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#2022301 - 01/27/13 05:42 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: CyberGene]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3322
Originally Posted By: CyberGene
I still don't understand why the "approved" touch curve should be in controller and not in the software. It doesn't make any difference.

Exactly, it doesn't make any difference. So, if you can do it on either side, what would be easier for the consumer who buys a VPC? If it's in the controller, the instructions are, basically, "hit a button." If it's in the software, you have to explain to the user how to load a new velocity curve into Ivory or whatever (and probably provide a data file either on CD ROM or have people download it). And if a user decides to buy a second or third software piano, they have to learn a different procedure for how to load a velocity curve into each of the programs. Since as you say it makes no difference, and they want to make the experience as plug-and-play as possible, it does seem sensible for Kawai to put the curve data in the device itself.

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#2022304 - 01/27/13 05:44 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: CyberGene]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: CyberGene
I still don't understand why the "approved" touch curve should be in controller and not in the software.

The difference is in velocity resolution post curving. If you pass 128 values (0-127) through a non trivial function and want 128 out, some values will be missing and/or some will be duplicated - so you need more values going in than coming out. Most keyboard encoders have excess internal resolution to cope with this.

If the controller kicks out high-res MIDI (2^14 values) this is pretty much moot and you can do the curve anywhere you want with impunity. Though the curve is traditionally in the controller (for the reason above) so there may be limited to no curve control in stand-alone sound modules.
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#2022312 - 01/27/13 06:04 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: davinwv]
CyberGene Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 719
Loc: Sofia, Bulgaria
OK, however if there are new software pianos in the future, it will get even harder for users to upload new curves to the VPC, especially on Mac. And there are only 5 slots for touch curves.

Dewster, you're right, the dynamic steps get less than 128 on the output if we remap values in software. So, it actually makes sense to use custom curves on the controller side. I am wondering if this will make any real difference and if it is perceptible though.
_________________________
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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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#2022314 - 01/27/13 06:05 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: CyberGene]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3322
Originally Posted By: CyberGene
I still don't understand why the "approved" touch curve should be in controller and not in the software. It doesn't make any difference.

Dewster added a good point.. it can indeed make a difference. With a fixed number of velocity points, any "increased resolution" in one area of the dynamic range is offset by "decreased resolution" in another. On the software side, assuming you're using the typical controller that sends out 0 to 127, the software only has 128 possible values to work with. On the controller side, they may be able to do something better by manipulating the curve before it is "reduced" to 128 values to begin with.

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#2022323 - 01/27/13 06:25 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: dewster]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9404
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: dewster
Well, it's NOT their best keys...


The 'GF' has a longer key stick and pivot length, that's true. But 'RM3 Grand II' is still a superb action to play, and surely the most realistic in a controller board. May I ask if you or your piano-teaching wife have ever tried a wooden-key Kawai action, by the way?

Originally Posted By: dewster
...in a case that is NOT the most ergonomic for PC use


I assume you are referring to the slight curvature of the top surface? As others who have seen the board have noted, it's really nothing to worry about.

Originally Posted By: dewster
...with a UI that is NOT the most intuitive (use of the power switch & keys to select curves, no feedback whatsoever that I can see


The selected memory is indicated by the colour+state of the power button. If you can think of a better method to select/indicate the setting memory 'headless', I'd like to hear it. As explained in the owner's manual:



As noted above, these preset touch curves can be replaced/adjusted by the player using the VPC Editor software, if desired.

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2022339 - 01/27/13 06:51 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: Kawai James]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
The selected memory is indicated by the colour+state of the power button.

Thanks for that info James.

(On the off chance) any pivot point measurement differences between 'GF' and 'RM3 Grand II' that you can report?
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#2022346 - 01/27/13 07:01 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: davinwv]
CyberGene Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 719
Loc: Sofia, Bulgaria
James, I don't want to be nitpicker and I am saying it mostly for the fun side of it, but I am color blind and I hate it when things rely on color codes, etc laugh
_________________________
http://www.myspace.com/evgenykumanov
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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#2022350 - 01/27/13 07:07 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: davinwv]
CyberGene Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 719
Loc: Sofia, Bulgaria
We are musicians for Pete's sake, why not just generating different musical MIDI patterns when you change curves, say "God save the Queen" for normal, "Star spangled banner" for Ivory, etc laugh Just kidding - I don't want to be banned again and I apologize to anyone affected in advance! smile
_________________________
http://www.myspace.com/evgenykumanov
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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#2022356 - 01/27/13 07:20 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: dewster]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9404
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: dewster
(On the off chance) any pivot point measurement differences between 'GF' and 'RM3 Grand II' that you can report?


Not off the top of my head, I'm afraid.

James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2022358 - 01/27/13 07:21 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: CyberGene]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9404
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: CyberGene
James, I don't want to be nitpicker and I am saying it mostly for the fun side of it, but I am color blind and I hate it when things rely on color codes, etc laugh


Don't worry, I'm partially colour-blind too, but even I can spot the difference.

James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2022360 - 01/27/13 07:23 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: davinwv]
TubularBills Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/28/12
Posts: 9
Loc: France
I'd like to congrat James for his patience and self control given some criticisms that, in my opinion, aren't called for regarding this product. It's a piano controller, with an (apparently) better action than most controllers on the market. It does exactly what it's meant for : control a piano sound, merging the best of both physical and software worlds. Those who wanted a semi-weighted keyboard to control their sounds already had plenty of models to choose from, but piano aficionados looking for a simple fully weighted action keyboard didn't. Now it's different.

I have two questions :
- how would you compare the RM3II action with the one found on the ES7 ?
- when is it available in Europe ?

Thanks

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#2022394 - 01/27/13 08:31 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: TubularBills]
Amaruk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/02/11
Posts: 805
Loc: New England, USA
Originally Posted By: TubularBills
I'd like to congrat James for his patience and self control given some criticisms that, in my opinion, aren't called for regarding this product.

+100
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#2022408 - 01/27/13 08:48 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: Kawai James]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1901
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Kawai James

The selected memory is indicated by the colour+state of the power button. If you can think of a better method to select/indicate the setting memory 'headless', I'd like to hear it. As explained in the owner's manual:



As noted above, these preset touch curves can be replaced/adjusted by the player using the VPC Editor software, if desired.

Cheers,
James
x



James:

Just wondering if you have a handle on the need for Kawai equipping the VPC controller with a place for velocity curves to match specific software products.

It would seem to me that every software package would simple assume the instrument sends the standard 0-127 velocity codes and the hardware companies (Kawai, Roland, etc ...) just do that.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq 5

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#2022427 - 01/27/13 09:17 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: dmd]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9404
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: dmd
Just wondering if you have a handle on the need for Kawai equipping the VPC controller with a place for velocity curves to match specific software products.


The touch curve is arguably the last piece of the jigsaw between a 'pretty good' playing experience and an 'absolutely fantastic' playing experience.

Originally Posted By: dmd
It would seem to me that every software package would simple assume the instrument sends the standard 0-127 velocity codes and the hardware companies (Kawai, Roland, etc ...) just do that.


True, most keyboards/DPs send velocity values from 0-127 (although some do not...), however different keyboard actions require different amounts of force to produce the same MIDI value - hence the need for touch curves.

Kind regards,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2022433 - 01/27/13 09:27 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: davinwv]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9404
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Fantastic clip of keyboard legend Jordan Rudess playing the VPC1 (and Ivory II) at the Synthogy booth:



I think you can see the extent of the 'curved' surface quite clearly in this clip.

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2022442 - 01/27/13 09:39 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: Kawai James]
HisKidd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/31/11
Posts: 198
Loc: AL/USA
Thank you, James for posting this video of Jordan Rudess playing the VPC1. For me at least, being able to hear it, and see it in action is wonderful. To my knowledge (please tell me if there are others), this is the one and only post of the VPC in which somone actually plays it! Not only does it look good, it sounds wonderful! I too, would like to commend you and thank you for your patience over the last several days in answering graciously a thousand and one questions. You sir, are a gentleman and a scholar!
Regards,
H.K. cool
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Keyboards are the best therapy I know of...
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#2022455 - 01/27/13 09:49 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: davinwv]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9404
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
HisKidd, thank you for your kind words.

There's another video of Jordan playing the VPC1 on YouTube, however it's much shorter and the angle isn't quite as good:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQLj6F2f_iw

Note that I will continue to post videos, pictures, and news articles about the VPC1 on the facebook page at www.facebook.com/kawaivpc

Cheers,
James
x

_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2022461 - 01/27/13 09:54 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: Kawai James]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1901
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
True, most keyboards/DPs send velocity values from 0-127 (although some do not...), however different keyboard actions require different amounts of force to produce the same MIDI value - hence the need for touch curves.

Kind regards,
James
x


I do not mean to belabor this point but I really would like to understand this point. I have been delving into this topic for a while now and have not been completely satisfied as to the need.

What it appears that you are saying is that the the piano company may have manufactured a digital piano which sends codes midi codes 0 - 127 but in order to reach the upper range it must have to almost "pound" on the keys to get there. If so, I would say ... Why would they do that ?

You would think they also are aware that their users would wish to reach the entire range 0-127 with a normal effort. And, apparently it is not difficult to do since all that is needed now to correct the problem is to insert a velocity curve and ... viola ... done.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq 5

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#2022475 - 01/27/13 10:20 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: davinwv]
Destaana Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/09/12
Posts: 16
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Hello James

Will this be sold in Australia?

Just curious because nothing good ever comes here in AUS. I think I have bought most of my stuff from either the UK or the US because we have such limited amounts of gear here. The only really annoying thing is the import fees that I have to pay for.

Thanks!

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#2022476 - 01/27/13 10:20 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: davinwv]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2223
Loc: Sydney, Australia
I think the idea of colour coding the velocity curves is a bit strange, even for folks with normal vision.

Greg.

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#2022482 - 01/27/13 10:29 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: Kawai James]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: dewster
(On the off chance) any pivot point measurement differences between 'GF' and 'RM3 Grand II' that you can report?

Not off the top of my head, I'm afraid.

How about officially? That's what I meant. I'm kind of surprised Kawai doesn't publish these specs, corporate seems to think it's important enough to crow about in your literature, but without actual dimensions it's kind of meaningless:

"The new Grand Feel (GF) is Kawai latest digital piano action. Building upon the design principles established in the RM3, the GF action increases the length of the wooden keys beyond that of the RM3 and moves the balance point back to create the longest key-front pivot length in the industry – as long as a Kawai grand piano’s pivot length."

The problem here is which grand? The short action of a baby grand wouldn't technically be lying. Is it significantly longer than an RM3, or just a millimeter or two? I don't know what to think based on this vague info.
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THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#2022487 - 01/27/13 10:44 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: Destaana]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9404
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: Destaana
Will this be sold in Australia?

Just curious because nothing good ever comes here in AUS. I think I have bought most of my stuff from either the UK or the US because we have such limited amounts of gear here. The only really annoying thing is the import fees that I have to pay for.


I'm not entirely sure, I'm afraid. I know that Kawai American and Kawai Europe will definitely be selling the VPC1. My recommendation would be to contact Kawai Australia to register your interest.

Kind regards,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2022493 - 01/27/13 10:51 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: sullivang]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9404
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: sullivang
I think the idea of colour coding the velocity curves is a bit strange, even for folks with normal vision.


Just to clarify, the power button LED colour/state changes based on the selected preset memory, not the touch curve. It's just that 'out of the box' the five preset memories contain different preset memories.

Personally, I think this functionality is quite good - it allows different setups to be created for different scenarios. I cannot think of a better way to indicate the selected memory short of including an LED/LCD display.

Kind regards,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2022500 - 01/27/13 10:59 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: dewster]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9404
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: dewster
How about officially?


Officially, Kawai has opted not to get involved in a numbers game regarding the exact pivot length. It's as long as a Kawai grand piano key pivot length - this should be sufficient information for most consumers.

Kind regards,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2022514 - 01/27/13 11:28 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: dewster]
Peter B Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/12
Posts: 22
Loc: USA
In another thread in this forum someone (sorry I do not find the reference right now) estimated the pivot length of the RM3 Grand to be between 7.25-7.5 inches. If you take the pictures of the RM3 and the GF actions on Kawai's homepage and scale them so the front of the white keys and the front of black keys are aligned on the two pictures, then the pivot length of the GF can be estimated to be about 9.0 inches if the above estimate for RM3 is correct.

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#2022523 - 01/27/13 11:54 PM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: Kawai James]
Peter B Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/12
Posts: 22
Loc: USA
Hi Kawai James,
Thanks for your replies to my questions yesterday. I had the pleasure of trying the VPC again today at NAMM (as well as witnessing Jordan Rudess playing it as shown on the video above which of course also was a great pleasure). Apart from the excellent action I really do find it good for mind and soul only to have a nice piano'ish cabinet and not a controller full of lights, knobs, sliders, modwheels and sounds you never want to use when playing piano - or maybe never want to use at all. This is the action for piano players and can stay as such over generations of sound modules and sound libraries. I will handle non-piano sounds and effects e.g. from my Nord Stage 2.

I have decided to buy a VPC1 right away (when available) and hope you will keep the pressure on getting a Mac version of the editor.

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#2022528 - 01/28/13 12:03 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: davinwv]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9404
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Hello Peter, thank you for your post.

Glad to hear you enjoyed playing the VPC1.

Your sentiment about a controller without lights, knobs, sliders, etc. was shared by some of the virtual piano software developers we worked with. I hope to include some interviews on the VPC website in the near future.

Kind regards,
James
x

ps. Noted about the Mac editor.
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2022637 - 01/28/13 05:13 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: Kawai James]
In A Silent Way Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/13
Posts: 75
Quote:
Your sentiment about a controller without lights, knobs, sliders, etc. was shared by some of the virtual piano software developers we worked with.


Interesting, but now in my music studio I'll have to have at least a cheap 25 keys controller on top of the VPC1 with blinking red lights and flashy colours&designs just because I'll miss the minimal mod wheel, pitch wheel, and a pressure controller.

A hidden trap would have been so easy to hide these on the top left side, or they could have been deported onto the left flank without damaging the looks of it, it would have been, really, the bare minimum.

Other than that, if it's only and strictly to play the piano, if you have to add the laptop or the computer, the software/dongles, the audio interface, the amp/monitors system, the stand, compared to a decent Kawai upright (even a silent ATX Kawai upright would compete), which is an acoustic real instrument (and/or acoustic silent with MIDI out), or simply compared to a decent Kawai dp (with the GF keyboard f.e.), you're just piling up plastics electronics devices at an impossible price, imho.

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#2022638 - 01/28/13 05:22 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: Destaana]
Dr Popper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/09
Posts: 1718
Loc: Hancock Park LA (not again)
Originally Posted By: Destaana
Hello James

Will this be sold in Australia?

Just curious because nothing good ever comes here in AUS. I think I have bought most of my stuff from either the UK or the US because we have such limited amounts of gear here. The only really annoying thing is the import fees that I have to pay for.

Thanks!


Huh? Name one board that isn't sold here ?
_________________________
"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally supported by but not beholden to various musical instrument manufactures including Yamaha

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#2022645 - 01/28/13 05:59 AM Re: Kawai VPC [Re: davinwv]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9404
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Hello chaps,

I've just uploaded the VPC Editor software to the Kawai Japan 'Worldwide' site:

http://www.kawai.co.jp/worldwide/support/downloads.html

Windows users are welcome to give it a try without the VPC1 connected in 'demo' mode (i.e. no settings are saved) and check out the various features.

The main VPC website is being finalised, and should be online either tomorrow or Wednesday. My apologies once again for the delays...

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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