This goes far beyond just re-recording a performance and tweaking it on a PC.
Zenph Studios, Inc. (http://www.Zenph.com) has developed a new process that, for the first time, captures audio piano recordings – even old or poor-quality ones – and converts them into precise, high-definition MIDI descriptions of the original performances that can be exactingly replicated using modern piano technology.
This dramatic breakthrough literally captures the pianist’s original performance intentions, even if their full expression was obscured by the limitations of the original recording, and makes possible a marketable new recording that places the listener back at the moment of creation.
Because the Yamaha Disklavier Pro reproducing piano is the only musical instrument in production that is capable of high-definition MIDI playback, the piano has been the focus of Zenph’s efforts to date. The Disklavier Pro is a computer-driven grand piano that uses stored high-definition MIDI data to activate the keys and pedals, recreating live piano performances with an exceptional degree of nuance and fidelity.
“Our process is a leap beyond the recording to the original performance itself,” says Zenph president John Q. Walker. “The process even snares the individual notes within dense harmonies, so each can be reproduced with their individual shades of touch and dynamics.
Zenph’s software analysis determines the precise keystrokes, pedal movement and timing that went into a performance, and converts it to high-definition MIDI data that can be used to drive a modern reproducing piano for an exact replica of the original performance. The end product is a high-quality recording unlike any version or re-mastering that was previously available.
Here are some samples of the technology:
These two files were made in 1926 and 2005: “before” and “after” recordings by legendary pianist Alfred Cortot. He’s playing Chopin’s third prelude, lasting 55 seconds. The recordings offer a glimpse into what is possible when a performance can be separated from its original acoustical setting.