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> 14 key, an in-depth look
sanchny
post Aug 4 2004, 09:51 AM
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A lot of people play 7 key as opposed to 14 key in IIDX, for a variety of reasons. The primary reason being (I think) that people don't want to spring for a new IIDX controller, and are quite content playing single. However, if someone is interested in taking up doubles, there aren't very many resources to help inform them.

With the new batch of controllers being released this week, this is as good a time as any for people who are interested to try double play. I was hoping some of the 14 key players here could describe it a bit.

(Disclaimer: I haven't played DDR doubles much.) In DDR, the primary difference between singles and doubles is the added element of moving your center of gravity back and forth between two pads. The main thing holding people back from trying doubles (at least at home) is the problem with drifting pads. This doesn't apply to IIDX, since there's one hand on each controller, and each moves indpendently compared to your legs in DDR.

How does IIDX double play compare to single play? It seems that one of the main differences is that each hand has to train independently from the other: you can't count on one hand being able to come over and help the other during a roll or a tricky pattern.
I'm wondering how the notecharts are spread out. Are they just the singles charts stretched across 14 keys? Are they evenly spread out between both hands? For example, in 7 key, the drumbeat heavily favors the left hand (if you play 2 handed) on the 1 and 3 keys. How does this play out in 14 key? Do certain patterns alternate between left side and right side just for the sake of giving both hands a somewhat equal workout?

Anything you can answer or add here would be appreciated. I guess I'm just looking for any comments you have on 14 key regarding mechanics, difficulty progression, how it plays compared to singles, if you prefer it compared to singles, etc.
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Kilroy
post Aug 4 2004, 10:50 AM
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14 key is a whole different ball game for sure.

As for the notecharts, you really have a mixed bag. The first thing to point out is that the notechart for doubles is always the same as the notechart for 2-Player non-battle. Keeping that in mind, there are some songs that give you the feeling that the patterns were designed mainly for doubles (making them REALLY easy and boring for 2-player), and others that feel like they were made almost exclusively for 2-player (making them almost completely impossible for doubles).

The patterns are VERY different from your normal 1-player charts the majority of the time. To be honest for alot of songs they are vastly simpler. The bass/rhythm notes still mostly occur on the 1/3 keys. It will usually switch back and forth between left and right side, but is normally on the 1/3 keys on either side.

The hardest thing to get used to in my opinion is which finger to use for which key. Since you are now limited to 5 fingers per seven keys AND turntable, selecting the right finger/combination for the keys is ALOT more critical then in singles. Choose the wrong fingering and you may be in a bad position for the next set of notes. I'd say that the majority of the challenge of doubles is discovering these patterns.

Scales are a whole different problem too. I've come to realize that there are two different types, which require 2 different approaches. Let me set up two scenarios and explain how I would deal with them:

The first type of scale is the type that is exclusively white keys OR exclusively black keys. These are pretty straightforward most of the time. To handle these is just a matter of using a different finger for every key. For example a progression that goes L1-L3-L5-L7-R1-R3-R5-R7 I would attempt to hit with Lpinky-Lring-Lindex-Lthumb-Rthumb-Rindex-Rring-Rpinky. This sort of thing takes a while to get used to as most players are not used to hitting that kind of spread. Higher speeds sometimes make this a little harder to prepare for, so I sometimes end up sweeping my hand across the keys. I've actually gotten decent at that, and can usually keep my combo as well as at least get greats on the notes.

The second type of scale is the type that alternates between the white and black keys. These are a hell of alot more complicated in my opinion. Basically you can no longer just assign a key to a finger because you will run out. The basic Idea then is to develop a 'walking' pattern with your fingers. For example L1-L2-L3-L4-L5-L6-L7 I would attempt to hit with Lring-Lmiddle-Lthumb-Lmiddle-Lthumb-Lmiddle-Lthumb. Complicated ne? I'm sure there are other ways of doing that but that's the one that seems to work for me. Sweeping your hand across the keys is still a possibility, but doesn't seem to work that great:S.

The only other thing that makes it different is hitting the turntable and the keys at the same time without another hand to cover the other keys. More often than not (except for harder 14K/14A songs) the turntable is alone and you don't have to worry about the keys at the same time on a given side. When there is a simultaneous press it is normally on one of the two white keys closest to whichever turntable. Not a very big deal to hit. Other songs though seem to go out of there way to make it so that every damn time there is a scratch, the is also a note at the same time on the FURTHEST white key from the turntable. In most situations it is commonly thought of as physically impossible to JG both the note and the scratch. Usually the best you can do is move your hands between the two as fast as possible and pray that you do it fast enough to great them both. LUCKILY songs that have that sort of utter bullshit are the minority. But they are common enough to make you want to break shit.

I guess the only thing left is modifiers:)
Mirror: Flips each side independently.
Random: Jumbles up the notes on a both sides, but keeps them on their separate sides. (I.e. random will not take left hand notes and put them on the right side.)

So for any you with a weaker left hand and want to fix Kakumei doubles, forget it. No modifiers are available to help you tongue.gif

I've recently discovered that a good way to practice is setting Autoplay & 1P + doubles. What this does it basically takes over a hand, and lets you focus on just the other hand. When you have both hands flying around, it's hard to focus on finger positions, so doing this allows you to focus more on that. Autoplay the left, then switch and autoplay the right, and you can get your hands conditioned independently for a given song. Just a thought though.

That's all I can think to say about doubles. biggrin.gif Sorry if this is more information than you really wanted.


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Frieza
post Aug 4 2004, 04:09 PM
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What kilroy said.

Also, playing doubles always has the addid "Shit yer pants" bonus as i've many many times gone to try and FC/PC a song and gone "RIGHT THIS IS REAL EASY DONT MISS A NOTE OK" and then I do.

Possibly one of the biggest issues on doubles is simply ensuring that you HIT THE RIGHT NOTES. Sounds simple, wait till you try it. At first you'll hit all the wrong ones (just like a newbie on singles would) but after a while (depending how fast your learning curve is) you start hitting them ok, and eventually its not too much of a mission. But even now I still hit the completely wrong note randomly on easy songs which is the most infuriating thing ever =]

L14 is definitely the place to start, but be careful, some songs in that are even a bitch. Avoid choosing something like Summer Vacation as your first song on L14 sleep.gif (what were they thinking?)
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Thunderbird
post Aug 4 2004, 08:04 PM
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I just got my 2nd controller in. I feel like I'm learning to play IIDX all over again...and this time there's no Beginner mode blink.gif.
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Taren
post Aug 4 2004, 08:21 PM
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I've been considering making my own special DP controller, but because my hands aren't very big, I refuse to play on two Official/ASC controllers. After one attempt with two Officials, I found out how frustrating it is to play not being able to span key 1 to key 7 without using my thumb. Do you just suck it up and try to span the keys as much as possible or give up and throw your thumbs in?


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Frieza
post Aug 4 2004, 09:14 PM
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I use anything I need to use. Fingers, thumbs, whatever works.

Using two officials generally is easier than two ASC's

for instance consider this:

P1 SCRATCH
P1 7 KEY
P2 5 KEY

There is no hope in hell you can scratch and get the 7 key on one hand AND get the 5 key with the other.

What you can do is span the P1 / P2 controller with your right hand and get the keys, and use the free hand for the scratch.

With two ASCs (or indeed arcade) such a manoeuver is impossible. You will notice notes like this on things like 5.1.1. 14 and various other evil, not too well thought out notepatterns.

So whatever works go for it!
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PkerUNO
post Aug 5 2004, 07:20 AM
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All this talk about doubles gives me a near-irresistible urge to buy a second controller...

Am I right in thinking that playing the piano helps doubles play more than singles?


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Oogami
post Aug 5 2004, 07:45 AM
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Considering I have 14 years of piano experience behind me including a rather intensive collegiate level of study (I was a composition major, after all) and I still can barely touch some 6s and 7s in 14K, I'd have to say no, not really. Piano != IIDX


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PkerUNO
post Aug 5 2004, 09:07 AM
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Hehe, I guessed not smile.gif

I gave up the piano 6 years ago, and when I sat down in front of my friend's piano a few weeks ago, I was disgusted by how bad I am now... I am definitely taking it up again wink.gif

I've always noticed though that while my right hand can take pretty much anything, my I have to concentrate on my left hand like mad or it'll end up imitating my right hand... o_O

More practice needed, methinks.


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davidbrit2
post Aug 5 2004, 12:31 PM
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QUOTE (Oogami @ Aug 5 2004, 08:45 AM)
Considering I have 14 years of piano experience behind me including a rather intensive collegiate level of study (I was a composition major, after all) and I still can barely touch some 6s and 7s in 14K, I'd have to say no, not really.  Piano != IIDX


I beg to differ. Keyboardmania made me better at Double mode. ;-)
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Frieza
post Aug 6 2004, 06:07 AM
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Keyboardmania isn't a piano either.

Since when does a piano have notes scroll up or down a screen? It doesnt!

Keyboardmania can understandably improve IIDX doubles play asa its roughly the same notecount, AND you're staring at a screen trying to read notepatterns.

Reading sheet music is a totally different ballgame from reading notepatterns.
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Taren
post Aug 6 2004, 08:26 PM
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Sheet Music = booooo

Bemani-style music = cheeeerrrrrrr

Symbols to indicate time is pretty obsolete once you start using spacing/note colors (DDR) itself to indicating timing. Just think of all the work you'd have to go through to indicate "Hit note X a quarter beat after beat 2" with sheet music, and the single click it'd take with something like BMSCreator.

Of course, then you would need to invent a whole new set of symbols for instructions on how to play the single note: legato, staccato, whathaveyou. Fermata = long ass freeze note like in O2JAM (the Brahms song) or Ez2dj?

Influenced by how I don't like that whole "fill in the WHOLE MEASURE" rule- if you have one note in the measure you have to break everything up and fill it in with rests and blah blah it's just a waste of time, and overcomplicates a simple matter.


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Oogami
post Aug 6 2004, 11:40 PM
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Yeah, but it's just TOO specific. I don't want my own pieces to sound metronomic, as vertical falling notation pretty much forces you to read EXACTLY what's being shown with little room for interpretation.


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Taren
post Aug 6 2004, 11:44 PM
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QUOTE (Oogami @ Aug 6 2004, 11:40 PM)
Yeah, but it's just TOO specific.  I don't want my own pieces to sound metronomic, as vertical falling notation pretty much forces you to read EXACTLY what's being shown with little room for interpretation.
*


true dat.

I forgot about that whole "expressiveness" thing. If classical music notation allows for personal freedom and self expression, then Bemani scrolling notes is COMMUNISM! Stop supporting Konami, you are funding Communism! IIDX RED?! YOU THINK IT'S A COINCIDENCE?!

have a nice day.
(obligatory smiley face)


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chotto kiitena
post Aug 7 2004, 02:19 AM
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QUOTE (Taren @ Aug 6 2004, 11:44 PM)
IIDX RED?! YOU THINK IT'S A COINCIDENCE?!


laugh.gif


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PkerUNO
post Aug 7 2004, 09:24 AM
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QUOTE (Oogami @ Aug 7 2004, 04:40 AM)
Yeah, but it's just TOO specific.  I don't want my own pieces to sound metronomic, as vertical falling notation pretty much forces you to read EXACTLY what's being shown with little room for interpretation.
*


Very true. I gave a demonstration to a friend's father (who is a musician) and his comment was that "this game is perverse". What I think he meant is that he really doesn't like the idea of "playing" music for points. He also feels music needs to come from the heart, and not from a machine.

My response was, "it's only a game..." tongue.gif


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Bee
post Aug 12 2004, 12:41 PM
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More people need to play doubles. I've only been playing for a week and I'm in the top 5 for alot of light14 songs already even though I have way more poors than people vaguely near me on the boards. sad.gif
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Renespectre
post Aug 16 2004, 11:45 AM
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I'll be starting soon, my other controller comes in today. If anyone has any suggestions about placement of home controllers on a table or something let me know, I have never played on a table before, just sitting down with a controller in my lap. dry.gif
Thanks.


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Frieza
post Aug 18 2004, 02:36 PM
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I actually have a wooden shelf that never got put up, pretty thin plank of wood I have both konami officials gaffer taped to it. And yeah, the controllers sit in my lap biggrin.gif
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Apollo2X
post Aug 19 2004, 07:57 PM
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QUOTE (Frieza @ Aug 18 2004, 02:36 PM)
I actually have a wooden shelf that never got put up, pretty thin plank of wood I have both konami officials gaffer taped to it. And yeah, the controllers sit in my lap biggrin.gif
*


Akk, not having a piece of furniture to place the controller(s) sounds very uncomfortable ohmy.gif (Frieza, are you really implying that you play with 2 controllers on your lap?? blink.gif ) I myself was lucky enough to have 2 spare wooden stands just in the right height. My mom would have been using them for decoration, but she was nice enough to let me and my bro (DJ Leon) use them for single and double BMIIDX sessions.

Now about using the right fingers on the right note patterns, I think that the tatsujin videos in 6th style could be used in an educating way. I say "could" because at normal playback speed, there's no possibility you can easily see how the fingers of the tatsujins are moving. If the Konami staff could add some of the videos in 8th Style and create some sort of slow motion controls, now that would be really helpful.


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