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Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem #2754376
07/28/18 02:40 PM
07/28/18 02:40 PM
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Elizabeth R Offline OP
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Hello! I’m having a problem with my Kawai ES110 and it’s a bit hard to explain, please bear with me.

I've had the Kawai ES110 for three weeks, and I love it for the most part. However, I’ve been noticing something weird. Sometimes, when I play some keys (usually octaves), the sound will play slightly behind. Usually it’s after I’ve played other notes for a bit and as I continue playing, the sound gets delayed momentarily. At first I thought, “oh, maybe it’s just me playing the notes a little behind," or, "it only happens sometimes so it’s no big deal.” But it seems to be happening more frequently and it’s not “just me playing the notes behind.” I’ve played octaves for years and on multiple keyboards/pianos and this never happened before.

Has anyone else had this problem with their Kawai? Did I receive a defective piano and I should return it? Or is it possibly the pedal that’s messing it up?
Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: Elizabeth R] #2754384
07/28/18 03:22 PM
07/28/18 03:22 PM
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I think someone else described a similar problem with ES110 but I might be wrong. Definitely shouldn’t happen, so either it’s a defective batch or a software problem.


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Currently: Kawai ES7 -> Garritan CFX
Previously: Kawai MP6, Kawai CA63, Roland RD-700SX, Roland FP-5, Yamaha P90, Korg SP-200, Casio CDP-100
Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: Elizabeth R] #2754427
07/28/18 08:40 PM
07/28/18 08:40 PM
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For a new DP used only 3 weeks, my first advice is to contact your dealer and explain to them the situation you described here.

In the meantime, you could try a factory reset. There is a setting in Virtual Technician known as Hammer Delay that is intended to provide a delay between keypress and resultant sound. Ive read about this and played around with the settings on an ES7 but never really understood how or when this is a desirable effect for playing pianissimo. AFIK the effect is supposed to be consistent. What you described is erratic. Unless you’ve saved a bunch of tweaks that you’d rather not erase, try a reset. The default of this setting is OFF.


- Kawai MP7 w/ MDR7506 phones and LSR308 monitors
- Roland HP-508
Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: Elizabeth R] #2754480
07/29/18 08:27 AM
07/29/18 08:27 AM
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Hello I did recently have a ES110 (returned 2) and did have the same issue that happened a few times. It was almost as if I ran out of notes but there was no way I had reached the 192 note polyphony unit. I would be playing larger chords and all of the sudden I would get a delay in the sound- quick silence.

I had other problems with my unit that involved a key moving and hitting another key, and a key that was sticking. I had to go a different route as I need something else in the 25 pound range (but love my Kawai ES8).

I would get an exchange ASAP or consider something different if you have problems on that one.


Roland Juno Gi
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Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: PossumES8Krome61] #2754506
07/29/18 11:05 AM
07/29/18 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by PossumES8Krome61
Hello I did recently have a ES110 (returned 2) and did have the same issue that happened a few times. It was almost as if I ran out of notes but there was no way I had reached the 192 note polyphony unit. I would be playing larger chords and all of the sudden I would get a delay in the sound- quick silence.

My ES100 is showing the same behavior in conjunction with improvising using the sustain pedal - feels like a internal limitation in the tone generator. It never affects regular pieces.


Kawai ES100 | Pianoteq 6 | Ivory II American Concert D | Steinberg UR22 | Sennheiser HD595
Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: Elizabeth R] #2754591
07/29/18 07:43 PM
07/29/18 07:43 PM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
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Hello Elizabeth, welcome to the forum.

I'm sorry to read that you are experiencing some difficulties with your ES110.

I've played this instrument a few times in the past, and found the sound to be very responsive, with zero delay (latency).

If this is not the case with your ES110, I would recommend contacting your Kawai dealer and/or distributor to seek technical assistance.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: PossumES8Krome61] #2754606
07/29/18 08:21 PM
07/29/18 08:21 PM
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Elizabeth R Offline OP
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Originally Posted by PossumES8Krome61
Hello I did recently have a ES110 (returned 2) and did have the same issue that happened a few times. It was almost as if I ran out of notes but there was no way I had reached the 192 note polyphony unit. I would be playing larger chords and all of the sudden I would get a delay in the sound- quick silence.

I had other problems with my unit that involved a key moving and hitting another key, and a key that was sticking. I had to go a different route as I need something else in the 25 pound range (but love my Kawai ES8).

I would get an exchange ASAP or consider something different if you have problems on that one.

Thank you for your response!
So I wonder if maybe this is common to all ES110's...
What did you decide to get to replace the Kawai? I'm looking for something in the 25lbs range as well. I tried the Roland FP-30 (I actually had it for about a month as well) but found it lacking expression and I really didn't like the sound, so I returned it and got the Kawai instead.

Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: Elizabeth R] #2754609
07/29/18 08:44 PM
07/29/18 08:44 PM
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I went with the Yamaha P125- i needed a portable in a pinch. After 2 units that didn't work I didnt have time for a third. I tried the Fp30 as well and was frustrated it was heavier and didnt have a lineout. For the type of music I am playing the Yamaha is working for me. Singer songwriter material with heavy bass. However, if you need a non-portable I have had the ES8 for 3 years and love it.

If you are looking for an expressive piano, it might make sense to see if you can exchange your 110 for a second unit.


Roland Juno Gi
Casio PX-130
Korg Krome 61
Korg SP280
Kawai ES8
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MXL V67G microphone
Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: Kawai James] #2754632
07/29/18 10:58 PM
07/29/18 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
I'm sorry to read that you are experiencing some difficulties with your ES110.

I've played this instrument a few times in the past, and found the sound to be very responsive, with zero delay (latency).

If this is not the case with your ES110, I would recommend contacting your Kawai dealer and/or distributor to seek technical assistance.

Hello James, the distributor can't help, because it's a hardware limitation, not a defect.

You can reproduce this quite easily:

1. Layer acoustic piano with something else (say EP) to double polyphony load.
2. Press down the sustain pedal and keep it down the whole time.
3. Play 8 notes (=16 layered) at the same time and repeat them until you hit the polyphony limit (192 notes).

First 12 repetitions sound fine as expected, all notes played at the same time sound at the same time

After more repetitions the ES1x0 runs out of juice and starts delaying new notes, audibly playing your chords arpeggiated in random order.

The effect doesn't reset until you lift the sustain pedal again.

It's clearly the instrument hitting its polyphony limit and struggling at latency-free note-stealing. Nothing a dealer can fix.

Reusing an old tone generator but increasing its polyphony to 192 for the ES1x0 to match the competition might have made the effect worse, because it may take twice as long to search for a note to steal than with 96 note polyphony. I guess the tone generator in the ES100/ES110 was originally designed for 64 or 96 note polyphony, where the delay might not have been as pronounced, although occurring earlier.

So much for "Does high polyphony matter?" Yes, it makes things better for few seconds and then much worse. wink


Kawai ES100 | Pianoteq 6 | Ivory II American Concert D | Steinberg UR22 | Sennheiser HD595
Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: Elizabeth R] #2754646
07/30/18 02:54 AM
07/30/18 02:54 AM
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Do other pianos do this? I don't think so.

But regardless ... this seems like a defect. If replacing the piano will not resolve the situation then I'd want the dealer to refund my purchase.

Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: Elizabeth R] #2754650
07/30/18 03:52 AM
07/30/18 03:52 AM
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I've been recommending that piano to many friends but if this situation is considered "normal" rather than a batch defect, then that's really very bad and I won't be recommending ES110 anymore. Can't really believe a digital piano in 2018 might be struggling with a bit more notes and would start delaying them. James, it would be really helpful if there's some clarity to that situation.


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Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: Elizabeth R] #2754951
07/31/18 01:56 PM
07/31/18 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Do other pianos do this?

Yamaha NP-31 doesn't do this. After hitting its 32 note polyphony limit (easily done with layering), the ancient AWM tone generator audibly steals notes from the second layer, but doesn't delay new notes. Someone should check a P-35, too.

Originally Posted by CyberGene
I've been recommending that piano to many friends but if this situation is considered "normal" rather than a batch defect,

It isn't a batch defect, otherwise my four years old ES100 wouldn't show this behavior as well. You can also feed it notes via MIDI IN (even more than 16 at the same time) and easily hear how the piano delays them in MIDI transmit order once it exhausts its polyphony limit.

Quote
then that's really very bad and I won't be recommending ES110 anymore. Can't really believe a digital piano in 2018 might be struggling with a bit more notes and would start delaying them.

It's pretty hard to hit the polyphony limit in normal use (just change pedal occasionally) and the varying delay is only audible with many notes being played at the same time. For me it's not a limitation, which affects everyday use.


Kawai ES100 | Pianoteq 6 | Ivory II American Concert D | Steinberg UR22 | Sennheiser HD595
Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: JoeT] #2755005
07/31/18 06:28 PM
07/31/18 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeT
......

Hello James, the distributor can't help, because it's a hardware limitation, not a defect.

You can reproduce this quite easily:

1. Layer acoustic piano with something else (say EP) to double polyphony load.
2. Press down the sustain pedal and keep it down the whole time. .......


The effect doesn't reset until you lift the sustain pedal again. ....



To ElizabethR, is this method of reproducing the delay problem close or similar to how its manifested in your experience?

To JoeT and or others, is the way you described for recreating this “polyphony limit ..... delay” consistent or in some way practical with respect to the kind of sound /repertoire you like to play or practice?


- Kawai MP7 w/ MDR7506 phones and LSR308 monitors
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Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: drewr] #2755074
08/01/18 03:21 AM
08/01/18 03:21 AM
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Originally Posted by drewr
is the way you described for recreating this “polyphony limit ..... delay” consistent

Yes, it is consistent. All you need to do is stack up 96+ stereo notes using the sustain pedal in any way imaginable, then play rich chords with both hands.

Once the polyphony limit hits and the note stealing* kicks in, the note processing bottlenecks. With my background I have a pretty good idea what happens inside the instrument, but it's hard to explain to non-technician.

*) kicking out still sounding old notes to make room for new ones

Quote
or in some way practical with respect to the kind of sound /repertoire you like to play or practice?

As I already wrote, nothing in my practice hits the polyphony limit of my ES100.

Changing the pedal cancels all notes and resets/prevents the effect, so does waiting until the sustained notes expire.


Kawai ES100 | Pianoteq 6 | Ivory II American Concert D | Steinberg UR22 | Sennheiser HD595
Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: Elizabeth R] #2755094
08/01/18 04:32 AM
08/01/18 04:32 AM
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The OP speaks about playing octaves, not hitting the polyphony limit with intentionally intensive playing. So, this situation still needs clarification and I don't see any given. Taking in mind FP30 has triple sensor keyboard and is cheaper than the ES110, there's no doubt what my recommendation for entry-level pianos would be.


Soundcloud Profile - solo piano compositions, arrangements, reharms
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Previously: Kawai MP6, Kawai CA63, Roland RD-700SX, Roland FP-5, Yamaha P90, Korg SP-200, Casio CDP-100
Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: CyberGene] #2755098
08/01/18 04:40 AM
08/01/18 04:40 AM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
The OP speaks about playing octaves, not hitting the polyphony limit with intentionally intensive playing. So, this situation still needs clarification and I don't see any given.


Perhaps the OP is communicating with her dealer/Kawai distributor?

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: Elizabeth R] #2755100
08/01/18 04:47 AM
08/01/18 04:47 AM
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Hopefully she will post an update. BTW, I see she had tried FP30 for a month prior to purchasing the ES110 but didn't like the Roland due to it not being expressive enough. Fair enough. Anyway, I am still worried about the ES110 and whether it's possible to make it lag in normal playing and that doesn't mean playing just single note scales because I've been recommending it to professional pianists too who need a cheap instrument to practice at night.

Last edited by CyberGene; 08/01/18 04:48 AM.

Soundcloud Profile - solo piano compositions, arrangements, reharms
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Previously: Kawai MP6, Kawai CA63, Roland RD-700SX, Roland FP-5, Yamaha P90, Korg SP-200, Casio CDP-100
Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: CyberGene] #2755106
08/01/18 05:00 AM
08/01/18 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
I've been recommending [the ES110] to professional pianists too who need a cheap instrument to practice at night.


Thank you for recommending the ES110.

May I ask if you would be willing to check their experiences with the instrument and update the thread with your findings, please?

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: CyberGene] #2755197
08/01/18 01:27 PM
08/01/18 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
The OP speaks about playing octaves, not hitting the polyphony limit with intentionally intensive playing. So, this situation still needs clarification and I don't see any given. ....


At my first look, this pretty much mirrors my thoughts regarding the original post. On first reading and reply, I mainly focused on the OP’s description in the main paragraph but did wonder why the closing paragraph mentioned the possibility of the pedal being part of the problem.

My second reply and questions therein were mainly due to respect for the OP and her desire to identify and resolve whatever problem she’s having. What JoeT can predictably reproduce is obviously a similar phenom but different enough for me to wonder if what he knows & has heard/seen is due to the same cause as what Elizabeth has experienced .... be it, potentially, “bad batch” .....”older tone generator” or the like? Secondly, as a novice piano player, I was sort of wondering out loud, with respect to the subjective nature of “musicality”, is it usual to find players that regularly enjoy the sound produced by keeping the sustain pedal down for prolonged periods while constantly playing layered 6 or 8 finger chords?

Be this as it may, there seems to be more than one owner who has experienced some sort of problem related to delayed or missing sound/notes.


- Kawai MP7 w/ MDR7506 phones and LSR308 monitors
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Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: Elizabeth R] #2755265
08/01/18 07:11 PM
08/01/18 07:11 PM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
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Hopefully Elizabeth returns to the thread to update us on the situation with her ES110.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: CyberGene] #2755361
08/02/18 09:53 AM
08/02/18 09:53 AM
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Elizabeth R Offline OP
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Hello! Sorry for my absence, and thus delay in my response. I need to figure out how to get email updates when someone responds...

Thank you all so much for your responses.
To start off, I did a factory reset.

Originally Posted by PossumES8Krome61
I went with the Yamaha P125- i needed a portable in a pinch. After 2 units that didn't work I didnt have time for a third. I tried the Fp30 as well and was frustrated it was heavier and didnt have a lineout. For the type of music I am playing the Yamaha is working for me. Singer songwriter material with heavy bass. However, if you need a non-portable I have had the ES8 for 3 years and love it.

If you are looking for an expressive piano, it might make sense to see if you can exchange your 110 for a second unit.

I am (sometimes) doing similar, singer/songwriter music with left hand octaves carrying the bass. I'm also playing classical music and using chord charts, so a little of everything. I had tried the P125 in the store. The keys seemed a bit heavy and my fingers were oddly sticking to the keys and squeaking (possibly because they hadn't been played enough and natural oils hadn't lessened the effect) All in all, I liked the touch of the Kawai (and Roland) better. As for exchanging, it sounds as if this is a common phenomenon, and thus presumably I would get the same results on another ES110. (This was the main purpose of asking the question, to know whether or not it was common, or a defect in my specific keyboard)

Originally Posted by CyberGene
Taking in mind FP30 has triple sensor keyboard and is cheaper than the ES110, there's no doubt what my recommendation for entry-level pianos would be.

The ES110 comes with a half-pedaling sustain pedal. You have to purchase one separately if you get the FP30, unless you want the weird box one. The prices about even out, and actually, the Kawai ended up being a few dollars cheaper than the FP30 with the DP10 pedal.

Originally Posted by JoeT


1. Layer acoustic piano with something else (say EP) to double polyphony load.
2. Press down the sustain pedal and keep it down the whole time.
3. Play 8 notes (=16 layered) at the same time and repeat them until you hit the polyphony limit (192 notes).

First 12 repetitions sound fine as expected, all notes played at the same time sound at the same time

After more repetitions the ES1x0 runs out of juice and starts delaying new notes, audibly playing your chords arpeggiated in random order.

The effect doesn't reset until you lift the sustain pedal again.

It's clearly the instrument hitting its polyphony limit and struggling at latency-free note-stealing. Nothing a dealer can fix.
I did indeed try this, and had a similar result; the delay started before twelve repetitions, however. I used the default piano and strings. The information you provided was very insightful, thank you.

Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by drewr
is the way you described for recreating this “polyphony limit ..... delay” consistent

Yes, it is consistent. All you need to do is stack up 96+ stereo notes using the sustain pedal in any way imaginable, then play rich chords with both hands.

Once the polyphony limit hits and the note stealing* kicks in, the note processing bottlenecks. With my background I have a pretty good idea what happens inside the instrument, but it's hard to explain to non-technician.

*) kicking out still sounding old notes to make room for new ones

Quote
or in some way practical with respect to the kind of sound /repertoire you like to play or practice?

As I already wrote, nothing in my practice hits the polyphony limit of my ES100.

Changing the pedal cancels all notes and resets/prevents the effect, so does waiting until the sustained notes expire.
I concur, yes, it's consistent. In my specific case, for a certain song, I was playing the electric guitar part (which was mainly repeating notes) while playing the rest of the chord (repeatedly) in the right hand, and repeating octaves in the left. The chord was held out for 6 measures and I was pedaling, but only half lifting it occasionally. Right as I switched to the other chord, the new left hand octave came out weird. (For those of you wondering, we don't have an electric guitarist on a worship team I'm on, so those parts fall to the keyboardist)

Originally Posted by drewr
Originally Posted by CyberGene
The OP speaks about playing octaves, not hitting the polyphony limit with intentionally intensive playing. So, this situation still needs clarification and I don't see any given. ....


My second reply and questions therein were mainly due to respect for the OP and her desire to identify and resolve whatever problem she’s having. What JoeT can predictably reproduce is obviously a similar phenom but different enough for me to wonder if what he knows & has heard/seen is due to the same cause as what Elizabeth has experienced .... be it, potentially, “bad batch” .....”older tone generator” or the like? Secondly, as a novice piano player, I was sort of wondering out loud, with respect to the subjective nature of “musicality”, is it usual to find players that regularly enjoy the sound produced by keeping the sustain pedal down for prolonged periods while constantly playing layered 6 or 8 finger chords?
Hopefully the clarification you needed was given. I did think I had heard it while playing measures 18-19 of Rondo Capriccioso (Mendelssohn), but it could have been that because I was still learning it, I was the one messing up. Although there are a lot of notes in those measures, and if I was only half-lifting the pedal, the notes might have all stacked up the polyphony and thus produced the delay. (I was having a hard time replicating this specific occurrence)
Originally Posted by drewr
At my first look, this pretty much mirrors my thoughts regarding the original post. On first reading and reply, I mainly focused on the OP’s description in the main paragraph but did wonder why the closing paragraph mentioned the possibility of the pedal being part of the problem.
I was offering ideas when I had mentioned the pedal, hoping that maybe it was a problem with a $40 pedal instead of a $730 keyboard.
I believe the delay typically happened right around the time I would lift it (from my knowledge now, that was probably right after maxing the polyphony...?).
Originally Posted by drewr
Be this as it may, there seems to be more than one owner who has experienced some sort of problem related to delayed or missing sound/notes.

And, yes, that seems to be the general consensus, so I'm thinking of keeping the ES110 because the delay doesn't interfere too much with usual playing, and I don't like the other, similar, keyboards as much as the Kawai.

Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: Elizabeth R] #2755531
08/02/18 09:18 PM
08/02/18 09:18 PM
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As I understand the issue, assuming you layer two sounds, you need to play over 95 notes without once lifting the pedal in order to trigger this problem. I'm a happy ES110 owner, and, frankly, I'd consider this "problem" a good feature because if I heard some of the delay, it would sure as heck show that I should be changing the pedal more frequently!

Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: Elizabeth R] #2755539
08/02/18 10:37 PM
08/02/18 10:37 PM
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I agree with jjo, If this is fixed by lifting the pedal then this is pretty much not an issue. Don't expect a DP to behave in the same way as an acoustic when staggering notes like that.


If this happens during regular playing this would be an issue.


Running arpeggios with sustain pedal hitting max polyphony. good job you just found the instrument's limitations.


Last edited by Learux; 08/02/18 10:42 PM.


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Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: Elizabeth R] #2755551
08/03/18 01:20 AM
08/03/18 01:20 AM
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I wouldn’t blame the instrument for this behavior, I’d reconsider my pedalling technique, if I was you.

Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: Elizabeth R] #2755581
08/03/18 05:57 AM
08/03/18 05:57 AM
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I would blame the instrument, if it delays new notes instead of dropping old/lower prioritized ones.

Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: clothearednincompo] #2755612
08/03/18 09:01 AM
08/03/18 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by jjo
As I understand the issue, assuming you layer two sounds, you need to play over 95 notes without once lifting the pedal in order to trigger this problem.

It's 48 layered notes with stereo samples (which the ES100/ES110 uses).

Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
I would blame the instrument, if it delays new notes instead of dropping old/lower prioritized ones.

It drops old notes just fine, however it doesn't do it fast enough ("real time"), before playing the new one. My conjecture would be that it takes too long to search the 192 slots for picking the right note to drop, especially if you just queued 6-10 (x2 when layered) new notes to play at the same time.

Playing at polyphony limit was a regular occurrence on older instruments with 32 to 128 polyphony, so clever note stealing algorithms were essential. You don't just drop the oldest note or a random one, the piano has to pick the right one, the one you can't hear anymore. I think the note stealing works in my ES100, as I could tell any notes dropping out despite reaching the polyphony limit, it's just not fast enough.

Would be interesting to test other instruments like the CN37 or ES8 for this issue, how more advanced tone generators have improved.


Kawai ES100 | Pianoteq 6 | Ivory II American Concert D | Steinberg UR22 | Sennheiser HD595
Re: Kawai ES110 delayed sound problem [Re: JoeT] #2755722
08/03/18 04:21 PM
08/03/18 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeT
Would be interesting to test other instruments like the CN37 or ES8 for this issue, how more advanced tone generators have improved.


I was wondering about ES8 having this issue. I will test it some time and post my findings (if no other owner does it before me).


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.

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