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#2036296 - 02/20/13 09:08 AM The Utopian Digital Piano / Master Keyboard
Cmin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 229
Loc: Swabia
Hi All,
As I was reading through this forum, I realized that so many pianists and keyboarders wish that their digital piano or keyboard would or could have such and such extra features, functions or technical possibilities.

So I thought, what would my ideal keyboard look like. A lot of models out there have great functions, but none have them have all together in one.

I know that everybody has different needs and wants in what a DP or MK (master keyboard) should perform, sound like, feel like, look like, etc. So it's probably not possible to invent or build one DP or MK to suit everyones needs and wishes. But let's put that aside and 'imagine' it would be possible to have the ultimate machine. One that would blow every other keyboard from the market. A machine that leaves no wishes unfulfilled. Yes, THE UTOPIAN KEYBOARD!!!

Here is what I imagine:

Hardware:
88 Keys
Virtual feel (interchangeable weighted keys, turn weighted keys and hammer action on/off, e.g.: Steinway action, B3 action, Synth action...)
Solid State built
Balanced Outputs/Inputs
Miniature Phono Jack In
USB (Midi data AND Audio to/from DAW, as an interface)
USB Stick connection (for easy record, etc.)
MIDI In/Out
Aftertouch
Pitch wheel
Mod wheel
XLR Mic IN (with gain & phantom power on/off)
2 x 20 W Speakers (switchable on/off, 2.1 sound - to be used at home, as monitors for live performance or small PA in (very) small venues)
Under 25 kg (55 lbs.)
Headphones out (with extra volume)
4 Pedal Jacks (yes, one more than usual)
8 Assignable Pads/buttons in 8 layers
8 Assignable Faders in 8 layers (also for use on TW organ drawbars)
8 Assignable Knobs in 8 layers
Lighted buttons/fader/knob (on/off)
Assignable & lighted labeling
One button access on front panel to internal sounds, registered presets, and fx
Easy access to local on/off

Software:

Virtual Pianos, E-Pianos, Organs, and others (SN or like)
Variable settings for each (Microphone positioning, microphone type, lid opening, hammer noise, key off noise … etc.)
good presets
quick access to registered presets
full pallet fx section (reverbs, delays, & ambience - mixable to instrument, microphone or input/output independently)
internal mixing possibilities (EQ, routing, volume, etc...)
Looper

Price: Under 2000 Euros (2700 USD)

Yeah, I know I'm dreaming, but hey, maybe if some companies pick up our ideas they might be real one day.
That's about it for now (I'll add stuff to this list from time to time).

Please post your ideas....
I'm really looking forward to your wishes and ideas.

Cheers,
Cmin


Edited by Cmin (02/20/13 10:28 AM)
_________________________
Cheers,
Lenny

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FP-80, HP 3000s, synths, guitars, mics, MBP, interfaces, Voicelive 2, ableton, Pianoteq, nubert A-200 active monitors

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#2036374 - 02/20/13 11:46 AM Re: The Utopian Digital Piano / Master Keyboard [Re: Cmin]
dje31 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/03/10
Posts: 218
Nerd alert: This will be available when we all live aboard the USS Enterprise, with holodecks and matter replicators. Unlikely before then.
_________________________
Yamaha CP33 | Roland XP-30

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#2036399 - 02/20/13 12:28 PM Re: The Utopian Digital Piano / Master Keyboard [Re: Cmin]
adak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Canada
I think you need to increase your budget to 4000 Euros.
_________________________
Casio Privia PX-150


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#2036428 - 02/20/13 01:22 PM Re: The Utopian Digital Piano / Master Keyboard [Re: Cmin]
Stephen Hazel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 734
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
You won't find any manufacturer willing to make such a keyboard.
Because you really wouldn't WANT such a thing.

You'll have to buy 2:
a digital piano and
a lite touch synth keyboard with all the sliders.

(ok, and a 3 pedal unit, mixer, stand, chair, computer, etc, etc)

Buying those 2 keyboards will always be cheaper than buying
this impossible single keyboard.
And you'll have 2 keyboards which is more useful than trying
to hit the "switch keyboard weight" button at the right time.

But I can't see the point of going beyond 3 keyboards.
That 3rd one being an acoustic piano with perfectly placed
built in mics. (A guy can dream, right?)

(64K should be enough for anybody)
_________________________
...Steve
http://PianoCheetah.com - writing my own piano practice program ...yeah, I'm crazy like that

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#2036470 - 02/20/13 02:31 PM Re: The Utopian Digital Piano / Master Keyboard [Re: Cmin]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1336
Loc: The Netherlands
Make that polyphonic after touch and weight below 15 kg. If we're talking about a utopian board anyway...

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#2036568 - 02/20/13 06:00 PM Re: The Utopian Digital Piano / Master Keyboard [Re: Cmin]
KataiYubi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/20/13
Posts: 32
Put my name on the list to order one like this ;-) ...

...And the option to buy the same ideal keyboard in a smaller 7/8 size, for the 50% of the population whose hand span is below average, or have arthritis/tendinitis conditions, that can be exacerbated by keeping the hand stretched too much.

Given that a large part of the classical repertoire is inaccessible or much more difficult to people with small hands: Debussy, Ravel, Prokofiev (almost everything he wrote except his children stuff), Bartok (all), Rachmaninoff (all), most Liszt, some Chopin (etudes/concertos), most Schumann. There is even some Bach and Beethoven (the Hammerklavier, the concertos) I can't play properly for having small hands. Things like Scott Joplin's rags (which I don't really care about) are also impossible to play well with small hands.

Given the fact that keyboards of smaller size were available during the times of Beethoven and Chopin, it's nothing short of amazing that piano-makers of today only make keyboards designed to be comfortable for people with giant hands. DPs could easily be made in smaller sizes if only manufacturers would realize how limiting the current size is, and the potential market they would have.


Edited by KataiYubi (02/20/13 06:01 PM)

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#2036575 - 02/20/13 06:12 PM Re: The Utopian Digital Piano / Master Keyboard [Re: KataiYubi]
adak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Canada
I don't want to deal with any 7/8 size keyboards. Your so called idea is the worst I have read in a while.

Lets keep everything in one size and standardized.

Originally Posted By: KataiYubi
Put my name on the list to order one like this ;-) ...

...And the option to buy the same ideal keyboard in a smaller 7/8 size, for the 50% of the population whose hand span is below average, or have arthritis/tendinitis conditions, that can be exacerbated by keeping the hand stretched too much.

Given that a large part of the classical repertoire is inaccessible or much more difficult to people with small hands: Debussy, Ravel, Prokofiev (almost everything he wrote except his children stuff), Bartok (all), Rachmaninoff (all), most Liszt, some Chopin (etudes/concertos), most Schumann. There is even some Bach and Beethoven (the Hammerklavier, the concertos) I can't play properly for having small hands. Things like Scott Joplin's rags (which I don't really care about) are also impossible to play well with small hands.

Given the fact that keyboards of smaller size were available during the times of Beethoven and Chopin, it's nothing short of amazing that piano-makers of today only make keyboards designed to be comfortable for people with giant hands. DPs could easily be made in smaller sizes if only manufacturers would realize how limiting the current size is, and the potential market they would have.


Edited by adak (02/20/13 06:38 PM)
_________________________
Casio Privia PX-150


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#2036591 - 02/20/13 06:50 PM Re: The Utopian Digital Piano / Master Keyboard [Re: Cmin]
origen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/12
Posts: 84
Loc: New Hampshire
All of that plus a holographic cocktail waitress that dances and sings on the piano and I'll order 3 please, one in blonde, one in brunette and of course one in Nord Red!
_________________________
RD700NX, Komplete 8, NI Maschine

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#2036628 - 02/20/13 09:14 PM Re: The Utopian Digital Piano / Master Keyboard [Re: Cmin]
KataiYubi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/20/13
Posts: 32
Do underwear come in one size?
Do clothes come in one size?
Do bicycles come in one size?

No matter, lets keep everything in one size and standardized!

Unfortunately for some people here, their brain comes... in a smaller size!

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#2036691 - 02/21/13 12:39 AM Re: The Utopian Digital Piano / Master Keyboard [Re: JFP]
Cmin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 229
Loc: Swabia
Originally Posted By: JFP
Make that polyphonic after touch and weight below 15 kg. If we're talking about a utopian board anyway...

+1 Sure.... why not.

@ Katai: A mini version would also be possible


Edited by Cmin (02/21/13 12:41 AM)
_________________________
Cheers,
Lenny

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FP-80, HP 3000s, synths, guitars, mics, MBP, interfaces, Voicelive 2, ableton, Pianoteq, nubert A-200 active monitors

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#2036720 - 02/21/13 02:07 AM Re: The Utopian Digital Piano / Master Keyboard [Re: KataiYubi]
adak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Canada
Look, it must be hard being a small-handed piano player, but that is no reason to attempt to insult my intelligence.

Go google some small-hand tips and then you can play properly on any keyboard. Others have done it and so can you.

Originally Posted By: KataiYubi
Do underwear come in one size?
Do clothes come in one size?
Do bicycles come in one size?

No matter, lets keep everything in one size and standardized!

Unfortunately for some people here, their brain comes... in a smaller size!
_________________________
Casio Privia PX-150


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#2036731 - 02/21/13 02:33 AM Re: The Utopian Digital Piano / Master Keyboard [Re: adak]
Temperament Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/10
Posts: 424
Loc: Hun,EU
It is a philosophical question too - we must live in an overstandardised world which is a result of a thinking a la "You MUST play on the one ideal sized keyboard".

Asian people (generally built smaller, with smaller extremities). Should they have grown bigger? Pianos were developed in Europe in the 19. century.

In boxing you have weight categories - in basket ball not with the result most player are over 2m.

I agree with KataiYubi - I found even his sharp point totally appropriate if not meant personally but against the dictatorship of uniformity.
_________________________
Acoustic: own clavichord!, Burger&Jacoby,Biel (nice vintage vertical)
Digital: CA65; Pianoteq; Sampled:Galaxy VintageD+Vienna(Bösendorfer)
Sampletekk Black,PMI, etc...
Harpsi: Beurmann Dutch+Sampletekk, Clavichord:PMI+Wavelore+organs

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#2036755 - 02/21/13 03:55 AM Re: The Utopian Digital Piano / Master Keyboard [Re: Temperament]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1336
Loc: The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: Temperament
Pianos were developed in Europe in the 19. century.


We'll people weren't that big in that time area as they are now either - so most probably smaller hands too. Weird that they didn't come up with smaller size keys right away then. Either they couldn't make it , or something else must have been the reason. Interesting...

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#2036769 - 02/21/13 05:25 AM Re: The Utopian Digital Piano / Master Keyboard [Re: JFP]
CarloPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/12
Posts: 168
Key size has increased trough times until late 19th century, when the actual size standardized. Harpsichord keys are quite small comparing to modern pianos keys. Even Chopin's last piano's keys (built around 1847) are a little smaller than current ones. Schumann's toccata is now a complete challenge even for average, not small hands with those 9ths and 10ths. It was maybe easier to play on the keyboard Schumann had on that time. Modern pianos make new difficulties in order to play other centuries music, the actions are also heavier and the depth of the key is larger (generally speaking, there are lots of different pianos and we all know the marvels a good technician can do). But the human been can adapt to whatever the circumstances, and piano is not an exception.

Prokofiev had big hands, and his music was also intended to be played by big hands virtuosi such as Richter or Gilels. Nevertheless his music can be played very well by not big handed pianists such as Ashkenazy (I'm recalling his 7th sonata...).

Josef Hoffman had tiny hands and that wasn't an obstacle for him to play some of the most difficult piano music. It is true that on his late years Steinway built an special small keys piano for him but during several decades, the peak of his career, he played and recorded on regular size pianos.

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#2036773 - 02/21/13 05:39 AM Re: The Utopian Digital Piano / Master Keyboard [Re: adak]
Gigantoad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/12
Posts: 336
Originally Posted By: adak
I don't want to deal with any 7/8 size keyboards. Your so called idea is the worst I have read in a while.

Lets keep everything in one size and standardized.


Pure ignorance.

http://steinbuhler.com/html/our_research.html

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#2036776 - 02/21/13 05:49 AM Re: The Utopian Digital Piano / Master Keyboard [Re: Cmin]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2335
Loc: UK
How to derail a thread whilst staying on topic. Sigh. Hand and key sizes has been covered over and over in many previous threads.

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#2036781 - 02/21/13 06:18 AM Re: The Utopian Digital Piano / Master Keyboard [Re: spanishbuddha]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1336
Loc: The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
How to derail a thread whilst staying on topic. Sigh. Hand and key sizes has been covered over and over in many previous threads.


+1 !

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#2036790 - 02/21/13 07:02 AM Re: The Utopian Digital Piano / Master Keyboard [Re: Cmin]
Gigantoad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/12
Posts: 336
Well, it's such an interesting topic. After all we are talking about the perfect master keyboard, so why not factor in ergonomic aspects as well.

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#2036820 - 02/21/13 08:47 AM Re: The Utopian Digital Piano / Master Keyboard [Re: Cmin]
Cmin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 229
Loc: Swabia
Whoa.... drift.

I didn't mean to start a war....

Originally Posted By: Cmin
Hi All,
I know that everybody has different needs and wants in what a DP or MK (master keyboard) should perform, sound like, feel like, look like, etc. So it's probably not possible to invent or build one DP or MK to suit everyones needs and wishes. But let's put that aside and 'imagine' it would be possible to have the ultimate machine. One that would blow every other keyboard from the market. A machine that leaves no wishes unfulfilled. Yes, THE UTOPIAN KEYBOARD!!!


...but keep your ideas coming.
I find it quite amusing.
Cheers
_________________________
Cheers,
Lenny

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FP-80, HP 3000s, synths, guitars, mics, MBP, interfaces, Voicelive 2, ableton, Pianoteq, nubert A-200 active monitors

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#2036882 - 02/21/13 11:10 AM Re: The Utopian Digital Piano / Master Keyboard [Re: Stephen Hazel]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3193
Originally Posted By: Cmin
turn weighted keys and hammer action on/off, e.g.: Steinway action, B3 action, Synth action...)

With today's technology, I'd say it's not sensible to have hammers and weights that mechanically engage and disengage. It's hard enough to design just a single-use action that feels good. ;-)

Originally Posted By: Stephen Hazel
You'll have to buy 2:
a digital piano and
a lite touch synth keyboard with all the sliders.

I wish I could even buy a combination of two that I'm completely happy with. I keep changing what I gig with, there are always compromises. I'm optimistic about the PX-5S as a lightweight 88 with a quality action. For the second tier, I really want a 73+ key organ/synth action with aftertouch and drawbar controls that weighs under 25 lbs, and it's hard to find, even if you're willing to add the drawbars separately (Ocean Beach Digital makes a nice add-on). The Nord Stage 2-73 comes close, but it has the wrong 73+ keys, it doesn't include the low E, which makes it poorly suited for LH bass. The Numa Organ, Roland Jupiter 50, and Krome 73 don't have aftertouch. I'm thinking about some old stuff, Korg TR-76 or Studiologic VMK-88 Plus, with external sound modules

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