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Wednesday, July 10 • 10:30 - 10:50

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To finely control his playing and nuances, the pianist needs an essential sensory information, which is called the touch. The latter results from the dynamics of the piano actions equipping traditional acoustic pianos. More and more accepted by musicians, present-day digital instruments are equipped with a certain dynamics, which attempts to imitate that of an acoustic piano, but still results in a reduced touch sensation. A multibody model of the double escapement action equipping modern grand pianos has been developed in our lab to capture its full dynamics faster than real-time, via an efficient multibody symbolic model. In this respect, our research work aims at developing a haptic feedback device for digital keyboards, based on: - motion sensors to capture the key kinematics; - a real time multibody model of the action to compute the dynamic force to be transmitted to the key; - a linear voice-coil actuator to transmit the above force to the key, in a quasi-instantaneous way. The combination of these four steps will give the pianist the same force feedback feeling as a traditional piano action does. A proof-of-concept prototype has been built. The current hardware design limits the complexity of the multibody model that can be used to reproduce the touch but those limitations should be lifted soon. For the future of this ongoing project, an important aspect of the proposed solution relates to the possibility to tune the action parameters, as a piano maker should do, at the pianists' convenience (for the whole keyboard) and, ultimately, to switch between different types of actions at a glance, on the same keyboard. The synchronization of the "virtual action – string" interactions with a sound model is obviously a perspective that we want to investigate, via new collaborations with other scientific teams.


Jean-Pierre Dalmont

Professor, Laboratoire d'Acoustique de l'Université du Mans (UMR CNRS 6613)


Wednesday July 10, 2019 10:30 - 10:50 EDT
Westmount 5
  T14 Musical acoustic, SS02 Tools for music instrum dsgn & …