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GAS Attack - Anyone experienced with the SK2?


Mr. Nightime

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My wife just came to me the other day and asked what my dream keyboard would be. I've currently been gigging with a Hammond XK-3C, but it is owned by my church, and she stresses every time that I use it outside the church.

 

So, she is looking to buy me a new keyboard. I'm considering the Hammond SK2, but before I pull the trigger, I wanted to get advice from people I trust.

 

I'm sure the organ sounds will be spectacular, but I'm wondering about the sound and playability of the extra voices. I'd like to be able to just bring the one board to certain venues, and I'm hoping that the SK2 would do the trick. I currently use a Yamaha MM8 for the non-Hammond sounds.

 

I currently use a Vent with the XK-3C, because I prefer it over the internal Leslie of the XK. How is the SK Leslie.

 

I have some other questions as well, but for them I'll read the manual.

 

Thanks

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.

 

Now everybody's got the blues."

 

Willie Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

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The clav is great, I also really enjoy playing the wurli, and I use the vibes patch because I like the hard attack on it, ymmv, the rest of the sounds are, imo, unuseable. Some folks here seem to like the piano in limited contexts.

Keys: Hammond SK2, Hammond SK1, Hammond SKpro, Korg Vox Continental, Waldorf STVC

Amplification: Line6 L3T, Yamaha DBR-10, Presonus Air 10, Leslie 122V

 

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I have an SK1-73 and use a number of the extra voices. I actually like the wah clav better than those on my PC3(s). There are a number of different Rhodes and a FM electric piano that get a good bit of use, Wurlitzer, and the Bright Piano definitely can be heard through a wall of guitars. Occasionally use a few of the Orchestral patches, some of the string patches, and a pad that moves. I've also loaded the bass guitar library for occasional use. Hammond has released a fair number of patch Libraries, my biggest complaint is that I would like to have more memory room to install more of them (can't load just a couple of patches from a library, although some libraries like strings do have sub-set libraries), but the Electo 3 I used to have had the same type of memory limitations.

 

My original expectation was to carry the SK1 and PC361, but most of the time I just setup the SK1. All told, I am pleasantly surprised that the SK does hold its own in a band context. If I was in a jazz trio or other really exposed environment, I'd likely use the SK1 and PC3X.

 

I do not have Vent nor Burn. The SK1 Hammond/Leslie is better on fast speed than I've been able to get out of the PC3's KB3 mode. Character of the organ is closer to the better B3's I've played than either the Kurzweil or the Electro, in my opinion.

 

 

 

 

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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You have a great wife there! :)

 

 

SSM

 

 

Yes. I do.

 

She's been battling cancer for a few years now, and we just got word that they were going to forgo any more treatment, as the treatment would do much more harm than potential good. So, she has just been admitted to Hospice.

 

She decided that she wanted to take her 401K and cash it out, so she can enjoy it now. Hospice will do the paperwork so there should be no IRS penalties.

 

She told me that as her reward to me for being there with her and helping her as much as I can, she wanted to buy me a new keyboard.

 

This was totally unexpected, and not necessary, but I won't argue the point.

 

I've always wanted a 2 manual Hammond on stage.

 

Hammond has released a fair number of patch Libraries, my biggest complaint is that I would like to have more memory room to install more of them (can't load just a couple of patches from a library, although some libraries like strings do have sub-set libraries), but the Electo 3 I used to have had the same type of memory limitations.

 

 

I noticed that it has a USB Thumb drive port. Is it possible to store the patch libraries on the thumb drive, and access them through there?

 

Although, I'm not sure just how much I would change that.

 

 

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.

 

Now everybody's got the blues."

 

Willie Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

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I noticed that it has a USB Thumb drive port. Is it possible to store the patch libraries on the thumb drive, and access them through there?

 

Although, I'm not sure just how much I would change that.

 

 

The libraries can be stored on the drive but they have to be loaded into the SK for use. They can't be accessed directly from the drive. Also, since the voices are usually assigned/saved to a Patch the most efficient thing to do is load the libraries desired, set up and save the patches to use them and then save a "Whole" setup to the drive. Whole setups include all the Patches and other settings as well as the libraries loaded at the time. This ensures that all the libraries needed for the patches are installed.

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In doing more research into this, I noticed that Hammond recommends the EXP-50 pedal. I've been using the Yamaha FC7 pedal. Will this work as well?

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.

 

Now everybody's got the blues."

 

Willie Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

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I occasionally play gigs where I just bring my SK2.

 

I find the internal sounds quite playable for the most part.

 

As folks have said the clav and wah clav are nice.

 

I haven't been able to find a rhodes sound I like ( but I am really picky about that ), but the wurly sounds great and is fun to play. One feature of the SK2 I like is the ability to control the distortion on the wurly with the expression pedal. Allows you to bring it in and out which creates some nice effects during solos.

 

The AP sounds really good in a band mix. Is naturally bright and cuts through. Gets a bit shrill in the highest octaves though so if you play up there much be prepared some aggressive eq.

 

Also consider that 5 octaves would limit what piano parts you could cover, which is why some folks prefer the 73 version.

 

Good luck with the SK2 if you go for it. Sounds amazing....

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I do solo in the higher octaves of the AP. Gets me up into a range that no rhythm guitar should ever be. A little shrillness I can deal with. The MM8 can get a bit shrill up there as well.

 

I'm especially looking at any jam night, or dive bar gig bringing just one board that can "Do it all" Put in on a stand, a couple control pedals, and plug directly into my QSC K10.

 

Bigger gigs I can bring out the MM8 as well

 

 

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.

 

Now everybody's got the blues."

 

Willie Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

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1st, sorry to hear about your wife's condition....

 

I find all of the extra voices on my SK1-73 to be entirely usable. I wouldn't want to play solo piano on it, but the piano/EP sounds works fine in the blues/jam band context where I use it as a single board solution. They are not as good as a dedicated digital piano, or a workstation type board, or a Nord where you can load in what you like, but they are fine for a 1 board solution. The only thing that'd worry me about using the SK2 for pianos would be the short keyboard.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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In doing more research into this, I noticed that Hammond recommends the EXP-50 pedal. I've been using the Yamaha FC7 pedal. Will this work as well?

 

 

I have an SK1, and I also have both these pedals. The EXP-50 has a slightly better "feel" under the foot, but honestly, there's almost nothing in it. I'm quite willing to believe that other people might prefer the FC-7.

 

If you already have the Yamaha, I definitely don't think it's worth shelling out for the Hammond. Also, the lead on the EXP-50 doesn't feel very durable, although I haven't had any problems with it so far.

 

I will be having good thoughts for your wife. I am currently undergoing cancer treatment myself, so can relate in a small way.

 

 

SSM

Occasionally, do something nice for a total stranger. They'll wonder what the hell is going on!
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DanL & SSM - Thanks for the thoughts.

 

The 61 note limitation could be an issue, but not one that will be too much in the way. I played for years in an M1, so I can deal with it.

 

I think the feel would be a greater issue for AP. I've gotten used to the weighted action.

 

I just have to see how it would work on my stands. I'm a bit concerned over that. I have a 2-tier Z stand that I normally use. I have to be very careful with that and make sure the Yamaha goes on the bottom tier first. If the KX-3C is on the stand first, there is the potential for the stand to tip. I'm afraid that since the SK2 is deeper, it would make the stand even more unstable.

 

I might be forced to use my Standtastic stand for double tier.

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.

 

Now everybody's got the blues."

 

Willie Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi, sorry to hear about your wife's problem, all the best to both of you. I have an sk2 for a few years, yes the fc7 pedal works just fine. Organ is what you will expect, better than the xk3c but I still use a Vent occasionally as it improves overall sound and Leslie authenticity in my opinion. As far as the other voices go, you need to spend some time fine tuning each voices eq, octave, and the velocity as well as finding an overall velocity you like for the touch of your playing. A lot of menus, but you are used to that with the xk. If you think 61 notes may limit you there are tricks, such as the octave settings. I have the Respect patch down an octave on preset #1, then normal octave setting for preset #2. Sometimes I like to play it low/deep, other tunes regular setting which will get you into Chi-Lites territory. Just a quick touch of the preset button and you extend the keyboard to have more range. Rhodes, Wurly, clavs are all very good. It's the only board I use for a funk/soul project, blues band, an acoustic duo type gigs. Mainly using my MS kp 500 and it all sounds great. Made up the 8 pin adapter cable in order to use the Vent into the MS and second set of stereo cables for the other voices. Peace, Joe.
SK-1 61; Mojo LE; Mojo 61. Leslie 122. MS kp500sn, Ventilators.
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I may end up using the internal Leslie instead of the Vent, especially if I use the extra voices. I want the Organ to go through the Leslie, but not the Piano.

 

A lot of work, I know, but can I pan the voices so L can go to the Vent, and R to the board/amp? Or is this more work than needed?

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.

 

Now everybody's got the blues."

 

Willie Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

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She's been battling cancer for a few years now, and we just got word that they were going to forgo any more treatment, as the treatment would do much more harm than potential good. So, she has just been admitted to Hospice.

 

She decided that she wanted to take her 401K and cash it out, so she can enjoy it now. Hospice will do the paperwork so there should be no IRS penalties.

 

She told me that as her reward to me for being there with her and helping her as much as I can, she wanted to buy me a new keyboard.

My best to you and your wife. I'm glad to read that the two of you seem to be so great for each other.

"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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My best to you and your wife. I'm glad to read that the two of you seem to be so great for each other.

 

Thanks

 

We met at a gig. She was the bouncer. I first saw her when she came to the stage and asked us to turn down so someone could make an emergency call. I spent the entirety of every break talking with her that night.

 

The next night I sat with friends, and didn't even acknowledge her. She came up to me and told me that I was a "Rude Son on a Bitch", and we've been together for 20+ years.

 

Our piano in the living room is actually hers.

 

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.

 

Now everybody's got the blues."

 

Willie Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

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I hate to hear about your wife's health.

 

If you get the SK2 enjoy it for what it is. Don't be like me start to focus on things like routing limitations and what a board can't do. ..... "If it would only do this!" ... Like if you are playing Three Dog Night and you want to rout a Wurlie to the Lesli and it won't do it.

 

There is really nothing else quite like the SK2 on the market that does what it does in a single package. It is a really nice digital instrument.

 

I play a XK33c what I have been doing when I play 2 manual is putting the Hammond on the bottom base tier of a Monolith and riding the 88 on top when you want to go with both boards. The Sk2 is smaller and lighter. With the right stand you may be able to do something better.

 

I think the 8 pin cable is much cheaper and easier to fabricate than the 11 pin cable if you do want to route the organ to your Ventilator. On the 11 pin you need to send voltage back to the organ to tell it that a leslie is plugged in. I don't THINK you need to do that on the 8 pin but I could be wrong. I think Aussie in Chi-Town would know.

"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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We met at a gig. She was the bouncer. I first saw her when she came to the stage and asked us to turn down so someone could make an emergency call. I spent the entirety of every break talking with her that night.

 

The next night I sat with friends, and didn't even acknowledge her. She came up to me and told me that I was a "Rude Son on a Bitch", and we've been together for 20+ years.

 

Our piano in the living room is actually hers.

I think you've posted that story before, but it's worth reading again. :thu:

"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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We met at a gig. She was the bouncer. I first saw her when she came to the stage and asked us to turn down so someone could make an emergency call. I spent the entirety of every break talking with her that night.

 

The next night I sat with friends, and didn't even acknowledge her. She came up to me and told me that I was a "Rude Son on a Bitch", and we've been together for 20+ years.

 

Our piano in the living room is actually hers.

I think you've posted that story before, but it's worth reading again. :thu:

 

I probably did. After 20+ years I've lost track of when I've told it.

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.

 

Now everybody's got the blues."

 

Willie Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

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1st, sorry to hear about your wife's condition....

 

I find all of the extra voices on my SK1-73 to be entirely usable. I wouldn't want to play solo piano on it, but the piano/EP sounds works fine in the blues/jam band context where I use it as a single board solution. They are not as good as a dedicated digital piano, or a workstation type board, or a Nord where you can load in what you like, but they are fine for a 1 board solution. The only thing that'd worry me about using the SK2 for pianos would be the short keyboard.

 

Ditto on everything that DanL said about the extra voices in the SK series and, of course your wife's condition. I've been hesitant in the past to say just how much I like the AP in my SK1-73,for fear of being trounced upon by the Jazz and Classical folks, but truth is it sounds fine in a all but those two settings. I would think that an SK2 with organ on the top manual and any extra voices being played on the bottom manual would be a very slick one board solution.

 

I also use the Hammond pedal and not my FC7....it works but the 50 just works better IMHO.

 

Paul

 

 

 

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I have an SK1 and SK2. Although I don't use the extra voices much, I agree with much of what has been said about them. IMO The AP's, although not great, are certainly usable in a band mix. The EP's, clavs, basses, and accordians are actually pretty good. The strings are pretty lame and could use some work.

 

Your wife sounds like a cool lady. I hope she is able to win her battle.

Gigs: Nord 5D 73, Kurzwel SP4-7, Hammond SK1, Numa Compact 2x, Yamaha MX88, Casio CGP700, QSC K12, Yamaha DBR10, JBL515xt(2). Alto TS310(2)

 

 

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Here's two threads you should read:

 

https://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2636033/1

 

This thread is over 3 years old and contains every possible thing you'd ever want to know about the SK series. I have one btw and love it. The pianos are plenty good enough, don't be blinded by a few extremely picky piano experts. Nothing against them, they're good guys but some people are just very, very picky.

 

Here's the other thread about a brand new absolutely killer amp, the Spacestation V.3:

 

https://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2602284/1

 

I picked one of these up a month ago. It's mind blowingly awesome and at $599 it's a steal. I'm not going to describe it here, just read that thread. The last 10 pages or so are where the gig reports start. The unit just started shipping from Sweetwater a few weeks ago and everybody including me is raving about this thing.

 

My sister had a cancerous thyroid removed a year ago and is going through all the followup. Very sorry to hear about your wife, she sounds like an amazing woman. Good luck to you both.

 

Bob

 

 

Hammond SK1, Mojo 61, Kurzweil PC3, Korg Pa3x, Roland FA06, Band in a Box, Real Band, Studio One, too much stuff...
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No left/right channel routing like Nord has. I use the 8 pin adapter when I want to use my 145 Leslie; the 8 pin disables the organ out of the l&r channels but leaves the extra voices so you can send them to an amp, or FoH system. Take a look on the HS site for cables and adapters.

 

http://hammondorganco.com/products/accessories-a-parts/accessories/adapters/xm-2-to-6-pin-147-leslie-adapter-xm-47/

SK-1 61; Mojo LE; Mojo 61. Leslie 122. MS kp500sn, Ventilators.
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I was sorry to read of your wife's plight. I helped nurse my g/f past liver cancer a couple of years back, but of course, it was a near and harrowing thing. She said if it recurs, she won't go through that again. Her mother died from it just last week, also refusing more treatment at the end. It leaves one hell of a mark. I feel so suspicious of the bloated corporate greed in things that I truly wonder if Cancer Society donations do any good at all, but you have to shake that off and do anything that seems halfway helpful. The science has gotten better, but its still so brutal, you have to wonder. Hospice will do right by her; she'll be herself longer.

 

You are beyond merely lucky to have had her at all. You're doing the right things and clearly always have, even with human frailties respected. Accept the new instrument as her testament to that and play the hell out of it. Heck, be vile like me and put a meaningful sticker on it as a tribute! For her, it might be roses or a pieced of favorite artwork. For me.. welll... part of how my g/f and I bonded was in laughing at "Family Guy" early on, so my older Korg-station sports Brian the dog peeing on a hydrant, looking over his shoulder and saying "Do you mind?" Life can taste like iron filings without balancing laughter. Remember the great Irish proverb "Four-fifths of Help is to give courage." :2thu:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"What's the password?"
"'I have bourbon.'"
     ~ Joe Hill, "Full Throttle Stories"

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If you use the FC7 you have to switch the response curve in the organ. Not near mine ATM but I think it was "reverse" or something like that.

 

When I had my XB-2 I used the EXP-100 pedal, and loved it (until it shorted and fried the XB-2) the response was so smooth.

 

I'm now using the FC-7 with the XK-3C, and am not really all that fond of it. The response is not as smooth, even after tweaking.

 

Will the EXP-50 work as smoothly as the EXP 100 did? The response was very close to that of a B3.

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.

 

Now everybody's got the blues."

 

Willie Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

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I built an 8 pin adapter to use with my Vent which allowed me to still use the speed switches on the panel as well as a footswitch plugged into the organ.

Moe

---

"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

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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You have a great wife there! :)

 

 

SSM

 

 

Yes. I do.

 

She's been battling cancer for a few years now, and we just got word that they were going to forgo any more treatment, as the treatment would do much more harm than potential good. So, she has just been admitted to Hospice.

 

She decided that she wanted to take her 401K and cash it out, so she can enjoy it now. Hospice will do the paperwork so there should be no IRS penalties.

 

She told me that as her reward to me for being there with her and helping her as much as I can, she wanted to buy me a new keyboard.

 

This was totally unexpected, and not necessary, but I won't argue the point.

 

I've always wanted a 2 manual Hammond on stage.

 

Hammond has released a fair number of patch Libraries, my biggest complaint is that I would like to have more memory room to install more of them (can't load just a couple of patches from a library, although some libraries like strings do have sub-set libraries), but the Electo 3 I used to have had the same type of memory limitations.

 

 

I noticed that it has a USB Thumb drive port. Is it possible to store the patch libraries on the thumb drive, and access them through there?

 

Although, I'm not sure just how much I would change that.

 

 

What as wise and wonderful gift your wife is giving you. God bless you both.

Hammond SK1, Casio PX5s, Motif ES rack, Kawai MP5, Kawai ESS110, Yamaha S03, iPad, and a bunch of stuff in the closet.
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I too have the SK1 73. Love it. Ive never had a vent, but I find the Leslie sim to be very good (better than Nord IMO). I have a real B2 and Leslie122 and a motion sound pro-3, so I do have a decent frame of reference.

 

As far as extra voices, I rely on them because I mostly play gigs with just the Sk1. I find the stereo acoustic piano to be really effective on stage. It sounds a bit brittle/harsh/bright all by itself, but it really cuts nicely with a band.

I love the Wurlitzer E. piano patch----never had the real one, but it sounds great to me.

The clav is pretty nice, good wha effect which is controlled by your expression pedal.

 

My only beef: The Rhodes. It doesnt excite me at all. Its dull.

I favor a Mark V tone, which is very bright clanky, and bell-like. I also like a dry Dynod Mark 1, like Brent Mydland circa 1980-81. I cant seem to get even close to that, so I just dont deal with it.but I really crave it.

 

QUESTION to SK1/2 users: Has anyone achieved this belly Rhodes tone on the SK? If so, how?

Ive tried to EQ to no avail.just gets thin. I dont even know if layering is an option.

Help a brother out!

 

Hammond B-2, Leslie 122, Hammond Sk1 73, Korg BX3 2001, Leslie 900, Motion Sound Pro 3, Polytone Taurus Elite, Roland RD300 old one, Roland VK7, Fender Rhodes Mark V with Roland JC90
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I favor a Mark V tone, which is very bright clanky, and bell-like. I also like a dry Dynod Mark 1, like Brent Mydland circa 1980-81. I cant seem to get even close to that, so I just dont deal with it.but I really crave it.

 

QUESTION to SK1/2 users: Has anyone achieved this belly Rhodes tone on the SK? If so, how?

Ive tried to EQ to no avail.just gets thin. I dont even know if layering is an option.

Help a brother out!

 

Have you tried tinkering with the Velocity Offset parameter (Pg. 78 #24)? It can be a little hard to generate high velocity values without really hitting the keys on the SKs. That can cause the full attack harmonics to not be triggered. The offset parameter adds (or subtracts) a value to/from the actual generated velocity to get the value you want at the force at which you want to play.

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