Jupiter 80 velocity issue

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Jupiter 80 velocity issue

Postby jobo » 17:44, 17 December 2011

I reported this to Roland a few weeks ago and have not heard back yet as to whether this problem has been verified or can be corrected. I’m not 100% sure that support staff fully understood the problem. The issue is that the keyboard on the Jupiter 80 will not transmit all velocity values. The Jupiter sound engine will receive and play all velocity values, but when values cannot be transmitted via the keyboard, there is no way to get these values from the sound engine.

The reason I went to the trouble to test this is that while playing the Supernatural Pianos and EPs, I noticed what sounded like velocity stepping while playing at medium to hard levels. It sounded like there were only a few velocities rather than seamless differences in sound that you would expect from a highly expressive instrument.

I used http://fstrixner.de/files/SynthMaker/VelocityChecker.exe to test the values, and I’m sure I did not do a perfect job, but I believe there is a pattern of missing velocity values on the high end. I’ve included screen grabs to illustrate what I’m describing. I tested by setting the keyboard velocity curve to light, medium and hard, with velocity sensitivity at zero and playing a variety of songs for about 10-20 minutes for each of the three tests. I found I could get a few more velocities if I bumped up the sensitivity, but that made the keyboard overly sensitive. I could not find a setting which allowed all 127 velocities. The results are repeatable.

The folks at Roland support said that there was difficulty in testing the velocity source, and I don’t think they thought that playing the keyboard was a valid method of testing. They did test the JP80 with a sequencer and verified that all velocities are played, but I had already verified that.

The bottom line is that I’d like to know if this is repairable, or if I need to purchase a high-resolution controller like a Fatar, Doepfer or Infinite Response Vax77 in order to get the full expression that the Jupiter 80 is capable of. I would appreciate anyone with a Jupiter 80 trying these tests and report the results. I may have a bum keyboard, or this may be by design, or a result of limitations or errors in the velocity timing algorithms or in the scaling of timing results.

Colors: black=last velocity hit, dark gray=velocity hit, light gray=velocity not hit

Light velocity
Image

Medium velocity
Image

Hard velocity
Image

Jobo

p.s. Yes, I know I’m anal
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Re: Jupiter 80 velocity issue

Postby JuneauUndergound » 22:53, 17 December 2011

Well this could be interesting!
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Re: Jupiter 80 velocity issue

Postby DJ RAZZ rasco » 20:21, 18 December 2011

Well if the sequencer can do it then it can be done. However that does not solve the issues that the keyboard can not sense all 127 velocity points when one is physically playing the keyboard. Furthermore, it sounds as though it does not even come close. A problem with all Roland products so far, excluding perhaps the new modeling piano which got an OS upgrade last year, is that some of the upper velocities can be very harsh.
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Re: Jupiter 80 velocity issue

Postby jobo » 14:02, 19 December 2011

Maybe my expectations are too high and to get all resolutions from the keyboard would have added $1000 to the Jupiter 80 price. I tested a Fatar SL990 Pro yesterday and it’s linear curve was about the same as the Jupiter 80 medium curve. All other curves were worse.

Jobo
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Re: Jupiter 80 velocity issue

Postby Bruce Lychee » 16:35, 19 December 2011

If you are hearing noticeable steps I would say there is either something wrong with your keyboard or your technique. I'm going to assume it is not the latter. In any case, I will try to run the test on my Jupiter and see what I get.
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Re: Jupiter 80 velocity issue

Postby jobo » 16:09, 21 December 2011

I picked up a Studiologic Numa Nano last night and preliminary tests are quite good. With light velocity selected I was able to play most velocities and the Jupiter 80 sprang to new levels of expression. I got so lost in playing I was literally drooling. I’ll try creating some new curves using the “You Play” function, which creates a curve based on 30 seconds of playing. It also sets individual velocity curves for black and white keys. I’ll post some Midi Checker images when I’m done.

So, I would love it if other Jupiter 80 owners would test their keyboard and let me know if they get similar results to the images I posted. I may have to take my laptop to Sam Ash and test a floor model. I really need to know if the missing velocities are unique to my keyboard or not.

In summary, I have a solution to getting all the sensitivity I need for quieter critical gigs by playing the Jupiter through the Numa Nano, and I’ll just use the Jupiter by itself for more rocking gigs. It would be nice to get all velocity levels from the Jupiter 80’s keyboard, but frankly, I don’t think most musicians would notice. It took me 47 years of playing to get this critical. The Jupiter 80 is an extremely expressive instrument that amazes me every time I play it.

Jobo
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Re: Jupiter 80 velocity issue

Postby Devnor » 17:33, 21 December 2011

My studio is all packed up but I'l give this a whirl next month. Can you recommend a velocity checker for Mac?
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Re: Jupiter 80 velocity issue

Postby jobo » 00:33, 22 December 2011

Devnor,

That would be great. Here are a few that I found. I you're using Kontact, there is a script on this page for measuring velocities. http://www.nilsliberg.se/ksp/scripts/scripts.html and another http://www.maxforlive.com/library/device.php?id=580

Jobo
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Re: Jupiter 80 velocity issue

Postby jobo » 22:54, 16 September 2017

Old issue, but still exists. I want to share a fix for the velocity output problem of the Jupiter 80. I've added a Midi Solutions Velocity Converter to the JP80 and the difference on playing pianos and EPs is remarkable. If anyone has issues with the playability of the keybed, get the Velocity Converter and I'll be happy to share the curve I created. I've contacted Roland support several times about the large gaps in velocity transmitted from the JP80 keybed, but have not had them acknowledge the issue. To be clear, the JP80 responds to all velocities, but the keyboard cannot send all values. This is probably an error in the key scanning algorithm
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