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Kurzweil PC3LE6 compared to Korg M50 for bass- new guy.


FranklinsTower

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Hello everyone I am a brand new member with a question for anyone in the know. I am a starting out musician and have been playing the keyboard for just a couple of years (still suck). The keyboard I play on is a Korg M50. As I have begun to find my voice I have gravitated towards playing bass type sounds-- on the Korg my favorite sound that I use 95% of the time is called bass piano or deep piano. The rest of the bass sounds on my Korg are not very good (in my opinion)-- I don't like any of the acoustic or electric bass guitar sounds on the Korg.

 

A guy I know who works at a music shop in town told me that Kurzweil keyboards have the best string sounds and he specifically recommended the PC3LE6. The problem is I cant find a shop in town that carries them for me to try one out.

 

So what do you guys think about Kurzweil keyboards as far as producing authentic sounding bass guitar, piano, etc as compared to my Korg and other keyboards?

 

I looked in the topic lists for this topic and apologize if I missed it.....

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Welcome to the forum. I've never played the M50, but I do own all three PC3 (not LE) sizes. The PC3LE has the same sound set as a PC3 but half the polyphony. I do play a good bit of LH bass (also play a 5-string bass guitar), and find the Kurzweil's sounds quite good for the purpose. There are patches for Acoustic Bass, Bass Guitar, Orchestral String Bass and section, various types of synth bass. Also good piano, Rhodes, Wurly, and other piano type sounds. Lots of Vintage patches. Kurzweil's KB3 Hammond/Leslie simulation factory patches don't get fast Leslie as well as my Hammond SK1, but can be user adjusted to be quite adequate in a band situation.

I bought the 88 key as one of the first 60 sold in the US back in March, 2008, the 76 key a year or so later, and the 61 key as the original PC3 line was being discontinued and replaced by the PC3K line. which added significant compatibility to the older K series Kurzweil patches. Kurzweil is the standard keyboard for most Broadway shows - largely because of the quality of their orchestral patches, and complete patch and macro sets are available for rental for most of these productions.

 

Best bass emulation I had (except the Gibson RD Artist bass that I used to have) was a Kurzweil K2000VP along with a CD full of samples called Bass Gallery. However, it meant setting up the keyboard and separate SCSI hard drive and using the macros included with Bass Gallery to lead the particular bank of patches every time it was powered up. There were typically over 100 individual patches for each of the ten considerably different basses. This was on a 1990's board. Playing it through the Trace bass amp into a 2x10 and 1x15 bass cabinet helped. As I got older, all that stuff got to be too much to haul around.

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Jim

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So what do you guys think about Kurzweil keyboards as far as producing authentic sounding bass guitar, piano, etc as compared to my Korg and other keyboards?

 

I a big time Kurzweil user, so read this with a grain of salt. :)

 

Kurzweil has always had a very wide selection of very usable sounds. Some of them have topped everyone else's attempts at realism and others have been surpassed... only because they set the standard so high.

 

If you were to buy a PC3LE6, I'm sure you'd be very happy with the bass sounds you'll get out of it. It is the best for the money for bass? I don't know for sure, though it's probably one of the best. Will it mop the floor using the Korg M50's face? In a word, yes. :)

 

And were you to buy it new, give Dave Weiser a call. He used to work for Kurzweil, now reps them via their distributor AM&S, and gives the best Kurzweil support on this forum that you could ever ask for.

 

http://www.weisersound.com/

 

Stephen

 

 

 

 

.

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Here's a link to demos of the bass sounds in the PC3/PC3LE sound set. Several are ones I created when I worked for Kurz R&D.

 

While my niche as a programmer is vintage keys (EPs, clav, B3, analog synths,etc) the elec bass category was one of my favorites to work on. I played along with tons of classic recordings of Bootsy, Sly, Jaco, Jamerson, Tony Levin, etc.

 

http://kurzweil.com/product/pc3le8/audio/

 

Just click on the "bass" category in the list of demos.

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So what do you guys think about Kurzweil keyboards as far as producing authentic sounding bass guitar, piano, etc as compared to my Korg and other keyboards?

 

I looked in the topic lists for this topic and apologize if I missed it.....

 

as this is an objective question your answers will only be others opinions, possibly more educated than your own, but not certainly. If you can't try out a board locally then purchase one mail order from a company that offers a 30 day no hassle return policy. There are several out there on the interwebz. Playing and listening to a keyboard yourself is the only way you should make a decision on purchasing said keyboard.

Welcome to the forum.

BTW, Franklin's Tower is my favorite Dead song. :cool:

:nopity:
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Best basses (along with many others +operational benifits) on a keyboard are on the Yamaha Motif series imo. You should at least check them out before splashing down on a Kurz.

There is no luck - luck is simply the confluence of circumstance and co-incidence...

 

Time is the final arbiter for all things

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Thanks for all of the replies, I have read through them several times. It sounds like I better really take my time before purchasing something. Thanks Dave for the link also it is much appreciated-- the sound quality on that site is really good. Most of the bass on that list has a bit to much bite for me though --clav?-- the closest one for me was the acoustic. I don't know if clav is an accurate description seeing as how I am barely a musician at this point. I want something really smooth sounding. The bass player that I would like to be able to emulate the sound of is Phil Lesh from the Grateful Dead-- anyone familiar with that music and the sound of the bass in that band?

 

I will check out Casio (which I did not even know made anything other than toys) and the Yamaha also. I think I did find a Kurzweil dealer about 50 miles away and that is no problem to go out there and check it out. Also whatever I choose I am certain that I do not want to have to hook up a computer to my keyboard in order to play it.

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For whatever it's worth, if your intent is to play a lot of bass on a keyboard in a live band setting, you might seriously consider using the appropriate amplification to support that role.

 

The keyboard players I've heard who kick dedicated bass in a band (often, left hand bass, while soloing & comping with right hand simultaneously) often schlep around TWO separate amplification rigs - a true bass amp for the LH, and some sort of keyboard amplification for the RH.

 

Having a true dedicated bass rig (either integrated bass combo rig, or separate amp head and cabinet) goes a long way in providing legitimate bottom end in a live band with live drums, guitars, etc.

 

You don't mention your intended usage, but when you mentioned Lesh's sound, and your login name, I just figured you were intending to play live.

..
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Yes live music is absolutely what I am gearing up towards. I got exposed to the Dead when I was about eighteen years old and it had and continues to have a profound impact on me.

 

I have a friend who is a classical violinist who wants to switch over to playing improvisational type music so once a week we get together and play along with some Dead for an hour or so and then do our own thing for another hour or so and that's basically how I practice during the week too.

 

The long term goal is to have a few musicians who can bust out some old time gospel songs, some original songs too, while a big group of people from a meditation center that I attend sing along and enter into some chanting also. We want to be able to enter into some improvisational jamming along the way. This would be a once a week thing for a couple hours a night. So it will be live but also kind of an original venue.

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No-- I would rather use the keyboard because I want to eventually be able to use it for making many other trance inducing sounds and effects at the same time in different zones. Keyboard is the instrument for me but just one with good bass too (I know it will never sound just like a bass guitar and that's fine). Bass piano is probably what to call my nich-- bass piano with weird effects along the way. :laugh:
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The keyboard players I've heard who kick dedicated bass in a band (often, left hand bass, while soloing & comping with right hand simultaneously) often schlep around TWO separate amplification rigs - a true bass amp for the LH, and some sort of keyboard amplification for the RH.

 

Having a true dedicated bass rig (either integrated bass combo rig, or separate amp head and cabinet) goes a long way in providing legitimate bottom end in a live band with live drums, guitars, etc.

Yup. This also requires that the keyboard be able to send your bass sound out a different output from your RH sound. Separate assignable outs are best for this, but if you are willing to play mono (sorry, Aspen), a board with a single set of stereo outs can work as long as it lets you pan the bass sound to one side and your RH sound to the other. You also need to consider effects in this situation, as a board may, for example, put stereo reverb on your RH sound, thereby putting some of your RH sound into your LH amp regardless of how you have your sounds panned.

 

Another issue is keyboard size... if you're doing LH bass, you usually want a minimum of a 73 key board, and one that includes a low E (instead of stopping at F as some do). Anything less than that, and you'll generally end up with a claustrophobic RH range of about 3 octaves.

 

Lastly, and this gets even tougher to find, it's best to have a keyboard with aftertouch, so you can introduce some expression as needed into your RH sounds while your LH is busy playing bass. Alternatively, you may be able to use a pedal for that, so checking for a sufficient number of pedal connections on the board may also be worthwhile... though a pedal is not as naturally/organically expressive as aftertouch, and also more awkward if you are a standing player trying to navigate multiple pedals.

 

Of course, if you're not playing bass lines *and* something else simultaneously, and are essentially "just" functioning as a bass player, then you can ignore all that. ;-)

 

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 new to the forum, but have been playing keyboard bass with left hand since the 70's, used a FenderRhodes Piano Bass in those days. Rather than shop for a new board if you like your M50 as a main board, I've found, for me, that using a separate board for bass works best rather than trying to split the main board (and I have done that in the past using the main board's aux outs for the bass sounds, which worked fine); I currently use a Korg R3 for bass (37 full-size keys), it works well sitting on a Gibraltar electronics stand angling in from the left slightly above the main board, and you can tweak the bass sounds on it (and also download and tweak the MicroKorg's bass sounds on the Korg site)to get five or six good bass patches to use depending upon the song/need, from clean acoustic bass up through hard-driving compressed bass. That leaves my main rig (a Hammond SK1 on top of and midi'ed to a Yamaha S90ES) free to use full-keyboard on intros before bass comes in or when I want to play lower range keyboard sounds with right hand. You can pick up a good Korg R3 for about $300 bucks, the Gibraltar stand for a bit over $100, spend a few hours tweaking and saving the bass sounds you want, and then you'll have complete flexibility in your main keyboard choices and also in amping the bass and/or running it to FOH. For that, through the years, I've found it best to get a quality small mixer with several input and output options, such as the Mackie 803VLZ3 or 4, and run everything into it and use the stereo XLR mains as a D.I. for FOH and use the aux output (with a TRS plug XLR adapter) to D.I. the bass to FOH as well (set the bass channel to output 3/4 on the mixer so the bass will not be included in the mains XLR output), and adjust bass output to FOH via the bass channel AUX knob and adjust bass output to bass amp (fed from the mixer's output 3 jack) by the mixer bass channel's volume control; can then use the mixer's control room outputs to run amps in stereo and exclude the bass from those amps (or, in a small setting, include the bass in the control room outputs and run bass along with stereo keyboards through two medium sized bass amps, such as Fender Bassman 60s or 100s, and leave the Ampeg bass stack home) - the mixer setup allows a lot of flexibility in output and amplification choices depending on venue and needs, plus allows for a very dependable consistency and EQ control of the signals you send to FOH. Sorry for the length of this reply, hope it gives you some options to consider that will serve you well long-term.

Kawai KG-2D / Yamaha CP33 S90ES MX49 CP4 P515 / Hammond SK1 / NS3 88 / NS3Compact

QSC K8.2s K10.2s KSubs / SoundcraftUi24 / SSv3 / GK MB112 MB115 MB210 Neo410

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Best basses (along with many others +operational benifits) on a keyboard are on the Yamaha Motif series imo. You should at least check them out before splashing down on a Kurz.

 

I'm with miden on this one. I much prefer the breadth, depth and quantity of bass sounds on my MOXF (or even my Motif ES) over those sounds on my Kurz PC3.

 

I've used Motif bass sounds live for many, many years. I've been told several times by our sound man that the bass sounds I used were superior to real bass guitar players in our churches house band.

 

I love the Kurz for many other things, but not bass.

 

Greg

Kurzweil Forte, Yamaha Motif ES7, Muse Receptor 2 Pro Max, Neo Ventilator
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This is very helpful info. I am gonna be playing a lot of bass but it is going to be on a keyboard and not a bass guitar so it sounds like the yamaha is the one to check out. 36 keys is all I want or need (I will only be playing down at the bass end of it for the most part)

 

Which Yamaha model do you guys recommend? Money is not an issue for me.

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Which Yamaha model do you guys recommend? Money is not an issue for me.

 

I suggest the MOXF 6. 61 notes, weighs about 15 pounds, has all the sounds of the flagship Motif XF and can load third party samples via optional flash memory.

 

Even though money's no object, it's one of the better keyboard values on the market.

 

And by all means, play before you buy. Make sure it's what you want and need.

 

Greg

Kurzweil Forte, Yamaha Motif ES7, Muse Receptor 2 Pro Max, Neo Ventilator
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Which Yamaha model do you guys recommend? Money is not an issue for me.

 

I suggest the MOXF 6. 61 notes, weighs about 15 pounds, has all the sounds of the flagship Motif XF and can load third party samples via optional flash memory.

 

Even though money's no object, it's one of the better keyboard values on the market.

 

And by all means, play before you buy. Make sure it's what you want and need.

 

Greg

 

This is probs the better option as there are not other connections to be made. racks can be tedious to set up and control. However it does have more keys than specified in your post...but that COULD be a good thing :D

 

Although the Motif XS 6 would be a better 'board from a control p.ov. imo, not to mention a nice big colour screen ;) and these days it would be cheaper too. Sounds pretty much the same too, even though XF fans will swear differently :poke:

There is no luck - luck is simply the confluence of circumstance and co-incidence...

 

Time is the final arbiter for all things

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Best basses (along with many others +operational benifits) on a keyboard are on the Yamaha Motif series imo. You should at least check them out before splashing down on a Kurz.

 

I'm with miden on this one. I much prefer the breadth, depth and quantity of bass sounds on my MOXF (or even my Motif ES) over those sounds on my Kurz PC3.

 

I've used Motif bass sounds live for many, many years. I've been told several times by our sound man that the bass sounds I used were superior to real bass guitar players in our churches house band.

 

I love the Kurz for many other things, but not bass.

 

Greg

 

This is a very helpful post. I have already decided on keyboard for a number of reasons (and am two years into serious practice on it) and having anyone say that a keyboard even sounded close to an actual bass guitar is great news, let alone someone saying they sound better. Add to that the other wonderful sounds like piano, organ, harp, and all of the special effects which I will use extensively all in one easy to access workstation and I have all I need.

 

How are the costs on the motif series compared to the kurz? also how about construction? my Korg feels like it could break if you just barely bumped it.

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I would recommend the Motif XF7 if you are going to do bass splits. It has a synth action board but a longer keybed. It cost about 3 times the PC3LE6.

 

Motif is Yamaha's flagship line. It samples and does a boatload of stuff. The LE series is a Kurz midrange line board. The equivalent Kurzweill is the PC3K series

 

The build quality of Yamaha proline gear is excellent but the Motif is a $3000 board. The M50 isn't. XF6 is around $2500. You can find prices at Sweetwater or any other online retailer.

"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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Again I would say the XS series is on par with the XF, and for the OP the XS series would be cheaper now. Also the 61 and 76 note Motif series (XS and XF) have the same keybed.

There is no luck - luck is simply the confluence of circumstance and co-incidence...

 

Time is the final arbiter for all things

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