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Joined: Jun 2019
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Originally Posted by mmathew
What the heck is a 'layer'? Never understood it.
As you know, on an acoustic piano, when you press a key with different force you'll get a different sound timbre, not just a different volume of sound. For example, the 'pianissimo' sound timbre is not just a 'fortissimo' sound timbre with lower volume. It's a totally different type of sound (usually much rounder and warmer)... And from pianissimo to fortissimo, the palette of subtle tonal changes could be very large, depending on the type and quality of the acoustic instrument.

Now, on an acoustic piano there is no concept of layers. If you keep pressing the same key you'll get a slightly different sound timbre at each repetition, because the hammer hits an already vibrating string, therefore adding new vibrations to old vibrations, thus generating a different sound timbre.

In the digital world, we can use up to 127 values (because of MIDI limitations) to map the force/velocity of a "key press" into a sound. In a sample-based piano engine, there are samples for these mappings (not necessarily for all of them) and these samples are called "velocity layers". More velocity layers per key => sound timbre more faithful to the original in all the dynamic ppp->fff range.

Currently, what happens in most DP internal piano engines is that the manufacturer want to save costs as much as possible, so they store just a few velocity layers per key (usually 3-4 per key in middle-range models, 5-6 in top-range ones). The remaining layers usually are emulated with clever filtering and interpolation techniques.

In the VST world, ~10 layers per key is considered the bare minimum to get a decent palette of tonal changes. Some examples: the "Galaxy Vintage D" VST has 13 velocity layers per key. The "Ivory II American Concert D" VST has 20 layers per key. They also use techniques to emulate the missing layers, so that you should not hear a sudden transition from a layer to the next one, if you play a smooth crescendo or decrescendo.

Pianoteq generates algorithmically all the layers, so theoretically it's like you have the max amount of layers you can get in the limits of the standard MIDI specifications.

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Is it possible to determine the layers count per key by analyzing using something like Audacity ? Not that it matters per se, just for the heck of it.


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I shall be "thankful" for this decent alternative to an upright piano. Hallelujah.
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Originally Posted by meghdad
Is it possible to determine the layers count per key by analyzing using something like Audacity ? Not that it matters per se, just for the heck of it.

That was done in the past for several models: http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/1365103/the-dpbsd-project.html

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So, I’m a bit familiar with the low opinion of the Fatar keyboards. However I think the S9 should get a waiver because Dexibell works with Fatar to customize the keyboard for the S9 and it is supposed to be unlike any other Fatar keyboards.
Clavia worked with Kawai to modify the RHIII actuon for the Nord Grand. The request was to make it balanced weight instead of graded weight and to eliminate letoff simulation. These changes make it an inferior version of the RHIII action for piano (but improved for electric pianos, and somewhat, but not alot improved for organs.

I would not make any assumptions about what was modified for Dexibell with respect to the stock Fatar action, or that it makes it a better piano action.


Play classical repertoire from score. Improvise blues.
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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Quote
So, I’m a bit familiar with the low opinion of the Fatar keyboards. However I think the S9 should get a waiver because Dexibell works with Fatar to customize the keyboard for the S9 and it is supposed to be unlike any other Fatar keyboards.
Clavia worked with Kawai to modify the RHIII actuon for the Nord Grand. The request was to make it balanced weight instead of graded weight and to eliminate letoff simulation. These changes make it an inferior version of the RHIII action for piano (but improved for electric pianos, and somewhat, but not alot improved for organs.

I would not make any assumptions about what was modified for Dexibell with respect to the stock Fatar action, or that it makes it a better piano action.

In my experience, it's a dangerous thing to make assumptions based on whatever anybody says or passes along, as often the actual in-store test provides a contrary answer.

Such was my experience when playing the CLP685: I found it surprisingly on-top in the cabinet top-end battle (not comparing against hybrids obviously). Before hand, I'd read some negative comments and pretty much assumed they were accurate.

One of the problems with many stores is that they don't stock examples of really great boards such as the Dexibel, Kurzweil, Kawai range. I'd love to live near enough to visit Bonners just to be able to get a good test of the Dexibel Fatar action. I certainly wouldn't risk purchasing one without a test, as so few people have actually got experience playing them here.

What I can report about the Nord Grand, is that yes, the action indeed feels lighter than the ES8 which I compared it to. That said, it's still a fairly nice action: a notch or three above the Nord Piano 4.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7SE; Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
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You may not care whether or not your digital piano action is graded weight. The OP also may not. Graded weight actions are more realistic and better translate to an acoustic piano. For non-classical styles, even having a hammer weight action at all is negotiable.

I have played a Dexibell digital piano btw, and have considered purchasing their midi module, but have no interest in existing graded weight Fatar actions.


Play classical repertoire from score. Improvise blues.
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