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I just sold my Receptor and am going back to hardware. As I just turned 38, I'm thinking about getting a cover band going doing late 80's 90's chart stuff and trying to tap into the approaching 40 brigade who want to relive their youth and have disposable income. I'm short of a synth. I have a Stage EX so have some synth at least, but I need a dedicated virtual under $1000. New or secondhand.


Multitimbral preferably


Built in FX


Possibly a step sequencer although not essential

Good layout


Considering a Korg Radias, Nord Lead 2X so far. Bang for buck as much as possible!


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I have a Virus kb (version b) that I got for $600 used a couple years ago. Not sure about the step sequencer, but if you like playing with knobs on the fly it's got 'em!


IMO it sounds incredible and is built like a tank, and the action is one of my favorites of all time. Perhaps at this point I'd go with a later model but I'm not sure if you'd find one that cheap. The b is multi-timbral but polyphony is limited so you'd have to tread lightly. I got mine for single-patch-at-a-time live use and never had any issues. Ironically I figured I'd never want to mess with knobs but I ended up doing so constantly.


Because I mostly play non-synth sounds, I ended up getting a pc361 for under $1000, and it is a capable VA synth as well...perhaps not as nice as the Virus but I haven't done much programming on it to the synths. Of course you'd get many other sounds as well and it has the same nice fatar action as the virus.


So my two recommendations are boards I still own, best two purchases I've ever made!

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Ever since dB's review of the KingKorg, I've been quite impressed with what it offers: very broad coverage, sound-wise, and tons of tweakability. It's been somewhat GAS inducing, lately.. :D. Being that you have pianos and clonewheel tones well covered with the Stage EX, a KingKorg just might be the complimentary piece you seek.


While the KingKorg has some capable bread-and-butter ROMpler tones, it's primarily a VA - and quite an extensive one at that. If you want a capable VA engine, but a wider range of ROMpler tones, a Kurzweil PC3LE6 would be a great choice.

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.


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.....If you want a capable VA engine, but a wider range of ROMpler tones, a Kurzweil PC3LE6 would be a great choice.



A Jupiter 50/80 might represent another good selection. However, that little VA section on the Stage is capable of doing a lot of "analog" stuff for your purpose. I would actually focus on a rompler in order to obtain a wider palate of sounds (e.g., strings, horns), which you will need for a cover band.

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw


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A Jupiter 50/80 might represent another good selection.


I wish my Virus TI sounded as rich and lush as my Jupiter-50.


I wish my Jupiter-50 had half as many knobs as my Virus TI.


The Jupiter-50 is a wonderful-sounding VA, with lots of onboard effects, an arp, and easy split/layer capabilities. It's got 1,000+ synth presets inside that front panel, that are surprisingly editable using just the LCD screen. There are few options for real-time performance controls, but in a cover band you're typically pre-programming your sounds and playing them as-is during gigs anyway. The 50/80 also offer a bunch of rompler-type sounds (mostly very good) that can be layered with the synth sounds, making for some wonderful textures.


The Jupiter-50 is a bit outside of your budget. I bought mine new (dealer demo) online for $1,395.





Montage 8, Logic Pro X, Omnisphere, Diva, Zebra 2, etc.



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