In 2007 Live Performance introduced its own player-piano system, the Model LX, providing playback performance the company says approaches that of the legendary SE system at a price competitive with other retrofittable player systems.
Compatible with any grand piano, the LX employs the technical specifications of the SE's playback system, including a high keyboard sample rate (800 times per second), high-resolution note expression (1,020 dynamic levels for each note), 96-note polyphony (which, for an 88-note piano, means unlimited), and proportional pedaling (256 positions). Among the LX's unique features is the immunity of its expression to variations in line voltage, using a patented proprietary method. The LX also features a closed-loop pedal servomechanism that enables it to reproduce with great accuracy a pianist's use of the sustain pedal — especially subtle half-pedaling effects. The sostenuto and una corda pedals are software-emulated. The LX does not include a Record feature.
In the interest of being future-proof, the LX does not include a proprietary control unit. Instead, it is driven by a CD, DVD, or MP3 player, a wireless link, a home music-distribution system, or other source of stereo audio. This provides maximum flexibility and the ability to take advantage of advanced audio technologies as they appear.
The installed LX is more attractive than some other systems because the note solenoids are contained within the keybed slot and so do not protrude beneath the piano. The mounting rail is a rigid steel structure that restores the integrity of the keybed after the slot for the solenoid rail has been cut into it. Because of the solenoid rail's shallow profile, the piano's conventional pedal trapwork doesn't need to be moved or modified to accommodate the system.
The Live Performance Model LX plays all non-encrypted CDs for player pianos, as well as its own high-resolution format. Ten high-resolution albums from a growing catalog are included with the purchase of each LX system. Software is available to translate MIDI and ESEQ (a Yamaha format) files into native LX format, extending the benefits of the LX's high-resolution performance to these files, too.
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PianoDisc makes retrofit systems — including its popular player systems — that can be added to virtually any piano, grand or vertical, new or used. PianoDisc systems maintain full manual functionality of all pedals, and record and play back all 88 notes. Piano manufacturers offer factory-installed PianoDisc products, and piano dealers also have the installation done at their own locations by trained and certified PianoDisc technicians.
New in 2010 is PianoDisc's highresolution playback technology, SilentDrive HD, which features a faster processor and streamlined architecture that improve timing, velocity, and dynamics. With SilentDrive HD, each note has 1,024 levels of expression, so things like trills, for example, play back with much more accuracy than was possible before. SilentDrive HD is basic equipment on Opus7 (see below), and is also available as an upgrade to other systems.
Also new in 2010 is PianoDisc's live, 24/7, free streaming radio. Originally created for, and exclusive to, the Opus7 system, PianoDisc has now made this feature available free to all of its iQ (see below) customers as well. This service is of special interest to hotels, restaurants, and other business establishments that use PianoDisc to provide non-stop royalty-free entertainment to their customers.
PianoDisc's newest player system is iQ. Hidden within the piano body, iQ can play back PianoDisc music using almost any media player (MP3, iPod iPad, Xbox, DVD, CD player, etc.) as a source. The most popular configuration is bundled with an Apple iPod. With iQ, customers can operate all functions of the system from one familiar source.
Unique within the industry, iQ features a patented method of detecting changes to the volume of the music player and automatically adjusts the piano volume to match. When combined with the TFT Record option, an iQ-equipped piano includes MIDI IN and OUT ports on the instrument itself. This allows for easy connection to a computer-based sequencer or other MIDI device.
PianoDisc's model 228CFX has both floppy and CD drives as standard equipment. Its slimline controller can be mounted on the piano or located up to 100 feet away and operated with an infrared wireless remote control (included). The 228CFX has several options: SymphonyPro, a 128-voice General MIDI sound module set to provide sampled-sound orchestration as an accompaniment to the piano; TFT (Touch Film Technology) MIDI Record for recording one's playing; and MX (Music Expansion), a flash memory in which to store music and play it back without having to change a disc.
PianoDisc's entry-level player system is PianoCD, an easy-to-use system that plays only PianoDisc and regular audio CDs, and has fewer features than other PianoDisc systems.