What is a “Smart Piano”? Which one is right for you?

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Travis Mitchell May 8, 2017 3 Min Read

What are smart pianos? With enormous strides in musical technology, musicians now have more options than ever before to optimize their instruments and compose a wide variety of sounds. The traditional methods of composition are quickly fading, and instrumentalists are increasingly turning to these technological advancements for both their convenience and quality.

As one of the premiere piano shops in Middle Tennessee, Miller Piano Specialists stays up-to-date with the latest innovations in musical technology. As the exclusive provider of Yamaha instruments, we carry advanced pianos that remain at the forefront of the changing musical landscape.

Dubbed “smart pianos,” these selections offer a wide range of technologically enhanced features, including the ability to record, notate, compose, and interact with recently developed musical apps. With these pianos, the musician receives a unique and heightened experience, illuminating the precision of sound and the emotional evocation.

The Yamaha Disklavier is Yamaha’s original smart piano. The factory builds all the cuts and fittings into the body of the instrument, ensuring that its mechanisms work in tandem without the need of any extra add-ons. A testament to the Disklavier’s high-quality workmanship, these smart pianos remain by far the most advanced in technological sophistication and deliver pristine performances.

Our Yamaha Silent Pianos are an ideal choice for serious musicians who are looking to record their playing or full compositions. With the appearance of a traditional acoustic piano, these instruments contain a hammer shank stopper that stops the hammer right before it hits the piano’s strings. The vibrations then run through a digital voice sampler, allowing the player to hear their sounds through headphones rather than being externally amplified. The Yamaha Silent Piano is a MIDI instrument and can be hooked up to tone generators to elicit variety. This is a great piano to practice at midnight without waking up the neighbors!

For musicians in Nashville looking to compose songs that synthesize the sounds of a multitude of instruments, the Trans Acoustic Piano is the perfect option. Similar to the Yamaha Silent Piano, these pianos also possess the body of a traditional acoustic. But with the Trans Acoustic Piano, the Yamaha manufacturers have added transducers onto the sounding board, allowing you to mimic the sounds of a violin, a choir, a honkytonk piano, and plentiful other voices. Because these digital voices are amplified off the piano’s sounding board and heard through the actual body of the instrument, they produce a much more realistic quality than if they were heard through speakers.

The Avant Grand, A True Hybrid Piano

Together with a variety of piano sounds, the Yamaha Avant Grand, a true hybrid piano, features samples of the actual vibrations from within the soundboard of the instrument. To permit the sound to travel well to the player’s position, as it does with a grand piano, Yamaha sampled the sound from four locations in the left, right, center, and rear of a grand piano. Sampling from deeper inside the instrument, they were able reproduce the attraction of the original sound almost perfectly.

The nuanced touch and response of the grand piano are essential standard yardsticks for piano quality. It offers the player a specially developed grand piano action that features the same configuration as the action of an acoustic grand. The hammers strike the “strings” from underneath, allowing minute adjustments to the weight distribution of the hammers, and to the movement of the hammers themselves, for a smoother feel when playing. In addition to a hammer sensor, this instrument employs a non-contact key sensor that has no effect on the movement of the keys, affording excellent recognition of the player’s pressure on the keyboard, timing, and the other delicate nuances that affect musical expression. This combination provides an impressive sensitivity for the entire range from pianissimo through to fortissimo, and the ability to translate even the swiftest trills of the pianist with transparency. The wood construction of the keyboard mirrors that of the grand piano, and features New Ivory II on the white keys. This is a unique material developed by Yamaha, with a texture superbly close to that of natural ivory, allowing you to play swift passages with ease while also offering a sure response for slower pieces.

For a traditional digital piano, we offer the Yamaha Clavinova. This instrument features numerous sound choices and a multi-track recording mechanism built into its body. Additionally, they never go out of tune, requiring less scheduled maintenance than is typically experienced with a traditional acoustic piano.

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