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Good-bye Piano Roll Blues

Category: Hardware Published on Sunday, 01 March 2009

Yamaha's Disklavier Pianos Bring a Great Performance to your Home

Michael L. Berman's Blog
April 28
, 2008

The day of the old player piano is long gone, with only images of old saloons and western movies keeping it percolating in the recesses of our minds. But the concept of those old uprights lives on as it enters a new age of computerization, electronics and pure, raw sound that we've come to expect from today's modern marvels.

The Disklavier Mark IV series of computerized grand pianos from Yamaha (price varies), indeed, fall into that category delivering superb sound and technology in a beautiful package. Make no mistake, these are grand pianos made to delight any concert pianist -- but there's a twist. They're also computerized to reproduce prerecorded piano compositions at the touch of a button, using its keys, hammers and sound board to deliver the sound and vibrancy only a grand piano can give you.

Using Yamaha's Disklavier technology, the piano actually plays the compositions so you hear them "live."

Other features of the Mark IV pianos include:

  • A PDA-type Wi-Fi remote control with a full-color LCD touch screen, giving you easy access to all of the piano's key features.
  • PianoSmart technology, that allows you to synchronize the piano's playback capabilities with other instruments and vocal tracks from standard compact disks. The user simply loads Yamaha PianoSmart MIDI files onto the Disklavier's hard drive and the software combines the PianoSmart files with the audio from the CD.
  • SmartKey software that actually teaches beginners how to play, cuing them as to the proper keys to hit when playing simple melodies.
  • An ability to integrate with your home audio system, delivering only the background instrumentation in the room where the piano is located and full, synchronized sound in other rooms of the house.
  • Karaoke-file compatibility, including an input for a microphone.
  • A built-in 80 gigabyte hard drive, which allows you to store tons of audio and MIDI files.

More information on the new Disklavier pianos can be found at the Yamaha Web site.

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