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Gigging w/3 boards, just for feel and ergonomics


AnotherScott

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After gigging with almost as many configurations of keyboards as there are possible sounds on a Minimoog, I think I may have found a pretty lightweight two-board combination that, for 95% of my gigs, wouldn't seem like a compromise.

 

I expect I'd be perfectly happy with the sounds and functionality of a MOXF8 and a Nord Stage 2-73. Every area is covered competently, and I think the capabilities of the two complement each other very nicely.

 

Except... I'm not thrilled with the actions. They're okay, but not ones I get the most joy out of playing.

 

So I'm thinking of swapping out that MOXF8 for a combination of a MOXF6 and one of the Casios I like. I'd have the exact same sounds (okay, plus some in the Casio, which I might use since they're there, but they wouldn't be essential considering all I'd have available to me in the other boards). The main reason to do this is that I'd get what I find to be a better action for piano (using the Casio to trigger a piano sound probably located in the Nord) and a better action for organ (using the MOX6F to trigger the organ sounds of the Nord). Yes, I like the MOX keyboard better than the Nord keyboard for organ.

 

There are some other advantages... a MOXF8 on bottom puts my 2nd-tier keys pretty far away; the Casio on bottom means that I have at least 2 keyboards that are in close proximity to each other, which I like. Also the heaviest single piece I'd need to deal with ends up being noticeably lighter than even the MOXF's 32.8 lbs.

 

It seems kind of indulgent to go from 2 to 3 keyboards, especially for no sonic benefit... just for preferring the feel and the layout. But heck, indulgence is most of why I gig in the first place. I have at least come up with a stand setup that will keep it as compact as possible, so it shouldn't appear too overwhelming on stage. The boards themselves are all pretty compact, and I can kind of sit the front of each one on the back of the one below it.

 

I was just wondering if anyone else ever went for a 3-board gig setup, for reasons having nothing to do with sound.

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 gigged with three boards at one time. This was in a contemporary worship band at church. It was much easier to orchestrate on-the-fly with that set up. That was important because set lists often changed on short notice. Flexibility was very important and three boards offers that.

 

Right now I'm playing in the band for my high school age daughter's theater production of "High School Musical". I initially was going to use two boards to cover needed parts but due to space restrictions in the 'pit' and limitations of the sound tech, I decided to program just one board with splits and layers. It takes a lot more advance prep, but has made it better for this specific production.

 

I guess it all depends on the details of the gig. I would like playing three keyboards, but not moving them, setting them up, mixing them, etc.

 

Greg

Kurzweil Forte, Yamaha Motif ES7, Muse Receptor 2 Pro Max, Neo Ventilator
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I only use three boards when absolutely necessary. Case in point, the Dark Side of the Moon gig necessitated a dedicated board for synth stuff for One The Run and the synth leads in Any Colour You Like and Brain Damage.

 

My Alesis Ion handled those with aplomb while my Kurzweil PC3LE7 and Nord Stage 2 SW73 handled piano/EP and organ duties, respectively.

 

More often than not, I stick to the Nord as my primary bottom board and the Alesis on top, just in case.

Nord Stage 2 SW73, Kurzweil PC3LE7, Moog Sub 37, Alesis Ion, Rhodes Stage 73, Moog Werkstatt-01, Yamaha CP-300

-------------

Knock knock

Who's there?

Interrupting synthesizer

Interrup-MOOOOOOOOOG

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It does seem a bit of a luxury, but why not if you're prepared for the hassle?

 

I'd suggest careful cable-tying of all the leads and some kind of a pedal board will make life a lot easier.

 

For me, I've just gone from 2 boards to 1 (Kurzweil SP4-7) as I was fed up of setting up lots of gear on small stages, but maybe I'm just lazy.

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I only use three boards when absolutely necessary. Case in point, the Dark Side of the Moon gig

Yeah, if I do a prog gig, I'll bring 4 or 5 boards, no problem. But at a wedding, bringing 5 keyboards would make me feel like Spinal Tap.

 

For me, I've just gone from 2 boards to 1 (Kurzweil SP4-7) as I was fed up of setting up lots of gear on small stages, but maybe I'm just lazy.

I sometimes have gone with very minimal setups, but I always want two boards, for a variety of reasons, as has been discussed here many times before.

 

The most lightweight gigs I did this year were with a NumaCompact on bottom and a Microstation on top. The two boards combined weigh less than 20 pounds. (I actually put the Microstation--in its case--inside the same case as the NumaCompact, so I had effectively just one board to carry in and out from the car.) But I went back to putting the MOX6 on top instead of the Microstation, and more often put a Casio 88 under it.

 

BTW, I think that 13 lb Numa wouldn't be a bad board to put under the SP4-7, while still keeping the setup light and minimalistic. Even if you used it only as a controller, I think it has a better action than the SP4-7 (both for piano and for organ), and as a bonus, it has some pretty usable sounds of its own. Though really I guess it's a matter of how content you are with the action on the SP4. I just couldn't warm to it at all. But I do really like a lot of the Kurz sounds!

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'm actually quite OK with the SP4-7 action. Well, for the main gig I use it for anyway, which is country rock / southern rock, so nothing too technical on the organ sounds.

 

I have got a Privia PX-310 which I could use as a controller, but I've not been tempted so far.

 

That Numa Compact does seem incredibly light - what's the action like for playing piano?

 

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That Numa Compact does seem incredibly light - what's the action like for playing piano?

I find it above average for playing piano from an unweighted controller, among the best. But certainly not as good as a weighted controller. Still, it's half the weight of your PX-310, and very playable. I like it a lot better than any of the non-hammer style Kurzweil or Nord actions, for example, even though those companies market their semi-weighted actions as being a good piano compromise. It's not so heavily sprung, it doesn't "push back" as hard. And as I mentioned, it's still okay for organ, too. Not sharp-edged like the SP4-7.

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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For a brief time many moons ago i used three boards, one configuration was the triple stack and the other was a double stack with a 3rd keyboard on a 90 degree. I found myself too focused on moving around rather than just playing. The vocal mic was also an issue having to move it around. I then moved to a piano action bottom and synth action top and made do.

 

How much does the gig pay???? ;)

57 Hammond B3; 69 Hammond L100P; 68 Leslie 122; Kurzweil PC3; M-Audio Code 61; Voce V5+; Neo Vent; EV ELX112P; GSI Gemini & Burn

Delaware Dave

Exit 93 Band

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
I always gigged with three boards... or maybe just 2 1/2. For years my setup was a Triton Extreme 61, a Roland XP30 and various compact VA's (Micron, Korg R3, Micro-X). The mini synth was just there to handle a few patches a night. Playing in a top 40 dance/party band I'd use up to 20 different patches and have to make more than 30-40 changes. So having something extra to queue a patch up was desirable.
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I gig with three boards but only one at a time. I use a Privia PX-350 for small venues (small house parties / get together's) where I don't need to bring a PA, and it has a music stand where I place my set list on. I've been using the Privia PX-5s for just about everything else (even did an outside wedding gig with no AC power - that was cool!!). I recently picked up a Korg Kross 88 in which I'll be doing things I've been unable to do with either of the other boards... haven't gigged with it yet (only had it a couple of days). Ultimately, I prefer the gigs where there's an acoustic piano - that way, I don't have to bring anything :)

So you can see where I'm coming from - nothing to carry is preferred (acoustic piano is preferred at the location). The Privia's are both 24 lbs with great action. The Kross is also lightweight (27 lbs) but with more capability than the Privia's.

PianoManChuck

Authorized reseller: Casio, Dexibell, Kurzweil, Nord, iLoud, Viscount

Keyboard Reviews +

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I'm behind you by an order of magnitude - looking to go from one board, my trusted NS2-76, to two - stacking my new(!) hammond sk1-73 above that, in order to have physical drawbars/sliders as well as the organ action... and ability to play piano and organ at the same time without dealing with splits etc...

 

I did get the 73 key so I could take it by itself if appropriate and actually pleasantly surprised by the quality of the non-organ sounds... and as a weekend warrior generally playing at smaller venues with limited stage room I am leery of coming in with too much gear...

 

still waiting for my two tiered stand, so just playing the two boards next to each other at home for now...

 

and ultimately aiming to replace the nord with a px5s for the action, range and weight, apart from the sounds...

gig: hammond sk-1 73, neo vent, nord stage 2 76, ancona 34 accordion, cps space station v3

home: steinway m, 1950 hammond c2

 

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Any time I have gigged I've owned a pickup truck with a cover on the back. That may be why I have never worried about how many keyboards I set up. Going from 2 to 3 to 4 only takes a few more minutes. I like the security of having extra boards in case one goes out. The majority of time I have 4. I don't sing so mic position is not a problem. If I was transporting in a car I would be trying to cut back to 2, or maybe 1.
This post edited for speling.
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For nearly 15 years when I was doing general business band work, I was floating between two and three boards...typically an 88 note weighted board e.g. Yamaha S90 along with a clonewheel e.g. XK2, CX-3, NE2/3 and then I would occasionally add a VA or real analog e.g. Little Phatty, Prodigy, Virus, NL2x, etc.

 

I loved all that variety and found justification for lugging all these boards.

 

Nowadays, I'm in a more focused band and I've slimmed way down to just a single Nord Stage 2 with 88 keys. I can get everything done that I need on this single board and I have no desire at all to go back to 2-3 keyboards. I do miss playing organ on a waterfall action, but the NS2 action is pretty easy to work with once you get used to it.

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From '08 to '11, I gigged with a Standtastic triple tier 60" stand with a Korg X5D on the top, a Nord Electro 2 on the middle tier, and a Kawai ES4 on the bottom. Had a robbery at my house, and the electro 2 and x5d were stolen, so I replaced both of them with the Korg Microstation. Since then, have been using 2 boards, es4 and microstation,first on a standtastic 48" 2 tier, then switched to a K & M 18950, with the second tier stackers. Definitely takes up less stage area, than the Standtastic.
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I do a 3 keyboard rig most of the time, as long as there is room for it. S70XS on the bottom, Stage compact on top, Phatty to the right.

edit to add some gear pron

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj60/dan88z/20130914_223822_zps7fdbd980.jpg

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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I dot use three keyboards very often. I once used three of them in one stand, and i felt like i was working behind a grill! So whenever i use three, its in an L shape, usually nord electro 3 and nord lead in front and a 88 on my right hand.
Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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