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#2338261 - 10/17/14 04:50 AM MP11 Experience
panino Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/16/14
Posts: 10
Loc: Germany
Hello everybody!

This is my first post and I want to thank all writers here for sharing their thoughts, which are very helpful to many people including me.

I have an MP11 and want to share my view to it too.

I take private jazzpiano lessons since nearly 3 years now and sold my Nord Piano 2 to buy the Kawai. I think I donīt have to write how great the action is compared to the TP40 keys of the Nord.

When I first played the MP11 in a local store I was very impressed by touch and sound (through headphones).

After buying it and listening to it at home I began to feel that the sound could become annoying to me. The sound is much harder and kind of cold in itīs own.

Of course I stepped through the VTech menu and did changes on the Concert Grand, Mellow Grand and Jazz Grand:

1. lessened the attack of DCA
2. widened the tuning (make it more natural detuned)
3. changed the voicing to mellow 1 or 2
4. created 2 user touch curves (itīs a MUST)
5. added a very slow/subtile vibrato with delayed startpoint
6. set hammer delay to about 3 or 4
7. lessened the MUDDY mids at 200-300 hz and bass by eq
8. closed the lid a little to "open2"
9. added a little brilliance

- the goal was to make it sound natural and add a gently character -

Still canīt get an intimate smooth sound out of it for playing
for example "You donīt know what love is".
In a bandcontext it might be an advantage that the sound is really "right in the face" but for smooth solo piano Iīm missing a decent warm tone which doesnīt want to fight against somebody.

Second BIG problem is the filtered sound of the samples.
Complex jazzchords sound mushy, especially played with bassnotes added (no matter wich piano is chosen, jazz grand is better). I hear different filterings on different notes like there is some phaseshifting going on.
Plus the attack of the samples sounds dirty and polluted which William Schryver maybe would call "unnecessary realness".

BUT: Compared to the built-in standard piano (from the MP-8 II) the new pianos are miles ahead! I installed pianoteq trialversion to my laptop and the MP11 is clearly the winner by having this certain bigness.

Iīm considering to use it only as a midi keyboard - which was NOT my intention - and purchasing a software piano.

Since yesterday (after 5 days playing) my triple pedal is sending halfpedaling messages with no foot on the pedal. I have to step on it again to get rid of sustained notes.

I only have a further week to develop a plan how to act.
After it I couldnīt return it to the dealer.

When I bought it I had the expectation of having 12 DIFFERENT pianos to choose from - I have to say they nearly sound the same (or quite similar) with different FILTERINGS. Coming from Nord Piano I was accustomed to be able to choose from diff. characters.

This is only my opinion and my view - I like to share.

Kind regards,

Panino

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#2338265 - 10/17/14 04:57 AM Re: MP11 Experience [Re: panino]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9341
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Panino, thank you for sharing your thoughts about the MP11.

With regards to the pedal behaviour, may I ask if you have tried the 'Right Pedal Calibration' function in the SYSTEM menu? I believe this should resolve the half-pedalling values.

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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#2338267 - 10/17/14 05:05 AM Re: MP11 Experience [Re: Kawai James]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1358
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Panino, thank you for sharing your thoughts about the MP11.

With regards to the pedal behaviour, may I ask if you have tried the 'Right Pedal Calibration' function in the SYSTEM menu? I believe this should resolve the half-pedalling values.

Kind regards,
James
x


- he says pedal messages are being issued without his foot on the pedal. This is a known fault besetting some F30 pedals - I and others have had it too.

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#2338273 - 10/17/14 05:52 AM Re: MP11 Experience [Re: panino]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9341
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Yes, but it's still worth re-calibrating the pedal, just case.

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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#2338280 - 10/17/14 06:38 AM Re: MP11 Experience [Re: panino]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 819
In terms of variety of sounds it is indeed difficult to compete with Clavia's sound conception. Still, I'd suggest to play around a little more with the settings to get what you want.

I'd probably avoid wide stretching of the tuning as that may ruin the character of overtone combinations in chords if overdone (which is something you report). Perhaps try the opposite as well (lessening stretching). If you want a slightly detuned character, use the possibility of microtuning individual keys - but be aware that it is hard work to get this right. You may also try out other temperaments as a starting point.

Another question: How do you listen to your MP11? Both headphones and (even more) monitors can strongly color the sound, especially in the midrange. Perhaps the emphasis on the lower mids is actually in your amplification chain/headphones?

Good luck!

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#2338287 - 10/17/14 07:37 AM Re: MP11 Experience [Re: Kawai James]
panino Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/16/14
Posts: 10
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Yes, but it's still worth re-calibrating the pedal, just case.

Cheers,
James
x


I found the menu setting for halfpedal. Set it to 10 (before it was 5) and I think the issue is gone. Thanks James!

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#2338291 - 10/17/14 08:04 AM Re: MP11 Experience [Re: panino]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9341
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
panino, the half-pedal setting is separate from the right pedal calibration function.

Please refer to the instructions on page 101 of the owner's manual.



Ah, please note that this feature was introduced with v1.06 of the MP11 system software. If you have not done so already, please visit www.kawaimp.com/mp11 and download the latest software update.

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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#2338292 - 10/17/14 08:09 AM Re: MP11 Experience [Re: panino]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12043
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Despite how wonderful the MP11 is, I think you will find software pianos still to be better. I am not as bothered by the sound as I am accustomed to playing on acoustics with all sorts of artifacts in the sound and trying to bring out the best I can with it. Even with my Petrof there are sounds I don't like and have to work around in my playing to get what I want.

I think you will be better off using a VST at home, and then using the on-board sounds for gigs (where having a more forthright sound would be beneficial).

Maurus raises a good point, though. What speakers or headphones are you using? Perhaps trying something different would complement your sound better.
_________________________
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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#2338293 - 10/17/14 08:12 AM Re: MP11 Experience [Re: maurus]
panino Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/16/14
Posts: 10
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: maurus
In terms of variety of sounds it is indeed difficult to compete with Clavia's sound conception. Still, I'd suggest to play around a little more with the settings to get what you want.

I'd probably avoid wide stretching of the tuning as that may ruin the character of overtone combinations in chords if overdone (which is something you report). Perhaps try the opposite as well (lessening stretching). If you want a slightly detuned character, use the possibility of microtuning individual keys - but be aware that it is hard work to get this right. You may also try out other temperaments as a starting point.

Another question: How do you listen to your MP11? Both headphones and (even more) monitors can strongly color the sound, especially in the midrange. Perhaps the emphasis on the lower mids is actually in your amplification chain/headphones?

Good luck!


Hi Maurus,
I use active KRK studio monitors since 6 years which I know very well now. If there was some colouring I perhaps wouldnīt notice it. The Concert Grand has the darkest tone in the lefthand-chordrange and I managed to make it sound more clear.
According to your advices in terms of stretching I will definitely go on and experiment, but Iīm afraid I cannot get the spices out of the soup the Kawai engineers have thrown in.

I love the ability of tweaking settings, especially Clavia kept us users away from that. Nord Stage 2 users hope on a new velocity curve which they will probably never get - perhaps in a Stage 3 (ridiculous). So Iīm not the most loyal Clavia user outthere - and also the Clavia pianos had their weak spots in the upper tonerange getting thinner the higher I played and providing uneven loudness on some notes.

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#2338306 - 10/17/14 08:42 AM Re: MP11 Experience [Re: Kawai James]
panino Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/16/14
Posts: 10
Loc: Germany
Hi James,

I ran the calibration with no result. When I just set the setting to 10 everythingīs fine.

Thanks for your help!

el paninho

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#2338321 - 10/17/14 09:24 AM Re: MP11 Experience [Re: panino]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 819
Hi panino,

Thanks for your detailed reply. I am convinced that with any monitors (as opposed to really good headphones) you need to carefully EQ a piano sound to get the best out of it. The room also does play a role.

About Clavia's sounds I agree with a lot you wrote - the sounds getting thinner in the upper range is a well known problem. It can be compensated somewhat by using suitable boost in the 1.5-2.5kHz range but the basic problem can't be denied. About curves: Since I'm playing my Nord from a VPC1 the curves problem has disappeared and it's truly astonishing what you can get out of the Nord Piano Library. The obvious unevennesses (if that is an English word) in these sounds is at least to some point intentional and adds to the 'realism' of their sounds (see Morodiene on acoustic pianos above!). Of course on the MP11 you can create such uneven behavior of individual keys yourself if you care to...

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#2338414 - 10/17/14 01:31 PM Re: MP11 Experience [Re: panino]
panino Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/16/14
Posts: 10
Loc: Germany
The dealer called Kawai and told me that the pedal could get exchanged for
another - that would help.

So I sat down and created a volume-mapping for the Concert Grand 3/ Mellow Grand Piano and decreased the volume of every note which was sticking out of the lines.


I lowered the deep octaves a bit and the upper range vehemently.
Some "ringing notes" were lowered by -45, others by -15.
Only the chordrange I left almost untouched.

The result is a more playable or "jammable" pianosound which stays cool, when I play more powerful.

I find the AIR in the soundmenu beeing helpful to add some LEAKAGE - like tonewheel organs.

panino.

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#2338660 - 10/18/14 06:36 AM Re: MP11 Experience [Re: panino]
panino Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/16/14
Posts: 10
Loc: Germany


Here are my modified volume settings for the Mellow Grand Piano - much smoother now!

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#2338687 - 10/18/14 08:05 AM Re: MP11 Experience [Re: panino]
Tritok Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/02/14
Posts: 39
Loc: France
Hi Panino !
I'm curious ! Could you record a little piece so that we could hear the result of your tweakings ?
_________________________
Fantom X8 , Motif es6 , CME UF80 v2 , Kawai MP7

Ivory II american D ,Vi labs Ravenscroft 275, KAWAI Ex pro Acoustisamples ,Alicia Keys ,Imperfect samples (Fazioli, Steinway Concert Grand), Addictive keys...

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#2338690 - 10/18/14 08:17 AM Re: MP11 Experience [Re: panino]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9341
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
...and perhaps the same piece without the 88-key volume adjustments?
_________________________
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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#2339007 - 10/19/14 08:27 AM Re: MP11 Experience [Re: Kawai James]
panino Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/16/14
Posts: 10
Loc: Germany
Hello,

here are some examples - directly recorded to USB

Misty edited user volume

Misty standart volume

Lick edited volume

lick standart volume

They are different recordings, not the same Midifile.

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#2339267 - 10/19/14 08:16 PM Re: MP11 Experience [Re: panino]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9341
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Thank you for providing the recordings.

The differences are not obvious to me, however I expect it is something that you 'feel' when playing, rather than 'hear' when listening.

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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#2339273 - 10/19/14 08:22 PM Re: MP11 Experience [Re: panino]
petes1 Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 137
Originally Posted By: panino
Hello,

here are some examples - directly recorded to USB
...


Nice, thanks for sharing!

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#2339377 - Yesterday at 07:26 AM Re: MP11 Experience [Re: Kawai James]
IMOL Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/15/10
Posts: 66
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Thank you for providing the recordings.

The differences are not obvious to me,.......
x


I also do not hear the differences
Also you have never used the damper pedal

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#2339454 - Yesterday at 12:47 PM Re: MP11 Experience [Re: IMOL]
panino Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/16/14
Posts: 10
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: IMOL
I also do not hear the differences
Also you have never used the damper pedal


I used the damper pedal - thx for this comment!
Now I recorded pure sustaining by using the right pedal and was always wondering about the short sustain before.
My pedal is a faulty one and I have serious problems with half-pedaling-sound without stepping on it. Maybe I canīt get fully sustained notes as well???

In this short recording the right pedal is kicked down until the short notes at the ending - there is no foot on it - but sustained notes. No reverb used.

Sustained notes / MP 11 Mellow Grand

Perhaps other MP11 user could comment? Is the sustain wrong?

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#2339609 - Yesterday at 08:00 PM Re: MP11 Experience [Re: panino]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9341
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
panino, as you have observed, and as demonstrated in this recording, there is an issue with your F-30 pedal unit.

If re-calibrating the right pedal (note: not the EXPression pedal) does not resolve the issue, the pedal unit should be sent back to the Kawai dealer for a replacement.

Adjusting the 'Half Damper' setting to extreme values may help to work-around the issue, but this may result in other unnatural characteristics, as you have noticed. Therefore the only solution is to return the F-30 pedal unit and request a replacement.

Have you received any information from your dealer / Kawai Europe regarding when the replacement pedal will be sent?

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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#2339709 - Today at 01:37 AM Re: MP11 Experience [Re: Kawai James]
panino Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/16/14
Posts: 10
Loc: Germany
Hi James,

thanks for confirming my suspicion.
I recalibrated the right pedal and half-adjust with no success frown

Could you tell me please: Is the normal sustain like itīs in my recording = SHORT and kind of "not-audible"/ transparent?
When I play a real piano the sustain seems to be endless smile
The MP11 is sampled from a Grand - so why is the sustain so short? That appeals to me quite unrealistic and less inspiring.

Itīs like playing football (soccer) but I could not kick it a long distance. The ball would always fall down after a few meters...

Come on MP7/11 owners, is it like I described?

panino

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#2339713 - Today at 02:07 AM Re: MP11 Experience [Re: panino]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9341
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
panino, it's difficult to comment reliably on this topic due to the issue with your F-30 pedal unit.

However, it should be possible to adjust the sustain using the EDIT menu parameters, such as DCA/DCF Decay.

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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#2339891 - Today at 04:48 PM Re: MP11 Experience [Re: panino]
panino Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/16/14
Posts: 10
Loc: Germany
In two days a Kawai technician will come to my home(!) and look what he could do for me. He will have a new pedal in his bag and remove a little splint of wood at a key which is making a slight noise inside (no I donīt have noisy keys). Today I found my FC4 pedal and was able to play like it should be. Cool. THX Kawai.
panino.


Edited by panino (Today at 04:48 PM)

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#2339977 - Today at 08:30 PM Re: MP11 Experience [Re: panino]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9341
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
That's good to hear - thank you for the update panino.

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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#2339987 - Today at 09:01 PM Re: MP11 Experience [Re: panino]
rungabic Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 04/25/14
Posts: 25
Originally Posted By: panino
In two days a Kawai technician will come to my home(!) and look what he could do for me.


Now how do I get a Kawai technician to come to my home in a couple of weeks, if my third MP11 is another dud? I would have absolutely LOVED for someone to perform an onsite fix, rather than going through this lottery of unpacking and packing up pianos.

(I'm in Miami -- a big, world-class city, that in many respects is a worthless dump, devoid of typical big-city amenities.)

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#2339994 - 50 minutes 33 seconds ago Re: MP11 Experience [Re: panino]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9341
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
rungabic, due to population density and the scale of the countries, it's typically easier for Kawai Europe (based in Germany) to arrange for technicians to visit customers' homes than Kawai America (based in LA).

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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#2340003 - 17 minutes 24 seconds ago Re: MP11 Experience [Re: panino]
rungabic Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 04/25/14
Posts: 25
Hi James -- I kind of figured that. But Miami is still a dump ;-)

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