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Topic: How to get a lighter key action on my digital piano  (Read 334 times)

Offline ialaban

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How to get a lighter key action on my digital piano
on: March 24, 2023, 02:26:54 AM
I'm pretty decent at playing the piano. However, there is one piece I can't still play, and it's the minute waltz. Whenever I try to play it on my digital piano, it's always so difficult because I can't seem tobe able to press the LH chords fully. So I did some research. I wanted to find out if I had severe muscle atrophy or if my piano key action was too heavy. It turns out, most pianos have a downweight of around 45-60 grams. I measured my piano's downweight, a Yamaha DGX 650, and it came around 96-98 grams. So perhaps that's why I'm having such a problem. Playing on other pianos is much easier and more comfortable, and pieces that I can't seem to get quite right are much easier on other pianos. So is there any way to make my piano action lighter, or will I have to continue to drown in my tears?

Offline lelle

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Re: How to get a lighter key action on my digital piano
Reply #1 on: March 30, 2023, 03:13:53 PM
Not sure what you can do on a digital. On grand pianos, which have wooden keys, touch weight is regulated by inserting lead counter weights in the keys. Many digitals have plastic keys though. And I would assume, if you do have wooden keys, that it would be expensive to hire someone to make this modification.

Offline stringoverstrung

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Re: How to get a lighter key action on my digital piano
Reply #2 on: April 01, 2023, 09:23:26 PM
Hello,

I am afraid there is not much you can do. If you have budget available I would advise you  to check out the KAWAI CA series. These are pianos that have wooden keys and have action that "resembles" acoustic pianos. In case you are playing this level of pieces I would advise you to be very careful with that kind of weight in your key. In the 80s many pianists got injured probably due to the heavy action as used during the 80s. While it might not be imminent immediately this could put too much load on your finely tuned tendon system. Our hands were made to survive in nature not to lift 100s of grams 1000s of times a day.

Regards,
Gert

Offline ialaban

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Re: How to get a lighter key action on my digital piano
Reply #3 on: April 09, 2023, 09:40:04 PM
I believe that adding coins to the edges of the piano keys themselves might solve the problems, but could there be any other alternatives?

Offline kosulin

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Re: How to get a lighter key action on my digital piano
Reply #4 on: April 10, 2023, 07:23:28 PM
You might want to modify its velocity curve. Not sure it is possible in the piano itself, but many DP players change velocity curve when play DP with external VST.
Also, with DP the main issue is frequently not the downweight on itself, but initial resistance - it is much more noticeable than with acoustic action.
Vlad

Offline ialaban

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Re: How to get a lighter key action on my digital piano
Reply #5 on: April 20, 2023, 04:08:25 PM
So how would I modify the velocity curve on my piano? Should i get longer hammers?

Offline anacrusis

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Re: How to get a lighter key action on my digital piano
Reply #6 on: April 20, 2023, 05:35:56 PM
I don't think digital pianos use hammers, but someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

Offline ialaban

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Re: How to get a lighter key action on my digital piano
Reply #7 on: April 20, 2023, 06:34:10 PM
I don't think digital pianos use hammers, but someone can correct me if I'm wrong.
Most weighted digital pianos use something similar to hammers to try to recreate the feel of a real acoustic piano. Mine does.

Offline kosulin

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Re: How to get a lighter key action on my digital piano
Reply #8 on: April 20, 2023, 06:46:14 PM
So how would I modify the velocity curve on my piano? Should i get longer hammers?
No
Simply speaking digital piano keys generate MIDI signals in 0-127 range based on how hard they were hit. And this number (MIDI level) defines how powerful the generated sound should be.
The velocity curve defines how MIDI levels are translated to audio sound levels. The curve may change the outcome a lot. It can improve the dynamic range of DP. It can make playing soft easier, for example. Also It is known that some DP never register MIDI above 120, for example, and velocity curve correction can make the sound more powerful. Modification of velocity curve is usually done in computer piano player client/library that support such a feature, such as Garritan, VSL, KONTAKT, Pianoteq, etc. Not sure any DP support it for internal sound.
You can google for more detailed explanations.
Vlad

Offline ialaban

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Re: How to get a lighter key action on my digital piano
Reply #9 on: April 21, 2023, 04:50:15 PM
No
Simply speaking digital piano keys generate MIDI signals in 0-127 range based on how hard they were hit. And this number (MIDI level) defines how powerful the generated sound should be.
The velocity curve defines how MIDI levels are translated to audio sound levels. The curve may change the outcome a lot. It can improve the dynamic range of DP. It can make playing soft easier, for example. Also It is known that some DP never register MIDI above 120, for example, and velocity curve correction can make the sound more powerful. Modification of velocity curve is usually done in computer piano player client/library that support such a feature, such as Garritan, VSL, KONTAKT, Pianoteq, etc. Not sure any DP support it for internal sound.
You can google for more detailed explanations.
I thought you meant the initial force it takes to press a key down. As you said, most digital pianos have a problem with their initial resistance, so I thought that's what you meant by velocity curve.

As for the velocity curve, my piano has a thing that's called touch response, and I believe that's what you were referring to. Changing did make it easier to play softly, but it also reduces dynamic range, which I didn't like.
 

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