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The best do-it-all keyboard workstation?

Max Ventura

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I think this one's been asked before sometime in the past, im not sure.

I'd like to find out what you guys think it's the best ever keyboard workstation since, let's say, 1993 till now.

I mean the best in all fields compared not to synths or software sequencers, but compared only to other keyboard workstations only.

The reason I'm asking is, having everything I could possibly have, I still long for a do-it all machine to bring home and work on in the late night hours. Whenever I had one, I was very productive. Now that I have everything separated, I am not. Just the thought of firing up the whole setup makes me wander away from my studio.

In the past I did wonder with a Yamaha SY-85 (it could bake either a classical composition or a techno tune in a minute), a Roland JX-305, a Generalmusic Equinox, a Korg Trinity, and I played a bit with a K-2600, but somehow I didn't get a positive impression from any except the K.2600 and the SY-85.

What do you think?

I'm looking for:

-a wide array of sounds, either electronic, acoustic, pop rock, whatever.

-some realtime controls.

-a good, reasonably powerful, easy-to-use sequencer onboard. That HAS to be onboard.

-simple OS (example of worst OS? Korg Trinity)

-preferably no attachments to be made (i.e. HDs, Zip drives, Ram, etc)

-not too old

-good quality of keys


Max Ventura, Italy.
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I'm a Kurzweil fan myself. They're more expensive and their waveform ROM is still in need of a major upgrade, but they can be made to do whatever you want. There's a bit of a delayed-gratification factor about them, which I think turns a lot of people off. Among the features that would make a 2600 my desert-island keyboard are: more realtime controllers than any other workstation, still the fastest SCSI implementation, loading sample RAM from a hard drive doesn't take all day, plus it just has great sound quality.


That said, I think the Yamaha Motif series offers major bang for the buck.

Stephen Fortner

Principal, Fortner Media

Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Digital Piano Consultant, Piano Buyer Magazine


Industry affiliations: Antares, Arturia, Giles Communications, MS Media, Polyverse



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I don't think there's any one that will stand forever, since the concept is re-invented every 4 or 5 years.


For the moment, I'd say Korg's Triton Studio has taken the lead. With an internal hard drive and CD burner, I'd say it's the most complete workstation out right now. If you want something that enables you to make a CD in some nowhere hotel room with no external hardware, I think it's the one to have. The CD burner might be a bit redundant for most home studios, but I think it fits the "all in one machine" concept pretty well.


If I didn't already own a Triton and a CD recorder, (and if I was still on the road... :eek: )I'd be looking pretty close at this one. The sequencer is an absolute sweetheart to work with, especially with the touchscreen. IMO it's actually easier to work with than a computer sequencer for some projects.


I think in the next few years, more workstations will sprout internal hard drives. Many have already replaced the 3.5" floppy drive with smart media slots. I like the idea! :)


Peace all,




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I would think its safe to say that you can't completely count on a "one stop shop" workstation. Because musicians grow and needs change as they progress in style and use. It would be best to consider what combinations of gear will "complete" the workstation you make music in... With 2000bux now-a-days you can get yourself a wicked puter with awesome burners and HDs, rams etc. Software gallore (tons of free downloads on line). A fine mixer, mic and your favorite board -- maybe the Roland Fantom... ;>


Anyhoo, happy playing to all...





Some new minimal Fantom tracks on line.


Keep the faith and keep it simple.

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Frankly I don't like the whole workstation concept. Now Korg comes up with a Triton studio with hard drive and cd burner and what if the cd burner gets toasted? Then you have to take in the thing with keys and synth and all for service... OUCH! One board less in your setup for weeks (months?) and probably the most important one! :mad:

It seems to me that a workstation is always losing points in some category. Motif has a quirky OS, Triton pro doesn't have great pianos and has stiff action. Fantom has typical Roland sampling, to sweet and beautiful for me. Most important to me are sound, action and edit possibilities so for me it would be Motif.



Hipness is not a state of mind, it's a fact of life.

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Superbobus, how does it have stiff action?

The Triton Pro's action is the same as the 61 key Triton's action. Which is the same as the Motif 61 and 76 key actions, so there's no difference between them unless you're going for the 88 key versions.


The Motif and Triton are both great sounding workstations, but the Motif doesn't offer as much in terms of sound creation and editing possibilities. It is extremely limited in terms of effects and this sucks for multi-timbral stuff. It has better pianos and EPs than the Triton though, but there is a new 16 meg bosendorfer grand expansion coming out for the Triton so be sure to check it out.


I don't like the CD concept of the Triton Studio either, and the minor features added don't justify such a high price, so I'd suggest the original Triton.

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Hi, thanx for the replies.

I must say I already am fairly familiar with all of them mentioned here, save the K-2600.

I have a problem with recent Yamaha OS's , so the Motif doesn't attract me because, as I could see it's even harder than EX5. And it needs a Ram to operate sampling, which is so '90s.

I am acquainted with the Trinity better than the Triton, and I hated it. The touchscreen was ridiculously un-friendly. If the Triton is the same or little better, it's not for me.

The Fantom looks good, but not very exciting.

Any other contender?

Max Ventura, Italy.
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