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new keyboardist


coren

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hello, im just starting in this field although ive been playing bass and guitar for 7 years. so while i can grasp it musically, the wealth of technology has reared it evil head :)

 

im VERY confused as to what i want, because im not absolutly sure i know what i need.

im into doing things like nine inch nails, radiohead, and tea party (off of transmission)

so id like to have sounds from a rich piano to a synth to sounds i create myself (which i do alot)etc etc

so i guess i need something that has sounds that are good but can get new sounds,

i also need something that can control midi programs etc

 

synth, sampler, sequencer, keyboard.... ???

what do they all do??

i dont even know where to begin..

ANYTHING will be very helpful,

even a point in the direction of a clear website with basic info....

anyways

thanks alot

-mike

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First, play every keyboard you can find and think about what you like and don't like about each one. Things to notice....

 

Synth action or hammer action keyboard?

 

Wheels or joy stick for pitch bend and modulation?

 

Are 61 keys enough or do you feel restricted?

 

Do you want something that excells in natural sounds or electronic?

 

Sample playback or analog modeling?

 

Do you really need a workstation for sequencing, or would you just use it for midi file play back?

 

Do you need knobs for filter control and other parameters or will you just be touching the keys?

 

Do you want something with ROM expansion capabilities?

 

When programming do you need lots of knobs, a big data screen, or are you comfortable with going through levels of menu's with little feedback?

 

Do you need digital outs or multiple outs?

 

Do you really need sampeling?

 

Is there a GOOD keyboard rep in my area, and who is good at working on which keyboards in case I have a failure?

 

How much money do I want to spend?

 

___________________________________

 

Once you decide on the answers to these questions you will have greatly narrowed down your choices.

This post edited for speling.
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i haven't heard tea party, but the others you mention use analog synths as well as samples. i'm pretty sure trent is a nord guy (there have been many NIN artcles in keyboard, get a back issue or even check keyboardonline for info).

 

radiohead uses crazy stuff! i saw a recent live video and the lead guitarist also used a ton of weird synths, possibly even a theremin.

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first off thanks, sounds like a good idea

but now i have some questions for clarifacation :)

-what is a synth action keyboard?

-is a hammer action keyboard refer to the keyboards that have touch/strike senitivity?

-are there boards that exel in both natural and electronic sounds or is that a pipe dream? :)

-sample playback is when you load the sound onto a specific key-trigger, right?

-how does analog work and what is it (analog modeling)

-do i really need it for sequencing... to tell you the truth im not to confident i know what sequencing is.. yet

-whats the differnce between sequencing and midi file playback? midi file playback sounds similar to sample playback

-ROM expansion is like the roland xp-30, right? with the cards to expand sound?

-im comfortable with knobs, data screens, and menus with no feed back.

-digital outs or multiple outs....

hmmm

digital meaning midi or usb? what do either of the above ports help with? i need line out for a amp or speaker, right?

and then midi for computer work, right? or am i misleading myself? :)

do i need sampling.. is sampling the same as sample playback, or is sampling the actual effort of GETTING the sound, something i can do with a microphone and protools?

 

thanks for putting up with the questions of a newbie, im sure with some answers ill be playing keyboards instead of wondering the differnce between them :)

thanks alot for your help

 

radiohead IS crazy! :) they do some of the neatest things, i like how experimental they get while mantaining conection

 

you should find tea party, there canadian, there AWESOME

"edges of twilight", "transmission", and "splendor solis" are

there best records

 

thanks again :)

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Originally posted by coren5555:

first off thanks, sounds like a good idea

but now i have some questions for clarifacation :)

-what is a synth action keyboard?

-is a hammer action keyboard refer to the keyboards that have touch/strike senitivity?

 

The Roland XP-30 is synth action. A real piano is hammer action. The deal with the touch of the keyboard.

 

-are there boards that exel in both natural and electronic sounds or is that a pipe dream? :)

 

Most work stations cover most areas. In general, the more they cost the better they sound in multiple areas. Example, Low end Rolands have a rep of doing natural instruments well but may seem a bit thin on analog sounds when compared to low end Korgs. When you move up in price the Roland XV series, Kort Triton series or K2600 all do a decent job of covering all areas.

 

Originally posted by coren5555:

-sample playback is when you load the sound onto a specific key-trigger, right?

-how does analog work and what is it (analog modeling)

 

There are two types of sample playback. Many keyboards have samples of actual instruments stored in memory. Those samples are the basis of all the sounds that keyboard makes. An instrument like the Roland XV-5080 or K2600 without the sampling option will play back samples you purchase on CD ROM. You cannot create your own samples, but you can read samples into the machine. This is different from analog or analog modeling which use basic waves such as sine, square, saw, etc...

-do i really need it for sequencing... to tell you the truth im not to confident i know what sequencing is.. yet

-whats the differnce between sequencing and midi file playback? midi file playback sounds similar to sample playback

 

For a very basic answer. Sequencing is the process of programming/recording note information. The sequence is then a collection of note on, note off, velocity, timing, pitch bend and other information that is stored on computer or keyboard. Some keyboards and modules will play back sequences recorded elsewhere, but will not edit them.

 

Originally posted by coren5555:

-ROM expansion is like the roland xp-30, right? with the cards to expand sound?

 

Right.

 

Originally posted by coren5555:

-im comfortable with knobs, data screens, and menus with no feed back.

-digital outs or multiple outs....

hmmm

digital meaning midi or usb? what do either of the above ports help with? i need line out for a amp or speaker, right?

and then midi for computer work, right? or am i misleading myself? :)

 

Digital outs are sound outputs that bypass the digital-analog converters. You get a cleaner signal to recording devices that have matching digital inputs. There are many formats.

 

Two examples of using multiple outputs.

1. You have an organ patch that you want to route through a rotary speaker. You can program the patch so the output of the sound is through secondary outputs. Those outputs can be routed through the rotary speaker while you leave the main outputs connected directly to your mixer or amp. In multi-tembral patches (layering more than one sound) you can use this method to routh the organ through the rotary speaker without effecting the piano or other patches.

2. You are recording drum parts and need to separate the base and snare drums from the rest of the mix.

 

do i need sampling.. is sampling the same as sample playback, or is sampling the actual effort of GETTING the sound, something i can do with a microphone and protools?

 

I would not start out trying to deal with samples. Get a sample playback keyboard like the Roland, Korg, Alesis or Yamaha and learn more about keyboards. Read some of the threads here about first keyboards for other's opinions of which are best.

 

thanks for putting up with the questions of a newbie, im sure with some answers ill be playing keyboards instead of wondering the differnce between them :)

thanks alot for your help

 

radiohead IS crazy! :) they do some of the neatest things, i like how experimental they get while mantaining conection

 

you should find tea party, there canadian, there AWESOME

"edges of twilight", "transmission", and "splendor solis" are

there best records

 

thanks again :)

 

 

Hope this helps. Someone else may want to clarify things a bit more or check for mistakes. I was typing this while also trying to work my "real" job. :D

Robert

 

[ 11-20-2001: Message edited by: Rabid ]

This post edited for speling.
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thats cool

i was typing this while in recording school :)

 

youve been pretty helpfull, my understanding of this world of keyboarding has already tripled

but you know now im gonna ask you follow up questions....

like..

 

i have cakewalk and reason etc etc on my computer, what do i look for in order to know the keyboard can be used as a "controller"? a midi port or similar digital interface?

 

im still unclear on sequencing.. is it the pre-programming of note to be played... like a "digital playerpiano" ?

 

um, for future expandibilty, what does a keyboard need to have in order to control other midi systems/samplers/analogsynths/sequencers/computers etc ect

 

ive been looking and the roland xp-30 looks really neat, some questions rose from the other thread in this forum however..

 

one said they'd never get a keyboard unless it has a floppy drive and a digital connection that does not rely on midi..

what is the purpose of the floppy drive, and of multiple digital out (i think i only need one analog out by the looks of it)

 

can this board be used as a midi controller? (to host connection???)

 

thanks alot youve provided alot of help

i know what want to accomplish and what i need to do it.. but this side of technology is like latin to me right now :)

hehe maybe i should wait till my course's cover midi studios..

but im to anxious to wait

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i'd suggest a subscription to electronic musician or keyboard magazine. after you read for awhile, you'll start to understand the terms and technology which, for keyboards, are constantly changing. this site is a great place to learn, but for me magazines are the best.

 

craig anderton has many great books that can help get you started, too. check out "MIDI for Musicians".

 

and here's a site with MIDI basics

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One of the things no one is asking here is if you want a keyboard to play in a band completely live or use pre-sequenced parts? - ie play more like a 60's or a 90's keyboardist (respectivly IMO)..or like the NINs etc do you want to sit in a studio and do layer after layer of overdubs, synth programming and loads of general computer guff? the latter style would really mean getting more than 1 keyboard i think.

even though i dig both NIN and radiohead, i cant stand sitting at home pre-programing my keyboards for gigs, though some people love it. you gotta decide which you want

either way enjoy

-starfucker

Visit my band : www.neonfleacircus.net or www.myspace.com/neonfleacircus
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Good thread.

 

I am in the same boat as to deciding what keyboard for what purpose. I would like to

 

- Use my computer as a sequencer

- Use the keyboard to arrange and sequence ideas and tracks

Using the keyboard/software drum and traditional sounds. Get

some printed music out of it.

- Possibly record some live instruments later on (not really

necessary right at the moment)

 

I have an old Yamaha now but I am not happy with the sounds. I really only use it to get some music theory and arranging

stuff under my belt.

 

- Is it true what they say about latency in USB controllers?

- For what I'd like to do is it really going to be a factor?

- Weighted keys or synth-action what is the consensus on what

is supposed to be better? And why?

- Developing piano skills any good suggestions for books and

reference materials?

 

I would like to take some music theory or piano courses in the near future. I would like something that would at least give me a good foundation going in.

 

RobT

RobT

 

Famous Musical Quotes: "I would rather play Chiquita Banana and have my swimming pool than play Bach and starve" - Xavier Cugat

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Originally posted by Starfucker:

One of the things no one is asking here is if you want a keyboard to play in a band completely live or use pre-sequenced parts? - ie play more like a 60's or a 90's keyboardist (respectivly IMO)..or like the NINs etc do you want to sit in a studio and do layer after layer of overdubs, synth programming and loads of general computer guff? the latter style would really mean getting more than 1 keyboard i think.

even though i dig both NIN and radiohead, i cant stand sitting at home pre-programing my keyboards for gigs, though some people love it. you gotta decide which you want

either way enjoy

-starfucker

 

i think ive got it figured out now..

in studio ill do alot of takes and layers, ive got alot of softsynths so this works cheap to

live ill only be playing when im not playing bass, itll be a trade off thing

i like to do EVERYTHING live so itll probobly thin the song down from the studio version, which is fine, its what we do anyways

our first album was COATED in wierd stuff.. but our live show is bass guitar drums vocals all done nice and raw :)

im thinking that the roland xp-30 is a good place for me to start.

anybody think this is unwise?

 

and what is needed to control modules? is any old midi hookup fine? (future expandability)

[ 11-22-2001: Message edited by: coren5555 ]

 

[ 11-22-2001: Message edited by: coren5555 ]

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ok, ive completly mauled your site and magazines and know the tech...

now i have a question more based on opinion...

 

xp-30 or karma

(i know there very differnt but..)

 

and do YOU think its better to get a korg ms2000 and maybe later a roland jp8080 or nord rack while DREAMING about a andromeda, or screw all three and start an arduous journey to save up for the andromeda, collecting pennies, and celebrating with whiskey and champayne when i get it :D

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Originally posted by coren5555:

ok, ive completly mauled your site and magazines and know the tech...

now i have a question more based on opinion...

 

xp-30 or karma

(i know there very differnt but..)

 

Best that I can say here is listen to both and decide which sound you want.

 

 

Originally posted by coren5555:

and do YOU think its better to get a korg ms2000 and maybe later a roland jp8080 or nord rack while DREAMING about a andromeda, or screw all three and start an arduous journey to save up for the andromeda, collecting pennies, and celebrating with whiskey and champayne when i get it :D

 

There is a BIG difference between a nord lead your other two choices. While the Nord has lots of downloadable patches I don't recommend it unless you are very comfortable with modular synthasis. You can do much more with the Nord, but it is harder to use. It is not a module for a beginning keyboardist.

 

The Roland XP-30 and Roland MS2000 might be a good pair. If you find that you really love sound design, then you might consider a Nord Modular.

This post edited for speling.
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This message is for Rob:

 

Is it true what they say about latency in USB controllers?

 

Yes and no, it depends greatly on what type of driver the USB interface uses and whether or not that driver is supported by your software. Most reports are saying that there is no more latency with USB than other methods, and frequently there is less.

 

For what I'd like to do is it really going to be a factor?

 

Probably not.

 

Weighted keys or synth-action what is the consensus on what is supposed to be better? And why?

 

It really depends on what you prefer, as a former piano player who sticks to piano most of the time I prefer weighted action keyboards and heavier synth action boards. It all depends on what you like and the only way to find out is to play as many as you can.

 

Developing piano skills any good suggestions for books and reference materials?

 

Find a good teacher who will teach you the kinds of music you would like to learn. In this case a semi-weighted synth would be the minimum I would recommend, but like i said before, it's all your preference.

 

-Casey

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I will add one more thing to the previous, informative post. It is much easier to start on weighted or hammer action and move to synth action than it is to move from synth action to hammer action.

 

I grew up playing piano and had no problem when I got my first synthesizer. For the past 10 years I have played nothing but synth action keyboards and it is embarrassing to sit down at a piano and not have the touch required to play quick passages on hammer action keys. That is why I am looking so closely at a hammer action controller as my next purchase.

This post edited for speling.
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It is much easier to start on weighted or hammer action and move to synth action than it is to move from synth action to hammer action.

 

aye, thats why i was also looking at something like the roland a-33

but money flows slowly right now, so im thinking of getting the tools first

 

thanks for the info, i wish i could PLAY an xp-30 but right now the only keyboards on that list that are in my town are the korg ms2000 (i had ALOT of fun on it) and tritons/karmas/various casios and digital pianos... (no xp-30s)

they'll order in but then i have to buy :mad:

 

so i just wanted opinions on the keyboards before i make a mistake :) seems xp-30 is a good choice. but im gonna get the ms2000 first :D too much fun....

 

in the least case ill be hanging out in the store trying everything till i have the money so... ill be playing alot of boards and getting a good view of them

maybe i should just move into the store.... ;)

 

[ 11-28-2001: Message edited by: coren5555 ]

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