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Keyboards and Virtual Instruments - Best of Decade


Geoff Grace

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Off the top of my head:

 

Roland RD-700GX & RD300GX

Omnisphere

Ableton Live

Garageband

Nord Electro 2

Stylus RMX

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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Just thinking of what seems to be used widely and heralded. Perhaps:

 

Ivory

Voyager

Motif

Logic

Virus

 

+1 for GB and Electro. Steinway doesn't get a nod?

 

Suggest a special category for Roland KC series amps...not sure what to call that category though.

 

..
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For me,

 

Hardware:

 

Motif ES for complete workstation with expansive soundset and arps

Nord Electro 2 for simplicity, weight and in your face sound

PC3 personal bias, but expanded vast, studio quality effects and best hardware strings and orchestral sounds ever

V-Synth XT sound design power, innovative elastic audio technology, and ease of programming

Oasys pricey, but it's as powerful as it gets

RD-700 GX if only for the action and piano samples

Prophet 08 for return to analog

Muse Receptor better hardware alternative than Macbook, plus interface

 

Software

 

Ivory best piano sample library

Kontakt industry standard sample playback. Nothing touches it IMO

Mainstage makes using plug-ins live much more flexible and customized

Scarbee, best EP samples imo

Vienna Symphonic Library for me the only thing that could replace PC3 strings.

Omnisphere, do i really need to justify?

Ian Benhamou

Keyboards/Guitar/Vocals

 

[url:https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTheMusicalBox/]The Musical Box[/url]

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Hardware-Motif and OASYS. While the latter was really up my alley as a self-contained workstation, it was still a Korg.

 

Software--Native Instruments Battery totally replaced the need to sample drum sounds.

 

Thankfully, I've already got 2 of 3. No GAS for me. :laugh::cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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+10 for Logic! Its insanely great value has completely changed what musos expect from, and will pay for, a DAW.
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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VIRTUAL INSTRUMENTS

 

Piano: Ivory, QL Pianos and Garritan Steinway tie for me. All beautifully executed. Honorable mention goes to Digidesign's MiniGrand which comes with Protools 8--by far the best "free" piano included with any DAW.

EPs: Scarbee and Velvet. Scarbee wins on detail. Digidesign's Velvet is an exceptional mating of physical modeling with sampling to give you highly customizable EPs that are still sonically accurate.

B3: GSi VB3. Inexpensive and sounds great.

General purpose synth: Spectrasonic Omnisphere. Loaded with tons of marvelous presets that are very usable in forward looking music. Honorable mention to Digidesign Xpand 2 which is included with Protools 8.

Virtual Analog: There are SO many worthy candidates in this category. My favorite for pulling up ballsy sounds with little effort is Slyenth1.

Orchestral: Vienna Symphonic Library. Fabulously detailed libraries or every imaginable orchestral sound. Their legato mode remains unrivaled.

Drum Loops: Spectrasonic Stylus RMX.

Drum Libraries: While I have more detailed libraries I tend to pull up EzDrummer when the need arises. DrumCore and BFD2 are both excellent though.

Solo Saxophone: Sample Modeling Mr Sax T, A, B

Solo Trumpet: Sample Modeling The Trumpet

Bass: The Scarbee Basses and Spectrasonic Trillium.

Guitars: Musiclab RealGuitar and RealStrat are outstanding for recreating strumming and other guitar techniques.

Sampler: Native Instruments Kontakt 4.0.

FM: Native Instruments FM8

Synth Creation Platform: Native Instruments Reaktor

 

HARDWARE

 

As I tend to use hardware as a controller I don't have huge favorites sonically speaking. The Korg OASYS is hardware synth of the decade for me with honorable mention to the original Roland V-Synth.

 

Busch.

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Soft synths: Arturia Minimoog, Spectrasonics (Stylus, Trilogy, Atmosphere and Omnisphere); Garritan and VSL

 

Hardware: Yamaha Motif series, Moog Voyager, DSI Evolver and Prophet 08, Roland 700GX and V-Synth G/XT, the Nords...

Yamaha (Motif XS7, Motif 6, TX81Z), Korg (R3, Triton-R), Roland (XP-30, D-50, Juno 6, P-330). Novation A Station, Arturia Analog Experience Factory 32

 

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Guitars: Musiclab RealGuitar and RealStrat are outstanding for recreating strumming and other guitar techniques.

 

Oh yeah, line6 PODs were also huge for this decade. Software versions of it as well.

-Greg

Motif XS8, MOXF8, Hammond XK1c, Vent

Rhodes Mark II 88 suitcase, Yamaha P255

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For me, here are a few of my favorites:

 

Hardware

 

Yamaha Motif XS

Moog Voyager

Moog Little Phatty

DSI Poly Evolver

Synthesizers.com modular

 

Software

 

Scarbee Vintage Keyboard Collection

Ivory

Ableton Live

Propellerhead Reason

Knabe baby grand, Hammond A100, Leslie 251, Wurlitzer 200A, Clavinet C, Minimoog Model D, Synthesizers.com modular, Sequential Prophet 6, GSI DMC-122 and Gemini module, Kurzweil PC3-X
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With fewer than four weeks remaining in the '00s, this is a good time to discuss and review the best keyboards and virtual instruments of the decade.

 

Please share your opinions and insights below. :thu:

 

Best,

 

Geoff

 

I thought we had another year to go! The 2000s starting with 2001 (no year 0 in the Gregorian Calendar; no starting a month with day 0 and all that). Years are ordinal, not cardinal? USNO

Unless you are using the Common Era calendar?

I know, I obsess! It's a sticking point with me. :D Hi Geoff! :wave:

 

But for hardware I'd have to submit the DSI Prophet 08 as a contender. Software.... hmm... Omnisphere? Toughie with so many great products out there.

"The devil take the poets who dare to sing the pleasures of an artist's life." - Gottschalk

 

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Aethellis

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I know, I thought the same thing at first. But since he said the "00's" I don't think 10 needs to be be included.

 

Would you include 1980 if someone said the 70's?

-Greg

Motif XS8, MOXF8, Hammond XK1c, Vent

Rhodes Mark II 88 suitcase, Yamaha P255

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Hardware: Oasys, M3, Motifs, PC3, Hammonds, Nords

Software: Spectrasonics, Scarbee, Native Instruments, Korg Legacy

 

Kronos 88 | MODX7 | Wavestate | Crave | KeyLab 61 | CPS SSv3 | MacBook Pro | MainStage | Komplete 13U | V Collection 9

Behringer Poly-D | ASM Hydrasynth Deluxe | Roli Seaboard Rise 49 |  Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2, Trillian, & Keyscape | AAS Collection

More VSTs than I'll ever figure out

 

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I know, I thought the same thing at first. But since he said the "00's" I don't think 10 needs to be be included.

 

Would you include 1980 if someone said the 70's?

I thought we had another year to go! The 2000s starting with 2001 (no year 0 in the Gregorian Calendar; no starting a month with day 0 and all that). Years are ordinal, not cardinal? USNO

Unless you are using the Common Era calendar?

I know, I obsess! It's a sticking point with me. :D Hi Geoff! :wave:

 

But for hardware I'd have to submit the DSI Prophet 08 as a contender. Software.... hmm... Omnisphere? Toughie with so many great products out there.

Hi backatcha, Bosendorphin. :cool:

 

I wondered if someone was going to bring that up; and of course, technically speaking, you're right. But culturally speaking, I have to agree with Mogut. When we refer to the '70s, we mean 1970-1979. We think of the '80s as 1980-1989, and so on.

 

Of course, a lot of what we think of as the sixties actually began with JFK's assassination (1963) and ended with Richard Nixon's resignation (1974); but that's another ball of wax. ;)

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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Of course, a lot of what we think of as the sixties actually began with JFK's assassination (1963) and ended with Richard Nixon's resignation (1974); but that's another ball of wax.
Yeah, and if you watch TV or movies from the early 80s or early 90s, they look like they're wearing the hair and clothes we usually associate with the previous decade. It's all pretty silly, really. It's a continuum.

"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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Oh I know, it really is a continuum. And yeah, it's hard to think of 1980 being part of the 70s, etc. It's my "anal-lytical" versus mass culture issue. My internal battle that will rage within me until 2011 when all the decade talk is forgotten. ;)

"The devil take the poets who dare to sing the pleasures of an artist's life." - Gottschalk

 

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Aethellis

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Hardware: Yamaha Motif series, culminating in the XS. For sound quality, market domination and stage cred I don't know of anything else that matches it. It's everywhere and it deserves to be.

 

Controller: Novation X-Station. The best Swiss-Army knife synth/controller combo. It's a great VA, USB audio interface and softsynth controller with real-world names on the functions and auto-mapping features for most major software. Add laptop, a mic and Reason/Record you have a studio to go. Good choice for newbies.

 

Software: Reason. From V1.0 to the current versions, Reason has set standards (ReWire) and spawned cottage industries (Refills) while creating a virtual studio environment that even old-school musos like myself feel comfortable working in.

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