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#62115 - 07/16/02 12:40 PM the KN7000: Ergonomics !
Scottyee Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 10427
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA, US...
Unfortunately I'm not among the lucky few who have had the opportunity (yet) to audition and hear the KN7000 in person, but here are my impressions from a design/aesthetic perspective only, based on the latest pictures posted on MusicStudio's website.
http://www.musikstudio-witten.de/KN_7000/03Fotos_‹bersicht_KN_7000.htm

Design wise, the KN7000 certainly looks intriguing (with a spaceship like module control panel approach).

My MAJOR concern is whether the panel's angle/position & distance is a bit too far away from the keys, making it rather inconvenient accessing it's buttons, especially when compared to current arrangers like the KN6500, where the buttons are located directly above the key bed. On the KN7000 it seems there's a HUGE gap & distance (wasted space) between the keys and the panel buttons.I still can't figure out what takes up this huge space (panel's hinge area?). Is that a 3 octave wide wide black ribbon cable? Kinda reminds me of a player piano roll (future-retro?) What is the blue lighted section that takes up the upper octave and a half? Is the blue color just a reflection from somewhere else or?

Another new concept is Technics decision to re-configure the 8 panel memory buttons in a circular fashion rather than across the board in a line. I'm wondering how easy/difficult this will be to select the correct panel memory button while performing.

I applaud Technics for switching to SD Memory Cards for mass storage vs the KN6000/6500 rip off 3rd party proprietary hard drive approach (though I would have prefered they went with Compact Flash (less expensive). I do fully understand & appreciate their decision though as SD Memory cards are a product of Panasonic-Technics. I now wish I could see a good picture of the KN7000 with the lid closed. Anyone know of one?

Without even considering the KN7000's sounds & styles, which I assume will be impressive (based on Technics track record), I still have a lot of mixed feelings about the design. Keyboard demonstrations are great and can provide a lot information as well as the sound & musical potential of the instsrument, but I realize that the ONLY way I'm going to really know if it's design (ergonomics) is gonna work for me or not, is to sit down & play the keyboard myself, testing the keyboard's action, and playing it in auto accomp arranger mode, utilizing all the arranger buttons. No manufacter product demonstration can replace that.

I really look forward to hearing from people who have had the lucky chance to 'sit down' and acutally PLAY the KN7000. I think the KN7000 will be presented at Summer NAMM in Nashville, so hopefully some of you will be able to attend and get a chance to audition the KN7000 in person. Please report how convenient (easy/difficult) it is to actually access/press the arranger buttons when playing LIVE in auto accompaniment mode. What does the keyboard action feel like? Is it similar to the KN6500 or?

Curious to hear 'EVERYONE ELSE'S' thoughts about all this as well.

Thanks, and happy arranger keyboarding to all,

Scott

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http://scottyee.com
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#62116 - 07/16/02 01:49 PM Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics !
technicsplayer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 3319
I have played it, and you soon get used to the buttons, including the panel memories. They are not that far away because the whole panel is raised rather than flat in the same plane as the keys, so the distance travelled with your fingers to push buttons is correspondingly less. You either get used to it or not, I suppose, like the layout of any new board.

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#62117 - 07/16/02 01:54 PM Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics !
Dan Hanson Offline
Member

Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 32
Loc: Sumterville, Fl. USA
Scott,
I found pictures of the Kn 7000 at TAIYO Musikinstruments GmbH-Downloads. On this page, click keyboards, and follow along to the 7000. It is listed at $3299 Eur and there are some pictures, (Bild 1-5). One of these pictires is an overhead shot of the keyboard with the panel closed. There is also some specifications.
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#62118 - 07/16/02 01:56 PM Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics !
Graham UK Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/20/01
Posts: 1921
Loc: Lincolnshire UK
My early Yamaha PSR6100 & PSR6300 keyboards were designed with lid \ panel exactly like the KN7000, so this approach is far from a new idea. I was in those days new to keyboard playing, but trying to remember back the button switching was not a problem.

Graham

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#62119 - 07/16/02 02:32 PM Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics !
BEBOP Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/00
Posts: 3781
Loc: San Jose, California
HI Scott,
I read your post here with interest. As a design engineer, I have to believe that they must use keyboard players in the concept, layout, finalyzing, and prototype approval. Can these died in the wool technics players be that much different from us.
I have been invited several times to Ensoniq And Roland round tables because I own several of their instruments. They pay us 200.00 an evening to sit around a round table and respond to the moderators questions for a couple of hours and then we have a round table discussion amongst ourselves regarding the pros and cons of the keyboard under review after receiving the design concepts and photos from the moderator. We are on one side of a two way mirror and the engineering group is on the other side of the mirror recording everything. This is the basis of my remarks above as I know there are keyboard players in this group on the factory side of the mirror. I like the 200.00 free money and the free dinner and the opportunity to say it like it is. I think it makes a difference. What do you think?
Bebop
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#62120 - 07/16/02 02:37 PM Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics !
J. Larry Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/99
Posts: 521
Loc: University, MS 38677 USA
I don't worry about how far away the buttons are on the fold-up panel, but how secure the panel is when clicked into position---i.e., will it have a rock-solid feel to it when pushing the buttons, or will it have a spongy feel to it so that the panel moves or gives-way when touched?
Larry

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#62121 - 07/16/02 03:08 PM Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics !
technicsplayer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 3319
the panel is friction hinged similar to a laptop screen and will stay at any angle you leave it. The button force is less than the friction lock, so you can press buttons at virtually any angle of the panel.

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#62122 - 07/16/02 04:50 PM Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics !
Scottyee Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 10427
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA, US...
Quote:
Originally posted by technicsplayer:
the panel is friction hinged similar to a laptop screen and will stay at any angle you leave it. The button force is less than the friction lock, so you can press buttons at virtually any angle of the panel.


Hi Alec: Can you please elaborate more on the way the KN7000's friction hinge works? All the laptop computer screens I've seen don't actually lock-in to any given position, but move freely to any angle. If you then give the screen more than a fingers nudge, it moves. HOW MUCH force does it take before the KN7000's screen begins to move?

A laptop computer's screen does not contain many (if any) buttons which need to be pressed, while the vast array of buttons & knobs on the KN7000's flip screen need to be continually pushed, pressed & turned while performing. I remember (on my KN5000) that pressing just the limited number of sound selection buttons on its tilt screen didn't always feel that solid & stable, so I hope that on the upcoming KN7000 (with ALL of it's button funcions now on a tilt hinged screen alone) that this proves to be a LOT more stable and can endure the constant button selection & pressing demands of a professional arranger keyboard performer.

Im wondering if there's perhaps (on the KN7000) a feature which allows you to actually 'LOCK DOWN' the tilting panel to a 'given' solid position? Thanks. - Scott
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#62123 - 07/16/02 05:08 PM Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics !
Derek Ladkin Offline
Member

Registered: 02/11/01
Posts: 63
Loc: United Kingdom
Hi Scott,
If you look on the Musik Studio site Bild 16 to 20 this shows that the Blue lit section is the slot and control buttons for the SD card. It is lit on the top and the vertical section is a chrome finish and this reflects the keys.
I assume that blue is chosen to match with the colour of the SD card.
If I recall correctly the buttons are like a disk control....Load, Save,fast forward,back stop and play. The cunning bit is that when the main panel is closed, these controls and the insertion slot for the SD Card are still exposed so that during an interval at a gig you can set up to play tracks from the SD card whilst your control screen and buttons are concealed from prying eyes and fingers !
Although I didn't actually play, I did sit at the board and found no problem in accessing the panel memories or most buttons. Obviously they are in slightly different positions so access would be slower initially but this would soon fall in to place.
I think that the photo's make the distance of the control panel from the keyboard of the 7000 seem much greater.In fact I reckon the distance taken up by the flat hinge is less than that from the back of the keys to the base of the hinged display panel on the 6500 so that would bring the main panel nearer.

Hope this is of some use.
regards
Derek


[QUOTE]Originally posted by Scottyee:
What is the blue lighted section that takes up the upper octave and a half? Is the blue color just a reflection from somewhere else or?
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#62124 - 07/16/02 10:56 PM Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics !
Scottyee Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 10427
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA, US...
Hi Derek; Wow. Congratualations for being one of the first on the forum to attend a KN7000 preview demo. It must have been a thrill to not only see the KN7000 demoed, but also see & hear the wonderful vocals of Sara Raybould, as well as the keyboard talents of musicians Andy Smith, Simon Hampshire, Paul Tirkettle, and last but definitely not least, the incrediably talented Phil Leader. I continue to enjoy Mr. Leader's excellent KN5000 instructional keyboard video.

Derek, THANKS for explaining the cool blue light emulating from the SD card Memory slot area. Great lighting effect. I also like the idea of being able to 'close the keyboard lid' to keep audience hands off the keyboard, yet still allowing you to control & play background music tracks during the break. Derek, I'm glad to hear (as you say) that it's merely the photos illusion that gives the impression that the panel's buttons are further away from the keys than they actually are. I just hope that, like J. Larry also expressed, that the moveable tilt panel can somehow be 'locked down' into a 'rock solid' position, and not give (with bounce or a spongy feel) when the buttons are pushed. I'm hoping that Alec Pagida (or others) who have actually had the opportunity to play the KN7000 can go into more detail about the stability (and possible position lock-ability?) of the KN7000's folding panel. I look forward to hearing your your comments. Thanks - Scott

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