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Lightest hammer action keyboard with extra audio outputs?


The Piano Man

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As a piano player, I need a hammer action board. In addition to a standard stereo pair of outputs, I require additional outputs for sending other sounds separately to the desk. What is the lightest board out there that does this? Casio PX5s would have been great if only it offered additional outputs. Is this an expensive feature, as I struggle to think of a board that fits the bill other than heavy, top end models like PC3K8, S70xs and Kronos etc.

 

Currently I use an old module midi'd to my stage piano but would like it all in one portable board. Am I asking for too much?

 

Thanks

Kurzweil PC3x

Technics SX-P50

Korg X3

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Nord Stage 2-76 at 36 lbs is probably the lightest. Though there is still some speculation about what you may be able to send out the sub out of the forthcoming Roland FA-08 (7 ounces heavier, but 88 keys... and a lot cheaper, if that's an issue).

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Thanks for the responses. Are additional outputs a feature few people want? Or is it very expensive to implement. It strikes me as a vital feature for any stage piano that enables proper splits and layers. I find it bizarre how few keyboards have this feature. I guess the FA-08 could be a good option if the sub out is flexible. I prefer the Casio action to the Ivory Feel G but the output feature is essential for me

Kurzweil PC3x

Technics SX-P50

Korg X3

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Can I ask why you need to send non-piano sounds separately to the desk? Are you running them into a separate sound processor (rotary sim, overdrive pedal etc) first? Are these voices you're playing at the same time as the piano sounds?

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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I agree, it's my most missed feature on most boards, after aftertouch. I use a pseudo-version of it all the time, playing in mono, and using pan controls to send one sound out the left output and another out the right. I imagine this would work on the PX-5S.

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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Can I ask why you need to send non-piano sounds separately to the desk? Are you running them into a separate sound processor (rotary sim, overdrive pedal etc) first? Are these voices you're playing at the same time as the piano sounds?

 

Sure, no problem. I am playing them at the same time and obviously they require different treatment at the desk.

Kurzweil PC3x

Technics SX-P50

Korg X3

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I agree, it's my most missed feature on most boards, after aftertouch. I use a pseudo-version of it all the time, playing in mono, and using pan controls to send one sound out the left output and another out the right. I imagine this would work on the PX-5S.

 

Yes, I set up the PX5s like that when I tried it out in store. However, as you have alluded, this is far less satisfying than having dedicated outputs. Maybe I should do some weight training and just buy a PC3k8... that would be my dream board.

Kurzweil PC3x

Technics SX-P50

Korg X3

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Implementing this means doubling a bunch of the hardware inside the board...will vary based on what board it is, but typically,the tone generator, effects, preamp, etc...so expensive, yes, but it could be $20 or $200 cost, depending on the board...and multiply cost by 4 to get MSRP!

Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3

Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H

Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9

Roland: VR-09, RD-800

 

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Can I ask why you need to send non-piano sounds separately to the desk? Are you running them into a separate sound processor (rotary sim, overdrive pedal etc) first? Are these voices you're playing at the same time as the piano sounds?

 

Sure, no problem. I am playing them at the same time and obviously they require different treatment at the desk.

 

It's not so obvious to me why they need separate treatment at the desk. In most cases, this "treatment" can be done to the parts and sub mixed internally. The few exceptions I can think of are:

1) use of external rotary sim or actual Leslie for clone wheel parts

2) running LH bass through an actual bass amp

 

Outside of that, what other differing treatment MUST be done in the desk?

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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I find sometimes that my horn parts seem to "cut" better than other times. So when I am playing piano + horns, it would be nice to have to somebody at the desk who push them up or pull them back a bit depending on the room and what the other guys are playing. I can't adjust relative volumes without menu diving, which is not going to happen mid-tune.

 

That said, my VR-09 has independent volumes for the different sections. All keyboards should have that.

Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3

Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H

Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9

Roland: VR-09, RD-800

 

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I agree with Dan that it's not so "obvious they require different handling". But I can see that it would be handy. For example, when using splits, it's nice if FOH can balance the levels independently for the two parts, just as they might if you had two keyboards with separate sends for each.

 

But as Dan says, just about anything else you'd want to do are better done inside the keyboard (so they change appropriately when you change patches).

 

Plus on anything but a laptop, you'd be limited to at most two (main and auxiliary). Most keyboards can handle many more than just two patches at once, so you're back to square one when you use more than two.

 

I submix in any case; I don't want FOH messing it up any more than they already do. :laugh:

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The few exceptions I can think of are:

1) use of external rotary sim or actual Leslie for clone wheel parts

2) running LH bass through an actual bass amp

These are exactly the reasons I've needed assignable outs. Though more rarely, I have run LH bass separately to FOH (and not to a bass amp), so the sound person could balance the bass-and-drums the way he wanted without it affecting the rest of my keyboard levels in the mains. (That's rare because, on the gigs where I play LH bass, there is usually no sound man!)

 

 

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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A year ago, the only light, weighted 88 in the under $1200 price range I could find with programmable outputs was the Casio PX-5s. Granted, it would be mono to each output, but at least you can send bass to one output and piano to the other. These days there may be other options.

 

Funny thing about horn patches - horn sections and string sections often incorporate volume swells into the performance. Likewise with organ parts. I couldn't imagine trying to play those parts without a volume pedal.

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