Pocket Piano Review, from the perspective of a pianist.
June 2022 UPDATE: Videos of Pocket Piano Professional (version 2.0), at the 2022 NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA are found here, below.
Pre-Orders for Pocket Piano Pro-Version 2.0 are being accepted at our Contact Us page.
Receive $100 OFF the Pre-Order Price AND
SAVE on CURRENCY Conversion Fees by Placing A Pre-Order Through TOTAL PIANO CARE, TODAY!
(No Payment is Due Today.)
When I had first seen the YouTube video promoting Pocket Piano via an online news article, the idea of disassembling and carrying around a portable, collapsible, and modular piano with me when traveling, immediately caught my attention.
The idea was a true no brainer to me.
"Why hasn't someone thought of this earlier - much earlier?" I thought to myself.
The idea of playing a fully functional, collapsible, "pocket piano" might just literally be the most creative thing that could happen to the piano in its 300+ year history.
"Now it's for real," I mused to myself.
I couldn't stop thinking about what I had heard.
A piano you could take anywhere, with ease.
A piano that doesn't take up any space.
A FULL SIZED PIANO KEYBOARD THAT'S TRULY PORTABLE, FOR REAL.
digital keyboard made in Spain is MIDI compatible, touch sensitive,
fully expandable, and runs on intelligent software developed specifically for the
The sounds are generated via a
separate iOS app that's sold separately, that uses the latest in piano sampling
technology. The company who produces this software has gathered sounds from some of the finest pianos in the world, such
as the Ravenscroft 275; Fazioli concert grand; Bösendorfer Imperial
Grand; Steinway Model D; Kawai-Shigeru grands; Yamaha Concert grands,
The thought of how I could use Pocket Piano when traveling had kept me up all night.
Thinking about all of the places I could visit, the
pieces I could practice, and the songs I could write with a portable
full size piano that basically doesn't weigh very much was exciting to contemplate.
Best of all, I would easily be able to carry it around in a normal, everyday backpack.
Pocket Piano is designed to be broken down, intentionally, into eight square pieces. Ten pieces, to be exact, with the pedals included.
It is powered by a rechargeable Li-Ion 3,000 mAh battery, with a playing time duration of about 4 hours or less. It uses a C-type recharging cable (most convenient of cable connections) along with a regular 5 volt/1 amp or 2.1 amp mobile phone wall adapter, to charge.
The octaves of each section of the piano can be arranged in any order, and are connected together, magnetically.
The keyboard and foot pedals are connected wirelessly, via a bluetooth connectivity to any iOS (Apple) mobile device such as an iPad or an iPhone or Android device.
Not bad for a MIDI digital piano that can be "tweaked" sound-wise, with a million different piano sounds, via Virtual Studio Technology software (VST).
The piano's sound originates from any VST software program - such as the Ravenscroft 275 piano app - making your options to use and "fine tune" the "perfect piano sound" virtually limitless.
These programs are specifically designed for MIDI keyboards and other digital musical instruments. Multiple piano sounds can be selected and heard through your iOS/Apple and Android device, from these types of apps, with your digital piano keyboard that acts as the originating controller. Pocket Piano is made possible using a VST ("piano sounds") app, as no piano audio files are built directly into the device itself.
Expansion capabilities and piano audio sound samples are limitless, in this case, as MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) enables musicians to express themselves within a range of 0 to 127 levels of musical expression. VST apps and software are useful for digital musical devices such as Pocket Piano or any other digital MIDI keyboard piano.
(Lesson: Never fear that you will never be able find the "perfect" piano sound with a digital piano or keyboard, such as Pocket Piano. Thank goodness for VST piano apps.)
I had planned to travel to the beach, mountains, and the river with this newfound
device, based on what I was expecting for this new digital piano to do
for my overflowing musical creativity.
The thought of being
able to "pack" a
piano to take it anywhere with me, around the world - in a backpack,
suitcase, or in the zippered case it comes with - opens up a new
universe of possibilities for pianists, who might have never have
traveled with any sort of piano, or a digital keyboard, before.
Pianists as a group are always at a disadvantage, due to the large and heavy nature of the piano itself.
We always need to find a room and piano to practice, when we travel anywhere - unless of course, you're a concert pianist and the 'Artist Services' Division of Steinway, Yamaha, or Kawai has a piano prepared and ready for you, after your plane lands.
But even then, you can't take that piano with you into the forest, to the lake, or the mountains when you're out sightseeing. ;)
We can never carry around our instrument with us in a backpack the same way a violinist, flutist (flautist), bassoonist, trumpet player, etc. can carry an instrument under their arm.
The 2nd video below shows a prototype of Pocket Piano version 2.0 that features real wooden keys, performed at the NAMM Show in 2022. (Anaheim, CA)
Even a cellist or bassist can carry their
instrument around with them, but not a pianist.
Pianists around the
world can now explore and go places with their music and imagination to be inspired... recreated... and uplifted by the sights and sounds of nature, which they could never
experience with a piano before, due to the inherent limitations of
carrying around a bulky keyboard, or heaven forbid: getting a real piano
moved into the forest. or near a river, or at a beach for inspiration.
(Piano Guys, anyone?...)
So I ordered one.
After it arrived, I had purchased the Ravenscroft piano app for my iPad ($36). Here I was able to experience the authentic and realistic sounds of a 9 foot plus concert grand piano, just like the one in the video.
To be clear, the app did not disappoint.
The sound generated from your iOS device can be heard through either a portable bluetooth speaker - or several speakers - via a 3.5mm audio cable, or better yet, noise cancelling headphones, through your iOS device, which I prefer more.
found that headphones generally work best to dial in the exact sounds and touch
response of Pocket Piano, to achieve the right amount of
clear mids, highs, bass, reverb, room space (concert hall vs. practice room), and key sensitivity.
These settings can be dialed in exactly as you want to hear your piano, with or without reverb, echos, sustain, or room effects.
These settings all take place within the Ravenscroft 275 piano app, that gets imported into the Apple GarageBand app (free with any Apple device).
It's important to know that you must have 4 to 5 additional items in your possession in order to use Pocket Piano:
The Bose SoundLink Color II Portable Bluetooth, Wireless Speaker and the JBL Charge 4 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker are the best portable speaker options, I've found so far, to use with PocketPiano.
These two speakers both have: (1) a 3.5mm stereo audio cable input port, (2) excellent power and sound, (3) absolutely no delay when plugged into the 3.5mm stereo port.
When I set everything up on my first try, I wasn't thrilled with my experience.
up the app through Garage Band was a bit frustrating, for starters.
I was new to the whole Garage Band app experience, so I can't fault Pocket Piano for this one.
Getting my speakers to reproduce the exact piano sounds I was hoping for, was another challenge. This is not Pocket Piano's fault either.
I had to spend some time "dialing in" the exact piano sound I wanted to hear, but after I found it - after adjusting the lows, mids, and highs in the app - I was able to "Save" it as a template within GarageBand.
Also, I found Pocket Piano's key dip is significantly less than a piano's average key dip that most pianists are used to experiencing within a modern acoustic piano.
Professional pianists are generally used to experiencing a much deeper >10mm to 12mm key dip on most grand pianos, whereas the device has a much smaller key dip by comparison, by only a few millimeters, 6mm total to be exact.
Having enough key dip makes pianists feel
"safe" and allows them to express themselves "dynamically" and
"adequately" and "artistically" on a properly prepped piano, whereas a shallow keydip does not facilitate
this "feeling", and widely accepted hallmark of modern pianos, today.
I have great hopes and high expectations for this product as we move forward in time. I eagerly look forward to any software updates, key depth variations, and other versions of this modern invention, in the near future.
UPDATE - May 2022: A new 'Professional version' of Pocket Piano will be released at the end of this year, with more features built into the unit itself, and best of all, a much greater key depth, similar to other digital pianos that are available on the market today.
Is Pocket Piano is worth the convenience and versatility of taking a portable piano with you on the go?
A loud "YES!!!". The concept and design is a a much needed addition to the piano industry, in its 300 year history. Pianists haven't never been able to "carry" around a piano with them, the same as a violinist, cellist, or a cowboy with a harmonica in his back pocket (see the Far Side comic, for reference). :) Move over string section, we're in the portable instruments club now! :)
I leave you with this final thought: How else can you house and hear a live concert grand piano at your fingertips, in a small dorm room or within a small bedroom, without having to store a full size digital piano in your closet?...
You can do all of this and more, with Pocket Piano.
May you personally enjoy the experience of this breakthrough digital piano that's truly 100% portable, to take with you on the go, with convenience and ease.
May you regularly use this wonderful invention for your musical edification and enrichment in our progressive technological age, and take it with you #WhereverYouAre. [End]
SNEAK PEEK: Here is a GLIMPSE of what the NEW POCKET PIANO PRO VERSION will be able to do, with the interchangeable octave buttons (well... maybe we all aren't able to master this technique as well as Jordan Rudess, but you get the picture).
What's Included in the Box?
Requirements to Operate PocketPiano: