Roland RD700GX

It's interesting how your style of playing can change as you try the different piano voices. Even if you're not into rock, it's hard to resist trying some riffs when playing the hard-edged Rock Piano voices. And switching to Honky Tonk has a tendency to bring out your Old West barroom pianist. All of these carefully crafted variations make perfect sense for instruments designed for professional use--professional players need to be equipped for any musical contingency. But even the home player, in the privacy of his own headphones, can get more into the moment by matching the piano sound to the musical style, be it classical, jazz, Fats Waller, or Little Richard.

Table 1: Piano Voices
Kawai MP8II (16 voices)
Concert GrandJazz GrandMellow Grand 2Rock PianoPiano Variation 1Piano Variation 3
Studio GrandConcert Grand 2Jazz Grand 2Old Age PianoPiano Variation 2Piano Variation 4
Mellow GrandStudio Grand 2Modern PianoHonky Tonk 
Roland RD-700GX (19 voices)

Expressive GrandSound Lift GrandMellow PianoHybrid Grand 1Comp PianoHonky-tonk Comp
Superior Grand Grand RDBright GrandHybrid Grand 2Rock Piano 1Honky-tonk
Ultimate PianoDark BalladPure Mellow600 GrandRock Piano 2 
 Pure GrandDynamic Grand 
Yamaha CP300 (5 voices)

Grand Piano 1Mellow Piano 1Rock PianoGrand Piano 2Mellow Piano 2 

In addition to the acoustic piano voices, each instrument has a substantial selection of voices in other categories, as detailed in Table 2. Among my favorites were Harpsichord on the Kawai, GX Choir 1 on the Roland, and Nylon Guitar on the Yamaha. Also listed in Table 2 is the number of simultaneous sounds, or Polyphony, each instrument can produce. (Some of the voice types, such as GM2 and XG, are discussed in "Digital Piano Basics, Part 2: Beyond the Acoustic Piano.")

Table 2: Total Voice Resources
Kawai MP8II (256 voices)Roland RD-700GX (518 voices)Yamaha CP300 (542 voices)
Polyphony -- 192Polyphony -- 128Polyphony -- 128
Electric Piano32Electric Piano31Electric Piano10
Pad & Synth32Guitar/Bass38Strings3
 GM2 Voices256Guitar2
 Drum/SFX Kits14Bass 4
  XG Voices480
  Drum/SFX Kits12


FALL 2009 -- page W4

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