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stupid small keyboard question froma guitar player


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So I might be singing for a band with a guitarist, and I thought that it might add a little to what they do if I could add the odd key part (and if I'm plauing it, it WILL be odd)here and there.

 

What I have in mind is a small, light keyboard, and the only sounds that concern me are piano and organ, and I'm not too demanding about that. I don't need a large number of octaves, and I don't care about any bells or whistles beyond just having a couple of okay sounds in a light and portable package.

 

I have a DX-7 and a laptop, so I could always use the DX as a controller and load up a sound library into the laptop. I'm thinking smaller, lighter, single box solution.

 

Any ideas?

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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What I have in mind is a small, light keyboard, and the only sounds that concern me are piano and organ, and I'm not too demanding about that.

 

There are 100's of GREAT boards classified as "portable keyboards" on the market today, with unbelievable capacity.

 

I've spent thousands of dollars on keyboard gear and when I sit down to play these portable keyboards, im shocked to see what they have to offer. Both in sound and function. Like the yamaha psr series, which offers different cost levels.

 

Consider these under $400ish keyboards as a solution. And beware you are asking a room full psyco gearheads... so hold on tight

-Greg

Motif XS8, MOXF8, Hammond XK1c, Vent

Rhodes Mark II 88 suitcase, Yamaha P255

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There are 100's of GREAT boards classified as "portable keyboards" on the market today, with unbelievable capacity.

 

Consider these under $400ish keyboards as a solution. And beware you are asking a room full psyco gearheads... so hold on tight

:snax:
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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Hey Bill:

 

The DX7-as-controller idea's not bad, but will require a MIDI interface and an audio interface (either USB or FW). More parts to hook up, probably more money for the interfaces and sound library, but perhaps an advantage in flexibility (maybe a significant one).

 

The portable keyboard route isn't a bad idea either, I was astounded at the latest Casio units I played (not their digital piano offerings - their Costco-level entertainment boards), but the question of audio output varies per unit.

 

Otherwise, a used 61-key version of any of the older gen (the version just updated) Korg/Roland/Yamaha Triton-Fantom-Motif boards would provide more than this gig demands, but could be had used off craigslist for a deep discount. For instance, SF Bay Area CL currently has a Triton 61 for $750, Fantom X6 for $950 and a MM6 for $250.

..
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The portable keyboard route isn't a bad idea either, I was astounded at the latest Casio units I played (not their digital piano offerings - their Costco-level entertainment boards), but the question of audio output varies per unit.

 

This is actually not a bad idea. Depending on what you're going for, the organs and pianos in these consumer level $150 boards actually aren't that horrible. You could do worse.

 

But for extreme portability, you might consider a laptop and a small 24 key controller. This is truly a backpackable solution, and although multi component, it's the smallest and (at least for me) would be the easiest solution. Again that would all fit into a backpack.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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Bill, do you have a keyboard amp? I am guessing you already know that a guitar amp does not work well for keyboards, but I thought I should bring this up just to be sure.

 

It is possible you could just plug into the main mixing board for your band, but in our band we don't send the keyboard sounds through our stage monitors, since it tends to drown out the vocals, and if you try to do this anyway and keep the keyboard volume low in the monitors, then you probably will not hear yourself well enough.

 

So, if you do not have a keyboard amp, you probably will need to get one (or some here prefer powered speakers).

 

By the way, I think it's a great idea for you to branch out with the keyboard, since there are songs that just cry out for a simple piano or organ part, and you can add alot to your band that way. This is what I did in the covers band that I play in.

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"It is possible you could just plug into the main mixing board for your band, but in our band we don't send the keyboard sounds through our stage monitors..."

 

I would never even consider it. Yes, I have a small Roland that will fit the bill for all we might need.

 

The DX is too heavy, and I don't want to get so complex as to be dragging a laptop, and I don't want to care too much if someone steals it. Thanks for the ideas, guys. There are some possibilities here.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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"You never specified budget..."

 

Indeed. Because I have no idea of the cost of something like this, and I believe that it is bad practice to say something like "I want a 1957 Gibson Les Paul for $500..." I'm looking at the suggestions, and I'll look at the products and pick one appropriate to the job and then I'll either be able to aford it today, or I'll have to save a little. I'm not adverse to a little delayed gratification in order to get the right tool for the job.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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One thing to remember about using a DX-7 as a controller: it only sends MIDI on channel 1. At least that's what mine did IIRC.
Instrumentation is meaningless - a song either stands on its own merit, or it requires bells and whistles to cover its lack of adequacy, much less quality. - kanker
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There's a Kurzweil KME-61 on EBay currently - low price, same core sound set as the PC2 or ME1 (the KME61 functionally is a ME1 built into a 61key synth type keyboard).

Some pretty decent piano, Rhodes, Wurly, bass, clavs, and other sounds - especially in the $300 or so range.

 

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Jim

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I'll second the suggestion that you find a used Nord Electro 61-key. The NE1 or NE2 should be fairly cheap used now that the NE3 is out. IIRC, the NE1 is actually software-upgradeable to the NE2, although I'm not positive about that.

 

People on this forum complain about the NE pianos all the time, but in reality they are not that bad. Certainly comparable to the cheap consumer-grade keyboards. And of course the electric pianos, clavinets, and organs on the NE are absolutely stellar - first-rate stuff.

 

Plus, it's very light, small and portable.

 

I am a completely biased source, however. I gig with a NE2 frequently, and I love it.

 

--Dave

 

Make my funk the P-funk.

I wants to get funked up.

 

My Funk/Jam originals project: http://www.thefunkery.com/

 

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the NE1 is actually software-upgradeable to the NE2, although I'm not positive about that.
Be positive - it is.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Sorry, I'm a bit late on this thread - I've been out for a few days.

 

Anyway, for what you are describing, I'd even go older used than what some have listed. I'd go as far back as Roland JV-30 or something like that (though the organs aren't great - no leslie). For a much better sound and not a whole lot of money, consider a Korg Triton Classic or something from that era. Even a Roland XP-50 would probably be sufficient. I'm thinking you could get something that would meet your needs in the $400-$600 range, unless you're really picky about the quality of the pianos and organs, as well as the leslie effects, then just go Nord Electro and be done.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Well one really simple solution if you're going to have the laptop on stage is just use an old fasioned battery operated "keytar" to control some soft synth on the laptop. Cost $50-100.
There are 10 kinds of people in the world...those who can read binary, and those who can't.
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Well one really simple solution if you're going to have the laptop on stage is just use an old fasioned battery operated "keytar" to control some soft synth on the laptop. Cost $50-100.

 

Have you priced keytars lately? Multiply that estimate x10 at least. Standard MIDI controllers are way cheaper.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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