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does Hammond XK-3 transmit velocity?


drawback

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I would suspect that the answer is YES. I owned an XB2 and an XK2 and both of these Hammond-Suzuki organs transmitted velocity via MIDI. I have not yet played the XK3, but have heard that it is great.

 

Regards,

Eric

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Originally posted by drawback:

Anybody know what Hammond means when they describe their keyboard as having velocity? Their specs say:

 

http://users.belgacombusiness.net/hammond/xk-3.htm

 

Can the XK-3 transmit velocity sensitivity to a MIDI module? Or does this imply something else?

Yes, it does. It doesn't use velocity itself, but it does transmit it. At least, it does according to the manual. There are some parameters that can be set that determine the range of velocity values that are sent.

 

It appears that the velocity contact is separate from the "regular" contact - they state that the velocity info is transmitted "deeper" into the key press than the regular keyboard operation.

 

If you want to look yourself, the XK3 manual can be downloaded from

here

 

-Bob

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As a keyboard player, you should be used to translating Jappish to English by now. That manual is worse than most, though.

 

What I take it to mean is that each key has two detectors or contacts. When you have velocity disabled, the key value is transmitted in MIDI when the first contact closes. When you have velocity turned on, it has to wait until the second contact is closed before it can send the MIDI note-on message (with velocity info).

 

They really should pay someone who plays keyboards, and speaks English to edit that manual! (Well, this is true of most Japanese-manufactured keyboards.)

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Originally posted by learjeff:

As a keyboard player, you should be used to translating Jappish to English by now. That manual is worse than most, though.

 

What I take it to mean is that each key has two detectors or contacts. When you have velocity disabled, the key value is transmitted in MIDI when the first contact closes. When you have velocity turned on, it has to wait until the second contact is closed before it can send the MIDI note-on message (with velocity info).

 

They really should pay someone who plays keyboards, and speaks English to edit that manual! (Well, this is true of most Japanese-manufactured keyboards.)

I completely agree - I am stil trying to understand some of the features, and the manual just doesn't help. Certainly H/S can afford to find someone to write the English version of their manual.

 

I think your assessment of how the keyboard works is exactly right - a key starts to sound at a very short distance in its travel. The MIDI (with velocity) isn't sent until it is nearly all-the-way pressed down (or maybe I'm also seeing a little bit of MIDI delay). So is this how they detect velocity?

 

- Bob

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Thanks Calumet - knowing you have direct contact with the instrument, I was hoping you'd comment.

 

Guess I'll just keep what I've got... (FOR NOW).... :cool:

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Rod

Here for the gear.

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I'm trying to understand why this would negatively affect your decision to get a XK-3. It does transmit velocity via MIDI. You can set up to three zones, each with their own velocity scale. If find that velocity settings 1 and 2 work best. The keyboard reacts just as Bob posted above. The initial organ keying is after a very short distance (like on a real B3) and the MIDI contact is about 1/2 way down. In playing it feels very natural. If I have complaints about the XK-3 as a MIDI controller it's that the pitch bend doesn't have much resistence and the drawbars and other controls transmit MIDI using two CC#s making them difficult if not impossible to use for controlling external synths.

 

Busch.

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Originally posted by burningbusch:

I'm trying to understand why this would negatively affect your decision to get a XK-3. It does transmit velocity via MIDI. You can set up to three zones, each with their own velocity scale. If find that velocity settings 1 and 2 work best. The keyboard reacts just as Bob posted above. The initial organ keying is after a very short distance (like on a real B3) and the MIDI contact is about 1/2 way down. In playing it feels very natural. If I have complaints about the XK-3 as a MIDI controller it's that the pitch bend doesn't have much resistence and the drawbars and other controls transmit MIDI using two CC#s making them difficult if not impossible to use for controlling external synths.

Sorry Busch, I didn't mention that I'd read in another post that the CX-3 will transmit velocity messages too. I have a CX, and love it enough to stay with it. So I'm gonna try that.

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Rod

Here for the gear.

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Frankly, this is the way most synths work: two sensors (often optical, though I called them "contacts" above), and the velocity is derived from the time interval between the two contacts closing.

 

If I were designing a synth, I would always have the MIDI transmit on the second sensor closing, so there wouldn't be a timing difference depending on whether you were using velocity or not.

 

But this is a special purpose instrument, and perhaps the designers felt (a) it feels more like a hammond with the early transmit and (b) nobody who wants an authentic feel would use velocity anyway (not with the organ sound, that is).

 

Sounds like a very reasonable compromise to me, if my guesses are correct. So, when you're using your XK-3 keyboard to trigger your Scarbee rhodes sound, you get velocity (but not weight). And the keys trigger a little differently, giving you a different feel. Well, who da heck cares?

 

I wouldn't use this info to affect my decision to buy or use an KX-3. And its keyboard probably feels great for playing moog-like synth sounds, or even synth sounds with dynamics. Of course, for a rhodes or piano sound I'd want a weighted or at least semi-weighted keyboard. The XK3 goes on the top rack. :)

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Thanks - the reason I'm keeping the CX is because I have heard the mp3s of the XK, Electro and CX compared note-for-note on a site posted on this forum. I'm not at all convinced the Hammond sounds any better than what I've already got, in fact, I think the CX is "ballsier" than either of the others, and with the CX able to transmit velocity messages after all, it's what I'm staying with. :)

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Rod

Here for the gear.

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