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Martin Walker, just tried "your" controler

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Re: Martin Walker, just tried "your" controler

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 8:55 pm
by Axe L
electrotimba wrote:
P.S. Martin, maybe these are professional colors in China?

Excellent point, mate.

Red IS a lucky color in China, in fact, THE lucky color, just as the number 8 is the number of good fortune (quite literally: eight sounds like money in mandarin).

Chances are if you see a car in front of you with 888 on its vanity plate, the driver is Chinese. In Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, HongKong, etc, numbers with 888s are auctioned by cell or land phone companies to the highest bidder. One tycoon in HK got all 8s. Lucky guy, or so he thought, until half the city called his number asking him for loans ;)

So there are certainly cultural differences at play here, though I heard no such uproar (or mention of professionalism) when Nord released its keyboards in the same hue, nor did it seem to make the Nords any less professional.

Now what I'm really curious to find out if how this 88 key controller compares to my 20 year old Yamaha KX-88, at least with regards to the action. I tried the M-Audio controller at a store a few months ago, and I was appalled by the action. Everything BUT professional, I'd call it (though others may like its "mushiness"). If this Chinese manufacturer can approximate the Yamaha action for this price, they've got a hit.

Cultural and professional differences aside, I'm with you on this one: nix the red, and usher back the black (and sayonara silver), lest we get cited by the fashion police for offensive color coordination (or lack thereof).


Re: Martin Walker, just tried "your" controler

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 10:20 am
by Clarksword
I wouldn't buy one until it's been in the market place for a bit. If Korg, Yamaha, Roland etc release a new keyboard you can be reasonably assured it isn't going to fall to bits in a couple of months. This is new and it's very cheap, which may mean great value but alternatively may mean it is superficially nice but will deteriorate quickly.

So I will take a watching brief and see what people say.

Anyway, my Yamaha does the controller job nicely, so I'm sticking with that.


Re: Martin Walker, just tried "your" controler

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 12:05 pm
by Guest
To answer your questions...

redwedge - the feel of the UF8 is comparable to a Fatar Studiologic controller and I think most people will prefer it to the 'Keystation'. It is easy to control dynamics, with no problems playing softly with the left hand whilst hammering out a melody with the right hand for example.

With regards to latency, I have carried out many 'Martin Walker style' MIDI latency tests over the last few years - especially with USB Interfaces/keyboards, and i've found delays up to 14ms on some USB products. Others suffer from jitter, which is even worse because you can naturally compensate for a delay, but not an unknown variation of a delay! I think any half-decent keyboard player or pianist will notice problems in this area and I can happily report that there is no noticable delay or jitter when playing the UF Series. It is also worth remembering that a real piano has 'latency' - the time it takes the hammer to swing and hit the string. I have a real piano at home and, side by side, I'd say that the combination of the MIDI latency from the keyboard and the souncard latency is much less than that of the real piano. I don't have a laboratory for testing pianos to prove this though!

Axe L - I always liked the feel of the KX-88 too. It is kind of like half-way between a semi-weighted synth keyboard and a hammer-action board. The UF8 has a hammer action keyboard and so does not feel exactly like a KX-88. Having said that, it is a fairly 'light' action - similar to the Challen piano I have (which has a light action for a real piano). I think it's important that a product such as the CME UF Series does not have an action that is too heavy, as it's duties will inevitably stretch beyond playing piano sounds - synth parts, organ, drums etc. This is probably why the KX-88 was so popular.

Clarksword - Don't worry, there is no chance that the UF Series will fall apart! Wait till you see one! Build quality was one of CME's top priorities when designing the UF series, as this was something that had not been properly addressed for this type of product - especially at this price point!

The UF Series will be on show at Sounds Expo, Wembley 14th - 16th April 2005. If you are in the UK and can make your way to Wembley, I'd recommed you come along and try the UF Series for yourself!

Many thanks

Kevin Billett
Arbiter Music Technology

Re: Martin Walker, just tried "your" controler

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:21 pm
by Martin Walker
If you haven't delivered my unit for SOS review by mid-April I'll be on your stand playing it as well then - see you at Sounds Expo Kevin!


Re: Martin Walker, just tried "your" controler

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:33 pm
by Guest
Yes, I'll see you there Martin. I think the last time we met was on the UK Nuendo Tour when Nuendo first came out - years ago!

If you are lucky I might even play a bit of 'Watcher of the Skies' on the CME for you... :blush:

Re: Martin Walker, just tried "your" controler

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:55 pm
by Martin Walker
Oooh! Front row seat for me then ;)

Re: Martin Walker, just tried "your" controler

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 8:18 pm
by redwedge
Well it all sounds promising... I'm in the market for a new 88 hammer action so it's a choice between the Keystation and the CME. The keystations seem to have some quality issues (or so I've read) but at least M-Audio has good support. I'm a little concerned about the untested CME as a company though...

Still, I look forward to reading Martin's unbiased comments whe he gets his mitts on one...


Re: Martin Walker, just tried "your" controler

PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 2:09 pm
by Martin Walker
So am I. Oh no, sorry, I can't do that can I :beamup:

Re: Martin Walker, just tried "your" controler

PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 3:49 pm
by Bubble
Just a quick reminder that the CME keyboards (that Martin Walker has just seen in Frankfurt) will be on display at the Sounds Expo show in London next week, do pop down to the Arbiter Music Technology stand to have a look and play.

More info on the keyboards at

Re: Martin Walker, just tried "your" controler

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:36 pm
by Martin Walker
Yes, I've just tried the new CME range at the Musikmesse, and compared the various models side-by-side with other controllers from Doepfer, Fatar, M Audio, plus various 'real' acoustic grand pianos, and I can now say:

1. The CME range is of excellent quality.

2. I'm definitely having one of the 88-note models for use in my own studio.

(Of course, my forthcoming review will go into a lot more detail on why ;))


Re: Martin Walker, just tried "your" controler

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 10:42 pm
I'll be there, if its as good as they say we'll be having one...

(i'll be the person who plays twinkle twinkle little star on it)