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NAMM: Kawai VPC1 Virtual Piano Controller
Old 19th January 2013
  #1
GS
 
Graham~'s Avatar
 
6 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
NAMM: Kawai VPC1 Virtual Piano Controller



A virtual piano controller from a real piano company

Kawai proudly introduces the VPC1, featuring unparalleled keyboard action realism, impressive hardware/software flexibility, stunning piano-like design, and strong backing from the industry’s leading developers. The VPC1 is a professional MIDI keyboard controller developed especially for use with virtual piano software. This unique product – the first of its kind from any musical instrument manufacturer – draws upon Kawai’s 85 years of knowledge and experience crafting the world’s finest acoustic and digital pianos, to deliver the ultimate virtual piano experience for the home, studio, and stage.

Looking for Kawai's RM3 wooden-key action in a fully-featured stage piano with 27 ultra high-quality sounds, including Ultra Progressive Harmonic Imaging grand pianos? Be sure to see our Kawai MP10 Professional Stage Piano BUNDLES.

Main Features
  • Ultra-realistic ‘RM3 Grand II’ wooden-key keyboard action
  • Triple-pedal accessory (included)
  • USB and standard MIDI IN/OUT connectivity
  • Built-in ‘approved touch curve’ settings for popular virtual piano packages
  • VPC Editor software
  • Attractive piano-like chassis design, detachable music rest
  • High quality aluminium, steel, and wood construction

At the heart of the VPC1 is Kawai’s latest ‘RM3 Grand II’ wooden-key keyboard action, which combines realistic materials, motion, and mechanism to recreate the exceptional touch of the finest concert grand pianos.



All eighty-eight of the VPC1’s keys are crafted from long pieces of wood, with finely textured ivory-like surfaces applied to absorb moisture and assist playing control. Aside from these authentic materials, the class-leading VPC1 keyboard action boasts a number of additional acoustic piano-like characteristics, such as naturally smooth ‘seesaw’ key movement, staggered balance pins for black and white keys, grade-weighted hammers, bass key counter-weights, and let-off simulation. The ‘RM3 Grand II’ keyboard action also boasts a new triple-sensor key detection system, improving repetition speed and responsiveness, and allowing a greater range of expressive control from staccato to legato playing.

Complementing the VPC1’s ultra-realistic ‘RM3 Grand II’ keyboard action is the included F-30 triple pedal accessory. This sturdily-built unit recreates the functionality of the damper, sostenuto, and soft pedals of a grand piano, allowing discerning musicians to take full advantage of the unlooped sustain and stunning modelled resonances found in modern virtual piano packages.

The VPC1 connects to a Mac or PC using a single USB cable, drawing its power directly from the computer, and doing away with unnecessary power cables. Standard MIDI IN/OUT connectors are also provided, allowing the VPC1’s outstanding keyboard action to control hardware MIDI devices such as sound modules, workstations, or microsynths. It is even possible to combine both USB and standard MIDI communication, controlling software and hardware instruments simultaneously from the same keyboard.

Most MIDI keyboard controllers require a degree of customisation in order to perform effectively with different virtual piano packages. This typically takes the form of manual ‘touch curve’ adjustments and a considerable amount of trial and error.

However the VPC1 has been developed to offer a seamless ‘connection’ between piano keyboard and software sound ‘out of the box’, with Kawai partnering with leading virtual piano developers to establish the ‘Approved Touch Curve’ program. Under this initiative, Kawai’s experienced keyboard engineering team prepare custom touch curves that are optimised for the ‘RM3 Grand II’ keyboard action, then tested by the developers using their own VPC1 before receiving final approval. The VPC1 ships with ‘Approved Touch Curves’ for Ivory, Pianoteq, Galaxy, and Alicia’s Keys packages. Virtual piano software developers are invited to join the ‘Approved Touch Curve’ program, and collaborate with Kawai to ensure that VPC1 owners can enjoy the most realistic, responsive playing experience with their latest package.



While the VPC1 is designed to offer an unrivalled ‘out of the box’ experience, Kawai also understands that many virtual pianists and software musicians enjoy customising every aspect of their setup. For these users, the VPC1 includes a dedicated software editor, providing greater control over touch curves, key velocity offsets, and advanced MIDI routing. Individual setups can be created for different scenarios, stored to one of the VPC1’s five memory presets, and recalled without a computer using a simple key assignment.

Clearly the VPC1 has been developed for one thing and one thing only: to deliver the finest virtual piano playing experience. This philosophy is reflected in the board’s design, with the VPC1 adopting a classic, smart, and professional appearance. There are no knobs, faders, or wheels to distract the virtual pianist from their performance, just a power button and eighty-eight smoothly finished black and white keys. And finally, serving as an elegant demonstration of Kawai’s rich acoustic piano heritage, the VPC1 also includes something that all other MIDI controllers overlook: a detachable music rest – allowing ambitious players to perform century-old masterpieces using the very latest software and hardware piano technology.

Kawai VPC1 – finally, a virtual piano controller from a real piano company.

Street price: $1,849.00 (tbc)

Link : Kawai VPC - A virtual piano controller from a real piano company.
Old 19th January 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
dbjp's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Could be a very nice piece to have in the studio.
Keeping fingers crossed on the price!
Old 19th January 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Mind-Over-Midi's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Interesting.


Old 20th January 2013
  #4
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Wow!

Real wood keybed'ed MIDI controller - real game chenger for serious players, but not for gigging musicians. I guess, that thing will be 28 kg / 61.72 lbs Yes. I am proud MP8 owner

P. S. As i know, KAWAI is ONLY real wood keybed producer on the market. No, Yamaha has only part of wood in their stage piano actions.
Old 20th January 2013
  #5
Lives for gear
 
santibanks's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
If this is one of their wooden keyboards, sold as a controller, then I'm in! Love my ES4 and still have the MP8 on my wishlist…
Old 20th January 2013
  #6
Lives for gear
 
eightyeightkeys's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 20 years
Luvin this news.
My ol' PC88 is on it's last legs with controllers that are intermittent and/or sending tons of extraneous data and a Mod Wheel that is a total schizo (already been replaced a couple of times before)...oh ! and a sustain pedal that needs a nap every few minutes.
The feel of the PC88 was never very good anyway...not a real hammer action at all...but, at the time, it was the best.
I hope the Kawaii has some knobs and faders ?
Old 20th January 2013
  #7
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
About ****ing time!
Old 20th January 2013
  #8
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Anyone know the amount of keys? I have no space for another 88 key keyboard.
Old 20th January 2013
  #9
Lives for gear
 
popmann's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Are you kidding? Of course it's 88. Why would an authentic piano action be another size?
Old 20th January 2013
  #10
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by popmann ➡️
Are you kidding? Of course it's 88. Why would an authentic piano action be another size?
88 key midi controller seems a bit over kill maybe?
Plus a size issue
Old 20th January 2013 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambience ➡️
88 key midi controller seems a bit over kill maybe?
Plus a size issue
Seems like the perfect size for a virtual piano controller. You do know that pianos have 88 keys don't you?

Besides. there's umpteen smaller controllers by a wide range of manufacturers if you want a smaller one and virtually no quality 88 key controllers available.
Old 20th January 2013
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Wolf LeProducer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
This makes perfect sense imho, "you don't need knobs with touch screens." However, "a fine keyboard, is a fine keyboard, is a fine keyboard."
Old 20th January 2013
  #13
Lives for gear
 
littledoodler's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
This might turn out to be an interesting Namm
Old 20th January 2013
  #14
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
finally!!! why did this take so long? sure buy
Old 20th January 2013
  #15
Lives for gear
 
dbjp's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
If their other electric piano offerings are to go by, this will be expensive..
But might not have any competition so might be justified...
Old 20th January 2013
  #16
Gear Nut
 
maku's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Will this work with their existing electric pianos. I have a CA-93 that I love.

How does it actually differ from just playing it via midi?
Old 20th January 2013
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Of course it will be 88 keys ! It's a virtual PIANO controller, from a respected PIANO company.

Hope it will be priced right, because I'm in the market for it !

Just hope they will add modwheel and pitchbend too.
Old 20th January 2013
  #18
GS
 
Graham~'s Avatar
 
6 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Slash ➡️
Just hope they will add modwheel and pitchbend too.
Not from what I hear!

Its a dedicated piano controller firstly and lastly.

Graham
Old 20th January 2013 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grahamdwc ➡️
Not from what I hear!

Its a dedicated piano controller firstly and lastly.

Graham
Well, I guess mouse+automation is our friend heh.

Thanks for the clarification.
Old 20th January 2013
  #20
GS
 
Graham~'s Avatar
 
6 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
A little something to fill a gap.....doughnuts and keys.

Old 20th January 2013
  #21
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
no need for a modwheel and triggers but i have the need for a controller where a pianist finally says "yeah its great" rather than "yea i can work with it dont worry"
Old 20th January 2013 | Show parent
  #22
Registered User
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grahamdwc ➡️
A little something to fill a gap.....doughnuts and keys.

Now this look very interesting..

I had a Kawai M8000 for years... IMO the best PIANO controller available of that era.
Old 20th January 2013 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grahamdwc ➡️
A little something to fill a gap.....doughnuts and keys.

Holy shit, looks TASTY ! Give it to me !
Old 20th January 2013 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Mind-Over-Midi's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grahamdwc ➡️
Not from what I hear!

Its a dedicated piano controller firstly and lastly.

Graham

Man, I hate when manufactures do this! It may be a dedicated piano controller, but no matter how you try to pretend that it's not, it's still a midi controller as well. Sometimes one may need to control something besides a piano sound. Rant over.
Anyway, from the photo posted this thing looks very top shelf considering it's intended use! Can't wait to try it out!



Old 21st January 2013
  #25
Registered User
 
laughingbear's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years


In the market for a new 88keys controller, this is hard news. Show me one virtual composer who does work only with Piano sounds, ok they might exist, but seriously most of us use extensive orchestral and / or hybrid libraries for composition, hence there is an inevitable need for modwheel and pitch controller. Take the spitfire audio libs, just as one example, you can not use this controller in the intended and meaningful way with them.

So pretty please KAWAI, do consider something to be able to expand with modwheel and pitch controller of same built quality.
Old 21st January 2013
  #26
Registered User
 
🎧 20 years
personally, i much rather buy a controller that can do one thing GREAT vs your typical swiss army knife controllers with everything included but the kitchen sink....and end up sucking at every tasks like 99% of all the new crop of controllers out there.

Maybe companies should think about making these controllers in separate modules..like a great 88 keys then have the option of adding a motorised fader pack, a touch sensitive rotary pack etc....
Old 21st January 2013
  #27
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Hello chaps,

I've been following this thread closely with interest, so thought I'd register in order to contribute to the discussion.

To be honest, this is a tricky one. There is a large group of musicians that wish to focus solely on piano playing with a first class keyboard action. However, there is an equally large group of musicians that desire a first class action but also require pitchbend/mod wheels, and then probably a separate group who need knobs and faders etc.

Unfortunately, it's very difficult to please everyone.

As others have stated, there are plenty of 'do everything' controllers out there, but few have a professional-quality keyboard action. Therefore, we decided to produce a controller with the emphasis squarely on the keyboard action, intended primarily for use with virtual piano software. However, because of the VPC's minimal design, there's plenty of space on top for extra MIDI surfaces, or an additional semi-weighted board etc. - the recently announced LaunchKey from Novation being an excellent example.

Well, I hope this helps to clarify our intended direction. If you have any queries about this new board please just let me know.

Cheers,
James
x
Old 21st January 2013 | Show parent
  #28
Registered User
 
laughingbear's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawai James ➡️
Hello chaps,

I've been following this thread closely with interest, so thought I'd register in order to contribute to the discussion.
Cool! Hi James,

Suggestion, please, it is really a doodle, design an angled pitchbend, modwheel controller that can be secured above the lowest keys on top, or as an extension to the left side of the board, which I would prefer personally. If the material is wood, allow for screws, if not, plenty of other workable design options to secure the controller there. Superfluous to say, make it as sturdy and reliable as the rest of the design.

Your advantage is obvious. I am happy to pay extra for that, I am sure I am not alone.

As for knobs, nope, personally I need no knobs on my orchestration board. It is all about playability my ever explanding Spitfire libraries and others require.

Without a solution for mod/pitch, it is no solution for me, as much as I would like this board. Hell I would order this Kawai without playing it first, and you guys are pretty much the only company I would buy a hardware product blindfold from.

Best wishes
Georg
Old 21st January 2013
  #29
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Hello Georg,

Thank you for the suggestion. Actually, you're not the first person to recommend a standalone pitchbend+modulation wheel accessory, and I doubt you'll be the last.

This would certainly be a niche accessory for an already highly niche product, however I will certainly pass on your suggestions to the VPC development team.

Many thanks!

Cheers,
James
x
Old 21st January 2013 | Show parent
  #30
Registered User
 
laughingbear's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawai James ➡️
Hello Georg,

Thank you for the suggestion. Actually, you're not the first person to recommend a standalone pitchbend+modulation wheel controller, and I doubt you'll be the last.

This is surely a highly niche accessory for an already highly niche product, however I will certainly pass on your suggestions to the VPC development team.

Many thanks!

Cheers,
James
x
Thanks for doing this, and by all means, please do include the responsible VP-Sales-Global, or similar, as he/she would have to be convinced and ultimately sign that.
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