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Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: ClsscLib] #2227996
02/08/14 06:38 PM
02/08/14 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by ClsscLib
Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by ClsscLib
Anotherscott, is that the link you really intended? It seems to be off topic.

Thanks for the heads-up, I don't know how that happened! Fixed.

Correct link is:
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/692966


So, Alex and Anotherscott -- an obvious first line of inquiry is whether the firm and person who did this job for Peter Moll is still around and might be interested in doing something like it again, but for a number of people, right?


I think this is one approach - but the issue is, the base keyboard that's being modified already costs a lot, and then reducing it/cutting back will be an additional cost. Overall, unlikely to get to a reasonable cost even with lots of orders.

The question is, could demand be high enough to create something "from scratch" at a reasonable price? I wonder how that could be calculated. There must be millions of piano players worldwide?

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Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: R_B] #2227998
02/08/14 06:39 PM
02/08/14 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by R_B
How about a "pull apart" implementation instead of folding to get the length down ?
With a little mechanical ingenuity they could snap back together "keys to keys" for protection during transport.

Some small number of keys, say 64, perhaps an optional mid section octave to expand to 76, or 88 with two of them.


I like this line of thinking alot - I think this is what it will take to make this happen! A clever engineering job.

We should probably take this project offline (or into a private chat) when we have gathered a few interested people...

Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: AlexKelleher] #2228009
02/08/14 06:59 PM
02/08/14 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by AlexKelleher
Originally Posted by R_B
How about a "pull apart" implementation instead of folding to get the length down ?
With a little mechanical ingenuity they could snap back together "keys to keys" for protection during transport.

Some small number of keys, say 64, perhaps an optional mid section octave to expand to 76, or 88 with two of them.


I like this line of thinking alot - I think this is what it will take to make this happen! A clever engineering job.

We should probably take this project offline (or into a private chat) when we have gathered a few interested people...


My patent attorney and I are ready,
I copy him on EVERYTHING, just in case.

Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: AlexKelleher] #2228068
02/08/14 08:53 PM
02/08/14 08:53 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,983
Northern VA, U.S.
ClsscLib Offline

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Originally Posted by AlexKelleher
Originally Posted by ClsscLib
Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by ClsscLib
Anotherscott, is that the link you really intended? It seems to be off topic.

Thanks for the heads-up, I don't know how that happened! Fixed.

Correct link is:
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/692966


So, Alex and Anotherscott -- an obvious first line of inquiry is whether the firm and person who did this job for Peter Moll is still around and might be interested in doing something like it again, but for a number of people, right?


I think this is one approach - but the issue is, the base keyboard that's being modified already costs a lot, and then reducing it/cutting back will be an additional cost. Overall, unlikely to get to a reasonable cost even with lots of orders.

The question is, could demand be high enough to create something "from scratch" at a reasonable price? I wonder how that could be calculated. There must be millions of piano players worldwide?


Of course, if there were a big demand for this sort of thing, Kawai or Yamaha or Casio would already be building it. They aren't. A start-up venture would have enormous front-end costs in having not only to figure out how to shrink a keyboard, but also how to build one, add sounds, tool for production, etc.

A PX-150 or P105 costs $500-600, and is a good enough keyboard for anyone to use for practice for 2 or 3 nights at a hotel. A plan to standardize production of a "sawed-off" version (as in the thread Anotherscott linked) and then do them for the uncertain number of buyers is a lot more viable commercial proposition than all the R&D, etc. involved in getting a totally new product off the ground.

Yes, it would obviously cost more than a standard PX-150 or P105, but so what? Those models don't work for the desired application, and nothing else in the marketplace does either. Expensive compared to what? Something that doesn't exist?

Some of us would gladly pay an appreciable premium to get a weighted-key slab by Yamaha or Casio or Kawai that could easily go on a plane.

Think of it like the market for conversion vans. You start with a tried and true base model that someone is already making -- then you customize it.

That's the idea here. It may work if enough of us are interested.

Last edited by ClsscLib; 02/08/14 08:55 PM.

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Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: ClsscLib] #2228083
02/08/14 09:28 PM
02/08/14 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by AlexKelleher
There must be millions of piano players worldwide?

But how many need one that can fly carry-on?

Originally Posted by ClsscLib
A PX-150 or P105 costs $500-600

or p35, a bit less... which, to tie this in with another thread, has the advantage of having a standard MIDI port, so you could also use it to drive anything you might come across...

Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: AlexKelleher] #2228713
02/09/14 11:01 PM
02/09/14 11:01 PM
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AlexKelleher Offline OP
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OK, so there are two options here:

1. Shortened existing keyboard
Pros
- Quicker to get to market
- No investment needed
Cons
- Carry-on means that shortening would only allow 40-ish keys/3 octaves max
- While this might satisfy demand for a few of us, we are unlikely to be able to market it to get to many people. This isn't a business, it's a group-buy at best
- No idea of end-cost. Could be 1000's for each item

2. New travel keyboard
Pros
- Can be designed to fit in cabin luggage (my original aim)
- It is a business - we can get it on kickstarter, market it, make money out of it
- It's not just a one-off buy. The product/business would live on
Cons
- It's a business - not a quick turnaround
- Would need investment in engineering, and someone to take it on as a business

I'm still up for option 1 if it's possible to cut an existing keyboard so it fold up (like VAX 77).

Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: ando] #2247833
03/17/14 10:11 AM
03/17/14 10:11 AM
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The Netherlands
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Originally Posted by ando
Originally Posted by Digitalguy


This is far from fitting in overhead cabin luggage....
Anything beyond 49 keys would be too long for a normal suitcase...


49 keys is also a very poor substitute for a piano. Whenever I play on a keyboard that short, I end up frustrated and not wanting to play. Also, I can't see any manufacturer putting resources into a 49 key, weighted piano. They are just toys at that size (or synths).


Toys? I think that is a bit of an overstatement. It is a compromise, of course. Playing such an instrument demands more skill and creativity, but the effort is worth it. As most of you will agree, the 49-key instrument is especially useful when practicing with bands or doing a lot of small gigs. Then, in my experience, less is more and the limited keyboard becomes a powerful instrument.

Last year, I frequently used a Novation Impulse 49 in combination with a Roland Sonic Cell. Like you also experience, the lack of any real piano keys poses a serious problem. I dedicate this to the absence of 'soul of the instrument': the mechanics in a piano which trigger the hammer, which make it 'interact' with you, so that a musical piece becomes a joint effort of you and the piano.

So, when designing a piano-like 49-keys instrument, I would propose to think outside the box and not necessarily stick with the idea of weighted keys and e.g. think more about the experience when playing the piano: how does a piano key feel? What about it's texture? What do I feel when I push it down? How do the keys sound like? (seriously, hollow plastic is not attractive at all) In my opinion, although important, inertia is just one piece of the puzzle.

Short-term idea
I have thought a long time about designing a modular hybrid weighted midi keyboard (and am still planning on doing something like that), but for the short-term: shorten an existing keyboard? Very troublesome in my opinion. It would be better to modify an M-Audio Axiom Pro or Novation Impulse and connecting it to an arbitrary sound module, than doing such a thing. I opened up my Impulse 49 and it is designed modularly; I can even get the keybed out without opening the rest of the case. Also, the keys are hollow, which makes it more easy to add some kind of weight. Although this may seem inferior to e.g. scaling down a Yamaha P-35, in recent years I have managed just perfectly with my old Roland RD-300 from the 90's which has a weight added to the bottom of each key: perfect for practice wink What do you think?


(Roland RD-300 OR Novation Impulse 49) AND ((Roland Sonic Cell, Roland SRX-11 Complete Piano) OR (Cakewalk Sonar 8.5 Producer, Focusrite Saffire LE, TruePianos VSTi)).
Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: Delano] #2247879
03/17/14 12:15 PM
03/17/14 12:15 PM
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Digitalguy Offline
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I don't agree, I have been testing several small keyboards over the last month, only to come to realize that I would not go below 49 keys. The difference between 61 and 49 is huge. You cannot gig properly with 49, while you can with 61.

I think the main point here is taking the plane or not. Even 49 is to long for a cabin luggage, so I simply ruled out taking a keyboard on a plane. Once this was ruled out, everything changed and then you can find 61 keys keyboard you can bring in any car, even the smallest ones, on a bike, on a train (without being bothered if you have other luggage), to the park, to a party or just on your desk next to your pc.
Everyone has different needs, for me it was simple I wanted something under 5kg and under 38 inches (if possible even 35,5-36, you cannot have less at 61 keys) and under 12 inches large so it can fit on my desk without taking away my pc, printer etc. So I simply looked for the best one (action, features) within these criteria.


Roland FP-4F, Korg Kross 61, iRig Keys Pro, HD58X, HD598, Focal Spirit Pro, Shure SRH240A, RME Babyface, M-Track Plus, Roland DuoCapture, Presonus Eris E5, iLoud micro monitors, iPad Pro, HP Elite X2, Ivory II ACD, Korg Module for iPad, Vienna Imperial, Galaxy Vintage D, Ravenscroft, Kawai-Ex Pro
Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: AlexKelleher] #2248087
03/17/14 08:22 PM
03/17/14 08:22 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,983
Northern VA, U.S.
ClsscLib Offline

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ClsscLib  Offline

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Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,983
Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted by AlexKelleher
OK, so there are two options here:

1. Shortened existing keyboard
Pros
- Quicker to get to market
- No investment needed
Cons
- Carry-on means that shortening would only allow 40-ish keys/3 octaves max
- While this might satisfy demand for a few of us, we are unlikely to be able to market it to get to many people. This isn't a business, it's a group-buy at best
- No idea of end-cost. Could be 1000's for each item

2. New travel keyboard
Pros
- Can be designed to fit in cabin luggage (my original aim)
- It is a business - we can get it on kickstarter, market it, make money out of it
- It's not just a one-off buy. The product/business would live on
Cons
- It's a business - not a quick turnaround
- Would need investment in engineering, and someone to take it on as a business

I'm still up for option 1 if it's possible to cut an existing keyboard so it fold up (like VAX 77).


Phase 1: Collect Underpants

Phase 2: ????

Phase 3: Profits!

Sorry... couldn't help myself.


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"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins
Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: Digitalguy] #2248088
03/17/14 08:23 PM
03/17/14 08:23 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,983
Northern VA, U.S.
ClsscLib Offline

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Originally Posted by Digitalguy
I don't agree, I have been testing several small keyboards over the last month, only to come to realize that I would not go below 49 keys. The difference between 61 and 49 is huge. You cannot gig properly with 49, while you can with 61.

I think the main point here is taking the plane or not. Even 49 is to long for a cabin luggage, so I simply ruled out taking a keyboard on a plane. Once this was ruled out, everything changed and then you can find 61 keys keyboard you can bring in any car, even the smallest ones, on a bike, on a train (without being bothered if you have other luggage), to the park, to a party or just on your desk next to your pc.
Everyone has different needs, for me it was simple I wanted something under 5kg and under 38 inches (if possible even 35,5-36, you cannot have less at 61 keys) and under 12 inches large so it can fit on my desk without taking away my pc, printer etc. So I simply looked for the best one (action, features) within these criteria.


And what did you select?


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"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins
Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: ClsscLib] #2248109
03/17/14 09:01 PM
03/17/14 09:01 PM
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Switzerland
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Digitalguy Offline
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Korg Kross 61, and I am more than happy with it. It's an incredible workstation with only 37 x 11 inches and 4,3 Kg. Car run on batteries (I bought rechargeable ones). I had also tested a midi controller with similar size (a bit smaller and lighter), the Oxygen 61, but in addition to being "just" a midi controller, it has a horrible action.


Roland FP-4F, Korg Kross 61, iRig Keys Pro, HD58X, HD598, Focal Spirit Pro, Shure SRH240A, RME Babyface, M-Track Plus, Roland DuoCapture, Presonus Eris E5, iLoud micro monitors, iPad Pro, HP Elite X2, Ivory II ACD, Korg Module for iPad, Vienna Imperial, Galaxy Vintage D, Ravenscroft, Kawai-Ex Pro
Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: AlexKelleher] #2248122
03/17/14 09:41 PM
03/17/14 09:41 PM
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Posts: 70
Sydney, Australia
Musical Dan Offline
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I think if any of the major brands made a portable, light, 82 key version of their stage pianos they would sell really well. For 98% of applications you won't notice 3 missing keys at each end, but it could make the difference of easily fitting into someone's car etc. For some reason standard cut down is 76 keys (and the only "stage" piano I know of that even does this is the old Korg SV1). 76 keys is not enough keys for a lot of playing.


Kawai MP7
Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: AlexKelleher] #2248138
03/17/14 10:42 PM
03/17/14 10:42 PM
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My issue with the Kross 61, for what it is, is that the back half of the black keys are barely usable, making it (IMO) a particularly difficult action for piano, even as unweighted actions go.

As for airline travel, most airlines (at least in the U.S.) have special rules for musical instruments, that allow them to be a bit larger than usually permitted for carry-on baggage. You're right, no 61 (with full-size keys) will qualify, but sometimes a 49 will. The Yamaha MX49 might be a possibility. I have air-traveled with the 61-key Korg Microstation, but it has mini-keys.

For travel, once this ships, this is a really interesting option: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/miselu/c24-the-music-keyboard-for-ipad

It's a 24-key keyboard, but you can connect up to four of them together to get up to 96 keys!


Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: AlexKelleher] #2248149
03/17/14 11:02 PM
03/17/14 11:02 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 15,019
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Online content
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Hmmmm...how about a 44-key board using the Kawai RHII action?

James
x


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

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Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: anotherscott] #2248153
03/17/14 11:35 PM
03/17/14 11:35 PM
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Punta Alta, Buenos Aires, Arge...
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Originally Posted by anotherscott

For travel, once this ships, this is a really interesting option: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/miselu/c24-the-music-keyboard-for-ipad

It's a 24-key keyboard, but you can connect up to four of them together to get up to 96 keys!



from the project page: "Each key press is sensed by an infrared emitter detector pair providing real time analog position data. Optical key tracking technology delivers MIDI velocity, monophonic aftertouch as well as detailed performance capabilities"

shocked


Pianoteq / Kawai CL 35 & MP11 / Old 1920's Upright Zimmerman
Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: anotherscott] #2248214
03/18/14 05:17 AM
03/18/14 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
My issue with the Kross 61, for what it is, is that the back half of the black keys are barely usable, making it (IMO) a particularly difficult action for piano, even as unweighted actions go.


Yes, if you play often pieces with a lot of black keys ff and fff are very difficult. However when I am not on the go, I can connect it to my DP and use the weighted action to take advantage of all its features (drum patterns etc).


Roland FP-4F, Korg Kross 61, iRig Keys Pro, HD58X, HD598, Focal Spirit Pro, Shure SRH240A, RME Babyface, M-Track Plus, Roland DuoCapture, Presonus Eris E5, iLoud micro monitors, iPad Pro, HP Elite X2, Ivory II ACD, Korg Module for iPad, Vienna Imperial, Galaxy Vintage D, Ravenscroft, Kawai-Ex Pro
Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: anotherscott] #2248216
03/18/14 05:25 AM
03/18/14 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by anotherscott

For travel, once this ships, this is a really interesting option: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/miselu/c24-the-music-keyboard-for-ipad

It's a 24-key keyboard, but you can connect up to four of them together to get up to 96 keys!



Its seems to be using bluetooth for midi. While it has to be tested, bluetooth is known to have latency, so could be a big problem if you can't use USB...


Roland FP-4F, Korg Kross 61, iRig Keys Pro, HD58X, HD598, Focal Spirit Pro, Shure SRH240A, RME Babyface, M-Track Plus, Roland DuoCapture, Presonus Eris E5, iLoud micro monitors, iPad Pro, HP Elite X2, Ivory II ACD, Korg Module for iPad, Vienna Imperial, Galaxy Vintage D, Ravenscroft, Kawai-Ex Pro
Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: Digitalguy] #2248218
03/18/14 05:44 AM
03/18/14 05:44 AM
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The Netherlands
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Originally Posted by Digitalguy
The difference between 61 and 49 is huge. You cannot gig properly with 49, while you can with 61.


Good points! Got me thinking wink I think I agree partly. Obviously, you cannot play every piece. My point is more about changing the way we play an instrument, rather than changing the instrument. Does that make sense? I use the octave up/down buttons on the Impulse to do e.g. glissando's, which is difficult at first, but I'm used to it now. Why I also say it could be helpful, is that you are confined to a certain frequency range, which will eventually help the total sound of the band to be more balanced. I am also forced to be more intentional in my playing, which is how I prefer to play anyways smile However, I realize this is very dependent on what is played by whom. I mostly play jazz/blues/Einaudi style improvisation with piano/Rhodes sounds.

Originally Posted by Digitalguy

I think the main point here is taking the plane or not.


Maybe you're right wink Then I think your point about 61 keys makes sense, especially when your Korg just weighs about 5kg! Looking at currently available keyboards, I would certainly consider the Roland RD-64.

Originally Posted by Digitalguy

Everyone has different needs, for me it was simple I wanted something under 5kg and under 38 inches (if possible even 35,5-36, you cannot have less at 61 keys) and under 12 inches large so it can fit on my desk without taking away my pc, printer etc. So I simply looked for the best one (action, features) within these criteria.


I travel a lot by train (student) and most of the times I'm just jealous at those people with guitars: highly customizable, portable, personal instruments. I think that's the main reason I want to have a neat 49-key keyboard w/ superior feel <10kg and e.g. just two patches on board. I think that also sheds some light on our different views.


(Roland RD-300 OR Novation Impulse 49) AND ((Roland Sonic Cell, Roland SRX-11 Complete Piano) OR (Cakewalk Sonar 8.5 Producer, Focusrite Saffire LE, TruePianos VSTi)).
Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: Kawai James] #2248219
03/18/14 05:47 AM
03/18/14 05:47 AM
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That would be really interesting...


(Roland RD-300 OR Novation Impulse 49) AND ((Roland Sonic Cell, Roland SRX-11 Complete Piano) OR (Cakewalk Sonar 8.5 Producer, Focusrite Saffire LE, TruePianos VSTi)).
Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: Kawai James] #2248222
03/18/14 06:05 AM
03/18/14 06:05 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,983
Northern VA, U.S.
ClsscLib Offline

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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Hmmmm...how about a 44-key board using the Kawai RHII action?

James
x


Where can I buy it?


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-- Florence Foster Jenkins
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