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#3111999 04/29/21 07:07 PM
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HERE WE GO AGAIN - Round #1128

If someone posted an audio recording of their playing, would you be able to tell if the instrument was a digital or acoustic?

- What are the things that give it away?

- Would it make a difference if the DP audio was recorded by (ambient/close mics) vs. (onboard recording) vs. (computer recording)?

- Would it matter to you?

In photography, it's pretty easy to identify a film photograph (even if it was digitally printed) vs. a digital photograph? In some cases, it might require a closer look, but it's easy to tell.

That easy with recorded piano audio?

Last edited by mmathew; 04/29/21 07:08 PM.

A man must love a thing very much if he practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practice it without any hope of doing it well. Such a man must love the toils of the work more than any other man can love the rewards of it.
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mmathew #3112005 04/29/21 07:27 PM
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If the recorded digital piano is Pianoteq, it's very easy ...

mmathew #3112009 04/29/21 07:41 PM
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:-) MacMacMac


---
I also wanted to ask another question in my original post, but I forgot. As an avid listener/classical music fan - does it matter if the recording you're listening to is was played on a DP or Acoustic? Let's just stick to solo piano.


A man must love a thing very much if he practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practice it without any hope of doing it well. Such a man must love the toils of the work more than any other man can love the rewards of it.
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mmathew #3112011 04/29/21 07:44 PM
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I don't know that I'd be able to tell. There's so much that could affect the sound, whether it's the piano, the mics, the processing, the file format, the platform on which its posted, the speakers I'm listening through, etc. I mean, I guess if it sounded super synthy, I'd probably guess it wasn't an acoustic piano, but that's about it.

Does it matter to me? Uh, probably not? I mean, I'd need some context here. Am I guessing for a chance to win a million dollars? Then it might matter! laugh


Decent upright bassist; aspiring decent pianist
Present: Roland DP-603, Roland RD-2000, Yamaha MX61, Casio CDP-130
Past: Roland FP-30, Casio PX-160, Casio PX-830
Etc.: PianoTeq Stage 7 (Bechstein, Bluethner, U4), Roland KC-80
mmathew #3112014 04/29/21 07:48 PM
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I can tell 100% in any recording if it's a dp or ap, no exceptions.

mwf #3112016 04/29/21 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mwf
I can tell 100% in any recording if it's a dp or ap, no exceptions.


No, I can record something you won't be able to tell. I do have Bitcoin and Ethereum wallet for my winnings after you lose the bet.

I'm going to the Yamaha dealer tomorrow to buy an N1X. While I am there I can record a few chords on 5 DP and 5 acoustics, you have to identify them 100% 10 out of 10 times right?

Make it worth my while.

Last edited by msromike; 04/29/21 08:00 PM.
mmathew #3112048 04/29/21 09:17 PM
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Pianoteq aside ... it's usually easy to tell the difference, especially when using comparing an acoustic with the native sound of a digital piano.

It's often more difficult to distinguish a good VST from an acoustic. But not always difficult ... because some VSTs don't measure up.

OTOH, when listening live there's no comparison.

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Originally Posted by msromike
Originally Posted by mwf
I can tell 100% in any recording if it's a dp or ap, no exceptions.


No, I can record something you won't be able to tell. I do have Bitcoin and Ethereum wallet for my winnings after you lose the bet.

I'm going to the Yamaha dealer tomorrow to buy an N1X. While I am there I can record a few chords on 5 DP and 5 acoustics, you have to identify them 100% 10 out of 10 times right?

Make it worth my while.

It would be very hard if just chords... But full pieces or at least a section of a piece of music I'd have no trouble...

Macmacmac is correct, maybe the very best high end VST would fool me for the most part, but I would still be able to tell.

I'm very confident in my ears and musical senses so be careful when challenging me that's all I'm going to say.

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Originally Posted by msromike
I'm going to the Yamaha dealer tomorrow to buy an N1X. While I am there I can record a few chords on 5 DP and 5 acoustics, you have to identify them 100% 10 out of 10 times right?

Make it worth my while.

Bets aside, this would be a fun exercise, if it's not too much trouble for you!

From a players perspective, playing on an acoustic vs. DP are two very different experiences. One is preferred over the other. I get that. I'm trying to analyze this from the receiving end.


A man must love a thing very much if he practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practice it without any hope of doing it well. Such a man must love the toils of the work more than any other man can love the rewards of it.
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Originally Posted by TheophilusCarter
Does it matter to me? Uh, probably not? I mean, I'd need some context here. Am I guessing for a chance to win a million dollars? Then it might matter! laugh

Well, when I wrote this post, the context I had in mind was purely from a classical music fan/listener perspective. We listen to so many recordings on CD, Amazon HD, Spotify whatever... I'm safely assuming here that all the famous artists and pros play the acoustic in studio or live.

I also listen to some artists, and other YouTubers play their DPs, and with my eyes closes, I am able to enjoy their performances, but they all sound the same to me. Not mathematically equal, but similar.

And then I listen to some of my playing. Apart from the bad playing, I can't tell. Of course I am not playing even remotely comparable pieces as the pros and You Tubers, but still, the tone sounds so similar.

--- That's what I had in mind ---


A man must love a thing very much if he practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practice it without any hope of doing it well. Such a man must love the toils of the work more than any other man can love the rewards of it.
G. K. Chesterton
mwf #3112215 04/30/21 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by mwf
I'm very confident in my ears and musical senses so be careful when challenging me that's all I'm going to say.

Oh I trust you @mwf! I'm just curious to know the "how".

Until @msromike can give us some samples (and @msromike - you don't have to at all, this is purely a fun with a bit of learning if possible thread) - let's try a sample:

Acoustic or DP? https://soundcloud.com/basement_pianist/test-audio-rec/s-rnGVudIY7K8
## Kindly excuse the amateurish, you-have-no-idea-what-you-are-doing kind of playing eek ##

How did you make out acoustic or DP? What things did you look/listen for?

For folks without the skills/experience @mwf describes:

- What made you decide one way or another?
- Did you make an educated guess? Which is OK as well - I'm curious to know what made you guess?
- Random guess? Say anyway, what made you think so?

Last edited by mmathew; 04/30/21 08:01 AM.

A man must love a thing very much if he practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practice it without any hope of doing it well. Such a man must love the toils of the work more than any other man can love the rewards of it.
G. K. Chesterton
mmathew #3112226 04/30/21 08:22 AM
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If it's a good vst, the recording can fool you, but it doesn't fool you if you are playing live. Remember that a vst is the recording of single notes. And as we know, things really change when you play notes together. That's one obstacle, the next big obstacle is to find speakers/monitors that mimic a real piano, even for single notes it's a difficult task.

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The first and most obvious thing is, there are not so many people around who have equipment to record AP in a way it sounds clean.


Ars non habet osorem nisi ignorantem
mmathew #3112241 04/30/21 08:59 AM
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Generally, I'd say I can tell the difference, but perhaps with a pro acoustic recording it would be difficult. The main giveaways would be the ambient/room sound, which generally would be greatly controlled in a recording studio. Now listening live I could definitely tell the difference - as it's really hard to duplicate the sound coming out of an acoustic grand vs speakers.

Does it matter? Well, not to me. I'm more about the quality of playing. That said, classical has such nuances that if you're recording on an entry-level digital, there may be things you're doing that won't get caught in the recording. But using a high-quality software piano you may be able to overcome this drawback.


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mmathew #3112285 04/30/21 11:22 AM
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My digital 88 is at least 5 years old. Definitely the reverb is not as noticeable than hitting a key on an acoustic. Not a high-end digital for sure but nonetheless have weighted keys.

In a video recording you can see DPs don't have the box behind for the strings. In audio depends. A lot of church pieces I prefer to play with the organ sound so it's electronic anyway.

mmathew #3112301 04/30/21 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by mmathew
Originally Posted by mwf
I'm very confident in my ears and musical senses so be careful when challenging me that's all I'm going to say.

Oh I trust you @mwf! I'm just curious to know the "how".

Until @msromike can give us some samples (and @msromike - you don't have to at all, this is purely a fun with a bit of learning if possible thread) - let's try a sample:

Acoustic or DP? https://soundcloud.com/basement_pianist/test-audio-rec/s-rnGVudIY7K8
## Kindly excuse the amateurish, you-have-no-idea-what-you-are-doing kind of playing eek ##

How did you make out acoustic or DP? What things did you look/listen for?

For folks without the skills/experience @mwf describes:

- What made you decide one way or another?
- Did you make an educated guess? Which is OK as well - I'm curious to know what made you guess?
- Random guess? Say anyway, what made you think so?

My guess is DIGITAL.
My reason is the sustain sounded short, and not as much resonance as anticipated from an acoustic.


Ralph

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mmathew #3112321 04/30/21 01:12 PM
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The reverb doesn't feel natural. It's more like an echo and I doubt you placed a grand piano in a long corridor.

The bass notes seem a bit muffled.

It sounds like a very well unison-tuned piano and acoustics stay in that condition only for a while between tunings. (I guess...)

It's not an acoustic piano.

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Indeed it is a DP, and thank you for sharing your observations and thought process :-)

This was recorded on an RD-2000. A global reverb and delay added.

Originally Posted by clothearednincompo

The reverb doesn't feel natural. It's more like an echo and I doubt you placed a grand piano in a long corridor.

The bass notes seem a bit muffled.

It sounds like a very well unison-tuned piano and acoustics stay in that condition only for a while between tunings. (I guess...)

It's not an acoustic piano.

Originally Posted by Ralphiano
My guess is DIGITAL.
My reason is the sustain sounded short, and not as much resonance as anticipated from an acoustic.


A man must love a thing very much if he practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practice it without any hope of doing it well. Such a man must love the toils of the work more than any other man can love the rewards of it.
G. K. Chesterton
mmathew #3112387 04/30/21 04:54 PM
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Since I got it right first, I get the Steinway.

clothearednicompo gets the Medeli.

Last edited by Ralphiano; 04/30/21 04:54 PM.

Ralph

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OK, as long as nobody says "Mac gets the Pianoteq". smile
Originally Posted by Ralphiano
Since I got it right first, I get the Steinway.

clothearednicompo gets the Medeli.

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