Is it possible to simulate an acoustic piano using subtractive synthesis?

It’s true that high-quality sample-based digital pianos now produce near-indistinguishable acoustic piano sounds, and most sample-nased keyboards feature at least one attempt at an acoustic piano sound.

Gordon Reid at Sound on Sound magazine has written an interesting article tracing the history of digitising the acoustic piano, and then looking at the elements that make up a piano sound, and what would have to be done to simulate it without sampling.

It’s a very informative article, and not surprisingly concludes that, whilst with some complex programming you can get close to the sound for use in certain settings, an acoustic piano is far too complicated to successfully replicate using any current synthesis-only method.

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Read the full article: Synth Secrets: Synthesizing Pianos