Recommendation needed for home studio

Discussion in 'Keyboards' started by DaveNJ, Apr 15, 2019 at 9:42 PM.

  1. DaveNJ

    DaveNJ Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2006
    Manalapan, NJ
    Hey all, I’m looking for recommendations on a keyboard/synth/controller for my home studio. I currently have a novation SL remote 37 keyboard controller and the two main things I’d like to change with the new unit would be more keys (looking at 61) and something with a more piano like action to the keyboard.

    I’m kind of torn between just getting a good controller and using soft synths, but having something which has some great sounds of its own could help me offload some CPU. Using something like Omnisphere is always an option, as well.

    I’ve had a chance to play the Norred electro 6D before and I love the feel. That being said, I’m much more of a guitar guy so I’m just really not that familiar with what else is available on the market from Korg, Roland, Yamaha, etc.

    Budget-wise, I would say $3K...

  2. kiki_90291

    kiki_90291 Member

    Mar 15, 2006
    Portland, OR
    Hard to beat the Nord Electro. I have the 61 key version and am on the fence over whether I'd prefer the 73. The keybed is really nice - seems like a good midpoint between hammer action, which I really don't have the muscles for, and synth action, which is hard to control dynamics on. The user interface is really easy to use, as is the patch/tone manager and there's a really massive sample library available from Nord.

    There's a Korg stage piano that's very nice and easy to use, but I think it's pretty limited tonally.

    I don't know much about the high end Roland/Yamaha boards, but I think they tend to be full featured workstations - they sound and feel great, but have a ton of features that make them daunting for me interface-wise.

    If you decide on a Nord, check out the Pro Audio Star listings on Reverb - they have "open box" and "demo" units priced at significant discounts. When I ordered mine, they offered to upgrade me to a new unit for a bit more, but I opted to stick with the "demo" - I received a factory sealed box. I think they advertise the "demos" as a way to get around their pricing agreements with Nord . . . not sure if I just got lucky or if this is their playbook, but it worked out pretty well for me. $3k will get you a Nord Stage, which has a better synth engine than the Electro . . .
    DaveNJ likes this.
  3. TwoHandsTenThumbs

    TwoHandsTenThumbs Silver Supporting Member

    May 26, 2014
    Motor City
    Ditto on the Electro, 61 Keys, and the Pro Audio Star “open box” experience. I have a 5D and paid less a year or so ago than used 5Ds are going for on eBay, or Reverb today.

    I thought about the 73 key, but the compactness and weight of the smaller board has been a joy. I’ve only ever questioned not having the longer board a couple of times, with the “acoustic” pianos. But 95% of the time, the 61 key sits right in the sweet spot, and you can shift the range easily enough.

    For me, I tend to use it for Wurly, Rhodes, B3, Combo organs, ‘Trons, and analog style string synths most of all. The synth voices are ok, but I have that covered elsewhere. And despite having a nicely maintained Wurly 200a, Rhodes Mk 1 Stage, Hohner Pianet, and a couple of analog stringers at home, the Nord gets used a bunch. And is good enough that I’d likely only ever lug the real beasts to the repair shop, at this point, not to a gig or writing session.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019 at 12:50 AM
    DaveNJ likes this.

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