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switchable piano/organ action


latchmo

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I searched and didn't find anything (I didn't search that hard) about a switchable action.

 

Has anyone ever made and/or how feasible would it be to make a piano action keyboard that with the pull of a lever or a flick of the switch or a wink of the eye it somehow shifted the piano action or released the weights or something and was replaced by an organ-like action?

 

Would it just be an expensive monolith?

 

Would you use it?

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Would you want it if your S90, for example, went from 55 to 70 lbs and cost an extra $400?

 

It would be really cool, however.

 

However, being KB players and never happy with what we've got, we'd bitch that it didn't split the weighted and unweighted action so that we could cover both piano and organ parts simultaneously in different zones without any compromise (with a variable split point, of course). :D

 

In truth, given the advances in technology in the past 25-30 years, it's probably only a matter of time.

aka âmisterdregsâ

 

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Sorry, it wouldn't work. Two main reasons:

 

- Key size/shape. Organ playing on piano sized keys would be difficult, even if the keys are lighter.

 

- Type of action. It's not just a question of activate or deactivate weights; the so called "hammer action" found on many digital pianos relies on a totally different kind of action. The "switch" should exclude/introduce a whole action system. It would take a huge and heavy mechanism to do this.

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Frankly, I think it's possible, but won't ever happen for marketing reasons. First, the cost would be prohibitive, and second, it wouldn't be the best piano action or the best organ action. (Plus the differences in key shape, which many of us wouldn't care as much about.)

 

It probably would add to weight, though it's hard to imagine what technology can do when there's sufficient market incentive. But even if it was so good that every manufacturer switched over and paid for it, it would still be a small market as tech development venture capital goes.

 

But, you never know. Possibly some new technology developed for a completely different application will spill over and we'll benefit, just as we did with so many other new technologies. Keep your fingers crossed, but don't hold your breath.

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You could do it with magnets, but it'd use a whole lot of power due to energy loss because of resistance. Unless, of course, you used superconductors - in which case you'd end up have to refrigerate the entire keyboard assembly to less than -250ºF :)

 

Using a program to control the repulsive force on the keys continuously would give you a lot of control over the touch response, though - I imagine you could get a lot closer to the action of a good grand piano with something like this. Too bad it's entirely impractical, though!

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Legatoboy:

 

I predict SOMEBODY will make a molded controller with an 88 note piano action /weighted keyboard for the lower manual and a 61-76 organ or synth action for an upper manual in one unit, ergonomically streamlined and lightweight for gigging within the next 8 years.....

 

I know this because I have the very deck of cards Johnny Carson used on the old Tonight Show

kept in a mayonase jar on Funk and Wagnel's pourch at this very moment as we speak to my forehead....(hows that for a runon!)

 

 

SOMEBODY - ARE YOU LISTENING!

 

ANYBODY, IT's A VERY GOODA IDEA IF N YOUA WANNA MAKEEE MOOOONEY!!!!!

 

Here developer, here here boy!

 

Oh that's a good boy, goooo boy yeah, yea yea!

lb (I have lost my mind btw)

SP6, CP-50, FP-80, PX5-S, NE-5d61, XK-3, CX-3, Yamaha YUX Upright, '66 B3/Leslie 145/122
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Then we could double too!

 

I wish I had the money and clout to develop it myself! Ah, the big boys would just gobble me up and make it better and cheaper in 8 months anyway! I wish somebody would make one and up the antee! 49 lbs should be the top weight of it!

 

lb

SP6, CP-50, FP-80, PX5-S, NE-5d61, XK-3, CX-3, Yamaha YUX Upright, '66 B3/Leslie 145/122
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I predict SOMEBODY will make a molded controller with an 88 note piano action /weighted keyboard for the lower manual and a 61-76 organ or synth action for an upper manual in one unit, ergonomically streamlined and lightweight for gigging within the next 8 years.....
I've been wondering for years why nobody has done this.
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Legatoboy,

 

Latchmo and ilaw....

 

We can all see our own version of it in our minds. . . .I think the tech has gotten there in the past 3 years with all those superlight weight 88 key piano action controllers, definately, but the market and any complex mfg. logistics in terms of anything from competing against their own line etc etc etc....has probably effected this, it Would shake things up quit a bit!

SP6, CP-50, FP-80, PX5-S, NE-5d61, XK-3, CX-3, Yamaha YUX Upright, '66 B3/Leslie 145/122
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Originally posted by latchmo:

I've been wondering for years why nobody has done this.

For the exact same reason that there are no manufacturer's producing dedicated, capable MIDI controllers for live performance:

 

There is no real market for what you're proposing.

 

Sometimes I have to laugh, watching some of the random babbling that occurs on KC. The Simpsons did an episode about similar thought processes as this once. You all know the result:

 

http://www.svengolly.com/img/homer-car.gif

 

Keep on dreaming, though... :thu:

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Originally posted by Sven Golly:

Originally posted by latchmo:

I've been wondering for years why nobody has done this.

For the exact same reason that there are no manufacturer's producing dedicated, capable MIDI controllers for live performance:

 

There is no real market for what you're proposing.

I don't know. I'm sure if, five years ago, you had asked product managers at the big three if there was a market for a light weight keyboard that provided a handful of vintage sounds they would have laughed.

 

The synth market has been flat for the last 10+ years. In all honesty, I think they're clueless as to the real market. Have they every surveyed it? They seem to be skilled at re-packaging existing technology into predictable form factors then wonder why no cares.

 

I'm sure at this winter's NAMM will see some new workstations with new features 90% of the buyers don't need nor want.

 

The big yawn.

 

Busch.

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Legatoboy,

 

Sven Golly and BurningBush (oh sorry Busch)..

 

The organ and synth markets have been growing the past 5 years, I think it's coming espically with the studiologig and others putting 9 sliders on theri controllers for drawbar control.

I think it may be a natural progression. But $ f's up everything as we all know!

 

And Sven, I actually thought the Simpson car was great and made it myself!

 

http://perso.orange.fr/Jas-n-Geoff/Geoff/homer.jpg

 

If I can do it, they can do it.

 

Funny I was gonna use the Homer Car as my Avitar at one point and had it in my pictures file......interesting sync. there !

lb

SP6, CP-50, FP-80, PX5-S, NE-5d61, XK-3, CX-3, Yamaha YUX Upright, '66 B3/Leslie 145/122
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legatoboy,

 

correction: bad

"espically with the studiologig and others putting 9 sliders on theri controllers for drawbar control."

 

good:

espically with Studiologic and other mfg's putting 9 sliders on their controllers for what seems like drawbar control. Not actually sure it's Studiologic but I have seen more than 1 mfg with 9 control sliders. Exactly 9.... What would be great would be 9 real drawbar controllers, then you could map to software or a V5 or Nord Rack.....from the top organ keyboard panel ah.... nice dreams!

 

I'm in work and being a sneak AGAIN! sorry about the typos!

SP6, CP-50, FP-80, PX5-S, NE-5d61, XK-3, CX-3, Yamaha YUX Upright, '66 B3/Leslie 145/122
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Legatoboy,

 

Have one designed as a Synth/Piano controller

and the other as an Organ/Piano controller. They would have the freakin market covered. You know, 2 types. They would make a bundle and we would finally have the ultimate 1 ax gig where we could double too! That IS a dream!

SP6, CP-50, FP-80, PX5-S, NE-5d61, XK-3, CX-3, Yamaha YUX Upright, '66 B3/Leslie 145/122
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There is no real market for what you're proposing.
How can you be so sure? I know that there are many keyboard players that use a piano+organ rig.

Some lug a stage piano and another board for organ sounds to the gig. Others cover both with just one board, having to sacrifice the action of one or the other.

 

And many of those that stack the two boards use a double stand or 2 seperate stands jammed up together to try and get the most comfortable position to play both.

 

I would think that if there was a double board with piano action on the bottom and a smaller organ action on top that it might be very appealing to some. One rig - one stand. Why not?

 

Would it be expensive? - sure it would - but not more expensive than many other boards on the market that sell.

 

And as far as random babbling is concerned - that's called an exchange of ideas. Is it whimsical? maybe - maybe not :)

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Originally posted by Legatoboy:

Legatoboy,

 

The organ and synth markets have been growing the past 5 years, I think it's coming espically with the studiologig and others putting 9 sliders on theri controllers for drawbar control.

I think it may be a natural progression. But $ f's up everything as we all know!

If you look at the NAM data for the USA, the synth market has been flat for more than a decade. This is at a time when most other musical instrument segments are growing nicely. Yes, the controller market is growing, much better than synths. B3 clones are a crowded niche market.

 

I am not disagreeing with you regarding the need for better options.

 

Busch.

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Latchmo,

 

I just started doing that yesterday! I guess I'll stop! thanks!

 

I personally have been wishing for something like

that controller..... after 800+ gigs over the past 6+ years.... I would love it. that would have saved one less trip back to the van and 5 min. closer to my nightly ( one and only usually) drink before the gig..... not to mention time saved on the loadout also! And Double without having to bring a 2nd board!

 

lb

SP6, CP-50, FP-80, PX5-S, NE-5d61, XK-3, CX-3, Yamaha YUX Upright, '66 B3/Leslie 145/122
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Originally posted by latchmo:

How can you be so sure?

Oh, I don't know... common sense?

 

What would you suggest would be the smallest possible dimensions, height, width and depth, of such a keyboard?

 

You've now effectively eliminated at least half of your market, because that size board won't fit into anything short of a minivan, SUV or bigger vehicle.

 

In order to make such a product viable (i.e. worth the design, development, and manufacturing costs) you need to maximize your market.

 

Ask Roland and Korg how many of the dual-manual clonewheels they've sold, compared to the single-manual models. A factor of 10 at least, I would think.

 

I know that there are many keyboard players that use a piano+organ rig.

Including me.

 

Some lug a stage piano and another board for organ sounds to the gig.

Guilty as charged.

 

Others cover both with just one board, having to sacrifice the action of one or the other.

Sad, but true. Often this has more to do with either space on stage, or space in the vehicle. How does your proposed design alleviate either of those factors?

 

And many of those that stack the two boards use a double stand or 2 seperate stands jammed up together to try and get the most comfortable position to play both.

So you're suggesting that your concept is meant to help players like me by locking the two different manuals into a single chassis? The tradeoff as I see it is a consistent separation of the two manuals, at the cost of a bulkier, heavier, harder to transport instrument.

 

We haven't even gotten to the topic of sounds. Are these dedicated MIDI controllers, or is the sound generation a built-in portion of the unit? If the former, now the customer has to deal with finding the appropriate module(s) or go the softsynth route; more gear, more potential problems.

 

I would think that if there was a double board with piano action on the bottom and a smaller organ action on top that it might be very appealing to some.

Sure... to some, key word. "Some" does not a market make. I'm talking about the economic reality of creating such a niche product, at a price point and of a quality that it will be viable for the "some", yet still allows for a reasonable expectation of profit for the manufacturer. That is what I mean when I say there is no market for it. Just because you and a few others here on KC say you would buy it, doesn't mean it'll actually happen.

 

Would it be expensive? - sure it would - but not more expensive than many other boards on the market that sell.

How do you know? Hypothesize on your development costs for such an animal. Include costs for software development for the MIDI controller functionality. Incidentally, does this unit have one MIDI output, or two? Are the two manuals discrete in terms of the data flow? Do you offer built-in merging of the MIDI data stream? All part of the development cost...

 

Go ahead, I'll wait. ;)

 

And as far as random babbling is concerned - that's called an exchange of ideas. Is it whimsical? maybe - maybe not :)

Hey, I'm not suggesting anyone stops... I enjoy the exchange of random ideas... but I also enjoy being able to challenge those ideas in an effort to keep things somewhere in the realm of possibility.

 

To sum up, so nobody misunderstands: do I think such an instrument is possible (referring to the two manual keyboard, one piano action, one organ action)? Absolutely, of course it is. Do I think there's a viable market waiting to purchase such an instrument? Absolutely not, key word being "viable". If someone wants to go bankrupt doing it, more power to them... but given the lack of agreement between KC forum members about what constitutes a "good piano action", I would stand far back if/when such a beast got released... ;)

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Hey,

 

Sven Golly Said:

 

So you're suggesting that your concept is meant to help players like me by locking the two different manuals into a single chassis? The tradeoff as I see it is a consistent separation of the two manuals, at the cost of a bulkier, heavier, harder to transport instrument.

I think it can be made pretty small and lightweight these days. It's height might be higher but if you design the keybeds very close together, which would be ideal playing wise.....It can be done ergonomically, light and in smaller dimensions, I'm sure thesedays!

 

But of course, I have absolutely no credability at all as a mfg. . . or anything else I guess! But I don't freakin care!

 

Who came up with the double neck guitar anyway, That must raised a few eyebrows!

 

I lug around a CP300/P250 to my larger gigs....AND a freakin XK-3 or CX3..... It could be made slightly smaller and lighter than CP300, The action might not be as good as a CP300 or a Promega but it could be made pretty good for both manuals I think in a light weight format....

 

I don't think it's that impractical of an idea, I think it's a very practical idea!

SP6, CP-50, FP-80, PX5-S, NE-5d61, XK-3, CX-3, Yamaha YUX Upright, '66 B3/Leslie 145/122
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