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Posted By: dhts Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/02/19 06:35 PM
I've been considering changing my slab piano for a stage piano so that it provides more flexibility - a wider variety of high quality non-piano sounds and better DAW/Mainstage integration with some assignable controls, but at the same time want to maintain the highest quality action and piano sound.

The CP88 looked great on paper, but when you look/listen more closely the base CFX piano sound is a less sophisticated sound to that on the P515. Not a problem, everybody raves about the MP11SE so I'll switch to Kawai, always liked their actions. But same thing, the base piano sound isn't equivalent to that which you find in the CA78/98 etc.

So is this always going to be the case or do we think the MP11SE successor will acquire Pianist Mode or is that that the limited processing power has to do so many other things on a stage piano that it's not an option ?

I don't know if it's the same the for RD2000 versus say the FP90 but I'm not mad on Roland piano sounds or the action.

There's the Nord Grand which I'm warming to but it seems expensive given it's based on a Kawai plastic action though it plays nicely enough.

I'm beginning to think I'm best of keeping my P515, adding any sounds from the MAC, and potentially getting a small controller if I want some assignable controls.

Other suggestions/thoughts welcome.
Posted By: Gombessa Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/02/19 07:05 PM
In Kawai's case, it's just that the current MP series was released before the new sound engine/interface was ready, and such hasn't yet been updated with the latest sound engine. Frankly, I'm curious to see how they'll do so, as nice as the touchscreen is for home, it doesn't seem like it'd be particularly durable or intuitive for fast selections/switchings during live gigs.

Yamaha, OTOH, seems to have made a conscious decision NOT to put a number of piano-specific features into the CP88 in order to prioritize its stage piano/controller functions.

Roland is in the same boat as Kawai, the FP-90 and RD-2000 were released prior to its current "PureAcoustic" engine and so they don't have it.

If you already have a P-515, I wouldn't think you'd get a huge bang for the buck upgrading to anything in a slab format. That's already a fine instrument.
Posted By: Sweelinck Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/03/19 05:04 AM
There's nothing wrong with a P-515. I don't care for its action, and prefer the RH-III action of the MP7SE or Nord Grand, but that's a very personal thing. If you like the P-515 action, it has nice integration with VSTs where the keyboard functions as a DAC for a VST multiplexing digital audio sent from computer to keyboard and midi sent from keyboard to computer over a single USB cable connection. This is pretty slick. Attach to a computer that has an active VST and the P-515 will behave mostly like it is a built-in sound, rendering the sound, playing it through its speakers, and routing to line and headphone outputs. I wish the P-515 action worked for me. There is alot to like about the instrument, including, but not limited to its attractive price.
Posted By: dhts Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/03/19 07:42 PM
Originally Posted by Gombessa
In Kawai's case, it's just that the current MP series was released before the new sound engine/interface was ready, and such hasn't yet been updated with the latest sound engine. Frankly, I'm curious to see how they'll do so, as nice as the touchscreen is for home, it doesn't seem like it'd be particularly durable or intuitive for fast selections/switchings during live gigs.


I think what I was trying to say is that Pianist mode on the current Kawai's only works when pretty much everything else is switched off - now that's an understandable (but not ideal) approach for a console piano but less so in a functionally rich stage piano. So either they need to give it more processing power, more than their other pianos, or limit when the highest quality sound can be used, or not add it at all as per Yamaha.
Posted By: dhts Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/03/19 07:45 PM
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
There's nothing wrong with a P-515. I don't care for its action, and prefer the RH-III action of the MP7SE or Nord Grand, but that's a very personal thing. If you like the P-515 action, it has nice integration with VSTs where the keyboard functions as a DAC for a VST multiplexing digital audio sent from computer to keyboard and midi sent from keyboard to computer over a single USB cable connection. This is pretty slick. Attach to a computer that has an active VST and the P-515 will behave mostly like it is a built-in sound, rendering the sound, playing it through its speakers, and routing to line and headphone outputs. I wish the P-515 action worked for me. There is alot to like about the instrument, including, but not limited to its attractive price.

I agree it's pretty good in that scenario, but there's no easy way to control the relative volume of the VST nor tweak the VST due to the lack of controls but absolutely agree that it's a great little package.
Posted By: Gombessa Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/03/19 08:28 PM
Originally Posted by dhts

I think what I was trying to say is that Pianist mode on the current Kawai's only works when pretty much everything else is switched off - now that's an understandable (but not ideal) approach for a console piano but less so in a functionally rich stage piano. So either they need to give it more processing power, more than their other pianos, or limit when the highest quality sound can be used, or not add it at all as per Yamaha.


Yep, that's a good point. I guess the current fallback is that Sound Mode still works with layering and all that, but Pianist Mode's focus on solo piano does present shortcomings for stage use.
Posted By: Sweelinck Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/04/19 07:02 AM
Quote

The CP88 looked great on paper, but when you look/listen more closely the base CFX piano sound is a less sophisticated sound to that on the P515. Not a problem, everybody raves about the MP11SE so I'll switch to Kawai.

I found the Bosendorfer Imperial 290 patch on the CP88 to be fairly responsive, better than the CFX patch on the same instrument. The CP88 is pricey for what you get, though. I prefer a Kawai ES8 or MP7SE and they are much cheaper. They have the same piano samples and sound engine as the MP11SE, and an action that I find reasonable. The MP11SE action is nonetheless better, and will offer better translation of practice sessions to an acoustic grand.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/04/19 01:38 PM
Originally Posted by dhts
I've been considering changing my slab piano for a stage piano so that it provides more flexibility - a wider variety of high quality non-piano sounds and better DAW/Mainstage integration with some assignable controls, but at the same time want to maintain the highest quality action and piano sound.

The CP88 looked great on paper, but when you look/listen more closely the base CFX piano sound is a less sophisticated sound to that on the P515. Not a problem, everybody raves about the MP11SE so I'll switch to Kawai, always liked their actions. But same thing, the base piano sound isn't equivalent to that which you find in the CA78/98 etc.

So is this always going to be the case or do we think the MP11SE successor will acquire Pianist Mode or is that that the limited processing power has to do so many other things on a stage piano that it's not an option ?

I don't know if it's the same the for RD2000 versus say the FP90 but I'm not mad on Roland piano sounds or the action.

There's the Nord Grand which I'm warming to but it seems expensive given it's based on a Kawai plastic action though it plays nicely enough.

I'm beginning to think I'm best of keeping my P515, adding any sounds from the MAC, and potentially getting a small controller if I want some assignable controls.

Other suggestions/thoughts welcome.


Hi dhts,

I tried the CP88 and Nord Grand (as well as the RD2000) on Friday 28th Nov.
The CP88 I played after playing the CLP685 i.e., I compared the CP88 with the binaural sampling version of the CFX grand on the CLP685.

Indeed, the CP88 was rather dull compared to the CLP685---binaural sampling is a huge omission on the CP88, no doubt because of it's lack of value for live performance. The Kawai ES8 SK pianos I used for comparison were IMO better than the CP88 CFX and Bosendorfer by quite a margin; whereas, the CLP685 CFX were certainly competitive.


The Nord Grand was rather stunning to look at up close. The piano sound fidelity is quite good on the Nord Grand. The samples (white grand and royal grand) are very nice; however, unfortunately, the Nord Piano samples aren't realistic IMO compared to Yamaha, Kawai, and Roland models. There is something unnatural about the Nord piano samples which isn't unpleasant, just not accurate. That said, if I had to chose between the Nord Grand and the CP88, I'd pick the Nord. The layout of the Nord is better too IMO.


The RD2000 was perhaps the biggest surprise. The action was excellent; the layout was 7/10. From what I was able to get into, that's the pros over with. I had tested the RD800 a few years ago now and found it quite good fun. The RD2000 I expected to be much better or at least an evolution. With regard to piano sound, it was not IMO much of an evolution. Actually, I prefer the V-piano experience to playing piano on the RD2000. My favourite piano on the RD2000 was the V-piano first patch. That said, I didn't feel it sounded like the actual v-piano. IMO, the V-piano itself has a better modeled piano sound in terms of dynamic range than the RD2000 version of the V-piano patches.

The RD2000 modeled piano sounds were very responsive within the dynamic range BUT, the dynamic range seemed hemmed in! That hemmed in quality was also there in the LX708---what's going on I thought. The sound fidelity through headphones on the RD2000 was poor compared to the Yamaha CLP685. Maybe the binaural sampling is what distorted my perception of the other models. Most of the SuperNatural sounds were the same as the RD800, and many of these sampled sounds seemed dated. There are too many dud sounds on the RD2000, and it's hard to find the good ones. I guess if I had more time in a quiet atmosphere, I'd have tested more of the functionality such has having 8 sounds at once, and spent more time on the organs. So there is many aspects of the RD2000 I'm not reflecting in this review which probably deserve merit. However, on basic piano, the instrument didn't meet my expectations prior to testing. Funnily enough, I don't mind the recordings on YouTube e.g., recordings by Yohan Kim. However, the actual experience doesn't match the recordings I've heard. Although I've said all this, I only had 50 minutes on the RD2000, and it was a bit noisy in store. I would like to get it to myself for long enough to explore it.

I thought it might be the headphones, so used the opportunity to ask to test the Sennheiser HD650 headphones they had in store. That didn't help the RD2000 or the LX708 much. Playing the LX708 through speakers helped a bit; however, my favourite part of the LX708 experience was the TRS: I would describe it as a crude but it somehow adds to the experience (in the same way that vibration on my razor blade does, so nothing massive).

IMO, the tone selection on the RD2000 isn't well designed: scrolling through lists of sounds took a while as there are so many sounds on it. Whist the sound bank is uncluttered as an interface, this is actually a bad thing in this case. The MP7SE is much better in the way it has dependent menus e.g., instrument groupings, sound banks, variation banks. Kudos for Kawai! Most of the best sounds on the MP7SE can be found in the first few banks of any instrument grouping, so you don't need to go searching very far.


The RHIII action on the ES8, MP7SE and Nord Grand is on a par IMO with the RD2000 action (or at least near-par). The Nord Grand action is modified though: it is slightly lighter and has a slightly different feel than the ES8 version of the RHIII action.

If I was picking today, I'd take the MP7SE (an upgrade from my MP7) and supplement with VST pianos like Pianoteq and CFX grand if further variety were needed. I don't think the Nord Grand (gorgeous though it is) is value for money. I think Roland and Kawai really need to work on the sound-quality of the output to the headphones to compete with this binaural sampling on the latest Yamaha's. The LX708 was also not competitive with the CLP685 on sound fidelity either: mind you, neither was the CA98 (which I wasn't impressed by). I don't know why I didn't like the CA98, but it was a noisy store (especially near the CA98), so I need to re-test the CA98 on a quiet day and investigate the settings (maybe trying a reset). Therefore, still my fav. cabinet Kawai is the CS11 (as I've not played the Novus NV5 or 10).

IMO, this binaural sampling has shifted the goal posts, and I would like to see it on the stage pianos too.

P.S. maybe you should test the GrandStage and the Dexibell vivo S7.

Kind regards,

Doug.

Posted By: KevinM Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/04/19 01:53 PM
Originally Posted by Doug M.

If I was picking today, I'd take the MP7SE (an upgrade from my MP7) and supplement with VST pianos like Pianoteq and CFX grand if further variety were needed. I don't think the Nord Grand (gorgeous though it is) is value for money. I think Roland and Kawai really need to work on the sound-quality of the output to the headphones to compete with this binaural sampling on the latest Yamaha's. The LX708 was also not competitive with the CLP685 on sound fidelity either: mind you, neither was the CA98 (which I wasn't impressed by). I don't know why I didn't like the CA98, but it was a noisy store (especially near the CA98), so I need to re-test the CA98 on a quiet day and investigate the settings (maybe trying a reset).
Kind regards,
Doug.


If you can Doug I'd recommend going to gear4music showroom in York. Much less intense and less noisy than anywhere in Manchester from my experience. When I've gone it has been a day trip, but I think it is worthwhile.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/04/19 02:12 PM
Originally Posted by KevinM
Originally Posted by Doug M.

If I was picking today, I'd take the MP7SE (an upgrade from my MP7) and supplement with VST pianos like Pianoteq and CFX grand if further variety were needed. I don't think the Nord Grand (gorgeous though it is) is value for money. I think Roland and Kawai really need to work on the sound-quality of the output to the headphones to compete with this binaural sampling on the latest Yamaha's. The LX708 was also not competitive with the CLP685 on sound fidelity either: mind you, neither was the CA98 (which I wasn't impressed by). I don't know why I didn't like the CA98, but it was a noisy store (especially near the CA98), so I need to re-test the CA98 on a quiet day and investigate the settings (maybe trying a reset).
Kind regards,
Doug.


If you can Doug I'd recommend going to gear4music showroom in York. Much less intense and less noisy than anywhere in Manchester from my experience. When I've gone it has been a day trip, but I think it is worthwhile.


Thanks for the tip, I'll do a day trip too.
Posted By: Bruce In Philly Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/04/19 02:17 PM
Doug... good commentary on the RD-2000. I own one. In short, I am very happy with the RD-2000 and I liked it's action over all others... but that is my taste as I came from an RD-600 prior. So... if I could just address a few items
1 - Headphones - the RD-2000's headphone amp is not great... it sounds cheap-transistor hard and frankly, a disappointment. I use an outboard headphone amp and very high quality headphones...this set up sounds fabulous. It is disappointing for me to have to use such a setup.
2 - Modeled piano (V-Piano) - I only use these sounds. I think they sound great. Do they sound like a real acoustic piano? No, but remember we are all now comparing a digital piano sound to the best pianos made. But they really work.... they don't get muddy with big chords and the like. and they are very expressive to me. They don't have great dynamic range and definitely are closed in. For this, I set touch to LIGHT but that changes the timbre as if you are pounding the keys. I contacted Roland and they said you can not change the dynamics alone. So I found ACO 3 which is big and dull sounding, set the board to LIGHT and did some more tweaking. Now I think I have a great piano sound. Unfortunately I had to tweak to get what I wanted. Another point for reference: I thought the modeled sounds in general from this board sounded more usable than the other boards I played.. I played all the major brands except the Nord 4. I found the Yamaha to sound artificial, the Kawai to be... good but odd.... etc. This is just me and something I don't fully understand but accept: these things sound different to different people.
3 - Tweakability - this RD-2000 can be tweaked beyond recognition... a good thing. With some work, I think you can get this thing to be what you want.
4 - Gigajillion sounds - yes it does.... as a geek, I found this appealing. As an amateur at home, I almost never use this stuff... just don't. Although, after a few Pilsner Urquells and with HER out of the house, it can be quite a blast surfing the sound banks.
5 - Action - definitely what I like, I found it to be about the best... my taste
6 - Ease of use. No. I don't even use the knobs as their function changes given the patch and that drives me nuts. If you use the menus, confusing at first, you will see an amazingly huge array of sound possibilities. The electric pianos have digital simulations of tons of classic effects such as space echo, phasers, and classic stomp boxes with all of their knobs and switches simulated in the menus. Cool if you like this stuff. Hard to use and find in the menus (can't use the knobs very well) but they are there and you can make these electric pianos sound like anything! Cool fun for a geek tweaker.

Overall, IMO, you can get the RD-2000 to sound and work like anything you want it to be (remember, I am not a pro but a home hack). It is just difficult and time consuming but it is all in there. The biggest downer for me is not being able to adjust the dynamics alone... if it had this, more of the piano sounds would be usable to me. But it is a very good board IF you put the time into it.

Peace
Bruce in Philly
Posted By: dhts Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/04/19 05:38 PM
Thanks to @Doug M for the extensive and helpful write up and to @KevinM and @Bruce in Philly.

I really liked the action on the CA78/98 but was less taken by the ES8 when I tried it which is why I finished up with the P515. I don't recall whether the MP11SE wasn't on my radar at the time of the purchase, was more than I wanted to spend, or was looking for a piano with onboard speakers.

I'm willing to believe there might be more in the RD2000 but as Doug and Bruce point out it's hard work finding out when you first sit down at it. I've had a couple of goes now on separate visits and get the same results each time.

Other than suffering from upgradeitis I should probably sit tight until the MP12 or whatever turns up which probably means I'll be buying a MP11SE shortly if I can actually find one to play. There's a rumour Gear4Music might have one on demo in York. If anybody knows where in the UK there is one ideally north of Birmingham and south of Preston please let me know.
Posted By: KevinM Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/04/19 05:51 PM
Originally Posted by dhts

Other than suffering from upgradeitis I should probably sit tight until the MP12 or whatever turns up which probably means I'll be buying a MP11SE shortly if I can actually find one to play. There's a rumour Gear4Music might have one on demo in York. If anybody knows where in the UK there is one ideally north of Birmingham and south of Preston please let me know.


gear4music York have a large range of DP on the showroom floor. When I first went they didn't have the MP11SE in stock or any in the showroom. Their website shows in stock if there is stock in any of their wharehouses (UK, Germany, Sweden) which is somewhat annoying until you know what to check. So I tested all the other DP on my long list. I went back 4 days later when they had them in stock in the UK. You can tell from estimated delivery time if they are in stock in the UK. Still nothing on the showroom floor but they brought one out for me and set it up to test properly.
Posted By: Sweelinck Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/04/19 10:04 PM
Quote

The Kawai ES8 SK pianos I used for comparison were IMO better than the CP88 CFX and Bosendorfer by quite a margin; whereas, the CLP685 CFX were certainly competitive.

The Nord Grand was rather stunning to look at up close. The piano sound fidelity is quite good on the Nord Grand. The samples (white grand and royal grand) are very nice; however, unfortunately, the Nord Piano samples aren't realistic IMO compared to Yamaha, Kawai, and Roland models. There is something unnatural about the Nord piano samples which isn't unpleasant, just not accurate. That said, if I had to chose between the Nord Grand and the CP88, I'd pick the Nord. The layout of the Nord is better too IMO.

The Nord Grand has the Kawai RH-3 action that is used in an ES8 or MP7SE, but with a couple of (likely minor) improvements that Nord found and Kawai implemented in the version of the action being supplied to Nord. I’m curious if you detected a difference in playability?
Posted By: Kawai James Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/05/19 01:41 AM
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
The Nord Grand has the Kawai RH-3 action that is used in an ES8 or MP7SE, but with a couple of (likely minor) improvements that Nord found and Kawai implemented in the version of the action being supplied to Nord.


I believe it's more a case of Clavia (the manufacturer of Nord instruments) requesting some modifications to the Kawai action, however these changes are not necessarily objective improvements.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: Sweelinck Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/05/19 04:56 AM
I am aware that Clavia is the company name. It was a Kawai employee who described the modifications to the RH-3 for the Nord Grand as improvements.
Posted By: Kawai James Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/05/19 05:11 AM
I see.

It's possible that you may have misinterpreted his explanation.

Again, the modifications that I am aware of may not necessarily be considered as improvements for all players.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: Doug M. Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/05/19 12:12 PM
Originally Posted by Kawai James
I see.

It's possible that you may have misinterpreted his explanation.

Again, the modifications that I am aware of may not necessarily be considered as improvements for all players.

Kind regards,
James
x


Hi KJ,

I played the Nord Grand and compared it to the ES8 next to it.
The Nord Grand RHIII feels lighter.

Kind regards,

Doug.
Posted By: Sweelinck Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/05/19 09:32 PM
Quote

IMO, this binaural sampling has shifted the goal posts, and I would like to see it on the stage pianos too.

This will not happen. Even having stereo samples is overkill for stage usage in a band or ensemble. If the manufacturer adds sample memory that could accommodate binaural samples, adding instead additional sounds like sampled synthesizers, vintage keyboards, other acoustic instruments, etc increases its utility as a stage piano, Binaural samples don’t increase utility as a stage instrument.

I’ve seen critiques of the Kawai ES8 or MP7SE as being a bit dated, but my opinion is that they still are ahead of their competitors in the stage and portable piano product spaces, which is why I own an MP7SE. They are a bit on the heavy side for playing out, perhaps the only significant advantage of the Nord Grand. I like Nord products, especially the organs, but Nord pianos have never been my cup of tea.

Regarding Roland user interfaces— I think they are atrocious. Patches are not curated— in some products they just throw over a thousand or thousands of sounds from their library into a keyboard and leave it up to the player to find the good ones. Some sounds are quite dated, small samples that don’t cost them much to throw in. I think some customers adopt the attitude that more is better, but if the sounds are properly curated, less is more.
Posted By: spanishbuddha Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/06/19 07:07 AM
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Quote

IMO, this binaural sampling has shifted the goal posts, and I would like to see it on the stage pianos too.

This will not happen. Even having stereo samples is overkill for stage usage in a band or ensemble. If the manufacturer adds sample memory that could accommodate binaural samples, adding instead additional sounds like sampled synthesizers, vintage keyboards, other acoustic instruments, etc increases its utility as a stage piano, Binaural samples don’t increase utility as a stage instrument.

Still leaves portable pianos for home use for potential use.
Posted By: peterws Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/06/19 03:17 PM
Would a portable home/stage P515 for example, have the same binaural samples as the CLP equivalent? Or might they be damped down a tad . . . . .for stage suitability?
Posted By: Doug M. Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/06/19 04:36 PM
Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
The Nord Grand has the Kawai RH-3 action that is used in an ES8 or MP7SE, but with a couple of (likely minor) improvements that Nord found and Kawai implemented in the version of the action being supplied to Nord.


I believe it's more a case of Clavia (the manufacturer of Nord instruments) requesting some modifications to the Kawai action, however these changes are not necessarily objective improvements.

Kind regards,
James
x


Hi Sweelinck & KJ,

Agreed!

Although the Nord action was lighter, I didn't feel it was any kind of improvement from a pianists perspective; however, I can quite understand why a board designed for gigging would be designed with a lighter action---i.e., something better for organ and synth work.

I feel that for being at home playing the piano, the ES8/MP7SE is a better weight: you feel more control over the dynamics.

Kind regards,

Doug.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/06/19 04:43 PM
Originally Posted by peterws
Would a portable home/stage P515 for example, have the same binaural samples as the CLP equivalent? Or might they be damped down a tad . . . . .for stage suitability?


Hi Peter,

The CP88 very definitely feels like a car stripped of its interior and creature comforts in order to go rally racing. It's not quite as well thought out as the Nord Grand, but you can see that Yamaha are definitely trying to jump on that market.

I think if Yamaha wanted to create another stage/portable board to target a different market, what they should do is meld the Yamaha Genos with a NXW action, make sure it has Binaural sampling and string resonance and further, place a large FM synthesis knob from the Montage. They could charge $3500 for such a board easily, and it would capture a different type of player: one that wants top workstation tech, arranger capability and authentic piano.

That said, simply adding the NXW to the Montage isn't a bad idea. I really like what Roland have done with the new Fantom 8: i.e., having a PHA50 action making the workstation pianist friendly.

Kind regards,

Doug.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/06/19 05:05 PM
Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Quote

IMO, this binaural sampling has shifted the goal posts, and I would like to see it on the stage pianos too.

This will not happen. Even having stereo samples is overkill for stage usage in a band or ensemble. If the manufacturer adds sample memory that could accommodate binaural samples, adding instead additional sounds like sampled synthesizers, vintage keyboards, other acoustic instruments, etc increases its utility as a stage piano, Binaural samples don’t increase utility as a stage instrument.

Still leaves portable pianos for home use for potential use.


Hi Sweelinck,

People own stage pianos because they gig; however, many pianist musicians cannot afford a second instrument for their home use and for practice. By adding binaural sampling to the stage instrument, it appeals to two markets: gigging and home use, meaning that the instrument as a whole seems more versatile. Of course, you can still add a mono sound or a piano sound designed to specifically cut through the mix.

The futuristic hybrid digital piano (stage & home aspects) IMO has to have a careful melding of live user-interface, and great piano action along with options for home piano and stage piano sounds. I'm not sure anybody has fully pulled this off yet, but I did opt for the Kawai MP7 because it's user interface is gig friendly.

There are aspects of many digital instruments I like: The RD2000 has this 8 slider system (although this could be further refined). That's quite nice. Kawai has this sound bank system which really is easy to trawl through sounds to find the correct one, as well as store your presets. The Nord Grand has very nice effects sections which are easy to control on the fly. Workstations seem to have better synth controls and a big touch screen.

If I had a clean sheet of paper and were to design a board myself, I'd go for a hybrid piano / organ that has two ranks: the lower rank would have a full graded hammer action weighted keyboard, and one top fold-out rank would have an organ waterfall keyboard. I'd have a retractable slanting control panel (that opens out to look something like the Nord Grand's) that also retracts back to a flat surface for when you're moving it.

The trick with making such a hybrid board would be to save weight in construction but make the thing very sturdy: maybe some composites could be used. I'd have the second rank (organ keyboard) fold in for when you finish the set and move on.

I've always wanted to see someone attempt to make a stage piano / organ hybrid that folds up for easy transport. You could even create a portable pedal board for those who want to play bass sometimes as well as having piano pedals.

I guess it all depends on how you market such a beast. Often I think the reason more versatile instruments aren't made is that it is harder to market an instrument that crosses several market segments whilst keeping costs low. You're going to be asking more money for such a versatile instrument, so it really has to win on several fronts in order to attract top bands and wealthy amateurs to purchase such an instrument.

Kind regards,

Doug.
Posted By: Sweelinck Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/06/19 08:43 PM
Quote

People own stage pianos because they gig; however, many pianist musicians cannot afford a second instrument for their home use and for practice. By adding binaural sampling to the stage instrument, it appeals to two markets: gigging and home use, meaning that the instrument as a whole seems more versatile. Of course, you can still add a mono sound or a piano sound designed to specifically cut through the mix.

I agree, but I’ll be surprised if it happens. I don’t play with headphones generally so it would not matter to me.
Posted By: djvu10 Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/07/19 01:52 AM
I think if Yamaha wanted to create another stage/portable board to target a different market, what they should do is meld the Yamaha Genos with a NXW action, make sure it has Binaural sampling and string resonance and further, place a large FM synthesis knob from the Montage. They could charge $3500 for such a board easily, and it would capture a different type of player: one that wants top workstation tech, arranger capability and authentic piano.

Isn't the Genos, with its crappy action, already around $6k?
The Yamaha CVP series are supposed to combine arranger with "authentic" piano... Even with less-than-great actions, they start at $6k and go to $15k
It's much cheaper for me to have multiple keyboards for home and for gigging.
Posted By: stemPianist Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/07/19 07:50 PM
Where I wound up is RD2000 midi controlling a NS3.
Really like the RD2000 action, but in my opinion sounds are average.
Meanwhile, I like the Nord samples but not the keybed.
Sometimes for variety I will play the RD2000 alone. If I want to customize a really creative piano sound, its great.
So, basically, I "built my own" stage setup.
Although, this is not really cost or space effective.
Posted By: Sweelinck Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/08/19 09:41 PM
Originally Posted by Doug M.

Actually, I prefer the V-piano experience to playing piano on the RD2000.

If you look at the specs for the RD2000 it says sound engine 1 is/uses V-Piano technology, not that it is the V-Piano sound engine. They are different piano engines.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: Limitations of Stage Pianos - 12/10/19 01:12 PM
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Originally Posted by Doug M.

Actually, I prefer the V-piano experience to playing piano on the RD2000.

If you look at the specs for the RD2000 it says sound engine 1 is/uses V-Piano technology, not that it is the V-Piano sound engine. They are different piano engines.


Hi Sweelinck,

Yes, and I seem to recall, it goes further than that...

I have the hazy memory of a thread that stated that not only were the sound chips different but also the internal hardware. I'm sure that in some thread in the past, multiple DSPs within the V-piano were talked about. One wonders if the V-piano sounds better because it's using parallel processing and thus doing more calculations, even though the more modern RD2000 has a sound engine devoted to this modelling and probably has faster processors individually? Don't know if anybody has a better recall. I am quite interested to know exactly what the internal hardware differences are.

I tried searching for the thread I thought I'd read, however, all I can find currently comparing the Roland internals is from the below:

To summarize: 25/01/2019

Originally Posted by JayGVan


Here's what I know.

The Central processor that runs the HP-LX version of Fully Modelled SuperNatural is a Roland designed processor called BMC, which stands for Behaviour Modelling Core. The power of this chip is derived from its design purpose. Behaviour Modelling. The same BMC is used THREE times in the SYSTEM-8 Synthesizer. One BMC for each Modelled engine. The SYSTEM-8 comes with the SYS-8, Jupiter-8 and JUNO-106 engines preinstalled.

My speculation is that the RD-2000 will run on a minimum of 2, and possibly even 3 BMC engines.

i think at least One will be dedicated to the V-Piano engine, one for the SuperNatural (Sample+Modelling) engine, and one for the Axial Expansions.

There might also be an SSC (Sound System on a chip, Which is the processor that ran the Sampling+Modelling SuperNatural engine) on the mainboard. But the Samples probably interface with one of the BMC's.

There will probably also be another SSC where the Axial expansions go to when they're loaded. They will probably also interface through another BMC...

The reason I think that there might be three BMC's plus SSC's on board is the fact that you can have a patch remain (smooth transition) between tone changes. That takes a lot of power.

Keep in mind, I haven't seen the mainboard of an RD-2000. This is based on more than a decade of being deeply involved with the Roland Piano, and is all just supposition.

But it is very educated supposition.

Jay


That' doesn't tell us much. There are threads describing the Physis piano using parallel processing.

Also, what about the headphone amp in the V-piano? Maybe that's of higher quality!

Kind regards,

Doug.
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