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Wildy varying MIDI values on VPC-1
#2913818 11/19/19 02:07 PM
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For VPC-1 owners, here is what seems to me to be an alarming thread posted on the pianoteq forum. Two separate owners ran the same test with significantly different and apparently disturbing results.

Anyone else do the same measurements and get such results?

https://www.forum-pianoteq.com/viewtopic.php?id=6886

Re: Wildy varying MIDI values on VPC-1
sfhombre #2913827 11/19/19 02:24 PM
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Ooo.... I see peterws there wink


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"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
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"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Wildy varying MIDI values on VPC-1
sfhombre #2913828 11/19/19 02:25 PM
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To be expected.

It's a mass produced part that doesn't go through a rigorous personal inspection and regulation like an acoustic. Really no way to do that at this price. That's probably why they intend for us to use the editor software to do regulation work in software.

I share the question of one poster in there: how would an acoustic with a silent mod fare with such a test, esp one that isn't freshly regulated?


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Re: Wildy varying MIDI values on VPC-1
sfhombre #2913830 11/19/19 02:27 PM
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That is alarming.

Pretty suprising, I never heard about this, everyone always just seems to love the vpc1.

Re: Wildy varying MIDI values on VPC-1
U3piano #2913834 11/19/19 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by U3piano
That is alarming.

Pretty suprising, I never heard about this, everyone always just seems to love the vpc1.

If the VPC1 was well regulated from the factory, Ravenworks Digital wouldn't be offering a version of the VPC1 for 3x the price with 40 hours of regulation.


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Wildy varying MIDI values on VPC-1
sfhombre #2913837 11/19/19 02:38 PM
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Well, that makes sense. smile

Never thought about it, didn't know about that ravenworks either.

Re: Wildy varying MIDI values on VPC-1
sfhombre #2913866 11/19/19 04:14 PM
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For the unschooled on Midi and pianoteq ( such as myself ) what does the plot indicate? What does the y axis midi value mean?

Re: Wildy varying MIDI values on VPC-1
sfhombre #2913888 11/19/19 05:05 PM
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Meh...

You don't play piano by placing 140 gram weights on the keys.

What would the results be by actually playing ppp by hand, I ask rhetorically.

Re: Wildy varying MIDI values on VPC-1
sfhombre #2913895 11/19/19 05:20 PM
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It was lately Chopin Acolyte who complained of inconsistent velocity between black and white keys.

It’s odd how something that’s been regularly praised as one of the best keyboard controllers can actually quickly turn into “I’ve noticed similar problems with mine”.


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Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Wildy varying MIDI values on VPC-1
CyberGene #2913898 11/19/19 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
It’s odd how something that’s been regularly praised as one of the best keyboard controllers can actually quickly turn into “I’ve noticed similar problems with mine”.

The N1X owners are all looking at each other to see who will be the first to describe a real problem so the rest of us can all pile on.

(7-segment LED displays and settings that don't save, notwithstanding!)


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Wildy varying MIDI values on VPC-1
CyberGene #2913926 11/19/19 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
It was lately Chopin Acolyte who complained of inconsistent velocity between black and white keys.

It’s odd how something that’s been regularly praised as one of the best keyboard controllers can actually quickly turn into “I’ve noticed similar problems with mine”.


The wooden NWX action of my Yamaha P-515 produces even and consistent velocity output and the price of the whole board is about the same as the Kawai VPC-1.


Richwood RD-17C-CE | LaMancha Rubi CM-N | Yamaha P-515
Re: Wildy varying MIDI values on VPC-1
JoeT #2913930 11/19/19 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeT

The wooden NWX action of my Yamaha P-515 produces even and consistent velocity output and the price of the whole board is about the same as the Kawai VPC-1.


On the same test that gave these pianoteq/vpc1 users these "alarming" results?

Re: Wildy varying MIDI values on VPC-1
Tyrone Slothrop #2913938 11/19/19 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by U3piano
That is alarming.

Pretty suprising, I never heard about this, everyone always just seems to love the vpc1.

If the VPC1 was well regulated from the factory, Ravenworks Digital wouldn't be offering a version of the VPC1 for 3x the price with 40 hours of regulation.


I don’t see how this must be the case - the fact that something can be upgraded does not somehow make it defective - it just means that it can be upgraded.
Anecdotally my VPC1 was awesome - only true hybrids have felt or played better for me.

Re: Wildy varying MIDI values on VPC-1
Morten Olsson #2913953 11/19/19 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Morten Olsson
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by U3piano
That is alarming.

Pretty suprising, I never heard about this, everyone always just seems to love the vpc1.

If the VPC1 was well regulated from the factory, Ravenworks Digital wouldn't be offering a version of the VPC1 for 3x the price with 40 hours of regulation.


I don’t see how this must be the case - the fact that something can be upgraded does not somehow make it defective - it just means that it can be upgraded.
Anecdotally my VPC1 was awesome - only true hybrids have felt or played better for me.

Perhaps, but if the upgrade is to be regulated, then it introduces the purpose of that regulation and why 40 hours would need to be spent on it, if the original was already well-regulated.


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Wildy varying MIDI values on VPC-1
sfhombre #2913992 11/19/19 09:46 PM
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A quick glance seems to indicate that the test was conducted by putting a 140g weight on the key. Dynamics are controlled by velocity of key depression, not by the pressure of a constant weight. I would imagine that small differences in key mechanism resistance could affect its acceleration under a small dead weight; maybe these differences aren't so important when the key is accelerated by the movement of a hand and arm that not only weigh about a kilogram, but are moving downward with considerable inertia.
Not that better mechanical regulation wouldn't be good, but maybe there's a better way to test key response.


Jack
Re: Wildy varying MIDI values on VPC-1
joflah #2913995 11/19/19 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by joflah
...but maybe there's a better way to test key response.

VSL uses a key press machine which can press keys at a given velocity for creating their VST libraries. I don't know if they created their own such machine or if there are commercial key press machines. I suspect the former.


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Wildy varying MIDI values on VPC-1
sfhombre #2913998 11/19/19 10:30 PM
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This whole thing smells fishy.

Re: Wildy varying MIDI values on VPC-1
MacMacMac #2914009 11/19/19 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
This whole thing smells fishy.

I agree. As joflah points out, if resistance varies from key to key, this test would vary tremendously. Also, this test is affected by static (before the key begins to move) vs. kinetic friction (after the key starts to move), which contrary to what one might have learned in an introductory physics class, is actually incredibly complex.


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Wildy varying MIDI values on VPC-1
sfhombre #2914019 11/20/19 12:29 AM
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Here are some personal thoughts (i.e. not the opinion of Kawai):

- I believe the MIDI velocity measurement range/scale should be from 0~127, not 35~65. This narrow scale gives the impression of a larger variance.

- A relatively small amount of variance in MIDI velocity between keys is not totally abnormal behaviour, due to the nature of rubber switch key sensors.

- The VPC1 uses grade-weighted hammers (bass region heavier, treble region lighter), so the keyboard should become gradually lighter from bass to treble. Therefore, we can expect that using the same 140g weight would result in increases in key velocity from bass to treble.

- The VPC Editor software allows velocity offsets to be applied to each individual key, allowing variations in NoteOn velocity to be reduced, if necessary.

Kind regards,
James
x


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Re: Wildy varying MIDI values on VPC-1
Kawai James #2914026 11/20/19 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Here are some personal thoughts (i.e. not the opinion of Kawai):

- I believe the MIDI velocity measurement range/scale should be from 0~127, not 35~65.
This narrow scale gives the impression of a larger variance.

- A relatively small amount of variance in MIDI velocity between keys is not totally abnormal behaviour, due to the nature of rubber switch key sensors.

- The VPC1 uses grade-weighted hammers (bass region heavier, treble region lighter), so the keyboard should become gradually lighter from bass to treble. Therefore, we can expect that using the same 140g weight would result in increases in key velocity from bass to treble.

- The VPC Editor software allows velocity offsets to be applied to each individual key, allowing variations in NoteOn velocity to be reduced, if necessary.

Kind regards,
James
x


Hi all, I'm one of the testers that posted over on the Pianoteq forum.

To continue the conversation, some folks have pointed out that ideally the piano should measure velocity. I took great care to release the weight from the exact same place for every key. Some variation might be possible, but generally I could return MIDI values within ± 2. To generate this sample set, I used 140g weight held at the end of the key, before the key starts to travel at all. Then the weight is released, allowing the weight to drive the key downwards. I took 3 measurements on each key and averaged them. This is a basically a brand new instrument, it was purchased new in September of this year.

To address a couple things James said: The chart shows 35-65, so that the variance can be inspected, but even at 0-127 there is significant variance to be quite noticeable while playing. Especially from A3-E4, the average MIDI velocity is 13-17 higher than it should be. Other notes, like A0, A#0, D4, E4, have errors over 10.

Grade weighted hammers does make good sense, I fit a trendline to the data and it also reflects a gradual increase from the bass to the treble.

But, if you use VPC Editor to fix this unevenness, you will forever lose access to the highest and lowest midi values. Let's take A3-E4, if I apply a correction in VPC Editor of -12 to those notes, the max velocity I can now reach is 112. So this is not really a good fix.

I sent a message to Kawai USA support on Monday, but haven't heard anything back yet about this issue except to try a factory reset, which I did already before testing. I'm hoping we can find a satisfactory fix to this! While I don't expect the VPC to be concert regulated, I do expect it to at least be even across the octaves.

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Last edited by RdWing; 11/20/19 01:10 AM.
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