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Ive been out of the tech for a while and am just a hobbiest

 

Im looking to run multiple keyboards through a mixer and do some midi.

 

Way back when I used cakewalk then soundforge in windows 95

 

So far I have ensoniq KT-88, plus the new gear I bought at the Emo auction (Korg BX3+a Trek II Preamp AND a Kurzweil SP2X)

 

I think recommendations on a mixer, dedicated computer, software are what I need but am very open to any comments and suggestions

 

Thanks in advance

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Just curious, how long ago did you purchase your "new gear". The BX3 and Kurzweil SP2X are well over 20 years old. The reason that I ask is that my GEM Equinox is 20 years old and my Kurzweil PC3 is 10. The MIDI stability differences between the two are large. This has nothing to do of course with the mixer that you are looking for but you mentioned some MIDI work and I have found that the older the equipment the worse with stability especially given that the MIDI standards were being developed back then and not all keyboards followed the standards.

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With respect, I think you (OP) are jumping in too fast. You've just bought a load of toys, and you want to play with them all, to their fullest. Also why do you want to "do some MIDI"? What's your end goal here?

 

I recommend you either start with computer/software OR mixer.

- The former will enable you to play with soft-synths/VIs using your Ensoniq/Kurzweil boards as controllers

- The latter will enable you to play both your boards as sound sources at the same time.

 

I would suggest getting a simple mixer with a built-in USB audio interface, as that will open up possibilities in the future (record keyboard sounds into your computer, playback computer audio etc.).

 

For a computer, Mac Mini+Mainstage is an obvious answer (not necessarily the right answer), but I'm keen to understand more about your requirements. If you just want to mess around, why not mess around with what you already own first...

 

Cheers, Mike.

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Personally, I use software only at home, so I don't need a mixer. I do have an interface that has instrument input(s) and mic pres...but once the sound is in the computer, everything happens there. It's one of the things I love about software, it can be self-contained without the need for midi and audio cabling back to outboard gear. Don't get me wrong, there is a ton of GREAT outboard gear but for my modest needs the convenience trumps all. I can take my laptop to work and do some mixing on my lunch break :)

 

If you go this route, it means you don't have to worry about the sounds of keyboard, and likely can save quite a bit of money. I use an old weighted midi controller I've had from the mid-90s, and if I want synth action I'll hook up one of the keyboards from my live rig. Again, just the midi, I don't use their sounds at all.

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Just curious, how long ago did you purchase your "new gear". The BX3 and Kurzweil SP2X are well over 20 years old.

 

As he said above ... he just bought it from the Emo (Keith Emerson gear) auction. :D

 

Now I´d like to ask what he payed for those 2 keys when the wardrobe case alone made 9K bucks. :crazy:

 

A.C.

 

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If it were me, I'd start with a low-end audio interface (really low end) and free DAW software like REAPER.

 

From there, you can figure out just how much you want to do with midi, upgrade to a better DAW, etc. etc.

 

If you already have the laptop, short money to take the next logical step.

Life is too short to be playing bad music.

 

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If it were me, I'd start with a low-end audio interface (really low end) and free DAW software like REAPER.

 

Reaper is inexpensive - but not free ;)

 

 

He came from Cakewalk; why wouldn't you guys recommend Cakewalk by BandLab, which is Cakewalk, and is free?

 

 

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Personally, I get frustrated at times with computer based systems and miss the robust simplicity of the Tascam multi-track recording systems. I have a Korg multitrack digital recording system (gathering dust) but it is a capable audio mixer so I keep it in case I need more that 2 mic's someday to record live. Of course, I could upgrade my Laptop Audio interface but the cycle is pernicious.

 

I've been very happy with an Apple Laptop ($1500-3000) running Logic Pro X ($199) using a Presonus Audio Box USB (2 mic/instrument inputs) and MIDI ($200).

 

About 8 weeks ago I started buying IOS Apps and the Mac has been idle except for typing or reading on music forums. The AudioBox USB works on the IOS platforms too.

I just got the bill for the iTunes Apps and I've been a "good customer".

 

If $'s are a constraint just buy used or refurb and lower costs. There are some great tools for IOS that really drive applications costs. Korg's Gadget App can record multitracks of audio/midi for 6+ minutes by tricking it with some settings: 20 BPM, 8/4 time signature, using 16 bar loops. (16 x 8 Beats / 20 Beats per Minute) = 6.4 minutes.

 

And it comes with a lot of useful tools and (wait for it) has a Store with (wait for it) extra tools you can buy! I rarely leave the house now or stand up for that matter.

 

"per·ni·cious" having a harmful effect, especially in a gradual or subtle way.

 

 

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If you want to record to computer, you can kill 2 birds with one stone by getting an audio interface with more than 2 input channels - ideally one that has enough inputs to accommodate all the synths in your rig.

 

My MOTU 828MkII was my first audio interface with this capability. 2 mic inputs w/ preamps, plus 8 line inputs. Of course, it's outdated by today's standards, but I'm sure you can find an equivalent product, made by MOTU or a competitor like Presonus.

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I used to be a major Cakewalk Sonar advocate. Now my suggestion is

 

The best Mac you feel comfortable buying. Then look at Apple Logic, Ableton Live and Propellerhead Reason. Choose one or more of those. Mainstage is an eventual purchase no matter what DAW you use. Forget MIDI. You are better off using software instruments. Just use a keyboard with a USB connection to the computer.

 

Invest in an online class for which ever DAW you choose first. Even if you choose all three, start with one and learn it well, then move on. Don't try to learn all three at once. All come with enough built in sounds and instruments that you don't need to worry about buying anything else. Logic, Live and Reason. Test all three. Choose one. Learn it. These are very different systems. Know that you will eventually learn all three, but that you cannot learn them all at once.

This post edited for speling.
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I used to be a major Cakewalk Sonar advocate. Now my suggestion is

 

The best Mac you feel comfortable buying. Then look at Apple Logic, Ableton Live and Propellerhead Reason. Choose one or more of those. Mainstage is an eventual purchase no matter what DAW you use. Forget MIDI. You are better off using software instruments. Just use a keyboard with a USB connection to the computer.

 

Invest in an online class for which ever DAW you choose first. Even if you choose all three, start with one and learn it well, then move on. Don't try to learn all three at once. All come with enough built in sounds and instruments that you don't need to worry about buying anything else. Logic, Live and Reason. Test all three. Choose one. Learn it. These are very different systems. Know that you will eventually learn all three, but that you cannot learn them all at once.

 

This is probably excellent advise to follow to be efficient.

But "Look $4.99 for a Harmonizr App in iTunes" vs "a Waves HarmonizerVST/AU for $79". Overtime it adds up to make a complete modern studio.

 

Pros leverage the cost of tools against time lost or wasted.

 

Hobbyists leverage dollars spent for the maximum amount of fun possible.

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Just curious, how long ago did you purchase your "new gear". The BX3 and Kurzweil SP2X are well over 20 years old. The reason that I ask is that my GEM Equinox is 20 years old and my Kurzweil PC3 is 10. The MIDI stability differences between the two are large. This has nothing to do of course with the mixer that you are looking for but you mentioned some MIDI work and I have found that the older the equipment the worse with stability especially given that the MIDI standards were being developed back then and not all keyboards followed the standards.

 

I just bought at auction and understand its old and used. Just look8ng to use it

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With respect, I think you (OP) are jumping in too fast. You've just bought a load of toys, and you want to play with them all, to their fullest. Also why do you want to "do some MIDI"? What's your end goal here?

 

Good question, I should have posted this. In priority order

 

1) learn songs and parts (complex prog) that is beyond my ear

2) play parts along with backing

3) compose and record

 

I want to be able to play multiple boards at a time even if this means I need more gear

 

 

 

I recommend you either start with computer/software OR mixer.

- The former will enable you to play with soft-synths/VIs using your Ensoniq/Kurzweil boards as controllers

- The latter will enable you to play both your boards as sound sources at the same time.

 

Id rather have both capabilities

 

I would suggest getting a simple mixer with a built-in USB audio interface, as that will open up possibilities in the future (record keyboard sounds into your computer, playback computer audio etc.).

 

Do you have a recommendation on brand and model? Id like a little expand ability beyond 3 boards

 

For a computer, Mac Mini+Mainstage is an obvious answer (not necessarily the right answer), but I'm keen to understand more about your requirements. If you just want to mess around, why not mess around with what you already own first...

 

Cheers, Mike.

 

Excellent. Maybe I should devote my MacBook Pro and replace but add main stage?

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Personally, I use software only at home, so I don't need a mixer. I do have an interface that has instrument input(s) and mic pres...but once the sound is in the computer, everything happens there. It's one of the things I love about software, it can be self-contained without the need for midi and audio cabling back to outboard gear. Don't get me wrong, there is a ton of GREAT outboard gear but for my modest needs the convenience trumps all. I can take my laptop to work and do some mixing on my lunch break :)

 

If you go this route, it means you don't have to worry about the sounds of keyboard, and likely can save quite a bit of money. I use an old weighted midi controller I've had from the mid-90s, and if I want synth action I'll hook up one of the keyboards from my live rig. Again, just the midi, I don't use their sounds at all.

 

This is where I dont ha e the knowledge. There are things doable on weighted keys that cant be done on weighted controllers. If I went with straight software can I assume it will capture the presets and growl settings or is this just going to playback the list of midi options (I havent done this since the 90s)

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