How to fix a stuck kbd velocity of your Roland E36

This page (as you may have guessed from the link you just clicked to reach it) is dedicated to all of them who are the happy buyers of a Roland musical keyboard. I tested what I am going to suggest you with my E36 model, which doesn’t mean it’ll work on yours, especially if it doesn’t support Kbd Velocity mode


Ok, let’s come to the tech details.

The Kbd Velocity mode, from what I could guess when disassembing my KB, works by measuring the time interval which occurs between the contacts of two little switches associated with the key, located at different distances from the fulcrum of the key itself. Now, these are the ones which are messing when your Kbd Vel mode doesn’t work as it should. So, AT YOUR OWN RISK:

  1. unscrew the lower panel of the KB, keep the screws in a safe place (you never know, your cleptomaniac cat may be purring around), then, keeping the KB upside down on a firm surface,
  2. remove the few screws which fix the key-panel to the main chassis, and
  3. pull it out gently from its place, be careful to the flat cable between it and the main electronics
  4. locate the key giving trouble, and
  5. remove it (c’mon, do you really want me to tell you how to do this? Ok, only one hint: first of all, remove the spring)
  6. check the plastic grey sheet covering the contact under the key, which had two small buttons
  7. gently pull the plastic sheet from the electronics panel, and blow (yes, blow) under it, to remove every dirt which may have gone there. Also, you can use a small clean wad of cotton to dust it.
  8. now, from step (6) downward to step (1), do exactly the opposite of what is said, and you’ll have your E36 fresh as a daisy, and working.

22 thoughts on “How to fix a stuck kbd velocity of your Roland E36”

  1. [commenti dal vecchio sito]
    [comments from old website]

    2010-01-04 20:16:42
    if your kbd does that in keyboard velocity mode, then yes, definitely…
    Don Benoit
    2010-01-02 20:34:00
    Read your post about the E-36. Key E7 is louder than the other keys on mine. Do you think it could be dirt on the contact?

  2. Awesome, fixed it for me too. My C key was recieving no velocity, however it worked fine after cleaning it.

    But man, that thing has many screws. Unscrewing it took me about 3 times the time it took me to clean the damn key ๐Ÿ™‚
    16 little screws + 4 or 5 on the keys, x 2 (off and on). Yowza.

    Thanks so much ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hey! First of all, thanks for the tutorial =D I have another problem, my volume fader is not working properly (it makes noises when moving it and in most of its positions there is no sound at all) -also, there is a capacitor that seems to be damaged-. Do you know where I can get the circuit diagram of the keyboard?

    PS: A friend of mine poured graphite powder in the fader, but unluckily this did not fixed the issue.

    1. I’m a afraid I don’t have any way to look for an electrical scheme of the keyboard, I doubt one ever came out of Roland’s labs.
      Anyway your problem is a simple rusty fader I’d say, being it completely analog these things happen. Grahite powder was a pretty bold try, but in your place I would first spray some WD40 in there after removing the plastic thingie, and move the cursor up and down vigorously a lot of times (but there should be specific sprays around for this problem), if that doesn’รฌt fix the problem, and if I feel brave enough, I would go and disassemble that, but opening a fader usually leads to throwing it away in the end.
      How do you know there is a damaged capacitor (how?)

  4. Hi Ephestione,

    many thanks for your fantastic post!

    I’d nearly tossed my old trusty E-36 KBD after I got a ‘loud’ A-key problem. I bought another E-36 off e-bay for a $100 to replace it – unfortunately, that one also had the same problem (different note though – D).

    Then, I found your ‘fix-it’ post – worked as advertised! Now I have TWO working E-36 KBDs! (E-36 a fantastic portable KBD for use with VSTs and a DAW). Regards, Terry.

  5. Vado un po’ OT ma non so da che parte girarmi… Il volume della mia povera tastiera รจ MORTO. Quando l’accendo col volume a balla si sente pochissimo e anche quel poco in pochi istanti svanisce finchรจ la tastiera diventa muta. Tu hai un suggerimento da darmi? In tutto il web tu sembri essere il solo ad aver postato qualcosa di pratico ๐Ÿ™‚ Grazie!

  6. It’s almost 2016 and a friend of mine just gave me a Roland E-36 for free, only 1 key sounds louder then the rest. So tomorrow I’m going to try your method. Thanks in advance!

  7. Good place for E-36 discussion here! The manuals are basically torture for these old roland keyboards! I have an E-36 but my velocity is just really weak. Anyone know how to adjust the sensitivity?

    1. It’s great that this old-as-F article still gets some traffic nowadays, the knowledge I’ve acquired in electronics in the last years makes me think the velocity is either based on optical or inductive sensors, and since the way it sometimes stops working correctly leads me to believe it’s the former, as dust could easily interfere.
      Opening the thing and blasting canned air is never a bad idea, worst case scenario you at least cleaned the insides ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Thanks for the quick response! Sorry, my question wasn’t very specific. I meant it seems to be set to low sesitivity by the previous owner. There a KBD scale button but I am not sure how to adjust using button presses. I hold it down, but then what makes it go + or – when holding it? The E-35 explains the tempo buttons adjust this but they do nothing for velocity on the E-36. Any ideas? Maybe factory reset?

        1. ah well about that, I got mine eons ago and it came without a manual as well so I haven’t got the first idea, but I seem to recall there is a button that says somewhat clearly something about velocity sensitivity?

          1. So the factory reset procedure is also working on the E36 or are we talking about E66 only here?
            Also, I wonder how someone could alter the kbd velocity setting in a way you cannot revert without resetting the whole keyboard…

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