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looking for a keyboard with sentitive aftertouch Keyboard Controllers
Old 4 days ago
  #1
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
looking for a keyboard with sentitive aftertouch

Hello.

I am looking for a 5 octave, non weighted keyboard with aftertouch.

More to the point, I'm looking for one with an aftertouch sensitive enough to play expressively and nuancedly.

I have a Roland A-800pro, but the aftertouch is just too hard: you have to press very hard and there's no nuance.

Before, I had an Arturia Keylab 61. That one had a great aftertouch: so sensitive I discovered a whole new range of subtle expression I didn't know I had in my fingers !

Unfortunately, the Keylabs are discontinued. Their replacement, the Keylab Essential, don't have aftertouch (or do they?)

Any recommendation welcome.
Old 4 days ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 

When I had a Motif XS6 its aftertouch was very sensitive... too sensitive in fact--it would trigger when playing at high velocity, and it was pretty much all or nothing... it was hard to use it with any nuance.

The other synth I had with AT was the A6 Andromeda, with a Fatar keybed; now its aftertouch was nice. It required more pressure than the Yamaha did, but that allowed me to be more precise with it, and it didn't falsely trigger if I played with high velocity.

So... maybe find something with the same Fatar bed as the A6... I think a number of synths used them. Or just go to a store like Guitar Center and try different keyboards and controllers to see which ones work well for your playing style. If you have a lighter touch maybe the Yamaha would work better for you than it did me.

Some allow you to adjust the sensitivity of aftertouch in the menus as well.
Old 4 days ago
  #3
Oli
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredje View Post
I have a Roland A-800pro, but the aftertouch is just too hard: you have to press very hard and there's no nuance.
Some of the Roland keyboards are commonly modified to make the aftertouch more sensitive. IIRC, it is one or two resistors to replace in the aftertouch control circuit. It may be worth looking into whether that applies to your model. It would be pretty cheap to do. You may want to consider a variable resistor, to adjust to your liking.

Btw, what is your budget for a replacement? Do you only want a controller, or a synth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpatz View Post
... maybe find something with the same Fatar bed as the A6...

Some allow you to adjust the sensitivity of aftertouch in the menus as well.
I expect the response will depend on the implementation of the control circuit in the analogue domain too, not just how the signal is processed digitally. The same keybed may respond differently depending on which product it is used with.
Old 4 days ago
  #4
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dluther's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredje View Post
Hello.

I am looking for a 5 octave, non weighted keyboard with aftertouch.

More to the point, I'm looking for one with an aftertouch sensitive enough to play expressively and nuancedly.

I have a Roland A-800pro, but the aftertouch is just too hard: you have to press very hard and there's no nuance.

Before, I had an Arturia Keylab 61. That one had a great aftertouch: so sensitive I discovered a whole new range of subtle expression I didn't know I had in my fingers !

Unfortunately, the Keylabs are discontinued. Their replacement, the Keylab Elements, don't have aftertouch (or do they?)

Any recommendation welcome.
If you're looking for brand new controllers, try the Novation Remote SL61 MkII. It has the same Fatar TP/9S keybed found on DSI, some Nord, and most other keybeds noted for their playability. I have the SL25 and can tell you it feels just as good as the TP/8S in a "synth weighted" action, with an adjustable channel aftertouch response that's quite expressive.

I'd recommend trying it out at a music retailer near you.
Old 4 days ago
  #5
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the donal's Avatar
I have an M-Audio Code 61 and the aftertouch is great. The chassis is a touch flexible though, so it benefits from sitting on a flat surface (rather than on the 2 arms of most keyboard stands).
Old 4 days ago
  #6
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daviddever's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by the donal View Post
I have an M-Audio Code 61 and the aftertouch is great. The chassis is a touch flexible though, so it benefits from sitting on a flat surface (rather than on the 2 arms of most keyboard stands).
^ this; rigidity of the stand (and keybed / chassis itself) makes a big difference.

Also, you may wish to actually measure what MIDI channel pressure values are being generated, given an arbitrary range of pressure / weight (e.g., as noted in the Kawai K3 service manual, with 600g = 0V = 0, 1500g = 5V = 127). You can then determine how to bias the resulting output in hardware (either by trimmer or by resistor values) or by software (setting the channel pressure sensitivity higher).

FWIW the K3 keybed is well-manufactured and makes a decent controller in this regard.
Attached Thumbnails
looking for a keyboard with sentitive aftertouch-kawaik3adjustmentaftersensor.jpg  
Old 4 days ago
  #7
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Thank you all. As I understand, there could be several solutions for me. Well-stocked keyboard shops are becoming a rarety in Belgium, all with the concurrence of the Internet. I suppose my best move would be to drive to Music Store in Koln (a 3 hrs drive !) ...

My first move should be try and mod the A-Pro. Alas, I was unable to find schematics or a toturial for doing that online. Also, I've read in this forum that it solves the problem only partially.

Among the controllers suggested here, is there one that is particularly easy to configure (= assigning arbitrary CC# to each pot and slider, and save that config for future use) ? How easy compared to the A-Pro series (which is pretty easy but requires their computer software) ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by the donal View Post
I have an M-Audio Code 61 and the aftertouch is great. The chassis is a touch flexible though, so it benefits from sitting on a flat surface (rather than on the 2 arms of most keyboard stands).
I suppose one could attach a rigid board to its bottom ;-)

Have you tried to configure the sliders (= assign an arbitrary CC# to each) ? If so, how easy was it ? Can you save the layout, or somehow make it parmanent ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oli View Post
Btw, what is your budget for a replacement? Do you only want a controller, or a synth?
I'm just looking for a controller. As for budget, I don't know... I'd like to know what my options are.
(Of course, the least expensive the better. I certainly wouldn't go four digits on this ;-)
Old 3 days ago
  #8
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the donal's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredje View Post
I suppose one could attach a rigid board to its bottom ;-)

Have you tried to configure the sliders (= assign an arbitrary CC# to each) ? If so, how easy was it ? Can you save the layout, or somehow make it parmanent ?
:D Yes. I've considered strapping a bit of MDF across the keyboard stand I'm using!! I guess if you have a table to put it on that'd be ideal, but when space is a factor...


I've not really played with the controller assignment at the moment though the sliders are quite good- the first one defaults to volume and the second to cutoff, so that's very handy out of the box.

I tend to use it first and foremost for just a keyboard controller without worrying about setting the knobs/sliders/pads.

It looks quite easy to set up though and it also has software, so it can be set up and have those layouts saved. It also has defaults for most (major) DAWs and possibly a few choice plug-ins too. I'd imagine there are templates on the interweb that people have created for plug-ins.

I think when I've got over my brief bout of middle aged technofear (or just devote some time and patience to it), I'll get this set up for my Blofeld and D-05. Knobby synths are not such an issue. I might even sit down and properly get the hang of Maschine that I bought a few months ago then left alone!!
Old 3 days ago
  #9
Gear Addict
 

novation remote SLII..simply an outstanding keybed in an excellent controller..i have it, love it.
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