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Killing Time in the Music Store


DanL

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Yesterday my daughter needed a ride to work and rather than drive back home and then go down past where I had to take her to get to a blues jam I was doing, I stayed down there and went to the local music store to bum around. They had a moderate selection of Korg, Roland, and Yamaha stuff. I had my IEM's with me and tried out some boards.

 

1st- the Korg Krome 88 note keybed is unplayable for me. It may well be the worst keybed I've ever touched. I didn't even power it on to try it out. It was right next to a Kronos, and that keybed was 100% different and felt good. I've played the Kronos before so I didn't bother checking it out again.

 

I tried the King Korg since I've been kind of considering this as a VA to add to my setup. It's a pretty fun little board. It sounds decent and has plenty of tweaks to get what you want out of it. The keybed on this actually felt pretty good for unweighted action, definitely playable for me.

 

Then I checked out the Roland VR09. Again, a decently playable keybed, not great, but usable. The synth sounds were good, but if they are based of the Jupiters, then I see why. The rest of the sounds weren't bad. Considering I'm playing an original Nord Stage which has the Electro 2 organ, the organ in the Roland might be a step up, and thru my Vent, wouldn't be too bad. The pianos were not so great, nor were the Rhodes type EP's, but I liked the Wurli and clavs. Overall, this is a nice little board for the price vs features.

 

I played, but didn't power on, just plunked around on the keys, the CP4 and CP40, both of those had real nice keybeds.

 

It was a fun hour to kill, definitely got me thinking about the King Korg and VR09 as potential candidates for my rig, budget prices with good features. It also got me thinking, wtf was Kork thinking with that Krome keybed!

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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DanL,

 

VR-09 works very well for me.. and sounds good. Different people have different opinions on what sounds they like/disike, of course. Personally, I'm most impressed with the overall value of the instruments rather than any particular sound.. (the VA synth sounds are great, the drawbar organ and other sounds are all good and pretty workable)..

 

I haven't tried the Korg Krome, or the King Korg.. I have to get to my local music store and try these (assuming they have them in stock). It seems that every time I go into my local music store lately it's been in a panic to pick something up before a gig. I owe it to myself to spend an hour in the music store too!! Thanks for the reminder.

Craig MacDonald

Hammond BV, Franken-B (A100 in a BV cabinet), Leslies 122/147/44W, Crumar Mojo, HX3 module, Korg Kronos, VR-09, Roland GAIA, Burn, Ventilator

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I had the same impression of the Krome 88 back last fall when I played one at Guitar Center, had been thinking of buying one before that, was very much in the market for a new lighter-weight 88-key weighted "bottom board" with good piano and a good collection of other useful/giggable sounds, but I just didn't like the spongy feel of the keyboard at all; at the time it really frustrated me because I was pretty impressed with the Krome's collection of sounds, the nice big color touch-screen, and the very reasonable price and weight. This was what led me to discovering and choosing instead the MOXF8 and that has worked out really well, even though the UI is clunkier, the screen much more primitive, and the learning curve steeper, I think this board has enhanced my on-stage sonic capabilities more than the Korg would have, so in retrospect I'm kind of thankful for the Krome's crappy keybed.

Rich Forman

Yamaha MOXF8, Korg Kronos 2-61, Roland Fantom X7, Ferrofish B4000+ organ module, Roland VR-09, EV ZLX12P, K&M Spider Pro stand,

Yamaha S80, Korg Trinity Plus

 

 

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I'm with you on the Krome 88, I hated it. My buddy liked it and uses it live though, so there you go! In the same sort of ballpark, you might try the mox8; I didn't love it but it was much better than the Krome 88 for me.

 

As far as VA, a few years back I bought I used, older Virus. That thing is a monster, the band is always excited when I get to turn loose on it! Gotta love the knobs for messing on the fly, and the keybed is outstanding. Aftertouch is extremely controllable (sounds weird but on some boards I have trouble with getting the aftertouch to behave, might be more of a programming thing). Anyway, I got it and and a case for $620 and I prefer it to any of the newer budget boards (though many of them do have additional sounds and features).

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Dan, which store did you go into? Bill Pierce invited me to the Thursday Blues jam but it is too far of a drive for me on a Thursday night although I was thinking of at least going down once ..

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

https://dyinbreedband.wixsite.com/dyinbreedband/home

facebook.com/smokingunsrock

facebook.com/acoustaxx

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Whenever I want to be depressed for a few minutes, I go visit our local GC. I gaze lovingly at the stack of cardboard boxes with cardboard 2 octave controller keyboards, walk past the dusty Fantom with broken keys, plunk the Motif for a couple of seconds (yup, still an aircraft carrier), touch the MicroKorg keyboard to see what genius sound has been created, and leave.

 

Once, they had an Alesis Andromeda on consignment. I was excited to see one in person, but this one appeared to be broken, and only made mooing sounds no matter what I twiddled.

 

:facepalm:

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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These particular players are in fact blues players. And good players. I've played with them at another place in Maryland. One of the guitar players is the brother of the drummer in one of the bands I play in. The harmonica player plays in the Dead band I play in. All really good players. The particular place they play at on Thursday nights is about an hour or so away from me. I just don't have the energy on a Thursday night to drive an hour plus down there, and drive back and then have that dreaded alarm clock go off on Friday morning for work.

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

https://dyinbreedband.wixsite.com/dyinbreedband/home

facebook.com/smokingunsrock

facebook.com/acoustaxx

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Dave, it was B and B in Camden. Not a huge store, definitely boutique in many areas with the guitar humidor and stuff, but the staff is friendly and they don't mind if you plunk around. One time I rode my motorcycle down there to check out the Kronos when it 1st came out, a thunderstorm hit, so I sat on the Kronos for 2 hours waiting for it to pass, they were fine with it.

 

The blues jam definitely has some great players. No Mustang Sally or ZZ Top. There are always a few good bassists, a couple real good drummers (and some not so good, but that's a side effect of having an open jam), and usually 3-4 really good guitarists/vocalists. I try to go down a couple times a month, it's only about a 20 minute drive. It's a really cool scene, there are always 30-50 people there including the players, but they all appreciate the music.

 

Dave you should come down- I'm always the only keyboard player. I bring my Stage, rack with the Vent, and K10, nice easy setup. Done at 10, and you'd be home by 11, or come early, play a while, then leave and be home early.

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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Know what you mean Dave, there are a bunch of "open jam session nights" at different bars here on Long Island during the week that I would love to get in on, but they start and go really late and I can't really justify indulging when I have to work my day job the next day. A paid weeknight gig is a completely different story of course, but to drive down there, wait til the "house band" set goes down, then wait my turn to play maybe two or three songs tops, would be fun (have gone for it a scant few times over the years and it always was) but I just can't get motivated. Maybe in the warmer weather when the idea of leaving the apartment at night is easier and more appealing, but by then there's usually lots of gigs and other activities going on anyway.

Rich Forman

Yamaha MOXF8, Korg Kronos 2-61, Roland Fantom X7, Ferrofish B4000+ organ module, Roland VR-09, EV ZLX12P, K&M Spider Pro stand,

Yamaha S80, Korg Trinity Plus

 

 

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I had the same impression of the Krome 88 back last fall when I played one at Guitar Center, had been thinking of buying one before that, was very much in the market for a new lighter-weight 88-key weighted "bottom board" with good piano and a good collection of other useful/giggable sounds, but I just didn't like the spongy feel of the keyboard at all; at the time it really frustrated me because I was pretty impressed with the Krome's collection of sounds, the nice big color touch-screen, and the very reasonable price and weight. This was what led me to discovering and choosing instead the MOXF8 and that has worked out really well, even though the UI is clunkier, the screen much more primitive, and the learning curve steeper, I think this board has enhanced my on-stage sonic capabilities more than the Korg would have, so in retrospect I'm kind of thankful for the Krome's crappy keybed.

 

+1 :) I have no favorite particular brand, so I was checking everything out, I liked the screen on the Korg, but the keybed was awful, also ended up with the moxf8, great sound, good feel, and expandable. I just downloaded the PSC songwriters collection cpl days ago, worth the time to do it, very nice voices, and dosnt take up any waveform memory, and its free...

I love going to music stores, except GC, they are just ....I wont say it !

"Ive been playing Hammond since long before anybody paid me to play one, I didn't do it to be cool, I didnt do it to make a statement......I just liked it "

 

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Hadn't heard of that collection Aussie, is that on the motifator site or where can I check it out? Can you describe the included voices in more detail?

Rich Forman

Yamaha MOXF8, Korg Kronos 2-61, Roland Fantom X7, Ferrofish B4000+ organ module, Roland VR-09, EV ZLX12P, K&M Spider Pro stand,

Yamaha S80, Korg Trinity Plus

 

 

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OT RE: Blues jams . Every time I go to these there isn't any blues . Its always the same old Mustang sally, SRV, ZZtop ect. Where is the howlin wolf, muddy waters, junior wells?

The blues jams I used to occassionally go to in Houston when I lived there were somewhat authentic, albeit with a few too many Little Walter harp-playing wannabees and SRV "hats and strats" wannabees.

 

There was one Houston blues club in particular I went to occasionally in the late 90's that maintained a pretty authentic blues jam because the owner/ manager was a blues Nazi who was a good blues player himself. He ran a tight ship and was known to on occasion cut players off while on stage if they segwayed too much into rock, country, or R&B / Motown. Although he would let jazz players do their thing if they showed up. Despite the fact that he could be a d*ck, I actually kind of liked him because he went out of his way to welcome keyboardists as long they didn't start shredding on weird syth sounds or playing too many cheesy strings or pads.

 

In Las Vegas, where I live now, the so-called blues jams are like a Fellini movie. Half of the players are spandex-wearing tatted-up heavy metal LA-type dudes playing speed metal at 1000 db while the other half are R&B folks playing cheesy covers of the Temptations, Al Green, Gloria Gaynor, Aretha, and Marvin. Real blues being played at a blues jam in Vegas is indeed a rare phenomena.

Gigs: Nord 5D 73, Kurzwel SP4-7, Hammond SK1, Numa Compact 2x, Yamaha MX88, Casio CGP700, QSC K12, Yamaha DBR10, JBL515xt(2). Alto TS310(2)

 

 

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Dave, it was B and B in Camden.
The guitar player in the Dead band I play in might work there. I forget which one he told me he worked in but it might be B&B. I'll have to ask him again.

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

https://dyinbreedband.wixsite.com/dyinbreedband/home

facebook.com/smokingunsrock

facebook.com/acoustaxx

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Hadn't heard of that collection Aussie, is that on the motifator site or where can I check it out? Can you describe the included voices in more detail?

 

Here ya go http://www.motifator.com/index.php/forum/viewthread/465292/

I started by doing individual voices, but took too long, so I did it by bank, theres multiples of one voice with different twists, I will be going through each of them today and getting rid of some of them to free up user bank space, the Rhodes sounds are very usable IMHO, as well as some of the piano stuff.

"Ive been playing Hammond since long before anybody paid me to play one, I didn't do it to be cool, I didnt do it to make a statement......I just liked it "

 

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Back on topic.... It seems like most times that I go into a GC or Sam Ash, there are usually one or more young hipsters loudly playing endless groove loops on either a Motif, Kronos, or Phantom, or sometimes all of them together. These hipster types are occasionally on the floor at the same time with more tolerable young hipster types who are endlessly clunking random sequences of major 7th chords interspersed with chromatic runs using a phased Rhodes patch.

 

Then there is the worst of the lot, the young 20-something Jordan Rudess wannabe type with tats, ear rings, and a small amount of hair on his lower lip / chin area masquerading as a goatee, who park themselves in front of a Juno or MM6, and endlessly shred synth patches in A-minor at 100 Db while randomly bending notes and making pained angry faces. They tend to steer clear of the real synths because they have too many knobs with weird words like "filter" and they don't know how to work them. By virtue of the fact I have never seen one of them play a B3 clone, I suspect they have allergic reactions to them due to the presence of way too many knobs, buttons, and sliders, all associated with really weird words and numbers.

 

Sorry for the rant. I guess I'm just too old and embittered.

Gigs: Nord 5D 73, Kurzwel SP4-7, Hammond SK1, Numa Compact 2x, Yamaha MX88, Casio CGP700, QSC K12, Yamaha DBR10, JBL515xt(2). Alto TS310(2)

 

 

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I was the only person in the keyboard area, and with my IEMs in, I couldn't hear anything but me anyway. I had the sales guy turn the amps off so I could play without disturbing anyone. He plunked around on one of the digital pianos for a few minutes, I guess waiting for me to ask questions, but when he realized I wasn't paying attention to him he left me alone.

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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Then there is the worst of the lot, the young 20-something Jordan Rudess Eric Clapton wannabe type with tats, ear rings, and a small amount of hair on his lower lip / chin area masquerading as a goatee, who park themselves in front of a Juno or MM6 Marshall stack and endlessly shred synth patches Albert King licks in A-minor E-minor at 100 110Db while randomly bending notes and making pained angry faces.

 

Suddenly, 1969 doesn't seem like that long ago.

 

 

 

 

____________________________________
Rod

victoria bc

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"Killing Time in the Music Store"

 

That's how I ended up with a Yammie S90ES. I had an S90 that I was fairly satisfied with, and wasn't in the market for anything else. One day I was in the Sears Auto Center getting some new tires. To kill time while they installed the tires, I wandered across the parking lot to the local GC.

 

I already knew the S90ES had been released, but I was determined to ward off my GAS. As luck would have it, GC had one on display. I walked past it, determined not to play it. But my hand couldn't resist hitting just one chord. When I heard that piano, that one chord turned into about 20 minutes of doodling around on it before my wife drug me away.

 

I didn't buy an S90ES right then. But I went home, posted an ad for my S90, and ordered a B stock unit off of eBay.

 

Since then, I've never been back to that Sears Auto Center. Their damn tires are too expensive.

Live: Roland Jupiter-80; Yamaha S70XS (#1); Mackie 1202VLZ4, IEMs or Traynor K4

Home: Hammond SK Pro 73; Yamaha S70XS (#2); Wurlitzer 200A

Quik-Lok X stands!!!

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Then there is the worst of the lot, the young 20-something Jordan Rudess wannabe type with tats, ear rings, and a small amount of hair on his lower lip / chin area masquerading as a goatee, who park themselves in front of a Juno or MM6, and endlessly shred synth patches in A-minor at 100 Db while randomly bending notes and making pained angry faces. They tend to steer clear of the real synths because they have too many knobs with weird words like "filter" and they don't know how to work them. By virtue of the fact I have never seen one of them play a B3 clone, I suspect they have allergic reactions to them due to the presence of way too many knobs, buttons, and sliders, all associated with really weird words and numbers.

 

Sorry for the rant. I guess I'm just too old and embittered.

 

I certainly have my own share of too old and embittered, but I have a real soft spot for those hipsters you're describing. 30 years ago, I was one of them. Couldn't play much, didn't even know the questions to ask much less the answers, but dying to learn. You might have hated me too i guess.

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Yeah, you're probably right...

 

After I ranted I realized that 35 years ago there were probably old dudes in the stores hating on me while I was endlessly wanking on blues pentatonic scales on a loud distorted overdriven Rhodes or making siren, helicopter, white noise, and farting sounds on an ARP or a minimoog.

 

Hell I probably would have even hated me.

Gigs: Nord 5D 73, Kurzwel SP4-7, Hammond SK1, Numa Compact 2x, Yamaha MX88, Casio CGP700, QSC K12, Yamaha DBR10, JBL515xt(2). Alto TS310(2)

 

 

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Killing time in a music store is a bit like going to the supermarket when you're ravenously hungry. You end up buying stuff you really shouldn't.

 

I suppose players are most sensitive to differences in weighted actions but I find big differences in unweighted "synth" actions too. The Krome and Kross "synth" actions don't feel good to me, whereas the VR-09 feels okay (as determined in a music store - don't own any of those). The worst I have ever tried is on Yamaha's MX49 & MX61. Way too flexible and thin feeling. And they share something with Korg's recent synth action keybeds (on King, Krome, and Kross) that I see as a problem; they hinge at the line where the keys end and the case begins instead of deeper inside.

 

 

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haha it's all good.

 

Your post got me thinking of all the local music stores back in the day - Gelb in Redwood City was probably the most frequent victim - where I'd play gear for hours, clueless as a jackass. I'm so thankful those guys were patient and kind, even though they knew I had no money, no chops and just some hopes and dreams.

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Then I checked out the Roland VR09. Again, a decently playable keybed, not great, but usable. The synth sounds were good, but if they are based of the Jupiters, then I see why. The rest of the sounds weren't bad. Considering I'm playing an original Nord Stage which has the Electro 2 organ, the organ in the Roland might be a step up, and thru my Vent, wouldn't be too bad. The pianos were not so great, nor were the Rhodes type EP's, but I liked the Wurli and clavs. Overall, this is a nice little board for the price vs features.

I agree with everything you said about the VR-09 which I've played a few times in stores. I just wish that Roland would not always put the pitch bend/ mod paddle at the end of their boards. Because of this, IMO the 61 key VR-09's portability aspect is somewhat compromised because it ends up being about as long an NE 73, SK-1 73, or even a Kurz SP4-7 (with 76 keys).

 

Sorry for the whining. We are in fact very lucky in this day and age to have all of these great options.

Gigs: Nord 5D 73, Kurzwel SP4-7, Hammond SK1, Numa Compact 2x, Yamaha MX88, Casio CGP700, QSC K12, Yamaha DBR10, JBL515xt(2). Alto TS310(2)

 

 

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Then there is the worst of the lot, the young 20-something Jordan Rudess wannabe type with tats, ear rings, and a small amount of hair on his lower lip / chin area masquerading as a goatee, who park themselves in front of a Juno or MM6, and endlessly shred synth patches in A-minor at 100 Db while randomly bending notes and making pained angry faces. They tend to steer clear of the real synths because they have too many knobs with weird words like "filter" and they don't know how to work them. By virtue of the fact I have never seen one of them play a B3 clone, I suspect they have allergic reactions to them due to the presence of way too many knobs, buttons, and sliders, all associated with really weird words and numbers.

 

Excellent... all too common, however. :mad:

 

 

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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