View Full Version : Keyboards
05-03-2006, 02:50 AM
I'm planning on getting a job and saving up money for a keyboard (preferably one that costs less than $2000 and has a layout and feel similar to that of a normal piano).
Any specific recommendations?
05-03-2006, 03:06 AM
Whoops I meant to post this in GenDisc but maybe it's more appropriate here??????
05-03-2006, 03:12 AM
well for starters, is 'less than 2000$' an exaggeration or are you looking for something in the 1000-1500$ price range ?
05-03-2006, 03:23 AM
The $1000 to $1500 range sounds good.
05-03-2006, 05:49 AM
Alesis Fusion 8HD : http://www.zzounds.com/item--ALEFUSION8HD
Yamaha Mo8 :
Very much like a digital piano:
Yamaha P140 :
05-03-2006, 10:41 PM
This is an important thread and should be stickied.
Thanks for the suggestions, guys.
05-03-2006, 10:47 PM
Everything in here is important and should be sticked.
05-04-2006, 01:23 AM
I actually can't stand the Yamaha brand one bit. A great workstation out there is the Korg Triton Extreme, the 61-key will run you about $1900, its worth trying out and its a popular workstation so testing one out won't be too hard to do. I don't know much about digital pianos and whatnot so I'll skip that.
What I can reccomend, however, are synths. One of the most popular and arguably the most powerful hardware synth out there right now, the access virus, has keyboard variants, but will probably run you over $2000 unless you snag a local deal. Minimoog Voyagers are priced under $2000 but personally, I'd go with Novation's Supernova synth. I don't think Supernovas are produced anymore but finding a second-hand one won't be too hard and it won't run you too much either.
Another solution is to get a huge MIDI controller keyboard and then get VSTi's. You won't get the warm and unique sound of a real synth but you'll save a lot of money. You probably won't drop more than $500 for the controller (88-key too!) itself and then you'll plop down about $150-300 per synth itself, but in the end you'll end up with a keyboard and 5 synths whereas beforehand you'd just end up with a keyboard.
05-04-2006, 01:55 AM
A few things.
1. A "synth" in the sense of the Access Virus are good for basically one thing - synthetic sounds. If you're looking for an all around setup, a synth like the virus is pretty much the last thing this guy would probably want. I really would NOT recommend he get one unless he's strictly looking for electronic sounds. Even the ones you recommended aren't really good for all-in-one synth stuff (though the Voyager, for example, is excellent in general for what it does). If he was going for something that produces a wide range of synth sounds, I think there are better choices.
2. You really can't generalize and say VSTs are not as "warm" or "unique" as hardware synths. With the latest generation of VSTs, like Minimonsta, Imposcar, Arturia's line of stuff, and the Korg Legacy synths, VSTs sound pretty damn good. Also, things like Reaktor and Absynth are every bit as unique as many hardware synths are - if not moreso.
3. Echoing Yoozer's recommendations. All of those models are quite good in my experience.
05-04-2006, 06:21 AM
This is an important thread and should be stickied.
No :). See, all I did was look for "88" in the Zzounds search engine and cross away everything more expensive than $1500.
05-04-2006, 02:22 PM
At risk of derailing the thread, What makes a great keyboard? I use a Roland XP-10 (61-key, unweighted) and it does most everything I expect a good keyboard to do. Yet it's $300, a fifth of the price of what I'm seeing here. Does adding 2 more octaves and weighting the keys generally quintuple the value? The XP-10 has some very nice samples and I'm happy with it. The only weird thing about it is that it has no speakers, but I can just plug it in or use headphones no problem. I'm just curious what qualities a higher level keyboard should have.
05-04-2006, 03:07 PM
At risk of derailing the thread, What makes a great keyboard?
Value for money. The ability to achieve your goal (composing a song, designing a sound, recording a part) quickly. Stability (e.g. not crapping out on you when you have to perform).
I use a Roland XP-10 (61-key, unweighted) and it does most everything I expect a good keyboard to do. Yet it's $300, a fifth of the price of what I'm seeing here. Does adding 2 more octaves and weighting the keys generally quintuple the value?
It was $300 when you bought it. That wasn't the price for a brand new unit.
The XP-10 is not a true XP/JV unit but uses a cheaper synthesis engine based on the Sound Canvas series. It is not expandable. It does not have a sequencer. It does not have a sampler. It does not have alternate synthesis methods or the ability to plug them in. It's got a smaller display.
The XP-10 has some very nice samples and I'm happy with it.
That's great. If it works for you - awesome, and don't let any of this talk hold you back in any way. This is not meant in a patronizing fashion; if it's good, it's good.
The only weird thing about it is that it has no speakers, but I can just plug it in or use headphones no problem.
That's absolutely not a weird thing. On-board speakers are nearly worthless in a studio environment. Live - you're playing on a PA anyway. For practice, sure, why not. But then you pay for something you won't use in the studio, anyway.
I'm just curious what qualities a higher level keyboard should have.
The first thing you should do is recognize the difference between a "performance" oriented synthesizer like your XP-10 and a "workstation" oriented synthesizer like the Fusion or the Mo8. The latters have sequencers on-board. The reason a lot of people will use them for performance duties anyway is because there are simply no performance synthesizers by Yamaha or Alesis that offer the same soundset -without- the sequencer, and the S90 does not come in a 61-key package.
"Higher level" is also a subjective term. For instance, when your XP-10 was produced, there was also the XP-50, with a full XP/JV engine, sequencer, diskdrive, and expandability. After that, there came the XP-60 and 80 which increased the size of the display and features of the sequencer.
For Korg, there are now the OASYS, the Triton Extreme, the TR (used to be Triton Le) and the X-50. The OASYS is the flagship model with expandability in methods of synthesis and a touchscreen. The Triton Extreme has a smaller soundset and no Karma features. The TR has a stripped effects section and a smaller soundset. The X-50 has the TR's soundset but is sequencerless.
05-04-2006, 11:37 PM
I know I really wished I had weighted keys. I haven't played piano for long, but I can already tell it's difficult to put that certain amount of emotion into a real-time section when the keys are spring loaded.
That'll do Radium 61... that'll do.
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