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Keybed on new RD700NX


EscapeRocks

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I sat down and played with a new Rd700NX at GC the other day.

 

Loved the sounds. However, I found the keyboard to be very irritating. I know this is subjective, but the keyboard seemed very "hard" to me, in that it bottomed out with little travel.

 

Is it that I'm comparing to my Yammy CP33? Did I play a "bad" one.

 

I really liked the sounds and interface but it was difficult to play.

 

For reference I play a 1973 Steinway L series grand at home, and of course my CP33 at gigs. I know that DP's are going to feel different than my real piano. This RD just seemed so different to be annoying, for lack of a better term.

 

Anyone else find this on the RD700? Should I go to another GC and try again?

David

Gig Rig:Depends on the day :thu:

 

 

 

 

 

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The "hard bottom" is a common complaint regarding the recent Rolands. My 700 GX has it too. I didn't notice it much when it was my primary instrument, though I was starting to develop some joint pain in some fingers. Now that I'm primarily playing my grand, I sometimes get serious issues when I play my Roland. A few weeks ago I was doing some stuff with it and my left wrist was really knotted up.

"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 found the same problem on the RD-300NX. Again, like you Escape, loved the sounds, hated the action. It actually flared up my arm injury. I was able to play it at a local store for quite a long time; they left me alone with the RD and headphones, LOL. I so wanted to like it. Of course I would've bought it from that store in a heartbeat.

 

But no, when I moved to the V-Piano and played that I immediately noticed the pain and tension going away. It is subjective, but not imagined, the new actions are frikkin' hard. I played an RD-700 too, felt the same thing, but the action is definitely more substantial, more resistance; ie, it didn't feel as much like banging on a tabletop as the new 300 did, which is quite stiff and requires a good deal of pressure to get the key down, then just kinda lets the fingers freefall to a hard bottoming out. I didn't get as much time on the new 700 to know if it would be fatiguing. Actually, I think the 300's action is now closer to old 700. I never liked the old 700 action.

Original Latin Jazz

CD Baby

 

"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

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The "hard bottom" is a common complaint regarding the recent Rolands. My 700 GX has it too. I didn't notice it much when it was my primary instrument, though I was starting to develop some joint pain in some fingers. Now that I'm primarily playing my grand, I sometimes get serious issues when I play my Roland. A few weeks ago I was doing some stuff with it and my left wrist was really knotted up.

 

Take from me, don't f**k around with this, Joe. Find a keybed you can live with. Although my injury was not initially caused from a keyboard, I can tell you, you don't want anything to become chronic. :(

Original Latin Jazz

CD Baby

 

"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

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keybed on RD700NX which same as on V-Piano (PHA III) is the best key action on the market right now...

 

Gotta tell ya, it felt miles different to me, even though I know what it says in black and white on Roland's site. I didn't play the 700 as long as I got to play the V or the 300, so I dunno. As I said tho, the old 700 and new 300 feel the same, which is not good, for me.

 

Escape, maybe try a 700 and V-piano side by side if you can. Seems every store I've been in has at least those two boards ... it was harder to find the 300NX.

Original Latin Jazz

CD Baby

 

"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

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Geekgurl,

 

I hope I didn't steer you wrong by saying the FP-4 and FP-4F actions felt similar. I played a 300NX a few days ago, which is supposed to have the same action as the 4F, and it felt different to me. There seems to be too much disparity in these actions. IMO, the only actions in the recent FP and RD series that don't bottom out too hard are the FP-4 and RD-300GX. As for the V-Piano, I find it slightly better than the 700NX but still too shallow. By way of comparison, I find the Yamaha CP1 and CP5 (same action) the best (read: most authentic and comfortable) of all current digital piano actions.

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No worries, D-Bon, it was your impression and you reported it! I agree that the V piano has a hella short throw ... it seemed to be forgiving, though. Cannot say the same about the 300NX, ouch.

 

And yeah, the previous-gen 300GX/FP-4 doesn't feel like a "real" piano, but mysteriously very easy to play like one. That's a winner in my book.

 

I really like the CP-5 action. Just too heavy of a board for me. The CP-33 doesn't quite do it for me, would prefer an FP-4 when comparing those two beasts.

Original Latin Jazz

CD Baby

 

"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

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Thanks for all the replies. I did actually go to another GC today...I live between two....

 

Played their 700NX...same thing.

 

They also had a VPiano. I found it to be a lot better. If they are the same keybed as the other poster in this topic said, I'm wondering why the disparity?

 

I think I'm, just surprised as when I played the first RD700 a long time ago I thought it played great. Of course I wasn't in the market then.

 

NOt really in the market now, as my rig is just fine, but I do demo new boards just to see if I'm missing something for me.

 

Thanks again for the replies and the first hand experiences.

David

Gig Rig:Depends on the day :thu:

 

 

 

 

 

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Oh, another thing I noticed that's different between the 4 and 4F is that the key return on the 4 is much quicker.

 

If Yamaha ever puts that CP1/CP5 action in the P series, I'd likely be all over it.

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I used Yamaha's S series balanced action 88's from 2002 to late 2010. Starting in mid 2007 I began to notice stiffness and mild pain in my hands, mostly the right hand. However when I used a graded action P-85 to cover piano in place of the S90ES (a bit inconvenient, as I often use my bottom 88 as a controller - for both its sounds and external control) the hand issue lessened some. Overall I found the Yamaha 88 keybeds, balanced or graded, to have a somewhat heavy yet quick, long throw - which was apparently affecting my hands.

 

Late last summer I sold my S90ES and XS, and ordered an RD-700NX from my local dealer. I'd played the GXF he'd had on the floor, and thought that the NX might be a good option. While waiting for the NX, I purchased a demo FP-4 to use as my live 88 for the fall. That FP-4 is probably the best tactile experience I've had with a digital piano; my hands don't experience any problems playing it. The throw seems just right, plus it simply sounds great. The RD-700NX does have a different feel than the FP-4; the shorter throw is evident, and the quicker 'bottom out' has taken a little getting use to. Since late December, I've played the RD-700NX for an average of five gigs a month. After playing it for three, one hour sets I notice some slight hand stiffness the next morning which quickly fades; no pain though. I seem to do better with it than any of the Yamaha 88's I've owned. But I wonder, over time, what the cumulative effect might be.

 

If there existed a simple, controller interface to connect to the FP-4 which allowed me similar control features as are found on the RD, I would likely use my FP-4 as my main gigging 88. But that interface would have to have real pitch/mod wheels, at least four assignable sliders, etc. Don't think the Korg Nano gear's going to cut it; I'm thinking more along the lines of a Yamaha MCS 2, but updated to 2011 standards. As far I know, that animal doesn't exist yet.

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Take from me, don't f**k around with this, Joe. Find a keybed you can live with. Although my injury was not initially caused from a keyboard, I can tell you, you don't want anything to become chronic. :(
Thanks, Michelle. It's really bizarre that it has flared up so badly for me lately after using it for so long as my primary. I think some of the problem is the lack of keyboard - sound connection. In this case, I was using it to control Ivory, and sometimes I have trouble "connecting" with Ivory for some reason. Unfortunately, I didn't notice the pain until the end or after I stopped, which makes it hard to back off until it's too late.

 

I also have a PX3, so I might switch to that for a while and see what happens, or stick with the internal pianos where the connection tends to be more consistent for me.

"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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After reading Allan's post above, it makes me think that perhaps part of the problem is no longer being used to the 700GX action. My grand has a fairly stiff action so it might be causing me to play harder overall, which I probably wasn't doing before.

"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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After reading Allan's post above, it makes me think that perhaps part of the problem is no longer being used to the 700GX action. My grand has a fairly stiff action so it might be causing me to play harder overall, which I probably wasn't doing before.

 

I believe you're on to something there, Joe. I don't have a grand piano at home, but from January to the middle of this month I was playing a Yamaha grand to accompany ballet classes six hours a week. Now that I have the NX up in my workspace for daily practice (which I was letting slide a bit, during ballet) we'll see how things go over the summer.

 

Your idea about switching to the PX3 for now makes sense. I used one the weekend before last on a gig. Plus, I've played it on several other occasions over the past six weeks. Seems fairly good on the hands for me; somewhat similar in touch to the FP-4. BTW, in the interest of full disclosure to the group, I'm working as a contracted rep - since March 1st - for the marketing firm that reps Casio in CO, and the surrounding states.

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yes, Joe and Allan, it seems that those of us who play real acoustic pianos a lot of the time really have an issue with some DP keybeds.

 

And Joe, didn't you say you are taking lessons and really woodshedding a lot? If you are playing more involved stuff than you used to, and playing for longer periods, and experimenting with greater dynamic range, this can affect you. I remember when I was a teenager ... my piano teacher at the time played jazz gigs like 5 nights a week. He was one of the handful of guys with a regular gig at the best rooms in town.

 

When he started doing a lot of DP work his hands started bothering him. This is a guy who's well versed in classical as well as jazz, just a monster player. Even won some classical competitions, I think.

 

I learned my technique from him. Growing up, I never played anything but acoustic pianos and later my Juno-106 ... but that was quite a different application. Anyway, I spent hours of my formative years learning "correct" piano technique. I've always been extremely sensitive to the feel of keyboards.

 

Allan, as an aside, maybe look into controllers with aftertouch. I have a Kurzweil PC2 -- the semi-weighted one -- and it's never bothered me or caused pain. After 3 hrs of gigging it causes fatigue, but that's a different issue; it is from fighting to play jazz-trio piano on it and not having the springiness in the return, or not enough resistance on the return. But it never causes pain. It just becomes a lot of work to play. But the cushiness in the bottom of the keys ... I'm sure it's because the thing has aftertouch. I can pound on that keybed with no bottoming-out whatsoever.

 

You may find a controller with aftertouch that has the right resistance plus this cushion and that might do the trick.

 

Joe, another thing regarding soft synths: I don't know your signal path but make sure you are monitoring thru hardware (driver) not software. Latency will totally mess you up. :)

Original Latin Jazz

CD Baby

 

"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

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Geekgurl you probably saw this?

 

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/msg/2373189984.html

 

Thanks, yeah, I did see this. But dammit, I want a black one. :D I'm about 14 hours away from purchasing a new FP4 from one of the suppliers I've found on the net who still have 'em. Some sites want people to call for price. Not surprising ...

Original Latin Jazz

CD Baby

 

"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

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Allan, as an aside, maybe look into controllers with aftertouch.

 

I can play with my arthritis inflamed hands for hours on my PC3x, which has aftertouch. 30 minutes on my old RD300sx was quite a feat. I recently tried a RD700NX and couldn't stand the hard bottoming after only a couple of minutes.

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The "hard bottom" is a common complaint regarding the recent Rolands.

 

hard bottom? maybe it's just problem with landing technique?

I play a lot acoustics and have absolutely no problem with GX/NX action. It's for me as close as it can be to acoustic piano which BTW can have very different feel as well from model to model. On the other hand I had problem with yamaha balanced action, fingers got tired quickly because this action didn't mimic natural acoustic action at all.

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When I tried the RD700NX, the action felt significantly lighter than the RD700GX I owned for quite some time. Both do have a hard bottoming out, but I suspect the GX's greater down-pressure weight may ameliorate that somewhat. That said, neither are as bad as the original FP-7, which felt like playing on granite to me.

 

I did have some long-term use issues with the GX, which is why I switched to a CP5. That did seem a lot kinder on the hands. I've also had no problems so far with the Nord Piano. I have been suffering with my right hand recently, but that's definitely down to too much intensive mouse work. If anything, playing my NP88 seems to relieve it a little.

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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I have been suffering with my right hand recently, but that's definitely down to too much intensive mouse work.

 

O/T Just in case it hasn't been suggested - start using the mouse left handed. Been doing it for over 10 years now and my RH discomfort never came back. Started when I went from ADATs to my first "cut and paste" DAW.

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
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Yeah, I might try that. I did for general browsing. Unfortunately, I was up against a deadline to produce a magazine and my L/H mouse skills are not sufficiently advanced to risk trying to draw up pages in InDesign yet!

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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If there existed a simple, controller interface to connect to the FP-4 which allowed me similar control features as are found on the RD, I would likely use my FP-4 as my main gigging 88. But that interface would have to have real pitch/mod wheels, at least four assignable sliders, etc. Don't think the Korg Nano gear's going to cut it; I'm thinking more along the lines of a Yamaha MCS 2, but updated to 2011 standards. As far I know, that animal doesn't exist yet.

The Nano definitely won't, as it is not functional without a computer. You cannot connect it directly to a keyboard using standard MIDI DIN connectors.

 

But as for an "updated MCS-2," maybe the M-Audio Oxygen 25 would do the trick. Pitch and mod wheels, 8 assignable knobs, 6 assignable buttons. It has a bunch of keys you don't need, but they are also used for data entry so you "need" them anyway, even if you wouldn't otherwise need them to look like keys... and it's not tremendously bigger than an MCS2 would be. I haven't tried this myself, but it looks like it could work for this kind of application. EDIT: Nope. The Oxygen is also USB only and won't function in a non-computer environment. Darn! It looks like the Axiom 25 would work, though, and it has more functions. It is bigger, though, with the wheels moved to the left instead of above the keys.

 

Back to the other topic of the thread... in very brief evaluations, I rank the Roland piano actions this way, from best to worst:

FP-7F

FP-7 (a close second)

RD-300NX (a more distant third)

RD-300GX (an even more distant fourth... though I played this one "mute" i.e. with no sound coming out of it)

 

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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Not sure how you can dismiss the 300GX/FP-4 action without hearing sound. How it is connected to the sound is a part of why people like it so much.

Yes, I know that the action/sound combination can have a big impact on what someone thinks of an action... that's why I thought it was important to mention that, in fact, I had heard it mute. I realized that was a big caveat to any credence anyone may give my evaluation! Although I have a hard time "imagining" that that board could ever feel outstanding, I realize it might very well play better than it seemed like it would.

 

This happens to get back to things you and I were discussing elsewhere, about the Yamaha P95 and MOX8, and about the P95 and PX3. The subjective feel of a keyboard really does have a lot to do with the sound and how the two "connect." I prefer the feel of a P95 over a Casio PX3 (i.e. when triggering their own respective sounds), and was quite sure it was (to my fingers) simply a better feeling action. Yet, just a few days ago, when I MIDI'd the PX3 to the MOX8, I thought the MOX8 played better from the PX3 keyboard than from its own internal (same-as-P95) keyboard! So in fact, it turns out, when evaluated apart from their own sounds, I don't actually think the P95 action is better than the PX3 action after all

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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keybed on RD700NX which same as on V-Piano (PHA III) is the best key action on the market right now...

I agree ... at least, given what I've played in the last year and my own personal tastes. I felt the relationship between the action and the sounds was very strong and gave me a ton of expression options.

 

RIght now, I use a lot of the Bright Piano sounds, especially live; when my band (a Grateful Dead cover act) is at its loudest, I need to cut through the mix like a light saber.

 

What struck me most was how playable the action was right out of the box; every other 'board I tried felt like it could feel okay after a few months of wearing it down, but otherwise unpleasant.

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