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2nd Keyboard purchase - Any recommendations?

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2nd Keyboard purchase - Any recommendations?

Postby Guido3 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:52 pm

I am due to start rehersing mid-January for a new live project i'm involved in. I curently have a Fantom X8 which does all the bread and butter sounds I need. However, i'm finding the need for a second keyboard to compliment it. I don't have a massive budget unfortunately, so I may have to look to the second-hand market/FleaBay.

I am looking for a VA style synth. Something to give a little more 'Grit' to my sound.

I don't have a short-list, but synths I have looked at are...

Roland V-Synth
Korg Z1
Roland JP8000
Nord Lead 1/2/3
Roland Gaia
Waldorf Blofeld

You get the idea.....

My budget is £500-£600, which is why the 2nd hand market is looking so attractive.

As always, all opinions gratefully received.
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Re: 2nd Keyboard purchase - Any recommendations?

Postby The Elf » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:29 pm

I wouldn't want to gig without a Kurzweil K-series somewhere around me. It's the one synth on which I can pretty much pseudo every sound in my rig.
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Re: 2nd Keyboard purchase - Any recommendations?

Postby Guido3 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:39 pm

The Elf wrote:I wouldn't want to gig without a Kurzweil K-series somewhere around me. It's the one synth on which I can pretty much pseudo every sound in my rig.

Elf, That's interesting. I hadn't even thought of Kurzweil. What model would you recommend? A K2000 would come well inside my budget but I have to admit, I know little about the rest of the K series range.
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Re: 2nd Keyboard purchase - Any recommendations?

Postby The Elf » Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:33 am

A K2000 would be a great choice. My old K2000 (which I replaced with a K2600X), fully spammed up with memory, P-RAM and hard drive, sold for a pittance, and I now wish I'd kept it if only for live work. Shop around - there are bargains to be had!

Try a search in the SOS archives and you'll find plenty of information on the difference between the K-series models. ;)
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Re: 2nd Keyboard purchase - Any recommendations?

Postby Dan@FunkatronicLoveCommandos » Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:16 am

Echo above - using a K2000 (fully loaded) as a controller for my Mac running Mainstage. Also running a Roland XP30 as my "top" tier keyboard.

The downside with the K2k is that it is getting long in the tooth - mine's got some shocking build quality issues. Display has also gone.

That said, I've used K2s to recreate a well-known pop groups entire back catalogue of synth sounds, going back over 20 years.
Great fun to program, and in all fairness, very easy to do so. GREAT keybed to play too.

I'm currently using it as a backup for Mainstage (samples etc) for that time IF the Mac dies on stage - I've replaced the floppy with an internal ZIP drive ;)

I'm also looking at a Fantom G6 to replace the XP30.....


From your list I'm also looking at a V-Synth XT. Very similar to the Fantom though.....

Perhaps something like the Z1...... I personally have never got on with the Nord stuff (Ikea synths imho)


Of course, another option is a master keyboard controlling a channel on your Fantom...... MUCH cheaper and you keep your sound source as one.

hope this helps :)

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Re: 2nd Keyboard purchase - Any recommendations?

Postby Dave B » Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:22 am

Guy7 wrote:
Roland V-Synth
Korg Z1
Roland JP8000
Nord Lead 1/2/3
Roland Gaia
Waldorf Blofeld

From your list :

- V-Synth will simply blow your budget! If you can find one in your price range then everything I've heard says get it! Sadly, I think you'll spend a long time looking..
- Z1 : I've just listed mine for sale (Zuke will kill me) as it's been a doorstop for over a year. It is very different sounding, but just didn't light my fire. Those that do get on with it love it to bits. Good depth of sound for a Korg synth as well.
- JP8000 : everyone round here will recommend this for just being a great synth
- Nord : I played the newer 2x and was impresed. At the time I just wanted a _synth_ not a workstation and it was nice and easy to use but had some mad FM type sounds. Very impressed but again they aren't cheap
- Roland Gaia : not played one... was so offended by the SH201 thingy that I gave up on Roland VA synths..
- Blofeld : another one that I tried and it didn't move me but others round here really love. It wasn't bad .. just a case of "that's nice but I've heard it before". Remarkable vfm though

I picked up a Virus KC for a good deal last year (cheap and local!) and have been mucking about on that. Again, awesome spec, good sound, but somehow less easy to program than I remember an 'analogue' synth should be (but then I'm traditionally an Oberheim man where it always sounds fantastic lol).

I'd also recommend having a look at the new Novation UltraNova on the simple premise that it's predecessors were excellent. And it's well within your budget even when it's new.

HTH
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Re: 2nd Keyboard purchase - Any recommendations?

Postby Dave B » Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:29 am

Of course, another option is a master keyboard controlling a channel on your Fantom...... MUCH cheaper and you keep your sound source as one.


I also considered this last year and was looking at a smaller master keyboard to plug into my PC3. What I nearly ended up doing was plugging my old Wavestation keyboard into it as :

a) it still has a few juicy sounds that are cool
b) it's master keyboard facilities are basically the same as the O-series onwards - just harder to read!
c) if it died and needed replacing, people are virtually giving them away so replacing it would be a doddle (although it's such an old friend I'd be heartbroken obviously)

Didn't do it in the end though - got an organ instead ... lol ... that freed up the PC3 enough for my needs.
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Re: 2nd Keyboard purchase - Any recommendations?

Postby Guido3 » Sun Jan 02, 2011 5:37 pm

Dave B wrote:


- Z1 : I've just listed mine for sale (Zuke will kill me) as it's been a doorstop for over a year. It is very different sounding, but just didn't light my fire. Those that do get on with it love it to bits. Good depth of sound for a Korg synth as well.


Dave, I used to own a Z1 when they first came out. It sounded great but I lost patience programming it!! I sold it to finance my first Mac & Logic journey!!!! Superb action though which is why I am tempted to have another go with one.
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