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Do I need a Flexible Piano Keyboard or MIDI functionality on my Acoustic Piano Keyboard?

by Dan Maynard

Designed to be a flexible piano keyboard, the digital piano is quite impressive when it comes to reproducing the sound of an acoustic piano or other instruments. MIDI keyboards also offer the opportunity to record multiple instruments into a full orchestration if you so choose but these pianos will never capture the spirit and characteristics that are unique to an acoustic piano. 

Today we welcome the hybrid piano, a flexible piano keyboard that is a culmination of the best of both worlds, an acoustic piano combined with MIDI digital recording capabilities.

When you are choosing a hybrid piano, it is important to know what functionality you need so that the instrument will fulfil all of your requirements. There are so many different technologies available, and so many abbreviations used to describe them, that it is easy to become confused unless you have a clear idea of what you need.

One of the major functions you may be looking for on a modern keyboard is MIDI, or Musical Instrument Digital Interface. This allows you to connect your keyboard to a suitable computer where you play notes on the piano keyboard that are recorded as sounds in the computer, record music or use computer based accompaniments or tutorials. MIDI devices all use the same language no matter which manufacturer made them, so they can easily be connected to one another.

Control information is transmitted via MIDI from the keyboard to the computer’s sound software. This information includes data on which key was pressed, for how long and with what pressure. Sounds are played via the synthesizers on your computer’s soundcard, or possibly via another instrument connected to your computer. To ensure that any two MIDI devices can be used together, certain standards have had to be established. Your sound card will have a General MIDI sound set, but you can also upgrade your sound card to produce an infinite number of other sounds.

One of the main purposes of MIDI is to allow you to record what you play and then use your computer to edit it. You will be able to use a graphical rendition of whatever you have played to correct mistakes, speed up or slow down passages, transpose sections, add different effects or voices, and combine a number of tracks. This will allow you to compose complicated pieces of music without having to be a very proficient keyboardist.

The MIDI connection to your computer can also be used to enable your sound software to accompany you as you are playing. In addition it allows you to use computer based tutorial packages when learning to play. This makes learning more entertaining and interactive for students, and MIDI enabled educational packages are recommended by music teachers across the U.S.

If you are buying a keyboard with composition and notation in mind, a MIDI function is a must. 

If you are purchasing an instrument for your child to learn to play, MIDI capabilities will make a wide range of educational software available to them and you will be able to record their pieces to e-mail to the family.

If you don’t posses a computer and you are buying the instrument as a piano substitute then MIDI functionality is really not necessary for you.

 

About the author: Dan Maynard is a pianist, marketer and writer. He has a passion for playing the piano and learning about the latest models of digital pianos.

 

Should You Consider a Sampler or Synthesizer When Choosing a Midi Piano Keyboard Online?


 

 

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