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Video: how to build an F to F keyboard for HW harpsichords

Building organ consoles for use with Hauptwerk, adding MIDI to existing consoles, obtaining parts, ...
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aah

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Video: how to build an F to F keyboard for HW harpsichords

PostWed May 24, 2023 6:49 am

In case anyone is interested — I just posted this video showing how I converted a Nektar SE61 into an F-to-F controller to use with my Hauptwerk harpsichord from Sonus Paradisi (the Mietke instrument).

https://youtu.be/M4CtmSF_u6M

The first part of the video shows you how to rearrange the keys from C-to-C to F-to-F. The second, longer part shows how to make a wooden body and laminate the keys with real wood, to make the keyboard feel more like a real instrument. I also play a couple of short excerpts from Bach's Partitas.

Thanks MDA, and peace everyone,
AAH

P.S. I just noticed, I probably should have posted this in the DIY section of the forum, oops!
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mnailor

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Re: Video: how to build an F to F keyboard for HW harpsichor

PostWed May 24, 2023 11:15 am

I'm curious if anyone knows how the touch of this keyboard compares to Yamaha P121 and NP32, both of which cover the F - F compass and work with Hauptwerk (I have both for travel). Thanks.
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aah

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Re: Video: how to build an F to F keyboard for HW harpsichor

PostWed May 24, 2023 3:15 pm

The feel of the Nektar SE61 key action is actually pretty comparable to the Yamaha NP-11/31 or NP12/32, light and solid-feeling, but not quite as good. Considering that the Nektar keyboard costs less than 1/3 those Yamaha keyboards, and is accordingly much more cheaply made, it's surprisingly good. The Yamaha has a better (and also much bulkier) mechanical design, which feels better because the keys aren't hitting the keyboard body at the bottom on full travel, rather the contact point is about 1/3 the way into the key, but my guess is that many players wouldn't even notice that difference. Because of the better design, the Yamaha has better velocity response, though that doesn't play a role for MIDI harpsichord. 76 or 88 keys are valid options for getting the harpsichord range, they're just a lot bigger than they need to be. The Nektar is a USB controller only, with pitch bend and mod wheels, transport buttons and sliders, whereas those Yamaha keyboards have internal sounds, speakers, and headphone jacks, no sliders or wheels, so they aren't really being marketed to the same audience. I converted two of the NP-11 for my organ console because I love the feel of the keys, but they are a lot harder to work with in terms of the conversion process because of all the extra internal hardware. I don't have any experience with the P121, but it looks like an even higher-end keyboard so I would expect it to be even better. Yamaha action is certainly among the best in the business.
Best,
AAH
Last edited by aah on Wed May 24, 2023 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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mnailor

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Re: Video: how to build an F to F keyboard for HW harpsichor

PostWed May 24, 2023 3:26 pm

Thank you!
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mdyde

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Re: Video: how to build an F to F keyboard for HW harpsichor

PostSat May 27, 2023 4:14 am

[Topic moved here.]
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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aah

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Re: Video: how to build an F to F keyboard for HW harpsichor

PostTue May 30, 2023 6:40 am

UPDATE: After playing this keyboard for while, I've determined that the action is slightly more stiff than the Yamaha NP-series, especially noticeable on the sharp/flat keys. The stiffness of the action is determined by the silicon plungers, so it can't be changed.

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