Roland RD700NX Questions - Please help

Posted by: Vas

Roland RD700NX Questions - Please help - 10/29/12 12:49 AM

Hello,

I know, too many Questions. Sorry!

Let me start with that I really like/love the Roland RD700nx. Never tried the RD700GX. Tried the Yamaha CP I believe, it was the CP5 and was not impressed with piano sound or the action. No one has the Korgs’ and Kawais’ here in Clearwater or the Tampa Bay area to try out.

1. Can it get all the velocities form 1 to 128? Does 1 and 128 actually make a sound?

2. Are the internal velocity curves in midi 1 to 128 or at a higher resolution?

3. Why does Rd700NX sounds better than VSTi’s? Or have others gotten better sound out of their VSTi’s over the RD700NX?

4. It has adjustable string resonance?

5. Individual key tweaking? Velocity curve, EQ per note.

6. Can record the audio as you play as wav directly to a USB thumb drive or to a DAW like Cubase? I will not need to use my FireBox A/D converter.

7. Variation in repeating notes. Can this be done by using an audio or midi FX?

8. Looking to buy a demo or used to save $. What is there to watch for in a used DP? Where to look other than craigslist and ebay?

I know this are many questions so please just answer as many you can.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Roland RD700NX Questions - Please help - 10/29/12 01:17 PM

Quote:
2. Are the internal velocity curves in midi 1 to 128 or at a higher resolution?


Unfortunately we have no way of testing this, so no one knows. My personal guess is that it uses only 1 to 128, but that's only because I don't think going to a higher resolution would be noticeable to customers, so they don't have much incentive to change.

Quote:
3. Why does Rd700NX sounds better than VSTi’s? Or have others gotten better sound out of their VSTi’s over the RD700NX?


It doesn't. Not by a large margin in my opinion.

Roland's sounds are more advanced in a technical sense than those of its competitors in hardware pianos. The reason is that the SuperNatural voices are a blend of recorded and synthesized sound. The decay portion, in particular, is synthesized. This means there is no looping of samples and several other nits we pick at are absent. Some people love the SuperNatural sound and others detect the artificiality. Personally I am not really a fan of SuperNatural based on my experiences playing it.

Some of Roland's voices are quite good compared with other hardware DP's, but they don't compare with the detail, authenticity, and beauty of full, unlooped recordings used in high quality VSTi's. If you are finding the opposite result you might need to get a different VSTi.

Several of the other questions can be answered by reading the manual.

There's also some technical information about the RD700NX in dewster's dpbsd thread. Scroll down a bit and click the RD700NX links.

As a way of saving money, you can consider getting the FP7F for less money. It has the same action with fewer sounds, but the sounds are of the same quality and technological generation as the RD700NX.

Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Roland RD700NX Questions - Please help - 10/29/12 01:23 PM

Originally Posted By: Vas
Can it get all the velocities form 1 to 128? Does 1 and 128 actually make a sound?

Nothing specific to Roland here, but MIDI velocities are actually zero to 127. I don't know of any keyboard other than the original Yamaha DX-7 from 30 years ago that could not generate the full range to 127. Zero makes no sound. One may or may not make a sound... it usually does, but arguably, should not, in the event that you want to press a piano key down silently, which you can do on an acoustic piano... even though it makes no sound, it can affect the sound of other keys that you strike while having that first key depressed. Zero will not do this, because from MIDI's perspective, NOTE ON=ZERO is interpreted the same as NOTE OFF.

For many of your other questions, a good starting point might be to download the Roland's manual from their web site.
Posted by: torhu

Re: Roland RD700NX Questions - Please help - 10/29/12 03:27 PM

In addition to the what the others have said:

1) See the DBPS thread. (1 doesn't make a sound for piano and EP sounds, which is the way it should be. 127 is the highest, not 128.)

2) Don't know.

3) I use Galaxy Vintage D mainly, but I also use the Studio Grand sound of the RD when I don't feel like connecting the laptop. A matter of what works for you, I think.

4) Yes.

5) Not sure.

6) No digital audio out, but you can record as WAV to an USB stick.

7) Not sure what you mean.
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: Roland RD700NX Questions - Please help - 10/29/12 03:37 PM

Check out the manual, which is online at rolandus.com and will answer some of your questions!
Posted by: Vas

Re: Roland RD700NX Questions - Please help - 10/29/12 11:28 PM

Thanks to all for the help.

The DPBSD Project was very helpful.

Wow. The FP7F same action and piano as the RD700NX! For a lot less!
Read in the DPBSD Project that the FP7F perhaps the only grand piano is the first one that is super natural. The other three are just a variation of the first. So now I am a little confused as if I should pursue the RD700NX (used or floor model)

When I asked for 1 to 128 velocity I just want the keyboard to be able to sense all the velocities. I love dynamics from near silence to very loud. I had a CME UF8. The price was too low to pass up but I should have. Very good in every respect for the price but each key had a different and inconsistent velocity curve. Could not get it to play low velocities. So after spending months trying to get it to work properly I sold it. This is the reason why I am so concerned about the velocity issue.

BTW I love the RD700NX because I can get it to play very low velocities the sound in almost inaudible. I only briefly checked it out so can someone check if all the velocities are present and that they are all audible. I really will appreciate it as I may also use it as a controller.

So on the RD700NX there is no steaming a WAV through USB cable into Cubase. I must use the Audio cables to the Firebox. Kind of silly and loss of quality I assume doing a D/A and A/D conversion to get it to Cubase.

For me repeating notes should sound a bit different. I once played a keyboard piano that when I hit a key repeatedly each time I got a slight variation. I really liked that. I was told this was done by an audio effect but now I cannot recall the effect. Any ideas here?

I learned that 0 (zero) is the same as note OFF.

Thanks for the link to the manual.
Posted by: Vas

Re: Roland RD700NX Questions - Please help - 11/04/12 12:51 AM

At
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1612354/Re:%20The%20DPBSD%20Project!.html#Post1612354
Notes played at vel=1 produce no sound. Does it however produce a midi velocity 1 even though the onboard samples are not triggered? So it seems that all the midi velocities are not active.

It seems that the RD700NX does not stream WAV so one is obligated to use a thumb drive to move the WAV file into Cubase. Is this how most do this?

On the other hand this DP has some of the most “pros” and fewest “cons”. Depending on the replies I just may spend the money and buy it.
Posted by: torhu

Re: Roland RD700NX Questions - Please help - 11/04/12 01:16 AM

Originally Posted By: Vas
At
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1612354/Re:%20The%20DPBSD%20Project!.html#Post1612354
Notes played at vel=1 produce no sound. Does it however produce a midi velocity 1 even though the onboard samples are not triggered? So it seems that all the midi velocities are not active.


If I recall correctly, it does send a Note On with velocity 1. So a good software piano will know that the key is down, and correctly give you sympathic resonance even though there was no sound when you originally pressed the key. This mimics the behavior of a real piano.

I don't use a DAW much, so I can't really answer your other question. I suppose I would just connect it to my sound card's analog input and see how good the result is. Even better, I would use it to control a software piano VST plugin instead.
Posted by: Vas

Re: Roland RD700NX Questions - Please help - 11/05/12 11:47 PM

Ok, zero or one is used for sympathetic resonance. So is there a sound on velocity 2 and every number after that? I am asking these questions as had issues with the CME UF8.

You guys keep on insisting that the VSTi piano is better than the ones found in the Roland RD700NX. Now I am giving this whole matter about buying one a second thought. I love the action of the RD700NX so now why not just get an 88 key master midi keyboard controller? Ok I should reconsider the Roland FP7F.
Posted by: torhu

Re: Roland RD700NX Questions - Please help - 11/06/12 12:24 AM

Originally Posted By: Vas
Ok, zero or one is used for sympathetic resonance. So is there a sound on velocity 2 and every number after that? I am asking these questions as had issues with the CME UF8.

Didn't the DPBSD thread answer that satisfactory? Sounds unlikely that there would be such issues, but who knows. I sure haven't noticed anything like that.

Originally Posted By: Vas
You guys keep on insisting that the VSTi piano is better than the ones found in the Roland RD700NX. Now I am giving this whole matter about buying one a second thought. I love the action of the RD700NX so now why not just get an 88 key master midi keyboard controller? Ok I should reconsider the Roland FP7F.

As far as I know, none of the big manufacturers put their best action into controllers. Roland's A-88 controller has the cheaper and lighter "Ivory Feel-G" action, etc.

I didn't know I would be using a software piano more than the builtin sounds when I bought the RD. But I also wanted to use it as more of an all-round gigging board, so I have no regrets. Well, it's heavy, and not very practical to carry. But there seems to be no way around that when you want a top notch action. Lighter boards like RD-300NX or the otherwise amazing Nord Stage 2 just didn't do it for me.
Posted by: Vas

Re: Roland RD700NX Questions - Please help - 11/07/12 09:56 AM

Apparently to maintain the high quality of the original some people record onboard the RD700NX and then transfer the WAV file using their thumb drive to DAW. See statement at the start of this video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFORz0ehzlk&feature=related
I guess this is why this is called a stage piano rather than a recording studio piano if there is such a thing. Unfortunately I am looking for the later rather than the former.

I am still concerned at the loss of quality from the conversion of the D/A in the RD700NX and A/D going into my DAW. Is this a non-issue?

Twenty years ago I briefly had an Elka MK 88. It would register all 127 velocities. I loved this master midi keyboard controller but since then I have became more critical of the action so I do not know how well I would now like it.

Since no 88 key piano action keyboard controller is as good as the RD700NX or the FP7F I am stuck buying one or the other to use as a controller and if I use the internal piano samples I should consider it icing on the cake. Does this make sense? But still a lot of $$$ to spend on a controller. What’s a guy to do!

As good as the RD700NX sounds it makes sense that the top sampled piano VSTi’s sound better. It is confirmed in this and other threads by the expert pianists, it is just that I have not been able to get my sampled piano VSTi’s To sound that good. So I have to make my decision based on the experts being correct.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Roland RD700NX Questions - Please help - 11/07/12 11:42 AM

Originally Posted By: Vas
As good as the RD700NX sounds it makes sense that the top sampled piano VSTi’s sound better. It is confirmed in this and other threads by the expert pianists, it is just that I have not been able to get my sampled piano VSTi’s To sound that good.


There is a lot of variety in software pianos. Some sound much better than others. Some seem to be much more responsive than others. Some sound distant and others very close. Some are much less buggy than others. Whether any software piano works for you depends on your ears and fingers. Personally I am very sensitive to the artifical sound of PianoTeq (and also Roland's onboard sounds) and not bothered at all by timbre layers in sampled pianos (hardware or software). Some people are the other way around or are sensitive to something else.

Any particular software piano may not satisfy, but I would expect that for every person there is at least one that does. Which one(s) have you been using?