Keyboard Doublers... [Archive] - Sax on the Web Forum

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G-dawg
01-28-2007, 01:12 AM
I have a question for you.

I looking to expand my "hire-ability" and already play piano fairly well. I'm not great, but can play a secondary keyboard part that may include string patches, organ patches, brass patches, etc. You know, the "filler" stuff when more than sax is needed. (Insert smart ***** comment here...)

Can you recommend a good INEXPENSIVE keyboard that includes characteristic sounds? I don't want to have to download, upload, edit or do any other computer-assisted work to make this happen.

Thanks!!

tjontheroad
01-28-2007, 01:29 AM
Do you have a budget? Do you want weighted action keys?

Tryptykon
01-28-2007, 01:36 AM
Look for a used Kurzweil K2000 .

For myself :
I bought a K2000R which is the rack module, or brain of the unit and later acquired
an 88 weighted-key controller keyboard, because I wanted that feel when
I practice piano.

The K2000 should be very reasonably priced, since it has been improved a few
times, w/ subsequent models(K2500,2600,etc..).

The presets sound very good, and if you ever want to get into tweaking there
is a lot of potential(noting that you don't want to tweak,of course..)


http://reviews.harmony-central.com/reviews/Keyboard+And+MIDI/product/Kurzweil/K2000/10/1

http://www.vintagesynth.com/kurzweil/k2000.shtml

G-dawg
01-28-2007, 01:56 AM
Do you have a budget? Do you want weighted action keys?

Budget is being determined...(with the help of my wife)

Weighted keys - yes!

tjontheroad
01-28-2007, 02:36 AM
Weighted action typically mean two options. Either a digital piano with some extra sounds or a controller with a midi tone module.

Best bang for buck on the digital pianos I've found are these Casios

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Casio-PX310-88Key-Digital-Piano?sku=706076

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Casio-PX110-88Key-Privia-Digital-Piano?sku=706075

Nice sounds with semi weighted action.

For a bit more is this Yamaha;
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Yamaha-S08-Performance-Synth?sku=700827

Very real key feel on the Yamaha. I want one :)

If you want more, I'd go with a controller that has the action you like and add a sample playback tone module. That's the setup I use with a Emu Proteus 1000

Here's a M-Audio board;
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/MAudio-Keystation-Pro-88-MIDI-Controller?sku=709203

G-dawg
01-28-2007, 12:50 PM
Thanks, tj.

The casios - sounds authentic and characteristic? Can't beat the price, but don't want "cheesey" patches...

The Yamaha looks like the route I might go. If I get the urge to "tweak" sounds, I can.


Tryptykon - the Kurzweil is probably a bit out of my price range. I saw the new K2600 models on the web. Maybe I can get a good price on the K2000 you mentioned.... Thanks for the suggestion!

odsum25
01-28-2007, 02:57 PM
I hate playing on Yamaha pianos, but the keyboard is quite good.

tjontheroad
01-28-2007, 06:56 PM
Thanks, tj.

The casios - sounds authentic and characteristic? Can't beat the price, but don't want "cheesey" patches...

The Yamaha looks like the route I might go. If I get the urge to "tweak" sounds, I can.


Tryptykon - the Kurzweil is probably a bit out of my price range. I saw the new K2600 models on the web. Maybe I can get a good price on the K2000 you mentioned.... Thanks for the suggestion!

The Casios might be a generation behind in sample quality to the Yamaha. Still impressive for the money. One plus is the built in speakers on the Casios. Makes at home practice a turn on and play right away thing. I wouldn't call the Casios a "pro" keyboard, but it might be plenty for your needs. Kurzweils are nice sounding too, but I've never liked the key feel. It's too mushy and lacked bounce. If you're really a stickler for piano feel, the Roland pianos are the bomb.
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Roland-RD300SX-Digital-Piano?sku=700412

I can't tell you how many times I had control my GAS after tickling those keys. The sound is also the best IMO. Worth the investment. You'll look like the real deal with one of those on stage.

Saxy Nate
02-04-2007, 09:34 AM
I'm in a similar situation G-Dawg. I just decided to invest in a keyboard, myself, mostly for learning purposes and anything else the future may hold. I picked up a Yamaha S08 and just couldn't have been happier. It is a few hundred more than the Casio Privia, but those keyboards just didn't turn me on. I got to playtest a couple Privias and the s08 at a local Guitar Center.

The Yamaha had more appeal to me; the build is very strong, and the action is very smooth. The sounds aren't the best I've heard, although I am fond of the rhodes sound, the acoustic bass, and a few of the pads. I have a Roland JV-1010, that I use primarily for EWI playing, which has some really nice sounds I can use for my keyboard now. In addition, it comes with some Cubase software which I started sequencing on! For my situation it just happened to work out quite well. In any case I hope you find what you're looking for!

harmonizerNJ
07-04-2007, 12:46 PM
Hi G-dawg. Did you end up acquiring a keyboard/sound rig? If so, which one, and how is it working out?

I have a keyboard controller and a footpedal controller which I use to create additional noises via a sound module, in a covers band. I would be interested to hear what types of instrument noises you are covering, and what is working well and not so well for you.

DD
07-04-2007, 06:49 PM
Don't overlook the older Roland JV 1080s for a module. Their A70 (semi) and A90 (weighted) controllers are also versatile pieces which can enable several patches simultaneously.

BobbyC
07-05-2007, 05:38 PM
I quit using Yamaha synths because the keys kept breaking.
This included a PSR series, a DX-7 and and 2 SY series keyboards.
I was constantly replacing broken keys.
The Yamaha digital pianos have a different key set up so no problems there.

Since you say your looking to backup the main keyboard player I would recommend shopping for some used keyboards.
You'll save some $$.
Listen to the quality of the sounds/samples before buying anything.

I currently use an Alesis QS7.1 and a Roland VK-7 for my main keyboards.
They are easier to travel with and cover just about everything I need to do.
The Alesis contains more sounds than you could ever use and has 76 keys.

Not one key broken since I bought these two quite a few years ago and they get LOTS of use.

I recently saw an AlesisQS7.1 on eBay for around $250.

Haven't really checkout any new boards since the two I have are treating me well.

Just my 2 cents.

MartinMusicMan
07-21-2007, 05:42 PM
I double on keyboard, mainly for B3 organ sounds, but also for Rhodes, Wurlitzer, clavinet. Absolutely the best thing out there for vintage sounds is the Nord Electro. It also has a nice stereo acoustic piano. It's very lightweight. Not weighted keys - it's organ action. There's a Nord Stage model with semi-weighted key action that has synth and string sounds. It also has organ but because of the key action organ players don't like it. For them, there's the Nord C1, a dual manual B3 simulation.

Bari Man
08-23-2007, 04:47 PM
i stumbled across this category and saw the posts aren't too recent, but i had a question about affordable keyboards and hopefully somebody might have an answer. know nothing about keyboards but i decided i need to learn piano, and i need to get an affordable-ish keyboard. i reaaaaaallllly dig the hammond B-3 sound so i am definitely looking for one that does an ok job emulating that sound (for the money). Tjontheroad, you mentioned the Casio PX-310 and i was wondering if anybody knew if it has decent hammond-y tone????

tjontheroad
08-23-2007, 05:19 PM
Tjontheroad, you mentioned the Casio PX-310 and i was wondering if anybody knew if it has decent hammond-y tone????

You will not be mistaken for Jimmy Smith and his B3. The organ tones are are o.k. but nothing is like having a real rotating leslie speaker. Of couse, the Casio is easier to fit in your car :D

tomasi
08-23-2007, 07:22 PM
Maybe not the cheapest solution for some adiitional keyboard playing but here's a thought...

I'm originally a keyboard player and used to have quite an impressive selection of vintage and modern synths and samplers, hardware and Atari/Mac sequencers, 48-track mixer and outboard gear. When I think of it still do own a bunch, but don't use 'em anymore. They are at my friends studio now.

Right now I have at home only my trusty old Roland D-50 as a keyboard and a new MacBook Pro and basically I can do everything with them I could do back then. The software synths have come a long way, they sound great, also exceptional B3, Clavinet, Piano, Rhodes emulations are available. Some of them are so good that any hardware solution I've tried except the real thing does not come even close. And the versatility using softsynths is a great plus, you can expand your sound selection in any direction not possible when using just one or even ten hardware synths.

So in studio use a laptop is great but I'm thinking of using it as a sound source also in live situations with a midi-keyboard. It's much easier to carry around than a major keyboard stack and reliability does not seem to be a problem for many fellas in the electronic music scene that already does it. Haven't tried it yet but I'm considering adding Native Instruments' Kore as a control interface for the softsynths http://www.native-instruments.com:80/index.php?id=kore2&ftu=6393eea9282f498 If it really works as promised the controlling and selecting sounds on the fly is even easier than it has ever been with hardware synths. Not exactly cheap setup but if you already have a laptop it's very powerful and easy to transport. Just my 2cents...

Spooner
08-23-2007, 07:55 PM
I double on keyboard, mainly for B3 organ sounds, but also for Rhodes, Wurlitzer, clavinet. Absolutely the best thing out there for vintage sounds is the Nord Electro. It also has a nice stereo acoustic piano. It's very lightweight. Not weighted keys - it's organ action. There's a Nord Stage model with semi-weighted key action that has synth and string sounds. It also has organ but because of the key action organ players don't like it. For them, there's the Nord C1, a dual manual B3 simulation.


I'd have to agree with MartinMusicMan-

I've had a Nord 73 Electro 2 for about 5 years now. It has far and away the best sounds for all of the vintage keyboards that I've run across, and the things are built like freakin' tanks. They aren't the cheapest things out there, but I think that the 61 key versions are going for about $1k on Ebay these days (for a lightly used one). If you don't mind using the octave shift function every once in a while, it would probably serve you really well.

I was really nervous about buying a keyboard because I didn't want to get one that had only two or three good voices and 45 pounds of cheese to wade through. The Nord sounds great, is layed out really well and a very sturdy piece of gear.

hakukani
08-23-2007, 09:49 PM
I'm not really very good on keys, but most of my friends use kurzweils. I 've had a 2500XS for 7 years. I still think it's got a great keyboard, and the B3 is pretty convincing.


Pricey though...

harmonizerNJ
09-04-2007, 01:26 AM
Bari Man,
I hang out some in the "Keyboard Corner" (http://forums.musicplayer.com/), and read alot of folks praising the B3 (and clav) sounds of the Nord Electro. It seems the B3 sound is actually pretty tricky to emulate, and that the Nord Electro is one of the best out there for this capability.

I have a cheaper setup, using a cheap semi-weighted MIDI keyboard controller with a separate Roland "XV" sound module (the "XV" sound modules are about 1-2 generations old in the Roland product line).

In case you are wondering, the Nord Electro has the equivalent of a MIDI keyboard controller and a sound module combined into one device.

A few things you have to consider:
1. how badly do you want the "Action" of your keyboard to act like a real acoustic piano? You will see keyboards claiming to have a "weighted" action.
2. How much do you want your keyboard to feel like an organ keyboard?
(note that #1 and #2 are mutually exclusive).
3. how much do you want to emulate a real acoustic piano sound?
4. how much do you want to emulate a B3 (organ) sound?
5. how heavy & big of a setup can you deal with? will you need to transport it, and if so, how?

Note that not all people like the idea of using a laptop in a live gig environment. For me, I have enough problems figuring out what to do between my sax, the keyboard stuff, and backing vocals, so I prefer having a "hardware" sound module. The quality of sound is not as good as what I could get from a soft synth (on a laptop PC), but I prefer to have something with the user interface of a toaster oven for a live situation.

One last thing: don't forget that you will need a keyboard amp (*not* a guitar amp). A keyboard amp needs much greater frequency response than a guitar amp.

Good luck!

Speck
01-20-2009, 04:22 AM
Good thoughts so far. I noticed, when my band was asked to open for the Average White Band, that the sax player doubled with a humble Korg X5. It weighs 11 pounds and sounded pretty good in that mix. I used one for a while, and sure, you may need to tweak the Leslie rise and fall speeds, EQ and drive a little to get the classic keyboard sounds right. It gets the job done and pays for itself within a few gigs at the current used street price.

Also look at:

Yamaha S03
Alesis Micron
Korg TR

The Saxist
01-22-2009, 04:04 PM
For my meager keyboard doubling, I procured a Roland Juno-D. I tried the laptop/midi keyboard thing but found it less reliable and the added setup time not worth the trouble. The Juno-D is the least expensive of the current 61 key performance synths. But it has good piano/e. piano/ B3 sounds. It is also very light weight but has a metal case top.

As with any instrument, try before you buy...:TGNCHK: