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#3182499 01/05/22 08:07 AM
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I've been playing my new Kawai Novus NV10S for a couple of weeks now - after exactly a year's wait ! - and it is a great instrument. However I am none too pleased about the software in the menu system, which feels very immature and clumsy sometimes. It is bad enough that there is no system clock, so all your recordings have the same datetime stamp, but to add insult to injury there is also no automatic file naming/numbering as far as I can see. Each recording needs to be given an unique name, which is quite difficult on the tiny touchscreen keyboard. It does not tell you what names already exist either, but starts complaining about "duplicate filename' even while typing, until the name becomes unique. Just assign a sequence number and save the damn file is all I ask !

It is also necessary to press the Save button two or even more times before the filename dialog comes up. Feels like a bit of a hit-and-miss sometimes.
Lastly there does not seem to be an option to select recording in WAV format always. You need to change from mp3 to WAV with EACH recording as far as I can see.

I find these things hugely annoying, and very unworthy of such a high quality instrument. Even the CA59 which I was playing was much better in this respect.

I wonder if any of you have the same gripes ?

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I wish I had your problems ;-)


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Originally Posted by deafital
I wish I had your problems ;-)
Haha... including having just shelled out about €8000 and getting crappy software for that money ?

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Originally Posted by cbreemer
Originally Posted by deafital
I wish I had your problems ;-)
Haha... including having just shelled out about €8000 and getting crappy software for that money ?
Of course! Here it costs €9000, and besides primitive software you get the most beautiful hardware. The furniture, look at the shiny wall that rises behind your keys, which mirrors the 88 ways to touch your love.


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Originally Posted by cbreemer
However I am none too pleased about the software in the menu system, which feels very immature and clumsy sometimes.

I had been dreaming about the NV5 (because it was just a bit less way-above-my-budget than the NV10) when I downloaded the handbook, and it became clear to me that the software would not fulfill my demands. My demands were, basically, that it can do everything that Pianoteq does, for instance, automatic and unlimited recording of every note I play, and a very easy playback, so I can always check what I just played. As I already had Pianoteq I realised that all I needed was a very good controller. And the VPC1 was well within my budget!

So I feel your pain, but I don't share it.

(I realise this is a bit harsh. I am sorry!)


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Originally Posted by Animisha
My demands were, basically, that it can do everything that Pianoteq does, for instance, automatic and unlimited recording of every note I play, and a very easy playback, so I can always check what I just played.

The NV5 has MIDI in/out, so you can implement this with an aftermarket add-on box. I say this as an NV5 owner who actually records every note ever played on it, using a small Raspberry Pi that is stuffed away behind the NV5.

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Originally Posted by cbreemer
It is bad enough that there is no system clock, so all your recordings have the same datetime stamp, but to add insult to injury there is also no automatic file naming/numbering as far as I can see. Each recording needs to be given an unique name, which is quite difficult on the tiny touchscreen keyboard. It does not tell you what names already exist either, but starts complaining about "duplicate filename' even while typing, until the name becomes unique. Just assign a sequence number and save the damn file is all I ask !


All valid points. I (and others) have brought up the system clock point before, to the somewhat infuriating response of "you can always change the created-by timestamp of files after you import it to a PC." Yes. Yes you can. But who does that???


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Originally Posted by pppianomarc
Originally Posted by Animisha
My demands were, basically, that it can do everything that Pianoteq does, for instance, automatic and unlimited recording of every note I play, and a very easy playback, so I can always check what I just played.

The NV5 has MIDI in/out, so you can implement this with an aftermarket add-on box. I say this as an NV5 owner who actually records every note ever played on it, using a small Raspberry Pi that is stuffed away behind the NV5.

This surely works for the NV10 also, so that is very good news for cbreemer!


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It's very unfortunate that Kawai cannot solve those problems, while having big experience in electronic instruments.

In addition, kay resonances are not working properly as mentioned in one of other threads, it costs much more than N1X (who BTW have control system from 15 years back, what is also shame to Yamaha).

Those should be state of the art instruments, not faulty by design.

I would not complain this to happen in some Alesis or one of its other 10 clones and so on, but it's kind of Kawai trademark to make bad software.

Maybe they are not using user experience panels before production?

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Hello cbreemer,

Congrats on receiving your NV10S, I hope it was worth the wait.

Originally Posted by cbreemer
It is bad enough that there is no system clock, so all your recordings have the same datetime stamp, but to add insult to injury there is also no automatic file naming/numbering as far as I can see. Each recording needs to be given an unique name, which is quite difficult on the tiny touchscreen keyboard. It does not tell you what names already exist either, but starts complaining about "duplicate filename' even while typing, until the name becomes unique. Just assign a sequence number and save the damn file is all I ask !

Kawai digital pianos do not incorporate a system clock, therefore there is no way for the instrument to "know" the current date/time.
I believe this is also the case for other manufacturer's instruments.

Regarding the file naming procedure, I'm afraid I cannot promise that this behaviour will be improved, however I shall pass on your comments to the development team.

Originally Posted by cbreemer
Lastly there does not seem to be an option to select recording in WAV format always. You need to change from mp3 to WAV with EACH recording as far as I can see.

On the CA99 that I tried, once the USB memory recording format is set (e.g. to WAV), it will remain until the power is turned off. I was able to record, save, record, save, record, save etc. consequtively without needing to set the format each time.

Kind regards,
James
x


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Originally Posted by Gombessa
I (and others) have brought up the system clock point before, to the somewhat infuriating response of "you can always change the created-by timestamp of files after you import it to a PC." Yes. Yes you can. But who does that???
Was that Kawai's response ??? That is an infuriating and stupid response indeed. Even a lowly mp3 recorder of 100 bucks has a clock and automatic file numbering, so when you put it into your USB drive you easily see which are the latest recordings. It totally perplexes me that a high-end instrument like Novus doesn't have one, and yu have to rely on self-assigned names, which are prone to mistakes.

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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Congrats on receiving your NV10S, I hope it was worth the wait.
Thanks for your response James ! Yes it was worth it - but it's a pity about the caveats.

Originally Posted by Kawai James
Kawai digital pianos do not incorporate a system clock, therefore there is no way for the instrument to "know" the current date/time. I believe this is also the case for other manufacturer's instruments.
Well it's time they started incorporating one ! That others are not doing it is no excuse. And even a cheap portable recorder has a clock.

Originally Posted by Kawai James
Regarding the file naming procedure, I'm afraid I cannot promise that this behaviour will be improved, however I shall pass on your comments to the development team.
This is not so much behavior, but a regression ! The CA59 I was playing before had automatic naming. I was perfectly happy with that and was appalled to find it has been ditched in the Novus. What were they thinking ?

Originally Posted by Kawai James
On the CA99 that I tried, once the USB memory recording format is set (e.g. to WAV), it will remain until the power is turned off. I was able to record, save, record, save, record, save etc. consequtively without needing to set the format each time.
Yes, it was the same on the CA59. Not optimal (a global setting would be in order, as I'm sure you will agree) but workable. The Novus NV10 once again shows a regression here. But I've taken the easy way out and surrendered to mp3 recording. It's against my principles, as they have to be decoded again for the postprocessing, but I don't think the difference with WAV can be heard anyway.

It seems like the designers at Kawai have been totally focused on matters of sound (adding tons of settings and voices that hardly anyone would use) but have scant regard for everyday practicalities like easy recording and file management.

If you can pass on these critical thoughts to the development team that would be much appreciated indeed. It's too late for the clock of course, but not too late for some real improvements to the software.

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Originally Posted by maucycy
Maybe they are not using user experience panels before production?
I was thinking the same. It seems to be engineer driven, with insufficient user feedback.

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Originally Posted by pppianomarc
The NV5 has MIDI in/out, so you can implement this with an aftermarket add-on box. I say this as an NV5 owner who actually records every note ever played on it, using a small Raspberry Pi that is stuffed away behind the NV5.
Interesting ! I'm not sure if I'd want to record everything I play though, and even less sure I'd want to bother with MIDI. I've never heard a MIDI recording sounding anywhere near the real thing.

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Originally Posted by cbreemer
Originally Posted by pppianomarc
The NV5 has MIDI in/out, so you can implement this with an aftermarket add-on box. I say this as an NV5 owner who actually records every note ever played on it, using a small Raspberry Pi that is stuffed away behind the NV5.
Interesting ! I'm not sure if I'd want to record everything I play though, and even less sure I'd want to bother with MIDI. I've never heard a MIDI recording sounding anywhere near the real thing.

You might want to reassess this point of view (unless you mean an acoustic piano with the "real thing"). There is quite a consensus that these says the better VST pianos are better than the built-in piano engines. But just playing back pre-recorded midi files with a VST may not be the right way, you should play while hearing audio from this VST.

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Originally Posted by cbreemer
. I've never heard a MIDI recording sounding anywhere near the real thing.

Pianoteq saves the files as MIDI and when I open them in Pianoteq they sound exactly the same as when I played them. Exactly! However, when I open them in Musescore and play them, there are often parts that sound quite different.


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Originally Posted by cbreemer
It seems to be engineer driven, with insufficient user feedback.

I think it's specification driven, rather than engineer driven. An engineer would have a prototype touchpanel on his desk and use it while he implements features. The software would grow and would actually be quite excellent, IF you as the user can think the same way as him.

However, my (outsider) impression is that the first step is somebody turning a list of features into a detailed specification for the user interface. At this point, nobody can actually use it because it only exists on paper (or possibly some kind of interactive powerpoint mockup). This specification becomes the ground truth and several independent teams base their work on it. Owners manuals will be written in many languages, as well as repair and factory-internal documentation. Components will be sourced, contracts will be made, and software will be written. Any change of the spec at this point negates a lot of what has been done already, or at least negotiated and commited to be done soon.

I also have the impression that some of the teams are external to Kawai. For example the past handling of software bugs vs enhancement requests suggests that Kawai can insist on timely remediation for things that don't work as required by the specification (and, by extension, the owners manual). But anything else is what engineers and consultants call "feature creep", and basically requires a new specification to be made, and then contracted out. Only this time your previous suppliers have a headstart (because it's an enhancement rather than a start from zero), so you kind-of-must keep working with them. They are in a better position for negotiating the new feature enhancement contract, than they were for the first one.

This process makes it very unlikely that changes happen in any existing product, including those that are about to be released. Even if changes were to be considered, it would be natural to wait it out for a long time until no more new ideas and requests trickle in, so you can cover everything in one single effort. But by then, the product is old and nobody talks about it anymore (too loudly). Maybe your new product already has most of the features anyway.

Remember that there's a whole chain to consider, every part of it must be covered by the enhancement process, and this is costly. There also are unexpected side-effects. Imagine what happens if a piano dealer updates a showroom model (or maybe it's even just a customer who sneaks in a firmware update on a stick). This basically decouples the instruments' behavior from what is described in its printed paper manual. Unless the dealer has a new printed manual shipped and ready to put inside the box, he is at risk that his customer can return the piano for a full refund (in some areas of the world), even months after the purchase and even though all parties are fully aware that it is due to a legal loophole.

Kawai needs to waste a lot of money on foolproof enhancement procedures, or set aside some risk money to reimburse a few odd victims of the enhancement. Unfortunately, the cheaper and easier alternative is to ... wait for it ... REFRAIN from doing any enhancements that are not just slightly different re-interpretations of the same original specification.

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Originally Posted by cbreemer
Interesting ! I'm not sure if I'd want to record everything I play though, and even less sure I'd want to bother with MIDI. I've never heard a MIDI recording sounding anywhere near the real thing.

My MIDI recordings are not intended to be played on a computer, but rather on the piano itself. I just send the MIDI data back to it and the internal sound engine generates the sound, just like it did when I played live.

I haven't implemented any quick access replay features yet, because I seldomly use the recordings as practice tool (although I should). But nothing keeps me from detecting a "secret" keycombo to trigger effortless replaying. I think about something like pressing all 3 pedals twice in a row, and pressing a key during the second time to enter a command that my MIDI software can detect. Commands like "set playback start mark" and "playback since mark" and "cancel playback", maybe also a "set playback stop mark" command for automatic loops between start to stop. Just those commands would cover a lot of use cases, and it's not difficult to implement them with the Raspberry.

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Originally Posted by pppianomarc
Originally Posted by cbreemer
It seems to be engineer driven, with insufficient user feedback.

I think it's specification driven, rather than engineer driven. An engineer would have a prototype touchpanel on his desk and use it while he implements features. The software would grow and would actually be quite excellent, IF you as the user can think the same way as him.

However, my (outsider) impression is that the first step is somebody turning a list of features into a detailed specification for the user interface. At this point, nobody can actually use it because it only exists on paper (or possibly some kind of interactive powerpoint mockup). This specification becomes the ground truth and several independent teams base their work on it. Owners manuals will be written in many languages, as well as repair and factory-internal documentation. Components will be sourced, contracts will be made, and software will be written. Any change of the spec at this point negates a lot of what has been done already, or at least negotiated and commited to be done soon.

I also have the impression that some of the teams are external to Kawai. For example the past handling of software bugs vs enhancement requests suggests that Kawai can insist on timely remediation for things that don't work as required by the specification (and, by extension, the owners manual). But anything else is what engineers and consultants call "feature creep", and basically requires a new specification to be made, and then contracted out. Only this time your previous suppliers have a headstart (because it's an enhancement rather than a start from zero), so you kind-of-must keep working with them. They are in a better position for negotiating the new feature enhancement contract, than they were for the first one.

This process makes it very unlikely that changes happen in any existing product, including those that are about to be released. Even if changes were to be considered, it would be natural to wait it out for a long time until no more new ideas and requests trickle in, so you can cover everything in one single effort. But by then, the product is old and nobody talks about it anymore (too loudly). Maybe your new product already has most of the features anyway.

Remember that there's a whole chain to consider, every part of it must be covered by the enhancement process, and this is costly. There also are unexpected side-effects. Imagine what happens if a piano dealer updates a showroom model (or maybe it's even just a customer who sneaks in a firmware update on a stick). This basically decouples the instruments' behavior from what is described in its printed paper manual. Unless the dealer has a new printed manual shipped and ready to put inside the box, he is at risk that his customer can return the piano for a full refund (in some areas of the world), even months after the purchase and even though all parties are fully aware that it is due to a legal loophole.

Kawai needs to waste a lot of money on foolproof enhancement procedures, or set aside some risk money to reimburse a few odd victims of the enhancement. Unfortunately, the cheaper and easier alternative is to ... wait for it ... REFRAIN from doing any enhancements that are not just slightly different re-interpretations of the same original specification.
So for one part: For the new product to be a novelty, you have to implement a mountain of improvements. So save improvements; do not enter directly?


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Originally Posted by cbreemer
Originally Posted by Kawai James
On the CA99 that I tried, once the USB memory recording format is set (e.g. to WAV), it will remain until the power is turned off. I was able to record, save, record, save, record, save etc. consequtively without needing to set the format each time.
Yes, it was the same on the CA59. Not optimal (a global setting would be in order, as I'm sure you will agree) but workable. The Novus NV10 once again shows a regression here.
The CA99 and NV10S share the same software. So what works on the CA99 should also work on the NV10S. Are you saying that James‘ procedure (where the setting is at least retained until the piano is switched off) doesn’t work for you? Maybe that was part of a software update you don’t have yet?


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