Hey folks! Finally found some time to go out and look for fellow CP88 enthusiasts!
Egads I love this board. I especially love the action. I have had MAAAANY Yamaha keybeds over the years (DGX-640, XF-8, and now CP88) and in my personal opinion, this particular keybed is EXACTLY what I was looking for.
I can tenderly caress it and get very quiet, but then turn around and pound all over it (including routinely hitting 127 velocity) and all the while it feels like I am in COMPLETE CONTROL. Also, I should point out: I have my in-ears (Sony $40 with volume control) directly connected to the headphone out and then use Logic Pro X and the CP88 acts as an audio interface and I record MIDI and Audio at the same time (just to save myself some time in case I nail the recording the first time…then I have an audio track waiting for final processing).
It has indeed been quite the journey from initially hearing it, pounding on it at Ted Brown's for weeks, purchasing it, and then spending 1-2 hours a day for months primarily working through 4 of the built-in grands (in decreasing order of happiness): Hamburg (love it…absolutely love it), Imperial, S700, CFX. I spent those many months playing a certain set of hymns and writing the tunes for "Into the Green" (my own compositions) on all 4 of those grands and then decided at the end to use the Hamburg for "Into the Green" as well as "Emmanuel" (Christmas hymns) and most recently "Acoustic Hymns Vol. 2" (which landed on Apple music and the other platforms TODAY…WOOHOO!). I haven't even yet created a page for it on kevinselby.com (gotta get to that tonight!).
Real quick: "Into the Green" and "Emmanuel" were recorded literally straight out of the CP88 via USB (midi/audio at same time) and I used the on-board reverb of the CP88 and very slight compression in Logic Pro on the master track. Into the Green used slight reverb, whereas Emmanuel used a bit more (I wanted it to sound a little more dreamier). I have since realized that I'd rather use Relab Essentials LX480 (a simple, inexpensive reverb VST that emulates the Lexicon reverb of yesteryear) for the reverb and use the built-in Logic Pro X Compressor Vintage VCA to pull the levels up a bit but not squash the dynamics too much.
Okay…hopefully this forum will allow a few links…in case you are interested in me thoughts.
Thoughts on the Yamaha CP88 (this was immediately after recording "Into the Green" up in the forest of Idaho):
"Into the Green" YouTube playlist (where you can see our beloved CP88 OUT IN THE FOREST MAN…so cool:
[I should point out that the audio in the YouTube videos is a "matrix" mix of direct USB audio blended with what the forest "heard" from a Zoom H4N Pro about 10 yards away "listening" to the Yamaha HS80M studio speakers on the forest floor. If you wanna hear pure audio straight out of the keyboard with no forest, listen to the SoundCloud audio]
I should ALSO point out that I recorded the CP88 with it tuned at 432Hz.
"Oh Danny Boy" YouTube - also out in the forest. I include this one because it's a popular song that most folks will appreciate:
"Cabin Medley" YouTube - also out in the forest. I include this one and BEG you to go to: Conversion Reprise…in fact the link takes you right there…BECAUSE…at the end of that tune, it shows off the escapement and amazing rapid fire SLAMMING you can do on this keybed…woo…and hoo (I swear I'm not breathing during that last frenetic slam-fest because I'm afraid if I breathe, I'll screw it up):
Cabin Medley 4:22: 04:22
Link to song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4Pm8IFf18M
Finally…some SoundCloud links because I ended up remastering the Into the Green tracks a tad (using Relab and Studio VCA compressor) and they only exist in their remastered form on SoundCloud:
Into the Green -
Acoustic Hymns Vol. 2 -
NOW…I apologize if I've breached some newbie rule where I'm not supposed to shower you with links and crap…but I figured if y'all are as curious as I am about how others are using the CP88, then maybe it's okay…you have plenty of examples of what I've found with this beast.
What I'm CURRENTLY trying to figure out: so…after listening to Emmanuel and Acoustic Hymns Vol. 2, I determined that I'm quite sick of how I play these days and I want to figure out TWO things:
1. Can I STOP with the left hand constantly doing the root to fifth to 3rd thing? Can I maybe arrange hymns differently in the future?
2. Can I possibly find a grand piano library out there to use within Logic Pro X and maaaaybe it might sound better than the stock CP88 Hamburg sound (which I love…but hey…sometimes ya gotta look for greener pastures occasionally?).
Soooo…I signed up for the UVI "Sonic Pass" thing (which actually…is quite a steal considering you get access to nearly everything these freaks put out…and they put out a HUGE amount of sound libraries.
I then proceeded to record "Be Thou My Vision" using 6 different pianos:
- UVI Austrian grand (this is most likely a Bosendorfer, like our beloved Imperial).
- UVI Model D (a Model D Steinway…much like our beloved Hamburg, but it (the UVI Model D has some warts I will discuss later).
- UVI Italian (Fazioli??).
- Addictive Keys - their grand piano, which I painstakingly adjusted the mics and what-not to get it as "Steinway D" sounding as I could.
- Yamaha CP88 Hamburg (Steinway…model?…by the by…that is how I stumbled across this site…looking for WHO ON EARTH KNOWS WHAT THE HAMBURG WAS MODELED ON??)
- Yamaha CP88 Imperial (Bosendorfer).
I figured out how to A/B between the tracks in Logic Pro X and I am STUNNED…STUNNED I tell you.
I will try to summarize what I found in another post (and in 6 tracks on SoundCloud so you can hear what I did).
- The CP88 keybed still absolutely rocks.
- When your in-ears/headphones are directly plugged into the CP88, you are struck with how perfectly Yamaha captured the "strike-to-ear" thing. It is amazing. Even playing the VST's within Logic Pro, it is still a great experience.
- UVI did NOT build all their Grand's equally.
- The UVI Austrian probably sounds the best to my ears and has the best resonance and is probably what I will use to record Acoustic Hymns Vol. 3.
- The UVI Steinway D has some warts…oops…already said that…
- The UVI Austrian's samples sound pretty close to the CP88's Imperial (which is cool…since we thing they are both Bosie's!!).
- The UVI Italian (Fazioli?) is probably the best "balanced" keyboard across the 88 keys and it reminds me of the CP88 S700 (which I love for certain situations…more on that later).
Whewwww…okay…enough for now…I'll hopefully get the 6 tracks recorded TONIGHT and up on SoundCloud and then YOU can hear "Be Thou My Vision" played on 6 different grand's for Kevin's Grand Escapade Shootout.
Again…hope I can post this and hope I haven't annoyed anyone…I just LOVE THIS KEYBOARD!!!