While most people may have heard or seen digital pianos, very few know how the pianos actually work. Most people do not even know much about the difference between acoustic and digital pianos. If you are wondering what a digital piano is, it is a combination of a small computer, speakers and key weighted action. The digital piano uses recordings of various sounds to emulate the sounds created by a traditional acoustic piano. The piano's speakers and amplifiers replace the strings and hammers of the traditional piano.

The digital piano action

Every stroke or action performed on the digital piano has a weight assigned and it imitates or produces specific actions of acoustic pianos. The technology that is involved in operating a digital piano is very impressive and it includes having a keyboard that is able to recognize the weight value that is assigned to each key movement. In addition, a sensor works by detecting the speed that the keys move. The digitized sound bank then stores every sound recording that is produced for the playback.

How the sound is made

The digital piano is still basically a computer and you press the keys just as you would a laptop. This action sends signals to the computer, which responds with the desired action. Instead of resulting in letters like those on a computer screen, recordings from an acoustic piano are played back through the speakers. Manufacturers in the digital piano industry are coming up with digital pianos with the highest quality recordings. The recordings are called "samples" and the more recordings there are for every note, the better the tone.

The sensor technology

Do you know what your fingers are doing to produce sound on the digital piano? Well, here, the sensor comes into play. The sensor will interpret the action and send signals to the computer. The digital technology works in such a way that when you tap a key, the sensor can tell how soft or hard it is tapped. This helps to generate a sound that is the correct note while also being at the perfect sound level. If you hit the key hard, you get a hard sound and if you hit it softly, you get a soft sound.

Unique electronic sounds

The digital piano comes with some cool extras and unlike the acoustic piano, it can emulate different types of instruments, making unique electronic sounds. Most of the digital pianos come programmed with different sounds that can mimic a harpsichord, pipe organ, or even a full orchestra. If you want a digital piano that comes with all the bells and whistles, you have to pay more for it. A high-end digital piano can cost you anywhere from $3,000 and above.

When you understand how a digital piano works, you will find it much easier to shop for one. The main advantage of the digital piano is that everything is stored digitally and this means that you can insert headphones to play the music silently or plug in speakers to blast the music up, if you like!