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#2939912 - 07/27/18 12:40 PM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: MotiDave]
Electro Fan Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/11/10
Posts: 456
Loc: Maine
I am on the verge of buying the NS3 73 Compact to replace my Kronos 61 in my gig rig. I usually pair the Kronos 61 with a Px-5s, but the idea of the one board setup is very appealing to me. Unlike others who have mentioned that certain gigs in which small pay is a factor in bringing just one board, I do prison ministry, so pay is not an issue. However, many of the facilities that we play at require a lengthy check in process as all of our gear must be searched and accounted before can setup. We often have an hour to setup and run a quick sound check. We are a 6 piece band , so we have our share of gear. We only usually play one hour long concert, then it is break down and pack up. I am often the last to be ready and we have to do our own connection to the snake to reach the PA.

It seemed to me that the NS3ís weight, real estate, focus on organ and APís would be a perfect fit, but I would at some point need to sell the Kronos to defray the costs. Some of the posts here suggested the Kronos 61 would be there one board setup, but wondered how they adjusted to the 61 Keys? I wish the 73 key Kronos was lighter and has unweighted Keys.
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#2939913 - 07/27/18 12:44 PM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: Synthaholic]
MathOfInsects Offline
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Registered: 02/04/15
Posts: 3646
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Synthaholic

Even at $3600, no user-defined split points. See what I mean?

Sound On Sound:

Regrettably, and in common with previous models, there are only 10 pre-determined split positions so, if you want to play a synth bass sound from the bottom of the keyboard to G3, and a piano from Ab3 upward, you canít. The best you can do is select the nearest split point at either E3/F3 or B3/C4, which might be acceptable, but equally may not
.

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/clavia-nord-stage-3


I agree, it's insane that Nord is sticking with their predefined split points. HOWEVER....they also have a very elegant feature that allows for crossfades between the adjacent regions--large, small, or none. Even with user-defined splits, I would find this feature attractive. Without them, what it does is gives (for example) bass to *about* that Ab, and piano from about that same Ab, with decreasing cross-fading as you get farther from the split point.
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#2939919 - 07/27/18 01:24 PM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: MathOfInsects]
I-missRichardTee Offline
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Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 7067
Loc: S. Ca. USA
Serious piano?, a dedicated 88... ditto for organ.. So I have given up on these two extremes.
In the real world of many compromises... I am gradually making friends with my now, 5 year old Tyros 4. Many many useable sounds. Probably the best acoustic guitars on the planet.
The best accordions!! Don't mock... I made some nice coin with these accordion sounds, when I subbed for a real virtuoso accordion player. I am not a virtuoso, but the sounds of the tyros were good enough.
I have not looked much into the synth sounds but there are many many useful pads and solo synth sounds.
decent strings
I finally found a piano I can live with... a rock piano!
EP's are a sore spot for me.. because I am fussy about it.. but yamaha does a decent job here.
decent basses
organs just ok.
pipe organs for a wedding are passable

But the big draw towards the T4, is the drum loops. There are many 100's of useful drum grooves.
And the followup to the Tyros 4 is the Genos which has much improved drum sounds.
Stevie Wonder uses this technology... a few years back, I was told Stevie owned 2 tyros 5's.
I am sure he has a Genos by now.
Genos has incorporated some of the sounds of Montage.. and has 256 polyphony.
A learning curve to be sure... but this keyboard can do all but the very specific things
88 piano
and organ clones.
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#2939921 - 07/27/18 01:36 PM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: MathOfInsects]
ajstan Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/07/18
Posts: 53
Loc: USA
The NS3 88 is my single board solution. So far I've been able to create all the sounds I need to use except for velocity switching samples like horns. The Mod Envelope in the synth section provides for sharper attacks when samples are played at a higher velocity.

As for split points, just about every song I have programmed has one or two. While there are some songs where moving the split an extra key or two would be helpful, I'd gladly trade the flexibility of user defined split points for the LED lights indicating the active split points. I'd hate to have to remember where I put the splits on each song, and I wouldn't think that Nord would add 76 more LEDs to cover every possible option, so the fixed split points are not an issue for me, but can understand how it could be for others.

FWIW, the fixed split points on the NS3 are between B/C and E/F on every octave from E2/F2 to B6/C7, presumably so all splits will be applicable across 88, 76 and 73 key models.
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#2939964 - 07/27/18 05:13 PM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: ajstan]
Shutoku Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 10/06/12
Posts: 577
Loc: BC Canada
I have a Krome 88 which is my primary gigging keyboard, and a Kross 61 which WAS my primary.

In terms of on the fly splits, on both boards I simply set up combi's of my most used splits, so for example:
1 is piano,
2 is rhodes,
3 is hammond (within the combi I have a few options since I don't have drawbars. This works well on the Krome because the touch pad makes it easy to mute and unmute instruments within the combi)
4 is piano/hammond split
5 rhodes/hammond split
etc.

When I used the Kross I often took a second board as a midi controler because I find it a bit challenging to split a 61 key board and not find myself going past the split.
On the Krome having 88 keys makes it much more possible to have splits with lots of room on both sides. Typically I put a piano on the bottom 4 octaves and an organ on the top 3 octaves for example.

I also have some songs with 3 and even 4 split points, so unless I really want to take my mono/poly or reface CS with me, I can't imagine it very likely I'll ever go back to two or three keyboards. I like playing that many, more than remembering splits, but even more than that I like setting up and tearing down only one keyboard!
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Stage: Korg Krome 88.
Home: Korg Kross 61, Yamaha reface CS, Korg SP250, Korg mono/poly Kawai ep 608, Korg m1, Yamaha KX-5

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#2939991 - 07/27/18 07:30 PM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: MotiDave]
AnotherScott Offline
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Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 13000
Originally Posted By: ProfD
The hypothetical is what would be ideal *if* you had to gig with one KB only.

If you're really worried about a single KB dying, keep a spare Yamaha PSR or some type of Casio in the trunk (boot) of your vehicle. laugh cool

Yes, if the *only* reason you want a 2nd board around is insurance, a backup in the car can address that. (Cheap, small, light, but decent sounding include Korg Microstation and Yamaha MX49.) But that's only one of numerous reasons I prefer to have two boards, so this thread for me is about the exception rather than the rule. For the most part, if I'm going to bring two boards, I might as well use them. (Though also, bringing a spare is not ideal if you're arriving via mass transit...)

Originally Posted By: Synthaholic
Even at $3600, no user-defined split points. See what I mean?

I don't remember your talking about Nord shortcomings, but would agree that that is one. But personally, not a deal-breaker. I'd prefer to be able to over-ride them, but the available choices are close enough. I haven't tried it, but the gradual transition option probably helps, in terms of softening the blow of crossing a split point. In fact, since I tend to do that accidentally no matter where I put the split, the benefit of that crossfade feature could theoretically outweigh the disadvantage of not being able to place the split precisely.

Originally Posted By: Adan
I've never really looked at the Roland DS61, but Scott's writeup makes me think I may have overlooked a good rehearsal/backup keyboard. I had a VR09 for awhile but the limitations on effects in multi-timbral setups was, for me, a fatal flaw. Maybe the DS61 doesn't have those same problems.

Correct, it does not. I had a VR09 briefly, and just hit too many frustrating walls. The DS provides a much smoother experience for patch selection and for splitting/layering sounds.

Originally Posted By: MotiDave
MOXF6 comes in at a tidy 16 lbs, you're looking at $1600-ish to add the Flash card (highly recommend).

MOXF6 is one of my favorite boards, I've used it plenty in 2-board rigs. As a single board, it's weak for on-the-fly splits and (generally) lacks seamless sound transitions (though you can somewhat get around that via Mix mode).

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#2939994 - 07/27/18 07:55 PM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: AnotherScott]
AnotherScott Offline
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Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 13000
minor correction to what I said about Casio MZ-X300/MZ-X500
....I thought it was limited to two sounds above the split point and two below, but in fact, you can mix and match the four sounds any way you want (within the limitations of a single split point).
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#2940000 - 07/27/18 09:02 PM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: MotiDave]
Michael W Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 04/03/08
Posts: 643
Loc: Chicago, IL
If I was going to play in a band, and could only have one keyboard to cover every possible sound I'd want/need to make, at ~30 lbs I'd grab a -

- Yamaha Montage 6.

Done!
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Yamaha Montage 8, Virus TI Polar, Moog LP, Diva, Omnisphere 2
http://www.youtube.com/keybdwizrd

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#2940048 - 07/28/18 06:38 AM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: Michael W]
AnotherScott Offline
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Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 13000
Originally Posted By: Michael W
If I was going to play in a band, and could only have one keyboard to cover every possible sound I'd want/need to make, at ~30 lbs I'd grab a -

- Yamaha Montage 6.

Done!

I've never played with a Montage. But it is 33 lbs. And only 61 keys.

For an only board, I'd prefer at least 73 keys (better for piano, better for doing splits), and ideally, drawbar organ controls. I sacrificed those things on the DS61 only to get something super small and light. So the Montage misses too many marks for me as a single board.

I really like Yamaha, though. Getting back to my earlier post to MotiDave about the MOXF6, one of the reasons I picked up the DS61 was how much better it was than the MOXF6 when doing LH bass on my second tier (at less than half the weight of the Artis 7). But when I don't need to keep my 2nd tier split, I'd still take the MOXF6 over the DS61.

(When I have two boards, I prefer not to do LH bass on my lower "piano" board because it steals too much range from my piano sounds, i.e. the sounds where I can least spare the extra keys. I end up with a 56-61 key piano. I'd rather end up with a 32-37 key organ/synth. But that 32-37 key range is why easy octave switching for just that sound becomes such a plus.)
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#2940060 - 07/28/18 08:16 AM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: AnotherScott]
CowboyNQ Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 1011
Loc: Adelaide, Australia
Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Originally Posted By: CowboyNQ
I have used and still occasionally use a Krome 61 for one-board shows.

I've never tried a Krome. I did look at the Kross when I was evaluating the DS61 (liked that it was smaller/lighter), but it really falls down on on the fly splits. I could not find an easy way to select a different RH sound while continuing to play the same LH sound, or easily adjust the volume or octave of the RH sound. Maybe Krome could handle this better. (Also, even the workaround of setting up your most commonly needed splits ahead of time was hampered by the lack of patch remain, i.e. you couldn't switch from one LH/RH saved split to another mid-song without an audible glitch.) But if you don't care about splits (i.e. aren't even trying to maintain some of your "two board" functionality), tons of boards can work well. Playing one sound at a time is something every board is pretty adept at. ;-)


Most of what you said there was a little mysterious to me Scott! I'm happy to admit I'm far from the most technically advanced keys player on this forum.

But to try and explain it further: The Krome 61 works well (for me) as a one board solution for four reasons:

1. It's tiny and lightweight. Addresses any footprint issue.

2. It sounds really good. I've had people come up to me post set and "ooh and ahh" about the fact I can get all these different sounds out of one little keyboard.

3. I can split the thing up the wazoo. I have splits and layers going all over the place with this 'board. Which means I can play any song my rock covers band does on this one instrument with a bit of pre-planning.

4. It's very easy to flick between patches mid-song and mid-set due to the touch screen. From what I can tell, it's nowhere near as good as the set list mode on the Kronos, but it's still pretty darn good.

All of this said, I really do prefer to use two boards and the one-board option is pretty rare.


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#2940070 - 07/28/18 08:59 AM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: CowboyNQ]
AnotherScott Offline
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Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 13000
Originally Posted By: CowboyNQ
Most of what you said there was a little mysterious to me Scott!
...
But to try and explain it further
...
1. It's tiny and lightweight. Addresses any footprint issue.

yup

Originally Posted By: CowboyNQ
2. It sound really good. I've had people come up to me post set and "ooh and ahh" about the fact I can get all these different sounds out of one little keyboard.

yup

Originally Posted By: CowboyNQ
3. I can split the thing up the wazoo. I have splits and layers going all over the place with this 'board. Which means I can play any song my rock covers band does on this one instrument with a bit of pre-planning.

yup, pre-planned splits are very flexible, I was talking about on-the-fly splits

Originally Posted By: CowboyNQ
4. It's very easy to flick between patches mid-song and mid-set due to the touch screen.

yup, but if you'e holding something and switch to a new sound, the sound you're holding will cut off, right?

So here's a sample scenario for the kind of thing I'm talking about. You've got a string pad under your left hand, organ on the right. You're coming up to a part of the song where you want to hold the pad, but you want to switch the organ to piano. How do you switch just the right hand sound, without switching the left? And for bonus points, not cut off your held string sound when you make the switch? And for more bonus points, quickly make the piano louder if you need to, without affecting the volume of your strings? And for even more bonus points, shift the piano up (or down) an octave part way through playing your piano part (since you've only got about 3 octaves' worth of keys available for your piano)? Even if you set up your string+piano and string+organ splits ahead of time and saved them as Combis, I don't think you can do this. And if this was a song that someone called out on the spur of the moment and you hadn't set up the Combis in advance, it would be even harder to get anywhere close to being able to do this, right?

Now, if you have two boards, ALL of this is a cinch. String pad on one board, switch from organ to piano on the other. You automatically have no sound cutting out, independent volume controls, plenty of keys for each part. But if you're trying to do this on one board, all the boards I listed in the OP will let you do this reasonably well. Most single boards (Korgs, Yamahas, non-DS Rolands) do not. That's the distinction that led me to my OP... single boards that are reasonably usable for people who really prefer to have dual board flexibility, but are in situations where trying to get by on a single board makes more sense.
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#2940071 - 07/28/18 09:04 AM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: CowboyNQ]
kbrkr Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/09/17
Posts: 104
I'm surprised no one addresses sound quality in their assessments. Most talk about ergonomics and features.

My perfect all around board is the Kronos 76. The sound quality is amazing.

If I have a gig that doesn't really require sonic fidelity, I use the Nord Stage 3 Compact. Mostly like it for the weight and real time controls. However, it is limiting in that it doesn't do multi-samples and you can only layer 2 sampled sounds, so if you have a complex split with 3 samples or more, your SOL.

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#2940074 - 07/28/18 09:07 AM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: AnotherScott]
CowboyNQ Offline
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Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 1011
Loc: Adelaide, Australia
Ah, I think I understand you better now, thanks for clarifying Scott.

I totally agree with you I don't think the Krome can do any of those things you've articulated there.

But it doesn't really need to (for me).

And the thread title said "If YOU must gig with just one board" (my emphasis of course, not yours).

So, yeah. That's what I use if I must. TBH I'm not an "on the fly" guy. Preparation and rehearsal is a big part of all the bands I'm in. I know that's not everyone's go, but frankly I think I lack the talent to be changing things up mid-show - it would do my head in!

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#2940075 - 07/28/18 09:11 AM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: kbrkr]
CowboyNQ Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 1011
Loc: Adelaide, Australia
Originally Posted By: kbrkr
I'm surprised no one addresses sound quality in their assessments.


Originally Posted By: CowboyNQ
2. It sounds really good.

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#2940076 - 07/28/18 09:13 AM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: AnotherScott]
sherry Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/09/13
Posts: 164
Hey Scott: Virtually all the things you listed I can do with the Kronos, using the 61 key version, by using the Karma scene buttons. As a matter of fact, all the things you have listed I do using only the Kronos. I can switch a split with no cutoff of sound, change octave (very easy) using button. Certainly changing combi's is easy with no cutoff of sound. I really us the Karma scene buttons far more than the touch screen to change sounds. I find it way easier to change programs/combi's with the buttons. What I'd love to see though is a 73/76 semi weighted version. Every once in a while I'll forget to hit the octave button and a 73/76 version would eliminate that. The weighted versions, both versions, are wayyyy to friggin heavy, especially with a case.

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#2940077 - 07/28/18 09:18 AM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: CowboyNQ]
I-missRichardTee Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 7067
Loc: S. Ca. USA
Aha, so Montage 6 is 33 lbs and only 61
Well the related Genos has more of the sonic character of the Montage. and weighs
13.0 kg (28 lb, 11 oz)
and is 76 notes.



Edited by I-missRichardTee (07/28/18 09:26 AM)
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#2940086 - 07/28/18 10:23 AM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: AnotherScott]
Synthaholic Offline
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Registered: 04/18/05
Posts: 1765
Loc: Proud Resister of 2nd helpings
Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Originally Posted By: Synthaholic
Even at $3600, no user-defined split points. See what I mean?

I don't remember your talking about Nord shortcomings, but would agree that that is one. But personally, not a deal-breaker. I'd prefer to be able to over-ride them, but the available choices are close enough. I haven't tried it, but the gradual transition option probably helps, in terms of softening the blow of crossing a split point. In fact, since I tend to do that accidentally no matter where I put the split, the benefit of that crossfade feature could theoretically outweigh the disadvantage of not being able to place the split precisely.


Iím talking about all shortcomings when it comes to splits and layers. Not being able to split/layer where you want, with any/all 16 channels on a $3600 board is a disgrace. Thatís manufacturers deciding for you that you donít need a function that was perfected in the 1990s, cost practically nil to implement, and makes the instrument more versatile.


Originally Posted By: AnotherScott

yup, but if you'e holding something and switch to a new sound, the sound you're holding will cut off, right?

So here's a sample scenario for the kind of thing I'm talking about. You've got a string pad under your left hand, organ on the right. You're coming up to a part of the song where you want to hold the pad, but you want to switch the organ to piano. How do you switch just the right hand sound, without switching the left? And for bonus points, not cut off your held string sound when you make the switch? And for more bonus points, quickly make the piano louder if you need to, without affecting the volume of your strings? And for even more bonus points, shift the piano up (or down) an octave part way through playing your piano part (since you've only got about 3 octaves' worth of keys available for your piano)? Even if you set up your string+piano and string+organ splits ahead of time and saved them as Combis, I don't think you can do this. And if this was a song that someone called out on the spur of the moment and you hadn't set up the Combis in advance, it would be even harder to get anywhere close to being able to do this, right?


I do stuff like this all the time, and the solution is simple: create your split with your pad (MIDI CH 2, letís say) in your left hand. Assign both channels 1 and 3 to the right hand split, organ on channel 3, piano on channel 1, with all of your edits - volume, transposition, etc. Assign two faders to control volume on 1 and 3 and use them to switch sounds.

This is another reason why I need multiple split points on multiple channels. I may have this scenario, plus another split with 2 or more channels above that, for horn blasts or guitar harmonics, or whatever.
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#2940099 - 07/28/18 11:53 AM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: Synthaholic]
RABid Offline
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Posts: 12614
I have a Nord Stage 2 light, but consider it a secondary keyboard. The Kronos will forever be my desert island keyboard.
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#2940100 - 07/28/18 12:09 PM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: MathOfInsects]
RichieP_MechE Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 11/23/05
Posts: 1067
Loc: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
Originally Posted By: Synthaholic

Even at $3600, no user-defined split points. See what I mean?

Sound On Sound:

Regrettably, and in common with previous models, there are only 10 pre-determined split positions so, if you want to play a synth bass sound from the bottom of the keyboard to G3, and a piano from Ab3 upward, you canít. The best you can do is select the nearest split point at either E3/F3 or B3/C4, which might be acceptable, but equally may not
.

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/clavia-nord-stage-3


I agree, it's insane that Nord is sticking with their predefined split points. HOWEVER....they also have a very elegant feature that allows for crossfades between the adjacent regions--large, small, or none. Even with user-defined splits, I would find this feature attractive. Without them, what it does is gives (for example) bass to *about* that Ab, and piano from about that same Ab, with decreasing cross-fading as you get farther from the split point.

Semi-OT, but this demo video showcases the cross fade split points pretty nicely


Bradon Coleman Sessions #1- MingusMiltDuke

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#2940105 - 07/28/18 01:20 PM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: MotiDave]
bennyray Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 12/06/14
Posts: 950
The Kronos is still selling strong after at least 5=6 years now and is not really outdated when comparing to other keyboards.

Seems all these late night shows love the Kronos. I only use in my studio now and it doesn't get played alot but I sat down today and loaded some vintage synth sounds that I had on another USB they sounded really fat and clean.
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#2940115 - 07/28/18 03:13 PM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: MathOfInsects]
stoken6 Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2040
Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
I agree, it's insane that Nord is sticking with their predefined split points. HOWEVER....they also have a very elegant feature that allows for crossfades between the adjacent regions--large, small, or none. Even with user-defined splits, I would find this feature attractive. Without them, what it does is gives (for example) bass to *about* that Ab, and piano from about that same Ab, with decreasing cross-fading as you get farther from the split point.


I'm afraid I rain on this particular cross-fading parade. I sometimes need to assign a sample or tone to one key, or a small range of keys. This is often for very obvious effects: bells, hits, sweeps etc. I can't spare much real estate because I'm doing so much with the rest of the board.

(Simple example: when we do "Celebration" I'm covering the little guitar bends in the intro. The song's in Ab, so it's a Bb-bent-to-C below an Eb that doesn't bend. I have one zone F-B with pitch-bend enabled, and another zone above it C-E with it disabled. This way I can play Bb+Eb, and bend just the Bb. If for some odd reason we want to do the song in Eb, I would need to play F below Bb and just bend the F - but there's no way of giving it its own zone).

I sometimes think I'm working my Nord too hard - it's the only sound source in my rig. But you play the gear you own...

Cheers, Mike.

PS A prize to the first person who suggests that the solution is not to play that f***ing song in the first place.
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#2940123 - 07/28/18 04:21 PM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: stoken6]
ChiefDanG Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/20/13
Posts: 370
Loc: Nashville, TN
Sorry to sidetrack a sidetrack, but another way to get around predefined splits is to create your own sample instrument. This is really only good for one-shots/fx/ and simple sounds. I did my own (dreaded) Uptown Funk sample - nine sounds, eight split points. However, pitch bend & sustain pedal would effect the whole sample, so this wouldn't help stoken6 at all.
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#2940139 - 07/28/18 08:21 PM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: Synthaholic]
AnotherScott Offline
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Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 13000
Originally Posted By: kbrkr
I'm surprised no one addresses sound quality in their assessments. Most talk about ergonomics and features.

As I said in the OP, "for the most part, I'm focussing here on functionality rather than sounds, because while I have preferences, any can generally give me the sounds I need to get through a gig or rehearsal." But sure, if there is more than one board that gives you the functionality you need, your preference in their sounds is a great way to decide between them!

Originally Posted By: kbrkr
My perfect all around board is the Kronos 76. The sound quality is amazing.

If I have a gig that doesn't really require sonic fidelity, I use the Nord Stage 3 Compact. Mostly like it for the weight and real time controls.

Personally, I think the Nord sounds better for piano and organ, Kronos sounds better for most other sounds. But the Kronos 76 is too heavy for my criteria. It's beyond what I would consider taking on mass transit, walking/wheeling for blocks, tossing on and off a stage where you have 5 minute setup time (especially since it takes 2 minutes to boot). And as I said, I don't think Kronos is great for real-time splits and layers, if you're really trying to emulate the flexibility that normally requires two boards. (See my post #2940070)

Originally Posted By: sherry
Hey Scott: Virtually all the things you listed I can do with the Kronos, using the 61 key version, by using the Karma scene buttons.

Ah, Karma! i've never even begun to have the slightest clue about how to use it. And I can do what I want so easily on any of the boards I listed in my OP, I just am not motivated to figure out how to do it with Karma.

Originally Posted By: I-missRichardTee
Aha, so Montage 6 is 33 lbs and only 61
Well the related Genos has more of the sonic character of the Montage. and weighs
13.0 kg (28 lb, 11 oz)
and is 76 notes.

I never looked at Genos, interesting! I does look cool, and meets my weight requiement. Does it have a clonewheel function? But wow, the price, it makes the Nord look cheap!

Originally Posted By: Synthaholic
Not being able to split/layer where you want, with any/all 16 channels on a $3600 board is a disgrace.

Sorry, I think that's silly. It's just not what the board is designed to do. You might as well say that a multi-thousand dollar Moog or DSI synth that plays just one or two notes at a time is a disgrace. (Heck, they don't even have piano sounds!) The NS3 makes my list because it handles certain functions well. Of course, if you need different functions, it may not be the right board for you, but that doesn't make it a disgrace. Odds are it does some things better than the board that does the other things you need... and that doesn't make that board a disgrace. Just different in the features and strengths. (And I suspect that plenty of players don't need more than 4 sounds at a time.)

Originally Posted By: Synthaholic
Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
So here's a sample scenario for the kind of thing I'm talking about. You've got a string pad under your left hand, organ on the right. You're coming up to a part of the song where you want to hold the pad, but you want to switch the organ to piano. How do you switch just the right hand sound, without switching the left? And for bonus points, not cut off your held string sound when you make the switch? And for more bonus points, quickly make the piano louder if you need to, without affecting the volume of your strings? And for even more bonus points, shift the piano up (or down) an octave part way through playing your piano part (since you've only got about 3 octaves' worth of keys available for your piano)? Even if you set up your string+piano and string+organ splits ahead of time and saved them as Combis, I don't think you can do this. And if this was a song that someone called out on the spur of the moment and you hadn't set up the Combis in advance, it would be even harder to get anywhere close to being able to do this, right?


I do stuff like this all the time, and the solution is simple: create your split with your pad (MIDI CH 2, letís say) in your left hand. Assign both channels 1 and 3 to the right hand split, organ on channel 3, piano on channel 1, with all of your edits - volume, transposition, etc. Assign two faders to control volume on 1 and 3 and use them to switch sounds.

You're describing a scenario of setting it up in advance, but completely ignoring all my discussion of doing these things on the fly. All the boards listed in my OP can do this on the fly. If you have no need for that and are willing to use boards that only let you do this kind of thing if you set it up in advance, you will increase the number of boards that can work, but you're limited to the combinations that you set up in advance, and there are still boards that, for example, don't give you easy real-time octave switching of just an individual sound, even if you set it up the way you describe, or may be missing some of the other features I described.

Originally Posted By: Synthaholic
This is another reason why I need multiple split points on multiple channels. I may have this scenario, plus another split with 2 or more channels above that, for horn blasts or guitar harmonics, or whatever.

You may need more splits, but they don't have to be on different channels. That depends on the architecture of the board. Some boards let you split multiple sounds on a single channel. Discrete channel assignment doesn't necessarily become an issue until you are incorporating sounds that are not self-contained within the single board. But anyway, if you need more than four sounds split and layered in a setup, with whatever split points you want, I think the only board in my list that does that is the DS61, and maybe the MZ-X500. (Of course the DS88 does it as well, but it misses my weight cutoff.) If you don't need some of the on-the-fly functionality that I find important, than you might be able to use Roland FA-06/07, Yamaha MOXF6 (Mix mode supports 16-way splits), Korg Kross/Krome/Kronos, maybe Casio PX5S/PX560 (using hexlayers). So you have numerous choices, whichever way you want to go.



Edited by AnotherScott (07/29/18 05:51 AM)
Edit Reason: casio
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#2940154 - 07/29/18 02:13 AM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: bennyray]
elsongs Offline
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Registered: 01/15/11
Posts: 273
Loc: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Originally Posted By: bennyray

Seems all these late night shows love the Kronos.


If you're referring to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, that's because bandleader Jon Batiste is an official Korg endorser.

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#2940174 - 07/29/18 06:19 AM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: sherry]
AnotherScott Offline
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Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 13000
Originally Posted By: elsongs
Originally Posted By: bennyray

Seems all these late night shows love the Kronos.


If you're referring to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, that's because bandleader Jon Batiste is an official Korg endorser.

People generally endorse what they genuinely like.

I don't think anyone is doubting that the Kronos is a great board, and also one of the most versatile boards you can get.

I just don't like it as a single board solution.

* It's too heavy. Even the 61 is 31.5 lbs, over my ("Your Muscles May Vary") weight limit. But even if you're okay with that weight, between needing to play piano on it, and needing real estate for splits, I'd tend to want to avoid having just 61 keys on a single-board gig unless you're really trying to keep size/weight WAY down. And if that's the issue, the Kronos doesn't fit the bill. I've got lighter boards with more keys (and way lighter with 61).

* As I said, one of the times a 1-board rig makes sense is in a multi-band scenario, when you have to be on the stage and setup in just a few minutes. A 2 minute boot is a killer there, or at least a source for stress.

* Apart from what Sherry said about working with Karma, as I mentioned, Kronos "is weak at on-the-fly splits. Even with the new(ish) Quick Split feature, that's really designed to help you more easily set up Combis in advance of the gig, and isn't really a great live performance tool, because seamless sound transition doesn't work on that screen, i.e. changing your RH sound will glitch your LH sound." Even if you set up every split you could possibly need in advance as a Combi, if you're playing piano in a split (i.e. you probably only have 30-something keys for piano), ideally you're going to want to be able to octave-switch your piano on the fly, without also switching the octave of whatever you've got in the other side of the split. Again, with the possible exception of Karma (Sherry?), I don't see a way to do this on Kronos. I guess you could create a whole bunch of Combis which are all piano-plus-something (where there are multiple somethings, everything you might want to split piano with), with the piano shifted to different octaves in the different Combis, and put them all on/near the same Set List page. It all seems like a lot of work (if it can be done at all), to do something that all the boards I listed in my OP can do much more easily and without requiring pre-planning everything you might need.

* One more issue could be that the Kronos screen is especially hard to read in sunlight, so if your one-board gig is outdoors, that could be another limitation. But in fairness, I don't know how much screen wash-out could be a factor in some of the other boards I mentioned, I just know it's definitely an issue with Kronos. Probably a combination of its lack of angle, lack of max brightness, small font sizes, how much you rely on it (i.e. typically you can't bring up a sound if you can't read the screen, which is not true of all boards with screens).

Originally Posted By: sherry
I really us the Karma scene buttons far more than the touch screen to change sounds. I find it way easier to change programs/combi's with the buttons.

I glossed over the significance of that before, but yes, hard buttons for sound selection can be more quick and foolproof, and also helps address the sunlight issue. All the boards I put in my OP do have hard button patch recall except for the Numa. The only one that even has a touchscreen is the Casio, but even that also provides some programmable hard button patch selection ("registrations"), as all the others do. Though in all cases, some of the other functions do require at least being able to read the screen.

One of my knocks on almost all the boards, though, is kind of the opposite of the sunlight issue... black buttons on black backgrounds, and/or a related issue of buttons that are too close together.

Originally Posted By: sherry
What I'd love to see though is a 73/76 semi weighted version. Every once in a while I'll forget to hit the octave button and a 73/76 version would eliminate that. The weighted versions, both versions, are wayyyy to friggin heavy, especially with a case.

Have you considered the Kronos LS?
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#2940183 - 07/29/18 07:08 AM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: AnotherScott]
sherry Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/09/13
Posts: 164
Hey Scott: Yeah, I looked at the LS, but you add a case to that and your up to 60 lbs and it takes up a lot of stage realestate. I'm an old weakling and like you said, even the 61 key version is heavy. There are a number of youtubes on how to use KARMA to change sounds. That's the only reason I use Karma is for changing sounds. And you're right again about the boot up time. Ugh. I'd definitely purchase a 73/76 semi-weighted Kronos if ever made though.

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#2940187 - 07/29/18 07:35 AM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: sherry]
AnotherScott Offline
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Originally Posted By: sherry
Hey Scott: Yeah, I looked at the LS, but you add a case to that and your up to 60 lbs
...I'd definitely purchase a 73/76 semi-weighted Kronos if ever made though.

The thing is, with the 61 at 31.5 lbs and the LS at 39.2 lbs, it doesn't seem that a theoretical 73/76 would likely be a whole bunch lighter than the LS, maybe about 35 lbs? Every pound counts, though...

In theory, I think Korg could make a lighter Kronos using other materials (i.e. aluminum, magnesium, titanium, carbon fiber); and they could make what would be in effect a generally faster booting one by using a laptop motherboard with rechargeable battery instead of the desktop motherboard (even if it needed AC for everything else to work, it could have a "sleep mode" that would keep the long boot from having to happen every time). These changes would presumably yield a significantly more expensive Kronos. I wonder what the market would be if they came out with something like that in a limited edition at a premium price. Make that the 73 key version (with aftertouch like the 61, not like the LS). That would be pretty killer.
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#2940198 - 07/29/18 08:30 AM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: elsongs]
bennyray Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 12/06/14
Posts: 950
Originally Posted By: elsongs
Originally Posted By: bennyray

Seems all these late night shows love the Kronos.


If you're referring to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, that's because bandleader Jon Batiste is an official Korg endorser.


No I was watching the Tonight Show and saw 2 Kronos on stage and James Corden keyboard player is using one also. Yea Jon is a Korg endorser great jazz player.
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#2940209 - 07/29/18 09:49 AM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: AnotherScott]
Synthaholic Offline
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott


Originally Posted By: Synthaholic
Not being able to split/layer where you want, with any/all 16 channels on a $3600 board is a disgrace.

Sorry, I think that's silly. It's just not what the board is designed to do.


Did they release a statement describing what the board was designed to do? When I buy anything at the high end of a product line I expect it to do everything the cheaper versions do, plus more. A decent flexibility with splits/layers should be standard feature, like cup holders in a car. Maybe I should flip it: what possible reason could Clavia have to exclude advanced split/layering? Itís old technology, software-wise, so cost canít be a serious consideration at this point.

Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Originally Posted By: Synthaholic
I do stuff like this all the time, and the solution is simple: create your split with your pad (MIDI CH 2, letís say) in your left hand. Assign both channels 1 and 3 to the right hand split, organ on channel 3, piano on channel 1, with all of your edits - volume, transposition, etc. Assign two faders to control volume on 1 and 3 and use them to switch sounds.

You're describing a scenario of setting it up in advance, but completely ignoring all my discussion of doing these things on the fly.


Ok, apologies. I thought you started this thread in answer to my complaints in the Numa Compact 2x thread? I never mentioned anything about Ďon the flyí. I donít do anything on the fly. All my splits/layers are written into my Multi/Combi Setups. Frankly, in a band situation I donít know why anyone would be doing anything on the fly instead of preparing for your gigs ahead of time, save the odd times when someone sits in and youíre playing an unfamiliar song where you need to cobble something together.

Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Originally Posted By: Synthaholic
This is another reason why I need multiple split points on multiple channels. I may have this scenario, plus another split with 2 or more channels above that, for horn blasts or guitar harmonics, or whatever.

You may need more splits, but they don't have to be on different channels. That depends on the architecture of the board. Some boards let you split multiple sounds on a single channel. Discrete channel assignment doesn't necessarily become an issue until you are incorporating sounds that are not self-contained within the single board. But anyway, if you need more than four sounds split and layered in a setup, with whatever split points you want, I think the only board in my list that does that is the DS61, and maybe the MZ-X500. (Of course the DS88 does it as well, but it misses my weight cutoff.) If you don't need some of the on-the-fly functionality that I find important, than you might be able to use Roland FA-06/07, Yamaha MOXF6 (Mix mode supports 16-way splits), Korg Kross/Krome/Kronos, maybe Casio PX5S/PX560 (using hexlayers). So you have numerous choices, whichever way you want to go.



As stated in that Numa thread, my requirements are 76 or 88 keys w/Aftertouch, quality keybed, lightweight, and good MIDI control. Internal sounds, other than piano and electric piano, are not a concern. Iím controlling rack gear, which also handle all of my sequences. I need flexibility in playing those rack voices from the keyboard in splits, along with the AP or EP from the board (generally speaking). Itís very difficult to find a board to satisfy all that. If I could buy a brand new QS7.1, I would do that, despite the 33lbs.
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#2940228 - 07/29/18 11:37 AM Re: If you must gig with just one board... [Re: Synthaholic]
AnotherScott Offline
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Originally Posted By: Synthaholic
Did they release a statement describing what the board was designed to do?

Sure. Owner's manual, spec sheets.

Originally Posted By: Synthaholic
When I buy anything at the high end of a product line I expect it to do everything the cheaper versions do, plus more. A decent flexibility with splits/layers should be standard feature, like cup holders in a car.

To me, it's much more like you're complaining that an expensive roadster doesn't have a rear seat. Rear seets have been around for a hundred years! I can get a car half the price and it will have a rear seat! But you're missing the virtues of the roadster. If you need a back seat, though, that's not the car for you. And that doesn't mean that car was a design failure.

Originally Posted By: Synthaholic
what possible reason could Clavia have to exclude advanced split/layering? Itís old technology, software-wise, so cost canít be a serious consideration at this point.

If by "advanced" you mean being able to put the splits exactly where you want instead of only at pre-defined points, I wish they would. Their reason for doing what they do is that it gives you the advantage of being able to quickly dial in "about" the right split point and always have a visual indication of exactly where the split is. And I agree with them, it's useful, but I do wish there were an option for an advanced user to over-ride. (They could have the light blink instead of be solid if they wanted to indicate that the position was now only approximate.) I and many others can live with the way they do it, but some can't, and they should buy something else.

If by "advanced" you mean being able to split 16 sounds, I think that would be more expensive under their archituecture and also more complicated operationally, which might negate some of the appeal the board has for the people who do buy it. As it is, the 6 internal mix-and-matchable sounds (plus two exernal) requires toggling the front panel between two layers of 3 internal (+1 external) sounds each. For 15 internal sounds using this approach, you'd have to rotate the control surface functions through 5 layers. I'm not sure how much call there would be for that level of complication among the people to whom Nord appeals. That said, it might be interesting!

Originally Posted By: Synthaholic
Ok, apologies. I thought you started this thread in answer to my complaints in the Numa Compact 2x thread? I never mentioned anything about Ďon the flyí.

I started the thread based on this:
Originally Posted By: Synthaholic
So, which of these boards would you use as your only keyboard in a one-keyboard setup?

I suspect none of them.
See, you asked me what I would use, which is a very different question from what I'd suggest that you use! ;-) But when you explained what you needed, I listed a bunch of boards that I thought might work for you ("DS61, and maybe the MZ-X500...Roland FA-06/07, Yamaha MOXF6...Korg Kross/Krome/Kronos, maybe Casio PX5S/PX560", all under 30 lbs. That Genos mentioned earlier might do it for you as well.

Originally Posted By: Synthaholic
Frankly, in a band situation I donít know why anyone would be doing anything on the fly instead of preparing for your gigs ahead of time, save the odd times when someone sits in and youíre playing an unfamiliar song where you need to cobble something together.

Just a different way of working. My wedding band has a repertoire of literally hundreds of songs. I have no desire to program patches for all of them. 90% of them are dfferent combinations of the same 20 or so sounds. As long as I can grab those sounds when and where I want them, I'm all set, without any prep time. And I can do it on any of at least a half dozen boards (or board-pairs) I own, without having to re-program hundreds of songs if I have some reason to change boards. And as long as a board can do these things, I can change to a new board if I want, without having to reprogram hundreds of songs again.

Originally Posted By: Synthaholic
As stated in that Numa thread, my requirements are 76 or 88 keys w/Aftertouch, quality keybed, lightweight, and good MIDI control. Internal sounds, other than piano and electric piano, are not a concern. Iím controlling rack gear, which also handle all of my sequences. I need flexibility in playing those rack voices from the keyboard in splits, along with the AP or EP from the board (generally speaking). Itís very difficult to find a board to satisfy all that. If I could buy a brand new QS7.1, I would do that, despite the 33lbs.

And that's really an entirely different premise. You're not asking about gigging with one board, you're asking about gigging with one board plus a bunch of rack gear. These days, that's a less common need. If you're trying to do everything with one board, you're probably trying to travel light. If you're going to bring a rack, heck, bring a second board too. ;-)

Aftertouch, unfortunately, has gotten rare. More so than the ability to control rack gear or do 16 way splits. Some of what I suggested for you will work fine for controlling rack gear on more than 4 channels (Roland FA-06/07, Korg Kross/Krome/Kronos), and even more will work if 4 zones is enough (Artis 7, PX5S, MOXF6), but only Kronos has aftertouch. And wanting it to have at least 76 keys and not weigh more than about 30 lbs? Yeah, you're out of luck. This combination was never common. A used Korg TR76 might work for you. In something new, maybe that Yamaha Genos will do it, I don't know. In lieu of aftertouch, have you considered using an expression pedal to give you the same "hands free" sound manipulation?

And of couse "quality keybed" can be a whole other problem, but that's subjective.

Your best bet might be to stick with the Numa Compact 2X for your lightweight 88 keys with aftertouch, and connect it to an iPhone/iPad or laptop or Windows tablet, which can take a single zone from your Numa and let you split it 16 ways to send it back out to your rack. ( I know there are laptop/Windows apps that can do this, I *think* there are iOS apps as well.) Of course, at that point, you can also consider making the phone/tablet/laptop a sound source as well, if you'd like.
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