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#194187 - 04/14/05 09:36 AM The "perfect" keyboard hardware
to the genesys Offline
Member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 1155
I wanted to throw this idea out there since we all have different needs on an arranger/workstation.

What if manufacturers were to make a “perfect” hardware keyboard. It must have excellent build and key feel, pitch bend and modulation, assignable sliders, nubs, and switches and, peddle jacks, a good display, multiple audio outputs and inputs and there must be buttons that can be used for arranger functions.

Then the user can choose what he or she wants on the keyboard by choosing from available software from the manufacturer that can be loaded on to the keyboard. So if you want styles and everything having to do with styles, you just buy that software. Remember that the keyboard would have been setup to accommodate arranger functions. If you want a vocal harmonizer then get the software for that.

The keyboard hardware should also come with slots that can accommodate sampling, and MP3 player and other features that may require a small additional hardware accessory.

So the user would only choose features that he or she would want. You don’t have to pay extra for things you don’t want. So I don’t have to pay for a vocal harmonizer if I don’t want it and another person would not have to pay for a sampler if they don’t want it.

Such a keyboard hardware would have to be in 3 different models, 61, 76 and 88 keys. Speakers should be easily attachable. It should have connectivity like MIDI, USB a hard drive (or maybe that can be optional). The USB drive should be able to handle direct connectivity to the computer, a CD and or DVD drive thumb drive.

The price for this Keyboard hardware should be very low as users have to also pay for the different software they desire.

Creating one of these would not mean that people would stop buying any later offerings of such a hardware keyboard. As technology increases and gets cheaper, more things can be added on the basic instrument. For example, and this is just one example, the amount of programs that would be able to run on the keyboard at the same time is something that can be increased in a new offering.

The basic keyboard hardware can come with sounds and any specialized sounds and be had by getting CD specifically with those sounds. The manufactures would have to decide if they want to make the keyboard hardware able to read third party applications (but may be the market would determine that)?
Keyboard manufacturers already have software in their keyboard; they just have every thing package on one instrument.

Another advantage of such a keyboard hardware is that it could have a sequencer if you want it and substantial sound editing if you want it all by getting the relevant software.

Naturally, the design of such a product would be critical to its success, but I know with forums like this one and different R and D techniques, manufacturers can figure it out at a low cost.
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#194188 - 04/14/05 03:01 PM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
trident Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 1457
Loc: Athens, Greece
Such a thing exists, although it is still a little complicated.

First link for the software, second link for the keys, add a laptop.
http://www.synthzone.com/ubbs/Forum37/HTML/010322.html
http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Keystation88es-main.html

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#194189 - 04/14/05 05:35 PM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
to the genesys Offline
Member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 1155
Quote:
Originally posted by trident:
Such a thing exists, although it is still a little complicated.

First link for the software, second link for the keys, add a laptop.
http://www.synthzone.com/ubbs/Forum37/HTML/010322.html
http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Keystation88es-main.html


Yes that is definitely a viable solution, but the concept I am talking about would help those who don’t want to walk with a lap top, midi audio interface on a gig and trying to figure out how to get the controller keyboard, computer and software talking to each other seamlessly on a gig.

With the concept I am proposing, all you would have to carry on a gig is the hardware keyboard, a keyboard stand, a gig bag with your mic cables and pedals and your PA system.
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#194190 - 04/15/05 01:01 AM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
trident Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 1457
Loc: Athens, Greece
Hi to the genesys,
I didn't have gigs in mind when proposing the above, although I do understand that a musician must PLAY somwhere else than his living room.

I too like the ideas you described, and the first thing that came in my mind was a set of keys with a PC within, like some keyboards that get some attention lately like NEKO or others.

On the other hand, Frank Rosenthal says he has used his equipment live succesfully, and I think some blokes here carry a laptop around in their gigs also.

We are halfway there.

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#194191 - 04/15/05 03:40 AM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
Sheriff Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 965
Loc: Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
What you want to get is the same thing like the virtuality's 'freaks' want to get but in another case form. This is not really what I want to get. The little differences in hardware engineering that brought us so much varieties of sound abilities will be lost in future, I'm afraid.

We had have the choice between various hardwares - be it a light, medium or heavy weighted keyboard with 49, 61, 76 or 88 keys - be it a Korg, Kurzweil, Roland or Yamaha (or anything else) rack mounting system - be it a multi effect rack system from various manufacturers... there's a long list of systems with a more or less long history.

I really didn't miss anything but money to make my dreams come true...

------------------
Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)
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Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)

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#194192 - 04/15/05 06:18 AM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
Fran Carango Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 9196
Loc: Levittown, Pa, USA
This and a laptop will do all you asked for..

http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/KeystationPro88-main.html

[This message has been edited by Fran Carango (edited 04-15-2005).]
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#194193 - 04/15/05 09:12 AM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
Frank L. Rosenthal Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/18/00
Posts: 1008
trident, you are absolutely correct in that I have used my system for live performances - successfully. It sounds good and is reliable.

Fran the M-Audio 88 key board interests me and there are others as well, e.g., Oberheim, etc.

With your PC keyboard, midi controllers like Fran notes and a touch screen you can do everything very quickly - excellent for live performances.

I have in past posts shown links to others who use software based systems for live performances, one man bands or as one member of a band.

It can be done and provides a nice alternative to hardware based systems.

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#194194 - 04/15/05 11:44 AM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
Sheriff Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 965
Loc: Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Quote:
Originally posted by Frank L. Rosenthal:
It can be done and provides a nice alternative to hardware based systems.

I do really understand the most musicians who won't use a PC especially if it is a laptop because the past has shown us that windows isn't stabil enough for simple programms like Word, Excel, complex graphic engineering or simple web applications.
What the hell should make me able to believe that windows works more stabil with sound software? It's no problem while working in studio - if the PC hangs then restart it. It's not what I want to experience every day but it's no problem. While working in live acts this would be a very high risk...

Otherwise if you're using a laptop then your batteries might be too weak for a big concert...

Cough on a PC and it is fumbling!!!


------------------
Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)
_________________________
Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)

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#194195 - 04/15/05 01:30 PM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
Frank L. Rosenthal Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/18/00
Posts: 1008
Sheriff, I don't know which world you live in but I have no reliability problems at all with my music computer (regular Windows PC not a Laptop) - None!!! It is optimized for live performances and that's all it is used for. I do all editing, testing, etc. on my general purpose computer. Plus I have used my system for years without ever having it fail during a performance. There are others who use laptops for live performances (search flr2003 or flr2002 on this site): http://www.brucerichardsonmusic.com/ http://www.daviddas.com/index2.html http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/index.php?

So my computer is more reliable then any of the keyboards I have ever owned. Yamaha PSR9000, 9000 Pro, Korg i2, Roland G1000, Ketron X1 and many more.

You are not the only one that claims that a PC or Laptop is not reliable. The only thing I can think of is that the PC or Laptops were not fully optimized including the installation of quality software and hardware (sound cards, drivers ,etc.).

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#194196 - 04/15/05 02:44 PM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
trident Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 1457
Loc: Athens, Greece
Sheriff,
I have worked for more then 6 years as a sales/tech in a mom &pop computer shop, and I have never owned a computer that I built/set up myself, since 1991.
(Not that it is too difficult, everybody can do it, I just happen to have done it for my PC's and for hundreds of customers).

Frank said something that was almost hidden between the lines:

"....no reliability problems at all with my music computer..." and "...I do all editing, testing, etc. on my general purpose computer"

So he has 2 PC's.....One as a scretchpad for the internet, testing, installing various programs, all the sh*t work, and another that has a tested, proven and stable environment.

No wonder it doesn't crash. It won't crash, unless something hardware based like a PSU, CPU, HDD crashes. The odds for that are exactly the same as the odds for the tyros HDD to crash in the middle of a gig, or the SD1 PSU to fry in the second song during a wedding party.

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#194197 - 04/15/05 07:25 PM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
Frank L. Rosenthal Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/18/00
Posts: 1008
trident, you said it better than I did or could have.

[This message has been edited by Frank L. Rosenthal (edited 04-15-2005).]

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#194198 - 04/16/05 01:18 AM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
trident Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 1457
Loc: Athens, Greece
Correction,
I meant to say that I have never owned a Pc that I DIDN'T built/setup myself.

They are like dogs, If they don't get provoked (installing/deinstalling/internet use/viruses) they won't bite.

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#194199 - 04/16/05 09:29 AM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
BEBOP Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/00
Posts: 3770
Loc: San Jose, California
MY COMPUTER Sony VAIO is now over 2 years old. It is used for everything. It ruins the recording studio. It is on the internet everyday. It receives and sends hundreds of emails every day on 7 email lists that I operate. It is loaded with music software. It has usb cables going to many things that are operated nearly every day. It is upgraded with everything that comes from Microsoft and Earthlink, and yet.............are you ready for this..........THIS COMPUTER HAS NEVER CRASHED OR HUNG.
What does that tell you?
I have now bought the top end Toshiba P25 Satellite, laptop for 3400.00 that has everything. I am wondering how it is going to compare to this desktop?
Bebop
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#194200 - 04/16/05 01:23 PM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
Frank L. Rosenthal Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/18/00
Posts: 1008
BEBOP, you either do a very good job of selecting good software & hardware followed by very good installation procedures or or or ...... you are just plain lucky - especially when it comes to working with USB. Your Laptop will perform as well - if you treat it well!!!

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#194201 - 04/16/05 01:53 PM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
trident Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 1457
Loc: Athens, Greece
Bebop, please buy lottery. There is a good chance you'll win

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#194202 - 04/17/05 02:31 PM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
Sheriff Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 965
Loc: Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Hey, I didn't want to treat anyone here! I only told you some of my (and other's) experiences with Windows since I'm working with it.
Maybe I should explain something about me: I'm a hard- & software engineer since 1984. Not as a profession from the first time on but it started as a hobby and growed up to a profession (earned by school).

So I learnt to program the Commodore's C64 and C128, followed by an Intel 80286 (which means DOS time ), then an Atari ST and Falcon 030, then an Acorn Archimedes and a strongARMed Risc PC, then (since 1998) Windows 95/NT/98/2000/XP and last but not least Linux.
(Sorry ED, I've actually no experience with Mac OS... )

My experience is: I can simply NOT do the same with a Windows OS as that what I can do with all the other ones (this argument is very generally for now). You're right when you say that you install the hard- and software one times and you use it for only one (or two) application(s). But that's what I meant as I said...
Quote:
Cough on a PC and it is fumbling!!!

..., you know?

I'm looking back at the last ten years where thousands of people had blustered about their Windows system because of many different (near uncountable) things which happened and cracked the system. But if I adviced them to change their system they suddenly defended their 'little trashcan'. I still don't understand why they did and still do so...

Hello, Frank! Please don't be disgruntled about/with me. I hope you understand that ten years of such an ignorance made me hard against the Windows system (and sometimes also against the users of it). I'm not the personally foe of yours...

Hey everybody, what the hell do you think why I'm still using an Atari Falcon 030 @16MHz (!) in my home studio for 16 track harddisc recording? And why do many professional studios still use it too? There must be a reason for it and I guess it's not only a sentimental one...

------------------
Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)
_________________________
Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)

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#194203 - 04/17/05 09:51 PM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
Vquestor Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/00
Posts: 554
I think the option that Frank
is currently using, being a desktop tower, is
an excellent one. One can get a reliable and
inexpensive PCI audio interface to use with it,
as well as, one of the new flat monitors
and a PC keyboard.
There is yet another option where instead
of the separate monitor and keyboard, a networked laptop computer via ethernet cable can be used.
I've seen such an arrangement with
a Mac computer, and know it can also be
done with a PC.

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#194204 - 04/18/05 12:26 AM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
trident Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 1457
Loc: Athens, Greece
Hi all,
there is a "new" (well not so new) PC concept called SFF (Small Form Factor). I am sure you have seen them somewhere. They have very small cases, with special motherboards and crammed components inside, that provide all the functionality of a tower PC but at a much smaller size, and are usually very elegant and pleasing to the eye. They are supposed to be sitting in the living room, along with the TV or Hifi, so the appearance is well thought. Some of them come with a handle too... (gigging, anyone?)

They usally have 2 slots for add on cards, one for a better graphics card and another for a PCI card, (the badass souncard goes there!) and usually have everything else onboard, like 4 or 6 USB, modem, network, TV out, 6 channel sound card, firewire, etc.

I think those provide the best source material for building a dedicated music computer. They are compact, can be carried around easily, have the looks. A drawback may be that some are noisier than average, but you can find quiet ones, carefully choosing the components. They also don't offer much room for expansion, but, If you do your maths and your thinking beforehand, you can get one that will serve you well.

Take a look, (some models shown may be older, but you can get the picture) and tell me what you think.
http://www6.tomshardware.com/howto/200502161/index.html
http://www6.tomshardware.com/howto/20040804/index.html

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#194205 - 04/18/05 05:26 AM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
Frank L. Rosenthal Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/18/00
Posts: 1008
And here are some more examples: http://sys.us.shuttle.com/ http://www.truespec.com/computersystems/daudio/shuttle/index.shtml http://www.bsicomputer.com/

The liquid cooled PCs are whisper quiet.

One of our large music stores have had one running with Windows XP for over a year without failures/restarts, etc. Reliability simply is not an issue if you invest the time and money to do the installation and required tweaking.
http://www.videoguys.com/WinXP.html http://www.musicxp.net/

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#194206 - 04/18/05 06:21 AM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
to the genesys Offline
Member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 1155
WAW!!! All these different computer products and the reliability of them are great news and definitely a step in the right direction especially for music.

But wouldn’t it be great if a keyboard manufacturer could make a stable keyboard that would allow users to configure it and to load only software that the user wants?

You know, the same things that we are doing with PC computers.
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#194207 - 04/18/05 06:56 AM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
trident Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 1457
Loc: Athens, Greece
To the genesys,
That would be ideal, but would have limited sales. Well if Yamaha went out with such a concept, would the die hard Roland or Korg fans buy it? Well, some of the would buy it, but not all.
But things like these are generic Keyboards....they don't have a "distinctive brand" name on them.

Would Yamaha want to sell something below cost (the business sceme with things that act as a base for software is "lose money on the product and earn money on services and software"....like Gilette sells cheap machines and expensive razors, and Sony selling cheap Playstations with expensive software and royalties) that costed a fortune to develop, only to see it used with roland styles and sounds?
Nah, I don't think so.

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#194208 - 04/19/05 06:01 AM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
to the genesys Offline
Member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 1155
Each manufacturer doesn’t have to if they don’t want to make their software readable by other brands.

To give a recent example, take the new Roland G70. There have been favorable comments about the build and key feel on the G70 but there have been less than favorable and sometimes contradictory comments on the sounds and styles. Now what if Roland (in this example but could be applicable to any other manufacturer), were to have the G70 just having the 76 key keyboard, with the good build and feel, and a general OS architecture and were to sell that at a reasonable price. Then if the user wants styles of Roland and other arranger features that can only be used on the G70, then the user can buy separately. I bring this up because I can remember when there is a discussion on a new keyboard like the G70, you always get comments like… this keyboard does not have XYZ and on the other hand you hear that … this keyboard should not have XYZ because I don’t need it on an arranger and XYZ carries up the price of the keyboard.

So if you have good key feel and a good build (which is or should be the rudimentary and main feature on a musical keyboard instrument), and allow the user to choose what bells and whistles the user wants and needs on the keyboard then I think users can get more value for their money.

When you think about it, all it is is separating the hardware from the soft ware. So instead of having a Tyros with every conceivable feature on it, costing over $3500 have a real solid hardware and let the user choose the software and features. The same can be said for the flagship arrangers for other brand manufacturers like Korg, Roland Ketron, Gem and who ever else.

Obviously, there will be brand loyalty, but I think this could open up users to get more than one brand. Right now, users that want a flagship arranger have to think that if they are going to get an arranger, because of the high price, they have to think about getting it from only one manufacturer. But with the concept of separating the hardware from software, the user may feel that they may want a second brand. Different brands would specialize in certain things. Also, if the manufacturers decide that it would be more profitable to make their software readable by brands of competitors, then so much the better for the user.

The exact same thing has been and still is going on with hardware computer manufacturers.
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#194209 - 04/19/05 07:12 AM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
pianodano Offline
Member

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 122
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia
I really think all that needs to be done to ascertain the future of keyboards is to consider what Yamaha did when they bought their new software company.

imho the future is open architecture with the user deciding which sound libraries and "styles" to purchase from whom. The more that miss the boat; both mfgrs and consumers, the more will have to play catch up just as when midi was developed and introduced.

As far harware keyboard dependability,well my Tyros is 2 years old and I have had a lot more reliablity issues with it than with my computer.

BTW Frank, I bought the M_audio Keystaion pro88 a couple of months back and I would not part with it.

Danny

[This message has been edited by pianodano (edited 04-19-2005).]

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#194210 - 04/19/05 07:41 AM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
Sheriff Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 965
Loc: Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Ha, it's always the same procedure. I feel like I'm talking against walls. The world don't want to be saved...

Do anyone know the spell "never change a running system"?
I'm using my Falcon 030 since 1994!!! That's half the time I'm playing guitar now. At half the time of the running Falcon (since 1999) I saw more dieing PCs than the count of other computer systems I had and have ever worked with.

There's no support for it anymore but nevertheless I'm still using Cubase Audio. So why? It simply never crashed and it has more than enough features for working in studio or similar in live acts. And the audio quality is still sufficient.
Imagine! ELEVEN YEARS!!! Long live the Falcon!!!

That's what I call a "stabil system"!!!
The most PCs I saw stopped running not later than two years. The longest life of one PC I lived to see was my old PC80286@12MHz which ran about 8 years before he died. This was never reached by any further PC system I bought after that.

Are these arguments good enough for you, men? If not so tell it me because I have really some more arguments...

Nevertheless I hope you will have the same luck with your PC system like I have with my Falcon!!!

------------------
Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)
_________________________
Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)

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#194211 - 04/19/05 08:31 AM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
pianodano Offline
Member

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 122
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia
I have a Roland MC500 mk11 seq that I purchased new in 1988 for $1750.00. That was a pile of money back then for such a device. Thanks to Roland, a lot of problems were figured out re:seq way back when there was NO standard platform. I seq'd 100's of songs on it. It still works, but the disk drive is failing. The real problem with it is that it simply cannot handle the modern instruments data stream - sysex wise.

Regarding computers in general, I started working on the univac 1050-11 way back in the late 60's, and have lived and worked on just about every hardware and operating system imagineable. My favorite was Unix/Palo Alto Zenix by Santa Cruz org. But that is all history now. I am by no means a fan of the windows operating system. Needs to be to many things to too many folks. But, if enough tweaking is done and enough junk is taken out of services, it can be a very stabile system for music production.

Personally, when I first received my Tyros 2 years ago, I really thought it was very good as a stand alone instument. But when I began actually trying to use it in the enviroment I intended, it became evident that too many corners were cut in trying to make it all things to all people. As I told Yamaha at the time, I do not care how much it cost, if you say it is the best, it needs to be the best or you have lost me as a customer.

There are many parts of your statements I do agree with and to prove it I have every "modern" keyboard I have purchased since the 70's. But the times have changed because of the ever shinking cost of memory and exponentially faster processors.

I am 53 years old and I feel this is the most exciting time of my life to be a musician. I sit in my studio and critically listen to some of the mixes and I am just floored by the expresiveness and sonic capabilities that are available to us now. Again personally, I have spent well over $100k in my life in the qwest for the "real deal". Well it is available right now and at a modest cost for a professional. But the real deal ain't in no dedicated hardware keyboard currently on the market. Period.

As I said already and many times before,imo the future of professional arranger keyboards is,

A standardized operating system that everyone agrees on (decided by the midi mfgr assoc.) running on hopefully a P4.

Real (as in not junk) keys and keybed.

Numerous assignable knobs, controllers and motorized faders.

Quite possibly drawbars.

At least 4 gig memory, exandable. (now that 64 bit processors have broken the barrier).

A standarized style engine that will play the various programming houses styles using "OUR samples.

The ability to store at least 250 gig of samples. It does not absolutely need sampling ability, but I am sure many would want the ability to record.

Multiple monitor support.

The abilty to interface with the DAW of our choosing via firewire.

Extremely high quality look and feel.

Anyway, that's what this old guy wants. I don't think I am alone.

Regards,

Danny

[This message has been edited by pianodano (edited 04-19-2005).]

[This message has been edited by pianodano (edited 04-19-2005).]

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#194212 - 04/19/05 01:07 PM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
Sheriff Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 965
Loc: Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Quote:
Originally posted by pianodano:
...running on hopefully a P4.

Waaaaah!!! Do you really want to have a radiator in your device?
P4 - a so called high-frequency heating system!
I would better propose the xScale CPU because it consumes a power of less than 1 watt @1.5GHz and it has an internal 64 bit processing AND...it's totally a risc technology.

I would prefer have a small operating system like TOS with a spare but clear and definite desktop (like the K2k's display). This supports an easy and fast processing for musicians like me...

------------------
Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)
_________________________
Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)

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#194213 - 04/19/05 01:22 PM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
pianodano Offline
Member

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 122
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia
Quote:
Originally posted by Sheriff:
Quote:
Originally posted by pianodano:
[b]...running on hopefully a P4.

Waaaaah!!! Do you really want to have a radiator in your device?
P4 - a so called high-frequency heating system!
I would better propose the xScale CPU because it consumes a power of less than 1 watt @1.5GHz and it has an internal 64 bit processing AND...it's totally a risc technology.

I would prefer have a small operating system like TOS with a spare but clear and definite desktop (like the K2k's display). This supports an easy and fast processing for musicians like me...

[/B]


I'll take your word for it Sheriff. Anything but Athlon for me. Processor seems slow though. Currently running 3.2 ghz. I am defintely limited by memory though. Time to hang on a 2nd cpu I guess.

Danny



[This message has been edited by pianodano (edited 04-19-2005).]

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#194214 - 04/19/05 04:15 PM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
rikkisbears Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 5229
Loc: NSW,Australia
Hi Sherriff,
I had an Atari ST 1040 running Notator that I bought in about 1987, ( it must have been switched on for an average of 6 hours a day, I was hardly ever off it) it was still working when I gave it away a couple of years. It had been put in an open cardboard box and left collecting dust for a couple of years in the garage ( prior to me giving it away, but it was still working perfectly ).

Still miss it every now & again.

best wishes
Rikki

Quote:
Originally posted by Sheriff:
I'm using my Falcon 030 since 1994!!! That's half the time I'm playing guitar now. At half the time of the running Falcon (since 1999) I saw more dieing PCs than the count of other computer systems I had and have ever worked with.

There's no support for it anymore but nevertheless I'm still using Cubase Audio. So why? It simply never crashed and it has more than enough features for working in studio or similar in live acts. And the audio quality is still sufficient.
Imagine! ELEVEN YEARS!!! Long live the Falcon!!!

That's what I call a "stabil system"!!!
The most PCs I saw stopped running not later than two years. The longest life of one PC I lived to see was my old PC80286@12MHz which ran about 8 years before he died. This was never reached by any further PC system I bought after that.

Are these arguments good enough for you, men? If not so tell it me because I have really some more arguments...

Nevertheless I hope you will have the same luck with your PC system like I have with my Falcon!!!





[This message has been edited by rikkisbears (edited 04-19-2005).]
_________________________
best wishes
Rikki

SX900, P121 Piano, PA800, Band in a Box 2019
V Arranger/Ketron SD2

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#194215 - 04/20/05 12:15 AM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
trident Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 1457
Loc: Athens, Greece
Sherrif, Rikki, I know what you mean.
I still have a Spectrum 128 somewhere in the house, and it probably still works. Anyone remember these?

Anyway, the beauty of systems like TOS (Tramiel Operating System? I believe it was derived from the Atari boss of the time) are that they are stable, very stable.

Sherrif really nailed it saying that they try to be a thing for all people.

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#194216 - 04/20/05 12:17 AM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
trident Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 1457
Loc: Athens, Greece
I mean Windows try to be a thing for all people

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#194217 - 04/20/05 12:10 PM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
Sheriff Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 965
Loc: Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Quote:
Originally posted by trident:
I mean Windows try to be a thing for all people

Yes, and that's IMHO generally the reason why it won't work right (enough) for a special thing (for example like music).

Look, a synth is a sound machine built of electronical parts which were made for making sounds and their surroundings only, so this works (normally) perfect.

Instead of this a PC was made for simply all you want to do with it (it's called 'multi media'). You have a base machine which allows you to do with it nearly all you need. But, if you want to do a special thing with a PC you have to buy much extra elements like special cards, more RAM, more disc space, more of this and more of that. But do it work right then? No! You simply need the required drivers at first...and please, take care of it! Did you pay attention to the mother board's chip set? ...and so on...and so on...

I will reveal a 2nd secret for all of you who didn't know it: A further reason why I'm still using my 'old' Falcon is that it owns standardized MIDI in and out/thru plugs. Both plugs are controlled via the MFP chip which gives this computer an extra MIDI interrupt - not a translated PCI or USB interrupt like the PC does it.
Also my Falcon owns a 32 bit DSP chip which don't let me miss any modern audio cards. The eight channel analog device made by Soundpool (Germany) do afford its part for this pleasure.
I would change my system if I could find any adequate modern system viewing the performance in relationship to the payment. Remember the Atari ST was the first computer with 1 MB RAM under 1,000 $US...the Falcon was the next hammer under 1,000 $US...and they are all still working...

Well, I guess I've said enough about this thematic. I would be very glad if at least some of you would think about those arguments a little bit longer than 5 seconds. Thank you very much.

Have a nice day, guys!
I go 'playing' with my Falcon...

------------------
Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)

[This message has been edited by Sheriff (edited 04-20-2005).]
_________________________
Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)

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#194218 - 04/21/05 12:44 AM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
trident Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 1457
Loc: Athens, Greece
I understand very well what you've been saying Sheriff and I know enough about computers not to have to resort to a dictionary to see what an interrupt is.

The ONLY proble with your setup is that it has become obsolete. Not in the sense that it does not do the job, but in the sense that you simply can't recommend to anyone "get an Atari and make music" because there wouldn't be a new Atari to be found, the company ceased to exist many years ago, and the user base -strong it was once - is shrinking fast, I believe. This machine, was great, but the problem is that it WAS great, in the past tense.

Today, the only things available are Windows machines, yes Linux is good, but still not for the masses.

I may find interesting and clever enough that your machine reserves a real interrupt for MIDI, but most guys wanting to make music, don't know what it is and they do not care.
They want a thing that will start making music with not much hassle. In that sense, a generic keyboard/computer that can load sounds and styles from various manufacturers as "to the genesys" suggested, is a good deal. A PC with the appropriate software, stripped down from unnecessary programs and threads, will do fine instead, as the Atari used to do. It may still do good for you, but I think that less than 5 people in this forum will have the knowledge and time to invest in a 10 year old machine for making music today.

I really hope you take no offence with the above, it is meant as a comment only.

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#194219 - 04/21/05 08:27 AM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
Sheriff Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 965
Loc: Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Quote:
Originally posted by trident:
I really hope you take no offence with the above, it is meant as a comment only.

Don't be afraid, I'm not angry about such comments. The fact is that I have to agree with the most points you've written but I still can't believe that the Atari gets no new chance for the music market. As Atari stopped existing there were many developers in europe who modernized the system but the whole world seemed to be not interested anymore.
I've made a link to the project pages of the 'new Atari' in this thread: http://www.synthzone.com/ubbs/Forum1/HTML/003421.html
I know we are lightyears behind the actual market but we have the experience that the PC market never will get. I will aid this project as soon as they are ready with their new Atari'. I hope that the most old software will work on this system because we had so much of it with really good features.

I really like working with the Atari. Imagine, I switch on my PC and my Atari at the same time, then on my Atari I load my program, work with it, save the changes and switch off the computer, and then my PC has reached its login screen...
I spare so much time because I'm working with a small system. Windows has brought us many problems, including lost money and wasted time.
A secretary today needs more than the double time for writing a simple letter as with an Atari textwriter or for example an old DOS program like the early versions of Word (with the less of comfortability compared with !Signum). Imagine we had a kernel PLUS a graphic environment management (GEM which is similar to the today's GUI) in a 192kB ROM!!! Today the kernel of Linux only is bigger than the whole Atari system. That's the reason why it runs so fast until today.
What did you really got with your modern PC systems? Yes, the CPUs are running faster, the RAMs are running faster, the HD drives are running faster, the BUS is running faster...and so on, but the colours are many more, the screen resolution has grown up, the programs were grown to a maximum of many megabytes without doing much more than before. These are the mainreason why a PC won't work faster but nevertheless you're trying to speed the 'little trashcan' more and more without any success...
I don't really understand the policy of the big computer concerns because they don't do it for us...only for their pockets...

------------------
Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)
_________________________
Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)

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#194220 - 04/22/05 12:26 AM Re: The "perfect" keyboard hardware
trident Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 1457
Loc: Athens, Greece
Amen...

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