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Winter NAMM 2014 Reports


Geoff Grace

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The PianoArc is pretty cool, but the lack of practicality for most of us really hits me. I'd rather use the space at home for a smaller grand piano. And most stages we play on don't have nearly enough space. It's great if you're playing at Gaga's level, though.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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The PianoArc is pretty cool, but the lack of practicality for most of us really hits me. I'd rather use the space at home for a smaller grand piano. And most stages we play on don't have nearly enough space. It's great if you're playing at Gaga's level, though.

There might be a secondary market for a SemiArca third of the PianoArc. As they pointed out in the video, a curved keyboard is more ergonomic. I think that an 88-note segment from the thing would still look cool and not take up too much space in club setups. If it were affordable for club musicians, it might be a good seller.

 

Best,

 

Geoff

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

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Wow, Moog. I'm into it. Sub-1500$. Mmm.

 

 

http://www.attackmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Moog-Sub37-631x300.jpg

 

Most definitely. :thu:

 

Really cool!!!

Aftertouch ???

 

Yes

'55 and '59 B3's, Leslies 147, 122, 21H, Motif XS7, Mellotrons M300 and M400, Wurlitzer 200, Gibson G101, Vox Continental, Mojo
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Pfft, I could make a pianoarc here at home. All I'd need is a hammer, duct tape and some glue. Watch this space.

 

On a more serious note, really appreciating all of these vids, thanks Geoff! You guys have all the fun...

Nord E4 SW73

Yamaha MODX7

Mainstage 3

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:D:thu::wave:

 

Cakewalk Z3TA+ iOS

 

Best,

 

Geoff

 

Cakewalk? iOS? :shocked: didn't see that one coming! Z3TA is a great sounding soft synth. I think this will be very popular with ipad users.

 

Thanks again Geoff for all the coverage. :thu: Try to rest your fingers some tonight :grin:

"It is a danger to create something and risk rejection. It is a greater danger to create nothing and allow mediocrity to rule."

"You owe it to us all to get on with what you're good at." W.H. Auden

 

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Line 6 AMPLIFi - Line 6 Reinvents the Guitar Amplifier:

 

[video:youtube]

 

Hmm... I wonder what this sort of technology will lead to for keyboard players. Perhaps automatic keyboard patch metadata track matching? Just select a cover tune, and your tablet Virtual Instrument automatically offers up appropriate patches?

 

Best,

 

Geoff

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

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Whhhhhrrrrrrrooooooooeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaazzzzzzzhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-zz-zzz-zzzzz-zzzyyyyyyyyhhhhwweeeerrrrrwwwwwwwwwwwwwgg-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g...
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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.

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.

Yes. In price/weight/features, the contenders are FA/MOXF/Krome.

 

Just in terms of AP/EP, you're right, people have their preferences, people know what they like, whether it's Roland SN modeling, Yamaha's traditional high quality, or Krome where those two sounds have more sheer sample data than anything else in the price range. Again, though, I give MOXF an extra edge in the flash cards, into which there are a variety of additional APs and EPs that can be loaded (or even created yourself Busch-style).

 

In non-EP rompler sounds, I favor Yamaha overall, but some of Roland's SN acoustic tones are very nice. We'll see how many and which are included on the FA.

 

Sonically, the place the FA had appears to have a real edge are in its other two engines. Yamaha and Korg are rompler-only; FA adds at least some amount of clonewheel and VA synth functionality.

 

In terms of other features, the FA has the multi-functional pads (sample triggering, keypad entry, etc.), the assignable out, the ability to put effects on all 16 channels, presumably the "patch remain" functionality that has generally been a Roland strength, and what looks like probably the most straight-forward interface, both in front panel controls and screen.

 

I'm sticking with the MOXF, but I agree with Busch that this looks like a winner for Roland. If I had to work with just one board for piano, organ, and synth, this would be more of a contender than MOXF or Krome. The Kurz PC3LE would be competition, but there goes the light weight. I'll be curious to see whether the Ocean Beach drawbars can be made to work on it and whether you can send the organ out the assignable out to a Vent.

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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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.

 

I think I was pretty specific in identifying this as a board for a weekend warrior which to me means someone who needs to cover APs, EPs, organs, strings, brass, pads and a variety of synth sounds with no artificial limits on layers/splits. And as someone who just spent weeks putting together a collection of synth cover sounds using the Kronos VAs, I can say without hesitation I would rather work with Roland VA than any sample-based alternative. Considering FA06/08 has modeled analog, modeled B3, EPs, APs, and the quasi-modeling with SN sounds + sampled sounds, if this is just another ROMpler, then I guess I don't understand the meaning of the term ROMpler. And considering the RD300 (with the same action) sells for the same price and has no where near the sounds nor capabilities as a controller, yes I think it's an excellent value. And yes I would gladly take the Roland weighted action over similarly priced Yamaha, Korg, Kurzweil or the Nord HA.

 

I think the totality of the sounds, the interface and the weighted action is better than what's out there in this price range.

 

Busch.

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