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#2852948 - 05/01/17 11:50 AM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: cphollis]
Jazzooo Online   content
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My answer is slightly different--I prefer a more natural stage sound as a monitor--when I've used the SS3 in that manner, I can hear my keys in the context of hearing the band acoustically, and so can the other players. I hardly ever put my keys in their monitors because I don't have to in order to be heard onstage.

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#2853038 - 05/01/17 07:00 PM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: deetee]
trebleclef Offline
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Registered: 01/29/07
Posts: 7
Originally Posted By: deetee
So how does the space station (without a sub) perform as an on stage monitor, say, in comparison to a couple of powered monitors of a similar price?

I usually play through FOH with my own DI/monitor just for keys. Is the space station the wrong tool for the job in this case? Gigs are normally 100-150 bar/club gigs and while I'm open minded about not going through FOH I may have to.


I use the SS3 exactly this way; it's my on-stage monitor; my keys go through the mains. It's terrific. We're 12 piece cover band, and I don't have any very low end (for some of the latest hip hop stuff) on stage, but the mains take care of that just fine. I used to use two QSC K8s on poles pointed at my ears. I prefer the SS3, no question. The band hears me better, the stereo sweet spot is not isolated to just me. The K8's are higher fidelity, but I am about the happiest I have been with my on stage monitor using the SS3. And I've tried many amps.

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#2853042 - 05/01/17 07:38 PM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: trebleclef]
AnotherScott Offline
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Originally Posted By: trebleclef
Originally Posted By: deetee
So how does the space station (without a sub) perform as an on stage monitor


I use the SS3 exactly this way...The band hears me better

I think that may be the key. Looking at it strictly as a monitor, If it's *just* for the player, there's probably not much benefit to the SS3. The biggest benefit, that you don't need to be in a sweet spot to experience stereo, is diminished when you can set it up for an audience of one. However, if you're not going through your band's main monitor system, setting something up just for yourself may mean that people on the other side of the stage can't hear you much, and it's tough for a band to be tight when the players can't all hear each other...

Now if it's not going to be just monitor but also the way much of the audience hears you, that's a whole different scenario, and that's already been discussed plenty.
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#2853049 - 05/01/17 07:53 PM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: AnotherScott]
davedoerfler Online   content
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Really hard to believe this thread is almost 3 years old and still on page one. coffee
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#2853050 - 05/01/17 07:54 PM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: AnotherScott]
Dglavko Offline
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On the other hand, if you are "faking it"/auditioning//don't really know the set 90%*, a directional monitor may be a better choice initially.

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#2853086 - 05/02/17 03:23 AM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: Dglavko]
deetee Offline
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Registered: 06/09/03
Posts: 41
Loc: York, UK
Thanks everyone for the advice. Some really good stuff here and it's given me some real clarity which is so useful as I'm not going to be able to demo a unit before buying unfortunately.

@CPHollis - I've been reading your blogs(all great btw!) and also seen you mention the Nord Royal Grand 3D. Is that piano working out for you with the space station? I'm using a Nord stage 2 and play plenty of piano so I want at least one good sounding piano sound. Do you find you need to tweak the space station when changing sounds e.g. from piano to Hammond, or will on board eq of the Nord be sufficient? I have a patch saved for every song and really don't want to be tweaking an amp between songs.

@Jazzooo/anotherscott - I started to think along the same lines last night i.e. do I get what's best for me or best for the band? Starting to turn into a test of my character lol! But that said, I guess I'm playing music for my band mates as much as the audience (although ideally there's more people in the audience than in the band ;-)) so it's in my interests for them to benefit from the improved sound. They currently hear me through their own mono Mackie thump so using a space station would be an improvement AND make their monitors easier to mix if we can drop the keys out out their monitor. Who knew an amp could cause such a dilemma!? I'd never really considered them much until recently!

@dglavko - another good point! I may have to brush up my chops if everyone can hear me in glorious stereo! ;-) Since I'm a one-band-man I guess I've got no excuse, I just need to nail my lines!

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#2853140 - 05/02/17 07:56 AM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: deetee]
Al Quinn Online   content
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Originally Posted By: deetee
So how does the space station (without a sub) perform as an on stage monitor, say, in comparison to a couple of powered monitors of a similar price?

I usually play through FOH with my own DI/monitor just for keys. Is the space station the wrong tool for the job in this case? Gigs are normally 100-150 bar/club gigs and while I'm open minded about not going through FOH I may have to.


I think it depends on the type of music you're playing. Can you provide more detail?
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#2853141 - 05/02/17 08:05 AM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: Al Quinn]
timwat Offline
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FWIW, like most here I bought the SS sight unseen / without an actual demo.

I use it as a single, standalone monitor a lot. What it requires for me is to get the front speaker pointing at my head - whether that means tilting is against a back or side wall, using an amp stand, or whatever. If the front baffle isn't pointed at my head, it's a bad evening. If it is, then I can hear myself play, and the "bloom" / diffusion makes me better heard in the room than most powered PA speakers because of the directionality ("beaminess")of traditional speakers.

Friday night, tight setup in small bar, no FOH - amp stand at my feet. Saturday night, large corporate event, I stood it on top of my rack (so it's 20" off the floor or so)...but I was also going through the FOH, and it worked this way really well.

On gigs where acoustic piano patches are dominant, I'll bring the DXR8 to stand on top. I've tried the "point the front speaker flush on the floor" configuration, but personally it didn't do it for me. For me, when I use SS + DXR, I stand the DXR on top the SS with the front baffles aligned.

Cinco de Mayo I'm playing a sorority at Stanford (yes, my life is good). I'll bring both the SS and DXR.

And a camera.
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#2853157 - 05/02/17 09:22 AM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: timwat]
deetee Offline
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Loc: York, UK
Thanks again for the responses :-)

Ok, I've just jumped back from page 93 of this thread!!

@Al Quinn - I play in a 90s covers band. I'm talking UK 1990s (indie, britpop, madchester) so plenty of Hammond organ and piano but also with lots of other bases to cover e.g. Strings from Bitter Sweet Symphony or the synth from Born Slippy by Underworld and one or two samples. The band is a standard 5 piece with guitar and bass both having some serious speaker weight! The overall sound is big and usually loud!

All my sound comes from a nord stage 2 (plus a ventilator 2 for organs) into FOH that's a couple of Mackie 15" powered speakers both with mackie subs. I monitor just myself with a mackie (can you see a theme developing!?) srm350 at the moment.

Gigs are generally bars/clubs. Stages vary but I'm a *little* concerned I won't always have the space to put my amp 6' away.

@timwat - how far from you was the speaker on your Saturday night gig? I'm guessing its within arm's reach if on your rack. Oh, and looking forward to the Stanford pics! ;-)

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#2854373 - 05/09/17 06:31 AM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: deetee]
NBrooks Offline
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Has anyone in Europe had any luck getting hold of the v5 at all? I've enquired with Thomann, who say:

---Unfortunately we don΄t have a date of delivery yet when the new version of the Space Station will be on our stock.
At first we need to sell the rest of the "old version" on our stock.

Nick

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#2854384 - 05/09/17 07:27 AM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: NBrooks]
Al Coda Offline
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Originally Posted By: NBrooks


... Thomann, who say:

... Space Station ...

At first we need to sell the rest of the "old version" on our stock.


LOL,- did they mention how large the rest of that old stock really is ?

A.C.

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#2854387 - 05/09/17 07:43 AM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: deetee]
Al Quinn Online   content
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Originally Posted By: deetee
@Al Quinn - I play in a 90s covers band. I'm talking UK 1990s (indie, britpop, madchester) so plenty of Hammond organ and piano but also with lots of other bases to cover e.g. Strings from Bitter Sweet Symphony or the synth from Born Slippy by Underworld and one or two samples. The band is a standard 5 piece with guitar and bass both having some serious speaker weight! The overall sound is big and usually loud!

In you're situation (i.e., mix of organ, AP, strings, synth, powerful PA) I'd use one high quality powered monitor. Perhaps adding a second monitor for stereo would be an even better approach but that depends on how things sound where your seated. When it's very loud I've been more comfortable with one monitor because a focused sound is needed for me to hear myself properly. But if the volume isn't too loud, than stereo is a beautiful, inspiring sound. I've done similar gigs where I've used a single RCF TT08A as a monitor and been very comfortable. If there's a lot of AP the SS alone doesn't cut it for me: it falls short on reproducing the complex AP samples properly. Lately I've been using the SS and TT08A together. This combo provides high fidelity and the omni directional sound.
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#2854407 - 05/09/17 09:58 AM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: Al Quinn]
cphollis Offline
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@deetee, all APs are marginally problematic on the SSv3, the Royal Grand 3D less so because there's sufficient stereo content to keep it interesting. Using the Stage 2 presets for EQ is more than enough. The SSv3 is set and forget.

I went over to Aspen's website, and he's published frequency response curves for the unit. Even "best case" (e.g. rich stereo content that engages the side speaker), not the flattest.

Frequency response doesn't capture the whole picture though, as more expensive units are noticeably more clear and defined. If you're strictly doing near-field monitoring in the presence of decent FOH, there are other choices.

The only unique talent the SSv3 has is that it's easier for other band members to hear you if you're not in the monitor mix. That, and it's an easy schlep. And freaking loud. I use mine all the time, despite a few minor shortcomings.

Agree with Al and Tim that the RCF TT08a units are the complete bomb, but pricey.
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#2854409 - 05/09/17 10:04 AM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: cphollis]
timwat Offline
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Like Al, I concur that having a high-fidelity point source combined with the "omni" spread of the SS is a better compromise than anything else I've found for AP work.

Real pianos are technically really large point sources (perhaps an oversimplification). What I miss even on really accurate studio monitors is the sense of "girth" and "everywhere" you get with a real piano in the room. What I miss with SS alone is the accuracy (fidelity) of the utmost detail of the sample.

So my compromise sort of gives me both, which is at least satisfying enough for me on the typical solo piano gig that I can mentally get to the illusion of a real piano sound, and focus on playing rather than on how dissatisfied I am with the technicalities of the sound.

So, yeah, a long-winded way to say...well....yeah.

Maybe I'm just working on post count LOL
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#2854429 - 05/09/17 11:35 AM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: cphollis]
AnotherScott Offline
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Originally Posted By: cphollis
The only unique talent the SSv3 has is that it's easier for other band members to hear you if you're not in the monitor mix. That, and it's an easy schlep. And freaking loud.

And people in the audience can a "stereo-sounding" spacious effect from your keys, regardless of where they are in the room. (Assuming you're playing someplace small enough that people are, to a good extent, hearing your keys from your amp rather than the FOH system.)
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#2854433 - 05/09/17 11:47 AM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: timwat]
Dave Bryce Administrator Offline
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Originally Posted By: timwat
Real pianos are technically really large point sources (perhaps an oversimplification). What I miss even on really accurate studio monitors is the sense of "girth" and "everywhere" you get with a real piano in the room.

This is almost the exact thing I say to illustrate why I don't think there's such a thing as a perfect speaker system (or anything close, for that matter). idk

To me, until someone can show me one that can duplicate what my piano does in a room/when I play it, there simply is no argument. They all have limitations/flaws...without even taking into account the quality of the source material, somewhat large variance in playback conditions, or that taste is subjective.

dB
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#2854438 - 05/09/17 12:33 PM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: Dave Bryce]
AnotherScott Offline
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The sound of an acoustic piano when you're in the room with it is probably impossible to reproduce in a set of portable speakers in uncontrolled and varied listening environments, I think that's an unrealistic goal. But what an acoustic piano sounds like from an adjacent room--where you don't expect to hear the exact sound source and room reflections localized--is easier.

I had this realization when going to a venue where there was a piano bar and someone was playing, and I actually could not be certain whether the piano was "real" or "fake" until I actually got into the room with the piano (it was a digital).
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#2854440 - 05/09/17 12:37 PM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: AnotherScott]
timwat Offline
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FWIW, the closest I've ever heard to accurate representation of the grand piano in the room was from Magnepan 3.5r planar speakers - they're large flat panel speakers similar to electrostats, about 6 ft. tall by 3 ft. wide (only an inch thick or so).

The sense of "girth" they bring to the room is stunning, and recordings of acoustic instruments and human voice is jaw-dropping.

But that's obviously impractical for live keyboard gigs.
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#2854447 - 05/09/17 12:59 PM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: timwat]
AnotherScott Offline
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Yeah, Tim, I was thinking of those kinds of setups too. You see reviews like this... https://www.cnet.com/news/speaker-of-the-year-magnepan-3-6r/

and they're great, but they're $5k+, and need careful placement, and won't play loud enough to keep up with a live electric band... and we're expecting a pair or moderately priced toss-'em-up-on-stands portable PA speakers (OR a Spacestation) to compete with those for realism?
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#2854449 - 05/09/17 01:00 PM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: AnotherScott]
Reezekeys Online   content
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Who has ever claimed to produce a DP or speaker system for a DP that would be preferable, or sound better than a real quality acoustic piano? The point is to get as close as possible with technology – for the obvious reason that some of us need to make a living (or semi-living), or just enjoy playing something piano-like, in places that have no piano! We all know it's not gonna get all the way there, it's just a matter of what consitutes "close enough" or "acceptably close" for each player – and it will probably be different for each player.

I for one am very happy that I have a keyboard, virtual piano and amplification system that's highly portable and makes me happy when I play! Of course I know it's not even close to what I'd get from a piano like the Yamaha C9 I played at the Honolulu Blue Note last December – I don't expect it to be! But I like to gig, and I'm 100% fine with what I have – considering 1) I will never be able to afford a good piano 2) it would be slightly impractical to move any piano to any gig I do, 3) it would be highly impractical to expect to see a decent piano at most of the places I play (Honolulu BN notwithstanding), 4) I like to access other sounds like Rhodes & organ, and layer synth sounds like pads & strings with acoustic piano, something even the Yam C9 can't do, 5) I sometimes play acoustic jazz with drummers that get loud and I like to not have to pound on a piano or depend on a PA system to hear myself. Should I go on? All these debates are pretty funny to me. Kinda reminds me of the Louis CK bit where he talks about people on airplanes complaining that their internet went off for five minutes (sorry non-USA people, you might not know Louis CK).

When I think about what I used to do - carry a CP70 and Rhodes and an OBXa in the early days, then an MKS20, then the Roland "Session" piano through two Mackie SRM450s, I consider myself very lucky now!

/rant

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#2854471 - 05/09/17 03:07 PM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: Reezekeys]
timwat Offline
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I read once that an Italian opera singer did a concert in Italy using a bunch of electrostatic panels as PA. Done right, that would have been quite a formidable system...if the room was right and they had enough current to really serve that up well.

Reezekeys, yes, you're right it's all about expectations. In a lot of gigging situations, we're fortunate just to have 88 working keys and a keyboard combo amp covered in muppet hide to try to compete with drums and guitar.

But then I've played quite a few piano gigs on actual grand pianos. Nice ones, too. A 9' Bechstein. Several Steinway B's. A wonderful Baldwin SD10. etc. And gigging on a nice piano reminds me all over again how paltry a substitute my best digital and best amplification solution together really ends up. I mean, once I've poured out my heart and soul through "I Loves You, Porgy" on a restored Hamburg Steinway, I'm not looking forward to the CP4 on the next gig.

Now, I also get what you're saying. I'm also really grateful I have the CP4 and the amplifiers instead of a Helpinstill folding upright and a Peavy CS800 (and a monstrous PA cabinet).

But maybe I'm spoiled. I've gigged a lot of pianos above my pay grade, and I really want to try and get my gig rig just a little closer to that kind of epiphany. A fool's errand, for sure, but we can dream, yes?
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#2854472 - 05/09/17 03:23 PM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: timwat]
Reezekeys Online   content
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Maybe I've reached some kind of enlightenment then. When I'm playing my rig I never feel like it's a drag that I don't have a great Steinway/Yamaha/Bose/etc. piano. I don't think about it at all. I'm 100% happy with my sound. First of all I'm glad I have the kind of quality sampled piano I have in a package I can carry with me almost anywhere in the world. It's my instrument – just like a flutist, violinist, guitarist, bassist, etc. can expect to carry their instrument pretty much anywhere and always have their axe, this is my axe. Of course I can (and have!) bitched about some things, like the ergonomics of my Roland controller, or the random glitches on my laptop rig that occasionally give me agita. But I accept all that as coming with the territory. Good for you that you've done more gigs on nice pianos. Maybe my attitude would be different if I had that opportunity. Here in the NYC area, the most fulfilling gigs I've done are with some of the best jazz players in the world, in small clubs or bars where the chances of seeing a decent piano are pretty much nil.

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#2854505 - 05/09/17 09:21 PM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: Reezekeys]
dsetto Offline
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This DP vs AP pursuit talk must be due to the moon or something. I know it's a moving pianist's constant. I've come to a new level of awareness, disappointment, & acceptance myself this past week. And I see it's a little more foreground on the forum this week.

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#2854532 - 05/10/17 05:53 AM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: dsetto]
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You're right, dsetto. I suppose it came up here because we're debating the "realism" of various speakers, with a good AP being the holy grail of realism. It's a never-ending and sometimes enlightening debate but in the end I say let's get real and understand what we're dealing with here... gigging, making a living (maybe), playing in nice and not-so-nice places and needing something that gets as close as possible to that grail while understanding that we may never get all the way there. When I'm playing with good musicians and everything is clicking musically my equipment disappears – that is what this is all about in the end isn't it? If you're a shitty player, my hearing you through a SSv3 or TT08 or 20 Magnepans is not going to change my opinion of your playing. If you're a great player I'll know it even if you're playing through a Roland KC150.

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#2854536 - 05/10/17 06:43 AM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: Reezekeys]
Dave Ferris Offline
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.


Edited by Dave Ferris (05/10/17 05:12 PM)
Edit Reason: removed video…the pianist didn't want it posted
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#2854546 - 05/10/17 07:38 AM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: Reezekeys]
timwat Offline
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Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
If you're a shitty player, my hearing you through a SSv3 or TT08 or 20 Magnepans is not going to change my opinion of your playing. If you're a great player I'll know it even if you're playing through a Roland KC150.


Well there you go. So the conversation about wanting the gear to sound better is worthless because I'm a shitty player? I'm outie.
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#2854558 - 05/10/17 08:41 AM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: timwat]
Dave Ferris Offline
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Tim, I don't think Rob was implying you. smile
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#2854569 - 05/10/17 09:46 AM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: timwat]
sleepngbear Offline
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Originally Posted By: timwat

Well there you go. So the conversation about wanting the gear to sound better is worthless because I'm a shitty player? I'm outie.


Well that's only if you're a shitty player by a consensus of a majority of listeners and a few non-shitty musicians. laugh

Actually this is an interesting point. To me, part of what makes a good player (albeit a fairly small part) is knowing how to make a good sound, and there are a LOT of components to that. If you're strictly an acoustic pianist who plays nothing but un-mic'd acoustic piano, the biggest part of sounding good is technique and an absence of clams. (Because face it, two players can play the exact same piece of music correctly note-for-note and one can sound fabulous and the other can sound like shit.) But if you're gigging with electronic gear and amplification, you're also responsible for making it sound half way decent in addition to playing correctly and with good technique. That runs the gamut from as simple as controlling volume to as complex as a good EQ and selection of amplification appropriate for the venue, and hell, even using the right board. And isn't that what 90% of this thread is about?

So I think I"m with you here. But I also think that Reezekeys' point is not so much that good sound is worthless, but more that it can only cover up so much before all is transcended by a player's inherent shittiness. smile
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#2854611 - 05/10/17 12:28 PM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: Dave Ferris]
Reezekeys Online   content
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Loc: NYC area
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Tim, I don't think Rob was implying you. smile

Yea, I totally was not implying Tim or anybody else specific at all! Sorry there, Tim! Of course I was speaking in generalities, just about looking at the bigger picture – realizing at the outset that almost anything we do to improve our DP sound will never meet our expectations, if we're always comparing to playing a great AP. Just saying we should accept what the situation is, get the gear that makes us the most happy whether it be boutique or not – and that in the end the music will sell you, not the sound of a speaker. But if anyone is bugged by their sound and thinks a change of speaker is what's needed, then go for it of course. You are #1 - an inspiring sound will make the gig more enjoyable and better for everybody. And since it's your sound, you get to decide what's "good"!

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#2854675 - 05/10/17 07:41 PM Re: Heads-up: SpaceStation keyboard amp is apparently back [Re: Reezekeys]
TimA Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/10/14
Posts: 97
Loc: Nuevo Mejico
"my hearing you through a SSv3 or TT08 or 20 Magnepans"
Tim's the only one who has ever commented on or used all three of those...how could he not take that personal?


Edited by TimA (05/10/17 07:42 PM)
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KronosX, ssv3, Vpiano, fulcrum fa22ac, Rupert neve line mixer, tons of weird guitars, axe-fx ultra, a couple of nice tube amps (Elmwood and Carr)
Eventide Harmonizer

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