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#2018820 - 01/22/13 06:10 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: davinwv]
thomsurf Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/01/10
Posts: 151
Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
Third box in the VPC teaser is filled out. Too bad I can't read what it says! Something 'Galaxy' Vintage....
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#2018821 - 01/22/13 06:17 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: davinwv]
Gigantoad Offline
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Registered: 01/02/12
Posts: 336
I thought what we really wanted was a real grand action midi controller? But I guess this is better than nothing. cool

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#2018824 - 01/22/13 06:20 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: davinwv]
Nigeth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 104
They are all sample libraries/DAWs with the focus on faithful reproduction of piano sounds.

The first one is Synthogy with Ivory II
The second one is Pianoteq with I suppose Pianoteq 4
The third is Galaxy Instruments propably with their vintage piano sets (Vintage D for example)

So the fourth is probably a fourth company I suppose something along the lines of imperfect samples.

So it seems like this is just a list of which of the companies offer sample sets that are compatible with/were approved by Kawai for the VPC.

I wonder why they even mention that since it most probably is a midi controller so any sample set should work

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#2018825 - 01/22/13 06:27 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: davinwv]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1317
Loc: The Netherlands
"As soon as something is announced there is someone bitching about what it isn't instead of what it is ...."

Uhm, yes ...but as long as it isn't officially out yet and the exact specs remain unknown, a little daydreaming doesn't hurt - does it ? And the way Kawai introduces the VPC by using teasers , calls for speculation.

As I said , if it's 'only' a very good keybed with some extra support for third party software piano's , thats' already a great product! Anything that's added from the wish / daydream list is even better...

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#2018826 - 01/22/13 06:33 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: Kawai James]
Temperament Offline
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Registered: 09/19/10
Posts: 424
Loc: Hun,EU
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
As soon as something is announced there is someone bitching about what it isn't instead of what it is ....
Tell me about it...although I'm still p*ssed that the new Casio doesn't have a proper drinks holder.
I was thinking about loud, what I would need and concluded, if a perfect slab had a cover and a stand, there were little need for me personally to go for a cabinet now. (In other words VPC is almost that what I would need.) Or are we restricted here to praise only the special products just announced?

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#2018829 - 01/22/13 06:44 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: Nigeth]
Temperament Offline
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Registered: 09/19/10
Posts: 424
Loc: Hun,EU
Originally Posted By: Nigeth
I wonder why they even mention that since it most probably is a midi controller so any sample set should work

And any sample set should work with any controller, but to get optimal use the controller should provide all the signals the SW can make use of (MIDI extensions as enhanced velocity resolution? evtl.aftertouch like for PT clavichord? optimised presets as for velocities? three sensor use with repetitions). This could be the real meaning. And that all of it has tested extensively together. And if a sound interface is integrated, all the driver are preset and functioning out of the box.

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#2018835 - 01/22/13 07:00 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: davinwv]
Temperament Offline
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Registered: 09/19/10
Posts: 424
Loc: Hun,EU

Now we have Galaxy's "Vintage D" as the third Icon in the teaser!

Note: Not all of the Galaxy instruments (as is the case with the Ivory II collection).


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#2018836 - 01/22/13 07:04 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: davinwv]
Dr Popper Offline
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Registered: 12/30/09
Posts: 1706
Loc: Hancock Park LA (not again)
I give up ..... James please put them out of their misery
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#2018837 - 01/22/13 07:12 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: Dr Popper]
Temperament Offline
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Registered: 09/19/10
Posts: 424
Loc: Hun,EU
I can't feel my misery, if you have meant my last remark, it was nothing negative.

We could expect as a conclusion that these SWs maybe very probably part of the package in a light or promo edition, because if it should mean only that VPC is tested together with the instruments, I can't see why the other Galaxies are not there. They all have the same technology, VPC will function just as well with them.

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#2018838 - 01/22/13 07:15 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: Temperament]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2100
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Originally Posted By: Temperament
three sensor use with repetitions).


Good point - I still haven't heard of a DAW that faithfully records the tri-sensor MIDI sequence, but I haven't done an exhaustive search. (and it was a long time ago that I tested it, too) What seems to happen is that the partial-repeats are translated into normal repeats, which probably sounds the same in most situations, but it would still be nice if it recorded it properly. Pianoteq's MIDI recorder works ok, but that's not a DAW - it's just a raw MIDI recorder.

Greg.

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#2018845 - 01/22/13 08:07 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: sullivang]
anotherscott Online   content
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Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
Originally Posted By: sullivang
Good point - I still haven't heard of a DAW that faithfully records the tri-sensor MIDI sequence, but I haven't done an exhaustive search. (and it was a long time ago that I tested it, too) What seems to happen is that the partial-repeats are translated into normal repeats, which probably sounds the same in most situations, but it would still be nice if it recorded it properly.

I don't understand why it should make any difference. What the third sensor lets you do is send another Note On command on a given note without having to first send a Note Off command, which should be recordable by any MIDI sequencer. It also lets you retrigger a note without lifting your finger as high, but that's strictly a physical issue and wouldn't have an impact on MIDI data.

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#2018863 - 01/22/13 08:44 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: davinwv]
sullivang Offline
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Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2100
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Anotherscott: Theoretically, it could make a difference to how the repetitions sound, because once the repetitions are translated into normal Note-On/Note-Off pairs, that becomes a damped sequence of notes. Partial repeats that make use of the middle(third) sensor are UN-damped, which of course mimicks the behaviour of a real grand piano. E.g, three partial repeats on a tri-sensor action will send the MIDI sequence:
Note-On,Note-On,Note-On,Note-Off,Note-Off,Note-Off.

The two DAWs that I tried translate this to:
Note-On,Note-Off,Note-On,Note-Off,Note-On,Note-Off.

The reason undamped notes could sound different is because a hammer repeatedly striking strings that are already in motion produces subtle timbral changes from note to note.

Aside from any audible change, though, I just don't like the thought of information being lost from the performance, however slight.

Greg.

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#2018864 - 01/22/13 08:44 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: Nigeth]
anotherscott Online   content
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Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
Originally Posted By: Nigeth
Yeah, why complicate it? So just put the action into a successor of the MP10 and be done with all of the wires and clutter.

A. This is cheaper.

B. Apart from Crumar, no one has yet put the quality of the best computer pianos into a DP; or has found a way to do it any more cost effectively than by supplying you with the keyboard and letting you run the software on cheap commodity hardware, which, in fact, you probably already own, making it effectively free.

C. No matter how wonderful Kawai's next piano sound will be, I guarantee someone will like something else better, and will wish they could just buy a Kawai action and use it to trigger the piano sound they really want, without having to pay for the rest of the electronics in the Kawai.

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
If I understand James correctly this is narrowly targeted to people that want a great piano action in some sort of controller format. Probably because most controller keyboards are compromises so that you can also play synths, organs well.

More precisely, because none of the actions piano players really like are available in lower cost versions without sounds built in, sounds that many people find unnecessary if they are connecting their board to a computer anyway. Yamaha makes no weighted controllers. Roland's use their bottom of the line action. Korg makes none. Before this, Kawai made none. Studiologic and Doepfer use Fatar actions that not everyone likes.

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
Most of those people though claim that they want 'the best action' combined with the best sounds/samples available.

I'd rather this was a single device

Separating the two allows everyone to create their ideal combination, but as I said above, there just aren't many piano controller keyboards to choose from, so people often feel they are "wasting money" buying keyboards with sounds they don't intend to use. But while you're correct that people want the best action combined with the best sound, people don't agree about what either of those things are. Even if there was a board that everyone agreed had the ideal action, they would not agree on which was the best sound, so you'd still need a mechanism for selecting the sound separately. Heck, you can walk into a store that sells grand pianos, and people won't agree about which sounds or feels best!

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
So if the action is truly that great I'd probably be tempted to combine it with a Nord Stage 2 instead of a PC because I always wanted a Nord but not with the Fatar action.

An action you like compared with an unweighed NS2 could be a great combo. And would continue to be so even if there were sounds in the Kawai, as there is no guarantee you would like them better than what's in the Nord anyway.

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
The reason many people lean towards a DAW on a PC is because there's usually two lines of products out there.

1. The: 'it has a great action but sub par sounds (or too few sounds) so I cave in and wire it to a PC instead' kind of product

2. The 'this sounds great but the action is quite horrible for piano playing' kind of product.

Or they have not found ANY piano sound in a DP that they like as much as what they can get in a computer. Or they like the flexibility of being able to combine all different kinds of sounds from a variety of manufacturers as they can on a computer. Or they are connecting to a computer anyway, for purposes of recording their work or composition.

Moreover, again, people don't always agree about these things. You could give the SAME piano to two people, and someone could have your first reaction (great action, don't love the sound), or your second (happy with the sound, not thrilled with the action).

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
The MP10 is squarely in category 1 the Nord squarely in 2.

Case in point. I put the MP10 in category 2. I think it's one of the best sounds in a DP, but the action is too heavy/sluggish for my tastes. Similarly, I like the Roland FP-7F action more than I like its sound, and there are others here who admire its sound but aren't so happy with its action.

There are also people who love both the sound and the action of the MP10, and are happy owners today. (And there are still others who love the sound and action, but need something more portable.)

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
A Nord Stage or heck even a Kronos X with the Kawai MP 10 action (or the even better actions in the digital pianos) would be an amazing instrument.

I actually prefer the sound of the MP10 to at least the stock pianos in a Kronos.

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
My hope was that this would be a product that bridges the gap between 1. and 2. but I suppose it doesn't.

What it does is allow you to create your own favorite combination, and pretty cost-effectively. The trade-off is that it's in two pieces. But there is no solution that will not be considered a trade-off by somebody, in one way or another.

What if the VPC has a cubby of some sort, where you can hide and securely lock down the laptop when you're not needing it for initial setup (while providing "clean" cabling, i.e. hidden in the unit, with only the necessary connections to the outside world visible, i.e. AC and audio out). Would that work for you? Who knows, maybe it has such a thing...

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#2018865 - 01/22/13 08:46 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: Nigeth]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
Originally Posted By: Nigeth
it most probably is a midi controller so any sample set should work

I was thinking that maybe it could have some kind of iLok mechanism in it, which would be one less nuisance to bother with, and these companies are supporting Kawai's implementation.

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#2018876 - 01/22/13 09:05 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: davinwv]
Kawai James Online   content
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Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8384
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Very well said Scott!
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#2018879 - 01/22/13 09:10 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: CyberGene]
anotherscott Online   content
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Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
Originally Posted By: CyberGene
My wild guess is that there's some flash-memory based VST player (why not a whole PC, hence the play on words VPC) in the VPC. You use the laptop to only upload the corresponding VST to the VPC and make some settings. That's why the VST needs to be "approved for Kawai VPC" - to support panel buttons, program changes, etc without a PC screen and a mouse. This way you have a digital piano with interchangeable sounds. Once you buy the VST (Pianoteq, Ivory, etc.) and upload it to the VPC, you'll have a standalone unit which you only power up and play. That's what "out of the box" means.

I'd bet few beers on this wink

I'd say it won't be this because it would be too expensive. This is supposed to be cheaper than an MP10. And it really wouldn't make sense to market such a thing as a "controller" which, by its name, implies that it is controlling something external to it. I think they also want to appeal to the market who already own things like Ivory, without having to make it so expensive by essentially duplicating, inside the unit, the computer that they already own which can already run it.

And it would have to be the whole PC, not just a bunch of flash. Even something simple like taking how many velocity layers there are and knowing where to switch them requires code beyond the samples themselves. Just moving Ivory samples into flash won't give you Ivory. (And that would be tons of expensive flash! But let's not get into that whole conversation here. ;-) )

The Crumar is the closest to what you describe... though it is not that cheap (i.e. more than an MP10), and has a Fatar action (albeit supposedly their best one).

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#2018881 - 01/22/13 09:12 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: davinwv]
Gigantoad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/12
Posts: 336
It's a pure midi controller for software pianos. Why else would it have a freaking laptop in the picture?

I find some the theories here rather amusing. Why would they put a computer and storage in this thing that will be outdated in a few years, let alone software, and increase the price for nothing as many people already own the software they need?

The mention of specific software pianos can only be an attempt to somehow "certify" this controller as compatible, which will be nothing more than a marketing move as any midi controller out there will be just as compatible. At most I could see some velocity curve presets to optimize the software for use with this controller. That would be somewhat useful at least. I don't think so though. More a case of win-win marketing move for both Kawai and creators of software pianos.

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#2018898 - 01/22/13 09:52 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: davinwv]
CyberGene Offline
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Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Sofia, Bulgaria
Then what makes it playable "out of the box" compared to other controllers?
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Current DP: Kawai ES7
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#2018901 - 01/22/13 09:54 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: sullivang]
anotherscott Online   content
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Registered: 02/20/10
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Originally Posted By: sullivang
three partial repeats on a tri-sensor action will send the MIDI sequence:
Note-On,Note-On,Note-On,Note-Off,Note-Off,Note-Off.

The two DAWs that I tried translate this to:
Note-On,Note-Off,Note-On,Note-Off,Note-On,Note-Off.

Interesting. If the keyboard is not sending a Note Off between the two Note On events, why is the DAW inserting one? It seems to me that the DAW would have to have been coded along the lines of "if you get another Note On without a Note Off, insert a Note Off before executing the second Note On." That would seem to be a very odd thing to do. Maybe they are trying to conserve polyphony? Either that or they're thinking that such a MIDI string must be an error? At any rate, I agree, a DAW should not toss out--or create!--any info, it should record the MIDI stream faithfully.

(And yes, certainly on a real piano, striking an undamped string sounds different than striking a damped string, and I'd expect some digital recreations to emulate that behavior. I wonder if DPBSD tests for that?)

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#2018902 - 01/22/13 09:56 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: Temperament]
kurtie Offline
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Registered: 07/06/10
Posts: 195
Originally Posted By: Temperament
...MIDI extensions as enhanced velocity resolution...


Hope it will implement enhanced velocity resolution... the only keyboard I know implements it is the VAX-77. Not having it is not a deal breaker for me, but having more than 128 velocity levels will not hurt for the few software pianos already capable of using the extra resolution (Pianoteq, for instance) and is a nice future-proof feature.

You know... in the eighties we had 640x480 monitors and 128 velocity levels for MIDI. In 2013 we are talking of massive 4K far-beyond-full-HD resolutions, and we still have 128 velocity levels for MIDI... whistle (I know... it is not a fair comparison, but...)

Regards,
Kurt.-

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#2018916 - 01/22/13 10:17 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: Gigantoad]
jve Offline
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Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 52
Originally Posted By: Gigantoad
The mention of specific software pianos can only be an attempt to somehow "certify" this controller as compatible, which will be nothing more than a marketing move as any midi controller out there will be just as compatible. At most I could see some velocity curve presets to optimize the software for use with this controller.

Looking at the icons at kawaivpc.com, doesn't the small text beside VPC1 say "Approved Touch Curve", or something like that? We'll soon know, just a couple more sleepless nights...

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#2018927 - 01/22/13 10:34 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: kurtie]
anotherscott Online   content
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Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
Originally Posted By: kurtie
Hope it will implement enhanced velocity resolution... the only keyboard I know implements it is the VAX-77.

Also, the PX-350. I think the 150 as well. And then, I'd expect, this week's PX-5S.

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#2018928 - 01/22/13 10:34 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: davinwv]
Nigeth Offline
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Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 104
Oh it is an entirely fair comparison.

There have been countless attempts to improve on MIDI since its inception. It's hard to even call MIDI a 'standard' since it has so many different implementations and the original spec was made by one company.

These attempts have all failed. Not because the new standards were bad or unsuitable, they failed because they never attracted a 'critical mass' of vendors to support them.

This is because MIDI chips are dirt cheap and the MIDI implementations are 'mature', which in the case of MIDI is an euphemism for 'we've worked out most of the incompatibilities between the different implementations and haven't touched the code in a decade anyway'.

MIDI has run its course and is due for a replacement. The fact that there are now a lot of different (and mostly incompatible) extensions makes that entirely obvious.

The most recent attempts to replace MIDI are OSC and HD-MIDI. HD-MIDI is in standard association heck since 2006 and hasn't even produced a spec yet.

OSC is supported by some controller manufacturers and a lot of open source software yet according to the wikipedia article on MIDI it is "poorly suited for use as a whole-studio solution, as to date it lacks widespread support from hardware and mainstream software."

So we're probably stuck with MIDI for another decade and will see a lot of new and incompatible extensions come up.

So kudos for ensuring compatibility between your extensions and mainstream SW vendors. I'd rather see support for a more future proof solution though.

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#2018934 - 01/22/13 10:49 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: Nigeth]
HisKidd Online   content
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Registered: 03/31/11
Posts: 156
Loc: AL/USA
James has given some more specific info in a post done elsewhere. This post goes to the functionality of the new VPC:
Quote:
Hello chaps,

I've been following this thread closely with interest, so thought I'd register in order to contribute to the discussion.

To be honest, this is a tricky one. There is a large group of musicians that wish to focus solely on piano playing with a first class keyboard action. However, there is an equally large group of musicians that desire a first class action but also require pitchbend/mod wheels, and then probably a separate group who need knobs and faders etc.

Unfortunately, it's very difficult to please everyone.

As others have stated, there are plenty of 'do everything' controllers out there, but few have a professional-quality keyboard action. Therefore, we decided to produce a controller with the emphasis squarely on the keyboard action, intended primarily for use with virtual piano software. However, because of the VPC's minimal design, there's plenty of space on top for extra MIDI surfaces, or an additional semi-weighted board etc. - the recently announced LaunchKey from Novation being an excellent example.

Well, I hope this helps to clarify our intended direction. If you have any queries about this new board please just let me know.

Cheers,
James


Now the intriguing question becomes, "out of the box?" If the VPC comes with the software for the Ivory II; Pianoteq; Galaxy Vintage D; (and a fourth choice)... then this could be interesting. The screen shot of the computer makes it clear that Kawai has an alternative to DAW, Kontact; etc. The emphasis here is going to be on the piano action, guys. That would be the hook to get the customer to buy. At previos NAMM shows, the Ivory folks have used Kawai boards to demo their new virtual pianos, and the MP8, 10, or MP6 would offer great action and serve as a controller. So we are back to "out of the box." James said earlier that this new board would cost less than an MP10. "Out of the Box," anywhere near that price would suggest to me software for these virtual pianos is included. Now if the fourth icon turns out to be Nord library... things really get interesting. Even if it's not Nord, I'd settle for Kawai's own production (on board) of its EX grand. Intriguing possibilities. We shall all know shortly (unless you want to tell us more, James!)
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#2018941 - 01/22/13 11:01 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: anotherscott]
dewster Online   content
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Registered: 12/07/09
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Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
No matter how wonderful Kawai's next piano sound will be, I guarantee someone will like something else better, and will wish they could just buy a Kawai action and use it to trigger the piano sound they really want, without having to pay for the rest of the electronics in the Kawai.

Put Ivory class sounds in Kawai's next DP and I guarantee almost no one will be replacing it with an external sample set & laptop. The external option is just a stopgap until DP manufacturers pick up their sound game.

Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Separating the two allows everyone to create their ideal combination...

My ideal combination is tightly integrated, not a pile of wires and boxes and such.

This isn't about choice so much as making the best of a bad situation. Something like the VPC could help, but it's not a cure to the almost complete lack of integrated good sound. Maybe we need a different product category for DPs with recording quality sound, because the term "Digital Piano" almost never means that.
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#2018981 - 01/22/13 12:03 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: davinwv]
Nigeth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 104
The first DP I bought and still own is an MP6.

The device has mostly positive reviews and is praised quite a lot among enthusiasts.

According to the buzz it has a good action, which I agree with (although the constant *whoomp* noice the keys make when pressed or released due to the weights is quite annoying) and escapement emulation would have been nice too.

According to the reviews it should also have a 'great sounding acoustic grand' an opinion I heartily and entirely disagree with.

After owning it for a year my impression is: If experienced DP users and reviewers claim that the concert grand in the MP6 sounds 'great' then other DPs must sound truly awful by comparison.

It sounded OK (it was best of the bunch) when I reviewed and played different devices but I grew to dislike the sound over the year.

I mostly use it as a controller keyboard and use sample libraries instead of the built in sounds.

Every time I do that I keep thinking though that a piano with at least the action of the MP6 but with for example the synthogy or imperfect samples (or even the nord) library built in would fit my needs more closely.

I wanted a DP and not a controller for essentially $1200 that needs to be interfaced to a PC or MAC for at least another $1200 in order to have the performance to use sample libraries for another $300 - $600

Or go ALL the way in the other direction and offer the best controller solution for PC-based sample sets but then it would have to be tightly integrated and offer better support than e.g. 128 velocity levels of MIDI. Get the maximum out of both SW and HW.

Supporting an iLok (great direct support for a licensing and DRM device) was not what I had in mind.

But that's enough whinging for now, let's see what they announce.

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#2018984 - 01/22/13 12:08 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: Nigeth]
CyberGene Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Sofia, Bulgaria
Originally Posted By: Nigeth
...MP6....

...escapement emulation would have been nice too...



There is an escapement emulation in MP6. It's strange that you haven't noticed it.
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Current DP: Kawai ES7
Previous DP-s: Kawai MP6, Kawai CA63, Roland RD-700SX, Roland FP-5, Yamaha P90, Korg SP-200, Casio CDP-100

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#2018997 - 01/22/13 12:27 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: Nigeth]
anotherscott Online   content
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Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
Originally Posted By: Nigeth
I wanted a DP and not a controller for essentially $1200 that needs to be interfaced to a PC or MAC for at least another $1200 in order to have the performance to use sample libraries for another $300 - $600

If a comparably good self-contained piano cost $2700-$3000 (i.e. same total outlay, but all in one piece), would that make you happy? Of course, you would be potentially duplicating $1200 of the expense, in that you may already own the $1200 computer, but maybe it's worth it for the convenience?

Though again, getting people to agree on which $1200 action is best, or which $300-$600 piano library is best, is also a nebulous endeavor.

(Of course, the fact that you can buy $3000 pianos that don't sound as good as a VST piano is itself part of the issue we're dealing with.)

Personally, I'm not a great fan of the MP6 piano sound OR its action. Great feature set, though.

Short of $2k, I haven't found an action I like better than the Casio PX-150/PX-350. I have recently purchased some software pianos in the $100 range, but haven't tried them yet! But I expect I could put together a pretty cost-effective and lightweight piano rig out of that. I still haven't warmed up to gigging with a computer, though. Plus, I need a lot more than just piano functionality.

Still, I'm curious to feel the action of the VPC. I also haven't had a chance to check out an ES7 yet, and I've wondered if the VPC might use the same action. I guess we'll know soon enough...

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#2019022 - 01/22/13 01:07 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: anotherscott]
Nigeth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 104
Originally Posted By: anotherscott

If a comparably good self-contained piano cost $2700-$3000 (i.e. same total outlay, but all in one piece), would that make you happy?


If it offered both a great action and a great sound set? Probably.

It doesn't even stop at the pieces I mentioned.

I'd need a computer that has enough disc space, bandwidth and processing power to handle the monster > 10 GB sample sets.

I'd need a controller keyboard with a great action (doesn't exist, yet) or a DP with great action but sounds I wouldn't use

I'd need one of the high end sample sets

All in all this will set me back about $3000 or more.

Then I'd still only have the built in sound of the PC which is not good enough to enjoy your 14 GB sample set so I'd need a good external sound interface (firewire or USB 2) and an amplifier or preamp and good monitors.

If I wanted to play with headphones I'd probably also need a good headphone preamp to supply enough juice for my studio headphones.

The whole shebang will set me back probably another $1000.

If you only count the 'offset' price between the PC you need for DAW soft and the PC you probably would buy if all it needed to do was surf the web I've now spent about $3500 on gear and SW.

If a competent manufacturer integrated everything into a single device it could probably offer that significantly cheaper than that which devices like the Kronos are the living proof of.

With my MP6 at least I only need to plug in my headphones and start playing (or I would if I liked the sound)

My frustration is fueled in no small part by the fact the right now there doesn't seem to be such a device.

I could probably spend thrice my $3500 and still end up with a board that handled or sounded worse than keyboard + DAW

But maybe that's just because of the 'nebulous' endeavour you mentioned.

Quote:

(Of course, the fact that you can buy $3000 pianos that don't sound as good as a VST piano is itself part of the issue we're dealing with.)


That would have been my reply if you hadn't already said it.

If I can 'pick and mix' parts that are better for that price a manufacturer should be able to as well and Casio shows that you can offer a good solution for significantly less.

It would also probably make obsolete most of the current DP offerings so it might not be a smart move business-wise.

This gets more and more OT though so I'll just shut up and wait for the official announcement

edit: something I forgot to mention. Even if I bought best in class options for every component I'd still be stuck with MIDI and might at some point run into the technical limits of the MIDI standard that could potentially prevent me from getting everything out of SW and HW


Edited by Nigeth (01/22/13 01:10 PM)

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#2019053 - 01/22/13 01:32 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: Nigeth]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
Originally Posted By: Nigeth
If I can 'pick and mix' parts that are better for that price a manufacturer should be able to as well

It's not that straight-foward, in that (as has been discussed before) manufacturers of low-volume specialty items (which are what pianos are, compared to computers) cannot manufacture, distribute, and sell commodity electronic components as cheaply as computer companies can. If you put the exact same electronics that are in your $1000 computer into a musical instrument, it would probably add far more than $1000 to its price. So yes, it can be cheaper for us to mix and match using commodity hardware than it might be for a manufacturer to give it to us all in one.

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
Casio shows that you can offer a good solution for significantly less.

I'm always wary of the "If X and can do it, than someone else should be able to do it" kinds of arguments. Kind of like telling a ball player, hey, if so-and-so can hit 40 home runs, why can't you? The resources/skills/technologies/talents between people and companies are not interchangeable. I don't know why Casio can give you more for your money than most other companies. Maybe it's deep pockets for R&D, maybe they have some good unique (patented?) technologies, maybe they have better economies of scale, maybe they have some particularly clever engineers, who knows. Luckily, they have given us some good choices!

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