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I think my sounds are inadequate . . .


b_3guy

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For the last six years I've running with a Roland RD-300SX & a Hammond clone. Been reasonably happy. I added a Mopho for some better analog leads, but that's been it. Meat & potatoes sounds were all I needed. The last band I was playing with I felt the need for more sounds, so I started bringing along my MS-2000. It was great, just getting a bit annoying in the humping more gear department but I felt like I had everything covered. Got a new band going. These guys seemed to be doing a lot of stuff in the 80's vein. Went to one rehearsal with my XK-3C & Rd-300SX, hardly used the Hammond at all. So I'm thinking it's time for a new board. Something to replace or add to the RD-300SX that will give me 80's type sounds right out of the sound set. Without editing. I've become used to the lightness of the RD-300SX, it has to be around 40 lbs. or less, weighted keys, if I replace the RD-300SX & be less than $2000. The MO8 is what I'm thinking. What's everyone else's thoughts?

Steve

 

www.seagullphotodesign.com

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The MO8 is what I'm thinking. What's everyone else's thoughts?

 

I'd recommend you check out:

 

Yamaha MOX

Korg M50

Kurzweil PC3LE

 

You can either get the 88-key versions of each, which will conform to your weight and dollar budget, or you can get the 61-or 76-key version and supplement your RD, your choice.

 

You might find the Korg has more of an 80's vibe to the sounds, but both can do the job.

 

Note that you will need to do some programming here (or purchase aftermarket patches), there's not much that has an 80's theme to the presets at that price point.

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The idea that you need keyboards that are 30 years old to play 80's music is kind of funny.

 

There are a lot of good do it all type of boards for under 2k. The new MOX8 would be a prime candidate. If you don't play much organ and need more synth stuff, the Yamaha boards cover all those bases easily. Roland, Kurz, Korg, they all have similar products though their weighted action boards are usually more expensive and not 40lbs.

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The idea that you need keyboards that are 30 years old to play 80's music is kind of funny.

 

....

 

I can fix you guys up :laugh: .... except I STILL really like my D-50. But the TX-7 and TX-81Z and SQ-1 I don't really have much use for any more. Oh I have CZ-1 I would give that away. I need the space. I might pawn some stuff just to get rid of it.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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I play a lot of 70s/80s stuff. I am using a Kronos 61 and a Motif Rack XS with voices from various commercial libraries (80s pop/rock soundsets 1 & 2 and Vintage Keys -- both purchased from Motifator.com).

 

My advice would be to at least look into a Motif ES, Motif XS or MOX.

Korg Kronos 61 (2); Kurzweil PC4, Casio PX-350M; 2015 Macbook Pro and 2012 Mac Mini (Logic Pro X and Mainstage), GigPerformer 4.

 

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Something to replace or add to the RD-300SX that will give me 80's type sounds right out of the sound set.

For an 80s band I'd add to it rather than replace it. But I would replace the XK3 -C with a VA on top. My fav VA's (because of their quality five octave keyboards) are the V-Synth (which I own and love) and Virus Kb or Kc.

 

Both are easy to program if you know anything about synths. The V-Synth doesn't have a lot of 80s sounds preloaded and doesn't do splits, so a Virus may be a better fit for you. You'd have to pick one up used to fit your budget.

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and not 40lbs.

right... that Kurz PC3LE8 is 54 lb, even that Korg M50 is about 46

 

I agree with the suggestions for the MOX8 though... you can hear samples of those add-on packs at motifator.com, too... if that does the trick, it's light, flexible, and well priced

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Sampled sounds don't need to be of the greatest quality for most 80's stuff, but VA is essential, IMO. Even for a lot of string and brass sounds, I just go straight to the VA engine in my Fusion rather than mess with samples. With the release of the Kronos, I don't know what the M3 prices are doing, but an M3 with Radius expansion would be good. Or for 2 boards, a very basic older ROMpler and a separate VA board would work. Of course Kurz has some options as well.

 

You WILL need to program if you want to nail the sounds...but that's part of the fun!

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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I have racked up a lot of mileage out of my MO8, and it's no toy by any means, nor is it as fancy as an XS. You can tweak the sounds to your heart's content, and the action is good, while the 64 polyphony hasn't been an issue so far. If I were you, I would take some time to actually play some of the various boards mentioned so far, or look up the many youtube demos, since your ears should be able to convince you on your final choice :).

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The idea that you need keyboards that are 30 years old to play 80's music is kind of funny.

 

....

 

I can fix you guys up :laugh: .... except I STILL really like my D-50. But the TX-7 and TX-81Z and SQ-1 I don't really have much use for any more. Oh I have CZ-1 I would give that away. I need the space. I might pawn some stuff just to get rid of it.

 

I'll take that CZ-1 off your hands...that's a pretty cool board. I have a CZ-101 but it's pretty banged up.

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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I'm up the road from you on I-55. I'm in Springfield IL.

 

I have not turned the keyboard on in years. I will never use it again. I think last time I used it I used the headphone jack because the normal lineout jack lost output power. It still sent signal but was weak.

 

But the synth worked. I liked it. It was kind of like FM synthesis but it was laid out in a way I understood how to program it.

 

PM me about hooking up.

 

 

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Seems like if the RD has a good FM piano and you can program a bit on the Korg, you'd be set for most 80's stuff. You're probably not going to find a better acoustic piano in a replacement at your budget and weight requirements. If one of those can budge, you'd be better off.

 

I'd either up the modules, Motif rack or another VA, or up your weight a bit and get some variation of an S-90. The S-90XS is listed at just under 50 lbs, and is a much more robust instrument than the MO......

A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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If the RD has a decent basic set of string and synth sounds you can use when you need to have more than the MS-2000 can cover, and you add the Mopho (or perhaps upgrade to a Tetra?) for leads and single line stuff, you're probably covered. It really depends on how many sounds you need to cover and what you can make do with from the RD. Seems like a few hours of experimentation should answer the question for you. If you can save the money, save the money. Otherwise, I'd seriously look at an S-90 of some sort. That will cover you, give you good acoustic pianos and EPs, and a really powerful synth that you can split and layer to cover more parts.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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Geez guys, thanks for all the help. I thought that there wouldn't be this many options. Could I cover most of these sounds with the RD-300SX & my Korg MS-2000?

Since you guys are just getting off the ground it's a good place to start, but if the band is into 80's pop there's so much synth in those songs that you're probably going to want more than a 3 1/2 octave keyboard with only 4 voices to cover the parts.

 

I'd advise against getting anything just yet. As you go along you'll get a better idea of what your needs are, how stable the band is, if there's any gigs materializing, etc. It's so tempting to buy new gear for a new project but it's always better to wait - as hard as that is to do.

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or perhaps upgrade to a Tetra?

 

What a coincidence. I got the local Long & MacQuade store to bring in a Tetra for me to try out. It arrived today. I'll go in tomorrow & try it out.

 

I had a chance to pick up a S-90 for $600 but I chickened out because of the 50 plus lbs.

 

I seem to be gravitating towards the MOX8, but the Korg M-50 is interesting as well.

 

My first gig with them is a week from Fri & I only know about 25-30% of the songs. . .

Steve

 

www.seagullphotodesign.com

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Since you guys are just getting off the ground it's a good place to start, but if the band is into 80's pop there's so much synth in those songs that you're probably going to want more than a 3 1/2 octave keyboard with only 4 voices to cover the parts.

 

I'd advise against getting anything just yet. As you go along you'll get a better idea of what your needs are, how stable the band is, if there's any gigs materializing, etc. It's so tempting to buy new gear for a new project but it's always better to wait - as hard as that is to do.

 

Some great advice. The band is reorganizing, so they are some what established. They were working as just a 4 piece, but the singer doesn't play anything but harp. Also he had a vocal chord paralysis scare, so the band was off for a bit. But they want get going in a bigger way & nobody is doing the 80's stuff here on a serious basis.

 

I'm trying to target something so I can work toward it. I agree as I learn the material, I'll know how much trouble I'm in.

Steve

 

www.seagullphotodesign.com

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Could I cover most of these sounds with the RD-300SX & my Korg MS-2000?

 

Yes.

 

Is the issue that you just want one keyboard to cover everything with splits?

 

Not one keyboard with splits. I guess I really don't know the capabilities of the 2 boards RD-300SX & the MS-2000 & thought I might have to buy something. I've played piano, ep, strings, horns, synth pad, & hand claps with the RD. The MS-2000 I only just started taking to gigs. Used it for misc analogue sounds, pads, synth horns. Billie Jean, I Kissed a Girl & I liked It, Girls Just want to have Fun, etc. That would be cool to do the gig with these 2 boards & add a Mopho/Tetra/controller.

Steve

 

www.seagullphotodesign.com

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I'm not very familiar with the RD, but I would think that and the MS2000 would cover the bulk of your needs. FWIW, my opinion of sounds needed for 80s pop:

 

1) piano sounds are usually crappy because they eq'd them bright and loaded them up with effects. I can count the number of songs we do with piano on one hand and none of the originals had sounds most of us would consider a good piano.

2) organ - there's a fair amount, but most of it is sort of background with no drawbar manipulation, but toggling Leslie speed during performance is a necessity. About half the organ sounds aren't organ at all, but organ-like synth patches, which I do with VA.

3) strings are almost always synth string pads. Good sample libraries didn't exist and nobody played with string sections. Most romplers have good enough patches that you can use them, but VA offers more ability to dial them in exactly.

3) brass ranges from realistic to totally synth. Some bands DID have horn sections, so for that, some decent brass patches are needed. For the synth brass, VA is more of a necessity as there is a heck of a lot of variation in what's out there.

4) saw/square/PWM synth sounds: Lots of these. For me, stock patches just don't cut it. You can't do PWM, you can't do osc hard sync. Most workstation sawtooth patches overly emphasize certain things or seemed designed for soloing. It's hard to find a good plain vanilla saw - like Jump, or Working for the weekend. VA is best for this stuff.

5) FM stuff - I'll lump these together, but we're talking bell-like tones, some EP's, pretty much all this stuff should ve available in presets on modern synths.

6) samples. Sampling time was short back then, but there was use of sound effects - which is mostly how I use my sampling - single shot sound fx type stuff: a gun shot (wild west), an orch hit, a laugh (hungry like the wolf). You can get by without this - some factory samples are close enough to get the idea across, but it's nice to have.

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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Thanks for chiming in Dan. I think of you as the resident '80's expert. I was telling the guys in the new band, we should think in terms of wigs & outfits like you guys wear. You are guys are a great band & it shows. You're booked well into next year.

 

Great advise from you & the rest of the guys. This place is the greatest!!

Steve

 

www.seagullphotodesign.com

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Here's some more stuff from a guy who played 80s pop but back in the 80s :laugh:

 

To add to what Dan said, it's pretty important to have a polyphonic synth that you can personally program, because these sounds are all over the place. This isn't sitting down and playing piano, Rhodes, B3, and occasional brass and strings like many gigs are today. I'm kind of cringing when I see you zeroing in on workstations - no matter how nice they are - for this application.

 

If this is a more or less established band with upcoming gigs then maybe my earlier thoughts on hesitating purchasing anything were misplaced.

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My first gig with them is a week from Fri & I only know about 25-30% of the songs. . .

 

So that smell is a mixture of GAS, and fear...! ;)

 

You're so right!! I never even thought about it. That's amazing! You must be psychic.

Steve

 

www.seagullphotodesign.com

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well after working with the tunes, I had a full blown rehearsal with the band last night at the bar. Apparently it's only open on Fri & Sat nights. It went really well. I felt like the sounds were covered, the only down part is humping 3 boards, 2 stands, my keyboard amp, my Telecaster & little Vox guitar amp I've got on loan. I feel like I'm on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise but rehearsal went really good. I'm still thinking about getting the Yamaha MOX8 to consolidate my rig.

 

So wish me luck tonight so I don't blow the guitar intro to New Orleans is Sinking.

Steve

 

www.seagullphotodesign.com

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