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#690872 - 08/17/06 01:17 PM Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
OldFingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/06
Posts: 546
Loc: Boston, MA
It has taken awhile but I finally decided to install Ivory on a new MacBookPro. It was easy and the piano sounds are very nice. Of particular note to me is the fact that there is no "ringing" in the notes around C5.

However, I can't say the playing experience is particularly pleasing. I am using a 10-year old Fatah Studio 90 midi keyboard. For some reason it weighs a ton, and I can't imagine what they have in it. But that's beside the point, which is my difficulty is selecting a velocity curve that I enjoy playing. Changing the curve changes the feel dramatically and I can't figure out a strategy for searching through this multi-dimensional space.

My plan at the moment is to shop for a digital piano with my Ivory laptop in hand. I'd use Ivory's linear velocity curve, hence deferring to the velocity curve of the digital piano.

Would you expect an Ivory-Kawai (Roland, Yamaha) digital piano to have any better feel than my Ivory-Fatah piano with the appropriate velocity curve. Are the differences in these instruments in their mechanical feel, or is the feel induced by the velocity curves they have selected? I'm getting more confused just writing this.

No wonder the folks at the piano forum go on endlessly about trying every possible piano before buying one. At least in the digital world the sound/mechanical trade-off is bounded, I think.

I have to go off-line for a couple of weeks Monday morning, so any early responders would be appreciated as I need some ideas to mull over while I'm out of town.

Bob
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#690873 - 08/17/06 04:17 PM Re: Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
johnny boy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/06
Posts: 357
Loc: seattle
I don't like any of the StudioLogic/Fatar keyboards. I think their actions are "funny". I prefer actions from Roland, Yamaha and Kawai over the StudioLogic/Fatar actions.

I ended up buying a used Roland FP-5 to work with my software piano (Art Vista Virtual Grand Piano) over the, just released in the US, StudioLogic VMK-188II Plus, which supposedly have a great action for piano, but I could not try it anywere and both of them cost about $1000, so I've figured it is better to get a piano with backup sound just in case my laptop dies in the middle of a performance. (However, I heard from 2 other magazine reviews saying they thought this was the best keyboard matched with Ivory. They hated it for its MIDI master controller, but loved it for just playing piano. Make sure you get the updated new one. The old one is also called VMK-188, so it is very confusing which one you are buying)

BTW, you do have to fiddle with velocity settings on both the keyboard and the software to make it perfect. In my case, I run medium setting on the keyboard and the medium setting on the software piano and it is what I am looking for (close to what real grand pianos behaves - ones that I have access to)

As you said, I would take your laptop with you to try out different combination at the store. Only problem is you might have to install new dirvers for each keyboard on your computer if you are using a USB connection rather than straight MIDI connection.

Set the keyboard to whatever default is, and then play with the velocity curve on the Ivory to see if you can make it work the way you want. And then do the reverse, set the IVory to whatever the default/medium setting is and then fiddle with the keyboard.

You do have to fiddle with it quite abit, but once you find the right setting, then you never need to do it again. You will find that some keyboards will work better with IVory than the others. In my case, I prefer using my Art Vista Virtual Grand Piano with my Roland rather than my Yamaha. However, for straight digital piano playing I prefer my Yamaha action over Roland. Funny, I know. :rolleyes:

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#690874 - 08/17/06 09:41 PM Re: Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
OldFingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/06
Posts: 546
Loc: Boston, MA
Thanks jb for your comments regarding the Fatar keyboards. As I'm only interested in the piano sound, I'll try to check out their latest model.

I'm trying to figure out the significance of your other remarks. Let me re-phrase what I think you wrote:

given the Alta Vista piano samples, you prefer the Roland keyboard to that of Yamaha, but

given the Yamaha keyboard, you prefer the Yamaha piano samples to those of Alta Vista.

How can that be? I know that Roland, Kawai, Yamaha have to compromise their piano samples to achieve a certain marketing price point. But a virtual piano sample is supposed to be uncompromised so, in theory, it should be "better" regardless of the keyboard.

From your experiment I would have to conclude that you found a better composite velocity curve with the Alta Vista Roland than the Alta Vista Yamaha.

Given the Roland keyboard, did you prefer the Alta Vista piano samples to those of Roland?

Which combination did you prefer overall?

My confusion continues. Is there a primer on the velocity curve keyboard interaction or is it trial -and-error, just like the Piano Forum?

Bob
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#690875 - 08/18/06 01:55 AM Re: Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
alekkh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 205
From my experince you are on the road to hell \:\) You'll spend hours changing keyboards, tweaking velocity curve settings, possibly trying out a bunch of sampled pianos, all just to conclude that playing doesn't feel quite right anyway. And it will never do, until you get Yamaha P250 or something similar - a single dedicated hardware piano from Yamaha.

YMMV... That is based on MY experience.

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#690876 - 08/18/06 03:22 AM Re: Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
johnny boy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/06
Posts: 357
Loc: seattle
Sorry my comment was confusing. Let me try it again.

1. Art Vista piano sample is FAR better than Yamaha CLP170 (basically same as P250 but with GH3 actions) and the Roland FP-5 that I own.

2. I prefer Roland key ACTION over Yamha action, when using it to control Art Vista.

3. When playing the digital pianos themselves (without Art Vista piano), I prefer Yamaha action over the Roland action.

To say it another way, here are the cobinations that I tried and liked in this order
1. Art Vista piano sound with Roland action
2. Art Vista piano sound with Yamaha action
3. Striaght Yamaha sound and action
4. Straight Roland sound and action

Mainly the reason why I prefered Roland is because it does velocity from 1-127 for normal playing. My Yamaha only does 1-110 for normal playing. It will not go over 110, unless I really "hammer/pound" the keys down, then the highest value I've ever gor was 121, I believe. For Art Vista, you want the entire 1-127 range, because the bass notes are voiced mellow and you need to hit them a bit harder to ring brighter. I coudln't do that with my Yamaha.

Good software piano mated well with a good MIDI keyboard feels and plays far better than a hardware digital piano (expcet for the booting up time and etc). However, finding the right combo takes time and effort.

I ended up spending $120 for the Art Vista, and THEN ended up spending another $1000+ to get Roland and a few other small things for my computer, to make everything work perfectly.

Bottom line. You have to make sure that your MIDI controller plays well with the software piano you've got. Picking the software piano is the half the battle...

And yes you are right. It is like picking acoustic pianos. Each brand of MIDI controller/digital pianos have different velocity curves (and also completely different mechanical actions), so finding what works the best takes trial and error.

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#690877 - 08/18/06 07:14 AM Re: Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
OldFingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/06
Posts: 546
Loc: Boston, MA
alekkh:

I tried the digital piano route last fall and bought a top-of-the-line digital of well-known manufacture only to be bothered by ringing in the notes around C5 and synthetic looping when I held the notes down.

When I discovered this forum, I learned about Ivory which led to the search for a suitable computer on which to run it. Once found the ringing and looping problems are solved, but I now find about the difficultly in matching velocity curves to keyboards. I don't recall have seen this discussed before, but maybe the caveat is buried somewhere in the fine print.

johnny boy:

Thanks for the clarification. Does the Alta Vista not allow you to set the MIN/MAX range of your keyboard as in Ivory. The velocity curves are then scaled to match the limits of the keyboard. It's a nice feature and I need it on my Fatar keyboard, but it doesn't resolve my problem.

In this age of virtual piano samples, is it unreasonable to ask the keyboard and digital piano manufacturers to provide a "virgin" setting that bypasses the internal velocity curve. Then we'd only have to search in the virtual piano space.

Bob
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#690878 - 08/18/06 08:57 AM Re: Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
troglodyte Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/05
Posts: 259
Loc: Uppsala, Sweden
Did you get it to run without latency or stalling? Would you share the specs of your hardware - eg do you use an external sound card?

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#690879 - 08/18/06 03:19 PM Re: Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
johnny boy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/06
Posts: 357
Loc: seattle
 Quote:
Originally posted by OldFingers:

johnny boy:

Thanks for the clarification. Does the Alta Vista not allow you to set the MIN/MAX range of your keyboard as in Ivory. The velocity curves are then scaled to match the limits of the keyboard. It's a nice feature and I need it on my Fatar keyboard, but it doesn't resolve my problem.

In this age of virtual piano samples, is it unreasonable to ask the keyboard and digital piano manufacturers to provide a "virgin" setting that bypasses the internal velocity curve. Then we'd only have to search in the virtual piano space.

Bob [/b]
Hi Bob,

Art Vista does have Velocity curve settings, but they are presets therefore I don't have infinite control over it. It has Hard, medium, soft, extended settings, and that does affect the min and max range, however, I can't EXACTLY specify the min and max value and the "curve" like in Ivory, if you know what I mean.

I think if I set Yamaha at "soft" and Art Vista at "Soft", it got pretty close to the max value that I wanted, but then the soft part was too loud and etc. Overall I had harder time getting it fell really natural. I actually ended up solving the problem by using a free software called "MIDI Mapper" (I think), which basically allows you scale the velocity curves to what you want. It worked great, but it was adding a bit more latency to the sound and I wanted to simplify my setup, so I ended up getting another keyboard that worked better.

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#690880 - 08/18/06 04:47 PM Re: Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
OldFingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/06
Posts: 546
Loc: Boston, MA
troglodyte:

I spent months, literally, trying to find the perfect PC for Ivory. Luckilly I procrastinated long enough that the new Apple MacBookPro arrived. It is the perfect solution for me. The specs are:

2.16GHz Intel Core Duo
2 GB RAM (1 GB is standard, I bought the extra 1 GB to be safe)
7200rpm internal HD (5400rpm is standard, I upgraded to 7200 rpm to be safe)
7200rpm 60GB external HD (G-drive MINI is nice and compact)

With the educational discount (~$200) the whole thing cost about $3K , but since it can run Windows software via Parallels and since I do speech research on a Unix window, for me, except for the G-drive MINI, the laptop did not add to the cost of my piano.

I loaded in Ivory and that was it. Nothing to it. Mabe an external sound card would be better, but for me, for now, this is all I need. No latency, no cutouts even when I push the voices up to 100 to allow for lots of chords, which is what I'm learning to play right now.

johnny boy:

Thanks for the tip about MIDI Mapper. With my system I might have enough CPU cycles to handle the extra load. I'll check it out and get back to you if I have more questions, if you don't mind.

Bob
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#690881 - 08/18/06 05:56 PM Re: Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
johnny boy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/06
Posts: 357
Loc: seattle
(Oh shoot, I just realized that you are on a Mac. Sorry I thought you have a windows machine, so below might not help at all)

Uhhh, obvioulsy I have a aweful memory. I wasn't even close on the name. It is called "Midi velocity curve changer". You can get it from here:
http://www.trombettworks.com/velocity.php

You will need another software called MIDIYoke, http://www.midiox.com/myoke.htm to make the whole thing work.

Basically MIDI yoke is software MIDI patch cables and it creates multiple virtual MIDI interfaces.

Basically this is what it is going to look like:

Fatar Keyboard (MIDI Out) --> Computer (MIDI In) --> Velocity Curve Changer (listening on MIDI in and sending out on MIDI Yoke Channel 1) --> Ivory (listening on MIDI Yoke Channel 1).

I hope that makes sense.

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#690882 - 08/18/06 08:41 PM Re: Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
OldFingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/06
Posts: 546
Loc: Boston, MA
johnny boy:

Wow! How did you learn all that stuff?

Thanks again.

Bob
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#690883 - 08/18/06 09:21 PM Re: Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
OldFingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/06
Posts: 546
Loc: Boston, MA
johnny boy:

I checked out the software packages you pointed to, but they are all for Windows. Perhaps it's just as well as those packages might be dangerous in my hands.

What bugs me is that Ivory samples each note at 10 layers which implicitly provides a 10-point sampling of the velocity curve. Therefore, if the keyboard used a linear curve and Ivory used a linear curve, wouldn't one get the "feel" of the original sampled piano. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to try the feeling of the Steinway D. Of course there is still the mechanical action of the keyboard but isn't the Roland HP series supposed to have the action similar to that of a Steinway. The same could be said for the Yamaha C7 and the Clavinova series.

It seems to me that an acoustic piano must have a velocity curve too, it's just that in the analog world they don't bother to quanitfy the "feel" of the piano. That's why the Piano Forum tells everyone to try a gillion pianos before buying anything. In the digital world, the "feel" can be quantified by the velocity curve, but I don't think the manufacturers provide the flexibility we need to exploit this property. It sure would make setting up a really good virtual/digital piano a lot easier.

Are there any manufacturers out there reading this? Does it make sense?

Bob
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#690884 - 08/19/06 04:20 AM Re: Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
TH Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/20/06
Posts: 3
Unfortunately, none of the digital keyboards i've tried feel anything like an acoustic's, so even if the velocity curve was done perfectly, it still won't replicate the feel of an actual Steinway or C7. Basically, your fingers apply force, not velocity, so you need a proper resistance curve before the velocity curve is of any significance-

Digital piano actions are very simplified compared to an acoustic's action- On my Yamaha P140 (GH keyboard), the resistance is basically constant throughout the range, and is symmetric in both directions (no energy dissipation). Actually, if you analyse the kinetics of action, the force does increase slightly as you press down, then decreases again just as before it bottoms out, but this effect is too small to be noticable.

In contrast, a grand piano's action is extremely complex, using over 50 parts per key and the resistance of the key is very non-linear through its range. I also have Yamaha C2 grand (basically the same action as a C7), and the resistance is comparable to the GH action for the first half of the range (where the hammer is being driven by directly by the key), but then the force increases significantly as the escapement is engaged- after that point, the hammer is moving freely from the key, and the resistance decreases again as it bottoms out. The feel is quite different between the two, and it still takes me about 15 minutes of playing to get used to one or the other.

I've noticed that keyboard players tend to play mostly with their fingers, accelerating the finger before the key is touched and continuting most of the way down. AS such, small differences in resistance might not mean much, becauses there is enough inertia in the finger and moving key to level out any differences in resistance.

But classical pianists trained on an acoustic typically play by applying weight from the elbows and upper arm, with much less movement of the finger. They apply little pressure over the top half of key's motion, then increase the pressure around the halfway point gain maximum control over the hammer as it escapes from the key. Because the force is applied over a much shorter distance, differences in resistance over that range are signficant, which is why I think many keyboard players don't notice a difference when they move to an acoustic, but acoustic players (classical) have much more problems when they go to a digital.

The velocity curve is much less important IMO- the resistance curve is what really determines the keyboard's "feel". I think any differences in velocity curve can small and can be easily adjusted for in one's playing. But the resistance curve is off by much more IMO- enough to favor the use of different playing techniques- and that would need to be made more accurate before you can begin to replicate the feel of a specific piano.

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#690885 - 08/19/06 12:05 PM Re: Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
johnny boy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/06
Posts: 357
Loc: seattle
Th, I would have to disagree with you. The action feel is very closely tied between the mechanical action, the velocity curve AND the sound of the piano. You need to have ALL three working well to make it feel natural.

If I play my Roland by itself, it doen't feel very natural to me. However with the Art Vista sample with right velocity curve, the action suddenly feel very real. It is the same physical action, but the "realness" has suddenly changed A LOT.

I ahve no doubt that the acoustic actions are a lot more tactile and is non-linear. However, mated with good sound, velocty curve, and with decent mechanical actions, it gets quite a bit better that the typical digital actions.

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#690886 - 08/19/06 02:35 PM Re: Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
OldFingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/06
Posts: 546
Loc: Boston, MA
TH:

Thanks for explaining the dynamics of an acoustic keyboard. You are clearly playing at a level about which I can only dream. I can appreciate why you might not expect a digital to have the touch/feel/sound of an acoustic. I wish my circumstances would allow for an acoustic, then I would be done with all this digital stuff.

Be that as it may, my needs for keyboard dymanics, touch sensitivity and piano tone are at a much more mundane level, but even at that level I can appreciate a dramatic response when I experiment with the velocity curves.

Following up on the comment by johnny boy, I wonder if you have ever tried using Alta Vista or Ivory with a digital piano and then fooled with the velocity curves. Personally I find the piano samples on a digital piano so bad, that the other factors we are now discussing are of second order.

BTW, I hope we are all listening over headphones or good speaker systems, because the built-in versions add another level of degradation that we need to eliminate.

Another thing I've noticed is that digital piano demos sound best when pieces are played that use few chords. Since I'm trying to learn cocktail piano, I practice chords a lot, and this seems to introduce a different set of problems. If you have enough CPU, Ivory allows you to increase the number of voices to allow for a better representation of a complex chord. Please note that I'm not trying to promote Ivory over any other virtual piano, it's just that it is the only one I know. Presumably all the other virtual pianos have similar capabilities, but the digital pianos I've tried do not.
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#690887 - 08/19/06 02:48 PM Re: Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4683
Loc: San Francisco
Bob,

I think that the newer Clavs have a higher upper MIDI velocity limit. If you still have yours, the Soft setting will give you the widest velocity range. (Other settings cut off the lower numbers.)
You may want to check with Yammy's tech support.

You might want to check out Midi Solutions' velocity converter .

DavidH

PS, You can get better fidelity with a third party sound card. The better your sound system or 'phones, the greater will be the difference, which will be particulaly noticeable in the lower registers.

In the prosumer class, you may want to check out E-mu's 1616M. The converters are at an entire quality level above its price. The only disadvantage is that there are no native drivers for Gigasampler, so if Giga is your sampler of choice, you'll have to run it in Rewire mode. Here's a link to E-mu\'s product page. The converters are the same ones used in their 1820M review here , and there's an active forum here .

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#690888 - 08/19/06 10:22 PM Re: Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
OldFingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/06
Posts: 546
Loc: Boston, MA
David:

Your posting couldn't have been more timely unless I had read it about 6 hours ago. At that time I was in a piano store trying out Ivory on a Kawai digital CA9 with AWA Pro Action. While the action was dramatically better than that on my old Fatar keyboard, I was having trouble with the velocity curves because Ivory wasn't producing the quality I was expecting. In fact, except for the looping of the Kawai samples I actually preferred the Kawai.

Earlier in this thread Troglodyte had asked about my setup and whether I was using an external sound card. Thankfully his comment stuck in my mind, as I specualted that the problem was not with Ivory, but with the MacBookPro soundcard. Actually it was a little naive of me to expect otherwise, as the tech support at ILIO had warned me that the Apple sound card was not of high enough quality. I thought that maybe I wouldn't be sensitive to the quality loss, but apparently that is not the case.

My intention was to get back to this forum and start a new thread on soundcards for Ivory. Fortuitously, you have already answered my question. Thanks.

Thanks also for the pointer to the Midi Solutions velocity mapper. I'll put that off for awhile until I resolve the sound card issue and try the Kawai again.

BTW, Yamaha refunded my money on the CLP280 because their technician and artistic director in California also heard the ringing in the notes I complained about. Pretty nice of them I thought.

Bob
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#690889 - 08/19/06 10:34 PM Re: Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
OldFingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/06
Posts: 546
Loc: Boston, MA
David:

It was too good to be true. The E-mu 1616M is PC-based. Any suggestions for a sound card for the Mac?

Bob
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#690890 - 08/20/06 02:06 AM Re: Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
johnny boy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/06
Posts: 357
Loc: seattle
Hi Bob,

This is what I use and I am very happy with it.
http://www.echoaudio.com/Products/CardBus/IndigoIO/index.php (It works on Macs as well)

Since yours is laptop, I think above will be more convenient, rahter than getting an USB/Firewire external box that you have to carry around.

I was using the built-in sound card on mu laptop and I wasn't very happy. With the above card, I get super clarity on all the sounds. It is amazing how much the piano sound improves.

Echo indigo is almost "Audiophile" quality. I like it much better than Soundblaster PCMCIA cards.

[note that Echo Indio IO card does not do MIDI input and output. IF you are using USB MIDI like I am, then you should be fine]

[Make sure to do some search on the types pf driver you need for your mac. For my windows laptop, I need ASIO driver support for low-latency. Indigo comes with CoreAudio support for Mac. I think that is also low latency, but I am not too familar with the recent Macs...]

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#690891 - 08/20/06 02:25 AM Re: Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4683
Loc: San Francisco
Bob,

Big red face here. Didn't even think to check that the e-mu was also compatible with Macs. I know next to nothing aobut them.

Glad that Yammy did the right think re the 280.

DavidH

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#690892 - 08/20/06 10:23 AM Re: Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
Fledermaus Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/16/06
Posts: 11
Loc: United Kingdom
johnny boy

I agree wholeheartedly with you that the velocity curve has a great influence on an instrument’s feel and playability.

Some time ago I had access to both Kawai CA and Roland HP series instruments. The Kawai suited me well, but though I liked the mechanical feel of Roland’s keyboard, I never really got on with it. One day I decided to link the instruments via MIDI, such that playing the Roland keyboard produced sound through the Kawai’s sound generator and speakers. By happy chance, the Roland was immediately transformed into a highly playable instrument. It felt marvellous, totally different, even though mechanically, nothing had changed. I concluded that the resulting change in velocity curve had an enormous effect on one’s perception of keyboard feel.

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#690893 - 08/20/06 11:21 AM Re: Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
OldFingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/06
Posts: 546
Loc: Boston, MA
I know I'm getting to sound like a broken record (Oops, I'm showing my age here), but isn't it becoming clear that we should be able to have modular control of all of the parts that make up a virtual piano: mechanical keyboard -> software velocity curve -> software sound engine -> external sound card -> external speakers. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to go to a store where all the options were in front of us.

In fact we have to go to multiple store and it makes such a hassel. If it weren't for the generous assistance from the people who frequent this forum, people like me would never be able to acquire a good digital piano, and I'm not there yet.

Do you ever think there will a businessperson who will get it? Meanwhile I think the reputation of the digital piano suffers unnecessarilly.

Ironically, when I was in the piano store yesterday I played a used Yamaha C7. Other than the $29K price tag, I would have taken it home in a minute.

johhny boy:

Thanks for the pointer to Mac-based sound card and confirmation that my on-board version was probably the cause of my dismay yesterday.

Fledermaus:

Thanks for the report of your experiment regarding velocity curves. It's nice to know that this thread has not been for naught.
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#690894 - 08/20/06 05:47 PM Re: Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
OldFingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/06
Posts: 546
Loc: Boston, MA
Fledermaus:

In your experiment you imply that you had the mechanics of the Roland keyboard but the velocity curve and sound samples of the Kawai. Is it true, that when you MIDI out from a digital piano (i.e. the Roland) it is pure MIDI and nothing has been shaped by that piano's internal velocity curve.

That would change some of our thinking about having to shape a composite curve when using a keyboard with a virtual piano. It would certainly make life a lot simpler.

Bob
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#690895 - 08/21/06 06:08 AM Re: Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
Fledermaus Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/16/06
Posts: 11
Loc: United Kingdom
Bob

To be honest, I don't have the technical knowhow to say just where the velocity curve mapping takes place in these instruments.

In my experiment, it didn't really matter, as my only point was that it differed in the two configurations and this led to a dramatic change in my perception of keyboard feel and playability.

You might try observing MIDI velocity values whilst changing your keyboard's touch settings, to see if that influences the MIDI values.

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#690896 - 08/21/06 01:32 PM Re: Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
johnny boy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/06
Posts: 357
Loc: seattle
Bob, you can't really have "pure MIDI with no velocity curve".

If you press a key on any keyboard, this is what it would look like o the MIDI channel:

Signal 1 = Note value - 67: Velocity value - 96

It tells the MIDI recepient, what note was pressed (#67) and how hard it was pressed (#96). The MIDI note value ALWAYS contains velocity data. That velocity number was generated by the keyboard action and its sensor.

There is no way you can get around the "velocity curve" on any MIDI instruments.

I hope I am making sense here?

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#690897 - 09/11/06 11:06 PM Re: Ivory, keyboards and velocity curves...some questions
OldFingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/06
Posts: 546
Loc: Boston, MA
JB:

Sorry to take so long to respond to your comment but I've not had internet access for the past three weeks.

As I understand what you said, for a particular keyboard, the velocity reading of #96 is a "raw" measurement of the speed with which note #67 was struck. The software in the digital/virtual piano then takes that velocity measurement and maps it into another value that deteremines the amplitude of the signal that will ultimately be presented to the sound card.

When I use a different keyboard, striking the same key with the same speed might result in a different velocity measurement (i.e. the springs might be different), and then a different velocity curve would be needed to get the same result, or the same velocity curve would produce a different result.

I think what you are saying is that each keyboard will produce a different "raw" velocity measurement, and these are in turn shaped by the software velocity curve.

While my understanding of what is going on is increasing, I still don't see how to methodically choose the best keyboard/velocity curve combination. We should be able to do better than trial-and-error don't you think?

Bob
_________________________
Aspiring Retirement Home Lounge Pianist

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