Keyboard for organ and harpsichord?

Posted by: Vectistim

Keyboard for organ and harpsichord? - 02/13/13 07:13 AM

The university here has found some money to spend on some sort of machine for use as a chamber organ and harpsichord.

The current choices are:
a) Playing with Hauptwerk (this will give the best sound but will be the most faffing)
b) Roland C-200
c) Roland C-230
(The C-30 is beyond the budget)
Has anyone played the 200 and 230?
The 200 seems more versatile as its 76 keys, whereas the 230 is just a 61 key C compass, which is a bit limiting, but for some reason the 230 costs more.

One other alternative might be the Kawai MP6, largely on the back of these youtube clips I found on an old thread on here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCrHluPTUNc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgsFs7hOsPw

But, how versatile is the MP6 for changing stops etc.
The Kawai site doesn't seem to have any harpsichord demos, so its difficult to tell what it would be like for that.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Keyboard for organ and harpsichord? - 02/13/13 11:25 AM

I would also look at the Hammond SK1 or SK2.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Keyboard for organ and harpsichord? - 02/13/13 12:44 PM

For organ/harpsicord use, you probably don't want a fully-weighted hammer action, I would imagine.
Posted by: Vectistim

Re: Keyboard for organ and harpsichord? - 02/13/13 06:09 PM

I don't think anyone does a proper simulation of a tracker organ action or a harpsichord action, so if it has a hammer action that doesn't really affect it. It doesn't bother me using my PX-330 and Hauptwerk as an organ.

Well I've just listened to some Hammond SK1 and 2 clips on youtube - generally horrible standard Hammond sound and a few that sound like a very artificial pipe organ, couldn't find any harpsichord clips on one.
Actually, correct that - just found a harpsichord SK1 clip I think it sounds more like an electric guitar than a harpsichord.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Keyboard for organ and harpsichord? - 02/13/13 06:32 PM

Although not well recorded, I thought the sound, variety and controllability of the pipe organs of the SK1 looked pretty nice in this video, starting at about 8 and a half minutes in:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb7HHYzE9Gs

and some of this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3V--i6u8v8
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Keyboard for organ and harpsichord? - 02/13/13 06:32 PM

Originally Posted By: Vectistim
One other alternative might be the Kawai MP6, largely on the back of these youtube clips I found on an old thread on here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCrHluPTUNc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgsFs7hOsPw

But, how versatile is the MP6 for changing stops etc.
The Kawai site doesn't seem to have any harpsichord demos, so its difficult to tell what it would be like for that.


The MP6 is a very flexible instrument, with a strong selection of sounds. However, I would not recommend purchasing one solely for the classical organ or harpsichord sounds.

As gvfarns noted, a weighted hammer action isn't really ideal for playing such music either.

Therefore my suggestion would be to purchase one of the Roland models on your list.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: sandalholme

Re: Keyboard for organ and harpsichord? - 02/14/13 04:37 AM

Hauptwerk, free version. Free Taskin, Blanchet and Mietke sampled hpds, plus a number of free organs. Not all have a full enough compass for Bach and Rameau - the Mietke does. All the sounds are way better than inbuilt DP sounds.

I play live via Hauptwerk to headphones, no problems there and you can record direct via Hauptwerk to a WAV file. Easy to edit in Audacity.

Yet to solve problem of listening live via my Kawai ES7 DP, but this is I think a question of an inexpensive DAC box. As I am quite new to this caper I have yet to explore how to change stops on the fly - quite important for organ playing! One "virtual harpsichord" (the Sound Magic Kirckman?) uses keys outside the hpd range to send program changes via the midi link for stop changes. Others on this forum will have more expertise on this, I'm sure.

But Hauptwerk is a very sophisticated and effective package. For virtual hpds also look at Soni Musicae, Sygsoft, Real Samples.
Posted by: Vectistim

Re: Keyboard for organ and harpsichord? - 02/14/13 07:25 AM

I'm going to go and demonstrate my hauptwerk this afternoon/evening, but the free version won't be applicable as this will be for performance use, and my clunky home installation might be a bit too much like hard work for use in a concert.
(OK, I know it can be done, but then to get a really easy to use Hauptwerk system up and running, is likely to cost more than is available)
Posted by: cubop

Re: Keyboard for organ and harpsichord? - 02/14/13 02:38 PM

The MP6 is good enough for harpsichord, but it will take a bit of tweaking to get it right. Then it sounds better than some of the real harpsichords played even by professionals. I have not tried to get something useful from the organ sounds, since the church organ I use on Korg Le is very good without any tweaking. And by good I mean good baroque organ. The MP6 action is light and precise, and should be good enough for anything, especially since most people play acoustic pianos, or digitals with hammer action, or both.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Keyboard for organ and harpsichord? - 02/14/13 03:13 PM

I strongly disagree about the harpsichord sound in MP6. It's very artificial to the point where it's almost obnoxious. There are 2-3 good church organ sounds though.

On the other hand Yamaha digital pianos have very good harpsichord sound which is also very playable, and their organs are passable on some boards. Roland digital pianos are pretty rubbish in regards to harpsichord and organ sounds, which is probably done intentionally to not steal sale from their dedicated digital organ and haprsichords. I believe Nord has some good harpsichord sounds although they sound a little bit harsh to my ears.
Posted by: cubop

Re: Keyboard for organ and harpsichord? - 02/14/13 03:32 PM

The default harpsichord sounds in MP6 are really bad, and it takes good ears and a lot of tweaking to get it right. But it is possible. Concerning organs, I am only interested in Baroque organ sounds, and for that, even an old Technics KN 1000 is better than the MP6.
Posted by: CyberGene

Re: Keyboard for organ and harpsichord? - 02/14/13 04:30 PM

I've recorded a piece by Henry Purcell using the default harpsichord sound on my Kawai MP6

Messed Up Purcell

Please ignore my playing. I've listened to this piece many times but I have never played it and this is absolutely my prima vista sight reading with the piece and I almost totally messed it up, especially the trills, and I did many mistakes in the second part, my phrasing is bad as a whole, dotted rhythm is wrong, etc... I've played so much Chopin in the last year that I can't feel and play baroque music anymore, such a shame frown
Posted by: Vectistim

Re: Keyboard for organ and harpsichord? - 02/15/13 07:16 AM

Thank you for the clip, I think that discounts the MP6, so it's down to the Roland machines or Hauptwerk. They now have Hauptwerk up and running to test it out, although the default organ is pushing the memory limits of the laptop its currently installed on, so it will either be that, a new laptop, a cheap MIDI keyboard (or two) and a cheap PA system, or one of the Roland machines.

So, has anyone any experience of them? C-200 or C-230