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Question about VPC1 and note-Off velocity #2173813 10/29/13 02:45 PM
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enzo.sandrolini Offline OP
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Hello
I did today some test with my VPC1, my NU1 and pianoteq
I wanted to understand why the VPC1 allows much better sound control with all my Virtual Pianos

Therefore, I just looked at the midi values send by the VPC1 and compared to my NU1
and I have noticed that the VPC1 sends NoteOff velocity values…and not the NU1 which sends always 64 as a note off velocity value
I have also noticed that it is far more easy to go from very low values to highest value with the VPC1.
So my question is: Are all DP with 3 sensors sending note off velocity values ? or it is specific to the VPC1 ?
Do you think that is an important things for controlling VP ?
as clearly, the VPC1 is extremely good for that (and it is not due to the internal velocity curves, as even with default velocity curve, the result is extremely good)

Cheers


Music is a lifestyle
(Happy Yamaha N2 and Roland FP90 owner)
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Re: Question about VPC1 and note-Off velocity [Re: enzo.sandrolini] #2173824 10/29/13 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by enzo.sandrolini
So my question is: Are all DP with 3 sensors sending note off velocity values ? or it is specific to the VPC1 ?
Do you think that is an important things for controlling VP ?


That's the first time I've ever heard of a digital piano sending note-off values. I have never heard of a software piano that uses them. I'd be very curious if this is not the case.

I suppose note-off could be used to simulate the difference between an abrupt and an gradual release of the damper--this would be a subtle effect. Beyond that I don't see how it could affect a software piano, even in theory. Therefore I'd say it is not the cause of your observation that it feels more responsive. The latter is governed by the velocity curve only. In principle, it might be possible to tweak the velocity curve so perfectly that the other pianos would feel as good, I guess. That's assuming the sensors are working well (and doing the three-sensor thing).

Last edited by gvfarns; 10/29/13 03:03 PM.
Re: Question about VPC1 and note-Off velocity [Re: gvfarns] #2173831 10/29/13 03:11 PM
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enzo.sandrolini Offline OP
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The velocity curve is not the answer
as with the VPC1 you can control the way the hammer strike the string
I mean you can hear a clear difference in the sound between a hammer that strike heavily the string and a hammer that strikes heavily and quickly the string => the sound is not the same
with the NU1 you cannot feel this difference
Ok, if you hit the key heavily you have a fortissimo sound, but the speed does not seem to be taken into account, only the 'force' seems to be used …
Strange, as at the end, the only thing you get is a midi note value….
I don't know if I make myself clear enough

By the way, in pianoteq, I confirm that the note off velocity makes a very small difference in the way the sound is damped.

Last edited by enzo.sandrolini; 10/29/13 03:13 PM.

Music is a lifestyle
(Happy Yamaha N2 and Roland FP90 owner)
Re: Question about VPC1 and note-Off velocity [Re: enzo.sandrolini] #2173865 10/29/13 04:02 PM
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These are very interesting findings but I'm afraid I don't know the answer to your questions.


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Re: Question about VPC1 and note-Off velocity [Re: enzo.sandrolini] #2173927 10/29/13 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by enzo.sandrolini
I mean you can hear a clear difference in the sound between a hammer that strike heavily the string and a hammer that strikes heavily and quickly the string => the sound is not the same with the NU1 you cannot feel this difference


That depends on the software piano. For most software pianos release velocity will definitely not play a role. I'm assuming you are talking about pianoteq here. If any software piano does use this information, it would be pianoteq. Anyone here a pianoteq expert and know for sure whether it does? Actually, has anyone else noticed release velocity being output by other pianos? Honestly this is the first report of this I have come across.

If it's something besides release velocity, then I'm afraid you will need to describe a little more clearly what you are observing. Your initial post sounded exactly like a velocity curve setting to me.

Re: Question about VPC1 and note-Off velocity [Re: enzo.sandrolini] #2173929 10/29/13 05:42 PM
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I don't think there is any more info to be said about how you pressed the key than Note On/Note Off velocities. "Force" is actually entirely out of the picture. "Heavily" vs "quickly but lightly" means different note off velocities, as I understand it, etc.

Re: Question about VPC1 and note-Off velocity [Re: gvfarns] #2173931 10/29/13 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by gvfarns
Actually, has anyone else noticed release velocity being output by other pianos?

I know for a fact that CA95 sends note off and Pianoteq does detect it (I am not sure what it does with it, though). Also, if I am not mistaken, one of the True Keys demos boasts with different sounds being triggered depending on note off - something like "you can hear the buzzing of the damper as it touches the string if you release it slowly" - I can't send the exact link but I seem to remember something to this efect.

Re: Question about VPC1 and note-Off velocity [Re: Hookxs] #2173935 10/29/13 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Hookxs
I know for a fact that CA95 sends note off and Pianoteq does detect it (I am not sure what it does with it, though). Also, if I am not mistaken, one of the True Keys demos boasts with different sounds being triggered depending on note off - something like "you can hear the buzzing of the damper as it touches the string if you release it slowly" - I can't send the exact link but I seem to remember something to this efect.


Interesting. Though the true keys statement could mean something quite different. That is, it could be referring to the effect of a continous pedal slowly being lifted (through the partial pedal range, etc). Note-off velocity would apply when the pedal is not engaged and you release the key at different speeds. Ordinarily one doesn't think of digitals as detecting the speed with which keys are lifted, but it looks like the higher end Kawais, at least, do just that.

Re: Question about VPC1 and note-Off velocity [Re: gvfarns] #2173938 10/29/13 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by gvfarns
Though the true keys statement could mean something quite different. That is, it could be referring to the effect of a continous pedal slowly being lifted (through the partial pedal range, etc).

You are right, unfortunately I don't remember which it was. I'll try to find it again.

Re: Question about VPC1 and note-Off velocity [Re: enzo.sandrolini] #2173969 10/29/13 06:48 PM
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Current generation Kawai digital pianos with triple-sensor keyboard actions do indeed utilise note-off velocity. We refer to this as 'Key-off Release', as explained in the CA95/CA65 owner's manual:

Originally Posted by Kawai CA95/CA65 Owner's Manual
...the speed at which keys are lifted will also affect the character of the sound. For example, when lifting the keys quickly (e.g. staccato playing) the ‘release’ portion of the sound will be noticeably shorter than when lifting the keys slowly (e.g. legato playing).


With regards to software instruments, I gather that Pianoteq also utilises this note-off velocity data to influence the release characteristics of the note.

Cheers,
James
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Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

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Re: Question about VPC1 and note-Off velocity [Re: Kawai James] #2173999 10/29/13 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Current generation Kawai digital pianos with triple-sensor keyboard actions do indeed utilise note-off velocity. We refer to this as 'Key-off Release', as explained in the CA95/CA65 owner's manual:

Originally Posted by Kawai CA95/CA65 Owner's Manual
...the speed at which keys are lifted will also affect the character of the sound. For example, when lifting the keys quickly (e.g. staccato playing) the ‘release’ portion of the sound will be noticeably shorter than when lifting the keys slowly (e.g. legato playing).



I notice that in my ES7 too. I don't use a software piano; but through the built-in speakers, I can hear it. Didn't realize that only a triple-sensor action allow this behavior.

Re: Question about VPC1 and note-Off velocity [Re: enzo.sandrolini] #2174003 10/29/13 07:48 PM
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Yes, the ES7 also offers this functionality - the owner's manual includes the same explanation.

I don't believe triple-sensor actions are necessarily required for this behaviour. It's more a case that Kawai's transitioning over to triple-sensor actions coincided with the introduction of a more powerful tone generator, allowing greater amounts of data to be processed.

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Question about VPC1 and note-Off velocity [Re: enzo.sandrolini] #2174029 10/29/13 08:54 PM
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Yes, Pianoteq definitely makes use of the note-off velocity, and I believe by adjusting the note-off velocity curve and damper settings you can make it have a very pronounced effect, if you want that.

Greg

Re: Question about VPC1 and note-Off velocity [Re: gvfarns] #2174155 10/30/13 03:31 AM
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enzo.sandrolini Offline OP
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Originally Posted by gvfarns


That depends on the software piano. For most software pianos release velocity will definitely not play a role. I'm assuming you are talking about pianoteq here. If any software piano does use this information, it would be pianoteq. Anyone here a pianoteq expert and know for sure whether it does? Actually, has anyone else noticed release velocity being output by other pianos? Honestly this is the first report of this I have come across.

If it's something besides release velocity, then I'm afraid you will need to describe a little more clearly what you are observing. Your initial post sounded exactly like a velocity curve setting to me.

I made this observation about the way the sound is producted not only in pianoteq but also in Ivory and Galaxy Vintage D
It is quite difficult to explain, it is as if the strength the hammer hit the string is taken into account (with the VPC1) for triggering the sound
At the end, I have the feeling that with the same velocity range between the NU1 and the VPC1, the number of sound nuances you can produce from the VPC1 is far greater than with the NU1.
Perahps it is because the VPC1 can achieve more easily high velocity values, unlike the NU1 for which High velocity is quite hard to achieve.
Or perhaps it is because the velocity measurment in the VPC1 is more even from low to high than with the NU1...
Just wondering...


Music is a lifestyle
(Happy Yamaha N2 and Roland FP90 owner)
Re: Question about VPC1 and note-Off velocity [Re: Hookxs] #2174190 10/30/13 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Hookxs
I don't think there is any more info to be said about how you pressed the key than Note On/Note Off velocities. "Force" is actually entirely out of the picture. "Heavily" vs "quickly but lightly" means different note off velocities, as I understand it, etc.

Yes, this is my feeling too, particularly for note on velocity: once the hammer is launched at the string that's all she wrote.

Several years ago I had a discussion about this with a pianist. I was describing how pianos are sampled and she was adamant that there was more to playing a note than velocity, that playing the key slowly with force or quickly with less force would give the same loudness but could somehow alter the tone. Lacking any obvious mechanism to do this I'm forced to conclude that it's a myth, but a deeply held one by some pianists. I found the incident particularly dismaying.

Re: Question about VPC1 and note-Off velocity [Re: enzo.sandrolini] #2174205 10/30/13 07:24 AM
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I also believe that it's a myth, but the way you play a note affects your ability to control how you will play the next one, add some psychological effects, and I understand why some pianist will swear it sounds different.
Since piano is a percussive instrument that we use to play "cantabile", anything is allowed to be believed...


Pianoteq / Kawai CL 35 & MP11 / Old 1920's Upright Zimmerman
Re: Question about VPC1 and note-Off velocity [Re: Marcos Daniel] #2174206 10/30/13 07:35 AM
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enzo.sandrolini Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Marcos Daniel
I also believe that it's a myth, but the way you play a note affects your ability to control how you will play the next one, add some psychological effects, and I understand why some pianist will swear it sounds different.
Since piano is a percussive instrument that we use to play "cantabile", anything is allowed to be believed...

Myth or not, the VPC1 allows you to control so accurately your touch that you have this "feeling"..that is my conclusion
Now, how this is achieved.. I don't know
probably by a perfect usage and reading of the velocity by internal sensors…
I have also played a CA93 previously, and it never gave me this feeling …
the 3rd sensor ?? not only for fast repetition ??


Music is a lifestyle
(Happy Yamaha N2 and Roland FP90 owner)
Re: Question about VPC1 and note-Off velocity [Re: enzo.sandrolini] #2174332 10/30/13 12:10 PM
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As mechanical engineer ( whistle ), I can add the following point to your observation:

2 sensors can measure only velocity
3 sensors can measure velocity AND acceleration

Being: F = m x a

I argue it is theoretically possible that the VPC1 and a sw, correctly coded to do that, are able to elaborate the strength of the key attack/release.

I'd be glad if it does work really in this way! thumb

Last edited by Qbert; 10/30/13 03:49 PM.

GEM Promega 3 (sold) - Yamaha CLP 170 (sold) - Acuna88 (sold) - Kawai VPC1 + BK7m
Re: Question about VPC1 and note-Off velocity [Re: Qbert] #2174350 10/30/13 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Qbert
As mechanical engineer ( whistle ), I can add the following point to your observation:

2 sensors can measure only velocity
3 sensors can measure velocity AND acceleration



If we are talking of on/off sensors this makes perfect sense. But I could see a single optical analogue sensor measuring light intensity through a longish variably shaded plastic bit attached to the key or hammer doing both. Ditto for such a sensor reading the timing between a series of black bars on an otherwise transparent part moving with the action or key.

Re: Question about VPC1 and note-Off velocity [Re: NormB] #2174395 10/30/13 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by NormB
If we are talking of on/off sensors this makes perfect sense. But I could see a single optical analogue sensor measuring light intensity through a longish variably shaded plastic bit attached to the key or hammer doing both. Ditto for such a sensor reading the timing between a series of black bars on an otherwise transparent part moving with the action or key.


We would all be happy if our DP's used actual continuous measurement of some type, but essentially all DP sensors are on/off by nature. Even the ones that sit under keyboards and shine light on the bottom of the keys, then measure how much light is reflected back have thresholds and they compute the time it takes to get from one threshold to another. I believe the ones that sense hammer position optically have two lights and two sensors and measure the time it takes between when the first light beam is interrupted and when the second is interrupted. So they are on/off as well (interrupted or not).

My suspicion about the NU1 is that either it is similar to these midi strips in that it has thresholds that get passed and trigger on/off logic or it works more similarly to the hammer sensing in the N1 than some have been led to believe.

Not to be too pessimistic or anything. smile

On a side note, acceleration should only matter if the sensors are relatively far apart so that there is time for a finger to cause noticeable acceleration between the two sensors. On a two-sensor piano this is the case because the top sensor also controls note-off. In a three-sensor action it should be possible to put the two sensors that measure velocity very close together and very close to the end of the stroke so that acceleration between the two sensors (and after) are negligible. This would be one of the main advantages of a three-sensor action. How well it is implemented in practice (how close they can be together without machining tolerances being a problem) I do not know.

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