NOTICE TO ALL PIANODISC TECHNICIANS
PianoDisc Technical Memo
This is an exciting time for the Prodigy CPU, and we’re happy to announce a number of improvements beginning in 2021 that will make using and calibrating a PianoDisc system easier and better than ever.
Let’s start with audio. For many years, PianoDisc speakers featured a “noise gate” feature that would automatically mute when there was no input signal for a few seconds. In order to provide our customers with the best value in speakers, the models we’ve used recently lack this feature. Additionally, many customers like to choose their own speakers or connect with external audio systems.
So why mute the audio if there’s no input signal? In a word: noise. All audio signals have some amount of noise, especially when connected to wireless equipment like Bluetooth. While noise isn’t audible when the system is playing, it is sometimes noticeable when the system is powered on in a very quiet room.
The new noise gate feature is available on all CPUs manufactured in 2021. The latest version of PianoDisc Calibrate has a control in the iQ section where you can control how long to wait before muting the audio, or turn off the feature if it’s not desired. If the control is greyed out, that means your CPU was manufactured prior to 2021.
The next exciting change for the iOS Calibrate app is auto calibration—including auto learn! It uses Apple’s built-in “Machine Learning” technology to deliver a robust set of calibration features never before possible. Apple’s Machine Learning was introduced in iOS 13, so you’ll need to have a relatively modern device to take advantage of the feature. Unfortunately, the Android version of the app does not support this feature.
How does it work? In the SilentDrive basic settings page, each control has an “AUTO” button beneath the normal controls. When you press auto, the app will use your iPhone’s or iPad’s microphone (and ProRecord if available) to calibrate each setting. In order to achieve good results, it’s important to keep the environment as quiet as possible and free from outside noises.
While we’ve been very impressed with our results over the last few months of testing, it’s important that as a piano technician you verify (and occasionally adjust) the settings that the app chooses automatically. Again, the best results are obtained in quiet environments.
Once you’re happy with the basic settings, move to the advanced settings page. These settings should normally be left at their default values, so there’s no automatic calibration for them. Simply scroll to the bottom of the screen and touch “Load Defaults” to ensure you have the proper settings loaded. Of course if you want to use any of these features, you can adjust them manually as always.
We hope you’re excited as we are about these improvements made possible by new cutting-edge technology. They can save a lot of time and free you to work on more important things—or take a quick break—while the piano calibrates itself. Happy new year, and thanks for being part of the PianoDisc family!
For more about Prodigy, technical information, and videos check out this link,