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Does your "Do-It-All" ...well... do it all?


vonnor

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I just ordered a Kronos 61 and was wondering... can I get away with using just the Korg and maybe a weighted controller?

 

For you folks that use a "Do-It-All" workstation for live cover tunes, like the Kronos, Forte, Nord Stage, etc., does it really cover every sound you need in every situation? If not, why not and what sound source do you use to fill in the gaps?

 

~ vonnor

Gear:

Hardware: Nord Stage3, Korg Kronos 2, Novation Summit

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

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It's a resounding yes for me, since I got my Kronos 2 61 I have used it as my sole sound source at gigs and I have never been happier with both the sound and gig-friendly feature-set of my rig. Exactly like you are thinking of, I use an 88-weighted keyboard midi'd up for more real estate and for piano-type playing, but the power and versatility of the Kronos is such that it can cover all the sounds/parts and sound fantastic doing it. Huge library of cover-song-friendly sounds out of the box, more easily available, and with separate, high-quality sound engines for pianos, eps, tonewheel organ, and several flavors of synthesizer, you don't have to worry about that "samey-ness" of sound character that can be a factor sometimes when trying to use a single workstation keyboard for everything. The way this makes my rig so much SIMPLER without the need for a mixer or multiple d.i.'s and extra instrument cables is just a dream. Now sure, you may be able to get even better sound results in each individual category from more specialized instruments, like better organ from a Nord or Mojo, better lead synth from a Mini, etc., but for an all-in-one solution I'd say the Kronos can get up to a good 9 out of 10 in each category and you'll be happy with the results. In my case, the sounds are pretty consistently better across all categories, and I have more of them to choose from, than the ones I was getting with all my previous workstation keyboards. Go for it man!

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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My FA08 covers everything but great organ sounds. If I only used a couple organ sounds a night I could get by with just the FA, but most of my bands use a lot of B3 sounds so I like a dedicated clone.

 

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 consider my kurzweil pc3 a good do-it-all, especially for 875 used. Unfortunately, during one gig it went down and refused to boot up, so thankfully I had a second board (which was more limited, but got me through). I don't think I'll be putting all my eggs in one basket any time soon.
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Yep, the Kronos is definitely a "Do-It-All". I had a first generation Kronos 88 from 2011 - 2014, and have had a Kronos 61 since. Have done a few single keyboard gigs with that instrument; for complete sound coverage I just don't hear any weaknesses, in any style. While 76 keys + is my preference for single keyboard gigs, 61 keys works fine in a pinch.

 

Have paired the Kronos 61 with an S90XS many times. Can't imagine much that couldn't be covered live with that combination. It worked great for two sets of Pink Floyd material back in early 2015. For a lighter rig, I could pair the Kronos with my Roland FP50 and still cover any synth or clonewheel parts easily. It's that good.

'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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My Nord E5d covers a lot of ground with my party band.. AP's, EP's, some polysynth(Journey's Separate Ways, etc), pads. We do a Stevie Wonder medley where I only use the Nord. Any leads, thick paddage and any other weirdness are covered by either the Fantom or the Novation.

Kronos 88 Platinum, Yamaha YC88, Subsequent 37, Korg CX3, Hydrasynth 49-key, Nord Electro 5D 73, QSC K8.2, Lester K

 

Me & The Boyz

Chris Beard Band

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My FA08 covers everything but great organ sounds. If I only used a couple organ sounds a night I could get by with just the FA, but most of my bands use a lot of B3 sounds so I like a dedicated clone.

 

Yes, I could probably get by with only the FA-08 if I didn't need organ for anything other than a pad type organ sound. I have my VR-09 but would much rather have a Hammond SK1.

 

I recently watched a local guy play 4 sets solo with only an Sk1 73, pedals and drum machine. It sounded really good! I talked to him and found out is 'drum machine' was actually a looper pedal that had stored loops of him on an electronic drum set. I was quite impressed with the sound he got.

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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Another resounding yes here as well. I'm using a Kronos2 61 with a 76 key controller. I've got songs where there are multiple layers and splits on both keyboards, and it's made it so much more simple to set it up all on the Kronos. Combine that with it's Setlist mode and it's a home run.

 

Also for me, this is hard to overstate:

...and with separate, high-quality sound engines for pianos, eps, tonewheel organ, and several flavors of synthesizer, you don't have to worry about that "samey-ness" of sound character that can be a factor sometimes when trying to use a single workstation keyboard for everything.

The Kronos really does actually sound like many different keyboards. If both of these areas are important to you, and it sounds like they are based on your question, I think you're going to be really pleased with the Kronos.

"If you can't dazzle them with dexterity, baffle them with bullshit."
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Forte 76 here. It does it all.

 

I ported over pads, synth programs/multis from my PC361 that I thought the Forte was a bit light on but new sounds are coming out on Kurz website (and hopefully 3rd party sound creaters) that are making even that action a non-issue. I enjoy playing two boards but honestly, don't really need the second board as long as the Forte is there.

 

I had a FA08 and really liked it but sold it to get the Forte because of what most posters are saying about the organ capability. I did however get a FA06 just because I like the legacy Roland sounds and the supernatural synth. If I bring a second board, it's the FA06.

Kurzweil Forte 7, Mojo 61, Yamaha P-125,

Kronos X61, Nautilus 73

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This is the reason I purchased the 76 key PC3; it has all of the go to sounds plus the SW keybed allows me to play organ and piano without a terrible amount of compromise. I recently purchased a Gemini module which updates the key sounds to the next level. However, I like playing dual manual organ, so although I can split the keybed to provide upper/lower manual organ two keybeds are still preferable to one split manual; however I'm doing the PC3-only on about 1/4 to a 1/3 of my gigs.

57 Hammond B3; 69 Hammond L100P; 68 Leslie 122; Kurzweil Forte7 & PC3; M-Audio Code 61; Voce V5+; Neo Vent; EV ELX112P; GSI Gemini & Burn

Delaware Dave

Exit93band

 

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Yes - I use a Kronos 61 and sometimes use a Casio Privia as a controller keyboard. Great combination! In some bands I get by with just using the Kronos and it does a fine job. Rarely do I miss the extra keys and/or weighted keyboard.
Latest Set Up: Kronos 61, Casio Privia, Korg TR61, EoWave Ribbon, TEC Breath Controller, StudioLogic MP-117 Bass Pedals, Moog Theremini.
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My Nord Electro 5D 61 does it all fairly well, all except MIDI...well it does MIDI but not well....there really is no means to store and execute Patch changes easily to an external module or other MIDI device ... other than what it maps from it's own patch addresses to send out. No Patch/LSB/MSB/Channel assignments per patch! I'd like to hook up my Roland Xv-3080 but it's proving to be difficult to control ...

 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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...and with separate, high-quality sound engines for pianos, eps, tonewheel organ, and several flavors of synthesizer, you don't have to worry about that "samey-ness" of sound character that can be a factor sometimes when trying to use a single workstation keyboard for everything.

Ooo...yeah...umm...I'm gonna have to go ahead and sort of disagree with you there (doing my best

impression). ;)

 

I have a Kronos 88, and overall I feel it has very good, but not excellent, sound engines, and I wish there were more sonic separation among them. I also hear a degree of sameness within the acoustic piano engine (i.e., across the German-Japanese-Berlin categories). To remedy this situation I ended up procuring a third-party AP, and I use a Vent for the CX-3 organs, both of which helped a lot. I still hear a degree of sameness among the synth engines, but resolved this issue by adding a Jupiter-80 to my rig. :laugh: Of course, much of the above could more directly relate to my synth programming deficits. :blush: If I had to pick a "do-it-all" for a single gig, I would probably go with the Jupiter-80, paired with a Vent and lightweight 88 controller (or not, depending on stage size/constraints).

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

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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Moonglow, I assume you send your JP-80 VK organ to the vent with the extra 2 (or 1 out) on the JP-80....I've been thinking of possibly using a JP80 instead of the Nord...the organ on the Nord would be hard to give up though...

 

Any issues with routing to the Vent in terms of your patches with the organ in a 'split' with piano or synth?

 

 

 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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+1 to all the above - I had a Fantom as my only keyboard for a while, paired with a controller, and having everything in one box is really simple.

 

You might want to consider a board with sounds as your weighted controller (e.g. a Privia), so you've got something to get you through the gig if the worst happens and your Kronos fails.

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The tendency for Kronos "homogenity" between patches is helped a lot by drastically reducing (or eliminating) the common FX, I've found.

 

But more to the point, the OP is specifically asking for cover tunes played live. I've found this specific context seldom reveals that nth degree of sonic comparison - if you get reasonably close, you're golden.

 

In my neck of the woods, just the fact that I'm trying to approximate 80%-90% of the prominent keyboard parts in a given tune elevates me about the lion's share of my peers. Bass players, drummers, audience members - continually telling me how my parts sound "just like the record".

 

Trust me...they don't. But they're close, and I'm not using the same damn Rhodes patch for every line in every tune (it appears that's what a lot of other KB players out here are doing).

 

While I'd never use my Kronos to record "every" track in the studioe without discretion, for live work I do think the relative degree of "sameness" between sounds is lost in a live environment to the vast number of listeners - both musicians and civilians alike.

..
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Moonglow, I assume you send your JP-80 VK organ to the vent with the extra 2 (or 1 out) on the JP-80....I've been thinking of possibly using a JP80 instead of the Nord...the organ on the Nord would be hard to give up though...

 

Any issues with routing to the Vent in terms of your patches with the organ in a 'split' with piano or synth?

 

I have been wanting a Roland JP-80 for awhile but I can't give up the Nord pianos or organs for the JP-80 pianos and organ. The Kronos is a great board that does it all very good but I prefer the brass and synths on JP-80. So how do you compare synths on Kronos to JP-80?

 

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Moonglow, I assume you send your JP-80 VK organ to the vent with the extra 2 (or 1 out) on the JP-80....I've been thinking of possibly using a JP80 instead of the Nord...the organ on the Nord would be hard to give up though...

 

Any issues with routing to the Vent in terms of your patches with the organ in a 'split' with piano or synth?

 

I only used the JP-80 organ + Vent on one occasion, when in the studio under serious time constraints. I was only recording the organ track (no split or sub-out needed) so I just used the JP-80's main outs and killed the internal sim. I've never used the JP-80/Vent combo on a gig or further experimented with an organ/piano or organ/synth split with sub-out, but this probably would not be difficult to accomplish. Sorry I can't be of more assistance; I only mentioned the JP-80/Vent combination in response to the OP's "all-in-one" question.

 

I will say that, not surprisingly, the Vent substantially improved the JP-80's organs, although IIRC it did not much tame the percussion's pingyness and overall the patch seemed too bright. I probably would have obtained better results if I had more time to screw around with it, but this particular situation was pretty much "plug and play."

 

Not sure if you are using a Vent with your Nord, but I much prefer how the Vent interacts with/compliments the Nord organs than the Kronos/CX-3 or JP-80, although if you are using the Nord's internal sim this becomes a different comparison.

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

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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Regarding the sameness of the synth engines in the Kronos, I agree with two points made above in different posts: 1) using a Vent with the CX-3 engine helps tremendously and puts it into a completely different sonic space, and 2) the effects section is extremely powerful and can/should be used to really drive home the differences in the sound engines all being used together.
"If you can't dazzle them with dexterity, baffle them with bullshit."
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I would never go with a single keyboard for the normal reasons people cite (redundancy, need weighted and unweighted actions, and enough keyboard space to accommodate many splits.) But I could probably get along with my Kronos 61 and a weighted controller (instead of my Stage 2) for everything else. As I mentioned in the "latest purchase" thread, I find the Kronos acceptable for everything except guitars. I'm hoping I can solve that issue with third party sounds, although my first purchase didn't really do the trick.

Yamaha CK88, Arturia Keylab 61 MkII, Moog Sub 37, Yamaha U1 Upright, Casio CT-S500, Mac Logic/Mainstage, iPad Camelot, Spacestation V.3, QSC K10.2, JBL EON One Compact

www.stickmanor.com

There's a thin white line between fear and fury - Stickman

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I would never go with a single keyboard for the normal reasons people cite (redundancy, need weighted and unweighted actions, and enough keyboard space to accommodate many splits.)

I will always carry two keyboards for the "many splits" reason. I hate having to pop a different setup (PC) change in the middle of a tune or for different sections of the song.

 

Whether the 2nd board should be just a controller or a full fledged sound source is the crux of the discussion. :)

 

I'm looking through all the Kronos manuals today and the only thing I can see is timbres(tracks) in a Combi don't have a way to scale MIDI CC messages. In other words take 0-127 in and scale it to 0-100 out. Also haven't found if they can take a CC#4 message coming in on a EXT2 timbre channel input and map it to a CC#11 before sending it out.

 

To duplicate my current setup without using a laptop or Cantabile, I would have:

 

[NS2 Midi Out]->[Kronos Midi In]

[Kronos Midi Out]->[NS2 Midi In]

[Kronos USB Out]->[Motif Rack USB] (is that even doable?)

Both units LOCAL=OFF

 

I would want the option to have say the lower half of the NS2 to play a Kronos sound, the upper half of the NS2 to play the Motif, the upper half of the Kronos to play Synth-B in the NS2, and the lower half of the Kronos to play a NS2 Piano sound. (just a random convoluted example).

 

The NS2 Midi would go into the Kronos then get looped back out to the Motif in this example.

 

This example would have to be doable, as well as CC mapping and scaling, for me to '86' the Cantabile.

 

~ vonnor

Gear:

Hardware: Nord Stage3, Korg Kronos 2, Novation Summit

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

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I have been gigging with a Korg Kronos 61 paired to a Casio Px-5s. I initially used a two way MIDI setup so that I could use both board's internal sounds, play AP and EP's from the Casio, and use the Setlist feature of the Kronos to send program changes. However, I have started to have issues with The volume of the Casio's internal sounds dropping drastically when connected to the Kronos. I have been unable to sole this issue, so I have been using the two boards minus the MIDI connection. Leading me now to try experiment with the Kronos as the only sound source.

 

I agree with Moonglow on the acoustic piano sounds and will be looking at a third party option pretty soon. I also must admit that I prefer the Wurlie of the Px-5s to the Kronos, but Busch's Rhodes Mk 1 and MkV give the Kronos an easy win in this regard.

 

I am not a "power user" and do not have to cover songs with the same sounds as the original, so ymmv, but I think it is hard to beat the flexibility in sound choices that the Kronos offers in one unit. I too also use a Vent, as the Cx-3 engine may be the weakest when compared to the clones of today.

 

 

Nord Stage 3 Compact, Korg Kronos 61, Casio PX-5S, Yamaha DXR 10 (2)), Neo Vent, Yamaha MG82cx mixer and too many stands to name.
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Mine doesn't (Nord Stage 2/73 + 88 controller). Not enough granularity in the split points. Also I can't run sufficient synth engines to really cover anything that might come my way. So far I'm faking it by using organ and/or EPs with loads of effects to cover certain synth parts.

 

BUT... I love it. I love that I have a lightweight 73-note board with internal PSU, aftertouch, wheels-above, adequate MIDI capability AND an organ model with a high-trigger keyboard. I love morphing brass volume and a touch of filter frequency with the expression pedal. I love Elton John-style comping with the Bright Grand and channelling my inner Richard Tee with the various Rhodes. I love dialling in just the right amount of wah on a clav patch. I love tinkering with that little VA synth. And I love not having to mess about with a mixer and loads of extra cables.

 

I'd probably love a Kronos or Kurz as well (never thought of the Jupe as a do-it-all board, must go and try one!), but I think I'd miss the high trigger point for organ.

 

Cheers, Mike.

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As far as the Kronos, here's my 2 cents. I had a Kronos 61 MIDIed up to a PX5s, with the intention of playing synth & organ from the Kronos keyboard and pulling AP/EP/Clav sounds to my PX.

Disappointment #1 - the organ sux

#2 - AP was not greatly improved when in mono (live, this is 99.44% of the time)

#3 - Didn't like the clavs all that much

#4 - had to spend additional $$ for good brass stuff (imperative for the band at that time)

All in all, I felt I over-spent and never felt I had "all the bases covered".

Professional musician = great source of poverty.

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I use just the Kronos and a controller and it's worked great for me.

 

I know enough other Kronos owners that if it crapped out and I needed one in a pinch, I could probably get my hands on one (not mid-set, but if it didn't fire up for wound check). If not, I could get by with my fusion/triton combo.

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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I would never go with a single keyboard for the normal reasons people cite (redundancy, need weighted and unweighted actions, and enough keyboard space to accommodate many splits.)

I will always carry two keyboards for the "many splits" reason. I hate having to pop a different setup (PC) change in the middle of a tune or for different sections of the song.

 

Whether the 2nd board should be just a controller or a full fledged sound source is the crux of the discussion. :)

 

I'm looking through all the Kronos manuals today and the only thing I can see is timbres(tracks) in a Combi don't have a way to scale MIDI CC messages. In other words take 0-127 in and scale it to 0-100 out. Also haven't found if they can take a CC#4 message coming in on a EXT2 timbre channel input and map it to a CC#11 before sending it out.

 

To duplicate my current setup without using a laptop or Cantabile, I would have:

 

[NS2 Midi Out]->[Kronos Midi In]

[Kronos Midi Out]->[NS2 Midi In]

[Kronos USB Out]->[Motif Rack USB] (is that even doable?)

Both units LOCAL=OFF

 

I would want the option to have say the lower half of the NS2 to play a Kronos sound, the upper half of the NS2 to play the Motif, the upper half of the Kronos to play Synth-B in the NS2, and the lower half of the Kronos to play a NS2 Piano sound. (just a random convoluted example).

 

The NS2 Midi would go into the Kronos then get looped back out to the Motif in this example.

 

~ vonnor

 

I haven't done the CC mapping so can't comment on that.

 

I do use my Stage 2 and Kronos back to back (normal MIDI). I use the Kronos in combi mode to send program changes to the Stage. Using the Int/Ext/Ext2 switches on the Kronos combi parts and the KB split/Extern section capabilities on the Stage, I can pretty much play anything I want on either engine with either keyboard. You need to use different different MIDI channels for the Kronos "global channel" and the Stage extern channels. The only real limitation is that for Stage parts played from the Stage, they have to adhere to the limited split points on the Stage (which is obvious I guess.)

 

When you add the Motif rack , it complicates things a bit. You could put it on the MIDI Thru of the Kronos and then choose MIDI channels to make sure it responds to the channel sent out by the Extern section of the Stage. But it won't be getting the output of the Kronos keyboard in that setup (unless there is a soft merge facility in the Kronos that I'm ...which is possible.) I've done these scenarios (two keyboards and module with anything playing anything) in the past with completely different keyboards and I've typically had to include a Merge/thru box....doable but more hassle and cabling. The other approach is to bring everything into a more capable MIDI switching box that can accept program changes. I have the iConnect MIDI4 which would do most of this, but frankly this is the point where were I say "ah, screw it...I'll live with what I can do with the two keyboards." I'm a techie but I really like to leave my day job behind when playing music :-)

 

BTW, I don't know if you can directly drive the motif rack via USB from the Kronos; without doing any investigation, I would make an even money bet that you can't.

 

 

 

Yamaha CK88, Arturia Keylab 61 MkII, Moog Sub 37, Yamaha U1 Upright, Casio CT-S500, Mac Logic/Mainstage, iPad Camelot, Spacestation V.3, QSC K10.2, JBL EON One Compact

www.stickmanor.com

There's a thin white line between fear and fury - Stickman

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Mine doesn't (Nord Stage 2/73 + 88 controller). Not enough granularity in the split points. Also I can't run sufficient synth engines to really cover anything that might come my way. So far I'm faking it by using organ and/or EPs with loads of effects to cover certain synth parts.

 

Yeah, when I bought my Stage 2, I had illusions that I could cover everything I needed with just that. For my application, it didn't come close. The single-layer samples just don't compete with modern ROMpler technology (Korg, Roland, Yamaha). If all you need is bread and butter keyboard sounds with the occasional VA and sample, then the Stage will cover it.

Yamaha CK88, Arturia Keylab 61 MkII, Moog Sub 37, Yamaha U1 Upright, Casio CT-S500, Mac Logic/Mainstage, iPad Camelot, Spacestation V.3, QSC K10.2, JBL EON One Compact

www.stickmanor.com

There's a thin white line between fear and fury - Stickman

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If you're bringing two boards anyway, why even worry about whether you can get all your sounds out of just one of them? Most of my mainstream cover gigs have been two boards (lately, a Casio or Numa 88 under a Yamaha MOX or similar)... with a possible rare exception (like a much better Baba O'Riley sound out of a PX5S than a Yamaha), I could get every sound out of the Yamaha and use MIDI... but why bother? It's there so I might as well just use the 88 for pianos/EPs and not get involved with extra cabling and programming and volume balancing.

 

OTOH, I have been thinking of adding a Gemini module and Roland JP8 for better organ/synth sound with minimal additional weight (a MOXF6, Gemini, and JP8 together would still weigh less than a Kronos 61)... really for my own satisfaction more than anything else, as the organ/synth sounds I get are "good enough" for those particular gigs.

 

If I really wanted to do everything with one do-it-all board (not even with a secondboard as controller), I would want more than 61 keys. I would probably choose a MOXF8 or Artis7. I might be tempted to make the less flexible Roland VR700 work because it has one of the better actions if one must play piano and organ from the same board, Or one of the HA Nord Stage models. But these are starting to get up there in weight. At which point you might again be better off picking two boards and not have to deal with anything that heavy.

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