New here - can you recommend a multi-purpose keyboard for recording?

Discussion in 'Keyboards' started by bubbler, Nov 28, 2017.

  1. bubbler

    bubbler Member

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    Hi everyone. I just joined the gear page, mostly because I need some help figuring out what keyboard to buy. I'm a guitarist that plays keys occasionally out of necessity. I'm looking for a do-it-all keyboard for a very small space home studio. Mainly I just need a decent acoustic piano sound, decent rhodes and wurli sounds, a decent combo organ sound, a decent hammond/baldwin organ sound, and hopefully some analog synth type sounds as a bonus. Oh, and I don't want to spend any more than I have to! What should I get? Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
  2. xcc

    xcc Member

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    I’d recommend one of the cheaper Korg Krome or Roland Junos for all around uses.
     
  3. rsm

    rsm Member

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    Have a look at Yamaha PSR-E453 61-Key, around $280 new.

    If you want something more, Yamaha PSR-S670 61-Key Arranger Workstation for around $800 new, or the Roland JUNO-DS61 Synthesizer for around $700 new
     
  4. bubbler

    bubbler Member

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    Thank you very much for the responses. I watched some clips and both the Roland Juno 61 and Korg Krome 61 seem like they'd be good for my purposes. There's SO much functionality and so many sounds with those. Truthfully, there's a lot more than I need. I don't need, and likely won't really use, all those 80s type sounds. Nor will I use all that sequencing capability, or the drum beats and drums sounds. I really just need a handful of classic keyboard sounds, like piano, rhodes, wurli, combo organ, hammond organ, and analog synth. All the other stuff is kind of wasted on me. But maybe I'll find a use for those other sounds now and again. Anyway, thanks for the tips. Much appreciated.
     
  5. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Yeah, but wait until you record something and go, "man, this piano just doesn't sound right" - you'll be glad you have four other piano patches to choose from!

    Nowadays, sounds are cheap. Boards are all about features because even the bottom of the line synths have the same sound sets as the flagship models - usually just fewer of them. That means - unlike the old days - the sound quality is the same across the whole line. So it's the features that set them apart. And those have gotten so cheap as well that even the base models have oodles of features.

    The DS61 is a great "all around" keyboard and at that price it's hard to beat.

    If you want to spend more, you can, but usually the sounds aren't going to necessarily get better - there will be more of them, and more features primarily (however, in some cases, like Roland's FA series, you get Supernatural sounds in the next level up, so there are some better sounds not available in the DS though there's a lot of overlap with other sounds).

    You really want good Piano, Organ, and Wurly, you might want to look to a Nord Stage type instrument if you can afford it.

    Nowadays, you can get better sounds out of VSTs a lot of times. So you may want to look into a controller and VSTs if you're doing all your recording "in the box".

    But if using it live, I still prefer an actual keyboard, so the Juno DS61 is a good bet.
     
  6. moogerfooger

    moogerfooger Member

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    logic pro X has it all covered
     
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  7. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe Member

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    The Yamaha MX61 is reasonably priced, and has great MOTIF sounds. No sequencer ... it's made for live performance.
     
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  8. bubbler

    bubbler Member

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    Wow yeah. And the mx49 is even more affordable. I'm still weighing my decision but I like this option. Thanks for the tip.
     
  9. bubbler

    bubbler Member

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    Oh, and the nord stage compact type thing would definitely be my ideal (I used one and loved it), but, alas, I can't spend that much.
     
  10. jomama2

    jomama2 Member

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    This is too vague. For ex. a price range would help. Also do you care about weighted keys or not?

    Offhand I suggest you check out the Casio Privia line. the Korg B-1, or Yamaha P45. $400ish. You won't get much cheaper for a quality keyboard.
     
  11. nsureit

    nsureit Supporting Member

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    Your definition of “decent sounding” is a wild card. Very accurate DSP samples and a usable synth in a keyboard will run >$1500, good ones cost much less. Most all keyboards these days will give you midi and USB connectivity. So, do you want a good Rhodes, Wurlitzer and B3, or a great one? If you go cheap, will it meet your future needs? If you buy a “pro model”, will you realize future benefits?
     
  12. bubbler

    bubbler Member

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    Thanks for your thoughts. I know it's frustrating when somebody is vague because they don't even know what they want. I was, honestly, as specific as I could be. I don't know how much I would need weighted keys. But I know I need an inspiring instrument that feels good to me and sounds good to me. I realize that's entirely subjective. But I guess I'm just interested in subjective opinions. I also don't have a specific price limit, necessarily. I'd rather spend less, but I might end up spending more. You know? I'd prefer to keep it under $1000, but $1500 would be about my max.

    Today I made the mistake of playing a korg sv-1 73. That thing just felt amazing to me, and sounded fantastic. All the sounds are great, and the effects are basically on par with expensive effects pedals. It's a bit big for me to carry around for live use in nyc, where I live. I'm also usually carrying a guitar, pedalboard, and sometimes an amp, too. But for a leave-at-home studio keyboard that would cover most of the sounds I want, it would be pretty ideal. All but the analog synths sounds are pretty much covered, I guess. Lately I'm getting analog synth type sounds from my EQD data corrupter and bit commander. Maybe I could just play the sv-1 through those pedals, for simulations of monophonic analog synths, just like I play guitar through them? I don't know. Or maybe I'll just buy a synth, too.

    I do know that I'm going to have a hard time getting the sv-1 73 out of my head, now that the idea is in there. I found a couple used ones for around $1000. I might pull the trigger early in the new year.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  13. bubbler

    bubbler Member

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    Uh oh. Now I tried the Roland VR-700. Found one that can be had for $750. And the drawbars sure are fun. You guys have any thoughts on the Korg sv-1 vs Roland vr-700?
     
  14. d-rock

    d-rock Supporting Member

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    The Korg SV-1 is super cool with some great electric piano sounds and effects. I agree it has a great touch with the weighted keys. But if you play organ on it the keys will feel too stiff.

    Roland VR-730 sounds perfect with all the sounds you need. It's not too heavy but physically large. That's pretty much the only reason I didn't buy it.

    I have a Nord Electro. 61-key, small, lightweight, great tones. I love the Rhodes and Wurli models.
     
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  15. jomama2

    jomama2 Member

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    Then you need to go out to some stores and try them out.

    You can easily get a very high quality keyboard for $1000 or less new; obviously a better one used. Yeah Korg sounds like it might work. :)
     
  16. Elantric

    Elantric Silver Supporting Member

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    Look at new Korg Kross 2 as well
     
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  17. mleffler

    mleffler Member

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    If all you want to do is record, then as already mentioned above, there are more sounds than you'll probably need already built into programs like logic pro X. All I use is that and a midi keyboard controller to create tracks. You also have the benefit of being able to change the instrument after the initial recording (leaving your performance intact).

    Downside - it can be done, but much more of a big deal if you want to play live with this setup.
     
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  18. bubbler

    bubbler Member

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    I just bought a Les Paul that I wasn't planning on buying. My budgeting situation has changed.

    Now I'm thinking of a Yamaha MX49. Used these can be had used for around $300-$350. Has anybody used one? Is there a good variety of standard sounds? I know there's a ton of modern synth sounds that I'm not really super interested in, but are there good, solid hammond organ and combo organ sounds, good piano sounds, and good wurli and rhodes sounds?

    I appreciate the suggestions for midi controllers. I looked in to that. My interface is an older Apogee Duet. That version of the duet, while great sounding, doesn't have midi connectivity. I'd also like to be able to take a keyboard out and use it for live studio if need be.
     
  19. dougb415

    dougb415 Member

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    I would suggest just getting a MIDI controller with no built-in sounds. Most controllers have USB connectivity. Use VSTi (virtual instruments) for the actual sound generators. I don’t use any of the sounds from my keyboards anymore, I am 100% “in the box”. Check out our site listed in my sig, you can hear examples of what I’m talking about.
     
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  20. bubbler

    bubbler Member

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    I'm intrigued but I'm not sure I'm all set up for that. Gotta do some more research.

    That said, I tried the Yamaha MX49. I really liked the sound but the cheap plastic vibe kinda put me off. I hate the idea of dropping $500 for something that feels cheap, even if it sounds good.
     

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