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NAMM: Kawai VPC1 Virtual Piano Controller
Old 12th January 2014 | Show parent
  #331
Lives for gear
 
Mind-Over-Midi's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hay James, I hope all is well in your world! I know that the VPC1 is just meant to fill the roll of piano controller, but there is still a need for a full fledged MIDI controller with stellar action and I for one would still welcome a version of this keyboard that could fill that roll....just saying. My beloved Kurzweil Midi Board has finally died, after 25 years of great service and I'm now desperate for something to replace it.



Old 13th January 2014
  #332
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Mind-Over-Midi, yes I agree that there is some demand for a master controller with assignable knobs, faders, buttons, and an excellent keyboard action - let's see what the future holds. In the mean time, there is always the VPC1, which can be paired-up with one of the many awesome micro controllers available.

Cheers,
James
x
Old 16th January 2014 | Show parent
  #333
Lives for gear
 
cinealta's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawai James ➡️
I've yet to try the Roland A-88 for myself, however I am reasonably familiar with the RD-300NX and FP-4F which I believe utilise the same 'Ivory Feel-G' keyboard action. As a general purpose MIDI controller, I'm sure the A-88 performs very well. However, I believe it occupies a slightly different segment of the market to the VPC1, which is purely a piano focussed controller
I've tried the Kawai VPC1, Roland V-Piano, Roland RD-700NX, RD-300GX, Yamaha CP5, CP4 and FP-4F. No affiliation to any. Used to playing real grands (Steinway, Yamaha, Bosendorfer, Bluthner, Mason & Hamlin etc).

IMO, the Kawai VPC1 has the best action of them all. Just sold my RD-700NX to get the VPC1.

The Roland A-88 should not even be in the same conversation as the VPC1 or RD-700NX.
Old 16th January 2014 | Show parent
  #334
Lives for gear
 
cinealta's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawai James ➡️
First, it's perhaps worth noting that the VPC1 itself is fully compatible with OS X - just plug in via USB or standard MIDI and play.
Just curious why Kawai doesn't write a custom OSX driver for Mountain Lion (10.8) and Mavericks (10.9)? Is MIDI over USB just plug and play on OSX?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawai James ➡️
The 'VPC Editor' software however remains Windows only. An OS X version is definitely in development, however I'm afraid I cannot go into further detail at this point.
I urge Kawai to write a custom touch curve for Production Voices Production Grand (no affiliation). Thx
http://www.productionvoices.com/prod...ction-grand-2/

Eagerly awaiting the Mac OSX editor. Any update on its availability? Thx.
Old 16th January 2014 | Show parent
  #335
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinealta ➡️
Just curious why Kawai doesn't write a custom OSX driver for Mountain Lion (10.8) and Mavericks (10.9)? Is MIDI over USB just plug and play on OSX?
My understanding is that the built-in OSX USB-MIDI driver already works very well, so there's no need for a custom driver. I believe the only reason it is required under Windows is for the editor software to communicate asynchronously with the VPC1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cinealta ➡️
I urge Kawai to write a custom touch curve for Production Voices Production Grand (no affiliation). Thx
Production Grand Piano | ProductionVoices.com
Yes, I've heard Production Grand and it does sound terrific. A few VPC1 owners have already requested a custom touch curve for this package, so it's certainly on our radar for future developments. I'm afraid I cannot provide any concrete information at this time, however.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cinealta ➡️
Eagerly awaiting the Mac OSX editor. Any update on its availability? Thx.
Well, NAMM's only a week away...

Cheers,
James
x
Old 17th January 2014 | Show parent
  #336
Gear Maniac
 
Tommy D's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawai James ➡️
Yes, I've heard Production Grand and it does sound terrific. A few VPC1 owners have already requested a custom touch curve for this package, so it's certainly on our radar for future developments.
Old 20th January 2014 | Show parent
  #337
Lives for gear
 
cinealta's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Kawai James,

Just to clarify that the VPC1 is a triple sensor whereas the MP10 is only dual sensor? Also, is the VPC1 keyboard identical to the MP11 announced at NAMM? [Edit Kawai did not announce an MP11 at NAMM] Thx

Also, a suggestion for a potential future VPC2 is to make the top flat not curved even slightly. A laptop or smaller non-weighted controller could be put on top of the VPC if the top wasn't curved.
Old 20th January 2014 | Show parent
  #338
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Hello cinealata,

Quote:
Originally Posted by cinealta ➡️
Just to clarify that the VPC1 is a triple sensor whereas the MP10 is only dual sensor?
Yes, that's correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cinealta ➡️
Also, is the VPC1 keyboard identical to the MP11 announced at NAMM?
NAMM hasn't happened yet, so I'm afraid I cannot comment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cinealta ➡️
Also, a suggestion for a potential future VPC2 is to make the top flat not curved even slightly. A laptop or smaller non-weighted controller could be put on top of the VPC if the top wasn't curved.
Thank you for the suggestion.

I believe in reality, the slightly curved top surface is not an issue for most users. If they intend to place an additional non-weighted controller on top, it will typically have some rubber feet. If using a laptop, most users will probably place their computer in a proper laptop bracket or use an anti-slip cushion. In either case, the slight curve becomes a non-issue.

Kind regards,
James
x
Old 20th January 2014 | Show parent
  #339
Lives for gear
 
cinealta's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hello Kawai James,

To clarify, Kawai actions in order of best (eg longest pivot length etc) is?

1) Grand Feel (GF)
2) Realistic Materials (RM) 3
3) Responsive Hammer (RH) 2

Confirming that VPC1 and MP10 both have RM3 action? Only Concert Artist (CA) series has GF action?

Thanks for the info!
Old 21st January 2014 | Show parent
  #340
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinealta ➡️
To clarify, Kawai actions in order of best (eg longest pivot length etc) is?

1) Grand Feel (GF)
2) Realistic Materials (RM) 3
3) Responsive Hammer (RH) 2
Yes, this is largely correct. The GF action has a longer pivot distance than the RM3 Grand/RM3 Grand II action. The RHII action uses a completely different mechanism, so the pivot distance is not directly comparable to the other two.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cinealta ➡️
Confirming that VPC1 and MP10 both have RM3 action?
Yes, however the actions are different:
MP10: RM3 Grand
VPC1: RM3 Grand II
There is also the CA15 (not available in the US) which features the same RM3 Grand II action as the VPC1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cinealta ➡️
Only Concert Artist (CA) series has GF action?
The CA95/CA65 and CS10/CS7 are currently the only models to feature the GF action.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,
James
x
Old 21st January 2014 | Show parent
  #341
Lives for gear
 
Gemylon's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinealta ➡️
I urge Kawai to write a custom touch curve for Production Voices Production Grand (no affiliation). Thx
Production Grand Piano | ProductionVoices.com
I believe this curve is up to Production Voices to work out,
and It has come to my knowledge that they are working on it as we speak.

Please don't ask me when and how, I got no answers.
I just know it's going to happen.


G
Old 25th January 2014 | Show parent
  #342
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
NAMM opened yesterday, so I believe it's safe to post a quick update on this point:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Preen ➡️
Hi James
Is there any news on OSX compability? Are you guys working on it or is it just something that you want but haven't really started on developing yet?


Currently in beta testing...
Old 3rd March 2014
  #343
Lives for gear
 
kosi's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
so, any news on the mac editor ?
Old 7th March 2014 | Show parent
  #344
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kosi ➡️
so, any news on the mac editor ?
Well, Musikmesse is next week...
Old 23rd March 2014 | Show parent
  #345
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawai James ➡️
Destaana, just out of interest, may I ask what kind of interface you are using? Does it have rubber pads/cushions on the underside?

If not, something like these will do the job of keeping your interface stable, preventing it from slipping around, while protecting the VPC1's top surface from scratching.

x
Something like this applied directly to the top of the VPC-1 might not be too objectionable for most people, especially if done neatly. Maybe a 3/16 x 3/4 in. buna strip.
McMaster-Carr
Old 23rd March 2014 | Show parent
  #346
Lives for gear
 
kosi's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawai James ➡️
Well, Musikmesse is next week...
so, again, is there any news about the mac editor ?

the VPC1 is fantastic, btw
Old 24th March 2014 | Show parent
  #347
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kosi ➡️
so, again, is there any news about the mac editor ?
The Mac version of the VPC Editor was demo'd by Kawai Europe at Musikmesse a couple of weeks ago:



The software is currently in the bug-testing phase, and should be available for download soon.

Kind regards,
James
x
Old 2nd April 2014
  #348
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Good morning folks,

I'm delighted to announce that the VPC Editor software is now available for Mac OS X.

This software allows Mac users to adjust touch curves, velocity offsets, and other MIDI settings stored to the VPC1's internal memories. Here are some screenshots:

Touch Curve selection/organisation:


Touch Curve editing:


Velocity Offset editing:


MIDI settings/routing:


For more information and to download the editor software, please visit the Kawai VPC website at www.kawaivpc.com.

On behalf of everyone at Kawai, may I thank all those who have selected the VPC1 as their piano controller of choice, and a special thank you to Mac users who have remained patient during the editor's development.

If you have any queries regarding the VPC1 or the VPC Editor software, please feel free to raise them in this thread.

Kind regards,
James
x

ps. This software was actually uploaded yesterday (April 1st), however I opted to wait 24 hours before posting the announcement to ensure it was not misinterpreted as an April Fools' joke.
Old 2nd April 2014
  #349
Gear Addict
 
Sarrova's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Thank you!

The VPC is awesome, I NEVER had a piano controller this good and realistic.
The superb keyboard action in combination with dedicated touch curves make it the best choice for piano players.
I love it!

ps I was criticizing the lack of Pitch and Modulation wheel and the rounded top before, but now that I have it in front of me I understand those decisions.
This is one beautiful piano controller and I would change nothing to it.
A possible option is to make a separated 'control box' with pitch / modulation and a few faders and knobs maybe but for now I combine it with some other controllers.

I use mine with Galaxy Vintage D, but I'm looking forward to try other models too (the Ivory American D or maybe even VI Labs Ravenscroft if that one gets a curve too )
Thanks!
Old 2nd April 2014
  #350
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Thanks for the positive feedback Sarrova - always great to hear from another happy VPC1 user...and nice to know that you appreciate the design decisions now too.

Cheers,
James
x
Old 19th April 2014 | Show parent
  #351
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
problems with mac vpc1 editor

[QUOTE=Kawai James;9997673]



If you have any queries regarding the VPC1 or the VPC Editor software, please feel free to raise them in this thread.

Hi James
, I have just bought the VPC1 which is great but I am having no luck getting the software editor to recognize the Vpc1 on my Imac. I have tried using both midi out and usb midi out ( not plugged into a hub ) with the power supply on and still no luck . The Vpc1 is recognized by the mac OS 10.9 as it shows up in audio/midi and I can select it in logic and play sounds but when I try to sync with the editor software I always get a "failed to connect "message.

Very frustrating as I have tried everything , rebooting reinstalling etc...

Also I am using the Vpc 1 with Ravenscroft True keys , so when I do get it to work , is there a curve in the pipeline for it ?

Thanks ,

Charlie
Old 21st April 2014 | Show parent
  #352
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Hello Charlie,

Thank you your message.

First off, a point of clarification: the VPC Editor software will only function when the controller is connected via USB - the standard MIDI jacks cannot be used to edit the VPC's settings.

With that being said, if the VPC1 is working correctly and is transmitting MIDI data when the notes are played, I'm afraid I do not have any immediate suggestions to resolve this editor issue.

However, may I please ask you to provide information about your iMac configuration (date, spec, chipset etc.)? These details may help the software chaps to diagnose whatever is preventing the VPC1 and your iMac from communicating fully.

Kind regards,
James
x
Old 21st April 2014 | Show parent
  #353
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I'm curious to hear about the accuracy of the velocity tracking...anyone do a roll of pennies test on this board? James is there a story on the tech that makes it tick?

I have an ultra-heavy vax77 and after owning that I will never buy any other keyboard that isn't velocity perfect like the vax is. When the outputted velocities aren't a mess, I find it to be very easy to adjust to the action and the dynamics of each different patch.
Old 22nd April 2014
  #354
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
I'm sorry Ryan, but I'm afraid I don't understand your question.

Kind regards,
James
x
Old 22nd April 2014 | Show parent
  #355
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawai James ➡️
I'm sorry Ryan, but I'm afraid I don't understand your question.

Kind regards,
James
x
Just trying to understand if this and other newer kawai boards are offering an improvement in velocity tracking over where it has always been in the past.

By roll of pennies test I mean if I drop something of X weight, from X height on a key, will it output the same velocity everytime (like the vax) or will there be significant error like most keyboards. I've tested a number this way and have found that +/- 10 is fairly common!

Vax and Lachnit are the only two companies I know of that tout technologies that specifically addresses this, but that doesn't mean it hasn't been refined/improved by anyone else. Thanks James-
Old 23rd April 2014 | Show parent
  #356
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC ➡️
Just trying to understand if this and other newer kawai boards are offering an improvement in velocity tracking over where it has always been in the past.
Well, the current generation instruments feature triple-sensor key detection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC ➡️
By roll of pennies test I mean if I drop something of X weight, from X height on a key, will it output the same velocity everytime (like the vax) or will there be significant error like most keyboards.
It's not a test I'm familiar with, I'm afraid. However I know that the keyboard actions in Kawai instruments have always had a good reputation for full-range velocity response.

Cheers,
James
x
Old 21st May 2014 | Show parent
  #357
Lives for gear
 
Andrew Souter's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I just received a VPC1 last Friday. Excellent product! From such a product I wanted one thing and one thing only: as exact and precise control over dynamics and response as possible for solo piano performance/composition. I have other keyboards for pitch bend, mod-wheel, aftertouch etc for synths and orchestral libraries.

The build quality of the product is awesome. Seems to be built like a tank.

Initially I was slightly surprised by the weight of the keys. They felt heavier than expected to me. Certainly significantly heavier than my old Peavy DPM-C8, as well as the Kurzweil and Korg keyboards we have around the studio. (All of these use the Fatar action I guess?) The VPC1 also felt heavier to me than real-deal Yamaha C7s and Steinway Ds.

I tried the VPC1 with Ivory American D. The default (linear) touch curve seems too aggressive for the American D (it is hard to control soft pianissimos at any sort of moderate or faster tempos -- resulting note velocities are often too loud). The official Ivory curve is better, but IMHO, it is still not quite enough. The more extreme scooped/concave pow/exp/sigmoid curve in the Pianoteq curve (used with Ivory) seemed best IMHO for material like Listz, Chopin, and sparse new-age and film material. Eventually I made my own curve that is even more extreme than this, and it works well for my needs.

I should note, I am evaluating not only by what I hear, but also by looking at the resulting MIDI velocity data and trying to create a touch curve that gives me good control over the entire 0-127 range. I assume this to be the job of the VPC-1 and it is the job of the instrument developers to map 0-127 in reasonable ways (which I think the American D, does a truly excellent job of.) So regarding the VPC1, if I am playing pianissimo, can I reasonably control micro-dynamics within the 0-32 range? If I am playing mp, can I easily and consistently control between say 32-64, etc. How smoothly can I create a crescendo from 0 to 127, etc etc. That is the goal for me.

I noticed only yesterday there is now an MP11 out that uses the new GF action that is identical to the VPC1 action except for (significantly) longer pivots on the keys (correct?). I wonder:

1) does this result in the keys subjectively feeling lighter in any way?
2) does it help gain even more precise control on fast pianissimo passages?
3) will there be a VPC2 that uses this action?

Overall I find the VPC1 to be an amazing product. My questions are simply in pursuit of getting one micro step closer to perfection.
Old 22nd May 2014
  #358
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Hello Andrew,

Thank for your positive feedback - I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying the VPC1.

I shall attempt to answer your queries:

Quote:
1) does this result in the keys subjectively feeling lighter in any way?
Yes, some players have comment that the 'Grand Feel' action is a little lighter than the 'RM3 Grand II' action, largely due to the longer keys and key pivot. This is particularly noticeable when playing towards the 'back' of the keys.

Quote:
does it help gain even more precise control on fast pianissimo passages?
It's difficult for me to comment as my own playing technique is not terribly refined, however I expect that the 'Grand Feel' action is a little more responsive than 'RM3 Grand II' for the reasons outlined above.

Quote:
3) will there be a VPC2 that uses this action?
There are no immediate plans for a VPC2.

It's perhaps worth noting that not everyone appreciates the slightly lighter touch of the 'Grand Feel' action. Indeed, I know of some users who purchased the VPC1 over the MP11 due to its slightly heavier action. The touch-weight of a piano keyboard is highly subjective, but I believe most players will agree that both the VPC1 and MP11 offer the most realistic piano action available in a 'portable' instrument. Therefore the decision of which is better or more piano-like really depends on the individual's preferences.

Kind regards,
James
x
Old 22nd May 2014 | Show parent
  #359
Lives for gear
 
Andrew Souter's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks James.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawai James ➡️
Thank for your positive feedback - I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying the VPC1.
Yes, ultimately it's a stellar product and you guys should be very proud.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawai James ➡️
Yes, some players have comment that the 'Grand Feel' action is a little lighter than the 'RM3 Grand II' action, largely due to the longer keys and key pivot. This is particularly noticeable when playing towards the 'back' of the keys.
Hmm... I am quite interested in trying it now.

(I have the beginnings of some kind of RSI from the computer mouse in the right hand (too much time doing software/sound-ware/product development etc. myself) And the heaviness of the keys initialy seemed to bother it. But I switched mice last week too, and I suspect the new mouse is not good either which may actually be the culprit -- combined with a few gym sessions with weights where I forgot I was not 17 anymore and probably should have used lighter weights. :face palm: )

Objectively I think I can say the VPC-1 does feel safely on the heavier side of things, and I would be interested in comparing to the GF action just for comparison.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawai James ➡️
It's difficult for me to comment as my own playing technique is not terribly refined, however I expect that the 'Grand Feel' action is a little more responsive than 'RM3 Grand II' for the reasons outlined above.
I'm not quite Lang Lang or Glen Gould myself either, but it's always been challenging for MIDI controllers to obtain precise control and nuanced expression on soft passages, particularly at mid to fast tempos.

VPC1 is definitely the best I have tried so far, after editing the velocity curve. i am curious if the GF action takes things up another micro step in terms of control.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawai James ➡️
There are no immediate plans for a VPC2.
Seems a logical thing to do eventually...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawai James ➡️
It's perhaps worth noting that not everyone appreciates the slightly lighter touch of the 'Grand Feel' action. Indeed, I know of some users who purchased the VPC1 over the MP11 due to its slightly heavier action. The touch-weight of a piano keyboard is highly subjective, but I believe most players will agree that both the VPC1 and MP11 offer the most realistic piano action available in a 'portable' instrument. Therefore the decision of which is better or more piano-like really depends on the individual's preferences.
I agree that VPC1 is def the best I have personally tried. It really rocks. And after settling in on a custom curve, I am quickly getting used to the action.

Probably it is my very favorable opinion of the VPC1 that has me curious to compare to the MP11.

Does the curve editor work with the MP11?
Old 22nd May 2014
  #360
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Thank you once again for the positive feedback Andrew.

As I suggested to jp2011 in a separate thread, it may be worthwhile raising your articulation-related queries over on the Pianoworld forum, which is arguably more piano-oriented than GearSlutz.

Quote:
Does the curve editor work with the MP11?
No. At least, not yet.

Cheers,
James
x
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