the KN7000: Ergonomics !

Posted by: Scottyee

the KN7000: Ergonomics ! - 07/16/02 12:40 PM

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

------------------
http://scottyee.com
Posted by: technicsplayer

Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics ! - 07/16/02 01:49 PM

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.
Posted by: Dan Hanson

Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics ! - 07/16/02 01:54 PM

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.
Posted by: Graham UK

Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics ! - 07/16/02 01:56 PM

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
Posted by: BEBOP

Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics ! - 07/16/02 02:32 PM

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
Posted by: J. Larry

Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics ! - 07/16/02 02:37 PM

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
Posted by: technicsplayer

Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics ! - 07/16/02 03:08 PM

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.
Posted by: Scottyee

Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics ! - 07/16/02 04:50 PM

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
Posted by: Derek Ladkin

Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics ! - 07/16/02 05:08 PM

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?
Posted by: Scottyee

Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics ! - 07/16/02 10:56 PM

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

------------------
http://scottyee.com
Posted by: technicsplayer

Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics ! - 07/17/02 01:53 AM

I already answered the question. The friction lock is similar to a laptop screen in that the screen can stay in any position you leave it. It is not identical to a laptop screen because a laptop screen is thin and light and cannot be pushed hard. The 7000 panel is heavy and an inch thick. The force to press buttons is much less than the force of the friction lock, so you can press the buttons at virtually any angle without any reaction feel from the panel. The display is independantly hinged within the panel for further fine tuning of the view angle.
Posted by: Scottyee

Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics ! - 07/17/02 01:30 PM

Dan Hanson 'pointed out' the possibly that the KN7000's Music Stand may be utilized "as a way to stabilize the panel or maybe the panel stabilizes the
music holder"? What do you guys think? - Scott

Pic of the KN7000 with music stand: http://www.musikstudio-witten.de/KN_7000/KN7000_Fotos/25Foto20TaiyoJuni2002.htm
Posted by: technicsplayer

Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics ! - 07/17/02 01:53 PM

what I think?... in all previous models the hinge up part has not even touched the music stand.
Posted by: J. Larry

Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics ! - 07/18/02 03:05 PM

With all the speculation going on re the 7000, does anyone know for sure the number of audio outputs on the back? Is it only a left/right stereo output, or is there more? I couldn't tell from the photos.
Larry
Posted by: Scottyee

Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics ! - 07/18/02 09:36 PM

Hi Larry,

From what I can make out, after attempting to blow up the pic more in Photoshop:

KN7000 Rear View (audio inputs/outputs: from left to right):

1) Mic input
2) Line IN (right/mono)
3) Line IN (left)
4) Aux IN (right/mono)
5) Aux IN (left)
6) Sub (or line?) OUT 2
7) Sub (or line?) OUT 1
8) Main OUT (right/mono)
9) Main OUT (left)

I assume that the Main OUTS are used for sending the primary 'main mix' out of the KB as stereo audio. I'm speculating that the Sub OUT 1 and 2 would be used if you wanted to send your vocals or a specific track(s) such as drums or bass, out independently. Perhaps someone who knows for sure can clarify.

I like the KN7000's feature of offering 2 stereo (Line & Aux) inputs.
Posted by: Scottyee

Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics ! - 07/21/02 04:13 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Graham 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. Graham


Here' a pic of the Yamaha PSR6300 (circa 1986) with folding panel/lid:

Posted by: technicsplayer

Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics ! - 07/21/02 05:27 PM

that panel was very loosely hinged and rested back just by gravity alone. If you let go while closing just past the vertical it would fall with a crash. The 6100 was metal, by the 6300 it had turned into plastic.
I rememeber the music stand as folding into the top edge of the panel and being very flimsy indeed!
Ah! memories, those machines were so cool in their day, now they must sound awful. They were my first 'serious' keyboards
Posted by: Marilyn Boissoneault

Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics ! - 07/21/02 06:37 PM

Scottyee, thanks for posting that pictures. That PSR 6300 was my first keyboard and sure brings back some good memories.

However the memories aren't quite good enough for me to want to give up my KN6000 and go back to it!!!

Marilyn
Posted by: manorcourt1991

Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics ! - 07/22/02 07:15 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Scottyee:
Hi Larry,

From what I can make out, after attempting to blow up the pic more in Photoshop:

KN7000 Rear View (audio inputs/outputs: from left to right):

1) Mic input
2) Line IN (right/mono)
3) Line IN (left)
4) Aux IN (right/mono)
5) Aux IN (left)
6) Sub (or line?) OUT 2
7) Sub (or line?) OUT 1
8) Main OUT (right/mono)
9) Main OUT (left)

I assume that the Main OUTS are used for sending the primary 'main mix' out of the KB as stereo audio. I'm speculating that the Sub OUT 1 and 2 would be used if you wanted to send your vocals or a specific track(s) such as drums or bass, out independently. Perhaps someone who knows for sure can clarify.

I like the KN7000's feature of offering 2 stereo (Line & Aux) inputs.


Hi Scott
My attempt to decipher the audio in/out connectors basically agrees with yours.
I had assumed that the Sub out jacks provided a filtered low pass output for use with a sub woofer.
The other back panel connectors appear to be
1. Video out
2. USB
3. MIDI Thru
4. MIDI Out
5. MIDI In/Bass pedal
6. Switch for 5.
7. Expression Pedal
8. Foot Switch 2
9. Foot Switch 1
10. Foot controller.

Most of the front panel controls appear to equate to those on the 6000/6500 but does anyone know what the elongated orange buttons are - one on the lest above the Style arranger/varation buttons and the other on the right above the 3 button cluster for Favourites/custom panel etc.
Also there are now four buttons above the pads as against 3 on the 6000/6500. Any ideas on what the extra one does?

Cheers
Len
Posted by: Bob Hendershot

Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics ! - 07/22/02 01:38 PM

I am curious to know if the Technics Expression pedal (SZ-E2) and the Foot Controller (SZ-FC2) that I use with my KN5000 will work with the KN7000. I feel pretty certain that the Yamaha piano type sustain pedals that I use for Foot Switches 1 and 2 will work. It wouldn't make sense to change that circuitry.
Posted by: Scottyee

Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics ! - 07/22/02 02:33 PM

In addition to the Technics brand SZ-E2 & SZ-FC2 mentioned by Bob Hendershot, will the Technote brand 4 pedal Foot Controller: Model FC2, work on the KN7000 too?
Posted by: technicsplayer

Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics ! - 07/22/02 02:37 PM

I would say yes.
Posted by: Scottyee

Re: the KN7000: Ergonomics ! - 07/22/02 02:43 PM

Thanks.
btw, Alec, I just attempted to send you email but the email was returned as undeliverable. Is your email server perhaps down? Can you plese email me again with your current email address? Thanks. - Scott