SOUND MODULES What's a Double Piano? Two pianos stacked on top of each other? Of course not, Silly; in fact they are not pianos at all, they are just sound modules. But what's a sound module? If we consider the Midi system to be analogous to musical notation; that is, it has the notes and how to play them, then the sound modules are the equivalent of musical instruments. The modules receive on a specific channel like a TV set, and they accept an order to play one instrument per channel; not so bad, there are sixteen channels. These sound modules are all over the place (I have twelve), they are even inside the keyboards. (Four more) The sounds in these modules are usually made in one of two ways; from scratch using sine waves and their ilk, and by recording the actual sounds of the instrument, called sampling. Sampling is done by recording each and every note separately, and usually loud and soft versions of each note as well, and then mapping them out on the keyboard so that when you press a key a specific recorded sound comes out. However, these sounds are not equally good, in fact some of them are pretty bad. One module will have pretty good violin sounds; another will have a good trumpet; still another's flute sounds will be O.K. Most of the rest of the sounds will be unusable. Supposedly these sounds can be tweaked to make them sound better, but it has been my experience to find that after diddling with a sound for several weeks, the original sound was better than what I finally came up with. In other words except for very minor changes, if a sound is no good, the best thing is to abandon it and look elsewhere. For some reason, piano sounds are the hardest to capture. The sounds on my Roland were better than on my entry level Yamaha, but I remained unsatisfied with them, and most of my music was for the piano. Finally in desperation, I decided to layer two pianos by sending the same music to two different modules. By accident, I chose the pianos from Roland and Alessis; still not authentic piano, but interesting nevertheless. The Roland was pitched an octave lower than the Alessis, which gave the sound a nice growl. Shortly after that, I got my Kawai piano, which was satisfactory enough so that I never used this combination again.