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#2908887 - 02/12/18 05:35 AM Semi-weighted keyboards?
Donsta Offline
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Any thoughts on semi-weighted boards? I'm not expecting to be able to play Chopin on them but I'm wondering do they work well enough to play piano and still do jazz organ techniques.

Is it the best of both or the worst?

Thanks for your time
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#2908892 - 02/12/18 05:48 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: Donsta]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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A lot of people like the Fatar TP-40L for switching between piano, organ, and synth and orchestral timbres. You can find on Kurzweil PC3K and Forte.

On other synths it’s mixed bag with synth actions being made and used now. Most are lousy for piano playing. Try the Roland VR-730 and see what you think.
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#2908907 - 02/12/18 06:22 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: ElmerJFudd]
teashea Offline
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Real pianists simply do not like semi weighted keybeds. They can make do with a semi weighted board, but they never like it. I am not a pianist so semi weighted is what I like.
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#2908918 - 02/12/18 06:43 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: ElmerJFudd]
Al Coda Offline
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Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
A lot of people like the Fatar TP-40L ... on Kurzweil PC3K and Forte.


Is Fatar TP40L called a semi-weighted action ?
AFAIK,- all the Fatar TP40 models,- L / M / H /GH and WOOD are fully weighted actions.

TP40L only in KURZ PC3x, PC3K88 and Forte/ Forte 7.

The semi-weighted 76 keys action in Kurzweil PC3 and PC3K instruments is Fatar TP-8.

A.C.

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#2908919 - 02/12/18 06:43 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: teashea]
AnotherScott Offline
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Originally Posted By: Donsta
Any thoughts on semi-weighted boards? I'm not expecting to be able to play Chopin on them but I'm wondering do they work well enough to play piano and still do jazz organ techniques.

Is it the best of both or the worst?

I'm tempted to paraphrase Dickens, it is the best of both and the worst of both. ;-) Really, I think it depends more on the individual board. The Yamaha NP30 is un-weighted, but better for piano than some semi-weighted actions are. What makes a fully weighted board especially suitable for piano isn't the weight per se, it's the hammer mechanism, which is still absent in a semi-weighted board. That said, some semi-weighted boards are more amenable to piano playing than others. For me, one of the biggest differentiators is the consistency of the key feel from front to back (that's where some of the Roland and Korg boards notoriously fall short). But even then, there's a lot of variations. Some semi-weighteds that I have found pretty decent for piano are the Roland VR-700, Numa Compact/Compact2, Kurzweil SP4-7, Kurzweil Artis7 (esp. with the lighter springs I put in), some Nord models (but not others, even if they are based on the same Fatar P-8O action... though the Nords tend to be a bit heavily sprung for my taste regardless).
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#2908923 - 02/12/18 06:52 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: Al Coda]
ITGITC? Offline
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As a pianist, I much prefer a weighted, hammer-action board for AP and Rhodes.

For synth sounds, a semi-weighted board without hammer action is preferred. The Yamaha DX7 action is still my favorite.

Although the TP/100 hammer action has been panned here, I much prefer it to a synth action for AP and Rhodes. Its weight makes a 25 pound board like the Nord Electro HP series a great choice for my needs.

Tom
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#2908928 - 02/12/18 07:17 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: ITGITC?]
Reezekeys Offline
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Weighted action or not, on a controller or other midi keyboard you're simply triggering a sound. I consider myself a piano player but I got used to synth keyboards after I moved to a 3rd floor walkup apartment and decided my Yam KX88 (63 lbs not including case) wasn't moving again. I could have bought another weighted board and left it in my car or garage, but doing gigs in New York City and its suburbs led me to move towards a small synth action board with easily accessible octave switch buttons! As I've said on this forum before, it's the same 1 to 127 velocity coming from whatever keyboard you're playing – all you have to do is be willing to work at adjusting your touch (along with velocity curves and keyboard dynamics settings if they have them). Some players don't want to compromise, I get that. Losing the weight in the keyboard department lets me transfer some of that to my speakers – the components of my setup that have an arguably bigger effect on its sound and my happiness with it.

More on topic, I have never understood what "semi" weighted means vs plain "unweighted" or synth action. I've always thought that any non-piano-type action was "unweighted." Is "semi" weighted just a synth action with tighter springs for more resistance? I honestly don't know the difference. ITGITC above calls the DX7 action semi-weighted. Really? I always thought of the DX7 as a plain unweighted synth action. What kind of action is "less" weighted than the DX7 (not just one with looser springs)?

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#2908929 - 02/12/18 07:18 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: ITGITC?]
CEB Offline
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Semi-weighted .... That is sort of like semi-pregnant.
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#2908930 - 02/12/18 07:19 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: ITGITC?]
Dave Keys Offline
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Originally Posted By: ITGITC?

As a pianist, I much prefer a weighted, hammer-action board for AP and Rhodes.

For synth sounds, a semi-weighted board without hammer action is preferred. The Yamaha DX7 action is still my favorite.

Although the TP/100 hammer action has been panned here, I much prefer it to a synth action for AP and Rhodes. Its weight makes a 25 pound board like the Nord Electro HP series a great choice for my needs.

Tom





+1 for that. I've got an RD700nx, the action of which I love, but at 40kg including the Gator Case, I went for an Electro 5 HP for band work - and just use the RD in the studio or on occasional lounge gigs that require 88 notes. A weighted action in a board weighing 11.4kg + an SKB hard case comes to a total of 18.7kg. Much easier to manage.
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#2908931 - 02/12/18 07:26 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: Reezekeys]
AnotherScott Offline
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Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
Is "semi" weighted just a synth action with tighter springs for more resistance? I honestly don't know the difference.

AFAK, it's a matter of adding physical weights to the keys, Here are diagrams of Fatar TP8O and TP9S semi-weighteds... I believe the cross-hatched block at the right is the added weight.



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#2908933 - 02/12/18 07:30 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: Al Coda]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Originally Posted By: Al Coda
Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
A lot of people like the Fatar TP-40L ... on Kurzweil PC3K and Forte.


Is Fatar TP40L called a semi-weighted action ?
AFAIK,- all the Fatar TP40 models,- L / M / H /GH and WOOD are fully weighted actions.

TP40L only in KURZ PC3x, PC3K88 and Forte/ Forte 7.

The semi-weighted 76 keys action in Kurzweil PC3 and PC3K instruments is Fatar TP-8.

A.C.


I should have phrased better. I was implying that the light weighted action is preferable to many myself included if you must play piano and organ/synth/orch on the same keyboard.
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#2908935 - 02/12/18 07:36 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: Dave Keys]
stoken6 Offline
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Ed (CEB) and Rob (Reezekeys) got it right as usual. "Semi-weighted" is a term that marketing departments like to throw around, but it doesn't really mean anything. I tend to think of 4 main categories:
1. Crappy unweighted (Korg Krome 61, Roland VR09)
2. Quality unweighted (DX7, Korg Kronos). I'd probably put the dedicated organ actions (Hammond, Roland VR730, even the Fatar TP8O etc.) in the same category - although the keys themselves may be different shape (waterfall not diving-board).
3. Hammer-action, covering a sliding scale of actions, including the ubiquitous but divisive TP100 found in Tom's Electro HP. Casio, Yamaha, Kawai, Roland and Korg all have a range of actions that try and emulate piano mechanisms. Yamaha CP4 is a favourite on this forum. I would classify the TP40L (that Elmer Fudd mentioned) as a quality hammer-action but with lighter than average weight (i.e. force required).
4. Others may not identify this as a separate category, but I put the TP8 (that Kurz use on their 76s apart from the Forte 7) in a separate "half-and-half" category. Too heavy to be a synth action, too light (well, too spongy) for piano. The action in my Oberheim MC1000/76 is similar - it's like there's neoprene under the keys. This is closest to what "semi-weighted" means to me, and I don't like it.

AnotherScott's happy with his Artis 7 action, but doesn't like TP8O in the waterfall Nords, which just goes to show how subjective these things are. I do agree with Scott's assessment of the NP30 action - it's a relatively high-quality unweighted action (albeit graded - heavier in the bass than the treble). It bottoms out hard though - I'm gradually getting used to it. I think it would make a great AP/Rhodes action for anyone coming from an organ background.

Cheers, Mike.


Edited by stoken6 (02/12/18 07:37 AM)
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#2908937 - 02/12/18 07:50 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: stoken6]
Jazz+ Offline
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I have Scarbee EP in my iPhone now and am wondering if any of the USB portable 49 or 61 key controllers have fast good traction ( inertia, leverage that doesn’t feel like feathers, wet sponge, flopping around) playable Rhodes piano actions. I don’t us pitch bend wheels or pads or program changes. Just a bare bones portable controller fir piano with great action . 49 or 61 Keys.

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#2908940 - 02/12/18 08:12 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: Jazz+]
Delaware Dave Offline
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I have TP-8 action on my Kurz PC3. over the years I've found it to be a good compromise between needing weighted for piano and less weighting for organ. It's not ideal for either but I'm used to it and don't even think about it anymore. The only thing I wish Kurz would have done was go with a TP-8O so that the lip was removed when doing organ smears. At this point I'm not sure why any digital keyboard made uses a lip. My Hammond Porta B actually has lipped keys and that is more of an annoyance to me than the feel of the keys themselves.
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#2908945 - 02/12/18 08:25 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: stoken6]
AnotherScott Offline
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Originally Posted By: stoken6
I tend to think of 4 main categories:
1. Crappy unweighted...
2. Quality unweighted...
3. Hammer-action...
4. Others may not identify this as a separate category...

I would say three physical categories:
1. unweighted (also sometimes called synth action)
2. semi-weighted (same as unweighted, except they add weights to the keys)
3. hammer action (also called weighted actions, or sometimes "fully weighted" to distinguish them from semi)

And *each* of these are available in crappy and non-crappy variants.

As CEB's "pregnant" comment suggests, it is odd nomenclature. There is no such thing as a semi-weight, either it has a weight or it does not. I think this came about because, in the days before semi-weighted was a term, the actions with hammers were just called "weighted actions" to distinguish them from the synth actions. So when they started promoting non-hammer actions with weights, well, they couldn't call them weighted actions, because that term was already in used for the hammer action boards. So semi was a term that implied part-way there, it had weight, but not the full characteristics that people associated with what were called weighted actions. So if you look at it semantically, "semi" doesn't really modify "weight," rather "semi" modifies "weighted action."

Originally Posted By: stoken6
AnotherScott's happy with his Artis 7 action, but doesn't like TP8O in the waterfall Nords, which just goes to show how subjective these things are.

Yes, there's a lot of subjectivity to it. But just to be clear, I actually like the TP8O in the Electro 5D... yes, more highly sprung than I'd like, but still decently playable for piano. But I didn't like the TP8O in the Stage 2! Whether it was a hardware difference, software difference, or both, I don't know, but I did not like the way piano played from that one. Maybe the presence of aftertouch was a factor, I'm not certain. I'm eager to try the Stage 3, which people have said plays better than the NS2 did.

In general I find most unweighted or semi-weighted actions acceptable for organ playing, as long as the edges of the keys aren't sharp, and, though I'm not a stickler for waterfall, I prefer the edges to be at least solid enough on the sides to not provide an impediment to side-swipes. Pushback and pivot point are two other factors that affect playability, but I have a pretty wide range of acceptable. The bigger variable in SW for me is how suited they are for the "wrong" application, i.e. piano playing.

Originally Posted By: stoken6
I do agree with Scott's assessment of the NP30 action - it's a relatively high-quality unweighted action (albeit graded - heavier in the bass than the treble).

Right. And if anyone is wondering how it plays heavier or lighter in different keyboard ranges despite not having any weights, what they did was change the landing surface, so that the resistance to hitting bottom is different at the bottom of the board than it is at the top. (Basically, you're pushing down on more or fewer membrane bubbles.)
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#2908946 - 02/12/18 08:25 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: Jazz+]
Markyboard Offline
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Originally Posted By: Jazz+
I have Scarbee EP in my iPhone now and am wondering if any of the USB portable 49 or 61 key controllers have fast good traction ( inertia, leverage that doesn’t feel like feathers, wet sponge, flopping around) playable Rhodes piano actions.



IMO this is the best feeling dedicated controller in the category you specified.



NI Komplete Kontrol

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#2908951 - 02/12/18 08:33 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: stoken6]
ITGITC? Offline
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Originally Posted By: stoken6
"Semi-weighted" is a term that marketing departments like to throw around, but it doesn't really mean anything.

Cheers, Mike.


Agreed. Semi-weighted action is a marketing misnomer.

There's hammer action. Then there's everything else. And you simply have to put your hands on the keyboard to see if its action works for your needs.

I wanted hammer action when I purchased my PC2X many years ago. Kurzweil didn't offer a 73/76-key hammer action.

After hauling around this 50 pound keyboard in a 33 pound SKB hard case (Model: 1SKB-5817W), I got tired of it. When Nord introduced the Electro 3 HP with hammer action at 25 pounds, I had to try it.

It works well for me.

Compared to a well-maintained acoustic piano, electronic substitutes are all a compromise. If you understand this and are OK with it, then forget about it and go back to practicing.

Tom
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#2908955 - 02/12/18 08:52 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: ITGITC?]
CEB Offline
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It's either hammer action or it aint. Whether they use spring tension or mini weights to try to site in the action doesn't matter to me.

I don't even think waterfall keys on organs mean that much either. The finest organs in the world have keys the look like diving boards. I've had 3 Hammonds with diving boards(E112, B3000, XB2). Never cut myself in 40 years. .... Also never broke a Hammond key.... Tip: Organs are not velocity sensitive.


Edited by CEB (02/12/18 08:55 AM)
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#2908957 - 02/12/18 09:17 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: CEB]
burningbusch Offline
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I disagree on their being no benefits to semi-weighted. It just feels smoother, more controllable. At NAMM, I played the Prologue which I first assumed was the same as the Kronos 61. It didn't feel as nice as the Kronos I had, at least from memory. Later I went back and spent more time going reviewing the Kronos action against the Prologue. Anyone should be able to feel the difference. The only difference between the actions is the addition of weights under the keys on the Kronos. And you are NOT going to replace the Fatar semi-weighted on my Minimoog D reissue with some crappy unweighted variant.

And talk about a category made just for marketing purposes, that's hammer action. There is such a wide range of weights. Some are tortuously heavy while often the cheap or and physically lightweight keyboards have this resistance to playing ppp, it's hit or miss if they will actually trigger the sound.

Busch.

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#2908960 - 02/12/18 09:21 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: CEB]
AnotherScott Offline
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Originally Posted By: ITGITC?
There's hammer action. Then there's everything else.

Originally Posted By: CEB
It's either hammer action or it aint.

Yeah, despite my post about 3 categories, broadly speaking, that's basically how I see it as well. Hammer actions and non. The Semi vs. Un weighted distinction is there (as are a variety of other distinctions among designs) but functionally (i.e. what they're generally aimed to do well), the distinction is largely academic. That said, *most* SW do seem to be a bit more amenable to piano playing than *most* UW, if for whatever reason you simply aren't going to have a suitable hammer action at your disposal. Wanting to have just one board for everything is probably the most common reason for the compromise. Though particularly if you want to keep weight down, I'm not convinced that *every* hammer action board is better for piano than *every* non-hammer board. I've played some hammer boards that just didn't work for me, where I'd actually have rather played a decent SW.

Originally Posted By: ITGITC?
I don't even think waterfall keys on organs mean that much either. The finest organs in the world have keys the look like diving boards. I've had 3 Hammonds with diving boards(E112, B3000, XB2). Never cut myself in 40 years. .... Also never broke a Hammond key....

I also don't insist on waterfall... I actually liked the original digital CX3 action (which had a bit of a lip) over the later true waterfall. Diving board can be okay, but if the slant goes deep enough that there are "openings" in the side when you depress a key, that can make for uncomfortable side swipes. Also, the fact that a "real" hammond used a certain kind of key doesn't automatically make it desirable. My old Hammond C had edges that were too sharp, and yes, I bled! I Also I broke tons of keys on my old analog CX3, the black keys in particular just weren't designed to hold up to side-to-side motion, i.e. from swiping.


Edited by AnotherScott (02/12/18 09:25 AM)
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#2908977 - 02/12/18 10:00 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: AnotherScott]
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There's Hammer and Non-Hammer, sure, but I think there's more to it than that. Within each of those 2 categories, there are gradients from light to heavy. There are light hammer action keyboards, and heavy non-hammer action keyboards. And I agree with BurningBusch that even on a non hammer action, as long as it isn't sluggish, more weight makes it easier to get your timing tight and I think is more playable than a really light action. Even a real piano can have a really light action that I don't prefer.
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#2908980 - 02/12/18 10:13 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: J. Dan]
gg22 Offline
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Nothing wrong with the real "semi-weighted" actions (think Yamaha DX7), they are very acceptable for playing piano.

The problem is when some manufacturers just put tighter springs instead of weights and call their actions "semi-weighted" for marketing purposes (Kurzweil is the biggest offender here with their "springy" action on LE series).

The real semi-weighted action doesn't push back, unlike "super-springy".

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#2909006 - 02/12/18 11:22 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: gg22]
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The action on my Vox Continental is, in my opinion, the best example of "semi-weighted" that works well for organ, synth, and piano. I believe it is the same as the Kronos (true semi-weighted). It's a major reason I consider the Conti a keeper despite it's rather obvious shortcomings. But even with that, I can never really find my piano groove on it. Playing a Rhodes sound I can come a little bit closer.

In some ideal parallel universe, there's a semi-weighted action that, if you just play it and acclimate to it enough, is possible to play piano well on. That's not the universe I've been living in.

I see from their ad material that Korg is calling the Prologue "natural synth" action, distinguishing from the Vox which they call "semi weighted."
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#2909008 - 02/12/18 11:26 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: Adan]
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I once sketched out a design for a variable weighted controller. Each key contained what would be similar to motorized faders except it moved weights and adjusted spring tension. The idea was that for each patch, you could set up zones with whatever weighting and springiness you wanted for the patch in that zone or even grading across a zone. Looked good on paper, never prototyped it. Started doing some rough math and figured out that it would be prohibitively expensive and heavy.
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#2909010 - 02/12/18 11:45 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: J. Dan]
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I used to have an Kurzweil SP4-7 I didn't mind the action on that for piano. I thought it was a pretty fair compromise. It was the old triple strike piano sound I didn't get along with. I prefer a fully weighted action but that's not always true. I have tried some actions in the past that for me didn't work as well as the SP4. Right now I have my eye on the Grandstage 73, I rather liked the RH3 action on my SV1 73.
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#2909157 - 02/12/18 08:39 PM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: Toano88]
Donsta Offline
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I want to thank all that contributed to the discussion so far. I've learned a lot.

Nothing beats actually playing a board. The lack of local stores carrying a decent selection is killing me.

Thanks again
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#2909163 - 02/12/18 09:20 PM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: Markyboard]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Originally Posted By: Markyboard
Originally Posted By: Jazz+
I have Scarbee EP in my iPhone now and am wondering if any of the USB portable 49 or 61 key controllers have fast good traction ( inertia, leverage that doesn’t feel like feathers, wet sponge, flopping around) playable Rhodes piano actions.



IMO this is the best feeling dedicated controller in the category you specified.



NI Komplete Kontrol


Marky - the Kontakt controllers are Fatar TP-8 (maybe TP-9?) actions like just about every other controller, synth not made by Roland/Korg/Yamaha/Casio/Kawai. Anything else that you like about their controller?
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#2909193 - 02/13/18 04:52 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: ElmerJFudd]
BuckW Offline
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I found the Kontakt non weighted inferior to the Nord in every way and couldn't be happier with the stage 3 compact even for piano; but then, I'm not a Beethoven's 4th piano concerto kind of player.

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#2909200 - 02/13/18 05:16 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: ElmerJFudd]
Markyboard Offline
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Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
Originally Posted By: Markyboard
Originally Posted By: Jazz+
I have Scarbee EP in my iPhone now and am wondering if any of the USB portable 49 or 61 key controllers have fast good traction ( inertia, leverage that doesn’t feel like feathers, wet sponge, flopping around) playable Rhodes piano actions.



IMO this is the best feeling dedicated controller in the category you specified.



NI Komplete Kontrol


Marky - the Kontakt controllers are Fatar TP-8 (maybe TP-9?) actions like just about every other controller, synth not made by Roland/Korg/Yamaha/Casio/Kawai. Anything else that you like about their controller?


My comment was strictly based on the feel and ability to control a piano/Rhodes type soft synth within the category that Jazz+ was inquiring about; 49/61 keys,portable usb. I believe the Kontrol uses the TP-9s. Aside from feel/response I'm not a big fan of this controller as is doesn't handle external keyboards very well.

The only other dedicated controller I'm aware of that uses the TP/9S is the Novation SL Mk II series. The velocity curves on these suck imo. I don't think any Nord falls into the category being asked about although I may have misunderstood the intent here.

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#2909201 - 02/13/18 05:33 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: Markyboard]
drawback Offline
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Since we’re all over the map in this thread I’d like to mention that probably the best actions I’ve ever played in their categories are from Yamaha: CP4 and Montage 61. My SL88 Studio wins the silver in freestyle hammer.
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#2909204 - 02/13/18 05:42 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: ITGITC?]
joegerardi Offline
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Originally Posted By: ITGITC?
There's hammer action. Then there's everything else.


Kind of an arrogant statement, don't you think?

To an organist, there's unweighted, then there's everything else.

To a pipe organist, there's tracker action, then there's everything else.

To a Hammond player, there's waterfall, then there's everything else.

To a harpsichordist, there's the harpsichord action, then there's everything else.

To a synth player, there's the synth keybed, then there's everything else.

Not really cool to diminish everyone else's preference, just because they're not a pianist.

Quote:
Real pianists simply do not like semi weighted keybeds

teashea, I call bullshit: I'm a "real" pianist, 15 years of lessons, majored in performance piano in college, and I would jump on an 88 key light action in a minute. Yes, I CAN play Chopin on them. And Fliszt. And Rachmininoff. With proper expression. In fact, I'm looking at a Kronos LS for that very reason.

It's a keybed. If you can control the muscles of your fingers to hit the right notes, then you can control them to play in any style. And on any keybed. And at any speed.

it just depends on how hard you're willing to practice.

And how much you're not going to be a pompous ass about it.

..Joe
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#2909209 - 02/13/18 06:01 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: joegerardi]
ITGITC? Offline
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Joe, check your messages.

Tom
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#2909217 - 02/13/18 06:37 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: Donsta]
Al Coda Offline
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My prefered synth actions were DX7 / DX7mkII / KX76,- but I doubt these were "semi weighted".

My prefered "semi weighted" synth action is Fatar TP9S (Kurzweil PC361 / PC3K6 and IIRC,- also in the Minimoog D reissue).

When I set the keyboard action map in the PC361 to "TP40L", which is the action the internal programs are designed for, I can play any program/setup on that action.
But because I own a 88 fully weighted keys bottom board, I combine it w/ the TP9S action.

I´d really wish to get a MIDI masterkeyboard w/ the features of the Viscount Physis Piano K4/K5 controllers and offering a 76-keys Fatar TP9S action.

Listen Viscount,- please make me a Physis K7 !
And I prefered it in black finish, not blue ... if possible. grin

A.C.

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#2909219 - 02/13/18 06:41 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: joegerardi]
Reezekeys Offline
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Originally Posted By: joegerardi
Originally Posted By: ITGITC?
There's hammer action. Then there's everything else.


It's a keybed. If you can control the muscles of your fingers to hit the right notes, then you can control them to play in any style. And on any keybed. And at any speed.

it just depends on how hard you're willing to practice.

..Joe

I agree with both Joe and ITGITC; perhaps it's just semantics. I don't distinguish between different "non-hammer" actions. Of course there's great variability between them - mostly in the resistance of the the springs – or maybe some put weights in the keys. Still, "action" to me relates to the physical sensation you have of pressing down a key. Hammer actions have the haptic feedback that you get from the escapement mechanism - or whatever the manufacturer does to simulate the escapement mechanism. Purely spring-loaded actions don't give you that particular feedback. That's my uninformed opinion anyway, I'm happy to be corrected if I have any facts wrong. Speaking for myself only, I consider myself a pianist and play my acoustic piano plugin happily on my Roland synth-action board – so yea, teashea, it was a little presumptious to say what a "real" pianist wants to play on.

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#2909230 - 02/13/18 07:09 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: Reezekeys]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Blanket statements are always loaded, prone to offense or disagreement. No big deal. I'll offer the other perspective... we thankfully have many choices available to us, given the choice I'd prefer to play an instrument that has weight and swing to it when playing material that was written for acoustic pianos. Feels better, feels right, reacts more similarly to instruments I grew up playing. Yes of course I can play that kind of material on an organ-like action, but it's not enjoyable - time spent practicing on it or not. But, no two actions are identical on acoustic or digital instruments for a variety of reasons - so we are always adjusting in real time to the instrument we are on at the moment (and the patch we are currently playing).
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#2909244 - 02/13/18 08:09 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: ElmerJFudd]
Reezekeys Offline
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With gear it's always about choices. If it weren't for shleprosy I might be playing a weighted action board now. I look at it like this: the escapement mechanism of a real acoustic piano has a design that allows for very nuanced control of that hammer before it "escapes" on it's journey to strike the string(s). The "escapement mechanism" of a weighted action controller keyboard is, at the end of the day, transmitting a midi velocity number between 1 and 127; same as the unweighted board. Of course you may prefer its familiar "feel" - which as you say, "reacts more similarly to instruments I grew up playing." My point is that I've spent enough time playing my virtual AP with my synth action to make it feel familiar to me.

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#2909253 - 02/13/18 08:31 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: Reezekeys]
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For most of us, our keyboard equipment decisions are based on the fact that our time is limited and so, for instance, we don't the the luxury of developing an at-home piano technique and a separate on-the-gig piano technique.
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#2909256 - 02/13/18 08:39 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: Adan]
ApprenticeGary Offline
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My fantom x6 ‘ action feels so much better than my nord electro 5d..Pure action wise, the jupiter 50 might feel the same as the fantom, but I like fantom’s sounds better, which makes the keys “feel better”.
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#2909263 - 02/13/18 09:14 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: Reezekeys]
burningbusch Offline
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Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
With gear it's always about choices. If it weren't for shleprosy I might be playing a weighted action board now. I look at it like this: the escapement mechanism of a real acoustic piano has a design that allows for very nuanced control of that hammer before it "escapes" on it's journey to strike the string(s). The "escapement mechanism" of a weighted action controller keyboard is, at the end of the day, transmitting a midi velocity number between 1 and 127; same as the unweighted board. Of course you may prefer its familiar "feel" - which as you say, "reacts more similarly to instruments I grew up playing." My point is that I've spent enough time playing my virtual AP with my synth action to make it feel familiar to me.


Unless I'm misreading you, you seem to be using the term escapement in a non-traditional sense of the word. Maybe there are a few sophisticated DP actions that have the equivalent of the escapement mechanism (technically double escapement), I don't know. I know there was a high-end Roland DP action that simulates the escapement bump (the slight resistance point you feel when playing a note softly), but it only simulates this artifact and does not provide actual double escapement.

Acoustic piano keys are weighted. Without the weights, you would essentially have the feel of a Rhodes.

Busch.

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#2909273 - 02/13/18 09:52 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: burningbusch]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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And Rhodes are hit and miss in their playability like few other keyboard instruments post WWII.
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#2909283 - 02/13/18 10:37 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: burningbusch]
Reezekeys Offline
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Originally Posted By: burningbusch
Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
With gear it's always about choices. If it weren't for shleprosy I might be playing a weighted action board now. I look at it like this: the escapement mechanism of a real acoustic piano has a design that allows for very nuanced control of that hammer before it "escapes" on it's journey to strike the string(s). The "escapement mechanism" of a weighted action controller keyboard is, at the end of the day, transmitting a midi velocity number between 1 and 127; same as the unweighted board. Of course you may prefer its familiar "feel" - which as you say, "reacts more similarly to instruments I grew up playing." My point is that I've spent enough time playing my virtual AP with my synth action to make it feel familiar to me.


Unless I'm misreading you, you seem to be using the term escapement in a non-traditional sense of the word. Maybe there are a few sophisticated DP actions that have the equivalent of the escapement mechanism (technically double escapement), I don't know. I know there was a high-end Roland DP action that simulates the escapement bump (the slight resistance point you feel when playing a note softly), but it only simulates this artifact and does not provide actual double escapement.

Acoustic piano keys are weighted. Without the weights, you would essentially have the feel of a Rhodes.

Busch.

Well I did cover my ass in a previous post by saying "I'm happy to be corrected if I have any facts wrong." smile

"Weighted", "hammer-action"... I guess I see them as the same. "Traditional" piano-feel would be another term I'd use. I thought "escapement" referred to the action in an acoustic piano where the hammer is driven upwards by the key's fulcrum mechanism, which produces the "bump" we know. I assumed that the DPs that tout this are not using actions that are like real pianos, but somehow simulate the "bump."

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#2909288 - 02/13/18 10:51 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: Reezekeys]
burningbusch Offline
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The modern use of the term escapement is actually double escapement, i.e. the hammer not fully returning which allows for quicker double strikes. The bump is an artifact of the double escapement mechanism. I don't know of double escapement being implemented in DPs outside of something like the AvantGrand, which is a full acoustic piano action.

Busch.

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#2909330 - 02/13/18 01:12 PM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: burningbusch]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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The Kawai Novus thing will be an acoustic grand action as well.
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#2909381 - 02/13/18 04:51 PM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: Markyboard]
tfort Offline
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Originally Posted By: Markyboard

Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd

Marky - the Kontakt controllers are Fatar TP-8 (maybe TP-9?) actions like just about every other controller, synth not made by Roland/Korg/Yamaha/Casio/Kawai. Anything else that you like about their controller?


My comment was strictly based on the feel and ability to control a piano/Rhodes type soft synth within the category that Jazz+ was inquiring about; 49/61 keys,portable usb. I believe the Kontrol uses the TP-9s. Aside from feel/response I'm not a big fan of this controller as is doesn't handle external keyboards very well.

The only other dedicated controller I'm aware of that uses the TP/9S is the Novation SL Mk II series. The velocity curves on these suck imo. I don't think any Nord falls into the category being asked about although I may have misunderstood the intent here.


I believe the S61 and S61Mk2 use the TP9/S. The feel should be very similar in the cheaper Studiologic Compact 2 and similarly priced Compact 2X (when it becomes available) which use the TP9/P. All those boards are TP9 boards with aftertouch.

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#2909396 - 02/13/18 06:33 PM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: joegerardi]
ITGITC? Offline
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Originally Posted By: joegerardi
Originally Posted By: ITGITC?
There's hammer action. Then there's everything else.


Kind of an arrogant statement, don't you think?

To an organist, there's unweighted, then there's everything else.

To a pipe organist, there's tracker action, then there's everything else.

To a Hammond player, there's waterfall, then there's everything else.

To a harpsichordist, there's the harpsichord action, then there's everything else.

To a synth player, there's the synth keybed, then there's everything else.

Not really cool to diminish everyone else's preference, just because they're not a pianist.

Quote:
Real pianists simply do not like semi weighted keybeds

teashea, I call bullshit: I'm a "real" pianist, 15 years of lessons, majored in performance piano in college, and I would jump on an 88 key light action in a minute. Yes, I CAN play Chopin on them. And Fliszt. And Rachmininoff. With proper expression. In fact, I'm looking at a Kronos LS for that very reason.

It's a keybed. If you can control the muscles of your fingers to hit the right notes, then you can control them to play in any style. And on any keybed. And at any speed.

it just depends on how hard you're willing to practice.

And how much you're not going to be a pompous ass about it.

..Joe


To clarify my post within the original context. I wrote, "Agreed. Semi-weighted action is a marketing misnomer. There's hammer action. Then there's everything else. And you simply have to put your hands on the keyboard to see if its action works for your needs."

As a pianist who has played many types of actions, I have found that I play much better on a hammer action than any other.

Simple, huh?

I fail to understand why the person who posted the response above thinks that mine is an arrogant statement then mockingly lists actions that may be suitable for players of other instruments. He states that I am diminishing everyone else's preference because they're not a pianist. No. I am simply stating that I play better on a keyboard with hammer action.

Later in his post he attacks another member of this forum and exclaims how he is a "real" pianist and goes on to make a list to justify his demeaning comments. This certainly is not warranted.

After "calling bullshit" (his words) and suggesting to the forum member that he is a pompous ass (again, his language), it made me think that there could be personal problems that are greatly troubling him, as this is plainly reflected in his angry post. Wanting to offer the opportunity to make things right, I sent a private message asking him to clarify his position and edit his post. Although I requested this multiple times, his original post remains unchanged, as seen above.

Ladies and gentlemen of this forum, I have been posting here for many years. There was a time when the people here felt like family. I made the remark repeatedly how it was like meeting old friends at a corner bar on a Saturday afternoon, enjoying good conversation and a cold beverage.

Those who have met me know that it has never been my intention to deliver a statement that in any way would be arrogant or hurtful. However, if you tolerate those who perpetuate this type of attitude, if you are complicit and don't call it out, good members will leave and potential new members will go elsewhere.

Finally, none of us know what others here are going through in their daily lives. Many have problems that they are facing and visit this forum to try to forget about them and be around friends - or at least be in a friendly environment. It would be wise for all of us to practice tolerance and kindness whenever we are given the opportunity.

Thanks.

Tom

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#2909398 - 02/13/18 06:39 PM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: ITGITC?]
Adan Online   content
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Not the first such post I've seen from joegirardi. To some people, the internet looks like a big punching bag on which they can vent their frustrations.
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#2909399 - 02/13/18 07:01 PM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: Adan]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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It's a big world, you run into lots of people.
Sometimes you just don't speak the same language even if it's English and you're talking about piano keyboards.
Good thing we keep certain topics out of here, lest we see heads butt far more frequently.
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#2909454 - 02/14/18 05:41 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: Adan]
joegerardi Offline
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Originally Posted By: Adan
Not the first such post I've seen from joegirardi.


And certainly won't be the last.

Please learn to spell my name correctly when you take it in vain.

And Tom, the reason I took umbrage is because your post tends to make it look like hammer keys are somehow ABOVE every other type of action:
"There's hammer action. Then there's everything else."

Which implies they are above or better than all other actions.

Which - by extension - would also imply that (for example) Williams digital pianos' action are above everything else, no? I mean, they're hammer actions, aren't they? So are you categorically stating THOSE before all other action?

So, yeah, I think it arrogant to state that one is above all others without the codicil explaining to what you're referring.

And I stand by that.

..Joe
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#2909460 - 02/14/18 06:10 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: tfort]
Markyboard Offline
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Originally Posted By: tfort


I believe the S61 and S61Mk2 use the TP9/S. The feel should be very similar in the cheaper Studiologic Compact 2 and similarly priced Compact 2X (when it becomes available) which use the TP9/P. All those boards are TP9 boards with aftertouch.


I'm not familiar with those Studiologic boards but you very well may be right. Either way I suspect these are not what Jazz+ had in mind.

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#2909466 - 02/14/18 06:24 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: ITGITC?]
Markay Offline
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Tom, in my albeit short period of forum membership compared to yours, I cannot recall a post you have contributed that has been anything other than humorous and/or informative and graciously worded. Including your posts in this thread.

More beer cheers
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#2909471 - 02/14/18 06:59 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: Markay]
Adan Online   content
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Saying Tom is arrogant, in the relative context of this forum, is like passing by the tigers and pythons at the zoo, pointing to the panda bear and saying "look at that how that vicious creature is tearing up those shoots and leaves."

This is a thread titled "semi-weighted keyboards." If you can't remain calm and objective about a subject like this, then I think you own your problems. Not trying to pick a fight with anyone, but I think Tom deserves a strong defense here.


Edited by Adan (02/14/18 07:01 AM)
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#2909480 - 02/14/18 07:48 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: joegerardi]
AnotherScott Offline
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Originally Posted By: joegerardi
And Tom, the reason I took umbrage is because your post tends to make it look like hammer keys are somehow ABOVE every other type of action:
"There's hammer action. Then there's everything else."

Which implies they are above or better than all other actions.

I see how you can take it that way, but it does not have to be taken that way,
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#2909622 - 02/14/18 02:11 PM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: AnotherScott]
stoken6 Offline
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I didn't take Tom's comment as a snark or any kind of arrogance. Merely that he classifies all non-hammer actions in one category. (I don't actually think Tom is capable of snark. Beer, yes, but not snark).

Am I right that all hammer actions (Casio, Kawai, TP100, TP40 etc.) use gravity to return the key to horizontal? So maybe the distinction is between "gravity return" and "sprung return".

Cheers, Mike
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#2909629 - 02/14/18 02:22 PM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: ITGITC?]
timwat Offline
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Originally Posted By: ITGITC?
Those who have met me know that it has never been my intention to deliver a statement that in any way would be arrogant or hurtful. However, if you tolerate those who perpetuate this type of attitude, if you are complicit and don't call it out, good members will leave and potential new members will go elsewhere.

Finally, none of us know what others here are going through in their daily lives. Many have problems that they are facing and visit this forum to try to forget about them and be around friends - or at least be in a friendly environment. It would be wise for all of us to practice tolerance and kindness whenever we are given the opportunity.

Thanks.

Tom



Tom, I concur. This forum still represents a community to me, primarily because of the long-term members who have been there for me during some pretty dark times over the years, and I've had the pleasure to help from time to time as well.

And we also talk keyboards here.

From time to time, internet forums like this attract all sorts of folks. Folks with a thinly-veiled agenda, some with an axe to grind, some just looking to troll and piss people off for their own entertainment. Many of these have come and gone in the time I've been here.

I've said it before - I consider Tom a friend though we've yet to meet in person. I dislike it when others inappropriately attribute arrogance and such to my friends, and it tends to piss me off. I also realize everyone's got a burden their carrying, and sometimes we phrase things in ways, that, had we to do over again, we might phrase differently. Or not in some cases.

Nevertheless, for all the shite going on in the world, attributing arrogance to someone over their personal preferences in electronic keyboard actions seems a bit over the top. I hope a little perspective helps us all return to the best versions of ourselves.
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#2909649 - 02/14/18 03:22 PM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: stoken6]
AnotherScott Offline
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Originally Posted By: stoken6
Am I right that all hammer actions (Casio, Kawai, TP100, TP40 etc.) use gravity to return the key to horizontal?

Yes, which is why it is especially important to play them at a proper angle, and be careful about stores that put weighted actions up on high shelves that have to be tilted down... they won't play the same when they're angled.
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#2909690 - 02/14/18 05:19 PM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: Markyboard]
tfort Offline
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Originally Posted By: Markyboard
Originally Posted By: tfort


I believe the S61 and S61Mk2 use the TP9/S. The feel should be very similar in the cheaper Studiologic Compact 2 and similarly priced Compact 2X (when it becomes available) which use the TP9/P. All those boards are TP9 boards with aftertouch.


I'm not familiar with those Studiologic boards but you very well may be right. Either way I suspect these are not what Jazz+ had in mind.


Yes, but I mentioned them since they're still supremely portable despite having 88 keys. I am looking for a 73 key waterfall controller; finding none I had been on the fence between the S61 mk2 and the Compact 2, and am now leaning toward the C2X.

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#2909694 - 02/14/18 05:34 PM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: AnotherScott]
ProfD Offline
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Brotha Tom is someone I've known personally for many years now. He isn't snarky or arrogant. Quite the opposite if you know him.

This forum is a great place to hang in general. We have a diverse cast of characters. There is a wealth of knowledge here too.

Internet communication can be a slippery slope because it doesn't always translate tone and/or emotion.

We can agree to disagree but other than an ad hominem attack, there's really no reason to have beef with another forumite and/or get bent outta shape around here.

Any misunderstandings can be resolved in a thread or via PM. cool
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#2909753 - 02/15/18 03:18 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: ProfD]
Dave Ferris Offline
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I don't drink beer or anything else alcohol related for that matter. As hard core as I go is Dr. Pepper but that's just with Mexican food. grin

But maybe I'd make an exception if I met Tom sometime. idea

In fact maybe I'll go visit my friend Jim in Carrboro. He makes really nice bikes. Some of the best on the Planet. drool
http://kishbike.com/

If I do, maybe I'll let Tom ride my bike if he lets me play his Nord. rockit

That's the only conceivable way I can see myself offering an opinion on -- "There's hammer action. Then there's everything else" . keys

I sure hope they have good Mexican restaurants back there where Tom lives. And I hope Tom is buying. Because after one of Jim's bikes, I won't have any money left over for even a Dr. Pepper. cheers
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#2909804 - 02/15/18 06:55 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: Dave Ferris]
Adan Online   content
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Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 2662
Loc: San Francisco
Talk about thread drift . . . semi-weighted keyboards to mountain bikes. Funny to me though because the peak of my mountain biking enthusiasm was when I lived in Durham. Great trails around there. Ultimately, it wasn't good for my back and I had to change my focus.
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#2909833 - 02/15/18 08:32 AM Re: Semi-weighted keyboards? [Re: Dave Ferris]
ITGITC? Offline
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Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 17500
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
I don't drink beer or anything else alcohol related for that matter. As hard core as I go is Dr. Pepper but that's just with Mexican food. grin

But maybe I'd make an exception if I met Tom sometime. idea

In fact maybe I'll go visit my friend Jim in Carrboro. He makes really nice bikes. Some of the best on the Planet. drool
http://kishbike.com/

If I do, maybe I'll let Tom ride my bike if he lets me play his Nord. rockit

That's the only conceivable way I can see myself offering an opinion on -- "There's hammer action. Then there's everything else" . keys

I sure hope they have good Mexican restaurants back there where Tom lives. And I hope Tom is buying. Because after one of Jim's bikes, I won't have any money left over for even a Dr. Pepper. cheers


Dave Ferris, come for a visit! Have you been to see Jim's shops in Carrboro, or just visited his website? Carrboro is just a spit from UNC Chapel Hill, as you know. I am CERTAIN there's Mexican food, and just about anything else you would like. And although I do like to have a beer or two with friends, I like Dr. Pepper too! No worries!

In my twenties, my wife and I enjoyed bikes. I had a Raleigh. She had a Trek. We weren't serious about it, but we had some great fun taking the bikes to various locations to ride. I have not been to Jim's shop, but I'd enjoy seeing how far the tech has come.

Of course you can play the Electro 3HP! I also have a nice Chickering upright. It needs tuning, but I just have to put this on my schedule. The great thing about that piano is the latency is really, really low! wink

And yes, if you end up buying one of Jim's bikes, we can flip a coin to see who pays for lunch... if you have a coin left over!

Thanks, Dave!

Tom
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