Pianodisc iPad Air

Posted by: carlspost

Pianodisc iPad Air - 04/14/14 08:13 AM

I am looking at installing a Pianodic system into my 1974 Yamaha C7. I have been told the iPad Air version is the way to go. I also want to install Prorecord. Being a classical pianist, I am not really interested in all the extra features (sing along, sync-a-vision etc etc) What I am most interested in is the systems ability to record and reproduce as faithfully as possible. I have seen lots of videos on the internet showing the system working but they all seem to to be of 'light' style music.

Does anyone know how the Pianodisc with prorecord would handle some pretty intense classical repertoire in terms of note repetition, dynamic variations?? ie Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev etc ..Any advice is much appreciated.
Posted by: David, Las Vegas

Re: Pianodisc iPad Air - 04/15/14 12:25 AM

I've seen a lot of hype about the ProRecord system. I am also interested in hearing any feedback from this new record component. I have a instrument rental company here that I installed the TFT record strip about a month before the ProRecord came out. I wondering if the latter would be better in commercial and recording situations.
Posted by: Mark Fontana

Re: Pianodisc iPad Air - 06/07/14 05:50 AM

PianoDisc's TFT and ProRecord systems (and QRS' PNOscan) sense only key motion, which does not always correlate well with hammer velocity due to the complexity of the piano action and its escapement mechanism. This is why higher-end electronic reproducing pianos (including the Disklavier, Bosendorfer SE and CEUS) use optical shutters on the hammer shanks breaking light beams to measure the velocity of each hammer just before it hits the string-- the tried and true technique that has been used for over 30 years. Installing this technology isn't feasible for retrofit player kits, though, which is why they have settled on key motion sensing as being good enough, even though the patents on the more accurate method are expired. What's surprising is that PianoDisc doesn't offer a more accurate recording system in their Mason & Hamlin pianos, for which a factory installation is possible. It could be for marketing reasons, as doing so would imply that ProRecord isn't the pinnacle of accuracy it is claimed to be.

The reflective sensing of key motion has a number of engineering pitfalls in addition to the poor correlation with hammer velocity, among them being the temperature sensitivity of phototransistors and the dimming of the emitter LEDs over time due to aging and the accumulation of dust on the upward-facing components. Darkening over time of the reflective surface of the key bottoms is yet another factor affecting calibration, as well as crosstalk between adjacent keys.

With that said, these reflective systems achieve results that may be perfectly adequate for many people, so there is definitely a market for them. I just don't think they're suitable for professional use or making recordings of great pianists for posterity.