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Keyboardists have it easy

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1 hour ago, msmcleod said:

I find trying to play piano parts on a non-weighted keyboard unusually difficult.

I should have known this when I ordered my last controller. It has synth keys. I thought I could work with it ok. I can if I make a few adjustments in the piano roll due to me hitting the keys too hard.

I should have gone with weighted.

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6 hours ago, msmcleod said:

I find trying to play piano parts on a non-weighted keyboard unusually difficult... even the semi-weighted keyboards that have piano style keys just don't do it for me.

So, so true. I feel disconnected from the keys, as if I'm miming a performance in a bad movie.

OTOH, playing organ on piano keys is literally painful. That's why I used two instruments for years: one with weighted "hammer action", one with waterfall keys. The Kronos attempts a compromise between the two, with progressive weighting to feel more piano-like but rounded edges for organ glissandos.

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On 4/7/2022 at 6:41 AM, Shane_B. said:

Pfft. Crybabies. I hauled all this plus stood for 4 hours with an 83 Gibson Les Paul Custom Deluxe or a Japanese (very heavy/well made) Strat hung on my neck. My one shoulder still droops a good inch or two lower than the other from having a guitar hanging on me every Fri./Sat. night for 16 years straight. PLUS I was the keyboard player on some songs for a while too. The drummer got off easy IMHO.

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These are similar but not the exact ones. (All other pics are the exact models I used to haul.

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Two of these ....

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This was so heavy it had wheels ... It's a 2x12 combo with enormous transformers. It was a good 80lbs or more.

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Plus 2 guitars, plus my rack unit, and mic stand, and all the other smalls that go with all that like cables, mic, strings, picks, etc. etc.. Never had a problem with rear wheel drive in my 81 Monte' Carlo driving in the winter hauling all that crap. It was actually worse in my front wheel drive van.

I remember those wedge monitors, wouldn't do a gig without 'em!

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12 hours ago, msmcleod said:

If I can get away with it, I'll stick to the sounds in my Korg X5D which sits on top of the SL990.

I have the X5 version. If you ever turn it on and it cycles through all the languages and never boots, that means the backup battery is dead. It happened on mine. I soldered in a quick change socket so if it happens again I can just pop in a new one that I can get at any local store rather than special order one with solder tabs. I also had to reset it to factory settings after I changed the battery so anything custom will be lost.

I think the main difference is the X5D had a dedicated easily accessible midi bank and more poly notes but I can't remember for sure. I did the backing tracks for an entire nights music for my band with the X5 back in the 90's track by track on a Tascam 8 track cassette tape machine. No midi involved. It was an incredibly stressful hard core, fast paced, learning session on recording mixing and mastering. I remember having to start a good ways in to the tape because the beginning would stretch and the tempo and pitch would change. Then I had to transfer it all to DAT so it would stay the same speed and pitch. We rearrange and call up any song via the DAT if we wanted to change the set around. Now days you'd just do it on a laptop with MP3's or WAV's and the click of a mouse. I used it for the backing tracks and an Alesis SR16 for the drums. I still have the SR16 and astonishingly you can still buy them brand new. They are excellent units.

I trust laptops for live applications. If you dig in to them you can remove all the bloatware and get them to run very lean and stable. Heck, even a rack mount midi module like the X5Dr and a modest midi trigger would be great. The drums on the X5's are excellent but the SR16 was easier because of the built in ready made patterns.

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Well, friends, today I took the plunge and ordered a Nord Stage 3 Compact. Five frickin' grand. To justify that I'm gonna have to keep gigging for the rest of my life.

But I reckon $5k is still cheaper than another back surgery. While it doesn't have all the bells 'n whistles of my Kronos, it weighs a mere 25 lbs. in the bag, versus the Korg's 83 lbs. in the road case.

This will allow me to attend the many jam sessions around town and thus help keep my chops up between gigs. I do in fact plan to "chuck the synth into the car, show up with a cable and plug into the PA", and thus prove Tezza's premise for this thread.

 

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 Sounds like you shall be set for a while :D

Hope you like the Bold Red Color!

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Five grand. Wow. You could have gotten 10 MX49s.

Good luck!

P.S. I'm finding 25 lbs. to be heavy nowadays. I ain't 64 anymore.

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15 hours ago, bitflipper said:

Nord Stage 3 Compact. Five frickin' grand.

Why are they so expensive there ? Not even close to that over here - under £3k or approx $3500 and that includes 20% VAT.

Actually getting hold of one is a different matter though, as with just about any keyboard it seems. Most are order now and we'll tell you at some unspecified time in the future when you might get it.

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Yeh, I could probably fly to Sweden and buy it there for the same money. Just like I could fly to Mexico for dental work and save money.

I was actually lucky to find it in stock at Sweetwater. The case is on back order, though. Anything that arrives here by boat is a challenge. Supply chain something something.

4 hours ago, InstrEd said:

Hope you like the Bold Red Color!

I try not to think about that. I am heavily invested in the color black. The last red thing I owned was a Vox Continental in 1967. Oh, and there was that red VW bus a decade later. Even my hair isn't red anymore.

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But, don't you need two to be able to play like Wakeman? 🤔

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1 hour ago, craigb said:

But, don't you need two to be able to play like Wakeman?

Nah, Rick didn't have key splits.

And, I have a wizard cape. Well, it's more of a Samurai cloak, but it has a sequin dragon on the back, so that says "wizard cape" to me.

Coincidentally, Wakeman's primary instrument nowadays is the exact one I'm getting rid of. Could he know something I don't know? Probably, yes.

 

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My bad.  Looks like I was off a bit!  Here he is at age 70! 😁

rick-wakeman-on-stage-with-keyboards.jpg

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12 hours ago, craigb said:

My bad.  Looks like I was off a bit!  Here he is at age 70! 😁

rick-wakeman-on-stage-with-keyboards.jpg

does he actually use all of those during a show?

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 He's definitely old school because you could do all of that with soft synths and maybe two controllers max.

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On 4/26/2022 at 9:24 PM, John Nelson said:

I remember those wedge monitors, wouldn't do a gig without 'em!

I could still lift those, but lifting them would clear the room. Sort of counter productive for me.

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Just ordered a 2-tier stand, so that I can continue to use the Kronos until I've had time to master the NS3. When I had a 2-tier stand in the past, I didn't like it because the top keyboard covered up the controls of the bottom keyboard. This new stand's supposed to be more flexible. Fingers crossed. If it sucks, Sweetwater will take it back.

I don't know how keyboard players can stand floor wedges for monitoring. Most of the time, they're out in front and nearly inaudible due to being completely blocked by the keyboards. My (powered) monitor sits atop a speaker stand, just below ear level and off to one side. It's small but mighty, purportedly pushing 1KW. Hey, if you're gonna go deaf, you might as well enjoy pristine audio quality while you do it.

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4 hours ago, bitflipper said:

Just ordered a 2-tier stand, so that I can continue to use the Kronos until I've had time to master the NS3. When I had a 2-tier stand in the past, I didn't like it because the top keyboard covered up the controls of the bottom keyboard. This new stand's supposed to be more flexible. Fingers crossed. If it sucks, Sweetwater will take it back.

I've got both a 2-tier stand and a 3-tier stand... it was fine with lighter keyboards, but it always felt a bit unstable to me with heavier keyboards on the tiers.  I had my CZ-1 on the lower tier for a while, but it just felt scary.   Hopefully you'll be able to get a rugged enough stand to take both.

Nowadays, I just put my Korg X5D directly on top of my SL990 and rely on a guitar-style MIDI program change pedal for changing sounds.  I've got a bank of sustain pedals and an expression pedal for any further control, and a stool I can sit on at near-standing height so I can use them with both feet without falling over!
 

4 hours ago, bitflipper said:

I don't know how keyboard players can stand floor wedges for monitoring. Most of the time, they're out in front and nearly inaudible due to being completely blocked by the keyboards. My (powered) monitor sits atop a speaker stand, just below ear level and off to one side. It's small but mighty, purportedly pushing 1KW. Hey, if you're gonna go deaf, you might as well enjoy pristine audio quality while you do it.

I used to use a 65W combo amp on a wedge stand,  more or less next to me, positioned 45 deg between the back of the stage and to my left.   This was usually loud enough to hear without blasting my ears out.  I used the same amp & stand as a wedge monitor when I was doing my guitar/singer or bass/singer gigs.
 

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Posted (edited)

I had a Roland KB300 amp on a stand. Never could hear it over bloody guitars :). Thank goodness for IEMs these days!!. Which I wear playing my drums too. 
 

Btw, Wakeman still prefers a Roland Fantom X8 for main board recently. I’m selling mine since I don’t gig anymore. 

Edited by Tony Carpenter

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