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VPC1, MP11SE, and RD-2000 editing velocity curves
#3048018 11/21/20 02:08 PM
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Pat M. Offline OP
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I am looking for a new MIDI controller, and have pretty much narrowed it down to the VPC1, MP11SE, and RD-2000 (or possibly another PHA-50 action board). I have read a ton of threads comparing these, and have gotten to play the RD-2000 and MP11SE.

What I'm interested in right now is editing velocity curves on each of these. In particular, I want to know about editing the curves for the MIDI velocity values that each board sends - not editing velocity curves in something like Pianoteq, which interprets the incoming velocity and maps it differently.

1) I believe the VPC1 has a dedicated curve editor that changes the velocity curve sent by the board. Is that correct?
2) Do the MP11SE, RD-2000 (or other PHA-50 action board) have the same kind of editor? Or do they just let you choose from a set of predefined curves?
2) How useful is a fully-customized curve vs choosing from predefined curves?

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Re: VPC1, MP11SE, and RD-2000 editing velocity curves
Pat M. #3048130 11/21/20 10:55 PM
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I have found the answer to question #1 myself - YES!

For a bit of added context, I have a Kawai RX2 in the living room, and an ES8 that has been gathering dust since I got the RX2.

I hooked up the ES8 as a midi controller and found that the normal touch curve was just too heavy - even whacking the key way harder than I ever would, it registered 124 max. I changed it to light and it's quite a bit better - a reasonably hard strike tops out at 126. That might actually be good from a programming standpoint, as it means I can program instruments to do something special at 127 and edit the velocity manually when I need it.

Anyway, that experience is what led me to wonder about how different devices program velocity curves.

The VPC1 is in the lead because MIDI control is its raison d'être and is programmable in ways that I would appreciate. It also means it's a lot easier to find things in the manual - it's devoted to programming the controller, so I don't have to wade through all kinds of other features I'm not interested in. I did notice that the pedals are programmable for CC #, and the VPC1 supports 5 presets on board, which I would find useful.

The VP11SE is under consideration because it has pitch bend + mod wheel, possibly better action (clearly subjective, people disagree on this), and on-board sounds that I would use.

PHA-50 boards are under consideration primarily for ergonomics reasons. I have a monitor arm that I use to float an iMac above the keyboard. The Kawais, at a bit higher than 7" tall, would put the monitor a bit higher than I'm comfortable with (and in fact I would need to change my setup, as the monitor arm won't even go 7" higher than the board, resulting in some undesirable pressure between the iMac and keyboard case). A PHA-50 board would not have that problem. My experience playing PHA-50 is that it has better action than the ES8 - but I'd need to play them side-by-side to know that it's worth the added cost.

One thing I'm experimenting with is placing the iMac in front of the fall board, right above the keys (pictured below). That puts the screen a bit closer to me than I would like, but seems to be okay if I turn the brightness down. And I can compromise and push the keyboard back an inch or so, which is farther than I would like, but, compromise.

I believe I am reasoning my way into a VPC1, subject to it being comfortable in my setup - which I can at least experiment with the ES8 for a few weeks to see how that goes. I am still interested in people's experience with programming the velocity curves of the MP11SE and PHA-50 boards.

[Linked Image]

Re: VPC1, MP11SE, and RD-2000 editing velocity curves
Pat M. #3048165 11/22/20 05:13 AM
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Not exactly answering your question about RD2000 but you should take a look at RD2000 parameter guide.

Search "velocity" and you may have some answers to your queries. It does mention it is possible setting the min and max velocities but it is not clear to me if how it affects MIDI out data, I am not that knowledgeable about MIDI.

It does not allow editing velocity curves in the way VPC does or I think it does, i.e. mapping velocities to a non-linear curve, but it does seem to do at least a few things you described above.

Having said that, you seem to be comparing three different beasts, one very limited, because very specialized and very good at what it is intended to do (VPC1), one that tries to be everything and the kitchen sink (RD2000) and one in between but with a very piano-like mission (MP11SE) with some controller capabilities.

From the three, RD2000 is the best fit to being a "MIDI controller" of your original post, but given you are considering VPC1, then you seem to be focused on piano. Missing controls such as wheels may be provided by a second MIDI controller (see this thread for some alternatives suggested to a VPC1 owner that needed a few extra controls). Or, as you pointed yourself, MP11SE which already have controls and comes with (allegedly) good piano sounds.

Knowing what exactly you are trying to achieve with this new controller could help the folks of the forum to be more helpful.


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
Re: VPC1, MP11SE, and RD-2000 editing velocity curves
Pat M. #3048174 11/22/20 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Pat M.
[...]What I'm interested in right now is editing velocity curves on each of these. In particular, I want to know about editing the curves for the MIDI velocity values that each board sends - not editing velocity curves in something like Pianoteq, which interprets the incoming velocity and maps it differently.[...]

If you can't edit velocity curves on your device, you can use something like this (costs about 135 €):
http://www.midisolutions.com/prodvel.htm


keep calm and play the piano :-)

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