When researching digital pianos it is common to encounter lots of information on features and specifications.
Before purchasing one it is wise to become familiar with common terminology associated with the instruments.
Even those who have played for years may not be familiar with the newest technologies developing with these devices.
In order to fully understand the player’s needs and to distinguish the advantages of each digital piano one should understand what these terms mean and how they relate to the playing experience.
Action: The way the keys feel when played. How keys respond when pressed.
Brilliance: The response when the treble or bass are adjusted based on player preferences. This control makes the sound brighter or mellower.
Damper Pedal: Alternate name for the sustain pedal. When pressed the damper pedal sustains the duration of the notes being played.
Dual Voice: The ability to play two voice modes simultaneously. The voices can overlap or blend.
Line In/Out: Connections that allow the user to link the piano with external speakers, mp3 players or other devices to transmit or receive audio.
Metronome: Keeps time in music by producing a ticking sound along with the tempo. The metronome can be adjusted depending on the user’s preferences or the musical piece.
MIDI: Musical Instrument Digital Interface
MIDI In/Out: Input/Output channel that receives/transmits MIDI files from/to external MIDI devices.
Pedal Response: Some pedals only feature an on/off response while others may allow more control over how the tones are sustained when the pedal is pressed.
Polyphony: This indicates how many tones the piano is capable of expressing simultaneously. Pianos with a lower polyphony have less ability to express numerous keys, individually cutting them off or dropping them in place of other notes thus taking away the quality of the combined sound.
Reverb: With a typical piano the reverb is the echo effect that naturally occurs due to the acoustics of the environment in which the instrument is played. In a digital piano this effect is simulated and can be adjusted.
Touch Sensitivity:The ability for a digital piano to imitate the effects found on a standard piano with regard to the pressure applied to a key. The pressure applied affects the dynamic response of the tone.
Transpose Button: Allows the piano’s pitch to be changed to a lower or higher key when the tone is played.
USB-to-Host: Allows for a connection from an external device to the instrument via USB cable or device. This facilitates digital recording from the piano.
Weighted Keys: Digital pianos with this feature present a resistance like an acoustic piano that responds based on the pitch or location of the key. Lower keys will contain more pressure to play making them “heavier” while higher keys will be lighter.