Kawai VPC

Posted by: davinwv

Kawai VPC - 01/09/13 10:25 AM

It appears to be a stripped-down, controller only version of the MP10:

www.kawaivpc.com
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/09/13 10:45 AM

Originally Posted By: davinwv
It appears to be a stripped-down, controller only version of the MP10:

www.kawaivpc.com


I like the little platform for the laptop.

I'm only getting one page there, no blurb at all. Have you heard news elsewhere?
Posted by: davinwv

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/09/13 10:52 AM

No - this was posted in a thread regarding 88-key controllers with flat tops on the Keyboard Corner. This is all I've seen.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/09/13 11:05 AM

...mmmmm (drool), I think I want one. My fear is if it's going to be pure controller then it would have to be without compromise which suggests quite a heavy beast.

Speculation should reach fever pitch.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/09/13 12:46 PM

That is drool-worthy indeed. If only there was some information there, not just a link.

So you have information that it will feature the RM3 action, rather than GF or RH2. Is that right? Could you include the keyboard corner link? I'm cool with weight, but I would like to have the latest and greatest action, if possible.
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/09/13 02:57 PM

That is what I'll need, and what I am waiting for now, if it is GF or RH2.

RM3 would be a non-sense (neither for me nor for Kawai I think.)

But price tag will be an interesting question too.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/09/13 03:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Temperament
RM3 would be a non-sense (neither for me nor for Kawai I think.)


Although this is not necessarily unlikely. Remember, they came out last year with the CE220, which they outfitted with the AWA PRO II action, even though RM3 was well-established and in fact was about to be replaced with the GF action. I'm not sure if they are trying to burn through inventory or what, but it appears that Kawai is very comfortable putting out new products that use older actions.

My fear is that this will be a great product but for whatever reason Kawai America will decide not to sell it. Non-US customers have had access to several very interesting pianos---the CS9, for example, and CA13. The CA13 is a scary example because it's kind of along the same lines as this controller: a more basic version of more expensive products that nonetheless has what we are really going for: the good action. You can't get it in the US.

If the controller is announced at NAMM, I guess there's little chance it will not be available in the US, though. Right?

And as you point out, if the price difference between it and the top stage piano is very small, I will be extremely disappointed as well. When there are no good alternatives, we're always at the mercy of the people who decide what price these will be.
Posted by: davinwv

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/09/13 03:40 PM

Here's a link to the Keyboard Corner VPC thread:

http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2461641#Post2461641
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/09/13 03:47 PM

Cool. Want one ; be it rm3 II (with third sensor ) or GH. Price probably bit above ES7 in some countries, bit below or equal to ES in other places. I really doubt it'll be RH II, almost certain GH or similar. Goal: best possible keybed in a sleek and well thought through design for people who want the best respons , but don't care about internal sounds and other gadgets . Space to put you laptop; big big plus. Have been waiting for a design that takes the placement of your laptop in consideration right from the beginning. iPad stand is nice (Acuna, Akai) , but tablets are just not powerful enough (yet). Details will probably follow at NAMM. Unless Kawai wants to have a scoop and does a press release before the show. Can't wait ;-) Need any beta-testers Kawai ???
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/09/13 03:52 PM

James is that your netbook on top of the VPC :-)
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/09/13 04:12 PM

Originally Posted By: JFP
James is that your netbook on top of the VPC :-)

I don't know about it being his computer, but I think it's his Nord on top of what may well be the VPC in this thread...

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2002263/3/New%20Nord%20Italian%20Grand.html
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/09/13 04:22 PM

It was this of him: New addition, but it's not red...
Originally Posted By: Kawai James


On a one-month loan from R&D while I'm testing something. wink

I intend to MIDI it up to my Electro, but only have a USB-->MIDI cable at the moment.

The action feels great though, and will give my fingers a real work-out compared to what I'm used to playing.
x
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/09/13 04:28 PM

anotherscott: Good point! HOWEVER, looking at the image of the VPC, it looks different to the keyboard in that other thread. However, maybe it was a prototype.....

Unless that VPC image isn't actually how it really looks? (it looks too clean - no knobs or anything)

Greg.
Posted by: davinwv

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/09/13 04:32 PM

Perhaps this is the photo of the VPC1 with his Nord:

Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/09/13 04:47 PM

Yup! Looks more like it...
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/09/13 05:11 PM

Pretty cool combo, huh? wink

Posted by: Aeons Holle

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/09/13 05:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Pretty cool, huh? wink


Yes indeed! thumb

Note to self:
In the future, do not buy big expensive console piano a few months before NAMM, only because of its great action to use it solely with VSTs and headphones.
Posted by: kurtie

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/09/13 05:56 PM

I think this is the keyboard I would buy if I would have to buy one... Damn it! I'm getting the GAS right now... must... breath... deeply...

Regards,
Kurt.-
Posted by: martijefre

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/09/13 08:32 PM

it would have to be without compromise which suggests quite a heavy beast.
Posted by: Pedro_Henrique

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/09/13 08:56 PM

For sure it looks like a good controller to have in home. Looks solid like a tank. Probally best for home. I'm very curious about how it feels. Never played either MP6 and MP10. frown
Posted by: dmd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/09/13 09:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Aeons Holle
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Pretty cool, huh? wink


Yes indeed! thumb

Note to self:
In the future, do not buy big expensive console piano a few months before NAMM, only because of its great action to use it solely with VSTs and headphones.


You know ... one of the things you need to come to grips with in the midst of all this technology and "cool" keyboards, etc ... is this ...

Are you in this to learn to play the piano really well ?

OR ...

Are you more interested in playing with all sorts of "cool" sounding equipment and always on the lookout for the next inovation ?

There is absolutely no end to the technology.

But, if you wish to learn to play well ... you have all you need right now.
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/10/13 03:35 AM

I am interested in both - as quiet typical in this forum: piano art (just music) and technology.

In digital you cannot make serious mistakes, you can always updgrade. We don't acquire digital gear for life - our purchases should be considered more as renting decision's for a limited time span (typically 3-5 Ys.) Amortisation has to be calculated with, both financially and technologically.

You are better off with the second highest range but up-to-date product than have the best but wait three or more update cycle with an update.

On the other side, while not having the latest thing might be not optimal, we have a development behind us where current tools (keybeds) have already accumaleted a plenty of engeneering quality .Progress with the next generation is evolutionary and often improving marginal nuances only.
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/10/13 07:13 AM

Temp: You're right about the slow progress ... evolutionary, etc. But as for treating a piano as a temp or as a rental, you speak for yourself.

From whence comes your 3 to 5 year estimate? Perhaps that's your pattern, and so be it. But how can you conclude that this is somehow typical? I bought a piano four years ago, and, if it lasts, I'll keep it for another fifteen or twenty years.
Posted by: origen

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/10/13 08:37 AM

Please let this have at least a mod wheel, please please please, without one how do you do all the neat things with LASS or East West, Symphobia, Adagio or any of the other orchestral libraries that a buyer of this type of controller will use along with pianos. Im paranoid because it really doesn't look like there is room for one in the picture, if however there is one then Im probably standing in line already, unless Roland really wows us with a complete supernatural workstation, but even then I think I'd rather have less cost since a Roland workstation would probably set me back 4 grand.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/10/13 09:02 AM

origen, I think you may be disappointed...

However, there are plenty of relatively inexpensive MIDI control surfaces to add knobs, buttons, and wheels out there - take you pick!

As for a SuperNatural workstation, I believe Dr Popper recently eluded to a new Fantom, so it's possible...

James
x
Posted by: dmd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/10/13 09:09 AM

Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
I bought a piano four years ago, and, if it lasts, I'll keep it for another fifteen or twenty years.


Which, also, is probably not typical.

Also, the availability of VSTs now enables one to make changes periodically to the sound without swapping out the keybed/piano. That is ... if you find VST sounds satisfying. I have not been able to get to that point.
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/10/13 09:38 AM

If this keybed is really really good and it has some way of smart interfacing with your software solution(s) - be it laptop and/or tablet - there's no more need to buy a new set of keys every few years, just because the sounds get boring. Update your SW and off you go for another round of years. The keys can then stay and last for a loooooong time....(additional controllers you can add and replace when needed). Just my idea..
Posted by: dmd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/10/13 09:57 AM

Originally Posted By: JFP
If this keybed is really really good and it has some way of smart interfacing with your software solution(s) - be it laptop and/or tablet - there's no more need to buy a new set of keys every few years, just because the sounds get boring. Update your SW and off you go for another round of years. The keys can then stay and last for a loooooong time....(additional controllers you can add and replace when needed). Just my idea..


It is a GREAT idea !

However, in my case, I have not been able to embrace the sound I hear using the software generated sounds. I may sound a little muffled, distant, latent, or some other perceived flaw.

So, the theory is great. But, my reality ... not so much.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/10/13 10:40 AM

Originally Posted By: JFP
If this keybed is really really good and it has some way of smart interfacing with your software solution(s) - be it laptop and/or tablet - there's no more need to buy a new set of keys every few years, just because the sounds get boring. Update your SW and off you go for another round of years. The keys can then stay and last for a loooooong time....(additional controllers you can add and replace when needed). Just my idea..

I think that's largely the point!
Posted by: origen

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/10/13 12:52 PM

Is there anything like a stand alone x/y joystick or modwheel that can just midi or usb into the controller for the purpose of articulations? Ive got a novation remote zero 61 key, but I'd rather not have to reach too far, so if I can sit something right on the vpc that would be a great solution, or would an expression pedal be able to simulate the articulations, as well as having a sustain pedal plugged in at the same time? wink
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/10/13 01:15 PM

Hi, Mac,
I am speaking for myself, of course. I was ringing steadly with the idea of loosing something due to bad buying decisions, having the steady pain of having to find on optimal long time ackqusisition. Especially because I was grown up in older traditionalist family in relatively hard economical decades in a country of Europe's soviet-occupied former eastern block - Hungary, where the posession of old goods was dire and material things highly esteemed. And now we all are living in "disposable" societies. Digital technology especially is constructed with disposable bricks.

I found quiet comforting the idea to think of my tools and other possessions as rental objects rather than ethernal or at least life-long possessions, something to be inheritable - because otherwise facing loss of value was a steady pain.

The 3-5 ys. replacement cycle is just my pace derived from this everyday phylosophy. I sold my 5 ys. of CA51 for half of it's original price (actually partially paid for my newly built clavichord with it) - not because it was not functioning for me. I could use it for another 3-5 ys, but I weighted up the higher risk of an older over-used instrument without any warranty to get broken down, and that it's state is now a good value for somebody, but in another 3 ys. I cannot recommend it at all against a cheap state-of-theart instrument anymore. And yes, I weighted up my need for some benefits of an up-to-date action - Kawai's recent 3 sensor actions are 2 generation over my AWA GrandProII - James said somewhere about an 8 ys. old such keybed that it might be ripe for regulating...

This sort of viewing things is just my relationship to the gears of my work and hobbies, and helped me personally a lot to see things more relaxed. I am free to update a keyboard e.g., if I
need an improvement - cost is not a scandal but a calculated factor.

It may be all very trivial, but one collegue of mine is irritated by this viewing of things, he thinks in a "my house is my castle" way - it is just his way.
Posted by: Coldsalmon

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/10/13 01:16 PM

Quote:
Ive got a novation remote zero 61 key, but I'd rather not have to reach too far, so if I can sit something right on the vpc that would be a great solution


If you like the Novation, you can always try the Novation Remote Zero SL, which is just the MIDI controls with no keyboard attached. I have the original version sitting on my Korg SP-250 and it's really excellent. They now sell the Mk II, which is slightly different.
Posted by: Aeons Holle

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/10/13 01:27 PM

Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: Aeons Holle
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Pretty cool, huh? wink


Yes indeed! thumb

Note to self:
In the future, do not buy big expensive console piano a few months before NAMM, only because of its great action to use it solely with VSTs and headphones.


You know ... one of the things you need to come to grips with in the midst of all this technology and "cool" keyboards, etc ... is this ...

Are you in this to learn to play the piano really well ?

OR ...

Are you more interested in playing with all sorts of "cool" sounding equipment and always on the lookout for the next inovation ?

There is absolutely no end to the technology.

But, if you wish to learn to play well ... you have all you need right now.



Yes, I believe we are actually on the same page here.

My point with that little „note“ was not about wanting to stay up to date all the time, but to get all the features I need in the least expensive, most convenient package.

I recently bought my CA95 mainly because of its great GF action. Then, despite its vast tweaking abilities I soon found myself enjoying it more with VSTs and headphones, which means that I’m currently not using a big part of its feature set like the internal sound engine and soundboard system.

Assuming that the new Kawai VPC will feature the GF action, had I waited a bit I could soon have gotten this one instead of the CA95, with the exact same result (sound and action) for less money.

Though I do admit the CA95 looks very beautiful, which certainly contributes its part to the whole piano playing experience.

FWIW, I owned my previous Yamaha CLP 170 for more than 7 years before I sold it to a friend, who continues to enjoy it immensely.
My desire to upgrade to the Kawai actually only arised because last year I started to rent a practice room with a Blüthner grand. The gap between that one and the CLP was too big for frequent readjustment.

Now, it's not like the VPC announcement would cost me any sleep. I could afford the CA95 and I'm really happy with the action, so I'm bound to enjoy it for a very long time. As said before, if the desire to update arises it's now a question of updating the VST side rather than replacing the whole piano to get better sound, which is comparatively cheap and convenient.
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/10/13 01:28 PM

+1,

I don't have to buy things, which I don't use (internal sounds, amp, boxes, menu, lcd), and which are amortising quicker than the phyisical parts such as keybed.

I considered to buy a slightly better instrument just to make a better investment value return by calculating better demand and retail for used. But I am using almost exclusively VSTs, active monitors with subwoofers, PC-Audio interfaces too...
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/10/13 05:59 PM

@ColdSalmon; having had two MKII Novation units I found the touch control to be too sensitive. If you moved one knob , very often other parts of the controller reacted too and shifted some values, or jumped to another page / ctrl value or knob. Could be just me of course, but I would suggest you try the MKII very seriously before buying and see if it works for you. The software matured during the years. Knobs and sliders are fine (though too sensitive for me) , pads are so so and XY control is totally worthless. So far on the Novation. (Better/ more flexible interfacing with SW than M-Audio IMHO). It's on the market for quite a while; I would wait for NAMM and see if new controller boxes will show up (Novation MKIII, new stuff).
Posted by: Hideki Matsui

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/15/13 05:55 PM

This looks perfect. I'm really glad I didn't buy the A88 yet. Time to call my local Kawai dealer and make sure they get one when available.

Edit... Almost perfect. Some controllers would have been nice but I guess I can work around that.
Posted by: maurus

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/15/13 06:26 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James


Cool. Resistance is futile. I need one of these for my little Nord.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/15/13 06:39 PM

Originally Posted By: maurus
Originally Posted By: Kawai James


Cool. Resistance is futile. I need one of these for my little Nord.


You and me both. wink

James
x
Posted by: Hideki Matsui

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/15/13 06:52 PM

Any chance it will hold a Jupiter 80?
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/15/13 08:02 PM

Originally Posted By: Hideki Matsui
Any chance it will hold a Jupiter 80?


Yeah, I expect so.

But good luck getting any playing done. wink



Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Hideki Matsui

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/15/13 08:03 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: Hideki Matsui
Any chance it will hold a Jupiter 80?


Yeah, I expect so.

But good luck getting any playing done. wink



Cheers,
James
x


LOL. Ok. Double tier it is.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/15/13 08:07 PM

Man, that Jupiter 80 is a beast!
Posted by: Pedro_Henrique

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/16/13 06:45 AM

James,

do you know if it will be sold on Brazil as well? And, can you tell us the price range we may find the VPC?
Thank you.

Kind regards
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/16/13 07:13 AM

Hello Pedro,

I'm hopeful that this new board will be available in Brazil, however such decisions are typically made by the distributor - they will only import items that they believe will sell.

Regarding pricing, I'm afraid I cannot comment before the official unveiling at NAMM, however it's fair to assume that this new board will have a lower price than the MP10.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/16/13 07:15 AM

Second teaser online, by the way...[cough]
Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/16/13 07:29 AM

It's a great idea.... I'm going to be really interested in how it fares. One thing I do know is that it's a predominetly home user product. The number of people screaming for a no frills controller with a state of the art action has been huge .... Now it's time for them to put up or shut up. The Roland a-88 is a similar idea but has control surfaces that pros and live players will appreciate but the action won't compete with the VPC. It "should" sell well "if" Kawai can market it correctly AND manage to supply it through their various channels. They need to get it into the web stores and chains at a decent price in good quantities and market it carefully. We shall see what happens I guess.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/16/13 08:32 AM

I am wondering if this Kawai VPC would have a hollow space wide enough to fully accomodate a Nord Piano inside laugh So, you store your NP into the Kawai VPC at home and get it out for gigging only laugh It could as well be marketed as a "hard case for your Nord NP with a proper hammer action embedded" laugh
Posted by: Pedro_Henrique

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/16/13 09:01 AM

Wondering if the VPC will be available here... and how much will cost. :X But if comes on the right price, maybe I'll get one after a year or so. :\
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/16/13 09:31 AM

Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
One thing I do know is that it's a predominetly home user product.

Too bad it isn't built into a flight case. I can't say I like the slightly rounded and somewhat angled top, it seems like the style-over-substance group was given too much control (as usual, when will the madness end?). I wonder if it has a music rest? A 3 pedal unit? A custom stand? 5 pin DIN MIDI connector?

I'm not a Kawai key mechanism expert, does this have their best keys?
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/16/13 10:40 AM

By the way, this must be 1/2 the price of MP10, otherwise I don't see much sense in buying a huge wooden box with no internal sounds and only slightly cheaper than MP10... We'll wait and see.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/16/13 11:04 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
I'm not a Kawai key mechanism expert, does this have their best keys?


Unfortunately I haven't seen what action it will use anywhere. Could be a plastic action, could be a wood action. Could be one of the latest generation (GF and RH2) or it could be an older action. Two sensor, three sensor. As far as I've seen there is no information on these questions.

Will NAMM never arrive and kill the tension around here?
Posted by: Pedro_Henrique

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/16/13 11:49 AM

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Will NAMM never arrive and kill the tension around here?


I think everyone here is counting for NAMM's arrival. :P
And I'm seriously thinking when Kawai will launch the substitutes for MP6 and MP10.

Do you have any clue, James? laugh
Posted by: Rhodie73

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/16/13 12:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Second teaser online, by the way...[cough]


Where?
Posted by: Deffie

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/16/13 01:26 PM

The picture at http://www.kawaivpc.com/ has been updated so the focus is now on the laptop.

Anyone recognize the software it's running?
Posted by: Kbeaumont

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/16/13 01:41 PM

Actually it looks to me like it might be software to edit the controller itself. The curve looks like its adjusting the velocity response. Since I don't see any knobs, display or menus on the controller itself, then it either hides them or uses software.

update: Looking closer maybe a DAW program like reaper, it allows you to change the look using themes.
Posted by: o0Ampy0o

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/16/13 07:07 PM

Teaser #1


Teaser #2


Teaser #2 Close-up
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/16/13 07:11 PM

Originally Posted By: Pedro_Henrique
And I'm seriously thinking when Kawai will launch the substitutes for MP6 and MP10.

Do you have any clue, James? laugh


Nope. wink
Posted by: Pedro_Henrique

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/16/13 08:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: Pedro_Henrique
And I'm seriously thinking when Kawai will launch the substitutes for MP6 and MP10.

Do you have any clue, James? laugh


Nope. wink


Come on... not a little one?
Ok, I believe in you.
But anyway, how much time Kawai substitutes their Digital Pianos? (That you can tell!)
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/16/13 11:53 PM

It depends on the product range. However, other factors such as sales figures are also taken into account. If an instrument is selling well, there is less urgency to replace it with a new model.


Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Pedro_Henrique

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/17/13 01:36 PM

Thank you James... Yeah, it seems like I really have to wait, and not try to figure when it will happen. But anyway, another stupid question LOL: Will Kawai return to the Workstation/Synths market? It's a question that many here on Brazil ask a lot of times on a Brazilian Keyboard Forum.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/17/13 03:36 PM

Pedro, while you can 'never say never', I believe it's unlikely. Kawai is first and foremost a piano company, so this is our priority.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 08:48 AM

Pedro, you may be interested to learn that two representatives from Kawai's Brazilian distributor, Pianofatura, visited Kawai Japan late last year. I had the pleasure of meeting the two chaps, and we enjoyed chatting about Brazilian football and Brazilians playing in the Premier League.

They seemed rather enthusiastic about the new board too. wink

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Pedro_Henrique

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 08:56 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Pedro, you may be interested to learn that two representatives from Kawai's Brazilian distributor, Pianofatura, visited Kawai Japan late last year. I had the pleasure of meeting the two chaps, and we enjoyed chatting about Brazilian football and Brazilians playing in the Premier League.

They seemed rather enthusiastic about the new board too. wink

Cheers,
James
x


Really nice to 'hear' that... but now tell me, football? auhauha Bleeergh. I hated when I was in high school and the gym teacher obligated me to play football. I prefer to stay quiet listening to music. :P You should meet more of our music... much more pleasant than football (IMO).
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 09:36 AM

Pedro, I must confess that I am a big football fan!

My home town is Norwich, and I still follow my 'local' team (nicknamed 'The Canaries', who play in yellow and green incidentally...) every Saturday. wink



However, I also am rather partial to Brazilian music; the percussive rhythms, the smooth sound of the sung Brazilian Portuguese, and of course the energy of Sammba. I love late 60s/early 70s funk&soul music, and stumbled upon the band 'Funk Como Le Gusta' a few years ago. Arguably a little to 'commercial' in places...especially for my fussy tastes, but they have a great tight sound that fuses different styles together. I haven't listened to their music for a little while, so will have to load some of their tunes onto my iPod. wink

Of course, if you have any other Brazilian musical recommendations (funk, soul, or otherwise...), please do let me know!

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Pedro_Henrique

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 11:05 AM

Ahhh... You like a more 'sassy' rhythms... There's a lot of stuff unknow yet out there through our big Brazil... I'm studying more the Brazilian Classical Music, so I'm not hearing too much our Samba, or other smooth rhythms, but, you should hear a little of our Chorinho - it's really fantastic, and so much dancing... it was very popular in early 1900's years through 50's. Very hard to play... and the romantic Bossa, sometimes a little sassy, I have to confess, but, romantic most of the times... There's some kind of stuff that we just call MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira - Brazilian Popular Music) and have some chillin' artists and voices, but not so percussive, more of an acoustic guitar and voice.
I think you maybe like Nanny Soul, a black singer that have a really strong voice, and sound more funky. I love her stuff. Much of her soul in her music. Ed Motta, he's a brazilian master of rhodes. And of course, Hermeto Pascoal... as we call him here 'the brazilian wizard of music'. I hope you enjoy their music.
laugh
Hey, James, you have a really refined taste for music... I'm admired. laugh Really.
Posted by: Aidan

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 11:23 AM

Anyone noticed that the teaser ad now sports an "Ivory II VPC" logo. Would seem to suggest that this thing is going to ship with a special edition of Ivory II?
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 11:44 AM

Now that is something! The (arguably) best sampled piano tweaked and tailored for a particular action. I am quite intrigued smile
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 11:49 AM

"A virtual piano controller that plays out of the box". It could be my English but I understand the controller has built-in sound(s).
Posted by: Aidan

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 12:02 PM

I think the strapline is more intended to imply that everything you need to start playing (presumably excluding the laptop itself!) is in the shipping box, i.e. the controller and the software.
Posted by: Pedro_Henrique

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 12:17 PM

And it looks like they will be shipping it with 4 softwares... One of those slots have the Ivory II... and there's 3 empty yet... so...
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 12:54 PM

I think such MIDI Controllers have a set of presets for Virtual Instruments and that is what You can see there. Probably calibrated velocity curves, defining MIDI feature scopes and such things.

I think they have a meaningful application instead of a miniature on board LCD display - this will be suggested by this arrangement on the teasers I guess.
Posted by: Aidan

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 01:02 PM

It COULD just be custom velocity curves, I guess, but that would be very disappointing compared with an SE of Ivory (and perhaps three others), tailored to the controller. All will be revealed next week, I guess...
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 01:20 PM

Originally Posted By: Aidan
I think the strapline is more intended to imply that everything you need to start playing (presumably excluding the laptop itself!) is in the shipping box, i.e. the controller and the software.

Baby steps. When will they put Ivory class sounds inside the DP?

Originally Posted By: Temperament
I think they have a meaningful application instead of a miniature on board LCD display - this will be suggested by this arrangement on the teasers I guess.

I'm really against the only access being via USB & PC. They need to make all parameters adjustable via the controller itself, however awkward that may be. Otherwise in 10 years or so when operating systems have been "improved" 2 or 3 times and USB has morphed into something not backwardly compatible, this thing will be an expensive, shiny brick. Kawai will support it in terms of drivers and such for a while, but for how long? And how good will those drivers be? Positioning this type of product tightly within the PC loop is a bad move IMO.

Industry needs to update the MIDI physical, electrical, and protocol interfaces in a non-proprietary way and keep it entirely independent of PC hardware & software.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 01:25 PM

I guess the other three slots are for Vintage D, Pianoteq and... Nord Piano laugh
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 03:18 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Otherwise in 10 years or so when operating systems have been "improved" 2 or 3 times and USB has morphed into something not backwardly compatible, this thing will be an expensive, shiny brick.

Hopefully it also has a standard 5-pin DIN MIDI port, which will probably remain useful longer than I will.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 03:30 PM

I suspect it probably will have a 5-pin DIN port as well, but even if it doesn't, to prevent bricking, just don't throw away your last computer that you have before you buy your next one without USB (assuming that can't get an adaptor to convert from the post-USB interface to USB, which you probably will for another ten years).
If the worst came to the worst, you may not be able to upgrade the sounds on that last computer that you keep for the shiny controller. Big deal. I can't update my Kawai MP9000 that is now 11 years old. It still functions.

The other thing is that Kawai would be well aware of how rapidly things are changing, and may have taken that into account in the design. For example, they may have designed it in a modular way, such that the computer interface can easily be swapped out for something else.

Greg.
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 06:01 PM

Interfaces will always change, that's we're the adapter market thrives on. There are some slow changers/ long stayers however, like din5 MIDI. USB will last for quite sometime as well, be it V3, 4, 5...- but still downward compatible.

That's for the physical interfacing. If the firmware will still support the latest operating systems in the end , remains the question. E.g. some USB audio interfaces (even class-compliant) worked with 32bit OS, but not with 64bit versions. Some companies updated their firmware to support 64bit, others decided the product was too old, or they didn't sell enough new boxes, so they didn't post updates. What will happen to you controller in conjunction with computer hard- and software will probably depend on the future firmware updates. If they stop at a certain point , you may or may not have a problem.

To be honest, I wouldn't worry about it; it'll probably outlive your regular product exchange cycle by far !

Biggest question remains; will it ship with software and will that include a Virtual Kawai Grand in ultra high quality ?! Would be a great extra plus to a controller that already looks very promising.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 06:35 PM

It's hard for me to imagine a MIDI controller without a 5-pin connector (especially a high-end one, which is what this looks like). Of course, my imagination is not the limit of what's possible...

So far I've never really kept a digital piano long enough that it went out of date in the sense that is worrying to dewster. Too much of an itch for the latest and greatest. There's a pretty good chance I'll buy this VPC. Probably sell it again within 10 years, though, if history is any predictor.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 06:41 PM

Originally Posted By: JFP
Interfaces will always change, that's we're the adapter market thrives on. There are some slow changers/ long stayers however, like din5 MIDI.

No computer interface has lasted nearly as long as MIDI, so I doubt any will! It wasn't long ago that nobody could conceive of a computer without a parallel port or RS-232 serial compatibility. Firewire is on its way out, SCSI is long gone. Lots of old music gear (even not all that old) can no longer connect to any modern computer except via MIDI port, despite having one of those other interfaces as well. So it does seem to be a safety. Yes, there are sometimes adapters, but not everything works, and if it doesn't, there's no one who's going to do anything about it.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 07:18 PM

Originally Posted By: Pedro_Henrique
Ahhh... You like a more 'sassy' rhythms... There's a lot of stuff unknow yet out there through our big Brazil... I'm studying more the Brazilian Classical Music, so I'm not hearing too much our Samba, or other smooth rhythms, but, you should hear a little of our Chorinho - it's really fantastic, and so much dancing... it was very popular in early 1900's years through 50's. Very hard to play... and the romantic Bossa, sometimes a little sassy, I have to confess, but, romantic most of the times... There's some kind of stuff that we just call MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira - Brazilian Popular Music) and have some chillin' artists and voices, but not so percussive, more of an acoustic guitar and voice.
I think you maybe like Nanny Soul, a black singer that have a really strong voice, and sound more funky. I love her stuff. Much of her soul in her music. Ed Motta, he's a brazilian master of rhodes. And of course, Hermeto Pascoal... as we call him here 'the brazilian wizard of music'. I hope you enjoy their music.


Wow, many thanks for the suggestions Pedro - I'm going to have to check out some of those artists this morning. wink

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 07:21 PM

Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Hopefully it also has a standard 5-pin DIN MIDI port...


How else would you control your favourite [red] semi-weighted board?

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 07:22 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Hopefully it also has a standard 5-pin DIN MIDI port...


How else would you control your favourite [red] semi-weighted board?

Cheers,
James
x

Mais oui!
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 07:32 PM

Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Hopefully it also has a standard 5-pin DIN MIDI port...


How else would you control your favourite [red] semi-weighted board?

Cheers,
James
x

Mais oui!


det är rätt! wink
Posted by: Pedro_Henrique

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 08:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Wow, many thanks for the suggestions Pedro - I'm going to have to check out some of those artists this morning. ;)x


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvDyVH-OIx8

A 'sample' of how she sings. This first one is an arrange of one of stevie wonder's music. And below there's one of the Brazilian songs she sings.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvyrWIyZYPo&list=PLCD367792D1189F72&index=11
Posted by: Pedro_Henrique

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 08:02 PM

But well, coming back to the VPC... James, it will come with some software in the shipping box? laugh
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 08:04 PM

Pedro, I'm afraid I cannot reveal this information.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 08:20 PM

Here's something from another thread:

Originally Posted By: Kawai James

Originally Posted By: maurus
...just imagine a licence agreement between a red and a black company, so we could get a new [cough] with the Nord sound engine... Ah, daydreaming...


Yes, that would be pretty cool - especially if newly sampled Kawai/Shigeru Kawai sounds were also part of the deal. wink


Maybe it has something to do with the Kawai VPC? smile Nord engine within the VPC? wink
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 08:21 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Pedro, I'm afraid I cannot reveal this information.

Kind regards,
James
x


Actually, you can - just not right now!
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 08:44 PM

Right. wink
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 09:59 PM

The thing is, I bought a large format Epson scanner ~10 years ago for the Historical Society I volunteer for, really nice even now, almost $3k USD so it was a lot of dough for a tiny non-profit to shell out. It has a SCSI interface - I didn't want to go that route as I knew SCSI was inching towards the door at the time, but USB was just coming on the scene and it was pretty slow and not super well supported. Now trying to do a computer refresh and I can't buy a motherboard that will take the ancient SCSI adapter card (PC bus evolution). The old computer is unstable so I want to ditch it but not sure what to do. An internal USB card was made for the scanner but it seems no one bought it and so support is nil.

My dad had a newish HP scanner that he "lost" going from XP to Win7 (no drivers).

I have a parallel port oscilloscope that I "lost" when my new motherboard "lost" the parallel port. I have several expensive FPGA programmers I can't use for the same reason (USB to parallel adapter doesn't work because timing is too inexact).

I bought a used Yamaha FS1r with much functionality controllable only via MIDI & PC, many of the programs wouldn't run in my newish OS. Had even worse issues with the much newer Roland JV-1010 (spartan UI via the front panel, zero support on from Roland on the PC side after their initial lame effort).

Have an Echo MIA sound card in my PC, I fully expect to "lose" it when MS drops support for XP, along with a boat load of software I really depend on.

PC hardware / software / bus / interface / driver support is a chain with too many weak links for one to hold onto a product intimately bound to it for any length of time, and I've been burned by it too many times. I just want to buy some decent keys with some decent sounds and stop the nonsense already.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 10:06 PM

dewster, fear not...it will have MIDI.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/18/13 10:21 PM

Dewster:
a) For the large format scanner, if you can't get the PC repaired, have you tried advertising a "Wanted" ad to buy another PC from that era?

b) How much did that HP scanner cost for your father's PC? If it's expensive, can you just leave it attached to a PC running XP, and treat that XP PC as part of the scanner?

c) Can you install a PCI parallel port adaptor? If not, if why can't you use old PCs with that equipment, if that equipment is important to you? Why should old equipment have to support new computers?

d) Re: the Echo MIA, again - if it's that important, keep an old PC for it. I have an M-Audio Delta 66 (PCI based), and I doubt that it's supported any more either. It's a nice card, and it's still in an old white-box running XP.
CORRECTION: Yes, my Delta IS still supported up to Win7, although I doubt whether I'll be buying any more desktop PCs with a PCI interface - I don't even know whether desktops still have PCI. smile
EDIT: Hang on, the MIA is supported up to Win7, according to this: http://echoaudio.com/pages/windows-drivers Is that correct? If so, why are you worried about XP support? If you can't upgrade the OS because of your applications, why can't you keep using the apps you have on XP, with a version of the XP driver that works with those apps?

Greg.
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/19/13 01:36 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
dewster, fear not...it will have MIDI.

Now hold on, aren't you violating some kind of NAMM secrecy act? wink
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/19/13 01:56 AM

Originally Posted By: sullivang
Dewster:
a) For the large format scanner, if you can't get the PC repaired, have you tried advertising a "Wanted" ad to buy another PC from that era?

XP won't be patched for built-in MS security holes, etc. It's really not an option to run it at some point at a non-profit on a flaky PC after MS drops support. I do a bit of PC repair on the side and old PCs are the absolute worst and most expensive to maintain. Youngsters who use it kind of expect an update now and then.

Originally Posted By: sullivang
d) Re: the Echo MIA, again - if it's that important, keep an old PC for it. I have an M-Audio Delta 66 (PCI based), and I doubt that it's supported any more either. It's a nice card, and it's still in an old white-box running XP.
CORRECTION: Yes, my Delta IS still supported up to Win7, although I doubt whether I'll be buying any more desktop PCs with a PCI interface - I don't even know whether desktops still have PCI. smile
EDIT: Hang on, the MIA is supported up to Win7, according to this: http://echoaudio.com/pages/windows-drivers Is that correct?

Thanks for doing that research for me! It's been so long since they updated drivers I thought ECHO had gone out of business. Hmm, searching for "echo" at Sweetwater brings no hits for them which is weird. Three of their units at ZZounds, a couple more at B&H. Maybe not looking so good for support lasting longer than the hardware I own and paid $100 for (and it works really well). Anyway, there's tons of moldering but perfectly good HW in garbage dumps due to "improved" SW and orphaned products due to lack of driver support. I'm starting to really hate proprietary OSes and applications - too much churn on the user side and for what, profit? Don't get me wrong, I'm not an anti-advancement luddite.

Originally Posted By: sullivang
If so, why are you worried about XP support? If you can't upgrade the OS because of your applications, why can't you keep using the apps you have on XP, with a version of the XP driver that works with those apps?

Because it's networked. Next you'll be telling me to remove it from the network, which isn't really possible when thumb drives and such from other PCs which can be carrying viruses, malware, and other infections. MS products are a huge "kick me" sign for malware.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/19/13 02:18 AM

You're exactly right - I was indeed going to suggest removing the old PCs from the network, and to use thumb drives. smile (I'd still do it - I've never had a virus and I would take that risk. I agree that it's a bit much to ask of that non-profit organisation though)

Btw - I forgot to say initially - I do think it sux that the HP didn't release drivers for Win7. (especially if it's a high end scanner - less so if it's a cheap one)

Greg.
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/19/13 02:27 AM

Originally Posted By: sullivang
Btw - I forgot to say initially - I do think it sux that the HP didn't release drivers for Win7. (especially if it's a high end scanner - less so if it's a cheap one)

Greg.

I actually bought the Society a smaller format HP at the same time for higher resolution picture scans (the Epson only does 600dpi) and for negatives, etc. The HP cost slightly less, but was always a total dog. HP could not make a good driver at the time and I'm afraid to try them now from recent multifunction installation horror stories. My original HP Deskjet was quite the printing champ though, and my ancient HP calculator is still working, though all of the newer ones have failed - how the mighty have fallen. Those guys used to literally own the engineering world.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/19/13 02:28 AM

I see that XP is still supported for security updates, and will be up until 18-Apr-2014: http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?ln=en-gb&c2=1173

EDIT: Just saw your most recent reply. Ok. (nothing to add, but thanks for the info)

Greg.
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/19/13 02:31 AM

Originally Posted By: sullivang
I see that XP is still supported for security updates, and will be up until 18-Apr-2014: http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?ln=en-gb&c2=1173

Greg.

Very true, and I'm really sorry if I gave anyone the impression otherwise. But the writing is on the wall and I'm feeling the pressure.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/19/13 02:38 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
I'm starting to really hate proprietary OSes and applications - too much churn on the user side and for what, profit? Don't get me wrong, I'm not an anti-advancement luddite.


I have a very different opinion here. I've been around computers my whole life (edit: well, most of my working life), and I remember the days of extremely expensive mini-computers and mainframes. I am continually AMAZED at how cheap everything has become now, and of course the performance is just mind boggling. I think the home computing & internet revolution has been absolutely fantastic, and we've been absolutely spoilt rotten.

One thing you have to take into account is the price savings when you buy a peripheral for a general purpose PC, as opposed to buying a standalone item that has all the software, keyboard, and screen inbuilt. For example, just imagine how much your FPGA programmers would have cost if they were like that. Look on the bright side as well.

Greg.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/19/13 05:07 AM

Spammers! laugh
Posted by: Pedro_Henrique

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/19/13 05:36 AM

Oh James, you're letting me curious about everything. LOL
But, you're right, you're letting us have a nice surprise. Well, at least, I'm waiting for a really nice surprise. laugh
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/19/13 06:44 AM

I have zoomed in on the Ivory II label and I am able to somehow recognize the word "Approved" in front of the "VPC 1", however there are some words beneath which are more difficult to see. Maybe Kawai something... KawaiGrand?
Posted by: mabraman

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/19/13 06:49 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Pedro, I must confess that I am a big football fan!

My home town is Norwich, and I still follow my 'local' team (nicknamed 'The Canaries', who play in yellow and green incidentally...) every Saturday. wink



However, I also am rather partial to Brazilian music; the percussive rhythms, the smooth sound of the sung Brazilian Portuguese, and of course the energy of Sammba. I love late 60s/early 70s funk&soul music, and stumbled upon the band 'Funk Como Le Gusta' a few years ago. Arguably a little to 'commercial' in places...especially for my fussy tastes, but they have a great tight sound that fuses different styles together. I haven't listened to their music for a little while, so will have to load some of their tunes onto my iPod. wink

Of course, if you have any other Brazilian musical recommendations (funk, soul, or otherwise...), please do let me know!

Cheers,
James
x

WAY OFF TOPIC, SORRY
So you are english and from Norwich!! Funny, my hometown team is fighting with yours about some spanish forward (Aspas) if I'm not wrong.

About brazilian music, that I love: browse Trattore Records, a company which holds many independent producers together. This is the most representative of current brazillian music of any genre. And looking for some soul/funk blended with bossa, samba or whatever root music, you'll find a lot there.
I've made a good spotify list if you'd like.
Names: Alexandre Grooves, The Sapotones, Bojo, Lenine, Osmar Milito, Maniva, Tania Maria...
Brazil is a world in itself. But that's just for music. Football is ours smile
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/19/13 07:30 AM

mabraman, yep I'm from Norwich - pride of Anglia. wink
Your hometown club...Reading? So you're not a Spaniard then?
I just looked up Aspas - plays for Celta Vigo, right? Might be worth a punt.

Thank you for the music recommendations too - wow lots more names to check out, however right now I'm supposed to be planning a Breakestra-style funk/soul mash-up ahead of a band practise tomorrow morning.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: mabraman

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/19/13 07:34 AM

Uuups, then it's Reading and not Norwich who wants Aspas. Sorry. And yes, I'm a spaniard (hard to be proud of, these times). End of my off-topic here.
By the way, that VPC looks terrific!
I want one of those when I'm grown smile
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/19/13 09:39 AM

@Dewster:

WIFI ?? No dongles required. It proofed downward compatible so far (a,b,g,n,...)
Posted by: Pedro_Henrique

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/19/13 10:13 AM

Originally Posted By: mabraman
Brazil is a world in itself. But that's just for music. Football is ours smile


OFF TOPIC... laugh

I disagree... there's a lot of good things on football... really nice ones. And our food is really really nice. Like Japanese too, but prefer Brazilian. laugh Did you came here?
And in music, you have a point... good musicians too. Do you listen to Maria Rita, Elis Regina, Torquato Neto & Zimbo Trio, Guilherme Arantes, Ivan Lins? They're really good too. I really love love love Ivan Lins's music...
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/19/13 08:26 PM

(sorry - more spamming, but...)

Despite the fact that I feel good how home computing has evolved, my eyebrows are definitely in the "raised" position regarding DPs, and I think what Dewster has been saying all along has a lot of substance.

I also am not saying that everything is perfect in home computing either - Microsoft & Apple execs could probably price stuff lower and drive around in Boxters instead of 911's no doubt. ;^) However, I do think things are pretty fantastic nevertheless.

Greg.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/19/13 08:45 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
When will they put Ivory class sounds inside the DP?

This may be the "proving ground." Having seen where Korg (and maybe Yamaha - we'll know this week) is going, Kawai may be testing out new high-end software, prior to building it into future DPs. It presumably takes a lot of effort to produce a stable and well-integrated multi-gigabyte DP, and possibly, at this stage, this was the only way to produce something competitive. It could well be a question of "watch this space."
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/20/13 06:24 AM

High-end controller (in terms of keybed) and the sample set in all its glory ported over to a third party licensed software bundle (Ivory in this case, others did it with Kontakt player). Nice job.

Think this will be where it's going anyway in the future, build in stuff will eventually stay too far behind, be too slow to continuously update and to expensive to develop. I think Korg Kronos and such may even be the last efforts in that all-in-one direction and after perhaps a few more updated models be phased out in favor of the 'separate hardware / software ' approach . If cleverly done of course and there is still a lot of progress to be made in terms of user experience, ease of use and setup, reliability etc. If Kawai brings out a hard- software package as complete solution, they jump ahead and skip the temporary approach some others have chosen with rewritable flash rom.

We'll see...
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/20/13 08:46 AM

Originally Posted By: JFP
Think this will be where it's going anyway in the future, build in stuff will eventually stay too far behind, be too slow to continuously update and to expensive to develop.

Computing costs are way down these days, particularly in the embedded spaced, so that really isn't much of an issue anymore.

There's no practical reason I can think of that keeps Kawai and Ivory from getting together and making a fabulous DP. Plenty of boneheaded management reasons I can think of though.
Posted by: KLSinCT

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/20/13 10:44 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: JFP
Think this will be where it's going anyway in the future, build in stuff will eventually stay too far behind, be too slow to continuously update and to expensive to develop.

Computing costs are way down these days, particularly in the embedded spaced, so that really isn't much of an issue anymore.

There's no practical reason I can think of that keeps Kawai and Ivory from getting together and making a fabulous DP. Plenty of boneheaded management reasons I can think of though.


+1

K.
Posted by: shooby

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/20/13 12:38 PM

I've been waiting for something like this for a long time, having tried all the usual suspects that claim to have a "piano like" action! I tried an MP10 last year and was blown away by it. I was about to order one when I read Kawai James hint in another thread about controllers that we should "wait". So I have been ever since... roll on NAMM I say!
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/20/13 04:11 PM

Originally Posted By: shooby
I tried an MP10 last year and was blown away by it. I was about to order one when I read Kawai James hint in another thread about controllers that we should "wait". So I have been ever since... roll on NAMM I say!


Ooops. Did I say that?
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/21/13 06:00 AM

Now I can see a Pianoteq Icon next to Ivory II on the teaser.

Is it new, then we should see some more to come probably ...

Galaxy? Kawai EX?

What a nice puzzle game we all let ourselves infected with...
Posted by: Acca

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/21/13 06:29 AM

So, how soon before we can get the announcements? Do they tend to do press releases a day before NAMM opens or right on the first morning of the conference? Or do they trickle it throughout the event?
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/21/13 06:42 AM

Temperament, I'm glad you're enjoying the teasers. ;p

But it makes a refreshing change compared to Kawai's usual silence, wouldn't you say?

Acca, the official announcement is planned for NAMM. I'm not entirely sure exactly what time/date this will happen, but I hope to have the website up and running in time for the show opening. Press releases have already been sent out to various different news outlets, although with so many new products being released from a number of companies, there's no guarantee that the information will be selected for coverage.

In the meantime, I set up a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/kawaivpc , and intend to post NAMM-related updates as and when they happen.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/21/13 08:05 AM

Regardless what the precise outcome will be in terms of

1) embedded software (build-in mini PC),
2) included software,
3) included sample sets (Kawai EX?)
4) or merely extended integrated support for the popular software Piano's around

I applaud the direction Kawai is taking with this approach. It is long due and it seems one company finally decided to listen (instead of ignore) the many pleads around for a more modern implementation of the idea of a digital piano. Fixed build-in (tiny) rompler configurations should really become a blast from the past and a more open highly flexible software based approach is sooo much more 2013, be it embedded or in terms of carefully designed software packages and/or third party support. Piano companies can still sell many units of the core of its products where they are the best; good hardware (keys, cabinet, speaker/soundboard system).

Anyway, I'm repeating myself. Just am happy something interesting comes up...
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/21/13 08:41 AM

Yes, Kawai is clearly listening to customers. People have been begging here for a good MIDI controller for years and no one has provided it. Hopefully this will be the answer.
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/21/13 10:06 AM

Hey I registered just to ask a question in this thread laugh

I have a rather silly concern regarding controllers of any kind. The wires.

So my question would be if the controller is "standard" in that regard, i.e it's a controller that is interfaced via midi to a PC running some sort of DAW software or if it is a little bit more clever.

The reason is that I really don't like the mess of wires the traditional setup causes.

You have midi from the controller to the PC. You have two power bricks or power leads, you have to route the sound from the PC back to where the controller is so you need a sound interface or preamp etc.

This usually discourages me from using a controller + module or controller + DAW on PC setup because I'd rather use it all in one board than clutter my living space with all of that wiring.

Can you tell me anything regarding that aspect?
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/21/13 10:36 AM

Hi Nigeth,

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
Can you tell me anything regarding that aspect?


Well, outputting sound from your PC or Mac will always require wires of some kind.
However, I can tell you that connecting the VPC to your computer shouldn't require to many additional cables.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/21/13 10:51 AM

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
You have midi from the controller to the PC. You have two power bricks or power leads, you have to route the sound from the PC back to where the controller is so you need a sound interface or preamp etc.

This usually discourages me from using a controller + module or controller + DAW on PC setup because I'd rather use it all in one board than clutter my living space with all of that wiring.

And decent built-in speakers could keep one from adding yet more wires to the pile on the floor, not to mention figuring out where to put the speakers. The wiring is a huge point of failure as well (why is the left speaker suddenly buzzing?).

But beyond the rat's nest of wires and power bricks, controlling basic things like volume, voice selection, in-line effects, transpose, velocity filtering, etc. is often much simpler with an all-in-one unit. I've already tried the bits and pieces approach in our studio and it didn't work very well, at least for our uses. Many musicians are fairly non-tech savvy, and simply can't cope with a highly complex setup.

The industry may get around to our needs one of these years. It's entirely within the realm of doable and for a reasonable price right now. But don't hold your breath, continental drift moves faster.
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/21/13 11:08 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Hi Nigeth,
However, I can tell you that connecting the VPC to your computer shouldn't require to many additional cables.


That's not exactly the point I was trying to make. That a MIDI connection requires, well, a MIDI connection cable is fairly obvious laugh.

I had hoped for something more though. Going the MIDI controller plus external device route adds a fair amount of clutter and wiring you'd simply not need if you use a single board for that.

You need the midi connection

You need access to your PC to control the setup

You need to route the audio back to where you're playing

You can no longer use the headphone jack since you usually can't route audio back to the device that's the midi controller.

If you route the audio back to the monitors you need a dedicated sound interface/preamp combo because the line outs are usually not powerful/too lo fidelity for that.

You have to buy and lay all of those wires

etc.

There's also the usability aspect since you now have to control most aspects of your sound via PC.

According to the screens the controller is not exactly built for placing equipment on top of it since the top surface is curved.

If it's "just" a great key action in a "pretty box" then it's probably not for me.

I assume that some way down the road the action in the VPC will be available in one of the MP6/MP10 successors then I'd have everything plus the ability to use builtins and reduce clutter.

Thanks for your reply, though.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/21/13 11:23 AM

My wild guess is that there's some flash-memory based VST player (why not a whole PC, hence the play on words VPC) in the VPC. You use the laptop to only upload the corresponding VST to the VPC and make some settings. That's why the VST needs to be "approved for Kawai VPC" - to support panel buttons, program changes, etc without a PC screen and a mouse. This way you have a digital piano with interchangeable sounds. Once you buy the VST (Pianoteq, Ivory, etc.) and upload it to the VPC, you'll have a standalone unit which you only power up and play. That's what "out of the box" means.

I'd bet few beers on this wink
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/21/13 11:33 AM

Now that on the other hand would be exactly what I'd be looking for. So I hope your guess is spot on.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/21/13 11:37 AM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
This way you have a digital piano with interchangeable sounds. Once you buy the VST (Pianoteq, Ivory, etc.) and upload it to the VPC, you'll have a standalone unit which you only power up and play. That's what "out of the box" means.

I'd bet few beers on this wink



Now, that might get me back into the VST game.

The "rats nest" of wires needed presently is very definitely a turnoff.
Posted by: kurtie

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/21/13 11:38 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James

However, I can tell you that connecting the VPC to your computer shouldn't require to many additional cables.


My guess is that only a USB cable is needed to fully use VPC. Computer will generate sound and in many setups it will already be connected to speakers or sound system. Controller will be powered through USB, no need to plug it to a socket wall (anyway, USB devices can be powered though wall sockets using the proper adapter).

I hope it will probably also include MIDI connections for optionally use it through MIDI interface. For a pure MIDI controller, anything else is needed. No need for audio input or outputs.

At least MIDI controllers I had in the past worked this way, but maybe this will be different, besides the action it sports that is the main selling point (at least for me). Just keep it at a reasonable price and you may have a winner in your hands. Not a cup of tea for everybody, but definitely it is for me, if it works as I imagine it.

Regards,
Kurt.-
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/21/13 12:03 PM

That would be great if it were powered by USB so only one cable had to run out of the controller. Using a laptop the whole setup wouldn't require an outlet (if you are using headphones).

I wonder, is it technically possible to run audio over USB from the computer back to the VPC in the same cable and have it come out of speakers built into the VPC? I don't think this is likely in the VPC, but if a controller had an audio interface and speakers built into it, it seems like in principle you could run this whole thing with just a laptop and the keyboard with one USB cable and nothing else.

Most likely the VPC will not have speakers, which makes sense. That would make the question moot. I'm just thinking out loud here.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/21/13 12:06 PM

I was also thinking about an audio interface built into the VPC but then why should you connect your speakers to the VPC instead of to your laptop's audio card? It won't even save you a cable. It'll make sense only if you have speakers in the VPC.
Posted by: kurtie

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/21/13 12:27 PM

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
I wonder, is it technically possible to run audio over USB from the computer back to the VPC in the same cable and have it come out of speakers built into the VPC? I don't think this is likely in the VPC, but if a controller had an audio interface and speakers built into it, it seems like in principle you could run this whole thing with just a laptop and the keyboard with one USB cable and nothing else.


A low latency audio interface integrated into the controller? Mmmm... It makes sense specially for a laptop setup (audio intefaces in laptops aren't usually great). But I think drivers will be needed for using the audio interface (preferably ASIO for Windows... and there are other OSes), and not sure if Kawai has the expertise to develop and maintain the hardware and software needed for that... unless it is an already existing third party audio interface.

I don't know if it is feasible... but the idea is interesting at first look.

On a second look, I think it adds too much complexity (drivers). Without it the VPC is a trouble free plug & play hardware. And if needed, an external USB audio interface can be used anytime.

We'll see soon... smile

Regards,
Kurt.-
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/21/13 01:23 PM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
My wild guess is that there's some flash-memory based VST player (why not a whole PC, hence the play on words VPC) in the VPC. You use the laptop to only upload the corresponding VST to the VPC and make some settings. That's why the VST needs to be "approved for Kawai VPC" - to support panel buttons, program changes, etc without a PC screen and a mouse. This way you have a digital piano with interchangeable sounds. Once you buy the VST (Pianoteq, Ivory, etc.) and upload it to the VPC, you'll have a standalone unit which you only power up and play. That's what "out of the box" means.

I'd bet few beers on this wink

I'd bet a few beers VPC = "Virtual Piano Controller" because it means just that: it's a USB powered MIDI controller with a funky curved top that will get scratched up by the bottom of your laptop skating around and you'll have difficulty setting speakers on and nothing else. The "approved" thing is likely just some kind of pre worked out software driver settings / interface to 3rd part PC software products. Though I would love to be wrong.

Personally, I don't want a PC or an i-anything anywhere near my DP. It has to have fantastic sounds built-in, and it should be able to record & play MIDI files and render them to WAV on a USB thumb drive. Music rest, decent built-in speakers, lightish weight, smallish practical form factor, straightforward UI, and quality 3 pedal unit would be big pluses. Why does the industry find this particular configuration so abhorrent?

It's hard for me not to see the VPC (if it is what I imagine it is) as a throwing-in-the-towel move - they're completely giving up on trying to put recording quality sounds in a DP. If so, it's a bad omen for the short term.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/21/13 01:27 PM

Yes, it should be feasible to put the audio interface in the controller, and use a single USB cable. M-Audio have, or at least had some controllers that had this - I can't see any on their web site any more. Here's the user manual for one though - the M-Audio Ozone

I recall James saying some time ago that the Yamaha Motif(?) also has this.

Greg.
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/21/13 01:33 PM

Quote:
A low latency audio interface integrated into the controller?
It does make sense in many ways for me too, I speculated about such a solution too.
A not integrated external USB audio interface with not only a low latency but high audio quality specification is awailable for 100-200$ - I think USB can easily keep up sound quality wise with high end DPs (my EMU 0404 USB does). An integrated solution would imply production costs of a fraction of that price. And if sound quality is HiFi, there is no much room left for improvement for normal use. If You need more (special surround e.g.), you can go with MIDI and own interface.

Other than selection sound system in general (studio monitor boxes, subwoofer), there are many more aspects and compromises and variability of needs where the decision should be left to customers. (Quality, price, ambient room and apropriate power, subwoofer conf, etc.)

The only things which are on the negative list: the convenience of the all-in-one package with a DP and such special achievements than a soundBoard of a CA95. You cannot have all at once - just as one cannot play violine solo on an acoustic grand as well.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/21/13 01:53 PM

Ah, here's the M-Audio board I was really thinking of - the Pro Keys Sono 88. User manual: http://www.m-audio.com/images/global/manuals/080905_PKS88_UG_EN01.pdf

I haven't looked at the back panel, but given that it only came with one USB cable, I think it's safe to assume that it only needs one USB cable for everything.

Not in production any more though, apparently.

Greg.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/21/13 02:59 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
It's hard for me not to see the VPC (if it is what I imagine it is) as a throwing-in-the-towel move - they're completely giving up on trying to put recording quality sounds in a DP. If so, it's a bad omen for the short term.


I see it differently. There is a genuine demand for a great key action from people who already have sounds they are happy with (ie, software). The key action can therefore be bought more cheaply by the consumer if there isn't a whole load of sounds and the required associated technology stuffed in there too. And the key action only needs to be bought once.

I reckon it is just Kawai responding to what (it hopes) is a suppressed demand out there for such a thing.
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/21/13 03:10 PM

I read James remarks (not too many wires required) as:

- USB2 or 3 (better) connection to your computer for MIDI and (!) audio. The VPC then has balanced , unbalanced high quality outputs to connect to your speaker setup.

- Drives for audio and USB midi are class-complaint, meaning no driver issues / continuous updates required.

If that is the case - I'm happy.

> Build-in audio out from laptops = crap in comparison to a good audio interface and usually only comes with mini-jack connectors.
> Second problem is the ground loop you may get when connecting the computer through USB to your DP (for MIDI) and simultaneously hook up an audio path.

Now it's : place your laptop on your controller, connect USB cable, DONE - off you go...
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/21/13 03:32 PM

I think we can expect class compliance. Built in audio interface and speakers...I still think that's a pipe dream. I may be wrong.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/21/13 03:47 PM

I don't believe it will have speakers. With that in mind, an audio interface is quite unlikely.

Realistically, I believe this will be a regular MIDI controller with some software provided for tweaking the touch curve as is shown on the laptop screen. And that's it. Digital piano manufacturers have clearly shown their strategy of avoiding revolutionary products. They only provide tiny bits of improvement with each new model. And that has been proven to work for the last few decades of digital pianos.
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/21/13 04:24 PM

Well...if you can hook up your laptop with one cable, without ANY additional gear and wiring and go HQ straight out of the DP to your monitor set, that is a great +++. Been on my list for a long time.

I thought a step in that direction would be the ES7 with it's audio input, but at that time didn't realize it didn't provide a real state of the art audio IN and proper volume/balance control. That meant workarounds and (again) extra boxes and wiring. Perhaps the MP10 audio IN , combined with it's balanced outs would have done a better job in that respect, but it may miss the separate volume control for audio in too - I don't know. Not to blame any of these products, but to emphasize that they don't offer a simple and HQ audio integration. BTW I don't care if it doesn't have build-in speakers anymore - I found I use them less and less anyway, having good monitors and good heaphones.

So a high end keybed + BU audio-interface/routing is a nice minimal setup, especially when you can place your computer on top within easy reach. MP6 couldn't do that, ES7 couldn't do that, the MP10 neither, so the VPC is a good concept in that direction. Hope it's got it all (USB audio/midi + audio out integration). If not, it still looks like a great no frills piano-keybed for your virtual instrument setup.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 03:35 AM

Here's my take on the K-VPC. The "approved" icons for Ivory II and for Pianoteq are for the VPC's operating system. Normally, you would have to purchase ILock for Ivory, and the Pianoteq virtual piano has its on operating system. I'm guessing they are giving Kawai permission to use the VPC's onboard software to run these two virual pianos. The software may or may not be included with the board. James stated that this would cost less than an MP10. That leads me to believe virtual piano software is included. Other than the key action mechanism, a controller should not be that expensive to produce. I'm guessing RM3 and the 3 sensor mechanism.

Now here's the question that's a deal maker. Will Nord's library also be available? If that is the case, we move from uploading software from CD's to downloading from the internet directly to Nord boards and the K-VPC. You can see why that would be a game-changer. Unlimited possibilities for future new virtuals. Let's hope that one of those two remaining logos is Nord. I'd opt for Galaxy Vintage D for the fourth. Can't wait for Thusday!!!!
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 03:59 AM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Originally Posted By: dewster
It's hard for me not to see the VPC (if it is what I imagine it is) as a throwing-in-the-towel move - they're completely giving up on trying to put recording quality sounds in a DP. If so, it's a bad omen for the short term.
I see it differently. There is a genuine demand for a great key action from people who already have sounds they are happy with (ie, software). The key action can therefore be bought more cheaply by the consumer if there isn't a whole load of sounds and the required associated technology stuffed in there too. And the key action only needs to be bought once.

I reckon it is just Kawai responding to what (it hopes) is a suppressed demand out there for such a thing.

++1 And I think if it is an (improved, e.g. be able play pp. off the jack) GF, than it would replace the CA13 - which is a more genuine offering then as to get a top notch action in a sub-standard cabinet package (boxes + castrated feature set).
I could buy this (even if the action is the GH-II), and I could bet that the successor of CA95 (or old CA-111) must have all the goodies (but portability) of VPC in cabinet format + the sound board + decent built-in boxes. I could upgrade then if will because I can sell the VPC for its portability and with minimal loss.

By the way, something to the wish list (of customer): better integrated portable slabs (with key cover and stand with monitor support).
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 04:14 AM

I don't know whether I'd want a key cover. In fact, I'm not sure I even want that (beautiful, and authentic) fall-board behind the keys, because when I play octaves up on the black notes, my fingers seem to often go behind the back of the keys. Probably lousy technique I guess.

Greg.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 04:42 AM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Let's hope that one of those two remaining logos is Nord.


I don't think I even dare hope that could be the case. But it's a nice thought!
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 04:49 AM

Temperament, the CA111 was replaced by the CS9.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 04:51 AM

HisKidd, many assumtions. "Approved" is probably nothing more than "Windows XX compliant" label on PCs and Laptops.

These different SW-s should run on HW/SW outside of a DP!
What I could imagine: some very limited light editions of these instrument packages to be able to start with out of the box and to use them as a promo package for demo purposes for a serious upgrade decision.

Compatibility issues with updates (both VSTi and OS) are issues with OS editions and will be delegated to the external computer.

It would be interesting to be able to eliminate the need of iLok due to cooperation, and to see how Nord will be part of the game...
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 04:58 AM

Hi, Greg,

I just hate dust. And the fuss with dust cover draperies.
Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 05:08 AM

God you folks are letting your imaginations run away with you .... It's a 88 key controller keyboard with one of the best actions if not THE best action in the business ... Speakers, audio interfaces, software .... Why complicate it ? I see my NAMM prediction has come true before NAMM has even opened ... As soon as something is announced there is someone bitching about what it isn't instead of what it is ....
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 05:28 AM

Temperament: Of course, if it's well out of the way, no problems - it would be a nice touch. I like to use a large drape that is very quick & easy to pull over the keyboard, but the aesthetics aren't good. (the Kawai MP9000 came with a large sheet of foamy stuff that worked fine)

Greg.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 05:38 AM

Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
As soon as something is announced there is someone bitching about what it isn't instead of what it is ....


Tell me about it...although I'm still p*ssed that the new Casio doesn't have a proper drinks holder.
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 05:43 AM

Yeah, why complicate it? So just put the action into a successor of the MP10 and be done with all of the wires and clutter.

If I understand James correctly this is narrowly targeted to people that want a great piano action in some sort of controller format. Probably because most controller keyboards are compromises so that you can also play synths, organs well.

Most of those people though claim that they want 'the best action' combined with the best sounds/samples available.

I'd rather this was a single device than just the standard controller setup because a controller setup adds to the clutter and detracts from the 'playing experience' the combination of great sounds and great action should offer due to the additional complexities.

So if the action is truly that great I'd probably be tempted to combine it with a Nord Stage 2 instead of a PC because I always wanted a Nord but not with the Fatar action.

The reason many people lean towards a DAW on a PC is because there's usually two lines of products out there.

1. The: 'it has a great action but sub par sounds (or too few sounds) so I cave in and wire it to a PC instead' kind of product

2. The 'this sounds great but the action is quite horrible for piano playing' kind of product.

The MP10 is squarely in category 1 the Nord squarely in 2.

A Nord Stage or heck even a Kronos X with the Kawai MP 10 action (or the even better actions in the digital pianos) would be an amazing instrument.

My hope was that this would be a product that bridges the gap between 1. and 2. but I suppose it doesn't.
Posted by: thomsurf

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 06:10 AM

Third box in the VPC teaser is filled out. Too bad I can't read what it says! Something 'Galaxy' Vintage....
Posted by: Gigantoad

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 06:17 AM

I thought what we really wanted was a real grand action midi controller? But I guess this is better than nothing. cool
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 06:20 AM

They are all sample libraries/DAWs with the focus on faithful reproduction of piano sounds.

The first one is Synthogy with Ivory II
The second one is Pianoteq with I suppose Pianoteq 4
The third is Galaxy Instruments propably with their vintage piano sets (Vintage D for example)

So the fourth is probably a fourth company I suppose something along the lines of imperfect samples.

So it seems like this is just a list of which of the companies offer sample sets that are compatible with/were approved by Kawai for the VPC.

I wonder why they even mention that since it most probably is a midi controller so any sample set should work
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 06:27 AM

"As soon as something is announced there is someone bitching about what it isn't instead of what it is ...."

Uhm, yes ...but as long as it isn't officially out yet and the exact specs remain unknown, a little daydreaming doesn't hurt - does it ? And the way Kawai introduces the VPC by using teasers , calls for speculation.

As I said , if it's 'only' a very good keybed with some extra support for third party software piano's , thats' already a great product! Anything that's added from the wish / daydream list is even better...
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 06:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
As soon as something is announced there is someone bitching about what it isn't instead of what it is ....
Tell me about it...although I'm still p*ssed that the new Casio doesn't have a proper drinks holder.
I was thinking about loud, what I would need and concluded, if a perfect slab had a cover and a stand, there were little need for me personally to go for a cabinet now. (In other words VPC is almost that what I would need.) Or are we restricted here to praise only the special products just announced?
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 06:44 AM

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
I wonder why they even mention that since it most probably is a midi controller so any sample set should work

And any sample set should work with any controller, but to get optimal use the controller should provide all the signals the SW can make use of (MIDI extensions as enhanced velocity resolution? evtl.aftertouch like for PT clavichord? optimised presets as for velocities? three sensor use with repetitions). This could be the real meaning. And that all of it has tested extensively together. And if a sound interface is integrated, all the driver are preset and functioning out of the box.
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 07:00 AM


Now we have Galaxy's "Vintage D" as the third Icon in the teaser!

Note: Not all of the Galaxy instruments (as is the case with the Ivory II collection).

Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 07:04 AM

I give up ..... James please put them out of their misery
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 07:12 AM

I can't feel my misery, if you have meant my last remark, it was nothing negative.

We could expect as a conclusion that these SWs maybe very probably part of the package in a light or promo edition, because if it should mean only that VPC is tested together with the instruments, I can't see why the other Galaxies are not there. They all have the same technology, VPC will function just as well with them.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 07:15 AM

Originally Posted By: Temperament
three sensor use with repetitions).


Good point - I still haven't heard of a DAW that faithfully records the tri-sensor MIDI sequence, but I haven't done an exhaustive search. (and it was a long time ago that I tested it, too) What seems to happen is that the partial-repeats are translated into normal repeats, which probably sounds the same in most situations, but it would still be nice if it recorded it properly. Pianoteq's MIDI recorder works ok, but that's not a DAW - it's just a raw MIDI recorder.

Greg.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 08:07 AM

Originally Posted By: sullivang
Good point - I still haven't heard of a DAW that faithfully records the tri-sensor MIDI sequence, but I haven't done an exhaustive search. (and it was a long time ago that I tested it, too) What seems to happen is that the partial-repeats are translated into normal repeats, which probably sounds the same in most situations, but it would still be nice if it recorded it properly.

I don't understand why it should make any difference. What the third sensor lets you do is send another Note On command on a given note without having to first send a Note Off command, which should be recordable by any MIDI sequencer. It also lets you retrigger a note without lifting your finger as high, but that's strictly a physical issue and wouldn't have an impact on MIDI data.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 08:44 AM

Anotherscott: Theoretically, it could make a difference to how the repetitions sound, because once the repetitions are translated into normal Note-On/Note-Off pairs, that becomes a damped sequence of notes. Partial repeats that make use of the middle(third) sensor are UN-damped, which of course mimicks the behaviour of a real grand piano. E.g, three partial repeats on a tri-sensor action will send the MIDI sequence:
Note-On,Note-On,Note-On,Note-Off,Note-Off,Note-Off.

The two DAWs that I tried translate this to:
Note-On,Note-Off,Note-On,Note-Off,Note-On,Note-Off.

The reason undamped notes could sound different is because a hammer repeatedly striking strings that are already in motion produces subtle timbral changes from note to note.

Aside from any audible change, though, I just don't like the thought of information being lost from the performance, however slight.

Greg.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 08:44 AM

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
Yeah, why complicate it? So just put the action into a successor of the MP10 and be done with all of the wires and clutter.

A. This is cheaper.

B. Apart from Crumar, no one has yet put the quality of the best computer pianos into a DP; or has found a way to do it any more cost effectively than by supplying you with the keyboard and letting you run the software on cheap commodity hardware, which, in fact, you probably already own, making it effectively free.

C. No matter how wonderful Kawai's next piano sound will be, I guarantee someone will like something else better, and will wish they could just buy a Kawai action and use it to trigger the piano sound they really want, without having to pay for the rest of the electronics in the Kawai.

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
If I understand James correctly this is narrowly targeted to people that want a great piano action in some sort of controller format. Probably because most controller keyboards are compromises so that you can also play synths, organs well.

More precisely, because none of the actions piano players really like are available in lower cost versions without sounds built in, sounds that many people find unnecessary if they are connecting their board to a computer anyway. Yamaha makes no weighted controllers. Roland's use their bottom of the line action. Korg makes none. Before this, Kawai made none. Studiologic and Doepfer use Fatar actions that not everyone likes.

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
Most of those people though claim that they want 'the best action' combined with the best sounds/samples available.

I'd rather this was a single device

Separating the two allows everyone to create their ideal combination, but as I said above, there just aren't many piano controller keyboards to choose from, so people often feel they are "wasting money" buying keyboards with sounds they don't intend to use. But while you're correct that people want the best action combined with the best sound, people don't agree about what either of those things are. Even if there was a board that everyone agreed had the ideal action, they would not agree on which was the best sound, so you'd still need a mechanism for selecting the sound separately. Heck, you can walk into a store that sells grand pianos, and people won't agree about which sounds or feels best!

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
So if the action is truly that great I'd probably be tempted to combine it with a Nord Stage 2 instead of a PC because I always wanted a Nord but not with the Fatar action.

An action you like compared with an unweighed NS2 could be a great combo. And would continue to be so even if there were sounds in the Kawai, as there is no guarantee you would like them better than what's in the Nord anyway.

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
The reason many people lean towards a DAW on a PC is because there's usually two lines of products out there.

1. The: 'it has a great action but sub par sounds (or too few sounds) so I cave in and wire it to a PC instead' kind of product

2. The 'this sounds great but the action is quite horrible for piano playing' kind of product.

Or they have not found ANY piano sound in a DP that they like as much as what they can get in a computer. Or they like the flexibility of being able to combine all different kinds of sounds from a variety of manufacturers as they can on a computer. Or they are connecting to a computer anyway, for purposes of recording their work or composition.

Moreover, again, people don't always agree about these things. You could give the SAME piano to two people, and someone could have your first reaction (great action, don't love the sound), or your second (happy with the sound, not thrilled with the action).

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
The MP10 is squarely in category 1 the Nord squarely in 2.

Case in point. I put the MP10 in category 2. I think it's one of the best sounds in a DP, but the action is too heavy/sluggish for my tastes. Similarly, I like the Roland FP-7F action more than I like its sound, and there are others here who admire its sound but aren't so happy with its action.

There are also people who love both the sound and the action of the MP10, and are happy owners today. (And there are still others who love the sound and action, but need something more portable.)

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
A Nord Stage or heck even a Kronos X with the Kawai MP 10 action (or the even better actions in the digital pianos) would be an amazing instrument.

I actually prefer the sound of the MP10 to at least the stock pianos in a Kronos.

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
My hope was that this would be a product that bridges the gap between 1. and 2. but I suppose it doesn't.

What it does is allow you to create your own favorite combination, and pretty cost-effectively. The trade-off is that it's in two pieces. But there is no solution that will not be considered a trade-off by somebody, in one way or another.

What if the VPC has a cubby of some sort, where you can hide and securely lock down the laptop when you're not needing it for initial setup (while providing "clean" cabling, i.e. hidden in the unit, with only the necessary connections to the outside world visible, i.e. AC and audio out). Would that work for you? Who knows, maybe it has such a thing...
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 08:46 AM

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
it most probably is a midi controller so any sample set should work

I was thinking that maybe it could have some kind of iLok mechanism in it, which would be one less nuisance to bother with, and these companies are supporting Kawai's implementation.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 09:05 AM

Very well said Scott!
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 09:10 AM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
My wild guess is that there's some flash-memory based VST player (why not a whole PC, hence the play on words VPC) in the VPC. You use the laptop to only upload the corresponding VST to the VPC and make some settings. That's why the VST needs to be "approved for Kawai VPC" - to support panel buttons, program changes, etc without a PC screen and a mouse. This way you have a digital piano with interchangeable sounds. Once you buy the VST (Pianoteq, Ivory, etc.) and upload it to the VPC, you'll have a standalone unit which you only power up and play. That's what "out of the box" means.

I'd bet few beers on this wink

I'd say it won't be this because it would be too expensive. This is supposed to be cheaper than an MP10. And it really wouldn't make sense to market such a thing as a "controller" which, by its name, implies that it is controlling something external to it. I think they also want to appeal to the market who already own things like Ivory, without having to make it so expensive by essentially duplicating, inside the unit, the computer that they already own which can already run it.

And it would have to be the whole PC, not just a bunch of flash. Even something simple like taking how many velocity layers there are and knowing where to switch them requires code beyond the samples themselves. Just moving Ivory samples into flash won't give you Ivory. (And that would be tons of expensive flash! But let's not get into that whole conversation here. ;-) )

The Crumar is the closest to what you describe... though it is not that cheap (i.e. more than an MP10), and has a Fatar action (albeit supposedly their best one).
Posted by: Gigantoad

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 09:12 AM

It's a pure midi controller for software pianos. Why else would it have a freaking laptop in the picture?

I find some the theories here rather amusing. Why would they put a computer and storage in this thing that will be outdated in a few years, let alone software, and increase the price for nothing as many people already own the software they need?

The mention of specific software pianos can only be an attempt to somehow "certify" this controller as compatible, which will be nothing more than a marketing move as any midi controller out there will be just as compatible. At most I could see some velocity curve presets to optimize the software for use with this controller. That would be somewhat useful at least. I don't think so though. More a case of win-win marketing move for both Kawai and creators of software pianos.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 09:52 AM

Then what makes it playable "out of the box" compared to other controllers?
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 09:54 AM

Originally Posted By: sullivang
three partial repeats on a tri-sensor action will send the MIDI sequence:
Note-On,Note-On,Note-On,Note-Off,Note-Off,Note-Off.

The two DAWs that I tried translate this to:
Note-On,Note-Off,Note-On,Note-Off,Note-On,Note-Off.

Interesting. If the keyboard is not sending a Note Off between the two Note On events, why is the DAW inserting one? It seems to me that the DAW would have to have been coded along the lines of "if you get another Note On without a Note Off, insert a Note Off before executing the second Note On." That would seem to be a very odd thing to do. Maybe they are trying to conserve polyphony? Either that or they're thinking that such a MIDI string must be an error? At any rate, I agree, a DAW should not toss out--or create!--any info, it should record the MIDI stream faithfully.

(And yes, certainly on a real piano, striking an undamped string sounds different than striking a damped string, and I'd expect some digital recreations to emulate that behavior. I wonder if DPBSD tests for that?)
Posted by: kurtie

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 09:56 AM

Originally Posted By: Temperament
...MIDI extensions as enhanced velocity resolution...


Hope it will implement enhanced velocity resolution... the only keyboard I know implements it is the VAX-77. Not having it is not a deal breaker for me, but having more than 128 velocity levels will not hurt for the few software pianos already capable of using the extra resolution (Pianoteq, for instance) and is a nice future-proof feature.

You know... in the eighties we had 640x480 monitors and 128 velocity levels for MIDI. In 2013 we are talking of massive 4K far-beyond-full-HD resolutions, and we still have 128 velocity levels for MIDI... whistle (I know... it is not a fair comparison, but...)

Regards,
Kurt.-
Posted by: jve

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 10:17 AM

Originally Posted By: Gigantoad
The mention of specific software pianos can only be an attempt to somehow "certify" this controller as compatible, which will be nothing more than a marketing move as any midi controller out there will be just as compatible. At most I could see some velocity curve presets to optimize the software for use with this controller.

Looking at the icons at kawaivpc.com, doesn't the small text beside VPC1 say "Approved Touch Curve", or something like that? We'll soon know, just a couple more sleepless nights...
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 10:34 AM

Originally Posted By: kurtie
Hope it will implement enhanced velocity resolution... the only keyboard I know implements it is the VAX-77.

Also, the PX-350. I think the 150 as well. And then, I'd expect, this week's PX-5S.
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 10:34 AM

Oh it is an entirely fair comparison.

There have been countless attempts to improve on MIDI since its inception. It's hard to even call MIDI a 'standard' since it has so many different implementations and the original spec was made by one company.

These attempts have all failed. Not because the new standards were bad or unsuitable, they failed because they never attracted a 'critical mass' of vendors to support them.

This is because MIDI chips are dirt cheap and the MIDI implementations are 'mature', which in the case of MIDI is an euphemism for 'we've worked out most of the incompatibilities between the different implementations and haven't touched the code in a decade anyway'.

MIDI has run its course and is due for a replacement. The fact that there are now a lot of different (and mostly incompatible) extensions makes that entirely obvious.

The most recent attempts to replace MIDI are OSC and HD-MIDI. HD-MIDI is in standard association heck since 2006 and hasn't even produced a spec yet.

OSC is supported by some controller manufacturers and a lot of open source software yet according to the wikipedia article on MIDI it is "poorly suited for use as a whole-studio solution, as to date it lacks widespread support from hardware and mainstream software."

So we're probably stuck with MIDI for another decade and will see a lot of new and incompatible extensions come up.

So kudos for ensuring compatibility between your extensions and mainstream SW vendors. I'd rather see support for a more future proof solution though.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 10:49 AM

James has given some more specific info in a post done elsewhere. This post goes to the functionality of the new VPC:
Quote:
Hello chaps,

I've been following this thread closely with interest, so thought I'd register in order to contribute to the discussion.

To be honest, this is a tricky one. There is a large group of musicians that wish to focus solely on piano playing with a first class keyboard action. However, there is an equally large group of musicians that desire a first class action but also require pitchbend/mod wheels, and then probably a separate group who need knobs and faders etc.

Unfortunately, it's very difficult to please everyone.

As others have stated, there are plenty of 'do everything' controllers out there, but few have a professional-quality keyboard action. Therefore, we decided to produce a controller with the emphasis squarely on the keyboard action, intended primarily for use with virtual piano software. However, because of the VPC's minimal design, there's plenty of space on top for extra MIDI surfaces, or an additional semi-weighted board etc. - the recently announced LaunchKey from Novation being an excellent example.

Well, I hope this helps to clarify our intended direction. If you have any queries about this new board please just let me know.

Cheers,
James


Now the intriguing question becomes, "out of the box?" If the VPC comes with the software for the Ivory II; Pianoteq; Galaxy Vintage D; (and a fourth choice)... then this could be interesting. The screen shot of the computer makes it clear that Kawai has an alternative to DAW, Kontact; etc. The emphasis here is going to be on the piano action, guys. That would be the hook to get the customer to buy. At previos NAMM shows, the Ivory folks have used Kawai boards to demo their new virtual pianos, and the MP8, 10, or MP6 would offer great action and serve as a controller. So we are back to "out of the box." James said earlier that this new board would cost less than an MP10. "Out of the Box," anywhere near that price would suggest to me software for these virtual pianos is included. Now if the fourth icon turns out to be Nord library... things really get interesting. Even if it's not Nord, I'd settle for Kawai's own production (on board) of its EX grand. Intriguing possibilities. We shall all know shortly (unless you want to tell us more, James!)
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 11:01 AM

Originally Posted By: anotherscott
No matter how wonderful Kawai's next piano sound will be, I guarantee someone will like something else better, and will wish they could just buy a Kawai action and use it to trigger the piano sound they really want, without having to pay for the rest of the electronics in the Kawai.

Put Ivory class sounds in Kawai's next DP and I guarantee almost no one will be replacing it with an external sample set & laptop. The external option is just a stopgap until DP manufacturers pick up their sound game.

Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Separating the two allows everyone to create their ideal combination...

My ideal combination is tightly integrated, not a pile of wires and boxes and such.

This isn't about choice so much as making the best of a bad situation. Something like the VPC could help, but it's not a cure to the almost complete lack of integrated good sound. Maybe we need a different product category for DPs with recording quality sound, because the term "Digital Piano" almost never means that.
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 12:03 PM

The first DP I bought and still own is an MP6.

The device has mostly positive reviews and is praised quite a lot among enthusiasts.

According to the buzz it has a good action, which I agree with (although the constant *whoomp* noice the keys make when pressed or released due to the weights is quite annoying) and escapement emulation would have been nice too.

According to the reviews it should also have a 'great sounding acoustic grand' an opinion I heartily and entirely disagree with.

After owning it for a year my impression is: If experienced DP users and reviewers claim that the concert grand in the MP6 sounds 'great' then other DPs must sound truly awful by comparison.

It sounded OK (it was best of the bunch) when I reviewed and played different devices but I grew to dislike the sound over the year.

I mostly use it as a controller keyboard and use sample libraries instead of the built in sounds.

Every time I do that I keep thinking though that a piano with at least the action of the MP6 but with for example the synthogy or imperfect samples (or even the nord) library built in would fit my needs more closely.

I wanted a DP and not a controller for essentially $1200 that needs to be interfaced to a PC or MAC for at least another $1200 in order to have the performance to use sample libraries for another $300 - $600

Or go ALL the way in the other direction and offer the best controller solution for PC-based sample sets but then it would have to be tightly integrated and offer better support than e.g. 128 velocity levels of MIDI. Get the maximum out of both SW and HW.

Supporting an iLok (great direct support for a licensing and DRM device) was not what I had in mind.

But that's enough whinging for now, let's see what they announce.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 12:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
...MP6....

...escapement emulation would have been nice too...



There is an escapement emulation in MP6. It's strange that you haven't noticed it.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 12:27 PM

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
I wanted a DP and not a controller for essentially $1200 that needs to be interfaced to a PC or MAC for at least another $1200 in order to have the performance to use sample libraries for another $300 - $600

If a comparably good self-contained piano cost $2700-$3000 (i.e. same total outlay, but all in one piece), would that make you happy? Of course, you would be potentially duplicating $1200 of the expense, in that you may already own the $1200 computer, but maybe it's worth it for the convenience?

Though again, getting people to agree on which $1200 action is best, or which $300-$600 piano library is best, is also a nebulous endeavor.

(Of course, the fact that you can buy $3000 pianos that don't sound as good as a VST piano is itself part of the issue we're dealing with.)

Personally, I'm not a great fan of the MP6 piano sound OR its action. Great feature set, though.

Short of $2k, I haven't found an action I like better than the Casio PX-150/PX-350. I have recently purchased some software pianos in the $100 range, but haven't tried them yet! But I expect I could put together a pretty cost-effective and lightweight piano rig out of that. I still haven't warmed up to gigging with a computer, though. Plus, I need a lot more than just piano functionality.

Still, I'm curious to feel the action of the VPC. I also haven't had a chance to check out an ES7 yet, and I've wondered if the VPC might use the same action. I guess we'll know soon enough...
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 01:07 PM

Originally Posted By: anotherscott

If a comparably good self-contained piano cost $2700-$3000 (i.e. same total outlay, but all in one piece), would that make you happy?


If it offered both a great action and a great sound set? Probably.

It doesn't even stop at the pieces I mentioned.

I'd need a computer that has enough disc space, bandwidth and processing power to handle the monster > 10 GB sample sets.

I'd need a controller keyboard with a great action (doesn't exist, yet) or a DP with great action but sounds I wouldn't use

I'd need one of the high end sample sets

All in all this will set me back about $3000 or more.

Then I'd still only have the built in sound of the PC which is not good enough to enjoy your 14 GB sample set so I'd need a good external sound interface (firewire or USB 2) and an amplifier or preamp and good monitors.

If I wanted to play with headphones I'd probably also need a good headphone preamp to supply enough juice for my studio headphones.

The whole shebang will set me back probably another $1000.

If you only count the 'offset' price between the PC you need for DAW soft and the PC you probably would buy if all it needed to do was surf the web I've now spent about $3500 on gear and SW.

If a competent manufacturer integrated everything into a single device it could probably offer that significantly cheaper than that which devices like the Kronos are the living proof of.

With my MP6 at least I only need to plug in my headphones and start playing (or I would if I liked the sound)

My frustration is fueled in no small part by the fact the right now there doesn't seem to be such a device.

I could probably spend thrice my $3500 and still end up with a board that handled or sounded worse than keyboard + DAW

But maybe that's just because of the 'nebulous' endeavour you mentioned.

Quote:

(Of course, the fact that you can buy $3000 pianos that don't sound as good as a VST piano is itself part of the issue we're dealing with.)


That would have been my reply if you hadn't already said it.

If I can 'pick and mix' parts that are better for that price a manufacturer should be able to as well and Casio shows that you can offer a good solution for significantly less.

It would also probably make obsolete most of the current DP offerings so it might not be a smart move business-wise.

This gets more and more OT though so I'll just shut up and wait for the official announcement

edit: something I forgot to mention. Even if I bought best in class options for every component I'd still be stuck with MIDI and might at some point run into the technical limits of the MIDI standard that could potentially prevent me from getting everything out of SW and HW
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 01:32 PM

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
If I can 'pick and mix' parts that are better for that price a manufacturer should be able to as well

It's not that straight-foward, in that (as has been discussed before) manufacturers of low-volume specialty items (which are what pianos are, compared to computers) cannot manufacture, distribute, and sell commodity electronic components as cheaply as computer companies can. If you put the exact same electronics that are in your $1000 computer into a musical instrument, it would probably add far more than $1000 to its price. So yes, it can be cheaper for us to mix and match using commodity hardware than it might be for a manufacturer to give it to us all in one.

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
Casio shows that you can offer a good solution for significantly less.

I'm always wary of the "If X and can do it, than someone else should be able to do it" kinds of arguments. Kind of like telling a ball player, hey, if so-and-so can hit 40 home runs, why can't you? The resources/skills/technologies/talents between people and companies are not interchangeable. I don't know why Casio can give you more for your money than most other companies. Maybe it's deep pockets for R&D, maybe they have some good unique (patented?) technologies, maybe they have better economies of scale, maybe they have some particularly clever engineers, who knows. Luckily, they have given us some good choices!
Posted by: kurtie

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 02:21 PM

Originally Posted By: anotherscott

It's not that straight-foward, in that (as has been discussed before) manufacturers of low-volume specialty items (which are what pianos are, compared to computers) cannot manufacture, distribute, and sell commodity electronic components as cheaply as computer companies can.


So true. Specially if custom chips have to be designed. If Intel tomorrow would decide that it is going to develop DPs, in approximately 18 monthes we would have the DP of our dreams. Well, more or less because the first action would probably suck grin . But the chipset would probably blow the rest of DPs: unprecedent storage and processing capabilities.

Of course that is not going to happen. Never. Intel's deep pockets need to sell lots of millions of units or the investment needed is just too big. I don't know DPs figures, but I assume that probably any DP is going to sell even 1 million of units... there is a brand that can sell 1 million of DPs per year? all the brands together? Really don't know.

Another examples on the same line of thought: Wii, PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, around 50 million units sold each. Otherwise they could cost a lot more to produce.

If DPs would be sold by millions, they would cost a lot less of what they cost now.

Regards,
Kurt.-
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 03:10 PM

Still fascinated with trying to figure out what the teasers mean. On the facebook page: facebook.com/kawaivpc, one of the pics reads: "Finally, a virtual piano controller that plays out of the box." The teaser also displays icons for Ivory II, Pianoteq, and Galaxy, Vintage D. Just using common sense here... it can't play "out of the box," unless the virtual pianos are already loaded. I see one wire. I'm guessing the connection from the board to the computer is via usb, and that the reason for the computer is that the four virtuals have agreed to allow Kawai to use its own propriety operating system (that would be the screen shot of the computer), and not ILock, DAWS, or Kontakt. What is the remaining icon? I'm hoping for the Nord library. This board will probably also include either RM3 or GF with the new three sensors per key. Now if you had that action along with these libraries already preloaded in the board, that would be a killer controller. Keeping my fingers crossed until NAAM arrives!
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 03:43 PM

Yes, that was my understanding as well, however the more I think about it, the more I doubt it. With all my respect, it's way too revolutionary to be done by Kawai. And it will be expensive, certainly more than MP10. "Plays out of the box" is just a catch phrase. In a matter of days it will get twisted in a way, like "you get it out of the box, connect it to your computer, Install Ivory 2 (optionally included) and voila - it plays out of the box" laugh
Posted by: Nomadness

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 06:14 PM

Actually, "plays out of the box" means that it will let you perform this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUlniydKvy0

smile
Posted by: TubularBills

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 06:16 PM

And I just ordered the ES7... hope this won't make me regret it.
Posted by: Hideki Matsui

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 06:38 PM

I assumed it was just a play on "think out of the box," but with something lost in translation.
Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 06:46 PM

It's a high end piano CONTROLLER ..... think exactly like a LACHNIT !!!!
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 07:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Hideki Matsui
I assumed it was just a play on "think out of the box," but with something lost in translation.


Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 07:06 PM

Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
It's a high end piano CONTROLLER ..... think exactly like a LACHNIT !!!!

Don't look at us. Wild speculation is only natural due to the dearth of direct info due to the specification striptease due to the approaching NAMM. That, and everyone has been rightly expecting breakthrough DPs for the last decade or so and for whatever reasons they never seem to appear, just the same old warmed over loops from the same old sample sessions.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 07:20 PM

Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Either that or they're thinking that such a MIDI string must be an error? At any rate, I agree, a DAW should not toss out--or create!--any info, it should record the MIDI stream faithfully.


I suspect that's the reason. It's probably got something to do with the fact that the DAW probably converts the MIDI into it's own internal format, and this is the best it can do with such a MIDI sequence. Remember - DAWs allow events to be edited in all kinds of ways, and it would be messy to try to retain this strange sequence. Maybe what's needed is for DAWs to indeed use the Note-On/Note-Off translation, but somehow add a note-specific damper control channel that makes it obvious to the user what is going on. It would be a very busy screen though if there were lots of notes performing partial repeats simultaneously though.

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
Originally Posted By: Nigeth
...MP6....

...escapement emulation would have been nice too...



There is an escapement emulation in MP6. It's strange that you haven't noticed it.


Yes and no. It has the let-off feel of "escapement", but it does not have double-escapement simulation, which requires a tri-sensor action or something that allows un-damped shallow repeats. Folks often confuse the two types of escapement, and Nigeth may have been referring to double-escapement. (?)

Greg.
Posted by: o0Ampy0o

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 08:06 PM

This has been an increasingly interesting thread.

One thing I don't understand is how anyone participating in this discussion could consider Nord sounds as a potential 4th icon. The first three are software pianos for keyboards. None are the sounds of another digital keyboard brand.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 08:30 PM

Indeed, the product is called 'Virtual Piano Controller' for a reason.

Any thoughts on what the fourth icon will represent?

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Nomadness

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 08:34 PM

An in-house software piano product?
Posted by: o0Ampy0o

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 08:39 PM

As Nomadness suggested, the logical one is a Kawai software piano:

Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 09:16 PM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
I'm guessing [Ivory and Pianoteq] are giving Kawai permission to use the VPC's onboard software to run these two virual pianos.

Nah... the VPC wouldn't be able to "run" these things without having a computer inside, which as mentioned earlier, wouldn't seem to make sense based on it its price and on its being called a controller.

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Will Nord's library also be available?

Nord's samples are designed to run in their own proprietary environment. And I expect that Nord would be about as enthusiastic about making their piano samples available to a competitor like Kawai as Kawai would be about selling their actions to Nord. ;-)

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
So it seems like this is just a list of which of the companies offer sample sets that are compatible with/were approved by Kawai for the VPC.

I wonder why they even mention that since it most probably is a midi controller so any sample set should work


Originally Posted By: HisKidd
If the VPC comes with the software for the Ivory II; Pianoteq; Galaxy Vintage D; (and a fourth choice)... then this could be interesting.

Now HERE I think we could be on to something... I'm going to guess that Kawai has made arrangements with the makers of Ivory, Pianoteq, Galaxy, and a fourth software maker to include their products in the box, i.e. free with the purchase of the VPC. You still need your own computer, but the VPC purchase will give you everything else you need, including, say, their own simple-to-install host software that will spare new users the complication of figuring out how to get multiple piano libraries working on their PC and optimizing various settings. And it could handle the protection so that a separate ilok will not be required (though that might mean that the piano libraries will not run unless connected to the VPC).

It may not be as ideal as having these sounds "built into" the piano as so many here want, but if they give you a great action and a simple, reliable, cost effective way to drive a variety of the most popular soft pianos, I think this would be a very appealing product.

James, if I'm right, what do I win? I'll be glad to give you an address to send my VPC. ;-)
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 09:21 PM

And if they're included, that would mean those virtual pianos would finally be available in stores! Imagine that.

Greg.
Posted by: Nomadness

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 10:16 PM

Originally Posted By: anotherscott
James, if I'm right, what do I win? I'll be glad to give you an address to send my VPC. ;-)

I'll send my address too, if I nailed it in the fourth icon sweepstakes... whistle

Seriously, I'm liking the looks of this more and more. Will be on the edge of my seat awaiting pricing and other details.
Posted by: Stevesie

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 10:19 PM

A decent built in ASIO interface would be cool, too.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 10:23 PM

Careful, or Dr Popper's head will...um...pop. ;^)

Greg.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 11:33 PM

O.K... Let's get specific on the last icon, James. I've already mentioned this in my earlier thread as a possibility; and I'm guessing the 4th icon will be Kawai's own sampling of it's EX grand, and possibly one or two other Kawai samples (similar to Ivory II). Whether the software comes in the box for the other three, or it's already installed makes no matter. The point is; once loaded, You would have an incredible controller - especially if it has either RM3 or GF with 3 sensor per key action. We also discussed speakers earllier. From the picture of the computer on top of the board, it appears there are also onboard speakers. I think these specifics would make for a great seller (with the action being the big appeal). Ding, ding, winner, James?
Posted by: Tony Maggio

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/22/13 11:59 PM

What if the 4th icon is an electric piano library?
Posted by: o0Ampy0o

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/23/13 12:01 AM

And if the 4th icon is AcousticSamples Kawai Pro software I win because by game show standards I did not talk all around it and named the specific product that, meeting the criteria of the previous three, actually exists as an independent piano software plug-in and is not some hypothetical sampling made by Kawai (i.e. "in-house" "a fourth software maker" or "Kawai's own") for the VPC.

............. smile smile smile smile smile.............

Posted by: o0Ampy0o

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/23/13 12:06 AM

If anyone has previously suggested AcousticSamples Kawai Pro and not specified it would be "the 4th" icon I trump them too. smile
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/23/13 01:21 AM

Hmmm...not sure our marketing budget would stretch to prizes, however I'm hoping to have a batch of miniature VPC1 keyrings made. wink
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/23/13 01:46 AM

Here's my answer for the 4th icon and VPC1 keyring competition:

Alicia's Keys wink
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/23/13 08:41 AM

James...
It's 8:30 a.m. here in the U.S. on Wednesday before NAAM begins. Perhaps you've not filled in that 4th icon because it represents Kawai's own virtual piano or piano set; info that would not be revealed until tomorrow. Stands to reason since Kawai does not sample other piano brands in its own DP's. A Kawai Virtual Piano or pianos in the box would be a great product to include with this new controller, and it would also make a great stand-alone seller. Why would Kawai approve some other manufactuer's virtual piano sample of their own piano (such as Acoustic Samples EX Pro), when they could do it better themselves? Can't wait to find answers to this mystery. Key-chain or no key-chain; I'm betting the action on this new board will set it apart from every other controller. That and great virtual piano software will make this a much desired product!
Posted by: theJourney

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/23/13 11:12 AM

OT?

Irrelevant to the upcoming announcement perhaps, but it still makes you think: how impossibly cheap could on an onboard computer capable of running e.g. Pianoteq actually become for a DP manufacturer now and in the future...


http://www.itworld.com/hardware/337460/10-weird-and-wonderful-raspberry-pi-hacks
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/23/13 11:22 AM

I've decided to build a small home theater PC at home to use it with my TV two weeks ago. I've used an existing HDD, so I bought a miniITX case with Foxconn motherboard, Intel Celeron dual core CPU and 4GB of DDR3 RAM. All for a total of 170 Euro. And that is a big retail store which is famous for higher prices. If I have gone to a garage type reseller, I could have paid probably about 120 Euro. I've already tested it with Pianoteq and Vintage D - it works flawlessly.

Now, imagine this being used by a big manufacturer such as Kawai, etc. They don't need a computer case, they'll put some small SSD drive and they can negotiate huge quantities for some ridiculous prices. We're talking here about 100 Euro or even less. Put some Linux on top and with almost no hassle you'll have ready for playing Ivory II, Vintage D, Pianoteq, etc. What they need to do is integrate it into their controller.

So, why aren't they doing it?
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/23/13 03:43 PM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
So, why aren't they doing it?

A better DP computing platform IMO would be ARM or MIPS with SDHC card and Linux (like the Raspberry Pi TheJourney was pointing to above but you might need a bit more processing power). Intel/AMD solutions are expensive, complex, require chipset support, are too tied to PC hardware, and Windows has too much overhead and isn't an RTOS, so you need a ton more resource to satisfy a real time dependent application like sample playback. Get a Chinese manufacturer to make the board for ~$50.

Why don't we see this? It is a mystery, but the technology is perhaps too new for their old engineers to embrace. I suppose we need to give them a few more years. Meanwhile, keep rolling your own high end DPs at home while the product vacuum exists, the VPC may help in this regard.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/23/13 04:03 PM

Dewster: kickstarter.com ? ;^)

Greg.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/23/13 04:07 PM

Everyone can do the electronics and the embedded PC. And even though PC with Windows is not RTOS, I can still assemble one where it will boot and play for years without a problem wink Only the thought it uses Windows will bother people laugh Believe it or not ATM-machines in Bulgaria run Windows XP laugh

The real problem is key action. Nobody does it right except Kawai, Roland and Yamaha, that's why they do whatever they want to do. Nord obviously got it right with sample uploading but they don't have good actions.

So, let's kickstart the action-thing, not the computer stuff smile
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/23/13 04:44 PM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
The real problem is key action. Nobody does it right except Kawai, Roland and Yamaha, that's why they do whatever they want to do.
I have sold now my CA51 and as a provisorium I have got an old Kurzweil with a Fatar keybed from a friend. This is a weighted one is not very good but still gives a very enjoyable experience to play. You can buy such a MIDI controller complete for around 400 EUR - this particular old one is even with aftertouch! (Not polyphonic). Production costs (with case) must be around or below 50% of it, perhaps some 200.

While not the best, I cannot see why a keybed with a better design should cost a multiple of that to manufacture - except perahps real wooden keys, I cannot judge, how much wood cost. But good actions exist without wooden keys...
Now Fatar belongs to Kurzweil...
Posted by: abitconfused

Ecosystem pricing model? - 01/23/13 05:10 PM

Have you ever bought an ebook from Amazon? It might cost you almost as much as a 'real' book which is a bit strange when you consider the difference in production costs, but it works on that nice Kindle Ebook reader so you can carry it and several hundred similar books around with you easily to read almost anywhere anytime

But who owns it? Not you... you can't (legally) lend or give it to a friend, you can't resell it and you can't leave it to your children when you die - it certainly isn't your asset or your property: you just have a lifetime lease on being able to access it (or as long as Amazon stay in business or don't cancel your access to their site because of a 'contract violation' on your part)

When your Kindle's non-replaceble battery dies, or you drop and break that fragile E-ink screen what do you buy to replace it? Well, as you have spent several hundred dollars on Ebooks which are in Kindle format the choice is pretty much limited to another Kindle, and so you continue buying more books in that format to use on the new Kindle and therefore become ever more invested in that system. You don't even have the possibility to sell the Kindle with the books you bought loaded as the first system reset will remove all the books and the new user will not be able to recover them (legally) unless they download them again. Therefore if you want to get a Nook instead then you basically need to throw away all those hundreds/thousands of dollars you spent on Amazon books and start again - realistic?

Got an iPhone or an Android phone? Bought any apps for it? When it comes time to replace these with a new phone does the level of liking for the 'other' system or disliking of 'your' system outweigh the cost of junking the apps you bought as they won't work on the other system. If it doesn't then the result is that you carry on buying new phones and applications from the same ecosystem and the lock-in continues - and maybe even buy 'download' or 'app store' gift vouchers as presents to lock friends or other members of your family further into their phone ecosystems

In the world of cameras Sony have just introduced the concept of 'apps' into their latest models whereby the cameras are sold with basic functionality which you can extend by 'buying' new firmware functions. These new functions will transfer to new Sony camera bodies but not to any other brand, and again are not transferable or re-sellable to another user so you can't recover your investment if you want to change brands/systems

Is this new Kawai concept also going to follow the 'Ecosystem' pricing model whereby you buy those piano tones and that funky rhodes sound/sounds you want piecemeal and then find that your only option is to either lose that investment or buy another Kawai piano when the time comes to replace the piano?

Time will tell...
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Ecosystem pricing model? - 01/23/13 05:16 PM

Speaking of Sony - I emailed them a few years ago, asking them to make digital pianos. I expect the first products to start appearing any day now. laugh

Greg.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Ecosystem pricing model? - 01/23/13 05:18 PM

OK, then I'll email Samsung for some healthy competition laugh
Posted by: o0Ampy0o

Re: Ecosystem pricing model? - 01/23/13 05:33 PM

Originally Posted By: abitconfused
...Is this new Kawai concept also going to follow the 'Ecosystem' pricing model whereby you buy those piano tones and that funky rhodes sound/sounds you want piecemeal and then find that your only option is to either lose that investment or buy another Kawai piano when the time comes to replace the piano?

Time will tell...

A MIDI controller is not a new concept. We don't know yet how the affiliation with the 4 products is knitted together but the board is still a MIDI controller that plays a lot of things outside of the packaged deal. Aliens might land and eat us all too. I would worry about that before not being able to use the VPC more than a couple years before it joins the ranks of the VCR.
Posted by: abitconfused

Re: Ecosystem pricing model? - 01/23/13 05:40 PM

A bookshelf isn't a new concept either, but although a Kindle similarly stores books, it is something different where the storage and the product are integrated and inseperable

It might be that this new Kawai product is something more than just a MIDI controller

Incidentally, I'm not worrying about anything, and may even buy one of these new keyboards myself (as I did with the Sony camera mentioned in my first post - and I also own, and like very much, a Kindle), but I if I do buy one then I want to do so with my eyes open: I guess many people who bought Kindles/iPhones/Android phones still haven't clocked how the pricing model really works on those items
Posted by: Hideki Matsui

Re: Ecosystem pricing model? - 01/23/13 05:56 PM

Originally Posted By: abitconfused
I guess many people who bought Kindles/iPhones/Android phones still haven't clocked how the pricing model really works on those items


Or we have stuck with one brand like Apple and have been able to transfer our purchases with each generation of product we buy. I have 5 Apple devices in the house and since they are all under the same account I also don't have to buy multiple copies of Apps. I pay for one App and all the devices can use it.
Posted by: abitconfused

Re: Ecosystem pricing model? - 01/23/13 06:05 PM

But you bought those 5 Apple devices and you will continue to replace them with more Apple devices in the future because of your investment in the Apple Ecosystem Apps you have bought... QED
Posted by: dewster

Re: Ecosystem pricing model? - 01/23/13 06:08 PM

Originally Posted By: o0Ampy0o
I would worry about that before not being able to use the VPC more than a couple years before it joins the ranks of the VCR.

I have a ~20 year old VCR that still works pretty good. If it had to be hooked up to a 286 to adjust some vital feature it would have hit the scrap bin / landfill long ago.

A really nice controller could easily last that long, and Kawai / MS / Apple / USB might not even exist at that point. So thanks, but no thanks, not until we get a computing platform and interfaces that have a bit more staying power. Until then I'll do my best to avoid buying anything that doesn't have all parameters adjustable via the front panel.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Ecosystem pricing model? - 01/23/13 06:08 PM

Aren't the books you buy on a Kindle equally downloadable into the Kindle app on an iPad?
Posted by: abitconfused

Re: Ecosystem pricing model? - 01/23/13 06:16 PM

Yes, but the App is still the property of, and therefore under the control of Amazon

We could also start talking about Calibre and all the other cross platform format conversion apps, but my post wasn't about Kindles, iPhones, Android Phones etc... it was about illustrating a relatively new marketing model which consumer electronics and content providers are adopting to establish 'locked-in' relationships with their customers

I have no idea if this new Kawai product follows that model and I am not 'dissing' the product in any way as it seems very exciting... I'm just wondering if it is indicative of Kawai being the first manufacturer to try to bring this particular type of marketing model to the home musical instrument market
Posted by: Hideki Matsui

Re: Ecosystem pricing model? - 01/23/13 08:28 PM

Originally Posted By: abitconfused
But you bought those 5 Apple devices and you will continue to replace them with more Apple devices in the future because of your investment in the Apple Ecosystem Apps you have bought... QED


Yes. I'm trapped. I don't deny that.
Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: Ecosystem pricing model? - 01/23/13 08:52 PM

Originally Posted By: abitconfused
Have you ever bought an ebook from Amazon? It might cost you almost as much as a 'real' book which is a bit strange when you consider the difference in production costs, but it works on that nice Kindle Ebook reader so you can carry it and several hundred similar books around with you easily to read almost anywhere anytime

But who owns it? Not you... you can't (legally) lend or give it to a friend, you can't resell it and you can't leave it to your children when you die - it certainly isn't your asset or your property: you just have a lifetime lease on being able to access it (or as long as Amazon stay in business or don't cancel your access to their site because of a 'contract violation' on your part)

When your Kindle's non-replaceble battery dies, or you drop and break that fragile E-ink screen what do you buy to replace it? Well, as you have spent several hundred dollars on Ebooks which are in Kindle format the choice is pretty much limited to another Kindle, and so you continue buying more books in that format to use on the new Kindle and therefore become ever more invested in that system. You don't even have the possibility to sell the Kindle with the books you bought loaded as the first system reset will remove all the books and the new user will not be able to recover them (legally) unless they download them again. Therefore if you want to get a Nook instead then you basically need to throw away all those hundreds/thousands of dollars you spent on Amazon books and start again - realistic?

Got an iPhone or an Android phone? Bought any apps for it? When it comes time to replace these with a new phone does the level of liking for the 'other' system or disliking of 'your' system outweigh the cost of junking the apps you bought as they won't work on the other system. If it doesn't then the result is that you carry on buying new phones and applications from the same ecosystem and the lock-in continues - and maybe even buy 'download' or 'app store' gift vouchers as presents to lock friends or other members of your family further into their phone ecosystems

In the world of cameras Sony have just introduced the concept of 'apps' into their latest models whereby the cameras are sold with basic functionality which you can extend by 'buying' new firmware functions. These new functions will transfer to new Sony camera bodies but not to any other brand, and again are not transferable or re-sellable to another user so you can't recover your investment if you want to change brands/systems

Is this new Kawai concept also going to follow the 'Ecosystem' pricing model whereby you buy those piano tones and that funky rhodes sound/sounds you want piecemeal and then find that your only option is to either lose that investment or buy another Kawai piano when the time comes to replace the piano?

Time will tell...


I got one of the first Kindles to come out and have a substantial Amazon e-library, but I almost NEVER use a *Kindle* device to access my library. Kindle apps are available for free for iPads, other tablets, Macs, PCs, and smartphones.
Posted by: o0Ampy0o

Re: Ecosystem pricing model? - 01/23/13 11:45 PM

Originally Posted By: abitconfused
A bookshelf isn't a new concept either, but although a Kindle similarly stores books, it is something different where the storage and the product are integrated and inseperable

It might be that this new Kawai product is something more than just a MIDI controller


"It might be that this new Kawai product is something more than just a MIDI controller"

Where is any evidence that this is a reality? Its full description has not been released as of this time. Why worry about something you are only imagining might be?

I have not seen anything in the VPC suggesting we are going to be chained to a Cloud account that streams the piano samples to the VPC.

What is so different about the VPC that you actually see and are not imagining?

Many digital keyboards can use software sounds. This one is not exclusively locked into any one of them. If it catches on it might even spark more software options. There is a degree of security (peace of mind) in the software as it comes from a variety of sources rather than one which could fail and disappear.

Really the only thing significantly different is focusing on premium action in a MIDI controller.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 06:20 AM

Guys, I don't want to be mean, but it seems I am the only one who qualifies for a keyring laugh

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
Here's my answer for the 4th icon and VPC1 keyring competition:

Alicia's Keys wink


Check out the latest update and the 4th icon.
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 06:20 AM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
Here's my answer for the 4th icon and VPC1 keyring competition:

Alicia's Keys wink


Congratulations, you win (no seriously they updated the picture with the fourth element and it's indeed Alicia's keys).

Synthogy Ivory II, Pianoteq 4, Galaxy D, Alicia's keys

one of those things is not like the others...
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 06:20 AM

Damn only seconds too slow wink
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 06:21 AM

:P
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 06:25 AM

I don't see much love around here for Alicia's Keys.
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 06:29 AM

My first thought was 'Alicia's Keys, really?'

After a little bit of elaboration though it definitely makes sense.

For one getting Native Instruments to be on board with the VPC seemed like a smart thing to do.

Secondly though, the previous three are all about the best replication of an acoustic either by means of sampling or modeling. You'd want at least one set though thats great in a band context and has 'the punch' to compete against the other instruments live on stage.

While it might not be the best sample set out there it does seem to be the only one that's optimized for stage performance. At least that's what the reviews seem to agree on.

This pushes the VPC from being solely for home or studio duties or 'enthusiasts' to a viable stage presence 'out of the box'.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 06:30 AM

Well, yes and not. My answer was entirely statistical. I've seen icons are following the natural order of most preferred software pianos: Ivory, Pianoteq, Vintage D... and I think Alicia's keys sits next to them.
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 06:40 AM

Has NAMM already started ?! Just to put all speculation out of its misery. Is there an official Kawai press event scheduled , if so...when ?
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 06:40 AM


I thought it must have been an informed guess, so outlandish it sounded to me at first.
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 07:31 AM

I'm a bit confused about what exactly this product is.

On this page it says:

"We found the Kawaivpc.com website where Kawai announce a true piano that will be able to control virtual pianos on your computer."

"... Kawai has partenered with the virtual instruments editor Pianoteq, Synthogy and Galaxy Instruments to announce a true and full piano able to control virtual instrument through a USB connection."

Well, lots of us already have pianos/keyboards that control Pianoteq, Synthogy, and Galaxy pianos through a USB (or MIDI) connection.

So, what exactly does this new Kawai instrument do differently?
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 08:15 AM

By the way, there's one more reason why Alicia's Keys is among the other three pianos. These are probably the only four software pianos which support half-pedalling, string resonance, damper resonance, repedalling (not sure about Alicia's keys though) and other mandatory pianistic features.
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 08:41 AM

I think AK is in there to provide a pop-music piano, a very different sound from the other, classically-oriented pianos in the list.
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 08:51 AM

I agree.

I've read a lot of reviews about sample sets and virtual instruments while deciding on which package to buy.

Most reviews of AK mention that the pianos don't sound very great at first when played in a studio context but most mention that the piano sound really shines on stage.

It's also the only true pop piano of the bunch.
Posted by: TubularBills

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 08:54 AM

Does anyone know when this is going to hit the market ? Anytime soon in Europe ?

Thanks
Posted by: Kos

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 09:18 AM

Originally Posted By: TubularBills
Does anyone know when this is going to hit the market ? Anytime soon in Europe ?

I guess we'll know in a couple of days.
Posted by: thomsurf

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 09:27 AM

Last teaser box filled in : Alicia's Keys!!!
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 09:29 AM

Originally Posted By: Kos
Originally Posted By: TubularBills
Does anyone know when this is going to hit the market ? Anytime soon in Europe ?

I guess we'll know in a couple of days.

More likely, hours!
Posted by: o0Ampy0o

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 10:31 AM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
Here's my answer for the 4th icon and VPC1 keyring competition:

Alicia's Keys wink

I thought this was a joke tying in the keyring.

Congrats!
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 10:51 AM

No pun was intended laugh
Posted by: Qbert

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 01:15 PM

.... so, how is it? How much?!
Posted by: Kos

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 01:21 PM

Originally Posted By: Qbert
.... so, how is it? How much?!

Patience, my young padawan, patience... smile
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 02:08 PM

http://www.kraftmusic.com/kawai-vpc1-virtual-piano-controller.html

$1849, using RM3 Grand II. Weight.... 65lbs!!!

Ships with "approved touch curves" for the mentioned software products, but not with the sounds or software.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 02:10 PM

Well spotted vox
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 02:15 PM

To be honest, I expected a little bit more. I really hope the touch curves have been prepared by real pianists and not by Kawai engineers. Judging by the fact CA63 and MP6 need to be in "heavy touch" position in order to behave realistically, I'll take Kawai's understanding of "approved touch curves" with a pinch of doubt.
Posted by: kapelli

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 02:18 PM

Better version of an old action in the price of CN 24/34 level without speakers and stand... That's my view
I think this is not what we expected...
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 02:24 PM

Huge buildup... Big letdown?

To be honest, I'd prefer the MP10, and just make my own velocity-curve adjustments.

And talking of curves... Watch that laptop shimmy, shake and shatter!

Does look pleasing, though, and maybe some people only need a nice action and a USB connector.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 02:46 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
Huge buildup... Big letdown?

To be honest, I'd prefer the MP10, and just make my own velocity-curve adjustments.


A lot of to do about nothing. This is a midi controller with a high price. Thanks but I'll use my MP6 which does just fine, weighs much less, looks sexy, and has great action. Geez...they could have at least fitted it with the GF action. The MP10 has RM3 already! I want be paying that kind of money for a shiny box! Come to think of it, even the MP-10 weighs less than this board! What a disappointment! I suppose if I were a studio musician shopping for a great action board, I'd spring for this. Assuming I did not already own a Kawai board that worked just fine as a VPC thank you!
Posted by: Providence

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 02:52 PM

Why would you prefer the MP10 as a midi controller if this is 680 euros cheaper and offers a premium piano action? Or do you prefer to have built in piano sounds?
Posted by: Providence

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 02:55 PM

Does this not have a superior action than the MP6 but and cost the same roughly. I dont get it...I am definitely buying this
Posted by: Pedro_Henrique

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 02:55 PM

I think we should wait the 'MP11'... it may possible that the sucessor of the MP10 have the GF... and then, yes, it would be a good one for the price... RM3 for 1849? Sorry, but, no. If it cost in the range of 1000-1300 tops, yes, it would be a nice choice because of it's action, but more than 1300 is no worth. Really.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 03:00 PM

Originally Posted By: Providence
Why would you prefer the MP10 as a midi controller if this is 680 euros cheaper and offers a premium piano action? Or do you prefer to have built in piano sounds?


Yes, I prefer to have access to built-ins as well as the option to add VSTs.

Is there much difference between the MP10's action and this one?
Posted by: Kos

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 03:01 PM

Yeah, that's a letdown alright. RM3? Come on...
And 1850 dollars? 300 more buys you CA13 with the same RM3 keyboard, rock solid stand, and some internal voices in case your computer breakes down.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 03:06 PM

3 pedal unit is good idea.

What is difference between RM3 Grand and RM3 Grand II?
Posted by: FredrikJ

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 03:06 PM

Originally Posted By: Kos
Yeah, that's a letdown alright. RM3? Come on...
And 1850 dollars? 300 more buys you CA13 with the same RM3 keyboard, rock solid stand, and some internal voices in case your computer breakes down.


Still a different action than CA13? This is RM3 II with a third sensor, if I've understood correctly. Otherwise I agree, although I would not be the target group for this one anyway (looking for a console).
Posted by: KLSinCT

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 03:11 PM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
3 pedal unit is good idea.

What is difference between RM3 Grand and RM3 Grand II?



The addition of triple sensors for the new version...

K.
Posted by: Providence

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 03:12 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
Originally Posted By: Providence
Why would you prefer the MP10 as a midi controller if this is 680 euros cheaper and offers a premium piano action? Or do you prefer to have built in piano sounds?


Yes, I prefer to have access to built-ins as well as the option to add VSTs.

Is there much difference between the MP10's action and this one?

The MP10 has an "RM3 Grand action with let off". The VPC has RM3 Grand 2 wooden key action which I am assuming is at least on par if not superior to that of the MP10 (I am open to correction here). Previously, if I wanted to have a slab style dp to control VST instruments with the RM3 action I would have had to have shelled out 2080 in Europe (Thomann price) for the MP10. Now I can have it for around 1,400 euros without the bells and whistles of the MP10. Is this not what people h ave been screaming for?
Posted by: Aeons Holle

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 03:12 PM

Well, I don't know what the VPC will cost in Europe yet, so it's difficult for me to judge the pricing.
But I sure do feel better about my recent CA95 purchase now. Even if the VPC had been out back then, I suppose I would have wanted to go for the GF action anyways.
Posted by: Kos

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 03:15 PM

Missed the triple-sensor part in the description, sorry.
Still, the price is kinda high...
Posted by: Providence

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 03:15 PM

I am calculating the euro price from the dollar price using the current exchange rate but on second thoughts this might not make sense
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 03:18 PM

Originally Posted By: Providence
Why would you prefer the MP10 as a midi controller if this is 680 euros cheaper and offers a premium piano action? Or do you prefer to have built in piano sounds?


Providence my point about the MP10 was about its weight when compared to the new VPC. I'll be using my MP6 which did cost considerably less, does have additional piano sounds, gets rave reviews about its action (RH1 with letoff), and will sound great with any of these software programs. Actually the MP10 weighs in at 70 pounds, so weight wise the new VPC and the MP10 would be comparable (both have the same action - RM3 Grand with let off). If all I ever intended to play was virtual pianos, and I planned to keep the board in my studio, then yes, I would buy it. It looks lovely. I love Kawai products, because of the keyboard action. If you already owned a Kawai digital with great action, that worked just fine as a midi-controller, would you buy the VPC?
I had hoped that at least at $1,900 dollars for a board that's not a digital piano and has no onboard speakers, the VPC would at least include software.
The total for these four VST's is roughly $900.00. I would guess that for $1100 they could have produced a board with good action; after all; you can buy the MP6 wholesale for $1200. I already have the best of both worlds, a great DP, and a great VPC for $700.00 less than the new VPC. smile
Posted by: KLSinCT

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 03:20 PM

Originally Posted By: Kos
Yeah, that's a letdown alright. RM3? Come on...
And 1850 dollars? 300 more buys you CA13 with the same RM3 keyboard, rock solid stand, and some internal voices in case your computer breakes down.


I hear you, Kos! I was really hoping for the GF action in this package, but alas frown ....perhaps the successor to the MP10 (if it ever comes to fruition) will have the new GF action. Needless to say, I won't be parting with my Roland FP-7F anytime soon!

K.
Posted by: Hookxs

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 03:20 PM

And I almost sold my newly bought CA95. Approved touch curve? That's just plain funny:-)
Posted by: thercman

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 03:27 PM

I think that is filling a much needed niche. RM3-II action in a controller! That's sweet for home/studio use IMO.
Posted by: floydthebarber71

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 03:29 PM

Ah, hype and expectation always come back to bite you.

I haven't been following any of the hype and just took a look at the link above. I think it looks great. I'd certainly be interested... reading around and it seems velocity curves are a bit of a black art, keen to hear how this performs.

Price tag does seem high considering you need to already have your own vst/laptop/speakers setup..

Cool concept, and always impressed more and more with the way Kawai seem to be pushing tech compared to competitors.
Posted by: Providence

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 03:31 PM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Originally Posted By: Providence
Why would you prefer the MP10 as a midi controller if this is 680 euros cheaper and offers a premium piano action? Or do you prefer to have built in piano sounds?


Providence my point about the MP10 was about its weight when compared to the new VPC. I'll be using my MP6 which did cost considerably less, does have additional piano sounds, gets rave reviews about its action (RH1 with letoff), and will sound great with any of these software programs. Actually the MP10 weighs in at 70 pounds, so weight wise the new VPC and the MP10 would be comparable (both have the same action - RM3 Grand with let off). If all I ever intended to play was virtual pianos, and I planned to keep the board in my studio, then yes, I would buy it. It looks lovely. I love Kawai products, because of the keyboard action. If you already owned a Kawai digital with great action, that worked just fine as a midi-controller, would you buy the VPC?
I had hoped that at least at $1,900 dollars for a board that's not a digital piano and has no onboard speakers, the VPC would at least include software.
The total for these four VST's is roughly $900.00. I would guess that for $1100 they could have produced a board with good action; after all; you can buy the MP6 wholesale for $1200. I already have the best of both worlds, a great DP, and a great VPC for $700.00 less than the new VPC. smile

Hi HisKidd,
You are approaching this from the angle of someone who already owns a DP with a premium kawai action (MP6). Think of all of those who are looking for a board purely to control VST instruments but could not justify paying the premium for the extra bells and whistles the MP10 had. Have prayers not been answered?
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 03:42 PM

Dollar prices are always without VAT/sales tax!

Euro prices always include VAT/sales tax of the respective country.

$1850 might be Eur 1400 but this doesn't include tax. Including tax (I used 19%) the suggested retail price is Eur 1650 maybe higher if the EU has import taxes/duties on musical instruments.

The MSRP of the MP10 is Eur 2350 in the EU. So the VPC is about Eur 700 less for the same slightly improved action but nothing else.

You might get this for street price of Eur 1400, which makes it somewhat of a bargain if your looking for exactly that.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 03:44 PM

Quote:

Hi HisKidd,
You are approaching this from the angle of someone who already owns a DP with a premium kawai action (MP6). Think of all of those who are looking for a board purely to control VST instruments but could not justify paying the premium for the extra bells and whistles the MP10 had. Have prayers not been answered?


Providence your point is well made, and; if I were in the situation you are describing, yes I'd spring for the latest action on the VPC. I suppose my great disappointment is that this board does not include the software for which it is advertising: "approved touch curve." The teasers stated: "Finally, a virtual piano controller that plays out of the box." I made the mistake of reading more into that than I should have. If I were starting all over again, I suppose the combination of the VST software and the EP3 would provide a great virtual piano, gigging friendly setup, at approximately the same price point as the new VPC. It's my belief that all Kawai digitals have great keyboard action.
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 03:52 PM

For all those expecting GF action; I understood it would add considerably to the size and weight of this instrument. RM3 with the addition of the third sensor is therefore a logical step. Of course this will somehow trickle down (up) in the MP10 successor , which now becomes one of the few Kawai's that still misses the 3rd sensor. For the rest it's a nice board and certainly interesting for all of us who can do without the Kawai build-in sounds, but want a very good action in a nice no-nonsense design .

However, in the end it all very much depends on the street price how competitive the VPC is - I wonder what it will cost in Europe !
Posted by: Kos

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 03:54 PM

I wonder if Kawai will be selling a matching stand as an accessory...
Posted by: Providence

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 03:56 PM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Quote:

Hi HisKidd,
You are approaching this from the angle of someone who already owns a DP with a premium kawai action (MP6). Think of all of those who are looking for a board purely to control VST instruments but could not justify paying the premium for the extra bells and whistles the MP10 had. Have prayers not been answered?


Providence your point is well made, and; if I were in the situation you are describing, yes I'd spring for the latest action on the VPC. I suppose my great disappointment is that this board does not include the software for which it is advertising: "approved touch curve." The teasers stated: "Finally, a virtual piano controller that plays out of the box." I made the mistake of reading more into that than I should have. If I were starting all over again, I suppose the combination of the VST software and the EP3 would provide a great virtual piano, gigging friendly setup, at approximately the same price point as the new VPC. It's my belief that all Kawai digitals have great keyboard action.

Hi HisKidd,
I understand your disappointment based on expectations. I guess all I was really hoping for was a reliable alternative to the Numa Nero which I read many mixed reviews about. Also, I personally really like the RM3 Grand action so this controller is what I have been waiting for. If I had the MP6 I would not buy the VPC....
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 04:18 PM

Originally Posted By: thercman
I think that is filling a much needed niche. RM3-II action in a controller! That's sweet for home/studio use IMO.

This! At the right price.
Posted by: Deffie

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 04:23 PM

As an MP10 owner I have no real interest in this, but I would say that if this was an option when I got my MP10 I would have thought long and hard about it and might very well have gone with the VPC.

I think it fills its niche quite nicely, it's a piano controller with an excellent Kawai action for those who will only use software pianos and don't want to spend $600 or so on the MP10's built-in sounds.
Posted by: Amaruk

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 04:24 PM

Originally Posted By: floydthebarber71

Cool concept, and always impressed more and more with the way Kawai seem to be pushing tech compared to competitors.


Not sure I understand. I think all competitors are pushing the tech forward, just in different ways. In this particular case with the VPC1, I would like to give kudos to Kawai for bringing out a piano that is more about what customers have been asking for rather than pushing the pianos to the next level. I am a huge Roland fan myself but that does not mean I am looking down at Kawai and/or Yamaha. In fact, I like the Kawai wooden actions and Yamaha NU-1 is an amazing instrument.

Posted by: Providence

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 04:30 PM

Originally Posted By: Deffie
As an MP10 owner I have no real interest in this, but I would say that if this was an option when I got my MP10 I would have thought long and hard about it and might very well have gone with the VPC.

I think it fills its niche quite nicely, it's a piano controller with an excellent Kawai action for those who will only use software pianos and don't want to spend $600 or so on the MP10's built-in sounds.

+1
Posted by: Aeons Holle

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 04:31 PM

While there may be some disappointment about the VPC not including the software libraries for which it now only got the approved touch curves, I imagine the outrage would be much greater if it actually did, and the price would be even higher.
Because all those people who already owned any amount of the software packages surely would not want to pay twice for it, just to get the controller.

Just look at the True Keys thread, several people are only interested in individual pianos of the suite and don't want to pay the bundle price for other pianos they might not use (which for sure is a reasonable desire). Now imagine people would be forced to buy four whole software libraries which they might already own, or of which they might just want to own one, or even none.
So to me it only makes sense for Kawai to sell the controller alone, and the addition of touch curves is a nice bonus.
Posted by: origen

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 04:41 PM

I like this a lot but there are 3 things that hurt it for me
1. no mod pitch control, this would have been quite inexpensive to add and really is a deal-killer, having to have another machine, more wires, another stand just for a wheel is a bit silly.
2. the rounded top, I know this sounds a bit trite, but you really can't put anything on top of it, no laptop, iPad, or midi board.
3. Price, it is a bit steep, i was expecting 1400-1500usd, it's really just the action that your paying for along with its midi capabilities
Now 3 things that I love
1. Its classy, no way around it, this is a sexy looking controller
2. Tri sensor, this is a great addition for Kawai and going forward puts them at the tops for sure
3. The action, for me there is nothing better out there other than the gf, but I wasn't expecting that, so the rm3 grand II wooden still blows all other controllers clean off the planet
Unfortunately this namm is a massive letdown but this is the one shining spot for me, but I cant spend 2k on a controller that doesn't control any articulations, the mod wheel really is a deal killer, and I dont think I'm alone on this one. I sincerely would've bought it today and at that price if it had this. No question.
Posted by: ando

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 04:44 PM

Not to be too negative, because I think this is a product addressing a real need, but I'm disappointed that it doesn't have a mod-wheel/joystick. I mean, it's not like you are only ever going to use it for pianos. It would have been so easy to include. Unfortunately it might be a deal breaker for some.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 05:05 PM

Originally Posted By: ando
Not to be too negative, because I think this is a product addressing a real need, but I'm disappointed that it doesn't have a mod-wheel/joystick. I mean, it's not like you are only ever going to use it for pianos. It would have been so easy to include. Unfortunately it might be a deal breaker for some.

I wonder whether the concept was to make something that exuded a piano vibe - and nothing else. It's almost like it was designed to keep synths, and everything else away from it (although why it didn't include a place for a laptop to be safely anchored is beyond me, since it can do nothing without a computer.

It is nice (and shiny) but I suspect most people were expecting a little more.
Posted by: ando

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 05:19 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
Originally Posted By: ando
Not to be too negative, because I think this is a product addressing a real need, but I'm disappointed that it doesn't have a mod-wheel/joystick. I mean, it's not like you are only ever going to use it for pianos. It would have been so easy to include. Unfortunately it might be a deal breaker for some.

I wonder whether the concept was to make something that exuded a piano vibe - and nothing else. It's almost like it was designed to keep synths, and everything else away from it (although why it didn't include a place for a laptop to be safely anchored is beyond me, since it can do nothing without a computer.

It is nice (and shiny) but I suspect most people were expecting a little more.


It's quite bizarre to me to omit those two things. I would have thought a nice big flat surface, preferably rubberized, to hold valuable laptops, ipads, modules etc would have been essential.

The modwheel/joystick thing is a no-brainer. People use them for all sort of instrument sounds. The only thing it isn't used for is piano. Why be so narrow in target piano? It doesn't make sense and I suspect this oversight/snub will ultimately kill the longterm future of such a controller. To sell these things, they need to be ultra-versatile.

Shiny, ebony surfaces have no place in a studio or live gig - they will be scuffed into oblivion in no time. It's a good start, but they needed to consult with more real musicians, I feel.
Posted by: Providence

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 05:35 PM

Why would you want a mod wheel on a piano controller?
Posted by: ando

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 05:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Providence
Why would you want a mod wheel on a piano controller?


Sigh...did you even read the posts above? The point is it doesn't have to be exclusively for piano. It could have been used for any sound. Use your imagination.
Posted by: Providence

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 05:46 PM

Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: Providence
Why would you want a mod wheel on a piano controller?


Sigh...did you even read the posts above? The point is it doesn't have to be exclusively for piano. It could have been used for any sound. Use your imagination.

Hi Ando,
My point is its not been marketed as such hence the name. For pure piano playing you would have absolutely no need for a mod wheel...
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 05:52 PM

It's clearly targeted at (virtual) piano purists, who play at home or possibly in establishments that need something aesthetically pleasing. Whether the market is big enough for this, only time will tell. I'm still not sure where you're supposed to place your screen, but at least there's very little built-in obsolescence in this board (in fact there's very little built-in anything!).
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 05:56 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
... although why it didn't include a place for a laptop to be safely anchored is beyond me, since it can do nothing without a computer.

That teetering laptop promo pic makes me cringe - what were the style guys thinking? I suppose to them we're just magpies looking to line our nests with shiny objects.
Posted by: ando

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 05:57 PM

Originally Posted By: Providence
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: Providence
Why would you want a mod wheel on a piano controller?


Sigh...did you even read the posts above? The point is it doesn't have to be exclusively for piano. It could have been used for any sound. Use your imagination.

Hi Ando,
My point is its not been marketed as such hence the name. For pure piano playing you would have absolutely no need for a mod wheel...


Yes, but that was also mentioned above. Why make it so strictly targeted for piano? It would have been so easy to throw a simple joystick on the side and still sell its benefits as a piano controller. These kinds of limited ways of thinking are frequently death sentences for new products. It doesn't matter how devoted Kawai is to the concept of a pure piano controller, people want more versatility in studios. Mark my words, this shortcoming will be commented upon time and time again in threads like this one. There's just no reason for them to be so narrow about this. You can be unobtrusive with such devices, but they should still be there when it's essentially a MIDI device that can be connected to any sound generator you like. A lot of electric pianos need a mod controller to do certain things. Are we to take from that that Kawai thinks this controller is only for acoustic pianos, not electric pianos? Talk about narrow! Crazy, if you ask me.

If you want proof of how this will affect sales of this unit: I would have considered it if it had had a mod wheel/joystick. There is another poster above who also called it a "deal killer". Are we that unique? I don't think so. There will be plenty of people like us, and that means lost sales for Kawai in a product category that is low volume already. I just think they missed a golden opportunity to make a brilliant product, simply because they like to stick to a purist approach about being a piano company.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 06:00 PM

Yes, if the designers had had their oatmeal that morning they might have come up with a hidden mod-wheel section, perhaps built into a revolving end plate or secreted under a flap.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 06:13 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
Yes, if the designers had had their oatmeal that morning they might have come up with a hidden mod-wheel section, perhaps built into a revolving end plate or secreted under a flap.


Yes, that could perhaps have been a workable compromise for everyone. Personally, I have no use whatsoever for pitch-bend/modulation because I'm only interested in piano. Generally, I find the joystick things visually hideous and they ruin the clean, uncluttered lines of things and destroy symmetry. But then I've been cursed with an eye for details like that - I really wish I didn't care about stuff like that.

I think the upfront links to software manufacturers and PianoTeq is quite a bold move for a conservative manufacturer like Kawai - no one seems to be giving credit for that. I think the thing (VPC) looks great from what I can see in the pictures.

An action equivalent to, or presumably better than, the MP10 for several hundred less in a package that looks very classy and tasteful and addresses what many piano players want (great action dedicated to controlling software) is surely to be welcomed? It will be perfect for pro and home studios and only needs to be bought once - much more future proof than a stand-alone DP.

I totally get the comments about the flat-top (or lack of) but generally I'm a bit mystified by the scale of the negative response to the launch of the VPC.

The basics are there; it is what many people have been asking for.

Just my thoughts,

Steve
Posted by: ando

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 06:25 PM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace

I totally get the comments about the flat-top (or lack of) but generally I'm a bit mystified by the scale of the negative response to the launch of the VPC.

The basics are there; it is what many people have been asking for.

Just my thoughts,

Steve


I agree, Steve, the basics are there. For me it's a case of so close, but not quite. I was seriously considering this product, but I really want a one controller solution. It's a pity because they almost got it there for me. I still hope it does well for Kawai though because I want them to be rewarded for responding to a need. And who knows, maybe it will lead to a general controller in the future.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 06:43 PM

Yes, I think it is their toe in the water...if the details mean that it fails to hit the spot for enough people then I can't see them following through with further iterations of the idea, which would be a shame because many of us have been crying out for a great action minus sounds. Time will tell...
Posted by: kurtie

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 06:48 PM

Hi,

It's finally more or less what I was expecting it to be, and more or less at the price I was guessing Kawai was going to price it to: that is, the price of MP10 less something.

If I was going to replace my aging MP5 that I got 3 years ago, that I mainly use as for piano playing, I would seriously consider this thing and its action. It has not got knobs and wheels, but they can be got in another small device if needed. In my case, I rarely use them... but from time to time are useful. As for the sounds, I don't use the MP5 internal sounds anymore, so wouldn't miss that for sure.

Regards,
Kurt.-
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 06:55 PM

Originally Posted By: ando
For me it's a case of so close, but not quite.

This is how I feel about Kawai products generally. They get so close to the ideal, and then allow one or two things to get in the way (usually marketing-related).

But that's why I'm really hoping they do succeed because they have the talent to create stunning products. Yamaha, by contrast, seems almost weary of innovation in their electronic products.

There is a lot to recommend such a sleek and simple piano controller as the VPC, but I do hope they haven't narrowed the market for this to such a thin slice that it quietly disappears without further development - time will tell.

As a side note, I do think that expectations were built to almost fever pitch. Clever marketing, certainly, but in a competitive marketplace you need to exceed expectations, not create a sense of deflation, however slight.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 07:00 PM

Between the weight and the need for the computer, I see it more as a home board than a gigging board. In a home studio, no matter how good the weighted 88 is, if I'm playing synth, I also want an unweighted board, and that's where I care about having pitch and mod wheels. So actually, no, I wouldn't miss them on the VPC at all.
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 07:10 PM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
I totally get the comments about the flat-top (or lack of) but generally I'm a bit mystified by the scale of the negative response to the launch of the VPC.

They're pretty much pushing you into the arms of a 3rd party for sounds, which will almost certainly and quite noticeably outclass anything they have to offer. To me it signals that Kawai is giving up on quality internal sound generation, which I find depressing. Given this should be their bread and butter, this industry has an exceedingly bizarre aversion to good sound.

That aside, perhaps they should have made two controller models: one in polished black with their best triple sensor wooden key action, and another one their best lightweight action in a durable case for gigging (with controller wheels). This thing weighs too much to schlep, isn't their best action, and has a nonsensical form factor, so I kind of don't get who the target audience is - people who hate the MP10 internal sounds? Is that an audience they should actively court?
Posted by: Amaruk

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 07:28 PM

Steve,
I also think this piano is very future proof. That is a good thing... and bad. The only thing you need to update is the software pianos... not good for Kawai. But perhaps Kawai is working on that now then...and will integrate it in VPC2 which will feature a HD, CPU, and run on Linux? NAMM 2014? smile
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 08:16 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
They're pretty much pushing you into the arms of a 3rd party for sounds, which will almost certainly and quite noticeably outclass anything they have to offer. To me it signals that Kawai is giving up on quality internal sound generation

I think of it more as a recognition that they can't currently give a computer owner as good as sound as Ivory for its $300 premium over their current products. And that there is a market for people who choose to go with computer pianos, and so there is money to be made in making a product for them.

Originally Posted By: dewster
That aside, perhaps they should have made two controller models

If it sells well, I would bet on there being derivative products.
Posted by: o0Ampy0o

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 08:27 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
As a side note, I do think that expectations were built to almost fever pitch. Clever marketing, certainly, but in a competitive marketplace you need to exceed expectations, not create a sense of deflation, however slight.

So at this point do you think the buzz has created more disappointment than constructive awareness that leads to sales? (please say what you think and don't answer with "only time will tell" smile )
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 08:35 PM

Originally Posted By: o0Ampy0o
Originally Posted By: voxpops
As a side note, I do think that expectations were built to almost fever pitch. Clever marketing, certainly, but in a competitive marketplace you need to exceed expectations, not create a sense of deflation, however slight.

So at this point do you think the buzz has created more disappointment than constructive awareness that leads to sales? (please say what you think and don't answer with "only time will tell" smile )

I actually don't know what balance of positive/negative responses have been prompted, but I do know that the teasers led a lot of people to expect a bit more than a nice action in a shiny box with some predetermined velocity curves. I think it would have been better to underplay the potential (although I admit that, as it turns out, there wasn't a lot to underplay with the VPC).

Having said that, I think that there is a market for a really good action geared towards VSTs. The minimalist approach may also have merit. But whether there are enough people wanting to spend the best part of $2k before getting to sound generation and reproduction, I just don't know.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 09:03 PM

For people who love the feel of the MP10 but prefer a VST's sound, who wish they didn't have to "pay for" all the sounds they don't need in the MP-10 just to get its action, this saves them $650. At least for now, Kawai benefits from the fact computer-based players may prefer the "value" of just paying for what they need, and there are few competitors in this market. Nothing from Yamaha, and only a low-end action from Roland.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 09:10 PM

Originally Posted By: anotherscott
For people who love the feel of the MP10 but prefer a VST's sound, who wish they didn't have to "pay for" all the sounds they don't need in the MP-10 just to get its action, this saves them $650. At least for now, Kawai benefits from the fact computer-based players may prefer the "value" of just paying for what they need, and there are few competitors in this market. Nothing from Yamaha, and only a low-end action from Roland.

That's true - just so long as they don't need any onboard controls at all. I think that's where the "value" equation starts to tilt a little. The $650 doesn't just pay for sounds - there's quite a lot of additional hardware involved.

But it is filling a niche that, as you point out, other manufacturers are ignoring.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 09:30 PM

Hello chaps, I've spent the morning reading through the various forums, gauging the community's reaction to the VPC1.

Evidently, our latest board has divided opinions. Some love it, some hate it, other's aren't so sure. 'Fair price for the quality', 'Too expensive without a built-in computer'...'Why is there no software included', 'I'm glad they didn't bundle the software'...'No pitchbend/mod wheel is a deal breaker', 'I never use the pitchbend when playing piano anyway', etc.

I think it's worth pointing out that the VPC1 doesn't replace anything - it simply augments Kawai's existing range of products, while providing us with a strong foothold into what is undoubtedly a growing market. There's still the ES7, MP6, and MP10 - all of which will continue to offer great overall packages in the market segments they occupy. However, now we also have a dedicated board for folks that require a professional quality 88-key controller purely for virtual pianos.

As I posted on another forum, unfortunately there were a few last minute hiccups with the website, so we have decided to postpone the opening by a few days to ensure that everything is working as it should. In the meantime, I'll obviously be monitoring this thread, and trying to respond to queries that are not addressed in the information that's already out there.

Many thanks for all your feedback - both good and bad.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 09:55 PM

James...
Did you take any pictures with your camera? The only thing visual to see are the still shots at facebook and on the website. I'm sure we would all like to see the total package. When can we expect to be able to google a demo? I think there are a number of people who want to see this board more closely. Do you have any influence in getting the owner's manual active? It is listed, but will not presently open. That in itself would tell us so much more. Timeline for further information, videos, etc.? Can you, yourself, post here in the forums a more detailed description with the important specs, pictures, video, anything?
Many Thanks,
H.K.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 10:33 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
The $650 doesn't just pay for sounds - there's quite a lot of additional hardware involved.

Right, but most of it is there for the built in sounds.
Posted by: ando

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 11:37 PM

Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Between the weight and the need for the computer, I see it more as a home board than a gigging board. In a home studio, no matter how good the weighted 88 is, if I'm playing synth, I also want an unweighted board, and that's where I care about having pitch and mod wheels. So actually, no, I wouldn't miss them on the VPC at all.


I actually dislike unweighted boards for any style of playing or sounds, so that's why I was really bummed out that the VPC didn't come with the mod controls. It could have been a one stop solution for my studio. Oh well, I guess the Roland A88 or something makes more sense now.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 11:42 PM

Originally Posted By: ando
Oh well, I guess the Roland A88 or something makes more sense now.

I'd look at the Casio PX-5S.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/24/13 11:46 PM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Did you take any pictures with your camera?


Yes, I previously posted some shots with my Nord Electro a few weeks ago. However, I'm reluctant to post too many amateur snaps - especially when we have professionally photographed images ready for the website.

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
The only thing visual to see are the still shots at facebook and on the website. I'm sure we would all like to see the total package.


Have you seen the multi-angle product images on the Kraft website?
In addition to this, I posted the following image showing the extent of the curve on the top surface.



Originally Posted By: HisKidd
When can we expect to be able to google a demo?


To clarify, do you mean a product demonstration video demo on YouTube?
These videos are typically produced by Kawai Europe and Kawai America, however I do not know if such a video is planned for the VPC1.

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
I think there are a number of people who want to see this board more closely.


I understand. Well, I'm hopeful that some NAMM videos will begin to circulate on YouTube in the coming days, and if anyone shoots footage of the Kawai or Synthogy booths, you'll probably see the VPC1 in action.

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Do you have any influence in getting the owner's manual active? It is listed, but will not presently open. That in itself would tell us so much more.


Yes, I intend to upload the owner's manual PDF later this afternoon. Please note that the documentation itself is not terribly detailed (just a few pages for each language), nor did I have a great deal of involvement in its creation due to other tasks.

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Timeline for further information, videos, etc.?


As soon as possible, I hope.

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Can you, yourself, post here in the forums a more detailed description with the important specs, pictures, video, anything?


I wrote the VPC1 product overview document that is used by distributors and retailers. This explanation is currently used on the Kraft website. Of course, there's lots of information and images that I could post, however this has been prepared for the website, so I'd much rather wait and do things properly.

It's perhaps worth noting that Kawai (America) have also unveiled new ranges of acoustic and digital pianos at NAMM, however it appears that the news has yet to fully circulate. Relatively speaking, the amount of information about the VPC1 that's already out there is actually pretty good.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 12:04 AM

James...
The Kraft website is most helpful showing several different angle shots of the board, and giving the specs. The shots of the software interface were also nice.
Though I had googled "Kawai VPC" throughout the day, I was not aware that the Kraft website had this info. This is more than enough until further details surface.
Thanks also for loading the PDF for the owner's manual. I'm sure that many will want to read all about the VPC. It is indeed a beautiful board. I'll be interested to follow it's reception. Thanks, James, for all you do!
Regards,
H.K. cool
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 12:54 AM

HisKidd, no problem, happy to help.

The owner's manual has been uploaded to the Kawai Japan 'Worldwide' site, and the product overview is available from the url below:

http://www.kawai.co.jp/worldwide/vpc/press/kawai_vpc1_product_overview.pdf

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: thercman

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 01:17 AM

Great info James! Thanks!
Does the associated software only work with PC? That is what I am getting from the reading...
Posted by: Hideki Matsui

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 01:19 AM

How curved is that top? That is the only thing I potentially have issue with. I don't mind the lack of controllers as long as I can rest a controller on top.

Personally, I think a dedicated piano controller is great. Can't wait to try one.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 02:00 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
HisKidd, no problem, happy to help.

The owner's manual has been uploaded to the Kawai Japan 'Worldwide' site, and the product overview is available from the url below:

http://www.kawai.co.jp/worldwide/vpc/press/kawai_vpc1_product_overview.pdf

Kind regards,
James
x


James...
I just went to the worldwide site and read the owner's manual. I was both disappointed and astonished to see that the VPC editor and Kawai USB driver are not compatible with Mac OS. Am I right in understanding then, that this board will interface with a Mac computer and the proprietary software included within the VST's (Synthogy; Galaxy; Native Instruments; etc.)? And, conversely, the VPC editor and the Kawai USB driver (and therefore all approved "Touch Curves," and other VPC editor tweaking features) unavailable to the Mac user?
Is a software update to the VPC to make the editor compatible with Mac in the works?
Thanks...
H.K.
Posted by: Hideki Matsui

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 02:02 AM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
HisKidd, no problem, happy to help.

The owner's manual has been uploaded to the Kawai Japan 'Worldwide' site, and the product overview is available from the url below:

http://www.kawai.co.jp/worldwide/vpc/press/kawai_vpc1_product_overview.pdf

Kind regards,
James
x


James...
I just went to the worldwide site and read the owner's manual. I was both disappointed and astonished to see that the VPC editor and Kawai USB driver are not compatible with Mac OS. Am I right in understanding then, that this board will interface with a Mac computer and the proprietary software included within the VST's (Synthogy; Galaxy; Native Instruments; etc.)? And, conversely, the VPC editor and the Kawai USB driver (and therefore all approved "Touch Curves," and other VPC editor tweaking features) unavailable to the Mac user?
Is a software update to the VPC to make the editor compatible with Mac in the works?
Thanks...
H.K.


I hope this isn't the case.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 02:12 AM

The following is an extract from the 'Q&A' document prepared for the website:

Quote:
6. VPC Editor software/preset memories

Q. What is the VPC Editor software?
A. The VPC Editor is a Windows application that allows touch curves to be created and adjusted by users and developers. This software also allows individual key velocity offset adjustments and advanced MIDI routing to be specified, then stored to one of the VPC1’s five internal preset memories.

Q. What is the purpose of the VPC1’s internal preset memories?
A. The VPC1’s five internal preset memories allow different setups to be recalled without requiring a computer.

By default, these memories contain ‘Approved Touch Curves’ for different virtual piano packages, however by using the VPC Editor, it is also possible to adjust additional settings, such as key velocity offsets and MIDI routing, as noted above.


Q. Does the VPC Editor support Mac OS?
A. No, the VPC Editor does not currently support Mac OS.

Q. I’m a Mac user – does this mean that I cannot use the VPC1?
A. No, the VPC1 will still perform beautifully as a virtual piano controller with your Mac – just like the MP10, MP6, and other Kawai digital pianos. Moreover, you can still take advantage of the pre-loaded ‘Approved Touch Curves’ by selecting the desired memory from the VPC1 itself.

However, it will not be possible to make changes to internal touch curves, velocity offsets, or adjust the VPC1’s advanced MIDI settings.


I hope this answers your queries regarding the editor and Mac compatibility. Once again, my apologies for the delay with getting the website only.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 02:13 AM

Thanks, could be still great, dispite of the diverse not fulfilled expectations.

The main question is how good rm3 II will be for the own individual needs - have to wait for the reviews and try.

Will it have a stand fith pedal fix (not an X)?
Posted by: Bogs

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 02:18 AM

I also think it's a good idea. If the VPC1 had been on the market when I was looking for a DP replacement, mostly because of the weight. I live in a rented house and dread the moment I have to move to another place because I have to carry my piano. I did consider the MP10, but I'm interested in only classical music, I don't want knobs and buttons everywhere. With the MP10 I had the feeling I was paying for features that I would never use.

That being said, I think it is a bit pricey (at ~16000e). No speakers [I rarely use them, but I definitely need them come recital time and I say from experience that average audio systems cannot handle a virtual piano] and call me crazy, but I actually like the Kawai sound! smile Now if it were more like 1200e and compete with Yamaha P155 in Europe, that would be a different story.

I'm curios how this unit will sale. Best of luck!
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 02:30 AM

Temperament, the question of a stand was raised in another forum. It's not really something that we have planned for, however these thing can change if the demand is there.

Bogs, thank you for your post. I agree that for classical musicians who do not require knobs and buttons the VPC1 makes absolute sense.

On a similar note, it's perhaps worth pointing out the 'wife acceptance factor' (WAF) of the VPC1. We often hear from folks wishing to buy an MP10 or similar such stage piano, but their other half simply will not allow it in the living room. I believe the clutter-free top surface of the VPC1 may help in this respect.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 02:33 AM

I probably could have lived with the chosen trade offs of the VPC but the fact that support for all of its features is windows only is a deal breaker to me.
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 02:47 AM

@Bogs; seems like you're talking about an ES7 for the requirements you describe.

@James;
- is there a Mac version of he touch curve editor in the make ?
- And can you, or can you not easily and secure place a laptop on the (curved) surface, which is the thing 99% of the potential VPC buyers are going to do . Where else do your SW Piano's come from.
- is there already a suggested retail pricing for the European marked available ? The US price doesn't say much in that respect ; history learns the euro price can still be quite different , as with the ES 7.

I personally don't regret not seeing a mod-wheel. There seems to be enough space on the surface to add your own additional gear, containing all the controls you want. I like the stripped down , no frills approach to make it a piano first and suit yourself to fill in for all the features you miss. There will probably an mp10 follow up somewhere in the future for people who really want it all in one package AND with the new rm3 II or GF. That is NOT what his VPC pretends to be.

Still I hope an average 15" laptop will fit easily on top - that's the only thing I worry about reading about the curved surface. On the foto the small notebook finds it place, but there are plenty of bigger laptops around..., perhaps Kawai can make an anti-slip accessoire with roughly a laptop footprint, that you can lay on top of the VPC. Doesn't have to cost the world- just foam or rubber like material . Small gesture that would immediately quiet all critical remarks on that subject.
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 03:00 AM

Oh...after seeing the pics on Kraft and remembering the endless discussions about a good music paper rest for the mp10 I'm a bit surprised to see the same old music stand design again on th VPC ? Why not the nice translucent music stand that comes with the es7 additional accessories ?!

Beats me - forgot to listen ?
Still too many of those old paper rests in stock ;-)
Some people at Kawai like the current design too much ?

It's only a small part of the package, but perfection is in the detail. A missed opportunity IMHO. Maybe an after market accessoire ? VPC design is great, a nice and functional (!) music rest completes the design.
Posted by: Wave1

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 04:25 AM

James, unless headphones are used clutter will come with the audio interface/monitors (and laptop of course. I've seen how the lack of a stand takes from the good looks for the MP10 so I think more reason with VPC1).
Hence I see the need for a wooden stand; It adds to the classy look for sure; but also with proper design has the potential to tuck that clutter behind. With clever design (like in office desks) even keep the cables all stuck at the top rear of the wooden stand.

And I agree with JFP that the paper rest is truly ugly. From a design perspective feels like an after thought.

Update:
Ok, here is a nice video from the Namm floor about the VPC1 key action (brought over from another forum).. enjoy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoktYu4D9HU
Posted by: maurus

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 06:13 AM

@James: Something needs to be done about the Windows only software. Given the broad acceptance of Macs in this game a MacOS and/or iOS version of the software (for iPads) is needed (ideally for other OS as well!).

And of course this guy here would want to be able to edit touch curves without buying a new computer!

Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 06:38 AM

To summarize my earlier remarks:

VPC - great product, but a few suggestions:

1) If the surface is too much curved for an average 15" laptop to find a save place; offer an accessory (foam/rubber) that will make the placement of a laptop easy and save.
2) Make a Mac version of the curve editor (must!)
3) Make another, better and stylish paper rest - as an after market accessory

For the rest ; cool machine
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 07:12 AM

Originally Posted By: maurus
@James: Something needs to be done about the Windows only software. Given the broad acceptance of Macs in this game a MacOS and/or iOS version of the software (for iPads) is needed (ideally for other OS as well!).

And of course this guy here would want to be able to edit touch curves without buying a new computer!


Maybe it could be easily ported using Wine.
Posted by: maurus

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 07:13 AM

Maybe. But still.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 07:16 AM

Originally Posted By: maurus
Maybe. But still.

To be clear, I was suggesting that Kawai might be able to do that port pretty easily. It's not something I would want them to ask of a consumer.
Posted by: maurus

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 07:19 AM

Ah. Yes, they should do it.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 07:20 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
On a similar note, it's perhaps worth pointing out the 'wife acceptance factor' (WAF) of the VPC1. We often hear from folks wishing to buy an MP10 or similar such stage piano, but their other half simply will not allow it in the living room. I believe the clutter-free top surface of the VPC1 may help in this respect.

And even the lack of pitch and mod wheels. I see the appeal of it not looking tech. But yes, for that market, a matching wooden stand makes sense. Maybe with a closed-door cubby that could hold a laptop (on a pull-out shelf maybe?), with cables fed out the back, and maybe some discretely mounted jacks that one could cable to the ports of the computer held within.
Posted by: Wave1

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 08:02 AM

+1
Posted by: TubularBills

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 08:13 AM

Originally Posted By: maurus
@James: Something needs to be done about the Windows only software. Given the broad acceptance of Macs in this game a MacOS and/or iOS version of the software (for iPads) is needed (ideally for other OS as well!).

And of course this guy here would want to be able to edit touch curves without buying a new computer!


+1
Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 08:42 AM

Oh god ...... My predictions come true in buckets !
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 08:44 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
The following is an extract from the 'Q&A' document prepared for the website:

Quote:
6. VPC Editor software/preset memories
Q. Does the VPC Editor support Mac OS?
A. No, the VPC Editor does not currently support Mac OS.

Q. I’m a Mac user – does this mean that I cannot use the VPC1?
A. No, the VPC1 will still perform beautifully as a virtual piano controller with your Mac – just like the MP10, MP6, and other Kawai digital pianos. Moreover, you can still take advantage of the pre-loaded ‘Approved Touch Curves’ by selecting the desired memory from the VPC1 itself.

However, it will not be possible to make changes to internal touch curves, velocity offsets, or adjust the VPC1’s advanced MIDI settings.


Kind regards,
James
x


James...
I want to make sure I understand your Q/A. The operator's manual also states that the VPC does not support Mac O.S. for it's Kawai USB midi driver. Does this mean that with a Mac computer, the USB out to computer interface is rendered useless, and that I must then connect with additional midi in and out wires? If there is no Kawai USB midi driver onboard for interfacing with the Mac, would my Mac computer and the VPC work by way of the USB connection?

Please bear with me, but I'm still confused about the Touch Curve settings. According to the literature, these are manually assigned. How then will I be able to do that without benefit of the VPC editor?

Finally, the point is made that once assigned to one of the five memory slots, the computer is no longer needed. Would not the computer be necessary anyway to play the VST? This makes it sound as though the board will play a VST without a computer; i.e., just sit and play... no computer hookup.

I am seriously interested because of the action of the VPC as a second board for the studio only. However, it is incomprehensible to me that anything having to do with graphics, design, or music would not be supported by Mac OS. Are we to understand these limitations would also apply to Logic and Garage Band? Complete clarification would be much appreciated, and thanks in advance, Sir.
Regards,
H.K.
Posted by: Deffie

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 09:21 AM

Macs (and newer Windows machines) don't need drivers.

If all you have access to is a Mac then you'll be able to use it as a MIDI controller through USB just fine, you just won't be able to edit the touch curves.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 09:30 AM

JFP,

Originally Posted By: JFP
- is there a Mac version of he touch curve editor in the make ?


Currently, no.

Originally Posted By: JFP
- can you, or can you not easily and secure place a laptop on the (curved) surface,


Well, I expect this depends on the construction and size of the laptop. If the laptop has small rubber feet it should sit snuggly on top. If not, a sheet of rubber or foam will do the job. As for size, the top surface is 24 cm deep, which should be sufficient for most laptops:



Originally Posted By: JFP
Where else do your SW Piano's come from.


A desktop computer, perhaps?

Originally Posted By: JFP
- is there already a suggested retail pricing for the European marked available ?


I'm aware of an approximate figure, but do not know if this will be the final price. My recommendation would be to contact Kawai Europe.

Originally Posted By: JFP
Still I hope an average 15" laptop will fit easily on top - that's the only thing I worry about reading about the curved surface.


While the top surface is not perfectly flat, as you can probably see in the video/pictures that have been posted, it's hardly rounded like an SV-1.

Originally Posted By: JFP
On the foto the small notebook finds it place, but there are plenty of bigger laptops around...


The computer shown in the teaser images was an 11" laptop, not a netbook (it certainly wasn't my little old Dell...). Yes, there are bigger laptops, but as noted above, the 24" depth should be sufficient.

Originally Posted By: JFP
perhaps Kawai can make an anti-slip accessoire with roughly a laptop footprint, that you can lay on top of the VPC. Doesn't have to cost the world- just foam or rubber like material .


Nice idea, but to be honest, it'd probably be easier and cheaper for the consumer to simply buy an anti-slip rubber/foam matt themselves from a hardware store. I recently purchased a pack of rubber/foam feet to stick to the underside of my pre-amps, preventing them from slipping around when placed on top of my Nord. Cost me 100 yen - problem solved.

Originally Posted By: JFP
Oh...after seeing the pics on Kraft and remembering the endless discussions (Slight over exaggeration...?) about a good music paper rest for the mp10 I'm a bit surprised to see the same old music stand design again on th VPC ? Why not the nice translucent music stand that comes with the es7 additional accessories ?!


The VPC1 uses the same music rest as the MPs models. The ES7 music rest is a different design/size.

Originally Posted By: JFP
Beats me - forgot to listen ?


In the five years or so that I've been a member of PianoWorld, I recall seeing two posts on this 'problem' - one of which concluded with the original poster simply using a piece of A3-sized art board (again regularly available from the $1/100 yen store) to support his individually photocopied sheets of paper from flopping over. Moreover, as the image I posted above (with the printed score) demonstrates, this is a non-issue when using proper (i.e. purchased) score books.

Originally Posted By: JFP
Still too many of those old paper rests in stock ;-)
Some people at Kawai like the current design too much ?


Perhaps it's not cost productive to redesign and re-engineer a music rest because of a couple of reports about individually photocopied sheets of music flopping over?

Originally Posted By: JFP
VPC design is great, a nice and functional (!) music rest completes the design.


I agree - it's rare to find a MIDI controller that includes a music rest.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: kurtie

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 09:43 AM

Originally Posted By: anotherscott

To be clear, I was suggesting that Kawai might be able to do that port pretty easily. It's not something I would want them to ask of a consumer.


Indeed. I've not seen this particular software, but porting a software that has a curve editor and can communicate with an USB MIDI interface seems a doable software challenge, even for a single developer that has the knowledge on the target operating system.

Regards,
Kurt.-
Posted by: Devnor

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 09:52 AM

Big +1 on the need for Mac editor.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 09:59 AM

Originally Posted By: kurtie
porting a software that has a curve editor and can communicate with an USB MIDI interface seems a doable software challenge, even for a single developer that has the knowledge on the target operating system.

With Wine you don't even need any specific knowledge of the target OS. It basically depends on what the original program was written with and what calls it uses, but in many cases, especially for relatively simple programs, Wine can create a straight port for you. It won't be the prettiest Mac app (basically, looks like a Windows app), but it will function. At least that's my understanding, I haven't used it myself.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 10:10 AM

HisKidd,

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
I want to make sure I understand your Q/A. The operator's manual also states that the VPC does not support Mac O.S. for it's Kawai USB midi driver. Does this mean that with a Mac computer, the USB out to computer interface is rendered useless, and that I must then connect with additional midi in and out wires?


Macs (and most Windows PCs) do not require a special driver to function with USB MIDI as one is included with the OS. I believe this is true of all Kawai instruments that feature a USB MIDI port, including the VPC1. It should just be a case of connecting the VPC1 to your Mac using a standard USB A-B cable (included), waiting a few seconds for Mac OS X to install its built-in USB-MIDI driver, then starting your VI/DAW software.

However, thank you for raising this point, as I realise now that this part of the Q&A needs to be clarified further.

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Please bear with me, but I'm still confused about the Touch Curve settings. According to the literature, these are manually assigned. How then will I be able to do that without benefit of the VPC editor?


I believe this is explained in the owner's manual, and will be covered in a later section of the Q&A once the VPC website goes live. Essentially, pressing and holding the power button, then pressing one of the five lowermost black keys selects the preset memory. By default, these are assigned to the different 'approved touch curves' that ship with the instrument, but these can also store key velocity offset information, and settings related to MIDI channels and routing.

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Finally, the point is made that once assigned to one of the five memory slots, the computer is no longer needed. Would not the computer be necessary anyway to play the VST?


Yes, if you're using the VPC1 to control virtual piano software running on a PC, it's likely that the computer will be close by. However, there may be a situation whereby the computer is located elsewhere, but you still need to access different preset memories to select alternative MIDI routings etc.

Alternatively, if you're using a Mac and wish to change from the 'Default' touch curve to one of the built-in 'approved' touch curves, it will be necessary to use the button+keyboard procedure mentioned above. Note that you would only need to do this once as the previously selected memory is recalled each time the VPC1 is turned on.

Finally, while the VPC1 is intended primarily for use with virtual piano software, there may be scenarios where you use the board to control an external sound module or semi-weighted instrument such as a Nord or Korg etc. Perhaps you've set up different touch curves, velocity offsets, or MIDI channel/routing settings for a variety of devices - in this case, the button+keyboard combination allows the five memories to be selected without the need for a computer.

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
I am seriously interested because of the action of the VPC as a second board for the studio only. However, it is incomprehensible to me that anything having to do with graphics, design, or music would not be supported by Mac OS. Are we to understand these limitations would also apply to Logic and Garage Band? Complete clarification would be much appreciated, and thanks in advance,


Again, the VPC1 will function perfectly with a Mac using either standard MIDI IN/OUT cables or a USB cable using OS X's built-in USB-MIDI driver. Not being able to use the VPC Editor should not affect Logic or GarageBand etc.

I hope this clarifies things for you.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 10:23 AM

Originally Posted By: Wave1
Update:
Ok, here is a nice video from the Namm floor about the VPC1 key action (brought over from another forum).. enjoy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoktYu4D9HU


Great stuff, thanks for posting the link!

The interviewer (Stephen Fortner, editor of Keyboard Magazine) certainly sounded impressed by the action+sound connection.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 10:34 AM

Originally Posted By: maurus
@James: Something needs to be done about the Windows only software...


You're absolutely right, however for the time being, the VPC Editor software is Windows only.

It could perhaps be argued that Windows users by their nature are more inclined to 'tweaking' than Mac users, and that the inclusion of 'approved touch curves' built into the VPC1 should negate the need for such adjustments.

However, the fact remains that Mac users make up a sizeable proportion of virtual piano players, so we need to find a way to make the VPC Editor available for OS X.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: maurus

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 10:37 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
It could perhaps be argued that Windows users by their nature are more inclined to 'tweaking' than Mac users, and that the inclusion of 'approved touch curves' built into the VPC1 should negate the need for such adjustments.


Doesn't apply to this Mac user, and will 'approved touch curves' cover our little red ones? Sure I'd like to tweak!
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 10:39 AM

Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
Oh god ...... My predictions come true in buckets !


I'm not sure I follow you.

James
x
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 10:47 AM

Originally Posted By: maurus
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
It could perhaps be argued that Windows users by their nature are more inclined to 'tweaking' than Mac users, and that the inclusion of 'approved touch curves' built into the VPC1 should negate the need for such adjustments.


Doesn't apply to this Mac user, and will 'approved touch curves' cover our little red ones? Sure I'd like to tweak!


Good point. The default 'Normal' touch curve should work absolutely fine with the Nord Piano Library (it's what I've bee using on the MP8II to control my Electro), but a properly prepared touch curve would certainly be the icing on the cake.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 10:51 AM

Okay, time to call it a night. It's been a busy day of fielding queries across multiple forums, responding to PMs, and supporting the press coverage.

Thanks to everyone for their feedback.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 12:05 PM

Hi James,

Thanks for the respons:

1) I understand from your remarks that the curve of the VPC is so little that is a non-issue. Good to know ! Padding most people can provide for themselves. A nice fitting Kawai laptop pad would be welcome, but I fully understand that it's beyond the scope of Kawai making DP's and not all kind of (3rd party) accessories .

2) Mac editor. We'll see what comes out in the future. At least the controller works out of the box as it should with both Mac and pc and for touch control die hards you could use e.g. parallels or boot camp in the meantime.

3) Music Rest. Point taken. It's just that when you compare the extra translucent rest of the ES7 to the basic steel or iron rest of the mp6/ VPC , with a little bit more effort a rest could have been made for the VPC that at least looks a bit better and fits well to the otherwise classy design. Perhaps when the VPC becomes a big selling hit, it will be profitable enough to provide something like that as an extra accessoiry...

Anyway - I think Kawai succeeded in filling a gap in the DP/controller market where until now only products like Numa Nero resided. No secret that not everyone particularly liked these boards. Well done, few small side notes / suggestions (as always).
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 12:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Okay, time to call it a night. It's been a busy day of fielding queries across multiple forums, responding to PMs, and supporting the press coverage.

Thanks to everyone for their feedback.

Cheers,
James
x


James, thank you for your most helpful answers to so many questions. I appeciate your taking the time to render excellent service. I am a Kawai devotee, and have always found Kawai to be be customer friendly. Perhaps this is the result of being a family business. As a prospective buyer of the VPC, your insights and explanations are invaluable. I'll stay tuned for all we learn in the coming days about the VPC1.
Regards!
H.K.
Posted by: HwyStar

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 01:34 PM

+1 to that HisKidd! Thanks KJ for your insight and support!
Posted by: TADutchman

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 02:09 PM

Originally Posted By: HwyStar
+1 to that HisKidd! Thanks KJ for your insight and support!

+1 thumb

Reading about the Kawai VPC, I recognised quite some smart minimalist Apple-like design choices (lack of Mac-software editor support not being one of them).

The VPC will be a real winner i.m.h.o. wow (given the price is right)!
Posted by: Amaruk

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 03:53 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James

On a similar note, it's perhaps worth pointing out the 'wife acceptance factor' (WAF) of the VPC1. We often hear from folks wishing to buy an MP10 or similar such stage piano, but their other half simply will not allow it in the living room. I believe the clutter-free top surface of the VPC1 may help in this respect.


James, don't you think ALL stage pianos score bad on this? The main issue I think is all the cables (pedal, midi, speaker, power,...). Below is Gatsbee13's picture from NAMM. What is the WAF score on this set-up? smile

I rather think the clean and shiny design of the VPC is true to Kawai's DNA of being an excellent acoustic piano maker. I love the looks of the VPC as I think it looks very elegant. Well done Kawai!!!

Posted by: funkycornwall

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 06:25 PM

Although the VPC looks a lovely product and I am sure the piano action will be superb, I feel that the combination of weight (rather heavy), price (pretty expensive) and lack of modulation/pitch wheels will make it a slow seller. I have an MP10 which is great and I also have all the VST piano software as flagged up as optimised for the VPC. I can say that the basic default settings on the MP10 seem to be absolutely fine with all this piano software and I never had the need to tweak anything. Maybe I have not understood the subtlety of the whole thing but I think that may be the same for many other people too. The VPC will not be suitable as the sole studio keyboard and obviously will not suit any player wanting to gig without a computer. For the player wanting to gig with computer set up then they have to be happy to carry a heavy piece of gear around.

The new Casio PX-5s on the other hand looks ideal for gigging, is very light to carry and is much cheaper. It also has built-in sounds and lots of keyboard controller features. Undoubtedly the Kawai will have a better key action but the new Privia action is already winning praise and is likely to be good enough for many gigging/studio players.

Kawai's decision to omit modulation wheel/pitch bend and the overall weight of the product will I think lose many customers. I am also very surprised to hear about the lack of Apple OS compatibility.

Overall I am surprised about these shortcomings and feel uncertain about the likely commercial success therefore.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 08:51 PM

Originally Posted By: Amaruk
Originally Posted By: Kawai James

On a similar note, it's perhaps worth pointing out the 'wife acceptance factor' (WAF) of the VPC1. We often hear from folks wishing to buy an MP10 or similar such stage piano, but their other half simply will not allow it in the living room. I believe the clutter-free top surface of the VPC1 may help in this respect.


James, don't you think ALL stage pianos score bad on this? The main issue I think is all the cables (pedal, midi, speaker, power,...). Below is Gatsbee13's picture from NAMM. What is the WAF score on this set-up? smile



Yes, I also cringed a little upon seeing that picture! Not the tidiest of setups - looks like the plastic shipping caps are still on the pedals too. However there appear to be three sets of headphones being used (?), which isn't a typical setup, and I expect most of the cabling could be tidied/pinned to improve the appearance.

The point I was trying to make is that the VPC1 is more classically styled and 'piano-like' than other controllers, especially without all the knobs, faders, and button etc.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 09:31 PM

Hi funkycornwall,

Originally Posted By: funkycornwall
Although the VPC looks a lovely product and I am sure the piano action will be superb, I feel that the combination of weight (rather heavy), price (pretty expensive) and lack of modulation/pitch wheels will make it a slow seller.


I appreciate the point you're making. I also don't really believe this board will be flying off the shelves (it's too heavy for one...), however I'm hopeful that it will become something of a 'slow burner'. The number of players gravitating towards virtual piano software will surely continue to grow in future. And with its superior keyboard action and approval from the major developers, the VPC1 is well positioned to become the 'go to' board for such applications. A niche market, certainly, but one that is expanding.

Originally Posted By: funkycornwall
I have an MP10 which is great and I also have all the VST piano software as flagged up as optimised for the VPC. I can say that the basic default settings on the MP10 seem to be absolutely fine with all this piano software and I never had the need to tweak anything. Maybe I have not understood the subtlety of the whole thing but I think that may be the same for many other people too.


Yes, the MP10's 'Normal' touch curve is already very well suited to a number of the popular virtual piano packages. This is perhaps because some developers utilise a Kawai MP to create their software. However, as I mentioned earlier, the approved touch curves are the extra layer of icing on what is already a pretty delcious cake. During testing for the VPC1, many players had the chance to play both the 'Normal' touch curve and the 'approved' touch curve for each package, with the majority preferring the connection of the 'approved' touch. This was obviously true for the developers too, who had access to VPC1 prototypes during the development of the board.

Originally Posted By: funkycornwall
The VPC will not be suitable as the sole studio keyboard...


I believe this depends on the musician, and obviously the kind of music they're recording/composing. If the lack of controls does transpire to be an issue, an inexpensive MIDI surface or synth can be added very easily.

Originally Posted By: funkycornwall
and obviously will not suit any player wanting to gig without a computer. For the player wanting to gig with computer set up then they have to be happy to carry a heavy piece of gear around.


Again, I believe this depends on the individual. The VPC1 obviously isn't as portable as a Nord, however if the performer really demands the best keyboard action, I'm sure the'll find a way to accommodate the extra weight. The MP8/MP10 are also heavy boards, but it's not uncommon to see such instruments as part of a professional player's live setup...and the VPC1 is lighter than both.

Originally Posted By: funkycornwall
The new Casio PX-5s on the other hand looks ideal for gigging, is very light to carry and is much cheaper. It also has built-in sounds and lots of keyboard controller features. Undoubtedly the Kawai will have a better key action but the new Privia action is already winning praise and is likely to be good enough for many gigging/studio players.


I agree, the new Casio PX-5S offers a very impressive package (although I'm personally not crazy about the two-tone looks...) at a great price and weight. However beyond the number of keys, I don't really see any relationship to the VPC1. The two boards occupy quite different segments of the market in my opinion.

Originally Posted By: funkycornwall
Kawai's decision to omit modulation wheel/pitch bend and the overall weight of the product will I think lose many customers.


Yes, the lack of pitchbend/modulation wheel is undoubtedly a controversial decision. It's a deal-breaker for some, but of little concern for others.

Originally Posted By: funkycornwall
I am also very surprised to hear about the lack of Apple OS compatibility.


Yes, this is a disappointment. But not being able to use the VPC Editor software on OS X shouldn't prevent Mac-owning virtual piano players from enjoying the VPC1 with the board's built-in approved touch curves.

Originally Posted By: funkycornwall
Overall I am surprised about these shortcomings and feel uncertain about the likely commercial success therefore.


Well, this remains to be seen. The response so far has been mixed, but judging from the amount of discussion online, there's little doubting that the VPC1 is quite an interesting product. Despite your somewhat negative tone, I do appreciate reading your comments, especially as I know you're an experienced musician. It just remains for me to say keep on enjoying your MP10. wink

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: o0Ampy0o

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 11:37 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
Oh god ...... My predictions come true in buckets !


I'm not sure I follow you.

James
x


James,

I think it has to do with this:

Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
God you folks are letting your imaginations run away with you .... It's a 88 key controller keyboard with one of the best actions if not THE best action in the business ... Speakers, audio interfaces, software .... Why complicate it ? I see my NAMM prediction has come true before NAMM has even opened ... As soon as something is announced there is someone bitching about what it isn't instead of what it is ....

Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
My prediction is that no matter what is announced from where that someone will be on this forum complaining about it.
Posted by: Dave Ferris

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/25/13 11:40 PM

Played the VPC this afternoon. It feels similiar to the MP10...nice. It was hooked up to Ivory in the Kawai booth and monitored through phones (not very good ones btw). Again both nice sound and action although I was getting quite a bit of latency with the sound to action connection. Much more so then just a regular DP. I don't know if that can be adjusted or what...that's above my pay grade. grin

That new CS-10 was very nice ! Aside from the 9' Shigeru, my favorite keyboard in the room. wink
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/26/13 12:17 AM

Hi Dave, thank you for your post.

I'm not sure why you experienced latency with the VPC and laptop. As far as I'm aware it was a brand new computer with a good quality audio interface and fresh installations of the four piano packages. But I'll certainly pass on your comments to my colleagues working at the booth.

Good to hear your thoughts about the CS10 too. This is a new, improved version of the CS9, featuring the latest sound/action technology from the CA95. As other American forum regulars may know, the CS9 was not marketed in the US, so the appearance of the CS10 at NAMM should be warmly received.

Somewhat further off topic, but did you try the new GX grands? This is a new models that will succeed the RX range, and feature a number of the improvements introduced with the new Shigeru instruments last year.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/26/13 12:18 AM

Originally Posted By: o0Ampy0o
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
Oh god ...... My predictions come true in buckets !


I'm not sure I follow you.

James
x


James,

I think it has to do with this:

Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
God you folks are letting your imaginations run away with you .... It's a 88 key controller keyboard with one of the best actions if not THE best action in the business ... Speakers, audio interfaces, software .... Why complicate it ? I see my NAMM prediction has come true before NAMM has even opened ... As soon as something is announced there is someone bitching about what it isn't instead of what it is ....

Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
My prediction is that no matter what is announced from where that someone will be on this forum complaining about it.


Ah, I see. Thanks.

James
x
Posted by: TADutchman

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/26/13 02:21 AM



For some time now, I have been daydreaming and breamstorming with my dad, an inventor aged 72, about building a unique audiophile-grade digital Grand (which does not exist to the present day, that is also taking the N3 and V-grand into account). I imagine the VPC could be a great starting point for this project...
Posted by: funkycornwall

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/26/13 09:14 AM

Sorry if I appeared a little negative but the VPC does look a very nice product. I am just so surprised about the lack of certain features which will only restrict sales. I am very happy with my MP10 which is my studio master keyboard.

I take your point about the appearance of the Casio PX-5s maybe they will release a black version when it is released in the Europe market.
Posted by: Peter B

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/26/13 09:51 AM

James,
I tried the VPC yesterday at NAMM (both at Kawai and at Synthogy) and found it to be a great piano controller. At first I was a little surprised by the minimalistic approach with no controllers other than the keys and the foot pedals, but having reflected a bit I am not so concerned about the business rationale. The goal is clearly to be the preferred keybed for virtual pianos and in this it is leading. In my view the other candidates mentioned above do not even come close. I welcome to have a real good piano keybed and then I will use another keybed for other sounds like e.g. organ.
I have a Nord Stage 2 and from the dimensions it seems that the Nord may actually fit on top of the VPC1 which would be great. I wonder if a MIDi signal coming in to the VPC1 via the MIDI connection can go through the VPC1 and out via the USB MIDi?
I hope Kawai implement a velocity curve for the Nord Piano Library and furthermore that the Editor very soon will be available for Mac OS.
Posted by: KLSinCT

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/26/13 11:05 AM

Greetings all!

I just ran across this new video on YouTube...enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DU3yQHQ01Uk

K.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/26/13 11:13 AM

Kevin...
Much appreciate your posting the Kraft Music promo of the VCP. The rep did everything but play it!!!!!!! If there is anyone who has a link to the VPC where we can actually see and hear it being played, I would love to see it! Meanwhile, I'm still scouring the internet to find a link where we can see this board in action!
H.K. cool

Edit: In looking at the owner's manual I find that there are no connections to this board for external speakers; nor is there a connection for headphones. Just to clarify... if the board is to be heard externally or through a headset, these external and internal sounds would come through the computer's connections to audio out, and headset? Correct? Thanks!
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/26/13 11:46 AM

I wonder whether I properly understand this VPC keyboard. Is it just a keyboard that feeds MIDI output? No tone generator, no amplifier, no speakers?

If that is so, then one would expect it to be less expensive then the more typical Kawai keyboard, one that includes the sound system. Is that the goal of this product?

If all of the tone generation is done on an attached PC, then what features would be needed in this keyboard. Not many, I venture.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/26/13 11:51 AM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Kevin...
Much appreciate your posting the Kraft Music promo of the VCP. The rep did everything but play it!!!!!!! If there is anyone who has a link to the VPC where we can actually see and hear it being played, I would love to see it! Meanwhile, I'm still scouring the internet to find a link where we can see this board in action!
H.K. cool

Edit: In looking at the owner's manual I find that there are no connections to this board for external speakers; nor is there a connection for headphones. Just to clarify... if the board is to be heard externally or through a headset, these external and internal sounds would come through the computer's connections to audio out, and headset? Thanks!


There's nothing to hear! This is a controller, not a DP. There are no internal sounds, speakers or generators of any kind. You use a PC/MAC and play a virtual piano, such as Pianoteq, with your own choice of amp and speakers.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/26/13 12:04 PM

Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
I wonder whether I properly understand this VPC keyboard. Is it just a keyboard that feeds MIDI output? No tone generator, no amplifier, no speakers?

If that is so, then one would expect it to be less expensive then the more typical Kawai keyboard, one that includes the sound system. Is that the goal of this product?

Right. It's an improved version of the MP10 keybed, in a product that is $650 less than an MP10. No sounds or speakers built in, it drives a VST piano in your computer.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/26/13 12:11 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Kevin...
Much appreciate your posting the Kraft Music promo of the VCP. The rep did everything but play it!!!!!!! If there is anyone who has a link to the VPC where we can actually see and hear it being played, I would love to see it! Meanwhile, I'm still scouring the internet to find a link where we can see this board in action!
H.K. cool

Edit: In looking at the owner's manual I find that there are no connections to this board for external speakers; nor is there a connection for headphones. Just to clarify... if the board is to be heard externally or through a headset, these external and internal sounds would come through the computer's connections to audio out, and headset? Thanks!


There's nothing to hear! This is a controller, not a DP. There are no internal sounds, speakers or generators of any kind. You use a PC/MAC and play a virtual piano, such as Pianoteq, with your own choice of amp and speakers.


voxpops...
Thanks for this explanation. Bear with me. Of course my present set up (MP6) includes line out, headset connection. With the VPC, I will still have the benefit of external and headset sound through whatever I connect to the computer not the VPC, correct?
Thanks!
H.K. cool
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/26/13 12:18 PM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Originally Posted By: voxpops
Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Kevin...
Much appreciate your posting the Kraft Music promo of the VCP. The rep did everything but play it!!!!!!! If there is anyone who has a link to the VPC where we can actually see and hear it being played, I would love to see it! Meanwhile, I'm still scouring the internet to find a link where we can see this board in action!
H.K. cool

Edit: In looking at the owner's manual I find that there are no connections to this board for external speakers; nor is there a connection for headphones. Just to clarify... if the board is to be heard externally or through a headset, these external and internal sounds would come through the computer's connections to audio out, and headset? Thanks!


There's nothing to hear! This is a controller, not a DP. There are no internal sounds, speakers or generators of any kind. You use a PC/MAC and play a virtual piano, such as Pianoteq, with your own choice of amp and speakers.


voxpops...
Thanks for this explanation. Bear with me. Of course my present set up (MP6) includes line out, headset connection. With the VPC, I will still have the benefit of external and headset sound through whatever I connect to the computer not the VPC, correct?
Thanks!
H.K. cool


You would connect your headphones to either your PC (where your VST is) or the interface box you use.
Posted by: pianobear100

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/26/13 12:47 PM

I was getting ready to buy a MP10, but waiting for the NAMM show to see if anything new would come out. I have a couple of questions about the new VPC1 that Kawai James or others might be able to answer.

1) Piano Actions, What are the exact differences between the "RM3 Grand Touch" and the "RM3 Grand Touch 2" How does it affect the way it feels or repeats or anything else?

2) I am assuming that this would work well with Receptor 2 or any of MUSE Research products for the sound production?

3) Would an audio interface be needed or desired to connect the VPC1 to the computer or Receptor? And a recommendation if one is needed.

4) What type of recording software would you recommend to use with the instrument since there is not a recorder built in. I would like something simple, but with musical notation capability. I am wanting to make a Christmas CD to send to friends, but being classical trained, I respond better to Musical notation than to using my ear.

I live in Atlanta and have to go somewhere else to see the Kawai products such as the MP10. I have bought too many things that I really didn't need. frown

Thanks
Posted by: Tony Maggio

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/26/13 01:24 PM

Here is a link to a discussion of the Kawai VPC1 by Stephen Fortner of Keyboard magazine -- he does not demo the controller but does talk about his experiences in playing it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoktYu4D9HU
Posted by: jcdamascenojr

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/26/13 01:35 PM

Originally Posted By: pianobear100
I was getting ready to buy a MP10, but waiting for the NAMM show to see if anything new would come out. I have a couple of questions about the new VPC1 that Kawai James or others might be able to answer.

1) Piano Actions, What are the exact differences between the "RM3 Grand Touch" and the "RM3 Grand Touch 2" How does it affect the way it feels or repeats or anything else?

2) I am assuming that this would work well with Receptor 2 or any of MUSE Research products for the sound production?

3) Would an audio interface be needed or desired to connect the VPC1 to the computer or Receptor? And a recommendation if one is needed.

4) What type of recording software would you recommend to use with the instrument since there is not a recorder built in. I would like something simple, but with musical notation capability. I am wanting to make a Christmas CD to send to friends, but being classical trained, I respond better to Musical notation than to using my ear.

I live in Atlanta and have to go somewhere else to see the Kawai products such as the MP10. I have bought too many things that I really didn't need. frown

Thanks


1) I think it's just a 3rd sensor, pretty much like the difference between GH and GH3 from Yamaha (please correct me if I'm wrong). Lots of topics about those here, just use the search.

2) Never saw those before, but if it has MIDI in/out, yes, it should. However after a quick search I don't see MIDI on their specs, only mic and line inputs...

3) No, you just plug an standard USB cable directly on your PC, no interface needed. Not sure about the Receptor (see above).

4) For Mac, try Garageband, I like it a lot, and it has basic notation editing. For PC, both Audacity and Reaper are pretty simple just for recording, but I'm not sure about their notation capability.
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/26/13 04:08 PM

An interesting option for the VPC would be a furniture stand with pedals and one of those soundboard speakers built in. Then all you'd need would be a laptop (& a DIY rubber pad of some sort under it).

So the various velocity curves are selected via the power switch and the piano keys? Hmm.
Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/26/13 07:11 PM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd


Edit: In looking at the owner's manual I find that there are no connections to this board for external speakers; nor is there a connection for headphones. Just to clarify... if the board is to be heard externally or through a headset, these external and internal sounds would come through the computer's connections to audio out, and headset? Correct? Thanks!



of course ... ITS A CONTROLLER !!!!
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/26/13 08:32 PM

Huh, I missed most of this thread because I've been traveling for the last week. I almost feel like we should start a new VPC thread because it's very interesting but the first bunch of pages here are people (myself included) speculating about what it could have in a dream world, so what it delivers didn't really get fully appreciated. It looks pretty freakin' great to me:

1. Three-sensor Kawai wood action (not GF but still better than the MP10 has)

2. No unnecessary electronics and no nasty mod wheels

3. Three pedals

4. Pre-optimized curves for the most likely software we will use, as well as the option of setting our own curve in the hardware (which is better than doing it in the software after it's already been quantized into MIDI, presumably). One also presumes that there will later be updates to this so we can have pre-optimized curves for future software.

The last two are great surprises. The first one is just a tiny bummer, but it's better than we would have expected before GF came out. And maybe with GF it would be silly long.

About the price, I think the difference between it and the MP10 is pretty good. 650 bones. That seems right. However, the price for the MP10 is about $500 too high for what it is--I'd say the mp10 should cost about $2k and the VPC should cost $1500 or so. So I guess I'm a little disappointed in them both. We'll see what it retails for later, though. Maybe we'll get luck and it will be unpopular and sell at a discount. I'll probably buy one if I can find it for a reasonable price.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/26/13 08:36 PM

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Maybe we'll get luck and it will be unpopular and sell at a discount. I'll probably buy one if I can find it for a reasonable price.

Interesting logic. You want it to fail so you can afford one? wink
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/26/13 09:26 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Maybe we'll get luck and it will be unpopular and sell at a discount. I'll probably buy one if I can find it for a reasonable price.

Interesting logic. You want it to fail so you can afford one? wink

Here's hoping the keys warp and the paint flakes off in shipment, that it's plagued with horrible firmware, cursed with crashing / nonexistent drivers, and just totally suck in general so that people return them in droves after getting their third DOA in a row - then we'll all be able to afford the controller of our dreams at half-off! smile
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/26/13 09:44 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Here's hoping the keys warp and the paint flakes off in shipment, that it's plagued with horrible firmware, cursed with crashing / nonexistent drivers, and just totally suck in general so that people return them in droves after getting their third DOA in a row - then we'll all be able to afford the controller of our dreams at half-off! smile


A beacon of positivity, as usual.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/26/13 09:50 PM

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
However, the price for the MP10 is about $500 too high for what it is--I'd say the mp10 should cost about $2k and the VPC should cost $1500 or so.


How about the price of the RD-700NX?
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/26/13 09:51 PM

Peter B, HisKidd, pianobear100, I will try to respond to your queries later this afternoon, after lunch.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 01:28 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
However, the price for the MP10 is about $500 too high for what it is--I'd say the mp10 should cost about $2k and the VPC should cost $1500 or so.


How about the price of the RD-700NX?


As he said ...bout $500 less then a RD700NX seems right ...for the MP10 that is ..... smokin f help cursing tiki
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 05:13 AM

Hi Peter B,

Originally Posted By: Peter B
I tried the VPC yesterday at NAMM (both at Kawai and at Synthogy) and found it to be a great piano controller. At first I was a little surprised by the minimalistic approach with no controllers other than the keys and the foot pedals, but having reflected a bit I am not so concerned about the business rationale.


That's good to hear, thank you. I'm hopeful that others expressing concern about the lack of pitchbend/modulation wheels will also change their opinion once they experience how great the action feels for themselves.

Originally Posted By: Peter B
I have a Nord Stage 2 and from the dimensions it seems that the Nord may actually fit on top of the VPC1 which would be great.


I'm not entirely sure - it may depend on the which type of NS2 you're using (weighted-hammer or semi-weighted keyboard). My Electro 3 SW73 has a depth of 30 cm, and sits perfectly on top, but any more and it might be too large without hanging over the VPC1 keyboard.

Originally Posted By: Peter B
I wonder if a MIDi signal coming in to the VPC1 via the MIDI connection can go through the VPC1 and out via the USB MIDi?


Yes, this is possible, using the VPC1 as a psuedo MIDI interface. Note however that setting this configuration will probably require the VPC Editor, which currently runs on Windows only.

Originally Posted By: Peter B
I hope Kawai implement a velocity curve for the Nord Piano Library and furthermore that the Editor very soon will be available for Mac OS.


Yes, me too.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 05:17 AM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Much appreciate your posting the Kraft Music promo of the VCP. The rep did everything but play it!!!!!!! If there is anyone who has a link to the VPC where we can actually see and hear it being played, I would love to see it! Meanwhile, I'm still scouring the internet to find a link where we can see this board in action!
H.K. cool

Edit: In looking at the owner's manual I find that there are no connections to this board for external speakers; nor is there a connection for headphones. Just to clarify... if the board is to be heard externally or through a headset, these external and internal sounds would come through the computer's connections to audio out, and headset? Correct? Thanks!


As others have noted, the VPC1 itself does not produce any sounds - it is purely a controller for software/hardware sound sources. Therefore, headphones and amplifier/speakers will be connected to the sound source.

Kind regards,
James
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Posted by: Pedro_Henrique

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 05:26 AM

Ok, I think the price will bitch us just for the begining. Each launch costs a little expensive at first, but then stabilizes at a more honest price. And like my mom said, "If this board be as solid as it seems, the price will be worth it, 'cause it will be a marriage."
So I start saving money already... maybe in a year or so we can have one...
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 05:36 AM

Hello pianobear100,

Originally Posted By: pianobear100
1) Piano Actions, What are the exact differences between the "RM3 Grand Touch" and the "RM3 Grand Touch 2" How does it affect the way it feels or repeats or anything else?

The main difference between the 'RM3 Grand' action used in the MP10 and 'RM3 Grand II' action used in the VPC1 is the additional key detection sensor in new board. This additional sensor allows for improved repetition and responsiveness, as a note can be played repeatedly without the sound of the previous note being cut off. Moreover, depending on your piano software, the key release speed can also be detected, allowing a greater amount of expression when playing staccato or legato.

In addition to the third sensor, the construction of the 'RM3 Grand II' action frame has also been improved.

[quote=pianobear100]2) I am assuming that this would work well with Receptor 2 or any of MUSE Research products for the sound production?


Yes, I believe it should just be a case of connecting the MIDI OUT from the VPC1 to the MIDI IN of the Receptor.

Originally Posted By: pianobear100
3) Would an audio interface be needed or desired to connect the VPC1 to the computer or Receptor? And a recommendation if one is needed.


I'm not overly familiar with the Receptor, but I believe if you're using one for the sound generator (e.g. running Ivory), it will not be necessary to use a computer. If you intend to use a computer, however, an audio interface may be recommended for higher quality audio and lower latency. Depending on the interface, you will either connect the VPC1 to the computer using traditional MIDI or USB, or to to the audio interface using traditional MIDI.

Originally Posted By: pianobear100
4) What type of recording software would you recommend to use with the instrument since there is not a recorder built in. I would like something simple, but with musical notation capability. I am wanting to make a Christmas CD to send to friends, but being classical trained, I respond better to Musical notation than to using my ear.


There are a number of MIDI recording packages available, ranging from fully-fledged DAWs such as Logic/Mainstage to more straight-forward notation-oriented packages such as Sibelius or Finale.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,
James
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Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 05:42 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
An interesting option for the VPC would be a furniture stand with pedals and one of those soundboard speakers built in. Then all you'd need would be a laptop (& a DIY rubber pad of some sort under it).


Yes, it's a nice idea. Although, perhaps a little beyond the scope of the VPC1...at least for the time being.

Originally Posted By: dewster
So the various velocity curves are selected via the power switch and the piano keys? Hmm.


The VPC1's five internal memories store velocity curves, key velocity offset, and other MIDI settings (routing, pedal CCs, etc.). These memories can be selected by using a power button+black key combination, or through the editor software. The previously selected memory will remain when the board is turned off/on.

Cheers,
James
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Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 05:45 AM

Originally Posted By: Pedro_Henrique
...like my mom said, "If this board be as solid as it seems, the price will be worth it, 'cause it will be a marriage."


Your mother is very wise. wink

James
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Posted by: In A Silent Way

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 06:39 AM

Hello dear people @ pianoworld, and hello Kawai rep. reading this if ever,

I've been reading this forum for a long time without giving any opinion, keeping it as a wild forest untouched.

Yet as the VPC1 is coming along, the first 'first class piano controller', I feel the urge to ask about several issues as well, as I'm playing currently a Kawai acoustic piano that also has a midi interface, which I really enjoy each and every day since I first tried it.

The concern is about the way manufacturers decisively or repeatedly fail to take the demands of the musicians right on time, and keep on walking of some sort of tick tock marketing strategies that would only have tocks.

Kawai is at last addressing the concern about a decent piano controller, and that's great, but it's doing so a bit confusingly indeed :

- the action is certainly good, but it seems, not as good as it would have been if it were simply the best current available one. I'm ready to bet many people will have to decide if they catch the VPC1 train right now, or just delay their purchase to see if the coming VPC2 or MP12 will instead or not really be the complete deal at once. As it is, the VPC1 looks like the keyboard of the day before into the box of day to come, and the compromise is a bit of a turn off indeed.

- The missing mod wheels : it's a real question, why not include the mod wheels into a discrete trap onto the VPC1.2, so that you wouldn't have to face the technical detail if you don't need to, but wouldn't have either to buy or use another keyboard to simply access this necessary feature? It's a bit of a mean deal in a way, not to include these wheels, and, as well, while we're at it, after touch or a third wheel or button or beam or else you could assign to this function, still hidden into the cabinet. Construction wise, it would only be negligible extra cost, and it would contribute really to design a legendary controller.

- Custom stand and generic sound cabinet, as 2 separate but combinable options, like the Fender Rhodes were at times, in order to sit it on properly and retro-feed in the VSTI sounding. (but the CA65/95 compete on this, though in the old fashion way)

I'm certain the VPC1 might be a valuable good for 2 decades, but I won't be purchasing one now because of these (as for now) two major points 1 and 2, and it's a real pity to feel so, because if Kawai had say delayed by a half year the launch of the perfect piano controller to include the very demands of musicians, and, say had simply announced at winter NAMM 2013 such a launch within 6 months to go, the expectations would have retained many people from buying a current average other controller, and the VPC1 would really have started as a legend already, be it the price an extra 300-500$ to fill in the extra features. Maybe I'm wrong, I'm not into marketing after all, but maybe I read the comments and I feel the thing as well as many people do?

One way to turn this around would be to issue an optional separate 2 mod wheels+after touch solution adapted to the VPC1 cabinet, but it would still be an addendum. It would really help though.

To testify about my concerns, for now, even though it's the older technology of mechanical midi captors implemented into my Kawai upright, I will keep on with it : it's an acoustic instrument, it has a real natural feel (the slightly higher let off point is ok once you get used to it) in MIDI as well, and despite the older single captor only technology, by design it triggers the data at the bottom of the key action, and it's perfectly suited for fast repetitions because it responds to weigh pressure and not speed (as opposed to the optical sensing), which is after all the way it works acoustically. As for the velocity curves, I design my own, really easy to do in any sequencer on the market.

So What would the VPC1 be to me in this situation? I'm afraid to answer, not a replacement for the action of my midified upright piano or an alternate/stage solution, nor a fully satisfying piano controller for the studio, but an ersatz still, ok a one ersatz significantly better than the ones of the other manufacturers, but not the promised land's gear yet.

Is there a way Kawai could quickly address this questions, f.e. limiting the production of the VPC1 in quantity, modifying its pricing plan to sell them quick, and move on later this year to a VPC1.2 or VPC1 mkII or VPC2 with the full minimum package for the studio, the home studio, and the scene : the best to date wooden action with the bare minimum controls on board, elegantly hidden behind a simple trap into the cabinet, so that in 30 years from now, people do still remember this product as the thing to go with of all time? Think of the Gem Promega 3, or the first Yamaha hybrid pianos back then, they still hold their user's breath, why not the Kawai VPCX in this series?

And all this doesn't really reduce my enthusiasm for Kawai products, simply it reduces my interest for the purchase of the current VPC1. For the price difference, the MP10 or coming MP12 (or whatever the name) or the Ca65 might just be as good to a new comer. Some brands prefer to scale their products without compromising, highest price the highest value, but somehow Kawai DP dpt ask you to choose between best action/best sound/best value, and you can't seem to be able to get the best of it all, whatever the price, making it all tocks in a strategy that is hard to read and somehow unsatisfying in a way. I can understand the fact is due to the calendar of the market and shows and launch schedules, but it tends to last for years now, and while it keeps the interest alive, it keeps disappointing the people who really need these instruments and actually, happen to really buy them occasionally, or not at the end of the day.

Thank you for your attention

iasw
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 06:48 AM

iasw, thank you for your thoughtful post.

There are portions that I agree with, and others that I do not, however even then, I can appreciate your opinion.

Kind regards,
James
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Posted by: Gigantoad

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 07:03 AM

Well, it's a piano controller. For that you don't need mod wheels. I can certainly understand that reasoning. If you buy an AvantGrand or a V-Piano, or pretty much any DP for that matter, you end up with no mod wheel. This is not a master keyboard. If you want a master keyboard then you'd also most likely want split functionality and whatnot. Where would you draw the line? Kawai decided to make it a pure piano controller and I can understand that.

Not using the latest action on the other hand is indeed a bit odd. I don't really know the differences in Kawai actions as I've never played them, but on paper it's a somewhat strange decision and almost feels as if it was done so to not compete with their own highend DP's.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 07:03 AM

I am wondering how much hollow space there is in the VPC for an aftermarket "optimizations" such as putting a tiny PC motherboard, etc. with say Vintage D preinstalled smile Something like "Dyno-My-VPC1".
Posted by: In A Silent Way

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 07:22 AM

(Sorry post was cut off by mistake)

Maybe the idea stipulating that 'less is more' is fully operating on this concept. Compare to the MP10 or CA65, it's less because it's a wooden controller, but it's much more because it's the promise of a couple of decades of a real solid reliable piano touch. I'm pretty certain in 20 years from now people will remember the VPC1 as a excellent virtual piano keyboard, and the products in this aisle of the hall of fame are quite not so many, maybe the Roland V-Piano, the Korg SV series, the Yamaha Avant Grand series, and some others will be as well. In this perspective of 'less is more' though, not including any rocket science optional board or expansion card ability is certainly coherent, as the laptop market will anyway always have so much more to compete with expansion, and at constant falling prices and raising capacities.

this is the league in which it is playing. A unique product today you'd still probably be wanting to buy used in a third hand deposit in 20 years from now. But maybe the 'less' of the motto is a little too restrictive with the VPC1 : it's clearly oriented toward DAW music production or virtual instruments playing, and in the DAW music production of today, the mod wheel, the after touch and the pitch wheel remain essential expression controllers, as well as software samplers and synths articulations and modulations necessities. And it's a little different not to have on board logical MIDI features like splitting and multi-timbral routing ability, because you can certainly fix all this from within the DAW software itself, and not to have the hardware wheels and MIDI implementations for current basic modulations, because it limits the range of use strictly and for good. In this perspective, including in a panel, hidden behind a trap into the unit or as an after-market option, 2 or better 3 distinct controllers for the available expression options of software gears, as long as they remain assignable on the software side to any of the available 127 controllers value, and you can do anything you want. In the old days this was summed up into an XY matrix controller with pressure as well on hardware synths, there are certainly ways to design an elegant button for that, it might require periods of intense testing for durability, but it should not be a problem to a company like Kawai to include this as a minimal service to the people who in the end will really make use of such a virtual piano controller, or should it?

You could as well see it from a customer casuistic point of view : 1) I am a piano player, then why not buy a piano instead of a controller? ; 2) I am a music producer, I need a fully operating controller ; 3) I'm a hardware junky, I won't see the difference between the wooden keys and the plastic one anyway ; 4) I'm a home musician and I need a dp to play at night, but I most certainly then don't have the patience to catch with the knowledge graph to plug VSTIs into a mute keyboard ; and so on.

So in the end who's left with a need for this certainly excellent, but quite slightly coming short of a button VPC1?

Instead of that, Kawai could have strike in right away, or the next time, with one genuine controller of which everyone would say soon enough to advise about DAW and piano music production : don't bother pal, VPC1 all the way for you as for anyone else, it's become a standard, can't go wrong with this. (I hope this will be the case anyhow over time.)

Concerning the keyboard itself, the fact that it's not labelled GF, maybe there's a general issue concerning the superlative outdoing into the process of this labelling, all across the market, like it were with software versions at times, DeLuxe, silver, gold, platinum, titanium, polonium or what not, etc. It would be simple to clarify this for Kawai and stop calling versions and confusing the end user all the time, it would furthermore leave the other brands to their label names dropping : why Kawai not to switch to a cristal clear marketing about their product lines, and simply explain they use the best keyboard available for the line and price range of the product, in a way that involved design and technology would be easy for the end user to scale across the same keyboard label once for all? I bet the one manufacturer that is able the first to cut the superlative overbid upon this labelling, will see its sales rise every September.

Looking forward to test the VPC1 in a local store wink

iasw
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 07:51 AM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
I am wondering how much hollow space there is in the VPC for an aftermarket "optimizations" such as putting a tiny PC motherboard, etc. with say Vintage D preinstalled smile Something like "Dyno-My-VPC1".


The Case is pretty similar to the MP10 Case, the front and top of the VPC at least look like the MP10 but without the holes for the buttons.

Both are also pretty much the same dimensions, give or take an inch.

Both use the same action (as far as physical volume is concerned the VPC1 action is improved though)

So I guess that the VPC 1 will offer more space inside than the MP10
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 08:14 AM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
I am wondering how much hollow space there is in the VPC for an aftermarket "optimizations" such as putting a tiny PC motherboard, etc. with say Vintage D preinstalled smile Something like "Dyno-My-VPC1".


I don't believe there's a great deal of extra space inside the VPC1 cabinet, however it would be interesting to see if an Intel NUC would fit. wink

Cheers,
James
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Posted by: sullivang

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 08:31 AM

[silly nonsense]

Originally Posted By: In A Silent Way


- the action is certainly good, but it seems, not as good as it would have been if it were simply the best current available one.


Indeed, and this would annoy the wisest man in the world - Jeremy Clarkson. Refer his comments about the Porsche Cayman here, at time 4:50:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riGejPAqNVw#t=4m50s

;^)

Greg.
Posted by: Pedro_Henrique

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 08:42 AM

And yes, she's very wise. She said: "if you save money and can buy it, sure it's not a grand piano, but at least you're not going to study in keys that don't let you grow. But save your money, and wait to buy the best combo."

I know that only if Kawai come with a GF action on the MP series, I'll not buy the VPC. And you can figure why.
But if not, I'll prefer the VPC plus or vst or one good rack as the Integra-7.

Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 08:45 AM

A small PC inside with wi-fi or bluetooth, your favorite tablet/smartphone with a dedicated application to make settings, change sounds and many more things, and you've got everything you need. Is anybody thinking in that direction at all?
Posted by: In A Silent Way

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 08:58 AM

Originally Posted By: sullivang
[silly nonsense]

Originally Posted By: In A Silent Way


- the action is certainly good, but it seems, not as good as it would have been if it were simply the best current available one.


The best current available one FROM KAWAI.

If it makes it silly nonsense, why just don't go with the Casio PX-150 or even the Yamaha NP11?

By design, he VPC1 is most certainly a gear that will last for 20 years without a problem, and you probably won't buy it in the first place to sell it the next semester if you like it, just like with a regular piano keyboard, so why is it so insane to ask to start from the best available action by the brand?

Again, it may simply be a labelling confusion, but then it's a communication mistake from Kawai.

Anyway, whatever you call it name it certainly is, dear Master nomothetics...

Nice day

iasw
Posted by: Peter B

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 09:27 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
These memories can be selected by using a power button+black key combination, or through the editor software.

The power button should not have been placed on the top but rather eg to the right of the upper key (or to the left of the lower key). If you have a (fullwidth) keyboard - or something else - on top you may not be able to get to the power button or even be able to see it to verify color/selection. In addition IMO the design had been cleaner and more pleasing without the button on the top surface.
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 09:54 AM

I'm a bit lost on the negative tone and tenor of this thread. To me the VPC is especially defined by what is is NOT and does NOT pretend to be. Like a workstation, full blown master keyboard controller, Digital Piano (with BU sound) etc. It is in basis just a very good keybed in a nice and classy casing , nothing more / nothing less. All the extra features you might want or need can be added with third party hard- and software if you like. Finally a keybed that does NOT come with all those extra bells & whistles that only some of us want , but others specifically don't need but get anyway - AND have to pay for. See it as building blocks . The most important part and basis is the VPC and that basis should be simple but very good and reliable. I think that is exactly the gap that VPC fills in and on which it delivers very well.

If your not happy with that ; you could buy an MP10 , other masterkeyboard controller, workstation or something completely different. There will certainly be people who are happy that at least now they have the choice to buy a good set of keys - and ONLY the keys - if they already have all the rest, or have specific wishes for the rest of the setup that requires different third party add-ons anyway.

If only it came with a more classy paper rest ...haha ;-)
Posted by: Hideki Matsui

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 10:18 AM

When can I buy one of these in the US?

I think the decision to leave other controllers off was a good idea. Those mechanisms tend to create slight noises, especially if used heavily. Small workstation keyboards are readily available and usually come with many more features suited to those tasks...

That's the reason I wish the top was just flat. Too much form over function there. I'm not sure if it was cost driven because of some underling similarity to the MP10 molding, but at the VPC's price, I hope that wasn't the reason.

Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 10:34 AM

Originally Posted By: Hideki Matsui
When can I buy one of these in the US?


Kraft are showing end of February.

James
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Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 10:54 AM

+1, and I cannot decide it for the moment, whether GF or RM3 is the top Kawai action. While GF beeing with the longest keys, is still the question it is necessarily the better playable one.

Key length make the finger touch position (front/back of the keys) more neutral, it can have theoretically some negative effects too (perhaps bigger inertia). Very long keys on a concert grand are partially because of the long strings which have to be hitted by the hammer at certain otpimal point far enough from the key with long enough hammer parts. Not playability is the primary issue to have the longest keys on an accoustic concert grand.

We should wait for the reviews and own experience to be able to judge.

I don't know, how heavy it would have been with GF, I guess something over 40kg could have seemed to be a showstopper for Kawai.

Stand with boxes and soundboard - what would be the pros/cons in comparison with a CA95 e.g.? Price would probably be roughly the same, I can think of only the better movability of the keyboard + separate minimal cabinet.
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 10:55 AM

Originally Posted By: JFP
I'm a bit lost on the negative tone and tenor of this thread. To me the VPC is especially defined by what is is NOT and does NOT pretend to be.

Well, it's NOT their best keys, in a case that is NOT the most ergonomic for PC use, with a UI that is NOT the most intuitive (use of the power switch & keys to select curves, no feedback whatsoever that I can see, though yes of course you can access these things and more via a PC but not a MAC).

The tone isn't so much negative or nit picky but to prod Kawai to make products that are more functional and perhaps less stylish if necessary. If this product made more sense I'd consider buying it, even though I'm pretty much against the bits and pieces approach to DPs.

Negative assessments are potentially much more valuable to manufacturers than positive. Anyone can praise a product, and manufacturers usually pay people to do so. I'm not crabbing here to make Kawai or anyone that works for them or anyone who owns their products upset. I just want better DPs - even the very best have some pretty awful things to crab about.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 11:55 AM

Well, if nothing else, it's generated a lot of discussion - and that's grist to Kawai's mill. Without these forum debates I suspect it would be quite difficult to get recognition for such a niche product.

Although one can bitch and moan about the VPC for what it is not, the more interesting thing will be to see how much traction it gains among the increasing number of people who exclusively play outboard VSTs (itself a rather sad testament to the DP manufacturers' generally slow pace of innovation). I would speculate that it was relatively straightforward for Kawai to re-engineer their MP10 case to accommodate the VPC, and so the presumably low investment in R&D made it worthwhile for them to float this product - almost as a toe-in-the-water.
Posted by: KLSinCT

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 12:19 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: JFP
I'm a bit lost on the negative tone and tenor of this thread. To me the VPC is especially defined by what is is NOT and does NOT pretend to be.

Well, it's NOT their best keys, in a case that is NOT the most ergonomic for PC use, with a UI that is NOT the most intuitive (use of the power switch & keys to select curves, no feedback whatsoever that I can see, though yes of course you can access these things and more via a PC but not a MAC).

The tone isn't so much negative or nit picky but to prod Kawai to make products that are more functional and perhaps less stylish if necessary. If this product made more sense I'd consider buying it, even though I'm pretty much against the bits and pieces approach to DPs.

Negative assessments are potentially much more valuable to manufacturers than positive. Anyone can praise a product, and manufacturers usually pay people to do so. I'm not crabbing here to make Kawai or anyone that works for them or anyone who owns their products upset. I just want better DPs - even the very best have some pretty awful things to crab about.


+1 thumb

K.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 12:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
However, the price for the MP10 is about $500 too high for what it is--I'd say the mp10 should cost about $2k and the VPC should cost $1500 or so.


How about the price of the RD-700NX?


Roland is always overpriced, which is why I never recommend it unless someone has already decided that only Roland will do. Actually, it's relatively seldom recommended outright here because it's too pricey (the FP7F gets far more recommendations despite not having the studio piano voice, which is apparently divine).

The FP7F is marginal at $2000. Once you get above $2000 for a slab-style piano, in my opinion you are charging too much. I don't know of any pure digital slab that has features I consider worth more than that.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 12:58 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
That's good to hear, thank you. I'm hopeful that others expressing concern about the lack of pitchbend/modulation wheels will also change their opinion once they experience how great the action feels for themselves.


They can have the wheels from my MP8 if they want. For most people, these seem to me to be quite a waste of space!
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 01:41 PM

@Dewster

Since this VPC is made to be used with software instruments; accessing curves and switching presets can perfectly well be done from within the PC. Which is connected anyway - to run your virtual instrument(s). Don't really see the problem here. True there's no Mac version (yet) , but here are workarounds and I would be very surprised if no Mac version would come somewhere in the future.

Case is not ergonomic ; if you mean the curve, I understood so far that this is only so little that it isn't a real problem in practice. Haven't seen one in real live, but for now I'll take their word for it.

GF may be their top keybed at the moment, so why the RM3 ? I don't know the exact reason, but I'm sure the GF has been considered at some stage, but fell through, because of weight, size, cost , or another factor. And the RM3 , especially with 3rd sensor and perhaps some other improvements, is certainly not a bad keybed ! Perhaps James can enlighten us on why its rm3 and not GF, or not, but still the new rm3 looks promising and will probably end up in the Mp10 successor and who knows other models to come.

I hope it will hi the shops soon, would like to try for myself. So far I like the VPC , especially because its such a nice basic approach from where you can build up your own setup around it and make it as simple or complex as you like or need.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 01:49 PM

I am sorry for the silly question but what's the difference between a specially dedicated touch curve in the controller versus touch curve in the VST? I am really confused as to why this has been advertised as something special and new. Pianoteq users already have a set of touch curves for most of the MIDI-capable keyboards.

Furthermore, I've noticed that with each piano in Ivory, I need to tweak the touch curve a little - Bosendorfer, Steinway, Yamaha, Fazioli - they all need a different touch curve and that's exactly what I've done - one custom curve for the German D and one for the Italian (both created and saved as presets in the Ivory software itself). So, VPC obviously has been optimized for one specific Ivory model and not all of them.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 02:17 PM

Originally Posted By: In A Silent Way

If it makes it silly nonsense,....


The "silly nonsense" comment was just to warn folks that my post contained a video which is off topic - it was about cars, not digital pianos. smile

I was agreeing with you, and was showing you an example of a similar kind of thing happening with Porsche's lineup. (did you actually watch the video, and understand it?)

Greg.
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 03:09 PM

I'm really glad to see Kawai taking initiative and finally coming out with this type of board! Kawai's DP actions are one of their greatest assets, and people have been asking for this type of keyboard for quite a while.

When I was shopping for a keyboard over the summer to replace my aging Roland Fantom X8, I was debating between a Kawai MP6 and a MP8II/MP10, as my primary concern was getting the best action I could for the money and using software pianos. I went ahead and got the MP6, as I couldn't justify the cost of the MP10 when I knew I wasn't really going to use the other sounds/features and primarily just wanted the beefier action. If the VPC had been available at the time it would have been the obvious front runner for me.


I see it as Kawai being forward-thinking, realizing that digital piano players seek out the best AP piano sounds they can get, which usually leads them to a setup involving a outboard computer with some software pianos and a Midi controller. Instead of Kawai being stubborn and refusing to recognize that market (and only sticking to stage pianos and console pianos) they've opened up a new area in their product line that I think is pretty exciting.

The VPC1 is a first gen product of a new line/model, so people should lighten up a little if it doesn't meet every request they have the first time out. Although I can see how it doesn't need as frequent updates/releases as keyboards with on-board sounds, I still hope that Kawai listens to feedback consensus and makes whatever refinements they can to the eventual VPC2.


Here is some current early feedback:

First off, I was curious as to why it uses RM3 instead of GF action? Was it a space issue (GF being too big for a slab keyboard?) or something else? I was thinking the goal was put Kawai's best possible DP action into a controller, and while I'm sure RM3 (with the new third sensor too) is great, I'm confused why it wasn't designed with the GF action instead?
Originally Posted By: JFP
@Dewster
GF may be their top keybed at the moment, so why the RM3 ? I don't know the exact reason, but I'm sure the GF has been considered at some stage, but fell through, because of weight, size, cost , or another factor. And the RM3 , especially with 3rd sensor and perhaps some other improvements, is certainly not a bad keybed ! Perhaps James can enlighten us on why its rm3 and not GF, or not, but still the new rm3 looks promising and will probably end up in the Mp10 successor and who knows other models to come.


I wouldn't think size would be a concern, as it seems like the VPC is really designed to stay at home. Weight falls under a similar category - I don't people were planning on gigging with the VPC1. Cost? Maybe... Any input would be appreciated James smile


While I understand and appreciate the design focus of pure simplicity, I can't help but think this focus is a little too narrow for the VPC1. I envisioned this sort of board as being more common place in a studio setting and existing as a master controller.

The simplistic design of the VPC1 sort of feels like it's designed to go into a living room or something, and in that regard I think it may be intruding on, and conflicting with, and overlapping the space shared by some of the Kawai console DPs (like the CE220). I know they are different products, but I get an akward feeling that some of the same audience is targeted with both of them.

I feel like there is some identity ambiguity to the VPC. Is the intent of it to just be high end action-in-a-box with a USB out and nothing else - designed strictly for digital acoustic piano playing, or is the intent to be a more versatile "Master controller" that utilizes Kawai's great action, but is more at home in a studio (and less concerned with living room aesthetics) and more capable of controlling other sounds if need be although aimed at controlling acoustic piano sounds?

It seems like one option for the VPC is to embrace and commit to being a midi controller more, and let go of being a pure AP focused controller. It could go the whole nine-yards instead of being just an "Virtual Piano Controller". I was expecting something a little more utilitarian looking, with more control surfaces on it.


Maybe Kawai could have two midi controllers:

1) One like the current VPC1, which is just the bare bones action-in-a-box, designed for people who strictly want the best possible action at the lowest possible price, whether they are only going to be using it as solely for acoustic piano playing via outboard VSTs, or they just already have other misc. midi controllers to cover the other stuff and now need just a great piano action controller...

or,

2) A second model that builds off the first one but is designed more as a studio master controller for and adds more midi controllers (mod wheel, pitch bend, faders, knobs etc) at a higher cost. Again, strictly a midi controller, but just a more "complete" one.

Or maybe just a compromise between the two, still very simplistic but with just a few more controls on it.

Again, I do understand what Kawai was going for with this first iteration. Something about it just feels a little akward. Maybe it's the the looks of the current VPC that are throwing me off a little. It's just very strange to look at a slab style DP and not see any buttons and controls on it. It looks too clean to fit in with the "dirty" world of outboard sounds, with laptops and cables and wires - like it should look less like a piece of furniture cabinetry and more like a piece of computer hardware (similar to the keyboard cases on boards Roland/Korg), with possibly some more accommodations for the computer setup/environment it's designed to be paired too. I'm not sure what those accommodations would be yet, but just something to think about/brainstorm.


Anyways, once again I'm very glad and excited that Kawai is entering this space and I hope they keep this line around and continue to improve it. I got my MP6 less than a year ago (and love it) so I'm good on keyboards for a while, but there's a strong chance that whenever it does comes time to upgrade, I'll be a looking at this VPC line.


I'm quoting a post below that shares some similar thoughts/feedback, just so people can read it again if they missed it...


Originally Posted By: In A Silent Way


- the action is certainly good, but it seems, not as good as it would have been if it were simply the best current available one. I'm ready to bet many people will have to decide if they catch the VPC1 train right now, or just delay their purchase to see if the coming VPC2 or MP12 will instead or not really be the complete deal at once. As it is, the VPC1 looks like the keyboard of the day before into the box of day to come, and the compromise is a bit of a turn off indeed.

- The missing mod wheels : it's a real question, why not include the mod wheels into a discrete trap onto the VPC1.2, so that you wouldn't have to face the technical detail if you don't need to, but wouldn't have either to buy or use another keyboard to simply access this necessary feature?

I'm certain the VPC1 might be a valuable good for 2 decades, but I won't be purchasing one now because of these (as for now) two major points 1 and 2, and it's a real pity to feel so, because if Kawai had say delayed by a half year the launch of the perfect piano controller to include the very demands of musicians, and, say had simply announced at winter NAMM 2013 such a launch within 6 months to go, the expectations would have retained many people from buying a current average other controller, and the VPC1 would really have started as a legend already, be it the price an extra 300-500$ to fill in the extra features. Maybe I'm wrong, I'm not into marketing after all, but maybe I read the comments and I feel the thing as well as many people do?


So What would the VPC1 be to me in this situation? I'm afraid to answer, not a replacement for the action of my midified upright piano or an alternate/stage solution, nor a fully satisfying piano controller for the studio, but an ersatz still, ok a one ersatz significantly better than the ones of the other manufacturers, but not the promised land's gear yet.

...the best to date wooden action with the bare minimum controls on board, elegantly hidden behind a simple trap into the cabinet, so that in 30 years from now, people do still remember this product as the thing to go with of all time?

And all this doesn't really reduce my enthusiasm for Kawai products, simply it reduces my interest for the purchase of the current VPC1. For the price difference, the MP10 or coming MP12 (or whatever the name) or the Ca65 might just be as good to a new comer. Some brands prefer to scale their products without compromising, highest price the highest value, but somehow Kawai DP dpt ask you to choose between best action/best sound/best value, and you can't seem to be able to get the best of it all, whatever the price, making it all tocks in a strategy that is hard to read and somehow unsatisfying in a way. I can understand the fact is due to the calendar of the market and shows and launch schedules, but it tends to last for years now, and while it keeps the interest alive, it keeps disappointing the people who really need these instruments and actually, happen to really buy them occasionally, or not at the end of the day.

Maybe the idea stipulating that 'less is more' is fully operating on this concept. Compare to the MP10 or CA65, it's less because it's a wooden controller, but it's much more because it's the promise of a couple of decades of a real solid reliable piano touch. I'm pretty certain in 20 years from now people will remember the VPC1 as a excellent virtual piano keyboard, and the products in this aisle of the hall of fame are quite not so many, maybe the Roland V-Piano, the Korg SV series, the Yamaha Avant Grand series, and some others will be as well. In this perspective of 'less is more' though, not including any rocket science optional board or expansion card ability is certainly coherent, as the laptop market will anyway always have so much more to compete with expansion, and at constant falling prices and raising capacities.

this is the league in which it is playing. A unique product today you'd still probably be wanting to buy used in a third hand deposit in 20 years from now. But maybe the 'less' of the motto is a little too restrictive with the VPC1 : it's clearly oriented toward DAW music production or virtual instruments playing, and in the DAW music production of today, the mod wheel, the after touch and the pitch wheel remain essential expression controllers, as well as software samplers and synths articulations and modulations necessities. And it's a little different not to have on board logical MIDI features like splitting and multi-timbral routing ability, because you can certainly fix all this from within the DAW software itself, and not to have the hardware wheels and MIDI implementations for current basic modulations, because it limits the range of use strictly and for good. In this perspective, including in a panel, hidden behind a trap into the unit or as an after-market option, 2 or better 3 distinct controllers for the available expression options of software gears, as long as they remain assignable on the software side to any of the available 127 controllers value, and you can do anything you want. In the old days this was summed up into an XY matrix controller with pressure as well on hardware synths, there are certainly ways to design an elegant button for that, it might require periods of intense testing for durability, but it should not be a problem to a company like Kawai to include this as a minimal service to the people who in the end will really make use of such a virtual piano controller, or should it?

You could as well see it from a customer casuistic point of view : 1) I am a piano player, then why not buy a piano instead of a controller? ; 2) I am a music producer, I need a fully operating controller ; 3) I'm a hardware junky, I won't see the difference between the wooden keys and the plastic one anyway ; 4) I'm a home musician and I need a dp to play at night, but I most certainly then don't have the patience to catch with the knowledge graph to plug VSTIs into a mute keyboard ; and so on.

So in the end who's left with a need for this certainly excellent, but quite slightly coming short of a button VPC1?

Instead of that, Kawai could have strike in right away, or the next time, with one genuine controller of which everyone would say soon enough to advise about DAW and piano music production : don't bother pal, VPC1 all the way for you as for anyone else, it's become a standard, can't go wrong with this. (I hope this will be the case anyhow over time.)

Concerning the keyboard itself, the fact that it's not labelled GF, maybe there's a general issue concerning the superlative outdoing into the process of this labelling, all across the market, like it were with software versions at times, DeLuxe, silver, gold, platinum, titanium, polonium or what not, etc. It would be simple to clarify this for Kawai and stop calling versions and confusing the end user all the time, it would furthermore leave the other brands to their label names dropping : why Kawai not to switch to a cristal clear marketing about their product lines, and simply explain they use the best keyboard available for the line and price range of the product, in a way that involved design and technology would be easy for the end user to scale across the same keyboard label once for all? I bet the one manufacturer that is able the first to cut the superlative overbid upon this labelling, will see its sales rise every September.


iasw
Posted by: kurtie

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 03:16 PM

Originally Posted By: JFP

GF may be their top keybed at the moment, so why the RM3 ? I don't know the exact reason, but I'm sure the GF has been considered at some stage, but fell through, because of weight, size, cost , or another factor. And the RM3 , especially with 3rd sensor and perhaps some other improvements, is certainly not a bad keybed ! Perhaps James can enlighten us on why its rm3 and not GF, or not, but still the new rm3 looks promising and will probably end up in the Mp10 successor and who knows other models to come.


How much better is GF compared to RM3? I tried the RM3 in a MP10 and found it to be an amazing action... and the RM3 in the VPC is improved. Never tried a GF action. My question is: Is the GF action so much better that makes the RM3 II look bad?

Anyway, right now the VPC is probably the controller (not the DP) with the best keybed out there. That's an achievement.

Regards,
Kurt.-
Posted by: In A Silent Way

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 03:39 PM

No I didn't watch it sorry but it's ok, nothing was meant personally, sorry I didn't quite get your point at first Master nomothetics wink

I was thinking about the move that would be really good for Kawai to develop : a VPCx that would integrate a physically modelled piano. That's a lot to develop though.

I also wonder what the VPC1 would be with a Gem RP-X hooked up to it, and the good over time such a virtual piano controller could bring to the piano expander market as well, which seem quite anaemic at the moment. I think CME in Italy still keeps the GEM RP-X production up right now, but maybe CME would be trading the license for this GEM product and Kawai could acquire it to build upon this past success and propose a complementary piano expander? Kawai already knows how to program modelled sympathetic resonances, and the Harmonic Imaging technology seems pretty hybrid all the way like the RP-X series, maybe they could split the MP10 or the ES7 in half for good and offer the other half to the expander market?
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 04:22 PM

Question about this VPC: it appears to be powered by USB, right? So if you are using the actual MIDI connector, is there power supplied through that, or do you need to connect a USB cable as well? Or does it have an optional power supply of some type.

I'll be using USB, so it won't matter in my case, but I'm curious.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 04:43 PM

Well, one concept that has taken a forward step in this product is probably the velocity curve setting.

If you are using one of the software products that has given their "seal of approval" for the built-in velocity curves you can be assured (theoretically) that the presets within each of those software packages has the sound the authors intended ... theoretically.

That should mean less need for fussing with the velocity curves within the software itself.... theoretically.


Of course, I do not really understand why that would be necessary. You would think that all the software packages would expect the exact same standard midi codes but that is a whole new topic.




Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 04:55 PM

Originally Posted By: dmd
Of course, I do not really understand why that would be necessary. You would think that all the software packages would expect the exact same standard midi codes but that is a whole new topic.

They expect the same MIDI codes... i.e. out of the box, they all know what they want to do when they receive a note velocity of 50 (or whatever other number). The problem is that different keyboards require a different amount of finger force to generate that note velocity of 50. So for ideal response, there has to be some calibration between how hard you're striking the keys, and how you want the software to respond, and that will be different with different keyboards.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 05:04 PM

I still don't understand why the "approved" touch curve should be in controller and not in the software. It doesn't make any difference. You either leave your controller on "default" and choose dedicated touch curve in the VST or vice versa. And according to me it's easier for software companies to do that since they already have touch curve screen. Did Kawai pay to Synthogy for putting the "approved" label? Is this part of an agreement than no other company could pay for a dedicated touch curve? Really, I don't get the idea.
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 05:06 PM

Originally Posted By: dmd


That should mean less need for fussing with the velocity curves within the software itself.... theoretically.



Still need to have the capability to adjust for a players own touch. Per voice.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 05:26 PM

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Question about this VPC: it appears to be powered by USB, right? So if you are using the actual MIDI connector, is there power supplied through that, or do you need to connect a USB cable as well? Or does it have an optional power supply of some type.

I'll be using USB, so it won't matter in my case, but I'm curious.


A small power adaptor is included for MIDI-only use.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 05:42 PM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
I still don't understand why the "approved" touch curve should be in controller and not in the software. It doesn't make any difference.

Exactly, it doesn't make any difference. So, if you can do it on either side, what would be easier for the consumer who buys a VPC? If it's in the controller, the instructions are, basically, "hit a button." If it's in the software, you have to explain to the user how to load a new velocity curve into Ivory or whatever (and probably provide a data file either on CD ROM or have people download it). And if a user decides to buy a second or third software piano, they have to learn a different procedure for how to load a velocity curve into each of the programs. Since as you say it makes no difference, and they want to make the experience as plug-and-play as possible, it does seem sensible for Kawai to put the curve data in the device itself.
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 05:44 PM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
I still don't understand why the "approved" touch curve should be in controller and not in the software.

The difference is in velocity resolution post curving. If you pass 128 values (0-127) through a non trivial function and want 128 out, some values will be missing and/or some will be duplicated - so you need more values going in than coming out. Most keyboard encoders have excess internal resolution to cope with this.

If the controller kicks out high-res MIDI (2^14 values) this is pretty much moot and you can do the curve anywhere you want with impunity. Though the curve is traditionally in the controller (for the reason above) so there may be limited to no curve control in stand-alone sound modules.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 06:04 PM

OK, however if there are new software pianos in the future, it will get even harder for users to upload new curves to the VPC, especially on Mac. And there are only 5 slots for touch curves.

Dewster, you're right, the dynamic steps get less than 128 on the output if we remap values in software. So, it actually makes sense to use custom curves on the controller side. I am wondering if this will make any real difference and if it is perceptible though.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 06:05 PM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
I still don't understand why the "approved" touch curve should be in controller and not in the software. It doesn't make any difference.

Dewster added a good point.. it can indeed make a difference. With a fixed number of velocity points, any "increased resolution" in one area of the dynamic range is offset by "decreased resolution" in another. On the software side, assuming you're using the typical controller that sends out 0 to 127, the software only has 128 possible values to work with. On the controller side, they may be able to do something better by manipulating the curve before it is "reduced" to 128 values to begin with.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 06:25 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Well, it's NOT their best keys...


The 'GF' has a longer key stick and pivot length, that's true. But 'RM3 Grand II' is still a superb action to play, and surely the most realistic in a controller board. May I ask if you or your piano-teaching wife have ever tried a wooden-key Kawai action, by the way?

Originally Posted By: dewster
...in a case that is NOT the most ergonomic for PC use


I assume you are referring to the slight curvature of the top surface? As others who have seen the board have noted, it's really nothing to worry about.

Originally Posted By: dewster
...with a UI that is NOT the most intuitive (use of the power switch & keys to select curves, no feedback whatsoever that I can see


The selected memory is indicated by the colour+state of the power button. If you can think of a better method to select/indicate the setting memory 'headless', I'd like to hear it. As explained in the owner's manual:



As noted above, these preset touch curves can be replaced/adjusted by the player using the VPC Editor software, if desired.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 06:51 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
The selected memory is indicated by the colour+state of the power button.

Thanks for that info James.

(On the off chance) any pivot point measurement differences between 'GF' and 'RM3 Grand II' that you can report?
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 07:01 PM

James, I don't want to be nitpicker and I am saying it mostly for the fun side of it, but I am color blind and I hate it when things rely on color codes, etc laugh
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 07:07 PM

We are musicians for Pete's sake, why not just generating different musical MIDI patterns when you change curves, say "God save the Queen" for normal, "Star spangled banner" for Ivory, etc laugh Just kidding - I don't want to be banned again and I apologize to anyone affected in advance! smile
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 07:20 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
(On the off chance) any pivot point measurement differences between 'GF' and 'RM3 Grand II' that you can report?


Not off the top of my head, I'm afraid.

James
x
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 07:21 PM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
James, I don't want to be nitpicker and I am saying it mostly for the fun side of it, but I am color blind and I hate it when things rely on color codes, etc laugh


Don't worry, I'm partially colour-blind too, but even I can spot the difference.

James
x
Posted by: TubularBills

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 07:23 PM

I'd like to congrat James for his patience and self control given some criticisms that, in my opinion, aren't called for regarding this product. It's a piano controller, with an (apparently) better action than most controllers on the market. It does exactly what it's meant for : control a piano sound, merging the best of both physical and software worlds. Those who wanted a semi-weighted keyboard to control their sounds already had plenty of models to choose from, but piano aficionados looking for a simple fully weighted action keyboard didn't. Now it's different.

I have two questions :
- how would you compare the RM3II action with the one found on the ES7 ?
- when is it available in Europe ?

Thanks
Posted by: Amaruk

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 08:31 PM

Originally Posted By: TubularBills
I'd like to congrat James for his patience and self control given some criticisms that, in my opinion, aren't called for regarding this product.

+100
Posted by: dmd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 08:48 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James

The selected memory is indicated by the colour+state of the power button. If you can think of a better method to select/indicate the setting memory 'headless', I'd like to hear it. As explained in the owner's manual:



As noted above, these preset touch curves can be replaced/adjusted by the player using the VPC Editor software, if desired.

Cheers,
James
x



James:

Just wondering if you have a handle on the need for Kawai equipping the VPC controller with a place for velocity curves to match specific software products.

It would seem to me that every software package would simple assume the instrument sends the standard 0-127 velocity codes and the hardware companies (Kawai, Roland, etc ...) just do that.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 09:17 PM

Originally Posted By: dmd
Just wondering if you have a handle on the need for Kawai equipping the VPC controller with a place for velocity curves to match specific software products.


The touch curve is arguably the last piece of the jigsaw between a 'pretty good' playing experience and an 'absolutely fantastic' playing experience.

Originally Posted By: dmd
It would seem to me that every software package would simple assume the instrument sends the standard 0-127 velocity codes and the hardware companies (Kawai, Roland, etc ...) just do that.


True, most keyboards/DPs send velocity values from 0-127 (although some do not...), however different keyboard actions require different amounts of force to produce the same MIDI value - hence the need for touch curves.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 09:27 PM

Fantastic clip of keyboard legend Jordan Rudess playing the VPC1 (and Ivory II) at the Synthogy booth:



I think you can see the extent of the 'curved' surface quite clearly in this clip.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 09:39 PM

Thank you, James for posting this video of Jordan Rudess playing the VPC1. For me at least, being able to hear it, and see it in action is wonderful. To my knowledge (please tell me if there are others), this is the one and only post of the VPC in which somone actually plays it! Not only does it look good, it sounds wonderful! I too, would like to commend you and thank you for your patience over the last several days in answering graciously a thousand and one questions. You sir, are a gentleman and a scholar!
Regards,
H.K. cool
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 09:49 PM

HisKidd, thank you for your kind words.

There's another video of Jordan playing the VPC1 on YouTube, however it's much shorter and the angle isn't quite as good:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQLj6F2f_iw

Note that I will continue to post videos, pictures, and news articles about the VPC1 on the facebook page at www.facebook.com/kawaivpc

Cheers,
James
x

Posted by: dmd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 09:54 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
True, most keyboards/DPs send velocity values from 0-127 (although some do not...), however different keyboard actions require different amounts of force to produce the same MIDI value - hence the need for touch curves.

Kind regards,
James
x


I do not mean to belabor this point but I really would like to understand this point. I have been delving into this topic for a while now and have not been completely satisfied as to the need.

What it appears that you are saying is that the the piano company may have manufactured a digital piano which sends codes midi codes 0 - 127 but in order to reach the upper range it must have to almost "pound" on the keys to get there. If so, I would say ... Why would they do that ?

You would think they also are aware that their users would wish to reach the entire range 0-127 with a normal effort. And, apparently it is not difficult to do since all that is needed now to correct the problem is to insert a velocity curve and ... viola ... done.
Posted by: Destaana

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 10:20 PM

Hello James

Will this be sold in Australia?

Just curious because nothing good ever comes here in AUS. I think I have bought most of my stuff from either the UK or the US because we have such limited amounts of gear here. The only really annoying thing is the import fees that I have to pay for.

Thanks!
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 10:20 PM

I think the idea of colour coding the velocity curves is a bit strange, even for folks with normal vision.

Greg.
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 10:29 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: dewster
(On the off chance) any pivot point measurement differences between 'GF' and 'RM3 Grand II' that you can report?

Not off the top of my head, I'm afraid.

How about officially? That's what I meant. I'm kind of surprised Kawai doesn't publish these specs, corporate seems to think it's important enough to crow about in your literature, but without actual dimensions it's kind of meaningless:

"The new Grand Feel (GF) is Kawai latest digital piano action. Building upon the design principles established in the RM3, the GF action increases the length of the wooden keys beyond that of the RM3 and moves the balance point back to create the longest key-front pivot length in the industry – as long as a Kawai grand piano’s pivot length."

The problem here is which grand? The short action of a baby grand wouldn't technically be lying. Is it significantly longer than an RM3, or just a millimeter or two? I don't know what to think based on this vague info.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 10:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Destaana
Will this be sold in Australia?

Just curious because nothing good ever comes here in AUS. I think I have bought most of my stuff from either the UK or the US because we have such limited amounts of gear here. The only really annoying thing is the import fees that I have to pay for.


I'm not entirely sure, I'm afraid. I know that Kawai American and Kawai Europe will definitely be selling the VPC1. My recommendation would be to contact Kawai Australia to register your interest.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 10:51 PM

Originally Posted By: sullivang
I think the idea of colour coding the velocity curves is a bit strange, even for folks with normal vision.


Just to clarify, the power button LED colour/state changes based on the selected preset memory, not the touch curve. It's just that 'out of the box' the five preset memories contain different preset memories.

Personally, I think this functionality is quite good - it allows different setups to be created for different scenarios. I cannot think of a better way to indicate the selected memory short of including an LED/LCD display.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 10:59 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
How about officially?


Officially, Kawai has opted not to get involved in a numbers game regarding the exact pivot length. It's as long as a Kawai grand piano key pivot length - this should be sufficient information for most consumers.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: Peter B

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 11:28 PM

In another thread in this forum someone (sorry I do not find the reference right now) estimated the pivot length of the RM3 Grand to be between 7.25-7.5 inches. If you take the pictures of the RM3 and the GF actions on Kawai's homepage and scale them so the front of the white keys and the front of black keys are aligned on the two pictures, then the pivot length of the GF can be estimated to be about 9.0 inches if the above estimate for RM3 is correct.
Posted by: Peter B

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/27/13 11:54 PM

Hi Kawai James,
Thanks for your replies to my questions yesterday. I had the pleasure of trying the VPC again today at NAMM (as well as witnessing Jordan Rudess playing it as shown on the video above which of course also was a great pleasure). Apart from the excellent action I really do find it good for mind and soul only to have a nice piano'ish cabinet and not a controller full of lights, knobs, sliders, modwheels and sounds you never want to use when playing piano - or maybe never want to use at all. This is the action for piano players and can stay as such over generations of sound modules and sound libraries. I will handle non-piano sounds and effects e.g. from my Nord Stage 2.

I have decided to buy a VPC1 right away (when available) and hope you will keep the pressure on getting a Mac version of the editor.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/28/13 12:03 AM

Hello Peter, thank you for your post.

Glad to hear you enjoyed playing the VPC1.

Your sentiment about a controller without lights, knobs, sliders, etc. was shared by some of the virtual piano software developers we worked with. I hope to include some interviews on the VPC website in the near future.

Kind regards,
James
x

ps. Noted about the Mac editor.
Posted by: In A Silent Way

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/28/13 05:13 AM

Quote:
Your sentiment about a controller without lights, knobs, sliders, etc. was shared by some of the virtual piano software developers we worked with.


Interesting, but now in my music studio I'll have to have at least a cheap 25 keys controller on top of the VPC1 with blinking red lights and flashy colours&designs just because I'll miss the minimal mod wheel, pitch wheel, and a pressure controller.

A hidden trap would have been so easy to hide these on the top left side, or they could have been deported onto the left flank without damaging the looks of it, it would have been, really, the bare minimum.

Other than that, if it's only and strictly to play the piano, if you have to add the laptop or the computer, the software/dongles, the audio interface, the amp/monitors system, the stand, compared to a decent Kawai upright (even a silent ATX Kawai upright would compete), which is an acoustic real instrument (and/or acoustic silent with MIDI out), or simply compared to a decent Kawai dp (with the GF keyboard f.e.), you're just piling up plastics electronics devices at an impossible price, imho.
Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/28/13 05:22 AM

Originally Posted By: Destaana
Hello James

Will this be sold in Australia?

Just curious because nothing good ever comes here in AUS. I think I have bought most of my stuff from either the UK or the US because we have such limited amounts of gear here. The only really annoying thing is the import fees that I have to pay for.

Thanks!


Huh? Name one board that isn't sold here ?
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/28/13 05:59 AM

Hello chaps,

I've just uploaded the VPC Editor software to the Kawai Japan 'Worldwide' site:

http://www.kawai.co.jp/worldwide/support/downloads.html

Windows users are welcome to give it a try without the VPC1 connected in 'demo' mode (i.e. no settings are saved) and check out the various features.

The main VPC website is being finalised, and should be online either tomorrow or Wednesday. My apologies once again for the delays...

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/28/13 07:48 AM

I think you've had a tough week with this one mate ... thumb
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/28/13 08:08 AM

BTW, a post from a NAMM visitor on another site commented on the nice FLAT top of the VPC. That should also tell you something about how "curved" it is. ;-)
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/28/13 08:34 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Officially, Kawai has opted not to get involved in a numbers game regarding the exact pivot length. It's as long as a Kawai grand piano key pivot length - this should be sufficient information for most consumers.

Kawai also makes the 9' EX, a couple of 5' grands, and some stuff in between. OK, I'll err on the safe side and assume it's based on a 5' action, thanks!
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/28/13 08:46 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
thanks!


No problem! wink
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/28/13 09:58 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James

I've just uploaded the VPC Editor software to the Kawai Japan 'Worldwide' site:

http://www.kawai.co.jp/worldwide/support/downloads.html

Windows users are welcome to give it a try without the VPC1 connected in 'demo' mode (i.e. no settings are saved) and check out the various features.


I'm assuming that an editor and drivers for OS-X will be released, hopefully in the near future. I would not consider purchasing a VPC1 otherwise.
Posted by: Hideki Matsui

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/28/13 02:26 PM

Originally Posted By: anotherscott
BTW, a post from a NAMM visitor on another site commented on the nice FLAT top of the VPC. That should also tell you something about how "curved" it is. ;-)


That's great to hear. That was my only concern.

I'm definitely getting one of these. There are so many different types of controllers available, but so few that offer a great action, solid build quality, pleasing aesthetics and real estate for other devices. The price is a little high IMO, but only by a few hundred dollars.

The A88 I just bought will get a quick turnaround.

One quick question Kawai James. Once I create curves on a PC and import them to the VPC, will they be effective when I hook the VPC up to my Jupiter and Mac?
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/28/13 03:23 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Officially, Kawai has opted not to get involved in a numbers game regarding the exact pivot length. It's as long as a Kawai grand piano key pivot length - this should be sufficient information for most consumers.

Kawai also makes the 9' EX, a couple of 5' grands, and some stuff in between. OK, I'll err on the safe side and assume it's based on a 5' action, thanks!
Your nekid pictures with a measure band + the readily available pictures of the GF and RM3 make this easy to measure.
Just relate the key lengths to the pivot point distance of the two quite accuarately. (I judged it at the modells at the store side by side - I didn't bother to do the measurements actually, but one could make this easily too given the fact key layout is quite standardised for more than a century (length/position of black/white keys).

I was astonished to see the GF very significantly longer than the RM3 - perhaps some 2-3 cm longer.

As I said previously, I am not sure beyond some point bigger key length is improving playability significantly (or at all.) On bigger grands it is dictated simply by the longer strings which have to be hitted far from their end - you need a longer hammer mechanics.

Another question whether there is a mechanical or geometrical difference (improvement?) between the RM3 or RM3 II or this all is up to the added third sensor.

I am very interested in an answer to whether RM3II is that much better than RH2. (I need above all smooth touch for my older and sensitive fingers - and a quiet one too).

Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/28/13 04:08 PM

James...
Is the Kawai F-30 foot pedal unique to the new VPC? Will it work with other Kawai stage pianos (MP-10; MP-6), and can it be purchased separately? I've checked Kawai on line; and several of the instrument/musician outlets, but haven't had any luck finding the F-30, only the F-20.
Regards,
H.K. cool
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/28/13 06:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Temperament
Another question whether there is a mechanical or geometrical difference (improvement?) between the RM3 or RM3 II or this all is up to the added third sensor.


I would like to know this too. I think we are all operating under the assumption that RM3II is just RM3 with a third sensor and that RH2 is the same as RH with a third sensor. I'd love confirmation on that, though.
Posted by: Amaruk

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/28/13 07:55 PM

Originally Posted By: Peter B
Apart from the excellent action I really do find it good for mind and soul only to have a nice piano'ish cabinet and not a controller full of lights, knobs, sliders, modwheels and sounds you never want to use when playing piano - or maybe never want to use at all.

Good points. Another option would be a console piano like CA-65/CA-95/CS-10. Below is my RD-700NX that I use for silent practice only. The sliders etc are covered up when the piano is not in use.



Posted by: TubularBills

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/28/13 08:27 PM

Originally Posted By: In A Silent Way

Interesting, but now in my music studio I'll have to have at least a cheap 25 keys controller on top of the VPC1 with blinking red lights and flashy colours&designs just because I'll miss the minimal mod wheel, pitch wheel, and a pressure controller.


Well, I think one might consider it the other way round.
Lots of musicians already have a midi keyboard in their studio, powered monitors, controllers and what not. In my case, I already own a 61 notes light action master keyboard with a modwheel which I'm happy with - as far as organs and synths are concerned. But I missed a good weighted action midi keyboard for piano. Other people might own a krome, a kurzweil or anything filled with great sounds - but deprived of a good wooden action. So they already have the lights and flashy colours anyway.
If I were one of these people, I'd be happy not to have to pay for the whole thing (action+ sounds) again. There the VPC1 is the perfect deal : for those who need the action, only the action. The velocity curves are of less importance to me.
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/28/13 08:51 PM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
James...
Is the Kawai F-30 foot pedal unique to the new VPC? Will it work with other Kawai stage pianos (MP-10; MP-6), and can it be purchased separately? I've checked Kawai on line; and several of the instrument/musician outlets, but haven't had any luck finding the F-30, only the F-20.
Regards,
H.K. cool


It looks to me like it's basically an F-20 pedal and an F-10H pedal mounted into the same housing, as their are two plugs coming out of it. I'd assume it connects and works the same way as plugging and F-20 into the Foot switch jack and an F-10 into the Damper jack.

Of course, some confirmation would be nice though.
Posted by: thercman

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/29/13 12:30 AM

I must say that I am a bit surprised that there wasn't a bundled VST with the VPC1... Maybe they should have included CDROM that was preloaded with one of the 4 shown or even something else. By doing that it would at open the door to people who are just starting out (1st time buyers). After spending nearly 2k they don't want to hear the sales person say now you need to spend another $300 on virtual pianos in order to play it..... That might drive people away from the product. Just a thought. Personally I'll still buy one, but I already a have a couple VST's and two synths.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/29/13 02:42 AM

Hello chaps,

Below are some responses to your queries/comments.

Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
I'm assuming that an editor and drivers for OS-X will be released, hopefully in the near future.


I am hopeful, as this has been quite a strong request so far. However, I am not the person responsible for making this decision.

Originally Posted By: Hideki Matsui
One quick question Kawai James. Once I create curves on a PC and import them to the VPC, will they be effective when I hook the VPC up to my Jupiter and Mac?


Yes, the VPC editor stores settings directly to the VPC1's internal memories. So once your custom touch curves etc. are programmed in, you will not need to connect the PC unless you decide to change something again.

Originally Posted By: Temperament
Another question whether there is a mechanical or geometrical difference (improvement?) between the RM3 or RM3 II or this all is up to the added third sensor.


Geometrically 'RM3 Grand' and 'RM3 Grand II' are the same, however the construction is a little different, in addition to the third sensor.

Originally Posted By: Temperament
I am very interested in an answer to whether RM3II is that much better than RH2.


Officially, I cannot really answer such a subjective question. However, if you were to ask me as an individual, which keyboard action would I rather own - obviously, 'RM3 Grand II' every time. wink

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Is the Kawai F-30 foot pedal unique to the new VPC?


Currently, yes. However, we may decide to introduce this unit as a standalone accessory for existing MP users (see below) in the future if there is strong demand.

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Will it work with other Kawai stage pianos (MP-10; MP-6)?


Due to the technical design of the F-30, I believe it will only function correctly (i.e. as a triple pedal unit) with the MP8, MP8II, and MP10 (i.e. not the MP5 or MP6). And even then, a software update would be required each of those models.

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
I think we are all operating under the assumption that RM3II is just RM3 with a third sensor...


...yes, plus the improved key frame construction.

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
...and that RH2 is the same as RH with a third sensor.


Yes, this is more or less correct.

I hope this helps to answer your queries chaps!

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/29/13 02:52 AM

Originally Posted By: thercman
I must say that I am a bit surprised that there wasn't a bundled VST with the VPC1...


I believe it would be a little difficult to do so without aggravating the other VI developers we partnered with.

Originally Posted By: thercman
Maybe they should have included CDROM that was preloaded with one of the 4 shown or even something else.


With the exception of Pianoteq, I do not believe any modern virtual piano packages are shipped on CD-ROM.

Originally Posted By: thercman
By doing that it would at open the door to people who are just starting out (1st time buyers). After spending nearly 2k they don't want to hear the sales person say now you need to spend another $300 on virtual pianos in order to play it.....


I understand the point you are making, however I would like to think that VPC1 customers will appreciate that the controller does not include virtual piano software.

Originally Posted By: thercman
Personally I'll still buy one, but I already a have a couple VST's and two synths.


Sounds like a great combo. wink

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/29/13 03:37 AM

James, thanks for all the great answers - especially in regards to the questions about actions. Obviously people interested in this board are particularly picky and discerning about action, and so you get lots of nagging questions about it smile

Speaking of which....

Could you elaborate on why the choice was made to opt for RM3II over GF in the VPC? I'm not trying to complain or sound negative at all, I'm just genuinely curious about what factors determine the choices Kawai makes on which actions to choose for their particular keyboards.

For example, if size and weight was a concern that guided that decision, I think a most people interested in the VPC wouldn't care about an extra couple inches or pounds added to the VPC considering how they're going to be using it.

If it was cost, I'd be curious to know what the cost difference between the VPC with RM3II or GF would approximately be. I wouldn't mind if Kawai just ripped off the top of one of their CA or CS series with GF (perhaps whittled down the case size to be tighter though) and stick a midi jack on it. smile

Thanks
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/29/13 04:05 AM

@chicolom

Good question. Considering size and weight , you're indeed right that most people buying this board won't be carrying around the VPC anyway. On the other hand GF would have definitely prevented the option to take the board to a gig or elsewhere due to increased size and weight. And there ARE pro's who do lug their MP10's onto stage, so with the choice for RM3 II , Kawai may have given people at least the option to take the VPC with you - where GF would have prevented this altogether. In that respect I understand the decision. Completely apart from the price difference it would have introduced.

Also the RM3 II was due to arrive anyway, because at some point there must be a successor to the MP10 in the make and that couldn't possibly be with GF either, if it was supposed to be 'portable' in any way.

In terms of price the VPC with GF may have cost only little less than a CA65 and equal to an MP10, so that would make it difficult to sell against these models too.

Conclusion: RM3 II seems to make sense either way you look at it.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/29/13 04:23 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster

The difference is in velocity resolution post curving. If you pass 128 values (0-127) through a non trivial function and want 128 out, some values will be missing and/or some will be duplicated - so you need more values going in than coming out. Most keyboard encoders have excess internal resolution to cope with this.

If the controller kicks out high-res MIDI (2^14 values) this is pretty much moot and you can do the curve anywhere you want with impunity. Though the curve is traditionally in the controller (for the reason above) so there may be limited to no curve control in stand-alone sound modules.


Agreed/understood, however it is conceivable that the instrument will actually interpolate between points, in which case essentially no steps will be lost. I checked with Pianoteq support, and it actually does interpolate in this way.
No idea about all the others yet.

There is always the issue of whether or not the controller is capturing the dynamic range of the player appropriately though, especially for standard MIDI resolution. For example, if the player can never reach velocities above, say, 100, then 27 steps will be lost, of course, no matter how the instrument processes the velocity.

Greg.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/29/13 04:28 AM

Good question. This is also answered in the Q&A section of the VPC website, which we hope to have online tomorrow.

Here's a peek:

Quote:
Q. Why doesn’t the VPC1 use Kawai’s latest ‘Grand Feel’ (GF) keyboard action?

A. The ‘Grand Feel’ (GF) keyboard action is currently reserved for Kawai’s flagship ‘Concert Artist’ digital piano instruments. Moreover, it would not be possible to include the ‘Grand Feel’ action in the VPC1 without a considerable increase to the chassis size.

Therefore, we decided to utilise an enhanced version of the MP10’s ‘RM3 Grand’ action, which is widely considered the most realistic keyboard action available in a slab-type/portable instrument.


Regarding cost etc., please understand that this is confidential information that cannot be disclosed on a public forum.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/29/13 04:30 AM

Originally Posted By: JFP
Conclusion: RM3 II seems to make sense either way you look at it.


Correct.
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/29/13 05:05 AM

I see. Makes more sense now. Thanks for the responses smile

Ugh, I want one...

BTW, what's the cheapest Kawai DP with GF action? I know the CA65 and CA95 have it, but I'm not sure what else has it. Is there a list/chart/publication somewhere of which keyboards have which actions?

I also saw from NAMM that the CS7 and CS10 have it it, but I'm not where those fall in price compared to the CA series. I assumed the CS series is less premium than the CA series, AKA cheaper...
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/29/13 05:26 AM

Yes, currently only the CA95, CA65, and newly introduced CS10 and CS7 instruments feature the 'Grand Feel' action.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/29/13 08:09 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: thercman
I must say that I am a bit surprised that there wasn't a bundled VST with the VPC1...


I believe it would be a little difficult to do so without aggravating the other VI developers we partnered with.

Another approach could have been to bundle demo versions of all four pianos, and perhaps build into the price of the unit the ability to fully activate any one (assuming an arrangement could have been made that it would add less to the cost of the unit than what it would cost to buy any of them separately), with ideally a way to unlock additional ones as desired at a special price. Maybe the demo versions would only play through a special VST player that would introduce "flaws" into the sound of any non-purchased piano (like, an x second drop out every x seconds, or something like that). The point is, I'm sure there are ways to keep all the developers on an even playing field so as not to aggravate them. Next time...
Posted by: Vectistim

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/29/13 08:17 AM

I think Hauptwerk (organ software) does well with the demo versions. There is a free option with limited polyphony (256) and a few other limitations, but with that version you can try out the two higher versions, although when using them you get a periodic 'bong' and a paid licence operates via a dongle.
Posted by: Qbert

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/29/13 08:30 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James

Quote:
Q. Why doesn’t the VPC1 use Kawai’s latest ‘Grand Feel’ (GF) keyboard action?

A. The ‘Grand Feel’ (GF) keyboard action is currently reserved for Kawai’s flagship ‘Concert Artist’ digital piano instruments. Moreover, it would not be possible to include the ‘Grand Feel’ action in the VPC1 without a considerable increase to the chassis size.

Therefore, we decided to utilise an enhanced version of the MP10’s ‘RM3 Grand’ action, which is widely considered the most realistic keyboard action available in a slab-type/portable instrument.



That's a pitty. frown
It means that we will never see a VPC II with GF keyboard.
Posted by: Gigantoad

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/29/13 08:34 AM

How do these 2 actions compare? Are they dramatically different?
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/29/13 09:00 AM

Originally Posted By: Qbert
That's a pitty. frown
It means that we will never see a VPC II with GF keyboard.


Right. It also probably means Kawai will not be producing a GF replacement for the MP10. Basically they are going to have a console and a slab action in parallel (like Yamaha with NW and NW-stage).

We've had people say GF is better than RM3 and we've also had the opposite, so I think it's a bit early to say which is better. Most forum members have not yet tried GF.
Posted by: Hideki Matsui

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/29/13 10:40 AM

Saw Muse last night. Glad to see Matt Bellamy is still using a Kawai onstage. James, any idea if that is still the MP8 or does he have a VPC in there already.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/29/13 01:07 PM

Originally Posted By: me
I checked with Pianoteq support, and it actually does interpolate in this way.


Hmmm - even if it does interpolate the points that lie between the anchor points that are set by the user, it is not allowing the anchors to be set precisely - I can only change them in normal low-res steps. (unless there is some other way to feed it a high-res velocity curve - not sure). I might test all this out. Then again I might not.

Greg.
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/29/13 01:42 PM

Originally Posted By: sullivang
Agreed/understood, however it is conceivable that the instrument will actually interpolate between points, in which case essentially no steps will be lost. I checked with Pianoteq support, and it actually does interpolate in this way.

Very good point. Though the 128 steps are quantized in the controller, so data coming from it means "here is a velocity value that is within +/- 1/256th of the velocity I actually measured more precisely but can't tell you because of the limitations of the MIDI data format (7 bits)." That Pianoteq is capable of interpolating and using interpolating data means they aren't making the velocity uncertainty much worse, but they can't make it better due to the inherent quantization noise.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/29/13 07:15 PM

I tried to test Pianoteq, but there's enough randomness in the peak amplitude from note to note (even feeding it identical velocities for consecutive notes) to make it impossible for me to determine whether it's interpolating or not, using the simplistic method of inspecting the peak of the waveform. (I did increase the dynamic range to max, but it's not enough to bring out any trend)

I used a velocity curve that mapped velocity 0 to 63, and velocity 127 to 64.

Greg.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/29/13 08:47 PM

I rolled up my sleeves and averaged the peak amplitude for 10 strikes at each velocity, and VOILA - I can see that Pianoteq is indeed interpolating the velocity curve. ;^) There is a tiny 0.5dB difference between an input velocity of 1 and 127, when mapped to 63 and 64 respectively, with intermediate velocities producing averages within that 0.5dB range, in a consistent and expected way. (the velocity curve is a straight line between 0,63 and 127,64)

Please resume your normal VPC1 programming. ;^)

Greg.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/29/13 09:11 PM

Originally Posted By: sullivang
Please resume your normal VPC1 programming. ;^)


Thanks. wink
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/29/13 09:17 PM

James...
Latest status on the website? Will it go live tomorrow? And to confirm... is it kawaivpc.com?
Regards,
H.K. cool
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/29/13 09:26 PM

HisKidd, the website is in final testing.

My colleagues here in Japan and overseas requested some minor alterations, however I hope these will be finalised today.

Yes, the current url is correct. wink

Thank you for your continued patience.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Peter B

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/29/13 09:34 PM

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Originally Posted By: Qbert
That's a pitty. frown
It means that we will never see a VPC II with GF keyboard.

Right. It also probably means Kawai will not be producing a GF replacement for the MP10.

Would have liked to see a VPC or MP10 II with GF as well. The good news is that since a GF version probably not is in near sight, no need to worry whether it was premature of me to order the VPC :-)
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/30/13 01:26 AM

Originally Posted By: Hideki Matsui
Saw Muse last night.


Lucky guy!

They put on a pretty good show, don't they? wink

Originally Posted By: Hideki Matsui
Glad to see Matt Bellamy is still using a Kawai onstage.


Yes, he's a fantastic musician - all of the band members are.

Originally Posted By: Hideki Matsui
James, any idea if that is still the MP8 or does he have a VPC in there already.


No, I believe it's an MP8II inside (I posted a picture from one of the conversions in the 'GP shell' thread the other day). A VPC1 would be an ideal board for future GP conversions, however I believe Matt needs to have access to additional controls for changing patches. It might be possible to do that kind of thing remotely (off stage), if not just a separate MIDI control surface.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Vid

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/30/13 02:10 PM

Phew, just read all of this monster thread.

So when are these going to start appearing in stores? (I'm in Vancouver BC)
Posted by: pianobear100

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/30/13 03:19 PM

First of all, Thanks Kawai James for answering my questions.

Looking at the video at the Synthology Booth and showing Ivory being played on the Kawai VPC1 controller, I was wondering if anyone knew what kind of speakers they were using for the sound. I could see the speakers, but couldn't make out what they were. Did anyone recognize them? The weakest link in my experience is the speakers that reproduce the sound. So I always use headphones even though I have 3 different sets of monitor speakers. I am sure that Synthology chose the best ones to represent their products.

If anyone knows what kind or model they were, I would appreciate it knowing.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/30/13 04:07 PM

James...
Certainly not a deal breaker for me... but just for fun, wanted to comment on the Mac computer Jordan Rudess was using. Do you think he would have liked to have had the editing software to fine tune the VPC? I'm still dumbfounded as to why a first class keyboard/controller would not be optimized for Mac! Please keep us informed as to if and when this added extra will become available. My plan right now would be to pick up an inexpensive Windows laptop just for use with the VPC1.
If the amount of the response in our thread is any indication, this product is going to be a must have for many! Again, thanks for all the helpful information you've made available for all of us!
Regards,
H.K. cool
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/30/13 04:13 PM

pianobear100, I will try to find out which speakers Synthogy use to demo Ivory II.

James
x
Posted by: dmd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/30/13 04:46 PM

Considering that the software products from Pianoteq, Galaxy, etc ... have a velocity curve option already, my common sense meter tells me that the velocity curve thingy in the VPC controller will make very little (if any) detectable difference in what the average piano players experience when using the VPC.

This just gives us a sense that we are getting things "just right" ... but the actual audible effect will be negligible.

Extremely good players attempting to express exceptional dynamics will probably notice the difference but others may not really detect anything different in their playing experience.

Am I alone in this "feeling" ?

Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/30/13 05:20 PM

Don, common sense is all very well, however I would recommend trying the VPC1, (comparing the 'Normal' touch curve with one of the 'Approved' touch curves) before passing judgement.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: dmd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/30/13 05:31 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Don, common sense is all very well, however I would recommend trying the VPC1, (comparing the 'Normal' touch curve with one of the 'Approved' touch curves) before passing judgement.

Kind regards,
James
x


I understand. I have certainly not "passed judgement". Only expressing a sense of things based on life's experiences. Unfortunately, I probably will be unable to make a move to the VPC controller any time soon, so judgement will have to be passed by others but I will be receptive to that judgement.
Posted by: Hideki Matsui

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/30/13 08:05 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: Hideki Matsui
Saw Muse last night.


Lucky guy!

They put on a pretty good show, don't they? wink

Originally Posted By: Hideki Matsui
Glad to see Matt Bellamy is still using a Kawai onstage.


Yes, he's a fantastic musician - all of the band members are.

Originally Posted By: Hideki Matsui
James, any idea if that is still the MP8 or does he have a VPC in there already.


No, I believe it's an MP8II inside (I posted a picture from one of the conversions in the 'GP shell' thread the other day). A VPC1 would be an ideal board for future GP conversions, however I believe Matt needs to have access to additional controls for changing patches. It might be possible to do that kind of thing remotely (off stage), if not just a separate MIDI control surface.

Cheers,
James
x


I have seen them 8 times since 2004 at the Wiltern and they never disappoint. As with most bands that experience great commercial success, they aren't as raw as they were back in 2004, but they have really evolved in many ways as well. The crowd was the most crazed I've seen for Muse in the US, but deservedly so. They mixed in a healthy amount of older tunes and even the piano heavy Sunburn.

Muse only became popular in the US in recent years. Unfortunately, more for their radio hits, but I know over in Europe and Japan they have greater knowledge of Muse and Matt's artistry. The other guys have really stepped up their musicianship over the years, although they always sounded like guys who played together forever.

Thanks for the info. Their music isn't as piano oriented anymore, but Matt still plays a few tunes on the Kawai setup. You could see the Kawai logo in huge letters on the monitors that made up the jaw dropping set.
Posted by: Peter B

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 12:43 AM

Originally Posted By: pianobear100
Looking at the video at the Synthology Booth and showing Ivory being played on the Kawai VPC1 controller, I was wondering if anyone knew what kind of speakers they were using for the sound. I could see the speakers, but couldn't make out what they were.

They were Adam Audio S3X-H. Sounded very well, for sure.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 02:46 AM

Originally Posted By: Peter B
They were Adam Audio S3X-H. Sounded very well, for sure.


That's correct. wink

James
x
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 03:28 AM

The VPC website is now online at the following URL:

www.kawaivpc.com

(up-to-date Chrome/Firefox browser recommended)

We've tested everything thoroughly, so there shouldn't be too many bugs/typos, however if you spot any issues, I would be grateful if you send a private message.

Once again, my apologies for the delay!

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 04:09 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
The VPC website is now online at the following URL:

www.kawaivpc.com

(up-to-date Chrome/Firefox browser recommended)

We've tested everything thoroughly, so there shouldn't be too many bugs/typos, however if you spot any issues, I would be grateful if you send a private message.

Once again, my apologies for the delay!

Cheers,
James
x


James...
The website is beautiful. Wow! So much helpful info... graphics are grabbers; Q&A excellent; really user friendly. This is award-winning quality! Just curious... will this type of promo/website be for only the VPC1, or can we expect to see more for other DP's? Congrats, this is outstanding!
Regards,
H.K. cool
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 04:18 AM

HisKidd, many thanks for your positive feedback!

We intend to add additional content (interviews with the VPC team/software developers/artists and tutorial videos etc.) in future, so please keep your eyes peeled on the facebook page and/or this forum for update announcements. wink

I'll also be updating the Q&A with answers to commonly asked questions.

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Just curious... will this type of promo/website be for only the VPC1, or can we expect to see more for other DP's?


We certainly hope so.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Hookxs

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 04:49 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
The VPC website is now online at the following URL:

www.kawaivpc.com

...


Both the website and the piano look pretty good. As a minor suggestion, the images bellow "Product overview" on the main page could link directly to the appropriate section in the "Features" page.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 05:33 AM

Hookxs, thank you for your positive feedback and good suggestion.

Actually, earlier versions of the website did link directly to the accompanying 'Feature' text, however the jump and subsequent scroll wasn't very attractive (it felt like the website equivalent of being on a roller-coaster). Moreover, we wished for the visitor to view the information sequentially, rather than skipping through content. For these reasons we decided not to link to each section directly from the front page.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: Hookxs

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 05:47 AM

Yes, that makes sense.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 07:07 AM

James, do the approved touch curves include individual key offsets? Can you explain in more detail the key offset feature? I am wondering if it is used to correct manufacturing irregularities of individual keys, or it is used to emulate more/less weighting to suit a particular software piano? In other words, is it a rectifying feature or enhancing feature? smile
Posted by: R0B

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 08:52 AM

"the VPC1 can breath new life into your existing setup."

Typo, but otherwise, a nice website :-)
Posted by: oivavoi

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 09:59 AM

This might have been covered in the thread already, but has there been any hints on pricing?

and edit: Lovely website, and exciting instrument!
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 10:04 AM

Great website, James. Very informative. It answered my question about how the board is powered if you are not using USB...there's a 12-volt adapter.

It also sort of addressed my longstanding question about the purpose of the capstan screw, though I'm not sure who I would have to talk to in order to get the ones on my MP8 adjusted.

Overall super-informative website, "breath new life" notwithstanding.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 10:31 AM

Originally Posted By: R0B
"the VPC1 can breath new life into your existing setup."

Typo, but otherwise, a nice website :-)


Calling it a "Typo" is generous of you.

Alternatively, it is a spelling error. frown
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 10:41 AM

Nice site James!

Hmm, I don't see a lot of difference between the Ivory, Galaxy, and Alicia's Keys velocity curves. Though I suppose there could be more going on if the key offsets are different?

Kind of strange that the 3 pedal unit only has two plugs.
Posted by: Peter B

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 10:44 AM

Great site James, thank you - no reason for any apologies.

I have downloaded and studied all relevant material and am eagerly looking forward to receiving the VPC1 as ordered.

And, of course, still waiting for the Mac version of the Editor :-)
Posted by: kurtie

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 11:04 AM

Hi,

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
The VPC website is now online at the following URL:

www.kawaivpc.com


This website is a fine work and state of the art. I make a living with them... for the last 12 years, so I know one or two things about websites. Kudos to the web developers.

Regards,
Kurt.-
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 11:21 AM

For the Europeans among us:

VPC Music Store price around € 1320, delivery somewhere in March (if all goes well).

SRP: € 1399 - I think that's a good price range for such a nice keybed. Makes the MP10 a bit pricey. You could buy a VPC together with a nice second keyboard with enough controls and good sounds for the price of one MP10. Mmmmm
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 11:30 AM

It's slightly cheaper than a MP6
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 11:32 AM

If you mean musicstore.de (this site has been uknown to me so far, is this any good?), the price is currently €1299, so they've dropped another 21 Euro since you've posted. I hope the trend keeps on with the same pace laugh

P.S. OK, I am stupid smile The price is different for each European country depending on the VAT. 1299 is for Germany, for Bulgaria it is 1309 and for Netherlands it's 1320...
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 11:54 AM

The European price seems very sensible. I think that once the price exceeds that of the MP6 with its excellent, albeit plastic, action, more people will question its relative value. Here in the US, for whatever reason, certain Kawai products seem to be priced substantially higher than in Europe (ES7 as one example). I wonder whether there are enough customers prepared to pay the $1,849 currently being asked; it will be interesting to see.
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 12:09 PM

For portability a lightweight plastic version of the GF action might be interesting. The whole wooden key thing is a bit lost on me anyway.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 12:09 PM

This is really strange having in mind almost everything is cheaper in USA. It is a small relief to know that there is at least one thing cheaper here than in USA smile
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 12:30 PM

+1 ;-)
Posted by: kurtie

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 12:42 PM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
If you mean musicstore.de (this site has been uknown to me so far, is this any good?), the price is currently €1299, so they've dropped another 21 Euro since you've posted. I hope the trend keeps on with the same pace laugh


grin Very nice price... better than expected. I cannot stand the GAS. If I am able to sell my MP5 at a reasonable price is very likely I buy one of these things sooner than I was thinking...

Regards,
Kurt.-
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 02:40 PM

Originally Posted By: kurtie
Originally Posted By: CyberGene
If you mean musicstore.de (this site has been uknown to me so far, is this any good?), the price is currently €1299, so they've dropped another 21 Euro since you've posted. I hope the trend keeps on with the same pace laugh


grin Very nice price... better than expected. I cannot stand the GAS. If I am able to sell my MP5 at a reasonable price is very likely I buy one of these things sooner than I was thinking...

Regards,
Kurt.-
Just the same thought about the right price. That is what I am needing. If it were some 500 EUR more as rumoured I had to consider some other things (FATAR ACUNA or Casio for cheap, CA34 or CA65 with cabinet).
But I do now have the pain only for having to wait some 2 months... and perhaps for a nice stand for my better half.
Posted by: maurus

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 03:40 PM

1299 Euros sounds good indeed. It will be very hard for me not to buy - let's see. Session music (www.session.de), a major Frankfurt dealer, now has the same price. Usually musicstore.de, thomann.de, session.de etc. all have the same price (and all are major, reliable stores/sellers here in Germany).
Posted by: Axlin

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 05:15 PM

Hi James,
Are there any official site with info and pictures for the new CS-4, CS-7 and CS-10 yet?
Posted by: TADutchman

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 05:30 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Kind of strange that the 3 pedal unit only has two plugs.

Actually, this makes perfect sense. Observing the jack-plugs learns that one is 'mono' and the other is 'stereo', yielding a total of 3 data streams. A separate third plug, cable, logic and connector would only increase manufacturing cost.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 05:53 PM

James...there is also new info on the facebook site...Geoffrey Gee demonstrating the Ivory II American Steinway, playing the VPC1. While he doesn't mention the keyboard, but rather the VST... you certainly can get a good idea about the sound using Kawai's newest product!
Link:
Geoffrey Gee using VPC1 with Ivory, American Steinway VST.

Regards,
H.K. cool
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 11:32 PM

Thank you for all the positive feedback chaps, and for highlighting the 'breath' typo.

A couple of responses to your queries are below:

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
James, do the approved touch curves include individual key offsets? Can you explain in more detail the key offset feature? I am wondering if it is used to correct manufacturing irregularities of individual keys, or it is used to emulate more/less weighting to suit a particular software piano? In other words, is it a rectifying feature or enhancing feature? smile


No, I don't believe the 'approved touch curves' built-into the VPC1 utilise the key velocity offset settings. This screen is used to increase or decrease the 'volume' of individual keys, allowing the the 'balance' of the keyboard to be adjusted. You may have perhaps experienced a case where one or more notes appear to 'stand out' more than others - in this case, the key velocity offset screen allows those individual notes to be attenuated.

Originally Posted By: oivavoi
This might have been covered in the thread already, but has there been any hints on pricing?


Kraft Music (US store) currently have the board listed at $1849.00. For pricing and availability in other markets, please contact the Kawai distributor in your country, or use the 'Contact' form of the VPC website to send an enquiry to sales representatives at Kawai Japan.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 01/31/13 11:34 PM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
James...there is also new info on the facebook site...Geoffrey Gee demonstrating the Ivory II American Steinway, playing the VPC1.


Yes, it's a nice clip - Geoff is an experienced demonstrator and a great player.

I added the clip to the facebook page yesterday evening.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: KHen

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/01/13 12:07 AM

Really stoked about this instrument! It's been almost 4 years since I joined and I still don't have a piano to play. I've been researching pianos since the mp4 came out, and have seen the mp5 and mp6 come to fruition since then. Maybe now is time to buy one?
Posted by: dmd

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/01/13 02:14 AM

Originally Posted By: KHen
Really stoked about this instrument! It's been almost 4 years since I joined and I still don't have a piano to play. I've been researching pianos since the mp4 came out, and have seen the mp5 and mp6 come to fruition since then. Maybe now is time to buy one?


Well, take your time. No rush. 3hearts
Posted by: o0Ampy0o

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/01/13 02:14 AM

They finally have the VPC1 website working:

Posted by: adak

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/01/13 02:28 AM

Is there an expected price and release date? Looking to buy a digital piano soon, I might wait for this one to decide.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/01/13 02:52 AM

adak, as mentioned by others earlier in the thread:

US: available from end of February.
EU: available from March.

For pricing and information for other regions, please contact the Kawai distributor in your country using the information at the URL below:

http://www.kawai.co.jp/worldwide/

You may also wish to contact Kawai Japan using the form on the VPC website:

http://www.kawaivpc.com/contact

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: Suryaman

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/01/13 03:06 AM

The european price is fair.

I see this instrument for jazz pianists willing to have the best portable action in the market, for vst piano purists who don't have room for a console dp, and for keyboardists particularly demanding on piano action and playability.

The playability factor is really intriguing for me, cause having a refined dynamic curve could really enhance the playing experience.
Posted by: In A Silent Way

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/01/13 03:47 AM

The european price is really fair, and it's only the MRSP I guess, I'm buying it too now laugh
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/01/13 03:55 AM

Pity they raised the VAT in our country in the fall of 2012 - DP's should get a tax exemption ;-)
Posted by: mabraman

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/01/13 04:00 AM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
The European price seems very sensible. I think that once the price exceeds that of the MP6 with its excellent, albeit plastic, action, more people will question its relative value. Here in the US, for whatever reason, certain Kawai products seem to be priced substantially higher than in Europe (ES7 as one example). I wonder whether there are enough customers prepared to pay the $1,849 currently being asked; it will be interesting to see.


$1849=1357.91€. That's about the same price for an ES7 purchased on-line. I got a better deal from a music store here in my city, 100 bucks less than that. If you have a look at the prices paid thread, you'll see how good USA prices are.
In fact, since some years ago, every european tourist that gets to the States enjoys the trip to buy some electronics.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/01/13 04:06 AM

Originally Posted By: mabraman

In fact, since some years ago, every european tourist that gets to the States enjoys the trip to buy some electronics.


Very true. Whenever my friends go to business trips to USA, they get overloaded with orders for buying some electronics from other friends smile
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/01/13 07:19 AM

Not only electronics, just about everything is cheaper in the US. Try buying a BMW motorcycle in the Netherlands and the same one in the US. And then they even have to ship and distribute it overseas. Price differences are really scary. Either we have always been paying too much, or The States get 'sponsored' by the high prices in the rest of the world (so prices stay low in the US). Don't know the real reasons, but it has always puzzled me....

For our American friends: consider yourself lucky for as far as consumer prices of most goods are concerned ;-) I know other parts of society , like social care , infrastructure, etc may suffer in comparison to our 'socialist' European states, so on some fronts you win some, on others you loose some. So far politics - back to DP's ...
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/01/13 07:42 AM

Did all of you take into account that in the US prices are listed without sales Tax?

So technically each one of you who bought a piece of electronics in the US would have to pay the VAT/sales tax appropriate for one's country after bringing it back to the EU.

You'd also have to consider any import taxes - if applicable.

Sweetwater lists for example the Kawai MP10 at $2499 or Eur 1830 at the current exchange rate. On average VAT rates in the EU are at 20% so the Kawai MP10 would be at Eur 2200 including tax. Thomann currently lists the MP10 at Eur 2079.

The $1899 for the VPC1 would be Eur 1390 at the current exchange rate including tax this would be Eur 1650, so it's significantly cheaper in the EU
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/01/13 07:56 AM

@Nigeth ; thanks for pointing that out. It's also a proof that Kawai is one of the very few exceptions to the "in the US everything is cheaper" statement. Try Casio for instance and you'll see a whole different story.

Exception proves the rule... (is that correct English BTW ?)
Posted by: adak

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/01/13 10:30 AM

In the future will Kawai include some kind of vibration system in the VPC2? Seeing how if you hit the keys on an acoustical piano there is some vibration to the wood from the sound.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/01/13 10:41 AM

Unlikely. There's not even a line-in on the VPC. It's intended to be an action only. There are precious few digitals with vibrating keys and they tend to be pianos with a strong emphasis on speaker quality (the VPC has no speakers).
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/01/13 10:46 AM

Yes, gvfarns is correct.
Posted by: macnetic

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/01/13 01:45 PM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
I'm still dumbfounded as to why a first class keyboard/controller would not be optimized for Mac! Please keep us informed as to if and when this added extra will become available. My plan right now would be to pick up an inexpensive Windows laptop just for use with the VPC1.

I can't see why this couldn't be used in a virtual machine, so if you already have a Mac I wouldn't bother buying an extra laptop. I wouldn't want to use a VM for any heavy (realtime) workloads, but apart from the learning functionality (which should be a decidedly light task) the editor seems more like an "offline" thing. It might even be possible to get it working under Wine, which would mean a completely free solution (Linux running on VirtualBox). Though USB support in Wine seems to be under development, so it might be a bit finicky to get working. The editor manual doesn't mention installing the driver as a requirement for using it, if that's not required that could make it a bit easier (James?).

Oh, hi, btw! *waves* I've been a lurker here for a while, nice and friendly place you've got here! smile I don't have a piano yet, I need to get a place where I have room for one first. Soon as I do, though, a piano will likely be one of the first pieces of "furniture" I get. Likely a VPC1, too — I've loved the action of the Kawais I've tried, and the VPC looks just great.

macnetic
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/01/13 09:33 PM

Hi macnetic, welcome to the forum!

To respond to your query, The VPC1 can be connected via USB to a Mac or PC using the built-in USB-MIDI drivers included with Windows and OS X.

However, in order to use the VPC Editor, the Kawai USB driver must also be installed (as noted in the VPC1 owner's manual). I believe this is due to the way the VPC1 syncs settings stored in memory with the computer in real-time.

Once again, welcome to the forum!

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: maurus

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/02/13 08:19 AM

James, do you happen to have a full view picture of your VPC-Nord setup? Your nice pics make me want to see the whole thing - in particular, I'd like to see how it looks from the rear wink
Does the Electro fit upon the VPC in a stable way so you can play both keyboards?
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/02/13 08:31 AM

Hi maurus, I don't have any pics here at home, but will check at work on Monday.

I recall that the Electro fitted very snuggly on top of the VPC1 - my colleagues and I agree that it was a great match.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Peter B

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/02/13 10:03 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
We've tested everything thoroughly, so there shouldn't be too many bugs/typos, however if you spot any issues, I would be grateful if you send a private message.

Hi James, it does not seem to be possible to send a private message to you as the following message is displayed: "Kawai James is over their Private Topic limit." FYI.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/02/13 10:22 AM

Originally Posted By: Peter B
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
We've tested everything thoroughly, so there shouldn't be too many bugs/typos, however if you spot any issues, I would be grateful if you send a private message.

Hi James, it does not seem to be possible to send a private message to you as the following message is displayed: "Kawai James is over their Private Topic limit." FYI.


Peter B...
Thanks for posting this. I've also tried without success to send James a private message. James, how is this done?
Thanks!
H.K.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/02/13 05:20 PM

Everyone, for obvious reasons, wants to contact James, but we each have a limit of 200 PMs (IIRC) imposed by the Piano World system. Contact will be dependent on James deleting old messages.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/02/13 05:56 PM

Sorry chaps, I had indeed reached the 200 message limit.

I've deleted some messages now, so please feel free to send a PM if you'd rather not post in the forum publicly.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Peter B

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/02/13 09:02 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Kawai also makes the 9' EX, a couple of 5' grands, and some stuff in between. OK, I'll err on the safe side and assume it's based on a 5' action, thanks!

Dewster, I looked at the RM3 action display model in a piano store and measured the pivot length to 188 mm = 7.4 inch. Using the pictures of GF versus RM3 from Kawai's home page, the pivot length of GF is then estimated to 229 mm = 9.0 inch.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/03/13 04:41 PM

All this talk of replacing "hardware" every few (3 to 5) years vs the "long term" has me wondering if this new controller board would be "right" for me.
I think my current keyboard had a birthday recently - probably its 30th.,,, nope, that was the speaker cabinet a Peavey KB-100.
The KX-88 predates that by a year or two, but doesn't seem "worn".
After touch ? the thing that FLOODS sound generators with midi messages they don't care about ?
Yeah, I think I have that.

I think the HOT sound generator at the time was he MKS20 ?
Something like that, but I never did get one.

GAS attack ? Yeah, I feel it.
Past due ? Dunno, maybe it will pass (-:
Posted by: Amaruk

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/03/13 05:26 PM

Originally Posted By: R_B
All this talk of replacing "hardware" every few (3 to 5) years vs the "long term" has me wondering if this new controller board would be "right" for me.


If you like the Kawai wood action and are used to using software pianos you can't go wrong with the VPC1. Go for it! smile
Posted by: adak

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/03/13 08:20 PM

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Unlikely. There's not even a line-in on the VPC. It's intended to be an action only. There are precious few digitals with vibrating keys and they tend to be pianos with a strong emphasis on speaker quality (the VPC has no speakers).


I just read a post stating that the vibration of the keys is an important feature.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...l#Post2026250


I was all ready to buy the VPC1 but now I have to think twice again. Is vibrating keys really such a big deal?
Posted by: R_B

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/03/13 08:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Amaruk
Originally Posted By: R_B
All this talk of replacing "hardware" every few (3 to 5) years vs the "long term" has me wondering if this new controller board would be "right" for me.


If you like the Kawai wood action and are used to using software pianos you can't go wrong with the VPC1. Go for it! smile


Does it have after touch ?
How much "better" (however defined) is it than a KX-88 ?

What I am used to is a U-220 and a quadraverb, not at all bad in their day and I suppose my tin ear hasn't appreciated anything significantly "better" (yet).
I have pianoteq, but I don't have a dedicated computer for the keyboard stuff, so hooking things up and loading programs to play is a bit of a hassle.

I am wondering if a Kawai DP would be a better choice, what sort of price are their top of the line uprights ?
Posted by: Peter B

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/03/13 09:09 PM

Originally Posted By: adak
Is vibrating keys really such a big deal?

No. I believe the only DPs that have modeled this systematically are the Yamaha AvantGrand. Some DPs with built in speakers have vibrations from the speakers that can be felt through the keys. In my view such vibrations are nice to have but not a deal breaker if the action otherwise is great which I find the VPC to be.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/03/13 09:20 PM

Vibrating keys are like fake ivory coatings: some people think it adds a lot, others (like myself) feel that it's essentially a gimmick.
Posted by: Rich W

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/03/13 09:37 PM

How about running an Integra 7 or a BK7m with this action. The BK7m would cost about the same as a laptop about $750 with retailers coupons the Integra 7 $2000. but what fun.
Posted by: Hideki Matsui

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/04/13 02:51 AM

Originally Posted By: Rich W
How about running an Integra 7 or a BK7m with this action. The BK7m would cost about the same as a laptop about $750 with retailers coupons the Integra 7 $2000. but what fun.


I'll be using it with the Jupiter 80.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/04/13 03:00 AM

Are the Jupiter 80's SN pianos the same as the RD-700NX?

Does it include Dr P's favourite 'Studio Grand', for example?

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: maurus

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/04/13 04:05 AM

If everything works out, I'll be playing it with my little red one, and perhaps my MacBook Pro (mind the software!) - can't wait to test it in a shop. Anyone has an idea when this will be in Europe/Germany?

PS. James, if you come across a full view pic of the VPC1-Electro setup, ...
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/04/13 04:12 AM

Hello maurus, I searched through my images, however I'm afriad I do not have any full view images of the Electo+VPC1.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: maurus

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/04/13 04:21 AM

Thanks James - I'll have to test it myself then. Your efforts are highly appreciated - as always!
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/04/13 04:29 AM

No problem, happy to help.

I should perhaps use this opportunity to point out that my saying "I hope to buy a VPC1 and place my Electro on top" is simply expressing my own, personal intentions.

Please do not confuse this as some kind of official company statement along the lines of "Kawai recommends Nord users purchase a VPC1".

Similarly, just because I plan to place my Electro on top of the VPC1, this does not mean to say that Kawai as a company recommends other VPC1 and Electro users do likewise.

As my signature states, I am employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/04/13 07:22 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Are the Jupiter 80's SN pianos the same as the RD-700NX?

Does it include Dr P's favourite 'Studio Grand', for example?

Cheers,
James
x


Not really but the waveforms are there ... the Studio grand is on the Integra but called another name.
Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/04/13 07:25 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James

I should perhaps use this opportunity to point out that my saying "I hope to buy a VPC1 and place my Electro on top" is simply expressing my own, personal intentions.

x



If they don't give you one I'd resign and walk up the road. Heaven knows Roland need a good manual writer.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/04/13 08:10 AM

Maybe so, but that's quite a long walk to do every day...
Posted by: KLSinCT

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/04/13 09:56 AM

Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
Originally Posted By: Kawai James

I should perhaps use this opportunity to point out that my saying "I hope to buy a VPC1 and place my Electro on top" is simply expressing my own, personal intentions.

x



If they don't give you one I'd resign and walk up the road. Heaven knows Roland need a good manual writer.


+1 thumb Whenever I have to look up some technical info in my FP-7F manual, I find myself thinking "Too bad that Kawai James didn't write this one"...seriously!

K.
Posted by: Hideki Matsui

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/04/13 10:06 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Are the Jupiter 80's SN pianos the same as the RD-700NX?

Does it include Dr P's favourite 'Studio Grand', for example?

Cheers,
James
x


Not as much tweaking possible but I believe the underlying SN pianos are the same. Not entirely sure because I don't have the 700NX.
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/05/13 05:30 PM

Today I had the opportunity to visit the Thomann showroom at the company headquarter. The showroom alone is probably the biggest music store in Germany and the top modern dispatch center is huge.

I was visiting to playtest a few DPs and virtual instruments and to find something that could replace the MP6.

I must say that I now have a different opinion on the VPC1 than before.

I spent nearly four hours walking back and forth between the acoustic piano department and the digital piano department to A/B test the real deal and the virtual implementations and to get a feel for the differences between the actions and the sounds. I learned a few things that put the VPC1 in a different context than before.

1. The sound of a real Kawai Grand is actually pretty impressive but also quite different from the Grand Piano Sample in my MP6. I'd take an MP10 that sounded like the Kawai Concert Grand I tried in a heartbeat.

2. I never had the opportunity to play on a grand piano before (my school uses uprights that are pretty worn out as school pianos usually are) and the action feels quite a bit different from the action on an upright. The first few tries I didn't even manage to get a sound out of it because the whole mechanism is not like I'm used to.

3. Most DPs I tried are actually quite close to the action on a standard upright but only a select few felt at least similar to the grands I tried. Honorable mentions go to the MP10 and the Roland RD700NX and V-Piano

4. The MP10 had hands down (Hah!) the best action of the bunch, it wasn't necessarily the best emulation of the feel of the grands I tried but it felt almost 'seamless' when I played it. The Rolands came second but I didn't like their Ivory Touch coating at all.

5. I instantly fell in love with the piano sounds in the Nord Stage 2 and Nord Piano 2. They are pretty impressive considering the small size of 500 MB and I caught myself just going back to the Nord to play a little bit more. It's an inspiring instrument. That being said I could never live with the Fatar Keyboard action. It's pretty much worse than the Yamaha, Kawai and Roland Pianos I tried. It felt artificial and 'plasticky' and the whole board is actually quite 'noisy' because the inside of the Nord is not properly insulated against noise and acts as a resonance chamber for the noise of all the button presses and the action.

6. The Pianoteq Pianos both sounded more lifelike and more artificial at the same time than their sampled counterparts to me. I couldn't handle it because it sounded eerie. Every note I played was a hodgepodge of 'that sounded quite like a real piano and yet it sounded not like a real piano at all'. I can't describe it in a better way than that.

If the Nord Piano 2 or Stage 2 had come with the action of the MP10 (or even the Roland RD700NX) and was properly noise insulated I'd have instantly bought it. Instead it felt like a great instrument had been ruined by a sub-par keybed. It was quite sobering.

So I opted for a copy of Synthogy Ivory 2 and a RME babyface instead and will probably keep my MP6 for the forseeable future (at least until the VPC1 comes out and I had a chance to play the PX-5S)

It was a toss up between Ivory 2 and the Galaxy Vintage D (which sounded pretty amazing).

So after my recent experience the VPC1 seems like a pretty good idea and James's setup makes a lot of sense. If I'd go for a Nord I'd probably go for the Electro4 D (even though it has a smaller memory for samples) or the SW73 version of the Stage 2. This would offer you both a waterfall option and a great piano action.

So kudos to Kawai for the VPC1
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/05/13 06:07 PM

Addendum: Even though I pretty much hate the Fatar Action on the Nord Stage 2 I'm still considering to buy one. That's how great the sounds and the usability are
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/05/13 06:17 PM

Nigeth, thanks for your post, it's interesting to read your thoughts.

It's perhaps worth noting that the 73-key versions of the NE4 (HP and SW73 respectively feature double the memory of the NE4D and the previous generation Electros. This allows a great selection of pianos to be loaded simultaneously, including the XL-sized samples.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Jean-Luc

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/06/13 06:06 AM

This really looks like a fine controller (and I also really love the design).
I currently have a P155 that I use to drive Synthogy American D and I was planning on keeping it two or more years (I started learning to play the piano only 6 months ago, so for now the limit is my technique, not the instrument).
But since I started playing, I have been struggling with injuries (despite the fact that my teacher can't find anything wrong with the way I play) so I am looking at the VPC1 and I wonder if the cushioning might help to limit the stress on the tendons? (that and maybe the fact that wood is naturally more "dampening" than plastic).
James, I know you can't really answer this question (if it would help with my problems or not I mean), but since you probably have experimented with a lot of keyboard in your life, could you tell me how you would rank the "landing" (how abruptly the key stop when reaching the bottom) of the VPC1 ? (I suffer from agoraphobia, so I won't be able to test the keyboard when available and I will have to order it from Thonnman)
Thank you in advance for any information you might be able to provide smile
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/06/13 08:00 AM

Hello Jean-Luc,

I'm sorry to read that you have started to experience some physical problems as a result of playing your DP. I wonder how your hands/arms feel after playing your teacher's (presumably acoustic?) piano?

Regarding the 'landing' of the VPC1's keyboard action, the cushioning undoubtedly helps to soften the key as it reaches the bottom, while also reducing vibrations and movement noise. I have played a range of different keyboard actions from various manufacturers, and in terms of 'soft-bottoming' and volume, I doubt many can match the Kawai actions - especially those with wooden-keys.

That being said, I'm afraid I cannot guarantee that the physical problems you have experienced as a result of playing your current DP, will not re-occur (to a greater or less extent) with other keyboards.

My apologies for sitting on the fence, however I'm sure you can understand my reluctance to make bold, sweeping claims that cannot be justified. It would be all too easy for me to say "Yes, buy the VPC1 and you'll never experience physical problems when playing ever again.', but I do not wish to give you false hope.

May I wish you the best of luck with your ongoing piano studies.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: theJourney

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/06/13 08:11 AM

Originally Posted By: Jean-Luc
I started learning to play the piano only 6 months ago, so for now the limit is my technique, not the instrument).
But since I started playing, I have been struggling with injuries (despite the fact that my teacher can't find anything wrong with the way I play) so I am looking at the VPC1 and I wonder if the cushioning might help to limit the stress on the tendons? (that and maybe the fact that wood is naturally more "dampening" than plastic)


IMHO switching to a new keyboard will have no bearing on the injuries you are experiencing (which are quite common with motivated adult beginners -- the fact that your teacher doesn't see what you are doing to hurt yourself does not mean that it isn't happening)

I suggest you investigate taking some lessons from an Alexander Technique teacher. It is likely that you are using much more force than necessary or are misusing your body unconsciously. The piano keys require an amazingly small amount of force to move, however the degree of coordination that you need to play is something that cannot be built up overnight. Motivated adult beginners tend to get into the habit of " end gaming " of focusing through pure power of will and force to achieve a result while being oblivious to their mechanism and abusing themselves. An AT teacher can help you focus on the how of your movements that normally take place without conscious control.

Good luck to you!

http://www.alexandertechnique.com/at.htm
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/06/13 08:19 AM

Yes, that's good advice.

My piano playing father is an advocate of Alexander Technique.

Another suggestion in a similar vein, might be to seek a consultation with an experienced chiropractor, who may be able to alleviate the pain in your hands and arms through gentile bone manipulation techniques.

(my sister is a chiropractor, by the way...)

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: Vincentj

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/06/13 08:44 AM

Hello, I'm interested in possibly getting this later this year. I have a question about the "mod wheel" connection. How exactly could I connecting a modulation wheel or a pitch shifting wheel to this? For playing various orchestral parts?

I use to play a real piano when I was young, it was really old and I had it tuned and the tuner said "I can't fix this" I had to get rid of it after a while, eversince then I've been on semi weighted keyboard and they never felt as good as the real action it had. Hopefully I can demo this out and maybe get it! I heard weighted are good for writing orchestral stuff as well, so I just need to find a way to either use the current modwheel of my keyboard, or maybe buy a seperate control if I want to get this thing.

I'm currently on a none weighted keybed because I find it better to have no weight at all then slightly good weight/springy weight.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/06/13 08:54 AM

Hi Vincentj,

Originally Posted By: Vincentj
How exactly could I connecting a modulation wheel or a pitch shifting wheel to this?


The VPC1 can serve as a sort of 'psudeo MIDI interface'. So, if your current semi-weighted board (with the pitchbend/modulation wheels) has a MIDI OUT jack, you would simply plug this into the VPC1's MIDI IN jack. Then, connect the VPC1 to your computer using a USB cable. The pitchbend/modulation wheel control messages will be sent to the computer with the VPC1's keyboard messages.

I hope this helps.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Jean-Luc

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/06/13 10:21 AM

Thank you very much for your answers James and "theJourney".
James, I perfectly understand you can't guarantee the VPC1 would solve my problem or even help with it, and your reluctance to do so is another proof of your integrity smile
It is very difficult for me to look for another teacher (I live in a very small town and due to my agoraphobia, my ability to travel is very limited). I would agree with both of you about the excess motivation might very well play a big role in my problems smile Another fact might play a role, while my finger fit without problems between the black keys on the real piano we have for the lessons (a venerable upright in dear need of tuning according to my ears wink ) they tend to get a bit stuck between the keys of the yamaha so I probably bend my wrist a bit too much to avoid them (especially when my right hand is near or below middle C). That's yet another problem I would hope to solve by changing keyboard (my current problem is a De Quervain tendonitis and they often happen due to a bent wrist while moving the thumb).
I asked about the softness of the "landing" on the VPC1 because I noticed a shock when reaching the bottom of the key on my keyboard, shock not present on the real upright.
Thanks again to both of you smile
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/06/13 11:49 AM

I've had many keyboards and the only one that had caused me feel some pain in my arms is the CA63 which has the same RM3 action as in VPC1. This was not much of a problem to me since it got improved and even disappeared at all with more practice, however I think it is one of the heaviest feeling keyboards so if you've experienced problems with other hammer action keyboards you'll most certainly experience the same with VPC1.
Posted by: adak

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/06/13 12:06 PM

i feel the music stand is so far back there, it just looks like it is hanging on for its life about to fall off the edge. i think it would look better if it was closer to the keys.



of course putting it in the middle would require holes to mount the stand and that would ruin the smooth finish of the top. i think a heavy wieghted portable stand that just sits on top (with a hidden rubber grip bottom) would be better than the current implimentation of putting it so far back.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/06/13 06:40 PM

Hi adak,

Originally Posted By: adak
i feel the music stand is so far back there, it just looks like it is hanging on for its life about to fall off the edge. i think it would look better if it was closer to the keys.


Originally Posted By: adak
of course putting it in the middle would require holes to mount the stand and that would ruin the smooth finish of the top.


+1
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/07/13 06:24 PM

Originally Posted By: adak
Does the VPC1 have a matching piano stand that can be purchased separately?


No, I'm afraid not.

Originally Posted By: adak
Putting it on an X-stand does seem proper.


X-stands are horrible things.
I would recommend a table stand instead.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: ando

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/07/13 08:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: adak
Does the VPC1 have a matching piano stand that can be purchased separately?


No, I'm afraid not.

x


That's a bit of a surprise. I would have thought such a controller would really benefit from a matching stand, being so heavy and to locate the pedals. You wouldn't want such a beast to tip over!
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/07/13 09:23 PM

Well, if there's a strong enough demand from users, it's perhaps something that can be considered in the future - you never know...

However, for the time being, I still recommend using a table stand over an X-stand. wink

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: kawai07

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/07/13 09:33 PM

Hi James,


I have been a relatively silent observer on this forum, so I apologize to the veterans if my questions might seem a bit too basic. However, I truly appreciate the input you have brought us with regards to the new Kawai products, and taking into consideration real concerns of current (and potentially new customers).

I am contemplating purchasing a VPC1. However, I only have the Galaxy software and do not plan on purchasing any additional software. Instead, I plan on connecting my iPad to the MIDI controller/ VPC-1 and run iPad apps such as iGrand or similar. Please let me know if you anticipate any issues when doing that.

Please see below

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPrK_mkRrbg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRm9sFxnw48

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post2028910

Looking forward to your reply

Thank you!!

Makis
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/08/13 08:49 AM

Hello Makis,

I'm afraid I do not have a great deal of experience running virtual instruments (especially pianos) from an iPad (or other tablet).

However, provided you have the necessary MIDI adaptor on your iPad, I expect the software will work fine.

But is this app really better than Galaxy running on a computer?

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/08/13 10:55 AM

I was thinking;

- now that the VPC is out and have the support of several software companies ; why don't they make a nice iPad Remote App voor their Software instruments ?! Then you can leave your laptop / PC somewhere else and only place a tablet on the surface of your VPC, or use a nice little iPad holder on a mic stand. In that way you can comfortably control your software with the tablet's touch surface (like DIY Kronos interface ;-) You don't have to run an iApp software piano from the iPad itself , which is inferior to a good SW instrument, but still have the nice, small and tactile form factor of the tablet as a user interface. Best of both worlds I would say.

James; perhaps the Kawai reps that talk to these companies can convince them to develop something like this ? I've been looking around in iApp world, but there's not something like that around yet. For other kinds of software there ARE already nice remote apps, like VNC, Cubase , Roland Hardware synths, etc

So to start with an Ivory, Pianoteq, Galaxy and NI remote app. Bonus; once they have that, they can easily develop more of those apps for the other products they have.

Wouldn't that be nice ; you're own completely customizable and extendible touch screen interface for all your software synths and stuff. It's not even fixed to a certain keyboard so you can use it anytime / anywhere and in combination with every keyboard controller.

Last thought: perhaps it's even quite easy to port the GUI of most SW Instruments to an iAPP, it's sort of a mini OSX under the hood anyway, so a good programmer...I think Korg did this already (MS20, Polysix etc), but also included the synth engine , which isn't necessary for what I mean.
Posted by: Amaruk

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/08/13 11:05 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James

But is this app really better than Galaxy running on a computer?


Sometimes "best" is not what customers are looking for; most convenient can also be important in many situations. I think laptops are being replaced by ipads in many homes these days and the desktop computer might simply be in another room.
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/08/13 11:21 AM

@Amaruk

that's why: remote App's !
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/08/13 02:06 PM

Originally Posted By: Amaruk
Originally Posted By: Kawai James

But is this app really better than Galaxy running on a computer?


Sometimes "best" is not what customers are looking for; most convenient can also be important in many situations. I think laptops are being replaced by ipads in many homes these days and the desktop computer might simply be in another room.

Yes I agree. I've previously stated that the local College here uses iPad software for many virtual instruments connected to cheap DP's.

The iGrand piano(s) are a lot, maybe 1/10 cheaper than V Grand, more convenient to use, and the quality is surprisingly good. Better? Better than GarageBand although that's not saying much. Better is always a personal opinion, and what does better mean anyway.

Now someone has posted info about a new iPad piano, that includes the ability to change the velocity curve (same as iGrand). It seems like Kawai have not tested VPC1 with iPad? I don't think Kawai should ignore this market, like they have ignored Mac so far with the VPC! wink The VPC should just work with iPad as is anyway. But ignoring a potential audience could mean allowing someone else to step in.

Edit to add: Einaudi (who's he) was on BBC TV before Xmas extolling the virtues of iPad music ability, and even played a segment of I Giorni on one.
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/08/13 02:21 PM

Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
Edit to add: Einaudi (who's he)

Ludovico Einaudi. I have his CD "Stanze" (new age harp). I think he generally plays piano. I'm not a huge fan of new age (too repetitive, little development, no dissonance) but like that CD a lot.
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/09/13 04:22 AM

Hi, James,

Could you tell please whether KAWAI addressed this issue already with the VPC1 or the development of it was completed and closed to the time of this earlier discussion? Thx.

Tom Love with KAWAIs promise about "...keyboards"
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Yes, this point was discussed with the digital piano keyboard development team last week. in order to recreate the feel of a grand piano action, we agreed that the correct position of the let-off point was very important.

As others will vouch, Kawai's digital piano action team are committed to constantly improving the quality and realism of their keyboard designs, so I expect we may see this 'playing off the jack' behaviour implemented in future instruments.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/09/13 06:09 AM

Temperament, I believe the behaviour is the same as with the original RM3 Grand action.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/09/13 06:32 AM

I am sure this has already been discussed in other topics, so I apologize for asking it again. How is the velocity measured on the RM3 action? Is there a pressure sensor activated by the "hammer" striking it or there are two sensors which measure the time of the hammer travel and calculate velocity?
Posted by: ando

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/09/13 06:37 AM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
I am sure this has already been discussed in other topics, so I apologize for asking it again. How is the velocity measured on the RM3 action? Is there a pressure sensor activated by the "hammer" striking it or there are two sensors which measure the time of the hammer travel and calculate velocity?


It's a triple position-sensor action. No pressure sensor. The original RM3 didn't have 3 sensors. The new one should be capable of rapid, undamped repeats.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/09/13 06:59 AM

My understanding is that when you have two sensors, the time of hammer travel between them is measured. This doesn't allow for fast repetition since the hammer may have not returned back enough to activate the first sensor again, that's why a third sensor is added at the strike point to measure pressure. I may be wrong though.
Posted by: ando

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/09/13 07:55 AM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
My understanding is that when you have two sensors, the time of hammer travel between them is measured. This doesn't allow for fast repetition since the hammer may have not returned back enough to activate the first sensor again, that's why a third sensor is added at the strike point to measure pressure. I may be wrong though.


It works like you said, only not with pressure. The extra sensor is in between the two old sensor positions. So now you don't have to release the key as much to retrigger a note, also the damper stays off if you only release to the middle sensor and then play another note. Pressure doesn't need to come into it.

I suspect pressure pads are difficult for some reason - either for accuracy or durability because it really would be much easier to have a real hammer hitting a pressure switch and another sensor for the damper on the key. That's it! Would be so much easier to calibrate. Probably feel more realistic too. None this interpolating velocity stuff, just pure whack of the hammer and dampers determined by the key position. There must be a reason why they aren't doing it though.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/09/13 08:14 AM

I just got a crazy idea. Why not use something like a Rhodes piano? Not for the sound of it but instead use it as a MIDI controller someway. There is a real hammer striking a real tine which induces a pickup. What you need to do is to translate pickup signal into a MIDI value. This seems to me as a better approximation of a real piano, for example repeated notes would strike a vibrating tine which supposedly generates different velocity than if it was static. Also there may be a real string resonance by cleverly measuring open damper tines self-induction, etc.

I remember I've read somewhere there were a few late Rhodes pianos with a MIDI output and I am wondering if they used a similar principle for MIDI generation.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/09/13 08:33 AM

I think "real hammers" striking transducers is possible, even practical.
There is also the question of "product positioning", i.e. whether some large percentage of the buying public would turn away from a "not so silent" instrument.
I am thinking "keyboard klatter", somewhat reminiscent of Underwood typewriters (-:

It may be fine on stage, in a studio, etc., but manufacturers have to appeal to the largest buying audience(pun) they can.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/09/13 10:54 AM

The Alpha piano apparently uses a pressure sensor. That's the only one I know of. Since no one ever sees or plays the Alpha piano, we may never know whether it really does use a pressure sensor or how well it performs.

In this forum we often find ourselves thinking wishfully about other sensor designs. For example, I had in mind that the AvantGrands use some kind of continuous measurement sensor for the longest time or perhaps that they had a sensor at the strike point so whenever the hammer moves there we would get a note. It doesn't. The hammer shank interrupts optical paths and gives two discrete on events. The time between them is calculated, similar to what is done in a regular DP. It is possible on the AvantGrand to toss the hammer up (for example, while playing off the jack) and not get a note.

I think there must be good reasons for using these two- or three-part sensors, unfortunately.
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/09/13 11:08 AM

Originally Posted By: ando
I suspect pressure pads are difficult for some reason - either for accuracy or durability because it really would be much easier to have a real hammer hitting a pressure switch and another sensor for the damper on the key. That's it! Would be so much easier to calibrate. Probably feel more realistic too. None this interpolating velocity stuff, just pure whack of the hammer and dampers determined by the key position. There must be a reason why they aren't doing it though.

Cost, added complexity, you need a switch there anyway for damping, they don't want to try something new when the old bog simple $0.02 rubber boot over $0.02 of PCB is selling fine, etc. - otherwise totally doable and would make a lot of sense for a hammered action instrument like the piano. I'm kind of surprised none of the "I tore apart an old real grand and made my dream DP" threads around here have taken the logical step of utilizing the original action with piezos retrofits or something.

It's something of a shame two or three switches work as well as they do, it keeps the entire industry mired at a certain "good enough" (or so they think) level of performance and realism with little desire to move up. The influence of MIDI has done the same for decades now.

Manufacturers are huge risk averse fraidy cats when it comes to doing anything boldly new, even if it makes infinite sense. But DPs exist more to make profit than actual music so I suppose we're just lucky when anyone involved in their design actually cares enough to make them slightly better.
Posted by: xorbe

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/09/13 11:18 AM

Originally Posted By: ando
I suspect pressure pads are difficult for some reason - either for accuracy or durability because it really would be much easier to have a real hammer hitting a pressure switch and another sensor for the damper on the key. That's it!

Right. It's trivial to measure velocity between 2 time points, but much harder to measure instantaneous pressure with consistency across 88 sensors. Periodic calibration needed for sure.
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/09/13 03:16 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Temperament, I believe the behaviour is the same as with the original RM3 Grand action.
x
That previous topic was about the suboptimal use of the 3-Sensor keyboards as the GF is. The intriguing problem was that while the last 2 sensors are able to generate Key ON events during fast repetitions, for single key press it was not possible. I guessed this behavior was due to a simple algorithm issue in the GF, but the question was, whether this is unchanged in RM3 Grand II (which is presumably more similar in this regard to GF, bot to RM3 with 2 Sensors only.)
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/09/13 03:29 PM

Originally Posted By: CyberGene
...This seems to me as a better approximation of a real piano, for example repeated notes would strike a vibrating tine which supposedly generates different velocity than if it was static....
I think it is a more relevant issue, which cannot be captured by MIDI events at all.
I think this complex physical phenomenon of (re)striking of an already vibrating string (which has obviously also a short dampening effect etc...) has not been reproduced with present sampled pianos at all - which shortcoming impacts most significantly the attack phase.
(What is the case with modelled instrument?)

Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/09/13 03:41 PM

AFAIK all of the DPs simulated hammer actions have a mechanically coupled hammer part which. It is than up to the manufacturer to place some of the sensors or all of them on the key block or on the hammer part - completely irrelevant.

It is very interesting experience to play a real acoustic clavichord, which has no mechanical hammer or plucks - and the key block builds the hammer as a unit. In that regard it resembles to a DP action (with 2 parts but which are coupled.)
Posted by: dbudde

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/09/13 03:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Temperament
I think it is a more relevant issue, which cannot be captured by MIDI events at all.
I think this complex physical phenomenon of (re)striking of an already vibrating string (which has obviously also a short dampening effect etc...) has not been reproduced with present sampled pianos at all - which shortcoming impacts most significantly the attack phase.
(What is the case with modelled instrument?)



The player for Vienna Imperial triggers different release samples depending on how long a sample has been playing. If I'm not mistaken, this is done precisely for the reason you mention.
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/09/13 04:17 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster

It's something of a shame two or three switches work as well as they do, it keeps the entire industry mired at a certain "good enough" (or so they think) level of performance and realism with little desire to move up. The influence of MIDI has done the same for decades now.
While You have completely right with MIDI, I am not sure how important it is to completely mimic an acoustic action. I mean not for the manufacturer, but for us customer too.
With the DP you have the playability (smoth, accurate, expressive playing) the only concern, with acoustic you had to move a big apparatus with physical weight, length, etc. It was not invented for just playability, but for generating a big, nice, rich tone. When you don't need it the only purpose to mimic this is to build a practise instrument for rehearsal.

But to play only - I can imagine an ever "better" action from the scratch. (I heard very often the myth of the "perfect piano" - mostly from elderly piano teachers in my childhood.)

We don't carry all of the parts of horse drown vehicles in our cars...
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/09/13 04:25 PM

Originally Posted By: dbudde
The player for Vienna Imperial triggers different release samples depending on how long a sample has been playing. If I'm not mistaken, this is done precisely for the reason you mention.

"1,200 recorded samples per key" - wahnsinn... Vienna Imperial (Bösendorfer)
Posted by: dewster

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/09/13 06:25 PM

Originally Posted By: Temperament
While You have completely right with MIDI, I am not sure how important it is to completely mimic an acoustic action. I mean not for the manufacturer, but for us customer too.

<snip>

But to play only - I can imagine an ever "better" action from the scratch. (I heard very often the myth of the "perfect piano" - mostly from elderly piano teachers in my childhood.)

We don't carry all of the parts of horse drown vehicles in our cars...

I'm not very interested in replicating AP actions either. I firmly believe there are many alternatives waiting to be discovered which will in many ways feel more responsive and superior to AP actions.

But in terms of connection between the action and the sound, I'm convinced high resolution positional information is the best way to go. From there you can calculate velocity, acceleration, and any higher order moments. Given two or three discrete positions you can't do a whole lot, even when you get to pick those positions.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/09/13 10:04 PM

I still don't see why. If the instrument you seek to replicate features escapement, there's no need for any information besides velocity at the point of escapement. To have an action where that was not the case would be very different from a piano (digital or acoustic) indeed.

Of course, that assumes that velocity is measured at or past the point of escapement. Unfortunately we have observed that that is often not the case.
Posted by: rnaple

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/09/13 11:07 PM

James... I'd like to thank Kawai for the VPC. I'm always looking around for my upgrade. I think I found it.

I'd like to thank Kawai for listening. My intuition tells me where this is going. Including, finally, some Kawai's in software pianos. I like it.

For those who need key vibrations. Somebody needs to come out with a DP stand that is made of two speakers. That should vibrate the keys. If that isn't good enough. A piano bench speaker. But then, that wouldn't vibrate the keys. Either way, they get a vibrator. smile

Again....I'd like to thank Kawai. I've always loved Kawai's sound. It is my opinion that it competes with the best.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/10/13 12:40 AM

Thank you Ron!

It's interest to note the varying reactions to the VPC1 across the different internet forums. Some users can get very, shall we say, passionate!

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Miguel Rey

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/10/13 01:58 PM

Started my quest a couple months ago looking for a midi controller with GP feel, had this been available I would have purchased it on the spot. But since nothing was out there I turned my attention to cabinet DP's and landed on the CA65 but now that the VPC will be available in a couple weeks I'm starting to rethink my decision. I really like the idea that the sound emanates from the cabinet like a real piano but another stumbling block is that the VPC does not have the GF keyboard, yet cost may be the determining factor for me if there is a substantial savings. Lets do the numbers:
CA65 (2800-3400 USD) $3100.00 average
VPC $1850+ $350 (descent monitors)+$200 (stand/bench)= $2,200.00

Even if I was to get the CA65 for $2800 there still is a $600.00 difference. Wonder if the GF keyboard and sound quality with the onboard speakers worth it. Not factoring in VST's because I plan on using them know matter what.


Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/10/13 02:05 PM

Yeah, tough to know. We haven't had all that many people comparing GF and RM3 yet. I'm still looking for a chance to test this myself and see if it matters to me. RM3 has been beloved for quite a while in this forum.
Posted by: rnaple

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/11/13 07:17 AM

Originally Posted By: Miguel Rey
... Lets do the numbers:
CA65 (2800-3400 USD) $3100.00 average
VPC $1850+ $350 (descent monitors)+$200 (stand/bench)= $2,200.00


You won't be happy with $350 monitors. They won't live up to the sound from the VST's. Figure on at least $1000 for monitors. More like $1,500. Also need to figure in a good sound box. Not a PreSonus either. Unless you're running a Mac? You might want a good sound box anyways? You'll have, arguably, better sound than the best DP out there.
Just to mention...a real good sound box can be a good pre amp for an SM57. You'd be surprised at how good an SM57 sounds with a good pre amp.
Either way...with the VPC, you can always upgrade everything else. smile
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/11/13 07:32 AM

F-30 pedal set.

Perhaps this was asked before, but can they be used with an es7 ? I know it's not available (yet) as a separate product, but would like to know if it works with the ES. Thinking of a VPC as fixed setup and use my ES for take away. Could then take with me the F-30 as well..., instead of f-10 + f-20
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/11/13 08:35 AM

Hi JFP,

Originally Posted By: JFP
Perhaps this was asked before, but can they be used with an es7 ?


I'm afraid not.

As mentioned earlier:

Originally Posted By: myself
Due to the technical design of the F-30, I believe it will only function correctly (i.e. as a triple pedal unit) with the MP8, MP8II, and MP10 (i.e. not the MP5 or MP6). And even then, a software update would be required each of those models.


The ES7 is the same situation as the MP5/MP6. Essentially, the F-30 will only be compatible with boards that included the F-20.

I hope this answers your question - sorry if it's not the response you wanted to hear.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/11/13 09:14 AM

Originally Posted By: rnaple
Originally Posted By: Miguel Rey
... Lets do the numbers:
CA65 (2800-3400 USD) $3100.00 average
VPC $1850+ $350 (descent monitors)+$200 (stand/bench)= $2,200.00


You won't be happy with $350 monitors. They won't live up to the sound from the VST's. Figure on at least $1000 for monitors. More like $1,500.


You are right that there are much better speakers to be had, but I would imagine that a pair of monitors costing $350 would compare with the onboard speakers of the CA65. So for purposes of comparison it's not an unreasonable assumption. Don't you think?
Posted by: R_B

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/11/13 01:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Hi JFP,

Originally Posted By: JFP
Perhaps this was asked before, but can they be used with an es7 ?


I'm afraid not.

As mentioned earlier:

Originally Posted By: myself
Due to the technical design of the F-30, I believe it will only function correctly (i.e. as a triple pedal unit) with the MP8, MP8II, and MP10 (i.e. not the MP5 or MP6). And even then, a software update would be required each of those models.


The ES7 is the same situation as the MP5/MP6. Essentially, the F-30 will only be compatible with boards that included the F-20.

I hope this answers your question - sorry if it's not the response you wanted to hear.

Cheers,
James
x


Odd,
From all appearances the F-30 is 3 pedals, the right hand one (at least) is a continuous controller, the others may be switches or continuous. I had "ASSUMED" that the 3 cords could plug into 'anything' and be assigned midi controller numbers - I had assumed the f-20 was VERY similar.

The Roland 3 pedal board may be the solution ?
Posted by: Miguel Rey

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/11/13 01:41 PM

Not to sure about having to spend 1000 bucks for monitors. My M Audio Bx8a already sound better then most cabinets, they are just too big and was thinking of buying Rokit 5" that run about $350.00 , then I would add a sub for another $399.00 (rokit 10"). I didn't calculate the sub into the equation because I was going to add one the the CA65 anyway. Now if I was mixing then I guess the extra cost for better monitors would make sense, but for just piano & keyboard sounds I think the less expensive monitors will be fine. Regarding the sound box I have Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6.

Messing around last night with my current set up and I placed my Bx8's in a couple different positions, on the floor tilted upward and just below keyboard level tilted up and I really like how the sound filled the area behind the keyboard. Only issue with the Bx8's is that the port is on the back and needs plenty of space to avoid thumping sounds but overall it is much nicer then having the speakers pointed directly at me. the VPC is looking good and with the front ported Rokits they may be the ticket, just need to make a would cabinet behind the keyboard to house them if I decide to tilt them up.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/11/13 04:05 PM

Originally Posted By: R_B
I had "ASSUMED" that the 3 cords could plug into 'anything' and be assigned midi controller numbers - I had assumed the f-20 was VERY similar.


The F-30 has two plugs.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: rnaple

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/11/13 10:36 PM

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
...$350 would compare with the onboard speakers of the CA65. So for purposes of comparison it's not an unreasonable assumption. Don't you think?


That sounds like good thought.
I should just face the fact that I'm a sound snob. I use my monitors for more than just my piano.

Originally Posted By: Miguel Rey
.... My M Audio Bx8a already sound better then most cabinets, they are just too big and was thinking of buying Rokit 5" ... add a sub for another $399.00 (rokit 10")....I have Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6.


Sounds like you already have a pretty good idea what you're doing.
I think you'd be very happy with the VPC. Looks like it's made for you.
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/12/13 02:29 AM

"The F-30 has two plugs"

Yes, and the ES7 two pedal inputs (damper, damper/soft). So either those inputs are incompatible, or the programmers find it too much coding to enable use of the F-30 with those inputs. Is it the first , then so be it. In the second case, there is still a little hope ;-)
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/12/13 02:34 AM

It's the first - the connectors are incompatible.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: R_B

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/12/13 06:14 AM

Phono plugs, by any other name, continue to be phone plugs.
At first glance I didn't notice that one was "Stereo" the other "Mono".

If Kawai has wired them in some odd way in order to be "incompatible" we can expect many future threads to ask why this pedal set produces whatever results when plugged into something else, or doesn't produce any results.
Why "standard" pedals don't work when plugged into VPC, on and on...

The decision to lock themselves out of potential separate sales seems a little odd, but the proprietary vs open design question is a whole 'nother topic.

Does anyone KNOW what signal are available on the phono plugs ?
e.g. is the damper merely a 10K linear pot and the other two n/o switches ?
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/12/13 06:20 AM

R_B, I don't believe there was a conscious decision made to prevent some products from functioning correctly, it's just that the F-30 (and F-20) uses a different system to the F-10H. Therefore, instruments that are designed to use the F-10H (e.g. MP5/MP6, ES7) are not compatible.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/13/13 11:33 AM

At second, third, fourth.....thought I'm seriously considering ordering the F-30 on the short term. There seems to be a VPC included in the package as an accessories ;-)

I'm only a bit worried that I'm an early adapter again in buying of the first batch, as I did with the MP6 and ES7 and potentially get a unit with small 'details' that have to be worked out. I know it's common wisdom to wait a little, but ....you know ;-)

James are you confident that the first production runs will be "glitch free" . Imagined reply: YES I AM.

OK - so let's do it. VPC on it's way...just hope I didn't shoot myself in the foot this time.

Fortunately there's not much that can be wrong. If the package service leaves the box in one piece, it'll be a review that will simply tell if it works, because speakers, sounds , options and controls are all out of the equation this time.

Fingers crossed.
Posted by: TubularBills

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/13/13 01:49 PM

Hi,

I ordered the ES7 but apparently it's out of stock in France (maybe in other countries over Europe too ?).
Any idea when the production will deliver smoothly again ? My fingers are getting itchy !
I wonder if could have received the VPC earlier... better not think about it.

Thanks
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/13/13 02:11 PM

I guess these batches will be on the same boat :-)

It's just a guess of course...
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/14/13 06:34 PM

Question to You James, just because You are the right person in the universe to be asked. You could have played probably both the RM3 Grand II and the GF keyboard enough (as no second one here in the forum) to build a subjective opinion how they compare.

My question: while the VPC is a very nice package with a nice design and maintaining some portability, could it offer even some playability advantages over the GF which has significantly longer keys (and therefore haevier too)? Or is GF as the flagship KAWAI action was just superior in every regards to playability.

(As a hint: theoretically could smaller keys bring some repetition benefits, could react agiler, more responsive, etc.)

??? - Thx.
Posted by: ando

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/14/13 06:57 PM

Originally Posted By: Temperament
Question to You James, just because You are the right person in the universe to be asked. You could have played probably both the RM3 Grand II and the GF keyboard enough (as no second one here in the forum) to build a subjective opinion how they compare.

My question: while the VPC is a very nice package with a nice design and maintaining some portability, could it offer even some playability advantages over the GF which has significantly longer keys (and therefore haevier too)? Or is GF as the flagship KAWAI action was just superior in every regards to playability.

(As a hint: theoretically could smaller keys bring some repetition benefits, could react agiler, more responsive, etc.)

??? - Thx.


I can help you here. The answer is "no!". Longer keys are better. They have to get pretty darn long before their inertia becomes a disadvantage. The advantage of longer keys is that the touch at different points along the key is more uniform. All things being equal, the GF is definitely better.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/14/13 09:02 PM

I suspect GF keys are not heavier. I'm sure the weights in RM3 are such that the rotational inertia is the same as it is in GF. At least, near the edge of the key. Near the back of the key there will be less mechanical advantage in RM3, making it relatively harder to press. That's the theory, at least. I can's say how the two compare when playing because I haven't been able to do the comparison.
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/15/13 06:53 AM

Thank for Your answers, yes, it is what theory is saying.

But the behavior can be tuned very efficiently by placing sensors, the attached hammer mechanic, etc. And even the sensor arrangement and software tuning can result perhaps in a more playable configuration. (Like velocity curves can make a keyboard to feel heavier or lighter.)

So the ??? to James remains open:
Originally Posted By: Ando
All things being equal (???), the GF is definitely better
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/19/13 04:05 PM

Anyone else ordered the VPC ?? It seems to be coming sooner than I thought - perhaps next week already.

Question that perhaps has been answered already (but couldn't find it):

- apart from the third sensor , are there any other changes / improvements made to RM3-II vs original RM3 ?
- has anyone been able to seriously compare both GF and RM3-II actions back to back and an opinion on the differences in touch&feel ? Perhaps at NAMM
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/19/13 04:14 PM

As was stated by James here on this thread, there's no change in RM3-II vs RM3 except for the added third sensor and slightly reinforced structure. Not sure if he used that exact word "reinforced" but I got the feeling this wasn't something which can affect the feel, so the basic feel is exactly the same. What could be expected is better repeat detection and possibly a slightly higher durability of the keyboard action.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/19/13 08:29 PM

CyberGene, you are correct. The 'feel' of the 'RM3 Grand II' action should be the same as that of the original 'RM3 Grand' action. However, responsiveness and repetition speed will be improved due to the third sensor.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/20/13 02:56 PM

Happy Birthday James!
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/20/13 03:51 PM

Hip hip hooray ! And treat yourself with a nice new VPC (or have your Kawai colleagues buy you one as a birthday present ;-)

Cheers !

(Sorry missed the birthday cake icon the first time...)
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 02/20/13 06:46 PM

Thanks guys! wink

Originally Posted By: JFP
And treat yourself with a nice new VPCElectro 4


Fixed. wink

Originally Posted By: JFP
(or have your Kawai colleagues buy you one as a birthday present ;-)


+1

Well, fingers crossed this model will be introduced in Japan soon, and I can finally take advantage of my special employee discount. wink

Cheers,
James
x

Posted by: ando

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/07/13 11:56 PM

Was just reading that Kawai has no plans to bring the VPC-1 to Australia. frown Nice one, Kawai.

I don't understand these sorts of decisions. Surely they could at least make it available at Kawai dealers for those who want to special order it. We can try the same action in other Kawai models, so it's a known quantity that way. The sounds are made by software. So there's no reason to stock and display it. Would cost Kawai nothing to allow people to place an order. Strange...
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/08/13 12:31 AM

That sucks. Sorry to hear it.

I think it's a decision of the Kawai subsidiary. At least, when we don't get cool Kawai models in the US it's Kawai US (located in California) that's to blame, not the guys in Japan. Of course, the buck stops on the brand name.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/08/13 12:33 AM

Originally Posted By: ando
Was just reading that Kawai has no plans to bring the VPC-1 to Australia. frown Nice one, Kawai.


Please note that Kawai Australia decides which models to introduce into the Australasian market. However, it's possible that this position may change in the future.

For what it's worth, Kawai Japan's own domestic sales division also opted not to market the VPC1 over here ("where's the Demo button?" etc.). However, after a very positive launch at NAMM, along with coverage in Japanese musical instrument press, and even orders from Japanese consumers purchasing the board from the US and Europe, it appears that their position is gradually evolving. I expect the same thing will happen with Kawai Australia.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Qbert

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/08/13 04:19 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
[quote=ando]"where's the Demo button?"


Naaa... frown
I would prefer that the "demo" ROM space was dedicated to better samples!
Posted by: rnaple

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/08/13 04:39 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
...For what it's worth, Kawai Japan's own domestic sales division also opted not to market the VPC1 over here ("where's the Demo button?" etc.)...


Why do people insist on trying to create something into something else? The VPC is what it is. It's what people like me want to buy. If they want a demo button, they got plenty to choose from.

But then. If salesmen and business men were smarter. They would be working in research and development.
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/08/13 05:27 AM

Don't underestimate the smarts of businessmen. The talented ones know the business, know the market, and know how to make the business profitable.

If the R&D guys were smart, they'd work in the business ... and make piles more money.
Posted by: abitconfused

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/08/13 06:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James

For what it's worth, Kawai Japan's own domestic sales division also opted not to market the VPC1 over here ("where's the Demo button?" etc.).

No 'Concert Magic' button either!

I had been wondering exactly where the demand for that particular 'feature' came from (and why it gets a dedicated button on the lower-end Kawai pianos!), and furthermore why many pianos (of all brands) have a dedicated button for 'Demo', but important functionality often requires complicated multiple/simultaneous presses of buttons and keys etc

Now I guess I have the answer to both questions!
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/08/13 07:45 AM

Originally Posted By: Qbert

I would prefer that the "demo" ROM space was dedicated to better samples!

The "space" for a demo doesn't bother me, it's just a tiny MIDI file. But...
Originally Posted By: abitconfused
I had been wondering exactly where the demand for that particular 'feature' came from (and why it gets a dedicated button on the lower-end Kawai pianos!), and furthermore why many pianos (of all brands) have a dedicated button for 'Demo', but important functionality often requires complicated multiple/simultaneous presses of buttons and keys etc

That is what bugs me on some models. The demo function should be the thing that requires a more complicated keypress (there could be a sticker with directions for showroom use), and the simple press should be available for some otherwise awkward/missing function that is actually more useful once you own the thing.
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/08/13 07:51 AM

Sh***t; it has no demo button ?!!! I must be fast to cancel my order then ; can't live without that essential feature - I must have overlooked that.

Shame, what I am gonna do now ??? Perhaps wait for the VPC2 with added Mod/pitch wheels, renewed music stand, OSX support and... demo function ;-)

Or an MP10 - oh no; it has no 3rd sensor and same music stand

Or a PX5S - oh no ; no music stand at all and is where a demo button ??

Or an FP7F Black; damn - it's sold out !

Or ...or......OK , I'll just wait for my VPC then and see if I can live without demo's. Hope so...(no demo button, what we're they thinking!)
Posted by: Thomas B

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/09/13 11:25 AM

Yesterday I had the chance to play the VPC1 in a music store in Hamburg. I think it's absolutely awesome for the price. Very good action and nice and solid looking too.

They had a MP10 as well. Both actions felt identical to me. However, improved repetition is noticeable in case of the VPC1. So if your local store does not have one to try you'll be save if you like the MP10 including a little extra room regarding repetition.

The store had only Alicia Keys and The Grand installed on their Mac. Can't wait to get it on stage with Vintage D which I prefer :-)

Thomas
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/09/13 02:25 PM

Originally Posted By: Thomas B
Yesterday I had the chance to play the VPC1 in a music store in Hamburg. I think it's absolutely awesome for the price. Very good action and nice and solid looking too.

They had a MP10 as well. Both actions felt identical to me. However, improved repetition is noticeable in case of the VPC1. So if your local store does not have one to try you'll be save if you like the MP10 including a little extra room regarding repetition.
Thomas
Could you compare it to the GF action (CA95/65) as well? Thx
Posted by: Thomas B

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/09/13 05:28 PM

Originally Posted By: Temperament
Originally Posted By: Thomas B
Yesterday I had the chance to play the VPC1 in a music store in Hamburg. I think it's absolutely awesome for the price. Very good action and nice and solid looking too.

They had a MP10 as well. Both actions felt identical to me. However, improved repetition is noticeable in case of the VPC1. So if your local store does not have one to try you'll be save if you like the MP10 including a little extra room regarding repetition.
Thomas
Could you compare it to the GF action (CA95/65) as well? Thx

Only played few notes on it, as I'm not interested in the "classic" digital piano stuff. It's different and feels a little bit more like a real grand, but at least for my playing capabilities neither GF nor RM 3 II would pose a limit - for me the difference was really small.

Thomas
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/10/13 11:07 AM

As one possible advantage of the VPC1 as a MIDI controller over the CA pedal system was discussed, that continuos pedal response of VPC1 is hopefully more evenly distributed throughout the whole travelling distance of the pedal than with the CAs is the case. (On the CAs only some 24 neighbouring pedal positions fire all of the possible pedal velocity values within a narrow travelling interval - as described here:Continous HalfPedalling issues with CAxx + SW-Pianos
(To be sure: There is NO issue with the CA-s themselves, because they are optimised to work properly with this behaviour of their own pedal system, but the attached SW Instruments are not.)

Some thoughts/information (James?)
Thx.
Posted by: shooby

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/19/13 04:44 PM

Hey, here's a question for anyone who owns a VPC1 (and hopefully Kawai James!). Does your damper pedal send "progressive" MIDI information? Because mine sure doesn't!!! Tried in two different DAW's and the pedal is only sending on or off messages - so no half pedalling! Also it sort of grinds, while the other pedals are smooth. Sound faulty? Finally, there's a slight manufacturing defect - the plate below the keyboard is very slightly warped in the middle (looks like a small dent) and not quite flush underneath. It's no biggie, but you know how these things bug you when you've spent that kind of money (and then there's re-sale value). And none of the pictures of the VPC1 I've been drooling over ever had a dent on the front! So Kawai James, can the front plate be replaced? It looks like it should unscrew and just come away. Otherwise I've got to ship it back to Germany (assuming they will do the decent thing and replace it).

Appreciate any thoughts guys.

Shooby
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/19/13 05:55 PM

Hello Shooby,

Originally Posted By: Shooby
Does your damper pedal send "progressive" MIDI information? Because mine sure doesn't!!! Tried in two different DAW's and the pedal is only sending on or off messages - so no half pedalling!


Yes, the F-30's damper pedal is progressive - I believe it sends values in 25 steps. To test this, you may wish to try a MIDI diagnostics tool (the I/O panel in Pianoteq works well), press the damper pedal, then monitor the different values that are sent.

If your F-30's damper pedal is only sending two values (i.e. on/off), the unit is probably defective and should be replaced.

Originally Posted By: Shooby
Also it sort of grinds, while the other pedals are smooth. Sound faulty?


All the pedals should feel the same. If one is 'grinding' when pressed, it's very likely there's a defect inside the unit and should therefore be replaced.

Originally Posted By: Shooby
Finally, there's a slight manufacturing defect - the plate below the keyboard is very slightly warped in the middle (looks like a small dent) and not quite flush underneath.


Ah, that sounds like shipping damage - it may even be related to the faulty pedal unit.

Originally Posted By: Shooby
So Kawai James, can the front plate be replaced?


It may be possible, however my recommendation would be to contact the dealer from where the VPC1 was purchased and allow them to resolve the issue. You may also wish to contact Kawai Europe directly.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: shooby

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/20/13 01:45 PM

Thanks for your input James, I'll get back in touch with the supplier.

Cheers,

Shooby
Posted by: theJourney

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/21/13 03:15 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
... the unit is probably defective and should be replaced.

Originally Posted By: Shooby
Also it sort of grinds, while the other pedals are smooth. Sound faulty?


All the pedals should feel the same. If one is 'grinding' when pressed, it's very likely there's a defect inside the unit and should therefore be replaced.

Originally Posted By: Shooby
Finally, there's a slight manufacturing defect - the plate below the keyboard is very slightly warped in the middle (looks like a small dent) and not quite flush underneath.


Ah, that sounds like shipping damage - it may even be related to the faulty pedal unit.



sick

If this controller, like the other RM containing models before it, is so incredibly fragile and can be so easily damaged when on its maiden voyage in a carefully packed, original, factory-sealed and insulated shipping carton, how on earth are people reasonably expected to safely transport them from one location to another, let alone expect to use them as gigging instruments?
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/21/13 03:50 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
sick

If this controller, like the other RM containing models before it, is so incredibly fragile and can be so easily damaged when on its maiden voyage in a carefully packed, original, factory-sealed and insulated shipping carton, how on earth are people reasonably expected to safely transport them from one location to another, let alone expect to use them as gigging instruments?


I don't believe international shipping is directly comparable to taking your board along to a gig.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: mabraman

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/21/13 04:36 AM

...unless you gig inside a 40ft. container with tons of goods in it, what should be more or less as follows:
-Factory/depot
-Caterpilar to a container
-Lorry
-Crane
-Harbour (sometimes containers are re-situated, so count another posible truck/crane movement)
Containers are usually placed in 4 height piles, and it's very likely that some blow happens when lifted from/onto trucks. If goods are not perfectly filling the container, they'll move and collide each other.
Now, let's multiply this journey as many times as existing distributors, and add a constant named beer...
Posted by: theJourney

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/22/13 01:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
I don't believe international shipping is directly comparable to taking your board along to a gig.


That's exactly the point I am trying to make.

International shipping takes place under tightly controlled, contractually enforced conditions in packaging that has been designed and manufactured by the digital piano manufacturer to ensure that instruments arrive in undamaged and correct working order.

On a gig, an instrument may be transported in various bags, without shipping braces around moving parts, 5 times a week instead of just once off, etc.

It is telling that there are umpteen threads about damaged Kawai dps yet close to none on Korg, Yamaha, Nord, or Roland.

That is a significant observation.

If the Kawai dps are so fragile that they can't even by packaged properly for transport by Kawai themselves, then they are certainly too fragile to be reliable gigging instruments.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/22/13 02:19 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
That's exactly the point I am trying to make.


And the point I am making is that rough handling from various shipping agents is not the same as taking your own board to a gig.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: theJourney

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/22/13 02:48 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
... rough handling from various shipping agents is not the same as taking your own board to a gig.


Sadly, based on the posts on this forum, the risk of buying a dp and receiving a damaged in transit, unusable instrument appears to be infinitely higher for Kawai than from Yamaha, Roland, Nord, Casio or Korg, etc. who, just as 99.9% of all manufacturers of electronics, seem to have figured out how to design, manufacture and properly secure and package their products to withstand "rough handling from various shipping agents." After all, it is not rocket science.

I would think that Kawai would want to do at least as good of a job for her customers as Yamaha et. al. and actually solve long-standing problems rather than just entering into unhelpful, pedantic debates, making excuses and time and time again typing "I'm sorry, contact your dealer and/or Kawai America/Europe/etc. for a replacement or repair" on a daily or weekly basis on a public forum. It can't be cheap for Kawai or for her independent distributors and dealers to have to waste so much money on after sales service repairing and replacing all the damaged in transit products.

If I were considering buying a dp from one of the major manufacturers, having to spend weeks or months to finally get a working model might be seen as a nuisance. However, when the dp is later damaged when being transported by the user, then the risk and responsibility for the costs of repair might be placed on the shoulders of the customer. That risk and the potential costs would seem to be very high. And, that is perhaps the most important to consider difference between damage in one-time shipping in factory sealed boxes and damage in transport to regular gigs.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/22/13 02:52 AM

theJourney, as always, thank you for your useful feedback.

Have a great weekend mate.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: mabraman

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/22/13 04:27 AM

The Journey, I own an ES7 and I must say it was perfectly packaged and damage free (well, a little scratch in the lcd display, which had no plastic stick coverage).
As I posted before, international shipping is everything but safe. Kawai has to make sure, up to a point, that their packages work fine under average conditions, beyond that it's up to assurance companies to cover the shipping damages, and those companies exist for some reason.
But perhaps there's even more risk of damages when the vans/beers come into place.
Now, if you prefer to keep on with your crussade...:)
Posted by: theJourney

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/22/13 05:36 AM

Originally Posted By: mabraman
The Journey, I own an ES7 and I must say it was perfectly packaged and damage free (well, a little scratch in the lcd display, which had no plastic stick coverage).


I rest my case. smile

Who ships lcd displays without the ubiquitous protective plastic stickers?
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/22/13 10:02 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: mabraman
The Journey, I own an ES7 and I must say it was perfectly packaged and damage free (well, a little scratch in the lcd display, which had no plastic stick coverage).


I rest my case. smile

Who ships lcd displays without the ubiquitous protective plastic stickers?

I'm willing to bet, long distance, based on my experience, and others on here with Kawai, that in fact there is a plastic clear cover on the display, and that the scratch is also in fact on that clear cover. The cover is usually so precisely attached and clear that it is not at all obvious it is there in the first place.
Posted by: mabraman

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/22/13 10:14 AM

I'd swear the sticker is not there, as it's a deep scratch (enough to feel it with a nail) but anyway, who cares. If you say it's not a scratch I won't argue that, and I'll live a day more.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/22/13 10:38 AM

Yes, the LCD should have a protective cover attached. Many customers do not realise that it's there, so we began adding an explanation note to the owner's manuals.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/22/13 11:22 AM

@mabraman

At first I didn't notice the protective plastic on the display either; apart from the fact that the display looked a little 'blurred'. However I found out that all new Kawai's are shipped with this plastic protective cover. So either it's still there, or yours didn't come with the protective sticker, which is odd...
Posted by: airdis

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/22/13 03:15 PM

First post, but FWIW, I received my VPC1 a couple of weeks ago, and while the box itself had a bash or two in shipping, the VPC1 itself was perfect, and packed well.

And in answer to an earlier issue - my damper pedal certainly does send partial pedaling messages.

It's a wonderful keyboard; I can't recall being this content with a music purchase in many, many years. I wrote a review for Sweetwater's site where I said that because I bought it sight unseen, I was a little nervous when it arrived - not quite buyer's remorse, but worried that I might have. Within five minutes, all I could think was "Wow... I am going to spend SO many hours sitting in front of this..."

-Simon
Posted by: mabraman

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/22/13 03:26 PM

Jesus! It had no sticker. I swear it!
In fact, some days after purchasing it, I went to the store (nothing to do with this, I'm not that bad smile ) and tactfuly told so to the salesman (well, not that sweetly, I actually asked him if the DP I had purchased was brand new, cause it had a scratch, so maybe I'm that bad), who in a condescendent way asked me: didn't you realize that I unpacked it for you to test? And yes, he did.
So...perhaps there was no sticker or perhaps it wasn't so new. Who cares, now. It works well, and the salesman was stronger than me.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/22/13 08:09 PM

airdis, many thanks for your positive feedback - it's always great to hear from end users.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/24/13 12:36 PM

@Airdis; is the RM3-II keyboard in the VPC nice AND quiet ?!

Since the VPC seems to be basically the MP10 cabinet stripped of all extra's , I can imagine it may be a little empty inside compared to the MP. When stuffed with some acoustic damping material ; no problem. But when left 'open' - I can imagine it could become sort of a resonating body for the mechanical key noise. I assume this is NOT the case and all is well, but nevertheless I wondered how you perceive the keybed noise, since you're one of the first owners around. Hope the RM3-II is still one of the quietest keybeds around, also in the VPC cabinet.

BTW what software are you using with your VPC ?
Posted by: airdis

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/25/13 01:51 PM

JFP - there's a good, satisfying thump. And it's solid, there's no resonance at all in the body of the unit. It's certainly no louder than any other weighted keyboard I've played (and quieter than a few). Best I can describe it is "consistent". Nothing mismatches. The keybed feels and sounds exactly how I hoped it to feel and sound - an admittedly subjective judgement if ever there was one smile

RE: software, I'd been previously using the Native Instruments Komplete pianos, along with some more specialized libs like Imperfect Samples Braunschweig, and Soundiron's Emotional Piano. But I was curious to try one that used the custom touch curves in the VPC. I downloaded the trial of Pianoteq, which I'd never used before - I guess I'd shied away from the concept of modeled pianos in favor of the multi-gigabyte sampled ones. And as soon as I loaded up their Blüthner model, something just went "click - that's the one!". So I bought Pianoteq with the Blüthner expansion, and I've been using that 90% of the time. It's possible that one of the huge sample pianos like Ivory might beat it on pure sound (and I may try that in the future) but I'm finding Pianoteq just immensely "playable". And I like the speed of using it - pretty much "click, start playing", rather than navigating through Komplete libraries and waiting for some massive sample set to load.
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/25/13 04:42 PM

Thanks for the info. Postponed my purchase till after Frankfurter Messe ; you never know...

Then I'll probably get a VPC anyway. I was thinking for the Blüthner as well, since I already have Pianoteq. NI is part of the collection too, but for touch / sound connection I guess Pianoteq will win. We'll see...
Posted by: Marko in Boston

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/25/13 04:50 PM

JFP, you think Kawai will roll out a MP6 or 10 update at Frankfurter Messe or NAMM summer in Nashville? That would be worth the wait.
Posted by: JFP

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/25/13 05:38 PM

No - not particularly - I'm just curious to what will show up of any brand. Perhaps nothing , or only minor stuff, perhaps something interesting. And since it's only a few weeks wait , that'll will be possible to bridge (hardly).
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Kawai VPC - 03/25/13 05:48 PM


Are You planning to visit die Musikmesse in Frankfurt, JFP?
Posted by: dr.dai phan

Re: Kawai VPC - 04/03/13 12:56 PM

Hello all,

I ordered the VPC1 and I am currently third in line to get it. I live in the US and I could find only two places that sell them. One is Kraft Music and the other is Sweetwater. Anyone knows of any other online retailers? I will be using the Yamaha Tyros 4 to back up the piano track as well as using it as the audio interface. I am still deciding what virtual piano program to get although I have heard the Pianoteq is a good one. DP
Posted by: Thomas B

Re: Kawai VPC - 04/03/13 03:05 PM

Hi Dai,

it's really personal preference whether you like one virtual piano or the other.

Pianoteq is free to try - just download the trial and see if you like it. The big sample libraries are normally not that easy to try out and compare. I used http://www.try-sound.com. They offer the most known libraries like the Galaxy instruments, Synthogy Ivory and Vienna Imperial. The latency does not let you really "play" the instrument, but it gives you a good impression on sound, character, resonance, etc.

Thomas
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai VPC - 04/03/13 10:44 PM

Hello dr.dai phan,

Originally Posted By: dr.dai phan
Hello all,

I ordered the VPC1 and I am currently third in line to get it. I live in the US and I could find only two places that sell them. One is Kraft Music and the other is Sweetwater. Anyone knows of any other online retailers?


Of the larger internet retailers, I believe the VPC1 is currently only available from Kraft Music and Sweetwater, however there may also be some smaller independent retailers that carry this new model. My recommendation would be to contact Kawai America to double check the availability of this product.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: dr.dai phan

Re: Kawai VPC - 04/04/13 08:14 AM

Hello all,

If the VPC1 sells well, I am sure other piano makers will jump on this and it will drive the cost down. I wish Kawai does not use the name VPC1 because number 1 means number 2 will follow and already, I feel the VPC1 is "dated".I wonder why other big retailers online does not carry this item as so far, both retailers are on back order. DP
Posted by: dr.dai phan

Re: Kawai VPC - 04/04/13 09:00 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Fantastic clip of keyboard legend Jordan Rudess playing the VPC1 (and Ivory II) at the Synthogy booth:



I think you can see the extent of the 'curved' surface quite clearly in this clip.

Cheers,
James
x


I wish the top is made flat as that will be easier to put lab top or a mouse pad. DP