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, using a subscription or credits, 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 MIDIcontrolled 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 be integrated 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 in a one-time setup operation, one need only play the piano and the piece is recorded — no login, no need to push Record or Stop. Just pull up a bench and play, and your performance is saved both locally (named according to your preset preferences) and uploaded to your personal QRS PNOcloud account. The file can also be sent to your favorite editing program or e-mailed to a friend — all without boxes or wires.
SilentPNO consists of the PNOscan record strip, a PNOmation II sound module, Wi-Fi adapter, and a stop rail for muting the acoustic piano. By muting the piano and turning on the soundcard, the pianist can play in privacy with headphones and enjoy the automatic recording features of PNOcloud and PNOmation, described above. See the article on “Hybrid Pianos” for more information.
Upgrades from existing Pianomation systems to PNOmation II require replacing the Pianomation processor, and installing a WiFi adapter and a port extender — altogether, about a two-hour operation. PNOmation II can also be added to competitors’ systems, allowing them to have PNOmation-type capabilities and music.