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Improving my setup in a cost-effective manner


musicalaccents

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Hi everyone. This is my first post so I'll try to follow the rules the best I can ;) .

 

My name is Steve and I'm a 27 y/o keyboardist residing in the N. Dallas area. Currently, I am a project maniac, as I am trying to become as well-rounded as possible. In the process, I'm trying to improve my gear, especially live performance gear. My influences range from Herbie, Chick, to MMW, Phish, Blues Traveler, Santana...anything that's energetic, extremely musical, dynamic, and has a unique sound.

 

Here's my current setup:

 

-Ensoniq MR-76

-M-Audio 88 controller -> Motif Rack Module

-M300 processor (any suggestions for a better suited effects processor for keys performance?)

-Earthquake EQ-2 Wah/Filter pedal (for organ, rhodes, and clav patches)

-Dunlop Crybaby Wah (is it possible to use this as a volume pedal since I have a new wah pedal?)

-4-space rack unit

 

Here is what I want to accomplish:

 

-Better organ sounds. I've thought about purchasing an older organ synth rack and running that through an RT-20 (eventually getting a Motion Sound Amp). A VK8M or any other new organ sound module is just not within my budget.

 

-Better piano sounds. The Motif has good sounds but I want to use my Ensoniq MR-76 as my piano board because of the weighted action and Fatar. I just love the way it feels. Any suggestions on how to improve the piano sounds on my MR-76 as Creative or E-Mu dont supply any upgrades obviously now.

 

If anybody has any other suggestions or questions regarding my setup, I will go into more detail, if needed.

Play only what you hear within...if you hear nothing, play nothing at all

My Gear: Motif; Ensoniq MR-76; Suitcase Rhodes; Earthquake MKII Pedal; DiscomBOBulator; PodXT

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I don't see synth action keys anywhere. I'm not sure how you feel about using weighted keys for playing organ parts. If it is not a good time to grab somethign like a VK8M then maybe consider a used unit. Emu has a Proteus based rack unit with organ sounds that is not bad. I think it is the E-mu B3 and you frequently see them on Ebay. The nice thing is you can add other sound ROM's to get more use out of the box.

 

For piano, consider getting a MIDI merge unit so you can control the Motif Rack from both the Ensoniq and the M-Audio controller. Set the Ensoniq to output only on channel 2 and the M-Audio to output on channel 1. Then create setups on the Motif with the sounds you want for each channel.

 

Robert

This post edited for speling.

My Sweetwater Gear Exchange Page

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Rabid: Synth Action Keys? Are you talking about what I'm using to run my Motif Rack? Is the M-Audio 88 key controller not the best option?

 

Also, are there any controllers that are waterfall-like? If so, I could go directly to the E-MU B3 or Voce V3 with that -> RT20?

 

What is your opinion on the RT20 and would it be worth it?

Play only what you hear within...if you hear nothing, play nothing at all

My Gear: Motif; Ensoniq MR-76; Suitcase Rhodes; Earthquake MKII Pedal; DiscomBOBulator; PodXT

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I can add some on EMU B3. I've been using one Live with my alesis QS7 for 3 years. first a question, is the M-audio 88 unweighted/synth type keys? This is obviously best for organ smears etc. If not good luck on your poor hands. I don't think you will need the rt-20 because IMHO the EMU B3 with Leslie samples are very good except for solo recordings that expose the clever crossfade "tricks' EMU used. Good news is if you choise to use the RT20 the EMU can output B3 samples that were recorded with out a leslie. The EMU B3 is the best $350 I've ever spent on keys !

 

Kevin

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Kevmo...yes, the M-Audio 88 controller is lightweight and meant for either studio or live synth performance. However, it still doesn't come close to the 'waterfall' keys or bedding of a Hammond. Anybody know of a controller like this?

 

I am in the process of bidding on a B-3 EMU w/ Protozoa 123...anybody have or know of this added 'Protozoa 123'? I'm in the dark regarding this RAM module.

 

So you are saying that if I win this EMU B-3, that most of the sounds come with Leslie samples? If I wanted to spice it up, what if I added some RT-20 to those? I'm just running through a Beringer 1200 so how would that react?

Play only what you hear within...if you hear nothing, play nothing at all

My Gear: Motif; Ensoniq MR-76; Suitcase Rhodes; Earthquake MKII Pedal; DiscomBOBulator; PodXT

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Originally posted by musicalaccents:

I am in the process of bidding on a B-3 EMU . . .

 

So you are saying that if I win this EMU B-3, that most of the sounds come with Leslie samples? If I wanted to spice it up, what if I added some RT-20 to those? I'm just running through a Beringer 1200 so how would that react?

I apologize for my SPAM, but if you are looking for an EMU B-3, I have one lying around doing nothing. I sent you an e-mail.

 

I thought the EMU was pretty good overall, but opted for a more controllable organ (i.e. ability to adjust drawbars).

 

Yes, many of the EMU sounds have Leslie samples built in. Attach a foot switch and you can control Leslie speed, etc. I never tried it, but running the EMU through a Motion Sound (or other actual rotary speaker) would probably be rather nice.

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Musicalaccents,

 

A search on this forum using the words "B3 controller" brought up this thread, as well as many others that you might find useful:

 

http://www.musicplayer.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/ubb/get_topic/f/18/t/016066.html

 

 

My feeling about a Hammond style controller, however, is that if you are on a budget, you can probably get by without one for a time.

 

Cheers,

Bill

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Howdy. I'm down in Waxahachie. Welcome. First thing: what's wrong with your ensoniq piano? I used to have an ensoniq KT76 and liked the pianos.

Try not to fall into the syndrome you get reading these posts where you acquire dissatisfaction with your stuff: examples are the upper "rhodes register is 'thin' " or "mono is unusable, you have to play in stereo" etc. That is sure not cost effective. I love fatar actions. If you just can't stand the MR76 pianos, midi up to 1.)something you have, and 2.) that you do like. What's wrong with the motif pianos? I've always liked Kurzweil pianos and they have some affordable, small piano modules you can probably pick up cheap, and midi to the ensoniq or the controller. Do not overlook Voce as a B-3 organ module. There is absolutely nothing wrong with their microB units and they're affordable if you can find them, and they have a leslioe sim in the programs- but the V5's do not. I regret ever selling mine - for that matter I regret selling the KT76! Try eBay. Once again you can midi it up to your controller. Don't listen to anybody who says that you have to get a synth key controller because you can't play organ on a weighted keyboard. I do it all the time. Of course there's lots better organists on the planet. I wouldn't waste any money on keys for organ that weren't spot on hammond-like waterfall keys. There's hammond keys, and then there's all the other stuff; you want the hammond keys. What about getting a leslie processor pedal and running the motif organs through it - sans effects of course ? You have lots of stuff to work with without spending much money. Good luck and tell us what you end up doing.

"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
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