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Does anyone like the Roland pitch stick (or joysticks)?


Sundown

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Hey all,

 

I've never been fond of the Roland pitch/mod stick, or joysticks in general. I'm glad that my Wavestation has wheels, as I find them much more playable (and you can leave the mod wheel engaged with hands free, unlike a pressure-based stick).

 

Does anyone really like the pitch stick, or find it more playable and accurate than a set of wheels?

 

The only other device that I like is the heavily-weighted, wooden Nord stick with the separate mod wheel (Nord Lead, Nord Lead 2, etc).

 

Just curious...

Sundown

 

Working on: The Jupiter Bluff; They Live, We Groove

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Yes I very much prefer a joystick over wheels. The joystick like the one on my Korg TR76 is my favorite, Rolands is ok. On my XP30 though, I wish the modulation axis would be more like the later versions - on the XP30 it has very short throw and has a lot of resistance - it's more like on/off than a continuous controller. Korgs idea of using a button to lock the current value of the Y-axis is a good alternative to a mod wheel. I don't have much experience of the Nord pitch stick, but it seems like a great design.

I always wished to have a 'board with a ribbon bend - it seems like the most accurate way to pitch bend.

Too much stuff, too little time, too few gigs, should spend more time practicing...!  🙄

main instruments: Nord Stage 3 compact, Yamaha CP88, Kurzweil PC4, Viscount KeyB Legend Live

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I love the Roland stick for pitch bend and like it well enough for mod changes. The mod throw on my JV-90 is like mr_T's, way too short. The long throw on the RD300GX's mod lever is nice. I agree that a mod wheel that stays where you put it is handy.
Instrumentation is meaningless - a song either stands on its own merit, or it requires bells and whistles to cover its lack of adequacy, much less quality. - kanker
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I wish that Nord would provide a separate set of stick/wheels to be MIDI'd to any instrument desired. I believe the pitch stick represents the pinnacle of synthesizer expression. Just a basic vibrato on the stick sounds much better (slightly irregular) than an LFO-provided vibrato.
When in doubt, superimpose pentatonics.
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I prefer Roland's combination stick to anything else, but I've been using it for almost 20 years now on one Roland keyboard or another.

 

If I have to pitch bend on a wheel (like on my Yamaha stuff) I'll actually try to replicate the feel I get with the Roland stick by pinching it on it's sides between my index finger and thumb rather than rolling it across the top. My bends and vibratos are much more accurate that way - and almost as accurate as with the Roland stick.

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I love the Roland bender a lot... so much when I play a SH09 I tend to try and push up to invoke the modulation... but erm... that feature didn't get onto Roland keyboards until the Juno 106 or perhaps JX3/8P...

 

Anyway, for me it essential.. though I like the wheels on my Voyager too.

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Hey all,

 

I've never been fond of the Roland pitch/mod stick, or joysticks in general. I'm glad that my Wavestation has wheels, as I find them much more playable (and you can leave the mod wheel engaged with hands free, unlike a pressure-based stick).

 

Does anyone really like the pitch stick, or find it more playable and accurate than a set of wheels?

 

The only other device that I like is the heavily-weighted, wooden Nord stick with the separate mod wheel (Nord Lead, Nord Lead 2, etc).

 

Just curious...

 

My most prefered bender/modulation unit is the one of the Minimoog D.

By reason the PB wheel isn´t spring loaded, there´s most control about the time between the target note and back to zero.

The pitchwheel´s position is freely selectable,- keep it in the position of your last target note p.ex..

 

I adapted to the spring loaded wheels too and very early, but it´s not everything possible w/ a spring loaded wheel.

 

What I also like for some purposes is the ribbon bender on my Yamaha KX5,- you can jump to a target note and slide back to zero or vice versa or you can simulate "tapping strings" like a guitar player does.

 

Other BP/Mod combos also have their specialities like the X/Y blending of pitchbend and modulation simultaneously.

I´m fine w/ joysticks like the one of Korg M1 or the Roland solution if I choose a smaller global pitch bend range like 2 semitone steps,- but I prefer a larger PB range,- minimum 7 semitone steps to bend musical intervals within a scale.

 

I have more control w/ my thumb over the pitch if I use a wheel.

If I have some kind of stick between 2 fingers, I have less control.

 

I think it´s because I´m used to the wheels since I buyed my 1st Minimoog in the late 70th and grew up w/ the Jan Hammer PB technique by listening to him all day since his record "The 1st 7 Days" was released and when he performed w/ the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

 

A.C.

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I, too, prefer a pitch bend/modulation stick over a wheel (or wheels)...

 

the one on my Korg M3 (which also has a ribbon :thu:) & M50 I find more 'user friendly' than the wheels on my Motif.

 

I've also had a few Roland 'boards, & the Korg joystick excercises far better control IMO.

 

Although it has its' critics, I do think the Roland 'D-beam' has its' uses at times.

John.

 

some stuff on myspace

 

Nord: StageEX-88, Electro2-73, Hammond: XK-1, Yamaha: XS7

Korg: M3-73 EXpanded, M50-88, X50, Roland: Juno D, Kurzweil: K2000vp.

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I don't like any setup where the mod and pitch controls are part of the same unit. I understand the advantage of making it easier to do modulation simultaneously with the pitch bend, but I think aftertouch is a much better solution for that (or even a foot pedal).

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I have one on my RD700GX. It's my first Roland with one and I don't use it much anyway so grain of salt. The thing I don't like about the combination pitch/mod is that I find it too easy to get into mod when I'm only trying to do pitch and vice versa. I could just be sloppy though. Or maybe it's because on an 88-key board, it's so far away I'm at the wrong angle or something. Otherwise it's okay.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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I loathe the Roland pitch stick. I could use it ok-ish for pitch OR mod, but when trying to do both at the same time, I can't keep the pitch correct. My JX10 had one; that's the only one I'm familiar with. I never did warm up to it, though I really liked that synth otherwise (as long as I wasn't trying to use it for piano sounds -- the action and velocity response sucked for that).

 

Give me the wheels like SCI did 'em, with spring-loaded pitch wheel. However, I can see the virtue of a non-spring loaded pitch wheel. Fortunately, it's usually easy to remove the spring if that's what you want. The downside to that might be that spring loaded ones often don't have enough resistance -- they move a bit too freely.

 

I agree with Scott that aftertouch kills for mod. Nothing better, IMHO.

 

Ribbons are way cool. I've never had one, but have enjoyed fiddling with them in shops, on CS80 for example. Yeah, it was a while ago. ;-)

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The thing I don't like about the combination pitch/mod is that I find it too easy to get into mod when I'm only trying to do pitch and vice versa.

 

I think I agree, but I haven't actually used it much either.

 

But also, the mod wheel can be used for so many things... people have mentioned that there's a case to be made for not necessarily wanting pitch to spring back by itself, and I think that case is even stronger for the mod function. As someone mentioned, Korg at least addresses that with a lock button, so that's better than Roland, but it's still a slightly awkward fix for a problem that shouldn't exist in the first place... hitting a button is a very "calculated" operation, something, one step further removed from the feeling of organically playing a musical instrument.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I much prefer the Roland stick for pitch bending and for momentary modulation.

 

The mod wheel is great for being able to set a precise modulation level and leaving it at that level.

 

The pitch bend wheel sucks in my mind.

Ian Benhamou

Keyboards/Guitar/Vocals

 

[url:https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTheMusicalBox/]The Musical Box[/url]

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I loathe the Roland pitch stick. I could use it ok-ish for pitch OR mod, but when trying to do both at the same time, I can't keep the pitch correct.

I suspect that the most common use for it in the dual function scenario is to use the pitch axis at its extreme in that case.

 

Also, as Mr T mentioned, the short throw in the mod direction tends to make it more of an on/off function, less useful than other implementations.

 

I actually thing it's probably one of the better designs for pitch bend alone; my beef with it is only that I think it's a bad controller for mod.

 

I agree with Scott that aftertouch kills for mod. Nothing better, IMHO.

Yup... I mentioned in the previous post how hitting a button is less organic, giving you less feeling of really playing a musical instrument, compared to a controller... along those lines, aftertouch is the most natural, organic-feeling method of all. Also, having both aftertouch and a wheel then gives you the option of having both auto-return and non-auto-return mod functions at hand.

 

Ribbons are way cool. I've never had one, but have enjoyed fiddling with them in shops, on CS80 for example. Yeah, it was a while ago. ;-)

Yes, I did like the pitch ribbon on my old CS60!

 

I also very much liked the arrangement on the original Roland Axis "keytar." The auto-return pitch wheel and the non-return mod wheel were well sized and well placed for individual or combined operation, and they felt good.

 

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I much prefer the Roland stick for pitch bending and for momentary modulation.

 

The mod wheel is great for being able to set a precise modulation level and leaving it at that level.

 

Yes... the Roland approach might be less subject to criticism if it were presented as an addition to a traditional mod wheel rather than a replacement. As you point out, they offer different benefits. As I said, I'd prefer aftertouch for momentary mod, but for cheaper keyboards where aftertouch might be cost prohibitive, I could see the advantage of what Roland does there... but again, that would be so much better if they still provided the traditional wheel as well.

 

The pitch bend wheel sucks in my mind.

 

Actually, I agree there. I've been talking more about mod, but for pitch bend alone, I actually find the wheel to be the worst. Nord stick, ribbon, roland lever are all better for pitch than a wheel, IMO. Even the korg joystick. Though I think the Korg is worse than the roland at being able to be sure you don't accidentally introduce mod when you just want pitch, or vice versa.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I'm a huge fan. I prefer pitch bend with a stick. I do like having a mod wheel too though...
I guess I should add that these days, about the only time I do any pitch bending is when I'm playing left hand bass on my Little Phatty
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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I get along fine with the roland stick for pitch bend and vibrato by hand. It sucks for modulation. My prefs in order:

 

4. pitch/mod wheels. hated it! Ever since the days of the Minimoog, I have never gotten comfortable with them.

 

3. roland pitch/mod paddle. forget the mod (program a footpedal for that)

2. rhodes chroma / oberheim dual paddle wheels. no complaints whatsoever.

1. nord pitch stick. magnificent. needs assignable range though!

Moe

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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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2. rhodes chroma / oberheim dual paddle wheels. no complaints whatsoever.

I completely forgot about those. Probably because I never owned one. Looking at pics, they seem pretty workable, but it looks like it could be awkward to hit the right one without hitting the left, no? Also it looks like the mod again is only a spring-back... as I mentioned, I do see reasons for wanting momentary as well as being able to leave it in a fixed position (i.e. aftertouch for momentary mod, wheel for leave-in-place), but if I had to choose one for my left hand control, I'd prefer one that didn't spring back. Though I guess that depends what functions one is inclined to use it for... and, as you allude to elsewhere, as long as the board supports it, you'd still have the option of hooking up a pedal for fixed-position mod.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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2. rhodes chroma / oberheim dual paddle wheels. no complaints whatsoever.

I completely forgot about those. Probably because I never owned one. Looking at pics, they seem pretty workable, but it looks like it could be awkward to hit the right one without hitting the left, no? Also it looks like the mod again is only a spring-back... as I mentioned, I do see reasons for wanting momentary as well as being able to leave it in a fixed position (i.e. aftertouch for momentary mod, wheel for leave-in-place), but if I had to choose one for my left hand control, I'd prefer one that didn't spring back. Though I guess that depends what functions one is inclined to use it for... and, as you allude to elsewhere, as long as the board supports it, you'd still have the option of hooking up a pedal for fixed-position mod.

The thing I found that took some adjustment with the Oberheim paddles is that the pitch bend worked the opposite of which one may expect: Pull the lever toward you, and the pitch raises/increases; push it away from you, and the pitch lowers/decreases!

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I hate the Roland paddle with a passion. I am very familiar with it, because I used an XP-80 as my main master controller for 10 years. I learned to use it with some precision, but hating it at the same time. For Roland to convince me to buy another instrument with that thing on, it will have to be a damn good instrument!

 

But there is something that I consider even worse: The Korg stick! I admire the brave players who attempt to play anything clean with that evil invention. I also dislike Oberheim levers, and the similar contraptions found on the Chroma.

 

In other words, give me wheels, wheels, wheels. GOOD ones please, like those on the Kurzs and Yamahas. Ribbons too.

I'm no snob; as I said, I've played them all, including the ARP sliders and knobs (for pitch bending!). But I think we already had the best pitch/mod controllers in 1971 with the Mini wheels, and all the other types were invented not to improve on them but just to differentiate the various brands.

To me, the precision that you can achieve with wheels is unsurpassed. Listen to Jan Hammer as proof.

 

 

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I prefer wheels. My main complaint about the Roland paddle is what some other folks have mentioned: you can't leave modulation on. I think Novation has a workable joystick controller on the X-Station. For those not familiar, it has a mechanism which allows you to leave the joystick in place on the vertical axis (to allow for "persistent modulation".) This mechanism is user selectable on the bottom of the keyboard, i.e. the user can have "persistent" or "spring back" behavior on the vertical axis.

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My main complaint about the Roland paddle is what some other folks have mentioned: you can't leave modulation on. I think Novation has a workable joystick controller on the X-Station. For those not familiar, it has a mechanism which allows you to leave the joystick in place on the vertical axis (to allow for "persistent modulation".) This mechanism is user selectable on the bottom of the keyboard, i.e. the user can have "persistent" or "spring back" behavior on the vertical axis.

Clever! And mechanically, a pretty simple thing to implement. I seem to remember there were videogame joysticks that could do that at least 25 years ago.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I always thought the Roland paddle was terrible. Pitch bend was OK, but there was hardly any throw to the mod. Hard to have control when there's no space for it.

 

That's why I liked the Korg Joysticks so much better. Same amount of throw for mod as for pitch bend. Gave very expressive control over just how much mod was added.

 

 

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I always thought the Roland paddle was terrible. Pitch bend was OK, but there was hardly any throw to the mod. Hard to have control when there's no space for it.

 

That's why I liked the Korg Joysticks so much better. Same amount of throw for mod as for pitch bend. Gave very expressive control over just how much mod was added.

 

 

Maybe you're talking about old Rolands like the D-70? The XP-80 and later all have more travel.

 

The bend stick allows much faster and more precise movement than a wheel. Only thing that comes close is the ribbon on the Roland keytars.

 

But for a lot of things I prefer to have modulation routed to aftertouch.

 

 

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The thing I found that took some adjustment with the Oberheim paddles is that the pitch bend worked the opposite of which one may expect: Pull the lever toward you, and the pitch raises/increases; push it away from you, and the pitch lowers/decreases!

 

IIRR, this could be reversed in my Oberheim OB-8 in the past.

 

Last year, I buyed a good condition Oberheim XK incl. some customizations @ebay for cheap to get these levers back for my Oberheim Xpander.

 

What I like w/ the XK is, if you push the modulation lever, it can be assigned to a different MIDI CC# for the "push"-action,- and if you pull that lever it´s the vibrato.

 

A.C.

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