How does a digital piano work

How does a digital piano work

Although a beautiful musical instrument, conventional acoustic pianos are not affordable for most. Moreover, they require considerable space, are difficult to move around and require regular maintenance.

Meanwhile, digital pianos serve as a convenient alternative to the conventional acoustic piano. Not only are they a lot cheaper, but they are also light-weighted in comparison and hence easy to transport.

Let’s look at the working of this musical instrument and understand how it functions to emulate the workings of an upright or grand piano.

How do digital pianos work

Digital pianos work by using the recorded samples of acoustic pianos, which are then produced from an in-built internal speaker. To further simulate an acoustic piano, digital pianos have weighted keys, and some go as far as even looking like an upright piano or a grand piano.

Most digital pianos are designed with settings for multiple kinds of pianos. When you press a key on an acoustic piano, the strings vibrate as the hammer strikes it and sound notes. A series of levers creates a linkage between the hammer and keys, so you feel resistance when you press a key due to the natural weight implied by the levers.

What creates weight impact and resistance in a digital piano

The working of a digital piano is quite similar to that of a keyboard as it is programmed to produce sound the same way. However, digital pianos have advanced integrated additional features that enable them to create a sound similar to a real piano.

Keyboards have a spring key action, implying a spring at the back of the key, causing the key to return to its position when pressed. On the other hand, digital piano keys act the same way but due to a weight added to the key.

Digital piano variations

Entry-level digital pianos work with semi-weighted keys, which provide resistance when you press a key. Due to the weights, the key returns slowly, unlike keyboards where the keys come up instantly.

The mid-range digital pianos have a hammer-action keyboard. These weighted digital piano keys have hammer action to provide more resistance when keys are pressed.

In terms of physical form, digital pianos have the following variations.

  • The upright piano, which closely resembles the acoustic pianos
  • The grand type digital piano, which looks like a grand piano
  • The stage piano, which is designed for stage performances
  • The portable digital piano is a cross between a stage piano and a keyboard, with sound quality comparable to the conventional keyboard.