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Kronos 61 APs played from a weighted keyboard?


Moonglow

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Ive heard a few people mention that playing the Kronos 61 pianos from its own keybed has been a less than positive experience (e.g., jumpy velocities). But have any played a Kronos 61 from an external weighted keyboard? How did the pianos sound/feel? Better yet, has anyone done this and compared it to the Kronos 73/88 pianos (played from their respective keybeds, of course)?

 

I realize the potential for velocity issues still exists when playing the Kronos 61 pianos from a weighted controller and that there will always be a degree of variability among weighted controllers, especially considering the many options available. But any positive experiences or improvement? Just looking for some general feedback/data.

 

Thanks again!

 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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Yes, I'm one of the people who found it virtually impossible to play the Kronos pianos with any finesse on a 61, I was expecting better, based on how so many people had raved about the 61 action on the M3 that I had never played but was being used in the Kronos 61. I thought it would likely be one of those 61s that could be, while still not ideal, at least passable for piano, as some better non-piano weighted actions can be, but it isn't. I found the Roland VR-760 action much better, for example. Or even the cheap Yamaha NP-30.

 

The Kronos 61 piano did indeed play much better from an attached 88.

 

I haven't played the Kronos 73/88, I'm not a big fan of its RH3 action overall, based on playing the SV1. It's okay, but nothing to write home about. A weighted Kronos would be too heavy for me to carry around anyway, but considering its action, I don't even find the prospect tempting. (My preferences in a piano action would lean more in the direction of the Roland FP-7F or Yamaha CP5.)

 

As for the sound itself, I think the Kronos piano is okay, but I was disappointed overall (in part, I imagine, because of my high expectations). As a point of reference, since you're a Kurzweil player, I'll say that I do like it better than the Kurzweil piano (at least the variations included on their SP4), and I'm not a Kurzweil piano basher as some here are. I find the Kurzweil pianos usable, and prefer them to some other popular newer choices (i.e. the Privia PX-130/330/3). But I thought the Kronos piano was not as good as the piano in the Yamaha XS series (including the far less expensive MOX... in fact, I've done some gigs with a Yamaha MOX8 on bottom and a Kronos 61 on top. I thought it was a nice combination, but while I could have set it up so that the MOX would trigger the Kronos piano sound, I stuck with its own piano.). Other piano sounds I prefer over the Kronos are the Nord Bosendorfer and the Kawai MP10 (though I really dislike the action on that Kawai).

 

As a disclaimer, I should add that I only played the main piano presets and a couple of others, I didn't not try doing any tweaking, and the Kronos piano is very tweakabale.

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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Chris,

 

A couple weeks ago at the dreaded GC, I was able to move their demo Yammy CP33 to the bottom tier of an AX stand below their Kronos 61. I midi'd them together. This would pretty much be my exact setup if/when I spring for a Kronos.

 

First, I love the keybed of my CP33.

 

IMHO, the Kronos piano sounds were VERY playable from my CP.

 

I did dig into the tweakable parameters of a couple piano sounds on the Kronos, and I thought they sounded very, very good, and I didn't lose any nuance by playing them from an external keyboard (CP).

 

That all being said, I do like the RH3 keyboard used on the SV1, 73 and 88 Kronos, and M50-88. I played a Kronos 88 also, and it was okay. However, as good as it was, to me, I still like the feel of my CP33 better. That's one reason why I keep the CP33 and and don't go to a dedicated controller-type keyboard as my main 88 piano.

 

 

David

Gig Rig:Roland Fantom-08| Yamaha MODX+ 6 | MacBook Pro 14" M1| Mainstage

 

 

 

 

 

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Moonglow, in answer to your question, velocity switching is not an issue with the Kronos, IMO. Yes, there can be jumps but overall it's much smoother than 3-4 vel layer pianos. The note-to-note consistence is exceptional for an instrument where every note is sampled (it's much easier to create a unified sound when you're using the same sample on multiple notes) and rivals the best in the software world in this area, again IMO.

 

To properly set up the Kronos for the widest range of expression go into GLOBAL and set VELOCITY CURVE to 9. In the SGX-1 parameters set VELOCITY INTENSITY to +40 or +50. You will get a dynamic piano on the 61, 73, or 88.

 

If you're largely going to be controlling the Kronos from an external keyboard set CONVERT POSITION in GLOBAL to POST-MIDI and play with the velocity curves to suit your controller.

 

The dynamic range of the Kronos pianos as measured at the DPBSD Project is 42db for the German Grand and 46db for the Japanese. This is a wide range so long as your keyboard is properly set up.

 

People have complained about the overall tone as being too harsh/cold. Here's my favorite Kronos piano (using Dark German Grand 2 piano type).

Kronos Dark German Grand - piano type 2

 

An advantage of an eight vel layer piano over a 3-4 is that you can have a much wide range of piano variations to choose from. Some of the Dark Kronos pianos might only use the bottom six layers, never reaching the top hard strike layers. You still have twice the layers to smooth out the tone as a three layer piano. In the example above, I didn't touch the default EQ. The secret is in the piano types. If you only have three or four layers to begin with, removing layers isn't really an option.

 

I don't know if the Kronos pianos are going to work for you in your playing environment, but they work very well for me.

 

I'm starting a Kronos Blog. Here's a post that relates to your question.

----------

I thought it would be interesting to compare the velocity switching of the Kronos acoustic pianos against some well-known soft synth pianos. In my opinion, the Kronos does very well in these tests. Its only the German D1 that shows a significant jump and thats at the highest velocity. There are 32 piano types and there are many different mappings, so this test is not conclusive regarding the Kronos acoustic pianos. But, if the lack of velocity switching is critical to you, you should be able to find a piano type that works for you on the Kronos.

 

Alecia Keys and Ivory did very well in this test. The Quantum Leap piano, not so well (that's an understatement).

 

Kronos Ferrante German Grand

Kronos C2 Japanese Grand

Kronos D1 German Grand

NI Alecia Keys

Ivory II Steinway D (18 vel levels)

East West Quantum Leap Steinway D

 

BTW, Here are the Kronos Rhodes in a velocity test:

Mark I

Mark II

 

 

http://thekronosblog.blogspot.com/

 

Busch.

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(it's much easier to create a unified sound when you're using the same sample on multiple notes)

I guess maybe it depends on how you interpret "unified," but I find that stretching tends to make the transitions from one stretched sample to the next rather jarring in many cases. Not that the transitions tend to be noticeable in real world playing (especially when playing more than one note at once, as is generally the case), but to me, the exaggerated differences at the transition points creates a less "unified" sound with my definition of that meaning "sounding like they all came from the same piano." The (artificial) "sameness" of a particular group of notes tends to make the adjacent next-sample notes sound like they originated from a different instrument by comparison. I'm not really disagreeing with your point that it is easier to create a unified sound with stretching, I really don't know either way, I'm just saying that pianos with stretching generally don't sound unified to me in the first place.

 

Here's my favorite Kronos piano (using Dark German Grand 2 piano type).

Wonderful arrangement of the song! Reminiscent of Vince Guaraldi. Is that your own? If so, kudos!

 

I don't care for the sound, though!

 

(edit: I'm not saying it sounds bad, I've happily gigged with lesser piano sounds than that... but there's still something unreal about it, and there are other pianos I prefer, even though they don't compete spec-wise.)

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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Ive heard a few people mention that playing the Kronos 61 pianos from its own keybed has been a less than positive experience (e.g., jumpy velocities).

 

didn't notice anything like that during my few visits to GC. Quite contrary it was one of the best piano payable, non hammer action keybeds I've been playing so far.

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I only tried the Kronos 61 for a short while at GC, a few weeks back but I was actually surprised by how much I liked the keyboard. I felt it was better suited for pianowork than most non-weighted actions.

 

I'd love to get my hands on an 88, I really liked the Kronos piano sound. Even when playing it on the 61.

 

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I'm starting a Kronos Blog.

 

bookmarked. Excellent site !

 

I thought it would be interesting to compare the velocity switching of the Kronos acoustic pianos against some well-known soft synth pianos.

 

Busch.

 

For me,- in your comparison, Ivory and Kronos JC2 did it best.

K-Mark 1 and Mark II are good too.

 

Your Brass, Miles and RComp audio demos are superb.

Thx for that !

 

A.C.

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D-Bon, the Mark V has been available for sometime. I haven't done a good job of getting the word out. It's in Kontakt (you'll need the full version) and Digidesign Structure formats.

Damn, I've only got the Kontakt Player. Well, incentive to go whole hog. Also, very cool that you made it free/donationware. :cool:

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I believe you can run it for a while in Kontakt Player but then it will time out. At least you can try it out. I would have to go through NI directly in order for them to create a Player version which I assume is going to cost money. It's really meant for commercial products.

 

Busch.

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