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Topic: A keyboard for MIDI.

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  1. #1

    A keyboard for MIDI.

    Well, after much deliberation and research into MIDI controller keyboards with a view to buying one with Mod Wheel rather than joystick (which doesn't suit me) I totally changed my mind and went in a different direction.

    I'm now the proud owner of a used Yamaha AN1x synthesizer. Thank you eBay.
    About the same price as a good 5 octave controller keyboard.

    5 octave velocity and aftertouch keyboard, splittable, good big PB and Mod wheels, ribbon controller which is also pressure sensitive (situated just above the wheels), two expression pedal inputs and hold, 8 rotary controls and so on. Arpeggiator and pattern generator. Of course MIDI in, out and thru.

    And the sounds ... my goodness, the sounds.
    I'd quite forgotten how good this VA synthesis was ... or is.

    Now I can play the three synth engines (AN, VL and DX) I have on cards inside a sound module too!

    Just my 2d.
    regards,
    John.

  2. #2

    Re: A keyboard for MIDI.

    Nice, John! You got yourself a vintage, feature packed keyboard. Congrats!

    You could really go into Outer Space with that baby if you wanted!



    Randy

  3. #3

    Re: A keyboard for MIDI.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Nice, John! You got yourself a vintage, feature packed keyboard. Congrats!

    You could really go into Outer Space with that baby if you wanted!

    Randy
    Mmmm! That demo has to be one of my least favourite.
    It doesn't really show what this baby is cable of producing.
    This Japanese guy (i haven't a clue what he's saying most of the time) has good chops and demos a lot of just how programmable this synth is. I reckon it has to be the best ever VA synth.

    Knock out!



    Regards,
    John.

  4. #4

    Re: A keyboard for MIDI.

    Quote Originally Posted by SysExJohn View Post
    ...This Japanese guy (i haven't a clue what he's saying most of the time) has good chops and demos a lot of just how programmable this synth is...
    Oh yeah, this is much more impressive. It's really fun, John, to find out you like this kind of super synthy sound. I had you pegged wrong as a more acoustic kind of guy.

    You have a clue what he's saying Some of the time--? Like, you know some Japanese?-

    Fun video - Thanks, and have fun with your new toy!

    Randy

  5. #5

    Re: A keyboard for MIDI.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Oh yeah, this is much more impressive. It's really fun, John, to find out you like this kind of super synthy sound. I had you pegged wrong as a more acoustic kind of guy.

    You have a clue what he's saying Some of the time--? Like, you know some Japanese?-

    Fun video - Thanks, and have fun with your new toy!

    Randy
    No, hardly a word of Japanese, but when he's demonstrating a feature and rotating a knob I can make an educated guess!

    You have me pegged right, mostly.
    But in '68 I bought Carlos's SOB, followed by all the others, LPs of course.
    Tried to make my own synth from a design by a UK magazine called ETI, way back.
    Had a TX81z for a while and still have a Cheetah MS6 synth module.
    Have various cards in my Yamaha MU1000s (plural) an AN a DX and a VL plug in cards.
    I also play an Akai EWI 4000s (a bit) through a Yamaha VL70-m.
    So a long standing interest in synths. This one is absolute magic.

    However my sequencing calls for all acoustic stuff.
    My musical education is oboe and flute.
    Now, in retirement, I get to mess about with something fun.

    Regards,
    John.

  6. #6

    Re: A keyboard for MIDI.

    Starting in the early 70's I made lots of synthesizers and collected all the magazine articles about the construction. I cut them all out and put them in a book. Not too many years ago, I found them at the back of a cupboard and trnasferred them to my music shelves.

    You probably made a synth named a Transcendent 2000, a single board synth in electronics today international for July 1978, price 45p. I have the magazine before me as I write.

    All of these old circuits worked quite well but were hopeless at staying in tune. I don't suppose there are many copies of these designs left, I wonder if they should be kept somehow, for future reference.
    Derek
    Things may come and things may go but the art school dance goes on forever
    NOW WITH Cubase 5, JABB,GPO, Fender Strat, Ibanez RG, Yamaha Fretless Bass, Framus Archtop, The Trumpet and Mr T Sax, together with GREEN SEALING WAX


  7. #7

    Re: A keyboard for MIDI.

    Quote Originally Posted by buckshead View Post
    Starting in the early 70's I made lots of synthesizers and collected all the magazine articles about the construction. I cut them all out and put them in a book. Not too many years ago, I found them at the back of a cupboard and trnasferred them to my music shelves.

    You probably made a synth named a Transcendent 2000, a single board synth in electronics today international for July 1978, price 45p. I have the magazine before me as I write.

    All of these old circuits worked quite well but were hopeless at staying in tune. I don't suppose there are many copies of these designs left, I wonder if they should be kept somehow, for future reference.
    That's the one, Derek,

    The Transcendent 2000. I bought the main board from ETI, maybe the components too.
    It was in my early days of trying to build electronics circuits and as I recall I wasn't too successful.
    Perhaps the soldering skills weren't the best in those days. Dry joints?
    I gave it up and a friend bought the board and bits from me.
    I had more success building circuits for moving coil cartridge pre-amps a little later on.

    Yes, I'm sure some of that documentation, maybe scanned in copies too, should be archived somewhere and maybe published on line for people to access.

    I still have some copies of stuff (somewhere) of amplifier design by John Linsley Hood and speaker design from old copies of Hi-Fi News. I built about a dozen DAlines from one of their designs, from the 70s, for myself and for friends.
    KEF B110, T15 and STC super tweeter (as I recall). Replaced ten years or more ago with a pair of Bowers and Wilkins CDM7 SEs.

    I have to say that this purchase of a very versatile synth (which stays in tune) has added a new joy to life.
    Such an incredible synthesiser, on top of being able now to play my other three synth cards, especially the VL card.

    Kind regards,
    John.

  8. #8

    Re: A keyboard for MIDI.

    I've gone down a similar route for my controller. I had a CME keyboard, which I bought for it's aftertouch and breath controller input. But it was a bit like playing an ironing board - and CME's support made you feel you were dealing with the Kremlin. So when Windows was updated, and they didn't bother writing a new driver, I had a rethink.

    There was a synth at the school where I teach - an AKAI AX73 - that I've always had a special relationship with. They bought it when I was a 13 year old student, and I was the only person who ever used it. I used it to death, to the point where I could intuitively hear a sound and immediately know how to get it. 27 years later and I'm leading the Music Tech courses at the same school - but noone is using my AKAI, in this day and age of Massive and Absynth. So this year I did a deal, where I gave school some other stuff, and walked away with my AKAI.

    I'd forgotten just how great it sounds. It's the simplest synth in the world, but the osciallators and filter have a massive sound. More importantly, although it wasn't designed with pianism in mind, its keyboard is infinitely better than the crap I had from CME. So I'm a happy bunny.
    David

  9. #9

    Re: A keyboard for MIDI.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pingu View Post
    ...There was a synth at the school where I teach - an AKAI AX73 - that I've always had a special relationship with. They bought it when I was a 13 year old student...I gave school some other stuff, and walked away with my AKAI...its keyboard is infinitely better than the crap I had from CME. So I'm a happy bunny.
    Hi happy bunny Pingu! What a great story - It's actually a love story, how you were reunited with your beloved AKAI.

    And it tripped me out to hear you talking about what a great old keyboard it is. I had the AKAI X7000, released in that same era. It was AKAI's first sampler keyboard. Man I loved it, and used it for many years - up until maybe 5 years ago. Long after I was using it for its library of orchestral samples, I continued to use it as my controller keyboard. These AKAI keyboards were so solid - Metal bodies, and with what I thought was good action on their full sized keys. So much more solid than my modern keyboard with its plastic body and 3/4 sized keys. Not being designed as an actual controller, the X7000 was limited in how it could interface with other synths - Just Pitch Bend, Modulation, and the velocity sensitive keys. It can't send out any other MIDi controllers.

    Back when I first got it and it became the central hub of my home studio, I dreamed about being able to also get your keys, the AX73, because the two machines could interact. As explained on an X7000 info page I looked up:

    "...for enhanced analog-like editing, the X7000 can be hooked up to the AX73, AX60 and VX90 synthesizers via the DD-X5013 Voice Cable so you can run the X7000's samples through these synth's analog circuitry..."


    The page that's from:

    AKAI X7000 Sampler Keyboard

    And here's how My AKAI love story ends - I still have the keyboard!--There, I just glanced over at it. It's standing on its end in a corner of the studio where I left it after unsuccessfully trying to fix its broken floppy drive. Maybe I'll have it repaired one of these days and sell it - but I doubt it. That good ol' machine symbolizes the time when I first got into MIDI. It's dear to my heart.

    Randy

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