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  MIDIBoard At a Glance
Picture needed arrowReleased: 1986  Specifications
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MC writes:
I'm a piano player and the Kurzweil MIDIBoard has the best piano action in a MIDI controller to date. I've played just about everything else out there and haven't found anything that feels more authentic than this thing. If you want a nice piano action in a MIDI controller you should look into one of these. Actually Kurzweil used two different keysets, the earlier MIDIBoards had a looser action than the later ones. Mine is the later model. The action isn't stiff at all, nice and firm, like a Steinway grand piano. Yes it is that good. The earlier actions feel like an old Chickering grand piano.

The MIDIBoard has been out of production since 1990 shortly before Young Chang acquired Kurzweil, so the MIDI implementation is slightly out of date (IE no LSB/MSB for NRPN MIDI CCs). But this MIDI controller has a rare and coveted feature: polyphonic pressure. Imagine pressing a chord playing a choir or string sound, and being able to modulate each note in the chord with pressure... powerful. The CS-80 and the Ensoniq keyboards were one of the few to offer this. Of course your MIDI module has to be capable of receiving MIDI polyphonic aftertouch data, and watch the MIDI traffic 'cause polyphonic aftertouch will send a TREMENDOUS amount of MIDI data. Some modules will choke and die from overload. My Kurzweil 1000 series ROMplers have NO problem dealing with traffic, but I did that with the Memorymoog once :(

You can split and layer eight simultaneous MIDI instruments in a setup, and you can have 99 total setups. There is memory for 198 MIDI instruments. It also included a full featured arpeggiator that can be synced/started with MIDI, although I don't have much use for this, I'm a PLAYER. You have four pairs of LEDs for navigating the system and it's quite a learning curve but once you get over it you can change things without referring to the manual. Definitely get the manual when you buy a used one, the parameter list for each MIDI instrument is printed on the front panel but you'll need the manual to know what the LEDs are telling you.

You can have three variable split points. That doesn't sound like a lot and there are master controllers with more, but in most applications three splits is plenty. There are the mandatory pitch and mod wheels on the left and they can be assigned to any MIDI CC. The same is true with the rear panel continuous pedal inputs, and the pedals can be active or passive (CV input is tip, pedal power is ring). There's also a dual switch input on the rear panel for sustain and sostenoto (sp?) pedals, and these can also be assigned to any MIDI CC, and can be assign minimum and maximum values which is VERY useful at times.

I have version 3 OS for my MIDIBoard, the latest version. There are 48 parameters you can manipulate with a MIDI instrument. I won't cover them all here but suffice it to say that you get a TREMENDOUS amount of control over your MIDI instrument. I use the MIDIBoard with my Kurzweil 1000 series ROMplers, my Memorymoog, my MIDIfied Moog Source, my Hammond XB2, and my ART Multiverb. All sixteen MIDI channels. The MIDIBoard's resources is plenty for all of these.

My MIDIBoard has been heavily gigged and has NEVER broken down. Solid as a rock. It has been my master controller for the stage and the studio since 1988.

Comments About the Sounds:

(Thanks to MC for this info.)

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