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Which ROMpler would you get?

For fans of synths, pianos or keyboard instruments of any sort.

Which ROMpler would you get?

Postby DoctorAl » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:05 pm

I'm having a good old downsize, and want a single keyboard that is light, robust, 61 keys, and has decent sounds for piano, Rhodes etc. If I end up gigging regularly again I will get an extra keyboard with weighted keys, and this keyboard will be for back-up/secondary use, so it will need to be able to do some synth/string sounds too. I'm not really bothered about editing voices, would prefer good ones out of the box. I'd also like to achieve this with no net financial outlay from what I currently have, which is:

A Yamaha MO6. Has good sounds, is robust enough and the keyboard is fine to play. However it is large and heavy for what it is (10.4kg, almost as heavy as the new Nord Electro 73 HP!), and all those complex workstation features get in the way of just being able to play the voices.

A Yamaha SY35. This is the kind of size and quality I'm looking for - the keyboard is nice to play (aftertouch!), and it weighs in at a more reasonable 6.8kg, despite (I think) having a metal base. Of course the voices are lacking in realism, there's no octave control, and its maximum MIDI velocity is some way short of 127 which makes using it with an external sound module problematic as well as clunky - good built-in sounds would be better.

So if I could take some of the nice voices from the MO6 and have them in the SY35, I'd be a happy bunny. I've tried a Juno D and was unimpressed both with the quality of the voices and the general feel/build quality. The Yamaha MM6 looks possible, but I haven't seen one and I'm concerned about the build quality, which people say is very plasticky.

So what other ROMplers should I look at, that are compact, built well, sound good and can be had for a reasonable price these days? Or should I re-think something?
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Re: Which ROMpler would you get?

Postby vinyl_junkie » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:14 pm

What about the Nord Electro series? Bit pricey though

Also heard good things about the EMU PK series. The PK-6 has the Proteus-2000 ROM and can be expanded with additional rom's although I personally think it sounds rather "dated"

Triton's are quite cheap now days, you can pick up a Triton classic for £300
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Re: Which ROMpler would you get?

Postby Scramble » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:22 pm

>it is large and heavy for what it is (10.4kg

I dream of having a stage keyboard that only weights 10.4k!
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Re: Which ROMpler would you get?

Postby The Elf » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:25 pm

Kurzweil K2x00? They're still superb machines.
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Re: Which ROMpler would you get?

Postby DGL. » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:14 pm

I got my GEM/Generalmusic S2 for a reasonable price (bit damaged though but at under £50! couldn't complain) (although it is at 16kg slightly heavy but professional stuff is (CS80 Anyone)), has POLYPHONIC aftertouch, release velocity sensing, two full sets of midi i/o Etc.
Although it has not god a huge rom (only 6mb of samples) most of the soiunds are perfectly adequate and anyway it can load samples (AKAI s1000 or GEM Formatand store them nin battery backed memory is turbo upgrade fitted). Also has one of the best keyboards if not the best i've ever played, nicely weighted and metal keyboard contacts.
As for synth sounds youv'e got OBX, Synthex, Jupiter and Prophet sounds and 2 excellent filters per voice. Plenty of controls (8 sliders, 8 buttons, pitch and mod wheels which are all freely assignable, 3 pedal inputs and a level of editing that is only surpassed by Kurzweil's VAST.
Also has the normal workstation features such as a comprehensive sequencer (which can be assigned to different sounds than that of the keyboard or midi in (all sources can use different sounds)) and an easy 10 x 10 performance/bank selection.
All built into a solid case.

As for the juno D I ahve it's predecessor the RS-5, can also be had cheap, had good sounds, and seems well built might want to look at one if low weight is a must.
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Re: Which ROMpler would you get?

Postby DoctorAl » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:31 pm

Scramble wrote:>I dream of having a stage keyboard that only weights 10.4k!

Ah yes, if I take up serious gigging again I doubt my main keyboard will be that light. Even the Electro 3 HP (which I might look at for my future main board but lacks some sounds for the synth role) is a little more. I have played and gigged with an SV-1, it was a bit too heavy for me at 21kg. But 10.4kg is quite a bit for something with only five non-weighted octaves of keys.

Have just seen the Korg PS60 which might be worth a look. Some other interesting ideas, thanks!
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Re: Which ROMpler would you get?

Postby Dave B » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:12 am

Possibly look into the Kurzweil PC3LE range ...

but I think that you are asking a lot really. I'd be tempted to live with the Motif.

SY35 ... it had one good sound - that hi string thingy ... it's all over quite a few albums from the 90s!
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Re: Which ROMpler would you get?

Postby DoctorAl » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:42 am

Dave B wrote:but I think that you are asking a lot really. I'd be tempted to live with the Motif.

Probably sensible advice. Better the workstation you know. I've had a good look at all the suggestions (many thanks) and some other things I came across, and concluded that there's nothing that really grabs me. I'll take myself up to London some day and try some out - does anyone know a shop where you could try the Korg PS60 and maybe the Yamaha MM6?

Trouble is I have GUS - Gear Unacquisition Syndrome, matched with "but I don't want to get rid of that specific item" and also remnants of GAS "if I just buy that it will cover all possible needs and make my dinner too". I know I won't regret things once they are gone - I've already gotten rid of a Hammond, Leslie, Rhodes x2, CP70, Prophet, grand piano x2, double bass, other synths etc. recently and don't regret any of them.
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