Digital pianos (e.g yamaha clavinova digital pianos) come in many shapes and sizes. Some are small enough to fit on a desk or countertop, while others can cost thousands of dollars and take up an entire room. However, you might wonder how a digital piano operates vs. an acoustic one. Do they make that much of a difference? And if so, which one should you choose?
What is a Digital Piano?
First, a digital piano is designed to emulate the sound and feel of an acoustic piano. While it is true that most digital pianos are also capable of reproducing other musical instruments as well, they can accurately mimic the sound of a piano that makes them so popular.
How Do Digital Pianos Work?
Digital pianos rely on either acoustic-electric pickups or sound samples to create music. The sound produced by the instrument’s strings is passed through the pickup or samples are played through an internal speaker. Each of these methods has its advantages and disadvantages.
Acoustic-electric pickups are essentially miniature microphones that are installed inside the piano’s body. The resulting sound is a combination of the vibrations from the strings and the sound produced by the pickups.
On the other hand, sound samples are pre-recorded audio files that are stored within the piano’s computer system. The user can then select an instrument and adjust its volume and tone. While this method is quicker and less expensive than the pickup method, it is not as accurate.
Digital Pianos Are No Longer Just “Digital”
Many people mistakenly assume that all digital pianos are created equal. Although these instruments are indeed digital, the word “digital” refers more to the way the sound is created than the actual instrument itself.
As mentioned above, there are two types of pianos that are digital: acoustic-electric pianos and digital ones that rely on pre-recorded audio files. Digital pianos that rely on audio samples are no longer just digital. As technology has improved, manufacturers have taken advantage of these advances and created digital ones that not only look and feel like the real thing but also sound like them.
So, Do Digital Pianos Sound Like Their Acoustic Counterparts?
It depends on the type of digital piano you buy. Digital pianos that rely on acoustic-electric pickups are capable of producing a sound that is indistinguishable from a traditional acoustic piano.
Digital pianos that rely on audio samples can produce a sound that is very similar to an acoustic piano. However, it is important to remember that no matter what type of digital piano you have, it will never be capable of producing sounds like bells or horns, which are impossible to replicate with a piano.