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Re: adjustable action weight, why not?
jscomposer #1417426 04/14/10 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jscomposer
LesCharles73,

[Linked Image]

I've contemplated applying some lead tape to the "hammers" in my DP. I'm sure Yamaha (or any of them) could come up with something more refined and effective. Something like adjustable weight ports perhaps, as is very popular in golf clubs these days. It certainly would be sweet to be able to "regulate" actions in DPs. Though I think most of them don't resemble acoustic piano actions enough to make it worth it. smirk

Of equal importance is the height of the sensors, both relative to the keys and relative to each other. If you could adjust that, then you'd notice huge differences in the response.

But for now, it'd at least be nice to set velocity curve on a per-note basis or at least in groups of notes.


I'm not trying to be narrow minded, just realistic. People buy DP's now because, for the most part, they are inexpensive and light weight. This system would take all that away (even at a few grams per driver it would still be A LOT heavier than a traditional action) for a feature that would cater to a very small percentage of digital users. As I said earlier, most people simply want a good action. Very few feel the need for it to be adjustable. Very likely that they would pick a setting they like and keep it there, much like what many of us already do with velocity curves.
I just don't think it would sell. They have taken this long to get hammer actions where they are today, imagine how awful the first few versions of this action would be? I think it's a great idea, I just don't think it has a chance of becoming mainstream any time soon.

And for the record, I also appreciate Despair.com. smile

Last edited by LesCharles73; 04/14/10 08:25 PM.

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Re: adjustable action weight, why not?
LesCharles73 #1417459 04/14/10 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by LesCharles73

Also, think of the weight of all those magnets! They're trying to make digital pianos lighter, and this would be a huge step backwards. If every magnet weighs 2 pounds, that's 176 pounds for just the action,


Two pounds! No more like 1/2 oz. If the weight of magnets is to great you can use concentric coils of wire. Permenent magnet motors are cheaper

Take apart a small disk drive and look at the motor that moves the read/write head. That would be total overkill for a piano key. But proves they can be small. The trouble is the cost of 88 of them

Cooling is not to much an issue you'd be using class D amps that run very cool and what's the fastest you'd hit a key? 16 per second is likely not possible.

Speaker manufactures learned to air coll their liers motors years ago. As the coild moves up and down it acts as a small air pump. More sophisticated designs encase the entire voice coil in ferromagnetic fluid and the fluid conducts the heat out But these are inside tweeters that run at 50 watts of power at up to 20,000 cycles per second. A piano key could never to 5% of that.

The only real issue here is cost, I'm thinking $10 to $20 per key. No one would buy it.

Re: adjustable action weight, why not?
ChrisA #1417481 04/14/10 10:06 PM
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Well, ChrisA, you seem to have it all figured out. So build it! laugh wink

I also like the idea above with replaceable 'slugs' for the key weights.

Last edited by LesCharles73; 04/14/10 10:08 PM.

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Re: adjustable action weight, why not?
ChrisA #1417583 04/15/10 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by ChrisA
what's the fastest you'd hit a key? 16 per second is likely not possible.


Maybe not, but 13 is IMHO - analyse a recording of Billy Joel playing "Angry Young Man". smile

Greg.

Re: adjustable action weight, why not?
sullivang #1417587 04/15/10 01:23 AM
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Also DP key may be modified for electricity producing! We can convert DP to electrical generator and use without external power! But key pressing may be so harder...


DP: Korg Sp-250,Pianoteq 5.x, TruePianos 1.9x;
Grand piano: Blutner, Muhlbach, Yamaha, iRig Pro;
Upright: Kalujanka;
English (with some problems)
Re: adjustable action weight, why not?
ChrisA #1417590 04/15/10 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by ChrisA
The only real issue here is cost, I'm thinking $10 to $20 per key. No one would buy it.


you do not think that people already spending 10k+ just to have 'the real thing' in terms of action wouldn't spend this amount to have something that could be changed to any action weight you'd like? I would rather spend 7k for an HP-307 with adjustable action than 10k for an AvantGrand personally...

Re: adjustable action weight, why not?
Yuri Pavlov #1417600 04/15/10 01:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Yuri Pavlov
Also DP key may be modified for electricity producing! We can convert DP to electrical generator and use without external power! But key pressing may be so harder...


Not so impossible as some things that are already done

Re: adjustable action weight, why not?
ChrisA #1417619 04/15/10 02:42 AM
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After reading a multitude of posts on why so many of us use DPs and not APs, it seems that cost is a major reason and we've forgotten it temporarily.

So someone develops a reliable, workable and satisfactory adjustable action for a DP, would it be cheaper than an acoustic piano action? Would it work better? The last time I checked, the actions of acoustic pianos require regulation and other adjustment from time to time, and they've been developing for 200 years or so.

One can have anything one is willing to pay for. But be prepared for some considerable initial cost, and for some considerable maintenance costs.

Dreaming is fun isn't it? And it doesn't cost anything except time. It's a fun thread, but not much else.

Glenn

Last edited by Glenn NK; 04/15/10 02:43 AM.
Re: adjustable action weight, why not?
MarcoM #1417645 04/15/10 03:28 AM
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the reason we dont have adjustable action midi keyboards is for the same reason that diatonic harmonics outsell chromatic harmonics at a rate of about 10 to 1.

It's cheaper to buy 10 different keyboards each with a different action than to buy a one of a kind keyboard with adjustable action, because the market forces aren't there, the demand isn't there.

It can be done, no problem, you can put a plate under the action that is attached mechanically that is easy to adjust with a counterweight or spring, but it then becomes a boutique product.

As consumers we are not going to spend $20,000 for an adjustable action digital piano when we can buy 10 pianos with a set action. Just doesn't make any marketing sense.

I think we all see the possibilities of what digital pianos can do. From being able to play VSTs straight from your piano, to wireless transmission, to adjustable action, the list is endless.

But once you start talking about paying 10x for a boutique product the demand just isn't there. Go look at the rhodes mark 7 electric piano. That product is a status symbol for the company. They are losing money making something like that.

Not to say that these sorts of things will never be built, but it's not gonna be done by Yahama, it will be some guy in a basement cranking out 10 a year in his machine shop.

Re: adjustable action weight, why not?
MarcoM #1417646 04/15/10 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by MarcoM
Originally Posted by ChrisA
The only real issue here is cost, I'm thinking $10 to $20 per key. No one would buy it.


you do not think that people already spending 10k+ just to have 'the real thing' in terms of action wouldn't spend this amount to have something that could be changed to any action weight you'd like? I would rather spend 7k for an HP-307 with adjustable action than 10k for an Avant Grand personally...

I wouldn't pay any kind of premium for a DP action that has variable weight. I think you're totally mistaken to think that a variable weight solution will enable the DP action to match the feel of the acoustic grand action. Weight is only one small aspect of the feel. It's not everything.

The acoustic grand action's resistance is totally non-linear throughout the entire travel of the key. Putting a motor under each key and even if you're able to vary the weight of the key on the fly is still just a very crude attempt to mimic the acoustic grand feel. By the time you can get it to feel just like the acoustic action through other means, IF you can, it'll probably cost just as much as the acoustic action if not more. So why not do the smart thing and just use the real acoustic action in the first place?

That's what Yamaha did with the Avant-Grand. Yeah, the Avant-Grand is expensive. But that's because acoustic grand action is expensive. If you're looking to replace the entire grand action with a brand new one in an old acoustic today, I'd bet you it'll easily cost at least $5K, if not a lot more.

When it comes to action, it's not about digital vs acoustic anymore. It's about cheap mechanical action (on a DP) vs expensive mechanical action (on an acoustic grand). There's a good reason for digitizing the acoustic sound (for volume control, no tuning, practicality, etc). But there's no good reason for trying to "digitize" the action, other than to solely keeping the cost down. So if you start messing around with the cheap mechanical action of a DP and drive the cost up, it defeats the whole purpose of having the cheaper action in the first place. Might as well use the extra money to converge to using the real thing instead of trying to work around it.

I would use the analogy of an SLR camera where the analog SLR lenses are still used in high end digital SLR camera body, because there's no cheap and easy way to "digitize" the analog SLR lenses. The same reason why high end DPs will be using the acoustic grand action and will cost more. It cannot be "digitized" cheaply. If it can be, it would have been done already.

Everybody settles for the digital sound when they buy a DP. Out of all those people, those who are also willing to settle for the action buy the cheaper DP in the $1K-$5K range. Those who don't want to settle for the action pay for the more expensive high-end DP in the $10K+ range. It's not any different than people who buy point-and-shoot digital cameras with tiny built-in lenses vs people who want to buy expensive digital SLR cameras that use big, expensive analog SLR lenses.

Re: adjustable action weight, why not?
Volusiano #1417662 04/15/10 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Volusiano


Everybody settles for the digital sound when they buy a DP. Out of all those people, those who are also willing to settle for the action buy the cheaper DP in the $1K-$5K range. Those who don't want to settle for the action pay for the more expensive high-end DP in the $10K+ range.


Well said, Volusiano...I bought the P-85 because, I know I'm only going to keep it for a relatively short while (most DP buyers trade up after several years), the piano's sound is very acceptable (in fact, it's darn good), and I can use the dedicated MIDI sockets to access an even better piano sound, Live!Grand, that resides in my PSR-S910.

The P-85's action, unless you are playing extremely demanding classical and/or jazz, is excellent, and feels, and responds, as close to an acoustic's action, as any other digital piano...yes, it's a bit lighter than some, but it is also heavier than others, and certainly light-years better than an unweighted or semi-weighted keyboard.

The differences between digital actions is much the same as the deviations among acoustics...in fact, the former tend to be more constant, as we all have learned here on this forum.

So, the real differences, are between digitals that have real grand actions, and the ones with simulated grand actions...the latter are all relatively close in feel, although the new action by Roland, as on the HP-307 (and V-Piano), is a relative standout, as is the new ungraded one on Yamaha's CP-1/5. The former is represented by the Avant Grand.

I'm quite content how they change the "feel" on digitals, by changing the response curve, or whatever...changing the way the entire action feels in physical response, seems unnecessary....we already can do that now, by choosing a digital by how it responds to our touch, but it's nice that some change the feel according to the sound selected (as on the CP-1/5).

An acoustic action can be changed physically by the piano tuner/technician, and one setting will be all the player gets to choose...and all that's needed, because the acoustic has one sound.

It's early....time for some hotcakes and sausages and small vat of tea. smile

Snazzy


Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)
Re: adjustable action weight, why not?
Volusiano #1417668 04/15/10 04:58 AM
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Here's a paper about a motorized grand piano action simulation:
http://www-personal.umich.edu/~brentg/Publications/Conference/icmc94b.pdf

So there is work underway. Good.

Greg.

Last edited by sullivang; 04/15/10 04:59 AM.
Re: adjustable action weight, why not?
Volusiano #1417671 04/15/10 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Volusiano
I would use the analogy of an SLR camera where the analog SLR lenses are still used in high end digital SLR camera body, because there's no cheap and easy way to "digitize" the analog SLR lenses. The same reason why high end DPs will be using the acoustic grand action and will cost more. It cannot be "digitized" cheaply. If it can be, it would have been done already.


I would agree to everything you said, but the analogy is not right. Lenses are not digital or analog in any way, they are just prepared to fit to a specific sensor. Digital compact cameras usually (but not necessarily) have very small sensors,so you can build very compact lenses for them, whereas SLRs still have larger sensors (typically APS-size or even full-size), so you need much bigger and therefore costly lenses. The lenses are still "analog"... smile


<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>
Re: adjustable action weight, why not?
mucci #1417732 04/15/10 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by kawaian
Originally Posted by Volusiano
I would use the analogy of an SLR camera where the analog SLR lenses are still used in high end digital SLR camera body, because there's no cheap and easy way to "digitize" the analog SLR lenses. The same reason why high end DPs will be using the acoustic grand action and will cost more. It cannot be "digitized" cheaply. If it can be, it would have been done already.


I would agree to everything you said, but the analogy is not right. Lenses are not digital or analog in any way, they are just prepared to fit to a specific sensor. Digital compact cameras usually (but not necessarily) have very small sensors,so you can build very compact lenses for them, whereas SLRs still have larger sensors (typically APS-size or even full-size), so you need much bigger and therefore costly lenses. The lenses are still "analog"... smile

I don't agree that the lenses are designed to fit the sensors (or CCDs). The CCD is just a capture media, just like film is. And just like film, the CCD can vary in sizes and resolution. As proof, you can find that the same 35mm film can fit the smaller compact camera with compact lenses just as well as a larger SLR camera with larger SLR lenses. Same with CCD. If they choose to make a smaller CCD in the compact digital camera, it's not because the compact lenses dictate that. Same as in the big SLR lenses. They don't dictate a bigger CCD. But a bigger CCD enables higher resolution in general.

If you don't like to call the lenses (big or small) as analog or digital, OK, then let's call them mechanical/optical. It doesn't matter. The point of the analogy is that they are the other very important half of what helps capture the vision, beside the film or CCD, and they cannot be "digitized" into bits and bytes. So they remain the same kind as before (analog or mechanical or optical, whatever you want to call them), and the lens that is the standard which professionals demand is not the compact kind, but the big, high quality and expensive SLR kind.

Re: adjustable action weight, why not?
Volusiano #1417746 04/15/10 09:03 AM
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You might know a lot about digital pianos, but certainly not about camera technology.

There are several good sources in the Web to get some good insight into cameras, this one is about sensor size called "size matters":

http://photo.net/equipment/digital/sensorsize/

The conclusion is:

Quote
So now you know why "bigger is better" when it comes to image quality and digital sensors. Of course bigger is also more expensive, and bigger means bigger (hence heavier and more expensive) lenses, so you can see why many digital cameras stick with small sensors. It's cost, not quality that keeps sensors small.


But I guess we're getting way off-topic now...


<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>
Re: adjustable action weight, why not?
mucci #1417817 04/15/10 11:00 AM
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Mucci, I never argued with you about whether the size of the sensor matters when it come to image quality. Of course bigger sensors give better quality image.

I only argued with your previous statement that the size of the sensor dictates the size of the lens (specifically when you said bigger sensors in digital SLR cameras require bigger lenses). You can fit a bigger sensor inside of a compact digital camera that has a compact lens if you want. Manufacturers just don't want to do that for cost savings reasons, that's all. But it's technically doable. The proof is a compact film camera with a compact lens can take on 35mm film format with no problem at all.

And I don't know why you argued about sensor size or lens size anyway since the analogy I draw pertains to cost only, with the compact lenses being lower quality and lower cost (like the lower cost DP action), and the SLR lenses being higher quality and higher cost (like the acoustic grand action). Well, the analogy also pertains to the fact that the lens cannot be digitized and remains the same technology as before, just like the keyboard action remains mechanical.

Re: adjustable action weight, why not?
Volusiano #1417824 04/15/10 11:05 AM
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Please reread the quote above, especially this part:

Quote

bigger means bigger (hence heavier and more expensive) lenses




<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>
Re: adjustable action weight, why not?
mucci #1417832 04/15/10 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by mucci
Please reread the quote above, especially this part:
Quote

bigger means bigger (hence heavier and more expensive) lenses

OK, so how does this make the analogy wrong? If bigger and heavier SLR lenses means they're expensive, it only makes the expensive SLR lens analogous to the expensive acoustic grand action like how I compared them in the first place.

Re: adjustable action weight, why not?
Volusiano #1417843 04/15/10 11:26 AM
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I just brought the size correlation to explain what I mean, not to argue with you.

I still don't get it. Lenses, whether compact or not, are always made the same way, for different size of sensors. There is no "simulation" like in the digital piano world and with digital piano keyboards, so there is not "real" thing versus "simulated" or "digital" thing, that's where I don't think the analogy really fits.

But again, we're getting completely off topic, the original question was whether adjustable action weight makes sense or not.


<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>
Re: adjustable action weight, why not?
Volusiano #1417866 04/15/10 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Volusiano
The acoustic grand action's resistance is totally non-linear throughout the entire travel of the key. Putting a motor under each key and even if you're able to vary the weight of the key on the fly is still just a very crude attempt to mimic the acoustic grand feel. By the time you can get it to feel just like the acoustic action through other means, IF you can, it'll probably cost just as much as the acoustic action if not more. So why not do the smart thing and just use the real acoustic action in the first place?


because

- the acoustic action is only one action (say, you have a recital on a very heavy action piano, you'd like to practice with heavy action for a while, there you go)
- the acoustic action needs to be regulated
- with a 'variable action' like this you could have a grand's action, an upright action, a harpsichord action, an epiano action, a hammond organ action, a tracker organ action, a synth action, etc. etc. etc.

even if the simulation was not 100% spot on the first time, it could still be refined as time goes on and become the be-all/end-all of keyboard controllers: I am pretty sure there would be enough people willing to pay for it to make it worthwile to produce...

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