Piano Society
Free Classical Keyboard Recordings
It is currently Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:34 pm

All times are UTC - 1 hour




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Silent pianos and grands
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:32 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:27 pm
Posts: 1842
Location: Sweden
Anyone with experience from silent pianos and grands? Not sure if anyone but Yamaha produce such but I passed through the local piano shop the other day and tried them out and they are really good.

They are normal pianos/grands but have an option where you can silent the piano so that the hammers do not hit the strings when you play. Instead, optical sensors reads the action and translates it digitally so that you can play using headphones and it still sounds really good. Seems like the perfect solution in my case. Unfortunately, they do not really come for free ;).

The piano:
http://www.yamaha-europe.com/yamaha_eur ... index.html

The grand:
http://www.yamaha-europe.com/yamaha_eur ... index.html

_________________
Pianist profile of Robert


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:57 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8512
I never heard of that before. Wow, what will they think of next?

_________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 2:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 5:29 am
Posts: 692
Location: Germany
I never tried out a silent piano. However a friend of mine considered buying one but he gave up. The reason was, he told me, that there is a mechanism what blocks the hammers to hit the strings (for silent playing). He said that the key feeling differs therefore for acoustic playing and silent playing. Because the hammer way is reduced, so that the strings are not touched. Although this happens when the hammer is released from the action, he felt a pretty large difference in the behaviour of the action.
The digital sound is not the problem, some sound better than acoustic pianos, especially if the grands are small and not really grand.

If the piano is used as acoustic piano however, the key feeling is like a normal acoustic piano, so this disadvantage (how small or large, I dunno) is only there during silent playing. At least one should check for the action difference, maybe the development is now further, so that this is no problem anymore.

_________________
Olaf Schmidt


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 5:34 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 10:13 am
Posts: 25
MindenBlues wrote:
I never tried out a silent piano. However a friend of mine considered buying one but he gave up. The reason was, he told me, that there is a mechanism what blocks the hammers to hit the strings (for silent playing). He said that the key feeling differs therefore for acoustic playing and silent playing. Because the hammer way is reduced, so that the strings are not touched. Although this happens when the hammer is released from the action, he felt a pretty large difference in the behaviour of the action.
The digital sound is not the problem, some sound better than acoustic pianos, especially if the grands are small and not really grand.

If the piano is used as acoustic piano however, the key feeling is like a normal acoustic piano, so this disadvantage (how small or large, I dunno) is only there during silent playing. At least one should check for the action difference, maybe the development is now further, so that this is no problem anymore.


At one point, ideally right before the hammer hits the string, the jack escapes (echappement) from the action, freeing the hammer part of the action which travels by its own built up speed from there to eventually hit the string and fall back in to a catching system to prevent the hammer from bouncing back and forth between the string and the jack. (god I know all the dutch terms but my english piano nomenclature sucks)

It is true that a regular silent piano stops the hammers from hitting the string by means of a stop bar, not altering the action in any way, except shortens the travels of the hammers by 1-2mm (so they don't hit the strings) This system can be built into any existing piano or even grand piano as long as the piano tech that installs it is very skilled. (Korg produces a silent system, Technics used to, the most famous one is from Pianodisc, but imo it is not as good as the other two)

Now the trick to regulating a regular silent piano is to make it so the moment of escape comes a bit more early then you would normally do, which is not perfect for acoustic mode, but will still be sufficient (only noticable if you already knew the instrument before with optimal regulation, which it hardly never is) and this will still allow for enough escape to have a normal "natural" feel when in silent mode, where the hammers travel about 1-2 mm less.

So your friend is right. I have seen silent pianos where the stop bar was so horribly placed and the piano so badly regulated that the jacks didn't escape at all and you could literally push the hammers against the stop bar. This will give the piano a horrible touche which is comparable to how an organ feels. Mind you, this is only the case with badly installed and/or regulated instruments.

Yamaha silent grand pianos (afaik only the newer grand pianos) also use a stop bar, but when you pull the lever the action also gets altered so the moment of escape is always optimal in normal mode, or silent mode. This is why these instruments are so expensive, almost twice the price of their regular counterparts.

EDIT and slightly OT: the linked G1S is a piece of garbage though, I believe its not even made in Japan, but in China. I have played on several and even regulated 1 G1 and I cannot recommend them to anyone except the people that insist on having a grand but have no room to house one. And even then there are better instruments with the same footprint.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 3:05 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:27 pm
Posts: 1842
Location: Sweden
Wow. Never expected that much output from this topic and it is very interesting to read. I am not sure I played on the grand I linked, pretty sure it was a C3. I just linked the first I found. But to be honest, I liked the upright better. There was also a budget upright silent but...I did not like the sound of it.

I will go back and very carefully examine the touch and see what I find out. Thanks a lot guys.

_________________
Pianist profile of Robert


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 3:28 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:27 pm
Posts: 1842
Location: Sweden
So, I finally convinced my wife that getting a grand was the right thing (I mean, she a´got a new kitchen and I even built it for her...like I would ever set my foot there again ;)) and I got a pretty good deal with a local musician who needed more space. I went for a silence Yamaha grand and was kind of lucky to get one that quick. My wife would never agree to it unless I could play in headphones. It is perhaps not the best sound in the world but it really works well.

I could not help making a video of me playing but I do not intend to have this on the site so I did not put it in the Audition Room. And the recording was made pretty hasty and have quite some slips. The funny faces I make to the silly slips are the bonus for anyone who care to download the 18 MB video. Enjoy :P .

_________________
Pianist profile of Robert


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 4:25 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 129
Location: Cedarville University
i've nothing to say on this except that i'm pretty sure schimmel makes a silent upright.

by the way, robert, your piano sounds great!

_________________
Joseph Kingma


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:38 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8512
That was neat, Robert. How do you like the touch? Is it much different from what you played on before? Have you tried it with the lid open? From here it sounds good.

It looks like the sun blinded you a few times? I guess it doesn't matter when you have the piece memorized. I did laugh aloud once or twice at the slips too. Thanks for a good show.

Quote:
like I would ever set my foot there again

typical man :wink:

_________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 4:46 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:27 pm
Posts: 1842
Location: Sweden
pianolady wrote:
That was neat, Robert. How do you like the touch? Is it much different from what you played on before? Have you tried it with the lid open? From here it sounds good.

I like the touch most of everything and even though it feels a bit heavy at first it pays off so to speak. It sound good with the lid half-open or completely open (can be adjusted in two steps) but it almost gets too much for the room it is located in but I am not sure what will be best for future recordings.
pianolady wrote:
It looks like the sun blinded you a few times? I guess it doesn't matter when you have the piece memorized. I did laugh aloud once or twice at the slips too. Thanks for a good show.

As you can see, I was rather suprised and laughed at myself to these really stupid slips. The sun blinded me and at a specific time of day, in about 30 minutes when the sun is really low during the winter, the sun finds it way through the window which is rather close to the back of the piano. Really a bit irritating if you read from score but not so much when I play from memory.

Quote:
like I would ever set my foot there again
pianolady wrote:
typical man :wink:
...and a man I am. But really kidding, I like to cook and often do that during the weekends and especially when we have guests. It is the ordinary working day food to yelling kids that I do not appreciate much.

_________________
Pianist profile of Robert


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 6:40 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 5:29 am
Posts: 692
Location: Germany
Congratulations!!!!

It sounds very good to me, not too bright (your digital piano recordings are more on the brighter side of tone color), and the tone can get sweet mellow too. You recorded with closed lid but the front part open? Beside the tone, you look pretty relaxed to me too, also your fingers are nice curved (maybe the hand wrists could be a bit looser, but that's only something you can feel yourself, hard to tell from video). I really like much your tone and voicing in that take.

So, what are your first impressions on key touch? Is there a stronger influence due to the silent system or not? What's the size of the grand? How does it feels and sounds with headphone and silent system?
Details, we want to know details here! :D

_________________
Olaf Schmidt


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:26 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8512
robert wrote:
I like the touch most of everything and even though it feels a bit heavy at first it pays off so to speak. It sound good with the lid half-open or completely open (can be adjusted in two steps) but it almost gets too much for the room it is located in but I am not sure what will be best for future recordings.


I have never tried recording with the lid closed. It is always fully up. I know that when I first got my piano and tried it out, I was surprised how loud the actual 'swooshing' noise was from raising the dampers. I first thought something was wrong with my piano. I am used to it now, but I wonder if closing the lid will make any difference in recording sound quality.

One more question: When you play with the silent mode, is it different hearing your sound right there in your head as opposed to the sound coming from farther away from your ears? Do your fingers hesitate or speed up because of it? (Not sure if that makes sense)

_________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:32 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9573
Location: Netherlands
pianolady wrote:
I have never tried recording with the lid closed. It is always fully up. I know that when I first got my piano and tried it out, I was surprised how loud the actual 'swooshing' noise was from raising the dampers. I first thought something was wrong with my piano. I am used to it now, but I wonder if closing the lid will make any difference in recording sound quality.

It certainly sounds more muffled with the lid closed. I normally play with the lid closed, but open it up for recording. Always a bit of a shock and I need considerable time to adjust to the fuller sound.

_________________
Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
Chris Breemer


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:56 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 5:29 am
Posts: 692
Location: Germany
techneut wrote:
I normally play with the lid closed, but open it up for recording. Always a bit of a shock and I need considerable time to adjust to the fuller sound.


Completely closed or only the back part of the lid closed (so that the note stand remains inside and not above the lid)?

I also play usually with closed lid (but front part open, so note stand is always inside the lid). It sounds only really muffled in my case if the lid is fully closed, so that the note stand is on top of the lid - I never played on a grand what sounded well that way.

For recordings I first tried with fully opened lid. But I don't feel very comfortable with that, is too loud for the room. And for a recording one should feel comfortable. So I record with half opened lid (it is opened in my case only about 30cm or so).

_________________
Olaf Schmidt


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 2:06 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8512
Olaf, are you talking about the music stand - where the music book sits? You put that down? Where do you put your music then?

_________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 2:23 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9573
Location: Netherlands
MindenBlues wrote:
Completely closed or only the back part of the lid closed (so that the note stand remains inside and not above the lid)?

Being s sight reader, I neeed my music stand. So I have to open the front part. Never thought of putting the music stand on top of the lid - that would be considerable higher and probably not confortable.

MindenBlues wrote:
I also play usually with closed lid (but front part open, so note stand is always inside the lid). It sounds only really muffled in my case if the lid is fully closed, so that the note stand is on top of the lid - I never played on a grand what sounded well that way.

Perhaps it makes no difference for your grand, but it does for mine. I guess microphone placement is a factor here too.

MindenBlues wrote:
For recordings I first tried with fully opened lid. But I don't feel very comfortable with that, is too loud for the room. And for a recording one should feel comfortable. So I record with half opened lid (it is opened in my case only about 30cm or so).

It takes getting used to. It'' be at least an hour before I feel comfortable with it and can actually start rcording.

But we are way OT here.

_________________
Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
Chris Breemer


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 1 hour


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group