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Fantom X6 / ? - Sequencing with S90ES / ... Other Options


HomeAmateur

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Hey all, heres my thoughts.

 

I currently have S90ES and want to dive more seriously into creating my own stuff. I do have Cubas LE, and actually got it to work with the keys and vocals. However, Im not a big fan of having to jump between the comp and the keys and play and fiddle with the mouse. It just seems to take away from the creative process. In other words its a pain in the axxe.

 

I would much prefer to have on-board sequencing, just hit a button and play. Yes, maybe I should of looked more seriously at the workstations.

 

Anyways, Im just exploring other options here. Ive been reading up on the Fantom X6 and Xa, Korg TR61, etc, both of which seem to boast VERY EASY and Creative recording abilities. The X6 being the best it seems?

 

One stupid question though. I dont have a ton of experience using two boards together. And Im pretty sure I know this answer, but just to make sure.

 

If I had the Fantom X6 (via midi of course) I can play the S90ES (using its great action) and be recording that into the Fantoms cool sequencer, and then work with it just the same as if actually played on the X6 ? I believe with the X6 either via midi OR audio correct ????

 

My interest in the X6 is mainly its boast of easy song creation, so Id basically be buying it primarily as a sequencer, the Roland sound pallete and every thing else it offers would just be gravy.

 

So, would the X6 or Xa or TR61 or ? be a good option for this task (getting away from the comp for recording) ?

 

Another option of course is hardware sequencers. I havent really started doing my homework there yet though.

 

And of course another option is just to condition/force myself to just use the comp for recording.

 

And another last but not least option is to replace the S90ES with one of the workstations.

 

Actually I likley wont do anything until I see what NAMM reveals. Which may be nothing. Which is why Im doing the homework now.

 

Thanks in advance for any input.

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yes, the Fantom X6/X7/X8 will do the trick, plus it's very easy to operate. But if you want to have cheaper but still good sequencer you can try also juno-g. It has almost the same sequencer as fantom and is advertised as song recorder.

I wouldn't bother with Xa though, looks like it will be discontinue soon.

♫♫♫ motif XS6, RD700GX
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If I read right, the Juno-G does NOT have the pattern part of the sequencer...??? which seens Im looking for a strong and creative but easy to use sequencer I think (at this point) Ill count that one out.

 

Im still not totally sure whats missing on the Xa thats on the X6 ???

 

However a used X6 is roughly the same price as a new Xa.

 

Though if the Xa gets discontinued, then the price on that should drop considerably. (maybe)

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X6 has a great grand piano, Xa doesn't.

Xa also has very poor keys and much worse pads. What else I don't remember. Also X6 is better built.

 

Yes, juno-g doesn't have pattern sequencing.

I had juno-g but decided to exchange it for X8

to have all in one, (great piano, weighted keys and workstation) Good time to make a move now since there is 200$ rebate from roland till end of the year.

♫♫♫ motif XS6, RD700GX
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Im realizing now that I like the idea of the all in one.

 

It would seem though that with the S90ES and the Fantom X6 it would be the best of both worlds.

 

Although simply a Motif ES8 with a smoking piano (built in) and a much simpler user interface would be the thing to have. Maybe NAMM will reveal such a beast, the Motif ES8 Extreme :)

 

Although im still curioius about this little GEM RP-X thats coming out. (for piano)

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Originally posted by HomeAmateur:

Although simply a Motif ES8 with a smoking piano (built in) and a much simpler user interface would be the thing to have. Maybe NAMM will reveal such a beast, the Motif ES8 Extreme :)

[/QB]

yeah...if yamaha ever come up with roland style user interface I will buy it...

I want to play and record music, not to study manual :freak:

♫♫♫ motif XS6, RD700GX
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bush,

 

sometimes ya and sometimes no. some ideas seem to be just flowing in the wind and if you dont get them down right then, then they just seem to drift away.

 

I know sequencing with the comp has many advantages, however im not always fired up and record ready. It would just be very nice to be able to just hit a button and record vs. firing up the comp and getting Cubase up and ready to record and also dealing with the learning curve of that program AND its glitches.

 

Now that I think of it, many many years ago I had A Yamaha SY55 which had a sequencer and I remmber easily recording stuff ( and I didnt even know how to play the darn thing - years before a single piano lesson.) My ability has improved quite alot since then and I think I just prefer the onboard sequencer over the comp, particularly for spontainous stuff. Editing on the comp after is not a problem.

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Originally posted by burningbusch:

An observation.

 

If the creative juices are flowing, they will flow regardless of your tools. They are unstoppable. Getting a new toy might "inspire" you for a bit but it's unlikely to have a long term effect.

 

Busch.

come on, we got to spend money on something,

otherwise why to work? ;) Besides Santa Clause is coming soon...

 

Seriously though, that's partially true but why to kill yourself and imagine you play on steinway when you play really on casio when you can afford a steinway?

Life is too f#$$%^ short :D

♫♫♫ motif XS6, RD700GX
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lerber3,

 

I think my best stuff is the stuff that comes out of nowhere and I think, that sounded great, now what the heck did I just play ??? :) (my short term memory is, wait, what was I saying) so skip-back would be awesome.

 

delirium,

"Life is too f#$$%^ short"

 

couldnt of said it better myself...

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The only thing that souned good about the Korg TR61 was the duel arp engines ...

 

It really pixxes me off that the S90es doesnt have 2 arp engines. Come on, drums need to be seperate from the cool arp riffs .... Yamaha ..hello ??? what were you thinking ?

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I prefer using my laptop to a hardware sequencer, personally. This is because it is very visual. I'm using Ableton Live. I can visually layer my tracks. Tweak the alignment, MIX audio and MIDI, layer over other audio sounds, run VSTI's, yada yada. You're giving up a lot using a hardware workstation. A software based solution added to an S90ES is an awesome combo.

Hamburg Steinway O, Crumar Mojo, Nord Electro 4 HP 73, EV ZXA1

 

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I agree, the S90ES and Cubase (software) really offers the best combination of MIDI and audio recording.

 

Firing up a computer and getting it set up to record may be a little more cumbersome than turning on a workstation and pressing record/play.

 

However, the computer has more extensive recording capabilities, better visuals and it is easier to save and move the song files between platforms.

 

A Motif or similar workstation is a fine all-in-one solution when you only need MIDI sequencing and a limited amount of audio recording.

 

Also, depending on the style of music, workstations tend to yield a 'band-in-box' moreso than a 'record' sound.

 

Even if the S90ES is your only sound source, you can tweak the audio in Cubase. That would be harder to do within a workstation.

 

So, the S90ES/Cubase remains the better option--right now. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Originally posted by delirium:

Jazzwee,

on Fantom X, on this big color screen you have a lot of visualization too. Almost like on laptop.

I know. My old teacher used a Fantom X and it is certainly easier to use than an ES8. However, have you ever seen Ableton Live? This stuff makes arranging so easy. You drag and drop to try different combinations of audio or MIDI. You treat each recording as a loop. If all you have ever used is Cubase, this is a different way of looking at things organizationally. Very intuitive. So if you are not tied to an existing software package, it is quite an experience to use. You can download a free demo, you just can't save. This is just one software package.

 

What about Reason? What about FL Studio? What about Ivory/Akoustik/Pianoteq, etc. The reality is that the software world is booming and is surpassing what is available on workstations by leaps and bounds. Yes, if you are using Cubase only, you might say this is too cumbersome and it's easier with a workstation. Obviously Cubase is very powerful but there are other options in user interfaces that put workstations to shame. It would really be hard to give that up. For the money you're going to spend on a new board, you are better off investing that into even a dedicated computer that stays with your board.

Hamburg Steinway O, Crumar Mojo, Nord Electro 4 HP 73, EV ZXA1

 

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I like using Roland sequencers but don't use the one on my Fantom S at all. The biggest reasons: no 10 key pad (included on my XP-60 and MC-80). It's really frustrating to have to scroll values instead of directly entering them. Plus, that big screen can actually be a disadvantage because you have to do an awful lot of navigation with the cursor. When you press edit for example, this large list spills onto the screen that's not navigable with the soft buttons, so a-scrollin' you go. On my XP-60 and MC-80, they are organized into neat groups that are accessible from the soft keys. Although their screens are much smaller, it's easier and faster to edit on them.

 

I love my Fantom S, but sure wouldn't recommend buying a Fantom primarily for it's sequencer.

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I don't know, I prefer having all in one package,

like with acoustic grand piano. You just sit and play. No need to connect/turn something on, mousing and sh*t...

Computers don't inspire me, I have them enough at work ;)

Actually I'll take that back - they do inspire me, but for writing C++ music/code... :D

♫♫♫ motif XS6, RD700GX
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Originally posted by delirium:

I don't know, I prefer having all in one package,

like with acoustic grand piano. You just sit and play. No need to connect/turn something on, mousing and sh*t...

Computers don't inspire me, I have them enough at work ;)

Actually I'll take that back - they do inspire me, but for writing C++ music/code... :D

This is the thing, who wants to look at the same screen all the time? Plus computer is full of distractions... like this forum. :freak:
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To be clear here, Im not anti-sequencing on the comp. Im just exploring other options. I have figured out the very basics of Cubase Le, click on this and that enough times and eventually ya figure out what the heck it does. Im just not in love with it thats for sure.

 

I have read alot of good chatter about Apples GarageBand, supposedly VERY EASY to use and very creative, even FUN to use. Now that would be a pleasant switch from Cubase.

 

From my searching there really doesnt seem to be a Windows version of GarageBand though. Not even really anything close. ???

 

Perhaps I should ditch the X6/? idea and consider spending the money on a Mac laptop with GarageBand.

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Originally posted by ProfD:

A Motif or similar workstation is a fine all-in-one solution when you only need MIDI sequencing and a limited amount of audio recording.

 

Also, depending on the style of music, workstations tend to yield a 'band-in-box' moreso than a 'record' sound.

There in lies the crux of the problem for me. Set aside the arcane interfaces on these things it still comes down to results. If you work really hard and dot all your "i"s and cross your "t"s, you MIGHT get it to sound as good as an arranger keyboard. But if you fall short of that you're going to drift into MIDI cheese land really quick.

 

Busch.

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You want something to capture inspiration? Something like this makes more sense to me.

 

http://www.bossus.com/ProductImages/product_shot_index01.gif

 

A little bigger than an iPod. Four tracks. Built-in drum machine. Built-in mic.

 

Plug it into your headphone outs on you keyboard. Got an idea while playing the acoustic piano? Use the built-in mic. Walking in the woods? Hum it. On and on.

 

Busch.

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Originally posted by ProfD:

Also, depending on the style of music, workstations tend to yield a 'band-in-box' moreso than a 'record' sound.

This is absolutely not true. You can record from the ground up on a hardware or workstation sequencer just as you can on a computer. And use your own custom sounds. That's the only way I work.

 

I'm only defending them, not recommending them, so don't get me wrong. I still use hardware sequencers because I was brought up on them, particularly Rolands, back in the 1980s, and if you have that background knowledge from years of experience they become easy to use. For someone starting out, using a computer makes a lot more sense. But it is handy sometimes to just turn workstation on wherever it's located and go.

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Originally posted by burningbusch:

You want something to capture inspiration? Something like this makes more sense to me.

 

A little bigger than an iPod. Four tracks. Built-in drum machine. Built-in mic.

 

Plug it into your headphone outs on you keyboard. Got an idea while playing the acoustic piano? Use the built-in mic. Walking in the woods? Hum it. On and on.

 

Busch.

As an additional gadget it looks nice too.

Handy scratch pad for always composing musicians,

I like it. I wish I have USB connection in my head.. :D

♫♫♫ motif XS6, RD700GX
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Originally posted by burningbusch:

An observation.

 

If the creative juices are flowing, they will flow regardless of your tools. They are unstoppable. Getting a new toy might "inspire" you for a bit but it's unlikely to have a long term effect.

 

Busch.

Yep I agree. I think some, not of all of these things people complain about are excuses. If the juices are there, then you'll find a way to make it work

Begin the day with a friendly voice A companion, unobtrusive

- Rush

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Originally posted by Silver Dragon Sound:

Originally posted by burningbusch:

An observation.

 

If the creative juices are flowing, they will flow regardless of your tools. They are unstoppable. Getting a new toy might "inspire" you for a bit but it's unlikely to have a long term effect.

 

Busch.

Yep I agree. I think some, not of all of these things people complain about are excuses. If the juices are there, then you'll find a way to make it work
I have to say that I dont totally agree. First of all, everyones creative process/style/ability/inspiration/likes/dislikes are different. Thus, part of the reason there are all sorts of different types of equiptment/software to capture it.

 

Second, for me personally, I have probably the worst short term memory you could have. There are many times when I will spontainioulsy come out with some lyrics or play a chord progression, many times at the same time, and I think, wow, that could be the makings of an awesome song. THEN, about 3 seconds later I have NO CLUE what I just sang or played.

 

There are also many times when I do remember what I just did, but like an idiot I dont write it down thinking that I will remember it, and suprise, the next day I have NO recolection of what I was doing.

 

That is why that 'skip-back' feature on the Fantom X6 looked very interesting. (though Im not completly sure how that works yet)

 

I agree though that spending that kind of money on the X6 primarily for the sequencer seems a bit 'counter-economical'.

 

Thats why what Im mainly doing here is just exploring what options are available other then just Cubase Le which came with the S90ES and bouncing ideas around....

 

I do however appreciate everyones input though.

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Originally posted by HomeAmateur:

That is why that 'skip-back' feature on the Fantom X6 looked very interesting. (though Im not completly sure how that works yet)

[/QB]

that works pretty much simple, fantom is always recording. Pressing that button you can recall up to 40 seconds back from the past and assign this as a sample, save it or whatever.
♫♫♫ motif XS6, RD700GX
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