary function is simply to attempt to duplicate the sound and feel of a piano.

Synthesizers (which, again, may or may not include strong piano sounds) tend to have a much wider range of sounds, more substantial ways to alter the sounds (or even build your own from scratch), and more ways to alter the sound as you play (via pedals, wheels, knobs, faders, etc.).

Within a given brand, around a given price, a digital piano will generally have a better piano sound than a synthesizer. But especially when you start comparing across different brands and different price ranges, you can't assume that to be the case (and so often, the sense of which piano sound is "better" is one of personal preference).

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#1680791 - 05/19/11 10:48 AM Re: Diffrence between a synth and a digital piano? [Re: DBC]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: DBC
Can you please tell me the diffrence between a synthetyser and a digital piano?

My opinion is that a "digital piano" is a very specialized type of "synthetyser that has weighted hammer action keys and a tone generator that maybe harder to get the acoustic piano sound "correct".

But many people use the term "synth" to mean an an analog instrument that allows you to create new sounds by use of some oscillators, envelope generators and filters. Now days there are mostly digital simulations of these analog instruments but they work the same way and mostly hide the fact that they are digital.

The most common keyboard you see in stores in neither of these. Today the most common the is the "sampler". These have a dozen to hundreds of pre-recorded samples of other instruments. You can push the "strings" button and play string-like sounds but unlike the analog synth you can't create your own new sounds and these lack the weighted action of a piano

That said, some instruments blur the lines and if you add a computer into the mix it get's bluryer because I can play an analog synth emulation as a software virtual instrument with my digital piano via MIDI.

But inthe end a good digital piano will have quality weighted hammer action keys and a "synth" will have a much light non-weighted action (like an organ) or maybe a sei-weighted action. Many Synths go farther and have an "after touch" kay actions. "After Touch" is completely foreign to pianos. Whith this kind of keys yu can vary to note by applying pressure after the key has hit bottom. On an acoustic grand piano the key is disconected from the hammers while you hold it down but an after tuch key can change the pitch or loudness based onfinger pressure on the bottomed out key. You really need this if you are to play a guitar, flute or violin sound and have it not sound "dull"

Edited by ChrisA (05/19/11 10:55 AM)

#1680890 - 05/19/11 12:37 PM Re: Diffrence between a synth and a digital piano? [Re: DBC]
doremi Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1807
I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked


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