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Old, no-longer-exciting, half-rack modules?


Josh Paxton

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I'm looking for a compact, easy, key-less way to cover a handful of basic synth sounds in a cover band situation -- strings, pads, brassy polysynths, a couple glide-y mono leads, a choir sample (ideally both "ooh" and "ahh," but if it's only one or the other I can deal). They don't have to be spectacularly authentic or fat or ballsy or what have you, just basic rompler quality. (As long as they're good enough to make drunk tourists scream and pump their fists when they hear the "Separate Ways" intro, they'll do just fine.) I had been planning to use my iPad with an IO Dock, but I'm no longer certain I want to.

 

So I'm wondering about finding a used half-rack module with "good enough" sounds for such a situation -- Alesis Nanosynth, Roland JV1010, etc. Any suggestions on ones to look for or avoid? Split capability and basic editing (envelope times, filter cutoff) would be nice, but not strictly necessary.

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Honestly, for what you want, and old Roland sound canvas would be really cheap and cover the sounds. I used one for years with good results. But yes, the JV1010 would be a later model with more/better sounds.

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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Not all the sounds from the JV boards were ported over to the XV boards.

All the waves of the Vintage Keys JV card are on SRX-07, but you're right, they changed the stock patches. The original patches were included on an accompanying CD, though.

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 would vote for the JV-1010 over the Alesis. It really has a lot of nice sounds for the price you will pay. Two things to be aware of:

 

- when I had JV1010, the output was quite low. The XV2020 may not suffer from this.

- You will need some sort of computer editor to set it up for splits, etc for live performance. As I recall you can't do a whole lot from the front panel.

 

 

 

Nord Stage 3 88, Korg Kronos 2 61, Moog Sub 37, Yamaha U1 Upright, Casio CT-S1, Spacestation V.3, QSC K10.2

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There's a thin white line between fear and fury - Stickman

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IYou will need some sort of computer editor to set it up for splits, etc for live performance. As I recall you can't do a whole lot from the front panel.

Yeah... it's always difficult (if not impossible) to do a lot of things from a rack's controls, to say nothing of a half-rack with even less space for controls. One of the problems with editor software on these old modules is that they may not run on current computers.

 

I haven't tried this, but it might be the ticket...

 

http://www.squest.com/Windows/MidiQuestXL/MidiQuest-About.html

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 like the Roland, but also maybe the Korg X5DR (or older version, 05R/W).

 

+ 1

I have a X5DR I bought new. I had it for sale for a while for $100.00, until I took it to a rehearsal in lieu of dragging a lot of gear. It sounded pretty good after all these years, so decided to keep it. Just check the wall wart carefully as the wire into the adapter gets flacky. I purchased a back up adapter for mine years ago.

Cheers Mike

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One good thing about Roland is that the MIDI implementation is excellent. So if you are MIDI savvy and have a means to sent the messages, you can do pretty much anything you can do via MIDI. Some of it may require sysex, but much of it can be done via CC's, RPN's, and NRPN's.

 

Back in the days I was using a sound canvas (triggered by an A70), it went something like this:

 

Send GS Reset command to start from scratch, send patch/bank change, followed by CC's, RPN's, NRPN's on the channels of the parts you want to use in split/layer. Send sysex to limit key range of parts for splits, then re-channelize parts to the one channel being transmitted by the controller.

 

Sounds complicated, but I had set up a PC1600 to do all the edits and could just grab a snapshot. I used the same basic commands all the time, so copy and paste with a few modifications. I'd put it into a small (1 or 2 beat) SMF in my Alesis Datadisk. A single patch change from my a70 would cause the data disk to send out all the info needed to setup not only my rig, but FX patches for guitars and vocals, and electric drum patches.

 

The problem with that setup is that you can't really do much on he fly - you have to set it up ahead of time. But with a versatile controller, you could do the splits/layers there and still do lots of edits to the parts.

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 would definitely get an XV-2020 over a JV1010. I have a XP30, which is basically a JV1010 with keys and I think it sounds thin and suffers from poor dynamics. The XV-series sounds better.
Nord Stage 3 sw73, Yamaha CP88, KeyB Legend Live, Kurzweil PC3K7, EV ZXa1 + sub. K&M stands, Hammond E112, Leslie 3300, EHX V256, Roland SE-02, Yamaha EX5R & TG77, Novation Nova desktop & much more...
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If you could afford it and it doesn't have to be half rack there's also the more recent Roland Sonic Cell
Nord Stage 3 sw73, Yamaha CP88, KeyB Legend Live, Kurzweil PC3K7, EV ZXa1 + sub. K&M stands, Hammond E112, Leslie 3300, EHX V256, Roland SE-02, Yamaha EX5R & TG77, Novation Nova desktop & much more...
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...or, even better, the next generation XV-2020 can take the SRX cards

+1

I use mine with electric piano SRX and i'm happy with the results. This little thing have gotten me through countless gigs around the globe and it fits in a computer bag.

Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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Although, given your rather listless requirements, you could probably get away with a kazoo. ;)

 

Nah, I don't have the vocal chops to do those wide leaps in the "Separate Ways" intro. ;)

 

Thanks for all the info. I ended up going with an X5DR. It meets all my requirements (well almost -- no portamento, but the pre-chorus of "Centerfold" will just have to live without it), and I like the fact that everything is editable from the front panel. Plus I owned an M1 and an 05RW back in the day, so I'll be able to get around it quickly. And I found one cheap, woo-hoo! (Honestly, how did gigging musicians use to survive without eBay?)

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Although, given your rather listless requirements, you could probably get away with a kazoo. ;)

 

Nah, I don't have the vocal chops to do those wide leaps in the "Separate Ways" intro. ;)

 

Thanks for all the info. I ended up going with an X5DR. It meets all my requirements (well almost -- no portamento, but the pre-chorus of "Centerfold" will just have to live without it), and I like the fact that everything is editable from the front panel. Plus I owned an M1 and an 05RW back in the day, so I'll be able to get around it quickly. And I found one cheap, woo-hoo! (Honestly, how did gigging musicians use to survive without eBay?)

 

cool! are you gonna rack it, or??

Steve Force,

Durham, North Carolina

--------

My Professional Websites

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