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Here's a button-operated version of Kawai's touchscreen interface I made. Should work on CA98/78 and ATX3 as well.

Most of the time, the display remains completely dark. Here, we are changing the Ambience Type setting:
[Linked Image]

Same state (Ambience Type = Natural), represented on the original UI:
[Linked Image]

The cheek blocks next to each other. Both are made of black acrylic.
[Linked Image]
The original UI is an Android device; the new one is built around a Raspberry Pi.
[Linked Image]

Most selection menus are being mapped to the piano keyboard.
[Linked Image]

Source code can be found on Github.

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This is a commendable job in terms of understanding how the interface works and being able to replace it with a DIY implementation. However I hope you won't get angry if I call your own button implementation hideous smile


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Not sure I'd call it hideous. Certainly no more hideous that the black keys on a piano?

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Originally Posted by CyberGene
This is a commendable job in terms of understanding how the interface works and being able to replace it with a DIY implementation. However I hope you won't get angry if I call your own button implementation hideous smile

This kind of user interface calls for entering the nuclear launch codes on it. wink


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Originally Posted by JoeT
This kind of user interface calls for entering the nuclear launch codes on it. wink


...in the 1980s.

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Originally Posted by Michael P Walsh
Not sure I'd call it hideous. Certainly no more hideous that the black keys on a piano?


Black keys of pianos, or keyboard instruments, for that matter, have been like this for at least 200 years, and if you take their form and function maybe for hundreds of years.

But it's not about how the added keys look by themselves. It's how old-fashioned computer keyboard keys with letter on them suit the eternal esthetics of a grand piano. Let alone one rotated at 90 degrees.

Or maybe I misunderstood the purpose of the DIY project. I thought people wanted to remove the screen at all, so that the piano looks like an acoustic piano. Or even if adding physical buttons, those probably should be hidden or as unobtrusive as possible. Putting huge typewriter buttons next to the piano keyboard ruins the entire esthetics IMO, but people have differing tastes. I apologize for the word "hideous", maybe it was too insulting of a design that trebb apparently liked. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say.


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I think it's amazing that you've gone to this trouble to make your piano interface the way you like it.

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That's really impressive engineering, nice job! Did you capture the output from the panel for each setting, and replicate those using the Pi?

If I were to change the panel, I'd want to retain the touchscreen but used a faster SOC, and possibly swap the display layer for an IPS or OLED.

Oh, and while I agree it may not be the most aesthetic design, as a proof of concept that may not be so im portant. I'm sure those old Televideo/Heath keycaps could be replaced with something s bit more contemporary and inconspicuous wink


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I think the keys should be black rather than gray.
Aside from that this is superb.
Imagine ... buttons dedicated to a function, rather than having functions buried beneath layers of menu/sub-menu complexity!
That's called usability. Yay!

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I'm in awe. I've built a few simple electronic projects in my life and can't imagine how much went into that. I have such a hard time with touch screens, I assume because my skin is dry. Keys solve that problem.


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trebb- that is a fantastic DIY interface. I like the concept, industrial design, and finish.

I find touchscreens from a smartphone to be constant distractions. Your interface would keep me focused on playing and not tempt me to be endlessly tweaking.

Do you have more photos or a video of the build process? If so, they would be fun to see.

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I'm in awe too, but with mixed feelings. In fact the touchscreen was, supposedly, an improvement on the small LCD panels most of us have on our pianos: a visual guide to a more or less complex set fo choices. Theoretically it made things easier. But maybe the OP knows for sure he won't be using but just a bunch of the functions, and has made a button for each of them. That could be quicker. But we can't say much until we know how it works.


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The best interface is one button/dial/knob/slider per function - Yamaha returned to that with the CP88 - but it's also the most expensive one. OTOH touchscreen LCD is the cheapest way to implement a complex UI.


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To my understanding, the OP has found a service manual for a CA78 (visible in the pictures) and according to that manual, every setting can be recreated through a combination of a service command, which in this case is sent by pressing one of the computer keyboard buttons + piano key according to the table. Maybe I am wrong, the OP can shed more light.

Once again, I apologize for my use of the word "hideous", apparently it was too strong a word. I don't like the design but I shouldn't have insulted it.


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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Once again, I apologize for my use of the word "hideous", apparently it was too strong a word. I don't like the design but I shouldn't have insulted it.

Don't worry. I will throw some choice words towards your DIY controller in due time!

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Originally Posted by newer player
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Once again, I apologize for my use of the word "hideous", apparently it was too strong a word. I don't like the design but I shouldn't have insulted it.

Don't worry. I will throw some choice words towards your DIY controller in due time!

I will be more than glad if I reach the point where people would insult the appearance of my controller laugh It would mean all else worked!


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I was convinced this was a funny joke, but I kept scrolling down and nobody is laughing...

I still think it's hilariously ugly - and kind of absurd. But I like the ingenuity.

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Well ... to be fussy, I'd have to say there really is one UI that I like better.
It's the one found on every acoustic piano.
88 keys
3 pedals
Nothing more.

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Well ... to be fussy, I'd have to say there really is one UI that I like better.
It's the one found on every acoustic piano.
88 keys
3 pedals
Nothing more
.

Dude, you are in the wrong forum. There is indeed a forum for you. It's over here!


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I hate smudgescreens, so I completely understand this mod. That a user was willing to go to such lengths might have Kawai rethinking the whole smudgescreen, err, touchscreen fiasco.

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Well ... to be fussy, I'd have to say there really is one UI that I like better.
It's the one found on every acoustic piano.
88 keys
3 pedals
Nothing more.



Whoa, *nothing* more? Maybe it's just me, but a digital piano without a power button and volume control would seem very inconvenient! And one with a USB audio interface but no local control toggle might not work very well for VST users smile


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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Well ... to be fussy, I'd have to say there really is one UI that I like better.
It's the one found on every acoustic piano.
88 keys
3 pedals
Nothing more.

Whoa, *nothing* more? Maybe it's just me, but a digital piano without a power button and volume control would seem very inconvenient! And one with a USB audio interface but no local control toggle might not work very well for VST users smile

The only pianos I know of with 88 keys, 3 pedals, and nothing more are actually acoustics! They don't have power or volume control for obvious reasons smile


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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

The only pianos I know of with 88 keys, 3 pedals, and nothing more are actually acoustics! They don't have power or volume control for obvious reasons smile


Some acoustics have 2 pedals, and some have 4! And some have more (or fewer) than 88 keys, too smile

I understand that this is a little bit of dogpiling, but given Mac's proclivity to rib on phrasing, I'm certain he wouldn't mind a playful bit coming his own way!


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Thank you all for your replies.

Originally Posted by Gombessa
Did you capture the output from the panel for each setting, and replicate those using the Pi?
Yes, I eavesdropped the serial communication and reimplemented more or less everything. I omitted a few things I don't need, like demo and lesson songs.
Originally Posted by Gombessa
If I were to change the panel, I'd want to retain the touchscreen but used a faster SOC
Yes, my six year old Raspberry Pi boots already twice as fast as the original UI. Now, the UI is waiting for the mainboard to come alive and not the other way round.

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I think the keys should be black rather than gray.
Aside from that this is superb.
Imagine ... buttons dedicated to a function, rather than having functions buried beneath layers of menu/sub-menu complexity!
That's called usability. Yay!
I actually have a half-baked set of engraved black acrylic keycaps, but finishing them is not my highest priority. Usability is, indeed.

Originally Posted by newer player
trebb- that is a fantastic DIY interface. I like the concept, industrial design, and finish.

I find touchscreens from a smartphone to be constant distractions. Your interface would keep me focused on playing and not tempt me to be endlessly tweaking.

Do you have more photos or a video of the build process? If so, they would be fun to see.
Unfortunately not. The only thing I can offer is the project page on Github, https://github.com/trebb/untouch.

Originally Posted by CyberGene
To my understanding, the OP has found a service manual for a CA78 (visible in the pictures) and according to that manual, every setting can be recreated through a combination of a service command, which in this case is sent by pressing one of the computer keyboard buttons + piano key according to the table. Maybe I am wrong, the OP can shed more light.
The user manual visible in the pictures is part of the project. Here's another example:
[Linked Image]To activate, say, "Gospel Organ" as the first or only sound, you press F1 and K on the ugly keypad, followed by piano key B2. You don't need to use your eyes to achieve this. (Btw, there are exactly 88 sounds available.)

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Cool project, trebb! Not my style of UI (I prefer the original touch screen), but it must be a lot of fun to develop!

Are you planning on implementing a macro scheme of some sort?


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Not kidding, really. Most engineered user interfaces stink ... because most engineers have little ability in developing good interfaces.
So when I say I prefer 88+3, I mean that nearly everything that a digital adds to that has been poorly done.
I prefer simplicity. I hate gadgetry.
Originally Posted by Gombessa
I understand that this is a little bit of dogpiling, but given Mac's proclivity to rib on phrasing, I'm certain he wouldn't mind a playful bit coming his own way!
But the jovial direction of this thread is appreciated.

(Poor trebb. He's been highjacked.) frown

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Not kidding, really. Most engineered user interfaces stink ... because most engineers have little ability in developing good interfaces.
So when I say I prefer 88+3, I mean that nearly everything that a digital adds to that has been poorly done.
I prefer simplicity. I hate gadgetry.(

Then is it only headphones that prevent you from just abandoning digitals and being in the acoustic piano world for good?


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Originally Posted by JoBert
Cool project, trebb! Not my style of UI (I prefer the original touch screen), but it must be a lot of fun to develop!

Are you planning on implementing a macro scheme of some sort?
User-generated macros would require some robust storage the Raspberry Pi hardware doesn't offer, afaik. The system is never being shut down cleanly and must therefore be strictly read-only to avoid data corruption.
I did hard-code a few things I considered useful. On startup, the UI will always activate registration 0 (you can't be outside a registration), and you can specify the tempo by tapping a UI key.

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Very interesting project!

Speaking personally, I prefer the aesthetics and functionality of the original NV10 interface - this kind of "press a button, then a key, then another key" approach to selecting settings reminds me of an older CN model.

However, I can appreciate the efforts that you have gone to capture and decode the communication between the touchscreen controller and main CPU board, and for making the code available on GitHub.

Cheers,
James
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I think it's great! Instead of buttons, maybe you can use an 8 way joystick laugh


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If you want to upgrade the control keys for a specific look, feel or sound, this is a great forum on computer keyboards, keys, controllers:

https://deskthority.net/viewforum.php?f=2

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Hats off, trebb. It would be interesting to see if your project unlocks the "missing" voices on the CA78.

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Great project - well done.

Originally Posted by trebb
User-generated macros would require some robust storage the Raspberry Pi hardware doesn't offer, afaik. The system is never being shut down cleanly and must therefore be strictly read-only to avoid data corruption.
I did hard-code a few things I considered useful. On startup, the UI will always activate registration 0 (you can't be outside a registration), and you can specify the tempo by tapping a UI key.
Could you expand on what is meant by "robust storage"? I take it the SD card doesn't count.

Couldn't you make any writes to a config file atomic, e.g. make a copy of the active config file, make changes to that, and only when it's been written (and verified?) you change its filename? I'm sure you've thought of this but I'm trying to enhance my own understanding of the problem.

Also, are you at all tempted to try getting the RasPi to run Pianoteq?

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Originally Posted by trebb
Thank you all for your replies.
Originally Posted by Gombessa
Did you capture the output from the panel for each setting, and replicate those using the Pi?
Yes, I eavesdropped the serial communication and reimplemented more or less everything. I omitted a few things I don't need, like demo and lesson songs.

This is incredible work, trebb, I'm very impressed. It motivates me to try my own DIY project with an Arduino or RPi and I hope that others will now try to circumvate the terrible GUI of the NV10/CAx8.

Two questions:
  • Do you have the description of the serial protocol in a more readable form than the code on GitHub?
  • How did you make the mechanical (acrylic) part, so that the new controller fits in the piano?
  • Do interfaces like MIDI or USB still work, i.e. are they supported by the sound engine or by the module you replaced?

Regards
Patrick

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Originally Posted by paf

Do interfaces like MIDI or USB still work, i.e. are they supported by the sound engine or by the module you replaced?


Both midi and USB work even if the panel isn't booted up or if the panel has crashed, so I think those are all handled by the main board and not the panel.


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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Very interesting project!

Speaking personally, I prefer the aesthetics and functionality of the original NV10 interface - this kind of "press a button, then a key, then another key" approach to selecting settings reminds me of an older CN model.

However, I can appreciate the efforts that you have gone to capture and decode the communication between the touchscreen controller and main CPU board, and for making the code available on GitHub.

The well structured, simple hardware design has been the main reason for my purchase decision. It may also come in handy when it comes to long-term maintainability.

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Originally Posted by lolatu
Originally Posted by trebb
User-generated macros would require some robust storage the Raspberry Pi hardware doesn't offer, afaik. The system is never being shut down cleanly and must therefore be strictly read-only to avoid data corruption.
Could you expand on what is meant by "robust storage"? I take it the SD card doesn't count.
Couldn't you make any writes to a config file atomic, e.g. make a copy of the active config file, make changes to that, and only when it's been written (and verified?) you change its filename? I'm sure you've thought of this but I'm trying to enhance my own understanding of the problem.
Cutting power during a writing operation can lead to corruption of uninvolved system files. Quoting https://hackaday.com/2016/08/03/single-board-revolution-preventing-flash-memory-corruption/:
Quote
The special properties of Flash memory reach deep down to the silicon, where individual memory cells (floating gates) are grouped in pages (areas that are programmed simultaneously), and pages are grouped in blocks (areas that are erased simultaneously). Because entire blocks have to be erased before new data can be written to them, adding data to an existing block is a complex task: At a given block size (i.e. 16 kB), storing a smaller amount of data (i.e. 1 kB), requires reading the existing block, modifying it in cache, erasing the physical block, and writing back the cached version.
This behavior makes Flash memory (including SSDs, SD-cards, eMMCs, and USB thumb drives) slightly more susceptible to data corruption than other read-write media: There is always a short moment of free fall between erasing a block and restoring its content.

Originally Posted by lolatu
Also, are you at all tempted to try getting the RasPi to run Pianoteq?
I'm afraid I don't know anything about Pianoteq.

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Originally Posted by paf
This is incredible work, trebb, I'm very impressed. It motivates me to try my own DIY project with an Arduino or RPi and I hope that others will now try to circumvate the terrible GUI of the NV10/CAx8.
Two questions:
  • Do you have the description of the serial protocol in a more readable form than the code on GitHub?
The intercepted raw data and a few processing tools are in https://github.com/trebb/repno. I wouldn't call it more readable, though.

Originally Posted by paf
  • How did you make the mechanical (acrylic) part, so that the new controller fits in the piano?
I had them laser cut. The top part I bent into shape using hot air. The display window is glued in with nitrocellulose thinner. I also did a lot of filing, sanding, and polishing.

Originally Posted by paf
  • Do interfaces like MIDI or USB still work, i.e. are they supported by the sound engine or by the module you replaced?
Gombessa's observations are correct. You can even remove the UI and expect the piano to work as before.

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Just my opinion for what it’s worth. But, I don’t get it. confused This is an amazing project trebb. However, why replace the control panel? I use it every day, often to do a reset and resave favorites to try things out, like Wall EQ, Voice, or Touch. It takes a few minutes at most to reset the five favorites I usually use. Three in Sound mode for headphones and two in Pianist mode for speakers. It would be nice if it went completely black or was hidden in a pull out drawer, I suppose. But it works just fine as it is.


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I spent only a very limited time with an NV at a local shop a few months ago, and I focused my attention on the piano, not the control panel.

But I do remember that the touch pad was confusing. To much functionality in too little space.

I'd like to see an off-the-shelf tablet connected to the NV, and have an tablet app be the control panel.

Perhaps that's out of scope for trebb ... but that's my wish.

But take your time, trebb. I won't be buying an NV for two years. When I retire the NV will be the second thing I buy. smile

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
But take your time, trebb. I won't be buying an NV for two years. When I retire the NV will be the second thing I buy. smile

OK, I'll bite - what's the first?

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A house to put it in.

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Well, this may be an impressive achievement technically, but I absolutely miss the point here. I own a NV 10 for over a year now, an absolutely great instrument from the sound (great samples), the looks and the feel of the action. Many people complain about its perceived shortcomings on another threat, but luckily none of these came on my way until now. This is the best digital piano available currently, together with the Yamaha Avantgrand N3x. I made some modifications also, for a fuller sound (see elsewhere), but I have no problem whatsoever with the touchscreen. It works rather well, and if you use the auto-off option, it almost completely gets out of sight after some seconds. So why this ridiculously looking replacement for which you shurely must need a manual to get to the right codes? This seems to be the wrong solution for a non-existing problem...

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Hey RalphK, I was reading the NV10 thread earlier and saw that you'd posted some photos of your upgrades last summer. Unfortunately all the photos on this site before September seem to be unavailable, so I couldn't see the pictures. Would it be possible for you to upload them somewhere more reliable like imgur.com so that I (and everyone else who didn't see them at the time) could take a look? smile


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Originally Posted by trebb
Originally Posted by paf
  • Do interfaces like MIDI or USB still work, i.e. are they supported by the sound engine or by the module you replaced?
Gombessa's observations are correct. You can even remove the UI and expect the piano to work as before.


Fantastic effort!

I wanted to ask you if you have found out something about the possibility to control some of the settings using MIDI System Exclusive Messages.
I don't think I am ready to take it apart, but I would love to bypass the existing LCD screen and control the engine via an Android App.

Is it possible? Has anyone found out what they are?

Andrea


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Originally Posted by Audetto
I wanted to ask you if you have found out something about the possibility to control some of the settings using MIDI System Exclusive Messages.
I don't think I am ready to take it apart, but I would love to bypass the existing LCD screen and control the engine via an Android App.
Is it possible? Has anyone found out what they are?

I don't know anything about MIDI beyond the specification found in the user manual.
There's certainly no MIDI involved in the operation of the original touchscreen UI.

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Originally Posted by TomLC
Just my opinion for what it’s worth. But, I don’t get it. confused This is an amazing project trebb. However, why replace the control panel? I use it every day, often to do a reset and resave favorites to try things out, like Wall EQ, Voice, or Touch. It takes a few minutes at most to reset the five favorites I usually use. Three in Sound mode for headphones and two in Pianist mode for speakers. It would be nice if it went completely black or was hidden in a pull out drawer, I suppose. But it works just fine as it is.
Originally Posted by RalphK
Well, this may be an impressive achievement technically, but I absolutely miss the point here. [...] I have no problem whatsoever with the touchscreen.
Well, I guess it boils down to the question: Can you use the touchscreen from your playing position as easy as the piano keys? I can't, and you guys either can or don't care.

Originally Posted by RalphK
It works rather well, and if you use the auto-off option, it almost completely gets out of sight after some seconds.
Almost out of sight ≠ out of sight.

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Originally Posted by trebb
Originally Posted by Audetto
I wanted to ask you if you have found out something about the possibility to control some of the settings using MIDI System Exclusive Messages.
I don't think I am ready to take it apart, but I would love to bypass the existing LCD screen and control the engine via an Android App.
Is it possible? Has anyone found out what they are?

I don't know anything about MIDI beyond the specification found in the user manual.
There's certainly no MIDI involved in the operation of the original touchscreen UI.


Too bad.
I seem to understand that some Kawai DPs can be controlled via a IPhone app.
Without an iPhone I cant reverse engineer the SysEx messages, if they even exist...

The manual describes a handful of SysEx messages, I wonder why just a few of them.


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Originally Posted by trebb
Originally Posted by TomLC
Just my opinion for what it’s worth. But, I don’t get it. confused This is an amazing project trebb. However, why replace the control panel? I use it every day, often to do a reset and resave favorites to try things out, like Wall EQ, Voice, or Touch. It takes a few minutes at most to reset the five favorites I usually use. Three in Sound mode for headphones and two in Pianist mode for speakers. It would be nice if it went completely black or was hidden in a pull out drawer, I suppose. But it works just fine as it is.
Originally Posted by RalphK
Well, this may be an impressive achievement technically, but I absolutely miss the point here. [...] I have no problem whatsoever with the touchscreen.
Well, I guess it boils down to the question: Can you use the touchscreen from your playing position as easy as the piano keys? I can't, and you guys either can or don't care.

For me, it's a bit of both.

Either "can": 99% of the time, I use my NV10 as a piano. Which means that I don't need the touchscreen at all. I switch the piano on, wait a few seconds (during which I do other things, like adjusting the bench, switching on the page-turn pedal, opening the score on my tablet, etc.), it auto-loads my favorite piano settings, and I start playing. The display blacks out a few seconds later but I don't even see when that happens, as I'm already immersed in my playing. It is very seldom that I deviate from this procedure and actually require the touchscreen for anything. And even then, mostly the only things that I do with it are to switch to a different favorite that I created before, or to switch the metronome on (or change its settings), or to start/top a recording. And for that, I can indeed "use the touchscreen from the playing position as easy as the piano keys". So that part falls into the "can" category.

Or "don't care": And then there are the very few cases where I actually want to change settings (to experiment, to try something out, to create a new favorite, etc.). This happens so seldom that in these cases, I really have no need for this to work "from the playing position as easy as the piano keys". I have no problem that for changing such settings, I have to lean over a bit and get involved in the touch interface a bit more (with a few more taps and swipes). Actually, I don't feel that this is any different than the button-based interface that I had on the CA97. If I wanted to do anything with that button interface that was a bit out of the ordinary, I also had to lean over and concentrate on what I'm doing and what the display shows, so that wasn't "from the playing position, as easy as the piano keys" either. So this second part falls into the "don't care" category.

But I still admire your project and can imagine what fun it must be to create something like this - even if I myself would never want to have such a mod on my piano and very much prefer the sleek look of the touchscreen.


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Originally Posted by Audetto
Originally Posted by trebb
Originally Posted by Audetto
I wanted to ask you if you have found out something about the possibility to control some of the settings using MIDI System Exclusive Messages.
I don't think I am ready to take it apart, but I would love to bypass the existing LCD screen and control the engine via an Android App.
Is it possible? Has anyone found out what they are?

I don't know anything about MIDI beyond the specification found in the user manual.
There's certainly no MIDI involved in the operation of the original touchscreen UI.


Too bad.
I seem to understand that some Kawai DPs can be controlled via a IPhone app.
Without an iPhone I cant reverse engineer the SysEx messages, if they even exist...

The manual describes a handful of SysEx messages, I wonder why just a few of them.


I made an initial attempt to reverse engineer the sysex messages sent by Kawai apps to the DP. My goal was to develop an iOS app to manage the settings and registrations externally so that I could bypass the bugs and shortcomings features of the current UI.

Anyway, several VT settings in sound mode can be controlled externally via sysex. The same applies to the sounds/instruments in sound mode, including selecting instruments from the GM bank that Kawai decided to hide. However, I have not managed to find sysex messages to control the sound and system settings. Some of these settings could be edited externally in the previous DP generation (CAx7, CS8/11) by modifying a registration file saved to USB. However, the CAx8/NV10 do not provide a way to save/backup the settings and registrations/favourites to an external device, which makes this approach not possible to pursue at the moment. I also have not found sysex messages to control the pianist mode settings.

I suspect that Kawai has not updated the sysex messages since the HI-XL chipset engine was introduced a while ago. Note that the CAx8/NV10 feature different samples and resonance algorithms but use exactly the same chipset as the previous generation. The lack of sysex messages to control pianist mode would be the simplest explanation of why setting and registration backup was disabled in the current models. So, @trebb's excellent solution seems to be the viable approach for the time being unless there is a hidden set of sysex messages that is able to control most settings - if this was the case, I would expect the VT app to support editing such settings. Note that the current Kawai apps only allow editing a subset of the VT settings and no sound/system settings.

An interesting alternative to @trebb's solution, is to keep the touch screen as it is but to use the Pi as a Bluetooth receiver that would inject the messages into the serial port of the motherboard. One could then develop an external iOS/Android app to edit and send the registrations to the DP over Bluetooth and bypass the touchscreen...

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Originally Posted by arc7urus

I made an initial attempt to reverse engineer the sysex messages sent by Kawai apps to the DP. My goal was to develop an iOS app to manage the settings and registrations externally so that I could bypass the bugs and shortcomings features of the current UI.

Anyway, several VT settings in sound mode can be controlled externally via sysex. The same applies to the sounds/instruments in sound mode, including selecting instruments from the GM bank that Kawai decided to hide. However, I have not managed to find sysex messages to control the sound and system settings. Some of these settings could be edited externally in the previous DP generation (CAx7, CS8/11) by modifying a registration file saved to USB. However, the CAx8/NV10 do not provide a way to save/backup the settings and registrations/favourites to an external device, which makes this approach not possible to pursue at the moment. I also have not found sysex messages to control the pianist mode settings.


Are you saying that you have found some SysEx messages? or none?
And, in case, would you be able to share the ones you have found?


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My approach, if I find the time for it in some future:

  • "insert" a RPi or an Arduino on the serial link
  • which spies all traffic and maintains an internal image of the current state of all settings of the piano
  • and offers the possibility of saving the current state in a favorite on a non-volatile memory (SD card, EEPROM of the Arduino...)
  • and to send eveything back to the sound engine on request, to restore a favorite (or at boot time).

This would correct the worst shortcomings features of the GUI in my opinion: not being able to load a favorite's settings and edit the settings further as well as not being able to load a favorite automatically and silently at boot time.

The hardware could be rather simple (a RPi/Arduino and a few buttons, maybe a few resistors or buffers for interfacing to the serial link), the software maybe less...

Of course, Kawai could implement all that very easily in the GUI, but unfortunately they don't do it.


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Originally Posted by Audetto

I wanted to ask you if you have found out something about the possibility to control some of the settings using MIDI System Exclusive Messages.
I don't think I am ready to take it apart, but I would love to bypass the existing LCD screen and control the engine via an Android App.

Is it possible? Has anyone found out what they are?


I don't know about SysEx, but chances are the full array of UI features aren't mapped to MIDI (why would they be)? Which means if you really wanted to do this, you could build a wrapper layer that intercepted such messages and translated them into the serial communications that the NV10 mainboard understands.

Or you could build a native app based on the code trebb provides that doesn't rely on sysex commands at all, and just sends the serial commands via BT.

Generally speaking, a lot of people are fixated on the aesthetics and UI/UX of the solution displayed (which is fair, since that is what trebb is demonstrating here). But IMO there's really a lot more of significance than just a bunch of terminal keycaps and a 14-segment LCD display. He demonstrates that (and provides the code for) a fully alternative implementation to command the DP. You could add a BT transceiver to the mix and build a wireless app to control everything through your smartphone. Or you can hook it up to your 14" touch display that you use as a combined VST/sheet music display on the music rest. Or you can have a fully invisible display and control everything via AR or radar gestures, via Hololens/Vive or Project Soli. There's a lot that's opened up here beyond gray keycaps over an acrylic base. And that's pretty cool.


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Hello arc7urus,

Originally Posted by arc7urus
several VT settings in sound mode can be controlled externally via sysex.


Yes, I believe this is how the "Virtual Technician" app works (albeit not officially supported).

Originally Posted by arc7urus
The same applies to the sounds/instruments in sound mode


Which sound settings are you able to adjust via sysex? These may be the same as the "Sound Museum"

Originally Posted by arc7urus
including selecting instruments from the GM bank that Kawai decided to hide.


Those sounds can be selected by by sending a simple program change number, as listed in the owner's manual.

Originally Posted by arc7urus
However, I have not managed to find sysex messages to control the sound and system settings. Some of these settings could be edited externally in the previous DP generation (CAx7, CS8/11) by modifying a registration file saved to USB.


Are you referring to the touch curve editor, created by a member PW member? I don't recall this tool reaching a state where it could edit other settings in the registration file.

Originally Posted by arc7urus
The lack of sysex messages to control pianist mode would be the simplest explanation of why setting and registration backup was disabled in the current models.


Can you elaborate, please? Why would reading a settings/registration file necessarily require the same settings to be adjustable externally, via sysex?

Kind regards,
James
x


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Hello paf,

Regarding this point:

Originally Posted by paf
...not being able to load a favorite automatically and silently at boot time.


I believe the current UI can do this.

Kind regards,
James
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Originally Posted by paf
My approach, if I find the time for it in some future:
  • "insert" a RPi or an Arduino on the serial link
  • which spies all traffic and maintains an internal image of the current state of all settings of the piano
  • and offers the possibility of saving the current state in a favorite on a non-volatile memory (SD card, EEPROM of the Arduino...)
  • and to send eveything back to the sound engine on request, to restore a favorite (or at boot time).
[...] The hardware could be rather simple (a RPi/Arduino and a few buttons, maybe a few resistors or buffers for interfacing to the serial link), the software maybe less...

If someone wants to get started:

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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Hello arc7urus,
Originally Posted by arc7urus
several VT settings in sound mode can be controlled externally via sysex.

Yes, I believe this is how the "Virtual Technician" app works (albeit not officially supported).
Originally Posted by arc7urus
The same applies to the sounds/instruments in sound mode

Which sound settings are you able to adjust via sysex? These may be the same as the "Sound Museum"

I am able to replicate everything that the VT app does by intercepting its sysex messages. It would be just a matter of writing down all the codes, which I haven't done because I am only interested in controlling the DP settings in pianist mode. There may be more sysex messages than those sent by the app, but those are not documented.

The messages sent by the Sound Museum app are different. They include program change codes and some sysex messages (e.g. dual, split). But all of these are described in the user manual.

Note that these two apps are not entirely compatible with the CAx8 since some of the codes have changed from the CAx7 (e.g. instrument id, key id). Moreover, using these apps seems to mess up the favourites stored in the DP.

Quote
Originally Posted by arc7urus
including selecting instruments from the GM bank that Kawai decided to hide.

Those sounds can be selected by by sending a simple program change number, as listed in the owner's manual.

Yes, I know :-) But I wonder how many users are aware of that and know how to do that. I also wonder why those instruments cannot be select via the app or the UI...

Quote
Originally Posted by arc7urus
However, I have not managed to find sysex messages to control the sound and system settings. Some of these settings could be edited externally in the previous DP generation (CAx7, CS8/11) by modifying a registration file saved to USB.
Are you referring to the touch curve editor, created by a member PW member? I don't recall this tool reaching a state where it could edit other settings in the registration file.

The tool is indeed just for the velocity curve, but other settings were identified as well, including settings for per-key volume and per-key brightness. Developing a tool/editor for those would be straightforward but this approach makes no sense at this point since it would not work with the CAx8/NV10.

Quote
Originally Posted by arc7urus
The lack of sysex messages to control pianist mode would be the simplest explanation of why setting and registration backup was disabled in the current models.
Can you elaborate, please? Why would reading a settings/registration file necessarily require the same settings to be adjustable externally, via sysex?

A settings file or a a set of sysex messages are just two different mechanisms (i.e. protocols and formats) to represent the same information. A settings file may indeed include additional parameters depending on what is designed to be controlled via sysex. But if you consider the Roland, Yamaha and Casio DPs that can be entirely controlled via an external app, then the difference between a settings "file" and a set of sysex messages is simply the format.

Now, the load/save of setting files is available on the Kawai DPs that feature the HI-XL engine exclusively. But this feature was removed from the new models with pianist mode. So, it is not even possible to backup the settings and registrations on the CAx8/NV10. I believe you also consider this feature to be important, otherwise you would have not said this regarding the MP7/11 update: "We also recommend that users backup any custom settings, SOUNDs, SETUPs, etc. before applying the update."

So, I can only find two reasonable explanations for the inability to save/load registrations and settings:
1. The new GUI was rushed to the market and there was no time to add this feature (and other features, as discussed elsewhere).

2. Kawai did no implement an external interface to control the VT settings in pianist mode (the only interface is therefore the serial protocol between the UI assembly and the main board). As a result, the existing software (used in HI-XL) could only backup the sound mode settings and not the pianist settings. So, Kawai decided to remove the feature altogether.

By the way, I think the same reasoning can be used to explain why it is not possible to internally play or record MIDI in pianist mode...

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Originally Posted by Gombessa
...Generally speaking, a lot of people are fixated on the aesthetics and UI/UX of the solution displayed (which is fair, since that is what trebb is demonstrating here). But IMO there's really a lot more of significance than just a bunch of terminal keycaps and a 14-segment LCD display. He demonstrates that (and provides the code for) a fully alternative implementation to command the DP. You could add a BT transceiver to the mix and build a wireless app to control everything through your smartphone...


The BT transceiver route is IMO the best option. In this case the Pi would function as a BT receiver and also as a bridge between the LCD and the main board. It also adds nicely on @trebb's existing code. With a BT protocol in place it would be possible to develop an external app that could properly edit and store registrations. This means the current LCD can be kept while the DP settings can be controlled externally.

An alternative is to upgrade to an Yamaha N1X and use the Smart Pianist app...

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Well, I guess it boils down to the question: Can you use the touchscreen from your playing position as easy as the piano keys? I can't, and you guys either can or don't care.
Originally Posted by JoBert
Originally Posted by trebb
Originally Posted by TomLC
Just my opinion for what it’s worth. But, I don’t get it. confused This is an amazing project trebb. However, why replace the control panel? I use it every day, often to do a reset and resave favorites to try things out, like Wall EQ, Voice, or Touch. It takes a few minutes at most to reset the five favorites I usually use. Three in Sound mode for headphones and two in Pianist mode for speakers. It would be nice if it went completely black or was hidden in a pull out drawer, I suppose. But it works just fine as it is.
Originally Posted by RalphK
Well, this may be an impressive achievement technically, but I absolutely miss the point here. [...] I have no problem whatsoever with the touchscreen.
Well, I guess it boils down to the question: Can you use the touchscreen from your playing position as easy as the piano keys? I can't, and you guys either can or don't care.

For me, it's a bit of both.

Either "can": 99% of the time, I use my NV10 as a piano. Which means that I don't need the touchscreen at all. I switch the piano on, wait a few seconds (during which I do other things, like adjusting the bench, switching on the page-turn pedal, opening the score on my tablet, etc.), it auto-loads my favorite piano settings, and I start playing. The display blacks out a few seconds later but I don't even see when that happens, as I'm already immersed in my playing. It is very seldom that I deviate from this procedure and actually require the touchscreen for anything. And even then, mostly the only things that I do with it are to switch to a different favorite that I created before, or to switch the metronome on (or change its settings), or to start/top a recording. And for that, I can indeed "use the touchscreen from the playing position as easy as the piano keys". So that part falls into the "can" category.

Or "don't care": And then there are the very few cases where I actually want to change settings (to experiment, to try something out, to create a new favorite, etc.). This happens so seldom that in these cases, I really have no need for this to work "from the playing position as easy as the piano keys". I have no problem that for changing such settings, I have to lean over a bit and get involved in the touch interface a bit more (with a few more taps and swipes). Actually, I don't feel that this is any different than the button-based interface that I had on the CA97. If I wanted to do anything with that button interface that was a bit out of the ordinary, I also had to lean over and concentrate on what I'm doing and what the display shows, so that wasn't "from the playing position, as easy as the piano keys" either. So this second part falls into the "don't care" category.

But I still admire your project and can imagine what fun it must be to create something like this - even if I myself would never want to have such a mod on my piano and very much prefer the sleek look of the touchscreen.




Trebb, I play piano, not touchscreen. And of course, I use the touchscreen to play the piano the way I want, and enjoy all of the possibilities, but I don't change settings while playing a piece. Why would I? You would not do that playing an acoustic grand? And that is the reason why I bought the NV10. And yes, you are right about the touchscreen off option: it is not invisible. I think about making a nice thin pianoblack gloss panel to cover it. And then since I rarely use the touchscreen during play, that should be an optical gain. That may be my obsession...So, we all have our hobbies and plays. And of course, my original comment was not to spoil yours.

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Originally Posted by RalphK
Trebb, I play piano, not touchscreen. And of course, I use the touchscreen to play the piano the way I want, and enjoy all of the possibilities, but I don't change settings while playing a piece. Why would I? You would not do that playing an acoustic grand? And that is the reason why I bought the NV10. And yes, you are right about the touchscreen off option: it is not invisible. I think about making a nice thin pianoblack gloss panel to cover it. And then since I rarely use the touchscreen during play, that should be an optical gain. That may be my obsession...So, we all have our hobbies and plays. And of course, my original comment was not to spoil yours.

There is a group of of users that simply use the NV10/CA98's default instrument and seldom change the DP settings or use registrations/favourites. For this group of users, trebb's mod is useless and hard to understand.

But there is another group of users that finds that the acoustic piano sounds can be (significantly) improved if some settings are adjusted. Some even enjoy exploring other instruments in sound mode. For this group, the current GUI is nothing but an obstacle between the user and the instrument due to its bad design and many problems that Kawai considers to be "features". This mod is not about transforming this instrument into a workstation so that its settings can be changed while playing a piece. Its goal is simply to bypass the limitations of the current interface.

So, I consider any user-driven initiative that helps to improve these instruments to be commendable since Kawai has so far done absolutely nothing to improve the usability of the GUI. This is not surprising since the first group is much larger than the second and its users, like yourself, simply do not care about the issues and lack of quality of the user interface.

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Originally Posted by Audetto
Are you saying that you have found some SysEx messages? or none?
And, in case, would you be able to share the ones you have found?

It is possible to intercept all sysex messages sent from the VT app. But these messages only control a subset of the VT settings in sound mode so I never bothered to write them down because I wanted to control the system settings and the VT settings in pianist mode. Btw, you will need an iPad to intercept the messages since that is the only platform where the VT app runs. If you want details on how to do this just ask...

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Originally Posted by lolatu
Hey RalphK, I was reading the NV10 thread earlier and saw that you'd posted some photos of your upgrades last summer. Unfortunately all the photos on this site before September seem to be unavailable, so I couldn't see the pictures. Would it be possible for you to upload them somewhere more reliable like imgur.com so that I (and everyone else who didn't see them at the time) could take a look? smile


Hi Lolatu, I have made a new thread at the picture gallery and uploaded pictures of my modified NV10 there. All modifications can be removed without damaging the original, there are no holes, screws, glues, or whatsoever used. Making the cabinet behind the NV10 from pianoblack gloss MDF panels that I bought from a piano factory was quite a job, since it had to fit precisely. If you do something like this on an almost-perfect instrument, you have to do it almost-perfect yourself too. The music desk additions on top are purely optical and hide the top speakers that are too visible in my opinion. I wanted the overall result to be not an imitation of a grand piano (this never works because of the small size), but merely give it the suggestion of an acoustic grand (that somehow disapears in the wall behind). Soundwise, it is a considerable improvement adding 2x8 speakers + 1 subwoofer steered by an Onkyo amplifier, giving a more full and spacious sound, that also can be modified by the amplifiers tone adjustments. Inspired by Trebb, although not so happy with his solution as explained elsewhere, I think I will make a smart pianoblack cover for the touchscreen, let's say, as a 'final touch'.

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Thanks Ralph - that is quite amazing, both from a technical and aesthetic perspective! That gold metal (or is it spray painted wood made to look the part? Can't tell) looks just like the real thing. I'm sure you could sell these as an add-on for €5000 or so if you cared to go into mass production.

Link to the gallery: http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/galleries/2823373.html


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Originally Posted by arc7urus
Originally Posted by Audetto
Are you saying that you have found some SysEx messages? or none?
And, in case, would you be able to share the ones you have found?

It is possible to intercept all sysex messages sent from the VT app. But these messages only control a subset of the VT settings in sound mode so I never bothered to write them down because I wanted to control the system settings and the VT settings in pianist mode. Btw, you will need an iPad to intercept the messages since that is the only platform where the VT app runs. If you want details on how to do this just ask...


Yes yes yes.

I do not have an ipad, but I will find one to borrow it.

But then I would need to know pretty well what to do.
If you could give more details, that would be really helpful.

I use a lot the sound mode as I can layer multiple sounds, and I am interested in these settings as well.

Thanks


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Originally Posted by Kawai James
...
Originally Posted by paf
...not being able to load a favorite automatically and silently at boot time.


I believe the current UI can do this.

No, AFAIK you cannot. The only way I know to load a favorite and use it as a base for further editing is to load it at startup with "favorite at startup" (or something like that), but then the piano boots in the gruesome grey favorites screen, i.e. not "silently". I know no other way to load a favorite and edit it.

But it is useless to revive a discussion which has already happened here and has absolutely no positive effect on Kawai - see also the post of arc7urus above.

Now, thanks to the detective work of trebb, I have good hope that creative solutions will emerge.


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Originally Posted by paf

No, AFAIK you cannot. The only way I know to load a favorite and use it as a base for further editing is to load it at startup with "favorite at startup" (or something like that), but then the piano boots in the gruesome grey favorites screen, i.e. not "silently". I know no other way to load a favorite and edit it.


I bet JoBert knows the answer to this, but once you use the "Startup with Favorite" editing trick to set everything you want on boot, I believe some settings become the "new default." So it could be the case that even if you turn off "Startup with Favorite," from that point on the settings will stick to the Pianist Mode upon startup? I have to admit I've never tried this myself, since it's more convenient for me to start on "gruesome gray" smile


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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by paf

No, AFAIK you cannot. The only way I know to load a favorite and use it as a base for further editing is to load it at startup with "favorite at startup" (or something like that), but then the piano boots in the gruesome grey favorites screen, i.e. not "silently". I know no other way to load a favorite and edit it.


I bet JoBert knows the answer to this, but once you use the "Startup with Favorite" editing trick to set everything you want on boot, I believe some settings become the "new default." So it could be the case that even if you turn off "Startup with Favorite," from that point on the settings will stick to the Pianist Mode upon startup? I have to admit I've never tried this myself, since it's more convenient for me to start on "gruesome gray" smile

From my experience that behaviour is not consistent. For example, I never managed to edit or re-use the per-key volume settings using the trick discovered by JoBert to workaround the system limitations.

I had to (again) recreate my startup favourite recently when some of its sound and system settings stopped being applied. With the new startup favourite, whenever I switch from the favourites tab to the pianist tab, most sound and system settings from the startup are kept, but the EQ settings are not kept. But I once had a favourite that kept the EQ settings after a tab switch. Anyway, usually when I create a new favourite the startup settings are not kept anymore - this is how my previous startup favourite stopped working...

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Hello arc7urus, thank you for your reply.

Originally Posted by arc7urus
I am able to replicate everything that the VT app does by intercepting its sysex messages.
...
The messages sent by the Sound Museum app are different. They include program change codes and some sysex messages (e.g. dual, split).


Thanks for clarifying. I thought that you were perhaps doing some lower-level "detective" work (along similar lines to trebb's project documented on github), not just capturing the MIDI messages from the apps.

Originally Posted by arc7urus
Note that these two apps are not entirely compatible with the CAx8...using these apps seems to mess up the favourites stored in the DP.


Yes, that's probably why the CA98/CA78/NV10 etc. are not listed as "Compatible models" on the apps' download page...
However, I'm not sure why the apps would necessarily "mess up" a stored Favorite memory though. Can you elaborate on this please?

Originally Posted by arc7urus
I also wonder why those instruments cannot be select via the app or the UI...


I believe Kawai DPs have always included a number of additional sounds intended for MIDI playback that cannot be selected from the panel, however this number was expanded for the CAx8 series.

Originally Posted by arc7urus
Originally Posted by Kawai James
Are you referring to the touch curve editor, created by a member PW member? I don't recall this tool reaching a state where it could edit other settings in the registration file.

The tool is indeed just for the velocity curve, but other settings were identified as well, including settings for per-key volume and per-key brightness.


Right, identified, but the functionality to actually edit those settings was not available in the user-developed tool - that's my point.

Originally Posted by arc7urus
Originally Posted by Kawai James
Why would reading a settings/registration file necessarily require the same settings to be adjustable externally, via sysex?

A settings file or a a set of sysex messages are just two different mechanisms (i.e. protocols and formats) to represent the same information.


Agreed, but surely you understand that we can have one without the other? It's possible for an instrument to load/save settings to a file without requiring each setting to be adjustable via a sysex command. Similarly, it's possible for an instrument to be completely controlled via a sysex, yet lack the ability to load/save settings from a file.

Originally Posted by arc7urus
So, it is not even possible to backup the settings and registrations on the CAx8/NV10. I believe you also consider this feature to be important, otherwise you would have not said this regarding the MP7/11 update: "We also recommend that users backup any custom settings, SOUNDs, SETUPs, etc. before applying the update."


Yes, unfortunately it is not possible to load/save user-created settings to USB memory. As noted previously, personally, I would have preferred this functionality to be available, however this is the specification of the instrument.

Originally Posted by arc7urus
Kawai did no implement an external interface to control the VT settings in pianist mode (the only interface is therefore the serial protocol between the UI assembly and the main board). As a result, the existing software (used in HI-XL) could only backup the sound mode settings and not the pianist settings.


Again, I don't believe sysex is relevant in this case. The interface between the touchscreen board and main CPU board is sufficient to send/receive information regarding Pianist mode parameters, and the main board is of course capable of storing these parameters to a file on a USB stick...it's just that this functionality is not implemented.

Originally Posted by arc7urus
I think the same reasoning can be used to explain why it is not possible to internally play or record MIDI in pianist mode...


No, that's also unrelated, I'm afraid. However, it's quite interesting to read your conspiracy theories. wink

Kind regards,
James
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Hello paf,

Originally Posted by paf
Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by paf
...not being able to load a favorite automatically and silently at boot time.


I believe the current UI can do this.

No, AFAIK you cannot. The only way I know to load a favorite...is to load it at startup with "favorite at startup" (or something like that)


Yes, that's right.

By the way I removed "and use it as a base for further editing" from the quote above as this was not part of the original requirement stated in your previous post.

Originally Posted by paf
...but then the piano boots in the gruesome grey favorites screen, i.e. not "silently".


May I ask you to define what you mean by "silently"? I interpreted this to mean "without user intervention" or simply "automatically". I did not expect the appearance of the screen to be problematic.

Originally Posted by paf
Now, thanks to the detective work of trebb, I have good hope that creative solutions will emerge.


Agreed, I look forward to seeing where the community takes this project. We have some talented members on PianoWorld, as Raplh's pictures above demonstrate.

Kind regards,
James
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Originally Posted by Audetto
Originally Posted by arc7urus
Originally Posted by Audetto
Are you saying that you have found some SysEx messages? or none?
And, in case, would you be able to share the ones you have found?

It is possible to intercept all sysex messages sent from the VT app. But these messages only control a subset of the VT settings in sound mode so I never bothered to write them down because I wanted to control the system settings and the VT settings in pianist mode. Btw, you will need an iPad to intercept the messages since that is the only platform where the VT app runs. If you want details on how to do this just ask...


Yes yes yes.

I do not have an ipad, but I will find one to borrow it.

But then I would need to know pretty well what to do.
If you could give more details, that would be really helpful.

I use a lot the sound mode as I can layer multiple sounds, and I am interested in these settings as well.

Thanks

Ok... a couple sysex codes.
  • Layer two sounds: F0 40 00 10 04 02 20 xx yy F7, where xx is the upper layer and yy is the lower layer; xx and yy represent an instrument number between 00-57 (there are 88 instruments on the CA98).
  • Split two sounds: F0 40 00 10 04 02 21 xx yy F7, can be set by sending where xx is the upper and yy the lower instrument.
  • Split point: F0 40 00 10 04 02 0F xx 00 F7, where xx is the key number (00-57).


Which VT settings are you interested in? The VT app only exposes a subset of the VT settings and not all settings seem to be compatible with the new models since the app was not updated to support the CAx8/NV10. This is one example of a VT setting that can be controlled in sound mode:
  • Top-board simulation: F0 40 00 10 08 02 50 08 7F xx F7 , where xx is 00-03, 03 =Open3, 02 = Open2, 01 = Open1, 00 = Closed.


These sysex codes can be sent to the DP with an application like MIDI-OX (Windows) or midiflow (iOS). The GUI on the the DP will be updated after a sysex message is received, so you can check if the code worked as expected. This means that with the help of a script and patience, many sysex codes could be reversed engineered. Maybe there are even sysex codes to control the sound and system settings, but all of these are undocumented. At the moment, the best way to control all settings, including pianist mode, is using the serial protocol that trebb has reverse engineered.

Anyway, if Kawai is interested in support community-driven initiatives that would only help improving their products they should properly document their devices...

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Originally Posted by arc7urus

Anyway, if Kawai is interested in support community-driven initiatives that would only help improving their products they should properly document their devices...


Heh, I think we'll be left to our own devices in this respect smile


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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Thanks for clarifying. I thought that you were perhaps doing some lower-level "detective" work (along similar lines to trebb's project documented on github), not just capturing the MIDI messages from the apps.

I am just intercepting the documented and undocumented sysex messages sent/received by the DP. If the pianist settings were also exposed via sysex that would warrant some basic "detective" work to capture those messages. But this approach is very limited since only a subset of settings are exposed via sysex. A better approach would be to reverse engineer the settings file.
Quote
Yes, that's probably why the CA98/CA78/NV10 etc. are not listed as "Compatible models" on the apps' download page...
However, I'm not sure why the apps would necessarily "mess up" a stored Favorite memory though. Can you elaborate on this please?

I am quite sure there are bugs in the favourites management since they can be "messed up" just by using the GUI :-) The apps are a means, not the cause: the cause is that some combinations of settings changes do interfere with existing favourites.
Quote
I believe Kawai DPs have always included a number of additional sounds intended for MIDI playback that cannot be selected from the panel, however this number was expanded for the CAx8 series.

Yes, but most DPs allow access to the GM bank. It makes no sense to hide instruments that are already on-board. Currently, these instruments can only be played by the few users that know how to send a specific midi message to the DP. This is an unnecessary restriction.
Originally Posted by Kawai James
Are you referring to the touch curve editor, created by a member PW member? I don't recall this tool reaching a state where it could edit other settings in the registration file... Right, identified, but the functionality to actually edit those settings was not available in the user-developed tool - that's my point.

Not sure I get your point. The most important development was understanding the format of the settings file. The user-developed tool was just a UI to edit the velocity curve. All of the many parameters that were identified in the settings file can be edited directly with a text (hex) editor, including per-key volume, per-key brightness, etc..
Quote
....Yes, unfortunately it is not possible to load/save user-created settings to USB memory. As noted previously, personally, I would have preferred this functionality to be available, however this is the specification of the instrument.... Again, I don't believe sysex is relevant in this case. The interface between the touchscreen board and main CPU board is sufficient to send/receive information regarding Pianist mode parameters, and the main board is of course capable of storing these parameters to a file on a USB stick...it's just that this functionality is not implemented.

I am aware that sysex messages and internal messages are independent and that it is "just" a matter of developing the software to load and save all internal settings. The settings in the previous generation of DPs could be configured in two ways: (1) using a serial protocol between the UI and main board and (2) via a MIDI sysex so that external apps could manage a subset of settings. However, Kawai only updated the serial protocol and likely did not revise the MIDI sysex messages - this explains why the existing apps do not fully work even in sound mode. Since Kawai changed the internal serial formats, the software responsible for loading/saving the settings also needed to be updated. I cannot believe this was a conscious decision and that Kawai simply decided to deprecate this essential feature. So, probably there was no time to develop this feature. I hope that Kawai will add it as an update.
Quote
Originally Posted by arc7urus
I think the same reasoning can be used to explain why it is not possible to internally play or record MIDI in pianist mode...
No, that's also unrelated, I'm afraid. However, it's quite interesting to read your conspiracy theories. wink

Unrelated to what? I believe the reason is exactly the same as above: the MIDI player/recorder software that was designed to work with the HI-XL engine was simply not updated to interface with the MIDI events sent/received in pianist mode. Pianist mode seems to works fine when an external player or recorder is used. So, it is "just" another core functionality that was not implemented. Or does Kawai consider the HI-XL rendering superior to the new SK-EK rendering when it comes to playing MIDI files, including playing the dozens of built-in lessons and musical pieces featured on these DPs?

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Hello arc7urus, thank you for your reply.

Originally Posted by arc7urus
I am quite sure there are bugs in the favourites management since they can be "messed up" just by using the GUI :-)


Again, may I ask you to clarify the meaning of "messed up", please?
For example, let's say we perform a Factory Reset on a CA98, then enter "Sound mode", select Classic E.P., and finally store this configuration to a Favorite memory. Are you claiming that it's possible to inadvertently alter that memory externally (either via an app or by using the touchscreen) such that the Classic E.P. sound is no longer recalled when reselecting that Favorite memory?

Originally Posted by arc7urus
most DPs allow access to the GM bank...this is an unnecessary restriction.


I don't necessarily disagree with you, however this is the specification of the instrument.

Originally Posted by arc7urus
Not sure I get your point.


My point is that the user-developed tool could only be used to adjust touch curves - it could not adjust all of the instruments' other settings as you initially suggested. Yes, it would have been theoretically possible for the developer to reverse-engineer other parts of the settings file in order to add more functionality to the tool, however I don't believe he (?) had reached that stage when sharing his work with the forum.

EDIT: Here is the PW thread in which this tool was announced by the user "marp":
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2635499/all

It's still possible to download and play with the tool on Windows PCs, however the functionality is limited to touch curve (including the ability to import curves from the VPC Editor), and 88-key volume adjustment. In the project thread, the tool's developer, marp, noted:

Originally Posted by marp
I'm also in the process of mapping out the remainder of the file, I'll post the result here when I'm done.


Alas, his last post was 26th April 2017, and while he did log into the forum earlier in the year, does not appear to have posted any updates to his project, unfortunately.


Originally Posted by arc7urus
The settings in the previous generation of DPs could be configured in two ways: (1) using a serial protocol between the UI and main board and (2) via a MIDI sysex so that external apps could manage a subset of settings.


Correct. A subset of settings - not all of the settings. Specifically, just the Virtual Technician parameters (and a few others listed in the owner's manual for controlling Dual/Split playing modes, as utilised by the "Sound Museum" app). However, as we've discussed above, the previous generation CA models could save a file containing all of the settings to USB. I believe this therefore demonstrates that it's *not* necessary for settings to be adjustable by sysex commands in order to load/save them to a settings file stored on USB, as you claim.

Originally Posted by arc7urus
Unrelated to what?


The inability to control "Pianist mode" parameters via sysex commands is not related to the inability to record/playback MIDI songs in "Pianist mode".

I hope this is clear. Now, let's get back to the original topic of this thread! wink

Kind regards,
James
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Originally Posted by arc7urus

Ok... a couple sysex codes.
  • Layer two sounds: F0 40 00 10 04 02 20 xx yy F7, where xx is the upper layer and yy is the lower layer; xx and yy represent an instrument number between 00-57 (there are 88 instruments on the CA98).
  • Split two sounds: F0 40 00 10 04 02 21 xx yy F7, can be set by sending where xx is the upper and yy the lower instrument.
  • Split point: F0 40 00 10 04 02 0F xx 00 F7, where xx is the key number (00-57).


Which VT settings are you interested in? The VT app only exposes a subset of the VT settings and not all settings seem to be compatible with the new models since the app was not updated to support the CAx8/NV10. This is one example of a VT setting that can be controlled in sound mode:
  • Top-board simulation: F0 40 00 10 08 02 50 08 7F xx F7 , where xx is 00-03, 03 =Open3, 02 = Open2, 01 = Open1, 00 = Closed.


These sysex codes can be sent to the DP with an application like MIDI-OX (Windows) or midiflow (iOS). The GUI on the the DP will be updated after a sysex message is received, so you can check if the code worked as expected. This means that with the help of a script and patience, many sysex codes could be reversed engineered. Maybe there are even sysex codes to control the sound and system settings, but all of these are undocumented. At the moment, the best way to control all settings, including pianist mode, is using the serial protocol that trebb has reverse engineered.


The first 3 you mentioned and already described in the manual.

The top board is new, and it does not conform to the general pattern of page 171 of the manual: the 5th byte should always be 04, while it is 08 in your example.
This makes the possible values even more to try 1 by 1.

I am really interested in anything that is available via SysEx. Might not use it right now, but it will come handy later.

Have you sent all the possible SysEx (i.e. changing byte 5, 7, 8, 9) and checked if and what impact they have, or is it possible to use the iOS app and log the messages it sends?
How does this work? Can the app send messages to a virtual MIDI Input which logs to a file or it needs a hardware solution? I am not familiar with MIDI in iOS.


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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Hello arc7urus, thank you for your reply.
Originally Posted by arc7urus
I am quite sure there are bugs in the favourites management since they can be "messed up" just by using the GUI :-)


Again, may I ask you to clarify the meaning of "messed up", please?
For example, let's say we perform a Factory Reset on a CA98, then enter "Sound mode", select Classic E.P., and finally store this configuration to a Favorite memory. Are you claiming that it's possible to inadvertently alter that memory externally (either via an app or by using the touchscreen) such that the Classic E.P. sound is no longer recalled when reselecting that Favorite memory?

Favourites messed up => settings not working as previously defined; settings inadvertently changed. I reported that issue (and others) on the CA78/98 thread months ago. The two weirdest problems I experienced were an harpsichord favourite that suddenly started using a synth pad and a sound mode favourite that after being used would make pianist mode produce noise. Another situation is about the unpredictable status of the settings when switching from a favourite to pianist mode. For example, my current startup favourite defines a specific set of VT, sound and system settings. Today, if I switch back to pianist mode, all of these settings continue to be applied. However, this is a temporary situation. For example, one or two weeks ago after I created a new unrelated favourite, the SHS and headphone settings stopped working on the startup favourite and the remaining settings were also not applied anymore when switching to pianist mode. This has happened at least a dozen times during the last year. If you refer back to the CA78/98 thread, there are several similar reports as well as a workaround proposed by JoBert that attempts to secure that the startup settings are preserved when switching back to pianist mode.

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Originally Posted by arc7urus
most DPs allow access to the GM bank...this is an unnecessary restriction.
I don't necessarily disagree with you, however this is the specification of the instrument.

I would rather expect a company like Kawai to read these comments as suggestions for improvement. When I read that a given behaviour "is the specification of the instrument" I interpret it as "we consider the system to be good as it is today and we find no need to improve or update it". The good thing about this approach is that any system shortcoming or issue (e.g. favourites, GUI, midi player, etc.) can always be transformed into a feature that complies with the specification wink

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Originally Posted by Audetto
...The top board is new, and it does not conform to the general pattern of page 171 of the manual: the 5th byte should always be 04, while it is 08 in your example.
This makes the possible values even more to try 1 by 1.

I am really interested in anything that is available via SysEx. Might not use it right now, but it will come handy later.

Have you sent all the possible SysEx (i.e. changing byte 5, 7, 8, 9) and checked if and what impact they have, or is it possible to use the iOS app and log the messages it sends?
How does this work? Can the app send messages to a virtual MIDI Input which logs to a file or it needs a hardware solution? I am not familiar with MIDI in iOS.

Several sysex messages sent by the VT app do not even comply with the format shown on the CA78/98 manual or even on the CA67/97 manual :-) Anyway, the DP seems to ignore bytes 2, 5, 6 (these are just identification bytes anyway). Btw, the sysex messages spec can be any length but they always start with $F0 and end with $F7.

Regarding the format of the sysex messages. Byte 7 is used to indicate the type of command and 14 commands are listed on the manual. When byte 7 is $50, it translates to a VT setting. The messages sent from the VT app always use the following format:
F0 40 00 10 08 02 50 xx 7F yy F7

Byte 8 (xx) identifies the VT settings as follows (in hex). Pedal (11, 12) has two settings (damper + soft pedal).
[Linked Image]

Byte 10 (yy) corresponds to the value of the VT setting and in many settings yy ranges from 0 to 10 ($0A).

So, if you send the message F0 40 00 10 08 02 50 04 7F 05 F7
then this would apply value 05 (byte 10) to the String Resonance setting (byte 8 = 04). Iirc, the same applies to all other settings except key volume that uses an additional set of value bytes. Anyway, I never bothered to document this because it only works with sound mode. In case you are wondering why the VT settings ids are not sequential, that is because Kawai has been the latest updates to the app actually removed a number of VT settings - I guess removing features is what Kawai considers to be an improvement wink

Anyway, with these sysex messages you can control the 15 available VT settings in sound mode. You can also bundle together instrument changes, layers/splits and VT settings in a single file to create a kind of registration. This sequence of messages can then be sent to the DP using an application like MIDI-OX.

Hope this helps. If you have further questions just ask.

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Originally Posted by arc7urus
The good thing about this approach is that any system shortcoming or issue (e.g. favourites, GUI, midi player, etc.) can always be transformed into a feature that complies with the specification wink

This is only true if there is a willingness to update the specs to include any newly discovered "feature!" wink


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Originally Posted by arc7urus

I would rather expect a company like Kawai to read these comments as suggestions for improvement. When I read that a given behaviour "is the specification of the instrument" I interpret it as "we consider the system to be good as it is today and we find no need to improve or update it". The good thing about this approach is that any system shortcoming or issue (e.g. favourites, GUI, midi player, etc.) can always be transformed into a feature that complies with the specification wink


I'll defend KJ here (hopefully reading the situation correctly and not trying to put words in his mouth.) It's already unusual that you've got a company with a rep on this forum, so I'd make a guess that your feedback is being listened to and disseminated. But, he can't change those things himself, and he is not the person who can (or should) commit to making those changes publicly, so what else can he say? I think you're better off reading that as "dang, there's actually someone at Kawai who gives a crap enough to be on the forums, maybe my comments will actually affect some change." He's probably said more than I would have as a spokesperson for my company in that in his opinion your comment/opinion was correct smile


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Originally Posted by arc7urus

Anyway, with these sysex messages you can control the 15 available VT settings in sound mode. You can also bundle together instrument changes, layers/splits and VT settings in a single file to create a kind of registration. This sequence of messages can then be sent to the DP using an application like MIDI-OX.

Hope this helps. If you have further questions just ask.


This is really really useful! Thank you indeed.

I will start poking with this.
If you find any other values, post them as well (e.g. phone type, ambience type pianist mode, reverb type)

One more thing, since I am not a iOS user, how did you log the messages?

Have you installed a MIDI logging app? Which one? or you need developer support?
I plan to ask a friend, but I dont want to abuse his patience, so if I know already which steps are needed, it will be easier.

For Android, I would know, but iOS is a different language for me.

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Hello arc7urus

Originally Posted by arc7urus
Favourites messed up => settings not working as previously defined; settings inadvertently changed.


...and this happens when using an app (either the Virtual Technician or Sound Museum apps, which are not officially supported by the CA98/CA78/NV10, or a 3rd party app)? Are you able to reproduce this consistently?

Originally Posted by arc7urus
I reported that issue (and others) on the CA78/98 thread months ago.


Yes, and I believe you've raised this topic in various other threads also.
As requested on those occasions, please provide steps to reproduce the issue(s) that you are experiencing. If my colleagues in R&D can reproduce an issue, there is a greater likelihood (although not necessarily a guarantee) that it will be fixed with a software update - as has been the case with other bugs reported in this forum.

Unfortunately, continually posting "sometimes this happens" or "a few weeks ago it did this" is not terribly useful when it comes to reproducing and fixing bugs.

Originally Posted by arc7urus
I would rather expect a company like Kawai to read these comments as suggestions for improvement.


Yes, and there have been numerous occasions whereby instruments have been improved following user feedback and suggestions. Again, I don't necessarily disagree with your opinion regarding allowing additional MIDI voices to be accessible from the front panel, however this is not the specification of the instrument, as decided by the product planning and development team, sorry.

Kind regards,
James
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Originally Posted by arc7urus
In case you are wondering why the VT settings ids are not sequential, that is because Kawai has been the latest updates to the app actually removed a number of VT settings.


I couldn't fully understand this sentence. Can you clarify what you mean, please?

Kind regards,
James
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Originally Posted by Audetto
One more thing, since I am not a iOS user, how did you log the messages?


Yes, I'm curious to know this also. arc7urus mentioned using the Virtual Technician app, but didn't explain how he was capturing/monitoring the sysex commands.

Kind regards,
James
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Unfortunately, continually posting "sometimes this happens" or "a few weeks ago it did this" is not terribly useful when it comes to reproducing and fixing bugs.
x

Yes arc7urus! Kawai relies heavily on the end user to do their R&D.
Start holding up your end of the deal! wink


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Originally Posted by jeffscot
Originally Posted by Kawai James
Unfortunately, continually posting "sometimes this happens" or "a few weeks ago it did this" is not terribly useful when it comes to reproducing and fixing bugs.
x

Yes arc7urus! Kawai relies heavily on the end user to do their R&D.
Start holding up your end of the deal! wink



I work in software support/development and I am TOTALLY with James on this!


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Originally Posted by ShyPianist

I work in software support/development and I am TOTALLY with James on this!


you don’t seem the least bit shy to me smile


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Originally Posted by jeffscot
Originally Posted by ShyPianist

I work in software support/development and I am TOTALLY with James on this!


you don’t seem the least bit shy to me smile




<sigh> I can see this will become a running theme. When it comes to playing for people, believe me I am! Painfully so. 😢


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Originally Posted by ShyPianist
<sigh> I can see this will become a running theme. When it comes to playing for people, believe me I am! Painfully so. 😢

Well, you have to admit that contrasts somewhat with your outspoken posting. thumb

Guess i would consider myself a shy pianist too, in that regard.
Though much less experienced than yourself.


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Originally Posted by jeffscot
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
<sigh> I can see this will become a running theme. When it comes to playing for people, believe me I am! Painfully so. 😢

Well, you have to admit that contrasts somewhat with your outspoken posting. thumb

Guess i would consider myself a shy pianist too, in that regard.
Though much less experienced than yourself.



Well I guess if being unafraid to have an opinion makes me outspoken, then yeah I guess so. 🤷‍♀️ I just like a good chat about things I’m passionate about, and I have no one I can talk to about these things in the real world.


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Originally Posted by ShyPianist
I just like a good chat about things I’m passionate about, and I have no one I can talk to about these things in the real world.

Well that's a bit sad frown (It's true of me too, but that makes it no less sad! frown )


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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
I just like a good chat about things I’m passionate about, and I have no one I can talk to about these things in the real world.

Well that's a bit sad frown (It's true of me too, but that makes it no less sad! frown )


Yeah, I should probably clarify that a bit (can’t believe I’m STILL awake). I was just talking about all things piano. I have a family and a long suffering husband, but he just glazes over when I talk to him about piano stuff bless him. And I live in the middle of nowhere. 😊


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Originally Posted by Kawai James

Originally Posted by arc7urus
Favourites messed up => settings not working as previously defined; settings inadvertently changed.

...and this happens when using an app (either the Virtual Technician or Sound Museum apps, which are not officially supported by the CA98/CA78/NV10, or a 3rd party app)? Are you able to reproduce this consistently?

The instrument change in sound mode only happened once while using the DP, not while using the Kawai apps. The "noise" in pianist mode (which sounded like an error in a DSP filter) also only occurred once while using the DP. This actually happened when I did not have the Kawai apps installed. I often use external third-party apps to record and play MIDI.

Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by arc7urus
In case you are wondering why the VT settings ids are not sequential, that is because Kawai has been the latest updates to the app actually removed a number of VT settings.

I couldn't fully understand this sentence. Can you clarify what you mean, please?

I installed the VT app when I bought the CA98. The app showed the complete set of VT settings in sound mode. I re-installed the app this week. A number of VT settings are now missing from the app. I am aware that the app is not compatible with top-tier CA98/CA78/NV10 models, but it does connect at least to the CA98. So, if the app is incompatible, then it should not even recognize the DP in first place to avoid potential problems.

Originally Posted by Kawai James
As requested on those occasions, please provide steps to reproduce the issue(s) that you are experiencing. If my colleagues in R&D can reproduce an issue, there is a greater likelihood (although not necessarily a guarantee) that it will be fixed with a software update - as has been the case with other bugs reported in this forum.... Unfortunately, continually posting "sometimes this happens" or "a few weeks ago it did this" is not terribly useful when it comes to reproducing and fixing bugs.

James, I appreciate your support and participation on this forum and elsewhere and I also understand you are in very difficult position since you are representing your employer.

There are several issues reported on the CA/NV threads, including issues related with the GUI usability and with the favourites management. I do not know if Kawai considers them to be "bugs", "features" or a consequence of the "specification" of the product. I also expect Kawai to issue updates not only to correct bugs but also to add or improve the functionality of a product. If this is not the case, then the R&D department should be renamed to Maintenance department wink

The issue with the settings while switching between favourites and sound/pianist mode can be reproduced although not consistently. For example, set a startup favourite with SHS "Off" and HP Volume "High". When switching from that favourite to sound/pianist mode these settings are still being applied. Now, add, re-order or remove favourites and then switch back to pianist/sound mode. The pianist/sound mode settings will not be the same as before. So, there is an inconsistent behaviour on how settings and favourites operate. In some cases, the settings of an existing favourite are also modified. I notice this since I use high-impedance headphones with the DP and all my favourites use HP Volume "High" and all produce a similar sound volume. However, some favourites suddenly stop observing the HP setting (at least) and will start playing at significant lower sound volume than the other favourites. I cannot reproduce this issue consistently.

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Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Originally Posted by jeffscot
Originally Posted by Kawai James
Unfortunately, continually posting "sometimes this happens" or "a few weeks ago it did this" is not terribly useful when it comes to reproducing and fixing bugs.
x

Yes arc7urus! Kawai relies heavily on the end user to do their R&D.
Start holding up your end of the deal! wink

I work in software support/development and I am TOTALLY with James on this!


Well, if you work in software development, then you should know that you should not depend exclusively on the end-users when it comes to identifying problems. The issues that are being reported here were already reported and discussed months ago in other threads, including workarounds to minimize them. However, not all of them are easy to reproduce. This is where the product developer should step in and start a proper investigation. Or are you just saying that if the end-user cannot provide you with a detailed, step-by-step recipe to reproduce a problem you should just ignore it?

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Originally Posted by arc7urus
Or are you just saying that if the end-user cannot provide you with a detailed, step-by-step recipe to reproduce a problem you should just ignore it?

Sometimes the developers can just not reproduce this issue. That's why usually, extremely detailed bug reports with careful steps to reproduce are greatly appreciated in software development.


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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by arc7urus
Or are you just saying that if the end-user cannot provide you with a detailed, step-by-step recipe to reproduce a problem you should just ignore it?

Sometimes the developers can just not reproduce this issue. That's why usually, extremely detailed bug reports with careful steps to reproduce are greatly appreciated in software development.

Sometimes the end-user cannot consistently reproduce an issue. That is why the end-user also appreciates when the software developers release properly tested products and products that are incrementally improved based on feedback. And improving a product is not necessarily the same as correcting bugs that passed through testing. But the end-user, especially when the end-user is also a paying customer, does not appreciate when known limitations and issues that can be reproduced are simply dismissed and considered "features", such as those related to UI usability and favourites management.

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Originally Posted by arc7urus
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by arc7urus
Or are you just saying that if the end-user cannot provide you with a detailed, step-by-step recipe to reproduce a problem you should just ignore it?

Sometimes the developers can just not reproduce this issue. That's why usually, extremely detailed bug reports with careful steps to reproduce are greatly appreciated in software development.

Sometimes the end-user cannot consistently reproduce an issue. That is why the end-user also appreciates when the software developers release properly tested products and products that are incrementally improved based on feedback. And improving a product is not necessarily the same as correcting bugs that passed through testing. But the end-user, especially when the end-user is also a paying customer, does not appreciate when known limitations and issues that can be reproduced are simply dismissed and considered "features", such as those related to UI usability and favourites management.

In general design limitations are rarely considered bugs, but they can be areas for product enhancement. I speaking in very general terms here, and not about the NV10 per se. Having run a large software development shop in a past life, I can only say that software enhancement requests are often the lowest priority when resources are limited (which is nearly always).

What I don't understand is why problems which no doubt have had so many reports like the audio artifact problem have had such a slow response. If this were safety related, which it's not, in many countries Kawai would likely have been forced to institute a product recall by now.


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I get the impression that devotion to quality is going extinct.
Originally Posted by arc7urus
Sometimes the end-user cannot consistently reproduce an issue. That is why the end-user also appreciates when the software developers release properly tested products ...

... the end-user ... does not appreciate when known limitations and issues that can be reproduced are simply dismissed and considered "features".
I spent nearly my entire career working for a company that placed high priority on product quality and service quality. After leaving that employ I've not since seen the like.

The emphasis today is on speed. Hurry up and get it done. That's the motto.

But "done" no longer means done. It means "ship it" ... and fix it later. Then fix it again. And again. All you sucker who bought the early versions/releases ... tough tacos.

I'm accustomed to better, both as the maker and as the consumer.

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Originally Posted by arc7urus
But the end-user, especially when the end-user is also a paying customer, does not appreciate when known limitations and issues that can be reproduced are simply dismissed and considered "features", such as those related to UI usability and favourites management.


At the beginning, it was evident for me that Kawai would solve the GUI issues, but now, after about 18 months, I don't believe it any more, either because they really think that their GUI is perfect, or because only money and not client satisfaction counts for them.

But I see an alternative: Kawai could release the GUI source code into the public domain.

  • They wouldn't lose anything as their real know-how is in the sound engine and the hardware
  • This would create a community in which dozens of pianist geeks would work for free to improve the GUI
  • In no time, the CA78/98/NV10 would benefit of the best possible user interface with according effects on the sales

Let's dream!


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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Yes, I'm curious to know this also. arc7urus mentioned using the Virtual Technician app, but didn't explain how he was capturing/monitoring the sysex commands....

Originally Posted by Audetto
One more thing, since I am not a iOS user, how did you log the messages?...

The Kawai VT App only works on the iPad, so there is no workaround around this. In my setup I used two iOS devices with BLE (an iPhone and an iPad) and the midiflow iOS app as follows:
  • On the iPhone, use midiflow to create and advertise a virtual BLE MIDI port.
  • On the iPad, use an app that scans for MIDI BLE ports (like BLE-MIDI or MIDIwrench). Find the virtual BLE MIDI and connect to it. This will connect the iPhone and iPad via BLE MIDI.
  • On the iPhone, use midiflow to create a flow with source = iPad, destination = DP. The iPhone will then act as a router that will take the MIDI input coming out of the iPad and transparently send it to the DP. You actually don't need to set the DP as the destination if you just want to log the sysex messages. However, it is useful to check if the messages are actually working as expected on the DP ...
  • On the iPhone, enable the inspection of all MIDI messages on midiflow.
  • On the iPad, start the Kawai VT app and connect it to the virtual MIDI port on the iPhone. Use the different options on the app. The messages generated by the app on the iPad will be sent to the BLE port on the iPhone, logged by midiflow and then routed via BLE to the DP. Done!

I then use MIDI-OX on the PC to edit the sysex messages and send them to the DP (via USB MIDI). With this you can create "registrations" (i.e. a set of sysex messages on a file) that work in sound mode.

The setup I described above captures all MIDI messages sent over two BLE devices. Instead of using an iPhone or other iOS device as MIDI BLE router, you can also use a Win/Mac/Android device. On iOS, midiflow and midifire support this functionality, but you can certainly find alternative software. All you need is an application that advertises a virtual BLE MIDI port. With that, it is just a matter of redirecting its input data to an app like MIDI-OX (win/mac) or any other MIDI logger. There is another approach that requires a (cheap) piece of hardware (like this BLE packet sniffer) and Wireshark, but it is overkill for this scenario and requires some coding.

Originally Posted by Audetto
If you find any other values, post them as well (e.g. phone type, ambience type pianist mode, reverb type)

A way to try to find if other settings can be controlled via sysex is to create a script to iterate (0..127) through the bytes 7 and 8 of the sysex message and check if some changes occur. At least these two bytes are used to identify the settings, but there may be more. This can be done using a command line script using an utility like SendMIDI. Or maybe Kawai could document the sysex codes... or at least say if other settings can be controlled via sysex or not wink

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Originally Posted by paf
At the beginning, it was evident for me that Kawai would solve the GUI issues, but now, after about 18 months, I don't believe it any more, either because they really think that their GUI is perfect, or because only money and not client satisfaction counts for them.

But I see an alternative: Kawai could release the GUI source code into the public domain.

  • They wouldn't lose anything as their real know-how is in the sound engine and the hardware
  • This would create a community in which dozens of pianist geeks would work for free to improve the GUI
  • In no time, the CA78/98/NV10 would benefit of the best possible user interface with according effects on the sales

Let's dream!

Bringing into the public domain the GUI code, the protocol that trebb has reverse engineered or enabling MIDI sysex MIDI sysex to control all settings would open the door for a number of community developed applications on computer and mobile platforms. You could be sure that in a few months, the community developed apps for the Kawai DPs would be competing with Yamaha's and Roland's applications.

However, there is an alternative option, which is to only correct critical "bugs" during the life cycle of a product and keep all code and messages completely closed. With this option Kawai can release the next generation of DPs with a slightly updated GUI and with minimum investment. So, the question is whether they will focus on their community or not.

Moreover, the option of not adding a whole new app to support the top-tiers DPs was a monumental blunder on Kawai's part and goes against all trends. The current apps are already years behind the competition. So, let's see how this story unfolds as Yamaha, Roland and Casio continue to improve their app support and add new features while Kawai is completely locked with an outdated solution. But I doubt that the current generation of top-tier DP will ever see any kind of feature improvement. Maybe they will add the deprecated favourites save/load feature to appease the community, but I am not expecting any UI improvements whatsoever. Cheers!

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So here is the panel I made to cover the touch screen, that always remained visible even in switched-off mode:

http://forum.pianoworld.com//ubbthreads.php/galleries/2824986.html#Post2824986


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Originally Posted by RalphK
So here is the panel I made to cover the touch screen, that always remained visible even in switched-off mode:

http://forum.pianoworld.com//ubbthreads.php/galleries/2824986.html#Post2824986



Please put one in the mail. wink


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Originally Posted by arc7urus
Moreover, the option of not adding a whole new app to support the top-tiers DPs was a monumental blunder on Kawai's part and goes against all trends.

Right on point.

Good new apps can drive current sales. And when the apps are no longer supported in say five years as the iOS & Andriod operating systems "evolve", that can drive new sales.

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