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Topic: 61 or 64-key Controller for Harpsichords / Clavichord

I posted earlier about trying to find a decent keyboard for air travel/long-term stays abroad:

http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/viewtopic.php?id=3614
and
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthre … ost2349423

To say the least, my search has failed.

So, I have come up with a new idea. There are a lot of very light, inexpensive, synth- or semi-weighted, 61-key controllers on the market. I see a lot of posts here about the best controller for piano sounds, but what about a suitable (realistic?) controller for emulating the action of a harpsichord or clavichord? Two completely different actions and mechanisms, I know—but what would come close? I have never played either.

While I could continue to play the pianos with a semi-weighted controller, the idea of devoting myself to the Pianoteq harpsichords and clavichord while traveling, using a cheaper 61-key controller without fully weighted keys, is becoming more and more appealing (albeit in a fanciful, romanticized way…).

Does anyone use a devoted controller for the harpsichords or clavichord? What would be a good option?

Last edited by matthew (22-11-2014 19:58)

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Re: 61 or 64-key Controller for Harpsichords / Clavichord

It wouldn't be at all portable, but you might be interested in the Roland c-30 digital harpsichord, which has an action that emulates a harpsichord's.  A queer product.  I haven't ever played or seen one.

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Re: 61 or 64-key Controller for Harpsichords / Clavichord

I don't know of anything but this question reminds me of an article I ready some years back (I think in Keyboard Magazine). Apparently somebody was experimenting with a keyboard design that uses solenoids to emulate different keyboard "feels". I found what appear to be a couple of related articles:

http://pe.org.pl/articles/2013/2b/17.pdf

http://www.google.ca/patents/US6121535

Last edited by ChrisM (25-11-2014 02:30)

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Re: 61 or 64-key Controller for Harpsichords / Clavichord

Fatar sells a "Classical Keyboard", a bare keyboard mechanism, without a case, power supply or circuitry, that is supposed to be designed to emulate the "snap" of historical tracker organ keyboards. I believe it would be suitable for a digital harpsichord, but I have never actually seen or tried the product.

http://www.fatar.com/Pages/TP_8L.htm

There are kit organ console companies that sell the other components you would need to assemble a functioning MIDI controller from the Fatar mechanism.

I found a link to a company in Canada, Classic MIDI Works, that has such a product, which they sell as an organ console component; you can buy one 61-key manual for US $525. It is designed to fit into an organ console, but perhaps they could modify it to make a stand-alone single-manual keyboard controller in a case, or you could build one yourself.

http://www.us.midiworks.ca/index.php?op … uct_id=140

If you can find one of these and try it out, let us know if it is suitable.

Last edited by Wheat Williams (25-11-2014 06:12)
Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America
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Re: 61 or 64-key Controller for Harpsichords / Clavichord

Wheat Williams wrote:

I found a link to a company in Canada, Classic MIDI Works, that has such a product, which they sell as an organ console component...

If you can find one of these and try it out, let us know if it is suitable.

I use these keyboards for my digital Organ.  They work outstandingly well for digital Harpsichord as well.

A single stand-alone keyboard would work just fine, and is "ready to use", but it looks unfinished without its frame ("key cheeks").  The frames they sell are designed for stacks of at least two keyboards, so for a single keyboard you could either choose to ignore the unfinished appearance, or design some simple frame on your own.

The keyboard itself I can highly recommend for use with digital harpsichords or organs.  It is velocity sensitive, so can also be used for a digital piano, but the feel is of course highly atypical for this application.

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Re: 61 or 64-key Controller for Harpsichords / Clavichord

I have a Roland C-30, which is an eminently satisfactory stand alone practice harpsichord (two models, French and Flemish), plus a less than wonderful fortepiano and two portatif organs). I also use it from time to time as a controller for the harpsichords and clavichord on PTQ. (Someone on here said it's "touch sensitive," but as near as I can tell it does NOT have afterouch, so the bebung effect on the clavichord is unavailable through the keys. I have been unable to make a pedal control of the aftertouch parameter work using either the Roland or my VPC1).

smulloni wrote:

It wouldn't be at all portable, but you might be interested in the Roland c-30 digital harpsichord, which has an action that emulates a harpsichord's.  A queer product.  I haven't ever played or seen one.

Amateur Standalone PTQ user; interests classical music and historic keyboards