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Keyboard(s) for blues band
#1756824 05/25/07 08:23 AM
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just joined a blues band after many years playing on my own - mainly piano - and I'm looking for ideas on the best keyboard(s) to give me authentic sounding piano and organ. I have an old Yamaha SY85 Synth but thats not really ideal for what I want. Looking for a combination of full piano - 88 key fully weighted action - as near to my acoustic piano in sound and feel as I can get (without mortgaging the house) plus Organ - as near to Hammond sound as possible. If these are in the same keyboard - looking for ideas on how best to split/layer the keyboard so that I can get both piano and organ at the same time. Can anyone help? I'm UK based.

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Re: Keyboard(s) for blues band
omniballs #1756838 05/25/07 10:26 AM
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While I use a Yamaha CP300, I'm sure you could be happy with the Nord Stage though it ain't cheap. Also the Roland 700SX with their clever use of sliders to emulate the drawbars of a B3 is, well, clever. A Rhodes sound will also be needed as well as a Wurlitzer (sp?), right? Everyone here has their own standard. While I'm happy with the Rhodes on my CP300, others are not.

Do you want the flexibility of a real B3 with sliders or could you be happy with just a handful of B3 type sounds? The bottom line, you'll have to go to a keyboard store and try what everyone suggests.

_Whatever_ you buy, be sure to have a return policy already in place. You won't know how it sounds until you really use it on a job.

Are you going to need a sound system as well?

Re: Keyboard(s) for blues band
Dave Horne #1756844 05/25/07 10:58 AM
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Good suggestions above and to add to it. I use the Roland RD700 and the RD700sx has better acoustic pianos but not so much I would trade up. Or you could look for any weighted controled and get the GEM RP-x module for all your acoustic and EP needs. You may need to tweak the Rhodes to your liking but that is easily done I am told.

More important to me is to have a second keyboard for organ without wieghted action. The Roland VK8m is an organ module that you could hook up to your SY85 (I'm guessing it has synth action) and give you full draw bars and GREAT organ sound. I love mine and hooked to my Motif it gives me great flexability for organ or when I need other sounds like horns, strings, vox, I have the Motif.


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Re: Keyboard(s) for blues band
BluesKeys #1756855 05/25/07 11:59 AM
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As you progress, you'll find that you want two boards, one weighted for the piano sounds, one unweighted waterfall keys for the organ sounds. Once you start hearing what organ players do on waterfall keys, you'll realize their importance.

Granted, you could play the weighted parts on the organ keyboard, but some here are adversely opposed to that...

(Personally, I could see doing that for a gig or jam session, but for piano practice at home, I definitely need weighted keys.)

There are a few threads around here for best piano sound, best piano or weighted action, best organ, so poke around, do a search, and feel free to ask if you have specific questions. There are a lot of very good options out there for each, so consider yourself lucky that you live in a time where you have so many good keyboards to choose from.

Good luck in your search, let us know what you do, and keep us updated on your band.


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Re: Keyboard(s) for blues band
Joe Muscara #1756868 05/25/07 12:10 PM
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I play in a blues/R&B band. All I use are piano & rhodes and organ. I use several incarnations of piano/rhodes and organ. If one board used, a pc1x and Nord electro rack; or a pc2 with classic exp board and internal KB3 program; or if 2 boards, either Kurzweil board with a nord electro 61. I also use a two manual Hammond XK3 classic system organ, with a speakeasy 122 modelling amp through a motion sound pro145 and sub, and with one of the three other boards for piano and rhodes; that's three boards. I am blessed with a wealth of boards, all dialed in for blues and R&R you can use!

Last edited by daviel; 05/25/07 02:44 PM.

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Re: Keyboard(s) for blues band
David Loving #1756875 05/25/07 12:28 PM
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daviel,

I think you proved my point. ;\)

As far as my gear goes, I'm using a Radio Shack DP4073 (Casio CDP-100 in disguise) for the weighted keys driving a Kurzweil ME-1 for two reasons. First was I decided that I didn't like the built-in piano sound on the RS very much, second because I wanted some EPs, both Wurly and Rhodes. The ME-1 fits the bill nicely for playing with the band, covering acoustic piano, EP, and other sounds I haven't really explored yet.

For organ I'm using a Roland VK-7. I wish it had waterfall keys, but I make do with its synth action keys and I think it's B3 sounds are still very good.

My band is a blues/blues rock band.


The great thing about music is that there's always something to learn. The frustrating thing about music is that there's always something to learn!
Re: Keyboard(s) for blues band
Joe Muscara #1756909 05/25/07 02:11 PM
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Omni, I agree with the guys above, you are going to want two boards, one weighted-88 for piano and the other 60-key unweighted, pref. with waterfall keys and an authentic Hammond sound with drawbars. Plus for the Hammond sound youŽll also need a Leslie or equivalent.

I use a Roland RD-700 for acoustic piano, Rhodes, Wurly. For the Hammond I use a module (Voce V5) played with a Korg M1, and a Motion Sound amp for the rotating horn. You can get by with something cheaper than the RD700 for the piano sounds, but the organ wonŽt be cheap.

Re: Keyboard(s) for blues band
stoo schultz #1756917 05/25/07 02:26 PM
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I work in a seven piece R&B, soul band. I can appreciate what you are after. Seems to me that the piano is your main concern (for me it was the opposite, unreconstructed B3r that I am). That being the case, I would find the best piano you could get and then go with either Hammond's XK or Roland's VK module to start. If you want to add organ later you have your choice. Just depends on what your back and wallet can stand. As has been pointed out, the trick here is the leslie. My preference is the leslie 21 system. This will give you great (and loud) organ through the top and bottom combo and piano through the bottom unit straight. This is all in one package and does not require an outboard mixer and the attendant nest of wiring. Good luck and check elsewhere on this forum to get you "blues name."

Re: Keyboard(s) for blues band
retrokeys #1757107 05/25/07 06:54 PM
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OK - checked out the 'waterfall keys'. No probs as I already do palm glisssandos on the accoustic piano.

Re: Keyboard(s) for blues band
omniballs #1757108 05/25/07 06:59 PM
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I used to play in a blues band. IMPO (In My Profession Opinion) there is no one single keyboard for piano and organ. I used the Hammond XK3 and whatever sufficed for piano.

Re: Keyboard(s) for blues band
The Real MC #1757122 05/25/07 07:24 PM
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Gotta gree with a lot of what has been said - I use Korg CX3 - and I love it! for piano - I either use a PC2X or something else - I had a Yamaha CP33 - but thought the action was just heavy - The FP4 traffic on this site hs piqued my interest - 33 pounds!! but I am very interested in an S90ES - only cause I miss that Sweet Flute patch - which I use for a couple of tunes in the club date stuff I do.

Re: Keyboard(s) for blues band
The Real MC #1757130 05/25/07 07:40 PM
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 Originally Posted By: omniballs
OK - checked out the 'waterfall keys'. No probs as I already do palm glisssandos on the accoustic piano.


That ain't the same as Hammond glisses, I don't care what anyone says.

 Originally Posted By: The Real MC
I used to play in a blues band. IMPO (In My Profession Opinion) there is no one single keyboard for piano and organ. I used the Hammond XK3 and whatever sufficed for piano.


+100... Testify! ;\)

Last edited by Sven Golly; 05/25/07 07:44 PM.

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Re: Keyboard(s) for blues band
omniballs #1757139 05/25/07 07:48 PM
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No doubt the two KB set-up is the gold standard. I have a Yamaha S90 and an Electro 73. For our weekly blues jam, I usually take just the Electro. The semi-weighted keys are way less than ideal for playing piano or EPs, but it only weighs 21 lbs. (or about 1 stone in your part of the world ).

The Nord Stage (76 or 88) has weighted keys, but an interesting early-triggering feature when the organs are played, which makes it much easier to play organ on than my S90, for example.

Play as many boards as you can, have fun and good luck with your search. And don't pair $4000 worth of KBs with $500 worth of amplification and expect good sound.


Nord Electro 5D 73
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Re: Keyboard(s) for blues band
Moon Zero Two #1757283 05/26/07 12:50 AM
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 Originally Posted By: Jamey Was Right
Gotta gree with a lot of what has been said - I use Korg CX3 - and I love it! [snip] I am very interested in an S90ES - only cause I miss that Sweet Flute patch - which I use for a couple of tunes in the club date stuff I do.


I have the S90ES and CX-3 combination and I love it. I have to admit, I hate carrying the S90ES around, but man it sounds and feels nice. The Korg is a great clone, but the real key with the Hammond sound is to get a good tube pre-amp and nice rotary speaker, and they are not cheap.

Lou


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To B-3 or not to B-3, that is the question.
Re: Keyboard(s) for blues band
Sven Golly #1757376 05/26/07 06:54 AM
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 Originally Posted By: Sven Golly

 Originally Posted By: The Real MC
I used to play in a blues band. IMPO (In My Profession Opinion) there is no one single keyboard for piano and organ. I used the Hammond XK3 and whatever sufficed for piano.


+100... Testify! ;\)


Very true. I keep hoping that the Holy Grail of a single keyboard with action that is variable (and assignable by splits) between waterfall and hammered will someday emerge. \:D

Seriously, though, someone else mentioned this above I think, the Stage really does do a good compromise (YMMV) with its high trigger point for the organs. I think it's a better compromise if you're a piano player first and a B-3 player second rather than the other way around. You definitely can't do all of the things you can do with a real, waterfall organ keybed, but, for my purposes (which, I guess is the key caveat here), it works very well as a single board blues gig rig. Much, much, better than my Fantom ever did.

Cheers,
Mark


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