I have a (now rather old) Yamaha P100 88-key weighted keyboard, and I was wondering what folks opinions would be in relation to using this with the new Garritan authorised Steinway?
Up until now I have never used the keyboard with any other external voices in real-time, but have always found the internal P100 voices to be completely unsatisfying, so mostly went back to playing my real upright.
However have listened to the GAS demos, and am completely blown away by what I hear. Sampling has come a long way!
My main concern is whether the dynamics etc of the P100 will do sufficient justice to it. I'm not expecting the thing to play like a "real" Steinway of course, but I suppose this is the same sort of question as audio buffs face when pairing speakers with an amplifier! I have no idea what the true velocity 'resolution' / dynamic range of the P100 actually is.
Also, I am using an Edirol UM-1SX midi to usb converter between the P100 and computer (which is a new dual core notebook with 4gb ram running Vista). Any opinions regarding the latency of UM1 for real-time playing?
all MIDI compliant controllers theoretically should send MIDI velocity values of 0 to 127. That's the full range that midi is capable of. So, to answer your question, the p100 should send the full range of velocities that the steinway library is expecting. 0 to 127 is the standard, and all libraries and controllers are supposed to abide by that.
Why I'm writing in ambiguous terms is because sometimes due to mechanical problems, or just bad quality control, specific controllers do not send out full 0-127. Sometimes the manufacturers have built the unit so it's hard to send low velocity (forcing you to play unrealistically light) or the other way around. These are case by case things, and can't be generalized.
There are several ways you can configure these things. First you set it up on the keyboard side, and then tweak it on the sampler side. My p-250 has touch response settings of low, medium, and high. I usually use high. (I'm guessing these settings come standard on all Yamaha P series?) Then, on the sampler side, you can apply whatever curve you need to, to match up with what feels "right" for you. These are all compromises, but you can end up with good results.
Some people have said that some controllers send the velocities in bands Something like hitting the keys with force equal to 10-20 would all send the same velocity and sound the same.
I have no information about specific keyboards though.
well, I certainly hope Yamaha didn't interpret the MIDI standard that way.. I'm pretty sure most controllers don't send in bands. (I have heard of rumors too, forgot what model) Still, doesn't hurt to make sure your p100 isn't doing that.
I've got the UM-1SX and it works very well with my laptop and midi, with very acceptable latency. There's a button on it's side, and I always leave the Advanced Driver set to ON.
If you have any sequencing software, even if it's not hooked up to anything, you could record midi info into it, playing soft thru hard, then open the list editor to see what range of velocities you get with your Yamaha. There is a free utility, which I saw on another post, that's supposed to allow you to set velocities thru software. I don't know how well it works. I'm planning on giving it a try myself because my Yamaha P60 doesn't have a very wide velocity range. Try a search here for 'midiyoke' if you're interested.
I use a Yamaha P-60 also and I've found that while it can send minimum and maximum velocity messages that is most responsive from ca. 20-25 up to ca. 107. That's purely anecdotal and non-scientific testing called "playing piano libraries while staring at the GVI edit screen" from a couple days ago.
For me it's worth the trade-off because having auditioned many others (including multi-thousand dollar keyboards from several manufacturers) there was just one that had a touch that my girlfriend (a piano performance major) and I preferred. That was the Roland RD-700 series. That costs roughly 5 times what I payed for the P60 and I would only use it as a MIDI controller, so...
I'm a big fan of the Yamaha P60 myself. I originally bought it for live keyboard work- it has a solid piano sound, the action is pretty precise, it doesn't break the bank, it looks good, and it's only 36 pounds.
Just recently, I started using it as a controller, and coupled with a control surface, like a UC-33, it can cover most of the bases IMO. It's velocity range is pretty good. I imagine the other P-series keyboards, like the P100, might very well be respectable controllers as well.
FWIW my Yamaha S90ES sends only alternative midi velociites from 1 - 127 .. (ie, 60,62,64,66 etc with a few sequentials so it can do the odd numbers at top and bottom ) ..
I presume the company thought we wouldn't need all of them! If I'd known I may well not have bought it - especially as this approach in other areas causes digital stepping noises when using the onboard slides and increasing volume of certain sounds. Perhaps this is typical of Yamaha keyboards ?
Are there keyboards that send out the full 127 velocities ?