Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Player Pianos

100 Later developments of the reproducing piano contain the use of magnetic tape rather than piano rolls to record and play back the music, and, in the case of one device made by Bösendorfer, computer assisted playback. Almost all modern player pianos use MIDI to interface with computer equipment. Live presentation or computer generated music can be recorded in MIDI file format for accurate reproduction later on such instruments.

At present, in 2005, several player piano conversion kits are available, allowing the owners of normal pianos to convert them into computer controlled instruments. The conversion process usually involves cutting open the bottom of the piano to install mechanical parts under the keyboard. Most modern player pianos come with an electronic device that can record and playback MIDI files on floppy disks and/or CD ROMs, and a MIDI interface that enables computers to drive the piano directly for more advanced operations.

Another company, QRS Inc. of the USA, make the most complicated type of reproducing piano system, called Pianomation, which does not have the restrictions of the other manufacturers products. It can play 80 notes at a time, plus fully orchestrated backing with vocals from original artists from the internal hi-fi system built in. QRS also have the largest software catalogue of 7000 titles.

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