Digital pianos come with many features as technology has advanced.
* Graded Hammer Action – Replicates the true feel of a piano action with the weight of the keys being graded gradually from lighter in the treble, to heavier in the bass (simulating the feel of the increasing hammer weight from treble to bass).
* Ivory Feel Keys – Synthetic ivory is used to replicate the true feel of a piano key. This provides added grip, and security in a performance situation (not available on all models).
* High Grade Sampling – The digital piano tone is digitally sampled from a real acoustic piano and reproduces accurately the true tonal variation and dynamic range of a real piano.
* Tones/Rhythms/Accompaniments – Most models offer a broad range of high quality tones, from acoustic and electric piano, to strings, brass guitar and more. Performers can play any music style they desire with amazing realism. Some models even offer rhythms and accompaniments for a complete ensemble/combo effect.
* Digital Sound Processing (DSP Effects/Virtual Acoustics) – Digital effect recreate the true ambiance of any room or hall setting from lounge room to concert hall. This allows the player to customise their performance. Play anything from a modern ballad to a full scale piano concerto and simulate any venue setting. Effects such as reverb, chorus, delay, phaser, wah and distortion are available on most models.
* Digital Recording/USB – Record your performances in MIDI File format (or WAV file Audio on some models) and save to USB stick. This enables the user to share and edit their performances on computer. You can even load MP3 files on to your piano and play along.
* MIDI Interface/USB Host – allows connection to computer and other midi devices.
* Fixed Pedal Board – Replicates accurately the function and feel of the 3 pedals on an acoustic piano. This is a requirement for all piano students wanting to do piano exams.
* Headphone Connection – Allows the player to practice their performance in total privacy and without disturbing anyone else. Some models offer 2 headphone connection points allowing teacher and student to conduct silent lesson.
Digital pianos are a viable alternative to the acoustic for beginners and recreational pianists. Many churches also use digital pianos. They’re cheaper, smaller, and don’t need tuning. As always, you get what you pay for. The better the instrument, the more realistic the action will be, and many modern digital pianos feature wooden keys and sophisticated action mechanics designed to reproduce the feel of a grand piano. Digital pianos can also sound very good with a great combination of voicing and quality speaker systems. They have controllable volumes, can be played through headphones, and often come with a range of other instrument sounds. Most models can also link with computer based music and recording.