Jump to content
Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

First & last synth/sampler/keyboard advice


Recommended Posts

This is similar but not identical to previous threads: I'm a guitarist/bass player with no MIDI experience using Protools Dig001 including Sample Cell who needs a keyboard/synth for my home studio for all kinds of sounds which seem to be found in almost every workstation or module I've tried like the Korg, Roland, and the Emu sound modules. Some sounds on these are good but many like guitar and horn sounds are not so great. Recall I do have Digi's Sample Cell which is decent. I compose rock, funk, metal, mood, jazz tunes and record to CD at home.


My budget for this keyboard/soundmodule/rack/synth/sampler tops at $3000 (US)and my priorities in choosing equipment are sound quality and ease of use. Would you recommend:

  • For sound sources do you suggest CD-ROMs (which ain't cheap) or the plug-in expansion cards made for the sample/workstation/synths like Roland or Korg? Are the sounds on these expansion board as good as sample CD-ROMs?
  • Midimaster keyboard (like Fatar or Roland A90)) and a rack unit like Roland XV-5030 or 5080, Korg Triton?
  • midimaster keyboard and sound module(s) like Emu Proteus 2000 and better outboard samper such as ESI-2000 or other recommendation?
  • Roland XP-30, 60, 80 or XV-88 or Korg Trinity with it's expandable sound cards? I'm open to other brands but know less about Yamaha, Oberheim, Emu/ensoniq, etc.


Thanks for any advice.





This message has been edited by Jim S on 03-11-2001 at 02:08 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 12
  • Created
  • Last Reply

If you want the best factory presets and instrument emulation, then get the Roland XV-88. It has the latest technology and everyone I know says they like the sounds the best. If you want to create your own sounds and don't care about factory presets, get the Korg MS2000 for around $900 and put the rest of your money in the bank. Another idea would be an arranger workstation. I have a Roland G-1000, which has a ton of factory preset, built-in zip drive, sequencer, 16-track recorder, blah blah. You can get one on eBay for under $1500.00 A great machine at a decent price. You don't need a Korg Triton so save your dollars and put them into something else. For an in-house speaker, get a crate BX-50. It will sound awesome. Stay away from synth speaker that can't boost the bottom end. And don't run a synth through a guitar amp - it will blow the speakers.


You can email me at elfarran@yahoo.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a bit of food for thought. With a Korg Triton, you could have a bit of the best of all worlds. With it you get a decent sequencer, a great keyboard soundset, expandability via Korg's expansion boards, plus a sampler. So if at anytime down the road you wanted to load Akai samples, then you could do so. I myself prefer the Roland "sound", but I can say a lot of good things about Korgs, in general, and the Triton, in particular. I would like to recommend the Roland XV88, but alas, it does not come with a built-in sequencer.


Rev E

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thansk for your input. MIDI sequencing won't be a major part of my creative process; the MIDI in Protools is enough for me for now. One nice thing I noticed about the 5080 is the greater memory. Also, the Roland can use all the previous sound cards/PCMs. The Triton left Trinity users in the dust being unable to use their PCM cards. Will Korg do that to Triton users when the inevitable next wave from Korg arrives? (rhetorical question).


Does the XV 5080 lack an arpeggiator? I thought I read that somewhere in a review. If so, would a keyboard controller with arpeggiator take care of that as well as on-on board one?


This message has been edited by Jim S on 03-12-2001 at 04:41 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Will Korg do that to Triton users when the inevitable next wave from Korg arrives? (rhetorical question)."


Korg has never had any backwards compatibility with any product they've ever made. The Triton can't read the Trinity files, the 01/W can't read the T-series files...etc.


I guess you'd expect me to say this, but you should really consider a K2600. They're right at your price limit, depending on whether you want 88 keys or not. They are extremely expandable with both ROM and RAM expansions. There is a huge native sound library since the K2600 is completely backwards compatible with the K2000 and K2500 series formats. Plus it will read Roland, Akai, Ensoniq and .wav/.aif formats too. They're also one of the best controller keyboards available, with 8 sliders, 2 ribbon controllers 6 pedal inputs and a breath controller input.


You mentioned ease of use and I do believe that a K2600 is easy to use, but it really depends on how deep you want to go. I'd also have to say that learning to use one piece of equipment would be easier than making multiple products work together. K2600's are also shipping with a tutorial CD-ROM from www.synth-tek


Take Care,





Mike Martin


Kurzweil Music Systems


-Mike Martin



Mike Martin Photography Instagram Facebook

The Big Picture Photography Forum on Music Player Network


The opinions I post here are my own and do not represent the company I work for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sequencing can be handled by the Dig001 Protools.

Sample playback would be nice; sample recording can be handled by my Digi001 on Mac with Sample Cell. I don't think I need extensive capability like Gigasampler on PC or anything else for now. I record only at home and I think rock,jazz, funk, metal, blues keyboards, horns like sax, strings, and drums are most important. Most of the synth sounds and techno stuff is fine forme. And I don't imagine I'll be doing a lot of sonic tweaking (famous last words). And on that note the Triton is out. Amongst

  • Kurzweil K2600 or PC2
  • Roland (V-5080, XP 30, XV 88)
  • Emu Proteus 2000

which have the best or worst tech support and manuals? Which if any are the most difficult to use?(Yes, I know about the omnipresent Mike Martin who seems very helpful.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As far as user manuals, the kurzweils are the best, I think. Clear with useful info. Plenty of tutorials in the web too. Tech support? I've heard good and bad things about all the manufacturers you have mentioned. However, for online support my vote goes for the k2600 (or any of the k series for that matter). Plus the fact that Mike hangs out in this (and many others) forum.


Anything by yamaha korg or roland has not impressed me. I like the alesis ones, actually. At least they bother putting programming tips when explaining the control; 'increase this to get that type of the sound bla blah blah). For the yamahas, they will list the parameter ie 'The filter cuttoff parameter varies the filter cutoff on a scale of 1-100...' Maybe I expect too much. Never mind the fact of the gross spelling/grammar mistakes which makes them unclear and annoying to read.


If you can spring for the kurz, go for it. I've started working with a friend's k2000 this week and I can't keep the drool in my mouth. Plus the number of user patches on the web is amazing. We found someone who had sampled and created a program for the d50 fantasia pad which I've always liked. Yeah, it's overused but I still like it! But make sure you budget it carefully, since you might find out you want to get a scsi hard drive, scsi cd rom, the sampling option, a scsi board for the pc... and so forth.


As far as the pc2 and k2600, the thing to keep in mind is the ability to load samples. That makes the k the '1st and last synth' you'll buy, possibly. The pc2 sounds are outstanding, but given its programmability, you're limited. There's so much stuff for the kurz out there you're likely to find what you need. I've been searching for stuff in the web this week for the k2000 and I was impressed.


No rompler is ever going to match the sonic fidelity of a sampler, it's just a question of what fulfill your needs.


I've heard the emu models are pretty easy to navigate, and the proteus 2000 is supposedly a great 'swiss army type synth'. Plus you can add new rom modules. I won't comment on the rolands since I'm not too familiar with them. But I think the kurz has the upper hand as far as sample loading. But, the plug in boards for the rolands are cheaper than new rom modules for the kurz, I think. I would budget out what each costs and what you may want to upgrade in the future.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
After spending double digit hours playing with Kurz, Roland, Emu, Korg, I 'm going for the Kurzweil PC2 and Roland XV-5080. The PC2 has incredibly fidelity and dynamic range. If Kurz made an easy-acces triple strike PC2 ROMpler like Roland modules with simple plug-in cards I'd buy it in a second...probably regardless of price.
Link to comment
Share on other sites



Excellent choice, I was in your position a couple of months ago and ended up with the PC2X, and Emu Esynth. I had a little more money to spend, but like yourself I was looking for a all in one keyboard. After hearing the PC2X I decided to buy it and a sampler. You will never lose with the PC2 as part of the equation. Have fun with your new toys!!!!!



Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...