need help for buying gear

General discussion about digital pianos

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scribibastos
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need help for buying gear

Post by scribibastos » 20 May 2008, 19:05

I play the piano and am thinking of buying some gear to use for gigs. I've been fine until now cause I have an old Technics that I'v been using when necessary but it's getting too heavy and the quality ain't that mutch.
So my problem is that I don't really know what kind of stuff I should buy.
My aim is to use a good midi controler to use ONLY pianos, electric pianos, fenders and ocasionaly hammonds allong with some distortions and stuff like that(that part is new for me but made a gig with shity keyboard last week with a lot of experimeentation on top and was great). My main concern is the keyboard and the sound I could get from it! I'm used to grand pianos so that's an issue and I play mostly jazz and improv stuff but also some modern classical...
Another problem is the other gear I'll need. I don't know anything about keyboards and amps and stuff so I don't really know what else I need. I have my laptop so all the rest is missing. I've been looking around and the Doepfer seemed like what I need, a good keyboard, very portable and basic sets.
I just need(and obviously would apreciate) some opinions for a nice set to play on gigs and for what i've seen there are a lot of people around here that know a lot about this stuff and I'd really apreciate any tips you could give me.

markymark
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Post by markymark » 20 May 2008, 20:23

It depends on your budget....

Yamaha used to do a Motif which was great for gigging - had the sounds and sequencing/production power and was capable of interacting with your computer software. The new XS model builds on that (you can see a demo on the Yamaha Europe website) which goes into all the stuff you can do - it does get pretty deep into all the music production field. The CP33 is good for gigging owing to its slimline design as it does not have built-in speakers.

Other options would be Korg although some of their sounds would be 'iffy' in terms of piano offerings when compared with Yamaha. Other models to consider within the whole controller field as opposed to stage piano would be the Kurzweil PC1 or PC2. Neither of these controllers have built in speakers which makes them lighter for transporting. I've heard good reports about the M-Audio pro keys 88 - another controller. Apparently has a good, though fairly limited range of piano sounds, but then again, controllers aren't normally bought for their built in voices as they are used for interacting with other keyboards, rack models or external sound modules/generators.

Personally, if you like your piano sounds, Yamaha is defintely worth checking out. Kurzweil is good but hard to source in UK (in a local retailer anyway!). See if you can get a look at the M-Audio pro keys 88. I haven't tried it personally, but as I say, reviews are surprisingly good for a fairly under-estimated instrument. I think you'll find it's much cheaper than the likes of Yamaha or Kurzweil if money is a factor.

Definitely try these out and see what you feel right with!

scribibastos
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thanks for the suggestions

Post by scribibastos » 24 May 2008, 16:57

I'll be checking out the yamahas and the kurweils pianos. The m-audio seems pretty nice for the price but also seems to be a bit delicate to be moving around with it. I also want to check out the doepfer lmk2 that seems interesting. these are the pianos i'll be trying out.
then i have the amp problem. i really don't know anything about keyboard amps, any amps actually, but i'll figure it out.
this can be a very stupid questions but can anyone tell me if the doepfer, a masterkeyboard, can use moduls? and good moduls for piano sounds..........

scribibastos
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Post by scribibastos » 24 May 2008, 17:49

did you try out the roland rd 300 sx/gx? it's another one that i'm looking to try out...
the yamaha cp-33 looks good but isn't a USB MIDI interface so I probably wown't be going there. the sp90 looks great but is a lot more expensive then the rolands so it's something to think about... the kurweil also seem good but they're so f****n ugly :P

markymark
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Post by markymark » 25 May 2008, 00:05

I think Kurzweil do that just to stand out! I mean the K2600 is a magnificent workstation and controller, yet Kurzweil opted for that pealescent/metallic purple for the outer casing! However, they are good pieces of equipment. Personally, provided that the keyboard isn't sprayed pink and studded with diamonds, I'd go with the flow on appearance.

I haven't kept up to date much with Roland in terms of playing them but I have heard a few of the new models in action. I heard a new Roland (not sure of the model) played in a church setting lately. Piano sounds are sudden, though more realistic than earlier models though not as realistic as the Yamahas - I know you mentioned that piano sounds were most important to you. Roland were always very good at producing decent organ sounds - not close enough to be mistaken for a B3 and Leslie of course - as well as some great synth and rhythm options. Definitely worth checking out owing to their portability, again without built in speakers. When looking at the Rolands, look carefully at their hammera action. They have worked hard to improve this but their action always lacked something.

Have you seen the M-Audio up close? I think it is deceiving flimsy-looking on the internet. The good thing about it is that it's under £500 and you could always connect a rack model like Kurzweil's PC2R or Yamaha's MOTIF-RACK ES. If you like the Kurzweil sound, at least a cheaper keyboard with this added on could be an option for you.

I suppose it's what suits you best. I've just given you a starting point here and remember.... always try before you buy!

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