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#60934 - 07/17/02 01:57 PM KN7000 Report
Bill Norrie Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 2297
Loc: North Yorkshire
I've just returned from a short holiday in Scotland and it is my understanding that the report which I managed to email to Bill Forrest, at his request, has only been sent out to basically the 20 for 1 contributers. It was certainly not my intention to restrict 'publication' and I had no objection to it being included on this forum. Maybe, because I did not specifically state that it should be posted here as well, there has been a misunderstanding. If I had been able to get access earlier, perhaps the problem would not have arisen.
I note that our friend Derek Ladkin has already posted his recollections of the event and he seems to have covered it very well.
However, I have included a copy of the email which I managed to send to Bebop, thanks to the good nature of the person whose phone line I briefly 'borrowed'

KN7000 PRESENTATION.

Bill Forrest (Bebop) has asked me to write a report on my visit to the launch of the new keyboard. I was not really prepared for this and did not take any notes at the time, so all the following is written from memory. Being an old codger now, the little grey cells don't seem to function as well as they used to, but for what it is worth, here are my recollections of the event. I'm writing this while spending a few days on holiday in Scotland so it won't be posted until later this week.

The Technics presentation took place at the Heritage Motor centre, near Warwick on 13th July 2002.
There were two sessions - one at 10am and one at 2pm. I attended the morning session and managed to meet up and have a chat with Derek Ladkin, another member of the SZ forum.

We were informed that the KN7000 will be available in UK, in August and that the price will be 2100 which, at current exchange, rates is about US$3260 and about 3290 Euro

When the demo was completed, the KN6000 was moved out to the foyer area and the newly appointed Technics 'Guru', Chris Woodhead, demonstrated the SD memory card functions and networking capabilities. I did not get a chance to have a 'Hands On' session - there was quite a crowd of fans around the keyboard and after about 30 minutes, it was whipped away to get it set up in the demo hall, for the afternoon session - shame!!

All the sounds have been re-sampled and of course new ones added. The piano sound were particularly good and great new guitar sounds. There are many new organ sounds, including Wurlitzer and Lowrey and a new feature which mimics the organ Tabs, on the large central colour display (same as KN6xxx)

There are lots of new and updated Styles, the ones which particularly appealed to me were the George Shearing and Glenn Miller backings. Some other Big Band and Latin styles were superb and some great Intros and Endings. There is also good news about Styles from the previous KNs. They will soon be available to download from the new Technics web site and 'Plug In' directly from your PC to the KN7000 via the USB port - no more messing about with floppy transfer. I understand they will be available free of charge. However, the floppy disc drive is still built in to the KN7000. Further expansion is possible due to provision of no less than 4 expansion slots. I understand that these slots are compatible with the current range of KN6xxx EW... expansion cards and a further four cards are planned for early release - one of which will be available when the keyboard is released.
The Sound Controller seems to have disappeared - I don't think it was very popular. The panel memories are now grouped in a circular configuration at the right side of the lift-up panel with the 'Set' button in the middle of the circle. As I mentioned, I did not have a chance to get 'Hands On' but the general panel layout certainly seemed to be player friendly.
The SD memory card really is the size of a postage stamp! and the KN7000 is supplied with an 8 Megabyte card. Not very large but a reasonable starting point. It's still a good alternative for Floppies and the dreaded High Cost hard drive. The card plugs into a small protected slot, just above the right hand end of the keys area. In the same area, the card read/write controls are located and both the card slot and the controls are accessible when the lid is closed or open. If the card is large enough, full CD quality sound can be stored on it and used to play back just like a CD or cassette player. This could be used, for example, to play some background music, during a player's 'Beer break' at a gig. I understand from comments made by the Technics staff, that the SD version of all the memory cards available, is fast becoming the most popular type. Cards up to 512 Mb being currently available, and up to 4Gb planned for the near future. The KN7000 is supplied with a USB linked SD card reader, as a separate item, which of course can be used for data transfer to and from the card, directly to PC - assuming it is fitted with a USB port. All necessary software for the networking operations, is also supplied.
A totally new facility for training, has been incorporated. This allows a player to practise all the scales, major and minor, with appropriate elementary accompaniment backing. The actual notation appears on the KN7000 display, with a 'Bouncing Ball' type pointer moving along the bars. This feature should relieve some of the boredom, usually associated with scales practice.
Another new feature, is the ability to download real audio at CD quality and use this as a backing track and then play your own melody line. This means that you can download a Karaoke type track to PC, transfer this to the KN7000, and then play along with Real musicians and save the result to the SD card.
I also understand that real audio, from the Mic input on the keyboard, can be added to a sequence - I don't fancy listening to my singing! There is also a facility to connect an external video monitor which basically repeats the data on the KN7000 display.
During the demonstration, the sound was of course played through a large PA system rather than the KN7000's own speakers. However, we did hear a short example of the keyboard's own sound, when it was being demonstrated in the foyer. My impression was that the totally new speaker system was at least as good as the KN6xxx. It was difficult to hear properly, since there were people playing on two PR pianos in close proximity to the KN7000.
The KN7000 does not come with a stand, as the KN6000 did, but I was informed that it will fit on to the KN6000 stand.
My only regret is that I could not have spent more time at the venue and maybe been able to get some 'Hands-On' time. My round trip was 400 miles and I had to get back home to do a few things, before setting off again for Scotland.
I hope this report has been of some use - I'm sure I've forgotten to mention some things but if anyone reading this has a particular question, either myself or maybe Derek will try to answer it, if we can remember. For anyone who is unaware, Alec Pagida will be doing a full report in the August issue of the Technote magazine 'TechPlus'


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Willum
_________________________
Willum

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is Music.
Aldous Huxley
( especially when the music is played on a KN7000....)

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#60935 - 07/17/02 02:28 PM Re: KN7000 Report
AlexGreen Offline
Member

Registered: 05/07/00
Posts: 187
Loc: Beachwood NJ USA
Bill;

Great Job.

Many Thanks
Alex

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#60936 - 07/17/02 03:21 PM Re: KN7000 Report
technicsplayer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 3319
the big secret is revealed at last, thanks Bill. As I thought you would have had no intention of restricting your recollections on the forum and we understand exactly why it was not posted, since you were actually asked to write it specifically for a reason.

To put things in perspective the 8 MB card will hold around 16 retail type technote floppy disks with new styles and song sequences, or more style and setup disks if you selectively save. Or 2 or 3 mp3 songs to play along with, slightly more if you encode at a lower quality. The average owner with a small collection of disks may find the supplied card fine. Others of us may need to buy more or bigger cards. Or you can just overwrite the card as many times as you like from your archive on the laptop or pc with the card reader or software direct link.

If I may just be allowed to add, I think the training programs are built into the PR804 piano. The 7000 should be able to load future release scores type software into the screen, but maybe not with the bouncing ball feature on the 804.

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#60937 - 07/17/02 03:44 PM Re: KN7000 Report
Bob Hendershot Offline
Member

Registered: 12/02/99
Posts: 924
Loc: Johnson City, TN USA
Thank you Bill. An excellent report. And, your memory is obviously much better than mine. . . I will be looking forward to the release of detailed specs. Maybe Alec's pending article will cover some of the technical details that I am looking for. I'll just have to wait a few more weeks.

Oops. . . I meant to use a thumbs up symbol and I see that I used a thumbs down. I'll chalk that up to another senior moment. My appologies. Don't know how to change it.

[This message has been edited by Bob Hendershot (edited 07-17-2002).]

[This message has been edited by Bob Hendershot (edited 07-17-2002).]

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#60938 - 07/17/02 03:59 PM Re: KN7000 Report
Bill Norrie Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 2297
Loc: North Yorkshire
Thanks for putting me right Alec, about the Training programs - memory overload - of course the feature was on the Pianos. What was that you were saying Bob??
Apologies for misleading you folks!
------------------
Willum

[This message has been edited by Bill Norrie (edited 07-17-2002).]
_________________________
Willum

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is Music.
Aldous Huxley
( especially when the music is played on a KN7000....)

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#60939 - 07/17/02 04:10 PM Re: KN7000 Report
Marilyn Boissoneault Offline
Member

Registered: 06/07/00
Posts: 219
Loc: Melbourne, Florida, USA
Thanks for your report and for posting it on the Forum here. Sounds like a great keyboard, I am looking forward to seeing one but I imagine it's going to be a long wait to see one here in the USA.

Marilyn

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#60940 - 07/17/02 04:26 PM Re: KN7000 Report
technicsplayer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 3319
Don't be silly Bill, , there are no apologies needed. You were asked to write after the fact not expecting having to remember anything at the time, so it is entirely understandable and would be exactly the same with any one of us. I'm positive everyone else is really pleased to be able to read your extensive and well written impressions.

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#60941 - 07/17/02 04:59 PM Re: KN7000 Report
Scottyee Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 10427
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA, US...
Bill, thanks for your terrific report. I'm glad to hear that Technics is continueing its grand tradition of bringing the best jazz styles (imho) of any arranger brand out there, and trust (hopefully) that the KN7000, like the KN6500/6000/5000 'already' do , support (in both full & split keyboard modes) the legendary Bill Evans A&B rootless chord voicings jazz pianists (around the world) play. This feature alone makes the Technics KN keyboards (imho) a true standout ABOVE all other arrangers on the market, especially for the pro jazz style player.

Being able to download styles from your PC via USB to/from the KN7000 is also nice. How convenient.

The acoustic piano sound is the most important sound for me on an arranger. I'm looking forward to hearing how the sound has been 'improved' over the already excellent sounding piano of the KN6500. Longer sample loop and/or higher sampling rate maybe?

Bill, Derek, (or others): Can someone please tell me what the Sound Controler (which is eliminated on the KN7000) does? I don't remember using it when I owned my KN5000, so I guess I probably won't miss it on the KN7000 either , but still, now that you mention it here, you got me curious what its function is

The other 'new' KN7000 feature which really interests me, because I'm a singer is the ability to record your voice along a midi sequence. What format does it record your voice in? WAV, MP3, or? How many tracks of audio does the KN7000 support? A real cool idea might be to pre-record backup vocals (response portion of a call-response type thing ) to a song. Then when you perform the song (along with the sequence), you can have back up vocals come in as a delayed 'response' to your lead vocals, which is not possible to achieve with a vocal harmonizer. I'm really anxious to hear more about the the KN7000's audio recording feature possibilities. I assume the recorded audio is stored on the SD Memory card?

BTW, on the subject of vocal harmonizers: Does the KN7000 include one? If so, I hope that it's a HUGE improvement over the cheap sounding one included in the KN6000/6500.


My apologies for asking so many questions, but as I hear more about the features of the KN7000, I get more excited about the what this board has to offer. I'm really looking forward now to reading Alec's detailed review of the KN7000 (in August).

Scott

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http://scottyee.com
_________________________

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#60942 - 07/17/02 05:19 PM Re: KN7000 Report
technicsplayer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 3319
the sound controller was not on the 5000.
I thought it was quite good.
You could program different combinations and programmable max travel levels of effects independantly in x and y directions, eg pan, filter, reverb, chorus, brightness, dsp and thus adjust different levels of these functions by manipulation at an angle from the vertical or horizontal. Because of the position, it was possible to do this at the same time as using the bend and modulation wheels while playing right hand. It was used to good effect on the WSA synth.

I don't think many owners used it, so they left it out this time... a shame. Maybe people complained because they shifted the ball accidentaly, the sound changed, and they did not know why? Like dynamic accompaniment before, a nice function left off through I guess complaints from people who did not like it? A reset button could take you back to default sound instantly irrespective of where the ball position was.

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#60943 - 07/17/02 06:20 PM Re: KN7000 Report
Scottyee Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 10427
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA, US...
Quote:
Originally posted by technicsplayer:
the sound controller was not on the 5000.


Ahhhhh . . . at least I don't have to feel stupid now for possibly having overlooked this feature on the beloved KN5000 which I thought I knew so well both 'inside & out'.

Alec , thanks for your explanation of the 'sound controler'. Sounds like a cool feature. The feature that's always intrigued me, though unfortunately I never had the opportunity to try it cuz I've never owned an arranger that had it is the dynamic arranger. Oh well. . . .
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