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Joined: Nov 2008
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Hi,


this year I want to upgrade my setup (FP-4). I need:
- best rhodes
- best piano
- best organ
- availability of high quality synth sounds
- tweakability of every sound

So I considered Nord Stage 2, but the price is high. And - because I'm looking for the best sound, and piano is essential - I'm considering software (Vintage D for pianos (129 EUR), MrRay73 mkII for rhodes (50 EUR), VB3 for the organ (50 EUR), and more). Right now I wonder which laptop will be the best, and I have two options:


1) used Macbook Air 13,3" (1000$). It already has 128GB SSD and Intel i5 1,8 GHz (boost to 3,1GHz)

2) new Acer/Asus/Samsung (600$) with i5 (2,6-3,2 GHz) + 128GB SSD drive (100$) + external USB (no...) interface (100$) = 800$. I'll have two operating systems, one without internet and for performing only, second for normal use. (Windows 7 and 8)

EDIT:
3) used Macbook Pro 13" and upgrade to 8GB RAM (50$) and upgrade to SSD (100$), 1100$ in total


And here I have two questions:
- does it make sense to upgrade to 8GB RAM? In Mac it's impossible though...
- is sound and socket quality in MAC good enough to use it without additional interface? (latency)
-is that better to plug piano through MIDI socket in audio interface or through separate USB?


Any general advices appreciated also smile

And I'll add I may stretch my budget even to 1500$ or 2000$ if it's really worth it.

Last edited by kiedysktos.; 08/05/13 02:38 PM. Reason: added 3rd option
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Originally Posted by kiedysktos.
this year I want to upgrade my setup (FP-4). I need:
- best rhodes
- best piano
- best organ
- availability of high quality synth sounds
- tweakability of every sound

While computer may give you the best sounds at the lowest price, I think you will still be compromising as long as you stick with only one keyboard. No matter how good the piano sound is, you're not going to get optimum results playing it from an organ action, and vice versa.

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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by kiedysktos.
this year I want to upgrade my setup (FP-4). I need:
- best rhodes
- best piano
- best organ
- availability of high quality synth sounds
- tweakability of every sound

While computer may give you the best sounds at the lowest price, I think you will still be compromising as long as you stick with only one keyboard. No matter how good the piano sound is, you're not going to get optimum results playing it from an organ action, and vice versa.


Agreed. Even if I'll go regular DP route, second keyboard is planned.
For a while, FP-4 is a nice compromise in action - light enough to make slides with organ sounds, and average for pianos. But in the future I can buy some other keyboard for organ/synth and play it on separate MIDI channel. And replace FP-4 with better piano action. Thanks for the tip.

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Honestly, I expected some critical opinions smile Among other genres like pop I also play jazz, so I like natural (kind of dirty) sound of instruments. Main thing I'm worried about is too polished or compressed sound that may be a result of virtual instruments, and also a proper feel of connection with the sounds I play.

Last edited by kiedysktos.; 08/06/13 01:00 PM.

Roland FP-4
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Originally Posted by kiedysktos.
Honestly, I expected some critical opinions smile


Your original questions seemed to invite a Mac vs PC debate. Those debates became very annoying a long time ago except for people that have nothing useful to do. Just use the computer you prefer using in general. Either one will work with appropriate effort.





Macy

CVP-409GP, Garritan CFX, Vintage D, Ivory II GP's & American Concert D, Pianoteq, True Keys American D, Ravenscroft 275, Garritan Authorized Steinway, Alicia's Keys, EWQL Pianos, MainStage, iPad Pro/forScore/PageFlip Cicada, Custom Mac MIDI/Audio Software Design, Macs Everywhere
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Macy, I hoped to start general discussion about appropriate hardware and general thoughts from experienced people is this a good route. Could you please tell me how much RAM do you have and answer my mac questions? (does it require external interface, is 4GB enough)


Roland FP-4
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You didn't say how you'll be using this rig. If it's just for straight play (rather than for production work), then ...

1. I can't speak about Macs. But in a PC you'll probably want 8 GB, not 4 GB. I'm chewing up 4 GB of RAM when running piano software, so if all I had were 4 GB, I'd be scraping bottom.

2. People on the production fora talk about the need for SSDs. But I don't see a need if you're just playing piano and organ.

3. I keep reading that you don't need an external audio interface when using a Mac. But see #1 above: I don't know much about Macs. On a PC, though, you might not get good performance from an internal sound card. I'd recommend an external. (Perhaps you could try the internal card first, and decide after you evaluate its performance.)

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Thanks a lot. That's interesting that MacMacMac can't speak about Macs smile

I'll always have sampled piano loaded, and simultaneously organ and rhodes ready (the band often improvises and the mood changes, so I have to be ready), but organ and rhodes sounds are often modelled. Also I may use some loops or have some more complex piano setup, like using splits and layers - you never know what arrangement you'll have to play in the future. And for sure I'll use some effects, like amp simulator for rhodes or external reverb/delay/compressor.

Right now, after some thinking, I rather consider 8GB or 16GB, because it's cheap and I want to be sure everything is OK. I'm asking about sound quality, because sometimes it takes some time to discover that something sounds bad or right, especially when you buy a new VST and don't know it may do better. Also, such things are sometimes discovered on good concerts, when there is great sound system, I don't want to do that smile

For SSD, I'll need one even for short reboot time, you never know. Or you come to a gig few minutes before and every 10 second is precious. And for multigigabyte sampled pianos it makes more sense for me.


Roland FP-4

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