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Masjes
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#1
3rd July 2008
Old 3rd July 2008
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Advice on keyboard/workstation/synth

I play the keys in a pop/rock band. Usually, I use piano sounds and ocasionally rhodes. I play the Roland RD-150. The amount of instruments on that piano is quite limited (it hasn't even got an organ!).

That's why I'd like to buy an additional keyboard/workstation/synthesizer. I would like it to have good presetted instruments, especially organs, rhodes and soms synths. I'd like to experiment with differnet sounds... Furthermore, I would like to be able to tweak the sound a bit, use effects etc.

I have a €1000,- budget. Currently, I'm looking into the Roland Juno-G. What do you guys think? Do you have some suggestions for other boards?
#2
3rd July 2008
Old 3rd July 2008
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I would look into second-hand gear, as it gets you a lot more bang for your buck. I think you should be able to pick up these for €1000:
Yamaha EX5 or rack, Motif classic, Motif ES6, Motif (ES) rack
Roland Fantom non-X series, Fantom Xa, Fantom XR rack
Korg Triton LE´s, older Tritons.

Personally I would go for the Motif ES6, because I like Yamaha´s sound best. Both racks have nice PC editors btw, so that would also be a good option. Best bang for your buck would be the EX5 I guess, since i've seen it around for €500. Great sound, great synth, arguably better sounding than the Motifs.
#3
5th July 2008
Old 5th July 2008
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Just got me a Korg MicroX. It`s a Triton engine on a small 2 octaves keyboard. Loads of synth sounds, cool pads, organ and acoustic/electric piano tones, some good strings.

Comes loaded with effects, you can use up to 4 at the same time. Comes with a software that lets you tweak and manage the sounds and archives via a USB connection on your computer.

Comes with a hard case. I love it. Sells for like 640 dollars in the USA.
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5th July 2008
Old 5th July 2008
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You owe it to yourself to check out Nord keyboards. They have a 5-octave one called the 'Electro' that specializes in B3 emulation and classic keys - rhodes, wurlie, clav, etc. However, if you want one that also includes synth sounds, I believe you want the 'Stage' model, which supposedly comes in 5-octave, as well as 73 and 76-note models. They're not cheap, and they might be overkill for live gigs where no one can hear you, (a common occurance at live gigs - can you ever hear the keyboards?) but the Nord B3 sound is definitely good enough for studio work. (The current model Electro is supposed to be much better than the earlier model, so I would be wary of picking up a used one.)

An alternative to getting the more expensive Stage model would be to take the midi out of the Electro and send it to a cheap General Midi sound module for strings and horns and synths. I believe you can set up custom patches on the Electro. I do a similar thing, except I'm using an old Alesis QS6 keyboard for synth sounds, and sending midi out to a B3 emulation sound module. When I'm playing a B3 patch, the corresponding Alesis patch is set up to be silent, so I don't have to mess around switching from one unit to the other. (The Electro wasn't out when I set up this system - if it was, that's what I'd be playing.)
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#5
5th July 2008
Old 5th July 2008
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Since you're into Roland and on a budget, you may want to look into picking up Roland's Sonic Cell and using the RD-150 as a controller. It has 2 SRX expansion slots so you can add additional sounds (SRX-07 & SRX-12) later should you want to add additional sounds.
#6
6th July 2008
Old 6th July 2008
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For piano sounds - used Motif ES6
For Rhodes/Wurlys/B3's - Nord Electro hands down
If you need both, go for the ES6 as the Rhodes and Wurlys are close to the Electro....
A used Kurzweil PC2R would be close, but I found the unit difficult to use.
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Masjes
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#7
10th July 2008
Old 10th July 2008
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Thanks for the replies, guys. It seems the Nord Stage is exactly what I want: quality of instruments and sounds, and a couple of synthesizer elements. I'll go to a music store soon to try one out. And then... go save up some money... *sigh*
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10th July 2008
Old 10th July 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masjes View Post
I play the keys in a pop/rock band. Usually, I use piano sounds and ocasionally rhodes. I play the Roland RD-150. The amount of instruments on that piano is quite limited (it hasn't even got an organ!).

That's why I'd like to buy an additional keyboard/workstation/synthesizer. I would like it to have good presetted instruments, especially organs, rhodes and soms synths. I'd like to experiment with differnet sounds... Furthermore, I would like to be able to tweak the sound a bit, use effects etc.

I have a €1000,- budget. Currently, I'm looking into the Roland Juno-G. What do you guys think? Do you have some suggestions for other boards?
Im selling my Yamaha sy77 vintage synth..pm me if you are interested..It comes with a heavy duty road case to.
#9
10th July 2008
Old 10th July 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JorgV View Post
I would look into second-hand gear, as it gets you a lot more bang for your buck. I think you should be able to pick up these for €1000:
Yamaha EX5 or rack, Motif classic, Motif ES6, Motif (ES) rack
Roland Fantom non-X series, Fantom Xa, Fantom XR rack
Korg Triton LE´s, older Tritons.

Personally I would go for the Motif ES6, because I like Yamaha´s sound best. Both racks have nice PC editors btw, so that would also be a good option. Best bang for your buck would be the EX5 I guess, since i've seen it around for €500. Great sound, great synth, arguably better sounding than the Motifs.

Ditto on this.
Buy used.
It'll serve you well and spare the wallet.

Many a used rack to choose from.
A great way to expand the pallete.

Great modern synths have been around. (used market) for eons now.
Pick one. Get one.
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