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Who covers multiple parts on a single keyboard?


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There should be a word

"Spuckup"

 

Split Point F up.... What do you think?

 

 

I get by with a Yamaha S90XS, and a computer running Forte and a bunch of Vst's

Yamaha S90XS, Studiologic VMk-161 Organ

Small/powerful (i7, 32GB, M.2 SSD) PC controlled by 10" Touch Screen

Cantabile, Ravenscroft 275, Keyscape, OPX-II, Omnisphere 2, VB3, Chris Hein Horns, etc.

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There should be a word

"Spuckup"

 

Split Point F up.... What do you think?

 

 

I get by with a Yamaha S90XS, and a computer running Forte and a bunch of Vst's

Spuckup is hilarious. :thu:

 

The name of the split/layered combination usually reminds me of how it's set-up.

 

If I forget, I can hit an edit button on the Motif to see exactly how it is configured. ;):cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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I've used a single M-Audio Axiom 61 running Mainstage for nearly 5 years now. Even on Top 40/wedding band stuff, splits and layers abound, using the octave keys to get around. The rare times I've used two keyboards are when I need a dedicated piano sound at all times in addition to synthy weirdness, or when I have the opportunity to play a real grand and I put my Axiom on top.

My Site

Nord Electro 5D, Novation Launchkey 61, Logic Pro X, Mainstage 3, lots of plugins, fingers, pencil, paper.

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When I had my Latin jazz fusion band, where I played pads, ear candy, and rhythmic parts as well as solos, I eventually got 3 or 4 distinct parts per song on one keyboard ... My Kurzweil PC2. I felt the ability to program the controls on that keyboard simply shined in that role. In the end, the conflict between playing parts and improvising freely took its toll and I ended up simplifying the partscto one or two per song so that I had more improvisational freedom.

 

Perhaps if I had more keyboards iny setup it would have been easier to keep that, but for a time I did also use 2 keys in that group -- the other being a nord Electro. I found that complicated rather than simplified things for me because then at times I was slaving one keyboard to the other. It got to be too much for my feeble brain to handle, lol. I was much happier with one keyboard in that band.

 

When I play the occassional gig with my friend's jazz-funk outfit, I definitely prefer two keyboards -- mainly because I like to dedicate the Nord to organ and even use two-keyboard/manual mode and send a split down to the PC2 at times. Conversely, I like to play the Nord's EPs and the Kurz's pianos on the Kurz keybed, so I use MIDI to do that. (i have old gear and no EP ROM in the Kurz; I'm stuck with stock there).

Original Latin Jazz

CD Baby

 

"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

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I do use two boards (Casio PX5S on te bottom and Kronos 61 on top), as it gives me both touch/actions I require. For commercial/corporate gigs the Kronos is often doing 2-5 parts, including sometimes being the sound source controlled by the lower keys. When you are covering parts for a known tune you can always key limit the range to just cover the notes required, so you can get a lot happening across a small number of keys.

 

Sometimes I need to get tricky to make things fit, and I'll share one such instance. I needed to be able to place a trumpet across the top octave of the keys for a part in F#m, and the Kronos (of course) tops out on a C. So I placed a zone from C to B with the trumpet, then added another zone on the top C with the same sound, and transposed it up a half-step. This way I could get the required top C# note, by playing the C key. Took a little bit to train my self to play a different key than the note I wanted, but it got easier.

 

I will sometimes split the lower board, and place sound effects, hits etc. on the lowest or highest keys of the Casio, since I don't need to play those ranges when I'm with the band. And when needed, I'll use those "end zones" for other parts as well. This compensates for the fact that my upper board is only 61-keys.

 

Jerry

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I play synth in a couple of bands using only my Nord Lead 2x - but, despite it all being analog style synth sounds, there are parts to boot. Lots and lots of different sounds to be selected, settings for outboard effects and all that. Hard work - but great fun.
When in doubt, superimpose pentatonics.
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Did a singel keybaord setup with a Classic Rock Band on a Roland VR700. Worked pretty well but if you hit a preset to change sounds while holding down any keys you get a nasty low end thump. Another thing is you can't get the organ to change an octave. You can do an octave change with anything else except the organ. So if I'm doing a RH Piano thing and want a full sounding organ behind it with my LH below the split your limited. You can only get away with using the 8' 4' drawbars.

All around nice keyboard for the money and getting by with using only one board is a big plus for me. Programming is very easy and quick and you get 64 presets to cover most requirments.

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Yup, only one board for me. I do alot of splits on the RD-700(sx). Usually piano or ep with organ, or any of the above with horns. Transpose keyboard zones as necessary. Also done some duo gigs with lefty bass and rh piano with a guitar player and those sound pretty damn good. With a little relatively simple pre-programming you can get very fast program changes on the fly. Like with any board, a few idiosyncrasies (like Keysguy said) but you get used to them quickly. It works for me. Only complaint is the piano action on the RD isn't the greatest for organ, but it's good enough to justify not lugging a second board!

If music is soul food, man am I hungry!

scs

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It depends. I've had as much as 4 stacked keyboards, but being a pianist, I always prefer to have everything at an optimal playing height whenever possible.

When I was gigging my Fatar Studio 2001 master keyboeard (I have two of them), the concept was always "one master, many expanders". The 2001 is fantastic in that respect: You could reassign, rescale, and convert everything into everything else into the MIDI realm. So I just used to prepare my splits, then learn my songs as I was learning a piano piece. It was great.

Unfortunately, my aging back prevents me to carry the 2001 around anymore - and there isn't yet a lighweight, compact master keyboard with the 2001's capabilities around.

 

These days, I mainly play piano, but when I do keyboards, my favorite configuration is one weighted board at "piano level", and a *small* unweighted board on top, placed real close.

Probably, if I had to play substantial organ parts, I would need a 5-octave board on top, but I'm not much of an organist, and I can play any other sound on a weighted keyboard.

 

So yeah, tendentially, the huge keyboard rigs never attracted me. A piano is big enough.... :D

 

 

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I could probably get by with a single board if it had patch remain and it wasn't an organ-heavy gig, and for a lot of songs that don't have widdly synth solos, I do just use the Fantom X8.

 

Because it doesn't have patch remain, I end up having a lot of fun working out all the different zones I need. In my original symphonic/progressive band, zones are normally set up around playing octaves or chords with each hand, and the sounds that come out depending where on the board I play it. For example, we have one song where the bottom octave of the board is a Hammond power chord, the next octave up is a low string part, then bass piano in 8ves, then the region around C4 is solo piano, then middle range strings 8ve+5th chord, then the top register is solo violin section. So in the verses and choruses I use the solo piano and bass 8ves, the prechoruses are the bass piano and mid-range strings and the guitar solos (think Comfortably Numb full orchestra) are low strings and organ (rotor on aftertouch) with one hand, and mid-range and solo violins with the right hand. All with no patch changes!

 

My other original band is very Zappa-influenced, and I go about setting up like this:

 

1. Write out (in notation) each different voice I'm covering. It's not every note played, but a summary of the key melodies/chords and where they come in the song.

2. Using this, I then work out the total range each voice has to cover, if there are any large breaks in the range, and if there are any parts where the range can be reduced - e.g. a piano part where the left hand is only playing octaves and the right is playing a melody 4 octaves higher doesn't strictly need to use the entire range, particularly if there are other parts to cover.

3. Check where parts are happening concurrently, how many fingers do I need to use to play each one? Particularly on guitar parts where chord voicings span several octaves, can the notes be moved around so it can be played one-handed if necessary?

4. Split each part between left and right. Normally melody parts are on the right, everything else on the left, but not always.

5. Program! The really fun bit. This is where all the preparation pays off (hopefully!), but it still needs some careful thought, particularly if effects capacity is limited.

6. Learn to play the monster you've created - definitely the hardest bit!

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I use an m audio Axiom 61 and Mainstage in covers band covering everything from Steppenwolf, disco to Lady Gaga. Depending on the song up to 4 splits with EP, horns, strings and synth. If octaves are called for I add a layer with an octave shift. Takes about 20 mins to set up 3 splits and layers reusing existing patches. I use VB3 for hammond and White Grand for AP. The rest is mainly logic EP's, Martinic Vox, EXS24 and Sylenth1 for most modern synth requirements. OD and wah etc from amp and pedal plugins.

 

2 boards would be better but I also play guitar on 40% of our material so single board is it when loading in and setting up keys and guitar and amp.

 

MainStage's big screen performance layout is critical for me when switching back from guitar to keys for a fleeting check that the correct patch is active and where the splits are for the current song and I have to hit a horn stab at the beginning of the next bar.

MainStage 3 | Axiom 61 2nd Gen | Pianoteq | B5 | XK3c | EV ZLX 12P

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I sometimes cover multiple parts by splitting my Nord Electro 3 (73) via a midi patchbay app on my iPad. This way I can cover two or three parts, say synth bass/piano/synth lead, with one relatively light board plus an iPad, two of the parts being played on iPad-instruments. This saves me the trouble of bringing my heavy stage piano and ditto stand for rehearsals on weekday nights. It is not an ideal setup, but it is practical. At gigs, I always make sure to have both my stage piano and my Electro.
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I have done gigs with a single board (Kurzweil SP76) which is a pretty versatile controller (in addition to its old piano sounds). Had it MIDIed up to various modules over the past 7 years (Darkstar, Kurzweil, Korg, Alesis, V-Machine) with splits and layers programmed (32 memories). Did the job when space was at a premium or the shlep to the stage was a bit of a hassle. I prefer two boards but it was fun on occasion.

"The devil take the poets who dare to sing the pleasures of an artist's life." - Gottschalk

 

Soundcloud

Aethellis

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My bread-and-butter gigs are theater pits, and I almost always do them with one board. I use an RD700-GX; if the requirements for different sounds are simple and mainly piano-based then that's all I'll bring. If it's something more involved with lots of orchestral sounds and splits, then I pair the RD up with my JV-2080 loaded to the brim with expansion cards (both Orchestral cards, World, Asia, Piano, Synth, 60s & 70s Keys, and Bass & Drum). The 2080 has patch remain, and sounds great in the live mix with actual strings/brass/woodwinds. The RD is very easy to use as a controller, so getting my Setups set-up is a pretty smooth process.

 

 

 

My only complaints at the moment are that the RD is way too heavy (I am so sick of moving it), is not an ideal keybed for non-piano patches (I love playing piano on it, but getting quick/delicate string parts to articulate right is a challenge), and there are only 100 Setups available. I'm currently playing the 2nd keyboard book for a production of Les Miserables, and I had to cut out many of the patch changes the book called for due to lack of space (I know I could load patch sets on a USB drive, but that sketches me out in a live situation; the consequences of a lost/misplaced/faulty thumb drive would be immense).

 

So, I am loosely in the market for a different controller for this kind of gig, though I am totally happy with the sound engine in the 2080 and have no plans of replacing that anytime soon, unless my replacement controller comes with as comprehensive a set of sounds as I have in the 2080.

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Oh, also, I do my rock cover band all on my M3-61 (previously I did it just with my QS7.1).

 

I don't really have enough keys, but on tight stages, I make it work, and we don't do too many songs where I have to sacrifice the integrity of the part to fit it into 61 keys.

 

I tried bringing both boards to a few gigs, but the payoff was not worth the hassle of carrying two boards, a bigger stand, twice as many cables, and a small mixer up and down stairs.

 

Plus, with just 61 keys, I'm forced to get out of the way of the bass player so he can do his thing. :)

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Hey BluMunk if 100 setups aren't enough, try something from Kurzweil. I use a K2500 (probably something in the PC3 series would be better in your case), and pair it with a Roland JV module (I use them for musical pits), and they sound really great together.
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In the 90s, my main board was the Korg X3.

 

I could layer 8 zones if I remember correctly, and played the majority of the top 40/eighties tunes on this board. I also had a Viscount clone for pure Hammond stuff and a Juno 106 for the analog-eighties stuff, but honestly I used the Korg the most.

 

I remember doing Stupid Girl by Garbage and using backward guitar sounds, guitar slides and strums, and a couple different key sounds, all under one combi..nice..

 

Other than the aforementioned Casio Px 5S, Im amazed how twenty years after the X3, most mid priced keyboards are only offering a single split..so much for technology moving forward

 

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Hey BluMunk if 100 setups aren't enough, try something from Kurzweil. I use a K2500 (probably something in the PC3 series would be better in your case), and pair it with a Roland JV module (I use them for musical pits), and they sound really great together.

 

I've thought about it, but they're still super-heavy (50lb+). I'm holding out for a lighter-weight full-controller-featured board.

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Hey BluMunk if 100 setups aren't enough, try something from Kurzweil. I use a K2500 (probably something in the PC3 series would be better in your case), and pair it with a Roland JV module (I use them for musical pits), and they sound really great together.

 

I've thought about it, but they're still super-heavy (50lb+). I'm holding out for a lighter-weight full-controller-featured board.

Good idea, if weight is an issue for you. I have a beautiful SKB case with wheels, so the only time I ever have to do lifting is on and off my car, and on and off my stand. :)
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I'm currently playing the 2nd keyboard book for a production of Les Miserables, and I had to cut out many of the patch changes the book called for due to lack of space

 

I can relate, I just picked up keyboard 2 for Shrek the Musical, and its taking some creativity to fit all the changes in. I keep about half the presets on my RD-700 locked in for the various bands I work with .. R&B, blues, funk, jazz, reggae, rock/pop all end up on the list at various times. I don't do a lot of shows, but pick up few and cycle through the other half when I get them ... It's always been plenty of space up to now, but Shrek is really pushing the limit!

If music is soul food, man am I hungry!

scs

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I've been using two keyboards for so long that using only one just feels plain wrong. Don't like it at all. Throws off my mojo. I will occasionally use one keyboard for rehearsal, but even then I don't like it. The only time I really don't mind using a single keyboard is for non-band settings (e.g., cocktail piano).

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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I've tried the single board / multiple parts thing on my Nord Stage 2, and -- well -- it's a lot of work to set up and master. It also forces you to pay attention, play within the boundaries, etc.

 

Depending on the band, I'll either go with two (dedicated piano sounds below, organ-ish sounds above -- no splits), or insert the Stage into the stack for all the other split and color that might be needed.

 

Playing a different setup for every song (splits, voices) causes me to think more about how the board is setup (now where did I put that split?) and less about the music I'm trying to make. Nice to know I can freely roam on all the keys when I can avoid splits.

 

Not that I've ever had an awkward improvised solo that started out in one voice, and suddenly shifted to a quiet string patch as I went up the keyboard. YMMV.

Life is too short to be playing bad music.

 

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Splits are something that always sound like a good idea on paper, but I've never found them to be practical in the real world. I remember reading about the Roland A-50 and A-80 when they came out (with their 4 overlapping zones), and I thought it was the greatest thing. In reality, I want the freedom to improvise across a wide range of notes, and a split hampers that approach.

 

No matter how intelligently I set the split point, I always wind up crossing it inadvertently.

 

 

Sundown

 

Working on: The Jupiter Bluff; They Live, We Groove

Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361

DAW Platform: Cubase

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I've always been a 2 keyboard guy, mostly with something pretending to be a Hammond on top and some type of piano /synth at the bottom. I still find that set-up essential for my Tom Petty tribute. However, for the first time this weekend, I will be doing a gig with my

( new to me) Rolling Stones tribute with just my Casio PX-5S using mostly EPs and APs, some split with horns, Vibes and Sitar. There is so little organ in the 1 and 1/2 hr set we'll be playing, it's not worth schlepping, the controller and laptop for VB3 and double stand. I'll use the PX -5S 5 draw organ hex patch that I toned down some effects on and slowed down the fast Leslie and tweaked the OD to sound somewhat like a Hammond.

Hammonds:1959 M3,1961 A-101,Vent, 2 Leslies,VB3/Axiom,

Casio WK-7500,Yamaha P50m Module/DGX-300

Gig rig:Casio PX-5S/Roland VR-09/Spacestation V3

http://www.petty-larceny-band.com

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Good idea, if weight is an issue for you. I have a beautiful SKB case with wheels, so the only time I ever have to do lifting is on and off my car, and on and off my stand. :)

 

And up and down stairs, oh so many stairs! And even just carrying it awkwardly through my apartment would be so much easier at 20-30lb less.

 

I can relate, I just picked up keyboard 2 for Shrek the Musical, and its taking some creativity to fit all the changes in. I keep about half the presets on my RD-700 locked in for the various bands I work with .. R&B, blues, funk, jazz, reggae, rock/pop all end up on the list at various times. I don't do a lot of shows, but pick up few and cycle through the other half when I get them ... It's always been plenty of space up to now, but Shrek is really pushing the limit!

 

Yeah, it's the modern musical arrangements that really take advantage of the most they can get out of a keyboard (and probably paid someone to do all the programming for the Broadway show). I haven't done Shrek yet, but I have done Beauty and the Beast (one of the earlier contemporary screen-to-stage Disney adaptations) which called for a lot. Les Mis is a little crazy, as probably more than half of the patches are various articulations/arrangements of string sections. Marcatto for two bars, tremolo right hand violas and cello and bass (non trem) in the left hand for four bars, sul pont for a measure, then just normal 'strings,' but four measures in every note above the Eb a 10th above middle C gets doubled an octave down . . . etc etc etc.

 

Needless to say it's a lot of those details that I left out for the sake of space and time.

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I've gone from 2 controllers (76- and 61-note) and a rack of gear, to Roland VK7 plus 76-note controller plus a rack of gear, to a few iterations of 88-note digital pianos plus NIB4d drawbars and various peripherals controlling a Fantom-X rack and VB3 in a V-Machine to ...

 

an SK1-73 and the Fantom-Xr. For my funk and soul trio or quartet (with vocal) or pop covers corporate band. The action is great for everything except solo piano. and the SK1 is a hell of a midi controller. I have a lot of 4-way splits and layers and I'm always playing left hand bass. I'm used to managing splits, e.g. Rock With You: bass/rhodes/strings/synth lead; Cosmic Girl: bass/pad/rhodes/space fx/strings; et al. But hey, where's my low E people ??? Actually if it had a low E I'd want a low D, lol. So I really want a 78-note keyboard (D-G). But anyway one keyboard and splits it is, and the SK1/Fantom-Xr combi manages them with ease. Love the fact that I can use the SK1 favourites buttons as a numeric keypad to call up performances/combis. And the SK1's inspiring organ, clav and wurli nicely fill the weak spots in the Roland. Oh and I can lay the keyboard across the back seat of a sedan. The SK1, Fantom-Xr, a stand, a bench and a Line6 L3T on one trolley and my lug is down to one trip. Really loving this rig, easy lug and set-up, sweet keyboard feel (especially for left hand bass, as well as being a really playable action for organ, clav and wurli or rhodes), great sounds. In part I chose the SK1-73 over an SK2 because I thought it'd be nice to be able to stack it on something else (Kawai ES7 or maybe an Fa-08), but really I'm happy with just one keyboard and the module.

Keys: Hammond SK2, Hammond SK1, Hammond SKpro, Korg Vox Continental, Waldorf STVC

Amplification: Line6 L3T, Yamaha DBR-10, Presonus Air 10, Leslie 122V

 

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I often solely use my Nord Stage 2 (88 key version so obviously the best for splits) for function gigs and originals, with splits set up. I agree with what's already been said about the split points partly forcing the player to think very carefully about what they will play, vs restricting their freedom occasionally. I do find the 'Live' patches are a solution to that though - you can instantly switch to a 'Live' patch during a track to enable you to solo with freedom. For most gigs that's my set-up. For my own band, the Nord Stage 2 takes the place of a Clav; I sit it on top of my suitcase Rhodes and then put the Moog on my right for lead lines.

 

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