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Topic: Keyboards: Hammer action or synth action?

  1. #1

    Keyboards: Hammer action or synth action?

    Hey! I\'ve been using a synth action keyboard ever since I started composing, but I\'m wondering if I should switch to hammer action. I\'ve read in some places that it\'s better to use hammer action for orchestral and piano samples, and in other places I\'ve heard it\'s better to use synth action. I do find, however, that it\'s much easier to play piano sounds on hammer action, although my hands get tired easily (synth action syndrome, I guess). Is it just a matter of preference? Is there really an answer to this question, or am I just blowing this out of proportion?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    Re: Keyboards: Hammer action or synth action?

    I think this is a matter of preference.
    Good synth keybors may be better than some hammer-action keybords.

    It is very logical to think that if one uses piano samples, it is better to use hammer action keybords. But I don\'t find any advantages to use hammer-action keybords for most of orchestral instruments, since they are not keybords...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: Keyboards: Hammer action or synth action?

    If you are not an actual piano player, I think that the difference is relatively benign as it relates to the final product. If you have the piano technique to desire and appreciate the \"feel\" for its own sake, then I\'d recommend weighted keys. For some instruments, synth-action is a bit quicker, and can be easier. For some instruments the built-in \"timing\" forced by weighted keys is desirable.

  4. #4

    Re: Keyboards: Hammer action or synth action?

    For fast runs, you can\'t beat a synth action. On the other hand, a synth action can be prone to accidental double notes, since it doesn\'t take much force to cause a trigger.

    These days I just have a weighted keyboard. I\'ve gotta get me another synth controller. (I kinda miss my old Juno 60 - but it was pre-MIDI.)

    The advantage of a weighted controller - aside from the piano feel when playing piano - is that it only reacts to deliberate key presses. You can rest your hands on the keys without the risk of a trigger. I also think that it lets you be more deliberate in your dynamics. I recently set my keyboard to the hardest dynamics setting for live entry of solo strings, and I found that I was able to play the parts with much more dynamic subtlety and more accurate timing. But for really fast runs, get the synth.

    It\'s almost like the difference between Ernie Ball Super Slinky strings and some good, heavy nickel wound acoustic strings. If you do a variety of musical styles, you want more than one axe.

  5. #5

    Re: Keyboards: Hammer action or synth action?

    Great. Thanks for your responses. I guess I\'ll just have to get myself a good weighted action slave along with my synth action slave.

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