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


vonnor

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My Nord Stage 2 (and Stage 2 EX) do it all quite nicely. I do have a Ventilator that I can't live without and also a Motif XS Rack for some additional rompler versatility - but I have all of my NS2 sounds set up so they can stand alone without the XS Rack.
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I recently bought a Kronos 2 73 and I certainly could use it as my only board. But I also bring my PC361 to most gigs, mostly for organ(I leave the vent home).

Biggest shortcoming of the Kronos is the AC pianos so if that is a big part of the OP's gig I would look for a weighted piano for the bottom board.

 

1935 Mason & Hamlin Model A

Korg Kronos 2 73

Nord Electro 6D 61

Yam S90ES

Rhodes Stage 73 (1972)

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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?

 

The advantage of using only one sound-generating board are:

- Simplified setup. No mixer required, which means no power to the mixer and no need to worry about where to put the mixer. (You may have a board with audio ins, but there have been reports here of issues with that approach)

- Logistics. The controland er-only board is typically cheap (mine cost £90 s/h!) and so I can afford to leave one set up at home, and another in the rehearsal space. (At the moment I'm experimenting with a synth-61 under my Nord as my "travel" rig, leaving me an 88 at home, and a 76 in our rehearsal room)

- Flexibility. I can take one board (to jam sessions, casual rehearsals, impractical gigs "come and do three songs at a festival"). I don't need to worry about "shall I choose the clonewheel or the synth".

 

Cheers, Mike.

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Yeah, my Kronos 2 88 is a does-most-of-it board. Can't get along with the organ engine no matter how much I try. Maybe I need a Vent... But still the action... Everything else though is fine, if not great.
Viscount Legend, Leslie 142, Nord Stage 3 HA88, Rhodes MK1 1977, Moog Sub 37, Dave Smith Rev2, Juno 106, DX7
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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?...

If I can, then a weighted controller with no sounds can be my bottom board. If I can't, I gotta have one with sounds. The former is typically a less expensive option.

 

Opinions on the viability of the Kronos as a sole sound source vary widely it seems.

Gear:

Hardware: Nord Stage4, Korg Kronos 2, Novation Summit

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

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For the Genesis stuff, the Kronos 61 is my sole sound source. The PX-350 sits underneath (on channel 2) and acts as weighted controller.

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

 

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My Nord Stage 2 (and Stage 2 EX) do it all quite nicely. I do have a Ventilator that I can't live without and also a Motif XS Rack for some additional rompler versatility - but I have all of my NS2 sounds set up so they can stand alone without the XS Rack.

And you're in a 2-guitar band too, Eric. You don't have to cover crunch power chords or chorused Strat on the Nord.

 

I do love me some B3 sound though, even though I'm just a piano player. I may have to get a Vent and run the organ out separate outputs.

 

~ BC

Gear:

Hardware: Nord Stage4, Korg Kronos 2, Novation Summit

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

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For this latest project (which is an 80s rock band with 2 guitars) I only use one keyboard (Nord Stage 2EX-88) but i do use a secondary sound source alongside (Mainstage) so not quite what the OP was asking. The type of music dictates more than what the State 2 can solely offer. It has been quite refreshing limiting myself to one keybed though. Makes you think more about how to manage splits, layers, pedals and controllers

Nord Stage 2EX | Nord Wave | Mainstage 3

K&M Spider Pro | JH Audio JH5 IEMs | Behringer XR18 | Radial Keylargo

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In my experience, only the Kronos is a true do-it-all board. I don't have a lot of experience with Kurzweil, however. I love Yamaha & Roland for AP/EP and some of the synth stuff but it falls short on organ. Nord is great for AP/EP/organ but the synth functionality, even on the Stage, doesn't always get me as close as I'd like for certain sounds, and it doesn't sound as good for ROMpler orchestral stuff as the other 3.

 

For me, I'm very happy with my current setup of a Nord E5D (just enough synth/sample/ROMpler stuff to get me through the majority of my gigs on one board) with Mainstage running NI & Arturia stuff (mostly for the Top 40 band or anything that is more synth or orchestra-heavy).

My Site

Nord Electro 5D, Novation Launchkey 61, Logic Pro X, Mainstage 3, lots of plugins, fingers, pencil, paper.

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The advantage of using only one sound-generating board are:

- Simplified setup. No mixer required, which means no power to the mixer and no need to worry about where to put the mixer. (You may have a board with audio ins, but there have been reports here of issues with that approach)

I guess that would depend on your particular setup. As you say, some people are fine putting one board's audio into another. But besides that, many people are playing through amps that have two inputs, so again, no mixer required for two boards. Or if one is sending to a FOH system, again, not typically an issue. But yes, in some situations, I see the virtue in avoiding a mixer.

 

If I can, then a weighted controller with no sounds can be my bottom board. If I can't, I gotta have one with sounds. The former is typically a less expensive option.

Good point... not caring about the sounds of your second board means you might be able to get a less expensive second board. Not as much fun, though. ;-)

 

For the Genesis stuff, the Kronos 61 is my sole sound source. The PX-350 sits underneath (on channel 2) and acts as weighted controller.

And that's a good example... a relatively light and inexpensive 2nd board that works well as a Kronos controller, but there's probably no sounds in it that aren't bettered by something in the Kronos. The PX5S is lighter and has some more interesting sonic capabilities of its own... but it's more expensive.

 

Opinions on the viability of the Kronos as a sole sound source vary widely it seems.

For the Kronos in particular, there is an additional virtue of the 2nd board having sounds... you have something you can play if you unexpectedly need 2-3 minutes to reboot your Kronos.

 

It has been quite refreshing limiting myself to one keybed though. Makes you think more about how to manage splits, layers, pedals and controllers

Ah! That's the kind of stuff I don't like to be bothered with!

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I did consider the Forte, but having owned a pc361 I found programming and even tweaking sounds to be VASTly more difficult than what I was used to. Stuff with osc's, filters, adsr's, lfo's and the like are much easier to figure out.

Gear:

Hardware: Nord Stage4, Korg Kronos 2, Novation Summit

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

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I ended up with the Forte being the center of my rig and it can do

it all.

Just the MIDI control aspect of that board is huge.

Any controllers can do anything. From extreme to subtle.

 

I do have a Nord Stage 2 SW as a second tier board but it's mostly

for logistics and the synth/waterfall keyboard itself.

It's hard to get something that has the correct spacing scale on notes.

A lot of synth note boards are 7/8 scale. The Stage SW is full scale.

 

I just kinda gave up on 1 board doing "Everything".

Even with 88 notes to play with you have to really watch yourself on

multiple zones.

It's crazy. I've got a couple Multis with 10 zones!

And bringing 2 boards is not a big deal for me.

 

John

 

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Another All-in-a-Kurz user here. PC361 is the engine. I set it up in single-program mode (a misnomer) with channel 2 selected as my "current" local channel. I change its patch as needed -- EP, clonewheel, electric guitar, combo organ, whatever.

 

A semi-weighted 88 key controller drives MIDI Channel 1, which is more or less permanently set to a grand piano patch with bass guitar layered over the bottom 2.5 octaves, and the bass going out an auxiliary output. (Mod wheel acts as a balance control for those two.) So bass and piano are just "there," all the time.

 

The only sonic area that feels weak in the PC3 is synth brasses. I think I was spoiled by the filters of my now-departed Alesis Fusion. But to be fair, I haven't really worked on a brass patch with the same dedication as had I put into the guitar and combo organ patches.

 

Also, like a previous poster, my Kurz has had some reliability issues, so I tend to keep my semi-trusty Ax-Synth nearby.

-Tom Williams

{First Name} {at} AirNetworking {dot} com

PC4-7, PX-5S, AX-Edge, PC361

 

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My DMC-122 with installed Gemini is about as close as I've ever gotten to a do it all board. I've found it easier to play AP & EP on a waterfall keys and still have a good B3/Leslie combo than to try to play B3/Leslie on a weighted 88 keyboard. I refrain from much left hand bass stuff.

Kurzweil PC4, NS3-88, Kronos 2-61, QSC K8.2's.

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