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Affordable ROMpler with multi-sampling


nickd

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Hoping this question hasn't been covered recently...

 

I'm looking for a new top board to go with my Kurzweil SP4-7, for a covers band (needs a broad range of sounds - only for live use). I want something light, fairly simple and affordable (probably second-hand) - so no Kronos, Forte or Motif/Montage.

 

I was originally narrowing my choice down to probably a Korg Kross, or Yamaha MOX6 or MX61.

 

But then I thought: it'd be great to be able to load multi-samples and play them back at a gig. In other words, I want to sample my other gear, and play it back on the keys of the board (not pads) as an instrument, not just triggering sounds.

 

The best option I can think of is the MOXF6 - is there anything I'm missing I should be comparing? I don't think the Kross 2 can do what I want, but I'm happy to be corrected...

 

Thanks

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Roland FA06 has sampling I believe, and Roland's architecture and UI is generally thought to be easier to understand and use than Yamaha's.

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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Funny to be talking about a rompler into which you can load your own samples, as there's another thread about how the definition of a rompler is that you can't load your own samples. ;-) But we know what you mean.

 

MOXF6 is a good choice, but you have to remember to factor in the cost of the optional flash card, and probably the John Melas Waveform Editor software that makes Yamaha sample management fathomable by humans.

 

Maybe the Roland Juno DS61? I remember reading that you could import samples and play them from the keyboard... I don't know anything about the mechanics of it or the capacity. I think it may be limited to one wav file per key, like the Nords (i.e. no multi-velocity sampling).

 

Kross had an unofficial, unsupported way to load a limited about of custom sample data, the Korss 2 might have the same (and might do a better job at it, since it actually has a decent amount of additional rewritable memory specifically for sound expansion), but afaik, it is still an unsupported and essentially undocumented function.

 

Another option could be to stick with your original choices, and trigger your sampled sounds using an iPad app like BS-16i.

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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Roland FA06 has sampling I believe

Only for the pads. There is a method for playing those samples from the keys, but still with trigger-pad style limitations... just (afaik) sets of up to 16 samples, with no stretching of samples to other keys, so realistically, no way to really play imported patches from other synths. (And also, no multi-velocity sample sets on the same key, if that matters.)

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'd say the MOXF6 is your best bet too, though I do wonder how much in practice you'll want to go through the (mucho) hard work of adequately sampling your other gear. My gut feeling is that you'll find something on the Yam which will usually be 'close enough'.

 

The only downside of the MOXF6 is the rather grotty keybed, but it's not as bad as some.

 

Also, you can save a chunk of money by buying (if not already fitted on a S/H purchase) the Mutec versions of the flash memory rather than the official Yamaha ones.

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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Also...

 

* You'll definitely want the Melas software.

* Yamaha had a free download of samples from other Motifs/ES boards which is worth getting hold of if it's still around. It might just address some of the gaps for you.

[Edit it still is: Clonk here 'Inspiration in a Flash'.

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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Thanks guys... there's some good options to consider there, including iPad, but Aidan I think you're right I'll usually get close enough without samples. And the Kross (original) can trigger WAV audio from an SD card, so can do bits of pre-sampled effects or intros.
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I'd say the MOXF6 is your best bet too, though I do wonder how much in practice you'll want to go through the (mucho) hard work of adequately sampling your other gear.

I've had good luck using SampleRobot to generate a soundfont of a couple of sounds I wanted from other boards. I haven't tried bringing them into a Yamaha, though.

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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...then there's the Pandora's box of using your controller of choice triggering an iPad loaded with something like Korg Module or M1 for your ROMpler-ish sounds and Beatmaker2+ for your custom multisamples...

Nord Stage 2 Compact, Yamaha MODX8

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You can't sample directly into the MOXF like you can on the XF, so yeah - think you'll need a sampler/editor and Melas

WF Editor to create waveforms you can load into MOXF. I'm not the expert on it, I used to sample in the XF directly

 

if you go that route, look at Mutec flash boards - you can double the memory space to 2 GB if you're willing to spend. Even the 1G is cheaper than the "official" Yamaha flash boards - I've never read of anyone having any functional issue with a mutec board. dont get a smaller board, there is only one slot and life is short. 500k will fill up quickly as there are some good libraries that are very useful for cover bands.

The baiting I do is purely for entertainment value. Please feel free to ignore it.
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Yamaha currently have a promotion: Buy an MOXF and get a free 512MB flash memory board.

 

https://usa.yamaha.com/promotions/

 

The promotion is good until December 21, 2017.

 

Please keep in mind that the MOXF is due for a refresh or new model. It's one of the last remaining Yamaha products using the Motif-generation tone generator chips. Further, Yamaha are moving to built-in expansion memory and the flash memory boards will no longer be necessary.

 

I play an MOX and have a lot of love for this product. :-)

 

Hope this info helps -- pj

 

Music technology blog: http://sandsoftwaresound.net/

 

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Maybe some older Kurzweils floating around in good condition for cheap.

K2xxx was a very popular platform for programming sampled instruments for quite a while. I bet they have mods now that let you use USB thumb drives to hold tons of samples. At least they do for the other sampling platforms like Akai and Roland S7xx.

Yamaha CP88, Roland VR-700, Crumar Mojo, rebuilt 1910 Chickering 5'2", Fender Rhodes MKI 88k, Casio PX-560

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Nah, I wouldn't complement the SP4-7 with another (older) kurz, it doesn't bring enough new to the table.

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 am right in understanding the SP4 series does not support user samples, right? And that only PC3 programs that use what's on the ROM and available in the fx section will play properly, ya?

 

Hmm, what other "affordable" keyboards support user created sampled instruments - and with velocity layers for that matter?

Yamaha CP88, Roland VR-700, Crumar Mojo, rebuilt 1910 Chickering 5'2", Fender Rhodes MKI 88k, Casio PX-560

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I am right in understanding the SP4 series does not support user samples, right?

Correct.

 

And that only PC3 programs that use what's on the ROM and available in the fx section will play properly, ya?

SP4 has the same wave ROM as PC3 so all the same Programs work, albeit up to 10 effects rather than 16. (There are other limitations compared to a PC3, though.)

 

Sonically, what does a K2xxx really add to his setup, other than the user samples? That was really my point.

 

IHmm, what other "affordable" keyboards support user created sampled instruments - and with velocity layers for that matter?

See the other answers in this thread. Also, besides "affordable," we're looking for "simple" and "lightweight" - I don't think the old Kurz will match up well there. MOXF is light, and while not simple out of the box, the John Melas editor makes wave management tolerable. DS61 might meet the criteria if single-velocity samples are sufficient. Something with an iPad might be best.

 

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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Scott, sheesh. Of course I read the thread. I mean other than the MOXF6.

 

While there's little else "new" and "affordable" that has the user multi sampling feature the OP requested, there is a silver lining.

 

Until December 31, the $1199.99 MOXF6 includes the 512mb flash memory card via a Yamaha offer...

https://usa.yamaha.com/promotions/MOXF_Rebate/index.html

Yamaha CP88, Roland VR-700, Crumar Mojo, rebuilt 1910 Chickering 5'2", Fender Rhodes MKI 88k, Casio PX-560

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Scott, sheesh. Of course I read the thread. I mean other than the MOXF6.

As I said, possibly a DS61, or supplementing with an iPad. If your point is that there isn't much around, I agree. But that wouldn't necessarily lead me to a K2xxx, either. If you want to look at older (and typically heavier) stuff, he'd probably find greater simplicity as well as more sonic variety (relative to what he has) with other old pieces, like the Fantom X6 recently discussed at https://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2885881/Re_My_new_Fantom_X6_sampling_j

A lightweight possibility could be a Korg TR with sampling memory installed (probably complicated though), or a Korg M3 (heavy with their keyboards, but can be lightweight if you buy the M3M module and pair it with whatever)... so yeah, there are some other possibilities if you go historical.

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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In the states I would say go to the GC used gear website and order a used M3 or Fantom X.

 

There is nothing new that is good and affordable.

 

In the UK .... I have no idea. The hardware Sampler market isn't dead but it smell funny.

"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 for all the help - I hadn't considered the Juno DS, but some further research shows you can load user samples into its 32MB flash memory, and play from the keyboard. Multi-part performances let you split the keyboard to play back different samples.

 

Which is just about enough for what I want - the ability to play a few simple/short samples if there's an iconic sound in a song that I want to reproduce, and the onboard sounds won't do it.

 

(Although for the price of a Juno DS, I could almost get a Kross AND a second-hand Blofeld module to handle the sample playback and add loads of synth sounds.... too many options!)

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Thanks for all the help - I hadn't considered the Juno DS, but some further research shows you can load user samples into its 32MB flash memory, and play from the keyboard. )

Right. One thing to keep in mind is that (I think) the samples are limited to a single velocity layer, so you can't trigger different samples depending on how hard you hit the keys, which may or may not be a factor if you'll be sampling sounds from other keyboards, depending on the sounds you're working with. (It sounds like that might not be much of a concern anymore, but it is something that was mentioned in the OP.) The other thing to be aware of is that 32 mb is a lot less available space than even the smallest available card for the MOXF (512 mb). OTOH, if you don't need the additional velocity layers or capacity, the Roland will presumably be simpler (and cheaper).

 

T(Although for the price of a Juno DS, I could almost get a Kross AND a second-hand Blofeld module to handle the sample playback and add loads of synth sounds.... too many options!)

Juno DS 61 and Kross 61 should be very close to each other in price. "MOXF6+flash+Joh Melas software" is more, though the promotion of including a flash card reduces the difference. (BTW, I think the Blofeld also deals only in single velocity layer samples.)

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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As far as the Yamahas go, the recommended John Melas Wave Editor is available for Motif XS and XF as well as the MOXF we've been talking about. MOXF is much lighter than the others. Motif XS pre-dated use of the flash cards, though, so samples have to be loaded at every startup.

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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