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#2912993 - 03/04/18 08:11 AM The best keybed for totally silent practicing
Adan Offline
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Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 2629
Loc: San Francisco
If you either live alone or have your own separate practice studio, then this is probably never an issue for you. Our house is sort of like a giant echo chamber, you can hear a mouse's footsteps two floors down. Because I have two little kids, my best chance to practice is by headphones when everyone else is asleep.

But this is where I have a big issue with my wife. She can't stand the sound of clacking keyboards. It's something I was never aware of when I lived alone, but she's got a valid complaint. The noise of the keyboard when someone is playing "silently" is truly annoying.

I recenly bought a Roland GoKeys for our kids to play, and they do play it. Well, mostly, they activate the grooves and bang the keyboard randomly, which means they are already halfway towards being a famous DJ making $10K a night in Vegas.

But the real value of the GoKeys for me is that it's maybe the quietest key action I've found, virtually silent. And the sounds and feel are not terrible. So there I am, late nights and early mornings, sitting on the living room couch with the GoKeys on my lap, getting in my best practicing of the day. At $300 to save a marriage, the GoKeys has been a great investment.

I wish I could be doing this on weighted keys, or on a keyboard that had a better organ sound, but that seems to be impossible.

Does anyone have a brilliant solution for this situation? I love my family, so divorce is not on the table.



Edited by Adan (03/04/18 08:14 AM)
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#2912998 - 03/04/18 08:30 AM Re: The best keybed for totally silent practicing [Re: Adan]
EscapeRocks Offline
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Registered: 08/12/03
Posts: 4828
Loc: Texas
Adan,

I have not found a digital piano action keyboard that is totally silent in the way that you need.

The quietest keyboard I have as far as key noise is my semi-weighted Nektar LX88+ controller. The loudest part happens when you hear my thumbnail across the keys doing a glis..

Hopefully others can chime in if they have a good solution.
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#2913005 - 03/04/18 09:08 AM Re: The best keybed for totally silent practicing [Re: EscapeRocks]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Registered: 11/30/14
Posts: 6397
Loc: USA, greater NY area
Hi, a lot of noise is created from transfer of energy into floor.
If you pick a weighted action slab or console with a fairly quiet action (the higher quality ones are quieter) you can further reduce noise by seating stand/case on a nice thick carpet or area rug. Those foam/rubbery interlocking squares they use in the gym. Also, if possible have the "piano" on ground floor or basement of home. Obviously putting upstairs is going to create noise transfer through the floor for those dwelling downstairs to enjoy.
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#2913008 - 03/04/18 10:04 AM Re: The best keybed for totally silent practicing [Re: ElmerJFudd]
waygetter Offline
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Registered: 03/11/07
Posts: 683
Loc: San Francisco, CA
I did a lot of research on this topic. OK, really, just about 5 seconds of googling. Here's what I found.

OK, it's not exactly silent.

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#2913022 - 03/04/18 11:50 AM Re: The best keybed for totally silent practicing [Re: waygetter]
Theo Verelst Offline
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Registered: 02/27/10
Posts: 4014
I made a CP4 quiet enough for next room with-very-thin-wall sleeping by using my own wooden stand with rubber wheels have a layer of actual drum-cabin dampening materials strategically on it.

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#2913088 - 03/04/18 09:18 PM Re: The best keybed for totally silent practicing [Re: Theo Verelst]
cphollis Offline
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Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 2519
Loc: Massachussets, Florida
No. If you want to play real AP actions (and you should), there's gonna be some clacking. If I had to go completely silent, it would suck bigtime.
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#2913094 - 03/04/18 09:51 PM Re: The best keybed for totally silent practicing [Re: cphollis]
mate stubb Offline
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Registered: 10/26/03
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If you are practicing a couple rooms away with silenced audio thru closed doors and they are still complaining:

1. Try a little white noise in the bedroom where the complainer sleeps. Run a fan.

2. Earplugs for the family while they sleep.

Seriously, it should not be unreasonable to be able to practice your instrument.
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#2913124 - 03/05/18 06:46 AM Re: The best keybed for totally silent practicing [Re: mate stubb]
Bobby Simons Offline
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Registered: 12/28/17
Posts: 465
Loc: Northport, L.I., NY
Forget about others - the clacking bothers ME when I play at softer outputs. Believe it or not, if I'm practicing energetic pieces I will often wear my molded musician plugs along with over-the-ear headphones. The fidelity takes a hit but I'm only practicing - and the keybed is blissfully silent.
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#2913158 - 03/05/18 10:28 AM Re: The best keybed for totally silent practicing [Re: mate stubb]
Tom Williams Offline
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Registered: 01/04/14
Posts: 945
Loc: West Virginia
Originally Posted By: mate stubb
Try a little white noise in the bedroom where the complainer sleeps. Run a fan.
Pink noise may hide the low-frequency leakage a bit better. If you have a store in the area that specializes in babies, a "womb sound generator" is pretty close to pink noise.

Because my brain is very aurally oriented (sort of ADHD for sounds), I have great difficulty sleeping without some noise source to cover environmental background sound. Depending on the location, I use
  • FM Radio tuned between stations
  • a fan
  • a pink noise patch on my AX-Synth, through a small Acoustic bass amp. A pair of shoes holds the keys down overnight.
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#2914353 - 03/11/18 04:48 PM Re: The best keybed for totally silent practicing [Re: Adan]
AnotherScott Offline
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Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 12700
Originally Posted By: Adan
I wish I could be doing this on weighted keys, or on a keyboard that had a better organ sound, but that seems to be impossible.

Does anyone have a brilliant solution for this situation? I love my family, so divorce is not on the table.

You could buy her earplugs.

Assuming that doesn't fly, I doubt any weighted action will get as silent as some of the un/semis if for no other reason than they have gravity pulling down a metal hammer on every release, and that hammer is going to hit something. I can see it being heavily damped (and some hammer actions are certainly quieter than others), but I don't see it being close to silent. If it's lower frequency, the sound of the hit won't carry as far (Kawai MP7, for example, seems quieter than most I've played, and what's there seems more like a low thud than a high clack, which may be less irritating).

Even non-hammer actions can be pretty clacky sounding. I suspect choosing something with aftertouch probably helps, as the keys should have a softer landing. Probably the quietest board I've played is the Kronos 61. Pricey if you only need it for its quiet keys, but you can have an awful lot of other fun with it, and it's still way cheaper as well as more desirable than the divorce.
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#2914433 - 03/12/18 06:49 AM Re: The best keybed for totally silent practicing [Re: AnotherScott]
tfort Offline
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Registered: 05/06/16
Posts: 256
There was a thread on the PianoWorld forum a while back where members described reducing the overall sound of their slab keyboards by placing sorborthane “Mega Feet” vibration absorbing elastomer blobs between the keyboards and their stands. This might not reduce the keybed sound much, but could help less of that sound get passed on through your stand to the floor:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.p...oard-thump.html

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#2914434 - 03/12/18 07:01 AM Re: The best keybed for totally silent practicing [Re: tfort]
Adan Offline
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Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 2629
Loc: San Francisco
Thanks, everyone for the replies. Part of the problem is the idiosyncracies of our house (which we, for the most part, love). You'd think isolated practicing should be possible but in our house, not so much. I'm not sure there's any good solutions here, just workarounds and compromises, like sometimes practicing on a GoKeys.
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#2914435 - 03/12/18 07:03 AM Re: The best keybed for totally silent practicing [Re: tfort]
Stokely Offline
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Registered: 12/15/12
Posts: 1904
Loc: Florida
Sorry but your wife sounds pretty unreasonable. It would be one thing to say "Honey, I'm bringing the boys over a couple nights a week to play poker and smoke cigars"...you are doing music. I can't think of a more worthy hobby or activity, especially considering you are influencing your kids to play. Perhaps there's some way to get her some good headphones for music/tv if it really bothers her that much during your practice time. Give and take. Sorry if that sounds harsh.

I've been married 20 years and between my wife and I and two kids--and a piano in the living room--yeah it gets loud sometimes with all the activities. But it's worth it.


Edited by Stokely (03/12/18 07:04 AM)

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#2914438 - 03/12/18 07:16 AM Re: The best keybed for totally silent practicing [Re: Adan]
Markyboard Offline
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Registered: 02/10/01
Posts: 5974
Loc: Springfield, Virginia
Originally Posted By: Adan
Our house is sort of like a giant echo chamber, you can hear a mouse's footsteps two floors down.


Is your house carpeted? We rented a house many years ago that had all hardwood floors - no carpet. It was pretty much as you described. Never again.

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#2914441 - 03/12/18 07:42 AM Re: The best keybed for totally silent practicing [Re: Stokely]
Wastrel Offline
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Registered: 05/13/09
Posts: 2651
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: Stokely
Sorry but your wife sounds pretty unreasonable. Sorry if that sounds harsh.


I think you are being unduly harsh. A good night's sleep is absolutely vital for physical and mental well being, and if something keeps you awake, it is keeping you awake. Simple as that. It is not as though you are not cooperating, or being unsupportive. I started a thread on this very topic a couple of years ago - which has since fallen off the archive because I can't find it - and never really was able to come up with a viable solution. The only semi compromise I discovered was that playing softly was less irritating than playing with headphones. The disjointed clacking and thumping without a musical context to ground it is far more annoying than audible piano at low volumes.
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#2914443 - 03/12/18 07:51 AM Re: The best keybed for totally silent practicing [Re: Wastrel]
Stokely Offline
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Registered: 12/15/12
Posts: 1904
Loc: Florida
Well, if it is keep her from sleeping that is a very different story. Is it possible for you to practice when she isn't sleeping? From my own experience, when my wife went through a late-night working phase--it's very difficult when people keep different schedules no matter what they are doing. Little things like turning on faucets etc are enough to wake me up so I get that. I missed that in the thread, apologies.

But during the day, if both people are awake and just doing stuff around the house--if a keyboard playing with no sound is enough to cause "divorce", then I can imagine a lot of other things are going to be worse.


Edited by Stokely (03/12/18 07:52 AM)

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#2914446 - 03/12/18 08:10 AM Re: The best keybed for totally silent practicing [Re: Stokely]
Adan Offline
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Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 2629
Loc: San Francisco
No one minds if I play our acoustic piano during the day. The issue is finding practice time when the little kids are out of my hair. So there's that 2-hour window after we've put them to bed, but there's also dishes to be washed, lunches to be prepared, you know the drill . . . Suddenly it's 10 pm and my wife's trying to sleep, but she can hear the clack of a keyboard from anywhere in the house. She's not being unreasonable to not want that. We live in a funky hillside house in Marin county, no carpets and a partially open floorplan. It's an awesome house except when you're trying to play a keyboard late at night.
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#2914453 - 03/12/18 08:36 AM Re: The best keybed for totally silent practicing [Re: Adan]
AnotherScott Offline
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Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 12700
I'm wondering how you find the noise levels of your other non-hammer boards relative to your Go (i.e. Vox Continental, VR-09B).
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#2914461 - 03/12/18 09:15 AM Re: The best keybed for totally silent practicing [Re: AnotherScott]
Adan Offline
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Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 2629
Loc: San Francisco
In terms of keybed clacking, the Vox is by far the worst offender. It's just a fairly empty aluminum case that reverberates quite a bit. The VR09 is better, as is the Grandstage but a weighted keyboard will transmit more vibes into the floor, so that's kind of a separate problem.
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#2914468 - 03/12/18 09:41 AM Re: The best keybed for totally silent practicing [Re: Adan]
FJR Offline
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Registered: 07/07/09
Posts: 465
Loc: SF Bay

I have a similar problem. I'm not sure about this situation, but our real problem isn't the actual audible noise of the keys. Its the transfer of the pressing of the keys to the all-wood frame of the house. When its quiet you can hear this anywhere in the house. It doesn't change much to use a non-weighted keyboard (and I really don't want to practice on a semi-weighted keyboard, anyway).

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#2914497 - 03/12/18 10:59 AM Re: The best keybed for totally silent practicing [Re: FJR]
Theo Verelst Offline
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Registered: 02/27/10
Posts: 4014
Maybe we all end up with my ridiculous looking amount of damping under the CP4, even damping the board under the keys, making it feel a bit spongy when leaning on it hard, but with the added rubber wheels under my home made stand at least quiet enough with normal playing.

Wooden floors are maybe more sensitive and might require a heavy ground plate of sorts with a damping carpet in between. Those Marin houses sure look nice though!

T.

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#2914501 - 03/12/18 11:31 AM Re: The best keybed for totally silent practicing [Re: Theo Verelst]
Stokely Offline
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Registered: 12/15/12
Posts: 1904
Loc: Florida
Depending on weather in your area, can you move out to the porch temporarily? Outdoor (temporary) man-non-cave! I'd suggest holding off on the lunches and dishes until later but those are probably worse. Possibly some kind of screening could be put together but that would probably work better reducing a *loud* noise to *moderately-loud*--anything short of a booth or room probably won't help with this.

The offset schedule sounds like the real problem, as I mentioned I have been there in the "sleep early" camp and it didn't work well when my wife worked at home late. Assuming you both set aside 8 hrs and she is getting up early, can you try the same? Believe me I am NOT a morning person but I've had to do this to get my workouts in (plus workouts at night keep me awake). It's a struggle for me.

I've struggled with making my house work for a "studio" and the best I can do is a corner. Bottom line a different house would work better for me, and it sounds that way for you too, but that is easier said than done and there may be many reasons you would want to keep that house.


Edited by Stokely (03/12/18 11:32 AM)

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#2914502 - 03/12/18 11:31 AM Re: The best keybed for totally silent practicing [Re: Adan]
Spider76 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/01/13
Posts: 424
Originally Posted By: Adan
In terms of keybed clacking, the Vox is by far the worst offender. It's just a fairly empty aluminum case that reverberates quite a bit.


That applies also to all Nords, which are also famous for being noisy.
Even similar instruments with exactly the same keybed but plastic construction are usually less clunky.
So I think you nailed the point here, it's probably more to do with the general construction of the case, than with technical details such as action positioning, amount of damping etc.

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#2914521 - 03/12/18 12:57 PM Re: The best keybed for totally silent practicing [Re: Spider76]
MotiDave Offline
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Registered: 12/04/12
Posts: 1871
Loc: San Diego, CA USA
I've never had a keyboard that was so loud it disturbed people 2 floors away separated by multiple rooms, doors, hallways, and stairs. that is one loud clacker.

My wife will be sitting in an adjacent room to me; its an open floor plan so you can call it just one bigger room. she's maybe 30 feet away. she mentioned once that my keys made noise as i played "silent" in headphones.

I offered to bring my amp in from the garage to drown out the sound of keys and she said "no, no, ... i'm good". that was the last time she mentioned it. its been 4 yrs.

she's more upset with me setting up my beautiful professional keyboards tastefully against a space on the wall in her pristine living room. it disrupts the feng shui of her "looking-at" room (which is what I call it since nobody even uses the room - not even 3 times a year). She finally stopped complaining about that, she accepted that i'm going to set up keyboards to practice, no point fighting about it. but if I leave my keys out and go on a work trip, they will be put away in their cases when I get back. At first I'd gripe back "WTH - why can't i just have 3 feet of wall space in this entire large house that I work 2 jobs to provide for this family ... " blah blah ... man-gripe blah. After awhile I just accepted it ... its who she is, its what she is. its inside her, she can't control that or she already would. its the frog and the scorpion lol, she is adorable.

I now will just quietly get them back out and set them up again next time i want to practice without discussion. she won't complain when I set them up, and she'll wait for her next chance to hide them away again.

i don't complain when she puts them away, she doesn't complain when i take them out, and she doesn't ever mention the sound of keys. we've found our bliss.
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#2914522 - 03/12/18 01:16 PM Re: The best keybed for totally silent practicing [Re: MotiDave]
synthizen2 Offline
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Registered: 08/19/04
Posts: 824
Loc: USA
I think Hayley Mills got it right back in 1966... "The Silent Cardboard Piano"... Yup, just a sheet of cardboard with "keys" printed on it. You know, because the nuns get upset at the noise.

(Sorry, couldn't find a movie clip of this, woulda been funny...)

"A scathingly brilliant idea." crazy


Edited by synthizen2 (03/12/18 01:17 PM)
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