Visit The Bar For Casual Discussion
Page 12 of 14 < 1 2 10 11 12 13 14 >
Topic Options
#503115 - 06/12/21 12:04 PM Re: Yamaha Genos 2 anticipated release date [Re: Tapas]
Diki Offline

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 14203
Loc: NW Florida
Let’s be honest here… how many people on this forum can afford a $12,000 monitor system? πŸ˜‚πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

#503116 - 06/12/21 01:06 PM Re: Yamaha Genos 2 anticipated release date [Re: Diki]
Tapas Offline

Registered: 11/19/02
Posts: 303
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
I agree.

Spending $12,000 on a 2.1 monitoring system is a bit too much for a project studio. These systems are tailored to serve the needs of commercial mastering facilities.

The ADAM A7X with the Sub10 system is the maximum one should spend for a near field system to listen to their GENOS.

For a project studio, a pair of Genelec 8040B 6.5 inch Powered Studio Monitors make perfect sense.

They are reasonably priced at $1,175 each.

They outperform the ADAM A7Xs.

Studio Monitors are usually not interchangeable with Audiophile speakers.

Studio Monitors for near field listening are designed for finding and fixing flaws in your mix. They can become tiresome during long mix sessions. The best example is the Yamaha NS-10M. The tweeter was so irritating that clients would attach tissue paper over them to save their ears.
The final mix came out excellent though.

Audiophile speakers are designed to make everything sound as good as possible regardless of the source. They are tailored to provide long relaxing sessions to the end user. They are not meant for critical listening or isolating each and every instrument although some expensive ones excel in doing just that.

You can hear the ethereal clarity of the Revel Salon 2 even through this YouTube video.

For comparison, here is the recording of Isle of Innisfree by Celtic Woman.

Here is another version by Rebecca Winckworth

Edited by Tapas (06/12/21 04:55 PM)

#503318 - 07/20/21 09:02 PM Re: Yamaha Genos 2 anticipated release date [Re: Tapas]
Tapas Offline

Registered: 11/19/02
Posts: 303
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Using a Casio CDP-S350 Compact Digital Piano as an 88-key controller

The Roland RD-700GX or the RD-2000 88-key Stage Pianos are ideal to pair up with a Yamaha GENOS to get you that progressive hammer action keybed.

The Roland RD-2000 features their absolute top of the line PHA-50 progressive hammer action keybed which feels luxurious to the touch. But this instrument costs $2,680 and weights a hefty 47 lbs.

Are there cheaper portable options?

I decided to try out the Casio CDP-S350 compact digital piano. B&H shipped via 1-day FedEx delivery.

Casio CDP-S350

The 88 keys on a piano span exactly 4 feet. You cannot do much to shorten the length. What Casio did was drastically reduce the depth of this device to 9.1” while keeping the height at 3.8”.

This makes the CDP-S350 the worlds slimmest 88-key graded hammer action keyboard.

They did not compromise on the length of the keys. The white and black keys measure the standard 5.75” and 3.75” in length respectively.

Weighing in at less than 24 lbs, this is the most portable 88-key digital piano with weighted keys you can buy today.

It comes with 700 presets, 64 voice polyphony and surprisingly features arranger functions with 200 styles.

Casio CDP-S350 Specifications

At an MSRP of $549, the CDP-S350 is the cheapest 88-key fully weighted arranger keyboard.

This device is ideal for the beginner who wants to take piano lessons and dab into some arranger features for fun. It is no wonder why this model has become so popular. Casio smashed the price/performance ratio and sent their competitors back to the drawing board.

I would say the CDP-S350 was the reason Yamaha had to reimagine their DGX line and come up with their new DGX-670 model to stay in competition.

What did Casio sacrifice to shrink the depth of this device to 9.1”?

Answer: The playability of the black keys.

The weight of the black keys feel perfectly balanced with the white keys when you press down on the black keys in the middle. This is good.

However, when you press down on the tip of the black keys, they feel considerably lighter than the tip of the white keys.

Conversely, it feels very difficult to push down the black keys when you place your fingers on the back of the black keys.

Why is that?

The keys act like a lever. The back of the black keys are very close to the fulcrum requiring you to apply a great deal of pressure. The fulcrum could not be placed further back because of the design constraint on the depth.

If you look at all other digital pianos from every other vendor featuring fully weighted keys, you will notice the depth is 10” or more.

Roland FP-10, depth = 10.19 inches

Yamaha P45, depth = 11.5 inches

Kawai ES110, depth = 11.33 inches.

Korg B2, depth = 13.23 inches.

Ideally, there should be very little variation no matter where you push down on a black key. This is achieved by making the keys longer which in turn dictates a greater depth.

You cannot cheat physics.

James Pavel Shawcross, a classically trained pianist brought up this issue on his review of the Casio PX-S3000.

He pointed out that the black keys feel lighter than the white keys on the PX-S3000.

It is an undisputable fact.

However, this is where things got interesting.

Casio responded to James' review.

Mike Martin, general manager of Casio hinted that certain design compromises had to be made. Rich Formidoni on the other hand came out vigorously defending the PX-S3000 design and made matters worse. Rich previously worked at Korg.

James is a passionate guy. In response to Rich he actually took apart his Casio PX-S3000 to study the keyboard mechanism.

He showed the back keys indeed had lighter counter weights compared to the white keys proving his hypothesis.

Rich could have handled this situation a lot better by being more diplomatic. Yes, certain sacrifices had to be made to strike the best balance between playability, features, portability and price.

Rich missed a golden opportunity to educate the public on their state of the art keyboard action featured on their GP510 Hybrid Grand Piano.

The keyboard mechanism is designed by Carl Bechstein, makers of one of the finest concert grands.

The GP510 retails for $6,000.

You can hear Kateryna Titova perform on the Casio Grand Hybrid GP-500.

Aside from the black keys on the Casio CDP-S350, how does the keyboard action feel?

It is distinctly different than the GH3 action on the Yamaha P45 and the PHA-4 action on the Roland FP-30X.

The white keys on the CDP-S350 feel more bouncier. They spring back faster. I like the action. The Roland PHA-4 action feels sluggish in comparison. The Yamaha GH3 action feels damped compared to the Casio action.

The Casio CDP-S350 is perfect for practicing on the C Major Scale. One can always transpose down to C to minimize playing on the black keys. If you are accustomed to playing on a Roland RD-700GX, you will immediately notice the unevenness of the black keys on the Casio.

Due to the slim design, the shoulder on the CDP-S350 is very narrow. It measures 2.5 inches. I would have liked the shoulder to be 4 inches wide. This would have allowed me to place a compact QWERTY keyboard or a controller on top. I could have made good use of this real estate.

In my opinion, increasing the depth from 9.1 inches to 10.5 inches would have led to a better overall design. It would have instantly fixed the issue with the black keys while providing users enough shoulder width to place keyboards and controllers on top.

What about the sounds on the Casio CDP-S350?

The best piano voice is the very first one named Stage Piano. It is not as good as the Yamaha P45 or the Roland FP-30X.

However, the CDP-S350 has plenty of other good sounds in other categories.

I would rate the CDP-S350 as 8/10.

If the depth was 10.5” and came with a Piano voice on par with the Yamaha P45, I would have given this a perfect rating of 10/10 at this price point considering all the extra features and portability it brings to the table.

Edited by Tapas (07/21/21 11:27 AM)

#503319 - 07/20/21 11:47 PM Re: Yamaha Genos 2 anticipated release date [Re: Tapas]
Kabinopus Offline

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 699
Loc: Russia
Tapas, it sounds very interesting! I will read it more carefully later !

#503321 - 07/21/21 10:55 AM Re: Yamaha Genos 2 anticipated release date [Re: Kabinopus]
Tapas Offline

Registered: 11/19/02
Posts: 303
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Using the Casio CDP-S350 with Chordie, Synthesia and PianoMarvel

The Casio CDP-S350 Compact Digital Piano does not come with a 5-pin DIN MIDI Out Port. Instead, it comes with USB 2.0 To Host and To Device ports to interface with your Computer.

Unfortunately this has become the norm with entry level Digital Pianos. While this makes it easy to connect your Digital Piano to your Computer, it makes it difficult to interface with external gear having regular MIDI IN/OUT ports.

The solution is to buy this Camola USB MIDI Host Box or this Kenton USB to MIDI Converter Box or this MidiPlus USB MIDI Host Box.

These standalone boxes convert a USB MIDI device interface to a pair of standard 5-pin MIDI IN/OUT ports.

This lets you connect the Casio Digital Piano to an external sound module without having to use a Computer.

Of course, for most users this Casio Digital Piano will be connected to a Computer to drive other apps.

The Casio CDP-S350 comes with a Class Compliant USB-MIDI port. This means this is completely plug & play. There is no need to install a USB-MIDI driver.

However, I found that the Casio USB-MIDI driver does not support multiple clients. In other words, if you use the Casio USB-MIDI port to connect to the Chordie App, you can no longer connect this to the Synthesia app. The port is no longer available.

This was never an issue with the Roland PCR-800 controller. It came with a multi-client USB-MIDI driver and would work with the Chordie App, Synthesia and PianoMarvel all at the same time.

The solution to get around the Casio USB-MIDI single client driver limitation is to install loopMIDI and MIDI-OX. Both are free.

LoopMIDI supports multiple clients.

MIDI-OX 7.0.2 lets you control the routings.

The idea is to connect the Casio USB-MIDI port to the LoopMIDI port and subsequently have all other apps connect to this loop back MIDI port.

In essence, none of your apps are interfacing directly with the Casio, but rather connecting to the LoopMIDI port which is mirroring the MIDI Output from the Casio.

This is a nifty little trick and it works flawlessly.

I could now see the keys that I press on the Casio along with the Note names and Chord names in the Chordie App.

I can see the duration of notes being played on the Synthesia App.

Chordie and Synthesia offer valuable visual feedback as I practice songs and exercises on PianoMarvel.

I have explained how to set everything up with LoopMIDI, MIDI-OX, Chordie, Synthesia and PianoMarvel in this Casio CDP-S350 USB-MIDI Connection Guide.

You can use this workaround provided by loopMIDI whenever you encounter issues with single client USB-MIDI ports.

I could see why Casio decided not to provide a multi-client USB-MIDI driver. It would mean writing OS specific drivers for Windows XP, 7, 8, 10 and MacOS 11, 13, 15, etc. It adds to the cost.

Other companies like Korg, Roland and Yamaha do go the extra mile to write multi-client USB-MIDI drivers. The downside is that they are not plug & play. You have to download and install the driver specific to your OS.


Edited by Tapas (07/21/21 12:05 PM)

#503323 - 07/21/21 03:05 PM Re: Yamaha Genos 2 anticipated release date [Re: Tapas]
Tapas Offline

Registered: 11/19/02
Posts: 303
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Replacing the Piano Voice on the Casio CDP-S350

The best Piano voice on the Casio CDP-S350 is the very first patch = Stage Piano.

The Yamaha P45 and the Roland FP-30X both have better Piano voices.

The Casio PX-S3000 has a slightly better Piano voice than the CDP-S350 but still falls short of the Yamaha P45 and the Roland FP-30X.

The lack of a good Piano voice can be addressed by using a good VST Plug-in.

Here are some notable ones:

Pianoteq 7 Standard Virtual Piano Plug-In $275

This is based on physical modeling. The download is just 37MB.

Garritan Abbey Road CFX Concert Grand $159

The full installation requires 133GB of hard disk space!

Vienna Symphonic Library Yamaha CFX $278

Spectrasonics Keyscape Collector Keyboards $379

Stu Harrison has done an excellent audio comparison of the best Piano VST Plugins.

Mr. Harrison is one of best unbiased reviewers of digital and acoustics pianos on YouTube. He has dozens of comparison videos on his Channel:

Merriam Music

James Shawcross is yet another passionate Piano enthusiast who is classically trained. You can view all his comparison videos on various digital and acoustic pianos on his YouTube Channel:


James owns a Steinway Model D. Why does he even bother with digital pianos? James explained that he uses the digital pianos for long practice sessions so as not to wear out the Steinway D.

Out of curiosity I downloaded the Pianotek 7 Standard Trial version.

Yes, the NY Steinway D Classical preset does sound a lot better than the Stage Piano preset on the Casio.

Listen to Nathan LaMotte play Edelweiss featuring Pianoteq 7.

However, even after installing the ASIO4ALL driver, I could not completely get rid of the latency.

The price of the Casio CDP-S350 Digital Piano plus the Pianotek 7 Standard VST Plug-in is $549 + $275 = $824.

It would be ridiculous to pay this amount when you can get the Yamaha DGX-670 for $800.

The Yamaha DGX-670 is a far more capable device with a good 88-key graded hammer action keybed and decent piano samples. Plus you never have to worry about latency issues. At this $800 price point the Yamaha DGX-670 rules. It is the best 88-key arranger keyboard for a beginner.

Later the user can add the Yamaha PSR-SX900 to access a wider collection of Style and Voices while still taking advantage of the 88 keys on the DGX-670. One can think of the PSR-SX900 as the younger brother of the GENOS at less than half the price.

It should be noted that none of these digital pianos and the VST Plug-ins sound as good as a real acoustic concert grand.

An enormous amount of engineering, craftsmanship and effort goes into making an Acoustic Concert Grand Piano.

Here is an interesting documentary on the making of a New York Factory Steinway Model D.

It takes 1 year to build one.

Steinway makes about 2000 a year while other companies mass produce 100 pianos a day.

Listen to this comparison video of the rich tones of the BΓΆsendorfer Imperial 290, Steinway D-274 and Yamaha CFX.

Listen to the delicate sounds from the Yamaha CFX Grand and Steinway Model D-274 used in the 18th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition

Digital pianos cannot convey this level of emotion and fluidity, refinement and richness.

Then again, a Steinway Model D-274 costs $175,000. I have nothing to complain about my $2000 Roland RD-700GX laugh

Edited by Tapas (07/21/21 07:06 PM)

#503324 - 07/21/21 07:46 PM Re: Yamaha Genos 2 anticipated release date [Re: Tapas]
Tapas Offline

Registered: 11/19/02
Posts: 303
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Chordana Play for Piano App for Casio CDP-S350

One of the useful features that comes with the Casio CDP-S350 Digital Piano is the free Chordana Play for Piano App that installs on your tablet or smartphone.

With this app you can select from the 700 voices and 200 styles, play and practice with the built in songs and exercises and play back any MIDI file.

It works flawlessly with my iPad Air 2 tablet which has a Lightning Port. You need a Camera Connection Adapter.

The official Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter is expensive.

I found this USB Camera Adapter with Charging Port to be a better and cheaper solution.

Do not buy the Lightning Adapters that attaches directly to the Lightning Port like this one.

The Lightning Port is fragile and is prone to breakage. It is better to have a flexible cable between the Lightning Port and the USB Port.

Overall, I found the Casio CDP-S350 to be an economical way to add a graded hammer action 88-key keybed to the Yamaha GENOS. It doubles as a MIDI controller on your desktop.

It is light, slim and portable. It is the ideal keyboard for a beginner taking piano lessons.

An extra inch and a half in depth could have made the black keys more enjoyable to play on.

Inclusion of a quality piano voice like the one on the Yamaha P45 would have made the CDP-S350 a perfect digital piano at $549.

Casio has an active Facebook Group named Casio Keyboards and Digital Pianos.

User questions are often answered by Rich Formidoni and Mike Martin.

Casio Music Forums is another good resource.

Edited by Tapas (07/22/21 04:27 AM)

#503325 - 07/21/21 08:04 PM Re: Yamaha Genos 2 anticipated release date [Re: Tapas]
Diki Offline

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 14203
Loc: NW Florida
Perhaps this might be better put in its own dedicated thread. It’s hard to see how any of this relates to the β€˜Anticipated release date of Genos 5’.

Months or years from now, how is anyone going to find this?
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

#503331 - 07/22/21 04:52 AM Re: Yamaha Genos 2 anticipated release date [Re: Tapas]
Kabinopus Offline

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 699
Loc: Russia
Tapas, thank you, it is rather interesting !

So far I didn’t have much luck with VSTs due to latency and overloading, I guess, in order to use VSTs with rich sounds I need to have a really powerful computer.

As for adding Casio CDP-S350 to Genos I find it a bit exotic as they are so opposite to each other money wise. It’s shame that Casio has a lot of products that seem so interesting on paper but in reality there’s something important missing.

And what a story with this confrontation between Casio and the reviewer. Although, if I put myself in Casio’s shoes, I would probably say something similar, but the thing is that I don’t want to be in such shoes.

Diki, it’s true about a bit of off topic here, still, I guess, when there’s barely any talk right now here it’s natural to start a conversation where there’s at least some signs of life.

#503332 - 07/22/21 05:34 AM Re: Yamaha Genos 2 anticipated release date [Re: Kabinopus]
Tapas Offline

Registered: 11/19/02
Posts: 303
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Hi Kabinopus,

I appreciate your feedback and observations!

I agree with the latency issues that can never be completely eliminated while working with VST Plug-ins.

Unlike the Garritan and Vienna VST’s which are sample based, the Pianoteq VST is completely based on physical modeling. It has to recreate every note you play on the fly. This may be adding to the latency.

So when I play a direct sound on the Casio, I could hear an echo. The direct sound plays first followed by the Pianoteq voice it triggers. This echo effect is annoying. The solution is to completely turn off the direct sound from the Casio and adjust your playing style to the Pianoteq voices alone.

I was really hoping for the Casio CDP-S350 compact digital piano to act as an economical portable controller for the GENOS. I began to look for other solutions.

I have good news!!

I think I have found the perfect portable 88-key graded hammer action controller for the GENOS.

This is the Roland RD-88 Stage Piano.

This device has everything I wanted in a compact form factor that weighs less than 30 lbs.

For a gigging musician, the Roland RD-88/GENOS combo offers unbeatable functionality.

I am waiting for the shipment from our good friend Frank Ventresca.

I will write about all the pros and cons once I have the RD-88 integrated with the GENOS.

Page 12 of 14 < 1 2 10 11 12 13 14 >

Moderator:  Admin, Diki, Kerry 

Help keep Synth Zone Online