88 keys + 7.5cm or thinner.

mickeyl

Dr. Mickey Lauer
FWIW, I'm in the same boat as the original poster, although I have 80mm. I just bought a Keylab Essential 88, but can't really recommend it. After taking the caps off, it fits nicely, but the keybed action doesn't feel well – it's lightyears behind the playability of my "gold standard" (KOMPLETE KONTROL S61).
Of the 4 velocity curves, none fits really well, it almost behaves random.

I pondered about building a Doepfer PK88 directly in my desk, but according to the schematics which just came from Doepfer it is 84mm at its highest point :( So I have to continue looking.

@Robert Kooijman: Which keybeds exactly did you treat so well in the picture you shown?
 
@Robert Kooijman: Which keybeds exactly did you treat so well in the picture you shown?
Sorry for replying so late! Below picture shows the two keybeds 'naked': a Fatar SL880 (weighted 'piano' action) & TMK88 (unweighted 'synth' action). The original Fatar electronics are also taken out of their casings and fit *just* under the upper SL880. So you get the most out of a minimal footprint :)
Keybeds 20200524_123512 169.jpg
 

mickeyl

Dr. Mickey Lauer
That's a great DIY-project, thanks a lot. Two last questions: Did you just glue the wooden blocks on top of the keybed? And, out of interest, can you perhaps compare the TMK88 action with any other existing devices, say, a KOMPLETE KONTROL S model? Best regards!
 
Those wooden blocks (ribs) are not glued or mounted to the keybeds, just the side-panels. These are also made of wood, but not shown here. So, none are touching the keys. You can use molding strips in various shapes, but they need to be (and stay) straight for it to work.

Can't compare the TMK88 to the Komplete Kontrol S. But compared with most hardware synths it's OK, although its action is IMO not as good as some of the better ones with Japanese (non-Fatar) keybeds.

Main advantages of the Fatar keybeds is that they are compact, easy to (un)mount and you can find them for a relatively good price. But velocity, aftertouch or note-repetition consistency is only so-so.
If you have a look at the mechanics of e.g. good Korg, Yamaha or Kawai keybeds, you see these are made more elaborate.
 
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OP
Billy Palmer

Billy Palmer

Active Member
Seeing as this thread has popped back up, here's how I've found the Casio CDP-S100 over the last 4 months:


+Overall, I would say the keybed is solid considering, the price point. As ever, try before you buy.
+It's been plug and play for logic, no drivers or fiddling needed.
+It's super a small and sexy and 88 key weighted controller. Just perfect for my bedroom studio.

-It does lack faders, mod wheel, pitch bend etc. In my case, I wanted a smaller keyboard (88 keys at a desk is already massive anyway); therefore I've preferred to simply use a nanocontrol.
-Compared to the white keys, the black keys feel just a little lighter and noisier to press. The actual velocity data from the black keys is however fine, it's just the weighting that's a little off imo.
-There's no half pedalling. Even with a continuous sustain plugged in, the output is limited to 0 or 127.

Conclusion, I'm generally happy with it for £310.
 

Audio Birdi

Active Member
Seeing as this thread has popped back up, here's how I've found the Casio CDP-S100 over the last 4 months:


+Overall, I would say the keybed is solid considering, the price point. As ever, try before you buy.
+It's been plug and play for logic, no drivers or fiddling needed.
+It's super a small and sexy and 88 key weighted controller. Just perfect for my bedroom studio.

-It does lack faders, mod wheel, pitch bend etc. In my case, I wanted a smaller keyboard (88 keys at a desk is already massive anyway); therefore I've preferred to simply use a nanocontrol.
-Compared to the white keys, the black keys feel just a little lighter and noisier to press. The actual velocity data from the black keys is however fine, it's just the weighting that's a little off imo.
-There's no half pedalling. Even with a continuous sustain plugged in, the output is limited to 0 or 127.

Conclusion, I'm generally happy with it for £310.
Thank you for your thoughts! been looking into buying a digital piano instead of a midi keyboard, tempted by the M-Audio Hammer still, since it is USB-powered but it's very chunky overall in size!

Had a play of the Casio S100, Yamaha P45 and Roland FP-10 in a shop a month before lockdown in the UK. The Casio seemed the best one for fast-playing and is the most compact one :).
 

jononotbono

Luke Johnson
I’m still waiting for the new Nektar Impact GXP88. No doubt it will feel bad but I just want a low profile semi weighted 88 key controller at the minute. It’s release has been postponed because of the Coronavirus but it’s cheap enough to give it a punt.
 

IFM

Senior Member
FWIW, I'm in the same boat as the original poster, although I have 80mm. I just bought a Keylab Essential 88, but can't really recommend it. After taking the caps off, it fits nicely, but the keybed action doesn't feel well – it's lightyears behind the playability of my "gold standard" (KOMPLETE KONTROL S61).
Of the 4 velocity curves, none fits really well, it almost behaves random.

I pondered about building a Doepfer PK88 directly in my desk, but according to the schematics which just came from Doepfer it is 84mm at its highest point :( So I have to continue looking.

@Robert Kooijman: Which keybeds exactly did you treat so well in the picture you shown?
Okay glad this wasn’t just me. My journey with Arturia started with he KL88 which was clunky but had accurate velocity despite the label paint wearing off quickly. I then got the KL88mkII. The velocity only has 3 curves and behaved exactly as you said...random. I sent it out for repair and they said no issue but replaced it anyways Same problem so I sold it. i even showed video proof to Arturia how off the charts their velocity output was. Now I know not to every try the Essential version either.
 

Alex Fraser

Senior Member
Since Covid meant my wife commandeered half my studio space, my 88 controller is now....a Technics Digital Piano made sometime in the dark mid nineties. Despite two decades of my nieces and nephews bashing the keys, it's in great shape and still one of the most playable 'beds I've had.

The piano is at 90 degrees to the desk. An NI M32 mini keys thing is pride of place on the desktop and I'm finding I'm using it for most of my production work with the piano only being used as required. Food for thought? It's a lot more comfortable than stretching over 88 hammers all day long..