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Topic: Need Advice: Joystick Modulation and GPO

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  1. #1

    Need Advice: Joystick Modulation and GPO

    I'm seriously considering purchasing a Fatar StudioLogic VMK188 controller keyboard (see the specifications here). I'll be using it with GPO and Synthogy Ivory.

    The only potential problem I see is that this controller uses a modulation joystick rather than a modulation wheel. Based on the reviews I have read, the joystick centers itself automatically when it is released, and modulation is hard-assigned to the joystick (in other words, it can't be reassigned).

    I'm wondering if this will cause problems with GPO, since it uses the modulation wheel to control volume. Will I have to constantly hold the joystick in place to achieve a consistent volume while playing? Seems rather tedious.

    This is all rather frustrating, really. I'm a classical pianist by training, and it seems like every time that I find a keyboard with the sort of heavy, graded action that I'm looking for, some other feature is lacking or less than ideal.

    Advice and suggestions greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

    Re: Need Advice: Joystick Modulation and GPO

    Another option is get whatever weighted action Kboard you like, and also purchase a cheap 2 octave KB with a good mod wheel and lots of knobs.
    Iuse a Yamaha P90 piano, and an M-Audio oxygen8. Those extra knobs come in very handy with garritan products.
    regards

  3. #3

    Re: Need Advice: Joystick Modulation and GPO

    I would like to second that suggestion... although my setup is slightly older<G>!

    I use the Roland/Rhodes MK80 as my main 88 note keyboard, and an Oberheim xK for a nice synth/organ type keyboard. Sadly, both have self-centering mod wheels (joystick on the Roland, paddles on the Oberheim.)

    So, I use a Yamaha MCS-2 for my mod wheel, as well as some additional controllers. It even has the breath controller input! These can be found for peanuts on eBay.

    The thing is, when it comes to selecting a keyboard, if you are accustomer to playing keyboards then the feel really ought to be the first priority. Anything else can be fixed.

    M-Audio is just one company offering these smaller keyboard with extra knobs and sliders.

    Bill

    PS- the MCS-2 also has a MIDI merge feature, and filters for all sorts of MIDI messages. It really is a great little tool!

  4. #4

    Re: Need Advice: Joystick Modulation and GPO

    Another solution (that i haven't tested, so i don't know if it works) is to use an ordinary PC gamecontroller... Joystick or whatever.
    I found a util that can convert controller axes to midievents.

    Of course, a joystick is selfcentering too. But if you have a throttlecontrol on it you'll have one noncentering control. (A joystick with throttle and no other fancy stuff can be bought for almost nothing).

    Look here: http://www.tobybear.de/p_mcc.html


    Going to test it myself now that i have a midikeyboard. Can always use a couple of extra midicontrollers.

  5. #5
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    Re: Need Advice: Joystick Modulation and GPO

    You might want to checkout the CME-UF8 88 key piano weighted controller which sells for around $600 and it not only has a good mod wheel it also has nine assignable sliders and eight assignable knobs.

    Tom

  6. #6
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Need Advice: Joystick Modulation and GPO

    Here is another alternative anyone can give a shot that a local tech showed me. On my Edirol PCR-50 I have taken the "spring" out that causes the joystick to return abruptly to zero out. If you are not mechanically confident I would suggest asking a tech to do it for you. The end result is the same as a wheel. You must manually zero it out and you get very near the same control if not the same as a wheel.
    If you feel you can do the work, here is a little guide and some things to remember when doing surgery on your controller.
    1. Disconnect from your interface. Turn off power, unplug and disconnect all cords from the unit. Turn the unit over with the bottom side facing up. Take a good look at the screws on the bottom and determine which set holds the casing and which holds the circuit board and keys. On the Edirol it is the outside set of screws furthest to the edge of the casing that is to be unfastened. The inside screws hold the circuit board and should not be touched.
    2. Unscrew the outside screws until they are totally free yet leave them in place if you can. After all the screws are loosen, carefully lift the bottom off the top of the unit until the you can see the joystick. The joystick is upside down and you should see a small spring. If there are more than one spring, motion the joystick as you would for modulation until you see the one that governs the modulation sequence.
    3. After determining the right spring, use a small "needle nose" pliers and carefully lift the spring from its position taking care you do not force it off the plastic pins that hold it in place. The spring should be on with slight tension and not screwed in place. If screwed on, be careful not to lose any screws into the unit.
    4. When spring removal is complete carefully return the bottom and top of the keyboard to it's seating position and secure. Make sure no wires or anything is protruding from the sides before you tighten the screws. Do not force the screws too tight or you run the risk of cracking the housing especially if it is plastic.
    5. Reconnect the controller as before and test the joystick. You should find it works just like any modulation wheel. Although I must concur that a wheel gives you a wider throw. The joystick is a bit tighter.

    This takes a bit of time and patients and for pete sake if you feel any doubt upon executing this procedure ... call a technician!
    Styxx

  7. #7
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Need Advice: Joystick Modulation and GPO

    BUMP!
    I received several emails pertaining to this topic and my suggested cure. Let me note that this procedure should be done only AFTER your warranty is up. Also, that it can be reversed when ever you feel the need.

    Here is another alternative anyone can give a shot that a local tech showed me. On my Edirol PCR-50 I have taken the "spring" out that causes the joystick to return abruptly to zero out. If you are not mechanically confident I would suggest asking a tech to do it for you. The end result is the same as a wheel. You must manually zero it out and you get very near the same control if not the same as a wheel.
    If you feel you can do the work, here is a little guide and some things to remember when doing surgery on your controller.
    1. Disconnect from your interface. Turn off power, unplug and disconnect all cords from the unit. Turn the unit over with the bottom side facing up. Take a good look at the screws on the bottom and determine which set holds the casing and which holds the circuit board and keys. On the Edirol it is the outside set of screws furthest to the edge of the casing that is to be unfastened. The inside screws hold the circuit board and should not be touched.
    2. Unscrew the outside screws until they are totally free yet leave them in place if you can. After all the screws are loosen, carefully lift the bottom off the top of the unit until the you can see the joystick. The joystick is upside down and you should see a small spring. If there are more than one spring, motion the joystick as you would for modulation until you see the one that governs the modulation sequence.
    3. After determining the right spring, use a small "needle nose" pliers and carefully lift the spring from its position taking care you do not force it off the plastic pins that hold it in place. The spring should be on with slight tension and not screwed in place. If screwed on, be careful not to lose any screws into the unit.
    4. When spring removal is complete carefully return the bottom and top of the keyboard to it's seating position and secure. Make sure no wires or anything is protruding from the sides before you tighten the screws. Do not force the screws too tight or you run the risk of cracking the housing especially if it is plastic.
    5. Reconnect the controller as before and test the joystick. You should find it works just like any modulation wheel. Although I must concur that a wheel gives you a wider throw. The joystick is a bit tighter.

    This takes a bit of time and patients and for pete sake if you feel any doubt upon executing this procedure ... call a technician!
    Styxx

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