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Keyboard recommendation por favor


EJ_NYC

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Hi,

 

New to the forum, but old to the game. I wrote a whole double album using a four track and a Korg M1 back in the DAY, and want to get my sequencing / studio up to date. I realize this is a tall order of a question. Currently I have a Korg SGX Pro which I like. Anything less than 88 keys is out of the question. I have both a Mac and PC, and have experience with Logic Audio, Pro Tools and Adobe Audition.

 

I'm thinking of upgrading my keyboard to something more modern, mainly for sequencing and sounds. I don't want 100 modules - I still have my M1 and a Yamaha MU90R. I just want something with killer sounds for drums, piano, strings, etc. All my vocals and guitars go down real.

 

Soooo - the Midi interface I've been using is the pro tools one - it's the MBox 2, and quite frankly I've never got it working properly and I don't know if it's the keyboard or the interface. I figure a more up to date keyboard will have a USB input that will not even require the use of a Midi interface, I can just go straight from the keyboard to the computer. I like Korg, and I can't afford a Kronos. For that reason I'm thinking maybe a used M3 or something like it.

 

So on the keyboard side - what Korg should I be looking at? Is there a Roland I should even consider?

 

On the software - the only one I own is Audition. I know Logic and Pro Tools are expensive, and money is a factor.

 

On the MIDI interface side - am I correct that one may not even be needed with the right board? Does the MBox suck as bad as I think it does?

 

I want something easy to set up and do some recording with. Thanks for your suggestions!

 

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A few questions - bearing in mind I am not one of the gear gurus here:

 

1. Rough budget? There are a lot of boards that don't cost as much as the Kronos but are still in the 1000-1500 range.

 

2. Are you primarily recording audio tracks or MIDI data? Most new boards have MIDI over USB and, as you are hoping, don't require an external MIDI interface. Some boards will even double as an audio interface over USB and offer you a few audio ins. Check out, for example, the Yamaha MOXF8.

 

If you are just recording MIDI, controllers can be had very cheaply allowing you to save some money to be spent picking and choosing your sounds on the software side (i.e., plugins).

 

A little more detail as to your intended use will help those here in the know to counsel you better.

 

 

Nord Stage 2 Compact, Yamaha MODX8

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Agreed, in the $1500 - $2000 range either a MOXF8 or Roland FA-08.

Personally I like the Roland a little better but that is a matter of personal taste. Both are fine workstations with a large sound pallet and USB midi & audio recording into your DAW. I prefer some of the sounds on the Roland and the keyboard action. So definitely try before you buy. Some people like the Korg Krome, so definitely look at that. I personally don't like the keys on the Korg but its a matter of taste.

 

There are a lot more options in the high dollar range I haven't tried.

Boards: Kurzweil SP-6, Roland FA-08, VR-09, DeepMind 12

Modules: Korg Radias, Roland D-05, Bk7-m & Sonic Cell

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Wow! nevermind you can get a Kronos for what used Oasys 88s are still selling for. I don't know if those asking prices or selling prices I just saw but that looked extreme.

 

Yes M3-88 is very cool if you like the Korg workflow.

 

If it was me I would look at used Fantom G8 or a new FA-08 but I am not a Korg guy. I think you should strongly consider a M3 then see if you can get the Radias to go with it. Korg guys seem to be a very loyal group. There must be a reason.

"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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First of all, welcome to the forum, EJ_NYC ! This a place chock-full of gear purchase opinions and suggestions. And when you have questions about a particular piece of equipment, more often than not there will be a forum thread about it - usually accessible by the search engine here.

 

To begin answering your questions, it would be helpful to have an idea of your budget ceiling. That way, equipment suggestions can be tailored to fit. There's plenty of gear available - and in a wide price range. For now, a starting-point suggestion would be to look at the 88-key, Casio PX-5S stage piano/controller combined with Logic Pro X. Between the keyboard, software, and your existing module, there would be a universe of sounds - plus recording options. Where Audition offers solid audio recording functions, Logic Pro X provides more robust audio recording/editing, plus extensive MIDI functions and recording capability. As your M Box 2 is a fairly current interface, I suggest getting to the bottom of what's causing it not to work properly for you. That would save some $$ to put toward a keyboard and software.

 

 

 

 

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FYI - If you own a Mac you already have some version of GarageBand. The latest version is only like $15 or $30 and comes with many of those great Logic sounds. Most people are surprised how much it can do. If it's still not enough for you, the jump to Logic Pro is only $200 as kanker says.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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If it's still not enough for you, the jump to Logic Pro is only $200 as kanker says.

 

Of course, this book by K.Anker is highly recommended! :)

 

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51i0fgP6V%2BL.jpg

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Awesome, thanks everyone for the replies! My budget is not firmly fixed - but I'd say $1500 is def the max for a broke divorced guy like myself. Once upon a time I had a Triton for an off-Broadway show I wrote and music directed, but I sold it soon after - and, I never really learned how to work more than 20% of the machine.

 

Although I'm loyal to Korg, at this point I guess I could try a Roland. Certainly not a Casio, Jesus give me a little credit here....

 

Good to know that Logic is $200 now. And yes, I have Garage Band. I think I'd like to use both MIDI and Audio, then during mixdown have the MIDI be converted to audio (does Garage band do that)?

 

Based on what I've heard so far, I think for starters I'll try the Yamaha MOXF8, the Roland FA-08, and the Korg M3. To be honest, my memory of a Korg "workflow" goes back to the M1 which I know inside and out. Like I said, I never even used the sequencer on the Triton.

 

I should and will research this, but if any of you gear gurus know the difference between those 3 boards in terms of functionality, broadly speaking - do they all have sequences? USB? Anyhoo, thanks for the replies, much appreciated!!!

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Certainly not a Casio, Jesus give me a little credit here....
You're missing out. Seriously. A lot of people are using them now and are extremely happy with them including myself. Mike Martin from Casio is a member here and his support alone has won many over.

 

Good to know that Logic is $200 now. And yes, I have Garage Band. I think I'd like to use both MIDI and Audio, then during mixdown have the MIDI be converted to audio (does Garage band do that)?
In GarageBand, "MIDI" is recorded as a "software instrument." You'd either be playing one of the built-in sounds or a third-party one. On playback, you'll hear the software instrument just like the audio tracks. The MIDI is pretty much editable like regular MIDI data. I'd suggest that you play around with GB and see what you can do with it.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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MOXF8 new will run about $1700. The Kawai MP-8 and Roland FA-08 will run $1800 new. These are both fine products. It depends on what you want as far as features and feel. Personally I think the Kawai plays the best (best feel- it is a stage piano). The Roland has a great bundle of feature, Sequencer is intuitive and the sample player is great and the sound library is awesome I use the synth libraries a lot. (I have a FA-06 in my Pop Band Rig) Of the 3 the Yamaha MOXF has my favorite general sound library of the three (Pianos, EPs, Brass, guitars, etc...) but I am a Yamaha guy.

 

You can try http://www.proaudiostar.com/ and make them a $1500 offer and see if they will sell you one. They dicker on price. I've gotten great buys on EV stuff by asking.

 

The Casio I would never buy. As a controller it is not adequate for my needs but several friends have bought them on my recommendation. It depends on what your needs are. It is nice piece at $999 if you don't need much as far as control feature.

 

Roland RD300nx is $1300 new. I have not played one. I hear from the forum the action is sluggish.

 

From Korg, I think the Krome 88 sucks ($1650). But I found the cheaper Kross 88 ($999) played better than the Krome. I don't understand that at all. I thought they had the same action.

"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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Are you dead set on a hardware keyboard (for sounds and sequencing)? I'd guess so as you have experience with Logic and other DAWs...

 

Reason I ask is that I went to software only for home (live I still use hardware) and it's just so much more convenient...and IMO sounds just as good or better. No patch saving, being able to freeze "midi" tracks (technically they are software instrument tracks I guess) right into audio, and having no cabling or mixer are the main things for me. Logic does have some nice sounds in it, and there's some reasonably-priced synths (even free) out there. (I especially like Imposcar 2, though I've tried Alchemy, Zebra and Omnisphere before and they are all excellent).

 

One other cool thing about software-only--I use a laptop, so say I wanted to have a buddy lay down a track for me I just bring my laptop (and possibly my interface but it may not be essential) over and he hooks up and records with my synths. I've also been known to do some patch programming and mixing on my lunch hour at work :)

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.....Certainly not a Casio, Jesus give me a little credit here....

 

:laugh: Heard a similar comment from a bandmate when I brought a PX-330 on stage in Denver, back in 2010. After the first set, he admitted it sounded competitive with other stage pianos he'd heard me play. While assembling a new live demo track later that year, I used recordings from gigs on which the PX-330 was used. For reference, you can listen to those Here .

 

My .02 on the keyboards you mentioned for tryouts: I played a fellow forumite's FA-08 earlier this year - on a gig, and recently spent some time on an MOXF8 at a local Guitar Center. Both are excellent choices for your application. Though it's a very comprehensive ROMpler, you might find the M3 88 to be a bit lackluster for pianos - compared to current stage piano hybrids. I'd take a Casio PX-5S, or Yamaha and Roland keyboards mentioned above, over the M3 88 for piano; I feel they have a stronger piano playability factor.

 

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Certainly not a Casio, Jesus give me a little credit here.... !!

 

 

 

Maybe you should check the Casio PX-5S out before slagging it off. Casio have moved on a long way since the days of cheap plastic toy instruments.

 

 

SSM

Occasionally, do something nice for a total stranger. They'll wonder what the hell is going on!
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Certainly not a Casio, Jesus give me a little credit here.... !!

 

 

 

Maybe you should check the Casio PX-5S out before slagging it off. Casio have moved on a long way since the days of cheap plastic toy instruments.

 

 

SSM

 

Seriously, don't underestimate the PX-5s. I replaced a Kurzweil with the PX as my main live board and controller. The keyboard feel is, imho, competitive with Roland's and Yamaha's that cost 2x as much, and better than anything else I've played in the <$1000 price range. The onboard sounds are surprisingly good, and it fills all my needs as a controller, I use a hybrid hardware software setup live.

Turn up the speaker

Hop, flop, squawk

It's a keeper

-Captain Beefheart, Ice Cream for Crow

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You might consider a Triton TR 88-key model.

 

TR88

 

I can't speak to the specific action they chose, but after taking on a TR61 so as to get more for my budget of the time, I stopped bemoaning passing on an M3. The display is a bit squinty, but as a long-time Logic user, its much more of a sound module for me than a sequencer. It IS pretty full-featured, but the DAW beats it handily there. I've found that splitting the duties between them at times is a winning deal. You could store a lot in it for a live gig, too. Korg's sequencers are mature and dependable.

 

As to the sounds, most are like a Triton with added sparkle. The more sophisticated piano and organ attempts can seem a bit boxy, but a little layering gets me very close. Layered with a softsynth, they can become pretty stout. Things like guitars, drums, solo strings, EPs, synths and brass often excel. Sure, a Kronos would be "better," but its not a feature-footrace; its a search for proper tools. If you can find one to demo and it feels good under your hands, I can vouch for the engine as being worthy.

 

 

 

 

 

"What's the password?"
"'I have bourbon.'"
     ~ Joe Hill, "Full Throttle Stories"

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Although I'm loyal to Korg, at this point I guess I could try a Roland. Certainly not a Casio, Jesus give me a little credit here....
Why should we? It very much sounds like you know next to nothing about the *CASIO* PX-5S, else you would not say that.

here we go ... :saber:

The baiting I do is purely for entertainment value. Please feel free to ignore it.
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Although I'm loyal to Korg, at this point I guess I could try a Roland. Certainly not a Casio, Jesus give me a little credit here....
Why should we? It very much sounds like you know next to nothing about the *CASIO* PX-5S, else you would not say that.

here we go ... :saber:

Well, c'mon. I don't even own a PX-5S so I'm not defending a purchase. But anyone who dismisses a manufacturer outright in such a manner and thereby disrespects owners of such with only their second post in this forum may be in for rough time here, even if they don't happen to live under a bridge.

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Back when I was playing Casio stuff I always thought a better marketing strategey would have been to rebadge the Pro-line from the very beginning. CZs, FZs and VZ stuff could have been a basis for a great long legacy but the line just died. I assummed because of ineffective branding strategy. Whatever the reason was they abandoned the Proline business in 92.

 

The CZs had limited or no LFO fuctionality and the CZ I don't think had a triangle wave. It has been forever since I messed with mine. The could do pretty much what a DX could do but it was easer to understand the CZ.

"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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Holy crap, is this a Casio forum? I'm not a gear head, I admittedly didn't know Casio even had a pro line, I'm SORRY! I will play one just to educate myself about the current state of the world. Appreciate the responses again.
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Hi EJ_NYC. No, this isn't a Casio forum. But the company has gained a few fans recently with the release of the PX-5S stage piano and just a couple years prior the XW line of affordable synths. If they keep on this trajectory their next Pro product, which personally I am hoping will be a 76-key synth, might just blow even the Casio doubters away. Perhaps we will see this coming NAMM show.

 

In any event, I kind of surmised you didn't have any direct knowledge of recent Casio products. Sorry if I implied anything untoward and welcome to the forum!!

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Hi EJ. Good luck in your hunt for a new keyboard. You will get lost of expert, unbiased advice here. This is not a Casio forum......yet...... ;) I swapped from a Roland FP-7 to a Casio PX-5s and have never been happier. Plus, it is quite fun to produce it on gigs and watch people's mouths to drop in astonishment when they hear it. :)

 

 

"Turn your fingers into a dust rag and keep them keys clean!" ;) Bluzeyone
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Another option - especially as the MOXF8 and FA-08, at $1700-$1800, are being considered - is the Kawai MP7. It can be found in the $1700 range, and is well worth the investment. For the past month, I've been playing one as part of a church gig. As well as a great feeling action, it has excellent sounds and is a solid, 4-zone controller.

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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