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#2026711 - 02/04/13 05:12 AM Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture [Re: Nigeth]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1243
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: Nigeth
Originally Posted By: dire tonic

- just a minor side-issue on bandwidth, I don't mean to divert the OP but do you (or does anyone) know how fast midi data is pushed through a USB port into a PC? I know both MIDI and USB are serial ports but the latter has a theoretical max rate of 480kb/s (v2) while MIDI is a little over 31kb/s. I was never convinced, when using a sequencer for real-time input, that otherwise tight chord timings were getting accurately reported by MIDI whereas I've a bit more faith in USB doing a better job. Does anyone have any insights?


I'd be pretty surprised if MIDI over USB used anything other than the 31.25 Kbaud/s rate. With that rate you could send a MIDI event every 32 Mikroseconds.



I fear you might be right, the same data rate over USB as over MIDI - pity.

One thing though, I'm fairly sure that it's 31.25k (bits) rather than K (bytes). If I remember correctly it takes approx 1 millisec to send a 3-byte MIDI message (e.g. note-on = [9x, pitch, velocity])

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#2026717 - 02/04/13 05:46 AM Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture [Re: KataiYubi]
Nigeth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 108
You are correct. It's one bit every 32 µS.

That's what I get for doing an off the cuff calculation. Technically it would be 31.25 Kilobaud/s since it's 32 µS per symbol (MIDI doesn't specify how a bit is encoded, i.e. how the electrical interface works, it just requires that you're able to transmit one bit every 32 µS)

It was specified to be 31.25 kBit/s since it's an exact division of 1 MHz and since most small microprocessors run at an integral MHz value it can be easily derived from the clock of the microcontroller.

Midi messages consist of three byte (one for the status and two for the data), the first bit of each byte designates its purpose (status or data) and there are seven bit to encode the content. Each byte is framed by a strat and a stop bit.

Therefore each Midi byte consists of ten bit so a standard MIDI message would take 960 µS

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#2026799 - 02/04/13 09:44 AM Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture [Re: sullivang]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1745
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: sullivang
Infinite Response are already using continuous key position sensing, however they are necessarily outputting standard (hi-res) MIDI.

Quoting from: http://www.infiniteresponse.com/expr.html

Quote:

Better Experience
A sophisticated digital signal-processing algorithm (DSP) analyzes the slightest key movement thousands of times a second. It delivers MIDI messages based on acceleration vectors, not just key speed at the bottom. Its more about how you play the note than how you hit the note. For example, you can play trills without fully depressing the keys. Many of the best keyboard players in the world play the VAX77 and find it to be the most expressive keyboard instrument ever. Never before could you play a MIDI keyboard so softly. And no matter how strongly you attack the keys, it always feels like you can dig down and get a little more out of it.


Greg.


I've read all the VAX77 ad materials. I'd love to hear from someone who has bought one and played it a lot.
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

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#2026841 - 02/04/13 11:29 AM Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture [Re: Clayman]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4340
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Clayman
I really don't think the engineers at Yamaha/Roland/Kawai etc. haven't thought about this already but for some reason they stick to whatever we have today. I'm not sure I share dewster's "conspiratory" point of view that manufacturers purposely sell products with sub-par technologies but it's an interesting question nonetheless.

I don't think it's a conspiracy, though markets don't always operate like the perfectly competitive capitalist ideal. Probably more laziness, old engineers, MIDI mindset, don't rock the boat, the crap we make is selling fine, paranoid schizophrenic corporate risk aversion, etc.

Much innovation these days is performed by small start-ups, which are formed with the intent of being bought out / swallowed up by a larger industry player (if only to quash the innovation and own the patents). The big guys are seemingly incapable of doing anything really new. Maybe because they attract mediocre employees who need to get their kids through college, healthcare (in the US), and maybe a big screen TV or two, and are run by professional jet setting golfers.
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#2026862 - 02/04/13 12:03 PM Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture [Re: KataiYubi]
Nigeth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 108
The bigger issue is that the established companies are selling real instruments too.

If Yamaha or Kawai built the 'perfect' digital piano for an affordable price then probably no one except for professional musicians, concert halls and nostalgics would buy real instruments.

They'd basically totally destroy their owm > $10.000 market

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#2026883 - 02/04/13 12:29 PM Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture [Re: kapelli]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3507
Originally Posted By: kapelli

Who buys DP:
1. Piano lovers who cannot buy AP due to the living conditions (neighbours etc)
2. People who just want to play piano for fun, most probably they will never achieve high-level technique and musical understanding... because they just don't want to smile people want to have fun with piano, not to spend 6 months on learning Chopin's Ballades or Debussy Etudes smile
3.Parents for children but they don't know will they love or hate it...


Yes, and many of these may be "fooled", believing the sales pitch of the DP industry, particularly (3) where parents want to get a cheap piano for their kids.

I think that's sad because many kids will turn away from playing piano because the DP does not inspire to play.
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#2026893 - 02/04/13 12:40 PM Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture [Re: Nigeth]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1674
Loc: Portugal
Originally Posted By: Nigeth
The bigger issue is that the established companies are selling real instruments too.

If Yamaha or Kawai built the 'perfect' digital piano for an affordable price then probably no one except for professional musicians, concert halls and nostalgics would buy real instruments.

They'd basically totally destroy their owm > $10.000 market


Nothing to stop Korg, Nord, Casio or Roland trying to produce such an instrument though, is there?

.....as for the argument that children would be put off by uninspiring DPs - I really doubt that that is true, in general. The alternative to a Clavinova, Kawai CA or Roland HP digital would in many or most cases be a truly dreadful and often un-tunable upright acoustic....remember the acoustic-only days?


Edited by toddy (02/04/13 12:41 PM)
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#2026909 - 02/04/13 01:08 PM Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture [Re: Nigeth]
peterws Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3549
Loc: Northern England.
"If Yamaha or Kawai built the 'perfect' digital piano for an affordable price .. ."

That day may be soon upon us. Already the sounds of digitals are becoming harder to digest . .. It`ll have to be Ebay for my next purchese! .. . .
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#2026914 - 02/04/13 01:26 PM Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture [Re: KataiYubi]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3803
Loc: North Carolina
When we find fault in pianos and then decide that the manufacturer is holding back improvements that you and I might want ... we have to remember that neither you nor I represent the whole market. The maker wants to show a profit, and he must sell products to satisfy the market. It seems that plenty of people are satisfied with the current product lines, so what is there to drive change?

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#2026921 - 02/04/13 01:34 PM Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture [Re: KataiYubi]
Kbeaumont Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 264
Loc: Virginia, USA
Most of the arguments here about digital versus acoustic pianos were said also about electric guitars when they first hit the scene. And sorry I know quit a few young people that learned on digital pianos before they got an acoustic grand. Weren't inspired? Then why did they stick with it?


Edited by Kbeaumont (02/04/13 01:35 PM)
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#2026923 - 02/04/13 01:37 PM Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture [Re: dewster]
slipperykeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 370
Loc: Dorset, England
Originally Posted By: dewster

DPs are bought by all sorts of people for all sorts of reasons, some rational, some irrational.


True, a friend of mine bought a V-Piano because it fitted exactly the gap between the floor and the short leg of his wobbly coffee table.

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#2026952 - 02/04/13 02:25 PM Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture [Re: slipperykeys]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5028
Originally Posted By: slipperykeys
Originally Posted By: dewster

DPs are bought by all sorts of people for all sorts of reasons, some rational, some irrational.


True, a friend of mine bought a V-Piano because it fitted exactly the gap between the floor and the short leg of his wobbly coffee table.



I understand perfectly.

I bought my V-Piano because its colours matched exactly the colours of my hi-fi speakers' grills, down to the metalled silver logos. And in the fashion world that year, 2010, black was the new white (or should that be the new black?). And I had nothing else in my flat (apartment) that was black.

But I believe that was a good, rational reason for buying a DP. (It also happens to play quite well, despite my best efforts.....).

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#2026966 - 02/04/13 02:58 PM Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture [Re: dewster]
Temperament Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/10
Posts: 424
Loc: Hun,EU
Gvfarns, Dewster, questions to Your previous posts:
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
I don't particularly see why this would be necessary. Two switches to determine the velocity of the hammer at release and one to determine whether the dampers are engaged or not. There *might* be an issue with DP implementation in that the two switches are not as close together as we would like so instead of giving us the release velocity they give us an average velocity. If this is the case I suppose it's due to the tolerances on the switches that are currently being used. That being the case I would prefer a better type of switch, but I don't see any reason to think that it should be continuous. Do you?

Yes. So that the final velocity is real, and not a rough approximation. And so note-off damping is a changing position, rather than a velocity. It's trivially easy to apply non-constant pressure to a key while playing (almost certainly the norm) and it's also easy to apply note off damping on a real piano in very complex ways. Two and three sensor actions might seem pretty OK (I'm kind of shocked they work as well as they do) and many can obviously easily adapt to them, but a real continuous sensor would give you tons of extra control over what actually happens, when, and how.

1. AP-s apply one single sensor for key ON velocity measurement: the string itself when hit by the hammer.

The velocity is the integrated kinetic energy gathered from the a whole complex pressure force applied to the moving key.

Damper up should be simulated mechanically by the DPs action. (And measured accurately at the striking point by two very near positioned sensors.)

2. Damper movement. It is an interesting point. Do we have for this a MIDI event at all? I cannot remember whether even a 3 sensor action could deliver an event for damper up. (NOTE ON 0 ?). String/Damper Noises + SR should be controlled by this event.

If this is the case, it is a much more obvious shortcoming with current MIDI then ultimate accuracy due to the lack of continouos measurement.

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#2027491 - 02/05/13 02:24 PM Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture [Re: sullivang]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4340
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: sullivang
Nigeth: I agree, in a digital system, there is no such thing as completely "continuous", however the VAX77 does NOT use a triple-sensor action - each key has a hall-effect sensor, which produces an analog signal that varies in proportion to the key-press depth, and this signal is then digitised and processed by a DSP, as evidenced by the quote I supplied.

A shame it's saddled with MIDI. Even high-res MIDI velocity doesn't paint the whole picture of what's going on. A VAX77 with internal fully sampled pianos that bypass the MIDI nonsense might seriously kill. Though I'm not a big fan of it folding in half (when folded the exposed middle keys look really fragile).

Don't get me wrong re MIDI, it's really OK for a lot of keyboard / piano centric stuff. But IMO its bandwidth is too limited to take control realism to the next level.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#2027657 - 02/05/13 07:22 PM Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture [Re: KataiYubi]
Tom Fine Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/23/12
Posts: 37
Loc: Boston
So here's a question. You try ABC piece on piano XYZ and it's not to your satisfaction. Isn't the same true of any acoustic piano? That top notch classical piece is going to sound like cow dung on a spinet. Heck, at the highest levels, you're going to find pianists who'll tell you that this particular Steinway is lousy for that piece, but this other Steinway that's the exact same model but rolled out of the factory a week later is perfect for it.

Or from the other direction, you want to play some 1800's saloon music. Don't you want a twangy old upright instead of a concert grand?

I'm not going to claim that DPs have caught up to the quality of the best pianos in the world. I'm simply suggesting that no piano-like instrument of any quality or price can satisfy the performance needs for all compositions and performers.

tom

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#2027658 - 02/05/13 07:26 PM Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture [Re: KataiYubi]
xorbe Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/12
Posts: 572
Loc: Mt View, CA
It's much more economical and space efficient to build a collection of DPs versus a collection of APs!

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#2027661 - 02/05/13 07:32 PM Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture [Re: xorbe]
zapper Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/13
Posts: 77
Originally Posted By: xorbe
It's much more economical and space efficient to build a collection of DPs versus a collection of APs!


not necessary when you stack them on each other.

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#2028133 - 02/06/13 02:07 PM Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture [Re: KataiYubi]
Roger Ransom Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/05
Posts: 1254
Loc: SouthWest Michigan
I have both and I use them for different purposes.

However, the reason I bought a my DP to begin with was so I didn't have to play many of the AP's that I regularly encounter. I am occasionally asked to play for various programs here and there but I am not a concert pianist and the places I play do NOT have decent Acoustic pianos. Small, poor churches for weddings, funerals etc, various background music situations in city hall meeting rooms, library conference rooms and - well - you get the idea. The pianos in those places are typically not maintained or tuned at all. As a result, my Roland FP7 with some small speakers is a FAR better instrument than those.

A good AP will be better that a DP but the key word is 'good'. There are some horrendously terrible pianos out there and even a mediocre DP like my FP7 is much better. The statement that any AP is better than any DP is just ridiculous.

In my experience, most of my audiences don't even differentiate. To them they are just pianos and the music sounds good or it doesn't. The music played and the pianist are the main things they notice.

However, I love my old G7, it's just REALLY REALLY hard to cart around with my Honda Accord. Maybe if I put wheels on it?
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#2029186 - 02/08/13 07:35 AM Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture [Re: KataiYubi]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3507
>However, I love my old G7, it's just REALLY REALLY hard to cart around with my Honda Accord. Maybe if I put wheels on it?

Probably it already HAS wheels :p You only need to connect a towbar to the G7 !
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#2029658 - 02/09/13 04:43 AM Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture [Re: KataiYubi]
egallego Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/08/10
Posts: 138
Loc: Spain
I'll just add my personal experience to some of the very good point already made. I have owned DP, Synths, and fine acoustic pianos.

They are just different instruments. Period. Comparing an acoustic piano with a DP is for now, a bogus thing to do. They are miles apart. At least for a classical piano player as myself.

Touch, sound... The similarity is nowhere to be seen. Try playing Chopin Op. 25 on a DP.

Of course, I mean playing, for practice they are quite OK. I don't agree they are good for the beginners. Affordable? Sure. But the hand/sound connection is just not there (yet), and IMVHO, this is the most important point about playing an instrument.

Best,
E.

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#2029743 - 02/09/13 08:45 AM Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture [Re: egallego]
peterws Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3549
Loc: Northern England.
I wonder if the main problem is the length of the keys; my skills are sufficient to discern that playing on the black notes on a digital is a pain in the arse. . . that goes for most of `em;

So I tried the acoustic actions in the next room. And guess what . . .! It`s down to good old fashioned filthy lucre!
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#2029780 - 02/09/13 09:35 AM Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture [Re: KataiYubi]
Dave Horne Offline
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Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5276
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Well, I just got back from setting up my piano and sound system where it will be used tomorrow night and I must say it really sounded excellent.

In this instance if I had to choose between an acoustic and an electric for this specific location I would have still chosen the electric.

This has been said several times in this thread, digital pianos are what they are and sometimes they work better in some situations.

Has the original poster ever returned to this thread?
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#2029910 - 02/09/13 01:55 PM Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture [Re: KataiYubi]
hamlet cat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 103
Loc: Mojave Desert
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne

Has the original poster ever returned to this thread?


I believe the original poster is off to "meditate about the impermanence of existence". Perhaps he seeking a better understanding of the "overhyped junk", and "people who buy them". That may take some time based on "the slow pace at which products evolve".

But I could be wrong because when talking about his current piano I think he said it "is well past due for the junkyard". So he may have gone off to take it there, and seeing as he did mention "dusted my Mephisto-Waltz", and the possibility of going to "rent a decent grand", its possible that's where he went.

"Anyways, who are we fooling?", "judging from this forum", just "put up and shut up".


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#2029935 - 02/09/13 02:59 PM Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture [Re: hamlet cat]
LesCharles73 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 739
Loc: Denton Texas
Originally Posted By: ron88
I believe the original poster is off to "meditate about the impermanence of existence". Perhaps he seeking a better understanding of the "overhyped junk", and "people who buy them". That may take some time based on "the slow pace at which products evolve".

But I could be wrong because when talking about his current piano I think he said it "is well past due for the junkyard". So he may have gone off to take it there, and seeing as he did mention "dusted my Mephisto-Waltz", and the possibility of going to "rent a decent grand", its possible that's where he went.

"Anyways, who are we fooling?", "judging from this forum", just "put up and shut up".


Golden
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#2030014 - 02/09/13 06:30 PM Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture [Re: KataiYubi]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19274
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: KataiYubi

So I crossed the N2 mentally, as I could not live with that flaw.
I'd guess the N2 is better in touch and tone than at least 50% of the pianos owned in the U.S. The percent could be much higher than that.


Edited by pianoloverus (02/09/13 06:30 PM)

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