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You know you're old when 5 octave keyboards start to look big...

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You know you're old when 5 octave keyboards start to look big...

PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:16 pm
by Arpangel
I've just been checking out a few dealers, and vintage synth sites, don't 5 octave keyboards look unduly large these days? That is, if you can find a synth with one in the first place, we seem to be surrounded by "cut down" versions.
It is weird though, I was looking at the Waldorf Wave, and thinking, blimey, that's big, not the actual synth, but the keyboard....synths used to be big, because they had large key keyboards, I must admit, I miss them.
There are all sorts of demos of people playing like virtuosos on 3 octave mini keys, I know all that, and some people don't need a big keyboard, but I always have done, and it's definitely affected a lot of my buying decisions, the four octave, or mini keyboards.

Re: You know you're old when 5 octave keyboards start to look big...

PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:49 pm
by BJG145
Mini keys are pants, we're all on board with that. **

Image

** (Except my Yamaha KX5)

Re: You know you're old when 5 octave keyboards start to look big...

PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 7:09 pm
by DGL.
BJG145 wrote:Mini keys are pants, we're all on board with that. **

Image

** (Except my Yamaha KX5)
Both statements Howard himself would agree with, esp. given that he had owned quite a few KX5's!

But yes, you can go full-size or go home (my Samson graphite m25 excepted as it's just so portable).

Re: You know you're old when 5 octave keyboards start to look big...

PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 7:31 pm
by desmond
Large keyboards? Pff... All you need is *one key*.

Then on the left a range of transform modifier switches (+1, +2, +3..+11, -1, -2... -11, +12, +24, -12, -24) etc.

(Having said that, this is more or less the way guitars work, anyway! :headbang: )

(I was going to mockup a graphic, but decided it was too much effort for a joke. :blush: )

Re: You know you're old when 5 octave keyboards start to look big...

PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 7:47 pm
by Trevor Johnson
We can all have fun playing mini keyboards for an hour or two, but the novelty wears off.

Five octaves is a harpsichord manual, an organ manual, and easy to live with. Plus, you never look at the keyboard when you play, but have visual clues that relate to the edges of the keyboard, or console, in use.

Anyway, just some random thoughts from a classical organist, etc..!

Re: You know you're old when 5 octave keyboards start to look big...

PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:19 am
by The Elf
5-octave, full-sized keyboards are still what I want as a minimum for a polysynth. I sometimes think I'm the only one.

The saddest result of key-drought, IMHO, remains the Behringer VC340. Rather than the original's 4-octave keyboard it has been saddled with 3-octaves and a transpose switch - which is a total PITA. Using its key-split feature leaves you with one octave of split on left or right, and having to squint at a 'helpful' graphic on the panel to figure out what the split is doing. It spoils an otherwise fabulous instrument for a ha'porth of tar, and renders the keyboard a waste of space - all for the lack of 11 bits of plastic. Sigh...

Roland Fantom?

PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:53 am
by Forum Admin
Arpangel wrote:I've just been checking out a few dealers, and vintage synth sites, don't 5 octave keyboards look unduly large these days? That is, if you can find a synth with one in the first place, we seem to be surrounded by "cut down" versions.

Roland's new Fantom range offers this, and is reviewed in the SOS November 2019 edition, on sale in UK this Thursday and online.

Re: You know you're old when 5 octave keyboards start to look big...

PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 10:43 am
by Arpangel
Yes, workstation type keyboards often seem to come in all sorts of sizes, including 8 octaves.
But also some "proper" synths used to offer this too, the Prophet T8 springs to mind.

Re: You know you're old when 5 octave keyboards start to look big...

PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 10:48 am
by Hugh Robjohns
The Elf wrote:5-octave, full-sized keyboards are still what I want as a minimum for a polysynth. I sometimes think I'm the only one.

No, you're definitely not alone on that one!

H

Re: You know you're old when 5 octave keyboards start to look big...

PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 10:55 am
by Martin Walker
The Elf wrote:5-octave, full-sized keyboards are still what I want as a minimum for a polysynth. I sometimes think I'm the only one.

Same here, otherwise my keyboard playing is compromised by having to avoid certain low or high notes :beamup:


Martin

Re: You know you're old when 5 octave keyboards start to look big...

PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:02 am
by Arpangel
I must admit, I feel a bit of an imposter, I'm actually using a 4 octave mother keyboard at the moment, owing to not playing much! I've got our grand piano for playing, and the Buchla for electronic stuff, and bleeps and boops don't really need a keyboard....

:)

Re: You know you're old when 5 octave keyboards start to look big...

PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:36 am
by N i g e l
Didnt they solve this problem 30 years ago with midi ? any keyboard of your choice can be used to play any synth of your choice?

The problem is not minikeys or short boards but lack of modules.

Any way, minikeys are great for youngsters and small fingers or people who want to stretch over an octave without a finger gym and practicing 5 Hrs a day.

:D

Re: You know you're old when 5 octave keyboards start to look big...

PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:52 am
by The Elf
N i g e l wrote:Didnt they solve this problem 30 years ago with midi ? any keyboard of your choice can be used to play any synth of your choice?
Yes they did, so why have keys at all? Especially all these Woolworths toy mini-keys? And given that we have the 19 inch rack standard, why do we now have so many non-racking 'desktop' modules? I have absolutely *no* 'desktop' space at all, yet people keep telling me how 'convenient' they are! How can any module be 'convenient' that doesn't fit in a standard rack? :headbang:

The world has gone mad...

N i g e l wrote:Any way, minikeys are great for youngsters and small fingers or people who want to stretch over an octave without a finger gym and practicing 5 Hrs a day.
And then they sit in front of a full-sized keyboard, and... :headbang:

Re: You know you're old when 5 octave keyboards start to look big...

PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:52 am
by Wonks
But then why do so many MIDI controller keyboards just have a USB port and no hardware MIDI outputs?

Re: You know you're old when 5 octave keyboards start to look big...

PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:12 am
by Arpangel
Wonks wrote:But then why do so many MIDI controller keyboards just have a USB port and no hardware MIDI outputs?

Yes, why? It's soooo annoying.