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#8500 - 12/15/07 10:13 AM Which Keyboard Should I Buy?
djcream Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/15/07
Posts: 2
Loc: brooklyn, ny usa
Hello all, noob here. I read around the boards for some advice regarding my situation, but didn't find the info I'm looking for so I thought to start a new thread.

I'm looking for advice on which keyboard to buy - I'm overwhelmed by the amount of info & keyboards available & was hoping you's could help me narrow it down.

My current requirements:

*88 key, weighted digital piano
*Realistic keys that *feel* like a real piano
*Great, realistic sound
*Midi capabilities (in/out/thru)
*Some built in piano sounds, and some organ sounds esp. *Rhodes*.
*Metronome

I'm fairly new to midi so I'm not sure I understand which capabilities I need in a new keyboard to use sounds I already have, like B4II, Ivory, Akoustik Piano, etc.

I own an older keyboard workstation (Roland XP-50), so I really don't need a full workstation. Besides, all of my sequencing is done on Pro Tools. I would use the new keyboard mainly to play & record pianos & organs.

I'm a songwriter producing/arranging my own songs, so I need to be able to hook it up with my current system: so in case it matters I'm using:

Pro Tools LE 7.3
Mbox 2 Pro
PowerBook G4 2 Gb's Ram
OS X 10.4.9

Regarding my price range: I'm trying to keep it below $1000, but I want to get the right KB at the best deal possible, so I would spend $1500+, but I sure would love to find the right KB for $300!

I appreciate any feedback!!


[This message has been edited by djcream (edited 12-15-2007).]

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#8501 - 12/15/07 12:40 PM Re: Which Keyboard Should I Buy?
3351 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/17/03
Posts: 1194
Loc: Toronto, Canada.
Well, there should be a bunch of stage pianos out there but if you're planning to record organ and piano sounds and you already have a DAW it would make sense to invest in software instruments. Better bang for the buck and way way way way better sound if you're looking for authentic Rhodes, Organs and huge acoustic piano sounds. You'd need a CPu from hell of course.

Out of all keyboards I've tried (big fan of weighted keys here too) I prefer Yamaha weighted keyboards. So if they make stage pianos with KB feel similar to that of the Motif ES8, XS8,S90, S90ES etc I'd go for one of those. Mind you, for organ playing weighted keys hurt so I keep a DX7 on top of my Motif ES8 just for organ parts. Using both as controllers nowadays since software and a few hardware toys take care of the restt.

FOr nice Rhodes I like using Lounge Lizard EP3. For organs USB Charley and NI B4 II. For acoustic pianos I like the White grand and Ivory. ...As well as some gigasampler piano libraries I bought a while ago.

I mean this is how I would do it. May be you'd prefer to deal with hardware only (if your computer is too slow to handle multiple instances of CPU demanding softwware synths). I just can't think of any weighted keyboards that feel great and sound great at the same time. yamaha's about it. Kurz is great too but I don't really like Kurz's semi-weighted let alone weighted keys. Just not for me. Of course, we're all different so I still think you should try a whole bunch of stuff before making up your mind.

cheers,
_________________________
A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings unintentionally.
- - - Oscar Wilde

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#8502 - 12/15/07 01:37 PM Re: Which Keyboard Should I Buy?
djcream Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/15/07
Posts: 2
Loc: brooklyn, ny usa
Thanks 3351, your advice already getting me closer to figuring out what I need (besides piano lessons :-).

Quote:
Originally posted by 3351:
Well, there should be a bunch of stage pianos out there but if you're planning to record organ and piano sounds and you already have a DAW it would make sense to invest in software instruments. Better bang for the buck and way way way way better sound if you're looking for authentic Rhodes, Organs and huge acoustic piano sounds. You'd need a CPu from hell of course.


Right, I have invested in quite a few software instruments that I've been using & love. The XP-50 (50 keys, non-weighted) is my current controller, and I want a full 88 key KB mainly to play/record piano parts. I've not had any CPU issues to mention running Ivory, B4II, etc. Which VI's do you think I might run into problems with? (Have 1.5 Ghz PPC),

Quote:
Originally posted by 3351:
Out of all keyboards I've tried (big fan of weighted keys here too) I prefer Yamaha weighted keyboards. So if they make stage pianos with KB feel similar to that of the Motif ES8, XS8,S90, S90ES etc I'd go for one of those. Mind you, for organ playing weighted keys hurt so I keep a DX7 on top of my Motif ES8 just for organ parts. Using both as controllers nowadays since software and a few hardware toys take care of the restt.


Good that you point out the weighted keys/organ weirdness, I was wondering about that. I suppose I will continue to use the XP-50 to control organ VI's. I'm not personally familiar with the KB's you mention,but I will get to Guitar Center & check them out for feel & compare.


Quote:
Originally posted by 3351:
FOr nice Rhodes I like using Lounge Lizard EP3. For organs USB Charley and NI B4 II. For acoustic pianos I like the White grand and Ivory. ...As well as some gigasampler piano libraries I bought a while ago.


OOh. Charley, I want that! Have heard such good things. Also will check out Lounge Lizard. Thanks for the tips!

One other thing I'm wondering/confused about: A lot of the keyboards I've looked out only offer Midi IN/OUT but not THRU. Since I'm already using one KB controller with my DAW, wouldn't I need Midi THRU to hook everything up together once I get the 2nd keyboard?

Many thanks!!

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#8503 - 12/15/07 06:29 PM Re: Which Keyboard Should I Buy?
3351 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/17/03
Posts: 1194
Loc: Toronto, Canada.
Most keyboards that sport only mIDI In and Out let you use the MIDI Out socket as an optional MIDI Thru. Shouldn't be a problem. ...But in case you're going to add more MIDI synths in the future get yourself some simple 4-Port MIDI interface and save yourself the trouble of having to deal with MIDI Thru.

cheers

PS
B4 II and Lounge Lizard should be okay since they are CPu friendly. The UVI engine on the other hand (sample playback engine used by Spectrasonics and Ultimate Sound bank) can be a bit of a CPU hog. On older machines anyway. At least I couldn't really load more than one or two instances of UVI based soft synths on my old Mac G4 (933Mhz PowerPC). exporting audio off-line took just moments to do so it wasn't really an issue for me. My new dual 2.7Ghz G5 can handle virtually unlimited amount of soft synths (even the ones I once considered to be CPU hogs) but I still bounce to disk. I'm used to doing it that way I guess.

[This message has been edited by 3351 (edited 12-15-2007).]
_________________________
A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings unintentionally.
- - - Oscar Wilde

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