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Mounting a keyboard in a desk?
Old 18th December 2016
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Mounting a keyboard in a desk?

So, I've been thinking about a composers desk. I've ripped off the designs of a few different desks I've found around that I like. I have some friends that work in a fab shop that I can get a deal and have them cut the mdf/plywood on their cnc laser. I was curious, though, which keyboards could be torn down and mounted in the desk? I'd prefer a weighted 88 key midi controller. I've seen quite a few people use the doepfer LMK4+... I've also heard that the Studiologic keyboards could be used for this. I've been looking at the Studiologic SL88 grand, but I dont know how I'd tare it apart and remount it in the desk. Anyone have any experience with this?
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Old 18th December 2016
  #2
Spo
Gear Head
 

Studiologic controllers use Fatar key beds, which are a good candidate for this kind of mounting. If breaking down an existing keyboard, you'll be removing the key bed, control board, and possibly pitch/mod wheel unit. The key bed connects to the control board via 1 foot (or so) ribbon cables, so you'll want to set aside a space near the keys to mount the board. Alternatively, you could make longer ribbon cables and even purchase the keys and board separately, but I've found that ends up much more expensive than cannibalizing a used unit. Good luck.
Old 23rd December 2016
  #3
Lives for gear
I got a SL88 Studio which is identical in features and dimensions to SL88 Grand except the SL88 Studio weighted keyboard doesn't have wood-core keys, weighs a few pounds less, has a different weighted feel, and costs significantly less. Some folks have said the SL88 Grand feels better but I wanted something cheap and light to take to spot gigs, and to me the SL88 Studio feels good enough to get the job done and I liked the price better. Haven't played the Grand action and dunno if I would like it better than the Studio action. The Grand probably does feel better, but I just don't know one way or the other. The velocity response on mine is real good and natural-feeling, though the "tactile feel of the artificial hammers toggling under the fingers" seems a bit exaggerated. The velocity response is good enough that after playing a few minutes I forget about the tactile feel of the toggling hammers under the fingers.

If you build it in, where do you want to put the three mod joysticks and the little LCD and 3 buttons and the knob/joystick used to select patches and program the controller mapping? IMO it is easy to program with the 3 buttons, combo knob/joystick, and itty bitty color screen.

To properly use the midi controller features, even if you strip the components and build it into a desk, you would need to put the sparse 3 joystick controllers and little LCD GUI controls SOMEWHERE they are easy to see and reach. Unless you don't need anything but the keyboard transmitting always on the same channel and let your computer do all the mapping and such. In that case you could move the top panel controls somewhere off the desk surface where they would be inconvenient to use, if you plan to only rarely use them.

However the SL88 isn't very big or heavy. 50 inches wide, about 12 inches deep and about 4 inches tall. The key tops are about 3 inches above the bottom panel, with about half inch rubber feet under the bottom panel.

I've been planning to build a wood 2-stack keyboard stand that folds up for spot gigs, built pretty out of boxelder wood, shaped kinda like a B3 cabinet but not quite so massive. The main goal of going to that effort is to hide the wires and look good on stage. Stuff that looks like B3's have lots more showbiz visual stage appeal compared to a couple of naked plastic and steel keyboards sitting on a tubular or apex fold up stand, with visible wires running everywhere.

So anyway using the SL88 and a FA06 stacked on top, hidden in the pretty fold-up wood cabinet, I'll drill holes in the support shelves where the rubber feet go, so the bottoms of the keyboards touch the wood shelves and the rubber feet sit in the holes, closing up vertical spacing and also that will keep the keyboards from sliding around on the shelves.

Just thinking, if integrating with a studio desk, why not just build a 50 X 12 x 4 inch "pit" in the desk and set the SL88 down in the pit? You could either make the pit slide out from under the desk on heavy duty drawer slides, or alternately build a sliding cover the same level as the desk, so you could slide the cover back if you need to see the LCD and controls. If you don't neeed to see the LCD and controls, you could slide the cover up about 6 inches so all you see are the keys. Or if not using the keyboard, slide the cover 12 inches so you don't see the keyboard at all and its all free desk space?

I suspect I'd like a non-moving keyboard "pit" rather than a sliding keyboard shelf. IMO keyboards have a much better feel if they don't wobble and shake. I think its a big reason B3's, grand pianos and rhodes feel so good-- They are so massive they don't wobble and shake. I've had lots of fold-up stands and they all had wobble, even the most expensive fold-up stands. I figger a sliding shelf even with heavy duty sliders would wobble a little bit. So a solid desk mounting with a sliding cover would IMO be easier to make rock-solid. It ought to be a lot easier to build a desk with a keyboard "pit" and sliding cover, than to tear a keyboard apart and rearrange the pieces to build it into the desk.
Old 24th December 2016
  #4
Here for the gear
 

I had been considering where/how to mount the controls and screen and what-have-you, or even IF to mount them. The option I kept coming to was just not to. Main reason being I dont use them that often. I pretty much use the midi controller to either play virtual instruments or to play midi into protools then tweak as necessary there. I do use that stuff a little more live for like you had mentioned for leslie control or synth modulation. but this obviously wont be a system for live. I'm pretty much thinking I'll wire in midi and call it good. If I change my mind though, I think what I'll do is cut the top of the keyboard case as perfectly around them as possible, then cut and flush mount that to the left side of the keybed, but on the desk top. I dont know if that makes much sense but as I'm typing this, that really wouldn't be that hard, so i may just do it to keep the functionality, even if i dont use it. Looking at the sl88, I'd leave the 3 joystick layout the same, maybe put that on the left like mod wheels normally would be. Then cut the entire light grey section out of around the screen, and mount it maybe just to the right of the keybed... That is, if that stuff will come out and isn't mounted on a circuit board or something. My cousin is an electrical engineer, maybe if i needed to he could rewire something for me haha...

My first design of the desk actually did just have a keyboard pit. But I kind of decided I like having my keyboard mouse lower for comfort reasons. So I turned the keyboard pit into a pullout, then it was actually going to be a pullout keyboard pit if you will. But then I saw the ad for Hans Zimmer's master class, and sort of fell in love with the idea of the mounted keyboard idea. I do completely agree with you on the feel of a solid keybed, so I do plan on solidifying the keybed mount as much as possible.

I was also curious about the different SL88 actions. I had a SL990 back in the day which I believe also had the Fatar TP-40 (nonwood) action. Which was a pretty fine action in my opinion. I was curious if the wood version would actually be worth the extra $400 which is the difference between the SL88 studio and grand versions right now.

I think I'm pretty close to done with designing this thing. I built it in the free version of SketchUp, but sounds like i'm going to have to convert the design to autocad for the laser cutter. When i get to building I could probably throw some pictures up if anyone is interested.
Old 25th December 2016
  #5
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ndjonz View Post
I had been considering where/how to mount the controls and screen and what-have-you, or even IF to mount them. The option I kept coming to was just not to. Main reason being I dont use them that often. I pretty much use the midi controller to either play virtual instruments or to play midi into protools then tweak as necessary there. I do use that stuff a little more live for like you had mentioned for leslie control or synth modulation. but this obviously wont be a system for live. I'm pretty much thinking I'll wire in midi and call it good. If I change my mind though, I think what I'll do is cut the top of the keyboard case as perfectly around them as possible, then cut and flush mount that to the left side of the keybed, but on the desk top.
Hi ndjonz. Just discussing, not trying to hard-sell a point of view-- Before retirement I was a full-time musician for 30 years and music application programmer for 20+ years. A rig good for programming wasn't so convenient for recording and a rig good for recording/playing wasn't so convenient for programming. So after retirement was playing around setting up a small office hopefully convenient for both. A computer desk area and a playing/recording area, pared down so everything is easy to reach in a 15 X 11.5 foot office. One personal requirement is two keyboards, a weighted 88 and a synth action "at least 61". One thing that has to go is a big mixer. Keyboards, computers, plus a big mixer is almost impossible to get everything within convenient reach, IMO.

In the past my bigger "home studio office" in a 25 X 22 foot building had a 6+ foot wide homemade desk similar to the kind of pictures you posted. It didn't have a built-in music keyboard, just a slide-out computer shelf. And not very "elegant-looking". A lot of rack-mount gear in the above-desk and below-desk racks. Mixers and table-top synths eating most of the desk space, and a big stack of keyboards in an L to the right of the desk and another big rack in an L to the left of the desk. Insufficient desk space for programming and not very ergonomic for recording either.

The computer keyboard extension shelf sitting on the comp desk slide-out shelf in the first picture, can easily be moved. Slide the extension shelf under the 88. The temporary comp keys/mouse shelf can be slid all the way left or right or anywhere in-between. Move the computer keyboard and mouse to wherever it is most convenient and "out of the way" of keyboard playing. Or easily remove the comp keyboard and mouse entirely if it is in the way and not needed for sequence editing.

If I'm playing and/or computer sequence editing I have that third monitor "in my face" with the mouse, music keyboards, and computer keyboard all in easy reach. Can glance to the left for the other two computer monitors, but the current-primary task windows are assigned to the third screen.

If programming I face the desk and primarily use screens 1 and 2. Seems to work pretty good.

Nowadays I don't do much paper-scribbling of notation. The current setup wouldn't be real convenient for playing keyboard and writing paper charts. I could probably "get er done" putting the paper on the removable comp keyboard/mouse shelf, but that particular task would work better with some other setup.







It was ad-hoc, gradually experimenting trying to get it ergonomic and sounding good. All the absorbers surrounding the speakers, to the left and right of the comp monitor, and to the left and right of the 88, were afterthought acoustic fixes. Each of the added nearfield absorbers actually did fix acoustic problems caused by acoustic reflections on the keyboards and other gear.

If I had enough energy to do it again from scratch, would probably do it different some way or the other. But I don't think I'd build a big desk with a bunch of shelves. Expansive desk areas between speakers and ears are IMO serious acoustic problems. I managed to "fix" a lot of the acoustic problems after the fact. However the ideal would be a configuration least likely to cause nearfield reflections in the first place, and big desks so far as I know are not acoustics-friendly.
Old 26th December 2016
  #6
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ndjonz View Post
I was also curious about the different SL88 actions. I had a SL990 back in the day which I believe also had the Fatar TP-40 (nonwood) action. Which was a pretty fine action in my opinion. I was curious if the wood version would actually be worth the extra $400 which is the difference between the SL88 studio and grand versions right now.
Just tossing out random ideas--

When I was 88 shopping earlier this year for occasional spot gigs, was mainly looking for--

1. Good Midi implementation
2. Good feeling keyboard
3. Light weight
4. Small size
5. Low cost

I'd have to drive at least a couple hundred miles to test play keyboards, so did a lot of web-reading various folks opinion and hearsay.

In the past, when there was no other choice I could manage to play piano good enough on various synth action keyboards. Not ideal of course. Am a heavy-handed piano player and have a hard time playing piano on unweighted keyboards because I play too hard and tend to sound like I'm sledge-hammering my way thru everything. It is like "walking on eggs" to get good piano dynamics with a synth-action keyboard. Too much work.

But I don't like over-stiff keyboards either. Some grands have a light fast action, but some otherwise fine instruments will work you to death even if athletic classical players happen to love the stiff-and-fast action. So I didn't want to get anything either too stiff or too light.

Some "real piano players" have written good things about the Studiologic Numa Compact-- Numa Compact

It is very light and tiny, low-cost, seems to have some decent-enough piano sounds, and not-bad midi implementation. Unweighted piano action keys. I got the impression from reading reviews maybe it wouldn't be impossible to comfortably play live piano on the thing even with a "lightly weighted" action.

The main reason I didn't get one to try out-- The midi implementation is pretty good, but the pedal assignment and friendliness to splits/layers wasn't quite good enough for easy playing split keybass or layering another synth on-top of piano. Was planning to use an 88 stacked with FA06.

FA06 also has real good midi implementation, but the way it is designed, to do splits/layers with the Numa Compact reliably assigning sustain and expression to one and not the other, would have either required just a little more smarts on the FA06 midi implementation, or a little more smarts on the Numa Compact midi implementation. So I got the SL88 Studio because it has more MIDI features and can do the tricks I want for live use.

Just sayin, if you are not real intolerant of keyboard feel and apparently don't expect extensive MIDI controller features-- If you can be happy even if it doesn't feel exactly like a Steinway or whatever-- Then the Compact might be worth a look. The Compact is so tiny it might be silly to think about taking it apart. The reviews I've read from "gigging piano players" is that its fun and easy to play piano on, even though it doesn't feel like a piano.

I have not played the SL88 Grand. Some of the "apparently more knowledgable and picky" piano-player reviews (I couldn't find numerous SL88 reviews) say that the SL88 Grand action is a little stiffer and faster and "more like a piano" than the SL88 Studio action.

If it is true that the SL88 Grand is a little stiffer than the Studio then I probably wouldn't want it. The SL88 Studio is "about as much work" as my old Yamaha KX88, which is borderline too stiff for me for fast piano playing. I love the KX88 feel, but it is stiff enough that doing a four or five hour gig on KX88 results in tired fingers.

The SL88 Studio velocity response is IMO very good. As an example, I've noticed that the velocity-mapping of Roland sound-canvas type synths is "sensitive" enough that on many keyboards it is a lot of work to avoid some notes played too quiet and other notes played too loud. "Walking on eggs" to keep the sound-canvas from sounding "gap tooth uneven" with some notes too loud and some too quiet. My SL88 Studio plays a sound canvas very even and easy. I don't have to pay close attention to get an even balanced sound, and it is easy to play quiet and it is easy to play loud.

My impression, for what its worth, is that the SL88 Studio's toggling feel of the hammers under the fingers is more exaggerated than on a grand piano. Maybe somewhat similar to the hammer-toggling felt on a Rhodes keyboard, but not as mushy as the Rhodes experience. However the instrument works good enough that the feel of the hammers is not a deal-breaker. Just something quickly adapted-to and then not noticed anymore.

It is difficult to describe or characterize keyboard feel. Earlier this year got out my weight scale calibration weights and tried to measure some of the keys around the house. The yamaha KX88 keys and my old Roland-Rhodes MK60 have almost exactly the same required grams of force to depress a key. Both of those keyboards feel pretty good, but the KX88 FEELS stiff like a rhodes and the MK60 FEELS light and easy like a wurlie action. So other features of the action determine that variance of feel, because the actual grams of force to depress a key are the same for both!
Old 26th December 2016
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcjr View Post
Am a heavy-handed piano player and have a hard time playing piano on unweighted keyboards because I play too hard and tend to sound like I'm sledge-hammering my way thru everything. It is like "walking on eggs" to get good piano dynamics with a synth-action keyboard. Too much work.
I have the same hard play issue, I bought an M-Audio 88es a few years ago to take on small gigs and maybe secondary keyboard stuff. Its got the "semi weighted" action, which didn't actually feel weighted at all. It pretty much felt just spring loaded. However, right now my 88key "midi controller" is my old Korg Triton ProX. It's got a decent weighted action, but its not hammer action or anything, so I guess the SL88 studio would be perfectly fine.

I mean, I'm not actually "stuck" on the sl88 at all. I also live about 2 hours from the nearest real music store. The one i have here in my town is only good if you need an emergency set of guitar strings or if i wanted a keyboard in the casio beginner line. ... So, I'm familiar with the fatar TP/40 keybed and trying to hunt down something to physically play would be a chore. Not that I haven't, but seems like the only 88key midi controllers I ever see are the Akai MPK88 and the M Audio 88es... and I dont need all the stuff on the akai and i bought the m audio haha...
Old 27th December 2016
  #8
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ndjonz View Post
I have the same hard play issue, I bought an M-Audio 88es a few years ago to take on small gigs and maybe secondary keyboard stuff. Its got the "semi weighted" action, which didn't actually feel weighted at all. It pretty much felt just spring loaded. However, right now my 88key "midi controller" is my old Korg Triton ProX. It's got a decent weighted action, but its not hammer action or anything, so I guess the SL88 studio would be perfectly fine.

I mean, I'm not actually "stuck" on the sl88 at all. I also live about 2 hours from the nearest real music store. The one i have here in my town is only good if you need an emergency set of guitar strings or if i wanted a keyboard in the casio beginner line. ... So, I'm familiar with the fatar TP/40 keybed and trying to hunt down something to physically play would be a chore. Not that I haven't, but seems like the only 88key midi controllers I ever see are the Akai MPK88 and the M Audio 88es... and I dont need all the stuff on the akai and i bought the m audio haha...
From web-reading, I get the impression that the SL88 Studio's Fatar TP/100LR keybed is possibly "about the same" as in the NI S88. I also vaguely recall allegations that the same keybed may be in the Akai MPK88, but may be mistaken, and even if somebody said it doesn't mean it is true.

Fatar keyboards are in a lot of Kurzweil products but not necessarily the TP/100LR. In fact, as best I recall the TP/100LR is in one or two of the "more expensive" kurzweils and simpler (presumably cheaper) fatar keybeds in some of the less expensive kurzweils. I think I read that TP/100LR is also in some of the Nord keyboards.

But it is hard to generalize because different manufacturers can order customizations to a keybed. Also the perception of keyboard feel depends so much on details of the electronic parsing of the sensor information and the timbre/velocity response of the synthesizer. So a Kurzweil engine piano sound driven by a TP/100LR might "feel" entirely different than a Nord engine piano sound driven by an identical TP/100LR. And there is no guarantee that both companies specify the same keybed customizations.

A long time ago I would work on acoustic and electronic keyboards but am not current on modern instruments. It is very educational to look inside instruments, and I haven't been inside many modern instruments.

Grand Piano action, also such as yamaha electric grand, wurlie EP, Rhodes, the action mostly relies on gravity and leverage, though all except Rhodes will include assorted small springs, but the purpose of the small springs is not for establishing the main key return force. Upright Piano action relies much more on springs which IMO is why they tend to be less responsive, more sluggish, less dynamic, and tend to need more-frequent regulation.

Old-style weighted synth actions tended to rely on springs for return force and rather large lead weights to add inertia to the key feel. I was studying what I could find about modern "hammer action" electronic keybeds earlier this year, and began to suspect that at least some of the designs use leverage principles of fake hammers (rather than return springs) not necessarily because it is "better" or "more realistic" than older heavy-weighted spring action, but because it is possibly a less-expensive and lighter weight design capable of giving a "good feel".

My non-hammer action old KX88 and the old Roland keybeds as in MK-60 or RD-300 have huge lead weights on each key. About as big as my thumb. A keyboard containing that much lead is inevitably gonna weigh at least 50 or 60 pounds, and the keybed frame and enclosing chassis would need to be built heavy enough to support that weight. The heavy weight would affect packaging and shipping costs, etc. Also, government regulations keep getting more restrictive on lead in consumer products. Nowadays maybe a manufacturer would need to jump thru hoops to put that much lead in a keyboard.

Therefore using a lighter weight on the end of a plastic "hammer-like" lever could result in a lighter keyboard and possibly eliminate the need for a strong steel return spring. And the lighter weight could be stably mounted in a lighter-steel or plastic keybed frame and enclosing chassis. So even if the "hammer action" doesn't necessarily feel better than an old style heavy-lead-weighted keyboard, it could be cheaper to manufacture and ship and more convenient to the customer. And of course a well-designed "hammer-action" keybed MIGHT also feel excellent.

Earlier this year when I was crudely measuring key depression force with calibration weights, all my "synth action" keyboards and also my Hammend L keyboard-- It takes a certain number of grams to move the key, and because of the continuous spring resistance, it takes more grams to bottom the key than to barely move the key.

In contrast, my old-style non-hammer weighted keyboards require a LARGER gram force to move the key from the top, but requires a SMALLER gram force to hold the key all the way down. The piano-like keys have hysteresis.

I happened to have the MK60 disassembled to clean contacts and re-felt the action, and noticed the way the MK60/RD300 type action accomplishes the hysteresis. The key hinge is configured to work with the coil return spring to have a "break point" where the spring resistance is strongest when the key is up, but then the spring bends sideways when partially down, and the resistance is decreased. Has been many years since I was inside a KX88 and I don't recall the KX88 key hinge mechanism, but it must contain some kind of mechanism to add that hysteresis.

The hysteresis in a grand piano action is because of the hammer let-off mechanism. At the top of a keystroke, the key has to lift the relatively heavy hammer, but about halfway down the jack disconnects the key from the hammer and the key doesn't have to hold up the hammer anymore, and so the key resistance from halfway down to the bottom is much less. Takes more force to push the key down and less force to hold it down once it hits bottom.

I think the hysteresis is the main factor to good piano-action feel, regardless whether there is a real hammer, a fake hammer, or merely lead weights, springs, and a cunning hinge mechanism. Maybe I am "too accustomed" to non-hammer weighted keyboards of yesteryear, but so long as the hysteresis is there, the feel of hammers clunking around under the fingers isn't necessarily desirable, IMO.

But it would be possible to build a weighted non-hammer keyboard with no hysteresis, or even "too much" hysteresis. And it would be possible to build a "hammer-action" leveraged keyboard without hysteresis, or even "too much" hysteresis. So other than a marketing buzzword, the "hammer action" label doesn't necessarily imply better quality or better feel.

Many newer keyboards, including both the SL88 Grand and SL88 Studio, use triple-sensor rather than the older double-sensor scheme. I think the third sensor can possibly be a "real improvement" and might be responsible for my perception that the SL88 Studio has "very good controllable" velocity response. But the sensors have to be interpreted by software, and so even with triple-sensor the feel would depend on how the keyscanner software has been written.
Old 29th December 2016
  #9
Gear Head
 

Very nice idea!
Old 30th December 2016
  #10
Lives for gear
Further beating the dead horse-- Another difference between the TP40 wood action vs TP/100LR, at least the ones installed in SL88 Grand vs SL88 Studio-- So far as I know--

Studiologic advertises the SL88 Grand as progressive hammer action, and Studiologic does not advertise the SL88 Studio having this feature. Researching the purchase, I was confused on this point because some of the online dealers make the mistake of claiming that both versions have this feature.

The "progressive" action feature means that it requires less force to play treble keys and more force to play bass keys. That might be important to pianists who want a keyboard to feel "as close possible" to grand piano, where the bass hammers are bigger and weigh more and require more force to get them moving. If a pianist wants to practice tough material on an electronic keyboard and feel "perfectly at home" when he sits down to a grand piano, then this might be very desirable.

I've played piano for more than 50 years but was actually apprehensive about this feature. I play a lot of keybass and a "too stiff" bass action wouldn't be desirable. Since I don't play near 40 hours per week anymore, my hands are out of shape. A couple of times on spot gigs in the 20 years since I quit playing fulltime, I hurt myself trying to play "too aggressive" keybass. Both times pulled a tendon somehow on the left hand pinky finger which each time took a few weeks to heal up and hurt like hell. So I have no desire for bass keys which are harder to play than treble keys.

The SL88 Studio is not advertised as having the progressive weighting feature, and so far as I can tell all the keys require the same force to play, which is an advantage in my opinion and I'd be "wary" that even if the SL88 Grand TP40 keyboard might "feel better" or whatever, it might be more dangerous of left-hand injuries if I get too excited trying to play keybass beyond my skill level.

The TP/100LR action could probably be built with progressive weighting, but so far as I know the one in the SL88 Studio doesn't have the feature, and I don't think I'd want that feature anyway.
Old 31st December 2016
  #11
Gear Nut
Studiologic advertises the SL88 Grand as progressive hammer action, and Studiologic does not advertise the SL88 Studio having this feature. Researching the purchase, I was confused on this point because some of the online dealers make the mistake of claiming that both versions have this feature.

The progressive part is confusing to me. First there is no one in the Denver area is carrying the StudioLogic keyboards that I am aware of. There used to be more music stores in the past, not much anymore. I did try the KeyLab 88 at my local Guitar City which I was told has the same keybed as the StudioLogic Studio. I did find that the keyboard on the KeyLab 88 has a progressive feel to it.
The StudioLogic editor does have a special velocity curve for a grand piano which you play the bass keys harder to reach the same volume as the treble keys.
Old 1st January 2017
  #12
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by John57 View Post
Studiologic advertises the SL88 Grand as progressive hammer action, and Studiologic does not advertise the SL88 Studio having this feature. Researching the purchase, I was confused on this point because some of the online dealers make the mistake of claiming that both versions have this feature.

The progressive part is confusing to me. First there is no one in the Denver area is carrying the StudioLogic keyboards that I am aware of. There used to be more music stores in the past, not much anymore. I did try the KeyLab 88 at my local Guitar City which I was told has the same keybed as the StudioLogic Studio. I did find that the keyboard on the KeyLab 88 has a progressive feel to it.
The StudioLogic editor does have a special velocity curve for a grand piano which you play the bass keys harder to reach the same volume as the treble keys.
Thanks John57

Haven't tested the keydown force via gram test weights. My last bout of "measuring" keyboards at the house was before I bought the SL88 Studio, and been busy since.

I could be mistaken about the SL88 Studio key weighting. Perhaps it has the feature but is too subtle for me to know without measuring it.

Fatar/Studiologic names the feature "graded hammer action". I thought sometimes the feature is called "progressive hammer action" but perhaps that too is mistaken. Sometimes my memory ain't so great. OK, according to this link, the term "progressive hammer action" is sometimes used-- What is "Progressive Hammer Action"?

I had "mistakenly" expected the SL88 Studio to have graded or progressive action (and was hoping the bass keys were not too stiff). So when it arrived and I couldn't tell that the key force was different between treble and bass, looked again at Studiologic's specs pages--

Quote:
SL88 Studio
88 Keys, TP/100LR Premium Hammer Action
Triple switch detection system
Aftertouch
Quote:
SL88 Grand
88 Keys, TP/40WOOD Graded Hammer Action
Ivory Feel
Triple switch detection system
Aftertouch
But possibly the feature is present, but there is a minor error of omission on the SL88 Studio specs page.

Some of the real fancy expensive controllers contain a big heavy near-complete dummy grand piano action with full-length wood keys extending many inches inside the chassis, hammers, felts, wood key rails, hinge pins, alignment pins, jacks, hammers, escapement adjustments, etc. Just about the whole ball of wax except strings and soundboard.

From web reading, the lesser expensive progressive or graded actions-- All keys on a particular action design tend to have identical shorter hinge length and identical hammer leverage points. But the weight on the end of the miniature hammers is different for different key ranges.

Found one video or web page of a graded hammer action disassembly (can't recall the brand) where the little plastic hammers were all identical dimensions. The hammers had small metal weights sealed into the "long end" and the keyboard used 5 different-weight color-coded hammers. The heaviest-weighted hammers in the bass, getting gradually lighter with the lightest-weight hammers in the treble. All with identical dimensions. If you wanted to, you could put the heavy hammers under the treble keys and vice-versa. Am guessing a fella could even open his action and add or remove weight to the hammers to adjust the feel more to his liking.

Have not looked inside my SL88. Looked at videos and pictures of the action. So far as I know, it ought to be possible to build the keybed either with the same-weight hammer on every key, or with different-weight hammers on every key. That is why I guessed that possibly some of the TP/100LR keybeds could be supplied with graded hammer action even if the SL88 Studio is not.

I think I would prefer all the keys the same weight, rather than graded.
Old 2nd January 2017
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John57 View Post
First there is no one in the Denver area is carrying the StudioLogic keyboards that I am aware of.
Yep that's where I've been looking....
Old 3rd January 2017
  #14
Lives for gear
An idea somewhat on the topic of "relocating controls"--



In planning a "pretty-looking" wood two-stack fold-up keyboard stand-- For ergonomics I want the stacked 61 key synth as low possible to the SL88 while not making the SL88 controls inoperable. And I want the stacked 61 key synth as far forward as feasible.

Viewed from above, the ideal would place the 61 keyboard key fronts right above the SL88 key backs.

If the top keyboard is suspended with a couple of inches gap above the SL88 I could easy enough reach into the gap to push the three buttons and manipulate the little joystick knob, and the top keyboard wouldn't be excessively high for convenient swapping hands between the two keyboards. It would be more spread-out than a two-manual organ, but I've worked with much wider-spaced keyboard stacks in the past.

Similarly the SL88 joysticks are close enough to the front that they should be easy to manipulate even if a 61 is stacked above with about a 2 inch gap.

The biggest issue is that cute little LCD screen. If the fronts of the 61 keys are horizontally aligned with the backs of the SL88 keys, then the 61 would need to be raised fairly high in order to be able to see the SL88 LCD screen. And unless completely controlling the SL88 via computer, it is essential to see the LCD screen.

Ideally the LCD screen would be in that blank panel space between the SL88 key backs and the current screen location. It would be even nicer if the moved LCD screen could flip up at maybe a 20 or 30 degree angle. Which would be some nasty metal nibbling and rewiring to actually move the LCD screen and put it on a flip-up hinge.

My "ideal seated stage keyboard height" would have the SL88 keytops 30 inches above the floor. A little higher than typical grand piano key height, but not so high that it is a lot of work "reaching up" to play the 61 stacked on-top. There needs to be sufficient vertical space underneath so the knees don't bump the underside of the keyboard when working foot controllers. One needs to sit a little higher than piano bench height or volume controllers are hard on the knees and ankles, and then the keyboard needs to be raised enough to provide leg room with a slightly higher seat.

Also when I've setup on stage with keytops about 27 inches as with my old Baldwin grand piano, it seems a little short for "stage presence" kinda feeling like Peanuts' Shroeder up on stage with such a low keyboard.

Just saying, with the SL88 keytops at about 30 inches and the FA06 a couple of inches higher than the SL88 top panel, the natural angle of sight can easy see that front blank panel space in front of the LCD, but the LCD in the middle of the panel is obscured by the top keyboard.

So I got to fiddling with some telescope mirror diagonals. With one mirror over the far edge of the LCD, angled toward the keys, and another mirror over the blank space in front of the keys-- The angles of this "periscope" can be adjusted so that the LCD is easy-visible from normal seated position without bending or stooping. I think the entire "periscope" assembly only needs to be a couple of inches in height. Or less. Periscopes typically use 45 degree mirror angles but other angles work fine.

My first idea was even simpler-- A big prism to re-direct the LCD screen view. But I couldn't find a cheap big prism with the proper angles. It would need to be a little bigger than 2 inches square on the two optical faces, and fairly flat or it wouldn't be very useful for "saving space". So a mirror solution is probably cheaper and more compact.

I need to order some mirror material and build one to make sure it is a good idea. Cheap second-surface mirrors would probably be a clear enough image for this purpose, but surplusshed.com sells some fairly large first-surface mirrored flats not real expensive.

Am thinking a box made of thin plywood, an inch or two tall, a little wider than the LCD and extending from the key backs out to a little past the far-edge of the LCD screen. Adjust the mirrors for the proper view then glue them in-place. Embed a few tiny neodymium magnets in the bottom edge of the periscope frame, covered with thin felt so that the frame doesn't scratch the SL88's paint job. Use strong enough magnets that it is extremely unlikely that the little periscope would move or fall off during performance.
Old 5th January 2017
  #15
Gear Nut
I just received my StudioLogic SL88 Studio. It was scheduled by request, delivery on Thursday but I wanted Wednesday since the Denver area will have a big snowstorm starting Wednesday night until Friday morning. There was a good chance that UPS will be shut down for Thursday. UPS changed their mind and delivered the keyboard today. Happy about that. Instead of buying the keyboard on Amazon I got it from GearTree directly and since I am a first time buyer on GearTree I save 10% or $50 by doing so. I can confirmed that there is no difference between the bass keys and treble keys physical action or feel. Unlike the Keylab 88 demo at Guitar City. The Studio keybed was a bit slow and sluggish at first since it was sitting out in 3°F weather. After a bit of a warmup, the keybed is more consistent. The three joy sticks have a precision feel to them much better than the photos would have indicated. All Italy made including the docs and CD. I have plans to make the SL88 a true full master MIDI keyboard. Stay tuned.

P.S. Even the foot pedal is Italian made. You can add a StudioLogic three pedal board using only one jack going into the SL88 Studio keyboard. The action is a bit heavier than the Casio PX-300 and the Casio is much more nosier and bouncier than the SL88 even when the Casio was new. You also get a power supply with world wide power plug adapters. You do not have to use the power supply when using the USB connection only. Since the keyboard have four zones I turn off the other three until the time I need to use the other zones. The idea is to reduce the amount of duplicate MIDI traffic so that things like stuck notes are less likely to happen. The SL88 uses the standard OS MIDI driver, no proprietary drivers. The SL editor software is quite intuitive to use.

Last edited by John57; 6th January 2017 at 04:21 AM.. Reason: add more details
Old 8th January 2017
  #16
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John57 View Post
I just received my StudioLogic SL88 Studio.
I was wondering if you could measure the keybed for me and let me know what those dimensions are? I'd like to make sure I have the size right for the desk cut out... All I had to go off of was my baby grand keybed, but i realize they could be different.
Old 8th January 2017
  #17
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by ndjonz View Post
I was wondering if you could measure the keybed for me and let me know what those dimensions are? I'd like to make sure I have the size right for the desk cut out... All I had to go off of was my baby grand keybed, but i realize they could be different.
5.5" height add 3/4 for knobs and joysticks and 1/4" for rubber feet
49.5" length
11.5" depth but must add room for cables. Highly recommend to use right angle USB cables since the rear panel is not recessed. Like this one on Amazon which gives a choice of left or right angle. This would help to reduce the chance of accidental bumps or damage to the keyboard USB connection.

https://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-...ht+angle+usb+B

I offer no guarantee in my measurements.
Old 8th January 2017
  #18
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John57 View Post
5.5" height add 3/4 for knobs and joysticks and 1/4" for rubber feet
49.5" length
11.5" depth but must add room for cables. Highly recommend to use right angle USB cables since the rear panel is not recessed. Like this one on Amazon which gives a choice of left or right angle. This would help to reduce the chance of accidental bumps or damage to the keyboard USB connection.

https://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-...ht+angle+usb+B

I offer no guarantee in my measurements.
Oh I'm sorry, I meant just the keys themselves.. I.E. I'm planing on buying the keyboard and hacking it all up, mounting the keybed into the desk and mounting the electronics somewhere in it also as I find a place for them. If you take a look at the pictures in my first post in the thread, I'm building a desk and want to have a builtin keybed on the desk.... The current cutout I have is 48 3/4" x 6" to mount the keys in it.. That is the measurement I took off my piano's keys, but was curious what the fatar keybed in the sl88 dimensions are... (I understand no guarantee on the measurements, just wanting a better idea) Thanks for your reply!
Old 8th January 2017
  #19
Gear Nut
I would say 48.25" and 6" best I can see it. Of course you need room for the hammers but may not be a issue.
Old 8th January 2017
  #20
Here for the gear
 

Great, Thanks!
Old 9th January 2017
  #21
Gear Nut
What I did with my SL88 Studio is to put it on a movable side table at the correct height and leave my computer keyboard and monitors alone. I am not planing a showcase environment for clients.
What I also did was to get the magnetic computer plate for it and instead of a laptop I am using the Panorama P1 on the SL computer plate with room to spare. The P1 integration is wonderful deep with Reaper, my DAW. You can even have the P1 to switch between Rewire devices. You can get two Panorama P1 units and have them dedicated to Reaper and the other to Reason as per SweetWater tech support, see page 468. Good control over the VST instruments. In my case the I can press one key and it will bring up my EastWest Play interface with three pages of control. Works fine with Kontakt also. The P1 can store 20 presets with all the assignments for 16 encoders, 9 45mm faders, 10 LED buttons, 28 buttons and a foot switch plus a link to any of the 10 stored assignable. Each of the 10 F-keys maps stores the setting of each of the 11 F keys and each F key can store up to eight QWERTY or key shortcut commands. It just works. On Reaper just look at the reaper manual located here
REAPER | User Guide
Check out chapter 15 and you then can realize how powerful QWERTY macros can be. It is a rare event to get something that exceeds my expectations. This makes having a keyboard on a side table very workable and productive. I got my P1 at $220. You still have room to put up the SL magnetic music stand also. Reaper music notation editor is getting better all the time.
Old 10th January 2017
  #22
Here for the gear
 

So I got the test run today, i painted and hot glued the pieces together and attached them here... its not all straight cuz my hot glueing skills are not at the top of their game... but its pretty cool to physically see it.. the other pictures are my sketchup ideas for my gear and my "shed" studio build..
Attached Thumbnails
Mounting a keyboard in a desk?-snip20170108_1.jpg   Mounting a keyboard in a desk?-snip20170109_2.png   Mounting a keyboard in a desk?-2017-01-09-13.33.29.jpg   Mounting a keyboard in a desk?-2017-01-09-19.40.23.jpg   Mounting a keyboard in a desk?-2017-01-09-19.40.12.jpg  

Mounting a keyboard in a desk?-2017-01-09-19.40.36.jpg  
Old 11th January 2017
  #23
Lives for gear
Hi ndjonz

It is looking good.

One possible keyboard I'd research if looking for a "build-in" keyboard. Have not done a lot of study, but the price is not outrageous and it might be rather good-- VaxMIDI Keyboard

Maybe it feels good or maybe not, dunno. Advantage for build-in is the flat-top. Case is so similar in size to internal keyboard dimensions that might as well just put the thang in a "pit". Or if customizing, you would be starting with raw parts and wouldn't have to take something apart just to hack on it then put it back together again.

It appears well designed, rugged and maintainable. Assuming it happens to feel good to play. Being an old guy it looks a little too heavy for a spot gig keyboard, but if I was younger the weight wouldn't matter. Just judging by the shipping weights, maybe about twice the weight of some of the "incredibly light-weight" modern keyboards. Or maybe the shipping weight is a lot more than the assembled keyboard. But weight wouldn't matter for permanent installation.

****

A problem easy to encounter "re-arranging" the modules of a disassembled keyboard-- Analog can be sensitive to cabling lengths and cable routing. But digital circuitry running at fairly high clock rate can get very sensitive to cabling details.

Long ago when I would design and build analog/digital gear-- Designing a circuit that theoretically works-- The actual implementation might not always work because of parts layout and cabling interface details. It was not uncommon to use "best rules of thumb" to build a prototype which "ought to" have minimal problems because of layout issues, and then have to fuss with the built prototype to actually get it working glitch-free. Sometimes a little fussing and sometimes a lot of fussing.

I haven't been inside the SL88, but I bet the ribbon cable between the scanner circuitry and key sensors is built "as short as feasible". If you want to move the circuitry farther away from the keybed, with longer ribbon cables-- Maybe it will still work fine with a foot or three extra ribbon cable, or maybe the added capacitance will make it quit working and require fussing with the longer cable runs before it will operate as desired. Just something that you might run into. Then again you might get lucky and the circuit doesn't mind extended-length cabling.

****

Another random thought-- Some organs hide "electronic interfaces" in slide-out hatches or tilt-out hatches. I think some of the wood B3 type Hammond-Suzuki organs do that or might be remembering wrong. Have also seen it on big Allen electronic liturgical organs and some of the big Wersi's as best I can recall.

You have this big old beautiful wood cabinet that looks like a classic organ, but it is actually full of computer circuitry. To preserve the classic monster wood console appearance, the high-tech knobs and buttons are hidden behind innocent-looking pretty wood panels, so the illusion is preserved until the instrument needs heavy-tweaking, and you slide out or tilt out the "high tech" controls, do the tweak, and then slide them back in to preserve the "old style" classic appearance.

Was just thinking that might be an approach for your desk if you hack up an SL88 and move the controls-- Put them in a slide-out or tilt-out bay so they are "out of sight, out of mind, out of the way" for most of the time when you are controlling the mapping via computer and don't need the panel controls. But easy to access the LCD display, knob and buttons to set the base midi channel or assign the foot controller inputs or whatever, then slide or tilt the panel back into a closed position.
Old 11th January 2017
  #24
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcjr View Post
Another random thought-- Some organs hide "electronic interfaces" in slide-out hatches or tilt-out hatches. I think some of the wood B3 type Hammond-Suzuki organs do that or might be remembering wrong. Have also seen it on big Allen electronic liturgical organs and some of the big Wersi's as best I can recall.

You have this big old beautiful wood cabinet that looks like a classic organ, but it is actually full of computer circuitry. To preserve the classic monster wood console appearance, the high-tech knobs and buttons are hidden behind innocent-looking pretty wood panels, so the illusion is preserved until the instrument needs heavy-tweaking, and you slide out or tilt out the "high tech" controls, do the tweak, and then slide them back in to preserve the "old style" classic appearance.

Was just thinking that might be an approach for your desk if you hack up an SL88 and move the controls-- Put them in a slide-out or tilt-out bay so they are "out of sight, out of mind, out of the way" for most of the time when you are controlling the mapping via computer and don't need the panel controls. But easy to access the LCD display, knob and buttons to set the base midi channel or assign the foot controller inputs or whatever, then slide or tilt the panel back into a closed position.
I really like that idea... I have a cousin who just got a bachelor degree in electrical engineering... maybe i can talk him into figuring out the electronics for me, and I'll just make some sort of slide-out that holds that stuff...
Old 12th January 2017
  #25
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by ndjonz View Post
I really like that idea... I have a cousin who just got a bachelor degree in electrical engineering... maybe i can talk him into figuring out the electronics for me, and I'll just make some sort of slide-out that holds that stuff...
You may want to figure out how you will mount the pedal inputs on the back. Maybe bottom and back of desk and the USB and MIDI connections There is an indication that the back panel jacks are mounted on the circuit board. However you should be able to rewire the the back panel to the way you wanted. The joysticks may be separate from the main board but I am not taking my SL88 apart to find out. The main board that holds the display and buttons may have to stay together since I think it would be hard to separate them.
Old 12th January 2017
  #26
Lives for gear
If going for slide-out/tilt-out hidden controls, maybe the easiest-to-use location would be a tilt-up hatch on the desk surface behind the keyboard, about left-right centered as with the basic SL88 design.

If such a panel tilts-up out of the desk so you are looking square-on to the panel, then the controls would be easy to reach and the LCD would be easy to see.

The only other immediately-obvious positions would be to the far-right or far-left of the keyboard. That far away from the normal seated position, one would have to roll the office chair over to easily see/manipulate the controls. It would be hard to see and reach the controls from the normal seated position. Well, it might be a little easier with far-left or far-right locations if the panel tilts-up facing the player, rather than facing upwards from a slide-out tray, or tilted-up facing into the room away from the desk. A side-location tilt-up facing the user ought to be fairly easy to see and twiddle without much wasted motion.

Biggest problem with a tilt-up panel smack in the middle of the desk, of course, is that you couldn't "permanently place" anything big like a desktop synth or mixer, on-top of the tilt-up panel location. The space would have to remain dedicated to paper pads, books, easily-movable comp keyboards and mouse, etc. So that it would be easy to "clear the deck" and tilt up the control panel.

OTOH one nice thing about having some desk space is to keep some of it clear to make room for tablet computers or calculators or drawing materials. That's a problem I had with earlier setups, lots of desk space, but all of it covered with synths and mixers and such. So when I wanted to draw or spread out a couple of reference books, the easel, notebook or books had to set on knobs and sliders, no clear space to put them.

Another option might be to permanently mount the panel about in the middle of the desk, under the front-lip of your back monitor shelf. Angle the mounting maybe 30 degrees "back" from vertical so you are looking straight-at the panel from normal seated position. No tricky tilt-up or slide-out to build.

When I used the home-made desk with "tall" racks under each speaker, it had two side-by-side 4 rack-space-tall bays under the computer monitor shelf in-between the two "tall" side racks. Desk was four racks wide, 76 inches plus the overhead of wood in-between the racks and wood on each side.

I used those center under-computer-monitor short racks to hold four patch bays and an old analog RTA. It was easy to reach the patch bays and easy to see the RTA while mixing. Have seen some "pro" rigs where they mounted the patch bays where you have to get on your knees with a flashlight to mess with the patch cables.

The biggest problem however, was stacking gear on the center of the desk, so I couldn't see the RTA anymore, and it was still a mess trying to reach the patch bays back behind the gear on the desk. Back then it was usually a mixer in that location on the desk, so there were mixer snakes laying the same place the patch points needed to be plugged-in. Behind the mixer and in-front of the patch bays.

Reinforcing the idea that maybe its better to keep the center of the desk clear except wireless computer keyboards, mice, pencil and paper. Though it is also almost the ideal place to put a desktop synthesizer or a mixer.
Old 31st October 2017
  #27
How did you go with dismantling the StudioLogic SL88 Grand? I'm considering doing the same thing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ndjonz View Post
So, I've been thinking about a composers desk. I've ripped off the designs of a few different desks I've found around that I like. I have some friends that work in a fab shop that I can get a deal and have them cut the mdf/plywood on their cnc laser. I was curious, though, which keyboards could be torn down and mounted in the desk? I'd prefer a weighted 88 key midi controller. I've seen quite a few people use the doepfer LMK4+... I've also heard that the Studiologic keyboards could be used for this. I've been looking at the Studiologic SL88 grand, but I dont know how I'd tare it apart and remount it in the desk. Anyone have any experience with this?
Old 31st October 2017
  #28
Here for the gear
 

I've been tied up with new kids and new jobs and haven't gotten a chance to go on with this project. I did get the SL88 Grand and it feels pretty nice, but I haven't taken it apart yet. I'll update when I do.
Old 3rd December 2017
  #29
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomwatson View Post
How did you go with dismantling the StudioLogic SL88 Grand? I'm considering doing the same thing.
A few months ago the LCD in my SL88 Studio got weird-- Bad contrast. Rather than shipping it back for factory warranty, was able to buy a new LCD exact same part something like $10 or $15 direct from China BuyDisplay.com. The transaction was much smoother than I'd expected, not having bought parts direct from China before. Took a couple or three weeks for delivery is all. I tried to talk the US studiologic distributor into sending me a warranty display, but they wanted me to ship the keyboard for repair, and it was worth a few bucks to me, to avoid having to ship the entire keyboard. Anyway, if I'd bought the same LCD from Studiologic it would have costed more. I went ahead and got two displays so if another one ever goes down I'll have a spare. Best I recall something like $28 for two displays including something like $3 slow shipping from China.

Note: ATM I don't think the LCD failure reflects on the keyboard quality. When I was researching the part, that particular LCD module is very common, used in MANY different products from many different companies. I don't at the moment see how it could be Studiologic's fault that OEM parts can sometimes fail. Doh.

So anyway that's neither here nor there, except I finally disassembled the SL88 Studio. Hadn't been curious enough to look inside, but had to take it down to replace the LCD. The Grand is probably a little different inside, but maybe not much except a different keybed. Dunno.

As best I recall, you pull all the screws from both end panels and the screws along the back which hold the top and bottom steel clamshells together, Then the end panels come off and the top panel can be tilted back/up. Just saying there are a few wires you would want to disconnect before moving the top panel more than a few inches away from the unit.

As best I recall, the major parts--
_1 The keyboard action
_2 A circuit board on the back which holds all the input and output jacks and power input.
_3 A circuit board on the top-left of the top panel which holds the three joysticks.
_4 A small circuit board looks like it has one or more microcontrollers, perhaps for keyboard scanning and i/o interfacing and such. I think it was mounted to the bottom steel clamshell about in the center, toward the rear behind the keyboard action.
_5 A small circuit board with one or more microcontroller, the three push buttons and the combo knob/joystick, and holding the little LCD module on a small daughter board, attached to the "main" top circuitboard with a ribbon cable.

The LCD, the top microprocessor board, the three push buttons and knob/joystick combo are all "one piece" mounted to a black plastic insert (with transparent plastic top so you can see the LCD screen inside). The entire top module easily removes from the top steel clamshell. Look at a picture of an SL88, and the square area of the LCD, buttons and knob, is the size of that plastic assembly.

If it was me, I would not want to dissect that top plastic assembly. I would want to keep it exactly as it is, and just move it somewhere more convenient, if trying to take apart an sl88 to put the parts in another box.

All the above described modules are interconnected by a few plugin ribbon cables, most of them with not many wires, not big fat wide ribbons of yesteryear so far as I recall.

However, IMO it would be opening a big can of worms to try cutting apart any of the individual circuit boards. You could probably relocate them within reason by extending whatever ribbon cables are not long enough. If you make the cables stupid long it would run the risk of messing up the microcontroller scanner timing and making it quit scanning reliably.

Especially I would keep the LCD and its motherboard and the three switches and knob all one unit just like the factory, just try to move it somewhere else. The LCD connects to its little motherboard with those typical "very lightweight" wide ribbon cables only about 2 or 3 inches long. About as you might see it done in ipods or smartphones. I would not envy the job of trying to put that LCD thin plastic wide ribbon cable on a long extension cable, and I'd seriously doubt it would work right if placed several feet away from its little controller board.

So putting the parts in a desk or new cabinet, I'd suggest keep the bottom scanner board right behind the keyboard action just as from the factory (so you don't have to mess with the action ribbon cables) and try to find "reasonable" places to put the back jackplate board, the top joystick board, and that top plastic LCD/button/joystick assembly.

Carefully label all interconnecting wires. Use a sharpie marks on anything to mark one side of each ribbon plug and one side of each circuit board socket, so you remember which way each connector plugs in. Then after moving those major modules where you want them, extend whatever wiring does not reach any longer and keep your fingers crossed maybe it will still work.
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