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Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble"
Bellicapelli #2392187 02/28/15 10:44 PM
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@Morodiene - A "better" way to play piano sounds than a keyboard ?
Probably not, if you want 'all that playing an acoustic piano brings' - - in modern_speak the total piano experience (sic).

Easier, more efficient, less physically demanding ?
Sure, all that was done with player pianos 100+ years ago.
It removed the need for TIMING and CONSISTENCY, imperfections could be FIXED post performance.

They ARE "authentic", after all the piano is being played as a piano, albeit via punched rolls and vacuum hoses.
Again with MIDI ~35 years ago to reproduce performances - and/or note by note entry into score editors.

It doesn't all HAVE TO BE in real time, after all MOST music that most of us hear is recorded, so what if it was recorded (sequenced) at 70% of the speed it is played back at.

I look at those curved computer keyboards once in a while, also the split ones, maybe I'll buy one one day - although a "better" layout than qwerty ...ah, never mind.

I think "mechanical" pianos will have to stick with keys in straight lines for a while, there is little chance of changes in key spacing, though it would be nice to have a choice for hands that are very large/small.
I don't like the C Major scale layout - the grouping of sharps as "special" makes every scale different. History seems to be the only excuse for that and we're stuck with it.
Players of fretted instruments are somewhat freer in this regard, e.g. just move up or down a few frets to change key, SO much simpler/easier than the 2 and 3 sharps layout of a piano.

I wonder what it would be like to have piano keys STAY DOWN for as long as their dampers are off the strings. It seems they would be more "representative" of what is sounding, not that looking at the keys is a GOOD thing.

ramble off:

Last edited by R_B; 02/28/15 10:46 PM.
Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble"
sandalholme #2392208 02/28/15 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by sandalholme
. . .

To the OP: assuming you have a computer near enough to your DP and it's not too ancient, try Pianoteq's trial software: works for 20 minutes at a time with a few notes disabled and the functionality to tweak the sound in many ways. You may find you are quite a bit closer to that hard to control "rumble". Not fully by any means, but closer.


+1.

There's a YouTube video of a Chilly Gonzalez concert, where he starts out by oh-so-gently tickling the bass octave, slowly building up sound intensity like a drummer doing a cymbal roll.

My Casio PX-350 didn't emulate that very well. But Pianoteq Stage (the cheapest version, which I own and like) did a decent job.

I believe that Pianoteq Standard lets you raise the levels of string resonance and damper resonance. It would be worth a try (especially if there's a "free trial" version).

As previous posts suggest, if you want the complexity and "dirt" of an acoustic piano, you should turn up the "string resonance" and (maybe) "damper resonance" with any "Virtual Technician" tools on the DP.

Good luck in finding the perfect sound --

. Charles


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble"
Bellicapelli #2392224 03/01/15 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Bellicapelli
As long as you can control it, it adds to the beauty of sound. And here's my problem: being accustomed to digital instruments since years now, i can learn to perform in the most clean and nuanced way on the digital, but as soon as i play it on an acoustic, after a few notes it goes "boom", i somehow lost ability to control of a beautiful thing, because i don't have it available on my digital equipment.

Digitals can be played at artificially low volume levels, compared to acoustics. If you practice at a low volume level, an acoustic may seem to jump out at you. Give yourself a few minutes to get used to the difference.

Last edited by FogVilleLad; 03/01/15 01:01 AM.
Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble"
bennevis #2392257 03/01/15 03:54 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
A good grand - especially concert grand - that's well-regulated is one of the most satisfying instruments to play, that's ever been invented by man or beast or alien. You have complete control from pppp to ffff


The Vienna Imperial sample library apparently has 100 sample layers. I doubt you'll be able to persuade its developers or devotees that those layers are indistinguishable. So here, we have a sampled piano which goes from pppp.....pppp to ffff....ffff.

Control that!

Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble"
R_B #2392317 03/01/15 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by R_B
I don't like the C Major scale layout - the grouping of sharps as "special" makes every scale different. History seems to be the only excuse for that and we're stuck with it.
Players of fretted instruments are somewhat freer in this regard, e.g. just move up or down a few frets to change key, SO much simpler/easier than the 2 and 3 sharps layout of a piano.

Agree. And to have sheet music centered around C is doubly lame. 90% of learning piano seems to be coping with playing things not in the key of C/Am - fingering, key signatures, etc. The lack of a second dimension to the keyboard is also problematic. And there is no easy chromatic slide on piano, each key must be played individually. The keys go one way but we have mirror image hands, so lots of learning and technique doesn't naturally carry over from one hand to the other.

Guitar is so much easier for the beginner, it's mostly just pattern recognition. Of course that can bite you down the road, but I think I'd rather be bitten there than when I'm trying to get my feet wet.

Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble"
dewster #2392321 03/01/15 09:05 AM
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Is this a thread for 'A bad workman blames his piano'?

Or more accurately '....blames whoever invented an instrument that he can't be bothered learning to play properly'?


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble"
dewster #2392345 03/01/15 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by dewster


Guitar is so much easier for the beginner, it's mostly just pattern recognition.


Sure, if you are happy taking the crappy road to guitar learning.... My students don't take this road, however.

Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble"
bennevis #2392348 03/01/15 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Is this a thread for 'A bad workman blames his piano'?

Or more accurately '....blames whoever invented an instrument that he can't be bothered learning to play properly'?

I'm not being negative for its own sake, rather I believe it is instructive for players to look at the instruments he/she is offered in a historic, comparative, and realistic light. I want the easiest thing to play (i.e. perform on, not triggering sequences, piano rolls, etc. - and isn't physically fatiguing or injurious over long periods) in as many ways as possible (melodic, percussive, etc.) that gives me insight into the harmonic structures being played. Electronics has enabled the disconnection between controller and sound generator, giving us gobs of new degrees of freedom, so I'm wondering when my guitar/piano killer might come along? There should be an explosion of alternative musical instruments, not just a bunch of plastic keyboards poorly mimicking existing (or retro) fare.

When you play around with a variety of instruments you naturally experience their strengths and weaknesses. I desire as many of these strengths as possible in a single instrument, is that a crime?

Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble"
dewster #2392357 03/01/15 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by dewster

When you play around with a variety of instruments you naturally experience their strengths and weaknesses. I desire as many of these strengths as possible in a single instrument, is that a crime?

If you invented a keyboard-like instrument that enabled all the stuff you wanted - chromatic glissandi with all semitones in alignment and two keyboards running in opposite directions so that one's poor brain won't have to remember which is R or L (and therefore which goes which direction), you'll have an instrument which is good for just one kind of music - chords in one hand, melody in the other, no octaves or chords that encompass more than a fifth, unless your fingers are the size of a one-year-old's.

No music of any complexity, in fact. Imagine trying to play Bach's Goldberg on it, let alone Beethoven's Hammerklavier.

Sure, great for pop music, or people who want to play a piano like a guitar, strumming chords. Useless for classical, which was what the keyboard originated for.

Why not just play a guitar instead?

BTW, playing the guitar is only pure pattern recognition if you can't read music and only play chords - again as in pop music. Classical music written for guitar is written on the same staves as keyboard music, and it's much more tricky to remember which note is which on a guitar, compared to the repeating pattern on a keyboard.

Is this music just reliant on 'pattern recognition'?

http://youtu.be/r2Xdlgii-Rc


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble"
bennevis #2392381 03/01/15 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
If you invented a keyboard-like instrument that enabled all the stuff you wanted - chromatic glissandi with all semitones in alignment and two keyboards running in opposite directions so that one's poor brain won't have to remember which is R or L (and therefore which goes which direction), you'll have an instrument which is good for just one kind of music - chords in one hand, melody in the other, no octaves or chords that encompass more than a fifth, unless your fingers are the size of a one-year-old's.

Not necessarily. I think we don't have a lot of alternative controllers because developing them requires the designer to think way, way outside the box. And for a long, long time, quite possibly their entire life. The designer must have intimate familiarity with a variety of instruments and with the technologies necessary to implement something new and do it well, and these skills also take time to develop.

Originally Posted by bennevis
Why not just play a guitar instead?

After learning some chords and some finger picking styles I've personally found it difficult to rise to the next level on guitar. Many at this point start experimenting with alternate tunings, but after 35 years or so of incremental improvement I think I get what a guitar is, and have grown bored with the limitations. I think 6 strings are too many, 4 too few, 5 perhaps OK (I've been using the high E string only as a right hand anchor for the past year or so). There is the awkward 4 step from the G string to the B string in order to produce the high and low E, as well as to facilitate some chord forms. And I find it fatiguing to play for any length of time, my left thumb gets tired, and if I don't play enough my fingertips hurt from lack of calluses, which keeps me from playing enough, etc.

Originally Posted by bennevis
Is this music just reliant on 'pattern recognition'?
http://youtu.be/r2Xdlgii-Rc

You could certainly learn it that way. Patterns are much easier to "see" on guitar. You can go an incredibly long way without reading a lick, which of course hampers you when trying to converse and play with other musicians.

I must say I've never been able to really appreciate classical guitar. I love the sound of the instrument, but listening to even quite accomplished players play Bach and the like on it strikes me as quite awkward sounding. They are trying to play both chord and melody, and both suffer due to the lack of available finger and string count.

Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble"
Bellicapelli #2392392 03/01/15 01:00 PM
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Here is Roger Linn's take on a controller:

www.rogerlinndesign.com/linnstrument.html

This device is intended as a controller for electronic instruments and therefore has various means of control at each touch point. Also, it really is not very expensive. Do a search and you will find other people developing "new breed" controllers at various price points.

I am seriously considering getting a linnstrument since I use Omnisphere and a few other such on my Ultrabook.

Tony


Last edited by TonyB; 03/01/15 01:00 PM.

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Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble"
Bellicapelli #2392404 03/01/15 01:08 PM
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Hmmm, I kinda/sorta agree with Dewster on a lot of this.
My own guitar quest has been towards "Classical" and I have to add that holding that big ole wooden resonant cavity has something going for it that the electric GITAW takes away.
There are no whammy bar on my guitars, although I appreciate what they can do on a Strat.
===============================================
I was driving this morning and thinking about the demise of the manual transmission, oh there are still a FEW in the US, some small trucks, perhaps so called "sports cars", but even big trucks don't have PURELY manual transmissions any more.

I used to believe that not being able to drive a manual transmission WELL meant one was less of a driver.
I don't believe that someone who has driven only automatics for several years would become a better driver by learning to shift a manual box.
An unnecessary skill, so WHY would you ?

Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble"
TonyB #2392413 03/01/15 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by TonyB
Here is Roger Linn's take on a controller...

The keys seem too close together, but worse it doesn't seem to allow for purely tactile playing - I don't want to have to constantly look at my hands (and there is the "watching typists dilemma" where one is often covering up the very thing one needs to see - THE reason to learn touch typing). Also, holding it like a guitar you would have to learn things somewhat differently for L&R hands (one axis is the same for both hands, the other axis is reversed). These key grids seem to be a step in the right direction, just not far enough IMO. And $1400 seems kinda steep.

Designers should perhaps be thinking about how strings are played: they can be damped with either hand, bent, hammered on/off, caressed in a variety of ways and at a variety of playing positions, bowed, etc. They're hard to beat but I'm sure they can be beaten.

Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble"
dewster #2392429 03/01/15 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by dewster

Guitar is so much easier for the beginner, it's mostly just pattern recognition.


Surely this not true unless you have different objectives from the outset. If you are only going to play a limited range of chords then, possibly, guitar is easier - but certainly not for re-voicing complex chords. If you want to play a melody with harmony accompaniment (chord or patterned) or (much more challenging still) a piece of 2 or three part counterpoint, the piano is vastly easier than the guitar. Those guitarists who can play Bach on guitar have my admiration.

This apparent bedroom guitarist is great https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ND0geIgFWZM


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Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble"
Bellicapelli #2392434 03/01/15 02:05 PM
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The guitar has been my primary instrument for many years. I played for two years as an AF of M sideman in a supper club trio in the late 70s and have played solo chord melody and fingerstyle. I was never particularly drawn to classical music, though I do adapt classical technique and the way of holding the instrument.

I can see the point that there are some initial things one can easily learn on the guitar as a beginner. Some have made entire careers using just these things to accompany themselves mainly as vocalists. However, that can also be said about the piano. I know a number of people who have learned a few chords and pretty much treat the piano in a manner similar to the guitar by simply chording to accompany themselves or others.

In general, I don't believe that any one instrument is necessarily "easier" than another. They all present challenges and any path to mastery will be long and fairly difficult. One can dip his or her toe into the deep pool that represents what any one instrument can do, and that will often be relatively easy, but that is far from the whole story.

Regarding listening to accomplished guitarists, I do agree that there is much that is difficult to listen to simply because it sounds as if the guitarist is working too hard to keep all those lines going. Joe Pass, the jazz guitarist, often said that if it is difficult to play, it will be difficult for the audience to listen to. He was always about keeping the finger simple so he could move fluidly from one chord or run to another, even though his playing sounds quite complex and there is no doubt that he was accomplished in his chosen style.

Personally, I am drawn to simpler arrangements that flow nicely and bring out the wonderful sonorities that the guitar is capable of. I much prefer acoustic guitar, whether nylon or steel string, and the closest I care to get to electric is a nice warm jazz archtop. I really never cared for all the distortion and slamming that electric guitars seem to have gotten themselves into.

Tony



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Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble"
dewster #2392436 03/01/15 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by dewster
Originally Posted by TonyB
Here is Roger Linn's take on a controller...

The keys seem too close together, but worse it doesn't seem to allow for purely tactile playing - I don't want to have to constantly look at my hands (and there is the "watching typists dilemma" where one is often covering up the very thing one needs to see - THE reason to learn touch typing). Also, holding it like a guitar you would have to learn things somewhat differently for L&R hands (one axis is the same for both hands, the other axis is reversed). These key grids seem to be a step in the right direction, just not far enough IMO. And $1400 seems kinda steep.

Designers should perhaps be thinking about how strings are played: they can be damped with either hand, bent, hammered on/off, caressed in a variety of ways and at a variety of playing positions, bowed, etc. They're hard to beat but I'm sure they can be beaten.


I think you will have to come up with a design that works for you. Clearly, nothing so far has matched whatever ideas you have for an instrument. Really, that is a good thing because it is that enormous discontent with the current state of affairs that can drive the most intensely original acts of creation. However, there is a huge leap to go from criticizing to creating and not everyone can make that leap, or is willing to.

Tony


Last edited by TonyB; 03/01/15 02:10 PM.

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Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble"
TonyB #2392452 03/01/15 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by TonyB
Joe Pass, the jazz guitarist, often said that if it is difficult to play, it will be difficult for the audience to listen to.

That's a great line. Like others in the audience I'm there to see some virtuosity, but it is most impressive when it looks to all the world like falling off a log. Classical players often look and sound like they're fighting the instrument. I'm no anti-classical snob, but I'd rather hear Flamenco or Folk.

Originally Posted by TonyB
Personally, I am drawn to simpler arrangements that flow nicely and bring out the wonderful sonorities that the guitar is capable of. I much prefer acoustic guitar, whether nylon or steel string, and the closest I care to get to electric is a nice warm jazz archtop. I really never cared for all the distortion and slamming that electric guitars seem to have gotten themselves into.

I'm in the same acoustic loving camp. Though I can and do listen to a fair amount of distorted electric (in the form of female lead metal bands mostly). A coworker of mine could really nail ZZ Top covers, electric seems to be all about single picks, block chords, and very close attention to damping - totally alien to the way one plays an acoustic IMO.

Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble"
R_B #2392453 03/01/15 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by R_B

===============================================
I was driving this morning and thinking about the demise of the manual transmission, oh there are still a FEW in the US, some small trucks, perhaps so called "sports cars", but even big trucks don't have PURELY manual transmissions any more.

I used to believe that not being able to drive a manual transmission WELL meant one was less of a driver.
I don't believe that someone who has driven only automatics for several years would become a better driver by learning to shift a manual box.
An unnecessary skill, so WHY would you ?

Outside USA, manual transmission is usual. Automatics are found only in expensive limousines - and usually as an option rather than standard. Including in Europe, where most drivers have never driven an automatic, including me.

More expensive, slower acceleration and lower top speed, less driver control, worse fuel economy, higher maintenance costs........why would anyone want an automatic? wink


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble"
TonyB #2392457 03/01/15 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by TonyB
Originally Posted by dewster
Originally Posted by TonyB
Here is Roger Linn's take on a controller...

The keys seem too close together, but worse it doesn't seem to allow for purely tactile playing - I don't want to have to constantly look at my hands (and there is the "watching typists dilemma" where one is often covering up the very thing one needs to see - THE reason to learn touch typing). Also, holding it like a guitar you would have to learn things somewhat differently for L&R hands (one axis is the same for both hands, the other axis is reversed). These key grids seem to be a step in the right direction, just not far enough IMO. And $1400 seems kinda steep.

Designers should perhaps be thinking about how strings are played: they can be damped with either hand, bent, hammered on/off, caressed in a variety of ways and at a variety of playing positions, bowed, etc. They're hard to beat but I'm sure they can be beaten.


I think you will have to come up with a design that works for you. Clearly, nothing so far has matched whatever ideas you have for an instrument. Really, that is a good thing because it is that enormous discontent with the current state of affairs that can drive the most intensely original acts of creation. However, there is a huge leap to go from criticizing to creating and not everyone can make that leap, or is willing to.

Tony

And I contend that this controller may work well in some applications, but to play piano on it...well, it's missing the parts of a keyboard that make it innately, uniquely a piano. I'm fine with playing whatever other things on it, but if you want to play something classical or based on classical it's nearly impossible.

If you look at the differences between acoustic guitar and electric, you can see that while one could play classical guitar pieces on an electric, it would most definitely not feel or sound the same - nor would anyone expect it to. The electric guitar has evolved so much form its predecessor that it has its own unique existence apart from the acoustic.

I don't think DPs have made that separation, although one could contend that they have in the form of synths, whereas digital pianos are intended primarily to imitate the acoustic instrument (perhaps they are more like the acoustic-electric guitars in that sense).

But you will note that even though the electric guitar no longer attempts to be like an acoustic, it still has the distinct characteristics to make it a type of guitar. To eliminate those elements simply means you're creating something that it no longer a guitar. Likewise, to take the keyboard out of a digital piano in place of something else would no longer be a piano, IMO.


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Re: Kawai's, Virtual Technician and "piano rumble"
Morodiene #2392497 03/01/15 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by TonyB
Originally Posted by dewster
Originally Posted by TonyB
Here is Roger Linn's take on a controller...

The keys seem too close together, but worse it doesn't seem to allow for purely tactile playing - I don't want to have to constantly look at my hands (and there is the "watching typists dilemma" where one is often covering up the very thing one needs to see - THE reason to learn touch typing). Also, holding it like a guitar you would have to learn things somewhat differently for L&R hands (one axis is the same for both hands, the other axis is reversed). These key grids seem to be a step in the right direction, just not far enough IMO. And $1400 seems kinda steep.

Designers should perhaps be thinking about how strings are played: they can be damped with either hand, bent, hammered on/off, caressed in a variety of ways and at a variety of playing positions, bowed, etc. They're hard to beat but I'm sure they can be beaten.


I think you will have to come up with a design that works for you. Clearly, nothing so far has matched whatever ideas you have for an instrument. Really, that is a good thing because it is that enormous discontent with the current state of affairs that can drive the most intensely original acts of creation. However, there is a huge leap to go from criticizing to creating and not everyone can make that leap, or is willing to.

Tony

And I contend that this controller may work well in some applications, but to play piano on it...well, it's missing the parts of a keyboard that make it innately, uniquely a piano. I'm fine with playing whatever other things on it, but if you want to play something classical or based on classical it's nearly impossible.

If you look at the differences between acoustic guitar and electric, you can see that while one could play classical guitar pieces on an electric, it would most definitely not feel or sound the same - nor would anyone expect it to. The electric guitar has evolved so much form its predecessor that it has its own unique existence apart from the acoustic.

I don't think DPs have made that separation, although one could contend that they have in the form of synths, whereas digital pianos are intended primarily to imitate the acoustic instrument (perhaps they are more like the acoustic-electric guitars in that sense).

But you will note that even though the electric guitar no longer attempts to be like an acoustic, it still has the distinct characteristics to make it a type of guitar. To eliminate those elements simply means you're creating something that it no longer a guitar. Likewise, to take the keyboard out of a digital piano in place of something else would no longer be a piano, IMO.


Morodiene,

No argument here. smile In fact, I go over to the teacher's forum often to read your posts. They are inspiring and down to earth applicable.

The controller I pointed to is not intended to replace the piano. It is intended for the control of synthesizers and sound libraries. That is why I indicated that it would be nice to use with Omnisphere, which is a HUGE and powerful software synth and sampler player.

When the discussion took a turn toward there being a lot one can do with electronic instruments, I felt the Linnstrument might be applicable. Sadly, even that isn't good enough. smirk

As to the guitar, yes the solid body electric and the acoustic and nylon string guitars are different instruments for different musical intentions. There is crossover between nylon string and steel string acoustic, but even there (with the possible exception of the parlor, 00, and 000 style 12 fret steel string instruments), they have different intentions.

Tony


Roland V-Grand
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