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#1417662 - 04/15/10 04:26 AM Re: adjustable action weight, why not? [Re: Volusiano]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Originally Posted By: Volusiano


Everybody settles for the digital sound when they buy a DP. Out of all those people, those who are also willing to settle for the action buy the cheaper DP in the $1K-$5K range. Those who don't want to settle for the action pay for the more expensive high-end DP in the $10K+ range.


Well said, Volusiano...I bought the P-85 because, I know I'm only going to keep it for a relatively short while (most DP buyers trade up after several years), the piano's sound is very acceptable (in fact, it's darn good), and I can use the dedicated MIDI sockets to access an even better piano sound, Live!Grand, that resides in my PSR-S910.

The P-85's action, unless you are playing extremely demanding classical and/or jazz, is excellent, and feels, and responds, as close to an acoustic's action, as any other digital piano...yes, it's a bit lighter than some, but it is also heavier than others, and certainly light-years better than an unweighted or semi-weighted keyboard.

The differences between digital actions is much the same as the deviations among acoustics...in fact, the former tend to be more constant, as we all have learned here on this forum.

So, the real differences, are between digitals that have real grand actions, and the ones with simulated grand actions...the latter are all relatively close in feel, although the new action by Roland, as on the HP-307 (and V-Piano), is a relative standout, as is the new ungraded one on Yamaha's CP-1/5. The former is represented by the Avant Grand.

I'm quite content how they change the "feel" on digitals, by changing the response curve, or whatever...changing the way the entire action feels in physical response, seems unnecessary....we already can do that now, by choosing a digital by how it responds to our touch, but it's nice that some change the feel according to the sound selected (as on the CP-1/5).

An acoustic action can be changed physically by the piano tuner/technician, and one setting will be all the player gets to choose...and all that's needed, because the acoustic has one sound.

It's early....time for some hotcakes and sausages and small vat of tea. smile

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1417668 - 04/15/10 04:58 AM Re: adjustable action weight, why not? [Re: Volusiano]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2231
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Here's a paper about a motorized grand piano action simulation:
http://www-personal.umich.edu/~brentg/Publications/Conference/icmc94b.pdf

So there is work underway. Good.

Greg.


Edited by sullivang (04/15/10 04:59 AM)

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#1417671 - 04/15/10 05:29 AM Re: adjustable action weight, why not? [Re: Volusiano]
mucci Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/29/10
Posts: 1070
Loc: Munich, Germany
Originally Posted By: Volusiano
I would use the analogy of an SLR camera where the analog SLR lenses are still used in high end digital SLR camera body, because there's no cheap and easy way to "digitize" the analog SLR lenses. The same reason why high end DPs will be using the acoustic grand action and will cost more. It cannot be "digitized" cheaply. If it can be, it would have been done already.


I would agree to everything you said, but the analogy is not right. Lenses are not digital or analog in any way, they are just prepared to fit to a specific sensor. Digital compact cameras usually (but not necessarily) have very small sensors,so you can build very compact lenses for them, whereas SLRs still have larger sensors (typically APS-size or even full-size), so you need much bigger and therefore costly lenses. The lenses are still "analog"... smile
_________________________
<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>

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#1417732 - 04/15/10 08:35 AM Re: adjustable action weight, why not? [Re: mucci]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
Originally Posted By: kawaian
Originally Posted By: Volusiano
I would use the analogy of an SLR camera where the analog SLR lenses are still used in high end digital SLR camera body, because there's no cheap and easy way to "digitize" the analog SLR lenses. The same reason why high end DPs will be using the acoustic grand action and will cost more. It cannot be "digitized" cheaply. If it can be, it would have been done already.


I would agree to everything you said, but the analogy is not right. Lenses are not digital or analog in any way, they are just prepared to fit to a specific sensor. Digital compact cameras usually (but not necessarily) have very small sensors,so you can build very compact lenses for them, whereas SLRs still have larger sensors (typically APS-size or even full-size), so you need much bigger and therefore costly lenses. The lenses are still "analog"... smile

I don't agree that the lenses are designed to fit the sensors (or CCDs). The CCD is just a capture media, just like film is. And just like film, the CCD can vary in sizes and resolution. As proof, you can find that the same 35mm film can fit the smaller compact camera with compact lenses just as well as a larger SLR camera with larger SLR lenses. Same with CCD. If they choose to make a smaller CCD in the compact digital camera, it's not because the compact lenses dictate that. Same as in the big SLR lenses. They don't dictate a bigger CCD. But a bigger CCD enables higher resolution in general.

If you don't like to call the lenses (big or small) as analog or digital, OK, then let's call them mechanical/optical. It doesn't matter. The point of the analogy is that they are the other very important half of what helps capture the vision, beside the film or CCD, and they cannot be "digitized" into bits and bytes. So they remain the same kind as before (analog or mechanical or optical, whatever you want to call them), and the lens that is the standard which professionals demand is not the compact kind, but the big, high quality and expensive SLR kind.

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#1417746 - 04/15/10 09:03 AM Re: adjustable action weight, why not? [Re: Volusiano]
mucci Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/29/10
Posts: 1070
Loc: Munich, Germany
You might know a lot about digital pianos, but certainly not about camera technology.

There are several good sources in the Web to get some good insight into cameras, this one is about sensor size called "size matters":

http://photo.net/equipment/digital/sensorsize/

The conclusion is:

Quote:
So now you know why "bigger is better" when it comes to image quality and digital sensors. Of course bigger is also more expensive, and bigger means bigger (hence heavier and more expensive) lenses, so you can see why many digital cameras stick with small sensors. It's cost, not quality that keeps sensors small.


But I guess we're getting way off-topic now...
_________________________
<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>

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#1417817 - 04/15/10 11:00 AM Re: adjustable action weight, why not? [Re: mucci]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
Mucci, I never argued with you about whether the size of the sensor matters when it come to image quality. Of course bigger sensors give better quality image.

I only argued with your previous statement that the size of the sensor dictates the size of the lens (specifically when you said bigger sensors in digital SLR cameras require bigger lenses). You can fit a bigger sensor inside of a compact digital camera that has a compact lens if you want. Manufacturers just don't want to do that for cost savings reasons, that's all. But it's technically doable. The proof is a compact film camera with a compact lens can take on 35mm film format with no problem at all.

And I don't know why you argued about sensor size or lens size anyway since the analogy I draw pertains to cost only, with the compact lenses being lower quality and lower cost (like the lower cost DP action), and the SLR lenses being higher quality and higher cost (like the acoustic grand action). Well, the analogy also pertains to the fact that the lens cannot be digitized and remains the same technology as before, just like the keyboard action remains mechanical.

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#1417824 - 04/15/10 11:05 AM Re: adjustable action weight, why not? [Re: Volusiano]
mucci Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/29/10
Posts: 1070
Loc: Munich, Germany
Please reread the quote above, especially this part:

Quote:

bigger means bigger (hence heavier and more expensive) lenses
_________________________
<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>

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#1417832 - 04/15/10 11:12 AM Re: adjustable action weight, why not? [Re: mucci]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
Originally Posted By: mucci
Please reread the quote above, especially this part:
Quote:

bigger means bigger (hence heavier and more expensive) lenses

OK, so how does this make the analogy wrong? If bigger and heavier SLR lenses means they're expensive, it only makes the expensive SLR lens analogous to the expensive acoustic grand action like how I compared them in the first place.

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#1417843 - 04/15/10 11:26 AM Re: adjustable action weight, why not? [Re: Volusiano]
mucci Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/29/10
Posts: 1070
Loc: Munich, Germany
I just brought the size correlation to explain what I mean, not to argue with you.

I still don't get it. Lenses, whether compact or not, are always made the same way, for different size of sensors. There is no "simulation" like in the digital piano world and with digital piano keyboards, so there is not "real" thing versus "simulated" or "digital" thing, that's where I don't think the analogy really fits.

But again, we're getting completely off topic, the original question was whether adjustable action weight makes sense or not.
_________________________
<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>

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#1417866 - 04/15/10 11:55 AM Re: adjustable action weight, why not? [Re: Volusiano]
MarcoM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 246
Originally Posted By: Volusiano
The acoustic grand action's resistance is totally non-linear throughout the entire travel of the key. Putting a motor under each key and even if you're able to vary the weight of the key on the fly is still just a very crude attempt to mimic the acoustic grand feel. By the time you can get it to feel just like the acoustic action through other means, IF you can, it'll probably cost just as much as the acoustic action if not more. So why not do the smart thing and just use the real acoustic action in the first place?


because

- the acoustic action is only one action (say, you have a recital on a very heavy action piano, you'd like to practice with heavy action for a while, there you go)
- the acoustic action needs to be regulated
- with a 'variable action' like this you could have a grand's action, an upright action, a harpsichord action, an epiano action, a hammond organ action, a tracker organ action, a synth action, etc. etc. etc.

even if the simulation was not 100% spot on the first time, it could still be refined as time goes on and become the be-all/end-all of keyboard controllers: I am pretty sure there would be enough people willing to pay for it to make it worthwile to produce...

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#1417879 - 04/15/10 12:09 PM Re: adjustable action weight, why not? [Re: mucci]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
Originally Posted By: mucci
I still don't get it. Lenses, whether compact or not, are always made the same way, for different size of sensors. There is no "simulation" like in the digital piano world and with digital piano keyboards, so there is not "real" thing versus "simulated" or "digital" thing, that's where I don't think the analogy really fits.

OK, I can see where you're coming from about this based on your explanation here. But that's exactly my point about the analogy. It's not about the sizes, but it's about the fact that they're all optical devices and cannot be digitized. Just like the DP actions and AP actions are all mechanical devices and cannot be digitized like the sound. They may be different designs at different price points, but they're based on the same technology (optical for lenses and mechanical for keyboard actions). Hope this makes sense.

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#1417885 - 04/15/10 12:16 PM Re: adjustable action weight, why not? [Re: MarcoM]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
Originally Posted By: MarcoM
Originally Posted By: Volusiano
The acoustic grand action's resistance is totally non-linear throughout the entire travel of the key. Putting a motor under each key and even if you're able to vary the weight of the key on the fly is still just a very crude attempt to mimic the acoustic grand feel. By the time you can get it to feel just like the acoustic action through other means, IF you can, it'll probably cost just as much as the acoustic action if not more. So why not do the smart thing and just use the real acoustic action in the first place?


because

- the acoustic action is only one action (say, you have a recital on a very heavy action piano, you'd like to practice with heavy action for a while, there you go)
- the acoustic action needs to be regulated
- with a 'variable action' like this you could have a grand's action, an upright action, a harpsichord action, an epiano action, a hammond organ action, a tracker organ action, a synth action, etc. etc. etc.

even if the simulation was not 100% spot on the first time, it could still be refined as time goes on and become the be-all/end-all of keyboard controllers: I am pretty sure there would be enough people willing to pay for it to make it worthwile to produce...

Very valid points here, MarcoM. If the discussion has been about creating an action that's universal and versatile, and not necessarily tied to or be compared to any "standard", then true enough, there's definitely value in making the weight variable.

I only spoke out when you started making the tie-in and comparison to paying (or not wanting to pay) for the Avant-Grand action, which implied that the discussion was being taken into a different turn as something to be compared against the acoustic grand action as THE "standard". But if that's not the case, then we can ignore my comments in the previous post.

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#1417893 - 04/15/10 12:27 PM Re: adjustable action weight, why not? [Re: Volusiano]
MarcoM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 246
Originally Posted By: Volusiano
I only spoke out when you started making the tie-in and comparison to paying (or not wanting to pay) for the Avant-Grand action, which implied that the discussion was being taken into a different turn as something to be compared against the acoustic grand action as THE "standard". But if that's not the case, then we can ignore my comments in the previous post.


I guess the discussion has been meandering around, originally I was in fact thinking only about acoustic piano weight simulation, but if the action was moved to a voice coil system then one would think that with some software changes you could make it nearly universal, which would possibly make it more marketable in terms of price premium...

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#1417913 - 04/15/10 12:54 PM Re: adjustable action weight, why not? [Re: mucci]
Glenn NK Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 457
Loc: Victoria BC
Originally Posted By: mucci
Lenses are not digital or analog in any way, they are just prepared to fit to a specific sensor.


Partly true. All of my Canon lenses will fit on all the current Canon EOS bodies - which have different size sensors.

Not sure why the camera lens/sensor analogy applies to the adjustable touch piano action.

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#1417983 - 04/15/10 02:58 PM Re: adjustable action weight, why not? [Re: Glenn NK]
mucci Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/29/10
Posts: 1070
Loc: Munich, Germany
Originally Posted By: Glenn NK
Originally Posted By: mucci
Lenses are not digital or analog in any way, they are just prepared to fit to a specific sensor.


Partly true. All of my Canon lenses will fit on all the current Canon EOS bodies - which have different size sensors.


Only if they are all Canon EF lenses (made for 35mm sensors). Smaller sensors work with these, although with a different zoom factor. The Canon EF-S lenses (build for the smaller APS-C DSLRs) won't fit on the 35mm sensor cameras, they would produce heavy vignetting.

But we should stop now, otherwise I feel like Im in a DSLR forum... smile


Edited by mucci (04/15/10 02:59 PM)
_________________________
<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>

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#1418081 - 04/15/10 05:23 PM Re: adjustable action weight, why not? [Re: mucci]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
Originally Posted By: mucci

But we should stop now, otherwise I feel like I'm in a DSLR forum... smile

LOL, I agree. There's enough to go around just discussing DP vs AP alone. Forget that I brought up the SLR analogy if you don't like it. smile

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#1418137 - 04/15/10 07:15 PM Re: adjustable action weight, why not? [Re: Volusiano]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3899
Loc: North Carolina
I have to agree with LesCharles73.
An implementation of this would be absurdly complex, costly, and prone to failure.

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#1418175 - 04/15/10 09:03 PM Re: adjustable action weight, why not? [Re: sullivang]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: sullivang
Here's a paper about a motorized grand piano action simulation:
http://www-personal.umich.edu/~brentg/Publications/Conference/icmc94b.pdf

So there is work underway. Good.

Greg.


OK I read some of this and some of the references. They are using a voice coil-like motor and it seems to simulate the piano key nearly perfectly, escapements and friction on the wood parts and so on. But. The computer power required is not small even for just one key. So it seems that you'd need a room for of PC sized computers for a full size keyboard.

My idea to digitize the force might work and you could trade large amounts of RAM for compute power. Basically you pre-compute the answers and store in RAM to save the room sized computer.

Looks to be many years away from this being practical and affordable. But we have an example in the lab to prove it could work nearly perfectly.

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#1418250 - 04/16/10 12:29 AM Re: adjustable action weight, why not? [Re: ChrisA]
MarcoM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 246
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
But. The computer power required is not small even for just one key. So it seems that you'd need a room for of PC sized computers for a full size keyboard.


this paper is from 1994, I would think that with the PCs we have today a single quadcore would probably be more than enough smile

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#1425588 - 04/27/10 10:24 PM Re: adjustable action weight, why not? [Re: MarcoM]
joflah Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 334
Loc: St. Louis, MO, USA
If you have a coil system that can produce enough maximum force, then all aspects of a keystroke can be simulated - inertia, friction, and non-linear changes in them, since all manifest only as instantaneous counterforce. The velocity sensing might also be integrated with that system. As to computing power, you could incorporate a microcontroller for each key (they're really cheap), and they all could be linked by 2-wire serial connection to a main controller that would handle global changes like the adjustability of the thread subject.
The power requirements would still be a problem, but a couple of things might ease that. Little power would be required when no keys are pressed. A simple spring could be used to balance a minimum level of force for a key held down at the bottom of its travel, so power would only be needed for the dynamic aspects. Energy might be gathered from the keypress and recovered from the key release by dynamic braking.
--
Jack
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Jack

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