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Topic: weighted vs. unweighted

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  1. #1

    weighted vs. unweighted

    Which keyboard is best for strings? I've heard that unweighted action is better/more expressive. I'm interested in the CME UF5 with semi-weighted action. Anyone with experience or opinions on CME UF keyboards?

  2. #2

    Re: weighted vs. unweighted

    I just got a semiweighted kbd (M-audio keystation 61-ES), and think this is a better way to go for string sequencing than fully-weighted. The first thing I always have to do after playing in a string line is to try and remove pianistic tendencies (eg. sudden jumps in velocity, gaps when my fingers had to cross, etc). With semiweighted keys, I can play a lot faster than with an unweighted keyboard, and the pianistic tendencies are reduced because of the lighter and more consistent touch. And on a psychological level, it's just close enough to a real piano to allow for realistic piano sequencing, but just far enough so that I can still suspend my disbelief into thinking I'm playing a string section.


    (plus they're cheaper)
    Wilbert Roget, II
    Composer
    Rogetmusic.com

  3. #3

    Re: weighted vs. unweighted

    It's a totally subjective thing but the ONLY thing I like weighted action for is piano. For drums, strings, organ, all the rest I like unweighted. So in my case I go with a light semi-weighted action and play everythng with that. And it is cheaper So, yeah, I'm just like Will.

    But, people that are very used to playing weighted probably feel differently. The one thing I don't think hardly anyone wants a weighted action for is drum programming.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Re: weighted vs. unweighted

    Hi.Having both an Ozonic and a keystation Pro-88.I definately reccomend a weighted action.I find it very more realistic for drums also.The feel is similiar to being able to bounce the kick.Just me but after years of not using a weighted action I really didn;t know what I was missing.You have control over the velocity also so pure impact can be alleviated.If you are not familiar or rather have the endurance of a trained pianist (which I am certainly not) it can help get rid of the fatigue of using constant impact. I find the weighted keyboard everybit as fast as the ozonic.I believed it would be somewhat sluggish too. I find the triggereing very exspressive in regards to strings and such.You get to really dig in.The one drawback,if it is.The more realistic action you get will come with the actual added extra weight of the unit itself. This thing is HEAVY.And it only triggers via usb.I also love the fact that I have lots of sliders rotaries and the big plus are all the buttons.I use RMX so the ability to use the buttons is nothing short of a Godsend.JON

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Re: weighted vs. unweighted

    I also have both a hammer action weighted keyboard (Yamaha P120) and an unweighted controller (M-Audio Evo 4C1c,) and- while I like the lightweight for strings, etc.,- it seems that with the non or semiweighted keys I have less dynamic/velocity control.

    Maybe it's just my M-Audio's mushy keybed feel, but for certain sampled instruments, such as bass guitar or Highland pipes, the touch response goes from pp to ff really quickly without much space in between, so I find myself using the Yamaha for those.

    If I could only have one board, it would definitely be weighted. But then I'm speaking as a piano player...

    As far as the CME boards are concerned, I've never tried one, but did a bunch of online research when I was looking for a controller, and I'd advise you to do the same. Some folks really like them, but many others have had problems.

  6. #6

    Re: weighted vs. unweighted

    Quote Originally Posted by FredProgGH
    It's a totally subjective thing but the ONLY thing I like weighted action for is piano. For drums, strings, organ, all the rest I like unweighted. So in my case I go with a light semi-weighted action and play everythng with that. And it is cheaper So, yeah, I'm just like Will.

    But, people that are very used to playing weighted probably feel differently. The one thing I don't think hardly anyone wants a weighted action for is drum programming.
    I agree with this. For piano I use a Yamaha P250 in the studio and for gigs a Roand RD700SX. For everything else I use a Roland Fantom

    Mal

  7. #7

    Re: weighted vs. unweighted

    Thanks for all the replies everyone. It seems that people are pretty much split over this weighted/unweighted issue. The CME UF has plenty of sliders and a cool play record button panel. It's pretty heavy and not too pricy. Yes Quasar, the reviews I've read online look pretty mixed. I guess I'll have to buy it and try it out. With nothing to compare it too, I won't know what I'm missing, but if it really sucks, I'll try to exchange it for something else. I'm presently using an old Fender Rhodes Mark II. It's a very weighty electro-mechanical piece. I'm planning to use the CME UF5 mostly for MOTU strings and some Reason synth stuff.
    I like what Will said about removing pianistic tendencies in the editor. Velocity jumps etc. Makes sense.
    I agree with what Jonkuzma said about the faders. They are an important part of the instrument. Interesting kick bounce description.
    Thanks again everyone.

  8. #8

    Re: weighted vs. unweighted

    Excuse the newbie question...but how can something be semiweighted?

  9. #9

    Re: weighted vs. unweighted

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOne{
    Excuse the newbie question...but how can something be semiweighted?
    Good question.

    It's supposed to mean heavier than organ but lighter than piano action. In reality, it's just beefed up springs that are supposed to cover up the spongy feel of the "rubber" switches they use. Not likely.

    Ref: Roland A-33

    Ernie

  10. #10

    Re: weighted vs. unweighted

    Yeam semi-weighted usually works out to "slightly stiff non-weighted"

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