A NEW Era for Portable Pianos by CASIO

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Re: A NEW Era for Portable Pianos by CASIO

Unread post by pologuy » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:57 pm

So it looks like we will have to wait until Monday to find out more... for the new Casio mid-range keyboard...

And then closer to NAMM (12 days away) to find out more about the upper-range keyboard...?

Is the upper-range keyboard the new keyboard you have been talking about in the MODX thread?

Or is it the new Casio 88-key fully weighted keys workstation keyboard that has leaked out....? :)
Last edited by pologuy on Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: A NEW Era for Portable Pianos by CASIO

Unread post by SysExJohn » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:57 pm

Saul wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:35 pm
Found this by a user named 'leftaroundabout' on stackexchange.com whilst researching why standard midi ports are being made redundant. Some interesting points if a little over enthusiastically expressed ;)
MIDI is an ancient technology. I mean, 7 bits, seriously??... IMO it's obsolete entirely, but the continued popularity of MIDI tracks and the universal compatibility (with no serious competition) means it will remain relevant for years to come, as a digital standard.

However, that's only the software part. On the hardware side, there is another standard with near-universal compatibility: USB. That can be used just as well for transmitting the MIDI data, and is superior to the old DIN plugs in, almost literally, every sense:

It can easily handle the bandwidth of a normal MIDI connection (or multiple – I mean not just the 16 channels but possibly a whole bunch of entire 16-chn MIDI streams). And it won't immediately get into trouble when you try to merge two busy streams of controller messages.
It can also transmit non-MIDI information in real time (with direct protocols, rather than awkward controller-encoding or SysEx hacks).
Power supply built-in.
It allows you to identify devices by name, rather than channel number
Its connectors are more robust & safe (if still nowhere near as rugged as XLR, alas...).
Slightly more stable WRT to interference in long cables (though USB isn't really made for long lines either; there are now ethernet-based standards which can work over hundreds of yards, if you need that).
The single “benefit” of DIN is: the devices don't even notice it when you unplug the MIDI, so you can hot-swap anything. But that's technically horrible, and often leads to stuck notes etc.. Better change the routing in software.

So this is now the reasonable thing to do: connect every MIDI device via USB, rather than DIN-MIDI.

This leaves the DIN plugs as only a backup: use them if you quickly want to set up a single connection between devices from the pre-USB age. For anything more complex, forget about DIN – if a device doesn't have USB, glue a cheap USB-MIDI interface to it.

But daisy chains of DIN cables to connect devices via MIDI-THRU? Definitely obsolete.
Just to add my 2d worth here, where the poster isn't just over enthusiastic, he's factually incorrect in many cases.
To answer some of his criticisms.

1. He derides "7 bits" but 7 bits are used where no greater accuracy is needed.
E.g. channel volume (MIDI cc#7), the ear hasn't the sensitivity to hear a greater resolution than 7 bits, i.e. 128 different levels.
128 notes is more than adequate to cover the musical frequency spectrum, etc., etc.
Where the ear has much greater sensitivity, i.e. tuning, the pitch bend wheel is capable of transmitting 14 bits, i.e. vastly higher resolution.
AND ... if one needs 14 bits, then use the MSB, LSB provision that's present in the first 32 MIDI controllers.

2. USB as a transmission medium may be vastly superior in terms of overall speed, but it uses a polled protocol, which means the sending end, the keyboard, has to wait for the host to ask whether it has any data to transmit. This leads to a further small amount of latency (tiny) but also, more worryingly to jitter. i.e. small timing errors. The MIDI data also has to be encapsulated within a USB "packet" needing more processing to encapsulate it and to unencapsulate it.

3. The data is still serial, i.e. a chord of three notes is notes is sent one note after another, not three notes simultaneously. So, no change there.

4. USB cannot be run over 15 metres of cable, I forget the limit but it's considerably shorter.

5. USB requires a powered "host" to drive the link to the "slaves(s)". MIDI is peer to peer providing the necessary power at the transmit end.

My conclusion: The article was written by someone not fully familiar with MIDI's capabilities nor the drawbacks of USB.
USB is good in a limited set of circumstances, i.e. in a computer environment.
MIDI has proved itself useful in most environments but it does have some limitations.
MIDI Tutor forum at http://midi-tutor.proboards.com/index.cgi.
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Re: A NEW Era for Portable Pianos by CASIO

Unread post by anotherscott » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:58 pm

Saul wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:37 pm
Might be going out on a limb here but I am pretty sure if you asked most school children who are learning piano to tell you what a din type midi port is they would stare at you with a blank look wondering what the hell you were talking about.
I don't think that's going out on a limb. Heck, I suspect most people don't know what any port is until they need it. ;-)

Again, I'm not saying that everyone needs MIDI ports. As I said, "anyone using multiple keyboards on stage who doesn't want to use a computer is going to want a regular MIDI jack"...but "gigging players is a small percentage of the total market for budget-priced keyboards." It's just unfortunate for us when cool, well-priced boards come out, that we have to pass on because they don't have this simple, cheap thing which used to be ubiquitous.
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Re: A NEW Era for Portable Pianos by CASIO

Unread post by Saul » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:22 pm

Makes me wonder though, are din type midi ports cheap? They may seem like a cheap component to us but there is obviously a cost factor to manufacturers that pushes them in the direction of not including them.

Although I don't need these midi ports myself I do think it is a shame that some great keyboards are not being purchased because of a lack of standard midi ports. I guess manufacturers have done their maths and concluded the loss of these customers does not affect their bottom line. Good thing a lot of old gear was made to last :)
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Re: A NEW Era for Portable Pianos by CASIO

Unread post by anotherscott » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:31 pm

Saul wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:22 pm
Makes me wonder though, are din type midi ports cheap?
Before USB, plenty of cheap gear had MIDI jacks.
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Re: A NEW Era for Portable Pianos by CASIO

Unread post by Saul » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:40 pm

anotherscott wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:31 pm
Saul wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:22 pm
Makes me wonder though, are din type midi ports cheap?
Before USB, plenty of cheap gear had MIDI jacks.
That was because there was no usb option. In any case that was then not now. Costs change. Can't judge it from a consumers point of view. Production costs are a very different thing. Things that seem simple and cheap for a consumer are not always cheap from a manufacturers standpoint.
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Re: A NEW Era for Portable Pianos by CASIO

Unread post by 2112 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:43 pm

The manuals for the new models CDP-S100, CDP-S150, CDP-S350 are already posted online:
https://support.casio.com/en/manual/man ... cid=008020
Apparently dealers in Russia had less restrictions in their NDAs.
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Re: A NEW Era for Portable Pianos by CASIO

Unread post by Stevie18 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:37 pm

I think it is good to have both the MIDI and the USB port. On the Montage I love the USB port when connecting to the computer and the iPad. That works so well. And it can transport in both directions and not only MIDI but also audio at the same time. Latency seems to be also good enough for me. And also I think the connections are reasonably reliable for me. So it really simplifies the setup!

Of course when connecting to other keyboards that does not work, there MIDI comes in. You can attach a USB to MIDI converter, of course...

Also note that as the Kronos, the Montage and the MODX have a "USB to Device" port as well. Since the Montage is basically a MIDI computer it should actually be possible to extend the software to use that as an additional MIDI port as well. This way other USB devices could be connected to that port on the Montage - I would love that. I am going to make a request on Ideascale for that...

If I would design a keyboard today I would provide a different port: A USB-C port. I think that's a really good and reliable connection, can provide lots of power, works inherently in both directions. So if the software supports it you can use it as a slave or master. And you can use converters for normal USB, MIDI, etc., if needed. I wonder when the first keyboards with USB-C pop up (if there are not already some...).
Last edited by Stevie18 on Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A NEW Era for Portable Pianos by CASIO

Unread post by Stevie18 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:44 pm

You need a host, it is simply impossible to directly connect two slaves. But there are boxes that can convert USB to standard MIDI (like Kenton, as SeaGtGruff posted). But they are not universally compatible, require more cabling (including their own power supplies), are not particularly cheap, and you would need two of them to connect one USB keyboard to another.
One such box would be a Raspberry Pi with some open source software. I have used that in the past to couple keyboards via USB. Newer versions come with 4 USB ports. The only hassle is that you need to power it (like mentioned above) - and it needs boot time. Apart from that it should work universally. I never had any keyboard which did not work. And it's pretty cheap these days...
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Re: A NEW Era for Portable Pianos by CASIO

Unread post by anotherscott » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:28 pm

Saul wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:40 pm
anotherscott wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:31 pm
Before USB, plenty of cheap gear had MIDI jacks.
That was because there was no usb option.
True... USB is now essential in the market, so the cost of DIN MIDI would be in addition to the USB as opposed to instead of it, which in a sense, makes it more expensive now than it was then.
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Re: A NEW Era for Portable Pianos by CASIO

Unread post by Saul » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:39 pm

2112 wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:43 pm
The manuals for the new models CDP-S100, CDP-S150, CDP-S350 are already posted online:
https://support.casio.com/en/manual/man ... cid=008020
Apparently dealers in Russia had less restrictions in their NDAs.
Yes there will always be someone who breaks an NDA however the big news is not really about the CDP series..good though they are. But hey thanks for the heads up. Will pass that on to Casio.
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Re: A NEW Era for Portable Pianos by CASIO

Unread post by Swithin » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:45 pm

PartTimeAmateur wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:59 pm
I'm not sure how independent he is, given that he sells Casio keyboards
If I remember correctly, he hadn't started selling keyboards when he reviewed the PX-560. I think you can trust his review, considering he also owns a PX-560. He once said he liked the Privia keybed more than the Nord. And in a newer video, he says he normally returns the keyboards after he reviews them, but every now and then he comes across one that he really likes and keeps it. So far, he's kept the PX-560, the Nord Piano 4, and one more (a Kawai, I think).
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Re: A NEW Era for Portable Pianos by CASIO

Unread post by kalty » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:11 pm

Saul wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:39 pm
2112 wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:43 pm
The manuals for the new models CDP-S100, CDP-S150, CDP-S350 are already posted online:
https://support.casio.com/en/manual/man ... cid=008020
Apparently dealers in Russia had less restrictions in their NDAs.
Yes there will always be someone who breaks an NDA however the big news is not really about the CDP series..good though they are. But hey thanks for the heads up. Will pass that on to Casio.
Hi, I've just order a PX-160 (but its not available yet). Do you think its worth to wait for the new release, or keep the 160?

Thx in advance
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Re: A NEW Era for Portable Pianos by CASIO

Unread post by Saul » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:01 pm

kalty wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:11 pm

Hi, I've just order a PX-160 (but its not available yet). Do you think its worth to wait for the new release, or keep the 160?

Thx in advance
The new models will be available in stores in March and although the PX-160 is a really nice keyboard I have seen what is coming and I would definitely wait. Or at least hold off until the official launch in a couple of weeks as you can then check out all the features and see if it is something that would be suitable for you? This is a new PX by the way, not the CDP which is being announced tomorrow (14th Jan)
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Re: A NEW Era for Portable Pianos by CASIO

Unread post by Saul » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:05 pm

pologuy wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:57 pm
So it looks like we will have to wait until Monday to find out more... for the new Casio mid-range keyboard...

And then closer to NAMM (12 days away) to find out more about the upper-range keyboard...?

Is the upper-range keyboard the new keyboard you have been talking about in the MODX thread?

Or is it the new Casio 88-key fully weighted keys workstation keyboard that has leaked out....? :)
There has been no leak as far as I know, not for the new PX anyway.

The keyboard I mentioned in the MODX thread is not part of this particular launch and probably won't be announced until the middle of 2019 now. Casio have put all their efforts into the CDP/PX range for the start of the year.
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