Genio Silent System In late 2013, PianoDisc introduced another product in the QuietTime family: ProRecord. ProRecord uses fully optical, no-contact, high-speed key and pedal sensors to capture and record key and pedal movements. The system's sensitivity can be calibrated to a very fine level, allowing it to be customized to a particular piano action or player so that, for example, trills can be accurately reproduced when playing near the bottom or top of the key, even on a vertical piano. ProRecord comes with a tone generator with a GM2 128 + 100 instrument sound set and nine drum kits, including sympathetic string and damper resonance. The system is compatible with both Apple and Android smartphones, tablets, and apps, and with the PianoDisc iQ player-piano system. Like MagicStar, ProRecord comes with headphones, and a mute rail for muting the acoustic piano.

SilentPNO, from QRS, 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 in the article, “Buying an Electronic Player-Piano System.”

But the accompaniment and “silent” functions of a hybrid MIDI controller/acoustic piano are only the beginning of what it can do. Just as the MIDI signal can be sent to a synthesizer or sound card, it can also be sent to a personal computer or transmitted over the Internet. Regardless of whether a MIDI controller originates in an acoustic or a digital piano, it enables the instrument to interact with music software to record, produce notation, control instrumental voices on a personal computer, or interact with other pianos in the same room or on different continents. The potential for hybrids in creating and teaching music is limited only by the imagination of the user. Notation softwares — from MakeMusic's Finale, Avid's Sibelius, GenieSoft's Overture, and others — allow the hybrid piano's key input (playing) to be converted to music notation. This notation can be edited, transposed, split into parts for different instruments, played back, and printed out. The possibilities for teaching are perhaps even more powerful. Taking a lesson from a teacher in a different state or a master class from a performer in a different country becomes possible with hybrid technology, particularly when combined with the player-piano features. Exacting copies of performances can be sent to similarly equipped instruments for playback, and critiques — with musical examples — can be sent back to the student. Some systems enable this interaction in real time over broadband connections, complete with synchronized video.

The Definitive Piano Buying Guide for

Buying New, Used, and Restored Acoustic Pianos and Digital Pianos

Spring 2014    Page 143

Spring 2014    Page 143

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