Best keyboard to add for classic/eighties rock band
I've got an Alesis QS 8 and am looking to add a new keyboard for our weekend warrior classic and 80's rock band. We play a bunch of Boston, Cars, Foreigner, Journey, Kansas, Loverboy, Queen, Steely Dan, Styx, etc., and changing patches mid-song on the Alesis is killing me. The ideal keyboard would cost less than $1500 and weigh much less than the 60-pound Alesis. I've been out of the loop for so many years. Any suggestions?
If you are privy to used gear, I think an Alesis Fusion would fit the bill on sound and weight very well...very versatile and of course you can have multiple patches at once so no need to switch mid-song. I got mine for $350 on CL...so you'd be quite well under budget as well.
Check out the King Korg, might be suitable. Price and weight ($1300 / 15 lb.) certainly satisfy your criteria, and the capability of setting up quick access to favorite patches seems really useful for quick changes.
yeah, it seems for most of the bands you mentioned, you need a decent piano/electric piano, access to some decent analog style sounds etc..... seems like the new king korg would be right up your alley without a whole lot of fuss. I haven't messed with it myself, but seems like it would be perfect for what you are trying to do. as previous posters mentioned, the dx7 and juno 106 were probably used on a lot of the recording of the og bands you mentioned, but just one by themselves would be limiting, and it seems like you don't want to lug a lot of gear. i think the new korg can cover all the ground you need for your purposes....
I have played in several weekend warrior classic/80s rock bands. In cover bands like this it's not really all that important to get the keys to sound exactly like the original records. Just take a look at Youtube videos of the band you mentioned that still tour and look at what synths they are using, none of them are using vintage synths.
A great option for weekend warrior classic rock type bands is the Casio XW-P1 because it has multiple synth engines that would work great.
The "solo synth" engine is a pretty good monophonic VA that makes great lead sounds. If you play songs like "Crystal Ball" from Styx you will easily find a patch for that classic lead sound.
It also has a great "draw bar organ" engine that sounds really nice and has an excellent Leslie simulation.
Then there is the "Hex Layer" engine which stacks up to 6 patches on top of each other. There are some great Piano and Pad/String sounds there as well as great general pads.
It is also very easy to setup your patches for easy switching during your set. You will also find a lot of the presets are geared towards cover bands. For example there is a patch called "Africa" that is is the sound from Toto's song Africa
The Casio goes for $500 so it is a real bargain for what it does, it is also very light weight and easy to transport.
Since you have a budget of up to $1500 and the Casio is only $500 I would also suggest getting a Korg Microstation for $399 and buying it from Sweetwater.com It has mini keys which I have found quite easy to adjust to, however you could also play it easily via MIDI from the XW-P1. It is a very good source of sounds for classic rock and has a very good synth engine as well. The cool thing about buying it from Sweetwater is they will also give you a SD card with an amazing virtual B3 program created by a guy named Daniel Fisher who works there. It sounds amazing.
The MicroStation also has a bunch of sounds from the Korg M1 including the great electric piano from the M1