C-30

Digital Harpsichord

Q.Are the keys of the C-30 responsive to different key pressure? Does the tone and expression change according to how the keys are pressed?

A.In the development of the C-30 keyboard and sound source, Roland's engineers gave the highest priority to improving the way that touch affects sound and musical expression. In particular, by implementing the points described below, you can both subtly change the sound depending on touch and let your playing sparkle with articulation and nuance.

How hard you press the keys subtly affects the resulting sound. A heavy touch produces a thick, strong sound, while a lighter touch brings out brightness and beauty in the tone. Forceful pressure on a key also changes the wooden-box sound of the jack rail being struck by the jack, which holds the plectrum. The mechanics of pressing a piano key and pressing a harpsichord are different, and the difference in touch is reflected in the way the sound is produced. When playing multiple choirs of strings with the harpsichord, the timing of the plucking of each string is slightly offset (staggered) to prevent the need for extremely heavy pressure.

This staggering is reproduced, so that pressing the keys in subtly different ways allows delicately nuanced changes in the way sounds are produced. The slight lag that occurs after the jack is raised is also reproduced. This enables a more cohesive sound during trill and legato playing. When the key is released, a distinctive noise is made when the plectrum scrapes the string on its return. You can immediately release the key or, before release, you can pause and wait for the string to stop vibrating. This decision affects the character of the noise that is produced. Paying attention to even key release timing raises expression to whole new level.

All these fine details of the harpsichord's action are important features that have been realized to enable you to play with authentic technique and expressive articulation. The C-30 is a particularly effective means of developing a subtle and accurate feel for the way the harpsichord is played.

(2008/07/10)

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