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I tested a bunch of Rolands and Clavinovas at the local dealer today, and I was greatly puzzled by the HP603 I tried out that had extremely latency. There was maybe a half second delay between pressing the key and the sound coming out from the speakers. That was very disconcerting—too bad because the key action seemed fantastic otherwise. I mentioned it to the salesman and he also agreed about the latency after pressing a few keys. He claimed “it’s because you can adjust the key weight,” and did just that. Not that it helped alleviate the lagginess. The salesman didn’t seem to be particularly knowledgeable about the things under the hood of DPs so I don’t buy his explanation.

I tried the RP102 before it, and even though it was a much “lesser” piano it was much more pleasant to play because it didn’t have laggy keys. The HP603 was virtually unplayable.

So I’m wondering what could have been the issue with that HP603? Have any owners encountered that particular issue?


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It was broken or it has an adjustable "hammer delay" which was set to max.(?)

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+1 for hammer delay setting.

ANYTIME you try a DP at a store, take the minute or so to find the "factory reset" option and trigger it. Far too often, other customers have come in an mucked with who knows what settings, many of which have a huge impact on tone or playability.


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+2
I also thought of the hammer delay, and the factory reset is a must, because you don't know what other settings have been altered in an extreme way.

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definitely hammer delay, because my 603 plays perfectly well.

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Thanks for the hint, everyone. I’ll go back to the showroom and try again smile


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Why would Roland add such a "feature"? It seems dumb.

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Why would Roland add such a "feature"? It seems dumb.


It's actually a common effect in the VST world. There are separate plugins you could use for instance that apply the same effect; if you're playing a VI piano with the plugin that mirrors the keys you pressed---- to whatever other tone or sound you've made or selected---- the delay sound appears after .5, 1, 1.5 etc seconds after the key is struck.

I think I've seen 1 or 2 zealot salesmen do this on youtube because they like the "key" sound by itself before the piano note sound just with the piano itself.

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It's actually a common setting. Kawai has hammer delay as well in Virtual Technician. Frankly, I'm not sure what value it has in normal playing, but hey we can also turn off "touch curve" so every note sounds at velocity 80. To each their own I guess.


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I can play VSL CFX virtual piano with a buffer of 64 samples, but it sounds very close to my ears on headphones - and even I have the impression the sound is starting before the key hits the bottom.
So I use a buffer of 128 samples to introduce some delay and to my ears it sounds more natural.

Same effect of the Roland hammer delay setting - so I can see why someone might want to make use of this feature.
What I don't understand is a delay of half a second - hard to see any use for that.

Last edited by Erard; 06/21/18 09:55 AM.

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The feature exists because some pianos actually play like this when incorrectly set up and some people may even like it.

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This reminds me of an demonstration done in a college course long ago.
A volunteer stepped forward. (Actually, since this was a college course attended by a bunch of 18- and 19-year-olds, the professor selected a pretty young thing from the front row.)

She put on headphones and was asked to read aloud from a short text into a microphone.

She heard her words in the headphones, and the audience heard her over the PA system. But she did not know (nor did we) that there was a delay between her spoken words and the sound in the headphones and PA speakers.

That made no difference to the audience. But the person speaking quickly became tongue-tied. She could complete a single sentence. She couldn't even finish two words. The delayed voice feedback threw her for a loop.

The story is the same with VST piano latency. But here the latency is the delay from fingers to the heard sound, rather than from lips to the heard sound.
The result, though, is similar. If the latency is too great, the hands become "finger-tied", much as that volunteer became tongue-tied.

Above some threshold latency becomes intolerable.


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