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Downsizing the Rig


vonnor

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The turkey dinner musta gave me some serious gas, because I just changed my entire rig. The other guys had been bitching about the "footprint" of my set-up on these postage-stamp sized stages so I finally decided to step up.

 

Friday I ordered a Kurzweil SP4-7 and a Hammond SK1-73 from Sweetwater, then Saturday I won an Ebay auction for an Access Virus KC. I can sell the Virus rack and the XM-2 and get a smaller 4-space rack that mounts under the keys on the stand. I had about 30 custom tweaked sounds from the Juno-Stage and the MoxF8 that I will use SK Xtra-Voices and/or voxpops' PC361 patches loaded into the SP4. Any analog-ish pads I can just dial up on the Virus. Fully half of the tunes we do are basic Piano/Organ joints. The entire rig will only take up 44" width and still give me 76/73 keys on the piano/organ. The rack with the mixer will go underneath, and the win-8 tablet will sit nicely on the KC.

 

I'm really looking forward to having knobs to turn again. :D

 

I'll post a pic soon as I can. Gotta re-program those sounds and re-do the Cantabile sessions first though.

 

~ Vonnor

Gear:

Hardware: Kurzweil Forte7, Korg Kronos 2

Software: Cantabile 3, Halion Sonic 3 and assorted VST plug-ins.

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For smaller gigs I use one k/b (as you referred to them, basic piano/organ gig). I velcro the XM2 to a leg on my k/b stand and the XMc2 sits on top of the k/b. I split the keys at C4 and the PC3 sends upper and lower zones to the XM2, the XMc2 controls the top drawbars and the 9 sliders on the PC3 control the lower drawbars. The PC3 also provides the piano and synth. Can't get much more compact than that ....

57 Hammond B3; 69 Hammond L100P; 68 Leslie 122; Kurzweil PC3; M-Audio Code 61; Voce V5+; Neo Vent; EV ELX112P; GSI Gemini & Burn

https://dyinbreedband.wixsite.com/dyinbreedband/home

facebook.com/smokingunsrock

facebook.com/acoustaxx

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I downsized my rig this year from 2 to 3 boards. :D

 

.... but I lost the leslie and 12 space rack. Piling it higher does NOT take up any extra room.

"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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Not counting the *very* rare one-board gig, my "mini-rig" lately has been a Numa Compact and a MOX6. I could probably replace the MOX6 with an MX49 pretty painlessly if I wanted to get even smaller.

 

Up from there, I go to a Casio 88 to get my weighted keys back, and if the gig calls for it, I'll put the Numa Organ in between the 88 and the Yamaha. It's my clonewheel of choice both because of how much I like the sound, but also, because the layout of it makes it easy to stack the Yamaha above it, keeping all the boards about as close to each other--and to me--as possible

 

I've got lots of other boards (and rack stuff), but I think that's all that's left the house in a good while.

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've been a proponent of a one-KB rig for a long time.

 

Now, in a fit of nostalgia or mid-life crisis, I want to add a simple analog synth to the mix.

 

The thought of a clonewheel lurks in the back of my mind.

 

Before the dust settles, I have a feeling that I will end up with a three (3) KB rig too. :laugh::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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...Piling it higher does NOT take up any extra room.

qfe ;)

 

The other guys don't give a flick if the audience can see me, they just want me to take up less space on the stage.

Gear:

Hardware: Kurzweil Forte7, Korg Kronos 2

Software: Cantabile 3, Halion Sonic 3 and assorted VST plug-ins.

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I did a big-scale prog rock festival in 2011, and if memory serves, it was the only instance in the last 7-8 years where I used three keyboards.

I don't miss the large and heavy rigs of the old times one bit.

 

I would definitely consider 3 boards to be the minimum for a classic prog-rock tribute gig. Not just to have more sounds available (which would be the old reason), but to have the "playing space" needed to perform those songs.

 

Not only is 1 keyboard (no matter how powerful) just not enough space to have 4 to 5 different sounds running, but also a single keyboard on a toothpick-like X-stand just doesn't do it for stage presence in that genre. Prog keyboardists are supposed to look like they're manning the helm of the Starship Enterprise, and perhaps also wear a cape. :D

 

I would say, maybe 15 or 20 years ago, that 4 or 5 boards (or 3 boards with rack-modules) was necessary; nowadays synths are so powerful that you can pare it back to 3 boards without rackmounts or external effects (for the most part).

 

But still, there's the idea of having the proper instrument for the "sound" - i.e. 88-weighted for pianos, 61-key unweighted with drawbars for organ, and 49 or 37-key unweighted (with a knobby interface) for synth work. When you divide up everything by "purpose" like this, you end up having lots of different synth-engines with lots of different interfaces - for far cheaper than getting the elusive "all-in-one" keyboard - which costs more, and also limits your playing space and amount of hardware at your fingertips.

 

 

Kurzweil PC3, Yamaha MOX8, Alesis Ion, Kawai K3M
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I've been a proponent of a one-KB rig for a long time.

 

Now, in a fit of nostalgia or mid-life crisis, I want to add a simple analog synth to the mix.

 

The thought of a clonewheel lurks in the back of my mind.

 

Before the dust settles, I have a feeling that I will end up with a three (3) KB rig too. :laugh::cool:

 

Sometimes 3 is what it takes. I can mostly get by with the FA08 and SK1. A few gigs the SK1 covers it. Others, gotta break out the synth and set it up to the right of me.

 

For me, ease of setup is the main factor. I could skip my 4 space rack that has a furman, line mixer, and eq for my monitor return, and use a little tabletop mixer, but I'd have to hook up everything every time. Power, audio, midi. With the rack, as much as can be prewired is done, and I only need to plug in the keyboard side of the cables.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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I never found a single 70s/80s rock/pop song that I couldn't do with one 61-note keyboard, including complex stuff with lots of parts (Carry On Wayward Son, Rosanna, Take on Me, Hold the Line, Sledgehammer, Rebel Yell, Living on a Prayer, etc.)

 

As for prog, I'm in the process of whittling my Genesis tribute rig down to one board - a Kronos X 73. No problems so far!

Korg Kronos 61 (2); Kurzweil PC4, Casio PX-350M; 2015 Macbook Pro and 2012 Mac Mini (Logic Pro X and Mainstage), GigPerformer 4.

 

My Genesis Tribute Band: www.sellingfairfaxbythepound.com

 

 

 

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Out west, I downsized for a casino club stage that was smaller than the 2nd bedroom

in my townhouse. The band was a classic rock/country hybrid - everything from Johnny Cash to Bon Jovi; my JP50 crunched everything quite well. For a local blues-rock outfit, I've used the JP50 as a single 'board - augmented only with a Ferrofish

B4000+ for drawbar stuff. A CP4 and XK-1c is what I prefer to use for that band, but the JP50 mini-rig has been a wiser choice for a couple of rooms - especially when set up on the floor, by the bar :sick:

'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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I don't miss the large and heavy rigs of the old times one bit.
You got that right! Me neither!

 

... a single keyboard on a toothpick-like X-stand just doesn't do it for stage presence in that genre. Prog keyboardists are supposed to look like they're manning the helm of the Starship Enterprise, and perhaps also wear a cape. :D

[Jeff gets a faraway look in his eye ...] Come to think of it, I have a gold lame cape! (Wife got it for me, to go with a New Orleans Sun King mask, for costume parties.) [looks around the room]I now have 4 keyboards I could move, and three stands ... all I'd need to do is grow my blond hair a couple feet, and iron it! Oh yeah, and transform into a keyboard wizard to play all those Wakeman licks. :(

 

Never mind.

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Even when I use my 3-board rig (88, clonewheel, MOX6), I still miss having a knobby synth with aftertouch. I've thought about using the Nord Stage 2-73 as my clonewheel, which would address that and more, but I prefer the Numa action, sound, key range, and lack of depth for putting another keyboard easily on top of it.

 

I could do most of my gigs with 1 board if I had to, but then lose the sound quality and pleasure of playing a dedicated clonewheel with appropriate controls and action, a piano with appropriate range and action, etc. Lots of compromising to go down to one board.

 

I've thought about using a MOX(F)8 instead of my combination of Casio 88+MOX(F)6... then I could add the clonewheel and still be using only two boards. But it's heavier, I don't like the action as much, and the deep control panel pushes my second tier board further away. But for a lightweight 2-board rig, I think combining a MOXF8 with either a Kronos 61 or a NS2-73 would get you the most capabilities you could get in two relatively light boards. For a smaller footprint, you could go with the PX5S instead of the MOXF8. In numerous ways, the PX5S isn't as good as the MOXF... but you probably wouldn't miss too much considering you could also cover stuff with the Kronos/NS2 above.

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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one board - a Kronos X 73. No problems so far!

 

+1 for the Kronos -sounds AND interface. Great pianos, wonderful VA synth engines, and clonewheel built in. Although I will still bring out my SK1+Vent, the Kronos rotary OD effect is just as good for live IMO. I did swap out the slider knobs with ones more drawbar-like.

Lenny
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+1 for the Kronos...I did swap out the slider knobs with ones more drawbar-like.

What did you get? I've thought about painting the existing sliders with the right colors for drawbar use... kinda surprised that Korg and Kurz never used colored controls... it would only add to the organ aspect, without diminishing anything else...

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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+1 for the Kronos...I did swap out the slider knobs with ones more drawbar-like.

What did you get? I've thought about painting the existing sliders with the right colors for drawbar use... kinda surprised that Korg and Kurz never used colored controls... it would only add to the organ aspect, without diminishing anything else...

 

That's a great idea!

 

Korg Kronos 61 (2); Kurzweil PC4, Casio PX-350M; 2015 Macbook Pro and 2012 Mac Mini (Logic Pro X and Mainstage), GigPerformer 4.

 

My Genesis Tribute Band: www.sellingfairfaxbythepound.com

 

 

 

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I need a minimum of three if I am the only keyboard player, two if I have someone else. I like options also so I play different brands. I don't play organ on weighted keys either so I usually have a dedicated clonewheel. It's about management not about how many keyboards you have. I play with four now. If I had another hand maybe 5, it doesn't matter. Your foot print is larger but again its about putting the pieces where they fit. I see keyboard players around town that do some strange things when they set up that kind of don't make sense ergonomically. That affects their playing whether they realize it or not.

"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"

 

 

noblevibes.com

 

 

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But still, there's the idea of having the proper instrument for the "sound" - i.e. 88-weighted for pianos, 61-key unweighted with drawbars for organ, and 49 or 37-key unweighted (with a knobby interface) for synth work. When you divide up everything by "purpose" like this, you end up having lots of different synth-engines with lots of different interfaces - for far cheaper than getting the elusive "all-in-one" keyboard - which costs more, and also limits your playing space and amount of hardware at your fingertips.

 

 

That's pretty much my setup, PX-5s for piano/EP, Hammond XK-1 clonewheel, and Axiom/Mainstage for virtually everything else, monosynth, polysynth, clav, mellotron, whatever. All of my bands are pretty improvisational, so I try to avoid having lots of splits, I'd rather have room around the parts I need to play to stretch out. 3 boards on a single stand, plus a small rack for the computer and mixer, doesn't take much more room than a single board.

Turn up the speaker

Hop, flop, squawk

It's a keeper

-Captain Beefheart, Ice Cream for Crow

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3 - 88s on a single plane. I suppose you could have mix of weighted and unweighted actions.

 

[video:youtube]

 

 

Welcome to The Jetsons.

"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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Prog keyboardists are supposed to look like they're manning the helm of the Starship Enterprise, and perhaps also wear a cape. :D

Are you talking about "prog rock keyboardists", or are you talking about "Rick Wakeman"? :D

 

Well, it's either capes... or organ vaulting... or sticking Nazi-era SS daggers in between the keys of your organ. Whatever sells tickets. :saber:

 

(P.S. I guess I'm running out of excuses for convincing all of you NOT to downsize your rigs...) :mad:

Kurzweil PC3, Yamaha MOX8, Alesis Ion, Kawai K3M
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I never found a single 70s/80s rock/pop song that I couldn't do with one 61-note keyboard, including complex stuff with lots of parts (Carry On Wayward Son, Rosanna, Take on Me, Hold the Line, Sledgehammer, Rebel Yell, Living on a Prayer, etc.)

 

As for prog, I'm in the process of whittling my Genesis tribute rig down to one board - a Kronos X 73. No problems so far!

I could do that but I'd have to change patches a bunch of times during a song. I'd rather not do that.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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I never found a single 70s/80s rock/pop song that I couldn't do with one 61-note keyboard.

 

Same for me, except those rockabilly tunes where sometimes you need to play octaves unisono with the bass in the octave below the 61's normal range, and play licks in the 61's highest octave at the same time.

Life is subtractive.
Genres: Jazz, funk, pop, Christian worship, BebHop
Wishlist: 80s-ish (synth)pop, symph pop, prog rock, fusion, musical theatre
Gear: NS2 + JUNO-G. SP6 at church.

 

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I never found a single 70s/80s rock/pop song that I couldn't do with one 61-note keyboard.

 

Same for me, except those rockabilly tunes where sometimes you need to play octaves unisono with the bass in the octave below the 61's normal range, and play licks in the 61's highest octave at the same time.

By octave shifting the individual parts, you should even be able to do that. Unless the combined range of the two parts exceed the 61 keys you have available. Of course, having a "hole" in the middle of your piano might be a little disconcerting. ;-)

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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Well the Kurz and the Hammond got delivered yesterday. While I love the size of both compared to the MoxF8 and Juno-Stage, and REALLY love the SK1-73, the SP4-7 action will take a bit of getting used to. It's definitely not as nice a feel as the MOXF8. I don't think it's a deal-breaker for me but it is sure different.

 

The Hammond is a real joy though, better tone than the XM-2 and more sonic options. Haven't really got into the Extra-Voices yet, spent last night chuffing around with the key-click and dirt and pushing/pulling the bars. :D

Gear:

Hardware: Kurzweil Forte7, Korg Kronos 2

Software: Cantabile 3, Halion Sonic 3 and assorted VST plug-ins.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The Virus kC's end panels were quite blemished, as well as being very sticky as if the previous owner used some solvent to try to clean them. Plus they were made from pressed board and painted black, so I cut a couple new ones from oak. I'll slap those on in place of the messed up ones. I also put together a pedal board with all the pedals mounted and the cables routing to a junction box with a multi-pin Amp connector. The control snake will plug in there and run up to the pedal jacks on the keyboards. The front right stomp-switch is for the Leslie speed on the SK1.

 

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m305/Koda_Vonnor/Misc/kC_ends.jpg

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m305/Koda_Vonnor/Misc/new_pedalboard01.png

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m305/Koda_Vonnor/Misc/new_pedalboard02.png

Gear:

Hardware: Kurzweil Forte7, Korg Kronos 2

Software: Cantabile 3, Halion Sonic 3 and assorted VST plug-ins.

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