Any good lighted, weighted key digital pianos out there?

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Postby MaxC246 » 04-30-17 11:02 pm

I've been searching for years for a digital piano with lighted AND weighted keys. The only ones I've found have been out of production for years. They're both made by Casio. The cheaper was the PX-500L and the higher end was the AL-150R. There was also an AL-100R but apparently it was quickly replaced by the 150.

Is anyone aware of something else on the market? Or is anyone here selling one of these models? I've literally been looking for years.

Thanks!
MaxC246
 
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Postby Nicholas » 05-01-17 4:53 am

I don't know of any. Well, maybe the Komplete Kontrol S88. It's hard to find the definitive answer, but it sounds like the 88-key version is fully weighted. The Amazon page mentions "professional-grade, fully-weighted, hammer action keyboard" for only the 88 key model.

Most of the companies treat lighted keys as an entry-level feature. I think the idea is that by the time you need a keyboard with weighted keys, you aren't supposed to be looking at the keys anymore. Or something like that.

There is a third-party add-on device that will add lights to any piano, but it's only got 49 lights and it's rather expensive for what it does. I'm not sure that's a great solution either. (That "don't spend $7000 for a new piano" false dichotomy right on the front page has always rubbed me the wrong way, too.)
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Postby MaxC246 » 05-01-17 9:05 am

Oh cool! I wasn't aware of the KK S88. It looks like my local guitar center has them in stock. I'll have to check it out. I HAVE seen those lighted strips, but the lack of a full 88 Key version has prevented me from buying one.

Oh, and most importantly, does Synthesia work with the KK S88?

Thanks for the info!
MaxC246
 
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Postby Nicholas » 05-01-17 11:20 am

Yes. There are some posts on this forum describing how to get basic light support working. (We don't have one to test against, but I think it's just the usual procedure of Music Input -> Key Lights -> pick a channel that displays the test pattern.)

That said, the idea that they're RGB-capable lights is a rather good fit with Synthesia. So we got in touch with Native Instruments to see if they could be used. The answer so far is that the communication protocol is proprietary but that opening it up to be used by third-party software is on their short list of features they'd like to add. Apparently we're on their list of the first people that will be notified when that feature is available (and we're excited to add support for it on Synthesia's side). Until then, when used with Synthesia, the keyboard will show single-color lights only.
Nicholas
 
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Postby MaxC246 » 05-01-17 1:45 pm

Oh wow! So you may be able to color code the hands in the future? That would be awesome! Talk about a win/win for everyone!

Thanks for the info. Going to head to guitar center soon.
MaxC246
 
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Postby thedealman » 08-07-17 9:27 pm

Any update on this? It seems the "NKS standard" has been opened to third party developers.

Also the makers of "The One Piano" are coming out with an 88 key LED strip this fall.
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Postby Nicholas » 08-07-17 9:58 pm

This update (after the heading in red) is still the newest information. That was already after the release of their NKS standard.

As for the "One Piano Hi-Lite", hopefully they use something a little more standard this time. Despite our own requests (and that of a few dozen of our mutual users), they still haven't gotten back to us with the details of their proprietary key lighting scheme.
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Postby thedealman » 08-07-17 10:09 pm

I've not heard of "One Piano Hi-Lite".
This is called "The One Smart Piano Strip".
I'll attach a photo.

Spoiler:
IMG_1053.PNG
IMG_1053.PNG (823.6 KiB) Viewed 1166 times
thedealman
 
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Postby Nicholas » 08-07-17 10:31 pm

Not sure where your image came from, but I found the name on their page which begins with the text "The One Piano Hi-Lite is the first of its kind piano learning device..." (which is already mostly incorrect, but I digress).
Nicholas
 
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Postby thedealman » 08-08-17 1:54 pm

Well if it is indeed compatible with any/most 88 key digital pianos, then I'd like to think that the lights would respond to regular midi messages. The website also mentions third party software applications.
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Postby Nicholas » 08-08-17 2:04 pm

That is good news. Hopefully it will work with Synthesia right out of the box, then.
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Postby thedealman » 08-24-17 11:29 am

That would be nice.

I also just discovered Yamaha's new CSP line of digital pianos. You can find it on YouTube or kraftmusic. They've implemented "falling guide lights" directly on the piano now. Pretty crazy to see the concept in hardware. But I wonder how practical it will be given the resolution of the falling lights is only about 4-5 dots. Still, if it was compatible with Synthesia that would be awesome. I won't hold my breath. :oops:
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Postby Nicholas » 08-24-17 6:38 pm

Ha! That CSP line is neat.

This is what it looks like (for anyone else that's curious):



I'll have to try and get in touch with them to see if we can't add compatibility with Synthesia.

(Coincidentally, we reached out to The ONE Group again and they responded this time! They've sent over a lighted keyboard and we're working with them to get their key lights working. So, it wouldn't be unheard of for the CSP line. That said, Yamaha is a different ballgame than a new startup.)
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Postby thedealman » 08-24-17 7:42 pm

CSP looks so cool. But $3,500 for the base model has me reeling. Did you get more info on The ONE piano strip? Will that also be compatible? Will it work with standard 88 key midi pianos? That device is a lot easier to swallow price wise. ;)
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Postby Nicholas » 08-24-17 8:53 pm

I hadn't asked about the light strip yet. While they were quick to get the keyboard out to us, it's taken a few more messages and we still haven't gotten the technical/proprietary info back about lighting the keys yet. So, I was hoping to tackle one thing at a time. :lol:

I suspect the new strip will either work using the same method their current keyboard does or the same way every other lighted keyboard does... in either case, we'll be covered.
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Postby thedealman » 09-13-17 10:56 am

Piano Hi-Lite is coming out this month. They've started to ramp up with social media and email promotions.
The interesting thing is that it seems to work with digital or acoustic pianos. I guess by physically sensing if the key is depressed. Not "midi data" for the notification if the key was pressed. This makes me wonder about how accurate it will be.

Any updates on potential compatibility with Synthesia?
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Postby Nicholas » 09-13-17 1:02 pm

If the Hi-Lite strip has sensors to detect key presses, that will be a major improvement over similar products (like the PianoMaestro light strip). They'd be a lot closer to earning the "first of it's kind" marketing-speak that I complained about before. And going for the full 88 keys is nice, too.

We still haven't talked with them at all about that new/upcoming product. But, we have received the technical info that we'd been waiting for in the meantime and it looks like a pretty straight-forward (if proprietary) scheme. The very next preview build of Synthesia 11 should include support for The ONE Smart Keyboard's lights.

Unless I'm missing something, the keyboard doesn't appear to be compatible with PC/Mac, so we'll push an Android beta so people can test it out.
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Postby thedealman » 09-19-17 9:59 am

Yes, it does appear to have "special sensors". They have an indiegogo now with many more details and a video. Again it mentions being open to third party midi apps. Yousician and garageband are shown as examples. The first 100 people get in at 40% off (by invite only) so I took the plunge to be one of the first owners.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/piano-hi-lite-play-piano-in-3-minutes-music/pies
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