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Why not more sound modules/racks?
#1748863 09/08/11 12:11 PM
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I remember the days when sound modules were all the rave, even though I wasn't playing piano at the time (my uncle was Bobby Brown's keyboard player for years and I remember his Kurzweil modules, etc). It seems that back in the 80s and 90s in particular, racks and modules were it. It's too bad Nord, Yamaha, Kawai, Roland, Korg, etc don't offer modules or racks of the top of the line sounds. How cool would it be to have your pick of DP and your choice of one of the brands modules/racks to use with it. I'd have to say my setup would consist of a Nord rack controlled by the Numa Nero or MP6, although, I do like the NP88 action and love the look and weight of it, so I am very content. Still, it's an interesting thing that in the days of downsizing and buying lighter gear, a simple controller or DP and a rack of your choice to boot.


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Re: Why not more sound modules/racks?
PianoZac #1748872 09/08/11 12:25 PM
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Racks are definitely falling out of favor. Not sure why but a Yamaha XF rack would be great.

I think the availability of software has someone to do with it.


Shigeru Kawai SK5
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Re: Why not more sound modules/racks?
PianoZac #1748886 09/08/11 12:55 PM
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Gosh, I agree, Zachary. I had 4 modules recently that I just sold to buy the new Roland BK-7m. I'm having real mixed feelings now. I had them all running through a mixer controlled with my PX330 and I could play them all separately or all at once or a combo of any of them. There were some patches on the old JV1080 that were just stellar. I can sort of do the same with the BK but the patches just don't seem to have that same "wow" factor. In fact, I've been looking on Ebay again thinking I might just buy them all over again.

Sad, isn't it?


Sandy

Re: Why not more sound modules/racks?
PianoZac #1748887 09/08/11 12:56 PM
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Companies have been making fewer racks and sound modules because apparently they just were no longer selling very well. Maybe novice users are put off by the apparent complication, and advanced used are often opting for computer-based virtual instruments, I don't know...

The Motif Rack XS is pretty much what a rack version of the XF would be, since the big difference is in the extra user-fillable memory, something Yamaha has not put in any of their Motif series racks.

The closest thing to a rack version of the Kurzweil PC3 series would be the rack version of the earlier generation, the PC2R. The most current Roland module would be the SonicCell. The most current Korg would be the M3M. Nord's last rack Electro was of the 2, nothing on the 3. Hammond does make a rack version of the XK1, the XM2. But it's definitely slim pickin's compared to what used to be around.

Re: Why not more sound modules/racks?
anotherscott #1748891 09/08/11 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Companies have been making fewer racks and sound modules because apparently they just were no longer selling very well. Maybe novice users are put off by the apparent complication, and advanced used are often opting for computer-based virtual instruments, I don't know...

The Motif Rack XS is pretty much what a rack version of the XF would be, since the big difference is in the extra user-fillable memory, something Yamaha has not put in any of their Motif series racks.

The closest thing to a rack version of the Kurzweil PC3 series would be the rack version of the earlier generation, the PC2R. The most current Roland module would be the SonicCell. The most current Korg would be the M3M. Nord's last rack Electro was of the 2, nothing on the 3. Hammond does make a rack version of the XK1, the XM2. But it's definitely slim pickin's compared to what used to be around.


The XF has new pianos and EPs, no?


Shigeru Kawai SK5
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Re: Why not more sound modules/racks?
PianoZac #1748916 09/08/11 01:45 PM
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As I understand it (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong), the XF has the same base ROM sounds as the XS, but they have pre-loaded other sounds into the unit's extra RAM. The rack versions of the 3 previous generations of Motif all left out any kind of RAM expansion, so if they did the same thing on a rack version of the XF, it would effectively be the same as the current Rack XS. That said, I do wish they would support RAM expansion in a rack unit, and I don't know why they have always left it out. Maybe it has to do with their wanting to keep the size down to 1U.

Re: Why not more sound modules/racks?
PianoZac #1748926 09/08/11 02:15 PM
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I'd love to buy me some rack gear. In the past, I've wanted to add the rack versions of the Motif, Triton, Fantom, and possibly an Alesis QSR to my Kurzweil. You can get the 3 former racks on eBay for about $500, and the Alesis is only around $150.

This would add so much flexibility, and the extra gear would still be manageable in a flight case if I were to move it around.

Software is taking over, but computers frustrate me enough as it is. All I want is access to a boatload of sounds, but software doesn't sound quite as intriguing as having all this cool rack gear with their knobs, LCD's and LED's smile .


Les C Deal




Re: Why not more sound modules/racks?
PianoZac #1748936 09/08/11 02:26 PM
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Nord Piano Rack...Please! Clavia, please.

I'm currently playing my trusty old Roland MKS-20 using my Yamaha CP33. A nice combination - plug'n'play, no latency, instant variety.

If the market has diminished for modules I understand why they have virtually died out but even so, it's a shame.

Steve


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Re: Why not more sound modules/racks?
EssBrace #1748965 09/08/11 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
Nord Piano Rack...Please! Clavia, please.

I'm currently playing my trusty old Roland MKS-20 using my Yamaha CP33. A nice combination - plug'n'play, no latency, instant variety.

Funny you mention the MKS-20. As I was just saying in another thread, I used to gig with one of those... and if you prefer the Nord Piano sounds, you can replace your 17.6 pound pound MKS-20 with a lighter 15.3 pound Nord Electro 3 and have almost the same piano functionality as a Nord Piano "rack" wold have (plus a high quality organ and sample playback device). If you don't want to stack it above the CP33 for whatever reason, you could keep it MIDI'd off to the side somewhere. (The CP33 does have enough MIDI controller functionality that you could program its own buttons to call up different desired patches on the Nord, so you wouldn't necessarily need to have the Nord's controls at hand.) Someone industrious could probably move the E3's electronics into a smaller box. But unless you have some other second keyboard, I think it would be better to keep intact anyway, so if for some reason your CP33 failed, you'd have another board to get through the gig on.


Re: Why not more sound modules/racks?
EssBrace #1749041 09/08/11 06:09 PM
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yeah modules were cool back in the day (used to have few in the 90s)...

Now what i really *really* want is this:

[Linked Image]

smile


Re: Why not more sound modules/racks?
PianoZac #1749063 09/08/11 06:43 PM
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Nice 'shop!


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Why not more sound modules/racks?
anotherscott #1749078 09/08/11 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by EssBrace
Nord Piano Rack...Please! Clavia, please.

I'm currently playing my trusty old Roland MKS-20 using my Yamaha CP33. A nice combination - plug'n'play, no latency, instant variety.

Funny you mention the MKS-20. As I was just saying in another thread, I used to gig with one of those... and if you prefer the Nord Piano sounds, you can replace your 17.6 pound pound MKS-20 with a lighter 15.3 pound Nord Electro 3 and have almost the same piano functionality as a Nord Piano "rack" wold have


Yes, good point. The MKS-20 is a beast, the dimensions and weight of a first generation VCR. I think within our circle maybe we have a slanted view of the market but I would still say bearing in mind the deficiencies of the Nord action (compared with the best stage piano actions) and the almost universal praise for the sounds, interface and operating system I think there'd be a ready market for a Nord Piano Rack. I reckon they could do a NP Rack for £500-600 or so (maybe even a bit more) and do pretty well out of it.

Steve


C. Bechstein Model B | Roland RD-1000 |
Re: Why not more sound modules/racks?
PianoZac #1749090 09/08/11 07:08 PM
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They could call it the Little Nipper. (Nord-Piano-Rack - oh come on, if we can have Little Phatty and Mopho, why not?)!


"you don't need to have been a rabbit in order to become a veterinarian"

mabraman, 2015
Re: Why not more sound modules/racks?
PianoZac #1749104 09/08/11 07:31 PM
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A Nord app (MIDI playback engine using their samples) for iOS/Android would be incredible!

James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Why not more sound modules/racks?
PianoZac #1749180 09/08/11 09:56 PM
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Steve, I would love to have a Nord Piano Rack!

James, heck yes! That would be super cool.

Vox, I love it! The Little Nipper able to install any and all of Nord's Piano and Sample Libraries would be incredible.


Kawai MP7SE w/ GFP-3
Re: Why not more sound modules/racks?
PianoZac #1749229 09/08/11 11:35 PM
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I agree - I don't have room for more keyboards but I could find room for a rack or two.

Re: Why not more sound modules/racks?
PianoZac #1749265 09/09/11 01:09 AM
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I want this in my rack:

[Linked Image]


Les C Deal




Re: Why not more sound modules/racks?
LesCharles73 #1749269 09/09/11 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by LesCharles73
I want this in my rack:

[Linked Image]

crazy


"you don't need to have been a rabbit in order to become a veterinarian"

mabraman, 2015
Re: Why not more sound modules/racks?
PianoZac #1749281 09/09/11 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by ZacharyForbes
I remember the days when sound modules were all the rave


That is when it took a cubic foot of electronics to play a sample. Now, when you can do the same thing with an iPad why would you want a rack?

So I think there is a huge market for this kind of function and new products come out all the time. But no rack mount boxes, the electronics now fit in a shirt pocket and sells for 1/10th the price. See below where you connect a $70 interface cable to the iPod/iPad and then download a free "starter set" of samples.

As an example look here: SampleTank for IOS

Re: Why not more sound modules/racks?
Kawai James #1749285 09/09/11 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
A Nord app (MIDI playback engine using their samples) for iOS/Android would be incredible!


We are very close to that. Already we have Garage Band on the iPad and also Sampletank. I suspect we will see a version of Kontakt on iPad in the near future. After that happens then anyone could run the Nord sample library on IOS.

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