Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Musical Instrument Sampling

     This is not a researched statistic but I only say it to make a point:  99% of the fascination people have with technology involves a very narrow list of technological break-throughs.  Mainly the "gadgets" involve areas of little mental effort but produce maximum emotional satisfaction.  Some examples include personal networking websites, cell phones, violent or otherwise video games that push the limits of decency beyond decency; to name just a few.

    For that 1% of the population that actually enjoy a challenge in the mix of "gadgets" we have this genre of software that has been around for a long time- musical instrument sampling.  You cannot fully appreciate the perception and precision of the human ear until you try to imitate a traditional acoustic instrument.  Now people can be easily fooled and easily satisfied and that is fine but to carry things to the Nth degree in such a way that even an educated ear can be satisfied is an accomplishment.  Read the endorsement in the image above.

     This may be an over simplification of what Synthogy does but what we have here in Synthogy is a product that allows you to play a piano from a computer connected to a midi keyboard.  For the price of their software, your home computer, and a nice weighted 88 key midi keyboard from Sam's Club (Yamaha console about $800) you can play piano music that is imperceptable from handmade concert pianos that may cost more than your house, if you had to buy one.

     Go to their website, click on 'demo' or 'download' and begin playing mp3 files over your mp3 player using your best headphones or plug the player directly into your home theater system.  Play the demo of Bosendorfer Imperial Grand, Steinway, or the demos of the 10' Fazioli Italian piano.  There are uprights too that create a very sweet and charming sound.  But look you can possess the equivalent sound of a half million dollars worth of pianos for far less the price.  I know it takes skill, practice, and brains to play a keyboard but oh there is so much more personal satisfaction from this than text messaging a joke to a friend who always laughs.  This stuff is a dream come true for piano player wannabes like me.  

     Let me circle back to one of my first points and that is the incredible amazing  ability for the human ear to distinguish sound.  Combine that with realizing that in a typical acoustic piano there is an interplay of harmonics in the struck string and the neighboring strings that you may not even be aware of.  You may not be aware that a Fazioli uses agraffe stringing but you will know that the sweet charm of a Bosendorfer is different from the Fazioli but you won't know why but you know.  Synthogy has captured it.

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