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Need keyboard recommendations for studio/stage
#3021721 01/02/20 02:31 PM
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Hi,

I am a guitar player and songwrite/producer looking to seriously learn to play keys/piano. I use Ableton Live and want a keyboard to expand my knowledge and options when composing. I want to buy a good keyboard for the next 5-10 years as I am fully committed student. My plan is to dedicate 1-2 hours daily to learn the piano/ keys and get a tool to help me for a long time.

I have done some research during the past week and been unable to decide on weather I want a stage or workstation. As I use Ableton I don´t want to pay for technology I won't use.

Mi objective sounds: organs, synths and piano of artists like Pink Floyd, Peter Tosh, , Leonard Cohen's The Future , Vangelis's Blade Runner and R&B, Jazz/Blues. Not interested in great orchestal samples or identical classical piano samples.

I want a keyboard with the following characteristics:

- 61/76 keys keyboard (due to space and transport preferences)
- portable
-Good action, velocity sensible and quality, semi weighted keys
- Good soundbank related to the references above.
- For live use: a keyboard able to store and easily use presets during live performances.
- For studio use: Posibillity of editing sounds and combining them to create a preset and record basic structures.
- MIDI controller usability
- Without speakers, drum machines
- Good effects
- Split keyboard capabilities

BUDGET: USD 1000 aprox

I've been looking at the following models but I don't know if there are some cheaper options that meet my requeriments. Somehow I ended reviwing just workstation, mainly because those are popular on the internet. I want to buy usedadn don't mind buying an older model. My option at the moment are:

KOrg KRoss 2 61

KOrg Krome 61/73

ROland XPS30

ROland Juno DS 61/73

Yamaha MX6

ROLAND FANTOM X7

Older NORD STage model ( which I haven't fpund yet below the 1000 bar)


I am willing to invest in a more expensive keyboard if you think that the sound quality and features could be found in keyboard cheaper that the ones I mentioned.

Thank YOU!

Keyboard Corner Island
Re: Need keyboard recommendations for studio/stage
Agustin #3021734 01/02/20 03:33 PM
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Hi,

I believe your budget is too low for a serious studio keyboard. If you take out the studio requirement, or if it's only for demos, it can work, but I believe studio work calls for top notch sounds, especially nowadays with everybody using the latest VSTs all the time.
If you used plugins to get most of the sounds for recording that's OK but then the keyboard matters little.


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Current: Jazz, funk, rock, pop, Christian worship, BebHop
Wishlist: 80s-ish (synth)pop, symphonic pop, prog rock, fusion, musical theatre
Gear: NS2 + JUNO-G

Re: Need keyboard recommendations for studio/stage
Agustin #3021743 01/02/20 04:05 PM
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Summarizing and picking up from my answer to you where you posted a version of this elsewhere... for a portable piano+organ+synth up to about $1,000 new or used...

Roland VR09 (or VR730 for more keys and better action). Add iPad for good synth editability.

Numa Compact 2X gets you better MIDI functionality and better on-board synth editing than VR09/VR730 (and better action than VR09 at least), and is still very portable despite its 88 keys. But you'll have to scroll to recall presets (Roland at least lets you use buttons for the first 16), and I give the Roland the edge for organ and synth sounds (esp. since the Numa lacks monophonic/portamento synth making it weaker for lead work). But you can add an iPad to the Numa and still be roughly in budget, and that can get you stronger organ and synth sounds that can still be controlled by the Numa's sliders. Bonus for the Numa having aftertouch.

Casio XW-P1 has probably better MIDI functionality and on-board synth editing than even the Numa Compact 2X, as well as better live patch recall function, and it's cheaper. Synth is stronger on the Casio, piano and organ are stronger on the Numa, but again, you can add an iPad for piano and organ, and the Casio even has a convenient place to put the iPad. Bonus for the Casio having 4-sound split/layer, compared to 2-sound on the Roland and Numa.

An original Nord Stage or Stage EX would be ideal, but will be hard to find in budget.

The workstation style boards you listed are generally less desirable for the task at hand. The organs are only sampled, with no drawbar control. Synth sounds are also strictly sample-based, and there is generally minimal real-time control. They are deeper when it comes to things like the orchestral sounds and multi-timbral sequencing, but you don't seem to be looking for that.


Last edited by AnotherScott; 01/02/20 04:15 PM.

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: Need keyboard recommendations for studio/stage
Agustin #3021751 01/02/20 05:14 PM
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Scott's suggestions are spot-on. I also thought of a secondhand Kurzweil PC3/PC3LE (Rick Wright and Jon Carin use/d Kurzweil with Pink Floyd).

Keep looking for a Nord Stage Classic - I eventually found a 76 hammer-action at £800 (c. $1000US), so a compact 73 (with the waterfall action) should be in the right budget. They are rare, but they do exist, and they hold their value. (I've just checked, and there's one for sale in Bristol in the UK at £800 on Gumtree - UK's Craigslist).

Also be careful what you mean by "semi-weighted". There are really two types of actions: hammer-action ("gravity return") and sprung-return. Weights can be added to either for a more substantial feel. Some manufacturers refer to a sprung-return action with weights as "semi-weighted". It's a little meaningless.

Cheers, Mike.


AX48.PM351.FC7.VFP2
One or two keyboards.
Re: Need keyboard recommendations for studio/stage
marczellm #3021762 01/02/20 06:18 PM
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Thanks for the reply! I will wait and buy somethign better.

Re: Need keyboard recommendations for studio/stage
AnotherScott #3021763 01/02/20 06:24 PM
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Thanks for the reply!. I will follow your advice and bet for one of your options waiting a good offer for a Nord Stage Classic or Ex. How is the sound editing in those models?

I will also look into the Kurzweil PC3/PC3LE.


I've been looking up the Numa Compact 2x but it seems that the action is not very good compared to the other options you mentioned, is there an option to add and edit sound for the Numa in the PC?

Re: Need keyboard recommendations for studio/stage
Agustin #3021828 01/03/20 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Agustin
is there an option to add and edit sound for the Numa in the PC?

No.

Kurzweils are nice too, anything in the PC3 series, or Artis, or the newer SP6 and PC4, are above average piano/organ/synth boards. Synth editing can be complicated on them, though.


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!

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