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Need an all purpose keyboard (piano, organ, synth)
Old 28th February 2020
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Need an all purpose keyboard (piano, organ, synth)

Hi,

Recently began playing in a band again.

Previously, I owned a Virus Access TI (I regrettably sold it).

Currently jamming with a Roland GAIA and a King Korg, both are synthesizers.

The King Korg has a decent wurly organ and solid other organs. The piano is fairly bad, as expected. The Roland GAIA is just there to add synth quickly if I don't want to press buttons on my King Korg.

I'm shifting away from synth sounds and am mostly playing organ and piano.

Basically, is there a keyboard that can provide:
-High quality piano and organ, that will have the Rhodes, Wurly, etc sounds
-Some synth sounds
-Some synth making capabilities
-Easy to use

I saw the Nord Stage 3 has these qualities, as it has a synth engine in addition to it's ROMPLER? engine. I'm wondering about a Yamaha Motif. Basically considering all options!

I'm turned off by the Nord Stage 3 price, and I've heard the synth is not that great. I've never used an arranger/workstation----I'd be willing to mess with it as long as there's not a huge learning curve, as my patience is not the greatest.
Old 28th February 2020
  #2
Deleted 3eb1160
Guest
Roland mc707 or mc101.
Old 28th February 2020
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 3eb1160 View Post
Roland mc707 or mc101.
Nice pads and bass options on it too?

Is there any tweaking of the sounds, i.e. like a synth?
Old 28th February 2020
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 3eb1160 View Post
Roland mc707 or mc101.
all I'm seeing is this come up
Attached Thumbnails
Need an all purpose keyboard (piano, organ, synth)-roalnd.jpg  
Old 28th February 2020
  #5
Deleted 3eb1160
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigggmike1 View Post
Nice pads and bass options on it too?

Is there any tweaking of the sounds, i.e. like a synth?
Very good electric pianos and good acoustic pianos. Very good organs, jazz vibraphones and mallets.
Very nice leads and pads and very very good effects for them all.
With mc707 you have a very deep editing, where you can combine pcm, samples, va.
With mc101 editing is limited, but you have more then 3000 presets coming from Roland romplers and analogue modeling.
And with 707 you can have 8 tracks each with its own synth, you can put samples and there is also a looper.
Old 28th February 2020
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simpler View Post
Very good electric pianos and good acoustic pianos. Very good organs, jazz vibraphones and mallets.
Very nice leads and pads and very very good effects for them all.
With mc707 you have a very deep editing, where you can combine pcm, samples, va.
With mc101 editing is limited, but you have more then 3000 presets coming from Roland romplers and analogue modeling.
And with 707 you can have 8 tracks each with its own synth, you can put samples and there is also a looper.


Does it come with its own keyboard or do I need an external with that? All I found on eBay is what's in that pic I posted above.

What about these options? They came up in my search:
-Vox continental
-Hammond SK1
-Dexibell VIVO S1
-Yamaha MX61
-Korg SV-2
-Roland V-Combo VR-730
-Nord Electro 5D
-Roland VR-09
Old 28th February 2020
  #7
Deleted 3eb1160
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigggmike1 View Post
Does it come with its own keyboard or do I need an external with that? All I found on eBay is what's in that pic I posted above.

What about these options? They came up in my search:
-Vox continental
-Hammond SK1
-Dexibell VIVO S1
-Yamaha MX61
-Korg SV-2
-Roland V-Combo VR-730
-Nord Electro 5D
-Roland VR-09
No it doesn't come with a keyboard, you can easily use a midi or usb one though.
I suggest to consider it, I was in the same search and I ended up buying an mc101 and I really like pianos and organs on it.
Now I want to upgrade to 707 for deeper editing but even using just 101 presets is a pleasure.
Old 28th February 2020
  #8
Gear Addict
Another option is the Roland FA series. When I got back to gigging a few years ago, I had a similar decision. Ended up with an FA-06 (the FA-07 didn't exist then - or I would have chosen it, for the better keyboard action). Anyway - for bread and butter tones, the Rolands are great. The VR series probably has a better Organ tone, if that's important - but the FA feels more flexible for sounds. If you go the FA route... there are a lot of shared Studio Sets on Roland Clans forum for the series.

g'luck -

joe
Old 28th February 2020
  #9
Deleted 3eb1160
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDoo View Post
Another option is the Roland FA series. When I got back to gigging a few years ago, I had a similar decision. Ended up with an FA-06 (the FA-07 didn't exist then - or I would have chosen it, for the better keyboard action). Anyway - for bread and butter tones, the Rolands are great. The VR series probably has a better Organ tone, if that's important - but the FA feels more flexible for sounds. If you go the FA route... there are a lot of shared Studio Sets on Roland Clans forum for the series.

g'luck -

joe
Did you also try the new Roland Fantom?
It sounds very impressive from the videos.
Quite expensive though.
Old 29th February 2020
  #10
Gear Addict
If I didn't already have an FA-06 and a JD-XA, the Fantom would be on my radar. The FA really shines as a bread and butter keyboard though... and when you factor in the Roland Axial site, and the free downloads which are available... it deserves a look imo, especially if you're looking to get started without dropping a bundle at the get-go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simpler View Post
Did you also try the new Roland Fantom?
It sounds very impressive from the videos.
Quite expensive though.
Old 29th February 2020
  #11
Deleted 3eb1160
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDoo View Post
If I didn't already have an FA-06 and a JD-XA, the Fantom would be on my radar. The FA really shines as a bread and butter keyboard though... and when you factor in the Roland Axial site, and the free downloads which are available... it deserves a look imo, especially if you're looking to get started without dropping a bundle at the get-go.
Yeah I want to give it a try.
I am loving the sounds of mc101 which is the cheapest of them all so I think Fantom should be even better.
I really like the Electric pianos of mc, I use stage piano a lot with tremolo and it sounds very convincing to me and has very good dynamics.
Old 29th February 2020
  #12
Lives for gear
 

You'd have to buy it used. I think the Jupiter-80 was called a digital virtual analog synth with acoustic and behavior modeling. There are sellers trolling for ridiculous money, because people have figured out how versatile these are, but more reasonable deals still pop up. The Jupiter-80's Version 2 update is detailed in some reviews of the Jupiter-50, which is its plastic (lighter weight) slightly cut back and much cheaper incarnation. IMO, either is a better choice than the Roland VRs. You can layer the sounds, but this is Mr. Varaldo's excellent demo of its sounds on their own:



I can't wait to try out the Yamaha YC61. It costs a little more than a used Jupiter-80 should, but it's so new, it's still on preorder. Compared to the Jupes, it's much more specialized and simplified, even more immediate, but less versatile. Apparently, it has newly developed Yamaha waterfall keys. There's also the CP73, which has piano keys and a different selection of tones, but I think no organ.



In this video, I like that he shows the looper in action at the end:



The Korg SV-2 is stylish and fun. Well, I've only played an SV-1, but it won't be much different, right? It's a fine choice. Now, the Vox Continental... are these keys supposed to feel period-accurate? Why?

On the very budget end, min spec for the application, Korg has the new i3 rompler/arranger whatever it is, available for preorder. The promo vids focus on synth pop, but I downloaded the Voice Name List. It has plenty of all the typical sounds you'd find in a workstation and need.

If I wanted a cheaper Roland, I would get the FA06 over the new Junos. For a cheaper more generalized Yamaha keyboard, in order of preference (and price, not coincidentally) MODX > MOFX > MX61.

You may as well also check out the newest Nord Wave.

I don't know much about Crumar. The Seven doesn't have an Organ, and as far as I know, the Mojo only has 2 EPs and no acoustic piano. I've never seen a Dexibell. They sound great in the videos!

There's the Kurzweil SP4, like a cheaper version of their Forte. Those are worth researching too.

IMO, the modern Hammonds have better waterfall keys than Nord's, which I prefer over Roland's. We'll see about the YC61 keys. Not sure if you care whether it's synth, piano, or organ style keys.

Well, you asked for other options...
Old 29th February 2020
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Nord is probably a good bet. Maybe pick up a used model from a previous range. They’re quite solid, so it should be fine.

Sounds like the kind of thing you want.

edit: Yes, the Stage is what I was referring to, just to be clear.

Last edited by pimket; 29th February 2020 at 10:07 AM.. Reason: clarification
Old 29th February 2020
  #14
Lives for gear
 

A used Nord Stage 2 is probably the most solid all-rounder for live playing.
Portable, reliable, developed specifically for gigging, wysiwyg interface with almost zero learning curve, fully customizable with your own sounds and programs.

For cheaper offerings, the Electro is basically half a Nord Stage, but it's missing the synth section.
(but you can load any sampled synth sound you want)

The Continental, VR09 and VR730 are all good alternatives for t price.
The new yamahas look very good (CP more piano-centric, YC organ- and synth-centric) but are pricy
Old 29th February 2020
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

My solution to that problem is a monstrosity I call the Liberace project. I have a Reface CP, 2 Reface YC, 6 Roland Boutiques (with 3 more polychained but not visible), 1 88 key controller and 2 61 key controllers in a Virtual Pipe Organ-inspired cabinet.

It could be done similarly with less complexity.
Old 29th February 2020
  #16
Gear Addict
 
SoundReverend's Avatar
I would add the Kurzweil PC3 series to the list. Can only be found used, but they have really good Piano, Organs (you can use the 9 sliders as drawbars) , Strings and also Synths. You can tweak the sounds but I use it mainly as preset machine.

Someone mentioned the JP-80. Really good synth but you don't want to carry that thing around, that is a really heavy device. But the integra 7 does almost the same thing, that with a nice keyboard from Arturia or maybe a used Virus TI

Choices are unreal nowadays.
Old 29th February 2020
  #17
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GeminIAm's Avatar
I've got a Juno DS61. There's a 76 and 88 version too. I really like mine, good bread and butter sounds, light and quite cheap. Simple to operate as well which is useful live.
Old 29th February 2020
  #18
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Mastropiero's Avatar
Kurzweil PC4, undoubtedly:
  • 88 keys, weighted action.
  • VAST synthesis engine (deep synthesis features).
  • VA1 virtual analogue engine
  • FM synthesizer (compatible with Yamaha DX series)
  • B3 organ emulation.
  • Huge high-quality sample library (outstanding pianos and orchestral sounds).
  • You can load up to 2 GB of user samples.
  • High-end FX processor.
  • Compatible with thousands of Kurzweil patches from the K-series.
  • Weight is just 14 kilos!!!!!
  • Full sequencer, riff generator, arpeggiator, CC sequencer...
  • 16-part multitimbral
  • Powerful MIDI controller (it is worth it only as a controller for the price).

https://www.noisebug.net/products/kurzweil-pc4

Old 29th February 2020
  #19
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Mastropiero's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PuggaMahone View Post
There's the Kurzweil SP4, like a cheaper version of their Forte. Those are worth researching too.
For a cheaper version of the Forte I'd go with the PC4 instead.
Old 29th February 2020
  #20
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RetroFunk's Avatar
 

If I understand the requirements correctly and not repeating myself, the Roland VR-09B is worth trying at around £520 new. I do suggest go try one though, the keybed isn't for everyone. I like to bash organ and the bigger 73 version has waterfall keybed and generally plays a lot better, ideally we want the VR09 with that keybed.
I only tried the organ part, for me it's ok but there are a few oddies, the leakage doesn't work as it should. I also know Roland have done a lot of firmware updates too. The overdrive sounded a bit nasty but there is a tone control.
I didn't get chance to see what settings get saved, so when changing from piano to organ what parameters remain and what get reset. These details get debated.
To be fair, I'd need to have one for week, do the programming (as in, get the settings to suit my style) and then see how it holds up. I want the Les to be on the footpedal, it seems some people have soldered in a jack socket and then in a firmware update that option has been added.
Old 29th February 2020
  #21
Lives for gear
 
soultrane's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigggmike1 View Post
Hi,

Basically, is there a keyboard that can provide:
-High quality piano and organ, that will have the Rhodes, Wurly, etc sounds
-Some synth sounds
-Some synth making capabilities
-Easy to use

I saw the Nord Stage 3 has these qualities, as it has a synth engine in addition to it's ROMPLER? engine. I'm wondering about a Yamaha Motif. Basically considering all options!

I'm turned off by the Nord Stage 3 price, and I've heard the synth is not that great. I've never used an arranger/workstation----I'd be willing to mess with it as long as there's not a huge learning curve, as my patience is not the greatest.
Stage 3 has an excellent synth (the previous models didn’t). In addition, it’s light weight and the user interface is very easy. Motif on the other hand is back breakingly heavy and not nearly as easy to tweak live as the NS3
Old 29th February 2020
  #22
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kwaping's Avatar
I started this thread a while ago, maybe some of the responses there might help you.

A good rompler with good synthesis too?
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