Key to PNOmation II’s flexibility is the fact that it is delivered in a standalone-network mode, with its own network serving its own user interface, or web app. The big advantage of this approach is that a web app gives the user full control of all parameters of the system and how music is played. Some customers are concerned only with whether a song is a solo performance or a performance with background music, which they can determine from the web-app screen. Other customers may want to manipulate a MIDI file to change the tempo or tuning, and some may want to upload a recorded performance to view or change. None of this is possible with an off-the-shelf MP3 playback engine, but all of it is easily done with QRS’s PNOmation II web app.
The web app also offers the customer several new control capabilities over the PNOmation II engine, including controlled release of the sustain pedal, to give it a soft landing and eliminate the potential thump heard with the release of the damper tray. The same controlled-release technology has also been applied to the keys, improving the PNOmation’s already quiet playback while adding much more lifelike fingering. Other features include trill timing compensation, delay compensation, pitch correction, and MIDI-output curve maps. While most customers will use the default settings, those who want to dial in the perfect performance will be able to do so.
All of the data that controls the movements of the piano keys and pedals is in a non-compressed MIDI format (a high-definition MIDI format will soon be released). All music available for the new PNOmation II — currently over 6,300 tracks and growing — can be purchased one song at a time or by the album, giving listeners great flexibility in hearing what they want to hear.
While not required, connecting PNOmation II to a home network is easy to do. As a device on a home network, a PNOmation-equipped piano can be updated and/or controlled remotely via the Internet by accessing the web-app user interface via iPhone, iPad, iTouch, Android, Mac, Google Chrome browser, Kindle Fire, or any other similar piece of technology.
SyncAlong is a patented means of delivering music, whereby a MIDI-controlled piano performance synchronizes with a commercially available audio MP3 of a major recording artist. SyncAlong allows the listener to hear the original artist’s content while the piano plays along. Qsync is a DVD interface designed to implement QRS’s patented DVD SyncAlong technology. With the addition of Qsync, a PNOmation II player piano will be able to play along with selected popular, commercially available concert DVDs.
PNOmation II can also integrate with the PNOscan optical sensor strip, a leading technology for recording performances on an acoustic piano that is standard on all Story & Clark pianos. The PNOscan strip doesn’t touch the keys, using only reflected light to continuously measure key and pedal movements. By integrating PNOscan with PNOmation II, one need only push the Record button on the web app to record. When recorded, the file is automatically saved and named according to your preferences. The file can also be sent to your favorite editing program, or e-mailed to a friend — all without boxes or wires.