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88-key controller #2975139 02/11/19 07:00 PM
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richforman Offline OP
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What would be your current recommendations for an 88-weighted key controller, no internal sounds? I am thinking of replacing my trusty MOXF8 as my bottom-tier controller under my Kronos in my live rig, I just need to be able to select my MIDI out channel and go. I don't consider myself especially a connoisseur/expert as far as keybed feel, I like playing the keyboard on my MOXF8 very much, feels substantial but not too "heavy" to play, so anything in that general ballpark would be good. Criteria would be lightweight, hopefully <= 25lbs; sustain and expression pedal inputs; MIDI out obviously, and affordable. I only need a controller, so don't want to pay the same thing I might pay for a slab DP/synth with sounds, synth, or speakers, etc....I want to pay less!....maybe around 300 or less, is that realistic?

Opinions appreciated, thanks fellas!


Rich Forman
Yamaha MOXF8, Korg Kronos 2-61, Roland Fantom X7, Ferrofish B4000+ organ module, Roland VR-09, EV ZLX12P, K&M Spider Pro stand,
Yamaha S80, Korg Trinity Plus

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Re: 88-key controller [Re: richforman] #2975140 02/11/19 07:03 PM
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johnchop Offline
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I don't think you'll find an 88 dedicated controller in that range.

I would consider one of the simpler Casio Privias.

Re: 88-key controller [Re: johnchop] #2975141 02/11/19 07:06 PM
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oops saw the expression pedal input requirement... er... that may be tougher.

Re: 88-key controller [Re: johnchop] #2975144 02/11/19 07:18 PM
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Math&Music Offline
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I've been looking at the Studiologic Studio, But haven't tried it yet.

https://www.studiologic-music.com/products/sl-studio

If 73 keys would be sufficient for you, they have a 73 that's otherwise close to what you are asking for...


Joe
Re: 88-key controller [Re: Math&Music] #2975167 02/11/19 09:05 PM
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richforman Offline OP
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I do want 88 keys but I'd go higher on price if I have to, any other suggestions?


Rich Forman
Yamaha MOXF8, Korg Kronos 2-61, Roland Fantom X7, Ferrofish B4000+ organ module, Roland VR-09, EV ZLX12P, K&M Spider Pro stand,
Yamaha S80, Korg Trinity Plus

Re: 88-key controller [Re: richforman] #2975168 02/11/19 09:08 PM
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The Studiologic Studio 88 runs about $1000, maybe less. A little heavier too.


Joe
Re: 88-key controller [Re: Math&Music] #2975174 02/11/19 09:47 PM
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Bobby Simons Offline
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No. If you mean the SL88 Studio, it’s 499.95.
SL88 Studio


Yamaha P515, Yamaha KX88, Edirol PCR-800 (2), Korg microKey 61 Air, Mainstage, iOS, assorted other controllers and retired boards.
Re: 88-key controller [Re: Bobby Simons] #2975177 02/11/19 10:01 PM
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Yes, good catch. I did mean the SL88 Studio, but somehow gave the SL88 Grand cost!


Joe
Re: 88-key controller [Re: Math&Music] #2975191 02/11/19 11:37 PM
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richforman Offline OP
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That looks like a real contender!


Rich Forman
Yamaha MOXF8, Korg Kronos 2-61, Roland Fantom X7, Ferrofish B4000+ organ module, Roland VR-09, EV ZLX12P, K&M Spider Pro stand,
Yamaha S80, Korg Trinity Plus

Re: 88-key controller [Re: richforman] #2975200 02/12/19 12:21 AM
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Yeah, I think so too (though I'm looking at the 73 key). I've seen some good reviews, like this...
https://www.musicplayers.com/reviews/keyboard/2017/0117_StudioLogicSL88.php
But I haven't had a chance to try one yet.


Joe
Re: 88-key controller [Re: Math&Music] #2975205 02/12/19 12:56 AM
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Tom Williams Offline
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I have (and am happy with) an M-Audio Keystation 88es, which is discontinued.
I think you might like the ~$400 Hammer 88.



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Re: 88-key controller [Re: Math&Music] #2975206 02/12/19 01:02 AM
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I haven't personally had the opportunity to try one but worth looking at is:

https://www.m-audio.com/hammer88

It's definitely a bit heavier than the 25 pound and costs more than the $300 threshold cited (at a street price of $399) but the majority of what I've read on this board is very positive. If I were looking for another 88 key controller I would have this on my list as well as the SL88 Studio (and perhaps also consider keeping my eyes out for an older, but very customizable in terms of controls, Kurzweil PC2x which I often see in the price range being discussed here).

...and I see Tom beat me to the punch and posted on the Hammer before I hit submit. smile


Last edited by grndthftzamboni; 02/12/19 01:09 AM.
Re: 88-key controller [Re: grndthftzamboni] #2975213 02/12/19 01:19 AM
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Tom Williams Offline
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Originally Posted By: grndthftzamboni
...and I see Tom beat me to the punch and posted on the Hammer before I hit submit. smile
I prefer to think of it as a nice example of synchronicity, like Newton and Liebnitz both inventing the Calculus.


-Tom Williams
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Re: 88-key controller [Re: Math&Music] #2975217 02/12/19 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted By: Math&Music
Yes, good catch. I did mean the SL88 Studio, but somehow gave the SL88 Grand cost!


From the reviews I’ve read the Grand is much better.


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Re: 88-key controller [Re: Synthaholic] #2975238 02/12/19 03:12 AM
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drawback Offline
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I went with “almost” as good action for less weight and price. The SL88 Studio has a nice touch, not too heavy. I like the sticks and the overall quality of the build. However, I find the minimalist user interface clunky and a bit confounding on the fly. I think I would have been happier with more tactile dashboard knobs and sliders, like an Arturia.


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Ravenscroft | Neo-Soul Keys Studio 2 | Acoustic Samples V-Tines | iSymphonic | Pure Synth Platinum | iFretless | Module Pro |
Re: 88-key controller [Re: drawback] #2975239 02/12/19 03:17 AM
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J. Dead Offline
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What about something used and a bit older...Roland A90 or something that era.


Dan

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Re: 88-key controller [Re: drawback] #2975241 02/12/19 03:46 AM
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I have a Numa Stage which has the same Fatar TP/100LR action as the SL 88 Studio. I really like the action mainly as a piano player. As someone mentioned a Casio Privia would be a good option, too if you gig sometimes without your Kronos or any other sound source and if you just need piano and a few other sounds.

Re: 88-key controller [Re: J. Dead] #2975242 02/12/19 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted By: J. Dan
What about something used and a bit older...Roland A90 or something that era.


60lb 4oz


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People only say "It's a free country" when they're doing something shitty-Demetri Martin
Re: 88-key controller [Re: Synthaholic] #2975259 02/12/19 09:07 AM
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In the 25lb range, you've kind of got two options:
1. Casio, Yamaha, Kawai entry-level slab pianos
2. TP/100-based boards
Some people love their TP/100s - in which case SL88 Studio is a good recommendation. I couldn't get on with it - tried it in the SL73, an Electro, and a number of other boards.

I apologise for the fact that I can't remember which of Casio's new line-up (2x PX and 2x CDP) has an expression pedal input. But the nice thing about the Kronos is that it can act as a (class-compliant) USB MIDI host, so you don't need 5-pin MIDI on your controller. Which is lucky if you pick one of these Casios, which are USB only.

If you choose a controller without expression pedal, you can fill the gap either by using a MIDI Solutions box, or potentially with a USB-equipped expression pedal. DISCLAIMER - I don't know how the Kronos will behave when using either:
- A USB controller, together with an expression pedal via MIDI Solutions box connetted on 5-pin MIDI.
- A USB expression pedal together with a controller connected on 5-pin MIDI
- A USB expression pedal, and a USB controller, both connected via a hub to the Kronos.

Connecting a MIDI Solutions box in-line between a 5-pin MIDI Controller and the Kronos 5-pin MIDI In will work.

Cheers, Mike.

Last edited by stoken6; 02/12/19 09:08 AM.

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Re: 88-key controller [Re: stoken6] #2975276 02/12/19 11:04 AM
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richforman Offline OP
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The Hammer-88 sounded like an obvious choice too but the SL88's 31 lbs. sounds a lot more enticing than that one's 38. Thanks very much guys.


Rich Forman
Yamaha MOXF8, Korg Kronos 2-61, Roland Fantom X7, Ferrofish B4000+ organ module, Roland VR-09, EV ZLX12P, K&M Spider Pro stand,
Yamaha S80, Korg Trinity Plus

Re: 88-key controller [Re: richforman] #2975325 02/12/19 02:34 PM
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THE SL88 STUDIO


It's a great piece for the money. I sold mine quikly though because while it feels like a REally Great Rhodes keybed....it feels like a rhodes keybed.

Solidly built, SO EASY to program, I can't criticize it. It's just that I wanted a Les Paul, and it was more of a Tele.

Last edited by Tonysounds; 02/12/19 02:35 PM.

Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
Re: 88-key controller [Re: Tonysounds] #2975327 02/12/19 02:40 PM
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drawback Offline
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Originally Posted By: Tonysounds
THE SL88 STUDIO


It's a great piece for the money. I sold mine quikly though because while it feels like a REally Great Rhodes keybed....it feels like a rhodes keybed.

Solidly built, SO EASY to program, I can't criticize it. It's just that I wanted a Les Paul, and it was more of a Tele.


What have you replaced it with?


1977 Kawai KG2C | Mojo61 A+B | Quicco Mi.1 | iOS / MacOS
Ravenscroft | Neo-Soul Keys Studio 2 | Acoustic Samples V-Tines | iSymphonic | Pure Synth Platinum | iFretless | Module Pro |
Re: 88-key controller [Re: drawback] #2975340 02/12/19 03:30 PM
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richforman Offline OP
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Hmm, I wonder if I'd be able to play one at Sam Ash or Guitar Center. I'll look into it. Just reading the specs, the programmable options for how heavy/light you can make the action sounded promising.


Rich Forman
Yamaha MOXF8, Korg Kronos 2-61, Roland Fantom X7, Ferrofish B4000+ organ module, Roland VR-09, EV ZLX12P, K&M Spider Pro stand,
Yamaha S80, Korg Trinity Plus

Re: 88-key controller [Re: richforman] #2975348 02/12/19 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted By: Tonysounds
It's a great piece for the money. I sold mine quikly though because while it feels like a REally Great Rhodes keybed....it feels like a rhodes keybed.

Solidly built, SO EASY to program, I can't criticize it. It's just that I wanted a Les Paul, and it was more of a Tele.

Good analogy, and would also explain how people seem so happy with it in the Crumar Seven.

Originally Posted By: richforman
the programmable options for how heavy/light you can make the action sounded promising.

Altering the response still can't alter how the board actually physically feels. But I have felt actions that seemed better when playing their sounds than they did when playing the action with the power off, so I wouldn't entirely dismiss the ability for proper programming to make a fair action feel better. Though I'd be surprised if a user-adjustment on a soundless controller could do that anywhere near as well as a manufacturer customizing their own sample set to be played on a particular action. I guess it depend on how much they give you in the way of control, and your own ability to make the best use of those controls. On of interesting things about the VPC1 is tat they came up with customized curves tailored to different VST pianos.


Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our new video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out!
Re: 88-key controller [Re: AnotherScott] #2975351 02/12/19 04:07 PM
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Everytime I look at getting a new 88 controller, I circle back to my trusty Casio PX5S.

25 lbs, and the 4 zones, sliders, and knobs make it a great match for my Mainstage and Gig Performer rig.

It can also send via USB and DIN at the same time, and that is even configurable per zone within a stage setting.


David
Gig Rig: Casio PX-S3000 | Yamaha MODX6 | Mac Mini |

Re: 88-key controller [Re: EscapeRocks] #2975357 02/12/19 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted By: EscapeRocks
Everytime I look at getting a new 88 controller, I circle back to my trusty Casio PX5S.

25 lbs, and the 4 zones, sliders, and knobs make it a great match for my Mainstage and Gig Performer rig.

It can also send via USB and DIN at the same time, and that is even configurable per zone within a stage setting.

The lack of an expression pedal input was the kiss of death for me. I would have gotten it at the time. Truthfully I didn't love the feel either, but thought I could adjust.


Yamaha P515, Yamaha KX88, Edirol PCR-800 (2), Korg microKey 61 Air, Mainstage, iOS, assorted other controllers and retired boards.
Re: 88-key controller [Re: Bobby Simons] #2975358 02/12/19 04:49 PM
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richforman Offline OP
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Same here Bobby, expression pedal input like I said is one of my criteria.


Rich Forman
Yamaha MOXF8, Korg Kronos 2-61, Roland Fantom X7, Ferrofish B4000+ organ module, Roland VR-09, EV ZLX12P, K&M Spider Pro stand,
Yamaha S80, Korg Trinity Plus

Re: 88-key controller [Re: stoken6] #2975360 02/12/19 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted By: EscapeRocks
Everytime I look at getting a new 88 controller, I circle back to my trusty Casio PX5S.

Yes, at its price and weight, PX5S is hard to beat, even if you don't intend to use any of its sounds. Adding the expression pedal can be tricky if your sound source isn't a computer, but Kronos happens to be one of the few boards where it should be easy...

Originally Posted By: stoken6
But the nice thing about the Kronos is that it can act as a (class-compliant) USB MIDI host, so you don't need 5-pin MIDI on your controller. Which is lucky if you pick one of these Casios, which are USB only.

...and it also means you should be able to add pedals, if necessary, with one of these:

https://www.audiofront.net/MIDIExpression.php


Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our new video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out!
Re: 88-key controller [Re: AnotherScott] #2975363 02/12/19 05:07 PM
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The new Casio PX-S3000 has an expression pedal input

Casio Privia PX-S3000 88-key Stage Piano Features:
NEW Slim Chassis
Intuitive touch-panel control surface
NEW weighted hammer action with escapement
NEW AiR sound engine
NEW String/Damper Resonance
NEW Piano Nuances (pedal and keyboard mechanical noises)
700 Tones; 200 Rhythms
Expression pedal input
192-note polyphony
Chordana Play app
NEW Optional stand available separately
NEW Optional 3-pedal unit available separately
NEW Battery power option
Includes SP-3 pedal and power supply

Re: 88-key controller [Re: Bobby Simons] #2975366 02/12/19 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted By: Bobby Simons
Originally Posted By: EscapeRocks
Everytime I look at getting a new 88 controller, I circle back to my trusty Casio PX5S.

25 lbs, and the 4 zones, sliders, and knobs make it a great match for my Mainstage and Gig Performer rig.

It can also send via USB and DIN at the same time, and that is even configurable per zone within a stage setting.

The lack of an expression pedal input was the kiss of death for me. I would have gotten it at the time. Truthfully I didn't love the feel either, but thought I could adjust.


Well in my gig rig, I use an 88 (PX5S) and a 61 (Komplete Kontrol or Fantom X6), or whatever 61 board sitting around I feel like that day.
Since everything goes thru Mainstage or Gig performer, lack of exp on the PX5S means nothing smile


David
Gig Rig: Casio PX-S3000 | Yamaha MODX6 | Mac Mini |

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