This is a great question to ask when considering buying digital grand piano. It doesn’t matter how good your digital piano sounds or feels if you keep losing notes during play. So what’s the polyphony note count for you? Here’s the best way to figure it out.
What will you make use of the digital piano for?
If you require a digital piano that emulates an acoustic piano for easy practice purposes, then you’ll more likely be fine with 32 note polyphony. In the rare case which you start losing notes with sustain pedal usage you could be unable to notice it. Digital pianos use algorithms to determine which notes to lower off when the max note count is reached. Often times they will likely pick notes that could be dropped minus the listener easily noticing. Therefore the not so good news is when you reach your max polyphony you may lose notes. The good thing is that you may not notice.
Sequencing and Layering
If you are planning to record multiple tracks on your digital piano go ahead and get yourself a higher note polyphony. Every time you add another track on the top of an existing track, you might be contributing to the highest polyphony. The digital piano counts the prior track, together with your current playing, all toward the max polyphony. If you start adding different tones and voices on multiple tracks you will notice how quickly you might reach a max polyphony of 32 sooner or later in the song.
Also, if you want to use layering effects a whole lot, then acquire more than 32 note polyphony. The layering effect allows multiple voices / tones to play for each key stroke. If you have a grand piano and string influence on, every time you press an important it is going to utilize one note of your total polyphony for that grand piano tone and something note for your strings. This, in a sense, halves your total polyphony count.
Under these circumstances, obtain a more than 32 note polyphony. You will find 128 note polyphony digital pianos for very economical prices.
A Quick Note About Stereo
A number of the tones / voices on electric upright piano may be in stereo. This means one note might have two different sounds recorded that play simultaneously to emulate the sound of an acoustic. At this point you are using up 2 notes of your own polyphony for each key you hit, rather than one. This can in effect turn a 32 note polyphony keyboard right into a 16 note polyphony keyboard. This will only happen on those effects which are in stereo.
A Great Polyphony Test
In case you are worried about losing notes when using the sustain pedal try this. Hit the 2 lowest A notes on the digital piano. Hold them with the sustain pedal and perform a glissando with both the hands. You shouldn’t lose the two low A’s in the event the digital piano uses an algorithm to decrease off a number of the notes within the glissando. You almost certainly won’t notice you’re losing notes within the glissando. It’s best if you don’t lose the low A’s, but if you do lose them on the digital piano that’s not the end around the world.
Think of it like this. During regular piano play, if you ever arrive at the point that you reach your max polyphony count it can probably only happen for a few seconds. So it’s not going to take place throughout much of uzcajx song. Therefore you won’t lose many notes.
However, if you’re getting buy digital piano and can avoid this, go ahead and do this. Digital piano costs are affordable enough nowadays that exist a high polyphony count for a good price. Even a number of the low end models are coming with a minimum polyphony of 64. Only use your very own judgment when determining if it’s required to pay for the little extra for a higher polyphony capability.