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touch sensitivity #700550
10/03/07 07:20 PM
10/03/07 07:20 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 1
Tucson
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walkupjd Offline OP
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walkupjd  Offline OP
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Joined: Oct 2007
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Tucson
I'm shopping for a realistic weighted-key keyboard/digital piano. I can easily decide on the one with the right feel. I want to collect the following data so that a performance can be reconstructed: pedal; keydown; key attack force. I am pretty sure any digital piano with MIDI or a USB port will provide most of this. The big tough question that salesmen have been unwilling or unable to address is, "what is the term for the number of different key attack forces that will be sensed and/or reproduced. Does 4 levels of touch sensitivity mean 4 settings for the touch control, or does it mean the instrument will only sense and reproduce four different loudnesses."

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Re: touch sensitivity #700551
10/03/07 08:38 PM
10/03/07 08:38 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,462
Denver, CO
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
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There are several different concepts that mix together to give the answer of how a keyboard determines which sound to play at what loudness.

There are 127 velocities recognized as part of a MIDI Note on command. That is usually the distinction that the keyboard recognizes in terms of how fast or hard you press a key.

Touch sensitivity is how hard or fast you press a key will translate into how loud the sound is or what the midi velocity is. 4 levels of touch sensitivity means you have four different mappings. On my keyboard I have off, weak, normal and strong. Weak makes it very easy to play loud. Strong makes it very hard to play loud.

Samples or levels refers to the number of different waveforms that have been sampled to allow the dp to reproduce the full dynamic range. This is because we get more of the feel of ppp to fff via the variations in the waveform (harmonics) than actual loudness. A piano with Tri-level sounds has three different waveforms recorded and it modifies them to try to reproduce the different sound levels. Software piano samples have many layers - 10 or 12 sometimes.


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Re: touch sensitivity #700552
10/05/07 11:03 AM
10/05/07 11:03 AM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 4
Sweden
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strettomaestrale Offline
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I have also a question related to this topic:

Just because the MIDI protocol recognizes 127 levels of velocity, does this automatically mean that the sensors in a digital piano can recognise that many levels? Or are levels grouped together? How much interpolation is really done between the samples with x levels? I have tried to find info about this but failed so far. Do kawai, yamaha, roland, or casio specify this on their models?

Re: touch sensitivity #700553
10/05/07 11:36 AM
10/05/07 11:36 AM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,285
Posts: 80,372
Eternal Offline
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Eternal  Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by strettomaestrale:
I have also a question related to this topic:

Just because the MIDI protocol recognizes 127 levels of velocity, does this automatically mean that the sensors in a digital piano can recognise that many levels?
The opposite is true, in case of Casio PX200 at least - I'm pretty sure the spec states it has 256 levels of detection, which means you actually have twice as much sensitivity as you need for a full MIDI implementation.

The real question is, if anything is actually done to the sound at each step, or is it more of a "threshold" approach, where the sound changes every few increments. I suspect the latter is true.

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Re: touch sensitivity #700554
10/05/07 04:27 PM
10/05/07 04:27 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 192
Cairns Australia
Mike Warren Offline
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Mike Warren  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 192
Cairns Australia
Quote
Originally posted by Eternal:
The real question is, if anything is actually done to the sound at each step, or is it more of a "threshold" approach, where the sound changes every few increments. I suspect the latter is true.
The extra steps are often used for touch sensitivity scaling. The differences between soft and hard settings are often non-linear and follow a curve rather than a straight line. On keyboards with graphical displays this curve is usually shown on the display.

I'd be surprised if any DP didn't output all 127 MIDI velocity steps, at least with the default touch sensitivity setting. This can be monitored on a computer by using software such as Midi-Ox ( http://www.midiox.com/ )

This is not to be confused with the sample layers mentioned in DP specs. A keyboard with 3 velocity layers will still have full volume (and sometimes filter) changes as it is played harder, it's just that at certain velocity points a new sample is used to change the timbre. In some cases these samples are blended over a small velocity range around the switch points to make the transition smoother.


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Re: touch sensitivity #700555
10/06/07 12:19 AM
10/06/07 12:19 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 1,822
rintincop Offline
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rintincop  Offline
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The sensors in digital pianos are not sensitive or accurate enough to give you control over all 127 midi velocities. Humans are also not capable of playing with such a fine dynamic range so the manufacturers don't attempt to provide sensors with perfect full range control.


Casio PX-360 digital piano, Mojo 61 digital organ, 1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.
Re: touch sensitivity #700556
10/06/07 12:34 AM
10/06/07 12:34 AM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 192
Cairns Australia
Mike Warren Offline
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Mike Warren  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 192
Cairns Australia
Quote
Originally posted by rintincop:
The sensors in digital pianos are not sensitive or accurate enough to give you control over all 127 midi velocities.
Can you point to some information to back that up?
Quote
Humans are also not capable of playing with such a fine dynamic range
This I agree with. smile

If a sensor can read a velocity of 1 and a velocity of 127, I can assure you it is capable of reading 125 values in between. Although I have never designed a keyboard instrument, I have designed other equipment that reads switches using time measurement and even a $1 microprocessor has enough power to detect 256 levels while simultaneously doing other jobs.

EDIT:
Just for clarity: I should mention that when a curve is applied to the data some intermediate values will be lost but that is simply a function of value quantisation and not due to a lack of processing power.


Digital Fake Book
Free Chord/Lyric Display Software for Windows.
http://mike-warren.net/digitalfakebook/
Re: touch sensitivity #700557
10/06/07 03:09 AM
10/06/07 03:09 AM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,285
Posts: 80,372
Eternal Offline
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Eternal  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,285
Posts: 80,372
Quote
Originally posted by rintincop:
The sensors in digital pianos are not sensitive or accurate enough to give you control over all 127 midi velocities.
I just checked PX200 specifications, and it does state 256 step touch sensor - mentioning that it is twice the resolution of the previous generation.

Re: touch sensitivity #700558
10/06/07 03:54 AM
10/06/07 03:54 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,462
Denver, CO
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
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DragonPianoPlayer  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,462
Denver, CO
Eternal,

I wouldn't be surprised if it has more levels, but I can't find that on the site's I've been looking at. Can you please share the link, because I'd love to see if I'm missing any additional spec info on the currrent and upcoming Casio's.

Thanks
Rich


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Re: touch sensitivity #700559
10/07/07 12:07 AM
10/07/07 12:07 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 1,822
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member
rintincop  Offline
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Joined: May 2004
Posts: 1,822
Where are you reading this Casio spin? I don't find it on their website in the specs details. Anyways, as mentioned above, there's only 127 velocity levels available with MIDI, so it is not an advantage. And their piano sound... well it still sounds like a Casio.


Casio PX-360 digital piano, Mojo 61 digital organ, 1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

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