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What's new, I need some direction.......


Robert W

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Hi everyone,

 

I haven't been around a keyboard in 10 plus years and we have decided to dig out the T-8, Prophet2000, Prophet5, Moog Source, Poly Six and the Linn Drum out of the closet.

 

Question? What is the sampling keyboard to buy these days?

 

What are people using for a sequencer/software?

 

We were using a beta program from Octave Plateau at the time.

 

Not sure if I am asking the right questions.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Robert

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Originally posted by Robert W:

Hi everyone,

Hi, and welcome!

I haven't been around a keyboard in 10 plus years and we have decided to dig out the T-8, Prophet2000, Prophet5, Moog Source, Poly Six and the Linn Drum out of the closet.

Wow! You might be aware that the Prophets and Moogs are highly valued today. However, if you prefer to avoid the risks to bring those onstage, there are moden analog and virtual analog (digital simulation of the analog circuits) synths.

 

Analog:

- Alesis Andromeda A6 (keyboard, 16 poly)

- Studio Electronics Omega 8 (rack, 8 poly)

- Studio Electronics SE-1x (rack, mono)

- DSI Evolver (rack, mono)

- DSI Poly Evolver (both keyboard and rack, 4 poly)

 

There are others, but I limited the list to those with memories.

 

Virtual Analog:

 

- Clavia Nord Lead and Nord Modular

- Access Virus (various models)

- Waldorf Q (discontinued, but excellent)

plus others from Novation, Korg, Roland and lots of software

Question? What is the sampling keyboard to buy these days?

Today, samplers and sample player synths tend to join in the same instrument, usually called workstations (Pure samplers are gone into software). The main ones are:

 

- Yamaha Motif ES

- Korg Triton Extreme

- Roland Fantom X

- Kurzweil K2600 and K2661

 

They all include a large collection of onboard samples, user sampling capabilities, a good MIDI sequencer, and effects. Most are expandable with additional cards.

Plus there are scaled-down models with limited programmability, no sequencers, no user sampling, or other limitations.

What are people using for a sequencer/software?

Steinberg Cubase, Cakewalk Sonar and Emagic Logic are the three most popular. They're all highly sophisticated MIDI sequencer *and* audio recorders/editors. There are many others, even freeware, that you might consider depending on your needs.

We were using a beta program from Octave Plateau at the time.

:eek:

Not sure if I am asking the right questions.

Sure! Of course, if you've been far from the music technology scene for a while, you have to do some research and try many instruments by yourself. I hope those info will help to get you started!

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Marino,

 

Thanks for the info.

 

The curve on this project is starting slow.

 

In regards to recorders/editors, that is secondary at this point. I want to get the sequencer set up driving the keyboards r/t.

 

In the future for analog sounds etc, I'll start investigating stand alone digital recorders?

 

Are any of the sequencers you mentioned stronger in midi sequencing?

 

From the looks of it, the Andromeda and 2661 look awesome. I keep looking for another 0 in the prices. (2661 sampling with a weighted keyboard would be cool)

 

Any suggestions on effects, in the past Lexicon was hot. Are rack mounted effects passe or what.

 

We'll be using a big old traditional mixing board etc rather than "in the box" if my terminology is correct.

 

Thanks for the help.

 

Robert

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Robert:

 

Welcome back to MUSIC! You mentioned that you want to get a sequencer to "run the keyboards". Are you planning on doing a live show or is your focus on recording and studio work?

 

Marino gave you a good short list of different pieces of gear you could consider. You could use a lot of the gear you already own if you're going to concentrate on studio work and recording, but I'd be hard pressed to take any of that vintage gear to play club gigs. If you're planning on using your vintage gear for sequencing either live or for studio, do you have MIDI interfaces on all those boards? I have a Prophet 5 and it doesn't have MIDI, but MIDI kits are still available for it. I have no plans to take any of my Vintage gear out for live shows, so I bought some new gear for live work.

 

Something worth mentioning. Check your Sequential gear to be sure everything is working properly. Parts are starting to get scarce, and Winecountry Sequential (they have the remaining inventory of Sequential parts) are sold out of some things and have a "limit per customer" on some other parts. It would be worth checking into and buying spare parts for both the T8 and P5 while they're still available.

 

Let us know more about your plans and good luck!

 

 

Mike T.

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

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Hi Mike,

 

I forgot to mention that this will be strictly studio.

 

The Prophet 5 is retro-fitted.

 

It wll be great fun to see how things work when I get them hooked up.

 

Thanks for the heads up on the parts.

 

Any thoughts on the sequencer options?

 

Robert

 

In regards to vintage keyboards on stage. At THE talent show in high school, my Moog Prodigy(I think) broke so someone lent me a mini-moog to substitute. The woops, squaks and blaats that were coming off the stage at 10 times the volume of anything else (picture Klaus Nomi dry humping Pavarotti at a Pakistani wedding), were enough to this day to stay off the stage with anything but a washboard and spoon.

 

Cheers

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Robert - you mentioned that a K2661 with weighted keys would be cool... You might look at the K2600XS which is Kurzweil's 88-key weighted older brother of the 2661. The 2661 came out recently as an answer to folks wanting the Kurzweil sound and features in a smaller easier to gig with board. The K2600XS is the biggest and baddest that Kurzweil makes. And if it will make you feel better about the price, a fully-loaded (new) one will set you back just a little bit more than a K2661 ;)

 

Some people do not favor the Kurzweil when compared to some of the newer sampler/sequencer/workstations because they feel is it older and outdated when comparing the raw specifications to various other manufacturers' offerings. If you are looking for outstanding sound quality and are into serious sound programming and tweaking your sounds to perfection then I'd really suggest taking a good look at the Kurz. It is kinda difficult to get your head around the concept of VAST (Kurzweil's synthesis paradigm) at first but it is a board you will most likely keep for just as long as you've had those other gems sitting in the closet. The Kurz is more of a programmer's synth but is capable of a lot more depth of sound design (IMHO) than any other workstation currently on the market. It will reward you for time invested...

 

If you want something that can play a lot of voices at the same time (for very dense sequences as an example) and/or you just want great "bread & butter" sounds right out of the box either the Yamaha MotifES series, Roland Fantom series, or the Korg Triton series might be a better choice. They all sound great and have similar sampling and sequencing features, it is just a matter of preference.

 

As far as seuquencing, if MIDI is gonna be your thing then the "environments" in Logic are a great way to be able to patch up and control everything. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending upon your preference) Logic is only available on the Mac - no PC... If Mac is your platform, Logic is totally the way to go for MIDI. On the PC side, Cubase would be my recommendation. It takes a little more wrangling on the PC side of the fence to get things working, but it is certainly possible and really not rocket science if you are at all technical and can employ a little common sense towrds problem solving (there will typically be more of that on the PC side). Not trying to start another PC vs Mac war here, so IMHO, YMMV, etc.

 

Either way, it sounds like it might be time for you to spend a fun day (or more) out at your friendly neighborhood pro music shop playing around :) Good luck, and this is a great place to ask more detailed questions about any of the boards you might be interested in. We've got lovers of all the brands mentioned and I'm sure there will be many more replies here with people voting for their "favorite". My personal vote (considering this is gonna be in a studio) would be to look at the Kurz for the board and Cubase on a PC for the sequencing (keep in mind that I'm probably a little biased, as that is what I am personally using).

 

Hope that helps...thanks!

bax

If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is definitely NOT for you...
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Robert,

 

Since you are a "PC" guy, I also suggest you check out Cubase SX. Since Yamaha just purchased Steinberg (Cubase, Nuendo, et al) I think this will get some serious attention. Cubase is a complete system, that is IMO quite intuitative.

 

I also was scouring this forum as to my synth upgrade path and decided to purchase the Yamaha Motif ES 6 (after flirting with the Motif-Rack ES for a while..)

 

Why? several strong reasons; however, one of the major reasons was the tight integration between the Motif and Cubase SX (particularly Cubase SX 3).

 

Finally, as you can tell, this forum is great! :thu:

 

 

Regards.

Steve Force,

Durham, North Carolina

--------

My Professional Websites

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Originally posted by forceman:

Why? several strong reasons; however, one of the major reasons was the tight integration between the Motif and Cubase SX (particularly Cubase SX 3).

And I tell ya what - if Yamaha really does overhaul Cubase and make tighter integration with not only synths but audio/MIDI interfaces and control surfaces/mixers by using mLAN to its intended purpose then Yamaha will *OWN* the market and good luck to anyone else trying to catch up. I think (hope) that their purchase of Steinberg is one of the first signs that they are serious about trying to deliver a truly integrated studio system. IMHO, the software integration has always been the weakest link there and I'm really excited to see where Cubase goes in the next year or two :)

 

Thanks!

bax

If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is definitely NOT for you...
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Do you guys have any experience or opinions on the neKo? Looks interesting.

 

I've decided to go with Cubase SX.

 

What is out there that is going to be the interface between comp and keyboards. We were using an mpu 401 if I recall. What's the standard these days?

 

Thanks,

 

Robert

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Robert - no direct experience with the neKo but it is an interesting concept that probably needs a couple of years to mature yet. It is basically an actual computer with a touchscreen, keyboard, touchpad and various other controllers built into a box that looks just like a music keyboard. You can run software on it just like you would on a standalone computer (well, it actually *is* a standalone computer :D ). I think it was mainly intended to capture the market for laptop+controller users so they could take one "thing" to a gig vs two... For studio use I would still very much suggest a great keyboard with a separate computer (more flexibility and reliability IMHO).

 

If you are interested in experimenting with software as a sound source (softsamplers, softsynths, etc) I would suggest that you will have much more stability by separating the actual "instrument" software from the DAW/recording software and running two separate computers. If you are recording and mixing "in the box" then treat one computer just as a "recorder/mixer" and do all of your tracking, mixing and effects processing, etc on it, using another computer as a "rack synthesizer". Saves *all kinds* of grief and the money spent on a second computer more than pays for itself in troubleshooting time saved during a session or crashes due to software conflicts or lack of resources on your DAW when you need them most. You *can* run both together on the same system, but this is a good recipie for problems if you go past a certain point with it. One machine can only do so much at a time *efficiently* and eventually you would probably have to end up making a choice between DAW or instrument functionality when pushing the machine to its limits. In a previous post you suggested you'd look into external HDR rather than using the computer, so you could probably get away with only one computer running Cubase as the MIDI sequencer which could also send MIDI data to the softsynths running on the same machine. This should work fine if you aren't also recording and playing back large numbers of audio tracks at the same time. Again, IMHO, YMMV, etc. However, if you're gonna buy Cubase SX anyway, it is a fantastic system for HDR, so something to think about...

 

As far as MIDI interfaces go, MOTU makes some really good ones nowadays. If you have a need for up to 8 simultaneous devices (ins/outs) I would suggest looking at the MOTU MIDI Express unit pretty closely. I personally use a Yamaha UX-256 as my primary MIDI computer "interface", but I have it hooked into a Real World M48 16in/48out programmable MIDI matrix so I can connect all my rack gear, keyboards and various computers together and route them as I please. They don't make the M48 anymore and they are very hard to find nowadays, but you might look out for one on eBay (that's where I got mine years ago). There are also various other matrix-type boxes out there, and if you buy enough of the MOTU units you can run them in tandem and do the same matrix thing with more flexibility, reliability and probably better timing (although I haven't noticed bottlenecking on my system unless I was really pushing it beyond reasonable limits). That solution (2 MOTUs in tandem) is how I plan to go after my M48 eventually craps out...

 

Thanks!

bax

If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is definitely NOT for you...
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  • 1 month later...

Hi all,

 

So... things are coming together.

 

I have chosen the Ghost 32/8

 

What I need help on is -

 

Which Akai drum machine?

 

Is the Radar the way to go - being the expense it will be.

 

This will come later.

 

Thanks,

 

Robert

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Hi Robert, isn't getting back into music Fun!! I took almost 2 years off and I'm back in it big time. I must say the gear you mention sounds like you were in the hey day of late 70's/80's which is hip. the gear you have is sweet and i'm sure any keyboardist in hear would love to have it. once you add some new stuff you'll have nice little setup.

 

Good luck and have fun

Step out of the box and grow!
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Hello,

 

I need some more direction....

 

Question:

 

How was I driving the Moog Source with Midi?

 

What do I need to drive the Linn Drum knowing the sequence was in the Linn.

 

cv in? cv out? ... I should have kept it up so 2 speak.

 

Thanks,

 

Robert

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Robert:

Firstly, welcome back to the G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome.)

 

Next: I think you missed a point here, and it's important. You stated: "In regards to recorders/editors, that is secondary at this point. I want to get the sequencer set up driving the keyboards r/t."

 

I think you should realize that most software sequencers today are also digital recorders. Cubase can take all your MIDI tracks and transform them into audio tracks right inside the program, no extra hardware or software needed, including full mixdown to stereo or surround sound. IIRC, Cubase has 48-track audio capability, but don't hold me to that, as I use Cubasis- Cubase's little brother. It's the only recorder I have, and it can burn audio to .WAV files, so I'm sure the larger Cubase can also. Additionally, there is a host of VST (Virtual Studio Technology - synthesizers, effects, and drum machines that run within your sequencer) capabilities.

 

So when you look at your sequencing software, make sure you look at all the capabilities it has. Long-term, it can save you some cash which you can put towards the instruments.

 

..Joe

 

PS: Don't forget a good audio card for the PC. M-Audio and E-Mu make some great ones.

Setup: Korg Kronos 61, Roland XV-88, Korg Triton-Rack, Motif-Rack, Korg N1r, Alesis QSR, Roland M-GS64 Yamaha KX-88, KX76, Roland Super-JX, E-Mu Longboard 61, Kawai K1II, Kawai K4.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Joe,

 

Thanks for your response.

 

With respect, I did get the point of it. :-)

 

There is a gut/odd feeling in my belly when one suggests combining the audio tracks with the sequencing.

 

Having been raised on separation of the two and being warned sometimes about it ... why? If it crashes you're dead.... F that. blah blah anything can crash...

 

It's more the emotional side of the tape running, computer running - out of the box creativity.

 

I'd rather have a radar going and a comp and watch the energy (so 2 speak ) go up.

 

Am I equipment jaded? (I don't know)

 

Do I not know how big of a comp to get?

 

I don't know.

 

I do know what I trust and am used to.

 

That has to be the start.

 

Robert

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Hi Robert,

 

I suggest you take a step back from hardware and truly explore the possibilities of computer for much of what you want to do. Computer based samplers have driven most hardware samplers off of the market. Forget about Akai drum machines. Software products using multi-gigabyte sampled kits have taken over. You no longer buy orchestral samplers for your hardware sampler; you buy orchestral libraries that run on computer. There is a major difference in quality but the price has remained consistent. For $250 you can buy GPO and it blows away any hardware sample library. For $1000 you can move up to professional level orchestral libraries. As for a sequencer, I prefer Sonar by Cakewalk. They now have a partnership with Roland. I like it because the copy protection is user friendly and I can install it on my main PC, a backup PC, and my laptop to work anywhere. EMagic is also a company to look at if you prefer to use Apple computers instead of Microsoft Windows machines.

 

Here is some software I suggest you check out before buying any more hardware.

 

Native Instruments for a full range of software instruments.

 

Garritan Personnel Orchestra and other good sample libraries.

 

PSP, makers of the Vintage Warmer plugin.

 

Spectrasonics. Check out Trilogy and Atmosphere.

 

VirSyn Tera II, great all around computer based synth.

 

SonikSynth II, a nice software ROMpler.

 

Tascam GigaStudio, the major studio sampler for PC.

 

Universal Audio for the UAD-1.

 

Cakewalk Sonar 4 sequencer.

 

That should be enought reading for a while. :D

 

Robert

This post edited for speling.
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  • 5 months later...

Oh, most major universities must have a Department of Mingusology by now, I'd think. The methodological study of large, volatile composer/bass player/author geniusosos is, well, essential . . .

 

A kinship with other disciples of Ellington? A fascination with the nexus of talent and emotion? He was a bad man; he could swing. I think of him as cinematic. All of this adds up to a partial, probably meaningless answer.

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