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Eric and all- Electro and other actions


Tedly Nightshade

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Hi folks,

 

I'm continuing my mini-gig-rig search, and I'm realizing that the deal-killer in some cases may well turn out to be the action.

 

The player is used to rockin' pianos in a serious way- a lifelong primary avocation and passion and not easily, if at all, unlearnable. We have a chronic problem with some of the voices on the MP9000- with the keyboard response set for the heaviest touch available, maximum velocity sounds like the distorted honk of a rhodes come up in parts intended to be sparkly and gentle. Constantly. The player has to really pussyfoot around and it still happens, and pussyfooting around is not compatible with complete performance abandon by any means.

 

So, piano player with incurable and actually quite welcome HEAVY touch.

 

The big old wooden keyboard of the MP9000 *feels* right, but the tonal response is spastically lively on the heaviest settings, and after 127 it just doesn't go anywhere.

 

I mentioned Eric because he's played a few of these things, and he found the Electro action tricky at first but got used to it and really likes it for expression after playing it quite a bit. I trust I got that right? I figure he would know, and all input is very welcome, especially from those who've played a lot of these things, real rhodes with heavy but nice actions (not the screwed up cussed ones), pianos, and the keyboards in question:

 

Nord Electro

GEM Promega 3

Roland VK-8

anything else I ought to know about with dynamite ep and clavi and organ sounds

 

?

A WOP BOP A LU BOP, A LOP BAM BOOM!

 

"There is nothing I regret so much as my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?" -Henry David Thoreau

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Moe's right. However, the V-combo and Electro are all about compromise, right? It took me a while to get onto the Electro's action, the latest OS velocity is user-adjustable. But without real weighted keys, you can't get that hard feel on the pianos. Takes a bit of work to get used to, but for a variety of reasons, worth it IMO.

 

BTW, I have used the NE as a controller for my ME-1 module and have found the velocity keyboard more responsive and realistic than the onboard Electro sounds.

____________________________________
Rod

Here for the gear.

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Originally posted by drawback:

Ted, I've just logged on and read your stuff below on the V combo. If I'm repeating myself here, sorry!

Hey, I repeated the question! No problem.

A WOP BOP A LU BOP, A LOP BAM BOOM!

 

"There is nothing I regret so much as my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?" -Henry David Thoreau

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You can set the Electro's velocity curves to require a real pounding before it barks. So I wouldn't think that would be the issue; for me, playing hard on the Electro is not possible long-term because of the key action itself; it seems to have a short key throw. Kinda like pounding on a tabletop after a while ...

 

For me the solution is to set the velocity curve for a lighter touch. The Electro is so expressive that I end up pounding it (well, pounding for me) anyway ... it's a good time, no doubt about it. The dynamic range is there.

 

Have the keyboardist try an Electro if possible. That's the only way to know for sure, right?

Original Latin Jazz

CD Baby

 

"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

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I'm very fond of the touch on my QS-8, though I dunno about the velocity curve - It's adequate for what I do. I'm not a particularly heavy player, either. But the QS-8 touch is just a tad lighter than a typical acoustic, works for me. there are a few velocity curves too (3?), but I've never messed with them. Really <3 the touch though - best thing I've found since my KX-88 went south on me... :(

 

The built-in EP/Organ/Clav sounds are okay, but the best thing to get is the Vintage Keys card, if you can find one - I understand they're discontinued now. Too bad - excellent sounds in there.

 

It took me a while to warm up to the Rhodes sounds - it involved finally playing in a band again to realize how well they cut through. Schweet...

 

Daf

I played in an 8 piece horn band. We would often get bored. So...three words:

"Tower of Polka." - Calumet

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I'm afraid that if the Kawai MP9000 is too light on its heaviest setting, I think there is no cure, except maybe the MP95000 since it has an even heavier action.

 

I own a MP9500 and it clearly has the heaviest keys available. On the heaviest setting I can get it to 127 only if I really try very hard.

If that is still too light, there is no cure other than getting a piano-to-midi-bar and putting it on some old heavy acoustic piano.

 

If you can't adjust to the Kawai's keys, you will certainly not be able to adjust to semi-weighted keys like Electro's.

 

Just my 2 cents.

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Originally posted by geekgurl:

You can set the Electro's velocity curves to require a real pounding before it barks. So I wouldn't think that would be the issue; for me, playing hard on the Electro is not possible long-term because of the key action itself; it seems to have a short key throw. Kinda like pounding on a tabletop after a while ...

 

For me the solution is to set the velocity curve for a lighter touch. The Electro is so expressive that I end up pounding it (well, pounding for me) anyway ... it's a good time, no doubt about it. The dynamic range is there.

 

Have the keyboardist try an Electro if possible. That's the only way to know for sure, right?

I searched the dealers and called around and the nearest Electro in a store is 400 miles away. So if I thought it looked like a go for almost certain, I'd order one from Sweetwater and return it if need be, but I'm reluctant to do so. Especially as I'm unsure whether I would want to end up with the keyboard or the rack module.

 

We did demo the MP9500 but didn't have the sense to see if the action allowed better control of velocity- it felt odd and a couple fave MP9000 sounds were missing, so we dropped it.

 

Thanks all for the responses!

A WOP BOP A LU BOP, A LOP BAM BOOM!

 

"There is nothing I regret so much as my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?" -Henry David Thoreau

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Ted, I've been offline for 2 days due to the recent BIG storm that hit the East Coast. We had 5" of water flood our entire basement and lost power for over a day...still cleaning up.

 

To answer your question, the Electro is a very robust and well-built action that will take some heavy playing. I've described it as "Pummel-Worthy." I am a fairly heavy and percussive player, but more in the organ vein that in the piano vein. I actually find some weighted actions a little too heavy (like the graded action on the Yamaha P250 and P120). I do enjoy playing these, but they wear me out after a long night of playing. For weighted keys, I prefer the balanced action on my Yamaha S90. I also liked the RD600 quite a bit.

 

Getting back to the Electro...it did take me quite some time to get used to the action for playing Rhodes, Wurly and Clav sounds. For organ, it was completely natural and very similar to a real Hammond. It is more difficult to play expressively on the Rhodes and other keyboard sounds. But with a little practice, it works just fine and is actually very enjoyable.

 

If you are very heavy-handed and accustomed to breaking piano keys, the Electro may not satisfy you. Many piano players are also acclimated to the B3 action, so it could be very natural. It is hard to say for sure until you try it.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Regards,

Eric

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Thanks a lot, Eric!

 

Your phrase "pummel worthy" is a memorable one!

 

I for one am always astonished with the talk of genuine Hammond action- those actions seemed indescribably cheap and crummy to me, always a shock to touch such a chinsy keyboard after a look at those glorious cabinets. Rhodes is more like the ideal.

 

Guess there's nothing for it but a try-out- I would have nixed it but for your valuable testimony. Damn I wish there was one closer than 400 miles...

A WOP BOP A LU BOP, A LOP BAM BOOM!

 

"There is nothing I regret so much as my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?" -Henry David Thoreau

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