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Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
#3049401 06/17/20 07:56 PM
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I'm seriously thinking about getting one. There's a ton of positive feedback on it online. PianomanChuck shows how quiet the keys are, which is a big plus. I can't stand that klunk klunk klunk sound of most controllers. There are some older threads here too, but people change their mind after using an instrument for a longer period of time. Be nice to hear all of your good and bad experiences/feedback. Thanks!

KC Island
Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Sam CA #3049403 06/17/20 08:08 PM
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I played one a week and a half ago at Little Grey studio in Springfield, VA. Can't beat the action for piano. Actually, I was playing Wurli on V TINES, but it felt really good. Volume was being controlled via a Yamaha FC7 pedal. Vibrato depth (and anything else for that matter) had to be adjusted on the computer.


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
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Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Sam CA #3049404 06/17/20 08:08 PM
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Excellent piano action. I believe it is what Nord stuck in the Nord Grand. A good friend of mine picked it up for his wife, it’s in the house, works great with the software piano libraries and some of them have actually done dynamic curve settings specifically for it.


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Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Sam CA #3049405 06/17/20 08:09 PM
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I have had one for quite a while now. Very happy with it.

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Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Sam CA #3049420 06/17/20 08:56 PM
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Check that the software you are planning to control handles the triple sensor midi-implementation of the VPC1. I hoped to use a Kawai MP11 to control a Nord Stage 3 Compact but found that Nord did not react on retriggering via the middle sensor. Just a tip.

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Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Sam CA #3049421 06/17/20 08:57 PM
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At 30kg's it would need to be solid wink


The trouble with doing the job correctly first time, is no-one will ever know just how difficult it was.
Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
davedoerfler #3049422 06/17/20 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by davedoerfler
I played one a week and a half ago at Little Grey studio in Springfield, VA. Can't beat the action for piano. Actually, I was playing Wurli on V TINES, but it felt really good. Volume was being controlled via a Yamaha FC7 pedal. Vibrato depth (and anything else for that matter) had to be adjusted on the computer.

It’s my “time out” board for when I want to get socially distant with all the other tech. It’s positioned where I can’t reach the pc mouse, knobs, sliders or do anything else other than play. I do have 2 FC-7 pedals under it; 1 for volume (thus far) and 1 for whatever other parameter I choose to preset it up for in the VST. Both pedals are connected through my MOTU interface. The VPC-1 can only accommodate the 3 pedal set that comes with it- no other external CV inputs.

For piano type sounds I love it. Some people here find the action too heavy but I think it’s all what you’re used to.

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Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Sam CA #3049482 06/18/20 02:45 AM
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It sounds more and more like a perfect piano controller for me. I love heavy action keys! I usually buy my gears from Sweetwater. I don't remember ever paying for shipping with them, but looks like there is a shipping fee for this item. I gotta get a stand (piano chair height) too.

What do you think of this stand for this controller?

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/OmegaStd--k-and-m-omega-table-style-keyboard-stand-black

Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Sam CA #3049496 06/18/20 03:57 AM
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I use this Profile stand. Heavy and sturdy. Not expensive either. My vpc is also in the bottom of it's flight case. Profile Keyboard Stands KDS450MA

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Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Sam CA #3049501 06/18/20 04:25 AM
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Now for that VPC-2 ...

Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
ElmerJFudd #3049519 06/18/20 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ElmerJFudd
Excellent piano action. I believe it is what Nord stuck in the Nord Grand. .

Wasn't that the MP7SE action ? Just repeating what I thought I read on PW.

Totally fwiw, a recent exchange between me and EssBrace on PW talking about the Kawai and Yamaha P-515.

Originally Posted by Dave Ferris
Originally Posted by EssBrace
I've owned both P515 and VPC1 (I sold the VPC1 today actually).I would say the VPC1 has the superior action. .

I've played the Kawai two years in a row at NAMM and once at Pierre's store. On all occasions it was hooked up to the Ravenscroft piano and going through the Focal monitors. I also listened with phones. The same set up you see video demos at NAMM on youtube.

The player connection as a Jazz player simply wasn't there at all for me. I recall fumbling through Dolphin Dance and going...man I sound pretty cr*ppy on this thing. I feel like I'm plodding through sand trying to run.

The times I've played the P-515 , yeah it's still a digital, and it is what it is, but my playing is more free flowing. Even though, no, it doesn't resemble an acoustic in the least.

Maybe with a different piano I'd have a better experience with the Kawai. Just trying to give it the benefit of the doubt. But generally and historically speaking, my experience with midi has not been a good one.

Originally Posted by EssBrace
And frankly fiddling around with a computer when I just wanted to play just p*ssed me off!

I know loads of people are happy with a great keyboard+software (and for this purpose the VPC1 is pretty much perfect). But the software route is not for me. I can't believe I'm the only one either.

yeah, it's not at all for me.

Based on my perhaps limited experience with the VPC-1, it wasn't for me.

Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Dave Ferris #3049527 06/18/20 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Ferris
Wasn't that the MP7SE action ? Just repeating what I thought I read on PW.

From the top of my head, yes, RH-III (used on MP7SE and ES8 among others) with modifications (it seems they removed the escapement simulation notch - there may be others).

VPC-1 uses the RM3II, according to this kawai page

Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Michael Wright #3049634 06/19/20 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael Wright
I use this Profile stand. Heavy and sturdy. Not expensive either. My vpc is also in the bottom of it's flight case. Profile Keyboard Stands KDS450MA

Thanks Michael. Yes, that's the type of stand I'm thinking about.

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Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Sam CA #3049638 06/19/20 01:05 AM
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I found out one of my friends who is a B R I L L I A N T pianist uses the VPC 1. This is what he had to say:

"This is one of the greatest controllers I've ever had. The only minor issue that it has is the fact that keys don't bounce back to the original position fast enough. It only becomes noticeable when you do real fast repeated notes. Other than that I can't think of anything else. "

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Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Sam CA #3049641 06/19/20 01:10 AM
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well then, looks like a go. thu


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
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Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Sam CA #3049666 06/19/20 04:23 AM
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I've had a VPC-1 for a while. It was kinda disappointing. All that expectation. Sat down. Started playing. Felt like a piano smile Reliable, quiet, heavy. It's just me and my technique again... The right pedal is a little creaky. For most of my playing that doesn't need half pedaling, I have the middle pedal assigned as a sustain pedal 'cause it's quieter. I did put lithium grease inside the pedal unit.

Regarding noise, truth to be told, I did mod a yamaha GHS to be a quiet keyboard. Put strips of contact felt where the yamaha strip was, which worked quite well. But then I was going to try to sell it, so I got a yamaha felt strip, and then it was noisy again...

Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Sam CA #3049714 06/19/20 03:22 PM
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I'm thinking of getting one of these, but the near 2 grand price tag kind of hurts... What would the next step down be? I'm thinking the Studiologic SL88 Grand is next in line as far as controllers go.

Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Sam CA #3049756 06/19/20 05:30 PM
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I've heard only goof things about the vpc-1 but the quality come at the
cost of gigable weight, which keeps it at home for the shleping player.


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Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Throbert #3049779 06/19/20 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Throbert
I've heard only goof things about the vpc-1 but the quality come at the
cost of gigable weight, which keeps it at home for the shleping player.

What's a shleping player?

Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Sam CA #3049780 06/19/20 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Sam CA
Originally Posted by Throbert
I've heard only goof things about the vpc-1 but the quality come at the
cost of gigable weight, which keeps it at home for the shleping player.

What's a shleping player?
roll

Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Kurt W #3049971 06/20/20 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Kurt W
Check that the software you are planning to control handles the triple sensor midi-implementation of the VPC1. I hoped to use a Kawai MP11 to control a Nord Stage 3 Compact but found that Nord did not react on retriggering via the middle sensor. Just a tip.

I’ve heard this before but am not sure of the implications. Does this mean the Compact will respond as if it were a 2 sensor controller? Does it effect playability greatly? I feel controllers like the VPC1 and SL88 Grand are the only good options for the Compact because they have customizable velocity maps.

Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Kurt W #3050038 06/20/20 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Kurt W
Check that the software you are planning to control handles the triple sensor midi-implementation of the VPC1. I hoped to use a Kawai MP11 to control a Nord Stage 3 Compact but found that Nord did not react on retriggering via the middle sensor. Just a tip.
Something about this doesn't seem kosher to me. Maybe it's my ignorance, in which case I hope someone here will be able to enlighten me.

Doesn't MIDI transmit just simple "note on" and "note off" messages? If that's the case, then wouldn't the onus be on the controller to transmit the MIDI note on via the middle sensor?

Maybe this is a parameter setting within the VPC1?

Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Sam CA #3050045 06/20/20 07:20 PM
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MIDI doesn't know about triple sensors. Check what the middle sensor sends on a retrigger - if it's a note on, any sound source should respond correctly.


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"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

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Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Sam CA #3050075 06/20/20 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Sam CA
Originally Posted by Throbert
I've heard only goof things about the vpc-1 but the quality come at the
cost of gigable weight, which keeps it at home for the shleping player.

What's a shleping player?
Do you want to lift that thing out/in your ride, up/down stairs on/off your stand?


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Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Throbert #3050088 06/20/20 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Throbert
Do you want to lift that thing out/in your ride, up/down stairs on/off your stand?



I'm a home player. My instruments barely leave my home studio. I do have light-weight keyboards for rare occasions. So does that make me a "shleping player"?

Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Sam CA #3050092 06/20/20 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Sam CA
I'm a home player. My instruments barely leave my home studio. I do have light-weight keyboards for rare occasions. So does that make me a "shleping player"?

Only if you catch Schleprocy.

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Sam CA #3050102 06/20/20 11:55 PM
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If you are considering the VPC-1, you absolutely owe it to yourself to try the MP11SE first. I had a chance to compare them directly, and thought the VPC-1 was sluggish and a bit stiff in comparison. I would really like to see the MP11SE action in a "VPC-2"

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Sam CA #3050108 06/21/20 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Sam CA
Originally Posted by Throbert
Do you want to lift that thing out/in your ride, up/down stairs on/off your stand?



I'm a home player. My instruments barely leave my home studio. I do have light-weight keyboards for rare occasions. So does that make me a "shleping player"?
If you haul and move your gear from where ever to the gig and back or where ever
else then yes you are. If you made enough to afford roadies then you're one of the few.


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Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Marzzz #3050113 06/21/20 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Marzzz
If you are considering the VPC-1, you absolutely owe it to yourself to try the MP11SE first. I had a chance to compare them directly, and thought the VPC-1 was sluggish and a bit stiff in comparison. I would really like to see the MP11SE action in a "VPC-2"

I was just looking at it the other day. Apparently it has a whole different keybed with longer keys if I remember correctly. Reviews are confusing as always. Some say the VPC-1 is more piano like, and some say the MP11SE is heavier. I could've checked them both at NAMM 2020, but at the time I wasn't interested. It'd be nice to test both for my own curiosity, but I'm really after a controller than a synth or stage piano. I already have Kronos 2 to satisfy that category.

Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Sam CA #3050129 06/21/20 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Sam CA
Originally Posted by Marzzz
If you are considering the VPC-1, you absolutely owe it to yourself to try the MP11SE first. I had a chance to compare them directly, and thought the VPC-1 was sluggish and a bit stiff in comparison. I would really like to see the MP11SE action in a "VPC-2"

I was just looking at it the other day.

Like anything else, it might come down to budget. The MP11SE is $1000.00 more than the VPC-1.


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Sam CA #3050146 06/21/20 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Sam CA
Originally Posted by Marzzz
If you are considering the VPC-1, you absolutely owe it to yourself to try the MP11SE first. I had a chance to compare them directly, and thought the VPC-1 was sluggish and a bit stiff in comparison. I would really like to see the MP11SE action in a "VPC-2"

I was just looking at it the other day. Apparently it has a whole different keybed with longer keys if I remember correctly. Reviews are confusing as always. Some say the VPC-1 is more piano like, and some say the MP11SE is heavier. I could've checked them both at NAMM 2020, but at the time I wasn't interested. It'd be nice to test both for my own curiosity, but I'm really after a controller than a synth or stage piano. I already have Kronos 2 to satisfy that category.

I've played both side by side at Pierre's in a quiet environment and yes the MP11SE is better if you are looking for something to closer emulate an acoustic grand for practice or performance. While I found the VPC-1 sluggish for piano as well, at least triggering the Ravenscroft piano, it would probably be optimal for playing orchestral or synth sounds. Provided you were more a pianist and liked the weighted action for that particular function.

Plus Sam already just bought a Kawai smaller grand if I remember correctly. Yes go with the VPC-1. Fwiw, I highly prefer the MP11SE to the Kronos for attempting to emulate an acoustic piano.

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Sam CA #3050274 06/22/20 12:15 AM
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Hi Sam,

If you can afford the higher price, get the MP11se. I own an MP11 and I was in similar shoes five years ago. For me, the ability to quickly fire up the instrument and get sounds is invaluable. The onboard sounds aren't going to rival a sample library (except the extraordinary Tine Electric Piano 1), but they are still quite good. There are many times I just want to play in a pinch and firing up my computer, loading Cubase etc., takes up to ten minutes. You also get pitch/mod wheels, four assignable knobs, a simple onboard sequencer/recorder, and of course the triple pedal assembly.

I don't gig (thus I don't have to worry about weight/portability), but the MP11 is the Swiss watch of actions. Yes, it's going to run you about three-large with a high-quality stand, but for me, it took away any instrument excuses. If a part or performance isn't right, it's not the instrument. It's me...

Best of luck with your decision.

Todd


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Working on: The Jupiter Bluff; Fishing in Kingsbury
Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361
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Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Sam CA #3050674 06/24/20 02:26 AM
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Thank you Todd, Dave and Dave Ferris,

I thought about the MP11 for a couple of days, as it's certainly within my budget. Eventually I had to remind myself that I've only used Kronos as a sound module or a controller for the most part. Buying another workstation doesn't really make sense for me, as I know I'm not going to be using it in that capacity. Since I have the Kronos for instant satisfaction type of experience, a midi controller would be the right choice.

@Dave Ferris,
Yes, I have that Kawai 6' GL-40 in my home studio.That's another reason why I don't need an additional workstation.

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Sam CA #3050685 06/24/20 03:26 AM
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I'm kinda thinking about the VPC, too. Actually, a VPC2 would be great. Throw in a mod wheel & expression pedal jack, & I'd be really good to go.
As far as the MP11, I wouldn't think of it as a workstation... to me it's more like a VPC with internal sounds.
I have an MP7SE, and I'm happy with it.

Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
skipeb3 #3050695 06/24/20 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by skipeb3
I'm kinda thinking about the VPC, too. Actually, a VPC2 would be great. Throw in a mod wheel & expression pedal jack, & I'd be really good to go.
As far as the MP11, I wouldn't think of it as a workstation... to me it's more like a VPC with internal sounds.
I have an MP7SE, and I'm happy with it.

Right. It's pretty much a stage piano. If I were a giggin? musician, I would totally consider a keyboard with internal sounds. I did exactly that with a Triton Studio for a few years. It was a little heavy, but very convenient for stage performance.

Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Sundown #3050711 06/24/20 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Sundown
There are many times I just want to play in a pinch and firing up my computer, loading Cubase etc., takes up to ten minutes.
Todd

If I may be so blunt it doesn't have to be this way. In my case 2 button pushes, one for powering up hardware keyboards, synths and effects and one for the amp equipment with 20 seconds in between to allow my Andromeda to fully boot up. Oh and a Ctrl U to wake up my USB devices in Reaper. Less than a minute each morning, that's it.

Just saying it's not necessarily a factor in buying a controller vice a board with internal sounds.

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Originally Posted by Markyboard
If I may be so blunt it doesn't have to be this way.

That's fair. That situation may be unique to me and the way I work.

I still think it's worth having the extra controllers, the slightly better action, and that lovely Tine Piano 1 Rhodes sound.

Todd


Sundown

Just Finished: Condensation; Two Button Press
Working on: The Jupiter Bluff; Fishing in Kingsbury
Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361
DAW Platform: Cubase
Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Kurt W #3051928 06/30/20 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Kurt W
Check that the software you are planning to control handles the triple sensor midi-implementation of the VPC1.

Note that the VPC1 has a "2-sensor mode" option in the rare event that your software doesn't play nice with 3-sensor actions.
As noted in the software update changelog:

Originally Posted by VPC Software Update changelog
Added: 2-sensor mode, for improved compatibility with software that does not support 3-sensor keyboard events fully.

To enable 2-sensor mode (while the VPC1 is turned on):
1. Press and hold the power button.
2. Press the bottommost (bass end) black key (A#0).
The 2-sensor mode setting will be applied to all memories globally, and will remain active even after the VPC1 is turned off.
To restore 3-sensor mode, repeat the steps above.

The VPC1's triple-sensor keyboard action has been developed to recreate the expressive touch of a concert grand piano. However, some virtual instrument hosts and sequencing software may not interpret these triple-sensor key events correctly, potentially resulting in prematurely cut or unintentionally repeated notes, especially when playing non-piano sounds. The 2-sensor mode provides a work-around for such symptoms, albeit at the expense of reduced expression and keyboard responsiveness.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
Sam CA #3051988 07/01/20 12:13 PM
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I've had the VPC-1 for a couple of years...
At first I thought the action was too heavy (and sluggish) but have finally warmed up to it now.
I use it to trigger my NE3...which feels better than the software pianos I tried.
When/if you get your chops together on this one, you can play anything smile


All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
Arthur Schopenhauer
Re: Thinking about getting the VPC1 Piano action controller
analogholic #3051990 07/01/20 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by analogholic
I've had the VPC-1 for a couple of years...
At first I thought the action was too heavy (and sluggish) but have finally warmed up to it now.
I use it to trigger my NE3...which feels better than the software pianos I tried.
When/if you get your chops together on this one, you can play anything smile

Does the NE3 handle the triple sensor midi information from the VPC-1? The Nord Stage 3 does not so I am just curious.

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