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Skinned Alesis Keyboard Controller

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

Skinned Alesis Keyboard Controller

Postby Tweedle_Dee » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:06 pm

I'm considering a chamber organ project that would use a skinned 49-key MIDI keyboard controller. Unfortunately, the Behringer UMX490 appears to have been discontinued. Does anyone have experience skinning an Alesis V49 or V61? I like that it provides a number of programmable buttons that could be put to good use. Any others you could recommend? My fallback is the M-audio unit, but it lacks buttons.
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Re: Skinned Alesis Keyboard Controller

Postby Tweedle_Dee » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:06 pm

After looking a little closer, I see that the key action for the 49-key is different than the 61-key version for both the M-audio and the Alesis. I'm wary of going with action described as "synth." I may just end up going with the 61-key UMX and live with the larger footprint.
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Re: Skinned Alesis Keyboard Controller

Postby 1961TC4ME » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:14 pm

For what it's worth, I've skinned 3 M-Audio 61es, pretty simple procedure and what comes out is a nicely put together key bed arrangement. You can use the controls for a number of things from volume controls to swell and crescendo controls. For buttons in an easy to use plug and play set-up I picked up a Korg Nano Key.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... 3EQAvD_BwE

Marc
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Re: Skinned Alesis Keyboard Controller

Postby Tweedle_Dee » Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:27 am

Thanks Marc. Sorry I didn't see your reply until now.

I ended up finding a M-audio 61es near me for cheap on CL I have to say that I'm not in love with the feel. I think my problem with it is the amount of vertical key travel. I went around and measured my piano and other organ key travel and my suspicion was correct, the keys on the 61es do travel more.

I'm curious if the Behringer UMX610 has a more typical key travel. Does anyone know?
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Re: Skinned Alesis Keyboard Controller

Postby nrorganist » Sun Mar 25, 2018 12:29 pm

Regarding UMX610 key travel - I own 2 UMX610's, purchased in early 2016 for my prototype system.

The AGO specification is at: http://westminsterorganworks.com/pdf/agoconsole.pdf

The Manual's section specifies:
    Depth of touch: 5/16 in. to 3/8 in. scant.
    Point of speech: Midway between top and bottom of travel of the keys.

My UMX610's key measurements are:
    Depth of touch (midway between sharp front and white key front): 5/16 in.
    Depth of touch (at white key front): 3/8 in.
    Point of speech: Midway between top and bottom of travel of the keys.

The UMX610 appears to be at AGO spec.

Mark
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Re: Skinned Alesis Keyboard Controller

Postby magnaton » Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:53 pm

Tweedle_Dee wrote:I'm curious if the Behringer UMX610 has a more typical key travel. Does anyone know?


Yes, a little less key dip (travel). My local Guitar Center was blowing the MAudio Keystations out for $89 a couple years back. It was their last one in inventory, the gray colored version. I also ordered the Behringer UMX610 off Amazon and did a careful side by side comparison, even enlisted some other hands on opinions. The UMX610 was the clear winner as it had more of an organ feel where as the MAudio had a hint of a weighed key feel which would have worked nice for piano music. Ended up returning the MAudio back to GC a week later.

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Re: Skinned Alesis Keyboard Controller

Postby 1961TC4ME » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:12 pm

I went the M Audio 61es route at the time because I was able to confirm from another Hauptwerker that yanking the keyboards from their case was a doable deal. They were also the most reasonably priced at the time and what came out of the case was well constructed and lended itself quite easily to an organ keyboard stack re-make. I also investigated a Casio at the time and it was clear it was not a candidate. I will also admit I wasn't overly impressed with the travel at first but got used to it in short order and now some keyboards with less travel feel a bit weird to me. The 61es action sounds fairly soon in the key travel and I considered coming up with a way of limiting the key travel but have left them 'as is.' Never did get my hands on a UMX610, but is another that several here have confirmed will also go under the knife and come out as a good 'rob it from its case' candidate. 8)

Seems there's always a tradeoff somewhere, you give up this to get that and so on, that or shell out $500 + per keyboard for the real deal. I went budget and it's working.

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Re: Skinned Alesis Keyboard Controller

Postby Tweedle_Dee » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:50 pm

Thank you all. I don't have a way to get my hands on a UMX610 locally, so your replies are super helpful. I also measured 3/8" travel at the front of the keys on all my other instruments.

It's possible I could get used to the 61es, however it won't be my main instrument and I'd prefer it to have a similar feel across all the instruments I play.
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Re: Skinned Alesis Keyboard Controller

Postby Tweedle_Dee » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:24 pm

I received the UMX610 today and wanted to report that I'm MUCH happier with it. I've already skinned it and it works perfectly with only the main board connected. It should work well for my project. Thanks all.
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Re: Skinned Alesis Keyboard Controller

Postby organtechnology » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:46 pm

Tweedle_Dee wrote:I received the UMX610 today and wanted to report that I'm MUCH happier with it. I've already skinned it and it works perfectly with only the main board connected. It should work well for my project. Thanks all.


A word of caution. Sometimes the UMX610s send out random control channel information if the pot's wipers are just unplugged during the 'skinning' process. We usually go back and terminate the inputs to the pot connections with 10k ohm resistors to quiet them.

Good luck.

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Re: Skinned Alesis Keyboard Controller

Postby Tweedle_Dee » Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:38 pm

Thanks for the warning. I will do that.
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