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MMD > Archives > October 2004 > 2004.10.08 > 03Prev  Next


Real Pianos Make Real Sounds
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,  If you can't tell the difference between electronically
produced piano music and real piano music, you need to have your
ears checked.

Last month I had an occasion to call a piano dealer in Philadelphia.
While talking to the owner, I heard some piano music in the background.
At an appropriate moment I told him that I liked the 'live' music,
which was obviously not a recording, but I went on to say that I didn't
care for the sound of electronic pianos.

He was shocked!  He asked how I could tell the difference.  I said it
was easy, and went on to explain that real pianos have a sound that
cannot be matched by anything electronic - even the high priced models.

What it's all about can best be summed up in one word: "Imperfect".
Even if the samples in a sound font bank are taken from a real piano,
they do not "mix" the same way as they do in a real piano.  It's the
mixing of the various sounds that creates the "life" in a real piano,
and that mixing takes place in the soundboard.  As the various sounds
'clash' with each other, some of them get accentuated and others get
diminished.  The result is not an algebraic sum and difference as it
is with electronic sounds because the soundboard itself is 'imperfect'.
Electronically mixed sounds are perfect, and therein lies the problem,
or difference.

For me, the difference between the sound of a real piano and
electronically produced piano music is truly black and white.  I have
never been fooled, and I challenge anyone to try and fool me.  The day
that electronically produced piano sounds equal or surpass the sound
of a real piano will spell the end of piano production worldwide.

By the way, I listen to electronically produced piano music all the
time.  I use Warren Trachtman's Steinway sound font bank on a regular
basis when I compose new songs.  I love it!  But when all is said and
done, I still prefer listening to the recordings that I make on my
acoustic piano.  They just sound more 'alive'...

Musically,

John A Tuttle
Player-Care.com
Brick, New Jersey, USA


(Message sent Fri 8 Oct 2004, 12:59:09 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Make, Pianos, Real, Sounds

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