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How far do you stray from your favorite/go-to patches?


Moonglow

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We all know that most keyboards these days feature a wide variety of acoustic pianos, Rhodes, Wurli, strings, brass, etc. Despite having many of these types of sounds available, I largely find myself sticking with the same go-to patch in each of these categories. Maybe Im just stuck, but when I select an alternate piano, Rhodes, etc. (e.g., to more closely approximate what is on a recording) I usually end up abandoning it and sticking with the patch that resonates to my core. An exception is when it comes to mono/poly synth patches, I do stray considerably.

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

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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It sounds like I'm very similar to you. I have AP and EP sounds that are tweaked and saved that I'll use all the time, unless the song I'm covering has a distinctive variation that I feel a casual listener would notice. Strings too.

 

Synth sounds are a different story and I do try and get them as close as possible/practical.

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AP I use the same patches for everything unless it's supposed to be a distinctly different sound - like the chorused piano on Don't Stop Believing. EP's I use quite a few different ones, although for wurli, I have 2 patches that I use the most. Anything else I use all different sounds, and more often than not, create my own sound from an initialized patch rather than use a preset. The exception would be strings and brass sounds (unless it's the synth variety, then I roll my own)

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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On a separate/parallel note: I've noticed that over the years I use less and less Rhodes. In most band contexts, I use a growly Wurly instead. The only exception is a nice open arrangement where all that wide Rhodes sound has room around it. Otherwise, it just seems too sonically "needy" to my ear, these days.
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On a separate/parallel note: I've noticed that over the years I use less and less Rhodes. In most band contexts, I use a growly Wurly instead. The only exception is a nice open arrangement where all that wide Rhodes sound has room around it. Otherwise, it just seems too sonically "needy" to my ear, these days.

 

Me too - in fact I can only think of one song I use Rhodes on, the rest are wurli

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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.... Maybe Im just stuck, but when I select an alternate piano, Rhodes, etc. (e.g., to more closely approximate what is on a recording) I usually end up abandoning it and sticking with the patch that resonates to my core. An exception is when it comes to mono/poly synth patches, I do stray considerably.

 

I think this ties into the observation here about a 'growly wurli' being used in place of a Rhodes tone. Pianos and EPs get a particular recorded sound because of the recording / production techniques used in the track. And even if you manage to get close the recorded sound / original 'vibe' of a song, will the other players in your band compliment the song in the same manner as their particular part in the track ? And what about fx, mixing and mastering ? This is why, for pianos - EPs - and certain electromechanical tones, I also go with patches that resonate for me and fit to the sound of the band. Often when I stick with patches that sound beautiful on their own, I end up with Rhodes tones that go flaccid in the mix, and pianos with a gorgeous attack, but a decay that falls into oblivion quickly - with little clarity and sustain to the body of the tone.

 

For synths I also stray quite a bit. Other than hitting 'signature' instrumental lines / hooks, I tend to approach cover tunes with a degree of liberty.

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In my case, I am constantly studying how Jonathan's sounds and playing evolve in the live setting over the years.

 

Luckily my band mates do the same and we work hard on how our individual tones fit with each other.

David

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Whatever it needed when I worked on the agency / function band circuit.

 

If it's an original project I limit myself to 20 sounds / textures. I read a Brian Eno interview 20 or 30 years ago and he mentioned how much more work he got done by limiting his own choices.

 

In our magazine I remember Patrick Leonard talking about either one of the Oberheim modules or the Roland D50 and how long he'd spent auditioning presets (3000 or 4000). At the end of it he said that yes, there was something different about each one but he was left feeling that they were more like different shades of red than a broad and colourful palette.

 

I think the article finished by suggesting the use of different hardware - I'm going back a few decades, no VSTs.

 

I've currently two projects on (with different vocalists) - I've a different (limited) palette of sounds I use with each.

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
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Over the years yes, I have tended to stick to one or two favorite go-to patches within each common sound category. With my recently acquired Kronos, I am trying to change my habits on that, just because there are so many great-sounding high-quality patches on board for each category, more than I've had before on previous instruments, I try to find and use different variations for different songs, at least for a while ,because otherwise if I settle on favorites too quickly, I may never even get around to exploring and discovering all the choices available; also just to keep things more sonically varied and interesting over the course of a gig. Just so many nice usable Rhodes, organ, brass patches etc., it would just be too easy and too limiting to only use one or two of each.

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,

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I've been using alot more Wurli and Rhodes since I purchased the Gemini module. Not that the Kurz PC3's are bad (they are actually pretty good!) but the Gemini's behavior of the sounds in particular make them cool to play.

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With my Electro, I have a few base sounds, but all of them have effects that are saved and I'll turn them off and on as needed. Like the clav is saved with a wah pedal programmed, but it's turned off by default, so if I need a wah clav, I hit that button. Same for EPs, I have a chorus, panning, delay, amp sim all set up to give me a variety of sounds off of 1 patch.

 

I tend to use 2 grand piano sounds, a bright one and a darker one. I also have an electric grand for the 80's stuff and a couple uprights for different tonal needs.

 

For organ, I have a base organ sound and then I use the controls to to turn off/on c/v, percussion, etc., and work the drawbars like you are supposed to.

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When supporting theater productions or performing pop/rock covers, I have done very precise programming to nail a particular cover or make sure that a sound is fitting cohesively with what else is going on stage or with foley I may be triggering. In those contexts I have played what is programmed.

 

Not so much when you are playing improvised music especially with very dynamic horns and voices. Your own voice needs to come through. Maybe ten dynamic sounds tops. I have a ring modulator on rhodes patches that I can crossfade in, a crossfadable wah on clav, etc. One of my two acoustic piano patches has a crossfadable ring modulator wth a high frequency carrier to give me glassy textures for soft atmospheres.

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I kind of spread it out between three different boards:

 

Kronos = just about everything

Mojo = Tonewheel stuff

Yamaha = Piano, brass, some synth stuff

 

I just have to have a lot of bases covered but try to use the best sound possible for anything I am playing.

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

 

 

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Definitely stick with go-to patches in each category. Probably too much so...but in a live setting this makes life simpler. Plus you really get to know the dynamics of those patches and how they will mesh with the band.

 

This topic immediate made me think of my older Virus (which I had to sell to get a clonewheel)...when I bought it I never thought I'd be fiddling with the knobs once I built patches, but man I was wrong. I had about 5 main patches on it but very quickly those 5 could change to about 50 and I did a lot of "programming" on the fly as I played. Tons of fun. Great keyboard.

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I have Rhodes, Wurly, Clav and 'Tron patches in Mainstage that are my go-to for those sounds, but they have extensive EFX chains. I can control EQ, amp drive and EFX on/off from my controller, so there's quite a bit of customization within the patches. So when I'm looking for a certain sound, I'll call those up and tweak until I like it, then save for that tune.

 

For synth sounds, I'm more likely to program something from scratch. But I do have a basic Monark patch I often use as a starting point for leads.

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I've been using the RD-800 with the FA-06 on top & this really covers all ground. The FA is great for brass, strings, etc & I get a pretty decent organ sound from it. I'm also guilty of using the same bright AP, wurly & brass patch but I think that's what becomes our "sound" in the band.
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