Hello and welcome, good to hear you value our opinions !
The more digitals I hear here, the less I seem to like them. Anyone else sharing that sentiment ?
There is a vast difference between the sound of a stage piano which puts all the samples on a small ROM chip with looping and a lot of compression, versus a software piano with gigabytes of high fidelity samples with no looping and multiple layers of velocity switching. I strongly suspect, you would not be able to tell what is an acoustic piano with some of these software instruments. The piano is easier to mimic in this way since it is a mechanical instrument. You don't have any control of the sound once the key is hit.
I'd like a bit more freedom and fantasy though, it all seems a bit literal. I too find the digital sound rather off-putting.
I suspect the two are related. I practiced for years on a digital keyboard (also a Yamaha) and my control of sonority and shaping improved significantly within months of purchasing a decent upright piano. The keyboard sound is quite reasonable as keyboard sounds go, imo, but I really do think they are ultimately for convenience only and not a real substitute.
I agree the action is better on a real piano because of the hammers and the bounce off the strings. I prefer the sound of a grand piano over an upright and those are out of my price range, also there is the inconvenience of tuning it and they are more difficult to record.
There is the issue of sympathetic vibrations between the strings which you don't get on a sampled piano. I feel the effect has been over-rated but maybe I am wrong about that. Physical modeling pianos are now a reality though and they do deal with this issue. They actually synthesize the piano sound so it is dynamic and reacts more to your playing style. One is software; the Pianoteq piano. I'm not too crazy about it but others rave about it. This is new technology. Another by Roland is called V-Piano with a current street price of $5,999.00. I would like to play that before I judge it but not until the price comes way down.
To ban artificial pianos from the forum would be a tough call. I feel that anyone who can play a high quality weighted piano could easily play a real one. On the other hand, fake piano players can cheat by using quantizing and editing or recording midi at a slower tempo, then speeding up the playback. The saxontheweb.net forum does have a section for electronic wind controllers and they don't have such a requirement that people play a real sax, although I suspect most do.