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Are pitch and mod wheel still used for CC or mostly faders only?

romplin

New Member
I'm asking this question because I want to start again with orchestral music and planing to buy a new master keyboard. I had to pause a a couple of years. In the past I liked to use the mod wheel a lot, but I noticed that a lot of people seems to use simple faders for CC1 and CC11 now. Maybe it's better for some reason?

Currently I think I want to get a very nice stage piano as a master keyboard, as a former piano player I never felt comfortable with synth actions. Can't get used to it. And because of the bad reputation from the s88 MK2 I also don't want to get a fatar keyboard, I think.

The issue is that stage pianos often don't have a mod wheel. At least the models I'm currently like after testing the keys and in the price range. I thinking about getting one and just add a nice midi controller with long fader in addition for CC, like the launch control XL.

Or do you think that it's still important to have a mod wheel and maybe also a pitch wheel nowadays? I'm really a bit lost because of a lack of experience in this case.
 

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
Some libraries utilize the pitch wheel for certain functions, but most don't. The pitch wheel is more relevant for soft synths.

I don't see why faders would be better or worse than a modwheel. It all comes down to haptics and personal preference. I prefer modwheel. It just feels more robust and handy than faders. It rolls instead of just travelling vertically, while your finger rests in the middle. This means that your hand is always in a relaxed position and not like with faders, where you either have to move your arm, or extend the finger completely to crank it all the way. Also, with a modwheel, I can push up with one finger and pull back down with the other, which is a more natural and fluid movement for me.

Another thing is the placement on the keyboard. The modwheel is always in the lower left corner. I can grab it without reaching to the upper edge of the keyboard, possibly over the keys or even crossing the hands, depending on where they put the faders. Most of the time you'll have the faders above the keys, so I can't even reach them when I'm lazy and don't pull out the keyboard drawer. The modwheel is reachable even when the drawer is pushed into the desk.

I'm sure there are just as many individual little reasons like these for preferring faders. Maybe folks who spent a lot of time on mixing boards naturally like them more.
 

Stevie

Senior Member
For me, the pitch wheel is very important. I use it on guitars (manual vibrato) and ethnic instruments (flutes, plucked strings, etc...). If this also applies to you, then I would definitely get a keyboard with a pitch bend wheel.
For all other controllers like CCs, a fader is a bliss (longer range).
 
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romplin

New Member
Thanks for your help guys. Not sure if works well this way, but I just had the idea to add a small 25 keys controller with a mod/pitch wheel to the setup in case I miss them later. When you have them on the same midi channel the pitch/mod wheel should also work for the 88 keys piano, I hope.

I don't see any high quality key action (Kawai, Yamaha, Roland maybe Casio) that isn't too big ( I want it below my table) with mod wheel and pitch bend at the moment as an alternative.
 

Stevie

Senior Member
Yeah that's true. The MIDI controller market leaves much to be desired.
The 25 key masterkeyboard will work perfectly in conjunction with a 88 keys one.
 
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romplin

New Member
You're right about the market. I'm sure that I want a high quality key action, but I'm a bit afraid to have remorse when I notice over time that I miss a pitch/mod wheel and can't get used to a fader for cc. Unfortunately this is not something which you can try quickly. Sometimes you get used to it sometimes not. It's a thing that you will only know after using it a certain time.

Therefore I want to have a plan b before spending about 1000€ for a stage piano.
 
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