Kawai MP6 User's Thread

Posted by: HisKidd

Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 01/26/13 10:31 AM

I have owned the Kawai MP6 stage piano for the past two years. I have read many reviews/evaluations, etc., here in the forums. What is missing, and would be most helpful for me as a user, is a thread which adresses the questions about specific settings, tweaks, insights, playing experience, speakers, accessories, etc. The list goes on and on.

I had thought about adressing specific questions to Kawai James, but the more I read the forums, the more I see that he has his hands full already (and probably his time). So, I would like to hear from other MP6 users about your experience with this board; how you adjust it for optimization; onboard sounds and how you're using them...and anything else that might be helpful to you also. I'm hoping that here we can be practical, and avoid the techno stuff; most of which is way over my head. Not that I'm not willing and eager to learn; I just need it expressed in layman's terms.

As a first question I'd like to ask what tone settings are you using (Cutoff/Attack/Decay/Release) to get the optimal sound for your samples? Here (at least at first), I'm speaking of the piano samples. What say ye?
H.K. cool
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 01/26/13 11:45 AM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
As a first question I'd like to ask what tone settings are you using (Cutoff/Attack/Decay/Release) to get the optimal sound for your samples? Here (at least at first), I'm speaking of the piano samples.

First a disclaimer: I sold my MP6 recently and so am no longer a user.

In a recent thread I posted that a very slight increase in the decay time can yield positive results for a more smooth-playing piano. However we're talking +1 or +2. Beyond that the decay becomes very unrealistic and synthy. Theoretically, a slight counterclockwise (-) turn of the cutoff control could provide a darker piano, but it's likely to just make it sound muffled. Personally, I would leave the other tone controls alone and turn to EQ for further variation.

Here, you need to experiment. I can't remember the settings, but I managed to reduce the harsh quality in the upper mids without affecting the overall clarity of the sound. (By contrast, I found that the internal "mellow" settings took away more of the piano sound's "sparkle.") One way to approach this is to start by turning the amount of mid EQ up or down to its fullest extent and then, while playing, dial the mid frequency control to where you hear the greatest impact on that part of the piano sound's frequency spectrum that you want to change. Having established that, dial back the amount control until you find the sweet spot.

A number of people, myself included, have found the default velocity curve somewhat inadequate for playing pp. This was most noticeable with the earliest operating system. If you haven't already done so, you should update to the latest OS. Then try setting a user velocity curve (explained in the manual). It may or may not help. Someone said recently, that they had to change the setting to the "hard" curve preset for acoustic piano patches.

One of the great things about the MP6 is the ease with which you can change most of these things. It really is a well-designed interface. Good luck with your experimentation.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 01/26/13 12:01 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
Originally Posted By: HisKidd
As a first question I'd like to ask what tone settings are you using (Cutoff/Attack/Decay/Release) to get the optimal sound for your samples? Here (at least at first), I'm speaking of the piano samples.

First a disclaimer: I sold my MP6 recently and so am no longer a user.

In a recent thread I posted that a very slight increase in the decay time can yield positive results for a more smooth-playing piano. However we're talking +1 or +2. Beyond that the decay becomes very unrealistic and synthy. Theoretically, a slight counterclockwise (-) turn of the cutoff control could provide a darker piano, but it's likely to just make it sound muffled. Personally, I would leave the other tone controls alone and turn to EQ for further variation.

Here, you need to experiment. I can't remember the settings, but I managed to reduce the harsh quality in the upper mids without affecting the overall clarity of the sound. (By contrast, I found that the internal "mellow" settings took away more of the piano sound's "sparkle.") One way to approach this is to start by turning the amount of mid EQ up or down to its fullest extent and then, while playing, dial the mid frequency control to where you hear the greatest impact on that part of the piano sound's frequency spectrum that you want to change. Having established that, dial back the amount control until you find the sweet spot.

A number of people, myself included, have found the default velocity curve somewhat inadequate for playing pp. This was most noticeable with the earliest operating system. If you haven't already done so, you should update to the latest OS. Then try setting a user velocity curve (explained in the manual). It may or may not help. Someone said recently, that they had to change the setting to the "hard" curve preset for acoustic piano patches.

One of the great things about the MP6 is the ease with which you can change most of these things. It really is a well-designed interface. Good luck with your experimentation.


voxpops...
Thanks so much for your reply. Great information which I will study and attempt to apply. I'll post my results/evaluation here. I, too, found that the original settings for each sample left much to be desired. And just as you explained about the decay, I find that anything beyond level 3 renders the sound unacceptable. I do have the latest firmware. I will recheck my manual concerning the velocity curve.

I'd be curious to know, were you happy with the MP6? Did you sell it because of dissatisfaction? Any insights you can provide as to your personal assessment of the overall playability and sound of the MP6 would be appreciated!

Many Thanks!
H.K. cool
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 01/26/13 12:46 PM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
I'd be curious to know, were you happy with the MP6? Did you sell it because of dissatisfaction? Any insights you can provide as to your personal assessment of the overall playability and sound of the MP6 would be appreciated!


I had very mixed feelings about the MP6. I love the concept: compact (no unnecessary extension to the left of the board); intuitive interface; one or two very expressive and fun to play EPs, great action; APs with a basically pleasant tone.

The things I found frustrating were nearly all to do with the way the APs were implemented. I won't go into them again here, as I've written about them many times (probably much to KJ's dismay), but I became frustrated that a very good DP could have been a really great DP with just a little more input. There is a big demand for a truly topnotch DP that doesn't need a bunch of pallbearers to move it (witness the interest in Casio's new PX-5s), and Kawai has the know-how. Unlike Casio and Roland, Kawai and Yamaha seem to feel that any one-person-movable DP is not worthy of their top technology. Surely this is a big mistake on the part of their marketing departments.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 01/26/13 01:11 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
Originally Posted By: HisKidd
I'd be curious to know, were you happy with the MP6? Did you sell it because of dissatisfaction? Any insights you can provide as to your personal assessment of the overall playability and sound of the MP6 would be appreciated!


I had very mixed feelings about the MP6. I love the concept: compact (no unnecessary extension to the left of the board); intuitive interface; one or two very expressive and fun to play EPs, great action; APs with a basically pleasant tone.

The things I found frustrating were nearly all to do with the way the APs were implemented. I won't go into them again here, as I've written about them many times (probably much to KJ's dismay), but I became frustrated that a very good DP could have been a really great DP with just a little more input. There is a big demand for a truly topnotch DP that doesn't need a bunch of pallbearers to move it (witness the interest in Casio's new PX-5s), and Kawai has the know-how. Unlike Casio and Roland, Kawai and Yamaha seem to feel that any one-person-movable DP is not worthy of their top technology. Surely this is a big mistake on the part of their marketing departments.


voxpops...
Sounds as though your need is for gigs. Just curious as to whether you considered the EP3 or the ES7? What choice did you make to replace the MP6?

By the way, I've tried your suggestion about dialing back the midrange e.q. to the sweetspot... and found it most helpful. Voxpops, when I came to the forums initially, I had just purchased my first (real) d.p. I knew absolutely nothing about adjustments, much less what words like "cutoff," "attack," "release," etc. meant. I didn't find the Kawai manual very helpful in terms of detailed information about each adjustment, or suggestions as to how to use said adjustments. What I know about these I've learned from experimenting.
But I would be curious to know... is there a resource where all this terminology is explained and general suggestions made about how to adjust these parameters? Perhaps if there are other MP6 users who are going to use this thread as a resource, this information would be helpful to them also. Your input about the MP6 is greatly appreciated.
Regards,
H.K. cool
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 01/26/13 01:36 PM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
voxpops...
Sounds as though your need is for gigs. Just curious as to whether you considered the EP3 or the ES7? What choice did you make to replace the MP6?

Yes, I gig quite a lot. I sold the MP6 in anticipation of some new boards being displayed at NAMM, and was a little surprised at how few came along.

The EP3, being older technology and without 88-key sampling or comparable EPs, would not be in the running for me, but I have thought about the ES7. I watched a video by jazzjazzful on youtube, and could see how much better the action/sound connection is compared to the MP6. The EPs also sound good, and the weight is fractionally less. Hmmm...

I am currently trying to see how well a Krome 88 fulfills my gigging needs. It's lightweight at 32lbs but a behemoth in physical size. I'm not overly comfortable with using a workstation for gigging and it lacks some dedicated piano features, but it sounds pretty good overall. We're doing some recording of original songs at the moment, and were laying down some guide tracks using the Krome's MkV Rhodes in mono, and I was surprised at how good it sounds. It makes me wonder whether, in the absence of an SV-2, it would be nice to try an SV-1 for gigging. I'm also intrigued by the new Casio PX-5s, but have usually found the recent Privias to be too "cold" and "uninvolving" (for want of a better word) for gigging; the PX-5s may change all that.

Quote:
But I would be curious to know... is there a resource where all this terminology is explained...

I think there must be books on synthesis available. Also, try downloading the manuals for analogue synthesizers; you might find useful explanations in there. Sound mixing guides are another resource that would be helpful.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 01/26/13 02:11 PM

Many thanks, voxpops!
H.K. cool
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 01/26/13 02:29 PM

You're welcome!
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 01/26/13 04:52 PM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
I have owned the Kawai MP6 stage piano for the past two years. I have read many reviews/evaluations, etc., here in the forums. What is missing, and would be most helpful for me as a user, is a thread which adresses the questions about specific settings, tweaks, insights, playing experience, speakers, accessories, etc. The list goes on and on.

As a first question I'd like to ask what tone settings are you using (Cutoff/Attack/Decay/Release) to get the optimal sound for your samples? Here (at least at first), I'm speaking of the piano samples. What say ye?
H.K. cool


For those of you who may be new to the MP6 and to digital pianos, here is a great glossary of dp related terms: http://www.amromusic.com/digital-piano-terminology. Admittedly, this glossary is somewhat dated, but the basic info you need is included.

Understanding these terms may be helpful to you as you make adjustments to your board. The question before us concerns making adjustments to the MP6 to achieve optimal sound samples. We began with the piano sounds. The MP6 contains sampling for:
Concert Grand1
Concert Grand2
Studio Grand 1
Studio Grand 2
Mellow Grand 1
Mellow Grand 2
Jazz Grand 1
Jazz Grand 2
Pop Piano
Bright Pop Piano
Pop Piano 2
Pop Piano 3

These are the basic piano samples. My understanding that one set of these samples was retained from the MP5, while others are new. Please see the post above by voxpops where he addresses 1) decay time; 2) EQ; 3) firmware update; and 4) velocity curve.

The question remains on the table as to how you adjust your MP6 for optimal sounds. Other specific suggestions and/or specific settings for any of the above individual samples are welcomed, and will likely provide MP6 users with some viable options for improving sound quality.
Thanks in Advance...
H.K. cool
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 01/31/13 12:20 AM

RE: Adjustments for Best Sound
My experience with the piano settings for the MP6 has taught me that experimentation is the best way to learn what suits your ear. What follows is a short tutorial, in no particular order that hopefully will aid in getting the best piano sounds for your board:

1) The MP6 manual, while explaining the function of the various buttons, knobs, and sliders, lacks specific instructions on how to adjust for quality sound.

2) My first goal is to adjust for a basic, pleasing sound for each sample, and then fine-tune the various parameters for optimal sound.

3) There are a variety of adjustments for the MP6 piano samples, and a change in any one of these will make a noticeable difference in sound. The various adjustments are easily accessible, and easy to set.

4) After choosing a piano sound, I first adjust the EQ controls for low, midrange, and high. Forum member voxpops has suggested adjusting the midrange all the way to max and then dialing back to the midrange sound that to you sounds like the "sweet spot." Once that is done, the same can be done for the low and high controls. Take them to max, then dial them back to what your ear tells you is the "sweet spot."

5) Once you have the EQ set according to this method, you should have a reasonably pleasing sound with just this adjustment. Adjust the EQ for low, mid-range, and high. Leave the frequency setting at 1000 hertz to begin.

6) Next, go to the Tone Modify adjustments and adjust for: a) cutoff; b) attack; c)decay; and d) release. The cutoff adjustment will control the sound for flatness or brightness. The higher the value, the brighter the sound. The attack control is adjusted with negative values and will effect the amount timbre of both the mid-range, and upper octave notes. From what you described in your post, it sounds as though either the "cutoff," or the "attack" setting for you piano samples, needs to be attenuated or detenuated. Adjust these in 5 degree increments, because a small change makes a big difference. You may, for example have a +35 for attack, and a -35 for cuffoff.

Let your ear be your guide, and use these two adjustments to set the desired sound for bass, mid-range, and high timbre. The "decay" and "release" adjustments control the amount of the decay of the notes; and the length of time required before the sound dies away. For piano sounds, I have found that anything beyond, say, decay of 3 and release of 7-10 results in too much resonance. Use these four adjustments to fine tune your sound.

Let me say at this point that I will follow this thread with some examples of what I consider to be great sound adjustments for each of the several pianos, so that if you don't understand what the adjustments are doing to the sound... you can experiment with the different suggested settings.

7) Now you should have a pretty good piano sound for your sample. You also have the option to save your settings at anytime by pushing, "save," "sound," "confirm" at anytime during the process of making changes. The EQ settings will apply across the board to all sounds; the Tone Modify adjustments will adjust uniquely for each piano. If you wish to adjust the EQ differently for each piano sound, you can save your settings as a "setup," giving it a name, rather than a "sound" saving.

8) You can further refine the sound by choosing an Effect (EFX). There are over 20 different effects you can choose from, but the ones that will apply to piano are "enhancer," "chorus," and perhaps "auto-pan." Press and hold the EFX button and the effect in use will be displayed. Use the Value button [up or down] select an effect. By far, the "enhancer" effect will be the one you apply the most. The "enhancer" effect will make the sound brighter, clearer; and add depth to the mix in different amounts. The Effect button displays the settings for your chosen effect. Follow the same logic for setting these ad you did for cutoff and attack. EFX rate and EFX depth will make the sound brighter, more alive, and/or duller and more flat.

Each piano sample requires a different setting for the best sound. Generally speaking, the Concert 1 piano sounds allow for higher EFX rate and EFX depth settings to sound their best, while the Concert 2 piano sounds require lower EFX rate and EFX depth sounds. The EFX reverb time and reverb depth settings determine the amount of reverb and length of reverb. The higher the setting for these two controls, the longer the reverb effect will linger, and the more pronounced will be its effect. Higher settings result in deeper and longer reverb effects.

9) Use the Reverb button to turn on the reverb effect, and to choose the size of the room (from small room to stage). Hold down the button and a grid for choosing the size of the room will appear.

10) Press and hold the Effect button and you will see a display of the percent of reverb offset. Setting the value to 100% results in full reverb.

11) At this point you have made a variety of adjustments and these can add to the sound of any one sample by just engaging the button. To play a basically unaltered sound, disengage the EFX and the Reverb buttons. Engage the EFX button to add brightness, definition, and clarity to the sound; and engage the Reverb button to add reverb. A combination of all three buttons engaged together bolsters the sound; it's depth, brightness, fullness, and clarity immensely. Or, try any one of three buttons in combination for different sounds.

12) There is one other group of fine tuning adjustments. These are the editing parameters. They are accessed for each piano sample by engaging the "Menu button either up or down. Here you fine all the adjustments for things like:
a) damper resonance; b) string resonance; c) key off effect; and d) voicing. Each of these are important settings because they will dramatic effect to your mix. The one that will likely be used most often is the "voicing" option.
This options allows you to set the sound from normal to mellow to bright to dynamic for any individual piano. Once you've selected the parameter you want, use the Value button (up or down) to set the amount of desired effect. The same procedure applies for the other editing parameters. Setting the "Key Off" parameter to a high setting such as 7-10 will result in a definite key off noise that you will be able to hear in the higher registers. Same for the damper resonance. You can set the damper resonance to 6 or higher; hold down a c note silently, strike another C note on the board and release it, and you will hear the resonance of the struck key in your silent key. Reading the explanation of the various parameters in the owner's manual for this section is especially helpful [pp. 34-47)

Be sure to save your settings as you go, or you will lose them when changing samples, or turning your MP6 on and off! You can save them as a "sound" setting or a "setup" setting.

You should, at this point, realize you have a wealth of control possibilities for the MP6. My observation of the newer Kawai DP's leads me to believe much of this has been somewhat simplified by the "virtual tech" feature. Still, you have unlimited adjustment possibilities for this board, and you can dial in your sound.

In addition, the MP6 is a great controller. I have used it with Pianoteq, and its as simple as setting the local parameter to "off" and connecting via USB to your computer.

I know all this may be a bit overwhelming and perhaps confusing. Suffice it to say, I will allow time for analysis of this tutorial and then post some sample settings for the various pianos onboard the MP6. If you don't understand what the various controls do; you can - at the very least - just try the suggested settings. I believe you will find the results amazing! It took me several months of experimentation with the various controls, reading the manual, experimenting, etc. to learn how to adjust the sounds. By the way here is a sample of the Concert Piano Sample #1 from my Box account:
Box Postings

Understand, I've only been playing for two years... but this may give you some indication as to the sound.

By the way, if you look at the "DPBSD" thread in the forums, you will find that the MP6 compares very favorably with the MP10. In the final result, no DP is going to sound like an acoustic; but with the multitude of adjustments onboard the MP6, you can come very close.

Please post feedback/questions. Examples of settings for the basic 12 piano samples of the MP6 will follow.

Cheers!
H.K. cool
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 01/31/13 11:44 AM

RE: Concert Grand Piano (1/1/A) Settings:
______________________________________________________________________________
The piano samples onboard the MP6 were created from the Kawai EX, 9ft. Concert Grand piano. Microphones are located in different positions to achieve a variety of tonal quality sounds.

The Concert Grand1 sample is the brighter of the two concert grands, though when set to "normal" voicing it does have depth and resonance. When played through headphones there is even a more marked contrast between the brightness of the CG1 and that of the CG2. The sound for the this sample when the voicing is set to "dynamic," is "bright," though not "brilliant." This is my "go to" sample, though two of the newest samples in the 3rd group of four ("Pop Piano1," and "Pop Piano 2") are brighter, livelier, and would certainly cut through any mix. This piano sample offers a balance between the mellow end of the spectrum and the brilliant end of the spectrum. Great for classical and traditional tunes, but less so for pop genres.
______________________________________________________________________________
Concert Grand1 - "Normal Voicing"
Concert Grand1 - "Dynamic" Voicing

1. Effect button:
EFR = 105
EFD = 115
RVT = 80
RVD = 100
2. EQ button:
Lo = +6
Mid = +3
MFRQ = 1000
Hi = +8
3. Tone Modify button:
Cut = +30
Attack = -20
Decay = +3
Release = +7
4. Assign button:
0/0/0/0
5. Effect Type (Press and hold EFX button to set and
use value button (up and down) to choose:}
"Enhancer"
6. Reverb button (Push and hold to set)
Use "value" button to choose: "Plate"
7. Menu button options (Use "Menu" up or down to
choose the option, and "value" up or down to choose
the setting:)

Master Volume = Your preference (mine ="56")
Left Pedal = soft
Temper = equal
Stretch = Pinao_w
Fine tune = 0
Pan = 0
Volume = Your preference
Damper = normal
Solo = off
Dynamics = 10 (necessary for full velocity
range; the lower this setting, the duller the
sound)
Amp Simulator = off
Intensity = 105 (mirrors what you've set with
"Effect"button
Wet Level = 115 (also mirrors what you've set
with "Effect" button and is the same as "effect
depth"
EFXT Type = "Enhancer"
Voicing = Normal
Key Off effect = 8
String Resonance = 6
Damper Resonance = 6

*Save your settings once all these are complete. You
can save at anytime during the setting; but be sure
to do so when you've completed them. If you change
to another preset (such as Studio Grand), or power
off without saving - your work will be lost. Just
remember that once saved, you'll only need to go
into an individual parameter, tweak it, and save
again.

**The "Save" procedure is: Store-sound-sure
You can also save to a "setup" You can also save to
"power on" which will call forth your specific
settings each time you power on.


It should be clear that the problem (if you want to call it that) with the MP6 is that it has too many settings! Most boards will not allow you this specificity. There are very few sound parameters for the MP6 that can't be tweaked. Unfortunately, the manual does not explain how to "dial in" a sound as in the above illustration.

Once you get your basic sound set... you have the world of sound enhancements at your fingertips. Use the EFX and Reverb buttons in combination (on or off) for a different sound.
If you turn them off and play, the sound will be pleasing, but not enhanced. Applying the EFX button will result in the sound being greatly enhanced. Adding the Reverb button will further enhance your sound.

One very important remaining adjustment is the Voicing adjustment (Menu/Value settings to get to it). Here you can choose "normal," "mellow 1," "mellow 2," "dynamic," "bright 1," or "bright 2." Play with these leaving all other settings as is to see which you like best. "Normal," will give you the purest, cleanest sound effect; "Dynamic" will enhance both lows and highs.

At this point, it's just a matter of fine-tuning any one of the above parameters. I'm constantly fine-tuning, and the above suggestions for Concert Grand 1 are my current choices.

Let me know how these work for you, and what specific questions you may have. Other piano settings for the remainder of the samples will follow the above pattern and will be posted later.

Regards,
H.K. cool

RE: Concert Grand Piano2 (1/2/A) Settings:
______________________________________________________________________________
In general, the Concert Grand2 patch is deeper, darker, louder, and more "woodsy" sounding than its brighter Concert Grand1 counterpart. You'll notice immediately a major difference in volume with the same settings used for the CG1 sample. The sound of the CG2 offers a distinct contrast to the CG1, and has beautiful depth and vibrance. Now that we have the basics in place, we can dispense for lenghty explanations for which buttons to push; and go right to the sound profile itself:
______________________________________________________________________________
Concert Grand2 - "Normal" Voicing
Concert Grand2 - "Dynamic" Voicing

1. Effect button:
EFR = 65
EFD = 80
RVT = 85
RVD = 80
2. EQ button:
Lo = +6
Mid = +3
MFRQ = 1000
Hi = +8
3. Tone Modify button:
Cut = +34
Attack = -35
Decay = +2
Release = +5
4. Assign button:
0/0/0/0
5. Effect Type (Press and hold EFX button to set and
use value button (up and down) to choose:}
"Enhancer"
6. Reverb button (Push and hold to set)
Use "value" button to choose: "Plate"
7. Menu button options (Use "Menu" up or down to
choose the option, and "value" up or down to choose
the setting:)

Master Volume = Your preference (mine ="56")
Left Pedal = soft
Temper = equal
Stretch = Piano_W
Fine tune = 0
Pan = 0
Volume = Your preference
Damper = normal
Solo = off
Dynamics = 10 (necessary for full velocity
range; the lower this setting, the duller the
sound)
Amp Simulator = off
Intensity = 65 (mirrors what you've set with
"Effect"button
Wet Level = 80 (also mirrors what you've set
with "Effect" button and is the same as "effect
depth"
EFXT Type = "Enhancer"
Voicing = Normal
Key Off effect = 8
String Resonance = 6
Damper Resonance = 6

*Save your settings once all these are complete. You
can save at anytime during the setting; but be sure
to do so when you've completed them. If you change
to another preset (such as Studio Grand), or power
off without saving - your work will be lost. Just
remember that once saved, you'll only need to go
into an individual parameter, tweak it, and save
again.


Note about using the basic settings...
The basic settings that will be used for all samples are the following:
Effect, EQ, and Tone Modify Buttons
Menu Button Options:
1) Voicing: a) normal; b) mellow 1; c) mellow 2; d) mellow 2; e)dynamic;
f) bright1; and g) bright 2
2) String Resonance (1-10)
3) Damper Resonance (1-10)
4) Key Off (1-10)
5) Dynamics (Best to set to 10 to get the full range of the velocity curve
from a light to a heavy touch). Later, I'll explain how to allow the
MP6 to touch your own, personal touch profile.

Once, you done your original work and saved it... you'll only be tweaking the above options for continually adjusting your sound just the way you prefer it for any specific piece you are playing. The voicing options are the first place to start. Each setting produces a completely different nuance of sound. You can make this darker, richer piano sample brighter by choosing, "Bright1," "Bright2," or "Dynamic." On the other hand, you can make the Concert Grand1 sample darker by choosing, "Mellow1," or "Mellow2." Have fun experimenting, and questions are welcomed![/i]

Regards,
H.K. cool
Posted by: mabraman

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 01/31/13 01:00 PM

Nice post, Hiskidd. I don't own an MP6 but the ES7, instead. Some of the adjustments are common (ES7 is way easier to tweak)so this is useful for me too. Maybe in two years or so I'll write down one of these in the ES7 thread wink
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 01/31/13 02:27 PM

Originally Posted By: mabraman
Nice post, Hiskidd. I don't own an MP6 but the ES7, instead. Some of the adjustments are common (ES7 is way easier to tweak)so this is useful for me too. Maybe in two years or so I'll write down one of these in the ES7 thread wink


mabraman...
Thanks for your comment about my thread; I hope it was helpful! Congratulations on a great choice in the ES7! I'd buy that board in a minute for gigging purposes if I could afford it! I love the features, the sound, the action, and especially the choice of white! I'd be interested to know your personal opinion of your ES7. Has it lived up to your expectations? I'll be making a decision about whether to purchase the VPC or a lighter gigging board such as the ES7.
Regards,
H.K. cool
Posted by: mabraman

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 01/31/13 04:34 PM

My expectations are not something to rely on, believe me. It's my first DP and I'm a begginer, so I wasn't expecting anything, really. I was a bit disappointed or disconcerted by the sound, like the guy in the other MP6 thread. But the more I play and learn, the better it sounds to my ears.
These forums are a great help.
By the way, you can take a look at the ES7 user thread and see what we think about it.

Regards.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 01/31/13 05:32 PM

Originally Posted By: mabraman
My expectations are not something to rely on, believe me. It's my first DP and I'm a begginer, so I wasn't expecting anything, really. I was a bit disappointed or disconcerted by the sound, like the guy in the other MP6 thread. But the more I play and learn, the better it sounds to my ears.
These forums are a great help.
By the way, you can take a look at the ES7 user thread and see what we think about it.

Regards.


mabraman...
I did check out the ES7 user's thread, and learned a lot. Many good posts and helpful comments from others. I see you began the thread in December, and that you are a beginner! I went to Soundcloud and gave a listen, and I must say; you play quite well for a beginner! After two years of playing daily, I still consider myself a beginner... Lol!

From what I read, you've also learned a lot about your board from experimenting with the settings yourself. I have found that there's no substitute for experimenting with the various settings. I was surprised to read about the difference in sound (such as the high end ringing) that different headsets seem to make! I take out my too high sounds by adjusting the "Effects" button on the MP6 (Especially the EFX "depth"). Playing with these four settings, allows me to dial in the perfect midrange and highend sounds. To some extent, I do the same thing with the "Tone Modify Settings." Detenuating the "attack," and attenuating the "cutoff," will reduce the high end sounds. Use these adjustments in small increments, because they make a big difference.

Over time, I've come to appreciate that Kawai boards allow me the freedom to experiment, and that I'm not stuck with a "stock" sound. I'll follow the ES7 thread with interest! Thanks for sharing!
Regards,
H.K. cool
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 01/31/13 07:01 PM

HisKidd, did you say that you audio demos somewhere of your tweaks to the piano sounds?
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 01/31/13 07:09 PM

Originally Posted By: chicolom
HisKidd, did you say that you audio demos somewhere of your tweaks to the piano sounds?

chilcolm...
I do plan to post these for the various pianos. Remembering not to expect to much, because I've only been playing for 23 months, you can hear an example of the Concert Grand sample here:
Auld Lang Syne
Other samples will follow for each piano. In the mix of 12 piano samples, there is great variety - something for everyone!
Regards!
H.K. cool
Posted by: chicolom

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 01/31/13 07:19 PM

Thanks, I'll check it out later.
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 01/31/13 07:53 PM

Played around with the settings after reading your suggestions. Definitely an improvement, not yet the sound I'd like but much better than before.

Still a little hard cut off and too bright but definitely better than before

Thanks for the great work
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 01/31/13 08:11 PM

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
Played around with the settings after reading your suggestions. Definitely an improvement, not yet the sound I'd like but much better than before.

Still a little hard cut off and too bright but definitely better than before

Thanks for the great work


You're welcome, Nigeth... anytime.
Regards,
H.K. cool
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 01/31/13 09:40 PM

Forum Members:
Look at the top of each individual piano sample settings and you will find hyperlinks to hear a short selection for "normal," and "dynamic" voicing. In all cases, for comparison, we will be using "Auld Lang Syne" as our tune.

The recordings were done through the internal recording mechanism of the MP6 and processed as mp.3 files. Another beauty of this keyboard, you can record directly to a USB thumb drive as either mp.3 or wav. files. No additional processing was done to the recordings.

As we proceed with each new sample, I will offer "normal" and "dynamic" sound samples. I promise you that one of the twelve MP6 piano samples will be one you can use.
Comments and questions welcome!
Play On!
H.K.
Posted by: mabraman

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 02/01/13 03:48 AM

Thanks for your kind comments, Hiskidd.
These two DPs are somewhat different. As far as I've read here in the forums, MP6 has better EP and organs (and more sounds), and gives larger possibilities of edition/tweaking. APs are supposedly better in ES7, though the difference may be really slight. Digital to analogic conversors are perhaps better in ES7, too, and the keybed is a little better.
But regarding what we talk about in this thread: they both seem to sound too bright "out of the box" for some ears, which is kind of Kawai's signature. What I do is to add some bass/midle bass with EQ and then go for some mellow voicing. And as you pointed below, it is necessary to increase a little reverb's depht and time in order to get a fatter sound and a longer decay. Same with string resonance.
By the way, some setups are good to play through headphones but not trough speakers, and what is too bright through speakers doesn't sound that bright when you record it. So you must have some combinations stored and ready to be used in these particullar situations.
Is there any kind og normalization going on in the recorder?
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 02/01/13 04:27 AM

Originally Posted By: mabraman
Thanks for your kind comments, Hiskidd.
These two DPs are somewhat different. As far as I've read here in the forums, MP6 has better EP and organs (and more sounds), and gives larger possibilities of edition/tweaking. APs are supposedly better in ES7, though the difference may be really slight. Digital to analogic conversors are perhaps better in ES7, too, and the keybed is a little better.
But regarding what we talk about in this thread: they both seem to sound too bright "out of the box" for some ears, which is kind of Kawai's signature. What I do is to add some bass/midle bass with EQ and then go for some mellow voicing. And as you pointed below, it is necessary to increase a little reverb's depht and time in order to get a fatter sound and a longer decay. Same with string resonance.


By the way, some setups are good to play through headphones but not trough speakers, and what is too bright through speakers doesn't sound that bright when you record it. So you must have some combinations stored and ready to be used in these particullar situations.
Is there any kind og normalization going on in the recorder?


mabraman...
You make some excellent points in your post. It is true that the EP sounds in the MP6 are really good, as are the wurlies. The "Legend EP" is a killer. I find myself slightly tweaking the piano sounds daily... but only slightly - with EQ as you described; and the settings for "voicings," and "reverb."

You are absolutely spot on about sound through speakers. Getting just the right speakers that are good for both lows and highs is the challenge. The next thing I want to do after completing the piano sample selections is to raise the question about "best" speakers, audioface, and recording software specifically for use with the MP6. Normally, I will use Audacity with plugins for MAC to get a much better, and more balanced sound. However, for these samples, I wanted to keep the sound as basic as possible, so they were uploaded as mp.3 files from my MAC to Box. I did not edit for enhancements to the sound; though that is generally what I do. I wanted these sounds to be as undoctored as possible, using only the MP6's onboard recorder.

Were you able to recognize the difference in the two samples between "normal," and "dynamic" voicing? Of course, I could have just as easily adjusted the tone with a choice of "mellow1," "mellow2," or "bright1," or "bright2." As you say, there are so many adjustments for the MP6. I read the MP10 manual tonight and discovered that it has the "Virtual Tech," controls built in. These allow for additional parameters including overall "brightness," "reverb delay," and "stereo width." You have this feature in your board - correct?

Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated!
H.K.
Posted by: mabraman

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 02/01/13 05:23 AM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Normally, I will use Audacity with plugins for MAC to get a much better, and more balanced sound. However, for these samples, I wanted to keep the sound as basic as possible, so they were uploaded as mp.3 files from my MAC to Box. I did not edit for enhancements to the sound; though that is generally what I do. I wanted these sounds to be as undoctored as possible, using only the MP6's onboard recorder.

Were you able to recognize the difference in the two samples between "normal," and "dynamic" voicing? Of course, I could have just as easily adjusted the tone with a choice of "mellow1," "mellow2," or "bright1," or "bright2." As you say, there are so many adjustments for the MP6. I read the MP10 manual tonight and discovered that it has the "Virtual Tech," controls built in. These allow for additional parameters including overall "brightness," "reverb delay," and "stereo width." You have this feature in your board - correct?

Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated!
H.K.


Yep, sounds brighter when "dynamic" voicing is on. I don't feel the same changes happening on the ES7: in fact I use dynamic voicing to make the sound smoother, as the same velocity produces a lower sound. It is supposed to cause " a dramatical change in the dynamics and blah, blah..." but I honestly can't hear it at my level of play. Perhaps the damper has a lot to do with it, time will tell. What I see now is that I have to hit the keys harder to make it sing. It helps to protect you from harshness or unwanted loudness.
About Virtual Technician: again, not the same features for the MP10/ES7. Mine is easier to use, I mean more simple. You can modify touch, voicing, string/damper resonances and hammer delay, plus the mechanical noises (damper, keys).That's all.
By the way, some of the combinations between sound/voicing/reverb are not very useful, specially when you layer two pianos. I guess there must be some logical explanation for this, that has to do with how each sound has been sampled.
But it's obvious that some tweakings collide with each other.

About the recorder: what I was asking you is, do you think there is some default normalization when recording via usb? I mean in the piano. I use Audacity too, just to amplify the volume, wich is too low using default settings.
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 02/01/13 06:31 AM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd

You're welcome, Nigeth... anytime.
Regards,
H.K. cool


Well I didn't use your suggested presets. It made the sound much too bright for my liking and the EFX settings made it sound too artificial.

Your suggestions how to 'tune in' a sound was very valuable though. esspecially which setting does what and where to start.

My EQ settings are generally a bit lower and I used less decay and attack, this coupled with the reverb and sightly tuned efx made the sound much better also darker than in your preset

I'm still not entirely content with the c and c' registers they are still too bright and too harsh for my taste and there's still a bit of 'ringing'.

But I'll probably get there with a bit more tuning.

My biggest annoyance is still that the sound stops very suddenly when you depress the key. This is very irritating since it's most unlike the real pianos I played.

Although the damper on a piano essentially does the same, the cut off is still much 'harder' on the MP6.

Fiddling with the decay, attack, sustain and release didn't improve it in the way I wanted because when I had the sound at a point where the cut off was 'right' it also changed the character in a way I didn't.

I'm open to suggestions.

I also begin to realize why people are so obsessed with the ultimate sound and presets because I saw how addictive twiddling with the presets is. (I spent more than two hours just testing different setups)

Usually I had one register 'right' but pretty much ruined another one with the changes until I got a hang which settings influenced the sound at which frequencies

The biggest change from your proposed presets was that I actually tuned down the EFX settings because in my mind they already did too much and negatively impacted the sound at that point.

I like a 'darker' Piano sound though (big fan of the Bösendorfer Grands) so this was somewhat expected.

If someone has the time I#d like a little bit more explanation about the parametric eq.

Especially what the frequency setting is for
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 02/01/13 12:07 PM

Originally Posted By: mabraman
[quote=HisKidd]
About the recorder: what I was asking you is, do you think there is some default normalization when recording via usb? I mean in the piano. I use Audacity too, just to amplify the volume, wich is too low using default settings.


mabramn...
I am not aware of any normalization, compressing, etc. done by the onboard recorder on the MP6. Just for fun, I took the Grand Piano1 Normal Voicing sample and ran it through Audacity, editing for normalization and 31 band EQ. The difference is drastic, and sounds much better to my ears. When I recorded the original, I noticed that the reproduction did not sound to me like what I was hearing it the headset; in fact, it sounded "darker." Here's what it sounds like after "Audacity." Pretty good sound (not the playing), don't you think? Link:
Orginal GP1-Normal Voice- edited with Audacity

I read with interest last night, a thread by KataiYubi in which he stated that all DP's are "junk," and suggested we are years away from a quality reproduction of acoustic sounds. Actually, the above sample sounds pretty good to me. Given the fact that I have eleven more piano options that I can tweak and record, I think I like the variety the DP gives me. Yes, an acoustic is an acoustic, but for gigging purposes, I love having a complete sound stage in my toolbox. Thanks for your comments and for participating. Have you posted anything where I can hear you playing? I'd love to give a listen!
Cheers!
H.K.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 02/01/13 01:35 PM

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
Originally Posted By: HisKidd

You're welcome, Nigeth... anytime.
Regards,
H.K. cool


Well I didn't use your suggested presets. It made the sound much too bright for my liking and the EFX settings made it sound too artificial.

Your suggestions how to 'tune in' a sound was very valuable though. esspecially which setting does what and where to start.

My EQ settings are generally a bit lower and I used less decay and attack, this coupled with the reverb and sightly tuned efx made the sound much better also darker than in your preset

I'm still not entirely content with the c and c' registers they are still too bright and too harsh for my taste and there's still a bit of 'ringing'.

But I'll probably get there with a bit more tuning.

My biggest annoyance is still that the sound stops very suddenly when you depress the key. This is very irritating since it's most unlike the real pianos I played.

Although the damper on a piano essentially does the same, the cut off is still much 'harder' on the MP6.

Fiddling with the decay, attack, sustain and release didn't improve it in the way I wanted because when I had the sound at a point where the cut off was 'right' it also changed the character in a way I didn't.

I'm open to suggestions.

I also begin to realize why people are so obsessed with the ultimate sound and presets because I saw how addictive twiddling with the presets is. (I spent more than two hours just testing different setups)

Usually I had one register 'right' but pretty much ruined another one with the changes until I got a hang which settings influenced the sound at which frequencies

The biggest change from your proposed presets was that I actually tuned down the EFX settings because in my mind they already did too much and negatively impacted the sound at that point.

I like a 'darker' Piano sound though (big fan of the Bösendorfer Grands) so this was somewhat expected.

If someone has the time I#d like a little bit more explanation about the parametric eq.

Especially what the frequency setting is for


Nigeth...
Thanks so much for your quality feedback. I'm hoping those two hours you spent tweaking and your new understanding of the effects caused by specific adjustments will get you to that point where you love your MP6 because of the variety of options for sound adjustment it gives you. The problem with the MP6 is that there are too many adjustments!

I'm hoping to do two things in this reply. Let's see if we can't answer some of your questions; and at the same time work toward eliminating the problem with the harsh cutoff of the MP6 your experiencing. I like that you've fiddled with the fine tuning. Save a basic setting for each piano. Then fine tune as much as you want, saving the new adjustments. You'll find that your ear will like one thing one day, and another the next. While DP sounds will never replace the acoustic piano; they do provide a variety of options you can't get with an acoustic. I like having multiple choices for my piano sounds! (And we haven't even discussed VST's - that will come later!)

When I analyze what you like to hear, I'm seeing that your dissatisfaction with your sound is because it sounds "too bright," "too harsh," and has "too much ringing." Stay with me Nigeth, because I believe that when we give you basic settings for all 12 pianos you're going to find one that you like, and that sounds more like the B. Grand! I'm encouraging you to take my basic settings, and tweak them. You're going to work mostly with the "Effect," the "EQ," and the "Tone Modify" buttons. What makes the MP6 a joy to work with is that after you've managed to save a basic profile for each piano, you just push these three buttons, make your fine tuning adjustments, and dial in the sound that is perfect for you. One caveat. Once we have the "cutoff," and "attack" set to our liking, we generally leave it alone.

The "Voicing" optons (from the Menu) are going to help you do the quickest and simpliest adjustment "on the fly." Choosing from the Menu the voicing parameter and experimenting with "normal," "mellow1," "mellow2," "dynamic," "bright1," and "bright2" is your immediate, and first, option for effecting your basic settings. In fact, if; as in your case, I wanted a "darker sound," I would immediately try the "mellow1" and "mellow2" voicing options. My second adjustment option would be the "Effect" button/settings. Turning the "EFR" and "EFD" down will make your sound darker, just as turning these two options up will make your sound brighter. My third option would be the "Tone Modify" button, where I would adjust the "cutoff" and "attack." The effect of turning the "cutoff up" (in increments of no more than 5) or the "attack" down, will enhance the sustain, and turning the "cuttoff" down and the "attack" up will truncate the sustain. Those are three layers of adjustment which you access by pushing one button and turning one knob, that should result in the "darker" sound you're looking for.

Let's talk about the parametric midrange frequency (EQ button). Continously play a note using the sustain pedal, and turn the knob for higher frequencies. What you will find is that the higher frequencies make the sound brighter and add clarity, while the lower frequencies make the sound flatter, duller, and less brilliant. I suggested leaving this parameter at 1000, because that seems to be a happy medium. If the options 1, 2, and 3 fail to produce the darker sound you want, then experiment with turning the parametric adjustment for frequency down. You'll note that the lower you go, the duller and darker the sound becomes.

Now, let's see if we can address this "hard cutoff" problem for you. If I were sitting at your board, I would make sure that I had the "cutoff" and "attack" adjustments just the way I want them. Go into "Tone Modify" and adjust the "CUT" upward in increments of 5; and at the same time adjust the ATK down in increments of five. I've found it works best to keep them parallel, such as +10/-10; +20/-20; +25/-25, etc. This evens out the sound and gives a smooth resonating effect. Occasionally, I may have a slight difference between these two parameters, but they seem to work best when set as exact opposites.
If you strike and immediately release a key while adjusting these two, you will immediately find that "cutoff/release" point you're listening for. The "DCY" and "RLS" adjustments will further fine tune the "cutoff/release" for you. As I mentioned earlier, setting these for a piano sound to anything more than say 3 or 4 for the "DKY" will result in an artificial decay sound when you strike the key. Whatever I choose for "DKY," I then add about 3 to 5 increments for the RLS. So you end up with combinations for these two parameters such as 1/3; 2/5; 3/7; 4/8, etc. You will definitely hear a difference in the length of your sustain by fine-tuning this adjustment. I use the lower combinations if I want a sound that is more "stacatto," and the higher combinations if I want a sound that is more "sustained." Anything beyond, say, a setting of "4" for the "DKY" parameter seems to distort the sound.

This set of "Tone Modify" adjusments is where I suspect the problem with your harsh cutoff lies. Read this important section again, and then go experiment. By using "cutoff," "attack," "decay," and "release" as I've described above. Hopefully, you'll be able to obtain the "cufoff/attack" adjustment that is perfect for your ears.

Let's add one more fine tune for the length of your sustain. Using the "Effects" button and setting the "RVD" parameter to a setting of 80 or higher will result in lengthy sustains when you depress the "Reverb" button. Remember that pushing and holding the "Reverb" button will access the room size choices. You'll find that if you choose, say for instance, "Hall2," and then turn the "RVD" up to 127, you'll have way too much sustain. Dialing in this one adjustment (RVD) in combination with your room size choices, will result in the perfect echo effect for you. Also remember that you can choose to play: 1) with none of the aforementioned buttons depressed (on); 2) just adding the "Effects" settings to the Mix; 3) addings both the "Effects" and "Reverb" to the mix; 4) using the "Reverb" without the effects. Experimentation is the best teacher.

Before we're done with our samples, I'm going to experiment with the Ivory II, Grand B; and see if I can dial in that specific sound for you. Meanwhile, just hang with me, while we work our way through the basic sample settings, and you fine tune them. I'm letting you know there are some great sounds (inside the MP6) that are forthcoming; and yes, several are much darker. It's ok not to like my basic settings for any one sample, the point is that you will have saved a starting point for your own adjustments!

Finally, I want to say a word about "recording." What you heard was the internal recorder onboard the MP6 with no edits for sound improvement. Normally, I would take my .mp3 recorded to my USB stick, and then run it through "Audacity," (free software) for editing. I usually will normalize the sound and the use the 31 band graphic EQ to really fine-tune my sound just the way I want it. If you plan to burn your recordings to CD; or if you want to post them to internet sites (Such as Box, Soundcloud, Piano World, YouTube,etc.) then by all means you should do this. The difference in sound is drastic.

Just for fun, Here's the "Normal" voicing for Concert Grrand1, and Concert Grand2 edited with Audacity for normalization and 31 band EQ. Audacity will allow you to export your changes at up to 320bps. Both of these are likely going to be too bright for your taste, but that's o.k. It's the quality of the sound (not the playing) I want you to listen for. I promise you that once we experiment with the other piano sounds, you're going to discover one that approximates the Grand B sound you're looking for. Just note the difference in sound quality as a result of the Audacity edits:

Grand Concert1 - Normal Voicing - Edited with Audacity

Grand Concert2 - Normal Voice - Edited with Audacity

These two recordings are as close to what I am actually hearing through my Sennheisser 205's as I'm playing as I can get. They are pretty much one and the same. Now, again; this is probably too bright for you, but note the nuances in clarity and definition. I especially like the "hollow" timbre of the Concert Grand2, it's a really nice sound. My understanding is that the Concert Grand2 is a carry over from the MP5 to the MP6's sample set. The "hollow," "woodsy" resonance is a beautiful to my ears.

We've come a long way. Are you having fun yet? I suspect that two more hours of fine tuning with the above information will make you close to an expert. I think you'll definitely see an improvement in sound. I promise that Grand B approximation (using only the MP6 and Audacity) before we're done.

Down the road we'll discuss much more in this User's thread. Everything discussed will be specific to the MP6. Nigeth, I think it's a fantastic board, allowing me to fine tune pretty much anything about the sound I want. Yes, there is a learning curve, but the adjustments are simple and intuitive. Let me encourage you, don't sell that board just yet. Wait till you hear the sounds from samples 3 through 12 that are forthcoming!

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

Play On!
H.K.
P.S. Nigeth, I had a thought this afternoon about a "quick fix," that certainly will result in a darker tone. Take the Concert Grand1 or 2 basic settings, then simply turn off the EFX buttton and the REVERB buttons. That will certainly produce a darker tone. You could also try playing this sample with just the "Reverb" engaged and no EFX. Keep me posted on how your adjustments are working for you!
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 02/01/13 03:33 PM

Something that's worth remembering is that with a sample-based piano, there is a very small window for processing the sound before you completely mangle it. Likewise, if you don't like the character of those raw samples, you're going to be out of luck, because you cannot alter that character - only disguise it a little around the edges.

Similarly with effects - adding extra reverb will mask certain imperfections or characteristics, but often at the expense of making it sound like you're playing in a bathtub, or are stuck in some '70s song book (unless you want to be, of course grin ).

While the MP6 has a huge amount of control available, tiny increments are called for - otherwise you end up with something that is, at its core, the same sound, but that no longer sounds like its coming out of anything resembling a piano.

A note on EQ: this is dependent on what you're playing it through. The point of having EQ control is as much to tune the sound to your particular speakers/room characteristics as it is to shape the core sound to your liking. Also, the mid frequency response in a parametric system is to be able to find a particular frequency that needs either boosting or subduing, so that, for example, room resonance problems or sound absorption issues can be dealt with.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 02/01/13 03:55 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
Something that's worth remembering is that with a sample-based piano, there is a very small window for processing the sound before you completely mangle it. Likewise, if you don't like the character of those raw samples, you're going to be out of luck, because you cannot alter that character - only disguise it a little around the edges.

Similarly with effects - adding extra reverb will mask certain imperfections or characteristics, but often at the expense of making it sound like you're playing in a bathtub, or are stuck in some '70s song book (unless you want to be, of course grin ).

While the MP6 has a huge amount of control available, tiny increments are called for - otherwise you end up with something that is, at its core, the same sound, but that no longer sounds like its coming out of anything resembling a piano.

A note on EQ: this is dependent on what you're playing it through. The point of having EQ control is as much to tune the sound to your particular speakers/room characteristics as it is to shape the core sound to your liking. Also, the mid frequency response in a parametric system is to be able to find a particular frequency that needs either boosting or subduing, so that, for example, room resonance problems or sound absorption issues can be dealt with.

______________________________________________________________________________

Excellent insights, voxpops... and thank you for contributing. This is what I had hoped for... that other forum MP6 users like yourself, would bring insights to this forum from which all MP6 users will benefit. I'm looking forward to your insights into future posts as we continue on this journey...

Play On!
H.K.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 02/02/13 10:40 AM

MP6 Users..
Just this quick update. I'll be posting the remaining suggested settings for the balance of the MP6 piano samples over the next several days; and I'll use a shorter format to just give you the basics. I'll also include a few summary comments about adjustments, once you have a basic setting for each piano sample. Remember, with this board and it's many options, experimenting is the route to satisfaction.
Sometime during the coming week (Feb 2-9), we'll broach another MP6 subject.
Comments, suggestions, questions are always invited and welcomed!
Play On!
H.K.
Posted by: RBMusik

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 02/02/13 10:03 PM

Some feedback regarding your thoughts that the board sounds warmer or better recording the outputs versus monitoring the headphone output. I indeed find this to be true. I used the MP6 on a recording session last week (Hammond). The engineer was extremely impressed with the warmth of the rotary and the whole tone (as was I). For a bit of fun and learning, I just finished tweaking up the Mellow Grand to match the Alicia's Keys software. To do this I had the MP6 outputs into the sound board and A=>B compared them back and forth while adjusting the EQ. (Monitoring off the board) I got a pretty dead lock... Actually, the MP6 bass response and warmth was better than the software. Other than the pedal and key noise adjustments which is a nice touch on AK, The Mellow Grand beats it... Especially considering the sympathetic resonance and soft pedal modeling. It's just better, IMO. Good enough to substitute for my real grand when the kids head to bed anyway wink

NOW, to finish this story the MP6 headphone output is slightly more harsh than the stereo output signal chain. It's a little harder, a little more present. Not bad but not as smooth as the other. So, its important to note that all the settings you post may not be judged equally. They are highly dependent upon your system (phones, type of monitors, cables, signal chain, pre amps, etc)Just thought I'd mention this in case folks have only been monitoring via headphones. Also, if your just direct wiring flat response monitors, you may experience some harsh mids.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 02/03/13 12:39 AM

Originally Posted By: RBMusik
Some feedback regarding your thoughts that the board sounds warmer or better recording the outputs versus monitoring the headphone output. I indeed find this to be true. I used the MP6 on a recording session last week (Hammond). The engineer was extremely impressed with the warmth of the rotary and the whole tone (as was I). For a bit of fun and learning, I just finished tweaking up the Mellow Grand to match the Alicia's Keys software. To do this I had the MP6 outputs into the sound board and A=>B compared them back and forth while adjusting the EQ. (Monitoring off the board) I got a pretty dead lock... Actually, the MP6 bass response and warmth was better than the software. Other than the pedal and key noise adjustments which is a nice touch on AK, The Mellow Grand beats it... Especially considering the sympathetic resonance and soft pedal modeling. It's just better, IMO. Good enough to substitute for my real grand when the kids head to bed anyway wink

NOW, to finish this story the MP6 headphone output is slightly more harsh than the stereo output signal chain. It's a little harder, a little more present. Not bad but not as smooth as the other. So, its important to note that all the settings you post may not be judged equally. They are highly dependent upon your system (phones, type of monitors, cables, signal chain, pre amps, etc)Just thought I'd mention this in case folks have only been monitoring via headphones. Also, if your just direct wiring flat response monitors, you may experience some harsh mids.


RBMusik...
Great post with some great lessons. I've had similiar experiences using Pianoteq. Yes, I can dial in some great sounds with 127 midi possibilities, and the dynamic range is certainly expanded, but the truth is I prefer the sound of my MP6! I absolutely love the Mellow Piano patch. Both 1 and 2 are good, but 2 is my favorite!

I'm learning by sharing, and your insight about the sound being highly dependent upon the individual user's system is an excellent point. What I'm hoping for, is that all users will take these basic settings as a starting point. The MP6 offers so many tweaks it sometimes presents a challenge. I'm trying to avoid going there yet, but just as soon as we finish all twelve suggested settings, I want to address the very topic you're highlighting; namely - what phones, monitors, audioface, etc. are user's matching up with the MP6 for what they consider the best sound?

I've believed for a long time that dollar for dollar, this board is a steal. Especially for the gigging musician. Weight wise, sound sample wise, adjustment wise, use as a controller wise; this board has something for everyone with a multitude of adjustments not found elsewhere. Yes there is a learning curve, but settings are easily accessible and intuitive. With the MP6, one must be careful to conclude if they don't like what they are hearing, that they have been stuck with a bad keyboard. There is testimony after testimony (from many professionals musicians) that this board performs on par with boards twice and three times its cost.

Now for some fun, RBMusik. Forum member Nigeth likes the sound of the Grand Bosendorfer. With the experience you have had with your MP6, what sample, and general settings would you suggest for him?

By the way, I would have not realized that the MP6 headphone output is slightly more harsh than the stereo output signal chain, had I not produced and compared sound patches. Another of the board's many nuances. It will be interesting to see where our discussion of system accessories takes us.

Thanks so much for sharing your insights. And I'm noting for future reference that direct wiring flat response monitors may result in some harsh sounds. For all of us who want to learn as much as we can about the MP6 in order to maximize its playability; you insights are appreciated and valued!
Play On!
H.K.
Posted by: Dimdrl

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 03/14/13 06:25 PM

Very interesting thread for MP6 owners, like myself.
HisKidd, are you going to continue with your posting ?

I have one particular question, if anybody knows the answer.
Is it possible to adjust headphone output independently of master line output ?
Posted by: Ewen

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 06/05/13 10:31 AM

Kawai don't publish the levels of the signals on the Main and Headphone outputs, but you can bet that the Phones out is low impedance and the Line is high. This could affect the sound when plugged into an amplifier; the Phones out might well overdrive the amp, causing a harsh, or slightly distorted sound.
Has anyone out there tried to measure these levels?
Posted by: Petike

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 08/05/13 04:06 AM

I would like to ask a question about playing external sounds. I understand there are 256 internal sounds directly in the piano but how can play some new external sounds? Should I connect my piano with a computer? Should I download some computer program able to generate sounds? If so, are there any good free programs?
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 08/05/13 10:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Petike
I would like to ask a question about playing external sounds. I understand there are 256 internal sounds directly in the piano but how can play some new external sounds? Should I connect my piano with a computer? Should I download some computer program able to generate sounds? If so, are there any good free programs?


Petike, you could purhcase an external rack (Yamaha products) or an external sound studio (like the Roland Integra). The distributors who produce the vst piano sounds also produce additional external sound modules (try East/West as an example). Others may want to offer you additional suggestions. Hope this helps as a starting point! The MP6 works great as a contoller for external hardware. Congratulations on your purchase!
Play On!
H.K.
Posted by: Petike

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 08/08/13 04:22 PM

Thank you very much HisKidd for your advice. Meanwhile, I also got an answer directly from Kawai employee Alan Palmer, here it is:

-----------------
There are many, many good virtual instruments of any variety available for PC. I just don’t know any good free ones. If you want to research to have some idea what is available.

1. Check at Sweetwater Music online http://www.sweetwater.com/shop/computer-audio/plugins/ to see many different virtual instruments.

A few recommendations

2. For pianos Synthogy – Ivory II

3. For synths Arturia – various classic synth emulations.

4. For B3 type Organ - VB3 (Can’t remember the company name maybe GSI or GMI)

5. For various sounds Native Instruments

6. For good synth/Bass/Drums Spectrasonics – Omnisphere/Trilogy, Stylus RMX.

These are just a few of the main software instruments pros use. They are not the only ones available but they are some of the best so you can get some idea of the cost and sound quality of the top stuff. Then if you check for freeware you will know the quality target vs. price and judge if free is good enough. Generally I find you get what you pay for.

NOTE: Virtual synth software requires a fast computer or you will get delays (latency) between when you play a note and when it sounds. Check the system requirements for the software you are interested in. You will also almost surely need a proper audio interface to hear the sounds from the software and reduce latency. Sometimes the internal computer sound card is OK but usually the internal sound cards are too slow to play virtual synth software without latency or audio problems.
-----------------

I am now interested mainly in Synthogy - Ivory II - some people on the internet said, it contains the best virtual grand piano sounds ever. If anybody has this product and also the Kawai MP6, could you please compare the Kawai MP6 grand piano and Ivory II grand piano?
Posted by: Romek

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 08/09/13 08:09 AM

Hi Petike,
I'am not an expert but I really love the grand (American D) sound of Ivory II. I consider MP6's grand piano samples very decent but Ivory II is in the different league. Unfortunately you cannot hear it "through" your MP6 - you have to use either your laptop's speakers or connect it to small mixer and speakers.
All the best!
Posted by: Petike

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 08/10/13 07:25 AM

Thank you Romek for your information.

So you say when I connect Kawai MP6 to computer and I will use my piano as an "input" to the computer application Ivory II, I cannot hear the resulting sound from the headphones or the piano speakers, as I can hear when using sounds directly from Kawai MP6?

Because my headphones (Superlux hd668b) with Kawai MP6 sound great, but will they sound great also when I connect them with the computer?
Posted by: Petike

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 08/10/13 08:38 AM

Hello again,
can someone explain me the differences among these four products from Synthogy (prices in euros from Thomann store):

------------------
--> Ivory II Grand Pianos (255 euros)
--> Ivory II Italian Grand (130 euros)
--> Ivory II Upright Pianos (215 euros)
--> Ivory II American Concert D (149 euros)
------------------

So far what I have googled, the most people seem to have "American Concert D" (maybe for the price, or for its sound?).

For example, does the "Grand Pianos" product have the best piano sounds among these four, because it is most expensive, or what? I cannot try the sounds myself, because I am not aware of any "trial" version of these products.
Posted by: toddy

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 08/10/13 09:14 AM

Hi Petike. Have you tried Galaxy and True Keys pianos? They compare very favorably with Synthology and are cheaper, per piano sample set.

http://www.galaxy-instruments.com/vintage-d.html

http://vilabsaudio.com/true-keys-american-grand
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 08/10/13 02:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Petike
Hello again,
can someone explain me the differences among these four products from Synthogy (prices in euros from Thomann store):

------------------
--> Ivory II Grand Pianos (255 euros)
--> Ivory II Italian Grand (130 euros)
--> Ivory II Upright Pianos (215 euros)
--> Ivory II American Concert D (149 euros)
------------------


Ivory II is the original suite of three pianos that most people have. It has a recent German Steinway D, a Bosendorfer 290, and a Yamaha c7.

Ivory II Italian is a single piano (Fazioli)

Ivory II Upright is a suite of 4 upright pianos.

Ivory II American Concert D is a single piano (Vintage American Steinway)

The reason American D is often talked about is that it is Synthogy's most recent and most technically advanced piano--basically introduced to compete with Galaxy's Vintage D, it seems to me. It has been pretty popular. They are all outstanding quality, though.

Notice that if you buy Ivory or TrueKeys you will also need to buy an ilok device. Not so with Galaxy.
Posted by: Romek

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 08/10/13 04:45 PM

Hi Petike,
you are right. I asked similar question to Kawai James and here is his reply
"Some DPs feature 'Line In' or 'Stereo In' connectors, allowing an external audio source (such as a computer) to be mixed with the instrument's own sound.

However, I'm afraid the MP6 does not feature these connectors, therefore it will not be possible to hear the Ivory II sound when your headphones/speakers are connected to your MP6.

My recommendation would be to purchase a small external mixer, allowing you to connect both your computer and the MP6 to the speakers/headphones simultaneously."

So I set up may MP6 in the following order:
MP6 -> Cakewalk UM-1G ->Laptop ->Creative soundcard -> mixer -> speakers or headphones.
I use Yamaha HS-50M monitors and Sehnnheiser HD 598 headphones. With this setup I can play either internal MP6 instruments (since MP6 is directly connected to the mixer sa well) or Ivory II. While using the headphones I connect them directly to MP6 or to the external sound card and the sounfd is beatifull. I recommend balanced cables and a hum killer if necessary (I needed one).
I hope this helps.

All the best,
Romek
Posted by: Petike

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 08/11/13 02:37 PM

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Originally Posted By: Petike
Hello again,
can someone explain me the differences among these four products from Synthogy (prices in euros from Thomann store):

------------------
--> Ivory II Grand Pianos (255 euros)
--> Ivory II Italian Grand (130 euros)
--> Ivory II Upright Pianos (215 euros)
--> Ivory II American Concert D (149 euros)
------------------


Ivory II is the original suite of three pianos that most people have. It has a recent German Steinway D, a Bosendorfer 290, and a Yamaha c7.

Ivory II Italian is a single piano (Fazioli)

Ivory II Upright is a suite of 4 upright pianos.

Ivory II American Concert D is a single piano (Vintage American Steinway)

The reason American D is often talked about is that it is Synthogy's most recent and most technically advanced piano--basically introduced to compete with Galaxy's Vintage D, it seems to me. It has been pretty popular. They are all outstanding quality, though.

Notice that if you buy Ivory or TrueKeys you will also need to buy an ilok device. Not so with Galaxy.



Thank you very much gvfarns for your detailed answer. Now I finally know the differences among those four products.

You said I will need an iLok "device" - so iLok is some hardware (what I can physically touch smile )? I thought it is just some software to install. And if it is a hardware, what is the purpose of it?
Posted by: Romek

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 08/11/13 03:17 PM

ILok is the USB flash disk with the security system which allows you to use the software (basically it is the "password" to your software. The downside of this solution is that when you lose it you cannot run the software. And of course, you have to buy it separately. The upside is that you may install the software on many computers and use Ivory II with your ILok. Galaxy software does not require ILok.

Romek
Posted by: Petike

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 08/11/13 05:16 PM

I didn't know I have to buy 1 000 000 different things to get additional sounds to my Kawai MP6 smile .

It seems that I will stay just with the Kawai MP6 internal sounds for now.
Posted by: Romek

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 08/11/13 07:23 PM

I fully agree with you :-)

Enjoy!
All the best
Romek
Posted by: Petike

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 08/29/13 01:29 PM

Hello, I have a question how to achieve one specific sound on Kawai MP6.

There is a video on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61OzwXZiDo8 with the song Beneath The Surface from Dream Theater. From 3:20 to 3:48 there is a solo. Is it possible to achieve that sound on Kawai MP6?

I tried some settings but my resulting sound was not as good as in the mentioned song, but on Kawai MP6 there are lot of different effects that can be added to sounds and I can mix maximum four different sounds together, so maybe some Kawai MP6 users would know some hacks how to achieve that sound (the mentioned sound seems similar to some sounds in PAD/SYNTH section in Kawai MP6).

Any suggestions?
Posted by: Big McLargehuge

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 08/29/13 01:46 PM

It would be nice to be able to see and play one of these one day. On paper it sounds very much like what I need, but no way I'm buying one online sight-unseen (touch-unplayed). The Kawai site shows no dealers in Florida for their stage pianos, let alone Orlando.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 08/29/13 05:15 PM

Big McLargehuge, even if the Kawai America website does not list dealers in your area, it may still be worth contacting the company to enquire about availability locally.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 08/29/13 06:23 PM

Originally Posted By: Petike
I didn't know I have to buy 1 000 000 different things to get additional sounds to my Kawai MP6 smile .

It seems that I will stay just with the Kawai MP6 internal sounds for now.

As mentioned earlier, the computer is not the only way to add sounds, there are also standalone sound modules you can attach. But for a better piano sound in particular, computer would be the way to go. If you need to hear Kawai sounds AND other sounds at the same time, then yes, you need a mixer, or an amp/speaker system that has multiple inputs. If you only need to hear one OR the other, then you can just move the cable. For example, if you're using headphones to listen to the MP6 piano sound, and instead you want to listen to the Ivory piano sound, just plug your headphones into the computer INSTEAD of the MP6. You only need a mixer (or multi-channel amplifier) if you need to hear both sound sources at once. And even that is not a big deal, you can get a little mixer for well under $100.
Originally Posted By: Big McLargehuge
It would be nice to be able to see and play one of these one day. On paper it sounds very much like what I need, but no way I'm buying one online sight-unseen (touch-unplayed). The Kawai site shows no dealers in Florida for their stage pianos, let alone Orlando.

Guitar Center says they're a Kawai dealer, and they have locations in Florida. But you'd have to call them to see if those particular locations have Kawai on display. If there is really no way for you to check them out in advance, you could order online from a place like musiciansfriend.com who has a good return policy. Yes, shipping it back if you don't like it won't be cheap, but at least you save the gas to the store. ;-) Plus you can live with it for 30 days to really learn it and see how much you like it, which can tell you more than 30 minutes in a store. Of course, that doesn't help if you can tell you don't like it the first minute you play it!
Posted by: Petike

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 09/19/13 03:23 PM

Originally Posted By: Romek

So I set up may MP6 in the following order:
MP6 -> Cakewalk UM-1G ->Laptop ->Creative soundcard -> mixer -> speakers or headphones.


I would like to ask something to this setup. I googled that "Cakewalk UM-1G" is a usb-midi "interface". I also found that there exist just usb-midi "cables" - is there any difference and can this device influence the resulting sound? Because if it is just a way to connect usb on my computer with midi on my Kawai MP6, I would buy the cheapest usb-midi cable available smile . Or am I wrong?

Next thing, is creative soundcard necessary? Because I think, I have some integrated sound card in my computer already. By the way, I own the computer "Lenovo Thinkpad T530".

And finally, could you recommend me some cheapest but such mixer, where I don't loose any sound quality smile ? I asked in one computer store to this, and they were offering me some Behringer with 4 inputs for about 40 euros. Is that enough?


Sorry for my dumb questions smile , but I am very inexperienced in this area.
Posted by: Petike

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 09/19/13 04:00 PM

I found some even more cheaper mixer Bespeco MIX 30 with 3 inputs for 15 euros. Is that mixer enough for me if I just want to connect my computer and Kawai MP6 to it, just to be able to hear both devices in my headphones or speakers?
Posted by: Romek

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 09/19/13 05:42 PM

Originally Posted By: Petike
Originally Posted By: Romek

So I set up may MP6 in the following order:
MP6 -> Cakewalk UM-1G ->Laptop ->Creative soundcard -> mixer -> speakers or headphones.


I would like to ask something to this setup. I googled that "Cakewalk UM-1G" is a usb-midi "interface". I also found that there exist just usb-midi "cables" - is there any difference and can this device influence the resulting sound? Because if it is just a way to connect usb on my computer with midi on my Kawai MP6, I would buy the cheapest usb-midi cable available smile . Or am I wrong?

Next thing, is creative soundcard necessary? Because I think, I have some integrated sound card in my computer already. By the way, I own the computer "Lenovo Thinkpad T530".

And finally, could you recommend me some cheapest but such mixer, where I don't loose any sound quality smile ? I asked in one computer store to this, and they were offering me some Behringer with 4 inputs for about 40 euros.


I think you can use a simple MIDI - USB cable without any loss on the quality, the UM-1G has some additional features (MIDI through, low latency driver) but these are not necessary. I use Creative external soundcard just because I had one which was dying in the dust on my shelf :-). You can use your laptop's internal soundcard, however, I hear a significant improvement in the sound quality when using the external one. As for the mixer, I use Behringer Xenyx 802 with 4 inputs (probably you were offered the same thing) and I do not recommend it. It is very basic, and I am not happy with the sound, which is of much lower quality when compared with the sound directly from the soundcard. . I don't complain much, it was on sale wink . Furthermore, there was an annoying buzz in one of the channels and I had to use a hum killer to get rid of it. I don't know if it was the mixer that caused this noise, anyway it took me a while to figure out how to manage this. I cannot recommend anything else in terms of mixers (this is not my field) but I am sure there are much better performing ones than mine which will not ruin your budget
Maybe someone else has more experience in this area.

I hope you will find it helpful.
Romek
Posted by: Petike

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 09/20/13 04:19 AM

Thank you for your answers Romek, you are always very helpful smile .

If anybody else could recommend some good not-so-expensive mixer, I would be happy smile .
Posted by: Rapmaninov

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 09/21/13 07:22 AM

Hi, I'm thinking about buying an MP6 (over the ES7) because of its large onboard sound library.

I'd like to be able to play GS/GM general midi files from a USB memory stick plugged into the MP6 and have it play them as near as possible to the right instruments. Does it do this already? If not, can anyone tell me what edits one needs to make to the midi files (is it more than just changing instrument patch** numbers?) and which sequencer software you know for sure can do it. Any experiences you could share as to how easy or hard you have found it to get a faithful rendition of general midi files would be useful.

**To specify a unique sound it appears you need both a "program" number and "bank" number. The MP6 user manual lists the sounds or programs grouped into several banks. Each sound has a program number (1-128), and a bank number split into two bytes MSB + LSB (most and least significant bytes).
How do you select a bank and program in your sequencer software?
Can one midi file play instruments simultaneously from any banks?

Thanks for your help.

The MP6 manual seems good at 'what this button does', short on use cases. I wish the ES7 user manual author could be called back from his holidays to write an MP6 2nd edition!

Thanks to HisKidd for starting this forum.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 09/21/13 08:54 AM

Ratchetmaninov, the MP6 does offer a large selection of sounds, however it is not fully GM2 compatible. Therefore, MIDI files may not play exactly as intended.

There are a number of MIDI sequencers that allow instruments to be remapped - here is list from Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_MIDI_editors_and_sequencers

I believe the procedure to selecting instruments will depend on the software used.

Quote:
I wish the ES7 user manual author could be called back from his holidays to write an MP6 2nd edition!


The MP6 documentation does read like a Unix owner's manual, however I'm rather busy with other projects at the moment, and simply do not have the time to rewrite it, unfortunately..

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: Petike

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 09/21/13 09:57 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James

The MP6 documentation does read like a Unix owner's manual, however I'm rather busy with other projects at the moment, and simply do not have the time to rewrite it, unfortunately..


Lol Kawai James, I didn't know, you wrote the MP6 manual smile
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 09/21/13 11:11 AM

I didn't really...I just added the new features to the existing MP5 manual (which was based on the MP4, which was based on the MP8, and possibly previous models before that), and tidied up the layout a little.

I definitely wouldn't consider the MP6 owner's manual to be one of my pieces - hence the my name is not in the 'Author' metatag. wink

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Petike

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 09/21/13 12:32 PM

I have a question to recording of external sounds. So far, I have played only MP6 internal sounds and when I wanted to record them, I plugged my USB flash disk to MP6, pressed "RECORDER" button and stored the played sounds to the USB flash disk.

In the future, I am planning to play some external sounds from my computer (MP6 -> USB/MIDI cabel -> computer). Will the external sounds be also recorded with my internal sounds to the USB flash disk?

P.S.: My computer has lot of USB inputs, but on MP6 there are many different inputs/outputs (http://www.m-music.at/files/upload/b54_328741e848.jpg):

---------------------------
--USB to DEVICE section
--->USB to DEVICE

--MIDI section:
--->THRU
--->OUT
--->IN
--->USB to HOST
---------------------------

So what type of cable do I need to connect MP6 with the computer? USB/MIDI? USB/USB? USB/MINI-USB (or which type os USB is that "USB to HOST")?

(My intuition says that "IN" could serve to transport MP6 key strokes to computer, and "OUT" could bring the resulting sound from the computer back to MP6. And what is the purpose of "THRU"?)


Thanks in advance.
Posted by: Rapmaninov

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 09/21/13 01:35 PM

Hi Petike,

The wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midi#MIDI_devices) on MIDI gives an okay description of how it works. (search for "thru") In your case with just a computer and the MP6 you could just use a USB cable. Note that neither the USB cable nor MIDI cables will carry audio signals, only MIDI data.

MIDI Thru is for daisy chaining several MIDI message-consuming devices together. If you had another sound or effects module you wanted to control with your computer, using sequencer software to play sounds on your MP6 and sound module simultaneously, you might then look at purchasing & plugging a USB/MIDI adapter into your computer and connecting it up with MIDI cables as follows. Your computer's MIDI Out to MP6's MIDI In, and MP6's MIDI Thru (which is an exact copy of the MIDI In signal it receives from computer) to the sound module's MIDI In, and MP6's MIDI Out back to the computer's MIDI In to carry the notes you probably want to play to the sequencer to record them. The MP6's MIDI Out does not copy the messages it receives in its MIDI In. It's old current-loop point-to-point network technology but its a standard and we should be thankful that we have one, I suppose. Sound modules, which don't generate note information, generally only have MIDI Thru, not MIDI Out.

But in your case you just want to play virtual (VSTi) instruments on your computer so you should be able to get by with a USB cable (like the one that comes with printers) from MP6's "USB to HOST" to the computer.

Unfortunately the sound from your computer can't come directly back to the MP6 because it doesn't have audio line in like some other boards. You could buy a mixer if you wanted to hear it all live and balanced, or just use free software 'Audacity' to record the computer sound and then combine it afterwards in Audacity with the MP6 instrument by opening a second track of your MP6's wav recording, synchronising them (a bit fiddly but possible), and exporting as a single track. Hope this helps.
Posted by: Rapmaninov

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 09/23/13 11:27 AM

Still interested to hear from anyone who has tried to play general midi files with their MP6, as per my first post. Thanks.

This will really help me decide whether to get the MP6 over the ES7.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 09/23/13 05:07 PM

Rapmaninov, due to the larger sound set, the MP6 will probably play MIDI files more accurately (in terms of mapped instruments) than the ES7.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: Petike

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 10/02/13 05:27 PM

Originally Posted By: Romek

As for the mixer, I use Behringer Xenyx 802 with 4 inputs (probably you were offered the same thing) and I do not recommend it. It is very basic, and I am not happy with the sound, which is of much lower quality when compared with the sound directly from the soundcard. . I don't complain much, it was on sale wink . Furthermore, there was an annoying buzz in one of the channels and I had to use a hum killer to get rid of it. I don't know if it was the mixer that caused this noise, anyway it took me a while to figure out how to manage this. I cannot recommend anything else in terms of mixers (this is not my field) but I am sure there are much better performing ones than mine which will not ruin your budget


From your comment, Behringer Xenyx 802 seems to sound not very good, but from comments from Amazon ( Behringer Xenyx 502 and Behringer Xenyx 802 ) it seems to sound fine (mainly Behringer Xenyx 502, which I think about to buy it). Strange smile
Posted by: Romek

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 10/03/13 02:20 AM

Well, it is only my opinion based on personal preferences. The best way is to try it live (or both of them) and then decide which one to buy.

Good luck!
Posted by: Peter Sivak

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 10/09/13 05:17 AM

Hello,
maybe a little off-topic question, but I live in a flat and my neighbor, living below me, argued about the noise of my Kawai MP6.

So now I play just using my headphones and stopped using external speakers while playing. The problem is, that just the key clicks seem to be too noisy.

As a piano stand, I use one from Konig and Meyer company (http://produkte.k-m.de/en/Keyboard-stands/Keyboard-tables/18950-TABLE-STYLE-KEYBOARD-STAND-black) and the stand is placed on a carpet.

Do you have any suggestions which could force my Kawai MP6 to sound as quiet as possible (for example thicker carpet, or to place something else between the Kawai MP6 and the piano stand)?

Thank you.
Posted by: peterws

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 10/09/13 05:31 AM

I had a Yamaha CLP 250 which was just like yours; noisy even with headphones! She thought there was vermin in the loft, or something. . . there are quieter keyboards. But it depends on how hard you hit it!

If you`re able to expose the keybed, it might be possible to replace/add some felt or other material to deaden the sound. Best of luck! Nobody needs bad neighbours . . .
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 10/09/13 05:35 AM

The MP6's keyboard action is already one of the quietest available, so it may be difficult to reduce the volume further.

However, an extra layer of carpeting below the stand, or some absorbent material between the MP6 and stand may help.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: Peter Sivak

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 10/09/13 05:41 AM

Originally Posted By: peterws
If you`re able to expose the keybed, it might be possible to replace/add some felt or other material to deaden the sound.


No way smile , I bought my Kawai MP6 2 months ago, so I will not open it manually smile , because that would break the warranty. But thanks anyway for your suggestion smile .
Posted by: Peter Sivak

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 10/09/13 05:43 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
However, an extra layer of carpeting below the stand, or some absorbent material between the MP6 and stand may help.


So I will try to add some "layers" between the MP6 and the stand, and between the stand and the floor and I will see.

Thank you for your answer.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 10/09/13 08:16 PM

Originally Posted By: Peter Sivák
So I will try to add some "layers" between the MP6 and the stand, and between the stand and the floor and I will see.


I cannot guarantee that this will completely eliminate the sound that you are hearing, however it may help to reduce additional vibrations that contribute to extraneous noises.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: Romek

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 10/16/13 02:47 AM

I compared the noise level of my MP6 and W.Hoffmann V120. Please note that this was not a professional measurement whatsoever, I just used a mobile app. The loudest noise of ff for the MP6 was +25dB over the noise level and +35dB for an acoustic (with the silent mode on). I sold my Yamaha p-85 but I can tell that it produced much louder thumping noises than the MP6. Anyway, I woke up my kids several times playing the MP6 at night. As for my acoustic, it is placed far away from the children's room wink.

All the best,
Romek
Posted by: david_ka

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 10/17/13 05:53 AM

I must ask, how is the organsound in the MP6? I like the sound of the organ in the nord electro 3.
Posted by: Peter Sivak

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 10/17/13 12:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Romek
I compared the noise level of my MP6 and W.Hoffmann V120. Please note that this was not a professional measurement whatsoever, I just used a mobile app. The loudest noise of ff for the MP6 was +25dB over the noise level and +35dB for an acoustic (with the silent mode on). I sold my Yamaha p-85 but I can tell that it produced much louder thumping noises than the MP6. Anyway, I woke up my kids several times playing the MP6 at night. As for my acoustic, it is placed far away from the children's room wink.

All the best,
Romek



My current solution for now is to play my Kawai MP6 only from 10:00 to 20:00. I told my neighbor below me to knock on my door when he will still be annoyed by that key-click sound also in the day. I hope, I will never see him again in my life, damn ultra-sensitive neighbor smile .
Posted by: jaymes677

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 02/27/14 09:56 PM

Just got my new MP6. Terrible user manual. Thank you HisKidd for starting this thread. Kawai should pay you. I'll definitely be combing over the posts in the coming days, since the MP6 doesn't sound or feel so great out of the box.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 02/27/14 10:07 PM

Congrats jaymes677!

I'm inclined to agree - the MP6 manual is pretty terrible. It was largely an updated version of the MP5 manual, which was an update of the MP4 manual, etc.

Fortunately, the instrument itself is very good, however.

Cheers,
James
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Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 02/27/14 11:42 PM

jaymes677

One of the wonderful things about the MP6 is that it is so tweak able. You can get the sound you want by adjusting the various parameters. I have learned after three years that the piano sounds are better without adding the ex effect. Just adjusting the various voices, normal, mellow1, mellow2, bright1, bright2 and dynamic will result in some beautiful sounds that sound natural and not as "metallic."

I've never really understood what's not to like about the MP6 sounds. I have tried Pianoteq's sample offering, and I much prefer the MP6 sounds.

You can adjust the "cutoff," and "attack" for brightness, and the reverb depth and delay to your own preferences. Just experiment, it's user friendly.

Lot's of bang for the buck with this board. It's hard to find a bad review anywhere, and a number of professional musicians are using the MP6 as their gigging board.
It compares very favorably with keyboards costing much more. I really believe it has staying power.

If you want a great understanding of the various parameters, download James' MP11 manual and read the section explaining the various adjustments for the "Virtual Tech." He did a great job explaining how each parameter effects the sound.
Much of what he wrote will help you understanding your fine tuning of the MP6!

Congrats!
H.K.
Posted by: jaymes677

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 03/04/14 04:55 PM

Thanks. Where would I find this MP11 manual?
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 03/04/14 05:14 PM

jaymess677

This link should get you to the manual:
https://www.kawai.co.jp/worldwide/support/manuals/pdf/MP11_EN_20131211_R101.pdf

You can save it to your computer as a pdf document. Start at page 40 (Editing),
and read through those pages including the virutal tech information. You will come across terms you're familiar with from use with the MP6. Our own Kawai James has worked on the manual, so in addition to what you read, you have the option of asking him questions here in the forums. Just address your question to "James" in your reply, and he will answer at his first opportunity.

There are a number of forum members who are using or have used the MP6, so you will likely be able to receive answers for a specific question from them as well.

Play On!
H.K.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 03/04/14 08:04 PM

Please bear in mind that the MP6 operation is very different to that of the MP11, so I'm not sure how useful the latter model's owner's manual will be in learning about the MP6.

Kind regards,
James
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Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 03/04/14 08:29 PM

What he's looking for, James - based on his earlier post is some basic definitions of parameters like "attack," "cutoff," "decay," "effects," reverb delay," "reverb depth." I thought your explantions in the the MP11 manual were far more detailed than the info given in the MP6 manual, so I referred him to the effects section of the MP11 because your explanations are thorough as to how different effects shape the sound.

Cheers!
H.K.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 05/03/14 09:36 AM

Hey, All

I'll be purchasing the new MP7 in May or June, and when that happens, I'll do my best to post a comparison review here. Everything I read leads me to believe the MP7 is far advanced when compared to the MP6. For one thing, this time around the sound samples are the same as big brother, MP11. Recent postings from new members of the MP7 indicate the "look" and the "build quality" are superior to anything on the market. Can't wait to sit down and play the MP7.

Meanwhile, we'll continue this thread for any specific questions anyone may have pertaining to the MP6. Kawai hit a home run with this board. So many good things to say, and a great intermediate step to the present day MP7. I still haven't found another keyboard that allows layering of 4 different sounds with individual adjustments to each. Don't forget that the MP6 as well as the MP7 are great midi controllers. Of course with the newest 3 sensor feature on the MP7, some may be asking why would I buy a VPC1 with no onboard sounds when I can have the best of both worlds in the MP7?

Whatever may be said for Kawai's marketing, their products are beloved by many. I think you would be hard pressed to separate Morodiene from her MP11. And can hardly wait to hear what voxpops has to say about his new arrival!

H.K.
cool
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 05/03/14 10:14 AM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
Whatever may be said for Kawai's marketing...


HisKidd, five years ago I would have agreed with you. However I believe Kawai's marketing is actually pretty strong these days. The kawaimp.com website is arguably one of the most detailed and informative product websites developed for a musical instrument.

Cheers,
James
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Posted by: voxpops

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 05/03/14 10:49 AM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
And can hardly wait to hear what voxpox has to say about his new arrival!

I've been called some interesting names in my time, but this one is going in my sig! wink
Posted by: slowtraveler

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 05/03/14 11:06 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
...The kawaimp.com website is arguably one of the most detailed and informative product websites developed for a musical instrument.


Though it represents only one component of a marketing strategy, I believe the kawaimp.com website is inarguably one of the most detailed and informative (not to mention, well-designed) product websites developed for a musical instrument.

B.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 05/03/14 11:10 AM

The problem most people seem to have these days is less to do with marketing and more to do with distribution. In some regions it's next to impossible to test Kawai digitals, and so one has to rely on retailers with a good returns policy. I've become fairly comfortable with doing that as I only ever purchase slabs or stage pianos, but it must be difficult for those considering consoles.

The advent of the kawiamp.com site now helps by providing a wealth of pre-purchase information, but nothing beats putting your hands on the model you covet.
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 05/03/14 05:04 PM

voxpops

Well, color me highly embarrassed! I've gone back to the original thread and made the change to correct your posting name! Please forgive me! You can bet, I'll not make that mistake again. The good that came of this is that your response post (with the error in your sig) led me to the Soundcloud site where I was able to hear some great sounds! Now that I've made that faux pas, would you care to explain to me the origin of the name voxpops?

Cheers!
H.K.
cool
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 05/03/14 05:22 PM

Originally Posted By: HisKidd
voxpops

Well, color me highly embarrassed! I've gone back to the original thread and made the change to correct your posting name! Please forgive me! You can bet, I'll not make that mistake again. The good that came of this is that your response post (with the error in your sig) led me to the Soundcloud site where I was able to hear some great sounds! Now that I've made that faux pas, would you care to explain to me the origin of your the name voxpops?

Cheers!

No problem at all, HisKidd, it gave me a big laugh!

The handle, voxpops, originates from when I was producing video program(me)s in the UK. Vox populi (voice of the people), shortened to voxpops among those in the TV world, is the term given to soundbites from the general public, frequently used in newscasts and documentaries. Also, the name I gave to my small production company over there was Vox Humana, which ties my music and documentary backgrounds together quite nicely, given that the vox humana stop on a pipe organ means, literally, human voice. In the end, though, I decided that the name was too pretentious when I moved my business to the States - but voxpops stuck as my online title!

Thanks for having a listen to my band's current songs. We have fun!
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 05/03/14 05:27 PM

James

You know, I never heard those remarks about Kawai's marketing until I begin to participate in the Piano World Forums (and that was a little less than five years ago). I will admit that I had never considered a Kawai, simply because the boards I heard about through media and word of mouth were Yamaha and Roland. I came to the decision to try the MP6 because I read everything I could find on the internet, listened to every sample on YouTube I could locate, and read every review available. My choice did not disappoint.

I think you know how very impressed I have been with the current website, kawaimp.com., not to mention the facebook and soundcloud sites. There is nothing that comparable for presenting a stage piano, or a digital piano for that matter.

I have an opinion about Kawai products that I will soon post as a question in a separate thread because it is an idea that I'm sure will garner some comments. I'll send a pm to share the idea in advance, just to see what you think. I'm curious if the thought has occured to you so watch for it!

Regards!
H.K.
cool
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 05/03/14 05:36 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops


No problem at all, HisKidd, it gave me a big laugh!

The handle, voxpops, originates from when I was producing video program(me)s in the UK. Vox populi (voice of the people), shortened to voxpops among those in the TV world, is the term given to soundbites from the general public, frequently used in newscasts and documentaries. Also, the name I gave to my small production company over there was Vox Humana, which ties my music and documentary backgrounds together quite nicely, given that the vox humana stop on a pipe organ means, literally, human voice. In the end, though, I decided that the name was too pretentious when I moved my business to the States - but voxpops stuck as my online title!

Thanks for having a listen to my band's current songs. We have fun!



What a grand explanation, voxpops obviously a lot of thought went into your choice! You've certainly made it unforgettable for me! Lol! I'll look forward to your more detailed review of the MP7!

Play On!
H.K.
cool
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 05/03/14 06:58 PM

HK, thanks for posting your thoughts, and thank you also for enquiring into the origins of voxpop's name...very interesting (and rather clever) handle. wink

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: jaymes677

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 05/19/14 08:37 PM

HK, did you ever post the steps to setting up a personal touch on the MP6?

So far I have been nothing but disappointed with mine. Sounds awful, no idea how to make it sound better. Then I notice all of a sudden that no matter how hard or soft I strike the key it all sounds the same. I checked the Touch setting and it was "normal". So I checked with all the different options and then the touch sensitivity seemed to return, but the sound is muted.

I have no doubt that someone more technical could come in and in a few minutes have it sounding wonderful, but that really does me no good.

But I digress. Back to my original question. Setting the Personal touch sensitivity. I followed the instructions on 10.2.2 of the manual, but "surprise", it didn't work. when I get to the part that says "To create your own personal touch curve press the REC button" I do not get the message that is displayed in the manual. I get the display "Type = Audio (REC) or (Play).
Posted by: jaymes677

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 05/19/14 08:41 PM

Anyone know how to reset the MP6 back to factory defaults?
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 05/19/14 08:58 PM

Originally Posted By: jaymes677
Anyone know how to reset the MP6 back to factory defaults?


Please use the 'Reset All' function in the SYSTEM menu, as explained on page 67 of the owner's manual.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: Tritok

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 05/19/14 08:59 PM

http://www.kawaius.com/main_links/digital/PRO_2010/OM/MP6_EN_20100825.pdf

page 65 !

wink

edit : Oops , too late ,James was first !
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 05/19/14 09:12 PM

Originally Posted By: jaymes677
Then I notice all of a sudden that no matter how hard or soft I strike the key it all sounds the same. I checked the Touch setting and it was "normal".


Hmm... it's unlikely, but this situation is possible when the 'Dynamics' parameter is set to 0 (i.e. no dynamics).

Originally Posted By: jaymes677
Back to my original question. Setting the Personal touch sensitivity. I followed the instructions on 10.2.2 of the manual, but "surprise", it didn't work. when I get to the part that says "To create your own personal touch curve press the REC button" I do not get the message that is displayed in the manual. I get the display "Type = Audio (REC) or (Play).


I do not have an MP6 in front of me, however referring to the manual (which isn't the greatest, I have to admit...), it appears that the User Touch Curve is set by the following process:

1. Press the SYSTEM button
2. Press the MENU UP/DOWN buttons to navigate to the TOUCH settings page
3. Press the VALUE UP/DOWN buttons to select the User1 or User2 touch type.
4. Press the REC button, as highlighted below:


5. Play the keyboard from soft to loud.
6. Press the REC button again.

The new User Touch Curve should be created and selected automatically.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 05/19/14 09:30 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
Originally Posted By: HisKidd
And can hardly wait to hear what voxpox has to say about his new arrival!

I've been called some interesting names in my time, but this one is going in my sig! wink
LOL, interesting read about the origin of your name, voxpops! I must say, voxpox sounds like a vocal disease.
Posted by: jaymes677

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 05/19/14 09:48 PM

Thanks, that actually worked. I was misinterpreting what they meant by [REC] I thought that meant Recorder.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 05/19/14 09:56 PM

Ah yes, I thought that might have been the case.

My apologies for the unclear explanation in the original manual.
(some info about it here if you're interested...)

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 05/19/14 10:47 PM

jaymes677
Sorry to be away when you needed this, but glad to see James has answered for you. I would add that you have 2 "user" touch settings, allowing you to use the "record" function (from soft to loud) twice.
Play On!
H.K.
Posted by: jaymes677

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 05/21/14 12:57 AM

Ouch! Now that's disappointing. I should have waited on the MP7. Only $300 more than the MP6 and it sounds like it's much more user friendly than the MP6 for those of us that are not sound engineers.

Hmmmm.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 05/21/14 01:25 AM

The MP6 is still a great stage piano - the introduction of the MP7 does not change this fact.

James
x
Posted by: jaymes677

Re: Kawai MP6 User's Thread - 05/23/14 11:51 PM

KJ. No doubt you're right but the problem I have is that I am not nearly technical enough to appreciate it