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Roland Piano Designer App

Posted on August 26, 2014

The reason that traditional, acoustic pianos sound so rich and complex is due to the various physical components interacting with each other. The strings, soundboard, iron frame and wooden cabinet all work together to create the grand piano sound. And in the hands of a skilled piano technician, the tonal character of an acoustic piano can be adjusted further, to suit a performer’s individual taste or to suit a specific venue. This type of tuning can be expensive though, and the voicing adjustment deteriorates over time, and must be readjusted by a technician at regular intervals for top performance.

Roland have found a way of being able to customise your digital piano in the same way as a piano designer might adjust an acoustic piano. Owners of Roland LX-15e, HP508, HP506, HP504, DP90Se and DP90e models can use the new Piano Designer app to build their perfect piano sound. Available for iOS and Android devices, this app showcases the versatility of Roland’s SuperNATURAL Piano engine by providing complete control over the fine details of the piano tone, right down to each of the 88 individual notes. You can even save different setups and use the app to change the piano’s voicing instantly – all via the touchscreen on your device.

If you don’t fancy fine tuning the piano tone yourself, the Piano Designer App also comes with a number of presets that have been created by some of the world’s finest piano technicians. For jazz repertoire, we recommend a 440Hz American piano or for classical, a 443Hz Viennese piano is perfect.

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Why Buy A Digital Piano?

Posted on July 21, 2014

PART ONE

Why buy a digital piano? Well there are a multitude of reasons why you might be considering the digital option over the traditional acoustic one. One of the most obvious being space. Portable pianos allow you to store your piano in a cupboard or under a bed, take it to school or a gig. The cabinet style digital piano, as a contrast, takes up less room than an acoustic (height especially) and has the advantage of being situated in an upstairs room, making them ideal for multi-floor flats or maisonettes.

Because of their weight, acoustic pianos, installed in upstairs rooms, require a reinforced floor to support it. A typical upright acoustic weighs in at around 200kgs., whereas a cabinet style digital piano weighs from as little as 60kgs.

Another relevant fact to consider is, living as we do in centrally-heated homes, this can affect the tuning and in some cases, warp the soundboard..not so with a digital piano.

A lot of us live in big cities and living cheek to jowl in semi-detached and terraced houses, we have to be aware of our neighbours..and trying to keep them happy, always hoping this will prompt them to act in a similar manner! To this end, having the facility to use headphones with your digital pianos means they will never be disturbed by you. Imagine waking up in the middle of the night, unable to get back to sleep, padding downstairs and playing your piano!


  • Owning a digital piano means never having to have your piano tuned.
  • Owning a digital piano allows you to record and print out your musical scores.
  • Owning a digital piano means you have the freedom to play wherever and whenever you wish.

PART TWO will feature touch curves, weighted keys, graded keys, piano samples, temperaments and hammer resonance.


To be continued….

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Vintage Korg Synthesiser From Rose Morris

Posted on July 21, 2014

In the days of midi controllers and DAW's where you have emulations of classic sounds spoon-fed to you we often forget that these programs used to be actual instruments that you interacted with directly using knobs, sliders and your fingers. For those of you who have played a vintage analogue synth you know that it is really hard to replace that certain magic of interacting with an actual unit that was designed to be physically controlled by the user. You feel as though you are the captain of a sonic spaceship that interacts directly with your body as you turn the knobs, tweak the sliders and hear the wonderful sound of electricity flowing through the different tributaries of the circuits. The downside to these wonderful instruments were the sheer complexity of manufacture and engineering insured that you had to practically re-mortgage your home to by one and they could be quite fragile with all those components being constantly twisted and adjusted. Korg was one of the first manufacturers to bring this wonderful new world of sound to the working musician in a portable, reliable and affordable package and just like so many other iconic brands they were introduced and distributed by Rose Morris.

 

Fortunately some things never change. You can still walk in to Rose Morris Pianos at No.10, Denmark St. in London and pick up the latest synthesiser from Korg.

 

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The Flannel Free Facts

Posted on July 21, 2014

Anyone who has controlled the awesome analogue power of a vintage synthesizer knows how exhilarating and strangely organic it feels. Voltage controlled keyboards emit a sound that you can feel physically because it is physical. Digital modeling is getting better every year and opened up an endless array of sounds at your finger-tips, but sometimes less is more and particularly if you want those old-school warm, fat tones.

In this old Rose Morris/Korg advert they try a new angle of marketing and give you the straight facts. The science of sound from the penny-whistle to the synth. An odd pairing of brands, but they do bridge the gap between Hohner and Korg products quite well. We still sell a tonne of Hohner mouth organs and Korg synths today, so come down to 10 Denmark St. and take your place in the evolution of sound!

 

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Looking for a piano? Decipher the waffle first...

Posted on May 31, 2014

Choosing your first digital piano when learning can be a tricky business. It's so baffling with so many products on the market and trying to decipher what all the different terminology means can elude most people. Terms like "Graded hammer action", "touch sensitive" and such are bandied around freely, what does it all mean and is any of it it really that important?

The first thing you may read or hear when looking into keyboards is about "touch sensitivity". If a keyboard is touch sensitive, it simply means that, like on a traditional piano, the harder you press down the key, the louder the note sounds.

You may also hear people talking about "weighted keys". When playing a traditional, acoustic piano, you will find that the keys offer resistance and can be quite heavy to press in comparison to many keyboards. Digital piano manufacturers have for many years been trying to emulate this weight in their keyboards to try and make the experience of playing as close to that of playing an acoustic piano as possible. When taking grade exams, for example, it is quite important that you have a weighted piano to practice on at home. This is in order to strengthen the muscles in your fingers, so when you come to take an exam on a traditional piano, you won't be thrown by the difference in touch. Most piano teachers will suggest that after about 6 months of learning, you will probably need something with weighted keys to practice on.

With many digital pianos that have weighted keys, you are likely to hear the term "graded keys". This isn't a further confusing thing to try and put you off and make you run away, screaming. Think of the inside of an acoustic piano. The sound is created by hammers hitting strings. The low notes require big, thick strings, with large hammers in order to create the note, whereas the higher register notes are created by thinner strings and a smaller hammer. As you can imagine, the bigger the hammer, the heavier the key. Digital piano makers have got in on this and try to ensure that the keys at the bottom register of the keyboard are heavier than the higher register. Therefore, when comparing the action on digital pianos, it's important to feel the keys of the same register on each piano so you can get an accurate comparison.

Bearing all of the above in mind, however, there is nothing like trying out a digital piano yourself and finding what instrument is right for you, so please do give us a call or come down to Denmark Street, where we can chat to you about what is important to YOU, and help you choose YOUR instrument. After all, the experience of playing music is different for everyone, and we want to help you find the experience that's right for YOU.

Looking forward to seeing you soon,

Bev.

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