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#2306437 - 07/24/14 12:02 PM KAWAI CS7 + VST Instruments
mmerino Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/22/14
Posts: 3
Loc: Madrid
Hi, I'm new to this forum. I would appreciate your thoughts and suggestions regarding the following decision I have to make:

I am about to buy a Kawai CS7 (tomorrow!). The two main reasons are because I like the keyboard feel and the piano looks great! (I was about to decide on the CS4 but the keyboard is ver different).

The sound of the piano is not important because I play with VST instruments through my PC, mainly piano VSTs (East West Quantum Leaps Pianos) but also stings, woodwind, choirs, etc. (East West Symphonic Orchestra, LA Scoring String, EW Symphonic Choirs, etc.).

I am aware that the CS7 is not the ideal piano for using with VST instruments and a computer, but I don't like other options such as the Kawai MP 11 because (a) It has no amplifier or loudspeakers (b) Pedals not fixed to the piano tend to move around and are uncomfortable to use (c) It doesn't look nice! (as a piece of furniture) (d) It's more unstable than a console piano(it doesn't have a solid furniture).

Basically, the only thing I miss on the CS7 is a jack imput for an expression pedal (there's none, nor any pedal can be used as an expression midi CC). I need the expression pedal to be able to edit the volume curves of the string parts.

I have checked online and in a couple of shops but it seems there doesn't exist a MIDI or USB expression pedal(surprisingly).

Any suggestions on how I can achieve this? Do you think the CS7 is the best choice for what I like/do?

Thanks very much for your help!


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#2306445 - 07/24/14 12:22 PM Re: KAWAI CS7 + VST Instruments [Re: mmerino]
Starboard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/03/14
Posts: 46
Try searching for "MIDI foot controller" and I think you'll find some products in line with what you want. Something like Roland FC-300 or Behringer FCB1010 (and there are plenty more brands and models) could be placed near the CS7's pedals and connected to your PC through a MIDI interface or MIDI>USB adapter. I think you'd be able to do just what you want--and more--with any kind of decent foot controller.

#2306460 - 07/24/14 01:07 PM Re: KAWAI CS7 + VST Instruments [Re: mmerino]
mmerino Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/22/14
Posts: 3
Loc: Madrid
Thanks Starboard! I will check those out. The midi interface I have is a Focusrite Saffire which has only 1 Midi input. How do you suggest I hook up the setup? (i.e. CS7 --> PC USB and Foot Controller --> Saffire's MIDI IN, or viceversa, using a MIDI to USB adapter as you suggest?).

Actually, since the CS7 can be connected to the computer either through MIDI or through USB, which is best/reccommended?


#2306495 - 07/24/14 02:28 PM Re: KAWAI CS7 + VST Instruments [Re: mmerino]
Starboard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/03/14
Posts: 46
I don't think there's any quantifiable difference in latency between straight MIDI and MIDI-over-USB (as with the CS7's USB-to-host connection) outputs, so I'd go with whatever works with the inputs and outputs available. In your case, it sounds like connecting the CS7 by USB and the foot controller by MIDI via Focusrite adapter would be a perfectly fine setup.

#2306510 - 07/24/14 02:48 PM Re: KAWAI CS7 + VST Instruments [Re: Starboard]
mmerino Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/22/14
Posts: 3
Loc: Madrid
Thanks! I have checked the Behringer FCB1010 web page: It seems to be what I'm looking for.

In the specs they mention:

#1 "...2 expression pedals with freely assignable MIDI channel, controller number and range..."

#2 "...2 programmable and relay-controlled switch jacks, e.g. to select channels on any guitar amp..."

Do you know how the connections are made in #1? In #2, what are the relay-controlled switch jacks for? (for guitar amplifiers?)

Thanks again for your help.

#2306631 - 07/24/14 05:43 PM Re: KAWAI CS7 + VST Instruments [Re: mmerino]
Starboard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/03/14
Posts: 46
I don't have personal experience with the FCB1010 so I can't speak very knowledgably about it specifically--it was just high in the search rankings for MIDI foot controllers--but the manual linked on the product page seems pretty thorough. It shows how to configure the expression pedals (if that's what you meant by #1), and it does have some explanation for the switch jacks but I don't know enough about guitar amp signal/control chains to fully understand their usage. I don't think they would come into play with your setup, though.


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