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help with keyboard purchase!


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hello, im in need of a standalone keyboard that also acts as a midi controller with good sounds and versitillity.


can anyone suggest anywhere i can go look at whats on offer? or does anyone have and suggestions themselves?


im, er, new to this.


thanks for ur time.

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It really depends on your needs. What type of sounds are you looking for (analog modeling, sample playback)? Do you want a workstation or just a keyboard/midi controller? Everyone will tell you to get their keyboard b/c obviously they think theirs' is best or they wouldn't have bought it. Personally, I already have a workstation which I love and would highly recommend but if I were in the market for one today (not three years ago when I bought my trinity) I would buy a motif. Every feature and sound on this board is absolutely amazing. I wish I had a couple thousand to spare...Many will tell you to buy a triton or karma, but personally already having a trinity with a virtually identical sound engine, I wouldn't even consider those two. But they are excellent workstations just the same. For analog modeling I truly love the andromeda and the access virus - they both have sequencing features as well which really boosts the price. So if it's just a snyth you want...I'd say the alesis is the way to go. Good price, great sounds. Check out zzsounds.com, musiciansfriend.com and most important - go to a store and play them! Your ear is the best bet...good luck! ~nel



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First think some about the keyboard part. Will you play piano music that requires a weighted action and a full 88 keys, or at least 76 so you don't run off the end too often when you do big two-handed runs and fancy counterpoint? If this not a requirement then you can stick with the standard 5 octaves (61 keys) for a much lighter, more portable keyboard.


If you have a 5 octave keyboard, the next question is how stiff you want the action to be. If you're used to playing acoustic pianos then you will probably find a fairly heavy action comfortable. On the other hand if you are doing synth parts, organs, strings, brass, etc. and you don't have years of piano playing to have built up your wrists and fingers then a light weight action will make it easier to play and especially easier to play fast parts.


Now you need to think some about how you will use other performance features of the keyboard. Is it critical that you have instant access to dozens of different types of sounds at a moment's notice? If so you'll want a good way to organize sounds so they are one touch away. Or maybe you will use a handful of basic sounds live and have time in the studio to "dial up" other sounds so that patch selection is not an important feature. Will you need to add lots of pitch and mod wheel effects or are you just going to be pressing the keys? Do you want to plug in several foot pedals or just a basic sustain pedal or not even that?


Pick a few keyboards based on the action and control features. Then narrow those down based on the sounds. You may do better getting the best feeling keyboard and separately the best sounding module.


Now you can go on to the sounds. Will you need to play back multitimbral sequences? If so will you need lots of multiple effects swirling around at once? Do want a sequencer built into the keyboard?


Finally the only part the audience will ever notice: the sounds. Any particular genre you know you'll be playing in? Rock, blues, jazz, orchestral, heavy industrial effects, cut & paste high-tech club remixes? If realistic acoustic instrument sounds matter, check them out carefully with headphones with the reverb turned off. If the total effect of wild artificial swooshes and bleeps is important then play 'em through speakers.


This should help narrow things down a bit, let me know what direction you go in.



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best advice is to go to a music store-like a guitar center-and ask to try midi chaining different keyboards together.go with what suits you and your needs and style.i purchased an old roland d-5 for a controller and it has suited its mission well,the sounds are old and silly at times but the action is nice for a 61 unweighted keyboard. take your time try anything and every thing and go with what rocks for you. use this time to become aquainted with the myriad of possibilities out there and have sum fun!! good luck and God bless - surfjazz ;)
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Originally posted by nelz:

For analog modeling I truly love the andromeda and the access virus




Hi, Nel...


Andromeda is a real analog synth. No modelling. VCOs, VCFs, VCAs. It's the real thing. It is actually the most powerful polyphonic synthesizer ever made by anyone. AFAIK, it's also the only 16 voice real analog synth.


The Virus is a nice machine 'n all, but it ain't no Andy.


Now if people could only buy one... :rolleyes:





:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:



Affiliations: Cloud Microphones • Music Player Network 

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db, Robert:

My bad! I always assume there are no true analog synths left (..."to assume makes an ass of you and me"...well me at least)and I do remember reading keyboards' review that the Andromeda is in fact the real deal. That must be why it sounds so sweet...please Dave, let me stay in the forum. I'll play nice from now on, scouts honor! ~nel



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Regarding the purchase of a new keyboard........


I bought a Kurzweil PC2X (88 weighted keys) last year and feel that it is by far the best purchase I have ever made.


It is phenomenal for live performance, with outstanding sounds and easy to layer features at your fingertips, as well as easy to program "controller" abilities. The transitions from one sound to the next and when layering is seamless and easily accomplished.


In the studio, it is great. The stereo sound (also has digital SPDIF out) is incredible.


I can't say enough about it, really.


Some of the patches that are absolutely incredible include Piano (of course), Wurlitzer (perfect), Fender Rhodes, Acoustic Guitar, Accordian and B3 organ.....not to mention countless other great electric pianos, strings, synths, etc.... It has a phenomenal "Piano Trio" pre-set patch, for example, with stand-up bass and ride cymbal. It is extraordinary.


It has a whole "mode" dedicated to B3 organ patches, with live drawbars and numerous patches to play with.


All in all, it's a GREAT keyboard with perhaps the best piano sound out there.


And under $2000 now. You would NOT regret it, unless, of course, you need a workstation (sequencing etc...), which it is not.


Just my opinion.


Dave Berriman

Piano / Keyboards

Livonia, Michigan



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Dave Berriman: As a Kurzweil owner maybe you can answer a question.Is there a choir sound in the instrument versus the the take 6 sample. I could not find one when I tried out the PC-2x in the store. The piano was wonderful no doubt.


Q:What do you call a truck with nothing in the bed,nothing on the hitch, and room for more than three people in the cab? A:"A car"....
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What budget do you have for this keyboard? Do you have any local dealers that you are comfortable with? How secure are you when using electronics, sequencers, keyboard operating systems? Do you want to control multiple modules across various keyboard zones?


I love the touch of Roland keyboards, both synth action and weighted. Pianos and natural instruments sound great on a Roland. Electronic instruments can sound a bit week unless you have the new 5080. Korg has good electronic sounds but the piano on the Triton/Trinity series is crappy when compared to Roland. Kurzweil 2500's can be found at good prices now. They have good sound and make good controllers.


Bottom line, buy a keyboard that you enjoy playing. Make sure the keys have a good touch and the pitch bend/modulation controllers are of your preference. I prefer levers or joy sticks over wheels. When you want to upgrade the sound you can always add rack mount modules at a later date. My Roland XP-80 is no longer connected to my mixer, but the midi output is routed through a MOTU MIDI Timepiece-AV to a variety of other sound sources, including my computer.

This post edited for speling.
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"can anyone suggest anywhere i can go look at whats on offer?"


Oops. Should have addressed this part of the question. I dont know where you live so where to look is hard to answer. I will say that I am in a rural area. My choices are to drive one hour south to a Guitar Center, look around, and talk to what ever salesman my happen to be in the keyboard that week. Or, I can drive two and one half hours North to a non-chain store and talk to a salesman that has run the keyboard department there for 20 years. Every time I go south I end up mad or aggravated. For me it is worth the drive north just to deal with a knowledgeable sales rep. He may not have the variety that a Guitar Center or another large chain has, but he knows how to operate every piece of gear that comes into his department. If I have a question he cannot answer he gets on the phone and calls the manufacture. But then, he also knows that I dont use him to demonstrate equipment, then run home and buy mail order. It works bother ways.


If you want good information on what to buy, ask around and find a good, honest, long term salesperson.

This post edited for speling.
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