Advice on getting more sounds from my RD-170

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Advice on getting more sounds from my RD-170

Post by timw » 04 Sep 2011, 14:43


I wonder if someone can advise me please. I've had a Roland RD-170 for several years now, but never got to the bottom of understanding what options there are for me to use additional sounds to those it provides as standard. It only has a limited number of pre-sets (16x4 tones) and I find that restrictive.

I'm not someone who samples via computers - I just sit down and play (typically in an orchestra pit fpr am drams)! I have an old 61 key Yamaha PSR-530 which has a great set of voices and MIDI connections, but because I've never understood MIDI, I've always set the k/b up next to the Roland, and switched playing between them as necessary. This has been difficult due to swivelling round in a constricted space, and I've also been frustrated at the 61 key limitation of the Yamaha.

So can someone tell me what my options are? Are they the following?

1. linking the 2 keyboards via a MIDI lead (and if so, how do I choose which is the 'master' sound at any one time - the Yam or Rol?)

2. getting a sound module or such like to connect to the Roland. I've looked on the web for some time for these, but never been exactly sure what I'm looking for. Most of the ones I've found seem to be designed for use with computers. What I think I need is something that plugs into my Roland in the pit. I have seen someone in a theatre with a keyboard and a rack containing something which gives her extra sounds.

My other thought was to trade them both in and put them towards a Kurzweil which I've read about being the 'king' of stage pianos. The pits in the West End theatres are full of them! This will cost a bit though and I'm ideally looking for a low cost solution - I don't think I'd get more than £300 for the both of the above.

My preferred option would be 1. but I'm open to hearing any other suggestions ...

Thanks in advance for any advice!



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