hunting for a keyboard with fairly specific features.
Posted on Jan 03, 2004 02:38 pm
Member Since: Jan 03, 2004
I'm hunting for a keyboard that is 88 keys that are NOT weighted. I want a keyboard, not a keyboard that's a wanna-be piano (though you may call that statement hypocritical when you see a couple of my other needs lol).
other features it must have are:
MIDI I/O (and through proferably but that's not as critical at this point)
Jacks for sustain AND expression pedals. (hard to find both around here for some reason, even at guitar center oddly enough)
Stereo analog outs
Aftertouch, & touch respnse
Very expressive mod and pitch-bend wheels (not buttons, wheels).
S/PDIF would be useful, but isn't crucial
This one's a little weird; I'd like a keyboard with a very good sample quality Bosendorfer Grand, (OR, and I know this isn't hardware related, but if anyone knows a VE or softsynth Bosendorfer Grand that would work well in SONAR 3, please let me know).
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Jan 03, 2004 03:05 pm I have a Roland JP8000 if you live in the uk and are interested.
Since: Dec 30, 2002
Jan 03, 2004 03:16 pm damn. I always knew my living over here would bite me on the butt one day :(
but thanks for the offer :) Very nice keyboard.
Jan 03, 2004 07:15 pm If you're going to be using MIDI and softsnths a lot what I reccomend doing is just buying a MIDI controller keyboard, they usually have a pitch and mod wheel as well as user assignable knobs for controlling anything you can program them to control. They do lack the analog outs and some of the other things you mentioned though...
Since: Apr 07, 2002
I don't know much about keyboards honestly, I use mostly synths and stuff, some of which have keyboards on them, but most of them are soft synths that are controlled via a MIDI keyboard. Brands to check out might be Roland, Emu, Yamaha, Akai, Casio... I really don't know
Jan 03, 2004 07:18 pm my korg triton does most of that, though i'm not sure about the pedal jacks.
i can tell you that the piano sounds suck. but you could use it to trigger something.
Noize2uCzar of MidiAdministrator
Jan 03, 2004 08:29 pm bensf81, do you want another hardware synth in this keyboard? I ask this since you state you want analog and S/PDIF out. The Korg Triton is probably the best bet in that case, and you can load a sampled bosendorfer into it. I would probably recomend a Kurzwiel above the Triton though if good grand piano sounds are what your after, but the high end Kurz is going to have piano weighted keys as well.
Since: Apr 04, 2002
I will tell you what I use for a controller and why I use it instead of another synth as a controller. I use the Fatar StudioLogic SL-1100 for many differant reasons, but Ill stick with a few key ones. I use both hardware and software synths in most of my music and productions. My hardware synths are all rack units, this saves space for me. The Fatar controller does have piano weighted keys although I know they make them with semi weighted and synth weighted as well. It is 88 keys, full midi I/O with midi THRU as well. It has both sustain and an volume/exprsion pedal and both are assignable to whatever midi control number you wish. It also has two sliders which are assignable as well. The keyboard can be split into up to four zones as well with each zone haveing its own velocity and aftertouch pressure setup. There are also two control wheels which can be setup for whatever you wish. It is one of the best controllers on the market and I have tried many differant types.
Let me know which way you prefer to go and Ill try and steer you into a keyboard or controller that will be right for what you want. If it is another synth keyboard you prefer to go with I will get you the model numger of the Kurzwiel that would suit your needs best.
Noize 2 U
Jan 03, 2004 09:51 pm Thank-you very much. I have to say this board is full of the most eager to help people I've ever seen on such a forum and I really appreciate it!
Well I am just getting into MIDI, but I do plan to do alot with it once I'm good enough..primarily only drumtracks though and although I intend for them to be pretty elaborate once I understand everything, they probably won't occupy more than 4 tracks. I might just use the sequencer on the keyboard for them, then send it to the DAW.
What I primarily do, is record actualy real time performances. Drum tracks as you know are the exception because while I can proudly say I have good timing, it ain't THAT good lol. But as far as the music, it's 'live' and real time. It's philosophy thing I guess. Unless it's a specific sort of song, I don't want to edit the actual piano roll of a song apart from drum tracks. So I always have, and probably still would, use analog outs for the bulk of what I'm doing (except when printing the music out). I suppose I could just as easily use MIDI. I just figure with the good converters in our soundscards now I might as well use analog.
What I'm realy after is intricate rela time performance. That's why I don't wantweighted keys, I'm more experienced on a keyboard than a piano. And that's the reason for the emphasis on the expression pedal and control ribons/wheels. I mean, I've been known to break out a Jimi Hendrix or Stevie Vaughn rendition or two, y'know what I mean? Lol. I want to really play my heart out. I'm one of those weirdos who plays the keyboard like it's a guitar I guess.
I also play guitar, usually an accoustic electric Fender dreadnaught, just through preamps, no miking (that's not true 100% of the time though, it depends of course).
So that's why I sort of need a little of everything.
I was thinking about a Yamaha Motif ES. But what you're talking about does sound close, and the Yamaha is pretty pricey and seems like overkill. I was hoping for soething that only does everthing I listed plus a limited sequencer onboard, not a whole multitrack system with mastering processes and everything lol. That's what Sonar's for! (Kinda shocked by everything it has actually). Do you have any further suggestions based on this post?
Also, I found two things..one is by EastWest and it's calledthe Bosendorfer and it's a virtual instrument. It sounds pretty advanced and I'm not sure if it's VST DirectX or Rewire or DXI or what, or if it would work in Sonar. failing that there's a plugin I know would work in Sonar by Steinberg caled simply "the Grand." i've been told it can be made to sound "somewhat close" to a Bosendorfer. I'm skeptical. what do you think?
Jan 03, 2004 10:30 pm P.S.
You know what, I think 61 keys would do ok. It's a compromise but I think as long as it's over 49 I'll be alright.
I've looked at the StudioLogics and Tritons in the last few minutes. Triton Pro doesn't appear to have an expression pedal jack. And I can't seem to see where the best StudioLogic unweighted keyboard (SL-61...not to be confused with the SL-161) has any analog outs. but until I can get something betterI may spring for it. It's under 500 bucks and has ALMOST everything I want...I just hope there's a good virtual Bosendorfer out there somewhere. I hate to be anal about that ONE little aspect. I just love the way those pianos sound. They sound so reverberant that they're almost metalic but not quite. And the extended bass depth they have is just my favorite sound to hear in music of all time.
But gettign back to the keyboard itself (minus the Bosey) Lol I'm gonna be a little surprised if there are no keyboards but the yamaha motif es series that offer everything I want. But I'll get that if that's all there is. (God that's alot to spend though lol).
Jan 03, 2004 11:29 pm bens,
are you sure about the triton having no expression pedal jack? i would find that pretty odd. korg makes a dedicated expresison pedal. i dont understand why thier flagship synth wouldn't have a jack for that.
i can tell you that the triton's internal sequencer is second to none. the keyboard's got a big, easy to read touch-panel display--like bank teller machines--that makes sequencing a breeze.
and noize is right. you can load samples into the thing. although you've got to map them by placing a new sample every few keys, i think. so that the pitch correction doesn't sound fake.
triton also has a very good pitch bend joystick that sits inside of a vertical control of some sort. which means you get side to side and vertical action. you can map any of the triton's internal effects to those controls. you've got complete mapping control with the triton for effects. there are several ways to control effects.
Jan 04, 2004 12:09 am sounds sweet. I am very attracted to them...it's just the nagging lack of an expression pedal. I could be wrong. I was going by the specs at Tritonhaven.com Maybe I missed it? (there was alot to read).
What's all this about mapping? There's another new term. Lol. I've just been doing straight audio for quite some time. When it's all done it'll play like any other instrument patch right? and you are talking about just somethingI loador physicaly install right? I don't have to actually go do sampling do I? Lol. 'Causewhile I'm a fast learner that's a bit beyond my reach at the moment. (I'm guessing that's not the case though).
Also, is pitch bend adjustale with respect to how much of an octaveor how many octaves it can go? And can I choose between hlding thebend aslongas I want, and setting it to only bend briefly even if I'm still holding it (with some cool delay effects for instance)?
Yeah I sawthat joystick-like wheel. That issweet lol. I realy do relish being able to do it horizontally instead of just vertically. (Feels more natural to me I guess because keyboard is more of a left and right instrument as oposed to up and down hehe).
Jan 04, 2004 12:11 am P.S.
My space bar is shot to hell. can ya tell? Lol.
Jan 04, 2004 12:22 am P.P.S.
Ok I went and looked again. It says it has an assignable and a damper. So I guess the assignable can be used as an expression jack but I wanted sustain and expression together. I don't use dampen at all for the most part. I just play short when I need to lol.
also, I looked at some user groups, and alot of posters were not being very encouraging with respect to the sample storage and overall sound quality especialy with respect to grand piano realism.
What do you think? I'm leaning more and more towards the yamaha aka the-one-I-can't-really-afford lol.
Jan 04, 2004 12:38 am triton haven is just run by fans and home-owners, isnt it? maybe check korg.com for real specs.
if you want to load samples into the triton you have to physically bring the sound into the triton, and assign it to a certain key. you might map a low c to low c, then tell triton to pitch-alter that sample for the next two octaves (so you can play it like a real keyboard) and then go two octaves up and map a middle c sample from the bosendorfer sample pack to that key. and do that every 2 octaves or so. this is so youre not just telling the triton to take the initial low c sample and just bend it upwards to infinity, pitch stretching it so that that one sample becomes the core sample for every key on the board. if you did that, you'd lose certain sonic information and it would start to sound fake.
if you want to load samples into the triton, you use a floppy drive. i'm not sure if there's a way to load your bosendorfer permanently into memory. when i messed around with mapping samples into the keyboard, i'd have to load my sample every time i turned on the keyboard, which was a horrible pain. i stopped immediately. i believe that i just didnt go deep enough into the instruction manual, though. there's probably a way to streamline the process. this is one thing i'd check if getting samples into your board if, say, live gigging is important to you. obviously, if you use the triton as midi triggering keyboard, you dont have to worry about this.
from what i've seen, most everything on the triton is adjustable to whichever way you prefer. don't quote me on that, though. i haven't used the pitch wheel all that much.
Jan 04, 2004 12:51 am Hmmmm. Ok I see what you're saying. Otherwise it would just be like transposing and it wouldn't sound authentic anymore.
I'll hold out hope for a DIX ReWire or VST Bosey I can just trigger in Sonar. Although it would be nice to mess around with the EQ on the Triton first before performing (a little very limited pre-tweakage can make a fake sounding piano sound almost real I've found..though in sonar that shouldn't even be an issue I guess with all the stuff at my disposal; should it? Still, I'm a strong believer in leavingas little work up to the mixing and mastering as possible and getting the sound right before I ever lay down any tracks so...the floppy option as I will now call it-lol-might be valuale).
So can I change the dampen to sustain? If I can I may just go with this because it's definitely more affordable.
I will definitely have to go down to guitar center or someplace and play them though before I decide. If the grand piano out of the box sounds better on the yamaha, that's very pursuasive to me.
Jan 04, 2004 01:15 am i'd check out the pedals, and find out once and for all what the triton offers.
it's true, about the EQ. i've made some nice piano patches using the tritons piano programs. it takes some playing around, though.
sounds like you're interested in trigering vst's in your studio environment. any midi keyboard will do that. u might not require anything like a triton.
Jan 04, 2004 01:41 am Yeah having control over the sound before ever recording is great...not to mention for performances, natch.
I wish it was as simple as just using any MIDI controller. The caveat lies in my need for everything else I mentioned. Why doesn't anyone have a mid-range-priced MIDI controller with all those features anyway? I mean you'd think most of what I'm after is pretty basic. But for some reason the lower priced keyboards appear to lack one or two of them lol.
I'd give my left..um..foot, so as not to be vulgar, for just a plain old controller with nice expressive pitch bend and mod wheels that'll sound good in recordings and live and offer lots of editability, expression and sustain pedals, 61 or more keys, stereo analog outs, MID I/O, maybe somebasic (even just three band at this point would be ok if it had everything else!) EQ and unweighted keys. Surely one must exist somewhere that isn't so high-end as a Triton or Motif? Lol.
Jan 04, 2004 04:40 pm i am going to owe you guys so much when all is said and done lol.
I believe I have settled on the Alesis QS6.2
It's affordable, unweighted, and has everything I want.
also, I spent all night last night and all day today (must sleep soon lest I strt to hallucinate) reading everything I could find on softsynths, MIDI, etc. I know that nothing compares to actually doingit, and learning it hands on. BUT, I can already tell right now, this is some FRICKIN' powerful stuff! To the point even that I almost don't care what the patches on the keyboard sound like because I may wind up using softsynths almost exclusively. Even when performing.
A W E S O M E.
*ben is already infatuated with it now* lol
Noize2uCzar of MidiAdministrator
Jan 04, 2004 05:14 pm Kool, I thought the Alesis might trip your trigger. It is a bit more affordable then the rest, but does have all the little things you were looking for. Their sounds a really pretty good and they do have cards that beef up the tone banks so that isnt a big deal.
Since: Apr 04, 2002
And ya, when I first switched to all PC run DAW I was skeptical, but soon learned that I could do so much more and do it twice as fast. Now I can do what used to take me weeks in maybe a day or two. Except for my own stuff which for some reason still seems to take forever. lol
Gald wwe could help, now go get some sleep and keep us posted as to what your doing. That what keeps this forum bouncing and alive.
Jan 04, 2004 07:43 pm Lol. I think many musicians suffer from the "it doesn't sound right to me but everyone else says it's fine, go to masters!" syndrome lol.
Working with other peoples' material does seem to go 100 times faster because we're probably more objective. But when it comes to our own creations...forget about it! lol. Weeks and weeks tweaking fractions of dbs and stuff just to get the first mix right. Probably because we know it so well, and nothing we do will ever perfectly match what we hear in our heads.
That's cool though. Better to take to long with it then not long enough. Right?
Yeah I'm getting the Alesis. This may be sad to those of you with more extensive gear arsenals, but it'll still bethe finest instrument I've ever owned lmao.
as for sleep...I tried. And dreamt about Sonar. LOL. I'll try again though. *ben pops some melatonin*
flame...bringing sexy backMember
Jan 05, 2004 11:12 am id love to have someone work for me, who got the mix perfect every time, first time. save me messing about with the mix for 6 monthes on every tune i do...
Since: Jul 01, 2002
Jan 05, 2004 09:57 pm I just go by what Elliot Smith (may he rest in peace) said:
(This isn't a direct quote because I'm doing it from memory but it's close)
"I just try to focus on making sure you can hear everything. And I have a rule that if I go for more than twenty minutes, I take a break. If I had any patience I'd worry about levels."
flame...bringing sexy backMember
Jan 06, 2004 05:32 am you gotta have loadsa breaks man...otherwise youll just mess it up...
Since: Jul 01, 2002
Noize2uCzar of MidiAdministrator
Jan 06, 2004 06:58 pm Thats why I got this big high back leather chair in here. It makes for nice naps in between edits. And besides that, its only a few steps and I got two futons to choose from for a quick nap. Lotsa video games and crap as well. I usually am writing here if Im not mixng or working, or doing the boyscout thing. Besides that, if I wanna go have a cig, I gotta get up and go out to the garage.
Since: Apr 04, 2002
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