Best piano sound for live gig


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I own a Roland Juno DS88. The best built-in piano sound is OK at home through my Yamaha monitors or headphones, but through even a good PA it sounds clanky and thin. I've noticed that with other piano sounds also. ( Why, I wonder.) Can anyone suggest a gig worthy piano sound compatible with my Juno DS? I really don't want to carry a computer to a gig.

Thanks for your suggestions.
 
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I own a Roland Juno DS88. The best built-in piano sound is OK at home through my Yamaha monitors or headphones, but through even a good PA it sounds clanky and thin. I've noticed that with other piano sounds also. ( Why, I wonder.) Can anyone suggest a gig worthy piano sound compatible with my Juno DS? I really don't want to carry a computer to a gig.

Thanks for your suggestions.
Your question seems to suggest that there is nothing wrong with the DS88 piano at home, it is the PA where there is an issue. so the issue is clearly with the PA speakers. So why are you now looking for a different piano sound? It seems to me that you should be looking for decent PA speakers, as that is where you point the problem to be..... How would we know what piano sound would be good with the PA speakers that you have when you haven't even mentioned the PA speakers that you are running through. For all we know upgrading the piano sound might sound even worse with the PA speakers. My suggestion is to fix the cause, not the effect.
 
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Delaware dave, thanks for your reply. You're probably right. I'm just not sure how to overcome the shortcomings of the PA's I use. For the record, I've regularly use a pair QSC K12s in stereo. For smaller jobs, a S1 Bose. I've worked with eq, compression, etc. and nothing seems to help much. I have a friend that uses a pair of QSC K8's and he has the same complaint. I've come to the conclusion that the complexity of the sound of an acoustic piano is very difficult for even a good PA to reproduce. On the other hand, Wurlitzer or Rhodes can sound great. I also remember being very pleased with an older RD series I owned some 25+ years ago. It didn't sound like a Steinway, but it was solid, beefy, and musical. All that leads me to think that some piano sounds may work better live than others. Just wondering about others' experience and opinion.
 
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Delaware dave, thanks for your reply. You're probably right. I'm just not sure how to overcome the shortcomings of the PA's I use. For the record, I've regularly use a pair QSC K12s in stereo. For smaller jobs, a S1 Bose. I've worked with eq, compression, etc. and nothing seems to help much. I have a friend that uses a pair of QSC K8's and he has the same complaint. I've come to the conclusion that the complexity of the sound of an acoustic piano is very difficult for even a good PA to reproduce. On the other hand, Wurlitzer or Rhodes can sound great. I also remember being very pleased with an older RD series I owned some 25+ years ago. It didn't sound like a Steinway, but it was solid, beefy, and musical. All that leads me to think that some piano sounds may work better live than others. Just wondering about others' experience and opinion.
Not sure where you 'position' these speakers in relation to where you sit/stand during the performance. Try moving the speakers about 20 feet away from you and turn the speakers toward you simulating the effect the crowd would get when listening to you. See how they then sound to you 20 feet away pointing at you, this is how they would sound to the crowd. Make your adjustments and see if you can get correction. I say this because in one of the bands I play in (I play in a few believe it or not) the two guitars players play acoustic shows independent of the band full 5-piece. Occasionally I join them to make it a three piece acoustic. Acoustic shows they use a Bose Line Array system. Out in the crowd (20-30 feet away) everything sounds great, pianos are balanced (one of the guitar players also uses a Korg SV-1 when they do acoustic and I just use his setup). When I come up to the stage and play it sounds like mud, no definition to the sounds and almost sounds as though someone took a blanket and put it over the line array. This phenomena is consistent at different venues, sounds clear out front and muddy on the stage. That is why I'm suggesting you move the speakers about 20 feet out in front of you and then turn them toward you. This gives you the 'crowd' effect and how it sounds to them. See if there is a difference between what you think you hear on the stage and what you actually would hear out front. If there is a large difference between the two then and it actually can sound decent out front then it is more of a positioning situation. If you can't get it to sound decent with them 20 feet away then those speakers are probably not what you are looking for in order to use them as PA speakers projecting acoustic piano sound.

See the link below, these speakers sounds particularly well with piano, they're not very expensive, they're lightweight and have enough power to get the job done. I think you'd be pleased with them when performing. The audio reviews are pretty consistent:

 
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Your question seems to suggest that there is nothing wrong with the DS88 piano at home, it is the PA where there is an issue. so the issue is clearly with the PA speakers. So why are you now looking for a different piano sound? It seems to me that you should be looking for decent PA speakers, as that is where you point the problem to be..... How would we know what piano sound would be good with the PA speakers that you have when you haven't even mentioned the PA speakers that you are running through. For all we know upgrading the piano sound might sound even worse with the PA speakers. My suggestion is to fix the cause, not the effect.
I also have this same issue. My Korg PA1000 piano sounds bad through my Bose L1 compact. Not quite as bad on my Roland KC-220 keyboard amp (for small gigs). But, there seems to be a vast difference in piano sounds between the keyboard speakers, monitors, headphones, and PA systems.
 
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I own a Roland Juno DS88. The best built-in piano sound is OK at home through my Yamaha monitors or headphones, but through even a good PA it sounds clanky and thin. I've noticed that with other piano sounds also. ( Why, I wonder.) Can anyone suggest a gig worthy piano sound compatible with my Juno DS? I really don't want to carry a computer to a gig.

Thanks for your suggestions.
Nord stage 3 or elektro 6hp
 
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I also have this same issue. My Korg PA1000 piano sounds bad through my Bose L1 compact. Not quite as bad on my Roland KC-220 keyboard amp (for small gigs). But, there seems to be a vast difference in piano sounds between the keyboard speakers, monitors, headphones, and PA systems.

Somewhat related to the overall issue of best piano sound for live gigs ....

I used to own a Roland KC-350 keyboard amp and liked it very much for smaller gigs. However, it had this problem that at bigger gigs, the piano sounds would go "clanky and thin" especially within higher octaves.

I experimented with different amps, including Crate and Peavey amps.

I also tried arrangements of deliberately choosing a separate head and a separate passive speaker. I found this setup was very flexible both in terms of physical layout and manipulating the sound in terms of EQ and the venue played.

I understood then why other keyboard players said they'd never go back to combo amps. They're difficult to design and get the whole spectrum right for different synths, pianos, organs and other keyboard instruments, especially when individual channels don't have their own tone adjustments.

And then another long night out after a gig, the decision was made permanent for me -- someone broke into my pickup truck and stole my Roland KC-350. Now it's their headache!
 

HRF

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I own a Roland Juno DS88. The best built-in piano sound is OK at home through my Yamaha monitors or headphones, but through even a good PA it sounds clanky and thin. I've noticed that with other piano sounds also. ( Why, I wonder.) Can anyone suggest a gig worthy piano sound compatible with my Juno DS? I really don't want to carry a computer to a gig.

Thanks for your suggestions.
I seem to have the same problem with any keyboard that i use. They sound great with close reference monitors, or headphones, but tinny when going through a regular PA. I've kind of narrowed it dow to those plastic case self powered PA speakers. There seems to be some sort of nasal mid range sound out of those speakers. However, I found that when the cabs are mad of wood, that sound seem to be lessened quite a bit. I think that the QSC KW series might be the best choice. They are expensive, but do sound better than the plastic shell speakers.
 
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I just bought a "scratch 'n' dent pair of JBL PRX One's.. I've yet to use them on a gig.. that's coming up in a few weeks. We'll see how they sound.
 
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I've been using EV ELX112P's for about 7 years. They are powered monitors but made of wood, not ABS. In sound comparisons with QSC's I found them them to be warmer which I attribute to the wood case over the QSC plastic case.
 
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HRF

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I've been using EV ELX112P's for about 7 years. They are powered monitors but made of wood, not ABS. In sound comparisons with QSC's I found them them to be warmer which I attribute to the wood case over the QSC plastic case.
I agree that wood cases sound much better than the plastic ABS. I guess some people will trade quality for lighter weight. Not my style.
 
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I own a Roland Juno DS88. The best built-in piano sound is OK at home through my Yamaha monitors or headphones, but through even a good PA it sounds clanky and thin. I've noticed that with other piano sounds also. ( Why, I wonder.) Can anyone suggest a gig worthy piano sound compatible with my Juno DS? I really don't want to carry a computer to a gig.

Thanks for your suggestions.
I'm a fairly new RD2000 user however, I'd think the Editing options are about the same for the Juno. Click on Edit, then Key Touch, and then at the top, switch from medium to light touch. The sound is a much fuller, crisp sound.
 
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I’ve always liked Korg pianos the best. The Nautilus pianos are amazing! It has many of the pianos from Kronos, plus some new Italian Grand pianos and others. Krome and Kross also have fantastic piano sounds.
 
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A good keyboard amp makes all the difference. I have a cheap Yamaha PSR-E373 for a small practice room - sounds like a toy with the built in 2.5W speakers, but when played through my (old) professional Peavey Session 500 it sounds like a Yamaha grand piano.
 
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I own a Roland Juno DS88. The best built-in piano sound is OK at home through my Yamaha monitors or headphones, but through even a good PA it sounds clanky and thin. I've noticed that with other piano sounds also. ( Why, I wonder.) Can anyone suggest a gig worthy piano sound compatible with my Juno DS? I really don't want to carry a computer to a gig.

Thanks for your suggestions.
Try adjusting your EQ to take out some of the upper midrange and treble frequencies in the 4K-8K range. You may want to try using a small mixer to premix your keyboards.
 

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