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Re: external hardware considerations for possible VPC1 purchase
Harpuia #3031462 10/02/20 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Harpuia
I tried the una corda feature on Ivory II American Concert D. While I found the sound to be pretty realistic, it seems to be hard for me to control the transition from the normal piano tone to the una corda tone. It might be because I'm so used to the "fake" soft pedal features in all kinds of digital pianos and VSTs. I feel the tone transition to be substantial.

From my own experience, una corda sound varies a lot among different grand pianos and when I encounter a new grand piano (for recital for example), I will be cautious about using una corda as every piano is so different. When I was practicing in the university practice room, I don't like using una corda since those pianos were in such a bad shape that the una corda will strike the adjacent string! I had a recital before and at that time I needed to test the una corda before the recital and let my teacher to judge whether it sounds good (he was sitting in the audience).

I have another friend who majored in piano performance. He told me that they did not treat una corda pedal to be an on/off switch but would like to feather the pedal just like the sustain pedal. If playing on a bright piano, shifting the action a little bit will help the sound become rounder as the hammer is hitting the string using a different felt. They rarely depress the una corda pedal to the bottom.

I wish I could have this gradual una corda feature in a digital piano. All digital piano seems to have an on/off una corda pedal. And I have to be very cautious when playing using Ivory II ACD, or VSL Vienna Imperial, maybe only use the una corda when the composer specifically mentioned using it.

Yes, I also sometimes lightly press the una corda on a grand piano -- doesn't change the sound very much, but makes a difference. Sadly VST's haven't gotten to that level yet, at least sampled ones.
As for VSL, they don't have una corda samples anyway, so it's like lightly pressing down that pedal.
But I like the ACD una corda sound, and I only use it in places I want a special effect. But the samples are such fun to play when they are engaged!!!

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Re: external hardware considerations for possible VPC1 purchase
David Lai #3031647 10/03/20 11:18 AM
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After much comparison and research, I'm narrowing down my choices to the 5 controllers with keys that EVG2017 posted, as well as the Korg NanoKontrol and the X-Touch Mini, 2 controllers without keys. I know, the playing field could be even narrower, but for now I need to make sure that the VPC1 is good for me and here to stay. It's estimated to arrive next week, probably Tuesday if things go well -- so I'll have 45 days to test the keyboard out, and if it doesn't agree with me, I could return during this 45-day time window. I do hope it agrees with me and the purpose of this upgrade! The research is continuing......

Re: external hardware considerations for possible VPC1 purchase
David Lai #3031710 10/03/20 03:52 PM
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David, are you aware that neither NanoKontrol nor X-Touch Mini have the mod wheels, right?

They are perfect, even better than those I suggested for controlling continuous parameters (no keys to get into the way and simpler overall) but I understood the mod wheels were must have.


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
Re: external hardware considerations for possible VPC1 purchase
EVC2017 #3031712 10/03/20 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by EVC2017
David, are you aware that neither NanoKontrol nor X-Touch Mini have the mod wheels, right?

They are perfect, even better than those I suggested for controlling continuous parameters (no keys to get into the way and simpler overall) but I understood the mod wheels were must have.

Yes, I know that they have no wheels, and no, wheels are not exactly a must have -- I've been doing things with joysticks as far as the SL88Grand is concerned. smile I just hope that there would be assignable continuos midi parameter controllers, and especially the Korg NanoKontrol fits the description well, I believe. I'm still researching with these things, especially how would they fit with my VPC1 if I decide that it would replace my SL88Grand.

Re: external hardware considerations for possible VPC1 purchase
David Lai #3031727 10/03/20 04:40 PM
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In that case, NanoKontrol would be my choice between these two, as it has much better ergonomics (and I don't think you need it to be ultra compact).

I would also take a look at Studiologic Mixface (similar functions as NanoKontrol, better ergonomics - must check MIDI assigning capability).


Originally Posted by David Lai
Yes, I know that they have no wheels, and no, wheels are not exactly a must have


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
Re: external hardware considerations for possible VPC1 purchase
EVC2017 #3031734 10/03/20 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by EVC2017
In that case, NanoKontrol would be my choice between these two, as it has much better ergonomics (and I don't think you need it to be ultra compact).

I would also take a look at Studiologic Mixface (similar functions as NanoKontrol, better ergonomics - must check MIDI assigning capability).

Interesting observations. Well, if it's compact enough to go on top of the VPC1, that would be great! smile I'm listening to a man demoing the StudioLogic Mix Face, but I find this to be a bit on the more professional side, probably more than I need for playing virtual instruments. But I love the assigning capabilities on the SL88 Grand, where I could count the button presses and find the CC message I would like to send by a specific piece of hardware connected to it. I hope similar results can be achieved when going the control surface route.

Re: external hardware considerations for possible VPC1 purchase
David Lai #3031746 10/03/20 05:40 PM
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I didn't check dimentions but I am pretty sure they (even those 25-keys units) fit comfortably on top of the VPC1. One thing you will need to take into account is VPC1 has a slightly curved surface so I guess you will need to have some rubber feet (the tall type - tall as 1cm or so) added to have the controller not sliding and to avoid scratching VPC's top.

Maybe some VPC owners can come to the rescue.


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
Re: external hardware considerations for possible VPC1 purchase
David Lai #3031749 10/03/20 06:03 PM
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I just noticed, there are two controllers with the "nanokontrol" moniker, the "nanokontrol 2", which is simpler and compact, and the "nano control studio". When I searched for "nanokontrol", I first found the latter. I think you chose the former, based on your comment on Studiologic.

Nanokontrol 2 is pretty compact. But I think it is not very ergonomic, the sliders must have a total excursion of 4cm give or take.

Nanokontrol Studio is bigger (11"x 6.5" x 1.5" approximately) so the sliders excursions must be around 6cm. Is this relevant? Only you can tell. It does have four buttons per slider and one knob per slider.

Studiologic looks similar to NanoKontrol Studio, except it has less buttons (one per slider) but one extra slider (master). Also one knob per slider. Other buttons for control (e.g. play/stop/pause etc.), in this regard similar to the Nanokontrol studio. Dimmensions are 10.3" x 5.1" x 1.4". Sliders excursion must be between 5 and 6cm by the looks.

In the end, you will need to try them. If you can return those that does not suit you well, I would try them all.


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
Re: external hardware considerations for possible VPC1 purchase
EVC2017 #3031755 10/03/20 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by EVC2017
I didn't check dimentions but I am pretty sure they (even those 25-keys units) fit comfortably on top of the VPC1. One thing you will need to take into account is VPC1 has a slightly curved surface so I guess you will need to have some rubber feet (the tall type - tall as 1cm or so) added to have the controller not sliding and to avoid scratching VPC's top.

Maybe some VPC owners can come to the rescue.

Exactly. I have currently three items over my VPC1: an Arturia Minilab MkII, a Steinberg CC121 and an Elgato Stream Deck XL. The first two have added rear rubber feet, about 1cm tall. With them, they keep perfectly on place. There is no need to add, in this case, larger front feet. The Stream Deck XL has a rubber bottom which keeps the unit nicely stable even on the curved surface.


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Re: external hardware considerations for possible VPC1 purchase
EVC2017 #3031773 10/03/20 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by EVC2017
I just noticed, there are two controllers with the "nanokontrol" moniker, the "nanokontrol 2", which is simpler and compact, and the "nano control studio". When I searched for "nanokontrol", I first found the latter. I think you chose the former, based on your comment on Studiologic.

Nanokontrol 2 is pretty compact. But I think it is not very ergonomic, the sliders must have a total excursion of 4cm give or take.

Nanokontrol Studio is bigger (11"x 6.5" x 1.5" approximately) so the sliders excursions must be around 6cm. Is this relevant? Only you can tell. It does have four buttons per slider and one knob per slider.

Studiologic looks similar to NanoKontrol Studio, except it has less buttons (one per slider) but one extra slider (master). Also one knob per slider. Other buttons for control (e.g. play/stop/pause etc.), in this regard similar to the Nanokontrol studio. Dimmensions are 10.3" x 5.1" x 1.4". Sliders excursion must be between 5 and 6cm by the looks.

In the end, you will need to try them. If you can return those that does not suit you well, I would try them all.

Thank you for your very detailed description as always! So do I need to add some rubber feet if I buy any of these control surfaces?

Re: external hardware considerations for possible VPC1 purchase
EB5AGV #3031774 10/03/20 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by EB5AGV
Exactly. I have currently three items over my VPC1: an Arturia Minilab MkII, a Steinberg CC121 and an Elgato Stream Deck XL. The first two have added rear rubber feet, about 1cm tall. With them, they keep perfectly on place. There is no need to add, in this case, larger front feet. The Stream Deck XL has a rubber bottom which keeps the unit nicely stable even on the curved surface.
Ah, the VPC1 Expert has spoken!!!
So, where can I get some rubber feet if I want to buy a control surface like the Korg NanoKontrol 2? Or do control surfaces like this come with such things? Do you think it's good for the curved top of the VPC1?

Re: external hardware considerations for possible VPC1 purchase
David Lai #3031909 10/04/20 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by David Lai
Originally Posted by EB5AGV
Exactly. I have currently three items over my VPC1: an Arturia Minilab MkII, a Steinberg CC121 and an Elgato Stream Deck XL. The first two have added rear rubber feet, about 1cm tall. With them, they keep perfectly on place. There is no need to add, in this case, larger front feet. The Stream Deck XL has a rubber bottom which keeps the unit nicely stable even on the curved surface.
Ah, the VPC1 Expert has spoken!!!
So, where can I get some rubber feet if I want to buy a control surface like the Korg NanoKontrol 2? Or do control surfaces like this come with such things? Do you think it's good for the curved top of the VPC1?

Please, don't call me expert, I am ages far from that!. I am really happy with my unit, yes, but little more smile

Well, I bought the rubber feet in Amazon Spain. They are from an Spanish manufacturer so perhaps not available elsewhere. But there are no secrets with them, just good quality material and glue and right size. I will post a picture later when at home


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Re: external hardware considerations for possible VPC1 purchase
David Lai #3031925 10/04/20 09:34 AM
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It is certainly possible to find in USA as well.

For example:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WDDB7SD/

Tried Home Depot as well but got no online access. Is Home Depot still in the market?


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
Re: external hardware considerations for possible VPC1 purchase
David Lai #3031931 10/04/20 10:00 AM
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Home Depot is still doing pretty well in the US.


Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something. (falsely attributed to Plato)
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Re: external hardware considerations for possible VPC1 purchase
David Lai #3031936 10/04/20 10:10 AM
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Certainly some useful info from all of you. Thank you!!! Once I know how the VPC1 goes with me, I will know what to do with external midi hardware. Bravo, I love this forum!!!

Re: external hardware considerations for possible VPC1 purchase
David Lai #3031993 10/04/20 01:07 PM
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Here is a picture of the feet I added to my Arturia MiniLab MkII:

[Linked Image]

Some important things:

-They are made of transparent plastic, NOT black rubber. Over the years I have found that black rubber uses to degrade and become sticky, even damaging underlying surfaces. So it is safest to use this kind of material

-The truncated cone is a good shape, as that means there is plenty of surface touching the VPC1 and so it keeps the keyboard perfectly estable


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Re: external hardware considerations for possible VPC1 purchase
David Lai #3032026 10/04/20 02:31 PM
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As you wish. smile

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PHZZ436

[Linked Image]

@David, same item as I linked above but clear instead of black.

Last edited by EVC2017; 10/04/20 02:34 PM.

Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
Re: external hardware considerations for possible VPC1 purchase
David Lai #3032033 10/04/20 03:07 PM
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Thanks for these wonderful bits of information! That's all quite helpful. I'll keep you posted once I receive and test out my VPC1! Really hlpe that this upgrade will pay itself off!!!

Re: external hardware considerations for possible VPC1 purchase
David Lai #3032054 10/04/20 04:07 PM
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If you need a control surface, I would highly recommend Nektar Panorama P1. It integrates amazingly with most DAWs. I have the Nektar Impact which is similar (but with keys) and I love it:
https://nektartech.com/panorama-p1/

If you are planning to use Cubase, Steinberg CC121 would be equally good.

Korg nan­oKON­TROL Studio would be my third choice and the Studiologic SL Mixface my fourth.

Last edited by karoloydi; 10/04/20 04:15 PM.
Re: external hardware considerations for possible VPC1 purchase
karoloydi #3032063 10/04/20 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by karoloydi
If you need a control surface, I would highly recommend Nektar Panorama P1. It integrates amazingly with most DAWs. I have the Nektar Impact which is similar (but with keys) and I love it:
https://nektartech.com/panorama-p1/

If you are planning to use Cubase, Steinberg CC121 would be equally good.

Korg nan­oKON­TROL Studio would be my third choice and the Studiologic SL Mixface my fourth.

Thank you for your reply! No, I'm only using the sample players on their standalone versions, so no daws. smile I'm looking for a compact and easy solution to place above the VPC1. So far I'm leaning more towards the Korg NanoKontrol 2 or the X-Touch Mini because they don't have keys, fall in the same price range, and has more than enough controllers I need to accomplish my task of live playing.
But thanks for your recommendation though! smile

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