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Feedback request - Weighted actions - aftertouch issues.


CEB

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My Kawais only have a pitch bend range of only 0-7 half steps. Due to a new gig I need a much wider range. But I also want 4 zone control with on deck faders.

 

So far the stage pianos/keyboards I have found that would provide the pitch bender range and zone controls also have aftertouch. Kurzweil PC3X and Yamaha S90XS to name a couple.

 

The last weighted keyboard I had with aftertouch was an old Ensoniq KS-32 and it worked for for quite a while but after age 45 or so I thought my playing days were done due to wrist and hand pain. When I ditched the KS-32 I was cured. I am worried about getting a weighted board with aftertouch due to fear of crippling my hands again.

 

Is this a risk with all weighted boards with aftertouch.

 

There are still new stock Yamaha MO8 boards still available but I hate to buy a discountinued board. MOX8 doesn't appear to have zone slider controllers.

 

What I think I really want is a Yamaha S90XS or Kurzweil PC3x without aftertouch or if there is a way I could get a guarantee that the thing will not cripple my hands.

 

Anyone have any experiences, opinions or ideas? Thanks for your support.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Don't know how much this will help. I'm 69 - started 6 years ago on a Kurzweil SP88X, sold it when I got a PC2X, we still have the PC2X, but I've had a PC3X since March of 2008. I also have (since last December) a Baldwin Howard grand.

 

I do experience pain in my fretting hand after playing elect. bass or guitar for a while; but have not had any problem with the action on any of the three weighted Kurzweils (or the grand).

 

My piano teacher, who is a concert pianist, did work with me considerably at first to get my playing posture and technique correct - and was quite vocal that playing with the wrong poositioing and technique would be damaging.

 

As far as the aftertouch on the PC3X, it takes a very conscious effort for me to push the key down to engage the aftertouch. I have the amplification set so I don't have to get into that range for pianistic playing.

 

I do use the aftertouch in orchestral stuff like cello and flute (but most of the time when I'm doing that or Hammond stuff, I'm on the PC2 or PC3, which have lightly weighted keys).

 

No experience on that model Yamaha, I have played a CP300 and did not have problems.

 

Might be profitable to find a really good classical instructor in your area and pay for just having the instructor observe your playing to see if they find some problem in the way you are playing. At my age, I have problems getting enough speed - and my instructor has helped that also (learning to play with the minimum necessary movement).

 

 

 

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Jim

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We need to have kanker weigh in here. I seem to recall that he also felt that aftertouch aggravated his hand problems. I don't recall if he felt any keyboards with aftertouch were better or worse than others.

 

Larry.

 

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So far the stage pianos/keyboards I have found that would provide the pitch bender range and zone controls also have aftertouch.

 

The Roland RD-700NX might be an option for a no-aftertouch board. I'm not sure how flexible its zone control options are. It's rather heavy, too.

 

More to the point, though, I think that "weighted action" and "aftertouch" are two different issues. You'll probably find some weighted actions much more pleasant to play on than others... and I'd be surprised if there was any correlation between that and whether or not they had aftertouch. And aftertouch implementations themselves vary quite a bit among keyboards, they don't all affect the feel the same way.

 

The PC3 has aftertouch, but is not a fully weighted keyboard. PC3X is weighted.

 

You're right, Yamaha unfortunately took the 4 faders away when they upgraded the MO to the MOX. But if you happen to have an ipad, it looks like you will probably be able to add virtual faders with the forthcoming Faders and XY Pad app shown at http://www.yamahasynth.com/jp/library/motif_xf/ipad/soon.html -- supposedly those Motif apps will work on an MOX, but you'll need a hardwired interface (it's wireless on the Motif).

 

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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We need to have kanker weigh in here. I seem to recall that he also felt that aftertouch aggravated his hand problems. I don't recall if he felt any keyboards with aftertouch were better or worse than others.

 

Larry.

Yeah, I'm entering that time of year where I start playing a lot of backline keyboards. There are definitely worse aftertouches for me - anything where the aftertouch requires a significant extra dip making for a very spongy bottom, like the StudioLogic VMK-188. Beyond that, I'd honestly need to spend some time playing more of what's on the market to make a worthwhile comment. Perhaps when I'm in Nashville next week I'll be able to find a music store with a real selection of keyboards to get a better read on the topic ;)
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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For what it's worth, I have spent the last 20 years or so playing a KX88 and more recently an S90ES-- both of which are weighted boards with aftertouch-- and have experienced no hand/wrist pain.

 

I'm curious as to why you seem to be zeroing in on the presence of aftertouch as the cause of your woes?

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...I'm curious as to why you seem to be zeroing in on the presence of aftertouch as the cause of your woes?

The only reason I blamed the aftertouch was that the only board to make ever make my hands hurt was a weighted action keyboard with aftertouch. RD-500 and the Kawai's I played after I stopped using the KS-32 didn't do this but maybe it was just that particular keyboard. I think the keyboard itself was a fatar 76-key weighted board with aftertouch.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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I'm not sure I understand. Do your hands hurt because of the pressure to activate aftertouch, or do you think they hurt because the keys bottom out differently when aftertouch is present on the keybed?
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I don't know. I just know after about 45 minutes on the KS-32 my hands and wrist would start killing me. When I quit using that board my problems ceased. I assumed it was the aftertouch but maybe not.

 

But the way the aftertouch worked on the KS-32 it sounds very close to the description Kanker gives regarding the StudioLogic VMK-188.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Interesting to hear the correlation between aftertouch and hand problems. I've had exactly the opposite experience, but then, this is specifically with the Kurzweil PC2.

 

What I wrote in the thread about the Roland RD700NX action in response to a poster who experienced hand problems with the RD700 was this:

 

"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."

 

FWIW. I regularly play on acoustic pianos, and finding a weighted action that does not bottom out too quickly is a priority for me, as it is for some others here. Here I was assuming a keybed with aftertouch would be a good bet, because it would have to allow key travel after being depressed down, but I guess, as with non-aftertouch keybeds, not all are created equal.

 

I recall my piano teacher from long ago, an awarded and accomplished jazz as well as classical player, experiencing problems with certain DP keybeds once he started doing more work on DPs. Apparently the ergonomics associated with replicating a weighted-piano-keybed feel need to evolve a bit more.

 

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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"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."

 

FWIW. I regularly play on acoustic pianos, and finding a weighted action that does not bottom out too quickly is a priority for me, as it is for some others here. Here I was assuming a keybed with aftertouch would be a good bet, because it would have to allow key travel after being depressed down, but I guess, as with non-aftertouch keybeds, not all are created equal.

 

I'm not sure how this relates to other comments here, but I owned a Kurzweil SP88x for 2 months. It had one of the worst actions--"bouncy"--of any kybd I've ever played. My wrists hurt after playing it for 5 minutes, & it was impossible to play smoothly. I'm thinking of buying a used Kurzweil PC3 (semi-weighted), but I'm a bit worried about how the action (keybed) is.....

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Kanker said: Perhaps when I'm in Nashville next week I'll be able to find a music store with a real selection of keyboards to get a better read on the topic.

________________________________________________________________

Try Corner Music in Nashville....they have a lot of pro gear there. Mr. Nathan may also have some suggestions.

 

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I'm thinking of buying a used Kurzweil PC3 (semi-weighted), but I'm a bit worried about how the action (keybed) is.....

 

For mostly piano? Eh.... no. Not for me anyway. (I've become a Kawai fanboy.)

 

Otherwise, it's a decent compromise for EPs, synths, and organs. Noticeably more resistance than a 76-key Motif to my fingers, and a hair more stiff than the Nord Electro 3. I suppose a more objective measure would be to stack quarters on the keys :)

 

It has loosened up over the couple of years I've owned it and serves me just fine now.

 

 

I make software noises.
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Thanks everyone. I am so pleased. I do not need to buy anything. While programming my midi setups today I discovered I can set the pitch bender range to +/- 12 for external zones. The +-7 limit is only for the internal Kawai sounds.

 

I am so glad I do not need to buy anything big this year.

 

Now I need to figure out how to copy and write sounds within a Roland XV5050. I am trying to do what the manual says but it aint working. The editor librarian will not install on my Windows7 machine. I have an old Win98 box in my studio. I will give that a try.

 

Thank for everyone's support.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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I used to get hung-up on buying an 88 key controller that had aftertouch... I wasn't interested in buying a board that didn't have it. After listening to some folks on this board (Kevin being one of them), I've done a 180... Now when I do choose to buy a weighted controller, it won't have aftertouch. I actually view it as a negative now (only with weighted actions).

Sundown

 

Working on: The Jupiter Bluff; Driven Away

Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361

DAW Platform: Cubase

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Try Corner Music in Nashville....they have a lot of pro gear there. Mr. Nathan may also have some suggestions.

 

Never really cared for Corner that much. The local GC has a much better KB dept. If you really want to try keys in Nashville, go the the airport and buy a ticket to Winter NAMM.

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Try Corner Music in Nashville....they have a lot of pro gear there. Mr. Nathan may also have some suggestions.

 

Never really cared for Corner that much. The local GC has a much better KB dept. If you really want to try keys in Nashville, go the the airport and buy a ticket to Winter NAMM.

Yeah, I was in the GC at 100 Oaks and I gotta say, it's got the best keyboard dept I've seen since I was in Manhattan last summer. That said, it's nowhere near as comprehensive as the Sam Ash in Manhattan. The GC keyboard dept in Nashville seems to be what GC keyboard departments everywhere else used to be.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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I used to get hung-up on buying an 88 key controller that had aftertouch...Now when I do choose to buy a weighted controller, it won't have aftertouch. I actually view it as a negative now (only with weighted actions).

I don't think there's any reason to assume that the presence of aftertouch either adds to or detracts from the feel of an 88 as a blanket rule like that, I think you should play the individual keyboards. There are almost certainly some 88s with aftertouch that you will find feel better than some 88s without it. There have been some terrific weighted actions that had aftertouch, and numerous lousy 88 actions without 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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I played weighted keyboards with aftertouch for YEARS. I liked them. I just started have hand problems after age 45 or so and it may not have been because of the aftertouch per se but something particular to the KS-32 ... who knows.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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