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Thanks for that video, but what is the reason for playing "above the escapement"? I know that the double-escapement allows soft and rapid repeats, but why not allow the key to bottom out, and only allow it to return just above the escapement? What's the difference?

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Originally Posted by JoBert
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by JoBert
I think arc7urus was asking about a different type of playing "above the escapement", namely leggiero playing, where you play without pressing the key beyond the escapement, but with enough velocity to still throw the hammer and generate a tone.

I think from a formal piano terminology perspective, formally, "playing above the escapement" is this:

Um, yes?! That is exactly what I was referring to.


Forgive me brethren for being slow to understand. I've never heard of this technique "playing above the escapement" before. However, the video that Tyrone posted indicates that this technique is rather fundamental to learn if one wants to play fast and soft at the same time.

What I'm hearing in this thread is that the technique in Tyrone's video is not possible to duplicate on the NV10 in its current sensor/firmware configuration? Is this correct? Thanks for the patience.

God Bless,
David


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Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by JoBert
Um, yes?! That is exactly what I was referring to.

Forgive me brethren for being slow to understand. I've never heard of this technique "playing above the escapement" before. However, the video that Tyrone posted indicates that this technique is rather fundamental to learn if one wants to play fast and soft at the same time.

What I'm hearing in this thread is that the technique in Tyrone's video is not possible to duplicate on the NV10 in its current sensor/firmware configuration? Is this correct? Thanks for the patience.

God Bless,
David

Have to let one of the NV10 owners on this thread answer your question, but assuming it is possible on an NV10 like it should be, there is even a better video of learning and then practicing with an exercise on how to do it. It's far too advanced for me (I need to learn to play through the escapement first wink laugh ), but in case it is useful for you, it is this one:


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Again, I don't use this technique, but I don't see why it wouldn't be possible on an NV10 or other hybrid. I have blocked the lip of a key and confirmed that the key can put enough for on the hammer to have it sound even if the key never bottoms out. This test works on an MP11 as well (and it should also work on any hammer action DP that doesn't have a captured hammer).


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Originally Posted by David B
What I'm hearing in this thread is that the technique in Tyrone's video is not possible to duplicate on the NV10 in its current sensor/firmware configuration? Is this correct?

No, that is not correct.

As I wrote above, playing "above the escapement" (also called leggiero by some) is just as possible with the NV10 as it is with an acoustic grand. Meaning, that it is possible if you have mastered the technique in the first place (which is not easy).

The issue discussed further up in this thread that does not work well with the NV10 (silent key press that still generates a note on message with velocity 1) has nothing to do with this technique.


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Originally Posted by JoBert
Originally Posted by David B
What I'm hearing in this thread is that the technique in Tyrone's video is not possible to duplicate on the NV10 in its current sensor/firmware configuration? Is this correct?

No, that is not correct.

As I wrote above, playing "above the escapement" (also called leggiero by some) is just as possible with the NV10 as it is with an acoustic grand.

I thought this was the case! Thanks for confirming.


Originally Posted by JoBert
Meaning, that it is possible if you have mastered the technique in the first place (which is not easy).

Doesn't look easy at all. Not at all. But that's what Dr. Massicotte's Youtube video above is for! smile (Even the exercise he is teaching in the video looks very hard though!)


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What's confusing to me is the nomenclature. Let's see if I got this straight.

"Playing off the jack" = no go on NV10 in its current configuration.

"Playing above the escapement" = good to go on NV10.

"Leggeiro" and "Playing to the escapement" is synonymous with "Playing above the escapement."

The latter I deduced from this Thread

I think I go it. Thank you to everyone for the help.

God bless,
David





Last edited by David B; 02/17/19 09:44 AM.

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Leggiero is a musical direction, and is the effect of playing lightly. Playing above the escapement is a useful technique for achieving this effect in rapid playing.

The idea is that you aim for the "bump" and not the keybed. You don't play deeply enough for the jack to be pulled from under the hammer, but you give the hammer sufficient momentum to reach the string. As you are only propelling the hammer so far, it will have lost momentum by the time it reaches the string, so the note sounds lighter.

On a well regulated grand, where the bump is in the same place for every key, it feels like there is a second keybed, hence the term "second keyboard". I believe it was Paul Badura-Skoda who made this term popular.

It's possible to play very fast ppp passages like this. However, as the action is not being allowed to work as it was designed, the speed of reliable repetitions and trills is limited, as the hammer has to fall further back than in normal playing before restriking.

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Playing off the jack is a different way of playing. A note is pressed slowly until the bump is felt and then it is given a good push. This is good for playing chords at the absolute lowest volume possible. It sounds very soft as the hammer is only propelled a very short distance.

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Johnstaf, excellent descriptions!


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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Johnstaf, excellent descriptions!

+1

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Originally Posted by Gombessa
OK, so I've re-tested, with some interesting results:

1. Navindra and JoBert are correct, in that 1.02f DOES still have string resonance, but what they may not have noticed is that the trigger has changed. As they point out, with 1.02f, you MUST have a key depressed AND have it sound out, before sympathetic resonance will work.

2. The behavior IS different (and IMO more limited) between firmwares. With 1.02e, "silent" keypresses will ALWAYS register a MIDI Note-On with velocity of 1. The Note-On event is tied to the first (of two) hammer velocity sensors, and not the note-off hammer sensor. The velocity sensor that triggers the note-on is the sensor that is positioned just under the let-off. If you press lightly, as soon as you pass the let-off, you get a Note-On velocity 1, every time, 100%. Once the note-on is registered, sympathetic resonance on that key is activated, whether a note is sounded or not.

3.On 1.02f, this behavior completely changes. Pressing the key just past the let-off no longer registers a Note-On event at all. In fact, you can't register a Note-On event unless you activate both velocity sensors with a high enough velocity to sound a note (I can hit velocity once in a while). Pressing a key light enough to not register a note, results in no MIDI Note-On triggered at all. Thus, the string sympathetic resonance won't activate for that note.

This means that on my piano, with 1.02f, string resonance is a bit "crippled, as it won't trigger in the same way as an acoustic. Pianistically, this is no big deal, I'm not playing any nouveau repertoire that calls for silent keypresses, after all smile But, the resonance behavior HAS changed between firmwares, and IMO it's a minor regression, and less realistic. On an acoustic, you should get resonance as soon as you start to depress the key (as the damper will lift), regardless of whether you end up playing a note on that key.

This also means to me that ideally, Kawai should be using the separate Key-off hammer sensor, and not the velocity sensors, to trigger resonance activation. In this respect it also makes little sense to have note-on triggered a different way (high velocity strike) from note-off (lifting of key fully) if Note-On is the only available trigger for string resonance.

More of an interesting observation than a real problem, I guess smile

But I'm interested in hearing if the behavior is different for those of you running 1.02e and 1.02f....

Kawai sent me firmware version 1.02c, and string resonance works correctly again. There are a few exceptions where S3 fails to register on very slow key presses, but those should be fixable by a (non-virtual) technician.

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Originally Posted by trebb

Kawai sent me firmware version 1.02c, and string resonance works correctly again. There are a few exceptions where S3 fails to register on very slow key presses, but those should be fixable by a (non-virtual) technician.


I think you're right in that this is a physical regulation issue, but be careful. What you're suggesting here is essentially to turn the NV10 from a hammer-sensing system to a key-sensing system. What you're doing is triggering note-on at a point prior to the hammer ever leaving the jack. Which may be good for latency, but is removed from the point at which the hammer is supposed to hit the string.

While I would personally prefer if sympathetic resonance worked a different way, when I adjusted my NV10 sensor system (details and pics in the NV10 - Hands On thread starting here), I opted to go the other way, to further hobble sympathetic string resonance in exchange fore more authentic/accurate(?) timing of the hammer sensor.


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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by trebb
Kawai sent me firmware version 1.02c, and string resonance works correctly again. There are a few exceptions where S3 fails to register on very slow key presses, but those should be fixable by a (non-virtual) technician.

I think you're right in that this is a physical regulation issue, but be careful. What you're suggesting here is essentially to turn the NV10 from a hammer-sensing system to a key-sensing system. What you're doing is triggering note-on at a point prior to the hammer ever leaving the jack. Which may be good for latency, but is removed from the point at which the hammer is supposed to hit the string.

I've tested string resonance with firmware versions 1.02c, 1.02e, and 1.02f. (1.02e and 1.02f are equivalent in this respect.)

  • 1.02c: If a pressed key has triggered S3 (transiently or otherwise), sympathetic resonance will be active. On my piano, silent key presses trigger S3 either briefly, or permanently, or not at all, dependent on the particular key. I haven't tried yet, but I believe this inconsistency should be fixable by minor physical regulation.
    With organ sounds, keys that trigger S3 cannot be pressed silently.
  • 1.02e/f: As mentioned earlier in this thread, a certain velocity (which will produce a tone) needs to be reached for string resonance to occur. Silent key presses won't do anything.
    With any sounds including organs, keys can be pressed silently.

Originally Posted by Gombessa
While I would personally prefer if sympathetic resonance worked a different way, when I adjusted my NV10 sensor system (details and pics in the NV10 - Hands On thread starting here), I opted to go the other way, to further hobble sympathetic string resonance in exchange fore more authentic/accurate(?) timing of the hammer sensor.

I believe with v1.02c you could have it both ways.

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Originally Posted by trebb
  • 1.02e/f: As mentioned earlier in this thread, a certain velocity (which will produce a tone) needs to be reached for string resonance to occur. Silent key presses won't do anything.

Bartok would be sad.


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In any case, I see this as a sad concession to the limitations of MIDI, though I may be missing some crucial details....there's no reason why this needs to be the case for an internal tone generator.


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“In any case, I see this as a sad concession to the limitations of MIDI”,

The MIDI specifications only defines what is exchanged between a keyboard and an external tone generator. How the tone generator behaves (string resonance, number of velocity layers, etc...) is not covered by the specification.

Here it is a limitation of the tone generator. Kawai could have designed a tone generator with a velocity 1 as a silent note which trigger resonance when other notes are played.

Last edited by Frédéric L; 03/23/19 12:34 PM.

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Originally Posted by trebb

I've tested string resonance with firmware versions 1.02c, 1.02e, and 1.02f. (1.02e and 1.02f are equivalent in this respect.)

  • 1.02c: If a pressed key has triggered S3 (transiently or otherwise), sympathetic resonance will be active. On my piano, silent key presses trigger S3 either briefly, or permanently, or not at all, dependent on the particular key. I haven't tried yet, but I believe this inconsistency should be fixable by minor physical regulation.
    With organ sounds, keys that trigger S3 cannot be pressed silently.
  • 1.02e/f: As mentioned earlier in this thread, a certain velocity (which will produce a tone) needs to be reached for string resonance to occur. Silent key presses won't do anything.
    With any sounds including organs, keys can be pressed silently.


Update: firmware version 1.02g doesn't restore string resonance, so 1.02c remains the last working version.

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Originally Posted by trebb
Update: firmware version 1.02g doesn't restore string resonance, so 1.02c remains the last working version.

Have you officially reported this bug to Kawai, trebb?


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For $10,000 you can't get string resonance?
I think my plans for an NV10 are beginning to dim.

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