Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

keyboard recommendations

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by newchibass, Jun 2, 2005.


  1. newchibass

    newchibass

    May 21, 2004
    Chicago
    What keyboards are good for general playing in addition to home recording? Preferably in the 250 - 500$ range. Thanks.
     
  2. $250-500 price range? Well... probably the best, most inexpensive keyboard I know of is the Alesis QS6. They run for $500, but you could get one off of Ebay for much cheaper. If you want a good keyboard, expect to pay $800+. If you want good sounds, look into the Triton LE, which is $999 -- http://www.zzounds.com/item--KORTRITONLE61. If you want a good, realistic keyboard feel, as well as having all 88 keys, look into the Roland FP3 or FP5 (around $1200).
     
  3. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Are you looking for a synth-type of keyboard or a piano-style keyboard? Yamaha has some nice piano-style keyboards in that price range (the DGXs). For synth types of boards, you can get a used Roland XP 30 for that- some Guitar Centers still sell them new, although I'm pretty sure they were discontinued a while back. There's another newer synth out that's in that price range, but I forgot what it is...I think it's another Roland or maybe a Korg-I'll see if I can find it.
     
  4. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I think I was thinking of the Roland Juno, although when looking it up it was $645.

    I have a Yamaha PSR-550, which is basically just a better version of those Casio keyboards everyone had as a kid. It's not a digital piano or synth-style board- just a fun-to-goof-around-on keyboard with some pretty nice sounds in it- it was $420 if I remember correctly. The PSRs are good for this middle-of-the-road kind of thing- they're certainly not a professional tool (few sub $1000 boards are), but they work fine for adding keys or various sound (strings, etc) into the mix for home recording.

    You'll pay more for different things, so you should have an idea of what you need first. Do you need piano-like action in the keys, or are you fine with normal keyboard-type action? Most keyboards will let you adjust the sound of the action, as in you can adjust it so no matter how hard or light you hit the keys it will sound the same, or adjust it so that it will respond to you touch, but weighted keys are going to be pricier if you need them.
     
  5. keb

    keb

    Mar 30, 2004
    It depends what kind of sounds you're looking for. If you're looking for a "ROMpler" type keyboard (one that has a bunch of sampled patches, ie, pianos, horns, etc), I think the Roland Juno-D is probably the best out of the cheaper bunch right now. They go for $645 or so online new, but you may be able to pick up a used one cheaper.

    For an actual synthesizer, the Alesis Micron goes for about $399 and sounds just like its big brother, the Ion (which goes for $799). They're analog-modelling synths, and I think they sound pretty hunky-dory. I've been researching the synth question myself!
     
  6. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Well, we all know older is better ;)

    I love vintage synths, I'm becoming a junkie which is taking funding away from my bass playing. What kind of sounds are you looking for?
     
  7. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I also recommend going to http://www.vintagesynth.com and taking a trip through the Synth Finder feature, put in your wants and needs, and it'll come back with a list of OLDER instruments for you. These are the ones I love, and a lot of others love them as well.
     
  8. keb

    keb

    Mar 30, 2004
    I have to tend to agree actually! (And I spend a lot of time on vintagesynth.org myself.) I'm currently keyboard-gassing for an old Roland Juno-60 and a Yamaha DX7II. The problem is finding one in decent shape that's still all together mechanically and electrically (thus my recommendation for something newer, unless one is prepared for, or doesn't mind, possible repair/restoration costs.) I have to admit that a lot of it is nostalgia: I used a DX7II a lot back in '89, and I remember the Junos (the name stuck in my mind) when I was 12 or 13 and going into a music store and annoying the salespeople there by making weird noises with them. The very first synth I ever messed around on was an ARP Odyssey; I was in 6th grade and someone's dad brought it in to our music class. I didn't know what it was then, but looking at pictures of those synths years later I realized yeah, that was it!
     
  9. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Well Kurt, I'm running a DX7, the original FM synth, as well as a Korg SG-1D Sampling Grand and a Peavey Spectrum Bass Synth (rackmount)

    I'm itching to get a Novation Bass Station, Roland SH-101 and a Korg MS-2000B.
     
  10. ras1983

    ras1983

    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    what sort of amps are needed for a keyboard? can a guitar amp be used for limited playing?
     
  11. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Yes and no, it'll work within a given range, but the sound won't be 100%.

    A keyboard amp or PA is ideal, neither of which color your tone besides slight EQ. OTOH, I spliced the input of a Hammond Organ power amp to get a sweet tube sound and real spring reverb.
     
  12. I prefer not using guitar amps with my keyboard. I have a Roland keyboard amp that sounds wonderful, so I use that most of the time. A PA will also do the trick.
     
  13. ras1983

    ras1983

    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    will the PA need a pre-amp, or can the keyboard power the PA?
     
  14. newchibass

    newchibass

    May 21, 2004
    Chicago
    Thanks for the helpful replies. I am going to go to Guitar Center and check out the Juno and PSR's. Thanks again!
     
  15. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    If you decide to get a PSR, there's a few places online with cheaper prices than GC, so if you give them the webpage they'll match the price (or beat it). Let me know if I can help you find a lower price- I saved $80 off the GC price on my PSR by doing that.