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#2826551 - 01/07/17 09:31 PM 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds.
Imagine Offline
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Registered: 07/10/01
Posts: 1581
Loc: North Hollywood, CA USA
So I'm trying the Kontrol S88 and I like a lot of it. The Light Guide is really helpful when playing percussive instruments. I think it'll save a lot of time. The Kontrol VI is also a step up above Kontakt. The 8 knobs are handy for various functions, etc... My only gripe and I'm still on the fence about it is the key-bed. I'm very familiar with the S90 (original). I've had the keyboard for 12 or so years, but looking for something to replace it. It's on its way out as there are issue's with it. I can get it fixed, but I'd like to try a new more up to date keyboard.

I'm looking for a controller only keyboard. No internal sounds. I never used those on the S90. The action on the S88 is much different than that of the S90. When a key is pressed all the way down, there's this feel of plastic hitting rubber, and it's a somewhat spongy, heavy weighted action. It feels like your hitting drum-pads. Great when playing percussive instruments, but not so much when playing piano, strings, etc... Perhaps I'm not familiar with this type of action, but from what I've been told, they're using a Fatar TP/100LR, which is one of their flagship hammer action mechanisms. I may hold on to it for another week and see if I can get used to this new action.

What would you recommend for a controller only keyboard? I'm looking for 88 keys. Something up to date would be preferable.

Thanks!
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#2826555 - 01/07/17 09:38 PM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: Imagine]
davedoerfler Offline
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since you like the Yamaha action get a Yamaha CP4 and use it as a controller. That's what I have. It costs more that the NI keyboard but you will be happy with the results. Less expensive try the Casio PX 5S as a controller.
Kawai VPC-1 would be perfect if no knobs/wheels are required.
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#2826564 - 01/08/17 12:06 AM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: davedoerfler]
midiotlv Offline
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Registered: 04/03/13
Posts: 22
Loc: Las Vegas, NV
I'd check into Studiologic's SL88 Grand. Be sure to look at the "Grand" model (the Grand model has the TP/40 Wood action; the Studio model has the TP/100LR, which is what you already have in the S88).

The SL88 is on my short list, but I'm waiting to see if anything comes out of NAMM 2017 before I buy.
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#2826582 - 01/08/17 05:53 AM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: midiotlv]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Physis K4-GW has action like the SL88 Grand with after touch and some serious controller features depending on how robust a controller you're after.
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#2826592 - 01/08/17 06:46 AM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: ElmerJFudd]
CEB Offline
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Depends on what you need to control. The market for what I would consider a controller is dead. The only "controller" I would consider is the Physis. Beyond that your best controllers are flagship workstations like the Korg Kronos and Kurzweil PC3x8s. Even at that the Kronos only has inputs for one CV pedal. (Yes it is CV how else do you think it transmits info... Through low level voltages )

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#2826614 - 01/08/17 08:33 AM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: CEB]
WesG Online   shocked
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A CP4 in master keyboard mode is moderately powerful as a controller. I will be exploring it more fully this year as I work to downsize my rig.
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#2826622 - 01/08/17 09:21 AM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: CEB]
AnotherScott Offline
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Registered: 10/19/09
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Originally Posted By: CEB
Even at that the Kronos only has inputs for one CV pedal. (Yes it is CV how else do you think it transmits info... Through low level voltages )

It may be largely a matter of semantics, but I think it it unhelpful to confuse CV and expression pedal inputs, even if, in the end, voltages are being manipulated. From
https://missionengineering.com/understanding-expression-pedals/?v=7516fd43adaa

Quote:
Expression pedals and CV pedals are not the same although they are often confused as they perform largely the same function but in a slightly different way. A passive expression pedal does not generate the control voltage itself; it receives it from the connected device, and returns it on a separate conductor along the connecting cable. A CV pedal generates the control voltage itself. A CV pedal requires a battery or external power supply. Some devices can use either, but if a device is not designed to be used with a CV pedal, then it could potentially be damaged by connecting one, so please read the manual before connecting a CV pedal to anything

So for example, an original MiniMoog required a CV pedal. Later synths could recognize expression pedals and use them as IF they were CV pedals, but technically,that did not literally turn the expression pedals into CV pedals, despite eliciting the CV functionality from them. I do not know whether or not you can safely plug an actual CV pedal into a Kronos. Pedals like the Electro-Harmonix Next Step and Behringer FCV100 can be used as either expression pedals or CV pedals. On the Behringer, you select the mode with a switch, on the EH, it switches modes based on the kind of cable you plug into it (2 conductor vs. 3 conductor). So despite the overlap, the two functionalities are not entirely interchangeable.
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#2826628 - 01/08/17 09:52 AM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: AnotherScott]
Imagine Offline
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Registered: 07/10/01
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Loc: North Hollywood, CA USA
The Physis K4-GW looks interesting, but I'm not looking for anything that complicated. Just a simple controller with wheels. The ideal situation would be a great key-bed in the Kontrol S88, only because I like certain key features like the Light Guide. This may be impossible, but the alternative is a great key-bed with minimal features.

Also, I'm not looking for a work-station keyboard.


Edited by Imagine (01/08/17 09:54 AM)
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#2826632 - 01/08/17 10:04 AM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: Imagine]
AnotherScott Offline
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Registered: 10/19/09
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Originally Posted By: Imagine
from what I've been told, they're using a Fatar TP/100LR, which is one of their flagship hammer action mechanisms.

The TP/100LR is actually their bottom of the line hammer action.

Although I haven't played one personally, I concur with the suggestion that you check out the Studiologic SL88 Grand which gets you a higher end Fatar action at reasonable cost without extraneous features.

Other than that, with so few high quality actions being made available in soundless controllers, you may have to live with getting a board that has stuff you don't care about, just to get the things you do want. Yamaha and Roland have some great actions, but they don't make soundless controllers with them. The aforementioned Kawai VPC1 could be a possibility, but with no wheels, it sounds like it's too stripped down for you. You might like the (different) feel of the (less expensive, but not soundless) Kawai MP7. Or a Casio PX5S (I don't think the less expensive Casios with the same action have the two wheels you want).
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#2826638 - 01/08/17 10:47 AM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: AnotherScott]
Imagine Offline
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Registered: 07/10/01
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Loc: North Hollywood, CA USA
AnotherScott, thanks for clearing that up. I was told the 100LR was top notch. I guess the individual didn't know what he was talking about.

I wish the VPC1 had wheels.

The Roland A-88 might be what I'm looking for...


Edited by Imagine (01/08/17 03:25 PM)
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#2826686 - 01/08/17 03:37 PM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: Imagine]
tnelson Offline
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Registered: 02/12/07
Posts: 31
Loc: Northern California
Lachnit Mk22. Fatar TP-40Wood action, reworked with light sensor system, keys individually dressed and adjusted for uniform on/off points, simple knob controllers and programmable buttons, pitch and controller wheels, keyboard velocity map adjustable on-the-fly with knobs, continuous sustain pedal (plus sostenuto and soft pedal optional), Hi-Res MIDI optional, aftertouch available.

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#2826690 - 01/08/17 03:47 PM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: tnelson]
Imagine Offline
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Registered: 07/10/01
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Loc: North Hollywood, CA USA
Thanks telson. I'll look into the Mk22.
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#2826691 - 01/08/17 03:47 PM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: Imagine]
Imagine Offline
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Loc: North Hollywood, CA USA
On the subject of key-beds, is the Fatar TP/40GH the best key-bed available from that company?
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#2826692 - 01/08/17 03:52 PM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: tnelson]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Registered: 11/30/14
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Originally Posted By: tnelson
Lachnit Mk22. Fatar TP-40Wood action, reworked with light sensor system, keys individually dressed and adjusted for uniform on/off points, simple knob controllers and programmable buttons, pitch and controller wheels, keyboard velocity map adjustable on-the-fly with knobs, continuous sustain pedal (plus sostenuto and soft pedal optional), Hi-Res MIDI optional, aftertouch available.


No US distribution, dealers, or certified repair locations. This one is a stretch. I'd love to play it and see if it feels any different than any other TP-40W - and if (with the optic sensor) it plays software like pianoteq or any of the sampled libraries more expressively and or with more control that the 3 contact TP-40W in the SL88 Grand and other boards that use this action.
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#2826693 - 01/08/17 04:17 PM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: ElmerJFudd]
tnelson Offline
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Registered: 02/12/07
Posts: 31
Loc: Northern California
I use the Lachnit for Pianoteq. I'm a pianist. This is the first keyboard I've played that felt like I was in control as much as on a piano. It turned out to be perfect for me, but YMMV. Maybe you can find someone local (through Lachnit?) who has one you can try out.

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#2827130 - 01/10/17 10:53 AM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: tnelson]
Tonysounds Offline
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Kawai MP7 makes a killer controller, has aftertouch, does not take much real estate, and has the added (tho not needed) benefit of internal sounds.
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#2827159 - 01/10/17 12:55 PM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: Tonysounds]
StickMan393 Offline
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Registered: 11/07/13
Posts: 27
If I were in the market for a 88-key controller I'd totally wait for these guys to get it together before making any decisions.

www.vaxmidi.com

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#2827163 - 01/10/17 01:12 PM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: StickMan393]
Bachus Offline
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Registered: 05/14/15
Posts: 437
As a controller nothing beats my Kurzweil pc3x.. its huge as a controller... if you can live with the action...

But it comes with aftertouch, huge ribbon controller and breathcontroller input... and incredible freedom to program...

And you get a VAST soundsystem as a bonus...


As a pure midi controller it even makes my Kronos bite the dust...
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#2827195 - 01/10/17 04:13 PM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: StickMan393]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Originally Posted By: StickMan393
If I were in the market for a 88-key controller I'd totally wait for these guys to get it together before making any decisions.

www.vaxmidi.com


They're meeting these price points by removing assembly from the equation. What have we heard about them? Anyone in possession? How does this action feel? Compared to the previous VAX action? Compared to TP-40L? And how robust is their controller firmware and operating system? Splits, layers over multiple MIDI channels/ports? Send program change messages in necessary formats, etc?
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#2827271 - 01/10/17 11:52 PM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: ElmerJFudd]
Bachus Offline
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Registered: 05/14/15
Posts: 437
Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
Originally Posted By: StickMan393
If I were in the market for a 88-key controller I'd totally wait for these guys to get it together before making any decisions.

www.vaxmidi.com


They're meeting these price points by removing assembly from the equation. What have we heard about them? Anyone in possession? How does this action feel? Compared to the previous VAX action? Compared to TP-40L? And how robust is their controller firmware and operating system? Splits, layers over multiple MIDI channels/ports? Send program change messages in necessary formats, etc?


The action is supposed to be exactly the sane as the orriginal VAX action, tough i hvaent seen anyone confirming this...
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#2827294 - 01/11/17 05:31 AM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: Bachus]
AnotherScott Offline
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Registered: 10/19/09
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Originally Posted By: Bachus
The action is supposed to be exactly the sane as the orriginal VAX action, tough i hvaent seen anyone confirming this...

I hope they softened the edges. I liked the feel of the original, but the sharp edges of the keys made organ playing painful. I had the opportunity to mention that to Eddie Jobson, who used the board including using it for organ, and he said that he had filed the edges down! I'd have felt a little skittish about trying that on my own $3500 board... ;-)
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#2827313 - 01/11/17 07:24 AM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: Tonysounds]
Al Coda Offline
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Originally Posted By: Tonysounds

Kawai MP7 ..., has aftertouch, ...


"Channel-AT" only when assigning to a MIDI-CC knob on the MP7s front panel.

So, in general, the MP7 transmits "Channel Aftertouch",- but:

No Channel-AT via keyboard pressure !!!

A.C.
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#2827337 - 01/11/17 09:07 AM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: Bachus]
TWB121234 Offline
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Registered: 12/19/07
Posts: 93
Loc: Minnesota
I am a kickstarter backer for vaxmidi and I own a vax77. As far as I am aware the action will not be the same as the original. You can get an idea of the new action by watching the assembly video at vaxmidi.com.

Also, as with the original, the action does not, will not, replicate a traditional hammer action. The intent of the original was to provide a comfortable playing experience for all types of instruments, which it has for me. That is until it bricked on me on New Year's Day, not a good way to start the year, but that's another story.

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#2827454 - 01/11/17 07:42 PM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: TWB121234]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Except for some models that have mysterious sometimes-there websites and/or lack of US marketing presence, I don't see much bang-for-buck with dedicated controllers anymore as they all have lower-end actions than what is available on equivalent-priced Digital Pianos.

For gigging purposes though, the "no sounds" controller is usually lighter and often smaller, so that might be a consideration for focusing exclusively on dedicated controllers. In which case, if you can't find the obscure ones (as I can't), the Kawai VPC-1 is sort of the gold standard currently.
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#2827701 - 01/12/17 04:09 PM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Imagine Offline
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Registered: 07/10/01
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Loc: North Hollywood, CA USA
What about the action on a Doepfer LMK4+ keyboard... how are those compared to say Yamaha, Roland, Kawai?
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#2827730 - 01/12/17 05:34 PM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: Imagine]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Doepfer just sources their action from Fatar like so many others. The LMK4+ uses a Fatar TP-40GH I assume, but perhaps someone else can confirm.

email below was shared in response to user asking Doepfer about the noisy-ness of the keys - which I presume is not a big deal in rock/pop band setting and about the editor software for the LMK4+

"When designing the LMK4+ our primary objective was low weight and small dimensions for easy portability. To achieve this, the keybed and electronic components are built directly into the flight case without any second inner case. The structure-borne sound, caused by direct mechanical contact of the keybed frame with the wooden case, cannot be reduced with foam or felt. The only solution would be to build a new cabinet from massive wooden panels which would increase the total weight dramatically. For custom builder we sell the keybed and midi electronics even without flight case.


The LMK4+ editor software is not a Dpfer product but it was programmed by one of our customers, Michael Reukauff. Unfortunately his website is only in german language. An englisch site is unknown tome.


Mit freundlichen Gren / Kind Regards

Matthias Marass"

discussion comes from here:
http://vi-control.net/community/threads/...s-review.55715/
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#2827732 - 01/12/17 05:45 PM Re: 2017 - Best Key-Bed 88 Controller without internal sounds. [Re: ElmerJFudd]
CEB Offline
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