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Alternatively-Sized Keyboards


dalpozlead
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Now that was a great video. I got to play a tack piano that was a notch smaller for travel and I felt a bit cramped. I get "comfortable" in a big way. People were a lot smaller in Chopin's day! Better food eventually made everyone bigger, sometimes in too many directions. Time to go on the X/Y/Z-Axis Diet. 😳

 

This issue means less to me all the time, which feels odd when I have those big ol' octave-and-a-half grand piano hands. Its the opposite of the original issue. I've found most weighted DP/workstation actions too mushy or attached to a flagship that was above my pay grade. About a third of my synths have had fairly pleasant actions. The other two-thirds, eh, you learn to adapt. My hands have become too creaky to do a Jerry Lee thing anymore, so I've been oozing into the grateful camp of those who can keep rolling with various controllers. ROLI draws me the most for MPE, but the company is not behaving in an encouraging manner. As with many other things, results TBD.

"Your Honor, according to witnesses,
    Miss Congeniality led the attack
     with a kick to the groin."
           ~ Dan Fielding

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I saw the video a few days ago, and related to it quite well.  I am in that bottom quartile of male hand size, and would greatly like to try out a smaller scale keyboard.  I might have to put a trip to northern PA on my bucket list. 

-Tom Williams

{First Name} {at} AirNetworking {dot} com

PC4-7, PX-5S, AX-Edge, PC361

 

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Piano Accordions are a great example of the piano-style keys and scale but with smaller keys overall. 17”-keyboard (or “ladies’ size”) models have really quite narrow keys. I played one of those for years growing up but my hands outgrew it and these days it’s very difficult to play accurately. A regular standard piano accordion keyboard is about 19” long, and the keys are still narrower than an actual piano. There are other scale lengths in between. I can’t go smaller than that standard 19” size these days, despite the fact that I can’t reach past a 10th on piano (which is a good range but not the biggest by any means). It’s more of a finger size issue than a hand span issue.
 

For reference: a standard piano accordion keyboard has 41 keys. The keyboard length has to be divided by 41 to get an approximation of key width.

Yamaha: Motif XF8, MODX7, YS200, MX61, CVP-305, CLP-130, YPG-235, PSR-295, PSS-470 | Roland: Fantom 7, JV-1000

Kurzweil: PC3-76, PC4 (88) | Hammond: SK Pro 73 | Korg: N1R, X5DR | Emu: Proteus/1 | Casio: CT-370 | Novation: Launchkey 37 MK3

Former: Emu Proformance Plus & Mo'Phatt, Korg Krome 61, Roland Fantom XR & JV-1010, Behringer CAT

Yamaha Pacifica 112V & APX600 | Washburn WI64 | Ibanez BTB-675 | Roland TD-17 KVX | Alesis SamplePad Pro | Assorted organs, accordions, other instruments

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Well, Roli addressed this with the Lumi. And ya know, I shamed them for it :( now I’m kind of ashamed I did. They actually went and did a bunch of research and made a video about how 5.5in octave keyboards could improve playing, and I talked shit about it. Even wrote to them (as an avid Seaboard user) asking “why”? Of course, the Lumi isn’t close to being a hammer-action piano keybed, but they were the only company I know that publicly talked about hand size and why the 7/8 could be beneficial.

 

I think one additional reason this video doesn’t address is that smaller keys are associated with cheap and toy keyboards. This isn’t true on the piano side, but in the electric keyboard world, it’s cheaper to make a keybed with smaller keys, and it’s commonly been associated with low quality keyboards for young people. Now, “micro keys” are typically much thinner than the 5.5-6in octaves he’s talking about. But I’m sure it’s the first thing that pops in peoples heads now in 2022.

Puck Funk! :)

 

Equipment: Laptop running lots of nerdy software, some keyboards, noise makersâ¦yada yada yadaâ¦maybe a cat?

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  23 hours ago, David Emm said:

Better food eventually made everyone bigger, sometimes in too many directions.

 

>> Who said ?

She ???

 

Sometimes my bathroom mirror, sometimes the crowd at NASCAR. If they were all filled with hydrogen, one mis-flicked cigarette butt and it'd be a serial Hindenburg event far more, uh, thrilling than a mere car pileup.

 

I understand the clumsy position of the manufacturers. Tooling up for anything can be the hardest part of the whole venture. A pre-order situation could address things, but there's still that staff/support/tooling gremlin to confront. I appreciate people who push the papers more all the time.

"Your Honor, according to witnesses,
    Miss Congeniality led the attack
     with a kick to the groin."
           ~ Dan Fielding

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I'm surprised big companies don't make more use of something like kickstarter. If they're not sure there's a demand, see if you can get a certain amount of pre-sale commitments before you manufacture. I've thought they could do that for even small scale stuff, like software updates for discontinued products.

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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