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Kronos 61 or 73?


J. Dan

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For any of you who followed my recent posts, I HAVE to upgrade, ASAP - I just can't put it off any longer. After thoroughly researching the Jupiter 80, I don't think it will work for me. The PC3K7 would be an excellent fit, but since it's not out and I can't wait any longer, I'm taking the PC3K off my list. That leaves the Kronos.

 

I currently use a 61 key board as my main board on top, and a 76 key on bottom. I set up all the sounds I'll need for a song in different zones in splits across both boards so I don't have to switch sounds. Part of this is simply as a workaround to the limitations I discovered in this rig when setting it up. I'm not opposed to a more hands-on approach to changing sounds during performance.

 

In the new rig, all sounds would come from the Kronos and my second board will be an Ax7 that will sit on a second tier, which can be strapped on with wireless MIDI for certain songs/solos. So that's already a reduction from 61 to 49 keys on one board. I need to figure out 61 vs 73 on the Kronos.

 

I would be safe with 73 in terms of real estate, but am worried about weighted keys for all the synth and organ song. There is little piano in our list, though weighted would be nice for those few songs. There is no Kronos or SV1 anywhere remotely close to here for me to check out actions. If I was sure I could reduce or eliminate the need to set up so many splits, I could get the 61 and not worry about it. OTOH, there aren't that many parts where weighted would be that bad - I could make sure anything I need non-weighted for would come from the ax7, but I'd rather trigger as much as possible from the local Kronos keyboard so I don't need to have both keyboards in order to set up and practice new songs.

 

Is there any way to easily change sounds within the split in a combi on the fly? I suppose in set list mode, I could set up multiple combis and switch between them, but I don't want to have to set up 3 parts per song in the set list - seems like that could get confusing. In song mode, I know the sequencer can change patches in a part, but can it change effect types (not just send levels) mid-song?

 

What about changing programs remotely? If I'm triggering a sound from the ax7 in either combi or song mode in the Kronos, will a patch change change just that sound, or change the whole combi or song?

 

Can I plug in a separate sustain pedal in maybe the footswitch input, and assign it to sustain on the part I am triggering from the ax7?

 

How long does it take to put 50 songs into a setlist and save it, and how easy is it to modify on the fly? If we call out a song that's not in the list, can I add it to the next position in the list while playing?

 

How do you back up the Kronos? Can you back up the SSD on a pc via USB? If it died, would it be as simple as copying that image to a new Kronos SSD to be back up and running?

 

I gathered this from previous discussions, but want to verify - can I remove some factory samples and select my own to preload, so that every time I turn it on, it preloads what I want it to - including samples, songs, and audio tracks - and NOT what I DON'T want it to?

 

 

Hope to order one in the next week, I just need to try to work through these remaining questions before I pull the trigger since I can't actually try one.

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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Okay, I can only speak to a few things here but here goes:

 

"How long does it take to put 50 songs into a setlist and save it, and how easy is it to modify on the fly? If we call out a song that's not in the list, can I add it to the next position in the list while playing?"

 

A playlist can hold 128 programs/combi's/songs and can show 16 at any time. You can cut/paste/insert all of them at any time. So changing a list's order takes just seconds once you have the basic skills. Plus, you can individually identify those slots as not just the program/combi/etc. but you can name them: Just Like Heaven main, Just like Heaven solo, et cetera. Considering how fast the touch screen works, and given the existing note sustains while you make the program change, you'll be spooked at how easy that part works. I cannot imagine you'll have an issue there, unless then Ax7 lends to difficulty.

 

"How do you back up the Kronos? Can you back up the SSD on a pc via USB? If it died, would it be as simple as copying that image to a new Kronos SSD to be back up and running?"

 

"How do you back up the Kronos? Can you back up the SSD on a pc via USB? If it died, would it be as simple as copying that image to a new Kronos SSD to be back up and running?"

 

Haven't tried this but I know all my data is saved on 3 files, a PCG, a KSE and something else. With those three files, you could, I am pretty sure, fully update one Kronos to run in minutes. You can use a flashdrive to transfer that data. No need to backup the Kronos base data if you have a backup running.

 

You can configure autoloading procedures at length. Pretty much what ever you want to do, can be done, I am sure. You can also make all your samples autoload so that the 2:10 second dreadload will load up all your goodies. My adding 200megs of samples didn't extend the startup from the factory loadtime. It was all there.

 

I don't think you'll be disappointed. The Kronos is like Lake Tahoe. Really friggin' deep. Don't lose a body in there, it may never come back!

 

Your mileage may vary.

 

 

Korg Kronos 2 61, Kronos 1 61, Dave Smith Mopho x4, 1954 Hammond C2, Wurlitzer 200A, Yamaha Motif 6, Casio CDP-100, Alesis Vortex Wireless, too much PA gear!
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Man, Dan--I don't know. Kronos seems like overkill for your application. Is it really worth $3000 for a gigging axe? Only you can call that shot. :wave:

 

Make a list of all of the keyboards available that include VA, sampling, and sequencing in one box with a 61 or 73/76 key keyboard. What does that leave you? I made enough the last 2 weekends to pay for it. The budget's there - I want the best tool for the job that won't be obsolete tomorrow. I don't know any other application the Kronos is more designed for than an 80s band - 3 VA engines, FM engine, sampling, and throw in the set list feature.

 

I just need to figure out if I can pull it off in 61 keys...the answers to some of my questions will allow me to determine that.

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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Hi Dan:

 

I know a thing or two about the Kronos...

 

:-)

 

You asked:

"Is there any way to easily change sounds within the split in a combi on the fly?"

 

I don't see this mentioned a lot, but one of the Modes for the LH section is as a mixer. I often use that to do what you need, since the top row of buttons are for Play/Mute Status. You can have multiple parts setup for what you need and turn one off and another on at will. It does mean that all are "eating"polyphony at all times, since this is an audio mute, not a MIDI mute, but many times that is OK. You do need to get together your technique to press two buttons at the same time, turning one off and the other on, or make two quick presses. But I have gotten very used to it.

 

There are other more advanced ways to do it*, but likely what I am suggesting would work fine for you.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Jerry

Ex-Korg Guy

 

P.S. Here's one more advanced way that doesn't use extra polyphony:

 

http://www.korgforums.com/forum/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=62593

 

 

 

 

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I just need to figure out if I can pull it off in 61 keys...the answers to some of my questions will allow me to determine that.

 

the 61 keys are probably the best semi-weighted I have played on, completely piano parts playable so if you use mostly synth sounds 61 should be ok.

 

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Incidentally, when I buy one, I'm going to buy it from Sweetwater, and then march up to both of my local GC's and inform them that I bought one from Sweetwater instead of GC because they didn't have one for me to try out. The guy in the keyboard department at one of them was taking a list of people who were interested in one. Several months ago, when he put my name and number on the list, there were about 10 people on it. He was trying to convice his manager to get one in.

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'd like to suggest my solution - get a Kronos 61 and a Kurz PC361 (or the LE 61). You can use the PC3 as a midi router for the AX7 to control both Kronos and the Kurz sounds, and all the controllers on the Kurz can send any midi command. The mutes on the Kurz are midi mutes, and you could change both combis and programs within combis. I haven't tried changing pc sounds from the kronos set list mode, but it should work. Well, actually I just want us to have the same rig for exchanging setups... ;)
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Incidentally, when I buy one, I'm going to buy it from Sweetwater, and then march up to both of my local GC's and inform them that I bought one from Sweetwater instead of GC because they didn't have one for me to try out. The guy in the keyboard department at one of them was taking a list of people who were interested in one.

 

Same thing with our GC... and we're still waiting.

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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I made enough the last 2 weekends to pay for it.

 

Fuggit, thats it: Im buying a Mullet Wig, some parachute pants, and a Japanese Rising Sun Tee Shirt, some red Vans, and changing my name to Dons Johnson. Ive been doing this all wrong.

 

That said, if youre switching from a 2 board rig, my advice is get the 76 and man up. You play keyboards for a very lucrative (side)living and make more money than most of the keyboardists on this group doing it. If you cant play the parts on a weighted board, add them to your backing tracks/sequences until you can. I dont think anyone in your audience cares one way or the other. (And I dont mean that in a snide way.)

 

 

Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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If you cant play the parts on a weighted board, add them to your backing tracks/sequences until you can.

 

It's not that I can't, it's preference. Just like if you're doing a Hammond organ gig, you'd prefer not to be playing those parts on a graded hammer action weighted keyboard, right? Sure, you can. I can play every one of our parts on my piano at home, no problem. Hell, I can play Boston's Foreplay on my piano at home. That doesn't mean I want to drag a weighted keyboard around to my gigs and play parts on it that were origninally played on synthesizers or organs without weighted keys. I'm going to have to live with this every friday and saturday night for probably the next 10 years....I want to enjoy it as much as possible.

 

FWIW - my favorite action of all time for playing this type of stuff was the A-70. Just the right balance I thought.

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 actually don't like the Kronos 61 keys for piano... they're not the worst non-weighted keys I've ever played piano on, but they are still pretty bad, IMO. I don't think there is good control of piano dynamics, it's nearly impossible to play softly. 90% of the velocity range appears to be between f and ff (though I haven't tried experimenting with alternate velocity curves). Also, the short pivot black keys means they respond differently on their fronts than toward their rears.

 

Anyway, in the OP's situation, I would lean toward the 73. Then you have both a weighted and an unweighted action at your disposal, and plenty of keys for splits. True, the weighted action would be poorly suited for organ, but at gigs you'd have the unweighted action, and for single-board rehearsal and such, you could get by playing on the weighted action enough just to get the parts down. To me, the big downside of the 73 is that it weighs 45 lbs (plus case). But if you can deal with that, it seems to best address your needs.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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If you cant play the parts on a weighted board, add them to your backing tracks/sequences until you can.

 

It's not that I can't, it's preference. Just like if you're doing a Hammond organ gig, you'd prefer not to be playing those parts on a graded hammer action weighted keyboard, right? Sure, you can.

I agree with that mostly... yes, it's a matter of the pleasure of playing, and also yes, I could get through a gig playing organ parts on a weighted board. But also, apart from playing satisfaction, it just won't sound quite the same. The more extensive smears/swipes/etc. of organ playing just don't work on a weighted keyboard. It's not just a matter of finger strength, it's the way the keys physically respond to your touch. Hard edges get in your way or can be downright painful. Keys don't return fast enough. Keys don't depress the same way from an angle. That kind of thing. Of course, not everybody's performance calls for those kinds of organ techniques, but if that's how you play, it would be like playing lead guitar on an acoustic guitar. Sure you can play the parts, but the instrument doesn't react the same way, and it will alter the sonic results, no matter how strong your fingers are.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I'll only have 49 keys of unweighted - I can think of songs right off the top of my head where I do organ palm smears and such. But yes, having both would be nice in some instances. However, there is really very little piano in the songs we do - "Don't Stop Believing", piano solo in "Into The Groove", Go-Go's "We Got the Beat" and "Head Over Heals", and "Video Killed the Radio Star"...that's about all I can think of. Everything else is synth and organ.

 

Basically, I'd prefer to keep it as light and compact as possible, and would prefer semi-weighted. I just need to figure out if I can manage with 61 key. Based on some of the answers I got regarding changing parts in splits, combined with using the SW1 or SW2 to set up octave shift, I'm thinking I probably can. I'm going to pretty much just run through all the songs in our list and try to figure out how I'd implement it so I'm not overlooking anything that would be a deal breaker.

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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Man, Dan--I don't know. Kronos seems like overkill for your application. Is it really worth $3000 for a gigging axe? Only you can call that shot. :wave:

 

I made enough the last 2 weekends to pay for it.

 

but you don't know what the next season gonna be like... ;)

 

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Man, Dan--I don't know. Kronos seems like overkill for your application. Is it really worth $3000 for a gigging axe? Only you can call that shot. :wave:

 

I made enough the last 2 weekends to pay for it.

 

but you don't know what the next season gonna be like... ;)

 

Next year is starting to fill up. It'll be booked solid. To clarify - both of the last 2 weekends were 3 gig weekends. One was a casino all weekend, and the other included an out of town concert and a festival. So they were higher paying than normal. But even playing normal bar gigs I could pay for it in less than a month.

 

Not only that - guys are willing to fork out over $4k for a stage piano/organ. This thing includes that AND all the VA, FM, Sampling, Sequencing, Set List Mode...I'd say the cost is well justified. For me it's all about making sure I make the right decision based on matching functinoality with my needs.

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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IMO, based on what your requirements are, I would seriously consider going with the Kronos 61 Plus some other lightweight 61 or 73 board. Having the weighted keys just doesn't make sense to me and I hate running out of keys when I have needed to split 61's in the past. Having 2 61's would eliminate that problem.

Yamaha YC-73, Roland Fantom 7, Korg Kronos 2-73, Roland RD-2000, Nord Stage 3 Compact, Hammond SK-Pro 73, Mainstage w/ Arturia Keylab 61 mkii, Yamaha U1 Upright

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Man, Dan--I don't know. Kronos seems like overkill for your application. Is it really worth $3000 for a gigging axe? Only you can call that shot. :wave:

 

I made enough the last 2 weekends to pay for it.

 

but you don't know what the next season gonna be like... ;)

 

Next year is starting to fill up. It'll be booked solid. To clarify - both of the last 2 weekends were 3 gig weekends. One was a casino all weekend, and the other included an out of town concert and a festival. So they were higher paying than normal. But even playing normal bar gigs I could pay for it in less than a month.

 

Not only that - guys are willing to fork out over $4k for a stage piano/organ. This thing includes that AND all the VA, FM, Sampling, Sequencing, Set List Mode...I'd say the cost is well justified. For me it's all about making sure I make the right decision based on matching functinoality with my needs.

 

Boxers or briefs?

Steve Force,

Durham, North Carolina

--------

My Professional Websites

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For me it's all about making sure I make the right decision based on matching functinoality with my needs.

 

I don't understand your dilemma or lost sight of it now that you are booked for the next year and your downside loss is pretty well limited on a new piece like a Kronos

 

Good vendors have a return policy. B-Stock can be an option to avoid repack fees. Many offer full credit. Eating 5 to 7% if its really the wrong piece seems like a small overall rental expense for tax purposes.

 

I think one of the best parts of the internet is getting something like a Kronos in your home and better return policies than in the 80s and there are plenty of resale avenues for new pieces.

 

Once you get used to trading the same piece over and over people will be asking 'what kind of money are you laundering'? Hey, some launder money, some launder used pieces. Maybe you become obsessive and aren't happy unless every Kronos 73 released in the US has been in your possession for oh...about 6 minutes on average....

 

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I don't understand your dilemma or lost sight of it now that you are booked for the next year and your downside loss is pretty well limited on a new piece like a Kronos

 

Good vendors have a return policy. B-Stock can be an option to avoid repack fees. Many offer full credit. Eating 5 to 7% if its really the wrong piece seems like a small overall rental expense for tax purposes.

 

I think one of the best parts of the internet is getting something like a Kronos in your home and better return policies than in the 80s and there are plenty of resale avenues for new pieces.

 

Once you get used to trading the same piece over and over people will be asking 'what kind of money are you laundering'? Hey, some launder money, some launder used pieces. Maybe you become obsessive and aren't happy unless every Kronos 73 released in the US has been in your possession for oh...about 6 minutes on average....

 

My downside loss is wasting time and effort on something that's not going to work for me. I've determined with a fair amount of confidence that the Kronos will work for me, but I'd rather know before I buy if I can do it with 61 keys or not. Sure, I could order one, and then if I figure out it's not going to work, I could return it and buy a 73. And then if I decided that I don't like the weighted and would rather live with less keys, I could return that, buy another 61 key, and maybe supplement it with a second controller. Then change all my setups depending on which route I'm going.....or I could ask specific questions of people who already own the Kronos and make an informed decision before I purchase.

 

In terms of a second controller, I've been wanting to implement the AX7 into my rig. I don't want a 2nd controller AND the Ax7. If I'm gonna use the AX7, IT will be my 2nd tier. It has 49 keys - it is what it is. If I went with the Kronos 61 and needed more keys on the other tier, I'd ditch the AX7.

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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there is really very little piano in the songs we do - "Don't Stop Believing", piano solo in "Into The Groove", Go-Go's "We Got the Beat" and "Head Over Heals", and "Video Killed the Radio Star"...that's about all I can think of. Everything else is synth and organ.

The unweighted Kronos should be fine for that kind of piano, because it doesn't require subtle control of dynamics (at least from the ones there I know).

 

It's really the organ comment in reverse. You can play organ parts on weighted actions and piano parts on unweighted actions... it's only when you get to needing technique that largely calls for one action or the other that you can get into trouble and risk having things somehow not sound as expressive as you'd like. And the Kronos 61 keyboard does offer just a bit of resistance, so it's not as prone to eliciting "sloppy" piano playing as some unweighted actions are, where adjacent keys to your intended target may be too eager to join in.

 

Basically, I'd prefer to keep it as light and compact as possible

Yup, a big advantage of the 61.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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With the exception of needing more keys for splits, I'd say go the 61 key route...

 

That's pretty much what I've concluded - once I do a final "idiot-check" run through my list to make sure I'm not overlooking something that just couldn't be done on 61.

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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Dan

 

You might want to consider that too much patch-changing, button pushing etc to fit the sounds on to insufficient keyboard "real estate" might, in the long run, spoil your enjoyment of the gig to a certain extent. Just because you can get it all to work technically, doesn't mean it'll be a lot of fun. I speak from bitter experience...

Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer. - W. C. Fields

 

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I used my Kronos 61 on about 20 gigs before giving it the old heave ho in favor of the Jupiter. These were all cover band gigs that involved lots of splits, layers, and patches changes. I found it easy to do with the Kronos, the one caveat being that I had to spend a lot of time practicing running through the patches so that it becamse almost muscle memory. The small screen font makes it a challenge to figure out which patch is assigned to which zone in real time on stage. But if you're playing the same 50 songs over and over, you'll internalize it pretty soon.

 

If I was playing in an 80's cover band, I probably would conclude that weighted keys are not worth the shlep.

Gigging: Crumar Mojo 61, Hammond SKPro

Home: Vintage Vibe 64

 

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Once you get used to trading the same piece over and over people will be asking 'what kind of money are you laundering'? Hey, some launder money, some launder used pieces. Maybe you become obsessive and aren't happy unless every [edit]Nord Stage[/edit] released in the US has been in your possession for oh...about 6 minutes on average....

Paging tonysounds....
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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Dan if your comfort zone is synth action, I'd get the 61 and modify everything to fit somehow. You don't want to be fighting your action all the time on the gig. But take AnotherScott's observation seriously. It's something I've noticed too - not on the Kronos but the M3.

I actually don't like the Kronos 61 keys for piano... they're not the worst non-weighted keys I've ever played piano on, but they are still pretty bad, IMO. I don't think there is good control of piano dynamics, it's nearly impossible to play softly. 90% of the velocity range appears to be between f and ff (though I haven't tried experimenting with alternate velocity curves). Also, the short pivot black keys means they respond differently on their fronts than toward their rears.

 

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I actually really hate the action/velocity response on my fusion. Hate it! It's supposed to be semi weighted. It feels non-weighted to me. And the velocity..well it seems like playing through a gate (expander actually). Very narrow range of fff then all of a sudden with a little more velocity it's FF. I've always struggled with it.

 

I've always had a hard touch and have broken many keys on many non-weighted keyboards over the years. But even still - the stuff we do lends itself well to non or semi weighted. Piano doesn't matter much to me at gigs. If I wanna play piano, I'll play my piano :laugh:

 

Seriously - thank you SOOO much for all the feedback. I wish I could get my hands on these, but since I cant, you guys have been invaluable, and I can't express my appreciation enough. You've answered the most important questions, and the ones that remain have potential workarounds.

 

Thanks again!

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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Keep us up on how things turn out! I'm interested in what your positives and negatives are with this board. You're a guy who is really going to put it to the test - as much as you're gigging and the wide varieties of sounds you require.

 

This will be good! :thu:

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