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#2424249 - Yesterday at 12:15 PM Key Sensitivity/Dynamics
Mace Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/24/15
Posts: 1
I was ready to pull the trigger and buy a Casio PX350 (in my budget) after spending about 3 weeks researching and testing different DPs in the store. I went to the store to purchase it and gave the PX350 one last test, and then backed out. The PX350 has a very good action for a digital piano when just sitting down and playing (although it's a bit noisier than the Yamaha DGX650). However, something I hadn't concentrated on previously was dynamics as related to touch. The ability to go all the way from pianississimo (ppp) to fortississimo (fff), and I felt that the PX350 came up short. It seems like it basically has 3 levels (maybe 4). Soft, Medium and Loud. Once you reach Loud, no matter how hard you strike the keys, you won't produce any more volume. Is this other pianists' experience, and what do you think is the best digital piano for key dynamics (which I'm convinced should be listed separately from key action when reviewing DPs). Thanks!

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#2424262 - Yesterday at 12:51 PM Re: Key Sensitivity/Dynamics [Re: Mace]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1928
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
The PX-350 generates MIDI velocities (for my playing) from about 10 to about 115. The total theoretically-available range is 1-127, so it's not bad.

There may be two things happening, here:

1. Did you try different settings for "Touch" on the PX-350?

The higher settings might be more to your liking. At high "Touch" settings, to reach high "MIDI velocity" (which is what drives the sound generator to change both volume and tone), you have to hit the keys harder. So you won't hit "maximum volume" when your fingers think they're only hitting the keys at a "Forte" level.

I found that I was more comfortable playing with "hard touch" (I think it's Touch=3) than with the default Touch (2, I think).

2. If you have a problem with the overall dynamic range of the PX-350 (from ppp to fff), the only "cure" I know is to use a software piano, like Pianoteq. That will let you adjust two things:

a) the overall dynamic range of the instrument -- "pp" to "ff" can be 30 dB, or 40 dB, or 60 dB.

b) the mapping between "MIDI velocity" and volume.

I don't think the PX-350 is "less expressive" than most other DP's -- but I don't think it's much better, either. It will be interesting to know what you find that's better.
_________________________
. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / ZXA1 speaker

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#2424274 - Yesterday at 01:11 PM Re: Key Sensitivity/Dynamics [Re: Mace]
stamkorg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 92
Originally Posted By Mace
I was ready to pull the trigger and buy a Casio PX350 (in my budget) after spending about 3 weeks researching and testing different DPs in the store. I went to the store to purchase it and gave the PX350 one last test, and then backed out. The PX350 has a very good action for a digital piano when just sitting down and playing (although it's a bit noisier than the Yamaha DGX650). However, something I hadn't concentrated on previously was dynamics as related to touch. The ability to go all the way from pianississimo (ppp) to fortississimo (fff), and I felt that the PX350 came up short. It seems like it basically has 3 levels (maybe 4). Soft, Medium and Loud. Once you reach Loud, no matter how hard you strike the keys, you won't produce any more volume. Is this other pianists' experience, and what do you think is the best digital piano for key dynamics (which I'm convinced should be listed separately from key action when reviewing DPs). Thanks!


To my knowledge the Casio PX350 has full midi capability. So, You can produce velocities from 0 to 127 (or 1 to 128?).
The 3 levels you refer are the settings that define the way the keyboard respond to your touch. For example, if "Loud" selected, to have an FFF you should hit the key harder than if "Soft" selected.
But in any case, the keyboards gives you at least 128 levels of midi velocities.
By the way, the Casio PX350 has the same keybed as the PX-5S. It is a fine DP.
Are you sure you have not set the Keyboard sensitivity to "off"?


Edited by stamkorg (Yesterday at 01:20 PM)

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#2424487 - Today at 12:53 AM Re: Key Sensitivity/Dynamics [Re: Mace]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1928
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Actually, the PX-350 has _two bytes_ of MIDI velocity information, so there are something over 10,000 _possible_ velocities.

But (in my own testing) I couldn't generate MIDI velocities over 115-120, with Touch=3 (hard), no matter how hard I hit the keys.

There are lots of DP's that don't deliver the full range of _possible_ MIDI velocities, when you actually play them.
_________________________
. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / ZXA1 speaker

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#2424527 - Today at 04:47 AM Re: Key Sensitivity/Dynamics [Re: Charles Cohen]
Frédéric L Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 10/29/13
Posts: 183
Loc: France
Originally Posted By Charles Cohen
Actually, the PX-350 has _two bytes_ of MIDI velocity information, so there are something over 10,000 _possible_ velocities.

But (in my own testing) I couldn't generate MIDI velocities over 115-120, with Touch=3 (hard), no matter how hard I hit the keys.


One could understand that the PX350 generates only 115-120 values from 10,000. In fact the velocity from the note-on MIDI event is the most signifiant byte from the two.... the other byte (from a control change event) could have its value taking all values from 0 to 127. (I think it doesn't: the velocity is calculated taking the inverse of the time taken to move from a sensor to the next one... And the time resolution limits the number of possible values)

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#2424535 - 8 minutes 11 seconds ago Re: Key Sensitivity/Dynamics [Re: Mace]
maurus Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 977
Key dynamics is always a tricky issue on a DP, as Charles rightly points out.
As to overall dynamics of the sound (Charles's #2 above), the Casio PX350 does rather well in dewster's analysis, with an overall dynamics of 57dB, see here:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1966202/Re:%20The%20DPBSD%20Project!.html#Post1966202

So part of the problem may be to learn to make use of this dynamics (adjusting the touch to your liking). Still, there may remain other problems: Not enough timbre variation from ppp to fff (which may give you the subjective impression of flat dynamics even if volume goes up), or a problematic touch curve, relating touch to sound in a less than optimal way.

Even software sounds may need quite some work before the dynamics is well adapted to your controller (something I quickly learned from using a VPC1 where you can select and edit different touch curves).

Finally there is the problem of unnatural, overstated dynamics - a problem I found in some Yamaha and Roland DPs. Actually even the 57dB of the Casio are MORE than you'd expect in an acoustic piano.

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