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Advice on using Kawai DP with software synth
#2898657 10/09/19 03:12 PM
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Mo0g Offline OP
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Hi all,

I have a Kawai CN37 digital piano, which I have connected to my surfacebook via USB and am currently learning to play using playground sessions software. At the moment I mute the piano sound in the software and use the native DP sounds via the piano's speakers.

Now I can play a little I wanted to have a look at software synths so installed one on my surfacebook, and can select the piano as a midi source. So far so good. However, the sound obviously comes out of the laptop, and initially I wondered if I could select the piano as the audio output, for now, to give me semi decent sound in that it should sound like the music was coming out of the piano. It doesnt seem like that is possible.

I am therefore looking for the most effective way of using the piano as a midi keyboard to play the various software synths, but with decent sound.

After investigating a little I think the 'best' option for me would be to buy a usb audio interface for the laptop, keep the DP plugged into the laptop via USB and then I should be able to select the interface as the audio output in the software synths, the DP as the midi source. Then I would need to connect a couple of monitor speakers via the line outs of the audio interface, an upgrade I was considering anyway.

Does that sound right? The audio from the laptop would go via the USB so no need for any other cables from the laptop, and with this I guess I could also connect the line outs from the piano into the audio interface and switch(?) to that when using my tutorial software using the piano sounds, and the sound would automatically go to the monitors when running the synth software, or is there a better way to connect everything up.

I'm not looking for studio quality sound or flexibility, and was looking at the Komplete Audio 6 interface (or equivalent) and a couple of jbl lsr305s (or equivalent). I'm not sure I would need any DAW software yet as Im not intending to record anything, unless it is used to centrally manage the various software synths, but the Komplete comes with a Ableton Live Lite which may be enough.

Any comments or advice would be appreciated

Cheers!

Re: Advice on using Kawai DP with software synth
Mo0g #2898669 10/09/19 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Mo0g
[...] I wondered if I could select the piano as the audio output [...] It doesnt seem like that is possible.


Exactly. The CN-37 isn't an USB audio device. You just get MIDI.

But it does have audio inputs ("Line In 1/4" L/MONO, R [unbalanced]" they say...) that could take the audio from the laptop's headphone jack.

And if the combination of MIDI via USB and analog audio via a cable has any issues (ground loop hum) you can perhaps replace MIDI via USB with MIDI over Bluetooth.

Re: Advice on using Kawai DP with software synth
Mo0g #2898724 10/09/19 06:31 PM
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The top-notch sound you can get from the piano software will turn into bottom-notch sound if you feed it to the piano speakers.

Instead I'd suggest buying a proper sound system ... an amplifier and a pair of speakers, or a pair of powered monitors.

Re: Advice on using Kawai DP with software synth
Mo0g #2898817 10/10/19 04:09 AM
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Yeah, the idea to pass the sound back through the piano was that it would be a quick and easy way to play with the synth sounds. The CN37 has got decent speakers for a DP but obviously doesnt compare to any proper system.

I was going to go for powered monitors to avoid the need for any kind of amp, especially as this is going to be a simple set up, so I can feed the piano line out to them and also the audio interface will be able to feed them from the laptop & software synth. Further down the line if we have an extension on the house we will be having a proper cinema/music room so at that point I will look at either getting a decent amp & speakers, or seeing if I can integrate it easily enough into my existing music components.


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