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Rack or 1/2 Rack Sound Module Required

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

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Rack or 1/2 Rack Sound Module Required

Postby TimSpa » Tue Mar 02, 2021 6:36 pm

I'm looking for a sound module with a good range of sounds on it. Yamaha used to have the Motif Rack.

Does anyone know of any good more recent models (Yamaha don't seem to do anything brilliant anymore). Happy to try a few out.

Want a range of sounds, principally a good piano and keyboard but hopefully some others too.

Thanks

Tim
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Re: Rack or 1/2 Rack Sound Module Required

Postby Logarhythm » Tue Mar 02, 2021 7:06 pm

The Integra 7 is perhaps the newest one I can readily think of, although it's not an area to which I've paid a great deal of attention. Don't recall a rack version of any of the more recent Kurz/Roland/Yamaha/Korg stuff.
Going a bit older, an XV5080 or its 5050/3030 siblings would give you a fairly broad range of sounds, as would some of the Fantom modules (albeit from previous generations of Fantom - there isn't one for the current version) and potentially expandability to add Roland JV/SRX cards.
Piano sounds seem to be quite subjective, but worth Youtubing a few demos of some of the above.
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Re: Rack or 1/2 Rack Sound Module Required

Postby The Elf » Tue Mar 02, 2021 7:41 pm

Welcome! :thumbup:

I too was going to suggest the same lineage - Integra-7 going back towards the XV and JV range.

This will all be made or broken by the budget, so how much do we have to play with?
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Re: Rack or 1/2 Rack Sound Module Required

Postby TimSpa » Tue Mar 02, 2021 8:20 pm

Thanks both. The integra looks interesting but it’s still 8 years old from what I can see. I suppose that category of product has just pretty much disappeared.

For £800 I could just get a Yamaha mod x and not use the keyboard. Seems a bit daft tho. Maybe I should just choose some virtual instruments but I love just being able to switch something tangible on.

Any other thought much appreciated.
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Re: Rack or 1/2 Rack Sound Module Required

Postby Ben Asaro » Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:09 pm

There are so many choices available it would be helpful to know what kind of sounds you are going for. For example, I love the sound of the Roland JV series, but they sound nothing like the sounds you would get from a modern plugin or sample set.

Also, do you have a minimal number of voices that you need?
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Re: Rack or 1/2 Rack Sound Module Required

Postby TimSpa » Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:24 pm

Firstly I'd want a really good piano sound. Then keyboards (rhodes etc). Strings. Synths. All the usual really. I have a Yamaha GT 20 with an amazing action, would like to just use midi to allow me to use better piano samples (it sounds good as it's well programmed but I think the piano sample was 24mb : ) but if I can get extra sounds then great.

Not too worried about lots of voices but if it does then great.
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Re: Rack or 1/2 Rack Sound Module Required

Postby The Elf » Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:37 pm

I'd take an Integra-7 over any of the choices above. It really is an incredible instrument - the epitomy of its type.

Failing that, my choice for live is a laptop, Cantabile software and any synth I care to load up. If I need anything different to what I have it's as simple as loading a new sample set, or VST instrument.
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Re: Rack or 1/2 Rack Sound Module Required

Postby zenguitar » Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:18 am

And don't forget that the the sounds you are looking for are a good selection of general purpose standard synth sounds. This is a pretty mature technology now, you don't need to worry about being out of date.

The Integra is a wonderful piece of kit combining several proven sound engines in a very flexible package.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Rack or 1/2 Rack Sound Module Required

Postby Ben Asaro » Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:24 am

If you’re a Mac user, you can’t go wrong with a laptop and Mainstage for live use.
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Re: Rack or 1/2 Rack Sound Module Required

Postby Arpangel » Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:51 am

Have very fond memories of the Korg NS5R.
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Re: Rack or 1/2 Rack Sound Module Required

Postby TimSpa » Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:53 pm

Thanks All!

Have lots to go and think about.

The Integra looks ace but a bit pricey. Maybe I'll go with Mainstage and some good virtual instruments.

Cheers
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Re: Rack or 1/2 Rack Sound Module Required

Postby Dave B » Thu Mar 04, 2021 11:37 am

I'm going to get crucified for this .. but ...

I'd throw up a red flag for the Mainstage/laptop route. Given the price, I'd certainly buy a copy and stick it on a laptop, but I would do some tests first to make sure you are happy.

I did the whole shebang a few years ago and built quite a nifty setup that worked great. But, there was something about the sounds that I didn't like. In quite a few cases, I found that the sounds were a little too pristine and didn't seem to respond as nicely as my usual rig. Looking back, I think that what I needed to do was turn off the effects in the individual instruments and set up normal sends for reverb/delay/etc in the mixer. The overall effect was that what I had built sounded great, but cold. I would have been fine for a mix where we would do a lot of tweaking, but the raw sounds were a little too polished for a live gig.

(remember : this is all imho and ymmv)

In the end, I decided I liked my beloved Kurzweil much better than the end results, so ditched the experiment. I may resurrect it some day now that I've had time to think about it more and work out what I think went wrong, but, for now, my main boards are quite enough thanks :)

Oh .. and, as stated above, the s/h market is awash with quality rack units from a few years ago which aren't a million miles away from the current units. A Motif rack will still give excellent results, likewise the Fantom rack, etc I find that as long as I like the manufacturers basic sound, almost any unit in the last 25 years or so will sound great ;)
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Re: Rack or 1/2 Rack Sound Module Required

Postby The Elf » Thu Mar 04, 2021 12:32 pm

I'd like to think that rack units today are the analogue synths of tomorrow. At some point they will become 'cool' again, while at the moment they are out of fashion. I just know I'm not ditching mine - they are far too neat and convenient!
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Re: Rack or 1/2 Rack Sound Module Required

Postby Ben Asaro » Thu Mar 04, 2021 1:26 pm

I dunno, Elf; the JV-1080 has seen a massive jump in price over the past couple of years. I’m so glad someone here turned me onto the JV-1010 for rehearsals and gigs, that’s got a ton of punch for it’s size and a single expansion card.

I got my K2000R for a steal and I love the sounds on it, but I can’t even find a rack deep enough for it, even if I DID want to schlep it out!

Roland rack mount stuff is similar, both my JV-880 and 1080 are over 12” deep. Edit: actually, the 1080 is exactly 12” and just fits in a 2U case with no power or cables attached, but then weighs quite a bit!

Something to consider before purchasing if you’re thinking about moving it around.
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