Though I am more experienced in "heavy" keyboards like Rhodes or
acoustic piano I still need soft keys sometimes. My old Roland A-30 is perfect for this,
besides one thing: only 76 keys, I really prefer 88 keys.
Recently I bought a
Studiologic VMK-88+ controller for this purpose.
From the specification it looked
ideal: 88 keys, less than 8kg, continuous pedal inputs and assignable knobs (not
But here are the problems I have with it:
1) I do
hate the action. Seriously, I have played on many crappy keyboards but this one is just
one of the most horrible for me. In the softwares I have to choose a very "compressed"
velocity curve and hit the keys hard enough, otherwise it's just unpredictable (crazy
velocity jumps). You can either play very hard or very soft, it's impossible to play in
between (and I have played all sorts of keyboards for near 25 years). Honestly, this may
be a good keyboard but it feels extremely unnatural, even as a percussion instrument
(either "normal" or "accent", nothing between). The Roland A-30, which has softer keys,
can be used for dynamic playing and is really more comfortable.
I have no idea if it
is because of the action itself, or because of how this action is mounted in the case, or
because of the case itself (not that rigid).
2) The MIDI continuous pedal
often jumps to 127 while using it. Let's take this problem out of this thread because I
have a workaround, say Doepfer Pocket Electronics or something like this.
I do not know what the guys who designed the configuration editor smoke but I do not want
it for sure. Again, this is not really a problem: I took some time for setting up a
generic preset and now keep on using it.
Sorry to sound that nasty, I usually
don't react like this, but I think Studiologic just lost the opportunity to make a very
interesting keyboard, even if it was more expensive.
So what would you
do? I could not find a replacement for it. I only need a keyboard, nothing else (pedal
inputs, knobs, etc).
Any "Roland A-30" or other ultra-soft keyboard with 88 keys,
possibly not too big/heavy and with a DIN MIDI output?
Or, if an adapted
action exists I can buy it and have someone assemble it into a MIDI keyboard.
Second-hand is also an option of course.
At this point, I am even ready to
modify the VMK-88 (for example, installing the action in a better case) but I have no idea
if it is useful.