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Pianist shopping for electronic
#2961650 03/29/20 06:56 PM
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Greetings,

I'm a pianist and composer and I am more or less clueless in regards to the digital keyboard world. I'm currently spending my time composing music for a larger band that includes 4-6 singers, drums, bass, 1-2 acoustic guitars, 1-2 electric guitars, electric/acoustic piano, electronic keyboard.

I was doing some reading and it looks like a workstation might be what I'm looking for, or something between that and a digital electronic keyboard. I'm hoping for minimum 16 track record, playback with play along, large bank of sounds including many hammond b3 organ sounds and strings, midi, synthesizer, and it will be used for arranging. I won't be spending a whole lot of time changing sounds, as I am more interested in composing and arranging with pre-existing sounds. I'd sure like to have several different options of electronic bass, large variety of drum sounds, etc. I'd like to be able to have something with software or option to connect it to external software for further arranging/composing. It doesn't absolutely have to have 88 keys and I'm open to suggestions. My high price is probably going to be $1000. That seems a little low considering what high end workstations cost. Weighted keys would be fantastic too!

Thanks!

Re: Pianist shopping for electronic
Trepid #2961651 03/29/20 06:58 PM
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Kawai ES110. 26 lbs, fast realistic weighted action, realistic piano sound, decent Rhodes, Wurly, decent organ, vibes. Onboard speakers. $660 US

Multi- tracking is usually done with a computer now days.


Kawai ES110 | Mojo 61 | Casio CT-X700 | 1966 Mason & Hamlin piano
Re: Pianist shopping for electronic
rintincop #2961660 03/29/20 07:33 PM
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Thanks rintincop for the suggestion. I'm leaning more towards the direction of a keyboard workstation with weighted keys, something like a Korg Kronos or Yamaha Genos arranger station. That Genos has like 1600 sounds. I don't really need that many sounds atm but i like the options. I'm really hoping to have a large number of violin sounds, viola, cello, other strings, 10-20 different bass sounds, +50 drum sounds, etc. That one you suggested looks really nice though, I will definitely keep that in mind if I end up choosing digital piano instead.

Last edited by Trepid; 03/29/20 07:40 PM.
Re: Pianist shopping for electronic
Trepid #2961744 03/30/20 02:58 AM
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Quote
. . My high price is probably going to be $1000.


FWIW:

I don't think that you can get what you want, new, at that price.

There are a large number of decent sounds per $ in the Yamaha "Motif-derived" models -- the MODX6 is the 61-key, unweighted-keyboard model, $1,400. I believe that it has built-in sequencer, as well as DAW-integration capabilities.

All the newer Kronos's are out of your price range. The current 61-key Kronos is over $3,000.

If you're using it as a _composing_ instrument, rather than a performing or recording instrument, you might do OK with a less-expensive keyboard (no onboard sequencer, fewer sound-design possibilities) and a DAW. Yamaha MX61 ($770) might have enough sounds, and they might be good enough. It has no onboard sequencer.

The weakness of the ES110, and other keyboards like it (I own one) is that they don't give you much freedom in customizing sounds, or reproducing the subtleties of acoustic instruments. I once listened to an arranger, showing me the difference between a passage played by a synthesized string section using:

. . . down-bow, down-bow, down-bow, down-bow

and

. . . down-bow, up-bow, down-bow, up-bow (which the Genos understands how to do).

It was subtle, but I understood why someone might be willing to spend lots of money to get to choose one, or the other.

You'll have to try these keyboards for yourself.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Pianist shopping for electronic
Charles Cohen #2961817 03/30/20 09:53 AM
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Thanks for the info Charles.

Re: Pianist shopping for electronic
Trepid #2961837 03/30/20 10:29 AM
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MODX is probably the best and cheapest keyboard but it's still above your budget even in the 61-key version.


My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Pianist shopping for electronic
Trepid #2961907 03/30/20 12:31 PM
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The Medeli AKX10 could be a budget option: http://www.medeli.com.hk/x10 😁

It does have a 16 track sequencer, plenty of sounds and even accompaniment patterns.

But I don't really know anything about it and in general it's a brand new model, so possibly no one knows much about it yet.

Then there are always the second hand workstations from Yamaha, Roland, Korg and whatnot. Kurzweil? Technics if you go really old.

Maybe some Casios too, in the WK series. But for even the current flagship model WK-7600 they say "17 tracks x 5 songs". Five songs! 😐

Yamaha's DGX-6xx series would have plenty of sounds, 88 weighted keys, but likewise the sequencer is quite limited, apparently 6 tracks and 5 songs.

The Korg Havian 30 is/was an "arranger" digital piano likewise with 88 weighted keys and a 16 track sequencer. It might be discontinued already(?) A reasonable second hand price for it could be below $1000.

I don't really have anything to recommend per se.


Re: Pianist shopping for electronic
Trepid #2962301 03/31/20 04:43 PM
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I have a Medeli SP4200 that I think would be in the category of an arranger piano. I'm a very acoustic guy, but I picked this up for less than $400 to play with some friends who needed a keyboard player. I hesitate to say much because I have no basis for comparison, but this Medeli does what I ask it to do. It might be safe to say that in lower price ranges, there is usually no value, because stuff is pretty much worthless. So, without making comparisons to better keyboards that I have never played, I'd say the SP4200 has some value. You can check out the youtube videos from retailers.


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