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Kronos organ sounds/functionality vs. VR09


richforman

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What do you think? I am really thinking about getting a Kronos, hoping that it would handily replace both my aging Fantom X7 and VR09 (which I use primarily for organ and am quite happy with in that context) in my live rig. Would this be a step up, down, or sideways for B3 sounds?

Rich Forman

Yamaha MOXF8, Korg Kronos 2-61, Roland Fantom X7, Ferrofish B4000+ organ module, Roland VR-09, EV ZLX12P, K&M Spider Pro stand,

Yamaha S80, Korg Trinity Plus

 

 

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I never liked my Kronos for B3. I had a VR09 for a couple years, and I would say this would be a step sideways at best. Are you planning on getting an 88, weighted board? If so, IMHO, the Kronos is a step down organ-wise.

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I think it depends. I think the Kronos presets over does it with the leslie sim amp noise to the point that it is almost distracting. I have had no reason to do a lot of editing in the CX-3 engine but I bet you could craft some nice organ patches with the Kronos. I use a CX-3 patch set to emulate a cabinet set to stop for Price Tag and it has a nice tone to it.

"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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I never liked my Kronos for B3. I had a VR09 for a couple years, and I would say this would be a step sideways at best. Are you planning on getting an 88, weighted board? If so, IMHO, the Kronos is a step down organ-wise.

 

I'm going to second this. I don't have a VR, but I have played one and I've owned several VK models (7, 8 and 8m). I like the sound of the Rolands better. I have two Kronos 61s and have been struggling with this off and on for 5 years...even with a Vent II.

 

 

Korg Kronos 61 (2); Kurzweil PC4, Roland Fantom-06, Casio PX-350M; 2015 Macbook Pro and 2012 Mac Mini (Logic Pro X and Mainstage), GigPerformer 4.

 

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Sounds like a modest, but noticeable step up for the tonewheel engine. I own an original Kronos 61 that has the the OS 3.0 sound updates installed, and I have use of a VR-09 on a church gig (a keyboard I enjoy very much). For an all-purpose, second-tier-over-DP gigging keyboard, it doesn't get much better than the Kronos. That's the one that goes out when a wide variety of stellar sounds is called for, plus the essential vibe of a tonewheel organ. I can leave the SK-1, 73 at home, and nobody but a Hammond purist is going to notice the difference (if there's even one in the audience). You'll also notice an upgrade in several areas of the ROMpler sounds, X7 to Kronos. Plus the additional Kronos engines are a sonic gold mine; some inspiring and expressive tones there.

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I had good luck with the Kronos when I had a Ventilator. People actually commented on it.

Same here. I think using a Vent or one of the other good pedals is required. I spent some time tweaking pretty much every parameter of the CX-3 engine (there actually aren't that many), and I've had very good feedback to how it sounds.

"If you can't dazzle them with dexterity, baffle them with bullshit."
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The assignable audio outputs on the kronos would making adding a Leslie or off board sim easy if your wanted to go that route.

"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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Thanks very much for the helpful responses. (Kind of mixed opinions, not surprising I guess.) To answer questions posed: Chief D, no, I'd be getting the 61-key Kronos. I really really wish they made an unweighted or semi-weighted 73-key version. Exactly as Allan posits, I'd be using it as an "all-purpose, second-tier-over-DP gigging keyboard" (bottom/piano tier would be my MOXF8, although I'm thinking maybe I'd just midi them up and use the Korg for my sole sound source and the Yammy just as a controller). So I know I'll be giving up those valuable extra 15 keys on my 2nd tier, but am thinking that would be well worth it for the vastly improved number and quality of sounds and possibilities vs. my Fantom X, especially if it also allows me to forego my third tier board that I've been using lately (the VR09) completely. Kind of bums me if the consensus is that I'd need to also get a Vent to match the overall B3 experience I get from the VR09 (I'm definitely no connoisseur, but I like its Leslie sim a lot).

Rich Forman

Yamaha MOXF8, Korg Kronos 2-61, Roland Fantom X7, Ferrofish B4000+ organ module, Roland VR-09, EV ZLX12P, K&M Spider Pro stand,

Yamaha S80, Korg Trinity Plus

 

 

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I don't know if you need a Leslie sim if your benchmark is the VR09. My benchmark was my old 122 so a lot of sims give me the heebeegeebees just out of habit. I would give the Kronos a try without the sim and see what you can do with it by using noise gates and editing the mic positions and level of grunge.

"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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I have a cx-3 and vr-09.... programmed the CX-3 extensively and there is a lot more tailoring on a Ver. 2 CX-3---I would think they carried that over to the Kronos! The Vr-09 has some parms but the cx-3 really blows it away for parms for the organ and Leslie sim!

 CP-50, YC 73,  FP-80, PX5-S, NE-5d61, Kurzweil SP6, XK-3, CX-3, Hammond XK-3, Yamaha YUX Upright, '66 B3/Leslie 145/122

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At the worst I guess I could still keep my three-tier set-up and still use my VR09 for organ if I find it's better as Dan G. and Bill W. do, and look at my potential new Kronos 61 as more just replacing my Fantom X7 for sampling, synths, rompler sounds, performance setups. Would be a shame since the Kronos does have the clonewheel engine, but the heart of the issue is that my Fantom X (both of them; I have two) really needs to be retired, has been increasingly unreliable over the last few years, and is hard to get parts and service for.

Rich Forman

Yamaha MOXF8, Korg Kronos 2-61, Roland Fantom X7, Ferrofish B4000+ organ module, Roland VR-09, EV ZLX12P, K&M Spider Pro stand,

Yamaha S80, Korg Trinity Plus

 

 

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I think it depends. I think the Kronos presets over does it with the leslie sim amp noise to the point that it is almost distracting. I have had no reason to do a lot of editing in the CX-3 engine but I bet you could craft some nice organ patches with the Kronos. I use a CX-3 patch set to emulate a cabinet set to stop for Price Tag and it has a nice tone to it.

 

The CX-3 organ in the Kronos can sound pretty good if you take time to tweak the organ patches. I tweaked mine some time ago as i was using Kronos as do it all keyboard at the time and came up with some pretty good sounds. Like CEB said tweaking is the key.

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Rich,

 

You can only tell so much from YouTube videos, but I found this intriguing:

[video:youtube]

 

 

I have an original Kronos, I don't own a dedicated clone wheel, and I don't consider myself an organ expert. That being said, I use the Kronos for organ sim, and have been 85% satisfied. There's a lot going for it, and useful parameters in the engine. I haven't gotten that last 15% satisfaction yet, but have only spent short spurts tweaking so far. One thing I'll say is that in a crowded, mid-rangy band mix, the Kronos organ has presence and makes itself known - it won't be lost under the mix.

 

And yes, I can encourage you that there's so much versatility, programmability and UI goodness (set list mode is a game changer), it would be very difficult to recommend the VR09 over the Kronos in terms of what it will do for your rig.

 

Don't know if that helps at all.

 

Tim

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...I think using a Vent or one of the other good pedals is required. I spent some time tweaking pretty much every parameter of the CX-3 engine (there actually aren't that many), and I've had very good feedback to how it sounds.

I also tweaked just about every parameter in my Kronos CX-3 engine. I found the major task was to tame the harshness/high end. I use a Ventilator as well, and while I find it to be an improvement in comparison to the internal sim, I don't like how it interacts with the percussion and C/V. Consequently, I use these features sparingly. I've never played a VR-09, but if it is the same organ engine as featured in the Jupiter-80, I'll take the Kronos/CX-3 hands down, especially for rock. Overall, I tend to agree with timwat, the Kronos/CX-3 registers about 85% satisfaction.

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

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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Very cool video. Is that a third-party library of organ sounds? I just saw the first minute or two so far. I wonder, how does he get in some cases the effect of the leslie speed spinning up and back down (e.g. see from about 1:25 to 1:37) without hitting any controls as far as I can see, is it responding to aftertouch or is that like built into the patch?

Rich Forman

Yamaha MOXF8, Korg Kronos 2-61, Roland Fantom X7, Ferrofish B4000+ organ module, Roland VR-09, EV ZLX12P, K&M Spider Pro stand,

Yamaha S80, Korg Trinity Plus

 

 

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I don't have a VR, but I have played one and I've owned several VK models (7, 8 and 8m). I like the sound of the Rolands better.

Overall, IMO, the VR-09 does not sound as good as the older models. (It's a lot cheaper than those were, though.)

 

I've never played a VR-09, but if it is the same organ engine as featured in the Jupiter-80, I'll take the Kronos/CX-3 hands down, especially for rock.

Ditto on the Kronos vs Jupiter comparison.

 

I'm surprised that people are putting the VR-09 up in the Kronos/CX3 league.

 

Apart from the basic sound which you could argue about, I think everyone would at least agree that the CX3 has much better action; it has flexible output routing that allow you to put a Vent on your organ sound without worrying about it affecting your other sounds; I believe unlike the Roland, the Korg handles combined CV and percussion correctly. Though I will give Roland points for the high trigger point, weighing only 12 lbs, and drawbar controls that look like drawbar controls (though they are under-sized). But basically, I think the Kronos CX3 is way more ballsy. Maybe for jazz the Roland is okay, but for rock, nah, Kronos kills 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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Kind of bums me if the consensus is that I'd need to also get a Vent to match the overall B3 experience I get from the VR09

Nah. Both have decent sims, both need help in the overdrive department, both can be highly improved by a Vent.

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 wonder, how does he get in some cases the effect of the leslie speed spinning up and back down (e.g. see from about 1:25 to 1:37) without hitting any controls as far as I can see, is it responding to aftertouch or is that like built into the patch?

 

Rich - Kronos CX3 allows you to assign a lot of parameters (including leslie) to any MIDI control assignment you want. I typically assign to sustain pedal in all my CX3 programs, so whenever I pull up a CX3 organ, the sustain pedal turns into a leslie switch. I think KB3 in Kurzweil has the same default behavior.

..
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Very cool video. Is that a third-party library of organ sounds? I just saw the first minute or two so far. I wonder, how does he get in some cases the effect of the leslie speed spinning up and back down (e.g. see from about 1:25 to 1:37) without hitting any controls as far as I can see, is it responding to aftertouch or is that like built into the patch?

 

Yes 3rd party sounds but the CX-3 organ engine is easily tweakable. You can assign leslie sim to damper pedal. That's what i do so i can keep both hands on organ. I grew up with the Combo pre-amp that had a footswitch that went to leslie 122 so i am used to footswitch rather than hand switch. Honest opinion it it better than VR-09 to me. I use a Nord Electro 5D for organ mostly now. But when i used the Kronos only i thought the CX-3 was good. Ha i still see some old timers still using the CX-3 organ. You can adjust the sim on the Kronos to your liking.

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Kronos CX3 allows you to assign a lot of parameters (including leslie) to any MIDI control assignment you want. I typically assign to sustain pedal in all my CX3 programs, so whenever I pull up a CX3 organ, the sustain pedal turns into a leslie switch. I think KB3 in Kurzweil has the same default behavior.

Yup. That's something else the VR-09 can't do. If you set the footswitch for rotary control, you lose being able to use it as a sustain pedal. You'd have to go to a configuration menu to switch it every time you want to switch between using it as a rotary pedal or using it as a sustain pedal. With Kronos, the same pedal can be sustain on one patch, rotary speed on the next. Or you can hook up two different footswitches for these functions, something else you can't do on the Roland.

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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Went for it! Got a good deal on a used K2 61 I found on Guitar Center's web site, they'll ship it to my local store. Suggestions for a case, soft case with wheels maybe?

Rich Forman

Yamaha MOXF8, Korg Kronos 2-61, Roland Fantom X7, Ferrofish B4000+ organ module, Roland VR-09, EV ZLX12P, K&M Spider Pro stand,

Yamaha S80, Korg Trinity Plus

 

 

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I do a soft case without wheels, on a rock 'n roller cart, for all my load ins where gear is under my control. For "not under my control" load ins, I use a hardshell case with wheels (non-ATA). The hardshell may not double the weight, but it subjectively doubles the hassle for me LOL

 

A gear-schlep game changing concept for me was to stop loading my boards flat, and go vertical on my cart, and bungee them to the rails to keep them from shifting. Don't even have to expand the cart now. Someone here on the forum (I forget who) posted that and it rocked my world. Made me feel like I did when I climbed the rope in gym class.

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Rich,

 

You can only tell so much from YouTube videos, but I found this intriguing:

[video:youtube]

 

 

I have an original Kronos, I don't own a dedicated clone wheel, and I don't consider myself an organ expert. That being said, I use the Kronos for organ sim, and have been 85% satisfied. There's a lot going for it, and useful parameters in the engine. I haven't gotten that last 15% satisfaction yet, but have only spent short spurts tweaking so far. One thing I'll say is that in a crowded, mid-rangy band mix, the Kronos organ has presence and makes itself known - it won't be lost under the mix.

 

And yes, I can encourage you that there's so much versatility, programmability and UI goodness (set list mode is a game changer), it would be very difficult to recommend the VR09 over the Kronos in terms of what it will do for your rig.

 

Don't know if that helps at all.

 

Tim

 

Tim I have the same Kronos. Do you have those Organimation sounds?

"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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  • 2 weeks later...

>go vertical on my cart, and bungee them to the rails to keep them from shifting.

 

make sure that you have a soft case that can take a moderate drop. The PX-5S is designed for parts to pop out if you drop it forward. The hammers come out and it's a big bummer if this happens. All my Yamaha gear has fallen and ends have broken, but no keys damaged. Same with Kurzweil and Roland.

 

Sorry, what I meant to say is that I have dropped many keyboard because of the vertical storage and because of flimsy gig bags. I kind of like the Gator soft bags now. Need to get one for the PX-5S.

Korg Kronos, Roland RD-88, Korg Kross, JP8000, MS2000, Sequential Pro One, Micromoog, Yamaha VL1, author of unrealBook for iPad.

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I use THIS case. Not soft, but lightweight and I like the easy latches and includes wheels and 2 handles.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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