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Topic: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

This is probably a previously discussed topic - but it maybe worth revisiting in 2017.

What is the best midi controller for Pianoteq? Two key consideration for me would be 'as close to real grand piano action as possible' and good velocity curve for Pianoteq. Any inputs?

I see Kawai VPC-1 is very popular. What are the other choices worth considering?

Thanks,
Osho

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

Roland RD-2000/FP-90.

Hard work and guts!

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

There are lots of different midi controllers on the market. For what purpose ? Piano playing ? Kawai VPC1 has the best action and velocity curve for Pianoteq and it is the best option for piano players. Other good midi option is Roland A88. I hope that Roland will update this controller soon. Also Studiologic have some midi controllers with full weight key action but I am not so convince in their quality control and support. All others are not build toward piano but for studio work, different effects etc, and their key action is semi weight. Why to limit only to midi controllers ? There are many excellent DPs which you can use also as a midi controller with better key action and overall quality. Kawai, Roland and Yamaha standing on the top with their products. For close to real grand action, Kawai CA and CS series is hard to beat and price is reasonable. I dont want to mention Yamaha avant grand series because I doubt that you want to spend around 7-10k for huge digital piano but they have the best grand action at the moment. Roland also have their excellent candidates. EvilDragon mention some of them and the price is also reasonable. My candidate overall as a DP and midi controller is Kawai MP11. Strictly as a midi controller Kawai VPC1 which I have in my home.

Last edited by slobajudge (23-09-2017 20:51)

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

Personally I wouldn't say that VPC1 is the best action available. It's very good, but Roland's latest PHA-50 (as in RD-2000, FP-90, which I mentioned) plays so much better for me, personally. But of course, it's all in the eye (and hands) of the beholder.

Hard work and guts!

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

Thanks slobajudge and EvilDragon!

My primary purpose is to just play Piano at home.

This weekend, I connected our old Digital Piano (Yamaha Motif 8) with an HTPC with Lynx L22 audio card connected to the Home Theater speaker system with 2 Triton One speakers (https://www.stereophile.com/content/gol … oudspeaker).

The sound was quite amazing with Pianoteq 6. As close as I have ever felt being in presence of a 9' Grand!

However, the velocity curve for Yamaha Motif 8 leaves a lot to be desired. I find it especially hard to get a good p, pp or ppp touch. Hence the quest for a new Midi controller.

Any other input? VPC-1 sounds good - except it is heavier than I would like. As this 'sound system' is in our home theater room - ideally the controller will be lighter than 65 lbs VPC-1!

Thanks,
Osho

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

oshogg wrote:

Thanks slobajudge and EvilDragon!

My primary purpose is to just play Piano at home.

This weekend, I connected our old Digital Piano (Yamaha Motif 8) with an HTPC with Lynx L22 audio card connected to the Home Theater speaker system with 2 Triton One speakers (https://www.stereophile.com/content/gol … oudspeaker).

The sound was quite amazing with Pianoteq 6. As close as I have ever felt being in presence of a 9' Grand!

However, the velocity curve for Yamaha Motif 8 leaves a lot to be desired. I find it especially hard to get a good p, pp or ppp touch. Hence the quest for a new Midi controller.

Any other input? VPC-1 sounds good - except it is heavier than I would like. As this 'sound system' is in our home theater room - ideally the controller will be lighter than 65 lbs VPC-1!

Thanks,
Osho

ctor
I really love the key feel of the Roland FP90. It also makes some pretty good sounds. It weighs about 53lbs.

Pianoteq 6 Std, Bluthner, Model B, Grotian, YC5, Hohner, Kremsegg #1, Electric Pianos. Roland FP-90, Windows 10 quad core, Xenyx Q802USB, Yamaha HS8 monitors, Audio Technica
ATH-M50x headphones.

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

With Roland FP90 you will have also Roland modeling piano and thats the plus. Also in that weight category with good key action is Kawai ES8 and Yamaha cp4 (only 17kg) but Yamaha have higher price. None of them are strictly midi controller but it will serve you the same plus their sounds.

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

Actually FP-90 doesn't use the V-Piano modeling. That's RD-2000. FP-90 just has the regular SuperNATURAL (which is basically crossfaded samples and some convolution).

Hard work and guts!

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

EvilDragon wrote:

Actually FP-90 doesn't use the V-Piano modeling. That's RD-2000. FP-90 just has the regular SuperNATURAL (which is basically crossfaded samples and some convolution)..

In a rare instance, you are wrong.
The FP90 has 4 piano voices that are fully modeled with practically the same adjustable parameters as the RD2000. I haven't heard anyone state that they sound different from the RD2000. I think it's just different marketing jargon.
Those piano voices are a lot of fun to play. They don't have the soulful resonances of Pianoteq 6. But they're pretty good.
There are a handful of other great electric piano voices.
IMO, the FP90, because it has a great keyboard, the same as Roland's $7000 digitals, and because it weighs less and actually makes music without a computer, and has powerful speakers suitable for small gigs - it's a better choice as a controller for Pianoteq than the VPC1.

Pianoteq 6 Std, Bluthner, Model B, Grotian, YC5, Hohner, Kremsegg #1, Electric Pianos. Roland FP-90, Windows 10 quad core, Xenyx Q802USB, Yamaha HS8 monitors, Audio Technica
ATH-M50x headphones.

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

I'm also tempted with Kawai VPC-1 and let die my old 19 years Fatar 900

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

beakybird wrote:
EvilDragon wrote:

Actually FP-90 doesn't use the V-Piano modeling. That's RD-2000. FP-90 just has the regular SuperNATURAL (which is basically crossfaded samples and some convolution)..

In a rare instance, you are wrong.
The FP90 has 4 piano voices that are fully modeled with practically the same adjustable parameters as the RD2000. I haven't heard anyone state that they sound different from the RD2000. I think it's just different marketing jargon.
Those piano voices are a lot of fun to play. They don't have the soulful resonances of Pianoteq 6. But they're pretty good.
There are a handful of other great electric piano voices.
IMO, the FP90, because it has a great keyboard, the same as Roland's $7000 digitals, and because it weighs less and actually makes music without a computer, and has powerful speakers suitable for small gigs - it's a better choice as a controller for Pianoteq than the VPC1.

It's SuperNATURAL engine (which DOES use samples, and some behavioral modeling, which I'm likening to Kontakt's scripting directing which samples should be used in which situation, plus some volume-matched crossfading  so that you don't hear the velocity layers - see section "A SuperNATURAL Era..." in the link), not the V-Piano engine (which is fully modelled). Yes they have some parameters similar, but the engine behind them is completely different. If it did have the V-Piano engine inside, don't you think even Roland's own marketing blurbs would have it in bold, like they do for RD-2000? Of course they would! So why don't they? smile


Again, SuperNATURAL does not equate fully modelled V-Piano. I may be wrong and will admit if I am, but I don't think I am (proof provided in the blog article). smile

Last edited by EvilDragon (25-09-2017 16:01)
Hard work and guts!

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

EvilDragon wrote:
beakybird wrote:
EvilDragon wrote:

Actually FP-90 doesn't use the V-Piano modeling. That's RD-2000. FP-90 just has the regular SuperNATURAL (which is basically crossfaded samples and some convolution)..

In a rare instance, you are wrong.
The FP90 has 4 piano voices that are fully modeled with practically the same adjustable parameters as the RD2000. I haven't heard anyone state that they sound different from the RD2000. I think it's just different marketing jargon.
Those piano voices are a lot of fun to play. They don't have the soulful resonances of Pianoteq 6. But they're pretty good.
There are a handful of other great electric piano voices.
IMO, the FP90, because it has a great keyboard, the same as Roland's $7000 digitals, and because it weighs less and actually makes music without a computer, and has powerful speakers suitable for small gigs - it's a better choice as a controller for Pianoteq than the VPC1.

It's SuperNATURAL engine (which DOES use samples, and some behavioral modeling - this is admitted in the linked blog article, see section "A SuperNATURAL Era..."), not the V-Piano engine (which is fully modelled). Yes they have some parameters similar, but the engine behind them is completely different. If it did have the V-Piano engine inside, don't you think even Roland's own marketing blurbs would have it in bold, like they do for RD-2000? Of course they would! So why don't they? smile


Again, SuperNATURAL does not equate fully modelled V-Piano. I may be wrong and will admit if I am, but I don't think I am (proof provided in the blog article). smile

I've seen posts at Pianoworld from Jay G Van who worked for Roland keyboards when the newest LX, HP keyboards + FP90 came out (they all have the same keybed and sound engine). They are 100% modeled, and the pianos are advertised as having limitless polyphony.

Also see this review from keyboardmag.com: http://www.keyboardmag.com/gear/1183/re … p-90/61834

It is a good sound engine. I've spent many hours A/B'ing with Pianoteq. They sound really different. I preferred my FP-90 to Pianoteq 5, but I like Pianoteq 6 pianos a lot more than my FP90 pianos.

However, my purpose in bringing up the FP90 is that I think it's a great controller for Pianoteq. For me, anyway, I don't have to tinker with velocity curves. It's very responsive, just like the VPC1. It's like getting the VPC1 but with less weight and with an added sound engine and speakers.

Pianoteq 6 Std, Bluthner, Model B, Grotian, YC5, Hohner, Kremsegg #1, Electric Pianos. Roland FP-90, Windows 10 quad core, Xenyx Q802USB, Yamaha HS8 monitors, Audio Technica
ATH-M50x headphones.

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

Alright, I'll concede. Consider yourself lucky to catch me on the wrong foot this time around wink

But I wonder why would Roland then create confusing with their technology branding... Supernatural this, Supernatural that, and we all know that it basically started as just a bit spruced-up sampling methods (which were at the time perfectly normal in software sample libraries for Kontakt, and oftentimes they still sound better than Roland's efforts, i.e. SampleModeling instruments). Even that blog article admits to using samples. Then again that was in 2013...

Last edited by EvilDragon (25-09-2017 16:23)
Hard work and guts!

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

EvilDragon wrote:

But I wonder why would Roland then create confusing with their technology branding... Supernatural this, Supernatural that,

Indeed, and this has caused much frustration and confusion and lengthy discussion over on PW.

Listening only to demos (which I admit is rather tenuous), I think I prefer the original Supernatural (which did use samples) to the current fully modelled sounds.

Greg.

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

I am still very happy with the Studiologic SL88 Grand, works well for me. I like the ivory feel of the keys, and I like the  key action. I bought the Studio version for the rehearsal room (cheaper and half the weight to move around), it works but is not recommendable for piano playing. I always bring the Grand for gigs.

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

I sold my Kurzweil PC3 X to buy a Roland Juno 88.  I have not even listened to the onboard sounds but the key action is very nice. Great controller for Pianoteq.
  -Perry-

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

Just wanted to say I tried RD-2000 and hated the action.

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

Well, that's harsh. And without any additional explanation, too, which is always helpful. tongue

RD-2000 has got to be the smoothest and most consistent action I've ever played. Purely a joy.

Last edited by EvilDragon (15-11-2017 17:42)
Hard work and guts!

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

I'm using the RD-800 as the controller for PIANOTEQ 6. Personally I prefer the actions on RD-800 than RD-2000. I find the PHA-IV more "crisp" and engaging than the PHA-50. A bit more noisy tho. Tried the A-88 and found it unnaturally "crisp" and "stiff" (not heavy, but stiff). Aesthetically RD-800 over RD-2000 all the time.

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

Feature and sound-wise RD-2000 over RD-800 anytime. I found RD-800 too heavy an action, and definitely not as smooth.

Hard work and guts!

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

EvilDragon wrote:

Feature and sound-wise RD-2000 over RD-800 anytime. I found RD-800 too heavy an action, and definitely not as smooth.

yeah, I admit that totally. Doesn't matter much to me anymore since I use RD800 mainly as a controller. And yes it's freaking heavy! So it stays where it is. lol.

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

I've been using the Keylab 88 by Arturia for over a year and a half for both at home and live performance.
The keybed by Fatar gives great action and feel, although it is a bit noisy. You can also assign Pianoteq's parameters to the numerous knobs and sliders to make adjustiments easy.
I was introduced to Pianoteq as a free download with my Keylab purchase and love the pairing.

oshogg wrote:

Thanks slobajudge and EvilDragon!

My primary purpose is to just play Piano at home.

This weekend, I connected our old Digital Piano (Yamaha Motif 8) with an HTPC with Lynx L22 audio card connected to the Home Theater speaker system with 2 Triton One speakers (https://www.stereophile.com/content/gol … oudspeaker).

The sound was quite amazing with Pianoteq 6. As close as I have ever felt being in presence of a 9' Grand!

However, the velocity curve for Yamaha Motif 8 leaves a lot to be desired. I find it especially hard to get a good p, pp or ppp touch. Hence the quest for a new Midi controller.

Any other input? VPC-1 sounds good - except it is heavier than I would like. As this 'sound system' is in our home theater room - ideally the controller will be lighter than 65 lbs VPC-1!

Thanks,
Osho

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

Probably not the same league... but I was using a couple Casio Privia 350s and liked them well enough... just got the  560 and really like the action and feel and it is pretty light so moving it around is nice and I gig with it. I still  use a 350 fitted in my Baby Grand shell.

Last edited by Kramster1 (27-11-2017 14:18)

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

Kramster1 wrote:

Probably not the same league... but I was using a couple Casio Privia 350s and liked them well enough... just got the  560 and really like the action and feel and it is pretty light so moving it around is nice and I gig with it. I still  use a 350 fitted in my Baby Grand shell.

The Casio has a pretty good feel, no doubt about it. I practice in an open space with my daughter's bedroom pretty close. With the Casio, I was getting a lot of complaints about noisy keys, especially as the keyboard got close to the one year mark, and it started to get even noisier.

In the low price range, the Kawai ES-110 and the Roland FP-30 are options. Some of these cheaper keyboards have a pretty good feel and are really light weight, and would be more suitable for gigging than the VPC-1 and some of these wooden-key stage pianos.

IMO, the Roland PHA-50 pairs with Pianoteq like a dream. I'm never selling my FP-90.

Pianoteq 6 Std, Bluthner, Model B, Grotian, YC5, Hohner, Kremsegg #1, Electric Pianos. Roland FP-90, Windows 10 quad core, Xenyx Q802USB, Yamaha HS8 monitors, Audio Technica
ATH-M50x headphones.

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

Kramster1 wrote:

Probably not the same league... but I was using a couple Casio Privia 350s and liked them well enough... just got the  560 and really like the action and feel and it is pretty light so moving it around is nice and I gig with it. I still  use a 350 fitted in my Baby Grand shell.

But for gigging, you can't beat the light weight of Casio keyboards, and for me, that and the low price means almost everything. My Roland RD 800 stays at home in one spot, my Casio Privia p3, goes with me everywhere.

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

fubarable wrote:

[But for gigging, you can't beat the light weight of Casio keyboards, and for me, that and the low price means almost everything.  -  my Casio Privia p3, goes with me everywhere.

They are light indeed... have a lil lunch gig tomorrow in Phoenix with my Privia 560 into a Bose T1 and then into a Bose Compact... nice easy set up. I usually bring a Carbon Fiber acoustic guitar (Emerald X-20 or RainSong CH OM) or an eKoa (a Savoy made by Blackbird Guitars) to break it up a little ... for me anyway. Just background music improvised.

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

Casio GP-500 You may like, this is a real classical piano keyboard

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

slobajudge wrote:

(...) My candidate overall as a DP and midi controller is Kawai MP11. Strictly as a midi controller Kawai VPC1 which I have in my home.

I'm sorry but the VPC1 keyboard is the same as the MP10, not a MP11 who is a little bit best.

En français si possible, merci. :o)

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

tly001 wrote:

Casio GP-500 You may like, this is a real classical piano keyboard

As I've stated in the other thread, the Casio GP is not an acoustic action adapted for digital use. It's a digital action all the way, the same as Kawai GF(2) and Roland PHA50, and it's not even better than these as far as my preference goes. It's a good action, but not superior to rivals, and it's not acoustic, nor hybrid. It's just a digital unfolded action with wooden keys, but that doesn't make it acoustic.

As for the PHA4 premium/concert (RD800) vs PHA50 (RD2000), this is a topic that really interests me, since I was recently able to sell my piano and for an extra 400 euros I could've gotten the PHA50, but I felt the difference was too small and it wasn't worth throwing that sum down the drain. I find it interesting that the opinions are so strong about the two actions.

I tested them both side by side, but with the internal sound engines, so I don't know how they compare when plugged into Pianoteq. Personally, I found the PHA50 has a slightly smoother travel and firmer feel when hitting the bottom, but the difference was very discrete. I couldn't bring myself to pay 400 euros for that.

And I wonder if the velocity curves are significantly different between the two actions. Anyone has any idea?
Other opinions concerning the two actions? smile

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

beakybird wrote:

IMO, the Roland PHA-50 pairs with Pianoteq like a dream. I'm never selling my FP-90.

I have the fp-90 here, ordered and got it last week, I agree that it has a nice action for Pianoteq. Unfortunately it's black keys are quite narrow (specially f#,g# and a#) compared to other keyboards (like my current VPC1) which makes it quite unpleasant for me to play deeper between the black keys. I have not giant, but still big hands. It is only a question of a millimeter, but in this case it is exactly the difference between "quite ok" and "too much friction, uncomfortable". It will go back tomorrow.

Otherwise I would have kept it, although the price is high for a piano you only buy for the key action: Neither the loudspeakers nor the in- built piano sounds impressed me very much. Not bad, but I like Pianoteq better.

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

Lylo wrote:
slobajudge wrote:

(...) My candidate overall as a DP and midi controller is Kawai MP11. Strictly as a midi controller Kawai VPC1 which I have in my home.

I'm sorry but the VPC1 keyboard is the same as the MP10, not a MP11 who is a little bit best.

Sorry, I dont think you understand what I am talking about. I said that overall I like MP11 the best. MP11 is digital piano and can also be use as midi controller like all digital pianos. VPC is only midi controller and as a midi controller only I like VPC the best. I hope I clear things now smile

Last edited by slobajudge (Today 08:06)

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

My problem with the Roland RD-2000 is that my fingers are thick, and I barely can put my fingers between the black keys.

I have this problem with some acoustic pianos, mostly with older acoustic pianos.
Never had this problem with any digital piano I've tried, including all Roland models with another action than PHA-50.

I couldn't believe that in 2017 a big name like Roland will manufacture a digital piano with that small gaps between the black keys.

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Re: Best midi controller for Pianoteq

You seem to be minority, everyone praises the action big_smile

Hard work and guts!