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#2318502 - 08/22/14 08:39 AM Using the drum tracks on KAWAI MP6 piano
Dr Jazz Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 4
Loc: London
These are part of the metronome function and some of them are very good to play along to. But there are 100 rhythms arranged in a somewhat random order, and the only way I've found to access a certain rhythm is to press the 'value' button and scroll through until you reach the one you want.

This is extremely impractical, especially on a gig, when you want to be able to go straight to the desired rhythm between numbers, without scrolling through (and hearing) 50 others!

I was told when I purchased the kbd that you could store individual drum rhythms using the 'SET-UP' function, but I haven't been able to do this. To use this function you need to press the STORE button, but this is disabled when the drum rhythm is playing... Has anyone found a way round this problem? If there isn't a fix that's extremely bad design on the part of Kawai!

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#2318509 - 08/22/14 09:17 AM Re: Using the drum tracks on KAWAI MP6 piano [Re: Dr Jazz]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9522
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Dr Jazz, I'm afraid you may have unfortunately been misinformed by the salesperson regarding this point, as I do not believe it is possible to store the selected drum pattern to a SETUP memory.

I agree that a number of the rhythms are quite good, however they're intended more to provide a creative spark for song writing, or simply to jam along to, rather than to be used in a performance setting. I agree that the selection interface is rather cumbersome, however this point was improved with the MP10 and now the MP11/MP7, whereby the rhythms are grouped by category and variation.

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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#2319107 - 08/24/14 04:19 AM Re: Using the drum tracks on KAWAI MP6 piano [Re: Dr Jazz]
Dr Jazz Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 4
Loc: London
Thanks James, but that is bad news! This is a serious issue with this keyboard - the drum patterns were only the only thing I liked about it!

I'll be doing a solo piano gig today and wanted to use them as an accompaniment on some tunes, but the fact that I can't go straight to the desired rhythm is very off-putting. What were they thinking of? It would have been so easy to number them and have a system where you just punch in the desired number...

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#2319161 - 08/24/14 08:57 AM Re: Using the drum tracks on KAWAI MP6 piano [Re: Dr Jazz]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12137
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Why not record the drum pattern using the mp6's internal recording and play along with that? I'm not familiar with the mp6, but I'm pretty sure that would be a good solution.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2319320 - 08/24/14 04:31 PM Re: Using the drum tracks on KAWAI MP6 piano [Re: Dr Jazz]
lolatu Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/13
Posts: 526
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Dr Jazz
This is a serious issue with this keyboard - the drum patterns were only the only thing I liked about it!

Perhaps the fact you don't like anything about the keyboard except its drum pattern is a serious issue in itself!

But I sympathise with the problem. The CA95 has rhythms built into the metronome too, and that was a selling point for me, since I find rhythms easier on the ear and more fun to play along to than the metronome, which I use a lot when learning new classical pieces. It sounds a bit different to the MP6, since the rhythms do seem to be broadly bunched by time signature, though it would be better if I could just select the time signature first and have that filter the list. More annoying is that the rhythms have to actually playing while going through the list, or changing the tempo... I can't select a rhythm and tempo and then start it.

One thing you can do with the CA95 (and I don't know if this is similar on the MP6) is to store the current set-up in a Registration, which stores the current metronome settings, so you can recall a pattern quickly. However, this also changes the current sound setting and all the virtual technician settings to whatever they were when you stored the registration, and you cannot select any other sound until you exit the registration, at which point the rhythm changes back. Can be handy if I'm playing with a software piano with Local Control off, though.

Another funny thing (as in peculiar, not amusing) is that if you make a recording using the internal recorder, then when you later play it back your metronome not at exactly the same speed (and you have no way of knowing what the speed was when you recorded it), it plays back at the wrong speed. Yes, it just takes your current metronome speed and doesn't remember the speed at which you recorded it. It's totally crazy and dysfunctional.

Quote:
What were they thinking of? It would have been so easy to number them and have a system where you just punch in the desired number...

Er... probably they weren't really thinking... It's a shame really, since they should be experts at this kind of thing by now - it's not like any of these features are new or revolutionary - Kawai has been making "kitchen sink" pianos like the Concert Performer series for years. Being able to easily select rhythms, and record and replay tracks without screwing up the tempo, should be bread an butter for these guys.

If you want to play drums for gigging, I believe the Roland RD-series have good built-in accompaniment features. You could also use a dedicated drum machine like the Alesis SR16 or SR18.
_________________________
Kawai CA95 / Pianoteq Stage / Sony MDR-7506 / Steinberg UR22
In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810

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#2319376 - 08/24/14 08:53 PM Re: Using the drum tracks on KAWAI MP6 piano [Re: Dr Jazz]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9522
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Hello Dr Jazz,

Originally Posted By: Dr Jazz
Thanks James, but that is bad news! This is a serious issue with this keyboard - the drum patterns were only the only thing I liked about it!


I'm sorry to hear you feel that way about the instrument. I believe the vast majority of MP6 owners purchased the instrument on the strength of its keyboard action, high quality pianos, EPs, organs (with a strong selection of other sounds), and great stage piano/controller interface. As I noted above, the drum patterns are pretty good, but they're more of a 'bonus' feature, rather than an integral part of the board.

If you just need drum patterns, I second lolatu's recommend for a dedicated drum machine.

Originally Posted By: Dr Jazz
I'll be doing a solo piano gig today and wanted to use them as an accompaniment on some tunes, but the fact that I can't go straight to the desired rhythm is very off-putting. What were they thinking of? It would have been so easy to number them and have a system where you just punch in the desired number...


I cannot speak for the product engineers, however I expect the team working on the MP6 wanted to extend the existing metronome functionality found on the previous MP5. At the end of the day, these are stage piano instrument, not workstations or accompaniment/arrangement keyboards.

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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#2319381 - 08/24/14 09:14 PM Re: Using the drum tracks on KAWAI MP6 piano [Re: lolatu]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9522
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
lolatu,

Originally Posted By: lolatu
...if you make a recording using the internal recorder... it just takes your current metronome speed and doesn't remember the speed at which you recorded it.


I believe this functionality is intentional. What if you record a piece at half-tempo and wish to speed it up after recording? Or perhaps record a piece at normal tempo, but wish to slow it down for closer analysis?

Originally Posted By: lolatu
It's a shame really, since they should be experts at this kind of thing by now - it's not like any of these features are new or revolutionary - Kawai has been making "kitchen sink" pianos like the Concert Performer series for years. Being able to easily select rhythms, and record and replay tracks without screwing up the tempo, should be bread an butter for these guys.


The CP 'Concert Performer' models are marketed on the strength of their arranger/accompaniment and recording functionality (along with Kawai's realistic keyboard actions and piano sound quality). These instruments occupy a different segment of the market to the CA and MP models, although there will obviously be overlaps in features across the various product ranges.

Originally Posted By: lolatu
If you want to play drums for gigging, I believe the Roland RD-series have good built-in accompaniment features.


I'm not familiar with the RD's (RD-800?) accompaniment features, however I expect the FA-06/FA-08 workstations are more suitable for this task.

Originally Posted By: lolatu
You could also use a dedicated drum machine like the Alesis SR16 or SR18.


Good suggestion.

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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#2319796 - 08/25/14 07:34 PM Re: Using the drum tracks on KAWAI MP6 piano [Re: Kawai James]
lolatu Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/13
Posts: 526
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: lolatu
...if you make a recording using the internal recorder... it just takes your current metronome speed and doesn't remember the speed at which you recorded it.

I believe this functionality is intentional. What if you record a piece at half-tempo and wish to speed it up after recording? Or perhaps record a piece at normal tempo, but wish to slow it down for closer analysis?

Indeed, I would expect to be able to change the playback speed, and having it work via the metronome might be fine if recording is just a single slot, as an "instant playback" feature. However, there are 10 song slots with 2 tracks each that persist after power-off, and songs can also be played back from USB memory. Unless you never touch the metronome speed, there are going to be problems playing them back at a later time.

As it is currently, I have to write down on a piece of paper what tempo I recorded each song at, and manually change the metronome tempo before playing it back. Which sucks, frankly.

To make it usable, the tempo and pattern need to be recorded with the song data. The metronome is then set to these values automatically during song playback. The tempo should be one of the things that is editable in the EDIT screen for the song (and preferably savable, so for instance if I record the left hand of a piece, I know what speed I was playing it at during the last practice session, and can gradually up the tempo on subsequent sessions).

Quote:
The CP 'Concert Performer' models are marketed on the strength of their arranger/accompaniment and recording functionality (along with Kawai's realistic keyboard actions and piano sound quality). These instruments occupy a different segment of the market to the CA and MP models, although there will obviously be overlaps in features across the various product ranges.

I realise that; my point was that, given Kawai's experience with these more complex pianos, they should have the competency to make more simple ones that work properly, with their eyes closed. It was a feeble attempt to encourage Kawai to make their products better, since they have the ability. They just need to try harder...
_________________________
Kawai CA95 / Pianoteq Stage / Sony MDR-7506 / Steinberg UR22
In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810

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#2319841 - 08/25/14 09:21 PM Re: Using the drum tracks on KAWAI MP6 piano [Re: lolatu]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9522
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
lolatu, you make some valid points. I will ensure that this feedback makes its way to the CA development team for future consideration.

Thank you for your feedback.

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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