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Small keyboard for piano with Nord organ...


theGman

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Hi there.

 

I have a Nord Electro 3/73, and use a Jupiter 50 above it on normal band gigs.

 

I have an opportunity to go back part time into a blues band which requires a decent piano and decent organ sounds. To save space and weight, etc, and since all I would need is a piano with the E3 organ, I thought of buying a small (39 keys or so?) keyboard to mount above/on the right side of the 73 key Electro 3.

 

Is this a practical solution? Sort of a poor man's Stage 2?

I have never even looked at the smaller keyboards before and thought it would be best to just ask your opinions on this.

 

 

 

Thanks, Paul

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So I'm assuming you want something with internal sounds, not just a controller to drive your E3 (since it isn't multi-timbral and presumably you would want organ and piano at the same time.)

 

For me, piano = weighted keyboard and I don't think you will find a 3-4 octave weighted keyboard.

 

If un-weighted keys don't bother you and you are looking for something with a decent piano sound in 4 octaves, then one possibility is Yamaha MX49. I don't know of anything with a decent piano sound with less keys.

 

(It's possible the new Korg taktile-49 would also fit the same niche, but I have no idea how the piano sound is.)

 

 

 

 

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If I'm understanding this correctly, all that's needed is a separate, lightweight keyboard on which to play piano - while using the E3 for organ.

What about flipping the rig described initially: Put the JP50 on the bottom - for piano, and the E3 above. The JP50 plays quite well as a substitute piano - when 88 weighted keys is too much. Plenty of SN piano variations, and the velocity response is well above average for synth action keys. I'm picky about weighted actions, yet don't mind covering a night of piano oriented songs on the JP50 - when necessary.

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Roland RD-64.

 

Personally I can't imagine doing a Blues gig without a weighted 88. But the RD-64 may be your best chance at a mini DP.

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I don't really care if it's weighted or not, I can play it; I just was thinking of, in a strictly blues setting, since only 2 basic sounds needed at same time (organ and piano) there would be a suitable smallish keyboard instead of hauling around my usual E3/J50.

 

In other words, I like the J50. It is my top board piano sound with the E3 on bigger gigs, but the J50 has many other sounds I use, such as horns, violin, bagpipe, flute, etc. etc. in a regular classic rock gig. Why not just use both? Because just wanting to simplify to 1 1/3 ? keyboards for the blues only gig.

 

The J50 organs are, to me, not nearly the quality of the E3; otherwise, I would just use the J50 alone and split it with a Roland organ sound low and piano high.

 

 

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The thing about Blues piano is the big 3-7 spread voicings can sound really sweet but takes some real estate.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Roland RD-64.

 

Personally I can't imagine doing a Blues gig without a weighted 88. But the RD-64 may be your best chance at a mini DP.

 

Yeah, that board came to mind with me too.

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Why not just use both? Because just wanting to simplify to 1 1/3 ? keyboards for the blues only gig.

I don't see where using a smaller 2nd keyboard simplifies anything (the number of pieces and the number of connections stays the same), though it does reduce stage space and carrying weight.

 

I'm assuming that you realize, as others have pointed out, that your second board would have to have a piano sound built in, since even with a MIDI controller added, the Electro can't generate its piano sound and its organ sound at the same time.

 

In the size range you asked about, you could look at the Roland Lucina AX-09. The aforementioned Yamaha MX49 could be a nice choice too... more keys than you asked for, but I don't think that would be a bad thing, and it's about the same weight, same length, same height, though it is deeper and more expensive. I think the Yamaha piano sound is better. Though who knows, maybe you'll find the keytar idea to be fun as well! BTW, even if you found something narrower (i.e. 3x keys not designed as a keytar), you might have problems with placing it above your Nord, since many 2-tier keyboard stands don't support a 2nd-tier board that is so narrow.

 

The J50 organs are, to me, not nearly the quality of the E3; otherwise, I would just use the J50 alone and split it with a Roland organ sound low and piano high.

Here's another idea that might work... Create an organ split preset on the Nord that makes no sound above the split point where you would want to hear the "piano high" (i.e. set the drawbars for 000 000 000). Now you can use the upper section of the keyboard to trigger an external piano sound that can be on something much smaller than bringing around another keyboard, whether a small sound module, or even possibly an iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch (with an app like CMP Grand Piano or iGrand).

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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I'm struggling to think of an existing 39 key'd keyboard that would have an action good enough for playing piano parts, even if you say action doesn't matter.

 

I too would say go with an RD64, but if you're going to do that, you may as well just keep and take out the JP. If you really, really want to stick with the Electro only, AnotherScott's idea is a winner if you can get it to work.

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Why not just use both? Because just wanting to simplify to 1 1/3 ? keyboards for the blues only gig.

 

 

The J50 organs are, to me, not nearly the quality of the E3; otherwise, I would just use the J50 alone and split it with a Roland organ sound low and piano high.

Here's another idea that might work... Create an organ split preset on the Nord that makes no sound above the split point where you would want to hear the "piano high" (i.e. set the drawbars for 000 000 000). Now you can use the upper section of the keyboard to trigger an external piano sound that can be on something much smaller than bringing around another keyboard, whether a small sound module, or even possibly an iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch (with an app like CMP Grand Piano or iGrand).

 

Very ingenious Anotherscott! Cool thinking!

Rudy

 

 

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Very ingenious Anotherscott! Cool thinking!

Thank you! But it's only half ingenious. ;-) I realized that that plan nicely turns the top half of the Electro organ into piano, but it doesn't prevent piano from also playing on the lower half, layered with the organ. So you would also need to do something to prevent the piano-sound-device from responding to notes below the split point. So you still need something else. I think the iMIDIPatchbay app might do the trick, running on the same i-device as the piano app. If you're using a hardware sound module, you'd have to program a patch with a split that yielded piano only above a certain note (or use something like a MIDI Solutions box to filter out what you don't want played). So it's not as simple as I may have made it sound... but it should work.

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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I have a rack thingy here that's a million years old that can probably filter out notes below a certain range. I think it's a Digital Music MX-8.

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I have a rack thingy here that's a million years old that can probably filter out notes below a certain range. I think it's a Digital Music MX-8.

Yup, that should be able to do it.

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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Very ingenious Anotherscott! Cool thinking!

Thank you! But it's only half ingenious. ;-) I realized that that plan nicely turns the top half of the Electro organ into piano, but it doesn't prevent piano from also playing on the lower half, layered with the organ. So you would also need to do something to prevent the piano-sound-device from responding to notes below the split point. So you still need something else. I think the iMIDIPatchbay app might do the trick, running on the same i-device as the piano app. If you're using a hardware sound module, you'd have to program a patch with a split that yielded piano only above a certain note (or use something like a MIDI Solutions box to filter out what you don't want played). So it's not as simple as I may have made it sound... but it should work.

 

Oh oke. I thought the split sent on different channels. Apperantly not...

Rudy

 

 

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