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Old 9th April 2011, 07:07 PM   #11
MrSlim is offline MrSlim  Canada
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Check out Piano World - Home of the world famous Piano Forums. The most piano information on the Web.. Someone might have already done what you are planning..
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Old 9th April 2011, 07:19 PM   #12
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Creating a foolable, exact reproduction is probably impossible, but I hope to get wowingly close...

The good news, is the controller used is a good one. The Roland V Piano is one of the best today. I paid just under $7000 for it, and it is specifically a piano (no other sounds). They action of the keys are very, very real, as it uses real keys and action geometry. It feels par to my Steinway.

As for how a piano works in its creation and dispersion of sound... The strings are tensioned by a "harp" and underneath is a large soundboard with a bridge, bridging the strings to the soundboard. The fundamental frequencies are most efficient in transferring to the soundboard, as they effectively at the terminated ends of the string. The harmonics are largely reproduced by the string, and fundamentals by the soundboard. There is no "bottom" cover on the piano, leaving the curved frame only. Sound radiates from the soundboard down and reflects off the floor, where the same occurs above with the added harmonics of the strings. The lid is typically open when played (at 45 degrees) and it will be used in a home environment (room = 28 x 22 x 10').

The challenge is the fundamental frequencies range between 27.5 Hz (A0) to 4186 Hz (C8). The harmonics of the top note (4186 Hz) extend to 18 kHz.

If I do have to add a crossover (& low end), I would like it to be as low as possible (obviously) as to maximize phasing alignment.

As for size and configuration, the grand piano shell is very heavy and sturdy. The soundboard is attached to it, contributing the vibration of the shell to the color of the instrument. I foresee these being natural piano resonances and hope that it does not negatively effect the tone. The surface area is rather large that I have to work with, and that is to my advantage.

I will address more of the issues addressed in your comments shortly...

Thanks for the response to this!
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Old 9th April 2011, 08:08 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by kavermei View Post
Hi Robert,

whichever transducer you use, you'll be faced with the problem that the keyboard controller is designed to reproduce the sound of the piano as a whole; if you put out this sound through transducers inside a piano shell, the shell will influence the sound "a second time", so to speak. Therefore I don't know if the end result will be what you'd expect.

Having said that, my feeling is that the best way to do this is to have many different transducers, with the bass notes being reproduced at the left side and the trebles at the right side, just as in the real thing. Using ESLs this is easily realized, especially if you would use wire ESLs with electrical sectioning.

Finally, depending on what your goals are, I'm not sure whether an ESL would produce sufficient sound pressure in the very low register...

I also don't think ESL has enough dynamics for the whole 7 octaves. Standard drivers would be able to reproduce the really big crescendos. One issue is what to do with the harmonics. When striking a bottom G#, you get harmonics all the way up. Should there then be tweeters interspersed with the woofers at the left side or is it enough to utilize the drivers as in any multi-way speaker?

As to synthesis, while it might be best to produce the waveforms from scratch, it might also be sufficient for testing to output plain old plucked strings (with some added sustain). The sonic effects of the pedals is a whole other problem...

Those who claim to be making history are often the same ones repeating it.
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Old 9th April 2011, 08:31 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by aptquark View Post
Wow Robert.....This is the craziest thing I have ever read. I dont really know where to begin, but I have a few questions.
1- Where will you be utilizing this instrument? Environment? Home (Large front Room)
2 - How do you want the instrument to direct the sound? Omnidirectional, directional...? Much like a real grand piano (with compromise) - out the bottom and top of the cabinet. Dipole Omni directional could work
3 - Is your goal to have a complete all in one unit? Absolutely!
4- Do you plan on having amplification within the unit? Yes
5- Will there also be a kitchen sink installed? If it adds positively to the tonal coloring...
6 - Will there be the typical grand piano top that you can open and close? Yes. The top lid will be open when played, always

Here is an article by a gentleman that has performed the Clark transducer/soundboard assembly: The Hybrid Piano – Part 1 - NCF Music! I have spoken with him directly and he uses the instrument in his church every sunday. So it can't be that bad, right? But I have a feeling it could be done better...

Here is a youtube vid of a gentleman that has done a keyboard integration into an upright piano. I would perform this without all the "bling" and an improved sound system: YouTube - My Extreme Piano

I do have access to signal processing... EQ, Active X-Overs, time alignment and notch filtering. I will use it sparingly and only if needed, but it's there.

The piano itself is a Boston measuring in at just under 7 feet. This leaves about 6' x 4' with the curvature of the shell cutting into the square footage. I estimate I could construct a panel(s) with a total of 18 square feet (or even 36 if doubled up. This helps when attempting to get to the lowest note effectively. The frequency response of the fundamentals are 27.5 Hz (A0) to 4186 Hz (C8). The harmonics of the top note reach upwards of 18kHz. Hmmm

If I do have to utilize a crossover (and it looks like I would have to), I would like that point to be as low as possible (200Hz or below would be ideal). Hmmm...
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Old 9th April 2011, 08:38 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by purplepeople View Post
...As to synthesis, while it might be best to produce the waveforms from scratch, it might also be sufficient for testing to output plain old plucked strings (with some added sustain). The sonic effects of the pedals is a whole other problem...

The digital piano allows for half-pedaling and incorporates the sonic effects of the pedal quite well.

There is a sampling company by the name of PianoTeq that has some amazing samples available. There is a possibility of reproducing the strings and modeling the soundboard separately, but this starts to get pretty complicated. How many engineers can I hire for my $10,000... (mind you, with this economy, probably a few). I will look at going this route if I don't get satisfactory results from a single sample source.
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Old 9th April 2011, 08:59 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by chinsettawong View Post

IMHO, nothing beats the sound of a real piano.

Wachara C.
Forgive my mis-titled post. It should probably read "the ultimate digital grand piano"

I agree. You can't beat a real piano. I just want to build the best digital reproduction possible.
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Old 9th April 2011, 09:32 PM   #17
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I agree, As I have stated many times in other threads that I am quite content and happy with the sound of my little ESL panel (as I listen to it nearfield).

And I have been listening to it as a mono source since the day I got it working again for the very reason that "Does it sound the same as (this or that) instrument in a natural form and enviornment" and I have yet to hook the dang thing up in a stereo format.

Yes, it sounds natural and very natural at that.

But, It is not enough to be sounding natural enough when far away as a real instrument would sound.
And when it does it takes alot of power (alot of power)!
I mean electrical power.

Due to the surface area and the shape of the surface area radiating the sound into the listening space (free space).

And that is why a planar or any other type of physical driver from a single point or even a line source persay where its directionality is in one direction, can not create this kind of natural ambience.

I have pulled all kind's of tricks in make believing that the sound is over here or over there using delay's and reverb's with different special eq setupup's in speakers and in headphones.

This is nothing special in the recording industery.
Although it seems quite amazing.

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Old 9th April 2011, 09:40 PM   #18
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I remember the days when I had the Quad
-63's. Placed them in front of another with a distance of about 80 cm.'s and laid down on a quite high pillow just in the middle of them.
Playing mono recordings. And what a soundstage.
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Old 9th April 2011, 09:56 PM   #19
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I had wished I had one of those Quads back in the day.
But I geuss not having one made me that much more stronger.
I'm glad that I am not the only one.

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Old 9th April 2011, 10:46 PM   #20
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A digital piano mounted inside an actual full size grand piano with the guts ripped out...

Try as I might, I just don't get it.
Why, when you have the space and a real Steinway grand piano?
As someone who plays piano I don't see the point of all this.

Makes as much sense to me as pulling the engine and drive train out of a Ferrari, replacing them with all non-Ferrari parts, then trying to get it to perform and sound as close to the real thing as possible.

Each to their own I suppose...
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