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#2921330 - 04/13/18 07:29 PM Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy?
nursers Offline
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I hate doing this, but this has always been the go-to forum for me so here goes smile

I'm in a covers band, regular work, lots of synth heavy 70-90s stuff.

I currently use a Nectar P6 with MainStage and NI and Arturia plugins etc, plus a Nord Electro 5D. Basically I split the workload between the two boards plus have some redundancy built in to the Nord in case MainStage dies (which thankfully it hasn't).

Ever the geared, I've been thinking of buying a workstation for 100% redundancy, plus a piano-weighted keyboard. The Kronos 2 keeps jumping out at me (73 key version), but I would absolutely love anyone else's thoughts, particularly if you're a working covers player.

Thanks smile
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#2921331 - 04/13/18 07:38 PM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: nursers]
J. Dan Offline
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Are you meaning to replace the Nord or the Mainstage rig? Which 5D do you have? HP or 61/73?

The reason why I ask, in particular since you're looking at a weighted Kronos, is divide duties up between unweighted organ/synth with drawbars and lots of midi controls, and weighted for piano/EP. You can have redundancy in a pinch but ideally each would be best suited for each of these groups. While I'm a huge kronos fan, if you're using the 5D with it, depending on which action it has, there may be other options that would compliment it better.
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#2921348 - 04/13/18 10:12 PM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: J. Dan]
nursers Offline
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Hiya Dan, some great points, thanks!

The 5D is the the 73-key, non-HP version. I hadn't thought of using the 5D as primary controller of MainStage but it's a great point and what I'd likely do. Be interested in what you think the other options are if I continue to use the 5D, which I do plan on doing.
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#2921384 - 04/14/18 06:30 AM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: nursers]
WesG Offline
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If I had to replace my gear for my classic rock band today, I think I would buy a Roland FA-08.
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#2921386 - 04/14/18 06:43 AM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: WesG]
Moonglow Offline
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The Kronos may have the most gig-ready programs for cover band songs. Check out the Voice Name List starting on Page 8.
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#2921387 - 04/14/18 06:44 AM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: WesG]
Nadroj Offline
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FA0X is the perfect cover band board to me, especially for what you pay.

If you're thinking of a Kronos and want to keep your Electro, a 73 Kronos under the Electro will cover any gig possible, and will be sonically viable for years and years to come.
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#2921391 - 04/14/18 06:58 AM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: WesG]
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FA is a nice board, but I can't really think of any advantage it has over Kronos other than price and weight, whereas Kronos has tons of advantages over an FA both in terms of internal capabilities and as a potential controller for Mainstage. Pads, I guess, but that's easy to add to a Kronos if you need them.
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#2921401 - 04/14/18 08:15 AM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: Moonglow]
nursers Offline
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Originally Posted By: Moonglow
The Kronos may have the most gig-ready programs for cover band songs. Check out the Voice Name List starting on Page 8.


Wow, I had no idea they'd gone to that extent - thanks!
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#2921402 - 04/14/18 08:17 AM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: Nadroj]
nursers Offline
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Originally Posted By: Nadroj
FA0X is the perfect cover band board to me, especially for what you pay.

If you're thinking of a Kronos and want to keep your Electro, a 73 Kronos under the Electro will cover any gig possible, and will be sonically viable for years and years to come.


Thanks Nadroj, some great points.
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#2921424 - 04/14/18 11:13 AM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: nursers]
hardware Offline
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Check out the Montage too.
There are apps out there for iOS/Mainstage where you can remap all faders.
Watched a guy use one for a trio with a singer.
All real time no quacking tracks, pretty impressive sounds and definately great performance features.
The Hammond stuff was especially good.
This guy should be doing demos, far better than the usual suspects.
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#2921428 - 04/14/18 11:31 AM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: hardware]
ProfD Offline
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The Roland FA08 is definitely hard to beat when it comes to the combination of sound, features, price and weight. cool
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#2921461 - 04/14/18 06:33 PM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: ProfD]
nursers Offline
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Thanks hardware and ProfD - this is a huge help. I hadn't looked into the Roland FA series - less than half the weight is damn tempting! Time for a deeper investigation.
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#2921464 - 04/14/18 06:43 PM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: nursers]
Moonglow Offline
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Originally Posted By: nursers
Originally Posted By: Moonglow
The Kronos may have the most gig-ready programs for cover band songs. Check out the Voice Name List starting on Page 8.


Wow, I had no idea they'd gone to that extent - thanks!

Actually, our gratitude for these programs should be extended to our very own, Busch. twothumbs
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#2921466 - 04/14/18 07:09 PM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: Moonglow]
Quai34 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Moonglow
Originally Posted By: nursers
Originally Posted By: Moonglow
The Kronos may have the most gig-ready programs for cover band songs. Check out the Voice Name List starting on Page 8.


Wow, I had no idea they'd gone to that extent - thanks!

Actually, our gratitude for these programs should be extended to our very own, Busch. twothumbs


Same thing for me, I would.never imagine they went that far in trying to bring so much ready to cover sounds....But I'm still fraud fot he complexity of a Kronos, I hesitated a lot between a Kronos and a Stage 2 when I went back to gigging after a 10 years break in 2011 and I remember my first I ores ion with ten Kronos:
Being lost and scared after few minutes trying to do just a simple,e thing on the fly....
Then decided for a Stage....But you have already some great Nord Sound with your electro, make sure you don't add too much complexity in your set up or it could ruin your playing experience....
That's why I never went the All in the box route...
But yes, all great advices on this thread, thanks a lot all even if I wasn't the one who posted first, I learnt a lot
Sincerely
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#2921472 - 04/14/18 07:56 PM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: Moonglow]
nursers Offline
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Originally Posted By: Moonglow
Originally Posted By: nursers
Originally Posted By: Moonglow
The Kronos may have the most gig-ready programs for cover band songs. Check out the Voice Name List starting on Page 8.


Wow, I had no idea they'd gone to that extent - thanks!

Actually, our gratitude for these programs should be extended to our very own, Busch. twothumbs


Even more impressive - go Busch!
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#2921499 - 04/15/18 04:05 AM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: nursers]
George88 Offline
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I used a Kronos and and Fa06 for some cover gigs and they covered all bases for me. Buschís tones are spot-on.

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#2921517 - 04/15/18 07:42 AM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: George88]
stoken6 Offline
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If you want a hammer 73 such as the Kronos, I recommend looking at the Forte 7 - just so you know which you prefer! Plenty of choice in the 88s, if that's also of interest.

Cheers, Mike.
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#2921520 - 04/15/18 08:06 AM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: stoken6]
DanL Offline
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My main rig is the FA08 and Electro 5D. It covers pretty much everything I need. I do bring a 3rd board for my Floyd band for synth stuff but the FA is still the workhorse.

I'm in a cover band that does everything from 60' to current and the FA easily carries that load, with the Nord handling the organ, EP, piano etc.- letting both boards do what they do well.
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#2921548 - 04/15/18 11:24 AM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: DanL]
Music Bird Offline
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Which songs by which artists are you covering? It depends on the songs and artists you are covering. If youíre doing a lot of synth heavy disco from the 70ís, you may need a Kronos or FA-07/08. I think FA-06/07/08 is the most logical for cover bands because you have just about every kind of sound with it, plus you can easily program your own with the built in VA synth which has non analog waves too!
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#2921561 - 04/15/18 12:52 PM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: Music Bird]
MotiDave Offline
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Music bird poses the best question - narrow down what your band will be doing and youíll get best advice.

Iím not convinced you need to buy a flagship board for anything anymore - the downscale boards have gotten so good if you set aside inferior feel. But ask any Kronos owner and heíll tell you its the best all around board ever. Depends on what you value most: all-in-one best, price, key feel, overall weight, footprint, ... different priorities yield different optimization.

If you buy an FA-07, you have money left to buy another value board like the lower tier Korg or Yamaha MOXF.

I get by doing almost all classic/synth rock with MOXF / Motif XF. Its not bet for everything but i can make it work through custom programming. I hear its a much harder learning curve but iím already there. If I were to add, Iíd get an FA-07 and pair with my MOXF6. MOXF allows you to load 3rd party libraries with samples - APs can get a lot better. It does EPS well imo, and does natural instruments well - strings, horns, etc. and there are other non-sample libraries that are designed for a lot of iconic songs - pop/rock V1/2, Vintage Keys. Its biggest weakness is Hammond - not very good there at all. If youíll do a lot of B3 ... steer away from any yamaha. Less synth sculpting ability, but thereís some there.

FA-X and Kronos were not out when i started my Motif XF7 journey. I didnít want Phantom. Now thereís a lot of options. And harder than ever to find a shop to actually demo any of them!
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#2921587 - 04/15/18 03:51 PM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: nursers]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: nursers
I hadn't looked into the Roland FA series - less than half the weight is damn tempting!

The FA is a great board, but as I said above, I think its only big advantages over Kronos are weight and price. Those are not insignificant, but the question is, exactly what is it that you need? Because the Kronos will do virtually everything an FA will do, but the FA doesn't do nearly what the Kronos does. So it depends what you need.

ETA: Note though that the FA-08 is not half the weight, it's about 36.5 lbs vs 46.5 lbs for the Korg. (The lighter FAs a not piano-action, which is one of your requirements.)


Edited by AnotherScott (04/16/18 04:27 AM)
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#2921615 - 04/15/18 07:40 PM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: AnotherScott]
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FA- Great slave poor master. The Roland can't touch it in terms of command and control. Watch some vids on Set List. My pop rig is a K2-88 and a FA-06. FA architecture is cool. Each studio set is a virtual 16 space rack and the sampler is great if you are in a pop band. It's basically a SP404.


Edited by CEB (04/15/18 07:46 PM)
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#2921630 - 04/16/18 12:08 AM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: CEB]
J. Dan Offline
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I'm not sure why people think the Kronos isn't intuitive. OK, as Ed has mentioned many times (and I agree) the sampling is not intuitive when it comes especially to migrating from sample to multisample to program then saving and preloading. I've figured out my own system that now works. Outside of that the engines are about as self explanatory as they can be based on the engine. The piano engine shows you a piano. You can open or close the lid, adjust the mic, turn up/down mechanical noise....how is that not intuitive? EP shows a picture of what you select as your EP - Rhodes, Wurli, etc - you can turn the knobs from the original and plug in specific pedals and turn those knobs. Polysix panel is the same as a polysix, ms20 panel is the same as an ms20 including virtual patch cords. Maybe the folks having trouble have never laid their hands on a real piano, wurli, Rhodes, polysix, ms20, Hammond, etc. mod7 gives me trouble but I never programmed a DX7. The string engine makes sense and AL-1 acts like any modern powerful analog model.

Combis act just like every single Korg keyboard since the first triton but with more parts and effects.

Setlist mode kicks ass. People are using apps for this and it's all built in.
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#2921635 - 04/16/18 01:50 AM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: J. Dan]
Iconoclast Offline
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You already have everything you need. Mainstage covers any synth you need better than any keyboard. Much easier to layer and tweak than any keyboard I own...even the Nord.

Get a piano weighted keyboard that feels good to you and I think you already have all bases covered.

The ONLY things that I don't think Mainstage does as good or better than any board is pianos and EP's. So save some $ on keyboards and spend it on software.

Now...I look at my rig and I've obviously overspent just because I could and I was curious. But if I was on a budget, I'd just do Mainstage and a good USB/Midi controller.
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#2921639 - 04/16/18 04:52 AM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: Iconoclast]
AnotherScott Online   content
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A few people here seem to be approaching this from the perspective of his wanting to replace Mainstage and/or his Nord with some new board purchase (Kronos or otherwise). He's not. The OP says that the purpose of the new board would be "for 100% redundancy, plus a piano-weighted keyboard."

From this perspective, the Kronos is probably the single most capable board on the market, but what we don't know is whether FA (or some other board) can fill the redundancy job just as well, since we don't know exactly the extent of the Mainstage sound and functionality it ideally needs to replicate. Also, from a later message, it sounds like lighter weight would be preferable for him (though while a number of people talked about cost, lower budget does not necessarily seem to be a concern).

So I agree that the FA-08 is a nice possible option. Most of the other lighter-weight hammer action boards don't include a VA synth, and neither does his Nord, and a lot of what he's doing is "synth heavy 70-90s stuff." Someone mentioned Forte 7, which could also meet the spec, though the Roland is lighter and I think may have more easily accessible VA synth editing functions. OTOH, if he uses Mainstage to play any custom sampled sounds across the keyboard, the Kronos and Forte support that, the Roland does not. So again, it's hard to know what provides best Mainstage redundancy, without really knowing how he's using Mainstage.

I think the other big variable is if we assume that this new board will also replace his soundless P6 as a MIDI controller. In that case, the Roland will not do nearly as good a job as the P6 or the Kronos or the Forte as a MIDI controller, in terms of aftertouch, number of assignable controls, and other MIDI flexibility. The Roland does have trigger pads, though they are not velocity sensitive. A Korg Nanopad could be added to the system, but if he wants it to work with the new board's internal sounds (and not merely with Mainstage), that only happens with the Kronos.

ETA: Another question is how he is currently doing patch selection (for both the Mainstage and Nord sounds). If that functionality also needs to be replicated in the new board, that likely gives Kronos' Set List mode another edge over the others.


Edited by AnotherScott (04/16/18 04:58 AM)
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#2921658 - 04/16/18 07:47 AM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: Moonglow]
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Good lord, this may have just tipped the scales for me, that's incredible.


Originally Posted By: Moonglow
The Kronos may have the most gig-ready programs for cover band songs. Check out the Voice Name List starting on Page 8.
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#2921674 - 04/16/18 08:36 AM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: J. Dan]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: J. Dan
I'm not sure why people think the Kronos isn't intuitive. OK, as Ed has mentioned many times (and I agree) the sampling is not intuitive when it comes especially to migrating from sample to multisample to program then saving and preloading. I've figured out my own system that now works. Outside of that the engines are about as self explanatory as they can be...Combis act just like every single Korg keyboard since the first triton

You're right that Combis work as they always have, though that doesn't make them intuitive. If it's your first Korg workstation, it's still going to take some effort to wrap your head around.

But also, I think where Kronos falls down a bit is in ease of use in some common live functions, like transpose and split/layer. The quick split/layer in the latest software update was a really nice improvement, but is really designed to simplify creating such a combi for later use, and not for on-the-fly splits and layers (for example, seamless sound transition doesn't work when playing/manipulating sounds from that screen). Set List mode is fantastic for calling up your stored sounds, but other live manipulation can be awkward... the black controls on a black background can be a pain, and for a lot of stuff, the touchscreen is too finicky for comfortable live use.

But no board is perfect, and the Kronos could certainly well be the best choice for the OP.
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#2921677 - 04/16/18 08:49 AM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: AnotherScott]
nursers Offline
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Thanks again for all the great comments. To answer a couple of things:

1. Song selection is varied - everything from Kids in America and Call Me through to School's Out and Hold The Line - mostly 80s stuff though.

2. You're right that I don't really need anything extra - it's more I've always wanted a top of the line workstation and that time may be now smile

3. The redundancy stuff is part paranoia. My MainStage rig has been solid, particularly since I upgraded my laptop, but I still worry every gig it's going to fall over and I love the idea of having everything on a Workstation.

4. I currently use MainStage to switch sounds on the onboard library plus the Nord via MIDI. Works beautifully.
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#2921684 - 04/16/18 09:10 AM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: nursers]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: nursers
4. I currently use MainStage to switch sounds on the onboard library plus the Nord via MIDI.

How are you using Mainstage to physically switch the sounds? i.e. are you selecting them from within Mainstage with the computer's keys/trackpad? Or triggering the Mainstage patch changes externally?
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#2921963 - 04/17/18 02:32 PM Re: Cover band / upgrading / what should I buy? [Re: AnotherScott]
MojoGuyPan Offline
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The answer is simple. Korg Kronos.

Hands down the best board for cover band work.

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