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New piano module?


stoken6

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I don't think this was discussed here when it was announced in January.

 

M-Audio Accent Piano Module

In a lot of ways, it's forgettable. (And apparently 1981 called, and wants its hobbyist-chic styling back).

 

But two things intrigued me:

1. It's a piano module. Hell, it's a module, and there aren't many of those any more

2. It's a USB host. So you could plug a USB-only controller into it.

 

Cheers, Mike.

 

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At $250 could be a low cost alternative to the Integra, or a full blown Integra alternative if it was loaded with the other Air sample based VST's.

 

The Air Sampled Steinway is also built-in to the Accent 88 key controller.

 

More at SOS Review

 

At $549 the Accent could also have a place as an entry level hammer action 88 note weighted controller.

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What I'm actually surprised is that they mentioned the DP would be available in March and the module in April/May but still we haven't heard anything else since NAMM. The overall presentation is quite nice. I liked that the 32 onboard sounds would not be the standard sound palette you hear in other DPs but something tailored more to someone who purchases this piano first for learning, but a year or two later goes out to their first gigs. Honestly, who actually uses pipe organ when going to a gig. Granted, this DP would not be my first choice if I had something else with more and better sounds. I would prefer to take out my PX-5S instead. BUT for a beginner it can be a nice alternative.

 

As for the module itself...pretty meh. Same 32 voices for $250? The grand piano tone in the video was ok but the decay was super fast. I don't think I would purchase it. I mean the idea is quite nice and there is a lack of modules in this day and age. But I think right now you can do a lot more with a current ipad than you can with this module. Heck, you could potentially do more with a Casio XW-P1 for $500 than you could with this module. I know it is more money but if a beginner has no midi controller and is considering getting this module plus a midi controller, it will cost more than $500.

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I agree, and I'm struggling to understand the market for this module. I understand that M-Audio wants to allow customers of its USB-only controllers to go out and play live without taking their computer.

 

But surely an iPad app is much more to the point. Or a USB-MIDI interface for an iPhone (like the Yamaha i-UX1) with a bundled app.

 

I posted because I thought it was interesting, not because I want one!

 

Cheers, Mike.

 

 

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Honestly, who actually uses pipe organ when going to a gig.

People who play churches and/or weddings can find it pretty useful.

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Honestly, who actually uses pipe organ when going to a gig.

People who play churches and/or weddings can find it pretty useful.

 

True. Mostly in weddings with the wedding march. I take back my comment.

Kawai MP7SE ::: Yamaha CK-61 ::: Novation Launchkey 61 ::: Roland CM-30 Speaker ::: Ipad Mini 5 with a lot of apps for live playing (Hammond B3-X, PianoTeq 8 iOS, Korg Module, Thumbjam, etc.)

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Everyonce in a while we get someone on the forum who asks why there isn't much in the way of piano modules anymore. Maybe there is a market for guys with older keyboards that are lacking in a decent piano sound who don't want to get into setting up a laptop?

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Synthogy announced this at NAMM:

 

Ivory Module ,

 

And they've ported to Korg's iPad app as well.

 

The interest in leveraging the hardware you already have in your life (iPad, iPhone, laptop) has way overshadowed the module market, but there's obviously still some sort of demand for the hardware box.

 

 

..
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I remember seeing that - the dedicated hardware will be pricey. This being M-Audio I suspect much cheaper, but... smaller samples on ROM? Or are they flash ramming this thing and giving you longer, possibly uncompressed samples from the Air collection?

 

http://www.airmusictech.com/category/new-products

 

looks 3 part multi-timbral so splits and layers probably possible. handy bass/mid/treble on the front. The usual suspects on the back, (1/4" stereo outs, both MIDI and USB as well as an 1/8" inch aux in).

 

http://8e5aac4bc793d119543e-a784f0287de17aca81e7ecc053e60785.r69.cf2.rackcdn.com/1545/images/AccentModule_1200x750_web.jpg

Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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The sweeter dealer says street price is $199.

 

Turn Your MIDI Controller into a Piano

Do you own a MIDI controller? Sweetwater has an excellent suggestion: turn it into a stage piano with the M-Audio Accent Module. The Accent Module supports USB-MIDI hosting: when it's connected to your bus-powered MIDI controller via USB, it not only communicates with it but powers it as well. If you're a gigging keyboardist, this diminutive module offers the ultimate in portability. You'll find the Accent's 20 built-in instrument voices - including the stunning AIR Steinway samples - to be sonically rich and rewarding. The M-Audio Accent Module is fitted with a headphone output and 1/4" TRS line-level outs for connection to pro-audio gear.

 

M-Audio Accent Module Features:

Supports USB-MIDI hosting: powers and communicates with bus-powered MIDI controller

Works with any USB-MIDI or MIDI-DIN controller without need for a computer

20 onboard voices; split or layer up to 3 simultaneous voices

Outstanding AIR Steinway Piano and AIR Structure samples included

1 x 1/4" headphone output; 2 balanced 1/4" TRS line-level outs

Turn your MIDI controller into a piano with M-Audio's Accent Module!

 

Tech Specs

Sound Engine Type(s) Modeling

Number of Presets 20 voices with AIR Steinway piano samples

Analog Inputs 1 x 1/8" (aux in)

Analog Outputs 2 x 1/4" (line out), 1 x 1/4" (headphones)

MIDI I/O In/USB

USB 1 x Type A

Manufacturer Part Number ACCENT MODULE

Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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Man I was salivating about that Ivory module until I caught the part about the $1500 price tag...

 

Hmmm. Makes me feel pretty good about my Receptor purchase. ;)

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Haha. There's got to be something between $199 and $1500 that would be just the ticket for a great sampled or even modeled piano. Maybe it's an iPad? I guess that's where we're at. Touch screen macs can't be far off - or beefier iPads - the Pro is pretty robust for a tablet. I guess there's always the MS Surface - but still pricey - but a lot of horsepower.

Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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See - I get the point of an Ivory module. Although $1500 is steep.

 

But who wants the M-audio piano sound? Any recent keyboard will equal or better it (OK not the Hammond XK1c).

 

At a recent blues jam, house keyboards were ... M-audio prokeys 88! Semi-weighted stage piano, baby! The Accent better be a whole heap - actually several heaps - better than that.

 

a VPC type controller focused on gigging with an internal slot to house and dock a Mac mini - touch screen already there.

 

I understand why that's attractive, although it's quite a niche! Most live software users are running laptops. And I can see tablets getting more popular for live soft-synths. A VPC with a flat section for a laptop/tablet would be cool - especially if it could act as a tablet dock (power/audio interface /USBMIDI).

 

Cheers, Mike.

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I understand why that's attractive, although it's quite a niche! Most live software users are running laptops. And I can see tablets getting more popular for live soft-synths. A VPC with a flat section for a laptop/tablet would be cool - especially if it could act as a tablet dock (power/audio interface /USBMIDI).

 

I just feel that with so many software developers in many ways besting what the big keyboard manufacturers are even offering in their instruments - what we really want is a great action that doesn't weigh a ton. We don't need/want to be limited by the internal sound engines (that's what MIDI is for ;) ) - but we'd miss the tight integration and convenience of carrying just a keyboard with nothing to wire up. Hence - a slot/dock for a Mac MINI or Intel NUC and let the user pick and choose what VST/AUs they want to install. Korg, Yamaha, Roland could sell their sound engines as standalone apps on the App store (although now they'd have to compete with other software developers large and small - but their brand names are so strong). I say stand alone Apps because for some reason Apple isn't letting devs sell AU/VST yet so they'd have to give you an alternate link and code to get the AU/VST from their servers after buying the standalone.

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I agree that the idea of a premium-action controller with a touchscreen and dock for a screenless compact computer sounds really cool. But it's just too small a market to go for, given that most seem to use laptops in preference to desktops and other screenless devices. I don't seem them replacing laptops with "compact PCs" (minis and NUCs) just for this controller.

 

Now if you broaden the concept from "dock" to "shelf", that could take a laptop or tablet, then that has wider appeal. Add passthrough power, USB and so on, it could be a winner.

 

Just my 0.153 pence.

 

Cheers, Mike.

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I think the GEM-RPX module still holds up reasonably well, too bad they are no longer being manufactured. Among currently available rack modules that contain pianos, I would probably go after the Integra 7 or perhaps a Motif XS-Rack, although they feature more sounds than a dedicated piano module and a higher price point.

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

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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I can understand the attraction of a low-cost hardware module that has a decent acoustic piano sound, and hopefully some other decent sounds as well. When I first started adding some "useful keyboard noises" to our covers band 11 years ago, just getting a tolerable acoustic piano sound was step one, so I bought a used Proformance module for under $100 - this was in 2005. This met my initial goal of creating sounds that resembled a piano, and doing so much better than the Korg DW8000 I was borrowing from a friend.

 

So if I were just starting trying to get a tolerable AP sound today, the M-Audio box might seem attractive, particularly if I somehow got a MIDI controller from a friend.

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I like having the RPX for AP and it also has a decent set of other sounds aswell. Also saves me from booting my system when I just want to play only AP, but when getting serious I'll use the PC and the RPX becomes my backup.

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The M-Audio site is very limited on information. I also notice the spec page has an error, saying it can split and layer three voices. All other locations of that information specify 2 voices.

 

I think they mean 1 left-hand voice plus 2 layered right-hand voices. That's fairly standard with portable keyboards, although I've been seeing more references to "4 zones" lately.

Michael Rideout
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I can understand the attraction of a low-cost hardware module that has a decent acoustic piano sound, and hopefully some other decent sounds as well. When I first started adding some "useful keyboard noises" to our covers band 11 years ago, just getting a tolerable acoustic piano sound was step one, so I bought a used Proformance module for under $100 - this was in 2005. This met my initial goal of creating sounds that resembled a piano, and doing so much better than the Korg DW8000 I was borrowing from a friend.

 

So if I were just starting trying to get a tolerable AP sound today, the M-Audio box might seem attractive, particularly if I somehow got a MIDI controller from a friend.

 

I think this is exactly where M-Audio hope to make sales. It's why I bought a Yamaha EMT10 in my teens.

 

But today's world is different. If a thirteen year old kid with a controller has had enough of makin phat beatz in his bedroom, and wants to join a band, is he/she going to buy an Accent piano module? Or just take his/her laptop or tablet on stage? (Hint: it's not the first one).

 

Cheers, Mike.

 

 

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I can understand the attraction of a low-cost hardware module that has a decent acoustic piano sound, and hopefully some other decent sounds as well. When I first started adding some "useful keyboard noises" to our covers band 11 years ago, just getting a tolerable acoustic piano sound was step one, so I bought a used Proformance module for under $100 - this was in 2005. This met my initial goal of creating sounds that resembled a piano, and doing so much better than the Korg DW8000 I was borrowing from a friend.

 

So if I were just starting trying to get a tolerable AP sound today, the M-Audio box might seem attractive, particularly if I somehow got a MIDI controller from a friend.

 

I think this is exactly where M-Audio hope to make sales. It's why I bought a Yamaha EMT10 in my teens.

 

But today's world is different. If a thirteen year old kid with a controller has had enough of makin phat beatz in his bedroom, and wants to join a band, is he/she going to buy an Accent piano module? Or just take his/her laptop or tablet on stage?

 

(Hint: it's not the first one).

 

Cheers, Mike.

 

 

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It's why I bought a Yamaha EMT10 in my teens.

 

Ha! I had one of those too, in my teens. I had just joined a '50s rock band with my brand new Korg M1 and they informed me that the M1 piano sound didn't cut it for "At The Hop", "Great Balls of Fire", etc. In hindsight, boy were they right. So I got the EMT10. Eventually I switched to the Emu Proformance and then the Kurz micropiano.

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If a thirteen year old kid with a controller has had enough of makin phat beatz in his bedroom, and wants to join a band, is he/she going to buy an Accent piano module? Or just take his/her laptop or tablet on stage?

 

(Hint: it's not the first one).

Using a laptop live is awkward and requires an additional level of expertise... it's not plug-and-play like a module (though Mac comes closer than Windows). And the possible cost of software, interface, control surface if need be can exceed the cost of the module.

 

As for a tablet, yeah, an iPad would probably be preferable. But lots of folks have Android tablets which would not be suited to this.

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I agree Scott about Android not being supported, but I've rarely seen Android tablets here in the UK (phones are different) - it's all iPads.

 

And if you're running a controller at home, you'll have software and interface already. Many controllers come with some software, and I expect many will just use the headphone jack.

 

Now it gets interesting when you outgrow that - do you plonk $200 on a module with a actually-not-very-good AP sound? Or go to say $400-$500 and get something like a Casio Privia or a Yamaha NP arranger?

 

Or even an iPod Touch+Korg Module+PlugKey or similar, judging by the other thread.

 

Cheers, Mike.

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I agree Scott about Android not being supported, but I've rarely seen Android tablets here in the UK (phones are different) - it's all iPads.

 

And if you're running a controller at home, you'll have software and interface already. Many controllers come with some software, and I expect many will just use the headphone jack. We're not talking seasoned pros here, for whom convenience and reliability are essential.

 

Now it gets interesting when the kid starts to outgrow that - do you plonk $200 on a module with a actually-not-very-good AP sound? Or go to say $400-$500 and get something like a Casio Privia or a Yamaha NP arranger?

 

Or even an iPod Touch+Korg Module+PlugKey or similar, judging by the other thread.

 

Cheers, Mike.

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