Piano Basics

Digital Options For Buying A Keyboard – Synthesizers, Keyboards and Electric Pianos

The digital options for playing a piano are getting more attractive and more affordable with time. Here are your choices if you want to pick up a digital keyboard along with a brief description of how each different one performs.

The main advantage of buying an electric or a digital keyboard as opposed to an acoustic piano is that you can get it for a much lesser price there are also other features that may seem advantageous to some people such as the option of being able to produce a myriad of the sounds apart from just the piano. In fact, a synthesizer is capable of producing the sound of an entire film auric orchestra.

The functioning of a digital keyboard.

The sound is purely digital. You must have already surmised that the mechanism of producing sound in a digital piano or a digital keyboard does not involve any vibrating strings. A digital keyboard produces sound in one of the 2 following ways:

  • Generating sound waves. (Old system)
  • Using sampled sounds. (Latest technology)

Of these 2 methods the latter method of producing sample sounds is the newest technology and brings the person closest to the experience of playing an actual piano by replicating true piano sounds.

When you look at a digital keyboard, there are 2 common options you will be faced with. Synthesizers and digital keyboards.

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Synthesizers synthesize sound by using an oscillator to generate sound waves electronically and then altering the shape, frequency and volume of sound waves and combined them to create different sounds.

A synthesizer is capable of creating a huge range of sounds and not necessarily belonging to any particular musical instrument. They can create hums, buzzes, drumbeats and virtually any other musical instrument.

Synthesisers also come in the model of programmable synthesizers which allow a programmer to shape and modify the sound waves with buttons, knobs and switches. Sound synthesisers are very popular and mostly used by sound technicians, sound studios, sound artists, DJs etc.

Digital keyboards

Digital keyboards of the modern-day work with the very modern technology of using sampled sounds. Sample sounds are made by distally recording audio sound of the actual musical instrument or for that matter any other actual sound and storing them in the computer of the keyboard.

When you choose to play a particular instrument from the keyboards display panel, you access the sampled sound through amplification and you hear it being played once it passes through the speakers.

Digital keyboards that provide sampled sounds come the closest to producing realistic piano sounds. Which is why they are the preferred way to go if you want to experience playing an actual piano. Of course, the quality of the digital sound depends on the quality of the sample and this is what distinguishes many of the digital keyboards.

As always, depending upon the money you are willing to part with, the model that you choose will come with a variety of features to simulate the experience of playing a real piano.

The better digital keyboards also come with weighted keys and allow you to experiences the nuances in the volume by playing the note of a key as loud or as soft depending on how hard or soft you hit the particular key just as it is in the actual piano. Digital keyboards can also augment a lot of other features such as recording, editing as well as connecting a keyboard to a computer.