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Winter NAMM 2014 Reports


Geoff Grace

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Korg's new RK100s keytar looks sort of interesting. A body made of real wood? Read another NAMM report that mentioned it having the same keybed as the MS-20 "mini" - which the Korg website says is 87% the size of regular keys. Would need to see what that would mean if played with my mitts. Will also be curious to read about the MIDI implementation. Learned a valuable lesson about checking out ALL the details in that regard when I learned that the Roland AX synth I purchased doesn't transmit MSB/LSB data or volume control data over its MIDI implementation. That pretty much rendered keyboard useless as a controller.

 

You might have missed one of the most interesting features: it has a mic input and a built-in vocoder.

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Why would one need motorized faders on a 61 key controller?

Assuming the organ sim supported sending back drawbar locations, this controller could move the drawbars to wherever VB3's (or whatever organ sim it's controlling) preset thinks they are.

Favorite Gear:Vintage Vibe 73 w/MIDI, Microkorg, ipad2 with lotsa apps, VB3, Rhodes 88, Roland VK8, Fantom XR, Brainspawn Forte
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A few reactions from the am at HAMM.

 

The sub37s on display have beautiful wood sides and look much better than the photo posted above. The Theremin looks cool and might even be playable. It's still a bitch to play.

 

The behringer controller's motor fades appear aimed at mixing, not synth control.

 

Isotope/BT's break tweaked looks hot.

 

There was a Yamaha cp-40 on display. I don't know it that's been talked about here as I haven't been following stage pianos much.

 

Both the RD800X and the new Yamaha's have so much plastic in comparison to earlier models. Makes the old ones look like classics.

 

The Roland FA-06/08 should completely rule that market segment. My opinion of the sounds, overall, is that they are significantly better than what you'll find from Korg, Yamaha, Kurzweil. The VA and SN sounds excellent. The action on the FA-08 is the same as the RD300, which I prefer to the others as well. For someone doing weekend gigs the FA-08 would be all you'd need unless you absolutely need drawbars. EXCELLENT value.

 

Busch.

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The Roland FA-06/08 should completely rule that market segment. My opinion of the sounds, overall, is that they are significantly better than what you'll find from Korg, Yamaha, Kurzweil.

I think what makes it a dogfight is the 512mb or gig of custom sampled sounds you can install into the MOXF with the flash card. It provides the "poor man's version" of a lot of the cool stuff you have done on the Kronos. I'm also curious to see what the Roland offers in terms of MIDI control functionality.

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The Roland FA-06/08 should completely rule that market segment. My opinion of the sounds, overall, is that they are significantly better than what you'll find from Korg, Yamaha, Kurzweil.

I think what makes it a dogfight is the 512mb or gig of custom sampled sounds you can install into the MOXF with the flash card. It provides the "poor man's version" of a lot of the cool stuff you have done on the Kronos.

Unless those SN AP and EP sounds have received a complete overhaul, and I'm pretty sure they haven't, it's a struggle to even consider that they could be "significantly better" than even the stock sounds in the Kronos -- sounds I don't even care for -- or the Chick Corea Rhodes or CP1-derived APs that can be installed in the MOXF. In my experience, those SN EPs are dead last. They may have better velocity switching than the stock Motif or Kurzweil sounds, but they lose out on tone and realism, and they don't sit in a live mix nearly as well. Add to that the sub-par actions on the 06 and 08... I guess our mileage varies big time.

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I may not need this, but I don't think I'm going to be able to resist buying it.

 

+1.

 

If you combine the GAS I had for the LP with the GAS I had for the SP, it wouldn't even come close to the amount of GAS I have for this.

 

Looks like I'll have a couple months to sell some stuff. Anyone need a kidney?

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I was disappointed to see a snapshot from a video that shows the Sub 37 as being black vs. silver. I hate black; you can't see the labels in the dark! The silver was awesome.

 

Oh, it looks like there's some confusion: the Sub 37 has two editions, and apparently the regular edition is silver and hasn't the wood panels; whereas the Tribute edition has wood panels, is black, and ha an aluminum extrusion panel (not sure what that means but it may refer to the side panel shown in the photo):

 

http://www.moogmusic.com/node/92877

 

I wonder how many of those they'll make, and if they'll be available at the same time as the regular edition?

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I was disappointed to see a snapshot from a video that shows the Sub 37 as being black vs. silver. I hate black; you can't see the labels in the dark! The silver was awesome.

Didn't you say you're not gigging out on keyboards anymore? Would you be playing it at home with the lights out? :confused::poke:;)

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The Roland FA-06/08 should completely rule that market segment. My opinion of the sounds, overall, is that they are significantly better than what you'll find from Korg, Yamaha, Kurzweil.

I think what makes it a dogfight is the 512mb or gig of custom sampled sounds you can install into the MOXF with the flash card. It provides the "poor man's version" of a lot of the cool stuff you have done on the Kronos.

Unless those SN AP and EP sounds have received a complete overhaul, and I'm pretty sure they haven't, it's a struggle to even consider that they could be "significantly better" than even the stock sounds in the Kronos -- sounds I don't even care for -- or the Chick Corea Rhodes or CP1-derived APs that can be installed in the MOXF. In my experience, those SN EPs are dead last. They may have better velocity switching than the stock Motif or Kurzweil sounds, but they lose out on tone and realism, and they don't sit in a live mix nearly as well. Add to that the sub-par actions on the 06 and 08... I guess our mileage varies big time.

 

Since we're mostly just talking about repackaging of existing sounds that we're all familiar with, we can all have our own opinions about the sounds themselves. But the pricing/weight/features package that the FA08 presents is very intriguing.

Gigging: Crumar Mojo 61, Hammond SKPro

Home: Vintage Vibe 64

 

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So far the Roland FA-06/08 really has me interested. Like I said in another thread if it ticks all the boxes that I like to do my Fantom G6 with the sound engine improvements I'll be very interested. Also I love the Sub 37. That's VERY tempting too! My Minitaur would have to go but it would be worthwhile. Wonder of they'll do a module version?
Roland Fantom G6, D-70, JP-8000, Juno-106, JV-1080, Moog Minitaur, Korg Volca Keys, Yamaha DX-7. TG33, Logic Pro, NI plugs, Arturia plugs etc etc
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I've listened to the FA08 demos and they sound good. To my ears it sounds like low-mid has playable activity, mids and highs are normal, without special components.

 

Probably I'll never understand why advanced musicians aren't taking the V-Piano as close to the best digital around. No comparison, but still the FA sounds cool, maybe some feel the pianos should be a bit like "keyboards" where you play a thing, and it sounds grand the way you want it, without having to be accurate rhythmically, harmonically or phrasing-wise. I prefer to have to work on getting the instrument to do accurate things, but I do like the general sound coming from these serious Roland instruments.

 

T.

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I guess this thing is not top secret anymore. I helped work on it a tiny bit right before the Lady Gaga tour. QRS Booth 808.

 

http://www.oceanbeach.com/temp/CirclePiano.JPG

 

:o Where does it start??? Where does it end??? Never ending arpeggios possible with a swivel chair?

 

Looks like a reverse piano bar from a cruise ship!

http://www.toxel.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/piano08.jpg

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Interesting. I had the original one for about a year. It was the best MIDI controller as far as build quality I could find at the time, but I also found the stiff action annoying. I never came to terms with it and moved to the Fantom G later on and sold the Akai. Hope they've addressed this because it was a decent product otherwise.
Roland Fantom G6, D-70, JP-8000, Juno-106, JV-1080, Moog Minitaur, Korg Volca Keys, Yamaha DX-7. TG33, Logic Pro, NI plugs, Arturia plugs etc etc
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Why would one need motorized faders on a 61 key controller?

Assuming the organ sim supported sending back drawbar locations, this controller could move the drawbars to wherever VB3's (or whatever organ sim it's controlling) preset thinks they are.

And if the right protocols are supported (HUI, for example), the keyboard could double as a DAW controllerin which case, motorized faders would be very helpful.

 

It remains to be seen, though, how well Behringer can do keyboards...

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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