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Intro


YAMAHA DISKLAVIER ENSPIRE

Piano + Recording/Playback + Internet Connected to the World

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Intro


YAMAHA DISKLAVIER ENSPIRE

Piano + Recording/Playback + Internet Connected to the World

 

Yamaha just started shipping its new generation of Disklavier Enspire-equipped pianos.  This Yamaha C6x is a gorgeous piano (the header image is the flagship 9' concert CFX, but it was such a cool picture I couldn't resist...)   The intrigue of this instrument to me as a tech-nerd is in its hidden technology (note that the only electronics readily apparent on the new Disklavier Enspire is one power cord).

 
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Underneath


The music processing horsepower, and fiber optic cables, sensors, solenoids, and whatever other gems Yamaha packs into this instrument are hidden on the underside/insides. 

Underneath


The music processing horsepower, and fiber optic cables, sensors, solenoids, and whatever other gems Yamaha packs into this instrument are hidden on the underside/insides. 

Internet-Connected Piano


Internet-Connected Piano


It's a Web Browser-controlled piano

At first, I thought the piano was controlled by an app.  It's not.  The core interface on this Disklavier Enspire is a webpage.  As I played around, it became clear that any web browser on any connected device or computer can connect to the Enspire embedded web server - and navigate and control all the functions of the piano. Don't let the Yamaha Enspire Controller mobile "App" fool you - although it looks similar to this photo, its sole purpose is to locate the piano and the piano's IP address on the network, and to then separately launch a web browser page on your iPhone or iPad with this IP as the http://ipaddress which connects to the piano. Once you have the piano set up and you know its IP address, it is in fact quicker to just ignore the app and go straight to a web browser on any device or computer.


Recording & Playback

Recording is straightforward.  Click Record on your iPhone or iPad, and recording will auto-start when you start playing the piano.  You can save and organize your recordings onboard or via connected USB drives (there are several open USB slots). 

I'm no piano pro, but playback on recordings, built-in songs, and Piano Radio / DisklavierTV blew me away. 

My daughter is practicing a four hands piece and arranged to have her partner record her part so she can now virtually practice four hands.  Pretty cool stuff.

Silent mode sounds impressive through the headphones.


Connect it to your wifi network & the internet !!

The Disklavier Enspire comes with a USB WiFi stick that you can plug directly into the unit, which creates its own WiFi network that you can connect to and control the piano (recording, playing built-in and recorded pieces).  I did that at first, but quickly wanted to connect the piano directly to my home network so that I could control the piano without having to switch networks. Also, it was clear that connecting the piano to the internet would open up additional performances, connected instruments, rich media (not just piano-only), and video. And it has. I have brought some pretty cool piano, band and ensemble performances into our home this way: the piano plays, non-piano stereo sound goes to the speakers, and the video plays on TV.  A Disklavier TV video, it became clear, is not just a web video, but contains:

  • video which you can play on your TV
  • stereo audio plus piano data, which, if played on your TV or normal speakers, sounds like it contains the audio track minus the piano plus some hiss; BUT when you send that audio to your Piano via AirPlay, the Disklavier Enspire electronics split the audio into (a) the part that plays the piano, and (b) the non-piano stereo stream which plays on the monitor speakers.

DisklavierTV


TV + Sound + RemoteLive playing of the Disklavier Enspire

view on YouTube 

DisklavierTV


TV + Sound + RemoteLive playing of the Disklavier Enspire

view on YouTube 

An Internet-Connected Disklavier Enspire


An Internet-Connected Disklavier Enspire


Internet-Connected Disklavier Enspire

Here are the items I added/used to complete the setup of my Yamaha Disklavier Enspire:

  1. Apple AirPort Express
  2. RCAx2 <--> 3.5mm mini audio (headphone jack) cable
  3. Ethernet cable
  4. Power Strip
  5. My iPhone/iPad
  6. My AppleTV-powered TV
 

AirPort Express mounted via velcro sticky tape under the piano

Add an Airport Express to your Piano

For your home network, a common configuration is that your main cable/DSL modem, router, firewall, or wireless access point serves up your internal IP addresses.  What I did was to setup my AirPort Express to be a "dumb" participant on my wifi network whose sole purpose is to tell the network that there is an AirPlay "speaker" (i.e., the piano) connected to it.

To setup the AirPort Express, my advice (through trial and error) is NOT to try to mess with a setup that attempts to join a network or configure it in "client mode" from the get-go.  Rather, just set it up as a "dummy" new standalone AirPort Express by selecting the option "create a new network" - create a temporary network name, enable AirPlay and give it a name (e.g., Piano), and save the configuration.  Then, connect to the new temporary wireless network and go back into your AirPort Express to edit the configuration, and only THEN change the wireless tab to "join" your wireless network.

Set the WLAN switch on the back of the small Enspire box under the keyboard to RT, hit the power, and you should be in business.  Verify the setup either via the Yamaha Enspire Controller App on your iPhone/iPad, or by finding the IP address of the Piano on your DHCP server and connecting via a web browser to that IP address (hint: the MAC address starts with 80:30:DC:xx:xx;  I created a reserved static entry on my DHCP Server for my piano's MAC address with an IP address that was easy to remember).  


Piano Radio + Disklavier TV

To gain access to additional piano performances and Disklavier TV, I went to the Yamaha site, created an account, and subscribed to Piano Radio + Disklavier TV.  Then, once I entered my login credentials under Settings on the piano's webpage, DisklavierTV and DisklavierRadio appeared as options on the piano webpage.

(when I registered for a Yamaha MusicSoft account, it asked for my piano serial # so I was under the impression that it may be smart enough to turn the options on auto-magically - but it does not - I had to enter login info in Settings on the webpage that controls the piano...)

 


Disklavier TV

The Disklavier TV selection on the Piano web browser prompts you to click a button that launches a new separate tab in your web browser that takes you to Yamaha's Disklavier TV website.  

Playback


Playback


 

Disklavier TV Playback

The way I am doing it is to AirPlay a DisklavierTV video to my AppleTV, which in turn AirPlays out the audio to the piano. I needed to adjust the delay settings found in the Disklavier Enspire web browser applet to get everything synced.

 

Apple TV AUDIO SETTINGS

On my AppleTV, I set the Audio Settings to play out to the AirPlay-connected piano.

Disklavier TV website

After selecting DisklavierTV on the Enspire web browser, I navigate to the DisklavierTV site on any iPhone/iPad/computer and find the video I want to play.

Airplay Video to your Apple TV

From my device, I AirPlay the video to my AppleTV.

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