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Footpedal keyboard controller


vlad335

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Originally posted by vlad335:

...Last, I watched a Roland demo video and it sounds great.
"another one bites the dust, hep, hep, another one bites the dust..."

 

Just kidding, of course :D

 

Now if there is one universal truth regarding novice keyboard players is that you'll only find out what you need after you have some hands-on experience and make your own mistakes, mostly based on your own misconceptions.

 

We've all been there, some longer than others. The good news is that once you grasp the instrument's capabilities and the possible applications towards achieving your musical goals you'll get a lot smarter about choosing gear.

 

Welcome to the club!

 

"I'm ready to sing to the world. If you back me up". (Lennon to his bandmates, in an inspired definition of what it's all about).
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Oh BTW...

 

I know how Geddy plays Subdivisions. Its pretty clear on the video or just hearing the song on the record for that matter. Please... Give me a liitle more credit than that!

 

Also, just because I play bass and enquired about foot pedals doesn't have anything to do with Rush.

 

Just need to get that out of the way.

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Originally posted by Andre Lower:

Originally posted by vlad335:

...Last, I watched a Roland demo video and it sounds great.
"another one bites the dust, hep, hep, another one bites the dust..."

 

Just kidding, of course :D

 

Now if there is one universal truth regarding novice keyboard players is that you'll only find out what you need after you have some hands-on experience and make your own mistakes, mostly based on your own misconceptions.

 

We've all been there, some longer than others. The good news is that once you grasp the instrument's capabilities and the possible applications towards achieving your musical goals you'll get a lot smarter about choosing gear.

 

Welcome to the club!

 

I take it you don't exactly approve of my choice. Can you expound on this?

 

I listed what I liked feature wise for a live sound situation.

 

Fire away.

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Hi guys I just had to jump in here. For one who says you have to play Subdivisions like Geddy does. For one that begining of the song is a Moog Taurus pedal I get that same sound with my Moog LP and pk5 pedals.

 

Second the keyboard sounds my guitar can get with his Roland guitar synth and a Korg ms 2000br. Yes Subdivisions is a good dance song but every band out there does it. The analog kid has a better dance groove and I can get the small keyboard parts with my Moog LP and my Moog Voyager by overlaping and do it on the pk5`s and not every band in the clubs are doing that song.

And for me being differant from all the other band out there is what brings attention you.

 

Another example of what my band is thinking of doing is instead of YYZ and The Trees that everyone does we are looking at Circumstances and La Villa Strangiato less keyboards yes but more thundering harder rock and something people don`t expect.

 

Just my opinion in vlad335`s defence

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Vlad, I did not intend to bash your choice of the GW per se. What I meant with my last post is more related to the fact that I still don't know for sure and in details exactly what you want to do with your keyboard gear (you are still figuring it out yourself, right ;) ?) and thus felt that a second hand Fantom S or similar workstation would have a better chance to cater to your future plans. Furthermore the actual price difference of some 200 bucks (based on what I saw on the web) seemed small to me in view of the vastly superior specs of a Fantom S.

 

Then again the choice is your prerogative and I understand you are keen on getting the factory warranty on whatever synth you buy.

 

As I wrote, I'm sure you'll be alright with the GW and that it will afford you precious experience which you cannot get second-hand.

 

Now I thought you guys were kidding about "Subdivisions" being a danceable song. Well, if they can dance to it, I wonder what they would do if you play some groovy Santana :eek: !

"I'm ready to sing to the world. If you back me up". (Lennon to his bandmates, in an inspired definition of what it's all about).
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  • 2 weeks later...

I have an update to this situation.

 

Had two rehearsals with the PK-5 and GW-7. First I would like to say that this is hard, Really Hard to do. The first night I was hitting sour notes but started to get better at it. I realized I had to take off my shoes to help eliminate this. I have to keep this simple/stupid for awhile and absolutely no beer at gigs! :(

 

I am using a couple sounds on the GW-7, while not chords, they are octives and the drone lays in there nicely. The bandmembers commented on how great this thing helped to fill out the sound so it is doing what I wanted it to do.

 

As far as playing chords on the PK-5 and GW-7, this isn't possible on the GW-7 I found out after speaking with Roland. I have to use a Roland that has "Note to Arranger" functions to open this up. Also called NTAx14. This works using the arranger and transmitting over MIDI ch. 14. I am intrigued to hear what this sounds like. The top of the line Roland arrangers do this as well as the lowly E-09.

 

Originally, I passed on the E-09 (which is $150 cheaper BTW) because it isn't as adept at implementing midi song files live but this turns out to be a moot point anyway. Our guitar player is deadset against using midi files by portaying himself as some sort of a purist but I know he just doesn't want to sych up to a machine. Surprisingly, the drummer is all for it but our Lead singer/guitarist can be a dick about things so its best to drop it for now.

 

A word about Roland support... I read a bunch of reviews on Harmony central saying how bad it is but I don't see this at all. The couple guys I talked to have been great and very helpful.

 

Believe it or not, I think I may have bnought too much keyboard for what I want to do. However, I would like to try the E-09 and the NTAx14 feature out. I might check to see if Guitar Center has one and take my PK-5 up. American Musical is pretty good at exchanging but I would be without a keyboard for a week or so.

 

Sorry for the long post but I thought I would update everyone here who simply cannot go on without knowing how this is going. LOL!

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vlad335, I also just got a PK-5, and I echo your point about needing to take off my shoes. Like you, I am trying to make additional noises for my band, noises that normally could be made by extra musicians, if we had them. In my case I am a sax player, and my intended use of the PK-5 is to cause additional horn parts to be played, at times when both my hands are occupied fingering my sax part. Like you, I am discovering how clumsy my feet are at pressing the pedals, as compared to my fingers pressing keys.

 

I can share here how I am planning to deal with the lack of dexterity in my feet. Most of the additional horn noises I will "invoke" will be accented notes, for example on the downbeat, and I will often play the moving portion of the horn part (which leads up to the accented note) just on my sax. So I plan to have very few quick movements from one pedal to another for my feet to handle. My PK-5 plugs into my Roland XV-5050 sound module, and this allows me to "split" and transpose the PK-5 keyboard (pedalboard??) as much as I want. I am not sure to what degree you can do this with the sound generation capability that is included with the keyboard you have been using. Forgive me here if I am writing a bunch of stuff you already know, but it seems you are new to this stuff just as I am, so here goes.

 

With my XV-5050, I can program different notes, patches, octave shifts, and so on, for different ranges of pedals, or even for each of the separate 13 pedals on the PK-5, if I want to. I can also assign multiple parts to be invoked by a single pedal, which means I can cause a 3-part horn chord, with a trumpet sound, sax sound, and trombone sound, to be played by pressing a single pedal (you could also use this approach to make it sound like one instrument was playing a 3-part chord). I store these custom settings in what is called a "Performance" on the XV-5050, and I can store these in a user bank of Performances, which makes it easy for me to dial up the "Performance" I need (with all its settings) for a certain song, when I am at a rehearsal or gig. I would think this approach would work with most sound modules that have a MIDI input.

 

The basic idea idea I am sharing here is that I am using my sound module to do all the fancy stuff, and not really configuring any special settings at all into the PK-5. There may be different ways (and perhaps better ways, for all I know) to accomplish what you want by hooking up your PK-5 to a keyboard, as opposed to hooking up your PK-5 to a sound module, as I have done. I am sure there are others here on KC who can advise on that. It can take me a while to program a Performance for a single song, but it does allow me to make up for the lack of dexterity in my feet.

 

I am not sure how most people are trying to use the PK-5 (or other footpedal controllers) to add additional layers of sound to their band, and I thought it would be fun to compare ideas with another person who is trying to add these extra layers as I am.

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It's funny that you are talking about pedal controllers and chord playing in the keyboard forum when what your band really needs is a keyboard player to replace your lead guitarist. It is actually funny to read this thread. Because any pianist with a few years of playing could step right in here. The problem is, you have in your mind that a keyboardist is not needed here. No keyboardist would walk into a sitation like that to bail you out. Change your approach, think about how you are going to support a keyboardist, and get on with making music.

 

Good Luck....Rock on!

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Originally posted by Clavinovaguyusa:

It's funny that you are talking about pedal controllers and chord playing in the keyboard forum when what your band really needs is a keyboard player to replace your lead guitarist. It is actually funny to read this thread. Because any pianist with a few years of playing could step right in here. The problem is, you have in your mind that a keyboardist is not needed here. No keyboardist would walk into a sitation like that to bail you out. Change your approach, think about how you are going to support a keyboardist, and get on with making music.

 

Good Luck....Rock on!

Yes that would be optimum but the only problem is there is no one in this area. Also, if we searched very proactively I'm sure we could find someone who would be some distance away but then they probally wouldn't like our situation... Being that we don't really like to play out alot. Usually once a month with twice a month the max. We do this because we like to do it, have families and careers, and just hope to make enough to cover expenses, etc.
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Very intriging post Harmonizer. I appreciate your excellent input.

 

First off. My knowledge in this area is very limited... About two weeks ago it was nil so things are coming along.

 

I don't think the keyboard I have can approach this level of flexability you speak of. It has some performance functions but no way to save them. (I think?)

 

One patch on the GW-7 is a distorted guitar playing 5ths that I didn't think too much of while messing with it at home but it sounds surprisingly good layered in playing with the band. Especially behind lead solos.

 

I am thinking that triggering 5ths would be what I am looking for but I don't know how to program this. 5ths would also not conflict with different chords played.

 

Time to break out the manual again

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Originally posted by Clavinovaguyusa:

...No keyboardist would walk into a sitation like that to bail you out...

Yes I will. No reason not to do it. For the record, I became a keyboard player myself trying to do something very similar to what Vlad seem to want. Furthermore, the vast majority of the keyboard players would scorn the simple parts these guys seem to want right now, so hiring a keyboard player does not seem a viable proposition for their band anyway, at least for the moment ;) .

 

Vlad, what Harmonizer wrote is part of what you could have learned on your own if you had chosen a capable second-hand workstation or a more capable synth, but I remember you had restrictions on both budget and warranty. You could do exactly what he learned to do with his XV-5050 with any Roland Synth that features User Performances. Anyway it would be really hard to explain everything involved to you before you got close and personal with your first synth to start with. As I guessed, now you are bound to look for a synth that does this last trick you came to understand. After that, you're bound to do it again for yet another enticing trick, and so on and so forth...sorry, I told you you'd be snared :rolleyes:

 

BTW, there's a vast array of other resources (either designed for that specific purpose or that otherwise fit the bill) which will allow you to push your PK-5 capabilities beyond what you would believe right now. Unfortunately I am not near you, otherwise I would spend an afternoon with you showing you some possibilities. Anyway, if you cannot get hold of some other player to show you these features and their use you are still capable of just buying a more powerful synth and learning to detect on the User Manual (or simply tweaking the machine) useful applications for your plans :thu: .

"I'm ready to sing to the world. If you back me up". (Lennon to his bandmates, in an inspired definition of what it's all about).
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I understand what you are saying Andre about a more capable keyboard. I wish I could have went in that direction but time, budget, and the need for a warranty were all against me in this.

 

Please let me explain why I am fixated on a safety net for my purchases. Here is the most recent example... Last year my wife and I put in a new kitchen and I ordered all the appliances on line. Saved quite a bit of money on top end appliances. however, I researched the vendors ad-nauseum for service and made my choice accordingly. Since spending 5k a year ago, the refridgerator, range and dishwasher have all needed to undergo repair free of charge.

 

This has always been the case with me. I could state numerous examples but it seems I have some sort of Electro-magnetic field around me that is detrimental to electronics. LOL! I can think of no other reason. I always take great care of all my possessions but sometimes it doesnt seem to matter. :cry:

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That being said, I am amazed by all the power you guys have at your fingertips. Inversely, my 2000 dollar bass is just wood and wire. Although it sounds great, it is a one trick pony.

 

My experience with Keyboards date back to the 80's and the last keyboard player I worked with. I am excited about what I will be able to do in the future with my band. Also, looking into some piano lessons as well.

 

Just letting everyone know that you haven't heard the last from me. :)

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Sure we haven't. And what I said about finding out which keyboard you ultimately want/need applies as well to what music/specific keyboard sounds you want to play, what kind of skills are required, how to approach the learning experience, etc.

 

Everyone is different, but all of us end up choosing a path based on personal contact with what is available ;) . Don't sweat it, you're on the right track, namely the one of discovery.

 

You can count on me for sharing the little I know. Good luck on your musical journey!

"I'm ready to sing to the world. If you back me up". (Lennon to his bandmates, in an inspired definition of what it's all about).
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  • 1 month later...

Well the New Years gig went well. The keyboards sounded amazing.

 

I am using the arranger on a Roland E-68 to control a certain style which sounds like warm pads. This is playing whole chords. All other styles don't work as the they have arpegiated stuff that gets off time. I have a midi thru box splitting the signal from the PK5 to the E-68 and the GW-7. I am switching the sounds on the GW-7 to get alittle variety. We do a couple slow songs and I am using a sound called Heaven II to add sparkle on the top end on these. Perfect!

 

We made a video using a cheap camcorder and what a huge difference. I know this because the next to the last song in the first set I inadvertantly transposed one of the keyboards down a half step and couldn't get it fixed right away. (Damn dark stages!) We played 2 songs with no keys and our sound was definitely hurting on the video. On stage that night I couldn't really tell. The KB volume is low in the mix with the bass dumped on the board but it is still adding ahelluvalot.

 

The only downfalls... I spend most of my time looking at the floor and not singing as much backup as before. Got to work on this. Also, I can't play minors. Granted our entire set list only calls for an occasional Em in 2 tunes but I can't figure out how to do this quite yet. I am laying off the footpedal and doing alittle bass run to kinda cover it.

 

Thanks to everyone that helped me out on this forum. Sorry for the long winded post but I wanted to add a followup to where this all headed.

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