I need info on keyboards

Discussion in 'Off Topic [DB]' started by toman, Oct 12, 2003.

  1. Ok, I know this is a pretty dorky thing to post on a double bass forum, but I was wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of a good souce for basic info about keyboards, workstations, sequencers, and stuff like that. I need to get something like a workstation keyboard to work on my piano playing as well as compositions and stuff. Seeing as I know very little about this kind of thing, I need to find out what technology is out there, what I need and don't need, and what's the most bang for the buck. Anybody?
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
  3. well, thats one of the things I'm not sure of. i.e. how much I need to spend to get what I want/ need... I'd like to spend under 1000 if possible, but I would go up to 1500 if I had to.
  4. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    New Jersey
    I had intended to purchase a synth a couple of years ago, but I ended up getting a Strunal instead. Don't really know why to this day, but the upright and bow's been too much fun to worry about it.

    This was my starting point for keyboard product info back then:
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Are you looking to sequence/multitrack with whatever you buy, or are you just interested in the sounds themselves? There are several ways to go here:

    1) You could lokk for a keyboard that feels a lot like a real piano;

    2) You could go for a unit that doesn't feel like a piano but has a lot of great sounds that you could use for sequencing;

    3) You could go for a cheesy MIDI input device to your computer and use a softsynth and computer sequencer.

    Unfortunately, to do all three would be beyond your budget, but any one or maybe even two of the above might work. Good luck.
  6. Good point Johnny, but fortunately I allready have a very nice bass and bow to work with. :bassist:

    I'm not all that concerned with it feeling super realistic, although obviously the more realistic the better. I'm not interested in sequencing with my computer really because I need to to be portable; so a midi controller and software is out of the question. So I guess that leaves me in the "good sounds and sequencing" category.

    I've lokked at the roland xp60 workstations before, and they seem pretty cool. And I could pick one up used in my price range. Are these any good? (I can't really tell because I have little experience with high tech stuff, and all the features make it like a candy store...)
  7. Chad Michael

    Chad Michael Suspended Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2001
    Pacific Northwest USA
    On the Harmony Central site, there is a forum for keys - synths - samplers, as well as owner reviews of just about every keyboard and related product imaginable. The forum would be glad to offer suggestions as long as you give some requirements:

    *How many keys (61, 73, 88)
    *Keys - piano weighted or synth weighted
    *What types of sounds do you like best (pianos, organs, basses, synths, strings, brass, etc)
    *New or used
    *Do you like to tweak (create your own sounds)
    *-or- preset sounds are fine?

    My opinion:

    Under $1000 - The Roland XP-60 (used)is an excellent choice. The sounds are fantastic, the keybed (the 'keys' that you play) feel great, I would highly recommend it. The XP60 does not have sampling capabilites which, as I understand, you don't need anyway. You may find one in great shape for $700 to $800, and have a few bucks for a nice keyboard stand.

    Up to $1500 - The Yamaha Motif 6. Since Yamaha came out with the new "Motif ES" series, the standard Motifs can be purchased new for $1500. The Motif is a top notch, state of the art synth, workstation, and sampler. This is one extremely powerful and versatile instrument - go to the motifator site here and listen to the demos. It has an excellent keybed as well.

    IMO - The Korg Triton LE61 would be great except for the fact that the keybed feels lifeless and plasticky :spit: I personally cannot stand crap feeling keybeds.
  8. Chad Michael

    Chad Michael Suspended Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2001
    Pacific Northwest USA
    FWIW -

    I play one of these with my band

    (20 year old Yamaha DX7 :cool: )

    ... and I have this as my home workstation
    (17 year old Ensoniq ESQ1 :) )
  9. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    New Jersey
    Back in the day sans upright...as I had alluded to in my previous post...there was this Oberheim piano module that I thought sounded absolutely fantastic for a really cheap price (something like $150). The piano sound seemed so realistic to me, and the background hiss didn't really bother me at all. I was going to go with an 88-weighted key controller of some kind and that at the time.

    They stopped making it though and I haven't bothered finding a used one on Ebay or some other place since. Probably great software by now you can buy for that price and create whatever sounds you can imagine - "real" or otherwise. Don't completely ignore the laptop/software/keyboard option unless it's just not your thing. At the $1500+ level there may be something both portable and flexible for you.

    I don't know if I could play one of those things without some pedals to keep my feet busy anyway, and my hands have recently been spoiled by a friend's pampered Steinway. Now THAT's a keyboard.
  10. great info guys, thanks a lot. I hadn't though of the laptop/ software idea, but thats really something to look into especially since a laptop would be convenient anyway. hmmm... oh, and the reason the feel doesn't have to be super realist: I also happen to have a real live piano... it's just that having house-mates makes it difficult to spend much time practicing it. But someday... :D
  11. jazzcatb17


    Dec 27, 2002
    Louisville, Ky
    really, one of the best synths ive ever played is the yamaha s80, not sure on the price though, but a great feel and tone.
  12. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    If Jazzcat is referring to the S08 I concur. They can be had for ~$1000 and have all the great sounds of the S03, but with 88 fully weighted keys. I nearly bought one.

    Currently I am GASsing for, and recommend you try the Kurzweil SP88x. Also 88 fully weighted keys, more of a digital piano than a real synth, but with good sounds on board. And it is compatible to use as a controller, so you can expand the sound base.

    I am also looking at the Proteus 'vintage keys' rack module to expand the sounds. Possibly one other rack module too, but I haven't decided which one as of yet.
  13. If you only need/want 61 keys, I highly recommend one of the Yamaha PSR 550's, PSR630 or 650's, or a PSR 730/750. Good sounds, built in multi track sequencer, saves to a 3.5 floppy. I have had a PSR 630 for several years and it has held up well. Used should be less than $450 depending on the model.
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