Replacing a keybed

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I would like to replace the keybed on my Arturia Keylab Essential 61 with a Fatar TP80 bed. Before I get too deep into the weeds, is this even possible or a fools errand. I am good technically, and have found some beds. Has anyone ever tried this?
 

happyrat1

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I've seen one keyboard transplant documented on a Kurzweil Forum about someone's old PC3 or PC2. If I recall correctly the switch from one Fatar Board to another Fatar Model was relatively seamless and trouble free. The wiring needed no modification and was plug and play. Arturia used to sell all their controllers with Fatar Keybeds, but since they've introduced the Essential line of controllers, they've cheaped out and I think went with Medeli controllers instead. You might have better luck swapping out for a higher end Medeli keybed than a Fatar one.

I think if you try to swap keybeds from different manufacturers you will run into trouble with screw lug positioning and incompatible wiring requiring extensive rework.

All of this is off the top of my head so do your homework and see if my facts are accurate.

Like any homebrew hack, you have to be willing to sacrifice the board if the conversion fails or else extremely ingenious to make it work.

Try it at your own risk but be sure to document with video or photos of the operation regardless of whether it's a success or not.

We all stand to benefit from your experiences.

Good luck :)

Gary ;)
 
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I had an Arturia Keylab Essential 61.

Notice the word .... had.

It was cr4p with electronics all over the place and a very poor action so I fully understand why you wish to change the keybed.

Personally I think you would be wasting your time and cash.

I could understand it if the case and internals were top notch by way of quality but the Essential range is a low budget piece of kit to start off with.

The Studiologic 73 has a Fatar TP/100LR keybed and a very reasonable retail price.
 
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I had an Arturia Keylab Essential 61.

Notice the word .... had.

It was cr4p with electronics all over the place and a very poor action so I fully understand why you wish to change the keybed.

Personally I think you would be wasting your time and cash.

I could understand it if the case and internals were top notch by way of quality but the Essential range is a low budget piece of kit to start off with.

The Studiologic 73 has a Fatar TP/100LR keybed and a very reasonable retail price.
This whole idea started only because of the feel of the keybed on the Arturia. This is for a live rig. I want it light, and I have already dialed in the sounds. The only changes using the controls would be the registers on a hammond. I want more of a hammond feel keybed. If someone made one, I would probably change to it, but I cannot find one. I am all ears on recommendations. I had an Xk2 and loved the keybed, however I didn't love the weight. My live rig is all about being light. My days of schleping gear are over. My Arturia is a MKII.
 

happyrat1

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The Kurzweil transplant I mentioned was for similar reasons. The guy wanted waterfall keys for playing Organ.

You might want to take a look at the Studiologic Numa Compact Organ line which I believe has Fatar waterfall keys already.



Not crazy expnsive either last time I checked.

Gary ;)
 
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The Kurzweil transplant I mentioned was for similar reasons. The guy wanted waterfall keys for playing Organ.

You might want to take a look at the Studiologic Numa Compact Organ line which I believe has Fatar waterfall keys already.



Not crazy expnsive either last time I checked.

Gary ;)
Thanks. I didn't think of them. I am not in need of the sounds, but the keyboard looks interesting. Could use it as the controler. New they are listing for $1300. That is steep for a controler. Checking ebay. The keybed does look nice.
 
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You may also want to check out the Studio Logic Numa Compact x2 it is c$700

  • 88 Keys, TP/9 PIANO semi-weighted Action
  • Dual switch detection system
  • Aftertouch
  • Touch
  • Soft, Medium, Hard, Fixed (programmable)
 
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So I began the journey and recevied little help from Arturia. There is always a language barrier from email, but it didn't appear that they wanted to help with this either. They did not tell me whose keybed they use. It was something I specifically asked. So if I move forward, this will be a complete experiment. Odds of failure are very high. The biggest issue I take from the below is that even if I get things connected, the firmware will most likely not work. I use the V Collection a lot, and the auto mapping is a big plus.

Hi Thom,

Thank you for reaching out,

Unfortunately the keylab keybeds are in house designs and we would not be able to provide with wiring schematics,

Only piece of information that I'm able to share is that the connector is a flat 32 pin connector.

But I've notified the hardware department and they cannot in any way ensure that the firmware would handle another keybed without difficulties,

Kind regards.
 
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Interesting response youreceived.

In other words ...... if you mod our keyboard, don’t bother asking for help from us.

My last post on in this thread
 
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I would like to replace the keybed on my Arturia Keylab Essential 61 with a Fatar TP80 bed. Before I get too deep into the weeds, is this even possible or a fools errand. I am good technically, and have found some beds. Has anyone ever tried this?
So did u ever figure this out
 
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So did u ever figure this out
In a way. I abandoned the Arturia swap, and started making a stand alone controller. No one makes a controller with waterfall keys. Making a controller is not rocket science. The most difficult part, and also the road block, is getting a case manufactured. No one will do a one off. So the contents, wiring, and controller are all good. The case needs to be hand made. That means wood. That is not a bad option, but it adds weight. When I am finished, I will report back.
 
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There are several things that effect a keyboard's feel, one of them is the springs. It's possible that a switch in springs might adjust the feel. As an example the FATAR TP8 is a semi-weighted feel; some have mentioned the push back (resistance) is the issue and have swapped out the TP8's springs with the TP9 keyboard springs (synth action keyboard). Some have reported a better 'feel' with this simple switch out. That work is far less hazardous than attempting a mismatched keybed whose wiring and lug positioning is most likely different. You might want to research this option.
 
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There are several things that effect a keyboard's feel, one of them is the springs. It's possible that a switch in springs might adjust the feel. As an example the FATAR TP8 is a semi-weighted feel; some have mentioned the push back (resistance) is the issue and have swapped out the TP8's springs with the TP9 keyboard springs (synth action keyboard). Some have reported a better 'feel' with this simple switch out. That work is far less hazardous than attempting a mismatched keybed whose wiring and lug positioning is most likely different. You might want to research this option.
That is very true. I own some TP9s, but really like the TP8O. I have a couple in house and have the guts of the controller worked out. The next step is manufacturing the case. Sourcing switches was also difficult. I have talked with several controller manufacturers, and they all said they ended up making their own. The things that I thought would be no problem when starting this project, are actually the most difficult part of the process. Very eye opening.
 
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That is very true. I own some TP9s, but really like the TP8O. I have a couple in house and have the guts of the controller worked out. The next step is manufacturing the case. Sourcing switches was also difficult. I have talked with several controller manufacturers, and they all said they ended up making their own. The things that I thought would be no problem when starting this project, are actually the most difficult part of the process. Very eye opening.
You might want to spend your time on something more satifsying like ...... drinking brewgoodbeer!
 
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I'm in the same boat. I picked up an old M-Audio Axiom 61 (gen 2), and want to swap out piano style Fatar keybed for Fatar TP/8O. While connections and screw mount points are identical, sourcing one in the US so far has been impossible.

I've been contemplating removing the white keys, which are diving board style, and modifying with a palm router using a 1/16" roundover bit to fashion into waterfall style. I'm very Tool Savvy, but am not sure this will work. Gonna practice on an old Roland synth that died years ago.

Has anyone tried this? Thoughts pro and con appreciated...
 
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I'm in the same boat. I picked up an old M-Audio Axiom 61 (gen 2), and want to swap out piano style Fatar keybed for Fatar TP/8O. While connections and screw mount points are identical, sourcing one in the US so far has been impossible.

I've been contemplating removing the white keys, which are diving board style, and modifying with a palm router using a 1/16" roundover bit to fashion into waterfall style. I'm very Tool Savvy, but am not sure this will work. Gonna practice on an old Roland synth that died years ago.

Has anyone tried this? Thoughts pro and con appreciated...

One slight problem, weight, reshaping the keys will affect said weight and balance of the keys so do bear this in mind if you go ahead
 
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One slight problem, weight, reshaping the keys will affect said weight and balance of the keys so do bear this in mind if you go ahead

I went ahead and did it, see attached pictures. The amount I routed off of every white key was negligible, and I can't feel any weight difference. It was a low risk modification, as the keyboard was free...:).

I used a router table with a roundover bit.

The pictures below during the process, it is now complete and I couldn't be happier.
 

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