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VPC1 and MP11 touchweights
#2337038 10/13/14 05:06 PM
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Sorry, I'm not having much luck with the search engine on this site, but does anyone recall a thread where people actually measured the touchweights of the VPC1 and MP11 actions for comparison? Seems like there was one but I can't find it.

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Re: VPC1 and MP11 touchweights
EP #2337084 10/13/14 07:56 PM
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I can only recall anecdotal discussions from individuals who have played/owned both models.

Kind regards,
James
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Re: VPC1 and MP11 touchweights
EP #2337133 10/13/14 11:26 PM
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Maybe that was it.
I have an MP11 and can measure the touchweight - using pennies at the front of the key on middle C, I get 56 grams downweight (key starts to depress but doesn't go all the way down) and 42 grams upweight (key comes up most of the way, but not all the way with this weight). Pedal doesn't seem to have any effect (nor would I expect it to).
Anyone care to measure a VPC1?
Just curious what a measured comparison might be.
For comparison, my Yamaha C3 grand measures 50 grams downweight and 33 grams upweight on the same key (pedal down). My teacher's Steinway AIII is a good bit heavier but I haven't had a chance to measure it.

Re: VPC1 and MP11 touchweights
EP #2337149 10/14/14 01:57 AM
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the search engine at the top left corner of the page is better than the supposedly dedicated forum 'search'.

I think the down/up weight measurement does provide a useful insight into action although, as often mentioned here, you'll be measuring the static weight which will likely be different from the dynamic 'weight' (inertia dependant).

It starts to get a little vague if the manner of measurement isn't completely standardised. So did you make sure the CoG of your weights were at 13mm from the key tip? Also, a key might need a little tap in order to overcome initial friction and set it on its way.

Anyway, here's a thread I found about the AG action and here, joflah and I have added some estimates of the VPC1 weights (~70g, ~60g respectively).

Your measurements seem to confirm that the MP11 action is lighter than the VPC1's - although we're still in the dark on inertia.

Re: VPC1 and MP11 touchweights
dire tonic #2337167 10/14/14 04:05 AM
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Dire Tonic,

With both keysets being solid wood, mechanical leverage dictates that the MP11 key weight must be lighter when it and the VPC-1 are measured at the 13mm point. The reason being that the MP-11 fulcrum is further from the measured point.

Ian


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Re: VPC1 and MP11 touchweights
Beemer #2337171 10/14/14 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Beemer
Dire Tonic,

With both keysets being solid wood, mechanical leverage dictates that the MP11 key weight must be lighter when it and the VPC-1 are measured at the 13mm point. The reason being that the MP-11 fulcrum is further from the measured point.

Ian


That would certainly be true if the same 'hammer' were used (and resistance variables in general), with the hammer contact-point to fulcrum distance also equal in both boards.

Are those dimensions equal? Any other counterweight influence?

Re: VPC1 and MP11 touchweights
EP #2337186 10/14/14 06:30 AM
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dire tonic,
Thanks for the links. Those were the threads I was thinking of.
Measuring it again this morning, and being a little more careful about the weight placement, I'm getting about 53 grams downweight at middle C on the MP11.
On a slightly different subject, the MP11 "adjustable" touchweight obviously doesn't affect this weight, so I'm wondering if moving the setting, say from light to heavy, really helps at all in simulating the difference between playing on a piano with a light touch and and a heavier touch. I'm having a hard time seeing how one might empirically measure this.

Re: VPC1 and MP11 touchweights
EP #2337195 10/14/14 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by EP
On a slightly different subject, the MP11 "adjustable" touchweight obviously doesn't affect this weight, so I'm wondering if moving the setting, say from light to heavy, really helps at all in simulating the difference between playing on a piano with a light touch and and a heavier touch. I'm having a hard time seeing how one might empirically measure this.


I don't see it as being measurable to the extent that it's quantifiable in any universal way but the effect is usually profound. Try setting between the two extremes and for each extreme, note what effect physically heavy (high velocity), then physically light playing have on each of those settings.

You'll want it somewhere in the middle - not always an easy call!


Re: VPC1 and MP11 touchweights
EP #2337203 10/14/14 07:19 AM
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What makes me wonder is that while it's an obvious change when switching the touchweight setting, e.g. from light to heavy, countering that change with an increase in the audio output via speakers or headphones, seems to mostly negate the effect. Makes me wonder what the change is really doing. Truth is, I find it all a bit confusing.
My conundrum is that I'm finding my teacher's Steinway, which has a heavier touch than my Yamaha, difficult to play on, especially noticeable with trills and such. I'm trying to see if I can effectively simulate the difference on my MP11, for practice purposes, or if I really need to find a piano with a heavier action to practice on.
I know Morodiene has said she uses the MP11 action weight adjustment for this purpose, but again I'm at a loss to see how one might really be certain this is an effective alternative, through some sort of empirical measurement.

Re: VPC1 and MP11 touchweights
EP #2337211 10/14/14 07:40 AM
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I'm not familiar with the MP11's user interface so it's probably best to wait for others to chime in here. At a rough guess, I would imagine you'd need to go towards the heavier setting.

Normally, what I would expect is that with a heavy setting ppp is easier and fff starts to get hard.

With a light setting, it may seem as though the sound is ff no matter how heavily or delicately you're hammering away i.e. pp is very hard, and even harder is the control of nuance between pp and ff.

So, crudely (this is my take, I may be wrong!) 'heavy' gives you a wider loudness bandwith response, light gives you a much narrow bandwidth response. That being so, your speaker/headphone setting can't possibly counter that effect other than perhaps through compression effects or perceived compression effects.

It's important to try and get the output to headphone or speaker as representative as possible to the real thing.

I agree it's confusing. Even now, after having the VPC1 for over a year, I'm not convinced I have the right curve so I'm just putting up with it and hoping for the best. The task isn't made any easier having both a transmitter with a variable curve (the keyboard) and, usually, the receiver (host, vsti, whatever) also with its own variable curve.

I know exactly what you mean about having to cope with heavier actions and the problems of practicing on lighter ones. Morodiene will no doubt have some advice!


Re: VPC1 and MP11 touchweights
dire tonic #2337214 10/14/14 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by dire tonic
Even now, after having the VPC1 for over a year, I'm not convinced I have the right curve so I'm just putting up with it and hoping for the best. The task isn't made any easier having both a transmitter with a variable curve (the keyboard) and, usually, the receiver (host, vsti, whatever) also with its own variable curve.


It's recommended to use the prepared (built-in) touch curves for Ivory, Pianoteq, Galaxy, etc. on the VPC1, then set the VST/host's touch curve to be neutral (e.g. just a straight line) - which is usually the default.

Kind regards,
James
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Re: VPC1 and MP11 touchweights
Kawai James #2337215 10/14/14 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James

It's recommended to use the prepared (built-in) touch curves for Ivory, Pianoteq, Galaxy, etc. on the VPC1, then set the VST/host's touch curve to be neutral (e.g. just a straight line) - which is usually the default.
Kind regards,
James
x


Yes, this is what I do now - leaving the vsti alone - although I can't say with any certainty that the VPC1's offering for the Galaxy was any less appropriate for the Ivory AD (or vice-versa).

A problem arises when one is trying to get smooth control over the ppp-pp-p-mf-f-ff-fff range, trying to make each of these distinguishable, failing, then wondering if it's the curve or the player who's to blame!

In a nutshell, perhaps we're just simply spoilt for choice so we end up fiddling and tweaking.

Re: VPC1 and MP11 touchweights
EP #2337218 10/14/14 08:11 AM
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While I can see how the touch curve affects the dynamic response, it still seems like at any given dynamic level, eg playing a scale at a constant loudness, say mf, changing the output volume would counter the effect of a touch curve difference. Obviously when playing a real passage, the dynamics are not constant, nevertheless, I'm still confused as to how this really relates to real pianos with different touchweights. On a digital piano, it still takes the same weight to move the key regardless of whether it's even turned on or not. On pianos with different touch weights this would not be the case.
Just confused, that's all.

Re: VPC1 and MP11 touchweights
EP #2337219 10/14/14 08:12 AM
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Some folks like to tweak, others are very happy with the prepared touch curves.

There's no perfect, 'one size fits all' solution, however the provided curves are arguably as close as you're going to get.

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.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: VPC1 and MP11 touchweights
EP #2337221 10/14/14 08:22 AM
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The difference between simply changing the volume of the piano output and selecting different touch curves (or even just heavy/light keyboard settings) is implicit in the word 'curve'. As you rightly say, if you always play at a constant velocity level (mf) the touch setting is not going to make much effective difference, as you can simply compensate for volume differences with the main volume control.

Even so, remember that changing the touch setting is going to affect the timbre of the note at any given velocity, and not just the volume. This means that there is an affect on the sound which cannot be totally compensated for with the volume control.

So the difference between building a crescendo, for example, is going to be very significant between one curve and another. The difference is dynamic, not static. And a 'hard' setting is going to give you the impression of playing a heavier keyboard. Of course, it's only simulated. Nevertheless, I imagine you can find a satisfactory setting for preparing for playing on a heavier acoustic action, especially with DPs as advanced as MP11 and VPC1.

Last edited by toddy; 10/14/14 08:27 AM.

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Re: VPC1 and MP11 touchweights
EP #2337224 10/14/14 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by EP
On a digital piano, it still takes the same weight to move the key regardless of whether it's even turned on or not. On pianos with different touch weights this would not be the case.
Just confused, that's all.


Suppose the velocity required to reach ff is raised. A higher velocity key movement requires bigger force. Would this not translate into 'heavier'?

That's the only way I can see it making sense.

Re: VPC1 and MP11 touchweights
EP #2337231 10/14/14 08:49 AM
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Thinking back to my physics class days (admittedly a long time ago), it is true that any given mass requires greater force to accelerate to a higher velocity, which should translate to a louder sound, all other things being equal. And so forth.
However, in the real world of piano playing, I'm not sure accelerating a lighter mass to a higher velocity is quite the same as accelerating a heavier mass to a lower velocity, even though the force required and the sound output level might be the same. Maybe this is splitting hairs, I'm just trying to get a realistic understanding of how well changing various electronic aspects of the sound on a digital such as the MP11 or VPC1 enable one to prepare for playing on different acoustic pianos.

Re: VPC1 and MP11 touchweights
EP #2337234 10/14/14 08:57 AM
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To prepare for playing on a heavier acoustic piano, select a hard/ heavy touch setting on the DP. This will alter the tonal and volume characteristics of the piano accordingly, relative to your touch in playing.

The physical aspects of the DP do not change but electronic aspects do change. This can give you a good simulation of a heavier piano because the output characteristics have been altered to simulate the behaviour of a heavy acoustic piano. It is not necessary to change the physical qualities of the keyboard to achieve this. You can do it by altering one side only of the equation, as it were.


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Re: VPC1 and MP11 touchweights
EP #2337238 10/14/14 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by EP
I'm not sure accelerating a lighter mass to a higher velocity is quite the same as accelerating a heavier mass to a lower velocity, even though the force required and the sound output level might be the same. Maybe this is splitting hairs, I'm just trying to get a realistic understanding of how well changing various electronic aspects of the sound on a digital such as the MP11 or VPC1 enable one to prepare for playing on different acoustic pianos.


if Force=Mass*acceleration, with a higher acceleration resulting inevitably in a higher velocity, then it all seems to make some kind of sense but I don't say this with any confidence!

Re: VPC1 and MP11 touchweights
EP #2337241 10/14/14 09:08 AM
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I suppose it is close enough that I should quit fussing over it and just get to practicing!

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