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I have

VPC-1 my absolute favorite, using Pianoteq and Garritan CFX
Kawai ES8 used for Noire
Kurzweil PC3K8 for orchestral arrangements
Kurzweil K2000 an oldie but I cant part with it
Casio PSX-1000 light, runs on batteries, weighs 25 lb, so portable

multiple 25-37 keys keyboard types for iPad software

and a collection of rack mounts like I cant part with and use occasionally (nostalgic?)

EMU Proteus 2000
Oberheim Matrix 1000
Kawai K1R
Roland U220 with 9 cards
Kurzweil Piano Module

plus various rack mount signal processors

maybe I need help letting go?

I have donated several older Roland and Casio keyboards so I'm not a total hoarder!!!

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Yea I have a digital piano for piano playing, and a small controller that I use with my iPad for electronic music jamming. I'm thinking about getting one more though, hmmm.

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Originally Posted by butchkoch
I have

VPC-1 my absolute favorite, using Pianoteq and Garritan CFX
Kawai ES8 used for Noire
Kurzweil PC3K8 for orchestral arrangements
Kurzweil K2000 an oldie but I cant part with it
Casio PSX-1000 light, runs on batteries, weighs 25 lb, so portable

multiple 25-37 keys keyboard types for iPad software

and a collection of rack mounts like I cant part with and use occasionally (nostalgic?)

EMU Proteus 2000
Oberheim Matrix 1000
Kawai K1R
Roland U220 with 9 cards
Kurzweil Piano Module

plus various rack mount signal processors

maybe I need help letting go?

I have donated several older Roland and Casio keyboards so I'm not a total hoarder!!!

No need to let go of them. Keep the collection going.


Originally Posted by FloRi89
Yea I have a digital piano for piano playing, and a small controller that I use with my iPad for electronic music jamming. I'm thinking about getting one more though, hmmm.

Yes go for it. I’ll do the same.

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Confessions of a Keyboard Junkie

Here's my current working setup...
[Linked Image]
On the left, from bottom to top, it's

...Casio PX-500L for my hammer action (among lightweight, shallow boards, of all I've played, it's got my favorite action)

...Vox Continental which performs dual function as a sound source and as an organ "lower manual" (the combo is more flexible and easier to transport than most dual manual organs would be)

...Nord Stage 3 Compact which is the organ upper manual (providing the organ sound for both "manuals") plus a source of other sounds and is my easiest board to program custom sounds into

...Nord Lead 3, which is my favorite programmable VA synth because of its excellent interface (and it sounds great too).

I might replace the Nord Stage 3 with the forthcoming Hammond SK Pro, which doesn't do as much, but may be better for most of what I happen to use the Nord for (though it doesn't hold custom samples like the Nord does).

On the right, I have
...Kurzweil PC4
...Yamaha MODX7
...Korg PA1000

I admit, there's a lot of reduncancy among these three, though not much between these and the four boards on the other side. All three have a full range of multi-velocity "rompler style" acoustic instrument sounds and are generally better at these sounds than anything on my left stack. Two of the three, the Kurzweil and Yamaha, also do DX7-compatible FM synthesis. All three support custom samples (which is one reason that function may be expendable in my first stack, though I really like the Nord's simplicity here... in fact it's the only one of these boards that I've actually loaded my own sounds into). The PA1000 has some unique useful functions of its own, like the built-in speakers and the rhythm/accompaniment features, which could come in handy in some contexts. Each of these three has some sounds I prefer over their equivalents in the other two.

And again, as always (keyboard junkie that I am), I'm considering changes. I may swap the PC4 out for the forthcoming PC4-7, because the Kurz could be more useful for me in some contexts if it were lighter and otherwise more suited for use as an "upper" than a "lower"... a big variable is what the action will feel like. I may swap the PA1000 out for the Yamaha PSR-900SX... the Korg is more fully featured overall (e.g. aftertouch, full sound editability, tilt screen which can be helpful on a high tier or outdoors, MIDI zone functions) but I may prefer the actual sounds and operational ergonomics of the Yamaha (and its assignable outs would be handy, too). It's possible that the trio of PC4, MODX7, and PA1000 could be replaced with the pair of PC4-7 and PSR-900SX

When I talk about contexts, I'm mostly talking about working outside my house, whether for gigs, rehearsals, or friendly get-togethers. While I will occasionally travel with many boards, most of the time I bring somewhere in the range of 1 to 3 (most often 2). Exactly which of the above boards I'd bring would vary with the needs of that gig/rehearsal/get-together. Will I need to be doing splits (and especially, will I be doing LH bass in lieu of having a bassist)? Would I benefit from internal speakers? What's the repertoire like, e.g. will it be an organ-heavy gig? Is it something where I have to be set up in 5 minutes? While I always try to keep travel weight low, it that an especially high priority due to a difficult load-in (long distance from the car, stairs, etc.)? Will stage space be an issue? Does the gig require that I be able to play from multiple locations (e.g. ceremony/cocktail hour and reception)? And so forth. Now you might ask, could I still manage to address all these things from a smaller stable of keyboards? Sure. But it's nice to have the luxury of being able to choose something approaching the best rig for the job at hand. And at home, each offers something the others do not, whether in sound, feel, functionality, or ergonomics.

And no, that's not even all my boards. Some others...

... Roland AX-Edge - because everyone needs a keytar (it's also a nice sounding lightweight board with aftertouch, and good patch selection functions including MIDI zoning, and now it has the zen-core compatibility/expansions, too).

... Korg Microstation - best knock-around travel board (good traveling iPad MIDI controller, too).

... Nord C1 - there's something about playing a double manual (but I've actually just started experiementing with that Nord/Vox combination above which may be sufficient).

... Casio PX-5S - this one has popped in and out of my gig rigs with some regularity. It seems that just when I think it's out, it pulls itself back in. Super versatlie, lightest weight nice hammer action board.

... Viscount K5 - I keep meaning to spend some more time with this and iPad/Surface Pro integration. (Though the Kurz is a really nice controller, too.)


And there are still a bunch more that I probably just need to sell! But yeah, somewhere around 8 to 12 is probably a good number. If I didn't gig/travel anywhere, maybe I could get by with about 5. ;-)

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A little sidebar here, noting the challenges of having many boards!

@AnotherScott,
Thanks for sharing and the pix!

For a board to be usable to me usually takes a fair amount of time:
- audition all sounds to find my favorites
- create and organize favorite sounds bank
- tweak favorite sounds, even if just minor tweaks like fx, envelopes, cutoff, etc
- create multis if the board allows it, using favorite sounds
- learn the OS and customize settings
- etc etc etc. Even these things typically utilize less than 10% of many boards capabilities! And typically takes me forever for each board.

I marvel that you'd have enough familiarity to confidently use all these boards at a gig!

I see you no longer have the Casio MZ-X500 listed. The Pa1000 trumps it in every way. I ultimately found that learning the auto-arranger functions on the Pa1000 took too much time and was more complex than I wanted to deal with, though its capabilities, especially for tweaking sounds, is much greater than the PSR SX900. Altogether I've heard the Yamaha is perhaps a bit user friendlier, and it's more advanced chord functions would be killer for 'sequencing' chords. Another gripe I had with the Pa1000 was the keybed was inferior for a $2k board.


Alright folks, back to the original programming!


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@anotherscott thanks for the details and photo. What a great setup.

I am a huge Nord fan. I have a Nord Grand and was thinking of getting a stage 3. I owned a Nord Piano 3 and 4 and loved them should have kept them but didn’t have the means at the time. I’ve been seeing the patches people produce on workstations and want to get into some more. I’m not at the level you folks in this thread are but I’m working to get there and learning a ton every day while slow but I’m moving ahead.

@randyman
I was also wondering about learning curve of a workstation. I read that Nord is known for being more user friendly and ‘easier’ to learn the controls.

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I think anotherscott wins by a large margin ...

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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Confessions of a Keyboard Junkie

Here's my current working setup...
[Linked Image]
On the left, from bottom to top, it's

...Casio PX-500L for my hammer action (among lightweight, shallow boards, of all I've played, it's got my favorite action)

...Vox Continental which performs dual function as a sound source and as an organ "lower manual" (the combo is more flexible and easier to transport than most dual manual organs would be)

...Nord Stage 3 Compact which is the organ upper manual (providing the organ sound for both "manuals") plus a source of other sounds and is my easiest board to program custom sounds into

...Nord Lead 3, which is my favorite programmable VA synth because of its excellent interface (and it sounds great too).

I might replace the Nord Stage 3 with the forthcoming Hammond SK Pro, which doesn't do as much, but may be better for most of what I happen to use the Nord for (though it doesn't hold custom samples like the Nord does).

On the right, I have
...Kurzweil PC4
...Yamaha MODX7
...Korg PA1000

I admit, there's a lot of reduncancy among these three, though not much between these and the four boards on the other side. All three have a full range of multi-velocity "rompler style" acoustic instrument sounds and are generally better at these sounds than anything on my left stack. Two of the three, the Kurzweil and Yamaha, also do DX7-compatible FM synthesis. All three support custom samples (which is one reason that function may be expendable in my first stack, though I really like the Nord's simplicity here... in fact it's the only one of these boards that I've actually loaded my own sounds into). The PA1000 has some unique useful functions of its own, like the built-in speakers and the rhythm/accompaniment features, which could come in handy in some contexts. Each of these three has some sounds I prefer over their equivalents in the other two.

And again, as always (keyboard junkie that I am), I'm considering changes. I may swap the PC4 out for the forthcoming PC4-7, because the Kurz could be more useful for me in some contexts if it were lighter and otherwise more suited for use as an "upper" than a "lower"... a big variable is what the action will feel like. I may swap the PA1000 out for the Yamaha PSR-900SX... the Korg is more fully featured overall (e.g. aftertouch, full sound editability, tilt screen which can be helpful on a high tier or outdoors, MIDI zone functions) but I may prefer the actual sounds and operational ergonomics of the Yamaha (and its assignable outs would be handy, too). It's possible that the trio of PC4, MODX7, and PA1000 could be replaced with the pair of PC4-7 and PSR-900SX

When I talk about contexts, I'm mostly talking about working outside my house, whether for gigs, rehearsals, or friendly get-togethers. While I will occasionally travel with many boards, most of the time I bring somewhere in the range of 1 to 3 (most often 2). Exactly which of the above boards I'd bring would vary with the needs of that gig/rehearsal/get-together. Will I need to be doing splits (and especially, will I be doing LH bass in lieu of having a bassist)? Would I benefit from internal speakers? What's the repertoire like, e.g. will it be an organ-heavy gig? Is it something where I have to be set up in 5 minutes? While I always try to keep travel weight low, it that an especially high priority due to a difficult load-in (long distance from the car, stairs, etc.)? Will stage space be an issue? Does the gig require that I be able to play from multiple locations (e.g. ceremony/cocktail hour and reception)? And so forth. Now you might ask, could I still manage to address all these things from a smaller stable of keyboards? Sure. But it's nice to have the luxury of being able to choose something approaching the best rig for the job at hand. And at home, each offers something the others do not, whether in sound, feel, functionality, or ergonomics.

And no, that's not even all my boards. Some others...

... Roland AX-Edge - because everyone needs a keytar (it's also a nice sounding lightweight board with aftertouch, and good patch selection functions including MIDI zoning, and now it has the zen-core compatibility/expansions, too).

... Korg Microstation - best knock-around travel board (good traveling iPad MIDI controller, too).

... Nord C1 - there's something about playing a double manual (but I've actually just started experiementing with that Nord/Vox combination above which may be sufficient).

... Casio PX-5S - this one has popped in and out of my gig rigs with some regularity. It seems that just when I think it's out, it pulls itself back in. Super versatlie, lightest weight nice hammer action board.

... Viscount K5 - I keep meaning to spend some more time with this and iPad/Surface Pro integration. (Though the Kurz is a really nice controller, too.)


And there are still a bunch more that I probably just need to sell! But yeah, somewhere around 8 to 12 is probably a good number. If I didn't gig/travel anywhere, maybe I could get by with about 5. ;-)

Pretty sick setup! Must be a heck of fun to design sounds and play all these keyboards!

Just wondering how you reach to the forth keyboard on the left!? The only way I can imagine is to suspend myself from the ceiling by a crane or sth...


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Originally Posted by Randyman
I marvel that you'd have enough familiarity to confidently use all these boards at a gig!
Well I certainly don't claim to know the ins and outs of all of them! But I mostly know enough to get what I need out of them.

The 4 boards in the left stack are really all quite straight-forward. They have almost no menu-diving, so as long as you understand the front controls, you can do almost all the board is capable of. Since I grew up playing things like real Hammond organ and Minimoog, most of their organ and synth controls make immediate sense to me, and the rest is mostly straight-forward as well, with maybe just a few things you have to look up and learn. So I'd say that, as a whole, I do know those pretty well.

The three boards on the right are trickier, they are deep. The PC4 is one I haven't spend enough time on yet, and am still getting comfortable with. The MODX is a bit of a relief after the years I spent playing its MOXF and MOX predecessors with which it still has much in common. From those earlier models, I already understood most of the terminology (which is half the battle with Yamaha), and a lot of the architecture. As complicated as it is, at least it is now much easier to navigate with the big touchscreen. A big perk for Yamaha is that they have excellent support. If you hit a snag, you can search or post on yamahasynth.com and likely get your answer. It's not always the answer you wish it were, but it's the answer. ;-) I wish Roland and Korg had a comparable manufacturer-supported resource. (I don't think Yamaha as a comparable resource for its arrangers, though.) The PA1000 is something I have not yet used "as intended" (i.e. I haven't uses its arranger/accompaniemt/rhythm facilities), I use it as a nice sounding rompler with aftertouch and good enough speakers that I can often use it by itself (e.g. for an "unplugged" rehearsal, a cocktail hour/ceremony). I've done some minor tweaks and layers, but mostly what I've done is assembled screenfuls of my favorite sounds for quick switching, I haven't really touched its deeper capabilities.

Originally Posted by Randyman
I see you no longer have the Casio MZ-X500 listed. The Pa1000 trumps it in every way.
Mostly. Off-hand, the main things the Casio has over the PA are the 16 velocity-sensitive touchpads, the 9 physical sliders for the drawbar controls, and that it weighs about 17 lbs instead of 24. But yeah, I haven't really used it since getting the Korg, I need to get around to selling it. It's still a cool board, though. And I miss its light weight compared to the PA.

Originally Posted by Randyman
I ultimately found that learning the auto-arranger functions on the Pa1000 took too much time and was more complex than I wanted to deal with
I haven't even touched them myself yet. But I don't have any great need for them, it just might be a fun thing to play around with. I could see where maybe making use of the rhythms could be useful for some of my drumless duo and trio gigs, though.

Originally Posted by Randyman
{PA1000's} capabilities, especially for tweaking sounds, is much greater than the PSR SX900.
Yes. But I don't do much editing, really. Unless I'm on a knobby board like a Nord, I rarely edit anything, or at least not to any great extent. I just find a preset that's close. And if I can't find something as close as I'd like on one board, I'll go look for it on another! So in that respect, having all these boards doesn't necessarily mean there's more to learn... sometimes it means there's LESS to learn, because if I can't easily get what I want out of a board, instead of spending time learning how to get it, I can switch to another board which already gives me what I'm after!

Originally Posted by Randyman
Altogether I've heard the Yamaha is perhaps a bit user friendlier
That might vary depending on what you're trying to do, I'm not sure. But the Yamaha control panel does look friendlier to me, it has less of a sense of a huge array of undiffentiated buttons. And it does let you create some of your own shortcuts via assignable buttons or re-defining the navigation buttons on the bottom of the screen, at least.

Originally Posted by Randyman
Another gripe I had with the Pa1000 was the keybed was inferior for a $2k board.
Yeah, though it has aftertouch, which is a nice plus.

Last edited by anotherscott; 02/16/21 06:57 PM.
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Originally Posted by Abdol
Just wondering how you reach to the forth keyboard on the left!? The only way I can imagine is to suspend myself from the ceiling by a crane or sth...
Actually, I can reach and simultaneously play any combination of two, except I can't play both top boards at the same time. If my math is right, that means I can play 20 out of the 21 possible combinations of two boards in those stacks!

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Originally Posted by Sebs
@randyman
I was also wondering about learning curve of a workstation. I read that Nord is known for being more user friendly and ‘easier’ to learn the controls.

The Nord Stage, the closest they come to having a workstation, is NOT a workstation. It's a stage keyboard that is optimized for live sound.

I had a Motif XS7, a workstation circa 2007, and what a chore. The top level of functioning was cool, they had a lot of knobs, switches, faders, etc., for fast and easy operation. But get below that top layer and you meet the Yamaha engineers. I grew to dislike how complex it was and ultimately don't think of it as a good workstation, too user unfriendly.

You've got to ask yourself, how much sampling and sequencing do you need to do with a synth. Otherwise use a DAW. Music is about the speed of creativity, and too many technical hassles are a real drag on enjoying playing.

The only way I'd recommend a workstation (which usually implies serious sound tweaking, a sequencer, audio recording of your playing and incoming audio, sampler, drum machine/patterns capability, some arranger talents, etc.)- the only way is if you've read enough reports/YouTube videos that you were convinced that the specific job you want to do with a workstation is user friendly and encourages the workflow.

Personally I don't like having too much computer interaction for my music, so I'm prone to want a workstation. But there is plenty of other boards that can do a lot or at least some of the workstation tasks (like stage keyboards, like the Nord Stage, or like my newest love, the Kawai ES920) and be very user friendly. So figure out what capabilities you need a workstation for, and which would be better filled by a computer.

A better forum to ask about workstations is the Keyboard Corner forum. Lots of friendly folks who have all manner of keyboards and who would be better suited to answer your question. This forum tends to be piano-centric, which is why I come here.

Last edited by Randyman; 02/16/21 07:32 PM.

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[img]http://ibb.co/nMLJ4jy[/img]

My setup at one point in time, when I was primarily playing some simple Church hymns on the Hammond XK1c (organ.) Started my journey into Classical Piano with Korg Grandstage. Made a decent effort at learning Classical Organ using the two keyboards as upper and lower manuals. Classical organ was too difficult for me to keep up with and advance beyond bare basics. Classical Piano was, dare I say, kinder and more adult-beginner-like-me-friendly.


A man must love a thing very much if he practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practice it without any hope of doing it well. Such a man must love the toils of the work more than any other man can love the rewards of it.
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Wow, great pic Scott!


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Originally Posted by Sebs
Is it common that people in the digital piano area often own multiple keyboards? I ask because I'm tempted to get a second one. I know it's up to me just wondering what others think.

I sure hope it is common because that is what I have been telling my wife. I started out with a Fantom X8. Then over time added more Roland synths, V-Synth XT, Jupiter-80, and JD-XA.

Now more soft synths with a Komplete Kontrol S61 and a Roli Seaboard.

But my latest favorite is the new Hydrasynth from ASM. When I practice, I practice on an acoustic grand, but when I play for fun, it is usually on the synths. For some, variety is the spice of life.

Oh, and Serbs, be careful. Spice can be adictive.


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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by Abdol
Just wondering how you reach to the forth keyboard on the left!? The only way I can imagine is to suspend myself from the ceiling by a crane or sth...
Actually, I can reach and simultaneously play any combination of two, except I can't play both top boards at the same time. If my math is right, that means I can play 20 out of the 21 possible combinations of two boards in those stacks!

I find playing 1 keyboard at a time to be enough of a challenge. I can't imagine the coordination and advance skills it takes to play two keyboard simultaneously.

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Is it common to own more than 1 keyboard? absolutely! is it nessecary? not at all. But sometimes it's more convenient, and just plainly fun!
I have my main digital portable piano and also a vintage analog synth from the early 80s (a Roland) which looks and sounds absolutely beautiful! obviously I don't take this beast outside my house unless I'd buy a truck to fit it in haha. I'd also got two "niche" keyboards: a black Yamaha KX-5 keytar, just like the one used famously by Chick Corea RIP, and a toy SHS-10 Yamaha keytar with cute speaker I only take when I jam with friends in the park. Other than that... melodica counts as keys? hehe

I know some day I'll get a third keyboard though, possibly a portable stage organ keyboard with drawbars like a Hammond, whenever I'd find carrying my Kawai heavy... plus I miss the organ and synth sounds!

So different boards = different sounds, key lengths, key touches, functions, etc.
I've got a friend who has 6 guitars, I've heard of people with more. On Youtube you could see guys with 20+ guitars or keyboards or whatever.... I'd say the best number of keyboards for you on the basis of need is the one where you both USE and have the TIME to enjoy each piece of gear..


Yo! I'm arranging sheet music for popular songs and soundtracks here
Consider checking out my YouTube
Feel free to PM me about sheet requests or anything <3

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Originally Posted by Sebs
Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by Abdol
Just wondering how you reach to the forth keyboard on the left!? The only way I can imagine is to suspend myself from the ceiling by a crane or sth...
Actually, I can reach and simultaneously play any combination of two, except I can't play both top boards at the same time. If my math is right, that means I can play 20 out of the 21 possible combinations of two boards in those stacks!

I find playing 1 keyboard at a time to be enough of a challenge. I can't imagine the coordination and advance skills it takes to play two keyboard simultaneously.

Honestly, playing two keyboards is not such an important skill. It does make things a bit more convinient in terms of splitting the roles of the keyboard parts, designating sounds, splits and functions. I've been playing piano/keyboards for 22 years and this is actually an ability that comes naturally to me and easily just due to experience (not something one would specifically learn). That being said, brining 2 keyboards for every band rehearsal or gig is a big hassle... way more to carry and strain your back (and car).. having to bring a double tiered keyboard stand... it's a problem on smaller stages/venues as well, more cables, more connection, disassembling everything in the end..

Even Jordan Ruddess the wizard himself said in an interview about his gear that basically he plays everything on 1 VERY powerful keyboard (Korg Kronos) and he's happy as he can be cause the Kronos can do everything.


Yo! I'm arranging sheet music for popular songs and soundtracks here
Consider checking out my YouTube
Feel free to PM me about sheet requests or anything <3

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Originally Posted by Chummy
That being said, brining 2 keyboards for every band rehearsal or gig is a big hassle... way more to carry and strain your back (and car).. having to bring a double tiered keyboard stand...
OTOH... it's very nice to have hammer action for piano and not for organ... and as you alluded to, with two boards, you can minimize the need for (and the hassles of) splits (generally needing to set them up ahead of time, having to have enough keys for each part, running out of keys and crossing over into the "wrong" part when soloing, often not being able to easily and samlessly change your right hand sound while your left hand sound keeps going, etc.)... and if a board fails (gets a drink spilled into it, gets dropped, whatever), you can still get through the gig on the other board.

It doesn't have to be way more to carry and strain your back... the hammer action can be a 24 lb casio, the board above could be any of a number of boards in, say, the 8-15 lb range. A double-tiered stand like the K&M 1880+18881 stacker moves in one piece with the top tier attached, so is no harder to deal with than a single tier stand... and it only weighs about 8 lbs... the difference between the 1 and 2 tier version is negligible. I'm just saying there are solutions to most of the things you don't like about a 2-board rig, if one wants its benefits. It does take more space andmore setup/breakdown time, though.

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Originally Posted by mmathew
[img]http://ibb.co/nMLJ4jy[/img]

My setup at one point in time, when I was primarily playing some simple Church hymns on the Hammond XK1c (organ.) Started my journey into Classical Piano with Korg Grandstage. Made a decent effort at learning Classical Organ using the two keyboards as upper and lower manuals. Classical organ was too difficult for me to keep up with and advance beyond bare basics. Classical Piano was, dare I say, kinder and more adult-beginner-like-me-friendly.

Tip: do NOT use the link directly (note it does not have any image extension). Notice there is a "codes do incorporate" (sorry, it appears in portuguese to me, I am translating to english verbatim), pick the BBCode link.

[Linked Image]


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 1,254
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Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 1,254
I have two DPs, Kawai ES8 and Roland RD2000.

Also in my herd:

Roland D-05 (boutique version of D-50)
Arturia Keystep controller (use on occasion to help with transcriptions or just for fun for its arpeggiator)
Roland BK-7M backing module, not in use (I am planning to sell it anytime soon)
Pianoteq in my two laptops (Bluethner, K2, Petrof, Bechstein, Grotrian, Steingraeber).


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
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