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I've heard that a keyboard with poor quality sound can be reprogrammed with a library of better quality MIDI sounds. Is this possible with all keyboards? If not, what determines whether a keyboard can be reprogrammed or not? If if there's a general method, how do you do it?


For example, I'm looking into a Williams Etude, but the reviews say that the sound quality is cheap. I'd have no qualms about reprogramming it if it's possible.

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I've never owned a digital piano before, so if I've made any mistaken assumptions in my question, I'll appreciate any edits that improve the question. Thanks! –  BBz Aug 1 '12 at 18:38
    
If the keyboard has MIDI out (and I guess most have), then you can connect an external MIDI sound module, or a pc with appropriate software (through an audio interface with MIDI connectors), and control the sounds of those with your keyboard. –  Ulf Åkerstedt Oct 27 '13 at 11:00
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3 Answers

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With regard to a digital piano, you are not talking about reprogramming synthesizer sounds, and MIDI does not enter into it either. What you are talking about is replacing the digital sample library on the digital piano with an alternate library of piano sounds. This has never been possible with any dedicated digital piano of which I've ever been aware. It is certainly not possible with any products made by Williams.

There are, however, more advanced and expensive multi-purpose keyboard instrument workstations that provide the user with the ability to purchase and install different sample libraries, including alternate piano sounds. For this you would want to look at products by Roland and Nord. However, I get the feeling this is beyond the scope of your interest.

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You likely won't be able to change the samples of a cheap synthesizer. However, on some more expensive synthesizers you can. You MAY be able to edit the "presets" of a cheap-ish synth. editing a preset can sometimes change the sound dramatically without changing the samples it uses - it's changing things like envelope and low-frequency oscillation (LFO) settings, etc. If you don't yet know what an LFO or envelope is, you probably have MUCH reading to do :) But it's interesting stuff - go for it.

To find out for sure if your synth's sounds can be edited, take a look at the manual - it should say. If you don't have it, go to the manufacturer's website, download the manual and read up.

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I should also add that you can always hook up the digital/synthesizer keyboard to your pc and have your pc play the piano sounds. Google "software synthesizer" –  Stephen Hazel Aug 2 '12 at 0:46
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If you're willing to plug your pianos into a computer with a DAW via MIDI, you can always use computer-synthesized sounds.

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