7/15/2014 [Pianos & Keyboards]
BUENA PARK, Calif. (July 15, 2014) — Yamaha today introduced the U1TA, the world's first acoustic upright piano capable of sounding like a concert grand piano—and much, much more.
Dubbed the "TransAcoustic," the U1TA represents a new breed of musical instrument that uses all elements of the acoustic piano to augment digitally generated sounds in full range, without the use of traditional speakers and amps. The result is an acoustic instrument possessing a massive 3D sound that not only envelops the player just as a conventional grand piano would, but also can be fully adjusted—for the first time—with a volume control, or enjoyed in the privacy of headphones.
The secret to the U1TA's versatility is in its use of specially designed, electro-acoustic transducers—a device that converts digital sound data into sound energy—located near each of the instrument's two soundboard bridges. Unlike fixed-point, directional speakers found on a conventional digital piano, these transducers cause the soundboard to vibrate in much the same way a speaker cone would.
The naturally resonant soundboard—in fact, the entire piano—effectively becomes one giant speaker, producing the acoustic fields and natural sounding tonal characteristics of an acoustic piano, and projecting a digitally sampled sound in the same manner as if it were doing so acoustically.
Since the transducers themselves do not press against or exert any weight on the soundboard, there is no adverse effect on piano tone.
This becomes quite evident when the physical resonance of the strings enhances the digitally sampled sound of Yamaha's flagship concert grand—the CFX—creating a stunningly realistic grand piano experience that is uniquely pleasing to the ear.
Even the digital samples of 18 additional instruments—piano, electric pianos, pipe organs, harpsichords and others—that can be played are enhanced by the piano's natural string resonance.
This "hybrid" approach to piano technology and craftsmanship represents a new direction being taken by Yamaha, the world's largest musical instrument manufacturer. While the acoustic upright piano has remained virtually unchanged since the 19th century, Yamaha is working to address changing lifestyle needs, introducing important new features such as volume control and unique sound layering, while maintaining the integrity of an authentic touch.
The U1TA TransAcoustic piano provides four distinct experiences that showcase the uniqueness of the instrument:
- The Acoustic Experience – Appealing to the musical purist, this mode allows the user to enjoy natural acoustic piano play from a fully-strung, wonderfully resonant Yamaha acoustic upright piano. The piano itself highlights the legacy of the immensely popular U1 acoustic upright piano, which has maintained its reputation for being a durable, reliable and professional upright for half a century.
- The TransAcoustic Experience – The user can envelop themselves in the sound and physical presence of the world-renowned Yamaha CFX concert grand piano, as well as a variety of other sounds, with headphone-free, volume-controllable digital piano play, enhanced by natural acoustic resonance.
- The Layered Experience – The user can find inspiration by combining the real acoustic piano sound with one of the many internal digital voices, virtual instruments stored on a computer or sounds triggered from an external tone module.
- The Intimate Experience – Become immersed in the music by engaging Silent Mode for totally muted digital piano play, performed with headphones, to avoid disturbing others or being disturbed.
Additional features of the U1TA include: Scale and fine tuning of the digital voices, metronome functions, MIDI and audio recording capabilities, external device connectivity via MIDI, USB and AUX input terminal, and the ability to connect to a hi-fi, studio or live sound reinforcement system via the built-in AUX output terminal.
"The U1TA is an entirely new product concept. It opens up a whole new world of possibilities for the player, by giving a true acoustic experience but with the flexibility of digital," said Jim Levesque, marketing manager, Hybrid Pianos, Yamaha Corporation of America. "Because TransAcoustic technology makes use of the entire piano, the player experiences all elements that they normally would when playing acoustically. It sounds great because we start with an incredible acoustic instrument and augment those acoustic features using our proprietary technology, including transducers, optical sensors and tone generators."
The U1TA has an MSRP of $16,699. For more information, please visit http://4wrd.it/TRANSACOUSTICHOME