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Topic: Piano Controller Keyboard... Which one?

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Patthoven's Avatar
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    Talking Piano Controller Keyboard... Which one?

    Hi Guys,

    with the explosion in high quality sampled piano's, I think its time for me to part with my Kawaii Upright. Beautiful yes, and sounds nice, but I'm using an Ensoniq TS-12 for my controller and man is it mechanicall noisy!! And my results are often times limited and sometimes unsatisfactory.

    I know we've been around this horn before, but I'd really appreciate it if some of the developers would chime in on this as well. I'm looking for something with 88 nicely weighted keys with flexible velocity curve algorythms.

    What are you using and why do you like it? Please chime in guys!! Thanks!

    Pat

  2. #2

    Re: Piano Controller Keyboard... Which one?

    Roland RD-700SX. (Not to be confused with the older, Roland RD-700).

    Lawrence
    Melodialworks Music
    Music for Relaxation and Inspiration
    www.lawrencelougheed.com


  3. #3
    Senior Member Patthoven's Avatar
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    Re: Piano Controller Keyboard... Which one?

    Thanks Lee and Lawrence!

    I appreciate your input!!

    To answer your question, I have a Kawaii(ironically ) S5000 synth that I will get out of storage, and that has a nice feeling non weighted velocity sensitive keyboard with aftertouch and LOTS of knobs for MIDI control functions. Its 8 years old and I think it has about 5 hours of use on it. So its in brand new condition.

    So I guess I am going to look more for a nice and "quiet" piano weighted controller because piano really is my first love, and the TS-12 , though weighted, is just too squeeky and mechanically loud as your playing it. And I really miss the lowest register of the keyboard anyway.

    So with that in mind, keep the suggestions coming. Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Re: Piano Controller Keyboard... Which one?

    I'm not a fan of "semi weighted" keyboard. There is plenty of cheep and light non weighted keyboard everybody can get, to complement a real weighted, hammer action keyboard for serious piano.

    Check the Kawai MP9500 (soon replaced by the MP8 ?), it's a real wooden keyboard with the most "accurate" weighted action... But if you plan to go on the road, it's really really heavy (>30kg). It's the best (and themore expensive) keyboard action you can get.

    Roland perform well also, personnaly I play on a RD300SX (maybe not as good as the 700SX, but you can move it...15kg only...).

    But you really need to try them, check Roland, Yamaha, Kawai, and some controller only from fatar (studiologic) as well. It's really a matter of taste.

    Laurent.

  5. #5

    Re: Piano Controller Keyboard... Which one?

    Don't forget, the expensive Yamahas are made in Japan, which gives you a certain quality control. Of the 88 keys, there is not one key on my Motif ES 8 that gives me "odd" numbers. No surprises, 'I' am in control, not the keyboard.

    ------------
    Alex Cremers

  6. #6

    Re: Piano Controller Keyboard... Which one?

    Well, I have a Kawai MP9500, and it is a fairly powerful midi controller. Of course, its no longer made, but new models, MP4 and MP8 are coming out. It has four independent zones with on-off buttons and volume sliders for each zone, and four midi message knobs, which can be set for each zone. Each zone can be assigned to any range on the keyboard; can be set to sound only above or below a certain volume, so a violin can layer over a keyboard once a certain volume is reached, for example; each zone can be assigned to one of 16 midi channels; each can have its velocity response set independently; each zone can have its pitch shifted to any note 1 to 36 above or below the real note on the keyboard; each zone can have dampler, footswitch, mod wheel, etc. set independently off, on or in some cases to different functions. All of these features are duplicated with four internal zones for the built in sounds, for a total of 8 independent zones. Add to this a well thought out, easy to use menuing system for setting and navigating these functions.

    As much as I liove the MP9500, I like to have still more external zones. I'm going to check out Studiologic's VMK-188. It has 8 external zones, I guess, since it has 9 sliders, 8 buttons, and 8 knobs. I tried a Studiologic controller at Guiltar center a few years ago, and I liked the action. Studiologic/Fatar makes a lot of different keyboard actions at a lot of different price points - a major supplier of keyboard actions to the rest of the music industry. This is their top of the line controller, so I'm assuming it will have decent action.

  7. #7

    Re: Piano Controller Keyboard... Which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by cjsm
    Well, I have a Kawai MP9500, and it is a fairly powerful midi controller. Of course, its no longer made, but new models, MP4 and MP8 are coming out. It has four independent zones with on-off buttons and volume sliders for each zone, and four midi message knobs, which can be set for each zone. Each zone can be assigned to any range on the keyboard; can be set to sound only above or below a certain volume, so a violin can layer over a keyboard once a certain volume is reached, for example; each zone can be assigned to one of 16 midi channels; each can have its velocity response set independently; each zone can have its pitch shifted to any note 1 to 36 above or below the real note on the keyboard; each zone can have dampler, footswitch, mod wheel, etc. set independently off, on or in some cases to different functions. All of these features are duplicated with four internal zones for the built in sounds, for a total of 8 independent zones. Add to this a well thought out, easy to use menuing system for setting and navigating these functions.

    As much as I liove the MP9500, I like to have still more external zones. I'm going to check out Studiologic's VMK-188. It has 8 external zones, I guess, since it has 9 sliders, 8 buttons, and 8 knobs. I tried a Studiologic controller at Guiltar center a few years ago, and I liked the action. Studiologic/Fatar makes a lot of different keyboard actions at a lot of different price points - a major supplier of keyboard actions to the rest of the music industry. This is their top of the line controller, so I'm assuming it will have decent action.

    If you get a chance to check out the VMK report back. I've had good luck with their stuff.

    As to the original question, I think Yamaha and Kawai get pretty good marks all around and are safe bets (thinking strictly in terms of piano action). The Yamaha S08 might be a thought.

    Anyone have first hand experience with CME' UF8 or more recent iterations of the Keystation Pro 88 from M-Audio?

  8. #8

    Re: Piano Controller Keyboard... Which one?

    may be an overkill, but I coudn't resist - I bought a Korg Oasys 88 ...

    The keyboard is very nice with the faders a perfect match for my rig!

    cheers, imusic

  9. #9

    Re: Piano Controller Keyboard... Which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by fozzy
    Anyone have first hand experience with CME' UF8 or more recent iterations of the Keystation Pro 88 from M-Audio?
    The CME UF8 is not suitable for piano work. (I guess in this case you get what you pay for!)

    Lawrence
    Melodialworks Music
    Music for Relaxation and Inspiration
    www.lawrencelougheed.com


  10. #10

    Re: Piano Controller Keyboard... Which one?

    I have the Roland 700SX. Great controller with plenty of features, and a nice action....
    But I still prefer the "touch" of my Yamaha P250. You can only store 32 setups (as opposed to 100 on the RD700SX)but I find I can play far more expressively on it.

    It is all subjective though

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